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|Title:||To what extent is clearcutting vegetation detrimental to the interactions between ants and bignoniaceae in a brazilian savanna?|
Maruyama, Pietro Kiyoshi
|Abstract:||Anthropogenic disturbances decrease the resources available to ants and simplify the ant fauna. This could affect ant-plant interactions, especially if key-species disappear. In terms of conservation, disturbances can select for ants resilient to disturbances, and such species can be considered indicators of succession processes. Here, we investigated the extent to which a vegetation clearcutting event (by bulldozer) affected the communities of both plants (seven species of Bignoniaceae) and associated ants. We hypothesized that only generalist ants would remain after clearcutting. Clearcutting reduced plant abundance, with only 40% of individuals resprouting after disturbance. Plant species richness was not affected by clearcutting, but ant species richness was lower in disturbed than in undisturbed conditions (four instead of seven species). Camponotus ants were dominant and were found regularly on all plant species before and after clearcutting. These ants had high centrality values and were regarded as influential species in the structure of the ant-plant network. Camponotus are generalists and nest in the soil; thus, clearcutting did not affect them to the same degree as the ants that nest in plants. The ant-plant network showed no changes in the specialization index (H-2 '), indicating that even with losses of some ant species, the network properties were maintained: plants were still being visited by ants. Therefore, we show that clearcutting had a weak effect on ant-plant interactions, especially because Camponotus buffered the losses of other ants|
|Subject:||Formiga - Ecologia|
|Appears in Collections:||IB - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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