The two Anolis lizard species of St. Eustatius (Neth. Antilles) have large effects on the abundance of arthropods. Over a six-month period, we excluded Anolis lizards from three experimental areas and maintained three other areas with natural densities of lizards. Exclusion of anoles resulted in a two to three-fold increase in the abundance of arthropods on the forest floor (mainly Dipterans), and a twenty to thirty-fold increase in the abundance of three large web-building spiders. These abundant web-building spiders, in turn, caused approximately a 25% decrease in the abundance of insects between the forest floor and canopy. Exclusion of anoles had no observed effect on the degree of herbivory as assayed by the amount of leaf damage on two plant species.
Oecologia – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 1984
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