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ERIC Number: EJ939419
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9266
Magic Roundabouts? Teaching Conservation in Schools and Universities
Leather, Simon R.; Helden, Alvin J.
Journal of Biological Education, v39 n3 p102-107 2005
Pitfall trap sampling of Carabid beetle species on roundabouts in Bracknell, Berkshire, was used to assess the biodiversity of this taxon by its use as an indicator. The aim of the study was to discover the role of traffic islands in the provision of refugia for invertebrate fauna in fragmented urban habitats. Sampling was performed on 15 roundabouts where a total of 24 species were recorded during four trapping periods over a total of 10 days. The resulting asymptotic curves indicated that the total number of species present on all but two of the sites had been represented in the samples taken. There was found to be a positive correlation between the area of the islands and the number of ground beetle species and between the log of the area and the number of individuals found. The log/log relationship between the area of the islands and the number of species was significant. The total abundance of the beetles present was also positively and significantly correlated with roundabout area when both variables were logged. The number of habitats on the islands was positively correlated with the total abundance and species richness. The relationship between species, area and habitat was also positively and significantly correlated. In conclusion, it is obvious that roundabouts of large area with higher numbers of habitat types are greater in Carabid beetle diversity than small, sparsely vegetated roundabouts. Thus, roundabouts can promote the maintenance of biodiversity in fragmented urban habitats. We present this study as an example of a simple method that could be used or easily adapted for educational use, and suggest how some of the perceived problems in its use may be overcome. We discuss how such a study could be useful in illustrating concepts such as biodiversity and species richness, and some of the factors that influence it, as well as demonstrating the level of biodiversity that can be found in urban environments. (Contains 8 figures and 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom