ants, forbs, Formicidae, grasses, Minnesota, restoration, prairie reconstruction, species richness, tallgrass prairie
There is little basic information about ant species richness and abundance in tall grass prairie restorations despite the importance of ants to plant community structure and function. We compared ant abundance and richness, vascular plant cover and richness, and soil compaction at two southern Minnesota grassland restoration sites, a prairie reconstruction and a prairie remnant undergoing rehabilitation. We collected a total of 3,523 ants from 12 different species. Plant species richness ranged from 45 in the prairie reconstruction to 95 in the remnant prairie. We found five more species of ants and significantly higher mean ant species richness per plot in the more heterogeneous prairie remnant with higher plant diversity, especially forbs, than in the prairie reconstruction where plant species diversity was lower. Our study found 10 new ant species records in Le Sueur and Nicollet counties, Minnesota. Because of the paucity of information about ant species in the upper Midwest, it is difficult to fully compare our results to those of other restored or natural areas in the area. Our study provides an important baseline census for two different types of tallgrass prairie restorations.
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
© Copyright 2009 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Kittelson, Pamela M.; Priebe, Monica Paulson; and Graeve, Phillip J.
"Ant Diversity in Two Southern Minnesota Tallgrass Prairie Restoration Sites,"
The Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science: JIAS: Vol. 115:
, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uni.edu/jias/vol115/iss1/7