Tree trunks link the forest floor and higher canopy layers, thus constituting an important habitat element for many arthropod species, including spiders living in the canopy. We sampled spiders moving on tree trunks in the boreal forest using two trap designs referred to as “bottle traps” (BT) and “cup traps” (CT) placed on both trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michaux) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) trees of similar DBH (diameter at breast height). Over an average of 83.5 ± 6.3 days/trap (48 traps), we collected a total 333 spiders, representing 13 families and 33 species. Clubiona canadensis Emerton 1890 (Clubionidae), Callobius bennetti (Blackwall 1846) (Amaurobiidae), Pocadicnemis americana Millidge 1976 (Linyphiidae), and Orodrassus canadensis Platnick & Shadab 1975 (Gnaphosidae) were the most commonly collected species, representing more than 60% of the total catch. Twenty eight species and 285 individuals were collected by BTs compared to 18 species and 48 individuals by CTs. Catches in BTs included 15 unique species, whereas five species were unique in CT catches. BTs are easier to transport and deploy, they catch more spiders per trap, and appear to more efficiently sample spider diversity. Thus we recommend the use of BTs to effectively sample wandering spiders on tree trunks; however, the use of both designs could increase understanding about the role of tree trunks as structural features linking forest canopies to the ground layers below.
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