INVESTIGATING THE INFLUENCE OF HABITAT HETEROGENEITY ON DIVERSITY OF TERRESTRIAL ARTHROPODS IN A RIVER-FLOODPLAIN
The emergence of adult aquatic insects represents a temporally important food resource for a suite of terrestrial insectivores, including many arthropods. In our study, we are assessing the influence of habitat heterogeneity within river-floodplain ecosystems on the emergence of aquatic insects and the subsequent consequences for density and diversity of ground-dwelling beetles and spiders. From June to September 2017, in addition to estimating insect emergence, we used pitfall traps to sample beetles and spiders monthly across 7 unique habitats within a floodplain segment of the Snake River, Idaho. Overall, we observed higher beetle and spider abundance and richness in the summer than in the fall. Some families and superfamilies were ubiquitous (e.g., Lycosidae), whereas others were distributed more sparsely among habitats (e.g., Salticidae), and yet a few were observed exclusively at a single habitat (e.g., Thomisidae). A thought-experiment, whereby we sequentially and randomly aggregated species richness from all the unique habitats, revealed richness increased linearly with increasing habitat heterogeneity. Our observations suggest that river-floodplains with greater habitat complexity may have higher beetle and spider richness than those with reduced complexity.
Jade Ortiz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Idaho State University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Colden Baxter (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Idaho State University, email@example.com;
Joseph Cornell (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Idaho State University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Paige Miller (Primary Presenter/Author), Idaho State University, email@example.com;