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Harvard Forest Data Archive

HF219

Ant Functional Diversity in Temperate Zone Forests: A Comparison with Neotropical Ants

Related Publications

Data

Overview

  • Lead: Israel Del Toro, Aaron Ellison, Rogerio Silva
  • Investigators:
  • Contact: Aaron Ellison
  • Start date: 2010
  • End date: 2010
  • Status: completed
  • Location: Eastern North America, Eastern South America
  • Latitude: 37.1649 to 46.9648
  • Longitude: -80.3025 to -67.4820
  • Elevation: 6 to 1020 meter
  • Taxa: Formicidae
  • Release date: 2017
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.219.6
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • Related links:
  • Study type: short-term measurement
  • Research topic: biodiversity studies; regional studies
  • LTER core area: populations
  • Keywords: ants, biodiversity, climate change, communities, distribution, diversity, morphology
  • Abstract:

    Predicted impacts of climatic change on ant functional diversity and distributions in eastern North American forests

    Aims--Climatic change is expected to rearrange species assemblages and ultimately affect organism-mediated ecosystem processes. We focus on identifying patterns and relationships between common ant species (representing 99% of total ant records) richness and functional diversity; modelling how these patterns may change at local and regional scales in future climatic conditions; and interpreting how these changes might influence ant-mediated ecosystem processes.

    Location--Forested ecosystems of eastern North America.

    Methods--We used a previously published dataset to evaluate functional diversity at 67 sites in the eastern U.S. and quantified 14 taxonomic, morphometric and natural history traits for 70 common ant species in the region. We used functional diversity metrics, functional groups and species distribution modelling methods to address our aims. We used stacked species distribution models and stacked functional group models to predict species assemblages and functional richness at the 67 sites and at a regional scale for current and future climatic conditions.

    Results--Species richness and functional diversity are positively correlated throughout the region. Under future climate scenarios, species richness and functional group richness were predicted to decrease in southern ecoregions and increase in northern ecoregions. This may be due to increased thermal stress for species in the southern extent of their ranges and increased habitat suitability in the northern ecoregions. Decomposers, arthropod community regulators and seed dispersers are forecast to be the most threatened ant functional groups.

    Main Conclusions--Climate change will likely lead to major changes in ant species richness and functional group richness in the forests of the north-eastern United States, and this may substantially alter ant-mediated ecosystem processes and services.

    Morphological structure of ant assemblages in tropical and temperate forests

    Morphological variation in co-occurring species often is used to infer species assembly rules and other processes structuring ecological assemblages. We compared the morphological structure of ant assemblages in two biogeographic regions along two extensive latitudinal gradients to examine common patterns and unique characteristics of trait distribution. We sampled ant assemblages along extensive latitudinal gradients in Tropical Atlantic Forest in eastern Brazil and temperate forests in the eastern United States. We quantified 14 morphological traits related to the ecology and life history of each of 599 ant species and defined the morphological space occupied by different ant assemblages. Null models were used to test whether tropical and temperate ant assemblages differed from random expectation in morphological structure. Correlations between traits and climate were used to infer associations between habitat characteristics and morphological space occupied by ant assemblages. Tropical ant assemblages had higher morphological diversity and variation in the space of occupied morphospace, whereas temperate assemblages had higher variance in size. Although tropical ant assemblages had smaller morphological distances among species, species packing (i.e., mean nearest-neighbor distance) did not differ between regions. Null model analysis revealed scant evidence of habitat filtering or niche differentiation within assemblages. Different traits had different means, variances, skewness, and kurtosis values along each environmental gradient. Mean trait values within assemblages were associated mainly with region and correlated with temperature but trait variances had more complex responses to climate, including interactions between temperature and precipitation in the models. The higher functional diversity in tropical ant assemblages occurs by expansion of the morphospace rather than through an increase in species packing. Different traits vary independently along environmental gradients. Analysis of individual traits together with categorization of the moments of trait distributions (statistical central tendencies) provide new directions for quantifying morphological diversity in ant assemblages.

  • Methods:

    Predicted impacts of climatic change on ant functional diversity and distributions in eastern North American forests

    Sixty-seven sites were selected across 10 degrees of latitude in the northeastern United States. Sites were distributed across five ecoregions (1) Atlantic Highlands, (2) Mixed Wood Plains, (3) Southeastern U.S. Plains, (4) Ozark-Oachita-Appalachian Forests and, (5) Southeastern Coastal Plains. At each site, one transect was located in a forested area and one in an adjacent open area. Forested areas were dominated by various overstory species, whereas open transects lacked overstory vegetation and tipically had herbaceous and grassy understory vegetation.

    Nineteen continuous morphometric measures were selected to describe species traits. Traits were selected because they had shown ecologically relevant associations with ant ecology. For each ant measured, standard linear measurements were taken using an ocular micrometer mounted on a dissecting microscope, accurate to 0.01 mm.

    Morphological structure of ant assemblages in tropical and temperate forests

    Ant assemblages were sampled along extensive latitudinal gradients in Tropical Atlantic Forest in eastern Brazil and temperate forests in the eastern United States. Fourteen morphological traits related to the ecology and life history of each of 599 ant species were quantified and defined the morphological space occupied by different ant assemblages.

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons license CC BY (Attribution). Please keep the designated contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement.

  • Citation:

    Del Toro I, Ellison A, Silva R. 2017. Ant Functional Diversity in Temperate Zone Forests: A Comparison with Neotropical Ants. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF219.

Detailed Metadata

hf219-01: ant metrics

  1. species: species name
  2. code: six letter code indicating species (first three letters of Genus and first three letters of species)
  3. country: country where specimen was collected
  4. state: state where specimen was collected
  5. site.name: site where specimen was collected when information was available
  6. sample: vial number or unique identifier for pinned specimens when available
  7. date: date on which specimen was collected
  8. lat: latitude where specimen was collected (unit: degree / missing value: NA)
  9. long: longitude where specimen was collected (unit: degree / missing value: NA)
  10. elev: elevation where specimen was collected (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
  11. contributor.year: indicates who took the measurements and the year
  12. stereo: stereo microscope used for measurements
    • Leica: Leica Mycrosystems MZ75
    • Zeiss: Zeiss
  13. mag: indicates magnification strength for variables (if 50x or 5.0x, mulitiply value by 0.01 mm; if 6x or 0.63x, multiply value by 0.08 mm)
  14. hl: head length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  15. hw: head width (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  16. mw: mandible width (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  17. ml: mandible length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  18. cl: clypeus length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  19. el: eye length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  20. id: interocular distance (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  21. dem: distance of the eye to the mandible insertion (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  22. sl: scape length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  23. prw: pronotum width (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  24. wl: Weber's length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  25. fl: hind femur length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  26. pl: petiole length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  27. ph: petiole height (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  28. pw: petiole width (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  29. ppl: post-petiole length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  30. pph: post-petiole height (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  31. ppw: post-petiole width (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  32. gw: gaster width (first segment) (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)

hf219-02: ant species richness and functional diversity

  1. site: abbreviated site code
  2. eve: functional diversity evenness (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  3. div: Fdiv value calculated in R package "FD" (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  4. dis: Fdis value calculated in R package "FD" (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  5. rao: Rao’s quadratic entropy (Q) is computed from the uncorrected species-species distance matrix (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  6. s.sdm.richness: total number of species richness predicted by stacked sdms (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  7. obs.richness: total number of unique species observed at a site (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  8. fgr: total number of unique functional groups observed at a site (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  9. s.fgm: total number of functional group richness predicted by ssdms (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  10. group1.richness: number of species observed in functional group 1 (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  11. group2.richness: number of species observed in functional group 2 (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  12. group3.richness: number of species observed in functional group 3 (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  13. group4.richness: number of species observed in functional group 4 (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  14. group5.richness: number of species observed in functional group 5 (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  15. group6.richness: number of species observed in functional group 6 (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  16. group7.richness: number of species observed in functional group 7 (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  17. group8.richness: number of species observed in functional group 8 (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  18. group9.richness: number of species observed in functional group 9 (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  19. group10.richness: number of species observed in functional group 10 (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  20. longitude: longitude of site in decimal degrees (unit: degree / missing value: NA)
  21. latitude: latitude of site in decimal degrees (unit: degree / missing value: NA)
  22. elevation: elevation of site in meters above sea level (unit: meter / missing value: NA)

hf219-03: traits of ants collected at the study sites

  1. species: abbreviated species code name
  2. subfamily: subfamily of the species
  3. genus: genus of the species
  4. hl: head length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  5. rel: relative eye length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  6. rll: relative leg length (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  7. colony.size: colony size
    • Small: fewer than 100 workers
    • Medium: 100-1000 workers
    • Large: 1000-5000 workers
    • Very Large: more than 5000 workers
  8. feeding.preference: feeding preference (based on Ellison et al., 2012)
  9. nest.substrate: nest substrate
  10. primary.habitat: primary habitat
  11. secondary.habitat: secondary habitat
  12. seed.disperser: whether or not a seed dispersing species
    • N: no
    • Y: yes
  13. slavemaker.sp: whether or not a slave making species
    • N: no
    • Y: yes
  14. behavior: behavioral ranking of the species based on Gotelli et al, 2010
  15. biogeographic.affinity: biogeographic affinity
    • widespread: distributed throughout the entire extent of the study region
    • cold climate: distributed only in the northern extent of the study region
    • warm climate: distributed only in the southern extent of the study region

hf219-04: species abundance

  1. site: pitfall trap at site (site codes listed in hf219-02-site-summary.csv)
  2. ambpal: whether or not the species Stigmatomma pallipes was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  3. aphful: whether or not the species Aphaenogaster fulva was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  4. aphpic: whether or not the species Aphaenogaster picea was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  5. aphrud: whether or not the species Aphaenogaster rudis was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  6. aphten: whether or not the species Aphaenogaster tennesseensis was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  7. aphtre: whether or not the species Aphaenogaster treate was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  8. bradep: whether or not the species Brachymyrmex depilis was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  9. camame: whether or not the species Camponotus americanus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  10. camcas: whether or not the species Camponotus castaenus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  11. camchr: whether or not the species Camponotus chromaoides was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  12. camher: whether or not the species Camponotus herculenus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  13. camnea: whether or not the species Camponotus nearctica was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  14. camnov: whether or not the species Camponotus novaeboracensis was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  15. campen: whether or not the species Camponotus pennsylvanicus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  16. camsub: whether or not the species Camponotus subbarbatus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  17. crecer: whether or not the species Crematogaster cerasi was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  18. crelin: whether or not the species Crematogaster lineolata was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  19. dolmar: whether or not the species Dolichoderus mariae was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  20. dolpla: whether or not the species Dolichoderus plagiatus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  21. doltas: whether or not the species Dolichoderus taschenbergi was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  22. forarg: whether or not the species Formica argentea was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  23. forase: whether or not the species Formica aserva was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  24. fordif: whether or not the species Formica dificilis was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  25. fordol: whether or not the species Formica dolosa was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  26. forexc: whether or not the species Formica exscetoides was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  27. forgla: whether or not the species Formica glacialis was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  28. forinc: whether or not the species Formica incerta was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  29. forint: whether or not the species Formica integra was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  30. forlas: whether or not the species Formica lasioides was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  31. forneo1: whether or not the species Formica neoniger was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  32. forobs: whether or not the species Formica obscuriventris was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  33. forpal: whether or not the species Formica palidefulva was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  34. forque: whether or not the species Formica querquetulana was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  35. forsub1: whether or not the species Formica subaenescens was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  36. forsub2: whether or not the species Formica subintegra was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  37. forsub3: whether or not the species Formica subsericea was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  38. lasali: whether or not the species Lasius alienus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  39. lasfla: whether or not the species Lasius flavipes was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  40. lasnea: whether or not the species Lasius nearcticus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  41. lasneo: whether or not the species Lasius neoniger was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  42. laspal: whether or not the species Lasius palipes was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  43. lasspe: whether or not the species Lasius speculiventris was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  44. lassub: whether or not the species Lasius subumbratus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  45. lasumb: whether or not the species Lasius umbratus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  46. monema: whether or not the species Monomorium emarginatum was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  47. monvir: whether or not the species Monomorium viridae was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  48. myrame1: whether or not the species Myrmica americana was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  49. myrame2: whether or not the species Myrmicina americanus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  50. myrdet: whether or not the species Myrmica detritinodis was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  51. myrfra: whether or not the species Myrmica fracticornis was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  52. myrinc: whether or not the species Myrmica incompleta was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  53. myrlob: whether or not the species Myrmica lobifrons was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  54. myrpun: whether or not the species Myrmica punctiventris was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  55. myrscu: whether or not the species Myrmica sculptilis was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  56. nylpar: whether or not the species Nylanderia parvula was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  57. phepil: whether or not the species Pheidole pelifera was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  58. ponpen: whether or not the species Ponera pennsylvanica was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  59. preimp: whether or not the species Prenolepis imparis was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  60. solmol: whether or not the species Solenopsis molesta was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  61. soltex: whether or not the species Solenopsis texana was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  62. stebre: whether or not the species Stenamma brevicorne was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  63. stedie: whether or not the species Stenamma diecki was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  64. steimp: whether or not the species Stenamma impar was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  65. stesch: whether or not the species Stenamma schmittii was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  66. tapses: whether or not the species Tapinoma sesile was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  67. temamb: whether or not the species Temnothorax ambigus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  68. temcur: whether or not the species Temnothorax curvispinosus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  69. temlon: whether or not the species Temnothorax longispinosus was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  70. temsch: whether or not the species Temnothorax schmitti was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  71. tetcae: whether or not the species Tetramorium caespitum was collected in the pitfall trap
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present

hf219-05: Harvard Forest hardwood plot layout

  • Compression: none
  • Format: R code
  • Type: R code