Next Article in Journal
Induction of Defense Responses in Pinus sylvestris Seedlings by Methyl Jasmonate and Response to Heterobasidion annosum and Lophodermium seditiosum Inoculation
Next Article in Special Issue
Assessing the Connectivity of Riparian Forests across a Gradient of Human Disturbance: The Potential of Copernicus “Riparian Zones” in Two Hydroregions
Previous Article in Journal
Temperature Sensitivity of CO2 and CH4 Fluxes from Coarse Woody Debris in Northern Boreal Forests
Previous Article in Special Issue
Regeneration of Riparian and Maritime Pine Forests after a Large Wildfire on the Largest Public Forest of Portugal
Article

Ants as Bioindicators of Riparian Ecological Health in Catalonian Rivers

1
Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
2
Centre d’Estudis dels Rius Mediterranis, Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya, Museu del Ter, Passeig del Ter, 2 08560 Manlleu, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Young-Seuk Park
Forests 2021, 12(5), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12050625
Received: 20 March 2021 / Revised: 7 May 2021 / Accepted: 11 May 2021 / Published: 14 May 2021
In this study, we assess the potential of ants as bioindicators of riparian ecological health in two river types (upland and lowland type) located in the Catalonian region. We proposed to understand to what extent do metrics based on ant responses provide useful information that cannot be presented by traditional biophysical assessments while attempting an approach to creating an ant-based multimetric index (ant-based MMI) of the riparian ecological health. A total of 22 ant species were identified, and 42 metrics related to ant foraging activity, species richness, and functional traits were evaluated as potential core metrics of the index. Riparian features and proximal land use land cover (LULC) were used to distinguish disturbed from less disturbed sites. We found that ant communities strongly responded to human disturbance. When compared with an exclusively physical-based index for the assessment of the riparian health, the ant-based MMI was more sensitive to human disturbance, by also reacting to the effects of the surrounding LULC pressure. This study provides a preliminary approach for an ant-based assessment tool to evaluate the health of riparian corridors although additional research is required to include other river types and a wider stressor gradient before a wider application. View Full-Text
Keywords: ant metrics; biodiversity; Formicidae; functional index; Iberian Peninsula; integrity; riverscapes ant metrics; biodiversity; Formicidae; functional index; Iberian Peninsula; integrity; riverscapes
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Zina, V.; Ordeix, M.; Franco, J.C.; Ferreira, M.T.; Fernandes, M.R. Ants as Bioindicators of Riparian Ecological Health in Catalonian Rivers. Forests 2021, 12, 625. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12050625

AMA Style

Zina V, Ordeix M, Franco JC, Ferreira MT, Fernandes MR. Ants as Bioindicators of Riparian Ecological Health in Catalonian Rivers. Forests. 2021; 12(5):625. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12050625

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zina, Vera, Marc Ordeix, José C. Franco, Maria T. Ferreira, and Maria R. Fernandes 2021. "Ants as Bioindicators of Riparian Ecological Health in Catalonian Rivers" Forests 12, no. 5: 625. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12050625

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop