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Succession of Coleoptera in a Natal coastal dune forest rehabilitation programme

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dc.contributor.author Vogt M en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-26T06:01:59Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-26T06:01:59Z
dc.date.submitted 1993 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11892/163059
dc.description.abstract Changes in coleopteran diversity through the variously aged sites in a coastal dune forest rehabilitation programme are investigated. The research was done at the Richards Bay Minerals mining site. Prior to the mining process the area consisted of approximately 60% <i>Eucalyptus </i>plantations and 30% natural vegetation. After mining all vegetation is removed, but the mining sites have been rehabilitated over the last 14 years, with reasonable success. Four sampling techniques were used to monitor the Coleoptera in this system, namely pitfall trapping, flight intercept trapping, sweep sampling and fruit bait trapping. Five sites of different ages were chosen in the rehabilitation, and one in the mature coastal dune forest vegetation. The five sites in the rehabilitation are similar to seres of the natural secondary succession as found in the recovery of the forest vegetation elsewhere on the Natal coast. Four sampling trips, each lasting two weeks and spread over all seasons were undertaken to cover possible seasonal variation in the communities. All the samples of Coleoptera were sorted into morphospecies, and collated into species ordination tables, which proved to be very useful for the analyses of changes in the Coleoptera community. Data from the flight intercept and sweeping techniques most effectively reflected the changes in the plant community, while pitfall trapping was more effective in indicating changes in the litter diversity and depth. Fruit baited sampling was done to monitor fruit chafers in order to find indicators for the differences between the older sites of the rehabilitation programme and disturbed vegetation on the one hand and the mature climax vegetation on the other. The Coleoptera species richness was found to increase with increasing age of the rehabilitation, and in this specific system Coleoptera proved to be better indicators of plant community changes than ants. Two bio-indicator groups (Families) were singled out, namely the Chrysomelidae and the Curculionidae. Both very closely reflected the changes in the succession of the plant communities. The number of plant species sampled in both these groups correlated very significantly with the number of plant species sampled in the successively aged sites in the rehabilitation. Other Coleoptera sampled by the flight intercept and sweeping techniques were slightly less effective as indicators of vegetational change, but still correlated significantly with the number of plant species in the successively aged seres. The Cetoniinae sampled by fruit baited traps gave useful information on the changes in older seral stages, and together with the data from the other techniques also gave information on the changes in abundance of specialists and generalists. The study thus pointed out reliable and easily monitored insect indicators of disturbed vegetation in the Natal coastal forest. en
dc.language English en
dc.subject Zoology en
dc.subject Physiology and anatomy en
dc.title Succession of Coleoptera in a Natal coastal dune forest rehabilitation programme en
dc.type Masters degree en
dc.description.degree MSc en


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