Over the last few decades the internet, increased computing capabilities, molecular techniques and new imaging technologies have altered the way we do research in the 21st century. The result is a great increase in multi-disciplinary research and novel avenues incorporating spiders as model organisms. In short, we are in a new era of research, being published in an ever-increasing number of diverse, rapid-publication outlets, to the extent that it is difficult to keep track of all the progress that has been made in recent years and in which directions the various fields are heading. This edited volume brings together the state-of-the-art knowledge bases for the diverse topics that fall under the remit of spider-related research. The subjects covered include biodiversity, systematics, evolutionary ecology, biogeography, genetics and genomics, agroecology, behaviour, silk, and palaeontology.
Each chapter has been written by recognized world leader(s) and many present previously unpublished data and new analyses. Spider Research in the 21st Century will be of interest to professional arachnologists, but the research techniques covered can obviously be applied to other groups of organisms such as insects.
Preface by David Penney
Foreword by Norman I. Platnick
Biodiversity: An African perspective
R. Jocqué, M. Aldierweireldt, A. Dippenaar-Schoeman
Systematics: Progress in the study of spider diversity and evolution
I. Agnarsson, J.A. Coddington, M. Kuntner
Evolutionary ecology: Linking traits, selective pressures and ecological factors
J. Moya-Laraño, M.W. Foellmer, S. Pekár, M.A. Arnedo,T. Bilde, Y. Lubin
Biogeography: From testing patterns to understanding processes in spiders and related arachnids
Genetics and Genomics: The arrival of a new molecular era of spider research
Agroecology: Trait composition, spatial relationships, trophic interactions
K. Birkhofer, M.E. Entling, Y. Lubin
Behaviour: Why are spiders good models for research?
M.E. Herberstein, E. Hebets
Spider silk: An ancient biomaterial for the 21st century
Palaeontology: Interpretation and application of the spider fossil record