Response of ant and terrestrial spider assemblages to pastoral and military land use, and to landscape position, in a tropical savanna woodland in northern Australia

Authors

  • John C. Z. Woinarski,

    Corresponding author
    1. 1 Parks and Wildlife Commisison of the Northern Territory, PO Box 496, Palmerston, Northern Territory 0831, Australia (Email: john.woinarski@nt.gov.au), 2Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Winnellie, Northern Territory, Australia and
      3CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Davies Laboratory, Aitkenvale, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • 1 Alan N. Andersen,

    1. 1 Parks and Wildlife Commisison of the Northern Territory, PO Box 496, Palmerston, Northern Territory 0831, Australia (Email: john.woinarski@nt.gov.au), 2Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Winnellie, Northern Territory, Australia and
      3CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Davies Laboratory, Aitkenvale, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • 2 Tracey B. Churchill,

    1. 1 Parks and Wildlife Commisison of the Northern Territory, PO Box 496, Palmerston, Northern Territory 0831, Australia (Email: john.woinarski@nt.gov.au), 2Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Winnellie, Northern Territory, Australia and
      3CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Davies Laboratory, Aitkenvale, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • and 2 Andrew J. Ash 3

    1. 1 Parks and Wildlife Commisison of the Northern Territory, PO Box 496, Palmerston, Northern Territory 0831, Australia (Email: john.woinarski@nt.gov.au), 2Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Winnellie, Northern Territory, Australia and
      3CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Davies Laboratory, Aitkenvale, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

* Corresponding author.

Abstract 

This study aims primarily to assess the response of two invertebrate groups to the effects of pastoralism and military training, at one site in the tropical savanna of north-eastern Queensland. The richness and species composition of ants and terrestrial spiders were examined at two contrasting times of year across three land use treatments (pastoralism, military training and undisturbed) and four landscape positions (upper slope to riparian). Ant species richness was least in the grazed sites, and a high proportion of the ant species recorded varied significantly in frequency between the grazed and the two ungrazed land uses. This variation was generally greater than that associated with landscape position. Although variation in the richness of spiders was significantly related to land-use type, this effect was less pronounced than for ants, was less marked than variation associated with landscape position and was confounded by a strong interaction between land use and landscape position. Quadrat-scale variation in the composition of spider assemblages was influenced most by season of sampling. For both spiders and ants, there were few differences in richness or species composition between undisturbed land and that managed for military use.

Ancillary