Insect diversity can predict biodiversity status in Africa

Reliable metrics to monitor human impacts on biodiversity are essential for informing conservation policy. As insects are indicators of global change, whose declines profoundly affect ecosystems, insect diversity may predict biodiversity status. Here we present an unbiased and straightforward biodiversity status metric based on insect diversity (richness) and landscape naturalness. Insect diversity was estimated using spatially explicit earth observation data and insect species assemblages across microhabitats in two agro-ecological zones in Africa. Landscape naturalness was estimated using various human impact factors. Biodiversity status values differed considerably (p < 0.05) between protected and non-protected areas, while protected areas, regardless of agro-ecology, shared similar biodiversity status values. The metric is consistent when using richness from different indicator taxa (i.e., stingless bees, butterflies, dragonflies) and independent data for landscape naturalness. Our biodiversity status metric is applicable to data-scarce environments and practical for conservation actions and reporting the status of biodiversity targets.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Name of principal investigator Tobias Landmann
Email of principle investigator Tobias Landmann
  • Collaborators: Tobias Landmann
  • Collaborators: Michael Schmitt
  • Collaborators: Burak Ekim
  • Collaborators: Jandouwe Villinger
  • Collaborators: Faith Ashiono
  • Collaborators: Jan C. Habel
  • Collaborators: Henri E.Z. Tonnang
Donor/funding agency
Start date of project
End date of project
Region East Africa, South Africa
  • Country: Kenya
  • Country: South Africa
Administrative area(s) Western region Kenya, St Lucia region South Africa
Name of contact person Tobias Landmann
Email of contact person
Date uploaded 2023-04-25
Maintainer Kennedy Senagi
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Citation narrative
Is this third party data? No - This is not third party data, and I consent to archive it
Acknowledgement statement