Some ant species are able to carry seeds to their nests and there these seeds germinate, grow and develop. Species like Pachycondyla striata and Odontomachus chelifer are already known for these interactions.
In this new part of the project, PhD researcher Bianca Laviski and her friend Mariana Romanini Menezes (who helps her on her field outings) are investigating whether ants of the species Ectatomma permagnum are also able to alter the richness and abundance of seedlings around their nests.
Once the species’ nest have been located, the number of seedlings both close and far from it is counted. The evaluation of this survey can determine whether this ant species contributes to the dynamics of forest regeneration. This weekend was Bianca’s and Mariana’s last day at REGUA having completed their field work.
It has been two years of dedicated effort with data collecting especially in forested areas of different successional stages.
Good luck writing your thesis, Bianca!