Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 224–240 | Cite as

Seasonal structuring of a north temperature ant community

  • J. M. Herbers


Ant nest were mapped in both time and space at two sites in New York over two consecutive years. Dispersion patterns, identity of nearest neighbor, and migration frequencies were also determined for three time points in 1981. Examination of nest distributions showed important seasonal variation with respect to spacing pattern and identity of nearest neighbors. Data pooled over an entire year suggested aggregation of nests with nonrandon species associations, yet these inferences were statistically significant only in early spring. Distances between neighboring colonies were low in early spring, high in mid-summer, and lower by late summer. Changes in ant nest distribution were mediated by colony migrations occuring throughout the season of activity. Although different species varied in their propensity to move, fluidity of community structure was a result common to all ant species studied.


Community Structure Late Summer Early Spring Position Respectives Dispersion Pattern 

Structuration saisonnière d'une communauté de fourmis des régions tempérées du nord


On a relevé pendant 2 ans dans le temps et dans l'espace les emplacements des nids de fourmis sur 2 sites dans l'Etat de New York. En 1981, on a aussi mesuré à 3 dates différentes les types de distribution, les fréquences de migration et précisé l'identité du voisin le plus proche. L'examen de la distribution des nids montre une importante variation saisonnière fonction du type d'élaboration du nid (polydomie) et de l'identité du voisin le plus proche. Les données regroupées d'une année tendent à suggérer une aggrégation des nids présentant une association des espèces non aléatoire, ceci n'étant cependant statistiquement significatif qu'au début du printemps. Les distances entre colonies voisines sont réduites au début du printemps, élevées au milieu de l'été et un peu plus faibles en fin d'été. Les changements apportés aux positions respectives des nids résultent de la migration des colonies durant la période d'activité. Bien que la propension des diverses espèces à migrer soit variable, la fluidité de la structure de ces communautés résulte du déplacement de la majeure partie des espèces de fourmis étudiées.


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Copyright information

© Masson 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Herbers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of VermontBurlingtonU.S.A.

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