Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 9, pp 2185–2206 | Cite as

Arthropod communities on creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) in desert patches of varying degrees of urbanization



The goal of the present study was to investigate the influence of urbanization on the richness, abundance and composition of arthropod communities associated with creosote bush, Larrea tridentata [DC] Cov., in Phoenix, Arizona. Arthropod communities were sampled in two desert types varying in degree of urbanization including fringe deserts (relatively undisturbed expanses of desert outside of Phoenix) and urban deserts (patches of desert within the urban core of Phoenix). Two studies were conducted including (1) a seasonal study (conducted at two fringe desert and two urban desert sites over a nine-month period), and (2) a snapshot study (conducted at multiple fringe desert and urban desert sites over an eight-day period). Results from both studies demonstrated that overall richness and abundance of creosote bush arthropod communities were lower in urban deserts than in fringe deserts. Additionally, creosote bush arthropod community composition varied greatly, both temporally and spatially. These differences in richness and abundance between fringe deserts and urban deserts suggest that the creosote bush arthropod community may be a useful focal biotic community to monitor when assaying for environmental change due to urbanization in arid habitats.

Key words

Arthropod communities Community composition Creosote bush Larrea tridentata Sonoran desert Urbanization 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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