In 2012, the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO), in collaboration with Parks Canada, initiated the Canadian National Parks Malaise Program. The aim of this project is to gain a more detailed understanding of patterns in Canadian arthropod diversity by coupling DNA barcoding with large-scale trapping in Canada’s National Parks.
The BIObus visited 14 National Parks in Western and Central Canada early in the 2012 field season and deployed a single Malaise trap in representative ecosystems at each park to be serviced by Parks Canada staff (see map). The traps were deployed for roughly 20 weeks and were located in a range of habitats from thick coastal rainforest to open prairie grasslands. All samples were collected by BIObus staff at the end of the season for subsequent processing at BIO.
In addition, the Standardized Sampling program was executed by BIObus staff in a subset of parks to compare how much of the arthropod fauna at a locality can be sampled by a Malaise trap as opposed to other collecting methods. Five standard collecting techniques were employed at 3 sites in each park: Malaise, pan, pitfall, and flight-intercept traps, and sweep-netting.
By fall of 2013, all specimens from the Malaise trap samples had completed processing, i.e. were identified to order, arrayed, labeled, databased, and tissue-sampled for genetic analysis. In total, 189 weekly samples and nearly 150,000 specimens were analyzed, generating nearly 130,000 barcode sequences! In addition, preliminary results for the Standardized Sampling program (about 44,000 specimens) indicate that Malaise traps capture a significant proportion (27-45%) of the local arthropod fauna when compared to different collecting techniques. This indicates that Malaise traps are very effective for appraising the diversity of arthropod species at a site… more so than we ever imagined!
For a detailed look at the results of the program in 2012, click on the links below for an example report from Elk Island National Park. Thanks to everyone in the Bio-Inventory and Collections Unit at BIO for collecting, processing and preparing the report.
The Canadian National Parks Malaise Program continued in 2013 with traps deployed in 14 eastern national parks, ranging from Pukaskwa National Park in Ontario to Terra Nova National Park in Newfoundland. You can look forward to viewing the progress reports for these parks later in 2014!
- Pacific Rim
- Gulf Islands
- Mt. Revelstoke
- Waterton Lakes*
- Elk Island*
- Wood Buffalo
- Prince Albert*
- Riding Mountain
- Point Pelee
- Bruce Peninsula
- St. Lawrence Islands