SNH Invertebrate Site Condition Monitoring of Beetle Assemblage Features 2015: Merrick Kells SSSI
This dataset was gathered as part of a Scottish Natural Heritage contract in 2015. It provides the results of invertebrate surveys designed to inform Site Condition Monitoring at Merrick Kells SSSI. These surveys targeted the notified beetle assemblage feature (Contacyphon kongsbergensis, Hydroporus longicornis and Enochrus ochropterus).
Merrick Kells SSSI
The surveys aimed to detect the presence of the notified beetle assemblage feature (Contacyphon kongsbergensis, Hydroporus longicornis and Enochrus ochropterus) of Merrick Kells SSSI in order to inform the site condition assessment.
We have a very high level of confidence in this dataset. The recorder and/or determiner is a highly experienced ecologist. Where necessary, rare specimens were compared against reference collections, those held in the National Museums Scotland collection and identities confirmed with experts.
Surveys targeted the beetle assemblage feature of Merrick Kells SSSI and involved a combination of netting for aquatic Coleoptera, and bugvac sampling and pitfall trapping for terrestrial Coleoptera.
Inventory sampling of aquatic Coleoptera selecting sampling points were to represent the range of aquatic habitats available. A total of 16 points were sampled, ten from the Silver Flowe on 22/05/2015 and six in Loch Macaterick on 15/06/2015. At each sampling point an area of 2 m2 was worked with a D-framed net, mesh size 1 mm; the netted debris was then sorted in the field. The majority of beetles were identified and counted in the field and returned to the water. Specimens unidentifiable in the field were kept for confirmation and to act as vouchers. Each site was worked until no more species could be found (thus providing an inventory sample).
Bugvac sampling for terrestrial Coleoptera was undertaken at eight locations on 08/06/2015 and a further seven locations on 03/09/2015. This involved the use of a a^??bugvaca^??, which is a modified leaf blower (Husqvarna 125BVX), to vacuum sample invertebrates from ground level. Each sample involved pressing the bugvac nozzle to the ground for 10 seconds at five points. Specimens were then emptied from the net into a white plastic tray and collected with forceps for subsequent identification.
Three transects of five pitfall traps (with traps set 2 m apart) were installed on 08/06/2015 to target terrestrial Coleoptera. Each pitfall trap consisted of a plastic cup dug into the ground so that the lip was flush with the substrate surface. Chicken-wire was attached to cover traps in order to exclude small vertebrates. A mixture of 70% propylene glycol antifreeze and 30% water was added to a depth of 2.5 cm in each trap, and a drop of washing-up liquid was added to break surface tension. Traps were left in situ until 22/06/2015. Two of the trap transects were reset (in the same locations used previously) on 20/08/2015 and left in situ for a further two weeks. These traps were then collected and removed on 03/09/2015.
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