Effects of Low-Tech Restoration Structures on Activity of Coleoptera in Sagebrush Steppe

Ethan Palen, Dr. Andrea Litt, Montana State University, 113 A.J.M. Johnson, P.O. Box 173010, Bozeman, MT 59715-3561

Mesic areas in sagebrush steppe are areas with intermediate amounts of water, typically sourced from snowpack. Due to climate change, snow has begun to melt earlier in the spring, which leads to less water flowing into the mesic areas in the summer months. Low-tech restoration structures could help retain moisture and reverse drying trends. These structures have been shown to increase plant productivity previously, we sought to explore how changes in soil moisture, through installation of restoration structures, would likely influence the occurrence of beetle families. Through pitfall trapping, we collected and analyzed the occurrence of the selected families Carabidae, Chysomelidae, Curculionidae, Scarabidae, and Tenebrionidae. Relatively few individuals were captured during sampling, and as such only the presence/absence of Carabidae and Curculionidae could be analyzed. We did not detect treatment-based differences in the presence of Carabidae in any month of sampling, nor in the presence of Curculionidae in June or August, although we found we were 94% less likely to observe Curculionidae in treated reaches (95% CI: 0.00004 to 111%, z = -1.43, P = 0.15). Due to a lack of data, conclusive results could not be obtained. Future experiments should consider longer pitfall trapping dates and sampling longer after structure installation. 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Ethan Palen

Institution: Montana State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Ecology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 5
Date/Time: Tue 12:30pm-1:30pm
Session Number: 4084