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Sample records for ant community structure

  1. Variation of ant community structure on Ficus benguetensis

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    Shang-Yang Lin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Although ants are commonly found on Ficus trees, information remains lacking on the pattern and diversity of the ant community visiting these trees. We hypothesize that dynamic changes in the availability and types of food can affect the composition as well as abundance of ant communities occurring on fig trees. To investigate the impact of resource availability, diversity, and variability on the ant community structure, we surveyed and recorded the fig phenology and ant abundance on 17 trees (11 male and six female trees of Ficus benguetensis in New Taipei City in northern Taiwan from 2011 to 2013. A total of 13 ant species were found on these fig trees, with 6 species more abundant than the others. The composition and relative abundance of the ant species occurring on F. benguetensis trees showed significant variations associated with tree sex, fig abundance, fig developmental phase, as well as temperature. A degree of dietary niche partitioning was also observed. We suggest that sexual differentiation in fig phenology plays a major role in controlling the availability and variance in food resources for ants, thereby shaping the complex ant communities foraging on F. benguetensis.

  2. Ants mediate the structure of phytotelm communities in an ant-garden bromeliad

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    Céréghino, Régis; Leroy, Céline; Dejean,Alain; Corbara, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    International audience; The main theories explaining the biological diversity of rain forests often confer a limited understanding of the contribution of interspecific interactions to the observed patterns. We show how two-species mutualisms can affect much larger segments of the invertebrate community in tropical rain forests. Aechmea mertensii (Bromeliaceae) is both a phytotelm (plant-held water) and an ant-garden epiphyte. We studied the influence of its associated ant species (Pachycondyl...

  3. Plant genotype shapes ant-aphid interactions: implications for community structure and indirect plant defense.

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    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

    Little is known about the mechanisms by which plant genotype shapes arthropod community structure. In a field experiment, we measured the effects of milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) genotype and ants on milkweed arthropods. Populations of the ant-tended aphid Aphis asclepiadis and the untended aphid Myzocallis asclepiadis varied eight- to 18-fold among milkweed genotypes, depending on aphid species and whether ants were present. There was no milkweed effect on predatory arthropods. Ants increased Aphis abundance 59%, decreased Myzocallis abundance 52%, and decreased predator abundance 56%. Milkweed genotype indirectly influenced ants via direct effects on Aphis and Myzocallis abundance. Milkweed genotype also modified ant-aphid interactions, influencing the number of ants attracted per Aphis and Myzocallis. While ant effects on Myzocallis were consistently negative, effects on Aphis ranged from antagonistic to mutualistic among milkweed genotypes. As a consequence of milkweed effects on ant-aphid interactions, ant abundance varied 13-fold among milkweed genotypes, and monarch caterpillar survival was negatively correlated with genetic variation in ant abundance. We speculate that heritable variation in milkweed phloem sap drives these effects on aphids, ants, and caterpillars. In summary, milkweed exerts genetic control over the interactions between aphids and an ant that provides defense against foliage-feeding caterpillars.

  4. Microbial community structure of leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens and refuse dumps.

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    Jarrod J Scott

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leaf-cutter ants use fresh plant material to grow a mutualistic fungus that serves as the ants' primary food source. Within fungus gardens, various plant compounds are metabolized and transformed into nutrients suitable for ant consumption. This symbiotic association produces a large amount of refuse consisting primarily of partly degraded plant material. A leaf-cutter ant colony is thus divided into two spatially and chemically distinct environments that together represent a plant biomass degradation gradient. Little is known about the microbial community structure in gardens and dumps or variation between lab and field colonies. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using microbial membrane lipid analysis and a variety of community metrics, we assessed and compared the microbiota of fungus gardens and refuse dumps from both laboratory-maintained and field-collected colonies. We found that gardens contained a diverse and consistent community of microbes, dominated by Gram-negative bacteria, particularly gamma-Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. These findings were consistent across lab and field gardens, as well as host ant taxa. In contrast, dumps were enriched for Gram-positive and anaerobic bacteria. Broad-scale clustering analyses revealed that community relatedness between samples reflected system component (gardens/dumps rather than colony source (lab/field. At finer scales samples clustered according to colony source. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Here we report the first comparative analysis of the microbiota from leaf-cutter ant colonies. Our work reveals the presence of two distinct communities: one in the fungus garden and the other in the refuse dump. Though we find some effect of colony source on community structure, our data indicate the presence of consistently associated microbes within gardens and dumps. Substrate composition and system component appear to be the most important factor in structuring the microbial communities

  5. Seasonal Dynamics of Ant Community Structure in the Moroccan Argan Forest

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    Keroumi, Abderrahim El; Naamani, Khalid; Soummane, Hassna; Dahbi, Abdallah

    2012-01-01

    In this study we describe the structure and composition of ant communities in the endemic Moroccan Argan forest, using pitfall traps sampling technique throughout the four seasons between May 2006 and February 2007. The study focused on two distinct climatic habitats within the Essaouira Argan forest, a semi-continental site at Lahssinate, and a coastal site at Boutazarte. Thirteen different ant species were identified, belonging to seven genera. Monomorium subopacum Smith and Tapinoma simrothi Krausse-Heldrungen (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were the most abundant and behaviorally dominant ant species in the arganeraie. In addition, more specimens were captured in the semi-continental site than in the coastal area. However, no significant difference was observed in species richness, evenness, or diversity between both sites. Composition and community structure showed clear seasonal dynamics. The number of species, their abundance, their diversity, and their evenness per Argan tree were significantly dissimilar among seasons. The richness (except between summer and autumn), and the abundance and the evenness of ant species among communities, showed a significant difference between the dry period (summer and spring) and the rainy period (winter and autumn). Higher abundance and richness values occurred in the dry period of the year. Ant species dominance and seasonal climatic variations in the arganeraie might be among the main factors affecting the composition, structure, and foraging activity of ant communities. This study, together with recent findings on ant predation behavior below Argan trees, highlights the promising use of dominant ant species as potential agents of Mediterranean fruit fly bio-control in the Argan forest and surrounding ecosystems. PMID:23421815

  6. Imidacloprid seed treatments affect individual ant behavior and community structure but not egg predation, pest abundance or soybean yield.

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    Penn, Hannah J; Dale, Andrew M

    2017-08-01

    Neonicotinoid seed treatments are under scrutiny because of their variable efficacy against crop pests and for their potential negative impacts on non-target organisms. Ants provide important biocontrol services in agroecosystems and can be indicators of ecosystem health. This study tested for effects of exposure to imidacloprid plus fungicide or fungicide-treated seeds on individual ant survival, locomotion and foraging capabilities and on field ant community structure, pest abundance, ant predation and yield. Cohorts of ants exposed to either type of treated seed had impaired locomotion and a higher incidence of morbidity and mortality but no loss of foraging capacity. In the field, we saw no difference in ant species richness, regardless of seed treatment. Blocks with imidacloprid did have higher species evenness and diversity, probably owing to variable effects of the insecticide on different ant species, particularly Tetramorium caespitum. Ant predation on sentinel eggs, pest abundance and soybean growth and yield were similar in the two treatments. Both seed treatments had lethal and sublethal effects on ant individuals, and the influence of imidacloprid seed coating in the field was manifested in altered ant community composition. Those effects, however, were not strong enough to affect egg predation, pest abundance or soybean yield in field blocks. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  7. Using Ants as bioindicators: Multiscale Issues in Ant Community Ecology

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    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecological patterns and processes are characteristically scale dependent, and research findings often cannot be translated easily from one scale to another. Conservation biology is challenged by a lack of congruence between the spatial scales of ecological research (typically involving small plots and land management (typically involving whole landscapes. Here, I discuss spatial scaling issues as they relate to an understanding of ant communities and, consequently, their use as bioindicators in land management. Our perceptions of fundamental patterns and processes in ant communities depend on scale: taxa that are behaviorally dominant at one scale are not necessarily so at others, functional groups recognized at one scale are often inappropriate for others, and the role of competition in community structure depends on the scale of analysis. Patterns of species richness and composition, and the ability of total richness to be estimated by surrogates, are all also scale dependent. Ant community ecology has a tradition of detailed studies in small plots, but the use of ants as bioindicators requires a predictive understanding of community structure and dynamics at a range of spatial scales. Such an appreciation of ant communities and their most effective use as bioindicators is best served by studies integrating results from plot-scale research with the broad-scale paradigms of biogeography, systematics, and evolutionary biology.

  8. Ant community structure in citrus orchards in the mediterranean basin: impoverishment as a consequence of habitat homogeneity.

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    Cerdá, X; Palacios, R; Retana, J

    2009-04-01

    This study analyzes the structure and composition of ant communities in citrus orchards in Catalonia (northeast Spain) and compares them with the ant fauna found in natural communities of the region. In the citrus orchards considered in this study, the most abundant species were Lasius niger and Pheidole pallidula, which are behaviorally dominant species. Two other dominant species, Linepithema humile and Tetramorium caespitum, were also abundant, although only in one orchard. Species richness and diversity in the studied orchards were low compared with natural communities: although in orchards, there were few species and low diversity values, in natural communities, the number of species was higher and diversity also increased. This reduction of species richness and diversity was not modified by edge effects: only light and local differences were found between the inner part of the orchards and the orchard margins, and differences among orchards were greater than differences between inner parts and edges. The activity peaks of the different ant species actively foraging on these citrus orchards were distributed throughout the whole activity period of ants. Overall, the composition of ant communities present in the citrus orchards of this study was extremely poor. This agrees with the fact that monocultures are ecosystems associated with an inevitable loss of biodiversity and abundance of insect populations.

  9. Competitive assembly of South Pacific invasive ant communities

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    Sarty Megan

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The relative importance of chance and determinism in structuring ecological communities has been debated for nearly a century. Evidence for determinism or assembly rules is often evaluated with null models that randomize the occurrence of species in particular locales. However, analyses of the presence or absence of species ignores the potential influence of species abundances, which have long been considered of major importance on community structure. Here, we test for community assembly rules in ant communities on small islands of the Tokelau archipelago using both presence-absence and abundance data. We conducted three sets of analyses on two spatial scales using three years of sampling data from 39 plots on 11 islands. Results First, traditional null model tests showed support for negative species co-occurrence patterns among plots within islands, but not among islands. A plausible explanation for this result is that analyses at larger spatial scales merge heterogeneous habitats that have considerable effects on species occurrences. Second, analyses of ant abundances showed that samples with high ant abundances had fewer species than expected by chance, both within and among islands. One ant species, the invasive yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes, appeared to have a particularly strong effect on community structure correlated with its abundance. Third, abundances of most ant species were inversely correlated with the abundances of all other ants at both spatial scales. This result is consistent with competition theory, which predicts species distributions are affected by diffuse competition with suites of co-occurring species. Conclusion Our results support a pluralistic explanation for ant species abundances and assembly. Both stochastic and deterministic processes interact to determine ant community assembly, though abundance patterns clearly drive the deterministic patterns in this community. These deterministic

  10. USING ANT COMMUNITIES FOR RAPID ASSESSMENT OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM HEALTH

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    Wike, L; Doug Martin, D; Michael Paller, M; Eric Nelson, E

    2007-01-12

    Ecosystem health with its near infinite number of variables is difficult to measure, and there are many opinions as to which variables are most important, most easily measured, and most robust, Bioassessment avoids the controversy of choosing which physical and chemical parameters to measure because it uses responses of a community of organisms that integrate all aspects of the system in question. A variety of bioassessment methods have been successfully applied to aquatic ecosystems using fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Terrestrial biotic index methods are less developed than those for aquatic systems and we are seeking to address this problem here. This study had as its objective to examine the baseline differences in ant communities at different seral stages from clear cut back to mature pine plantation as a precursor to developing a bioassessment protocol. Comparative sampling was conducted at four seral stages; clearcut, 5 year, 15 year and mature pine plantation stands. Soil and vegetation data were collected at each site. All ants collected were preserved in 70% ethyl alcohol and identified to genus. Analysis of the ant data indicates that ants respond strongly to the habitat changes that accompany ecological succession in managed pine forests and that individual genera as well as ant community structure can be used as an indicator of successional change. Ants exhibited relatively high diversity in both early and mature seral stages. High ant diversity in the mature seral stages was likely related to conditions on the forest floor which favored litter dwelling and cool climate specialists.

  11. Competition can lead to unexpected patterns in tropical ant communities

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    Ellwood, M. D. Farnon; Blüthgen, Nico; Fayle, Tom M.; Foster, William A.; Menzel, Florian

    2016-08-01

    Ecological communities are structured by competitive, predatory, mutualistic and parasitic interactions combined with chance events. Separating deterministic from stochastic processes is possible, but finding statistical evidence for specific biological interactions is challenging. We attempt to solve this problem for ant communities nesting in epiphytic bird's nest ferns (Asplenium nidus) in Borneo's lowland rainforest. By recording the frequencies with which each and every single ant species occurred together, we were able to test statistically for patterns associated with interspecific competition. We found evidence for competition, but the resulting co-occurrence pattern was the opposite of what we expected. Rather than detecting species segregation-the classical hallmark of competition-we found species aggregation. Moreover, our approach of testing individual pairwise interactions mostly revealed spatially positive rather than negative associations. Significant negative interactions were only detected among large ants, and among species of the subfamily Ponerinae. Remarkably, the results from this study, and from a corroborating analysis of ant communities known to be structured by competition, suggest that competition within the ants leads to species aggregation rather than segregation. We believe this unexpected result is linked with the displacement of species following asymmetric competition. We conclude that analysing co-occurrence frequencies across complete species assemblages, separately for each species, and for each unique pairwise combination of species, represents a subtle yet powerful way of detecting structure and compartmentalisation in ecological communities.

  12. Ant colony clustering with fitness perception and pheromone diffusion for community detection in complex networks

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    Ji, Junzhong; Song, Xiangjing; Liu, Chunnian; Zhang, Xiuzhen

    2013-08-01

    Community structure detection in complex networks has been intensively investigated in recent years. In this paper, we propose an adaptive approach based on ant colony clustering to discover communities in a complex network. The focus of the method is the clustering process of an ant colony in a virtual grid, where each ant represents a node in the complex network. During the ant colony search, the method uses a new fitness function to percept local environment and employs a pheromone diffusion model as a global information feedback mechanism to realize information exchange among ants. A significant advantage of our method is that the locations in the grid environment and the connections of the complex network structure are simultaneously taken into account in ants moving. Experimental results on computer-generated and real-world networks show the capability of our method to successfully detect community structures.

  13. Ant Community Structure (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Two Neighborhoods with Different Urban Profiles in the City of São Paulo, Brazil

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    Alcione Piva

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Some ant species are highly abundant in cities, may form huge unicolonial populations with thousands of individuals able to displace native fauna, and impoverish ecological relationships in urban environments. In this work, we study the ant community in two neighborhoods with different urban profiles, one recently populated and another from the 1900s in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Two hundred and ninety houses were sampled with baits for ant collections. Results show that the recent urbanized neighborhood with greater disturbance favors opportunistic and dominant species to colonize it, like Tapinoma melanocephalum. We also made a temporal analysis in the ancient neighborhood, collecting ants after ten years from a first survey. T. melanocephalum has a broader range than ten years ago, displaced other ant species, but confronts with Pheidole megacephala that was not found in the recent urbanized neighborhood.

  14. ANT

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    van der Duim, René; Ren, Carina Bregnholm; Jóhannesson, Gunnar Thór

    2017-01-01

    Ten years ago actor-network theory (ANT) entered this journal. To illustrate how the relational ontology and sensibilities of ANT lend themselves to particular kinds of research, we first interrogate the main controversies as a way to open up and discuss the main premises of ANT. These debates...... concern the status and agency of objects and non-humans, ANT’s denial of the explanatory power of social structures, and the political implications of ANT. Second we present ANT’s relevance for tourism studies and discuss what ANT ‘does’ in practice. After summarizing a decade of relations between ANT...... and tourism, we conclude by tracing three future trajectories of how we have ‘moved away with’ ANT into new areas of discovery....

  15. Elevational gradients in phylogenetic structure of ant communities reveal the interplay of biotic and abiotic constraints on diversity

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    Machac, Antonin; Janda, Milan; Dunn, Robert R.

    2011-01-01

    A central focus of ecology and biogeography is to determine the factors that govern spatial variation in biodiversity. Here, we examined patterns of ant diversity along climatic gradients in three temperate montane systems: Great Smoky Mountains National Park (USA), Chiricahua Mountains (USA), an...

  16. What is the effect of soil use on ant communities?

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    Schmidt, Fernando A; Diehl, Elena

    2008-01-01

    Studies on ant communities in agroecosystems have contributed to the knowledge of the effect of agricultural activities on biological communities. The aim of this study is to explain the effect of soil use on ant communities. We tested the hypothesis that there was a decrease in ant species richness and a change in the species composition at habitats with more intense soil use. We collected ants using sardine baits, subterranean traps and direct sampling at four habitats with different soil use (secundary forest, Acacia forestry, initial stage of succession and mixed crops). The ant species richness did not decrease with intensity of soil use. In successional habitat the species numbers collected using sardine baits and subterranean traps were significantly different. Species composition of communities had a pronounced variation, with the epigaeic and hypogaeic ant faunas of the habitat with high intense soil use (mixed crops) had low similarity with ant communities of the three other habitats. The predator species were restricted to habitats with low intensity of soil use. Then, species composition could better reflect the functional changes on ant communities than species richness. Our data can help to choose the component of ant community that better reflect the response of biodiversity to agricultural impacts.

  17. Bacterial community composition and diversity in an ancestral ant fungus symbiosis.

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    Kellner, Katrin; Ishak, Heather D; Linksvayer, Timothy A; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-07-01

    Fungus-farming ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Attini) exhibit some of the most complex microbial symbioses because both macroscopic partners (ants and fungus) are associated with a rich community of microorganisms. The ant and fungal microbiomes are thought to serve important beneficial nutritional and defensive roles in these symbioses. While most recent research has investigated the bacterial communities in the higher attines (e.g. the leaf-cutter ant genera Atta and Acromyrmex), which are often associated with antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria, very little is known about the microbial communities in basal lineages, labeled as 'lower attines', which retain the ancestral traits of smaller and more simple societies. In this study, we used 16S amplicon pyrosequencing to characterize bacterial communities of the lower attine ant Mycocepurus smithii among seven sampling sites in central Panama. We discovered that ant and fungus garden-associated microbiota were distinct from surrounding soil, but unlike the situation in the derived fungus-gardening ants, which show distinct ant and fungal microbiomes, microbial community structure of the ants and their fungi were similar. Another surprising finding was that the abundance of actinomycete bacteria was low and instead, these symbioses were characterized by an abundance of Lactobacillus and Pantoea bacteria. Furthermore, our data indicate that Lactobacillus strains are acquired from the environment rather than acquired vertically.

  18. Food webs in the litter: effects of food and nest addition on ant communities in coffee agroecosystems and forest.

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    Murnen, Cody J; Gonthier, David J; Philpott, Stacy M

    2013-08-01

    Community assembly is driven by multiple factors, including resource availability and habitat requirements. Litter nesting ants respond to food and nest site availability, and adding food and nests may increase ant species richness and abundance. However, litter decomposers share food resources with ants, and increasing food availability may speed decomposition processes, eliminating twigs and seeds in which litter ants nest. We manipulated ant food and nest resources in three habitat types (forest, high-shade coffee, and low-shade coffee) to determine ant community responses after 1 and 2 mo. We examined changes in numbers of ant species, colonies, workers, brood, colony growth rate, and ant species composition. Habitat type strongly affected ant communities, influencing ant species richness, numbers of colonies and workers, and ant species composition. However, food addition and nest addition did not affect these community characteristics. Colony growth rate did not differ with food addition but was greater in forest and low-shade coffee compared with high-shade coffee. Habitat differences in colony growth may be because of presence of an aggressive species (Wasmannia auropunctata Roger) in high-shade coffee plots or naturally low arthropod densities during a time when ant colonization was low. Thus, in coffee landscapes, habitat type impacts litter nesting ant community structure, composition, and colony growth rate; however, food and nest addition had small impacts.

  19. Ecology of microfungal communities in gardens of fungus-growing ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a year-long survey of three species of attine ants in Central Texas.

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    Rodrigues, Andre; Mueller, Ulrich G; Ishak, Heather D; Bacci, Maurício; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2011-11-01

    We profiled the microfungal communities in gardens of fungus-growing ants to evaluate possible species-specific ant-microfungal associations and to assess the potential dependencies of microfungal diversity on ant foraging behavior. In a 1-year survey, we isolated microfungi from nests of Cyphomyrmex wheeleri, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Atta texana in Central Texas. Microfungal prevalence was higher in gardens of C. wheeleri (57%) than in the gardens of T. septentrionalis (46%) and A. texana (35%). Culture-dependent methods coupled with a polyphasic approach of species identification revealed diverse and changing microfungal communities in all the sampling periods. Diversity analyses showed no obvious correlations between the number of observed microfungal species, ant species, or the ants' changing foraging behavior across the seasons. However, both correspondence analysis and 5.8S-rRNA gene unifrac analyses suggested structuring of microfungal communities by ant host. These host-specific differences may reflect in part the three different environments where ants were collected. Most interestingly, the specialized fungal parasite Escovopsis was not isolated from any attine garden in this study near the northernmost limit of the range of attine ants, contrasting with previous studies that indicated a significant incidence of this parasite in ant gardens from Central and South America. The observed differences of microfungal communities in attine gardens suggest that the ants are continuously in contact with a diverse microfungal species assemblage. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Effects of urban development on ant communities: implications for ecosystem services and management.

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    Sanford, Monte P; Manley, Patricia N; Murphy, Dennis D

    2009-02-01

    Research that connects the effects of urbanization on biodiversity and ecosystem services is lacking. Ants perform multifarious ecological functions that stabilize ecosystems and contribute to a number of ecosystem services. We studied responses of ant communities to urbanization in the Lake Tahoe basin by sampling sites along a gradient of urban land development. We sampled ant communities, measured vegetation characteristics, quantified human activities, and evaluated ant-community responses by grouping ants into service-providing units (SPUs), defined as a group of organisms and their populations that perform specific ecosystem services, to provide an understanding of urbanization impacts on biodiversity and their delivery of ecosystem services. Species richness and abundance peaked at intermediate levels of urban development, as did the richness of 3 types of ant SPUs (aerators, decomposers, and compilers). With increasing land development aerator and decomposer ants significantly declined in abundance, whereas compiler ants significantly increased in abundance. Competing models demonstrated that precipitation was frequently among the strongest influences on ant community structure; however, urban development and human activities also had a strong, negative influence on ants, appearing in most models with DeltaAIC(c) < 2 for species richness and abundance patterns of SPUs and generalists. Response diversity was observed within SPUs, which suggests that the corresponding ecosystem services were maintained until development reached 30-40%. Our data provide evidence that ecosystem functions, such as water infiltration and soil productivity, may be diminished at sites subject to greater levels of urbanization and that conserving ant communities and the ecosystem services they provide could be an important target in land-use planning and conservation efforts.

  1. Interaction complexity matters: disentangling services and disservices of ant communities driving yield in tropical agroecosystems.

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    Wielgoss, Arno; Tscharntke, Teja; Rumede, Alfianus; Fiala, Brigitte; Seidel, Hannes; Shahabuddin, Saleh; Clough, Yann

    2014-01-22

    Owing to complex direct and indirect effects, impacts of higher trophic levels on plants is poorly understood. In tropical agroecosystems, ants interact with crop mutualists and antagonists, but little is known about how this integrates into the final ecosystem service, crop yield. We combined ant exclusion and introduction of invasive and native-dominant species in cacao agroecosystems to test whether (i) ant exclusion reduces yield, (ii) dominant species maximize certain intermediate ecosystem services (e.g. control of specific pests) rather than yield, which depends on several, cascading intermediate services and (iii) even, species-rich ant communities result in highest yields. Ants provided services, including reduced leaf herbivory and fruit pest damage and indirect pollination facilitation, but also disservices, such as increased mealybug density, phytopathogen dissemination and indirect pest damage enhancement. Yields were highest with unmanipulated, species-rich, even communities, whereas ant exclusion decreased yield by 27%. Introduction of an invasive-dominant ant decreased species density and evenness and resulted in 34% lower yields, whereas introduction of a non-invasive-dominant species resulted in similar species density and yields as in the unmanipulated control. Species traits and ant community structure affect services and disservices for agriculture in surprisingly complex ways, with species-rich and even communities promoting highest yield.

  2. Vinasse and Its Influence on Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Communities in Sugarcane Crops

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    Saad, L. P.; Souza-Campana, D. R.; Bueno, O. C.

    2017-01-01

    Sugarcane is an important crop within the Brazilian socioeconomic landscape. There is a constant need for approaches to increase sustainability at all steps of the production chain. Irrigating sugarcane crops with vinasse is one of these approaches, because vinasse is a residue of sugarcane processing that can be used to fertilize these same crops. However, due to its chemical properties, vinasse may be harmful to soil fauna. Analyzing the structure and functional organization of ant communities is a fast and practical way to monitor sites affected by the addition of chemicals. This study compared the structure of soil ant communities in vinasse-irrigated sugarcane crops to those in secondary forests adjacent to the crops. In total, 32 genera and 107 species of ants were observed; of these, 30 species foraged in crop fields and 102 foraged in forests. Twenty-five percent of the species were present in both crops and forests. Ant communities in crop soil had poorer taxonomic composition and lower richness in each functional group compared to communities in forest remnants. However, regardless of vegetation type, epigeic ants were more diverse, and Dorymyrmex brunneus (crop) and Pachycondyla striata (forest) were very frequent. Vinasse did not increase the diversity of epigeic and hypogeic ants, but it may affect the community composition. PMID:28130455

  3. Dominance in a ground-dwelling ant community of banana agroecosystem.

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    Carval, Dominique; Cotté, Violaine; Resmond, Rémi; Perrin, Benjamin; Tixier, Philippe

    2016-12-01

    In tropical ecosystems, ants represent a substantial portion of the animal biomass and contribute to various ecosystem services, including pest regulation and pollination. Dominant ant species are known to determine the structure of ant communities by interfering in the foraging of other ant species. Using bait and pitfall trapping experiments, we performed a pattern analysis at a fine spatial scale of an ant community in a very simplified and homogeneous agroecosystem, that is, a single-crop banana field in Martinique (French West Indies). We found that the community structure was driven by three dominant species (Solenopsis geminata, Nylanderia guatemalensis, and Monomorium ebeninum) and two subdominant species (Pheidole fallax and Brachymyrmex patagonicus). Our results showed that dominant and subdominant species generally maintained numerical dominance at baits across time, although S. geminata, M. ebeninum, and B. patagonicus displayed better abilities to maintain dominance than P. fallax and N. guatemalensis. Almost all interspecific correlations between species abundances, except those between B. patagonicus and N. guatemalensis, were symmetrically negative, suggesting that interference competition prevails in this ground-dwelling ant community. However, we observed variations in the diurnal and nocturnal foraging activity and in the daily occurrence at baits, which may mitigate the effect of interference competition through the induction of spatial and temporal niche partitioning. This may explain the coexistence of dominant, subdominant, and subordinate species in this very simplified agroecosystem, limited in habitat structure and diversity.

  4. Do extrafloral nectar resources, species abundances, and body sizes contribute to the structure of ant-plant mutualistic networks?

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    Chamberlain, Scott A; Kilpatrick, Jeffrey R; Holland, J Nathaniel

    2010-11-01

    Recent research has shown that many mutualistic communities display non-random structures. While our understanding of the structural properties of mutualistic communities continues to improve, we know little of the biological variables resulting in them. Mutualistic communities include those formed between ants and extrafloral (EF) nectar-bearing plants. In this study, we examined the contributions of plant and ant abundance, plant and ant size, and plant EF nectar resources to the network structures of nestedness and interaction frequency of ant-plant networks across five sites within one geographic locality in the Sonoran Desert. Interactions between ant and plant species were largely symmetric. That is, ant and plant species exerted nearly equivalent quantitative interaction effects on one another, as measured by their frequency of interaction. The mutualistic ant-plant networks also showed nested patterns of structure, in which there was a central core of generalist ant and plant species interacting with one another and few specialist-specialist interactions. Abundance and plant size and ant body size were the best predictors of symmetric interactions between plants and ants, as well as nestedness. Despite interactions in these communities being ultimately mediated by EF nectar resources, the number of EF nectaries had a relatively weak ability to explain variation in symmetric interactions and nestedness. These results suggest that different mechanisms may contribute to structure of bipartite networks. Moreover, our results for ant-plant mutualistic networks support the general importance of species abundances for the structure of species interactions within biological communities.

  5. Community analysis of microbial sharing and specialization in a Costa Rican ant-plant-hemipteran symbiosis.

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    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Moreau, Corrie S

    2017-03-15

    Ants have long been renowned for their intimate mutualisms with trophobionts and plants and more recently appreciated for their widespread and diverse interactions with microbes. An open question in symbiosis research is the extent to which environmental influence, including the exchange of microbes between interacting macroorganisms, affects the composition and function of symbiotic microbial communities. Here we approached this question by investigating symbiosis within symbiosis. Ant-plant-hemipteran symbioses are hallmarks of tropical ecosystems that produce persistent close contact among the macroorganism partners, which then have substantial opportunity to exchange symbiotic microbes. We used metabarcoding and quantitative PCR to examine community structure of both bacteria and fungi in a Neotropical ant-plant-scale-insect symbiosis. Both phloem-feeding scale insects and honeydew-feeding ants make use of microbial symbionts to subsist on phloem-derived diets of suboptimal nutritional quality. Among the insects examined here, Cephalotes ants and pseudococcid scale insects had the most specialized bacterial symbionts, whereas Azteca ants appeared to consume or associate with more fungi than bacteria, and coccid scale insects were associated with unusually diverse bacterial communities. Despite these differences, we also identified apparent sharing of microbes among the macro-partners. How microbial exchanges affect the consumer-resource interactions that shape the evolution of ant-plant-hemipteran symbioses is an exciting question that awaits further research. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Multiple interaction types determine the impact of ant predation of caterpillars in a forest community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Robert E; Farkas, Timothy E; Lichter-Marck, Isaac; Johnson, Emily R; Singer, Michael S

    2016-12-01

    Direct and indirect effects of predators are highly variable in complex communities, and understanding the sources of this variation is a research priority in community ecology. Recent evidence indicates that herbivore community structure is a primary determinant of predation strength and its cascading impacts on plants. In this study, we use variation in herbivore community structure among plant species to experimentally test two hypotheses in a temperate forest food web. First, variation in the strength of predator effects, such as ant predation of caterpillars, is predicted to be density dependent, exhibiting stronger effects when prey abundance is high (density-dependent predation hypothesis). Second, mutualistic interactions between ants and sap-feeding herbivores are expected to increase the abundance of predatory ants, strengthening predation effects on herbivores with cascading effects on host plants (keystone mutualism hypothesis). Using a large-scale predator exclusion experiment across eight dominant tree species, we tracked changes in insect density on 862 plants across two years, recording 2,322 ants, 1,062 sap-feeders, 5,322 caterpillars, and quantifying herbivory on 199, 338 leaves. In this experiment, density-dependent predation did not explain variation in the direct or indirect effects of ants on caterpillars and herbivory. In partial support of the keystone mutualism hypothesis, sap-feeders strengthened top-down effects of ants on caterpillars under some conditions. However, stronger ant predation of caterpillars did not lead to measurable trophic cascades on trees occupied by sap-feeders. Instead, the presence of sap-feeders was associated with increased per capita feeding damage by caterpillars, and this bottom-up effect attenuated the indirect effects of ants on host plants. These findings demonstrate that examining the multi-trophic impacts of mutualisms and predation in the context of the broader community can reveal patterns otherwise

  7. Interactive effects of soil-dwelling ants, ant mounds and simulated grazing on local plant community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Olff, H.

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between aboveground vertebrate herbivores and subterranean yellow meadow ants (Lasius flavus) can drive plant community patterns in grassland ecosystems. Here, we study the relative importance of the presence of ants (L. flavus) and ant mounds under different simulated grazing regimes

  8. Fast food in ant communities: how competing species find resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce-Duvet, Jessica M C; Moyano, Martin; Adler, Frederick R; Feener, Donald H

    2011-09-01

    An understanding of foraging behavior is crucial to understanding higher level community dynamics; in particular, there is a lack of information about how different species discover food resources. We examined the effect of forager number and forager discovery capacity on food discovery in two disparate temperate ant communities, located in Texas and Arizona. We defined forager discovery capacity as the per capita rate of resource discovery, or how quickly individual ants arrived at resources. In general, resources were discovered more quickly when more foragers were present; this was true both within communities, where species identity was ignored, as well as within species. This pattern suggests that resource discovery is a matter of random processes, with ants essentially bumping into resources at a rate mediated by their abundance. In contrast, species that were better discoverers, as defined by the proportion of resources discovered first, did not have higher numbers of mean foragers. Instead, both mean forager number and mean forager discovery capacity determined discovery success. The Texas species used both forager number and capacity, whereas the Arizona species used only forager capacity. There was a negative correlation between a species' prevalence in the environment and the discovery capacity of its foragers, suggesting that a given species cannot exploit both high numbers and high discovery capacity as a strategy. These results highlight that while forager number is crucial to determining time to discovery at the community level and within species, individual forager characteristics influence the outcome of exploitative competition in ant communities.

  9. Dissimilarity of Ant Communities Increases with Precipitation, but not Reduced Land-Use Intensity, in Indonesian Cacao Agroforestry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damayanti Buchori

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Land-use degradation and climate change are well-known drivers of biodiversity loss, but little information is available about their potential interaction. Here, we focus on the effects of land-use and precipitation on ant diversity in cacao agroforestry. In Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, we selected 16 cacao agroforestry plots with a shaded vs. unshaded plot in each of eight villages differing in precipitation (1032–2051 mm annual rainfall. On each plot, 10 cacao trees with similar size and age (7–10 years were selected for hand collection of ants on each cacao tree and the soil surface. In total, we found 80 ant species belonging to five subfamilies. Land-use intensification (removal of shade trees and precipitation had no effect on species richness of ants per cacao tree (alpha diversity and, in an additive partitioning approach, within-plot beta diversity. However, higher precipitation (but not shade significantly increased ant species dissimilarity across cacao trees within a plot, with ant species showing contrasting responses to precipitation. Reduced precipitation causing drought stress appeared to contribute to convergence of ant community structure, presumably via reduced heterogeneity in cacao tree growth. In conclusion, reduced precipitation greatly influenced ant community dissimilarity and appeared to be more important for ant community structure than land-use intensification.

  10. Diversity of Eastern North American ant communities along environmental gradients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Israel Del Toro

    Full Text Available Studies of species diversity patterns across regional environmental gradients seldom consider the impact of habitat type on within-site (alpha and between-site (beta diversity. This study is designed to identify the influence of habitat type across geographic and environmental space, on local patterns of species richness and regional turnover patterns of ant diversity in the northeastern United States. Specifically, I aim to 1 compare local species richness in paired open and forested transects and identify the environmental variables that best correlate with richness; and 2 document patterns of beta diversity throughout the region in both open and forested habitat. I systematically sampled ants at 67 sites from May to August 2010, spanning 10 degrees of latitude, and 1000 meters of elevation. Patterns of alpha and beta diversity across the region and along environmental gradients differed between forested and open habitats. Local species richness was higher in the low elevation and warmest sites and was always higher in open habitat than in forest habitat transects. Richness decreased as temperature decreased or elevation increased. Forested transects show strong patterns of decreasing dissimilarity in species composition between sites along the temperature gradient but open habitat transects did not. Maximum temperature of the warmest month better predicted species richness than either latitude or elevation. I find that using environmental variables as key predictors of richness yields more biologically relevant results, and produces simpler macroecological models than commonly used models which use only latitude and elevation as predictors of richness and diversity patterns. This study contributes to the understanding of mechanisms that structure the communities of important terrestrial arthropods which are likely to be influenced by climatic change.

  11. Ant community change across a ground vegetation gradient in north Florida's longleaf pine flatwoods

    OpenAIRE

    David Lubertazzi; Walter Tschinkel

    2003-01-01

    Ant communities in longleaf pine habitats are poorly known and hence the naturally occurring ant assemblages of a large portion of southeastern North America are not well understood. This study examined the diverse ant community found in the longleaf pine flatwoods of north Florida and tested how ant diversity changes along a herbaceous ground cover gradient. Restoring the ground cover to its original floral composition is an important focus of longleaf pine conservation and hence it is impor...

  12. Overview of the Distribution, Habitat Association and Impact of Exotic Ants on Native Ant Communities in New Caledonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maïa Berman

    Full Text Available Ants are among the most ubiquitous and harmful invaders worldwide, but there are few regional studies of their relationships with habitat and native ant communities. New Caledonia has a unique and diverse ant fauna that is threatened by exotic ants, but broad-scale patterns of exotic and native ant community composition in relation to habitat remain poorly documented. We conducted a systematic baiting survey of 56 sites representing the main New Caledonian habitat types: rainforest on ultramafic soils (15 sites, rainforest on volcano-sedimentary soils (13, maquis shrubland (15, Melaleuca-dominated savannas (11 and Acacia spirorbis thickets (2. We collected a total of 49 species, 13 of which were exotic. Only five sites were free of exotic species, and these were all rainforest. The five most abundant exotic species differed in their habitat association, with Pheidole megacephala associated with rainforests, Brachymyrmex cf. obscurior with savanna, and Wasmannia auropunctata and Nylanderia vaga present in most habitats. Anoplolepis gracilipes occurred primarily in maquis-shrubland, which contrasts with its rainforest affinity elsewhere. Multivariate analysis of overall ant species composition showed strong differentiation of sites according to the distribution of exotic species, and these patterns were maintained at the genus and functional group levels. Native ant composition differed at invaded versus uninvaded rainforest sites, in the absence of differences in habitat variables. Generalised Myrmicinae and Forest Opportunists were particularly affected by invasion. There was a strong negative relationship between the abundance of W. auropunctata and native ant abundance and richness. This emphasizes that, in addition to dominating many ant communities numerically, some exotic species, and in particular W. auropunctata, have a marked impact on native ant communities.

  13. Overview of the Distribution, Habitat Association and Impact of Exotic Ants on Native Ant Communities in New Caledonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berman, Maïa; Andersen, Alan N; Hély, Christelle; Gaucherel, Cédric

    2013-01-01

    Ants are among the most ubiquitous and harmful invaders worldwide, but there are few regional studies of their relationships with habitat and native ant communities. New Caledonia has a unique and diverse ant fauna that is threatened by exotic ants, but broad-scale patterns of exotic and native ant community composition in relation to habitat remain poorly documented. We conducted a systematic baiting survey of 56 sites representing the main New Caledonian habitat types: rainforest on ultramafic soils (15 sites), rainforest on volcano-sedimentary soils (13), maquis shrubland (15), Melaleuca-dominated savannas (11) and Acacia spirorbis thickets (2). We collected a total of 49 species, 13 of which were exotic. Only five sites were free of exotic species, and these were all rainforest. The five most abundant exotic species differed in their habitat association, with Pheidole megacephala associated with rainforests, Brachymyrmex cf. obscurior with savanna, and Wasmannia auropunctata and Nylanderia vaga present in most habitats. Anoplolepis gracilipes occurred primarily in maquis-shrubland, which contrasts with its rainforest affinity elsewhere. Multivariate analysis of overall ant species composition showed strong differentiation of sites according to the distribution of exotic species, and these patterns were maintained at the genus and functional group levels. Native ant composition differed at invaded versus uninvaded rainforest sites, in the absence of differences in habitat variables. Generalised Myrmicinae and Forest Opportunists were particularly affected by invasion. There was a strong negative relationship between the abundance of W. auropunctata and native ant abundance and richness. This emphasizes that, in addition to dominating many ant communities numerically, some exotic species, and in particular W. auropunctata, have a marked impact on native ant communities.

  14. Studying the Complex Communities of Ants and Their Symbionts Using Ecological Network Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivens, Aniek B F; von Beeren, Christoph; Blüthgen, Nico; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2016-01-01

    Ant colonies provide well-protected and resource-rich environments for a plethora of symbionts. Historically, most studies of ants and their symbionts have had a narrow taxonomic scope, often focusing on a single ant or symbiont species. Here we discuss the prospects of studying these assemblies in a community ecology context using the framework of ecological network analysis. We introduce three basic network metrics that we consider particularly relevant for improving our knowledge of ant-symbiont communities: interaction specificity, network modularity, and phylogenetic signal. We then discuss army ant symbionts as examples of large and primarily parasitic communities, and symbiotic sternorrhynchans as examples of generally smaller and primarily mutualistic communities in the context of these network analyses. We argue that this approach will provide new and complementary insights into the evolutionary and ecological dynamics between ants and their many associates, and will facilitate comparisons across different ant-symbiont assemblages as well as across different types of ecological networks.

  15. Riparian reserves within oil palm plantations conserve logged forest leaf litter ant communities and maintain associated scavenging rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Claudia L; Lewis, Owen T; Chung, Arthur Y C; Fayle, Tom M

    2015-02-01

    The expansion of oil palm plantations at the expense of tropical forests is causing declines in many species and altering ecosystem functions. Maintaining forest-dependent species and processes in these landscapes may therefore limit the negative impacts of this economically important industry. Protecting riparian vegetation may be one such opportunity; forest buffer strips are commonly protected for hydrological reasons, but can also conserve functionally important taxa and the processes they support.We surveyed leaf litter ant communities within oil palm-dominated landscapes in Sabah, Malaysia, using protein baits. As the scavenging activity of ants influences important ecological characteristics such as nutrient cycling and soil structure, we quantified species-specific rates of bait removal to examine how this process may change across land uses and establish which changes in community structure underlie observed shifts in activity.Riparian reserves had similar ant species richness, community composition and scavenging rates to nearby continuous logged forest. Reserve width and vegetation structure did not affect ant species richness significantly. However, the number of foraging individuals decreased with increasing reserve width, and scavenging rate increased with vegetation complexity.Oil palm ant communities were characterized by significantly lower species richness than logged forest and riparian reserves and also by altered community composition and reduced scavenging rates.Reduced scavenging activity in oil palm was not explained by a reduction in ant species richness, nor by replacement of forest ant species by those with lower per species scavenging rates. There was also no significant effect of land use on the scavenging activity of the forest species that persisted in oil palm. Rather, changes in scavenging activity were best explained by a reduction in the mean rate of bait removal per individual ant across all species in the community.Synthesis and

  16. Ant community change across a ground vegetation gradient in north Florida's longleaf pine flatwoods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Lubertazzi

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available Ant communities in longleaf pine habitats are poorly known and hence the naturally occurring ant assemblages of a large portion of southeastern North America are not well understood. This study examined the diverse ant community found in the longleaf pine flatwoods of north Florida and tested how ant diversity changes along a herbaceous ground cover gradient. Restoring the ground cover to its original floral composition is an important focus of longleaf pine conservation and hence it is important to understand how native faunal communities vary with ground cover variation. Using 4 sampling methods, we characterized the ant community and analyzed its within-habitat variation among 12 study sites. We found the highest plot species richness (55 species and within-habitat species richness (72 species ever recorded for North American ants. The ants formed three distinct communities. The low-diversity arboreal and subterranean assemblages varied little across forest stands while the diversity of the species-rich ground foraging ant community was negatively correlated with percent herbaceous cover. The imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (monogyne form, was unexpectedly found to be abundant in high herbaceous cover sites. Floral restoration of the pine flatwoods, which is increasing the proportion of herbaceous cover, is likely to cause an increase in the abundance of the imported fire ant.

  17. Ant community change across a ground vegetation gradient in north Florida's longleaf pine flatwoods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubertazzi, David; Tschinkel, Walter

    2003-01-01

    Ant communities in longleaf pine habitats are poorly known and hence the naturally occurring ant assemblages of a large portion of southeastern North America are not well understood. This study examined the diverse ant community found in the longleaf pine flatwoods of north Florida and tested how ant diversity changes along a herbaceous ground cover gradient. Restoring the ground cover to its original floral composition is an important focus of longleaf pine conservation and hence it is important to understand how native faunal communities vary with ground cover variation. Using 4 sampling methods, we characterized the ant community and analyzed its within-habitat variation among 12 study sites. We found the highest plot species richness (55 species) and within-habitat species richness (72 species) ever recorded for North American ants. The ants formed three distinct communities. The low-diversity arboreal and subterranean assemblages varied little across forest stands while the diversity of the species-rich ground foraging ant community was negatively correlated with percent herbaceous cover. The imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (monogyne form), was unexpectedly found to be abundant in high herbaceous cover sites. Floral restoration of the pine flatwoods, which is increasing the proportion of herbaceous cover, is likely to cause an increase in the abundance of the imported fire ant.

  18. Using Ant Communities For Rapid Assessment Of Terrestrial Ecosystem Health

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L

    2005-06-01

    relative health of the ecosystem. The IBI, though originally for Midwestern streams, has been successfully adapted to other ecoregions and taxa (macroinvertebrates, Lombard and Goldstein, 2004) and has become an important tool for scientists and regulatory agencies alike in determining health of stream ecosystems. The IBI is a specific type of a larger group of methods and procedures referred to as Rapid Bioassessment (RBA). These protocols have the advantage of directly measuring the organisms affected by system perturbations, thus providing an integrated evaluation of system health because the organisms themselves integrate all aspects of their environment and its condition. In addition to the IBI, the RBA concept has also been applied to seep wetlands (Paller et al. 2005) and terrestrial systems (O'Connell et al. 1998, Kremen et al. 1993, Rodriguez et al. 1998, Rosenberg et al. 1986). Terrestrial RBA methods have lagged somewhat behind those for aquatic systems because terrestrial systems are less distinctly defined and seem to have a less universal distribution of an all-inclusive taxon, such as fish in the IBI, upon which to base an RBA. In the last decade, primarily in Australia, extensive development of an RBA using ant communities has shown great promise. Ants have the same advantage for terrestrial RBAs that fish do for aquatic systems in that they are an essential and ubiquitous component of virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. They occupy a broad range of niches, functional groups, and trophic levels and they possess one very important characteristic that makes them ideal for RBA because, similar to the fishes, there is a wide range of tolerance to conditions within the larger taxa. Within ant communities there are certain groups, genera, or species that may be very robust and abundant under even the harshest impacts. There are also taxa that are very sensitive to disturbance and change and their presence or absence is also indicative of the local

  19. Effects of urban development on ant communities: implications for ecosystem services and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.P. Sanford; Patricia N. Manley; Dennis D. Murphy

    2009-01-01

    Research that connects the effects of urbanization on biodiversity and ecosystem services is lacking. Ants perform multifarious ecological functions that stabilize ecosystems and contribute to a number of ecosystem services. We studied responses of ant communities to urbanization in the Lake Tahoe basin by sampling sites along a gradient...

  20. Adaptive Ant Colony Clustering Method Applied to Finding Closely Communicating Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Liu

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The investigation of community structures in networks is an important issue in many domains and disciplines. Closely communicating community is different from the traditional community which emphasize particularly on structure or context. Our previous method played more emphasis on the feasibility that ant colony algorithm applied to community detection. However the essence of closely communicating community did not be described clearly. In this paper, the definition of closely communicating community is put forward firstly, the four features are described and corresponding methods are introduced to achieve the value of features between each pair. Meanwhile, pair propinquity and local propinquity are put forward and used to guide ants’ decision. Based on the previous work, the closely communicating community detection method is improved in four aspects of adaptive adjusting, which are entropy based weight modulation, combining historical paths and random wandering to select next coordination, the strategy of forcing unloading and the adaptive change of ant’s eyesight. The value selection of parameters is discussed in the portion of experiments, and the results also reveal the improvement of our algorithm in adaptive djusting.

  1. Response of ants to grazing disturbance at the central Monte Desert of Argentina:community descriptors and functional group scheme

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Silvia CLAVER; Susana L SILNIK; Florencia F CAMPÓN

    2014-01-01

    Livestock ranching is one of the main productive activities in arid regions of the world. Grazing pro-duces changes in animal as well as plant communities (e.g. richness, abundance and species dominance rela-tionships). Ants are good biological indicators due to the environmental fidelity of some of their community pa-rameters. We described the functional structure of the ant community in the central Monte of Mendoza, Argentina, and examined the effect of grazing using richness, diversity and the functional group scheme. We used pitfall traps to sample ants at a reserve with 30-year cattle exclusion and at an adjacent ranch. Eleven of the 27 recorded spe-cies showed significant differences in their abundance and two species were absent at the ranch. While richness and diversity did not reflect these differences, functional groups did. Hot Climate Specialists were more abundant at the ranch while Cryptic Species and Generalized Myrmicinae increased at the reserve. This study supports the utility of the functional group scheme to study the effects of grazing disturbance in ant communities of arid regions.

  2. Chemical structure of odorants and perceptual similarity in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Guerrieri, Fernando J

    2013-09-01

    Animals are often immersed in a chemical world consisting of mixtures of many compounds rather than of single substances, and they constantly face the challenge of extracting relevant information out of the chemical landscape. To this purpose, the ability to discriminate among different stimuli with different valence is essential, but it is also important to be able to generalise, i.e. to treat different but similar stimuli as equivalent, as natural variation does not necessarily affect stimulus valence. Animals can thus extract regularities in their environment and make predictions, for instance about distribution of food resources. We studied perceptual similarity of different plant odours by conditioning individual carpenter ants to one odour, and subsequently testing their response to another, structurally different odour. We found that asymmetry in generalisation, where ants generalise from odour A to B, but not from B to A, is dependent on both chain length and functional group. By conditioning ants to a binary mixture, and testing their reaction to the individual components of the mixture, we show that overshadowing, where parts of a mixture are learned better than others, is rare. Additionally, generalisation is dependent not only on the structural similarity of odorants, but also on their functional value, which might play a crucial role. Our results provide insight into how ants make sense of the complex chemical world around them, for example in a foraging context, and provide a basis with which to investigate the neural mechanisms behind perceptual similarity.

  3. Modelling Vulnerability and Range Shifts in Ant Communities Responding to Future Global Warming in Temperate Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Tae-Sung; Li, Fengqing; Kim, Sung-Soo; Chun, Jung Hwa; Park, Young-Seuk

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is likely leading to species' distributional shifts, resulting in changes in local community compositions and diversity patterns. In this study, we applied species distribution models to evaluate the potential impacts of temperature increase on ant communities in Korean temperate forests, by testing hypotheses that 1) the risk of extinction of forest ant species would increase over time, and 2) the changes in species distribution ranges could drive upward movements of ant communities and further alter patterns of species richness. We sampled ant communities at 335 evenly distributed sites across South Korea and modelled the future distribution range for each species using generalized additive models. To account for spatial autocorrelation, autocovariate regressions were conducted prior to generalized additive models. Among 29 common ant species, 12 species were estimated to shrink their suitable geographic areas, whereas five species would benefit from future global warming. Species richness was highest at low altitudes in the current period, and it was projected to be highest at the mid-altitudes in the 2080s, resulting in an upward movement of 4.9 m yr-1. This altered the altitudinal pattern of species richness from a monotonic-decrease curve (common in temperate regions) to a bell-shaped curve (common in tropical regions). Overall, ant communities in temperate forests are vulnerable to the on-going global warming and their altitudinal movements are similar to other faunal communities.

  4. Desiccation resistance in tropical insects: causes and mechanisms underlying variability in a Panama ant community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bujan, Jelena; Yanoviak, Stephen P; Kaspari, Michael

    2016-09-01

    Desiccation resistance, the ability of an organism to reduce water loss, is an essential trait in arid habitats. Drought frequency in tropical regions is predicted to increase with climate change, and small ectotherms are often under a strong desiccation risk. We tested hypotheses regarding the underexplored desiccation potential of tropical insects. We measured desiccation resistance in 82 ant species from a Panama rainforest by recording the time ants can survive desiccation stress. Species' desiccation resistance ranged from 0.7 h to 97.9 h. We tested the desiccation adaptation hypothesis, which predicts higher desiccation resistance in habitats with higher vapor pressure deficit (VPD) - the drying power of the air. In a Panama rainforest, canopy microclimates averaged a VPD of 0.43 kPa, compared to a VPD of 0.05 kPa in the understory. Canopy ants averaged desiccation resistances 2.8 times higher than the understory ants. We tested a number of mechanisms to account for desiccation resistance. Smaller insects should desiccate faster given their higher surface area to volume ratio. Desiccation resistance increased with ant mass, and canopy ants averaged 16% heavier than the understory ants. A second way to increase desiccation resistance is to carry more water. Water content was on average 2.5% higher in canopy ants, but total water content was not a good predictor of ant desiccation resistance or critical thermal maximum (CT max), a measure of an ant's thermal tolerance. In canopy ants, desiccation resistance and CT max were inversely related, suggesting a tradeoff, while the two were positively correlated in understory ants. This is the first community level test of desiccation adaptation hypothesis in tropical insects. Tropical forests do contain desiccation-resistant species, and while we cannot predict those simply based on their body size, high levels of desiccation resistance are always associated with the tropical canopy.

  5. Ant-plant interaction in a tropical savanna: may the network structure vary over time and influence on the outcomes of associations?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lange, Denise; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2014-01-01

    .... We evaluate the dynamic of an interaction network between ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries, by verifying the temporal variation in structure and outcomes of mutualism for the plant community (leaf herbivory...

  6. Ant-Plant Interaction in a Tropical Savanna: May the Network Structure Vary over Time and Influence on the Outcomes of Associations?: e105574

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lange, Denise; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2014-01-01

    .... We evaluate the dynamic of an interaction network between ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries, by verifying the temporal variation in structure and outcomes of mutualism for the plant community (leaf herbivory...

  7. Tradeoffs, competition, and coexistence in eastern deciduous forest ant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuble, Katharine L; Rodriguez-Cabal, Mariano A; McCormick, Gail L; Jurić, Ivan; Dunn, Robert R; Sanders, Nathan J

    2013-04-01

    Ecologists have long sought to explain the coexistence of multiple potentially competing species in local assemblages. This is especially challenging in species-rich assemblages in which interspecific competition is intense, as it often is in ant assemblages. As a result, a suite of mechanisms has been proposed to explain coexistence among potentially competing ant species: the dominance-discovery tradeoff, the dominance-thermal tolerance tradeoff, spatial segregation, temperature-based niche partitioning, and temporal niche partitioning. Through a series of observations and experiments, we examined a deciduous forest ant assemblage in eastern North America for the signature of each of these coexistence mechanisms. We failed to detect evidence for any of the commonly suggested mechanisms of coexistence, with one notable exception: ant species appear to temporally partition foraging times such that behaviourally dominant species foraged more intensely at night, while foraging by subdominant species peaked during the day. Our work, though focused on a single assemblage, indicates that many of the commonly cited mechanisms of coexistence may not be general to all ant assemblages. However, temporal segregation may play a role in promoting coexistence among ant species in at least some ecosystems, as it does in many other organisms.

  8. Impacts of Intensive Logging on the Trophic Organisation of Ant Communities in a Biodiversity Hotspot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, Paul; Edwards, David P.; Newton, Rob J.; Vun Khen, Chey; Bottrell, Simon H.; Hamer, Keith C.

    2013-01-01

    Trophic organisation defines the flow of energy through ecosystems and is a key component of community structure. Widespread and intensifying anthropogenic disturbance threatens to disrupt trophic organisation by altering species composition and relative abundances and by driving shifts in the trophic ecology of species that persist in disturbed ecosystems. We examined how intensive disturbance caused by selective logging affects trophic organisation in the biodiversity hotspot of Sabah, Borneo. Using stable nitrogen isotopes, we quantified the positions in the food web of 159 leaf-litter ant species in unlogged and logged rainforest and tested four predictions: (i) there is a negative relationship between the trophic position of a species in unlogged forest and its change in abundance following logging, (ii) the trophic positions of species are altered by logging, (iii) disturbance alters the frequency distribution of trophic positions within the ant assemblage, and (iv) disturbance reduces food chain length. We found that ant abundance was 30% lower in logged forest than in unlogged forest but changes in abundance of individual species were not related to trophic position, providing no support for prediction (i). However, trophic positions of individual species were significantly higher in logged forest, supporting prediction (ii). Consequently, the frequency distribution of trophic positions differed significantly between unlogged and logged forest, supporting prediction (iii), and food chains were 0.2 trophic levels longer in logged forest, the opposite of prediction (iv). Our results demonstrate that disturbance can alter trophic organisation even without trophically-biased changes in community composition. Nonetheless, the absence of any reduction in food chain length in logged forest suggests that species-rich arthropod food webs do not experience trophic downgrading or a related collapse in trophic organisation despite the disturbance caused by logging

  9. Impacts of intensive logging on the trophic organisation of ant communities in a biodiversity hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Woodcock

    Full Text Available Trophic organisation defines the flow of energy through ecosystems and is a key component of community structure. Widespread and intensifying anthropogenic disturbance threatens to disrupt trophic organisation by altering species composition and relative abundances and by driving shifts in the trophic ecology of species that persist in disturbed ecosystems. We examined how intensive disturbance caused by selective logging affects trophic organisation in the biodiversity hotspot of Sabah, Borneo. Using stable nitrogen isotopes, we quantified the positions in the food web of 159 leaf-litter ant species in unlogged and logged rainforest and tested four predictions: (i there is a negative relationship between the trophic position of a species in unlogged forest and its change in abundance following logging, (ii the trophic positions of species are altered by logging, (iii disturbance alters the frequency distribution of trophic positions within the ant assemblage, and (iv disturbance reduces food chain length. We found that ant abundance was 30% lower in logged forest than in unlogged forest but changes in abundance of individual species were not related to trophic position, providing no support for prediction (i. However, trophic positions of individual species were significantly higher in logged forest, supporting prediction (ii. Consequently, the frequency distribution of trophic positions differed significantly between unlogged and logged forest, supporting prediction (iii, and food chains were 0.2 trophic levels longer in logged forest, the opposite of prediction (iv. Our results demonstrate that disturbance can alter trophic organisation even without trophically-biased changes in community composition. Nonetheless, the absence of any reduction in food chain length in logged forest suggests that species-rich arthropod food webs do not experience trophic downgrading or a related collapse in trophic organisation despite the disturbance caused by

  10. Mutualism as reciprocal exploitation: African plant-ants defend foliar but not reproductive structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Todd M; Brody, Alison K

    2007-12-01

    The foundation of many plant-ant mutualisms is ant protection of plants from herbivores in exchange for food and/or shelter. While the role of symbiotic ants in protecting plants from stem- and leaf-feeding herbivores has been intensively studied, the relationship between ant defense and measures of plant fitness has seldom been quantified. We studied ant aggression, damage by herbivores and seed predators, and fruit production among Acacia drepanolobium trees occupied by four different acacia-ant species in an East African savanna. Levels of ant aggression in response to experimental disturbance differed strongly among the four species. All four ant species recruited more strongly to new leaf growth on host plants following disturbance, while recruitment to developing fruits was on average an order of magnitude lower. Host plants occupied by more aggressive ant species suffered significantly less vegetative damage from leaf-feeding insects, stem-boring beetles, and vertebrate browsers than host plants occupied by less aggressive ant species. However, there were no differences among fruiting host plants occupied by different ant species in levels of seed predation by bruchid seed predators. Fruit production on host trees was significantly correlated with tree stem diameter but not with the identity of resident ants. Our results demonstrate that defense of host plants may differ substantially among ant species and between vegetative and reproductive structures and that fruit production is not necessarily correlated with high levels of aggression by resident ants.

  11. Ant-caterpillar antagonism at the community level: interhabitat variation of tritrophic interactions in a neotropical savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2015-03-01

    Ant foraging on foliage can substantially affect how phytophagous insects use host plants and represents a high predation risk for caterpillars, which are important folivores. Ant-plant-herbivore interactions are especially pervasive in cerrado savanna due to continuous ant visitation to liquid food sources on foliage (extrafloral nectaries, insect honeydew). While searching for liquid rewards on plants, aggressive ants frequently attack or kill insect herbivores, decreasing their numbers. Because ants vary in diet and aggressiveness, their effect on herbivores also varies. Additionally, the differential occurrence of ant attractants (plant and insect exudates) on foliage produces variable levels of ant foraging within local floras and among localities. Here, we investigate how variation of ant communities and of traits among host plant species (presence or absence of ant attractants) can change the effect of carnivores (predatory ants) on herbivore communities (caterpillars) in a cerrado savanna landscape. We sampled caterpillars and foliage-foraging ants in four cerrado localities (70-460 km apart). We found that: (i) caterpillar infestation was negatively related with ant visitation to plants; (ii) this relationship depended on local ant abundance and species composition, and on local preference by ants for plants with liquid attractants; (iii) this was not related to local plant richness or plant size; (iv) the relationship between the presence of ant attractants and caterpillar abundance varied among sites from negative to neutral; and (v) caterpillars feeding on plants with ant attractants are more resistant to ant predation than those feeding on plants lacking attractants. Liquid food on foliage mediates host plant quality for lepidopterans by promoting generalized ant-caterpillar antagonism. Our study in cerrado shows that the negative effects of generalist predatory ants on herbivores are detectable at a community level, affecting patterns of abundance and

  12. Disentangling the diversity of arboreal ant communities in tropical forest trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimes, Petr; Fibich, Pavel; Idigel, Cliffson; Rimandai, Maling

    2015-01-01

    Tropical canopies are known for their high abundance and diversity of ants. However, the factors which enable coexistence of so many species in trees, and in particular, the role of foragers in determining local diversity, are not well understood. We censused nesting and foraging arboreal ant communities in two 0.32 ha plots of primary and secondary lowland rainforest in New Guinea and explored their species diversity and composition. Null models were used to test if the records of species foraging (but not nesting) in a tree were dependent on the spatial distribution of nests in surrounding trees. In total, 102 ant species from 389 trees occurred in the primary plot compared with only 50 species from 295 trees in the secondary forest plot. However, there was only a small difference in mean ant richness per tree between primary and secondary forest (3.8 and 3.3 sp. respectively) and considerably lower richness per tree was found only when nests were considered (1.5 sp. in both forests). About half of foraging individuals collected in a tree belonged to species which were not nesting in that tree. Null models showed that the ants foraging but not nesting in a tree are more likely to nest in nearby trees than would be expected at random. The effects of both forest stage and tree size traits were similar regardless of whether only foragers, only nests, or both datasets combined were considered. However, relative abundance distributions of species differed between foraging and nesting communities. The primary forest plot was dominated by native ant species, whereas invasive species were common in secondary forest. This study demonstrates the high contribution of foragers to arboreal ant diversity, indicating an important role of connectivity between trees, and also highlights the importance of primary vegetation for the conservation of native ant communities.

  13. Disentangling the diversity of arboreal ant communities in tropical forest trees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr Klimes

    Full Text Available Tropical canopies are known for their high abundance and diversity of ants. However, the factors which enable coexistence of so many species in trees, and in particular, the role of foragers in determining local diversity, are not well understood. We censused nesting and foraging arboreal ant communities in two 0.32 ha plots of primary and secondary lowland rainforest in New Guinea and explored their species diversity and composition. Null models were used to test if the records of species foraging (but not nesting in a tree were dependent on the spatial distribution of nests in surrounding trees. In total, 102 ant species from 389 trees occurred in the primary plot compared with only 50 species from 295 trees in the secondary forest plot. However, there was only a small difference in mean ant richness per tree between primary and secondary forest (3.8 and 3.3 sp. respectively and considerably lower richness per tree was found only when nests were considered (1.5 sp. in both forests. About half of foraging individuals collected in a tree belonged to species which were not nesting in that tree. Null models showed that the ants foraging but not nesting in a tree are more likely to nest in nearby trees than would be expected at random. The effects of both forest stage and tree size traits were similar regardless of whether only foragers, only nests, or both datasets combined were considered. However, relative abundance distributions of species differed between foraging and nesting communities. The primary forest plot was dominated by native ant species, whereas invasive species were common in secondary forest. This study demonstrates the high contribution of foragers to arboreal ant diversity, indicating an important role of connectivity between trees, and also highlights the importance of primary vegetation for the conservation of native ant communities.

  14. Fungal communities in gardens of the leafcutter ant Atta cephalotes in forest and cabruca agrosystems of southern Bahia State (Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Bárbara Monique dos Santos; Silva, Aline; Alvarez, Martín Roberto; Oliveira, Tássio Brito de; Rodrigues, Andre

    2015-12-01

    Leaf-cutting ants interact with several fungi in addition to the fungal symbiont they cultivate for food. Here, we assessed alien fungal communities in colonies of Atta cephalotes. Fungus garden fragments were sampled from colonies in the Atlantic Rainforest and in a cabruca agrosystem in the state of Bahia (Brazil) in two distinct periods to evaluate whether differences in nest habitat influence the diversity of fungi in the ant colonies. We recovered a total of 403 alien fungi isolates from 628 garden fragments. The prevalent taxa found in these samples were Escovopsis sp. (26 %), Escovopsioides nivea (24 %), and Trichoderma spirale (10.9 %). Fungal diversity was similar between the colonies sampled in both areas suggesting that ants focus on reducing loads of alien fungi in the fungus gardens instead of avoiding specific fungi. However, fungal taxa composition differed between colonies sampled in the two areas and between the sampling periods. These differences are likely explained by the availability of plant substrates available for foraging over habitats and periods. Ordination analysis further supported that sampling period was the main attribute for community structuring but also revealed that additional factors may explain the structuring of fungal communities in colonies of A. cephalotes.

  15. The GÉANT network: addressing current and future needs of the HEP community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capone, Vincenzo; Usman, Mian

    2015-12-01

    The GÉANT infrastructure is the backbone that serves the scientific communities in Europe for their data movement needs and their access to international research and education networks. Using the extensive fibre footprint and infrastructure in Europe the GÉANT network delivers a portfolio of services aimed to best fit the specific needs of the users, including Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure, end-to-end performance monitoring, advanced network services (dynamic circuits, L2-L3VPN, MD-VPN). This talk will outline the factors that help the GÉANT network to respond to the needs of the High Energy Physics community, both in Europe and worldwide. The Pan-European network provides the connectivity between 40 European national research and education networks. In addition, GÉANT also connects the European NRENs to the R&E networks in other world region and has reach to over 110 NREN worldwide, making GÉANT the best connected Research and Education network, with its multiple intercontinental links to different continents e.g. North and South America, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The High Energy Physics computational needs have always had (and will keep having) a leading role among the scientific user groups of the GÉANT network: the LHCONE overlay network has been built, in collaboration with the other big world REN, specifically to address the peculiar needs of the LHC data movement. Recently, as a result of a series of coordinated efforts, the LHCONE network has been expanded to the Asia-Pacific area, and is going to include some of the main regional R&E network in the area. The LHC community is not the only one that is actively using a distributed computing model (hence the need for a high-performance network); new communities are arising, as BELLE II. GÉANT is deeply involved also with the BELLE II Experiment, to provide full support to their distributed computing model, along with a perfSONAR-based network monitoring system. GÉANT has also

  16. Symbiotic bacterial communities in ants are modified by invasion pathway bottlenecks and alter host behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Philip J; Sébastien, Alexandra; Suarez, Andrew V; Barbieri, Rafael F; Gruber, Monica A M

    2017-03-01

    Biological invasions are a threat to global biodiversity and provide unique opportunities to study ecological processes. Population bottlenecks are a common feature of biological invasions and the severity of these bottlenecks is likely to be compounded as an invasive species spreads from initial invasion sites to additional locations. Despite extensive work on the genetic consequences of bottlenecks, we know little about how they influence microbial communities of the invaders themselves. Due to serial bottlenecks, invasive species may lose microbial symbionts including pathogenic taxa (the enemy release hypothesis) and/or may accumulate natural enemies with increasing time after invasion (the pathogen accumulation and invasive decline hypothesis). We tested these alternate hypotheses by surveying bacterial communities of Argentine ants (Linepithema humile). We found evidence for serial symbiont bottlenecks: the bacterial community richness declined over the invasion pathway from Argentina to New Zealand. The abundance of some genera, such as Lactobacillus, also significantly declined over the invasion pathway. Argentine ants from populations in the United States shared the most genera with ants from their native range in Argentina, while New Zealand shared the least (120 vs. 57, respectively). Nine genera were present in all sites around the globe possibly indicating a core group of obligate microbes. In accordance with the pathogen accumulation and invasive decline hypothesis, Argentine ants acquired genera unique to each specific invaded country. The United States had the most unique genera, though even within New Zealand these ants acquired symbionts. In addition to our biogeographic sampling, we administered antibiotics to Argentine ants to determine if changes in the micro-symbiont community could influence behavior and survival in interspecific interactions. Treatment with the antibiotics spectinomycin and kanamycin only slightly increased Argentine ant

  17. Experimental evidence that dispersal drives ant community assembly in human-altered ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Joshua R; Tschinkel, Walter R

    2016-01-01

    A key shortcoming in our understanding of exotic species' success is that it is not known how post-introduction dispersal contributes to the success of exotic species and the reassembly of invaded communities. Exotic and native species face poorly understood competition-colonization trade-offs in heterogeneous landscapes of natural and anthropogenic habitats. We conducted three experiments that tested how ant queen behavior during dispersal affects community composition. Using experimental plots, we tested whether (1) different types of habitat disturbance and (2) different sizes of habitat disturbance affected the abundance of newly mated queens landing in the plots. The three most abundant species captured were the exotic fire ant Solenopsis invicta, and the native species Brachymyrmex depilis, and S. pergandei, respectively. When queens were considered collectively, more queens landed in plowed, sand-added, and roadside plots than in control or mow plots, in other words, in the more heavily disturbed plots. We also tested (3) the effect of habitat manipulations on the survival of newly mated fire ant queens (Solenopsis invicta). Soil disturbance (tilling), lack of shade, and removal (poisoning) of the ant community resulted in the greatest fire ant colony survivorship. Collectively, experiments revealed that both exotic and native newly mated ant queens select open, human-altered ecosystems for founding new colonies. The selection of such habitats by fire ant queens leads to their successful colony founding and ultimately to their dominance in those habitats. Selection of disturbed habitats is therefore advantageous for exotic species but is an ecological trap for native species because they do not often succeed in founding colonies in these habitats.

  18. Ant community composition across a gradient of disturbed military landscapes at Fort Benning, Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, J.H.; Krzysik, A.J.; Kovacic, D.A.; Duda, J.J.; Freeman, D.C.; Emlen, J.M.; Zak, J.C.; Long, W.R.; Wallace, M.P.; Chamberlin-Graham, C.; Nutter, J.P.; Balbach, H.E.

    2008-01-01

    Military training, soil texture, and ground cover influence ant communities at Fort Benning, a military installation in west-central Georgia. We sampled 81,237 ground-dwelling ants (47 species in 20 genera) with pitfall traps at 40 sites on a continuum from nearly pristine forest to highly disturbed training areas. We also measured 15 environmental variables related to vegetation and soil. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and more compact soils with shallower A-horizons than comparable undisturbed sites. Pheidole bicarinata, Dorymyrmex smithi, and Pogonomyrmex badius dominated the most highly disturbed sites. Competitively submissive myrmicines, such as Aphaenogaster and Crematogaster, and formicines, such as Camponotus and Formica, were abundant in the undisturbed sites. Solenopsis invicta occurred in all but the least disturbed sites. Ant community composition was a useful indicator of disturbance at Fort Benning.

  19. Differential effects of land use on ant and herbivore insect communities associated with Caryocar brasiliense (Caryocaraceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico S. Neves

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Simplification of natural habitats leads to a modification of the community associated with a host plant. Pequi trees (Caryocar brasiliense are common to find in central Brazil, especially in the middle of monocultures, such as soy, corn, pasturelands or Eucalyptus plantations. On this scenario we hypothesized that habitat modification differentially affects the diversity of ants and herbivore insects associated with this species. The aim of the work was to test if C. brasiliense trees located in human modified habitats, support a lower species richness and abundance of ants, and a greater species richness and abundance of insect herbivores, compared to preserved cerrado habitats. The study was conducted in a Cerrado area located in Northern Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Ants and herbivore insects were collected monthly during 2005 using beating technique. The results showed that ant species richness was higher in pequi trees located in preserved Cerrado, followed by trees in pastureland and Eucalyptus plantation, respectively. The ant abundance was lower in the Eucalyptus plantation but no difference in ant abundance was observed between trees in pastureland and the preserved Cerrado. Moreover, herbivore insects exhibited lower number of species and individuals in trees located in the preserved Cerrado than in the pastureland and Eucalyptus plantation. We concluded that habitats simplified by human activities may result in diversity loss and may change species interactions.

  20. Metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into bacterial communities in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aylward, Frank O; Burnum, Kristin E; Scott, Jarrod J; Suen, Garret; Tringe, Susannah G; Adams, Sandra M; Barry, Kerrie W; Nicora, Carrie D; Piehowski, Paul D; Purvine, Samuel O; Starrett, Gabriel J; Goodwin, Lynne A; Smith, Richard D; Lipton, Mary S; Currie, Cameron R

    2012-09-01

    Herbivores gain access to nutrients stored in plant biomass largely by harnessing the metabolic activities of microbes. Leaf-cutter ants of the genus Atta are a hallmark example; these dominant neotropical herbivores cultivate symbiotic fungus gardens on large quantities of fresh plant forage. As the external digestive system of the ants, fungus gardens facilitate the production and sustenance of millions of workers. Using metagenomic and metaproteomic techniques, we characterize the bacterial diversity and physiological potential of fungus gardens from two species of Atta. Our analysis of over 1.2 Gbp of community metagenomic sequence and three 16S pyrotag libraries reveals that in addition to harboring the dominant fungal crop, these ecosystems contain abundant populations of Enterobacteriaceae, including the genera Enterobacter, Pantoea, Klebsiella, Citrobacter and Escherichia. We show that these bacterial communities possess genes associated with lignocellulose degradation and diverse biosynthetic pathways, suggesting that they play a role in nutrient cycling by converting the nitrogen-poor forage of the ants into B-vitamins, amino acids and other cellular components. Our metaproteomic analysis confirms that bacterial glycosyl hydrolases and proteins with putative biosynthetic functions are produced in both field-collected and laboratory-reared colonies. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that fungus gardens are specialized fungus-bacteria communities that convert plant material into energy for their ant hosts. Together with recent investigations into the microbial symbionts of vertebrates, our work underscores the importance of microbial communities in the ecology and evolution of herbivorous metazoans.

  1. Metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into bacterial communities in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aylward, Frank O.; Burnum, Kristin E.; Scott, Jarrod J.; Suen, Garret; Tringe, Susannah G.; Adams, Sandra M.; Barry, Kerrie W.; Nicora, Carrie D.; Piehowski, Paul D.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Starrett, Gabriel J.; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Smith, Richard D.; Lipton, Mary S.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2012-09-01

    Herbivores gain access to nutrients stored in plant biomass largely by harnessing the metabolic activities of microbes. Leaf-cutter ants of the genus Atta are a hallmark example; these dominant Neotropical herbivores cultivate symbiotic fungus gardens on massive quantities of fresh plant forage. As the external digestive system of the ants, fungus gardens facilitate the production and sustenance of millions of workers in mature Atta colonies. Here we use metagenomic, and metaproteomic techniques to characterize the bacterial diversity and overall physiological potential of fungus gardens from two species of Atta. Our analysis of over 1.2 Gbp of community metagenomic sequence and three 16S pyrotag libraries reveals that, in addition to harboring the dominant fungal crop, these ecosystems contain abundant populations of Enterobacteriaceae, including the genera Enterobacter, Pantoea, Klebsiella, Citrobacter, and Escherichia. We show that these bacterial communities possess genes commonly associated with lignocellulose degradation, and likely participate in the processing of plant biomass. Additionally, we demonstrate that bacteria in these environments encode a diverse suite of biosynthetic pathways, and that they may enrich the nitrogen-poor forage of the ants with B-vitamins, amino acids, and proteins. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that fungus gardens are highly-specialized fungus-bacteria communities that efficiently convert plant material into usable energy for their ant hosts. Together with recent investigations into the microbial symbionts of vertebrates, our work underscores the importance of microbial communities to the ecology and evolution of herbivorous metazoans.

  2. Individual-based ant-plant networks: diurnal-nocturnal structure and species-area relationship.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley Dáttilo

    Full Text Available Despite the importance and increasing knowledge of ecological networks, sampling effort and intrapopulation variation has been widely overlooked. Using continuous daily sampling of ants visiting three plant species in the Brazilian Neotropical savanna, we evaluated for the first time the topological structure over 24 h and species-area relationships (based on the number of extrafloral nectaries available in individual-based ant-plant networks. We observed that diurnal and nocturnal ant-plant networks exhibited the same pattern of interactions: a nested and non-modular pattern and an average level of network specialization. Despite the high similarity in the ants' composition between the two collection periods, ant species found in the central core of highly interacting species totally changed between diurnal and nocturnal sampling for all plant species. In other words, this "night-turnover" suggests that the ecological dynamics of these ant-plant interactions can be temporally partitioned (day and night at a small spatial scale. Thus, it is possible that in some cases processes shaping mutualistic networks formed by protective ants and plants may be underestimated by diurnal sampling alone. Moreover, we did not observe any effect of the number of extrafloral nectaries on ant richness and their foraging on such plants in any of the studied ant-plant networks. We hypothesize that competitively superior ants could monopolize individual plants and allow the coexistence of only a few other ant species, however, other alternative hypotheses are also discussed. Thus, sampling period and species-area relationship produces basic information that increases our confidence in how individual-based ant-plant networks are structured, and the need to consider nocturnal records in ant-plant network sampling design so as to decrease inappropriate inferences.

  3. Individual-based ant-plant networks: diurnal-nocturnal structure and species-area relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dáttilo, Wesley; Fagundes, Roberth; Gurka, Carlos A Q; Silva, Mara S A; Vieira, Marisa C L; Izzo, Thiago J; Díaz-Castelazo, Cecília; Del-Claro, Kleber; Rico-Gray, Victor

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance and increasing knowledge of ecological networks, sampling effort and intrapopulation variation has been widely overlooked. Using continuous daily sampling of ants visiting three plant species in the Brazilian Neotropical savanna, we evaluated for the first time the topological structure over 24 h and species-area relationships (based on the number of extrafloral nectaries available) in individual-based ant-plant networks. We observed that diurnal and nocturnal ant-plant networks exhibited the same pattern of interactions: a nested and non-modular pattern and an average level of network specialization. Despite the high similarity in the ants' composition between the two collection periods, ant species found in the central core of highly interacting species totally changed between diurnal and nocturnal sampling for all plant species. In other words, this "night-turnover" suggests that the ecological dynamics of these ant-plant interactions can be temporally partitioned (day and night) at a small spatial scale. Thus, it is possible that in some cases processes shaping mutualistic networks formed by protective ants and plants may be underestimated by diurnal sampling alone. Moreover, we did not observe any effect of the number of extrafloral nectaries on ant richness and their foraging on such plants in any of the studied ant-plant networks. We hypothesize that competitively superior ants could monopolize individual plants and allow the coexistence of only a few other ant species, however, other alternative hypotheses are also discussed. Thus, sampling period and species-area relationship produces basic information that increases our confidence in how individual-based ant-plant networks are structured, and the need to consider nocturnal records in ant-plant network sampling design so as to decrease inappropriate inferences.

  4. Effects of temporally persistent ant nests of soil protozoan communities and the abundance of morphological types of amoeba

    Science.gov (United States)

    We compared soil protozoan communities near ant nests with soil protozoans in reference soils 5m from the edge of any mounds. We sampled three species of Chihuahuan Desert ants that construct nests that persist for more than a decade: a seed harvester, Pogonomymex rugosus, a liquid feeding honey-po...

  5. SEASONAL AND DIURNAL ACTIVITY PATTERNS IN ANT (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE) COMMUNITIES IN A VEGETATION TRANSITION REGION OF SOUTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO

    Science.gov (United States)

    The densities of active ant colonies were estimated in three habitats: creosotebush shrubland, grassland, and shinnery-oak mesquite dunes. Diurnal foraging patterns were studied at bait boards. Species richness of ant communities in this transitional region (8-12 species) was co...

  6. Thermal characterization of European ant communities along thermal gradients and its implications for community resilience to temperature variability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier eArnan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Ecologists are increasingly concerned about how climate change will affect biodiversity yet have mostly addressed the issue at the species level. Here, we present a novel framework that accounts for the full range and complementarity of thermal responses present in a community; it may help reveal how biological communities will respond to climatic (i.e., thermal variability. First, we characterized the thermal niches of 147 ant species from 342 communities found along broad temperature gradients in western Europe. Within each community, species’ mean thermal breadth and the difference among species’ thermal optima (thermal complementarity were considered to define community thermal niche breadth—our proxy for community thermal resilience. The greater the range of thermal responses and their complementarity within a community, the greater the likelihood that the community could cope with novel conditions. Second, we used simulations to calculate how robust community thermal resilience was to random species extinctions. Community resilience was considered to be robust when random species extinctions largely failed to constrict initial community thermal breadth. Our results indicate that community thermal resilience was negatively and positively correlated with mean temperature and temperature seasonality, respectively. The pattern was reversed for robustness. While species richness did not directly affect community resilience to thermal variability, it did have a strong indirect effect because it determined community resilience robustness. Consequently, communities in warm, aseasonal regions are the most vulnerable to temperature variability, despite their greater number of species and resultant greater resilience robustness.

  7. Individual-Based Ant-Plant Networks: Diurnal-Nocturnal Structure and Species-Area Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dáttilo, Wesley; Fagundes, Roberth; Gurka, Carlos A. Q.; Silva, Mara S. A.; Vieira, Marisa C. L.; Izzo, Thiago J.; Díaz-Castelazo, Cecília; Del-Claro, Kleber; Rico-Gray, Victor

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance and increasing knowledge of ecological networks, sampling effort and intrapopulation variation has been widely overlooked. Using continuous daily sampling of ants visiting three plant species in the Brazilian Neotropical savanna, we evaluated for the first time the topological structure over 24 h and species-area relationships (based on the number of extrafloral nectaries available) in individual-based ant-plant networks. We observed that diurnal and nocturnal ant-plant networks exhibited the same pattern of interactions: a nested and non-modular pattern and an average level of network specialization. Despite the high similarity in the ants’ composition between the two collection periods, ant species found in the central core of highly interacting species totally changed between diurnal and nocturnal sampling for all plant species. In other words, this “night-turnover” suggests that the ecological dynamics of these ant-plant interactions can be temporally partitioned (day and night) at a small spatial scale. Thus, it is possible that in some cases processes shaping mutualistic networks formed by protective ants and plants may be underestimated by diurnal sampling alone. Moreover, we did not observe any effect of the number of extrafloral nectaries on ant richness and their foraging on such plants in any of the studied ant-plant networks. We hypothesize that competitively superior ants could monopolize individual plants and allow the coexistence of only a few other ant species, however, other alternative hypotheses are also discussed. Thus, sampling period and species-area relationship produces basic information that increases our confidence in how individual-based ant-plant networks are structured, and the need to consider nocturnal records in ant-plant network sampling design so as to decrease inappropriate inferences. PMID:24918750

  8. Climate mediates the effects of disturbance on ant assemblage structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Heloise; Sanders, Nathan J.; Dunn, Robert R.; Watson, Simon; Photakis, Manoli; Abril, Silvia; Andersen, Alan N.; Angulo, Elena; Armbrecht, Inge; Arnan, Xavier; Baccaro, Fabricio B.; Bishop, Tom R.; Boulay, Raphael; Castracani, Cristina; Del Toro, Israel; Delsinne, Thibaut; Diaz, Mireia; Donoso, David A.; Enríquez, Martha L.; Fayle, Tom M.; Feener, Donald H.; Fitzpatrick, Matthew C.; Gómez, Crisanto; Grasso, Donato A.; Groc, Sarah; Heterick, Brian; Hoffmann, Benjamin D.; Lach, Lori; Lattke, John; Leponce, Maurice; Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Longino, John; Lucky, Andrea; Majer, Jonathan; Menke, Sean B.; Mezger, Dirk; Mori, Alessandra; Munyai, Thinandavha C.; Paknia, Omid; Pearce-Duvet, Jessica; Pfeiffer, Martin; Philpott, Stacy M.; de Souza, Jorge L. P.; Tista, Melanie; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.; Vonshak, Merav; Parr, Catherine L.

    2015-01-01

    Many studies have focused on the impacts of climate change on biological assemblages, yet little is known about how climate interacts with other major anthropogenic influences on biodiversity, such as habitat disturbance. Using a unique global database of 1128 local ant assemblages, we examined whether climate mediates the effects of habitat disturbance on assemblage structure at a global scale. Species richness and evenness were associated positively with temperature, and negatively with disturbance. However, the interaction among temperature, precipitation and disturbance shaped species richness and evenness. The effect was manifested through a failure of species richness to increase substantially with temperature in transformed habitats at low precipitation. At low precipitation levels, evenness increased with temperature in undisturbed sites, peaked at medium temperatures in disturbed sites and remained low in transformed sites. In warmer climates with lower rainfall, the effects of increasing disturbance on species richness and evenness were akin to decreases in temperature of up to 9°C. Anthropogenic disturbance and ongoing climate change may interact in complicated ways to shape the structure of assemblages, with hot, arid environments likely to be at greatest risk. PMID:25994675

  9. Population and colony structure of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadau, J; Heinze, J; Hölldobler, B; Schmid, M

    1996-12-01

    The colony and population structure of the carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, were investigated by multilocus DNA fingerprinting using simple repeat motifs as probes [e.g. (GATA)4]. The mating frequency of 15 queens was determined by comparing the fingerprint patterns of the queen and 17-33 of her progeny workers. C. floridanus queens are most probably singly mated, i.e. this species is monandrous and monogynous (one queen per colony). C. floridanus occurs in all counties of mainland Florida and also inhabits most of the Key islands in the southern part of Florida. We tested whether the two mainland populations and the island populations are genetically isolated. Wright's FST and Nei's D-value of genetic distance were calculated from intercolonial bandsharing-coefficients. The population of C. floridanus is substructured (FST = 0.19 +/- 0.09) and the highest degree of genetic distance was found between one of the mainland populations and the island populations (D = 0.35). Our fingerprinting technique could successfully be transferred to 12 other Camponotus species and here also revealed sufficient variability to analyse the genetic structure. In three of these species (C. ligniperdus, C. herculeanus and C. gigas) we could determine the mating frequency of the queen in one or two colonies, respectively.

  10. Ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in an urban ecosystem near the Atlantic Rainforest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CM. Kamura

    Full Text Available The relationships between an urban ecosystem located near the Atlantic Rainforest in southeastern Brazil and ant communities were studied with the objective of quantifying the ant richness and abundance in the household environment and its surroundings. Eighty residences were sampled, where 58 species and 28 genera pertaining to 7 sub-families were found to be present. Inside the residences, the species richness was found to be lower (26, although the abundance was greater (10,670, with the wash area and kitchen being the locales that contributed with the greatest number of hits. The opposite was true in the areas outside the residences, where 54 species and 3,747 ants were observed. Inside houses, the species known as Tramp ants were found, in the following order of importance: Solenopsis -saevissima, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Linepithema humile, Paratrechina fulva, Wasmannia -auropunctata, P. -longicornis, Pheidole megacephala, Monomorium pharaonis and M. floricola. Externally, mainly in the yards and gardens, species such as Octostruma rugifera, Heteroponera dolo, Hypoponera sp.1 and sp.6, Gnamptogenys sp. 4, G. striatula, Odontomachus meinerti, Pachycondyla constricta and P. striata were found. In general, a greater number of species and lower abundance of individuals were observed in the neighborhoods nearer the mountains than in those closer to the urban center.

  11. Global network structure of dominance hierarchy of ant workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimoji, Hiroyuki; Abe, Masato S; Tsuji, Kazuki; Masuda, Naoki

    2014-10-06

    Dominance hierarchy among animals is widespread in various species and believed to serve to regulate resource allocation within an animal group. Unlike small groups, however, detection and quantification of linear hierarchy in large groups of animals are a difficult task. Here, we analyse aggression-based dominance hierarchies formed by worker ants in Diacamma sp. as large directed networks. We show that the observed dominance networks are perfect or approximate directed acyclic graphs, which are consistent with perfect linear hierarchy. The observed networks are also sparse and random but significantly different from networks generated through thinning of the perfect linear tournament (i.e. all individuals are linearly ranked and dominance relationship exists between every pair of individuals). These results pertain to global structure of the networks, which contrasts with the previous studies inspecting frequencies of different types of triads. In addition, the distribution of the out-degree (i.e. number of workers that the focal worker attacks), not in-degree (i.e. number of workers that attack the focal worker), of each observed network is right-skewed. Those having excessively large out-degrees are located near the top, but not the top, of the hierarchy. We also discuss evolutionary implications of the discovered properties of dominance networks. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  12. The effects of food presentation and microhabitat upon resource monopoly in a ground-foraging ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGlynn, T P; Kirksey, S E

    2000-01-01

    In Neotropical wet forests several species of omnivorous, resource-defending ants, live and forage in close proximity to one another. Although the forest floor is heterogeneous in microhabitat and food quantity, little is known about the impact of microhabitat and food variation upon resource monopoly among ants. We investigated how food type and microhabitat influence food monopoly in resource-defending ants in old-growth tropical wet forest in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica. We measured several microhabitat characteristics at 66 points in a 0.5 hectare plot, and baited each point with two categories of tuna bait. These baits were presented in "split" and "clumped" arrangements. We measured the frequency of bait monopoly by a single species, as well as the number of recruited ant foragers at a bait. Out of five common species, two (Wasmannia auropunctata and Pheidole simonsi) more frequently monopolized one bait type over the other, and one (P. simonsi) recruited more ants to the split baits. We then considered the recruitment response by all ant species in the community. We found that the frequency of monopoly, sharing, and the absence of ants at a given point in the rainforest differed with bait type. The frequency of monopoly was associated with microhabitat type in two out of eight microhabitat variables (leaf litter depth and palms); variation in two other types (canopy tree distance and leafcutter ant trails) was associated with changes in forager number. In at least two ant species, food presentation affected monopoly at baits; among all resource-defending ants, the microhabitats where ants foraged for food and the type of food located determined in part the frequency of monopoly and the number of foragers at the food item. These results suggest that the location and presentation of food items determines in part which ant species will utilize the resource.

  13. Colony-structure variation and interspecific competitive ability in the invasive Argentine ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V

    2004-01-01

    The success of some invasive species may depend on phenotypic changes that occur following introduction. In Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) introduced populations typically lack intraspecific aggression, but native populations display such behavior commonly. We employ three approaches to examine how this behavioral shift might influence interspecific competitive ability. In a laboratory experiment, we reared colonies of Forelius mccooki with pairs of Argentine ant colonies that either did or did not exhibit intraspecific aggression. F. mccooki reared with intraspecifically non-aggressive pairs of Argentine ants produced fewer eggs, foraged less actively, and supported fewer living workers than those reared with intraspecifically aggressive pairs. At natural contact zones between competing colonies of L. humile and F. mccooki, the introduction of experimental Argentine ant colonies that fought with conspecific field colonies caused L. humile to abandon baits in the presence of F. mccooki, whereas the introduction of colonies that did not fight with field colonies of Argentine ants resulted in L. humile retaining possession of baits. Additional evidence for the potential importance of colony- structure variation comes from the Argentine ant's native range. At a site along the Rio de la Plata in Argentina, we found an inverse relationship between ant richness and density of L. humile (apparently a function of local differences in colony structure) in two different years of sampling.

  14. The structured diversity of specialized gut symbionts of the New World army ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Łukasik, Piotr; Newton, Justin A; Sanders, Jon G; Hu, Yi; Moreau, Corrie S; Kronauer, Daniel J C; O'Donnell, Sean; Koga, Ryuichi; Russell, Jacob A

    2017-04-10

    Symbiotic bacteria play important roles in the biology of their arthropod hosts. Yet the microbiota of many diverse and influential groups remain understudied, resulting in a paucity of information on the fidelities and histories of these associations. Motivated by prior findings from a smaller scale, 16S rRNA-based study, we conducted a broad phylogenetic and geographical survey of microbial communities in the ecologically dominant New World army ants (Formicidae: Dorylinae). Amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene across 28 species spanning the five New World genera showed that the microbial communities of army ants consist of very few common and abundant bacterial species. The two most abundant microbes, referred to as Unclassified Firmicutes and Unclassified Entomoplasmatales, appear to be specialized army ant associates that dominate microbial communities in the gut lumen of three host genera, Eciton, Labidus, and Nomamyrmex. Both are present in other army ant genera, including those from the Old World, suggesting that army ant symbioses date back to the Cretaceous. Extensive sequencing of bacterial protein-coding genes revealed multiple strains of these symbionts co-existing within colonies, but seldom within the same individual ant. Bacterial strains formed multiple host species-specific lineages on phylogenies, which often grouped strains from distant geographic locations. These patterns deviate from those seen in other social insects and raise intriguing questions about the influence of army ant colony swarm-founding and within-colony genetic diversity on strain co-existence, and the effects of hosting a diverse suite of symbiont strains on colony ecology. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  15. The diversity of ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and their connections with other arthropods from three temperate forests of Central Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Guzmán-Mendoza, Rafael; Castaño Meneses, Gabriela; Nuñez-Palenius, Hector Gordon

    2016-01-01

    Ants have been considered useful for bioindication because of their ecological characteristics. Nonetheless, among the characteristics of a bioindicator group, there must be a consistent and replicable response to disturbance. In this sense, divergent reactions have been found, even between taxons narrowly related. The objective of this work was to compare the diversity of the ant communities in three different temperate forests with different levels of disturbance, and to correlate their abu...

  16. Molecular structure and diversity of PBAN/Pyrokinin family peptides in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Man-Yeon eChoi

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Neuropeptides are the largest group of insect hormones. They are produced in the central and peripheral nervous systems and affect insect development, reproduction, feeding and behavior. A variety of neuropeptide families have been identified in insects. One of these families is the PBAN/pyrokinin family defined by a common FXPRLamide or similar amino acid fragment at the C-terminal end. These peptides, found in all insects studied thus far, have been conserved throughout evolution. The most well studied physiological function is regulation of moth sex pheromone biosynthesis through the Pheromone Biosynthesis Activating Neurohormone (PBAN, although several developmental functions have also been reported. Over the past years we have extended knowledge of the PBAN/pyrokinin family of peptides to ants, focusing mainly on the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. The fire ant is one of the most studied social insects and over the last 60 years a great deal has been learned about many aspects of this ant, including the behaviors and chemistry of pheromone communication. However, virtually nothing is known about the regulation of these pheromone systems. Recently, we demonstrated the presence of PBAN/pyrokinin immunoreactive neurons in the fire ant, and identified and characterized PBAN and additional neuropeptides. We have mapped the fire ant PBAN gene structure and determined the tissue expression level in the central nervous system of the ant. We review here our research to date on the molecular structure and diversity of ant PBAN/pyrokinin peptides in preparation for determining the function of the neuropeptides in ants and other social insects.

  17. The gut bacterial communities associated with lab-raised and field-collected ants of Camponotus fragilis (Formicidae: Formicinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hong; Wei, Cong; Wheeler, Diana E

    2014-09-01

    Camponotus is the second largest ant genus and known to harbor the primary endosymbiotic bacteria of the genus Blochmannia. However, little is known about the effect of diet and environment changes on the gut bacterial communities of these ants. We investigated the intestinal bacterial communities in the lab-raised and field-collected ants of Camponotus fragilis which is found in the southwestern United States and northern reaches of Mexico. We determined the difference of gut bacterial composition and distribution among the crop, midgut, and hindgut of the two types of colonies. Number of bacterial species varied with the methods of detection and the source of the ants. Lab-raised ants yielded 12 and 11 species using classical microbial culture methods and small-subunit rRNA genes (16S rRNAs) polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment-length polymorphism analysis, respectively. Field-collected ants yielded just 4 and 1-3 species using the same methods. Most gut bacterial species from the lab-raised ants were unevenly distributed among the crop, midgut, and hindgut, and each section had its own dominant bacterial species. Acetobacter was the prominent bacteria group in crop, accounting for about 55 % of the crop clone library. Blochmannia was the dominant species in midgut, nearly reaching 90 % of the midgut clone library. Pseudomonas aeruginosa dominated the hindgut, accounting for over 98 % of the hindgut clone library. P. aeruginosa was the only species common to all three sections. A comparison between lab-raised and field-collected ants, and comparison with other species, shows that gut bacterial communities vary with local environment and diet. The bacterial species identified here were most likely commensals with little effect on their hosts or mild pathogens deleterious to colony health.

  18. The Antsy Social Network: Determinants of Nest Structure and Arrangement in Asian Weaver Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devarajan, Kadambari

    2016-01-01

    Asian weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) are arboreal ants that are known to form mutualistic complexes with their host trees. They are eusocial ants that build elaborate nests in the canopy in tropical areas. A colony comprises of multiple nests, usually on multiple trees, and the boundaries of the colony may be difficult to identify. However, they provide the ideal model for studying group living in invertebrates since there are a definite number of nests for a given substrate, the tree. Here, we briefly examine the structure of the nests and the processes involved in the construction and maintenance of these nests. We have described the spatial arrangement of weaver ant nests on trees in two distinct tropical clusters, a few hundred kilometres apart in India. Measurements were made for 13 trees with a total of 71 nests in the two field sites. We have considered a host of biotic and abiotic factors that may be crucial in determining the location of the nesting site by Asian weaver ants. Our results indicate that tree characteristics and architecture followed by leaf features help determine nest location in Asian weaver ants. While environmental factors may not be as influential to nest arrangement, they seem to be important determinants of nest structure. The parameters that may be considered in establishing the nests could be crucial in picking the evolutionary drivers for colonial living in social organisms.

  19. ANTS AS BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS FOR MONITORING CHANGES IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS: LESSONS FOR MONITORING PROTECTED AREAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The responses of ant communities to structural change (removal of an invasive were studied in a replicated experiment in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. The results from sampling of ant communities by pit-fall trapping were validated by mapping ant colonies on the experimental plo...

  20. ANTS AS BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS FOR MONITORING CHANGES IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS: LESSONS FOR MONITORING PROTECTED AREAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The responses of ant communities to structural change (removal of an invasive were studied in a replicated experiment in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. The results from sampling of ant communities by pit-fall trapping were validated by mapping ant colonies on the experimental plo...

  1. Biodiversity assessment in incomplete inventories: leaf litter ant communities in several types of Bornean rain forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Pfeiffer

    Full Text Available Biodiversity assessment of tropical taxa is hampered by their tremendous richness, which leads to large numbers of singletons and incomplete inventories in survey studies. Species estimators can be used for assessment of alpha diversity, but calculation of beta diversity is hampered by pseudo-turnover of species in undersampled plots. To assess the impact of unseen species, we investigated different methods, including an unbiased estimator of Shannon beta diversity that was compared to biased calculations. We studied alpha and beta diversity of a diverse ground ant assemblage from the Southeast Asian island of Borneo in different types of tropical forest: diperocarp forest, alluvial forest, limestone forest and heath forests. Forests varied in plant composition, geology, flooding regimes and other environmental parameters. We tested whether forest types differed in species composition and if species turnover was a function of the distance between plots at different spatial scales. As pseudo-turnover may bias beta diversity we hypothesized a large effect of unseen species reducing beta diversity. We sampled 206 ant species (25% singletons from ten subfamilies and 55 genera. Diversity partitioning among the four forest types revealed that whereas alpha species richness and alpha Shannon diversity were significantly smaller than expected, beta-diversity for both measurements was significantly higher than expected by chance. This result was confirmed when we used the unbiased estimation of Shannon diversity: while alpha diversity was much higher, beta diversity differed only slightly from biased calculations. Beta diversity as measured with the Chao-Sørensen or Morisita-Horn Index correlated with distance between transects and between sample points, indicating a distance decay of similarity between communities. We conclude that habitat heterogeneity has a high influence on ant diversity and species turnover in tropical sites and that unseen species

  2. Strategies of offspring investment and dispersal in a spatially structured environment: a theoretical study using ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Adam L; Loeuille, Nicolas; Monnin, Thibaud

    2016-02-05

    range of life-history and environmental parameters, and is likely to be an important factor in structuring ant communities. Our consideration of space highlights the importance of dispersal, which can limit the success of low-dispersers through kin competition, and enhance coexistence conditions for different strategies in spatially structured environments.

  3. Food searches and guiding structures in North African desert ants, Cataglyphis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolek, Siegfried; Wolf, Harald

    2015-06-01

    North African desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, use path integration as their primary means of navigation. The ants also use landmarks when these are available to improve navigation accuracy. Extended landmarks, such as walls and channels, may serve further functions, for example, local guidance or triggering of local vectors. The roles of such structures were usually examined in homing animals but not during food searches. When searching for familiar feeding sites, Cataglyphis may show intriguing deviations from expected search performances. These may result from the presence of extended landmarks, namely experimental channels. Here we scrutinise this hypothesis of landmark guidance in food searches. We prevented the ants from seeing the channel walls by covering their eyes, except the dorsal rim area. This experiment was repeated in the open test field with an alley of black cylinders to extend our findings to a more normal foraging environment. Ants with covered eyes did not deviate from expected search performances, whereas ants with normal eyes extended their searches along the axis of the leading structures by 15-20%, in both channels and landmark alleys. This demonstrates that Cataglyphis orients along extended landmarks when searching for familiar food sources and alters its search pattern accordingly.

  4. Community Detection on Bipartite Networks Based on Ant Colony Optimization%基于蚁群优化的二分网络社区挖掘

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐永成; 陈崚

    2014-01-01

    Detecting communities from networks receives much attention in recent decades, especially from bipartite networks. Detecting communities from bipartite network is very important in the research on the theory and applications of complex network analysis. This paper proposes an algorithm based on ant colony optimization for detecting community structures from bipartite networks. The algorithm firstly transforms the problem of community detection into the problem of ant colony optimization, then constructs a graph model for ants foraging. Meanwhile, this paper redefines heuristic information according the degree of vertexes. Each ant chooses its path according to the pheromone and heuristic information on each path to construct a solution. The quality of solution obtained by each ant is measured by its bipartite modularity. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm can not only accurately identify the number of communities of a network, but also obtain higher quality of community detection.%近年来,网络社区挖掘得到了极大的关注,尤其是针对二分网络的社区挖掘。二分网络社区挖掘对于研究复杂网络有非常重要的理论意义和实用价值。提出了一个基于蚁群优化的二分网络社区挖掘算法。该算法首先将二分网络社区挖掘问题转化成一个优化问题,建立一个可供蚂蚁搜索的图模型。同时,根据顶点的拓扑结构定义启发式信息。每只蚂蚁根据每条路径上的信息素和启发式信息选择路径,构造出一个社区的划分,再用二分模块度去衡量社区划分的优劣。实验结果表明,该算法不但可以较准确地识别二分网络的社区数,而且可以获得高质量的社区划分。

  5. Effectiveness of Winkler Litter Extraction and Pitfall Traps in Sampling Ant Communities and Functional Groups in a Temperate Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahon, Michael B; Campbell, Kaitlin U; Crist, Thomas O

    2017-06-01

    Selection of proper sampling methods for measuring a community of interest is essential whether the study goals are to conduct a species inventory, environmental monitoring, or a manipulative experiment. Insect diversity studies often employ multiple collection methods at the expense of researcher time and funding. Ants (Formicidae) are widely used in environmental monitoring owing to their sensitivity to ecosystem changes. When sampling ant communities, two passive techniques are recommended in combination: pitfall traps and Winkler litter extraction. These recommendations are often based on studies from highly diverse tropical regions or when a species inventory is the goal. Studies in temperate regions often focus on measuring consistent community response along gradients of disturbance or among management regimes; therefore, multiple sampling methods may be unnecessary. We compared the effectiveness of pitfalls and Winkler litter extraction in an eastern temperate forest for measuring ant species richness, composition, and occurrence of ant functional groups in response to experimental manipulations of two key forest ecosystem drivers, white-tailed deer and an invasive shrub (Amur honeysuckle). We found no significant effect of sampling method on the outcome of the ecological experiment; however, we found differences between the two sampling methods in the resulting ant species richness and functional group occurrence. Litter samples approximated the overall combined species richness and composition, but pitfalls were better at sampling large-bodied (Camponotus) species. We conclude that employing both methods is essential only for species inventories or monitoring ants in the Cold-climate Specialists functional group. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Ant-plant interaction in a tropical savanna: may the network structure vary over time and influence on the outcomes of associations?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Lange

    Full Text Available Plant-animal interactions occur in a community context of dynamic and complex ecological interactive networks. The understanding of who interacts with whom is a basic information, but the outcomes of interactions among associates are fundamental to draw valid conclusions about the functional structure of the network. Ecological networks studies in general gave little importance to know the true outcomes of interactions and how they may change over time. We evaluate the dynamic of an interaction network between ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries, by verifying the temporal variation in structure and outcomes of mutualism for the plant community (leaf herbivory. To reach this goal, we used two tools: bipartite network analysis and experimental manipulation. The networks exhibited the same general pattern as other mutualistic networks: nestedness, asymmetry and low specialization and this pattern was maintained over time, but with internal changes (species degree, connectance and ant abundance. These changes influenced the protection effectiveness of plants by ants, which varied over time. Our study shows that interaction networks between ants and plants are dynamic over time, and that these alterations affect the outcomes of mutualisms. In addition, our study proposes that the set of single systems that shape ecological networks can be manipulated for a greater understanding of the entire system.

  7. Ant-plant interaction in a tropical savanna: may the network structure vary over time and influence on the outcomes of associations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Denise; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2014-01-01

    Plant-animal interactions occur in a community context of dynamic and complex ecological interactive networks. The understanding of who interacts with whom is a basic information, but the outcomes of interactions among associates are fundamental to draw valid conclusions about the functional structure of the network. Ecological networks studies in general gave little importance to know the true outcomes of interactions and how they may change over time. We evaluate the dynamic of an interaction network between ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries, by verifying the temporal variation in structure and outcomes of mutualism for the plant community (leaf herbivory). To reach this goal, we used two tools: bipartite network analysis and experimental manipulation. The networks exhibited the same general pattern as other mutualistic networks: nestedness, asymmetry and low specialization and this pattern was maintained over time, but with internal changes (species degree, connectance and ant abundance). These changes influenced the protection effectiveness of plants by ants, which varied over time. Our study shows that interaction networks between ants and plants are dynamic over time, and that these alterations affect the outcomes of mutualisms. In addition, our study proposes that the set of single systems that shape ecological networks can be manipulated for a greater understanding of the entire system.

  8. Biomimetic Ant-Nest Electrode Structures for High Sulfur Ratio Lithium-Sulfur Batteries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ai, Guo; Dai, Yiling; Mao, Wenfeng; Zhao, Hui; Fu, Yanbao; Song, Xiangyun; En, Yunfei; Battaglia, Vincent S; Srinivasan, Venkat; Liu, Gao

    2016-09-14

    The lithium-sulfur (Li-S) rechargeable battery has the benefit of high gravimetric energy density and low cost. Significant research currently focuses on increasing the sulfur loading and sulfur/inactive-materials ratio, to improve life and capacity. Inspired by nature's ant-nest structure, this research results in a novel Li-S electrode that is designed to meet both goals. With only three simple manufacturing-friendly steps, which include slurry ball-milling, doctor-blade-based laminate casting, and the use of the sacrificial method with water to dissolve away table salt, the ant-nest design has been successfully recreated in an Li-S electrode. The efficient capabilities of the ant-nest structure are adopted to facilitate fast ion transportation, sustain polysulfide dissolution, and assist efficient precipitation. High cycling stability in the Li-S batteries, for practical applications, has been achieved with up to 3 mg·cm(-2) sulfur loading. Li-S electrodes with up to a 85% sulfur ratio have also been achieved for the efficient design of this novel ant-nest structure.

  9. Isolated and Community Contexts Produce Distinct Responses by Host Plants to the Presence of Ant-Aphid Interaction: Plant Productivity and Seed Viability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canedo-Júnior, Ernesto Oliveira; Santiago, Graziele Silva; Zurlo, Luana Fonseca; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Carvalho, Rafaela Pereira; Alves, Guilherme Pereira; Carvalho, Mariana Comanucci Silva; Souza, Brígida

    2017-01-01

    Ant-aphid interactions may affect host plants in several ways, however, most studies measure only the amount of fruit and seed produced, and do not test seed viability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of the presence of ant-aphid interactions upon host plant productivity and seed viability in two different contexts: isolated and within an arthropod community. For this purpose we tested the hypothesis that in both isolated and community contexts, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction will have a positive effect on fruit and seed production, seed biomass and rate of seed germination, and a negative effect on abnormal seedling rates, in comparison to plants without ants. We performed a field mesocosm experiment containing five treatments: Ant-aphid, Aphid, Community, Ant-free community and Control. We counted fruits and seeds produced by each treatment, and conducted experiments for seed biomass and germinability. We found that in the community context the presence of an ant-aphid interaction negatively affected fruit and seed production. We think this may be because aphid attendance by tending-ants promotes aphid damage to the host plant, but without an affect on seed weight and viability. On the other hand, when isolated, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction positively affected fruit and seed production. These positive effects are related to the cleaning services offered to aphids by tending-ants, which prevent the development of saprophytic fungi on the surface of leaves, which would cause a decrease in photosynthetic rates. Our study is important because we evaluated some parameters of plant fitness that have not been addressed very well by other studies involving the effects of ant-aphid interactions mainly on plants with short life cycles. Lastly, our context dependent approach sheds new light on how ecological interactions can vary among different methods of crop management.

  10. Isolated and Community Contexts Produce Distinct Responses by Host Plants to the Presence of Ant-Aphid Interaction: Plant Productivity and Seed Viability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santiago, Graziele Silva; Zurlo, Luana Fonseca; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Carvalho, Rafaela Pereira; Alves, Guilherme Pereira; Carvalho, Mariana Comanucci Silva; Souza, Brígida

    2017-01-01

    Ant-aphid interactions may affect host plants in several ways, however, most studies measure only the amount of fruit and seed produced, and do not test seed viability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of the presence of ant-aphid interactions upon host plant productivity and seed viability in two different contexts: isolated and within an arthropod community. For this purpose we tested the hypothesis that in both isolated and community contexts, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction will have a positive effect on fruit and seed production, seed biomass and rate of seed germination, and a negative effect on abnormal seedling rates, in comparison to plants without ants. We performed a field mesocosm experiment containing five treatments: Ant-aphid, Aphid, Community, Ant-free community and Control. We counted fruits and seeds produced by each treatment, and conducted experiments for seed biomass and germinability. We found that in the community context the presence of an ant-aphid interaction negatively affected fruit and seed production. We think this may be because aphid attendance by tending-ants promotes aphid damage to the host plant, but without an affect on seed weight and viability. On the other hand, when isolated, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction positively affected fruit and seed production. These positive effects are related to the cleaning services offered to aphids by tending-ants, which prevent the development of saprophytic fungi on the surface of leaves, which would cause a decrease in photosynthetic rates. Our study is important because we evaluated some parameters of plant fitness that have not been addressed very well by other studies involving the effects of ant-aphid interactions mainly on plants with short life cycles. Lastly, our context dependent approach sheds new light on how ecological interactions can vary among different methods of crop management. PMID:28141849

  11. Diversification and phylogeographic structure in widespread Azteca plant-ants from the northern Neotropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Ramírez, Santiago R; Bonebrake, Timothy C; Gordon, Deborah M; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2012-07-01

    The Neotropical myrmecophytic tree Cordia alliodora hosts symbiotic Azteca ants in most of its widespread range. The taxonomy of the genus Azteca is notoriously difficult, which has frequently obscured species identity in ecological studies. We used sequence data from one mitochondrial and four nuclear loci to infer phylogenetic relationships, patterns of geographic distribution, and timing of diversification for 182 colonies of five C. alliodora-dwelling Azteca species from Mexico to Colombia. All morphological species were recovered as monophyletic, but we identified at least five distinct genetic lineages within the most abundant and specialized species, Azteca pittieri. Mitochondrial and nuclear data were concordant at the species level, but not within species. Divergence time analyses estimated that C. alliodora-dwelling Azteca shared a common ancestor approximately 10-22million years ago, prior to the proposed arrival of the host tree in Middle America. Diversification in A. pittieri occurred in the Pleistocene and was not correlated with geographic distance, which suggests limited historical gene flow among geographically restricted populations. This contrasts with the previously reported lack of phylogeographic structure at this spatial scale in the host tree. Climatic niches, and particularly precipitation-related variables, did not overlap between the sites occupied by northern and southern lineages of A. pittieri. Together, these results suggest that restricted gene flow among ant populations may facilitate local adaptation to environmental heterogeneity. Differences in population structure between the ants and their host trees may profoundly affect the evolutionary dynamics of this widespread ant-plant mutualism.

  12. Density-Dependent Effects of an Invasive Ant on a Ground-Dwelling Arthropod Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooling, M; Sim, D A; Lester, P J

    2015-02-01

    It is frequently assumed that an invasive species that is ecologically or economically damaging in one region, will typically be so in other environments. The Argentine ant Linepithema humile (Mayr) is listed among the world's worst invaders. It commonly displaces resident ant species where it occurs at high population densities, and may also reduce densities of other ground-dwelling arthropods. We investigated the effect of varying Argentine ant abundance on resident ant and nonant arthropod species richness and abundance in seven cities across its range in New Zealand. Pitfall traps were used to compare an invaded and uninvaded site in each city. Invaded sites were selected based on natural varying abundance of Argentine ant populations. Argentine ant density had a significant negative effect on epigaeic ant abundance and species richness, but hypogaeic ant abundance and species richness was unaffected. We observed a significant decrease in Diplopoda abundance with increasing Argentine ant abundance, while Coleoptera abundance increased. The effect on Amphipoda and Isopoda depended strongly on climate. The severity of the impact on negatively affected taxa was reduced in areas where Argentine ant densities were low. Surprisingly, Argentine ants had no effect on the abundance of the other arthropod taxa examined. Morphospecies richness for all nonant arthropod taxa was unaffected by Argentine ant abundance. Species that are established as invasive in one location therefore cannot be assumed to be invasive in other locations based on presence alone. Appropriate management decisions should reflect this knowledge. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Comparison of Ant Community Diversity and Functional Group Composition Associated to Land Use Change in a Seasonally Dry Oak Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuautle, M; Vergara, C H; Badano, E I

    2016-04-01

    Ants have been used to assess land use conversion, because they reflect environmental change, and their response to these changes have been useful in the identification of bioindicators. We evaluated ant diversity and composition associated to different land use change in a temperate forest (above 2000 m asl) in Mexico. The study was carried out in "Flor del Bosque" Park a vegetation mosaic of native Oak Forests and introduced Eucalyptus and grasslands. Species richness, dominance and diversity rarefaction curves, based on ant morphospecies and functional groups, were constructed and compared among the three vegetation types, for the rainy and the dry seasons of 2008-2009. Jaccard and Sorensen incidence-based indices were calculated to obtain similarity values among all the habitats. The Oak Forest was a rich dominant community, both in species and functional groups; the Eucalyptus plantation was diverse with low dominance. The most seasonality habitat was the grassland, with low species and high functional group diversity during the dry seasons, but the reverse pattern during the wet season. The Oak Forest was more similar to the Eucalyptus plantation than to the grassland, particularly during the dry season. Oak Forests are dominated by Cold Climate Specialists, specifically Prenolepis imparis (Say). The Eucalyptus and the grassland are characterized by generalized Myrmicinae, as Pheidole spp. and Monomorium ebenium (Forel). The conservation of the native Oak Forest is primordial for the maintenance of Cold Climate Specialist ant communities. The microclimatic conditions in this forest, probably, prevented the invasion by opportunistic species.

  14. Do Invasive Fire Ants Affect Habitat Selection within a Small Mammal Community?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendee N. Holtcamp

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Animals must balance foraging with the need to avoid predators and risky habitats that decrease their fitness, and at the same time they must cope with competitors vying for habitat and resources. We examined how habitat selection and population density of four native small mammals were altered by the presence of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta. When population size was low, hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus and pigmy mice (Baiomys taylori as well as white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus used the “safe”, low fire ant habitat, as predicted by theories of density-dependent habitat selection. However, as fire ant population sizes expanded, cotton rats appeared to displace pigmy mice into the fire ant-dense grassland drainage while white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus displaced all the other small mammals from low fire ant forest/brushland habitat.

  15. Co-evolutionary design of discrete structures based on the ant colony optimization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    In order to optimize the sizing and topology of discrete structures together and resist the combinatorial explosion of the solution space, a co-evolutionary design (CED) method based on ant colony optimization (ACO) for discrete structures is proposed. The tailored ant colony optimization for the sizing of structures (TACO-SS) and the tailored ant colony optimization for the topology of structures (TACO-TS) are implemented respectively. Theoretical analysis shows that the computation complexity of each sub-process in CED based on ACO above is polynomial and it guarantees the efficiency of this method. After the parameter settings in TACO-SS and TACO-TS are discussed, the convergence history of a sub-process is studied through an instance in detail. Finally, according to the design examples of the 10-bar and 15-bar trusses under different cases, the effectiveness of the CED based on ACO is validated and the effects of the loads and the deflection constraints on the co-evolutionary design are discussed.

  16. Dispersal and population structure of a New World predator, the army ant Eciton burchellii

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berghoff, S M; Kronauer, D J C; Edwards, K J

    2008-01-01

    The army ant Eciton burchellii is probably the most important arthropod predator in the Neotropics, and many animal species depend upon it. Sex-biased dispersal with winged males and permanently wingless queens may render this species especially sensitive to habitat fragmentation and natural...... barriers, which might have severe impacts on population structure and lead to population decline. Using nuclear microsatellite markers and mitochondrial sequences, we investigated genetic differentiation in a fragmented population in the Panama Canal area. While nuclear markers showed little...

  17. Cellulose-Enriched Microbial Communities from Leaf-Cutter Ant (Atta colombica Refuse Dumps Vary in Taxonomic Composition and Degradation Ability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gina R Lewin

    Full Text Available Deconstruction of the cellulose in plant cell walls is critical for carbon flow through ecosystems and for the production of sustainable cellulosic biofuels. Our understanding of cellulose deconstruction is largely limited to the study of microbes in isolation, but in nature, this process is driven by microbes within complex communities. In Neotropical forests, microbes in leaf-cutter ant refuse dumps are important for carbon turnover. These dumps consist of decaying plant material and a diverse bacterial community, as shown here by electron microscopy. To study the portion of the community capable of cellulose degradation, we performed enrichments on cellulose using material from five Atta colombica refuse dumps. The ability of enriched communities to degrade cellulose varied significantly across refuse dumps. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing of enriched samples identified that the community structure correlated with refuse dump and with degradation ability. Overall, samples were dominated by Bacteroidetes, Gammaproteobacteria, and Betaproteobacteria. Half of abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs across samples were classified within genera containing known cellulose degraders, including Acidovorax, the most abundant OTU detected across samples, which was positively correlated with cellulolytic ability. A representative Acidovorax strain was isolated, but did not grow on cellulose alone. Phenotypic and compositional analyses of enrichment cultures, such as those presented here, help link community composition with cellulolytic ability and provide insight into the complexity of community-based cellulose degradation.

  18. Crystal structure of Sol I 2: a major allergen from fire ant venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borer, Aline S; Wassmann, Paul; Schmidt, Margit; Hoffman, Donald R; Zhou, Jing-Jiang; Wright, Christine; Schirmer, Tilman; Marković-Housley, Zora

    2012-01-27

    Sol i 2 is a potent allergen from the venom of red imported fire ant, which contains allergens Sol i 1, Sol i 2, Sol i 3, and Sol i 4 that are known to be powerful triggers of anaphylaxis. Sol i 2 causes IgE antibody production in about one-third of individuals stung by fire ants. Baculovirus recombinant dimeric Sol i 2 was crystallized as a native and selenomethionyl-derivatized protein, and its structure has been determined by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion at 2.6 Å resolution. The overall fold of each subunit consists of five helices that enclose a central hydrophobic cavity. The structure is stabilized by three intramolecular disulfide bridges and one intermolecular disulfide bridge. The nearest structural homologue is the sequence-unrelated odorant binding protein and pheromone binding protein LUSH of the fruit fly Drosophila, which may suggest a similar biological function. To test this hypothesis, we measured the reversible binding of various pheromones, plant odorants, and other ligands to Sol i 2 by the changes in N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine fluorescence emission upon binding of ligands that compete with N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine. The highest binding affinity was observed for hydrophobic ligands such as aphid alarm pheromone (E)-β-farnesene, analogs of ant alarm pheromones, and plant volatiles decane, undecane, and β-caryophyllene. Conceivably, Sol i 2 may play a role in capturing and/or transporting small hydrophobic ligands such as pheromones, odors, fatty acids, or short-living hydrophobic primers. Molecular surface analysis, in combination with sequence alignment, can explain the serological cross-reactivity observed between some ant species.

  19. Convergent structure and function of mycelial galleries in two unrelated Neotropical plant-ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, V E; Lauth, J; Orivel, J

    2017-01-01

    The construction process and use of galleries by Azteca brevis (Myrmicinae: Dolichoderinae) inhabiting Tetrathylacium macrophyllum (Salicaceae) were compared with Allomerus decemarticulatus (Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini) galleries on Hirtella physophora (Chrysobalanaceae). Though the two ant species are phylogenetically distant, the gallery structure seems to be surprisingly similar and structurally convergent: both are pierced with numerous holes and both ant species use Chaetothyrialean fungi to strengthen the gallery walls. Al. decemarticulatus is known to use the galleries for prey capture and whether this is also the case for Az. brevis was tested in field experiments. We placed Atta workers as potential prey/threat on the galleries and recorded the behaviour of both ant species. We found considerable behavioural differences between them: Al. decemarticulatus was quicker and more efficient at capture than was Az. brevis. While most Atta workers were captured after the first 5 min by Al. decemarticulatus, significantly fewer were captured by Az. brevis even after 20 min. Moreover, the captured Atta were sometimes simply discarded and not taken to the nest by Az. brevis. As a consequence, the major function of the galleries built by Az. brevis may, therefore, be defense against intruders in contrast to Al. decemarticulatus which uses them mainly for prey capture. This may be due to a higher need for protein in Al. decemarticulatus compared to coccid-raising Az. brevis.

  20. Disassembly or assembly of an ant community in a temperate forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae-Sung Kwon

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Because the occurrence of living organisms is limited by competition, it is normal for organisms to follow the assembly rule in which similar species do not co-occur. In order to test whether ants within a forest follow the assembly rule, ant data surveyed for 10 years in an old temperate forest were analyzed. In most cases, co-occurrence among ant species was not different to random co-occurrence, and less co-occurrence was found only in some years, indicating ephemeral influence of competition. This finding was confirmed in the correlation analysis using data of abundance. Therefore, ants living together in a small area within a forest did not follow the assembly rule.

  1. A mixed community of actinomycetes produce multiple antibiotics for the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus

    OpenAIRE

    Barke Jörg; Seipke Ryan F; Grüschow Sabine; Heavens Darren; Drou Nizar; Bibb Mervyn J; Goss Rebecca JM; Yu Douglas W; Hutchings Matthew I

    2010-01-01

    This work was supported by a UEA-funded PhD studentship (JB) and an MRC Milstein award, G0801721 (MIH, RJMG and DY). MIH is a Research Councils UK Fellow. DY also received support from the Yunnan provincial government (20080A001) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (0902281081). Background: Attine ants live in an intensely studied tripartite mutualism with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which provides food to the ants, and with antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria. One hypot...

  2. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranda-Rickert, Adriana; Diez, Patricia; Marazzi, Brigitte

    2014-11-07

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal desert of northwestern Argentina, we surveyed the richness and phenology of EFN plants and their associated ants and examined the patterns in ant-plant interaction networks. We found that 25 ant species and 11 EFN-bearing plant species were linked together through 96 pairs of associations. Plants bearing EFNs were abundant, representing ca. 19 % of the species encountered in transects and 24 % of the plant cover. Most ant species sampled (ca. 77 %) fed on EF nectar. Interactions showed a marked seasonal pattern: EFN secretion was directly related to plant phenology and correlated with the time of highest ant ground activity. Our results reveal that EFN-mediated interactions are ecologically relevant components of deserts, and that EFN-bearing plants are crucial for the survival of desert ant communities. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  3. A mixed community of actinomycetes produce multiple antibiotics for the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barke Jörg

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Attine ants live in an intensely studied tripartite mutualism with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which provides food to the ants, and with antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria. One hypothesis suggests that bacteria from the genus Pseudonocardia are the sole, co-evolved mutualists of attine ants and are transmitted vertically by the queens. A recent study identified a Pseudonocardia-produced antifungal, named dentigerumycin, associated with the lower attine Apterostigma dentigerum consistent with the idea that co-evolved Pseudonocardia make novel antibiotics. An alternative possibility is that attine ants sample actinomycete bacteria from the soil, selecting and maintaining those species that make useful antibiotics. Consistent with this idea, a Streptomyces species associated with the higher attine Acromyrmex octospinosus was recently shown to produce the well-known antifungal candicidin. Candicidin production is widespread in environmental isolates of Streptomyces, so this could either be an environmental contaminant or evidence of recruitment of useful actinomycetes from the environment. It should be noted that the two possibilities for actinomycete acquisition are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Results In order to test these possibilities we isolated bacteria from a geographically distinct population of A. octospinosus and identified a candicidin-producing Streptomyces species, which suggests that they are common mutualists of attine ants, most probably recruited from the environment. We also identified a Pseudonocardia species in the same ant colony that produces an unusual polyene antifungal, providing evidence for co-evolution of Pseudonocardia with A. octospinosus. Conclusions Our results show that a combination of co-evolution and environmental sampling results in the diversity of actinomycete symbionts and antibiotics associated with attine ants.

  4. Breeding system, colony structure, and genetic differentiation in the Camponotus festinatus species complex of carpenter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodisman, Michael A D; Hahn, Daniel A

    2005-10-01

    All social insects live in highly organized societies. However, different social insect species display striking variation in social structure. This variation can significantly affect the genetic structure within populations and, consequently, the divergence between species. The purpose of this study was to determine if variation in social structure was associated with species diversification in the Camponotus festinatus desert carpenter ant species complex. We used polymorphic DNA microsatellite markers to dissect the breeding system of these ants and to determine if distinct C. festinatus forms hybridized in their natural range. Our analysis of single-queen colonies established in the laboratory revealed that queens typically mated with only a single male. The genotypes of workers sampled from a field population suggested that multiple, related queens occasionally reproduced within colonies and that colonies inhabited multiple nests. Camponotus festinatus workers derived from colonies of the same form originating at different locales were strongly differentiated, suggesting that gene flow was geographically restricted. Overall, our data indicate that C. festinatus populations are highly structured. Distinct C. festinatus forms possess similar social systems but are genetically isolated. Consequently, our data suggest that diversification in the C. festinatus species complex is not necessarily associated with a shift in social structure.

  5. Ant plant herbivore interactions in the neotropical cerrado savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Paulo S.; Freitas, André V. L.

    2004-12-01

    The Brazilian cerrado savanna covers nearly 2 million km2 and has a high incidence on foliage of various liquid food sources such as extrafloral nectar and insect exudates. These liquid rewards generate intense ant activity on cerrado foliage, making ant plant herbivore interactions especially prevalent in this biome. We present data on the distribution and abundance of extrafloral nectaries in the woody flora of cerrado communities and in the flora of other habitats worldwide, and stress the relevance of liquid food sources (including hemipteran honeydew) for the ant fauna. Consumption by ants of plant and insect exudates significantly affects the activity of the associated herbivores of cerrado plant species, with varying impacts on the reproductive output of the plants. Experiments with an ant plant butterfly system unequivocally demonstrate that the behavior of both immature and adult lepidopterans is closely related to the use of a risky host plant, where intensive visitation by ants can have a severe impact on caterpillar survival. We discuss recent evidence suggesting that the occurrence of liquid rewards on leaves plays a key role in mediating the foraging ecology of foliage-dwelling ants, and that facultative ant plant mutualisms are important in structuring the community of canopy arthropods. Ant-mediated effects on cerrado herbivore communities can be revealed by experiments performed on wide spatial scales, including many environmental factors such as soil fertility and vegetation structure. We also present some research questions that could be rewarding to investigate in this major neotropical savanna.

  6. Foraging arena size and structural complexity affect the dynamics of food distribution in ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; VanWeelden, Matthew

    2010-12-01

    Food acquisition by ant colonies is a complex process that starts with acquiring food at the source (i.e., foraging) and culminates with food exchange in or around the nest (i.e., feeding). While ant foraging behavior is relatively well understood, the process of food distribution has received little attention, largely because of the lack of methodology that allows for accurate monitoring of food flow. In this study, we used the odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say) to investigate the effect of foraging arena size and structural complexity on the rate and the extent of spread of liquid carbohydrate food (sucrose solution) throughout a colony. To track the movement of food, we used protein marking and double-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, DAS-ELISA. Variation in arena size, in conjunction with different colony sizes, allowed us to test the effect of different worker densities on food distribution. Results demonstrate that both arena size and colony size have a significant effect on the spread of the food and the number of workers receiving food decreased as arena size and colony size increased. When colony size was kept constant and arena size increased, the percentage of workers testing positive for the marker decreased, most likely because of fewer trophallactic interactions resulting from lower worker density. When arena size was kept constant and colony size increased, the percentage of workers testing positive decreased. Nonrandom (clustered) worker dispersion and a limited supply of food may have contributed to this result. Overall, results suggest that food distribution is more complete is smaller colonies regardless of the size of the foraging arena and that colony size, rather than worker density, is the primary factor affecting food distribution. The structural complexity of foraging arenas ranged from simple, two-dimensional space (empty arenas) to complex, three-dimensional space (arenas filled with mulch). The structural

  7. Reproduction and dispersal in an ant-associated root aphid community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivens, A.B.F.; Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph; Pen, I.;

    2012-01-01

    viscosity is high and winged aphids rare, consistent with infrequent horizontal transmission between ant host colonies. The absence of the primary host shrub (Pistacia) may explain the absence of sex in three of the studied species, but elm trees (Ulmus) that are primary hosts of the fourth species (T...

  8. Plasticity in queen number and social structure in the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Krista K

    2002-10-01

    In many polygynous social insect societies, ecological factors such as habitat saturation promote high queen numbers by increasing the cost of solitary breeding. If polygyny is associated with constrained environments, queen number in colonies of invasive social insects should increase as saturation of their new habitat increases. Here I describe the variation in queen number, nestmate relatedness, and nest size along a gradient of time since colonization in an invading population of Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in Haleakala, Hawaii. Nest densities in this population increase with distance from the leading edge of the invasion, reaching a stable density plateau approximately 80 m from the edge (> 2 years after colonization). Although the number of queens per nest in Haleakala is generally lower than previously reported for Argentine ants, there is significant variation in queen number across this population. Both the observed and effective queen numbers increase across the density gradient, and nests in the center of the population contain queen numbers three to nine times higher than those on the edge of the invasion. The number of workers per nest is correlated with queen number, and nests in the center are six times larger than nests at the edge. Microsatellite analysis of relatedness among nestmates reveals that all nests in the Haleakala population are characterized by low relatedness and have evidence of multiple reproducing queens. Relatedness values are significantly lower in nests in the center of the population, indicating that the number of reproducing queens is greater in areas of high nest density. The variation in queen number and nestmate relatedness in this study is consistent with expectations based on changes in ecological constraints during the invasion of a new habitat, suggesting that the social structure of Argentine ant populations is strongly influenced by ecological factors. Flexibility in social structure may facilitate persistence

  9. Genetic structure, behaviour and invasion history of the Argentine ant supercolony in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhr, Elissa L; O'Dowd, Dennis J; McKechnie, Stephen W; Mackay, Duncan A

    2011-05-01

    Biological invasions have significant ecological, evolutionary and economic consequences. Ants are exemplary invaders and their invasion success is frequently attributed to a shift in social structure between native and introduced populations. Here, we use a multidisciplinary approach to determine the social structure, origin and expansion of the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, in Australia by linking behavioural and genetic studies with indicators of dispersal pathways and propagule pressure. Behavioural assays revealed a complete absence of aggression within and between three cities - Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth - spanning 2700 km across Australia. Microsatellite analyses showed intracity genetic homogeneity and limited but significant intercity genetic differentiation. Exceptions were two Perth nests that likely represent independent translocations from Adelaide. These patterns suggest efficient local gene flow with more limited jump dispersal via transport corridors between cities. Microsatellite analyses of L. humile from potential source regions, combined with data from port interceptions, trade pathways and the timeline of spread within Australia, implicate the main European supercolony as the source of L. humile in Melbourne. Such an introduction probably then redistributed across Australia and spread to New Zealand to form an expansive Australasian supercolony.

  10. Structural and molecular basis for resistance to aminoglycoside antibiotics by the adenylyltransferase ANT(2″)-Ia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Georgina; Stogios, Peter J; Savchenko, Alexei; Wright, Gerard D

    2015-01-01

    The aminoglycosides are highly effective broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents. However, their efficacy is diminished due to enzyme-mediated covalent modification, which reduces affinity of the drug for the target ribosome. One of the most prevalent aminoglycoside resistance enzymes in Gram-negative pathogens is the adenylyltransferase ANT(2″)-Ia, which confers resistance to gentamicin, tobramycin, and kanamycin. Despite the importance of this enzyme in drug resistance, its structure and molecular mechanism have been elusive. This study describes the structural and mechanistic basis for adenylylation of aminoglycosides by the ANT(2″)-Ia enzyme. ANT(2″)-Ia confers resistance by magnesium-dependent transfer of a nucleoside monophosphate (AMP) to the 2″-hydroxyl of aminoglycoside substrates containing a 2-deoxystreptamine core. The catalyzed reaction follows a direct AMP transfer mechanism from ATP to the substrate antibiotic. Central to catalysis is the coordination of two Mg(2+) ions, positioning of the modifiable substrate ring, and the presence of a catalytic base (Asp86). Comparative structural analysis revealed that ANT(2″)-Ia has a two-domain structure with an N-terminal active-site architecture that is conserved among other antibiotic nucleotidyltransferases, including Lnu(A), LinB, ANT(4')-Ia, ANT(4″)-Ib, and ANT(6)-Ia. There is also similarity between the nucleotidyltransferase fold of ANT(2″)-Ia and DNA polymerase β. This similarity is consistent with evolution from a common ancestor, with the nucleotidyltransferase fold having adapted for activity against chemically distinct molecules. IMPORTANCE  : To successfully manage the threat associated with multidrug-resistant infectious diseases, innovative therapeutic strategies need to be developed. One such approach involves the enhancement or potentiation of existing antibiotics against resistant strains of bacteria. The reduction in clinical usefulness of the aminoglycosides is a particular

  11. The effects of food presentation and microhabitat upon resource monopoly in a ground-foraging ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terrence P McGlynn

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available In Neotropical wet forests several species of omnivorous, resource-defending ants, live and forage in close proximity to one another. Although the forest floor is heterogeneous in microhabitat and food quantity, little is known about the impact of microhabitat and food variation upon resource monopoly among ants. We investigated how food type and microhabitat influence food monopoly in resource-defending ants in old-growth tropical wet forest in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica. We measured several microhabitat characteristics at 66 points in a 0.5 hectare plot, and baited each point with two categories of tuna bait. These baits were presented in "split" and "clumped" arrangements. We measured the frequency of bait monopoly by a single species, as well as the number of recruited ant foragers at a bait. Out of five common species, two (Wasmannia auropunctata and Pheidole simonsi more frequently monopolized one bait type over the other, and one (P. simonsi recruited more ants to the split baits. We then considered the recruitment response by all ant species in the community. We found that the frequency of monopoly, sharing, and the absence of ants at a given point in the rainforest differed with bait type. The frequency of monopoly was associated with microhabitat type in two out of eight microhabitat variables (leaf litter depth and palms; variation in two other types (canopy tree distance and leafcutter ant trails was associated with changes in forager number. In at least two ant species, food presentation affected monopoly at baits; among all resource-defending ants, the microhabitats where ants foraged for food and the type of food located determined in part the frequency of monopoly and the number of foragers at the food item. These results suggest that the location and presentation of food items determines in part which ant species will utilize the resource.En los bosques húmedos de la Región Neotropical conviven varias especies de

  12. Breeding system, colony and population structure in the weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlüns, E A; Wegener, B J; Schlüns, H; Azuma, N; Robson, S K A; Crozier, R H

    2009-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) are dominant ants in open forests from India, Australia, China and Southeast Asia, whose leaf nests are held together with larval silk. The species, together with its sole congener O. longinoda, has been important in research on biological control, communication, territoriality and colony integration. Over most of the range, only one queen has been found per colony, but the occurrence of several queens per nest has been reported for the Australian Northern Territory. The number of males mating with each queen is little known. Here we report on the colony structure of O. smaragdina using published and new microsatellite markers. Worker genotype arrays reflect the occurrence of habitual polygyny (more than one queen per colony) in 18 colonies from Darwin, Northern Australia, with up to five queens inferred per colony. Monogyny (one queen per colony) with occasional polygyny was inferred for 14 colonies from Queensland, Australia, and 20 colonies from Java, Indonesia. Direct genotyping of the sperm carried by 77 Queensland queens and worker genotypic arrays of established colonies yielded similar results, indicating that less than half of the queens mate only once and some mate up to five times. Worker genotype arrays indicated that queens from Java and the Northern Territory also often mate with more than one male, but less often than those from Queensland. A strong isolation-by-distance effect was found for Queensland samples. The variation uncovered means that O. smaragdina is a more versatile study system than previously supposed.

  13. Honey Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

    Provides background information on honey ants. These ants are found in dry or desert regions of North America, Africa, and Australia. Also provides a list of activities using local species of ants. (JN)

  14. Polygyny and strong genetic structuring within an isolated population of the wood ant Formica rufa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter Dekoninck

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Social structuring of populations within some Formica species exhibits considerable variation going from monodomous and monogynous populations to polydomous, polygynous populations. The wood ant species Formica rufa appears to be mainly monodomous and monogynous throughout most of its distribution area in central and northern Europe. Only occasionally it was mentioned that F. rufa can have both polygynous and monogynous colonies in the same geographical region. We studied an isolated polydomous F. rufa population in a deciduous mixed forest in the north-west of Belgium. The level of polydomy within the colonies varied from monodomous to 11 nests per colony. Our genetic analysis of eight variable microsatellites suggest an oligo- to polygynous structure for at least the major part of the sampled nests. Relatedness amongst nest mate workers varies considerable within the population and colonies but confirms in general a polygynous structure. Additionally high genetic diversity (e.g. up to 8 out of 11 alleles per nest for the most variable locus and high within nest genetic variance (93% indicate that multiple queens contribute to the gene pool of workers of the same nest. Moreover significant genetic structuring among colonies indicates that gene flow between colonies is restricted and that exchange of workers between colonies is very limited. Finally we explain how possible factors as budding and the absence of Serviformica can explain the differences in genetic structure within this polygynous F. rufa population.

  15. Discovering Network Structure Beyond Communities

    CERN Document Server

    Nishikawa, Takashi; 10.1038/srep00151

    2011-01-01

    To understand the formation, evolution, and function of complex systems, it is crucial to understand the internal organization of their interaction networks. Partly due to the impossibility of visualizing large complex networks, resolving network structure remains a challenging problem. Here we overcome this difficulty by combining the visual pattern recognition ability of humans with the high processing speed of computers to develop an exploratory method for discovering groups of nodes characterized by common network properties, including but not limited to communities of densely connected nodes. Without any prior information about the nature of the groups, the method simultaneously identifies the number of groups, the group assignment, and the properties that define these groups. The results of applying our method to real networks suggest the possibility that most group structures lurk undiscovered in the fast-growing inventory of social, biological, and technological networks of scientific interest.

  16. Discovering network structure beyond communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishikawa, Takashi; Motter, Adilson E

    2011-01-01

    To understand the formation, evolution, and function of complex systems, it is crucial to understand the internal organization of their interaction networks. Partly due to the impossibility of visualizing large complex networks, resolving network structure remains a challenging problem. Here we overcome this difficulty by combining the visual pattern recognition ability of humans with the high processing speed of computers to develop an exploratory method for discovering groups of nodes characterized by common network properties, including but not limited to communities of densely connected nodes. Without any prior information about the nature of the groups, the method simultaneously identifies the number of groups, the group assignment, and the properties that define these groups. The results of applying our method to real networks suggest the possibility that most group structures lurk undiscovered in the fast-growing inventory of social, biological, and technological networks of scientific interest.

  17. Native predators living in invaded areas: responses of terrestrial amphibian species to an Argentine ant invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Blanco, Paloma; Caut, Stephane; Cerdá, Xim; Angulo, Elena

    2017-08-22

    Predator-prey interactions play a key role in the success and impacts of invasive species. However, the effects of invasive preys on native predators have been poorly studied. Here, we first reviewed hypotheses describing potential relationships between native predators and invasive preys. Second, we examined how an invasive prey, the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile), affected a native terrestrial amphibian community. In the field, we looked at the structure of the amphibian community in invaded versus uninvaded areas and characterized amphibian trophic ecology. The amphibian community sampled seemed to show a species-dependent response in abundance to invasion: adults of the natterjack toad (Bufo calamita), the species demonstrating the highest degree of ant specialization, were less abundant in invaded areas. Although available ant biomass was significantly greater in invaded than in uninvaded areas (only Argentine ants occurred in the former), amphibians consumed relatively fewer ants in invaded areas. In the lab, we quantified amphibian consumption of Argentine ants versus native ants and assessed whether consumption patterns could have been influenced by prior exposure to the invader. The lab experiments corroborated the field results: amphibians preferred native ants over Argentine ants, and prior exposure did not influence consumption. Differences in preference explained why amphibians consumed fewer Argentine ants in spite of their greater relative availability; they might also explain why the most ant-specialized amphibians seemed to avoid invaded areas. Our results suggest the importance to account for predator feeding capacities and dietary ranges to understand the effects of invasive species at higher trophic levels.

  18. Strong influence of regional species pools on continent-wide structuring of local communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Borregaard, Michael Krabbe; Fordyce, James A.;

    2012-01-01

    of communities along climatic gradients. We find that the average phylogenetic relatedness of species in ant communities decreases from tropical to temperate regions, but the strength of this relationship depends on the level of ecological realism in the definition of source pools. We conclude that the evolution......There is a long tradition in ecology of evaluating the relative contribution of the regional species pool and local interactions on the structure of local communities. Similarly, a growing number of studies assess the phylogenetic structure of communities, relative to that in the regional species...... pool, to examine the interplay between broad-scale evolutionary and fine-scale ecological processes. Finally, a renewed interest in the influence of species source pools on communities has shown that the definition of the source pool influences interpretations of patterns of community structure. We use...

  19. Changes in canopy structure and ant assemblages affect soil ecosystem variables as a foundation species declines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kendrick, Joseph A.; Ribbons, Relena Rose; Classen, Aimee Taylor

    2015-01-01

    (richness and abundance) of ants increases rapidly as T. canadensis is lost from the stands. Because ants live and forage at the litter-soil interface, we hypothesized that environmental changes caused by hemlock loss (e.g., increased light and warmth at the forest floor, increased soil pH) and shifts...... in ant species composition would interact to alter soil ecosystem variables. In the Harvard Forest Hemlock Removal Experiment (HF-HeRE), established in 2003, T. canadensis in large plots were killed in place or logged and removed to mimic adelgid infestation or salvage harvesting, respectively. In 2006......, we built ant exclosure subplots within all of the canopy manipulation plots to examine direct and interactive effects of canopy change and ant assemblage composition on soil and litter variables. Throughout HF-HeRE, T. canadensis was colonized by the adelgid in 2009, and the infested trees are now...

  20. Significant Scales in Community Structure

    CERN Document Server

    Traag, V A; Van Dooren, P

    2013-01-01

    Many complex networks show signs of modular structure, uncovered by community detection. Although many methods succeed in revealing various partitions, it remains difficult to detect at what scale some partition is significant. This problem shows foremost in multi-resolution methods. We here introduce an efficient method for scanning for resolutions in one such method. Additionally, we introduce the notion of "significance" of a partition, based on subgraph probabilities. Significance is independent of the exact method used, so could also be applied in other methods, and can be interpreted as the gain in encoding a graph by making use of a partition. Using significance, we can determine "good" resolution parameters, which we demonstrate on benchmark networks. Moreover, optimizing significance itself also shows excellent performance. We demonstrate our method on voting data from the European Parliament. Our analysis suggests the European Parliament has become increasingly ideologically divided and that nationa...

  1. Identifying Community Structures in Dynamic Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Alvari, Hamidreza; Sukthankar, Gita; Lakkaraju, Kiran

    2016-01-01

    Most real-world social networks are inherently dynamic, composed of communities that are constantly changing in membership. To track these evolving communities, we need dynamic community detection techniques. This article evaluates the performance of a set of game theoretic approaches for identifying communities in dynamic networks. Our method, D-GT (Dynamic Game Theoretic community detection), models each network node as a rational agent who periodically plays a community membership game with its neighbors. During game play, nodes seek to maximize their local utility by joining or leaving the communities of network neighbors. The community structure emerges after the game reaches a Nash equilibrium. Compared to the benchmark community detection methods, D-GT more accurately predicts the number of communities and finds community assignments with a higher normalized mutual information, while retaining a good modularity.

  2. Community detection in networks: Structural communities versus ground truth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hric, Darko; Darst, Richard K.; Fortunato, Santo

    2014-12-01

    Algorithms to find communities in networks rely just on structural information and search for cohesive subsets of nodes. On the other hand, most scholars implicitly or explicitly assume that structural communities represent groups of nodes with similar (nontopological) properties or functions. This hypothesis could not be verified, so far, because of the lack of network datasets with information on the classification of the nodes. We show that traditional community detection methods fail to find the metadata groups in many large networks. Our results show that there is a marked separation between structural communities and metadata groups, in line with recent findings. That means that either our current modeling of community structure has to be substantially modified, or that metadata groups may not be recoverable from topology alone.

  3. Colony structure in a plant-ant: behavioural, chemical and genetic study of polydomy in Cataulacus mckeyi (Myrmicinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debout, Gabriel; Provost, Erick; Renucci, Marielle; Tirard, Alain; Schatz, Bertrand; McKey, Doyle

    2003-10-01

    Social organisation of colonies of obligate plant-ants can affect their interaction with myrmecophyte hosts and with other ants competing for the resources they offer. An important parameter of social organisation is whether nest sites of a colony include one or several host individuals. We determined colony boundaries in a plant-ant associated with the rainforest understorey tree Leonardoxa africana subsp. africana, found in coastal forests of Cameroon (Central Africa). This myrmecophyte is strictly associated with two ants, Petalomyrmex phylax and Cataulacus mckeyi. Plants provide food and nesting sites for P. phylax, which protects young leaves against insect herbivores. This mutualism is often parasitised by C. mckeyi, which uses but does not protect the host. The presence of C. mckeyi on a tree excludes the mutualistic ant. Because Petalomyrmex-occupied trees are better protected, their growth and survival are superior to those of Cataulacus-occupied trees, giving P. phylax an advantage in occupation of nest sites. C. mckeyi often colonises trees that have lost their initial associate P. phylax, as a result of injury to the tree caused by disturbance. Polydomy may allow C. mckeyi to occupy small clumps of trees, without the necessity of claustral colony foundation in each tree. Investigating both the proximate (behavioural repertoire, colony odour) and the ultimate factors (genetic structure) that may influence colony closure, we precisely defined colony boundaries. We show that colonies of C. mckeyi are monogynous and facultatively polydomous, i.e. a colony occupies one to several Leonardoxa trees. Workers do not produce males. Thus, the hypothesis that polydomy allows workers in queenless nests to evade queen control for their reproduction is not supported in this instance. This particular colony structure may confer on C. mckeyi an advantage in short-distance dispersal, and this could help explain its persistence within the dynamic Leonardoxa system.

  4. Sex-specific antennal sensory system in the ant Camponotus japonicus: structure and distribution of sensilla on the flagellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakanishi, Aki; Nishino, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Hidehiro; Yokohari, Fumio; Nishikawa, Michiko

    2009-10-01

    The antennae are a critically important component of the ant's highly elaborated chemical communication systems. However, our understanding of the organization of the sensory systems on the antennae of ants, from peripheral receptors to central and output systems, is poorly understood. Consequently, we have used scanning electron and confocal laser microscopy to create virtually complete maps of the structure, numbers of sensory neurons, and distribution patterns of all types of external sensilla on the antennal flagellum of all types of colony members of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Based on the outer cuticular structures, the sensilla have been classified into seven types: coelocapitular, coeloconic, ampullaceal, basiconic, trichoid-I, trichoid-II, and chaetic sensilla. Retrograde staining of antennal nerves has enabled us to count the number of sensory neurons housed in the different types of sensilla: three in a coelocapitular sensillum, three in a coeloconic sensillum, one in an ampullaceal sensillum, over 130 in a basiconic sensillum, 50-60 in a trichoid-I sensillum, and 8-9 in a trichoid-II sensillum. The basiconic sensilla, which are cuticular hydrocarbon-receptive in the ant, are present in workers and unmated queens but absent in males. Coelocapitular sensilla (putatively hygro- and thermoreceptive) have been newly identified in this study. Coelocapitular, coeloconic, and ampullaceal sensilla form clusters and show biased distributions on flagellar segments of antennae in all colony members. The total numbers of sensilla per flagellum are about 9000 in unmated queens, 7500 in workers, and 6000 in males. This is the first report presenting comprehensive sensillar maps of antennae in ants.

  5. Structural complexity of chemical recognition cues affects the perception of group membership in the ants Linephithema humile and Aphaenogaster cockerelli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Michael J; Gordon, Deborah M

    2007-03-01

    Hydrocarbon profiles on the cuticle of social insects act as multi-component recognition cues used to identify membership in a species, a colony or, within colonies, cues about its reproductive status or task group. To examine the role of structural complexity in ant hydrocarbon recognition cues, we studied the species recognition response of two ant species, Linepithema humile and Aphaenogaster cockerelli, and the recognition of conspecifics by L. humile. The cuticular hydrocarbons of ants are composed of molecules of varying chain lengths from three structural classes, n-alkanes, methyl-branched alkanes and n-alkenes. We employed species recognition bioassays that measured the aggressive response of both species of ants to mixtures of hydrocarbon classes, single structural classes of hydrocarbons (n-alkanes, methyl-branched alkanes and n-alkenes), and controls. The results showed that a combination of at least two hydrocarbon structural classes was necessary to elicit an aggressive species recognition response. Moreover, no single class of hydrocarbons was more important than the others in eliciting a response. Similarly, in the recognition of conspecifics, Linepithema humile did not respond to a mixture of n-alkane cuticular hydrocarbons presented alone, but supplementation of nestmate hydrocarbon profiles with the n-alkanes did elicit high levels of aggression. Thus both L. humile and A. cockerelli required mixtures of hydrocarbons of different structural classes to recognize species and colony membership. It appears that information on species and colony membership is not in isolated components of the profile, but instead in the mixture of structural classes found in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles.

  6. Changes in canopy structure and ant assemblages affect soil ecosystem variables as a foundation species declines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kendrick, Joseph A.; Ribbons, Relena Rose; Classen, Aimee Taylor;

    2015-01-01

    in ant species composition would interact to alter soil ecosystem variables. In the Harvard Forest Hemlock Removal Experiment (HF-HeRE), established in 2003, T. canadensis in large plots were killed in place or logged and removed to mimic adelgid infestation or salvage harvesting, respectively. In 2006......, we built ant exclosure subplots within all of the canopy manipulation plots to examine direct and interactive effects of canopy change and ant assemblage composition on soil and litter variables. Throughout HF-HeRE, T. canadensis was colonized by the adelgid in 2009, and the infested trees are now...... declining. The experimental removal of T. canadensis from the canopy was associated with an increase in the rate of cellulose decomposition by >50%, and exclosure of ants from subplots directly reduced their soil nitrate availability by 56%. Partial least squares path models revealed sequential interactive...

  7. Monopolization of resources by ground-nesting ants foraging on trees in Mediterranean forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Jean-Jacques Itzhak

    2015-05-01

    Ant communities are generally structured by territoriality, dominance and resource monopolization, but in Mediterranean hot grassland thermal tolerance plays a more important role. The main purposes of the present research were to investigate the hypothesis that in cooler Mediterranean forests resource monopolization structures the generalist ground-nesting ant community while foraging on trees, and to learn if tree heterogeneity plays any role in this structure. In Mediterranean forests in Israel, I visually recorded and trapped ants on the forest floor and those climbing on trees of five species. Ants of 27 species were detected, while the Chao2 index indicated an asymptotic richness estimation of 31 ± 8.1 species (mean ± S.D.). The numerically dominant species were Crematogaster lorteti and Tapinoma simrothi followed by Tapinoma israele and Crematogaster scutellaris. In more than 80% of the cases, specimens of only one ant species climbed at the same time on any individual tree, and no tree was occupied by more than three species. The C-score of climbing ants was statistically higher than simulated indexes when resources were individual trees, indicating that the ants strongly monopolized each tree. No difference was detected between observed and simulated C-scores when resources were tree species. The observed index of Pianka's niche overlap indicated no species specific interaction between trees and ants. In conclusion, this study confirms that ant mosaic structure may be formed by ground-nesting ants while foraging on trees. Tree species heterogeneity did not have a selective impact on the ants nor a central role in the ant community structure.

  8. Comparison Between Ground Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Communities Foraging in the Straw Mulch of Sugarcane Crops and in the Leaf Litter of Neighboring Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, N S; Saad, L P; Souza-Campana, D R; Bueno, O C; Morini, M S C

    2017-02-01

    In many sugarcane plantations in Brazil, the straw is left on the soil after harvesting, and vinasse, a by-product of the production of sugar and ethanol, is used for fertigation. Our goal was to compare ant community composition and species richness in the straw mulch of sugarcane crops with the leaf litter of neighboring forests. We tested the hypothesis that ant communities in the straw mulch of vinasse-irrigated sugarcane crops and in the forest leaf litter were similar, because the combination of straw mulching and vinasse irrigation has a positive effect on soil fauna. Straw mulch and leaf litter were collected from 21 sites and placed in Berlese funnels. In total, 61 species were found in the forest leaf litter, whereas 34 and 28 species were found in the straw mulch of sugarcane fields with and without vinasse, respectively. Ant communities differed between forest and crop fields, but the species in the sugarcane straw mulch were a subset of the species found in the forest leaf litter. Although vinasse is rich in organic matter, it did not increase ant diversity. Seven feeding and/or foraging types were identified and, among the different types, surface-foraging omnivorous ants were the most prevalent in all habitats. Vinasse-irrigated sugarcane straw mulch had more predatory species than mulch from vinasse-free fields, but fewer than forest leaf litter. However, this positive effect of vinasse irrigation should be carefully evaluated because vinasse has negative effects on the environment. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Mating frequency and genetic structure of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krieger, M J; Keller, L

    2000-02-01

    The nest and population genetic structures of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile were investigated using eight microsatellite loci. Genotypes of the sperm from spermathecae of 87 queens were consistent with all queens being singly inseminated. The probability of a double mating remaining undetected was low (0.012) suggesting that no queens or only a very low proportion mate multiply. The relatedness between the queens and their mates was negative (R = -0.164 +/- 0.044) and significantly different to zero (P = 0.020). However, the high negative relatedness value was caused by a significant allele frequency difference between the sexes at a single locus (Lhum-28). When this locus was removed from the analyses, the relatedness was not significantly different from zero (R = 0.013 +/- 0.050, P = 0.812). Analysis of 10 nests revealed that the genetic differentiation among nests was weak (FST = 0.003) and not distinguishable from zero (P = 0.468). Similarly, the overall relatedness among nestmate females was not significantly different from zero (R = 0.007 +/- 0.018, P = 0.706). These results are consistent with the lack of distinct nest boundaries and the large number of queens per nest in the population studied. Although mating takes place inside the nest, the inbreeding coefficient was close to zero (F = 0.007 +/- 0.025, P = 0.786). Overall, these data indicate substantial local gene flow mediated by movement of reproductives among colonies.

  10. Enhancing community detection by local structural information

    CERN Document Server

    Xiang, Ju; Zhang, Yan; Bao, Mei-Hua; Tang, Liang; Tang, Yan-Ni; Gao, Yuan-Yuan; Li, Jian-Ming; Chen, Benyan; Hu, Jing-Bo

    2016-01-01

    Many real-world networks such as the gene networks, protein-protein interaction networks and metabolic networks exhibit community structures, meaning the existence of groups of densely connected vertices in the networks. Many local similarity measures in the networks are closely related to the concept of the community structures, and may have positive effect on community detection in the networks. Here, various local similarity measures are used to extract the local structural information and then are applied to community detection in the networks by using the edge-reweighting strategy. The effect of the local similarity measures on community detection is carefully investigated and compared in various networks. The experimental results show that the local similarity measures are crucial to the improvement for the community detection methods, while the positive effect of the local similarity measures is closely related to the networks under study and the applied community detection methods.

  11. At the brink of supercoloniality: genetic, behavioral and chemical assessments of population structure of the desert ant Cataglyphis niger

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maya eSaar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The nesting habits of ants play an important role in structuring ant populations. They vary from monodomy, a colony occupies a single nest, via polydomy, a colony occupies multiple adjacent nests, to supercoloniality, a colony spans over large territories comprising dozen to thousands nests without having any boundaries. The population structure of the desert ant Cataglyphis niger, previously considered to form supercolonies, was studied using genetic, chemical and behavioral tools in plots of 50x50 meters at two distinct populations. At the Palmahim site, the plot comprised 15 nests that according to the genetic analysis constituted three colonies. Likewise at the Rishon Leziyyon site 14 nests constituted 5 genetic colonies. In both sites, both chemical analysis and the behavioral (aggression tests confirmed the colony genetic architecture. The behavioral tests also revealed that aggression between colonies within a population was higher than that exhibited between colonies of different populations, suggesting the occurrence of the nasty neighbor phenomenon. In contrast to supercolony structure previously reported in another population of this species, the presently studied populations were composed of polydomous colonies. However, both the genetic and chemical data revealed that the inter-colonial differences between sites were larger than those within site, suggesting some within-site population viscosity. Thus, C. niger exhibits flexible nesting characteristics, from polydomy to supercoloniality, and can be considered at the brink of supercoloniality. We attribute the differences in population structure among sites to the intensity of intraspecific competition.

  12. Effects of an alien ant invasion on abundance, behavior, and reproductive success of endemic island birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Naomi E; O'Dowd, Dennis J; Green, Peter T; Nally, Ralph Mac

    2008-10-01

    Biological invaders can reconfigure ecological networks in communities, which changes community structure, composition, and ecosystem function. We investigated whether impacts caused by the introduced yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), a pantropical invader rapidly expanding its range, extend to higher-order consumers by comparing counts, behaviors, and nesting success of endemic forest birds in ant-invaded and uninvaded rainforest on Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Point counts and direct behavioral observations showed that ant invasion altered abundances and behaviors of the bird species we examined: the Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus erythropleurus), Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica natalis), and Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis). The thrush, which frequents the forest floor, altered its foraging and reproductive behaviors in ant-invaded forest, where nest-site location changed, and nest success and juvenile counts were lower. Counts of the dove, which forages exclusively on the forest floor, were 9-14 times lower in ant-invaded forest. In contrast, counts and foraging success of the white-eye, a generalist feeder in the understory and canopy, were higher in ant-invaded forest, where mutualism between the ant and honeydew-secreting scale insects increased the abundance of scale-insect prey. These complex outcomes involved the interplay of direct interference by ants and altered resource availability and habitat structure caused indirectly by ant invasion. Ecological meltdown, rapidly unleashed by ant invasion, extended to these endemic forest birds and may affect key ecosystem processes, including seed dispersal.

  13. Spatial structure and nest demography reveal the influence of competition, parasitism and habitat quality on slavemaking ants and their hosts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fischer-Blass Birgit

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Natural communities are structured by intra-guild competition, predation or parasitism and the abiotic environment. We studied the relative importance of these factors in two host-social parasite ecosystems in three ant communities in Europe (Bavaria and North America (New York, West Virginia. We tested how these factors affect colony demography, life-history and the spatial pattern of colonies, using a large sample size of more than 1000 colonies. The strength of competition was measured by the distance to the nearest competitor. Distance to the closest social parasite colony was used as a measure of parasitism risk. Nest sites (i.e., sticks or acorns are limited in these forest ecosystems and we therefore included nest site quality as an abiotic factor in the analysis. In contrast to previous studies based on local densities, we focus here on the positioning and spatial patterns and we use models to compare our predictions to random expectations. Results Colony demography was universally affected by the size of the nest site with larger and more productive colonies residing in larger nest sites of higher quality. Distance to the nearest competitor negatively influenced host demography and brood production in the Bavarian community, pointing to an important role of competition, while social parasitism was less influential in this community. The New York community was characterized by the highest habitat variability, and productive colonies were clustered in sites of higher quality. Colonies were clumped on finer spatial scales, when we considered only the nearest neighbors, but more regularly distributed on coarser scales. The analysis of spatial positioning within plots often produced different results compared to those based on colony densities. For example, while host and slavemaker densities are often positively correlated, slavemakers do not nest closer to potential host colonies than expected by random. Conclusions The

  14. A Hybrid Ant Colony Optimization for the Prediction of Protein Secondary Structure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chao CHEN; Yuan Xin TIAN; Xiao Yong ZOU; Pei Xiang CAI; Jin Yuan MO

    2005-01-01

    Based on the concept of ant colony optimization and the idea of population in genetic algorithm, a novel global optimization algorithm, called the hybrid ant colony optimization (HACO), is proposed in this paper to tackle continuous-space optimization problems. It was compared with other well-known stochastic methods in the optimization of the benchmark functions and was also used to solve the problem of selecting appropriate dilation efficiently by optimizing the wavelet power spectrum of the hydrophobic sequence of protein, which is thc key step on using continuous wavelet transform (CWT) to predict a-helices and connecting peptides.

  15. Community Extraction in Multilayer Networks with Heterogeneous Community Structure

    CERN Document Server

    Wilson, James D; Bhamidi, Shankar; Nobel, Andrew B

    2016-01-01

    Multilayer networks are a useful way to capture and model multiple, binary relationships among a fixed group of objects. While community detection has proven to be a useful exploratory technique for the analysis of single-layer networks, the development of community detection methods for multilayer networks is still in its infancy. We propose and investigate a procedure, called Multilayer Extraction, that identifies densely connected vertex-layer sets in multilayer networks. Multilayer Extraction makes use of a significance based score that quantifies the connectivity of an observed vertex-layer set by comparison with a multilayer fixed degree random graph model. Unlike existing detection methods, Multilayer Extraction handles networks with heterogeneous layers where community structure may be different from layer to layer. The procedure is able to capture overlapping communities, and it identifies background vertex-layer pairs that do not belong to any community. We establish large-graph consistency of the v...

  16. Informing Ex Ante Event Studies with Macro-Econometric Evidence on the Structural and Policy Impacts of Terrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nassios, Jason; Giesecke, James A

    2017-08-17

    Economic consequence analysis is one of many inputs to terrorism contingency planning. Computable general equilibrium (CGE) models are being used more frequently in these analyses, in part because of their capacity to accommodate high levels of event-specific detail. In modeling the potential economic effects of a hypothetical terrorist event, two broad sets of shocks are required: (1) physical impacts on observable variables (e.g., asset damage); (2) behavioral impacts on unobservable variables (e.g., investor uncertainty). Assembling shocks describing the physical impacts of a terrorist incident is relatively straightforward, since estimates are either readily available or plausibly inferred. However, assembling shocks describing behavioral impacts is more difficult. Values for behavioral variables (e.g., required rates of return) are typically inferred or estimated by indirect means. Generally, this has been achieved via reference to extraneous literature or ex ante surveys. This article explores a new method. We elucidate the magnitude of CGE-relevant structural shifts implicit in econometric evidence on terrorist incidents, with a view to informing future ex ante event assessments. Ex post econometric studies of terrorism by Blomberg et al. yield macro econometric equations that describe the response of observable economic variables (e.g., GDP growth) to terrorist incidents. We use these equations to determine estimates for relevant (unobservable) structural and policy variables impacted by terrorist incidents, using a CGE model of the United States. This allows us to: (i) compare values for these shifts with input assumptions in earlier ex ante CGE studies; and (ii) discuss how future ex ante studies can be informed by our analysis. © 2017 Society for Risk Analysis.

  17. A Brazilian population of the asexual fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii (Formicidae, Myrmicinae, Attini) cultivates fungal symbionts with gongylidia-like structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiulionis, Virginia E; Rabeling, Christian; De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schultz, Ted; Bacci, Maurício; Bezerra, Cintia M Santos; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2014-01-01

    Attine ants cultivate fungi as their most important food source and in turn the fungus is nourished, protected against harmful microorganisms, and dispersed by the ants. This symbiosis evolved approximately 50-60 million years ago in the late Paleocene or early Eocene, and since its origin attine ants have acquired a variety of fungal mutualists in the Leucocoprineae and the distantly related Pterulaceae. The most specialized symbiotic interaction is referred to as "higher agriculture" and includes leafcutter ant agriculture in which the ants cultivate the single species Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. Higher agriculture fungal cultivars are characterized by specialized hyphal tip swellings, so-called gongylidia, which are considered a unique, derived morphological adaptation of higher attine fungi thought to be absent in lower attine fungi. Rare reports of gongylidia-like structures in fungus gardens of lower attines exist, but it was never tested whether these represent rare switches of lower attines to L. gonglyphorus cultivars or whether lower attine cultivars occasionally produce gongylidia. Here we describe the occurrence of gongylidia-like structures in fungus gardens of the asexual lower attine ant Mycocepurus smithii. To test whether M. smithii cultivates leafcutter ant fungi or whether lower attine cultivars produce gongylidia, we identified the M. smithii fungus utilizing molecular and morphological methods. Results shows that the gongylidia-like structures of M. smithii gardens are morphologically similar to gongylidia of higher attine fungus gardens and can only be distinguished by their slightly smaller size. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the fungal ITS sequence indicates that the gongylidia-bearing M. smithii cultivar belongs to the so-called "Clade 1"of lower Attini cultivars. Given that M. smithii is capable of cultivating a morphologically and genetically diverse array of fungal symbionts, we discuss whether asexuality of the ant host maybe

  18. Social significance of community structure: Statistical view

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Hui-Jia

    2015-01-01

    Community structure analysis is a powerful tool for social networks, which can simplify their topological and functional analysis considerably. However, since community detection methods have random factors and real social networks obtained from complex systems always contain error edges, evaluating the significance of community structure partitioned is an urgent and important question. In this paper, integrating the specific characteristics of real society, we present a novel framework analyzing the significance of social community specially. The dynamics of social interactions are modeled by identifying social leaders and corresponding hierarchical structures. Instead of a direct comparison with the average outcome of a random model, we compute the similarity of a given node with the leader by the number of common neighbors. To determine the membership vector, an efficient community detection algorithm is proposed based on the position of nodes and their corresponding leaders. Then, using log-likelihood sco...

  19. Matching Community Structure Across Online Social Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Lin

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of community structure in networks is a problem of considerable interest in recent years. In online social networks, often times, users are simultaneously involved in multiple social media sites, some of which share common social relationships. It is of great interest to uncover a shared community structure across these networks. However, in reality, users typically identify themselves with different usernames across social media sites. This creates a great difficulty in detecting the community structure. In this paper, we explore several approaches for community detection across online social networks with limited knowledge of username alignment across the networks. We refer to the known alignment of usernames as seeds. We investigate strategies for seed selection and its impact on networks with a different fraction of overlapping vertices. The goal is to study the interplay between network topologies and seed selection strategies, and to understand how it affects the detected community structu...

  20. Social and genetic structure of a supercolonial weaver ant, Polyrhachis robsoni, with dimorphic queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Zweden, Jelle Stijn; Carew, Melissa E.; Henshaw, Michael T.;

    2007-01-01

    reduction of the former. Aggression tests showed that hostility between ants from different nests was minimal. Nests frequently contained numbers of both queen types, with microgynes about twice as numerous as macrogynes. Nestmate workers, microgynes, and macrogynes, were significantly related to others...

  1. Social significance of community structure: statistical view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui-Jia; Daniels, Jasmine J

    2015-01-01

    Community structure analysis is a powerful tool for social networks that can simplify their topological and functional analysis considerably. However, since community detection methods have random factors and real social networks obtained from complex systems always contain error edges, evaluating the significance of a partitioned community structure is an urgent and important question. In this paper, integrating the specific characteristics of real society, we present a framework to analyze the significance of a social community. The dynamics of social interactions are modeled by identifying social leaders and corresponding hierarchical structures. Instead of a direct comparison with the average outcome of a random model, we compute the similarity of a given node with the leader by the number of common neighbors. To determine the membership vector, an efficient community detection algorithm is proposed based on the position of the nodes and their corresponding leaders. Then, using a log-likelihood score, the tightness of the community can be derived. Based on the distribution of community tightness, we establish a connection between p-value theory and network analysis, and then we obtain a significance measure of statistical form . Finally, the framework is applied to both benchmark networks and real social networks. Experimental results show that our work can be used in many fields, such as determining the optimal number of communities, analyzing the social significance of a given community, comparing the performance among various algorithms, etc.

  2. Social significance of community structure: Statistical view

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui-Jia; Daniels, Jasmine J.

    2015-01-01

    Community structure analysis is a powerful tool for social networks that can simplify their topological and functional analysis considerably. However, since community detection methods have random factors and real social networks obtained from complex systems always contain error edges, evaluating the significance of a partitioned community structure is an urgent and important question. In this paper, integrating the specific characteristics of real society, we present a framework to analyze the significance of a social community. The dynamics of social interactions are modeled by identifying social leaders and corresponding hierarchical structures. Instead of a direct comparison with the average outcome of a random model, we compute the similarity of a given node with the leader by the number of common neighbors. To determine the membership vector, an efficient community detection algorithm is proposed based on the position of the nodes and their corresponding leaders. Then, using a log-likelihood score, the tightness of the community can be derived. Based on the distribution of community tightness, we establish a connection between p -value theory and network analysis, and then we obtain a significance measure of statistical form . Finally, the framework is applied to both benchmark networks and real social networks. Experimental results show that our work can be used in many fields, such as determining the optimal number of communities, analyzing the social significance of a given community, comparing the performance among various algorithms, etc.

  3. Deciphering network community structure by surprise

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Aldecoa, Rodrigo; Marín, Ignacio

    2011-01-01

    .... A fundamental, unsolved problem is how to characterize the community structure of a network. Here, using both standard and novel benchmarks, we show that maximization of a simple global parameter, which we call Surprise...

  4. Matching Community Structure Across Online Social Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Lin LI; Campbell, W. M.

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of community structure in networks is a problem of considerable interest in recent years. In online social networks, often times, users are simultaneously involved in multiple social media sites, some of which share common social relationships. It is of great interest to uncover a shared community structure across these networks. However, in reality, users typically identify themselves with different usernames across social media sites. This creates a great difficulty in detecti...

  5. Understanding Microbial Communities: Function, Structure and Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-02-11

    microbial communities: Function, structure and dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, from August to...dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, from August to December 2014. The programme involved over 150...Communities: Function, Structure and Dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge University, UK, from 19th August 2014 – 19th December 2014

  6. A Brazilian Population of the Asexual Fungus-Growing Ant Mycocepurus smithii (Formicidae, Myrmicinae, Attini) Cultivates Fungal Symbionts with Gongylidia-Like Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Masiulionis, Virginia E.; Rabeling, Christian; de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard

    2014-01-01

    Attine ants cultivate fungi as their most important food source and in turn the fungus is nourished, protected against harmful microorganisms, and dispersed by the ants. This symbiosis evolved approximately 50–60 million years ago in the late Paleocene or early Eocene, and since its origin attine...... gongylophorus. Higher agriculture fungal cultivars are characterized by specialized hyphal tip swellings, so-called gongylidia, which are considered a unique, derived morphological adaptation of higher attine fungi thought to be absent in lower attine fungi. Rare reports of gongylidia-like structures in fungus...... lower attine ant Mycocepurus smithii. To test whether M. smithii cultivates leafcutter ant fungi or whether lower attine cultivars produce gongylidia, we identified the M. smithii fungus utilizing molecular and morphological methods. Results shows that the gongylidia-like structures of M. smithii...

  7. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Kåre; Enghild, Jan J; Ivarsen, Anders;

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE: Hereditary congenital cataract varies immensely concerning location and form of the lens opacities. A specific and very rare phenotype is called "ant-egg" cataract first described in 1900. "Ant-eggs" have previously been examined using light microscopy, backscattered electron imaging and X......-ray scans and electron microscopy. The purpose of this study was to further characterize "ant-egg" cataract using modern technology and display the history of the "ant-eggs" after cataract extraction. METHODS: "Ant-eggs" were examined using Heidelberg SPECTRALIS Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT......-egg" structures in "ant-egg" cataract. Eighteen of these proteins are not natively found in the human lens. Moreover, "ant-eggs" do not vary over time, after cataract extraction, regarding size and location....

  8. Mutualism between co-introduced species facilitates invasion and alters plant community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior, Kirsten M.; Robinson, Jennifer M.; Meadley Dunphy, Shannon A.; Frederickson, Megan E.

    2015-01-01

    Generalized mutualisms are often predicted to be resilient to changes in partner identity. Variation in mutualism-related traits between native and invasive species however, can exacerbate the spread of invasive species (‘invasional meltdown’) if invasive partners strongly interact. Here we show how invasion by a seed-dispersing ant (Myrmica rubra) promotes recruitment of a co-introduced invasive over native ant-dispersed (myrmecochorous) plants. We created experimental communities of invasive (M. rubra) or native ants (Aphaenogaster rudis) and invasive and native plants and measured seed dispersal and plant recruitment. In our mesocosms, and in laboratory and field trials, M. rubra acted as a superior seed disperser relative to the native ant. By contrast, previous studies have found that invasive ants are often poor seed dispersers compared with native ants. Despite belonging to the same behavioural guild, seed-dispersing ants were not functionally redundant. Instead, native and invasive ants had strongly divergent effects on plant communities: the invasive plant dominated in the presence of the invasive ant and the native plants dominated in the presence of the native ant. Community changes were not due to preferences for coevolved partners: variation in functional traits of linked partners drove differences. Here, we show that strongly interacting introduced mutualists can be major drivers of ecological change. PMID:25540283

  9. Taxonomic and functional ecology of montane ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Rhys Bishop

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Why is biological diversity distributed in the way that it is? This question has been central to ecology and biogeography for centuries and is of great importance for pure and applied reasons. I use a functional trait view of ecology to complement standard sampling protocols to better understand the distribution and structure of ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae diversity across mountains. I use a long-term dataset of ant diversity and abundance, combined with a recently collected morphological trait dataset to examine how the alpha and beta diversity of ants responds to changes in temperature along an extensive elevational gradient in southern Africa. In addition, I link morphological thermoregulatory traits to each other and to the environment with a new database of ant elevational abundances from across the globe. Finally, I analyse how physiological thermal tolerances vary and constrain foraging patterns in montane ants. I find that temperature is a strong driver of both alpha and beta diversity patterns. In addition, morphological traits such as colour and body size are found to have a significant relationship to ambient temperatures. This relationship also implies that the relative abundances of different ant species change depending on their thermoregulatory traits (colour and body size and the surrounding thermal environment. Furthermore, the critical thermal minimum (CTmin of the ant species investigated and the lowest environmental temperatures are found to be key in constraining foraging activity patterns. The data presented here strengthen and link existing ideas about how thermoregulation can influence ecological communities and also suggests important ways in which diversity patterns may change in the future.

  10. Annual and Seasonal Changes in the Structure of Litter-Dwelling Ant Assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Atlantic Semideciduous Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávio Siqueira de Castro

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We surveyed ant fauna in the leaf litter in an Atlantic Semideciduous forest in the State Park of Rio Doce (PERD. The work aimed to produce basic information about habitat effects on diversity, as well as about how the ant fauna in a such buffered forest habitat, as the litter layer, could respond the climate variation in a short and long term. We sampled two years in two distinct forest physiognomies, which respond to different geomorphologic backgrounds, in dry and rainy seasons. Species composition, richness and abundance of these forests were distinct. However, both forests hosted similar numbers of rare and specialized, habitat demanding species, thus suggesting both are similarly well preserved, despite distinct physiognomies. However, the lower and more open forest was, more susceptible to dry season effects, showing a steeper decline in species numbers in such season, but similar numbers in the wet seasons. The pattern varied between years, which corroborates the hypothesis of a strongly variable community in response to subtle climatic variation among years. The present results are baselines for future long term monitoring projects, and could support protocols for early warnings of global climatic changes effects on biodiversity.

  11. A global database of ant species abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Heloise; Dunn, Rob R.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Grossman, Blair F.; Photakis, Manoli; Abril, Silvia; Agosti, Donat; Andersen, Alan N.; Angulo, Elena; Armbrecht, Ingre; Arnan, Xavier; Baccaro, Fabricio B.; Bishop, Tom R.; Boulay, Raphael; Bruhl, Carsten; Castracani, Cristina; Cerda, Xim; Del Toro, Israel; Delsinne, Thibaut; Diaz, Mireia; Donoso, David A.; Ellison, Aaron M.; Enriquez, Martha L.; Fayle, Tom M.; Feener Jr., Donald H.; Fisher, Brian L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Fitpatrick, Matthew C.; Gomez, Cristanto; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Gove, Aaron; Grasso, Donato A.; Groc, Sarah; Guenard, Benoit; Gunawardene, Nihara; Heterick, Brian; Hoffmann, Benjamin; Janda, Milan; Jenkins, Clinton; Kaspari, Michael; Klimes, Petr; Lach, Lori; Laeger, Thomas; Lattke, John; Leponce, Maurice; Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Longino, John; Lucky, Andrea; Luke, Sarah H.; Majer, Jonathan; McGlynn, Terrence P.; Menke, Sean; Mezger, Dirk; Mori, Alessandra; Moses, Jimmy; Munyai, Thinandavha Caswell; Pacheco, Renata; Paknia, Omid; Pearce-Duvet, Jessica; Pfeiffer, Martin; Philpott, Stacy M.; Resasco, Julian; Retana, Javier; Silva, Rogerio R.; Sorger, Magdalena D.; Souza, Jorge; Suarez, Andrew V.; Tista, Melanie; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.; Vonshak, Merav; Weiser, Michael D.; Yates, Michelle; Parr, Catherine L.

    2017-01-01

    What forces structure ecological assemblages? A key limitation to general insights about assemblage structure is the availability of data that are collected at a small spatial grain (local assemblages) and a large spatial extent (global coverage). Here, we present published and unpublished data from 51,388 ant abundance and occurrence records of more than 2693 species and 7953 morphospecies from local assemblages collected at 4212 locations around the world. Ants were selected because they are diverse and abundant globally, comprise a large fraction of animal biomass in most terrestrial communities, and are key contributors to a range of ecosystem functions. Data were collected between 1949 and 2014, and include, for each geo-referenced sampling site, both the identity of the ants collected and details of sampling design, habitat type and degree of disturbance. The aim of compiling this dataset was to provide comprehensive species abundance data in order to test relationships between assemblage structure and environmental and biogeographic factors. Data were collected using a variety of standardised methods, such as pitfall and Winkler traps, and will be valuable for studies investigating large-scale forces structuring local assemblages. Understanding such relationships is particularly critical under current rates of global change. We encourage authors holding additional data on systematically collected ant assemblages, especially those in dry and cold, and remote areas, to contact us and contribute their data to this growing dataset.

  12. Ants of the national park of American Samoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    American Samoa makes up the eastern end of the Samoan Archipelago. On the islands of Tutuila, Taʽū and Ofu, the National Park of American Samoa (NPSA) protects about 4,000 ha of coastal, mid-slope and ridge-top forest. While the ant fauna of the Samoan Archipelago is considered relatively well documented, much of NPSA has never been surveyed for ants, leaving the fauna and its distribution poorly known. To address this shortfall, we systematically surveyed ants within the Tutuila and Taʽū units of NPSA using standard methods (hand collecting, litter sifting, and baits) at 39 sites within six vegetation types ranging from 8 to 945 m elevation. Forty-four ant species were identified, 19 of which are exotic to the Samoan Archipelago. Two notoriously aggressive species, Anoplolepis gracilipes and Pheidole megacephala were detected at two and seven sites, respectively. Both of these species largely excluded all other ants from bait, although their impact on ant community composition is unclear. A suite of habitat variables measured at each site was assessed to explain park-wide ant distributions. Of eight variables evaluated, only elevation was associated with ant community structure, as the ratio of native to exotic ant species increased significantly with elevation on Tutuila. Our survey documented two species not previously reported from American Samoa. Strumigenys eggersi, detected at 12 sites, appears to be a new immigrant to the Pacific Basin. A species of Pheidole was collected that likely represents an undescribed species. Solenopsis geminata, an aggressive species first reported on Tutuila in 2002, was not detected during our survey.

  13. Few Ant Species Play a Central Role Linking Different Plant Resources in a Network in Rupestrian Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Fernanda V; Mello, Marco A R; Bronstein, Judith L; Guerra, Tadeu J; Muylaert, Renata L; Leite, Alice C; Neves, Frederico S

    2016-01-01

    Ant-plant associations are an outstanding model to study the entangled ecological interactions that structure communities. However, most studies of plant-animal networks focus on only one type of resource that mediates these interactions (e.g, nectar or fruits), leading to a biased understanding of community structure. New approaches, however, have made possible to study several interaction types simultaneously through multilayer networks models. Here, we use this approach to ask whether the structural patterns described to date for ant-plant networks hold when multiple interactions with plant-derived food rewards are considered. We tested whether networks characterized by different resource types differ in specialization and resource partitioning among ants, and whether the identity of the core ant species is similar among resource types. We monitored ant interactions with extrafloral nectaries, flowers, and fruits, as well as trophobiont hemipterans feeding on plants, for one year, in seven rupestrian grassland (campo rupestre) sites in southeastern Brazil. We found a highly tangled ant-plant network in which plants offering different resource types are connected by a few central ant species. The multilayer network had low modularity and specialization, but ant specialization and niche overlap differed according to the type of resource used. Beyond detecting structural differences across networks, our study demonstrates empirically that the core of most central ant species is similar across them. We suggest that foraging strategies of ant species, such as massive recruitment, may determine specialization and resource partitioning in ant-plant interactions. As this core of ant species is involved in multiple ecosystem functions, it may drive the diversity and evolution of the entire campo rupestre community.

  14. Few Ant Species Play a Central Role Linking Different Plant Resources in a Network in Rupestrian Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mello, Marco A. R.; Bronstein, Judith L.; Guerra, Tadeu J.; Muylaert, Renata L.; Leite, Alice C.; Neves, Frederico S.

    2016-01-01

    Ant-plant associations are an outstanding model to study the entangled ecological interactions that structure communities. However, most studies of plant-animal networks focus on only one type of resource that mediates these interactions (e.g, nectar or fruits), leading to a biased understanding of community structure. New approaches, however, have made possible to study several interaction types simultaneously through multilayer networks models. Here, we use this approach to ask whether the structural patterns described to date for ant-plant networks hold when multiple interactions with plant-derived food rewards are considered. We tested whether networks characterized by different resource types differ in specialization and resource partitioning among ants, and whether the identity of the core ant species is similar among resource types. We monitored ant interactions with extrafloral nectaries, flowers, and fruits, as well as trophobiont hemipterans feeding on plants, for one year, in seven rupestrian grassland (campo rupestre) sites in southeastern Brazil. We found a highly tangled ant-plant network in which plants offering different resource types are connected by a few central ant species. The multilayer network had low modularity and specialization, but ant specialization and niche overlap differed according to the type of resource used. Beyond detecting structural differences across networks, our study demonstrates empirically that the core of most central ant species is similar across them. We suggest that foraging strategies of ant species, such as massive recruitment, may determine specialization and resource partitioning in ant-plant interactions. As this core of ant species is involved in multiple ecosystem functions, it may drive the diversity and evolution of the entire campo rupestre community. PMID:27911919

  15. Diversity of Species and Behavior of Hymenopteran Parasitoids of Ants: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Paul Lachaud

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Reports of hymenopterans associated with ants involve more than 500 species, but only a fraction unambiguously pertain to actual parasitoids. In this paper, we attempt to provide an overview of both the diversity of these parasitoid wasps and the diversity of the types of interactions they have formed with their ant hosts. The reliable list of parasitoid wasps using ants as primary hosts includes at least 138 species, reported between 1852 and 2011, distributed among 9 families from 3 superfamilies. These parasitoids exhibit a wide array of biologies and developmental strategies: ecto- or endoparasitism, solitary or gregarious, and idio- or koinobiosis. All castes of ants and all developmental stages, excepting eggs, are possible targets. Some species parasitize adult worker ants while foraging or performing other activities outside the nest; however, in most cases, parasitoids attack ant larvae either inside or outside their nests. Based on their abundance and success in attacking ants, some parasitoid wasps like diapriids and eucharitids seem excellent potential models to explore how parasitoids impact ant colony demography, population biology, and ant community structure. Despite a significant increase in our knowledge of hymenopteran parasitoids of ants, most of them remain to be discovered.

  16. Hierarchical community structure in complex (social) networks

    CERN Document Server

    Massaro, Emanuele

    2014-01-01

    The investigation of community structure in networks is a task of great importance in many disciplines, namely physics, sociology, biology and computer science where systems are often represented as graphs. One of the challenges is to find local communities from a local viewpoint in a graph without global information in order to reproduce the subjective hierarchical vision for each vertex. In this paper we present the improvement of an information dynamics algorithm in which the label propagation of nodes is based on the Markovian flow of information in the network under cognitive-inspired constraints \\cite{Massaro2012}. In this framework we have introduced two more complex heuristics that allow the algorithm to detect the multi-resolution hierarchical community structure of networks from a source vertex or communities adopting fixed values of model's parameters. Experimental results show that the proposed methods are efficient and well-behaved in both real-world and synthetic networks.

  17. Discovering Network Structure Beyond Communities

    OpenAIRE

    Nishikawa, Takashi; Adilson E Motter

    2011-01-01

    To understand the formation, evolution, and function of complex systems, it is crucial to understand the internal organization of their interaction networks. Partly due to the impossibility of visualizing large complex networks, resolving network structure remains a challenging problem. Here we overcome this difficulty by combining the visual pattern recognition ability of humans with the high processing speed of computers to develop an exploratory method for discovering groups of nodes chara...

  18. Rhizobacterial Community Structures Associated with Native Plants Grown in Chilean Extreme Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorquera, Milko A; Maruyama, Fumito; Ogram, Andrew V; Navarrete, Oscar U; Lagos, Lorena M; Inostroza, Nitza G; Acuña, Jacquelinne J; Rilling, Joaquín I; de La Luz Mora, María

    2016-10-01

    Chile is topographically and climatically diverse, with a wide array of diverse undisturbed ecosystems that include native plants that are highly adapted to local conditions. However, our understanding of the diversity, activity, and role of rhizobacteria associated with natural vegetation in undisturbed Chilean extreme ecosystems is very poor. In the present study, the combination of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and 454-pyrosequencing approaches was used to describe the rhizobacterial community structures of native plants grown in three representative Chilean extreme environments: Atacama Desert (ATA), Andes Mountains (AND), and Antarctic (ANT). Both molecular approaches revealed the presence of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria as the dominant phyla in the rhizospheres of native plants. Lower numbers of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were observed in rhizosphere soils from ATA compared with AND and ANT. Both approaches also showed differences in rhizobacterial community structures between extreme environments and between plant species. The differences among plant species grown in the same environment were attributed to the higher relative abundance of classes Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. However, further studies are needed to determine which environmental factors regulate the structures of rhizobacterial communities, and how (or if) specific bacterial groups may contribute to the growth and survival of native plants in each Chilean extreme environments.

  19. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2017-01-01

    Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) offers an ‘infra-language’ of the social that allows one to trace social relations very dynamically, while at the same time dissolving human agency, thus providing a flat and de-centred way into sociology. However, ANT struggles with its theoretical design that may lead......, it offers an ‘infra-language’ of reflexive relations while maintaining ANT’s de-centred approach. This would enable us to conceptualize actor-networks as non-homogeneous, dynamic and connecting different societal rationales while maintaining the main strengths of ANT....

  20. Finding Community Structures In Social Activity Data

    KAUST Repository

    Peng, Chengbin

    2015-05-19

    Social activity data sets are increasing in number and volume. Finding community structure in such data is valuable in many applications. For example, understand- ing the community structure of social networks may reduce the spread of epidemics or boost advertising revenue; discovering partitions in tra c networks can help to optimize routing and to reduce congestion; finding a group of users with common interests can allow a system to recommend useful items. Among many aspects, qual- ity of inference and e ciency in finding community structures in such data sets are of paramount concern. In this thesis, we propose several approaches to improve com- munity detection in these aspects. The first approach utilizes the concept of K-cores to reduce the size of the problem. The K-core of a graph is the largest subgraph within which each node has at least K connections. We propose a framework that accelerates community detection. It first applies a traditional algorithm that is relatively slow to the K-core, and then uses a fast heuristic to infer community labels for the remaining nodes. The second approach is to scale the algorithm to multi-processor systems. We de- vise a scalable community detection algorithm for large networks based on stochastic block models. It is an alternating iterative algorithm using a maximum likelihood ap- proach. Compared with traditional inference algorithms for stochastic block models, our algorithm can scale to large networks and run on multi-processor systems. The time complexity is linear in the number of edges of the input network. The third approach is to improve the quality. We propose a framework for non- negative matrix factorization that allows the imposition of linear or approximately linear constraints on each factor. An example of the applications is to find community structures in bipartite networks, which is useful in recommender systems. Our algorithms are compared with the results in recent papers and their quality and e

  1. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemmensen, Kåre; Enghild, Jan J; Ivarsen, Anders; Riise, Ruth; Vorum, Henrik; Heegaard, Steffen

    2017-01-01

    Hereditary congenital cataract varies immensely concerning location and form of the lens opacities. A specific and very rare phenotype is called "ant-egg" cataract first described in 1900. "Ant-eggs" have previously been examined using light microscopy, backscattered electron imaging and X-ray scans and electron microscopy. The purpose of this study was to further characterize "ant-egg" cataract using modern technology and display the history of the "ant-eggs" after cataract extraction. "Ant-eggs" were examined using Heidelberg SPECTRALIS Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)(Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany). Ten "ant-eggs" were extracted; four of these as well as control tissue were analyzed by mass spectrometry (AB Sciex). Proteins were identified and their approximate abundances were determined. Immunohistochemical staining was carried out on the remaining "ant-eggs" for cytokeratin and S100. In anterior OCT-images, the "ant-egg" structures are localized on the iris. Comparative pictures showed that they stayed in the same location for more than 45 years. Mass spectrometry of "ant-eggs" yielded a proteome of 56 different proteins. Eighteen of the 56 "ant-egg" proteins (32 %) were neither present in our controls nor in a known fetal lens proteome. Among these were cytokeratin and Matrix-Gla protein. Immunohistochemical reactions were positive for cytokeratin and S100. This study demonstrates the previously unknown protein composition of the "ant-egg" structures in "ant-egg" cataract. Eighteen of these proteins are not natively found in the human lens. Moreover, "ant-eggs" do not vary over time, after cataract extraction, regarding size and location.

  2. Struggling Ants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Some of China’s college graduates are barely scraping by The village of Tangjialing, 20 km north of down town Beijing, was thrust into the public consciousness in November. Publishers that month released a book titled Ants

  3. Habitat contrasts reveal a shift in the trophic position of ant assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Heloise; Cunningham, Saul A

    2011-01-01

    1. Trophic structure within a guild can be influenced by factors such as resource availability and competition. While ants occupy a wide range of positions in food webs, and ant community composition changes with habitat, it is not well understood if ant genera tend to maintain their position in the trophic structure, or if trophic position varies across habitats. 2. We used ratios of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to test for differences in the trophic structure and position of assemblages of ants among habitat types. We tested for differences between assemblages in replicate sites of the land use categories: (i) pastures with old large trees; (ii) recently revegetated pastures with small young trees; and (iii) remnant woodlands. Known insect herbivores and predatory spiders provided baselines for herbivorous and predaceous arthropods. Soil samples were used to correct for the base level of isotopic enrichment at each site. 3. We found no significant interactions between land use and ant genus for isotope enrichment, indicating that trophic structure is conserved across land use categories. The fixed relative positions of genera in the trophic structure might be re-enforced by competition or some other factor. However, the entire ant assemblage had significantly lower δ(15) N values in revegetated sites, suggesting that ants feed lower down in the food chain i.e. they are more 'herbivorous' in revegetated sites. This may be a result of the high availability of plant sugars, honeydew and herbivorous arthropod prey. 4. Surprisingly, ants in remnants and pastures with trees displayed similar isotopic compositions. Interactions within ant assemblages are thus likely to be resilient to changes in land use, but ant diets in early successional habitats may reflect the simplicity of communities, which may have comparatively lower rates of saprophagy and predation.

  4. Disruption of Ant-Aphid Mutualism in Canopy Enhances the Abundance of Beetles on the Forest Floor

    OpenAIRE

    Shuang Zhang; Yuxin Zhang; Keming Ma

    2012-01-01

    Ant-aphid mutualism is known to play a key role in the structure of the arthropod community in the tree canopy, but its possible ecological effects for the forest floor are unknown. We hypothesized that aphids in the canopy can increase the abundance of ants on the forest floor, thus intensifying the impacts of ants on other arthropods on the forest floor. We tested this hypothesis in a deciduous temperate forest in Beijing, China. We excluded the aphid-tending ants Lasius fuliginosus from th...

  5. Shifting Niches for Community Structure Detection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grappiolo, Corrado; Togelius, Julian; Yannakakis, Georgios N.

    2013-01-01

    in complete networks, this approach seems to scale badly due to solutions with the wrong number of communities dominating the population. The new algorithm is based on a niching model, where separate compartments of the population contain candidate solutions with different numbers of communities. We......We present a new evolutionary algorithm for com- munity structure detection in both undirected and unweighted (sparse) graphs and fully connected weighted digraphs (complete networks). Previous investigations have found that, although evolutionary computation can identify community structure...... experimentally compare the new algorithm to the well-known algorithms of Pizzuti and Tasgin, and find that we outperform those algorithms for sparse graphs under some conditions, and drastically outperform them on complete networks under all tested conditions....

  6. Emergent Community Structure in Social Tagging Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Cattuto, Ciro; Servedio, Vito D P; Loreto, Vittorio

    2008-01-01

    A distributed classification paradigm known as collaborative tagging has been widely adopted in new Web applications designed to manage and share online resources. Users of these applications organize resources (Web pages, digital photographs, academic papers) by associating with them freely chosen text labels, or tags. Here we leverage the social aspects of collaborative tagging and introduce a notion of resource distance based on the collective tagging activity of users. We collect data from a popular system and perform experiments showing that our definition of distance can be used to build a weighted network of resources with a detectable community structure. We show that this community structure clearly exposes the semantic relations among resources. The communities of resources that we observe are a genuinely emergent feature, resulting from the uncoordinated activity of a large number of users, and their detection paves the way for mapping emergent semantics in social tagging systems.

  7. Emergence of structured communities through evolutionary dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtilerman, Elad; Kessler, David A; Shnerb, Nadav M

    2015-10-21

    Species-rich communities, in which many competing species coexist in a single trophic level, are quite frequent in nature, but pose a formidable theoretical challenge. In particular, it is known that complex competitive systems become unstable and unfeasible when the number of species is large. Recently, many studies have attributed the stability of natural communities to the structure of the interspecific interaction network, yet the nature of such structures and the underlying mechanisms responsible for them remain open questions. Here we introduce an evolutionary model, based on the generic Lotka-Volterra competitive framework, from which a stable, structured, diverse community emerges spontaneously. The modular structure of the competition matrix reflects the phylogeny of the community, in agreement with the hierarchial taxonomic classification. Closely related species tend to have stronger niche overlap and weaker fitness differences, as opposed to pairs of species from different modules. The competitive-relatedness hypothesis and the idea of emergent neutrality are discussed in the context of this evolutionary model. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Determinants of the detrital arthropod community structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lessard, J.P.; Sackett, Tara E.; Reynolds, William N.;

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the factors that shape community structure, and whether those factors vary geographically, has a long history in ecology. Because the abiotic environment often varies in predictable ways along elevational gradients, montane systems are ideal to study geographic variation in the dete......Understanding the factors that shape community structure, and whether those factors vary geographically, has a long history in ecology. Because the abiotic environment often varies in predictable ways along elevational gradients, montane systems are ideal to study geographic variation...... in the determinants of community structure. In this study, we first examined the relative importance of environmental gradients, microclimate, and food resources in driving spatial variation in the structure of detrital communities in forests of the southeastern USA. Then, in order to assess whether the determinants...... for the effect of climatic variation along the elevational gradient, food resource addition and microclimate alteration influenced the richness and abundance of some taxa. However, the effect of food resource addition and microclimate alteration on the richness and abundance of arthropods did not vary...

  9. Modelling community structure in freshwater ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lek, S.; Scardi, M.; Verdonschot, P.F.M.; Descy, J.P.; Park, Y.S.

    2005-01-01

    The book presents approaches and methodologies for predicting the structure and diversity of key aquatic communities (namely diatoms, benthic macroinvertebrates and fish), under natural conditions and under man-made disturbance. Such an approach will make it possible to: 1) set up procedures for

  10. School, Community Leadership, and Election Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Ann

    2008-01-01

    This article examines how the political structure of school elections contributes to leadership perspectives related to school-community engagement. Interview data from school superintendents, school board presidents, and city mayors across four cities and two election types were analyzed to determine if differences in school election structure…

  11. Long-term temporal variation in the organization of an ant-plant network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Castelazo, Cecilia; Sánchez-Galván, Ingrid R; Guimarães, Paulo R; Raimundo, Rafael L Galdini; Rico-Gray, Víctor

    2013-06-01

    Functional groups of species interact and coevolve in space and time, forming complex networks of interacting species. A long-term study of temporal variation of an ant-plant network is presented with the aims of: (1) depicting its structural changes over a 20-year period; (2) detailing temporal variation in network topology, as revealed by nestedness and modularity analysis and other parameters (i.e. connectance, niche overlap); and (3) identifying long-term turnover in taxonomic structure (i.e. switches in ant resource use or plant visitor assemblages according to taxa). Fieldwork was carried out at La Mancha, Mexico, and ant-plant interactions were observed between 1989 and 1991, between 1998 and 2000, and between May 2010 and 2011. Occurrences of ants on extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) were recorded. The resulting ant-plant networks were constructed from qualitative presence-absence data determined by a species-species matrix defined by the frequency of occurrence of each pairwise ant-plant interaction. Network variation across time was stable and a persistent nested structure may have contributed to the maintenance of resilient and species-rich communities. Modularity was lower than expected, especially in the most recent networks, indicating that the community exhibited high overlap among interacting species (e.g. few species were hubs in the more recent network, being partly responsible for the nested pattern). Structurally, the connections created among modules by super-generalists gave cohesion to subsets of species that otherwise would remain unconnected. This may have allowed an increasing cascade-effect of evolutionary events among modules. Mutualistic ant-plant interactions were structured 20 years ago mainly by the subdominant nectarivorous ant species Camponotus planatus and Crematogaster brevispinosa, which monopolized the best extrafloral nectar resources and out-competed other species with broader feeding habits. Through time, these ants, which are

  12. How to Measure Significance of Community Structure in Complex Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Hu, Yanqing; Fan, Ying; Di, Zengru

    2010-01-01

    Community structure analysis is a powerful tool for complex networks, which can simplify their functional analysis considerably. Recently, many approaches were proposed to community structure detection, but few works were focused on the significance of community structure. Since real networks obtained from complex systems always contain error links, and most of the community detection algorithms have random factors, evaluate the significance of community structure is important and urgent. In this paper, we use the eigenvectors' stability to characterize the significance of community structures. By employing the eigenvalues of Laplacian matrix of a given network, we can evaluate the significance of its community structure and obtain the optimal number of communities, which are always hard for community detection algorithms. We apply our method to many real networks. We find that significant community structures exist in many social networks and C.elegans neural network, and that less significant community stru...

  13. Population genetics and colony structure of the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) in its native and introduced ranges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutsui, N D; Case, T J

    2001-05-01

    Introduced species often possess low levels of genetic diversity relative to source populations as a consequence of the small population sizes associated with founder events. Additionally, native and introduced populations of the same species can possess divergent genetic structuring at both large and small geographic scales. Thus, genetic systems that have evolved in the context of high diversity may function quite differently in genetically homogeneous introduced populations. Here we conduct a genetic analysis of native and introduced populations of the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) in which we show that the population-level changes that have occurred during introduction have produced marked changes in the social structure of this species. Native populations of the Argentine ant are characterized by a pattern of genetic isolation by distance, whereas this pattern is absent in introduced populations. These differences appear to arise both from the effects of recent range expansion in the introduced range as well as from differences in gene flow within each range. Relatedness within nests and colonies is lower in the introduced range than in the native range as a consequence of the widespread genetic similarity that typifies introduced populations. In contrast, nestmates and colony-mates in the native range are more closely related, and local genetic differentiation is evident. Our results shed light on the problem posed for kin selection theory by the low levels of relatedness that are characteristic of many unicolonial species and suggest that the loss of genetic variation may be a common mechanism for the transition to a unicolonial colony structure.

  14. Information transfer in community structured multiplex networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albert eSolé Ribalta

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of complex networks that account for different types of interactions has become a subject of interest in the last few years, specially because its representational power in the description of users interactions in diverse online social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.. The mathematical description of these interacting networks has been coined under the name of multilayer networks, where each layer accounts for a type of interaction. It has been shown that diffusive processes on top of these networks present a phenomenology that cannot be explained by the naive superposition of single layer diffusive phenomena but require the whole structure of interconnected layers. Nevertheless, the description of diffusive phenomena on multilayer networks has obviated the fact that social networks have strong mesoscopic structure represented by different communities of individuals driven by common interests, or any other social aspect. In this work, we study the transfer of information in multilayer networks with community structure. The final goal is to understand and quantify, if the existence of well-defined community structure at the level of individual layers, together with the multilayer structure of the whole network, enhances or deteriorates the diffusion of packets of information.

  15. A preferential attachment approach to community structure and the structure of communities

    CERN Document Server

    Young, Jean-Gabriel; Allard, Antoine; Dubé, Louis J

    2016-01-01

    We introduce an intuitive mechanism to describe both the emergence of community structure and the evolution of the internal structure of communities in social networks. Our idea is based on the simple assumption that each individual can, for every social group to which it belongs, develop connections and introduce new members. Complex behaviors emerge from opposing time scales for the activities of individuals and for the sum of individuals gathered in groups. We show how the resulting model reproduces behaviors observed in real social networks and in the anthropological theory known as Dunbar's number, i.e. the empirical observation of a maximal number of ties which an average individual can sustain within its social groups. Using this growth process, we organically reproduce the micro and mesoscopic structure of social networks. In so doing, we highlight two interesting properties of the community structure of social networks. First, strong correlations between the number of communities to which a node belo...

  16. Stochastic blockmodels and community structure in networks

    CERN Document Server

    Karrer, Brian

    2010-01-01

    Stochastic blockmodels have been proposed as a tool for detecting community structure in networks as well as for generating synthetic networks for use as benchmarks. Most blockmodels, however, ignore variation in vertex degree, making them unsuitable for applications to real-world networks, which typically display broad degree distributions that can significantly distort the results. Here we demonstrate how the generalization of blockmodels to incorporate this missing element leads to an improved objective function for community detection in complex networks. We also propose a heuristic algorithm for community detection using this objective function or its non-degree-corrected counterpart and show that the degree-corrected version dramatically outperforms the uncorrected one in both real-world and synthetic networks.

  17. Walk modularity and community structure in networks

    CERN Document Server

    Mehrle, David; Harkin, Anthony

    2014-01-01

    Modularity maximization has been one of the most widely used approaches in the last decade for discovering community structure in networks of practical interest in biology, computing, social science, statistical mechanics, and more. Modularity is a quality function that measures the difference between the number of edges found within clusters minus the number of edges one would statistically expect to find based on random chance. We present a natural generalization of modularity based on the difference between the actual and expected number of walks within clusters, which we call walk-modularity. Walk-modularity can be expressed in matrix form, and community detection can be performed by finding leading eigenvectors of the walk-modularity matrix. We demonstrate community detection on both synthetic and real-world networks and find that walk-modularity maximization returns significantly improved results compared to traditional modularity maximization.

  18. ASTRO-ENTOMOLOGY? ANT-LIKE SPACE STRUCTURE PREVIEWS DEATH OF OUR SUN

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    From ground-based telescopes, the so-called 'ant nebula' (Menzel 3, or Mz 3) resembles the head and thorax of a garden-variety ant. This dramatic NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, showing 10 times more detail, reveals the 'ant's' body as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from a dying, Sun-like star. The Hubble images directly challenge old ideas about the last stages in the lives of stars. By observing Sun-like stars as they approach their deaths, the Hubble Heritage image of Mz 3 -- along with pictures of other planetary nebulae -- shows that our Sun's fate probably will be more interesting, complex, and striking than astronomers imagined just a few years ago. Though approaching the violence of an explosion, the ejection of gas from the dying star at the center of Mz 3 has intriguing symmetrical patterns unlike the chaotic patterns expected from an ordinary explosion. Scientists using Hubble would like to understand how a spherical star can produce such prominent, non-spherical symmetries in the gas that it ejects. One possibility is that the central star of Mz 3 has a closely orbiting companion that exerts strong gravitational tidal forces, which shape the outflowing gas. For this to work, the orbiting companion star would have to be close to the dying star, about the distance of the Earth from the Sun. At that distance the orbiting companion star wouldn't be far outside the hugely bloated hulk of the dying star. It's even possible that the dying star has consumed its companion, which now orbits inside of it, much like the duck in the wolf's belly in the story 'Peter and the Wolf.' (See http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/qt/ssudec.mov for an animation that shows how this might work.) A second possibility is that, as the dying star spins, its strong magnetic fields are wound up into complex shapes like spaghetti in an eggbeater. Charged winds moving at speeds up to 1000 kilometers per second from the star, much like those in our sun's solar wind but millions of

  19. A cheating limit for structured communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perelson, Alan S [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Gerrish, Philip J [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2008-01-01

    The constructive creativity of natural selection originates from its paradoxical ability to foster cooperation through competition. Cooperating communities ranging from complex societies to somatic tissue are constantly under attack, however, by non-cooperating mutants or transformants, called 'cheaters'. Structure in these communities promotes the formation of cooperating clusters whose competitive superiority can alone be sufficient to thwart outgrowths of cheaters and thereby maintain cooperation. But we find that when cheaters appear too frequently -- exceeding a threshold mutation or transformation rate -- their scattered outgrowths infiltrate and break up cooperating clusters, resulting in a cascading loss of community integrity, a switch to net positive selection for cheaters, and ultimately in the loss of cooperation. We find that this threshold mutation rate is directly proportional to the fitness support received from each cooperating neighbor minus the individual fitness benefit of cheating. When mutation rate also evolves, this threshold is crossed spontaneously after thousands of generations, at which point cheaters rapidly invade. In a structured community, cooperation can persist only if the mutation rate remains below a critical value.

  20. Ant Farm

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Publié à l’occasion de l’exposition d’Ant Farm au Frac Centre du 12 au 23 décembre 2007, ce très beau catalogue, qui fait état des dix ans de création du collectif californien, propose un nombre important de documents iconographiques, de notices et de textes concernant leurs différents projets. Fondé en 1968 par Doug Michels et Chip Lord, rejoints par la suite par Curtis Schreier, Hudson Marquez, Douglas Hurr et d’autres encore, le collectif Ant Farm a marqué les esprits par quelques œuvres s...

  1. Collective prediction based on community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yasong; Li, Taisong; Zhang, Yan; Yan, Yonghong

    2017-01-01

    Collective prediction algorithms have been used to improve performances when network structures are involved in prediction tasks. The training dataset of such tasks often contain information of content, links and labels, while the testing dataset have only content and link information. Conventional collective prediction algorithms conduct predictions based on the content of a node and the information of its direct neighbors with a base classifier. However, the information of some direct neighbor nodes may be not consistent with the target one. In addition, the information of indirect neighbors can be helpful when that of direct neighbors is scant. In this paper, instead of using information of direct neighbors, we propose to apply community structures in networks to prediction tasks. A community detection method is aggregated into the collective prediction process to improve prediction performance. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm outperforms a number of standard prediction algorithms specially under conditions that labeled training dataset are limited.

  2. Eye structure, activity rhythms and visually-driven behavior are tuned to visual niche in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayse eYilmaz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Insects have evolved physiological adaptations and behavioural strategies that allow them to cope with a broad spectrum of environmental challenges and contribute to their evolutionary success. Visual performance plays a key role in this success. Correlates between life style and eye organization have been reported in various insect species. Yet, if and how visual ecology translates effectively into different visual discrimination and learning capabilities has been less explored. Here we report results from optical and behavioural analyses performed in two sympatric ant species, Formica cunicularia and Camponotus aethiops. We show that the former are diurnal while the latter are cathemeral. Accordingly, F. cunicularia workers present compound eyes with higher resolution, while C. aethiops workers exhibit eyes with lower resolution but higher sensitivity. The discrimination and learning of visual stimuli differs significantly between these species in controlled dual-choice experiments: discrimination learning of small-field visual stimuli is achieved by F. cunicularia but not by C. aethiops, while both species master the discrimination of large-field visual stimuli. Our work thus provides a paradigmatic example about how timing of foraging activities and visual environment match the organization of compound eyes and visually-driven behaviour. This correspondence underlines the relevance of an ecological/evolutionary framework for analyses in behavioural neuroscience.

  3. Impacts of elevated temperature on ant species, communities and ecological roles at two temperate forests in Eastern North America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunn, Robert [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)

    2014-04-01

    Over the course of five years we have established a long-term array of warming chambers at Duke and Harvard Forest that simulate future conditions with regard to temperature. In these chambers, we have studied, ants, other animal taxa, fungi, bacteria and plants and their responses to the treatments. We have coupled these studies with lab experiments, large-scale observations, and models to contextualize our results. Finally, we have developed integrative models of the future distribution of species and their consequences as a result of warming in eastern North America and more generally.

  4. Using Ants to Investigate the Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2005-01-01

    The best place for students to begin to understand complex environmental relationships is in their own back yards. Doing investigations of ants allows students to establish a baseline survey of ant fauna, test the importance of ants in nutrient cycling and soil structure maintenance, and increase their understanding of the environment and their…

  5. The effects of forest conversion to oil palm on ground-foraging ant communities depend on beta diversity and sampling grain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wendy Y; Foster, William A

    2015-08-01

    Beta diversity - the variation in species composition among spatially discrete communities - and sampling grain - the size of samples being compared - may alter our perspectives of diversity within and between landscapes before and after agricultural conversion. Such assumptions are usually based on point comparisons, which do not accurately capture actual differences in total diversity. Beta diversity is often not rigorously examined. We investigated the beta diversity of ground-foraging ant communities in fragmented oil palm and forest landscapes in Sabah, Malaysia, using diversity metrics transformed from Hill number equivalents to remove dependences on alpha diversity. We compared the beta diversities of oil palm and forest, across three hierarchically nested sampling grains. We found that oil palm and forest communities had a greater percentage of total shared species when larger samples were compared. Across all grains and disregarding relative abundances, there was higher beta diversity of all species among forest communities. However, there were higher beta diversities of common and very abundant (dominant) species in oil palm as compared to forests. Differences in beta diversities between oil palm and forest were greatest at the largest sampling grain. Larger sampling grains in oil palm may generate bigger species pools, increasing the probability of shared species with forest samples. Greater beta diversity of all species in forest may be attributed to rare species. Oil palm communities may be more heterogeneous in common and dominant species because of variable community assembly events. Rare and also common species are better captured at larger grains, boosting differences in beta diversity between larger samples of forest and oil palm communities. Although agricultural landscapes support a lower total diversity than natural forests, diversity especially of abundant species is still important for maintaining ecosystem stability. Diversity in

  6. Taxonomies of networks from community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onnela, Jukka-Pekka; Fenn, Daniel J; Reid, Stephen; Porter, Mason A; Mucha, Peter J; Fricker, Mark D; Jones, Nick S

    2012-09-01

    The study of networks has become a substantial interdisciplinary endeavor that encompasses myriad disciplines in the natural, social, and information sciences. Here we introduce a framework for constructing taxonomies of networks based on their structural similarities. These networks can arise from any of numerous sources: They can be empirical or synthetic, they can arise from multiple realizations of a single process (either empirical or synthetic), they can represent entirely different systems in different disciplines, etc. Because mesoscopic properties of networks are hypothesized to be important for network function, we base our comparisons on summaries of network community structures. Although we use a specific method for uncovering network communities, much of the introduced framework is independent of that choice. After introducing the framework, we apply it to construct a taxonomy for 746 networks and demonstrate that our approach usefully identifies similar networks. We also construct taxonomies within individual categories of networks, and we thereby expose nontrivial structure. For example, we create taxonomies for similarity networks constructed from both political voting data and financial data. We also construct network taxonomies to compare the social structures of 100 Facebook networks and the growth structures produced by different types of fungi.

  7. Taxonomies of networks from community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onnela, Jukka-Pekka; Fenn, Daniel J.; Reid, Stephen; Porter, Mason A.; Mucha, Peter J.; Fricker, Mark D.; Jones, Nick S.

    2012-09-01

    The study of networks has become a substantial interdisciplinary endeavor that encompasses myriad disciplines in the natural, social, and information sciences. Here we introduce a framework for constructing taxonomies of networks based on their structural similarities. These networks can arise from any of numerous sources: They can be empirical or synthetic, they can arise from multiple realizations of a single process (either empirical or synthetic), they can represent entirely different systems in different disciplines, etc. Because mesoscopic properties of networks are hypothesized to be important for network function, we base our comparisons on summaries of network community structures. Although we use a specific method for uncovering network communities, much of the introduced framework is independent of that choice. After introducing the framework, we apply it to construct a taxonomy for 746 networks and demonstrate that our approach usefully identifies similar networks. We also construct taxonomies within individual categories of networks, and we thereby expose nontrivial structure. For example, we create taxonomies for similarity networks constructed from both political voting data and financial data. We also construct network taxonomies to compare the social structures of 100 Facebook networks and the growth structures produced by different types of fungi.

  8. Social Structure and Genetic Distance Mediate Nestmate Recognition and Aggressiveness in the Facultative Polygynous Ant Pheidole pallidula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Denis; de Biseau, Jean-Christophe; De Laet, Sophie; Lenoir, Alain; Passera, Luc; Aron, Serge

    2016-01-01

    In social insects, the evolutionary stability of cooperation depends on the privileged relationships between individuals of the social group, which is facilitated by the recognition of relatives. Nestmate recognition is based on genetically determined cues and/or environmentally derived chemical components present on the cuticle of individuals. Here, we studied nestmate recognition in the ant Pheidole pallidula, a species where both single-queen (monogyne) and multiple-queen (polygyne) colonies co-occur in the same population. We combined geographical, genetic and chemical analyses to disentangle the factors influencing the level of intraspecific aggressiveness. We show that encounters between workers from neighbouring colonies (i.e., nests less than 5 m away) are on average less aggressive than those between workers from more distant colonies. Aggressive behaviour is associated with the level of genetic difference: workers from monogyne colonies are more aggressive than workers from polygyne colonies, and the intensity of aggressiveness is positively associated with the genetic distance between colonies. Since the genetic distance is correlated with the spatial distance between pairs of colonies, the lower level of aggression toward neighbours may result from their higher relatedness. In contrast, the analysis of overall cuticular hydrocarbon profiles shows that aggressive behaviour is associated neither with the chemical diversity of colonies, nor with the chemical distances between them. When considering methyl-branched alkanes only, however, chemical distances differed between monogyne and polygyne colonies and were significantly associated with aggressiveness. Altogether, these results show that the social structure of colonies and the genetic distances between colonies are two major factors influencing the intensity of agonistic behaviours in the ant P. pallidula.

  9. A Social Network Model Exhibiting Tunable Overlapping Community Structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, D.; Blenn, N.; Van Mieghem, P.F.A.

    2012-01-01

    Social networks, as well as many other real-world networks, exhibit overlapping community structure. In this paper, we present formulas which facilitate the computation for characterizing the overlapping community structure of networks. A hypergraph representation of networks with overlapping

  10. Ants of three adjacent habitats of a transition region between the cerrado and caatinga biomes: the effects of heterogeneity and variation in canopy cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, F S; Queiroz-Dantas, K S; da Rocha, W D; Delabie, J H C

    2013-06-01

    Habitat heterogeneity and complexity associated with variations in climatic conditions are important factors determining the structure of ant communities in different terrestrial ecosystems. The objective of this study was to describe the horizontal and vertical distribution patterns of the ant community associated with three adjacent habitats in a transition area between the Cerrado and Caatinga biomes at the Pandeiros River, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. We tested the following hypotheses: (1) the richness and composition of ant species and functional group structure changes between different habitats and strata; (2) habitats with higher tree species richness and density support higher ant species richness; and (3) habitats with lower variation in canopy cover support higher ant species richness. Sampling was conducted in three adjacent habitats and at three vertical strata. Ant species richness was significantly different among vertical strata. Ant species composition was different among both habitats and vertical strata and functional group structure was divergent among habitats. Partitioning of the diversity revealed that the diversity for the three components was statistically different from the one expected by the null model; α and β 2 were higher and β 1 was lower than the values expected by chance. Tree density and variation in canopy cover negatively affected ant species richness. The occurrence of different species and the changing of functional group structures in different habitats and strata suggest an ecological-evolutionary relationship between ants and their habitats and emphasize the need to implement local conservation strategies in the ecotones between biomes.

  11. Effects of large-scale wildfire on ground foraging ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuda, Tritia; Turschak, Greta; Brehme, Cheryl; Rochester, Carlton; Mitrovich, Milan; Fisher, Robert

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the effect of broad-scale wildfire on ground foraging ants within southern California. In October and November of 2003, two wildfires burned large portions of the wildlands within San Diego County. Between January 2005 and September 2006, we surveyed 63 plots across four sites to measure the effect of the fires on the ant assemblages present in four vegetation types: 1) coastal sage scrub, 2) chaparral, 3) grassland, and 4) woodland riparian. Thirty-six of the 63 plots were sampled before the fires between March 2001 and June 2003. Mixed model regression analyses, accounting for the burn history of each plot and our pre- and postfire sampling efforts, revealed that fire had a negative effect on ant species diversity. Multivariate analyses showed that ant community structure varied significantly among the four vegetation types, and only the ant assemblage associated with coastal sage scrub exhibited a significant difference between burned and unburned samples. The most notable change detected at the individual species level involved Messor andrei (Mayr), which increased from ant samples to 32.1% in burned plots postfire. We theorize that M. andrei responded to the increase of bare ground and postfire seed production, leading to an increase in the detection rate for this species. Collectively, our results suggest that wildfires can have short-term impacts on the diversity and community structure of ground foraging ants in coastal sage scrub. We discuss these findings in relation to management implications and directions for future research.

  12. Epidemic spreading on complex networks with community structures

    CERN Document Server

    Stegehuis, Clara; van Leeuwaarden, Johan S H

    2016-01-01

    Many real-world networks display a community structure. We study two random graph models that create a network with similar community structure as a given network. One model preserves the exact community structure of the original network, while the other model only preserves the set of communities and the vertex degrees. These models show that community structure is an important determinant of the behavior of percolation processes on networks, such as information diffusion or virus spreading: the community structure can both \\textit{enforce} as well as \\textit{inhibit} diffusion processes. Our models further show that it is the mesoscopic set of communities that matters. The exact internal structures of communities barely influence the behavior of percolation processes across networks. This insensitivity is likely due to the relative denseness of the communities.

  13. Community Structure in Congressional Cosponsorship Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Yan; Traud, Amanda L; Porter, Mason A; Fowler, James H; Mucha, Peter J

    2007-01-01

    We study the United States Congress by constructing networks between Members of Congress based on the legislation that they cosponsor. Using the concept of modularity, we identify the community structure of Congressmen, as connected via sponsorship/cosponsorship of the same legislation, to investigate the collaborative communities of legislators in both chambers of Congress. This analysis yields an explicit and conceptually clear measure of political polarization, demonstrating a sharp increase in partisan polarization which preceded and then culminated in the 104th Congress (1995-1996), when Republicans took control of both chambers. Although polarization has since waned in the U.S. Senate, it remains at historically high levels in the House of Representatives.

  14. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions of the MG, sanitation and chemical defence, have received the strongest empirical support; two additional possible functions, recognition odour and territorial marking, are less well supported. The design of the MG is unusual for insects; glandular secretions are stored in a rigid, non-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional morphology, phylogenetic transitions and chemical ecology of the MGs of both the derived and the unstudied early-branching (basal) ant lineages is needed to elucidate the evolutionary origin and diversification of the MG of ants.

  15. 川西北高寒草甸蚁丘植物群落演替:种类组成与物种多样性%Plant Community Succession on Ant-hills of a Sub-alpine Meadow in Northwestern Sichuan, China:Species Composition and Diversity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蒙凤群; 高贤明; 孙书存

    2011-01-01

    Ants may increase habitat heterogeneity by means of building ant-hills, thereby changing community species composition and ecosystem structure and functioning.We investigated plant height, coverage and abundance for each species and calculated species richness and diversity for ant-hills of Camponotus herculeanus differing in size ( 309.45 cm2.948.45 cm2.2124.90 cmz for the small, intermediate and large ant-hills , reapectively).The dominant species was subsequently identified for the three size-classes of ant-hiUs and the mechanism underlying anthill community succession was derived.Our results showed that diumal temperature fluctuation was greater in ant-hills than the surrounding flat soil.where the temperature of the ant-hills was higher in daytime but lower at night relative to the counterpart.The soil maisture was lower in center than in edge of ant-hiLls whose moisture was lower than the flat soil.Plant species diversity and nchness were not significantly different among the three classes of ant-hills while the dominant species conspicuously changed.The importance value of the most dominant species, Kobresia uncinoides, increased significantly with increasing ant-hill size; the subdominant species was Galium aparine, Festuca ovina, Elymus nutans for the small, intermediate and large ant-hills, respectively.The dominance of grasses was significantly higher, but that of forbs was lower on ant-hills than in surrounding communities.The ant-hills were dominated by species from Cyperaceae and Gramineae while Compositae and Ranunculaceae dominated the surrounding communities.In addition, we discussed the poasible mechanisms driving ant-hill community succession and the potential significance of ant-hills to the whole community composition and dynamics in the alpine meadow.%蚂蚁通过构建蚁丘,提高了群落生境异质性,影响群落物种组成,甚至生态系统结构和功能.我们在川西北典型高寒草甸调查了平地(非蚁丘,即距离蚁丘4

  16. Disruption of ant-aphid mutualism in canopy enhances the abundance of beetles on the forest floor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuang Zhang

    Full Text Available Ant-aphid mutualism is known to play a key role in the structure of the arthropod community in the tree canopy, but its possible ecological effects for the forest floor are unknown. We hypothesized that aphids in the canopy can increase the abundance of ants on the forest floor, thus intensifying the impacts of ants on other arthropods on the forest floor. We tested this hypothesis in a deciduous temperate forest in Beijing, China. We excluded the aphid-tending ants Lasius fuliginosus from the canopy using plots of varying sizes, and monitored the change in the abundance of ants and other arthropods on the forest floor in the treated and control plots. We also surveyed the abundance of ants and other arthropods on the forest floor to explore the relationships between ants and other arthropods in the field. Through a three-year experimental study, we found that the exclusion of ants from the canopy significantly decreased the abundance of ants on the forest floor, but increased the abundance of beetles, although the effect was only significant in the large ant-exclusion plot (80*60 m. The field survey showed that the abundance of both beetles and spiders was negatively related to the abundance of ants. These results suggest that aphids located in the tree canopy have indirect negative effects on beetles by enhancing the ant abundance on the forest floor. Considering that most of the beetles in our study are important predators, the ant-aphid mutualism can have further trophic cascading effects on the forest floor food web.

  17. Disruption of ant-aphid mutualism in canopy enhances the abundance of beetles on the forest floor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuang; Zhang, Yuxin; Ma, Keming

    2012-01-01

    Ant-aphid mutualism is known to play a key role in the structure of the arthropod community in the tree canopy, but its possible ecological effects for the forest floor are unknown. We hypothesized that aphids in the canopy can increase the abundance of ants on the forest floor, thus intensifying the impacts of ants on other arthropods on the forest floor. We tested this hypothesis in a deciduous temperate forest in Beijing, China. We excluded the aphid-tending ants Lasius fuliginosus from the canopy using plots of varying sizes, and monitored the change in the abundance of ants and other arthropods on the forest floor in the treated and control plots. We also surveyed the abundance of ants and other arthropods on the forest floor to explore the relationships between ants and other arthropods in the field. Through a three-year experimental study, we found that the exclusion of ants from the canopy significantly decreased the abundance of ants on the forest floor, but increased the abundance of beetles, although the effect was only significant in the large ant-exclusion plot (80*60 m). The field survey showed that the abundance of both beetles and spiders was negatively related to the abundance of ants. These results suggest that aphids located in the tree canopy have indirect negative effects on beetles by enhancing the ant abundance on the forest floor. Considering that most of the beetles in our study are important predators, the ant-aphid mutualism can have further trophic cascading effects on the forest floor food web.

  18. Community structure in introductory physics course networks

    CERN Document Server

    Traxler, Adrienne L

    2015-01-01

    Student-to-student interactions are foundational to many active learning environments, but are most often studied using qualitative methods. Network analysis tools provide a quantitative complement to this picture, allowing researchers to describe the social interactions of whole classrooms as systems. Past results from introductory physics courses have suggested a sharp division in the formation of social structure between large lecture sections and small studio classroom environments. Extending those results, this study focuses on calculus-based introductory physics courses at a large public university with a heavily commuter and nontraditional student population. Community detection network methods are used to characterize pre- and post-course collaborative structure in several sections, and differences are considered between small and large classes. These results are compared with expectations from earlier findings, and comment on implications for instruction and further study.

  19. Information transfer in community structured multiplex networks

    CERN Document Server

    Solé-Ribalta, Albert; Gómez, Sergio; Arenas, Alex

    2015-01-01

    The study of complex networks that account for different types of interactions has become a subject of interest in the last few years, specially because its representational power in the description of users interactions in diverse online social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). The mathematical description of these interacting networks has been coined under the name of multilayer networks, where each layer accounts for a type of interaction. It has been shown that diffusive processes on top of these networks present a phenomenology that cannot be explained by the naive superposition of single layer diffusive phenomena but require the whole structure of interconnected layers. Nevertheless, the description of diffusive phenomena on multilayer networks has obviated the fact that social networks have strong mesoscopic structure represented by different communities of individuals driven by common interests, or any other social aspect. In this work, we study the transfer of information in multilayer ...

  20. Variation in spatial scale of competing polydomous twig-nesting ants in coffee agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Philpott, Stacy M; Ramirez, Santiago R

    2016-08-01

    Arboreal ants are both highly diverse and ecologically dominant in the tropics. This ecologically important group is particularly useful in ongoing efforts to understand processes that regulate species diversity and coexistence. Our study addresses how polydomy can influence patterns of nest occupation in competing arboreal ants. We examined the spatial structure of nest occupation (nest distance, abundance and density) in three polydomous co-occurring twig-nesting ant species (Pseudomyrmex simplex, P. ejectus and P. PSW-53) by mapping twigs occupied by ants from each species within plots in our study site. We then used two colony structure estimators (intraspecific aggression and cuticular hydrocarbon variation) to determine the relative degree of polydomy for each species. All work was conducted in coffee agroforests in Chiapas, Mexico. Our results revealed that the two species with highest abundance and nest density were also highly polydomous, where both species had either single or multiple non-aggressive colonies occupying nests on a large spatial scale (greater than the hectare level). Our results also indicate that the species with the lowest abundance and density is less polydomous, occupying several overlapping and territorial colonies at the hectare level in which multiple colonies never co-occur on the same host plant. These results contribute evidence that successful coexistence and highly polydomous colony structure may allow ants, through reduced intraspecific aggression, to successfully occupy more nests more densely than ant species that have multiple territorial colonies. Furthermore our study highlights the importance of considering intraspecific interactions when examining community assembly of ants.

  1. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Boomsma, JJ

    2002-01-01

    developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants.......We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...

  2. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen Fredsted, Palle; Gertsch, Pia J.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan (Koos)

    2002-01-01

    developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants.......We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...

  3. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen Fredsted, Palle; Gertsch, Pia J.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan (Koos)

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  4. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Boomsma, JJ

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  5. Multi Target of Community Detection Algorithm Based on Ant Colony Optimization%基于蚁群优化的多目标社区检测算法

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨楠; 吕红娟; 陈婷

    2015-01-01

    As a single obj ective optimization problem,usually the solution of ant colony optimization algorithm is re-stricted to a specific range,since there is only one obj ective function.When the optimization target is not appropriate,the al-gorithm may fall into failure,such as resolution limitation.This paper combined the concept of multi-obj ective optimization with ant colony optimization algorithm for the traditional community detection,which increased the number of obj ective function.The algorithm introduced multi goal strategy,proposed multi-obj ective ACO algorithm,and generated a set of Pa-reto optimal solutions in a single run process.And the three real world networks show the effectiveness and accuracy of the algorithm.%蚁群优化算法作为单目标优化问题,由于只有一个目标函数,通常会将解限制到特定的范围内。当优化的目标不恰当时,算法可能失效,比如分辨率限制问题。我们将多目标优化的思想与传统的用于社区检测的蚁群优化算法相结合,增加了目标函数个数,即增加了解的评价指标数目。该算法引入多目标策略,提出多目标 ACO算法,该算法在一次运行过程中会产生一组Pareto最优解。并在三个真实世界网络证明该算法的有效性和准确性。

  6. The Ants Have It!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugherty, Belinda

    2001-01-01

    Uses the GEMS guide, "Ants at Home Underground", to explore the life of ants and teach about them in a classroom setting. The activity applies students' knowledge of ants and students learn about ant colonies, what ants eat, and how they live. (SAH)

  7. The Ants Have It!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugherty, Belinda

    2001-01-01

    Uses the GEMS guide, "Ants at Home Underground", to explore the life of ants and teach about them in a classroom setting. The activity applies students' knowledge of ants and students learn about ant colonies, what ants eat, and how they live. (SAH)

  8. Typology of State-Level Community College Governance Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Jeffrey A.; Friedel, Janice Nahra

    2017-01-01

    Despite having a well-documented history about community colleges across the United States, relatively few discussions have covered state-level governance structures. To understand the typology of state community college governance structures, it must first be recognized that community college governance is characterized as a complex web of…

  9. Permanence and Community Structure in Complex Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Chakraborty, Tanmoy; Ganguly, Niloy; Mukherjee, Animesh; Bhowmick, Sanjukta

    2016-01-01

    The goal of community detection algorithms is to identify densely-connected units within large networks. An implicit assumption is that all the constituent nodes belong equally to their associated community. However, some nodes are more important in the community than others. To date, efforts have been primarily driven to identify communities as a whole, rather than understanding to what extent an individual node belongs to its community. Therefore, most metrics for evaluating communities, for example modularity, are global. These metrics produce a score for each community, not for each individual node. In this paper, we argue that the belongingness of nodes in a community is not uniform. The central idea of permanence is based on the observation that the strength of membership of a vertex to a community depends upon two factors: (i) the the extent of connections of the vertex within its community versus outside its community, and (ii) how tightly the vertex is connected internally. We discuss how permanence ...

  10. Community Attachment and Satisfaction: The Role of a Community's Social Network Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Jessica

    2010-01-01

    This paper links the micro and macro levels of analysis by examining how different aspects of community sentiment are affected by one's personal ties to the community compared with the organizational network structure of the community. Using data collected from residents of six communities in Washington State, network analysis combined with…

  11. Dynamics and control of diseases in networks with community structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel Salathé

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The dynamics of infectious diseases spread via direct person-to-person transmission (such as influenza, smallpox, HIV/AIDS, etc. depends on the underlying host contact network. Human contact networks exhibit strong community structure. Understanding how such community structure affects epidemics may provide insights for preventing the spread of disease between communities by changing the structure of the contact network through pharmaceutical or non-pharmaceutical interventions. We use empirical and simulated networks to investigate the spread of disease in networks with community structure. We find that community structure has a major impact on disease dynamics, and we show that in networks with strong community structure, immunization interventions targeted at individuals bridging communities are more effective than those simply targeting highly connected individuals. Because the structure of relevant contact networks is generally not known, and vaccine supply is often limited, there is great need for efficient vaccination algorithms that do not require full knowledge of the network. We developed an algorithm that acts only on locally available network information and is able to quickly identify targets for successful immunization intervention. The algorithm generally outperforms existing algorithms when vaccine supply is limited, particularly in networks with strong community structure. Understanding the spread of infectious diseases and designing optimal control strategies is a major goal of public health. Social networks show marked patterns of community structure, and our results, based on empirical and simulated data, demonstrate that community structure strongly affects disease dynamics. These results have implications for the design of control strategies.

  12. Community Structure in Online Collegiate Social Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traud, Amanda; Kelsic, Eric; Mucha, Peter; Porter, Mason

    2009-03-01

    Online social networking sites have become increasingly popular with college students. The networks we studied are defined through ``friendships'' indicated by Facebook users from UNC, Oklahoma, Caltech, Georgetown, and Princeton. We apply the tools of network science to study the Facebook networks from these five different universities at a single point in time. We investigate each single-institution network's community structure, which we obtain through partitioning the graph using an eigenvector method. We use both graphical and quantitative tools, including pair-counting methods, which we interpret through statistical analysis and permutation tests to measure the correlations between the network communities and a set of characteristics given by each user (residence, class year, major, and high school). We also analyze the single gender subsets of these networks, and the impact of missing demographical data. Our study allows us to compare the online social networks for the five schools as well as infer differences in offline social interactions. At the schools studied, we were able to define which characteristics of the Facebook users correlate best with friendships.

  13. Fire Ant Allergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Treatments ▸ Library ▸ Allergy Library ▸ Fire ant allergy Share | Fire Ant Allergy This article has been reviewed by Thanai Pongdee, MD, FAAAAI Fire ants are a stinging insect typically found in ...

  14. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Favorite Name: Category: Share: Yes No, Keep Private Fire Ant Bites Share | Fire ants are aggressive, venomous insects that have pinching ... across the United States, even into Puerto Rico. Fire ant stings usually occur on the feet or ...

  15. Feature Analysis and Modeling of the Network Community Structure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    袁超; 柴毅; 魏善碧

    2012-01-01

    Community structure has an important influence on the structural and dynamic characteristics of the complex systems.So it has attracted a large number of researchers.However,due to its complexity,the mechanism of action of the community structure is still not clear to this day.In this paper,some features of the community structure have been discussed.And a constraint model of the community has been deduced.This model is effective to identify the communities.And especially,it is effective to identify the overlapping nodes between the communities.Then a community detection algorithm,which has linear time complexity,is proposed based on this constraint model,a proposed node similarity model and the Modularity Q.Through some experiments on a series of real-world and synthetic networks,the high performances of the algorithm and the constraint model have been illustrated.

  16. Genetic structure, nestmate recognition and behaviour of two cryptic species of the invasive big-headed ant Pheidole megacephala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denis Fournier

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Biological invasions are recognized as a major cause of biodiversity decline and have considerable impact on the economy and human health. The African big-headed ant Pheidole megacephala is considered one of the world's most harmful invasive species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To better understand its ecological and demographic features, we combined behavioural (aggression tests, chemical (quantitative and qualitative analyses of cuticular lipids and genetic (mitochondrial divergence and polymorphism of DNA microsatellite markers data obtained for eight populations in Cameroon. Molecular data revealed two cryptic species of P. megacephala, one inhabiting urban areas and the other rainforests. Urban populations belong to the same phylogenetic group than those introduced in Australia and in other parts of the world. Behavioural analyses show that the eight populations sampled make up four mutually aggressive supercolonies. The maximum distance between nests from the same supercolony was 49 km and the closest distance between two nests belonging to two different supercolonies was 46 m. The genetic data and chemical analyses confirmed the behavioural tests as all of the nests were correctly assigned to their supercolony. Genetic diversity appears significantly greater in Africa than in introduced populations in Australia; by contrast, urban and Australian populations are characterized by a higher chemical diversity than rainforest ones. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Overall, our study shows that populations of P. megacephala in Cameroon adopt a unicolonial social structure, like invasive populations in Australia. However, the size of the supercolonies appears several orders of magnitude smaller in Africa. This implies competition between African supercolonies and explains why they persist over evolutionary time scales.

  17. Mechanisms of aggregation in an ant-tended treehopper: Attraction to mutualists is balanced by conspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Manuel A; Zink, Andrew G

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the spatial structure of populations and communities has been a dominant focus of ecological research, and spatial structure is increasingly seen as critical for understanding population dynamics. Habitat (or host) preference is a proximate mechanism that can generate aggregation or overdispersion, lending insight into the ultimate consequences of observed spatial distributions. Publilia concava is a univoltine phloem-feeding insect that forms mutualistic associations with ants, which consume honeydew and protect treehoppers from predation. Treehopper adults and nymphs are aggregated at the scale of goldenrod plant stems, and previous studies have suggested that this aggregation is an adaptive response that increases feeding performance or maximizes benefits of ant-tending. Previous studies have also shown experimentally that individual treehoppers preferentially oviposit on plants with ants present, but a complimentary hypothesis that treehoppers prefer to oviposit near conspecifics (e.g., to take advantage of density-dependent ant attraction) remains untested. We show that, as expected, the probability of treehopper oviposition increases with ant-presence and relative ant abundance. However, we also find that treehopper oviposition decreases with increasing treehopper density. Thus our results are inconsistent with the hypothesis that treehopper aggregation is a socially cooperative strategy to attract ants; we suggest that aggregation is a form of conflict and an unavoidable by-product of individual responses to ant-tending levels.

  18. A trophic cascade induced by predatory ants in a fig-fig wasp mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Geng, Xiang-Zong; Ma, Li-Bin; Cook, James M; Wang, Rui-Wu

    2014-09-01

    A trophic cascade occurs when predators directly decrease the densities, or change the behaviour, of herbivores and thus indirectly increase plant productivity. The predator-herbivore-plant context is well known, but some predators attack species beneficial to plants (e.g. pollinators) and/or enemies of herbivores (e.g. parasites), and their role in the dynamics of mutualisms remains largely unexplored. We surveyed the predatory ant species and studied predation by the dominant ant species, the weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina, associated with the fig tree Ficus racemosa in southwest China. We then tested the effects of weaver ants on the oviposition behaviour of pollinating and non-pollinating fig wasps in an ant-exclusion experiment. The effects of weaver ants on fig wasp community structure and fig seed production were then compared between trees with and without O. smaragdina. Oecophylla smaragdina captured more non-pollinating wasps (Platyneura mayri) than pollinators as the insects arrived to lay eggs. When ants were excluded, more non-pollinators laid eggs into figs and fewer pollinators entered figs. Furthermore, trees with O. smaragdina produced more pollinator offspring and fewer non-pollinator offspring, shifting the community structure significantly. In addition, F. racemosa produced significantly more seeds on trees inhabited by weaver ants. Oecophylla smaragdina predation reverses the dominance of the two commonest wasp species at the egg-laying stage and favours the pollinators. This behavioural pattern is mirrored by wasp offspring production, with pollinators' offspring dominating figs produced by trees inhabited by weaver ants, and offspring of the non-pollinator P. mayri most abundant in figs on trees inhabited by other ants. Overall, our results suggest that predation by weaver ants limits the success of the non-pollinating P. mayri and therefore indirectly benefits the mutualism by increasing the reproductive success of both the

  19. Growing networks of overlapping communities with internal structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Jean-Gabriel; Hébert-Dufresne, Laurent; Allard, Antoine; Dubé, Louis J.

    2016-08-01

    We introduce an intuitive model that describes both the emergence of community structure and the evolution of the internal structure of communities in growing social networks. The model comprises two complementary mechanisms: One mechanism accounts for the evolution of the internal link structure of a single community, and the second mechanism coordinates the growth of multiple overlapping communities. The first mechanism is based on the assumption that each node establishes links with its neighbors and introduces new nodes to the community at different rates. We demonstrate that this simple mechanism gives rise to an effective maximal degree within communities. This observation is related to the anthropological theory known as Dunbar's number, i.e., the empirical observation of a maximal number of ties which an average individual can sustain within its social groups. The second mechanism is based on a recently proposed generalization of preferential attachment to community structure, appropriately called structural preferential attachment (SPA). The combination of these two mechanisms into a single model (SPA+) allows us to reproduce a number of the global statistics of real networks: The distribution of community sizes, of node memberships, and of degrees. The SPA+ model also predicts (a) three qualitative regimes for the degree distribution within overlapping communities and (b) strong correlations between the number of communities to which a node belongs and its number of connections within each community. We present empirical evidence that support our findings in real complex networks.

  20. Pinning controllability of complex networks with community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miao, Qingying; Tang, Yang; Kurths, Jürgen; Fang, Jian-an; Wong, W K

    2013-09-01

    In this paper, we study the controllability of networks with different numbers of communities and various strengths of community structure. By means of simulations, we show that the degree descending pinning scheme performs best among several considered pinning schemes under a small number of pinned nodes, while the degree ascending pinning scheme is becoming more powerful by increasing the number of pinned nodes. It is found that increasing the number of communities or reducing the strength of community structure is beneficial for the enhancement of the controllability. Moreover, it is revealed that the pinning scheme with evenly distributed pinned nodes among communities outperforms other kinds of considered pinning schemes.

  1. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    that forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...... on specific enzyme groups and Acromyrmex having an overall high enzyme activity. Finally, I show that the fungal symbiont of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior produces large amounts of biodegrading enzymes in special structures called gongylidia. The ants eat these structures, but enzymes pass...

  2. Influence of community structure on the synchronization of power network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Li-Xin; Jiang, Jun; Liu, Xiao-Jun

    2016-12-01

    This paper studies the synchronizability of power network with community structure. Second-order Kuramoto-like oscillators with dissimilar natural frequencies are used as a coarse-scale model for an electrical power network that contains generators and consumers. The impact of community structure on frequency synchronization of power network is investigated, focusing on the parameters such as community strength, community number and connection strategy between communities. Numerical simulations show that increasing the community strength above a certain critical threshold or adding new communities to the network will be beneficial for the synchronization. Of course, connecting high-degree nodes among communities will be a best strategy to enhance synchronization. Furthermore, it is observed that the synchronizability of the network is significantly influenced by adding new links with different characteristics.

  3. Senescent stem-galls in trees of Eremanthus erythropappus as a resource for arboreal ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fernanda B. de Almeida

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Senescent stem-galls in trees of Eremanthus erythropappus as a resource for arboreal ants. Members of the dipteran families Tephritidae and Cecidomyiidae are inducers of stem-galls in Eremanthus erythropappus (DC. MacLeish (Asteraceae, a tree common in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. When senescent, these galls become available to other organisms, such as ants. The present study describes a community of ants having benefitted from this process of ecosystem-engineering. The colonies in question inhabit the senescent stem-galls of trees of E. erythropappus and were examined in view of answering the following questions: i whether the presence of stem-galls had any bearing on the richness, composition, or size of the ant colonies therein; and ii whether the ants displayed any preferences regarding the shape and/or size of the galls. The study was conducted in populations of E. erythropappus trees near the city of Ouro Preto, MG. A total of 227 galls were collected, 14% of which were occupied by ants, belonging to eight different species. Half of the species occupied galls of both morphotypes (fusiform and globular, although we observed a marked preference for larger, globular shapes. Overall, our results showed the galls to be an effective and abundant resource, helping to maintain the diversity of the ants in the canopy. We also observed the occurrence of outstations and polydomic nests, although an in-depth examination of the influence of galls on this type of structuring has not been investigated.

  4. Enhancing community detection by using local structural information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Ju; Hu, Ke; Zhang, Yan; Bao, Mei-Hua; Tang, Liang; Tang, Yan-Ni; Gao, Yuan-Yuan; Li, Jian-Ming; Chen, Benyan; Hu, Jing-Bo

    2016-03-01

    Many real-world networks, such as gene networks, protein-protein interaction networks and metabolic networks, exhibit community structures, meaning the existence of groups of densely connected vertices in the networks. Many local similarity measures in the networks are closely related to the concept of the community structures, and may have a positive effect on community detection in the networks. Here, various local similarity measures are used to extract local structural information, which is then applied to community detection in the networks by using the edge-reweighting strategy. The effect of the local similarity measures on community detection is carefully investigated and compared in various networks. The experimental results show that the local similarity measures are crucial for the improvement of community detection methods, while the positive effect of the local similarity measures is closely related to the networks under study and applied community detection methods.

  5. A new dynamic null model for phylogenetic community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigot, Alex L; Etienne, Rampal S

    2015-02-01

    Phylogenies are increasingly applied to identify the mechanisms structuring ecological communities but progress has been hindered by a reliance on statistical null models that ignore the historical process of community assembly. Here, we address this, and develop a dynamic null model of assembly by allopatric speciation, colonisation and local extinction. Incorporating these processes fundamentally alters the structure of communities expected due to chance, with speciation leading to phylogenetic overdispersion compared to a classical statistical null model assuming equal probabilities of community membership. Applying this method to bird and primate communities in South America we show that patterns of phylogenetic overdispersion - often attributed to negative biotic interactions - are instead consistent with a species neutral model of allopatric speciation, colonisation and local extinction. Our findings provide a new null expectation for phylogenetic community patterns and highlight the importance of explicitly accounting for the dynamic history of assembly when testing the mechanisms governing community structure.

  6. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayle, Tom M; Scholtz, Olivia; Dumbrell, Alex J; Russell, Stephen; Segar, Simon T; Eggleton, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Termites and ants contribute more to animal biomass in tropical rain forests than any other single group and perform vital ecosystem functions. Although ants prey on termites, at the community level the linkage between these groups is poorly understood. Thus, assessing the distribution and specificity of ant termitophagy is of considerable interest. We describe an approach for quantifying ant-termite food webs by sequencing termite DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, COII) from ant guts and apply this to a soil-dwelling ant community from tropical rain forest in Gabon. We extracted DNA from 215 ants from 15 species. Of these, 17.2 % of individuals had termite DNA in their guts, with BLAST analysis confirming the identity of 34.1 % of these termites to family level or better. Although ant species varied in detection of termite DNA, ranging from 63 % (5/7; Camponotus sp. 1) to 0 % (0/7; Ponera sp. 1), there was no evidence (with small sample sizes) for heterogeneity in termite consumption across ant taxa, and no evidence for species-specific ant-termite predation. In all three ant species with identifiable termite DNA in multiple individuals, multiple termite species were represented. Furthermore, the two termite species that were detected on multiple occasions in ant guts were in both cases found in multiple ant species, suggesting that ant-termite food webs are not strongly compartmentalised. However, two ant species were found to consume only Anoplotermes-group termites, indicating possible predatory specialisation at a higher taxonomic level. Using a laboratory feeding test, we were able to detect termite COII sequences in ant guts up to 2 h after feeding, indicating that our method only detects recent feeding events. Our data provide tentative support for the hypothesis that unspecialised termite predation by ants is widespread and highlight the use of molecular approaches for future studies of ant-termite food webs.

  7. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom M Fayle

    Full Text Available Termites and ants contribute more to animal biomass in tropical rain forests than any other single group and perform vital ecosystem functions. Although ants prey on termites, at the community level the linkage between these groups is poorly understood. Thus, assessing the distribution and specificity of ant termitophagy is of considerable interest. We describe an approach for quantifying ant-termite food webs by sequencing termite DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, COII from ant guts and apply this to a soil-dwelling ant community from tropical rain forest in Gabon. We extracted DNA from 215 ants from 15 species. Of these, 17.2 % of individuals had termite DNA in their guts, with BLAST analysis confirming the identity of 34.1 % of these termites to family level or better. Although ant species varied in detection of termite DNA, ranging from 63 % (5/7; Camponotus sp. 1 to 0 % (0/7; Ponera sp. 1, there was no evidence (with small sample sizes for heterogeneity in termite consumption across ant taxa, and no evidence for species-specific ant-termite predation. In all three ant species with identifiable termite DNA in multiple individuals, multiple termite species were represented. Furthermore, the two termite species that were detected on multiple occasions in ant guts were in both cases found in multiple ant species, suggesting that ant-termite food webs are not strongly compartmentalised. However, two ant species were found to consume only Anoplotermes-group termites, indicating possible predatory specialisation at a higher taxonomic level. Using a laboratory feeding test, we were able to detect termite COII sequences in ant guts up to 2 h after feeding, indicating that our method only detects recent feeding events. Our data provide tentative support for the hypothesis that unspecialised termite predation by ants is widespread and highlight the use of molecular approaches for future studies of ant-termite food webs.

  8. Detect overlapping and hierarchical community structure in networks

    CERN Document Server

    Shen, Huawei; Cai, Kai; Hu, Mao-Bin

    2008-01-01

    Clustering and community structure is crucial for many network systems and the related dynamic processes. It has been shown that communities are usually overlapping and hierarchical. However, previous methods investigate these two properties of community structure separately. This paper propose an algorithm (EAGLE) to detect both the overlapping and hierarchical properties of complex community structure together. This algorithm deals with the set of maximal cliques and adopts an agglomerative framework. The quality function of modularity is extended to evaluate the goodness of a cover. The examples of application to real world networks give excellent results.

  9. Ant Abundance along a Productivity Gradient: Addressing Two Conflicting Hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segev, Udi; Kigel, Jaime; Lubin, Yael; Tielbörger, Katja

    2015-01-01

    The number of individuals within a population or community and their body size can be associated with changes in resource supply. While these relationships may provide a key to better understand the role of abiotic vs. biotic constraints in animal communities, little is known about the way size and abundance of organisms change along resource gradients. Here, we studied this interplay in ants, addressing two hypotheses with opposite predictions regarding variation in population densities along resource gradients- the ‘productivity hypothesis’ and the ‘productivity-based thinning hypothesis’. The hypotheses were tested in two functional groups of ground-dwelling ants that are directly primary consumers feeding on seeds: specialized seed-eaters and generalist species. We examined variations in colony density and foraging activity (a size measurement of the forager caste) in six ant assemblages along a steep productivity gradient in a semi-arid region, where precipitation and plant biomass vary 6-fold over a distance of 250km. An increase in the density or foraging activity of ant colonies along productivity gradients is also likely to affect competitive interactions among colonies, and consequently clinal changes in competition intensity were also examined. Ant foraging activity increased with productivity for both functional groups. However, colony density revealed opposing patterns: it increased with productivity for the specialized seed-eaters, but decreased for the generalist species. Competition intensity, evaluated by spatial partitioning of species at food baits and distribution of colonies, was uncorrelated with productivity in the specialized seed-eaters, but decreased with increasing productivity in the generalists. Our results provide support for two contrasting hypotheses regarding the effect of resource availability on the abundance of colonial organisms- the ‘productivity hypothesis’ for specialized seed-eaters and the

  10. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

    The visible anal spots deposited by Oecophylla smaragdina ants have been suggested to deter ant prey, affect interspecific competition and facilitate mutualists and parasites in tracking down Oecophylla ants. I measured the density of anal spots on host trees with and without ants and tested for ...... to leaves. Also there was a positive correlation between spot density and the likelihood of being detected by ants. Anal spots may thus function as reliable cues to interacting species and be an important factor in shaping the community around Oecophylla colonies.......The visible anal spots deposited by Oecophylla smaragdina ants have been suggested to deter ant prey, affect interspecific competition and facilitate mutualists and parasites in tracking down Oecophylla ants. I measured the density of anal spots on host trees with and without ants and tested...... for correlations between spot density, ant activity and the likelihood of being detected by an ant. Spots were only found on trees with ants. On ant-trees, spots were distributed throughout the trees but with higher densities in areas with high ant activity and pheromone densities were higher on twigs compared...

  11. Investigating Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Community Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Wilfred

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a field study project that explores factors influencing forest community structure and lifts the veil off of "plant blindness." This ecological study consists of three laboratories: (1) preliminary field trip to the study site; (2) plant survey; and (3) analyzing plant community structure with descriptive…

  12. Temporal abiotic variability structures invertebrate communities in agricultural drainage ditches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whatley, M.H.; Vonk, J.A.; van der Geest, H.G.; Admiraal, W.

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic variability is known to structure lotic invertebrate communities, yet its influence on lentic invertebrates is not clear. This study tests the hypothesis that variability of nutrients and macro-ions are structuring invertebrate communities in agricultural drainage ditches. This was determine

  13. Community Structural Instability, Anomie, Imitation and Adolescent Suicidal Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorlindsson, Thorolfur; Bernburg, Jon Gunnar

    2009-01-01

    The current study examines the contextual effects of community structural characteristics, as well as the mediating role of key social mechanisms, on youth suicidal behavior in Iceland. We argue that the contextual influence of community structural instability on youth suicidal behavior should be mediated by weak attachment to social norms and…

  14. Investigating Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Community Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Wilfred

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a field study project that explores factors influencing forest community structure and lifts the veil off of "plant blindness." This ecological study consists of three laboratories: (1) preliminary field trip to the study site; (2) plant survey; and (3) analyzing plant community structure with descriptive…

  15. Community Structural Instability, Anomie, Imitation and Adolescent Suicidal Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorlindsson, Thorolfur; Bernburg, Jon Gunnar

    2009-01-01

    The current study examines the contextual effects of community structural characteristics, as well as the mediating role of key social mechanisms, on youth suicidal behavior in Iceland. We argue that the contextual influence of community structural instability on youth suicidal behavior should be mediated by weak attachment to social norms and…

  16. Temporal abiotic variability structures invertebrate communities in agricultural drainage ditches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whatley, M.H.; Vonk, J.A.; van der Geest, H.G.; Admiraal, W.

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic variability is known to structure lotic invertebrate communities, yet its influence on lentic invertebrates is not clear. This study tests the hypothesis that variability of nutrients and macro-ions are structuring invertebrate communities in agricultural drainage ditches. This was

  17. [The ants: a strategy of population concentration].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakharov, A A

    2011-01-01

    Ants are provided with a balanced system of reactions either to the original paucity of socia or to their secondary depopulation. This system can be defined as a strategy of population concentration. Both a successful reproduction of workers and queen fertilization are necessary conditions for ant communities' survival and development. Thus, the anthills must be large enough to ensure optimal conditions for reproduction. It is the strategy of population concentration that is directed to an accelerated attainment (or rehabilitation) by a socium of a state of stable development by way of concentrating the existent ant staff in an accessible number of viable nests. This strategy is realized throughout the life of ant communities by way of (a) fusing the starting family cells left by founder females, (b) fusing small anthills during artificial ant migrations, (c) uniting smaller socia or their joining other anthills, (d) reintegrating the secondary anthills (fragmentants) after an exogenous fragmentation of formicaries. Pooling and the attraction of deficient demographic resources from outside form the most efficient and quickest ways of reaching or restoring the threshold density levels. By realizing this strategy, the ants solve their paramount problems of anthill or settlement conservation at any particular time, as well as of providing some prospects for ant existence in the future. These problems are so vital for ant socia that they appear to hold priority over such other characteristics of utmost importance as genetic kinship or even species identity. The priority of social basics over genetic ones is unequivocally supported through mixed formicaries. A necessary condition for the realization of the strategy of population concentration is tolerance of highly developed social systems to the diversity of forms and to deviations from the norm. The use of one and the same mechanism at all stages of the life both of an individual socium and large ant settlements is

  18. The structure and evolution of plankton communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longhurst, Alan R.

    New understanding of the circulation of ancient oceans is not yet matched by progress in our understanding of their pelagic ecology, though it was the planktonic ecosystems that generated our offshore oil and gas reserves. Can we assume that present-day models of ecosystem function are also valid for ancient seas? This question is addressed by a study of over 4000 plankton samples to derive a comprehensive, global description of zooplankton community structure in modern oceans: this shows that copepods form only 50% of the biomass of all plankton, ranging from 70% in polar to 35% in tropical seas. Comparable figures are derived from 14 other taxonomic categories of zooplankton. For trophic groupings, the data indicate globally: geletinous predators - 14%; gelatinous herbivores - 4%; raptorial predators - 33%; macrofiltering herbivores - 20%; macrofiltering omnivores - 25%; and detritivores - 3%. A simple, idealized model for the modern pelagic ecosystem is derived from these percentages which indicates that metazooplankton are not the most important consumers of pico- and nano-plankton production which itself probably constitutes 90% of primary production in warm oceans. This model is then compared with candidate life-forms available in Palaeozoic and Mesozoic oceans to determine to what extent it is also valid for ancient ecosystems: it is concluded that it is probably unnecessary to postulate models fundamentally differing from it in order to accommodate the life-forms, both protozoic and metazoic, known to have populated ancient seas. Remarkably few life-forms have existed which cannot be paralleled in the modern ocean, which contains remarkably few life-forms which cannot be paralleled in the Palaeozoic ocean. As a first assumption, then, it is reasonable to assume that energy pathways were similar in ancient oceans to those we study today.

  19. Bacterial associates of arboreal ants and their putative functions in an obligate ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eilmus, Sascha; Heil, Martin

    2009-07-01

    Bacterial communities are highly diverse and have great ecological importance. In the present study, we used an in silico analysis of terminal restriction fragments (tRF) to characterize the bacterial community of the plant ant Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus. This species is an obligate inhabitant of Acacia myrmecophytes and feeds exclusively on plant-derived food sources. Ants are the dominant insect group in tropical rain forests. Associations of ants with microbes, which contribute particularly to the ants' nitrogen nutrition, could allow these insects to live on mostly or entirely plant-based diets and could thus contribute to the explanation of the high abundances that are reached by tropical ants. We found tRF patterns representing at least 30 prokaryotic taxa, of which the Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Planctomycetes, Proteobacteria, and Spirochaetes comprised 93%. Because most bacterial taxa were found in all ant-derived samples studied and because the bacteria detected on the ants' host plant revealed little overlap with this community, we regard our results as reliably representing the bacterial community that is associated with P. ferrugineus. Genera with a likely function as ant symbionts were Burkholderia, Pantoea, Weissella, and several members of the Enterobacteriaceae. The presence of these and various other groups was confirmed via independent PCR and cultivation approaches. Many of the bacteria that we detected belong to purportedly N-fixing taxa. Bacteria may represent important further partners in ant-plant mutualisms, and their influences on ant nutrition can contribute to the extraordinary abundance and evolutionary success of tropical arboreal ants.

  20. Fire disturbance disrupts an acacia ant-plant mutualism in favor of a subordinate ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sensenig, Ryan L; Kimuyu, Duncan K; Ruiz Guajardo, Juan C; Veblen, Kari E; Riginos, Corinna; Young, Truman P

    2017-05-01

    Although disturbance theory has been recognized as a useful framework in examining the stability of ant-plant mutualisms, very few studies have examined the effects of fire disturbance on these mutualisms. In myrmecophyte-dominated savannas, fire and herbivory are key drivers that could influence ant-plant mutualisms by causing complete colony mortality and/or decreasing colony size, which potentially could alter dominance hierarchies if subordinate species are more fire resilient. We used a large-scale, replicated fire experiment to examine long-term effects of fire on acacia-ant community composition. To determine if fire shifted ant occupancy from a competitive dominant to a subordinate ant species, we surveyed the acacia-ant community in 6-7 yr old burn sites and examined how the spatial scale of these burns influenced ant community responses. We then used two short-term fire experiments to explore possible mechanisms for the shifts in community patterns observed. Because survival of ant colonies is largely dependent on their ability to detect and escape an approaching fire, we first tested the evacuation response of all four ant species when exposed to smoke (fire signal). Then to better understand how fire and its interaction with large mammal herbivory affect the density of ants per tree, we quantified ant worker density in small prescribed burns within herbivore exclusion plots. We found clear evidence suggesting that fire disturbance favored the subordinate ant Crematogaster nigriceps more than the dominant and strong mutualist ant C. mimosae, whereby C. nigriceps (1) was the only species to occupy a greater proportion of trees in 6-7 yr old burn sites compared to unburned sites, (2) had higher burn/unburn tree ratios with increasing burn size, and (3) evacuated significantly faster than C. mimosae in the presence of smoke. Fire and herbivory had opposite effects on ant density per meter of branch for both C. nigriceps and C. mimosae, with fire

  1. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roura-Pascual, Núria; Sanders, Nate; Hui, Cang

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To examine the relationship between island characteristics (area, distance to the nearest continent, climate and human population size) and ant species richness, as well as the factors underlying global geographical clustering of native and exotic ant composition on islands. Location: One...... hundred and two islands from 20 island groups around the world. Methods: We used spatial linear models that consider the spatial structure of islands to examine patterns of ant species richness. We also performed modularity analyses to identify clusters of islands hosting a similar suite of species...... and constructed conditional inference trees to assess the characteristics of islands that explain the formation of these island-ant groups. Results: Island area was the best predictor of ant species richness. However, distance to the nearest continent was an important predictor of native ant species richness...

  2. Community Structure Detection Algorithm Based on the Node Belonging Degree

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Li

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm to identify communities in complex networks based on the node belonging degree. First, we give the concept of the node belonging degree, and then determine whether a node belongs to a community or not according to the belonging degree of the node with respect to the community. The experiment results of three real-world networks: a network with three communities with 19 nodes, Zachary Karate Club and network of American college football teams show that the proposed algorithm has satisfactory community structure detection.  

  3. Variation in Extrafloral Nectary Productivity Influences the Ant Foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Denise; Calixto, Eduardo Soares; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2017-01-01

    Extrafloral nectar is the main food source offered by plants to predatory ants in most land environments. Although many studies have demonstrated the importance of extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) to plant defense against herbivores, the influence of EFNs secretory activity pattern on predatory ants remains yet not fully understood. Here, we verified the relation between the extrafloral nectar production of a plant community in Cerrado in different times of the day, and its attractiveness to ants. The extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) of seven plant species showed higher productivity overnight. Ant abundance was higher in times of large extrafloral nectar production, however, there was no positive relation between ant richness on plants and EFNs productivity. There was temporal resource partitioning among ant species, and it indicates strong resource competition. The nectar productivity varied among plant species and time of the day, and it influenced the visitation patterns of ants. Therefore, EFNs are a key ant-plant interaction driver in the studied system.

  4. Variation in Extrafloral Nectary Productivity Influences the Ant Foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Extrafloral nectar is the main food source offered by plants to predatory ants in most land environments. Although many studies have demonstrated the importance of extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) to plant defense against herbivores, the influence of EFNs secretory activity pattern on predatory ants remains yet not fully understood. Here, we verified the relation between the extrafloral nectar production of a plant community in Cerrado in different times of the day, and its attractiveness to ants. The extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) of seven plant species showed higher productivity overnight. Ant abundance was higher in times of large extrafloral nectar production, however, there was no positive relation between ant richness on plants and EFNs productivity. There was temporal resource partitioning among ant species, and it indicates strong resource competition. The nectar productivity varied among plant species and time of the day, and it influenced the visitation patterns of ants. Therefore, EFNs are a key ant-plant interaction driver in the studied system. PMID:28046069

  5. Community structure of foraminiferal communities within temporal biozones from the western Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayek, Lee-Ann C.; Buzas, Martin A.; Osterman, Lisa A.

    2007-01-01

    Community structure is often an overlooked dimension of biodiversity. Knowledge of community structure, the statistical distribution of the relative species abundance vector, makes possible comparisons and contrasts across time, space, and/or environmental conditions. Our results indicate that species of Arctic foraminifera in age-correlated cores from abyssal depths are each best described by log-series distributions. Using this structural information, we were able to determine that structural stability exists for at least 50 ka. The foraminiferal communities in this study show remarkable concordance, distributional similarity and support the neutral theory of biodiversity.

  6. Mutualistic ants as an indirect defence against leaf pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Teuber, Marcia; Kaltenpoth, Martin; Boland, Wilhelm

    2014-04-01

    Mutualistic ants are commonly considered as an efficient indirect defence against herbivores. Nevertheless, their indirect protective role against plant pathogens has been scarcely investigated. We compared the protective role against pathogens of two different ant partners, a mutualistic and a parasitic ant, on the host plant Acacia hindsii (Fabaceae). The epiphytic bacterial community on leaves was evaluated in the presence and absence of both ant partners by cultivation and by 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Pathogen-inflicted leaf damage, epiphytic bacterial abundance (colony-forming units) and number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were significantly higher in plants inhabited by parasitic ants than in plants inhabited by mutualistic ants. Unifrac unweighted and weighted principal component analyses showed that the bacterial community composition on leaves changed significantly when mutualistic ants were removed from plants or when plants were inhabited by parasitic ants. Direct mechanisms provided by ant-associated bacteria would contribute to the protective role against pathogens. The results suggest that the indirect defence of mutualistic ants also covers the protection from bacterial plant pathogens. Our findings highlight the importance of considering bacterial partners in ant-plant defensive mutualisms, which can contribute significantly to ant-mediated protection from plant pathogens. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. Detecting Community Structure by Using a Constrained Label Propagation Algorithm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia Hou Chin

    Full Text Available Community structure is considered one of the most interesting features in complex networks. Many real-world complex systems exhibit community structure, where individuals with similar properties form a community. The identification of communities in a network is important for understanding the structure of said network, in a specific perspective. Thus, community detection in complex networks gained immense interest over the last decade. A lot of community detection methods were proposed, and one of them is the label propagation algorithm (LPA. The simplicity and time efficiency of the LPA make it a popular community detection method. However, the LPA suffers from instability detection due to randomness that is induced in the algorithm. The focus of this paper is to improve the stability and accuracy of the LPA, while retaining its simplicity. Our proposed algorithm will first detect the main communities in a network by using the number of mutual neighbouring nodes. Subsequently, nodes are added into communities by using a constrained LPA. Those constraints are then gradually relaxed until all nodes are assigned into groups. In order to refine the quality of the detected communities, nodes in communities can be switched to another community or removed from their current communities at various stages of the algorithm. We evaluated our algorithm on three types of benchmark networks, namely the Lancichinetti-Fortunato-Radicchi (LFR, Relaxed Caveman (RC and Girvan-Newman (GN benchmarks. We also apply the present algorithm to some real-world networks of various sizes. The current results show some promising potential, of the proposed algorithm, in terms of detecting communities accurately. Furthermore, our constrained LPA has a robustness and stability that are significantly better than the simple LPA as it is able to yield deterministic results.

  8. Detecting Community Structure by Using a Constrained Label Propagation Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratnavelu, Kuru

    2016-01-01

    Community structure is considered one of the most interesting features in complex networks. Many real-world complex systems exhibit community structure, where individuals with similar properties form a community. The identification of communities in a network is important for understanding the structure of said network, in a specific perspective. Thus, community detection in complex networks gained immense interest over the last decade. A lot of community detection methods were proposed, and one of them is the label propagation algorithm (LPA). The simplicity and time efficiency of the LPA make it a popular community detection method. However, the LPA suffers from instability detection due to randomness that is induced in the algorithm. The focus of this paper is to improve the stability and accuracy of the LPA, while retaining its simplicity. Our proposed algorithm will first detect the main communities in a network by using the number of mutual neighbouring nodes. Subsequently, nodes are added into communities by using a constrained LPA. Those constraints are then gradually relaxed until all nodes are assigned into groups. In order to refine the quality of the detected communities, nodes in communities can be switched to another community or removed from their current communities at various stages of the algorithm. We evaluated our algorithm on three types of benchmark networks, namely the Lancichinetti-Fortunato-Radicchi (LFR), Relaxed Caveman (RC) and Girvan-Newman (GN) benchmarks. We also apply the present algorithm to some real-world networks of various sizes. The current results show some promising potential, of the proposed algorithm, in terms of detecting communities accurately. Furthermore, our constrained LPA has a robustness and stability that are significantly better than the simple LPA as it is able to yield deterministic results. PMID:27176470

  9. A stochastic model for detecting overlapping and hierarchical community structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaochun Cao

    Full Text Available Community detection is a fundamental problem in the analysis of complex networks. Recently, many researchers have concentrated on the detection of overlapping communities, where a vertex may belong to more than one community. However, most current methods require the number (or the size of the communities as a priori information, which is usually unavailable in real-world networks. Thus, a practical algorithm should not only find the overlapping community structure, but also automatically determine the number of communities. Furthermore, it is preferable if this method is able to reveal the hierarchical structure of networks as well. In this work, we firstly propose a generative model that employs a nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF formulization with a l(2,1 norm regularization term, balanced by a resolution parameter. The NMF has the nature that provides overlapping community structure by assigning soft membership variables to each vertex; the l(2,1 regularization term is a technique of group sparsity which can automatically determine the number of communities by penalizing too many nonempty communities; and hence the resolution parameter enables us to explore the hierarchical structure of networks. Thereafter, we derive the multiplicative update rule to learn the model parameters, and offer the proof of its correctness. Finally, we test our approach on a variety of synthetic and real-world networks, and compare it with some state-of-the-art algorithms. The results validate the superior performance of our new method.

  10. Virality Prediction and Community Structure in Social Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Lilian; Menczer, Filippo; Ahn, Yong-Yeol

    2013-08-01

    How does network structure affect diffusion? Recent studies suggest that the answer depends on the type of contagion. Complex contagions, unlike infectious diseases (simple contagions), are affected by social reinforcement and homophily. Hence, the spread within highly clustered communities is enhanced, while diffusion across communities is hampered. A common hypothesis is that memes and behaviors are complex contagions. We show that, while most memes indeed spread like complex contagions, a few viral memes spread across many communities, like diseases. We demonstrate that the future popularity of a meme can be predicted by quantifying its early spreading pattern in terms of community concentration. The more communities a meme permeates, the more viral it is. We present a practical method to translate data about community structure into predictive knowledge about what information will spread widely. This connection contributes to our understanding in computational social science, social media analytics, and marketing applications.

  11. Virality Prediction and Community Structure in Social Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Lilian; Menczer, Filippo; Ahn, Yong-Yeol

    2013-01-01

    How does network structure affect diffusion? Recent studies suggest that the answer depends on the type of contagion. Complex contagions, unlike infectious diseases (simple contagions), are affected by social reinforcement and homophily. Hence, the spread within highly clustered communities is enhanced, while diffusion across communities is hampered. A common hypothesis is that memes and behaviors are complex contagions. We show that, while most memes indeed spread like complex contagions, a few viral memes spread across many communities, like diseases. We demonstrate that the future popularity of a meme can be predicted by quantifying its early spreading pattern in terms of community concentration. The more communities a meme permeates, the more viral it is. We present a practical method to translate data about community structure into predictive knowledge about what information will spread widely. This connection contributes to our understanding in computational social science, social media analytics, and marketing applications. PMID:23982106

  12. Plant genetics shapes inquiline community structure across spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crutsinger, Gregory M; Cadotte, Marc W; Sanders, Nathan J

    2009-04-01

    Recent research in community genetics has examined the effects of intraspecific genetic variation on species diversity in local communities. However, communities can be structured by a combination of both local and regional processes and to date, few community genetics studies have examined whether the effects of instraspecific genetic variation are consistent across levels of diversity. In this study, we ask whether host-plant genetic variation structures communities of arthropod inquilines within distinct habitat patches--rosette leaf galls on tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima). We found that genetic variation determined inquiline diversity at both local and regional spatial scales, but that trophic-level responses varied independently of one another. This result suggests that herbivores and predators likely respond to heritable plant traits at different spatial scales. Together, our results show that incorporating spatial scale is essential for predicting the effects of genetically variable traits on different trophic levels and levels of diversity within the communities that depend on host plants.

  13. Community structure in traffic zones based on travel demand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Li; Ling, Ximan; He, Kun; Tan, Qian

    2016-09-01

    Large structure in complex networks can be studied by dividing it into communities or modules. Urban traffic system is one of the most critical infrastructures. It can be abstracted into a complex network composed of tightly connected groups. Here, we analyze community structure in urban traffic zones based on the community detection method in network science. Spectral algorithm using the eigenvectors of matrices is employed. Our empirical results indicate that the traffic communities are variant with the travel demand distribution, since in the morning the majority of the passengers are traveling from home to work and in the evening they are traveling a contrary direction. Meanwhile, the origin-destination pairs with large number of trips play a significant role in urban traffic network's community division. The layout of traffic community in a city also depends on the residents' trajectories.

  14. Assembly and phylogenetic structure of Neotropical palm communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Svenning, J.-C.; Balslev, Henrik

    Diversity, composition and dynamics of Neotropical palm communities are receiving an increasing amount of attention due to their economic importance, but also because their high species richness and functional diversity render them valuable model systems for overall forest biodiversity. However......, to better understand these palm communities, it is crucial to gain insight into the mechanisms responsible for their assembly. These can be dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, or biotic interactions. If the degree of niche conservatism is known for a group of organisms, patterns of community...... phylogenetic structure can be directly traced back to mechanisms of community assembly. We aim to examine this for Neotropical palm communities. Phylogenetic structure will be inferred on different spatial scales and for different community definitions (plot-based and environment-based). To overcome...

  15. Community structure of complex networks based on continuous neural network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Ting-ting; Shan, Chang-ji; Dong, Yan-shou

    2017-09-01

    As a new subject, the research of complex networks has attracted the attention of researchers from different disciplines. Community structure is one of the key structures of complex networks, so it is a very important task to analyze the community structure of complex networks accurately. In this paper, we study the problem of extracting the community structure of complex networks, and propose a continuous neural network (CNN) algorithm. It is proved that for any given initial value, the continuous neural network algorithm converges to the eigenvector of the maximum eigenvalue of the network modularity matrix. Therefore, according to the stability of the evolution of the network symbol will be able to get two community structure.

  16. Phylogenetic structure in tropical hummingbird communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graham, Catherine H; Parra, Juan L; Rahbek, Carsten;

    2009-01-01

    composition of 189 hummingbird communities in Ecuador. We assessed how species and phylogenetic composition changed along environmental gradients and across biogeographic barriers. We show that humid, low-elevation communities are phylogenetically overdispersed (coexistence of distant relatives), a pattern...... an expensive means of locomotion at high elevations. We found that communities in the lowlands on opposite sides of the Andes tend to be phylogenetically similar despite their large differences in species composition, a pattern implicating the Andes as an important dispersal barrier. In contrast, along...... the steep environmental gradient between the lowlands and the Andes we found evidence that species turnover is comprised of relatively distantly related species. The integration of local and regional patterns of diversity across environmental gradients and biogeographic barriers provides insight...

  17. Relative effects of disturbance on red imported fire ants and native ant species in a longleaf pine ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuble, Katharine L; Kirkman, L Katherine; Carroll, C Ronald; Sanders, Nathan J

    2011-06-01

    The degree to which changes in community composition mediate the probability of colonization and spread of non-native species is not well understood, especially in animal communities. High species richness may hinder the establishment of non-native species. Distinguishing between this scenario and cases in which non-native species become established in intact (lacking extensive anthropogenic soil disturbance) communities and subsequently diminish the abundance and richness of native species is challenging on the basis of observation alone. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), an invasive species that occurs throughout much of the southeastern United States, is such an example. Rather than competitively displacing native species, fire ants may become established only in disturbed areas in which native species richness and abundance are already reduced. We used insecticide to reduce the abundance of native ants and fire ants in four experimental plots. We then observed the reassembly and reestablishment of the ants in these plots for 1 year after treatment. The abundance of fire ants in treated plots did not differ from abundance in control plots 1 year after treatment. Likewise, the abundance of native ants increased to levels comparable to those in control plots after 1 year. Our findings suggest that factors other than large reductions in ant abundance and species density (number of species per unit area) may affect the establishment of fire ants and that the response of native ants and fire ants to disturbance can be comparable.

  18. Detecting highly overlapping community structure by greedy clique expansion

    CERN Document Server

    Lee, Conrad; McDaid, Aaron; Hurley, Neil

    2010-01-01

    In complex networks it is common for each node to belong to several communities, implying a highly overlapping community structure. Recent advances in benchmarking indicate that existing community assignment algorithms, capable of detecting overlapping communities, perform well only when the extent of community overlap is kept to modest levels. To overcome this limitation, we introduce a new community assignment algorithm called Greedy Clique Expansion (GCE). The algorithm identifies distinct cliques as seeds and expands these seeds by greedily optimizing a local fitness function. We perform extensive benchmarks on synthetic data to demonstrate that GCE's good performance is robust across diverse graph topologies. Significantly, GCE is the only algorithm to perform well on these synthetic graphs, in which every node belongs to multiple communities. Furthermore, when put to the task of identifying functional modules in protein interaction data, and college dorm assignments in Facebook friendship data, we find ...

  19. Temperature limits trail following behaviour through pheromone decay in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oudenhove, Louise; Billoir, Elise; Boulay, Raphaël; Bernstein, Carlos; Cerdá, Xim

    2011-12-01

    In Mediterranean habitats, temperature affects both ant foraging behaviour and community structure. Many studies have shown that dominant species often forage at lower temperature than subordinates. Yet, the factors that constrain dominant species foraging activity in hot environments are still elusive. We used the dominant ant Tapinoma nigerrimum as a model species to test the hypothesis that high temperatures hinder trail following behaviour by accelerating pheromone degradation. First, field observations showed that high temperatures (> 30°C) reduce the foraging activity of T. nigerrimum independently of the daily and seasonal rhythms of this species. Second, we isolated the effect of high temperatures on pheromone trail efficacy from its effect on worker physiology. A marked substrate was heated during 10 min (five temperature treatments from 25°C to 60°C), cooled down to 25°C, and offered in a test choice to workers. At hot temperature treatments (>40°C), workers did not discriminate the previously marked substrate. High temperatures appeared therefore to accelerate pheromone degradation. Third, we assessed the pheromone decay dynamics by a mechanistic model fitted with Bayesian inference. The model predicted ant choice through the evolution of pheromone concentration on trails as a function of both temperature and time since pheromone deposition. Overall, our results highlighted that the effect of high temperatures on recruitment intensity was partly due to pheromone evaporation. In the Mediterranean ant communities, this might affect dominant species relying on chemical recruitment, more than subordinate ant species, less dependent on chemical communication and less sensitive to high temperatures.

  20. Impacts of residual insecticide barriers on perimeter-invading ants, with particular reference to the odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharf, Michael E; Ratliff, Catina R; Bennett, Gary W

    2004-04-01

    Three liquid insecticide formulations were evaluated as barrier treatments against perimeter-invading ants at a multifamily housing complex in West Lafayette, IN. Several ant species were present at the study site, including (in order of abundance) pavement ant, Tetramorium caespitum (L.); honey ant, Prenolepis imparis (Say); odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say); thief ant, Solenopsis molesta (Say); acrobat ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi (Mayr); crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle), field ants, Formica spp.; and carpenter ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer). Studies began in May 2001 and concluded 8 wk later in July. Individual replicate treatments were placed 0.61 in (2 feet) up and 0.92 m (3 feet) out from the ends of 46.1 by 10.1-m (151 by 33-foot) apartment buildings. Ant sampling was performed with 10 placements of moist cat food for 1 h within treatment zones, followed by capture and removal of recruited ants for later counting. All treatments led to substantial reductions in ant numbers relative to untreated controls. The most effective treatment was fipronil, where 2% of before-treatment ant numbers were present at 8 wk after treatment. Both imidacloprid and cyfluthrin barrier treatments had efficacy comparative with fipronil, but to 4 and 2 wk, respectively. Odorous house ants were not sampled before treatment. Comparisons of ant species composition between treatments and controls revealed an increase in odorous house ant frequencies at 1-8 wk after treatment in treated locations only. These results demonstrate efficacy for both nonrepellent and repellent liquid insecticides as perimeter treatments for pest ants. In addition, our findings with odorous house ant highlight an apparent invasive-like characteristic of this species that may contribute to its dramatic increase in structural infestation rates in many areas of the United States.

  1. A sublethal imidacloprid concentration alters foraging and competition behaviour of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiel, Sarina; Köhler, Heinz-R

    2016-05-01

    Neonicotinoid pesticides, such as the widely used compound imidacloprid, are suspected to impair cognitive capacity, behaviour, and fitness of a number of non-target species. We tested whether sublethal imidacloprid concentrations alter the foraging and aggression behaviour of two European ant species. Even though the nestmate-recruitment of Lasius niger was not affected by pesticide exposure, these ants required more time to become active and the number of foraging workers was lower than in sub-colonies not exposed to imidacloprid. In interspecific confrontations, imidacloprid increased the aggressiveness of a usually subordinate species (Lasius flavus) enormously (3.7-fold increase in average number of aggressive encounters), whereas they did not affect a subdominant species (L. niger) that severely (1.2-fold increase in average number of aggressive encounters). The high frequency of aggressive encounters of L. flavus vs. non-exposed L. niger workers, reduced their survival probability significantly down to 60 %. The observed behavioural alterations of the two ant species have the potential to impair their viability and co-occurrence with behaviourally dominate species due to a decreased exploitative competition and a reduced chance to locate and use resources before competitors. As competition is considered key in structuring ant communities, changes in aggressiveness are likely to alter established dominance hierarchies and thereby the dynamic and structure of ant communities.

  2. Effects of drought on avian community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas P. Albright; Anna M. Pidgeon; Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Murray K. Clayton; Curtis H. Flather; Patrick D. Culbert; Brian D. Wardlow; Volker C. Radeloff

    2010-01-01

    Droughts are expected to become more frequent under global climate change. Avifauna depend on precipitation for hydration, cover, and food. While there are indications that avian communities respond negatively to drought, little is known about the response of birds with differing functional and behavioural traits, what time periods and indicators of drought are most...

  3. Microbial Community Structure and Denitrification in a Wetland Mitigation Bank▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralta, Ariane L.; Matthews, Jeffrey W.; Kent, Angela D.

    2010-01-01

    Wetland mitigation is implemented to replace ecosystem functions provided by wetlands; however, restoration efforts frequently fail to establish equivalent levels of ecosystem services. Delivery of microbially mediated ecosystem functions, such as denitrification, is influenced by both the structure and activity of the microbial community. The objective of this study was to compare the relationship between soil and vegetation factors and microbial community structure and function in restored and reference wetlands within a mitigation bank. Microbial community composition was assessed using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism targeting the 16S rRNA gene (total bacteria) and the nosZ gene (denitrifiers). Comparisons of microbial function were based on potential denitrification rates. Bacterial community structures differed significantly between restored and reference wetlands; denitrifier community assemblages were similar among reference sites but highly variable among restored sites throughout the mitigation bank. Potential denitrification was highest in the reference wetland sites. These data demonstrate that wetland restoration efforts in this mitigation bank have not successfully restored denitrification and that differences in potential denitrification rates may be due to distinct microbial assemblages observed in restored and reference (natural) wetlands. Further, we have identified gradients in soil moisture and soil fertility that were associated with differences in microbial community structure. Microbial function was influenced by bacterial community composition and soil fertility. Identifying soil factors that are primary ecological drivers of soil bacterial communities, especially denitrifying populations, can potentially aid the development of predictive models for restoration of biogeochemical transformations and enhance the success of wetland restoration efforts. PMID:20453124

  4. Exploratory Visualization of Graphs Based on Community Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yujie

    2013-01-01

    Communities, also called clusters or modules, are groups of nodes which probably share common properties and/or play similar roles within a graph. They widely exist in real networks such as biological, social, and information networks. Allowing users to interactively browse and explore the community structure, which is essential for understanding…

  5. Faculty Scholarship at Community Colleges: Culture, Institutional Structures, and Socialization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morest, Vanessa Smith

    2015-01-01

    This chapter looks at community college faculty engagement in scholarship. Community college faculty spend the majority of their time engaged in teaching, and therefore their scholarship typically focuses on strengthening curriculum and instruction. The paper identifies some of the structural and cultural challenges and supports to scholarship at…

  6. A new dynamic null model for phylogenetic community structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pigot, Alex L; Etienne, Rampal S

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenies are increasingly applied to identify the mechanisms structuring ecological communities but progress has been hindered by a reliance on statistical null models that ignore the historical process of community assembly. Here, we address this, and develop a dynamic null model of assembly by

  7. Ecological and evolutionary effects of stickleback on community structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Des Roches

    Full Text Available Species' ecology and evolution can have strong effects on communities. Both may change concurrently when species colonize a new ecosystem. We know little, however, about the combined effects of ecological and evolutionary change on community structure. We simultaneously examined the effects of top-predator ecology and evolution on freshwater community parameters using recently evolved generalist and specialist ecotypes of three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus. We used a mesocosm experiment to directly examine the effects of ecological (fish presence and density and evolutionary (phenotypic diversity and specialization factors on community structure at lower trophic levels. We evaluated zooplankton biomass and composition, periphyton and phytoplankton chlorophyll-a concentration, and net primary production among treatments containing different densities and diversities of stickleback. Our results showed that both ecological and evolutionary differences in the top-predator affect different aspects of community structure and composition. Community structure, specifically the abundance of organisms at each trophic level, was affected by stickleback presence and density, whereas composition of zooplankton was influenced by stickleback diversity and specialization. Primary productivity, in terms of chlorophyll-a concentration and net primary production was affected by ecological but not evolutionary factors. Our results stress the importance of concurrently evaluating both changes in density and phenotypic diversity on the structure and composition of communities.

  8. variabilty in parasites' community structure and composition in cat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mgina

    ABSTRACT. This study investigated the composition and structure of the parasite communities in Cat fish ... The western shore is mainly sandy ... part of which is sandy and rocky and along the shores ..... Sediment And Microalgae From Lake ...

  9. Host niches and defensive extended phenotypes structure parasitoid wasp communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Bailey

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Oak galls are spectacular extended phenotypes of gallwasp genes in host oak tissues and have evolved complex morphologies that serve, in part, to exclude parasitoid natural enemies.Parasitoids and their insect herbivore hosts have coevolved to produce diverse communities comprising about a third of all animal species. The factors structuring these communities, however, remain poorly understood. An emerging theme in community ecology is the need to consider the effects of host traits, shaped by both natural selection and phylogenetic history, on associated communities of natural enemies. Here we examine the impact of host traits and phylogenetic relatedness on 48 ecologically closed and species-rich communities of parasitoids attacking gall-inducing wasps on oaks. Gallwasps induce the development of spectacular and structurally complex galls whose species- and generation-specific morphologies are the extended phenotypes of gallwasp genes. All the associated natural enemies attack their concealed hosts through gall tissues, and several structural gall traits have been shown to enhance defence against parasitoid attack. Here we explore the significance of these and other host traits in predicting variation in parasitoid community structure across gallwasp species. In particular, we test the "Enemy Hypothesis," which predicts that galls with similar morphology will exclude similar sets of parasitoids and therefore have similar parasitoid communities. Having controlled for phylogenetic patterning in host traits and communities, we found significant correlations between parasitoid community structure and several gall structural traits (toughness, hairiness, stickiness, supporting the Enemy Hypothesis. Parasitoid community structure was also consistently predicted by components of the hosts' spatiotemporal niche, particularly host oak taxonomy and gall location (e.g., leaf versus bud versus seed. The combined explanatory power of structural and

  10. Modeling community structure and topics in dynamic text networks

    CERN Document Server

    Henry, Teague; Chai, Christine; Owens-Oas, Derek

    2016-01-01

    The last decade has seen great progress in both dynamic network modeling and topic modeling. This paper draws upon both areas to create a Bayesian method that allows topic discovery to inform the latent network model and the network structure to facilitate topic identification. We apply this method to the 467 top political blogs of 2012. Our results find complex community structure within this set of blogs, where community membership depends strongly upon the set of topics in which the blogger is interested.

  11. Community detection for networks with unipartite and bipartite structure

    OpenAIRE

    Chang, Chang; Tang, Chao

    2013-01-01

    Finding community structures in networks is important in network science, technology, and applications. To date, most algorithms that aim to find community structures only focus either on unipartite or bipartite networks. A unipartite network consists of one set of nodes and a bipartite network consists of two nonoverlapping sets of nodes with only links joining the nodes in different sets. However, a third type of network exists, defined here as the mixture network. Just like a bipartite net...

  12. Patterns in marine microbial community structure

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Programa en Oceanografía [EN] Understanding the distribution of the different picoplankton groups represents a central tenet of marine microbial ecology. Centering our study on the three major groups constituting the bulk picoplankton community (size 0.2-3 mm), we sought to analyze the distribution of autotrophic bacteria (Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus), photosynthetic Picoeukaryotes pPeuk, and heterotrophic bacteria. [ES] La comprensión de la distribución de los distint...

  13. Covariance, correlation matrix, and the multiscale community structure of networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Hua-Wei; Cheng, Xue-Qi; Fang, Bin-Xing

    2010-07-01

    Empirical studies show that real world networks often exhibit multiple scales of topological descriptions. However, it is still an open problem how to identify the intrinsic multiple scales of networks. In this paper, we consider detecting the multiscale community structure of network from the perspective of dimension reduction. According to this perspective, a covariance matrix of network is defined to uncover the multiscale community structure through the translation and rotation transformations. It is proved that the covariance matrix is the unbiased version of the well-known modularity matrix. We then point out that the translation and rotation transformations fail to deal with the heterogeneous network, which is very common in nature and society. To address this problem, a correlation matrix is proposed through introducing the rescaling transformation into the covariance matrix. Extensive tests on real world and artificial networks demonstrate that the correlation matrix significantly outperforms the covariance matrix, identically the modularity matrix, as regards identifying the multiscale community structure of network. This work provides a novel perspective to the identification of community structure and thus various dimension reduction methods might be used for the identification of community structure. Through introducing the correlation matrix, we further conclude that the rescaling transformation is crucial to identify the multiscale community structure of network, as well as the translation and rotation transformations.

  14. Community detection using global and local structural information

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hai-Long Yan; Ju Xiang; Xiao-Yu Zhang; Jun-Feng Fan; Fang Chane; Gen-Yi Fu; Er-Min Guo; Xin-Guang Hu; Ke Hu; Ru-Min Wang

    2013-01-01

    Community detection is of considerable importance for understanding both the structure and function of complex networks. In this paper, we introduced the general procedure of the community detection algorithms using global and local structural information, where the edge betweenness and the local similarity measures respectively based on local random walk dynamics and local cyclic structures were used. The algorithms were tested on artificial and real-world networks. The results clearly show that all the algorithms have excellent performance in the tests and the local similarity measure based on local random walk dynamics is superior to that based on local cyclic structures.

  15. Community structure in time-dependent, multiscale, and multiplex networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mucha, Peter J; Richardson, Thomas; Macon, Kevin; Porter, Mason A; Onnela, Jukka-Pekka

    2010-05-14

    Network science is an interdisciplinary endeavor, with methods and applications drawn from across the natural, social, and information sciences. A prominent problem in network science is the algorithmic detection of tightly connected groups of nodes known as communities. We developed a generalized framework of network quality functions that allowed us to study the community structure of arbitrary multislice networks, which are combinations of individual networks coupled through links that connect each node in one network slice to itself in other slices. This framework allows studies of community structure in a general setting encompassing networks that evolve over time, have multiple types of links (multiplexity), and have multiple scales.

  16. The metapleural gland of ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-01-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions...... of the MG, sanitation and chemical defence, have received the strongest empirical support; two additional possible functions, recognition odour and territorial marking, are less well supported. The design of the MG is unusual for insects; glandular secretions are stored in a rigid, non...... morphology, phylogenetic transitions and chemical ecology of the MGs of both the derived and the unstudied early-branching (basal) ant lineages is needed to elucidate the evolutionary origin and diversification of the MG of ants....

  17. Mutualism exploitation: predatory drosophilid larvae sugar-trap ants and jeopardize facultative ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Mayra C; Sendoya, Sebastian F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2016-07-01

    An open question in the evolutionary ecology of ant-plant facultative mutualism is how other members of the associated community can affect the interaction to a point where reciprocal benefits are disrupted. While visiting Qualea grandiflora shrubs to collect sugary rewards at extrafloral nectaries, tropical savanna ants deter herbivores and reduce leaf damage. Here we show that larvae of the fly Rhinoleucophenga myrmecophaga, which develop on extrafloral nectaries, lure potentially mutualistic, nectar-feeding ants and prey on them. Foraging ants spend less time on fly-infested foliage. Field experiments showed that predation (or the threat of predation) on ants by fly larvae produces cascading effects through three trophic levels, resulting in fewer protective ants on leaves, increased numbers of chewing herbivores, and greater leaf damage. These results reveal an undocumented mode of mutualism exploitation by an opportunistic predator at a plant-provided food source, jeopardizing ant-derived protection services to the plant. Our study documents a rather unusual case of predation of adult ants by a dipteran species and demonstrates a top-down trophic cascade within a generalized ant-plant mutualism. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. Dataset on the abundance of ants and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields with intercropped plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassou, Anicet Gbèblonoudo; Carval, Dominique; Dépigny, Sylvain; Fansi, Gabriel; Tixier, Philippe

    2016-12-01

    The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled "Ant abundance and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields as affected by intercropping" (A.G. Dassou, D. Carval, S. Dépigny, G.H Fansi, P. Tixier, 2015) [1]. This article describes how associated crops maize (Zea mays), cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) and bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) intercropped in the plantain fields in Cameroun modify ant community structure and damages of banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus. The field data set is made publicly available to enable critical or extended analyzes.

  19. Dataset on the abundance of ants and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields with intercropped plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anicet Gbèblonoudo Dassou

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled “Ant abundance and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields as affected by intercropping” (A.G. Dassou, D. Carval, S. Dépigny, G.H Fansi, P. Tixier, 2015 [1]. This article describes how associated crops maize (Zea mays, cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium and bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria intercropped in the plantain fields in Cameroun modify ant community structure and damages of banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus. The field data set is made publicly available to enable critical or extended analyzes.

  20. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-20

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.

  1. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants (Formicidae represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.

  2. Jellyfish modulate bacterial dynamic and community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinta, Tinkara; Kogovšek, Tjaša; Malej, Alenka; Turk, Valentina

    2012-01-01

    Jellyfish blooms have increased in coastal areas around the world and the outbreaks have become longer and more frequent over the past few decades. The Mediterranean Sea is among the heavily affected regions and the common bloom-forming taxa are scyphozoans Aurelia aurita s.l., Pelagia noctiluca, and Rhizostoma pulmo. Jellyfish have few natural predators, therefore their carcasses at the termination of a bloom represent an organic-rich substrate that supports rapid bacterial growth, and may have a large impact on the surrounding environment. The focus of this study was to explore whether jellyfish substrate have an impact on bacterial community phylotype selection. We conducted in situ jellyfish-enrichment experiment with three different jellyfish species. Bacterial dynamic together with nutrients were monitored to assess decaying jellyfish-bacteria dynamics. Our results show that jellyfish biomass is characterized by protein rich organic matter, which is highly bioavailable to 'jellyfish-associated' and 'free-living' bacteria, and triggers rapid shifts in bacterial population dynamics and composition. Based on 16S rRNA clone libraries and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis, we observed a rapid shift in community composition from unculturable Alphaproteobacteria to culturable species of Gammaproteobacteria and Flavobacteria. The results of sequence analyses of bacterial isolates and of total bacterial community determined by culture independent genetic analysis showed the dominance of the Pseudoalteromonadaceae and the Vibrionaceae families. Elevated levels of dissolved proteins, dissolved organic and inorganic nutrient release, bacterial abundance and carbon production as well as ammonium concentrations characterized the degradation process. The biochemical composition of jellyfish species may influence changes in the amount of accumulated dissolved organic and inorganic nutrients. Our results can contribute insights into possible changes in

  3. Jellyfish modulate bacterial dynamic and community structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tinkara Tinta

    Full Text Available Jellyfish blooms have increased in coastal areas around the world and the outbreaks have become longer and more frequent over the past few decades. The Mediterranean Sea is among the heavily affected regions and the common bloom-forming taxa are scyphozoans Aurelia aurita s.l., Pelagia noctiluca, and Rhizostoma pulmo. Jellyfish have few natural predators, therefore their carcasses at the termination of a bloom represent an organic-rich substrate that supports rapid bacterial growth, and may have a large impact on the surrounding environment. The focus of this study was to explore whether jellyfish substrate have an impact on bacterial community phylotype selection. We conducted in situ jellyfish-enrichment experiment with three different jellyfish species. Bacterial dynamic together with nutrients were monitored to assess decaying jellyfish-bacteria dynamics. Our results show that jellyfish biomass is characterized by protein rich organic matter, which is highly bioavailable to 'jellyfish-associated' and 'free-living' bacteria, and triggers rapid shifts in bacterial population dynamics and composition. Based on 16S rRNA clone libraries and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE analysis, we observed a rapid shift in community composition from unculturable Alphaproteobacteria to culturable species of Gammaproteobacteria and Flavobacteria. The results of sequence analyses of bacterial isolates and of total bacterial community determined by culture independent genetic analysis showed the dominance of the Pseudoalteromonadaceae and the Vibrionaceae families. Elevated levels of dissolved proteins, dissolved organic and inorganic nutrient release, bacterial abundance and carbon production as well as ammonium concentrations characterized the degradation process. The biochemical composition of jellyfish species may influence changes in the amount of accumulated dissolved organic and inorganic nutrients. Our results can contribute insights into

  4. Measuring robustness of community structure in complex networks

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Hui-Jia; Chen, Luonan

    2015-01-01

    The theory of community structure is a powerful tool for real networks, which can simplify their topological and functional analysis considerably. However, since community detection methods have random factors and real social networks obtained from complex systems always contain error edges, evaluating the robustness of community structure is an urgent and important task. In this letter, we employ the critical threshold of resolution parameter in Hamiltonian function, $\\gamma_C$, to measure the robustness of a network. According to spectral theory, a rigorous proof shows that the index we proposed is inversely proportional to robustness of community structure. Furthermore, by utilizing the co-evolution model, we provides a new efficient method for computing the value of $\\gamma_C$. The research can be applied to broad clustering problems in network analysis and data mining due to its solid mathematical basis and experimental effects.

  5. Spatial structuring of bacterial communities within individual Ginkgo biloba trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leff, Jonathan W; Del Tredici, Peter; Friedman, William E; Fierer, Noah

    2015-07-01

    Plant-associated microorganisms affect the health of their hosts in diverse ways, yet the distribution of these organisms within individual plants remains poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we assessed the spatial variability in bacterial community diversity and composition found on and in aboveground tissues of individual Ginkgo biloba trees. We sampled bacterial communities from > 100 locations per tree, including leaf, branch and trunk samples and used high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to determine the diversity and composition of these communities. Bacterial community structure differed strongly between bark and leaf samples, with bark samples harbouring much greater bacterial diversity and a community composition distinct from leaves. Within sample types, we observed clear spatial patterns in bacterial diversity and community composition that corresponded to the samples' proximity to the exterior of the tree. The composition of the bacterial communities found on trees is highly variable, but this variability is predictable and dependent on sampling location. Moreover, this work highlights the importance of carefully considering plant spatial structure when characterizing the microbial communities associated with plants and their impacts on plant hosts.

  6. Linking community size structure and ecosystem functioning using metabolic theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yvon-Durocher, Gabriel; Allen, Andrew P

    2012-11-05

    Understanding how biogeochemical cycles relate to the structure of ecological communities is a central research question in ecology. Here we approach this problem by focusing on body size, which is an easily measured species trait that has a pervasive influence on multiple aspects of community structure and ecosystem functioning. We test the predictions of a model derived from metabolic theory using data on ecosystem metabolism and community size structure. These data were collected as part of an aquatic mesocosm experiment that was designed to simulate future environmental warming. Our analyses demonstrate significant linkages between community size structure and ecosystem functioning, and the effects of warming on these links. Specifically, we show that carbon fluxes were significantly influenced by seasonal variation in temperature, and yielded activation energies remarkably similar to those predicted based on the temperature dependencies of individual-level photosynthesis and respiration. We also show that community size structure significantly influenced fluxes of ecosystem respiration and gross primary production, particularly at the annual time-scale. Assessing size structure and the factors that control it, both empirically and theoretically, therefore promises to aid in understanding links between individual organisms and biogeochemical cycles, and in predicting the responses of key ecosystem functions to future environmental change.

  7. Microbial community structure of a freshwater system receiving wastewater effluent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hladilek, Matthew D; Gaines, Karen F; Novak, James M; Collard, David A; Johnson, Daniel B; Canam, Thomas

    2016-11-01

    Despite our dependency on treatment facilities to condition wastewater for eventual release to the environment, our knowledge regarding the effects of treated water on the local watershed is extremely limited. Responses of lotic systems to the treated wastewater effluent have been traditionally investigated by examining the benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages and community structure; however, these studies do not address the microbial diversity of the water systems. In the present study, planktonic and benthic bacterial community structure were examined at 14 sites (from 60 m upstream to 12,100 m downstream) and at two time points along an aquatic system receiving treated effluent from the Charleston Wastewater Treatment Plant (Charleston, IL). Total bacterial DNA was isolated and 16S rRNA sequences were analyzed using a metagenomics platform. The community structure in planktonic bacterial communities was significantly correlated with dissolved oxygen concentration. Benthic bacterial communities were not correlated with water quality but did have a significant geographic structuring. A local restructuring effect was observed in both planktonic and benthic communities near the treated wastewater effluent, which was characterized by an increase in abundance of sphingobacteria. Sites further downstream from the wastewater facility appeared to be less influenced by the effluent. Overall, the present study demonstrated the utility of targeted high-throughput sequencing as a tool to assess the effects of treated wastewater effluent on a receiving water system, and highlighted the potential for this technology to be used for routine monitoring by wastewater facilities.

  8. Analysis of stability of community structure across multiple hierarchical levels

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Hui-Jia

    2015-01-01

    The analysis of stability of community structure is an important problem for scientists from many fields. Here, we propose a new framework to reveal hidden properties of community structure by quantitatively analyzing the dynamics of Potts model. Specifically we model the Potts procedure of community structure detection by a Markov process, which has a clear mathematical explanation. Critical topological information regarding to multivariate spin configuration could also be inferred from the spectral significance of the Markov process. We test our framework on some example networks and find it doesn't have resolute limitation problem at all. Results have shown the model we proposed is able to uncover hierarchical structure in different scales effectively and efficiently.

  9. A local algorithm for detecting community structures in dynamic networks

    CERN Document Server

    Massaro, Emanuele; Guazzini, Andrea; Passarella, Andrea; Bagnoli, Franco

    2013-01-01

    The emergence and the global adaptation of mobile devices has influenced human interactions at the individual, community, and social levels leading to the so called Cyber-Physical World (CPW) convergence scenario [1]. One of the most important features of CPW is the possibility of exploiting information about the structure of social communities of users, that manifest through joint movement patterns and frequency of physical co-location: mobile devices of users that belong to the same social community are likely to "see" each other (and thus be able to communicate through ad hoc networking techniques) more frequently and regularly than devices outside of the community. In mobile opportunistic networks, this fact can be exploited, for example, to optimize networking operations such as forwarding and dissemination of messages. In this paper we present a novel local cognitive-inspired algorithm for revealing the structure of these dynamic social networks by exploiting information about physical encounters, logge...

  10. Polychaete community structure of Indian west coast shelf, Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Joydas, T.V.; Jayalakshmy, K.V.; Damodaran, R.

    CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 97, NO. 5, 10 SEPTEMBER 2009 634 Polychaete community structure of Indian west coast shelf, Arabian Sea Ellis 1 introduced the concept of taxono- mic sufficiency (TS) in which identifica- tion is required only to the level... the effects of pollution on marine communities. As TS moves progressively to species, costs, in terms of the expertise and time needed to identify organisms, decrease 4 . It is quicker and easier to train personnel to sort higher taxonomic levels than...

  11. Change in fish community structure in the Barents Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michaela Aschan

    Full Text Available Change in oceanographic conditions causes structural alterations in marine fish communities, but this effect may go undetected as most monitoring programs until recently mainly have focused on oceanography and commercial species rather than on whole ecosystems. In this paper, the objective is to describe the spatial and temporal changes in the Barents Sea fish community in the period 1992-2004 while taking into consideration the observed abundance and biodiversity patterns for all 82 observed fish species. We found that the spatial structure of the Barents Sea fish community was determined by abiotic factors such as temperature and depth. The observed species clustered into a deep assemblage, a warm water southern assemblage, both associated with Atlantic water, and a cold water north-eastern assemblage associated with mixed water. The latitude of the cold water NE and warm water S assemblages varied from year to year, but no obvious northward migration was observed over time. In the period 1996-1999 we observed a significant reduction in total fish biomass, abundance, mean fish weight, and a change in community structure including an increase in the pelagic/demersal ratio. This change in community structure is probably due to extremely cold conditions in 1996 impacting on a fish community exposed to historically high fishing rates. After 1999 the fish community variables such as biomass, abundance, mean weight, P/D ratio as well as community composition did not return to levels of the early 90s, although fishing pressure and climatic conditions returned to earlier levels.

  12. Random field Ising model and community structure in complex networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Son, S.-W.; Jeong, H.; Noh, J. D.

    2006-04-01

    We propose a method to determine the community structure of a complex network. In this method the ground state problem of a ferromagnetic random field Ising model is considered on the network with the magnetic field Bs = +∞, Bt = -∞, and Bi≠s,t=0 for a node pair s and t. The ground state problem is equivalent to the so-called maximum flow problem, which can be solved exactly numerically with the help of a combinatorial optimization algorithm. The community structure is then identified from the ground state Ising spin domains for all pairs of s and t. Our method provides a criterion for the existence of the community structure, and is applicable equally well to unweighted and weighted networks. We demonstrate the performance of the method by applying it to the Barabási-Albert network, Zachary karate club network, the scientific collaboration network, and the stock price correlation network. (Ising, Potts, etc.)

  13. Structural diversity of forest communities on Baihuashan Mountain,Beijing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    The structural diversity of forests on Baihuashan Mountain,Beijing,was surveyed by a plotless method combined with branch and leaf coverage estimation in the different layers.New structural indices were constructed,calculated and compared among different communities.On the basis of previous work,structural diversity of forest communities at the stand level was described by a vertical complexity index and a horizontal heterogeneity index.From a correlational analysis among the new indices and other commonly used biodiversity indices,we concluded that the new indices are closely related to a tree height inequality index and the Shannon-Wiener index of the tree and shrub layer,which indicated that the new indices were good at indicating structural diversity in the different forests on Baihuashan Mountain.The results show that,in natural forests,structural diversity of pioneer communities is much lower than in late successive communities.In plantations,structural diversity is determined by the stage of development and tree species.Tending would increase horizontal heterogeneity and decrease vertical complexity.

  14. Potential sources of nitrogen in an ant-garden tank-bromeliad.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2009-09-01

    Epiphytic plants in general and bromeliads in particular live in a water and nutrient-stressed environment often limited in nitrogen. Thus, these plants have developed different ways to survive in such an environment. We focused on Aechmea mertensii (Bromeliaceae), which is both a tank-bromeliad and an ant-garden (AG) epiphyte initiated by either the ants Camponotus femoratus or Pachycondyla goeldii. By combining a study of plant morphology and physiology associated with aquatic insect biology, we demonstrate that the ant species influences the leaf structure of the bromeliad, the structure of the aquatic community in its tank, and nutrient assimilation by the leaves. Based on nitrogen and nitrogen stable isotope measurements of the A. mertensii leaves, the leaf litter inside of the tank and the root-embedded carton nest, we discuss the potential sources of available nitrogen for the plant based on the ant partner. We demonstrate the existence of a complex ant-plant interaction that subsequently affects the biodiversity of a broader range of organisms that are themselves likely to influence nutrient assimilation by the A. mertensii leaves in a kind of plant-invertebrate-plant feedback loop.

  15. Observing and modelling phytoplankton community structure in the North Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, David A.; van der Molen, Johan; Hyder, Kieran; Bacon, John; Barciela, Rosa; Creach, Veronique; McEwan, Robert; Ruardij, Piet; Forster, Rodney

    2017-03-01

    Phytoplankton form the base of the marine food chain, and knowledge of phytoplankton community structure is fundamental when assessing marine biodiversity. Policy makers and other users require information on marine biodiversity and other aspects of the marine environment for the North Sea, a highly productive European shelf sea. This information must come from a combination of observations and models, but currently the coastal ocean is greatly under-sampled for phytoplankton data, and outputs of phytoplankton community structure from models are therefore not yet frequently validated. This study presents a novel set of in situ observations of phytoplankton community structure for the North Sea using accessory pigment analysis. The observations allow a good understanding of the patterns of surface phytoplankton biomass and community structure in the North Sea for the observed months of August 2010 and 2011. Two physical-biogeochemical ocean models, the biogeochemical components of which are different variants of the widely used European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), were then validated against these and other observations. Both models were a good match for sea surface temperature observations, and a reasonable match for remotely sensed ocean colour observations. However, the two models displayed very different phytoplankton community structures, with one better matching the in situ observations than the other. Nonetheless, both models shared some similarities with the observations in terms of spatial features and inter-annual variability. An initial comparison of the formulations and parameterizations of the two models suggests that diversity between the parameter settings of model phytoplankton functional types, along with formulations which promote a greater sensitivity to changes in light and nutrients, is key to capturing the observed phytoplankton community structure. These findings will help inform future model development, which should be coupled

  16. Quantum Probabilistic Structures in Competing Lizard Communities

    CERN Document Server

    Aerts, Diederik; Kuna, Maciej; Sinervo, Barry; Sozzo, Sandro

    2012-01-01

    Almost two decades of research on the use of the mathematical formalism of quantum theory as a modeling tool for entities and their dynamics in domains different from the micro-world has now firmly shown the systematic appearance of quantum structures in aspects of human behavior and thought, such as in cognitive processes of decision-making, and in the way concepts are combined into sentences. In this paper, we extend this insight to animal behavior showing that a quantum probabilistic structure models the mating competition of three side-blotched lizard morphs. We analyze a set of experimental data collected from 1990 to 2011 on these morphs, whose territorial behavior follows a cyclic rock-paper-scissors (RPS) dynamics. Consequently we prove that a single classical Kolmogorovian space does not exist for the lizard's dynamics, and elaborate an explicit quantum description in Hilbert space faithfully modeling the gathered data. This result is relevant for population dynamics as a whole, since many systems, e...

  17. Nash Stability in Additively Separable Hedonic Games and Community Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

    2009-01-01

      We prove that the problem of deciding whether a Nash stable   partition exists in an Additively Separable Hedonic Game is   NP-complete. We also show that the problem of deciding whether a   non trivial Nash stable partition exists in an   Additively Separable Hedonic Game with   non......-negative and symmetric   preferences is NP-complete. We motivate our study of the   computational complexity by linking Nash stable partitions in   Additively Separable Hedonic Games to community structures in   networks. Our results formally justify that computing community   structures in general is hard....

  18. Trophic and individual efficiencies of size-structured communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Ken Haste; Beyer, Jan; Lundberg, P.

    2009-01-01

    Individual and trophic efficiencies of size-structured communities are derived from mechanistically based principles at the individual level. The derivations are relevant for communities with a size-based trophic structure, i.e. where trophic level is strongly correlated with individual size...... as in many aquatic systems. The derivations are used to link Lindeman's trophic theory and trophic theory based on average individuals with explicit individual-level size spectrum theory. The trophic efficiency based on the transfer of mass between trophic levels through predator-prey interactions...

  19. 金沙江干热河谷人工林地表的蚂蚁群落%Communities of Ground-Dwelling Ants in Different Plantation Forests in Arid-Hot Valleys of Jinsha River,Yunnan Province,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李巧; 卢志兴; 张威; 马艳滟; 冯萍

    2015-01-01

    Objective]Because of the fragile ecological environment in arid-hot valleys of Jinsha River,Yunnan Province,China,the region has been the hot spots of vegetation restoration for which plantation is the main model. To reveal the diversity status of these plantations,and the potential role in biodiversity protection,the ground-dwelling ant community was studied in 7 different plantations in Jinsha River arid-hot valleys,by comparing the difference of ground-dwelling ant community in terms of species composition and diversity. It would be reference for revegetation and biodiversity protection in the arid-hot valleys.[Method]The experimental sites were in the Desert Ecosystem Observation Station of the State Forestry Administration in Yuanmou County. The sampled plots were set in the following tree plantations: Eucalyptus spp.; Jatropha carcas; Jatropha carcas +Leucaena leucocephala; Azadirachta indica; Azadirachta indica + Acacia auriculiformis; Azadirachta indica + Acacia glauca and Azadirachta indica + Leucaena leucocephala. Investigation of ground-dwelling ant community was carried out by pitfall trappings in all 7 plantations in April ( dry season) and August (wet season),2011,respectively. At each plot,two-three 200 m transects were established for ant collection. The 20 pitfall traps with 50ml 50% glycerol were set along each transect at 10 m intervals at ground level.Pitfall traps were made from plastic containers,8 cm diameter and 15 cm deep,covered by a stone plate to protect the trap from rain. Traps were set for 5 days. The contents of each transect were placed separately in plastic bottles and deposited in 95% alcohol.[Results]The resultswere as follows: 1 ) Ant community composition: 4001 ant individuals were collected,representing 36 species in 17 genera and 5 subfamilies. The collected Myrmicinae subfamily had the most abundant genus and species,with 18 species in 6 genera,followed by Formicinae with 10 species in 5 genera,then Dolichoderinae with 6

  20. Hydrated mucilage reduces post-dispersal seed removal of a sand desert shrub by ants in a semiarid ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xuejun; Baskin, Carol C; Baskin, Jerry M; Gao, Ruiru; Yang, Fan; Wei, Lingling; Li, Leilei; He, Hongju; Huang, Zhenying

    2013-12-01

    Post-dispersal seed removal by animals can lead to extensive seed loss and thus is an important factor in structuring plant communities. However, we know much less about post-dispersal seed predation than about other forms of herbivory. Mucilage plays many ecological roles in adaptation of plants to diverse environments; nevertheless, until now the role of mucilage in ant-mediated seed movement remains largely hypothetical. We studied the role of mucilage in seed removal of Artemisia sphaerocephala by ants in Mu Us Sandland in Inner Mongolia, China. Messor aciculatus was the most active seed predator of Artemisia sphaerocephala. Time to first ant collecting (T 1st) of wet intact seeds was longest and significantly different from that for dry intact seeds, wet demucilaged seeds, and dry demucilaged seeds; number of seeds removed to ant nests was lowest for wet intact seeds. After they were collected by ants, 5 % of wet intact seeds were dropped during transport. Our results indicate that seed mucilage of Artemisia sphaerocephala may play a significant role in post-dispersal seed removal by (1) making seeds less attractive to ants, thus resulting in a delay of collection time; (2) forming a strong bond to soil particles, making it difficult for ants to remove seeds; and (3) making seeds more likely to be dropped during transport, thereby allowing them to escape from predation even after collection by ants. This study demonstrates the importance of mucilage in reducing seed removal by ants and thus in anchoring seeds of desert plants in the vicinity of mother plants.

  1. The indirect consequences of a mutualism: comparing positive and negative components of the net interaction between honeydew-tending ants and host plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinath, Joshua B; Inouye, Brian D; Underwood, Nora; Billick, Ian

    2012-03-01

    1. In ecological webs, net indirect interactions between species are composed of interactions that vary in sign and magnitude. Most studies have focused on negative component interactions (e.g. predation, herbivory) without considering the relative importance of positive interactions (e.g. mutualism, facilitation) for determining net indirect effects. 2. In plant/arthropod communities, ants have multiple top-down effects via mutualisms with honeydew-producing herbivores and harassment of and predation on other herbivores; these ant effects provide opportunities for testing the relative importance of positive and negative interspecific interactions. We manipulated the presence of ants, honeydew-producing membracids and leaf-chewing beetles on perennial host plants in field experiments in Colorado to quantify the relative strength of these different types of interactions and their impact on the ant's net indirect effect on plants. 3. In 2007, we demonstrated that ants simultaneously had a positive effect on membracids and a negative effect on beetles, resulting in less beetle damage on plants hosting the mutualism. 4. In 2008, we used structural equation modelling to describe interaction strengths through the entire insect herbivore community on plants with and without ants. The ant's mutualism with membracids was the sole strong interaction contributing to the net indirect effect of ants on plants. Predation, herbivory and facilitation were weak, and the net effect of ants reduced plant reproduction. This net indirect effect was also partially because of behavioural changes of herbivores in the presence of ants. An additional membracid manipulation showed that the membracid's effect on ant activity was largely responsible for the ant's net effect on plants; ant workers were nearly ten times as abundant on plants with mutualists, and effects on other herbivores were similar to those in the ant manipulation experiment. 5. These results demonstrate that mutualisms can

  2. Community structure changes of macrobenthos in the South Yellow Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Junlong; XU Fengshan; LIU Ruiyu

    2012-01-01

    The ecological environment in the Yellow Sea has changed greatly from the 1950s to 1990s and this has had significant impact on marine organisms.In this study,data on soft-sediment macrobenthos occurring in depths from 25 m to 81 m in the South Yellow Sea were used to compare changes in community structure.The agglomerative classification (CLUSTER) and multidimensional scaling (MDS) methods were applied.Five communities were recognized by cluster analysis:1.The Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass community dominated by cold water species,which changed slightly in species composition since the 1950s; 2.The mixed community with the coexistence of cold water species and warm water species,as had been reported previously; 3.The polychaete-dominated eurythermal community in which the composition changed considerably as some dominant species disappeared or decreased; 4.The Changjiang (Yangtze) River Estuarine community,with some typical estuarine species; 5.The community affected by the Yellow Sea Warm Current.The greatest change occurred in the coastal area,which indicated that the change may be caused by human activities.Macrobenthos in the central region remained almost unchanged,particularly the cold water species shielded by the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass.The depth,temperature and median grain size of sediments were important factors affecting the distributions of macrobenthos in the South Yellow Sea.

  3. Is interspecific competition a major structuring force in animal communities?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. J. Ryke

    1987-03-01

    Full Text Available Until recently the view that competition is the dominant ecological interaction was the prevailing one. Interspecific competition was widely regarded as a principal mechanism in determining community structure and organization and thus the distribution and abundance of species. The volume of literature that provides indirect evidence in favour of competition (observational approach greatly exceeds the number of studies that provide direct evidence (experimental approach. In part for this reason the importance of competition in community ecology is questioned by some ecologists. The strongest evidence for competition is derived from controlled field experiments which manipulate the abundancies of putative competitor species. It is stressed that to be able to study competition in the field and to test its theories, interaction coefficients have to be measured. In community studies the question should be asked how important competition, relative to other processes, is. A mechanistic perspective could be a powerful heuristic tool for community ecologists.

  4. Microbial Community Structure in Relation to Water Quality in ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks Bay is a shallow, microtidal, eutrophic sub-estuary of Mobile Bay, AL. High watershed nutrient inputs to the estuary contribute to a eutrophic condition characterized by frequent summertime diel-cycling hypoxia and dissolved oxygen (DO) oversaturation. Spatial and seasonal variability of microbial communities that contribute to estuarine ecosystem metabolism were characterized using high-throughput DNA sequencing. Surface water samples were collected from spring to fall at three sites along a transect of Weeks Bay from the Fish River to Mobile Bay. Water samples were analyzed for physiochemical properties and were also filtered onto Sterivex filters for DNA extraction. Genes for 16S rRNA and 18S rRNA were amplified and sequenced according to Earth Microbiome Project protocols. Sequences were assembled into contigs and clustered into OTUs with mothur using the Silva database. The prokaryotes were dominated by Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Spartobacteria, whereas the eukaryotes were dominated by Bacillariophyta (diatoms). Multivariate statistical analysis of microbial community composition and environmental data showed that Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota were clustered by season. BEST analysis by station showed that prokaryotic community structure was associated with salinity and CDOM (Rho=0.924), whereas eukaryotic community structure was most associated with salinity (Rho=0.846). Prokaryotic community structure within seasons was associated with six

  5. Bootstrap Percolation on Complex Networks with Community Structure

    CERN Document Server

    Chong, Wu; Rui, Zhang; Liujun, Chen; Jiawei, Chen; Xiaobin, Li; Yanqing, Hu

    2014-01-01

    Real complex networks usually involve community structure. How innovation and new products spread on social networks which have internal structure is a practically interesting and fundamental question. In this paper we study the bootstrap percolation on a single network with community structure, in which we initiate the bootstrap process by activating different fraction of nodes in each community. A previously inactive node transfers to active one if it detects at least $k$ active neighbors. The fraction of active nodes in community $i$ in the final state $S_i$ and its giant component size $S_{gci}$ are theoretically obtained as functions of the initial fractions of active nodes $f_i$. We show that such functions undergo multiple discontinuous transitions; The discontinuous jump of $S_i$ or $S_{gci}$ in one community may trigger a simultaneous jump of that in the other, which leads to multiple discontinuous transitions for the total fraction of active nodes $S$ and its associated giant component size $S_{gc}$...

  6. Extinction order and altered community structure rapidly disrupt ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Trond H; Williams, Neal M; Kremen, Claire

    2005-05-01

    By causing extinctions and altering community structure, anthropogenic disturbances can disrupt processes that maintain ecosystem integrity. However, the relationship between community structure and ecosystem functioning in natural systems is poorly understood. Here we show that habitat loss appeared to disrupt ecosystem functioning by affecting extinction order, species richness and abundance. We studied pollination by bees in a mosaic of agricultural and natural habitats in California and dung burial by dung beetles on recently created islands in Venezuela. We found that large-bodied bee and beetle species tended to be both most extinction-prone and most functionally efficient, contributing to rapid functional loss. Simulations confirmed that extinction order led to greater disruption of function than predicted by random species loss. Total abundance declined with richness and also appeared to contribute to loss of function. We demonstrate conceptually and empirically how the non-random response of communities to disturbance can have unexpectedly large functional consequences.

  7. The corporate elite community structure of global capitalism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E.M. Heemskerk; F.W. Takes

    2015-01-01

    A key debate on the merits and consequences of globalisation asks to what extent we have moved to a multipolar global political economy. Here we investigate this issue through the properties and topologies of corporate elite networks and ask: what is the community structure of the global corporate e

  8. Impacts of chemical gradients on microbial community structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Jianwei; Hanke, Anna; Tegetmeyer, Halina E

    2017-01-01

    Succession of redox processes is sometimes assumed to define a basic microbial community structure for ecosystems with oxygen gradients. In this paradigm, aerobic respiration, denitrification, fermentation and sulfate reduction proceed in a thermodynamically determined order, known as the 'redox ...... Journal advance online publication, 17 January 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2016.175....

  9. Community structure and Distribution of Phytomacrofauna in Iyagbe ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADOWIE PERE

    Community structure and Distribution of Phytomacrofauna in Iyagbe Lagoon,. Southwest, Nigeria ... by site specific factors particularly with respect to depth of study stations as shown by correlation .... Samples for the analysis of other physico-chemical properties of ..... water quality relations in a tropical coastal. Ecosystem: ...

  10. Ant functional responses along environmental gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, Xavier; Cerdá, Xim; Retana, Javier

    2014-11-01

    Understanding species distributions and diversity gradients is a central challenge in ecology and requires prior knowledge of the functional traits mediating species' survival under particular environmental conditions. While the functional ecology of plants has been reasonably well explored, much less is known about that of animals. Ants are among the most diverse, abundant and ecologically significant organisms on earth, and they perform a great variety of ecological functions. In this study, we analyse how the functional species traits present in ant communities vary along broad gradients in climate, productivity and vegetation type in the south-western Mediterranean. To this end, we compiled one of the largest animal databases to date: it contains information on 211 local ant communities (including eight climate variables, productivity, and vegetation type) and 124 ant species, for which 10 functional traits are described. We used traits that characterize different dimensions of the ant functional niche with respect to morphology, life history and behaviour at both individual and colony level. We calculated two complementary functional trait community indices ('trait average' and 'trait dissimilarity') for each trait, and we analysed how they varied along the three different gradients using generalized least squares models that accounted for spatial autocorrelation. Our results show that productivity, vegetation type and, to a lesser extent, each climate variable per se might play an important role in shaping the occurrence of functional species traits in ant communities. Among the climate variables, temperature and precipitation seasonality had a much higher influence on functional responses than their mean values, whose effects were almost lacking. Our results suggest that strong relationships might exist between the abiotic environment and the distribution of functional traits among south-western Mediterranean ant communities. This finding indicates that

  11. Multilabel user classification using the community structure of online networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadopoulos, Symeon; Kompatsiaris, Yiannis

    2017-01-01

    We study the problem of semi-supervised, multi-label user classification of networked data in the online social platform setting. We propose a framework that combines unsupervised community extraction and supervised, community-based feature weighting before training a classifier. We introduce Approximate Regularized Commute-Time Embedding (ARCTE), an algorithm that projects the users of a social graph onto a latent space, but instead of packing the global structure into a matrix of predefined rank, as many spectral and neural representation learning methods do, it extracts local communities for all users in the graph in order to learn a sparse embedding. To this end, we employ an improvement of personalized PageRank algorithms for searching locally in each user’s graph structure. Then, we perform supervised community feature weighting in order to boost the importance of highly predictive communities. We assess our method performance on the problem of user classification by performing an extensive comparative study among various recent methods based on graph embeddings. The comparison shows that ARCTE significantly outperforms the competition in almost all cases, achieving up to 35% relative improvement compared to the second best competing method in terms of F1-score. PMID:28278242

  12. A framework for solving ill-structured community problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, William Cotesworth

    A multifaceted protocol for solving ill-structured community problems has been developed. It embodies the lessons learned from the past by refining and extending features of previous models from the systems thinkers, and the fields of behavioral decision making and creative problem solving. The protocol also embraces additional features needed to address the unique aspects of community decision situations. The essential elements of the protocol are participants from the community, a problem-solving process, a systems picture, a facilitator, a modified Delphi method of communications, and technical expertise. This interdisciplinary framework has been tested by a quasi experiment with a real world community problem (the high cost of electrical power on Long Island, NY). Results indicate the protocol can enable members of the community to understand a complicated, ill-structured problem and guide them to action to solve the issue. However, the framework takes time (over one year in the test case) and will be inappropriate for crises where quick action is needed.

  13. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A. P. M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N. C.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Crous, Pedro W.; Pagnocca, F. C.

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus

  14. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A.P.M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N.C.; Groenewald, J.Z.; Crous, P.W.; Pagnocca, F.C.

    2017-01-01

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus Xenope

  15. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A. P. M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N. C.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Crous, Pedro W.; Pagnocca, F. C.

    2016-01-01

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus Xenope

  16. Ants (Formicidae): models for social complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Chris R; Dolezal, Adam; Eliyahu, Dorit; Holbrook, C Tate; Gadau, Jürgen

    2009-07-01

    The family Formicidae (ants) is composed of more than 12,000 described species that vary greatly in size, morphology, behavior, life history, ecology, and social organization. Ants occur in most terrestrial habitats and are the dominant animals in many of them. They have been used as models to address fundamental questions in ecology, evolution, behavior, and development. The literature on ants is extensive, and the natural history of many species is known in detail. Phylogenetic relationships for the family, as well as within many subfamilies, are known, enabling comparative studies. Their ease of sampling and ecological variation makes them attractive for studying populations and questions relating to communities. Their sociality and variation in social organization have contributed greatly to an understanding of complex systems, division of labor, and chemical communication. Ants occur in colonies composed of tens to millions of individuals that vary greatly in morphology, physiology, and behavior; this variation has been used to address proximate and ultimate mechanisms generating phenotypic plasticity. Relatedness asymmetries within colonies have been fundamental to the formulation and empirical testing of kin and group selection theories. Genomic resources have been developed for some species, and a whole-genome sequence for several species is likely to follow in the near future; comparative genomics in ants should provide new insights into the evolution of complexity and sociogenomics. Future studies using ants should help establish a more comprehensive understanding of social life, from molecules to colonies.

  17. Correlations between community structure and link formation in complex networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Links in complex networks commonly represent specific ties between pairs of nodes, such as protein-protein interactions in biological networks or friendships in social networks. However, understanding the mechanism of link formation in complex networks is a long standing challenge for network analysis and data mining. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Links in complex networks have a tendency to cluster locally and form so-called communities. This widely existed phenomenon reflects some underlying mechanism of link formation. To study the correlations between community structure and link formation, we present a general computational framework including a theory for network partitioning and link probability estimation. Our approach enables us to accurately identify missing links in partially observed networks in an efficient way. The links having high connection likelihoods in the communities reveal that links are formed preferentially to create cliques and accordingly promote the clustering level of the communities. The experimental results verify that such a mechanism can be well captured by our approach. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings provide a new insight into understanding how links are created in the communities. The computational framework opens a wide range of possibilities to develop new approaches and applications, such as community detection and missing link prediction.

  18. Oceanographic structure drives the assembly processes of microbial eukaryotic communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monier, Adam; Comte, Jérôme; Babin, Marcel; Forest, Alexandre; Matsuoka, Atsushi; Lovejoy, Connie

    2015-03-17

    Arctic Ocean microbial eukaryote phytoplankton form subsurface chlorophyll maximum (SCM), where much of the annual summer production occurs. This SCM is particularly persistent in the Western Arctic Ocean, which is strongly salinity stratified. The recent loss of multiyear sea ice and increased particulate-rich river discharge in the Arctic Ocean results in a greater volume of fresher water that may displace nutrient-rich saltier waters to deeper depths and decrease light penetration in areas affected by river discharge. Here, we surveyed microbial eukaryotic assemblages in the surface waters, and within and below the SCM. In most samples, we detected the pronounced SCM that usually occurs at the interface of the upper mixed layer and Pacific Summer Water (PSW). Poorly developed SCM was seen under two conditions, one above PSW and associated with a downwelling eddy, and the second in a region influenced by the Mackenzie River plume. Four phylogenetically distinct communities were identified: surface, pronounced SCM, weak SCM and a deeper community just below the SCM. Distance-decay relationships and phylogenetic structure suggested distinct ecological processes operating within these communities. In the pronounced SCM, picophytoplanktons were prevalent and community assembly was attributed to water mass history. In contrast, environmental filtering impacted the composition of the weak SCM communities, where heterotrophic Picozoa were more numerous. These results imply that displacement of Pacific waters to greater depth and increased terrigenous input may act as a control on SCM development and result in lower net summer primary production with a more heterotroph dominated eukaryotic microbial community.

  19. The Effect of Temperature Increases on an Ant-Hemiptera-Plant Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagata, Katayo; Gibb, Heloise

    2016-01-01

    Global temperature increases are significantly altering species distributions and the structure of ecological communities. However, the impact of temperature increases on multi- species interactions is poorly understood. We used an ant-Hemiptera-plant interaction to examine the potential outcomes of predicted temperature increases for each partner and for the availability of honeydew, a keystone resource in many forest ecosystems. We re-created this interaction in growth cabinets using predicted mean summer temperatures for Melbourne, Australia, for the years 2011 (23°C), 2050 (25°C) and 2100 (29°C), respectively, under an unmitigated greenhouse gas emission scenario. Plant growth and ant foraging activities increased, while scale insect growth, abundance and size, honeydew standing crop per tree and harvesting by ants decreased at 29°C, relative to lower temperatures (23 and 25°C). This led to decreased scale insect infestations of plants and reduced honeydew standing crop per tree at the highest temperature. At all temperatures, honeydew standing crop was lower when ants harvested the honeydew from scale insects, but the impact of ant harvesting was particularly significant at 29°C, where combined effects of temperature and ants reduced honeydew standing crop to below detectable levels. Although temperature increases in the next 35 years will have limited effects on this system, by the end of this century, warmer temperatures may cause the availability of honeydew to decline. Decline of honeydew may have far-reaching trophic effects on honeydew and ant-mediated interactions. However, field-based studies that consider the full complexity of ecosystems may be required to elucidate these impacts.

  20. The Effect of Temperature Increases on an Ant-Hemiptera-Plant Interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katayo Sagata

    Full Text Available Global temperature increases are significantly altering species distributions and the structure of ecological communities. However, the impact of temperature increases on multi- species interactions is poorly understood. We used an ant-Hemiptera-plant interaction to examine the potential outcomes of predicted temperature increases for each partner and for the availability of honeydew, a keystone resource in many forest ecosystems. We re-created this interaction in growth cabinets using predicted mean summer temperatures for Melbourne, Australia, for the years 2011 (23°C, 2050 (25°C and 2100 (29°C, respectively, under an unmitigated greenhouse gas emission scenario. Plant growth and ant foraging activities increased, while scale insect growth, abundance and size, honeydew standing crop per tree and harvesting by ants decreased at 29°C, relative to lower temperatures (23 and 25°C. This led to decreased scale insect infestations of plants and reduced honeydew standing crop per tree at the highest temperature. At all temperatures, honeydew standing crop was lower when ants harvested the honeydew from scale insects, but the impact of ant harvesting was particularly significant at 29°C, where combined effects of temperature and ants reduced honeydew standing crop to below detectable levels. Although temperature increases in the next 35 years will have limited effects on this system, by the end of this century, warmer temperatures may cause the availability of honeydew to decline. Decline of honeydew may have far-reaching trophic effects on honeydew and ant-mediated interactions. However, field-based studies that consider the full complexity of ecosystems may be required to elucidate these impacts.

  1. Changes in soil bacterial community structure with increasing disturbance frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Mincheol; Heo, Eunjung; Kang, Hojeong; Adams, Jonathan

    2013-07-01

    Little is known of the responsiveness of soil bacterial community structure to disturbance. In this study, we subjected a soil microcosm to physical disturbance, sterilizing 90 % of the soil volume each time, at a range of frequencies. We analysed the bacterial community structure using 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Bacterial diversity was found to decline with the increasing disturbance frequencies. Total bacterial abundance was, however, higher at intermediate and high disturbance frequencies, compared to low and no-disturbance treatments. Changing disturbance frequency also led to changes in community composition, with changes in overall species composition and some groups becoming abundant at the expense of others. Some phylogenetic groups were found to be relatively more disturbance-sensitive or tolerant than others. With increasing disturbance frequency, phylogenetic species variability (an index of community composition) itself became more variable from one sample to another, suggesting a greater role of chance in community composition. Compared to the tightly clustered community of the original undisturbed soil, in all the aged disturbed soils the lists of most abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in each replicate were very different, suggesting a possible role of stochasticity in resource colonization and exploitation in the aged and disturbed soils. For example, colonization may be affected by whichever localized concentrations of bacterial populations happen to survive the last disturbance and be reincorporated in abundance into each pot. Overall, it appears that the soil bacterial community is very sensitive to physical disturbance, losing diversity, and that certain groups have identifiable 'high disturbance' vs. 'low disturbance' niches.

  2. Generic diversity of ants (Himenopteros: Formicidae in forest set, forest border and areas cultivated three Communities of the Municipality of Coripata, Nor Yungas Department of La Paz, Bolivia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamani-Mamani Beatriz

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The biodiversity is the variety of all the vegetables, animals and the microorganisms that end up coexisting and interaction inside an ecosystem to be interrelated to each other. The ants represent the biggest abundance inside the insects. The family Formicidae is characterized by the importance that has in the natural ecosystems and for the variety of ecological functions that you/they complete, due to the association with many plants and animals. They have a great variability in the feeding and they use diverse nidificación forms; however they are very scarce the carried out studies. The present investigation was carried out in the municipality of Coripata, where the family Formicidae showed bigger abundance and wealth among habitats. For that they settled the 5 traps of having fallen by place (Altuspata, Choro and Alto Choro in three types of different habitats (forest, forest border and cultivation during 12 months. 15026 individuals were distributed in 6 subfamilies with 26 goods and 46 species y/o morfoespecies found in total. This shows that it exists a great wealth and abundance of ants in this ecosystem. The subfamilies Ecitoninae showed a bigger number of individuals for the habit form that you/they have of being depredators and nomadic. The biggest wealth and abundance of ants was identified in the area of forest of the place Altuspata. Inside the subfamilies Ecitoninae the species Labidus spininoides and Labidus praedator presented bigger number, and with regard to the places one has similarity as for the quantity of individuals.

  3. Fishing degrades size structure of coral reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, James P W; Williams, Ivor D; Edwards, Andrew M; McPherson, Jana; Yeager, Lauren; Vigliola, Laurent; Brainard, Russell E; Baum, Julia K

    2017-03-01

    Fishing pressure on coral reef ecosystems has been frequently linked to reductions of large fishes and reef fish biomass. Associated impacts on overall community structure are, however, less clear. In size-structured aquatic ecosystems, fishing impacts are commonly quantified using size spectra, which describe the distribution of individual body sizes within a community. We examined the size spectra and biomass of coral reef fish communities at 38 US-affiliated Pacific islands that ranged in human presence from near pristine to human population centers. Size spectra 'steepened' steadily with increasing human population and proximity to market due to a reduction in the relative biomass of large fishes and an increase in the dominance of small fishes. Reef fish biomass was substantially lower on inhabited islands than uninhabited ones, even at inhabited islands with the lowest levels of human presence. We found that on populated islands size spectra exponents decreased (analogous to size spectra steepening) linearly with declining biomass, whereas on uninhabited islands there was no relationship. Size spectra were steeper in regions of low sea surface temperature but were insensitive to variation in other environmental and geomorphic covariates. In contrast, reef fish biomass was highly sensitive to oceanographic conditions, being influenced by both oceanic productivity and sea surface temperature. Our results suggest that community size structure may be a more robust indicator than fish biomass to increasing human presence and that size spectra are reliable indicators of exploitation impacts across regions of different fish community compositions, environmental drivers, and fisheries types. Size-based approaches that link directly to functional properties of fish communities, and are relatively insensitive to abiotic variation across biogeographic regions, offer great potential for developing our understanding of fishing impacts in coral reef ecosystems. © 2016

  4. Phylogenetic community structure during succession: evidence from three Neotropical forest sites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Letcher, S.G.; Chazdon, R.L.; Andrade, A.; Bongers, F.; Breugel, van M.; Finegan, B.; Laurance, S.G.; Mesquita, R.; Martinez-Ramos, M.; Williamson, G.B.

    2012-01-01

    The phylogenetic structure of communities can reveal forces shaping community assembly, but the vast majority of work on phylogenetic community structure has been conducted in mature ecosystems. Here, we present an analysis of the phylogenetic structure of three Neotropical rain forest communities u

  5. Router-level community structure of the Internet Autonomous Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Beiró, Mariano G; Alvarez-Hamelin, J Ignacio

    2015-01-01

    The Internet is composed of routing devices connected between them and organized into independent administrative entities: the Autonomous Systems. The existence of different types of Autonomous Systems (like large connectivity providers, Internet Service Providers or universities) together with geographical and economical constraints, turns the Internet into a complex modular and hierarchical network. This organization is reflected in many properties of the Internet topology, like its high degree of clustering and its robustness. In this work, we study the modular structure of the Internet router-level graph in order to assess to what extent the Autonomous Systems satisfy some of the known notions of community structure. We show that the modular structure of the Internet is much richer than what can be captured by the current community detection methods, which are severely affected by resolution limits and by the heterogeneity of the Autonomous Systems. Here we overcome this issue by using a multiresolution d...

  6. Climate and species richness predict the phylogenetic structure of African mammal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamilar, Jason M; Beaudrot, Lydia; Reed, Kaye E

    2015-01-01

    We have little knowledge of how climatic variation (and by proxy, habitat variation) influences the phylogenetic structure of tropical communities. Here, we quantified the phylogenetic structure of mammal communities in Africa to investigate how community structure varies with respect to climate and species richness variation across the continent. In addition, we investigated how phylogenetic patterns vary across carnivores, primates, and ungulates. We predicted that climate would differentially affect the structure of communities from different clades due to between-clade biological variation. We examined 203 communities using two metrics, the net relatedness (NRI) and nearest taxon (NTI) indices. We used simultaneous autoregressive models to predict community phylogenetic structure from climate variables and species richness. We found that most individual communities exhibited a phylogenetic structure consistent with a null model, but both climate and species richness significantly predicted variation in community phylogenetic metrics. Using NTI, species rich communities were composed of more distantly related taxa for all mammal communities, as well as for communities of carnivorans or ungulates. Temperature seasonality predicted the phylogenetic structure of mammal, carnivoran, and ungulate communities, and annual rainfall predicted primate community structure. Additional climate variables related to temperature and rainfall also predicted the phylogenetic structure of ungulate communities. We suggest that both past interspecific competition and habitat filtering have shaped variation in tropical mammal communities. The significant effect of climatic factors on community structure has important implications for the diversity of mammal communities given current models of future climate change.

  7. Climate and Species Richness Predict the Phylogenetic Structure of African Mammal Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamilar, Jason M.; Beaudrot, Lydia; Reed, Kaye E.

    2015-01-01

    We have little knowledge of how climatic variation (and by proxy, habitat variation) influences the phylogenetic structure of tropical communities. Here, we quantified the phylogenetic structure of mammal communities in Africa to investigate how community structure varies with respect to climate and species richness variation across the continent. In addition, we investigated how phylogenetic patterns vary across carnivores, primates, and ungulates. We predicted that climate would differentially affect the structure of communities from different clades due to between-clade biological variation. We examined 203 communities using two metrics, the net relatedness (NRI) and nearest taxon (NTI) indices. We used simultaneous autoregressive models to predict community phylogenetic structure from climate variables and species richness. We found that most individual communities exhibited a phylogenetic structure consistent with a null model, but both climate and species richness significantly predicted variation in community phylogenetic metrics. Using NTI, species rich communities were composed of more distantly related taxa for all mammal communities, as well as for communities of carnivorans or ungulates. Temperature seasonality predicted the phylogenetic structure of mammal, carnivoran, and ungulate communities, and annual rainfall predicted primate community structure. Additional climate variables related to temperature and rainfall also predicted the phylogenetic structure of ungulate communities. We suggest that both past interspecific competition and habitat filtering have shaped variation in tropical mammal communities. The significant effect of climatic factors on community structure has important implications for the diversity of mammal communities given current models of future climate change. PMID:25875361

  8. Bioturbation by Fire Ants in the Coastal Prairie of Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, G.; Williams, L.

    2001-12-01

    Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) were introduced to the US in the early part of the last century. They have spread throughout the southeastern US in the absence of native competitors and predators with a range limited by abiotic factors. Each fire ant mound contains thousands of individuals, can be large, and can be numerous enough to comprise a dominant feature of the landscape. Studies of this species have focused upon its spread, formation of single- and multiple-queen colonies, genetic structure, and impact on native fauna and human health. Some studies have analyzed native fire ant-soil interactions, but few studies have examined the process of bioturbation by introduced fire ants in native ecosystems. Fire ants on the coastal prairie of Texas primarily are of the multiple-queen type that exhibit a much higher density of mounds than the single-queen type. Consequently, mound-building activities by fire ants can have a marked effect upon soil structure and nutrient content and may affect soil organisms and plants. Fire ant activity, mound density, mound dispersion, soil texture, soil permeability, soil moisture content, and soil nutrients were measured. Fire ants mounds are visible aboveground from April-November. Density of mounds was 117-738/ha, and average mound lifespan was 3.6 months with only 9% of the mounds remaining active throughout the entire season. Mounds were dispersed randomly. Foraging activity by fire ants was from June through October with a peak in July. Annual soil turnover was estimated by collecting and weighing mounds. There was no effect of ant mounds on soil texture, but water infiltration was higher in areas with ant mounds. Early-season samples showed no nutrient differences, but late-season samples showed that ant mounds contained higher amounts of micronutrients than random samples of soil. These data are compared to similar data on effects of mounds from native ants and from native and introduced ants in different habitats.

  9. A seed-expanding method based on random walks for community detection in networks with ambiguous community structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Yansen; Wang, Bangju; Zhang, Xingyi

    2017-02-01

    Community detection has received a great deal of attention, since it could help to reveal the useful information hidden in complex networks. Although most previous modularity-based and local modularity-based community detection algorithms could detect strong communities, they may fail to exactly detect several weak communities. In this work, we define a network with clear or ambiguous community structures based on the types of its communities. A seed-expanding method based on random walks is proposed to detect communities for networks, especially for the networks with ambiguous community structures. We identify local maximum degree nodes, and detect seed communities in a network. Then, the probability of a node belonging to each community is calculated based on the total probability model and random walks, and each community is expanded by repeatedly adding the node which is most likely to belong to it. Finally, we use the community optimization method to ensure that each node is in a community. Experimental results on both computer-generated and real-world networks demonstrate that the quality of the communities detected by the proposed algorithm is superior to the- state-of-the-art algorithms in the networks with ambiguous community structures.

  10. Quick assessment of wealth ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in rain forest fragments in the Alta Floresta region, MT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jéssica Borges da Veiga

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Forest fragmentation can change the community and wealth of ants, through changes to the vegetation structure, solar radiation and food availability. This study aims to evaluate the generic richness of ants in two forest fragments in the municipality of Alta Floresta - MT. Samples were collected at three points of both fragments (interior, transition and surrounding matrix, being delimited one quadrant of 5x5 m for each point, using attractive bait. The ants were identified according to Baccaro (2006 identification key. For statistical diagnosis used the Multivariate analysis of conglomerates through BioEstat 5.0 software, and analyzed the similarities between subfamilies, genera and environments. The study found a total of 71 ants distributed in seven subfamilies and 12 genera, especially the genus Camponotus to occur mainly in disturbed habitats and Paraponera kind to occur in forest area. The transition environment was the least similar to the other due to a higher number of individuals and general wealth. In this study, the forest fragment 2 had a higher number of ants in their transition area and is considered the richest in ant fauna when compared to the forest fragment 1.

  11. A Novel Polymorphic Ant Colony -Based Clustering Mechanism for Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Xiang

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In wireless sensor networks, sensor nodes are extremely power constrained, so energy efficient clustering mechanism is mainly considered in the network topology management. A new clustering mechanism based on the polymorphic ant colony (PAC is designed for dynamically controlling the networks clustering structure. According to different functions, the nodes of the networks are respectively defined as the queen ant, the scout ant and worker ant. Based on the calculated cost function and real-time pheromone, the queen ant restructures an optimum clustering structure. Furthermore, the worker ants and the scout ants can send or receive sensing data with optional communication path based on their pheromones. With the mechanism, the energy consumption in inter-cluster and intra-cluster communication for the worker ants and scout ants can be reduced. The simulation results demonstrate that the proposed mechanism can effectively remodel the clustering structure and improve the energy efficiency of the networks.

  12. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    an increasing need to understand which factors promote the ecological dominance of these species, and particularly how the discrimination of both conspecifics and heterospecifics (including parasites) might influence structure and ecological success of invasive populations. In this PhD thesis I investigated...... the discrimination behavior of the invasive pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) as a model for other invasive and supercolonial ant species. The pharaoh ant is one of the few ant species that can be reared in the laboratory for many generations. Furthermore, the possibility to do controlled crosses of colonies...... provides the unique opportunity to establish colonies of different genetic composition. These traits make this species a suitable study subject to set up behavioral experiments that aim to investigate which factors, and to which extent, might influence the inter- and intraspecific discrimination abilities...

  13. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    an increasing need to understand which factors promote the ecological dominance of these species, and particularly how the discrimination of both conspecifics and heterospecifics (including parasites) might influence structure and ecological success of invasive populations. In this PhD thesis I investigated...... the discrimination behavior of the invasive pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) as a model for other invasive and supercolonial ant species. The pharaoh ant is one of the few ant species that can be reared in the laboratory for many generations. Furthermore, the possibility to do controlled crosses of colonies...... provides the unique opportunity to establish colonies of different genetic composition. These traits make this species a suitable study subject to set up behavioral experiments that aim to investigate which factors, and to which extent, might influence the inter- and intraspecific discrimination abilities...

  14. Community structure and population genetics of Eastern Mediterranean polychaetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgos eChatzigeorgiou

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Species and genetic diversity are often found to co-vary since they are influenced by external factors in similar ways. In this paper, we analyse the genetic differences of the abundant polychaete Hermodice carunculata (Pallas, 1776 during two successive years at two locations in northern Crete (Aegean Sea and compare them to other populations in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The genetic analysis is combined with an analysis of ecological divergence of the total polychaete community structure (beta diversity at these locations. The phylogenetic analysis of all included H. carunculata populations revealed two main clades, one exclusively found in the Mediterranean and a second occurring in both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Genetic diversity indices reveal unexpectedly high differences between the two Cretan populations, despite the absence of apparent oceanographic barriers. A similarly high divergence, represented by a high beta diversity index, was observed between the polychaete communities at the two locations. This comparatively high divergence of the genetic structure of a dominant species and the total polychaete community might be explained by the strong influence of local environmental factors as well as inter-specific interactions between the dominance of a single species and the members of the community.

  15. Microbial community structure of Arctic seawater as revealed by pyrosequencing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Yang; WANG Zhen; LIN Xuezheng

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the microbial community structure of seawater in (ICE-1) and out (FUBIAO) of the pack ice zone in the Arctic region. Approximate 10 L seawater was filtrated by 0.2 μm Whatman nuclepore filters and the environmental genomic DNA was extracted. We conducted a detailed census of microbial communities by pyrosequencing. Analysis of the microbial community structures indicated that these two samples had high bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic diversity. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the two dominant members of the bacterioplankton community in both samples, and their relative abundance were 51.29% and 35.39%, 72.95%and 23.21%, respectively. Euryarchaeota was the most abundant archaeal phylum, and the relative abundance was nearly up to 100% in FUBIAO and 60% in ICE-1. As for the eukaryotes, no_rank_Eukaryota, Arthropoda and no_rank_Metazoa were the most abundant groups in Sample FUBIAO, accounting for 85.29% of the total reads. The relative abundance of the most abundant phylum in Sample ICE-1, no_rank_Eukaryota and no_rank_Metazoa, was up to 90.69% of the total reads. Alphaproteobacteria, Flavobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were the top three abundant classes in the two samples at the bacterial class level. There were also differences in the top ten abundant bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic OTUs at the level of 97% similarity between the two samples.

  16. Community structure benefits the fixation of cooperation under strong selection

    CERN Document Server

    Wu, Zhi-Xi; Yang, Han-Xin

    2014-01-01

    Recent empirical studies suggest that heavy-tailed distributions of human activities are universal in real social dynamics [Muchnik, \\emph{et al.}, Sci. Rep. \\textbf{3}, 1783 (2013)]. On the other hand, community structure is ubiquitous in biological and social networks [M.~E.~J. Newman, Nat. Phys. \\textbf{8}, 25 (2012)]. Motivated by these facts, we here consider the evolutionary Prisoner's dilemma game taking place on top of a real social network to investigate how the community structure and the heterogeneity in activity of individuals affect the evolution of cooperation. In particular, we account for a variation of the birth-death process (which can also be regarded as a proportional imitation rule from social point of view) for the strategy updating under both weak- and strong-selection (meaning the payoffs harvested from games contribute either slightly or heavily to the individuals' performance). By implementing comparative studies, where the players are selected either randomly or in terms of their ac...

  17. Dynamical evolution of the community structure of complex earthquake network

    CERN Document Server

    Abe, Sumiyoshi

    2012-01-01

    Earthquake network is known to be complex in the sense that it is scale-free, small-world, hierarchically organized and assortatively mixed. Here, the time evolution of earthquake networks is analyzed around main shocks in the context of the community structure. It is found that the maximum of the modularity measure quantifying existence of communities exhibits a peculiar behavior: its maximum value stays at a large value before a main shock, suddenly drops to a small values at the main shock, and then increases to relax to a large value again relatively slowly. In this way, a main shock is characterized in the language of theory of complex networks. The result is also interpreted in terms of the clustering structure of the earthquake network.

  18. Bottom-up effects of host-plant species diversity and top-down effects of ants interactively increase plant performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Mooney, Kailen A; Zas, Rafael; Sampedro, Luis

    2012-11-07

    While plant diversity is well known to increase primary productivity, whether these bottom-up effects are enhanced by reciprocal top-down effects from the third trophic level is unknown. We studied whether pine tree species diversity, aphid-tending ants and their interaction determined plant performance and arthropod community structure. Plant diversity had a positive effect on aphids, but only in the presence of mutualistic ants, leading to a threefold greater number of both groups in the tri-specific cultures than in monocultures. Plant diversity increased ant abundance not only by increasing aphid number, but also by increasing ant recruitment per aphid. The positive effect of diversity on ants in turn cascaded down to increase plant performance; diversity increased plant growth (but not biomass), and this effect was stronger in the presence of ants. Consequently, bottom-up effects of diversity within the same genus and guild of plants, and top-down effects from the third trophic level (predatory ants), interactively increased plant performance.

  19. The first mesozoic ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, E O; Carpenter, F M; Brown, W L

    1967-09-01

    Two worker ants preserved in amber of Upper Cretaceous age have been found in New Jersey. They are the first undisputed remains of social insects of Mesozoic age, extending the existence of social life in insects back to approximately 100 million years. They are also the earliest known fossils that can be assigned with certainty to aculeate Hymenoptera. The species, Sphecomyrma freyi, is considered to represent a new subfamily (Sphecomyrminae), more primitive than any previously known ant group. It forms a near-perfect link between certain nonsocial tiphiid wasps and the most primitive myrmecioid ants.

  20. Comparison and validation of community structures in complex networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustafsson, Mika; Hörnquist, Michael; Lombardi, Anna

    2006-07-01

    The issue of partitioning a network into communities has attracted a great deal of attention recently. Most authors seem to equate this issue with the one of finding the maximum value of the modularity, as defined by Newman. Since the problem formulated this way is believed to be NP-hard, most effort has gone into the construction of search algorithms, and less to the question of other measures of community structures, similarities between various partitionings and the validation with respect to external information. Here we concentrate on a class of computer generated networks and on three well-studied real networks which constitute a bench-mark for network studies; the karate club, the US college football teams and a gene network of yeast. We utilize some standard ways of clustering data (originally not designed for finding community structures in networks) and show that these classical methods sometimes outperform the newer ones. We discuss various measures of the strength of the modular structure, and show by examples features and drawbacks. Further, we compare different partitions by applying some graph-theoretic concepts of distance, which indicate that one of the quality measures of the degree of modularity corresponds quite well with the distance from the true partition. Finally, we introduce a way to validate the partitionings with respect to external data when the nodes are classified but the network structure is unknown. This is here possible since we know everything of the computer generated networks, as well as the historical answer to how the karate club and the football teams are partitioned in reality. The partitioning of the gene network is validated by use of the Gene Ontology database, where we show that a community in general corresponds to a biological process.

  1. Systems modeling approaches for microbial community studies: From metagenomics to inference of the community structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark eHanemaaijer

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Microbial communities play important roles in health, industrial applications and earth's ecosystems. With current molecular techniques we can characterize these systems in unprecedented detail. However, such methods provide little mechanistic insight into how the genetic properties and the dynamic couplings between individual microorganisms give rise to their dynamic activities. Neither do they give insight into what we call `the community state', that is the fluxes and concentrations of nutrients within the community. This knowledge is a prerequisite for rational control and intervention in microbial communities. Therefore, the inference of the community structure from experimental data is a major current challenge. We will argue that this inference problem requires mathematical models that can integrate heterogeneous experimental data with existing knowledge. We propose that two types of models are needed. Firstly, mathematical models that integrate existing genomic, physiological, and physicochemical information with metagenomics data so as to maximize information content and predictive power. This can be achieved with the use of constraint-based genome-scale stoichiometric modeling of community metabolism which is ideally suited for this purpose. Next, we propose a simpler coarse-grained model, which is tailored to solve the inference problem from the experimental data. This model unambiguously relate to the more detailed genome-scale stoichiometric models which act as heterogeneous data integrators. The simpler inference models are, in our opinion, key to understanding microbial ecosystems, yet until now, have received remarkably little attention. This has led to the situation where the modeling of microbial communities, using only genome-scale models is currently more a computational, theoretical exercise than a method useful to the experimentalist.

  2. Native and domestic browsers and grazers reduce fuels, fire temperatures, and acacia ant mortality in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimuyu, Duncan M; Sensenig, Ryan L; Riginos, Corinna; Veblen, Kari E; Young, Truman P

    2014-06-01

    Despite the importance of fire and herbivory in structuring savanna systems, few replicated experiments have examined the interactive effects of herbivory and fire on plant dynamics. In addition, the effects of fire on associated ant-tree mutualisms have been largely unexplored. We carried out small controlled burns in each of 18 herbivore treatment plots of the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE), where experimentally excluding elephants has resulted in 42% greater tree densities. The KLEE design includes six different herbivore treatments that allowed us to examine how different combinations of megaherbivore wildlife, mesoherbivore wildlife, and cattle affect fire temperatures and subsequent loss of ant symbionts from Acacia trees. Before burning, we quantified herbaceous fuel loads and plant community composition. We tagged all trees, measured their height and basal diameter, and identified the resident ant species on each. We recorded weather conditions during the burns and used ceramic tiles painted with fire-sensitive paints to estimate fire temperatures at different heights and in different microsites (under vs. between trees). Across all treatments, fire temperatures were highest at 0-50 cm off the ground and hotter in the grass under trees than in the grassy areas between trees. Plots with more trees burned hotter than plots with fewer trees, perhaps because of greater fine woody debris. Plots grazed by wildlife and by cattle prior to burning had lower herbaceous fuel loads and experienced lower burn temperatures than ungrazed plots. Many trees lost their ant colonies during the burns. Ant survivorship differed by ant species and at the plot level was positively associated with previous herbivory (and lower fire temperatures). Across all treatments, ant colonies on taller trees were more likely to survive, but even some of the tallest trees lost their ant colonies. Our study marks a significant step in understanding the mechanisms that underlie the

  3. Comparison and validation of community structures in complex networks

    CERN Document Server

    Gustafsson, M; Lombardi, A; Gustafsson, Mika; Hornquist, Michael; Lombardi, Anna

    2006-01-01

    The issue of partitioning a network into communities has attracted a great deal of attention recently. Most authors seem to equate this issue with the one of finding the maximum value of the modularity, as defined by Newman. Since the problem formulated this way is NP-hard, most effort has gone into the construction of search algorithms, and less to the question of other measures of community structures, similarities between various partitionings and the validation with respect to external information. Here we concentrate on a class of computer generated networks and on three well-studied real networks which constitute a bench-mark for network studies; the karate club, the US college football teams and a gene network of yeast. We utilize some standard ways of clustering data (originally not designed for finding community structures in networks) and show that these classical methods sometimes outperform the newer ones. We discuss various measures of the strength of the modular structure, and show by examples f...

  4. Field techniques for sampling ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ants occur in most environments and ecologists ask a diverse array of questions involving ants. Thus, a key consideration in ant studies is to match the environment and question (and associated environmental variables) to the ant sampling technique. Since each technique has distinct limitations, usi...

  5. Diatom community structure on in-service cruise ship hulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunsucker, Kelli Zargiel; Koka, Abhishek; Lund, Geir; Swain, Geoffrey

    2014-10-01

    Diatoms are an important component of marine biofilms found on ship hulls. However, there are only a few published studies that describe the presence and abundance of diatoms on ships, and none that relate to modern ship hull coatings. This study investigated the diatom community structure on two in-service cruise ships with the same cruise cycles, one coated with an antifouling (AF) system (copper self-polishing copolymer) and the other coated with a silicone fouling-release (FR) system. Biofilm samples were collected during dry docking from representative areas of the ship and these provided information on the horizontal and vertical zonation of the hull, and intact and damaged coating and niche areas. Diatoms from the genera Achnanthes, Amphora and Navicula were the most common, regardless of horizontal ship zonation and coating type. Other genera were abundant, but their presence was more dependent on the ship zonation and coating type. Samples collected from damaged areas of the hull coating had a similar community composition to undamaged areas, but with higher diatom abundance. Diatom fouling on the niche areas differed from that of the surrounding ship hull and paralleled previous studies that investigated differences in diatom community structure on static and dynamically exposed coatings; niche areas were similar to static immersion and the hull to dynamic immersion. Additionally, diatom richness was greater on the ship with the FR coating, including the identification of several new genera to the biofouling literature, viz. Lampriscus and Thalassiophysa. These results are the first to describe diatom community composition on in-service ship hulls coated with a FR system. This class of coatings appears to have a larger diatom community compared to copper-based AF systems, with new diatom genera that have the ability to stick to ship hulls and withstand hydrodynamic forces, thus creating the potential for new problematic species in the biofilm.

  6. Does Trichomes on the Plant Epidermic Surface Disturb Ants Locomotion?

    OpenAIRE

    Danon C. Cardoso; Maykon P Cristiano; Lenise C. M. Vilela; Tiago D. A. Martins

    2009-01-01

    Problem Statement: Many morphological characteristics, both physical and chemical, are used in the defense against herbivores on plants. Trichomes are structures used by plants as physics defense and when associated with glands combine physics and chemistry defense. Many species of ants are herbivores and use leaves and seeds, others ants use Extra Floral Nectars as a food resource, and the majority of the species are predators of other ants and other insects, &#...

  7. Sick ants become unsociable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, N; Lefèvre, T; Jensen, A B; d'Ettorre, P

    2012-02-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results provide evidence for the evolution of unsociability following pathogen infection in a social animal and suggest an important role of inclusive fitness in driving such evolution.

  8. Microbial community structure in the rhizosphere of rice plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Björn eBreidenbach

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The microbial community in the rhizosphere environment is critical for the health of land plants and the processing of soil organic matter. The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which rice plants shape the microbial community in rice field soil over the course of a growing season. Rice (Oryza sativa was cultivated under greenhouse conditions in rice field soil from Vercelli, Italy and the microbial community in the rhizosphere of planted soil microcosms was characterized at four plant growth stages using quantitative PCR and 16S rRNA gene pyrotag analysis and compared to that of unplanted bulk soil. The abundances of 16S rRNA genes in the rice rhizosphere were on average twice that of unplanted bulk soil, indicating a stimulation of microbial growth in the rhizosphere. Soil environment type (i.e. rhizosphere versus bulk soil had a greater effect on the community structure than did time (e.g. plant growth stage. Numerous phyla were affected by the presence of rice plants, but the strongest effects were observed for Gemmatimonadetes, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. With respect to functional groups of microorganisms, potential iron reducers (e.g. Geobacter, Anaeromyxobacter and fermenters (e.g. Clostridiaceae, Opitutaceae were notably enriched in the rhizosphere environment. A Herbaspirillum species was always more abundant in the rhizosphere than bulk soil and was enriched in the rhizosphere during the early stage of plant growth.

  9. Competition for space and the structure of ecological communities

    CERN Document Server

    Yodzis, Peter

    1978-01-01

    This volume is an investigation of interspecific competition for space, particularly among sessile organisms, both plant and animal, and its consequences for community structure. While my own contribu­ tion ----and the bulk of this volume --- lies in mathematical analysis of the phenomenon, I have also tried to summarize the most important natural historical aspects of these communities, and have devoted much effort to relating the mathematical results to observations of the natural world. Thus, the volume has both a synthetic and an analytic aspect. On the one hand, I have been struck by certain similarities among many communities, from forests to mussel beds, in which spatial com­ petition is important. On the other hand, I have analyzed this pheno­ menon by means of reaction-dispersal models. Finally, the mathematical analysis has suggested a conceptual framework for these communities which, I believe, further unifies and illuminates the field data. A focal perception of this work is that, just as niche...

  10. Fire ants perpetually rebuild sinking towers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phonekeo, Sulisay; Mlot, Nathan; Monaenkova, Daria; Hu, David L.; Tovey, Craig

    2017-07-01

    In the aftermath of a flood, fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, cluster into temporary encampments. The encampments can contain hundreds of thousands of ants and reach over 30 ants high. How do ants build such tall structures without being crushed? In this combined experimental and theoretical study, we investigate the shape and rate of construction of ant towers around a central support. The towers are bell shaped, consistent with towers of constant strength such as the Eiffel tower, where each element bears an equal load. However, unlike the Eiffel tower, the ant tower is built through a process of trial and error, whereby failed portions avalanche until the final shape emerges. High-speed and novel X-ray videography reveal that the tower constantly sinks and is rebuilt, reminiscent of large multicellular systems such as human skin. We combine the behavioural rules that produce rafts on water with measurements of adhesion and attachment strength to model the rate of growth of the tower. The model correctly predicts that the growth rate decreases as the support diameter increases. This work may inspire the design of synthetic swarms capable of building in vertical layers.

  11. Consuming fire ants reduces northern bobwhite survival and weight gain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, P.E.; Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.

    2014-01-01

    Northern bobwhite quail, Colinus virginianus (L.) (Galliformes: Odontophoridae), population declines are well documented, but pinpointing the reasons for these decreases has proven elusive. Bobwhite population declines are attributed primarily to loss of habitat and land use changes. This, however, does not entirely explain population declines in areas intensively managed for bobwhites. Although previous research demonstrates the negative impact of red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on northern bobwhites, the mechanisms underlying this effect are largely unknown. To meet the protein demands of early growth and development, bobwhite chicks predominantly consume small insects, of which ants are a substantial proportion. Fire ants alter ant community dynamics by often reducing native ant diversity and abundance while concurrently increasing the abundance of individuals. Fire ants have negative effects on chicks, but they are also a large potential protein source, making it difficult to disentangle their net effect on bobwhite chicks. To help investigate these effects, we conducted a laboratory experiment to understand (1) whether or not bobwhites consume fire ants, and (2) how the benefits of this consumption compare to the deleterious impacts of bobwhite chick exposure to fire ants. Sixty bobwhite chicks were separated into two groups of 30; one group was provided with starter feed only and the second group was provided with feed and fire ants. Bobwhite chicks were observed feeding on fire ants. Chicks that fed on fire ants had reduced survival and weight gain. Our results show that, while fire ants increase potential food sources for northern bobwhite, their net effect on bobwhite chicks is deleterious. This information will help inform land managers and commercial bobwhite rearing operations.

  12. Making the links between community structure and individual well-being: community quality of life in Riverdale, Toronto, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raphael, D; Renwick, R; Brown, I; Steinmetz, B; Sehdev, H; Phillips, S

    2001-09-01

    An inquiry into community quality of life was carried out within a framework that recognizes the complex relationship between community structures and individual well-being. Through use of focus groups and key informant interviews, community members, service providers, and elected representatives in a Toronto community considered aspects of their community that affected quality of life. Community members identified strengths of access to amenities, caring and concerned people, community agencies, low-cost housing, and public transportation. Service providers and elected representatives recognized diversity, community agencies and resources, and presence of culturally relevant food stores and services as strengths. At one level, findings were consistent with emerging concepts of social capital. At another level, threats to the community were considered in relation to the hypothesized role neo-liberalism plays in weakening the welfare state.

  13. A local immunization strategy for networks with overlapping community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taghavian, Fatemeh; Salehi, Mostafa; Teimouri, Mehdi

    2017-02-01

    Since full coverage treatment is not feasible due to limited resources, we need to utilize an immunization strategy to effectively distribute the available vaccines. On the other hand, the structure of contact network among people has a significant impact on epidemics of infectious diseases (such as SARS and influenza) in a population. Therefore, network-based immunization strategies aim to reduce the spreading rate by removing the vaccinated nodes from contact network. Such strategies try to identify more important nodes in epidemics spreading over a network. In this paper, we address the effect of overlapping nodes among communities on epidemics spreading. The proposed strategy is an optimized random-walk based selection of these nodes. The whole process is local, i.e. it requires contact network information in the level of nodes. Thus, it is applicable to large-scale and unknown networks in which the global methods usually are unrealizable. Our simulation results on different synthetic and real networks show that the proposed method outperforms the existing local methods in most cases. In particular, for networks with strong community structures, high overlapping membership of nodes or small size communities, the proposed method shows better performance.

  14. Functional and spatial structure of the urbotechnozem mesopedobiont community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. N. Kunah

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The results of studying the spatial structure of soil mesofauna of an urbanotechnozem by OMI- and RLQ-analysis are presented. The research was conducted on 5 June 2012 in the Botanic Garden of Oles Gonchar University (previously – territory of the Park Y. Gagarin, Dnipropetrovsk. The studied plot is situated on the slope of the Krasnopostachekaya balka (48°25'57.43" N, 35°2'16.52" E. The plot consists of 15 transects directed in a perpendicular manner in relation to the talweg. Each transect is made of seven sample points. The distance between points is 2 m. The coordinates of the lower left point were taken as (0; 0. The plot consisted of artificial grassland with a single tree. The vegetation was composed of grassland and steppe, of a mega-mesotrophic, xeromesophilic character. At each point the mesopedobionts were studied (data presented as L-table; temperature, electrical conductivity and soil penetration resistance, and grass height were measured (data presented as R-table. The soil-zoological test area was 25×25 cm. The mesopedobiont community was represented by 28 species and with total abundance 70.1 ind./m2. The following groups were dominant in the ecological structure of the soil animal community; saprohages, pratants, mesotrophocoenomorphs and the endogeic group. The measured edaphic characteristics were shown to play an important role in structurization of the ecological niche of the mesopedobiont community. The usage of morphological or physiological features of animals for the assessment of degree of specific distinctions is applicable for homogeneous taxonomic or ecological groups possessing comparable characteristics which also can be interpreted ecologically. The soil mesofauna is characterized by high taxonomic and ecological diversity of forms,which are difficult to compare by morphological or physiological criteria. The ecological value of characteristics in different groups will be not identical, and the basis for

  15. Improved community structure detection using a modified fine tuning strategy

    CERN Document Server

    Sun, Yudong; Josic, Kresimir; Bassler, Kevin E

    2009-01-01

    The community structure of a complex network can be determined by finding the partitioning of its nodes that maximizes modularity. Many of the proposed algorithms for doing this work by recursively bisecting the network. We show that this unduely constrains their results, leading to a bias in the size of the communities they find and limiting their effectivness. To solve this problem, we propose adding a step to the existing algorithms that does not increase the order of their computational complexity. We show that, if this step is combined with a commonly used method, the identified constraint and resulting bias are removed, and its ability to find the optimal partitioning is improved. The effectiveness of this combined algorithm is also demonstrated by using it on real-world example networks. For a number of these examples, it achieves the best results of any known algorithm.

  16. The CECAM Electronic Structure Library: community-driven development of software libraries for electronic structure simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Micael

    The CECAM Electronic Structure Library (ESL) is a community-driven effort to segregate shared pieces of software as libraries that could be contributed and used by the community. Besides allowing to share the burden of developing and maintaining complex pieces of software, these can also become a target for re-coding by software engineers as hardware evolves, ensuring that electronic structure codes remain at the forefront of HPC trends. In a series of workshops hosted at the CECAM HQ in Lausanne, the tools and infrastructure for the project were prepared, and the first contributions were included and made available online (http://esl.cecam.org). In this talk I will present the different aspects and aims of the ESL and how these can be useful for the electronic structure community.

  17. Comunidade de Formigas Arborícolas Associadas ao Pequizeiro (Caryocar brasiliense em Fragmento de Cerrado Goiano Arboreal Ants Community Associated with the Pequizeiro (Caryocar brasiliense in the Remnant of Cerrado Goiano

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila Alves Rodrigues

    2010-03-01

    pequizeiro.

    Community of arboreal ants associated with the pequizeiro (Caryocar brasiliense Camb. in the remnant of cerrado goiano (State of Goiás, Brazil was surveyed in the trunk of these plants, using bait based on sardine and soy oil. During one year, in the four climatic seasons, consecutive collects of the ants were accomplished. A total of 32  species was collected during the studuy period. Myrmicinae and  Formicinae were the most frequently subfamilies found. Significant  difference was verified in the composition of the arboreal ants community along the investigated climatic seasons. Significant  correlation was not verified between size of the trees and richness of  ant species associated to the pequizeiro

  18. An ants-eye view of an ant-plant protection mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanan, M. C.; Bronstein, J. L.

    2013-01-01

    Ant protection of extrafloral nectar-secreting plants (EFN plants) is a common form of mutualism found in most habitats around the world. However, very few studies have considered these mutualisms from the ant, rather than the plant, perspective. In particular, a whole-colony perspective that takes into account the spatial structure and nest arrangement of the ant colonies that visit these plants has been lacking, obscuring when and how colony-level foraging decisions might affect tending rates on individual plants. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that recruitment of Crematogaster opuntiae (Buren) ant workers to the extrafloral nectar-secreting cactus Ferocactus wislizeni (Englem) is not independent between plants up to 5m apart. Colony territories of C. opuntiae are large, covering areas of up to 5000m2, and workers visit between five and thirty-four extrafloral nectar-secreting barrel cacti within the territories. These ants are highly polydomous, with up to twenty nest entrances dispersed throughout the territory and interconnected by trail networks. Our study demonstrates that worker recruitment is not independent within large polydomous ant colonies, highlighting the importance of considering colonies rather than individual workers as the relevant study unit within ant/plant protection mutualisms PMID:23515612

  19. Matrix composition and community structure analysis of a novel bacterial pyrite leaching community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Sibylle; Ackermann, Sonia; Majzlan, Juraj; Gescher, Johannes

    2009-09-01

    Here we describe a novel bacterial community that is embedded in a matrix of carbohydrates and bio/geochemical products of pyrite (FeS(2)) oxidation. This community grows in stalactite-like structures--snottites--on the ceiling of an abandoned pyrite mine at pH values of 2.2-2.6. The aqueous phase in the matrix contains 200 mM of sulfate and total iron concentrations of 60 mM. Micro-X-ray diffraction analysis showed that jarosite [(K,Na,H(3)O)Fe(3)(SO(4))(2)(OH)(6)] is the major mineral embedded in the snottites. X-ray absorption near-edge structure experiments revealed three different sulfur species. The major signal can be ascribed to sulfate, and the other two features may correspond to thiols and sulfoxides. Arabinose was detected as the major sugar component in the extracellular polymeric substance. Via restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, a community was found that mainly consists of iron oxidizing Leptospirillum and Ferrovum species but also of bacteria that could be involved in dissimilatory sulfate and dissimilatory iron reduction. Each snottite can be regarded as a complex, self-contained consortium of bacterial species fuelled by the decomposition of pyrite.

  20. Five new records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) for Nebraska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemec, Kristine T.; Trager, James C.; Manley, Elizabeth; Allen, Craig R.

    2012-01-01

    Ants are ubiquitous and influential organisms in terrestrial ecosystems. About 1,000 ant species occur in North America, where they are found in nearly every habitat (Fisher and Cover 2007). Ants are critical to ecological processes and structure. Ants affect soils via tunneling activity (Baxter and Hole 1967), disperse plant seeds (Lengyel et al. 2009), prey upon a variety of insects and other invertebrates (Way and Khoo 1992, Folgarait 1998), are often effective primary consumers through their prodigious consumption of floral and especially extrafloral nectar, and honeydew (Tobin 1994), and serve as prey for invertebrates (Gotelli 1996, Gastreich 1999) and vertebrates (Reiss 2001).

  1. Argentine ant invasion associated with loblolly pines in the southeastern United States: minimal impacts but seasonally sustained.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowles, Alexei D; Silverman, Jules

    2010-08-01

    Invasive ants are notorious for directly displacing native ant species. Although such impacts are associated with Argentine ant invasions (Linepithema humile) worldwide, impacts within natural habitat are less widely reported, particularly those affecting arboreal ant communities. Argentine ants were detected in North Carolina mixed pine-hardwood forest for the first time but were localized on and around loblolly pines (Pinus taeda), probably because of association with honeydew-producing Hemiptera. We explored the potential impacts of L. humile on arboreal and ground-foraging native ant species by comparing interspersed loblolly pines invaded and uninvaded by Argentine ants. Impacts on native ants were assessed monthly over 1 yr by counting ants in foraging trails on pine trunks and in surrounding plots using a concentric arrangement of pitfall traps at 1, 2, and 3 m from the base of each tree. Of floristics and habitat variables, higher soil moisture in invaded plots was the only difference between plot types, increasing confidence that any ant community differences were caused by Argentine ants. Overall patterns of impact were weak. Composition differed significantly between Argentine ant invaded and uninvaded trunks and pitfalls but was driven only by the presence of Argentine ants rather than any resulting compositional change in native ant species. Native ant abundance and richness were similarly unaffected by L. humile. However, the abundance of individual ant species was more variable. Although numbers of the arboreal Crematogaster ashmeadi (Myrmicinae) declined on and around invaded pines, epigeic Aphaenogaster rudis (Myrmicinae) remained the most abundant species in all plots. Argentine ant densities peaked in late summer and fall, therefore overlapping with most native ants. Unexpected was their continued presence during even the coldest months. We provide evidence that Argentine ants can invade and persist in native North Carolina forests, probably

  2. The Evolution of Community Structure in a Coauthorship Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Mcdowell

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms such as triadic closure and preferential attachment drive the evolution of social networks. Many models use these mechanisms to predict future links, and they generate realistic networks with scale-free degree distributions. These social networks also have community structure, or sets of vertices which are more connected to each other than the rest of the network. To study the evolution of research groups of scientists in a coauthorship network, we use a timeheterarchy representation to extend the mechanisms driving the evolution of the network to the level of this community structure. Specifically, we examine changes in the structure of groups in terms of mechanisms analogous to triadic closure and preferential attachment, and as a result, we find that the network evolves in the same way at the group-level and the individual-level. In addition, we find that interactions at the group-level might affect interactions at the individual-level in that members of a single group are more likely to strengthen their relationships than members of separate groups.

  3. [Effects of colistin sulfate residue on soil microbial community structure].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yi; Peng, Jin-Ju; Chen, Jin-Jun; Fan, Ting-Li; Sun, Yong-Xue

    2014-06-01

    By using fumigation extraction and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) methods, the change of characteristics of soil microbial community structure caused by residue of colistin sulfate (CS) was studied. The results showed that the CS (w(cs) > or = 5 mg x kg(-1)) had a significant effect on the microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and it was dose-dependent where MBC decreased with the increase of CS concentration in soil. The MBC in soil decreased by 52. 1% when the CS concentration reached 50 mg x kg(-1). The total PLFA of soil in each CS treatment was significantly decreased during the sampling period compared with the control group and showed a dose-dependent relationship. The soil microbial community structure and diversity in the low CS group (w(cs) = 0.5 mg x kg(-1)) were not significantly different from the control group on 7th and 49th day. However, they were significantly different on 21st and 35th day especially in the high CS group (w(cs) = 50 mg x kg(-1)). It was concluded that CS could change the structure of soil microorganisms and varied with time which might be caused by the chemical conversion and degradation of CS in soil.

  4. Trophic structure and community stability in an overfished ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Utne-Palm, Anne Christine

    2010-07-15

    Since the collapse of the pelagic fisheries off southwest Africa in the late 1960s, jellyfish biomass has increased and the structure of the Benguelan fish community has shifted, making the bearded goby (Sufflogobius bibarbatus) the new predominant prey species. Despite increased prédation pressure and a harsh environment, the gobies are thriving. Here we show that physiological adaptations and antipredator and foraging behaviors underpin the success of these fish. In particular, body-tissue isotope signatures reveal that gobies consume jellyfish and sulphidic diatomaceous mud, transferring "dead-end" resources back into the food chain.

  5. Analysis of community structure in networks of correlated data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomez, S.; Jensen, P.; Arenas, A.

    2008-12-25

    We present a reformulation of modularity that allows the analysis of the community structure in networks of correlated data. The new modularity preserves the probabilistic semantics of the original definition even when the network is directed, weighted, signed, and has self-loops. This is the most general condition one can find in the study of any network, in particular those defined from correlated data. We apply our results to a real network of correlated data between stores in the city of Lyon (France).

  6. Leaf-cutting ants toxicity of limonexic acid and degraded limonoids from Raulinoa echinata: X-ray structure of epoxy-fraxinellone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biavatti, Maique W.; Westerlon, Rosangela [Universidade do Vale do Itajai, SC (Brazil). Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Ciencias Farmaceuticas]. E-mail: maique@univali.br; Vieira, Paulo C.; Silva, M. Fatima G.F. da; Fernandes, Joao B. [Sao Carlos Univ., SP (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica; Penaflor, M. Fernanda G.V.; Bueno, Odair C. [UNESP, Rio Claro, SP (Brazil). Centro de Estudos de Insetos Sociais; Ellena, Javier [Sao Paulo Univ., Sao Carlos, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Fisica

    2005-11-15

    Phytochemical survey of roots extracts of the South Brazilian endemic plant Raulinoa echinata Cowan, Rutaceae led to the isolation of known degraded limonoids: fraxinellone, fraxinellonone and epoxy-fraxinellone. The latter was previously isolated also from the stems, but the relative configuration could not be solved by NMR experiments. This paper deals with the X-ray diffraction analysis of epoxy-fraxinellone and its toxicity to leaf-cutting ants, describes the isolation of fraxinellonone and fraxinellone for the first time in Raulinoa. Epoxy-fraxinellone showed no toxicity to the leaf-cutting ants (Atta sexdens rubropilosa). The limonoid limonexic acid, isolated from stems, presented high toxicity to the leaf-cutting ants, diminishing considerably their longevity. (author)

  7. Wood-nesting ants and their parasites in forests and coffee agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De La Mora, Aldo; Philpott, Stacy M

    2010-10-01

    Agricultural intensification is linked to reduced species richness and may limit the effectiveness of predators in agricultural systems. We studied the abundance, diversity, and species composition of wood-nesting ants and frequency of parasitism of poneromorph ants in coffee agroeco systems and a forest fragment in Chiapas, Mexico. In three farms differing in shade management and in a nearby forest fragment, we surveyed ants nesting in rotten wood. We collected pupae of all poneromorph ants encountered, and incubated pupae for 15 d to recover emerging ant parasites. If no parasites emerged, we dissected pupae to examine for parasitism. Overall, we found 63 ant morphospecies, 29 genera, and 7 subfamilies from 520 colonies. There were no significant differences in ant richness or abundance between the different sites. However, there were significant differences in the species composition of ants sampled in the four different sites. The parasitism rates of ants differed according to site; in the forest 77.7% of species were parasitized, and this number declined with increasing intensification in traditional polyculture (40%),commercial polyculture (25%), and shade monoculture (16.6%). For three of four poneromorph species found in >1 habitat, parasitism rates were higher in the more vegetatively complex sites. The result that both ant species composition and ant parasitism differed among by site indicates that coffee management intensification affects wood-nesting ant communities. Further, coffee intensification may significantly alter interactions between ants and their parasites, with possible implications for biological control in coffee agroecosystems.

  8. Record dynamics in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O Richardson

    Full Text Available The success of social animals (including ourselves can be attributed to efficiencies that arise from a division of labour. Many animal societies have a communal nest which certain individuals must leave to perform external tasks, for example foraging or patrolling. Staying at home to care for young or leaving to find food is one of the most fundamental divisions of labour. It is also often a choice between safety and danger. Here we explore the regulation of departures from ant nests. We consider the extreme situation in which no one returns and show experimentally that exiting decisions seem to be governed by fluctuating record signals and ant-ant interactions. A record signal is a new 'high water mark' in the history of a system. An ant exiting the nest only when the record signal reaches a level it has never perceived before could be a very effective mechanism to postpone, until the last possible moment, a potentially fatal decision. We also show that record dynamics may be involved in first exits by individually tagged ants even when their nest mates are allowed to re-enter the nest. So record dynamics may play a role in allocating individuals to tasks, both in emergencies and in everyday life. The dynamics of several complex but purely physical systems are also based on record signals but this is the first time they have been experimentally shown in a biological system.

  9. Experimental warming effects on the bacterial community structure and diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, W.; Han, S.; Adams, J.; Son, Y.

    2014-12-01

    The objective of this study is to investigate the responses of soil bacterial community to future temperature increase by conducting open-field warming experiment. We conducted an open-field experimental warming system using infra-red heater in 2011 and regulated the temperature of warmed plots by 3oC higher than that of control plots constantly. The seeds of Pinus densiflora, Abies holophylla, Abies koreana, Betula costata, Quercus variabilis, Fraxinus rhynchophylla, and Zelkova serrata were planted in each 1 m × 1 m plot (n=3) in April, 2012. We collected soil samples from the rhizosphere of 7 tree species. DNA was extracted and PCR-amplified for the bacterial 16S gene targeting V1-V3 region. The paired-end sequencing was performed at Beijing Genome Institute (BGI, Hong Kong, China) using 2× 100 bp Hiseq2000 (Illumina). This study aimed to answer the following prediction/hypothesis: 1) Experimental warming will change the structure of soil bacterial community, 2) There will be distinct 'indicator group' which response to warming treatment relatively more sensitive than other groups. 3) Warming treatment will enhance the microbial activity in terms of soil respiration. 4) The rhizoplane bacterial communities for each of 7 tree species will show different response pattern to warming treatment. Since the sequence data does not arrive before the submission deadline, therefore, we would like to present the results and discussions on December 2014, AGU Fall Meeting.

  10. Comparison of adult mosquito community structure on various habitats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHONG-CHENGYAN; HARRYZHONG

    2005-01-01

    The community structure of adult mosquitoes was compared from New Jersey light trap collections in six different types of habitats in Citrus County, Florida, USA. From October 1998 to December 2000, mosquitoes were collected three times a week from the following habitats (swamps, swamps and freshwater marshes, pine fiat-woods, pine fiat-woods and scrub, salt marshes, and salt marshes and mangroves). Mosquito density was highest in the swamps and freshwater marshes habitat, with an average of 95.65 specimens per trap.Density was lowest in the flatwoods and scrub habitat, with an average of 14.38 specimens per trap. Species dominance differed among habitats. Salt marshes produced the greatest aggregation index, while pine flatwoods produced the lowest. Conversely, diversity analysis showed that pine flatwoods had the greatest diversity, while salt marshes the lowest diversity. Similarity indices indicated that the adult mosquito communities from pine flatwoods and pine flatwoods and scrub were very similar (0.8583). The adult mosquito community of salt marshes was different from that of swamps and freshwater marshes (the similar index was 0.0217).

  11. Impact of oil on bacterial community structure in bioturbated sediments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magalie Stauffert

    Full Text Available Oil spills threaten coastlines where biological processes supply essential ecosystem services. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how oil influences the microbial communities in sediments that play key roles in ecosystem functioning. Ecosystems such as sediments are characterized by intensive bioturbation due to burrowing macrofauna that may modify the microbial metabolisms. It is thus essential to consider the bioturbation when determining the impact of oil on microbial communities. In this study, an experimental laboratory device maintaining pristine collected mudflat sediments in microcosms closer to true environmental conditions--with tidal cycles and natural seawater--was used to simulate an oil spill under bioturbation conditions. Different conditions were applied to the microcosms including an addition of: standardized oil (Blend Arabian Light crude oil, 25.6 mg.g⁻¹ wet sediment, the common burrowing organism Hediste (Nereis diversicolor and both the oil and H. diversicolor. The addition of H. diversicolor and its associated bioturbation did not affect the removal of petroleum hydrocarbons. After 270 days, 60% of hydrocarbons had been removed in all microcosms irrespective of the H. diversicolor addition. However, 16S-rRNA gene and 16S-cDNA T-RFLP and RT-PCR-amplicon libraries analysis showed an effect of the condition on the bacterial community structure, composition, and dynamics, supported by PerMANOVA analysis. The 16S-cDNA libraries from microcosms where H. diversicolor was added (oiled and un-oiled showed a marked dominance of sequences related to Gammaproteobacteria. However, in the oiled-library sequences associated to Deltaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were also highly represented. The 16S-cDNA libraries from oiled-microcosms (with and without H. diversicolor addition revealed two distinct microbial communities characterized by different phylotypes associated to known hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria and dominated by

  12. Assessing ant seed predation in threatened plants: a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, María José; Escudero, Adrián; Iriondo, José María

    2005-11-01

    Erodium paularense is a threatened plant species that is subject to seed predation by the granivorous ant Messor capitatus. In this paper we assessed the intensity and pattern of ant seed predation and looked for possible adaptive strategies at the seed and plant levels to cope with this predation. Seed predation was estimated in 1997 and 1998 at the population level by comparing total seed production and ant consumption, assessed by counting seed hulls in refuse piles. According to this method, ant seed predation ranged between 18% and 28%. A more detailed and direct assessment conducted in 1997 raised this estimate to 43%. In this assessment spatial and temporal patterns of seed predation by ants were studied by mapping all nest entrances in the studied area and marking the mature fruits of 109 reproductive plants with a specific colour code throughout the seed dispersal period. Intact fruit coats were later recovered from the refuse piles, and their mother plants and time of dispersal were identified. Seeds dispersed at the end of the dispersal period had a greater probability of escaping from ant seed predation. Similarly, in plants with late dispersal a greater percentage of seeds escaped from ant predation. Optimum dispersal time coincided with the maximum activity of granivorous ants because, at this time, ants focused their harvest on other plant species of the community. It was also observed that within-individual seed dispersal asynchrony minimised seed predation. From a conservation perspective, results show that the granivorous ant-plant interaction cannot be assessed in isolation and that the intensity of its effects basically depends on the seed dispersal pattern of the other members of the plant community. Furthermore, this threat must be assessed by considering the overall situation of the target population. Thus, in E. paularense, the strong limitation of safe-sites for seedling establishment reduces the importance of seed predation.

  13. Utilization of Anting-Anting (Acalypha indica) Leaves as Antibacterial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batubara, Irmanida; Wahyuni, Wulan Tri; Firdaus, Imam

    2016-01-01

    Anting-anting (Acalypha indica) plants is a species of plant having catkin type of inflorescence. This research aims to utilize anting-anting as antibacterial toward Streptococcus mutans and degradation of biofilm on teeth. Anting-anting leaves were extracted by maceration technique using methanol, chloroform, and n-hexane. Antibacterial and biofilm degradation assays were performed using microdilution technique with 96 well. n-Hexane extracts of anting-anting leaves gave the best antibacterial potency with minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration value of 500 μg/mL and exhibited good biofilm degradation activity. Fraction of F3 obtained from fractionation of n-hexane's extract with column chromatography was a potential for degradation of biofilm with IC50 value of 56.82 μg/mL. Alkaloid was suggested as antibacterial and degradation of biofilm in the active fraction.

  14. Maps of random walks on complex networks reveal community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosvall, Martin; Bergstrom, Carl T

    2008-01-29

    To comprehend the multipartite organization of large-scale biological and social systems, we introduce an information theoretic approach that reveals community structure in weighted and directed networks. We use the probability flow of random walks on a network as a proxy for information flows in the real system and decompose the network into modules by compressing a description of the probability flow. The result is a map that both simplifies and highlights the regularities in the structure and their relationships. We illustrate the method by making a map of scientific communication as captured in the citation patterns of >6,000 journals. We discover a multicentric organization with fields that vary dramatically in size and degree of integration into the network of science. Along the backbone of the network-including physics, chemistry, molecular biology, and medicine-information flows bidirectionally, but the map reveals a directional pattern of citation from the applied fields to the basic sciences.

  15. Mass media influence spreading in social networks with community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candia, Julián; Mazzitello, Karina I.

    2008-07-01

    We study an extension of Axelrod's model for social influence, in which cultural drift is represented as random perturbations, while mass media are introduced by means of an external field. In this scenario, we investigate how the modular structure of social networks affects the propagation of mass media messages across a society. The community structure of social networks is represented by coupled random networks, in which two random graphs are connected by intercommunity links. Considering inhomogeneous mass media fields, we study the conditions for successful message spreading and find a novel phase diagram in the multidimensional parameter space. These findings show that social modularity effects are of paramount importance for designing successful, cost-effective advertising campaigns.

  16. Inventário estruturado de formigas (Hymenoptera, Formicidae em floresta ombrófila de encosta na ilha da Marambaia, RJ Structured inventory of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in atlantic slope rain-forest of Marambaia Island, RJ

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel de S. Schütte

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available As formigas são componentes funcionais importantes em florestas tropicais devido aos papéis ecológicos que exercem, à grande biomassa e à riqueza de espécies. Embora a Mata Atlântica seja um dos ecossistemas mais bem estudados no Brasil, ainda faltam informações sobre a diversidade de formigas nos fragmentos florestais do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. A riqueza e composição da assembléia de formigas em floresta ombrófila de encosta na ilha da Marambaia (RJ foi estudada através de um inventário estruturado em uma área de 0,6 ha. Armadilhas do tipo "pitfall" e coletas manuais foram empregadas na serapilheira e sobre a vegetação entre os meses de janeiro e julho de 2004. Um total de 29 gêneros e 82 espécies foi encontrado na amostragem. A abundância e a riqueza de espécies foram maiores nas amostras de março do que de julho. Já a eqüitatividade e diversidade de formigas nas amostras não foram influenciadas pela época da coleta. As amostras de formigas em galhos mortos adicionaram seis espécies à lista, acrescentando informações sobre a biologia das espécies. As amostras sobre plantas totalizaram 32 espécies de formigas, das quais 12 foram exclusivas, como as espécies de Pseudomyrmex e algumas de Crematogaster e Pachycondyla. Este estudo pretende contribuir para o desenvolvimento de prioridades conservacionistas em um dos ecossistemas mais ameaçados do mundo.Ants are an important functional component in tropical forest due to their ecological roles, biomass and species diversity. Although the Atlantic Forest is one of the best studied ecosystems in Brazil, there is a lack of information about ant diversity in forest fragments of the state of Rio de Janeiro. The composition and richness of the ant fauna from atlantic slope rain-forest in Marambaia island-RJ were assessed by the structured inventory in an area of 0.6 ha. Pitfalls traps and hand collecting were used for sampling ants in the litter and on vegetation from

  17. [Community structure of planktonic rotifers in the Pearl River Delta].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yuan; Li, Xin-Hui; Lai, Zi-Ni; Yu, Jing; Wang, Chao; Zeng, Yan-Yi; Liu, Qian-Fu; Yang, Wan-Ling

    2014-07-01

    Four ecological investigations were carried out on planktonic rotifers in Pearl River Delta in 2012. The community structure, including spatial and temporal patterns of species composition, dominant species, biomass and biodiversity, was investigated. The correlation between the community structure of rotifers and the environmental factors was discussed. Moreover, the aggregation structures of rotifers were analyzed. A total of 53 rotifer species were found. Dominant species changed markedly with season and space. Polyarthra trigla had higher dominance. In terms of seasonal changes, the density and biomass were higher in dry season than in wet season, while the biodiversity and evenness indices were vice versa. The biomass and biodiversity of rotifers showed highly significant differences among seasons. In terms of spatial distribution, the average density and the average biomass showed an increase from the southwest to the northeast. The highest density and biomass were recorded in Shiqiao. The biodiversity and evenness indices had an opposite spatial distribution, with the highest values being recorded in Qingqi. The rotifer density was significantly different among the investigated sites, while the biomass and biodiversity were not significantly different. Correlation analysis demonstrated a highly significant positive correlation between rotifer density and biomass, as well as between biodiversity and evenness indices, and a highly negative correlation between biodiversity and biomass. The biodiversity and evenness indices both decreased markedly with the increase of biomass. Principal component analysis indicated that the rotifer density was closely correlated with environment factors, such as water temperature, pH, dissolved oxy- gen, chlorophyll a content, total phosphorus, and total nitrogen, in different seasons. Aggregation analysis based on rotifer density revealed five aggregation structures in the investigated sites, indicating significant differences

  18. Microbial Community Structure and Enzyme Activities in Semiarid Agricultural Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta-Martinez, V. A.; Zobeck, T. M.; Gill, T. E.; Kennedy, A. C.

    2002-12-01

    The effect of agricultural management practices on the microbial community structure and enzyme activities of semiarid soils of different textures in the Southern High Plains of Texas were investigated. The soils (sandy clay loam, fine sandy loam and loam) were under continuous cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) or in rotations with peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) or wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and had different water management (irrigated or dryland) and tillage (conservation or conventional). Microbial community structure was investigated using fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis by gas chromatography and enzyme activities, involved in C, N, P and S cycling of soils, were measured (mg product released per kg soil per h). The activities of b-glucosidase, b-glucosaminidase, alkaline phosphatase, and arylsulfatase were significantly (Pconservation tillage in comparison to continuous cotton under conventional tillage. Principal component analysis showed FAME profiles of these soils separated distinctly along PC1 (20 %) and PC2 (13 %) due to their differences in soil texture and management. No significant differences were detected in FAME profiles due to management practices for the same soils in this sampling period. Enzyme activities provide early indications of the benefits in microbial populations and activities and soil organic matter under crop rotations and conservation tillage in comparison to the typical practices in semiarid regions of continuous cotton and conventional tillage.

  19. A spectral method to detect community structure based on distance modularity matrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jin-Xuan; Zhang, Xiao-Dong

    2017-08-01

    There are many community organizations in social and biological networks. How to identify these community structure in complex networks has become a hot issue. In this paper, an algorithm to detect community structure of networks is proposed by using spectra of distance modularity matrix. The proposed algorithm focuses on the distance of vertices within communities, rather than the most weakly connected vertex pairs or number of edges between communities. The experimental results show that our method achieves better effectiveness to identify community structure for a variety of real-world networks and computer generated networks with a little more time-consumption.

  20. Perspectives on the Gender-Integrated Gay Community: Its Formal Structure and Social Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fein, Sara Beck; Nuehring, Elane M.

    1975-01-01

    A gender-integrated homosexual community is described. Male and female members are compared as to participation in the community's formal organizational structure as well as in relation to several functions of that community. The integrated community differed in a number of dimensions from exclusively male and exclusively female homosexual…

  1. Using Model-based Overlapping Seed Expansion to detect highly overlapping community structure

    CERN Document Server

    McDaid, Aaron F

    2010-01-01

    As research into community finding in social networks progresses, there is a need for algorithms capable of detecting overlapping community structure. Many algorithms have been proposed in recent years that are capable of assigning each node to more than a single community. The performance of these algorithms tends to degrade when the ground-truth contains a more highly overlapping community structure, with nodes assigned to more than two communities. Such highly overlapping structure is likely to exist in many social networks, such as Facebook friendship networks. In this paper we present a scalable algorithm, MOSES, based on a statistical model of community structure, which is capable of detecting highly overlapping community structure, especially when there is variance in the number of communities each node is in. In evaluation on synthetic data MOSES is found to be superior to existing algorithms, especially at high levels of overlap. We demonstrate MOSES on real social network data by analyzing the netwo...

  2. Ant behaviour and seed morphology: a missing link of myrmecochory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Espadaler, Xavier; Bas, Josep M

    2005-12-01

    Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is mediated by the presence of a lipid-rich appendage (elaiosome) on the seed that induces a variety of ants to collect the diaspores. When seeds mature or fall onto the ground, these ant species transport them to their nest. After eating the elaiosome, the seed is discarded in nest galleries or outside, in the midden or farther away, where seeds can potentially germinate. The final location of seeds with their elaiosomes removed was evaluated to assess the importance of possible handles (structures that ants can grasp to carry) in transporting ants during re-dispersal experiments of seeds from nests of six species of ants. The results indicate that seeds remained within the nest because the ants were not able to transport them out of the nest. As a consequence of the elaiosome being removed, small ant species could not take Euphorbia characias seeds out of their nests. Only large ant species could remove E. characias seeds from their nests. Attaching an artificial handle to E. characias seeds allowed small ant species to redistribute the seeds from their nests. On the other hand, Rhamnus alaternus seeds that have a natural handle after the elaiosome removal were removed from the nests by both groups of ant species. If a seed has an element that acts as a handle, it will eventually get taken out of the nest. The ants' size and their mandible gap can determine the outcome of the interaction (i.e. the pattern of the final seed shadow) and as a consequence, could influence the events that take place after the dispersal process.

  3. Species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in disturbed landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, J.H.; Krzysik, A.J.; Kovacic, D.A.; Duda, J.J.; Freeman, D.C.; Emlen, J.M.; Zak, J.C.; Long, W.R.; Wallace, M.P.; Chamberlin-Graham, C.; Nutter, J.P.; Balbach, H.E.

    2009-01-01

    Ants are used as indicators of environmental change in disturbed landscapes, often without adequate understanding of their response to disturbance. Ant communities in the southeastern United States displayed a hump-backed species richness curve against an index of landscape disturbance. Forty sites at Fort Benning, in west-central Georgia, covered a spectrum of habitat disturbance (military training and fire) in upland forest. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and warmer, more compact soils with shallower A-horizons. We sampled ground-dwelling ants with pitfall traps, and measured 15 habitat variables related to vegetation and soil. Ant species richness was greatest with a relative disturbance of 43%, but equitability was greatest with no disturbance. Ant abundance was greatest with a relative disturbance of 85%. High species richness at intermediate disturbance was associated with greater within-site spatial heterogeneity. Species richness was also associated with intermediate values of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a correlate of net primary productivity (NPP). Available NPP (the product of NDVI and the fraction of days that soil temperature exceeded 25 ??C), however, was positively correlated with species richness, though not with ant abundance. Species richness was unrelated to soil texture, total ground cover, and fire frequency. Ant species richness and equitability are potential state indicators of the soil arthropod community. Moreover, equitability can be used to monitor ecosystem change. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile) as back-seat drivers of localized ant decline in urban habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salyer, Adam; Bennett, Gary W; Buczkowski, Grzegorz A

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species and habitat disturbance threaten biodiversity worldwide by modifying ecosystem performance and displacing native organisms. Similar homogenization impacts manifest locally when urbanization forces native species to relocate or reinvade perpetually altered habitat. This study investigated correlations between ant richness and abundance in response to urbanization and the nearby presence of invasive ant species, odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile), within its native region. Surveying localized ant composition within natural, semi-natural, and urban habitat supported efforts to determine whether T. sessile appear to be primary (drivers) threats as instigators or secondary (passengers) threats as inheritors of indigenous ant decline. Sampling 180 sites, evenly split between all habitats with and without T. sessile present, yielded 45 total species. Although urbanization and T. sessile presence factors were significantly linked to ant decline, their interaction correlated to the greatest reduction of total ant richness (74%) and abundance (81%). Total richness appeared to decrease from 27 species to 18 when natural habitat is urbanized and from 18 species to 7 with T. sessile present in urban plots. Odorous house ant presence minimally influenced ant communities within natural and semi-natural habitat, highlighting the importance of habitat alteration and T. sessile presence interactions. Results suggest urbanization releases T. sessile from unknown constraints by decreasing ant richness and competition. Within urban environment, T. sessile are pre-adapted to quickly exploit new resources and grow to supercolony strength wherein T. sessile drive adjacent biodiversity loss. Odorous house ants act as passengers and drivers of ecological change throughout different phases of urban 'invasion'. This progression through surviving habitat alteration, exploiting new resources, thriving, and further reducing interspecific competition supports a "back

  5. Ant-Crypto, a Cryptographer for Data Encryption Standard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salabat Khan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Swarm Intelligence and Evolutionary Techniques are attracting the cryptanalysts in the field of cryptography. This paper presents a novel swarm based attack called Ant-Crypto (Ant-Cryptographer for the cryptanalysis of Data Encryption Standard (DES. Ant-Crypto is based on Binary Ant Colony Optimization (BACO i.e. a binary search space based directed graph is modeled for efficiently searching the optimum result (an original encryption key, in our case. The reason that why evolutionary techniques are becoming attractive is because of the inapplicability of traditional techniques and brute force attacks against feistel ciphers due to their inherent structure based on high nonlinearity and low autocorrelation. Ant-Crypto uses a known-plaintext attack to recover the secret key of DES which is required to break/ decipher the secret messages. Ant-Crypto iteratively searches for the secret key while generating several candidate optimum keys that are guessed across different runs on the basis of routes completed by ants. These optimum keys are then used to find each individual bit of the 56 bit secret key used during encryption by DES. Ant-Crypto is compared with some other state of the art evolutionary based attacks i.e. Genetic Algorithm and Comprehensive Binary Particle Swarm Optimization. The experimental results show that Ant-Crypto is an effective evolutionary attack against DES and can deduce large number of valuable bits as compared to other evolutionary algorithms; both in terms of time and space complexity.

  6. Network community structure alterations in adult schizophrenia: identification and localization of alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman-Sinkoff, Dov B; Barch, Deanna M

    2016-01-01

    A growing body of literature suggests functional connectivity alterations in schizophrenia. While findings have been mixed, evidence points towards a complex pattern of hyper-connectivity and hypo-connectivity. This altered connectivity can be represented and analyzed using the mathematical frameworks provided by graph and information theory to represent functional connectivity data as graphs comprised of nodes and edges linking the nodes. One analytic technique in this framework is the determination and analysis of network community structure, which is the grouping of nodes into linked communities or modules. This data-driven technique finds a best-fit structure such that nodes in a given community have greater connectivity with nodes in their community than with nodes in other communities. These community structure representations have been found to recapitulate known neural-systems in healthy individuals, have been used to identify novel functional systems, and have identified and localized community structure alterations in a childhood onset schizophrenia cohort. In the present study, we sought to determine whether community structure alterations were present in an adult onset schizophrenia cohort while stringently controlling for sources of imaging artifacts. Group level average graphs in healthy controls and individuals with schizophrenia exhibited visually similar network community structures and high amounts of normalized mutual information (NMI). However, testing of individual subject community structures identified small but significant alterations in community structure with alterations being driven by changes in node community membership in the somatosensory, auditory, default mode, salience, and subcortical networks.

  7. Community structure and seasonal variation of an inshore demersal fish community at Goa, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ansari, Z.A.; Chatterji, A.; Ingole, B.S.; Sreepada, R.A.; Rivonker, C.U.; Parulekar, A.H.

    ) have also reported changes in composition of dominant groups due to high mechanized fishing pressure in the Gulf of Thailand. A similar trend was reported for the Terenggane coast of Malaysia, where Leiognathidae decreased significantly following heavy... temperate demersal fish community. In other fish communities, the abundant species are usually low in the tropical structure (Allen & Horn, 1975). The size of the dominant fish in a community is partially controlled by the size of the food organisms. Smaller...

  8. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The very basis of this thesis is the collective behavior of ants in colonies. Ants are an excellent example of how rather simple behavior on a local level can lead to complex behavior on a global level that is beneficial for the individuals. The key in the self-organization of ants is communication

  9. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The very basis of this thesis is the collective behavior of ants in colonies. Ants are an excellent example of how rather simple behavior on a local level can lead to complex behavior on a global level that is beneficial for the individuals. The key in the self-organization of ants is communication

  10. Soil phosphorus depletion and shifts in plant communities change bacterial community structure in a long-term grassland management trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adair, Karen L; Wratten, Steve; Lear, Gavin

    2013-06-01

    Agricultural systems rely on healthy soils and their sustainability requires understanding the long-term impacts of agricultural practices on soils, including microbial communities. We examined the impact of 17 years of land management on soil bacterial communities in a New Zealand randomized-block pasture trial. Significant variation in bacterial community structure related to mowing and plant biomass removal, while nitrogen fertilizer had no effect. Changes in soil chemistry and legume abundance described 52% of the observed variation in the bacterial community structure. Legumes (Trifolium species) were absent in unmanaged plots but increased in abundance with management intensity; 11% of the variation in soil bacterial community structure was attributed to this shift in the plant community. Olsen P explained 10% of the observed heterogeneity, which is likely due to persistent biomass removal resulting in P limitation; Olsen P was significantly lower in plots with biomass removed (14 mg kg(-1) ± 1.3SE) compared with plots that were not mown, or where biomass was left after mowing (32 mg kg(-1) ± 1.6SE). Our results suggest that removal of plant biomass and associated phosphorus, as well as shifts in the plant community, have greater long-term impacts on soil bacterial community structure than application of nitrogen fertilizers.

  11. The impact of coffee and pasture agriculture on predatory and omnivorous leaf-litter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Nivia da Silva; Zanetti, Ronald; Santos, Mônica Silva; Peñaflor, Maria Fernanda Gomes Villalba; Broglio, Sônia Maria Forti; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles

    2013-01-01

    Ants are known to function as reliable biological indicators for habitat impact assessment. They play a wide range of ecological roles depending on their feeding and nesting habits. By clustering ants in guilds, it is possible both to assess how agriculture and forest fragmentation can disturb ant communities and to predict the ecological impacts due to losses of a specific guild. This study aimed at determining the impact of non-shaded coffee and pasture agriculture on predatory and omnivorous guilds of leaf-litter ants of Atlantic Forest fragments in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Both coffee and pasture agriculture influenced leaf-litter ant community, although coffee was more disruptive than pasture. Coffee agriculture not only disturbed the diversity of predatory ants, but also negatively affected the number of predatory and omnivorous ants when compared to forest fragments. In contrast, pasture agriculture only disrupted the abundance of predatory ants. Fragment edges skirting crops were negatively affected in terms of leaf-litter ant abundance, but not diversity. Cluster analysis showed that forest fragments were similar irrespective of the cultivation, but the borders were similar to the crop. The study assessed agriculture impact by surveying ant guilds, and revealed that the predatory guild is more susceptible than omnivorous ants.

  12. Community structure and composition of the Cambrian Chengjiang biota

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Based on previously published species data(228 species in over 18 phyla) and field sampling(114 species and 18406 individuals) in the Chengjiang-Haikou-Anning area,we analyzed quantitatively the paleocommunity composition and structure of the Cambrian Chengjiang biota(Cambrian Series 2,eastern Yunnan,China).Arthropods dominate the community both in species diversity(species:37%) and in abundance(individuals:51.8%).Priapulids(individuals:22.6%) and brachiopods(individuals:16.3%) follow in abundance rank.The arthropod Kunmingella douvillei(26.2%),the priapulid Cricocosmia jinning-ensis(15.4%),and the brachiopod Diandongia pista(11%) are the three most abundant species.Ecological analyses show that the community was dominated by epifaunal organisms(species:63%,individuals:68.4%) followed by infaunal organisms(species:11.9%,individuals:25.9%),nektobenthic organisms(species:11.5%,individuals:2.6%),and pelagic organisms(species:5.3%,individuals:3.1%).The diverse feeding strategies,dominated by suspension feeders(species:35.6%,individuals:26.1%) and hunter/scavengers(species:31.1%,individuals:40.4%),indicate the former existence of a complex food chain and intense competition.Epifaunal vagrant omnivores(28.2%),infaunal vagrant hunter/scavengers(19.8%),epifaunal sessile suspension feeders(17.7%),and epifaunal vagrant hunter/scavengers(15.3%) were the most abundant ecological groups,represented primarily by arthropods,poriferans,priapulids,and brachiopods.Ecological group analyses reveal that the early Cambrian Chengjiang biota is similar in community patterns and functional relations to modern biotas in shallow marine settings.

  13. Phytoplankton community structure in the VAHINE mesocosm experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leblanc, Karine; Cornet, Véronique; Caffin, Mathieu; Rodier, Martine; Desnues, Anne; Berthelot, Hugo; Turk-Kubo, Kendra; Heliou, Jules

    2016-09-01

    The VAHINE mesocosm experiment was designed to trigger a diazotroph bloom and to follow the subsequent transfer of diazotroph-derived nitrogen (DDN) in the rest of the food web. Three mesocosms (50 m3) located inside the Nouméa lagoon (New Caledonia, southwestern Pacific) were enriched with dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) in order to promote N2 fixation in these low-nutrient, low-chlorophyll (LNLC) waters. Initially, the diazotrophic community was dominated by diatom diazotroph associations (DDAs), mainly by Rhizosolenia/Richelia intracellularis, and by Trichodesmium, which fueled enough DDN to sustain the growth of other diverse diatom species and Synechococcus populations that were well adapted to limiting DIP levels. After DIP fertilization (1 µM) on day 4, an initial lag time of 10 days was necessary for the mesocosm ecosystems to start building up biomass. However, changes in community structure were already observed during this first period, with a significant drop of both Synechococcus and diatom populations, while Prochlorococcus benefited from DIP addition. At the end of this first period, corresponding to when most added DIP was consumed, the diazotroph community changed drastically and became dominated by Cyanothece-like (UCYN-C) populations, which were accompanied by a monospecific bloom of the diatom Cylindrotheca closterium. During the second period, biomass increased sharply together with primary production and N2-fixation fluxes near tripled. Diatom populations, as well as Synechococcus and nanophytoeukaryotes, showed a re-increase towards the end of the experiment, showing efficient transfer of DDN to non-diazotrophic phytoplankton.

  14. Sick ants become unsociable

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nicky Peter Maria; Lefevre, T.; Jensen, A.B.

    2012-01-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), w...

  15. ANT i arbejdslivsforskningen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

    for Tidsskrift for Arbejdsliv at stille skarpt på, hvorledes teknologi kan forstås og udforskes, og her står nyere teoridannelser som STS (Science- and Technology Studies) og ANT (Actor-Network Theory) centralt. Dette temanummer af tidsskriftet har derfor disse teorier og deres anvendelse i studier af arbejdsliv...

  16. Tiny, Powerful, Awesome Ants!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Kathleen

    2007-01-01

    Peering through a thematic science lens--elementary students embarked on a one-week study of ants during a month-long summer school program. This integrated unit addressed reading and writing skills while developing the science-process skills of observation, inferring, and communicating in a motivating and authentic way. Pre- and post-assessments…

  17. Temporal Variation in the Abundance and Richness of Foliage-Dwelling Ants Mediated by Extrafloral Nectar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belchior, Ceres; Sendoya, Sebastián F.

    2016-01-01

    Plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) are common in the Brazilian cerrado savanna, where climatic conditions having marked seasonality influence arboreal ant fauna organization. These ant-plant interactions have rarely been studied at community level. Here, we tested whether: 1) EFN-bearing plants are more visited by ants than EFN-lacking plants; 2) ant visitation is higher in the rainy season than in dry season; 3) plants producing young leaves are more visited than those lacking young leaves in the rainy season; 4) during the dry season, plants with old leaves and flowers are more visited than plants with young leaves and bare of leaves or flowers; 5) the composition of visiting ant fauna differs between plants with and without EFNs. Field work was done in a cerrado reserve near Uberlândia, MG State, Brazil, along ten transects (total area 3,000 m2), in the rainy (October-January) and dry seasons (April-July) of 2010–2011. Plants (72 species; 762 individuals) were checked three times per season for ant presence. Results showed that 21 species (29%) and 266 individuals (35%) possessed EFNs. These plants attracted 38 ant species (36 in rainy, 26 in dry season). In the rainy season, plants with EFNs had higher ant abundance/richness than plants without EFNs, but in the dry season, EFN presence did not influence ant visitation. Plant phenology affected ant richness and abundance in different ways: plants with young leaves possessed higher ant richness in the rainy season, but in the dry season ant abundance was higher on plants possessing old leaves or flowers. The species composition of plant-associated ant communities, however, did not differ between plants with and without EFNs in either season. These findings suggest that the effect of EFN presence on a community of plant-visiting ants is context dependent, being conditioned to seasonal variation. PMID:27438722

  18. Temporal Variation in the Abundance and Richness of Foliage-Dwelling Ants Mediated by Extrafloral Nectar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ceres Belchior

    Full Text Available Plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs are common in the Brazilian cerrado savanna, where climatic conditions having marked seasonality influence arboreal ant fauna organization. These ant-plant interactions have rarely been studied at community level. Here, we tested whether: 1 EFN-bearing plants are more visited by ants than EFN-lacking plants; 2 ant visitation is higher in the rainy season than in dry season; 3 plants producing young leaves are more visited than those lacking young leaves in the rainy season; 4 during the dry season, plants with old leaves and flowers are more visited than plants with young leaves and bare of leaves or flowers; 5 the composition of visiting ant fauna differs between plants with and without EFNs. Field work was done in a cerrado reserve near Uberlândia, MG State, Brazil, along ten transects (total area 3,000 m2, in the rainy (October-January and dry seasons (April-July of 2010-2011. Plants (72 species; 762 individuals were checked three times per season for ant presence. Results showed that 21 species (29% and 266 individuals (35% possessed EFNs. These plants attracted 38 ant species (36 in rainy, 26 in dry season. In the rainy season, plants with EFNs had higher ant abundance/richness than plants without EFNs, but in the dry season, EFN presence did not influence ant visitation. Plant phenology affected ant richness and abundance in different ways: plants with young leaves possessed higher ant richness in the rainy season, but in the dry season ant abundance was higher on plants possessing old leaves or flowers. The species composition of plant-associated ant communities, however, did not differ between plants with and without EFNs in either season. These findings suggest that the effect of EFN presence on a community of plant-visiting ants is context dependent, being conditioned to seasonal variation.

  19. Caste-specific tyramides from Myrmicine ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    T.H. Jones; H.M. Garrafo; T.F. Spande; N.R. Andriamaharavo; J.S.T. Gorman; A.J. Snyder; A.W. Jeter; J.A. Torres; John W. Daly

    2010-01-01

    Analysis of the extracts of male ants of Monomorium minimum and Monomorium ebeninum by GC-MS and GC-FTIR revealed the presence of tyramides 2 and 4c, for which the structures were established by comparison with synthetic samples. These compounds and their analogues 1 and 3 were also found in males of other Monomorium species, males of Myrmicaria opaciventris, and males...

  20. Macrobenthic community structure response to coastal hypoxia off Southeastern Arabian sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ingole, B.S.; Periasamy, R.; De, K.

    The analysis of changes in macrobenthic community using multivariate statistical techniques has been applied to find the structure by the environmental condition. The aim of the study was to evaluate macrofaunal community patterns between natural...

  1. Generalized method for finding community structures in networks

    CERN Document Server

    Chang, Chang

    2013-01-01

    To date, most algorithms aiming to find community structures in networks mainly focus on unipartite or bipartite networks. However, to our knowledge, there is no algorithm specifically designed for the mixture network, a third type defined in our paper that represents a wide range of real-world networks. Interestingly, unipartite and bipartite networks can be viewed as limiting cases of a mixture network, suggesting that the mixture network can be considered as a general condition. Based on this observation, we propose a probabilistic model based on the link community model for a unipartite, undirected network [B. Ball, B. Karrer, and M. E. Newman, Phys. Rev. E 84, 036103 (2011)] by redefining this model in the context of a bipartite network and generalizing the bipartite network version model to a mixture network, the general condition, which can be used to find modules in unipartite, bipartite, and mixture networks in a unified framework. We show that both the model of Ball et al. (unipartite, undirected ne...

  2. Community Structure and Productivity in Western Mongolian Steppe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiyokazu Kawada

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The people of the Mongolian steppe have maintained a sustainable, nomadic lifestyle. However, several ecological processes are threatening their way of life. Ecological changan be detected through the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. It is therefore, imperative to develop a sustainable rangeland management system aimed at combating desertifi cation. In this study we quantitatively and qualitatively describe several western Mongolian steppe plant communities by examining species composition, plant volume and community structure. Study sites were located in the Uvs and Khovd provinces and had all been affected by livestock grazing. A total of 48 species were found. Stipa krylovii , S . gobica , Cleistogenes songorica , Koeleria cristata and Ajania achilleoides were dominant. There was a signifi cant relationship between biomass and plant volume at all sites. Study sites were classifi ed into four groups using cluster analysis, based on the presence or absence of several species. More than 90% of plant volumes at all groups were perennial grasses and perennial forbs. The ratio of C 3 to C 4 plants at site 3 was reversed in comparison to the other sites. Species highly palatable to livestock were dominant at all sites. To ensure the sustainable use of biological resources in these arid areas, these fi ndings should be taken into account in designing land-use plans.

  3. Community structure of ectomycorrhizal fungi in Swedish boreal forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jonsson, Lena [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Forest Mycology and Pathology

    1998-12-31

    The main aim of this work has been to elucidate the species composition and community structure of ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with mature trees and naturally regenerated seedlings in natural boreal forests in Sweden. Further, the effects of disturbances, such as wildfire and nitrogen inputs, were studied. Sporocarp surveys, morphological stratification and DNA-based analyses of mycorrhizas were used to describe the mycorrhizal fungal communities. In addition, a reference database useful for identifying individual mycorrhizas was developed based on analyses of sporocarp tissue. Overall, the species richness of ectomycorrhizal fungi was at least 30 to 40 times higher than that of their host trees. Naturally regenerated seedlings were colonized by the ectomycorrhizal fungal species present in the mycelial network of the old trees, indicating that the species composition will remain about the same provided that the host does not disappear. Wildfire, disturbing the fungal continuum, caused a shift in the frequencies of ectomycorrhizal fungi rather than a change in species composition. Nitrogen addition did not have any detectable effect on the abundance or species richness of mycorrhizas, but led to a decrease in sporocarp production. In all the studies, there was little resemblance between the species composition of sporocarps and that of mycorrhizas. The ITS-RFLP reference database was very useful in identifying single mycorrhizas, and proved to be a powerful tool for species identification of unknown mycorrhizas 76 refs, 2 figs, 2 tabs

  4. Tritrophic effects of birds and ants on a canopy food web, tree growth, and phytochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A

    2007-08-01

    Insectivorous birds and ants co-occur in most terrestrial communities, and theory predicts that emergent properties (i.e., nonadditive effects) can determine their combined influence on arthropods and plants. In a three-year factorial experiment, I investigated whether the effects of birds on pine and its arthropods differed based on the presence of ants that were predators of most arthropods, but mutualists with tended aphid species. Birds and ants reduced the abundance of most herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods in an additive fashion, with the effects of ants being stronger than those of birds. In sharp contrast, the opposing influences of birds and ants on tended aphid species interacted strongly; ants only increased tended aphid abundance in the absence of birds, while birds only reduced their abundance in the presence of ants. This interaction was mirrored in total herbivore abundance because tended aphids dominated the herbivore community. I develop a novel lexicon to discuss the emergent properties from these effects of opposing sign (predation, mutualism). Despite having emergent effects on herbivores, birds indirectly increased pine wood and foliage growth to a similar extent whether or not ants were present, while ants had no detectable effects. Birds also indirectly increased the abundance of some pine phloem monoterpenes, but these effects differed based on the presence or absence of ants. Thus, I report on a novel yet possibly widespread indirect interaction between intraguild predators, herbivore mutualists, and plant traits (growth, secondary chemistry) mediated through a species-rich community of arthropods.

  5. Measuring and Modeling Bipartite Graphs with Community Structure

    CERN Document Server

    Aksoy, Sinan; Pinar, Ali

    2016-01-01

    Network science is a powerful tool for analyzing complex systems in fields ranging from sociology to engineering to biology. This paper is focused on generative models of bipartite graphs, also known as two-way graphs. We propose two generative models that can be easily tuned to reproduce the characteristics of real-world networks, not just qualitatively, but quantitatively. The measurements we consider are the degree distributions and the bipartite clustering coefficient, which we refer to as the metamorphosis coefficient. We define edge, node, and degreewise metamorphosis coefficients, enabling a more detailed understand of the bipartite community structure. Our proposed bipartite Chung-Lu model is able to reproduce real-world degree distributions, and our proposed bipartite "BTER" model reproduces both the degree distributions as well as the degreewise metamorphosis coefficients. We demonstrate the effectiveness of these models on several real-world data sets.

  6. Pregnancy and birth in an indigenous Huichol community: from structural violence to structural policy responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamlin, Jennie B; Hawkes, Sarah J

    2015-01-01

    Mexico's indigenous regions are characterised by socio-economic marginalisation and poor health outcomes and the Maternal Mortality Rate in indigenous communities continues to be around six times higher than the national rate. Using as a case study the Huichol community of North-Western Mexico we will discuss how institutional health and welfare programmes which aim to address accepted risk factors for maternal health are undermined by a series of structural barriers which put indigenous women especially in harm's way. Semi-structured interviews and observational data were gathered between 2009 and 2011 in highland communities and on coastal tobacco plantations to where a large number of this ethnic group migrate. Many Huichol women birth alone, and to facilitate this process they maintain a low nutritional intake to reduce their infant's growth and seek spiritual guidance during pregnancy from a shaman. These practices are reinforced by feelings of shame and humiliation encountered when using institutional health provision. These are some of the structural barriers to care that need to be addressed. Effective interventions could include addressing the training of health professionals, focusing on educational inequalities and the structural determinants of poverty whilst designing locally specific programmes that encourage acceptance of available health care.

  7. Unraveling the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Nasopharyngeal Bacterial Community Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter A. A. de Steenhuijsen Piters

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The upper respiratory tract is colonized by a diverse array of commensal bacteria that harbor potential pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. As long as the local microbial ecosystem—also called “microbiome”—is in balance, these potentially pathogenic bacterial residents cause no harm to the host. However, similar to macrobiological ecosystems, when the bacterial community structure gets perturbed, potential pathogens can overtake the niche and cause mild to severe infections. Recent studies using next-generation sequencing show that S. pneumoniae, as well as other potential pathogens, might be kept at bay by certain commensal bacteria, including Corynebacterium and Dolosigranulum spp. Bomar and colleagues are the first to explore a specific biological mechanism contributing to the antagonistic interaction between Corynebacterium accolens and S. pneumoniae in vitro [L. Bomar, S. D. Brugger, B. H. Yost, S. S. Davies, K. P. Lemon, mBio 7(1:e01725-15, 2016, doi:10.1128/mBio.01725-15]. The authors comprehensively show that C. accolens is capable of hydrolyzing host triacylglycerols into free fatty acids, which display antipneumococcal properties, suggesting that these bacteria might contribute to the containment of pneumococcus. This work exemplifies how molecular epidemiological findings can lay the foundation for mechanistic studies to elucidate the host-microbe and microbial interspecies interactions underlying the bacterial community structure. Next, translation of these results to an in vivo setting seems necessary to unveil the magnitude and importance of the observed effect in its natural, polymicrobial setting.

  8. ORGANIC VS CONVENTIONAL: SOIL NEMATODE COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapp, C; Storey, S G; Malan, A P

    2014-01-01

    Global increases in human population are creating an ever-greater need for food production. Poor soil management practices have degraded soil to such an extent that rapidly improved management practices is the only way to ensure future food demands. In South Africa, deciduous fruit producers are realising the need for soil health, and for an increased understanding of the benefits of soil ecology, to ensure sustainable fruit production. This depends heavily on improved orchard management. Conventional farming relies on the addition of artificial fertilizers, and the application of chemicals, to prevent or minimise, the effects of the soil stages of pest insects, and of plant-parasitic nematodes. Currently, there is resistance toward conventional farming practices, which, it is believed, diminishes biodiversity within the soil. The study aimed to establish the soil nematode community structure and function in organically, and conventionally, managed deciduous fruit orchards. This was done by determining the abundance, the diversity, and the functionality of the naturally occurring free-living, and plant-parasitic, nematodes in deciduous fruit orchards in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The objective of the study was to form the basis for the use of nematodes as future indicators of soil health in deciduous fruit orchards. Orchards from neighbouring organic, and conventional, apricot farms, and from an organic apple orchard, were studied. All the nematodes were quantified, and identified, to family level. The five nematode-classified trophic groups were found at each site, while 14 families were identified in each orchard, respectively. Herbivores were dominant in all the orchards surveyed. Organic apples had the fewest herbivores and fungivores, with the highest number of carnivores. When comparing organic with conventional apricot orchards, higher numbers of plant-parasitic nematodes were found in the organic apricot orchards. The Maturity Index (MI

  9. The Dynamics of Foraging Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, G. William

    2009-03-01

    We experimentally study the foraging of small black ants, Formicinae lasius flavus, in order to describe their foraging behavior mathematically. Individual ants are allowed to forage on a two-dimensional surface in the absence of any food sources. The position of the ant as a function of time is determined using a high-resolution digital camera. Analysis of the average square displacements of many ants suggests that the foraging strategy is a non-reversing random walk. Moreover, the ants do not retrace their steps to return home but instead continue the random walk until it brings them back near their starting point.

  10. Are gay communities dying or just in transition? Results from an international consultation examining possible structural change in gay communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon Rosser, B R; West, William; Weinmeyer, Richard

    2008-05-01

    This study sought to identify how urban gay communities are undergoing structural change, reasons for that change, and implications for HIV prevention planning. Key informants (N=29) at the AIDS Impact Conference from 17 cities in 14 countries completed surveys and participated in a facilitated structured dialog about if gay communities are changing, and if so, how they are changing. In all cities, the virtual gay community was identified as currently larger than the offline physical community. Most cities identified that while the gay population in their cities appeared stable or growing, the gay community appeared in decline. Measures included greater integration of heterosexuals into historically gay-identified neighborhoods and movement of gay persons into suburbs, decreased number of gay bars/clubs, less attendance at gay events, less volunteerism in gay or HIV/AIDS organizations, and the overall declining visibility of gay communities. Participants attributed structural change to multiple factors including gay neighborhood gentrification, achievement of civil rights, less discrimination, a vibrant virtual community, and changes in drug use. Consistent with social assimilation, gay infrastructure, visibility, and community identification appears to be decreasing across cities. HIV prevention planning, interventions, treatment services, and policies need to be re-conceptualized for MSM in the future. Four recommendations for future HIV prevention and research are detailed.

  11. Fire ants actively control spacing and orientation within self-assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Paul C; Mlot, Nathan J; Lin, Angela; Hu, David L

    2014-06-15

    To overcome obstacles and survive harsh environments, fire ants link their bodies together to form self-assemblages such as rafts, bridges and bivouacs. Such structures are examples of self-assembling and self-healing materials, as ants can quickly create and break links with one another in response to changes in their environment. Because ants are opaque, the arrangement of the ants within these three-dimensional networks was previously unknown. In this experimental study, we applied micro-scale computed tomography, or micro-CT, to visualize the connectivity, arrangement and orientation of ants within an assemblage. We identified active and geometric mechanisms that ants use to obtain favorable packing properties with respect to well-studied packing of inert objects such as cylinders. Ants use their legs to push against their neighbors, doubling their spacing relative to random packing of cylinders. These legs also permit active control of their orientation, an ability ants use to arrange themselves perpendicularly rather than in parallel. Lastly, we found an important role of ant polymorphism in promoting self-aggregation: a large distribution of ant sizes permits small ants to fit between the legs of larger ants, a phenomenon that increases the number of average connections per ant. These combined mechanisms lead to low packing fraction and high connectivity, which increase raft buoyancy and strength during flash floods. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Parasitological survey of Polish primitive horses (Equus caballus gmelini Ant.: influence of age, sex and management strategies on the parasite community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Slivinska K.

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available An extensive analysis of the relationship between age, sex, and different types of management strategies relative to the gastrointestinal parasite community of Polish primitive horses was performed on 124 horses maintained in nine farms from four regions of Poland. The horses (96 females and 28 males were housed in three types of management strategies: stabled (ST, free-ranging (FR and semi-free (SF. These horses also were divided into three age groups: 10 years old. The gastrointestinal parasites were collected following deworming of all horses with anthelmintics containing the macrocyclic lactones and praziquantel. Totally, 66,192 parasite specimens were collected and identified. The analysis of dependence of horse infection with intestinal nematodes using sex, age and management strategies demonstrated that females had significantly heavier infections of strongylids. Young horses ( 0.05. The highest species diversity (n=30 or 31 was observed in the FR horses, the lowest (n=15 – in ST horses. The FR horses had higher prevalence and proportion of large strongyles in the community, in comparison to SF or ST horses (p < 0.05.

  13. 改进遗传蚁群算法及其在电机结构优化中的研究%Improved genetic ant colony algorithm and research on motor structure optimization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    谢颖; 李吉兴; 杨忠学; 张岩

    2015-01-01

    To optimize the structural parameters of the 4-pole 7. 5 kW line-start permanent magnet synchro-nous motor, an improved binary genetic ant colony algorithm which combined the advantages of genetic al-gorithm with ant colony algorithm and solved the problem of continuous space optimization was used. The basic idea of binary genetic ant colony algorithm and its features were presented, and the specific imple-mentation method of binary genetic ant colony algorithm in motor optimization design was mainly discussed. Language was used to realize the algorithm and results of simulation and calculation were obtained to prove its global convergence property. Finite element method was used to simulate the optimized electromagnetic design. The result slows that the optimization design of motor based on improved binary genetic ant colony algorithm may effectively improve the starting and running performance of the motor.%针对电机的优化设计问题,采用一种改进的二进制遗传蚁群算法,对一台4极7.5 kW的自起动永磁同步电动机的结构参数进行优化,该算法结合遗传算法和蚁群算法各自的优点,并且能解决连续空间优化问题。介绍了改进二进制遗传蚁群算法的基本思想及其特点,重点论述该算法在电机优化设计中的具体实现方法。采用编程语言实现该算法,通过大量的仿真计算验证算法的全局收敛能力。利用有限元方法对优化后的电磁设计方案进行仿真,结果表明该算法可以使自起动永磁同步电动机得到较好的优化,有可能提高电机的起动性能和运行性能。

  14. Nematode community structure in the vicinity of a metallurgical factory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salamún, Peter; Renčo, Marek; Miklisová, Dana; Hanzelová, Vladimíra

    2011-12-01

    Soil nematode communities (taxa composition, trophic structure, ecological indices) in the area of metallurgical factory (Oravské ferozliatinárske závody) in Široká, Northern Slovakia were investigated in 2009. The factory belongs to main sources of emissions originated by ferroalloy production in this region. Four sites (meadows) were selected in a downwind direction from the factory: site A was located 0.85 km far from the factory, and the other sites were maintained in approximately 2-km intervals from each other. Chemical analysis of soil samples showed low concentrations of heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn), with all values being under Slovak limit concentrations of heavy metals in soils. Only the Cd content in the soil sample from site A slightly exceeded the allowable threshold, but it was decreasing with the distance from the factory, similarly as remaining metals except Cr, with slightly increasing trend of concentration. Within 64 identified nematode genera, the Helicotylenchus, Paratylenchus, Pratylenchus, Acrobeloides, Cephalobus and Rhabditis were most common and eudominant. This was clearly reflected on the trophic structure of nematode communities, where plant feeding nematodes and bacteriovorous prevailed. Significant negative correlation (P < 0.05) was observed between the abundance of bacteriovores and the concentration of Cu in the soil. On the other hand, fungivores showed significant correlation with Ni and Cr (P < 0.05) as well as predators with Cd, Pb and Zn contents in the soil (P < 0.01). The highly significant correlation (P < 0.05; P < 0.01) was found between As, Cd, Ni, Pb and Zn and Maturity Index 2-5. A negative relationship was detected between Maturity Index and the concentration of Cr in the soil (P < 0.01). On the other hand, Cu was in positive correlation with MI values. The MI, reflecting the degree of disturbances and changes in the structure and function of the soil ecosystem, was found

  15. Comunidades de formigas (Hymenoptera, Formicidae em fragmentos de Mata Atlântica situados em áreas urbanizadas Ants' communities (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in fragments of the Atlantic Rain Forest situated in urban areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Santina de C. Morini

    Full Text Available As comunidades de formigas que vivem em fragmentos de Mata Atlântica rodeados por um ecossistema urbano bem desenvolvido, foram investigadas. Avaliou-se a riqueza, a freqüência de ocorrência das espécies bem como a similaridade entre três áreas da cidade de São Paulo: Parque da Previdência (PP, Reserva Florestal "Armando Salles de Oliveira" (CUASO e Horto Oswaldo Cruz (HOC. Foram colocadas armadilhas do tipo "pitfall" em locais onde não ocorre visitação pública, durante uma semana, nos meses de março, junho, setembro e dezembro de 2001. Em todos os fragmentos foram coletadas 79 espécies de formigas, pertencentes a nove subfamílias e 32 gêneros. A subfamília Myrmicinae e os gêneros Pheidole e Hypoponera foram os mais ricos. No PP foram registradas 62 espécies, na CUASO 46 e no HOC 43, sendo que PP e CUASO são mais similares entre si. Tal similaridade possivelmente esteja relacionada ao tamanho de ambas as áreas e, também, a uma semelhança nos sítios de nidificação e de alimentação. No geral, a fauna de formigas é generalista, com a presença de alguns gêneros especialistas, como Discothyrea, Acanthognathus, Gnamptogenys, Oxyepoecus e Pyramica; ou de gêneros cujos hábitos alimentares ainda são desconhecidos (Heteroponera e Myrmelachista. A presença de espécies caracteristicamente de áreas domiciliares também foi constatada: Pheidole megacephala Fabricius, 1793, Linepithema humile Mayr, 1868, Wasmannia auropunctata Roger, 1863, Paratrechina fulva Mayr, 1862, P. longicornis Latreille, 1802 e Tapinoma melanocephalum Fabricius, 1793.In this paper were investigated the ants' communities that inhabit the Atlantic Rainforest fragments surrounded by an urban ecosystem well developed. The richness, the species frequency of occurrence, as well the similarity between the three areas of the city of São Paulo were investigated: Parque da Previdência (PP, Reserva Florestal "Armando Salles de Oliveira" (CUASO and Horto

  16. Community structure discovery method based on the Gaussian kernel similarity matrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Chonghui; Zhao, Haipeng

    2012-03-01

    Community structure discovery in complex networks is a popular issue, and overlapping community structure discovery in academic research has become one of the hot spots. Based on the Gaussian kernel similarity matrix and spectral bisection, this paper proposes a new community structure discovery method. First, by adjusting the Gaussian kernel parameter to change the scale of similarity, we can find the corresponding non-overlapping community structure when the value of the modularity is the largest relatively. Second, the changes of the Gaussian kernel parameter would lead to the unstable nodes jumping off, so with a slight change in method of non-overlapping community discovery, we can find the overlapping community nodes. Finally, synthetic data, karate club and political books datasets are used to test the proposed method, comparing with some other community discovery methods, to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of this method.

  17. Microzooplankton herbivory and community structure in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Eun Jin; Jiang, Yong; Lee, SangHoon

    2016-01-01

    We examined microzooplankton abundance, community structure, and grazing impact on phytoplankton in the Amundsen Sea, Western Antarctica, during the early austral summer from December 2010 to January 2011. Our study area was divided into three regions based on topography, hydrographic properties, and trophic conditions: (1) the Oceanic Zone (OZ), with free sea ice and low phytoplankton biomass dominated by diatoms; (2) the Sea Ice Zone (SIZ), covered by heavy sea ice with colder water, lower salinity, and dominated by diatoms; and (3) the Amundsen Sea Polynya (ASP), with high phytoplankton biomass dominated by Phaeocystis antarctica. Microzooplankton biomass and communities associated with phytoplankton biomass and composition varied among regions. Heterotrophic dinoflagellates (HDF) were the most significant grazers in the ASP and OZ, whereas ciliates co-dominated with HDF in the SIZ. Microzooplankton grazing impact is significant in our study area, particularly in the ASP, and consumed 55.4-107.6% of phytoplankton production (average 77.3%), with grazing impact increasing with prey and grazer biomass. This result implies that a significant proportion of the phytoplankton production is not removed by sinking or other grazers but grazed by microzooplankton. Compared with diatom-based systems, Phaeocystis-based production would be largely remineralized and/or channeled through the microbial food web through microzooplankton grazing. In these waters the major herbivorous fate of phytoplankton is likely mediated by the microzooplankton population. Our study confirms the importance of herbivorous protists in the planktonic ecosystems of high latitudes. In conclusion, microzooplankton herbivory may be a driving force controlling phytoplankton growth in early summer in the Amundsen Sea, particularly in the ASP.

  18. Trait-Mediated Indirect Effects of Phorid Flies on Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsun-Yi Hsieh

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a synthesis of the ecological impact of phorid fly parasitoids on ants. We find the most important impact of phorids on ants to be trait-mediated effects. Phorids diminish the foraging activity of ants, frequently reducing the number and average size of foragers and reducing the amount of food retrieved by a colony. However, ants' coping mechanisms include changing foraging site and time. Phorids can also affect competition, especially through changes in the ability of the host to win in exploitative competition. Factors such as microclimate, resource size, and habitat complexity interact with phorids to change their effect on competition. By being highly specific and attacking ants high in the competitive hierarchy, phorids can alter the linear nature of the competitive transitivity, and by reducing the number of foragers, they can change the discovery-dominance tradeoff that is observed in some ant communities. Trait-mediated effects of phorids also cascade to other trophic levels. As an example, we discuss the trait-mediated cascade of phorids on the Azteca instabilis system in coffee. In this system, by reducing the foraging activity of A. instabilis, phorids reduce the direct and indirect biological control impact of the ant in the coffee agroecosystem.

  19. Ant-mediated seed dispersal in a warmed world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuble, Katharine L; Patterson, Courtney M; Rodriguez-Cabal, Mariano A; Ribbons, Relena R; Dunn, Robert R; Sanders, Nathan J

    2014-01-01

    Climate change affects communities both directly and indirectly via changes in interspecific interactions. One such interaction that may be altered under climate change is the ant-plant seed dispersal mutualism common in deciduous forests of eastern North America. As climatic warming alters the abundance and activity levels of ants, the potential exists for shifts in rates of ant-mediated seed dispersal. We used an experimental temperature manipulation at two sites in the eastern US (Harvard Forest in Massachusetts and Duke Forest in North Carolina) to examine the potential impacts of climatic warming on overall rates of seed dispersal (using Asarum canadense seeds) as well as species-specific rates of seed dispersal at the Duke Forest site. We also examined the relationship between ant critical thermal maxima (CTmax) and the mean seed removal temperature for each ant species. We found that seed removal rates did not change as a result of experimental warming at either study site, nor were there any changes in species-specific rates of seed dispersal. There was, however, a positive relationship between CTmax and mean seed removal temperature, whereby species with higher CTmax removed more seeds at hotter temperatures. The temperature at which seeds were removed was influenced by experimental warming as well as diurnal and day-to-day fluctuations in temperature. Taken together, our results suggest that while temperature may play a role in regulating seed removal by ants, ant plant seed-dispersal mutualisms may be more robust to climate change than currently assumed.

  20. Ant-mediated seed dispersal in a warmed world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Courtney M.; Rodriguez-Cabal, Mariano A.; Ribbons, Relena R.; Dunn, Robert R.; Sanders, Nathan J.

    2014-01-01

    Climate change affects communities both directly and indirectly via changes in interspecific interactions. One such interaction that may be altered under climate change is the ant-plant seed dispersal mutualism common in deciduous forests of eastern North America. As climatic warming alters the abundance and activity levels of ants, the potential exists for shifts in rates of ant-mediated seed dispersal. We used an experimental temperature manipulation at two sites in the eastern US (Harvard Forest in Massachusetts and Duke Forest in North Carolina) to examine the potential impacts of climatic warming on overall rates of seed dispersal (using Asarum canadense seeds) as well as species-specific rates of seed dispersal at the Duke Forest site. We also examined the relationship between ant critical thermal maxima (CTmax) and the mean seed removal temperature for each ant species. We found that seed removal rates did not change as a result of experimental warming at either study site, nor were there any changes in species-specific rates of seed dispersal. There was, however, a positive relationship between CTmax and mean seed removal temperature, whereby species with higher CTmax removed more seeds at hotter temperatures. The temperature at which seeds were removed was influenced by experimental warming as well as diurnal and day-to-day fluctuations in temperature. Taken together, our results suggest that while temperature may play a role in regulating seed removal by ants, ant plant seed-dispersal mutualisms may be more robust to climate change than currently assumed. PMID:24688863

  1. Diversity of peptide toxins from stinging ant venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aili, Samira R; Touchard, Axel; Escoubas, Pierre; Padula, Matthew P; Orivel, Jérôme; Dejean, Alain; Nicholson, Graham M

    2014-12-15

    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of arthropods comprising nearly 13,000 extant species. Sixteen ant subfamilies have individuals that possess a stinger and use their venom for purposes such as a defence against predators, competitors and microbial pathogens, for predation, as well as for social communication. They exhibit a range of activities including antimicrobial, haemolytic, cytolytic, paralytic, insecticidal and pain-producing pharmacologies. While ant venoms are known to be rich in alkaloids and hydrocarbons, ant venoms rich in peptides are becoming more common, yet remain understudied. Recent advances in mass spectrometry techniques have begun to reveal the true complexity of ant venom peptide composition. In the few venoms explored thus far, most peptide toxins appear to occur as small polycationic linear toxins, with antibacterial properties and insecticidal activity. Unlike other venomous animals, a number of ant venoms also contain a range of homodimeric and heterodimeric peptides with one or two interchain disulfide bonds possessing pore-forming, allergenic and paralytic actions. However, ant venoms seem to have only a small number of monomeric disulfide-linked peptides. The present review details the structure and pharmacology of known ant venom peptide toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 蚁群算法在选煤厂产品结构优化中的应用%Application of Ant Colony Algorithm in Product Structure Optimization of Coal Preparation Plant

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙伟; 王宜雷; 王慧; 曾盈

    2012-01-01

    Mathematical model of product structure optimization was established according to characteristics of process of coal preparation plant, and steps of optimizing the product structure by ant colony algorithm were given. Nantun Coal Preparation Plant was used for example to simulate, and the best yields of products under various constraints were obtained. The simulation results showed the feasibility of ant colony algorithm for product structure optimization of coal preparation plant.%根据选煤厂生产流程特点建立了产品结构优化数学模型,给出了应用蚁群算法优化产品结构的步骤;并以南屯选煤厂为例进行仿真,得到了满足各种约束条件下的各产品的最佳产量.仿真结果说明了蚁群算法在选煤厂产品结构优化中应用的可行性.

  3. Ante la ley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kafka Franz

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Ante las puertas de la ley hay un guardian. Un campesino se llega hasta ese guardian y le pide que le permita entra en la ley, pero el guardian le dice que por ahora no se lo puede permitir. El hombre reflexiona y entonces pregunta si podria entrar despues. Es posible -dice el guardian-; pero no ahora. La puerta de entrada a la ley esta abierta como siempre.

  4. Scalably Revealing the Dynamics of Soft Community Structure in Complex Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Huijia; LI Huiying

    2016-01-01

    Revealing the dynamics of community structure is of great concern for scientists from many fields.Specifically,how to quantify the dynamic details of soft community structure is a very interesting topic.In this paper,the authors propose a novel framework to study the scalable dynamic behavior of the soft community structure.First,the authors model the Potts dynamics to detect community structure using a "soft" Markov process.Then the soft stability of in a multiscale view is proposed to naturally uncover the local uniform behavior of spin values across multiple hierarchical levels.Finally,a new partition index is developed to detect fuzzy communities based on the stability and the dynamical information.Experiments on the both synthetically generated and real-world networks verify that the framework can be used to uncover hierarchical community structures effectively and efficiently.

  5. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-07

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response.

  6. Acromyrmex Leaf-Cutting Ants Have Simple Gut Microbiota with Nitrogen-Fixing Potential

    OpenAIRE

    Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Zhukova, Mariya; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren Johannes; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2015-01-01

    Ants and termites have independently evolved obligate fungus-farming mutualisms, but their gardening procedures are fundamentally different, as the termites predigest their plant substrate whereas the ants deposit it directly on the fungus garden. Fungus-growing termites retained diverse gut microbiota, but bacterial gut communities in fungus-growing leaf-cutting ants have not been investigated, so it is unknown whether and how they are specialized on an exclusively fungal diet. Here we chara...

  7. Detecting community structure in complex networks using an interaction optimization process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Paul; Kim, Sangwook

    2017-01-01

    Most complex networks contain community structures. Detecting these community structures is important for understanding and controlling the networks. Most community detection methods use network topology and edge density to identify optimal communities; however, these methods have a high computational complexity and are sensitive to network forms and types. To address these problems, in this paper, we propose an algorithm that uses an interaction optimization process to detect community structures in complex networks. This algorithm efficiently searches the candidates of optimal communities by optimizing the interactions of the members within each community based on the concept of greedy optimization. During this process, each candidate is evaluated using an interaction-based community model. This model quickly and accurately measures the difference between the quantity and quality of intra- and inter-community interactions. We test our algorithm on several benchmark networks with known community structures that include diverse communities detected by other methods. Additionally, after applying our algorithm to several real-world complex networks, we compare our algorithm with other methods. We find that the structure quality and coverage results achieved by our algorithm surpass those of the other methods.

  8. Unusual bacterioplankton community structure in ultra-oligotrophic Crater Lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbach, Ena; Vergin, Kevin L.; Morse, Ariel

    2001-01-01

    The bacterioplankton assemblage in Crater Lake, Oregon (U.S.A.), is different from communities found in other oxygenated lakes, as demonstrated by four small subunit ribosomal ribonucleic acid (SSU rRNA) gene clone libraries and oligonucleotide probe hybridization to RNA from lake water. Populations in the euphotic zone of this deep (589 m), oligotrophic caldera lake are dominated by two phylogenetic clusters of currently uncultivated bacteria: CL120-10, a newly identified cluster in the verrucomicrobiales, and ACK4 actinomycetes, known as a minor constituent of bacterioplankton in other lakes. Deep-water populations at 300 and 500 m are dominated by a different pair of uncultivated taxa: CL500-11, a novel cluster in the green nonsulfur bacteria, and group I marine crenarchaeota. b-Proteobacteria, dominant in most other freshwater environments, are relatively rare in Crater Lake (marine crenarchaeota and green nonsulfur bacteria. Comparison of Crater Lake to other lakes studied by rRNA methods suggests that selective factors structuring Crater Lake bacterioplankton populations may include low concentrations of available trace metals and dissolved organic matter, chemistry of infiltrating hydrothermal waters, and irradiation by high levels of ultraviolet light.

  9. Microbial Community Structure of Casing Soil During Mushroom Growth

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CAI Wei-Ming; YAO Huai-Ying; FENG Wei-Lin; JIN Qun-Li; LIU Yue-Yan; LI Nan-Yi; ZHENG Zhong

    2009-01-01

    The culturable bacterial population and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA)profile of casing soil were investigated at different mushroom (Agaricus bisporusI cropping stages.The change in soil bacterial PLFAs was always accompanied by a change in the soil culturable bacterial population in the first flush.Comparatively higher culturable bacterial population and bacterial PLFAs were found in the casing soil at the primordia formation stage of the first flush.There was a significant increase in the ratio of fungal to bacterial PLFAs during mushroom growth.Multivariate analysis of PLFA data demonstrated that the mushroom cropping stage could considerably affect the microbial community structure of the casing soil.The bacterial population increased significantly from casing soil application to the primordia formation stage of the first flush.Casing soil application resulted in an increase in the ratio of gram-negative bacterial PLFAs to gram-positive bacterial PLFAs,suggesting that some gram-negative bacteria might play an important role in mushroom sporophore initiation.

  10. Interspecific associations and community structure: A local survey and analysis in a grass community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WenJun Zhang

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Interspecific associations in the plant community may help to understand the self-organizing assembly and succession of the community. In present study, Pearson correlation, net correlation, Spearman rank correlation, and point correlation were used to detect the interspecific (inter-family associations of grass species (families using the sampling data collected in a grass community of Zhuhai, China. We found that most associations between grass species (families were positive associations. The competition/interference/niche separation between grass species (families was not significant. A lot of pairs of grass species and families with statistically significant interspecific (inter-family associations based on four correlation measures were discovered. Cluster trees for grass species/families were obtained by using cluster analysis. Relationship among positive/negative associations, interspecific relationship and community succession/stability/robustness was discussed. I held that species with significant positive or negative associations are generally keystone species in the community. Although both negative and positive associations occur in the community succession, the adaptation and selection will finally result in the successful coexistence of the species with significant positive associations in the climax community. As the advance of community succession, the significant positive associations increase and maximize in climax community, and the significant negative associations increase to a maximum and then decline into climax community. Dominance of significant positive associations in the climax community means the relative stablility and equilibrium of the community. No significant associations usually account for the majority of possible interspecific associations at each phase of community succession. They guarantee the robustness of community. They are candidates of keystone species. Lose of some existing keystone species might be

  11. Community Structure, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services in Treeline Whitebark Pine Communities: Potential Impacts from a Non-Native Pathogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana F. Tomback

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis has the largest and most northerly distribution of any white pine (Subgenus Strobus in North America, encompassing 18° latitude and 21° longitude in western mountains. Within this broad range, however, whitebark pine occurs within a narrow elevational zone, including upper subalpine and treeline forests, and functions generally as an important keystone and foundation species. In the Rocky Mountains, whitebark pine facilitates the development of krummholz conifer communities in the alpine-treeline ecotone (ATE, and thus potentially provides capacity for critical ecosystem services such as snow retention and soil stabilization. The invasive, exotic pathogen Cronartium ribicola, which causes white pine blister rust, now occurs nearly rangewide in whitebark pine communities, to their northern limits. Here, we synthesize data from 10 studies to document geographic variation in structure, conifer species, and understory plants in whitebark pine treeline communities, and examine the potential role of these communities in snow retention and regulating downstream flows. Whitebark pine mortality is predicted to alter treeline community composition, structure, and function. Whitebark pine losses in the ATE may also alter response to climate warming. Efforts to restore whitebark pine have thus far been limited to subalpine communities, particularly through planting seedlings with potential blister rust resistance. We discuss whether restoration strategies might be appropriate for treeline communities.

  12. Potts model based on a Markov process computation solves the community structure problem effectively.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui-Jia; Wang, Yong; Wu, Ling-Yun; Zhang, Junhua; Zhang, Xiang-Sun

    2012-07-01

    The Potts model is a powerful tool to uncover community structure in complex networks. Here, we propose a framework to reveal the optimal number of communities and stability of network structure by quantitatively analyzing the dynamics of the Potts model. Specifically we model the community structure detection Potts procedure by a Markov process, which has a clear mathematical explanation. Then we show that the local uniform behavior of spin values across multiple timescales in the representation of the Markov variables could naturally reveal the network's hierarchical community structure. In addition, critical topological information regarding multivariate spin configuration could also be inferred from the spectral signatures of the Markov process. Finally an algorithm is developed to determine fuzzy communities based on the optimal number of communities and the stability across multiple timescales. The effectiveness and efficiency of our algorithm are theoretically analyzed as well as experimentally validated.

  13. Potts model based on a Markov process computation solves the community structure problem effectively

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Hui-Jia; Wu, Ling-Yun; Zhang, Junhua; Zhang, Xiang-Sun

    2015-01-01

    Potts model is a powerful tool to uncover community structure in complex networks. Here, we propose a new framework to reveal the optimal number of communities and stability of network structure by quantitatively analyzing the dynamics of Potts model. Specifically we model the community structure detection Potts procedure by a Markov process, which has a clear mathematical explanation. Then we show that the local uniform behavior of spin values across multiple timescales in the representation of the Markov variables could naturally reveal the network's hierarchical community structure. In addition, critical topological information regarding to multivariate spin configuration could also be inferred from the spectral signatures of the Markov process. Finally an algorithm is developed to determine fuzzy communities based on the optimal number of communities and the stability across multiple timescales. The effectiveness and efficiency of our algorithm are theoretically analyzed as well as experimentally validate...

  14. Does Trichomes on the Plant Epidermic Surface Disturb Ants Locomotion?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danon C. Cardoso

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem Statement: Many morphological characteristics, both physical and chemical, are used in the defense against herbivores on plants. Trichomes are structures used by plants as physics defense and when associated with glands combine physics and chemistry defense. Many species of ants are herbivores and use leaves and seeds, others ants use Extra Floral Nectars as a food resource, and the majority of the species are predators of other ants and other insects, and use plants as foraging substrate in search of prey. Likewise, on the assumption that ants feed preferentially in plants free of trichomes, we tested the hypothesis that trichomes plants clouded locomotion of ants. Approach: Experiments were carried out in the field using cotton to mimic the plants surface. Thirty traps for the treatment were assembled with cotton as well as other 30 experiments for the control (treatment without cotton. Each trap consisted of Petri dishes of 14,5 cm diameter with bait (sardine and honey in a disc (3 cm diameter in the center of the plate. Around the bait, 10 grams of cotton prepared uniformly were placed. Furthermore, morphometric analysis on the length of body and legs of ants was performed. Results: The number of ants which accessed baits in the center of Petri dishes in treatment with cotton was not statistically different of the number of accesses in the control treatment without cotton. The trichomes do not cloud locomotion of ants and that leg length is equal to or greater than body length. Conclusions/Recommendations: Data revealed that the trichomes do not cloud locomotion of ants; this allows the free walking of ants on the plants surface. However, glandular trichomes that combine physics and chemistry defense with release toxic and adhesives compounds when mechanically stressed may be more efficient in the defense against these insects.

  15. Learning and perceptual similarity among cuticular hydrocarbons in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nick; Dreier, Stephanie; Jørgensen, Charlotte G; Nielsen, John; Guerrieri, Fernando J; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Nestmate recognition in ants is based on perceived differences in a multi-component blend of hydrocarbons that are present on the insect cuticle. Although supplementation experiments have shown that some classes of hydrocarbons, such as methyl branched alkanes and alkenes, have a salient role in nestmate recognition, there was basically no information available on how ants detect and perceive these molecules. We used a new conditioning procedure to investigate whether individual carpenter ants could associate a given hydrocarbon (linear or methyl-branched alkane) to sugar reward. We then studied perceptual similarity between a hydrocarbon previously associated with sugar and a novel hydrocarbon. Ants learnt all hydrocarbon-reward associations rapidly and with the same efficiency, regardless of the structure of the molecules. Ants could discriminate among a large number of pairs of hydrocarbons, but also generalised. Generalisation depended both on the structure of the molecule and the animal's experience. For linear alkanes, generalisation was observed when the novel molecule was smaller than the conditioned one. Generalisation between pairs of methyl-alkanes was high, while generalisation between hydrocarbons that differed in the presence or absence of a methyl group was low, suggesting that chain length and functional group might be coded independently by the ant olfactory system. Understanding variations in perception of recognition cues in ants is necessary for the general understanding of the mechanisms involved in social recognition processes based on chemical cues.

  16. Effectiveness of vegetation-based biodiversity offset metrics as surrogates for ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanford, Jayne K; Crowther, Mathew S; Hochuli, Dieter F

    2017-02-01

    Biodiversity offset schemes are globally popular policy tools for balancing the competing demands of conservation and development. Trading currencies for losses and gains in biodiversity value at development and credit sites are usually based on several vegetation attributes combined to yield a simple score (multimetric), but the score is rarely validated prior to implementation. Inaccurate biodiversity trading currencies are likely to accelerate global biodiversity loss through unrepresentative trades of losses and gains. We tested a model vegetation multimetric (i.e., vegetation structural and compositional attributes) typical of offset trading currencies to determine whether it represented measurable components of compositional and functional biodiversity. Study sites were located in remnant patches of a critically endangered ecological community in western Sydney, Australia, an area representative of global conflicts between conservation and expanding urban development. We sampled ant fauna composition with pitfall traps and enumerated removal by ants of native plant seeds from artificial seed containers (seed depots). Ants are an excellent model taxon because they are strongly associated with habitat complexity, respond rapidly to environmental change, and are functionally important at many trophic levels. The vegetation multimetric did not predict differences in ant community composition or seed removal, despite underlying assumptions that biodiversity trading currencies used in offset schemes represent all components of a site's biodiversity value. This suggests that vegetation multimetrics are inadequate surrogates for total biodiversity value. These findings highlight the urgent need to refine existing offsetting multimetrics to ensure they meet underlying assumptions of surrogacy. Despite the best intentions, offset schemes will never achieve their goal of no net loss of biodiversity values if trades are based on metrics unrepresentative of total

  17. Structure in Community College Career-Technical Programs: A Qualitative Analysis. CCRC Working Paper No. 50

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Noy, Michelle; Weiss, Madeline Joy; Jenkins, Davis; Barnett, Elisabeth A.; Wachen, John

    2012-01-01

    Using data obtained from interviews and program websites at Washington community and technical colleges, the authors of this study examine the structure of community college career-technical programs in allied health, business and marketing, computer and information studies, and mechanics and repair. A framework for structure with four…

  18. Paradoxes of Social Networking in a Structured Web 2.0 Language Learning Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loiseau, Mathieu; Zourou, Katerina

    2012-01-01

    This paper critically inquires into social networking as a set of mechanisms and associated practices developed in a structured Web 2.0 language learning community. This type of community can be roughly described as learning spaces featuring (more or less) structured language learning resources displaying at least some notions of language learning…

  19. Organizational Structures to Support Oakland Community Schools. Knowledge Brief

    Science.gov (United States)

    John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, 2015

    2015-01-01

    This brief is part of a series that shares findings from a research collaboration between the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University and Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) focused on understanding implementation of the community school model in the district. This brief highlights findings related to…

  20. Supraglacial bacterial community structures vary across the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cameron, Karen A.; Stibal, Marek; Zarsky, Jakub D.;

    2016-01-01

    The composition and spatial variability of microbial communities that reside within the extensive (>200 000 km(2)) biologically active area encompassing the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is hypothesized to be variable. We examined bacterial communities from cryoconite debris and surface ice across...

  1. Specific, non-nutritional association between an ascomycete fungus and Allomerus plant-ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-González, Mario X; Malé, Pierre-Jean G; Leroy, Céline; Dejean, Alain; Gryta, Hervé; Jargeat, Patricia; Quilichini, Angélique; Orivel, Jérôme

    2011-06-23

    Ant-fungus associations are well known from attine ants, whose nutrition is based on a symbiosis with basidiomycete fungi. Otherwise, only a few non-nutritional ant-fungus associations have been recorded to date. Here we focus on one of these associations involving Allomerus plant-ants that build galleried structures on their myrmecophytic hosts in order to ambush prey. We show that this association is not opportunistic because the ants select from a monophyletic group of closely related fungal haplotypes of an ascomycete species from the order Chaetothyriales that consistently grows on and has been isolated from the galleries. Both the ants' behaviour and an analysis of the genetic population structure of the ants and the fungus argue for host specificity in this interaction. The ants' behaviour reveals a major investment in manipulating, growing and cleaning the fungus. A molecular analysis of the fungus demonstrates the widespread occurrence of one haplotype and many other haplotypes with a lower occurrence, as well as significant variation in the presence of these fungal haplotypes between areas and ant species. Altogether, these results suggest that such an interaction might represent an as-yet undescribed type of specific association between ants and fungus in which the ants cultivate fungal mycelia to strengthen their hunting galleries.

  2. Discovery of Opinion Leader Community Via Multilayer Structure based Time-dividing Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Liu

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available With the advent of web 3.0, social network has become an important way to disclosure and spread the public sentiment. Opinion leaders play an important role in leading the direction of the public opinion. In this paper, due to the structure of the community in the network, we extracted the community by replies of each post in BBS, and we came up with an opinion leader community mining method based on level structure. In this way the communities each other have a better overlap result. Thus, communities can have more relations. Then, we analyzed the revolution of the communities after we got the structure of the opinion leader communities and we put forward a time-dividing method, and divided the whole communities into different pieces based on the character of the post and the duration of the time and we came up with the suitable measurement parameter to get the evolution result of the communities. Finally, experiments prove the efficiency of the opinion leader community mining method and we summarize the properties of the opinion leader community in revolution.

  3. Plant genetics predicts intra-annual variation in phytochemistry and arthropod community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimp, G M; Wooley, S; Bangert, R K; Young, W P; Martinsen, G D; Keim, P; Rehill, B; Lindroth, R L; Whitham, T G

    2007-12-01

    With the emerging field of community genetics, it is important to quantify the key mechanisms that link genetics and community structure. We studied cottonwoods in common gardens and in natural stands and examined the potential for plant chemistry to be a primary mechanism linking plant genetics and arthropod communities. If plant chemistry drives the relationship between plant genetics and arthropod community structure, then several predictions followed. We would find (i) the strongest correlation between plant genetic composition and chemical composition; (ii) an intermediate correlation between plant chemical composition and arthropod community composition; and (iii) the weakest relationship between plant genetic composition and arthropod community composition. Our results supported our first prediction: plant genetics and chemistry had the strongest correlation in the common garden and the wild. Our results largely supported our second prediction, but varied across space, seasonally, and according to arthropod feeding group. Plant chemistry played a larger role in structuring common garden arthropod communities relative to wild communities, free-living arthropods relative to leaf and stem modifiers, and early-season relative to late-season arthropods. Our results did not support our last prediction, as host plant genetics was at least as tightly linked to arthropod community structure as plant chemistry, if not more so. Our results demonstrate the consistency of the relationship between plant genetics and biodiversity. Additionally, plant chemistry can be an important mechanism by which plant genetics affects arthropod community composition, but other genetic-based factors are likely involved that remain to be measured.

  4. Supraglacial bacterial community structures vary across the Greenland ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Karen A; Stibal, Marek; Zarsky, Jakub D; Gözdereliler, Erkin; Schostag, Morten; Jacobsen, Carsten S

    2016-02-01

    The composition and spatial variability of microbial communities that reside within the extensive (>200 000 km(2)) biologically active area encompassing the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is hypothesized to be variable. We examined bacterial communities from cryoconite debris and surface ice across the GrIS, using sequence analysis and quantitative PCR of 16S rRNA genes from co-extracted DNA and RNA. Communities were found to differ across the ice sheet, with 82.8% of the total calculated variation attributed to spatial distribution on a scale of tens of kilometers separation. Amplicons related to Sphingobacteriaceae, Pseudanabaenaceae and WPS-2 accounted for the greatest portion of calculated dissimilarities. The bacterial communities of ice and cryoconite were moderately similar (global R = 0.360, P = 0.002) and the sampled surface type (ice versus cryoconite) did not contribute heavily towards community dissimilarities (2.3% of total variability calculated). The majority of dissimilarities found between cryoconite 16S rRNA gene amplicons from DNA and RNA was calculated to be the result of changes in three taxa, Pseudanabaenaceae, Sphingobacteriaceae and WPS-2, which together contributed towards 80.8 ± 12.6% of dissimilarities between samples. Bacterial communities across the GrIS are spatially variable active communities that are likely influenced by localized biological inputs and physicochemical conditions.

  5. The Organization and Structure of Community Education Offerings in Community Colleges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Michael; Grover, Kenda S.; Kacirek, Kit

    2014-01-01

    One of the key services community colleges provide is community education, meaning those programs and activities that are often offered for leisure or self-improvement and not for credit. Programs of this nature are increasingly challenged to be self-financing, whether through user fees or externally funded grants. The current study explored 75…

  6. Light structures phototroph, bacterial and fungal communities at the soil surface.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawrence O Davies

    Full Text Available The upper few millimeters of soil harbour photosynthetic microbial communities that are structurally distinct from those of underlying bulk soil due to the presence of light. Previous studies in arid zones have demonstrated functional importance of these communities in reducing soil erosion, and enhancing carbon and nitrogen fixation. Despite being widely distributed, comparative understanding of the biodiversity of the soil surface and underlying soil is lacking, particularly in temperate zones. We investigated the establishment of soil surface communities on pasture soil in microcosms exposed to light or dark conditions, focusing on changes in phototroph, bacterial and fungal communities at the soil surface (0-3 mm and bulk soil (3-12 mm using ribosomal marker gene analyses. Microbial community structure changed with time and structurally similar phototrophic communities were found at the soil surface and in bulk soil in the light exposed microcosms suggesting that light can influence phototroph community structure even in the underlying bulk soil. 454 pyrosequencing showed a significant selection for diazotrophic cyanobacteria such as Nostoc punctiforme and Anabaena spp., in addition to the green alga Scenedesmus obliquus. The soil surface also harboured distinct heterotrophic bacterial and fungal communities in the presence of light, in particular, the selection for the phylum Firmicutes. However, these light driven changes in bacterial community structure did not extend to the underlying soil suggesting a discrete zone of influence, analogous to the rhizosphere.

  7. Assembly and phylogenetic structure of Neotropical palm communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Svenning, J.-C.; Balslev, Henrik

    Diversity, composition and dynamics of Neotropical palm communities are receiving an increasing amount of attention due to their economic importance, but also because their high species richness and functional diversity render them valuable model systems for overall forest biodiversity. However...

  8. Reef community structure, Sand Island, Oahu HI, (NODC Accession 0000177)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These reports provide the results of nine years (1990-98) of an annual quantitative monitoring of shallow marine communities inshore of the Sand Island Ocean...

  9. Macrofouling community structure in Kanayama Bay, Kii Peninsula (Japan)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raveendran, T.V.; Harada, E.

    An investigation on the macrofouling community in Kanayama Bay, Kill Peninsula, Japan was undertaken from June 1994 to May 1995 by exposing fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) panels at subsurface and bottom (2.2 m) depths. The composition and abundance...

  10. What makes us a community: structure, correlations, and success in scientific world

    CERN Document Server

    Kalinin, Sergei V

    2015-01-01

    We explore the statistical structure of scientific community based on multivariate analysis of publication (or other identifiable metrics) distribution in the author space. Here, we define community based on keywords, i.e. projecting semantic content of the documents on predefined meanings; however, more complex approaches based on semantic clustering of publications are possible. Remarkably, this simple statistical analysis of publication metadata allows understanding of internal interactions with community in general agreement with experience acquired over decades of social interaction within it. We further discuss potential applications of this approach for ranking within the community, reviewer selection, and optimization of community output.

  11. Arthropods of Rose Atoll with special reference to ants and Pulvinaria Urbicola Scales (Hempitera Coccidae) on Pisonia Grandis trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.; Pendleton, Frank; Schmaedick, Mark; Ernsberger, Kelsie

    2014-01-01

    Rose Atoll, at the eastern end of the Samoan Archipelago, is a small but important refuge for seabirds, shorebirds, and sea turtles. While the vertebrate community is relatively well-studied, the terrestrial arthropod fauna, and its role in ecosystem function, are poorly known. Arthropods may be influencing the decline of Pisonia grandis, an ecologically important tree that once dominated the 6.6 ha of land on Rose Atoll. Reasons for the decline are not fully understood but a facultative relationship between two invasive arthropods, the soft scale Pulvinaria urbicola and ants, likely has contributed to tree death. The primary objectives of this study were to systematically survey the terrestrial arthropod fauna and identify ant species that tend scales on Pisonia. Using an array of standard arthropod collecting techniques, at least 73 species from 20 orders were identified, including nine ant species. Of the ants collected, only Tetramorium bicarinatum and T. simillimum were observed tending scales on Pisonia. No known natural enemies of Pulvinaria scales were found, suggesting little predation on scale populations. Treatment of Pisonia with the systemic insecticide imidacloprid failed to eliminate Pulvinaria scales, although short-term suppression apparently occurred. The arthropod fauna of Rose Atoll is dominated by exotic species that likely have a significant impact on the structure and function of the island’s ecosystem.

  12. Temperature: Human Regulating, Ants Conforming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clopton, Joe R.

    2007-01-01

    Biological processes speed up as temperature rises. Procedures for demonstrating this with ants traveling on trails, and data gathered by students on the Argentine ant ("Linepithema humile") are presented. The concepts of temperature regulation and conformity are detailed with a focus on the processes rather than on terms that label the organisms.

  13. Temperature: Human Regulating, Ants Conforming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clopton, Joe R.

    2007-01-01

    Biological processes speed up as temperature rises. Procedures for demonstrating this with ants traveling on trails, and data gathered by students on the Argentine ant ("Linepithema humile") are presented. The concepts of temperature regulation and conformity are detailed with a focus on the processes rather than on terms that label the organisms.

  14. Invasive fire ants reduce reproductive success and alter the reproductive strategies of a native vertebrate insectivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell A Ligon

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Introduced organisms can alter ecosystems by disrupting natural ecological relationships. For example, red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta have disrupted native arthropod communities throughout much of their introduced range. By competing for many of the same food resources as insectivorous vertebrates, fire ants also have the potential to disrupt vertebrate communities. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To explore the effects of fire ants on a native insectivorous vertebrate, we compared the reproductive success and strategies of eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis inhabiting territories with different abundances of fire ants. We also created experimental dyads of adjacent territories comprised of one territory with artificially reduced fire ant abundance (treated and one territory that was unmanipulated (control. We found that more bluebird young fledged from treated territories than from adjacent control territories. Fire ant abundance also explained significant variation in two measures of reproductive success across the study population: number of fledglings and hatching success of second clutches. Furthermore, the likelihood of bluebird parents re-nesting in the same territory was negatively influenced by the abundance of foraging fire ants, and parents nesting in territories with experimentally reduced abundances of fire ants produced male-biased broods relative to pairs in adjacent control territories. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Introduced fire ants altered both the reproductive success (number of fledglings, hatching success and strategies (decision to renest, offspring sex-ratio of eastern bluebirds. These results illustrate the negative effects that invasive species can have on native biota, including species from taxonomically distant groups.

  15. Nonindigenous Ants at High Elevations on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetterer, James K.; Banko, Paul C.; Laniawe, Leona P.; Slotterback, John W.; Brenner, Gregory J.

    1998-01-01

    Ant surveys were conducted at high elevations (1680-3140 m) on the western slope of Mauna Kea Volcano on the island of Hawai'i to detennine the extent of ant infestation in those highland communities and particularly to evaluate the potential threat of ants in the highlands to native Hawaiian species. Ants were surveyed at 10 long-tenn sampling sites. Ants were common on Mauna Kea up to 2000 m elevation, but densities quickly dropped off above that. Five species of ants were collected: Linepithema humile (Mayr), Cardiocondyla venustula Wheeler, Pheidole megacephala (Fabricius), Tetramorium bicarinatum (Nylander), and Monomorium pharaonis (Linnaeus). Other than L. humile, these collections on Mauna Kea are the highest recorded locales in the Hawaiian Islands.

  16. Structure and function of fish communities in the southern Lake Michigan basin with emphasis on restoration of native fish communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Thomas P.; Stewart, Paul M.

    1999-01-01

    The southern Lake Michigan basin in northwest Indiana possesses a variety of aquatic habitats including riverine, palustrine, and lacustrine systems. The watershed draining this area is a remnant of glacial Lake Chicago and supports fish communities that are typically low in species richness. Composition of the presettlement Lake Michigan fish community near the Indiana Dunes has been difficult to reconstruct. Existing data indicate that the number of native species in the Lake Michigan watershed, including nearshore Lake Michigan, has declined by 22% since the onset of European settlement. Few remnants of natural fish communities exist, and those occur principally in the ponds of Miller Woods, the Grand Calumet Lagoons, and the Little Calumet River. These communities have maintained a relatively diverse assemblage of fishes despite large-scale anthropogenic disturbances in the area, including channelization, massive river redirection, fragmentation, habitat alteration, exotic species invasions, and the introduction of toxic chemicals. Data that we collected from 1985 to 1996 suggested that the Grand Calumet River has the highest proportion of exotic fish species of any inland wetland in northwest Indiana. Along the Lake Michigan shoreline, another group of exotics (e.g., round goby, alewife, and sea lamprey) have affected the structure of native fish communities, thereby altering lake ecosystem function. Stocking programs contribute to the impairment of native communities. Nonindigenous species have restructured the function of Lake Michigan tributaries, causing disruptions in trophic dynamics, guild structure, and species diversity. Several fish communities have been reduced or eliminated by the alteration and destruction of spawning and nursery areas. Degradation of habitats has caused an increase in numbers and populations of species able to tolerate and flourish when confronted with hydrologic alteration. Fish communities found on public lands in northwest

  17. Invasive ants of Bermuda revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James K. Wetterer

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available For 60+ years, two of the world’s most widespread and destructive invasive ant species, the African big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala from tropical Africa and the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile from subtropical South America, have been engaged in an epic battle on the islands of Bermuda. Both species are completely intolerant of the other and are also well-known for killing off native invertebrates, particularly other ants. Here I surveyed sites across Bermuda in 2016, including resurveys of the locations previously surveyed in 1963, 1966, 1973, 1986, and 2002, to provide an update on this conflict. The status of all other ant species present in the islands, including previous records from literature, is also provided. In addition, I surveyed ants nesting in red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle trees to evaluate whether this arboreal habitat may serve as a refuge for previously overlooked ant species. In 2016, L. humile occurred at most surveyed sites in Bermuda, including all ten resurveyed sites. Pheidole megacephala was present at only two resurveyed sites, a lower proportion of sites than any of the five earlier surveys. Still, P. megacephala occupied substantial areas, particularly in and around Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda. This survey increased the number of ant species with verified records from Bermuda to 25, including four exotic species recorded for the first time: Cardiocondyla minutior, Pheidole navigans, Strumigenys emmae, and Strumigenys membranifera. I found five ant species nesting in mangroves: L. humile plus four Old World exotics, C. minutior, Cardiocondyla obscurior, Monomorium floricola, and Plagiolepis alluaudi. It appears that L. humile may be better suited to the subtropical climate of Bermuda than P. megacephala, except perhaps in warmer and sunnier habitats, such as plantings along urban streets and in open parks, where P. megacephala may hold the advantage. The dataset on the new ant records from 2016 is

  18. Ants as Indicators in Brazil: A Review with Suggestions to Improve the Use of Ants in Environmental Monitoring Programs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla R. Ribas

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe the use of ants as indicators in Brazil, based on a critical review of published articles. The analysis of fifty-eight papers, encompassing a range of almost 25 years, indicates an increased number of studies using ants as indicators in the last decade. Among the parameters analyzed in the papers, species composition is the most suitable to evaluate the effect of the disturbance on ant communities. The use of other metrics that consider the specificity and fidelity (e.g., IndVal index of ant species to a level or state of disturbance is also highly desirable. We discuss several alternative ways of overcoming many of the drawbacks related to the robustness of the results and to reduce the financial, logistic, and time costs involved with the use of ants as indicators in monitoring programs. By doing so, we expect to encourage new research on ants as bioindicators as well as to summarize current knowledge, facilitating further research.

  19. Burning fire-prone Mediterranean shrublands: immediate changes in soil microbial community structure and ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goberna, M; García, C; Insam, H; Hernández, M T; Verdú, M

    2012-07-01

    Wildfires subject soil microbes to extreme temperatures and modify their physical and chemical habitat. This might immediately alter their community structure and ecosystem functions. We burned a fire-prone shrubland under controlled conditions to investigate (1) the fire-induced changes in the community structure of soil archaea, bacteria and fungi by analysing 16S or 18S rRNA gene amplicons separated through denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; (2) the physical and chemical variables determining the immediate shifts in the microbial community structure; and (3) the microbial drivers of the change in ecosystem functions related to biogeochemical cycling. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes were structured by the local environment in pre-fire soils. Fire caused a significant shift in the microbial community structure, biomass C, respiration and soil hydrolases. One-day changes in bacterial and fungal community structure correlated to the rise in total organic C and NO(3)(-)-N caused by the combustion of plant residues. In the following week, bacterial communities shifted further forced by desiccation and increasing concentrations of macronutrients. Shifts in archaeal community structure were unrelated to any of the 18 environmental variables measured. Fire-induced changes in the community structure of bacteria, rather than archaea or fungi, were correlated to the enhanced microbial biomass, CO(2) production and hydrolysis of C and P organics. This is the first report on the combined effects of fire on the three biological domains in soils. We concluded that immediately after fire the biogeochemical cycling in Mediterranean shrublands becomes less conservative through the increased microbial biomass, activity and changes in the bacterial community structure.

  20. A phylogenetic perspective on the association between ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and black yeasts (Ascomycota: Chaetothyriales).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasse, Marie; Voglmayr, Hermann; Mayer, Veronika; Gueidan, Cécile; Nepel, Maximilian; Moreno, Leandro; de Hoog, Sybren; Selosse, Marc-André; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2017-03-15

    The frequency and the geographical extent of symbiotic associations between ants and fungi of the order Chaetothyriales have been highlighted only recently. Using a phylogenetic approach based on seven molecular markers, we showed that ant-associated Chaetothyriales are scattered through the phylogeny of this order. There was no clustering according to geographical origin or to the taxonomy of the ant host. However, strains tended to be clustered according to the type of association with ants: strains from ant-made carton and strains from plant cavities occupied by ants ('domatia') rarely clustered together. Defining molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) with an internal transcribed spacer sequence similarity cut-off of 99% revealed that a single MOTU could be composed of strains collected from various ant species and from several continents. Some ant-associated MOTUs also contained strains isolated from habitats other than ant-associated structures. Altogether, our results suggest that the degree of specialization of the interactions between ants and their fungal partners is highly variable. A better knowledge of the ecology of these interactions and a more comprehensive sampling of the fungal order are needed to elucidate the evolutionary history of mutualistic symbioses between ants and Chaetothyriales. © 2017 The Author(s).

  1. Microbes as Engines of Ecosystem Function: When Does Community Structure Enhance Predictions of Ecosystem Processes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Emily B; Knelman, Joseph E; Schindlbacher, Andreas; Siciliano, Steven; Breulmann, Marc; Yannarell, Anthony; Beman, J M; Abell, Guy; Philippot, Laurent; Prosser, James; Foulquier, Arnaud; Yuste, Jorge C; Glanville, Helen C; Jones, Davey L; Angel, Roey; Salminen, Janne; Newton, Ryan J; Bürgmann, Helmut; Ingram, Lachlan J; Hamer, Ute; Siljanen, Henri M P; Peltoniemi, Krista; Potthast, Karin; Bañeras, Lluís; Hartmann, Martin; Banerjee, Samiran; Yu, Ri-Qing; Nogaro, Geraldine; Richter, Andreas; Koranda, Marianne; Castle, Sarah C; Goberna, Marta; Song, Bongkeun; Chatterjee, Amitava; Nunes, Olga C; Lopes, Ana R; Cao, Yiping; Kaisermann, Aurore; Hallin, Sara; Strickland, Michael S; Garcia-Pausas, Jordi; Barba, Josep; Kang, Hojeong; Isobe, Kazuo; Papaspyrou, Sokratis; Pastorelli, Roberta; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Lindström, Eva S; Basiliko, Nathan; Nemergut, Diana R

    2016-01-01

    Microorganisms are vital in mediating the earth's biogeochemical cycles; yet, despite our rapidly increasing ability to explore complex environmental microbial communities, the relationship between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remains poorly understood. Here, we address a fundamental and unanswered question in microbial ecology: 'When do we need to understand microbial community structure to accurately predict function?' We present a statistical analysis investigating the value of environmental data and microbial community structure independently and in combination for explaining rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling processes within 82 global datasets. Environmental variables were the strongest predictors of process rates but left 44% of variation unexplained on average, suggesting the potential for microbial data to increase model accuracy. Although only 29% of our datasets were significantly improved by adding information on microbial community structure, we observed improvement in models of processes mediated by narrow phylogenetic guilds via functional gene data, and conversely, improvement in models of facultative microbial processes via community diversity metrics. Our results also suggest that microbial diversity can strengthen predictions of respiration rates beyond microbial biomass parameters, as 53% of models were improved by incorporating both sets of predictors compared to 35% by microbial biomass alone. Our analysis represents the first comprehensive analysis of research examining links between microbial community structure and ecosystem function. Taken together, our results indicate that a greater understanding of microbial communities informed by ecological principles may enhance our ability to predict ecosystem process rates relative to assessments based on environmental variables and microbial physiology.

  2. New mutualism for old: indirect disruption and direct facilitation of seed dispersal following Argentine ant invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowles, Alexei D; O'Dowd, Dennis J

    2009-01-01

    The indirect effects of biological invasions on native communities are poorly understood. Disruption of native ant communities following invasion by the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is widely reported to lead indirectly to the near complete collapse of seed dispersal services. In coastal scrub in southeastern Australia, we examined seed dispersal and handling of two native and two invasive alien plant species at Argentine ant-invaded or -uninvaded sites. The Argentine ant virtually eliminates the native keystone disperser Rhytidoponera victoriae, but seed dispersal did not collapse following invasion. Indeed, Argentine ants directly accounted for 92% of all ant-seed interactions and sustained overall seed dispersal rates. Nevertheless, dispersal quantity and quality among seed species differed between Argentine ant-invaded and -uninvaded sites. Argentine ants removed significantly fewer native Acacia retinodes seeds, but significantly more small seeds of invasive Polygala myrtifolia than did native ants at uninvaded sites. They also handled significantly more large seeds of A. sophorae, but rarely moved them >5 cm, instead recruiting en masse, consuming elaiosomes piecemeal and burying seeds in situ. In contrast, Argentine ants transported and interred P. myrtifolia seeds in their shallow nests. Experiments with artificial diaspores that varied in diaspore and elaiosome masses, but kept seed morphology and elaiosome quality constant, showed that removal by L. humile depended on the interaction of seed size and percentage elaiosome reward. Small diaspores were frequently taken, independent of high or low elaiosome reward, but large artificial diaspores with high reward instead elicited mass recruitment by Argentine ants and were rarely moved. Thus, Argentine ants appear to favour some diaspore types and reject others based largely on diaspore size and percentage reward. Such variability in response indirectly reduces native seed dispersal and can directly

  3. Ant (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) diversity along a pollution gradient near the Middle Ural Copper Smelter, Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belskaya, Elena; Gilev, Alexey; Belskii, Eugen

    2017-04-01

    Ants are considered to be suitable indicators of ecological change and are widely used in land management and environmental monitoring. However, responses of ant communities to industrial pollution are less known so far. We studied pollution-related variations of ant diversity and abundance near the Middle Ural Copper Smelter (Russia) in 2009 and 2013, with pitfall traps set up at 10 sites in Picea obovata and Abies sibirica forest. This study provided evidences for humped pollution-induced dynamics of ant diversity and abundance. Species richness and diversity peaked in the habitat intermediate between slightly damaged and fully destroyed forest ecosystems. The total abundance of ants peaked in the middle of the pollution gradient and was determined mainly by the dominant species Formica aquilonia. The abundance of other species increased towards the smelter, but was less important for total abundance than that of red wood ants. Community dominants changed with increase of exposure; F. aquilonia, a typical species of mature forests, was replaced by species of open habitats, Lasius niger and Myrmica ruginodis. Habitat variables and competition between species seem to affect local ant communities more strongly than pollution exposure. Stand basal area and cover of the field layer were the main determinants of ant diversity and abundance of individual species.

  4. The structure of small mammal communities in some alpine habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Locatelli

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We studied the composition of several small mammal communities living in different mountain and forest habitats of the central eastern Italian Alps. The small mammals were then grouped together, by cluster analysis, according to similarities in species and density. From the 22 stations investigated, five groups emerged, each one having also distinct environmental characteristics. We observed that spruce forest communities are grouped separately from those of mixed forests (larch and Swiss stone pine. We must stress the considerable difference existing between the small mammal communities living in different kinds of coniferous forests. The larch and Swiss stone pine forest seem to be able to support a greater density of small mammals, which includes in particular the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus.

  5. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Entre 1982 a 2005 se registraron daños en 1 143 establecimientos de salud en el Perú, generalmente debido a sismos, lluvias e inundaciones. Los daños en los servicios de salud producen la interrupción de la atención de la población y de los programas de salud, así como generan un gran gasto para la rehabilitación y reconstrucción. Por ello, se requiere proteger a los establecimientos de salud y desarrollar una política de hospitales seguros ante desastres que incluya medidas para prevenir o reducción de la vulnerabilidad estructural, no estructural y funcional en los nuevos establecimientos y en los existentes.(Rev Med Hered 2007;18:149-154.

  6. The Evolutionary Innovation of Nutritional Symbioses in Leaf-Cutter Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank O. Aylward

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fungus-growing ants gain access to nutrients stored in plant biomass through their association with a mutualistic fungus they grow for food. This 50 million-year-old obligate mutualism likely facilitated some of these species becoming dominant Neotropical herbivores that can achieve immense colony sizes. Recent culture-independent investigations have shed light on the conversion of plant biomass into nutrients within ant fungus gardens, revealing that this process involves both the fungal cultivar and a symbiotic community of bacteria including Enterobacter, Klebsiella, and Pantoea species. Moreover, the genome sequences of the leaf-cutter ants Atta cephalotes and Acromyrmex echinatior have provided key insights into how this symbiosis has shaped the evolution of these ants at a genetic level. Here we summarize the findings of recent research on the microbial community dynamics within fungus-growing ant fungus gardens and discuss their implications for this ancient symbiosis.

  7. Microbial composition of spiny ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Polyrhachis) across their geographic range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramalho, Manuela Oliveira; Bueno, Odair Correa; Moreau, Corrie Saux

    2017-04-05

    Symbiotic relationships between insects and bacteria are found across almost all insect orders, including Hymenoptera. However there are still many remaining questions about these associations including what factors drive host-associated bacterial composition. To better understand the evolutionary significance of this association in nature, further studies addressing a diversity of hosts across locations and evolutionary history are necessary. Ants of the genus Polyrhachis (spiny ants) are distributed across the Old World and exhibit generalist diets and habits. Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics tools, this study explores the microbial community of >80 species of Polyrhachis distributed across the Old World and compares the microbiota of samples and related hosts across different biogeographic locations and in the context of their phylogenetic history. The predominant bacteria across samples were Enterobacteriaceae (Blochmannia - with likely many new strains), followed by Wolbachia (with multiple strains), Lactobacillus, Thiotrichaceae, Acinetobacter, Nocardia, Sodalis, and others. We recovered some exclusive strains of Enterobacteriaceae as specific to some subgenera of Polyrhachis, corroborating the idea of coevolution between host and bacteria for this bacterial group. Our correlation results (partial mantel and mantel tests) found that host phylogeny can influence the overall bacterial community, but that geographic location had no effect. Our work is revealing important aspects of the biology of hosts in structuring the diversity and abundance of these host-associated bacterial communities including the role of host phylogeny and shared evolutionary history.

  8. Microarthropod community structures (Oribatei and Collembola) in Tam Dao National Park, Vietnam

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Quang Manh Vu; Tri Tien Nguyen

    2000-12-01

    A study on the microarthropod community with special reference to species diversity of Oribatid and Collembola communities (Microarthropoda: Oribatei and Collembola) in Tam Dao National Park of Vietnam, a subtropical evergreen broad leaf alpine forest, was undertaken with the aim to explain how they are related to forest decline, and whether they can be used as bioindicators of forest plant succession. The results have shown that microarthropod community structures, particularly species diversity of oribatid and collembolan communities, are related to forest decline. Therefore they can be used as bioindicators of forest