Date of this Version
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology Online Masters Program Final Project. Lincoln, Nebraska.
The conversion of the 65-acre site now known as Victoria Park from an oil tank farm to an urban green space created an important and rare opportunity to both study ecosystem changes and support urban green spaces. Development in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area has resulted in a significant increase in land used for urban development accompanied by a decrease in forests and wet lands (1) as wel l as accompanying ecosystem fragmentation, isolation and simplification (2). The rarity of this land use change makes monitoring Victoria Park’s development all the more important. Ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) are considered to be an indicator species capable of providing information about habitat and ecosystem health (3, 4, 5) even to the extent of producing specific information about ecosystem changes, including successional changes (6). This study attempted to characterize and track changes in the ground beetle assemblage at Victoria Park from 2016 – 2019 in order to understand ecosystem changes as the park evolved from industrial use to urban green space. Furthermore, effective protection and development of an ecosystem often involves measurement of ecological integrity (7); indicator species like ground beetles are excellent inputs into this measurement. It is the hope of this study that the data produced is useful to St. Paul Park and Recreation in their approach to this special piece of urban land. Characterization of the ground beetle assemblage was measured through tracking assemblage activity density, measuring assemblage diversity, and investigating immigration by looking at population patterns of one species composing this assemblage (Agonum cupripenne).