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Article
Published: 2021-07-13

A comparative assessment on ant communities in three vegetation types located at Mfou Suburban locality of Yaoundé (Cameroon)

University of Yaoundé 1, Faculty of Science, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Laboratory of Zoology, Po.Box 812
University of Yaoundé 1, Faculty of Science, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Laboratory of Zoology, Po.Box 812
University of Buea, Department of Zoology and Animal Physiology, Po.Box 63, Buea
University of Yaoundé 1, Faculty of Science, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Laboratory of Zoology, Po.Box 812
University of Yaoundé 1, Faculty of Science, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Laboratory of Zoology, Po.Box 812
University of Yaoundé 1, Faculty of Science, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Laboratory of Zoology, Po.Box 812
University of Yaoundé 1, Faculty of Science, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Laboratory of Zoology, Po.Box 812
Yaoundé Cameroon Mfou urbanization. ant community

Abstract

Urban expansion in Cameroon and many other Congo basin countries, involves the destruction of natural habitat previously colonized by a rich and diversified invertebrate and vertebrate fauna. In order to understand the dynamic of transformation of natural landscape into urban area on ant communities, a study was conducted at Mfou, a suburban agglomeration of Yaoundé. We aimed to evaluate the variation in ant diversity and ant community structure in relation to the type of habitat. Ants were collected on the ground and trees in cocoa farms, secondary forests, and palm groves using visual catch, pitfall traps, quadrat, and baits. We recorded 144 species belonging to 39 genera and 6 subfamilies. Cocoa farms (S= 102; H’= 3.83; E=0.83) were richer and more diversified than secondary forests (S= 100; H’= 3.83; E=0.83) and palm groves (S= 70; H’= 3.61; E=0.85). Myrmicinae, Formicinae and Ponerinae were the richest subfamilies both at genus and species levels. Based on their frequency of occurrence, Myrmicaria opaciventris (18.6%), Crematogaster striatula (17.1%), Crematogaster gabonensis (14.9%) and Camponotus crawleyi Emery, 1920 (14.2%) species were numerically dominant. Strumigenys sp.1, Strumigenys sp.2, Strumigenys sp.3, and Strumigenys sp.4 species were found only in secondary forests, suggesting the relatively stability of this habitat despite anthropogenic disturbance. Camponotus brevicollis, Technomyrmex sp.2 and Tetramorium guineensis were the indicator species in cocoa farms. In the secondary forests, Camponotus wellmani, Hypoponera punctatissima and Pheidole pulchella were found as indicator species while in palm groves H. punctatissima was the only indicator species.

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