The Grain for Which an Observer Conducts a Study is an Important Determinant of its Outcome. Studies of Ants Have Considered Spatial Grains Spanning from Single Meters to Entire Forest Ecosystems and Found Patterns Related to Nutrient Availability, Leaf Litter Depth, Disturbance, and Forest Composition. Here, We Examine a Bornean Leaf Litter Ant Community at Small (1–4 M) and Large (50–250 M) Spatial Scales and Consider the Differences in Community Structure using Structured 1 M2 Quadrats Sampled Via Leaf Litter Sifting and Berlese Extraction. We Found that Small-Scale Patterns in Ant Abundance and Richness Did Not Spatially Auto correlate within a Plot Until >1.5 M. Leaf Litter Characteristics, Forest Stand Characteristics and Sampling Season Were Homogenous among Our Sites, suggesting that Macro-Scale Stand Variables Are Not Largely Regulating the Small Spatial Scale Ant Communities: These May Be Driven by Microclimate, Competition, Niche Space, Nutrient Available, Microclimatic Conditions, or Other Localized Effects. Further Experimental Work is Needed to Elicit Causal Mechanisms.


Biological Sciences

Publication Status

Open Access


National Science Foundation, Grant 1658711

Keywords and Phrases

biodiversity; Borneo; Malaysia; Sabah; semivariogram; tropical conservation; UNESCO man and biosphere reserve

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

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© 2023 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2023

Included in

Biology Commons