Hunting spiders of woodland fragments and agricultural habitats in the Atlantic rain forest region of Brazil

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The hunting spider communities of the Dionycha clade were studied 1986 through 1988 in fragmented woodlands and secondary agricultural habitats of the Botucatu area in São Paulo state, Brazil. The original vegetation of mainly tropical Atlantic rain forest (Mata Atlântica) was cleared already 70 years ago. In a total sample of over 1000 adult spiders, 247 species belonging to 12 families were determined. A decreasing frequency and diversity of spiders was found if forest remnants were compared with sugar cane fields and cattle pasture. The specific composition of the spider fauna as surveyed in different habitats is discussed under ecological aspects and in relation to the history of land use. © Swets & Zeitlinger.



Agricultural land, Araneae, Atlantic rain forest, Brazil, Dionycha, Habitat fragmentation, Hunting spider communities, Reduced biodiversity, Secondary woodlands

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Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, v. 32, n. 4, p. 244-255, 1997.