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1 December 2016 Prescribed Burning Affects a Measure of Fitness in Ctenus hibernalis (Araneae: Ctenidae) at Oak Mountain State Park, Shelby County, AL
T. Jeffrey Cole, Robert A. Hataway
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Abstract

Fire-suppressed forests in Oak Mountain State Park (OMSP; Shelby County, AL) have undergone experimental prescribed burning as a means to restore the open canopy architecture and diverse understory characteristic of Pinus palustris (Longleaf Pine) communities. Populations of a ground-hunting spider, Ctenus hibernalis, in the forests of OMSP were studied in order to examine the effect of restoration efforts on populations of understory arthropods. Study sites included regions burned 1 year prior and 5 years prior, as well as a region that has experienced 2 decades of fire suppression. No individuals of C. hibernalis were found in the region burned 1 year prior. There was no significant difference in the total number of spiders in the fire-suppressed region and the region burned 5 years prior, although the body mass of the spiders in the region burned 5 years prior was significantly greater than those in the fire-suppressed region. These results suggest that increased resource availability related to prescribed burns leads to increased spider fitness.

T. Jeffrey Cole and Robert A. Hataway "Prescribed Burning Affects a Measure of Fitness in Ctenus hibernalis (Araneae: Ctenidae) at Oak Mountain State Park, Shelby County, AL," Southeastern Naturalist 15(4), 646-652, (1 December 2016). https://doi.org/10.1656/058.015.0407
Published: 1 December 2016
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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