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Insects 2017, 8(3), 64; doi:10.3390/insects8030064

Monitoring Effect of Fire on Ant Assemblages in Brazilian Rupestrian Grasslands: Contrasting Effects on Ground and Arboreal Fauna

1
Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology of Canopy Insects and Natural Succession, Department of Biodiversity, Evolution and Environment, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto 35400-000, MG, Brazil
2
Postgraduate Program in Entomology, Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto 14040-901, SP, Brazil
3
Postgraduate Program in Ecology, Department of General Biology, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa 36570-900, MG, Brazil
4
Postgraduate Program in Integrated Management of the Territory, University of Vale do Rio Doce, Governador Valadares 35030-260, MG, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Brian T. Forschler
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract

Fire is one of the most relevant ecological disturbances in nature. Little is known about the effects of fire on biodiversity in ecosystems like rupestrian grasslands, which share characteristics with savanna and forest biomes. Brazilian rupestrian grasslands are part of an endangered ecosystem that has been modified by anthropogenic fire events that have become more intense in recent decades. In this study, we evaluated the effects of fire on ground and arboreal ant assemblages through a two-year monitoring program (24 monthly samplings). We found that fire does not change cumulative species richness after 24 months, and that fire does not affect mean ant richness, abundance, and species composition in arboreal ants. On the other hand, fire increased mean ground ant species richness and abundance, and caused a significant change in species composition. Our results indicate a weak and beneficial effect of fire only for ground ant communities, which generally agrees with results from other studies in Brazilian savannas. Taken together, results from these studies may be useful for improvement of fire suppression policy in fire-prone habitats in Brazil. View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial segregation; fire policy; community structure; insects; burn spatial segregation; fire policy; community structure; insects; burn
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MDPI and ACS Style

Anjos, D.; Campos, R.; Campos, R.; Ribeiro, S. Monitoring Effect of Fire on Ant Assemblages in Brazilian Rupestrian Grasslands: Contrasting Effects on Ground and Arboreal Fauna. Insects 2017, 8, 64.

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