The ant community living in leaf litter was assessed in 65 forest sites in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest in the southern region of the state of Bahia, Brazil. In addition, we aimed to understand the patterns between taxonomic and functional diversities using two different resolutions of classification of ants into functional groups. We identified 364 ant species belonging to 68 genera in 10 subfamilies in 65 regions. Considering a more general functional classification, we identified a total of 13 functional ant groups, and 26 functional ant groups considering a more specific functional classification. The Atlantic Forest environments studied presented great taxonomic ant diversity. We observed that ant species richness and the number of functional groups are not closely related metrics, especially when considering a more general functional classification. Moreover, even when considering a more specific functional classification, the relationship with ant richness is only moderate. These results suggest that the number of species in a given group does not necessarily reflect the role played by that group within the environment. Integrating different biodiversity perspectives is crucial for the successful conservation of the Atlantic Forest ants.
Diversity, Formicidae, functional groups, invertebrate conservation, tourist ant species