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Monitoring habitats with insects: “Fauna Indicativa” makes this possible

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Insects – like plants – have species- specific requirements for their habitats. Some like it warm and dry, others damp and shady. Plants have been used for a long time as indicators for site conditions. Since insects react more quickly to changes because of their shorter generations, they can be used to supplement vege­tation surveys.

Researchers at WSL have, together with other experts, for the first time summarized, in tabular form, the requirements and biological characteristics, such as body size or time of emergence of mature insects, of all dragonflies, grasshoppers, ground beetles and butterflies found in Switzer­land. This “Fauna Indicativa” allows data on insects to be used more simply in a standardized way to describe the condition and changes in the habitats in Switzerland. FOEN supported the Project. The relevant report (in German) can be obtained from WSL, and the digital tables from info fauna CSCF. (Lisa Bose, Diagonal 2/17)