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Influence of abiotic factors on spider and ground beetle communities in different salt-marsh systems
Pétillon, J.; Georges, A.; Canard, A.; Lefeuvre, J.-C.; Bakker, J.P.; Ysnel, F. (2008). Influence of abiotic factors on spider and ground beetle communities in different salt-marsh systems. Basic appl. ecol. (Print) 9(6): 743–751.
In: Basic and Applied Ecology. Urban & Fischer/Urban and Fischer: Jena. ISSN 1439-1791; e-ISSN 1618-0089, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Properties > Chemical properties > Salinity
    Araneae [WoRMS]; Carabidae Latreille, 1802 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Halophilic species; Tidal ecosystems

Authors  Top 
  • Pétillon, J., more
  • Georges, A.
  • Canard, A.
  • Lefeuvre, J.-C.
  • Bakker, J.P., more
  • Ysnel, F.

    Salt marshes are interesting and endangered ecosystems in West-Europe. Nevertheless, their arthropod fauna remains largely unknown and the factors determining assemblages at micro-habitat scale are poorly understood. Few data are also available about the effects of management measures in salt marshes and how to monitor them. The aim of the present study is to determine the major factors structuring two dominant communities of arthropods, spider and ground beetles, in natural, managed (cutting and sheep grazing) and invaded (by the grass Elymus athericus) salt marshes. The two taxa were studied during 2002 and 2003 in different salt marshes of the Mont Saint-Michel Bay (NW France) by pitfall traps and hand-collecting. A total of 12 350 spiders (57 species) and 16 355 ground beetles (34 species) were caught during the study and analysed with respect to effects of the salinity gradient and of habitat structure characteristics. Spiders and ground beetles reacted differently to environmental factors in salt marshes. Spiders could more easily cope with salinity and their presence/absence was less related to the salinity than that of ground beetles. For ground beetles, there were few other community-structuring environmental factors and these were only related to the edaphic environment: species restricted to open habitats, significant effects of moisture content and salinity revealed by CCA. Because they are likely to bring complementary information on abiotic factors, we finally suggest using both spiders and ground beetles for monitoring the effects of management practices in salt marshes.

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