Manuel Cárdenas, Juan Castro, Mercedes Campos
Journal of Insect Science 12 (61), 1-18, (13 May 2012) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.012.6101
KEYWORDS: Araneae, cover crops, disturbance, ground dwelling spiders, olive agroecosystem
This study shows that disturbance caused by cover-crop removal (CCR) in an organic olive orchard affects ground-spider populations. The effect of CCR on various organic olive-orchard plots was assessed by monitoring the abundance and diversity of ground-dwelling spiders. Covered plots in the organic olive orchard were compared with uncovered plots where the covers had been removed mechanically. CCR positively affected the most abundant spider species Zodarion styliferum (Simon) (Araneae: Zodariidae) as well as other species of running spiders belonging to the families Gnaphosidae and Lycosidae. Over time, the two types of plots did not significantly differ in diversity or dominance. Similarly, no differences were detected between the study plots in terms of the distribution of individuals when a cluster-similarity analysis was performed. This lack of difference in diversity might be due to the spatial scale used in the study or climatology. Because of their general effects, CCR profoundly changed the abundance of spiders in the olive orchard, but with no clear impact on spider diversity.