Biodiv Sci ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (8): 916-921.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016088

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Distribution characteristics of ant mounds and correlating factors across different succession stages of tropical forests in Xishuangbanna

Shaojun Wang*(), Hong Wang, Jihang Li   

  1. Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224
  • Received:2016-03-27 Accepted:2016-05-02 Online:2016-08-20 Published:2016-09-02


In order to understand the distribution characteristics of ant mounds and influencing factors in tropical forests, we surveyed ant species, density, coverage and spatial distribution patterns of ant mounds in three successional stages of tropical forests in Xishuangbanna and analyzed correlations between these variables with soil physico-chemical properties. We found that (1) ant species richness, density and coverage of ant mounds in the three successional stages of tropical forests were ranked as: Musa acuminata community > Mallotus paniculatus community > Mellettia leptobotrya community; (2) successional forest type significantly impacted ant species richness and density of ant mounds but had no significant effects on ant mound coverage; (3) ant species richness and nest density was significantly and positively correlated with total soil organic carbon and soil hydrolysis nitrogen, but negatively correlated with soil bulk density and soil moisture content, besides, there were no significant correlations between soil physico-chemical properties and mound coverage. The spatial patterns of ant mounds indicated a random distribution. We conclude that the successional vegetation types and soil properties may exert a crucial effect on ant species richness and settlement density in secondary tropical forests of Xishuangbanna.

Key words: ant mounds, ant species, spatial distribution, soil properties, tropical forest succession