Language: English with bilingual summaries in English and French
Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands Volume 2: Inhabitants of a Changing Landscape is the second of a four-volume series that will provide an overview of Canada's grasslands and its associated insects, mites, and their close relatives. Volume 1 reviews the formation and extent of native grasslands and subsets of their associated arthropods. Volume 2 expands this focus with chapters on arthropods in agro-ecosystems.
Grasslands were once a dominant feature of Canada's landscape, extending across most of southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with smaller expanses in the Yukon, the interior of British Columbia, and in eastern Ontario. Now, virtually all of these grasslands have been extensively modified for agricultural production with only scattered patches left undisturbed.
Our current knowledge of grassland arthropods largely is limited to species of economic importance; usually exotic species or native species that have become agricultural pests. There exists relatively little information on the arthropods of native grasslands, such that we know little about their biodiversity, their role in ecosystems, and their ability to respond to habitat change.
With the publication of Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands, the Biological Survey of Canada (Terrestrial Arthropods) hopes to increase awareness of the plight of Canada's grasslands, to draw attention to its associated arthropods, and to provide a baseline reference to support future studies of arthropods in these environments.
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Kevin D. Floate is a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), in Lethbridge, Alberta. His main research focus is the use of parasitoid wasps (Pteromalidae) as biological control agents of pest fly species (Muscidae), and symbiotic bacteria associated with both the parasitoids and their hosts. Additional research topics include studies of gall-forming aphids associated with riparian cottonwood forest, and insect communities associated with cattle dung.