ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 148–150. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
Original Russian Text © S.V. Blinova, 2008, published in Ekologiya, 2008, No. 2, pp. 158–160.
Ants belong to one of the most numerous insect
families and inhabit virtually all terrestrial biotopes.
Due to their abundance, high species diversity, com-
plex community structure, and permanent residence in
the same site, ants are regarded as an informative com-
ponent of biocenosis that is indicative of certain hab-
itat conditions (Dlusskii and Zakharov, 1965; Pusz-
kar, 1978; Majer, 1983; Dmitrienko, 1985; etc.).
As shown by Apostolov et al. (1982), the functional
signiﬁcance of the ant fauna sharply increases in
technogenic communities with disturbed plant cover:
its proportion in the herpetobios reaches 8.2% at a nest
density of 68.2 nests/100 m
, compared to 4.4% and
37.8 nests/100 m
in undisturbed areas with similar
habitat conditions. In this context, it appeared expedi-
ent to analyze changes occurring in ant assemblages
under conditions of an industrial city and the possibility
of using ants in ecological monitoring, with regard to
regional features of their fauna.
Studies were performed in four test plots established
in mixed herb–grass meadows within the Kemerovo
city limits between 1998 and 2001. Plot 1 was in the
industrial zone accounting for approximately 70% of
the total industrial emissions in Kemerovo, and plots 2–
4 were on a transect extending against the prevailing
wind direction, at distances of 5, 6, and 7 km from the
pollution source. The control plot was in a similar herb–
grass meadow located 30 km windward from the city.
The bulk of emissions from stationary sources in
Kemerovo is generated by the power industry (73.0%),
chemical and petrochemical industry (4.7%), and fer-
rous metal industry (7.8%). The main pollutants are
ash, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, and
carbon disulﬁde (Neverova, 2001).
The level of pollution in the plots was calculated
with reference to the minimum allowable concentra-
tions (MACs) of pollutants, according to Andrakha-
nova (1992). The results were as follows: plot 1,
heavy pollution (>3.5 MACs); plots 2 and 3, moder-
ate pollution (2.0–3.5 MACs); and plot 4, low pollu-
tion (<2.0 MACs). The degree of recreational load on
the plots, estimated according to Bugrova and Reznik-
ova (1990), was found to be low in plot 4, medium
(moderate) in plots 1 and 3, and high in plot 2. This
classiﬁcation of test plots with respect to the degree of
pollution in Kemerovo agrees with data obtained by
bioindication methods (Neverova et al., 2003).
The material was collected using a standard proce-
dure (Dlusskii, 1965). Numerical data were processed
statistically by conventional methods (Dlusskii, 1965;
Herb–grass meadows within the city limits were
inhabited by a total of seven ant species, compared to
six species in the control plot (Fig. 1). The smallest
numbers of species were recorded in the industrial zone
(plot 1) and 5 km away from it (plot 2). There were two
species in each case:
L. in the former and
Vier. in the latter. In the meadows located farther from
Changes in Ant Assemblages under Conditions
of a Large Industrial Center
S. V. Blinova
Kemerovo State University, ul. Krasnaya 6, Kemerovo, 650043 Russia
Received April 4, 2006
: ants, assemblages, anthropogenic impact.
Nest density, nests
Number of species
Number of ant species (
) and nest density (
) in test
plots within the Kemerovo city limits and in the control.