OOS 7-1 - Are foundation species effects different than those of dominant species? A case study of North American ant assemblages

Tuesday, August 8, 2017: 8:00 AM
Portland Blrm 254, Oregon Convention Center
Sydne Record1, Tempest McCabe1, Benjamin Baiser2 and Aaron M. Ellison3, (1)Biology, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, (2)Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, (3)Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, MA

Foundation species uniquely control associated biodiversity through non-trophic effects, whereas dominant species are locally abundant but are replaceable in ecological systems. Long-term data on ant assemblages at the Harvard Forest Hemlock Removal Experiment (HF-HeRE) and the Black Rock Future of Oak Forests Experiment (BRF-FOFE) provide insights into how ant assemblages change and reassemble following the loss of a foundation species (Tsuga canadensis) or a dominant genus (Quercus).


At HF-HeRE, removal of T. canadensis trees resulted in taxonomic and functional shifts in ant assemblages relative to control stands. In contrast, ant assemblages at BRF-FOFE varied little regardless of whether oaks or non-oaks were removed from the canopy. Non-trophic effects of foundation species were stronger than indirect trophic effects on taxonomic and functional diversity of ant assemblages. In contrast, non-trophic effects of dominant species were weaker than indirect trophic effects on ant taxonomic diversity and some measures of ant functional diversity.