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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Protection and Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324251

Research Project: Insect Ecology and Sustainable Systems for Insect Pest Management in the Southeastern Region

Location: Crop Protection and Management Research

Title: Investigating the influence of farm-scape geospatial characteristics on spider diversity

item Russell, Katherine - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Olson, Dawn
item Coffin, Alisa
item Schmidt, Jason - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/8/2015
Publication Date: 1/15/2016
Citation: Russell, K., Olson, D.M., Coffin, A.W., Schmidt, J. 2016. Investigating the influence of farm-scape geospatial characteristics on spider diversity[abstract]. Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Biodiversity is an important aspect of sustainable crop management and agricultural production. Maintaining biodiversity within agricultural ecosystems, especially in regards to predator species, promotes natural pest control and many other ecosystem services. Spiders (Araneae) often prey upon common pest species, making them a beneficial component of agroecosystems. Spider diversity varies across landscapes and is often correlated with certain abiotic factors. This project investigates the effects of geospatial characteristics on spider abundance and diversity within Miscanthus giganteus and cotton crops. Samples were obtained by placing pitfall traps in the Miscanthus and cotton fields along a grid pattern. Spiders were later removed and manually identified. The environmental attributes to be analyzed include topography, soil type, and site proximity to edge habitat. It is hypothesized that the abundance of spiders will be greatest on the edges of the field and lowest in the centers. Likewise, greater species diversity is predicted in sites that are closer to edges, with diversity decreasing as one moves away from the heterogenous border habitat. Preliminary analysis shows at least 10 different species of spiders present across the farm-scape, with wolf spiders (Lycosidae) demonstrating the greatest numerical abundance. Further identification of spiders and more in-depth analysis will allow for greater exploration of the relationship between spider abundance, diversity, and the farm-scape’s geospatial attributes.