How to Count Bugs: A Method to Estimate the Most Probable Absolute Population Density and Its Statistical Bounds from a Single Trap Catch

TR Number
Date
2021-10-13
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
MDPI
Abstract

Knowledge of insect population density is crucial for establishing management and conservation tactics and evaluating treatment efficacies. Here, we propose a simple and universal method for estimating the most probable absolute population density and its statistical bounds. The method is based on a novel relationship between experimentally measurable characteristics of insect trap systems and the probability to catch an insect located a given distance away from the trap. The generality of the proposed relationship is tested using 10 distinct trapping datasets collected for insects from 5 different orders and using major trapping methods, i.e., chemical-baited traps and light. For all datasets, the relationship faithfully (R = 0.91) describes the experiment. The proposed approach will take insect detection and monitoring to a new, rigorously quantitative level. It will improve conservation and management, while driving future basic and applied research in population and chemical ecology.

Description
Keywords
0608 Zoology, traps, absolute population density, population ecology, IPM, conservation
Citation
Onufrieva, K.S.; Onufriev, A.V. How to Count Bugs: A Method to Estimate the Most Probable Absolute Population Density and Its Statistical Bounds from a Single Trap Catch. Insects 2021, 12, 932. https://doi.org/10.3390/ insects12100932