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Ecología austral

versión On-line ISSN 1667-782X


DA SILVA ARAUJO, Márcio; CASTRO DELLA LUCIA, Terezinha M; DA VEIGA, Clayton E  y  CARDOSO DO NASCIMENTO, Ivan. Impact of burning sugarcane foliage on the ant community. Ecol. austral [online]. 2004, vol.14, n.2, pp.191-200. ISSN 1667-782X.

Fire as a disturbing agent in invertebrate communities has been studied mainly in Australian and African ecosystems. In spite of the fact that burning is a common agricultural management practice in Brazil, very little is known on the implications of this factor on insect communities, especially ants. This work was carried out from September 2001 to June 2002 in a sugarcane plantation in Oratórios, MG, Brazil, aiming to study the impact of low intensity controlled fire (235.26 kcal.m-1.s-1) of sugarcane dry foliage on the ant community. Ants were collected in a transect using pitfall traps separated by 20 m at 4, 8, 12 and 16 days before fire, and 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 210 and 270 days after the burning. A total of 49 ant species were collected in this study, and 27 of these were selected to be used in the analysis based on their individual contribution for explaining total variance obtained. The composition of the ant community was affected by fire. Immediately after burning, the occurrence of catch frequencies of species was reduced, but occurred a fast reoccupation of the foraging area. Even after 270 days, the composition of ant community was different from that observed in the area before burning.

Palabras clave : Fire; Ant species richness; Pitfall; Foraging.

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