Spider Density Shows Weak Relationship with Vegetation Density

(1) Biglerville High School

Evidence supports that spiders have many ecological benefits including insect control and predation in the food chain. Percent of vegetation coverage and spider density may be correlated; our study compared 18 different locations with different percent coverage of vegetation using a sectioned quadrat and the field method known as beating vegetation. In locations with high vegetation, 76–100% covered area, we found an average of 0.599 spiders per quadrat with a standard deviation (S.D.) of 0.465. In intermediate vegetation, 25–75% covered area, we found an average of 0.44 spiders per quadrat with an SD of 0.07. In low vegetation, 0–24% covered area, we found an average of 0.05 spiders per quadrat with an SD of 0.288. While this data supported the initial hypothesis concerning a correlation between percent coverage of vegetation and spider density, a limited sample size and statistical review failed to reject the null hypothesis that there is no direct correlation between the percent coverage of vegetation and the density of arachnids.

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