FARJI-BRENER Alejandro Gustavo
capítulos de libros
Leaf-cutting ants in Patagonia: how human disturbances affect their role as ecosystem engineers on soil fertility, plant fitness and trophic cascades
ALEJANDRO GUSTAVO FARJI BRENER; TADEY, MARIANA; LESCANO, MARÍA NATALIA
Ant-Plant Interactions: Impacts of Humans on Terrestrial Ecosystems
Cambridge University Press
Año: 2017; p. 377 - 390
Human activities affect plant-animal relationships in multiple ways. The conversion of natural habitats into cities, cultivated areas, pastures and forest plantations may directly reduce the abundance or, even, locally extinguish organisms. Additionally, these human-induced changes also indirectly impact on biotic components through cascade effects (Laurance et al. 2014). For example, changes in plant assemblages generated by human disturbances produce concomitant changes in a variety of animal communities that use plants for food, nest and refuge (Sallanbanks et al. 2000, Bestelmeyer & Wiens 2001, Bieber et al. 2014). To what extent human-generated disturbances spread across ecological levels will ultimately depend on the features of affected organisms. Although all organisms interact with their environment, some of them have the ability to change it considerably. These organisms change environmental conditions and resource availability via non-trophic interactions, affecting the performance and distribution of other species (?ecosystem engineers? sensu Jones et al. 1994, 1997). Hence, the consequences of human activities on ecological engineers may specially trigger cascading effects along trophic and non-trophic chains.