rich burkmar's blog

Save a Spider!

Pardosa amentata maleAccording to someone, somewhere, Saturday 14th March is 'Save a Spider Day'! A quick search on Google indicates that for others it is 'Non-smoking Day' and I dare say, if I looked hard enough, I could quickly fill my diary for tomorrow, what with avoiding cigarettes, saving spiders and everything else!

Invasive aliens and other bad language

Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera).  Photo: Charlie BellA growing amount of attention is being given to biodiversity loss resulting from the introduction of non-native species. Introduced species that do well, especially if they do so at the expense native flora or fauna, are frequently referred to as ‘invasive aliens’.

Some thoughts on DNA barcoding and biological recording

Wall (Lasiommata megera).  Photo: Rich BurkmarI recently took part in a really interesting email discussion with some other NFBR members (National Forum for Biological Recorders) prompted by the recent publication of a paper on metabarcoding. I think it's fair to say that many biological recorders are very cautious about the use of DNA barcoding as a tool for monitoring biodiversity. There is a perception that the development of DNA barcoding may threaten the traditional morphological identification skills of the biological recorder. I have a more optimistic outlook and the rest of this blog is derived from an email I contributed to the email discussion.

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