Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Diversity of ants in citrus orchards and in a forest fragment in Southern Brazil.

Abstract

The landscapes of the South and Southeast regions of Brazil are a mosaic of agroecosystems and vegetation in different stages of preservation, shapes and sizes and sizes and this changes the community structure of ants. Diversity of ants was compared in three different environments: orange orchard, lemon orchard and a forest fragment of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest biome, in the northwestern part of the State of Paraná, Brazil by a sampling method using pit-fall traps. Both richness and diversity of the species of ants were broader in the forest fragment than in the orchards; the fauna components were distributed rather homogeneously, as shown by the indices of equitability. The proximity of the areas sampled and the orchard management could be the main reasons to explain why all the species trapped in the experiments were found at least once in the forest remnant, whereas some groups of ants were not found in the orchards. Furthermore, the species of antes which were collected from the agricultural areas were mostly generalists and less diverse, leading to a monopoly of resources by a few, more prolific species. On the contrary, the ants living in forested areas were more diverse, where fewer individuals were found per species, and these were expected to be more specialized. The establishment of citrus orchards near the forest fragments may facilitate invasion by ants, especially the opportunistic species.