Disturbance of forests by logging and subsequent forest succession causes marked changes in arthropod communities. Although vegetation cover provides important habitat for arthropods, studies of the changes in their community structure associated with forest succession have been conducted mostly at ground level. To evaluate how forests of different ages contribute to arthropod biodiversity in shrub habitat, spiders were collected from shrubs in 12 forests ranging in age from 1 to 107 yr after logging. We found marked changes in spider community structure about 10 yr after logging: the number of species and individuals declined rapidly after this time. These changes were likely caused by a decrease in shrub cover in association with forest succession. Changes in spider species composition associated with stand age were small in forests at least 11 yr old and were not clustered by forest age. After the exclusion of species of which we sampled only one or two individuals incidentally, just 0.9 ± 0.5 (mean ± SD) species were unique to these older forests. The other 41.2 ± 4.3 species found in these forests were common to both older and young forests, although some of these species in common were found mainly in forests at least 11 yr old. These results suggest that preservation of old-growth forests contributes to the abundance of these common species, although old-growth forests contribute little to species diversity.
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Vol. 45 • No. 1