Estimating population change and dispersal activity of spiders in an agricultural landscape

  • Published source details Woolley C. (2009) Estimating population change and dispersal activity of spiders in an agricultural landscape. PhD Thesis. University of Plymouth.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland

    A site comparison study of seven arable fields over two years in Devon, UK (Woolley 2009) found that in set-aside, spider abundance was higher, but number of species was similar to other arable fields. Numbers of species in set-aside (14) were similar to winter wheat (14-15) and maize (13), but higher than in winter barley, temporary grass ley (10-11) or permanent grass ley (9). Abundance was highest in set-aside (2,490 spiders), followed by wheat (2,009-2,039), maize (1,325), temporary ley (1,280), barley/temporary ley (1,087) and permanent ley (1,067). In set-aside, non-linyphiid spiders (money spiders; 1236) accounted for a greater proportion of the total spiders sampled than in other field types. The total number of linyphiids in set-aside (1,254) was similar to numbers in ley (1,039-1,268) and maize fields (1,253). Spider numbers decreased once set-aside was cut. The set-aside field was established the year before the study and previously received low intensity management and occasional sheep grazing. Set-aside was cut once in August and was grazed over winter. A D-Vac suction sampler was used to take six sub-samples in each field at 2-3 week intervals from June 2001 to October 2002.


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