File(s) not publicly available

Temporal stability of a mosaic of two competitively exclusive arboreal ants in a tropical mangrove forest

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by B Flanders, Stephen Mckillup, Ruth Mckillup
We report on the distribution, behaviour, interspecific competition and temporal persistence over four years of arboreal ants in a mangrove forest within which patches of habitat ranged from single isolated trees to groups of interlocking trees. Two ants, an undescribed species of Crematogaster and Anonychomyrma itinerans, were common but only one ever occurred within any occupied patch. Sampling of the same 108 trees in May 2008, December 2009 and May 2012 showed very little temporal change in occupancy by both species. In manipulative experiments where the branches of closely adjacent pairs of neighbouring Avicennia marina trees containing these different species were clamped together, the ants fought and one species succeeded in taking over both trees. Thirteen of 20 clamped pairs were taken over by Crematogaster and seven by A. itinerans. Occupancy of conjoined patches did not change during the following year, which suggests the ant species present is not determined by any inherent heterogeneity among patches. Since ants can affect herbivory, community composition and tree health, we suggest the success of attempts to restore or conserve mangroves may be improved by long-term comparative studies of the effects of ants, including possible differences among species, in natural and artificially planted mangrove forests.

History

Volume

60

Issue

2

Start Page

173

End Page

178

Number of Pages

6

eISSN

1420-9098

ISSN

0020-1812

Location

United States

Publisher

Springer

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Centre for Environmental Management; Institute for Resource Industries and Sustainability (IRIS);

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Insectes sociaux.

Exports