Amid the steady growth of solar energy production in the United States, pollinator conservation at solar installations has become an appealing secondary pursuit, but the long-term success of such efforts remains to be seen. In a new article published today in the journal Environmental Entomology, a group of entomologists say pairing solar energy with pollinator habitat offers great promise, but scientific evaluation and meaningful standards will be key to making it a true win-win combination.
In a study on organic farms, researchers in Illinois find that field borders with a mix of grasses and flowering plants provide important winter habitat for arthropods that like to eat or parasitize crop pests, allowing these natural enemies to get an early start on emerging pests in the spring.
Can machine learning be used for accurate species identification of beetles and other invertebrates? Researchers using carabid beetle data from the National Ecological Observatory Network created an algorithm that reached 85 percent accuracy on unidentified images. Eventually, they hope machine learning could one day be used to classify unidentified species in NEON bycatch and answer new questions about invertebrate diversity and abundance across North America.
Analysis of Asian longhorned ticks collected in Pennsylvania found just one—out of more than 250 tested—carrying the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. The invasive tick is unlikely to play a role in Lyme transmission, but the research underscores the importance of active tick and pathogen surveillance and collaboration among agencies at local, state, and national levels.