Advertisement

Environmental Management

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 375–383 | Cite as

Ants: Bio-indicators of minesite rehabilitation, land-use, and land conservation

  • J. D. Majer
Research

Abstract

In terms of their numerical abundance, size, and species richness, ants are a prominent taxonomic group in many terrestrial ecosystems This, and the fact that ants occupy higher trophic levels and often specialised niches, suggests that they may be good bio-indicators of various environmental parameters

This paper develops the rationale for using ants as bio-indicators and reviews examples of their use Parameters which are considered include ant species richness, species density, Shannon's diversity index, evenness index, and Mountford's similarity index The possible use of indicator species or groups is also discussed although, in Australia, this is still in its exploratory stage

The examples given in this paper suggest that a consideration of ant species richness and evenness and also the Mountford's similarity index provides significant insight into the composition of a habitat and of the degree of disturbance

Some applications of the ant bio-indicator concept include providing of base-line data in pre-development situations; monitoring ecosystem recovery following land rehabilitation, monitoring degree of ecosystem degradation, and the understanding of faunal composition and status of conservation areas

Key words

Ants Formicidae Bio-indicators 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Franz, H. 1949. Bodenbewurtung und Bodenverbesserung auf Grund der biologischen Bodenanalyse.Veroeffentlichungen der Bundesanstalt Fuer Alpine Landwirtschaft in Admont 1:45–67.Google Scholar
  2. Greenslade, P.J.M. 1973. Sampling ants with pitfall traps: digging-in effects.Insectes Sociaux, Paris 20:343–353.Google Scholar
  3. Greenslade, P., and P.J.M. Greenslade 1971. The use of baits and preservatives in pitfall traps.J. Aust. Entomol. Soc. 10:253–260.Google Scholar
  4. Havel, J.J. 1975. Site-vegetation mapping in the northern jarrah forest. 1—Definition of site vegetation types.Western Aust. For. Dept. Bull. No. 86:115 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Huhta, V. 1979. Evaluation of different similarity indices as measures of succession in arthropod communities of the forest floor after clear cutting.Oecologia (Berlin) 41:11–23.Google Scholar
  6. Kolkwitz, R., and M. Marsson 1908. Okologie der pflanzlichen Saprobien.Berichte der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft 26a:505–519.Google Scholar
  7. Kolkwitz, R., and M. Marsson 1909. Okologie der tierischen Saprobien. Beitrage zur Lehre von der biologischen Gewasserbeurteilung.Internationale Revue der Gesamten Hydrobiologie und der Hydrogeographie 2:126–152.Google Scholar
  8. Mahoney, C.L. 1976. Soil insects as indicators of use patterns in recreation areas.J. For. 74:35–37.Google Scholar
  9. Majer, J.D. 1977. Preliminary survey of the epigaeic invertebrate fauna with particular reference to ants, in areas of different land use at Dwellingup, Western Australia.For. Ecol. Manage. 1:327–334.Google Scholar
  10. Majer, J.D. 1978. The importance of invertebrates in successful land reclamation with particular reference to bauxite mine rehabilitation. In: (Ed. J.E.D. Fox)Rehabilitation of mined lands in Western Australia workshop proceedings, Perth, Australia, 11 October, 1978. Pages 47–61.Google Scholar
  11. Majer, J.D. 1980a. A preliminary ecological survey of the Wagerup ant fauna.Alcoa Environmental Research Bulletin No. 7. 16 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Majer, J.D. 1980b. Report on a study of invertebrates in relation to the Kojonup fire management plant.WAIT Biology Department Bulletin No. 2. 22 pp.Google Scholar
  13. Majer, J.D. in press. A report on the ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) fauna of the Hamersley Range National Park and the nearby West Angelas area. In:A fauna survey of the Hamersley Range National Park. National Park Authority of Western Australia Bulletin.Google Scholar
  14. Majer, J.D., and L.E. Koch 1982. Seasonal activity of hexapods in woodland and forest leaf litter in the south-west of Western Australia.J. Roy. Soc. West. Aust. 65:37–45.Google Scholar
  15. Majer, J.D., M. Sartori, R. Stone, and W.S. Perriman 1982. Recolonisation by ants and other invertebrates in rehabilitated mineral sand mines near Eneabba, Western Australia.Reclam. Reveget. Res. 1:63–81.Google Scholar
  16. Majer, J.D., J.E. Day, E.S. Kabay, and W.S. Perriman. (in press) Recolonisation by ants in bauxite mines rehabilitated by a number of different methods.J. Appl. Ecol. Google Scholar
  17. Mountford, M.D. 1962. An index of similarity and its application to classificatory problems. Pages 43–50in P.W. Murphy (ed).Progress in soil zoology. Butterworth, London, England.Google Scholar
  18. Murphy, P.W. 1953. The biology of forest soils with special reference to mesofauna and meiofauna.J. Soil Sci. 4:155–193.Google Scholar
  19. Petersen, C.G.J. 1918. The sea bottom and its production of fish food.Dan. Biol. Stat. Rep. 25:62 pp. + appendices.Google Scholar
  20. Pielou, E.G. 1975.Ecological diversity. Wiley, New York, NY. 165 pp.Google Scholar
  21. Puszkar, T. 1978. Les fourmis (Formicidae) de la zone polluce des etablissements de l'Azote de Palawy.Memorabilia Zoologica 29:129–142.Google Scholar
  22. Puszkar, T. 1979a. Changes in epigeal fauna as a bio-indicator within the reach of emission from the ‘Siarkopol’ sulphur-producing combine at Machow near Tarnobrzeg, Poland.Bulletin de l'Academie Polonaise des Sciences. Serie des sciences biologiques 28:467–471.Google Scholar
  23. Puszkar, T. 1979b. Epigeal fauna as a bio-indicator of environmental changes in an area of agrarian recultivation at a sulphur mine at Grzybow near Staszow, Poland.Bulletin de l'Academie Polonaise des Sciences. Serie des sciences biologiques 28:473–479.Google Scholar
  24. Puszkar, T. 1979c. Changes in epigeal predatory fauna in an area exposed to emissions from the sulphur mine at Jeziorko near Tarnobrzeg, Poland.Bulletin de l'Academie Polonaise des Sciences. Serie des sciences biologiques 28:481–485.Google Scholar
  25. Puszkar, T. 1979d. Epigeal fauna as a bio-indicator of changes in agrocenoses in a cement and lime production district at Nowiny near Kielce (Central Poland).Bulletin de l'Academie Polonaise des Sciences. Serie des sciences biologiques 28:917–923.Google Scholar
  26. Puszkar, T. 1979e. Epigeal fauna as a bio-indicator of changes in environment in areas of high industrial pressure.Bulletin de l'Academie Polonaise des Sciences. Serie des sciences biologiques 28:925–931.Google Scholar
  27. Puszkar, T. 1979f. The effect of sulphur industry on epigeic and soil fauna.Memorabilia Zoologica 32:101–118.Google Scholar
  28. Room, P.M. 1971. The relative distribution of ant species in Ghana's cocoa farms.J. Anim. Ecol. 40:735–751.Google Scholar
  29. Room, P.M. 1975. Diversity and organisation of the ground foraging ant faunas of forest, grassland and tree crops in Papua New Guinea.Aust. J. Zool. 23:71–89.Google Scholar
  30. Southwood, T.R.E. 1966.Ecological methods. Methuen, London, England. 391 pp.Google Scholar
  31. Taylor, R.W. 1976. A submission to the inquiry into the impact on the Australian environment of the current woodchip industry programme.Hansard 12 August 1976:3724–3731.Google Scholar
  32. Warren, C.E. 1971.Biology and water pollution control. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, PA. 434 pp.Google Scholar
  33. Weir, J.S. 1978. The ant,Iridomyrmex, as a biological indicator of pesticide contamination. Report to N.S.W. State Pollution Control Commission (unpublished). 32 pp.Google Scholar
  34. Woodroff, S., and J.D. Majer 1982. Colonisation of ants on the exposed banks of the Canning Dam reservoir.Aust. Entomol. Mag. 8:41–46.Google Scholar
  35. Yeatman, E.M., and P.J.M. Greenslade 1980. Ants as indicators of habitat in three conservation parks in South Australia.S. Aust. Natural. 55:20–30.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. Majer
    • 1
  1. 1.School of BiologyWestern Australian Institute of TechnologyBentley

Personalised recommendations