Birmingham, United Kingdom
Birmingham, United Kingdom

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Bates A.J.,University of Birmingham | Sadler J.P.,University of Birmingham | Everett G.,University of Central Lancashire | Grundy D.,Garden Moth Scheme | And 14 more authors.
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata | Year: 2013

Done well, citizen science projects can gather datasets of a size and scope far larger than would be possible using professional researchers. This study uses data gathered in Britain by the Garden Moth Scheme (GMS). Participants run garden light traps for at least 26 weeks a year and complete garden questionnaires detailing garden habitat and nearby landscape features. We used data exploration and generalised linear modelling (GLM) to investigate whether the data can be used to generate reliable research findings, testing the effect of moth light trap type on moth catch. Robinson traps, then Skinner traps, then Heath traps were found to catch the highest abundance and diversity of moths. Mercury vapour bulbs, then blended light bulbs, then actinic bulbs collected the highest abundance and diversity of moths. The GMS dataset can be used to generate useful and reliable research findings, and can be used in the future to investigate temporal and spatial trends in moth assemblage. Under international law, the use of mercury vapour bulbs will be phased out in coming years, leading to changes in the way moth assemblages are sampled. Information on the relative efficacy of different bulb types will aid the analysis of long-term moth datasets after these changes. © 2013 The Netherlands Entomological Society.


Bates A.J.,University of Birmingham | Sadler J.P.,University of Birmingham | Grundy D.,Garden Moth Scheme | Lowe N.,Garden Moth Scheme | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Moths are abundant and ubiquitous in vegetated terrestrial environments and are pollinators, important herbivores of wild plants, and food for birds, bats and rodents. In recent years, many once abundant and widespread species have shown sharp declines that have been cited by some as indicative of a widespread insect biodiversity crisis. Likely causes of these declines include agricultural intensification, light pollution, climate change, and urbanization; however, the real underlying cause(s) is still open to conjecture. We used data collected from the citizen science Garden Moth Scheme (GMS) to explore the spatial association between the abundance of 195 widespread British species of moth, and garden habitat and landscape features, to see if spatial habitat and landscape associations varied for species of differing conservation status. We found that associations with habitat and landscape composition were species-specific, but that there were consistent trends in species richness and total moth abundance. Gardens with more diverse and extensive microhabitats were associated with higher species richness and moth abundance; gardens near to the coast were associated with higher richness and moth abundance; and gardens in more urbanized locations were associated with lower species richness and moth abundance. The same trends were also found for species classified as increasing, declining and vulnerable under IUCN (World Conservation Union) criteria. However, vulnerable species were more strongly negatively affected by urbanization than increasing species. Two hypotheses are proposed to explain this observation: (1) that the underlying factors causing declines in vulnerable species (e.g., possibilities include fragmentation, habitat deterioration, agrochemical pollution) across Britain are the same in urban areas, but that these deleterious effects are more intense in urban areas; and/or (2) that urban areas can act as ecological traps for some vulnerable species of moth, the light drawing them in from the surrounding landscape into sub-optimal urban habitats. © 2014 Bates et al.

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