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Climate-based model of spatial pattern of the species richness of ants in Georgia

Abstract

For optimal planning of conservation and monitoring measures, it is important to know the spatial pattern of species richness and especially areas with high species richness. A spatial pattern of the species richness of ants in Georgia (Caucasus) was modeled, areas with the highest number of ant’s species were inferred, and climatic factors that influence the pattern of ant diversity were identified. A database was created by accumulating occurrences for 63 ant species, including 256 localities and 2,018 species/occurrences. Species richness was positively correlated with variables associated with temperature and negatively correlated with variables associated with precipitation. Species richness reaches a maximum at the elevations 800–1,200 m a.s.l. and declines at both lower and higher altitudes. The role of climatic variables and geography of the study area in determining the observed pattern of species richness is discussed.

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Acknowledgments

I thank Lexo Gavashelishvili and David Tarkhnishvili for providing valuable suggestions during the statistical analysis and for their comments on manuscript. I also express my gratitude to two anonymous reviewers whose comments significantly improved manuscript.

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Correspondence to Giorgi Chaladze.

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Chaladze, G. Climate-based model of spatial pattern of the species richness of ants in Georgia. J Insect Conserv 16, 791–800 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-012-9464-5

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Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Climatic variables
  • Formicidae
  • Spatial pattern
  • Altitudinal gradient
  • Ground moisture