Do morphological traits of ground-dwelling ants respond to land use changes in a neotropical landscape? - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Geoderma Year : 2022

Do morphological traits of ground-dwelling ants respond to land use changes in a neotropical landscape?

Abstract

Analyzing the impacts of agricultural activities on biodiversity requires a full knowledge of the ecology of the studied species. Using a trait-based approach may improve our ability to understand land use impacts on less well-studied species in order to establish general trends that will facilitate the prediction of these impacts. In this study, we applied a trait-based approach to understand the impact of land use change on ant communities in the Colombian Llanos region. Five common land uses were considered (annual crops, rubber plantations, oil palm plantations, improved pastures and semi-natural savannas) to test whether some morphological traits respond to soil properties and land uses. An RLQ analysis shows a significant common structure between species distribution, environmental factors, and morphological ant traits. This indicates that morphological traits could be used to predict the response of ant communities in different land uses since they respond to environmental characteristics as vegetation complexity, composition and management. Based on the selected morphological ant traits, three groups of land uses were differentiated: grazing-based systems, agroforestry plantations and annual crops. Agroforestry plantations, especially rubber plantations tend to host larger and specialized ant species, while grazing-based systems (i.e. improved pastures) mainly host small and generalist ants, and annual crops host more pigmented ants. These findings suggest that certain morphological traits can reflect the ability of ant species to settle down and survive in a given land use system. Our study shows that improving knowledge about trait- environment associations could be a useful way to better understand how ecological filtering shape neotropical ant communities and how they respond to landscape transformation and land use changes.
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hal-03662851 , version 1 (09-05-2022)

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Catalina Sanabria, Sébastien Barot, Steven Fonte, Florence Dubs. Do morphological traits of ground-dwelling ants respond to land use changes in a neotropical landscape?. Geoderma, 2022, 418, pp.115841. ⟨10.1016/j.geoderma.2022.115841⟩. ⟨hal-03662851⟩
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