Invasive Canadian goldenrod Solidago canadensis L. as a preferred foraging habitat for spidersReport as inadecuate

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Arthropod-Plant Interactions

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 377–381

First Online: 29 July 2016Received: 22 December 2015Accepted: 14 July 2016


Invasions of alien species are a great threat to biodiversity and native species communities. There are many examples in the literature on how the invasive plants affect the natural environment. Beside reports on negative effects of these invasions, there are also several studies indicating a positive impact of the invaders. Canadian goldenrod Solidago canadensis is one of the most invasive plant species all over Europe. Earlier studies showed that the goldenrod affects natural plant communities and has a negative impact on many animals, both vertebrates and arthropods. However, all the studies were conducted during goldenrod flowering. In contrast, this study has tested the novel hypothesis that Canadian goldenrod has a positive effect on native spider hunting success and increases spider abundance in farmland outside the growing season. Observations were made during spring on 13 meadows: 7 invaded and 6 non-invaded by goldenrod. All tall plants from experimental plots 1 m each were examined for the presence of spiders, their nets and prey. Prey items were counted only in spider webs. The results support the hypothesis that S. canadensis is a favourable foraging habitat for spiders: 14.6 spiders-m on invaded plots versus 2.2 on non-invaded ones. Many spiders of the families Theridiidae and Araneidae were found on goldenrod plants, but on native plants only the Araneidae were found. Moreover, on invaded plots, much more prey items-m were present in spiders webs than on non-invaded plots 155.3 vs. 13.8. The study is a rare example of a positive influence of invasive plants on the native arthropod community. This is also a novel approach that shows the importance of dry goldenrod stems in invaded ecosystems.

KeywordsInvasive ecology Alien species Ecosystem services Agriculture Biological pest control Biodiversity Handling Editor: Heikki Hokkanen.

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Author: Krzysztof Dudek - Michał Michlewicz - Monika Dudek - Piotr Tryjanowski



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