Does lead contamination impact Pardosa milvina survival in vacant lots?

Lead (Pb) contamination in urban soils can threaten human and wildlife health. This creates a challenge for projects aiming to manage vacant lots for urban agricultural production or as conservation areas for wildlife. While these efforts can improve the diversity of beneficial invertebrates (e.g., pollinators, insect natural enemies) in cities, some species may suffer from exposure to toxic levels of environmental Pb. Ground dwelling and soil nesting invertebrates, including wolf spiders, are known to accumulate Pb through contact with soil, which can result in shorter lifespans and diminished hatching success. However, the wolf spider Pardosa milvina is common within urban vacant lots with elevated soil Pb. We sought to determine if rural populations of P. milvina are also tolerant to Pb to indicate whether Pb tolerance may facilitate P. milvina’s colonization of urban vacant lots.

Data was collected by Leo Taylor and is being analyzed by Lucy Guarnieri.

You can view the poster associated with this project on the first floor of Howlett Hall outside the Gardiner Lab!