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Ant species diversity in a mainland coastal ecosystem and nearby barrier island.
Waller, Deborah*,1, March, John1, 1 Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
ABSTRACT- This study examined ant species diversity related to habitat in the Virginia Coast Reserve. Ants were collected in different habitats along the coast near Nassawadox, Virginia, and on nearby Parramore Island. Samples were taken from tidal forest, marshland and agricultural areas on the mainland and from forest and beach on the island. Ant baits and pitfall traps were placed along transects in each habitat; baits were examined for ants after an hour and pitfall trap contents were collected the following day. Litter samples were taken near pitfall traps and returned to the laboratory for ant extraction over a week using Berlese funnels. Searches of vegetation and fallen logs were also conducted in each habitat. Ant species were most diverse in the mainland tidal forest and least diverse on the island beach. Some ant species were restricted to either the mainland or the island, while other species were widespread.
Key words: diversity, ant