Life history, habitat use and dispersal of a dune wolf spider (Pordosa monticola (Clerck, 1757) Lycosidae, Araneae) in the Flemish coastal dunes (Belgium)

D Bonte, Jean-Pierre Maelfait

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    Pardosa monticola (Araneae, Lycosidae) is a rare spider in Flanders. It is restricted to thermophilic mesotrophic (dune and heath) grasslands. Its life cycle and its habitat preference in the coastal dunes were analysed by interpreting data of more than 200 year-round pitfall-samplings. Viable populations are found in short dune grasslands (grazed by rabbits) and in mown young dune slacks. The life cycle is mixed annual-biannual and hibernation takes place in the juvenile or sub-adult instars. In short grasslands, the species overwinters in the rough neighbouring vegetation, in dune slacks, in litter accumulations. In the latter, the species survives submerging during winter inundation. Dispersal between suitable habitats can occur by male terrestrial movements via xerophylic habitats and dense grassland vegetation. Aeronautic dispersal is a rare phenomenon in the first instars that takes place only in periods of food shortage. Although a low proportion of the population exhibits this behaviour, this kind of dispersal can be of great importance for gene exchange between distant or strongly isolated populations. The implications and the importance of these data are discussed in relation to contemporary nature management.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)145-157
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

    Thematic list

    • Fauna

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B005-zoology


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