We documented the presence and abundance of spider species (Arachnida: Araneae) on young trees of Swietenia macrophylla, Ceiba pentandra and Cordia dodecandra found in an experimental plantation. Surveys of spider abundance and species identity conducted twice during the growing season indicated marked differences in web-building spider assemblages associated with each tree species. Swietenia exhibited the lowest spider abundance, whereas Cordia and Ceiba had similarly higher abundances. Leucauge venusta (Walckenaer, 1841) was the dominant spider on all tree species, but different spider species were co-dominant on Cordia and Ceiba (Araneus pegnia (Walckenaer, 1841) and Argiope argentata (Fabricius, 1775) respectively), and several spider species were exclusive to each tree species. These results highlight the influence of tree species identity on community structure at higher trophic levels, particularly in the case of web-building spiders inhabiting tropical tree communities.
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Vol. 45 • No. 1