Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of APA Pandeiros: A Perspective from a Decade of Research in an Environmental Protection Area in the Cerrado-Caatinga Transition

Authors

  • Antonio Cesar Medeiros de Queiroz Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Livia Pires do Prado Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi/MCTIC and Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo
  • Rafael Almeida Cesarino Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Graziele S. Santiago Universidade Federal de Lavras and Instituto Federal do Norte de Minas Gerais
  • Cynthia Valéria Oliveira Universidade Federal de Lavras and Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz
  • Mariana A. Rabelo Universidade Federal de Lavras and Fundação Jardim Botânico de Poços de Caldas
  • Carla R. Ribas Universidade Federal de Lavras

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v69i3.7878

Keywords:

ant inventories, ecological role, open vegetation, Neotropical savannas, Tropical dry forest

Abstract

Habitat transformation and species loss bring enormous environmental damage, whereas establishing protected areas promotes more sustainable use of environmental resources through biodiversity conservation. In this study, we aimed to point out gaps in ant knowledge and provide a species checklist that contributes to biodiversity conservation in the transition areas between Cerrado and Caatinga biomes, constantly threatened by land use changes. This checklist integrates data from previous studies developed at “Área de Proteção Ambiental do Rio Pandeiros” (APA Pandeiros), Minas Gerais, Brazil, involving ant diversity and their contribution to ecological processes accessed and described in the studies. We showed and discussed how authors managed and provided information regarding methodologies and habitats sampled. We listed 143 ant species formally named. Pheidole, Camponotus and Cephalotes were the most speciose genera, with more than ten species each. Among ants involved in ecological processes, 40 are linked to diaspore removal (part of seed dispersal) and 30 to carcass interaction (part of the decomposition process). Unbaited pitfall traps, epigeic stratum and Cerrado sensu stricto, were the top sampling method, stratum, and habitats among ant studies. We presented proposals for the best management and integration of data from surveys in APA Pandeiros (e.g., sharing the results of the studies with the APA managers, creating a database, and the local community). These surveys are fundamental for understanding biodiversity and ecological processes and provide valuable information to conservation biology. Therefore, neglecting the importance of the Cerrado-Caatinga transition can lead to irreparable setbacks for scientific knowledge and biodiversity.

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Author Biography

Antonio Cesar Medeiros de Queiroz, Universidade Federal de Lavras

Departamento de Biologia, Setor de Ecologia e Conservação, Laboratório de Ecologia de Formigas.

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Published

2022-09-12

How to Cite

Queiroz, A. C. M. de, Prado, L. P. do, Cesarino, R. A., Santiago, G. S., Oliveira, C. V., Rabelo, M. A., & Ribas, C. R. (2022). Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of APA Pandeiros: A Perspective from a Decade of Research in an Environmental Protection Area in the Cerrado-Caatinga Transition. Sociobiology, 69(3), e7878. https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v69i3.7878

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Research Article - Ants

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