Understanding an ecological system: an example of temporal and spatial variability of <i>Dorymyrmex (Conomyrma) insana </i>in a stressed system

TitleUnderstanding an ecological system: an example of temporal and spatial variability of Dorymyrmex (Conomyrma) insana in a stressed system
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsNash M.S., Whitford WG
JournalJournal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
Date PublishedSeptember 1, 200
ARIS Log Number173144
KeywordsANOVA, ants, biological indicator, grazing, kriging, mesquite shrub, multiple stressor, spatial and temporal variability
AbstractThe responses of pyramid ants Dorymyrmex (Conomyrma) insana (Buckley) to structural change (removal of an invasive shrub species) and to an environmental stress (short-term, intense grazing by cattle) are presented from an experiment study in Chihuahuan Desert grassland. Spatial and temporal responses of D. insana were examined by analysis of variances, kriging maps, and regression analyses. There were no significant responses of D. insana to grazing. The numerical and spatial responses of ants recorded from pitfall trap data were the same as those recorded from mapping ant nests. The spatial distribution of D. insana nests was a function of the canopy cover of the invasive, woody shrub, honey mesquite (Fabaceae: Prosopis glandulosa Torrey) (r = 0.82) and explained 68% of the variability in nest distribution. The dominant, liquid-feeding ant species (D. insana) responded numerically and spatially to structural change and environmental stress. Spatially referenced data are as important or more important for monitoring ecosystem change than are numerical data.