An assessment of rehabilitation success in an African grassland using ants as bioindicators

Show simple item record Jamison, Samantha-Leigh Robertson, Mark P. Engelbrecht, I.A. (Ian) Hawkes, Peter 2016-11-11T08:46:11Z 2016-11-11T08:46:11Z 2016-09-29
dc.description.abstract Many studies that evaluate rehabilitation make use of invertebrate bioindicators. Invertebrates, especially ants, make useful indicators as they are sensitive to environmental change. We compared ant assemblages in rehabilitated and control sites in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve, a protected area important for grassland conservation in South Africa. Pitfall traps were used to sample ant assemblages at six control sites and six rehabilitated sites. In addition, environmental and vegetation surveys were conducted at each site. We found that the ant assemblages differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites, although there was considerable overlap; the control sites supported a greater species density and higher abundance of ants than the rehabilitated sites. In total, 36 ant species were collected (control sites: 34 species; rehabilitated sites: 26 species). The environmental survey revealed that percentages of bare ground and coarse sand, as well as soil pH, differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites. The control and rehabilitated sites also supported significantly different plant assemblages. Three indicator ant species were identified for the control sites: Crematogaster rectinota, Crematogaster amita and Monomorium fastidium. No indicator species were identified for the rehabilitated sites. These results suggest that recovery from the previous agricultural use of the area is still incomplete and highlights the lack of research examining the success of rehabilitation in the grassland biome. CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS : The present study illustrates the need for further research on rehabilitation techniques utilised in the grassland biome. This is of value as the remainder of South African grasslands are considered critically endangered. en_ZA
dc.description.department Plant Science en_ZA
dc.description.department Zoology and Entomology en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2016 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The National Research Foundation en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Jamison, S-L., Robertson, M., Engelbrecht, I. & Hawkes, P., 2016, ‘An assessment of rehabilitation success in an African grassland using ants as bioindicators’, Koedoe 58(1), a1383. http://dx.DOI. org/ 10.4102/koedoe.v58i1.1383. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0075-6458 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 2071-0771 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.4102/koedoe.v58i1.1383
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher AOSIS Open Journals en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.subject Ants en_ZA
dc.subject Invertebrate bioindicators en_ZA
dc.subject Rietvlei Nature Reserve en_ZA
dc.subject Grassland conservation en_ZA
dc.subject South Africa (SA) en_ZA
dc.subject Rehabilitation success en_ZA
dc.title An assessment of rehabilitation success in an African grassland using ants as bioindicators en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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