Journal article

Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants

Alessandro Ossola, Michael A Nash, Fiona J Christie, Amy K Hahs, Stephen J Livesley

PEERJ | PEERJ INC | Published : 2015

Abstract

Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations ..

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