Effect of Architectural Variation in Habitat on a Spider Community: An Experimental Field Study
Spider species acceptance of, and segregation by, architectural configuration was investigated for the spiders of Green Canyon in northern Utah, USA. Modular habitat units consisting of 30.48-cm (1-foot) cubes of chicken wire supporting internal strands of macramé jute tied in different orthogonal configurations were used. Configurations including all three axes were tested at two strand densities. The null hypothesis, that spiders use structures independent of architecture, was rejected in favor of the alternate hypothesis that spider species differentially use structures dependent upon architecture. Of the eight most abundant species, two showed preferences for horizontal substrata and one chose vertical substrata. All spiders strongly responded to the amount of jute available in each module. The two most abundant jumping spiders were biased toward modules with widely spaced jute, while the two most abundant web-builders preferred closely spaced jute.
Robinson, James Vincent. 1981. Effect of Architectural Variation in Habitat on a Spider Community: An Experimental Field Study. Ecology 62(1): 73-80.