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Revista Brasileira de Entomologia

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MACEDO, Luciano Pacelli Medeiros; BERTI FILHO, Evoneo  and  DELABIE, Jacques Hubert Charles. Epigean ant communities in Atlantic Forest remnants of São Paulo: a comparative study using the guild concept. Rev. Bras. entomol. [online]. 2011, vol.55, n.1, pp.75-78. ISSN 0085-5626.

Epigean ant communities in Atlantic Forest remnants of São Paulo: a comparative study using the guild concept. The guilds constitute a valuable ecological tool, because they allow conducting comparisons among environments under different conditions. The ants can be used as ecological indicators, mainly for the monitoring of degraded forest areas. The aim of this research was to study guild organization among the epigeous Formicidae living in Atlantic forest remnants of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Ant collections were performed in three distinct Atlantic forest biome areas: arboreal littoral vegetation ("restinga") (Cananéia), semideciduous seasonal forest (Piracicaba) and dense ombrophylousforest (Pariquera-Açu). After identification, the ants were grouped into guilds, based on the ecological attributes of behavior and habit, according to the literature. Nine guilds were found; the semideciduous seasonal forest ecosystem presented eight of them, followed by the arboreal sandbank (7) and dense ombrophylous forest (6). The guilds found were: litter omnivorous and scavengers, granivorous species, specialist predators living in litter and soil, litter generalist predators, subterranean mealybug-dependent species, army ants, dominant or subdominants arboreal, that occasionally forage on the ground, soil or litter dominant and fungus-growers, using feces and insect body fragments. The guilds found can be used in the monitoring of the mirmecofauna in the Atlantic Forest biome, supplying insights for further ecological studies.

Keywords : Ecological bioindicators; ecosystems; environmental monitoring; Formicidae; Hymenoptera.

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