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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)
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)
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)
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)
The genus Mycetagroicus is perhaps the least known of all fungus-growing ant genera, having been first described in 2001 from museum specimens. A recent molecular phylogenetic analysis of the fungus-growing ants demonstrated that Mycetagroicus is the sister to all higher attine ants (Trachymyrmex, Sericomyrmex, Acromyrmex, Pseudoatta, and Atta), making it(More)
We studied the relationship between Hirtella myrmecophila (Chrysobalanaceae), a common but little-studied Amazonian ant-plant that produces leaf-pouches as domatia, and its obligate ant partner, Allomerus octoarticulatus. Field observations revealed that H. myrmecophila drops domatia from older leaves, a characteristic that is unique among myrmecophytes.(More)
Correlation between gut microbiota and host phylogeny could reflect codiversification over shared evolutionary history or a selective environment that is more similar in related hosts. These alternatives imply substantial differences in the relationship between host and symbiont, but can they be distinguished based on patterns in the community data(More)
This study investigates some factors affecting the foraging activity of the leaf-cutting ant Atta laevigata. The study was conducted on an abandoned farm near Manaus, in Brazilian Amazonia, where forest was beginning to regenerate. I determined how temporal changes in the structure of the woody plant community (linked to the regeneration process) affected(More)