Translator Disclaimer
1 October 2015 The Effects of Restoration Age and Prescribed Burns on Grassland Ant Community Structure
Author Affiliations +
Abstract
North American grassland environments are endangered as a result of degradation and conversion for agriculture and housing. Efforts to manage and restore grasslands have traditionally focused on monitoring plant communities to determine restoration success, but the incorporation of animal communities may provide important benchmarks of ecosystem function and restoration. Ants play many roles in maintaining ecosystem health in temperate grasslands, but relatively little is known about how ant communities respond to restoration. We studied the role that restoration age and prescribed burns have on ant communities in two types of Illinois grasslands, prairies and savannas, and identify indicator species of restoration success. Grassland environments included remnants and restorations that varied in age from newly restored sites, to sites that have been under restoration for >15 yr. We demonstrate that prairie and savanna ant communities are distinct, but respond to restoration in a similar manner. Three distinct prairie ant assemblages were identified based on the age of restoration of a site—sites <3yr old, sites that have been under restoration >5 yr, and remnant prairies. Four distinct savanna ant assemblages were identified based on the age of restoration of a site—sites <3 yr old, sites 5–15 yr old, sites >15 yr old, and remnant savanna environments. After accounting for restoration age, time since last burn in both prairie and savannas does not explain community composition or species richness. Several ant species in both prairies and savannas have predictable changes in incidence that indicate their suitability for use as indicator species.
© The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved.
Sean B. Menke, Emilee Gaulke, Allison Hamel and Nicole Vachter "The Effects of Restoration Age and Prescribed Burns on Grassland Ant Community Structure," Environmental Entomology 44(5), (1 October 2015). https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvv110
Received: 13 March 2015; Accepted: 19 June 2015; Published: 1 October 2015
JOURNAL ARTICLE
12 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top