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1 August 2005 ARE SALT MARSH INVASIONS BY THE GRASS ELYMUS ATHERICUS A THREAT FOR TWO DOMINANT HALOPHILIC WOLF SPIDERS?
Julien Pétillon, Frédéric Ysnel, Jean-Claude Lefeuvre, Alain Canard
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Abstract

As a result of the Elymus athericus (Poaceae) invasion in the last ten years, a major change in vegetation cover has occurred in salt marshes of the Mont Saint-Michel bay (France). In this study, we investigated if the high conservation value of invaded salt marshes is preserved. Abundances, densities and flood resistance abilities of the dominant halophilic species Arctosa fulvolineata (nocturnal lycosid) and Pardosa purbeckensis (diurnal lycosid) were compared in both natural and invaded habitats. Elymus invasion involved both positive and negative aspects with respect to the conservation value of the salt marshes invaded: the P. purbeckensis population was clearly reduced in invaded habitats, whereas A. fulvolineata seemed to derive high benefits from the invasion. We supposed that abiotic parameters of the new habitat (mainly vegetation and litter characteristics) affected the two species differently with respect to their aut-ecology and their flood resistance abilities. Furthermore, food resources (estimated by different macrofauna density measurements) were likely to be reduced for P. purbeckensis in invaded habitats and unchanged for A. fulvolineata. Lastly, we hypothesize that individuals of P. purbeckensis are subject to increased interspecific competition (measured as intra-guild densities), whereas spiders from the same guild as A. fulvolineata have not increased in invaded habitats, resulting in an unchanged competition level.

Julien Pétillon, Frédéric Ysnel, Jean-Claude Lefeuvre, and Alain Canard "ARE SALT MARSH INVASIONS BY THE GRASS ELYMUS ATHERICUS A THREAT FOR TWO DOMINANT HALOPHILIC WOLF SPIDERS?," The Journal of Arachnology 33(2), 236-242, (1 August 2005). https://doi.org/10.1636/CT-04-121.1
Received: 29 December 2004; Published: 1 August 2005
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