n African Entomology - Ant diversity in different cocoa agroforest habitats in the Centre Region of Cameroon




Agroforestry systems may represent refugia for native fauna in highly disturbed environments. In the context of ongoing intensive destruction of tropical rainforest by agricultural activities, there is a wealth of information on the influence of agricultural practices on arthropod diversity on southern Cameroon cocoa farms. The present study examined the diversity and the composition of ant communities on traditional cocoa farms in relation to agricultural practices along a south-north latitudinal gradient in the Centre Region of Cameroon. Ants were sampled in 21 plots using the chemical knock-down technique, along a latitudinal gradient from Ngomedzap (forest) in the south through Obala (forest-savanna) to Bokito (savanna) in the north. Species richness, Shannon diversity index and Bray-Curtis distance were used to characterize diversity of ant communities and their dissimilarity between habitats. A total of 66 ant species, belonging to 24 genera and seven subfamilies were identified from a sample of 114 843 workers. The ant diversity of Obala is higher than that of Ngomedzap and Bokito. Estimation of Bray-Curtis distances demonstrated that the ant communities of Ngomedzap and Obala were similar to each other, but very different from that of Bokito. The ant communities of Centre Cameroonian cocoa farms appeared relatively diversified. These communities varied in species composition and diversity in relation to agricultural practices along south-north latitudinal gradients.


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