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Research Paper | November 1, 2015

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Diversity of spiders along an elevational gradient in Mt.Pinukis, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines

Jeda A. Lalisan, Aimee Lynn B. Dupo, Olga M. Nuňeza

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.7(5), 190-201, November 2015

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Abstract

Spiders play vital ecological service of controlling many insect pest populations. However, there is limited information on the species richness, evenness, relative abundance, and guild structure of spiders in Mt. Pinukis, Zamboanga del Sur. Sampling was conducted for nine field days in three different elevations (low, middle, high) using beat netting, vial tapping, and pitfall trapping techniques. Ninety-nine spider species belonging to 16 families with 261 individuals were collected.Leucauge decorata and Nephila pilipeswere the abundant species in the study area. Spider assemblages were analyzed using PAST software 3.0. Diversity was highest (H’=3.63) at mid-elevation and lowest (H’=3.15) at high elevation. A more or less even distribution was recorded. The spiders were found to belong to six functional groups (guilds) based on their foraging behavior in the field. The orb web was the dominant guild (59%) followed by the foliage runner (18%). Results indicate that elevation affects the abundance and species richness of spiders.The presence of 20 possibly new species in Mt. Pinukis indicatesthe need to further explore the mountain’s rich spider fauna.

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Diversity of spiders along an elevational gradient in Mt.Pinukis, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines

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