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University of KwaZulu-Natal (2006)

Evaluation of methods and approaches for surveying savanna invertebrates.

Lovell, Saskie Joanne.

Titre : Evaluation of methods and approaches for surveying savanna invertebrates.

Auteur : Lovell, Saskie Joanne.

Université de soutenance : University of KwaZulu-Natal

Grade : Master of Science in Zoology (2006)

Résumé partiel
The savanna is an important biome, which is under threat from land transformation, and it is therefore a focus for conservation planning. Yet, the invertebrate fauna of this biome is poorly documented and hence there is a need to provide baseline data for this component of biodiversity. This project aimed to provide relevant information that can be used by conservation planners and ecologists, by recommending a sampling strategy for the collection of specific taxa for savanna invertebrate surveys. The effectiveness and efficiency of a sampling strategy using passive and active sampling methods was assessed to provide recommendations for a multi-taxa approach to sampling invertebrates in a savanna ecosystem. In the collection of data, volunteers assisted and they were evaluated in comparison with experienced researchers to assess the effectiveness, efficiency and benefits of using volunteers to carry out multi-taxa invertebrate surveys. In addition, cross-taxon congruency and congruency across taxonomic levels were assessed between nine invertebrate taxa, to select potential surrogates to reduce biodiversity survey costs for conservation planning. Fieldwork was carried out in the Mkhuze Game Reserve (27.67°S:32.27°E, 400km2 ), Phinda Private Game Reserve (27.78°S:32.35°E, 140km2 ) and False Bay Park (27.94°S:32.38°E, 25km2 ) in north-eastern Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. Forty-three different sites were sampled between November 2002 and March 2005 (summer months). Twenty of these sites were re-sampled across years and in different months during the summer season, giving 77 sampling events. Fifty-four volunteers recruited by the Earthwatch Institute assisted in the collection of data. Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera (Apoidea), Diptera (Asilidae, Bombyliidae), Neuroptera, Odonata, Hemiptera (Cicadellidae), Coleoptera (Cetoniinae, Scarabaeinae), Orthoptera, Blattodea, Isoptera, Araneae (Araneidae, Thomisidae, Oxyopidae), Scorpionida, Myriapoda (Diplopoda, Chilopoda), Mollusca and Annelida were sampled using four active searching methods (transects, tree beating, leaf litter and sweep sampling) and two passive methods (pan traps and baited traps). In its entirety, this project sampled 50 558 individuals from 797 invertebrate species and an extensive database consisting of 33 257 records now exists. A standardised sampling protocol is described for the effective sampling of multiple invertebrate taxa in a savanna biome and recommendations are made for improving the efficacy and completeness of invertebrate surveys based on the application of species accumulation models.

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