The scientific legacy of Juan A. Torres-Negrón

Ariel E. Lugo

Abstract


Juan A. Torres-Negron (Juan Torres) studied ants, wasps, termites and other insect groups. I reviewed 34 of his publications and grouped them into six subjects: ecological theory, taxonomy, chemistry, ecology, synthesis, and commentaries. Juan Torres used empirical fieldwork, keen observations, and experimentation to advance the understanding of ant taxonomy and ecology in Puerto Rico. His taxonomic work involved the description of new species and genera of various insect groups, as well as revisions of taxonomic groups, and other observations of the ecology and behavior of rare taxa. Juan Torres also published several taxonomic keys in English and Spanish for various insect groups and localities. His work with ant communities advanced ecological niche theory and island biogeography highlighting the non-equilibrium and stochastic nature of ant community dynamics in Puerto Rico and adjacent islands. He also published synthesis summaries of the ants of Puerto Rico, Mona Island, and the Luquillo Mountains. His ecological studies of ants ranged from descriptions of biotic interactions among ants and with other animal species, to the quantification of the role of insects in wood decomposition and nutrient cycling. The research spanned from dry to wet forest and non-forest conditions in Puerto Rico and adjacent islands and cays.

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