Abundances of three spider (Araneae) species in native and managed ecosystems in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil
We assessed the abundance patterns of three theridiid species: Hetschkia gracilis (Keyserling 1886); Phycosoma altum (Keyserling 1886); and Thwaitesia affinis O.P.-Cambridge, 1882 in four habitats: Araucaria Forest (native forest) and plantations of A. angustifolia, Pinus spp., and Eucalyptus spp. in Floresta Nacional de São Francisco de Paula Reserve, southern Brazil. The plantation stands in the study system are managed by the selective cutting of adult trees, allowing longer rotation intervals. We collected spiders in 2003 and 2004 by beating the vegetation inside three replicates of each forest type. We performed a permanova to test whether there were differences on species abundances between habitats. We tested the influence of the stand sizes, distance between stands, and vegetation cover composition on each spider species abundance. Stands with higher vegetation cover of bushes and vines presented higher abundances of Hetschkia gracilis and Thwaitesia affinis. Phycosoma altum abundance did not respond to any explanatory variables. Results highlighted the importance of alternative management of plantation stands to enhance and maintain the understory vegetation diversity, which in turn support the spider populations.
Key words: Araucaria Forest, Habitat structure, Pinus plantation, Eucalyptus plantation, Forest management.
I grant the journal Neotropical Biology and Conservation the first publication of my article, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution license (which allows sharing of work, recognition of authorship and initial publication in this journal).
I confirm that my article is not being submitted to another publication and has not been published in its entirely on another journal. I take full responsibility for its originality and I will also claim responsibility for charges from claims by third parties concerning the authorship of the article.
I also agree that the manuscript will be submitted according to the journal’s publication rules described above.