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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018 / Ant–plant relationships in the canopy of an Amazonian rainforest: the presence of an ant mosaic

Alain Dejean, Jérôme Orivel, Maurice Leponce, Arthur Compin, Jacques Delabie, Frédéric Azémar and Bruno Corbara (2018)

Ant–plant relationships in the canopy of an Amazonian rainforest: the presence of an ant mosaic

Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 125:344-354.

Using different techniques to access the canopy of an Amazonian rainforest, we inspected 157 tree crowns for arboreal ants. Diversity statistics showed that our study sample was not representative of the tree and ant populations due to their high diversity in Amazonian rainforests, but permitted us to note that a representative part of territorially dominant arboreal ant species (TDAAs) was inventoried. Mapping of TDAA territories and use of a null model showed the presence of an ant mosaic in the upper canopy, but this was not the case in the sub-canopy. Among the TDAAs, carton-nesting Azteca dominated (52.98% of the trees) whereas ant-garden ants (Camponotus femoratus and Crematogaster levior), common in pioneer formations, were secondarily abundant (21.64% of the trees), and the remaining 25.37% of trees sheltered one of 11 other TDAAs. The distribution of the trees forming the upper canopy influences the structure of the ant mosaic, which is related to the attractiveness of some tree taxa for certain arboreal ant species and represents a case of diffuse coevolution.

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