, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 201–211 | Cite as

Community structure in north temperate ants: temporal and spatial variation

  • Joan M. Herbers
Original Papers


Ant communities in Vermont and New York woods were sampled in four time periods to determine species composition, relative abundances, and nest locations in space. The Vermont community was richer, containing more species and higher nest densities than New York. Both communities followed the geometric distribution of species abundances, suggesting that a single resource was mediating competition. The resource most clearly implicated was suitable nest sites, principally pre-formed plant cavities. Nonrandom species associations, underdispersion in every season, and the occurrence of incipient nests overwintering aboveground all implicated shortage of such cavities. Furthermore, microhabitat differences which produce suitable nest sites occur over a very small scale in these communities.

Key words

Ants Community structure Spatial pattern Seasonality Environmental heterogeneity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan M. Herbers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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