Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Thomas Rooney (Advisor), Katie Hossler (Committee Member), John Stireman III (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


In this study, I examined how the spatiotemporal distribution of spider webs and diet changed in a lake riparian zone with increasing distance from an aquatic resource. I surveyed twenty, one-hundred meter transects along the perimeters of Sanford and Escanaba lakes (Wisconsin). Overall, spider web abundance was highest near the lakes and decreased moving into the adjacent forest. Horizontal orb webs, vertical orb webs, and mesh webs showed strong negative relationships with distance from the lakes. Aquatic insects composed an average 36-64% of spider diet for all spider families throughout the riparian zone, suggesting that some spider families are selecting habitats where aquatic prey availability is high. However, all are passively capturing aquatic prey as an abundant resource. These results demonstrate the value of riparian habitats to terrestrial communities and show that spiders could provide a model for assessing the reciprocal flow of allochthonous inputs between aquatic and terrestrial communities.

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Department or Program

Department of Biological Sciences

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Biology Commons