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Bestelmeyer, B.T. and J.A. Wiens. 1996. The effects of land use on the structure of ground-foraging ant communities in the Argentine Chaco. Ecological Applications, 16(4), 1225-1240. DOI:10.2307/2269603

latest article added on January 2015

ArticleFirst AuthorPublished
RESTORATION OF BUTTERFLY AND MOTH COMMUNITIES IN SEMI-NATURAL GRASSLANDS BY CATTLE GRAZINGPöyry, Juha2004

RESTORATION OF BUTTERFLY AND MOTH COMMUNITIES IN SEMI-NATURAL GRASSLANDS BY CATTLE GRAZING

Keywords

agri-environment scheme, butterflies, cattle grazing, community structure, dynamic equilibrium model, Lepidoptera, management, moths, restoration, semi-natural grasslands, species diversity

Abstract

The effects of restorative grazing on species composition and community structure of butterflies and moths were studied in mesic semi-natural grasslands differing in their management history: (1) old continuously grazed pastures, (2) restored pastures with ∼5 yr of reinitiated grazing, and (3) abandoned former pastures. Butterflies and moths were counted with a transect method during 1999 and 2000 in 33 study sites in southwest Finland. In a multivariate ordination (NMDS), the studied grasslands were separated from each other on the basis of their species composition so that the actively grazed pastures differed from abandoned pastures. The first ordination axis represented most (73%) of the variation in species composition, and it was strongly correlated with variables describing the current grazing intensity. Species richness and total abundance were highest in abandoned pastures, both for all species and for grassland-preferring species. In contrast, relative diversity (N1, N2, and α) and evenness (Alatalo's evenness index) were in most cases highest in old pastures and lowest in abandoned pastures. Generalized linear models (GLM) were constructed for four response variables: total species richness, grassland species richness, abundance of all species, and abundance of grassland species. The derived models explained 78–84% of the total variation for species richness and 92–93% for abundance, and the type of grazing history explained the largest proportion of variation. Mean vegetation height was included in the abundance models as a quadratic function, which indicated that butterflies and moths were most abundant at an intermediate level of grazing intensity, as predicted by the “dynamic equilibrium model.” The results suggest that grazing management is a useful tool in the restoration of insect communities of abandoned semi-natural grasslands. In order to enhance the survival of species suffering from continuously high grazing intensity, the existing management instructions should be developed toward construction of regional networks of semi-natural grasslands, which would allow differing grazing intensities or rotational grazing on the patch level, but simultaneously ensure continuity of varying management regimes on a regional level.

Authors

Pöyry, Juha, Lindgren, Sami, Salminen, Jere and Kuussaari, Mikko

Year Published

2004

Publication

Ecological Applications

Locations
DOI

10.1890/03-5151

This article contributed by:

Ecological Society of America

Scale dependence of diversity measures in a leaf-litter ant assemblageLeponce, Maurice2004

Scale dependence of diversity measures in a leaf-litter ant assemblage

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

A reliable characterization of community diversity and composition, necessary to allow inter-site comparisons and to monitor changes, is especially difficult to reach in speciose invertebrate communities. Spatial components of the sampling design (sampling interval, extent and grain) as well as temporal variations of species density affect the measures of diversity (species richness S, Buzas and Gibson's evenness E and Shannon's heterogeneity H). Our aim was to document the small-scale spatial distribution of leaf litter ants in a subtropical dry forest of the Argentinian Chaco and analyze how the community characterization was best achieved with a minimal sampling effort. The work was based on the recent standardized protocol for collecting ants of the leaf litter (“A.L.L.”: 20 samples at intervals of 10 m). To evaluate the consistency of the sampling method in time and space, the selected site was first subject to a preliminary transect, then submitted after a 9-month interval to an 8-fold oversampling campaign (160 samples at interval of 1.25 m). Leaf litter ants were extracted from elementary 1 m2 quadrats with Winkler apparatus. An increase in the number of samples collected increased S and decreased E but did not affect much H. The sampling interval and extent did not affect S and H beyond a distance of 10 m between samples. An increase of the sampling grain had a similar effect on S than a corresponding increase of the number of samples collected, but caused a proportionaly greater increase of H. The density of species m−2 varied twofold after a 9-month interval; the effect on S could only be partially corrected by rarefaction. The measure of species numerical dominance was little affected by the season. A single standardized A.L.L. transect with Winkler samples collected s H were the most appropriate diversity indexes. The former was useful to rarefy or abundify S and the latter was robust against sample size effects. Both parametric and Soberón and Llorente extrapolation methods outperformed non-parametric methods and yielded a fair estimate of total species richness along the transect, a minimum value of S for the habitat sampled.

Authors

Leponce, Maurice, Theunis, Laurence, Delabie, Jacques H. C. and Roisin, Yves

Year Published

2004

Publication

Ecography

Locations
DOI

10.1111/j.0906-7590.2004.03715.x

Responses of ant communities to dry sulfur deposition from mining emissions in semi-arid tropical Australia, with implications for the use of functional groupsHoffmann, Benjamin D.2000

Responses of ant communities to dry sulfur deposition from mining emissions in semi-arid tropical Australia, with implications for the use of functional groups

Keywords

air pollution; bioindicators; ecological change; functional groups; mining emissions; off-site impacts; savannah; sulfur dioxide

Abstract

The impact of dry deposition of SO2 emissions on ant abundance, diversity and composition was investigated at Mount Isa in the semiarid tropics of northern Australia. Forty plots were sampled, stratified at two levels: sulfur deposition zones (high, medium, low, and two control zones) and habitat (Ridge and Plain). The two habitats supported distinctly different ant communities. Ants had clear responses to SO2 emissions. Ant abundance was lowest in the high and medium sulfur zones in both habitats. Species richness in high SO2 plots (up to 5 km from the source) was approximately half that of control plots in Ridge habitat, and was substantially less than controls in the Plain habitat. Ant community composition in the high sulfur zone was clearly separated from those of other zones in ordinations. Vector fitting showed soil SO4 concentration as a primary correlative factor in this separation. Ant abundance and richness were both negatively correlated with soil SO4 concentration, and positively correlated with plant species richness and distance away from the smelters. The abundance of 10 of the 21 most common species showed significant responses to emissions. Five species showed positive responses, and all belong to species-groups known to be abundant at disturbed sites throughout northern Australia. Relative abundance and richness of Eyrean (arid adapted) taxa collectively responded positively to sulfur, and Torresian (tropical) and Widespread species responded negatively. Despite large changes in species composition and abundances, there was relatively little change in the abundance of functional groups that have been widely used in studies of Australian ant communities. Ants are sensitive to SO2 emissions and appear to be good candidates as an indicator group in this context. However, an alternative functional group framework is required for the identification of recurrent responses of arid zone ant communities to disturbance.

Authors

Hoffmann, Benjamin D., Griffiths, Anthony D. and Andersen, Alan N.

Year Published

2000

Publication

Austral Ecology

Locations
DOI

10.1111/j.1442-9993.2000.tb00071.x

Post-fire recovery of Mediterranean ground ant communities follows vegetation and dryness gradientsArnan, Xavier2006

Post-fire recovery of Mediterranean ground ant communities follows vegetation and dryness gradients

Keywords

Ants; diversity; dryness gradient; fire; forest type; Mediterranean communities; post-fire recovery; resilience; species richness

Abstract

Aim  In the Mediterranean Basin, the main forest communities vary in their ability to recover after fire. In this study we analyse the effects of fire on ant communities occurring in various vegetation types distributed along a geographical gradient in the western Mediterranean region. Location  The study was carried out in burned and unburned habitats of 22 sites corresponding to eight vegetation types distributed along a gradient of dryness throughout Catalonia (north-east Spain). Methods  We placed five pairs of plots (one plot located in the burned area and the second one placed in the unburned margin) per site. We compared ant communities in these unburned and burned plot types 8 years after fire using pitfall traps. Traps were set out in mid-May and mid-July. We analysed the structure and composition of ant communities in the burned and unburned areas of these vegetation types using anova tests, correspondence analysis (CA) and linear regression. Results  The resilience of ant communities varies with vegetation type. Ant communities in forests with high resilience also recover rapidly after fire, while those in forests that do not recover after fire show the lowest resilience. Species richness does not depend on burning or vegetation type. The resilience of these Mediterranean ant communities to fire is related to the environmental characteristics of the region where they live. Accordingly, differences between burned and unburned habitats are smaller for ant communities in areas with higher water deficit in summer than for those in moister ones. Main conclusions  The structure and composition of ant communities after fire depends on the level of direct mortality caused by the fire. It affects ant species differently, as determined by the habitats used for nesting and foraging. The reestablishment of vegetation cover depends on forest composition before the fire. As vegetation cover determines resource and microhabitat availability and competitive relationships among species, forest composition before the fire also affects post-fire recovery of ant communities to the medium-term. Finally, ant communities living in drier areas recover more quickly after fire than those living in moister ones. This pattern might be because in areas with higher water deficit there are more species characteristic of open environments, which are habitats similar to those generated after fire.

Authors

Arnan, Xavier, Rodrigo, Anselm and Retana, Javier

Year Published

2006

Publication

Journal of Biogeography

Locations
DOI

10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01506.x

Habitat disturbance and the diversity and abundance of ants (Formicidae) in the Southeastern Fall-Line SandhillsGraham, John H.2004

Habitat disturbance and the diversity and abundance of ants (Formicidae) in the Southeastern Fall-Line Sandhills

Keywords

ecological communities, landscape disturbance, military training, species richness, upland mixed pine-hardwoods forest

Abstract

We examined habitat disturbance, species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in the Fall-Line Sandhills, at Fort Benning, Georgia. We collected ants with pitfall traps, sweep nets, and by searching tree trunks. Disturbed areas were used for military training; tracked and wheeled vehicles damaged vegetation and soils. Highly disturbed sites had fewer trees, diminished ground cover, warmer soils in the summer, and more compacted soils with a shallower A-horizon. We collected 48 species of ants, in 23 genera (141,468 individuals), over four years of sampling. Highly disturbed areas had fewer species, and greater numbers of ants than did moderately or lightly disturbed areas. The ant communities in disturbed areas were also less equitable, and were dominated by Dorymyrmex smithi.

Authors

Graham, John H., Hughie, Hoyt H., Jones, Susan, Wrinn, Kerri, Krzysik, Anthony J., Duda, Jeffrey J., Freeman, D. Carl, Emlen, John M., Zak, John C., Kovacic, David A., Chamberlin-Graham, Catherine and Balbach, Harold

Year Published

2004

Publication

Journal of Insect Science

Locations
DOI

10.1673/031.004.3001

Ant community change across a ground vegetation gradient in north Florida's longleaf pine flatwoodsLubertazzi, David2003

Ant community change across a ground vegetation gradient in north Florida's longleaf pine flatwoods

Keywords

Formicidae, Pinus palustris, Solenopsis invicta, conservation biology, ant community

Abstract

Ant communities in longleaf pine habitats are poorly known and hence the naturally occurring ant assemblages of a large portion of southeastern North America are not well understood. This study examined the diverse ant community found in the longleaf pine flatwoods of north Florida and tested how ant diversity changes along a herbaceous ground cover gradient. Restoring the ground cover to its original floral composition is an important focus of longleaf pine conservation and hence it is important to understand how native faunal communities vary with ground cover variation. Using 4 sampling methods, we characterized the ant community and analyzed its within-habitat variation among 12 study sites. We found the highest plot species richness (55 species) and within-habitat species richness (72 species) ever recorded for North American ants. The ants formed three distinct communities. The low-diversity arboreal and subterranean assemblages varied little across forest stands while the diversity of the species-rich ground foraging ant community was negatively correlated with percent herbaceous cover. The imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (monogyne form), was unexpectedly found to be abundant in high herbaceous cover sites. Floral restoration of the pine flatwoods, which is increasing the proportion of herbaceous cover, is likely to cause an increase in the abundance of the imported fire ant.

Authors

Lubertazzi, David and Tschinkel, Walter R.

Year Published

2003

Publication

Journal of Insect Science

Locations
DOI

10.1673/031.003.2101

Structure of ground-foraging ant assemblages in relation to land-use change in the northwestern Mediterranean regionGómez, Crisanto2003

Structure of ground-foraging ant assemblages in relation to land-use change in the northwestern Mediterranean region

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

The abandonment by humans of marginal and less productive zones signifies an important change in land use in North Mediterranean agroecosystems. Human perturbations have led to a highly diversified landscape, with a mosaic made up of patches of land at different stages of succession, from cultivated fields to closed forest. Our aim here is to characterize ant assemblages and their functional groups in response to these land-use changes. This progressive abandonment results in an initial increase in ant richness and abundance, which can reach high levels if the succession proceeds as far as woodland. In terms of the ant functional groups, this land-use change implies: (1) the appearance of Subordinate Camponotini; (2) an increase in Generalized Myrmicinae, Cryptics and Cold-climate specialists in terms of ant species richness, overall abundance and, for Generalized Myrmicinae and Cryptics, an increase in abundance percentage; (3) a decrease in percentage abundance of Opportunists; (4) a progressive decrease in species richness as well as overall and percentage abundance of Hot-climate Specialists throughout the transformation from crops to woodlands; and (5) an initial increase of Dominant Dolichoderinae followed by a decrease in ant species richness, overall abundance and percentage abundance. Using the ant functional group approach for the clearly separate stages of the regeneration process is a promising method for comparing responses of ant communities to human land use.

Authors

Gómez, Crisanto, Casellas, David, Oliveras, Jordi and Bas, Josep M.

Year Published

2003

Publication

Biodiversity And Conservation

Locations
DOI

10.1023/A:1024142415454

The ants of the southern Sonoran desert: community structure and the role of treesBestelmeyer, Brandon T.1999

The ants of the southern Sonoran desert: community structure and the role of trees

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

In contrast to other North American deserts, the southern Sonoran desert is dominated by trees that provide shaded microhabitats necessary for the establishment and survival of several plant species. Near the southern limit of the Sonoran desert in Sonora, Mexico, we evaluated the role that tree microhabitats may play in structuring ant communities. We recorded 39 species and 21 genera of ants from a 9.7-ha area. Total species richness was estimated to be between 47 and 49 species, a much greater species richness than that reported for other North American arid-zone habitats. Although species richness did not differ between open ground and tree-shaded microhabitats, species composition did. Opportunistic species, Camponotus species, Pheidole sciophila and P. titanis were more common near trees, whereas Pheidole sp. A and granivorous species were more active in open areas. The imperilment of trees in the Sonoran desert due to commercial cutting and the spread of buffelgrass Pennisetum ciliare may alter the existing composition of ant communities.

Authors

Bestelmeyer, Brandon T. and Schooley, Robert L.

Year Published

1999

Publication

Biodiversity And Conservation

Locations
DOI

10.1023/A:1008873406658

Genetic changes associated to declining populations of Formica ants in fragmented forest landscapeMÄKI-PETÄYS, H.2005

Genetic changes associated to declining populations of Formica ants in fragmented forest landscape

Keywords

Ant; conservation genetics; fragmentation; microsatellites; population structure; sociality

Abstract

We monitored populations of two wood ant species, Formica aquilonia and Formica lugubris, through annual mapping of the colonies in a fragmenting forest landscape from 1966 to 1998. The genetic population structure was studied at the end of the study period by using 12 microsatellite loci. Fragmentation of forest led to a decline and spatial redistribution of populations. Changes in the spatial distribution were particularly pronounced in the highly polygynous (many queens in a single nest) species F. aquilonia, whose local populations declined or became extinct, or relocated themselves and colonized new patches. The genetic relationships of the remaining subpopulations indicated the historical developments, revealing the boundaries of the historical populations (high values of genetic differentiation, FST), recolonization histories (genetic affinities revealed by Bayesian analyses) and population decline (reduced variation). Big genetic differences could be detected over short distances, so differentiation also depended on social factors. Our results showed that a genetic study can be reliably used to dissect the recent historical changes underlying the present population structure, and that species with different social structures can respond differently to habitat changes. Combining our demographic and genetic results suggests that habitat fragmentation forms a clear threat on a local scale with large negative effects on ant population viability.

Authors

MÄKI-PETÄYS, H., ZAKHAROV, A., VILJAKAINEN, L., CORANDER, J. and PAMILO, P.

Year Published

2005

Publication

Molecular Ecology

Locations
DOI

10.1111/j.1365-294X.2005.02444.x

Ants on the Move: Resource Limitation of a Litter-nesting Ant Community in Costa Rica1McGlynn, Terrence P.2006

Ants on the Move: Resource Limitation of a Litter-nesting Ant Community in Costa Rica1

Keywords

competition; Costa Rica; density; leaf litter; nest relocation; Pheidole; resource limitation; Solenopsis; tropical rain forest

Abstract

The leaf litter of tropical wet forests is replete with itinerant ant nests. Nest movement may help ants evade the constraints of stress and disturbance and increase access to resources. I studied how nest relocation and environmental factors may explain the density, size, and growth of leaf litter ant nests. I decoupled the relationships among litter depth, food abundance, and nest availability in a 4-mo manipulation of food and leaf litter in a community of litter-nesting ants in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. Over 4 mo, 290 1 m2 treatment and control plots were sampled without replacement. Nest densities doubled in response to food supplementation, but did not decrease in response to litter removal or stress (from litter trampling). The supplementation of food increased the utilization of less favored nesting materials. In response to food supplementation and litter trampling, arboreal ants established nests in the litter, and growth rates of the most common ants (Pheidole spp.) increased. Colony growth was independent of colony size and growth rates of the most abundant ants. In general, I conclude that litter-nesting ant density is driven primarily by food limitation, that nest relocation behavior significantly affects access to resource and the demographic structure of this community, and that nest fission may be a method to break the growth–reproduction trade-off.

Authors

McGlynn, Terrence P.

Year Published

2006

Publication

Biotropica

Locations
DOI

10.1111/j.1744-7429.2006.00153.x

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