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Brazilian Journal of Biology
versão On-line ISSN 1519-6984
ORSOLON-SOUZA, G. et al. Comparison between Winkler's extractor and pitfall traps to estimate leaf litter ants richness (Formicidae) at a rainforest site in southest Brazil. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2011, vol.71, n.4, pp. 873-880. ISSN 1519-6984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842011000500008.
The aim of this study was to compare in the same site the efficiency of the two most used techniques for sampling ant diversity, Winkler's extractors and pitfalls. We studied communities of leaf litter ants from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, compared richness estimates for genera and species, and built species accumulation curves. These two methods resulted in a satisfactory sampling of richness; 21.3% of the genera and 47.6% of the species were collected exclusively with Winkler's extractors, whereas 6.4% of the genera and 9.5% of the species were collected exclusively with pitfalls. Winkler's extractor had proven to be the most efficient single sampling technique to estimate richness. However, pitfalls also recorded a significant portion of the total richness. Despite differences in efficiency, species accumulation curves for both techniques were similar, as well as the curve obtained with both methods combined. We noticed that Winkler's extractors were c. 74.0% more efficient than pitfalls in the Atlantic Forest. Therefore, sampling techniques must be used with a well-structured sampling design in order to advance knowledge on the ant fauna of Brazilian biomes, especially in the leaf litter, allowing more complete environmental analyses.
Palavras-chave : Atlantic rainforest; sampling techniques; species accumulation curves.