Ant species composition and richness in different types of semi-natural grasslands

Ant species composition and richness in different types of semi-natural grasslands The distribution of ant species was studied across different types of semi-natural grasslands in a mosaic landscape in which data on land use history and conservation values were available. The twenty-nine grasslands selected were non-fertilised and had an uninterrupted history of management, but they differed from each other in soil texture and grazing practices and were therefore sub-divided into six different types. Species abundance of mound-building ants were investigated in these grasslands in 2003. Additionally, ants were sampled using the pitfall trapping method in 13 semi-natural grasslands (in 2003 and 2005). Ant species richness and nest frequency of individual ant species differed between the different types of grassland and was associated with soil texture and grazing practices. The results also showed that even small grasslands have a very high ant species richness. This study showed that for the conservation of ants, habitat diversity and heterogeneity rather than habitat size are of great importance. I conclude that different types of semi-natural grassland contribute to heterogeneity in the farmland landscape and, thus, support higher ant diversity at the landscape scale. Russian Journal of Ecology Springer Journals

Ant species composition and richness in different types of semi-natural grasslands

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SP MAIK Nauka/Interperiodica
Copyright © 2009 by Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.
Life Sciences; Environment, general; Ecology
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