Arthropod Sampling in Agricultural Landscapes: Ecological Considerations
This chapter attempts to address sources of variability in arthropod abundance, distribution, and diversity in agricultural systems from an ecological perspective. It provides a framework for viewing agricultural landscapes and agroecosystems in order to better understand some of the sources of variability in arthropod population size, distribution, and community structure and to use this knowledge to design effective sampling programs. One of the principal distinguishing characteristics of agricultural landscapes is nature and frequency of their disturbance regimes. Stream corridors, while typically wide and irregular in natural landscapes, are increasingly narrowed and linearized in agricultural landscapes due to the pressure to increase tillable land. The chapter explores characteristics of patches in terms of size, shape, topography, and the plant forms that make up the patch, to determine how these characteristics may influence the arthropod community.