Ant diversity in Muhan Pokhari area of Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park, Nepal
Ant diversity was studied in Muhan Pokhari area of Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park (SNNP)at 1,700 m to 1,900 m asl during winter and summer seasons of 2017. Ants were collected using pitfall traps, leaf litter sampling, bait and hand collection methods along a transect of50 m in each of all 5 sites (1,700 m, 1,750 m, 1,800 m, 1,850 m and 1,900 m). Altogether 817individual ants were collected representing 5 sub-families, 16 genera and 23 morpho species. Formicinae (57.67%) was the most abundant sub-family, followed by Myrmicinae (40.39%), Pseudomyrmicinae (0.8%), Ponerinae (0.73%) and Dolichoderinae (0.37%). Camponotus (437individuals) was the most abundant genus followed by Aphaenogaster (287). Species richness was higher in winter (17 morph species) than in spring (14 morph species). Shannon-Wiener diversity index (1.4618) and Evenness index (0.5539) were higher in spring season. Pitfall trap method was found most effective with highest number of individual ants (567) and of 21 species. The Shannon-Weiner diversity index was highest for pitfall method (1.3039) whereas evenness index was highest for the bait method (0.62615). Two genera Pachycondylaand Echinopla were recorded for the first time in Nepal.
AGOSTI, D; ALONSO, L E (2000) The ALL protocol: A standard protocol for the collection of ground-dwelling ants. In AGOSTI, D; MAJER, J D; ALONSO, L E; SCHULTZ, T (eds) Ants: standard methods for measuring and monitoring biodiversity. Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington DC, USA; pp 204–2206.
AGOSTI, D; MAJER, J D; ALONSO, L E; SCHULTZ, T R (2000) Ants: standard methods for measuring and monitoring biodiversity. Washingtonand London: Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC, USA.
ANDERSEN, A N; HOFFMAN, B D; MULLER, W J; GRIFFITHS, A D (2002) Using ants as bioindicators in land management: simplifying assessment ofant community responses. Journal of Applied Ecology 39:8–217.
ANDERSEN, A N; HOFFMANN, B D; SOMES, J (2003) Ants as indicators of minesite restoration: community recovery at one of eight rehabilitation sites in central Queensland. Ecological Management and Restoration 4(l): 12–219.
ANDREW, N; RODGERSON, L; YORK, A (2000) Frequent fuel-reduction burning: the role of logs and associated leaf litter in the conservation of ant biodiversity. Australian Journal of Ecology 25(1): 99–2107.
BARECH, G; KHALDI, M; ZIANE, S; ZEDAM, A; DOUMANDJI, S; SHARAF, M; ESPADALE, X (2016) A first checklist and diversity of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Saline Dry Lake Chott El Hodna in Algeria, a Ramsar Conservation Wetland. African Entomology 24: 143–2152.
BESTELMEYER, B T; AGOSTI, D; ALONSO, L E; BRANDAO, C R F; BROWN, W L JR; DELABIE J H C; SILVESTRE R (2000) Field techniques for the study of ground-dwelling ants: an overview, description, and evaluation. In Agosti, D; Majer, J D; Alonso, LE; Schultz, TR (eds) Ants: standard methods for measuring and monitoring biodiversity. Smithsonian Institution Press; Washington, DC, USA; pp 122–2144.
BESTELMEYER, B T; WIENS, J A (2001) Ant biodiversity in semiarid landscape mosaics: the consequences of grazing vs. natural heterogeneity. Ecological Applications 11(4): 1123–21140.
BHARTI, H; SHARMA, Y P; BHARTI, M; PFEIFFER, M (2013) Ant species richness, endemicity and functional groups, along an elevational gradient in the Himalayas. Asian Myrmecology 5: 79 –101.
BHARTI, H; SHARMA, Y P; KAUR, A (2009) Seasonal patterns of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Punjab Shivalik. Halteres, 1(1): 36–247.
BHARTI, H; SUBEDI, I P (2017) Antweb: Ants of Nepal. Available at https://www.antweb.org/country.do?name=Nepal.
BOLTON, B (1994) Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, USA.
BOLTON, B (2017) An online catalog of the Ants of the world. Available at http://www.antcat.org.
BOLTON, B (2018) Antweb: Ants of Bolton World Catalogue. Available at https://www.antweb.org/project.do?name=worldants.
BRUHL, C A; MOHAMED, M; LINSENMAIR, K E (1999) Altitudinal distribution of leaf litter ants along a transect in primary forests on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Ecology 15(3):265–2277.
COLLINGWOOD, C A (1970) Formicidae (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) from Nepal, Khumbu Himal 3(3):371–2387.
DANIELS, R J R (1991) Ants as biological indicators of environmental changes. Blackbuck 7: 51–256.
DEL TORO, I; RIBBONS, R R; PELINI, S L (2012) The little things that run the world revisited: a review of ant-mediated ecosystem services and disservices (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 17:133–146.
ELMES, G W; RADCHENKO, A G (2009) Two new Himalayan ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) related to Myrmica indica. Vestnik zoologii 43(2): 107–119.
FISHER, B L (2004) Diversity patterns of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) along an elevational gradient on Monts Doudou in southwestern Gabon. Memoir 28: 269–2286.
FISHER, B L; ROBERTSON, H G (2002) Comparison and origin of forest and grassland Ant assemblages in the high plateau of Madagascar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Biotropica 34: 155–167.
FOLGARAIT, P J (1998) Ant biodiversity and its relationship to ecosystem functioning: a review. Biodiversity and Conservation 7: 1221–1244.
GADAGKAR, R; NAIR, P; CHANDRASHEKARA, K; BHAT, D M (1993) Ant species richness and diversity in some selected localities in western Ghats, India. Hexapoda 5(2): 79–294.
GOTELLI, N J; ELLISON, A M; DUNN, R R; SANDERS, J N (2010) Forthcoming. Counting ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): biodiversity sampling and statistical analysis for myrmecologists. Myrmecological News 15:13–219.
GUENARD, B (2013) An overview of the species and ecological diversity of ants. Elsevier. Doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0023598.
KING; J R; PORTER, S D (2005) Evaluation of sampling methods and species richness estimators for ants in upland ecosystems in Florida. Environmental Entomology 34: 1566–21578.
LACH, L; TILLBERG, C V; SUAREZ, A V (2010) Contrasting effects of an invasive ant on a native and an invasive plant. Biological Invasions 12(9): 3123–3133.
LINDSEY, P A; SKINNER, J D (2001) Ant composition and activity patterns as determined by pitfall trapping and other methods in three habitats in the semi-arid Karoo. Journal of Arid Environments 48(4): 551–568.
LONGINO, J T; COLWELL, R K (1997) Biodiversity assessment using structured inventory: Capturing the ant fauna of a tropical rain forest. Ecological Applications 7: 1263–1277.
LOPES, C T; VASCONCELOS, H L (2008) Evaluation of three methods for sampling ground-dwelling ants in the Brazilian Cerrado. Neotropical Entomology 37: 399–405.
MAETO, K; SATO, S (2004) Impacts of forestry on ant species richness andcomposition in warmtemperate forests of Japan. Forest Ecology and Management 187(2–3): 213–223.
MAJER, J D (1997) The use of pitfall traps for sampling ants– a critique. Memoires of the Museum of Victoria 56(2): 323–329.
OLSON, D M (1991) A comparison of the efficacy of litter sifting and pitfall traps for sampling leaf litter ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in a tropical wet forest, Costa Rica. Biotropica 23(2): 166–172.
READ, J L; ANDERSEN, A N (2000) The value of ants as early warning bioindicators: responses to pulsed cattle grazing at an Australian arid zonelocality. Journal of Arid Environments 45: 231–251.
ROMERO, H; JAFFE, K (1989) A comparison of methods for sampling ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Savannas. Biotropica 21(4): 348–352.
SABU, T K; VINEESH, P J; VINOD, K V (2008). Diversity of forest litter-inhabiting ants along elevations in the Wayanad region of the western ghats. Journal of Insect Science 8: 69.
SAMSON, D A; RICKART, E A; GONZALES, P C (2006) Ant diversity and abundance along an elevational gradient in the Philippines. Biotropica 29: 349–363.
SANDERS, N J (2002) Elevational gradients in ant species richness: area, geometry, and Rapoport’s rule. Ecography 25: 25–32.
STORK, N E (1991) The composition of the arthropod fauna of Bornean lowland rain forest trees. Journal of Tropical Ecology 7: 161–180.
TURNER E C; FOSTER W A (2009) The impact of forest conversion to oil palm on arthropod abundance and biomass in Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Ecology 25: 23–30.
WETTERER, J K (2017) Geographic distribution of the weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina). Asian Myrmecology 9: 1–12.
WILSON, E O (1975) Sociobiology: the new synthesis. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, USA.
ZAR, J H (1999) Biostatistical analysis. New Jersey, USA (4th edition).