Invertebrate communities on Western Australian eucalypts: A comparison of branch clipping and chemical knockdown procedures



Chemical knockdown and branch clipping procedures were used in wandoo (Eucalyptus wandoo) woodland and jarrah (E. marginata)/marri (E. calophylla) open-forest to sample arboreal invertebrate faunas on three species of Western Australian eucalypts. Jarrah was sampled in both habitats and had significantly lower invertebrate populations and a less diverse fauna than either wandoo or marri. The two procedures provided similar results with respect to the relative abundance of invertebrates on each plant species but the knockdowns sampled a more diverse fauna, including species sheltering in or on bark. Chemical knockdowns underestimated the abundance of sessile invertebrates, such as psyllids. Branch clipping sampled insufficient numbers of large, mobile, or cryptic invertebrates to estimate abundances, but provided a more accurate estimate of the abundance of sessile, leaf-dwelling organisms. Neither procedure provides a complete sample of arboreal invertebrates, but they are complementary. When used in conjunction with each other a more complete estimate of arboreal invertebrate abundance and diversity is obtained. Both procedures can be used concurrently with only a small increase in field time.