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Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 333–337

First Online: 27 July 2012Received: 06 March 2012Accepted: 12 July 2012DOI: 10.1007-s10841-012-9514-z

Cite this article as: Żmihorski, M., Sienkiewicz, P. & Tryjanowski, P. J Insect Conserv 2013 17: 333. doi:10.1007-s10841-012-9514-z


Biological inventory is a crucial activity in life sciences field research. However, it is sometimes time-consuming and laborious to take representative samplings of communities, especially in the case of invertebrates. In this paper, we address the issue of sampling efficiency and its influence on obtained results. As a study system, we used data on epigeic carabid beetles Carabidae collected in 1999–2001 in the Warta River valley of western Poland. We trapped a total of 17,722 individuals belonging to 108 species. However, due to rarefaction methods, the expected number of species was estimated at 134–140, suggesting that from 26 to 32 species are missing from the material, even expressed as a huge number of collected specimens. The estimated probability that another captured individual will represent a new species i.e. a species that was not already recorded is 0.0010. In order to record all the species present in the study area, another 193,338 individuals need to be sampled abundance-based approach or another 1,871 samples need to be collected incidence-based approach. This means that the collected material should be 10.9 times greater or 7.9 times greater for incidence-based data than what was actually collected in order to record all the species present in the study area. The results show that, in practice, full inventory is simply nearly impossible to achieve, and this knowledge should be included in inventory planning. Therefore, we argue that species accumulation curves and unseen species estimators need to be carefully examined and threshold probability of detecting a new species should be built into the design of inventory science. The ratio between recorded and estimated species richness and the estimated efficiency of further sampling can be easily computed with available freeware software and should be incorporated when performing biological inventories.

KeywordsBiodiversity inventories Species list Carabids Community structure Faunistic estimators  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Michał Żmihorski - Paweł Sienkiewicz - Piotr Tryjanowski


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