- Species richness-environment relationships of European arthropods at two spatial grains: habitats and countries (2012)
- We study how species richness of arthropods relates to theories concerning net primary productivity, ambient energy, water-energy dynamics and spatial environmental heterogeneity. We use two datasets of arthropod richness with similar spatial extents (Scandinavia to Mediterranean), but contrasting spatial grain (local habitat and country). Samples of ground-dwelling spiders, beetles, bugs and ants were collected from 32 paired habitats at 16 locations across Europe. Species richness of these taxonomic groups was also determined for 25 European countries based on the Fauna Europaea database. We tested effects of net primary productivity (NPP), annual mean temperature (T), annual rainfall (R) and potential evapotranspiration of the coldest month (PETmin) on species richness and turnover. Spatial environmental heterogeneity within countries was considered by including the ranges of NPP, T, R and PETmin. At the local habitat grain, relationships between species richness and environmental variables differed strongly between taxa and trophic groups. However, species turnover across locations was strongly correlated with differences in T. At the country grain, species richness was significantly correlated with environmental variables from all four theories. In particular, species richness within countries increased strongly with spatial heterogeneity in T. The importance of spatial heterogeneity in T for both species turnover across locations and for species richness within countries suggests that the temperature niche is an important determinant of arthropod diversity. We suggest that, unless climatic heterogeneity is constant across sampling units, coarse-grained studies should always account for environmental heterogeneity as a predictor of arthropod species richness, just as studies with variable area of sampling units routinely consider area.
- araneae: Spinnen Europas – Spiders of Europe: http://www.araneae.unibe.ch (2011)
- Seit Dezember 2003 warteten viele Arachnologen auf eine Aktualisierung des Internetbestimmungsschlüssels „Spinnen Mitteleuropas“. Die Umstellung des Systems von html auf php erwies sich aufgrund des komplexen Themas als umfangreicher als gedacht. Mit Daniel Gloor haben wir nun einen Datenbankund Internet-Fachmann in unseren Reihen, der sich (auch) dieser technischen Probleme annimmt.
- Spider (Arachnida: Araneae) distribution across the timberline in the Swiss Central Alps (Alp Flix, Grisons) and three morphologically remarkable species (2007)
- We collected 6251 adult epigeic spiders from the dwarf-shrub heath to subalpine coniferous forest on Alp Flix (CH, canton Grisons, 1950 m) between May 2005 and May 2006 using pitfall traps. Total species richness and activity density of all species decreased from the open land to the forest, although this pattern varied according to family. The distribution of the 102 species found indicates that the small area around a single tree at the timberline provides habitats for both open land and forest spider species as well as some possible timberline specialists. Five species were new to the canton Grisons: Centromerita bicolor, Centromerita concinna, Hilaira excisa, Meioneta alpica and Tallusia experta. Three species showed remarkable morphological characteristics and were analysed in more detail. We found males of Pelecopsis radicicola without the characteristic longitudinal depression on the raised carapace. It is shown that the males of Meioneta alpica have a considerably variable lamella characteristica, which is nevertheless distinct from the sister species Meioneta ressli. Because we found intermediate forms of the head region described for Metopobactrus prominulus and M. schenkeli, respectively, M. schenkeli is considered a syn. nov. of M. prominulus. This study shows that the known distribution and taxonomic status of various spider taxa in the Central Alps are still incomplete and further work on arthropods in remote areas should be strongly encouraged.