Nesting of arboreal ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in artificial substrates in coffee plantations in the Colombian Andes

Keywords: Crematogaster, Management of beneficial ants, Management of coffee agroecosystems, Nesting resources, Nesomyrmex

Abstract

Ants can provide pest biocontrol for coffee crops; however, this ecosystem service may decline in intensively managed plantations due to the loss of nesting resources. Considering how to increase the number of ants, we studied if they nest in different types of artificial substrates attached to coffee bushes both in shade-grown and sun-grown coffee plantations. Three independent tests were conducted at some coffee plantations in southwestern Colombia with the purpose of answering the following questions: 1) Do ants nest in artificial substrates made from recyclable materials? 2) Do the types of substrate (materials and configuration) and coffee management (shade-grown vs. sun-grown coffee) affect colonization rates, richness, and identity of colonizing ants? 3) Does time affect substrate colonization rates? Each experiment independently compared different substrate materials and designs, in both shade and sun-grown coffee. Results showed preference of one of the substrates offered and higher nesting rates in shade-grown plantations. Eight ant species were found nesting in artificial substrates, most of them being arboreal generalists. A higher number of ant species colonized substrates in shade-grown plantations; however, the effect was not statistically significant. Nesomyrmex asper and Crematogaster spp. were always found nesting in both types of plantation. There was a trend to increase nesting activity with time in shade-grown coffee but not in sun-grown coffee. Evidence supports that offering artificial substrates enhances arboreal ant nesting in coffee plantations.

References

Antweb. (2014). Antweb (Webpage). California Academy of Sciences. Available at www.antweb.org/
Armbrecht, I.; & Perfecto, I. (2003). Litter-twig dwelling ant species richness and predation potential within a forest fragment and neighboring coffee plantations of contrasting habitat quality in Mexico. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 97(1–3), 107–115. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8809(03)00128-2
Armbrecht, I.; Perfecto, I.; & Silverman, E. (2006). Limitation of nesting resources for ants in Colombian forests and coffee plantations. Ecological Entomology, 31(5), 403–410. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2311.2006.00802.x
Armbrecht, I.; Vandermeer, J.; & Perfecto, I. (2004). Enigmatic biodiversity correlations: leaf litter ant biodiversity respond to biodiverse resources. Science, 304, 284-286. doi: 10.1126/science.1094981
Barroso, S. C.; Longui, E. L.; Fernandes, T. T.; Oliveira, C. M.; Ferreira, A. C.; Silva, R. R.; & Morini, M. S. C. (2020). Twigs occupied by Pheidole Westwood, 1839: Is there a difference between species? Biota Neotropica, 20(2), e20190897. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1676-0611-bn-2019-0897
De la Mora, A.; García-Ballinas, J. A.; & Philpott, S. (2015). Local, landscape, and diversity drivers of predation services provided by ants in a coffee landscape in Chiapas, Mexico. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 201, 83–91. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2014.11.006
Escobar-Ramírez, S.; Tscharntke, T.; Armbrecht, I., Torres, W.; & Grass, I. (2020). Decrease of β-diversity, but not α-diversity of ants in intensively managed coffee plantations. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 13(5), 445-455. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/icad.12417
Fernández, F.; & Palacio, E. (2003). Sistemática y filogenia de las hormigas: breve repaso a propuestas. In F. Fernández. Introducción a las hormigas de la región Neotropical. (pp. 29-44). Bogota, Colombia. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/2.1.1790.6248
Fisher, B. L. (2010). Chapter 2. Biogeography. In C. Lach; C. Parr, & K. L Abbott (Eds.). Ant Ecology (pp. 18-37). Oxford University Press. New York. 402p.
Guzman, L.; Calvache, H.; Aldana, J.; & Méndez, A. (1997). Manejo de Leptopharsa gibbicarina Froeschner (Hemiptera: Tingidae) con la hormiga Crematogaster sp. en una plantación de palma de aceite. PALMAS, 18(4), 19–26.
Hosang, M. L. A.; Schulze, C. H.; Tscharntke, T.; & Buchori, D. (2010). The potential of artificial nesting sites for increasing the population density of the black cacao ants. Indonesian Journal of Agriculture, 3(1), 45–50.
IDEAM. (2015). Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales (Webpage). Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible de Colombia. Available at www.ideam.gov.co/
Jha, S.; Bacon, C. M.; Philpott. S. M.; Méndez, V. E.; Läderach, P.; & Rice, R. A. (2014). Shade coffee: update on a disappearing refuge for biodiversity. Bioscience, 64(5), 416–428. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biu038
Jiménez-Soto, E. & Philpott, S. M. (2015). Size matters: nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants. Ecology and Evolution, 5(16), 3288–3298. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1555.
Lach, C.; Parr, C.; & Abbott, K. L. (Eds.). (2010). Ant Ecology. Oxford University Press. New York. 402p. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199544639.001.0001
Longino, J. T. (2003). The Crematogaster (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) of Costa Rica. Zootaxa, 151, 1–150. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.151.1.1
Longino, J. T. (2006). New species and nomenclatural changes for the Costa Rican ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecologische Nachrichten, 8, 131–143. https://archive.org/details/ants_21107
Meneses-R, O. E. & Armbrecht, I. (2018). Índice de intensificación agrícola y conservación vegetal en bosques y cafetales colombianos con diferentes estrategias de manejo. Caldasia, 40(1), 161–176. https://doi.org/10.15446/caldasia.v40n1.61284
Mottl, O.; Yombai, J.; Fayle, T. M.; Novotny, V.; & Klimes, P. (2019). Experiments with artificial nests provide evidence for ant community stratification and nest site limitation in a tropical forest. Biotropica, 52(2), 277-287. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12684
Ocampo-López, O. L. & Alvarez-Herrera, L. M. (2017). Tendencia de la producción y el consumo de café en Colombia. Apuntes del CENES, 36(64), 139-165. doi http://dx.doi.org/10.19053/01203053.v36.n64.2017.5419
Perfecto, I. & Vandermeer, J. (1996). Microclimatic changes and the indirect loss of ant diversity in a tropical agroecosystem. Oecologia, 108, 577–582. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00333736
Perfecto, I.; Rice, R. A.; Greenberg, R.; & Van der Voort, M. E. (1996). Shade coffee: a disappearing refuge for biodiversity. Bioscience, 46, 598-608. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/1312989.
Philpott, S. M. & Armbrecht, I. (2006). Biodiversity in tropical agroforests and the ecological role of ants and ant diversity in predatory function. Ecological Entomology, 31, 369–377. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2311.2006.00793.x
Philpott, S. M., & Foster, P. F. (2005). Nest-site limitation in coffee agroecosystems: Artificial nests maintain diversity of arboreal ants. Ecological Applications, 15(4), 1478–1485. https://doi.org/10.1890/04-1496
R development core team. (2013). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. Available from: www.R-project.org/.
Tschinkel, W. R. (2002). The natural history of the arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi. Journal of Insect Science, 2(12), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1673/031.002.1201
Vidal-Hernández, W. J., & Armbrecht, I. (2009). Impacto de la adición de ramitas de bambú y de la exclusión de hormigas sobre la herbivoría de cafetales de sol y sombra en el Cauca (Colombia). Rev. Brasil. Agroecol, 4(2), 877–881.
Yamamoto, M. & Del-claro, K. (2008). Natural history and foraging behavior of the carpenter ant Camponotus sericeiventris Guërin, 1838 (Formicinae, Campotonini) in the Brazilian tropical savanna. Acta Ethologica, 11(2), 55–65. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10211-008-0041-6
Zar, J. H. (1999). Biostatistical Analysis. 4th edition. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
Published
2021-07-31
How to Cite
López-Dávila, A., Escobar-Ramírez, S., & Armbrecht, I. (2021). Nesting of arboreal ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in artificial substrates in coffee plantations in the Colombian Andes. Uniciencia, 35(2), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.15359/ru.35-2.13
Section
Original scientific papers (evaluated by academic peers)

Comentarios (ver términos de uso)