Spiders (Araneae) of the Glen Helen Nature Preserve, Greene County, OH

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The purpose of the current project was to assess the species diversity of spiders (Araneae) at Glen Helen Nature Preserve and compare it to the diversity of spiders at other forest sites in the region. Glen Helen Nature Preserve is located near the village of Yellow Springs, Greene County, OH. The reserve area is 404.6 hectares. The primary habitat is mixed mesophytic hardwood forest. In addition to forested areas, spider sampling was conducted in old field and restored tallgrass prairie habitats. Samples were collected between 4 November 1993 and 1 September 2008 with the preponderance of sampling occurring during summer. Sampling techniques included pitfall traps, litter extraction, visual searches at ground level and in the understory, and sweep/beat samples. A total of 108 collections from 33 sites in the preserve produced 3,766 identified specimens. The spider fauna of Glen Helen is relatively diverse including representatives of 23 families and 170 species. Three species represent first records for Ohio. There is little clear evidence that this site has a depauperate spider fauna, despite its relatively isolated position in a fragmented landscape. Of the specimens collected within forest sites at Glen Helen, 93 species were found which is similar to the mean value of 94 spider species recorded for 5 other forested sites within the North Central Till Plains ecoregion that have been sampled during the Ohio Spider Survey. Open habitats yielded relatively more species per unit sampling effort than forested sites. Rarefaction analysis estimates predict a complete spider diversity of between 190-227 species.


Author Institution: EEO Biology Dept., Marion Campus, The Ohio State University



The Ohio Journal of Science, v109, n2 (April, 2009), 3-14.