Do Bottom-up Effects Define The Structuring Of Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Communities In A Restinga Remnant?

Marcos Vinícius Almeida Lopes, Gilberto Marcos de Mendonça Santos

Abstract


Restingas are lowland sandy ecosystems located between mountain ranges and the sea. For living organisms in this ecosystem, restingas can be seen as habitats formed by islands of vegetation separated by a sandy matrix. These organisms are highly influenced by the environmental conditions and physical characteristics of the landscape, including size, connectivity and environmental heterogeneity. Given the recognized effectiveness of ants as bioindicators, this study uses these organisms as a model to assess how vegetation complexity affects ant communities. The study was carried out in the Parque das Dunas, Salvador - Bahia. Within this park, four categories of vegetation islands (Small, Medium, Large and Continuous) were delimited, where the ant fauna was sampled and the forms of vegetal life were analyzed, using the Raunkiaer analysis. A total of 69 ant species were collected from 31 genera and six subfamilies. We found a positive relationship between the diversity of plant life forms (H') and ant richness. In general, there was a significant difference in the composition of ant species in each microhabitat and between the areas of continuous vegetation and the different vegetation islands. There is a bottom up effect mediating the ant community associated with dune vegetation, the local richness of ant species responds to vegetation heterogeneity.


Keywords


Conservation; Mirmecofauna; Vegetation complexity

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v67i2.4938

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