Ant assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in three different stages of forest regeneration in a fragment of Atlantic Forest in Sergipe, Brazil

Emerson Chaves Ferreira Gomes, Genésio Tâmara Ribeiro, Tácito Moreira da Silva e Souza, Leandro Sousa-Souto

Abstract


This study aimed to compare the soil ant communities in the Atlantic Forest, in two areas in the restoration process; an area reforested for seven years and another for five years, and a native forest fragment, located near Laranjeiras city in Sergipe State, Brazil, in February (dry season) and June (wet season) 2012. We estimated whether the richness and composition of ants significantly differed between areas. In each sampling area, five plots (20 × 50m) were delineated, spaced 150 m apart, in which five pitfall traps without bait were installed, located 10 m apart, totaling 25 traps/sample area. We sampled 82 morphospecies distributed among 31 genera and seven subfamilies. The richness of ants did not differ between the three study areas (F = 1.71, p = 0.19). The species composition of ants did not differ between forested areas, but differences were observed in the native forest fragment. The species with the highest frequency of occurrence that can serve as indicators in reforested areas were: Pheidole (group Fallax) sp7, Camponotus (Myrmaphaenus) and Crematogaster abstinens. In remnant forests, the species Camponotus renggeri, Pheidole sp.4 and Pseudomyrmex tenuis can indicate environments unless they are disturbed. The results show that ants are sensitive to changes in vegetation and can be used as bioindicators of disturbed areas and/or native forests, and also highlight the importance of conserving remaining forests.


Keywords


bioindicators, degraded areas, environmental monitoring, environmental remediation, similarity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v61i3.250-257

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