Kurtis, K.M., Paterson, A.M., Malumbres-Olarte, J., Vink, C.J. & Ross, J.G. (2022) Developing a future protocol for measuring spider biodiversity in pastures in New Zealand.New Zealand Journal of Zoology, Online early, . DOI:10.1080/03014223.2021.2022721 (IF2020 1,115; Q3 Zoology)
Arthropods are often ignored or under-sampled in biodiversity and conservation assessments because of their large diversity, small size and lack of taxonomic guides. Rapid biodiversity assessment programmes have been established to assess these groups accurately. A COBRA (Conservation Oriented Biodiversity Rapid Assessment) protocol consists of an intense sampling of a habitat using the optimal combination of sampling methods. We set a basis for future protocols of measuring spider biodiversity in exotic pastures in New Zealand. Overall, 28 spider species were collected. There was variation in species discovery for each collection method, i.e. pitfall traps (86.6% of total species found), ground hand collection (95.4%), suction sampling (85.7%), and sweeping (25%). The various collection methods were complementary in species that were found. Of the four sampling methods used pitfall traps and ground hand collection were far more efficient at collecting spider species in pastures per sample. These findings are relevant for the future development of these protocols and ultimately, these tools will be used for assessing and monitoring biodiversity on farms and the impacts of farming methods.