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The role of habitat heterogeneity for the functional response of the spider Nesticodes rufipes (Araneae : Theridiidae) to houseflies
Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
We investigated whether or not different degrees of refuge for prey influence the characteristic of functional response exhibited by the spider Nesticodes rufipes on Musca domestica, comparing the inherent ability of N. rufipes to kill individual houseflies in such environments at two distinct time intervals. To investigate these questions, two artificial habitats were elaborated in the laboratory. For 168 h of predator-prey interaction, logistic regression analyses revealed a type 11 functional response, and a significant decrease in prey capture in the highest prey density was observed when habitat complexity was increased. Data from habitat 1 (less complex) presented a greater coefficient of determination than those from habitat 2 (more complex), indicating a higher variation of predation of the latter. For a 24 h period of predator-prey interaction, spiders killed significantly fewer prey in habitat 2 than in habitat 1. Although prey capture did not enable data to fit properly in the random predator equation in this case, predation data from habitat 2 presented a higher variation than data from habitat 1, corroborating results from 168 h of interaction. The high variability observed on data from habitat 2 (more complex habitat) is an interesting result because it reinforces the importance of refuge in promoting spatial heterogeneity, which can affect the extent of predator-prey interactions.
Issue Date: 
Applied Entomology and Zoology. Tokyo: Japan Soc Appl Entomol Zool, v. 41, n. 3, p. 419-427, 2006.
Time Duration: 
Japan Soc Appl Entomol Zool
  • Musca domestica
  • poultry house
  • spatial heterogeneity
  • predation
  • population regulation
Access Rights: 
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Appears in Collections:Artigos, TCCs, Teses e Dissertações da Unesp

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