- biological control (1) (remove)
- Regional variations in agrobiont composition and agrobiont life history of spiders (Araneae) within Hungary (2011)
- Agrobiont spider species are well adapted to arable systems, which have fairly uniform vegetation structure and pest assemblages over continent-wide areas. We wanted to study, whether agrobiont spider subassemblages and the life history of the most prominent agrobiont, Pardosa agrestis, show any regional variation within Hungary, where only modest climatic differences exist between the NW and SE parts of the country. We studied agrobiont species of spider assemblages in 27 alfalfa and 21 cereal fields with suction sampling and pitfalls. The similarity structure of these agrobiont sub-assemblages (Sørensen distance measure) was congruent with the geographic distance matrices (Eucledian distance), as tested by Mantel tests. However, if we considered sub-assemblages consisting of the non-agrobiont species, this congruency was always higher. Thus, agrobionts responded only moderately to geographical variation if we compare them to non-agrobiont species. We studied the generation numbers and the occurrence of the first adult individuals in P. agrestis; the most common agrobiont spider in Hungary. This comparison involved comparing fields along a NW – SE gradient during 6 sampling years in pairwise comparisons, where in each year a northern and a southern population was compared with a minimum distance of 126 km in between. In generation numbers there was no difference; we found two generations across Hungary. In contrast, the first occurrence of adult individuals was on average 15 days earlier in both generations in the more southern populations. Thus, it can be concluded that agrobionts show a fairly stable and relatively low magnitude response over country-sized geographical ranges.