• anthropogenous sites;
  • spiders;
  • quarries;
  • restoration;
  • biodiversity conservation;
  • primary succession


Although there is growing evidence that post-industrial barrens such as quarries can harbour a substantial proportion of species diversity formerly associated with traditional rural landscapes, most of the evidence originated from limestone quarries in relatively warm areas, while minimum studies exist for cool regions and acidic substrates. We used pitfall trapping to study spiders colonising three quarries in a piedmont region of southwestern Czech Republic. We compare samples from the quarries with adjoining seminatural localities using both univariate and multivariate analyses. Samples from the quarries contained less species per trap, but endangered species occurred both in the quarries and outside of them, and some were sampled in the quarries only. Compared to the seminatural localities, quarries were colonised by species preferring lighter and more open vegetation. These species had, in average, more restricted distribution in the Czech Republic, suggesting that the quarries indeed attracted specialists of early successional habitats that are increasingly rare in modern landscapes. Prospects of such species depend on future restoration policy in existing quarries. To safeguard them, spontaneous succession should be preferred over engineered reclamation. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.