|Title||Diversity and density of ants on herbicide treated rangelands|
|Year of Publication||1980|
|Number of Pages||55|
|University||New Mexico State University|
|City||Las Cruces, New Mexico|
Ant species diversity and colony density were studied on desert-grassland habitats sprayed with 2,4,5-T for mesquite (<i>Prosopis glandulosa</i>) control.... Nest densities were highest on the two untreated sites, but diversity and richness were greater on the herbicide-treated sites. These differences in ant populations probably developed as food resources, interspecific competition and favorable nest sites changed following habitat perturbation. Omnivorous ants were dominant on all sites, but their diversity was higher on sites where <i>Conomyrms</i> spp. were reduced. Seed harvesting ants were most dense on sites where perennial grass cover was high and soils were stable. Ants adapted to a liquid diet (honey-dew) were not affected adversely by the vegetation changes on sprayed sites. Densities of fungus-growing ant colonies were significantly higher on the two herbicide-treated sites. These higher densities may be due to the synchronization of nuptial flights of the ants and the mesquite leaf fall which aided in the successful establishment of new colonies by queens who had access to a food source unavailable to queens on areas not treated with herbicide.