International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Long-term changes in the structure of an urban social wasp community

Author(s):
Mateus Fajardo de Freitas Salviato Detoni, Mateus Fajardo de Freitas Salviato Detoni , Bruno Corrêa Barbosa , Tatiane Tagliatti Maciel , Samuel Júlio Lima dos Santos , Fábio Prezoto
Institution(s):
Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.; Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. ; Laboratório de Ecologia Comportamental e Bioacústica (LABEC), Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil. ; Laboratório de Ecologia Comportamental e Bioacústica (LABEC), Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil. ; Laboratório de Ecologia Comportamental e Bioacústica (LABEC), Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil. ; Laboratório de Ecologia Comportamental e Bioacústica (LABEC), Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Social wasps in anthropic areas are able to nest both in vegetation and in man-made substrates, and the availability of each in the environment may be strongly influential in the structure of the wasps’ communities. We aimed to address this issue by seasonally assessing social wasp diversity and nesting substrates in an urban parks area in Southeastern Brazil, 15 years after the first diversity study in the area. We actively searched for nests in the rainy season between 2014 and 2015 and in the dry season of 2015. Although species richness did not change since the 2000 assessment (13 species in 5 genera), social wasp abundance decreased substantially. Additionally, there was a general predilection among wasps for nesting on metal (n = 115, 60%) and concrete (n = 106, 36%) substrates, especially by the two most common species in our sample: Mischocyttarus cassununga and Polistes versicolor. We suggest that the decrease in abundance may correspond to the reduction of green areas in the assayed locations. These results support the well-known importance of maintaining green areas in urban environments to promote the growth and conservation of diverse social wasp communities.
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