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Keywords:

  • biodiversity;
  • colonization;
  • habitat island;
  • landform;
  • urban

To investigate how progressive urbanization influences the distribution of ant species in cities, I compared the ant species richness in urban parks of different areas and ages of Tokyo, the most intensively developed urban region in Japan, and its developing neighbor, Chiba City. A total of 43 ant species were found from 98 parks. Multiple regression analysis revealed that park area and age had a positive effect on the number of ant species in the parks and that the parks in Tokyo contained fewer species than did comparable parks in Chiba. Thus, the progression of urbanization reduces ant species richness in urban parks, most likely because it isolates the parks from the surrounding area. Next, in order to examine the relationships between the types of landform modification and the ant distribution in urban areas, I compared the ant species richness in urban parks of Chiba City among different landform types (upland + terraces, lowlands, cut and fill, banking, and reclamation). This study showed that the parks in the reclaimed lands and lowlands contained fewer ant species than did parks in other areas. The reason for this decline of ant fauna is discussed.