Inventories of vertebrate and flowering plants are frequently used as surrogates for estimates of total biodiversity. This is in part because the inclusion of invertebrates and nonflowering plants is perceived as being too time‐consuming, costly, and difficult because of the shortage of specialists. Estimates of the species richness of field samples of spiders, ants, polychaetes, and mosses made by a biodiversity technician and by specialist taxonomists were compared. The biodiversity technician received a few hours training in the taxonomy of each group and separated specimens into recognizable taxonomic units (RTUs). The specialists sorted to species. For the three animal groups the biodiversity technician recorded 165 taxa and the specialists 147, with the error for the ants and spiders being 13% or less. A small amount of splitting and lumping of species was detected. The concordance of estimates remained very similar when small subsamples were used. The procedure was repeated by 13 undergraduates using a subsample of spiders. Their average error was 14.4%. The greatest similarity in estimates was for the mosses, but with high levels of splitting and lumping this result was entirely fortuitous. The results suggest that RTU estimates made by biodiversity technicians may be sufficiently close to formal taxonomic estimates of species richness to be useful for the rapid assessment of biodiversity. They also show, however, that the procedures outlined here should be used on invertebrate and nonflowering plant groups before they can be confidently included in biodiversity surveys.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 1993
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera