Generalised regressions provide good estimates of insect and spider biomass in the monsoonal tropics of Australia

C BRADY, Richard Noske

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The estimation of arthropod biomass is often important in studies of terrestrial ecosystem structure and function, including analyses of the relative importance of different arthropod taxa in the diet of insectivorous animals. In order to estimate arthropod biomass in eucalypt woodlands and rehabilitated mine-land in the monsoonal tropics of northern Australia, insect morpho-species (n = 693) and spider morpho-species (n = 100) were collected, sorted, then weighed and measured. Body length-weight regressions were determined for spiders, nine insect orders and all insects combined. There was a significant relationship between body length and weight for all taxonomic groups, with the power model being a better predictor than linear or exponential models for all groups except Diptera (which was best predicted by the linear model). Whilst Schoener (1980) found that the length-weight regression slopes of neotropical insects (all orders combined, as well as several individual orders) differed from those of their temperate North American counterparts, our comparisons between monsoon-tropical and temperate Australian arthropods suggested differences among Dipterans and spiders only. We conclude that generalised regressions provide adequate estimates of arthropod biomass across Australia, providing that the body proportions of the dominant taxa do not vary substantively. � 2006 The Authors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)187-191
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustral Entomology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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