Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Ant Communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a Protected Urban Park in Northeast Mexico

How to Cite

Rosas-Mejía, M. (2024). Ant Communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a Protected Urban Park in Northeast Mexico. Revista De Biología Tropical, 72(1), e58107.


Introduction: The creation of protected natural areas within urban environments has played an essential role in providing small reservoirs of native vegetation and refuges for endemic species. Objective: To analyze, through ant communities, the influence of urbanization in a protected natural area (PNA) located in an urban zone. Methods: From April to July 2022, using bait traps and pitfall traps along 100 m transects, the presence of ant species was recorded in the El Refugio State Park Natural Area in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Alpha diversity was assessed using Hill numbers, while beta diversity was evaluated using the Jaccard index. Additionally, indicator species were identified through the indicator value (IndVal). Multiple correspondence analysis was conducted to associate the presence of species with environmental variables and vegetation types, and contingency tables were created to relate ant presence to vegetation cover size. Results: Species richness and diversity decreased in sites with low vegetation cover, such as in Tamaulipan thornscrub; moreover, secondary vegetation retained greater species richness. Indicator species were found in secondary vegetation and grassland areas, mainly composed of species that tolerate high temperatures and generalists such as Forelius mccooki and Tetramorium spinosum, while lowland jungle species were the only indicator species. The presence of these species is primarily associated with temperature, humidity, and vegetation cover. A significant relationship between the presence of ant species and vegetation cover size in El Refugio State Park was evident. Conclusion: The structure and composition of ant communities vary according to the type of vegetation structure, particularly in areas that have undergone greater anthropogenic damage. Therefore, the conservation of landscapes, as well as monitoring of these areas, should be considered in future research.

Keywords: green areas; formicids; conservation; indicator species; community ecology.


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