Mississippi State University
Hill, JoVonn G.
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Agricultural Life Sciences
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology
Grassland communities represent major biodiversity hotspots across the United States. Among these grassland types is the short-leaf pine savanna, a major historical habitat along the Cumberland Plateau. The Cumberland Plateau’s grasslands are under threat due to land use changes such as urbanization and land conversion to pasture and hardwood forests. This study seeks to better understand the community ecology of ants on the Cumberland Plateau using powerlines as a comparison to degraded and historic habitats. Ants have a preference between open sites and forested sites, a separation of 44.5% on a DCA. The Simpson diversity places the short-leaf pine savanna significantly lower than adjacent forest, (df-3, F=3.56, p-value=0.029; Figure 1.5). Stenamma Westwood, 1839 is a cryptic genus with a Holarctic clade of 44 species, six of which occur in the southeastern United States. This work is a redescription providing an updated key, with images to those species in the southeast.
Brown, Zachary, "The community ecology of ants on the Cumberland Plateau and a taxonomic redescription of the genus Stenamma Westwood, 1839 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae) in a southeastern treatment" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 5937.