We are excited to announce that our second phase of data collection is open! Phase 1 of data collection for the Herbivory Variability Network was a major success with 820 surveys on 520 plant species from 136 plant families. This has shown us that there is strong interest in variability and large-scale collaborations within the plant-herbivore research community and inspired us to keep on. Please email herbvar (a) gmail.com or one of the Steering Committee members if you are interested in joining us and/or have any questions.
We have revised our primary and alternate protocols following feedback from collaborators on Phase 1 so feel free to download and explore any relevant protocol. The changes are minor tweaks and clarifications, and the Phase 2 protocols are mostly the same as the Phase 1 protocols.
Based on phase 1 of data collection, we have developed the following sampling objectives (described more fully here. We ask that you prioritize these in your species and site selections:
Surveys of the three focal species (Taraxacum officinale, Plantago lanceolata, and Plantago major), especially across broad environmental and/or geographic ranges
Surveys of species in the five focal families (Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Rubiaceae, and Solanaceae). We want surveys of new species within these families, especially species from new clades or with unusual growth forms. For repeat surveys of species within these families, we are prioritizing surveys from new regions, habitats, elevations, etc.
Surveys of damage to any species’ reproductive tissues (e.g., flowers, fruits, etc.)
We envision at least one publication per sampling objective. Collecting at least three surveys for an objective will earn you authorship on the primary paper for that objective (and please see our Participation page for other authorship requirements).
For this phase of data collection we have created a data submission portal with R Shiny! All data submission for this phase will go through it but it does require you use the updated template Excel file.
Please feel free to share our announcement flyer with colleagues you think might be interested in joining the Network or on social media! We are also now on Twitter so please feel free to tweet at us or use the hashtag “#HerbVar” for your Network-related posts.
If you have questions please also feel free to email herbvar (a) gmail.com and we will do our best to respond promptly.