Habitat preference and community structure of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Campo Ma’an national park, southern Cameroon
PS Mbenoun Masse, GL Mendoua Ebolo, G Ebangue Titti, R Mony
Tropical biodiversity is seriously threatened by habitat fragmentation and forest degradation. To date, there is relatively little research carried in the protected forest reserve in Cameroon. A monthly sampling of ants was conducted in two forest types (nearly primary forest and secondary forest) in the Campo Ma’an National Park between 2015 and 2016. Ants were monitored using pitfall traps as sampling methods. Overall, 38 species belonging to 21 genera, 5 subfamilies were collected in the two forest types. The most species-rich subfamilies were Myrmicinae (16 species), followed by Formicinae (11 species) and Ponerinae (6 species each). Pheidole megacephala was the most abundant species in both forests. The secondary forest had highest species richness and rare species than the primary forest. Both forests shared only nine species. In contrast, diversity and evenness indices were higher in the primary forest than in the secondary forest. This results show that each faunule had different ant assemblages. According to habitat preference, three species-specific groups were found in both forests: generalist species, specialist species (restricted in a particular forest) and disturbance specialists. Primary forest species such as Odontomachus troglodytes and Paltothyreus tarsatus were predominant in primary forest, while disturbance specialists including secondary forest species (e.g. P. megacephala, Myrmicaria opaciventris and Anoplolepis tenella) were the most abundant species-specific group in secondary forest. These taxonomic groups may be used to monitor ecosystem health and prevent disturbance at an early stage and over a long-term period.
PS Mbenoun Masse, GL Mendoua Ebolo, G Ebangue Titti, R Mony. Habitat preference and community structure of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Campo Ma’an national park, southern Cameroon. International Journal of Zoology Studies, Volume 6, Issue 4, 2021, Pages 16-22