Beetle Biodiversity Response to Vegetation Restoration of Mid-Valley Riparian Woodland in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Southern Texas
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In ecological restoration, habitat managers intervene in a degraded ecosystem to aid its recovery. To assess a restored habitat, one or more characteristics such as biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and community structure are measured in relation to a reference habitat. While many restoration projects focus on vertebrates, arthropod taxa may be a more informative group, and beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera) in particular are a significant part of most ecosystem functions. In the four southernmost counties of Texas, the Rio Grande forms a fertile flood plain and delta; however, 98% of the riparian habitat on the Texas side has been cleared for farmland and urban expansion. Recent ecological restoration in some regions of the Lower Rio Grande Valley has consisted of revegetating reclaimed farmland and protecting it from further degradation. Here, an evaluation of the success of the restoration of mid-valley riparian woodland sites based on a survey of beetle communities is conducted at five sites between September 2008 and June 2010. The five sites included three reference sites of primary habitat from coastal brushlands potholes, a sabal palm forest, and a mid-valley riparian woodland, and two restored sites of mid-valley riparian woodland which varied in the age of their restored habitat vegetation. Beat samples and ultraviolet blacklight bucket trap samples were taken once every two weeks, while pitfall traps and Lindgren funnel traps ran continuously and were serviced once every two weeks. The sampling methods employed were designed to capture a wide variety of beetles with different biological characteristics.
King, Jonathan E (2015). Beetle Biodiversity Response to Vegetation Restoration of Mid-Valley Riparian Woodland in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Southern Texas. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from