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Spiders in ecological webs

Author: David H Wise
Publisher: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Series: Cambridge studies in ecology.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
As experimental organisms, spiders offer ecologists a unique opportunity to examine the concept of the ecological community and the role which field experimentation can play in evaluating theories of population and community ecology. In this book, David Wise provides a balanced critique of field experiments designed to uncover details of spider ecology, with the dual aim of clarifying the ecology of these
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Details

Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: David H Wise
ISBN: 0521325471 9780521325479
OCLC Number: 25833874
Description: xii, 328 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. The spider in the ecological play. Setting the stage. The spider persona: a series of character sketches. Major themes. Untangling the web. Synopsis --
2. Hungry spiders. Food limitation of terrestrial carnivores. Evolutionary arguments. Food limitation over ecological time. Are spiders really hungry? Synthesis. Synopsis --
3. Competitionist views of spider communities. Early threads. Allusions to competition among spiders. Indirect evidence of competition among spiders. Synopsis --
4. Failure of the competitionist paradigm. The competitionist paradigm. Absence of interspecific competition in field experiments. An exception to the pattern. Additional threads. Interspecific aggression and impacts upon population dynamics. Wandering spiders. Niche partitioning. Synopsis. 5. How spiders avoid competition. Prey scarcity as a density-independent limiting factor. Abiotic factors. Natural enemies. Dispersal. Territoriality. Web-weaving myopia. Synopsis --
6. Impact of spiders on insect populations. Spider stories. Reasons to predict an impact of spiders on insect populations. Evidence from field experiments with natural communities. Regulation of population density. Determination of population density. Spiders as biocontrol agents in agroecosystems. A partially spun story. Synopsis --
7. Anchoring the ecological web. Refining the metaphor: the web's non-trophic threads. Correlative patterns. Field experiments. Abiotic anchors. A call for multi-faceted approaches. Synopsis --
8. Untangling a tangled web. Introduction. Experimenting with complex communities. Intraguild predation (IGP). Cascading effects of spiders in grazing food chains. Spiders in detritus-based food webs: possible effects on decomposition. Synopsis --
9. Spinning a stronger story. Metaphors, models and paradigms. Plucking the web. The natural experiment. Experimental design. The power of negative results. Poking the web. Dangling threads and partially spun tales. Untangling a tangled maze. Synopsis.
Series Title: Cambridge studies in ecology.
Responsibility: David H. Wise.
More information:

Abstract:

As experimental organisms, spiders offer ecologists a unique opportunity to examine the concept of the ecological community and the role which field experimentation can play in evaluating theories of population and community ecology. In this book, David Wise provides a balanced critique of field experiments designed to uncover details of spider ecology, with the dual aim of clarifying the ecology of these fascinating organisms and providing insight into the advantages and challenges of performing field experiments with a predator ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems.

After a brief introduction to spider biology, the author considers the following topics in depth: food limitation; competitionist views of spider communities; the competitionist paradigm; interspecific and intraspecific competition; effects of abiotic factors and natural enemies on population density; the impact of spiders on insect populations; the effect of the physical structure of the habitat on spider populations; and experimental evidence for indirect effects in the ecological webs of spiders. This book will be an essential reference for all ecologists wishing to learn more about the ecology of a major terrestrial predator and the use of field experimentation as a powerful technique to test ecological hypotheses.

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