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

Jonathan Z. Shik, André Francoeur, Christopher M. Buddle


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.


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

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