Effect of a fire on the assembly of ants of Paititi Private Nature Reserve, Buenos
Aires, Argentina

Juan M. ARCUSA

Abstract


Paititi Private Nature Reserve is located within the important grassland areas. The area is characterized by frequent uncontrolled fires and at present a major sector of the reserve is invaded by the exotic Acacia melanoxylon, which increases its coverage area every year. The objective of comparing the wealth, abundance and dominance structure of the assembly of ants before and after a massive fire in a natural site and in a site invaded by Acacia melanoxylon was proposed. The sampling design included three replicates of 10 pitfall traps for each room type, native and invaded. The fire took place during the month of March (2015), and dataprior to the burning were available. Ant assemblages of both environments differed initially (Sl = 0.1%) but were similar post-fire (Sl = 1.2%). Prior to the fire the similarity between functional groups was 55 % and thereafter 66 %.This work shows that the controlled use of fire could be a useful tool to control the invasive species Acacia melanoxylon because after the fire the ant community returned to an environment similar to the one present in its native state.


Keywords


Biological invasion. Resilience. Structure dominance. Functional groups.

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