Summary: Undersampling is commonplace in biodiversity surveys of species-rich tropical assemblages in which rare taxa abound, with possible repercussions for our ability to implement surveys and monitoring programmes in a cost-effective way. We investigated the consequences of information loss due to species undersampling (missing subsets of species from the full species pool) in tropical bat surveys for the emerging patterns of species richness (SR) and compositional variation across sites. For 27 bat assemblage data sets from across the tropics, we used correlations between original data sets and subsets with different numbers of species deleted either at random, or according to their rarity in the assemblage, to assess to what extent patterns in SR and composition in data subsets are congruent with those in the initial data set. We then examined to what degree high sample representativeness (r ≥ 0·8) was influenced by biogeographic region, sampling method, sampling effort or structural assemblage characteristics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology