An evaluation of the gradsect biological survey method

An evaluation of the gradsect biological survey method Biological surveys are necessary to gather species distribution data for the identification of priority conservation areas. The rationale of the gradsect method is that sampling (transects) oriented along the steepest environmental gradient should detect the maximum number of species in an area. The efficiency of the gradsect survey method was evaluated by comparing it to random, systematic and habitat-specific survey methods, during faunal field surveys (target groups: birds and dung beetles). Three gradsects were positioned within the study area to follow the major physiographical characteristics, incorporate all environmental strata (land facets) and yet be as logistically convenient as possible. The efficiency of survey methods was expressed as the number of species recorded per sampling unit effort and illustrated using bootstrap estimations to plot species accumulation curves. The gradsect method proved to be as efficient as the habitat-specific survey method and consiste ntly more efficient than the systematic and random surveys for both taxa sampled. The present study therefore illustrates that the gradsect survey method provides a cost-effective and swift representative sample of regional fauna. Moreover, the results indicate that land-form sequences, specifically ‘land facets’, are useful surrogates when sampling environmental diversity where distinct environmental gradients such as altitude and rainfall are absent. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biodiversity and Conservation Springer Journals

An evaluation of the gradsect biological survey method

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Life Sciences; Evolutionary Biology; Tree Biology; Plant Sciences
ISSN
0960-3115
eISSN
1572-9710
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1008899802456
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Biological surveys are necessary to gather species distribution data for the identification of priority conservation areas. The rationale of the gradsect method is that sampling (transects) oriented along the steepest environmental gradient should detect the maximum number of species in an area. The efficiency of the gradsect survey method was evaluated by comparing it to random, systematic and habitat-specific survey methods, during faunal field surveys (target groups: birds and dung beetles). Three gradsects were positioned within the study area to follow the major physiographical characteristics, incorporate all environmental strata (land facets) and yet be as logistically convenient as possible. The efficiency of survey methods was expressed as the number of species recorded per sampling unit effort and illustrated using bootstrap estimations to plot species accumulation curves. The gradsect method proved to be as efficient as the habitat-specific survey method and consiste ntly more efficient than the systematic and random surveys for both taxa sampled. The present study therefore illustrates that the gradsect survey method provides a cost-effective and swift representative sample of regional fauna. Moreover, the results indicate that land-form sequences, specifically ‘land facets’, are useful surrogates when sampling environmental diversity where distinct environmental gradients such as altitude and rainfall are absent.

Journal

Biodiversity and ConservationSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 13, 2004

References

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