Seasonal monitoring of arthropod abundance at Bylot Island, Nunavut

Monitoring seasonal variation in arthropod abundance above or near the soil surface primarily allows us to determine the interannual availability of food resources for insectivorous birds nesting on Bylot Island, Nunavut. Arthropod sampling begins as soon as the conditions allows it (when the snow melts in the first or second week of June) and continues until the end of the season (mid-August). Every summer, ten arthropod traps are installed facing the wind in the Qarlikturvik Valley. Modified pitfall traps with white tank (38 x 35 cm and 7 cm deep) filled with soapy water and surmounted by a mosquito net frame (40 x 40 cm) are used to trap arthropods. Five traps are distributed along a transect in a wetland (73.1595°N 79.9493°W) and five others along a transect in a mesic environment (73.1494°N 79.9785°W). Traps are emptied every 48 hours and samples are stored in 70% ethanol. The samples are then sorted, dried and weighed to determine the biomass. Because of their low importance in the bird diet and their large size, which can generate large variations in biomass, plant debris, bumble bees (Apidae: Bombus) and butterflies (Lepidoptera) are excluded. Mites (Acari) and Collembola are also excluded because of their non-significant contribution to the biomass and diet of birds.

Data and Resources

Dataset extent

Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
Version 1.1
Citation Bêty, J. 2020. Seasonal monitoring of arthropod abundance at Bylot Island, Nunavut, v. 1.1 (2010-2019). Nordicana D43, doi: 10.5885/45579CE-2262D40C8DFE49F0.
  • Author Name: Joël Bêty
Temporal coverage
  • Temporal coverage start: 2010-06-18  Temporal coverage end: 2019-08-13
Spatial coverage { "coordinates": [ -79.9719, 73.1563 ], "type": "Point" }
Station cen-whapmagoostui-kuujuarapik-research-station
Variable measured
  • Variable name: Arthropod_Biomass  Variable description: Biomass per group (each trap)  Variable unit: Milligram  Variable URL:
  • Variable name: Arthropod_Family  Variable description: Sample content  Variable unit: unitless
  • Variable name: Field_site  Variable description: Bylot  Variable unit: unitless
  • Variable name: Habitat  Variable description: Habitat type: Mesic or wetland  Variable unit: unitless
  • Variable name: nb_of_traps  Variable description: Number of traps sampled (sorted and weighed) at this date.  Variable unit: unitless
  • Variable name: Period_Day  Variable description: Sample day (Julian date)  Variable unit: unitless
  • Variable name: Period_Year  Variable description: Year  Variable unit: Year  Variable URL:
  • Variable name: Stage  Variable description: developmental stage, if available  Variable unit: unitless
  • Variable name: Trap_days  Variable description: Period (in days) between each trap visit.  Variable unit: unitless
  • Variable name: Trap_number  Variable description: Trap number (BAT = Bylot Arthropod Trap, BAT01 = Trap #1)  Variable unit: unitless
Measurement Technique
    Date published 2019-05-15
    Date modified 2020-01-22
    Status Public
    • Publisher name: Nordicana D  Publisher URL:
    • Provider name: Centre d'études Nordiques (CEN)  Provider URL: