Relationships between the distributions of nesting ants and flora were investigated in a re-created tallgrass prairie located in northeastern Illinois. One-third of 167 randomly selected 1m2 quadrats in the prairie contained ant nests. Basal coverage of ground by tall grass shoots was greater in quadrats having ant nests than in those lacking ant nests. In addition, clumps of big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) that were inhabited by the ant, Acanthomyops clavigera, had higher median rank densities than adjacent clumps lacking nests. The clumps also showed a negative correlation between big bluestem shoots/ cm2 and area occupied by the clump at ground level. These significant findings relating to the distribution of nesting ants and tall grasses indicate ants have ecologic importance in re-created prairie that warrants greater scrutiny among restoration scientists.
Petersen, Chris E.; Dave, Dhvani G.; Parker, Charise L.; and Petersen, Renee E.
"Ant-Plant Relationships in a Re-Created Tallgrass Prairie,"
The Great Lakes Entomologist: Vol. 35
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol35/iss1/5