Insects to be surveyed on all Alaska Refuges starting in 2013

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Alaska Region Inventory & Monitoring team released an update on its planned biotic inventories to begin in 2013.  Over the next four years, the team plans to document the biodiversity of terrestrial plant and invertebrate communities on all 16 Alaska National Wildlife Refuges.

Details of the sampling design are to be resolved over the winter of 2012-2013, but the group has selected the relevé method for vegetation sampling, with invertebrate sampling to complement this work.

The Inventory & Monitoring program has begun a collaborative effort with Dr. Derek Sikes at the University of Alaska Museum to develop a DNA barcode library from UAM terrestrial arthropod specimens.  This work will set the stage for future inventory and monitoring efforts in Alaska using environmental DNA barcoding methods (a.k.a next-generation DNA barcoding).