Utility Rights-of-Way Wildlife Research at Penn State
Plant and animal community response to long-term vegetation management on rights-of-way
Ground beetles provide a unique opportunity to understand the ecosystem from the ground up, literally!
Ground beetles, which are in the Carabidae insect family, are a diverse group of insects with 2,000 species found in North America and more than 40,000 species worldwide.
They are found on the soil surface in nearly every habitat type. Some species are associated with specific types of habitats such as meadows and woodland. This habitat specificity makes these species useful biological indicators for ecosystem and habitat changes.
Not only are ground beetles an easy assessment tool, but they also provide biological control of other insects and plant weed species while being a food source for higher animals in the food chain.
We will be assessing the ground beetle populations and diversity to further our understanding of integrated vegetation management in power line rights of ways.