Revisiting Novotny et al. 2002

Interesting interview about a paper written over 10 years ago by one of PNGs prominent researchers, Vojtech Novotny from the Binatang Research in Madang.

Ecology Students' Society

In 2002, Vojtech Novotny, Yves Basset, Scott Miller, George Weiblen, Birgitta Bremer, Lukas Cizek and Pavel Drozd published a paper in Nature providing evidence for low host-specificity of tropical herbivorous arthropods. This finding was based on data from over 900 herbivores from 51 plant species in a rainforest in New Guinea. Based on this finding, Novotny and colleagues provided new global estimates of arthropod diversity in the range of 4 – 6 million species, which was substantially lower than the accepted figure at that point in time. Fourteen years after its publication, I spoke to Vojtech Novotny about the making of these findings and their validity today.

Questions sent by email on 19th June 2016; responses received by email on 17th July 2016.

Hari Sridhar: What was the specific motivation to write this paper? Was the fieldwork done with this paper in mind or…

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