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An Ornamental Heliconias Crop as a Reservoir of the Native Myrmecofauna: A case of Tropical Horticulture in Central Veracruz, Mexico
- Landero-Torres, Ivonne, García-Martínez, Miguel Á., Galindo-Tovar, María Elena, Leiva-Ovalle, Otto Raúl, Lee-Espinosa, Hilda Eulalia, Murguía-González, Joaquín, Negrín-Ruiz, Jaime
- The Southwestern entomologist 2014 v.39 no.1 pp. 135-146
- Formicidae, Heliconia, habitats, indigenous species, insects, landscapes, ornamental horticulture, ornamental plants, species diversity, tropical and subtropical crops, tropical and subtropical horticulture, Mexico
- Currently there is an increase in tropical crops dedicated to ornamental horticulture. This study is the first assessment of the role of a Heliconia spp. ornamental plant cultivation in Mexico as habitat for insect biodiversity conservation, using ant assemblages as bioindicators. A total of 9,022 ant workers belonging to seven subfamilies, 14 tribes, 27 genera, and 55 species was captured. Conversion of native vegetation to tropical ornamental agriculture affects the richness, diversity and dominance of ants, but not assemblages’ composition. The importance of species composition as a predictor parameter of functional changes in the landscape is highlighted.