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The biography and ecology of Tasmanian ants - an emerging frontier

Citation

McQuillan, PB, The biography and ecology of Tasmanian ants - an emerging frontier, School of Geography & Environmental Studies Conference Abstracts 2010, 28 June 2010, Sandy Bay (2010) [Conference Extract]

Abstract

Australia has been described as the land of the ants and 5,000 species say this canít be wrong. But Tasmania is contrarian Ė with extensive areas of the poorest ant habitat in Australia it supports a modest fauna of only 120 species with few endemics and many keystone species, such as meat ants, are absent from the island. Yet ants are ubiquitous components of terrestrial ecosystems and play important roles as soil engineers, seed dispersers, predators and recyclers of carbon. In addition, they are the preferred prey for a variety of mammals, birds and reptiles. Their importance and abundance make them informative and easily measured indicators of environmental change which can be exploited to advantage. Tasmanian ants present a new opportunity to investigate the biogeography, function and conservation of a neglected aspect of our fauna. I will relate some preliminary findings with students so far, and outline what I believe are some productive lines of enquiry for the future.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Tasmanian ants, environmental indicators
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological Applications
Research Field:Ecosystem Function
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
Author:McQuillan, PB (Mr Peter McQuillan)
ID Code:65582
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2010-11-24
Last Modified:2010-11-24
Downloads:0

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