Vol. 61, 2022
Communities Respond to Changes in Riparian Vegetation Widths
Marques Pires1,3,*, Everton Nei Lopes Rodrigues1,
Matheus dos Santos Rocha1, José Alessandro Radici Costi1, Gustavo Viegas2, Cristina Stenert1, and Leonardo Maltchik3
de Pós-graduação em Biologia, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos –
UNISINOS, Campus São Leopoldo, Av. Unisinos, 950, Bairro Cristo Rei,
CEP 93.022-750, São Leopoldo (RS), Brazil. *Correspondence: E-mail:
E-mail: email@example.com (Rodrigues); firstname.lastname@example.org
(Rocha); email@example.com (Costi);
2Programa de Pós-graduação em Ecologia, Instituto de
Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS, Av.
Bento Gonçalves 9500, Bairro Agronomia, CEP 90650-001, Porto Alegre
(RS), Brazil. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Viegas)
3Programa de Pós-graduação em Biologia de Ambientes
Aquáticos Continentais, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade
Federal do Rio Grande – FURG, Av. Itália, Km 8 - Campus Carreiros, CEP
96203-900, Rio Grande (RS), Brazil. E-mail: email@example.com
Received 24 June 2020 / Accepted 15
Communicated by I-Min Tso
play a key role in the ecological dynamics in riparian habitats.
However, most studies on the effects of changes in riparian habitats on
spider communities focused the conversion of riparian forest rather
than a gradient of forest widths. We assessed the community structure
of ground-dwelling spiders in riparian vegetation fragments with
varying widths in Southern Brazil. We selected four fragments with
different riparian vegetation widths (> 40 m; < 30 m; < 15 m;
< 5 m). In each fragment, spiders were seasonally collected using
pitfall traps. We tested the effects of riparian vegetation widths and
environmental variables (litter height, litter cover and canopy
openness) on the taxonomic and guild composition of spider communities.
The taxonomic and guild composition of ground-dwelling spiders varied
among the widest (> 40 and < 30 m) and narrower riparian widths
(< 15 m and < 5 m). While hunting spiders were associated with
the narrower wider widths, web-building spiders were associated with
the wider widths. Spider composition was influenced by the leaf litter
height in the widest widths (> 40 and < 30 m) and by canopy
openness in the narrowest width (< 15 m). Reductions in riparian
vegetation were associated with significant changes in the community
structure of ground-dwelling spiders, likely through top-down
mechanisms associated with the higher litter input in wider fragments.
In summary, the fragmentation of the riparian forests of the Sothern
Brazil are negatively associated with web-building spiders.
Key words: Atlantic Forest,
Edge Effect, Guild Composition, Riparian Forest, Soil Spiders.
Citation: Pires MM, Rodrigues ENL, Rocha
MS, Costi JAR, Viegas G, Stenert C, Maltchik L. 2022. Ground-dwelling
spider communities respond to changes in riparian vegetation widths.
Zool Stud 61:50.