Plant and arthropod diversity of maize agro–ecosystems in the Highveld and Lowveld regions of South Africa
Maliba, Bheki George
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Surveys of plant and selected insect species was conducted in Highveld and Lowveld agro–ecosystems of four provinces of South Africa, namely North–West, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu–Natal and Limpopo. The objectives of the study were to compare insect and plant diversity between localities (grassland and savanna) and treatments (maize field, semi–transformed and untransformed) to test for a general relationship between plant and insect diversity along a maize field–field margin gradient. Plant and insect diversity patterns were studied along the gradient and quantified in terms of richness and diversity indices. Plant and insect species compositional turnover was also measured along the maize field–field margin gradient. Plant diversity increased with increasing distance from maize fields into the margin. The flora in maize fields and of margins differed, but in contrast, insect species assemblages were similar in maize fields and margins. There was no statistical difference in insect diversity between treatments (maize field, semi–transformed and transformed). A relationship was revealed between plant and insect diversity, as plant diversity enhanced insect diversity.
- ETD@PUK