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As a senior student geography project, the effect of human activity on insect biodiversity in urban Sydney was undertaken at three locations with differing levels of recreational use. The locations were Lane Cove National Park, Bicentennial Park, and Cabarita/ Queen Elizabeth Parks, Concord. Within these locations, three sites were chosen and light trapping was conducted at each site for 30 minutes on each of five separate occasions, three weeks apart, between February and May, 2001. Data from the three sites at each location were pooled for analysis. The trapped insects were from 12 of the 24 insect Orders, and the total insect taxa from each location ranged from 60-70 in February to around 20 in May. The mean insect species followed a similar trend and declined from 38-47 in February to 12-13 in May. The total and mean insect species did not differ significantly between locations at each time point, indicating that the local environments at each site maintained flying insect biodiversity, despite human recreational use. It was considered that the diversity of local vegetation that provided both food and shelter was the major determinant influencing insect biodiversity, and should be considered during planning for recreational use in urban parklands.

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