Forests with Araucaria angustifolia (Bert.) O. Kuntze trees are endangered in Brazil, and information on the diversity of soil spider families associated to these environments is practically inexistent. The present study was set up to evaluate the abundance and diversity of soil spider families in natural and reforested Araucaria forests, impacted or not by fire, and to identify the most efficient method to collect these organisms. The study was conducted in four areas: native forest with predominance of Araucaria (NF); Araucaria reforestation (R); Araucaria reforestation submitted to an accidental fire (RF); and native grass pasture with native Araucaria and submitted to an intense accidental fire (NPF). Considering both sampling methods (Monolith and Pitfall traps), 20 spider families were identified. The pitfall trap method was more effective as it captured 19 out of the 20 recorded families, while the Monolith method extracted only ten spider families. Spider family abundance and Shannon's diversity index (H) were affected by the employed collection method; the values for these attributes were always higher for the NF and lower for the NPF. Correspondence analysis (CA) showed a spatial separation among spider familiy assemblages from the different studied areas. It is suggested that changes in the abundance of soil spider families in Araucaria forests are mainly caused by recurrent human intervention over the last few years.
Atlantic Rainforest; spider fauna; spider diversity; bioindicators