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Insect diversity over 36 years at a protected Sierra Nevada (California) site

Cite this dataset

Rosenheim, Jay; Ward, Philip (2021). Insect diversity over 36 years at a protected Sierra Nevada (California) site [Dataset]. Dryad.


Recent authors have suggested that declines of insect abundance or diversity, documented first for particular insect taxa of high interest (e.g., butterflies, bees), may apply to insect diversity more generally.  This has led to an urgent call for analysis of additional longitudinal datasets to examine trends in general insect diversity.  Here we present a dataset gathered from 1982-2018 by advanced undergraduate students and graduate students enrolled in a taxonomy course that involved collecting as many insect families as possible over a 5-week period at a high-elevation protected forested site, the Sagehen Creek Field Station, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA. 


Individual students collected insects for a 5-week summer period and used dichotomous keys to identify them to family.  Each student strived to collect as many insect families as possible, using a diversity of collecting methods (hand collecting, sweep netting, blacklights, malaise traps, and leaf litter samples).


United States Department of Agriculture, Award: CA-D-ENM-5671-RR