15 Sep '12, 5am

Snakes Invasive To Guam Have Wiped Out Bird Populations And Allowed Spiders To Reach Plague Proportions

Snakes Invasive To Guam Have Wiped Out Bird Populations And Allowed Spiders To Reach Plague Proportions

“Rogers and colleagues are investigating whether the loss of birds led to an increase in the spider population on Guam, since many birds consume spiders, compete with spiders for insect prey and utilize spider webs in their nests. Small-scale experiments in other ecosystems have consistently shown a link between the presence of birds and the abundance of spiders, but the new study is the first examine the impact of bird loss on the scale of an entire forest.” “Counting spider webs on Guam and on nearby islands in the Marianas Islands chain was the first step. Rogers said the difference between the number of spiders she and her colleagues counted on Guam and three nearby islands that still have birds ‘was far more dramatic than what any small-scale experiments had previously found.’ She said the findings underscore the importance of using both observed counts and controlled...

Full article: http://planetsave.com/2012/09/15/snakes-invasive-to-guam-...

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