The absolute population density of adult Pa rdosa agrestis (Westring, 1862), the dominant epigeic spider species in many arable lands in Central Europe, was quantified in two alfalfa fields using a multiple mark-recapture method. The resulting density estimates are presented together with catch data from simultaneously performed suction sampling and pitfall trapping. Two week long mark-recapture surveys were conducted in August 1995 and 1996 using grids of 11 x 11 live-catching pitfall traps covering a square area of 400 m2 in the first, and 900 m2 in the second survey. The trap checking and marking procedure, using individual codes, was done daily. Over 5,000 spiders were marked in the two surveys. The number of spiders caught varied greatly between days. The recapture rate was also variable, ranging between 5-19%. Recaptured animals moved considerable daily distances, marked animals left the area of the trapping grid within a few days. Population sizes were estimated for 3 day time windows during which period the population could be co nsidered closed. Spider densities were calculated from the estimated abundances and the capture area, which consisted of the grid area plus a boundary strip calculated from the estimated movement ranges of spiders. The resulting densities were close to 2 males and 1 female per m2 in the first, and 4.5 males and 4.5 females per m2 in the second experimental site. Suction sampling caught very few adult individuals and gave unsatisfactory data for statistical comparison. Live catching pitfall trap cat ches did not correlate with the derived mark-recapture density estimates across the short time windows, but for the entire trapping sessions the catches were consistent with the density estimates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science