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ECN data features in talk on spiders

Entomologists in Scotland hear about ECN spider and carabid results.

Mike Davidson of the British Arachnological Society gave a talk recently on Spiders as Indicators of Environental Change, during which he referred to provisional analyses of ECN spider data from the Cairngorms. Recent trends in carabid numbers at ECN sites were also presented.

In his talk to the Aberdeen Entomological Club, which took place at the James Hutton Institute, Mr Davidson set out to explore whether spiders were suitable candidates as environmental indicators and whether a citizen science monitoring project would complement existing monitoring networks.

The attributes of spiders which might make them suitable indicators were considered and a comparison was made with freshwater invertebrate monitoring.

Various existing long-term spider data sources were explored, including the Spider Recording Scheme database, the Aphid Monitoring network (SASA) and the Environmental Change Network.

Some results were shown from a recent review of ECN carabid data and this was briefly compared with a provisional analysis of trends in spider data from ECN Cairngorms (kindly supplied by Chris Andrews of CEH). Other museum and survey data sets were also considered as useful additions to the overall data resource.

Spider monitoring is an optional protocol at ECN terrestrial sites.

The British Arachnological Society to promote the study of arachnology in Scotland. To find out more about the BAS, see the Society's website.

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