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Title: Spatial and functional structure of an entire ant assemblage in a lowland Panamanian rainforest.
Authors: Leponcea, Maurice
Corbara, Bruno
Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles
Orivel, Jérôme
Aberlenc, Henri Pierre
Bail, Johannes
Barrios, Héctor
Campos, Ricardo Ildefonso de
Nascimento, Ivan Cardoso do
Compin, Arthur
Didham, Raphael K.
Floren, Andreas
Medianero, Enrique
Ribeiro, Sérvio Pontes
Roisin, Yves
Schmidl, Juergen
Tishechkin, Alexey K.
Winchester, Neville N.
Basset, Yves
Dejean, Alain
Keywords: Horizontal b diversity
Vertical stratification
Ant diversity
Ant sampling methods
Issue Date: 2021
Citation: LEPONCEA, M. et al. Spatial and functional structure of an entire ant assemblage in a lowland Panamanian rainforest. Basic and Applied Ecology, v. 56, p. 32-44, 2021. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 29 abr. 2022.
Abstract: Ants are a major ecological group in tropical rainforests. Few studies in the Neotropics have documented the distribution of ants from the ground to the canopy, and none have included the understorey. A previous analysis of an intensive arthropod study in Panama, involving 11 sampling methods, showed that the factors influencing ant b diversity (i.e., changes in assem- blage composition) were, in decreasing order of importance, the vertical (height), temporal (season), and horizontal (geographic distance) dimensions. In the present study, we went one step further and aimed (1) to identify the best sampling methods to study the entire ant assemblage across the three strata, (2) to test if all strata show a similar horizontal b diversity and (3) to ana- lyze the functional structure of the entire ant assemblage. We identified 405 ant species from 11 subfamilies and 68 genera. Slightly more species were sampled in the canopy than on the ground; they belonged to distinct sub-assemblages. The under- storey fauna was mainly a mixture of species found in the other two strata. The horizontal b diversity between sites was similar for the three strata. About half of the ant species foraged in two (29%) or three (25%) strata. A single method, aerial flight inter- ception traps placed alongside tree trunks, acting as arboreal pitfall traps, collected half of the species and reflected the vertical stratification. Using the functional traits approach, we observed that generalist species with mid-sized colonies were by far the most numerous (31%), followed by ground- or litter-dwelling species, either specialists (20%), or generalists (16%), and arbo- real species, either generalists (19%) or territorially dominant (8%), and finally army ants (5%). Our results reinforce the idea that a proper understanding of the functioning of ant assemblages requires the inclusion of arboreal ants in survey programs. © 2021 Gesellschaft für Ökologie. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
ISSN: 1439-1791
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