Effects of Pitfall Trap Spacing on the Abundance, Richness and Composition of Invertebrate Catches
Pitfall trapping is one of the most commonly used methods to survey surface-active invertebrates, but has many potential biases that may affect the catch of invertebrates. The distance between pitfall traps (inter-trap spacing) is one such factor. The abundance, richness and composition of invertebrate orders, and species of ants and beetles was examined for three commonly used inter-trap spacings (1, 5, 10?m) in a grassy-woodland ecosystem in Victoria, Australia. Abundance and composition was not significantly different between treatments for any taxa. A significant difference in richness between treatments was found only for beetles. The 5 and 10?m treatments had a significantly higher number of beetle morphospecies than the 1?m treatment. Knowledge of such biases, and how subtle variations in trap design affect efficiency, is important for designing invertebrate surveys.