Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A
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.
Valerie S. Banschbach
Full Text Available Determining how ant communities are impacted by challenges from habitat fragmentation, such as edge effects, will help us understand how ants may be used as a bioindicator taxon. To assess the impacts of edge effects upon the ant community in a northern temperate deciduous forest, we studied edge and interior sites in Jericho, VT, USA. The edges we focused upon were created by recreational trails. We censused the ants at these sites for two consecutive growing seasons using pitfall traps and litter plot excavations. We also collected nests of the most common ant species at our study sites, Aphaenogaster rudis, for study of colony demography. Significantly greater total numbers of ants and ant nests were found in the edge sites compared to the interior sites but rarefaction analysis showed no significant difference in species richness. Aphaenogaster rudis was the numerically dominant ant in the habitats sampled but had a greater relative abundance in the interior sites than in the edge sites both in pitfall and litter plot data. Queen number of A. rudis significantly differed between the nests collected in the edge versus the interior sites. Habitat-dependent changes in social structure of ants represent another possible indicator of ecosystem health.
Scott, Jarrod J; Budsberg, Kevin J; Suen, Garret; Wixon, Devin L; Balser, Teri C; Currie, Cameron R
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. 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. 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. These results thus suggest that resident communities are shaped by the plant degradation
El Keroumi, Abderrahim; Naamani, Khalid; Soummane, Hassna; Dahbi, Abdallah
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.
Penn, Hannah J; Dale, Andrew M
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.
Dassou, Anicet Gbéblonoudo; Tixier, Philippe; Dépigny, Sylvain; Carval, Dominique
In tropics, ants can represent an important part of animal biomass and are known to be involved in ecosystem services, such as pest regulation. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the structuring of local ant communities is therefore important in agroecology. In the humid tropics of Africa, plantains are cropped in association with many other annual and perennial crops. Such agrosystems differ greatly in vegetation diversity and structure and are well-suited for studying how habitat-related factors affect the ant community. We analysed abundance data for the six numerically dominant ant taxa in 500 subplots located in 20 diversified, plantain-based fields. We found that the density of crops with foliage at intermediate and high canopy strata determined the numerical dominance of species. We found no relationship between the numerical dominance of each ant taxon with the crop diversity. Our results indicate that the manipulation of the densities of crops with leaves in the intermediate and high strata may help maintain the coexistence of ant species by providing different habitat patches. Further research in such agrosystems should be performed to assess if the effect of vegetation structure on ant abundance could result in efficient pest regulation.
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.
Machac, Antonin; Janda, Milan; Dunn, Robert R.
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......), and Vorarlberg (Austria). To identify the factors which potentially shape these elevational diversity gradients, we analyzed patterns of community phylogenetic structure (i.e. the evolutionary relationships among species coexisting in local communities). We found that species at low-elevation sites tended...... to be evenly dispersed across phylogeny, suggesting that these communities are structured by interspecific competition. In contrast, species occurring at high-elevation sites tended to be more closely related than expected by chance, implying that these communities are structured primarily by environmental...
Alexandro Herbert dos Santos Bastos
Full Text Available Leaf-litter amount as a factor in the structure of a ponerine ants community (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ponerinae in an eastern Amazonian rainforest, Brazil. Leaf-litter may be an important factor in structuring ponerine ant communities (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ponerinae in tropical rainforests. We specifically examined how leaf-litter affects the structure of a ponerine ant community in primary Amazonian rainforest sites at the Ferreira Penna Scientific Station, Pará, Brazil. A total of 53 species belonging to eight genera of three ponerine tribes were collected with mini-Winkler extractors. The amount of leaf-litter positively affected the abundance and richness of the ponerine ant community, and also influenced species composition. Nearby samples often had low species similarity, especially when adjacent samples differed in the amount of leaf-litter. Leaf-litter availability in Amazonian primary forests is a key factor for distribution of ground-dwelling ponerine species, even at small scales.
Full Text Available This paper describes habitat and geographic correlates of ant diversity in Serra da Bodoquena, a poorly surveyed region of central-western Brazil. We discuss leaf-litter ant diversity on a regional scale, with emphasis on the contribution of each of the processes that form the evolutionary basis of contemporary beta diversity. The diversity of leaf-litter ants was assessed from a series of 262 Winkler samples conducted in two microbasins within a deciduous forest domain. A total of 170 litter-dwelling ant species in 45 genera and 11 subfamilies was identified. The data showed that the study areas exhibited different arrangements of ant fauna, with a high turnover in species composition between sites, indicating high beta diversity. Our analysis suggests that the biogeographic history of this tropical dry forest in the centre of South America could explain ant assemblage structure more than competitive dominance. The co-occurrence analysis showed that species co-occur less often than expected by chance in only two of the localities, suggesting that, for most of the species, co-occurrences are random. The assessment of the structure of the diversity of litter-dwelling ants is the first step in understanding the beta diversity patterns in this region of great biogeographic importance.
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
Diamond, Sarah E; Nichols, Lauren M; Pelini, Shannon L; Penick, Clint A; Barber, Grace W; Cahan, Sara Helms; Dunn, Robert R; Ellison, Aaron M; Sanders, Nathan J; Gotelli, Nicholas J
How will ecological communities change in response to climate warming? Direct effects of temperature and indirect cascading effects of species interactions are already altering the structure of local communities, but the dynamics of community change are still poorly understood. We explore the cumulative effects of warming on the dynamics and turnover of forest ant communities that were warmed as part of a 5-year climate manipulation experiment at two sites in eastern North America. At the community level, warming consistently increased occupancy of nests and decreased extinction and nest abandonment. This consistency was largely driven by strong responses of a subset of thermophilic species at each site. As colonies of thermophilic species persisted in nests for longer periods of time under warmer temperatures, turnover was diminished, and species interactions were likely altered. We found that dynamical (Lyapunov) community stability decreased with warming both within and between sites. These results refute null expectations of simple temperature-driven increases in the activity and movement of thermophilic ectotherms. The reduction in stability under warming contrasts with the findings of previous studies that suggest resilience of species interactions to experimental and natural warming. In the face of warmer, no-analog climates, communities of the future may become increasingly fragile and unstable.
Wike, L; Doug Martin, D; Michael Paller, M; Eric Nelson, E
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.
Choate, Beth; Drummond, Francis A
Assessing the influence of new, reduced-risk insecticides on natural enemies within agroecosystems is essential to developing integrated pest management strategies. Three species of mound-building Formica ants are abundant throughout Maine lowbush blueberry fields (Formica exsectoides Forel, F. glacialis Wheeler, and F. ulkei Emery). All three species have been described in the literature as predaceous, with research demonstrating that F. exsectoides preys on major pest insects of lowbush blueberry. The objectives of this study were to determine the impact of common-use and newly introduced insecticides on Formica sp. ant communities in lowbush blueberry fields. Laboratory assays indicated that the commonly applied insecticide phosmet is toxic to F. exsectoides, even after 8 d of field weathering (P insecticides, such as acetamiprid, had little effect on survival of all three species. Abundance of each species in the field varied with lowbush blueberry pesticide-use strategy and amount of nonblueberry vegetation. Both F. exsectoides and F. glacialis were most abundant in organic fields; however, overall F. glacialis was the most abundant in fields of all management types. Field surveys support laboratory results suggesting that phosmet is highly toxic to these species and influences their spatial pattern. Manipulation of the crop to conserve natural enemies in lowbush blueberry is difficult because the crop is not planted; therefore, we must look closely at the incorporation of low toxicity insecticides with natural enemies to efficiently control pest insects.
van der Duim, René; Ren, Carina Bregnholm; Jóhannesson, Gunnar Thór
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....
Veen, G.F.; Olff, H.
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
Pringle, Elizabeth G; Moreau, Corrie S
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).
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.
Ivens, A.B.F.; Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph; Pen, I.
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...... above ground, whereas dispersal constraints and dependence on ant-tending may differentially affect the costs and benefits of sex in subterranean aphids. Here, we studied reproductive mode and dispersal in a community of root aphids that are obligately associated with the ant Lasius flavus. We assessed...... the genetic population structure of four species (Geoica utricularia, Tetraneura ulmi, Forda marginata and Forda formicaria) in a Dutch population and found that all species reproduce predominantly if not exclusively asexually, so that populations consist of multiple clonal lineages. We show that population...
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
Canedo-Júnior, Ernesto de Oliveira; Cuissi, Rafael Gonçalves; Nelson Henrique de Almeida, Curi; Demetrio, Guilherme Ramos; Lasmar, Chaim José; Malves, Kira
Fire occurrences are a common perturbation in Cerrado ecosystems, and may differently impact the local biodiversity. Arthropods are one of the taxa affected by fires, and among them, ants are known as good bioindicators. We aimed to evaluate the effect of anthropic fires on epigaeic and hypogaeic ant communities (species richness and composition) in Cerrado areas with different post-fire event recovery periods. We conducted the study in four Cerrado areas during two weeks of 2012 dry season: one unburned and three at different post-fire times (one month, one and two years). We sampled ants with pitfall traps in epigaeic and hypogaeic microhabitats. We collected 71 ant morpho-species from 25 genera. In the epigaeic microhabitat we sampled 56 morpho-species and 42 in the hypogaeic microhabitat. The area with the shortest recovery time presented lower epigaeic ant species richness (4.3 ± 2.00) in comparison to the other areas (8.1 ± 2.68 species on one year area; 10.3 ± 2.66 species on two years area; 10.4 ± 2.31 species on control area), but recovery time did not affect hypogaeic ant species richness. Regarding ant species composition, fire did not directly affect hypogaeic ant species, which remained the same even one month after fire event. However, two years were not enough to reestablish ant species composition in both microhabitats in relation to our control group samples. Our study is the first to assess anthropic fire effects upon epigaeic and hypogaeic ants communities; highlighting the importance of evaluating different microhabitats, to more accurately detect the effects of anthropic disturbances in biological communities. We concluded that ant communities are just partially affected by fire occurrences, and epigaeic assemblages are the most affected ones in comparison to hypogaeic ants. Furthermore the study provides knowledge to aid in the creation of vegetation management programs that allow Cerrado conservation.
M.P. Sanford; Patricia N. Manley; Dennis D. Murphy
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...
Rowles, Alexei D; Silverman, Jules
The ability of species to invade new habitats is often limited by various biotic and physical factors or interactions between the two. Invasive ants, frequently associated with human activities, flourish in disturbed urban and agricultural environments. However, their ability to invade and establish in natural habitats is more variable. This is particularly so for the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). While biotic resistance and low soil moisture limits their invasion of natural habitats in some instances, the effect of food availability has been poorly explored. We conducted field experiments to determine if resource availability limits the spread and persistence of Argentine ants in remnant natural forest in North Carolina. Replicated transects paired with and without sucrose solution feeding stations were run from invaded urban edges into forest remnants and compared over time using baits and direct counts at feeding stations. Repeated under different timing regimes in 2006 and 2007, access to sucrose increased local Argentine ant abundances (1.6-2.5 fold) and facilitated their progression into the forest up to 73 +/- 21% of 50-m transects. Resource removal caused an expected decrease in Argentine ant densities in 2006, in conjunction with their retreat to the urban/forest boundary. However, in 2007, Argentine ant numbers unexpectedly continued to increase in the absence of sugar stations, possibly through access to alternative resources or conditions not available the previous year such as honeydew-excreting Hemiptera. Our results showed that supplementing carbohydrate supply facilitates invasion of natural habitat by Argentine ants. This is particularly evident where Argentine ants continued to thrive following sugar station removal.
Kwon, Tae-Sung; Li, Fengqing; Kim, Sung-Soo; Chun, Jung Hwa; Park, Young-Seuk
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.
Koops, Kathelijne; Schöning, Caspar; Isaji, Mina; Hashimoto, Chie
Cultural variation has been identified in a growing number of animal species ranging from primates to cetaceans. The principal method used to establish the presence of culture in wild populations is the method of exclusion. This method is problematic, since it cannot rule out the influence of genetics and ecology in geographically distant populations. A new approach to the study of culture compares neighbouring groups belonging to the same population. We applied this new approach by comparing ant-dipping tool length between two neighbouring communities of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in the Kalinzu Forest, Uganda. Ant-dipping tool length varies across chimpanzee study sites in relation to army ant species (Dorylus spp.) and dipping location (nest vs. trail). We compared the availability of army ant species and dipping tool length between the two communities. M-group tools were significantly longer than S-group tools, despite identical army ant target species availabilities. Moreover, tool length in S-group was shorter than at all other sites where chimpanzees prey on epigaeic ants at nests. Considering the lack of ecological differences between the two communities, the tool length difference appears to be cultural. Our findings highlight how cultural knowledge can generate small-scale cultural diversification in neighbouring chimpanzee communities.
Hasin, Sasitorn; Ohashi, Mizue; Yamada, Akinori; Hashimoto, Yoshiaki; Tasen, Wattanachai; Kume, Tomonori; Yamane, Seiki
Many ant species construct subterranean nests. The presence of their nests may explain soil respiration "hot spots", an important factor in the high CO2 efflux from tropical forests. However, no studies have directly measured CO2 efflux from ant nests. We established 61 experimental plots containing 13 subterranean ant species to evaluate the CO2 efflux from subterranean ant nests in a tropical seasonal forest, Thailand. We examined differences in nest CO2 efflux among ant species. We determined the effects of environmental factors on nest CO2 efflux and calculated an index of nest structure. The mean CO2 efflux from nests was significantly higher than those from the surrounding soil in the wet and dry seasons. The CO2 efflux was species-specific, showing significant differences among the 13 ant species. The soil moisture content significantly affected nest CO2 efflux, but there was no clear relationship between nest CO2 efflux and nest soil temperature. The diameter of the nest entrance hole affected CO2 efflux. However, there was no significant difference in CO2 efflux rates between single-hole and multiple-hole nests. Our results suggest that in a tropical forest ecosystem the increase in CO2 efflux from subterranean ant nests is caused by species-specific activity of ants, the nest soil environment, and nest structure.
Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S
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
Tobias O. Bickel
Full Text Available Large areas of Southern Thailand's former natural rainforest have been replaced by rubber plantations. Despite the fact that rubber plantations dominate the landscape, little is known about its capacity to sustain forest dwelling species. We used leaf litter ants as a bioindicator from two natural forests, a rubber plantation forest and a completely cleared ruderal area in Southern Thailand, Songkla Province. There was a substantial decline in ant diversity from the undisturbed forest towards the ruderal area along a gradient of environmental disturbance. Additionally, there was a turnover in species composition between the different habitats and an increase in arboreal species "enhancing" the sparse ground foraging ant community in the plantation habitat. Also, alien tramp species replaced native species in the plantation and ruderal habitats. This study shows that despite their forest like appearance rubber plantations are a poor habitat for native leaf litter-inhabiting ants and unsuitable to sustain biodiversity in general. The changes in community structure in the secondary forest showed the importance of primary forest habitat to maintain regional biodiversity.
Klimes, Petr; Fibich, Pavel; Idigel, Cliffson; Rimandai, Maling
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.
Ellwood, M. D. F.; Blüthgen, N.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Foster, W. A.; Menzel, F.
Roč. 75, AUG 01 (2016), s. 24-34 ISSN 1146-609X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA14-32302S; GA ČR(CZ) GA16-09427S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ant mosaics * assembly rules * competitive exclusion Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.652, year: 2016 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1146609X16300832
Brian R Granger
Full Text Available The complexity of metabolic networks in microbial communities poses an unresolved visualization and interpretation challenge. We address this challenge in the newly expanded version of a software tool for the analysis of biological networks, VisANT 5.0. We focus in particular on facilitating the visual exploration of metabolic interaction between microbes in a community, e.g. as predicted by COMETS (Computation of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space, a dynamic stoichiometric modeling framework. Using VisANT's unique metagraph implementation, we show how one can use VisANT 5.0 to explore different time-dependent ecosystem-level metabolic networks. In particular, we analyze the metabolic interaction network between two bacteria previously shown to display an obligate cross-feeding interdependency. In addition, we illustrate how a putative minimal gut microbiome community could be represented in our framework, making it possible to highlight interactions across multiple coexisting species. We envisage that the "symbiotic layout" of VisANT can be employed as a general tool for the analysis of metabolism in complex microbial communities as well as heterogeneous human tissues. VisANT is freely available at: http://visant.bu.edu and COMETS at http://comets.bu.edu.
Granger, Brian R; Chang, Yi-Chien; Wang, Yan; DeLisi, Charles; Segrè, Daniel; Hu, Zhenjun
The complexity of metabolic networks in microbial communities poses an unresolved visualization and interpretation challenge. We address this challenge in the newly expanded version of a software tool for the analysis of biological networks, VisANT 5.0. We focus in particular on facilitating the visual exploration of metabolic interaction between microbes in a community, e.g. as predicted by COMETS (Computation of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space), a dynamic stoichiometric modeling framework. Using VisANT's unique metagraph implementation, we show how one can use VisANT 5.0 to explore different time-dependent ecosystem-level metabolic networks. In particular, we analyze the metabolic interaction network between two bacteria previously shown to display an obligate cross-feeding interdependency. In addition, we illustrate how a putative minimal gut microbiome community could be represented in our framework, making it possible to highlight interactions across multiple coexisting species. We envisage that the "symbiotic layout" of VisANT can be employed as a general tool for the analysis of metabolism in complex microbial communities as well as heterogeneous human tissues. VisANT is freely available at: http://visant.bu.edu and COMETS at http://comets.bu.edu.
Reis, Bárbara Monique Dos Santos; Silva, Aline; Alvarez, Martín Roberto; Oliveira, Tássio Brito de; Rodrigues, Andre
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. Copyright © 2015 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Frederico S. Neves
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.
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.
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.
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
Shimoji, Hiroyuki; Abe, Masato S; Tsuji, Kazuki; Masuda, Naoki
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.
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...
Vieira, Alexsandro S; Ramalho, Manuela O; Martins, Cintia; Martins, Vanderlei G; Bueno, Odair C
Bacterial endosymbionts are common in all insects, and symbiosis has played an integral role in ant evolution. Atta sexdens rubropilosa leaf-cutting ants cultivate their symbiotic fungus using fresh leaves. They need to defend themselves and their brood against diseases, but they also need to defend their obligate fungus gardens, their primary food source, from infection, parasitism, and usurpation by competitors. This study aimed to characterize the microbial communities in whole workers and different tissues of A. sexdens rubropilosa queens using Ion Torrent NGS. Our results showed that the microbial community in the midgut differs in abundance and diversity from the communities in the postpharyngeal gland of the queen and in whole workers. The main microbial orders in whole workers were Lactobacillales, Clostridiales, Enterobacteriales, Actinomycetales, Burkholderiales, and Bacillales. In the tissues of the queens, the main orders were Burkholderiales, Clostridiales, Syntrophobacterales, Lactobacillales, Bacillales, and Actinomycetales (midgut) and Entomoplasmatales, unclassified γ-proteobacteria, and Actinomycetales (postpharyngeal glands). The high abundance of Entomoplasmatales in the postpharyngeal glands (77%) of the queens was an unprecedented finding. We discuss the role of microbial communities in different tissues and castes. Bacteria are likely to play a role in nutrition and immune defense as well as helping antimicrobial defense in this ant species.
Wells, Rachel L; Murphy, Serena K; Moran, Matthew D
Ecosystem engineers are profoundly important in many biological communities. A Neotropical taxonomic group considered to have engineering effects is the Formicidae (ants). Leaf-cutter ants (LCAs), in particular, which form extensive colonies of millions of individuals, can be important ecosystem engineers in these environments. While the effects of LCAs on plant community structure and soil chemistry are well-studied, their effects on consumers are poorly understood. Therefore, we examined the indirect effects of the LCA Atta cephalotes L. on the leaf-litter arthropod community. We compared abundance and diversity patterns at ant nests to areas distant from nests, utilizing both a factorial design and gradient analysis for both nocturnal and diurnal arthropods. We found that arthropod abundance and diversity was significantly lower for multiple taxonomic groups and trophic levels near leaf-cutter nests, and this pattern was strongest at night. Exceptions to this pattern included two morphospecies of Collembola that were more abundant on nests, suggesting some specialization for these species. For the gradient analysis, abundance increased exponentially for most groups of arthropods. However, for the dominant arthropod species, the amphipod Cerrorchestia hyloraina Lindeman, a quadratic function was the best fit curvilinear model for abundance. It appeared that C. hyloraina had maximal abundance at the transition between nest site and less disturbed forest. These results indicate that LCA activity has a strong effect on the leaf-litter arthropod community, adding to spatial heterogeneity within neotropical forests. These effects may translate into changes in important ecological processes such as nutrient cycling and food web function. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arnan, Xavier; Cerdá, Xim; Retana, Javier
We analyze the relative contribution of environmental and spatial variables to the alpha and beta components of taxonomic (TD), phylogenetic (PD), and functional (FD) diversity in ant communities found along different climate and anthropogenic disturbance gradients across western and central Europe, in order to assess the mechanisms structuring ant biodiversity. To this aim we calculated alpha and beta TD, PD, and FD for 349 ant communities, which included a total of 155 ant species; we examined 10 functional traits and phylogenetic relatedness. Variation partitioning was used to examine how much variation in ant diversity was explained by environmental and spatial variables. Autocorrelation in diversity measures and each trait's phylogenetic signal were also analyzed. We found strong autocorrelation in diversity measures. Both environmental and spatial variables significantly contributed to variation in TD, PD, and FD at both alpha and beta scales; spatial structure had the larger influence. The different facets of diversity showed similar patterns along environmental gradients. Environment explained a much larger percentage of variation in FD than in TD or PD. All traits demonstrated strong phylogenetic signals. Our results indicate that environmental filtering and dispersal limitations structure all types of diversity in ant communities. Strong dispersal limitations appear to have led to clustering of TD, PD, and FD in western and central Europe, probably because different historical and evolutionary processes generated different pools of species. Remarkably, these three facets of diversity showed parallel patterns along environmental gradients. Trait-mediated species sorting and niche conservatism appear to structure ant diversity, as evidenced by the fact that more variation was explained for FD and that all traits had strong phylogenetic signals. Since environmental variables explained much more variation in FD than in PD, functional diversity should be a
Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Dejean, Alain; Gibernau, Marc; Hossaert-McKey, Martine; McKey, Doyle
Barteria nigritana is a myrmecophyte tree of Lower Guinea coastal vegetation. Unlike the more specialised B. fistulosa, which harbours a single host-specific mutualistic ant, B. nigritana is associated with several opportunistic ants. Such symbiotic, yet opportunistic, ant-plant associations have been little studied. On 113 clumps of B. nigritana, we censused ant associates and herbivores and compared herbivory on plants occupied by different ants. In addition to these correlative data, protection conferred by different ant species was compared by herbivore-placement experiments. Identity of ant associate changed predictably over plant ontogeny. Pheidole megacephala was restricted to very small plants; saplings were occupied by either Oecophylla longinoda or Crematogaster sp., and the latter species was the sole occupant of larger trees. Damage by caterpillars of the nymphalid butterfly Acraea zetes accounted for much of the herbivory to leaves. Ant species differed in the protection provided to hosts. While P. megacephala provided no significant protection, plants occupied by O. longinoda and Crematogaster sp. suffered less damage than did unoccupied plants or those occupied by P. megacephala. Furthermore, O. longinoda provided more effective protection than did Crematogaster sp. Herbivore-placement experiments confirmed these results. Workers of O. longinoda killed or removed all larval instars of A. zetes. Crematogaster preyed on only the two first larval instars, and P. megacephala preyed mainly on eggs, only rarely attacking the two first larval instars. Opportunistic ants provided significant protection to this relatively unspecialised myrmecophyte. The usual associate of mature trees was not the species that provided most protection.
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.
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.
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.
Malé, P-J G; Leroy, C; Humblot, P; Dejean, A; Quilichini, A; Orivel, J
Comparative studies of the population genetics of closely associated species are necessary to properly understand the evolution of these relationships because gene flow between populations affects the partners' evolutionary potential at the local scale. As a consequence (at least for antagonistic interactions), asymmetries in the strength of the genetic structures of the partner populations can result in one partner having a co-evolutionary advantage. Here, we assess the population genetic structure of partners engaged in a species-specific and obligatory mutualism: the Neotropical ant-plant, Hirtella physophora, and its ant associate, Allomerus decemarticulatus. Although the ant cannot complete its life cycle elsewhere than on H. physophora and the plant cannot live for long without the protection provided by A. decemarticulatus, these species also have antagonistic interactions: the ants have been shown to benefit from castrating their host plant and the plant is able to retaliate against too virulent ant colonies. We found similar short dispersal distances for both partners, resulting in the local transmission of the association and, thus, inbred populations in which too virulent castrating ants face the risk of local extinction due to the absence of H. physophora offspring. On the other hand, we show that the plant populations probably experienced greater gene flow than did the ant populations, thus enhancing the evolutionary potential of the plants. We conclude that such levels of spatial structure in the partners' populations can increase the stability of the mutualistic relationship. Indeed, the local transmission of the association enables partial alignments of the partners' interests, and population connectivity allows the plant retaliation mechanisms to be locally adapted to the castration behaviour of their symbionts. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Hasin, Sasitorn; Ohashi, Mizue; Yamada, Akinori; Hashimoto, Yoshiaki; Tasen, Wattanachai; Kume, Tomonori; Yamane, Seiki
Many ant species construct subterranean nests. The presence of their nests may explain soil respiration “hot spots”, an important factor in the high CO2 efflux from tropical forests. However, no studies have directly measured CO2 efflux from ant nests. We established 61 experimental plots containing 13 subterranean ant species to evaluate the CO2 efflux from subterranean ant nests in a tropical seasonal forest, Thailand. We examined differences in nest CO2 efflux among ant species. We determi...
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...
Ai, Guo; Dai, Yiling; Mao, Wenfeng; Zhao, Hui; Fu, Yanbao; Song, Xiangyun; En, Yunfei; Battaglia, Vincent S; Srinivasan, Venkat; Liu, Gao
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.
Gibb, H.; Sanders, N. J.; Dunn, R. R.; Watson, S.; Photakis, M.; Abril, S.; Andersen, A. N.; Angulo, E.; Armbrecht, I.; Arnan, X.; Baccaro, F. B.; Bishop, T. R.; Boulay, R.; Castracani, C.; Del Toro, I.; Delsinne, T.; Diaz, M.; Donoso, D. A.; Enríquez, M. L.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Feener Jr., D. H.; Fitzpatrik, M. C.; Gómez, C.; Grasso, D. A.; Groc, S.; Heterick, B.; Hoffmann, B. D.; Lach, L.; Lattke, J.; Leponce, M.; Lessard, J.-P.; Longino, J.; Lucky, A.; Majer, J.; Menke, S. B.; Mezger, D.; Mori, A.; Munyai, T. C.; Paknia, O.; Pearce-Duvet, J.; Pfeiffer, M.; Philpott, S. M.; de Souza, J. L. P.; Tista, M.; Vasconcelos, H. L.; Vonshak, M.; Parr, C. L.
Roč. 282, č. 1808 (2015), article number 20150418 ISSN 0962-8452 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : assemblage structure * dominance * global warming Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.823, year: 2015
Debora R. de Souza
Full Text Available Fragments of Atlantic Rainforest and extensive eucalyptus plantations are part of the landscape in the southeast region of Brazil. Many studies have been conducted on litter ant diversity in these forests, but there are few reports on the nesting sites. In the present study, we characterized the ant communities that nest in twigs in the leaf litter of dense ombrophilous forests and eucalyptus trees. The colony demographics associated with the physical structure of the nest were recorded. In the eucalyptus forests, the study examined both managed and unmanaged plantations. During five months, all undecomposed twigs between 10 and 30 cm in length containing ants found within a 16-m2 area on the surface of the leaf litter were collected. A total of 307 nests and 44 species were recorded. Pheidole, Solenopsis, and Camponotus were the most represented genera. Pheidole sp.13, Pheidole sp.43 and Linepithema neotropicum were the most populous species. The dense ombrophilous forest and a eucalyptus plantation unmanaged contained the highest number of colonized twigs; these communities were the most similar and the most species rich. Our results indicate that the twigs are important resources as they help to maintain the litter diversity of dense rain forest and abandoned eucalypt crops.
Szilágyi, András; Scheuring, István; Edwards, David P; Orivel, Jerome; Yu, Douglas W
Theory suggests that spatial structuring should select for intermediate levels of virulence in parasites, but empirical tests are rare and have never been conducted with castration (sterilizing) parasites. To test this theory in a natural landscape, we construct a spatially explicit model of the symbiosis between the ant-plant Cordia nodosa and its two, protecting ant symbionts, Allomerus and Azteca. Allomerus is also a castration parasite, preventing fruiting to increase colony fecundity. Limiting the dispersal of Allomerus and host plant selects for intermediate castration virulence. Increasing the frequency of the mutualist, Azteca, selects for higher castration virulence in Allomerus, because seeds from Azteca-inhabited plants are a public good that Allomerus exploits. These results are consistent with field observations and, to our knowledge, provide the first empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that spatial structure can reduce castration virulence and the first such evidence in a natural landscape for either mortality or castration virulence.
Santiago, Graziele Silva; Zurlo, Luana Fonseca; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Carvalho, Rafaela Pereira; Alves, Guilherme Pereira; Carvalho, Mariana Comanucci Silva; Souza, Brígida
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
Ernesto Oliveira Canedo-Júnior
Full Text Available 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.
Cuautle, M; Vergara, C H; Badano, E I
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.
Detrain, Claire; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis
While the striking structures (e.g. nest architecture, trail networks) of insect societies may seem familiar to many of us, the understanding of pattern formation still constitutes a challenging problem. Over the last two decades, self-organization has dramatically changed our view on how collective decision-making and structures may emerge out of a population of ant workers having each their own individuality as well as a limited access to information. A variety of collective behaviour spontaneously outcome from multiple interactions between nestmates, even when there is no directing influence imposed by an external template, a pacemaker or a leader. By focussing this review on foraging structures, we show that ant societies display some properties which are usually considered in physico-chemical systems, as typical signatures of self-organization. We detail the key role played by feed-back loops, fluctuations, number of interacting units and sensitivity to environmental factors in the emergence of a structured collective behaviour. Nonetheless, going beyond simple analogies with non-living self-organized patterns, we stress on the specificities of social structures made of complex living units of which the biological features have been selected throughout the evolution depending on their adaptive value. In particular, we consider the ability of each ant individual to process information about environmental and social parameters, to accordingly tune its interactions with nestmates and ultimately to determine the final pattern emerging at the collective level. We emphasize on the parsimony and simplicity of behavioural rules at the individual level which allow an efficient processing of information, energy and matter within the whole colony.
Roberto da Silva Camargo
Full Text Available Leaf-cutting ant workers dig underground chambers, for housing their symbiotic fungus, interconnected by a vast quantity of tunnels whose function is to permit the entrance of food (leaves, gaseous exchanges, and movement of workers, offspring, and the queen. Digging is a task executed by a group of workers, but little is known about the group effect and group-constructed functional structures. Thus, we analyzed the structures formed by worker groups (5, 10, 20, and 40 individuals of the leaf-cutting ant, Atta sexdens rubropilosa, for 2 days of excavation. The digging arena was the same for the 4 groups, with each group corresponding to a different density. Our results verified a pattern of tunneling by the workers, but no chamber was constructed. The group effect is well known, since the 40-worker group dug significantly more than the groups of 5, 10, and 20. These groups did not differ statistically from each other. Analysis of load/worker verified that workers of the smallest group carried the greatest load. Our paper demonstrates the group effect on the digging of nests, namely, that excavation is proportional to group size, but without emergence of a functional structure such as a chamber.
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.
Aranda-Rickert, Adriana; Diez, Patricia; Marazzi, Brigitte
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 dese...
Vargas, André B; Mayhé-Nunes, Antônio J; Queiroz, Jarbas M; Souza, Guilherme O; Ramos, Elaine F
The effects of environmental factors on the richness, diversity and abundance of ants were studied in the Restinga da Marambaia, south coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. The samples were taken using pitfall traps in August/2004 (winter) and March/2005 (summer) in three different vegetation types: (1) herbaceous ridge palmoid (homogeneous habitat); (2) shrub dune thicket and (3) ridge forest (heterogeneous habitats). At each habitat a range of environmental attributes was recorded: soil temperature and humidity, percentage of soil covering by litter and litter depth. Ninety-two ant species belonging to 36 genera and eight subfamilies were recorded. Density of ant species and abundance varied significantly between habitats and seasons; ant diversity varied only between habitats. Homogeneous habitat had lower ant species density, abundance and diversity than heterogeneous habitats. The two first variables were positively correlated with litter depth and both were higher in summer than in winter samples. There were more species of Ponerinae and Ectatomminae in heterogeneous than in the homogeneous habitat, whereas the Formicinae species were more abundant in the later.
Cox, Georgina; Stogios, Peter J; Savchenko, Alexei; Wright, Gerard D
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
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. H...
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.
Terrence P McGlynn
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
Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Borregaard, Michael K; Fordyce, James A; Rahbek, Carsten; Weiser, Michael D; Dunn, Robert R; Sanders, Nathan J
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 a continent-wide dataset of local ant communities and implement ecologically explicit source pool definitions to examine the relative importance of regional species pools and local interactions for shaping community structure. Then we assess which factors underlie systematic variation in the structure 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 of climatic niches influences the phylogenetic structure of regional source pools and that the influence of regional source pools on local community structure is strong.
Kendrick, Joseph A.; Ribbons, Relena Rose; Classen, Aimee Taylor
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...... (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......, 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...
Li, Ke; Chen, Peng
Structural faults, such as unbalance, misalignment and looseness, etc., often occur in the shafts of rotating machinery. These faults may cause serious machine accidents and lead to great production losses. This paper proposes an intelligent method for diagnosing structural faults of rotating machinery using ant colony optimization (ACO) and relative ratio symptom parameters (RRSPs) in order to detect faults and distinguish fault types at an early stage. New symptom parameters called "relative ratio symptom parameters" are defined for reflecting the features of vibration signals measured in each state. Synthetic detection index (SDI) using statistical theory has also been defined to evaluate the applicability of the RRSPs. The SDI can be used to indicate the fitness of a RRSP for ACO. Lastly, this paper also compares the proposed method with the conventional neural networks (NN) method. Practical examples of fault diagnosis for a centrifugal fan are provided to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. The verification results show that the structural faults often occurring in the centrifugal fan, such as unbalance, misalignment and looseness states are effectively identified by the proposed method, while these faults are difficult to detect using conventional neural networks.
This paper explores television-modeled narratives in Silvia Ballestra’s La guerra degli Antò, of 1992, and Aldo Nove’s Woobinda, of 1996. In so doing, it considers both the role of a text's author and the majority/minority reception practices that lead to its social imprint. For a definition of reception practices it turns to the work of media and reception scholars such as Henry Jenkins and Ien Ang. Employing a soap-operatic narrative and respecting the viewing practices of a mi...
Debout, Gabriel; Provost, Erick; Renucci, Marielle; Tirard, Alain; Schatz, Bertrand; McKey, Doyle
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.
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
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.
Network communities represent mesoscopic structure for understanding the organization of real-world networks, where nodes often belong to multiple communities and form overlapping community structure in the network. Due to non-triviality in finding the exact boundary of such overlapping communities, this problem has become challenging, and therefore huge effort has been devoted to detect overlapping communities from the network.In this paper, we present PVOC (Permanence based Vertex-replication algorithm for Overlapping Community detection), a two-stage framework to detect overlapping community structure. We build on a novel observation that non-overlapping community structure detected by a standard disjoint community detection algorithm from a network has high resemblance with its actual overlapping community structure, except the overlapping part. Based on this observation, we posit that there is perhaps no need of building yet another overlapping community finding algorithm; but one can efficiently manipulate the output of any existing disjoint community finding algorithm to obtain the required overlapping structure. We propose a new post-processing technique that by combining with any existing disjoint community detection algorithm, can suitably process each vertex using a new vertex-based metric, called permanence, and thereby finds out overlapping candidates with their community memberships. Experimental results on both synthetic and large real-world networks show that PVOC significantly outperforms six state-of-the-art overlapping community detection algorithms in terms of high similarity of the output with the ground-truth structure. Thus our framework not only finds meaningful overlapping communities from the network, but also allows us to put an end to the constant effort of building yet another overlapping community detection algorithm. (paper)
Scharf, Inon; Fischer-Blass, Birgit; Foitzik, Susanne
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. 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. The three communities are differently affected by biotic and
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
Li Chunguang; Maini, Philip K
Many social and biological networks consist of communities-groups of nodes within which connections are dense, but between which connections are sparser. Recently, there has been considerable interest in designing algorithms for detecting community structures in real-world complex networks. In this paper, we propose an evolving network model which exhibits community structure. The network model is based on the inner-community preferential attachment and inter-community preferential attachment mechanisms. The degree distributions of this network model are analysed based on a mean-field method. Theoretical results and numerical simulations indicate that this network model has community structure and scale-free properties
Dalecky, Ambroise; Debout, Gabriel; Estoup, Arnaud; McKey, Doyle B; Kjellberg, Finn
Past climate shifts have led to major oscillations in species distributions. Hence historical contingencies and selective processes occurring during such phases may be determinants for understanding the forces that have shaped extant phenotypes. In the plant-ant Petalomyrmex phylax (Formicinae), we observed spatial variation in number of queens in mature colonies, from several queens (high polygyny) in the median part of its distribution to a moderate number of queens (weak polygyny) or even only a single queen (monogyny) in the southwesternmost populations. This variation did not correlate with indicators of variation in current nest site availability and colony turnover, the supposedly determinant selective forces acting on gyny in ants. We show here that the variation in social structure correlates with a historical process corresponding to a progressive colonization of coastal southern Cameroon by the ant. Using microsatellite markers, we observed a clear pattern of isolation by distance except for the southernmost populations. Measures of genetic variability that do not take into account allele size were at equilibrium in all except the southernmost populations, suggesting recent foundation of the latter. Measures of genetic diversity taking into account allele size showed a clinal north-south decrease in variance of allele size. We propose that southern populations have yet to regain allele size variance after bottlenecks associated with the foundation of new populations, and that this variance is regained over time. Hence variation in social structure mirrors an old but still active southward colonization process or metapopulation dynamics, possibly in association with an expansion of the rain forest habitat during the late Holocene. A low number of queens in ant colonies is typically associated with strong dispersal capacity. We therefore suggest that the initial founders of new populations belong to the monogynous to weakly polygynous phenotype, and that
Nassios, Jason; Giesecke, James A
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.
Silva, N S; Saad, L P; Souza-Campana, D R; Bueno, O C; Morini, M S C
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: email@example.com.
Virginia E Masiulionis
Full Text Available 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
Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Borregaard, Michael Krabbe; Fordyce, James A.
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...... 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...... of climatic niches influences the phylogenetic structure of regional source pools and that the influence of regional source pools on local community structure is strong....
Shaw, Leah; Tunc, Ilker
Models for epidemic spread on static social networks do not account for changes in individuals' social interactions. Recent studies of adaptive networks have modeled avoidance behavior, as non-infected individuals try to avoid contact with infectives. Such models have not generally included realistic social structure. Here we study epidemic spread on an adaptive network with community structure. We model the effect of heterogeneous communities on infection levels and epidemic extinction. We also show how an epidemic can alter the community structure.
Full Text Available A host of animals build architectural constructions. Such constructions frequently vary with environmental and individual/colony conditions, and their architecture directly influences behavior and fitness. The nests of ant colonies drive and enable many of their collective behaviors, and as such are part of their 'extended phenotype'. Since ant colonies have been recently shown to differ in behavior and life history strategy, we ask whether colonies differ in another trait: the architecture of the constructions they create. We allowed Temnothorax rugatulus rock ants, who create nests by building walls within narrow rock gaps, to repeatedly build nest walls in a fixed crevice but under two environmental conditions. We find that colonies consistently differ in their architecture across environments and over nest building events. Colony identity explained 12-40% of the variation in nest architecture, while colony properties and environmental conditions explained 5-20%, as indicated by the condition and marginal R2 values. When their nest boxes were covered, which produced higher humidity and lower airflow, colonies built thicker, longer, and heavier walls. Colonies also built more robust walls when they had more brood, suggesting a protective function of wall thickness. This is, to our knowledge, the first study to explicitly investigate the repeatability of nestbuilding behavior in a controlled environment. Our results suggest that colonies may face tradeoffs, perhaps between factors such as active vs. passive nest defense, and that selection may act on individual construction rules as a mechanisms to mediate colony-level behavior.
Kuhn, A; Bauman, D; Darras, H; Aron, S
Reproduction and dispersal are key aspects of species life history that influence spatial genetic structure in populations. Several ant species in the genus Cataglyphis have evolved a unique breeding system in which new reproductives (that is, queens and males) are produced asexually by parthenogenesis; in contrast, non-reproductives (that is, workers) are produced via sexual reproduction by mates from distinct genetic lineages. We investigated how these two coexisting reproductive methods affect population-level spatial genetic structure using the ant Cataglyphis mauritanica as a model. We obtained genotypes for queens and their male mates from 338 colonies, and we found that the two lineages present in the study population occurred with equal frequency. Furthermore, analysis of spatial genetic structure revealed strong sex-biased dispersal. Because queens were produced by parthenogenesis and because they dispersed over short distances, there was an extreme level of spatial structuring: a mosaic of patches composed of clonal queens was formed. Males, on the other hand, dispersed over several hundred metres and, thus, across patches, ensuring successful interlineage mating.
Flávio Siqueira de Castro
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.
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.
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.
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.
Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia; Estrada, Alba; Font, Xavier; Matias, Miguel G.; Meireles, Catarina; Mendoza, Manuel; Honrado, Joao P.; Prasad, Hari D.; Vicente, Joana R.; Early, Regan
spatial resolution. However, survival of individuals is determined by processes that happen at small spatial scales. The relative abundance of coexisting species (i.e. 'community structure') reflects assembly processes occurring at small scales
Carson, Jennifer K; Gleeson, Deirdre B; Clipson, Nicholas; Murphy, Daniel V
Relatively little is known about the effect of afforestation on soil fungal communities. This study demonstrated that afforestation altered fungal community structure and that changes were correlated to pools of soil C. Pasture at three locations on the same soil type was afforested with Eucalyptus globulus or Pinus pinaster. The structure of fungal communities under the three land uses was measured after 13y using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). Afforestation significantly altered the structure of fungal communities. The effect of location on the structure of fungal communities was limited to pasture soils; although these contained the same plant species, the relative composition of each species varied between locations. Differences in the structure of fungal communities between pasture, E. globulus and P. pinaster were significantly correlated with changes in the amount of total organic C and microbial biomass-C in soil. Afforestation of patches of agricultural land may contribute to conserving soil fungi in agricultural landscapes by supporting fungal communities with different composition to agricultural soils. Copyright © 2010 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G
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......-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...
Holec, Michal; Frouz, Jan
Roč. 49, č. 4 (2005), s. 345-357 ISSN 0031-4056 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) 1QS600660505; GA ČR(CZ) GA526/01/1055 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Keywords : succession * ant * coal mining Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.862, year: 2005
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
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...... us to reduce agency to causation and to conceptualize actor-networks as homogeneous ontologies of force. This article proposes to regard ANT’s inability to conceptualize reflexivity and the interrelatedness of different ontologies as the fundamental problem of the theory. Drawing on Günther......, 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....
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.
Ojeda, Fernando; Pausas, Juli G; Verdú, Miguel
Recurrent wildfires constitute a major selecting force in shaping the structure of plant communities. At the regional scale, fire favours phenotypic and phylogenetic clustering in Mediterranean woody plant communities. Nevertheless, the incidence of fire within a fire-prone region may present strong variations at the local, landscape scale. This study tests the prediction that woody communities on acid, nutrient-poor soils should exhibit more pronounced phenotypic and phylogenetic clustering patterns than woody communities on fertile soils, as a consequence of their higher flammability and, hence, presumably higher propensity to recurrent fire. Results confirm the predictions and show that habitat filtering driven by fire may be detected even in local communities from an already fire-filtered regional flora. They also provide a new perspective from which to consider a preponderant role of fire as a key evolutionary force in acid, infertile Mediterranean heathlands.
Nut-bearing trees create islands of high efficiency, low cost housing opportunities for ant colonies. Fallen nuts in leaf litter from previous seasons provide ready-made nest sites for cavity dwelling ant species, as well as affording protection from the elements. Suitable nuts for nests require an ...
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
Graham, Catherine H; Parra, Juan L; Rahbek, Carsten
How biotic interactions, current and historical environment, and biogeographic barriers determine community structure is a fundamental question in ecology and evolution, especially in diverse tropical regions. To evaluate patterns of local and regional diversity, we quantified the phylogenetic...... 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...... that is consistent with the idea that competition influences the local composition of hummingbirds. At higher elevations communities are phylogenetically clustered (coexistence of close relatives), consistent with the expectation of environmental filtering, which may result from the challenge of sustaining...
Dunn, Robert [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
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.
Su, Zhen; Wang, Wei; Li, Lixiang; Stanley, H. Eugene; Braunstein, Lidia A.
Community structure is an important factor in the behavior of real-world networks because it strongly affects the stability and thus the phase transition order of the spreading dynamics. We here propose a reversible social contagion model of community networks that includes the factor of social reinforcement. In our model an individual adopts a social contagion when the number of received units of information exceeds its adoption threshold. We use mean-field approximation to describe our proposed model, and the results agree with numerical simulations. The numerical simulations and theoretical analyses both indicate that there is a first-order phase transition in the spreading dynamics, and that a hysteresis loop emerges in the system when there is a variety of initially adopted seeds. We find an optimal community structure that maximizes spreading dynamics. We also find a rich phase diagram with a triple point that separates the no-diffusion phase from the two diffusion phases.
Hill, P.; Krištůfek, Václav; Dijkhuizen, L.; Boddy, Ch.; Kroetsch, D.; van Elsas, J.D.
Roč. 61, č. 2 (2011), s. 286-302 ISSN 0095-3628 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06066; GA MŠk 2B06154 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Keywords : actinobacterial community structure * DNA * soils Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.912, year: 2011
Shtilerman, Elad; Kessler, David A; Shnerb, Nadav M
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.
Understanding what determines species\\' geographic distributions is crucial for assessing global change threats to biodiversity. Measuring limits on distributions is usually, and necessarily, done with data at large geographic extents and coarse spatial resolution. However, survival of individuals is determined by processes that happen at small spatial scales. The relative abundance of coexisting species (i.e. \\'community structure\\') reflects assembly processes occurring at small scales, and are often available for relatively extensive areas, so could be useful for explaining species distributions. We demonstrate that Bayesian Network Inference (BNI) can overcome several challenges to including community structure into studies of species distributions, despite having been little used to date. We hypothesized that the relative abundance of coexisting species can improve predictions of species distributions. In 1570 assemblages of 68 Mediterranean woody plant species we used BNI to incorporate community structure into Species Distribution Models (SDMs), alongside environmental information. Information on species associations improved SDM predictions of community structure and species distributions moderately, though for some habitat specialists the deviance explained increased by up to 15%. We demonstrate that most species associations (95%) were positive and occurred between species with ecologically similar traits. This suggests that SDM improvement could be because species co-occurrences are a proxy for local ecological processes. Our study shows that Bayesian Networks, when interpreted carefully, can be used to include local conditions into measurements of species\\' large-scale distributions, and this information can improve the predictions of species distributions.
Anicet Gbèblonoudo Dassou; Dominique Carval; Sylvain Dépigny; Gabriel Fansi; Philippe Tixier
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. D?pigny, G.H Fansi, P. Tixier, 2015) . 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 Cosmop...
Berghoff, S M; Kronauer, D J C; Edwards, K J
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...
Luke, Sarah H.; Fayle, Tom M.; Eggleton, Paul; Turner, Edgar C.; Davies, Richard G.
Forested tropical landscapes around the world are being extensively logged and converted to agriculture, with serious consequences for biodiversity and potentially ecosystem functioning. Here we investigate associations between habitat disturbance and functional diversity of ants and termites – two numerically dominant and functionally important taxa in tropical rain forests that perform key roles in predation, decomposition, nutrient cycling and seed dispersal. We compared ant and termite oc...
Albert eSolé Ribalta
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.
Solé Ribalta, Albert; Granell, Clara; Gómez, Sergio; Arenas, Alex
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.
Wang, Wendy Y; Foster, William A
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
Stegehuis, C.; van der Hofstad, R.W.; van Leeuwaarden, J.S.H.
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
Villesen Fredsted, Palle; Gertsch, Pia J.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan (Koos)
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....
Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Boomsma, JJ
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....
Longino, John T; Branstetter, Michael G; Colwell, Robert K
In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature) and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops.
John T Longino
Full Text Available In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops.
... 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 ...
Chandra Sekhar, S.; Nagaraju, Goli; Yu, Jae Su
Porous and ant-cave structured MnCO3/Mn3O4 microcubes (MCs) were facilely synthesized via a biopolymer-assisted hydrothermal approach. Herein, chitosan was used as a natural biopolymer, which greatly controls the surface morphology and size of the prepared composite. The amino and hydroxyl group-functionalized chitosan engraves the outer surface of MCs during the hydrothermal process, which designs the interesting morphology of nanopath ways on the surface of MCs. When used as an electrode material for pseudocapacitors, the ant-cave structured MnCO3/Mn3O4 MCs showed superior energy storage values compared to the material prepared without chitosan in aqueous electrolyte solution. Precisely, the prepared ant-cave structured MnCO3/Mn3O4 MCs exhibited a maximum specific capacitance of 116.2 F/g at a current density of 0.7 A/g with an excellent cycling stability of 73.86% after 2000 cycles. Such facile and low-cost synthesis of pseudocapacitive materials with porous nanopaths is favorable for the fabrication of high-performance energy storage devices.
Full Text Available 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.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.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.
Yang Xuhua; Wang Bo; Sun Youxian
We abstract the bus transport networks (BTNs) to two kinds of complex networks with space L and space P methods respectively. Using improved community detecting algorithm (PKM agglomerative algorithm), we analyze the community property of two kinds of BTNs graphs. The results show that the BTNs graph described with space L method have obvious community property, but the other kind of BTNs graph described with space P method have not. The reason is that the BTNs graph described with space P method have the intense overlapping community property and general community division algorithms can not identify this kind of community structure. To overcome this problem, we propose a novel community structure called N-depth community and present a corresponding community detecting algorithm, which can detect overlapping community. Applying the novel community structure and detecting algorithm to a BTN evolution model described with space P, whose network property agrees well with real BTNs', we get obvious community property. (general)
Attig, Norbert; Eickermann, Thomas; Gibbon, Paul; Lippert, Thomas, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Institute for Advanced Simulation, Juelich Supercomputing Centre, Forschungszentrum Juelich, 52425 Juelich (Germany)
Coordinated by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) Europe is restructuring and strengthening its high-performance computing infrastructure with the aim to create a model HPC ecosystem. At the tip of the pyramid, up to six centres are envisaged that will operate systems of the highest performance class. The HPC Research Infrastructure (HPC-RI) will comprise European, national and regional centres. Science communities are integral partners, strong links will include Grid and Cloud users. The HPC-RI strives at providing scientists all over Europe, on the one hand, with unlimited and independent access to state-of-the-art computer resources in all performance classes and, on the other hand, with a world-class pan-European competence and support network. While the hardware-oriented buildup of the infrastructure is making progress, high-quality user support and software development in the upcoming era of unprecedented parallelism and exascale on the horizon have become the imminent challenges. This has been clearly recognized by the European Commission, who will issue calls for proposals to fund petascale software development in summer 2009. Although traditional support structures are well established in Europe's major supercomputing centres, it is questionable if these structures are able to meet the challenges of the future: in general, support structures are based on cross-disciplinary computer science and mathematics teams; disciplinary computational science support usually is given in an ad-hoc, project-oriented manner. In this paper, we describe our approach to establish a suitable support structure-Simulation Laboratories (SL). SLs are currently being established at the Juelich Supercomputing Centre of the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) and at the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC) of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) in Germany. While SLs are community-oriented, i.e. each SL focusses on a specific community, they are
Attig, Norbert; Eickermann, Thomas; Gibbon, Paul; Lippert, Thomas
Coordinated by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) Europe is restructuring and strengthening its high-performance computing infrastructure with the aim to create a model HPC ecosystem. At the tip of the pyramid, up to six centres are envisaged that will operate systems of the highest performance class. The HPC Research Infrastructure (HPC-RI) will comprise European, national and regional centres. Science communities are integral partners, strong links will include Grid and Cloud users. The HPC-RI strives at providing scientists all over Europe, on the one hand, with unlimited and independent access to state-of-the-art computer resources in all performance classes and, on the other hand, with a world-class pan-European competence and support network. While the hardware-oriented buildup of the infrastructure is making progress, high-quality user support and software development in the upcoming era of unprecedented parallelism and exascale on the horizon have become the imminent challenges. This has been clearly recognized by the European Commission, who will issue calls for proposals to fund petascale software development in summer 2009. Although traditional support structures are well established in Europe's major supercomputing centres, it is questionable if these structures are able to meet the challenges of the future: in general, support structures are based on cross-disciplinary computer science and mathematics teams; disciplinary computational science support usually is given in an ad-hoc, project-oriented manner. In this paper, we describe our approach to establish a suitable support structure-Simulation Laboratories (SL). SLs are currently being established at the Juelich Supercomputing Centre of the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) and at the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC) of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) in Germany. While SLs are community-oriented, i.e. each SL focusses on a specific community, they are structured
In this study, an efficient method to immunize modular networks (i.e. networks with community structure) is proposed. The immunization of networks aims at fragmenting networks into small parts with a small number of removed nodes. Its applications include prevention of epidemic spreading, protection against intentional attacks on networks, and conservation of ecosystems. Although preferential immunization of hubs is efficient, good immunization strategies for modular networks have not been established. On the basis of an immunization strategy based on eigenvector centrality, we develop an analytical framework for immunizing modular networks. To this end, we quantify the contribution of each node to the connectivity in a coarse-grained network among modules. We verify the effectiveness of the proposed method by applying it to model and real networks with modular structure.
Lee, Conrad; Reid, Fergal; McDaid, Aaron; Hurley, Neil
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 that are 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 d...
Van Zweden, Jelle Stijn; Carew, Melissa E.; Henshaw, Michael T.
We studied a population of the Australian weaver ant Polyrachis robsoni with regard to variation in the morphology of its winged queens using six newlydeveloped microsatellite markers. Morphometrically the queens fell clearly into two groups, macrogynes and microgynes, with the latter an isometri...... also significantly related and there was a weak inverse relationship between pairwise relatedness value between individuals and distance between nests.We conclude that this species is supercolonial and that the two queen morphs are part of the same population....
Liu, Bo; Pu, Jun; Hou, Hanpo
This study examines the moderating role of dispositional optimism on the relationship between perceived stress and depression of the Chinese "Ant Tribe." A total of 427 participants from an Ant Tribe community completed the measures of perceived stress, optimism, and depression. The structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis showed that dispositional optimism moderated the association between perceived stress and depression. The Ant Tribe with high perceived stress reported higher scores in depression than those with low perceived stress at low dispositional optimism level. However, the impact of perceived stress on depression was insignificant in the high dispositional optimism group. © The Author(s) 2015.
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...
Platig, John; Castaldi, Peter J; DeMeo, Dawn; Quackenbush, John
Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) and expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analyses have identified genetic associations with a wide range of human phenotypes. However, many of these variants have weak effects and understanding their combined effect remains a challenge. One hypothesis is that multiple SNPs interact in complex networks to influence functional processes that ultimately lead to complex phenotypes, including disease states. Here we present CONDOR, a method that represents both cis- and trans-acting SNPs and the genes with which they are associated as a bipartite graph and then uses the modular structure of that graph to place SNPs into a functional context. In applying CONDOR to eQTLs in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we found the global network "hub" SNPs were devoid of disease associations through GWAS. However, the network was organized into 52 communities of SNPs and genes, many of which were enriched for genes in specific functional classes. We identified local hubs within each community ("core SNPs") and these were enriched for GWAS SNPs for COPD and many other diseases. These results speak to our intuition: rather than single SNPs influencing single genes, we see groups of SNPs associated with the expression of families of functionally related genes and that disease SNPs are associated with the perturbation of those functions. These methods are not limited in their application to COPD and can be used in the analysis of a wide variety of disease processes and other phenotypic traits.
Traud, Amanda; Kelsic, Eric; Mucha, Peter; Porter, Mason
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.
Non-nuclear radiological emergencies. Special plan for radiological risk of the Valencian Community; Emergencias radiológicas no nucleares. Plan especial ante el riesgo radiológico de la Comunidad Valenciana
Rodríguez Rodrigo, I.; Piles Alepuz, I.; Peiró Juan, J.; Calvet Rodríguez, D.
After the publication of the Radiological Hazard Basic Directive, Generalitat (the regional government in Valencian Community) initiated the edition of the pertinent Special Plan, with the objective to assemble the response of all the Security and Emergency Agencies, including the Armed Forces, in a radiological emergency affecting the territory of the Valencian Community, under a single hierarchy command. Being approved and homologated the Radiological Hazard Special Plan, Generalitat has undertaken the implementation process planned to finish in June 2015. Following the same process as other Plans, implementation is organized in a first informative stage, followed of a formative and training stage, and finishing with an activation exercise of the Plan. At the end of the process, is expected that every Agency will know their functions, the structure and organization in which the intervention takes place, the resources needed, and adapt their protocols to the Plan requirements. From the beginning, it has been essential working together with the Nuclear Safety Council, as is established in the agreement signed in order to collaborate in Planning, Preparedness and Response in Radiological Emergencies. [Spanish] Tras la publicación de la Directriz Básica de Riesgo Radiológico, la Generalitat inició la redacción del correspondiente Plan Especial, con el objetivo de articular la respuesta de todos los organismos de Seguridad y Emergencias, y las Fuerzas Armadas, en una emergencia radiológica que afecte al territorio de la Comunidad Valenciana, bajo la dirección de un mando único. Aprobado y homologado el Plan Especial ante el Riesgo Radiológico, la Generalitat ha acometido el proceso de implantación que finalizará en junio de 2015. Por analogía con otros planes de la Comunidad, la implantación se estructura en una primera fase divulgativa e informativa, seguida de una fase formativa y de adiestramiento, culminando con un simulacro de activación del Plan
Roura-Pascual, Núria; Sanders, Nate; Hui, Cang
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...
Xiao-Hua, Wang; Li-Cheng, Jiao; Jian-She, Wu
In this paper, we propose a simple model that can generate small-world network with community structure. The network is introduced as a tunable community organization with parameter r, which is directly measured by the ratio of inter- to intra-community connectivity, and a smaller r corresponds to a stronger community structure. The structure properties, including the degree distribution, clustering, the communication efficiency and modularity are also analysed for the network. In addition, by using the Kuramoto model, we investigated the phase synchronization on this network, and found that increasing the fuzziness of community structure will markedly enhance the network synchronizability; however, in an abnormal region (r ≤ 0.001), the network has even worse synchronizability than the case of isolated communities (r = 0). Furthermore, this network exhibits a remarkable synchronization behaviour in topological scales: the oscillators of high densely interconnected communities synchronize more easily, and more rapidly than the whole network. (general)
Macrobenthic invertebrates' community structure and diversity in relation to ... Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that there were significant difference ... invertebrates' species distribution and some measured environmental variables.
van Oudenhove, Louise; Billoir, Elise; Boulay, Raphaël; Bernstein, Carlos; Cerdá, Xim
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.
Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.; Slater, J.; Wiggers, E.
Amphibians and reptiles are declining globally. One potential cause of this decline includes impacts resulting from co-occurrence with non-native red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Although a growing body of anecdotal and observational evidence from laboratory experiments supports this hypothesis, there remains a lack of field scale manipulations testing the effect of fire ants on reptile and amphibian communities. We addressed this gap by measuring reptile and amphibian (“herpetofauna”) community response to successful fire ant reductions over the course of 2 years following hydramethylnon application to five 100–200 ha plots in southeastern coastal South Carolina. By assessing changes in relative abundance and species richness of herpetofauna in response to fire ant reductions, we were able to assess whether some species were particularly vulnerable to fire ant presence, and whether this sensitivity manifested at the community level. We found that herpetofauna abundance and species richness responded positively to fire ant reductions. Our results document that even moderate populations of red imported fire ants decrease both the abundance and diversity of herpetofauna. Given global herpetofauna population declines and continued spread of fire ants, there is urgency to understand the impacts of fire ants beyond anecdotal and singles species studies. Our results provides the first community level investigation addressing these dynamics, by manipulating fire ant abundance to reveal a response in herpetofauna species abundance and richness.
Lancichinetti, Andrea; Fortunato, Santo; Kertesz, Janos
Many networks in nature, society and technology are characterized by a mesoscopic level of organization, with groups of nodes forming tightly connected units, called communities or modules, that are only weakly linked to each other. Uncovering this community structure is one of the most important problems in the field of complex networks. Networks often show a hierarchical organization, with communities embedded within other communities; moreover, nodes can be shared between different communities. Here, we present the first algorithm that finds both overlapping communities and the hierarchical structure. The method is based on the local optimization of a fitness function. Community structure is revealed by peaks in the fitness histogram. The resolution can be tuned by a parameter enabling different hierarchical levels of organization to be investigated. Tests on real and artificial networks give excellent results.
Xiang, Ju; Bao, Mei-Hua; Tang, Liang; Li, Jian-Ming; Hu, Ke; Chen, Benyan; Hu, Jing-Bo; Zhang, Yan; Tang, Yan-Ni; Gao, Yuan-Yuan
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. (paper: interdisciplinary statistical mechanics)
Saoud, Bilal; Moussaoui, Abdelouahab
Community structure is very important to understand a network which represents a context. Many community detection methods have been proposed like hierarchical methods. In our study, we propose a new hierarchical method for community detection in networks based on genetic algorithm. In this method we use genetic algorithm to split a network into two networks which maximize the modularity. Each new network represents a cluster (community). Then we repeat the splitting process until we get one node at each cluster. We use the modularity function to measure the strength of the community structure found by our method, which gives us an objective metric for choosing the number of communities into which a network should be divided. We demonstrate that our method are highly effective at discovering community structure in both computer-generated and real-world network data.
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.
Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R.; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M.; Dejean, Alain
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. PMID:26805882
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.
The structure of an arthropod community in the forest floor vegetation was studied in a low altitude (about 700 m a.s.l.) forest valley in the Uluguru Mountains near Morogoro, Tanzania, by monthly sweep net sampling during one year (December 1996-November 1997). The community structure of arthropods changed ...
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…
Thorlindsson, Thorolfur; Bernburg, Jon Gunnar
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…
Fan, W.; Yeung, K. H.
As social networking services are popular, many people may register in more than one online social network. In this paper we study a set of users who have accounts of three online social networks: namely Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter. Community structure of this set of users may be reflected in these three online social networks. Therefore, high correlation between these reflections and the underlying community structure may be observed. In this work, community structures are detected in all three online social networks. Also, we investigate the similarity level of community structures across different networks. It is found that they show strong correlation with each other. The similarity between different networks may be helpful to find a community structure close to the underlying one. To verify this, we propose a method to increase the weights of some connections in networks. With this method, new networks are generated to assist community detection. By doing this, value of modularity can be improved and the new community structure match network's natural structure better. In this paper we also show that the detected community structures of online social networks are correlated with users' locations which are identified on Foursquare. This information may also be useful for underlying community detection.
Richard M. Duffield
Full Text Available The discovery of numerous Pyramica ohioensis and P. rostrata colonies living in acorns, as well as the efficient recovery of colonies from artificial nests placed in suitable habitats, opens a new stage in the study of North American dacetine ants. Here we present detailed information, based on 42 nest collections, on the colony structure of these two species. P. ohioensis colonies are smaller than those of P. rostrata. Both species are polygynous, but nests of P. ohioensis contain fewer dealate queens than those of P. rostrata. This is the first report of multiple collections of Pyramica colonies nesting in fallen acorns, and of the use of artificial nesting cavities to sample for dacetines in the soil and leaf litter. We describe an artificial cavity nest design that may prove useful in future investigations.
Dassou, Anicet Gbèblonoudo; Carval, Dominique; Dépigny, Sylvain; Fansi, Gabriel; Tixier, Philippe
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) . 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.
Anicet Gbèblonoudo Dassou
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 . 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.
Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal
Ant- and ant-colony-inspired ALife art is characterized by the artistic exploration of the emerging collective behavior of computational agents, developed using ants as a metaphor. We present a chronology that documents the emergence and history of such visual art, contextualize ant- and ant-colony-inspired art within generative art practices, and consider how it relates to other ALife art. We survey many of the algorithms that artists have used in this genre, address some of their aims, and explore the relationships between ant- and ant-colony-inspired art and research on ant and ant colony behavior.
Full Text Available Nest ventilation in the leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri is driven via a wind-induced mechanism. On their nests, workers construct small turrets that are expected to facilitate nest ventilation. We hypothesized that the construction and structural features of the turrets would depend on the colony's current demands for ventilation and thus might be influenced by the prevailing environmental conditions inside the nest. Therefore, we tested whether climate-related parameters, namely airflow, air humidity and CO2 levels in the outflowing nest air influenced turret construction in Atta vollenweideri. In the laboratory, we simulated a semi-natural nest arrangement with fungus chambers, a central ventilation tunnel providing outflow of air and an aboveground building arena for turret construction. In independent series, different climatic conditions inside the ventilation tunnel were experimentally generated, and after 24 hours, several features of the built turret were quantified, i.e., mass, height, number and surface area (aperture of turret openings. Turret mass and height were similar in all experiments even when no airflow was provided in the ventilation tunnel. However, elevated CO2 levels led to the construction of a turret with several minor openings and a larger total aperture. This effect was statistically significant at higher CO2 levels of 5% and 10% but not at 1% CO2. The construction of a turret with several minor openings did not depend on the strong differences in CO2 levels between the outflowing and the outside air, since workers also built permeated turrets even when the CO2 levels inside and outside were both similarly high. We propose that the construction of turrets with several openings and larger opening surface area might facilitate the removal of CO2 from the underground nest structure and could therefore be involved in the control of nest climate in leaf-cutting ants.
Pinckney, James L; Thompson, Laura; Hylton, Sarah
Antimicrobial additives in pharmaceutical and personal care products are a major environmental concern due to their potential ecological impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Triclosan (TCS) has been used as an antiseptic, disinfectant, and preservative in various media. The sublethal and lethal effects of TCS on estuarine phytoplankton community composition were investigated using bioassays of natural phytoplankton communities to measure phytoplankton responses to different concentrations of TCS ranging from 1 to 200μgl -1 . The EC 50 (the concentration of an inhibitor where the growth is reduced by half) for phytoplankton groups (diatoms, chlorophytes, cryptophytes) examined in this ranged from 10.7 to 113.8μg TCS l -1 . Exposures resulted in major shifts in phytoplankton community composition at concentrations as low as 1.0μg TCS l -1 . This study demonstrates estuarine ecosystem sensitivity to TCS exposure and highlights potential alterations in phytoplankton community composition at what are typically environmental concentrations of TCS in urbanized estuaries. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Thomas P. Albright; Anna M. Pidgeon; Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Murray K. Clayton; Curtis H. Flather; Patrick D. Culbert; Brian D. Wardlow; Volker C. Radeloff
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...
Weng, Lilian; Menczer, Filippo; Ahn, Yong-Yeol
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.
McEwen, Jamie R.; Vamosi, Jana C.
The relative number of seeds produced by competing species can influence the community structure; yet, traits that influence seed production, such as pollinator attraction and floral colour, have received little attention in community ecology. Here, we analyse floral colour using reflectance spectra that include near-UV and examined the phylogenetic signal of floral colour. We found that coflowering species within communities tended to be more divergent in floral colour than expected by chanc...
Jul 21, 2011 ... The bacterial community structures of the Cerasus sachalinensis Kom. rhizosphere in wild and cultivated soil were studied and the community changes in different growth stages were analyzed by the PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) method. The results showed that the bacterial ...
This was undertaken using tiles as artificial substrates so that we could study how the communities developed after the flood disturbance. The diatom community structure was assessed over a 28-day period following a flood event in October 2012. The Mann Whitney test indicated that there was a statistically significant ...
Pigot, Alex L; Etienne, Rampal S
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
Lessard, J.P.; Sackett, Tara E.; Reynolds, William N.
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...... manipulative experiments along environmental gradients can help tease apart the relative importance and detect the interactive effects of local-scale factors and broad-scale climatic variation in shaping communities...
Jun 19, 2012 ... roots and few functional root hairs. Normally, RDS is ... community structure of microbes, including microbes as yet unable to be cultured. ..... Due to the fact that. Method 3 in this paper has the advantages in combining.
Implementing a structured triage system at a community health centre using Kaizen. ... and a resultant increased workload for doctors; management is concerned ... Aim: We set out to standardise the triage process and to manage unbooked ...
Capitán, José A.; Aguirre, Jacobo; Manrubia, Susanna
Neutral evolutionary dynamics of replicators occurs on large and heterogeneous networks of genotypes. These networks, formed by all genotypes that yield the same phenotype, have a complex architecture that conditions the molecular composition of populations and their movements on genome spaces. Here we consider as an example the case of populations evolving on RNA secondary structure neutral networks and study the community structure of the network revealed through dynamical properties of the population at equilibrium and during adaptive transients. We unveil a rich hierarchical community structure that, eventually, can be traced back to the non-trivial relationship between RNA secondary structure and sequence composition. We demonstrate that usual measures of modularity that only take into account the static, topological structure of networks, cannot identify the community structure disclosed by population dynamics
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.
Shen, Hua-Wei; Cheng, Xue-Qi; Fang, Bin-Xing
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.
Full Text Available Community structure is a universal and significant feature of many complex networks in biology, society, and economics. Community structure has also been revealed in human brain structural and functional networks in previous studies. However, communities overlap and share many edges and nodes. Uncovering the overlapping community structure of complex networks remains largely unknown in human brain networks. Here, using regional gray matter volume, we investigated the structural brain network among 90 brain regions (according to a predefined anatomical atlas in 462 young, healthy individuals. Overlapped nodes between communities were defined by assuming that nodes (brain regions can belong to more than one community. We demonstrated that 90 brain regions were organized into 5 overlapping communities associated with several well-known brain systems, such as the auditory/language, visuospatial, emotion, decision-making, social, control of action, memory/learning, and visual systems. The overlapped nodes were mostly involved in an inferior-posterior pattern and were primarily related to auditory and visual perception. The overlapped nodes were mainly attributed to brain regions with higher node degrees and nodal efficiency and played a pivotal role in the flow of information through the structural brain network. Our results revealed fuzzy boundaries between communities by identifying overlapped nodes and provided new insights into the understanding of the relationship between the structure and function of the human brain. This study provides the first report of the overlapping community structure of the structural network of the human brain.
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
McEwen, Jamie R; Vamosi, Jana C
The relative number of seeds produced by competing species can influence the community structure; yet, traits that influence seed production, such as pollinator attraction and floral colour, have received little attention in community ecology. Here, we analyse floral colour using reflectance spectra that include near-UV and examined the phylogenetic signal of floral colour. We found that coflowering species within communities tended to be more divergent in floral colour than expected by chance. However, coflowering species were not phylogenetically dispersed, in part due to our finding that floral colour is a labile trait with a weak phylogenetic signal. Furthermore, while we found that locally rare and common species exhibited equivalent floral colour distances from their coflowering neighbours, frequent species (those found in more communities) exhibited higher colour distances from their coflowering neighbours. Our findings support recent studies, which have found that (i) plant lineages exhibit frequent floral colour transitions; and (ii) traits that influence local population dynamics contribute to community structure.
Perkin, Joshuah S; Gido, Keith B
Effects of fragmentation on the ecology of organisms occupying dendritic ecological networks (DENs) have recently been described through both conceptual and mathematical models, but few hypotheses have been tested in complex, real-world ecosystems. Stream fishes provide a model system for assessing effects of fragmentation on the structure of communities occurring within DENs, including how fragmentation alters metacommunity dynamics and biodiversity. A recently developed habitat-availability measure, the "dendritic connectivity index" (DCI), allows for assigning quantitative measures of connectivity in DENs regardless of network extent or complexity, and might be used to predict fish community response to fragmentation. We characterized stream fish community structure in 12 DENs in the Great Plains, USA, during periods of dynamic (summer) and muted (fall) discharge regimes to test the DCI as a predictive model of fish community response to fragmentation imposed by road crossings. Results indicated that fish communities in stream segments isolated by road crossings had reduced species richness (alpha diversity) relative to communities that maintained connectivity with the surrounding DEN during summer and fall. Furthermore, isolated communities had greater dissimilarity (beta diversity) to downstream sites notisolated by road crossings during summer and fall. Finally, dissimilarity among communities within DENs decreased as a function of increased habitat connectivity (measured using the DCI) for summer and fall, suggesting that communities within highly connected DENs tend to be more homogeneous. Our results indicate that the DCI is sensitive to community effects of fragmentation in riverscapes and might be used by managers to predict ecological responses to changes in habitat connectivity. Moreover, our findings illustrate that relating structural connectivity of riverscapes to functional connectivity among communities might aid in maintaining metacommunity
Tseng, Tien-Sheng; Tsai, Keng-Chang; Chen, Chinpan
Microbial infections of antibiotic-resistant strains cause serious diseases and have a significant impact on public health worldwide, so novel antimicrobial drugs are urgently needed. Insect venoms, a rich source of bioactive components containing antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), are attractive candidates for new therapeutic agents against microbes. Recently, a novel peptide, P1, identified from the venom of the Australian jumper ant Myrmecia pilosula, showed potent antimicrobial activities against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, but its structure-function relationship is unknown. Here, we used biochemical and biophysical techniques coupled with computational simulations to explore the mode of action of P1 interaction with dodecylphosphocholine (DPC) micelles as a model membrane system. Our circular dichroism (CD) and NMR studies revealed an amphipathic α-helical structure for P1 upon interaction with DPC micelles. A paramagnetic relaxation enhancement approach revealed that P1 orients its α-helix segment (F6-G14) into DPC micelles. In addition, the α-helix segment could be essential for membrane permeabilization and antimicrobial activity. Moreover, the arginine residues R8, R11, and R15 significantly contribute to helix formation and membrane-binding affinity. The lysine residue K19 of the C-terminus functionally guides P1 to interact with DPC micelles in the early interaction stage. Our study provides insights into the mode of action of P1, which is valuable in modifying and developing potent AMPs as antibiotic drugs.
Michelland, R.; Thioulouse, J.; Kyselková, Martina; Grundmann, G.L.
Roč. 72, č. 3 (2016), s. 717-724 ISSN 0095-3628 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : abundancy-occupancy relationship * bacteria community structure * frequency-occupancy relationship * microscale in soil * soil microbial diversity * soil structure Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.630, year: 2016
Boucek, Ross E; Rehage, Jennifer S
The response of communities to climate extremes can be quite variable. Much of this variation has been attributed to differences in community-specific functional trait diversity, as well as community composition. Yet, few if any studies have explicitly tested the response of the functional trait structure of communities following climate extremes (CEs). Recently in South Florida, two independent, but sequential potential CEs took place, a 2010 cold front, followed by a 2011 drought, both of which had profound impacts on a subtropical estuarine fish community. These CEs provided an opportunity to test whether the structure of South Florida fish communities following each extreme was a result of species-specific differences in functional traits. From historical temperature (1927-2012) and freshwater inflows records into the estuary (1955-2012), we determined that the cold front was a statistically extreme disturbance, while the drought was not, but rather a decadal rare disturbance. The two disturbances predictably affected different parts of functional community structure and thus different component species. The cold front virtually eliminated tropical species, including large-bodied snook, mojarra species, nonnative cichlids, and striped mullet, while having little affect on temperate fishes. Likewise, the drought severely impacted freshwater fishes including Florida gar, bowfin, and two centrarchids, with little effect on euryhaline species. Our findings illustrate the ability of this approach to predict and detect both the filtering effects of different types of disturbances and the implications of the resulting changes in community structure. Further, we highlight the value of this approach to developing predictive frameworks for better understanding community responses to global change. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Yan, Shu; Tang, Shaoting; Pei, Sen; Zheng, Zhiming; Fang, Wenyi
Immunization plays an important role in the field of epidemic spreading in complex networks. In previous studies, targeted immunization has been proved to be an effective strategy. However, when extended to networks with community structure, it is unknown whether the superior strategy is to vaccinate the nodes who have the most connections in the entire network (global strategy), or those in the original community where epidemic starts to spread (local strategy). In this work, by using both analytic approaches and simulations, we observe that the answer depends on the closeness between communities. If communities are tied closely, the global strategy is superior to the local strategy. Otherwise, the local targeted immunization is advantageous. The existence of a transitional value of closeness implies that we should adopt different strategies. Furthermore, we extend our investigation from two-community networks to multi-community networks. We consider the mode of community connection and the location of community where epidemic starts to spread. Both simulation results and theoretical predictions show that local strategy is a better option for immunization in most cases. But if the epidemic begins from a core community, global strategy is superior in some cases. (paper)
on phytoplankton community structure; and 3) investigating the role of planktonic communities on the cycling of dissolved organic matter. Those objectives were addressed focusing the temperate mesohaline estuary of Roskilde Fjord (Denmark). Paper I, explores the use of Pulse-shape recording flow cytometry (PFCM...... as an energy reservoir, buffering changes in the nutrient supply. Finally, the results embedded in this thesis demonstrate the importance of integrating different time scales to understand functioning of phytoplankton communities. Phytoplankton dynamics should not be regarded just in light of inorganic......This Ph.D. project aimed to improve the knowledge on phytoplankton community structure and its influence in the carbon transfer and nutrient cycling in coastal waters, by: 1) assessing the importance of phytoplankton
Teitelbaum, T.; Balenzuela, P.; Cano, P.; Buldú, Javier M.
We analyze the existence of community structures in two different social networks using data obtained from similarity and collaborative features between musical artists. Our analysis reveals some characteristic organizational patterns and provides information about the driving forces behind the growth of the networks. In the similarity network, we find a strong correlation between clusters of artists and musical genres. On the other hand, the collaboration network shows two different kinds of communities: rather small structures related to music bands and geographic zones, and much bigger communities built upon collaborative clusters with a high number of participants related through the period the artists were active. Finally, we detect the leading artists inside their corresponding communities and analyze their roles in the network by looking at a few topological properties of the nodes.
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.
Ernest, S.K. Morgan
Body size has long been hypothesized to play a major role in community structure and dynamics. Two general hypotheses exist for how resources are distributed among body sizes: (1) resources are equally available and uniformly utilized across body sizes and (2) resources are differentially available to organisms of different body sizes, resulting in a nonuniform or modal distribution. It has also been predicted that the distri-bution of body sizes of species in a community should reflect the u...
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.
Stuble, Katharine L.; Kirkman, L. Katherine; Carroll, C. Ronald
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 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...
Salehi, Mostafa; Rabiee, Hamid R; Rajabi, Arezo
In this paper, we propose a novel link-tracing sampling algorithm, based on the concepts from PageRank vectors, to sample from networks with high community structures. Our method has two phases; (1) Sampling the closest nodes to the initial nodes by approximating personalized PageRank vectors and (2) Jumping to a new community by using PageRank vectors and unknown neighbors. Empirical studies on several synthetic and real-world networks show that the proposed method improves the performance of network sampling compared to the popular link-based sampling methods in terms of accuracy and visited communities.
Louca, Stilianos; Jacques, Saulo M S; Pires, Aliny P F; Leal, Juliana S; Srivastava, Diane S; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; Farjalla, Vinicius F; Doebeli, Michael
Understanding the processes that are driving variation of natural microbial communities across space or time is a major challenge for ecologists. Environmental conditions strongly shape the metabolic function of microbial communities; however, other processes such as biotic interactions, random demographic drift or dispersal limitation may also influence community dynamics. The relative importance of these processes and their effects on community function remain largely unknown. To address this uncertainty, here we examined bacterial and archaeal communities in replicate 'miniature' aquatic ecosystems contained within the foliage of wild bromeliads. We used marker gene sequencing to infer the taxonomic composition within nine metabolic functional groups, and shotgun environmental DNA sequencing to estimate the relative abundances of these groups. We found that all of the bromeliads exhibited remarkably similar functional community structures, but that the taxonomic composition within individual functional groups was highly variable. Furthermore, using statistical analyses, we found that non-neutral processes, including environmental filtering and potentially biotic interactions, at least partly shaped the composition within functional groups and were more important than spatial dispersal limitation and demographic drift. Hence both the functional structure and taxonomic composition within functional groups of natural microbial communities may be shaped by non-neutral and roughly separate processes.
Lidvanov, V. V.; Grabko, O. G.; Kukuev, E. I.; Korolkova, T. G.
Mero- and holoplanktonic organisms from 23 large taxa have been detected in the coastal waters of Morocco. Seven Cladocera species and 164 Copepoda species were identified. Copepod fauna mostly consisted of oceanic epipelagic widely tropical species, but the constant species group (frequency of occurrence over 50%) included neritic and neritic-oceanic widely tropical species. The neritic community that formed a biotopic association with coastal upwelling waters and the distant-neritic community associated with Canary Current waters were the two major communities detected. The former community was characterized by a high abundance and biomass (5700 ind./m3 and 260 mg/m3) and predominance of neritic species. The trophic structure was dominated by thin filter feeders, mixed-food consumers, and small grabbers; the species structure was dominated by Paracalanus indicus, Acartia clausi, and Oncaea curta; the indices of species diversity (3.07 bit/ind.) and evenness (0.63) were relatively low. The latter community was characterized by low abundance and biomass (1150 ind./m3 and 90 mg/m3); variable biotopic, trophic, and species structure; and higher Shannon indices (3.99 bit/ind.) and Pielou (0.75). Seasonal variation of the abundance of organisms was not detected in the communities. Anomalous mesozooplankton states were observed in summer 1998 and winter 1998-1999.
Bos, Nicky Peter Maria; Lefevre, T.; Jensen, A.B.
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...
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....
Flores-Flores, Rocío Vianey; Aguirre, Armando; Anjos, Diego V.; Neves, Frederico S.; Campos, Ricardo I.; Dáttilo, Wesley
In this study, we conducted a series of experiments in a population of Vachellia constricta (Fabaceae) in the arid Tehuacan-Cuicatláan valley, Mexico, in order to evaluate if the food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions. Using an experiment with artificial nectaries, we observed that ants foraging on food sources with higher concentration of sugar are quicker in finding and attacking potential herbivorous insects. More specifically, we found that the same ant species may increase their defence effectiveness according to the quality of food available. These findings indicate that ant effectiveness in plant protection is context-dependent and may vary according to specific individual characteristics of plants. In addition, we showed that competitively superior ant species tend to dominate plants in periods with high nectar activity, emphasizing the role of the dominance hierarchy structuring ant-plant interactions. However, when high sugar food sources were experimentally available ad libitum, the nocturnal and competitively superior ant species, Camponotus atriceps, did not dominate the artificial nectaries during the day possibly due to limitation of its thermal tolerance. Therefore, temporal niche partitioning may be allowing the coexistence of two dominant ant species (Camponotus rubritorax during the day and C. atriceps at night) on V. constricta. Our findings indicate that the quality of the food source, and temporal shifts in ant dominance are key factors which structure the biotic plant defences in an arid environment.
Purcell, Jessica; Chapuisat, M
Animal societies vary in the number of breeders per group, which affects many socially and ecologically relevant traits. In several social insect species, including our study species Formica selysi, the presence of either one or multiple reproducing females per colony is generally associated with differences in a suite of traits such as the body size of individuals. However, the proximate mechanisms and ontogenetic processes generating such differences between social structures are poorly known. Here, we cross-fostered eggs originating from single-queen (= monogynous) or multiple-queen (= polygynous) colonies into experimental groups of workers from each social structure to investigate whether differences in offspring survival, development time and body size are shaped by the genotype and/or prefoster maternal effects present in the eggs, or by the social origin of the rearing workers. Eggs produced by polygynous queens were more likely to survive to adulthood than eggs from monogynous queens, regardless of the social origin of the rearing workers. However, brood from monogynous queens grew faster than brood from polygynous queens. The social origin of the rearing workers influenced the probability of brood survival, with workers from monogynous colonies rearing more brood to adulthood than workers from polygynous colonies. The social origin of eggs or rearing workers had no significant effect on the head size of the resulting workers in our standardized laboratory conditions. Overall, the social backgrounds of the parents and of the rearing workers appear to shape distinct survival and developmental traits of ant brood. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Phonekeo, Sulisay; Mlot, Nathan; Monaenkova, Daria; Hu, David L.; Tovey, Craig
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.
Chen, Changqing; Li, Tong; Jiang, Yun; Li, Yu
To understand the fungal community succession during the phase II of Volvariella volvacea compost and clarify the predominant fungi in different fermentation stages, to monitor the dynamic compost at the molecular level accurately and quickly, and reveal the mechanism. The 18S rDNA-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing methods were used to analyze the fungal community structure during the course of compost. The DGGE profile shows that there were differences in the diversity of fungal community with the fermentation progress. The diversity was higher in the stages of high temperature. And the dynamic changes of predominant community and relative intensity was observed. Among the 20 predominant clone strains, 9 were unknown eukaryote and fungi, the others were Eurotiales, Aspergillus sp., Melanocarpus albomyces, Colletotrichum sp., Rhizomucor sp., Verticillium sp., Penicillium commune, Microascus trigonosporus and Trichosporon lactis. The 14 clone strains were detected in the stages of high and durative temperature. The fungal community structure and predominant community have taken dynamic succession during the phase II of Volvariella volvacea compost.
Si, Xingfeng; Cadotte, Marc W; Zeng, Di; Baselga, Andrés; Zhao, Yuhao; Li, Jiaqi; Wu, Yiru; Wang, Siyu; Ding, Ping
Biodiversity change in anthropogenically transformed habitats is often nonrandom, yet the nature and importance of the different mechanisms shaping community structure are unclear. Here, we extend the classic Theory of Island Biogeography (TIB) to account for nonrandom processes by incorporating species traits and phylogenetic relationships into a study of faunal relaxation following habitat loss and fragmentation. Two possible mechanisms can create nonrandom community patterns on fragment islands. First, small and isolated islands might consist of similar or closely related species because they are environmentally homogeneous or select for certain shared traits, such as dispersal ability. Alternatively, communities on small islands might contain more dissimilar or distantly related species than on large islands because limited space and resource availability result in greater competitive exclusion among species with high niche overlap. Breeding birds were surveyed on 36 islands and two mainland sites annually from 2010 to 2014 in the Thousand Island Lake region, China. We assessed community structure of breeding birds on these subtropical land-bridge islands by integrating species' trait and evolutionary distances. We additionally analysed habitat heterogeneity and variance in size ratios to distinguish biotic and abiotic processes of community assembly. Results showed that functional-phylogenetic diversity increased with island area, and decreased with isolation. Bird communities on the mainland were more diverse and generally less clustered than island bird communities and not different than randomly assembled communities. Bird communities on islands tend to be functionally similar and phylogenetically clustered, especially on small and isolated islands. The nonrandom decline in species diversity and change in bird community structure with island area and isolation, along with the relatively homogeneous habitats on small islands, support the environmental
Sibert, E. C.; Friedman, M.; Hull, P. M.; Hunt, G.; Norris, R. D.
The species composition (structure) and energy transfer (function) of an ecosystem is reflected by the presence and type of consumers that it supports. Here we use ichthyoliths, microfossil fish teeth and shark denticles, to assess the ecological variability of the pelagic fish community structure and composition from the Late Cretaceous to the middle Eocene from a drill core in the South Pacific gyre (DSDP Site 596). We find that the overall vertebrate community structure, as measured by the relative abundance of sharks to ray-finned fishes, has a punctuated change at the Cretaceous/Paleogene mass extinction. The vertebrate community structure remained stable throughout the Paleogene despite a five-fold increase in overall abundance of ichthyoliths during the extreme greenhouse of the Early Eocene. Further, we use a novel system to quantify the morphological variation in fish teeth. We find that the morphospace occupied by the tooth assemblage is conserved throughout the interval, with a slight expansion following the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction, and the evolution of a distinct morphotype-group around the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. While there are elevated rates of morphotype origination and extinction following the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction, the extreme greenhouse warming of the Early Eocene and associated increase in fish production produce near-zero origination and extinction rates. The relative stability in composition of the pelagic vertebrate community during intervals of extreme climate change and across large ranges of total fish accumulation, suggests that pelagic ecosystem structure is robust to climate events, and that the overall structure of the pelagic fish community may be decoupled from both climate and ecosystem function.
Larsen, Trond H; Williams, Neal M; Kremen, Claire
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.
Fronczak, Piotr; Fronczak, Agata; Bujok, Maksymilian
Although the community structure organization is an important characteristic of real-world networks, most of the traditional network models fail to reproduce the feature. Therefore, the models are useless as benchmark graphs for testing community detection algorithms. They are also inadequate to predict various properties of real networks. With this paper we intend to fill the gap. We develop an exponential random graph approach to networks with community structure. To this end we mainly built upon the idea of blockmodels. We consider both the classical blockmodel and its degree-corrected counterpart and study many of their properties analytically. We show that in the degree-corrected blockmodel, node degrees display an interesting scaling property, which is reminiscent of what is observed in real-world fractal networks. A short description of Monte Carlo simulations of the models is also given in the hope of being useful to others working in the field.
This study investigates the zooplankton community structure and dynamics of Kufena Rock Pool during the transition from dry season (March to April) to rainy season (May to June) in Zaria, Nigeria. Physicochemical parameters such as temperature, hydrogen ion concentration, electrical conductivity and total dissolved ...
This study investigated the composition and structure of the parasite communities in Cat fish with respect to levels of water pollution in Lake Victoria. A total of 1071 Clarias gariepinus with mean TL range of 19 to 27 cm were analyzed from three localities in Mwanza Gulf (Kirumba, 298 fish infected with 15 parasite species), ...
Chen, Jianwei; Hanke, Anna; Tegetmeyer, Halina E
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....
High quality DNA is the basis of analyzing bacterial and fungal community structure in replant strawberry rhizosphere soil with the method of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). DNA of soil microorganisms was extracted from the rhizosphere soil of strawberries planted in different replanted years (0, two, ...
Zooplankton in Lake Tiga was identified and its community structure assessed between March 2009 and March 2011. A total of 54 species of zooplankton was recorded, comprising two species of Protozoa, 26 species of Rotifera, eight species of Copepoda, 11 species of Cladocera, four species of Ostracoda and three ...
Multidimensional scaling (MDS) indicated that there were no significant spatial patterns in the macrofaunal community structure within the four zones which could be related to the predominance of euryhaline species, including Marphysa sanguinea (estuarine wonder worm), Arcuatula capensis (estuarine mussel), Macoma ...
Klimeš, Petr; Janda, Milan; Ibalim, S.; Kua, J.; Novotný, Vojtěch
Roč. 36, č. 1 (2011), s. 94-103 ISSN 0307-6946 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600960712; GA AV ČR KJB612230701; GA MŠk LC06073; GA MŠk ME09082; GA ČR GD206/08/H044; GA ČR GA206/09/0115; GA ČR GAP505/10/0673 Grant - others:U.S. National Science Foundation(US) DEB-0841885; U.S. National Science Foundation(US) DEB-0816749; Grant Agency of University of South Bohemia(CZ) 052/2010/P; Grant Agency of University of South Bohemia(CZ) 136/2010/P Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : ant exclusion * bait traps * canopy Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.995, year: 2011
Myers, P.E.; Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.
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.
Shingleton, A W; Foster, W A
The aphid Pseudoregma sundanica (Van der Goot) (Homoptera: Aphididae) has two defence strategies. It is obligatorily tended by various species of ant and also produces sterile soldiers. We investigated how they allocate their investment in these two strategies. We measured the size, number of soldiers, number and species of tending ant, and number and species of predators in P. sundanica populations. We found that the level of ant tending correlated negatively with soldier investment in P. sundanica. The species of tending ant also influenced soldier investment. We excluded ants from aphid populations and recorded changes in population size and structure over four weeks. Ant exclusion led to population decline and extinction. At the same time, surviving populations showed a significant increase in soldier investment. The data demonstrate that social aphids can adjust their investment in soldiers in direct response to environmental change.
Rizos, Georgios; Papadopoulos, Symeon; Kompatsiaris, Yiannis
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.
Full Text Available 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.
Zhang, Peng; Wang, Jinliang; Li, Xiaojia; Li, Menghui; Di, Zengru; Fan, Ying
Many real-world networks display natural bipartite structure, where the basic cycle is a square. In this paper, with the similar consideration of standard clustering coefficient in binary networks, a definition of the clustering coefficient for bipartite networks based on the fraction of squares is proposed. In order to detect community structures in bipartite networks, two different edge clustering coefficients LC4 and LC3 of bipartite networks are defined, which are based on squares and triples respectively. With the algorithm of cutting the edge with the least clustering coefficient, communities in artificial and real world networks are identified. The results reveal that investigating bipartite networks based on the original structure can show the detailed properties that is helpful to get deep understanding about the networks.
Robinson, James P W; Williams, Ivor D; Edwards, Andrew M; McPherson, Jana; Yeager, Lauren; Vigliola, Laurent; Brainard, Russell E; Baum, Julia K
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
Paine, C E Timothy; Beck, Harald; Terborgh, John
The recruitment of seedlings from seeds is the key demographic transition for rain forest trees. Though tropical forest mammals are known to consume many seeds, their effects on tree community structure remain little known. To evaluate their effects, we monitored 8,000 seeds of 24 tree species using exclosure cages that were selectively permeable to three size classes of mammals for up to 4.4 years. Small and medium-bodied mammals removed many more seeds than did large mammals, and they alone generated beta diversity and negative density dependence, whereas all mammals reduced diversity and shaped local species composition. Thus, small and medium-bodied mammals more strongly contributed to community structure and promoted species coexistence than did large mammals. Given that seedling recruitment is seed limited for most species, alterations to the composition of the community of mammalian seed predators is expected to have long-term consequences for tree community structure in tropical forests. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.
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
Michel de S. Schütte
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
Machač, A.; Janda, Milan; Dunn, R. R.; Sanders, N. J.
Roč. 34, č. 3 (2011), s. 364-371 ISSN 0906-7590 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB612230701; GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR GD206/08/H044; GA ČR GA206/09/0115; GA ČR GAP505/10/0673 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : diversity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.188, year: 2011
Bittleston, L. S.; Brockmann, F.; Wcislo, W.; Van Bael, S. A.
Our study examines how the mutualism between Atta colombica leaf-cutting ants and their cultivated fungus is influenced by the presence of diverse foliar endophytic fungi (endophytes) at high densities in tropical leaf tissues. We conducted laboratory choice trials in which ant colonies chose between Cordia alliodora seedlings with high (Ehigh) or low (Elow) densities of endophytes. The Ehigh seedlings contained 5.5 times higher endophyte content and a greater diversity of fungal morphospecies than the Elow treatment, and endophyte content was not correlated with leaf toughness or thickness. Leaf-cutting ants cut over 2.5 times the leaf area from Elow relative to Ehigh seedlings and had a tendency to recruit more ants to Elow plants. Our findings suggest that leaf-cutting ants may incur costs from cutting and processing leaves with high endophyte loads, which could impact Neotropical forests by causing variable damage rates within plant communities. PMID:20610420
Boulos, Rasha E; Tremblay, Nicolas; Arneodo, Alain; Borgnat, Pierre; Audit, Benjamin
Structural interaction frequency matrices between all genome loci are now experimentally achievable thanks to high-throughput chromosome conformation capture technologies. This ensues a new methodological challenge for computational biology which consists in objectively extracting from these data the structural motifs characteristic of genome organisation. We deployed the fast multi-scale community mining algorithm based on spectral graph wavelets to characterise the networks of intra-chromosomal interactions in human cell lines. We observed that there exist structural domains of all sizes up to chromosome length and demonstrated that the set of structural communities forms a hierarchy of chromosome segments. Hence, at all scales, chromosome folding predominantly involves interactions between neighbouring sites rather than the formation of links between distant loci. Multi-scale structural decomposition of human chromosomes provides an original framework to question structural organisation and its relationship to functional regulation across the scales. By construction the proposed methodology is independent of the precise assembly of the reference genome and is thus directly applicable to genomes whose assembly is not fully determined.
Cho, Hyunjun; Kim, Mincheol; Tripathi, Binu; Adams, Jonathan
Although disturbance is thought to be important in many ecological processes, responses of fungal communities to soil disturbance have been little studied experimentally. We subjected a soil microcosm to physical disturbance, at a range of frequencies designed to simulate ecological disturbance events. We analyzed the fungal community structure using Illumina HiSeq sequencing of the ITS1 region. Fungal diversity was found to decline with the increasing disturbance frequencies, with no sign of the "humpback" pattern found in many studies of larger sedentary organisms. There is thus no evidence of an effect of release from competition resulting from moderate disturbance-which suggests that competition and niche overlap may not be important in limiting soil fungal diversity. Changing disturbance frequency also led to consistent differences in community composition. There were clear differences in OTU-level composition, with different disturbance treatments each having distinct fungal communities. The functional profile of fungal groups (guilds) was changed by the level of disturbance frequency. These predictable differences in community composition suggest that soil fungi can possess different niches in relation to disturbance frequency, or time since last disturbance. Fungi appear to be most abundant relative to bacteria at intermediate disturbance frequencies, on the time scale we studied here.
Gustafsson, Mika; Hörnquist, Michael; Lombardi, Anna
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.
Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 27; Issue 2. Commentary: Warring ants: Lessons from Lanchester's laws of combat? Renee M Borges. Volume 27 Issue 2 March 2002 pp 75-78. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jbsc/027/02/0075-0078 ...
Pedro Anderson Martinho Moçambique
Full Text Available Essa espécie de antílope só é encontrada em território angolano, sendo assim um símbolo nacional. Segundo a mitologia africana é símbolo de vivacidade, velocidade e beleza - Angola.
Pedro Anderson Martinho Moçambique
Full Text Available Essa espécie de antílope só é encontrada em território angolano, sendo assim um símbolo nacional. Segundo a mitologia africana é símbolo de vivacidade, velocidade e beleza - Angola.
... venom in a fire ant sting will kill bacteria and some of your skin cells. This results in the formation of a blister that fills with a cloudy white material in about 24 hours. While this looks like a pus-filled lesion that should be drained, ...
Clemmensen, Kåre; Enghild, Jan J; Ivarsen, Anders
-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...
Van Ast, J.M.
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
McGonigle, Chris; Collier, Jenny S.
The relationship between acoustic backscatter, sediment grain size and benthic community structure is examined using three different quantitative methods, covering image- and angular response-based approaches. Multibeam time-series backscatter (300 kHz) data acquired in 2008 off the coast of East Anglia (UK) are compared with grain size properties, macrofaunal abundance and biomass from 130 Hamon and 16 Clamshell grab samples. Three predictive methods are used: 1) image-based (mean backscatter intensity); 2) angular response-based (predicted mean grain size), and 3) image-based (1st principal component and classification) from Quester Tangent Corporation Multiview software. Relationships between grain size and backscatter are explored using linear regression. Differences in grain size and benthic community structure between acoustically defined groups are examined using ANOVA and PERMANOVA+. Results for the Hamon grab stations indicate significant correlations between measured mean grain size and mean backscatter intensity, angular response predicted mean grain size, and 1st principal component of QTC analysis (all p PERMANOVA for the Hamon abundance shows benthic community structure was significantly different between acoustic groups for all methods (p ≤ 0.001). Overall these results show considerable promise in that more than 60% of the variance in the mean grain size of the Clamshell grab samples can be explained by mean backscatter or acoustically-predicted grain size. These results show that there is significant predictive capacity for sediment characteristics from multibeam backscatter and that these acoustic classifications can have ecological validity.
Loope, Lloyd L.; Krushelnycky, Paul D.
Worldwide, ants are a powerful ecological force, and they appear to be dominant components of animal communities of many tropical and temperate ecosystems in terms of biomass and numbers of individuals (Bluthgen et al. 2000). For example, ants comprise up to 94% of arthropod individuals in fogging samples taken from diverse lowland tropical rainforest canopies, and 86% of the biomass (Davidson et al. 2003). The majority of these ant species and individuals obtain carbohydrates either from extrafloral nectaries or from sap-feeding Hemiptera that pass carbohydrate-rich “honeydew” to attending ants while concentrating nitrogen (N) from N-poor plant sap (Davidson et al. 2003). Honeydew and nectar represent key resources for arboreal ant species, although most ant species are at least partly carnivorous or scavengers (Bluthgen et al. 2004). In contrast to most of the terrestrial world, the biotas of many Pacific islands evolved without ants. Whereas endemic ant species are found in New Zealand (ca. 10 spp.), Tonga (ca. 10 spp.), and Samoa (ca. 12 spp.), other islands of Polynesia and parts of Micronesia likely lack native ants (Wilson and Taylor 1967, Wetterer 2002, Wetterer and Vargo 2003). About 20 Indo-Australian and western Pacific ant species range to the east and north of Samoa, but it is unclear how many of these were transported there by humans at some time (Wilson and Taylor 1967). Most of the remainder of the ant species currently found on Pacific islands are widespread species that fall in the category of “tramp species,” dispersed by recent human commerce and generally closely tied to human activity and urban areas (Wilson and Taylor 1967, McGlynn 1999). In Pacific island situations, some of these tramp ant species are able to thrive beyond areas of human activity. Relatively few ant species have been successful invaders of native communities on continents, and these include most of the species that pose the greatest problems for Pacific islands
Full Text Available 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
Hunsucker, Kelli Zargiel; Koka, Abhishek; Lund, Geir; Swain, Geoffrey
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.
McNatty, Alice; Abbott, Kirsti L; Lester, Philip J
Invasive species can dramatically alter trophic interactions. Predation is the predominant trophic interaction generally considered to be responsible for ecological change after invasion. In contrast, how frequently competition from invasive species contributes to the decline of native species remains controversial. Here, we demonstrate how the trophic ecology of the remote atoll nation of Tokelau is changing due to competition between invasive ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) and native terrestrial hermit crabs (Coenobita spp.) for carrion. A significant negative correlation was observed between A. gracilipes and hermit crab abundance. On islands with A. gracilipes, crabs were generally restricted to the periphery of invaded islands. Very few hermit crabs were found in central areas of these islands where A. gracilipes abundances were highest. Ant exclusion experiments demonstrated that changes in the abundance and distribution of hermit crabs on Tokelau are a result of competition. The ants did not kill the hermit crabs. Rather, when highly abundant, A. gracilipes attacked crabs by spraying acid and drove crabs away from carrion resources. Analysis of naturally occurring N and C isotopes suggests that the ants are effectively lowering the trophic level of crabs. According to delta(15) N values, hermit crabs have a relatively high trophic level on islands where A. gracilipes have not invaded. In contrast, where these ants have invaded we observed a significant decrease in delta(15) N for all crab species. This result concurs with our experiment in suggesting long-term exclusion from carrion resources, driving co-occurring crabs towards a more herbivorous diet. Changes in hermit crab abundance or distribution may have major ramifications for the stability of plant communities. Because A. gracilipes have invaded many tropical islands where the predominant scavengers are hermit crabs, we consider that their competitive effects are likely to be more prominent in
Beyer, Andrea; Möller, Silke; Neumann, Stefan; Burow, Katja; Gutmann, Falko; Lindner, Julia; Müsse, Steffen; Kothe, Erika; Büchel, Georg
So far, groundwater microbiology with respect to different host rocks has not been well described in the literature. However, factors influencing the communities would be of interest to provide a tool for mapping groundwater paths. The Thuringian Basin (Germany) studied here, contains formations of the Permian (Zechstein) and also Triassic period of Buntsandstein, Muschelkalk and Keuper, all of which can be found to crop out at the surface in different regions. We analyzed the bacterial community of nine natural springs and sixteen groundwater wells of the respective rock formations as well as core material from the Zechstein salts. For that we sampled in a mine 3 differnet salt rock samples (carnallitite, halite and sylvinitite). To validate the different approaches, similar rock formations were compared and a consistent microbial community for Buntsandstein could be verified. Similary, for Zechstein, the presence of halophiles was seen with cultivation, isolation directly from the rock material and also in groundwater with DNA-dependent approaches. A higher overlap between sandstone- and limestone-derived communities was visible as if compared to the salt formations. Principal component analysis confirmed formation specific patterns for Muschelkalk, Buntsandstein and Zechstein for the bacterial taxa present, with some overlaps. Bacilli and Gammaproteobacteria were the major groups, with the genera Pseudomonas, Marinomonas, Bacillus, Marinobacter and Pseudoalteromonas representing the communities. The bacteria are well adapted to their respective environment with survival strategies including a wide range of salinity which makes them suitable as tracers for fluid movement below the ground. The results indicate the usefulness and robustness of the approach taken here to investigate aquifer community structures in dependence of the stratigraphy of the groundwater reservoir.
Dohrmann, Anja B; Baumert, Susann; Klingebiel, Lars; Weiland, Peter; Tebbe, Christoph C
Microbial conversion of organic waste or harvested plant material into biogas has become an attractive technology for energy production. Biogas is produced in reactors under anaerobic conditions by a consortium of microorganisms which commonly include bacteria of the genus Clostridium. Since the genus Clostridium also harbors some highly pathogenic members in its phylogenetic cluster I, there has been some concern that an unintended growth of such pathogens might occur during the fermentation process. Therefore this study aimed to follow how process parameters affect the diversity of Bacteria in general, and the diversity of Clostridium cluster I members in particular. The development of both communities was followed in model biogas reactors from start-up during stable methanogenic conditions. The biogas reactors were run with either cattle or pig manures as substrates, and both were operated at mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. The structural diversity was analyzed independent of cultivation using a PCR-based detection of 16S rRNA genes and genetic profiling by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP). Genetic profiles indicated that both bacterial and clostridial communities evolved in parallel, and the community structures were highly influenced by both substrate and temperature. Sequence analysis of 16S rRNA genes recovered from prominent bands from SSCP profiles representing Clostridia detected no pathogenic species. Thus, this study gave no indication that pathogenic clostridia would be enriched as dominant community members in biogas reactors fed with manure.
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...
Fotso Kuate, A.; Tindo, M.; Hanna, R.; Kenne, M.; Goergen, G.
Anoplolepis tenella is a ground-dwelling ant of the tropical forest zone of Central Africa. It is associated with the African root and tuber scale (ARTS), Stictococcus vayssierei Richard, an emerging cassava pest in the zone. Developing sustainable and effective methods to control ARTS requires basic knowledge of the biology of A. tenella and the nature of interactions between the two insects. A study on the nest distribution and composition of A. tenella in various vegetation types prevailin...
Ambo-Rappe, R.; Rani, C.
Seagrass ecosystems are important in supporting marine biodiversity. However, the worldwide decline in seagrass areas due to anthropogenic factors leads to a decrease in the marine biodiversity they can support. There is growing awareness of the need for concepts to conserve and/or rehabilitate seagrass ecosystems. One option is to create artificial seagrass to provide a physical structure for the marine organisms to colonize. The objective of this research was to analyze the effect of some artificial seagrasses and seagrass transplants on marine biodiversity, with a focus on the macrozoobenthic community. The experimental design compared two types of artificial seagrass (polypropylene ribbons and shrub-shaped plastic leaves), and seagrass transplants from nearby seagrass meadows. The experimental plots were 4 x 4 m2 with 3 replicates. Macrozoobenthic communities were sampled fortnightly for 3.5 months. At the end of the experiment, makrozoobenthos were also sampled from a natural seagrass bed nearby. Of 116 macrozoobenthic species in the artificial seagrass plots, 91 were gastropods. The density of the macrobenthic fauna increased from the beginning to the end of the study in all treatments, but the increase was only significant for the artificial seagrass treatment (i.e. shrub-like plastic leaves). There was a distinct separation between the macrozoobenthic community structure found in the restoration plots (artificial seagrass and transplanted seagrass) compared to natural seagrass beds.
Zhang, N.; Zang, S.S.
In autumn 2010, the phytoplankton samples were collected in Zhalong Wetland. A total of 347 species belonging to 78 genera,6 phyla were identified, Chlorophyta and Bacillariophyta were dominated phytoplankton communities, including 143 species of Chlorophyta, 116 species of Bacillariophyta, 45 species of Cyanophyta, 39 species of Euglenophyta, 3 species of Pyrrophyta, 1 species of Chrysophyta. In the core area 66 genera, 222 species were identified, in the buffer area 63 genera, 210 species were identified, in the experiment area 63 genera, 167 species were identified. The dominant species in Zhalong Wetland included Cyclotella meneghiniana, Chlorella vulgaris, Trachelomonas volvocina, Nitzschia sp.. The average phytoplankton density was 12.13*10/sup 6/ in Zhalong Wetland, the phytoplankton density of Bacillariophyta was highest (32.82*10/sup 6/ ind L/sup -1/), and then Chlorophyta (23.73*10/sup 6/ ind L/sup -1/) and Cyanophyta (11.43*106 ind L-1), respectively. The results of cluster analysis showed that phytoplankton community structure could be divided into three types, and within-group similarities of phytoplankton community structure was not high, but inter-group non-similarity was high. Based on the species composition, phytoplankton density, phytoplankton pollution indicator, it suggested that Zhalong Wetland was mesotrophic state. (author)
Chang, Chang; Tang, Chao
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 network, a mixture network also consists of two sets of nodes, but some nodes may simultaneously belong to two sets, which breaks the nonoverlapping restriction of a bipartite network. The mixture network can be considered as a general case, with unipartite and bipartite networks viewed as its limiting cases. A mixture network can represent not only all the unipartite and bipartite networks, but also a wide range of real-world networks that cannot be properly represented as either unipartite or bipartite networks in fields such as biology and social science. Based on this observation, we first propose a probabilistic model that can find modules in unipartite, bipartite, and mixture networks in a unified framework based on the link community model for a unipartite undirected network [B Ball et al (2011 Phys. Rev. E 84 036103)]. We test our algorithm on synthetic networks (both overlapping and nonoverlapping communities) and apply it to two real-world networks: a southern women bipartite network and a human transcriptional regulatory mixture network. The results suggest that our model performs well for all three types of networks, is competitive with other algorithms for unipartite or bipartite networks, and is applicable to real-world networks.
Hossain, M Belal; Marshall, David J
Recent studies suggest that increasing ocean acidification (OA) should have strong direct and indirect influences on marine invertebrates. While most theory and application for OA is based on relatively physically-stable oceanic ecological systems, less is known about the effects of acidification on nearshore and estuarine systems. Here, we investigated the structuring of a benthic infaunal community in a tropical estuarine system, along a steep salinity and pH gradient, arising largely from acid-sulphate groundwater inflows (Sungai Brunei Estuary, Borneo, July 2011- June 2012). Preliminary data indicate that sediment pore-water salinity (range: 8.07 - 29.6 psu) declined towards the mainland in correspondence with the above-sediment estuarine water salinity (range: 3.58 - 31.2 psu), whereas the pore-water pH (range: 6.47- 7.72) was generally lower and less variable than the estuarine water pH (range: 5.78- 8.3), along the estuary. Of the thirty six species (taxa) recorded, the polychaetes Neanthes sp., Onuphis conchylega, Nereididae sp. and the amphipod Corophiidae sp., were numerically dominant. Calcified microcrustaceans (e.g., Cyclopoida sp. and Corophiidae sp.) were abundant at all stations and there was no clear distinction in distribution pattern along the estuarine between calcified and non-calcified groups. Species richness increased seawards, though abundance (density) showed no distinct directional trend. Diversity indices were generally positively correlated (Spearman's rank correlation) with salinity and pH (p 0.05). Three faunistic assemblages were distinguished: (1) nereid-cyclopoid-sabellid, (2) corophiid-capitellid and (3) onuphid- nereid-capitellid. These respectively associated with lower salinity/pH and a muddy bottom, low salinity/pH and a sandy bottom, and high salinity/pH and a sandy bottom. However, CCA suggested that species distribution and community structuring is more strongly influenced by sediment particle characteristics than by the
Belchior, Ceres; Sendoya, Sebastián F; Del-Claro, Kleber
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.
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.
Utne-Palm, Anne Christine
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.
Utne-Palm, Anne Christine; Salvanes, Anne Gro Vea; Currie, Bronwen; Kaartvedt, Stein; Nilsson, Gö ran E.; Braithwaite, Victoria A.; Stecyk, Jonathan A W; Hundt, Matthias; Van Der Bank, Megan G.; Flynn, Bradley A.; Sandvik, Guro Katrine; Klevjer, Thor Aleksander; Sweetman, Andrew K.; Brü chert, Volker; Pittman, Karin A.; Peard, Kathleen R.; Lunde, Ida Gjervold; Strandaba, R. A U; Gibbons, Mark J.
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.
Ziegler, Sibylle; Ackermann, Sonia; Majzlan, Juraj; Gescher, Johannes
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.
Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk
The runtime analysis of randomized search heuristics is a growing field where, in the last two decades, many rigorous results have been obtained. First runtime analyses of ant colony optimization (ACO) have been conducted only recently. In these studies simple ACO algorithms such as the 1-ANT...... that give us a more detailed impression of the 1-ANT’s performance. Furthermore, the experiments also deal with the question whether using many ant solutions in one iteration can decrease the total runtime....
Kim, W.; Han, S.; Adams, J.; Son, Y.
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.
Stauffert, Magalie; Cravo-Laureau, Cristiana; Jézéquel, Ronan; Barantal, Sandra; Cuny, Philippe; Gilbert, Franck; Cagnon, Christine; Militon, Cécile; Amouroux, David; Mahdaoui, Fatima; Bouyssiere, Brice; Stora, Georges; Merlin, François-Xavier; Duran, Robert
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
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
Candia, Julián; Mazzitello, Karina I.
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.
Kathryn E. Lohr
Full Text Available Coral communities are increasingly found to populate non-reef habitats prone to high environmental variability. Such sites include seagrass meadows, which are generally not considered optimal habitats for corals as a result of limited suitable substrate for settlement and substantial diel and seasonal fluctuations in physicochemical conditions relative to neighboring reefs. Interest in understanding the ability of corals to persist in non-reef habitats has grown, however little baseline data exists on community structure and recruitment of scleractinian corals in seagrass meadows. To determine how corals populate seagrass meadows, we surveyed the established and recruited coral community over 25 months within seagrass meadows at Little Cayman, Cayman Islands. Simultaneous surveys of established and recruited coral communities at neighboring back-reef sites were conducted for comparison. To fully understand the amount of environmental variability to which corals in each habitat were exposed, we conducted complementary surveys of physicochemical conditions in both seagrass meadows and back-reefs. Despite overall higher variability in physicochemical conditions, particularly pH, compared to the back-reef, 14 coral taxa were capable of inhabiting seagrass meadows, and multiple coral families were also found to recruit to these sites. However, coral cover and species diversity, richness, and evenness were lower at sites within seagrass meadows compared to back-reef sites. Although questions remain regarding the processes governing recruitment, these results provide evidence that seagrass beds can serve as functional habitats for corals despite high levels of environmental variability and suboptimal conditions compared to neighboring reefs.
Njiru, J N; Esiromo, M A; Omari, H O
To find out the knowledge, attitude and practice of pain relief methods during labour among mothers attending antenatal clinics at Shalom Community Hospital, Athi River, Kenya. Cross Sectional study. Shalom Community Hospital, Athi River, Kenya. Two hundred and seven participants attending antenatal clinics at the facility were recruited. The median age of the participants was 28 years and a median parity of one. Most of the study participants, 89.4%, were not aware of any pain relief method during labour. Among the 10.6% patients that were of a pain relief method, 54% had gotten the knowledge from the doctors. All the patients had experienced pain in labour with 72% rating the pain as severe pain. Only 37% of the patients were offered a pain relief method and the intramuscular injectable was offered to all. Majority (88%) of those offered a form of pain relief rated the pain relief method as ineffective. A majority of the women 93% would use a pain relief method in the next labour with epidural method being the most preferred method. The level of knowledge of pain relief methods among mothers islow. There is need to integrate information on pain relief options in labour as part of antenatal services offered routinely. Epidural analgesia services should be enhanced.
Priscila Andre Sanz-Veiga
Full Text Available Extrafloral nectaries can occur in both vegetative and reproductive plant structures. In many Rubiaceae species in the Brazilian Cerrado, after corolla abscission, the floral nectary continues to secret nectar throughout fruit development originating post-floral pericarpial nectaries which commonly attract many ant species. The occurrence of such nectar secreting structures might be strategic for fruit protection against seed predators, as plants are expected to invest higher on more valuable and vulnerable parts. Here, we performed ant exclusion experiments to investigate whether the interaction with ants mediated by the pericarpial nectaries of Tocoyena formosa affects plant reproductive success by reducing the number of pre-dispersal seed predators. We also assessed whether ant protection was dependent on ant species composition and resource availability. Although most of the plants were visited by large and aggressive ant species, such as Ectatomma tuberculatum and species of the genus Camponotus, ants did not protect fruits against seed predators. Furthermore, the result of the interaction was neither related to ant species composition nor to the availability of resources. We suggest that these results may be related to the nature and behavior of the most important seed predators, like Hemicolpus abdominalis weevil which the exoskeleton toughness prevent it from being predated by most ant species. On the other hand, not explored factors, such as reward quality, local ant abundance, ant colony characteristics and/or the presence of alternative energetic sources could also account for variations in ant frequency, composition, and finally ant protective effects, highlighting the conditionality of facultative plant-ant mutualisms.
Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista; María Del Socorro Alatrista Gutierrez
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 r...
Yang, Jin-Xuan; Zhang, Xiao-Dong
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.
Epperson, D.M.; Allen, Craig R.
Red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) have negative impacts on a broad array of invertebrate species. We investigated the impacts of fire ants on the upland arthropod community on 20???40 ha study sites in southern Mississippi. Study sites were sampled from 19972000 before, during, and after fire ant bait treatments to reduce fire ant populations. Fire ant abundance was assessed with bait transects on all sites, and fire ant population indices were estimated on a subset of study sites. Species richness and diversity of other ant species was also assessed from bait transects. Insect biomass and diversity was determined from light trap samples. Following treatments, fire ant abundance and population indices were significantly reduced, and ant species diversity and richness were greater on treated sites. Arthropod biomass, species diversity and species richness estimated from light trap samples were negatively correlated with fire ant abundance, but there were no observable treatment effects. Solenopsis invicta has the potential to negatively impact native arthropod communities resulting in a potential loss of both species and function.
Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Winemiller, Kirk O; Sabaj Pérez, Mark H; Sousa, Leandro M
Despite growing interest in trait-based approaches to community assembly, little attention has been given to seasonal variation in trait distribution patterns. Mobile animals can rapidly mediate influences of environmental factors and species interactions through dispersal, suggesting that the relative importance of different assembly mechanisms can vary over short time scales. This study analyzes seasonal changes in functional trait distributions of tropical fishes in the Xingu River, a major tributary of the Amazon with large predictable temporal variation in hydrologic conditions and species density. Comparison of observed functional diversity revealed that species within wet-season assemblages were more functionally similar than those in dry-season assemblages. Further, species within wet-season assemblages were more similar than random expectations based on null model predictions. Higher functional richness within dry season communities is consistent with increased niche complementarity during the period when fish densities are highest and biotic interactions should be stronger; however, null model tests suggest that stochastic factors or a combination of assembly mechanisms influence dry-season assemblages. These results demonstrate that the relative influence of community assembly mechanisms can vary seasonally in response to changing abiotic conditions, and suggest that studies attempting to infer a single dominant mechanism from functional patterns may overlook important aspects of the assembly process. During the prolonged flood pulse of the wet season, expanded habitat and lower densities of aquatic organisms likely reduce the influence of competition and predation. This temporal shift in the influence of different assembly mechanisms, rather than any single mechanism, may play a large role in maintaining the structure and diversity of tropical rivers and perhaps other dynamic and biodiverse systems. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.
von Burg, Simone; van Veen, Frank J F; Álvarez-Alfageme, Fernando; Romeis, Jörg
Since the introduction of genetically modified (GM) plants, one of the main concerns has been their potential effect on non-target insects. Many studies have looked at GM plant effects on single non-target herbivore species or on simple herbivore-natural enemy food chains. Agro-ecosystems, however, are characterized by numerous insect species which are involved in complex interactions, forming food webs. In this study, we looked at transgenic disease-resistant wheat (Triticum aestivum) and its effect on aphid-parasitoid food webs. We hypothesized that the GM of the wheat lines directly or indirectly affect aphids and that these effects cascade up to change the structure of the associated food webs. Over 2 years, we studied different experimental wheat lines under semi-field conditions. We constructed quantitative food webs to compare their properties on GM lines with the properties on corresponding non-transgenic controls. We found significant effects of the different wheat lines on insect community structure up to the fourth trophic level. However, the observed effects were inconsistent between study years and the variation between wheat varieties was as big as between GM plants and their controls. This suggests that the impact of our powdery mildew-resistant GM wheat plants on food web structure may be negligible and potential ecological effects on non-target insects limited.
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.
Jonsson, Lena [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Forest Mycology and Pathology
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
Arq. María Eugenia Gonzàlez Chipont
Full Text Available Este trabajo propone analizar la evolución de la vivienda como respuesta ante emergencias desde principios del siglo XX hasta nuestros días. La secuencia de casos a analizar no sigue una cronología estricta sino que se organiza en función de un creciente grado de complejidad. Comienza con los aportes fundamentales de la vivienda mínima del movimiento moderno, con un fuerte acento en lo tecnológico, para ir profundizando, mientras avanzamos en el siglo, en los aspectos sociales de la arquitectura. Sin intentar oponer lo tecnológico y lo social, la estructura propuesta expresa un enriquecimiento de la cuestión técnica conforme se van ampliando sus objetivos sociales. Mientras los requerimientos tecnológicos como la inmediatez y la masividad de la respuesta, permanecen a lo largo del tiempo, la vivienda ante emergencias puede plantearse objetivos sociales cada vez más profundos. Los casos fueron elegidos a partir de autores renombrados de la Historia de la Arquitectura partiendo de ejemplos cercanos a la génesis del movimiento moderno para acercarnos cada vez más hacia el contexto actual de Latinoamérica. Se logra así un barrido geográfco pero principalmente cultural: desde las fuentes de la modernidad, bajo el paradigma sólido de la industrialización, hasta la inestabilidad de la ciudad posindustrial latinoamericana
Full Text Available Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size.
Nash, Michael A.; Christie, Fiona J.; Hahs, Amy K.; Livesley, Stephen J.
Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i) ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii) ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii) ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size. PMID:26528416
Shang, Jiaxing; Liu, Lianchen; Li, Xin; Xie, Feng; Wu, Cheng
Many real-world networks exhibit community structure where vertices belong to one or more communities. Recent studies show that community structure plays an import role in epidemic spreading. In this paper, we investigate how the extent of overlap among communities affects epidemics. In order to experiment on the characteristic of overlapping communities, we propose a rewiring algorithm that can change the community structure from overlapping to non-overlapping while maintaining the degree distribution of the network. We simulate the Susceptible-Infected-Susceptible (SIS) epidemic process on synthetic scale-free networks and real-world networks by applying our rewiring algorithm. Experiments show that epidemics spread faster on networks with higher level of overlapping communities. Furthermore, overlapping communities' effect interacts with the average degree's effect. Our work further illustrates the important role of overlapping communities in the process of epidemic spreading.
Ingole, B.S.; Gaonkar, U.V.; Deshmukh, A.; Mukherjee, I.; Sivadas, S.K.; Gophane, A.
that the FIM period is critical in structuring the coastal benthic community Results indicated Coscinodiscus sp and Thalassiosira sp were dominant in the phytoplankton and the microphytobenthos community Zooplankton was dominated by small sized calanoid...
A 15-year post evaluation of the fire effects on ant community in an area of Amazonian forest Uma avaliação após 15 anos do efeito do fogo sobre a comunidade de formiga em uma área de floresta amazônica
Jean C. Santos
Full Text Available Fire represents an important disturbance to ant communities in areas of fire regime. Otherwise, little is known about the effects of fire on ant communities in areas of non-fire regimes, such as in the Amazonian region. We evaluated the long-term effect of fire on ant species richness in a rain forest (Bacaba Plateau burned 15-years ago and compare our data with the data of primary unburned forest. A total of 85 ant species distributed in 21 genera and 14 tribes were collected; among them, 72 and 44 species were found on the litter and vegetation, respectively. The fire damaged forest studied supports an intermediate richness of ants when compared to a primary unburned rain forest in the same region. A comparative analysis of ant species richness showed that the Bacaba Plateau presented a different ant fauna when compared with the primary unburned forests, suggesting that fire can alter ant species composition. Although, our results cannot be conclusive on the effects of fire on ant community, they represent a pioneer data on human induced fire in tropical rain forests.O fogo representa uma importante perturbação para a comunidade de formigas em áreas de regime de fogo. No entanto, pouco se conhece sobre os efeitos do fogo na comunidade de formiga em áreas de não-regime, tal como a região da Amazônia. Nós analisamos o efeito de longo prazo do fogo sobre a riqueza de formiga numa floresta tropical queimada 15 anos atrás e comparamos nossos dados, com os de uma floresta primária não-queimada. Foram coletadas um total de 85 espécies de formigas distribuídas em 21 gêneros e 14 tribos, dentre eles 72 e 44 espécies foram encontradas na liteira e vegetação, respectivamente. Esta área de floresta queimada, com 85 espécies, pode suportar uma riqueza intermédia de formigas quando comparadas com uma floresta tropical primária não-queimada, com 29, 22 e 98 espécies na mesma região. Uma análise comparativa da riqueza de espécies de
of ant pheromones may be sufficient to repel pest insects from ant territories. The study of ant semiochemicals is in its infancy, yet, evidence for their potential use in pest management is starting to build up. Pheromones from four of five tested ant species have been shown to deter herbivorous insect...... prey and competing ant species are also deterred by ant deposits, whereas ant symbionts may be attracted to them. Based on these promising initial findings, it seems advisable to further elucidate the signaling properties of ant pheromones and to test and develop their use in future pest management....
Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista
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.
Kailen A. Mooney
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...
Simon Rosser, B R; West, William; Weinmeyer, Richard
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.
Vasse, Marie; Voglmayr, Hermann; Mayer, Veronika; Gueidan, Cécile; Nepel, Maximilian; Moreno, Leandro; de Hoog, Sybren; Selosse, Marc-André; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs
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).
Chick, John H; Ickes, Brian S; Pegg, Mark A; Barko, Valerie A; Hrabik, Robert A; Herzog, David P
Variation in community composition (presence/absence data) and structure (relative abundance) of Upper Mississippi River fishes was assessed using data from the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program...
Dias, Marcy A.; Monteiro, Fernando C.
The retinal fundus images are used in the treatment and diagnosis of several eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. This paper proposes a new method to detect the optic disc (OD) automatically, due to the fact that the knowledge of the OD location is essential to the automatic analysis of retinal images. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is an optimization algorithm inspired by the foraging behaviour of some ant species that has been applied in image processing for edge detection. Recently, the ACO was used in fundus images to detect edges, and therefore, to segment the OD and other anatomical retinal structures. We present an algorithm for the detection of OD in the retina which takes advantage of the Gabor wavelet transform, entropy and ACO algorithm. Forty images of the retina from DRIVE database were used to evaluate the performance of our method.
Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.; Pendleton, Frank; Schmaedick, Mark; Ernsberger, Kelsie
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.
Henny Tribuana Cinnawara
Full Text Available Abstract One bio-indicators the condition of coral reefs is a presence of reef fish. The purpose of research is to determine species composition abundance distribution and structure of reef fish communities in these waters. Data collection was conducted in April at six locations in the north and the south eastern Luwu. Mechanical Underwater Visual Cencus UVC and transect method Line intercept Transec LIT with SCUBA equipment used for research data collection. Total reef fish species collected as many as 366 species belonging to 31 families consisting of 150 species of fish target fish consumption 10 species of indicator fish indicator species 206 types of major fissh. The most dominant indicator type of fish is Chaetodon octofasciatus while the major dominant family Pomacentridae Labridae and Apogonidae. Diversity index values ranged from 2.145 to 3.408. Dominance index C is in the range of 0.056 to 0.298. The result is expected to be a reference literature as basic data for the management of reef fish especially in the waters of eastern Luwu.
Brewer, J.S.; Grace, J.B.
An oligohaline tidal marsh on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, LA was characterized with respect to the distributions and abundances of plant species over spatial and temporal gradients using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). In addition, the species distributions were correlated to several physical environmental factors using Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis (DCCA). The distributions of species were best correlated with distance from Lake Pontchartrain, and to a lesser extent with elevation and substrate organic matter. They were least correlated with mean soil salinity (referred to here as background salinity). Of the three mid-seasonal dominant species, the perennial grass, Spartina patens, is the most salt tolerant and was found closest to the lake. Further inland the dominant perennial was Sagittaria lancifolia, which has a salt tolerance less than that of Spartina patens. The perennial sedge, Cladium jamaicense, which is the least salt tolerant of the three, was dominant furthest inland. Background salinity levels were generally low (interactions likely also play a role in structuring the plant community. The distributions of several annuals depended on the size and life history of the mid-seasonal dominant perennials. Most of the annuals frequently co-occurred with Sagittaria lancifolia, which was the shortest in stature and had the least persistent canopy of the three mid-seasonal dominant perennials.
CAI Wei-Ming; YAO Huai-Ying; FENG Wei-Lin; JIN Qun-Li; LIU Yue-Yan; LI Nan-Yi; ZHENG Zhong
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.
Jiang, Zhao-Yu; Wang, You-Shao; Cheng, Hao; Zhang, Jian-Dong; Fei, Jiao
Daya Bay is one of the largest and most important gulfs in the southern coast of China, in the northern part of the South China Sea. The phylogenetic diversity and spatial distribution of phytoplankton from the Daya Bay surface water and the relationship with the in situ water environment were investigated by the clone library of the large subunit of ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase (rbcL) gene. The dominant species of phytoplankton were diatoms and eustigmatophytes, which accounted for 81.9 % of all the clones of the rbcL genes. Prymnesiophytes were widely spread and wide varieties lived in Daya Bay, whereas the quantity was limited. The community structure of phytoplankton was shaped by pH and salinity and the concentration of silicate, phosphorus and nitrite. The phytoplankton biomass was significantly positively affected by phosphorus and nitrite but negatively by salinity and pH. Therefore, the phytoplankton distribution and biomass from Daya Bay were doubly affected by anthropic activities and natural factors.
Hsu, Shi-Fang; Buckley, Daniel H
Microbial ecologists continue to seek a greater understanding of the factors that govern the ecological significance of microbial community structure. Changes in community structure have been shown to have functional significance for processes that are mediated by a narrow spectrum of organisms, such as nitrification and denitrification, but in some cases, functional redundancy in the community seems to buffer microbial ecosystem processes. The functional significance of microbial community structure is frequently obscured by environmental variation and is hard to detect in short-term experiments. We examine the functional significance of free-living diazotrophs in a replicated long-term tillage experiment in which extraneous variation is minimized and N-fixation rates can be related to soil characteristics and diazotroph community structure. Soil characteristics were found to be primarily impacted by tillage management, whereas N-fixation rates and diazotroph community structure were impacted by both biomass management practices and interactions between tillage and biomass management. The data suggest that the variation in diazotroph community structure has a greater impact on N-fixation rates than do soil characteristics at the site. N-fixation rates displayed a saturating response to increases in diazotroph community diversity. These results show that the changes in the community structure of free-living diazotrophs in soils can have ecological significance and suggest that this response is related to a change in community diversity.
Robert A Johnson
Full Text Available The North American little black ant, Monomorium sp. AZ-02 (subfamily Myrmicinae, displays a dimorphism that consists of alate (winged and ergatoid (wingless queens. Surveys at our field site in southcentral Arizona, USA, demonstrated that only one queen phenotype (alate or ergatoid occurred in each colony during the season in which reproductive sexuals were produced. A morphometric analysis demonstrated that ergatoid queens retained all specialized anatomical features of alate queens (except for wings, and that they were significantly smaller and had a lower mass than alate queens. Using eight morphological characters, a discriminant analysis correctly categorized all queens (40 of 40 of both phenotypes. A molecular phylogeny using 420 base pairs of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I demonstrated that alate and ergatoid queens are two alternative phenotypes within the species; both phenotypes were intermixed on our phylogeny, and both phenotypes often displayed the same haplotype. A survey of the genus Monomorium (358 species found that wingless queens (ergatoid queens, brachypterous queens occur in 42 of 137 species (30.6% in which the queen has been described. These wingless queen species are geographically and taxonomically widespread as they occur on several continents and in eight species groups, suggesting that winglessness probably arose independently on many occasions in the genus.
Effects of plantation residue management on the community structure of wattle regeneration invertebrate pests in South Africa. ... Members of the soil invertebrate pest complex included whitegrubs and cutworms that generally had a higher pest status than millipedes, nematodes, grasshoppers, ants, false wireworms, ...
In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was inves- tigated using ... the literature, it was considered in the model that (i) ant colony consists of two kinds of ants, good- ... ponents without a central controller .
Jóhannesson, Gunnar Thór; Ren, Carina Bregnholm; van der Duim, René
viable descriptions of the collective condition of humans and more-than-humans in the Anthropocene. Also and moving past a merely descriptive approach, it discusses it as a useful tool to engage with the situated globalities which come into being through the socio-spatial coupling of tourism......In recent years Actor-network theory (ANT) has increasingly been felt in the field of tourism studies (Van der Duim, Ren, & Jóhannesson, 2012). An important implication of the meeting between ANT and tourism studies is the notion of tourism being described as a heterogeneous assemblage of what we...... are used to define as the separate spheres of nature and culture. This paper explores and relates the central tenets of ANT in tourism with regard to the concept of the Anthropocene. It presents the ANT approach as a flat and object-oriented ontology and methodology and explores its potentials to carve out...
Currie, Cameron R; Poulsen, Michael; Mendenhall, John
Attine ants engage in a quadripartite symbiosis with fungi they cultivate for food, specialized garden parasites, and parasite-inhibiting bacteria. Molecular phylogenetic evidence supports an ancient host-pathogen association between the ant-cultivar mutualism and the garden parasite. Here we show...... that ants rear the antibiotic-producing bacteria in elaborate cuticular crypts, supported by unique exocrine glands, and that these structures have been highly modified across the ants' evolutionary history. This specialized structural evolution, together with the absence of these bacteria and modifications...
Krüger, Claudia; Kohout, Petr; Janoušková, Martina; Püschel, David; Frouz, Jan; Rydlová, Jana
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) community assembly during primary succession has so far received little attention. It remains therefore unclear, which of the factors, driving AMF community composition, are important during ecosystem development. We addressed this question on a large spoil heap, which provides a mosaic of sites in different successional stages under different managements. We selected 24 sites of c. 12, 20, 30, or 50 years in age, including sites with spontaneously developing vegetation and sites reclaimed by alder plantations. On each site, we sampled twice a year roots of the perennial rhizomatous grass Calamagrostis epigejos (Poaceae) to determine AMF root colonization and diversity (using 454-sequencing), determined the soil chemical properties and composition of plant communities. AMF taxa richness was unaffected by site age, but AMF composition variation increased along the chronosequences. AMF communities were unaffected by soil chemistry, but related to the composition of neighboring plant communities of the sampled C. epigejos plants. In contrast, the plant communities of the sites were more distinctively structured than the AMF communities along the four successional stages. We conclude that AMF and plant community successions respond to different factors. AMF communities seem to be influenced by biotic rather than by abiotic factors and to diverge with successional age. PMID:28473828
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
26. jaanuaril toimub Tallinna Ülikooli Akadeemilises Raamatukogus seminar silmapaistvast Eesti teadlasest ja tõlkijast Ants Orasest. Esinevad kirjandusteadlased Tallinna Ülikoolist, Tartu Ülikoolist ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseumist. Avaettekandeks on sõna Oklahoma Ülikooli professoril Vincent B. Leitchil, kes oli Ants Orase viimaseks juhendatavaks doktorandiks. Seminari korraldavad Tallinna Ülikool ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum. Vt ka Postimees, 26, jaan., lk. 18
Diego Santana Assis
Full Text Available The establishment of agricultural matrices generally involves deforestation, which leads to fragmentation of the remaining forest. This fragmentation can affect forest dynamics both positively and negatively. Since most animal species are affected, certain groups can be used to measure the impact of such fragmentation. This study aimed to measure the impacts of agricultural crops (matrices on ant communities of adjacent lower montane Atlantic rainforest fragments. We sampled nine forest fragments at locations surrounded by different agricultural matrices, namely: coffee (3 replicates; sugarcane (3; and pasture (3. At each site we installed pitfall traps along a 500 m transect from the interior of the matrix to the interior of the fragment (20 pitfall traps ~25 m apart. Each transect was partitioned into four categories: interior of the matrix; edge of the matrix; edge of the fragment; and interior of the fragment. For each sample site, we measured ant species richness and ant community composition within each transect category. Ant richness and composition differed between fragments and matrices. Each sample location had a specific composition of ants, probably because of the influence of the nature and management of the agricultural matrices. Species composition in the coffee matrix had the highest similarity to its corresponding fragment. The variability in species composition within forest fragments surrounded by pasture was greatest when compared with forest fragments surrounded by sugarcane or, to a lesser extent, coffee. Functional guild composition differed between locations, but the most representative guild was 'generalist' both in the agricultural matrices and forest fragments. Our results are important for understanding how agricultural matrices act on ant communities, and also, how these isolated forest fragments could act as an island of biodiversity in an 'ocean of crops'.
Assis, Diego Santana; Dos Santos, Iracenir Andrade; Ramos, Flavio Nunes; Barrios-Rojas, Katty Elena; Majer, Jonathan David; Vilela, Evaldo Ferreira
The establishment of agricultural matrices generally involves deforestation, which leads to fragmentation of the remaining forest. This fragmentation can affect forest dynamics both positively and negatively. Since most animal species are affected, certain groups can be used to measure the impact of such fragmentation. This study aimed to measure the impacts of agricultural crops (matrices) on ant communities of adjacent lower montane Atlantic rainforest fragments. We sampled nine forest fragments at locations surrounded by different agricultural matrices, namely: coffee (3 replicates); sugarcane (3); and pasture (3). At each site we installed pitfall traps along a 500 m transect from the interior of the matrix to the interior of the fragment (20 pitfall traps ~25 m apart). Each transect was partitioned into four categories: interior of the matrix; edge of the matrix; edge of the fragment; and interior of the fragment. For each sample site, we measured ant species richness and ant community composition within each transect category. Ant richness and composition differed between fragments and matrices. Each sample location had a specific composition of ants, probably because of the influence of the nature and management of the agricultural matrices. Species composition in the coffee matrix had the highest similarity to its corresponding fragment. The variability in species composition within forest fragments surrounded by pasture was greatest when compared with forest fragments surrounded by sugarcane or, to a lesser extent, coffee. Functional guild composition differed between locations, but the most representative guild was 'generalist' both in the agricultural matrices and forest fragments. Our results are important for understanding how agricultural matrices act on ant communities, and also, how these isolated forest fragments could act as an island of biodiversity in an 'ocean of crops'.
John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, 2015
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…
Haegeman, Bart; Etienne, Rampal S.
1. The development of neutral community theory has shown that the assumption of species neutrality, although implausible on the level of individual species, can lead to reasonable predictions on the community level. While Hubbell's neutral model and several of its variants have been analysed in
Cameron, Karen A.; Stibal, Marek; Zarsky, Jakub D.
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...
Loiseau, Mathieu; Zourou, Katerina
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…
Boer, de W.F.; Prins, H.H.T.
Human exploitation of intertidal marine invertebrates is known to alter benthic community structure. This study describes the impact that harvesting by women and children has on the intertidal community structure of the mudflats of the Saco on Inhaca Island, Mozambique, by comparing the benthic
Salles, Joanna; van Elsas, J.D.; Van Veen, J.A.
The main objective of this study was to determine the Burkholderia community structure associated with areas under different agricultural management and to evaluate to which extent this community structure is affected by changes in agricultural management. Two fields with distinct soil history
Salles, J.F.; Elsas, van J.D.; Veen, van J.A.
The main objective of this study was to determine the Burkholderia community structure associated with areas under different agricultural management and to evaluate to which extent this community structure is affected by changes in agricultural management. Two fields with distinct soil history
Salles, J. F.; van Elsas, J. D.; van Veen, J. A.
The main objective of this study was to determine the Burkholderia community structure associated with areas under different agricultural management and to evaluate to which extent this community structure is affected by changes in agricultural management. Two fields with distinct soil history
Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Borregaard, Michael K.; Fordyce, James A.; Rahbek, Carsten; Weiser, Michael D.; Dunn, Robert R.; Sanders, Nathan J.
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...
Diana F. Tomback
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.
Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. RESULTS: We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. CONCLUSIONS: Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as 'hot-points' of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management
Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul
Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as 'hot-points' of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management programs.
Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul
Introduction Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. Materials and Methods We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. Results We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. Conclusions Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as ‘hot-points’ of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management programs. PMID:24941047
Paul, J; Roces, F
This study investigates the techniques of nectar feeding in 11 different ant species, and quantitatively compares fluid intake rates over a wide range of nectar concentrations in four species that largely differ in their feeding habits. Ants were observed to employ two different techniques for liquid food intake, in which the glossa works either as a passive duct-like structure (sucking), or as an up- and downwards moving shovel (licking). The technique employed for collecting fluids at ad libitum food sources was observed to be species-specific and to correlate with the presence or absence of a well-developed crop in the species under scrutiny. Workers of ponerine ants licked fluid food during foraging and transported it as a droplet between their mandibles, whereas workers of species belonging to phylogenetically more advanced subfamilies, with a crop capable of storing liquids, sucked the fluid food, such as formicine ants of the genus Camponotus. In order to evaluate the performance of fluid collection during foraging, intake rates for sucrose solutions of different concentrations were measured in four ant species that differ in their foraging ecology. Scaling functions between fluid intake rates and ant size were first established for the polymorphic species, so as to compare ants of different size across species. Results showed that fluid intake rate depended, as expected and previously reported in the literature, on sugar concentration and the associated fluid viscosity. It also depended on both the species-specific feeding technique and the extent of specialization on foraging on liquid food. For similarly-sized ants, workers of two nectar-feeding ant species, Camponotus rufipes (Formicinae) and Pachycondyla villosa (Ponerinae), collected fluids with the highest intake rates, while workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens (Myrmicinae) and a predatory ant from the Rhytidoponera impressa-complex (Ponerinae) did so with the lowest rate. Calculating the
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...
... cetacean community around a tropical island (Mayotte, Mozambique Channel) ... Patterns of spatial distribution underscore the existence of three main ... The outer slope of the barrier reef appears to be of primary importance in terms of ...
Among nine species of a tropical community ecomorphological correlates were sought throughout ontogeny. Ontogenetic changes were distinguished by establishing six pre-defined size- classes. Morphometric data associated with feeding were compared by canonical correspondence analysis to dietary data.
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...
Mayer, Veronika E; Frederickson, Megan E; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs
Ant-plant symbioses involve plants that provide hollow structures specialized for housing ants and often food to ants. In return, the inhabiting ants protect plants against herbivores and sometimes provide them with nutrients. Here, we review recent advances in ant-plant symbioses, focusing on three areas. First, the nutritional ecology of plant-ants, which is based not only on plant-derived food rewards, but also on inputs from other symbiotic partners, in particular fungi and possibly bacteria. Food and protection are the most important 'currencies' exchanged between partners and they drive the nature and evolution of the relationships. Secondly, studies of conflict and cooperation in ant-plant symbioses have contributed key insights into the evolution and maintenance of mutualism, particularly how partner-mediated feedbacks affect the specificity and stability of mutualisms. There is little evidence that mutualistic ants or plants are under selection to cheat, but the costs and benefits of ant-plant interactions do vary with environmental factors, making them vulnerable to natural or anthropogenic environmental change. Thus, thirdly, ant-plant symbioses should be considered good models for investigating the effects of global change on the outcome of mutualistic interactions. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.
Joydas, T.V.; Jayalakshmy, K.V.; Damodaran, R.
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... to results obtained from the analysis of higher taxa which show analogous results to those based on species level. The major benefit of being able to detect community patterns at higher taxonomic SCIENTIFIC CORRESPONDENCE CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 97...
Ulrich G Mueller
Full Text Available Leafcutter ants depend on the cultivation of symbiotic Attamyces fungi for food, which are thought to be grown by the ants in single-strain, clonal monoculture throughout the hundreds to thousands of gardens within a leafcutter nest. Monoculture eliminates cultivar-cultivar competition that would select for competitive fungal traits that are detrimental to the ants, whereas polyculture of several fungi could increase nutritional diversity and disease resistance of genetically variable gardens.Using three experimental approaches, we assessed cultivar diversity within nests of Atta leafcutter ants, which are most likely among all fungus-growing ants to cultivate distinct cultivar genotypes per nest because of the nests' enormous sizes (up to 5000 gardens and extended lifespans (10-20 years. In Atta texana and in A. cephalotes, we resampled nests over a 5-year period to test for persistence of resident cultivar genotypes within each nest, and we tested for genetic differences between fungi from different nest sectors accessed through excavation. In A. texana, we also determined the number of Attamyces cells carried as a starter inoculum by a dispersing queens (minimally several thousand Attamyces cells, and we tested for genetic differences between Attamyces carried by sister queens dispersing from the same nest. Except for mutational variation arising during clonal Attamyces propagation, DNA fingerprinting revealed no evidence for fungal polyculture and no genotype turnover during the 5-year surveys.Atta leafcutter ants can achieve stable, fungal monoculture over many years. Mutational variation emerging within an Attamyces monoculture could provide genetic diversity for symbiont choice (gardening biases of the ants favoring specific mutational variants, an analog of artificial selection.
Op De Beeck, Michiel; Lievens, Bart; Busschaert, Pieter; Rineau, Francois; Smits, Mark; Vangronsveld, Jaco; Colpaert, Jan V
The impact of metal pollution on plant communities has been studied extensively in the past, but little is known about the effects of metal pollution on fungal communities that occur in metal-polluted soils. Metal-tolerant ecotypes of the ectomycorrhizal fungus Suillus luteus are frequently found in pioneer pine forests in the Campine region in Belgium on metal-polluted soils. We hypothesized that metal pollution would play an important role in shaping below-ground fungal communities that occur in these soils and that Suillus luteus would be a dominant player. To test these hypotheses, the fungal communities in a young pine plantation in soil polluted with zinc, and cadmium were studied using 454 amplicon pyrosequencing. Results show that zinc, cadmium and soil organic matter content were strongly correlated with the fungal community composition, but no effects on fungal diversity were observed. As hypothesized, S. luteus was found to be a dominant member of the studied fungal communities. However, other dominant fungal species, such as Sistotrema sp., Wilcoxina mikolae and Cadophora finlandica were found as well. Their presence in metal-polluted sites is discussed. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Bruno Pereira Masi
Full Text Available Abstract To assess the successional pattern of fouling organisms three hypotheses were tested: 1 a thermocline is caused by seasonal upwelling events, and therefore, depth influences the successional trajectory of the fouling community; 2 a reduction in the intensity of natural light of the substrate influences the fouling composition and the successional trajectory; 3 fish predation influences the community composition and its successional trajectory. During one year, up-facing and down-facing PVC panels on open, partially caged or fully caged, and placed at depths of 1.5 and 3.5 meters were monthly sampled by digital photograph to determine the community composition and by contact point to estimate the percent coverage of organisms. The upwelling impact provided different water masses, and light intensity was also a determining factor of the overall successional trajectory of the fouling community. After the installation of full and partial cages, differences were identified in the respective successional trajectories. The results of this study suggest that each physical factor or biological process can change the successional trajectory of the community, and the successional model (e.g., convergent, divergent, parallel, or cyclic depends on the magnitudes of the determinants that act on the community at each stage of its trajectory.
Miller, Michael; Grover, Kenda S.; Kacirek, Kit
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…
Dorosheva, E A; Reznikova, Zh I
. Instead, they recognize an "enemy's image" and selectively attack relatively small predatory carabids rather than herbivorous species. Experiments with dummy beetles suggest that ants react for several hierarchically organized key characteristics of competitors such as speed of movement, dark color, bilateral symmetry, protuberances (legs, antennae), and smell. Among "professional" groups in ant family, guards and hunters react to beetles aggressively, whereas aphid tenders ignore them. Sophisticated combination of flexible and innate behavioral patterns enables insects to share territories and interact in the mode of relatively mild, spatial, competition instead of predation. Eliciting sets of hierarchically organized features of competitors that govern adjustment of spatial distribution in insects' community enable us to integrate ideas of classic and cognitive ethology.
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.
The global shape of a protein molecule is believed to be dominant in determining low-frequency deformational motions. However, how structure dynamics relies on residue interactions remains largely unknown. The global residue community structure and the local residue interactions are two important coexisting factors imposing significant effects on low-frequency normal modes. In this work, an algorithm for community structure partition is proposed by integrating Miyazawa-Jernigan empirical potential energy as edge weight. A sensitivity parameter is defined to measure the effect of local residue interaction on low-frequency movement. We show that community structure is a more fundamental feature of residue contact networks. Moreover, we surprisingly find that low-frequency normal mode eigenvectors are sensitive to some local critical residue interaction pairs (CRIPs). A fair amount of CRIPs act as bridges and hold distributed structure components into a unified tertiary structure by bonding nearby communities. Community structure analysis and CRIP detection of 116 catalytic proteins reveal that breaking up of a CRIP can cause low-frequency allosteric movement of a residue at the far side of protein structure. The results imply that community structure and CRIP may be the structural basis for low-frequency motions.
Khuong, Anaïs; Gautrais, Jacques; Perna, Andrea; Sbaï, Chaker; Combe, Maud; Kuntz, Pascale; Jost, Christian; Theraulaz, Guy
The nests of social insects are not only impressive because of their sheer complexity but also because they are built from individuals whose work is not centrally coordinated. A key question is how groups of insects coordinate their building actions. Here, we use a combination of experimental and modeling approaches to investigate nest construction in the ant Lasius niger. We quantify the construction dynamics and the 3D structures built by ants. Then, we characterize individual behaviors and the interactions of ants with the structures they build. We show that two main interactions are involved in the coordination of building actions: (i) a stigmergic-based interaction that controls the amplification of depositions at some locations and is attributable to a pheromone added by ants to the building material; and (ii) a template-based interaction in which ants use their body size as a cue to control the height at which they start to build a roof from existing pillars. We then develop a 3D stochastic model based on these individual behaviors to analyze the effect of pheromone presence and strength on construction dynamics. We show that the model can quantitatively reproduce key features of construction dynamics, including a large-scale pattern of regularly spaced pillars, the formation and merging of caps over the pillars, and the remodeling of built structures. Finally, our model suggests that the lifetime of the pheromone is a highly influential parameter that controls the growth and form of nest architecture.
Ants control pests via predation and physical deterrence; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may serve as warning signals to potential prey and other intruders. The presence of ant pheromones may, thus, be sufficient to repel pests from ant territories. This mini-review sh......-review shows that four out of five tested ant species deposit pheromones that repel herbivorous prey from their host plants.......Ants control pests via predation and physical deterrence; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may serve as warning signals to potential prey and other intruders. The presence of ant pheromones may, thus, be sufficient to repel pests from ant territories. This mini...
Wossler Theresa C
Full Text Available Abstract Background The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, is a widespread invasive ant species that has successfully established in nearly all continents across the globe. Argentine ants are characterised by a social structure known as unicoloniality, where territorial boundaries between nests are absent and intraspecific aggression is rare. This is particularly pronounced in introduced populations and results in the formation of large and spatially expansive supercolonies. Although it is amongst the most well studied of invasive ants, very little work has been done on this ant in South Africa. In this first study, we investigate the population structure of Argentine ants in South Africa. We use behavioural (aggression tests and chemical (CHC approaches to investigate the population structure of Argentine ants within the Western Cape, identify the number of supercolonies and infer number of introductions. Results Both the aggression assays and chemical data revealed that the Western Cape Argentine ant population can be divided into two behaviourally and chemically distinct supercolonies. Intraspecific aggression was evident between the two supercolonies of Argentine ants with ants able to discriminate among conspecific non-nestmates. This discrimination is linked to the divergence in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of ants originating from the two supercolonies. Conclusions The presence of these two distinct supercolonies is suggestive of at least two independent introductions of this ant within the Western Cape. Moreover, the pattern of colonisation observed in this study, with the two colonies interspersed, is in agreement with global patterns of Argentine ant invasions. Our findings are of interest because recent studies show that Argentine ants from South Africa are different from those identified in other introduced ranges and therefore provide an opportunity to further understand factors that determine the distributional and spread
Passmore, Heather A; Bruna, Emilio M; Heredia, Sylvia M; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L
The organization of networks of interacting species, such as plants and animals engaged in mutualisms, strongly influences the ecology and evolution of partner communities. Habitat fragmentation is a globally pervasive form of spatial heterogeneity that could profoundly impact the structure of mutualist networks. This is particularly true for biodiversity-rich tropical ecosystems, where the majority of plant species depend on mutualisms with animals and it is thought that changes in the structure of mutualist networks could lead to cascades of extinctions. We evaluated effects of fragmentation on mutualistic networks by calculating metrics of network structure for ant-plant networks in continuous Amazonian forests with those in forest fragments. We hypothesized that networks in fragments would have fewer species and higher connectance, but equal nestedness and resilience compared to forest networks. Only one of the nine metrics we compared differed between continuous forest and forest fragments, indicating that networks were resistant to the biotic and abiotic changes that accompany fragmentation. This is partially the result of the loss of only specialist species with one connection that were lost in forest fragments. We found that the networks of ant-plant mutualists in twenty-five year old fragments are similar to those in continuous forest, suggesting these interactions are resistant to the detrimental changes associated with habitat fragmentation, at least in landscapes that are a mosaic of fragments, regenerating forests, and pastures. However, ant-plant mutualistic networks may have several properties that may promote their persistence in fragmented landscapes. Proactive identification of key mutualist partners may be necessary to focus conservation efforts on the interactions that insure the integrity of network structure and the ecosystems services networks provide.
Heather A Passmore
Full Text Available The organization of networks of interacting species, such as plants and animals engaged in mutualisms, strongly influences the ecology and evolution of partner communities. Habitat fragmentation is a globally pervasive form of spatial heterogeneity that could profoundly impact the structure of mutualist networks. This is particularly true for biodiversity-rich tropical ecosystems, where the majority of plant species depend on mutualisms with animals and it is thought that changes in the structure of mutualist networks could lead to cascades of extinctions.We evaluated effects of fragmentation on mutualistic networks by calculating metrics of network structure for ant-plant networks in continuous Amazonian forests with those in forest fragments. We hypothesized that networks in fragments would have fewer species and higher connectance, but equal nestedness and resilience compared to forest networks. Only one of the nine metrics we compared differed between continuous forest and forest fragments, indicating that networks were resistant to the biotic and abiotic changes that accompany fragmentation. This is partially the result of the loss of only specialist species with one connection that were lost in forest fragments.We found that the networks of ant-plant mutualists in twenty-five year old fragments are similar to those in continuous forest, suggesting these interactions are resistant to the detrimental changes associated with habitat fragmentation, at least in landscapes that are a mosaic of fragments, regenerating forests, and pastures. However, ant-plant mutualistic networks may have several properties that may promote their persistence in fragmented landscapes. Proactive identification of key mutualist partners may be necessary to focus conservation efforts on the interactions that insure the integrity of network structure and the ecosystems services networks provide.
Full Text Available A new collection of 24 wingless ant specimens from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Albian-Cenomanian, 99 Ma comprises nine new species belonging to the genus Sphecomyrmodes Engel and Grimaldi. Described taxa vary considerably with regard to total size, head and body proportion, cuticular sculpturing, and petiole structure while all species are unified by a distinct shared character. The assemblage represents the largest known diversification of closely related Cretaceous ants with respect to species number. These stem-group ants exhibit some characteristics previously known only from their extant counterparts along with presumed plesiomorphic morphology. Consequently, their morphology may inform hypotheses relating to basal relationships and general patterns of ant evolution. These and other uncovered Cretaceous species indicate that stem-group ants are not simply wasp-like, transitional formicids, but rather a group of considerable adaptive diversity, exhibiting innovations analogous to what crown-group ants would echo 100 million years later.
Gözdereliler, Erkin; Boon, Nico; Aamand, Jens
Two 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetic acid (MCPA)-degrading enrichment cultures selected from an aquifer on low (0.1 mg liter−1) or high (25 mg liter−1) MCPA concentrations were compared in terms of metabolic activity, community composition, population growth, and single cell physiology. Different...... community compositions and major shifts in community structure following exposure to different MCPA concentrations were observed using both 16S rRNA gene denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting and pyrosequencing. The communities also differed in their MCPA-mineralizing activities...... activity in cultures selected on low herbicide concentrations. This suggests that LNA bacteria may play a role in degradation of low herbicide concentrations in aquifers impacted by agriculture. This study shows that subpopulations of herbicide-degrading bacteria that are adapted to different pesticide...
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...... an unspecific assumption of “general niche conservatism”, phylogenetic signal will be analysed for Neotropical palms. Moreover, as an example for evolutionary mechanisms disrupting phylogenetic signal, speciation modes will be examined in selected genera. With the combined results we aim to show the relative...
Impacto das capinas mecânica e química do sub-bosque de Eucalyptus grandis sobre a comunidade de formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae Impact of mechanical and chemical weedings of Eucalyptus grandis undergrowth on an ant community (Hymenoptera: Formicidae
Lucimeire de Souza Ramos
Full Text Available O efeito das capinas mecânica e química do sub-bosque em plantações de eucaliptos e as conseqüências desses tratamentos sobre a comunidade de formigas foram avaliados no município de Bom Despacho, Minas Gerais, Brasil. As formigas foram coletadas com o extrator de Winkler. Coletou-se um total de 86 espécies, pertencentes a seis subfamílias. Oito dias após as capinas, o número de espécies reduziu-se de um quarto para os dois tipos de capina. Sessenta dias após, o número de espécies tendeu a retornar ao estágio inicial, verificando-se que a eliminação do sub-bosque causa efeito deletério imediato, de igual intensidade e de pouca duração sobre a comunidade de formigas. As razões das variações observadas serão discutidas.The effect of mechanical and chemical undergrowth weedings on an ant community was tested in eucalypts plantations and the consequences of such treatments were evaluated at Bom Despacho, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. The ants were collected by applying the Winkler trap method. Eighty-six species of six sub-families were found. Eight days after the clearings, the number of species dropped to 1/4 in both weedings systems. Sixty days later, the number of species tended to return to the initial level, showing that undergrowth elimination caused an immediate depressive effect on the ant community of similar intensity and over a short time. The reasons of the variations observed are discussed.
Jackson, Matthew A; Bonder, Marc Jan; Kuncheva, Zhana; Zierer, Jonas; Fu, Jingyuan; Kurilshikov, Alexander; Wijmenga, Cisca; Zhernakova, Alexandra; Bell, Jordana T; Spector, Tim D; Steves, Claire J
Microbes in the gut microbiome form sub-communities based on shared niche specialisations and specific interactions between individual taxa. The inter-microbial relationships that define these communities can be inferred from the co-occurrence of taxa across multiple samples. Here, we present an approach to identify comparable communities within different gut microbiota co-occurrence networks, and demonstrate its use by comparing the gut microbiota community structures of three geographically diverse populations. We combine gut microbiota profiles from 2,764 British, 1,023 Dutch, and 639 Israeli individuals, derive co-occurrence networks between their operational taxonomic units, and detect comparable communities within them. Comparing populations we find that community structure is significantly more similar between datasets than expected by chance. Mapping communities across the datasets, we also show that communities can have similar associations to host phenotypes in different populations. This study shows that the community structure within the gut microbiota is stable across populations, and describes a novel approach that facilitates comparative community-centric microbiome analyses.
Goberna, M; García, C; Insam, H; Hernández, M T; Verdú, M
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.
Abundance data of species was used for species diversity, similarity, species richness estimation and plant community analysis. PC-ORD, CANOCO and EstimateS were used to analyze the data. A total of 321 species ... Keywords: floristic composition, ordination, rarefaction, species accumulation, species richness.
The current study presents the ostracod communities recovered from 26 shallow waterbodies in southern Kenya, combined with an ecological assessment of habitat characteristics. A total of 37 waterbodies were sampled in 2001 and 2003, ranging from small ephemeral pools to large permanent lakes along broad ...
The results showed that the bacterial community diversity in the cultivated C. sachalinensis rhizosphere was always higher than the wild, while the evenness and dominance indices followed a different pattern as compared to band richness in the wild and cultivated conditions. The plant growth stages also had an influence ...
Ants and their effects on an insect herbivore community associated with the inflorescences of Byrsonima crassifolia (Linnaeus H.B.K. (Malpighiaceae Formigas e seus efeitos em uma comunidade de insetos herbívoros associada com as inflorescências de Byrsonima crassifolia (Linnaeus H.B.K. (Malpighiaceae
G. Wilson Fernandes
Full Text Available The effects of ants on the insect community on inflorescences of Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae were tested in an ant exclusion experiment in a cerrado vegetation in southeastern Brazil. Forty-four species of insects (23 families and nine species of ants (6 genera and 3 subfamilies were found on the inflorescences of B. crassifolia. The exclusion of ants, primarily Camponotus sericeiventris and Camponotus spp., reduced the treehopper population to 20% of the original abundance. Ant exclusion and time influenced the abundance of chewing (Exclusion, POs efeitos de formigas na comunidade de insetos em inflorescências de Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae foram testados em um experimento de exclusão em uma vegetação de cerrado no Sudeste do Brasil. Quarenta e quatro espécies de insetos (23 famílias e nove espécies de formigas (seis gêneros e três subfamílias foram encontradas nas inflorescências de B. crassifolia. A exclusão das formigas, principalmente de Camponotus sericeiventris e de Camponotus spp. reduziu a população de membracídeos para 20% da abundância original. Exclusão das formigas e o tempo influenciaram a abundância de insetos mastigadores (exclusão, P<0,001; tempo, P<0,002 e sugadores (exclusão, P<0,02; tempo, P<0,01. Insetos mastigadores e sugadores foram encontrados duas vezes mais em inflorescências com formigas excluídas quando comparados com inflorescências controle (P<0,001. Insetos sugadores foram encontrados 1,5 vezes mais em inflorescências com formigas excluídas do que no controle. Apenas o tempo influenciou significativamente a riqueza de insetos mastigadores e sugadores associados com as inflorescências de B. crassifolia. Inflorescências em ramos controle foram significativamente menos atacadas por herbívoros do que inflorescências em ramos com formigas excluídas (P<0,001. Portanto, estes resultados sugerem que a presença das formigas influencia a estrutura da comunidade de insetos herb
Full Text Available In this paper, a procedure for quantifying valve stiction in control loops based on ant colony optimization has been proposed. Pneumatic control valves are widely used in the process industry. The control valve contains non-linearities such as stiction, backlash, and deadband that in turn cause oscillations in the process output. Stiction is one of the long-standing problems and it is the most severe problem in the control valves. Thus the measurement data from an oscillating control loop can be used as a possible diagnostic signal to provide an estimate of the stiction magnitude. Quantification of control valve stiction is still a challenging issue. Prior to doing stiction detection and quantification, it is necessary to choose a suitable model structure to describe control-valve stiction. To understand the stiction phenomenon, the Stenman model is used. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO, an intelligent swarm algorithm, proves effective in various fields. The ACO algorithm is inspired from the natural trail following behaviour of ants. The parameters of the Stenman model are estimated using ant colony optimization, from the input-output data by minimizing the error between the actual stiction model output and the simulated stiction model output. Using ant colony optimization, Stenman model with known nonlinear structure and unknown parameters can be estimated.
Gabriel Jaime Colorado Zuluaga
Full Text Available Whether biological communities are deterministic or stochastic assemblages of species has long been a central topic of ecology. The widely demonstrated presence of structural patterns in nature may imply the existence of rules that regulate the organization of ecological communities. In this review, I present a compilation of major assembly rules that fundament, in a great proportion, the community assembly theory. Initially, I present a general overview of key concepts associated to the assembly of communities, in particular the origin of assembly rules, definition, the problem of scale and underlying mechanisms in the structure of ecological communities. Subsequently, two major approaches or paradigms (i.e. species-based and trait-based for the assembly of communities are discussed. Finally, major tested assembly rules are explored and discussed under the light of available published literature.
Cheng, Xue-Qi; Shen, Hua-Wei
As two main focuses of the study of complex networks, the community structure and the dynamics on networks have both attracted much attention in various scientific fields. However, it is still an open question how the community structure is associated with the dynamics on complex networks. In this paper, through investigating the diffusion process taking place on networks, we demonstrate that the intrinsic community structure of networks can be revealed by the stable local equilibrium states of the diffusion process. Furthermore, we show that such community structure can be directly identified through the optimization of the conductance of the network, which measures how easily the diffusion among different communities occurs. Tests on benchmark networks indicate that the conductance optimization method significantly outperforms the modularity optimization methods in identifying the community structure of networks. Applications to real world networks also demonstrate the effectiveness of the conductance optimization method. This work provides insights into the multiple topological scales of complex networks, and the community structure obtained can naturally reflect the diffusion capability of the underlying network
Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Liang, Yuting; He, Zhili; Li, Guanghe; Zhou, Jizhong
GeoChip is a comprehensive functional gene array that targets key functional genes involved in the geochemical cycling of N, C, and P, sulfate reduction, metal resistance and reduction, and contaminant degradation. Studies have shown the GeoChip to be a sensitive, specific, and high-throughput tool for microbial community analysis that has the power to link geochemical processes with microbial community structure. However, several challenges remain regarding the development and applications of microarrays for microbial community analysis.
Del Toro, I.; Floyd, K.; Gardea-Torresdey, J.; Borrok, D.
Heavy metal contamination can negatively impact arid ecosystems; however a thorough examination of bioaccumulation patterns has not been completed. We analyzed the distribution of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in soils, seeds and ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) populations of the Chihuahuan Desert near El Paso, TX, USA. Concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, and Pb in soils, seeds and ants declined as a function of distance from a now inactive Cu and Pb smelter and all five metals bioaccumulated in the granivorous ants. The average bioaccumulation factors for the metals from seeds to ants ranged from 1.04x (As) to 8.12x (Cd). The findings show bioaccumulation trends in linked trophic levels in an arid ecosystem and further investigation should focus on the impacts of heavy metal contamination at the community level. - Heavy metals bioaccumulate in desert ants.
Elisa Alonso Aller
Full Text Available Marine protected areas (MPAs have been shown to increase long-term temporal stability of fish communities and enhance ecosystem resilience to anthropogenic disturbance. Yet, the potential ability of MPAs to buffer effects of environmental variability at shorter time scales remains widely unknown. In the tropics, the yearly monsoon cycle is a major natural force affecting marine organisms in tropical regions, and its timing and severity are predicted to change over the coming century, with potentially severe effects on marine organisms, ecosystems and ecosystem services. Here, we assessed the ability of MPAs to buffer effects of monsoon seasonality on seagrass-associated fish communities, using a field survey in two MPAs (no-take zones and two unprotected (open-access sites around Zanzibar (Tanzania. We assessed the temporal stability of fish density and community structure within and outside MPAs during three monsoon seasons in 2014-2015, and investigated several possible mechanisms that could regulate temporal stability. Our results show that MPAs did not affect fish density and diversity, but that juvenile fish densities were temporally more stable within MPAs. Second, fish community structure was more stable within MPAs for juvenile and adult fish, but not for subadult fish or the total fish community. Third, the observed effects may be due to a combination of direct and indirect (seagrass-mediated effects of seasonality and, potentially, fluctuating fishing pressure outside MPAs. In summary, these MPAs may not have the ability to enhance fish density and diversity and to buffer effects of monsoon seasonality on the whole fish community. However, they may increase the temporal stability of certain groups, such as juvenile fish. Consequently, our results question whether MPAs play a general role in the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning under changing environmental conditions in tropical seagrass fish communities.
Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Human personality is described preferentially in terms of factors (dimensions found using factor analysis. An alternative and highly related method is network analysis, which may have several advantages over factor analytic methods. AIM: To directly compare the ability of network community detection (NCD and principal component factor analysis (PCA to examine modularity in multidimensional datasets such as the neuroticism-extraversion-openness personality inventory revised (NEO-PI-R. METHODS: 434 healthy subjects were tested on the NEO-PI-R. PCA was performed to extract factor structures (FS of the current dataset using both item scores and facet scores. Correlational network graphs were constructed from univariate correlation matrices of interactions between both items and facets. These networks were pruned in a link-by-link fashion while calculating the network community structure (NCS of each resulting network using the Wakita Tsurumi clustering algorithm. NCSs were matched against FS and networks of best matches were kept for further analysis. RESULTS: At facet level, NCS showed a best match (96.2% with a 'confirmatory' 5-FS. At item level, NCS showed a best match (80% with the standard 5-FS and involved a total of 6 network clusters. Lesser matches were found with 'confirmatory' 5-FS and 'exploratory' 6-FS of the current dataset. Network analysis did not identify facets as a separate level of organization in between items and clusters. A small-world network structure was found in both item- and facet level networks. CONCLUSION: We present the first optimized network graph of personality traits according to the NEO-PI-R: a 'Personality Web'. Such a web may represent the possible routes that subjects can take during personality development. NCD outperforms PCA by producing plausible modularity at item level in non-standard datasets, and can identify the key roles of individual items and clusters in the network.
Ma, Xiao; Vikram, Amit; Casson, Leonard; Bibby, Kyle
Drinking water microbial communities impact opportunistic pathogen colonization and corrosion of water distribution systems, and centralized drinking water treatment represents a potential control for microbial community structure in finished drinking water. In this article, we examine bacterial and fungal abundance and diversity, as well as the microbial community taxonomic structure following each unit operation in a conventional surface water treatment plant. Treatment operations drove the microbial composition more strongly than sampling time. Both bacterial and fungal abundance and diversity decreased following sedimentation and filtration; however, only bacterial abundance and diversity was significantly impacted by free chlorine disinfection. Similarly, each treatment step was found to shift bacterial and fungal community beta-diversity, with the exception of disinfection on the fungal community structure. We observed the enrichment of bacterial and fungal taxa commonly found in drinking water distribution systems through the treatment process, for example, Sphingomonas following filtration and Leptospirillium and Penicillium following disinfection. Study results suggest that centralized drinking water treatment processes shape the final drinking water microbial community via selection of community members and that the bacterial community is primarily driven by disinfection while the eukaryotic community is primarily controlled by physical treatment processes.
Christoffersen, K.; Lyck, Susanne; Winding, A.
experiments were analysed by polymerase chain reaction-density gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) of 16S rDNA, which showed that the indigenous bacterial community responded quickly to the addition of lysates. Our study confirms that bacteria can efficiently degrade microcystins in natural waters....... It was hypothesised that the bacterial community from a lake with frequent occurrence of toxic cyanobacteria can degrade microcystin along with other organic compounds. The initial dissolved microcystin concentrations ranged between 10 and 136 mug 1(-1) (microcystin-LR equivalents) in the laboratory experiment, using...... experiment to evaluate the effects of organic lysates on bacterial proliferation in the absence of microcystin. An exponential decline of the dissolved toxins was observed in all cases with toxins present, and the degradation rates ranged between 0.5 and 1.0 d(-1). No lag phases were observed but slow...
Treusch, Alexander H; Vergin, Kevin L; Finlay, Liam A
Vertical, seasonal and geographical patterns in ocean microbial communities have been observed in many studies, but the resolution of community dynamics has been limited by the scope of data sets, which are seldom up to the task of illuminating the highly structured and rhythmic patterns of change...
Linda T.A. Van Diepen; Erik Lilleskov; Kurt S. Pregitzer
Our previous investigation found elevated nitrogen deposition caused declines in abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with forest trees, but little is known about how nitrogen affects the AMF community composition and structure within forest ecosystems. We hypothesized that N deposition would lead to significant changes in the AMF community...
Kraigher, Barbara; Stres, Blaz; Hacin, Janez; Ausec, Luka; Mahne, Ivan; van Elsas, Jan D.; Mandic-Mulec, Ines
Fen peatlands are specific wetland ecosystems containing high soil organic carbon (SOC). There is a general lack of knowledge about the microbial communities that abound in these systems. We examined the microbial activity and community structure in two fen soils differing in SOC content sampled
Paik, Susan J.; Rahman, Zaynah; Kula, Stacy M.; Saito, L. Erika; Witenstein, Matthew A.
Based on 11 diverse Asian American (AA) communities, this article discusses the similarities and differences across East, South, and Southeast Asians. Of two parts in this journal issue, Part 1 presents a review of literature and census data to understand the cultural and structural factors of different types of coethnic communities (strong, weak,…
Kaur, Mandeep; Bowman, John P; Stewart, Doug C; Evans, David E
Malt is a preferred base for fermentations that produce beer or whisky. Barley for malt is grown under diverse environments in different geographical locations. Malt provides an ecological niche for a varied range of microorganisms with both positive and negative effects on its quality for brewing. Little information exists in the literature on the microbial community structure of Australian malt as well as broader global geographical differences in the associated fungal and bacterial communities. The aims of the present study were to compare the bacterial and fungal community structures of Australian commercial malt with its international counterparts originating from different geographical regions using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) fingerprinting and clone library analyses of ribosomal RNA genes. Further, the relationship between malt associated microbial communities and conventional malt quality parameters was also compared. Results showed that differences in fungal communities of malts from different geographical location were more pronounced than bacterial communities. TRFLP analysis discriminated high quality commercial malts with low fungal loads from malts deliberately infected with fungal inocula (Fusarium/Penicillium). Malt moisture, beta-amylase, α-amylase and limit dextrinase contents showed significant correlations with fungal community structure. This investigation concluded that fungal community structure was more important to subsequent malt quality outcomes than bacteria. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This report explores the interactions of the academic Psi-k community with industry. The evidence presented is mainly based on a semi-quantitative survey and interviews of network members. All Psi-k board, working group and advisory group members, a total of about 120 people were invited to take part in the study, and 40 people responded, representing more than 400 scientists from 33 different institutions in 12 European countries. 90% of respondents work with industry. Main industry sectors ...
Masiulionis, Virginia E.; Rabeling, Christian; de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard
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...
A. Y. Varigin
Full Text Available The trophic structure of the coastal fouling community of Odessa Bay (Black Sea, which was composed of 10 species of macrophytes, 57 invertebrate species and 4 species of fish, was determined. The basic trophic relationship between organisms composing the community is shown. A minimization of interspecific trophic competition within the community is noted. The main sources of food material entering the fouling community were determined. We show that a significant proportion of food in the form of detritus, dissolved organic matter and small planktonic organisms enters the community from the water column. Filtration and pumping activity of sestonophage-organisms, particularly mussels, helps to attract food material to the community. Primary producers of the community are macrophytes and microphytes, which develop on account of their photosynthetic activity and ensure the provision of food to herbivores. The trophic group of detritophages consumes different fractions of the detritus which accumulates in the byssus threads of bivalve molluscs. In this context, mussel druses act as sediment traps, collecting detritus. Numerous polyphages, which are essentially omnivores and do not usually lack food material, were noted in the community. A small group of carnivorous invertebrates, whose representatives actively attack small animals, was identified. The abundance of these species in the community was about 1%, and their biomass less than 0.6%. Fish living in macrophyte weeds are the consumers in the community. We determined that the highest relative abundance (over 36% in the fouling community was reached by sestonophages and polyphages. We found that the undisputed leader in the relative biomass (over 97% in the fouling community ofOdessaBaywas the sestonophages (mainly composed of mussels. We determined that the trophic structure index of the community was 0.94, which confirms the significant dominance in biomass of bivalves over other species in
Egan, Cameron P; Callaway, Ragan M; Hart, Miranda M; Pither, Jason; Klironomos, John
Despite the importance of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi within terrestrial ecosystems, we know little about how natural AM fungal communities are structured. To date, the majority of studies examining AM fungal community diversity have focused on single habitats with similar environmental conditions, with relatively few studies having assessed the diversity of AM fungi over large-scale environmental gradients. In this study, we characterized AM fungal communities in the soil along a high-elevation gradient in the North American Rocky Mountains. We focused on phylogenetic patterns of AM fungal communities to gain insight into how AM fungal communities are naturally assembled. We found that alpine AM fungal communities had lower phylogenetic diversity relative to lower elevation communities, as well as being more heterogeneous in composition than either treeline or subalpine communities. AM fungal communities were phylogenetically clustered at all elevations sampled, suggesting that environmental filtering, either selection by host plants or fungal niches, is the primary ecological process structuring communities along the gradient.
Xue, Zheng; Lu, Huijie; Liu, Wen-Tso
Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses
Sheng, Ping-Ping; Li, Min; Liu, Run-Jin
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are rich in diversity in agricultural ecosystem, playing a vital role based on their unique community structure. Host plants and environmental factors have important effects on AM fungal community structure, so do the agricultural practices which deserve to pay attention to. This paper summarized the research advances in the effects of agricultural practices such as irrigation, fertilization, crop rotation, intercropping, tillage, and pesticide application on AM fungal community structure, analyzed the related possible mechanisms, discussed the possible ways in improving AM fungal community structure in agricultural ecosystem, and put forward a set of countermeasures, i.e., improving fertilization system and related integrated techniques, increasing plant diversity in agricultural ecosystem, and inoculating AM fungi, to enhance the AM fungal diversity in agricultural ecosystem. The existing problems in current agricultural practices and further research directions were also proposed.
Tremblay, Louis A.; Clark, Dana; Sinner, Jim; Ellis, Joanne
The sustainable management of estuarine and coastal ecosystems requires robust frameworks due to the presence of multiple physical and chemical stressors. In this study, we assessed whether ecological health decline, based on community structure
Rehitha, T.V.; Ullas, N.; Vineetha, G.; Benny, P.Y.; Madhu, N.V.; Revichandran, C.
This paper demonstrates the impact of maintenance dredging activities on the macrobenthic community structure of a tropical monsoonal estuary (Cochin estuary), located in the southwest coast of India for three consecutive years. The results...
McKeon, Thomas J
.... A Population Matrix with Markov properties was used to develop the AEGIS FC aging model. The goal of this model was to provide an accurate predication of the future AEGIS FC community structure based upon variables...
Hamonts, K.; Ryngaert, A.; Smidt, H.; Springael, D.; Dejonghe, W.
Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs) often discharge into rivers as contaminated groundwater baseflow. As biotransformation of CAHs in the impacted river sediments might be an effective remediation strategy, we investigated the determinants of the microbial community structure of eutrophic,
Ingole, B.S.; Goltekar, R.
Community structure of the micro- and meiobenthos of subtidal sediment from the Gulf of Kachchh were investigated during April 2002 (premonsoon season). Sediment samples were collected from 23 stations representing the entire Gulf area. A total...
Sokolowski, A.; Wolowicz, M.; Asmus, H.; Asmus, R.; Carlier, A.; Gasiunaite, Z.; Gremare, A.; Hummel, H.; Lesutiene, J.; Razinkovas, A.; Renaud, P.E.; Richard, P.; Kedra, M.
Numerical structure and the organisation of food webs within macrozoobenthic communities has been assessed in the European waters (Svalbard, Barents Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea, Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea) to address the interactions between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Peccoud, Jean; Born, Céline; Piatscheck, Finn; Benoit, Laure; Sauve, Mathieu; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Atteke, Christiane; Wieringa, Jan J.; Harris, David J.; Mckey, Doyle
Aim: Pleistocene climatic oscillations induced range fluctuations in African rain forest organisms and may have shaped species diversification through allopatric speciation events. We compared the spatial genetic structure of two forest species that live in obligate symbiosis and thus must have
Emilio M Bruna
Full Text Available The dispersal ability of queens is central to understanding ant life-history evolution, and plays a fundamental role in ant population and community dynamics, the maintenance of genetic diversity, and the spread of invasive ants. In tropical ecosystems, species from over 40 genera of ants establish colonies in the stems, hollow thorns, or leaf pouches of specialized plants. However, little is known about the relative dispersal ability of queens competing for access to the same host plants.We used empirical data and inverse modeling--a technique developed by plant ecologists to model seed dispersal--to quantify and compare the dispersal kernels of queens from three Amazonian ant species that compete for access to host-plants. We found that the modal colonization distance of queens varied 8-fold, with the generalist ant species (Crematogaster laevis having a greater modal distance than two specialists (Pheidole minutula, Azteca sp. that use the same host-plants. However, our results also suggest that queens of Azteca sp. have maximal distances that are four-sixteen times greater than those of its competitors.We found large differences between ant species in both the modal and maximal distance ant queens disperse to find vacant seedlings used to found new colonies. These differences could result from interspecific differences in queen body size, and hence wing musculature, or because queens differ in their ability to identify potential host plants while in flight. Our results provide support for one of the necessary conditions underlying several of the hypothesized mechanisms promoting coexistence in tropical plant-ants. They also suggest that for some ant species limited dispersal capability could pose a significant barrier to the rescue of populations in isolated forest fragments. Finally, we demonstrate that inverse models parameterized with field data are an excellent means of quantifying the dispersal of ant queens.
Howard, R.J.; Mendelssohn, I.A.
The response of two oligohaline marsh macrophyte communities to pulses of increased salinity was studied over a single growing season in a greenhouse experiment. The plant communities were allowed a recovery period in freshwater following the pulse events. The experimental treatments included: (1) salinity influx rate (rate of salinity increase from 0 to 12 gl-1); (2) duration of exposure to elevated salinity; and (3) water depth. The communities both included Sagittaria lancifolia L.; the codominant species were Eleocharis palustris (L.) Roemer and J.A. Schultes in community 1 and Schoenoplectus americanus (Pers.) Volk. ex Schinz and R. Keller in community 2. Effects of the treatments on sediment chemical characteristics (salinity, pH, redox potential, and sulfide and ammonium concentrations) and plant community attributes (aboveground and belowground biomass, stem density, leaf tissue nutrients, and species richness) were examined. The treatment effects often interacted to influence sediment and plant communities characteristics following recovery in fresh water. Salinity influx rate per se, however, had little effect on the abiotic or biotic response variables; significant influx effects were found when the 0 gl-1 (zero influx) treatment was compared to the 12 gl-1 treatments, regardless of the rate salinity was raised. A salinity level of 12 gl-1 had negative effects on plant community structure and composition; these effects were usually associated with 3 months of salinity exposure. Water depth often interacted with exposure duration, but increased water depth did independently decrease the values of some community response measures. Community 1 was affected more than community 2 in the most extreme salinity treatment (3 months exposure/15-cm water depth). Although species richness in both communities was reduced, structural changes were more dramatic in community 1. Biomass and stem density were reduced in community 1 overall and in both dominant species
Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schöning, Caspar; Boomsma, Jacobus J
of active research in insect sociobiology. Here we present microsatellite data for 176 males from eight colonies of the African army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus. Comparison with worker genotypes and inferred queen genotypes from the same colonies show that workers do not or at best very rarely reproduce...
Thomas, Renee Ahrens
The recent growth in the number of pharmacy schools across the nation has resulted in the need for high-quality community advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) sites. A vital part of a student's education, these APPEs should be structured and formalized to provide an environment conducive to student learning. This paper discusses how to use a calendar, structured-learning activities, and scheduled evaluations to develop students' knowledge, skills, and abilities in a community pharmacy...
Thomas, Renee Ahrens
The recent growth in the number of pharmacy schools across the nation has resulted in the need for high-quality community advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) sites. A vital part of a student's education, these APPEs should be structured and formalized to provide an environment conducive to student learning. This paper discusses how to use a calendar, structured-learning activities, and scheduled evaluations to develop students' knowledge, skills, and abilities in a community pharmacy setting.
In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was investigated using one-dimensional cellular automata model. It is known that ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called pheromone, on the substrate. Apart from the studies in the literature, it was considered in the model that ...
Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus
Fungus-growing ants (Attini) feed off a fungus they cultivate in a mutualistic symbiosis in underground chambers by providing it substrate they collect outside the colony. The tribe of Attine ants ranges from small colonies of the paleo- and basal Attine species with a few hundred workers that fo...... that the fungus evolved some incredible adaptations to a mutualistic life with the ants....
Hanshew, Alissa S; McDonald, Bradon R; Díaz Díaz, Carol; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Currie, Cameron R
Ant-plant mutualisms are conspicuous and ecologically important components of tropical ecosystems that remain largely unexplored in terms of insect-associated microbial communities. Recent work has revealed that ants in some ant-plant systems cultivate fungi (Chaetothyriales) within their domatia, which are fed to larvae. Using Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. from French Guiana and Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana and Crematogaster margaritae/Keetia hispida, both from Cameroon, as models, we tested the hypothesis that ant-plant-fungus mutualisms co-occur with culturable Actinobacteria. Using selective media, we isolated 861 putative Actinobacteria from the three systems. All C. margaritae/K. hispida samples had culturable Actinobacteria with a mean of 10.0 colony forming units (CFUs) per sample, while 26 % of P. penetrator/Tachigali samples (mean CFUs 1.3) and 67 % of P. phylax/L. africana samples (mean CFUs 3.6) yielded Actinobacteria. The largest number of CFUs was obtained from P. penetrator workers, P. phylax alates, and C. margaritae pupae. 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of four main clades of Streptomyces and one clade of Nocardioides within these three ant-plant mutualisms. Streptomyces with antifungal properties were isolated from all three systems, suggesting that they could serve as protective symbionts, as found in other insects. In addition, a number of isolates from a clade of Streptomyces associated with P. phylax/L. africana and C. margaritae/K. hispida were capable of degrading cellulose, suggesting that Streptomyces in these systems may serve a nutritional role. Repeated isolation of particular clades of Actinobacteria from two geographically distant locations supports these isolates as residents in ant-plant-fungi niches.
Frizzi, Filippo; Masoni, Alberto; Çelikkol, Mine; Palchetti, Enrico; Ciofi, Claudio; Chelazzi, Guido; Santini, Giacomo
Natural habitats with serpentine soils are rich in heavy metal ions, which may significantly affect ecological communities. Exposure to metal pollutants results, for instance, in a reduction of population genetic diversity and a diffused higher tolerance towards heavy metals. In this study, we investigated whether chronic exposure to metals in serpentine soils affect accumulation patterns, tolerance towards metal pollutants, and genetic diversity in ants. In particular, we studied colonies of the common Mediterranean ant, Crematogaster scutellaris, along a contamination gradient consisting of two differently contaminated forests and a reference soil with no geogenic contamination. We first evaluated the metal content in both soil and ants' body. Then, we tested for tolerance towards metal pollutants by evaluating the mortality of ants fed with nickel (Ni) solutions of increasing concentrations. Finally, differences in genetic diversity among ants from different areas were assessed using eight microsatellite loci. Interestingly, a higher tolerance to nickel solutions was found in ants sampled in sites with intermediate levels of heavy metals. This may occur, because ants inhabiting strongly contaminated areas tend to accumulate higher amounts of contaminants. Additional ingestion of toxicants beyond the saturation threshold would lead to death. There was no difference in the genetic diversity among ant colonies sampled in different sites. This was probably the result of queen mediated gene flow during nuptial flights across uncontaminated and contaminated areas of limited geographical extent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Isabel E Moller
Full Text Available The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus degrades cellulose have hampered our understanding of the selection forces that induced large scale herbivory and of the ensuing ecological footprint of these ants. Here we use a recently established technique, based on polysaccharide microarrays probed with antibodies and carbohydrate binding modules, to map the occurrence of cell wall polymers in consecutive sections of the fungus garden of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We show that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste material that the ants remove from their fungus garden. These results demonstrate that biomass entering leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens is only partially utilized and explain why disproportionally large amounts of plant material are needed to sustain colony growth. They also explain why substantial communities of microbial and invertebrate symbionts have evolved associations with the dump material from leaf-cutting ant nests, to exploit decomposition niches that the ant garden-fungus does not utilize. Our approach thus provides detailed insight into the nutritional benefits and shortcomings associated with fungus-farming in ants.
Broom, M. J.
An assessment of community composition and the functional roles of the dominant species has been carried out in two intertidal areas of Malaysian mudflat dominated by natural populations of the arcid bivalve mollusc Anadara granosa. In addition to A. granosa, organisms of numerical importance are the venerid bivalve Pelecyora trigona, the neogastropod Plicarcularia leptospira, the mesogastropods Stenothyra glabrata and Cerithidea cingulata and the hermit crab Diogenes sp. The mesogastropod Natica maculosa and the neogastropod Thais carinifera may be of some importance to community organization but they are not numerically dominant. Annelids are conspicuous by their absence. The following trophic roles are ascribed to specific members of the community: A. granosa—facultative surface deposit feeder; P. trigona—suspension feeder; P. leptospira—scavenger; C. cingulata—deposit feeder/grazer; S. glabrata—deposit feeder/grazer; N. maculosa—predator; T. carinifera—predator; Diogenes sp.—scavenger/predator. S. glabrata is of particular interest because it appears to fill the niche occupied by mud snails of the genus Hydrobia in temperate mudflat systems. There is evidence of seasonality on the mudflats which points to a spawning of certain forms triggered by the major annual salinity depression at the time of the onset of the north-east monsoon in October/November. Concentrations of benthic chlorophyll a show no obvious signs of a seasonal fluctuation and the seasonality of the primary consumers is not thought to be related to food abundance. However there is some evidence of seasonality of reproduction in N. maculosa which preys on the seasonally reproducing bivalves.
Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been reported that the modularity of metabolic networks of bacteria is closely related to the variability of their living habitats. However, given the dependency of the modularity score on the community structure, it remains unknown whether organisms achieve certain modularity via similar or different community structures. Results In this work, we studied the relationship between similarities in modularity scores and similarities in community structures of the metabolic networks of 1021 species. Both similarities are then compared against the genetic distances. We revisited the association between modularity and variability of the microbial living environments and extended the analysis to other aspects of their life style such as temperature and oxygen requirements. We also tested both topological and biological intuition of the community structures identified and investigated the extent of their conservation with respect to the taxomony. Conclusions We find that similar modularities are realized by different community structures. We find that such convergent evolution of modularity is closely associated with the number of (distinct enzymes in the organism’s metabolome, a consequence of different life styles of the species. We find that the order of modularity is the same as the order of the number of the enzymes under the classification based on the temperature preference but not on the oxygen requirement. Besides, inspection of modularity-based communities reveals that these communities are graph-theoretically meaningful yet not reflective of specific biological functions. From an evolutionary perspective, we find that the community structures are conserved only at the level of kingdoms. Our results call for more investigation into the interplay between evolution and modularity: how evolution shapes modularity, and how modularity affects evolution (mainly in terms of fitness and evolvability. Further, our results
Zhou, Wanding; Nakhleh, Luay
It has been reported that the modularity of metabolic networks of bacteria is closely related to the variability of their living habitats. However, given the dependency of the modularity score on the community structure, it remains unknown whether organisms achieve certain modularity via similar or different community structures. In this work, we studied the relationship between similarities in modularity scores and similarities in community structures of the metabolic networks of 1021 species. Both similarities are then compared against the genetic distances. We revisited the association between modularity and variability of the microbial living environments and extended the analysis to other aspects of their life style such as temperature and oxygen requirements. We also tested both topological and biological intuition of the community structures identified and investigated the extent of their conservation with respect to the taxonomy. We find that similar modularities are realized by different community structures. We find that such convergent evolution of modularity is closely associated with the number of (distinct) enzymes in the organism's metabolome, a consequence of different life styles of the species. We find that the order of modularity is the same as the order of the number of the enzymes under the classification based on the temperature preference but not on the oxygen requirement. Besides, inspection of modularity-based communities reveals that these communities are graph-theoretically meaningful yet not reflective of specific biological functions. From an evolutionary perspective, we find that the community structures are conserved only at the level of kingdoms. Our results call for more investigation into the interplay between evolution and modularity: how evolution shapes modularity, and how modularity affects evolution (mainly in terms of fitness and evolvability). Further, our results call for exploring new measures of modularity and network
Benthic Ecology Unit, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Lagos Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria. *Corresponding author: ... such as fishes and invertebrates can also be affected, ...... Lake Vechten: structural and functional relationships.
Xie Chunli; Liu Yongkuo; Xia Hong
Nuclear Power Plant is a highly complex structural system with high safety requirements. Fault location appears to be particularly important to enhance its safety. Ant Colony Optimization is a new type of optimization algorithm, which is used in the fault location and classification of nuclear power plants in this paper. Taking the main coolant system of the first loop as the study object, using VB6.0 programming technology, the NPP fault location system is designed, and is tested against the related data in the literature. Test results show that the ant colony optimization can be used in the accurate classification fault location in the nuclear power plants. (authors)
Santorelli, Sergio; Magnusson, William; Ferreira, Efrem; Caramaschi, Erica; Zuanon, Jansen; Amadio, Sidnéia
Hypotheses about phylogenetic relationships among species allow inferences about the mechanisms that affect species coexistence. Nevertheless, most studies assume that phylogenetic patterns identified are stable over time. We used data on monthly samples of fish from a single lake over 10 years to show that the structure in phylogenetic assemblages varies over time and conclusions depend heavily on the time scale investigated. The data set was organized in guild structures and temporal scales...
Full Text Available It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects.
Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line V.; Drijfhout, Falko P.; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C.; Steiner, Florian M.; Seifert, Bernhard; Hughes, David P.; Schulz, Andreas; Petersen, Klaus S.; Konrad, Heino; Stauffer, Christian; Kiran, Kadri; Espadaler, Xavier; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Aktaç, Nihat; Eilenberg, Jørgen; Jones, Graeme R.; Nash, David R.; Pedersen, Jes S.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.
It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects. PMID:19050762
Amaral-Zettler, Linda A; Rocca, Jennifer D; Lamontagne, Michael G; Dennett, Mark R; Gast, Rebecca J
Hurricanes have the potential to alter the structures of coastal ecosystems and generate pathogen-laden floodwaters thatthreaten public health. To examine the impact of hurricanes on urban systems, we compared microbial community structures in samples collected after Hurricane Katrina and before and after Hurricane Rita. We extracted environmental DNA and sequenced small-subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA) gene clone libraries to survey microbial communities in floodwater, water, and sediment samples collected from Lake Charles, Lake Pontchartrain, the 17th Street and Industrial Canals in New Orleans, and raw sewage. Correspondence analysis showed that microbial communities associated with sediments formed one cluster while communities associated with lake and Industrial Canal water formed a second. Communities associated with water from the 17th Street Canal and floodwaters collected in New Orleans showed similarity to communities in raw sewage and contained a number of sequences associated with possible pathogenic microbes. This suggests that a distinct microbial community developed in floodwaters following Hurricane Katrina and that microbial community structures as a whole might be sensitive indicators of ecosystem health and serve as "sentinels" of water quality in the environment.
Kim, Hye Min; Jung, Ji Young; Yergeau, Etienne; Hwang, Chung Yeon; Hinzman, Larry; Nam, Sungjin; Hong, Soon Gyu; Kim, Ok-Sun; Chun, Jongsik; Lee, Yoo Kyung
The subarctic region is highly responsive and vulnerable to climate change. Understanding the structure of subarctic soil microbial communities is essential for predicting the response of the subarctic soil environment to climate change. To determine the composition of the bacterial community and its relationship with soil properties, we investigated the bacterial community structure and properties of surface soil from the moist acidic tussock tundra in Council, Alaska. We collected 70 soil samples with 25-m intervals between sampling points from 0-10 cm to 10-20 cm depths. The bacterial community was analyzed by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, and the following soil properties were analyzed: soil moisture content (MC), pH, total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), and inorganic nitrogen (NH4+ and NO3-). The community compositions of the two different depths showed that Alphaproteobacteria decreased with soil depth. Among the soil properties measured, soil pH was the most significant factor correlating with bacterial community in both upper and lower-layer soils. Bacterial community similarity based on jackknifed unweighted unifrac distance showed greater similarity across horizontal layers than through the vertical depth. This study showed that soil depth and pH were the most important soil properties determining bacterial community structure of the subarctic tundra soil in Council, Alaska. © 2014 The Authors. FEMS Microbiology Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies.
Zhu, Jiajing; Liu, Yongguo; Zhang, Yun; Liu, Xiaofeng; Xiao, Yonghua; Wang, Shidong; Wu, Xindong
Community structure is one of the most important properties in networks, in which a node shares its most connections with the others in the same community. On the contrary, the anti-community structure means the nodes in the same group have few or no connections with each other. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the incompatibility problem of herbs is a challenge to the clinical medication safety. In this paper, we propose a new anti-community detection algorithm, Random non-nEighboring nOde expansioN (REON), to find anti-communities in networks, in which a new evaluation criterion, anti-modularity, is designed to measure the quality of the obtained anti-community structure. In order to establish anti-communities in REON, we expand the node set by non-neighboring node expansion and regard the node set with the highest anti-modularity as an anti-community. Inspired by the phenomenon that the node with higher degree has greater contribution to the anti-modularity, an improved algorithm called REONI is developed by expanding node set by the non-neighboring node with the maximum degree, which greatly enhances the efficiency of REON. Experiments on synthetic and real-world networks demonstrate the superiority of the proposed algorithms over the existing methods. In addition, by applying REONI to the herb network, we find that it can discover incompatible herb combinations.
Schrøder, H D; Nissen, S H
an intermittent growth of the structure. In the ant-eggs, as well as in some areas separate from these, membrane limited cytoplasmic bodies could be seen in many cases, the membranes of which were partly joint and partly separated by an electron dense material. It is suggested that the calcifications seen...
"Bug City" is a video series created to help children (grades 1-6) learn about insects and other small critters. All aspects of bug life are touched upon including body structure, food, habitat, life cycle, mating habits, camouflage, mutualism (symbiosis), adaptations, social behavior, and more. Each program features dramatic microscopic…
T. A. S. V. Paes
Full Text Available Abstract The aim of our study was to assess whether cyanotoxins (microcystins can affect the composition of the zooplankton community, leading to domination of microzooplankton forms (protozoans and rotifers. Temporal variations in concentrations of microcystins and zooplankton biomass were analyzed in three eutrophic reservoirs in the semi-arid northeast region of Brazil. The concentration of microcystins in water proved to be correlated with the cyanobacterial biovolume, indicating the contributions from colonial forms such as Microcystis in the production of cyanotoxins. At the community level, the total biomass of zooplankton was not correlated with the concentration of microcystin (r2 = 0.00; P > 0.001, but in a population-level analysis, the biomass of rotifers and cladocerans showed a weak positive correlation. Cyclopoid copepods, which are considered to be relatively inefficient in ingesting cyanobacteria, were negatively correlated (r2 = – 0.01; P > 0.01 with the concentration of cyanotoxins. Surprisingly, the biomass of calanoid copepods was positively correlated with the microcystin concentration (r2 = 0.44; P > 0.001. The results indicate that allelopathic control mechanisms (negative effects of microcystin on zooplankton biomass do not seem to substantially affect the composition of mesozooplankton, which showed a constant and high biomass compared to the microzooplankton (rotifers. These results may be important to better understand the trophic interactions between zooplankton and cyanobacteria and the potential effects of allelopathic compounds on zooplankton.
Dobrovol'skaya, T. G.; Khusnetdinova, K. A.; Manucharova, N. A.; Balabko, P. N.
The most significant factor responsible for the specific taxonomic composition of the bacterial communities in the agrocenosis studied was found to be a part or organ of plants (leaves, flowers, roots, fruits). A stage of plant ontogeny also determines changes of taxa. In the course of the plant growth, eccrisotrophic bacteria are replaced by hydrolytic ones that belong to the group of cellulose-decomposing bacteria. Representatives of the proteobacteria genera that are difficult to identify by phenotypic methods were determined using molecular-biological methods. They were revealed only on oat leaves in the moist period. As the vetch-oat mixture was fertilized with BIOUD-1 (foliar application) in the phyllosphere of both oats and vetch, on all the plant organs, representatives of the Rhodococcus genus as dominants were isolated. This fact was related to the capability of bacteria to decompose the complex aromatic compounds that are ingredients of the fertilizers applied. Another positive effect for plants of the bacterial communities forming in agrocenoses is the presence of bacteria that are antagonists of phytopathogenic bacteria. Thus, in agrocenoses, some interrelationships promoting the growth and reproduction of plants are formed in crop plants and bacteria.
Zhou, Xu; Zhao, Xiaohui; Liu, Yanheng; Sun, Geng
Community detection can be used as an important technique for product and personalized service recommendation. A game theory based approach to detect overlapping community structure is introduced in this paper. The process of the community formation is converted into a game, when all agents (nodes) cannot improve their own utility, the game process will be terminated. The utility function is composed of a gain and a loss function and we present a new gain function in this paper. In addition, different from choosing action randomly among join, quit and switch for each agent to get new label, two new strategies for each agent to update its label are designed during the game, and the strategies are also evaluated and compared for each agent in order to find its best result. The overlapping community structure is naturally presented when the stop criterion is satisfied. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm outperforms other similar algorithms for detecting overlapping communities in networks.
Che, Xianli; Zhang, Min; Zhao, Yanyan; Zhang, Qiang; Quan, Qing; Møller, Anders; Zou, Fasheng
Ecological differences may be related to community component divisions between Oriental (west) and Sino-Japanese (east) realms, and such differences may result in weak geographical breaks in migratory species that are highly mobile. Here, we conducted comparative phylogenetic and functional structure analyses of wintering waterbird communities in southern China across two realms and subsequently examined possible climate drivers of the observed patterns. An analysis based on such highly migratory species is particularly telling because migration is bound to reduce or completely eliminate any divergence between communities. Phylogenetic and functional structure of eastern communities showed over-dispersion while western communities were clustered. Basal phylogenetic and functional turnover of western communities was significant lower than that of eastern communities. The break between eastern and western communities was masked by these two realms. Geographic patterns were related to mean temperature changes and temperature fluctuations, suggesting that temperature may filter waterbird lineages and traits, thus underlying geographical community divisions. These results suggest phylogenetic and functional divisions in southern China, coinciding with biogeography. This study shows that temperature fluctuations constitute an essential mechanism shaping geographical divisions that have largely gone undetected previously, even under climate change.
Full Text Available Bacterial endosymbionts are common across insects, but we often lack a deeper knowledge of their prevalence across most organisms. Next-generation sequencing approaches can characterize bacterial diversity associated with a host and at the same time facilitate the fast and simultaneous screening of infectious bacteria. In this study, we used 16S rRNA tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing to survey bacterial communities of 310 samples representing 221 individuals, 176 colonies and 95 species of ants. We found three distinct endosymbiont groups—Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria: Rickettsiales, Spiroplasma (Firmicutes: Entomoplasmatales, and relatives of Asaia (Alphaproteobacteria: Rhodospirillales—at different infection frequencies (at the ant species level: 22.1%, 28.4%, and 14.7%, resp. and relative abundances within bacterial communities (1.0%–99.9%. Spiroplasma was particularly enriched in the ant genus Polyrhachis, while Asaia relatives were most prevalent in arboreal ants of the genus Pseudomyrmex. While Wolbachia and Spiroplasma have been surveyed in ants before, Asaia, an acetic acid bacterium capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, has received much less attention. Due to sporadic prevalence across all ant taxa investigated, we hypothesize facultative associations for all three bacterial genera. Infection patterns are discussed in relation to potential adaptation of specific bacteria in certain ant groups.
Rodgers, S.C.; Landis, W.G.
The underlying premises of the Mixed Flask Culture (MFC), an aquatic microcosm design, include (1) that the effects of a perturbation to an aquatic community may be monitored through the measurement of its functional parameters (i.e. pH and productivity/respiration ratio) and (2) these measurements will be similar between different wild-derived communities given the same perturbation. Two MFC experiments were conducted to assess these two premises. The treatment groups in both experiments consisted of 0%, 1%, 5%, and 15% WSF Jet-A with six replicates respectively. The experimental designs reflected both the MFC and the Standard Aquatic Microcosm (SAM); this hybrid design resulted in following a MFC protocol, but incorporated the SAM specified laboratory cultured organisms. Beaker homogeneity via cross inoculation and reinoculation was encouraged in the first experiment prior to dosing. Beaker heterogeneity was encouraged in the first experiment prior to dosing. Beaker heterogeneity was encouraged in the second experiment by not cross inoculating or reinoculating. The differences between the two experiments was designed to indicate if differently derived communities react similarly to an identical perturbation. Do the microcosms within each treatment group resemble each other functionally throughout the experiment, or is the within group deviation greater than the between group deviation?
Lau, Evan; Nash, C. Z.; Vogler, D. R.; Cullings, K.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)
Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) of partial 16S rRNA gene sequences was used to investigate the molecular biodiversity of cyanobacterial communities inhabiting various lithified morpho-structures in two hotsprings of Yellowstone National Park. These morpho-structures - flat-topped columns, columnar cones, and ridged cones - resemble ancient stromatolites, which are possibly biogenic in origin. The top, middle and bottom sections of these lithified morpho-structures, as well as surrounding non-lithified mats were analyzed to determine the vertical and spatial distribution of cyanobacterial communities. Results from DGGE indicate that the cyanobacterial community composition of lithified morpho-structures (flat-topped columns, columnar cones, and ridged cones) were largely similar in vertical distribution as well as among the morpho-structures being studied. Preliminary results indicate that the cyanobacterial communities in these lithified morpho-structures were significantly different from communities in surrounding non-lithified mats. These results provide additional support to the theory that certain Phormidium/Leptolyngbya species are involved in the morphogenesis of lithifying morpho-structures in hotsprings and may have played a role in the formation of ancient stromatolites.
Ketola, Tarmo; Mikonranta, Lauri; Mappes, Johanna
Very few studies have experimentally assessed the evolutionary effects of species interactions within the same trophic level. Here we show that when Serratia marcescens evolve in multispecies communities, their growth rate exceeds the growth rate of the bacteria that evolved alone, whereas the biomass yield gets lower. In addition to the community effects per se, we found that few species in the communities caused strong effects on S. marcescens evolution. The results indicate that evolutionary responses (of a focal species) are different in communities, compared to species evolving alone. Moreover, selection can lead to very different outcomes depending on the community structure. Such context dependencies cast doubt on our ability to predict the course of evolution in the wild, where species often inhabit very different kinds of communities. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Full Text Available The community, the assemblage of organisms co-existing in a given space and time, has the potential to become one of the unifying concepts of biology, especially with the advent of high-throughput sequencing experiments that reveal genetic diversity exhaustively. In this spirit we show that a tool from community ecology, the Rank Abundance Distribution (RAD, can be turned by the new MaxRank normalization method into a generic, expressive descriptor for quantitative comparison of communities in many areas of biology. To illustrate the versatility of the method, we analyze RADs from various generalized communities, i.e. assemblages of genetically diverse cells or organisms, including human B cells, gut microbiomes under antibiotic treatment and of different ages and countries of origin, and other human and environmental microbial communities. We show that normalized RADs enable novel quantitative approaches that help to understand structures and dynamics of complex generalized communities.
McNamara, Patrick J; LaPara, Timothy M; Novak, Paige J
Triclosan is a widespread antimicrobial agent that accumulates in anaerobic digesters used to treat the residual solids generated at municipal wastewater treatment plants; there is very little information, however, about how triclosan impacts microbial communities in anaerobic digesters. We investigated how triclosan impacts the community structure, function and antimicrobial resistance genes in lab-scale anaerobic digesters. Previously exposed (to triclosan) communities were amended with 5, 50, and 500 mg/kg of triclosan, corresponding to the median, 95th percentile, and 4-fold higher than maximum triclosan concentration that has been detected in U.S. biosolids. Triclosan amendment caused all of the Bacteria and Archaea communities to structurally diverge from that of the control cultures (based on ARISA). At the end of the experiment, all triclosan-amended Archaea communities had diverged from the control communities, regardless of the triclosan concentration added. In contrast, over time the Bacteria communities that were amended with lower concentrations of triclosan (5 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg) initially diverged and then reconverged with the control community structure. Methane production at 500 mg/kg was nearly half the methane production in control cultures. At 50 mg/kg, a large variability in methane production was observed, suggesting that 50 mg/kg may be a tipping point where function begins to fail in some communities. When previously unexposed communities were exposed to 500 mg triclosan/kg, function was maintained, but the abundance of a gene encoding for triclosan resistance (mexB) increased. This research suggests that triclosan could inhibit methane production in anaerobic digesters if concentrations were to increase and may also select for resistant Bacteria. In both cases, microbial community composition and exposure history alter the influence of triclosan.
ANÁLISIS ESTRUCTURAL DE LA ESCALA DE AFRONTAMIENTO ANTE LA ANSIEDAD E INCERTIDUMBRE PRE-EXAMEN (COPEAU EN UNIVERSITARIOS PERUANOS / STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF COPING WITH PRE-EXAMS ANXIETY AND UNCERTAINTY (COPEAU IN PERUVIAN COLLEGE STUDENTS
Sergio Alexis Dominguez-Lara
Full Text Available RESUMEN: El objetivo de la presente investigación fue analizar la estructura interna de la Escala de Afrontamiento ante la Ansiedad e Incertidumbre Pre-examen (COPEAU en universitarios peruanos de una institución privada. Participaron 312 estudiantes de la carrera de psicología (227 mujeres del 1er al 6to ciclo, con edades entre 16 y 49 años (M = 20.54; DE = 4.29. Con la metodología de ecuaciones estructurales fueron evaluados cinco modelos, de los cuales el de cuatro factores oblicuos presenta mayor coherencia teórica y empírica. Del mismo modo, los indicadores de confiabilidad son apropiados. Las implicaciones prácticas de los resultados en el marco de una teoría más amplia de afrontamiento al estrés fueron discutidas, así como la pertinencia de algunos procedimientos en los estudios de aproximación analítico-factorial. ABSTRACT: The objective of this research was analyze the internal structure of Coping with Pre-Exam Anxiety and Uncertainty (COPEAU in Peruvian college students from a private institution. Participated 312 psychology students (227 women from from the first to sixth term, with age between 16 and 49 (M = 20.54; SD = 4.29. Using the structural equation modeling, five models were assessed, among which the four oblique factor model shows greater theoretical and empirical coherence.. Also, the reliability indices were appropriate. The practical implications of the results in the context of a broader theory of coping with stress were discussed, as well as the relevance of some procedures in analytical studies-factorial approach.
Shonna R. Storz
Full Text Available A field survey of the southeastern United States showed that Pheidole obscurithorax Naves, an ant introduced from South America, inhabits a 80-km-wide band along the coast between Mobile, Alabama, and Tallahassee, Florida, and is continuing to increase its range. In Tallahassee P. obscurithorax is rapidly spreading, and its nest density increased by a factor of 6.4 over a two-year period. Evidence suggests that P. obscurithorax has spread gradually by natural means. It coexists with the fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren, appears to be part of a largely exotic community of ants that are tolerant of highly disturbed habitats, and seems to have little negative effect on the ant communities that it invades.
Alana de Almeida Valadares-Pereira
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Forest-to-agriculture conversion and soil management practices for soybean cropping are frequently performed in the Cerrado (Brazilian tropical savanna. However, the effects of these practices on the soil microbial communities are still unknown. We evaluated and compared the fungal community structure in soil from soybean cropland with soil under native Cerrado vegetation at different times of the year in the Tocantins State. Soil samples were collected in two periods after planting (December and in two periods during the soybean reproductive growth stage (February. Concomitantly, soil samples were collected from an area under native Cerrado vegetation surrounding the agricultural area. The soil DNA was analyzed using a fingerprinting method termed Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Space Analysis (ARISA to assess the fungal community structure in the soil. Differences in the fungal community structure in the soil were found when comparing soybean cropland with the native vegetation (R = 0.932 for sampling 1 and R = 0.641 for sampling 2. Changes in the fungal community structure after management practices for soybean planting in Cerrado areas were related to changes in soil properties, mainly in copper, calcium, and iron contents, cation exchange capacity, base saturation, and calcium to magnesium ratio. These results show the changes in the fungal community structure in the soil as an effect of agricultural soil management in Cerrado vegetation in the state of Tocantins.
Amanda G. Bendia
Full Text Available Active volcanoes in Antarctica contrast with their predominantly cold surroundings, resulting in environmental conditions capable of selecting for versatile and extremely diverse microbial communities. This is especially true on Deception Island, where geothermal, marine, and polar environments combine to create an extraordinary range of environmental conditions. Our main goal in this study was to understand how microbial community structure is shaped by gradients of temperature, salinity, and geochemistry in polar marine volcanoes. Thereby, we collected surface sediment samples associated with fumaroles and glaciers at two sites on Deception, with temperatures ranging from 0 to 98°C. Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to assess the composition and diversity of Bacteria and Archaea. Our results revealed that Deception harbors a combination of taxonomic groups commonly found both in cold and geothermal environments of continental Antarctica, and also groups normally identified at deep and shallow-sea hydrothermal vents, such as hyperthermophilic archaea. We observed a clear separation in microbial community structure across environmental gradients, suggesting that microbial community structure is strongly niche driven on Deception. Bacterial community structure was significantly associated with temperature, pH, salinity, and chemical composition; in contrast, archaeal community structure was strongly associated only with temperature. Our work suggests that Deception represents a peculiar “open-air” laboratory to elucidate central questions regarding molecular adaptability, microbial evolution, and biogeography of extremophiles in polar regions.
Nguyen, Tan T; Cochrane, Sabine K J; Landfald, Bjarne
Offshore drilling operations result in the generation of drill cuttings and localized smothering of the benthic habitats. This study explores bacterial community changes in the in the upper layers of the seafloor resulting from an exploratory drilling operation at 1400m water depth on the Barents Sea continental slope. Significant restructurings of the sediment microbiota were restricted to the sampling sites notably affected by the drilling waste discharge, i.e. at 30m and 50m distances from the drilling location, and to the upper 2cm of the seafloor. Three bacterial groups, the orders Clostridiales and Desulfuromonadales and the class Mollicutes, were almost exclusively confined to the upper two centimeters at 30m distance, thereby corroborating an observed increase in anaerobicity inflicted by the drilling waste deposition. The potential of these phylogenetic groups as microbial bioindicators of the spatial extent and persistence of drilling waste discharge should be further explored. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Strickland, Jennifer; Keller, Jennifer; Lavigne, John V.; Gouze, Karen; Hopkins, Joyce; LeBailly, Susan
Despite growing interest in the development of alternative diagnostic classification systems for psychopathology in young children, little is known about the adequacy of the DSM symptom structure for describing psychopathology in this population. This paper examines the fit of the DSM-IV emotional (ED) and disruptive behavior disorder (DD) symptom…
Labrador, I.; Carrasco, R.; Martinez, L.
This paper describes a practical introduction to the use of Artificial Neural Networks. Artificial Neural Nets are often used as an alternative to the traditional symbolic manipulation and first order logic used in Artificial Intelligence, due the high degree of difficulty to solve problems that can not be handled by programmers using algorithmic strategies. As a particular case of Neural Net a Multilayer Perception developed by programming in C language on OS9 real time operating system is presented. A detailed description about the program structure and practical use are included. Finally, several application examples that have been treated with the tool are presented, and some suggestions about hardware implementations. (Author) 15 refs.
Labrador, I.; Carrasco, R.; Martinez, L.
This paper describes a practical introduction to the use of Artificial Neural Networks. Artificial Neural Nets are often used as an alternative to the traditional symbolic manipulation and first order logic used in Artificial Intelligence, due the high degree of difficulty to solve problems that can not be handled by programmers using algorithmic strategies. As a particular case of Neural Net a Multilayer Perception developed by programming in C language on OS9 real time operating system is presented. A detailed description about the program structure and practical use are included. Finally, several application examples that have been treated with the tool are presented, and some suggestions about hardware implementations. (Author) 15 refs
Jiang, Zhongzhou; Liu, Jing; Wang, Shuai
In this paper, we propose a new algorithm for community detection problems (CDPs) based on traveling salesman problems (TSPs), labeled as TSP-CDA. Since TSPs need to find a tour with minimum cost, cities close to each other are usually clustered in the tour. This inspired us to model CDPs as TSPs by taking each vertex as a city. Then, in the final tour, the vertices in the same community tend to cluster together, and the community structure can be obtained by cutting the tour into a couple of paths. There are two challenges. The first is to define a suitable distance between each pair of vertices which can reflect the probability that they belong to the same community. The second is to design a suitable strategy to cut the final tour into paths which can form communities. In TSP-CDA, we deal with these two challenges by defining a PageRank Distance and an automatic threshold-based cutting strategy. The PageRank Distance is designed with the intrinsic properties of CDPs in mind, and can be calculated efficiently. In the experiments, benchmark networks with 1000-10,000 nodes and varying structures are used to test the performance of TSP-CDA. A comparison is also made between TSP-CDA and two well-established community detection algorithms. The results show that TSP-CDA can find accurate community structure efficiently and outperforms the two existing algorithms.
Gao, Da-Wen; Wen, Zhi-Dan; Li, Bao; Liang, Hong
The study demonstrated the potential relationship between microbial community structure and membrane fouling in an anoxic-oxic membrane bioreactor (A/O-MBR). The results showed that the microbial community structure in biocake was different with aerobic mixture, and the dominant populations were out of sync during the fouling process. Based on microbial community structure and metabolites analysis, the results showed that the succession of microbial community might be the leading factor to the variation of metabolites, and it might be the primary cause of membrane fouling. The rise of Shannon diversity index (H) of the microbial community in A/O-MBR went with the gradually serious membrane fouling. Pareto-Lorenz curve was used to describe the evenness of microbial distribution in A/O-MBR, and the result indicated when community evenness was low, the membrane fouling took place smoothly or slightly, otherwise, high evenness of microbial community would lead to more seriously membrane fouling. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sibert, E. C.
In the modern ocean, a bottom-up ecological viewpoint posits that the composition of plankton communities is often a function of ambient oceanographic conditions, including nutrient concentrations and water temperature. Thus, certain plankton species or communities can be associated with specific oceanographic conditions, giving them potential as carriers of paleoceanographic information. Furthermore, consumer groups, such as fish, depend on the structure and composition of these plankton, and therefore different plankton communities will support different types of fish. In addition, fish have their own physiological constraints for surviving in particular environments, such as oxygen demand, and metabolic rate, causing certain clades to be selectively associated with different water mass characteristics. Thus, the relative or absolute abundances of different fish species or groups could shed light on shifting oxygen concentrations, temperature, or primary productivity in the past. To assess whether fish communities have sufficient environmental control to provide paleoceanographic insights, I use a variety of morphological, phylogenetic, and ecological statistical approaches, to correlate modern fish communities from around the world with environmental variables. I then apply these principles to a series of ichthyolith assemblages from the Cretaceous and Cenozoic, across both space and time, to assess whether fish community composition, abundance, or other characteristics can be predictive of ocean temperature or export productivity. I find that while the abundance of fish fossils in deep-sea cores is often, though not always, correlated with certain export production and temperature proxies, community composition appears to vary independently of these variables on long timescales, driven more by evolutionary processes. However, there are distinct differences in contemporary communities in different locations, suggesting that there is potential in using fish
Patil, J.S.; Anil, A.C.
). The structure and composition of the fouling com- munity exhibit wide temporal and regional varia- tions, which are also influenced by the substratum. Dona Paula Bay, the site of this investigation, is highly dynamic in terms of its physico...-off and nutrient loading in coastal environments. In general, the waters are highly disturbed during the monsoon (June–September) and calm during the pre-monsoon (February–May) and post-monsoon (October–January) periods. Such changes are instrumental...
Gammans, Nicola; Drummond, Frank; Groden, Eleanor
We investigated the impact of an invasive ant species from Europe, Myrmica rubra (L.), on a myrmecochorous system (seeds dispersed by ants) in its invaded range in North America. We assessed: 1) how M. rubra process the myrmecochorous diapsores (seeds and elaiosome as a single dispersal unit transported by ants) in comparison with native ants; 2) its preference for common native and invasive diaspore species relative to native ants; 3) how far they disperse diaspores in the field; and 4) the diaspore removal rate by invertebrates and vertebrates in infested areas compared to noninvaded sites. Field experiments demonstrated higher diaspore removal rates over a 10-min and 24-h period by M. rubra compared to native ants. M. rubra's diaspore dispersal distance was 40% greater compared to native ants. In two of three laboratory studies and one field study, there was no significant difference between the seed species which M. rubra and native ants selected. Our data suggest no long-term deleterious effects of M. rubra's invasion on diaspore dispersal in the Maine plant community that is comprised of both native and invasive species. This implies that M. rubra benefits from the myrmechorous plant species' diaspores by increasing their dispersal range away from the parent plant and potentially reducing seed predation. However, it is not known whether the fact that the native ant fauna and M. rubra are attracted to the same plant species' diaspores creates a high level of competition between the ants with deleterious effects on the native ant community.
Beer, Martin D.
Community care is a complex operation that requires the interaction of large numbers of dedicated individuals, managed by an equally wide range of organisations. They are also by their nature highly mobile and flexible, moving between clients in whatever order person receiving care is that they receive what they expect regularly, reliably and when they expect to receive it. Current systems are heavily provider focused on providing the scheduled care with as high apparent cost effectiveness as possible. Unfortunately, the lack of focus on the client often leads to inflexibility with expensive services being provided when they are not needed, large scale duplication of effort or inadequate flexibility to change the care regime to meet changing circumstances. Add to this the problems associated with the lack of integration of emergency and routing care and the extensive support given by friends and family and many opportunities exist to improve both the levels of support and the efficiency of care. The move towards Individual Care Plans requires much closer monitoring to ensure that the care specified for each individual is actually delivered and when linked with smart home technology in conjunction with appropriate sensors allows a much richer range of services to be offered which can be customised to meet the needs of each individual, giving them the assurance to continue to live independently.
Full Text Available Microbes are predominantly found in surface-attached and spatially structured polymicrobial communities. Within these communities, microbial cells excrete a wide range of metabolites, setting the stage for interspecific metabolic interactions. The links, however, between metabolic and ecological interactions (functional relationships, and species spatial organization (structural relationships are still poorly understood. Here, we use an individual-based modelling framework to simulate the growth of a two-species surface-attached community where food (resource is traded for detoxification (service and investigate how metabolic constraints of individual species shape the emergent structural and functional relationships of the community. We show that strong metabolic interdependence drives the emergence of mutualism, robust interspecific mixing, and increased community productivity. Specifically, we observed a striking and highly stable emergent lineage branching pattern, generating a persistent lineage mixing that was absent when the metabolic exchange was removed. These emergent community properties are driven by demographic feedbacks, such that aid from neighbouring cells directly enhances focal cell growth, which in turn feeds back to neighbour fecundity. In contrast, weak metabolic interdependence drives conflict (exploitation or competition, and in turn greater interspecific segregation. Together, these results support the idea that species structural and functional relationships represent the net balance of metabolic interdependencies.
Emily B. Graham
Full Text Available 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.
Su, Li-Ling; Jiang, Xiong-Fei; Li, Sai-Ping; Zhong, Li-Xin; Ren, Fei
The detection of community structure in stock market is of theoretical and practical significance for the study of financial dynamics and portfolio risk estimation. We here study the community structures in Chinese stock markets from the aspects of both price returns and turnover rates, by using a combination of the PMFG and infomap methods based on a distance matrix. An empirical study using the overall data set shows that for both returns and turnover rates the largest communities are composed of specific industrial or conceptional sectors and the correlation inside a sector is generally larger than the correlation between different sectors. However, the community structure for turnover rates is more complex than that for returns, which indicates that the interactions between stocks revealed by turnover rates may contain more information. This conclusion is further confirmed by the analysis of the changes in the dynamics of community structures over five sub-periods. Sectors like banks, real estate, health care and New Shanghai take turns to comprise a few of the largest communities in different sub-periods, and more interestingly several specific sectors appear in the communities with different rank orders for returns and turnover rates even in the same sub-period. To better understand their differences, a comparison between the evolution of the returns and turnover rates of the stocks from these sectors is conducted. We find that stock prices only had large changes around important events while turnover rates surged after each of these events relevant to specific sectors, which shows strong evidence that the turnover rates are more susceptible to exogenous shocks than returns and its measurement for community detection may contain more useful information about market structure.
Emer, Carine; Venticinque, Eduardo Martins; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto
Mutualistic networks are critical to biological diversity maintenance; however, their structures and functionality may be threatened by a swiftly changing world. In the Amazon, the increasing number of dams poses a large threat to biological diversity because they greatly alter and fragment the surrounding landscape. Tight coevolutionary interactions typical of tropical forests, such as the ant-myrmecophyte mutualism, where the myrmecophyte plants provide domatia nesting space to their symbiotic ants, may be jeopardized by the landscape changes caused by dams. We analyzed 31 ant-myrmecophyte mutualistic networks in undisturbed and disturbed sites surrounding Balbina, the largest Central Amazonian dam. We tested how ant-myrmecophyte networks differ among dam-induced islands, lake edges, and undisturbed forests in terms of species richness, composition, structure, and robustness (number of species remaining in the network after partner extinctions). We also tested how landscape configuration in terms of area, isolation, shape, and neighborhood alters the structure of the ant-myrmecophyte networks on islands. Ant-myrmecophytic networks were highly compartmentalized in undisturbed forests, and the compartments had few strongly connected mutualistic partners. In contrast, networks at lake edges and on islands were not compartmentalized and were negatively affected by island area and isolation in terms of species richness, density, and composition. Habitat loss and fragmentation led to coextinction cascades that contributed to the elimination of entire ant-plant compartments. Furthermore, many myrmecophytic plants in disturbed sites lost their mutualistic ant partners or were colonized by opportunistic, nonspecialized ants. Robustness of ant-myrmecophyte networks on islands was lower than robustness near lake edges and in undisturbed forest and was particularly susceptible to the extinction of plants. Beyond the immediate habitat loss caused by the building of large dams
Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S.; Truszkowski, W.
We are developing the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) architecture based on an insect colony analogue for the cost-effective, efficient, systematic survey of remote or inaccessible areas with multiple object targets, including planetary surface, marine, airborne, and space environments. The mission context is the exploration in the 2020s of the most compelling remaining targets in the solar system: main belt asteroids. Main belt asteroids harbor important clues to Solar System origins and evolution which are central to NASA's goals in Space Science. Asteroids are smaller than planets, but their number is far greater, and their combined surface area likely dwarfs the Earth's. An asteroid survey will dramatically increase our understanding of the local resources available for the Human Exploration and Development of Space. During the mission composition, shape, gravity, and orbit parameters could be returned to Earth for perhaps several thousand asteroids. A survey of this area will rival the great explorations that encircled this globe, opened up the New World, and laid the groundwork for the progress and challenges of the last centuries. The ANTS architecture for a main belt survey consists of a swarm of as many as a thousand or more highly specialized pico-spacecraft that form teams to survey as many as one hundred asteroids a month. Multi-level autonomy is critical for ANTS and the objective of the proposed study is to work through the implications and constraints this entails. ANTS couples biologically inspired autonomic control for basic functions to higher level artificial intelligence that together enable individual spacecraft to operate as specialized, cooperative, social agents. This revolutionary approach postulates highly advanced, but familiar, components integrated and operated in a way that uniquely transcends any evolutionary extrapolation of existing trends and enables thousand-spacecraft missions.
Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Roepstorff, Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus J
Leaf-cutting (attine) ants use their own fecal material to manure fungus gardens, which consist of leaf material overgrown by hyphal threads of the basidiomycete fungus Leucocoprinus gongylophorus that lives in symbiosis with the ants. Previous studies have suggested that the fecal droplets contain proteins that are produced by the fungal symbiont to pass unharmed through the digestive system of the ants, so they can enhance new fungus garden growth. We tested this hypothesis by using proteomics methods to determine the gene sequences of fecal proteins in Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants. Seven (21%) of the 33 identified proteins were pectinolytic enzymes that originated from the fungal symbiont and which were still active in the fecal droplets produced by the ants. We show that these enzymes are found in the fecal material only when the ants had access to fungus garden food, and we used quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis to show that the expression of six of these enzyme genes was substantially upregulated in the fungal gongylidia. These unique structures serve as food for the ants and are produced only by the evolutionarily advanced garden symbionts of higher attine ants, but not by the fungi reared by the basal lineages of this ant clade. Pectinolytic enzymes produced in the gongylidia of the fungal symbiont are ingested but not digested by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants so that they end up in the fecal fluid and become mixed with new garden substrate. Substantial quantities of pectinolytic enzymes are typically found in pathogenic fungi that attack live plant tissue, where they are known to breach the cell walls to allow the fungal mycelium access to the cell contents. As the leaf-cutting ant symbionts are derived from fungal clades that decompose dead plant material, our results suggest that their pectinolytic enzymes represent secondarily evolved adaptations that are convergent to those normally found in phytopathogens.
Boomsma Jacobus J
Full Text Available Abstract Background Leaf-cutting (attine ants use their own fecal material to manure fungus gardens, which consist of leaf material overgrown by hyphal threads of the basidiomycete fungus Leucocoprinus gongylophorus that lives in symbiosis with the ants. Previous studies have suggested that the fecal droplets contain proteins that are produced by the fungal symbiont to pass unharmed through the digestive system of the ants, so they can enhance new fungus garden growth. Results We tested this hypothesis by using proteomics methods to determine the gene sequences of fecal proteins in Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants. Seven (21% of the 33 identified proteins were pectinolytic enzymes that originated from the fungal symbiont and which were still active in the fecal droplets produced by the ants. We show that these enzymes are found in the fecal material only when the ants had access to fungus garden food, and we used quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis to show that the expression of six of these enzyme genes was substantially upregulated in the fungal gongylidia. These unique structures serve as food for the ants and are produced only by the evolutionarily advanced garden symbionts of higher attine ants, but not by the fungi reared by the basal lineages of this ant clade. Conclusions Pectinolytic enzymes produced in the gongylidia of the fungal symbiont are ingested but not digested by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants so that they end up in the fecal fluid and become mixed with new garden substrate. Substantial quantities of pectinolytic enzymes are typically found in pathogenic fungi that attack live plant tissue, where they are known to breach the cell walls to allow the fungal mycelium access to the cell contents. As the leaf-cutting ant symbionts are derived from fungal clades that decompose dead plant material, our results suggest that their pectinolytic enzymes represent secondarily evolved adaptations that are convergent to
Full Text Available Ants play important roles in tropical rainforest ecosystems. In southern Thailand, many such areas have been extensivelylogged and replaced by rubber plantations. Since changes to the environment can cause changes to the diversity offlora and fauna, the objectives of this study were to determine habitat influences on the ant composition between homogenousand heterogeneous rubber plantations, and to investigate if any environmental factors can be directly correlated withchanges in the ant community. Three 100 m–line-transects, spaced 100 m apart, were laid out at two study sites. Four samplingmethods, hand collecting (HC, leaf litter sampling (LL, honey bait (HB and soil sampling (SS, were used to sample ants.Temperature, humidity, and precipitation were recorded. Samples were collected every two months from June 2004 to April2005. The results showed that a total of six subfamilies (Aenictinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinaemand Pseudomyrmecinae, comprising 29 genera and 87 species were found in the two study sites. The dominant genera werePheidole and Crematogaster, followed by Pheidologeton and Pachycondyla. The sampling methods used in this studyindicated that LL and HC were most suitable for sampling ants, and any combination of sampling methods detected moreant species than a single method did. Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA grouped ant species between the two typesof rubber plantation, and also divided ant species into three groups by sampling method: HC group, SS group and LL+HBgroup. DCA did not group ant species by seasonal changes, however. Further, canonical correspondence analysis detectedno effect of temperature, humidity, or precipitation on the ant community.
Benjamin J Gosney
Full Text Available Plant genetic and ontogenetic variation can significantly impact dependent fungal and arthropod communities. However, little is known of the relative importance of these extended genetic and ontogenetic effects within a species. Using a common garden trial, we compared the dependent arthropod and fungal community on 222 progeny from two highly differentiated populations of the endangered heteroblastic tree species, Eucalyptus morrisbyi. We assessed arthropod and fungal communities on both juvenile and adult foliage. The community variation was related to previous levels of marsupial browsing, as well as the variation in the physicochemical properties of leaves using near-infrared spectroscopy. We found highly significant differences in community composition, abundance and diversity parameters between eucalypt source populations in the common garden, and these were comparable to differences between the distinctive juvenile and adult foliage. The physicochemical properties assessed accounted for a significant percentage of the community variation but did not explain fully the community differences between populations and foliage types. Similarly, while differences in population susceptibility to a major marsupial herbivore may result in diffuse genetic effects on the dependent community, this still did not account for the large genetic-based differences in dependent communities between populations. Our results emphasize the importance of maintaining the populations of this rare species as separate management units, as not only are the populations highly genetically structured, this variation may alter the trajectory of biotic colonization of conservation plantings.
Arcila Hernández, Lina M; Sanders, Jon G; Miller, Gabriel A; Ravenscraft, Alison; Frederickson, Megan E
Many arboreal ants depend on myrmecophytic plants for both food and shelter; in return, these ants defend their host plants against herbivores, which are often insects. Ant-plant and other mutualisms do not necessarily involve the exchange of costly rewards or services; they may instead result from by-product benefits, or positive outcomes that do not entail a cost for one or both partners. Here, we examined whether the plant-ant Allomerus octoarticulatus pays a short-term cost to defend their host plants against herbivores, or whether plant defense is a by-product benefit of ant foraging for insect prey. Because the food offered by ant-plants is usually nitrogen-poor, arboreal ants may balance their diets by consuming insect prey or associating with microbial symbionts to acquire nitrogen, potentially shifting the costs and benefits of plant defense for the ant partner. To determine the effect of ant diet on an ant-plant mutualism, we compared the behavior, morphology, fitness, stable isotope signatures, and gaster microbiomes of A. octoarticulatus ants nesting in Cordia nodosa trees maintained for nearly a year with or without insect herbivores. At the end of the experiment, ants from herbivore exclosures preferred protein-rich baits more than ants in the control (i.e., herbivores present) treatment. Furthermore, workers in the control treatment were heavier than in the herbivore-exclusion treatment, and worker mass predicted reproductive output, suggesting that foraging for insect prey directly increased ant colony fitness. The gaster microbiome of ants was not significantly affected by the herbivore exclusion treatment. We conclude that the defensive behavior of some phytoecious ants is a by-product of their need for external protein sources; thus, the consumption of insect herbivores by ants benefits both the ant colony and the host plant. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.
Brown, Norah E M; Milazzo, Marco; Rastrick, Samuel P S; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Therriault, Thomas W; Harley, Christopher D G
Ocean acidification may have far-reaching consequences for marine community and ecosystem dynamics, but its full impacts remain poorly understood due to the difficulty of manipulating pCO 2 at the ecosystem level to mimic realistic fluctuations that occur on a number of different timescales. It is especially unclear how quickly communities at various stages of development respond to intermediate-scale pCO 2 change and, if high pCO 2 is relieved mid-succession, whether past acidification effects persist, are reversed by alleviation of pCO 2 stress, or are worsened by departures from prior high pCO 2 conditions to which organisms had acclimatized. Here, we used reciprocal transplant experiments along a shallow water volcanic pCO 2 gradient to assess the importance of the timing and duration of high pCO 2 exposure (i.e., discrete events at different stages of successional development vs. continuous exposure) on patterns of colonization and succession in a benthic fouling community. We show that succession at the acidified site was initially delayed (less community change by 8 weeks) but then caught up over the next 4 weeks. These changes in succession led to homogenization of communities maintained in or transplanted to acidified conditions, and altered community structure in ways that reflected both short- and longer-term acidification history. These community shifts are likely a result of interspecific variability in response to increased pCO 2 and changes in species interactions. High pCO 2 altered biofilm development, allowing serpulids to do best at the acidified site by the end of the experiment, although early (pretransplant) negative effects of pCO 2 on recruitment of these worms were still detectable. The ascidians Diplosoma sp. and Botryllus sp. settled later and were more tolerant to acidification. Overall, transient and persistent acidification-driven changes in the biofouling community, via both past and more recent exposure, could have important
Elainy Cristina A. M. Oliveira
Full Text Available This study aimed to evaluate the influence of soybean cultivation on the fungal community structure in a tropical floodplain area. Soil samples were collected from two different soybean cropland sites and a control area under native vegetation. The soil samples were collected at a depth of 0–10 cm soil during the off-season in July 2013. The genetic structure of the soil fungal microbial community was analyzed using the automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA technique. Among the 26 phylotypes with abundance levels higher than 1% detected in the control area, five were also detected in the area cultivated for five years, and none of them was shared between the control area and the area cultivated for eight years. Analysis of similarity (ANOSIM revealed differences in fungal community structure between the control area and the soybean cropland sites, and also between the soybean cropland sites. ANOSIM results were confirmed by multivariate statistics, which additionally revealed a nutrient-dependent relation for the fungal community structure in agricultural soil managed for eight consecutive years. The results indicated that land use affects soil chemical properties and richness and structure of the soil fungal microbial community in a tropical floodplain agricultural area, and the effects became more evident to the extent that soil was cultivated for soybean for more time.
Haverkamp, Thomas H A; Hammer, Øyvind; Jakobsen, Kjetill S
Pockmarks are geological features that are found on the bottom of lakes and oceans all over the globe. Some are active, seeping oil or methane, while others are inactive. Active pockmarks are well studied since they harbor specialized microbial communities that proliferate on the seeping compounds. Such communities are not found in inactive pockmarks. Interestingly, inactive pockmarks are known to have different macrofaunal communities compared to the surrounding sediments. It is undetermined what the microbial composition of inactive pockmarks is and if it shows a similar pattern as the macrofauna. The Norwegian Oslofjord contains many inactive pockmarks and they are well suited to study the influence of these geological features on the microbial community in the sediment. Here we present a detailed analysis of the microbial communities found in three inactive pockmarks and two control samples at two core depth intervals. The communities were analyzed using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA V3 region. Microbial communities of surface pockmark sediments were indistinguishable from communities found in the surrounding seabed. In contrast, pockmark communities at 40 cm sediment depth had a significantly different community structure from normal sediments at the same depth. Statistical analysis of chemical variables indicated significant differences in the concentrations of total carbon and non-particulate organic carbon between 40 cm pockmarks and reference sample sediments. We discuss these results in comparison with the taxonomic classification of the OTUs identified in our samples. Our results indicate that microbial communities at the sediment surface are affected by the water column, while the deeper (40 cm) sediment communities are affected by local conditions within the sediment.
Thomas H A Haverkamp
Full Text Available Pockmarks are geological features that are found on the bottom of lakes and oceans all over the globe. Some are active, seeping oil or methane, while others are inactive. Active pockmarks are well studied since they harbor specialized microbial communities that proliferate on the seeping compounds. Such communities are not found in inactive pockmarks. Interestingly, inactive pockmarks are known to have different macrofaunal communities compared to the surrounding sediments. It is undetermined what the microbial composition of inactive pockmarks is and if it shows a similar pattern as the macrofauna. The Norwegian Oslofjord contains many inactive pockmarks and they are well suited to study the influence of these geological features on the microbial community in the sediment. Here we present a detailed analysis of the microbial communities found in three inactive pockmarks and two control samples at two core depth intervals. The communities were analyzed using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA V3 region. Microbial communities of surface pockmark sediments were indistinguishable from communities found in the surrounding seabed. In contrast, pockmark communities at 40 cm sediment depth had a significantly different community structure from normal sediments at the same depth. Statistical analysis of chemical variables indicated significant differences in the concentrations of total carbon and non-particulate organic carbon between 40 cm pockmarks and reference sample sediments. We discuss these results in comparison with the taxonomic classification of the OTUs identified in our samples. Our results indicate that microbial communities at the sediment surface are affected by the water column, while the deeper (40 cm sediment communities are affected by local conditions within the sediment.
Zuellig, Robert E.; Bruce, James F.; Stogner, Sr., Robert W.
In 2001, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Colorado Springs City Engineering, began a study to better understand the relations between environmental characteristics and biological communities in the Fountain Creek basin in order to aide water-resource management and guide future monitoring activities. To accomplish this task, environmental (streamflow, habitat, and water chemistry) and biological (fish and macroinvertebrate) data were collected annually at 24 sites over a 6- or 8-year period (fish, 2003 to 2008; macroinvertebrates, 2001 to 2008). For this report, these data were first analyzed to determine the presence of temporal change in macroinvertebrate and fish community structure among years using nonparametric multivariate statistics. Where temporal change in the biological communities was found, these data were further analyzed using additional nonparametric multivariate techniques to determine which subset of selected streamflow, habitat, or water-chemistry variables best described site-specific changes in community structure relative to a gradient of urbanization. This study identified significant directional patterns of temporal change in macroinvertebrate and fish community structure at 15 of 24 sites in the Fountain Creek basin. At four of these sites, changes in environmental variables were significantly correlated with the concurrent temporal change identified in macroinvertebrate and fish community structure (Monument Creek above Woodmen Road at Colorado Springs, Colo.; Monument Creek at Bijou Street at Colorado Springs, Colo.; Bear Creek near Colorado Springs, Colo.; Fountain Creek at Security, Colo.). Combinations of environmental variables describing directional temporal change in the biota appeared to be site specific as no single variable dominated the results; however, substrate composition variables (percent substrate composition composed of sand, gravel, or cobble) collectively were present in 80 percent of the environmental
Binzer, Thomas; Sand-Jensen, Kaj
at high light depended on community density. Therefore, while the determination of the production of individual algal thalli is useful for evaluating differences in acclimatisation and adaptation between species and stands, it is not useful for evaluating production rates for entire plants and communities......Determination of photosynthetic production in plant communities is essential for evaluating plant growth rates and carbon fluxes in ecosystems, but it cannot easily be derived from the photosynthetic response of individual leaves or thalli, which has been the focus of virtually all previous aquatic...... studies. To evaluate the regulation of aquatic community production, we measured the photosynthetic production of thallus parts and entire communities of Fucus serratus (L.) of different density and spatial structure exposed to varying photon flux density and dissolved CO2 concentration. Photosynthetic...
Terhonen, Eeva; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Tuovila, Hanna; Chen, Hongxin; Oghenekaro, Abbot O.; Heinonsalo, Jussi; Kohler, Annegret; Kasanen, Risto; Vasander, Harri; Asiegbu, Fred O.
Boreal peatlands play a crucial role in global carbon cycling, acting as an important carbon reservoir. However, little information is available on how peatland microbial communities are influenced by natural variability or human-induced disturbances. In this study, we have investigated the fungal diversity and community structure of both the organic soil layer and buried wood in boreal forest soils using high-throughput sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. We have also compared the fungal communities during the primary colonization of wood with those of the surrounding soils. A permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) confirmed that the community composition significantly differed between soil types (P peatlands; it further provides a baseline for the investigation of the dynamics of the fungal community in the boreal peatlands. PMID:26896139
Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from the pres......Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from...... the presence of these ants. First of all, the chemical footprint left by the high density of ants in managed host trees may results in additional benefits. (i) Ant deposits may lead to improved fruit quality, e.g. increased sugar content, (ii) ant deposits may deter important pests (chemical deterrence) from...... crops, and lastly, (iii) ant waste products deposited ias anal spots contain urea that may be taken up by plant leaves and in this way fertilize ant-plants. On top of chemical services, weaver ants have been shown to reduce plant disease incidence via competitive exclusion of other ant species because...
Tong, Reina L.; Grace, J. Kenneth; Krushelnycky, Paul D.
Hawaii is home to over 60 ant species, including five of the six most damaging invasive ants. Although there have been many surveys of ants in Hawaii, the last island-wide hand-collection survey of ants on Oahu was conducted in 1988–1994. In 2012, a timed hand-collection of ants was made at 44 sites in a systematic, roadside survey throughout Oahu. Ants were identified and species distribution in relation to elevation, precipitation and soil type was analyzed. To assess possible convenience sampling bias, 15 additional sites were sampled further from roads to compare with the samples near roads. Twenty-four species of ants were found and mapped; Pheidole megacephala (F.), Ochetellus glaber (Mayr), and Technomyrmex difficilis Forel were the most frequently encountered ants. For six ant species, a logistic regression was performed with elevation, average annual precipitation, and soil order as explanatory variables. O. glaber was found in areas with lower precipitation around Oahu. Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle) and Tetramorium simillimum (Smith, F.) were found more often in lower elevations and in areas with the Mollisol soil order. Elevation, precipitation, and soil type were not significant sources of variation for P. megacephala, Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery, and T. difficilis. P. megacephala was associated with fewer mean numbers of ants where it occurred. Ant assemblages near and far from roads did not significantly differ. Many species of ants remain established on Oahu, and recent invaders are spreading throughout the island. Mapping ant distributions contributes to continued documentation and understanding of these pests. PMID:29439503
da Silva, Pedro Giovâni; Hernández, Malva Isabel Medina
Community structure is driven by mechanisms linked to environmental, spatial and temporal processes, which have been successfully addressed using metacommunity framework. The relative importance of processes shaping community structure can be identified using several different approaches. Two approaches that are increasingly being used are functional diversity and community deconstruction. Functional diversity is measured using various indices that incorporate distinct community attributes. Community deconstruction is a way to disentangle species responses to ecological processes by grouping species with similar traits. We used these two approaches to determine whether they are improvements over traditional measures (e.g., species composition, abundance, biomass) for identification of the main processes driving dung beetle (Scarabaeinae) community structure in a fragmented mainland-island landscape in southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We sampled five sites in each of four large forest areas, two on the mainland and two on the island. Sampling was performed in 2012 and 2013. We collected abundance and biomass data from 100 sampling points distributed over 20 sampling sites. We studied environmental, spatial and temporal effects on dung beetle community across three spatial scales, i.e., between sites, between areas and mainland-island. The γ-diversity based on species abundance was mainly attributed to β-diversity as a consequence of the increase in mean α- and β-diversity between areas. Variation partitioning on abundance, biomass and functional diversity showed scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities. We identified two major groups of responses among 17 functional groups. In general, environmental filters were important at both local and regional scales. Spatial factors were important at the intermediate scale. Our study supports the notion of scale-dependence of environmental, spatial and temporal processes in the distribution
Shelton, Jenna L.; Akob, Denise M.; McIntosh, Jennifer C.; Fierer, Noah; Spear, John R.; Warwick, Peter D.; McCray, John E.
Stimulating in situ microbial communities in oil reservoirs to produce natural gas is a potentially viable strategy for recovering additional fossil fuel resources following traditional recovery operations. Little is known about what geochemical parameters drive microbial population dynamics in biodegraded, methanogenic oil reservoirs. We investigated if microbial community structure was significantly impacted by the extent of crude oil biodegradation, extent of biogenic methane production, a...
Amanda G. Bendia; Camila N. Signori; Diego C. Franco; Rubens T. D. Duarte; Brendan J. M. Bohannan; Vivian H. Pellizari
Active volcanoes in Antarctica contrast with their predominantly cold surroundings, resulting in environmental conditions capable of selecting for versatile and extremely diverse microbial communities. This is especially true on Deception Island, where geothermal, marine, and polar environments combine to create an extraordinary range of environmental conditions. Our main goal in this study was to understand how microbial community structure is shaped by gradients of temperature, salinity, an...
Hernández-Hernández, Ana María; Viga-de Alva, Dolores; Huerta-Quintanilla, Rodrigo; Canto-Lugo, Efrain; Laviada-Molina, Hugo; Molina-Segui, Fernanda
We use complex network theory to study the differences between the friendship concepts in elementary school and university students. Four friendship networks were identified from surveys. Three of these networks are from elementary schools; two are located in the rural area of Yucatán and the other is in the urban area of Mérida, Yucatán. We analyzed the structure and the communities of these friendship networks and found significant differences among those at the elementary schools compared with those at the university. In elementary schools, the students make friends mainly in the same classroom, but there are also links among different classrooms because of the presence of siblings and relatives in the schools. These kinds of links (sibling-friend or relative-friend) are called, in this work, "mixed links". The classification of the communities is based on their similarity with the classroom composition. If the community is composed principally of students in different classrooms, the community is classified as heterogeneous. These kinds of communities appear in the elementary school friendship networks mainly because of the presence of relatives and siblings. Once the links between siblings and relatives are removed, the communities resembled the classroom composition. On the other hand, the university students are more selective in choosing friends and therefore, even when they have friends in the same classroom, those communities are quite different to the classroom composition. Also, in the university network, we found heterogeneous communities even when the presence of sibling and relatives is negligible. These differences made up a topological structure quite different at different academic levels. We also found differences in the network characteristics. Once these differences are understood, the topological structure of the friendship network and the communities shaped in an elementary school could be predicted if we know the total number of students
Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Mondolot, Laurence; La Fisca, Philippe; Voglmayr, Hermann; McKey, Doyle
Usually studied as pairwise interactions, mutualisms often involve networks of interacting species. Numerous tropical arboreal ants are specialist inhabitants of myrmecophytes (plants bearing domatia, i.e. hollow structures specialized to host ants) and are thought to rely almost exclusively on resources derived from the host plant. Recent studies, following up on century-old reports, have shown that fungi of the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales live in symbiosis with plant-ants within domatia. We tested the hypothesis that ants use domatia-inhabiting fungi as food in three ant-plant symbioses: Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana, Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa and Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. Labelling domatia fungal patches in the field with either a fluorescent dye or (15)N showed that larvae ingested domatia fungi. Furthermore, when the natural fungal patch was replaced with a piece of a (15)N-labelled pure culture of either of two Chaetothyriales strains isolated from T. aethiops colonies, these fungi were also consumed. These two fungi often co-occur in the same ant colony. Interestingly, T. aethiops workers and larvae ingested preferentially one of the two strains. Our results add a new piece in the puzzle of the nutritional ecology of plant-ants.
Busby, Posy E; Lamit, Louis J; Keith, Arthur R; Newcombe, George; Gehring, Catherine A; Whitham, Thomas G; Dirzo, Rodolfo
Plant resistance to pathogens or insect herbivores is common, but its potential for indirectly influencing plant-associated communities is poorly known. Here, we test whether pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and herbivory depend on plant resistance to pathogens and/or herbivores, and address the overarching interacting foundation species hypothesis that genetics-based interactions among a few highly interactive species can structure a much larger community. In a manipulative field experiment using replicated genotypes of two Populus species and their interspecific hybrids, we found that genetic variation in plant resistance to both pathogens and insect herbivores modulated the strength of pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and insect herbivory. First, due in part to the pathogens' differential impacts on leaf biomass among the two Populus species and the hybrids, the pathogen most strongly impacted arthropod community composition, richness, and abundance on the pathogen-susceptible tree species. Second, we found similar patterns comparing pathogen-susceptible and pathogen-resistant genotypes within species. Third, within a plant species, pathogens caused a fivefold greater reduction in herbivory on insect-herbivore-susceptible plant genotypes than on herbivore-resistant genotypes, demonstrating that the pathogen-herbivore interaction is genotype dependent. We conclude that interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores can structure multitrophic communities, supporting the interacting foundation species hypothesis. Because these interactions are genetically based, evolutionary changes in genetic resistance could result in ecological changes in associated communities, which may in turn feed back to affect plant fitness.
Burbrink, Frank T; McKelvy, Alexander D; Pyron, R Alexander; Myers, Edward A
Predicting species presence and richness on islands is important for understanding the origins of communities and how likely it is that species will disperse and resist extinction. The equilibrium theory of island biogeography (ETIB) and, as a simple model of sampling abundances, the unified neutral theory of biodiversity (UNTB), predict that in situations where mainland to island migration is high, species-abundance relationships explain the presence of taxa on islands. Thus, more abundant mainland species should have a higher probability of occurring on adjacent islands. In contrast to UNTB, if certain groups have traits that permit them to disperse to islands better than other taxa, then phylogeny may be more predictive of which taxa will occur on islands. Taking surveys of 54 island snake communities in the Eastern Nearctic along with mainland communities that have abundance data for each species, we use phylogenetic assembly methods and UNTB estimates to predict island communities. Species richness is predicted by island area, whereas turnover from the mainland to island communities is random with respect to phylogeny. Community structure appears to be ecologically neutral and abundance on the mainland is the best predictor of presence on islands. With regard to young and proximate islands, where allopatric or cladogenetic speciation is not a factor, we find that simple neutral models following UNTB and ETIB predict the structure of island communities. © 2015 The Author(s).
López-García, Álvaro; Varela-Cervero, Sara; Vasar, Martti; Öpik, Maarja; Barea, José M; Azcón-Aguilar, Concepción
Functional diversity in ecosystems has traditionally been studied using aboveground plant traits. Despite the known effect of plant traits on the microbial community composition, their effects on the microbial functional diversity are only starting to be assessed. In this study, the phylogenetic structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities associated with plant species differing in life cycle and growth form, that is, plant life forms, was determined to unravel the effect of plant traits on the functional diversity of this fungal group. The results of the 454 pyrosequencing showed that the AM fungal community composition differed across plant life forms and this effect was dependent on the soil collection date. Plants with ruderal characteristics tended to associate with phylogenetically clustered AM fungal communities. By contrast, plants with resource-conservative traits associated with phylogenetically overdispersed AM fungal communities. Additionally, the soil collected in different seasons yielded AM fungal communities with different phylogenetic dispersion. In summary, we found that the phylogenetic structure, and hence the functional diversity, of AM fungal communities is dependent on plant traits. This finding adds value to the use of plant traits for the evaluation of belowground ecosystem diversity, functions and processes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Acevedo-Trejos, Esteban; Brandt, Gunnar; Bruggeman, Jorn; Merico, Agostino
The factors regulating phytoplankton community composition play a crucial role in structuring aquatic food webs. However, consensus is still lacking about the mechanisms underlying the observed biogeographical differences in cell size composition of phytoplankton communities. Here we use a trait-based model to disentangle these mechanisms in two contrasting regions of the Atlantic Ocean. In our model, the phytoplankton community can self-assemble based on a trade-off emerging from relationships between cell size and (1) nutrient uptake, (2) zooplankton grazing, and (3) phytoplankton sinking. Grazing ‘pushes’ the community towards larger cell sizes, whereas nutrient uptake and sinking ‘pull’ the community towards smaller cell sizes. We find that the stable environmental conditions of the tropics strongly balance these forces leading to persistently small cell sizes and reduced size diversity. In contrast, the seasonality of the temperate region causes the community to regularly reorganize via shifts in species composition and to exhibit, on average, bigger cell sizes and higher size diversity than in the tropics. Our results raise the importance of environmental variability as a key structuring mechanism of plankton communities in the ocean and call for a reassessment of the current understanding of phytoplankton diversity patterns across latitudinal gradients. PMID:25747280
Full Text Available It is urgent to recover Bohai Bay costal wetland ecosystem because of covering a large area of severe saline-alkali soil. To explore the relationship between halophyte herbaceous succession and microbial community structure, we chose four local communities which played an important role in improving soil microenvironment. We performed phospholipid fatty acid analysis, measured soil parameters, and evaluated shifts of microbial community structure. Results showed that microbial community structure changed significantly along succession and bacteria community was dominant. Total phospholipid fatty acid content increased in different successional stages but decreased with depth, with similar variations in bacterial and fungal biomass. Soil organic carbon and especially total nitrogen were positively correlated with microbial biomass. Colonization of pioneering salt-tolerant plants Suaeda glauca in saline-alkali bare land changed total soil microorganism content and composition. These results showed that belowground processes were strongly related with aboveground halophyte succession. Fungal/bacterial ratio, Gram-negative/Gram-positive bacteria ratio, total microbial biomass, and fungi and bacteria content could indicate the degree of succession stages in Bohai Bay wetland ecosystem. And also these findings demonstrated that microbial community biomass and composition evolved along with vegetation succession environmental variables.
Zhang, Qian; Goberna, Marta; Liu, Yuguo; Cui, Ming; Yang, Haishui; Sun, Qixiang; Insam, Heribert; Zhou, Jinxing
The importance of assembly processes in shaping biological communities is poorly understood, especially for microbes. Here we report on the forces that structure soil bacterial communities along a 2000 m elevational gradient. We characterized the relative importance of habitat filtering and competition on phylogenetic structure and turnover in bacterial communities. Bacterial communities exhibited a phylogenetically clustered pattern and were more clustered with increasing elevation. Biotic factors (i.e. relative abundance of dominant bacterial lineages) appeared to be most important to the degree of clustering, evidencing the role of the competitive ability of entire clades in shaping the communities. Phylogenetic turnover showed the greatest correlation to elevation. After controlling for elevation, biotic factors showed greater correlation to phylogenetic turnover than all the habitat variables (i.e. climate, soil and vegetation). Structural equation modelling also identified that elevation and soil organic matter exerted indirect effects on phylogenetic diversity and turnover by determining the dominance of microbial competitors. Our results suggest that competition among bacterial taxa induced by soil carbon contributes to the phylogenetic pattern across elevational gradient in the Tibetan Plateau. This highlights the importance of considering not only abiotic filtering but also biotic interactions in soil bacterial communities across stressful elevational gradients. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Chèneby, D; Brauman, A; Rabary, B; Philippot, L
The main objective of this study was to determine how the size, structure, and activity of the nitrate reducer community were affected by adoption of a conservative tillage system as an alternative to conventional tillage. The experimental field, established in Madagascar in 1991, consists of plots subjected to conventional tillage or direct-seeding mulch-based cropping systems (DM), both amended with three different fertilization regimes. Comparisons of size, structure, and activity of the nitrate reducer community in samples collected from the top layer in 2005 and 2006 revealed that all characteristics of this functional community were affected by the tillage system, with increased nitrate reduction activity and numbers of nitrate reducers under DM. Nitrate reduction activity was also stimulated by combined organic and mineral fertilization but not by organic fertilization alone. In contrast, both negative and positive effects of combined organic and mineral fertilization on the size of the nitrate reducer community were observed. The size of the nitrate reducer community was a significant predictor of the nitrate reduction rates except in one treatment, which highlighted the inherent complexities in understanding the relationships the between size, diversity, and structure of functional microbial communities along environmental gradients.
Ma, Xiaoke; Gao, Lin; Yong, Xuerong
Identifying community structure is fundamental for revealing the structure–functionality relationship in complex networks, and spectral algorithms have been shown to be powerful for this purpose. In a traditional spectral algorithm, each vertex of a network is embedded into a spectral space by making use of the eigenvectors of the adjacency matrix or Laplacian matrix of the graph. In this paper, a novel spectral approach for revealing the overlapping and hierarchical community structure of complex networks is proposed by not only using the eigenvalues and eigenvectors but also the properties of eigenspaces of the networks involved. This gives us a better characterization of community. We first show that the communicability between a pair of vertices can be rewritten in term of eigenspaces of a network. An agglomerative clustering algorithm is then presented to discover the hierarchical communities using the communicability matrix. Finally, these overlapping vertices are discovered with the corresponding eigenspaces, based on the fact that the vertices more densely connected amongst one another are more likely to be linked through short cycles. Compared with the traditional spectral algorithms, our algorithm can identify both the overlapping and hierarchical community without increasing the time complexity O(n 3 ), where n is the size of the network. Furthermore, our algorithm can also distinguish the overlapping vertices from bridges. The method is tested by applying it to some computer-generated and real-world networks. The experimental results indicate that our algorithm can reveal community structure more precisely than the traditional spectral approaches
Reis, Francisca; Valdiviesso, Teresa; Varela, Carolina; Tavares, Rui M; Baptista, Paula; Lino-Neto, Teresa
Cork oak (Quercus suber L.) forests play an important ecological and economic role. Ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECMF) are key components for the sustainability and functioning of these ecosystems. The community structure and composition of ECMF associated with Q. suber in different landscapes of distinct Mediterranean bioclimate regions have not previously been compared. In this work, soil samples from cork oak forests residing in different bioclimates (arid, semi-arid, sub-humid, and humid) were collected and surveyed for ectomycorrhizal (ECM) root tips. A global analysis performed on 3565 ECM root tips revealed that the ECMF community is highly enriched in Russula, Tomentella, and Cenoccocum, which correspond to the ECMF genera that mainly contribute to community differences. The ECMF communities from the rainiest and the driest cork oak forests were distinct, with soils from the rainiest climates being more heterogeneous than those from the driest climates. The analyses of several abiotic factors on the ECMF communities revealed that bioclimate, precipitation, soil texture, and forest management strongly influenced ECMF structure. Shifts in ECMF with different hyphal exploration types were also detected among forests, with precipitation, forest system, and soil texture being the main drivers controlling their composition. Understanding the effects of environmental factors on the structuring of ECM communities could be the first step for promoting the sustainability of this threatened ecosystem.
Wang, Xiaohui; Xia, Yu; Wen, Xianghua; Yang, Yunfeng; Zhou, Jizhong
Biological WWTPs must be functionally stable to continuously and steadily remove contaminants which rely upon the activity of complex microbial communities. However, knowledge is still lacking in regard to microbial community functional structures and their linkages to environmental variables. To investigate microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and to understand the effects of environmental factors on their structure. 12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. A comprehensive functional gene array named GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur cycles, metal resistance, antibiotic resistance and organic contaminant degradation. High similarities of the microbial community functional structures were found among activated sludge samples from the four WWTPs, as shown by both diversity indices and the overlapped genes. For individual gene category, such as egl, amyA, lip, nirS, nirK, nosZ, ureC, ppx, ppk, aprA, dsrA, sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that the microbial functional patterns were highly correlated with water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), ammonia concentrations and loading rate of chemical oxygen demand (COD). Based on the variance partitioning analyses (VPA), a total of 53% of microbial community variation from GeoChip data can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25%) and operational parameters (23%), respectively. This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Biological WWTPs must be functionally stable to continuously and steadily remove contaminants which rely upon the activity of complex microbial communities. However, knowledge is still lacking in regard to microbial community functional structures and their linkages to environmental variables. AIMS: To investigate microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs and to understand the effects of environmental factors on their structure. METHODS: 12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. A comprehensive functional gene array named GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur cycles, metal resistance, antibiotic resistance and organic contaminant degradation. RESULTS: High similarities of the microbial community functional structures were found among activated sludge samples from the four WWTPs, as shown by both diversity indices and the overlapped genes. For individual gene category, such as egl, amyA, lip, nirS, nirK, nosZ, ureC, ppx, ppk, aprA, dsrA, sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA showed that the microbial functional patterns were highly correlated with water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO, ammonia concentrations and loading rate of chemical oxygen demand (COD. Based on the variance partitioning analyses (VPA, a total of 53% of microbial community variation from GeoChip data can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25% and operational parameters (23%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs.
Tschinkel, Walter R.
Many species of ants excavate complex, species-typical nests in soil. The basic structural units of many nests are descending tunnels connecting flattened, generally horizontal chambers of oval to lobed outline. The species-typical structure of many nests results from variation in the size, shape, number and arrangement of these basic elements. Nest architecture can be rendered by filling subterranean nests with a thin slurry of orthodontal plaster, then excavating and reconstructing the hard...
Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses, storage time at 4°C, and DNA extraction method) on the downstream analysis of nitrifying biofilms grown on ultrafiltration membranes. Both rinse and storage affected biofilm structure, as suggested by their strong correlation with total biovolume, biofilm thickness, roughness and the spatial distribution of EPS. Significant variations in DNA yields and microbial community diversity were also observed among samples treated by different rinses, storage and DNA extraction methods. For the tested biofilms, two rinses, no storage and DNA extraction with both mechanical and chemical cell lysis from attached biofilm were the optimal sample preparation procedures for obtaining accurate information about biofilm structure, EPS distribution and the microbial community. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Robinson, Lucy F; Atlas, Lauren Y; Wager, Tor D
We present a new method, State-based Dynamic Community Structure, that detects time-dependent community structure in networks of brain regions. Most analyses of functional connectivity assume that network behavior is static in time, or differs between task conditions with known timing. Our goal is to determine whether brain network topology remains stationary over time, or if changes in network organization occur at unknown time points. Changes in network organization may be related to shifts in neurological state, such as those associated with learning, drug uptake or experimental conditions. Using a hidden Markov stochastic blockmodel, we define a time-dependent community structure. We apply this approach to data from a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment examining how contextual factors influence drug-induced analgesia. Results reveal that networks involved in pain, working memory, and emotion show distinct profiles of time-varying connectivity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Li, Donglin; Wei, Suyuan
Analyzing the Stable election protocol (SEP) in wireless sensor networks and aiming at the problem of inhomogeneous cluster-heads distribution and unreasonable cluster-heads selectivity and single hop transmission in the SEP, a SEP Protocol based on community structure of node degree (SEP-CSND) is proposed. In this algorithm, network node deployed by using grid deployment model, and the connection between nodes established by setting up the communication threshold. The community structure constructed by node degree, then cluster head is elected in the community structure. On the basis of SEP, the node's residual energy and node degree is added in cluster-heads election. The information is transmitted with mode of multiple hops between network nodes. The simulation experiments showed that compared to the classical LEACH and SEP, this algorithm balances the energy consumption of the entire network and significantly prolongs network lifetime.
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James M. Cook
Full Text Available Ants often form mutualistic interactions with aphids, soliciting honeydew in return for protective services. Under certain circumstances, however, ants will prey upon aphids. In addition, in the presence of ants aphids may increase the quantity or quality of honeydew produced, which is costly. Through these mechanisms, ant attendance can reduce aphid colony growth rates. However, it is unknown whether demand from within the ant colony can affect the ant-aphid interaction. In a factorial experiment, we tested whether the presence of larvae in Lasius niger ant colonies affected the growth rate of Aphis fabae colonies. Other explanatory variables tested were the origin of ant colonies (two separate colonies were used and previous diet (sugar only or sugar and protein. We found that the presence of larvae in the ant colony significantly reduced the growth rate of aphid colonies. Previous diet and colony origin did not affect aphid colony growth rates. Our results suggest that ant colonies balance the flow of two separate resources from aphid colonies- renewable sugars or a protein-rich meal, depending on demand from ant larvae within the nest. Aphid payoffs from the ant-aphid interaction may change on a seasonal basis, as the demand from larvae within the ant colony waxes and wanes.
McFrederick, Quinn S; Wcislo, William T; Hout, Michael C; Mueller, Ulrich G
Social transmission and host developmental stage are thought to profoundly affect the structure of bacterial communities associated with honey bees and bumble bees, but these ideas have not been explored in other bee species. The halictid bees Megalopta centralis and M. genalis exhibit intrapopulation social polymorphism, which we exploit to test whether bacterial communities differ by host social structure, developmental stage, or host species. We collected social and solitary Megalopta nests and sampled bees and nest contents from all stages of host development. To survey these bacterial communities, we used 16S rRNA gene 454 pyrosequencing. We found no effect of social structure, but found differences by host species and developmental stage. Wolbachia prevalence differed between the two host species. Bacterial communities associated with different developmental stages appeared to be driven by environmentally acquired bacteria. A Lactobacillus kunkeei clade bacterium that is consistently associated with other bee species was dominant in pollen provisions and larval samples, but less abundant in mature larvae and pupae. Foraging adults appeared to often reacquire L. kunkeei clade bacteria, likely while foraging at flowers. Environmental transmission appears to be more important than social transmission for Megalopta bees at the cusp between social and solitary behavior. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.
Shen, Hua-Wei; Cheng, Xue-Qi
Spectral analysis has been successfully applied to the detection of community structure of networks, respectively being based on the adjacency matrix, the standard Laplacian matrix, the normalized Laplacian matrix, the modularity matrix, the correlation matrix and several other variants of these matrices. However, the comparison between these spectral methods is less reported. More importantly, it is still unclear which matrix is more appropriate for the detection of community structure. This paper answers the question by evaluating the effectiveness of these five matrices against benchmark networks with heterogeneous distributions of node degree and community size. Test results demonstrate that the normalized Laplacian matrix and the correlation matrix significantly outperform the other three matrices at identifying the community structure of networks. This indicates that it is crucial to take into account the heterogeneous distribution of node degree when using spectral analysis for the detection of community structure. In addition, to our surprise, the modularity matrix exhibits very similar performance to the adjacency matrix, which indicates that the modularity matrix does not gain benefits from using the configuration model as a reference network with the consideration of the node degree heterogeneity
Pillsbury, Finn C; Miller, James R
Urbanization has been cited as an important factor in worldwide amphibian declines, and although recent work has illustrated the important influence of broad-scale ecological patterns and processes on amphibian populations, little is known about the factors structuring amphibian communities in urban landscapes. We therefore examined amphibian community responses to wetland habitat availability and landscape characteristics along an urban-rural gradient in central Iowa, USA, a region experiencing rapid suburban growth. We conducted call surveys at 61 wetlands to estimate anuran calling activity, and quantified wetland habitat structure and landscape context. We used canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) to examine patterns in anuran community structure and identify the most important variables associated with those patterns. Urban density at the landscape scale had a significant negative influence on overall anuran abundance and diversity. While every species exhibited a decrease in abundance with increasing urban density, this pattern was especially pronounced for species requiring post-breeding upland habitats. Anurans most affected by urbanization were those associated with short hydroperiods, early breeding activity, and substantial upland habitat use. We suggest that broad-scale landscape fragmentation is an important factor underlying anuran community structure in this region, possibly due to limitations on the accessibility of otherwise suitable habitat in fragmented urban landscapes. This study underscores the importance of a regional approach to amphibian conservation in urban and urbanizing areas; in fragmented landscapes, a network of interconnected wetland and upland habitats may be more likely to support a successful, diverse anuran community than will isolated sites.
Xiong, Jinbo [State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing China; School of Marine Sciences, Ningbo University, Ningbo China; Sun, Huaibo [State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing China; Peng, Fei [Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou China; Zhang, Huayong [State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing China; Xue, Xian [Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou China; Gibbons, Sean M. [Argonne National Laboratory Biosciences Division, Argonne IL USA; Graduate Program in Biophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago IL USA; Gilbert, Jack A. [Argonne National Laboratory Biosciences Division, Argonne IL USA; Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago IL USA; Chu, Haiyan [State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing China
High altitude alpine meadows are experiencing considerably greater than average increases in soil surface temperature, potentially as a result of ongoing climate change. The effects of warming on plant productivity and soil edaphic variables have been established previously, but the influence of warming on soil microbial community structure has not been well characterized. Here, the impact of 15 months of soil warming (both + 1 and + 2 degrees C) on bacterial community structure was examined in a field experiment on a Tibetan plateau alpine meadow using bar-coded pyrosequencing. Warming significantly changed (P < 0.05) the structure of the soil bacterial community, but the alpha diversity was not dramatically affected. Changes in the abundance of the Actinobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria were found to contribute the most to differences between ambient (AT) and artificially warmed conditions. A variance partitioning analysis (VPA) showed that warming directly explained 7.15% variation in bacterial community structure, while warming-induced changes in soil edaphic and plant phenotypic properties indirectly accounted for 28.3% and 20.6% of the community variance, respectively. Interestingly, certain taxa showed an inconsistent response to the two warming treatments, for example Deltaproteobacteria showed a decreased relative abundance at + 1 degrees C, but a return to AT control relative abundance at + 2 degrees C. This suggests complex microbial dynamics that could result from conditional dependencies between bacterial taxa.
Chu, Xiangwei; Guan, Jihong; Zhang, Zhongzhi; Zhou, Shuigeng
Many empirical studies reveal that the weights and community structure are ubiquitous in various natural and artificial networks. In this paper, based on the SI disease model, we investigate the epidemic spreading in weighted scale-free networks with community structure. Two exponents, α and β, are introduced to weight the internal edges and external edges, respectively; and a tunable probability parameter q is also introduced to adjust the strength of community structure. We find the external weighting exponent β plays a much more important role in slackening the epidemic spreading and reducing the danger brought by the epidemic than the internal weighting exponent α. Moreover, a novel result we find is that the strong community structure is no longer helpful for slackening the danger brought by the epidemic in the weighted cases. In addition, we show the hierarchical dynamics of the epidemic spreading in the weighted scale-free networks with communities which is also displayed in the famous BA scale-free networks
Full Text Available The community composition and spatial distribution of benthic macroinvertebrates were studied along the Ebro estuary, a highly stratified estuary located in the NE Iberian Peninsula. During the last decade the oligotrophication process occurring in the lower Ebro River and its estuary has allowed a complex benthic macroinvertebrate community to become established; these results contrast with the poor community found there in the early nineties. A total of 214 taxa were identified, and polychaetes dominated the community both in abundance and species richness. The results showed spatial differences in the structure and composition of macroinvertebrates, which suggests that there are two distinct communities along the estuary. Each community was found in a specific stretch (upper and lower estuary in function of the presence of the salt wedge. The macrobenthos of the upper estuary was dominated by freshwater taxa, but some euryhaline species were also found. The lower estuary showed a marine community typical of shallow Mediterranean environments. The transition between these two communities fits an ecotone model. The highest abundances, richness and diversities were recorded at the lower estuarine stations, especially those closer to the river mouth, whereas the lowest values corresponded to the stations adjacent to the tip of the salt wedge.
Satpathy, Preseela; Steinigeweg, Sven; Cypionka, Heribert; Engelen, Bert
The influence of different starter inocula on the microbial communities in biogas batch reactors fed with fresh maize and maize silage as substrates was investigated. Molecular biological analysis by Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA gene fragments showed that each inoculum bore specific microbial communities with varying predominant phylotypes. Both, bacterial and archaeal DGGE profiles displayed three distinct communities that developed depending on the type of inoculum. Although maize and silage are similar substrates, different communities dominated the lactate-rich silage compared to lactate-free fresh maize. Cluster analysis of DGGE gels showed the communities of the same substrates to be stable with their respective inoculum. Bacteria-specific DGGE analysis revealed a rich diversity with Firmicutes being predominant. The other abundant phylotypes were Bacteroidetes and Synergistetes. Archaea-specific DGGE analysis displayed less diverse community structures, identifying members of the Methanosarcinales as the dominant methanogens present in all the three biogas digesters. In general, the source of inoculum played a significant role in shaping microbial communities. Adaptability of the inoculum to the substrates fed also influenced community compositions which further impacted the rates of biogas production.
Li, Chun-Hsien; Yang, Suh-Yuh
Synchronization is one of the most important features observed in large-scale complex networks of interacting dynamical systems. As is well known, there is a close relation between the network topology and the network synchronizability. Using the coupled Hindmarsh–Rose neurons with community structure as a model network, in this paper we explore how failures of the nodes due to random errors or intentional attacks affect the synchronizability of community networks. The intentional attacks are realized by removing a fraction of the nodes with high values in some centrality measure such as the centralities of degree, eigenvector, betweenness and closeness. According to the master stability function method, we employ the algebraic connectivity of the considered community network as an indicator to examine the network synchronizability. Numerical evidences show that the node failure strategy based on the betweenness centrality has the most influence on the synchronizability of community networks. With this node failure strategy for a given network with a fixed number of communities, we find that the larger the degree of communities, the worse the network synchronizability; however, for a given network with a fixed degree of communities, we observe that the more the number of communities, the better the network synchronizability.
Orlando, Paul A; Brown, Joel S; Wise, David H
We combine stoichiometry theory and optimal foraging theory into the MacArthur consumer-resource model. This generates predictions for diet choice, coexistence, and community structure of heterotroph communities. Tradeoffs in consumer resource-garnering traits influence community outcomes. With scarce resources, consumers forage opportunistically for complementary resources and may coexist via tradeoffs in resource encounter rates. In contrast to single currency models, stoichiometry permits multiple equilibria. These alternative stable states occur when tradeoffs in resource encounter rates are stronger than tradeoffs in elemental conversion efficiencies. With abundant resources consumers exhibit partially selective diets for essential resources and may coexist via tradeoffs in elemental conversion efficiencies. These results differ from single currency models, where adaptive diet selection is either opportunistic or selective. Interestingly, communities composed of efficient consumers share many of the same properties as communities based on substitutable resources. However, communities composed of relatively inefficient consumers behave similarly to plant communities as characterized by Tilman's consumer resource theory. The results of our model indicate that the effects of stoichiometry theory on community ecology are dependent upon both consumer foraging behavior and the nature of resource garnering tradeoffs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pagano, Gina M; Groves, Brigid K; Kuhn, Catherine H; Porter, Kyle; Mehta, Bella H
To describe the development and implementation of a structured patient identification model for medication therapy management (MTM) services within traditional dispensing activities of a community pharmacy to facilitate pharmacist-provided completion of MTM services. A daily clinical opportunity report was developed as a structured model to identify MTM opportunities daily for all MTM-eligible patients expecting to pick up a prescription. Pharmacy staff was trained and the standardized model was implemented at study sites. One hundred nineteen grocery store-based community pharmacies throughout Ohio, West Virginia, and Michigan. A structured patient identification model in a community pharmacy consists of reviewing a clinical opportunity report, identifying interventions for MTM-eligible patients, and possibly collaborating with an interdisciplinary team. This model allows pharmacists to increase MTM cases performed by providing a structured process for identifying MTM-eligible patients and completing MTM services. The development and implementation of a structured patient identification model in the community pharmacy was completed and consists of pharmacists reviewing a clinical opportunity report to identify MTM opportunities and perform clinical interventions for patients. In a 3-month pre- and post-implementation comparison, there was a 49% increase in the number of MTM services provided by pharmacists (P < 0.001). A structured patient identification model in the community pharmacy was associated with an increase in the amount of MTM services provided by pharmacists. This method could be a useful tool at a variety of community pharmacies to solve challenges associated with MTM completion. Copyright © 2017 American Pharmacists Association®. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The majority of eusocial insect species live in small, kin structured colonies that are mutually aggressive and rarely interact. By contrast, a restricted group of ant species show a peculiar social organization called unicoloniality, where colonies can grow to vast networks of geographically...... and genetic distance between colony pairs, further confirming the important role of endogenous cues in the nestmate recognition of this species. The third chapter presents a methodological study on the best procedures for identifying chemical compounds used for nestmate recognition in social insects. We first...... evaluated the power of different combinations of data transformation and chemical distance calculation in differentiating between true nestmate recognition (NMR) cues and other compounds. We found that particular combinations of statistical procedures are more effective in differentiating NMR cues from...
Li, Guiting; Jiang, Junqi; Chen, Jie; Zou, Yunding; Zhang, Xincai
By the method of OECD filter paper contact, this paper studied the effects of applied rare earth elements on soil fauna community structure and their ecological toxicity to Holotrichia parallela in bean field. The results showed that there were no significant differences between the treatments and the control in soil fauna species, quantity of main species, and diversity index. Urgent and chronic toxic test showed that the differences between the treatments and the control were not significant. It was suggested that within the range of test dosages, rare earth elements had little ecological toxicity to Holotrichia parallela, and did not change the soil fauna community structure.
Full Text Available The zooplankton community structure, including copepods, euphausiids, chaetognaths, and decapod larvae, was monitored during six circadian cycles using Bongo net (500 *m mesh net samples from Bahía Magdalena, on the southwest coast of Baja California, México. Samples were obtained during three oceanographic surveys (March, July, and December 1996 to describe the changes in the zooplankton community structure throughout the main mouth of Bahía Magdalena. The zooplankton community structure showed strong changes with a close relation to environmental conditions. During March, a well-mixed water column with low temperature and salinity indicated an influence of the California Current water and local upwelling processes. During July, temperature increased a nd a wide salinity range was recorded. The stratification of the water column was intense during summer, enhancing the thermocline. The highest temperatures and salinity were recorded in December, related to the presence of the Costa Rica Coastal Current (CRCC. The thermocline deepened as water temperature increased. A typical temperate community structure with low specific richness dominated by Calanus pacificus, Nyctiphanes simplex, and Acartia clausi and high zooplankton biomass (average 9.3 and 5.5 ml 1000 m-3respectively during March and July shifted to a more complex tropical community structure with a low zooplankton biomass in December (average 0.37 ml 1000 m-3. The mouth of Bahía Magdalena has a vigorous exchange of water caused by tidal currents. The zooplankton community structure was not significantly different between the central part of Bahía Magdalena and the continental shelf outside the bay for all months. The results suggest a more dynamic inside-outside interaction of zooplankton assemblages than first thought.La estructura de la comunidad de zooplancton, incluyendo copépodos, eufáusidos, quetognatos y larvas de decápodos, fue monitoriada por seis ciclos circadianos
Frederick, Leissing; Escribano, Ruben; Morales, Carmen E.; Hormazabal, Samuel; Medellín-Mora, Johanna
Seamounts in the Juan Fernandez Ridge, as well as in other seamount regions in the eastern South Pacific and in the world oceans, remain poorly studied ecosystems in terms of structure and functioning. Here, community respiration by epipelagic mesozooplankton in three seamounts of the Juan Fernandez Ridge, including the O`Higgins Seamount close to the coastal upwelling zone and two oceanic seamounts near the Juan Fernandez Archipelago ( 33°S-78°W), was assessed. Oxygen consumption by mixed assemblages was estimated using continuous measurements of dissolved oxygen concentration under controlled temperature during onboard, short-term incubations (2-4 h). Mesozooplankton composition was analyzed with a ZooScan device and expressed in terms of community normalized size spectra, and taxa and size diversity (Shannon-Wiener index). Carbon-specific community respiration rates in the upper 100 m layer were in the range of 0.3-1.9 mg O2 m-2 d-1, indicating that up to 3.1% of the mesozooplankton biomass can be respired on a daily basis. The mesozooplankton community was dominated by small-size copepods but the proportions of small copepods, large copepods, and gelatinous zooplankton (mostly salps) changed between the seamounts, in association with modifications in taxa composition, size diversity, and the slope of the size spectrum. Community respiration was significantly correlated to these community descriptors, suggesting the composition of the pelagic community has a direct impact on the total amount of respired-C. Connectivity between the coastal upwelling zone and the Juan Fernandez Ridge region mediated by mesoscale activity, interacting with the seamounts, is suggested as a most important process in controlling zooplankton community structure and in turn community metabolism.
Navarrete, Acacio Aparecido; Soares, Tielle; Rossetto, Raffaella; van Veen, Johannes Antonie; Tsai, Siu Mui; Kuramae, Eiko Eurya
Here we show that verrucomicrobial community structure and abundance are extremely sensitive to changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprint and real-time quantitative PCR assay were used to analyze changes in verrucomicrobial communities associated with contrasting soil nutrient conditions in tropical regions. In case study Model I ("Slash-and-burn deforestation") the verrucomicrobial community structures revealed disparate patterns in nutrient-enriched soils after slash-and-burn deforestation and natural nutrient-poor soils under an adjacent primary forest in the Amazonia (R = 0.819, P = 0.002). The relative proportion of Verrucomicrobia declined in response to increased soil fertility after slash-and-burn deforestation, accounting on average, for 4 and 2 % of the total bacterial signal, in natural nutrient-poor forest soils and nutrient-enriched deforested soils, respectively. In case study Model II ("Management practices for sugarcane") disparate patterns were revealed in sugarcane rhizosphere sampled on optimal and deficient soil fertility for sugarcane (R = 0.786, P = 0.002). Verrucomicrobial community abundance in sugarcane rhizosphere was negatively correlated with soil fertility, accounting for 2 and 5 % of the total bacterial signal, under optimal and deficient soil fertility conditions for sugarcane, respectively. In nutrient-enriched soils, verrucomicrobial community structures were related to soil factors linked to soil fertility, such as total nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sum of bases, i.e., the sum of calcium, magnesium and potassium contents. We conclude that community structure and abundance represent important ecological aspects in soil verrucomicrobial communities for tracking the changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility under tropical environmental conditions.
Kalsum M. Yusah
Full Text Available Background Competitive interactions in biological communities can be thought of as giving rise to “assembly rules” that dictate the species that are able to co-exist. Ant communities in tropical canopies often display a particular pattern, an “ant mosaic”, in which competition between dominant ant species results in a patchwork of mutually exclusive territories. Although ant mosaics have been well-documented in plantation landscapes, their presence in pristine tropical forests remained contentious until recently. Here we assess presence of ant mosaics in a hitherto under-investigated forest stratum, the emergent trees of the high canopy in primary tropical rain forest, and explore how the strength of any ant mosaics is affected by spatial scale, time of day, and sampling method. Methods To test whether these factors might impact the detection of ant mosaics in pristine habitats, we sampled ant communities from emergent trees, which rise above the highest canopy layers in lowland dipterocarp rain forests in North Borneo (38.8–60.2 m, using both baiting and insecticide fogging. Critically, we restricted sampling to only the canopy of each focal tree. For baiting, we carried out sampling during both the day and the night. We used null models of species co-occurrence to assess patterns of segregation at within-tree and between-tree scales. Results The numerically dominant ant species on the emergent trees sampled formed a diverse community, with differences in the identity of dominant species between times of day and sampling methods. Between trees, we found patterns of ant species segregation consistent with the existence of ant mosaics using both methods. Within trees, fogged ants were segregated, while baited ants were segregated only at night. Discussion We conclude that ant mosaics are present within the emergent trees of the high canopy of tropical rain forest in Malaysian Borneo, and that sampling technique, spatial scale, and time
von Beeren, Christoph; Brückner, Adrian; Maruyama, Munetoshi; Burke, Griffin; Wieschollek, Jana; Kronauer, Daniel J C
Host-symbiont interactions are embedded in ecological communities and range from unspecific to highly specific relationships. Army ants and their arthropod guests represent a fascinating example of species-rich host-symbiont associations where host specificity ranges across the entire generalist - specialist continuum. In the present study, we compared the behavioral and chemical integration mechanisms of two extremes of the generalist - specialist continuum: generalist ant-predators in the genus Tetradonia (Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae: Athetini), and specialist ant-mimics in the genera Ecitomorpha and Ecitophya (Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae: Ecitocharini). Similar to a previous study of Tetradonia beetles, we combined DNA barcoding with morphological studies to define species boundaries in ant-mimicking beetles. This approach found four ant-mimicking species at our study site at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. Community sampling of Eciton army ant parasites revealed that ant-mimicking beetles were perfect host specialists, each beetle species being associated with a single Eciton species. These specialists were seamlessly integrated into the host colony, while generalists avoided physical contact to host ants in behavioral assays. Analysis of the ants' nestmate recognition cues, i.e. cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), showed close similarity in CHC composition and CHC concentration between specialists and Eciton burchellii foreli host ants. On the contrary, the chemical profiles of generalists matched host profiles less well, indicating that high accuracy in chemical host resemblance is only accomplished by socially integrated species. Considering the interplay between behavior, morphology, and cuticular chemistry, specialists but not generalists have cracked the ants' social code with respect to various sensory modalities. Our results support the long-standing idea that the evolution of host-specialization in parasites is a trade-off between the range of
Jenna L Shelton
Full Text Available Stimulating in situ microbial communities in oil reservoirs to produce natural gas is a potentially viable strategy for recovering additional fossil fuel resources following traditional recovery operations. Little is known about what geochemical parameters drive microbial population dynamics in biodegraded, methanogenic oil reservoirs. We investigated if microbial community structure was significantly impacted by the extent of crude oil biodegradation, extent of biogenic methane production, and formation water chemistry. Twenty-two oil production wells from north central Louisiana, USA, were sampled for analysis of microbial community structure and fluid geochemistry. Archaea were the dominant microbial community in the majority of the wells sampled. Methanogens, including hydrogenotrophic and methylotrophic organisms, were numerically dominant in every well, accounting for, on average, over 98% of the total archaea present. The dominant Bacteria groups were Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Enterobacteriaceae, and Clostridiales, which have also been identified in other microbially-altered oil reservoirs. Comparing microbial community structure to fluid (gas, water, and oil geochemistry revealed that the relative extent of biodegradation, salinity, and spatial location were the major drivers of microbial diversity. Archaeal relative abundance was independent of the extent of methanogenesis, but closely correlated to the extent of crude oil biodegradation; therefore, microbial community structure is likely not a good sole predictor of methanogenic activity, but may predict the extent of crude oil biodegradation. However, when the shallow, highly biodegraded, low salinity wells were excluded from the statistical analysis, no environmental parameters could explain the differences in microbial community structure. This suggests that the microbial community structure of the 5 shallow up-dip wells was different than the 17 deeper, down-dip wells, and that
Beery, Joshua A; Day, Jennifer E
Wind energy development is an increasingly popular form of renewable energy infrastructure in rural areas. Communities generally perceive socioeconomic benefits accrue and that community funding structures are preferable to corporate structures, yet lack supporting quantitative data to inform energy policy. This study uses the Everpower wind development, to be located in Midwestern Ohio, as a hypothetical modeling environment to identify and examine socioeconomic impact trends arising from corporate, community and diversified funding structures. Analysis of five National Renewable Energy Laboratory Jobs and Economic Development Impact models incorporating local economic data and review of relevant literature were conducted. The findings suggest that community and diversified funding structures exhibit 40-100% higher socioeconomic impact levels than corporate structures. Prioritization of funding sources and retention of federal tax incentives were identified as key elements. The incorporation of local shares was found to mitigate the negative effects of foreign private equity, local debt financing increased economic output and opportunities for private equity investment were identified. The results provide the groundwork for energy policies focused to maximize socioeconomic impacts while creating opportunities for inclusive economic participation and improved social acceptance levels fundamental to the deployment of renewable energy technology.
Syahdanul, Darul; Sumabrata, Jachrizal; Darmajanti, Linda
Tanjung Burung Village is an area located on the river mouth. The position makes the occupational structure of the community has a relationship with the environmental conditions of the river mouth. The occupational structure of the estuary community tends to be in the primary sector. However, at present, the environmental condition of the Cisadane River estuary has a quality degradation in terms of the intensity of river water pollution, the frequency of flooding, and the intensity of groundwater contamination. This study aims to analyze the relationship between environmental degradation and changes in occupational structure, and analysis on the quality of life of the community. In collecting and processing data, this research uses sequential exploratory strategy. This process refers to the geographical map of Tanjung Burung Village in 1996, 2006, 2016; Population data of 1995, 2000, 2005, 2011, 2016; as well as environmental quality data from 1995 to 2017. The results of this study show that within 20 years the community has strengthened occupational structure in the tertiary sector. Furthermore, the strengthening of occupational structure in the tertiary sector has not been able to improve the quality of life of Tanjung Burung villagers.
Pérez Alcolea, Simona Micaela
La ponencia analiza la muerte de Antígona en la obra de Sófocles. Se propone que su suicidio es un acto consciente de voluntad preanunciado a lo largo de toda la obra y no una medida desesperada. Con ese fin se exploran las posibles motivaciones de Antígona para poner fin a su vida. En el análisis se proponen tres respuestas (no necesariamente excluyentes): -Antígona responde a la ética homérica. Está en lucha con Creón, y su suicidio es su golpe de gracia al poder del rey. -Antígona...
Davidson, D W; McKey, D
According to Quechua-speaking peoples, orchard-like stands ('Supay Chacras') of two Amazonian ant-plant species are cultivated by the devil, or 'Chuyachaqui'. These "devil gardens" offer extreme examples of specializations that have evolved repeatedly in ant-plant associations. Numerous investigations are beginning to disclose the identity of the Chuyachaqui - the forces behind evolutionary specialization in ant-plant symbioses. These developments have important implications for our understanding of modes of coevolution in symbiotic mutualism, remarkable convergent similarities in the form of ant-plant symbioses on different continents, and pronounced intercontinental differences in the diversity and taxonomic composition of associates. Copyright © 1993. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Full Text Available This paper presents a model for the simulation of pedestrian dynamics inspired by the behaviour of ants in ant trails. Ants communicate by producing a pheromone that can be smelled by other ants. In this model, pedestrians produce a virtual pheromone that influences the motion of others. In this way all interactions are strictly local, and so even large crowds can be simulated very efficiently. Nevertheless, the model is able to reproduce the collective effects observed empirically, eg the formation of lanes in counterflow. As an application, we reproduce a surprising result found in experiments of evacuation from an aircraft.
Hazel R. Maboreke
Full Text Available The multitrophic interactions in the rhizosphere impose significant impacts on microbial community structure and function, affecting nutrient mineralisation and consequently plant performance. However, particularly for long-lived plants such as forest trees, the mechanisms by which trophic structure of the micro-food web governs rhizosphere microorganisms are still poorly understood. This study addresses the role of nematodes, as a major component of the soil micro-food web, in influencing the microbial abundance and community structure as well as tree growth. In a greenhouse experiment with Pedunculate Oak seedlings were grown in soil, where the nematode trophic structure was manipulated by altering the proportion of functional groups (i.e., bacterial, fungal, and plant feeders in a full factorial design. The influence on the rhizosphere microbial community, the ectomycorrhizal symbiont Piloderma croceum, and oak growth, was assessed. Soil phospholipid fatty acids were employed to determine changes in the microbial communities. Increased density of singular nematode functional groups showed minor impact by increasing the biomass of single microbial groups (e.g., plant feeders that of Gram-negative bacteria, except fungal feeders, which resulted in a decline of all microorganisms in the soil. In contrast, inoculation of two or three nematode groups promoted microbial biomass and altered the community structure in favour of bacteria, thereby counteracting negative impact of single groups. These findings highlight that the collective action of trophic groups in the soil micro-food web can result in microbial community changes promoting the fitness of the tree, thereby alleviating the negative effects of individual functional groups.
Marín, Linda; Perfecto, Ivette
Spiders are a very diverse group of invertebrate predators found in agroecosystems and natural systems. However, spider distribution, abundance, and eventually their ecological function in ecosystems can be influenced by abiotic and biotic factors such as agricultural intensification and dominant ants. Here we explore the influence of both agricultural intensification and the dominant arboreal ant Azteca instabilis on the spider community in coffee agroecosystems in southern Mexico. To measure the influence of the arboreal ant Azteca instabilis (F. Smith) on the spider community inhabiting the coffee layer of coffee agroecosystems, spiders were collected from coffee plants that were and were not patrolled by the ant in sites differing in agricultural intensification. For 2008, generalized linear mixed models showed that spider diversity was affected positively by agricultural intensification but not by the ant. However, results suggested that some spider species were associated with A. instabilis. Therefore, in 2009 we concentrated our research on the effect of A. instabilis on spider diversity and composition. For 2009, generalized linear mixed models show that spider richness and abundance per plant were significantly higher in the presence of A. instabilis. In addition, analyses of visual counts of insects and sticky traps data show that more resources were present in plants patrolled by the ant. The positive effect of A. instabilis on spiders seems to be caused by at least two mechanisms: high abundance of insects and protection against predators.
Delgado-Balbuena, Laura; Bello-López, Juan M.; Navarro-Noya, Yendi E.; Rodríguez-Valentín, Analine; Luna-Guido, Marco L.; Dendooven, Luc
Mixing soil or adding earthworms (Eisenia fetida (Savigny, 1826)) accelerated the removal of anthracene, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, from a pasture and an arable soil, while a non-ionic surfactant (Surfynol® 485) inhibited the removal of the contaminant compared to the untreated soil. It was unclear if the treatments affected the soil bacterial community and consequently the removal of anthracene. Therefore, the bacterial community structure was monitored by means of 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene in the pasture and arable soil mixed weekly, amended with Surfynol® 485, E. fetida or organic material that served as food for the earthworms for 56 days. In both soils, the removal of anthracene was in the order: mixing soil weekly (100%) > earthworms applied (92%) > organic material applied (77%) > untreated soil (57%) > surfactant applied (34%) after 56 days. There was no clear link between removal of anthracene from soil and changes in the bacterial community structure. On the one hand, application of earthworms removed most of the contaminant from the arable soil and had a strong effect on the bacterial community structure, i.e. a decrease in the relative abundance of the Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi and Gemmatimonadetes, and an increase in that of the Proteobacteria compared to the unamended soil. Mixing the soil weekly removed all anthracene from the arable soil, but had little or no effect on the bacterial community structure. On the other hand, application of the surfactant inhibited the removal of anthracene from the arable soil compared to the untreated soil, but had a strong effect on the bacterial community structure, i.e. a decrease in the relative abundance of Cytophagia (Bacteroidetes), Chloroflexi, Gemmatimonadetes and Planctomycetes and an increase in that of the Flavobacteria (Bacteroidetes) and Proteobacteria. Additionally, the removal of anthracene was similar in the different treatments of both the arable and pasture soil, but the
Full Text Available Mixing soil or adding earthworms (Eisenia fetida (Savigny, 1826 accelerated the removal of anthracene, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, from a pasture and an arable soil, while a non-ionic surfactant (Surfynol® 485 inhibited the removal of the contaminant compared to the untreated soil. It was unclear if the treatments affected the soil bacterial community and consequently the removal of anthracene. Therefore, the bacterial community structure was monitored by means of 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene in the pasture and arable soil mixed weekly, amended with Surfynol® 485, E. fetida or organic material that served as food for the earthworms for 56 days. In both soils, the removal of anthracene was in the order: mixing soil weekly (100% > earthworms applied (92% > organic material applied (77% > untreated soil (57% > surfactant applied (34% after 56 days. There was no clear link between removal of anthracene from soil and changes in the bacterial community structure. On the one hand, application of earthworms removed most of the contaminant from the arable soil and had a strong effect on the bacterial community structure, i.e. a decrease in the relative abundance of the Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi and Gemmatimonadetes, and an increase in that of the Proteobacteria compared to the unamended soil. Mixing the soil weekly removed all anthracene from the arable soil, but had little or no effect on the bacterial community structure. On the other hand, application of the surfactant inhibited the removal of anthracene from the arable soil compared to the untreated soil, but had a strong effect on the bacterial community structure, i.e. a decrease in the relative abundance of Cytophagia (Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Gemmatimonadetes and Planctomycetes and an increase in that of the Flavobacteria (Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Additionally, the removal of anthracene was similar in the different treatments of both the arable and pasture soil
de Vega, Clara; Herrera, Carlos M
Interactions between plants and ants abound in nature and have significant consequences for ecosystem functioning. Recently, it has been suggested that nectar-foraging ants transport microorganisms to flowers; more specifically, they transport yeasts, which can potentially consume sugars and alter nectar composition. Therefore, ants could indirectly change nectar sugar profile, an important floral feature involved in the plant-pollinator mutualism. But this novel role for ants has never been tested. We here investigate the effects of nectarivorous ants and their associated yeasts on the floral nectar sugar composition of an ant-pollinated plant. Differences in the nectar sugar composition of ant-excluded and ant-visited flowers were examined in 278 samples by using high-performance liquid-chromatography. The importance of the genetic identity and density of ant-transported basidiomycetous and ascomycetous yeasts on the variation of nectar traits was also evaluated. Ant visitation had significant effects on nectar sugar composition. The nectar of ant-visited flowers contained significantly more fructose, more glucose, and less sucrose than the nectar of ant-excluded flowers, but these effects were context dependent. Nectar changes were correlated with the density of yeast cells in nectar. The magnitude of the effects of ant-transported ascomycetes was much higher than that of basiodiomycetes. Ants and their associated yeasts induce changes in nectar sugar traits, reducing the chemical control of the plant over this important floral trait. The potential relevance of this new role for ants as indirect nectar modifiers is a rich topic for future research into the ecology of ant-flower interactions.
The role of extra-floral nectar appears to be recruitment of foraging ants to tend the flowers resulting in a facultative ant-association between the orchid and gregarious ants. Four different ant species were found to forage on A. africana's inflorescences. Ant-tended inflorescences suffered significantly less damage by insects.
Van Stan, J. T., II; Rosier, C. L.; Schrom, J. O.; Wu, T.; Reichard, J. S.; Kan, J.
Identifying spatiotemporal influences on soil microbial community (SMC) structure is critical to understanding of patterns in nutrient cycling and related ecological services. Since forest canopy structure alters the spatiotemporal patterning of precipitation water and solute supplies to soils (via the "throughfall" mechanism), is it possible changes in SMC structure variability could arise from modifications in canopy elements? Our study investigates this question by monitoring throughfall water and dissolved ion supply to soils beneath a continuum of canopy structure: from a large gap (0% cover) to heavy Tillandsia usneoides L. (Spanish moss) canopy (>90% cover). Throughfall water supply diminished with increasing canopy cover, yet increased washoff/leaching of Na+, Cl-, PO43-, and SO42- from the canopy to the soils (p < 0.01). Presence of T. usneoides diminished throughfall NO3-, but enhanced NH4+, concentrations supplied to subcanopy soils. The mineral soil horizon (0-10 cm) from canopy gaps, bare canopy, and T. usneoides-laden canopy significantly differed (p < 0.05) in soil chemistry parameters (pH, Ca2+, Mg2+, CEC). PCR-DGGE banding patterns beneath similar canopy covers (experiencing similar throughfall dynamics) also produced high similarities per ANalyses Of SIMilarity (ANO-SIM), and clustered together when analyzed by Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS). Correlation analysis of DGGE banding patterns, throughfall dynamics, and soil chemistry yielded significant correlations (p < 0.05) between fungal communities and soil chemical properties significantly differing between canopy cover types (pH: r2 = 0.50; H+ %-base saturation: r2 = 0.48; Ca2+ %-base saturation: r2 = 0.43). Bacterial community structure correlated with throughfall NO3-, NH4+, and Ca2+ concentrations (r2 = 0.37, p = 0.16). These results suggest that modifications of forest canopy structures are capable of affecting mineral-soil horizon SMC structure via the throughfall mechanism when
Pandey, Bhanu; Agrawal, Madhoolika; Singh, Siddharth
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of coal mining activities on the community structures of woody and herbaceous plants. The response of individual plants of community to defilement caused by coal mining was also assessed. Air monitoring, soil physico-chemical and phytosociological analyses were carried around Jharia coalfield (JCF) and Raniganj coalfield. The importance value index of sensitive species minified and those of tolerant species enhanced with increasing pollution load and altered soil quality around coal mining areas. Although the species richness of woody and herbaceous plants decreased with higher pollution load, a large number of species acclimatized to the stress caused by the coal mining activities. Woody plant community at JCF was more affected by coal mining than herbaceous community. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that structure of herbaceous community was mainly driven by soil total organic carbon, soil nitrogen, whereas woody layer community was influenced by sulphur dioxide in ambient air, soil sulphate and soil phosphorus. The changes in species diversity observed at mining areas indicated an increase in the proportion of resistant herbs and grasses showing a tendency towards a definite selection strategy of ecosystem in response to air pollution and altered soil characteristics.
Moora, Mari; Davison, John; Öpik, Maarja; Metsis, Madis; Saks, Ülle; Jairus, Teele; Vasar, Martti; Zobel, Martin
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play an important role in ecosystems, but little is known about how soil AM fungal community composition varies in relation to habitat type and land-use intensity. We molecularly characterized AM fungal communities in soil samples (n = 88) from structurally open (permanent grassland, intensive and sustainable agriculture) and forested habitats (primeval forest and spruce plantation). The habitats harboured significantly different AM fungal communities, and there was a broad difference in fungal community composition between forested and open habitats, the latter being characterized by higher average AM fungal richness. Within both open and forest habitats, intensive land use significantly influenced community composition. There was a broad difference in the phylogenetic structure of AM fungal communities between mechanically disturbed and nondisturbed habitats. Taxa from Glomeraceae served as indicator species for the nondisturbed habitats, while taxa from Archaeosporaceae, Claroideoglomeraceae and Diversisporaceae were indicators for the disturbed habitats. The distribution of these indicator taxa among habitat types in the MaarjAM global database of AM fungal diversity was in accordance with their local indicator status. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lu, Ping; Lin, Yin-Hua; Yang, Zhong-Qi; Xu, Yan-Peng; Tan, Fei; Jia, Xu-Dong; Wang, Miao; Xu, De-Rong; Wang, Xi-Zhuo
This study investigated the influence of corn straw application on soil microbial communities and the relationship between such communities and soil properties in black soil. The crop used in this study was maize (Zea mays L.). The five treatments consisted of applying a gradient (50, 100, 150, and 200%) of shattered corn straw residue to the soil. Soil samples were taken from May through September during the 2012 maize growing season. The microbial community structure was determined using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. Our results revealed that the application of corn straw influenced the soil properties and increased the soil organic carbon and total nitrogen. Applying corn straw to fields also influenced the variation in soil microbial biomass and community composition, which is consistent with the variations found in soil total nitrogen (TN) and soil respiration (SR). However, the soil carbon-to-nitrogen ratio had no effect on soil microbial communities. The abundance of PLFAs, TN, and SR was higher in C1.5 than those in other treatments, suggesting that the soil properties and soil microbial community composition were affected positively by the application of corn straw to black soil. A Principal Component Analysis indicated that soil microbial communities were different in the straw decomposition processes. Moreover, the soil microbial communities from C1.5 were significantly different from those of CK (p soil and significant variations in the ratio of monounsaturated-to-branched fatty acids with different straw treatments that correlated with SR (p soil properties and soil microbial communities and that these properties affect these communities. The individual PLFA signatures were sensitive indicators that reflected the changes in the soil environment condition. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Juan Luciano Nieves
Michael Jackson es un buen ejemplo de cómo utilizar las relaciones públicas para realizar o manipular la imagen de un producto a través de los medios de comunicación. Este ensayo pretende analizar los eventos que tuvieron lugar antes de que el cantante fuera acusado de abuso sexual contra un menor. Dichos eventos formaron parte de un plan muy bien delineado para disminuir los efectos de la inminente crisis que se acercaba. Este trabajo combina la crítica retórica de temas de fantasía con teor...
Ah, qué grandiosa sensación esta de poder caminar por los eternos hielos y dejar que mi vista se pierda en el horizonte crepuscular de esta desolada región! Aquellas solitarias islas, lamentos blancos en la distancia, aquellos azules glaciares llorando su neblina de frío y siglos. Al llamado lejano, mi alma se ve arrastrada por los vientos australes. Mítico ensueño que genera en mi imaginación el gran continente antártico. Belleza misteriosa e intimidante de la vastedad casi mágica que envuel...
Moller, Isabel Eva; de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Harholt, Jesper
communities of microbial and invertebrate symbionts have evolved associations with the dump material from leaf-cutting ant nests, to exploit decomposition niches that the ant garden-fungus does not utilize. Our approach thus provides detailed insight into the nutritional benefits and shortcomings associated......The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus......, to map the occurrence of cell wall polymers in consecutive sections of the fungus garden of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We show that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste...
Stegen, J.; Bottos, E. M.; Kennedy, D.; Romero, E. B.; Fansler, S.; Chu, R. K.; Tfaily, M.; Jansson, J.; Bernstein, H. C.; Brown, J. M.; Markillie, L. M.
Understanding drivers of permafrost microbial community structure and function is critical for understanding permafrost microbiology and predicting ecosystem responses to thaw; however, studies describing ecological controls on these communities are lacking. We hypothesize that permafrost communities are uniquely shaped by constraints imposed by prolonged freezing, and decoupled from the selective factors that influence non-permafrost soil communities, but that pre-thaw environmental and community characteristics will be strong determinants of community structure and function post-thaw. We characterized patterns of environmental variation and microbial community composition in sixty permafrost samples spanning landscape gradients in a boreal forest watershed, and monitored community responses to thaw. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found that, proportionally, the strongest process influencing permafrost community composition was dispersal limitation (0.36), exceeding the influence of homogenous selection (0.21) and variable selection (0.16), and that deterministic selection arose primarily from energetic constraints of the permafrost environment. Our data supported a structural equation model in which organic carbon thermodynamics and organic acid content, influenced redox conditions and total selection. Post-thaw community composition was found to be driven primarily by pre-thaw community composition, indicating a strong influence of historical conditions. Together, these results suggest that community responses to thaw may be highly varied over short distances and that changes in community structure and function are likely to be drastic, as changes to system hydrology mobilize organisms and nutrients, thereby relieving the primary constraints on the system. These findings are being integrated with metabolomic and metatranscriptomic analyses to improve understanding of how pre-thaw conditions can be used to predict microbial activity post-thaw.
Rusch, Adrien; Birkhofer, Klaus; Bommarco, Riccardo; Smith, Henrik G; Ekbom, Barbara
Agricultural intensification is recognised as a major driver of biodiversity loss in human-modified landscapes. Several agro-environmental measures at different spatial scales have been suggested to mitigate the negative impact of intensification on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The effect of these measures on the functional structure of service-providing communities remains, however, largely unexplored. Using two distinct landscape designs, we examined how the management options of organic farming at the field scale and crop diversification at the landscape level affect the taxonomic and functional structure of generalist predator communities and how these effects vary along a landscape complexity gradient. Organic farming as well as landscapes with longer and more diversified crop rotations enhanced the activity-density of spiders and rove beetles, but not the species richness or evenness. Our results indicate that the two management options affected the functional composition of communities, as they primarily enhanced the activity-density of functionally similar species. The two management options increased the functional similarity between spider species in regards to hunting mode and habitat preference. Organic farming enhanced the functional similarity of rove beetles. Management options at field and landscape levels were generally more important predictors of community structure when compared to landscape complexity. Our study highlights the importance of considering the functional composition of generalist predators in order to understand how agro-environmental measures at various scales shape community assemblages and ecosystem functioning in agricultural landscapes.
Crane, Nicole L; Nelson, Peter; Abelson, Avigdor; Precoda, Kristin; Rulmal, John; Bernardi, Giacomo; Paddack, Michelle
The dynamic relationship between reefs and the people who utilize them at a subsistence level is poorly understood. This paper characterizes atoll-scale patterns in shallow coral reef habitat and fish community structure, and correlates these with environmental characteristics and anthropogenic factors, critical to conservation efforts for the reefs and the people who depend on them. Hierarchical clustering analyses by site for benthic composition and fish community resulted in the same 3 major clusters: cluster 1-oceanic (close proximity to deep water) and uninhabited (low human impact); cluster 2-oceanic and inhabited (high human impact); and cluster 3-lagoonal (facing the inside of the lagoon) and inhabited (highest human impact). Distance from village, reef exposure to deep water and human population size had the greatest effect in predicting the fish and benthic community structure. Our study demonstrates a strong association between benthic and fish community structure and human use across the Ulithi Atoll (Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia) and confirms a pattern observed by local people that an 'opportunistic' scleractinian coral (Montipora sp.) is associated with more highly impacted reefs. Our findings suggest that small human populations (subsistence fishing) can nevertheless have considerable ecological impacts on reefs due, in part, to changes in fishing practices rather than overfishing per se, as well as larger global trends. Findings from this work can assist in building local capacity to manage reef resources across an atoll-wide scale, and illustrates the importance of anthropogenic impact even in small communities.
Nicole L Crane
Full Text Available The dynamic relationship between reefs and the people who utilize them at a subsistence level is poorly understood. This paper characterizes atoll-scale patterns in shallow coral reef habitat and fish community structure, and correlates these with environmental characteristics and anthropogenic factors, critical to conservation efforts for the reefs and the people who depend on them. Hierarchical clustering analyses by site for benthic composition and fish community resulted in the same 3 major clusters: cluster 1-oceanic (close proximity to deep water and uninhabited (low human impact; cluster 2-oceanic and inhabited (high human impact; and cluster 3-lagoonal (facing the inside of the lagoon and inhabited (highest human impact. Distance from village, reef exposure to deep water and human population size had the greatest effect in predicting the fish and benthic community structure. Our study demonstrates a strong association between benthic and fish community structure and human use across the Ulithi Atoll (Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia and confirms a pattern observed by local people that an 'opportunistic' scleractinian coral (Montipora sp. is associated with more highly impacted reefs. Our findings suggest that small human populations (subsistence fishing can nevertheless have considerable ecological impacts on reefs due, in part, to changes in fishing practices rather than overfishing per se, as well as larger global trends. Findings from this work can assist in building local capacity to manage reef resources across an atoll-wide scale, and illustrates the importance of anthropogenic impact even in small communities.
Wu, Feng-Zhi; Li, Min; Cao, Peng; Ma, Ya-Fei; Wang, Li-Li
With wheat as the donor plant and cucumber as the receptor plant, this study investigated the effects of root exudates from wheat cultivars with different allelopathic potentials (positive or negative) and companion cropping with wheat on soil fungal community structure by PCR-DGGE method and cucumber growth. Results showed that the wheat root exudates with positive allelopathic potential increased height and stem diameter of cucumber seedlings significantly, compared to the control seedlings (W) after 6 days and 12 days treatment, respectively. Also, wheat root exudates with both positive and negative allelopathic potential increased the seedling height of cucumber significantly after 18 days treatment. The wheat root exudates with different allelopathic potentials decreased the band number, Shannon and evenness indices of soil fungal community significantly in cucumber seedling rhizosphere, and those in the soil with the control seedlings (W) were also significantly higher than that in the control soil without seedlings (Wn) after 6 days treatment. The band number, Shannon and evenness indices in all the treatments were significantly higher than those in the control soil without seedlings (Wn) after 18 days treatment. Companion cropping with negative allelopathic potential wheat decreased the Shannon and evenness indices of soil fungi community significantly in the cucumber seedling rhizosphere, suggesting the wheat root exudates and companion cropping with wheat changed soil fungal community structure in the cucumber seedling rhizosphere. The results of DGGE map and the principal component analysis showed that companion cropping with wheat cultivars with different allelopathic potentials changed soil fungal community structure in cucumber seedling rhizosphere.
Pfiffner, Susan M.; Brandt, Craig C.; Kostka, Joel E.; Palumbo, Anthony V.
Our current research represents a joint effort between Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Florida State University (FSU), and the University of Tennessee. ORNL will serve as the lead institution with Dr. A.V. Palumbo responsible for project coordination, integration, and deliverables. This project was initiated in November, 2004, in the Integrative Studies Element of the NABIR program. The overall goal of our project is to provide an improved understanding of the relationships between microbial community structure, geochemistry, and metal reduction rates. The research seeks to address the following questions: Is the metabolic diversity of the in situ microbial community sufficiently large and redundant that bioimmobilization of uranium will occur regardless of the type of electron donor added to the system? Are their donor specific effects that lead to enrichment of specific community members that then impose limits on the functional capabilities of the system? Will addition of humics change rates of uranium reduction without changing community structure? Can resource-ratio theory be used to understand changes in uranium reduction rates and community structure with respect to changing C:P ratios?
Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David A
Across terrestrial ecosystems, modern ants are ubiquitous. As many as 94 out of every 100 individual arthropods in rainforests are ants, and they constitute up to 15% of animal biomass in the Amazon. Moreover, ants are pervasive agents of natural selection as over 10,000 arthropod species are specialized inquilines or myrmecomorphs living among ants or defending themselves through mimicry. Such impact is traditionally explained by sociality: ants are the first major group of ground-dwelling predatory insects to become eusocial, increasing efficiency of tasks and establishing competitive superiority over solitary species. A wealth of specimens from rich deposits of 99 million-year-old Burmese amber resolves ambiguity regarding sociality and diversity in the earliest ants. The stem-group genus Gerontoformica maintained distinct reproductive castes including morphotypes unknown in solitary aculeate (stinging) wasps, providing insight into early behavior. We present rare aggregations of workers, indicating group recruitment as well as an instance of interspecific combat; such aggression is a social feature of modern ants. Two species and an unusual new genus are described, further expanding the remarkable diversity of early ants. Stem-group ants are recovered as a paraphyletic assemblage at the base of modern lineages varying greatly in size, form, and mouthpart structure, interpreted here as an adaptive radiation. Though Cretaceous stem-group ants were eusocial and adaptively diverse, we hypothesize that their extinction resulted from the rise of competitively superior crown-group taxa that today form massive colonies, consistent with Wilson and Hölldobler's concept of "dynastic succession." Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Pinkalski, Christian Alexander Stidsen; Jensen, Karl-Martin Vagn; Damgaard, Christian Frølund
and subsequently deposited fecal droplets on the seedlings, coffee leaves showed increased levels of 15N and total N compared to control plants without ants. This was evident for both exposed leaves and leaves covered in plastic bags (i.e. not directly exposed to ants). Thus, N from ant excretions was absorbed...
Ramachandran, Ramesh; Kumar, Ajith; Gopi Sundar, Kolla S; Bhalla, Ravinder Singh
The relative impacts of hunting and habitat on waterbird community were studied in agricultural wetlands of southern India. We surveyed wetlands to document waterbird community, and interviewed hunters to document hunting intensity, targeted species, and the motivations for hunting. Our results show that hunting leads to drastic declines in waterbird diversity and numbers, and skew the community towards smaller species. Hunting intensity, water spread, and vegetation cover were the three most important determinants of waterbird abundance and community structure. Species richness, density of piscivorous species, and medium-sized species (31-65 cm) were most affected by hunting. Out of 53 species recorded, 47 were hunted, with a preference for larger birds. Although illegal, hunting has increased in recent years and is driven by market demand. This challenges the widely held belief that waterbird hunting in India is a low intensity, subsistence activity, and undermines the importance of agricultural wetlands in waterbird conservation.
Xiao, Enzong; Krumins, Valdis; Dong, Yiran; Xiao, Tangfu; Ning, Zengping; Xiao, Qingxiang; Sun, Weimin
To assess the impact of antimony (Sb) on microbial community structure, 12 samples were taken from an Sb tailings pile in Guizhou Province, Southwest China. All 12 samples exhibited elevated Sb concentrations, but the mobile and bioaccessible fractions were small in comparison to total Sb concentrations. Besides the geochemical analyses, microbial communities inhabiting the tailing samples were characterized to investigate the interplay between the microorganisms and environmental factors in mine tailings. In all samples, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria were the most dominant phyla. At the genus level, Thiobacillus, Limnobacter, Nocardioides, Lysobacter, Phormidium, and Kaistobacter demonstrated relatively high abundances. The two most abundant genera, Thiobacillus and Limnobacter, are characterized as sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and thiosulfate-oxidizing bacteria, respectively, while the genus Lysobacter contains arsenic (As)-resistant bacteria. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicates that TOC and the sulfate to sulfide ratio strongly shaped the microbial communities, suggesting the influence of the environmental factors in the indigenous microbial communities.
Joosten, Yvonne A; Israel, Tiffany L; Williams, Neely A; Boone, Leslie R; Schlundt, David G; Mouton, Charles P; Dittus, Robert S; Bernard, Gordon R; Wilkins, Consuelo H
Engaging communities in research increases its relevance and may speed the translation of discoveries into improved health outcomes. Many researchers lack training to effectively engage stakeholders, whereas academic institutions lack infrastructure to support community engagement. In 2009, the Meharry-Vanderbilt Community-Engaged Research Core began testing new approaches for community engagement, which led to the development of the Community Engagement Studio (CE Studio). This structured program facilitates project-specific input from community and patient stakeholders to enhance research design, implementation, and dissemination. Developers used a team approach to recruit and train stakeholders, prepare researchers to engage with stakeholders, and facilitate an in-person meeting with both. The research core has implemented 28 CE Studios that engaged 152 community stakeholders. Participating researchers, representing a broad range of faculty ranks and disciplines, reported that input from stakeholders was valuable and that the CE Studio helped determine project feasibility and enhanced research design and implementation. Stakeholders found the CE Studio to be an acceptable method of engagement and reported a better understanding of research in general. A tool kit was developed to replicate this model and to disseminate this approach. The research core will collect data to better understand the impact of CE Studios on research proposal submissions, funding, research outcomes, patient and stakeholder engagement in projects, and dissemination of results. They will also collect data to determine whether CE Studios increase patient-centered approaches in research and whether stakeholders who participate have more trust and willingness to participate in research.
Pranovi, Fabio; Da Ponte, Filippo; Torricelli, Patrizia
One of the main challenges in environmental management is how to manage the dynamics of natural environments. In this context, having information about historical changes of the structure of the biological communities could represent a useful tool to improve management strategies, contributing to refine the policy objectives, since it gives reference states with which to compare the present. The Venice lagoon represents an interesting case study, since it is a highly dynamic, but sensitive, environment which requires the adoption of prudent management. In its recent history the lagoon ecosystem has been exposed to different kinds of disturbance, from the discharge of pollutants and nutrients, to the invasion of alien species and the exploitation of its biological resources by using highly impacting fishing gears. The analysis of available data about the macro-benthic community, from 1935 to 2004, allows the description of changes of the community structure over almost 70 years, showing a sharp decrease in its diversity. In order to obtain information about its functioning, it is necessary to know how these changes have affected processes at the community and system level. In shallow water ecosystems, as the control is mainly due to the benthic compartment, variations in the structure of the benthic community can induce modifications in processes a