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    Author(s): J.A. Torres
    Date: 1984
    Source: Biotropica. 16(4):284-295
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: International Institute of Tropical Forestry
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    I studied ant coexistence in adjacent areas of upland tropical forest, grassland, and agricultural land in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico. Data on food utilization, daily activity, nesting sites, microhabitat utilization and interspecific aggression were collected. Ants' tolerance to 45 degree C was determined in the laboratory. Agricultural and grassland ants eat grain, liquid food or insects, or grow fungus; only liquid drinking and insectivorous ants occurred in the forest. Some species within food groups in the agricultural and grassland ants differed in size of food consumed or daily activity. Some species from agricultural land were restricted to different crops, but spatial microhabitat utilization contributed little to species separation. Forest species differed in their use of litter depths, daily activity and microhabitat. Results of interspecific aggression were influence by priority effects and microclimate. I suggest that some species coexist by non-equilibrium processes or by stochastic events.

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    Torres, J.A. 1984. Niches and coexistence of ant communities in Puerto Rico. Biotropica. 16(4):284-295.


    ants, Puerto Rico, microhabitat utilization

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