Habitat disturbance and the diversity and abundance of ants (Formicidae) in the Southeastern Fall-Line Sandhills

John H. Graham, Hoyt H. Hughie, Susan Jones, Kerri Wrinn, Anthony J. Krzysik, Jeffrey J. Duda, D. Carl Freeman, John M. Emlen, John C. Zak, David A. Kovacic, Catherine Chamberlin-Graham, Harold Balbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined habitat disturbance, species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in the Fall-Line Sandhills, at Fort Benning, Georgia. We collected ants with pitfall traps, sweep nets, and by searching tree trunks. Disturbed areas were used for military training; tracked and wheeled vehicles damaged vegetation and soils. Highly disturbed sites had fewer trees, diminished ground cover, warmer soils in the summer, and more compacted soils with a shallower A-horizon. We collected 48 species of ants, in 23 genera (141,468 individuals), over four years of sampling. Highly disturbed areas had fewer species, and greater numbers of ants than did moderately or lightly disturbed areas. The ant communities in disturbed areas were also less equitable, and were dominated by Dorymyrmex smithi.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Insect Science
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 17 2004

Keywords

  • Ecological communities
  • Landscape disturbance
  • Military training
  • Species richness
  • Upland mixed pine-hardwoods forest

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