Ant diversity decreases during the dry season:A meta-analysis of the effects of seasonality on ant richness and abundance

Queiroz, A.C.M. and Marques, T.G. and Ribas, C.R. and Cornelissen, T. and Nogueira, A. and Schmidt, F.A. and Feitosa, R. and Sobrinho, T.G. and Quinet, Y. and Baccaro, F.B. and Ulysséa, M.A. and Vargas, A.B. and Morini, M.S.C. and Souza, J.L.P. and Paolucci, L. and Dáttilo, W. and Del-Claro, K. and Lange, D. and Santos, J. and Silva, R.R. and Campos, R.B.F. and Albuquerque, E.Z. and Izzo, T. and Rabello, A.M. and Solar, R.R.C. and Soares, S.A. and Carvalho, K.S. and Moraes, A.B. and Torezan-Silingardi, H.M. and Nahas, L. and dos Santos, I.A. and Costa-Milanez, C.B. and Esteves, F. and Frizzo, T. and Harada, A.Y. and DaRocha, W. and Diehl-Fleig, E. (2023) Ant diversity decreases during the dry season:A meta-analysis of the effects of seasonality on ant richness and abundance. Biotropica, 55 (1). pp. 29-39. ISSN 0006-3606

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Tropical studies traditionally describe insect diversity variation throughout the year. The temporally structured responses of insect assemblages to climate seasonality vary across ecosystems due to gradients of resource availability and limiting ecological factors. These idiosyncratic responses might be particularly true across the vast geographical range of the Brazilian territory, including various environments that harbor one of the most diverse ant faunas worldwide. This study addressed the relationship between ant diversity and climatic seasonality, performing a quantitative review of the published data on ant diversity collected in Brazil. We investigated the seasonality effect on ant abundance and richness described in the literature in 47 papers published between 2000 and 2018. These studies were developed mainly in the Atlantic Forest biome and collected ants with pitfall traps on the soil/litter stratum. We initially carried out a vote-counting procedure by comparing the number of significant results describing seasonal differences in the ant assemblage. We found that most papers described a similar pattern of ant abundance, richness, and species composition between seasons. However, when we performed a meta-analysis, we observed a clear pattern of higher ant abundance and richness in the wet/summer season compared with the dry/winter season. Our meta-analysis reveals that the ant diversity decreases in the dry season, strongly in the Cerrado biome. Additionally, we point out differences in the sampling effort across biomes, indicating the need for further investments in studies focused on temporal diversity patterns, including seasonal effects, on the insect assemblage in biomes less investigated so far. Abstract in Portuguese is available with online material.

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20 Oct 2022 13:15
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21 Sep 2023 03:20