Invasive and socially parasitic ants are good bioindicators of habitat quality in Mediterranean forest remnants in northeast Spain

Víctor Bernal, Xavier Espadaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We surveyed ants in 16 forest remnants in the Vallès lowlands north of Barcelona, Spain: eight with invasive exotic ants (IE = Linepithema humile and/or Lasius neglectus) present, seven with native parasitic ants (P = Lasius meridionalis, Lasius carniolicus, Plagiolepis xene, Chalepoxenus muellerianus, and/or Polyergus rufescens) present, and one remnant with both invasive exotic and parasitic ants present. Forest remnants with IE ants were smaller, more isolated, had greater perimeter/area, lower ant species density, and lower ant species richness than remnants with P ants. The community composition was also significantly different, with greater dissimilarity within remnants with alien, invasive species. The presence of some species is bio-indicator of low disturbance, whereas others are indicative of high disturbance. Our findings underscore the value of different types of ants as bio-indicators of fragmentation and habitat quality. © 2013 The Ecological Society of Japan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1017
JournalEcological Research
Volume28
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Forest remnant isolation
  • Forest remnant size
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Slave-making ant species

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