• Home
  • Biology
  • Discussion part: The Effects of a Changing Climate on the Diapause of Golden Orb Spiders

Discussion part: The Effects of a Changing Climate on the Diapause of Golden Orb Spiders Essay Example

  • Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:



The experiment is guided by a hypothesis which indicates that temperature increase due to climate change leads to an increase in the number of golden orb spiders. The species is mainly found in Australia and other warmer regions across the world. The results from the experiment indicate that the hypothesis is correct. An increase in temperature in various areas where the experiment was conducted led to an increase in the number of the female spiders. However, there is also an indication that other factors may affect the population of the spiders. The experiment therefore indicates that the population of the spiders may continue to rise with the increase in temperature resulting from climate change.

Aims and Species Name

The aim of the paper is to determine the effects of climate change on golden orb spiders emerging on diapause. Temperature increase has been reported in Australia which is the main habitat of the Spider. The golden orb spiders are a species of Nephila from the genus of araneomorph spiders (Platnic, 2014).The species are mainly common in warmer regions of the world including Australia. It is commonly known for eating prey bigger than its size including birds and snakes. The population of the spiders has been on the increase with climate change being assumed to be one of the contributing factors.


The graph plotted for the Royal Botanical Garden indicates that the number of golden orb spiders experienced a sharp increase with an increase in temperature. This resulted to an R square value of 0.83441. The figure is much closer to 1 which is a clear indication that there is a relationship between temperature increase and the number of golden orb spiders. A similar trend is also evident at the University of Sydney Main Campus where the R square value of 0.63477. However, the graph also indicates a sharp increase in the number of spiders as well as decline at some point. The increase in the number of spiders is directly related to the increase in temperature. The decline at some point can be attributed to other external factors including predation as well as lack of adequate food. The number of a given species can increase or reduce based on various environmental factors including the temperature changes (Kerr, et al, 2015). Low temperature is also known for slowing down the metabolic rates which is a factor that influences growth. During the period characterized by low temperatures such as winter, a state of suspended activity usually takes place due to the decrease in metabolic activities.

An increase in number of species is dependent on the reproductive process at the particular time. The number of female spiders emerging from diapauses during winter is low. However, the situation is different when the temperatures are high. More female emerge from diapauses when the temperature increases and hence influencing the reproduction process leading to the high number of spiders. Results from Nurragingy Park however, seem to dispute the hypothesis. The R square value is 0.3333.The value is close to zero which is an indication that there is no correlation between the temperature and number of spiders. At the some point, in the park, the number of spiders remained unchanged despite an increase in temperature. This is indicates that there are other factors other than temperature that was influencing the growth and development of the spiders. Various factors can be attributed to the finding. The presence of predators at the park could be factor controlling the population. This is considering that only the female spiders were being counted during the experiment. Other species of spiders are also kwon for infesting the webs of the golden orb. In such situations, the spiders are usually forced to abandon the web and move to other areas (Ceballos, et al, 2015).

Unlike the other environments in the experiment, the park has a diverse range of species that may also at as predators. The results from Badu Mangrove indicate that there is a strong linear regression between the number of spiders and the temperature increase. The R square value at Badu Mangrove was 0.8108 which is a clear indication of the relationship. The graph indicates that there has been a steady increase in the number of spiders. This can also be attributed to the fact that the mangrove is one of the main habitats of the spiders (Ferreira, et al, 2016). The results from ANOVA also indicate that the number of spiders increased as a result of temperature increase. It indicates that climate change which has contributed to the rising temperatures affects the number of species. The hypothesis has been proven right by the results which indicate the number of spiders is increasing due to temperature increase. The results from ANOVA indicate that the increase in temperature leads to a rapid increase in the number of spiders. Climate change in Australia has led to an increase in temperature which has a direct impact on the land as well as aquatic species (Ferreira, et al, 2016).


Platnic, N. I. (2014). The World Spider Catalog. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved on 12 October, 2016 from <

Kerr, G., et al. (2015). Characterization of the Australian Golden Orb spiders Nephila plumipes silk. Research.usc.

Ceballos, L., et al. (2015). Patterns of sperm transfer in the Golden Orb Weave Nephila edulis. Ethology, 121(6), 617-624.

Ferreira, M. T., et al. (2016). Effects of climate change on the distribution of indigenous species in oceanic islands (Azores). Climatic Change, 138 (3-4), 603-615.