Some advantages of collecting with traps

  • Traps are more unbiased than human collectors.
  • Traps can be designed, set and baited to target certain taxa.
  • Traps can be replicated and used in experiments.
  • Traps can provide some quality control for hand collecting methods.
  • Traps integrate over time and might see rare or short lived species.
  • Traps patiently wait for favorable weather conditions even when rare.
  • Traps can provide clean samples that require little sorting.
  • Traps are generally inexpensive.
  • Traps can collect from even sensitive habitats with little impact on the area.

Some disadvantages of collecting with traps

  • The samples can be lost due to trap destruction by the elements, animals or vandals.
  • The traps may take some non-target taxa including rare or endangered species.
  • The catch is not related only to organism density, but to density and species specific catchability.
  • The trap catch may be smaller or larger than desired for analyses.

Some types of traps useful for collecting aquatic invertebrates

22 MAR 1996 D.L. Gustafson