Title: Response of ground-dwelling spider assemblages to prescribed fire following stand structure manipulation in the southern Cascade Range
Author: Gillette, Nancy E.; Vetter, Richard S.; Mori, Sylvia R.; Rudolph, Carline R.; Welty, Dessa R.
Source: Can. J. For. Res. 38: 969-980
Description: We assessed spider (Arachnida: Araneae) responses to prescribed fire following stand s tructure treatments in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex P. & C. Laws.) stands in the Cascade Range of California. Stands were logged or left untreated to create three levels of structural diversity. We logged one treatment to minimize old-growth characteristics (low diversity) and one to enhance old-growth characteristics (high diversity) and we used unlogged Research Natural Areas (RNAs) as old-growth, highest-diversity reference stands. We conducted low-intensity prescribed fire on half of each plot following harvest. Spider assemblages in unburned, logged stands were similar to one another but diverged from those in RNAs, with increased abundance, species richness, and diversity in more structurally diverse stands. Prescribed fire, which altered habitat in the organic soil layer where many spiders forage, resulted in altered spider assemblages and population declines in most plots. Fire generally redured spider species ridmess, evenness, and divetsity. Several taxa were potential indicators of fire and old-growth structurem and we discovered one species and one genus that were previously unknown. There was evidence that old-growth characteristics intensified the effects of fire on spider abundance. This outcome probably results from the deep litter layers in high-diversity stands and RNAs. which constituted greater fuel loads than low-diversity stands.
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Gillette, Nancy E.; Vetter, Richard S.; Mori, Sylvia R.; Rudolph, Carline R.; Welty, Dessa R. 2008. Response of ground-dwelling spider assemblages to prescribed fire following stand structure manipulation in the southern Cascade Range. Can. J. For. Res. 38: 969-980.