Recolonization by ants in bauxite mines rehabilitated by a number of different methods.
The ant faunas of 30 bauxite mines in Western Australia that had been rehabilitated by various methods, and 3 forest controls, were surveyed in the summer of 1978-79; physical and botanical parameters were also measured. Forty-two species of ants were found in the rehabilitated areas, although many of the original forest species were not yet present. Eight ant community parameters were initially screened by canonical analysis. Ant species diversity and ant species richness were found to be the most useful for relating to mined area parameters. Multiple regression analysis using ant species richness and species diversity as dependent variables revealed that ant return was positively associated with plant species richness and diversity, time since rehabilitation, percentage plant cover and percentage litter cover. The presence of large logs was also an important factor. Principal components ordination analysis of the data suggests that plant species richness, and diversity, rehabilitation age and percentage litter cover also influence the species composition of the ant community in rehabilitated areas. The relevance of these findings to the improvement of rehabilitation practices is discussed.