Survival of the black bog ant (Formica transkaucasica Nasanov) in relation to the fragmentation of its habitat

A.A. Mabelis, J.P. Chardon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In the past, extensive areas in Drenthe (The Netherlands) were covered by peat bogs and wet heath lands, but nowadays only relatively small fragments are left. During the second half of the 20th century the quality of these fragments decreased, due to lowering of the water table and the input of nutrients. These factors will have a negative effect on the survival of species which are adapted to these stable type of biotopes, like the Black bog ant. The distribution pattern was analysed within a study area of 750 km2, in order to find out if this species will survive in a landscape where its habitat is severely fragmented. Using multiple logistic regression analysis it appears that size and quality of the habitat patches, as well as openness of the environment, contribute significantly to patch-occupancy. No correlation was found between the probability of a patch being occupied and its distance to the nearest occupied patch. It appears that the spatial cohesion of local populations by means of flying queens is weak or absent on the scale of the study area. Only in parts of the area, where the distance between habitat patches is less than 3 km in open field, a habitat network may still exist. However, with ongoing habitat loss a threshold will be passed and the species will ultimately become extinct.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-108
JournalJournal of Insect Conservation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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