Metabarcoding Malaise traps and soil eDNA reveals seasonal and local arthropod diversity shifts
Forest habitats host enormous diversity, but little is known about the seasonal turnover of arthropod species between the above- and below ground forest layers. In this study, we used metabarcoding approaches to uncover arthropod diversity in different forest types and seasons. Our study shows that metabarcoding soil eDNA and Malaise trap bulk samples can provide valuable insights into the phenology and life cycles of arthropods. We found major differences in arthropod species diversity between soil samples and Malaise traps, with only 11.8% species overlap. Higher diversity levels were found in Malaise traps in summer whereas soil samples showed a diversity peak in winter, highlighting the seasonal habitat preferences and life strategies of arthropods. We conclude that collecting time series of bulk arthropod samples and eDNA in the same locations provides a more complete picture of local arthropod diversity and turnover rates and may provide valuable information on climate induced phenological shifts for long-term monitoring.