Despite the expected increase in extreme flood frequency, the manner in which terrestrial arthropods cope with regular submersion of their habitat remains poorly understood in meadows, especially in temperate floodplains. Here, we studied the recolonization dynamics of arthropods after a severe spring flood in the Loire Valley (France). We carried out analyses at the community (order or family identification level) and species scales, focusing on the assemblages of two dominant and diverse groups: carabids and spiders. Our objectives were the following: (i) to describe the temporal changes in community structure after flooding and (ii) to assess the influence of landscape configuration on recolonization patterns of species and their functional traits. Fieldwork was performed along three sampling transects, by using 75 pitfall traps, in 2012. A total of 14 767 arthropods belonging to 87 families were trapped, including 5538 spiders (55 species) and 3396 carabids (66 species). Multivariate analyses discriminated assemblages from flooded and non-flooded habitats and revealed changes over time in arthropod families and species after flood withdrawal. In particular, wolf spiders (Lycosidae) were the first to recolonize, whereas other groups clearly avoided flooded sites. Our results also revealed that short distances to hedgerows, and to a lesser extent, distance to woodlands, favoured the recolonization of large and ground-running spiders. In conclusion, our study shows the short-term resilience of certain groups or stenotopic species to flooding and also the relevance of multi-taxon-based studies. The presence of hedgerows has to be considered carefully in management plans because of their role of refuge during flooding. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.