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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
Effects of Urban Development on Ant Communities: Implications for Ecosystem Services and ManagementSANFORD, MONTE P.2009

Effects of Urban Development on Ant Communities: Implications for Ecosystem Services and Management

Keywords

ants; ecosystem services; forest management; Lake Tahoe; service-providing units; water infiltration; urbanization hormigas; infiltración de agua; Lago tahoe; manejo de bosques; servicios del ecosistema; unidades proveedoras de servicio; urbanización

Abstract

Research that connects the effects of urbanization on biodiversity and ecosystem services is lacking. Ants perform multifarious ecological functions that stabilize ecosystems and contribute to a number of ecosystem services. We studied responses of ant communities to urbanization in the Lake Tahoe basin by sampling sites along a gradient of urban land development. We sampled ant communities, measured vegetation characteristics, quantified human activities, and evaluated ant-community responses by grouping ants into service-providing units (SPUs), defined as a group of organisms and their populations that perform specific ecosystem services, to provide an understanding of urbanization impacts on biodiversity and their delivery of ecosystem services. Species richness and abundance peaked at intermediate levels of urban development, as did the richness of 3 types of ant SPUs (aerators, decomposers, and compilers). With increasing land development aerator and decomposer ants significantly declined in abundance, whereas compiler ants significantly increased in abundance. Competing models demonstrated that precipitation was frequently among the strongest influences on ant community structure; however, urban development and human activities also had a strong, negative influence on ants, appearing in most models with ΔAICc < 2 for species richness and abundance patterns of SPUs and generalists. Response diversity was observed within SPUs, which suggests that the corresponding ecosystem services were maintained until development reached 30–40%. Our data provide evidence that ecosystem functions, such as water infiltration and soil productivity, may be diminished at sites subject to greater levels of urbanization and that conserving ant communities and the ecosystem services they provide could be an important target in land-use planning and conservation efforts.

Authors

SANFORD, MONTE P., MANLEY, PATRICIA N. and MURPHY, DENNIS D.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Conservation Biology

Locations
DOI

10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.01040.x

Effects of ungulates on epigeal arthropods in Sierra Nevada National Park (southeast Spain)González-Megías, Adela2004

Effects of ungulates on epigeal arthropods in Sierra Nevada National Park (southeast Spain)

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of ungulates on epigeal arthropod communities in two common plant communities of the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada (southeast Spain). We have compared the abundance, biomass, diversity and specific composition of arthropod communities in grazed and ungrazed plots experimentally excluded from ungulates. In general, we found that arthropods were more abundant and diverse in grazed than in ungrazed plots. However, the effect of ungulates depended on the variable considered (diversity versus abundance versus biomass). Moreover, ungulates also affected species composition. This means that without affecting diversity, ungulates can still have a strong effect on arthropod communities by changing species composition. Also, the relationship between ungulates and arthropods differed depending on the year of study and the sampling period. In conclusion, our study indicates that to extrapolate the results obtained for a group of insects, a habitat or a sampling period is not appropriate for the conservation of arthropod communities.

Authors

González-Megías, Adela, Gómez, José M. and Sánchez-PiÑero, Francisco

Year Published

2004

Publication

Biodiversity And Conservation

Locations
DOI

10.1023/B:BIOC.0000011723.82351.82

Uncoupling the effects of shade and food resources of vegetation on Mediterranean ants: an experimental approach at the community levelArnan, Xavier2007

Uncoupling the effects of shade and food resources of vegetation on Mediterranean ants: an experimental approach at the community level

Keywords

No keywords available

Abstract

Vegetation is one of the main factors affecting the composition and structure of ant communities. The effect of vegetation is both by offering food resources and by modifying the proportion of ground cover exposed to shade conditions. However, it is difficult in field studies to uncouple the effects of food resources and shade on animal communities. The goal of this study was to analyze experimentally the effects of vegetation through food and shade supply on the structure and composition of a Mediterranean ant community. We have crossed these two factors in a factorial design where we have eliminated vegetation in experimental treatments and we have simulated the effects of vegetation by manipulating separately the supply of food resources and shade. The expected decrease in ant abundance and richness in plots without food resources but with shade was only partially confirmed by the results, because there was a decrease in the number of ant species but not a significant decrease in overall ant abundance in plots without food resources. We did not confirm the second hypothesis that the decrease in shade while maintaining food resources resulted in an increase of heat-tolerant, subordinate species and, consequently, ant richness. Species composition differed in the different experimental treatments. Stress-tolerant species were abundant in areas without shade and without food resources. Heat-tolerant species were mainly present in plots without shade but with food resources. Finally, species with high requirements of shade and/or food resources were associated to control plots with both shade and food resources from vegetation. Overall, this study provides an experiment that uncouples experimentally shade and food resources and dissects their effects on the whole ant community, and shows that the effects of the two factors are independent and affect different components of ant community structure and composition.

Authors

Arnan, Xavier, Rodrigo, Anselm and Retana, Javier

Year Published

2007

Publication

Ecography

Locations
DOI

10.1111/j.0906-7590.2007.04796.x

Contrasting fire-related resilience of ecologically dominant ants in tropical savannas of northern AustraliaAndersen, Alan N.2007

Contrasting fire-related resilience of ecologically dominant ants in tropical savannas of northern Australia

Keywords

Biogeography; fire experiment; Iridomyrmex; Oecophylla; rain forest; savanna/rain forest dynamics

Abstract

This paper examines the role of fire in mediating the relative abundance of two of the world's major ecologically dominant ant genera, Iridomyrmex and Oecophylla, where they coexist across the tropical savanna landscapes of northern Australia. These taxa have contrasting biogeographical histories, which are predicted to lead to contrasting responses to fire. Iridomyrmex is an autochthonous Australian genus that has radiated primarily in the arid zone; as such, its abundance is predicted to be promoted by frequent fire because this maintains an open habitat. In contrast, Oecophylla is a genus of leaf-nesting ants occurring in the canopies of Old World tropical rainforest, and is a recent arrival to Australia in geological time; the abundance of these ants is predicted to decline under frequent fire. We test these predictions using results from a landscape-scale fire experiment, where three experimental fire regimes (including no fire) were applied to replicated subcatchments over a 5-year period. Using sweep nets, ants were sampled in the grass layer (the habitat layer of greatest overlap between Iridomyrmex and Oecophylla) in eucalypt woodland (canopy cover < 30%) and open eucalypt forest (canopy cover about 50%) habitats. A total of 27 species from 11 genera were collected during the study; eight were common enough for statistical analysis, and the abundances of four of these were significantly affected by fire treatment. As predicted, the abundance of Iridomyrmex was promoted by fire, whereas that of Oecophylla declined. These changes occurred only under late-season (relatively high intensity) fires, and for Oecophylla occurred only in open forest (not woodland) habitat. This fire-mediated relationship between Iridomyrmex and Oecophylla mirrors the much broader, ecosystem-wide dynamic between eucalypt-dominated savanna and rainforest in tropical Australia, with savannas dominated by fire-resistant sclerophyll elements of Australian origin, and rainforest dominated by fire-sensitive mesophyll elements of South-East Asian origin.

Authors

Andersen, Alan N., PARR, CATHERINE L., Lowe, Lyn M. and Muller, Warren J.

Year Published

2007

Publication

Diversity And Distributions

Locations
DOI

10.1111/j.1472-4642.2007.00353.x

Influence of Habitat Fragmentation on the Genetic Variability in Leaf Litter Ant Populations in Tropical Rainforests of Sabah, BorneoBickel, Tobias O.2006

Influence of Habitat Fragmentation on the Genetic Variability in Leaf Litter Ant Populations in Tropical Rainforests of Sabah, Borneo

Keywords

Biodiversity Genetic distance Genetic diversity Habitat fragmentation Leaf litter ants Odontomachus rixosus Pheidole annexus Population subdivision RAPD fingerprint Tropical rainforest

Abstract

Two ant species, Odontomachus rixosus and Pheidole annexus, were studied in the tropical rainforests of Sabah, Malaysia, North Borneo, to analyze the impact of habitat fragmentation on the genetic diversity and population structure of ant populations using RAPD-fingerprinting. Ants were sampled in a contiguous (43,800 ha) and three patches of primary rainforests of varying size (4294, 146 and 20 ha) that were fragmented about 40 years ago. We found a decrease in genetic variability for both species in the fragmented populations compared to the contiguous. Genetic distances between populations resembled the geographical arrangement of populations and can be explained by an effect of isolation by distance. A high degree in population subdivision suggests a lack of meta-population dynamics due to a shortage of gene flow between populations, possibly the result of the high degree of habitat isolation by oil palm plantations. Although the results of this study are limited due to low replication this is the first data on genetic patterns of insect populations in fragmented rainforests and should be seen as starting point for future research. The value of small to medium sized protection areas for conservation needs to be carefully evaluated in the context of this study, as even relatively large areas (4294 ha) may not prevent the critical loss of genetic variability and guarantee long-term survival of organisms.

Authors

Bickel, Tobias O., Brühl, Carsten A., Gadau, Jürgen R., Hölldobler, Bert and Linsenmair, K. Eduard

Year Published

2006

Publication

Biodiversity And Conservation

Locations
DOI

10.1007/s10531-004-4248-1

Effect of fire on ground beetles and ant assemblages along an environmental gradient in NW Patagonia: Does habitat type matter?Sackmann, Paula2006

Effect of fire on ground beetles and ant assemblages along an environmental gradient in NW Patagonia: Does habitat type matter?

Keywords

assemblage composition, burning, coleoptera, environmental gradient, Formicidae, Patagonia, Coleoptera, composition des assemblages, feu, Formicidae, gradient environnemental, Patagonie

Abstract

The response of beetle and ant assemblages to fire (2–5 y old) and the dependence of that response on habitat type were analyzed. Using pitfall traps, beetles (Coleoptera) and ants (Formicidae) were sampled in replicated forest, scrub, and steppe areas including paired unburnt and burnt plots. A total of 176 species of beetles (8245 individuals) and 22 species of ants (115,056 individuals) were captured. Most beetle families (65%) were captured in the forest, while most ant species were most frequently captured in the steppe (45%). Beetle abundance was the same in unburnt and burnt plots in the three habitats, but ant abundance was higher in burnt than in unburnt plots. Fire usually decreased species richness of both taxa, but the strength of this effect depended on the habitat type. Coleoptera richness was lower in burnt than in unburnt plots in the forest and steppe but was the same in unburnt and burnt scrub plots. Ant richness was lower in burnt forest and scrub plots and was similar between burnt and unburnt steppe plots. For both taxa, species composition of the forest assemblages was different between unburnt and burnt forest plots (difference almost significant for ants) but not between unburnt and burnt steppe plots. Beetle species composition in the scrub was different between unburnt and burnt plots, but ant species composition was the same. Our results support the idea that the consequences of fire on native beetle and ant assemblages depend on the habitat type but also on the taxonomic group under analysis. Beetles and ants showed differences in their habitat preference and in the way that they use the habitats (e.g., preference for vegetated or bare soil patches) along the environmental gradient. These differences explain why beetles were in general more severely affected than ants, and why fire differentially affected both taxa in the scrub (habitat of intermediate complexity). A good knowledge of the habitat utilization by different groups at the local scale and a regional perspective (e.g., habitat preference along an environmental gradient) are necessary to fully understand the effect of disturbances on native arthropod assemblages.

Authors

Sackmann, Paula and Farji-Brener, Alejandro

Year Published

2006

Publication

Ecoscience

Locations
DOI

10.2980/i1195-6860-13-3-360.1

Impact of Flooding on the Species Richness, Density and Composition of Amazonian Litter-Nesting AntsMertl, Amy L.2009

Impact of Flooding on the Species Richness, Density and Composition of Amazonian Litter-Nesting Ants

Keywords

Formicidae; Hymenoptera; Hypoponera; intermediate disturbance; litter ants; Pheidole; terra firme forest

Abstract

Litter-nesting ants are diverse and abundant in tropical forests, but the factors structuring their communities are poorly known. Here we present results of the first study to examine the impact of natural variation in flooding on a highly diverse (21 genera, 77 species) litter-nesting ant community in a primary Amazonian forest. Fifty-six 3 × 3 m plots experiencing strong variation in flooding and twenty-eight 3 × 3 m terra firme plots were exhaustively searched for litter-nesting ants to determine patterns of density, species richness and species composition. In each plot, flooding, litter depth, twig availability, canopy cover, plant density, percent soil nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus were measured. Degree of flooding, measured as flood frequency and flood interval, had the strongest impact on ant density in flooded forest. Flooding caused a linear decrease in ant abundance, potentially due to a reduction of suitable nesting sites. However, its influence on species richness varied: low-disturbance habitat had species richness equal to terra firme forest after adjusting for differences in density. The composition of ant genera and species varied among flood categories; some groups known to contain specialist predators were particularly intolerant to flooding. Hypoponera STD10 appeared to be well-adapted to highly flooded habitat. Although flooding did not appear to increase species richness or abundance at the habitat scale, low-flooding habitat contained a mixture of species found in the significantly distinct ant communities of terra firme and highly flooded habitat.

Authors

Mertl, Amy L., Ryder Wilkie, Kari T. and Traniello, James F. A.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Biotropica

Locations
DOI

10.1111/j.1744-7429.2009.00520.x

Abundance, Diversity, and Activity of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Oak-Dominated Mixed Appalachian Forests Treated with Microbial PesticidesWang, Changlu2000

Abundance, Diversity, and Activity of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Oak-Dominated Mixed Appalachian Forests Treated with Microbial Pesticides

Keywords

ants, microbial pesticides, nontarget effect, forest

Abstract

This study is part of a long-term analysis of nontarget effects of microbial pesticide application in the George Washington (Augusta County, VA, USA) and Monongahela National Forests (Pocahontas County, WV, USA). Ants were collected using pitfall traps to assess the effect of Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner variety kurstaki (Foray 48 F) and gypsy moth nuclear polyhedrosis virus (Gypchek) application on ant communities. Ant samples were also compared by sampling years. Pitfall traps were operated for 45 wk during summers of 1995–1997. A total of 31,732 ants was collected from pitfall traps; they belonged to four subfamilies, 17 genera, and 31 species. The ant species richness, diversity, abundance, and species composition did not change as a result of the treatments. Further tests of ant abundance were suggested because the test power was low. Comparisons between sampling years showed a very similar species composition and species evenness. There was a significant decrease in ant abundance in the third year of sampling, which might have been caused by over-trapping. Some rare species did not appear in the second and third year of sampling.

Authors

Wang, Changlu, Strazanac, John and Butler, Linda

Year Published

2000

Publication

Environmental Entomology

Locations
DOI

10.1603/0046-225X-29.3.579

Species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in disturbed landscapesGraham, John H.2009

Species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in disturbed landscapes

Keywords

Disturbance; Equitability; Fire; Formicidae; Military training; Spatial heterogeneity; Species richness

Abstract

Ants are used as indicators of environmental change in disturbed landscapes, often without adequate understanding of their response to disturbance. Ant communities in the southeastern United States displayed a hump-backed species richness curve against an index of landscape disturbance. Forty sites at Fort Benning, in west-central Georgia, covered a spectrum of habitat disturbance (military training and fire) in upland forest. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and warmer, more compact soils with shallower A-horizons. We sampled ground-dwelling ants with pitfall traps, and measured 15 habitat variables related to vegetation and soil. Ant species richness was greatest with a relative disturbance of 43%, but equitability was greatest with no disturbance. Ant abundance was greatest with a relative disturbance of 85%. High species richness at intermediate disturbance was associated with greater within-site spatial heterogeneity. Species richness was also associated with intermediate values of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a correlate of net primary productivity (NPP). Available NPP (the product of NDVI and the fraction of days that soil temperature exceeded 25 °C), however, was positively correlated with species richness, though not with ant abundance. Species richness was unrelated to soil texture, total ground cover, and fire frequency. Ant species richness and equitability are potential state indicators of the soil arthropod community. Moreover, equitability can be used to monitor ecosystem change.

Authors

Graham, John H., Krzysik, Anthony J., Kovacic, David A., Duda, Jeffrey J., Freeman, D. Carl, Emlen, John M., Zak, John C., Long, W. Russell, Wallace, Michael P., Chamberlin-Graham, Catherine, Nutter, Jonathan P. and Balbach, Hal E.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Ecological Indicators

Locations
DOI

10.1016/j.ecolind.2008.10.003

Ant diversity and its relationship with vegetation and soil factors in an alluvial fan of the Tehuacán Valley, MexicoRíos-Casanova, Leticia2006

Ant diversity and its relationship with vegetation and soil factors in an alluvial fan of the Tehuacán Valley, Mexico

Keywords

Alluvial fan; Ant community; Atta mexicana; Pogonomyrmex barbatus; Solenopsis xyloni; Soil; Tehuacán Valley Mexico; Vegetation structure

Abstract

In this study, we analyze the ant community found along an alluvial fan located in the Tehuacán Valley, central Mexico. Considering that this fan is composed of four terraces with different soils and vegetation structures, our main goal was to determine whether there are significant differences in ant diversity among terraces. To accomplish this goal, we determine species richness and abundance in order to calculate diversity and evenness indices. In addition, we classify species in different feeding guilds to evaluate whether differences among terraces exist. We expected higher ant diversity and variety of food guilds in terraces with sandy soils and complex vegetation structures than in terraces with argillic and calcic horizons. Correlations between several diversity parameters, and soil percent-sand and vegetation structure were also conducted. A total of 26 ant species were recorded along the fan. Species richness was not different among terraces whereas abundance was higher in sandy soils and on terraces with complex vegetation structure. Particularly, the abundance of the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus was higher in these terraces decreasing total ant diversity and evenness. Species richness within feeding guilds was similar among terraces with the generalized foragers as the most common. Our work suggests that percentage of sand in the soil and complexity of vegetation structure of the alluvial fan studied might be influencing ant distribution and favoring the abundance of numerically dominant species which could be affecting the diversity patterns of the whole community.

Authors

Ríos-Casanova, Leticia, Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso and Rico-Gray, Víctor

Year Published

2006

Publication

Acta Oecologica

Locations
DOI

10.1016/j.actao.2005.12.001

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