Report of Lemnos Agro-Pastoral Ecosystems Beneficial Insects & Other Arthropod Fauna
By Agricultural University of Athens
Lemnos is the eighth largest island of Greece extending in an area of 476Km2. It is located in North Aegean, between the islands of Samothraki, Imbros and Lesvos. The climate is characterized as subhumid or almost semi-arid; high wind frequency (a typical element of Aegean islands, particularly characteristic of Lemnos Island) being largely responsible for the formation of this dry climate. The existence of an ancient volcano, on the other hand, has affected the geology and soil formation of
Lemnos. There is important evidence which underlines the ecological interest and importance of the island’s biodiversity (flora, fauna).
In addition, historic sources indicate that Lemnos was characterized
by its fertile soils from the antiquity all the way until the present day – as seen by the cultivation of mainly cereals and vines across the island. However, extended agricultural use of these areas and, especially, certain agricultural practices may have negative impacts for biodiversity conservation. Insects may have viable roles in agro-ecosystems, such as decomposing of organic material, pollination, crop pest control but also aesthetic value, and for these reasons they are often used as bioindicators. The study of the frequency and abundance of insects may contribute to our understanding of the effects that different agro-pastoral practices may have on the agro-ecosystem.
The objective of this study is to monitor different insect species in farms where different agro-pastoral practices are applied, as a means for investigating the impacts of various practices on the local insect fauna, as part of activity 1.2.1 of the Terra Lemnia project. Insect monitoring was held using three (3) complementary methods, allowing to capture both ground and flying insects and hence obtain an overall picture of the insects’ presence in different habitats, selected for being typical of Lemnos’ agroecosystems.