What is it about?

Invertebrate biomass is considered one of the main factors driving processes in ecosystems. It can be measured directly, primarily by weighing individuals, but more often indirect estimators are required because of their small sizes. We developed two indirect and non-destructive approaches to estimate biomass of small invertebrates in a simple manner. The first one was based on clay modelling and the second one was based on image analysis implemented with open-source software. Furthermore, we tested the accuracy of the widely used geometric approximation method.

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Why is it important?

Methods to estimate biomass in small animals have been used uncritically. We show here that despite their wide use, methods based on geometric approximations can perform poorly. The indirect methods proposed in this study provided the best approximation to direct measurements. These approaches are timely because of the recently increasing number of studies requiring reliable biomass estimates for small invertebrates to explain crucial processes in ecosystems.

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This page is a summary of: Evaluation of three methods for biomass estimation in small invertebrates, using three large disparate parasite species as model organisms, Scientific Reports, March 2018, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-22304-x.
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