EFFECTS OF VEGETATION TYPES AND HABITAT DISTURBANCE ON SPECIES RICHNESS AND COMPOSITION OF ANT (HYMENOPTERA, FORMICIDAE) ASSEMBLAGES IN LAWACHARA NATIONAL PARK, BANGLADESH
Journal: Environment & Ecosystem Science (EES)
Author: Mst. Nura Jahan, Md. Mamunur Rahman, Md. Giashuddin Miah, Tofayel Ahamed
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Ants, because of their diversity, abundance, and functional roles in the ecosystem, play a crucial role in understanding the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on community ecology. Thus, the influence of the structural complexity of the environment on the richness and diversity of ants makes them a potential ecological indicator. Although there exist numerous studies on ant species richness in different countries, such studies are rare in Bangladesh. To fill-up this information gap, the present study was conducted in Lawachara National Park, Bangladesh, a conservation site with abundant natural resources. The purpose of this study was to describe the richness and composition of local ant assemblage in the forest ecosystem and understand their structural diversity on different types of plants and disturbance patterns. Time unit sampling and pitfall traps were used to perform sampling from two different areas, viz, primary forest and secondary forest. A total of 843 ant individuals was identified from 48 species of 17 genera distributed among 6 subfamilies. Myrmicinae was the most abundant ant subfamily in the study area. Most of the species found were from the genus Pheidole. The rarefaction curves showed higher species richness in areas with reforestation. The richness pattern of species found in two areas denoted that vegetation and soil conditions may affect the overall diversity and composition of ants. This can be considered as the first extensive list of ant assemblages from Lawachara National Park. These findings will provide comprehensive data for using ants as bioindicators in natural protected areas.