Piterkina T.V.1, Ovtcharenko V.I.2 2009. Fauna and ecology of gnaphosid spiders (Aranei: Gnaphosidae) in clay semidesert of Western Kazakhstan // Arthropoda Selecta. Vol.17 (for 2008). No.3–4: 175–184 [in English].
1 Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Prospect 33, Moscow 119071 Russia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Hostos Community College of the City University of New York, New York 10451 USA. E-mail: email@example.com
KEY WORDS: ground spiders, fauna, structure of population, Caspian Lowland, desert steppe, climate changes.
ABSTRACT. Gnaphosids of 41 species of 14 genera were collected in the clay semidesert in the environs of Dzhanybek Research Station, West Kazakhstan. A zoogeographical analysis of gnaphosid population shows that the main role in the formation of the modern fauna is performed by species that are locally or widely inhabiting the territory of the Ancient Mediterranean. They comprise two-thirds of the entire gnaphosid population of the region. The rest one-third are widespread species. The gnaphosid communities of native biotopes (microelevations and microdepressions) are the most diverse. The population of the artificial associations is much poorer and less equalized. All associations studied have their own complexes of typical species. The comparing of present-day data and materials obtained 20 years ago shows some changes in composition and structure of gnaphosid population of native biotopes. Probably it is connected with a rapid pace of “smoothing” of the climate of the region during recent decades that caused changes in water regime of soils that in its turn influenced the plant and animal communities.