Using species accumulation curves to estimate trapping effort in fauna surveys and species richness
Blackwell Publishing/Ecological Society of Australia
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
The shape of species accumulation curves is influenced by the relative abundance and diversity of the fauna being sampled, and the order in which individuals are caught. We use resampling to show the variation in species accumulation curves caused by the order of trapping periods. Averaged species accumulation curves calculated by randomly assigning the order of trapping periods are smooth curves that are a better estimate of species richness and a more useful tool for determining the trapping effort required to adequately survey a site. We extend this concept of randomly resampling the trapping period to show that randomizing the number of individuals caught for each species over the number of collection periods (e.g. days) can provide an accurate estimate of the averaged species accumulation curve. This is particularly useful as it enables an accurate estimation of the proportion of the total number of species caught in an area during a survey from information on the number of individuals caught for each species and the number of trapping periods, and is not dependent on having knowledge of the trapping period in which each individual was caught. This calculation also enables an assessment to be made of the adequacy of fauna surveys to report a species inventory in environmental impact assessments when only a species list and relative abundance data are provided.