The BIOFOREST Project aimed to assess the effect of afforestation on Irish biodiversity and one of its central goals was to determine the biodiversity value of sites which are typically used for afforestation in Ireland. Spiders were sampled in several of the major Irish habitats - improved grassland, wet grassland and peatland - which were selected to reflect current afforestation trends. A total of 24 sites were surveyed (eight within each habitat type) which were located in 14 different counties across the country. The spiders were sampled using pitfall traps, which were active between May and July in 2002 and 2004. Within each habitat type six sampling plots of five pitfall traps were established. The plots were located in areas of homogenous vegetation cover which was typical of the site as a whole, but also in features such as wet flushes, riparian areas and hedgerows, which may also contribute to the biodiversity of a site. All adult specimens were identified to species and nomenclature follows Roberts (1993). Voucher specimens have been deposited in the Museum in the Department of Zoology Ecology and Plant Science, University College Cork. Identification of M. mollis was confirmed by Robert Johnston. New county records were determined by the distribution records of van Helsdingen (1996a) and McFerran (1997), the records of Cawley (2001) and references therein, as well as subsequent additions made to the Irish species list (Johnston and Cameron 2002a, b; Nolan 2002a, b; Fahy and Gormally 2003; Cawley 2004; Nelson 2005, McCormack 2006). Information on spider body size was obtained from Roberts (1993) whereas British distribution records and habitat preferences were derived from Harvey et al (2002).
|Journal||Irish Naturalists' Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|
- New Species