-The effects of environmental factors on the richness, diversity and abundance of ants were studied in the Restinga da Marambaia, south coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. The samples were taken using pitfall traps in August/2004 (winter) and March/2005 (summer) in three different vegetation types: (1) herbaceous ridge palmoid (homogeneous habitat); (2) shrub dune thicket and (3) ridge forest (heterogeneous habitats). At each habitat a range of environmental attributes was recorded: soil temperature and humidity, percentage of soil covering by litter and litter depth. Ninety-two ant species belonging to 36 genera and eight subfamilies were recorded. Density of ant species and abundance varied signifi cantly between habitats and seasons; ant diversity varied only between habitats. Homogeneous habitat had lower ant species density, abundance and diversity than heterogeneous habitats. The two fi rst variables were positively correlated with litter depth and both were higher in summer than in winter samples. There were more species of Ponerinae and Ectatomminae in heterogeneous than in the homogeneous habitat, whereas the Formicinae species were more abundant in the later.KEY WORDS: Formicidae, ground-dwelling ant, Neotropical fauna, plant physiognomy RESUMO -A infl uência de fatores ambientais sobre a diversidade, riqueza e abundância de formigas em comunidade de restinga foi avaliada na Marambaia, litoral sul do estado do Rio de Janeiro. As amostras foram tomadas em agosto de 2004 (inverno) e março de 2005 (verão) em três fi sionomias vegetais: (1) vegetação herbácea fechada de cordão arenoso (habitat homogeneo), (2) arbustiva fechada de cordão arenoso e (3) fl oresta de cordão arenoso (habitats heterogeneos). Em cada formação foram medidos os seguintes atributos ambientais: temperatura e umidade do solo, cobertura do solo por serapilheira e profundidade da serapilheira. Noventa e duas espécies distribuídas em 36 gêneros e oito subfamílias foram coletadas. A densidade de espécies e a abundância variaram signifi cativamente com a fi sionomia e época de coleta; a diversidade apenas com a fi sionomia. O habitat homogêneo teve menor densidade de espécies, abundância e diversidade do que os habitats heterogêneos. As duas primeiras variáveis foram positivamente correlacionadas com a profundidade da serapilheira e ambas foram maiores na amostragem de verão do que na de inverno. Houve mais espécies de Ponerinae e Ectatomminae nos ambientes mais heterogêneos, enquanto que Formicinae foi mais abundante no ambiente homogêneo.
RESUMO.O estudo objetivou avaliar a resposta da assembleia de formigas que nidificam na interface solo-serapilheira a um gradiente de alteração ambiental. O estudo foi realizado em três ambientes com diferentes usos do solo: fragmento florestal, sistema agroflorestal (SAF) e pastagem situados em região de domínio da mata atlântica no sudeste do Brasil. Em cada ambiente foram demarcadas 10 parcelas de 1 m² e todos os ninhos de formigas encontrados foram registrados. Foram encontrados 215 ninhos (103 no fragmento florestal, 64 no sistema agroflorestal e 48 na pastagem), de 31 espécies. O número acumulado de espécies foi maior no fragmento florestal que na pastagem, mas não diferiu do SAF. A composição de espécies foi diferente entre o fragmento florestal e os outros dois ambientes. A riqueza média de espécies de formigas por parcela foi maior no fragmento florestal e menor na pastagem. A quantidade de serapilheira não foi um fator importante para as diferenças na riqueza de espécies. Atividades humanas que reduzam a heterogeneidade da vegetação alteram a composição e diminuem a riqueza de espécies das assembleias de formigas. PALAVRAS-CHAVE. Agroecossistema, biodiversidade, fatores bióticos.ABSTRACT. Response of the ant assemblage to a gradient of environmental change in the soil-litter interface. The present study aimed at assessing the response of the assemblage of ants that nest in the soil-litter interface to a gradient of environmental change. Fieldwork was carried out in three environments under different land use regimes: a forest fragment, an agroforestry system (AFS), and a pasture, all located within the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil. In each environment we marked ten 1-m² plots and recorded all ant nests found within them. We recorded 215 nests (103 in the forest, 64 in the AFS, and 48 in the pasture) of 31 species. The cumulative number of species was higher in the forest than in the pasture; the forest and the AFS differed from the pasture, but did not differ from each other. Species composition differed between the forest and the other two environments. The average species richness was high in the forest and low in the pasture. The amount of litter did not explain the differences in species richness among environments. Human activities that reduce vegetation heterogeneity change the composition and reduce the richness of the ant assemblage.
Even though Chagas disease is rare in the Brazilian Amazon, the conditions for the establishment of domiciliated cycles prevail in many areas where triatomines are of frequent occurrence. In Roraima, a previous serological and entomological survey in three agricultural settlements showed the existence of all transmission cycle elements, i.e., individuals infected by Trypanosoma cruzi, triatomine species previously found harboring T. cruzi in the broader Amazon region of neighboring countries and, domicile/ peridomicile conditions favorable to triatomine colonization. Triatoma maculata was the most frequent species, found in chicken houses in the peridomicile and sporadically within residences. Aiming to investigate the possibility of T. maculata to possess the potentiality to transmit T. cruzi in the area, bionomic characteristics were studied under laboratory conditions. These were feeding frequency, time for defecation after a blood meal, time elapsed in voluntary fasting pre- and pos-ecdysis, moulting time periods, pre-oviposition and oviposition periods and index of oviposition, incubation period, egg viability, longevity and mortality rate. Results show that the Passarão population of T. maculata should be considered a potential vector of T. cruzi since it shows a capacity to infest artificial ecotopes in the peridomicile, to carry out large number of meals during the nymphal cycle, to have a relatively short developmental cycle capable of producing 2.9 generations/year, to blood source eclecticism, to defecate immediately after the blood meal while still on the host and to the fact that has been previously found naturally infected by T. cruzi.
O trabalho objetivou estudar a influência de características da arborização das áreas verdes urbanas sobre a mirmecofauna. A pesquisa foi conduzida no Município de Três Rios-RJ, em um parque urbano e em cinco praças públicas arborizadas. Foram obtidas a densidade de árvores, a densidade de espécies de árvores e a temperatura do ar. As formigas foram coletadas no solo e sobre o tronco de árvores, com iscas de sardinha. Foram coletadas 44 espécies de formigas, 26 espécies no solo e 37 espécies nas árvores. A densidade de espécies de árvores influenciou positivamente o número total de espécies de formigas e a diversidade de espécies coletadas nas árvores. Conclui-se que o aumento da densidade de espécies de árvores nas áreas verdes urbanas pode colaborar para a conservação da diversidade biológica.
The present study aimed at assessing the effects of climate seasonality on poneromorph ants in the Brazilian Amazon, by studying variations in composition, richness, and taxonomic and functional diversity. The study was carried out in the Tapirapé-Aquiri National Forest, southeastern Pará State. We collected poneromorph ants in three areas of native forest with pitfall traps and sardine baits on the ground and vegetation, in two dry and rainy seasons. We collected 46 species of poneromorph ants, which belong to two subfamilies and eleven genera. The species composition, richness and taxonomic diversity did not vary significantly between seasons. There was no significant difference in the frequency of species of functional groups between dry and rainy seasons. There was no significant difference in the average richness and average diversity of functional groups between the dry and rainy seasons. In our study we found no seasonal differences in composition, taxonomic and functional richness and diversity of poneromorph ants in the Amazon, which is useful for future studies that aim at using those ants as bioindicators. In addition, the identification of the species made in the present study has special relevance as it contributes to advance the knowledge of poneromorph ant diversity in the Amazon.
In this study we assessed the leaf-litter ant community in the Cicuta Forest, a semideciduous forest located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. Specifically, we tested the following hypotheses: (1) ant richness and diversity are higher in the rainy season, due to higher resource availability and better temperature and humidity conditions; and that (2) the structure of the ant community is influenced by climate seasonality. We collected 83 ant species of 35 genera and eight subfamilies. In total, 64 species were collected in the dry season and 73 species in the rainy season. Based on rarefaction curves with confidence intervals, we observed that species richness in the dry and rainy seasons did not differ significantly from each other. Shannon diversity did not differ significantly (t = -1.20; P = 0.23) between the dry (3.43) and rainy seasons (3.52). We did not observe a significant effect of climate seasonality neither on ant species composition, richness, and diversity, nor on community structure. These results may be explained by the degree of isolation and degradation of this forest remnant. In short, our study contributes to knowledge on how seasonal variations affects ant communities. Sociobiology
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