In a separate Citizen Science approach, citizen scientists (e.g. farmers, students, interested citizens) are actively involved in data collection.
Here, the occurrence of certain conspicuous beneficial insects (e.g. hoverflies, ladybugs) on specific plants at the edge of fields, in crops or on allotments at certain times of the year is surveyed. For the flower observations, artificial flowers are currently being developed, which will make it possible to conduct a standardized survey of flower-visiting insects (especially hoverflies) on each test plot to compare different locations, regions and agricultural land use types. Other survey methods are used as well, such as the application of cardboard strips around tree trunks to assess the abundance of codling moths and their parasitoids. This reveals both pest pressure and the presence of potential beneficial antagonists. The goal of this approach is to build a public information network and to develop a web module for data collection including data assessment routines. The website nützLINK (https://nuetzlink.julius-kuehn.de) went online in the 2nd quarter of 2022 and acts as a platform to share information and as a means of communication with citizen scientists.
Feasibility study: Parasitoid Hymenoptera as indicators in permanent grasslands
The abundance and diversity of parasitoid Hymenoptera have great potential as indicators of overall insect diversity, grassland management intensity, and surrounding landscape structure. This module is designed as a feasibility study in order to assess the potential of the parasitoid community as indicators in hay meadows and the possibility of an implementation within a long-term monitoring programme at the end of 2023.