Wet heathland is a rare biotope of high conservation interest at both the Belgian and the European level. Ants were studied in a series of 23 wet heathlands sites in the Campine region (Flanders, NO-Belgium) using pitfalls and a manual nest searching technique in study plots (1999-2001). We found 28 species representing 53% of the indigenous ant fauna. Myrmica lonae has not been documented in Belgium before. Other species of special interest were Formica transkaucasica, Tapinoma ambiguum, Strongylognathus testaceus and Lasius meridionalis. Larger heathland sites had higher nest densities, but not more species. The relationship between ant nest density and cover of the grass Molinia caerulea followed a curve with an optimum between 40-50%. Results are discussed in relation to restoration and maintenance management measures that take into account relevant issues for grounddwelling invertebrates, including ants.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|