Differences in Web-Spider Communities Associated With Three Old-Field Communities in Southwest Ohio

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Research Projects

Organizational Units

Journal Issue


Plant architecture is known to have an impact on web-building spider communities. Web-spider abundance and distribution were monitored in September 1986 and 1987 on three types of plots with distinct plant communities. Differences were seen in spider abundance, family composition, and dispersion patterns between spider communities in control plots of old-field vegetation and plots treated with fertilizer or sludge. These differences were apparently related to changes in plant species composition, height, and density associated with nutrient enrichment. Differences in family representation and overall spider abundance were seen in the fertilizer and sludge plots as a result of decreases in plant density and increases in plant height. Spiders in fertilizer and sludge plots were distributed in a clumped pattern; spiders in control plots were distributed either uniformly or randomly. Low web site availability because of low plant density in nutrient enriched plots and high plant density in control plots was most likely responsible for these dispersion patterns.


Author Institution: Department of Zoology, Miami University



The Ohio Journal of Science. v89, n4 (September, 1989), 88-92