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Article: Substrate availability may be more important than aquatic insect abundance in the distribution of riparian orb-web spiders in the tropics

TitleSubstrate availability may be more important than aquatic insect abundance in the distribution of riparian orb-web spiders in the tropics
Authors
KeywordsBACI
China
Ecotone
Habitat structure
Hong Kong
Riparian vegetation
Subsidy
Issue Date2009
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.. The Journal's web site is located at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118501466/home
Citation
Biotropica, 2009, v. 41 n. 2, p. 196-201 How to Cite?
AbstractSpiders that are abundant along streams may depend on energy subsidies across land-water ecotones, but the effects of season and habitat structure on this trophic linkage remain poorly understood in the tropics. We carried out surveys and a manipulative experiment to investigate the effects of season and substrate availability on the distribution of riparian orb-web spiders in Hong Kong, southern China. In the surveys, spider abundance, prey, substrate use, and web orientation were recorded. The experiment involved installation of in-stream artificial substrates (ropes and bamboo poles) to increase substrate availability for web attachment. We found no seasonal difference in web abundance, but seasonal differences were observed for the prey on webs: aquatic insects (mostly Ephemeroptera and chironomid midges) contributed 69 percent of total prey collected during the wet season, but only 38 percent during the dry season. Most webs (50-80%) were < 0.5 m above the water and 45-51 percent of them tended to be orientated horizontally to the water surface and supported by overhanging vegetation and boulders. The addition of artificial substrates resulted in a 23-34 percent increase in the number of webs at the four treatment sites compared to controls, indicating that availability of web-building substrates is a critical determinant of the spider distribution. Our results suggest that riparian zones are potential 'hotspots' of food availability for spiders, and that the aquatic insect subsidy allows this habitat to support increased densities of spiders when the constraint of substrate availability is relaxed. © 2009 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/60674
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 1.944
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.374
ISI Accession Number ID
Funding AgencyGrant Number
The University of Hong Kong
Research Grants Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China[HKU] 7619/05M
Funding Information:

We thank Shu-Qiang Li from the Chinese Academy of Sciences for the identifications of spider samples, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on the manuscript. EKWC was supported by a postgraduate studentship from The University of Hong Kong when this study was taken. The work described in this paper was partially supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. [HKU] 7619/05M). We are grateful to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of the Hong Kong Government for permission to conduct this study within protected areas.

References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, EKWen_HK
dc.contributor.authorZhang, Yen_HK
dc.contributor.authorDudgeon, Den_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-05-31T04:16:17Z-
dc.date.available2010-05-31T04:16:17Z-
dc.date.issued2009en_HK
dc.identifier.citationBiotropica, 2009, v. 41 n. 2, p. 196-201en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0006-3606en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/60674-
dc.description.abstractSpiders that are abundant along streams may depend on energy subsidies across land-water ecotones, but the effects of season and habitat structure on this trophic linkage remain poorly understood in the tropics. We carried out surveys and a manipulative experiment to investigate the effects of season and substrate availability on the distribution of riparian orb-web spiders in Hong Kong, southern China. In the surveys, spider abundance, prey, substrate use, and web orientation were recorded. The experiment involved installation of in-stream artificial substrates (ropes and bamboo poles) to increase substrate availability for web attachment. We found no seasonal difference in web abundance, but seasonal differences were observed for the prey on webs: aquatic insects (mostly Ephemeroptera and chironomid midges) contributed 69 percent of total prey collected during the wet season, but only 38 percent during the dry season. Most webs (50-80%) were < 0.5 m above the water and 45-51 percent of them tended to be orientated horizontally to the water surface and supported by overhanging vegetation and boulders. The addition of artificial substrates resulted in a 23-34 percent increase in the number of webs at the four treatment sites compared to controls, indicating that availability of web-building substrates is a critical determinant of the spider distribution. Our results suggest that riparian zones are potential 'hotspots' of food availability for spiders, and that the aquatic insect subsidy allows this habitat to support increased densities of spiders when the constraint of substrate availability is relaxed. © 2009 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.. The Journal's web site is located at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118501466/homeen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofBiotropicaen_HK
dc.rightsThe definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com-
dc.subjectBACIen_HK
dc.subjectChinaen_HK
dc.subjectEcotoneen_HK
dc.subjectHabitat structureen_HK
dc.subjectHong Kongen_HK
dc.subjectRiparian vegetationen_HK
dc.subjectSubsidyen_HK
dc.titleSubstrate availability may be more important than aquatic insect abundance in the distribution of riparian orb-web spiders in the tropicsen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0006-3606&volume=41&issue=2&spage=196&epage=201&date=2009&atitle=Substrate+availability+may+be+more+important+than+aquatic+insect+abundance+in+the+distribution+of+riparian+orb-web+spiders+in+the+tropicsen_HK
dc.identifier.emailDudgeon, D: ddudgeon@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityDudgeon, D=rp00691en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/j.1744-7429.2008.00463.xen_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-61549129855en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros163368en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-61549129855&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume41en_HK
dc.identifier.issue2en_HK
dc.identifier.spage196en_HK
dc.identifier.epage201en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000263747000008-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Statesen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChan, EKW=16241096200en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridZhang, Y=35320669000en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridDudgeon, D=7006559840en_HK
dc.identifier.citeulike4118750-

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