An assessment of the diversity of ground-dwelling invertebrates in three urban land-use types in central British Columbia

2017-04-21T20:22:51Z (GMT) by Dezene Huber Lisa Poirier
Ground dwelling arthropods and other sympatric invertebrates in urban environments often exist completely unnoticed yet are known to provide important ecosystem services1,2,3. The central interior of British Columbia is largely unsurveyed for many taxa, and its urban centers have been particularly ignored. Prince George (population ~75000) is the main industrial and service hub for much of the interior of British Columbia north of Kamloops. Due to rapid industrialization of the central and northern interior of British Columbia, Prince George is also experiencing substantial growth in economic activity and population. Development decisions in this context should be based on sound ecological data, yet little to no urban arthropod biodiversity data exist for the region. We monitored arrays of pitfall traps in three land-use types (residential, greenbelt, industrial; N = 4 for each) on a near-weekly basis during the summer of 2015 in Prince George, British Columbia. Initial sorting and morphospecies-based DNA barcoding has revealed over 180 species as a conservative estimate for γ-diversity. Several groups – such as <i>Megaselia</i> spp. flies (Phoridae), platygastrid wasps, and spiders – show substantial levels of diversity. We are currently working on completing a pictorial catalog of the local fauna to aid in our ongoing sorting and detailed assessment of assemblages found at each land-use type.