Ant Assemblage Structure in a Secondary Tropical Dry Forest: The Role of Ecological Succession and Seasonality

Tatianne Gizelle Marques, Mário Marcos Espírito-Santo, Frederico Siqueira Neves, José Henrique Schoereder

Abstract


This study identified the main biological mechanisms governing the diversity of ants on different ecological time scales. Ants were sampled in 15 plots distributed in early, intermediate and late stages of succession (five plots per stage) at the Parque Estadual da Mata Seca, Brazil. At each sample point, unbaited pitfall traps were installed in hypogaeic, epigaeic and arboreal strata. We collected 95 ant species from 26 genera and nine subfamilies. Our results indicated that there was an increase in species richness in advanced stages of succession. We also observed that ant assemblages were different among successional stages. For the arboreal and epigaeic strata, species richness did not change with succession progression, but species composition of these two strata differed among successional stages. Unlike to arboreal and epigaeic ants, hypogaiec ant species richness was higher in the intermediate and late stages of succession and the composition of hypogaeic ants differed among successional stages. Similarity between ant species foraging in arboreal and epigaeic strata decreases with succession progression and β-diversity was higher in advanced successional stages. Additionally, species richness was higher in the dry season, whereas the composition of ant assemblages did not change between seasons. A considerable fraction of the ant assemblage was found only in advanced stages of succession, demonstrating the importance of secondary habitats in maintaining biodiversity in dry forests.


Keywords


Formicidae; Spatial scales; Temporal scales; β-diversity; Conservation strategies

Full Text:

PDF

References


Anderson, M.J. (2001). A new method for non-parametric multivariate analysis of variance. Austral Ecology, 26: 32–46. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2001.01070.pp.x

Anderson, M.J. (2006). Distance-based tests for homogeneity of multivariate dispersions. Biometrics, 62: 245–53. doi: 10.1 111/j.1541-0420.2005.00440.x

Baccaro, F., De Souza, J., Franklin, E., Landeiro, V & Magnusson, W. (2011). Limited effects of dominant ants on assemblage species richness in three Amazon forests. Ecological Entomology, 37: 1-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2311. 2011.01326.x

Bihn, J., Verhaagh, M & Brand, R. (2008). Ecological stoichiometry along a gradient of forest succession: bait preferences of litter ants. Biotropica, 40: 597-599. doi: 10.111 1/j.1744-7429.2008.00423.x

Bolton, B. (2016). An online catalog of the ants of the world. Available from http://antcat.org. (accessed 23 august 2016)

Colwell, R.K. (2006). EstimateS: Statistical Estimation of Species Richness and Shared Species from Samples. Version 8 .

Connell, J. & Slatyer, R. (1977). Mechanisms of succession in natural communities and their role in community stability and organization. The American Naturalist, 111: 1119-1144. doi: 10.1086/283241

Crawley, M.J. (2013). The R Book. 2nd Edition. Jonh Wiley, New York, USA, 1076p.

Cuevas-Reyes, P., Quesada, M. & Oyama, K. (2006). Abundance and leaf damage caused by gall-inducing insects in a Mexican tropical dry forest. Biotropica, 38: 107-115. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2006.00115.x

Dauber, J. & Wolters, V. (2004). Edge effects on ant community structure and species richness in an agricultural landscape. Biodiversity and Conservation, 13: 901-915. doi: 10.1023/B:BIOC.0000014460.65462.2b

Dauber, J. & Wolters, V. (2005). Colonization of temperate grassland by ants. Basic and Applied Ecology, 6: 83-91. doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2004.09.011

Frazer, G., Canham, C. & Lertzman, K. (1999). Gap Light Analyzer (GLA): imaging software to extract canopy structure and gap light transmission indices from true-color fisheye photographs, user manual and program documentation. Simon Fraser Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, New York, USA, 36p.

Godfray, H. & Lawton, J. (2001). Scale and species numbers. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 16: 400-404. doi: 10.1016/S0169-5347(01)02150-4

Gomes, E.C.F., Ribeiro, G.T., Souza, T.M.S. & Sousa-Souto, L. (2014). Ant assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in three different stages of forest regeneration in a fragment of Atlantic Forest in Sergipe, Brazil. Sociobiology, 61: 250-257. doi: 10.13102/sociobiology.v61i3.250-257

Gotelli, N., Ellison, A., Dunn, R. & Sanders, N. (2011). Counting ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): biodiversity sampling and statistical analysis for myrmecologists. Myrmecological News, 15: 13-19.

Gotelli, N. & Colwell, R.K. (2011). Estimating species richness. In A.N. Magurran & B.J. McGill (Eds.), Biological diversity: frontiers in measurement and assessment (pp. 39-54). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gove, A., Majer, J. & Rico-Gray, V. (2005). Methods for conservation outside of formal reserve systems: the case of ants in the seasonally dry tropics of Veracruz, Mexico. Biological Conservation, 126: 328-338. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2005.06.008

Guedes, R., Zanuncio, T., Zanuncio, J. & Medeiros, A. (2000). Species richness and fluctuation of defoliator Lepidoptera populations in Brazilian plantations of Eucalyptus grandis as affected by plant age and weather factors. Forest Ecology and Management, 137: 179-184. doi: 10.1016/S0378-1127(99)00326-6

Holldobler, B. & Wilson, E. (1990). The ants. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 732p.

Jacquemin, J., Roisin, Y. & Leponce, M. (2016). Spatio-temporal variation in ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) communities in leaf-litter and soil layers in a Premontane Tropical Forest. Myrmecological News, 22: 129-139.

Kalacska, M., Sanchez-Azofeifa, G.A., Calvo-Alvarado, J.C., Quesada, M., Rivard, B. & Janzen, D.H. (2004). Species composition, similarity and diversity in three successional stages of a seasonally dry tropical forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 200: 227-247. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2004.07.001

Klimes, P., Idigel, C., Rimandai, M., Fayle, T.M., Janda, M., Weiblen, G.D. & Novotny, V. (2012). Why are there more arboreal ant species in primary than secondary forests? Journal of Animal Ecology, 81: 1103-1112. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.02002.x.

Lambi, E. (1996). Change detection at multiple temporal scales: seasonal and annual variations in landscape variables. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 62: 931-938.

Lassau, S. & Hochuli, D. (2004). Effects of habitat complexity on ant assemblages. Ecography, 27: 157-164. doi: 10.1111/j. 0906-7590.2004.03675.x

Longino, J. (2003). The Crematogaster (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) of Costa Rica. Zootaxa, 151: 1-150. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.151.1.1

Lopez, R. & Zambrana-Torrelio, C. (2006). Representation of andean dry ecoregions in the protected areas of Bolivia: the situation in relation to the new phytogeographical findings. Biodiversity and Conservation, 15: 2163-2175. doi: 10.1007/s10531-004-6898-4

Madeira, B., Espirito-Santo, M., Neto, S., Nunes, Y., Azofeifa, G., Fernandes, G. & Quesada, M. (2009). Changes in tree and liana communities along a successional gradient in a tropical dry forest in south-eastern Brazil. Plant Ecology, 201: 291-304. doi: 10.1007/s11258-009-9580-9

Muscardi, D., Almeida, S., Schoereder, J., Marques, T., Sarcinelli, T. & Correa, A. (2008). Response of litter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to habitat heterogeneity and local resource availability in native and exotic forests. Sociobiology, 52: 655-665.

Neves, F., Braga, R., Espírito-Santo, M., Delabie, J., Fernandes, G. & Sánchez-Azofeifa, G. (2010a). Seasonal and successional changes in a community of dung bettles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae) in a Brazilian tropical dry forest. Brazilian Journal for Nature Conservation, 8: 160-164. doi: 10.4322/natcon.00802009

Neves, F.S., Braga, R.F., Espirito-Santo, M.M., Delabie, J.H.C., Wilson, F.G. & Sanchez-Azofeifa, G.A. (2010b). Diversity of arboreal ants in a brazilian tropical dry forest: effects of seasonality and successional stage. Sociobiology, 56: 177-194.

Neves, F.S., Sperber, C.F., Campos, R.I., Soares, J.P. & Ribeiro, S.P. (2013). Contrasting effects of sampling scale on insect herbivores distribution in response to canopy structure. Revista de Biologia Tropical, 61:125-137.

Neves, F.S., Silva, J.O., Espírito-Santo, M.M. & Fernandes, G.W. (2014). Insect herbivores and leaf damage along successional and vertical gradients in a tropical dry forest. Biotropica, 46: 14-24. doi: 10.1111/btp.12068

Pezzini, F.F., Ranieri, B.D., Brandão, D.O., Fernandes, G.W., Quesada, M., Espírito- Santo, M.M. & Jacobi, C.M. (2014). Changes in tree phenology along natural regeneration in a seasonally dry tropical forest. Plant Biosystems, 148: 965-974. doi: 10.1080/11263504.2013.877530.

R Development Core Team (2014) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R foundation for statistical computing, Vienna. ISBN 3-900051-07-0, [Cited 15 January 2015.] Available from: http://www.R-project. org

Ribas, C. & Schoereder, J. (2002). Are all ant mosaics caused by competition? Oecologia, 131: 606-611. doi: 10.1007/s00442-002-0912-x

Ribas, C., Schoereder, J., Pic, M. & Soares, S. (2003). Tree heterogeneity, resource availability, and larger scale processes regulating arboreal ant species richness. Austral Ecology, 28: 305-314. doi: 10.1046/j.1442-9993.2003.01290.x

Ribas, C. & Schoereder, J. (2007). Ant communities, environmental. characteristics and their implications for conservation in the brazilian Pantanal. Biodiversity and Conservation, 16: 1511-1520. doi: 10.1007/s10531-006-9041-x

Sagar, R. & Verma, P. (2010). Effects of soil physical characteristics and biotic interferences on the herbaceous community composition and species diversity on the campus of Banaras Hindu University, India. Environmentalist, 30: 289-298. doi: 10.1007/s10669-010-9276-7

Sanchez-Azofeifa, G.A., Quesada, M., Rodriguez, J.P., Nassar, J.M., Stoner, K.E., Castillo, A., Garvin, T., Zent, E.L., Calvo-Alvarado, J.C., Kalacska, M.E.R., Fajardo, L., Gamon, J.A. & Cuevas-Reyes, P. (2005). Research priorities for neotropical dry forests. Biotropica, 37: 477-485. doi: 10.1046/ j.0950-091x.2001.00153.x-i1

Schmidt, F.A. & Solar, R.R.C. (2010). Hypogaeic pitfall traps: methodological advances and remarks to improve the sampling of a hidden ant fauna. Insectes Sociaux, 57: 261-266. doi: 10.1007/s00040-010-0078-1

Schmidt, F.A., Ribas, C.R. & Schoereder, J.H. (2013). How predictable is the response of ant assemblages to natural forest recovery? implications for their use as bioindicators. Ecological Indicators, 24: 158-166. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2012.05.031

Siemann, E., Haarstad, J. & Tilman, D. (1999). Dynamics of plant and arthropod diversity during old field succession. Ecography, 22: 406-414. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.1999.tb00577.x

Silva, E.M., Medina, A.M., Nascimento, I.C., Lopes, P.P., Carvalho, K.S. & Santos, G.M.M. (2014). Does ant community richness and composition respond to phytophysiognomical complexity and seasonality in xeric environments? Sociobiology, 61: 155-163. doi: 10.13102/sociobiology.v61i2.155-163

Solar, R.R.C., Barlow, J., Ferreira, J., Berenguer, E., Lees, A.C., Thomson, J.R., Louzada, J., Maues, M., Moura, N.G., Oliveira, V.H.F., Chaul, J.C.M., Schoereder, J.H., Vieira, I.C.G., Nally, R.M. & Gardner, T.A. (2015). How pervasive is biotic homogenization in human-modified tropical forest landscapes? Ecology Letters, 18: 1108-1118. doi: 10.1111/ele.12494.

Sousa-Souto, L., Schoereder, J. & Schaefer, C. (2007). Leaf-cutting ants, seasonal burning and nutrient distribution in Cerrado vegetation. Austral Ecology, 32: 758-765. doi: 10.11 11/j.1442-9993.2007.01756.x

Sousa-Souto, L., Figueiredo, P.M.G., Ambrogi, B.G., Oliveira, A.C.F., Ribeiro, G.T. & Neves, F.S. (2016). Composition and richness of arboreal ants in fragments of brazilian Caatinga: effects of secondary succession. Sociobiology, 63: 762-769. doi: 10.13102/sociobiology.v63i2.909

Torchote, P., Sitthicharoenchai, D. & Chaisuekul, C. (2010). Ant species diversity and community composition in three different habitats: mixed deciduous forest, teak plantation and fruit orchard. Tropical Natural History, 10: 37-51.

Underwood, E. & Fisher, B. (2006). The role of ants in conservation monitoring: If, when, and how. Biological Conservation, 132: 166-182. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2006.03.022

Vargas, R., Allen, M. & Allen, E. (2008). Biomass and carbon accumulation in a fire chronosequence of a seasonally dry tropical forest. Global Change Biology, 14: 109-124. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01462.x

Yu, D., Wilson, H. & Pierce, N. (2001). An empirical model of species coexistence in a spatially structured environment. Ecology, 82: 1761-1771. doi: 10.2307/2679816




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v64i3.1276

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


JCR Impact Factor 2016: 0.699