Competition has been recognized as a major organizing process in ant communities, with ant communities frequently forming spatial mosaics of dominant species associated with subdominants. Often, species exhibit tradeoffs in their ability to discover versus dominate resources, suggesting a mechanism for coexistence. Here we describe spatial patterns of dominant ants in two sites within a coffee plantation. Ants were sampled for three consecutive years by using tuna baits set on a grid on the ground and on coffee bushes. In addition, so as to determine which species discovered baits first and which species dominated baits, a separate experiment was set up where baits were observed every minute for 2 hr. The relative abundance of species followed a power law, with coefficients of determination ranging from 92 to 97% explanation. At site I the terrestrial community is dominated by two species, Pheidole synanthropica Longino and Pheidole protensa Wilson, whereas at site II the community exhibits codominance of four species: P. synanthropica, P. protensa, Solenopsis geminata F., and Pheidole 1 group. The spatial pattern formed by these species is distinct for each of the sites, both in terms of generalized appearance and dynamic stability. The terrestrial foraging ants at site I do not maintain a fixed mosaic over time. In contrast, at site II ants maintain a fixed mosaic. The arboreally foraging ants reflect, to some extent, the pattern of the terrestrial foragers. A possible interpretation of these results is that dominant ants at site I contain competitive intransitivities that generate a changing mosaic, whereas dominant ants in site II are organized in a competitive hierarchy that generates a fixed mosaic.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.