Invertebrates (spiders, insects and slugs) were collected weekly using pitfall traps at four sites near the Arctic LTER at Toolik Field Station, Alaska. Traps were placed along transects in shrub (shrub-dominant) and open (tussock-dominant) tundra sites. Pitfall traps were placed for 48-hour intervals once per week from early June until mid-July 2010. Collected invertebrates were counted and identified to class (all invertebrates), order or family (for some of the most common families collected).
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PLOT DESIGN: Sites and methods are more extensively described in Rich et al. (2013) and Boelman et al. (2011). Briefly, at each of the four sites, two 10,000 m2 plots were established in May and June 2010: an "OPEN" tundra plot (no or low shrub abundance) and a "SHRUB" plot (moderate to high shrub abundance). Within each plot, two 100 meter replicate transects were established (Transects A, B, C, D). Along each transect, ten pitfall traps were placed at 10-meter intervals (Samples PA-1 to PD-10, for a total of 40 pitfall traps per site on each sampling date). Pitfall traps consisted of a plastic drinking cup (~7.5 cm diameter × 10 cm deep) buried in the ground with the lip of the cup flush with the ground or vegetation surface. Each trap was filled with approximately 2 cm of a 50:50 mixture of water and ethanol to preserve specimens until the sample was retrieved. Pitfall trapping was conducted over the period 29 May – 17 July in 2010, with start date at each site depending on timing of snowmelt. Sampling occurred once per week at all sites with traps being collected after a 48 hour period. Traps were occasionally lost as a result of wildlife disturbance or human error (see NOTES column of dataset). Arthropod specimens were stored in 70% ethanol and identified to class, order or family following established keys.
For more information see:
Rich, M. E., Gough, L. and Boelman, N. T. (2013). Arctic arthropod assemblages in habitats of differing shrub dominance. Ecography, 36: 994–1003. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.00078.x
Boelman, N. T., Gough, L., McLaren, J. R., &amp;amp; Greaves, H. (2011). Does NDVI reflect variation in the structural attributes associated with increasing shrub dominance in arctic tundra? Environmental Research Letters, 6(3), 035501.
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