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The hypothesis that ants (Pheidole minutula) associated with the myrmecophytic melastome Maieta guianensis defend their host-plant against herbivores was investigated in a site near Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. M. guianensis is a small shrub that produces leaf pouches as ant domatia. Plants whose ants were experimentally removed suffered a significant increase(More)
This study evaluates biotic responses, using ants as bio-indicators, to relatively recent anthropogenic disturbances to mature forest in central Amazonia. The structure of the ground-foraging ant community was compared in four habitats that represented a gradient of disturbance associated with differences in land use. Ants were collected in undisturbed,(More)
Amazonian forest fragments and second-growth forests often differ substantially from undisturbed forests in their microclimate, plant-species composition, and soil fauna. To determine if these changes could affect litter decomposition, we quantified the mass loss of two contrasting leaf-litter mixtures, in the presence or absence of soil macroinvertebrates,(More)
The ants Pheidole minutula and Crematogaster sp. are obligate inhabitants of the ant-plant Maieta guianensis. They nest and reproduce exclusively in this and a few other Amazon melastome ant-plants. Experimental transplants of uncolonized M. guianensis seedlings to sites at different distances from established colonies of these two ant species, which are(More)
Climate and litter quality are primary drivers of terrestrial decomposition and, based on evidence from multisite experiments at regional and global scales, are universally factored into global decomposition models. In contrast, soil animals are considered key regulators of decomposition at local scales but their role at larger scales is unresolved. Soil(More)
We studied the energy flow from C3 and C4 plants to higher trophic levels in a central Amazonian savanna by comparing the carbon stable-isotope ratios of potential food plants to the isotope ratios of species of different consumer groups. All C4 plants encountered in our study area were grasses and all C3 plants were bushes, shrubs or vines. Differences in(More)
1. Arboreal ants are both diverse and ecologically dominant in the tropics. Such ecologically important groups are likely to be particularly useful in ongoing empirical efforts to understand the processes that regulate species diversity and coexistence. 2. Our study addresses how access to tree-based resources and the diversity of pre-existing nesting(More)
Understanding the factors that drive species richness and composition at multiple scales is of crucial importance for conservation. Here we evaluated how habitat heterogeneity—at the local and landscape scales—affects the diversity of ants in the Brazilian Cerrado. The Cerrado is a biodiversity hotspot that is characterized as a mosaic of habitats,(More)
Few studies have evaluated the efficiency of methods for sampling ants, especially in regions with highly variable vegetation physiognomies such as the Cerrado region of central Brazil. Here we compared three methods to collect ground-dwelling ants: pitfall traps, sardine baits, and the Winkler litter extractor. Our aim was to determine which method would(More)