CSPs: Ant data CSPs complete

Usage Rights

This data is Free for members.

Staab, M., Schuldt, A., Assmann, T., Bruelheide, H. & Klein, A.M. (2014): Ant community structure during forest succession in a subtropical forest in South-East China. Acta Oecologica 61: 32-40.
Staab, M., Schuldt, A., Assmann, T. & Klein, A.M. (2014): Tree diversity promotes predator but not omnivore ants in a subtropical Chinese forest. Ecological Entomology 39: 637-647.
Schuldt, A. & Staab, M. (2015): Tree species richness strengthens relationships between ants and the functional composition of spider assemblages in a highly diverse forest. Biotropica 47: 339-346.

Dataset Abstract

This data set contains all ant workers that have been collected in the 27 CSPs in the Gutianshan National Nature Reserve. Ants have been collected with a range of complementary methods (baiting at breast height / baiting on the ground / beating low vegetation / flight interceptors / litter sifting / pitfalls) and the species coverage is pretty complete.
The dataset is presented in long format. A script to convert the specific dataset from long to wide format (and vice versa) is given as an additional freeformat file (see below).

Dataset Design

1. 'baiting at breast height': baits consiting of honey water and canned fish pieces were placed in small petry dishes that were pairwise attached to tree trunks at breast height (May-June 2012); after 3-4 hours the baits were checked and all ants collected; there were 9 pairs of baits ber CSP, one in the center of each subplot / 2. 'baiting on the ground': same methodology as for baiting at breast height except that the pairwise baits were placed on the ground. For more information on the baiting samples see Schuldt & Staab, 2015, Biotropica 47: 339-346. / 3. 'beating low vegetation' per CSP 3*25 small trees were hit with a stick and all ants dropping on the collection sheet were recorded (September 2011, May 2012, June 2012). For more information on the beating samples see Schuldt & Staab, 2015, Biotropica 47: 339-346. / 4. 'flight interceptors': 3 flight interception traps made from plexiglas were placed in the center of every CSP in summer 2010. All ants that dropped into the collection vials are included in the dataset. / 5. 'litter sifting': in every CSP, 4*0.25m² of leaf litter including the top few cm of the soil were manually sifted and all visible ants were collected (June-July 2008). / 6. 'pitfall': in every CSP, 4 pitfall traps made of plastic cups were placed from end of March to beginning of September 2009 as described in Staab et al., 2014, Acta Oecologica 61: 32-40 and Staab et al., 2014, Ecological Entomology 39: 637-647.

Spatial Extent

Comparative Study Plots (CSPs) in the Gutianshan National Nature Reserve, Zhejiang province

Taxonomic Extent

Hymenoptera: Formicidae

Data Analysis

When using ant data as covariate one should keep in mind that ant communities on the ground (sampled with baiting on the ground / litter sifting / pitfalls) are taxonomically and functionally rather different from communities sampled in the vegetation (sampled with baiting at breast height / beating low vegetation / flight interceptors). Consequently, when using those data as covariates it is important to consider which part of the ant data is to be used. As an example, when analyzing mostly soil related processes, it makes no sense to include ants collected with beating or flight interceptors. Also, one should be careful to use raw ant abundances as ants are colonial organisms so that abundances might be biased by the presence of single colonies with many individuals.

Freeformat files (1)

  • Long_2_wide__wide_2_long.R (308 Bytes)
    Script for the statistical software R to convert the dataset from long into wide format and vice versa. Requires package "respahe 2" (see download from CRAN)

Data columns available in the raw data part of this dataset

CSP name; Datagroup description: Reasearch plots of the Biodiversity - Ecosystem functioning experiment (BEF-China). There are three main sites for research plots in the BEF Experiment: Comparative Study Plots (CSP) in the Gutianshan Nature Reserve, having a size of 30x30m^2, measured on the ground. Main Experiment plots have a size of 1 mu, which is about 25x25m^2 in horizontal projection. Pilot Study Plots have a size of 1x1 m^2. Research plots on the main experiment have a "p" in front of their IDs and then a 6 digit code: Plots in the main sites A and B are named according to their position in the original spreadsheet, in which they were designed. They consist of 6 digits: _1st digit_: Site (1:A, 2:B), _digit 2and3_: southwards row: as in spreadsheets the rows are named from the top to the bottom; _digit 4 and 5_: westward column: as in the original spreadsheet, but the letters are converted to numbers (A=01, B=02); _6th digit_: indicator, if the plot has been shifted a quarter mu. Example: "p205260": "p" means that this is a plot that is specified. "2" means, that we are at site B. Now the coordinates of the south - west corner: "0526". Since "e" is the fifth letter of the alphabet, this is Plot E26. The last digit "0" means that this plot was not moved by a quarter of a Mu, as some sites in Site A. The 6th digit can also indicate the subplot within the plot. "5", "6", "7", "8" indicate the northwest, northeast, southeast, and southwest quarter plot respectively.
Data group: BEF research plot name
Keywords: CSP, Gutianshan, GNNR
collection method
method used to collect ants
Data group: Arthropod sampling method
Keywords: trap, arthropods
flight interceptor
baiting breast height
litter sifting
baiting ground
* Eichenberg, D. also contributed to this column.
species name
species name
Data group: Ant species name
Keywords: arthropods, ant, taxonomy
Aenictus gutianshanensis
Aenictus hoelldobleri
Aenictus bobaiensis
Aenictus hodgsoni
Aenictus wudangshanensis
* Eichenberg, D. also contributed to this column.
morphospecies of the respective sample/individual
Data group: Nominal taxon
Keywords: morphospecies, arthropods
Aphaenogaster sp 3
Camponotus sp 10
Aphaenogaster sp 2
Aphaenogaster sp 1
Brachyponera sp 1
* Eichenberg, D. also contributed to this column.
Data group: Abundance
Keywords: arthropods, ant, abundace
* Eichenberg, D. also contributed to this column.