We assessed habitat differences in ground-dwelling spider communities that stem from fine-scale differences in plant cover types and height in a shortgrass steppe ecosystem. The number of spiders captured in pitfall traps was used to determine habitat and temporal dynamics in the spider communities. Two habitat types were sampled, grass and mixed-grass/shrub during May, June, July, and August 1995 and 1996. Spiders in the Lycosidae (56%) and Gnaphosidae (29%) were the numerically dominant spiders collected. The Lycosidae was represented by three species and significantly more abundant in grass habitats in 1995 only. The Gnaphosidae was the most speciose family collected (15 spp). The most abundant species of Gnaphosidae exhibited consistent habitat and seasonal patterns of species turnover and abundance during the 2-yr study. Results from detrended correspondence analysis revealed significant species-specific differences in the spider communities between the two habitats. Of the 10 most abundant species, Schizocosa mccooki (Montgomery), S. mimula (Gertsch), Gnaphosa clara (Keyserling), and G. brumalis (Thorell), were more abundant in grass sites. The most abundant spiders in the mixed-grass/shrub habitat were Schizocosa spp. (immatures), Gnaphosa spp. (immatures ), G. sericata (Koch), Haplodrassus signifer (Koch), Habronattus altanus (Chamberlin), and Xysticus nigromaculatus (Keyserling). Overall, the spider communities differed between grass and mixed-grass/shrub habitats in their response to seasonal change, and these differences in community composition were similar both years of the study. Our results underscore the importance of habitat selection at fine-scales and patterns of seasonal activity that translate to population and community patterns at larger spatial and temporal scales.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.