- Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Structurally complex landscapes and organic management have been shown to augment natural pest enemy populations on arable land. Here, body condition and reproductive capacity of wolf spiders were studied to see if these traits can explain the larger populations in these environments. Females of Pardosa spiders (Araneae: Lycosidae) were collected at 7 organically and 7 conventionally managed fields situated in landscapes with different proportions of perennial crops, annual crops, forest, and different numbers and sizes of fields. Body condition (relative female weight) and fecundity (number of offspring and relative egg sac weight) were measured for each captured spider. In contrast to the hypothesis, Pardosa females caught in fields situated in landscapes dominated by large fields of annual crops had superior body condition. Farming practice had no effect on either body condition or fecundity measures. It is suggested that increased spider body condition in homogeneous landscapes may be due to less competition for available resources, although temporal variation should be included before drawing final conclusions on spiders' body condition in the agricultural landscape. (c) 2009 Gesellschaft fur Okologie. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Lycosidae; Pardosa; Residuals; Offspring; Egg sac; Organic; Conventional; Perennial crops; Annual crops; Field size
Basic and Applied Ecology
2009, Volume: 10, number: 7, pages: 614-621
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use