Biodiversity of the ground-dwelling spider fauna of afforestation habitats

Anne Oxbrough, Tom Gittings, John O'Halloran, Paul S. Giller, Thomas C. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess spider diversity among habitats that are typically used for afforestation in Ireland, and to identify habitat parameters which could potentially be used as indicators of their biodiversity value. Ground-dwelling spiders were surveyed in 24 sites across Ireland, with eight sites of each of the following habitat types: improved grassland, wet grassland and peatland. The spiders were sampled using pitfall traps which were located within the major vegetation types present in each site as well as within supplementary habitat features which may add to biodiversity value of the whole site such as hedgerows, flushes and the edges of ditches and streams. Each habitat supported distinct spider assemblages that reflect major differences in both environmental conditions and management regime. The improved grasslands had low spider species richness and low variation in assemblage structure which is probably related to the intensive management of this habitat. In this case hedgerows maybe an important aspect of the spider diversity within agricultural landscapes. The peatlands, and to a lesser extent wet grasslands, supported a diverse and specialist spider fauna, including a number of rare species; this may be due to differences in soil moisture and plant architecture. Indicators of biodiversity value identified included wet flushes in the peatlands and low grazing pressure in the wet grasslands. This study suggests that in terms of biodiversity value improved grassland is the preferable habitat for afforestation, because of the poor baseline spider diversity. However, it may be unrealistic to expect land owners to afforest their most productive agricultural land, so the management and habitat indicators identified in this study may be of use for assessing habitat quality among the wet grassland and peatlands to allow sites with lower biodiversity value to be identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-441
JournalAgriculture Ecosystems & Environment
Volume120
Issue number2-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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afforestation
Araneae
fauna
biodiversity
grasslands
peatlands
habitats
Ireland
environmental management
habitat conservation
pitfall traps
plant architecture
land management
vegetation types
agricultural land
soil water
grazing
species diversity
environmental factors

Cite this

Oxbrough, Anne ; Gittings, Tom ; O'Halloran, John ; Giller, Paul S. ; Kelly, Thomas C. / Biodiversity of the ground-dwelling spider fauna of afforestation habitats. In: Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment. 2007 ; Vol. 120, No. 2-4. pp. 433-441.
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title = "Biodiversity of the ground-dwelling spider fauna of afforestation habitats",
abstract = "The aim of this study was to assess spider diversity among habitats that are typically used for afforestation in Ireland, and to identify habitat parameters which could potentially be used as indicators of their biodiversity value. Ground-dwelling spiders were surveyed in 24 sites across Ireland, with eight sites of each of the following habitat types: improved grassland, wet grassland and peatland. The spiders were sampled using pitfall traps which were located within the major vegetation types present in each site as well as within supplementary habitat features which may add to biodiversity value of the whole site such as hedgerows, flushes and the edges of ditches and streams. Each habitat supported distinct spider assemblages that reflect major differences in both environmental conditions and management regime. The improved grasslands had low spider species richness and low variation in assemblage structure which is probably related to the intensive management of this habitat. In this case hedgerows maybe an important aspect of the spider diversity within agricultural landscapes. The peatlands, and to a lesser extent wet grasslands, supported a diverse and specialist spider fauna, including a number of rare species; this may be due to differences in soil moisture and plant architecture. Indicators of biodiversity value identified included wet flushes in the peatlands and low grazing pressure in the wet grasslands. This study suggests that in terms of biodiversity value improved grassland is the preferable habitat for afforestation, because of the poor baseline spider diversity. However, it may be unrealistic to expect land owners to afforest their most productive agricultural land, so the management and habitat indicators identified in this study may be of use for assessing habitat quality among the wet grassland and peatlands to allow sites with lower biodiversity value to be identified.",
author = "Anne Oxbrough and Tom Gittings and John O'Halloran and Giller, {Paul S.} and Kelly, {Thomas C.}",
note = "Berger, W.H., Parker, F.L., 1970. Diversity of planktibuc Foraminifera in deep sea sediments. Science 168, 1345–1347. Bratton, J.H., 1991. British Red Data Books 3: Invertebrates Other Than Insects. Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Cardoso, P., Silva, I., de Oliveira, N.G., Serrano, A.R.M., 2004. Indicator taxa of spider (Araneae) diversity and their efficiency in conservation. Biol. Conserv. 120, 517–524. Cattin, M., Blandenier, G., Banasek-Richter, C., Bersier, L., 2003. The impact of mowing as a management strategy for wet meadows on spider (Araneae) communities. Biol. Conserv. 113, 179–188. Cawley, M., 2001. Distribution records for uncommon spiders (Araneae) including five species new to Ireland. Bull. Irish Biogeogr. Soc. 25, 135– 143. COFORD, 2000. Forecast of Roundwood Production from the Forests of Ireland 2001–2015. COFORD, Dublin. Cole, L., McCracken, D., Downie, I.S., Dennis, P., Foster, G., Waterhouse, T., Murphy, K., Griffin, A., Kennedy, M., 2003. Comparing the effects of farming practices on ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and spider (Araneae) assemblages of Scottish farmland. Biodivers. Conserv. 14, 441–460. Dennis, P., Young, M.R., Gordon, I., 1998. Distribution and abundance of small insects and arachnids in relation to structural heterogeneity of grazed, indigenous grasslands. Ecol. Entomol. 23, 253– 264. Dennis, P., Young, M.R., Bentley, C., 2001. The effect of varied grazing management on epigeal spiders, harvestmen and psuedoscorpions of Nardus stricta grassland in upland Scotland. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 86, 39–57. Downie, I.,Wilson,W., Abernethy, V., McCracken, D., Foster, G., Ribera, I., Murphy, K., Waterhouse, A., 1999. The impact of different agricultural land-uses on epigeal spider diversity in Scotland. J. Insect Conserv. 3, 273–286. Duelli, P., Obrist, M.K., 2003. Biodiversity indicators: the choice of values and measures. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 98, 87–98. Dufrene, M., Legendre, P., 1997. Species assemblages and indicator species: the need for a flexible assymetric approach. Ecol. Monogr. 67, 345–366. Fahy, O., Gormally, M., 2003. Two additions to the Irish spider fauna (Araneae, Linyphiidae): Walckenaeria dysderoides (Wider, 1834) and Agyneta ramosa (Jackson, 1912). Irish Nat. J. 27, 318–319. Forest Service, 2004. Forestry statisics. http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/for estry/files/standard.xls. Department of Agriculture and Food, Dublin. Fossitt, J., 2000. A Guide to Habitats in Ireland. The Heritage Council, Kilkenny. Gravesen, E., 2000. Spiders (Araneae) and other invertebrate groups as ecological indicators in wetland areas. Ekol. Bratis. 19, 39–42. Grimshaw, H.M., 1989. Analysis of soils. In: Grimshaw, H.M. (Ed.), Chemical Analysis of Ecological Materials. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, pp. 14–16. Harvey, P., Nellist, D., Telfer, M., 2002. Provisional Atlas of British Spiders (Arachnida Araneae), vol. 1 and 2. Biological Records Centre, Huntingdon. Kajak, A., Kupryjanowicz, J., Petrov, P., 2000. Long term changes in spider (Araneae) communities in natural and drained fens in the Biebrza River Valley. Ekol. Bratis. 19, 55–64. McCune, B., Mefford, M., 1997. PC-ORD for Windows. MjM Software, Oregon. McFerran, D., 1997. Northern Ireland Species Inventory: Spiders (Arachnida). Queens University Belfast. Melbourne, B., 1999. Bias in the effect of habitat structure on pitfall traps: An experimental evaluation. Australian J. Ecol. 24, 228–239. Mueller-Dombois, D., Ellenberg, H., 1974. Aims and Methods of Vegetation Ecology. Wiley and sons, New York. Nolan, M., 2000. A provisional list of spiders (Araneae) from Lesley Gibson’s survey (1979–1982) of Carnsore point, Co.Wexford, including one new species to Ireland, Maro Minutus (O.P - Cambridge, 1906) (Linyphiidae). Irish Nat. J. 24, 159–167. Nolan, M., 2002a. Spiders (Araneae) of montane blanket bog in county Wicklow, Ireland. Bull. Irish Biogeogr. Soc. 26, 39–59. Nolan, M., 2002b. Uncommonly recorded spiders (araneae) from Ireland, including one new species to the country. Bull. Irish Biogeogr. Soc. 26, 154–160. Paoletti, M., 1999. Using bioindicators based on diversity to assess landscape sustainability. Agric. Ecosys. Environ. 74, 1–18. Roberts, M., 1993. The Spiders of Great Britain and Ireland, Part One. Harley Books, Colchester. SPSS, 2002. SPSS for Windows Version 11.0. SPSS, Chicago. Teagasc: Irish agriculture food development authority, 2005. Agriculture in Ireland: http://teagasc.ie/. Teagasc, Carlow. Toft, S., Lovei, G., 2000. The epigeic spider fauna of single-row hedges in a Danish agricultural landscape. In: Toft, S., Scharff, N. (Eds.), European Arachnology 2000 (19th European Colloqium of Arachnology). Aarhus University Press, Denmark, pp. 237–242. Uetz, G., 1991. Habitat Structure and Spider Foraging. In: Bell, S., McCoy, E., Mushinsky, H. (Eds.), Habitat structure: The Physical Arrangement of Objects in Space. Chapman and Hall, London. UNECE, MCPFE Liason Unit Vienna, 2003. State of Europe’s Forests 2003: The MCPFE’s Report on Sustainable Forest Management in Europe. 4th Ministerial conference on the protection of forests in Europe. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Vienna. Usher, M., 1992. Management and diversity of arthropods in Calluna heathland. Biodivers. Conserv. 1, 63–79. van Helsdingen, P., 1996a. The county distrubution of Irish spiders. Irish Nat. J. Special Zoological Supplement. van Helsdingen, P., 1996b. The spider fauna of some Irish flood plains. Irish Nat. J. 25, 285–293. van Helsdingen, P., 1997. The spiders (Areneida) of Pollardstown Fen, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Irish Nat. J. 25, 396–404.",
year = "2007",
doi = "10.1016/j.agee.2006.11.005",
language = "English",
volume = "120",
pages = "433--441",
journal = "Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment",
issn = "0167-8809",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "2-4",

}

Biodiversity of the ground-dwelling spider fauna of afforestation habitats. / Oxbrough, Anne; Gittings, Tom; O'Halloran, John; Giller, Paul S.; Kelly, Thomas C.

In: Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, Vol. 120, No. 2-4, 2007, p. 433-441.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Biodiversity of the ground-dwelling spider fauna of afforestation habitats

AU - Oxbrough, Anne

AU - Gittings, Tom

AU - O'Halloran, John

AU - Giller, Paul S.

AU - Kelly, Thomas C.

N1 - Berger, W.H., Parker, F.L., 1970. Diversity of planktibuc Foraminifera in deep sea sediments. Science 168, 1345–1347. Bratton, J.H., 1991. British Red Data Books 3: Invertebrates Other Than Insects. Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Cardoso, P., Silva, I., de Oliveira, N.G., Serrano, A.R.M., 2004. Indicator taxa of spider (Araneae) diversity and their efficiency in conservation. Biol. Conserv. 120, 517–524. Cattin, M., Blandenier, G., Banasek-Richter, C., Bersier, L., 2003. The impact of mowing as a management strategy for wet meadows on spider (Araneae) communities. Biol. Conserv. 113, 179–188. Cawley, M., 2001. Distribution records for uncommon spiders (Araneae) including five species new to Ireland. Bull. Irish Biogeogr. Soc. 25, 135– 143. COFORD, 2000. Forecast of Roundwood Production from the Forests of Ireland 2001–2015. COFORD, Dublin. Cole, L., McCracken, D., Downie, I.S., Dennis, P., Foster, G., Waterhouse, T., Murphy, K., Griffin, A., Kennedy, M., 2003. Comparing the effects of farming practices on ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and spider (Araneae) assemblages of Scottish farmland. Biodivers. Conserv. 14, 441–460. Dennis, P., Young, M.R., Gordon, I., 1998. Distribution and abundance of small insects and arachnids in relation to structural heterogeneity of grazed, indigenous grasslands. Ecol. Entomol. 23, 253– 264. Dennis, P., Young, M.R., Bentley, C., 2001. The effect of varied grazing management on epigeal spiders, harvestmen and psuedoscorpions of Nardus stricta grassland in upland Scotland. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 86, 39–57. Downie, I.,Wilson,W., Abernethy, V., McCracken, D., Foster, G., Ribera, I., Murphy, K., Waterhouse, A., 1999. The impact of different agricultural land-uses on epigeal spider diversity in Scotland. J. Insect Conserv. 3, 273–286. Duelli, P., Obrist, M.K., 2003. Biodiversity indicators: the choice of values and measures. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 98, 87–98. Dufrene, M., Legendre, P., 1997. Species assemblages and indicator species: the need for a flexible assymetric approach. Ecol. Monogr. 67, 345–366. Fahy, O., Gormally, M., 2003. Two additions to the Irish spider fauna (Araneae, Linyphiidae): Walckenaeria dysderoides (Wider, 1834) and Agyneta ramosa (Jackson, 1912). Irish Nat. J. 27, 318–319. Forest Service, 2004. Forestry statisics. http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/for estry/files/standard.xls. Department of Agriculture and Food, Dublin. Fossitt, J., 2000. A Guide to Habitats in Ireland. The Heritage Council, Kilkenny. Gravesen, E., 2000. Spiders (Araneae) and other invertebrate groups as ecological indicators in wetland areas. Ekol. Bratis. 19, 39–42. Grimshaw, H.M., 1989. Analysis of soils. In: Grimshaw, H.M. (Ed.), Chemical Analysis of Ecological Materials. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, pp. 14–16. Harvey, P., Nellist, D., Telfer, M., 2002. Provisional Atlas of British Spiders (Arachnida Araneae), vol. 1 and 2. Biological Records Centre, Huntingdon. Kajak, A., Kupryjanowicz, J., Petrov, P., 2000. Long term changes in spider (Araneae) communities in natural and drained fens in the Biebrza River Valley. Ekol. Bratis. 19, 55–64. McCune, B., Mefford, M., 1997. PC-ORD for Windows. MjM Software, Oregon. McFerran, D., 1997. Northern Ireland Species Inventory: Spiders (Arachnida). Queens University Belfast. Melbourne, B., 1999. Bias in the effect of habitat structure on pitfall traps: An experimental evaluation. Australian J. Ecol. 24, 228–239. Mueller-Dombois, D., Ellenberg, H., 1974. Aims and Methods of Vegetation Ecology. Wiley and sons, New York. Nolan, M., 2000. A provisional list of spiders (Araneae) from Lesley Gibson’s survey (1979–1982) of Carnsore point, Co.Wexford, including one new species to Ireland, Maro Minutus (O.P - Cambridge, 1906) (Linyphiidae). Irish Nat. J. 24, 159–167. Nolan, M., 2002a. Spiders (Araneae) of montane blanket bog in county Wicklow, Ireland. Bull. Irish Biogeogr. Soc. 26, 39–59. Nolan, M., 2002b. Uncommonly recorded spiders (araneae) from Ireland, including one new species to the country. Bull. Irish Biogeogr. Soc. 26, 154–160. Paoletti, M., 1999. Using bioindicators based on diversity to assess landscape sustainability. Agric. Ecosys. Environ. 74, 1–18. Roberts, M., 1993. The Spiders of Great Britain and Ireland, Part One. Harley Books, Colchester. SPSS, 2002. SPSS for Windows Version 11.0. SPSS, Chicago. Teagasc: Irish agriculture food development authority, 2005. Agriculture in Ireland: http://teagasc.ie/. Teagasc, Carlow. Toft, S., Lovei, G., 2000. The epigeic spider fauna of single-row hedges in a Danish agricultural landscape. In: Toft, S., Scharff, N. (Eds.), European Arachnology 2000 (19th European Colloqium of Arachnology). Aarhus University Press, Denmark, pp. 237–242. Uetz, G., 1991. Habitat Structure and Spider Foraging. In: Bell, S., McCoy, E., Mushinsky, H. (Eds.), Habitat structure: The Physical Arrangement of Objects in Space. Chapman and Hall, London. UNECE, MCPFE Liason Unit Vienna, 2003. State of Europe’s Forests 2003: The MCPFE’s Report on Sustainable Forest Management in Europe. 4th Ministerial conference on the protection of forests in Europe. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Vienna. Usher, M., 1992. Management and diversity of arthropods in Calluna heathland. Biodivers. Conserv. 1, 63–79. van Helsdingen, P., 1996a. The county distrubution of Irish spiders. Irish Nat. J. Special Zoological Supplement. van Helsdingen, P., 1996b. The spider fauna of some Irish flood plains. Irish Nat. J. 25, 285–293. van Helsdingen, P., 1997. The spiders (Areneida) of Pollardstown Fen, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Irish Nat. J. 25, 396–404.

PY - 2007

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N2 - The aim of this study was to assess spider diversity among habitats that are typically used for afforestation in Ireland, and to identify habitat parameters which could potentially be used as indicators of their biodiversity value. Ground-dwelling spiders were surveyed in 24 sites across Ireland, with eight sites of each of the following habitat types: improved grassland, wet grassland and peatland. The spiders were sampled using pitfall traps which were located within the major vegetation types present in each site as well as within supplementary habitat features which may add to biodiversity value of the whole site such as hedgerows, flushes and the edges of ditches and streams. Each habitat supported distinct spider assemblages that reflect major differences in both environmental conditions and management regime. The improved grasslands had low spider species richness and low variation in assemblage structure which is probably related to the intensive management of this habitat. In this case hedgerows maybe an important aspect of the spider diversity within agricultural landscapes. The peatlands, and to a lesser extent wet grasslands, supported a diverse and specialist spider fauna, including a number of rare species; this may be due to differences in soil moisture and plant architecture. Indicators of biodiversity value identified included wet flushes in the peatlands and low grazing pressure in the wet grasslands. This study suggests that in terms of biodiversity value improved grassland is the preferable habitat for afforestation, because of the poor baseline spider diversity. However, it may be unrealistic to expect land owners to afforest their most productive agricultural land, so the management and habitat indicators identified in this study may be of use for assessing habitat quality among the wet grassland and peatlands to allow sites with lower biodiversity value to be identified.

AB - The aim of this study was to assess spider diversity among habitats that are typically used for afforestation in Ireland, and to identify habitat parameters which could potentially be used as indicators of their biodiversity value. Ground-dwelling spiders were surveyed in 24 sites across Ireland, with eight sites of each of the following habitat types: improved grassland, wet grassland and peatland. The spiders were sampled using pitfall traps which were located within the major vegetation types present in each site as well as within supplementary habitat features which may add to biodiversity value of the whole site such as hedgerows, flushes and the edges of ditches and streams. Each habitat supported distinct spider assemblages that reflect major differences in both environmental conditions and management regime. The improved grasslands had low spider species richness and low variation in assemblage structure which is probably related to the intensive management of this habitat. In this case hedgerows maybe an important aspect of the spider diversity within agricultural landscapes. The peatlands, and to a lesser extent wet grasslands, supported a diverse and specialist spider fauna, including a number of rare species; this may be due to differences in soil moisture and plant architecture. Indicators of biodiversity value identified included wet flushes in the peatlands and low grazing pressure in the wet grasslands. This study suggests that in terms of biodiversity value improved grassland is the preferable habitat for afforestation, because of the poor baseline spider diversity. However, it may be unrealistic to expect land owners to afforest their most productive agricultural land, so the management and habitat indicators identified in this study may be of use for assessing habitat quality among the wet grassland and peatlands to allow sites with lower biodiversity value to be identified.

U2 - 10.1016/j.agee.2006.11.005

DO - 10.1016/j.agee.2006.11.005

M3 - Article

VL - 120

SP - 433

EP - 441

JO - Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment

JF - Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment

SN - 0167-8809

IS - 2-4

ER -