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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BITING AND STINGING PESTS: ECOLOGY AND BIOLOGICALLY-BASED CONTROL

Location: Biological Control of Pests Research Unit

Title: The ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) fauna of the cedar glades and xeric limestone prairies of the Central Basin of Tennessee

Author
item Hill, Jovonn -

Submitted to: Tennessee Academy of Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 7, 2012
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
Citation: Hill, J.G. 2013. The ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) fauna of the cedar glades and xeric limestone prairies of the Central Basin of Tennessee. Tennessee Academy of Science. 87:135-142.

Interpretive Summary: The cedar glades of the Central Basin region of Tennessee are naturally occurring open grasslands, which are well known for their unique plant community. Two studies conducted in the 1930s documented ants inhabiting the glades of the region. These glades and an often adjacent habitat type, xeric limestone prairies, are considered imperiled as a result of urban sprawl and fire suppression. Additionally, imported fire ants are becoming established in the area, which may result in a change in the ant fauna of these habitats. A study was conducted from June 2010-April 2011 to compare the ant fauna of modern cedar glades with the lists produced in earlier studies and to document the ant fauna of xeric limestone prairies associated with the glades. Studies such as these are important as it provides an insight into what the ant fauna of naturally open area of the Southeast looked like pre fire ant invasion, and can aid future restoration activities. Twenty-six total species, including the hybrid imported fire ant, were sampled from both habitat types (19 species in cedar glades and 18 in the xeric limestone prairies), which included most of the species reported in the previous studies. Two new state records for Tennessee were documented. Ordination of the species lists from cedar glade and prairie habitats indicates that the ant fauna of the two habitats are distinct.

Technical Abstract: Ants may be the most thoroughly documented group of insects inhabiting the cedar glades of the Central Basin of Tennessee with two studies conducted in the late 1930s reporting ants found in cedar glades of the region. To compare the ant fauna of modern cedar glades with the lists produced in earlier studies and to document the ant fauna of xeric limestone prairies associated with the glades, a study was conducted from June 2010-April 2011. Twenty-six total species, including the hybrid imported fire ant, were sampled from both habitat types (19 species in cedar glades and 18 in the xeric limestone prairies), which included most of the species reported in the previous studies. Two new state records for Tennessee were documented. Ordination of the species lists from cedar glade and prairie habitats indicates that the ant fauna of the two habitats are distinct.

Last Modified: 4/24/2014
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