Steeplebushes conquer the countryside: influence of invasive plant species on spider communities (Araneae) in former wet meadows

Steeplebushes conquer the countryside: influence of invasive plant species on spider communities... Central European wet meadows are diminished by abandonment of cultivation measures, drainage, pollution, intensive agriculture and climate change during the last decades. In addition, original wet meadow communities can be threatened by immigrating neophytes. Typical invasive species in wet meadows are the steeplebushes Spiraea tomentosa and Spiraea douglasii, but their impact on the indigenous arthropod fauna is unknown. The present study therefore investigates Spiraea-induced changes in ground- and herb dwelling spiders in Spiraea sites, uncultivated meadows with interspersed Spiraea sp. and mowed meadows without Spiraea sp. using pitfall traps and sweep netting. Light intensity, vegetation height and coverage differed significantly between the Spiraea sites and the mowed meadows. In consequence, the activity density of ground-dwelling spiders was much lower in the Spiraea sites and their habitat preferences differed significantly from the two meadow types. Species preferring forests and forest edges were more abundant in invaded sites whereas specimens preferring open habitats decreased. Although the vegetation height and coverage of mowed meadows and cultivated meadows did not differ remarkably, uncultivated meadows contained less spiders of open dry habitats whereas forest species increased. In contrast, differences between herb dwelling spider assemblages of the three habitat types were not significant. Based on the results of the project, the risk of steeple bush invasion and management methods of wet meadows are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biodiversity and Conservation Springer Journals

Steeplebushes conquer the countryside: influence of invasive plant species on spider communities (Araneae) in former wet meadows

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Life Sciences; Biodiversity; Ecology; Conservation Biology/Ecology; Climate Change/Climate Change Impacts
ISSN
0960-3115
eISSN
1572-9710
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10531-018-1536-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Central European wet meadows are diminished by abandonment of cultivation measures, drainage, pollution, intensive agriculture and climate change during the last decades. In addition, original wet meadow communities can be threatened by immigrating neophytes. Typical invasive species in wet meadows are the steeplebushes Spiraea tomentosa and Spiraea douglasii, but their impact on the indigenous arthropod fauna is unknown. The present study therefore investigates Spiraea-induced changes in ground- and herb dwelling spiders in Spiraea sites, uncultivated meadows with interspersed Spiraea sp. and mowed meadows without Spiraea sp. using pitfall traps and sweep netting. Light intensity, vegetation height and coverage differed significantly between the Spiraea sites and the mowed meadows. In consequence, the activity density of ground-dwelling spiders was much lower in the Spiraea sites and their habitat preferences differed significantly from the two meadow types. Species preferring forests and forest edges were more abundant in invaded sites whereas specimens preferring open habitats decreased. Although the vegetation height and coverage of mowed meadows and cultivated meadows did not differ remarkably, uncultivated meadows contained less spiders of open dry habitats whereas forest species increased. In contrast, differences between herb dwelling spider assemblages of the three habitat types were not significant. Based on the results of the project, the risk of steeple bush invasion and management methods of wet meadows are discussed.

Journal

Biodiversity and ConservationSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 15, 2018

References

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