Invertebrate monitoring in the Australian Wet Tropics rainforest at AU10A1 (145.52380124, -17.69954396, 1000.0m above MSL) collected by Malaise, FIT and Pitfall sampling

Rainforest invertebrates have been monitored at permanent monitoring sites across the Australian Wet Tropics rainforest between 2006-2009. Such surveys were conducted on monthly to bi-monthly basis across the Spec, Atherton, Windsor, Carbine and Bellenden Ker Uplands during these years. The Wet Tropics rainforest of North Queensland has the highest biodiversity of any region in Australia. While world heritage listing of the area has prevented ongoing impacts from land clearing, our research suggests that the fauna of the region is highly vulnerable to global climate change. Almost half of the unique rainforest fauna could be lost with an increase in temperature of 3-4 degrees Celsius. This is significant as the IPCC fourth assessment report and regional climate models suggest that we will see between 1.0-4.2 degrees Celsius of warming by the year 2070: potentially causing a catastrophic impact on the world heritage values of the region. Long-term monitoring of the region seeks to understand patterns of biodiversity and to detect shifts in phenology of the invertebrates of the Wet Tropics rainforest. Insects were sampled using a combination of Malaise traps, pitfall traps, and flight intercept traps (FIT) at permanent monitoring sites across the Australian Wet Tropics.

    Data Record Details
    Data record related to this publication Invertebrate monitoring in the Australian Wet Tropics rainforest at AU10A1 (145.52380124, -17.69954396, 1000.0m above MSL) collected by Malaise, FIT and Pitfall sampling
    Data Publication title Invertebrate monitoring in the Australian Wet Tropics rainforest at AU10A1 (145.52380124, -17.69954396, 1000.0m above MSL) collected by Malaise, FIT and Pitfall sampling
  • Description

    Rainforest invertebrates have been monitored at permanent monitoring sites across the Australian Wet Tropics rainforest between 2006-2009. Such surveys were conducted on monthly to bi-monthly basis across the Spec, Atherton, Windsor, Carbine and Bellenden Ker Uplands during these years. The Wet Tropics rainforest of North Queensland has the highest biodiversity of any region in Australia. While world heritage listing of the area has prevented ongoing impacts from land clearing, our research suggests that the fauna of the region is highly vulnerable to global climate change. Almost half of the unique rainforest fauna could be lost with an increase in temperature of 3-4 degrees Celsius. This is significant as the IPCC fourth assessment report and regional climate models suggest that we will see between 1.0-4.2 degrees Celsius of warming by the year 2070: potentially causing a catastrophic impact on the world heritage values of the region. Long-term monitoring of the region seeks to understand patterns of biodiversity and to detect shifts in phenology of the invertebrates of the Wet Tropics rainforest. Insects were sampled using a combination of Malaise traps, pitfall traps, and flight intercept traps (FIT) at permanent monitoring sites across the Australian Wet Tropics.

  • Other Descriptors
    • Descriptor

      Insects were sampled using a combination of Malaise traps, pitfall traps, and flight intercept traps (FIT) at permanent monitoring sites across the Australian Wet Tropics.

    • Descriptor type Brief
    • Descriptor

      Insects were sampled using a combination of Malaise traps, pitfall traps, and flight intercept traps (FIT) at this permanent site. Flight intercept traps: A vertical screen of transparent plastic was stretched between two stakes, and a trough containing preservative fluid (propylene glycol) was arranged below its bottom edge. Traps were cleared monthly from 2006 to 2009. Samples are stored in ethanol at JCU. Malaise traps: An open-sided tent with a central vertical panel that reaches down to the ground was erected. Fast-flying insects, such as flies and wasps, hit the central panel and fly upwards towards a sloping roof that directs them towards a collecting chamber at the high end of the trap. Propylene glycol was used as a preservative in the collecting chamber. Traps were cleared monthly from 2006 to 2009. Samples are stored in ethanol at JCU. Insect pitfall traps (2006-2010): Six pitfall traps at 200 m intervals were placed along a 1 km transect at each altitude, (sites are consistent with previous research by Williams et al). Pitfall traps consisted of two round plastic take away containers (11 cm diameter) placed inside each other. Dung was wrapped in 'chux' table wipes and hung on top of the trap using wooden barbeque skewers. 150 ml of Formalin (4% phosphate buffered formaldehyde) was used as a killing agent and preservative in each trap. A metal 'cage' (bathroom soap holder) was placed around each pitfall trap and pinned to the ground. A metal plate covered the cage acting as rain guard. Specimens were brought back to JCU. - A minimal amount of preservative (150 ml per trap) was used. - A cover will prevent rainfall from entering the trap thus preventing overspilling of the preservative. - Traps will be placed on slightly higher ground or on a natural or artificial mound so as to prevent surface runoff from entering the trap thus avoiding overspilling of the preservative. - A metal 'cage' (bathroom soap holder) will be placed around each pitfall trap and pinned to the ground. The gaps on the cage are 12 mm x 12 mm. This will allow dung beetles to be trapped and at the same time exclude all mammals and the majority of reptiles from accidentally falling in the trap. - Vertebrates are also repelled by formalin so there is no risk of them interfering with the trap. Many scientists even add formalin to other trap types so as to avoid vertebrate interference. - Ethics has been approved under A1120

    • Descriptor type Note
  • Data type dataset
  • Keywords
    • Australian Wet Tropics
    • Invertebrates
    • Species distribution
  • Funding source
  • Research grant(s)/Scheme name(s)
    • 15549 - Climate change impacts on tropical rainforest biodiversity
  • Research themes
    Tropical Ecosystems, Conservation and Climate Change
    FoR Codes (*)
    • 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
    SEO Codes
    • 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
    Specify spatial or temporal setting of the data
    Temporal (time) coverage
  • Start Date 2006/01/01
  • End Date 2010/12/31
  • Time Period
    Spatial (location) coverage
  • Locations
    Data Locations

    Type Location Notes
    URL https://research.jcu.edu.au/enmasse/911/data
    Physical Location CC-DAM, James Cook University, Townsville Campus
    The Data Manager is: Stephen Williams
    College or Centre
    Access conditions Restricted: no access
  • Alternative access conditions
  • Data record size
  • Related publications
  • Related websites
  • Related metadata (including standards, codebooks, vocabularies, thesauri, ontologies)
  • Related data
      Name Invertebrate monitoring in the Australian Wet Tropics rainforest
    • URL jcu.edu.au/collection/enmasse/3
    • Notes Related dataset from the same EMAS project.
  • Related services
    Citation Williams, Stephen (2013): Invertebrate monitoring in the Australian Wet Tropics rainforest at AU10A1 (145.52380124, -17.69954396, 1000.0m above MSL) collected by Malaise, FIT and Pitfall sampling. James Cook University.