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JOURNAL

International Journal of Insect Science

Higher Ant Diversity in Native Vegetation Than in Stands of the Invasive L., Along the Rio Grande Basin in Texas, USA

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International Journal of Insect Science 2017:9 1179543317724756

Original Research

Published on 08 Aug 2017

DOI: 10.1177/1179543317724756


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Abstract

Our hypothesis was that there will be greater ant biodiversity in heterogeneous native vegetation compared with Arundo stands. Changes in ant biodiversity due to Arundo invasion may be one of the ecological changes in the landscape that facilitates the invasion of cattle fever ticks from Mexico where they are endemic. Ants collected in pitfall traps were identified and compared between native vegetation and stands of Arundo, Arundo donax L., monthly for a year at 10 locations. A total of 82 752 ants representing 28 genera and 76 species were collected. More ants were collected in the native vegetation which also had greater species richness and biological diversity than ants collected from Arundo stands. It is suggested that the greater heterogeneous nature of native vegetation provided greater and more predictable nourishment in the form of nectars and more abundant arthropod prey when compared with Arundo stands.



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