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Hickmania troglodytes, the Tasmanian cave spider, and its potential role in cave management


Doran, NE and Kiernan, K and Swain, R and Richardson, AMM, Hickmania troglodytes, the Tasmanian cave spider, and its potential role in cave management, Journal of Insect Conservation, 3, (4) pp. 257-262. ISSN 1366-638X (1999) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1023/A:1009677531343


Cave faunas - which often contain a high representation of spiders - are subject to increasing pressure from the effects of epigean habitat degradation and recreational caving activities. Hickmania troglodytes is a prominent member of the Tasmanian cave fauna, a spider of phylogenetic, zoogeographic and ecological importance, but about which little has previously been known. Long-term monitoring has revealed many unusual life-cycle characteristics in this species, most of which occur over long periods of time and are dependent upon environmental stability. The species presents a potentially useful tool in the management and monitoring of cave fauna and karst, as it is large, conspicuous, numerous, ubiquitous, sedentary, functionally significant and potentially sensitive to various sources of disturbance. H. troglodytes may provide a visible and obvious measure of disturbance in and around cave entrances, and may also prove useful in detecting broader scale impacts affecting the entire cave. Many promising developments are being made in terms of cave management in Tasmania, but other issues are less well accressed and still need to be resolved. With further research, the use of indicator or sentinel species may prove to be well suited to the less complex and often sparsely populated subterranean environment, and may play an important role within larger management strategies for cave fauna and karst.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Doran, NE (Dr Niall Doran)
UTAS Author:Kiernan, K (Dr Kevin Kiernan)
UTAS Author:Swain, R (Dr Roy Swain)
UTAS Author:Richardson, AMM (Associate Professor Alastair Richardson)
ID Code:16378
Year Published:1999
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:1999-08-01
Last Modified:2011-11-08

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