Biodiversity Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (3): 343-351.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.09039

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Effects of facultative mutualism between ants and lac insects on the diversity of ant communities

Zhixing Lu1, 2, Youqing Chen1, 2, *(), Wei Zhang3, Siming Wang1, 2, Qiao Li3   

  1. 1 Research Institute of Resources Insects, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Kunming 650224
    2 Key Laboratory of Cultivation and Utilization of Resource Insects of State Forestry Administration, Kunming 650224
    3 College of Forestry, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224
  • Received:2013-02-05 Accepted:2013-04-22 Online:2013-06-05
  • Chen Youqing

In order to reveal the effects of facultative mutualism between ants and lac insects on the diversity of canopy ant communities, a sight-seeking method was used to investigate ant community diversity on the tree, Dalbergia obtusifoliain different plots, with infestation rates of the lac insect, Kerria yunnanensisvarying on branches between 60%, 30%, 10% and 0%, respectively. The results showed that the facultative mutualism could increase the abundance and species richness of the canopy ant assembly, and also change the ant community structure. The amount of honeydew resulting from the presence of lac insect populations had a significant effect on the abundance of ant assembly, and on the community structure of canopy ants, but had no significant effect on ant species richness. Stage of lac insect life cycle was also an important factor affecting the abundance of canopy ants. It was concluded that lac insect cultivation can positively protect canopy ant assemblages and be beneficial to ant diversity conservation.

Key words: facultative mutualism, ant community, honeydew resources, biodiversity, community structure

Table 1

Common ant species in different months in lac plantation"

Common species
12月 Dec. 1月 Jan. 2月 Feb. 3月 Mar. 4月 Apr. 5月 May
I 飘细长蚁 Tetraponera allaborans <10 <10 <10 14.74 <10 21.71
粗纹举腹蚁 Crematogaster macaoensis 68.57 73.40 64.49 56.84 56.72 45.39
黑头酸臭蚁 Tapinoma melanocephalum <10 - - - 10.45 -
黑可可臭蚁 Dolichoderus thoracicus <10 <10 <10 13.68 <10 <10
II 飘细长蚁 Tetraponera allaborans <10 <10 21.51 21.95 14.53 29.91
粗纹举腹蚁 Crematogaster macaoensis 26.25 25.32 29.03 18.29 33.33 11.97
立毛举腹蚁 C. ferrarii 42.50 46.84 24.73 25.61 36.75 41.88
罗氏棒切叶蚁 Rhoptromyrmex wroughtonii 12.50 - <10 - - -
黑可可臭蚁 Dolichoderus thoracicus <10 16.46 12.90 15.85 <10 <10
光胫多刺蚁 Polyrhachis tibialis - - <10 10.98 - -
III 飘细长蚁 Tetraponera allaborans <10 10.53 16.39 28.57 16.67 34.38
粗纹举腹蚁 Crematogaster macaoensis 36.84 31.58 22.95 21.43 26.32 13.54
立毛举腹蚁 C. ferrarii 28.95 31.58 44.26 21.43 27.19 30.21
罗氏棒切叶蚁 Rhoptromyrmex wroughtonii 20.18 11.84 - - <10 -
皮氏大头蚁 Pheidole pieli - - - - 14.91 -
IV 飘细长蚁 Tetraponera allaborans 11.54 28.21 27.59 25.00 10.71 23.46
粗纹举腹蚁 Crematogaster macaoensis <10 - - 11.36 14.29 <10
立毛举腹蚁 C. ferrarii 42.31 35.90 41.38 45.45 38.10 55.56
皮氏大头蚁 Pheidole pieli - - - - 10.71 -
黑头酸臭蚁 Tapinoma melanocephalum 19.23 - - - - -
黑可可臭蚁 Dolichoderus thoracicus <10 35.90 20.69 13.64 <10 -
光胫多刺蚁 Polyrhachis tibialis 11.54 - 10.34 <10 - -

Fig. 1

Species accumulation curve of ants based on number of individuals after scales. I, II, III, IV represent plots that lac insect infestation rates were 60%, 30%, 10% and 0, respectively."

Table 2

Results of ANCOVA models testing of ant community diversity index among different sites and months"

因子 Factor F P 偏Eta平方 Partial Eta squared
多度 Abundance 样地 Sites 26.19 0.001 0.540
月份 Months 23.43 0.001 0.259
物种丰富度 Species richness (S) 样地 Sites 5.53 0.002 0.198
月份 Months 11.60 0.001 0.148
ACE估计值 样地 Sites 4.62 0.005 0.171
月份 Months 10.81 0.002 0.139

Table 3

Comparison of diversity of ants in different sites (Mean ± SE)"

Species richness (S)
I 6.13 ± 0.19a 1.65 ± 0.16a 1.68 ± 0.09a
II 5.56 ± 0.20b 1.63 ± 0.11a 1.66 ± 0.07a
III 5.38 ± 0.18b 1.70 ± 0.14a 1.75 ± 0.06a
IV 3.98 ± 0.24c 1.38 ± 0.09b 1.41 ± 0.07b

Fig. 2

Abundance and species richness of ants in different months in lac plantations. I, II, III, IV represent plots that lac insect infestation rates were 60%, 30%, 10% and 0, respectively."

Fig. 3

Principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) for ant community. I, II, III, IV represent plots that lac insect infestation rates were 60%, 30%, 10% and 0, respectively. The number represent different groups."

Fig. 4

Principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) for ant community in different months. “L” represent the larval stage, “A” represent the adult stage, the number represent different months."

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