2013. február 28., csütörtök

Horváth et al. (2012) Ecological Research

Horváth R., Magura T. & Tóthmérész B. (2012) Ignoring ecological demands masks the real effect of urbanization: a case study of ground-dwelling spiders along a rural-urban gradient in a lowland forest in Hungary. Ecological Research 27(6): 1069-1077. DOI: 10.1007/s11284-012-0988-7

We studied ground-dwelling spiders along a rural-suburban-urban forest gradient representing increasing human disturbance using pitfall traps. We tested four known and two novel hypotheses: (1) increasing disturbance hypothesis (species richness is decreasing by disturbance); (2) matrix species hypothesis (the richness of open-habitat species is increasing by disturbance); (3) opportunistic species hypothesis (the richness of generalist species is increasing by disturbance); and (4) habitat specialist hypothesis (the number of the forest specialist species is decreasing by disturbance). As a consequence of urbanization, urban forests become drier and more open; thus, according to the new hypotheses, the number of (5) xerophilous species and (6) light-preferring species are increasing in the urban area. Our result did not support the increasing disturbance hypothesis, as the overall species richness increased from the rural sites to the urban ones. As predicted, the number of both the open-habitat and the generalist species increased towards the urban sites. The number of forest specialist species was higher in the suburban area than in the rural and urban area. Both xerophilous and light-preferring species were the most numerous in the urban area, supporting the xerophilous species and the light-preferring species hypotheses. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that the forest specialist species associated with the rural sites with higher amounts of decaying woods and more herbs or with the suburban sites with higher cover of leaf litter and higher relative humidity. Two generalist species and one open-habitat species were characteristic of urban sites with higher ground surface and air temperature.

Globenet, Disturbance, Xerophilous species, Light-preferring species, Environmental factors

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