Community Ecology

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 146–151 | Cite as

Epigeic spider (Araneae) assemblages of natural forest edges in the Kiskunság (Hungary)

  • R. GalléEmail author
  • A. Torma


Natural habitat edges are known to influence the vegetation structure, the microclimate and thereby the invertebrate assemblages. We studied the spiders of two forest edges in the forest-steppe zone of the Great Hungarian Plain (Site 1: a dense juniper shrub – open grassland and Site 2: a juniper and poplar forest – open grassland edge, respectively). The spider assemblages were sampled with pitfall traps arranged in 5 × 20 grid at the habitat edges. Observed and estimated species richness was higher for the grasslands than for the forests. Rényi’s diversity ordering was applied to compare species diversity. The results showed that the grasslands were more diverse in terms of spider species than the forests. The composition of spider assemblages was significantly different between the two habitat types. At Site 2, a higher number forest specialists penetrated into the grassland. Presumably this was due to the shading effect of the nearby poplar trees. Constrained ordinations also revealed a strong influence of the neighbouring poplar trees and vegetation structure on the spider assemblages. No exclusively edge associated species were found on either of the two sharp forest edges.


Diversity ordering Juniper Poplar Sand grassland 



number of individuals


number of species


Platnick (2008) for spiders Simon (2000) for plants 


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2009

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EcologyUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary

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