Are Spiders Good For the Environment?
Spiders play an important role in most ecosystems, controlling insect populations. Some spider species are beneficial predators while others are cannibals. Regardless of their status, all spiders produce silk, one of the strongest natural materials known.
In addition to consuming insects and disease-carrying pathogens, spiders also help control the spread of diseases. Some spiders even have venom that can be used to treat certain illnesses.
In addition to their roles in food chains, spiders are also beneficial to humans by killing agricultural pests. They also provide a valuable food source for birds and mammals. Ultimately, spiders help maintain healthy trees and crops.
The world’s population of spiders is estimated at over 40 thousand species. Most are generalists. Other species actively hunt for food or transfer pollen from plant to plant. While many people are afraid of spiders, most are not dangerous.
Spiders are also used to identify heavy metals from spills such as coal ash in the U.S. Spiders have been caught in tree resin fossils.
One of the most important factors in the spider population is the amount of habitat available. As the landscape becomes fragmented, spiders become vulnerable to existential threats.
Among the threats, habitat loss is the most serious. Because they inhabit so many different ecosystems, a lack of spiders could have devastating effects on the environment.
Another significant impact of spiders is their capacity to reduce the numbers of flying insects, a significant problem during agricultural seasons. This helps protect crop yields.