How is Ant Diversity Impacted by Anthropogenic Disturbance?
I studied patterns in ant community structure between protected areas and anthropogenically disturbed forest lands in New Brunswick and Ontario, utilizing molecular and morphological techniques for assessing diversity. I examined phylogenetic diversity, Barcode Index Number (BIN) richness, phylogenetic structure, and functional trait space. In Algonquin Park, Ontario there was significantly greater BIN richness, and phylogenetic diversity, but no signal for phylogenetic structure or functional trait space differences between uncut forest sites and cut sites. In New Brunswick there was significantly more BIN richness and phylogenetic diversity in uncut forest sites, but no significant differences between phylogenetic structure, and functional trait space between uncut forest sites and cut sites. These results suggest that ant community assembly and response to disturbance are dependent on the local species pool.