A review of the extensive variation in the design of pitfall traps, and a proposal for a standard pitfall trap design for monitoring ground-active arthropod biodiversity
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To understand change in global biodiversity patterns requires large-scale, long-term monitoring. The ability to draw meaningful comparison across studies is severely hampered by extensive variation in the design of the sampling equipment and how it is used. Here, we present a meta-analysis and description highlighting this variation in a common, widely used entomological survey technique. We report a decline in the completeness of methodological reporting over a 20-year period, while there has been no clear reduction in the methodological variation between researchers using pitfall traps for arthropod sampling. There is a growing need for improved comparability between studies to facilitate the generation of large-scale, long-term biodiversity datasets. However, our results show that, counterproductive to this goal, over the last 20 years there has little progress in reducing the methodological variation. We propose a standardized pitfall trap design for the study of ground-active arthropods. In addition, we provide a table to promote a more standardized reporting of the key methodological variables. Widespread adoption of more standardized methods and reporting would facilitate more nuanced analysis of biodiversity change.
Brown , G R & Matthews , I M 2016 , ' A review of the extensive variation in the design of pitfall traps, and a proposal for a standard pitfall trap design for monitoring ground-active arthropod biodiversity ' Ecology and Evolution , vol 6 , no. 12 , pp. 3953-3964 . DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2176
Ecology and Evolution
© 2016 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DescriptionNatural Environment Research Council (Grant/Award Number: NERC DTG NE/H524930/1 NE/I528634/1).
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