24hoursworld

From the window to the laboratory: Post buses “collect” for insect diversity

From the window to the laboratory: Post buses “collect” for insect diversity
From the window to the laboratory: Post buses “collect” for insect diversity

The insect residues on the windows of the postal buses serve as the starting material.

The insect residues on the windows of the postal buses serve as the starting material. DNA samples are then taken from these and decoded, the university announced in a press release on Tuesday. The “insect bus monitoring” project makes use of the fact that the buses “collect” large numbers of insects during their journeys, which hit the front areas and windshields and leave their DNA traces there. “In this way, these vehicles generate valuable information on the occurrence of insects in the areas they regularly travel through, without other insects having to be harmed for monitoring purposes,” emphasized project manager Michael Traugott from the Institute of Zoology.

The new method (DNA trace analysis) saves resources and time, and it also covers larger areas for the first time, it was said. Flies, mosquitoes, bees and many other species, as well as introduced (invasive) species, can be found in the course of the project in the different selected areas (arable and grassland, forest, residential areas). “We can see what state our insect world is in in Austria and how the biodiversity and insect communities are changing,” explained Traugott.

How the project works

The project has been running since April and will continue until September. Samples are taken three times a month along four bus routes in each participating federal state. According to those responsible, samples are taken more intensively in Tyrol. There, additional catch trays have also been set up along the bus routes.

And this is how it works in detail: Project employees “sample” the front areas of the post buses several times a month in the evening with microfiber cloths. These are washed out. The insect DNA is extracted from the water using special filters. The so-called eDNA (environmental DNA) is then preserved and analyzed from autumn 2024 at the Institute of Zoology at the University of Innsbruck in collaboration with Sinsoma GmbH. Finally, the researchers compare the existing DNA sequences with international databases.

The results on the biodiversity of flying insects are ultimately to be published in autumn 2025. The project is funded by the Austrian Biodiversity Fund, the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection and the European Union.

Alfred Loidl, CEO of Österreichische Postbus AG, was also impressed by the campaign. The manager was convinced that it would make a “significant contribution to the study of biodiversity and to the preservation of our ecosystem and thus to the protection of our environment”.

My themes

For your bookmarked topics

new articles found.





info By clicking on the icon you add the keyword to your topics.

info
By clicking on the icon you open your “my topics” page. You have of 15 keywords saved and would have to remove keywords.

info By clicking on the icon you remove the keyword from your topics.

Add the topic to your topics.

Source: Nachrichten

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts