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Title: The importance of forest simplification and litter disturbance in defining the assembly of ground-foraging ants.
Authors: Dolabela, Bárbara Martins
Itabaiana, Yasmine Antonini
Pinto, Victor Diniz
Onésimo, Cecília Mara Gomes
Brito, M. F.
Costa, Fernando Vieira
Keywords: Ant dominance
Atlantic forest
Anthropogenic disturbance
Foraging time
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: DOLABELA, B. M. et al. The importance of forest simplification and litter disturbance in defining the assembly of ground-foraging ants. Neotropical Entomology, v. 49. p. 832–839, 2020. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 12 maio 2021.
Abstract: Currently, we are facing many ecosystem changes derived from years of anthropogenic disturbances. Habitat simplification stands out among human-derived impacts, due to its detrimental effects on vegetation structure and associated biota. Here, we assessed the effects of litter disturbance and forest simplification on a tropical ground-foraging ant community. To do that, we tested whether ant richness will be negatively affected by litter disturbance and habitat simplification. Additionally, we tested whether litter disturbance affects the time of resource discovery and dominance, and if so, whether its effects are intensified by forest simplification. This study occurred at Rio Doce State Park, a preserved area of Atlantic Forest in Southeastern Brazil. We experimentally simulated litter disturbance by removing the leaf litter and superficial soil layer in a mahogany monoculture forest and preserved Atlantic Forest. We sampled ants using paired-mixed baits of protein and carbohydrate in 12 points, half of them in each forest type. As expected, we found higher richness in the preserved and non-disturbed forest. Moreover, resource discovery was faster in disturbed monoculture, but bait dominance was higher in the undisturbed preserved forest. Litter heterogeneity seems to play an important role in determining ant dispersion and intra-specific communication, as we observed that litter disturbance impacts were strengthened by forest simplification. Our results highlight the efficiency of ground-foraging ants as bioindicators of disturbance and habitat quality. Moreover, our study indicates how distinct types of disturbances can act synergistically, changing the assembly of associated biota.
ISSN: 1678-8052
Appears in Collections:DEBIO - Artigos publicados em periódicos

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