ANT SPECIES RICHNESS AND DIVERSITY (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE) IN THE NATURAL GRASSLANDS OF PARANÁ, BRAZIL
Weslly Franco, Weslly Franco , Rodrigo Machado Feitosa
Laboratório de Sistemática e Biologia de Formigas – LSBF, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil; Laboratório de Sistemática e Biologia de Formigas – LSBF, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Paraná-, Curitiba, Brazil ; Laboratório de Sistemática e Biologia de Formigas – LSBF, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba Brazil
Ants are eusocial organisms of great importance. The presence or absence of specific groups is strongly correlated with various environmental characteristics. Therefore, environmental heterogeneity can certainly influence the diversity of the ant fauna. The natural grasslands of the state of Paraná comprise a very particular physiognomy composed of two distinct grasslands formations: the Campos Gerais and the grasslands of the southwest. The first is a region located in the second plateau of Paraná state, with a great diversity of environments. The grasslands of the southwest are more homogeneous, with a continuous herbaceous stratum dominating the landscape. Therefore, the phytophisiognomic features in this region can influence local biodiversity and distribution of the ant fauna. In this context, the aim of this study was to evaluate the richness, diversity and composition of the ant fauna along the natural grasslands of Paraná. We also intended to investigate the fauna similarity, considering the two different grasslands formations. Four different Conservation Unities were sampled:(1) Parque Estadual de Vila Velha (PEVV); (2) P.E. do Cerrado (PEC); (3) P.E. do Guartelá (PEG) and (4) R.V.S. dos Campos de Palmas (RVSCP). We collected 237 species, of which 57 were in the RVSCP, 102 in PEVV, 114 in the PEG, and 130 species in the PEC. This indicates that richness increases from high to low latitudes along the grasslands of Paraná. The areas of the PEVV, PEG and PEC (Campos Gerais) present a similar species composition, which is different from that of RVSCP (grasslands of the southwest). A closer composition between the areas of the PEVV and PEG and a separation of the PEC is also visualized. These formations act as transition areas between the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado, but also with a significative number of endemic components of ant fauna. This data contributes to a better understanding of the composition of the ant community in the Brazilian Southern grasslands.