The influence of distance to perennial surface water on ant communities in Mopane woodlands, northern Botswana

Show simple item record Dalerum, Fredrik Retief, Tarryn Anne Havemann, Carl Peter Chimimba, Christian Timothy Janse Van Rensburg, Berndt 2019-10-22T10:50:27Z 2019-10-22T10:50:27Z 2019-01
dc.description.abstract Studies of biodiversity along environmental gradients provide information on how ecological communities change in response to biotic and abiotic factors. For instance, distance to water is associated with several factors that shape the structure and the functioning of ecosystems at a range of spatial scales. We investigated the influence of distance to a perennial water source on ant communities in a semi‐arid savanna in northern Botswana. Ant abundance, taxonomic richness, and both alpha and beta diversity were generally higher during the wet than the dry season. However, there were strong seasonal influences on the effects of distance to water, with more pronounced effects during the wet season. While both abundance and beta diversity declined with increasing distances to water during the wet season, there was a contrasting increase in alpha diversity. There was no major effect of distance to water on taxonomic richness during either season. Beta diversity was as high across as along gradients, and we found support for modular rather than nested community structures along gradients. Our study demonstrated that small‐scale gradients in distance to water can influence several aspects of ant communities in semi‐arid savannas. However, our results also point to strong effects of small‐scale environmental variation, for instance associated with vegetation characteristics, soil properties, and plant community structure that are not directly linked to water access. en_ZA
dc.description.department Mammal Research Institute en_ZA
dc.description.department Zoology and Entomology en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Grant/Award Number: RYC-2013-14662; South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement; University of Pretoria; National Research Foundation(NRF); Wilderness Safaris Botswana; The Wilderness Wildlife Trust en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Dalerum, F., Retief, T.A., Havemann, C.P. et al. 2019 ,'The influence of distance to perennial surface water on ant communities in Mopane woodlands, northern Botswana', Ecology and Evolution, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 154-165. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2045-7758 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1002/ece3.4692
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Wiley Open Access en_ZA
dc.rights © 2018 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. en_ZA
dc.subject Community en_ZA
dc.subject Diversity en_ZA
dc.subject Formicidae en_ZA
dc.subject Gradient en_ZA
dc.subject Modularity en_ZA
dc.subject Nestedness en_ZA
dc.title The influence of distance to perennial surface water on ant communities in Mopane woodlands, northern Botswana en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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