Arthropod communities in an array of temperate ecosystems follow similar phenological patterns of distinct compositional turnovers during the course of a season. The arthropod community inhabiting leaf ties is no exception. Many caterpillars build leaf ties, shelters between overlapping leaves attached together with silk, which are colonized secondarily by a variety of arthropods. We created experimental leaf ties by clipping overlapping leaves together with metal clips. We censused the arthropod community within experimental ties on two host plants, American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart), and white oak (Quercus alba L.), weekly for 10 wk during the summer of 2009. Diversity measures for leaf-tying caterpillars and the entire arthropod community within ties varied little between tree species and sampling periods, but caterpillar and arthropod density per tie was significantly higher on white oak than beech and abundance increased on both tree species as the season progressed. The composition (i.e., species presence and abundance) of the leaf-tying caterpillar community and the arthropod community as a whole differed between host-tree species and sampling periods. Although the arthropod communities on American beech and white oak differed, they showed similar patterns of compositional turnover, with distinct communities in early and late summer and a transitional community midsummer.
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