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Overview of the Distribution, Habitat Association and Impact of Exotic Ants on Native Ant Communities in New Caledonia

Berman, Maia, Andersen, Alan N., Hely, Christelle and Garucherel, Cedric (2013). Overview of the Distribution, Habitat Association and Impact of Exotic Ants on Native Ant Communities in New Caledonia. PLoS One,8(6):e67245-1-e67245-12.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 82057923xPUB491
Title Overview of the Distribution, Habitat Association and Impact of Exotic Ants on Native Ant Communities in New Caledonia
Author Berman, Maia
Andersen, Alan N.
Hely, Christelle
Garucherel, Cedric
Journal Name PLoS One
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 8
Issue Number 6
ISSN 1932-6203   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84879477108
Start Page e67245-1
End Page e67245-12
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication United States of America
Publisher Public Library of Science
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Ants are among the most ubiquitous and harmful invaders worldwide, but there are few regional studies of their relationships with habitat and native ant communities. New Caledonia has a unique and diverse ant fauna that is threatened by exotic ants, but broad-scale patterns of exotic and native ant community composition in relation to habitat remain poorly documented. We conducted a systematic baiting survey of 56 sites representing the main New Caledonian habitat types: rainforest on ultramafic soils (15 sites), rainforest on volcano-sedimentary soils (13), maquis shrubland (15), Melaleuca-dominated savannas (11) and Acacia spirorbis thickets (2). We collected a total of 49 species, 13 of which were exotic. Only five sites were free of exotic species, and these were all rainforest. The five most abundant exotic species differed in their habitat association, with Pheidole megacephala associated with rainforests, Brachymyrmex cf. obscurior with savanna, and Wasmannia auropunctata and Nylanderia vaga present in most habitats. Anoplolepis gracilipes occurred primarily in maquis-shrubland, which contrasts with its rainforest affinity elsewhere. Multivariate analysis of overall ant species composition showed strong differentiation of sites according to the distribution of exotic species, and these patterns were maintained at the genus and functional group levels. Native ant composition differed at invaded versus uninvaded rainforest sites, in the absence of differences in habitat variables. Generalised Myrmicinae and Forest Opportunists were particularly affected by invasion. There was a strong negative relationship between the abundance of W. auropunctata and native ant abundance and richness. This emphasizes that, in addition to dominating many ant communities numerically, some exotic species, and in particular W. auropunctata, have a marked impact on native ant communities.

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0067245   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Open access True
Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 4.0 License
URL https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/au/legalcode


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