Small Mammal Exclosure Study (SMES) Ant Data from Chihuahuan Desert Grassland and Shrubland at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (1995-2005)



Animal consumers have important roles in ecosystems, determining plant species composition and structure, regulating rates of plant production and nutrients, and altering soil structure and chemistry. This is data for numbers and species of seed harvester ant nests mapped from each of the SMES study plots. Seed harvester ant nests were mapped on each of the study plots once each year in the autumn. Ant nest maps were drawn on to pre-designed plot diagrams. Each nest was located on the diagram in reference to one of the 36 vegetation quadrat marker posts. The distance from the post, direction from the post, and species name were plotted on the map diagram. Data such as total numbers of nests of each ant species, and spatial arrangement of nests, were then taken from the diagram maps. The following question was asked: Do small mammals interact with other herbivore and granivore consumers enough to affect the species composition and abundances of other consumers such as ants?

Data set ID: 


Date Range: 

Wednesday, October 4, 1995 to Saturday, September 24, 2005

Publication Date: 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016



Additional Project roles: 


Data Manager


Field Crew