Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017 / Litter-dwelling ants as bioindicators to gauge the sustainability of small arboreal monocultures embedded in the Amazonian rainforest

Sarah Groc, Jacques Delabie, Fernando Fernandez, Frédéric Petitclerc, Bruno Corbara, Maurice Leponce, Régis Céréghino and Alain Dejean (2017)

Litter-dwelling ants as bioindicators to gauge the sustainability of small arboreal monocultures embedded in the Amazonian rainforest

Ecological Indicators, 82:43-49.

One of the greatest threats to biodiversity and the sustainable functioning of ecosystems is the clearing of forests for agriculture. Because litter-dwelling ants are very good bioindicators of man-made disturbance, we used them to compare monospecific plantations of acacia trees, cocoa trees, rubber trees and pine trees with the surrounding Neotropical rainforest (in contrast to previous studies on forest fragments embedded in industrial monocultures). Although the global level of species turnover was weak, species richness decreased along a gradient from the forest (including a treefall gap) to the tree plantations among which the highest number of species was noted for the cocoa trees, which are known to be a good compromise between agriculture and conservation. Species composition was significantly different between natural habitats and the plantations that, in turn, were different from each other. Compared to the forest, alterations in the ant communities were (1) highest for the acacia and rubber trees, (2) intermediate for the cocoa trees, and, (3) surprisingly, far lower for the pine trees, likely due to very abundant litter. Functional traits only separated the rubber tree plantation from the other habitats due to the higher presence of exotic and leaf-cutting ants. This study shows that small monospecific stands are likely sustainable when embedded in the rainforest and that environmentally-friendly strategies can be planned accordingly.

International Redaction Board, Impact Factor
ML216

Document Actions

 reference(s)
 
before 2016 
2016
2017
before RBINS attribution
after RBINS attribution
 
 pdf(s)
 
a paper (pdf)
(Follow editors copyrights policies)
 
a poster (pdf)