The Effect of Human Activity on Ant Species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Richness at the Mont St. Hilaire Biosphere Reserve, Québec


  • Jonathan Z. Shik Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Montréal, Québec H3A 1B1
  • André Francoeur Centre de données sur la biodiversité du Québec, Université du Québec a Chicoutimi, 637-108 boulevard Talbot, Chicoutimi, Québec G7H 6A4
  • Christopher M. Buddle Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Macdonald Campus, 21 111 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Québec H9X 3V9



ants, Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Mont St. Hilaire, anthropogenic disturbance, old-growth forest, species richness, inventory


The ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) fauna of the Mont St. Hilaire Biosphere Reserve, Québec, was surveyed in 2002 and 2003. Although overall species richness was high, 10 of 40 total ant species collected were limited to anthropogenically disturbed habitats within the reserve. While only 2 of these 10 species (Tetramorium caespitum (L.) and Lasius niger (L.)) can definitively be considered introduced, areas altered by human activity (representing a small fraction of the reserve’s total area) possess nearly as many unique species as the reserve’s old-growth forest. Although further research will be necessary to determine the consequences of such changes in community structure, this study shows the importance of specifying the extent of biodiversity surveys within protected habitats to more accurately monitor the effectiveness of conservation efforts.