Site-based sampling

The site-based approach is being developed around existing tropical field sites with permanent, censused plots, including several study sites in

  • Borneo (Sabah Malaysia) and sites elsewhere studied by collaborators
  • Smithsonian’s CTFS consortium

Site-based approach

We are following a ‘site-based’ approach, carrying out in-depth assessment of diversity at specific localities.  

We will be comparing total diversity and turnover at study sites and using this information to establish general patterns of biodiversity.

For selected groups, studies of local sites can be interpolated for area-based analyses using existing locality data from the collections and the literature.

Site-based studies have the advantage of 

  • simplified logistics 
  • repeat visits to
    • conduct long-term trapping 
    • study seasonal change

While challenging, these studies become more feasible due to international efforts to set up networks of study plots for comparative analysis.

In addition, in most parts of the world the remaining primary forest sites are adjacent to areas in various states of disturbance and secondary regrowth. Studying the dynamics of change and its effects on biodiversity along perturbation gradients is critical for sustainable management and conservation of tropical forests.

Sampling at the sites 

We are sampling at the site using standardized protocols for

  •  arthropod sampling
  •  spatially explicit sampling
  • calibrating short sampling against permanent series
  • generate DNA grade specimen

Arthropod samples obtained with standard trapping methods (Malaise, flight-interception, pitfall ) usually produce thousands of specimens from a complex mixture of species (“biodiversity soup”).  Specimen sorting and species-level identification is extremely time consuming and requires specialist expertise.

Collection and storage

Dry and frozen collection workflow (unifying existing NHM collections and databases, linked to KEmu collection management system)