Ants that Frequently Colonize Twigs in the Leaf Litter of Different Vegetation Habitats
Keywords:Atlantic Forest, urban fragment, diversity, nesting, understory
Ants often colonize twigs in the leaf litter, but some species use this resource more frequently than others. We analyzed the composition of the community and the diameter of colonized twigs to test if any species had a size preference. Samples were collected in different vegetation habitats (urban parks, eucalyptus plantations and native forests). In each site, all twigs with an ant colony in six 16-m2 plots were collected and measured, and the ants occupying them were identified. For the analyses, we only included species recorded in 10 or more twigs; these species were considered “common inhabitants” of the twigs (approximately 19.7% of the fauna analyzed). Our results indicate that the community is richer and uses a larger number of twigs of different diameters in the native forest. In addition, some species colonized twigs of similar sizes in different vegetation habitats, suggesting possible selection by ants.
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