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Forests 2017, 8(4), 129; doi:10.3390/f8040129

Critical Habitat Elements, with an Emphasis on Coarse Woody Debris, Associated with Ant Presence or Absence in the Moist Cold Sub-Boreal Forests of the Interior of British Columbia

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC V2C 0C8, Canada
2
Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Institute, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC V2N 4Z9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World)
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Abstract

Given both the ubiquity and ecological roles described for ants in British Columbia, an understanding of the habitat elements critical to predicting their presence is desirable. We used logistic regression to model the presence and absence of ants in sub-boreal lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm. ex S. Watson) forests of west-central British Columbia (BC). Methodological emphasis was placed on the association between ants and coarse woody debris (CWD) because of a high degree of utilization of this resource for nesting. Five species of ants, Camponotus herculeanus (L.), Formica aserva Forel, F. neorufibarbis Emery, Leptothorax muscorum (Nylander), and Myrmica alaskensis Wheeler, comprised approximately 90% of all captures in samples of CWD within five seral ages (2–3, 8–10, 13–15, 23–25 years post-harvest, and non-harvested stands). Seral age, presence of other ant colonies of the same species, decay class of CWD, its surface area, and whether the wood was downed woody debris (DWD) or a stump, were significant variables affecting ant presence or absence. These results are explained in the context of ant species autecology as it relates to living in cool climates. View Full-Text
Keywords: coarse woody debris; ants; succession; sub-boreal forests; Formicidae coarse woody debris; ants; succession; sub-boreal forests; Formicidae
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Higgins, R.J.; Gillingham, M.G.; Lindgren, B.S. Critical Habitat Elements, with an Emphasis on Coarse Woody Debris, Associated with Ant Presence or Absence in the Moist Cold Sub-Boreal Forests of the Interior of British Columbia. Forests 2017, 8, 129.

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