Lhoumeau, S., Cardoso, P., Costa, R., Boieiro, M., Malumbres-Olarte, J., Amorim, I.R., Rigal, F., Santos, A.M.C., Gabriel, R. & Borges, P.A.V. (2022) SLAM Project - Long Term Ecological Study of the Impacts of Climate Change in the natural forest of Azores: IV - The spiders of Terceira and Pico Islands (2019-2021) and general diversity patterns after ten years of sampling.Biodiversity Data Journal, 10, e96442. DOI:10.3897/BDJ.10.e96442 (IF2022 1,3; Q3 Biodiversity Conservation)
Long-term studies are key to understand the drivers of biodiversity erosion, such as land-use change and habitat degradation, climate change, invasive species or pollution. The long-term project SLAM (Long Term Ecological Study of the Impacts of Climate Change in the natural forest of Azores) started in 2012 and focuses on arthropod monitoring, using SLAM (Sea, Land and Air Malaise) traps, aiming to understand the impact of the drivers of biodiversity erosion on Azorean native forests (Azores, Portugal). This is the fourth contribution including SLAM project data and the second focused on the spider fauna (Arachnida, Araneae) of native forests on two islands (Pico and Terceira). In this contribution, we describe data collected between 2019 and 2021 and we analyse them together with a previously published database that covered the 2012-2019 period, in order to describe changes in species abundance patterns over the last ten years.
We present abundance data of Azorean spider species for the 2019-2021 period in two Azorean Islands (Terceira and Pico). We also present analyses of species distribution and abundance of the whole sampling period. In the period of 2019-2021, we collected a total of 5110 spider specimens, of which 2449 (48%) were adults. Most juveniles, with the exception of some exotic Erigoninae, were also included in the data presented in this paper, since the low diversity of spiders in the Azores allows a relatively precise species-level identification of this life-stage. We recorded a total of 45 species, belonging to 39 genera and 16 families. The ten most abundant species were composed mostly of endemic or native non-endemic species and only two exotic species (Tenuiphantes tenuis (Blackwall, 1852) and Dysdera crocata C. L. Koch, 1838). They included 4308 individuals (84%) of all sampled specimens and were the dominant species in Azorean native forests. The family Linyphiidae was the richest and most abundant taxon, with 15 (33%) species and 2630 (51%) specimens. We report Cheiracanthium mildei L. Koch, 1864, a non-native species, from Pico Island for the first time. We found no new species records on Terceira Island. This publication contributes to increasing the baseline information for future long-term comparisons of the spiders on the studied sites and the knowledge of the arachnofauna of the native forests of Terceira and Pico, in terms of species abundance, distribution and diversity across seasons for a 10 years period.