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Effect of tropical forest disturbance on the competitive interactions within a diverse ant community

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Title: Effect of tropical forest disturbance on the competitive interactions within a diverse ant community
Authors: Gray, R
Ewers, R
Boyle, M
Chung, A
Gill, RJ
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Understanding how anthropogenic disturbance influences patterns of community composition and the reinforcing interactive processes that structure communities is important to mitigate threats to biodiversity. Competition is considered a primary reinforcing process, yet little is known concerning disturbance effects on competitive interaction networks. We examined how differences in ant community composition between undisturbed and disturbed Bornean rainforest, is potentially reflected by changes in competitive interactions over a food resource. Comparing 10 primary forest sites to 10 in selectively-logged forest, we found higher genus richness and diversity in the primary forest, with 18.5% and 13.0% of genera endemic to primary and logged respectively. From 180 hours of filming bait cards, we assessed ant-ant interactions, finding that despite considered aggression over food sources, the majority of ant interactions were neutral. Pr oportion of competitive interactions at bait cards did not differ between forest type, however, the rate and per capita number of competitive interactions was significantly lower in logged forest. Furthermore, the majority of genera showed large changes in aggression-score with often inverse relationships to their occupancy rank. This provides evidence of a shuffled competitive network, and these unexpected changes in aggressive relationships could be considered a type of competitive network re-wiring after disturbance.
Issue Date: 23-Mar-2018
Date of Acceptance: 26-Feb-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/57535
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-23272-y
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 8
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Cre- ative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not per- mitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Sponsor/Funder: Rainforest Research Sdn Bhd
Funder's Grant Number: LBEE_P34395
Keywords: Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
SOUTH-EAST-ASIA
OIL PALM PLANTATION
DOMINANCE TRADE-OFF
RAIN-FOREST
LEAF-LITTER
HYMENOPTERA-FORMICIDAE
MALAYSIAN BORNEO
ANTHROPOGENIC DISTURBANCE
HABITAT DISTURBANCE
ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 5131
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences