The use of forest inventory data for placing flight-interception traps in the forest canopy

Esther Kowalski, Martin M. Gossner, Manfred Türke, Markus Lange, Dorthe Veddeler, Dominik Hessenmöller, Ernst Detlef Schulze, Wolfgang W. Weisser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Forest canopies are an important part of forest ecosystems and comprise the majority of arthropod diversity. As tree crowns provide various microhabitats, a suitable trapping standard for canopy-dwelling arthropods is required. However, vertical trap position is often not standardized. We developed six vertical placement strategies for flight-interception traps based on information on tree height and crown base obtained from forest inventory data. Strategies differed in how crown base and height of trees were weighted in the calculations of trap height. Forest inventory data from almost 1600 plots in three regions of Germany. Were used to calculate the theoretical suitability of the strategies. The strategy to place traps at the canopy centre was predicted to result in very few trees for which placement would not be possible because trees are too short or crown base is too high, and this strategy by definition resulted in the lowest deviation of trap position from the canopy centre. The strategy Centre was tested in the field by installing three flight-interception traps each in 150 deciduous or coniferous stands of various age structures. On average, 53.8% of the traps were installed at exactly the desired height and for 86.9% of the traps the difference was <10% from the desired height. The strategy worked less well in thickets and pole woods. Overall, our results show that (1) forest inventory data are highly suitable to derive a priori trap placement strategies, even though these data are generally collected in only a small circle in each forest stand, (2) placing traps in the canopy centre largely avoids the problem of not being able to place traps at the desired height in the field, and (3) calculations of trap height should ideally be based on plot-specific data, but data from many stands of one forest type also provide a reasonable fit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Arthropods
  • Biodiversity
  • Coniferous
  • Deciduous
  • Forest management
  • Insects
  • Microhabitat
  • Monitoring
  • Temperate region


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of forest inventory data for placing flight-interception traps in the forest canopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this