Wade, M.R. and Scholz, B.C.G. and Lloyd, R.J. and Cleary, A.J. and Franzmann, B.A and Zalucki, M.P. (2006) Temporal variation in arthropod sampling effectiveness: The case for using the beat sheet method in cotton. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 120 (2). pp. 139-153.
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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2006.00439.x
Publisher URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/home
Predatory insects and spiders are key elements of integrated pest management (IPM) programmes in agricultural crops such as cotton. Management decisions in IPM programmes should to be based on a reliable and efficient method for counting both predators and pests. Knowledge of the temporal constraints that influence sampling is required because arthropod abundance estimates are likely to vary over a growing season and within a day. Few studies have adequately quantified this effect using the beat sheet, a potentially important sampling method. We compared the commonly used methods of suction and visual sampling to the beat sheet, with reference to an absolute cage clamp method for determining the abundance of various arthropod taxa over 5 weeks. There were significantly more entomophagous arthropods recorded using the beat sheet and cage clamp methods than by using suction or visual sampling, and these differences were more pronounced as the plants grew. In a second trial, relative estimates of entomophagous and phytophagous arthropod abundance were made using beat sheet samples collected over a day. Beat sheet estimates of the abundance of only eight of the 43 taxa examined were found to vary significantly over a day. Beat sheet sampling is recommended in further studies of arthropod abundance in cotton, but researchers and pest management advisors should bear in mind the time of season and time of day effects.
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