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Having a multitude of definitions, biodiversity can most commonly be seen as the variety and diversity of life within an ecosystem. Its relevance is crucial for species survival and resource availability; a lack of biodiversity sets an ecosystem up for failure, reducing its productivity, species richness, and increasing organismal vulnerability. Measuring biodiversity is crucial for the understanding of an ecosystem’s health, giving scientists knowledge of its stability, productivity, and persistence. This collected information can be implemented in various ways outside the scientific field as well, such as with policy decisions and legal regulations. Biodiversity is most commonly analyzed through quantitative assessment of mammal and bird species, but the relatively low numbers of species and few individuals in defined areas tend to cause flawed statistical results. Beetles, however, can be found in large numbers in just about all ecosystems. Having an immense diversity of species, they play significant roles in environments, filling ecological roles as herbivores, decomposers, predators, coprophages, fungivores, etc. As beetles are tremendously diverse and very abundant, quantitative assessments of their diversity are more statistically rigorous. We are sampling beetles from 3 sites located near Morehead, KY. Beetles were collected using pan traps and leaf litter sifting. Collected beetles were then pinned or pointed and sorted by family groups. The primary focus of the study was to determine the various beetle species and their quantitative presence within the multiple sampling sites.

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Beetle Diversity within Ecosystems; Insight of the Order Coleoptera in the Eastern Kentucky Region



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