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Ant community composition across a gradient of disturbed military landscapes at Fort Benning, Georgia

Southeastern Naturalist

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Abstract

Military training, soil texture, and ground cover influence ant communities at Fort Benning, a military installation in west-central Georgia. We sampled 81,237 ground-dwelling ants (47 species in 20 genera) with pitfall traps at 40 sites on a continuum from nearly pristine forest to highly disturbed training areas. We also measured 15 environmental variables related to vegetation and soil. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and more compact soils with shallower A-horizons than comparable undisturbed sites. Pheidole bicarinata, Dorymyrmex smithi, and Pogonomyrmex badius dominated the most highly disturbed sites. Competitively submissive myrmicines, such as Aphaenogaster and Crematogaster, and formicines, such as Camponotus and Formica, were abundant in the undisturbed sites. Solenopsis invicta occurred in all but the least disturbed sites. Ant community composition was a useful indicator of disturbance at Fort Benning.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Ant community composition across a gradient of disturbed military landscapes at Fort Benning, Georgia
Series title:
Southeastern Naturalist
Volume
7
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2008
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Southeastern Naturalist
First page:
429
Last page:
448
Number of Pages:
20