Ant mosaics in Bornean primary rain forest high canopy depend on spatial scale, time of day, and sampling method

Kalsum M. Yusah, and William A. Foster, and Glen Reynolds, and Tom M. Fayle, (2018) Ant mosaics in Bornean primary rain forest high canopy depend on spatial scale, time of day, and sampling method. Peer J, 6.

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Official URL: doi: 10.7717/peerj.4231

Abstract

Background. Competitive interactions in biological communities can be thought of as giving rise to“assembly rules” which dictate the species that are able to co-exist. Ant communities in tropicalcanopies often display a particular pattern, an “ant mosaic”, in which competition between dominantant species results in a patchwork of mutually exclusive territories. Although ant mosaics have beenwell-documented in plantation landscapes, their presence in pristine tropical forests remainscontentious. Variation in results between studies might be caused by differences in either samplingmethods, vertical canopy structure, spatial scale of sampling, or time of day at which sampling tookplace.Methods. To test whether these factors might impact the detection of ant mosaics in pristine habitats,we sampled ant communities from emergent trees, which rise above the highest canopy layers inlowland dipterocarp rain forests in North Borneo, using both baiting and insecticide fogging. Critically,we restricted sampling to only the canopy of each focal tree. For baiting, we carried out sampling bothduring the day and the night. We used null models of species co-occurrence to assess patterns ofsegregation at within-tree and between-tree scales.Results. We found patterns of ant species segregation between trees consistent with the existence ofant mosaics using both methods. Within trees, fogged ants were segregated, while baited ants weresegregated only at night.Discussion. We conclude that ant mosaics do exist within the high canopy of tropical rain forest, andthat sampling technique, spatial scale, and temporal scale interact to determine observed patterns ofsegregation. Restricting sampling to only emergent trees reveals segregatory patterns not observed instudies that do not account for the three dimensional structure of the rain forest canopy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rain forest ecology,Nature, ecosystem
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Depositing User: MR OTHMAN HJ RAWI
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2019 08:25
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2019 08:25
URI: http://eprints.ums.edu.my/id/eprint/22275

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