The importance of scarab and non-pest prey for generalist predators: Molecular assessment of a below-ground food web in an alpine grassland ecosystem (TWF Project)

B. Admassu, J. Seeber, K. Schallhart, A. Juen & M. Traugott (PI)

 

White grubs (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) belong to the most abundant and most widespread soil pests and in Europe. Damage due to their root feeding is estimated at 1 billion Euro per year. A major contribution to the regulation of white grubs can come from predatory arthropods, like centipedes and carabid beetles, which live in the soil as well. However, many of these predators are polyphagous, which means that the availability of alternative prey can significantly alter the predators´ potential to regulate soil pests.

Our project directly addresses this issue: We investigate the importance of alternative prey for the naturally occurring invertebrate predators of white grubs using, for the first time, a molecular approach. Our findings will contribute to a better understanding of the interactions between pests and their predators in alpine grasslands, an ecosystem highly relevant for mountainous regions.

 

Funding: Science Fund Tyrol, Austrian Exchange Service, Regional Government of Tyrol

 

Raupe

 Regenwurm

 

 

 

 

 

<- back