, Volume 597, Issue 1, pp 97–107 | Cite as

Evaluation of sampling methods for macroinvertebrate biodiversity estimation in heavily vegetated ponds

  • G. Becerra Jurado
  • M. Masterson
  • R. Harrington
  • M. Kelly-Quinn


This article presents an evaluation of two sampling methods for assessing the biodiversity of heavily vegetated wetlands. The aim was to establish an effective sampling regime to maximise total taxon richness and minimise sampling effort. Three Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) systems in Annetown Valley, Co. Waterford, SE of the Republic of Ireland, were sampled during spring and summer 2005. The two methods that were evaluated were pond netting and two types of horizontal activity traps, namely “horizontal activity traps” (HATs) and modified “horizontal activity traps” (modified HATs). The activity traps provided a one-way funnel system and were constructed from 2 l plastic bottles, allowing for the passive collection of taxa. HATs were designed to capture macroinvertebrates in open water and modified HATs, which were designed specifically for this study, were used to sample within stands of dense emergent vegetation. Results show that a combination of pond netting and activity traps will yield a more complete estimate of taxon richness. The performance of Modified HATs was not significantly different from that of the HATs in dense vegetation. Tests on the sampling effort required for each method are also discussed.


Macroinvertebrates Sampling methods Pond Wetland Biodiversity Activity traps 



This project has been funded through the European Union programme INTERREG IIIA. We gratefully acknowledge the help and enthusiasm of Waterford County Council and the constant support of Prof. Thomas Bolger, Dr. Tasman Crowe, Dr. Jan-Robert Baars, Dr. Ronan Matson, Ciara Smith B.Sc., Dr. Robert Cruishanks, Maria Callanan, B.Sc., Siobhán McCarthy, B.Sc., Ms. Katharine Maurer and Ms. Pascale Morisset with various aspects of the project. We would also like to thank two anonymous referees for their valuable comments on a draft of this manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Becerra Jurado
    • 1
  • M. Masterson
    • 2
  • R. Harrington
    • 1
  • M. Kelly-Quinn
    • 1
  1. 1.Freshwater Ecology Research GroupUniversity College DublinBelfield CampusIreland
  2. 2.Department of Environment, Heritage and Local GovernmentIntegrated Constructed Wetlands InitiativeWaterfordIreland

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