Vertical niche and elevation range size in tropical ants: implications for climate resilience

Lily Leahy, Brett R. Scheffers, Alan N. Andersen, Ben T. Hirsch & Stephen E. Williams
Aim: We propose that forest trees create a vertical dimension for ecological niche variation that generates different regimes of climatic exposure, which in turn drives species elevation distributions. We test this hypothesis by statistically modelling the vertical and elevation distributions and microclimate exposure of rainforest ants. Location: Wet Tropics Bioregion, Australia Methods: We conducted 60 ground-to-canopy surveys to determine the vertical (tree) and elevation distributions, and microclimate exposure of ants (101 species) at 15 sites...
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