WorldWideScience

Sample records for ant fungus gardens

  1. EVOLUTIONARY TRANSITIONS IN ENZYME ACTIVITY OF ANT FUNGUS GARDENS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schiøtt, Morten; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2010-01-01

    an association with a monophyletic clade of specialized symbionts. In conjunction with the transition to specialized symbionts, the ants advanced in colony size and social complexity. Here we provide a comparative study of the functional specialization in extracellular enzyme activities in fungus gardens across...... the attine phylogeny. We show that, relative to sister clades, gardens of higher-attine ants have enhanced activity of protein-digesting enzymes, whereas gardens of leaf-cutting ants also have increased activity of starch-digesting enzymes. However, the enzyme activities of lower-attine fungus gardens...... are targeted primarily towards partial degradation of plant cell walls, reflecting a plesiomorphic state of non-domesticated fungi. The enzyme profiles of the higher-attine and leaf-cutting gardens appear particularly suited to digest fresh plant materials and to access nutrients from live cells without major...

  2. Ant-fungus species combinations engineer physiological activity of fungus gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seal, J N; Schiøtt, M; Mueller, U G

    2014-07-15

    Fungus-gardening insects are among the most complex organisms because of their extensive co-evolutionary histories with obligate fungal symbionts and other microbes. Some fungus-gardening insect lineages share fungal symbionts with other members of their lineage and thus exhibit diffuse co-evolutionary relationships, while others exhibit little or no symbiont sharing, resulting in host-fungus fidelity. The mechanisms that maintain this symbiont fidelity are currently unknown. Prior work suggested that derived leaf-cutting ants in the genus Atta interact synergistically with leaf-cutter fungi (Attamyces) by exhibiting higher fungal growth rates and enzymatic activities than when growing a fungus from the sister-clade to Attamyces (so-called 'Trachymyces'), grown primarily by the non-leaf cutting Trachymyrmex ants that form, correspondingly, the sister-clade to leaf-cutting ants. To elucidate the enzymatic bases of host-fungus specialization in leaf-cutting ants, we conducted a reciprocal fungus-switch experiment between the ant Atta texana and the ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis and report measured enzymatic activities of switched and sham-switched fungus gardens to digest starch, pectin, xylan, cellulose and casein. Gardens exhibited higher amylase and pectinase activities when A. texana ants cultivated Attamyces compared with Trachymyces fungi, consistent with enzymatic specialization. In contrast, gardens showed comparable amylase and pectinase activities when T. arizonensis cultivated either fungal species. Although gardens of leaf-cutting ants are not known to be significant metabolizers of cellulose, T. arizonensis were able to maintain gardens with significant cellulase activity when growing either fungal species. In contrast to carbohydrate metabolism, protease activity was significantly higher in Attamyces than in Trachymyces, regardless of the ant host. Activity of some enzymes employed by this symbiosis therefore arises from complex interactions between the

  3. Bioturbation by the Fungus-Gardening Ant, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R Tschinkel

    Full Text Available Soil invertebrates such as ants are thought to be important manipulators of soils in temperate and tropical ecosystems. The fungus gardening ant, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis, is an important agent of biomantling, that is, of depositing soil excavated from below onto the surface, and has been suggested as an agent of bioturbation (moving soil below ground as well. The amount of bioturbation by this ant was quantified by planting queenright colonies in sand columns consisting of 5 layers of different colored sand. The amount of each color of sand deposited on the surface was determined from April to November 2015. In November, colonies were excavated and the color and amount of sand deposited below ground (mostly as backfill in chambers was determined. Extrapolated to one ha, T. septentrionalis deposited 800 kg of sand per annum on the surface, and an additional 200 kg (17% of the total excavated below ground. On average, this mixes 1.3% of the sand from other layers within the top meter of soil per millennium, but this mixing is unlikely to be homogeneous, and probably occurs as "hotspots" in both horizontal and vertical space. Such mixing is discussed as a challenge to sediment dating by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL.

  4. Evolutionary patterns of proteinase activity in attine ant fungus gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Semenova, Tatyana; Hughes, David Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2011-01-01

    of evolutionary more derived fungal symbionts. This notion is also supported by buffering capacities of fungus gardens at pH 5.2 being remarkably high, and suggests that the fungal symbiont actively helps to maintain garden acidity at this specific level. Metalloproteinases dominated the activity profiles...

  5. The dynamics of plant cell-wall polysaccharide decomposition in leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. The dynamics of plant cell-wall polysaccharide decomposition in leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moller, Isabel Eva; de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Harholt, Jesper

    2011-01-01

    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...... 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......, 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...

  7. Symbiont-Mediated Host-Parasite Dynamics in a Fungus-Gardening Ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellner, Katrin; Kardish, M R; Seal, J N; Linksvayer, T A; Mueller, U G

    2017-12-28

    Group-living can promote the evolution of adaptive strategies to prevent and control disease. Fungus-gardening ants must cope with two sets of pathogens, those that afflict the ants themselves and those of their symbiotic fungal gardens. While much research has demonstrated the impact of specialized fungal pathogens that infect ant fungus gardens, most of these studies focused on the so-called higher attine ants, which are thought to coevolve diffusely with two clades of leucocoprinaceous fungi. Relatively few studies have addressed disease ecology of lower Attini, which are thought to occasionally recruit (domesticate) novel leucocoprinaceous fungi from free-living populations; coevolution between lower-attine ants and their fungi is therefore likely weaker (or even absent) than in the higher Attini, which generally have many derived modifications. Toward understanding the disease ecology of lower-attine ants, this study (a) describes the diversity in the microfungal genus Escovopsis that naturally infect fungus gardens of the lower-attine ant Mycocepurus smithii and (b) experimentally determines the relative contributions of Escovopsis strain (a possible garden disease), M. smithii ant genotype, and fungal cultivar lineage to disease susceptibility and colony fitness. In controlled in-vivo infection laboratory experiments, we demonstrate that the susceptibility to Escovopsis infection was an outcome of ant-cultivar-Escovopsis interaction, rather than solely due to ant genotype or fungal cultivar lineage. The role of complex ant-cultivar-Escovopsis interactions suggests that switching M. smithii farmers onto novel fungus types might be a strategy to generate novel ant-fungus combinations resistant to most, but perhaps not all, Escovopsis strains circulating in a local population of this and other lower-attine ants.

  8. Variation in fungal enzyme spectra may affect mutualistic division of labour between ants and fungus gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    partners vary in metabolic performance, division of labour may not always be optimized and co-evolutionary trajectories become less predictable. The higher fungus-growing (attine) ants consist of the leafcutter ants (Acromyrmex and Atta), which rear a single fungal species throughout their Latin American...... in garden enzyme activity independent of ant species association. This illustrates that the mosaic of coevolutionary interactions in Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex fungus-growers may be fundamentally different from the interactions in Acromyrmex and, particularly, Atta leaf-cutting ants. The former appear...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  10. Effects of substrate, ant and fungal species on plant fiber degradation in a fungus-gardening ant symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMilto, Alexandria M; Rouquette, Monte; Mueller, Ulrich G; Kellner, Katrin; Seal, Jon N

    2017-04-01

    Fungus-gardening or attine ants have outsourced most of their digestive function to a symbiotic fungus. The ants feed their fungus - essentially an external digestive organ - a variety of substrates of botanical origin, including fresh and dried flowers, leaves and insect frass (processed leaves). Although plant tissues are rich in fibers (lignocelluloses, hemicelluloses, pectins and starches) and the symbiotic fungus possesses the genetic and enzymatic machinery to metabolize these compounds, the highly derived attines, the leaf-cutters (Atta and Acromyrmex), are known to produce fiber-rich waste. While leaf-cutting ants are important consumers of primary plant tissue, there have been fewer studies on physiological activity of fungi grown by closely related ant species in the genus Trachymyrmex, which generally grow related species of fungi, have smaller colonies and consume a wider variety of fungal substrates in addition to fresh leaves and flowers. In this study, we measured the cellulase activity of the fungus-gardening ants Atta texana, Trachymyrmex arizonensis and T. septentrionalis. We then quantified fiber consumption of the fungus-gardening ants Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Trachymyrmex arizonensis by comparing the amounts and percentages present in their food and in fungus garden refuse during a controlled feeding experiment over the span of several months. Finally, we compared waste composition of T. arizonensis colonies growing different fungal strains, because this species is known to cultivate multiple strains of Leucoagaricus in its native range. The leaf-cutting ant A. texana was found to have lower cellulytic activity than T. arizonensis or T. septentrionalis. Total lignocellulose and hemicellulose amounts were significantly lower in refuse piles than in the substrates fed to the Trachymyrmex colonies, thus these fibers were consumed by the fungal symbionts of these ant species. Although lignocellulose utilization was similar in two distinct

  11. Fungus gardens of the leafcutter ant Atta colombica function as egg nurseries for the snake Leptodeira annulata

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Kronauer, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    fungus gardens are likely to provide ideal climatic conditions for developing snake eggs and almost complete protection from egg predation. Our observations therefore indicate that mature banded cat eyed snakes are able to enter and oviposit in large and well defended Atta colonies without being attacked......Attine ants are well known for their mutualistic symbiosis with fungus gardens, but many other symbionts and commensals have been described. Here, we report the discovery of two clusters of large snake eggs in neighboring fungus gardens of a mature Atta colombica colony. The eggs were completely...... embedded within the fungus garden and were ignored by the host ants, even when we placed them into another, freshly excavated fungus garden of the same colony. All five eggs contained embryos and two snakes eventually hatched, which we identified as being banded cat eyed snakes Leptodeira annulata L. Ant...

  12. Leaf-Cutter Ant Fungus Gardens Are Biphasic Mixed Microbial Bioreactors That Convert Plant Biomass to Polyols with Biotechnological Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somera, Alexandre F.; Lima, Adriel M.; dos Santos-Neto, Álvaro J.; Lanças, Fernando M.

    2015-01-01

    Leaf-cutter ants use plant matter to culture the obligate mutualistic basidiomycete Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. This fungus mediates ant nutrition on plant resources. Furthermore, other microbes living in the fungus garden might also contribute to plant digestion. The fungus garden comprises a young sector with recently incorporated leaf fragments and an old sector with partially digested plant matter. Here, we show that the young and old sectors of the grass-cutter Atta bisphaerica fungus garden operate as a biphasic solid-state mixed fermenting system. An initial plant digestion phase occurred in the young sector in the fungus garden periphery, with prevailing hemicellulose and starch degradation into arabinose, mannose, xylose, and glucose. These products support fast microbial growth but were mostly converted into four polyols. Three polyols, mannitol, arabitol, and inositol, were secreted by L. gongylophorus, and a fourth polyol, sorbitol, was likely secreted by another, unidentified, microbe. A second plant digestion phase occurred in the old sector, located in the fungus garden core, comprising stocks of microbial biomass growing slowly on monosaccharides and polyols. This biphasic operation was efficient in mediating symbiotic nutrition on plant matter: the microbes, accounting for 4% of the fungus garden biomass, converted plant matter biomass into monosaccharides and polyols, which were completely consumed by the resident ants and microbes. However, when consumption was inhibited through laboratory manipulation, most of the plant polysaccharides were degraded, products rapidly accumulated, and yields could be preferentially switched between polyols and monosaccharides. This feature might be useful in biotechnology. PMID:25911490

  13. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus produces diverse enzymes for the degradation of recalcitrant plant polymers in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aylward, Frank O; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E; Tringe, Susannah G; Teiling, Clotilde; Tremmel, Daniel M; Moeller, Joseph A; Scott, Jarrod J; Barry, Kerrie W; Piehowski, Paul D; Nicora, Carrie D; Malfatti, Stephanie A; Monroe, Matthew E; Purvine, Samuel O; Goodwin, Lynne A; Smith, Richard D; Weinstock, George M; Gerardo, Nicole M; Suen, Garret; Lipton, Mary S; Currie, Cameron R

    2013-06-01

    Plants represent a large reservoir of organic carbon comprised primarily of recalcitrant polymers that most metazoans are unable to deconstruct. Many herbivores gain access to nutrients in this material indirectly by associating with microbial symbionts, and leaf-cutter ants are a paradigmatic example. These ants use fresh foliar biomass as manure to cultivate gardens composed primarily of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, a basidiomycetous fungus that produces specialized hyphal swellings that serve as a food source for the host ant colony. Although leaf-cutter ants are conspicuous herbivores that contribute substantially to carbon turnover in Neotropical ecosystems, the process through which plant biomass is degraded in their fungus gardens is not well understood. Here we present the first draft genome of L. gongylophorus, and, using genomic and metaproteomic tools, we investigate its role in lignocellulose degradation in the gardens of both Atta cephalotes and Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutter ants. We show that L. gongylophorus produces a diversity of lignocellulases in ant gardens and is likely the primary driver of plant biomass degradation in these ecosystems. We also show that this fungus produces distinct sets of lignocellulases throughout the different stages of biomass degradation, including numerous cellulases and laccases that likely play an important role in lignocellulose degradation. Our study provides a detailed analysis of plant biomass degradation in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens and insight into the enzymes underlying the symbiosis between these dominant herbivores and their obligate fungal cultivar.

  14. Leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens are biphasic mixed microbial bioreactors that convert plant biomass to polyols with biotechnological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somera, Alexandre F; Lima, Adriel M; Dos Santos-Neto, Álvaro J; Lanças, Fernando M; Bacci, Maurício

    2015-07-01

    Leaf-cutter ants use plant matter to culture the obligate mutualistic basidiomycete Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. This fungus mediates ant nutrition on plant resources. Furthermore, other microbes living in the fungus garden might also contribute to plant digestion. The fungus garden comprises a young sector with recently incorporated leaf fragments and an old sector with partially digested plant matter. Here, we show that the young and old sectors of the grass-cutter Atta bisphaerica fungus garden operate as a biphasic solid-state mixed fermenting system. An initial plant digestion phase occurred in the young sector in the fungus garden periphery, with prevailing hemicellulose and starch degradation into arabinose, mannose, xylose, and glucose. These products support fast microbial growth but were mostly converted into four polyols. Three polyols, mannitol, arabitol, and inositol, were secreted by L. gongylophorus, and a fourth polyol, sorbitol, was likely secreted by another, unidentified, microbe. A second plant digestion phase occurred in the old sector, located in the fungus garden core, comprising stocks of microbial biomass growing slowly on monosaccharides and polyols. This biphasic operation was efficient in mediating symbiotic nutrition on plant matter: the microbes, accounting for 4% of the fungus garden biomass, converted plant matter biomass into monosaccharides and polyols, which were completely consumed by the resident ants and microbes. However, when consumption was inhibited through laboratory manipulation, most of the plant polysaccharides were degraded, products rapidly accumulated, and yields could be preferentially switched between polyols and monosaccharides. This feature might be useful in biotechnology. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  16. Thelytokous parthenogenesis in the fungus-gardening ant Mycocepurus smithii (Hymenoptera: Formicidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Rabeling

    Full Text Available The general prevalence of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction among organisms testifies to the evolutionary benefits of recombination, such as accelerated adaptation to changing environments and elimination of deleterious mutations. Documented instances of asexual reproduction in groups otherwise dominated by sexual reproduction challenge evolutionary biologists to understand the special circumstances that might confer an advantage to asexual reproductive strategies. Here we report one such instance of asexual reproduction in the ants. We present evidence for obligate thelytoky in the asexual fungus-gardening ant, Mycocepurus smithii, in which queens produce female offspring from unfertilized eggs, workers are sterile, and males appear to be completely absent. Obligate thelytoky is implicated by reproductive physiology of queens, lack of males, absence of mating behavior, and natural history observations. An obligate thelytoky hypothesis is further supported by the absence of evidence indicating sexual reproduction or genetic recombination across the species' extensive distribution range (Mexico-Argentina. Potential conflicting evidence for sexual reproduction in this species derives from three Mycocepurus males reported in the literature, previously regarded as possible males of M. smithii. However, we show here that these specimens represent males of the congeneric species M. obsoletus, and not males of M. smithii. Mycocepurus smithii is unique among ants and among eusocial Hymenoptera, in that males seem to be completely absent and only queens (and not workers produce diploid offspring via thelytoky. Because colonies consisting only of females can be propagated consecutively in the laboratory, M. smithii could be an adequate study organism a to test hypotheses of the population-genetic advantages and disadvantages of asexual reproduction in a social organism and b inform kin conflict theory.For a Portuguese translation of the

  17. Variation in fungal enzyme spectra may affect mutualistic division of labour between ants and fungus gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    partners vary in metabolic performance, division of labour may not always be optimized and co-evolutionary trajectories become less predictable. The higher fungus-growing (attine) ants consist of the leafcutter ants (Acromyrmex and Atta), which rear a single fungal species throughout their Latin American...... to be analogous to a diverse array of subsistence farming practices at the mercy of local conditions, whereas the latter resemble large-scale, low-diversity “industrial” farming....

  18. Laccase detoxification mediates the nutritional alliance between leaf-cutting ants and fungus-garden symbionts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik; Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina

    2013-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants combine large-scale herbivory with fungus farming to sustain advanced societies. Their stratified colonies are major evolutionary achievements and serious agricultural pests, but the crucial adaptations that allowed this mutualism to become the prime herbivorous component...... of neotropical ecosystems has remained elusive. Here we show how coevolutionary adaptation of a specific enzyme in the fungal symbiont has helped leaf-cutting ants overcome plant defensive phenolic compounds. We identify nine putative laccase-coding genes in the fungal genome of Leucocoprinus gongylophorus...... cultivated by the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. One of these laccases (LgLcc1) is highly expressed in the specialized hyphal tips (gongylidia) that the ants preferentially eat, and we confirm that these ingested laccase molecules pass through the ant guts and remain active when defecated...

  19. Nest architecture, fungus gardens, queen, males and larvae of the fungus-growing ant Mycetagroicus inflatus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesovnik, A; Sosa-Calvo, J; Lopes, C T; Vasconcelos, H L; Schultz, T R

    2013-01-01

    All known fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini) are obligately symbiotic with their cultivated fungi. The fungal cultivars of "lower" attine ants are facultative symbionts, capable of living apart from ants, whereas the fungal cultivars of "higher" attine ants, including leaf-cutting genera Atta and Acromyrmex , are highly specialized, obligate symbionts. Since higher attine ants and fungi are derived from lower attine ants and fungi, understanding the evolutionary transition from lower to higher attine agriculture requires understanding the historical sequence of change in both ants and fungi. The biology of the poorly known ant genus Mycetagroicus is of special interest in this regard because it occupies a phylogenetic position intermediate between lower and higher ant agriculture. Here, based on the excavations of four nests in Pará, Brazil, we report the first biological data for the recently described species Mycetagroicus inflatus , including the first descriptions of Mycetagroicus males and larvae. Like M. cerradensis , the only other species in the genus for which nesting biology is known, the garden chambers of M. inflatus are unusually deep and the garden is most likely relocated vertically in rainy and dry seasons. Due to the proximity of nests to the Araguaia River, it is likely that even the uppermost chambers and nest entrances of M. inflatus are submerged during the rainy season. Most remarkably, all three examined colonies of M. inflatus cultivate the same fungal species as their congener, M. cerradensis , over 1,000 km away, raising the possibility of long-term symbiont fidelity spanning speciation events within the genus.

  20. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich G Mueller

    2010-09-01

    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.

  1. Towards a molecular understanding of symbiont function: identification of a fungal gene for the degradation of xylan in the fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiøtt, Morten; De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Lange, Lene

    2008-01-01

    -substrate degradation in fungus gardens is a multi-step process comparable to normal biodegradation of organic matter in soil ecosystems, but with the crucial difference that a single fungal symbiont realizes most of the steps that are normally provided by a series of microorganisms that colonize fallen leaves...... in the fungus gardens in order to investigate the dynamics of degradation activities. RESULTS: We cloned a xylanase gene from the mutualistic fungus of Acromyrmex echinatior, determined its protein sequence, and inserted it in a yeast expression vector to confirm its substrate specificity. Our results show...... that the fungus has a functional xylanase gene. We also show by lab experiments in vivo that the activity of fungal xylanase and cellulase is not evenly distributed, but concentrated in the lower layer of fungus gardens, with only modest activity in the middle layer where gongylidia are produced and intermediate...

  2. Insect symbioses: a case study of past, present, and future fungus-growing ant research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caldera, Eric J; Poulsen, Michael; Suen, Garret

    2009-01-01

    behavior of the leaf-cutters (the most derived attine lineage). Indeed, the discovery that the ants actually use leaf fragments to manure a fungus did not come until the 1800s. More recently, three additional microbial symbionts have been described, including specialized microfungal parasites of the ant......Fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae) engage in an obligate mutualism with fungi they cultivate for food. Although biologists have been fascinated with fungus-growing ants since the resurgence of natural history in the modern era, the early stages of research focused mainly on the foraging......'s fungus garden, antibiotic-producing actinobacteria that help protect the fungus garden from the parasite, and a black yeast that parasitizes the ant-actinobacteria mutualism. The fungus-growing ant symbiosis serves as a particularly useful model system for studying insect-microbe symbioses, because...

  3. Co-evolution of enzyme function in the attine ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    Introduction: Fungus-growing ants cultivate specialized fungi in the tribe Leucocoprineae (Lepiotaceae: Basidiomycota) inside their nests. The conspicuous leaf-cutting ants in the genus Atta build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex...... have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas the more basal attine genera use substrates such as dry plant material (leaf litter and small twigs) and also insect...... of substrate use in all extant fungus-growing ant genera to know the range of substrates used for any particular ant genus. (2.) Field assays of enzyme activity in fungus gardens of five candidate enzymes (Amylase, proteinase, pectinase, cellulose and xylanase) to indicate differences in enzyme activity...

  4. The role of enzymes in fungus-growing ant evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard

    behaviour. Here we report the first large-scale comparative study on fungus garden enzyme profiles and show that various interesting changes can be documented. A more detailed analysis of laccase expression, an enzyme that is believed to oxidize phenols in defensive secondary plant compounds such as tannins......, showed that this enzyme is exclusively found in the gardens of leaf-cutting ants, where it is significantly upregulated in the gongylidia. I’ll discuss the possible role of this enzyme and other fungal modifications in the evolution of the leafcutter ants and their non-leafcutting attine relatives....

  5. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  6. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  7. The origin of the attine ant-fungus mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, U G; Schultz, T R; Currie, C R; Adams, R M; Malloch, D

    2001-06-01

    Cultivation of fungus for food originated about 45-65 million years ago in the ancestor of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae, tribe Attini), representing an evolutionary transition from the life of a hunter-gatherer of arthropod prey, nectar, and other plant juices, to the life of a farmer subsisting on cultivated fungi. Seven hypotheses have been suggested for the origin of attine fungiculture, each differing with respect to the substrate used by the ancestral attine ants for fungal cultivation. Phylogenetic information on the cultivated fungi, in conjunction with information on the nesting biology of extant attine ants and their presumed closest relatives, reveal that the attine ancestors probably did not encounter their cultivars-to-be in seed stores (von Ihering 1894), in rotting wood (Forel 1902), as mycorrhizae (Garling 1979), on arthropod corpses (von Ihering 1894) or ant faeces in nest middens (Wheeler 1907). Rather, the attine ant-fungus mutualism probably arose from adventitious interactions with fungi that grew on walls of nests built in leaf litter (Emery 1899), or from a system of fungal myrmecochory in which specialized fungi relied on ants for dispersal (Bailey 1920) and in which the ants fortuitously vectored these fungi from parent to offspring nests prior to a true fungicultural stage. Reliance on fungi as a dominant food source has evolved only twice in ants: first in the attine ants, and second in some ant species in the solenopsidine genus Megalomyrmex that either coexist as trophic parasites in gardens of attine hosts or aggressively usurp gardens from them. All other known ant-fungus associations are either adventitious or have nonnutritional functions (e.g., strengthening of carton-walls in ant nests). There exist no unambiguous reports of facultative mycophagy in ants, but such trophic ant-fungus interactions would most likely occur underground or in leaf litter and thus escape easy observation. Indirect evidence of fungivory can be deduced

  8. O jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção das câmaras em formigas cortadeiras? Fungus garden acts as a template for the construction of chambers in ants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto da Silva Camargo

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Os ninhos adultos das formigas cortadeiras (gênero Atta e Acromyrmex são compostos de milhares de câmaras subterrâneas, as quais abrigam o jardim de fungo, lixo e a população desses insetos. Entretanto, como as câmaras são construídas? Para responder essa questão, nós hipotetizamos que o jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção das câmaras. Assim, foram utilizadas 20 colônias de 6 meses de idade, divididas em quatro séries experimentais: padrão (quantidade normal de jardim de fungo; metade de jardim de fungo; dobro de jardim de fungo e sem jardim de fungo (Testemunha. As variáveis estudadas foram: parâmetros morfológicos das estruturas (túneis e câmara formada; fluxo das atividades das operárias; volume de solo escavado. Como se esperava, o jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção das câmaras em formigas cortadeiras. Os resultados foram: o tratamento sem jardim de fungo não apresentou nenhuma câmara, apenas túneis, em contraposição às demais séries experimentais que apresentaram no mínimo 2 câmaras, com dimensões similares; o fluxo das operárias carregando pellet de solo por minuto durante as 72 horas diferiu estatisticamente entre as séries experimentais e, finalmente, o volume do solo escavado foi resultado da taxa de escavação das operárias, diferindo estatisticamente entre as séries experimentais. Os resultados corroboram a hipótese de que o jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção da câmara. A ausência de uma estrutura funcional como uma câmara, quando o jardim de fungo está ausente, comprova a hipótese.Adult nests of leaf cutting ants (genus Atta and Acromyrmex are composed of thousands of underground chambers, which harbor the fungus garden, garbage and their population. However, how the chambers are constructed? To answer this question, we hypothesized that the fungus garden acts as a template for the chambers construction. Thus, we used 20 colonies of

  9. Morphophysiological differences between the metapleural glands of fungus-growing and non-fungus-growing ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Bueno, Odair Correa; Camargo-Mathias, Maria Izabel

    2012-01-01

    The metapleural gland is an organ exclusive to ants. Its main role is to produce secretions that inhibit the proliferation of different types of pathogens. The aim of the present study was to examine the morphophysiological differences between the metapleural gland of 3 non-fungus-growing ants of the tribes Ectatommini, Myrmicini, and Blepharidattini and that of 5 fungus-growing ants from 2 basal and 3 derived attine genera. The metapleural gland of the non-fungus-growing ants and the basal attine ants has fewer secretory cells than that of the derived attine ants (leaf-cutting ants). In addition, the metapleural gland of the latter had more clusters of secretory cells and sieve plates, indicating a greater storage capacity and demand for secretion in these more advanced farming ants. The glands of the derived attine ants also produced higher levels of polysaccharides and acidic lipids than those of Myrmicini, Blepharidattini, and basal attines. Our results confirm morphophysiological differences between the metapleural glands of the derived attines and those of the basal attines and non-fungus-growing ants, suggesting that the metapleural glands of the derived attines (leaf-cutting ants) are more developed in morphology and physiology, with enhanced secretion production (acidic lipids and protein) to protect against the proliferation of unwanted fungi and bacteria in the fungal garden, it is possible that leaf-cutting ants may have evolved more developed metapleural glands in response to stronger pressure from parasites.

  10. Morphophysiological Differences between the Metapleural Glands of Fungus-Growing and Non–Fungus-Growing Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Bueno, Odair Correa; Camargo-Mathias, Maria Izabel

    2012-01-01

    The metapleural gland is an organ exclusive to ants. Its main role is to produce secretions that inhibit the proliferation of different types of pathogens. The aim of the present study was to examine the morphophysiological differences between the metapleural gland of 3 non–fungus-growing ants of the tribes Ectatommini, Myrmicini, and Blepharidattini and that of 5 fungus-growing ants from 2 basal and 3 derived attine genera. The metapleural gland of the non–fungus-growing ants and the basal attine ants has fewer secretory cells than that of the derived attine ants (leaf-cutting ants). In addition, the metapleural gland of the latter had more clusters of secretory cells and sieve plates, indicating a greater storage capacity and demand for secretion in these more advanced farming ants. The glands of the derived attine ants also produced higher levels of polysaccharides and acidic lipids than those of Myrmicini, Blepharidattini, and basal attines. Our results confirm morphophysiological differences between the metapleural glands of the derived attines and those of the basal attines and non–fungus-growing ants, suggesting that the metapleural glands of the derived attines (leaf-cutting ants) are more developed in morphology and physiology, with enhanced secretion production (acidic lipids and protein) to protect against the proliferation of unwanted fungi and bacteria in the fungal garden, it is possible that leaf-cutting ants may have evolved more developed metapleural glands in response to stronger pressure from parasites. PMID:22927993

  11. Ant-gardens of tropical Asian rainforests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, Eva; Maschwitz, Ulrich

    2006-05-01

    Ant-garden (AG) associations are systems of epiphytic plants and arboricolous (i.e., tree-living) ants, in which the ants build fragile carton nests containing organic material. They collect and incorporate seeds or fruits of epiphytes that then germinate and grow on the nest [sensu Corbara et al. (1999) 38:73-89]. The plant roots stabilize the nest carton. AGs have been well-known in the neotropics for more than 100 years. In contrast, reports on similar associations in the paleotropics are scarce so far. After discovering a first common AG system on giant bamboo [Kaufmann et al. (2001) 48:125-133], we started a large-scale survey for AGs in Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Java, and southern Thailand. A great variety of AG systems (altogether including 18 ant species and 51 plant species) was discovered and is described in the present paper. The high number of species participating in AG associations was reflected by a great variability in the specific appearances of the nest gardens. Frequently, further groups of organisms (e.g., hemipteran trophobionts, fungi) were also involved. Preference patterns of particular ant and epiphyte species for each other and for particular phorophytes (carrier trees) were detected. We integrate domatia-producing, so-called ant-house epiphytes in our study and compare their phases of establishment, as well as other characteristics, to “classical” AGs, coming to the conclusion that they should be regarded only as a special type of AG epiphyte and not as a separate ecological category.

  12. A comparative study of exocrine gland chemistry in Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Jones, Tappey H.; Jeter, Andrew W.

    2012-01-01

    Ants possess many exocrine glands that produce a variety of compounds important for chemical communication. Fungus-growing ants, a tribe of over 230 species within the subfamily Myrmicinae, are unique among ants because they cultivate fungus gardens inside their nests as food. Here the chemistry...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

    Fungus-farming ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Attini) exhibit some of the most complex microbial symbioses because both macroscopic partners (ants and fungus) are associated with a rich community of microorganisms. The ant and fungal microbiomes are thought to serve important beneficial nutritional and defensive roles in these symbioses. While most recent research has investigated the bacterial communities in the higher attines (e.g. the leaf-cutter ant genera Atta and Acromyrmex), which are often associated with antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria, very little is known about the microbial communities in basal lineages, labeled as 'lower attines', which retain the ancestral traits of smaller and more simple societies. In this study, we used 16S amplicon pyrosequencing to characterize bacterial communities of the lower attine ant Mycocepurus smithii among seven sampling sites in central Panama. We discovered that ant and fungus garden-associated microbiota were distinct from surrounding soil, but unlike the situation in the derived fungus-gardening ants, which show distinct ant and fungal microbiomes, microbial community structure of the ants and their fungi were similar. Another surprising finding was that the abundance of actinomycete bacteria was low and instead, these symbioses were characterized by an abundance of Lactobacillus and Pantoea bacteria. Furthermore, our data indicate that Lactobacillus strains are acquired from the environment rather than acquired vertically. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Caste-specific symbiont policing by workers of Acromyrmex fungus-growing ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ivens, Aniek B. F.; Nash, David R.; Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2009-01-01

    The interaction between leaf-cutting ants and their fungus garden mutualists is ideal for studying the evolutionary stability of interspecific cooperation. Although the mutualism has a long history of diffuse coevolution, there is ample potential for conflicts between the partners over the mixing

  15. Rapid shifts in Atta cephalotes fungus-garden enzyme activity after a change in fungal substrate (Attini, Formicidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, P W; Schiøtt, M; Boomsma, J J

    2011-01-01

    , we measured the changes in enzyme activity after a controlled shift in fungal substrate offered to six laboratory colonies of Atta cephalotes. An ant diet consisting exclusively of grains of parboiled rice rapidly increased the activity of endo-proteinases and some of the pectinases attacking...... from the rice diet, relative to the leaf diet controls. Enzyme activity in the older, bottom sections of fungus gardens decreased, indicating a faster processing of the rice substrate compared to the leaf diet. These results suggest that leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens can rapidly adjust enzyme......Fungus gardens of the basidiomycete Leucocoprinus gongylophorus sustain large colonies of leaf-cutting ants by degrading the plant material collected by the ants. Recent studies have shown that enzyme activity in these gardens is primarily targeted toward starch, proteins and the pectin matrix...

  16. Has substrate-dependent co-evolution of enzyme function occured in the attine ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    The conspicuous leaf-cutter ants in the genus Atta build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutter ants are specialized on using fresh leaves...... as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas the more basal attine genera use substrates such as flowers, plant debris, small twigs, insect feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down...

  17. Caste-specific symbiont policing by workers of Acromyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivens, Aniek B.F.; Nash, David R.; Poulsen, Michael

    2009-01-01

    The interaction between leaf-cutting ants and their fungus garden mutualists is ideal for studying the evolutionary stability of interspecific cooperation. Although the mutualism has a long history of diffuse coevolution, there is ample potential for conflicts between the partners over the mixing...... and transmission of symbionts. Symbiont transmission is vertical by default, and both the ants and resident fungus actively protect the fungal monoculture growing in their nest against secondary introductions of genetically dissimilar symbionts from other colonies. An earlier study showed that mixtures of major...

  18. Dentigerumycin: a bacterial mediator of an ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oh, Dong-Chan; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2009-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants engage in mutualistic associations with both the fungus they cultivate for food and actinobacteria (Pseudonocardia spp.) that produce selective antibiotics to defend that fungus from specialized fungal parasites. We have analyzed one such system at the molecular level and found...... that the bacterium associated with the ant Apterostigma dentigerum produces dentigerumycin, a cyclic depsipeptide with highly modified amino acids, to selectively inhibit the associated parasitic fungus (Escovopsis sp.)....

  19. Co-evolution of enzyme function in the attine ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down the plant material that the ants provide or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Methods: (1.) We made a literature survey...... of substrate use in all extant fungus-growing ant genera to know the range of substrates used for any particular ant genus. (2.) Field assays of enzyme activity in fungus gardens of five candidate enzymes (Amylase, proteinase, pectinase, cellulose and xylanase) to indicate differences in enzyme activity...... the fresh leaf feeding species had a higher activity of amylase. The group of higher attines had a higher activity of proteinase and pectinase. In contrast the lower genera had a non-significant trend towards a higher activity of xylanase compared to the higher attine genera. Cellulase activity was uniform...

  20. Convergent coevolution in the domestication of coral mushrooms by fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munkacsi, A B; Pan, J J; Villesen, Palle

    2004-01-01

    of parallel coevolution, where the symbionts of each functional group are members of monophyletic groups. However, there is one outstanding exception in the fungus-growing ant system, the unidentified cultivar grown only by ants in the Apterostigma pilosum group. We classify this cultivar in the coral-mushroom...... family Pterulaceae using phylogenetic reconstructions based on broad taxon sampling, including the first mushroom collected from the garden of an ant species in the A. pilosum group. The domestication of the pterulaceous cultivar is independent from the domestication of the gilled mushrooms cultivated...

  1. Identifying the transition between single and multiple mating of queens in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Murakami, Takahiro; Schultz, Ted R

    2002-01-01

    Obligate mating of females (queens) with multiple males has evolved only rarely in social Hymenoptera (ants, social bees, social wasps) and for reasons that are fundamentally different from those underlying multiple mating in other animals. The monophyletic tribe of ('attine') fungus-growing ants...... is known to include evolutionarily derived genera with obligate multiple mating (the Acromyrmex and Atta leafcutter ants) as well as phylogenetically basal genera with exclusively single mating (e.g. Apterostigma, Cyphomyrmex, Myrmicocrypta). All attine genera share the unique characteristic of obligate...... dependence on symbiotic fungus gardens for food, but the sophistication of this symbiosis differs considerably across genera. The lower attine genera generally have small, short-lived colonies and relatively non-specialized fungal symbionts (capable of living independently of their ant hosts), whereas...

  2. Reciprocal genomic evolution in the ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai

    2016-01-01

    The attine ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis evolved over tens of millions of years, producing complex societies with industrial-scale farming analogous to that of humans. Here we document reciprocal shifts in the genomes and transcriptomes of seven fungus-farming ant species and their fungal...

  3. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A.

    2013-01-01

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated...... parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few...... guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit...

  4. Convergent coevolution in the domestication of coral mushrooms by fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munkacsi, A.B.; Pan, J.J.; Villesen, P.

    2004-01-01

    -mushroom family Pterulaceae using phylogenetic reconstructions based on broad taxon sampling, including the first mushroom collected from the garden of an ant species in the A. pilosum group. The domestication of the pterulaceous cultivar is independent from the domestication of the gilled mushrooms cultivated......Comparisons of phylogenetic patterns between coevolving symbionts can reveal rich details about the evolutionary history of symbioses. The ancient symbiosis between fungus-growing ants, their fungal cultivars, antibiotic-producing bacteria and cultivar-infecting parasites is dominated by a pattern...

  5. Comparative studies of the secretome of fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Linde, Tore; Grell, Morten Nedergaard; Schiøtt, Morten

    2009-01-01

    Leafcutter ants of the species Acromyrmex echinatior live in symbiosis with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. The ants harvest fragments of leaves and carry them to the nest where they place the material on the fungal colony. The fungus secretes a wide array of proteins to degrade the leaves...... into nutrients that the ants can feed on. The focus of this study is to discover, characterize and compare the secreted proteins. In order to do so cDNA libraries are constructed from mRNA extracted from the fungus material. The most efficient technology to screen cDNA libraries selectively for secreted...

  6. The prominent role of fungi and fungal enzymes in the ant-fungus biomass conversion symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, L; Grell, M N

    2014-06-01

    Molecular studies have added significantly to understanding of the role of fungi and fungal enzymes in the efficient biomass conversion, which takes place in the fungus garden of leaf-cutting ants. It is now clear that the fungal symbiont expresses the full spectrum of genes for degrading cellulose and other plant cell wall polysaccharides. Since the start of the genomics era, numerous interesting studies have especially focused on evolutionary, molecular, and organismal aspects of the biological and biochemical functions of the symbiosis between leaf-cutting ants (Atta spp. and Acromyrmex spp.) and their fungal symbiont Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. Macroscopic observations of the fungus-farming ant colony inherently depict the ants as the leading part of the symbiosis (the myrmicocentric approach, overshadowing the mycocentric aspects). However, at the molecular level, it is fungal enzymes that enable the ants to access the nutrition embedded in recalcitrant plant biomass. Our hypothesis is that the evolutionary events that established fungus-farming practice were predisposed by a fascinating fungal evolution toward increasing attractiveness to ants. This resulted in the ants allowing the fungus to grow in the nests and began to supply plant materials for more fungal growth. Molecular studies also confirm that specialized fungal structures, the gongylidia, with high levels of proteins and rich blend of enzymes, are essential for symbiosis. Harvested and used as ant feed, the gongylidia are the key factor for sustaining the highly complex leaf-cutting ant colony. This microbial upgrade of fresh leaves to protein-enriched animal feed can serve as inspiration for modern biorefinery technology.

  7. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Drijfhout, Falko P

    2008-01-01

    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...

  8. Has substrate-dependent co-evolution of enzyme function occured in the attine ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas the more basal attine genera use substrates such as flowers, plant debris, small twigs, insect feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down...... the plant material that the ants provide or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Here we present the fist partial amino acid sequences from a fungal xylanase gene to test the hypothesis that fungal enzymes that degrade plant cell walls have functionally co-evolved with the ants....

  9. Laccase gene expression as a possible key adaptation for herbivorous niche expansion in the attine fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Nygaard, Sanne

    Fungus garden enzyme activity is crucial for sustaining societies of attine ants. The evolutionary diversification of this clade has likely been influenced by enzymatic specialization in connection to changes in foraging niche (De Fine Licht, Schiøtt, Mueller & Boomsma, 2010, Evolution), particul......Fungus garden enzyme activity is crucial for sustaining societies of attine ants. The evolutionary diversification of this clade has likely been influenced by enzymatic specialization in connection to changes in foraging niche (De Fine Licht, Schiøtt, Mueller & Boomsma, 2010, Evolution...... played an important role in allowing the leaf-cutting ants to become generalist functional herbivores. Laccases are polyphenol oxidase enzymes (PPOs) that are best known for their ability to degrade lignin in saprophytic and wood-pathogenic fungi. We found that laccase activity was primarily expressed...... proportion of fresh leaves in their forage. We are currently investigating the molecular evolution and expression profiles of these multiple laccase genes....

  10. Pre-adaptive cadmium tolerance in the black garden ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz

    2016-04-01

    The black garden ant Lasius niger is a common component of habitats subjected to anthropological stress. The species can develop very abundant populations in metal-polluted areas. In this study, we raised the question of its tolerance to Cd pollution. Workers of L. niger were collected from 54 colonies, originating from 19 sites located along an increasing gradient of Cd pollution in Poland. Ants were exposed to a range of dietary Cd concentrations in a controlled 14-day laboratory experiment in order to test Cd-sensitivity in the investigated ants. The level of ant mortality was recorded as the endpoint of the experiment. We used much higher concentrations of dietary Cd than those the ants are most likely exposed to in field conditions. The investigated ants were highly Cd-tolerant; even a very high dietary Cd concentration of approx. 1300 mg/kg did not affect mortality of workers when compared to the control. Mortality was unrelated to Cd-pollution along the pollution gradient, meaning that high Cd-tolerance can be found even in ants from unpolluted areas. The results stress the importance of pre-adaptive mechanisms in the development of metal tolerance in ants. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Oligocene Termite Nests with In Situ Fungus Gardens from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, Support a Paleogene African Origin for Insect Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Eric M.; Todd, Christopher N.; Aanen, Duur K.; Nobre, Tânia; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L.; O’Connor, Patrick M.; Tapanila, Leif; Mtelela, Cassy; Stevens, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66–24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been elusive, with no unequivocal records prior to the late Miocene (7–10 Ma). Here we report fossil evidence of insect agriculture in the form of fossil fungus gardens, preserved within 25 Ma termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. Using these well-dated fossil fungus gardens, we have recalibrated molecular divergence estimates for the origins of termite agriculture to around 31 Ma, lending support to hypotheses suggesting an African Paleogene origin for termite-fungus symbiosis; perhaps coinciding with rift initiation and changes in the African landscape. PMID:27333288

  12. Oligocene Termite Nests with In Situ Fungus Gardens from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, Support a Paleogene African Origin for Insect Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Eric M; Todd, Christopher N; Aanen, Duur K; Nobre, Tânia; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L; O'Connor, Patrick M; Tapanila, Leif; Mtelela, Cassy; Stevens, Nancy J

    2016-01-01

    Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66-24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been elusive, with no unequivocal records prior to the late Miocene (7-10 Ma). Here we report fossil evidence of insect agriculture in the form of fossil fungus gardens, preserved within 25 Ma termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. Using these well-dated fossil fungus gardens, we have recalibrated molecular divergence estimates for the origins of termite agriculture to around 31 Ma, lending support to hypotheses suggesting an African Paleogene origin for termite-fungus symbiosis; perhaps coinciding with rift initiation and changes in the African landscape.

  13. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Cremer

    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.

  14. The Evolution of Invasiveness in Garden Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2008-01-01

    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

  15. Symbiont interactions in a tripartite mutualism: exploring the presence and impact of antagonism between two fungus-growing ant mutualists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Poulsen

    -colony fungus garden biomass, nor did cultivar antagonism towards Pseudonocardia reduce bacteria abundance on the cuticle of sub-colony workers. Our findings suggest that inter-mutualist antagonism does not limit what combinations of cultivar and Pseudonocardia strains Acromyrmex fungus-growing ants can maintain within nests.

  16. The role of enzymes in fungus-growing ant evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard

    behaviour. Here we report the first large-scale comparative study on fungus garden enzyme profiles and show that various interesting changes can be documented. A more detailed analysis of laccase expression, an enzyme that is believed to oxidize phenols in defensive secondary plant compounds such as tannins...

  17. Nest enlargement in leaf-cutting ants: relocated brood and fungus trigger the excavation of new chambers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Römer, Daniela; Roces, Flavio

    2014-01-01

    During colony growth, leaf-cutting ants enlarge their nests by excavating tunnels and chambers housing their fungus gardens and brood. Workers are expected to excavate new nest chambers at locations across the soil profile that offer suitable environmental conditions for brood and fungus rearing. It is an open question whether new chambers are excavated in advance, or will emerge around brood or fungus initially relocated to a suitable site in a previously-excavated tunnel. In the laboratory, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the excavation of new nest chambers in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundi. Specifically, we asked whether workers relocate brood and fungus to suitable nest locations, and to what extent the relocated items trigger the excavation of a nest chamber and influence its shape. When brood and fungus were exposed to unfavorable environmental conditions, either low temperatures or low humidity, both were relocated, but ants clearly preferred to relocate the brood first. Workers relocated fungus to places containing brood, demonstrating that subsequent fungus relocation spatially follows the brood deposition. In addition, more ants aggregated at sites containing brood. When presented with a choice between two otherwise identical digging sites, but one containing brood, ants' excavation activity was higher at this site, and the shape of the excavated cavity was more rounded and chamber-like. The presence of fungus also led to the excavation of rounder shapes, with higher excavation activity at the site that also contained brood. We argue that during colony growth, workers preferentially relocate brood to suitable locations along a tunnel, and that relocated brood spatially guides fungus relocation and leads to increased digging activity around them. We suggest that nest chambers are not excavated in advance, but emerge through a self-organized process resulting from the aggregation of workers and their density-dependent digging behavior

  18. Nest Enlargement in Leaf-Cutting Ants: Relocated Brood and Fungus Trigger the Excavation of New Chambers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Römer, Daniela; Roces, Flavio

    2014-01-01

    During colony growth, leaf-cutting ants enlarge their nests by excavating tunnels and chambers housing their fungus gardens and brood. Workers are expected to excavate new nest chambers at locations across the soil profile that offer suitable environmental conditions for brood and fungus rearing. It is an open question whether new chambers are excavated in advance, or will emerge around brood or fungus initially relocated to a suitable site in a previously-excavated tunnel. In the laboratory, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the excavation of new nest chambers in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundi. Specifically, we asked whether workers relocate brood and fungus to suitable nest locations, and to what extent the relocated items trigger the excavation of a nest chamber and influence its shape. When brood and fungus were exposed to unfavorable environmental conditions, either low temperatures or low humidity, both were relocated, but ants clearly preferred to relocate the brood first. Workers relocated fungus to places containing brood, demonstrating that subsequent fungus relocation spatially follows the brood deposition. In addition, more ants aggregated at sites containing brood. When presented with a choice between two otherwise identical digging sites, but one containing brood, ants' excavation activity was higher at this site, and the shape of the excavated cavity was more rounded and chamber-like. The presence of fungus also led to the excavation of rounder shapes, with higher excavation activity at the site that also contained brood. We argue that during colony growth, workers preferentially relocate brood to suitable locations along a tunnel, and that relocated brood spatially guides fungus relocation and leads to increased digging activity around them. We suggest that nest chambers are not excavated in advance, but emerge through a self-organized process resulting from the aggregation of workers and their density-dependent digging behavior

  19. Nest enlargement in leaf-cutting ants: relocated brood and fungus trigger the excavation of new chambers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Römer

    Full Text Available During colony growth, leaf-cutting ants enlarge their nests by excavating tunnels and chambers housing their fungus gardens and brood. Workers are expected to excavate new nest chambers at locations across the soil profile that offer suitable environmental conditions for brood and fungus rearing. It is an open question whether new chambers are excavated in advance, or will emerge around brood or fungus initially relocated to a suitable site in a previously-excavated tunnel. In the laboratory, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the excavation of new nest chambers in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundi. Specifically, we asked whether workers relocate brood and fungus to suitable nest locations, and to what extent the relocated items trigger the excavation of a nest chamber and influence its shape. When brood and fungus were exposed to unfavorable environmental conditions, either low temperatures or low humidity, both were relocated, but ants clearly preferred to relocate the brood first. Workers relocated fungus to places containing brood, demonstrating that subsequent fungus relocation spatially follows the brood deposition. In addition, more ants aggregated at sites containing brood. When presented with a choice between two otherwise identical digging sites, but one containing brood, ants' excavation activity was higher at this site, and the shape of the excavated cavity was more rounded and chamber-like. The presence of fungus also led to the excavation of rounder shapes, with higher excavation activity at the site that also contained brood. We argue that during colony growth, workers preferentially relocate brood to suitable locations along a tunnel, and that relocated brood spatially guides fungus relocation and leads to increased digging activity around them. We suggest that nest chambers are not excavated in advance, but emerge through a self-organized process resulting from the aggregation of workers and their density

  20. Carbon dioxide sensing in an obligate insect-fungus symbiosis: CO2 preferences of leaf-cutting ants to rear their mutualistic fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Römer, Daniela; Bollazzi, Martin; Roces, Flavio

    2017-01-01

    Defense against biotic or abiotic stresses is one of the benefits of living in symbiosis. Leaf-cutting ants, which live in an obligate mutualism with a fungus, attenuate thermal and desiccation stress of their partner through behavioral responses, by choosing suitable places for fungus-rearing across the soil profile. The underground environment also presents hypoxic (low oxygen) and hypercapnic (high carbon dioxide) conditions, which can negatively influence the symbiont. Here, we investigated whether workers of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundii use the CO2 concentration as an orientation cue when selecting a place to locate their fungus garden, and whether they show preferences for specific CO2 concentrations. We also evaluated whether levels preferred by workers for fungus-rearing differ from those selected for themselves. In the laboratory, CO2 preferences were assessed in binary choices between chambers with different CO2 concentrations, by quantifying number of workers in each chamber and amount of relocated fungus. Leaf-cutting ants used the CO2 concentration as a spatial cue when selecting places for fungus-rearing. A. lundii preferred intermediate CO2 levels, between 1 and 3%, as they would encounter at soil depths where their nest chambers are located. In addition, workers avoided both atmospheric and high CO2 levels as they would occur outside the nest and at deeper soil layers, respectively. In order to prevent fungus desiccation, however, workers relocated fungus to high CO2 levels, which were otherwise avoided. Workers' CO2 preferences for themselves showed no clear-cut pattern. We suggest that workers avoid both atmospheric and high CO2 concentrations not because they are detrimental for themselves, but because of their consequences for the symbiotic partner. Whether the preferred CO2 concentrations are beneficial for symbiont growth remains to be investigated, as well as whether the observed preferences for fungus-rearing influences the ants

  1. Laccase gene expression as a possible key adaptation for herbivorous niche expansion in the attine fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    Fungus garden enzyme activity is crucial for sustaining societies of attine ants. The evolutionary diversification of this clade has likely been influenced by enzymatic specialization in connection to changes in foraging niche, particularly when the ancestral leaf-cutting ants shifted from a diet...... of mostly fresh but shed plant material to actively cutting leaves. However, the way in which these ants managed to overcome the chemical defences of leaves has remained poorly understood. Here we document that fungal laccases may have played an important role in allowing the leaf-cutting ants to become...... is differentially expressed in the modified hyphal tips (gongylidia) that the fungal symbiont produces. We can also show that this laccase enzyme passes through the ant gut to be expressed in the fecal droplets that the ants mix with their chewed-up fresh leaf forage, providing strong indications for an adaptive...

  2. Assembly Ants Tropical Dry Forest, Cali Botanical Garden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Cristina Gallego Ropero

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The ant assemblages of a fragment of secondary tropical dry forest located in the Botanical Garden of Cali are presented. Two habitats were chosen: a fragment of forest and a pasture matrix. Samples were taken monthly for six months, using a linear transect of 100 m, with 10 stations spaced 10 m. At each station pitfall traps, epigeal bait and arboreal, sifting and removal of 1 m2 of litter and manual capture survey techniques were applied. Richness, abundance and diversity of ant habitats were determined. Correlation coefficients and regression between temperature, relative humidity and richness of ants were calculated. A total of 13 170 ants representing 55 species, 35 genera and six subfamilies were collected. The forest had the highest species richness with 90.9%. This wealth of diversity indicates the conservation value of the Valle del Cauca myrmecofauna. Although the forest is in the process of regeneration, strongly disturbed by constant fire and human intervention, the ant species richness shows that it remains an invaluable source of biological resources for the conservation of species.

  3. Yet more "weeds" in the garden: fungal novelties from nests of leaf-cutting ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana O Augustin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Symbiotic relationships modulate the evolution of living organisms in all levels of biological organization. A notable example of symbiosis is that of attine ants (Attini; Formicidae: Hymenoptera and their fungal cultivars (Lepiotaceae and Pterulaceae; Agaricales: Basidiomycota. In recent years, this mutualism has emerged as a model system for studying coevolution, speciation, and multitrophic interactions. Ubiquitous in this ant-fungal symbiosis is the "weedy" fungus Escovopsis (Hypocreales: Ascomycota, known only as a mycoparasite of attine fungal gardens. Despite interest in its biology, ecology and molecular phylogeny--noting, especially, the high genetic diversity encountered--which has led to a steady flow of publications over the past decade, only two species of Escovopsis have formally been described. METHODS AND RESULTS: We sampled from fungal gardens and garden waste (middens of nests of the leaf-cutting ant genus Acromyrmex in a remnant of subtropical Atlantic rainforest in Minas Gerais, Brazil. In culture, distinct morphotypes of Escovopsis sensu lato were recognized. Using both morphological and molecular analyses, three new species of Escovopsis were identified. These are described and illustrated herein--E. lentecrescens, E. microspora, and E. moelleri--together with a re-description of the genus and the type species, E. weberi. The new genus Escovopsioides is erected for a fourth morphotype. We identify, for the first time, a mechanism for horizontal transmission via middens. CONCLUSIONS: The present study makes a start at assigning names and formal descriptions to these specific fungal parasites of attine nests. Based on the results of this exploratory and geographically-restricted survey, we expect there to be many more species of the genus Escovopsis and its relatives associated with nests of both the lower and higher Attini throughout their neotropical range, as suggested in previous studies.

  4. Carbon dioxide sensing in an obligate insect-fungus symbiosis: CO2 preferences of leaf-cutting ants to rear their mutualistic fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bollazzi, Martin; Roces, Flavio

    2017-01-01

    Defense against biotic or abiotic stresses is one of the benefits of living in symbiosis. Leaf-cutting ants, which live in an obligate mutualism with a fungus, attenuate thermal and desiccation stress of their partner through behavioral responses, by choosing suitable places for fungus-rearing across the soil profile. The underground environment also presents hypoxic (low oxygen) and hypercapnic (high carbon dioxide) conditions, which can negatively influence the symbiont. Here, we investigated whether workers of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundii use the CO2 concentration as an orientation cue when selecting a place to locate their fungus garden, and whether they show preferences for specific CO2 concentrations. We also evaluated whether levels preferred by workers for fungus-rearing differ from those selected for themselves. In the laboratory, CO2 preferences were assessed in binary choices between chambers with different CO2 concentrations, by quantifying number of workers in each chamber and amount of relocated fungus. Leaf-cutting ants used the CO2 concentration as a spatial cue when selecting places for fungus-rearing. A. lundii preferred intermediate CO2 levels, between 1 and 3%, as they would encounter at soil depths where their nest chambers are located. In addition, workers avoided both atmospheric and high CO2 levels as they would occur outside the nest and at deeper soil layers, respectively. In order to prevent fungus desiccation, however, workers relocated fungus to high CO2 levels, which were otherwise avoided. Workers’ CO2 preferences for themselves showed no clear-cut pattern. We suggest that workers avoid both atmospheric and high CO2 concentrations not because they are detrimental for themselves, but because of their consequences for the symbiotic partner. Whether the preferred CO2 concentrations are beneficial for symbiont growth remains to be investigated, as well as whether the observed preferences for fungus-rearing influences the ants

  5. Differential Recruitment of Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) Ants in Response to Ant Garden Herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente, R E; Dáttilo, W; Izzo, T J

    2014-12-01

    Although several studies have shown that ants can recognize chemical cues from their host plants in ant-plant systems, it is poorly demonstrated in ant gardens (AGs). In this interaction, ant species constantly interact with various epiphyte species. Therefore, it is possible to expect a convergence of chemical signals released by plants that could be acting to ensure that ants are able to recognize and defend epiphyte species frequently associated with AGs. In this study, it was hypothesized that ants recognize and differentiate among chemical stimuli released by AG epiphytes and non-AG epiphytes. We experimentally simulated leaf herbivore damage on three epiphyte species restricted to AGs and a locally abundant understory herb, Piper hispidum, in order to quantify the number of recruited Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) defenders. When exposed to the AG epiphytes Peperomia macrostachya and Codonanthe uleana leaves, it was observed that the recruitment of C. femoratus workers was, on average, respectively 556% and 246% higher than control. However, the number of ants recruited by the AG epiphyte Markea longiflora or by the non-AG plant did not differ from paper pieces. This indicated that ants could discern between chemicals released by different plants, suggesting that ants can select better plants. These results can be explained by evolutionary process acting on both ants' capability in discerning plants' chemical compounds (innate attraction) or by ants' learning based on the epiphyte frequency in AGs (individual experience). To disentangle an innate behavior, a product of classical coevolutionary process, from an ant's learned behavior, is a complicated but important subject to understand in the evolution of ant-plant mutualisms.

  6. Chemical composition of metapleural gland secretions of fungus-growing and non-fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Alexsandro S; Morgan, E David; Drijfhout, Falko P; Camargo-Mathias, Maria I

    2012-10-01

    The metapleural gland is exclusive to ants, and unusual among exocrine glands in having no mechanism for closure and retention of secretion. As yet, no clear conclusion has been reached as to the function of metapleural gland secretion. Metapleural gland secretions were investigated for fungus-growing ants representing the derived attines Trachymyrmex fuscus, Atta laevigata, and Acromyrmex coronatus, the basal attines Apterostigma pilosum and Mycetarotes parallelus, and non-fungus-growing ants of the tribes Ectatommini (Ectatomma brunneum) and Myrmicini (Pogonomyrmex naegeli). Our results showed that the secretions of leaf-cutting ants (A. laevigata and A. coronatus) and the derived attine, T. fuscus, contain a greater variety and larger quantities of volatile compounds than those of myrmicine and ectatommine ants. The most abundant compounds found in the metapleural glands of A. laevigata and A. coronatus were hydroxyacids, and phenylacetic acid (only in A. laevigata). Indole was present in all groups examined, while skatole was found in large quantities only in attines. Ketones and aldehydes are present in the secretion of some attines. Esters are present in the metapleural gland secretion of all species examined, although mainly in A. laevigata, A. coronatus, and T. fuscus. Compared with basal attines and non-fungus-growing ants, the metapleural glands of leaf-cutting ants produce more acidic compounds that may have an antibiotic or antifungal function.

  7. Ant species identity mediates reproductive traits and allocation in an ant-garden bromeliad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Carrias, Jean-François; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Determining the sources of variation in floral morphology is crucial to understanding the mechanisms underlying Angiosperm evolution. The selection of floral and reproductive traits is influenced by the plant's abiotic environment, florivores and pollinators. However, evidence that variations in floral traits result from mutualistic interactions with insects other than pollinators is lacking in the published literature and has rarely been investigated. We aimed to determine whether the association with either Camponotus femoratus or Pachycondyla goeldii (both involved in seed dispersal and plant protection) mediates the reproductive traits and allocation of Aechmea mertensii, an obligatory ant-garden tank-bromeliad, differently. Methods Floral and reproductive traits were compared between the two A. mertensii ant-gardens. The nitrogen flux from the ants to the bromeliads was investigated through experimental enrichments with stable isotopes (15N). Key Results Camponotus femoratus-associated bromeliads produced inflorescences up to four times longer than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Also, the numbers of flowers and fruits were close to four times higher, and the number of seeds and their mass per fruit were close to 1·5 times higher in C. femoratus than in P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Furthermore, the 15N-enrichment experiment showed that C. femoratus-associated bromeliads received more nitrogen from ants than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads, with subsequent positive repercussions on floral development. Greater benefits were conferred to A. mertensii by the association with C. femoratus compared with P. goeldii ants. Conclusions We show for the first time that mutualistic associations with ants can result in an enhanced reproductive allocation for the bromeliad A. mertensii. Nevertheless, the strength and direction of the selection of floral and fruit traits change based on the ant species and were not related to light

  8. Sex allocation in fungus-growing ants: worker or queen control without symbiont-induced female bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2008-01-01

    The fungal cultivars of fungus-growing ants are vertically transmitted by queens but not males. Selection would therefore favor cultivars that bias the ants' sex ratio towards gynes, beyond the gyne bias that is optimal for workers and queens. We measured sex allocation in 190 colonies of six...... sympatric fungus-growing ant species. As predicted from relatedness, female bias was greater in four singly mated Sericomyrmex and Trachymyrmex species than in two multiply mated Acromyrmex species. Colonies tended to raise mainly a single sex, which could be partly explained by variation in queen number......, colony fecundity, and fungal garden volume for Acromyrmex and Sericomyrmex, but not for Trachymyrmex. Year of collection, worker number and mating frequency of Acromyrmex queens did not affect the colony sex ratios. We used a novel sensitivity analysis to compare the population sex allocation ratios...

  9. From so simple a beginning: Enzymatic innovation in fungus-growing ants involved a transition from individual symbiont selection to colony-level selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    of the partner species. Here we document such a sequence that was connected to a major evolutionary transition in the fungus-growing ants, when the ancestor of the derived leaf-cutting ants shifted from a diet of dry vegetative material to the almost exclusive use of freshly cut leaves. This shift generated...... visible adaptations in the host ants, such as increased worker dimorphism allowing large workers to cut fresh leaves, but comparative studies of the specific fungal adaptations that accompanied the transition have not been done. Here we report the first large comparative data set on enzymatic fungus...... garden profiles and focus on one of these enzymes, a laccase that is believed to oxidize phenols in defensive secondary plant compounds. We show that this laccase is exclusively found in the gardens of leaf-cutting ants where it can be inferred to have arisen by selection at the individual level when...

  10. Fungal garden making inside bamboos by a non-social fungus-growing beetle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wataru Toki

    Full Text Available In fungus-growing mutualism, it is indispensable for host animals to establish gardens of the symbiotic fungus as rapidly as possible. How to establish fungal gardens has been well-documented in social fungus-farming insects, whereas poorly documented in non-social fungus-farming insects. Here we report that the non-social, fungus-growing lizard beetle Doubledaya bucculenta (Coleoptera: Erotylidae: Languriinae transmits the symbiotic yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus from the ovipositor-associated mycangium into bamboo internode cavities and disperses the yeast in the cavities to make gardens. Microbial isolation and cryo-scanning electron microscopy observation revealed that W. anomalus was constantly located on the posterior ends of eggs, where larvae came out, and on the inner openings of oviposition holes. Direct observation of oviposition behavior inside internodes revealed that the distal parts of ovipositors showed a peristaltic movement when they were in contact with the posterior ends of eggs. Rearing experiments showed that W. anomalus was spread much more rapidly and widely on culture media and internodes in the presence of the larvae than in the absence. These results suggest that the ovipositors play a critical role in vertical transmission of W. anomalus and that the larvae contribute actively to the garden establishment, providing a novel case of fungal garden founding in non-social insect-fungus mutualism.

  11. Exploring fungus-plant N transfer in a tripartite ant-plant-fungus mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroy, Céline; Jauneau, Alain; Martinez, Yves; Cabin-Flaman, Armelle; Gibouin, David; Orivel, Jérôme; Séjalon-Delmas, Nathalie

    2017-09-01

    The plant Hirtella physophora, the ant Allomerus decemarticulatus and a fungus, Trimmatostroma sp., form a tripartite association. The ants manipulate both the plant trichomes and the fungus to build galleries under the stems of their host plant used to capture prey. In addition to its structural role, the fungus also improves nutrient uptake by the host plant. But it still remains unclear whether the fungus plays an indirect or a direct role in transferring nutrients to the plant. This study aimed to trace the transfer of N from the fungus to the plant's stem tissue. Optical microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to investigate the presence of fungal hyphae in the stem tissues. Then, a 15N-labelling experiment was combined with a nanoscale secondary-ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS 50) isotopic imaging approach to trace the movement of added 15N from the fungus to plant tissues. The TEM images clearly showed hyphae inside the stem tissue in the cellular compartment. Also, fungal hyphae were seen perforating the wall of the parenchyma cell. The 15N provisioning of the fungus in the galleries resulted in significant enrichment of the 15N signature of the plant's leaves 1 d after the 15N-labelling solution was deposited on the fungus-bearing trap. Finally, NanoSIMS imaging proved that nitrogen was transferred biotrophically from the fungus to the stem tissue. This study provides evidence that the fungi are connected endophytically to an ant-plant system and actively transfer nitrogen from 15N-labelling solution to the plant's stem tissues. Overall, this study underlines how complex the trophic structure of ant-plant interactions is due to the presence of the fungus and provides insight into the possibly important nutritional aspects and tradeoffs involved in myrmecophyte-ant mutualisms. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email

  12. Exploitation Strategies in Social Parasites of Fungus Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clement, Janni Dolby

    . Inquilines are usually close relatives of their host and so share ancestral characteristics (Emery’s rule). They are dependent on being fully integrated into their host’s colony throughout their lives in order to reproduce. Most inquiline ants have completely lost their sterile worker caste. Exceptions...... to this are Acromyrmex insinuator and Acromyrmex ameliae, parasites of fungus-growing ants. By still producing a worker caste both species offers a rare opportunity to study adaptive features in parasite worker behaviour. Furthermore can closely related inquiline-host combinations give us an insight in the trade...

  13. Antagonistic bacterial interactions help shape host-symbiont dynamics within the fungus-growing ant-microbe mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Poulsen

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Conflict within mutually beneficial associations is predicted to destabilize relationships, and theoretical and empirical work exploring this has provided significant insight into the dynamics of cooperative interactions. Within mutualistic associations, the expression and regulation of conflict is likely more complex than in intraspecific cooperative relationship, because of the potential presence of: i multiple genotypes of microbial species associated with individual hosts, ii multiple species of symbiotic lineages forming cooperative partner pairings, and iii additional symbiont lineages. Here we explore complexity of conflict expression within the ancient and coevolved mutualistic association between attine ants, their fungal cultivar, and actinomycetous bacteria (Pseudonocardia. Specifically, we examine conflict between the ants and their Pseudonocardia symbionts maintained to derive antibiotics against parasitic microfungi (Escovopsis infecting the ants' fungus garden. Symbiont assays pairing isolates of Pseudonocardia spp. associated with fungus-growing ants spanning the phylogenetic diversity of the mutualism revealed that antagonism between strains is common. In contrast, antagonism was substantially less common between more closely related bacteria associated with Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants. In both experiments, the observed variation in antagonism across pairings was primarily due to the inhibitory capabilities and susceptibility of individual strains, but also the phylogenetic relationships between the ant host of the symbionts, as well as the pair-wise genetic distances between strains. The presence of antagonism throughout the phylogenetic diversity of Pseudonocardia symbionts indicates that these reactions likely have shaped the symbiosis from its origin. Antagonism is expected to prevent novel strains from invading colonies, enforcing single-strain rearing within individual ant colonies. While this may align ant

  14. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, B.; Dijkstra, M. B.; Mueller, U. G.

    2009-01-01

    Eusocial insects offer special opportunities for the comparative study of sperm traits because sperm competition is absent (in species with obligatory monandry) or constrained (in lineages where queens mate multiply but never remate later in life). We measured sperm length in 19 species of fungus......-growing ants, representing 9 of the 12 recognized genera, and mapped these onto the ant phylogeny. We show that average sperm length across species is highly variable and decreases with mature colony size in basal genera with singly mated queens, suggesting that sperm production or storage constraints affect...... the evolution of sperm length. Sperm length does not decrease further in multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, despite substantial further increases in colony size. In a combined analysis, sexual dimorphism explained 63.1% of the variance in sperm length between species. As colony size was not a significant...

  15. Draft Genome Sequence of the Ant-associated Fungus Phialophora attae (CBS 131958)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Hoog, S.

    2015-01-01

    The black yeast Phialophora attae was isolated from the cuticle of tropical ant gynes. The ant-fungus association is sustained due to symbiotic evolutionary adaptations that allow fungal assimilation and tolerance of toxic compounds produced by the ant. The genome sequence of the first

  16. Leaf endophyte load influences fungal garden development in leaf-cutting ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Bael Sunshine A

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous work has shown that leaf-cutting ants prefer to cut leaf material with relatively low fungal endophyte content. This preference suggests that fungal endophytes exact a cost on the ants or on the development of their colonies. We hypothesized that endophytes may play a role in their host plants’ defense against leaf-cutting ants. To measure the long-term cost to the ant colony of fungal endophytes in their forage material, we conducted a 20-week laboratory experiment to measure fungal garden development for colonies that foraged on leaves with low or high endophyte content. Results Colony mass and the fungal garden dry mass did not differ significantly between the low and high endophyte feeding treatments. There was, however, a marginally significant trend toward greater mass of fungal garden per ant worker in the low relative to the high endophyte treatment. This trend was driven by differences in the fungal garden mass per worker from the earliest samples, when leaf-cutting ants had been foraging on low or high endophyte leaf material for only 2 weeks. At two weeks of foraging, the mean fungal garden mass per worker was 77% greater for colonies foraging on leaves with low relative to high endophyte loads. Conclusions Our data suggest that the cost of endophyte presence in ant forage material may be greatest to fungal colony development in its earliest stages, when there are few workers available to forage and to clean leaf material. This coincides with a period of high mortality for incipient colonies in the field. We discuss how the endophyte-leaf-cutter ant interaction may parallel constitutive defenses in plants, whereby endophytes reduce the rate of colony development when its risk of mortality is greatest.

  17. Coevolved crypts and exocrine glands support mutualistic bacteria in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Currie, Cameron R; Poulsen, Michael; Mendenhall, John

    2006-01-01

    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...

  18. Weeding and grooming of pathogens in agriculture by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, C R; Stuart, A E

    2001-05-22

    The ancient mutualism between fungus-growing ants and the fungi they cultivate for food is a textbook example of symbiosis. Fungus-growing ants' ability to cultivate fungi depends on protection of the garden from the aggressive microbes associated with the substrate added to the garden as well as from the specialized virulent garden parasite Escovopsis. We examined ants' ability to remove alien microbes physically by infecting Atta colombica gardens with the generalist pathogen Trichoderma viride and the specialist pathogen Escovopsis. The ants sanitized the garden using two main behaviours: grooming of alien spores from the garden (fungus grooming) and removal of infected garden substrate (weeding). Unlike previously described hygienic behaviours (e.g. licking and self-grooming), fungus-grooming and garden-removal behaviours are specific responses to the presence of fungal pathogens. In the presence of pathogens, they are the primary activities performed by workers, but they are uncommon in uninfected gardens. In fact, workers rapidly eliminate Trichoderma from their gardens by fungus grooming and weeding, suggesting that these behaviours are the primary method of garden defence against generalist pathogens. The same sanitary behaviours were performed in response to the presence of the specialist pathogen Escovopsis. However, the intensity and duration of these behaviours were much greater in this treatment. Despite the increased effort, the ants were unable to eliminate Escovopsis from their gardens, suggesting that this specialized pathogen has evolved counter-adaptations in order to overcome the sanitary defences of the ants.

  19. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex and Mycocepurus have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutter ants are specialized on using fresh leaves as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas...

  20. The introduction history of invasive garden ants in Europe: integrating genetic, chemical and behavioural approaches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugelvig, Line; Drijfhout, Falko; Kronauer, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is the most recently detected pest ant and the first known invasive ant able to become established and thrive in the temperate regions of Eurasia. In this study, we aim to reconstruct the invasion history of this ant in Europe analysing 14...... between populations could be predicted from their genetic and chemical distance, and two major clusters of non-aggressive groups of populations were found. However, populations of L. neglectus did not separate into clear supercolonial associations, as is typical for other invasive ants. CONCLUSIONS...... started through introductions from other invasive populations. This indicates that existing introduced populations have a very high invasive potential when the ants are inadvertently spread by human transport....

  1. Forage collection, substrate preparation, and diet composition in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Licht, H.H.D.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    2. The attine fungus-growing ants are a tribe of more than 230 described species (12 genera) that use a variety of different substrates to manure the symbiotic fungus they cultivate inside the nest. Common 'wisdom' is that the conspicuous leaf-cutting ants primarily use freshly cut plant material......, whereas most of the other attine species use dry and partly degraded plant material such as leaf litter and caterpillar frass, but systematic comparative studies of actual resource acquisition across the attine ants have not been done. 3. Here we review 179 literature records of diet composition across...... the extant genera of fungus-growing ants. The records confirm the dependence of leaf-cutting ants on fresh vegetation but find that flowers, dry plant debris, seeds (husks), and insect frass are used by all genera, whereas other substrates such as nectar and insect carcasses are only used by some. 4. Diet...

  2. Reduced biological control and enhanced chemical pest management in the evolution of fungus farming in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Zimmerman, Jess K; Nash, David R

    2009-01-01

    antibiotics are narrow-spectrum and control a fungus (Escovopsis) that parasitizes the ants' fungal symbiont, and (ii) MG secretions have broad-spectrum activity and protect ants and brood. We assessed the relative importance of these lines of defence, and their activity spectra, by scoring abundance...

  3. Antimicrobial defense shows an abrupt evolutionary transition in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William O H; Pagliarini, Roberta; Madsen, Henning Bang

    2008-01-01

    exception to this rule because they are a key first-line defense that are fixed in size in adults. Here we conduct a comparative analysis of the size of the gland reservoir across the fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini). Most attines have singly mated queens, but in two derived genera, the leaf-cutting ants...

  4. Identifying the Transition between Single and Multiple Mating of Queens in Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Murakami, Takahiro; Schultz, Ted R.

    2002-01-01

    Obligate mating of females (queens) with multiple males has evolved only rarely in social Hymenoptera (ants, social bees, social wasps) and for reasons that are fundamentally different from those underlying multiple mating in other animals. The monophyletic tribe of ('attine') fungus-growing ants...

  5. Variable interaction specificity and symbiont performance in Panamanian Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2014-01-01

    ) ants produce carbohydrate active enzymes that degrade plant material collected by the ants and offer them food in exchange. The spectrum of these enzyme activities is an important symbiont service to the host but may vary among cultivar genotypes. The sympatric occurrence of several Trachymyrmex...... and Sericomyrmex higher attine ants in Gamboa, Panama provided the opportunity to do a quantitative study of species-level interaction-specificity. Results We genotyped the ants for Cytochrome Oxidase and their Leucoagaricus fungal cultivars for ITS rDNA. Combined with activity measurements for 12 carbohydrate...... active enzymes, these data allowed us to test whether garden enzyme activity was affected by fungal strain, farming ants or combinations of the two. We detected two cryptic ant species, raising ant species number from four to six, and we show that the 38 sampled colonies reared a total of seven fungal...

  6. The assembly of ant-farmed gardens: mutualism specialization following host broadening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Janda, Milan; Renner, Susanne S

    2017-03-15

    Ant-gardens (AGs) are ant/plant mutualisms in which ants farm epiphytes in return for nest space and food rewards. They occur in the Neotropics and Australasia, but not in Africa, and their evolutionary assembly remains unclear. We here use phylogenetic frameworks for important AG lineages in Australasia, namely the ant genus Philidris and domatium-bearing ferns ( Lecanopteris ) and flowering plants in the Apocynaceae ( Hoya and Dischidia ) and Rubiaceae ( Myrmecodia , Hydnophytum , Anthorrhiza , Myrmephytum and Squamellaria ). Our analyses revealed that in these clades, diaspore dispersal by ants evolved at least 13 times, five times in the Late Miocene and Pliocene in Australasia and seven times during the Pliocene in Southeast Asia, after Philidris ants had arrived there, with subsequent dispersal between these two areas. A uniquely specialized AG system evolved in Fiji at the onset of the Quaternary. The farming in the same AG of epiphytes that do not offer nest spaces suggests that a broadening of the ants' plant host spectrum drove the evolution of additional domatium-bearing AG-epiphytes by selecting on pre-adapted morphological traits. Consistent with this, we found a statistical correlation between the evolution of diaspore dispersal by ants and domatia in all three lineages. Our study highlights how host broadening by a symbiont has led to new farming mutualisms. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex and Mycocepurus have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutter ants are specialized on using fresh leaves as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas...... or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Fungal enzymes that degrade plant cell walls may have functionally co-evolved with the ants in this scenario. We explore this hypothesis with direct measurements of enzyme activity in fungus gardens in 12 species across 8 genera spanning the entire phylogeny...

  8. Nature of the interactions between hypocrealean fungi and the mutualistic fungus of leaf-cutter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varanda-Haifig, Sadala Schmidt; Albarici, Tatiane Regina; Nunes, Pablo Henrique; Haifig, Ives; Vieira, Paulo Cezar; Rodrigues, Andre

    2017-04-01

    Leaf-cutter ants cultivate and feed on the mutualistic fungus, Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which is threatened by parasitic fungi of the genus Escovopsis. The mechanism of Escovopsis parasitism is poorly understood. Here, we assessed the nature of the antagonism of different Escovopsis species against its host. We also evaluated the potential antagonism of Escovopsioides, a recently described fungal genus from the attine ant environment whose role in the colonies of these insects is unknown. We performed dual-culture assays to assess the interactions between L. gongylophorus and both fungi. We also evaluated the antifungal activity of compounds secreted by the latter on L. gongylophorus growth using crude extracts of Escovopsis spp. and Escovopsioides nivea obtained either in (1) absence or (2) presence of the mutualistic fungus. The physical interaction between these fungi and the mutualistic fungus was examined under scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Escovopsis spp. and E. nivea negatively affected the growth of L. gongylophorus, which was also significantly inhibited by both types of crude extract. These results indicate that Escovopsis spp. and E. nivea produce antifungal metabolites against the mutualistic fungus. SEM showed that Escovopsis spp. and E. nivea maintained physical contact with the mutualistic fungus, though no specialised structures related to mycoparasitism were observed. These results showed that Escovopsis is a destructive mycoparasite that needs physical contact for the death of the mutualistic fungus to occur. Also, our findings suggest that E. nivea is an antagonist of the ant fungal cultivar.

  9. Evolutionary transition from single to multiple mating in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Frydenberg, Jane

    1999-01-01

    Queens of leafcutter ants exhibit the highest known levels of multiple mating (up to 10 mates per queen) among ants. Multiple mating may have been selected to increase genetic diversity among nestmate workers, which is hypothesized to be critical in social systems with large, long-lived colonies...... under severe pressure of pathogens. Advanced fungus-growing (leafcutter) ants have large numbers (104-106 workers) and long-lived colonies, whereas basal genera in the attine tribe have small (workers) colonies with probably substantially shorter lifespans. Basal attines are therefore expected...... and highly productive social structure of the higher attine ants, which is fully dependent on the rearing of an ancient clonal fungus, may have necessitated high genetic diversity among nestmate workers. This is not the case in the lower attines, which rear fungi that were more recently derived from free...

  10. Patterns of male parentage in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Boomsma, JJ

    2003-01-01

    Ant queens from eight species, covering three genera of lower and two genera of higher attine ants, have exclusively or predominantly single mating. The ensuing full-sib colonies thus have a strong potential reproductive conflict between the queen and the workers over male production...

  11. Free-living fungal symbionts (Lepiotaceae) of fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vo, Tanya L; Mueller, Ulrich G; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2009-01-01

    Surveys of leucocoprinaceous fungi (Lepiotaceae, Agaricales, Basidiomycota) in the rainforests of Panama and Brazil revealed several free-living counterparts of fungi cultivated by primitive attine ants (the lower Attini, Formicidae, Hymenoptera), adding to two such collections identified in a survey by Mueller et al (1998). The accumulated evidence supports the hypothesis that perhaps all fungi of lower attine ants have close free-living relatives. Free-living counterparts of ant-cultivated fungi are collected most readily during the early rainy season; in particular these are free-living mushrooms of fungal counterparts that are cultivated as yeasts in gardens of ants in the Cyphomyrmex rimosus group. Free-living and symbiotic fungi of these yeast-cultivating ant species might represent a promising study system to compare the biology of sympatric, conspecific fungi existing outside versus inside the attine symbiosis.

  12. Towards a better understanding of the evolution of specialized parasites of fungus-growing ant crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Poulsen, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants have interacted and partly coevolved with specialised microfungal parasites of the genus Escovopsis since the origin of ant fungiculture about 50 million years ago. Here, we review the recent progress in understanding the patterns of specificity of this ant-parasite association......, covering both the colony/population level and comparisons between phylogenetic clades. We use a modified version of Tinbergen’s four categories of evolutionary questions to structure our review in complementary approaches addressing both proximate questions of development and mechanism, and ultimate...

  13. Dynamic disease management in trachymyrmex fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Bruner, Gaspar; Gomez, Ernesto B.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Multipartner mutualisms have potentially complex dynamics, with compensatory responses when one partner is lost or relegated to a minor role. Fungus-growing ants (Attini) are mutualistic associates of basidiomycete fungi and antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria; the former are atta......Abstract Multipartner mutualisms have potentially complex dynamics, with compensatory responses when one partner is lost or relegated to a minor role. Fungus-growing ants (Attini) are mutualistic associates of basidiomycete fungi and antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria; the former...... are attacked by specialized fungi (Escovopsis) and diverse generalist microbes. Ants deploy biochemical defenses from bacteria and metapleural glands (MGs) and express different behaviors to control contaminants. We studied four Trachymyrmex species that differed in relative abundance of actinomycetes...

  14. Phylogenetic placement of an unusual coral mushroom challenges the classic hypothesis of strict coevolution in the Apterostigma pilosum group ant-fungus mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryn T.M. Dentinger; D.Jean Lodge; Andrew B. Munkacsi; Dennis E. Desjardin; David J. McLaughlin

    2009-01-01

    The ~50 million-year-old fungus-farming ant mutualism is a classic example of coevolution, involving ants that subsist on asexual, fungal biomass, in turn propagating the fungus clonally through nest-to-nest transmission. Most mutualistic ants cultivate two closely related groups of gilled mushrooms, whereas one small group of ants in the genus ...

  15. Mutualistic fungi control crop diversity in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2005-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants rear clonal fungi for food and transmit the fungi from mother to daughter colonies so that symbiont mixing and conflict, which result from competition between genetically different clones, are avoided. Here we show that despite millions of years of predominantly vertical...... transmission, the domesticated fungi actively reject mycelial fragments from neighboring colonies, and that the strength of these reactions are in proportion to the overall genetic difference between these symbionts. Fungal incompatibility compounds remain intact during ant digestion, so that fecal droplets...

  16. Avoidance of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus in leaf-cutting ants: Learning can take place entirely at the colony dump.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Arenas

    Full Text Available Plants initially accepted by foraging leaf-cutting ants are later avoided if they prove unsuitable for their symbiotic fungus. Plant avoidance is mediated by the waste produced in the fungus garden soon after the incorporation of the unsuitable leaves, as foragers can learn plant odors and cues from the damaged fungus that are both present in the recently produced waste particles. We asked whether avoidance learning of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus can take place entirely at the colony dump. In order to investigate whether cues available in the waste chamber induce plant avoidance in naïve subcolonies, we exchanged the waste produced by subcolonies fed either fungicide-treated privet leaves or untreated leaves and measured the acceptance of untreated privet leaves before and after the exchange of waste. Second, we evaluated whether foragers could perceive the avoidance cues directly at the dump by quantifying the visits of labeled foragers to the waste chamber. Finally, we asked whether foragers learn to specifically avoid untreated leaves of a plant after a confinement over 3 hours in the dump of subcolonies that were previously fed fungicide-treated leaves of that species. After the exchange of the waste chambers, workers from subcolonies that had access to waste from fungicide-treated privet leaves learned to avoid that plant. One-third of the labeled foragers visited the dump. Furthermore, naïve foragers learned to avoid a specific, previously unsuitable plant if exposed solely to cues of the dump during confinement. We suggest that cues at the dump enable foragers to predict the unsuitable effects of plants even if they had never been experienced in the fungus garden.

  17. Avoidance of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus in leaf-cutting ants: Learning can take place entirely at the colony dump.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arenas, Andrés; Roces, Flavio

    2017-01-01

    Plants initially accepted by foraging leaf-cutting ants are later avoided if they prove unsuitable for their symbiotic fungus. Plant avoidance is mediated by the waste produced in the fungus garden soon after the incorporation of the unsuitable leaves, as foragers can learn plant odors and cues from the damaged fungus that are both present in the recently produced waste particles. We asked whether avoidance learning of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus can take place entirely at the colony dump. In order to investigate whether cues available in the waste chamber induce plant avoidance in naïve subcolonies, we exchanged the waste produced by subcolonies fed either fungicide-treated privet leaves or untreated leaves and measured the acceptance of untreated privet leaves before and after the exchange of waste. Second, we evaluated whether foragers could perceive the avoidance cues directly at the dump by quantifying the visits of labeled foragers to the waste chamber. Finally, we asked whether foragers learn to specifically avoid untreated leaves of a plant after a confinement over 3 hours in the dump of subcolonies that were previously fed fungicide-treated leaves of that species. After the exchange of the waste chambers, workers from subcolonies that had access to waste from fungicide-treated privet leaves learned to avoid that plant. One-third of the labeled foragers visited the dump. Furthermore, naïve foragers learned to avoid a specific, previously unsuitable plant if exposed solely to cues of the dump during confinement. We suggest that cues at the dump enable foragers to predict the unsuitable effects of plants even if they had never been experienced in the fungus garden.

  18. Evolutionary transition from single to multiple mating in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Poul; Gertsch, P J; Frydenberg, J

    1999-01-01

    Queens of leafcutter ants exhibit the highest known levels of multiple mating (up to 10 mates per queen) among ants. Multiple mating may have been selected to increase genetic diversity among nestmate workers, which is hypothesized to be critical in social systems with large, long-lived colonies...... under severe pressure of pathogens. Advanced fungus-growing (leafcutter) ants have large numbers (104-106 workers) and long-lived colonies, whereas basal genera in the attine tribe have small (... to have lower queen mating frequencies, similar to those found in most other ants. We tested this prediction by analysing queen mating frequency and colony kin structure in three basal attine species: Myrmicocrypta ednaella, Apterostigma collare and Cyphomyrmex longiscapus. Microsatellite marker analyses...

  19. An antifungal terpenoid defends a neotropical tree (Hymenaea) against attack by fungus-growing ants (Atta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbell, Stephen P; Wiemer, David F; Adejare, Adeboye

    1983-12-01

    Foragers of the leafcutting ant, Atta cephalotes L. (Formicidae, Attini) seldom or never attack many of the plant species available to them in nature. In the semideciduous forests of lowland Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, one of the tree species seldom cut is Hymenaea courbaril L. (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae). We tested the hypothesis that this species is avoided by the ants because of the presence of ant-repellent secondary compounds in the leaves. A bioassay to test repellency of leaf extracts was developed to guide the chemical isolation of ant repellents, using a laboratory colony of Atta cephalotes.The presence of one or more extractable ant repellents was quickly demonstrated. Subsequent chemical isolation and identification revealed that there was essentially only one terpenoid responsible for the repellency: caryophyllene epoxide. Tests with a concentration series of the pure compound demonstrated that the natural concentration of this terpenoid in Hymenaea could fully account for the observed repellency of intact leaves. Field bioassays of the terpenoid in Costa Rica confirmed this result; leaves of a preferred species, Spondias purpurea L. (Anacardiaceae), became as repellent as Hymenaea leaves when treated with caryophyllene epoxide at natural Hymenaea leaf concentrations. Repellency of the epoxide was 20 times greater than that of caryophyllene, its sesquiterpene hydrocarbon precursor, which is also found in Hymenaea leaves.Attine ants cut leaves to serve as substrate for culturing a specific fungus for food, principally for their larvae. A reasonable hypothesis is that these ants selectively avoid plant species whose leaves contain compounds which are toxic to their fungus. We tested caryophyllene epoxide for antifungal activity and found that it is an extremely potent compound, not only against the attine fungus, but other fungi as well. We speculate that many of the other plant species avoided by these ants in nature may be similarly protected

  20. Growth and enzymatic activity of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, a mutualistic fungus isolated from the leaf-cutting ant Atta mexicana, on cellulose and lignocellulosic biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigueras, G; Paredes-Hernández, D; Revah, S; Valenzuela, J; Olivares-Hernández, R; Le Borgne, S

    2017-08-01

    A mutualistic fungus of the leaf-cutting ant Atta mexicana was isolated and identified as Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. This isolate had a close phylogenetic relationship with L. gongylophorus fungi cultivated by other leaf-cutting ants as determined by ITS sequencing. A subcolony started with ~500 A. mexicana workers could process 2 g day -1 of plant material and generate a 135 cm 3 fungus garden in 160 days. The presence of gongylidia structures of ~35 μm was observed on the tip of the hyphae. The fungus could grow without ants on semi-solid cultures with α-cellulose and microcrystalline cellulose and in solid-state cultures with grass and sugarcane bagasse, as sole sources of carbon. The maximum CO 2 production rate on grass (V max  = 17·5 mg CO 2  L g -1  day -1 ) was three times higher than on sugarcane bagasse (V max  = 6·6 mg CO 2  L g -1 day -1 ). Recoveries of 32·9 mg glucose  g biomass -1 and 12·3 mg glucose  g biomass -1 were obtained from the fungal biomass and the fungus garden, respectively. Endoglucanase activity was detected on carboxymethylcellulose agar plates. This is the first study reporting the growth of L. gongylophorus from A. mexicana on cellulose and plant material. According to the best of our knowledge, this is the first report about the growth of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, isolated from the colony of the ant Atta mexicana, on semisolid medium with cellulose and solid-state cultures with lignocellulosic materials. The maximum CO 2 production rate on grass was three times higher than on sugarcane bagasse. Endoglucanase activity was detected and it was possible to recover glucose from the fungal gongylidia. The cellulolytic activity could be used to process lignocellulosic residues and obtain sugar or valuable products, but more work is needed in this direction. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  1. Attack of the invasive garden ant: aggression behaviour of Lasius neglectus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) against native Lasius species in Spain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Lommen, Suzanne T.E.

    2006-01-01

    Invasive species often dramatically change native species communities by directly and indirectly out-competing na-tive species. We studied the direct interference abilities of the invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus VAN LOON, BOOMSMA & ANDRÁSFALVY, 1990, by performing one-to-one aggression test...

  2. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    that forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...

  3. Leaf-cutting ant fungi produce cell wall degrading pectinase complexes reminiscent of phytopathogenic fungi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Roepstorff, Peter

    2010-01-01

    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 conta...

  4. Repeated evolution of fungal cultivar specificity in independently evolved ant-plant-fungus symbioses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rumsaïs Blatrix

    Full Text Available Some tropical plant species possess hollow structures (domatia occupied by ants that protect the plant and in some cases also provide it with nutrients. Most plant-ants tend patches of chaetothyrialean fungi within domatia. In a few systems it has been shown that the ants manure the fungal patches and use them as a food source, indicating agricultural practices. However, the identity of these fungi has been investigated only in a few samples. To examine the specificity and constancy of ant-plant-fungus interactions we characterised the content of fungal patches in an extensive sampling of three ant-plant symbioses (Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana subsp. africana, Aphomomyrmex afer/Leonardoxa africana subsp. letouzeyi and Tetraponera aethiops/Barteria fistulosa by sequencing the Internal Transcribed Spacers of ribosomal DNA. For each system the content of fungal patches was constant over individuals and populations. Each symbiosis was associated with a specific, dominant, primary fungal taxon, and to a lesser extent, with one or two specific secondary taxa, all of the order Chaetothyriales. A single fungal patch sometimes contained both a primary and a secondary taxon. In one system, two founding queens were found with the primary fungal taxon only, one that was shown in a previous study to be consumed preferentially. Because the different ant-plant symbioses studied have evolved independently, the high specificity and constancy we observed in the composition of the fungal patches have evolved repeatedly. Specificity and constancy also characterize other cases of agriculture by insects.

  5. Phylogenomics and Divergence Dating of Fungus-Farming Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Genera Sericomyrmex and Apterostigma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ješovnik, Ana; González, Vanessa L; Schultz, Ted R

    2016-01-01

    Fungus-farming ("attine") ants are model systems for studies of symbiosis, coevolution, and advanced eusociality. A New World clade of nearly 300 species in 15 genera, all attine ants cultivate fungal symbionts for food. In order to better understand the evolution of ant agriculture, we sequenced, assembled, and analyzed transcriptomes of four different attine ant species in two genera: three species in the higher-attine genus Sericomyrmex and a single lower-attine ant species, Apterostigma megacephala, representing the first genomic data for either genus. These data were combined with published genomes of nine other ant species and the honey bee Apis mellifera for phylogenomic and divergence-dating analyses. The resulting phylogeny confirms relationships inferred in previous studies of fungus-farming ants. Divergence-dating analyses recovered slightly older dates than most prior analyses, estimating that attine ants originated 53.6-66.7 million of years ago, and recovered a very long branch subtending a very recent, rapid radiation of the genus Sericomyrmex. This result is further confirmed by a separate analysis of the three Sericomyrmex species, which reveals that 92.71% of orthologs have 99% - 100% pairwise-identical nucleotide sequences. We searched the transcriptomes for genes of interest, most importantly argininosuccinate synthase and argininosuccinate lyase, which are functional in other ants but which are known to have been lost in seven previously studied attine ant species. Loss of the ability to produce the amino acid arginine has been hypothesized to contribute to the obligate dependence of attine ants upon their cultivated fungi, but the point in fungus-farming ant evolution at which these losses occurred has remained unknown. We did not find these genes in any of the sequenced transcriptomes. Although expected for Sericomyrmex species, the absence of arginine anabolic genes in the lower-attine ant Apterostigma megacephala strongly suggests that the

  6. Vascular epiphytes and host trees of ant-gardens in an anthropic landscape in southeastern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Linares, Jonas; García-Franco, José G.; Flores-Palacios, Alejandro; Valenzuela-González, Jorge E.; Mata-Rosas, Martín; Díaz-Castelazo, Cecilia

    2016-12-01

    Ant-gardens (AGs) are considered one of the most complex mutualist systems between ants and plants, since interactions involving dispersal, protection, and nutrition occur simultaneously in them; however, little is known about the effects of the transformation of ecosystems on their diversity and interactions. In five environments with different land use within an anthropic landscape in southeastern Mexico, we investigated the diversity and composition of epiphytes and host trees of AGs built by Azteca gnava. A total of 10,871 individuals of 26 epiphytic species, associating with 859 AGs located in 161 host trees, were recorded. The diversity and composition of epiphytes tended to be different between environments; however, Aechmea tillandsioides and Codonanthe uleana were the most important species and considered true AG epiphytes, because they were the most frequent, abundant, and occurred exclusively in AGs. Other important species were the orchids Epidendrum flexuosum, Coryanthes picturata, and Epidendrum pachyrachis, and should also be considered true AG epiphytes, because they occurred almost exclusively in the AGs. The AG abundance in agroforestry plantations was similar or even greater than in riparian vegetation (natural habitat). The AGs were registered in 37 host species but were more frequent in Mangifera indica and Citrus sinensis. We conclude that true epiphytes of A. gnava AGs persist in different environments and host trees, and even these AGs could proliferate in agroforestry plantations of anthropic landscapes.

  7. Oligocene termite nests with in situ fungus gardens from the rukwa rift basin, Tanzania, support a paleogene african origin for insect agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roberts, Eric M.; Todd, Christopher N.; Aanen, Duur K.; Nobre, Tania; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Tapanila, Leif; Mtelela, Cassy; Stevens, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66-24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been

  8. Acanthopria and Mimopriella parasitoid wasps (Diapriidae) attack Cyphomyrmex fungus-growing ants (Formicidae, Attini)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Wcislo, William T.

    2006-01-01

    New World diapriine wasps are abundant and diverse, but the biology of most species is unknown. We provide the first description of the biology of diapriine wasps, Acanthopria spp. and Mimopriella sp., which attack the larvae of Cyphomyrmex fungus-growing ants. In Puerto Rico, the koinobiont parasitoids Acanthopria attack Cyphomyrmex minutus, while in Panama at least four morphospecies of Acanthopria and one of Mimopriella attack Cyphomyrmex rimosus. Of the total larvae per colony, 0 100% were parasitized, and 27 70% of the colonies per population were parasitized. Parasitism rate and colony size were negatively correlated for C. rimosus but not for C. minutus. Worker ants grasped at, bit, and in some cases, killed adult wasps that emerged in artificial nests or tried to enter natural nests. Parasitoid secondary sex ratios were female-biased for eclosing wasps, while field collections showed a male-biased sex ratio. Based on their abundance and success in attacking host ants, these minute wasps present excellent opportunities to explore how natural enemies impact ant colony demography and population biology.

  9. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus......, indirectly, on fungal enzymes to break down the plant material brought in by the ants as fungal substrate. The more than 210 extant fungus-growing ant species differ considerably in colony size, social complexity and substrate-use. Only the derived leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...

  10. Ocurrence of the antibiotic producing bacterium Burkholderia sp. in colonies of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Adão Valmir; Dillon, Rod J; Dillon, Viv M; Reynolds, Stuart E; Samuels, Richard I

    2004-10-15

    Fungus garden material from recently established Atta sexdens rubropilosa colonies (6-12 months old) was sampled to detect antibiotic producing microorganisms that inhibited the growth of pathogens of insects and of the fungus gardens but did not affect their mutualistic fungus. A bacterium with activity against the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana was isolated from 56% of the gardens tested (n=57) and identified from its biochemical profile and from 16S and 23S ribosomal DNA sequences as a member of the genus Burkholderia. The ant-associated Burkholderia isolates secreted a potent, anti-fungal agent that inhibited germination of conidia of the entomopathogenic fungi B. bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, of the saprophytic Verticillium lecanii, and also of a specialist fungus garden Escovopsis weberi. Growth of the ant's mutualist fungus was unaffected.

  11. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...... essential for the symbiosis in general, but have contributed specifically to the evolution of the symbiosis....

  12. Social transfer of pathogenic fungus promotes active immunisation in ant colonies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Konrad

    Full Text Available Due to the omnipresent risk of epidemics, insect societies have evolved sophisticated disease defences at the individual and colony level. An intriguing yet little understood phenomenon is that social contact to pathogen-exposed individuals reduces susceptibility of previously naive nestmates to this pathogen. We tested whether such social immunisation in Lasius ants against the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is based on active upregulation of the immune system of nestmates following contact to an infectious individual or passive protection via transfer of immune effectors among group members--that is, active versus passive immunisation. We found no evidence for involvement of passive immunisation via transfer of antimicrobials among colony members. Instead, intensive allogrooming behaviour between naive and pathogen-exposed ants before fungal conidia firmly attached to their cuticle suggested passage of the pathogen from the exposed individuals to their nestmates. By tracing fluorescence-labelled conidia we indeed detected frequent pathogen transfer to the nestmates, where they caused low-level infections as revealed by growth of small numbers of fungal colony forming units from their dissected body content. These infections rarely led to death, but instead promoted an enhanced ability to inhibit fungal growth and an active upregulation of immune genes involved in antifungal defences (defensin and prophenoloxidase, PPO. Contrarily, there was no upregulation of the gene cathepsin L, which is associated with antibacterial and antiviral defences, and we found no increased antibacterial activity of nestmates of fungus-exposed ants. This indicates that social immunisation after fungal exposure is specific, similar to recent findings for individual-level immune priming in invertebrates. Epidemiological modeling further suggests that active social immunisation is adaptive, as it leads to faster elimination of the disease and lower

  13. The genome of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior suggests key adaptations to advanced social life and fungus farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Zhang, Guojie; Schiøtt, Morten

    2011-01-01

    on aspects of the genome likely to be associated with known evolutionary changes. The first is the specialized fungal diet of A. echinatior, where we find gene loss in the ant's arginine synthesis pathway, loss of detoxification genes, and expansion of a group of peptidase proteins. One of these is a unique......We present a high-quality (>100× depth) Illumina genome sequence of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior, a model species for symbiosis and reproductive conflict studies. We compare this genome with three previously sequenced genomes of ants from different subfamilies and focus our analyses...... ant-derived contribution to the fecal fluid, which otherwise consists of "garden manuring" fungal enzymes that are unaffected by ant digestion. The second is multiple mating of queens and ejaculate competition, which may be associated with a greatly expanded nardilysin-like peptidase gene family...

  14. Social-insect fungus farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aanen, Duur Kornelis; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    Which social insects rear their own food? Growing fungi for food has evolved twice in social insects: once in new-world ants about 50 million years ago; and once in old-world termites between 24 and 34 million years ago [1] and [2] . The termites domesticated a single fungal lineage - the extant...... basidiomycete genus Termitomyces - whereas the ants are associated with a larger diversity of fungal lineages (all basidiomycetes). The ants and termites forage for plant material to provision their fungus gardens. Their crops convert this carbon-rich plant material into nitrogen-rich fungal biomass to provide...

  15. Cyatta abscondita: taxonomy, evolution, and natural history of a new fungus-farming ant genus from Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Sosa-Calvo

    Full Text Available Cyatta abscondita, a new genus and species of fungus-farming ant from Brazil, is described based on morphological study of more than 20 workers, two dealate gynes, one male, and two larvae. Ecological field data are summarized, including natural history, nest architecture, and foraging behavior. Phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequence data from four nuclear genes indicate that Cyatta abscondita is the distant sister taxon of the genus Kalathomyrmex, and that together they comprise the sister group of the remaining neoattine ants, an informal clade that includes the conspicuous and well-known leaf-cutter ants. Morphologically, Cyatta abscondita shares very few obvious character states with Kalathomyrmex. It does, however, possess a number of striking morphological features unique within the fungus-farming tribe Attini. It also shares morphological character states with taxa that span the ancestral node of the Attini. The morphology, behavior, and other biological characters of Cyatta abscondita are potentially informative about plesiomorphic character states within the fungus-farming ants and about the early evolution of ant agriculture.

  16. Dynamic disease management in Trachymyrmex fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Bruner, Gaspar; Gomez, Ernesto B; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Wcislo, William T

    2013-04-01

    Multipartner mutualisms have potentially complex dynamics, with compensatory responses when one partner is lost or relegated to a minor role. Fungus-growing ants (Attini) are mutualistic associates of basidiomycete fungi and antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria; the former are attacked by specialized fungi (Escovopsis) and diverse generalist microbes. Ants deploy biochemical defenses from bacteria and metapleural glands (MGs) and express different behaviors to control contaminants. We studied four Trachymyrmex species that differed in relative abundance of actinomycetes to understand interactions among antimicrobial tactics that are contingent on the nature of infection. MG grooming rate and actinomycete abundance were negatively correlated. The two species with high MG grooming rates or abundant actinomycetes made relatively little use of behavioral defenses. Conversely, the two species with relatively modest biochemical defenses relied heavily on behavior. Trade-offs suggest that related species can evolutionarily diverge to rely on different defense mechanisms against the same threat. Neither bacterial symbionts nor MG secretions thus appear to be essential for mounting defenses against the specialized pathogen Escovopsis, but reduced investment in one of these defense modes tends to increase investment in the other.

  17. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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 forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...... contribution to cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus in their direct environment and are, furthermore, considered pest species as they have a large impact on human agriculture. These factors make leaf-cutting ants an ideal study subject to better understand the mechanisms that make this mutualistic symbiosis so...

  18. Laccase gene expression as a possible key adaptation for herbivorous niche expansion in the attine fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Nygaard, Sanne

    ), particularly when the ancestral leaf-cutting ants shifted from a diet of mostly fresh but shed plant material to actively cutting leaves. However, the way in which leaf-cutting ants managed to overcome the chemical defences of leaves has remained poorly understood. Here we document that laccases may have...... played an important role in allowing the leaf-cutting ants to become generalist functional herbivores. Laccases are polyphenol oxidase enzymes (PPOs) that are best known for their ability to degrade lignin in saprophytic and wood-pathogenic fungi. We found that laccase activity was primarily expressed...... in newly constructed garden sections where secondary leaf compounds are most likely to hinder decomposition. A combination of genomic and transcriptional analyses showed that there are at least eight copies of putative laccase coding genes in a draft genome of the fungal symbiont Leucocoprinus...

  19. Specificity in chemical profiles of workers, brood and mutualistic fungi in Atta, Acromyrmex, and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulsen, Michael; Drijfhout, Falko; Jones, Graeme; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2007-12-01

    Neotropical attine ants live in obligatory symbiosis with a fungus that they grow for food on a substrate of primarily plant material harvested by workers. Nestmate recognition is likely based on chemical cues as in most other social insects, but recent studies have indicated that both the ants and their mutualistic fungi may contribute to the recognition templates. To investigate the within-colony variation in chemical profiles, we extracted and identified compounds from the cuticle of workers, the postpharyngeal gland of workers, ant pupae and larvae, and the fungal symbiont of three species of higher attine ants: Atta colombica, Acromyrmex echinatior, and Sericomyrmex amabilis. The relative proportions of identified compounds were compared and represented 11 classes: n-alkanes, alkenes, branched methylalkanes, branched dimethylalkanes, trimethylalkanes, branched alkenes, aldehydes, alcohols, acetates, acids, and esters. The chemical profiles in all three species are likely to be sufficiently different to allow discrimination at the species and colony level and sufficiently similar within colonies to generate a relatively constant colony-specific chemical gestalt. The relative likelihood of individual compounds being derived from the ants, the ant brood, or the fungal symbiont are discussed. We hypothesize that hydrocarbons are particularly important as recognition cues because they appear to simultaneously allow the assessment of developmental stages and the identification of symbiont, colony, and species.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    Attine ants cultivate fungi as their most important food source and in turn the fungus is nourished, protected against harmful microorganisms, and dispersed by the ants. This symbiosis evolved approximately 50–60 million years ago in the late Paleocene or early Eocene, and since its origin attine...

  1. High temperature and temperature variation undermine future disease susceptibility in a population of the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamminger, Tobias; Steier, Thomas; Tragust, Simon

    2016-06-01

    Environmental temperature and temperature variation can have strong effects on the outcome of host-parasite interactions. Whilst such effects have been reported for different host systems, long-term consequences of pre-infection temperatures on host susceptibility and immunity remain understudied. Here, we show that experiencing both a biologically relevant increase in temperature and temperature variation undermines future disease susceptibility of the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus when challenged with a pathogen under a constant temperature regime. In light of the economic and ecological importance of many social insects, our results emphasise the necessity to take the hosts' temperature history into account when studying host-parasite interactions under both natural and laboratory conditions, especially in the face of global change.

  2. Revision of the fungus-farming ant genus Sericomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Ješovnik

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The genus Sericomyrmex Mayr (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Attini is a Neotropical group of fungus-farming ants known for its problematic taxonomy, caused by low morphological variability across the species, vague and old species descriptions, and an outdated and incomplete key published in 1916. Recent molecular studies revealed that Sericomyrmex is the product of a rapid recent radiation, with a divergence date of 4.3 million years ago. Here we present a comprehensive taxonomic revision of the genus Sericomyrmex based on morphology and a recently published molecular phylogeny. We discuss and illustrate morphological characters for Sericomyrmex workers, males, queens, and larvae. We report 18 standard morphological measurements and 5 indices for 529 workers, 50 queens, and 39 males, which we employ in morphometric analyses. The revised genus Sericomyrmex comprises eleven species, including three new species, here described as S. maravalhas sp. n., S. radioheadi sp. n., and S. saramama sp. n. We also redescribe S. amabilis Wheeler, S. bondari Borgmeier, S. lutzi Wheeler, S. mayri Forel, S. opacus Mayr, S. parvulus Forel, S. saussurei Emery, and S. scrobifer Forel. The number of recognized species (11 is lower than the previously recognized 19 species and 3 subspecies. The following species and subspecies are synonymized: under S. opacus [=S. aztecus Forel syn. n., S. zacapanus Wheeler syn. n., and S. diego Forel syn. n.]; under S. bondari [=S. beniensis Weber syn. n.]; under S. mayri [=S. luederwaldti Santschi syn. n., S. moreirai Santschi syn. n., S. harekulli Weber syn. n., S. harekulli arawakensis Weber syn. n., S. urichi Forel syn. n.]; under S. saussurei [=S. burchelli Forel syn. n., S. impexus Wheeler syn. n., S. urichi maracas Weber syn. n.]; and under S. parvulus [=S. myersi Weber syn. n.]. We provide a key to Sericomyrmex species for the worker caste and information on the geographic distributions of all species.

  3. Hidden diversity behind the zombie-ant fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: four new species described from carpenter ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harry C Evans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Clavicipitaceae: Hypocreales is a fungal pathogen specific to ants of the tribe Camponotini (Formicinae: Formicidae with a pantropical distribution. This so-called zombie or brain-manipulating fungus alters the behaviour of the ant host, causing it to die in an exposed position, typically clinging onto and biting into the adaxial surface of shrub leaves. We (HCE and DPH are currently undertaking a worldwide survey to assess the taxonomy and ecology of this highly variable species. METHODS: We formally describe and name four new species belonging to the O. unilateralis species complex collected from remnant Atlantic rainforest in the south-eastern region (Zona da Mata of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Fully illustrated descriptions of both the asexual (anamorph and sexual (teleomorph stages are provided for each species. The new names are registered in Index Fungorum (registration.indexfungorum.org and have received IF numbers. This paper is also a test case for the electronic publication of new names in mycology. CONCLUSIONS: We are only just beginning to understand the taxonomy and ecology of the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis species complex associated with carpenter ants; macroscopically characterised by a single stalk arising from the dorsal neck region of the ant host on which the anamorph occupies the terminal region and the teleomorph occurs as lateral cushions or plates. Each of the four ant species collected--Camponotus rufipes, C. balzani, C. melanoticus and C. novogranadensis--is attacked by a distinct species of Ophiocordyceps readily separated using traditional micromorphology. The new taxa are named according to their ant host.

  4. Laccase gene expression as a possible key adaptation for herbivorous niche expansion in the attine fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    of mostly fresh but shed plant material to actively cutting leaves. However, the way in which these ants managed to overcome the chemical defences of leaves has remained poorly understood. Here we document that fungal laccases may have played an important role in allowing the leaf-cutting ants to become...... generalist functional herbivores. Laccases are polyphenol oxidase enzymes (PPOs) that are best known for their ability to degrade lignin in saprophytic and wood-pathogenic fungi. We found that laccase activity was primarily expressed in newly constructed garden sections where secondary leaf compounds...... are most likely to hinder decomposition. A combination of genomic and transcriptional analyses showed that there are at least eight copies of putative laccase coding genes in a draft genome of the fungal symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus, but only a single copy of these multiple laccase genes...

  5. Combined effects of temperature and interspecific competition on the mortality of the invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus: A laboratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frizzi, Filippo; Bartalesi, Viola; Santini, Giacomo

    2017-04-01

    The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is a dominant species due to its capacity to form large supercolonies. This species was assumed to possess a wide thermal niche since it is able to adapt to cold climates, which is a factor that boosted its rapid expansion from south to many central-northern European Countries. However, the effect of variations in environmental temperatures on its competitive ability against other species has still not been investigated. In this paper, we analyzed the change in survival ability of Lasius neglectus during encounters with two Mediterranean dominant ants (Crematogaster scutellaris and Tapinoma nigerrimum) at four different temperatures (15, 20, 25 and 30°C). Firstly, control tests were performed to provide the baseline survival ability of the three species at different temperatures. Secondly, competition tests were carried out at the same temperatures. Lasius neglectus survival was negatively affected by high temperature (30°C) in control tests, and this impairment was much more pronounced in competition tests. On the contrary, the two opponent species were only marginally affected by temperatures in control tests. Crematogaster scutellaris was a better competitor than L. neglectus, particularly at high temperatures. Tapinoma nigerrimum was a weaker competitor and was always outcompeted by L. neglectus, particularly at low temperatures. This result could suggest that L. neglectus is at a disadvantage during interspecific encounters when temperatures are high and that the predicted future increase in environmental temperatures may potentially enhance this handicap. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Rediscovery of the enigmatic fungus-farming ant "Mycetosoritis" asper Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Implications for taxonomy, phylogeny, and the evolution of agriculture in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa-Calvo, Jeffrey; Ješovnik, Ana; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L; Bacci, Mauricio; Schultz, Ted R

    2017-01-01

    We report the rediscovery of the exceedingly rarely collected and enigmatic fungus-farming ant species Mycetosoritis asper. Since the description of the type specimen in 1887, only four additional specimens are known to have been added to the world's insect collections. Its biology is entirely unknown and its phylogenetic position within the fungus-farming ants has remained puzzling due to its aberrant morphology. In 2014 we excavated and collected twenty-one colonies of M. asper in the Floresta Nacional de Chapecó in Santa Catarina, Brazil. We describe here for the first time the male and larva of the species and complement the previous descriptions of both the queen and the worker. We describe, also for the first time, M. asper biology, nest architecture, and colony demographics, and identify its fungal cultivar. Molecular phylogenetic analyses indicate that both M. asper and M. clorindae are members of the genus Cyphomyrmex, which we show to be paraphyletic as currently defined. More precisely, M. asper is a member of the Cyphomyrmex strigatus group, which we also show to be paraphyletic with respect to the genus Mycetophylax. Based on these results, and in the interest of taxonomic stability, we transfer the species M. asper, M. clorindae, and all members of the C. strigatus group to the genus Mycetophylax, the oldest available name for this clade. Based on ITS sequence data, Mycetophylax asper practices lower agriculture, cultivating a fungal species that belongs to lower-attine fungal Clade 2, subclade F.

  7. Leaf-cutting ant fungi produce cell wall degrading pectinase complexes reminiscent of phytopathogenic fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2010-12-01

    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

  8. Leaf-cutting ant fungi produce cell wall degrading pectinase complexes reminiscent of phytopathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Roepstorff, Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2010-12-31

    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.

  9. Eggs of the Blind Snake, Liotyphlops albirostris, Are Incubated in a Nest of the Lower Fungus-Growing Ant,  Apterostigma cf. goniodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaspar Bruner

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Parental care is rare in most lower vertebrates. By selecting optimal oviposition sites, however, mothers can realize some benefits often associated with parental care. We found three ovoid reptilian eggs within a mature nest of a relatively basal fungus-growing ant, Apterostigma cf. goniodes (Attini, in central Panama. In laboratory colonies, A. cf. goniodes workers attended and cared for the eggs. Two blind snakes, Liotyphlops albirostris (Anomalepididae, successfully hatched, which is the first rearing record for this species. The ants did not disturb the snakes, and the snakes did not eat the ants; we found no ants in the dissected stomachs of the snakes. We review other associations between nesting fungus-growing ants and egg-laying vertebrates, which together suggest that attine nests may provide a safe, environmentally buffered location for oviposition, even in basal attine taxa with relatively small colony sizes.

  10. Isolation of xanthyletin, an inhibitor of ants' symbiotic fungus, by high-speed counter-current chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazal, Cristiane de Melo; Domingues, Vanessa de Cássia; Batalhão, Jaqueline Raquel; Bueno, Odair Corrêa; Filho, Edson Rodrigues; da Silva, Maria Fátima G Fernandes; Vieira, Paulo Cezar; Fernandes, João Batista

    2009-05-08

    Xanthyletin, an inhibitor of symbiotic fungus (Leucoagaricus gongylophorus) of leaf-cutting ant (Atta sexdens rubropilosa), as well as suberosin, seselin and xanthoxyletin were isolated from Citrus sinensis grafted on Citrus limonia. A two-phase solvent system composed of hexane/ethanol/acetonitrile/water (10:8:1:1, v/v) was used for the high-speed counter-current chromatographic isolation of xanthyletin with high yield and over 99% purity as determined by liquid and gas chromatography with mass spectrometry detection. Identifications were performed by UV spectra, IR spectra, (1)H NMR and (13)C NMR.

  11. The assembly of ant-farmed gardens: mutualism specialization following host broadening

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Chomicki, G.; Janda, Milan; Renner, S. S.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 284, č. 1850 (2017), č. článku 20161759. ISSN 0962-8452 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/2467 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ants * plants * farming mutualism Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.940, year: 2016 http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1850/20161759

  12. Symbiont recognition of mutualistic bacteria by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Mingzi; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2007-01-01

    Symbiont choice has been proposed to play an important role in shaping many symbiotic relationships, including the fungus-growing ant-microbe mutualism. Over millions of years, fungus-growing ants have defended their fungus gardens from specialized parasites with antibiotics produced...... by an actinomycete bacterial mutualist (genus Pseudonocardia). Despite the potential of being infected by phylogenetically diverse strains of parasites, each ant colony maintains only a single Pseudonocardia symbiont strain, which is primarily vertically transmitted between colonies by the founding queens....... In this study, we show that Acromyrmex leaf-cutter ants are able to differentiate between their native actinomycete strain and a variety of foreign strains isolated from sympatric and allopatric Acromyrmex species, in addition to strains originating from other fungus-growing ant genera. The recognition...

  13. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Broch, Jens F; Marín, Hermogenes Fernández

    2011-01-01

    -fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genotype and social rearing environment upon individual and social immune defenses. We used a multiply mating leaf-cutting ant, enabling us to test for patriline effects within a colony, as well as cross-colony matriline effects. The worker's father influenced...... social defense, a Pseudonocardia bacteria that helps to control pathogens in the ants' fungus garden, showed a significant colony of origin by rearing environment interaction, whereby ants that acquired the bacteria of a foster colony obtained a less abundant cover of bacteria: one explanation...

  14. Specificity in chemical profiles of workers, brood and mutualistic fungi in Atta, Acromyrmex, and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulsen, Michael; Drijfhout, Falko

    2007-01-01

    Neotropical attine ants live in obligatory symbiosis with a fungus that they grow for food on a substrate of primarily plant material harvested by workers. Nestmate recognition is likely based on chemical cues as in most other social insects, but recent studies have indicated that both the ants...... and their mutualistic fungi may contribute to the recognition templates. To investigate the within-colony variation in chemical profiles, we extracted and identified compounds from the cuticle of workers, the postpharyngeal gland of workers, ant pupae and larvae, and the fungal symbiont of three species of higher...

  15. ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Insect symbioses: a case study of past, present, and future fungus-growing ant research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caldera, Eric J; Poulsen, Michael; Suen, Garret

    2009-01-01

    , to date, it contains four well-characterized microbial symbionts, including mutualists and parasites that encompass micro-fungi, macro-fungi, yeasts, and bacteria. Here, we discuss approaches for studying insect-microbe symbioses, using the attine ant-microbial symbiosis as our framework. We draw...

  17. Variation in the outcomes of an ant-plant system: fire and leaf fungus infection reduce benefits to plants with extrafloral nectaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, L P; Del-Claro, K

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between species are evolutionary malleable and may suffer changes in small timescales. Environmental disturbances, such as fire, can deeply affect species interactions, but how they influence the outcome of a mutualistic interaction has yet to be studied. In order to test the hypothesis that an environmental disturbance, in this case fire, may produce differences in the outcome of the association of ants with the extrafloral-nectaries-bearing plant Qualea multiflora Mart. (Myrtales: Vochysiaceae), a previous study was replicated, but this time after fire incidence, at the same study site and with the same plant species. Eight ant species visited Q. multiflora, and the most abundant genera were Crematogaster, Cephalotes, and Camponotus. Herbivores were found in branches with and without ants with no statistical difference, but foliar herbivory was always higher in branchs where ants were absent. Leaves were infested by fungi, and fungi spots were higher in branches where ants were present. Compared to the previous study, it was clearly observed that ant benefits to Q. multiflora varied over time. The most common ant species still protected leaves against chewing herbivores, but a new kind of leaf damage appeared, namely fungi spots. Data also support that ants may be acting as vectors of fungi spores on plants, as ant visited branches had higher fungus incidence than non-visited branches. Fire is a major source of disturbance in tropical savannas, and we suggest that it can cause strong variation in the outcomes of interactions between ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries in the Brazilian tropical savanna. This is an open access paper. We use the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license that permits unrestricted use, provided that the paper is properly attributed.

  18. Acromyrmex Leaf-Cutting Ants Have Simple Gut Microbiota with Nitrogen-Fixing Potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Zhukova, Mariya; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren J; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2015-08-15

    Ants and termites have independently evolved obligate fungus-farming mutualisms, but their gardening procedures are fundamentally different, as the termites predigest their plant substrate whereas the ants deposit it directly on the fungus garden. Fungus-growing termites retained diverse gut microbiota, but bacterial gut communities in fungus-growing leaf-cutting ants have not been investigated, so it is unknown whether and how they are specialized on an exclusively fungal diet. Here we characterized the gut bacterial community of Panamanian Acromyrmex species, which are dominated by only four bacterial taxa: Wolbachia, Rhizobiales, and two Entomoplasmatales taxa. We show that the Entomoplasmatales can be both intracellular and extracellular across different gut tissues, Wolbachia is mainly but not exclusively intracellular, and the Rhizobiales species is strictly extracellular and confined to the gut lumen, where it forms biofilms along the hindgut cuticle supported by an adhesive matrix of polysaccharides. Tetracycline diets eliminated the Entomoplasmatales symbionts but hardly affected Wolbachia and only moderately reduced the Rhizobiales, suggesting that the latter are protected by the biofilm matrix. We show that the Rhizobiales symbiont produces bacterial NifH proteins that have been associated with the fixation of nitrogen, suggesting that these compartmentalized hindgut symbionts alleviate nutritional constraints emanating from an exclusive fungus garden diet reared on a substrate of leaves. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  19. Assessment of Gardening Wastes as a Co-Substrate for Diapers Degradation by the Fungus Pleurotus ostreatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa María Espinosa-Valdemar

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Waste with high biomass content generated in cities in developing countries is sent to landfills or open dumps. This research aims to degrade biomass content in urban waste through cultivation, at pilot scale, of the edible mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus. First, the number of diapers used by one baby per week was measured with a survey in day care facilities. Then, cellulose content of diapers was assessed. Finally, cultivation of P. ostreatus was carried out using as substrate a mixture of diapers with gardening waste, a co-substrate readily available at urban settings. The factors assessed were strain of P. ostreatus (grey BPR-81, white BPR-5, conditioning of the substrate (diapers with and without plastic and co-substrate (wheat straw, grass, and withered leaves. Results show that diapers are a valuable source of biomass, as generation of diapers with urine is 15.3 kg/child/month and they contain 50.2% by weight of cellulose. The highest reductions in dry weight and volume (>64% of substrates was achieved with the substrate diaper without plastic and co-substrate wheat straw. Although diapers with plastic and grass and leaves showed lower degradation, they achieved efficiencies that make them suitable as a co-substrate (>40%, considering that their biomass is currently confined in landfills.

  20. Imaging mass spectrometry and MS/MS molecular networking reveals chemical interactions among cuticular bacteria and pathogenic fungi associated with fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boya P, Cristopher A; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Mejía, Luis C; Spadafora, Carmenza; Dorrestein, Pieter C; Gutiérrez, Marcelino

    2017-07-17

    The fungus-growing ant-microbe symbiosis is an ideal system to study chemistry-based microbial interactions due to the wealth of microbial interactions described, and the lack of information on the molecules involved therein. In this study, we employed a combination of MALDI imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) and MS/MS molecular networking to study chemistry-based microbial interactions in this system. MALDI IMS was used to visualize the distribution of antimicrobials at the inhibition zone between bacteria associated to the ant Acromyrmex echinatior and the fungal pathogen Escovopsis sp. MS/MS molecular networking was used for the dereplication of compounds found at the inhibition zones. We identified the antibiotics actinomycins D, X2 and X 0β , produced by the bacterium Streptomyces CBR38; and the macrolides elaiophylin, efomycin A and efomycin G, produced by the bacterium Streptomyces CBR53.These metabolites were found at the inhibition zones using MALDI IMS and were identified using MS/MS molecular networking. Additionally, three shearinines D, F, and J produced by the fungal pathogen Escovopsis TZ49 were detected. This is the first report of elaiophylins, actinomycin X 0β and shearinines in the fungus-growing ant symbiotic system. These results suggest a secondary prophylactic use of these antibiotics by A. echinatior because of their permanent production by the bacteria.

  1. Interaction specificity between leaf-cutting ants and vertically transmitted Pseudonocardia bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Sandra B; Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2015-02-25

    The obligate mutualism between fungus-growing ants and microbial symbionts offers excellent opportunities to study the specificity and stability of multi-species interactions. In addition to cultivating fungus gardens, these ants have domesticated actinomycete bacteria to defend gardens against the fungal parasite Escovopsis and possibly other pathogens. Panamanian Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants primarily associate with actinomycetes of the genus Pseudonocardia. Colonies are inoculated with one of two vertically transmitted phylotypes (Ps1 or Ps2), and maintain the same phylotype over their lifetime. We performed a cross-fostering experiment to test whether co-adaptations between ants and bacterial phylotypes have evolved, and how this affects bacterial growth and ant prophylactic behavior after infection with Escovopsis. We show that Pseudonocardia readily colonized ants irrespective of their colony of origin, but that the Ps2 phylotype, which was previously shown to be better able to maintain its monocultural integrity after workers became foragers than Ps1, reached a higher final cover when grown on its native host than on alternative hosts. The frequencies of major grooming and weeding behaviors co-varied with symbiont/host combinations, showing that ant behavior also was affected when cuticular actinomycete phylotypes were swapped. These results show that the interactions between leaf-cutting ants and Pseudonocardia bear signatures of mutual co-adaptation within a single ant population.

  2. Diversity and transmission of gut bacteria in Atta and Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants during development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhukova, Mariya; Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Schiøtt, Morten

    2017-01-01

    in solitary insects. In contrast, Mollicutes were socially transmitted from old workers to newly emerged callows. We found that larval and pupal guts of both ant species contained Pseudomonas and Enterobacter bacteria that are also found in fungus gardens, but hardly or not in adult workers, suggesting...

  3. The fungal cultivar of leaf-cutter ants produces specific enzymes in response to different plant substrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khadempour, Lily [Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Baker, Erin S. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Nicora, Carrie D. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; White, Richard A. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Monroe, Matthew E. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Huang, Eric L. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Smith, Richard D. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Currie, Cameron R. [Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA

    2016-10-26

    Herbivores use symbiotic microbes to help gain access to energy and nutrients from plant material. Leaf-cutter ants are a paradigmatic example, having tremendous impact on their ecosystems as dominant generalist herbivores through cultivation of a fungus, Leucoagaricus gongylophorous. Here we examine how this mutualism could facilitate the flexible substrate incorporation of the ants by providing leaf-cutter ant subcolonies four substrate types: leaves, flowers, oats, and a mixture of all three. Through metaproteomic analysis of the fungus gardens, we were able to identify and quantify 1766 different fungal proteins, including 161 biomass-degrading enzymes. This analysis revealed that fungal protein profiles were significantly different between subcolonies fed different substrates with the highest abundance of cellulolytic enzymes observed in the leaf and flower treatments. When the fungus garden is provided with leaves and flowers, which contain the majority of their energy in recalcitrant material, it increases its production of proteins that break down cellulose: endoglucanases, exoglucanase and β-glucosidase. Further, the complete metaproteomes for the leaves and flowers treatments were very similar, the mixed treatment closely resembled the treatment with oats alone. This suggests that when provided a mixture of substrates, the fungus garden preferentially produces enzymes necessary for breakdown of simpler, more digestible substrates. This flexible, substrate-specific response of the fungal cultivar allows the leaf-cutter ants to derive energy from a wide range of substrates, which may contribute to their ability to be dominant generalist herbivores.

  4. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus uses leaf-cutting ants to vector proteolytic enzymes towards new plant substrate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Hoffmann, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    The mutualism between leaf-cutting ants and their fungal symbionts revolves around processing and inoculation of fresh leaf pulp in underground fungus gardens, mediated by ant fecal fluid deposited on the newly added plant substrate. As herbivorous feeding often implies that growth is nitrogen...... limited, we cloned and sequenced six fungal proteases found in the fecal fluid of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior and identified them as two metalloendoproteases, two serine proteases and two aspartic proteases. The metalloendoproteases and serine proteases showed significant activity in fecal...

  5. Actinomycetes inhibit filamentous fungi from the cuticle of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dângelo, Rômulo Augusto Cotta; de Souza, Danival José; Mendes, Thais Demarchi; Couceiro, Joel da Cruz; Lucia, Terezinha Maria Castro Della

    2016-03-01

    Actinomycetes bacteria associated with leafcutter ants produce secondary metabolites with antimicrobial properties against Escovopsis, a fungus specialized in attacking the gardens of fungus-growing ants, which denies the ants their food source. Because previous studies have used fungi isolated from fungus gardens but not from ant integument, the aims of the present study were to isolate actinomycetes associated with the cuticle of the Acromyrmex spp. and to quantify their inhibition abilities against the filamentous fungal species carried by these ants. The results demonstrated that actinomycetes had varied strain-dependent effects on several filamentous fungal species in addition to antagonistic activity against Escovopsis. The strain isolated from Acromyrmex balzani was identified as a Streptomyces species, whereas the remaining isolates were identified as different strains belonging to the genus Pseudonocardia. These findings corroborate the hypothesis that actinomycetes do not act specifically against Escovopsis mycoparasites and may have the ability to inhibit other species of pathogenic fungi. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. The fungal cultivar of leaf-cutter ants produces specific enzymes in response to different plant substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khadempour, Lily; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E; Baker, Erin S; Nicora, Carrie D; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M; White, Richard A; Monroe, Matthew E; Huang, Eric L; Smith, Richard D; Currie, Cameron R

    2016-11-01

    Herbivores use symbiotic microbes to help derive energy and nutrients from plant material. Leaf-cutter ants are a paradigmatic example, cultivating their mutualistic fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus on plant biomass that workers forage from a diverse collection of plant species. Here, we investigate the metabolic flexibility of the ants' fungal cultivar for utilizing different plant biomass. Using feeding experiments and a novel approach in metaproteomics, we examine the enzymatic response of L. gongylophorus to leaves, flowers, oats or a mixture of all three. Across all treatments, our analysis identified and quantified 1766 different fungal proteins, including 161 putative biomass-degrading enzymes. We found significant differences in the protein profiles in the fungus gardens of subcolonies fed different plant substrates. When provided with leaves or flowers, which contain the majority of their energy as recalcitrant plant polymers, the fungus gardens produced more proteins predicted to break down cellulose: endoglucanase, exoglucanase and β-glucosidase. Further, the complete metaproteomes for the leaves and flowers treatments were very similar, while the mixed substrate treatment closely resembled the treatment with oats alone. This indicates that when provided a mixture of plant substrates, fungus gardens preferentially break down the simpler, more digestible substrates. This flexible, substrate-specific enzymatic response of the fungal cultivar allows leaf-cutter ants to derive energy from a wide range of substrates, which likely contributes to their ability to be dominant generalist herbivores. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Enrichment and Broad Representation of Plant Biomass-Degrading Enzymes in the Specialized Hyphal Swellings of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, the Fungal Symbiont of Leaf-Cutter Ants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aylward, Frank O.; Khadempour, Lily; Tremmel, Daniel; McDonald, Bradon R.; Nicora, Carrie D.; Wu, Si; Moore, Ronald J.; Orton, Daniel J.; Monroe, Matthew E.; Piehowski, Paul D.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Smith, Richard D.; Lipton, Mary S.; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2015-08-28

    Leaf-cutter ants are prolific and conspicuous Neotropical herbivores that derive energy from specialized fungus gardens they cultivate using foliar biomass. The basidiomycetous cultivar of the ants, Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, produces specialized hyphal swellings called gongylidia that serve as the primary food source of ant colonies. Gongylidia also contain lignocellulases that become concentrated in ant digestive tracts and are deposited within fecal droplets onto fresh foliar material as it is foraged by the ants. Although the enzymes concentrated by L. gongylophorus within gongylidia are thought to be critical to the initial degradation of plant biomass, only a few enzymes present in these hyphal swellings have been identified. Here we use proteomic methods to identify proteins present in the gongylidia of three Atta cephalotes colonies. Our results demonstrate that a diverse but consistent set of enzymes is present in gongylidia, including numerous lignocellulases likely involved in the degradation of polysaccharides, plant toxins, and proteins. Overall, gongylidia contained over three-quarters of all lignocellulases identified in the L. gongylophorus genome, demonstrating that the majority of the enzymes produced by this fungus for biomass breakdown are ingested by the ants. We also identify a set of 23 lignocellulases enriched in gongylidia compared to whole fungus garden samples, suggesting that certain enzymes may be particularly important in the initial degradation of foliar material. Our work sheds light on the complex interplay between leaf-cutter ants and their fungal symbiont that allows for the host insects to occupy an herbivorous niche by indirectly deriving energy from plant biomass.

  8. Therapeutic Gardening

    OpenAIRE

    Turner, Phyllis; Fox, Laurie; Parkhurst, James A. (James Albert)

    2013-01-01

    Gardening can be therapeutic for anyone and has been used as therapy for those with physical, emotional and social disabilities, for children, and for those who are elderly. Through careful adaptations to the garden, the gardener and the plants, almost anyone can benefit from the activity of gardening

  9. The origin of the chemical profiles of fungal symbionts and their significance for nestmate recognition in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulsen, Michael; Hefetz, Abraham

    2007-01-01

    exist in the fungus-growing ants where the symbiotic fungus garden may be an independent source of recognition compounds. To investigate this hypothesis, we quantified the chemical profiles of the fungal symbionts of 18 sympatric colonies of Acromyrmex echinatior and Acromyrmex octospinosus...... and evaluated the quantitative variation of the 47 compounds in a multivariate analysis. Colony-specific chemical profiles of fungal symbionts were highly distinct and significantly different between the two ant species. We also estimated the relative genetic distances between the fungal symbionts using...... in chemical profiles could be explained by genetic differences between the fungal symbionts. However, there was no significant effect of ant species in partial analyses because genetic differences between symbionts tend to coincide with being reared by different ant species. However, compound groups differed...

  10. Antagonistic bacterial interactions help shape host-symbiont dynamics within the fungus-growing ant-microbe mutualism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Erhardt, Daniel P; Molinaro, Daniel J

    2007-01-01

    is likely more complex than in intraspecific cooperative relationship, because of the potential presence of: i) multiple genotypes of microbial species associated with individual hosts, ii) multiple species of symbiotic lineages forming cooperative partner pairings, and iii) additional symbiont lineages......Conflict within mutually beneficial associations is predicted to destabilize relationships, and theoretical and empirical work exploring this has provided significant insight into the dynamics of cooperative interactions. Within mutualistic associations, the expression and regulation of conflict...... relationships between the ant host of the symbionts, as well as the pair-wise genetic distances between strains. The presence of antagonism throughout the phylogenetic diversity of Pseudonocardia symbionts indicates that these reactions likely have shaped the symbiosis from its origin. Antagonism is expected...

  11. Garden Documents

    Science.gov (United States)

    As a gardener, you have the potential to contribute to nutrient pollution, but you also have the power to help prevent it. There are several easy things you can do to reduce nutrient pollution from your yards and gardens.

  12. Revisionary notes on the fungus-growing ant genus Mycetarotes Emery (Hymenoptera, Formicidae Notas sobre as formigas cultivadoras de fungos do gênero Mycetarotes Emery (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio José Mayhé-Nunes

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Mycetarotes is a small genus of the exclusively Neotropical fungus-growing ants, that includes M. parallelus (Emery, M. senticosus Kempf, M. acutus Mayhé-Nunes and M. carinatus Mayhé-Nunes. We hereby revise historical and recent information regarding Mycetarotes species for the first time, providing an identification key to workers, diagnoses, synoptic illustrated redescriptions of the species, including those of sexuals when known, updates of distributional records, and nest pictures of M. carinatus and M. parallelus. We comment the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships among Mycetarotes and related genera, and on their geographical distribution. The available biological information on the genus is summarized.O gênero Mycetarotes inclui quatro espécies de formigas cultivadoras de fungos, exclusivamente encontradas na região Neotropical: M. parallelus (Emery, M. senticosus Kempf, M. acutus Mayhé-Nunes and M. carinatus Mayhé-Nunes. Apresentamos pela primeira vez um resumo sobre as informações disponíveis para as espécies do gênero, fornecendo uma chave para a identificação das operárias, diagnoses e redescrições sinópticas ilustradas das espécies, incluindo as dos alados, quando conhecidos, atualização dos registros de distribuição e fotografias dos ninhos de M. carinatus e M. parallelus. Comentamos a taxonomia e as relações de parentesco entre Mycetarotes e gêneros cognatos, e sobre sua distribuição geográfica. As informações biológicas disponíveis sobre o gênero também foram resumidas.

  13. The genome sequence of the leaf-cutter ant Atta cephalotes reveals insights into its obligate symbiotic lifestyle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garret Suen

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutter ants are one of the most important herbivorous insects in the Neotropics, harvesting vast quantities of fresh leaf material. The ants use leaves to cultivate a fungus that serves as the colony's primary food source. This obligate ant-fungus mutualism is one of the few occurrences of farming by non-humans and likely facilitated the formation of their massive colonies. Mature leaf-cutter ant colonies contain millions of workers ranging in size from small garden tenders to large soldiers, resulting in one of the most complex polymorphic caste systems within ants. To begin uncovering the genomic underpinnings of this system, we sequenced the genome of Atta cephalotes using 454 pyrosequencing. One prediction from this ant's lifestyle is that it has undergone genetic modifications that reflect its obligate dependence on the fungus for nutrients. Analysis of this genome sequence is consistent with this hypothesis, as we find evidence for reductions in genes related to nutrient acquisition. These include extensive reductions in serine proteases (which are likely unnecessary because proteolysis is not a primary mechanism used to process nutrients obtained from the fungus, a loss of genes involved in arginine biosynthesis (suggesting that this amino acid is obtained from the fungus, and the absence of a hexamerin (which sequesters amino acids during larval development in other insects. Following recent reports of genome sequences from other insects that engage in symbioses with beneficial microbes, the A. cephalotes genome provides new insights into the symbiotic lifestyle of this ant and advances our understanding of host-microbe symbioses.

  14. Differential resistance and the importance of antibiotic production in Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ant castes towards the entomopathogenic fungus Aspergillus nomius

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    Paired exocrine metapleural glands are present in almost all ants and produce compounds with antibiotic properties towards a variety of pathogenic fungi and bacteria. In Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants, small workers have relatively large metapleural glands compared to large workers, and thus harbour...... nomius hyphae and spores appear on the cadavers of workers dead from infection, is significantly increased in the small worker caste. In addition to supporting previous findings that the metapleural glands have an important defence function, the results of this study indicate that the relatively large...... approximately half the number of gland cells of large workers, despite being only one-fifteenth their body mass. Here we present results showing that when the two worker castes of A. echinatior are treated with spores of the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus nomius in doses that correspond to the difference...

  15. The effect of metapleural gland secretion on the growth of a mutualistic bacterium on the cuticle of leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Bot, Adrianne N M; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2003-01-01

    In Acromyrmex octospinosus leaf-cutting ants the metapleural glands produce an array of antibiotic compounds that serve as a general defence against unwanted microbes on the cuticle. Leaf-cutting ants also grow mutualistic Pseudonocardiaceae bacteria on their cuticle that produce antibiotics...... controlling a microfungal parasite of their fungus gardens. Interaction between this bacterium and gland secretion therefore seems unavoidable. We document the typical development of bacterial growth on the cuticle of young major workers, show that growth starts a few days after eclosion, and that the maximal...

  16. Functional role of phenylacetic acid from metapleural gland secretions in controlling fungal pathogens in evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Nash, David R; Higginbotham, Sarah; Estrada, Catalina; van Zweden, Jelle S; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Wcislo, William T; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2015-05-22

    Fungus-farming ant colonies vary four to five orders of magnitude in size. They employ compounds from actinomycete bacteria and exocrine glands as antimicrobial agents. Atta colonies have millions of ants and are particularly relevant for understanding hygienic strategies as they have abandoned their ancestors' prime dependence on antibiotic-based biological control in favour of using metapleural gland (MG) chemical secretions. Atta MGs are unique in synthesizing large quantities of phenylacetic acid (PAA), a known but little investigated antimicrobial agent. We show that particularly the smallest workers greatly reduce germination rates of Escovopsis and Metarhizium spores after actively applying PAA to experimental infection targets in garden fragments and transferring the spores to the ants' infrabuccal cavities. In vitro assays further indicated that Escovopsis strains isolated from evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants are less sensitive to PAA than strains from phylogenetically more basal fungus-farming ants, consistent with the dynamics of an evolutionary arms race between virulence and control for Escovopsis, but not Metarhizium. Atta ants form larger colonies with more extreme caste differentiation relative to other attines, in societies characterized by an almost complete absence of reproductive conflicts. We hypothesize that these changes are associated with unique evolutionary innovations in chemical pest management that appear robust against selection pressure for resistance by specialized mycopathogens. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  17. Functional role of phenylacetic acid from metapleural gland secretions in controlling fungal pathogens in evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Nash, David R.; Higginbotham, Sarah; Estrada, Catalina; van Zweden, Jelle S.; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Wcislo, William T.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2015-01-01

    Fungus-farming ant colonies vary four to five orders of magnitude in size. They employ compounds from actinomycete bacteria and exocrine glands as antimicrobial agents. Atta colonies have millions of ants and are particularly relevant for understanding hygienic strategies as they have abandoned their ancestors' prime dependence on antibiotic-based biological control in favour of using metapleural gland (MG) chemical secretions. Atta MGs are unique in synthesizing large quantities of phenylacetic acid (PAA), a known but little investigated antimicrobial agent. We show that particularly the smallest workers greatly reduce germination rates of Escovopsis and Metarhizium spores after actively applying PAA to experimental infection targets in garden fragments and transferring the spores to the ants' infrabuccal cavities. In vitro assays further indicated that Escovopsis strains isolated from evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants are less sensitive to PAA than strains from phylogenetically more basal fungus-farming ants, consistent with the dynamics of an evolutionary arms race between virulence and control for Escovopsis, but not Metarhizium. Atta ants form larger colonies with more extreme caste differentiation relative to other attines, in societies characterized by an almost complete absence of reproductive conflicts. We hypothesize that these changes are associated with unique evolutionary innovations in chemical pest management that appear robust against selection pressure for resistance by specialized mycopathogens. PMID:25925100

  18. The Garden

    OpenAIRE

    de Souza, Claudia; Andrade, Paula Simas de

    2014-01-01

    Following the motto “community and government, a partnership for success”, Sheila Souza dos Santos, 34, a secretary, transformed a community garden project into a true space for the exercise of citizenship. The revival of a community-based project for the production of garden vegetables in Itapoã – a city located in the outskirts of Brasília, Brazil’s national capital – resulted not only in access to healthier food by the local community, school and families engaged in the project, but also i...

  19. A colony-level response to disease control in a leaf-cutting ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Adam; Bot, A. N. M.; Brown, Mark

    2002-03-01

    Parasites and pathogens often impose significant costs on their hosts. This is particularly true for social organisms, where the genetic structure of groups and the accumulation of contaminated waste facilitate disease transmission. In response, hosts have evolved many mechanisms of defence against parasites. Here we present evidence that Atta colombica, a leaf-cutting ant, may combat Escovopsis, a dangerous parasite of Atta's garden fungus, through a colony-level behavioural response. In A. colombica, garden waste is removed from within the colony and transported to the midden - an external waste dump - where it is processed by a group of midden workers. We found that colonies infected with Escovopsis have higher numbers of workers on the midden, where Escovopsis is deposited. Further, midden workers are highly effective in dispersing newly deposited waste away from the dumping site. Thus, the colony-level task allocation strategies of the Atta superorganism may change in response to the threat of disease to a third, essential party.

  20. Kitchen gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hilton, Annette; Hilton, Geoff; Dole, Shelley

    2013-01-01

    Numeracy is the practical application of mathematics in context. In schools, contexts such as kitchen gardens can provide a real world and exciting environment for engaging students in mathematical thinking and discussion associated with situations of proportion. This article presents examples fr...

  1. Hydroponic Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julinor, Helmut

    1976-01-01

    In addition to being an actual source of foodstuffs in inhospitable climates and a potential source of a large portion of the world's food supply, hydroponic gardening is a useful technique in the classroom for illustrating the role of plant life in the world's food chain. (MB)

  2. Pseudoxylaria as stowaway of the fungus-growing termite nest:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Visser, Anna A.; Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Debets, Alfons J. M.

    2011-01-01

    Though inconspicuous in healthy nests, Pseudoxylaria species are almost always present and overgrow deteriorating fungus-growing termite gardens. Whether these fungi are detrimental to the fungus-garden, benign, or even beneficial is unclear. We hypothesize that Pseudoxylaria is a stowaway...

  3. Nail Fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nail fungus Overview Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and ...

  4. Allergy-Friendly Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Allergy Library ▸ Allergy-friendly gardening Share | Allergy-Friendly Gardening This article has been reviewed by Thanai Pongdee, ... rhinitis (hay fever), getting hands dirty in the garden has consequences. Sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion and other ...

  5. Gardening from a Wheelchair

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Paralysis > Health > Staying active > Gardening from a wheelchair Gardening from a wheelchair ☷ ▾ Page contents Tips from community ... resources Tips from community members to start your garden Being able to plant your favorite flowers, pick ...

  6. Measuring your Garden Footprint

    OpenAIRE

    Davies, Gareth; Schmutz, Ulrich

    2007-01-01

    The work reports on a Garden Organic (working name of Henry Doubleday Research Association, Coventry UK) members experiment in 2007. Garden Organic members were surveyed with a detailed paper questionnaire to calculate an average gardening footprint of committed (self-selected) organic gardeners in the UK. This was used to develop a garden footprinting methodology and to create a benchmark of committed organic gardening in the UK. This was then compared to commerical orangic growing and to ot...

  7. Microbial Communities in Different Tissues of Atta sexdens rubropilosa Leaf-cutting Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Alexsandro S; Ramalho, Manuela O; Martins, Cintia; Martins, Vanderlei G; Bueno, Odair C

    2017-10-01

    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.

  8. Sick ants become unsociable

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nicky Peter Maria; Lefevre, T.; Jensen, A.B.

    2012-01-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), 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...

  9. Dynamic Wolbachia prevalence in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants: potential for a nutritional symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, S B; Boye, M; Nash, D R; Boomsma, J J

    2012-07-01

    Wolbachia are renowned as reproductive parasites, but their phenotypic effects in eusocial insects are not well understood. We used a combination of qrt-PCR, fluorescence in situ hybridization and laser scanning confocal microscopy to evaluate the dynamics of Wolbachia infections in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex octospinosus across developmental stages of sterile workers. We confirm that workers are infected with one or two widespread wsp genotypes of Wolbachia, show that colony prevalence is always 100% and characterize two rare recombinant genotypes. One dominant genotype is always present and most abundant, whereas another only proliferates in adult workers of some colonies and is barely detectable in larvae and pupae. An explanation may be that Wolbachia genotypes compete for host resources in immature stages while adult tissues provide substantially more niche space. Tissue-specific prevalence of the two genotypes differs, with the rarer genotype being over-represented in the adult foregut and thorax muscles. Both genotypes occur extracellularly in the foregut, suggesting an unknown mutualistic function in worker ant nutrition. Both genotypes are also abundant in the faecal fluid of the ants, suggesting that they may have extended functional phenotypes in the fungus garden that the ants manure with their own faeces. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  10. Honey Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

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

  11. The status of the fungi-grower ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Puerto Rico and adjacent islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.A. Torres

    1989-01-01

    Ants of the tribe Attini (fungus grower) collect different organic materials that are used to grow a fungus. It was thought that the fungus mycelium was the only source of nutrition for these ants, but Quinlan and Cherrett found that Atta cephalotes (L.) squeezes oils from fresh leaves and uses them as food.  These oils supplement the fungus material eaten by this...

  12. School gardens in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dyg, Pernille Malberg

    2016-01-01

    Studies show that school gardening helps children enhance their understanding of science and promotes their interaction with the environment gaining historical, cultural and ecological understandings (Dyg 2014; Chenhall 2010; Green 2013; Johnson 2012; Sloan 2013; McCarty 2010; Hess & Trexler 2011......). School gardens are sprouting in rural and urban areas across Denmark. This case study research sheds new light on various school garden models under the Gardens for Bellies program in Denmark, including school-, community-based and central school gardens. This study aims to document the organization...... of school gardens, which is not studied in international research. It also analyses immediate effects according to pupils and other stakeholders. The research is based on five explorative case studies, involving observations and interviews. The findings show that school gardens open up opportunities...

  13. Differences in forage-acquisition and fungal enzyme activity contribute to niche segregation in Panamanian leaf-cutting ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pepijn W Kooij

    Full Text Available The genera Atta and Acromyrmex are often grouped as leaf-cutting ants for pest management assessments and ecological surveys, although their mature colony sizes and foraging niches may differ substantially. Few studies have addressed such interspecific differences at the same site, which prompted us to conduct a comparative study across six sympatric leaf-cutting ant species in Central Panama. We show that foraging rates during the transition between dry and wet season differ about 60 fold between genera, but are relatively constant across species within genera. These differences appear to match overall differences in colony size, especially when Atta workers that return to their nests without leaves are assumed to carry liquid food. We confirm that Panamanian Atta specialize primarily on tree-leaves whereas Acromyrmex focus on collecting flowers and herbal leaves and that species within genera are similar in these overall foraging strategies. Species within genera tended to be spaced out over the three habitat categories that we distinguished (forest, forest edge, open grassland, but each of these habitats normally had only a single predominant Atta and Acromyrmex species. We measured activities of twelve fungus garden decomposition enzymes, belonging to the amylases, cellulases, hemicellulases, pectinases and proteinases, and show that average enzyme activity per unit of fungal mass in Atta gardens is lower than in Acromyrmex gardens. Expression profiles of fungal enzymes in Atta also appeared to be more specialized than in Acromyrmex, possibly reflecting variation in forage material. Our results suggest that species- and genus-level identities of leaf-cutting ants and habitat-specific foraging profiles may give predictable differences in the expression of fungal genes coding for decomposition enzymes.

  14. Differences in Forage-Acquisition and Fungal Enzyme Activity Contribute to Niche Segregation in Panamanian Leaf-Cutting Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooij, Pepijn W.; Liberti, Joanito; Giampoudakis, Konstantinos; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2014-01-01

    The genera Atta and Acromyrmex are often grouped as leaf-cutting ants for pest management assessments and ecological surveys, although their mature colony sizes and foraging niches may differ substantially. Few studies have addressed such interspecific differences at the same site, which prompted us to conduct a comparative study across six sympatric leaf-cutting ant species in Central Panama. We show that foraging rates during the transition between dry and wet season differ about 60 fold between genera, but are relatively constant across species within genera. These differences appear to match overall differences in colony size, especially when Atta workers that return to their nests without leaves are assumed to carry liquid food. We confirm that Panamanian Atta specialize primarily on tree-leaves whereas Acromyrmex focus on collecting flowers and herbal leaves and that species within genera are similar in these overall foraging strategies. Species within genera tended to be spaced out over the three habitat categories that we distinguished (forest, forest edge, open grassland), but each of these habitats normally had only a single predominant Atta and Acromyrmex species. We measured activities of twelve fungus garden decomposition enzymes, belonging to the amylases, cellulases, hemicellulases, pectinases and proteinases, and show that average enzyme activity per unit of fungal mass in Atta gardens is lower than in Acromyrmex gardens. Expression profiles of fungal enzymes in Atta also appeared to be more specialized than in Acromyrmex, possibly reflecting variation in forage material. Our results suggest that species- and genus-level identities of leaf-cutting ants and habitat-specific foraging profiles may give predictable differences in the expression of fungal genes coding for decomposition enzymes. PMID:24718261

  15. Fungus Amongus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakeley, Deidra

    2005-01-01

    This role-playing simulation is designed to help teach middle level students about the typical lifecycle of a fungus. In this interactive simulation, students assume the roles of fungi, spores, living and dead organisms, bacteria, and rain. As they move around a playing field collecting food and water chips, they discover how the organisms…

  16. The Garden of Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Karen

    2012-01-01

    This article describes a garden that grows more than vegetables. The grounds of McKinley Elementary School in San Diego, California, was a neglected area for years, until recently when an organic garden was planted to revive and brighten the dreary area behind the school's bungalow classrooms. Each grade now has its own wood-bordered plot where a…

  17. GARDENING IN OTTOMAN TURKS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yıldız AKSOY

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Within this study, the art of gardening in Ottoman Turks has been examined in four periods: 1. The period starting with the establishment of the Ottoman Empire till the conquest of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople by the Turks (1300-1453 2. The period starting with the conquest of Istanbul till the Tulip Era (1706 3. The Tulip Era (1703-1730 4. The period starting with the Tulip Era (1730 till the establishment of the Republic (1923 In the first period, Ottoman Turks remained under the influence of Seljuk art and were partly in contact with the Byzantine works. When miniatures showing the palace life are examined, often the importance given to the atrium garden could be seen. A significant development in the art of gardening was experienced during the period starting with the conquest of Istanbul till the Tulip Era. The Tulip Era has been a very productive period in terms of fine art in Ottoman history. Major improvements and innovations in poetry, literature, music, civil architecture and especially in the art of gardening has emerged. Till the Tulip Era, the unique natural landscape of Istanbul was equipped with the top works of art of Ottoman Turks. The art of gardening in Ottoman Turks has entered a new period with the end of the Tulip Era in 1730. This period, has been the period in which foreign influence started to affect Ottoman gardens. The most important works of the second period; the Topkapı Palace Garden and the Yıldız Palace garden, which was mostly established in a natural layout and has been the latest example of Ottoman palace gardening, were examined within this study. The structuring of the Ottoman gardens has changed and developed during the historical process depending on various effects such as life styles of the period and the artistic-cultural structure of the period.

  18. Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ted R; Brady, Seán G

    2008-04-08

    Agriculture is a specialized form of symbiosis that is known to have evolved in only four animal groups: humans, bark beetles, termites, and ants. Here, we reconstruct the major evolutionary transitions that produced the five distinct agricultural systems of the fungus-growing ants, the most well studied of the nonhuman agriculturalists. We do so with reference to the first fossil-calibrated, multiple-gene, molecular phylogeny that incorporates the full range of taxonomic diversity within the fungus-growing ant tribe Attini. Our analyses indicate that the original form of ant agriculture, the cultivation of a diverse subset of fungal species in the tribe Leucocoprineae, evolved approximately 50 million years ago in the Neotropics, coincident with the early Eocene climatic optimum. During the past 30 million years, three known ant agricultural systems, each involving a phylogenetically distinct set of derived fungal cultivars, have separately arisen from the original agricultural system. One of these derived systems subsequently gave rise to the fifth known system of agriculture, in which a single fungal species is cultivated by leaf-cutter ants. Leaf-cutter ants evolved remarkably recently ( approximately 8-12 million years ago) to become the dominant herbivores of the New World tropics. Our analyses identify relict, extant attine ant species that occupy phylogenetic positions that are transitional between the agricultural systems. Intensive study of those species holds particular promise for clarifying the sequential accretion of ecological and behavioral characters that produced each of the major ant agricultural systems.

  19. Hygienic behavior, liquid-foraging, and trophallaxis in the leaf-cutting ants, Acromyrmex subterraneus and Acromyrmex octospinosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Errard, Christine

    2009-01-01

    Neotropical leaf-cutting ants (tribe Attini) live in obligate symbiosis with fungus they culture for food. To protect themselves and their fungus garden from pathogens, they minimize the entry of microorganisms through mechanical and chemical means. In this study, focusing on the species Acromyrmex subterraneus and A. octospinosus, (Hymeoptera: Formicidae). Self- and allo-grooming behavior were quantified and it was found that A. octospinosus workers spend less time in self-grooming than A. subterraneus. In the experimental absence of fungus in A. subterraneus, the times spent in these two behaviors are not affected; however workers spend significantly more time immobile. Hygienic and trophallaxis behaviors were examined as well as the possibility that workers exchange food, and the grooming behavior of foraging and non-foraging workers were compared. Behavioral observations revealed that large workers spent more time grooming than small workers, and more than 62% of replete foragers passed collected liquid food via trophallaxis to a nestmate. However, trophallaxis was rarely observed between non-forager workers. These results suggest that trophallaxis permits the exchange of alimentary liquid between colony members, but it is not important for spreading the colony odor signature.

  20. Fungus Infections: Preventing Recurrence

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Favorite Name: Category: Share: Yes No, Keep Private Fungus Infections: Preventing Recurrence Share | Doctors have excellent treatments for skin fungus infections that occur on the feet, nails, groin, ...

  1. Education Function of Botanical Gardens

    OpenAIRE

    Ruhugül Özge Ocak; Banu Öztürk Kurtaslan

    2015-01-01

    Botanical gardens are very significant organizations which protect the environment against the increasing environmental problems, provide environmental education for people, offer recreation possibilities, etc. This article describes botanical gardens and their functions. The most important function of botanical garden is to provide environmental education for people and improve environmental awareness. Considering this function, some botanical gardens were examined and o...

  2. Fostering Children's Interests in Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lekies, Kristi S.; Sheavly, Marcia Eames

    2007-01-01

    Despite the rapidly growing interest in children's gardens and attention to the positive benefits of gardening for children, little is known about the ways in which young people actually form interests in gardening. Using a sample of 9- and 10-year-old children at a school garden site in New York State, this study examined the ways in which…

  3. Garden of cosmic speculation

    CERN Document Server

    Jencks, Charles

    2005-01-01

    This book tells the story of one of the most important gardens in Europe, created by the architectural critic and designer Charles Jencks and his late wife, the landscape architect and author Maggie Keswick. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a landscape that celebrates the new sciences of complexity and chaos theory and consists of a series of metaphors exploring the origins, the destiny and the substance of the Universe. The book is illustrated with year-round photography, bringing the garden's many dimensions vividly to life.

  4. Lawn and Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    The most effective strategy for controlling pests in your lawn and garden may be to combine methods in an approach known as Integrated Pest Management. See videos and find tips for implementing IPM at your residence.

  5. The Slate Garden

    CERN Multimedia

    Alexandre Pelletier and Anaïs Schaeffer

    2011-01-01

    On the patio of the Main Building, a new garden has been unveiled. Inspired by physicists themselves, the garden uses a clever combination of flower arrangements and slate slabs to create the shape of the CMS particle tracker.   Scribbling, crossing out, and writing over it again. In an age of digital "tablets", scientists have remained faithful to the traditional blackboard... the inspiration for the Slate Garden. Completed just a few days ago on the Main Building patio (Building 500), the garden was designed by landscape architect Laurent Essig – who also created the InGRID installation outside Building 33 – and is the perfect combination of organic and mineral materials. Composed of 100 pieces of slate laid across three concentric circles, the work recalls the elegant lines of the CMS particle tracker. The project was completed thanks to the collaboration of a number of CERN technical services, in particular the Green Spaces Service, the Transport Serv...

  6. Cultivating the Glocal Garden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthijs Hisschemoller

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses the question under which conditions small-scale urban agriculture (UA initiatives can accelerate a sustainability transition of the global food system. It develops the notion of a glocal garden, a large number of likeminded local initiatives with a global impact and forms of worldwide collaboration. Taking a transition perspective, the glocal garden, producing vegetables and fruits, is a niche that has to overcome barriers to compete with the dominant food regime. Since a sustainability transition restructures (policy sectors, institutional domains including knowledge systems, the paper explores which innovations are needed for the glocal garden to succeed. It discusses the glocal garden as an environmental, a social, an economic and a global project. As an environmental project, the glocal garden will link sustainable production of food with renewable energy production. As a social project, it will be organized into a consumers’ cooperative. As an economic project, it will strive for profit, increasing the yield in a sustainable manner. As a global project, it will enhance collaboration between local cooperatives in the North and the South, as well as with rural agriculture. Under these conditions, the glocal garden can develop into a power, able to resist a possible future food regime that splits societies, in terms of quality standards and food products, into haves and have-nots.

  7. Studies of laboulbeniales (Fungi, Ascomycota) on myrmica ants (II)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haelewaters, Danny; Boer, Peter; Gort, Gerrit; Noordijk, Jinze

    2015-01-01

    One group of important insect parasites are the Laboulbeniales (Ascomycota), microscopic fungi that live attached to the exterior of their hosts, mainly beetles, but also mites, millipedes, earwigs, and ants. Rickia wasmannii is a common fungus in Europe and is limited to the ant genus Myrmica

  8. A new species of the fungus-farming ant genus Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Attini Uma nova espécie de formiga cultivadora de fungo, do gênero Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Attini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Roberto Ferreira Brandão

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The fungus-farming ant genus Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes was proposed based on three species from the Brazilian "Cerrado": M. cerradensis, M. triangularis and M. urbanus. Here we describe a new species of Attini ant of the genus Mycetagroicus, M. inflatus n. sp., based on two workers collected in eastern Pará State, Brazil. A new key for species identification, comments on differences among species and new geographical distribution data are furnished.O gênero de formigas cultivadoras de fungos, Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes, foi proposto com base em três espécies do Cerrado: M. cerradensis, M. triangularis e M. urbanus. Neste trabalho descrevemos uma nova espécie de Attini do gênero Mycetagroicus, M. inflatus n. sp., baseada em duas operárias coletadas no leste do Pará, Brasil. Apresentamos uma nova chave para a identificação das espécies, comentários sobre as diferenças entre as espécies e novos dados sobre a distribuição geográfica.

  9. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Consumer Statistics: Who Gardens? Why?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Ivan

    1995-01-01

    According to a recent study, gardening is America's most popular outdoor leisure-time activity. Examines this trend and identifies growth areas in the gardening market and consumer spending habits. (LZ)

  11. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Santos de Jesus

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common causative agent of cryptococcosis worldwide. Although this fungus has been isolated from a variety of organic substrates, several studies suggest that hollow trees constitute an important natural niche for C. neoformans. A previously surveyed hollow of a living pink shower tree (Cassia grandis positive for C. neoformans in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was chosen for further investigation. Odontomachus bauri ants (trap-jaw ants found inside the hollow were collected for evaluation as possible carriers of Cryptococcus spp. Two out of 10 ants were found to carry phenoloxidase-positive colonies identified as C. neoformans molecular types VNI and VNII. The ants may have acted as a mechanical vector of C. neoformans and possibly contributed to the dispersal of the fungi from one substrate to another. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of C. neoformans with ants of the genus Odontomachus.

  12. Association between Pseudonocardia symbionts and Atta leaf-cutting ants suggested by improved isolation methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Sarah E; Poulsen, Michael; Gorosito, Norma B; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Masiulionis, Virginia E; Currie, Cameron R

    2013-03-01

    Fungus-growing ants associate with multiple symbiotic microbes, including Actinobacteria for production of antibiotics. The best studied of these bacteria are within the genus Pseudonocardia, which in most fungus-growing ants are conspicuously visible on the external cuticle of workers. However, given that fungus-growing ants in the genus Atta do not carry visible Actinobacteria on their cuticle, it is unclear if this genus engages in the symbiosis with Pseudonocardia. Here we explore whether improving culturing techniques can allow for successful isolation of Pseudonocardia from Atta cephalotes leaf-cutting ants. We obtained Pseudonocardia from 9 of 11 isolation method/colony component combinations from all 5 colonies intensively sampled. The most efficient technique was bead-beating workers in phosphate buffer solution, then plating the suspension on carboxymethylcellulose medium. Placing these strains in a fungus-growing ant-associated Pseudonocardia phylogeny revealed that while some strains grouped with clades of Pseudonocardia associated with other genera of fungus-growing ants, a large portion of the isolates fell into two novel phylogenetic clades previously not identified from this ant-microbe symbiosis. Our findings suggest that Pseudonocardia may be associated with Atta fungus-growing ants, potentially internalized, and that localizing the symbiont and exploring its role is necessary to shed further light on the association.

  13. Fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. Poisonous Ingredient Fire ant venom contains a chemical called ... Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 140. Otten EJ. Venomous animal injuries. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill ...

  14. Fungus Infections: Tinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Favorite Name: Category: Share: Yes No, Keep Private Fungus Infections Share | Tinea is the name given to ... Most people will develop some resistance to skin fungus after being infected. Others appear to have a ...

  15. Pythagoras' Garden, Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhart, Frank R.; Price, H. Lee

    2012-01-01

    Mack and Czernezkyj (2010) have given an interesting account of primitive Pythagorean triples (PPTs) from a geometrical perspective. In this article, the authors wish to enlarge on the role of the equicircles (incircle and three excircles), and show there is yet another family tree in Pythagoras' garden. Where Mack and Czernezkyj (2010) begin with…

  16. Gardening with Greenhouses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeler, Rusty

    2010-01-01

    Greenhouses come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges: from simple hand-built plastic-covered frames to dazzling geodesic domes. Some child care centers install greenhouses as a part of their outdoor garden space. Other centers have incorporated a greenhouse into the building itself. Greenhouses provide a great opportunity for children to grow…

  17. School Gardens and Learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tiemensma, Britt Due

    2015-01-01

    they are not only regarded as a source of health and fresh food for the students and their families, but also as an alternative arena for learning to cope with issues like sustainability, innovation and democracy. The success of school gardening was always based on dedicated teachers who saw the added value...

  18. Herbaria, gardens, organisations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    NN,

    1995-01-01

    Herbarium, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKMB) — 25,569 accessions are computerized on Dbase 3/Foxpro; about 12,000 more are expected to be added in 1995. An International Meeting sponsored by the Wye College, University of London, the Linnean Society of London, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew,

  19. Herbaria, gardens, organisations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    NN,

    1985-01-01

    Herbarium Bogoriense. A fourth floor has been added to the building. Bogor Botanic Gardens. Two heavy storms occurred, one in October, which uprooted 161 trees, among which some of the famous kalong trees, and another one in November, 1984, which blew down or so damaged about 130 trees that they had

  20. Urban Infestation Patterns of Argentine Ants, Linepithema humile, in Los Angeles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smadar Gilboa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Infestations of buildings by Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Mayr, were monitored on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. Foraging ant activity peaked during the hotter months of the year. The mean monthly maximum temperature, but not rainfall, positively correlated with indoor infestation frequency. Neither garden size nor the predominant groundcover vegetation correlated with the number of foraging ants at baits within gardens. Although the number of foraging ants outside a building varied over 40-fold, ant density in gardens did not predict the likelihood of infestation within the building. Also, the type of vegetative groundcover employed did not predict infestation frequency. There was, however, a significant negative relationship between the size of the garden outside of a building and the number of infestations. Given the large foraging area of L. humile workers, buildings next to small gardens may be infested simply because they lie within the “normal” foraging area of a colony. The best predictor of which rooms were infested within buildings was the presence of a water source. Thus providing water for ant colonies outside and away from buildings may be one method of integrated pest management to reduce the proclivity of ants to infest structures.

  1. [Healing garden: Primary concept].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringuey-Criou, F

    2015-10-01

    Since ancient times the relationship between mankind and plants occupies medicine and philosophy. From the first tablets of herbal medicine to Asclepius gardens, those of cloisters and bimaristans to cosmological gardens in Asia, from the largest public park to asylum institutions of the nineteenth century, the garden is proposed as a place of care, a promoter of restoration of the human being. If the advent of technology and drugs have for a time relegated it to the level of empirical care, results in neuroscience ultimately provide it on a scientific basis. The early evolutionary theories, the Savanah theory from Orians, the biophilia hypothesis from Wilson, are relayed by the famous Ulrich' study showing the positive influence of a view of nature through the window on the recovery of in patients. Mechanisms leading stress regulation, level of attention and organisation, focus and fascination, are recognized at the origin of restoration processes. Human capacities to respond to the recuperating function of a natural environment connect to grounded behaviour for adaptation to natural selection process and survival. The mechanisms of our immune system are essential to maintain our vitality. Phyto-resonance, felt or unconsciously perceived in appearance, according to Shepard is an emotion that structures well beyond the archaic behaviour. Recovery, in terms of phenomenological experience of the presence, is a philosophical demonstration of the environmental i.e. multisensory, spatial and temporal approach. Its emotional and affective experience connects to the vitality and creativity. The phyto-resonance hypothesis according to the Konrad Neuberger's point of view induces strategies catering to all levels of the organisation of the human being. It confirms the multidisciplinary nature of hortitherapy and places the mechanism of relationships between man and plant at the centre of discipline. It is also a source of inspiration and inexhaustible work for caregivers

  2. A Garden of Possibilities

    CERN Multimedia

    Carolyn Lee

    2010-01-01

    Renowned landscape architect and designer Charles Jencks recently visited CERN along with the architect of the Globe, Hervé Dessimoz, to investigate the possibility of creating a cosmic-inspired garden at the entrance to the Laboratory.   Left to right: Charles Jencks, Peter Higgs, Rolf Heuer in the garden of cosmic speculation. Photo credit: University of Edinburgh/Maverick photo agency Charles Jencks is a master at designing whimsical, intriguing outdoor spaces that hold a much deeper meaning than just an interesting view. His Garden of Cosmic Speculation at his home in Scotland uses designs recalling cosmic forces, DNA, organic cells, spirals of time, black holes and the Universe, made with landform, plants, sculpture and water to re-shape the natural landscape. One of the possible symbols for CERN that came to his mind was the cosmic uroborus, an ancient Egyptian symbol of a snake eating its own tail dating back to 1600 BC. “Many scientists have discussed this as a poss...

  3. An evaluation of the possible adaptive function of fungal brood covering by attine ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, Sophie Alice Octavia; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Wcislo, William T.

    2012-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Myrmicinae: Attini) live in an obligate symbiotic relationship with a fungus that they rear for food, but they can also use the fungal mycelium to cover their brood. We surveyed colonies from 20 species of fungus-growing ants and show that brood-covering behavior occurs in most...... species, but to varying degrees, and appears to have evolved shortly after the origin of fungus farming, but was partly or entirely abandoned in some genera. To understand the evolution of the trait we used quantitative phylogenetic analyses to test whether brood-covering behavior covaries among attine...... ant clades and with two hygienic traits that reduce risk of disease: mycelial brood cover did not correlate with mutualistic bacteria that the ants culture on their cuticles for their antibiotics, but there was a negative relationship between metapleural gland grooming and mycelial cover. A broader...

  4. Specificity of the mutualistic association between actinomycete bacteria and two sympatric species of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, M; Cafaro, M; Boomsma, J J

    2005-01-01

    Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants maintain two highly specialized, vertically transmitted mutualistic ectosymbionts: basidiomycete fungi that are cultivated for food in underground gardens and actinomycete Pseudonocardia bacteria that are reared on the cuticle to produce antibiotics that suppress the ...

  5. Patterns of Insect Abundance and Distribution in Urban Domestic Gardens in Bangalore, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madhumitha Jaganmohan

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Domestic gardens may play a vital role in supporting urban insect biodiversity, despite their small size. This paper assesses the abundance, diversity and distribution of insects in urban domestic gardens in the tropics, through a study in the rapidly expanding Indian city of Bangalore. Fifty domestic gardens were studied using a combination of light traps and pitfall traps. We recorded a large number of insects, 2,185 insects from 10 orders, of which ants, bugs, beetles and flies were the most common. We found 25 species of trees (from 160 individuals and 117 species of herbs and shrubs in the 50 sampled domestic gardens. The number of insect orders encountered was significantly related to the number of tree and herb/shrub species. Garden management practices also influenced the abundance and richness of insect orders. Thus, greater numbers of insects were observed in gardens with a greater proportion of bare soil relative to grass area and with less intensive weeding practices. More insect orders were encountered in gardens with a composting pit. Insect numbers were significantly reduced in gardens subjected to pesticide application. Most residents avoided application of pesticides and herbicides, citing health concerns.

  6. Novel mandibular gland volatiles from Apterostigma ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hogan, Conor T.; Jones, Tappey H.; Zhukova, Mariya

    2017-01-01

    The fungus-farming ants are a well-studied evolutionary radiation within the subfamily Myrmicinae that associate with a web of symbionts that span kingdoms. Members of the Apterostigma pilosum species group cultivate unique basidiomycete fungi belonging to the coral-mushroom family Pterulaceae, a......-phenyl-2-propanol in A. manni. These results identify a remarkable divergence of compounds across the fungus-growing ants and other members in Myrmicinae. Functions of these natural products are proposed and discussed....

  7. Uncoupling Flight and Reproduction in Ants: Evolution of Ergatoid Queens in Two Lineages of Megalomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Christian; Adams, Rachelle M M

    2016-01-01

    Megalomyrmex Forel (Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini) consists of 44 species with diverse life history strategies. Most species are predatory and may also tend honeydew-producing insects. A morphologically derived group of species are social parasites that consume the brood and fungus garden within fungus-growing ant nests. The reproductive strategies of Megalomyrmex queens are somewhat aligned with these life-style patterns. Predatory species in the leoninus species group are large in body size and have ergatoid (i.e., permanently wingless) queens whereas the social parasitic species are smaller and typically have winged queens. We examined two ergatoid phenotypes of Megalomyrmex foreli Emery and Megalomyrmex wallacei Mann and compared them to winged species, one a social lestobiotic or "thief ant" parasite (Megalomyrmex mondabora Brandão) and the other a predator (Megalomyrmex modestus Emery). Megalomyrmex foreli colonies have a single queen with an enlarged gaster that is morphologically distinct from workers. Megalomyrmex wallacei colonies have several queens that are similar in body size to workers. Queens in both species showed a simplification of the thorax, but there was a dramatic difference in the number of ovarioles. Megalomyrmex foreli had 60-80 ovarioles compared to eight in M. wallacei and M. mondabora and M. modestus had 22-28. Along with flight loss in queens, there is an obligate shift to dependent colony founding (also called budding or fission) consequently influencing dispersal patterns. These constraints in life history traits may help explain the variation in nesting biology among Megalomyrmex species. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  8. Climate Museum and Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregg, Jay; Bille, Dorthe

    2017-04-01

    The Climate Museum and Garden is conceived as a cross-disciplinary experience, where the arts and sciences link together to increase understanding of the Earth's climate and its relevance to our fate as a species. This would be a place of inspiration. The Climate Museum and Garden would merge concepts of modern art museums and modern science museums, with exhibitions, live music and theater performances, visitor interaction, unique discoveries and reflection. It would be a place where visitors are immersed in experiences, lingering indoors and out in quiet consideration and gratitude for our planet's atmosphere. The story of climate change is compelling in its own right; theories of the greenhouse effect go back over century and climate policy has stretched back a few decades. Whereas scientific researchers have been contributing to understanding the mechanisms and impacts of climate change for many decades; whereas researchers have participated in climate summits and informed policy makers; whereas researchers have taught classes of gifted students; in all of this, the public has mostly missed out. This public relations gap has been unfortunately filled by those that would seek to politicize and mislead the public, leading to an engagement gap among the general public. Now we stand on a precipice. Therefore we see a ripe opportunity to reach out and inspire the population. We build off of current pedagogic research that shows that experienced-based learning is more impactful when it engages the senses and elicits an emotional response. People understand what they experience, what they feel, and this serves as the basis for personal reflection. In this sense the visitor experience is generative, in that it promotes further personal investigation and interaction. The Climate Museum and Garden would be a start. In the future, we envisage a future network of climate museums in all major cities. It would be a flagship attraction for any city, along with their art

  9. Patterns of functional enzyme activity in fungus farming ambrosia beetles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De Fine Licht Henrik H

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction In wood-dwelling fungus-farming weevils, the so-called ambrosia beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae and Platypodinae, wood in the excavated tunnels is used as a medium for cultivating fungi by the combined action of digging larvae (which create more space for the fungi to grow and of adults sowing and pruning the fungus. The beetles are obligately dependent on the fungus that provides essential vitamins, amino acids and sterols. However, to what extent microbial enzymes support fungus farming in ambrosia beetles is unknown. Here we measure (i 13 plant cell-wall degrading enzymes in the fungus garden microbial consortium of the ambrosia beetle Xyleborinus saxesenii, including its primary fungal symbionts, in three compartments of laboratory maintained nests, at different time points after gallery foundation and (ii four specific enzymes that may be either insect or microbially derived in X. saxesenii adult and larval individuals. Results We discovered that the activity of cellulases in ambrosia fungus gardens is relatively small compared to the activities of other cellulolytic enzymes. Enzyme activity in all compartments of the garden was mainly directed towards hemicellulose carbohydrates such as xylan, glucomannan and callose. Hemicellulolytic enzyme activity within the brood chamber increased with gallery age, whereas irrespective of the age of the gallery, the highest overall enzyme activity were detected in the gallery dump material expelled by the beetles. Interestingly endo-β-1,3(4-glucanase activity capable of callose degradation was identified in whole-body extracts of both larvae and adult X. saxesenii, whereas endo-β-1,4-xylanase activity was exclusively detected in larvae. Conclusion Similar to closely related fungi associated with bark beetles in phloem, the microbial symbionts of ambrosia beetles hardly degrade cellulose. Instead, their enzyme activity is directed mainly towards comparatively more easily

  10. Evolutionarily advanced ant farmers rear polyploid fungal crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Aanen, D.K.; Schiøtt, Morten

    2015-01-01

    the number of nuclei per fungal cell for 42 symbionts reared by 14 species of Panamanian fungus-growing ants. This showed that domesticated symbionts of higher attine ants are polykaryotic with 7-17 nuclei per cell, whereas nonspecialized crops of lower attines are dikaryotic similar to most free......Innovative evolutionary developments are often related to gene or genome duplications. The crop fungi of attine fungus-growing ants are suspected to have enhanced genetic variation reminiscent of polyploidy, but this has never been quantified with cytological data and genetic markers. We estimated...... of the basal higher attine genera Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex was only slightly enhanced, but the evolutionarily derived crop fungi of Atta and Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants had much higher genetic variation. Our opposite ploidy models indicated that the symbionts of Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex are likely...

  11. Effect of the presence of brood and fungus on the nest architecture and digging activity of Acromyrmex subterraneus Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Magno dos Santos

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This study investigated the stimuli that trigger digging behavior in Acromyrmex subterraneus during nest building. The hypothesis was that the presence of the fungus garden and/or brood triggers the excavation of tunnels and chambers. For the experiment, the excavation rate of individually marked workers kept in plastic cylinders filled with soil was recorded. Four treatments were applied: (1 30 medium-sized workers, 5 g fungus garden and 30 brood items (larvae and pupae; (2 30 medium-sized workers and 5 g fungus garden; (3 30 medium-sized workers and 30 brood items; (4 30 medium-sized workers without fungus and brood. After 24 h, morphological parameters of nest structure (length and width of the chambers and tunnels in cm and the volume of excavated soil were recorded. In contrast to the expected findings, no change in morphological structure, rate of excavation by workers, or volume of excavated soil was observed between treatments, except for tunnel width, which was greater, when no brood or fungus garden was present. Thus, the results do not support the hypothesis that the fungus garden and/or brood are local stimuli for nest excavation or that they mold the internal architecture of the nest. Although this hypothesis was confirmed for Acromyrmex lundii and Atta sexdens rubropilosa, the same does not apply to A. subterraneus. The digging behavior of workers is probably the result of adaptation during nest building in different habitats.

  12. THE GARDEN AND THE MACHINE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Thomas Juel

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to explore how the concepts of garden and machine might inform our understanding of the complex relationship between infrastructure and nature. The garden is introduced as a third nature and used to shed a critical light on the promotion of landscape as infrastructure...

  13. The Garden and the Machine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Thomas Juel

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to explore how the concepts of garden and machine might inform our understanding of the complex relationship between infrastructure and nature. The garden is introduced as a third nature and used to shed a critical light on the promotion of landscape ‘as’ infrastructure...

  14. Rain Gardens: Stormwater Infiltrating Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    The hydrological dynamics and changes in stormwater nutrient concentrations within rain gardens were studied by introducing captured stormwater runoff to rain gardens at EPA’s Urban Water Research Facility in Edison, New Jersey. The runoff used in these experiments was collected...

  15. [The eternal gardener].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Veit

    2009-01-01

    The German master gardener Georg Meister (1653-1713) is one of the main characters responsible for a change in the European perception of Japan in the late 17th and early 18th century. Meister gained direct personal experience of the country during two short stays in the 1680s at the Dejima Island in Nagasaki while being employed by the Dutch VOC. Whilst an impression of Meister's earlier years can be gained, in part, from his masterpiece "Der orientalisch-indianische Kunst- und Lust-Gärtner" of 1692, this information is of only relatively small assistance in the further development of an understanding of Meister's later life in the Saxon city of Dresden, where he was employed as a gardener at the "Grosse Garten" after his return to Europe in 1689. In 1973 it was Friedemann Berger who first paid attention to the importance of Meister's later period. In his short biography are some valuable sources mentioned but unfortunately not quoted. This current paper documents some of the main sources relating to Georg Meister and his life in Dresden, including facts on his work and research, housing and death.

  16. Plant-Fungus Marriages

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    and making an image by autoradiography. The fungus receives carbon compounds from the plant in the form of sucrose, glu- cose or fructose, and converts it into trehalose (a typical sugar in fungi) and triacylglycerol (lipid). This metabolic conversion may be a strategy of the fungus for maintaining a constant movement of ...

  17. The interactions of ants with their biotic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Renner, Susanne S

    2017-03-15

    This s pecial feature results from the symposium 'Ants 2016: ant interactions with their biotic environments' held in Munich in May 2016 and deals with the interactions between ants and other insects, plants, microbes and fungi, studied at micro- and macroevolutionary levels with a wide range of approaches, from field ecology to next-generation sequencing, chemical ecology and molecular genetics. In this paper, we review key aspects of these biotic interactions to provide background information for the papers of this s pecial feature After listing the major types of biotic interactions that ants engage in, we present a brief overview of ant/ant communication, ant/plant interactions, ant/fungus symbioses, and recent insights about ants and their endosymbionts. Using a large molecular clock-dated Formicidae phylogeny, we map the evolutionary origins of different ant clades' interactions with plants, fungi and hemiptera. Ants' biotic interactions provide ideal systems to address fundamental ecological and evolutionary questions about mutualism, coevolution, adaptation and animal communication. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bekker, Charissa; Quevillon, Lauren E; Smith, Philip B; Fleming, Kimberly R; Ghosh, Debashis; Patterson, Andrew D; Hughes, David P

    2014-08-29

    A compelling demonstration of adaptation by natural selection is the ability of parasites to manipulate host behavior. One dramatic example involves fungal species from the genus Ophiocordyceps that control their ant hosts by inducing a biting behavior. Intensive sampling across the globe of ants that died after being manipulated by Ophiocordyceps suggests that this phenomenon is highly species-specific. We advance our understanding of this system by reconstructing host manipulation by Ophiocordyceps parasites under controlled laboratory conditions and combining this with field observations of infection rates and a metabolomics survey. We report on a newly discovered species of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato from North America that we use to address the species-specificity of Ophiocordyceps-induced manipulation of ant behavior. We show that the fungus can kill all ant species tested, but only manipulates the behavior of those it infects in nature. To investigate if this could be explained at the molecular level, we used ex vivo culturing assays to measure the metabolites that are secreted by the fungus to mediate fungus-ant tissue interactions. We show the fungus reacts heterogeneously to brains of different ant species by secreting a different array of metabolites. By determining which ion peaks are significantly enriched when the fungus is grown alongside brains of its naturally occurring host, we discovered candidate compounds that could be involved in behavioral manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l.. Two of these candidates are known to be involved in neurological diseases and cancer. The integrative work presented here shows that ant brain manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l. is species-specific seemingly because the fungus produces a specific array of compounds as a reaction to the presence of the host brain it has evolved to manipulate. These studies have resulted in the discovery of candidate compounds involved in establishing behavioral manipulation

  19. Ant nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    A new Hubble Space Telescope image of a celestial object called the Ant Nebula may shed new light on the future demise of our Sun. The image is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/wfpc . The nebula, imaged on July 20, 1997, and June 30, 1998, by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, was observed by Drs. Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Bruce Balick of the University of Washington in Seattle; and Vincent Icke of Leiden University in the Netherlands. JPL designed and built the camera. The Ant Nebula, whose technical name is Mz3, resembles the head and thorax of an ant when observed with ground-based telescopes. The new Hubble image, with 10 times the resolution revealing 100 times more detail, shows the 'ant's' body as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from a dying, Sun- like star. The Ant Nebula is located between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth in the southern constellation Norma. The image challenges old ideas about what happens to dying stars. This observation, along with other pictures of various remnants of dying stars called planetary nebulae, shows that our Sun's fate will probably be much more interesting, complex and dramatic than astronomers previously believed. Although the ejection of gas from the dying star in the Ant Nebula is violent, it does not show the chaos one might expect from an ordinary explosion, but instead shows symmetrical patterns. One possibility is that the central star has a closely orbiting companion whose gravitational tidal forces shape the outflowing gas. 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. Electrically charged winds, much like those in our Sun's solar wind but millions of times denser and moving at speeds up to 1,000 kilometers per second (more than 600 miles per second) from the star, follow the twisted field lines on their way out into space

  20. The Life of a Dead Ant : The Expression of an Adaptive Extended Phenotype

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andersen, Sandra B.; Gerritsma, Sylvia; Yusah, Kalsum M.; Mayntz, David; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.; Billen, Johan; Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Hughes, David P.

    Specialized parasites are expected to express complex adaptations to their hosts. Manipulation of host behavior is such an adaptation. We studied the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a locally specialized parasite of arboreal Camponotus leonardi ants. Ant-infecting Ophiocordyceps are known to

  1. Gardens of paradise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Wille, S

    2001-06-01

    Two hundred and fifty years ago, the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) published his Philosophia botanica. This textbook in botanical science was widely read well into the 19th century. Today it is remembered mainly for two things: the introduction of binomial nomenclature and the formulation of a fixist and creationist species concept. While the former achievement is seen as a practical tool, still applicable for purposes of identification and information retrieval, the latter is usually deemed to have been one of the main obstacles to scientific progress in biology. That both achievements were not independent of each other, but interlocked theoretically and grounded in a specific scientific practice still thriving today--the collection of plant specimens in botanical gardens--is usually overlooked. The following article tries to uncover these connections and to demonstrate the significance that Linnaeus' achievements had for modern biology.

  2. The Child in the Garden: An Evaluative Review of the Benefits of School Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Dorothy

    2009-01-01

    Although educators widely use school gardens for experiential education, researchers have not systematically examined the evaluative literature on school-gardening outcomes. The author reviewed the U.S. literature on children's gardening, taking into account potential effects, school-gardening outcomes, teacher evaluations of gardens as learning…

  3. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontoppidan, Maj-Britt; Himaman, Winanda; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.

    2009-01-01

    Parasites are likely to play an important role in structuring host populations. Many adaptively manipulate host behaviour, so that the extended phenotypes of these parasites and their distributions in space and time are potentially important ecological variables. The fungus Ophiocordyceps...... of dead ants correlated with temperature, humidity and vegetation cover. Remarkably, having found 2243 dead ants inside graveyards we only found 2 live ants of the principal host, ant Camponotus leonardi, suggesting that foraging host ants actively avoid graveyards. We discovered that the principal host...

  5. Patterns of diversity and abundance of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini in areas of the Brazilian Cerrado Padrões de diversidade e abundância de formigas cultivadoras de fungo (Formicidade: Attini em áreas do Cerrado Brasileiro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heraldo L. Vasconcelos

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini are characteristic elements of the New World fauna. However, there is little information on the patterns of diversity, abundance, and distribution of attine species in their native ecosystems, especially for the so-called "lower" genera of the tribe. A survey of attine ant nests (excluding Atta Fabricus, 1804 and Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 was conducted in a variety of savanna and forest habitats of the Cerrado biome near Uberlândia, Brazil. In total, 314 nests from 21 species of nine genera were found. Trachymyrmex Forel, 1893 was the most diverse genus with 10 species. Eighteen species were found in the savannas, including Mycetagroicus cerradensis Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes, 2001, a species from a recently-described genus of Attini, whereas in the forests only 12 species were found. Forest and savannas support relatively distinct faunas, each with a number of unique species; the species present in the forest habitats did not represent a nested subset of the species found in the savannas. Furthermore, although many species were common to both types of vegetation, their abundances were quite different. The density of attine nests is relatively high at some sites, exceeding an estimated 4,000 nests per hectare. In this sense, attine ants can be regarded as prevalent invertebrate taxa in the Brazilian Cerrado.As formigas cultivadoras de fungos (tribo Attini são exclusivas da fauna do Novo Mundo. Entretanto, existem poucas informações sobre os padrões de diversidade, abundância e distribuição das espécies de Attini em seus ecossistemas nativos, em especial para os gêneros menos derivados desta tribo. Um levantamento de ninhos de Attini (excluindo Atta Fabricius, 1804 e Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 foi realizado em diversos ambientes savânicos e de floresta do bioma Cerrado próximos à Uberlândia, Brasil. Encontramos 314 ninhos de 21 espécies pertencentes a nove gêneros da tribo. Trachymyrmex Forel, 1893 foi o g

  6. Garden of Eden – Paradise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruiten, Jacques van; Collins/ John J.,; Harlow/Daniel C.,

    2010-01-01

    Jacques van Ruiten, “Garden of Eden – Paradise,” in The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism (ed. John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow; Grand Rapids, Mich., and Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2010), 658-661.

  7. EPA Helps Botanic Garden Blossom

    Science.gov (United States)

    One of the keys to the continued transformation of abandoned mine lands into a world-class botanic garden near Pittsburgh is an innovative rainwater system financed by EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

  8. The graveyard and the Garden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahbek, Ulla; Bildsøe, Helle Schulz

    2017-01-01

    and conflate into one overarching web that is the metropolis: there is a systemic network of control materialized in Montparnasse graveyard and an organic network out of control manifested in a community garden where people congregate to tell stories. Indeed, Dasgupta revisits Benjaminian storytelling...... as a global networking practice which, while locally contextualized in an impromptu garden in Paris, hints at an awareness of worldwide connectivity....

  9. Association between Pseudonocardia symbionts and Atta leaf-cutting ants suggested by improved isolation methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marsh, Sarah E.; Poulsen, Michael; Gorosito, Norma B.

    2013-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants associate with multiple symbiotic microbes, including Actinobacteria for production of antibiotics. The best studied of these bacteria are within the genus Pseudonocardia, which in most fungus-growing ants are conspicuously visible on the external cuticle of workers. However......, given that fungus-growing ants in the genus Atta do not carry visible Actinobacteria on their cuticle, it is unclear if this genus engages in the symbiosis with Pseudonocardia. Here we explore whether improving culturing techniques can allow for successful isolation of Pseudonocardia from Atta...... cephalotes leaf-cutting ants. We obtained Pseudonocardia from 9 of 11 isolation method/colony component combinations from all 5 colonies intensively sampled. The most efficient technique was bead-beating workers in phosphate buffer solution, then plating the suspension on carboxymethylcellulose medium...

  10. No Panacea Garden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sigmund Tobias

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available NEW!  Postscript (pp. 17-19 Three of the seven distinguished researchers whose autobiographical chapters (Berliner, 2016; Sternberg, 2016; Sweller, 2016 I edited, and one that is in process (Gordon, in press, indicate that they were poor or indifferent students early in their academic careers. That is also true of me; so five of the first seven scholars in the Acquired Wisdom series were poor students. I did not explicitly mention my studying difficulties in this chapter because they had already been described in my memoir about how my family found safe haven from the Holocaust in Shanghai, China, during World War II (Tobias, 2009. It may be useful to examine my difficulties and how they relate to educational practice and concepts in the contemporary educational psychology literature. Essay Excerpt The late Dick Snow, a friend and colleague at Stanford, once commented that research on instructional innovations seemed to him like a random walk through the panacea garden. I have become sceptical of any instructional development, theory, or instructional method that is expected to improve learning for all students in all subjects. I have lived through prior panaceas like programmed and computer assisted instruction, multimedia education, computer games, and educational movements such as progressive, competency based, open corridor, and inquiry education, and the current panacea - constructivist instruction - from all of which I learned something. There are no panaceas that will easily improve learning for everyone, because good instruction is hard work and difficult to do. [Download the PDF

  11. A Brazilian social bee must cultivate fungus to survive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menezes, Cristiano; Vollet-Neto, Ayrton; Marsaioli, Anita Jocelyne; Zampieri, Davila; Fontoura, Isabela Cardoso; Luchessi, Augusto Ducati; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia

    2015-11-02

    The nests of social insects provide suitable microenvironments for many microorganisms as they offer stable environmental conditions and a rich source of food [1-4]. Microorganisms in turn may provide several benefits to their hosts, such as nutrients and protection against pathogens [1, 4-6]. Several examples of symbiosis between social insects and microorganisms have been found in ants and termites. These symbioses have driven the evolution of complex behaviors and nest structures associated with the culturing of the symbiotic microorganisms [5, 7, 8]. However, while much is known about these relationships in many species of ants and termites, symbiotic relationships between microorganisms and social bees have been poorly explored [3, 4, 9, 10]. Here, we report the first case of an obligatory relationship between the Brazilian stingless bee Scaptotrigona depilis and a fungus of the genus Monascus (Ascomycotina). Fungal mycelia growing on the provisioned food inside the brood cell are eaten by the larva. Larvae reared in vitro on sterilized larval food supplemented with fungal mycelia had a much higher survival rate (76%) compared to larvae reared under identical conditions but without fungal mycelia (8% survival). The fungus was found to originate from the material from which the brood cells are made. Since the bees recycle and transport this material between nests, fungus would be transferred to newly built cells and also to newly founded nests. This is the first report of a fungus cultivation mutualism in a social bee. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Use of school gardens in academic instruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Heather; Beall, Deborah Lane; Lussier, Mary; McLaughlin, Peggy; Zidenberg-Cherr, Sheri

    2005-01-01

    To determine the status of gardens in California schools. A self-administered Internet and mailed survey was sent to all California principals (N = 9805). 4194 California school principals. School garden practices, attitudes associated with the use of gardens in schools, and perceptions of barriers to having and using school gardens in academic instruction. Descriptive statistics and chi-square; P garden was for enhancement of academic instruction. Gardens were most commonly used for teaching science, environmental studies, and nutrition. Principals strongly agreed that resources such as curriculum materials linked to academic instruction and lessons on teaching nutrition in the garden would assist in the school garden being used for academic instruction. Principals deemed the garden as being not to slightly effective at enhancing the school meal program. School gardens appear to be predominantly used by most schools to enhance academic instruction. There is a need for curriculum materials and teacher training for gardening and nutrition. The link between the garden and the school meal program is an area that clearly requires attention. School lunch would be a logical setting for provision of edible produce, in addition to taste-testing of fresh produce in the garden or classroom setting.

  13. The benefits of a therapeutic garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-07-20

    Can an indoor garden room reduce patients' physical and verbal aggression? Elaine Cole, writing in Nursing Older People, discusses how an indoor sensory garden (and a coloured toilet door) led to a reduction in incidents of verbal aggression by 59%.

  14. Gardens on the Arid Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eka Saputra, Weldy

    2017-12-01

    Bahrain is located in the climate of the arid zone which rainfall is low and irregular. This paper discusses the approaches which response to the local context that has been implemented by the government of Bahrain to sustain the quality of the public garden in the arid climate, turning to green. Generally, the approach is an improvement in the central treatment of waste water system plant that used to irrigate the landscaping, agriculture as well as for industry use. These approaches are not the only technologically, but also involves the participation of community to achieve sustainable garden in this country.

  15. The Garden and the Machine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Thomas Juel

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to explore how the concepts of garden and machine might inform our understanding of the complex relationship between infrastructure and nature. The garden is introduced as a third nature and used to shed a critical light on the promotion of landscape ‘as’ infrastructure......, which has been developed within the current discourses on landscape urbanism and ecological urbanism. It will be argued that the emphasis of performance, functionality and horizontality, which seems to follow the promotion of landscape as infrastructure, in some cases could be counterproductive...

  16. Metropolitan gardens : Gardens in the interstices of the metropolitan tissue

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Wit, S.I.

    2013-01-01

    The heterogeneity of the contemporary metropolitan landscape has led to a multiplicity of intermediate spaces, in between and within the different tissues of the metropolitan landscape. These interstices can provide favourable conditions to be transformed into gardens. What design instruments can be

  17. Penstemons are for Great Basin gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidi Kratsch

    2013-01-01

    Penstemons are flowering perennials much loved by the gardening public. Gardeners appreciate their diversity of flower colors that are at peak bloom in June and July, their many shapes and sizes, and their attractiveness to hummingbirds and other native pollinators. You may even have planted some in your own garden. Most people don't realize there are about 280...

  18. Rain garden guidelines for southwest Ohio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rain gardens are a unique and practical landscape feature that can enhance the beauty of home gardens. When properly installed, they are one method of limiting the negative effects of rainfall runoff in urban areas. Indeed, rain gardens turn a "negative" into a "positive" by capt...

  19. Wellbeing and Social Relations in School Gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wistoft, Karen; Dyg, Pernille Malberg

    2017-01-01

    garden program promotes students’ wellbeing through their positive emotions about being outside in the outdoor environment. Garden activities and their relations with peers, garden educators, and teachers seemed to positively affect the students’ self-esteem. Over and above the positive social...

  20. Our Friendship Gardens: Healing Our Mother, Ourselves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, Madhu Suri

    2015-01-01

    Embracing the best ideals of Victory Gardens, this essay celebrates Friendship Gardens. The latter go further: collapsing the dualisms separating victors from losers. Friendships that transcend differences and honor diversity are among the many fruits and organic gifts harvested and shared in the commons created by Friendship Gardens. This essay…

  1. What's Cooking in America's Schoolyard Gardens?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salter, Cathy

    2010-01-01

    This article discusses what's cooking in America's schoolyard gardens. From First Lady Michelle Obama's world-famous Kitchen Garden, to Alice Waters' groundbreaking Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California, to a nationally recognized elementary school learning garden in the small Midwestern town of Ashland, Missouri, school children are planting…

  2. Urban domestic gardens: the effects of human interventions on garden composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loram, Alison; Warren, Philip; Thompson, Ken; Gaston, Kevin

    2011-10-01

    Private domestic gardens contribute substantially to the biodiversity of urban areas and benefit human health and well-being. We previously reported a study of 267 gardens across five cities in the United Kingdom in which variation in geographical and climatic factors had little bearing on the richness, diversity and composition of plant species. We therefore hypothesise that garden management is an important factor in determining garden characteristics. Here, from the same sample of gardens, we investigate potential associations between the uses to which people put their gardens, the types of management activities they undertake, and the characteristics of those gardens. Householders (n = 265) completed a questionnaire detailing various aspects of garden use and management activities. The majority of respondents used their gardens chiefly for relaxation, recreation, and eating. Fewer than one fifth included "gardening" amongst their garden uses even though all performed some garden management, suggesting that not all management activity resulted from an interest in gardening. Garden-watering and lawn-mowing were the most prevalent activities and were predictors of other types of management including weeding, vegetation-cutting, leaf-collection, and dead-heading flowers. A number of these activities were associated with one another, the richness and composition of plant species, and the number of land uses in gardens. However, relationships between management activities and the amount of tall vegetation were less consistent, and garden management appeared to be independent of garden area. More species of amphibians, birds, and mammals were observed in gardens with ponds and in which efforts were made to attract wildlife, particularly by providing drinking water. This study supports the hypothesis that garden use and management is associated with garden characteristics.

  3. Plant-Fungus Marriages

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    spores of the fungus to be dispersed in to air. The most familiar fruiting bodies are the mushrooms, puff-balls, earth stars, and bird's nest fungi (Figure 2) - members of the fungal phylum. Basidiomycotina. These fruiting bodies are indicative of an underground symbiotic relationship between the plant roots and fungi (Box 1).

  4. Antibiotic Resistance and Fungus

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2017-02-28

    Dr. David Denning, President of the Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections and an infectious diseases clinician, discusses antimicrobial resistance and fungus.  Created: 2/28/2017 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 2/28/2017.

  5. Plant-Fungus Marriages

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 11; Issue 4. Plant-Fungus Marriages. Ramesh Maheshwari. General Article Volume 11 Issue 4 April 2006 pp 33-44. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/011/04/0033-0044. Keywords. Fungi ...

  6. An Experience in Froebel's Garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Elizabeth S.

    1990-01-01

    Describes the activities of a classroom teacher and her students at Addison Gardens British Nursery School in London, England, which was influenced by, and incorporated the tenets of, Friedrich Froebel's educational philosophy of children's learning. Discusses the application of Froebel's principles to art education. (BB)

  7. Biosecurity protocols for heritage gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ian Wright; David Slawson

    2010-01-01

    This project aims to protect The National Trust (NT) from the increasing number of harmful plant pests and diseases that slip though official controls and threaten our gardens, plant collections and landscapes. During 2008, the National Trust (NT) with the seconded help of Dr. David Slawson, Head of Pest and Disease Identification Programme, Food and Environment...

  8. Behavioural and chemical studies of discrimination processes in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex laticeps nigrosetosus (Forel, 1908

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. J. Souza

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutting ants live in symbiosis with a basidiomycete fungus that is exploited as a source of nutrients for ant larvae. Tests of brood transport revealed that Acromyrmex laticeps nigrosetosus workers did not discriminate a concolonial brood from an alien brood. The same result was observed with tests of fungus transport. Adult workers showed no aggressive behaviour to workers from other alien colonies (non-nestmates. There was no qualitative variation in the chemical profiles of larvae, pupae and adult workers from the different colonies. However, quantitative differences were observed between the different colonies. Hypotheses about the lack of intraspecific aggression in this subspecies of ants are discussed.

  9. The diversity of microorganisms associated with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular biological techniques are dramatically changing our view of microbial diversity in almost any environment that has so far been investigated. This study presents a systematic survey of the microbial diversity associated with a population of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants. In contrast to previous studies on social insects, which targeted specific groups of symbionts occurring in the gut (termites, Tetraponera ants or in specialised cells (Camponotus ants the objective of our present study was to do a total screening of all possible micro-organisms that can be found inside the bodies of these leafcutter ants. Results We amplified, cloned and sequenced SSU rRNA encoding gene fragments from 9 microbial groups known to have insect-associated representatives, and show that: (1 representatives of 5 out of 9 tested groups are present, (2 mostly several strains per group are present, adding up to a total of 33 different taxa. We present the microbial taxa associated with Acromymex ants in a phylogenetic context (using sequences from GenBank to assess and illustrate to which known microorganisms they are closely related. The observed microbial diversity is discussed in the light of present knowledge on the evolutionary history of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants and their known mutualistic and parasitic symbionts. Conclusions The major merits of the screening approach documented here is its high sensitivity and specificity, which allowed us to identify several microorganisms that are promising candidates for further study of their interactions with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants or their gardens.

  10. Historic Gardens Chorbog In The Islamic Countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustayev Bahrom Bahodirovich

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In principle any garden reminds us of beauty and unity of nature. But there exist gardens arranged in accordance with the traditional principles of the Islamic Chorbog or architecturally -organized a Four-sides garden which possesses as it seems to me considerably more potential than the gardens planned without such principles. At the present paper an attempt has been made to prove it and it is noted that the Koran is sacred for Moslem people and its references to nature as well as the description of paradise gardens deserves the careful study when considering the meaning of the Islamic gardens. Types and peculiarities of the Islamic countries gardens are also considered in the given paper.

  11. Edinburgh doctors and their physic gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, D

    2008-12-01

    Edinburgh has had eight physic gardens on different sites since its first one was created by the Incorporation of Barbers and Surgeons in 1656. As the gardens grew in size, they evolved from herb gardens to botanic gardens with small herbaria for the supply of medical herbs. They were intended for the instruction of medical, surgical and apothecary students and, in the case of the physicians, to demonstrate the need for a physicians' college and a pharmacopoeia. Some of the doctors in charge of them were equally famous and influential in botany as in medicine, and while Edinburgh Town Council enjoyed the fame the gardens brought to the city it was parsimonious and slow to support its botanical pioneers. The gardens are celebrated today in the Sibbald Garden within the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

  12. High diversity and low specificity of chaetothyrialean fungi in carton galleries in a neotropical ant-plant association.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximilian Nepel

    Full Text Available New associations have recently been discovered between arboreal ants that live on myrmecophytic plants, and different groups of fungi. Most of the - usually undescribed - fungi cultured by the ants belong to the order Chaetothyriales (Ascomycetes. Chaetothyriales occur in the nesting spaces provided by the host plant, and form a major part of the cardboard-like material produced by the ants for constructing nests and runway galleries. Until now, the fungi have been considered specific to each ant species. We focus on the three-way association between the plant Tetrathylacium macrophyllum (Salicaceae, the ant Azteca brevis (Formicidae: Dolichoderinae and various chaetothyrialean fungi. Azteca brevis builds extensive runway galleries along branches of T. macrophyllum. The carton of the gallery walls consists of masticated plant material densely pervaded by chaetothyrialean hyphae. In order to characterise the specificity of the ant-fungus association, fungi from the runway galleries of 19 ant colonies were grown as pure cultures and analyzed using partial SSU, complete ITS, 5.8S and partial LSU rDNA sequences. This gave 128 different fungal genotypes, 78% of which were clustered into three monophyletic groups. The most common fungus (either genotype or approximate species-level OTU was found in the runway galleries of 63% of the investigated ant colonies. This indicates that there can be a dominant fungus but, in general, a wider guild of chaetothyrialean fungi share the same ant mutualist in Azteca brevis.

  13. High diversity and low specificity of chaetothyrialean fungi in carton galleries in a neotropical ant-plant association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nepel, Maximilian; Voglmayr, Hermann; Schönenberger, Jürg; Mayer, Veronika E

    2014-01-01

    New associations have recently been discovered between arboreal ants that live on myrmecophytic plants, and different groups of fungi. Most of the - usually undescribed - fungi cultured by the ants belong to the order Chaetothyriales (Ascomycetes). Chaetothyriales occur in the nesting spaces provided by the host plant, and form a major part of the cardboard-like material produced by the ants for constructing nests and runway galleries. Until now, the fungi have been considered specific to each ant species. We focus on the three-way association between the plant Tetrathylacium macrophyllum (Salicaceae), the ant Azteca brevis (Formicidae: Dolichoderinae) and various chaetothyrialean fungi. Azteca brevis builds extensive runway galleries along branches of T. macrophyllum. The carton of the gallery walls consists of masticated plant material densely pervaded by chaetothyrialean hyphae. In order to characterise the specificity of the ant-fungus association, fungi from the runway galleries of 19 ant colonies were grown as pure cultures and analyzed using partial SSU, complete ITS, 5.8S and partial LSU rDNA sequences. This gave 128 different fungal genotypes, 78% of which were clustered into three monophyletic groups. The most common fungus (either genotype or approximate species-level OTU) was found in the runway galleries of 63% of the investigated ant colonies. This indicates that there can be a dominant fungus but, in general, a wider guild of chaetothyrialean fungi share the same ant mutualist in Azteca brevis.

  14. PERSIAN GARDENS IN COLD AND DRY CLIMATE: A CASE STUDY OF TABRIZ’S HISTORICAL GARDENS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahad Nejad Ebrahimi

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Throughout history, gardens and garden designing has been in the attention of Persian architects who had special expertise in the construction of gardens. The appearance of Islam and allegories of paradise taken from that in Koran and Saints’ sayings gave spirituality to garden construction. Climate conditions have also had an important role in this respect but little research has been done about it and most of the investigations have referred to spiritual aspects and forms of garden. The cold and dry climate that has enveloped parts of West and North West of Iran has many gardens with different forms and functions, which have not been paid much attention to by studies done so far. The aim of this paper is to identify the features and specifications of cold and dry climate gardens with an emphasis on Tabriz’s Gardens.  Due to its natural and strategic situation, Tabriz has always been in the attention of governments throughout history; travellers and tourists have mentioned Tabriz as a city that has beautiful gardens. But, the earthquakes and wars have left no remains of those beautiful gardens. This investigation, by a comparative study of the climates in Iran and the effect of those climates on the formation of gardens and garden design, tries to identify the features and characteristics of gardens in cold and dry climate. The method of study is interpretive-historical on the basis of written documents and historic features and field study of existing gardens in this climate. The results show that, with respect to natural substrate, vegetation, the form of water supply, and the general form of the garden; gardens in dry and cold climate are different from gardens in other climates.

  15. Entomopathogens Isolated from Invasive Ants and Tests of Their Pathogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fernanda Miori de Zarzuela

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Some ant species cause severe ecological and health impact in urban areas. Many attempts have been tested to control such species, although they do not always succeed. Biological control is an alternative to chemical control and has gained great prominence in research, and fungi and nematodes are among the successful organisms controlling insects. This study aimed to clarify some questions regarding the biological control of ants. Invasive ant species in Brazil had their nests evaluated for the presence of entomopathogens. Isolated entomopathogens were later applied in colonies of Monomorium floricola under laboratory conditions to evaluate their effectiveness and the behavior of the ant colonies after treatment. The entomopathogenic nematodes Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp. and the fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Paecilomyces sp. were isolated from the invasive ant nests. M. floricola colonies treated with Steinernema sp. and Heterorhabditis sp. showed a higher mortality of workers than control. The fungus Beauveria bassiana caused higher mortality of M. floricola workers. However, no colony reduction or elimination was observed in any treatment. The defensive behaviors of ants, such as grooming behavior and colony budding, must be considered when using fungi and nematodes for biological control of ants.

  16. The changing role of botanic gardens and the experience from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ethiopia is trying to establish botanic gardens with the first one in place being the recently inaugurated Gullele Botanic Garden in Addis Abeba. In order to develop this newly established garden as well as any other future botanic garden, Ethiopia needs to gather information from the experience of other botanic gardens that ...

  17. Ant- and Ant-Colony-Inspired ALife Visual Art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

    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.

  18. Variación espacial y temporal de la diversidad de hormigas en el Jardín Botánico del valle de Zapotitlán de las Salinas, Puebla Spatial and temporal variation of the diversity ants in the Botanic Garden from Zapotitlán de las Salinas Valley, Puebla

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Guzmán-Mendoza

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Debido al escaso conocimiento que se tiene de las hormigas de las zonas áridas de México, se evaluó la biodiversidad de este taxón en el Jardín Botánico de Zapotitlán de las Salinas, Puebla. Se realizaron 2 colectas, una en época de lluvias (agosto de 2004 y otra en la temporada de secas (febrero de 2005. En ambas ocasiones se seleccionaron 2 sitios contrastantes en estructura vegetal y se colocaron 10 trampas de caída para cada sitio. La captura fue más abundante en temporada de lluvias. El sitio con menor diversidad y cobertura vegetal mostró una mayor diversidad de hormigas durante el estudio. Comparado con otras zonas áridas de México, el valle de Zapotitlán de las Salinas resultó ser una de las zonas semiáridas con mayor riqueza en especies de hormigas; con 12 nuevos registros se incrementó a 27 el número de especies, sólo una por debajo de otras localidades cercanas al valle. Los datos sugieren que con un mayor esfuerzo de muestreo y la aplicación combinada de otras técnicas de recolección, la riqueza de especies en el área podría elevarse considerablemente.The knowledge about ants of arid zones of Mexico is very poor. For this reason we assessed the biodiversity of this taxon in 2 sites with different vegetation structure. Ten pitfall traps were placed in each site, and 2 surveys were conducted, 1 in August (rainy season, 2004 and another in February (dry season, 2005. The capture was more abundant in the rainy season; however, during the study, a higher ant diversity was observed in the site with low vegetation cover and few plant diversity. Compared with other arid zones of Mexico, the Zapotitlán de las Salinas Valley is the site with the highest ant species richness. The new records have increased richness to 27 ant species, which is very close to the number of species registered in other localities near Zapotitlan. Our data suggest that increasing sampling effort and application of different sampling

  19. Levels of specificity of Xylaria species associated with fungus-growing termites: a phylogenetic approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Visser, Andre; Ros, V I D; De Beer, Z. W.

    2009-01-01

    Fungus-growing termites live in obligate mutualistic symbiosis with species of the basidiomycete genus Termitomyces, which are cultivated on a substrate of dead plant material. When the termite colony dies, or when nest material is incubated without termites in the laboratory, fruiting bodies...... of the ascomycete genus Xylaria appear and rapidly cover the fungus garden. This raises the question whether certain Xylaria species are specialised in occupying termite nests or whether they are just occasional visitors. We tested Xylaria specificity at four levels: (1) fungus-growing termites, (2) termite genera...... of the ITS region revealed 16 operational taxonomic units of Xylaria, indicating high levels of Xylaria species richness. Not much of this variation was explained by termite genus, species, or colony; thus, at level 2-4 the specificity is low. Analysis of the large subunit rDNA region, showed that all...

  20. Multicultural School Gardens: Creating Engaging Garden Spaces in Learning about Language, Culture, and Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutter-Mackenzie, Amy

    2009-01-01

    Children's gardening programs have enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years. An Australian environmental education non-profit organization implemented a program, entitled Multicultural Schools Gardens, in disadvantaged (low-income) schools that used food gardening as a focus for implementing a culturally-focused environmental education…

  1. The Force of Gardening: Investigating Children's Learning in a Food Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Monica; Duhn, Iris

    2015-01-01

    School gardens are becoming increasingly recognised as important sites for learning and for bringing children into relationship with food. Despite the well-known educational and health benefits of gardening, children's interactions with the non-human entities and forces within garden surroundings are less understood and examined in the wider…

  2. Introducing a longitudinal study of community gardeners and gardens in New York City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erika S. Svendsen; Lindsay K. Campbell; Nancy Falxa-Raymond; Jessica Northridge; Edie. Stone

    2012-01-01

    For almost a decade, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation GreenThumb program has collected data about hundreds of New York City community gardens citywide to understand how these gardens function. Building on a data set that includes surveys and interviews conducted periodically with garden representatives since 2003, GreenThumb and USDA Forest Service...

  3. Designed Natural Spaces: Informal Gardens Are Perceived to Be More Restorative than Formal Gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twedt, Elyssa; Rainey, Reuben M; Proffitt, Dennis R

    2016-01-01

    Experimental research shows that there are perceived and actual benefits to spending time in natural spaces compared to urban spaces, such as reduced cognitive fatigue, improved mood, and reduced stress. Whereas past research has focused primarily on distinguishing between distinct categories of spaces (i.e., nature vs. urban), less is known about variability in perceived restorative potential of environments within a particular category of outdoor spaces, such as gardens. Conceptually, gardens are often considered to be restorative spaces and to contain an abundance of natural elements, though there is great variability in how gardens are designed that might impact their restorative potential. One common practice for classifying gardens is along a spectrum ranging from "formal or geometric" to "informal or naturalistic," which often corresponds to the degree to which built or natural elements are present, respectively. In the current study, we tested whether participants use design informality as a cue to predict perceived restorative potential of different gardens. Participants viewed a set of gardens and rated each on design informality, perceived restorative potential, naturalness, and visual appeal. Participants perceived informal gardens to have greater restorative potential than formal gardens. In addition, gardens that were more visually appealing and more natural-looking were perceived to have greater restorative potential than less visually appealing and less natural gardens. These perceptions and precedents are highly relevant for the design of gardens and other similar green spaces intended to provide relief from stress and to foster cognitive restoration.

  4. Integrate the Arts. Monet's Garden Pops Up!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Mary

    1996-01-01

    This article outlines the steps in an art activity on the elements of landscapes and touches on the topic of perspective. In the activity students create three-dimensional secret gardens of their own out of construction paper. The activity is based on Claude Monet's painting and his garden in Giverny (Normandy, France). (SM)

  5. "The Secret Garden": A Literary Journey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Anne Devereaux

    1998-01-01

    Outlines the life of Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of "The Secret Garden." Argues that it not only tells an enthralling tale, but takes readers on a journey through the history of English literature. Discusses the gothic tradition and romanticism of "The Secret Garden." Lists classic elements in the book and offers five ideas…

  6. Growing Healing One Garden at a Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashman, Julann

    2016-01-01

    Evidence exists regarding the effect of horticultural therapy on improving human well-being, including promotion of overall health and quality of life, physical strength, and cardiac function. This article shares how a nurse created a healing garden at Lourdes Hospital, where she works. Resource information about therapeutic gardens is included.

  7. School Food Gardens: Fertile Ground for Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beery, Moira; Adatia, Rachel; Segantin, Orsola; Skaer, Chantal-Fleur

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to respond to food insecurity and environmental sustainability through school food gardens in Johannesburg, South Africa. Design/Methodology/Approach: Permaculture is a method of organic agriculture where the garden design maintains a stable and productive ecosystem, mimicking natural processes and thereby…

  8. Roots and Research in Urban School Gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaylie, Veronica

    2011-01-01

    This book explores the urban school garden as a bridge between environmental action and thought. As a small-scale response to global issues around access to food and land, urban school gardens promote practical knowledge of farming as well as help renew cultural ideals of shared space and mutual support for the organic, built environment. Through…

  9. Havens tider / The Times of the Garden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    Bilingual text (English and Danish) for exhibition catalogue. ARoS Triennal: The Garden - End of Times, Beginning of Times.......Bilingual text (English and Danish) for exhibition catalogue. ARoS Triennal: The Garden - End of Times, Beginning of Times....

  10. Invasive plants often emanate from southern gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.H. Miller; A. Miller

    2009-01-01

    Did you know that heavenly bamboo, thorny olive, English ivy, Boston fern, privets and many garden favorites are invading forests to their and thus our detriment? Garden clubs should band together to protect our natural vegetation against invasive plants that take over the habitat of the native flora. Often called non-native, exotic, or noxious weeds, they...

  11. BIBLICAL METAPHOR: THE COSMIC GARDEN HERITAGE

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    garden estate, found throughout biblical texts – and trust learning can be transferred. Pentateuchal .... agents are appointed to wreak devastation, and the dwelling place becomes bereft of fruitfulness and joy. .... ourselves living – on commodity real estate or in the cosmic garden – and it will affect our behavior. The role of ...

  12. Creating a Schoolyard Mini-Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Ruiz, Francisca

    2009-01-01

    The creation of schoolyard gardens is a growing movement in the United States and around the world (Ballard, Tong, and Usher 1998; Pope 1998; Lewis 2004). It brings together all of the features of authentic hands-on science: Students can collect data on plant growth, observe the plant and animal interactions in the garden, and acquire a sense of…

  13. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  14. Antimicrobial properties of nest volatiles in red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (hymenoptera: formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Elliott, Brad; Jin, Xixuan; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian

    2015-12-01

    The antimicrobial property of volatiles produced by red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, against Beauveria bassiana, a common entomopathogenic fungus, was demonstrated. The germination rate of B. bassiana spores was significantly reduced after they were exposed to volatiles within an artificial ant nest. Since the air that contained the same level of O2 and CO2 as that in artificial fire ant nests did not suppress the germination rate of B. bassiana, the observed reduction of germination rate must be caused by the toxicity of nest volatiles. Nest fumigation may be an important component of the social immune system in S. invicta.

  15. The life of a dead ant -the expression of an adaptive extended phenotype

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Gerritsma, Sylvia; Yusah, Kalsum M.

    2009-01-01

    Specialized parasites are expected to express complex adaptations to their hosts. Manipulation of host behavior is such an adaptation. We studied the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a locally specialized parasite of arboreal Camponotus leonardi ants. Ant-infecting Ophiocordyceps are known...... to make hosts bite onto vegetation prior to killing them. We show that this represents a fine-tuned fungal adaptation: an extended phenotype. Dead ants were found under leaves, attached by their mandibles, on the northern side of saplings ca. 25 cm above the soil, where temperature and humidity conditions...

  16. Ozone Gardens for the Citizen Scientist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pippin, Margaret; Reilly, Gay; Rodjom, Abbey; Malick, Emily

    2016-01-01

    NASA Langley partnered with the Virginia Living Museum and two schools to create ozone bio-indicator gardens for citizen scientists of all ages. The garden at the Marshall Learning Center is part of a community vegetable garden designed to teach young children where food comes from and pollution in their area, since most of the children have asthma. The Mt. Carmel garden is located at a K-8 school. Different ozone sensitive and ozone tolerant species are growing and being monitored for leaf injury. In addition, CairClip ozone monitors were placed in the gardens and data are compared to ozone levels at the NASA Langley Chemistry and Physics Atmospheric Boundary Layer Experiment (CAPABLE) site in Hampton, VA. Leaf observations and plant measurements are made two to three times a week throughout the growing season.

  17. Ants in Tropical Urban Habitats: The Myrmecofauna in a Densely Populated Area of Bogor, West Java, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AKHMAD RIZALI

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Ants are the most abundant animals in tropical habitats and have been widely studied in natural and semi-natural tropical systems. However, species in urban tropical habitats remain poorly studied, despite their abundance and potentially important roles in urban ecosystems and pest dynamics. We investigated the ant fauna of Bogor and its surroundings to contribute to the characterization of the myrmecofauna of one of Southeast Asia’s most densely populated regions. Ants were collected both by hand collection and from honey baits in the most common habitats: garbage dumps, households, and home gardens. In total, 94 species were recorded, over two thirds of which occurred in home gardens, which underlines the importance of vegetated habitats for urban planning to support complex ant assemblages. Twelve sampled species are well-known as tramp species that occur primarily in human-dominated landscapes. The two tramp species Anoplolepis gracilipes and Paratrechina longicornis dominated ant assemblages in all locations and most habitat types. The assemblages of tramp species were affected by habitat type, whereas that of non tramp species were not. Forty-five species were also recorded in the Bogor Botanical Garden and five species are also known to be common in cacao agroforests. Hence, research in urban tropical habitats can increase our knowledge of the occurrence of ant species, allowing us to better assess the biodiversity and conservation potential of semi-natural habitats.

  18. Alkaloid venom weaponry of three Megalomyrmex thief ants and the behavioral response of Cyphomyrmex costatus host ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Jones, Tappey H; Longino, John T; Weatherford, Robert G; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-04-01

    Social parasites exploit other societies by invading and stealing resources. Some enter protected nests using offensive chemical weaponry made from alkaloid-based venom. We characterized the venoms of three Megalomyrmex thief ant species (M. mondabora, M. mondaboroides, and M. silvestrii) that parasitize the fungus-growing ants, and developed an ethogram to describe host ant reactions to raiding M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii parasites. We compared piperidine, pyrrolidine, and pyrolizidine venom alkaloid structures with synthetic samples from previous studies, and describe the novel stereochemistry of trans 2-hexyl-5-[8-oxononyl]-pyrrolidine (3) from M. mondabora. We showed that workers of Cyphomyrmex costatus, the host of M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii, react to a sting by Megalomyrmex parasites mainly with submissive behavior, playing dead or retreating. Host submission also followed brief antennal contact. The behavior of C. costatus ants observed in this study was similar to that of Cyphomyrmex cornutus, host of M. mondabora, suggesting that the alkaloidal venoms with pyrrolidines from M. mondabora, piperidines from M. mondaboroides, and pyrolizidines from M. silvestrii may function similarly as appeasement and repellent allomones against host ants, despite their different chemical structure. With the use of these chemical weapons, the Megalomyrmex thief ants are met with little host resistance and easily exploit host colony resources.

  19. Predation success by a plant-ant indirectly favours the growth and fitness of its host myrmecophyte.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Dejean

    Full Text Available Mutualisms, or interactions between species that lead to net fitness benefits for each species involved, are stable and ubiquitous in nature mostly due to "byproduct benefits" stemming from the intrinsic traits of one partner that generate an indirect and positive outcome for the other. Here we verify if myrmecotrophy (where plants obtain nutrients from the refuse of their associated ants can explain the stability of the tripartite association between the myrmecophyte Hirtella physophora, the ant Allomerus decemarticulatus and an Ascomycota fungus. The plant shelters and provides the ants with extrafloral nectar. The ants protect the plant from herbivores and integrate the fungus into the construction of a trap that they use to capture prey; they also provide the fungus and their host plant with nutrients. During a 9-month field study, we over-provisioned experimental ant colonies with insects, enhancing colony fitness (i.e., more winged females were produced. The rate of partial castration of the host plant, previously demonstrated, was not influenced by the experiment. Experimental plants showed higher δ(15N values (confirming myrmecotrophy, plus enhanced vegetative growth (e.g., more leaves produced increased the possibility of lodging ants in leaf pouches and fitness (i.e., more fruits produced and more flowers that matured into fruit. This study highlights the importance of myrmecotrophy on host plant fitness and the stability of ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms.

  20. Species-Specific Seed Dispersal in an Obligate Ant-Plant Mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Baca, Jeniffer Alvarez; Osborne, Jason; Schal, Coby

    2009-01-01

    Throughout lowland Amazonia, arboreal ants collect seeds of specific plants and cultivate them in nutrient-rich nests, forming diverse yet obligate and species-specific symbioses called Neotropical ant-gardens (AGs). The ants depend on their symbiotic plants for nest stability, and the plants depend on AGs for substrate and nutrients. Although the AGs are limited to specific participants, it is unknown at what stage specificity arises, and seed fate pathways in AG epiphytes are undocumented. Here we examine the specificity of the ant-seed interaction by comparing the ant community observed at general food baits to ants attracted to and removing seeds of the AG plant Peperomia macrostachya. We also compare seed removal rates under treatments that excluded vertebrates, arthropods, or both. In the bait study, only three of 70 ant species collected P. macrostachya seeds, and 84% of observed seed removal by ants was attributed to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. In the exclusion experiment, arthropod exclusion significantly reduced seed removal rates, but vertebrate exclusion did not. We provide the most extensive empirical evidence of species specificity in the AG mutualism and begin to quantify factors that affect seed fate in order to understand conditions that favor its departure from the typical diffuse model of plant-animal mutualism. PMID:19194502

  1. Dry habitats were crucibles of domestication in the evolution of agriculture in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branstetter, Michael G; Ješovnik, Ana; Sosa-Calvo, Jeffrey; Lloyd, Michael W; Faircloth, Brant C; Brady, Seán G; Schultz, Ted R

    2017-04-12

    The evolution of ant agriculture, as practised by the fungus-farming 'attine' ants, is thought to have arisen in the wet rainforests of South America about 55-65 Ma. Most subsequent attine agricultural evolution, including the domestication event that produced the ancestor of higher attine cultivars, is likewise hypothesized to have occurred in South American rainforests. The 'out-of-the-rainforest' hypothesis, while generally accepted, has never been tested in a phylogenetic context. It also presents a problem for explaining how fungal domestication might have occurred, given that isolation from free-living populations is required. Here, we use phylogenomic data from ultra-conserved element (UCE) loci to reconstruct the evolutionary history of fungus-farming ants, reduce topological uncertainty, and identify the closest non-fungus-growing ant relative. Using the phylogeny we infer the history of attine agricultural systems, habitat preference and biogeography. Our results show that the out-of-the-rainforest hypothesis is correct with regard to the origin of attine ant agriculture; however, contrary to expectation, we find that the transition from lower to higher agriculture is very likely to have occurred in a seasonally dry habitat, inhospitable to the growth of free-living populations of attine fungal cultivars. We suggest that dry habitats favoured the isolation of attine cultivars over the evolutionary time spans necessary for domestication to occur. © 2017 The Authors.

  2. Foraging of Psilocybe basidiocarps by the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lobicornis in Santa Fé, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiulionis, Virginia E; Weber, Roland Ws; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2013-12-01

    It is generally accepted that material collected by leaf-cutting ants of the genus Acromyrmex consists solely of plant matter, which is used in the nest as substrate for a symbiotic fungus providing nutrition to the ants. There is only one previous report of any leaf-cutting ant foraging directly on fungal basidiocarps. Basidiocarps of Psilocybe coprophila growing on cow dung were actively collected by workers of Acromyrmex lobicornis in Santa Fé province, Argentina. During this behaviour the ants displayed typical signals of recognition and continuously recruited other foragers to the task. Basidiocarps of different stages of maturity were being transported into the nest by particular groups of workers, while other workers collected plant material. The collection of mature basidiocarps with viable spores by leaf-cutting ants in nature adds substance to theories relating to the origin of fungiculture in these highly specialized social insects.

  3. Growing community : rooftop gardens for affordable housing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weeks, K.N. [California Univ., Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2007-07-01

    This paper reviewed the processes used in recently designed affordable housing roof garden projects in California, Montana and Georgia. Gardens create a sense of community through shared space and social interactions. As such, roof gardens can give residents of affordable housing the opportunity to experience the community-fostering benefits of gardening, with the added advantages of potentially lower energy bills and wastewater fees. The factors that should be considered in planning, design, construction and maintenance of roof gardens for affordable housing were also outlined. As places of refuge, gardens help people relax and promote healing, which is particularly important for physical, emotional, social and economic well-being. For the many residents of affordable housing who earn less than 50 per cent of the area median income, gardens offer a venue for establishing relationships with neighbours, many of whom they might otherwise never meet. They also offer a means to improved nutrition and food security, education and positive recreation for youth, and better aesthetic surroundings. While motivations for choosing green roofs varied widely across the projects, affordability was linked to 3 main areas, namely saving costs in design, construction and operations; getting the roof to generate funding; and, improving the quality of life in affordable housing. 17 refs., 12 figs.

  4. Study Of Lampungnese Traditional Home Garden Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratiwi, R. A.; Gunawan

    2017-10-01

    Lampung is one area in Indonesia which has a traditional culture that comes from two groups of descents, they are ulun Lampung Pepadun and ulun Lampung Saibatin. Lampungnese traditional culture has been well-known by Indonesian people for its traditional dances, traditional clothing, or traditional home architecture. However, Lampungnese traditional home garden recently may not yet been described. Information related to Lampungnese traditional home garden is still very limited and it does not yet represented the culture based design concept. This research was directed to identify the elements of the home garden and map it into design concept of the Lampungnese traditional home garden based on information of Lampungnese traditional culture. The study was conducted by using descriptive approach through literature review, interviews and cultural exploration, as well as field observation. The study was able to identify the elements forming the Lampungnese traditional home garden, namely gakhang hadap, walai, outdoor kitchenette, firewood place, outdoor kitchen, livestock barns, as well as plants. Space layout of the home garden comprises front yard (tengahbah/terambah/beruan), side yard (kebik/kakebik), and backyard (kudan/juyu/kebon). Each element of the garden is located in the right place of the space layout.

  5. Fundamental phenomenological categories of garden and landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Zgarbová

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The current scientific methods describing gardens and landscapes all over the world are not always sufficient for the purpose of deep understanding of specific and close relations between landscape/garden and its inhabitants/visitors. A new dimension of qualitative investigation of these phenomena and relations between humans and the environment, as distinguished from the common mechanistic methods, has to be acquired. While a systematic anti-mechanistic research on the interaction of humans and living space is carried out especially in the United Kingdom and the United States, Continental Europe persist mechanistic in its core.In Continental Europe phenomenology as well as hermeneutics are regarded mostly as the particular areas of abstract philosophical studies that do not refer enough to practical sciences such as, for example, garden and landscape architecture. However, there are some especially transatlantic centres of applied phenomenological research. This article examines the phenomenological and hermeneutical approach as it might be used to explore the specific field of garden and landscape issues. In the first step, the nature of hermeneutics and phenomenology as compared to the common mechanistic scientific methods is discussed and the parallels between hermeneutics and phenomenology are outlined. Then, using the phenomenological method helps we give evidence on the fundamental categories of garden and landscape. These categories, in contrast to mechanistic constructions, represent garden and landscape as they are intimately experienced by humans. The focus of this research is both methodological (it is an effort to articulate a method alternative to the objectivity and abstraction of strict science, to be used in the field of garden and landscape architecture and related areas and hermeneutical (it is an effort to achieve a deeper and profound understanding of garden and landscape as the irreplaceable base for every responsible

  6. Botanic gardens, herbaria and research: The UK experience ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The evolution of botanic gardens in the United Kingdom is outlined, with special regard to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The modern role of such gardens is discussed and particular attention is given to Kew‟s Breathing Planet Programme. Key words/phrases: Botanic gardens, Breathing Planet Programme, Kew, United ...

  7. Grow Science Achievement in Your Library with School Gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackey, Bonnie; Stewart, Jeniffer Mackey

    2008-01-01

    Over the past decade or so, gardens have been blossoming in schools all across the United States. These gardens are as varied as their schools and are as unique as each child who tends to them. Some are bountiful vegetable gardens, and others are arid natural habitat gardens. Some are acres of land with entire classes devoted to their teachings…

  8. Use of Demonstration Gardens in Extension: Challenges and Benefits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glen, Charlotte D.; Moore, Gary E.; Jayaratne, K. S. U.; Bradley, Lucy K.

    2014-01-01

    Extension agents' use of demonstration gardens was studied to determine how gardens are employed in horticultural programming, perceived benefits and challenges of using gardens for Extension programming, and desired competencies. Gardens are primarily used to enhance educational efforts by providing hands-on learning experiences. Greatest…

  9. Evaluating the effect of therapeutic gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Yuko

    2004-01-01

    Sometimes the visitors to therapeutic gardens do not necessarily experience the garden the way the designers intended. A postoccupancy evaluation (POE) can reveal discrepancies between the designer's intentions and use of the environment by the actual visitors. A POE is a user-oriented assessment that elicits the opinions of the visitors to a building, facility, or environment. This paper describes a POE of therapeutic gardens at a multilevel care facility for the aged. The population included patients at various stages of Alzheimer's disease progression.

  10. Visual structure of a Japanese Zen garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Tonder, Gert J; Lyons, Michael J; Ejima, Yoshimichi

    2002-09-26

    The dry landscape garden at Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, a UNESCO world heritage site, intrigues hundreds of thousands of visitors every year with its abstract, sparse and seemingly random composition of rocks and moss on an otherwise empty rectangle of raked gravel. Here we apply a model of shape analysis in early visual processing to show that the 'empty' space of the garden is implicitly structured and critically aligned with the temple's architecture. We propose that this invisible design creates the visual appeal of the garden and was probably intended as an inherent feature of the composition.

  11. Experimental Garden Plots for Botany Lessons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorodnicheva, V. V.; Vasil'eva, E. I.

    1976-01-01

    Discussion of the botany lessons used at two schools points out the need for fifth and sixth grade students to be taught the principles of plant life through observations made at an experimental garden plot at the school. (ND)

  12. Immune priming and pathogen resistance in ant queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gálvez, Dumas; Chapuisat, Michel

    2014-05-01

    Growing empirical evidence indicates that invertebrates become more resistant to a pathogen following initial exposure to a nonlethal dose; yet the generality, mechanisms, and adaptive value of such immune priming are still under debate. Because life-history theory predicts that immune priming and large investment in immunity should be more frequent in long-lived species, we here tested for immune priming and pathogen resistance in ant queens, which have extraordinarily long life span. We exposed virgin and mated queens of Lasius niger and Formica selysi to a low dose of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, before challenging them with a high dose of the same pathogen. We found evidence for immune priming in naturally mated queens of L. niger. In contrast, we found no sign of priming in virgin queens of L. niger, nor in virgin or experimentally mated queens of F. selysi, which indicates that immune priming in ant queens varies according to mating status and mating conditions or species. In both ant species, mated queens showed higher pathogen resistance than virgin queens, which suggests that mating triggers an up-regulation of the immune system. Overall, mated ant queens combine high reproductive output, very long life span, and elevated investment in immune defense. Hence, ant queens are able to invest heavily in both reproduction and maintenance, which can be explained by the fact that mature queens will be protected and nourished by their worker offspring.

  13. Ants and ant scent reduce bumblebee pollination of artificial flowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cembrowski, Adam R; Tan, Marcus G; Thomson, James D; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

    Ants on flowers can disrupt pollination by consuming rewards or harassing pollinators, but it is difficult to disentangle the effects of these exploitative and interference forms of competition on pollinator behavior. Using highly rewarding and quickly replenishing artificial flowers that simulate male or female function, we allowed bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) to forage (1) on flowers with or without ants (Myrmica rubra) and (2) on flowers with or without ant scent cues. Bumblebees transferred significantly more pollen analogue both to and from ant-free flowers, demonstrating that interference competition with ants is sufficient to modify pollinator foraging behavior. Bees also removed significantly less pollen analogue from ant-scented flowers than from controls, making this the first study to show that bees can use ant scent to avoid harassment at flowers. Ant effects on pollinator behavior, possibly in addition to their effects on pollen viability, may contribute to the evolution of floral traits minimizing ant visitation.

  14. Abnormal ''Contamination' Levels On Garden Appliances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    German, U.; Levinson, S.; Elmelech, V.; Pelled, O.; Tshuva, A.; Laichter, Y.

    1999-01-01

    During routine contamination checks we encountered an abnormal high level of Alpha and Beta emitting radioisotopes on working gloves of employees of the gardening department. It came out that the source was due to ''contamination'' levels on steering wheels of some gardening machines. In order to ensure that no real contamination of these workers was involved , a series of checks was started to identity the source of the abnormal levels found during monitoring

  15. Urban exterior graphical design in botanical garden

    OpenAIRE

    Despot, Katerina; Sandeva, Vaska

    2013-01-01

    Botanical Garden as an art picture and all the content is a strong source of inspiration for the creation of advertising graphics, which is an important segment for the garden, attracting tourists and description of contents. Graphic design is an activity in which a quantity of information gives a comfortable and aesthetic form. This often involves the use of typography, images, colors, and others. Graphic design incorporates in-depth knowledge of the composition and shape, color, color...

  16. A Garden City in Southeast Asia

    OpenAIRE

    O'Neill, Jesse

    2017-01-01

    Not long after Ebenezer Howard’s Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, the English ‘garden city’ became an aspirational urban model for places in colonial Malaya like Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Singapore. What originally responded to nineteenth century industrial expansion was in this context a reaction to early twentieth century laissez-faire urbanism, aiming to beautify cities, improve health, and boost commerce. From the 1950s, private developers announced their ‘garden cities’, which c...

  17. School Gardens in the Distrito Federal, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Bernardon, Renata; Schmitz, Bethsáida De Abreu Soares; Recine, Elisabetta Gioconda Iole; Rodrigues, Maria De Lourdes Carlos Ferreirinha; Gabriel, Cristine Garcia

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to identify experiences with gardens in public schools in the Distrito Federal, Brazil, and to analyze factors involved in their use to promote healthy eating habits. METHODS: This is an analytical cross-sectional study with data collection in two phases: (1) telephone contact with all public schools in the Distrito Federal; (2) interviews conducted with a sample of schools with a garden (n=105). RESULTS: Of the 582 schools in the Distrito Fed...

  18. The Müller-Lyer illusion in ant foraging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoko Sakiyama

    Full Text Available The Müller-Lyer illusion is a classical geometric illusion in which the apparent (perceived length of a line depends on whether the line terminates in an arrow tail or arrowhead. This effect may be caused by economic compensation for the gap between the physical stimulus and visual fields. Here, we show that the Müller-Lyer illusion can also be produced by the foraging patterns of garden ants (Lasius niger and that the pattern obtained can be explained by a simple, asynchronously updated foraging ant model. Our results suggest that the geometric illusion may be a byproduct of the foraging process, in which local interactions underlying efficient exploitation can also give rise to global exploration, and that visual information processing in human could implement similar modulation between local efficient processing and widespread computation.

  19. Social prophylaxis: group interaction promotes collective immunity in ant colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugelvig, Line V; Cremer, Sylvia

    2007-01-01

    , infection of the brood was prevented in our experiment by behavioral changes of treated and naive workers. Parasite-treated ants stayed away from the brood chamber, whereas their naive nestmates increased brood-care activities. Our findings reveal a direct benefit for individuals to perform hygienic......Life in a social group increases the risk of disease transmission. To counteract this threat, social insects have evolved manifold antiparasite defenses, ranging from social exclusion of infected group members to intensive care. It is generally assumed that individuals performing hygienic behaviors...... risk infecting themselves, suggesting a high direct cost of helping. Our work instead indicates the opposite for garden ants. Social contact with individual workers, which were experimentally exposed to a fungal parasite, provided a clear survival benefit to nontreated, naive group members upon later...

  20. Trace element analysis in ants collected in Japan, Finland and Sweden

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kitao, K. [National Inst. of Radiological Sciences, Chiba (Japan)

    1992-12-31

    Particle induced x-ray emission has been used to determine the concentration of trace elements in ants (Formicidae). Scanning PIXE analysis was also used to determine the distribution of these elements. Samples of ants were collected from gardens, buildings or from the roadway in Japan. Finland and Sweden. The only pre-treatments were dusting and washing. In each run of experiments we used only one individual ant and have obtained the analytical results of a reasonable accuracy. We have detected chemical minor elements, i.e., Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Rb, Br and Sr. The PIXE, and scanning PIXE method proved to be useful and sensitive enough to measure trace elements in such small insects as ants. (author).

  1. Trace element analysis in ants collected in Japan, Finland and Sweden

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kitao, K.

    1992-01-01

    Particle induced x-ray emission has been used to determine the concentration of trace elements in ants (Formicidae). Scanning PIXE analysis was also used to determine the distribution of these elements. Samples of ants were collected from gardens, buildings or from the roadway in Japan. Finland and Sweden. The only pre-treatments were dusting and washing. In each run of experiments we used only one individual ant and have obtained the analytical results of a reasonable accuracy. We have detected chemical minor elements, i.e., Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Rb, Br and Sr. The PIXE, and scanning PIXE method proved to be useful and sensitive enough to measure trace elements in such small insects as ants. (author)

  2. Floating / Travelling Gardens of (Postcolonial Time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Concilio

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This essay on travelling gardens of (postcolonial time opens with two iconic images of floating gardens in contemporary postcolonial literature: Will Phantom’s bio-garbage rafter, which saves him in the midst of a cyclone in Carpentaria (2008, by the Aboriginal author Alexis Wright, and Pi’s carnivore island-organism in Life of Pi (2001, which cannot save him from his shipwreck, by Canadian writer Yan Martel. These floating, hybrid gardens of the Anthropocene precede the real travelling gardens of both Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table (2011 and Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis Trilogy (2008-2015, two authors who both indirectly and directly tell the story of botanical gardens in Asia, and of plant and seed smuggling and transplantation (“displacement” also hinting at their historical and economic colonial implications. For, after all, botanical gardens imply a very specific version of care, Cura (Robert Pogue Harrison 2009, while embodying a precise, imperial scientific and economic project (Brockway 2002; Johnson 2011.

  3. Allotment gardening and health: a comparative survey among allotment gardeners and their neighbors without an allotment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Berg, Agnes E; van Winsum-Westra, Marijke; de Vries, Sjerp; van Dillen, Sonja M E

    2010-11-23

    The potential contribution of allotment gardens to a healthy and active life-style is increasingly recognized, especially for elderly populations. However, few studies have empirically examined beneficial effects of allotment gardening. In the present study the health, well-being and physical activity of older and younger allotment gardeners was compared to that of controls without an allotment. A survey was conducted among 121 members of 12 allotment sites in the Netherlands and a control group of 63 respondents without an allotment garden living next to the home addresses of allotment gardeners. The survey included five self-reported health measures (perceived general health, acute health complaints, physical constraints, chronic illnesses, and consultations with GP), four self-reported well-being measures (stress, life satisfaction, loneliness, and social contacts with friends) and one measure assessing self-reported levels of physical activity in summer. Respondents were divided into a younger and older group at the median of 62 years which equals the average retirement age in the Netherlands. After adjusting for income, education level, gender, stressful life events, physical activity in winter, and access to a garden at home as covariates, both younger and older allotment gardeners reported higher levels of physical activity during the summer than neighbors in corresponding age categories. The impacts of allotment gardening on health and well-being were moderated by age. Allotment gardeners of 62 years and older scored significantly or marginally better on all measures of health and well-being than neighbors in the same age category. Health and well-being of younger allotment gardeners did not differ from younger neighbors. The greater health and well-being benefits of allotment gardening for older gardeners may be related to the finding that older allotment gardeners were more oriented towards gardening and being active, and less towards passive relaxation

  4. Allotment gardening and health: a comparative survey among allotment gardeners and their neighbors without an allotment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van Winsum-Westra Marijke

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The potential contribution of allotment gardens to a healthy and active life-style is increasingly recognized, especially for elderly populations. However, few studies have empirically examined beneficial effects of allotment gardening. In the present study the health, well-being and physical activity of older and younger allotment gardeners was compared to that of controls without an allotment. Methods A survey was conducted among 121 members of 12 allotment sites in the Netherlands and a control group of 63 respondents without an allotment garden living next to the home addresses of allotment gardeners. The survey included five self-reported health measures (perceived general health, acute health complaints, physical constraints, chronic illnesses, and consultations with GP, four self-reported well-being measures (stress, life satisfaction, loneliness, and social contacts with friends and one measure assessing self-reported levels of physical activity in summer. Respondents were divided into a younger and older group at the median of 62 years which equals the average retirement age in the Netherlands. Results After adjusting for income, education level, gender, stressful life events, physical activity in winter, and access to a garden at home as covariates, both younger and older allotment gardeners reported higher levels of physical activity during the summer than neighbors in corresponding age categories. The impacts of allotment gardening on health and well-being were moderated by age. Allotment gardeners of 62 years and older scored significantly or marginally better on all measures of health and well-being than neighbors in the same age category. Health and well-being of younger allotment gardeners did not differ from younger neighbors. The greater health and well-being benefits of allotment gardening for older gardeners may be related to the finding that older allotment gardeners were more oriented towards gardening

  5. Gardening in the desert: a spatial optimization approach to locating gardens in rapidly expanding urban environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Elizabeth A; Tong, Daoqin; Credit, Kevin

    2017-10-16

    Food access is a global issue, and for this reason, a wealth of studies are dedicated to understanding the location of food deserts and the benefits of urban gardens. However, few studies have linked these two strands of research together to analyze whether urban gardening activity may be a step forward in addressing issues of access for food desert residents. The Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area is used as a case to demonstrate the utility of spatial optimization models for siting urban gardens near food deserts and on vacant land. The locations of urban gardens are derived from a list obtained from the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension office at the University of Arizona which were geo located and aggregated to Census tracts. Census tracts were then assigned to one of three categories: tracts that contain a garden, tracts that are immediately adjacent to a tract with a garden, and all other non-garden/non-adjacent census tracts. Analysis of variance is first used to ascertain whether there are statistical differences in the demographic, socio-economic, and land use profiles of these three categories of tracts. A maximal covering spatial optimization model is then used to identify potential locations for future gardening activities. A constraint of these models is that gardens be located on vacant land, which is a growing problem in rapidly urbanizing environments worldwide. The spatial analysis of garden locations reveals that they are centrally located in tracts with good food access. Thus, the current distribution of gardens does not provide an alternative food source to occupants of food deserts. The maximal covering spatial optimization model reveals that gardens could be sited in alternative locations to better serve food desert residents. In fact, 53 gardens may be located to cover 96.4% of all food deserts. This is an improvement over the current distribution of gardens where 68 active garden sites provide coverage to a scant 8.4% of food desert

  6. Allotment gardening and health: a comparative survey among allotment gardeners and their neighbors without an allotment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, van den A.E.; Winsum-Westra, van M.; Vries, de S.; Dillen, van S.M.E.

    2010-01-01

    Background - The potential contribution of allotment gardens to a healthy and active life-style is increasingly recognized, especially for elderly populations. However, few studies have empirically examined beneficial effects of allotment gardening. In the present study the health, well-being and

  7. Up the Garden Path: A Chemical Trail through the Cambridge University Botanic Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battle, Gary M.; Kyd, Gwenda O.; Groom, Colin R.; Allen, Frank H.; Day, Juliet; Upson, Timothy

    2012-01-01

    The living world is a rich source of chemicals with many medicines, dyes, flavorings, and foodstuffs having their origins in compounds produced by plants. We describe a chemical trail through the plant holdings of the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. Visitors to the gardens are provided with a laminated trail guide with 22 stopping points…

  8. [Healing gardens: recommendations and criteria for design].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivasseau-Jonveaux, Thérèse; Pop, Alina; Fescharek, Reinhard; Chuzeville, Stanislas Bah; Jacob, Christel; Demarche, Laëtitia; Soulon, Laure; Malerba, Gabriel

    2012-09-01

    The French Alzheimer plan anticipates new specialized structures for cognitive rehabilitation and psycho-behavioural therapy of Alzheimer's patients: the cognitive-behavioural units as follow-care units, the units of reinforced hospitalization inside the long term care units and the adapted activities units. this plan indicates the need to make healing gardens integral parts of these units. The benefits of green space in urban environments has been demonstrated with regards to physical, psychological and sociological effects and similarly studies in hospitals have revealed objective and measurable improvements of patients well being. Although green spaces and gardens are available in many French care units, they are rarely specifically adapted to the needs of Alzheimer's patients. For the garden "art, memory and life" a specific concept guided by a neuropsychological approach was developed, complemented by an artistic vision based on cultural invariants. It is already used in the frame of non-pharmacological therapies to improve symptoms such as deambulation, sleep disorders, apathy and aggressive behaviors. Based on the literature, and our experience and research, recommendations for the design of such gardens dedicated to Alzheimer's patients can be proposed. Beyond taking into account obvious aspects relating to security, allowing for free access, a careful design of walk-ways and a conscious choice of plants is needed. A systematic analysis of the existing green spaces or garden must be conducted in order to pinpoint the weakness of the space and identify the potential for developing it into a real healing garden. Evaluation of adapted questionnaires for users and professionals allow to establish a list of requirements combining both user requests and therapeutic needs as basis for the design of the garden as well as to evaluate during the course of the project, whether the needs of the various stakeholders have been met or if adjustments are necessary.

  9. Studies of Laboulbeniales on Myrmica ants (III: myrmecophilous arthropods as alternative hosts of Rickia wasmannii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pfliegler Walter P.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Myrmecophilous arthropods and their manifold relations to host ants are interesting from an evolutionary perspective. Rickia wasmannii is an ectoparasitic fungus belonging to the Laboulbeniales order. Here, we show that inquiline mites can become infected by R. wasmannii, which was thought to be restricted to the genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae. This is the first report of R. wasmannii from an alternative host in another subphylum (Chelicerata. We also found immature fruiting bodies on a larva of Microdon myrmicae (Diptera: Syrphidae, which represents the first report of any Rickia species on flies. This fungus is capable of infecting alternative, unrelated host species as they co-occur in the ant nest “microhabitat”. These observations provide direct evidence for ecological specificity in Laboulbeniales. The presence of R. wasmannii on inquilines in Myrmica ant nests suggests that the parasite may have adapted to the ant nest environment and is less dependent on acquiring specific nutrients from the hosts. However, the alternative cannot be excluded; these infections might also represent chance events if the fungus is incapable of fulfilling its life cycle.

  10. Iglesia en Garden Grove, California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neutra, Richard J.

    1964-04-01

    Full Text Available The Community Church, in Garden Grove has a ground area of 1067 m2 and provides 672 seats for the congregation. Its total planned capacity is 1000 people. The total project involves halls for cultural and social activities, church office, kitchen, as well as secondary annexes; also a Sunday school, with a nursery and schoolrooms for children of various ages. Outdoors, there is an ample parking space, where the motorcars—the Americans' second home—can be orientated facing the altar. Thus their occupants can follow the Mass visually, when the large sliding doors are opened, at the beginning of the service; then, at the end of the service these doors are slowly and solemnly closed. Furthermore, these automobile owners can also follow the service by listening to it through individual loudspeakers, which are supplied to each vehicle. Once more Mr. Neutra has designed thinking of man as a human being, and finding room for the women the children and the men who go to church not only inside the church, but also within the more intimate atmosphere of their own cars. He feels that religion must be something living, evolving with the times. The modern congregation is not that of the primitive Christians, living in their sombre catacombs, nor is it similar to the picturesque and intense believers of the Middle Ages. He has therefore created a happy solution, very apt to the anxious and hopeful people of today.La iglesia de la Comunidad de Garden Grove ocupa una superficie de 1.067,45 m2, y dispone de 672 asientos y capacidad total para 1.000 feligreses. El complejo parroquial consta, además, de una serie de dependencias anexas: salas para actividades culturales, sociales, oficinas de la parroquia, cocina..., etc., y una escuela dominical; esta última, con guardería infantil y aulas para grupos de diferentes edades. En el exterior ha sido dispuesta una zona de aparcamiento, en la que los coches familiares—segunda casa de los norteamericanos

  11. A strategy for the survey of urban garden soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, C.; Chenot, E. D.; Cortet, J.; Douay, F.; Dumat, C.; Pernin, C.; Pourrut, B.

    2012-04-01

    In France and all over the world, there is no systematic data available on the quality (fertility and contamination) of garden soils. Nevertheless, there is a growing need for a typology and for a method dedicated to national and international garden soil survey. This inventory is much needed in the context of environmental risk assessment, to predict the potential impact on human health of the direct contact with garden soils and of the consumption of vegetables from gardens. The state of the art on the international knowledge on garden soils, gardening practices and food production, shows that gardens remain poorly known and very complex ecological, economical and social systems. Their global quality is the result of a wide number of factors including environment, history, specific characteristics of the gardens, gardeners and their practices, plant and/or animal productions and socio-economic context. The aim is then to better know the determinism of the agronomic, environmental and sanitary properties of gardens as a function of gardening practices and their impact on the quality of soils and plants. We propose a definition of "garden" and more generally of all the field "garden". The system "garden" is represented by attributes (soil and plant characteristics) and factors with various impacts (e.g. environment > soil parent material > former land uses > age and sex of gardener > gardening practices > socio-professional group > type and proportion of productions > climate > age of the garden > size of the garden > education, information > cultural origin > functions of the garden > regulations). A typology of gardens including 7 selected factors and associated categories and a method for describing, sampling and characterizing a population of gardens representative (for a country) are proposed. Based on the statistical analysis on regional databases, we have determined and proposed an optimum size for the collected population of garden soils. The discussion of

  12. Commentary: Warring ants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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 ...

  13. Fire Ant Allergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 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, ...

  14. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The very basis of this thesis is the collective behavior of ants in colonies. Ants are an excellent example of how rather simple behavior on a local level can lead to complex behavior on a global level that is beneficial for the individuals. The key in the self-organization of ants is communication

  15. A metabolic pathway assembled by enzyme selection may support herbivory of leaf-cutter ants on plant starch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacci, Maurício; Bueno, Odair Correa; Rodrigues, André; Pagnocca, Fernando Carlos; Somera, Alexandre Favarin; Silva, Aline

    2013-05-01

    Mutualistic associations shape the evolution in different organism groups. The association between the leaf-cutter ant Atta sexdens and the basidiomycete fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus has enabled them to degrade starch from plant material generating glucose, which is a major food source for both mutualists. Starch degradation is promoted by enzymes contained in the fecal fluid that ants deposit on the fungus culture in cut leaves inside the nests. To understand the dynamics of starch degradation in ant nests, we purified and characterized starch degrading enzymes from the ant fecal fluid and from laboratory cultures of L. gongylophorus and found that the ants intestine positively selects fungal α-amylase and a maltase likely produced by the ants, as a negative selection is imposed to fungal maltase and ant α-amylases. Selected enzymes are more resistant to catabolic repression by glucose and proposed to structure a metabolic pathway in which the fungal α-amylase initiates starch catalysis to generate byproducts which are sequentially degraded by the maltase to produce glucose. The pathway is responsible for effective degradation of starch and proposed to represent a major evolutionary innovation enabling efficient starch assimilation from plant material by leaf-cutters. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The Therapy Garden Nacadia®

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sidenius, Ulrik

    collaborative process that used state-of-the-art evidence and expert knowledge on therapy gardens and NBT. This PhD project is an exploratory study that examines the relationship between the design of a therapy garden, a nature-based therapy program and citizens with severe stress. The overall aim is to gain......The therapy garden Nacadia® is designed to provide a setting and framework for a nature-based therapy (NBT) program for people suffering from stress-related illnesses. It was established through an evidence-based health design in landscape architecture (EBHDL) process, an interdisciplinary...... a deeper understanding of and develop more knowledge about landscape architecture in a therapeutic intervention under Danish conditions. Data were collected from 42 severely stress citizens during a 10 week NBT program in Nacadia. Several data collection and data processing methods were used: Landscape...

  17. ROOF GARDENS AS LANDSCAPING IN MODERN TIMES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaska Sandeva

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available As we know we live in a process of industrialization and massive building of residential buildings, both individually and as a collective housing. Given all that happens even with the procedural other things to come up with all this, the country remains less green space that is required for a single environment, so the roof gardens are the best choice for all of this to get a beautiful country. For roof gardens should be given the explanation that, roof gardens, call it beautiful, flat roofs, and with gentle slope, with rich composition intensively maintained and often impose a constructive adaptation of the building and benefits by the architectural beauty, insulation, absorption. Commonly found in urban areas and almost always are placed foliage with not very high growth.

  18. Scholar garden: Educational strategy for life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benito Rodríguez Haros

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available About five years ago, and worried about the erosion of knowledge related to the process of food production, access and safety, anagroenvironmental vegetable garden was established and named “Un pasito en grande” (A large baby step, where the use of agrochemicals (fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, etc. are forbidden. Everything takes place with the participation of boys, girls, fathers and mothers of the Colegio Ateneo nursery school of Tezoyuca, State of Mexico. Childrens' participation has helpedspread the word about the experience and little by little, the strategy has spread to other educational spaces. The school garden has become a space to raise ecological and environmental awareness that is strengthened with daily activities and specific activities that are implemented. The school garden is based on a series of philosophical principles that help reflect upon our learning-doing; in methodological terms, its implementation is based on ethics and on the principles of permaculture.

  19. A New Look for the Globe Gardens

    CERN Multimedia

    Katarina Anthony

    2010-01-01

    Designs to develop the grounds of the Globe of Science and Innovation have recently been unveiled. The plan is to extend the visitor activities on offer, transforming the area into a public arena for scientific exploration.   Design for the new Globe Gardens. © Jencks Squared and Groupe H. After months of conceptual development, plans to develop the site around the Globe are taking shape. The innovative designs were drawn up for CERN by a unique collaboration consisting of landscape architects Charles and Lily Jencks, and "Groupe H", a group of architects headed by Globe designer Hervé Dessimoz. They comprise new venues, covered walkways, a café and gift shop, a separate VIP entrance and a physics-inspired garden for visitors. The landscape itself becomes a feature – dramatically altered to create a cosmic garden formed by shaped mounds, ponds, and a natural amphitheatre for public events. “The new exhibition in the G...

  20. Rhabdomyolysis and Acute Renal Failure after Gardening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeljko Vucicevic

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Acute nontraumatic exertional rhabdomyolysis may arise when the energy supply to muscle is insufficient to meet demands, particularly in physically untrained individuals. We report on a psychiatric patient who developed large bruises and hemorrhagic blisters on both hands and arms, rhabdomyolysis of both forearm muscles with a moderate compartment syndrome, and consecutive acute renal failure following excessive work in the garden. Although specifically asked, the patient denied any hard physical work or gardening, and heteroanamnestic data were not available. The diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis was easy to establish, but until reliable anamnestic data were obtained, the etiology remained uncertain. Four days after arrival, the patient recalled working hard in the garden. The etiology of rhabdomyolysis was finally reached, and the importance of anamnestic data was once more confirmed.

  1. Caterpillars and fungal pathogens: two co-occurring parasites of an ant-plant mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Roux

    Full Text Available In mutualisms, each interacting species obtains resources from its partner that it would obtain less efficiently if alone, and so derives a net fitness benefit. In exchange for shelter (domatia and food, mutualistic plant-ants protect their host myrmecophytes from herbivores, encroaching vines and fungal pathogens. Although selective filters enable myrmecophytes to host those ant species most favorable to their fitness, some insects can by-pass these filters, exploiting the rewards supplied whilst providing nothing in return. This is the case in French Guiana for Cecropia obtusa (Cecropiaceae as Pseudocabima guianalis caterpillars (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae can colonize saplings before the installation of their mutualistic Azteca ants. The caterpillars shelter in the domatia and feed on food bodies (FBs whose production increases as a result. They delay colonization by ants by weaving a silk shield above the youngest trichilium, where the FBs are produced, blocking access to them. This probable temporal priority effect also allows female moths to lay new eggs on trees that already shelter caterpillars, and so to occupy the niche longer and exploit Cecropia resources before colonization by ants. However, once incipient ant colonies are able to develop, they prevent further colonization by the caterpillars. Although no higher herbivory rates were noted, these caterpillars are ineffective in protecting their host trees from a pathogenic fungus, Fusarium moniliforme (Deuteromycetes, that develops on the trichilium in the absence of mutualistic ants. Therefore, the Cecropia treelets can be parasitized by two often overlooked species: the caterpillars that shelter in the domatia and feed on FBs, delaying colonization by mutualistic ants, and the fungal pathogen that develops on old trichilia. The cost of greater FB production plus the presence of the pathogenic fungus likely affect tree growth.

  2. Reflexions on Urban Gardening in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyn Gustedt

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This article reflects on traditional and contemporary gardening movements in Germany. The focus is on forms of gardening, that take place in spaces subject to land lease agreements and similar forms of tenancy or of illegal land take or squatting. The author examines various definitions taking into account the variety of practices, the development of urban gardening over time, and the respective backgrounds or values that users relate to such gardening activities. The examination of definitions led to the drawing up of a timeline of traditional and contemporary gardening movements in Germany and to the tentative approaching of this issue from a semantic perspective. The latter is due to the usage of many different terms mostly as yet undefined in a legal sense. Translation into English or, most likely, to any other language, further blurs the common understanding of the terms used. The author concludes with some considerations on these gardening movements in relation to urban sustainable developments. A presentation at the 5th Rencontres Internationals de Reims on Sustainability Studies, dedicated to Urban Agriculture – Fostering the Urban-Rural Continuum, which took place in October 2015 in Reims/France was the starting point of this article. The basis of this article is a literature review, nourished to a certain extent by observations randomly made over many years and complemented through talks with competent young colleagues. Special thanks go to Martin Sondermann, Leibniz University Hannover, who shared his research experience in various discussions with the author, as well as to Friederike Stelter, internship student at the author’s place of work, who gave highly appreciated support to the preparation of the presentation.

  3. The Influence of Garden Size and Floral Cover on Pollen Deposition in Urban Community Gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin C. Matteson

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Many cucurbits, such as cucumbers, squashes and pumpkins, depend on pollinating bees in order to set fruit. However, fruit yield and progeny vigor in these plants generally decreases as heterospecific pollen deposition increases. We studied how the spatial area dedicated to cucumbers (Cucumis sativis, versus other flowering plants, influenced the deposition of conspecific and heterospecific pollen on cucumber plants in New York City community gardens. We also examined the effect of garden size on conspecific and heterospecific pollen deposition on cucumber plants. Female flowers were collected from potted cucumber plants that had been experimentally placed into the gardens, specifically for this study, or that were established in raised beds by members of the community garden. In the laboratory, pollen grains were isolated from the flower by acetolysis, and the number of heterospecific and conspecific cucumber pollen grains were quantified. Conspecific pollen deposition was positively and significantly associated with the size of a community garden, as well as with the area of each garden dedicated to non-cucumber, flowering plants (i.e. floral cover and the area of each garden dedicated to cucumber plants (i.e. cucumber cover. Although floral cover explained a greater proportion of the variance, cucumber cover had the strongest effect on conspecific pollen deposition. Heterospecific pollen deposition was positively and significantly related to garden area. However, no significant relationship was found between heterospecific pollen deposition and floral cover, or cucumber cover. Based upon these results, we hypothesize that floral cover positively impacts conspecific pollen deposition by attracting a greater number of pollinators into an urban garden, and that total cucumber area positively impacts conspecific pollen deposition when pollinators are locally foraging within a garden. We suggest that the arrangement of plants within a garden can

  4. Transcriptome of an entomophthoralean fungus (Pandora formicae) shows molecular machinery adjusted for successful host exploitation and transmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malagocka, Joanna; Grell, Morten Nedergaard; Lange, Lene

    2015-01-01

    Pandora formicae is an obligate entomopathogenic fungus from the phylum Entomophthoromycota, known to infect only ants from the genus Formica. In the final stages of infection, the fungus induces the so-called summit disease syndrome, manipulating the host to climb up vegetation prior to death...... and fixing the dead cadaver to the surface, all to increase efficient spore dispersal. To investigate this fascinating pathogen-host interaction, we constructed interaction transcriptome libraries from two final infection stages from the material sampled in the field: (1) when the cadavers were fixed...

  5. The centenary of the School Botanical Garden from Blaj

    OpenAIRE

    Leon Sorin MUNTEAN

    1982-01-01

    The development of the first school-botanical garden from Blaj is strongly connected with the development of botanical research at the University and Agronomy Insitute from Cluj-Napoca. The first curators of the garden A. Uilacan, A. Cheteanu, Al. Borza and I. Popu-Cimpeanu studied in Cluj. Prof. Al. Borza developed the medicinal and crop plant collections in collaboration with B. Pater, former head of our agrobotanical garden. Later the botanical garden of the University, became famous under...

  6. IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF KITCHEN GARDENING TRAINING UNDER WATERSHED PROGRAMME

    OpenAIRE

    Tabinda Qaiser; Hassnain Shah; Sajida Taj; Murad Ali

    2013-01-01

    Kitchen Gardening Project is the revolutionary step to increase vegetables production as well as provision of cheap vegetables to the consumers. The main focus of the study was to assess the impact of kitchen gardening training given by Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) under watershed project in Arokas and Ghoragali. Capacity building of rural women in Kitchen Gardening was the focus and twenty trainees of kitchen gardening were selected randomly from each location to assess the impa...

  7. Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Currie, Cameron R.

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that hosts are selected to prevent mixing of genetically different symbionts when competition among lineages reduces the productivity of a mutualism. The symbionts themselves may also defend their interests: recent studies of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants showed...... and the original symbiont, and by the ant species the novel symbiont came from. The colony founding stage may thus provide an efficient but transient window for horizontal transmission, in which the fungus is unable to actively defend its partnership position before the host feeds on it, so that host fecal...

  8. Relating Social Inclusion and Environmental Issues in Botanic Gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergou, Asimina; Willison, Julia

    2016-01-01

    Botanic gardens have been evolving, responding to the changing needs of society, from their outset as medicinal gardens of monasteries and university gardens to more recently as organizations that contribute to the conservation of plant genetic resources. Considering that social and environmental issues are deeply intertwined and cannot be tackled…

  9. Elementary School Garden Programs Enhance Science Education for All Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rye, James A.; Selmer, Sarah J.; Pennington, Sara; Vanhorn, Laura; Fox, Sarah; Kane, Sarah

    2012-01-01

    A national movement is underway to establish elementary school gardens, which can serve both academic and social purposes. These gardens can positively impact students' science achievement and provide the thematic and hands-on approach especially conducive to learning for students with disabilities. Garden-based learning (GBL) broadens the scope…

  10. School-Community Gardening: Learning, Living, Earning, and Giving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallavan, Nancy P.; Bowles, Freddie A.

    2012-01-01

    Elementary teacher Ms. Huff realized that her third grade students were limited in their knowledge and experiences related to gardening. Most of today's young learners in the United States do not live on farms, and few families maintain gardens. Only a few of Ms. Huff's students could say they had a family garden. In schools, students learn about…

  11. Gardening Promotes Neuroendocrine and Affective Restoration from Stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Den Berg, Agnes E.; Custers, Mariette H. G.

    Stress-relieving effects of gardening were hypothesized and tested in a field experiment. Thirty allotment gardeners performed a stressful Stroop task and were then randomly assigned to 30 minutes of outdoor gardening or indoor reading on their own allotment plot. Salivary cortisol levels and

  12. Gardening promotes neuroendocrine and affective restoration from stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, van den A.E.; Custers, M.H.G.

    2011-01-01

    Stress-relieving effects of gardening were hypothesized and tested in a field experiment. Thirty allotment gardeners performed a stressful Stroop task and were then randomly assigned to 30 minutes of outdoor gardening or indoor reading on their own allotment plot. Salivary cortisol levels and

  13. Rural life in the city: the chalet garden in Denmark

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amy Damin; James F. Palmer

    2003-01-01

    Allotment gardens with small cottages make a rural lifestyle partially available in urban areas. Temporary living quarters, combined with the tending of annual and perennial plants, let urbanites coexist with nature for a few months out of the year. This paper investigates the history and social life these gardens play in Denmark. A particular garden, Sano near...

  14. School Gardens: Teaching and Learning outside the Front Door

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passy, Rowena

    2014-01-01

    This article reports on two projects: one that investigated the impact of school gardens on primary children's learning and one that is currently exploring the pedagogies involved in teaching children in the garden. The evidence presented suggests that school gardens can be an interesting and effective way of engaging children with learning, but…

  15. Demography of Zoo Animals in Four Zoological Gardens in South ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A study was conducted between October and December 2012 to determine the demography of animals in Zoological gardens in South-western Nigeria, using questionnaires and records of the Zoological gardens. A total of 250 animals were in the four Zoological gardens in the zone with the avians, reptiles and primates ...

  16. Urban community gardeners' knowledge and perceptions of soil contaminant risks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent F Kim

    Full Text Available Although urban community gardening can offer health, social, environmental, and economic benefits, these benefits must be weighed against the potential health risks stemming from exposure to contaminants such as heavy metals and organic chemicals that may be present in urban soils. Individuals who garden at or eat food grown in contaminated urban garden sites may be at risk of exposure to such contaminants. Gardeners may be unaware of these risks and how to manage them. We used a mixed quantitative/qualitative research approach to characterize urban community gardeners' knowledge and perceptions of risks related to soil contaminant exposure. We conducted surveys with 70 gardeners from 15 community gardens in Baltimore, Maryland, and semi-structured interviews with 18 key informants knowledgeable about community gardening and soil contamination in Baltimore. We identified a range of factors, challenges, and needs related to Baltimore community gardeners' perceptions of risk related to soil contamination, including low levels of concern and inconsistent levels of knowledge about heavy metal and organic chemical contaminants, barriers to investigating a garden site's history and conducting soil tests, limited knowledge of best practices for reducing exposure, and a need for clear and concise information on how best to prevent and manage soil contamination. Key informants discussed various strategies for developing and disseminating educational materials to gardeners. For some challenges, such as barriers to conducting site history and soil tests, some informants recommended city-wide interventions that bypass the need for gardener knowledge altogether.

  17. Weed Garden: An Effective Tool for Extension Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Leslie; Patton, Aaron J.

    2015-01-01

    A weed garden was constructed to quantify and improve identification skills among clientele. The garden was planted with over 100 weed species based on surveys on problematic weeds. The weed garden proved useful for introducing additional hands-on learning activities into traditional lecture-based seminars. Through seminar and field day attendee…

  18. Predictors of School Garden Integration: Factors Critical to Gardening Success in New York City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, Kate Gardner; Burgermaster, Marissa; Jacquez, Raquel

    2018-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the level of integration of school gardens and identify factors that predict integration. 211 New York City schools completed a survey that collected demographic information and utilized the School Garden Integration Scale. A mean garden integration score was calculated, and multiple regression analysis was conducted to determine independent predictors of integration and assess relationships between individual integration characteristics and budget. The average integration score was 34.1 (of 57 points) and ranged from 8 to 53. Operating budget had significant influence on integration score, controlling for all other factors ( p integrated, as budget is a modifiable factor. When adequate funding is secured, a well-integrated garden may be established with proper planning and sound implementation.

  19. Exposure to creosote bush phenolic resin causes avoidance in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lobicornis (Formicidae: Attini La exposición a la resina fenólica de jarilla causa deterrencia en la hormiga cortadora de hojas Acromyrmex lobicornis (Formicidae: Attini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANA I MEDINA

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available We focused our study on the effects of Larrea cuneifolia phenolic resin on leaf-cutting ants from two populations (Sierra de las Quijadas National Park and San Roque of Acromyrmex lobicornis in San Luis, Argentina. We conducted two bioassays of food choice (field and laboratory to compare the effects of phenolic resin on ant workers from these two populations. Results of the field experiment indicated that there were no differences in preference for either leaves treated with resin or untreated leaves among colonies from both localities. However, results of the laboratory experiments with individual ants indicated a significant effect of population and treatment on the time spent in different treatments. While leaf-cutting individual workers from Quijadas preferred the phenolic resin, workers from San Roque avoided it. These results evidence that ants respond according to time of exposure to chemicals from plants (presence or absence and that the effects of resin among a population can be observed and measured on individual ant workers, even in the absence of fungus garden influences in the nest.Este estudio se ha centrado en los efectos que produce la resina fenólica de Larrea cuneifolia sobre dos poblaciones distintas (Parque Nacional de Sierra de las Quijadas y la localidad de San Roque de Acromyrmex lobicornis en San Luis, Argentina. Se disenaron dos tipos de bioensayos (a campo y en laboratorio para comparar los efectos de la resina fenólica sobre las hormigas obreras de estas dos poblaciones. Los resultados de los experimentos de elección de la oferta alimentaria en el campo, indicaron que no hubo ninguna diferencia de preferencia entre las colonias, ni por las hojas tratadas con resina ni por las hojas sin tratar para ambas localidades. Sin embargo, los resultados de los experimentos de laboratorio con las hormigas obreras individualmente indicaron efectos significativos entre las poblaciones y entre los tratamientos. Mientras que las

  20. Contested claims to gardens and land

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Obika, Julaina; Adol, Ben Otto; Babiiha, Sulayman Mpisi

    2018-01-01

    This chapter explores how, in a patrilineal and patriarchal society recovering from two decades of war, women and men frame arguments about entitlement. Here claims to gardens (plots of land for cultivation) become a contested conversation about women’s rights of belonging to family and community...

  1. Garden walking for depression: a research report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCaffrey, Ruth; Hanson, Claire; McCaffrey, William

    2010-01-01

    This study was designed to determine the effect of garden walking and reflective journaling on adults who are 65 years old and older with depression. The Geriatric Depression Scale measured depression. Four themes emerged from the interview data collected from each participant.

  2. Students Dig for Real School Gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Lacey; Emeagwali, N. Susan

    2010-01-01

    There's a lot of talk about saving the environment and going green these days. But the challenge is to turn the words into action, and that includes getting young students to become part of the discussion about sustainability. The Texas-based Rainwater Environmental Alliance for Learning (REAL) School Gardens is cultivating success by providing…

  3. Integrated Curriculum in a Tiny Texas Garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monk, Sarah K.

    1995-01-01

    Describes how a first-grade class in East Texas learned to garden in a project that allows children to plant seeds and watch their plants mature while developing skills in mathematics, science, reading and writing, and interpreting a calendar. (SW)

  4. Gardening takes root in Governador Valadares

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    IDRC

    port the gardeners receive from municipal staff emanated from a research project in 2003, supported by ... recent Health Department survey that included data on what people were growing in their backyards. ... sizes data from maps, aerial views, and databases — to identify vacant plots that were suitable for urban agricul-.

  5. Business plan for a Zen garden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Žibrat Maja

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The placement of a theme park in the form of a Zen garden, as a business opportunity in the Slovenian rural area, is discussed. The design of the garden, with all the major points of a standard business plan, is accurately presented, with a description of the business, branch, and services, market analysis, marketing strategy, financial projections, and a plan of the work and activities. The financial aspect is presented as the amount of investment, net present value, and internal rate of return. The amount of investment is estimated at € 14.891, which should be reimbursed within 4 years of operations. The estimated internal rate of return is estimated at 16.86%. Part of the study is the market analysis - conduction of a survey into knowledge of, and interest in, Zen and Zen gardens. The principles of landscape ecology are respected, as the Zen garden would be set in the woods and will blend seamlessly into the landscape.

  6. Raising Butterflies from Your Own Garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howley-Pfeifer, Patricia

    2002-01-01

    Describes how raising monarch, black swallowtail, and mourning cloak butterflies in a kindergarten class garden can provide opportunities for observation experiences. Includes detailed steps for instruction and describes stages of growth. Excerpts children's journal dictations to illustrate ways to support the discovery process. Describes related…

  7. Cultivating Bakhtin in the garden: Children's ecological narratives on becoming community gardeners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grugel, Annie H.

    2009-12-01

    This dissertation illustrates how a children's community garden, designed specifically to promote intergenerational, multi-sociocultural relationships, is an "ideological environment" linking individuals and their community and connecting people with nature, in order to promote feelings of belonging, social connection, and encourage a sense of stewardship and identification with the environment (Bakhtin, 1978). By spending time in a community garden, responding to the natural ecosystems which exist on this land, and reflecting, through image and story about our childhood experience, the participants and I engaged in the dialogic process of what Thomashow (1996) refers to as "doing ecological identity work." Throughout this study I question how our past experiences with nature in ideological environments shape our ecological epistemologies, and how the dialogic process of becoming a gardener within the context of a community garden shapes a person's ecological identity. To frame this exploration of ecological identity work as a dialogic process and its role in the development of an ecological identity, I draw from sociocultural theory (Holland, et al., 1998), Bakhtin's theory of dialogism, and ecological identity studies (Clayton and Opotow, 2003; Cobb, 1993; Orr, 1994, 2006; Sobel, 1996, 2008; Thomashow, 1996). A large body of scholarly writing done by environmental researchers is devoted to examining and describing how adults, who self-identify as environmentalists, developed an ecological worldview. However, only a fraction of research is devoted to theorizing how children develop an environmental epistemology. In this study, I focus on how community gardens are dialogic spaces that provide a place for elementary-aged children to "experience" the discourse of gardening. Here, I describe the discourses that shape the garden and describe how gardeners, as a result of their collaborative experiences between human and non-human actors, take up social and dialogical

  8. Ante la ley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kafka Franz

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Ante las puertas de la ley hay un guardian. Un campesino se llega hasta ese guardian y le pide que le permita entra en la ley, pero el guardian le dice que por ahora no se lo puede permitir. El hombre reflexiona y entonces pregunta si podria entrar despues. Es posible -dice el guardian-; pero no ahora. La puerta de entrada a la ley esta abierta como siempre.

  9. Gray and green revisited: a multidisciplinary perspective of gardens, gardening, and the aging process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Scott D; Wadsworth, Amy Maida

    2014-01-01

    Over fourteen years ago, the concept of "gray and green" was first introduced by Wright and Lund (2000) to represent a new awareness and a call for increased scholarship at the intersection of environmental issues and the aging process. This review paper revisits that concept with a fresh perspective on the specific role of gardens and gardening in the aging experience. As example, gardening is one of the most popular home-based leisure activities in the US and represents an important activity in the lives of older adults in a variety of residential settings. Yet, there has been a lack of any comprehensive and multidisciplinary (science and humanities) examination of the nexus between gardening and the aging experience, and in particular with research connections to stewardship and caring. In this paper, we review contemporary articles demonstrating the multidisciplinarity of gardening and the aging process. First, we will focus on the beneficial psychological effects resulting from the cultivation of caring, including personal contentment and artistic expression. Second, we will focus on stewardship and how gardening increases health, community awareness, and a connection to future generations. On the surface, this may demonstrate a separation between the humanities and science, but we will clarify a symbiotic relationship between the two disciplines in our conclusion.

  10. Gray and Green Revisited: A Multidisciplinary Perspective of Gardens, Gardening, and the Aging Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott D. Wright

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Over fourteen years ago, the concept of “gray and green” was first introduced by Wright and Lund (2000 to represent a new awareness and a call for increased scholarship at the intersection of environmental issues and the aging process. This review paper revisits that concept with a fresh perspective on the specific role of gardens and gardening in the aging experience. As example, gardening is one of the most popular home-based leisure activities in the US and represents an important activity in the lives of older adults in a variety of residential settings. Yet, there has been a lack of any comprehensive and multidisciplinary (science and humanities examination of the nexus between gardening and the aging experience, and in particular with research connections to stewardship and caring. In this paper, we review contemporary articles demonstrating the multidisciplinarity of gardening and the aging process. First, we will focus on the beneficial psychological effects resulting from the cultivation of caring, including personal contentment and artistic expression. Second, we will focus on stewardship and how gardening increases health, community awareness, and a connection to future generations. On the surface, this may demonstrate a separation between the humanities and science, but we will clarify a symbiotic relationship between the two disciplines in our conclusion.

  11. ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE OF COMMUNITY GARDEN IN ZIMBABWE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zivenge E.

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Zimbabwe has experienced an unprecedented decline of nearly all human development indicators for the past ten years. Despite the introduction of community gardens in drought-prone areas of Zimbabwe, poverty persists amongst the vulnerable groups. The potential to improve household, community and national food and nutrition security through garden activities is high if issues of water availability cost and availability of inputs, marketing and farmer empowerment can be addressed. This paper seeks to assess the community garden's cost structure to sales volume and profitability and the land use efficiency. Primary data were collected through structured questionnaire. A two stage sampling techniques was used to select respondents. The study was conducted in Zaka district. Three major crops namely tomatoes, covo and onion were chosen for the study basing on size of land under that particular crop. Cost-Volume-Profit analysis employed for analysis of cost structure to sales volume and profitability. Land use efficiency was also employed to measure the ratio yield per acre of farm to average yield of locality. The results showed that although the farmers are able to break even the margin of safety is small especially for cove and onion. The study recommends farmers to increase the size of acreage under onion production whilst reduce acreage under production of covo. Farmers should adopt technology that would improve land use efficiency of onion. There is a need for the intervention by the Government and other stakeholders to improve the profitability and efficiency of the community gardeners. Stakeholders' collaboration especially, in terms of farmer training which can improve garden activities as participants lack knowhow.

  12. Gardens, knowledge and the sciences in the early modern period

    CERN Document Server

    Remmert, Volker; Wolschke-Bulmahn, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    This volume focuses on the outstanding contributions made by botany and the mathematical sciences to the genesis and development of early modern garden art and garden culture. The many facets of the mathematical sciences and botany point to the increasingly “scientific” approach that was being adopted in and applied to garden art and garden culture in the early modern period. This development was deeply embedded in the philosophical, religious, political, cultural and social contexts, running parallel to the beginning of processes of scientization so characteristic for modern European history. This volume strikingly shows how these various developments are intertwined in gardens for various purposes.

  13. "Beautiful garden made of garbage" – Beijing Garden Expo Park as an example of a modern approach to creating public botanical gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tkachenko Kirill

    2016-12-01

    A new park in Beijing is a unique project implemented at a former city waste area. The project was started in 2010. In 2013, the park was opened for its first visitors. Today, it has 69 gardens representing different Chinese provinces and major cities, as well as other countries whose designers wanted to demonstrate their class. The created gardens of 1-2 to 10-12 hectares represent both traditional styles of Chinese gardens and the latest trends in the field of garden art. The Museum of Chinese Gardens and Landscape Architecture (MCGALA is a part of the park’s vast territory of 513 hectares. The park also has the necessary infrastructure for its visitors with disabilities. Today, it has become a home for many educational institutions training specialists in the field of landscape design, as well as for the employees of the country’s parks, agronomists and gardeners.

  14. Spa Garden in Daruvar – Methods of Renewal and Reconstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Šćitaroci Mladen Obad

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Spa garden in Daruvar ‘Julius’s Park’ is the oldest spa garden in continental Croatia. The counts Jankovich and their successors created the garden during the 18th and 20th century. The garden resumed its nowadays form and surface in the time of count Julius Jankovich in the mid-19th century and it was named after him. The garden is protected as a cultural heritage. The garden’s renovation is seen as an urban, architectural and landscape unity and it attempts to affirm the missing and neglected parts of the garden, to provide technological and municipal space modernization and to make a pleasant urban garden ambiance with new facilities and high space arrangement qualities, contributing to the economic development of the local community.

  15. Divergent chemical cues elicit seed collecting by ants in an obligate multi-species mutualism in lowland Amazonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available In lowland Amazonian rainforests, specific ants collect seeds of several plant species and cultivate them in arboreal carton nests, forming species-specific symbioses called ant-gardens (AGs. In this obligate mutualism, ants depend on the plants for nest stability and the plants depend on ant nests for substrate and nutrients. AG ants and plants are abundant, dominant members of lowland Amazonian ecosystems, but the cues ants use to recognize the seeds are poorly understood. To address the chemical basis of the ant-seed interaction, we surveyed seed chemistry in nine AG species and eight non-AG congeners. We detected seven phenolic and terpenoid volatiles common to seeds of all or most of the AG species, but a blend of the shared compounds was not attractive to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. We also analyzed seeds of three AG species (Anthurium gracile, Codonanthe uleana, and Peperomia macrostachya using behavior-guided fractionation. At least one chromatographic fraction of each seed extract elicited retrieval behavior in C. femoratus, but the active fractions of the three plant species differed in polarity and chemical composition, indicating that shared compounds alone did not explain seed-carrying behavior. We suggest that the various AG seed species must elicit seed-carrying with different chemical cues.

  16. Examining the gardens of the preschool education institutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maide Orçan Kaçan

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available In the study, it is aimed to reveal current features and practices of the gardens of the preschool education institutions, the obstacles to being qualified gardens in the schools and professional trainings related to the gardens which the teachers want to participate in. The population of the study consists of the teachers working in preschool education institutions in 2014-2015 academic years. The sample of the study consists of 56 preschool teachers who have been willing to participate in the study in the preschool education institutions under the Ministry of National Education which have been selected randomly from the population. The study is a survey study, and a questionnaire form has been prepared by the researchers by investigating related domestic and foreign literature to analyze the views of the teachers related to gardens. The questionnaire form consisted of sections like general information, garden features and applications of the schools, obstacles to gardens in the schools, professional trainings related to garden that the teachers want to participate in. In the analysis of the data obtained in the direction of the goals of the study, frequency and percentage distribution from descriptive statistical techniques have been used. As a result of the research, it was determined that half of the schools had the garden and the other half did not have the garden. Teachers have stated that the majority of school gardens use grasses, wild habitats and ornamental plants, use more than half of the school gardens for activities, and that these activities are mostly play, movement, science and field trips. The majority of teachers reported budget deficiencies and inadequate space as obstacles to the quality gardening of schools. In addition, they reported that the majority of them want to participate in professional training fields related to garden-based teaching such as outdoor classroom management, language and math, nutrition, science and

  17. The metapleural gland of ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-01-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions......-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...

  18. Arbuscular mycorrhiza of plants from the Mountain Botanical Garden in Zakopane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymon Zubek

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The mycorrhizal status of 77 plant species collected from the Mountain Botanical Garden of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Zakopane (southern Poland was surveyed. These plants include rare, endemic and threatened species in the Tatra Mts. (the Western Carpathians and are maintained in the botanical garden in order to develop effective methods of protection and cultivation. Plants belonging to Brassicaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Dryopteridaceae, Juncaceae, Polygonaceae, Rubiaceae and Woodsiaceae families were nonmycorrhizal. 41 species formed AM symbiosis. Spores of nine AMF spccies (Glomeromycota, including Archaeospora trappei, Glomus aggregatum, G. claroideum, G. constrictum, G. deserticola, G. geosponrum, G. microcarpum, G. mosseae and G.rubiforme were isolated for the first time from this region of Poland. In addition, the occurrence of the fine endophyte, G. tenue was detected in roots of 18 species from the study area, although formation of arbuscules by this fungus was observed rarely. AM fungi were sporadically accompanied by dark septate endophytes (DSE. 70% of nonmycorrhizal plant sepcies were devoid of DSE.

  19. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...

  20. Development of the GREEN (Garden Resources, Education, and Environment Nexus) Tool: An Evidence-Based Model for School Garden Integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, Kate Gardner; Koch, Pamela; Contento, Isobel

    2017-10-01

    Researchers have established the benefits of school gardens on students' academic achievement, dietary outcomes, physical activity, and psychosocial skills, yet limited research has been conducted about how school gardens become institutionalized and sustained. Our aim was to develop a tool that captures how gardens are effectively established, integrated, and sustained in schools. We conducted a sequential, exploratory, mixed-methods study. Participants were identified with the help of Grow To Learn, the organization coordinating the New York City school garden initiative, and recruited via e-mail. A stratified, purposeful sample of 21 New York City elementary and middle schools participated in this study throughout the 2013/2014 school year. The sample was stratified in their garden budgets and purposeful in that each of the schools' gardens were determined to be well integrated and sustained. The processes and strategies used by school gardeners to establish well-integrated school gardens were assessed via data collected from surveys, interviews, observations, and concept mapping. Descriptive statistics as well as multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to examine the survey and concept mapping data. Qualitative data analysis consisted of thematic coding, pattern matching, explanation building and cross-case synthesis. Nineteen components within four domains of school garden integration were found through the mixed-methods concept mapping analysis. When the analyses of other data were combined, relationships between domains and components emerged. These data resulted in the development of the GREEN (Garden Resources, Education, and Environment Nexus) Tool. When schools with integrated and sustained gardens were studied, patterns emerged about how gardeners achieve institutionalization through different combinations of critical components. These patterns are best described by the GREEN Tool, the first framework to identify how to

  1. Community Gardens as Environmental Health Interventions: Benefits Versus Potential Risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Delaimy, W K; Webb, M

    2017-06-01

    The purpose of this paper was to summarize current findings on community gardens relevant to three specific areas of interest as follows: (1) health benefits, (2) garden interventions in developing versus developed countries, and (3) the concerns and risks of community gardening. Community gardens are a reemerging phenomenon in many low- and high-income urban neighborhoods to address the common risk factors of modern lifestyle. Community gardens are not limited to developed countries. They also exist in developing low-income countries but usually serve a different purpose of food security. Despite their benefits, community gardens can become a source of environmental toxicants from the soil of mostly empty lands that might have been contaminated by toxicants in the past. Therefore, caution should be taken about gardening practices and the types of foods to be grown on such soil if there was evidence of contamination. We present community gardens as additional solutions to the epidemic of chronic diseases in low-income urban communities and how it can have a positive physical, mental and social impact among participants. On balance, the benefits of engaging in community gardens are likely to outweigh the potential risk that can be remedied. Quantitative population studies are needed to provide evidence of the benefits and health impacts versus potential harms from community gardens.

  2. Study protocol: effects of school gardens on children's physical activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Nancy M; Myers, Beth M; Henderson, Charles R

    2014-01-01

    Childhood obesity is an epidemic. Strategies are needed to promote children's healthy habits related to diet and physical activity. School gardens have the potential to bolster children's physical activity and reduce time spent in sedentary activity; however little research has examined the effect of gardens on children's physical activity. This randomized controlled trial (RCT) examines the effect of school gardens on children's overall physical activity and sedentary behavior; and on children's physical activity during the school day. In addition, physical activity levels and postures are compared using direct observation, outdoors, in the garden and indoors, in the classroom. Twelve New York State schools are randomly assigned to receive the school garden intervention or to serve in the wait-list control group that receives gardens and lessons at the end of the study. The intervention consists of a raised bed garden; access to a curriculum focused on nutrition, horticulture, and plant science and including activities and snack suggestions; resources for the school including information about food safety in the garden and related topics; a garden implementation guide provided guidance regarding planning, planting and maintaining the garden throughout the year; gardening during the summer; engaging volunteers; building community capacity, and sustaining the program. Data are collected at baseline and 3 post-intervention follow-up waves at 6, 12, and 18 months. Physical activity (PA) "usually" and "yesterday" is measured using surveys at each wave. In addition, at-school PA is measured using accelerometry for 3 days at each wave. Direct observation (PARAGON) is used to compare PA during an indoor classroom lesson versus outdoor, garden-based lesson. Results of this study will provide insight regarding the potential for school gardens to increase children's physical activity and decrease sedentary behaviors. Clinicaltrial.gov # NCT02148315.

  3. Pattern formation in confined chemical gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Wit, Anne; Haudin, Florence; Brau, Fabian; Cartwright, Julyan

    2014-05-01

    Chemical gardens are plant-like mineral structures first described in the seventeenth century and popularly known from chemistry sets for children. They are classically grown in three-dimensional containers by placing a solid metal-salt seed into a silicate solution. When the metal salt starts dissolving in the silicate solution, a semi-permeable membrane forms by precipitation across which water is pumped by osmosis from the silicate solution into the metal salt solution, further dissolving the salt. Above a given pressure, the membrane breaks. The dissolved metal salt solution being generally less dense than the reservoir silicate solution, it rises as a buoyant jet through the broken membrane and further precipitates in contact with the silicate solution, producing a collection of mineral forms that resemble a garden. Such gardens are the subject of increased interest as a model system to understand pattern formation in sea-ice brinicles and hydrothermal vents on the seafloor, among others. All these self-organized precipitation structures at the interface between chemistry, fluid dynamics and mechanics share indeed common chemical, mechanical and electrical properties. In this framework, we study experimentally spatial patterns resulting from the growth of chemical gardens in confined quasi-two-dimensional (2D) geometries upon radial injection of a metallic salt solution into a silicate solution in a horizontal Hele-Shaw cell. We find a large variety of patterns including spirals, fingers, worms, filiform tubes, and flower-like patterns. By exploring the phase space of reactant concentrations and injection flow rates, we observe transitions between these spatio-temporal structures resulting from a coupling between the precipitation reaction, mechanical effects and hydrodynamic instabilities.

  4. Ants, rodents and seed predation in Proteaceae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    . Saasveld Forestry Research Centre, George. Many species of Cape Proteaceae have seeds dispersed by ants. Ants may reduce seed predation by rapidly transporting and burying seeds in their nests. Three field experiments using ant and ...

  5. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions of the MG, sanitation and chemical defence, have received the strongest empirical support; two additional possible functions, recognition odour and territorial marking, are less well supported. The design of the MG is unusual for insects; glandular secretions are stored in a rigid, non-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional morphology, phylogenetic transitions and chemical ecology of the MGs of both the derived and the unstudied early-branching (basal) ant lineages is needed to elucidate the evolutionary origin and diversification of the MG of ants. © 2010 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2010 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  6. Geographic mosaic of plant evolution: extrafloral nectary variation mediated by ant and herbivore assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anselmo Nogueira

    Full Text Available Herbivory is an ecological process that is known to generate different patterns of selection on defensive plant traits across populations. Studies on this topic could greatly benefit from the general framework of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution (GMT. Here, we hypothesize that herbivory represents a strong pressure for extrafloral nectary (EFN bearing plants, with differences in herbivore and ant visitor assemblages leading to different evolutionary pressures among localities and ultimately to differences in EFN abundance and function. In this study, we investigate this hypothesis by analyzing 10 populations of Anemopaegma album (30 individuals per population distributed through ca. 600 km of Neotropical savanna and covering most of the geographic range of this plant species. A common garden experiment revealed a phenotypic differentiation in EFN abundance, in which field and experimental plants showed a similar pattern of EFN variation among populations. We also did not find significant correlations between EFN traits and ant abundance, herbivory and plant performance across localities. Instead, a more complex pattern of ant-EFN variation, a geographic mosaic, emerged throughout the geographical range of A. album. We modeled the functional relationship between EFNs and ant traits across ant species and extended this phenotypic interface to characterize local situations of phenotypic matching and mismatching at the population level. Two distinct types of phenotypic matching emerged throughout populations: (1 a population with smaller ants (Crematogaster crinosa matched with low abundance of EFNs; and (2 seven populations with bigger ants (Camponotus species matched with higher EFN abundances. Three matched populations showed the highest plant performance and narrower variance of EFN abundance, representing potential plant evolutionary hotspots. Cases of mismatched and matched populations with the lowest performance were associated

  7. Geographic mosaic of plant evolution: extrafloral nectary variation mediated by ant and herbivore assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogueira, Anselmo; Rey, Pedro J; Alcántara, Julio M; Feitosa, Rodrigo M; Lohmann, Lúcia G

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory is an ecological process that is known to generate different patterns of selection on defensive plant traits across populations. Studies on this topic could greatly benefit from the general framework of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution (GMT). Here, we hypothesize that herbivory represents a strong pressure for extrafloral nectary (EFN) bearing plants, with differences in herbivore and ant visitor assemblages leading to different evolutionary pressures among localities and ultimately to differences in EFN abundance and function. In this study, we investigate this hypothesis by analyzing 10 populations of Anemopaegma album (30 individuals per population) distributed through ca. 600 km of Neotropical savanna and covering most of the geographic range of this plant species. A common garden experiment revealed a phenotypic differentiation in EFN abundance, in which field and experimental plants showed a similar pattern of EFN variation among populations. We also did not find significant correlations between EFN traits and ant abundance, herbivory and plant performance across localities. Instead, a more complex pattern of ant-EFN variation, a geographic mosaic, emerged throughout the geographical range of A. album. We modeled the functional relationship between EFNs and ant traits across ant species and extended this phenotypic interface to characterize local situations of phenotypic matching and mismatching at the population level. Two distinct types of phenotypic matching emerged throughout populations: (1) a population with smaller ants (Crematogaster crinosa) matched with low abundance of EFNs; and (2) seven populations with bigger ants (Camponotus species) matched with higher EFN abundances. Three matched populations showed the highest plant performance and narrower variance of EFN abundance, representing potential plant evolutionary hotspots. Cases of mismatched and matched populations with the lowest performance were associated with abundant

  8. Ripe for Change: Garden-Based Learning in Schools. Harvard Education Letter Impact Series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirschi, Jane S.

    2015-01-01

    "Ripe for Change: Garden-Based Learning in Schools" takes a big-picture view of the school garden movement and the state of garden-based learning in public K--8 education. The book frames the garden movement for educators and shows how school gardens have the potential to be a significant resource for teaching and learning. In this…

  9. Teaching Material Culture and Chinese Gardens at American Colleges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Han

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The paper reflects on the experience of designing and teaching a course on material culture and Chinese gardens. Involving traditional philosophy, ethics, religion, painting, calligraphy, craft, literature, architecture and horticulture, a classical Chinese garden can be considered a microcosm of Chinese culture. This essay discusses the textbooks and general organization of the course, particularly focusing on how students study the key elements (rocks, water, plants and architecture in building a Chinese garden. Some Chinese literature with representations of gardens that can be used for this class is also introduced. In addition, this essay uses two classical Chinese gardens built in the United States (the Astor Court and the Garden of Flowing Fragrance to discuss the appropriation of “Chinese-ness” in different geographical, physical and cultural environments. Finally, some available online resources and technologies that have enhanced student understanding of the subject matter are introduced.

  10. The interrelationship between subject matter and school gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Jacob Højgaard; Wistoft, Karen

    2018-01-01

    This article maps out existing research regarding the effectiveness of integrated teaching in school gardens, i.e. including the math, languages and science subjects with their related objectives and curricula in school garden teaching and vice versa. The article is based on a literature review...... that concludes that school gardens have a predominantly positive influence on students’ learning outcome. However, there are a few school garden programmes that have the same or even a less beneficial influence on students’ learning outcome than traditional teaching. Thus, school gardens do not have...... an unequivocally positive academic learning effect. The review extracts and discusses some of the factors that are consistently emphasized in the research literature as central to ensuring successful subject integration in school gardens. Taking these as a point of departure, it is concluded that developing...

  11. Smell and Anosmia in the Aesthetic Appreciation of Gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Tafalla

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In his Critique of the Power of Judgment, Kant defined the garden as a visual art and considered that smell plays no role in its aesthetic appreciation. If the Kantian thesis were right, then a person who has no sense of smell (who suffers from anosmia would not be impaired in his or her aesthetic appreciation of gardens. At the same time, a visually impaired person could not appreciate the beauty of gardens, although he or she could perceive them through hearing, smell, taste, and touch. In this paper I discuss the role of smell and anosmia in the aesthetic appreciation of gardens. I accept the Kantian idea that the appreciation of a garden is the appreciation of its form, but I also defend that, at least in some cases, smell can belong to the form of gardens and, consequently, the ability or inability to smell influences their aesthetic appreciation.

  12. Refugees connecting with a new country through community food gardening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Neil; Minniss, Fiona Rowe; Somerset, Shawn

    2014-09-05

    Refugees are a particularly vulnerable population who undergo nutrition transition as a result of forced migration. This paper explores how involvement in a community food garden supports African humanitarian migrant connectedness with their new country. A cross-sectional study of a purposive sample of African refugees participating in a campus-based community food garden was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with twelve African humanitarian migrants who tended established garden plots within the garden. Interview data were thematically analysed revealing three factors which participants identified as important benefits in relation to community garden participation: land tenure, reconnecting with agri-culture, and community belonging. Community food gardens offer a tangible means for African refugees, and other vulnerable or marginalised populations, to build community and community connections. This is significant given the increasing recognition of the importance of social connectedness for wellbeing.

  13. Productive Urban Landscape In Developing Home Garden In Yogyakarta City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwan, S. N. R.; Sarwadi, A.

    2017-10-01

    Home garden is one type of agroecosystem that supports ecosystem services even in the urban settlement. The studies involved literature references and field survey along with a framework of the productive urban landscape that support ecosystem services in home garden. Productive urban landscape provided environmentally, socially and economically benefits that contained in ecosystem services. Problems on limited space in the urban settlement have to be managed by modified home garden system in order to work for ecosystem service in developing productive landscape. This study aimed to assess home garden (Pekarangan) system in a cluster of high density settlement in Yogyakarta City. Structured interview and vegetation identification of home garden have been conducted on 80 samples in Rejowinangun Kotagede District, Yogyakarta City. People showed enthusiasm in ecosystem services provided by home garden “Pekarangan Produktif” through developing productive urban landscape. Some benefits on ecosystem services of home garden were revealed on this study consisted of food production for sale (4.7%), home industry (7.69%), aesthetics (22.65%), food (14.10%), biodiversity (10.68%), ecosystem (12.82%), education (2.56), social interaction (11.54%), recreation (4.70%), and others (8.55%). Nevertheless, vegetation and other elements of home gardens have been managed irregularly and in particularly, the planned home gardens were only 17.07%. Actually, home gardens provided a large set of ecosystem services including being cultural services those are the category most valued. The urban people almost hided the understanding of the cultural benefit of ecosystem services of home garden, even though Yogyakarta has known the cultural city. Thus, urban home garden, as way as “Pekarangan Produktif” in the limited space that managed and planned sustainably, provide many benefits of ecosystem services in a productive urban landscape.

  14. Recycling urban waste as possible use for rooftop vegetable garden

    OpenAIRE

    Grard, baptiste; Bel, N.; Marchal, N.; Madre, N.; Castell, Jean-François; Cambier, Philippe; Houot, Sabine; Manouchehri, Nastaran; Besancon, S.; Michel , J.C.; Chenu, Claire; Frascaria-Lacoste, Nathalie; Aubry, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Urban authorities in Europe are confronted with increasing demands by urban dwellers for allotment gardens, but vacant urban soil tends to be scarce and/or polluted by past industrial activities. A possible solution for local authorities could therefore be to promote rooftop gardening. However little technical information exists on certain forms of rooftop urban agriculture, called Z-Farming. In 2012, a pilot experiment was run in Paris (France). Simple and cheap systems of rooftop gardening ...

  15. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Entre 1982 a 2005 se registraron daños en 1 143 establecimientos de salud en el Perú, generalmente debido a sismos, lluvias e inundaciones. Los daños en los servicios de salud producen la interrupción de la atención de la población y de los programas de salud, así como generan un gran gasto para la rehabilitación y reconstrucción. Por ello, se requiere proteger a los establecimientos de salud y desarrollar una política de hospitales seguros ante desastres que incluya medidas para prevenir o reducción de la vulnerabilidad estructural, no estructural y funcional en los nuevos establecimientos y en los existentes.(Rev Med Hered 2007;18:149-154.

  16. School Gardens: A Qualitative Study on Implementation Practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nele Huys

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available School gardens have beneficial effects on children’s dietary behaviors but information on its implementation is scarce. The current study aimed to gain insight in implementation practices of school gardens and in perceptions of key members and children towards a school garden. We conducted twelve interviews involving 14 key members and five focus groups with 38 children from fifth to sixth grade (10–13 years old in four primary schools in Ghent (Flanders, Belgium. We analyzed the interviews and focus groups in NVivo, using thematic analysis. School gardens were mainly initiated to involve children in nature, not to improve vegetable consumption. Participants were positive about having a school garden, experienced facilitating factors (e.g., adaptability of the garden, having a person responsible for the garden, but also various barriers (e.g., difficulties with startup, maintenance during summer holidays and integration in the school curriculum and suggested some solutions (e.g., involving external organizations and parents, expanding the garden and motivating factors for children (e.g., colorful plants, use of gloves. In order to improve implementation and to contribute to children’s health, future school gardening projects should take the recommendations of key members and children into account.

  17. School Gardens: A Qualitative Study on Implementation Practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huys, Nele; De Cocker, Katrien; De Craemer, Marieke; Roesbeke, Marleen; Cardon, Greet; De Lepeleere, Sara

    2017-11-25

    School gardens have beneficial effects on children's dietary behaviors but information on its implementation is scarce. The current study aimed to gain insight in implementation practices of school gardens and in perceptions of key members and children towards a school garden. We conducted twelve interviews involving 14 key members and five focus groups with 38 children from fifth to sixth grade (10-13 years old) in four primary schools in Ghent (Flanders, Belgium). We analyzed the interviews and focus groups in NVivo, using thematic analysis. School gardens were mainly initiated to involve children in nature, not to improve vegetable consumption. Participants were positive about having a school garden, experienced facilitating factors (e.g., adaptability of the garden, having a person responsible for the garden), but also various barriers (e.g., difficulties with startup, maintenance during summer holidays and integration in the school curriculum) and suggested some solutions (e.g., involving external organizations and parents, expanding the garden) and motivating factors for children (e.g., colorful plants, use of gloves). In order to improve implementation and to contribute to children's health, future school gardening projects should take the recommendations of key members and children into account.

  18. Determining Barriers to Use of Edible School Gardens in Illinois.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loftus, Lucy; Spaulding, Aslihan D; Steffen, Richard; Kopsell, Dave; Nnakwe, Nweze

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to gather data regarding the awareness, perceived benefits, interest in, and barriers to establishment of edible school gardens in Illinois public schools. Setting/Design: This study used an online survey design. Participants included Illinois public elementary school principals and superintendents. Region and community population, current edible garden use, perception (Likert scale) of garden benefits, interest in establishment of a school edible garden, and barriers to establishment of a school edible garden were the variables of interest. Logit regression and Kruskal-Wallis with follow-up where p school principals and superintendents are aware of gardens and their potential benefits to students, but many barriers exist that make their use challenging. Funding, staff and volunteer support, and class time were identified as the major barriers. Region affected likelihood of garden use, and community population size also affected the odds of having an edible school garden. Data suggest that edible garden use would increase with provision of resources and organization of dedicated supporters.

  19. The Study of Bogor Botanical Garden Ecotourism Value Chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doni Yusri

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study were : 1 to improve development of Bogor Botanical Garden ecotourism value chain, 2 to recommend strategies of development for Bogor Botanical Garden ecotourism value chain, and 3 to formulate programs that increase value added for Bogor Botanical Garden value chain, especially for involved SME’s. Data collected from survey, in depth interview, and literature was analyzed using descriptive analysis, value chain analysis, SWOT analysis. The results of SWOT analysis indicated that the strength of The Bogor Botanical Garden value chain was the well known Bogor Botanical Garden, the weakness was lack of investment to improve the Bogor Botanical Garden, the opportunity was the support of government, and the threat was the growing of ecotourism competitor. Recommended strategies were : 1 relying on the strenghts of Bogor Botanical Garden as a focal point of the plus ecoedutourism programs, 2 improving quality of human resources at each value chain, 3 increasing investment for the development of value chain, and 4 marketing Bogor Botanical Garden as past of various integrated packages with other tourism objective in Indonesia.Keywords: Bogor Botanical Garden, Ecotourism Value Chain, SWOT Analysis

  20. Architectural Programme On Formation Of The Uzbek National Garden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustayev Bahrom Bahodirovich

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available in the present paper an attempt has been made to base the actuality of creating national Uzbek gardens and the search of its roots out of gardens of the period of Timur and the Timurids and as well as Baburids gardens in the style of Chorbog. In this connection for the first time from the scientific point of view the architectural Program of a new national garden of Uzbekistan based on the style of Chorbog was formed. It was proved that this problem is an urgent one for construction of modern landscape architecture in Uzbekistan.

  1. Design of evidence-based gardens and garden therapy for neurodisability in Scandinavia: data from 14 sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spring, Josephine Anne

    2016-04-01

    A total of 14 Scandinavian therapy gardens were visited and data collected on plantings, therapeutic activities and assessment of effectiveness in Spring 2014. Data were gathered by a questionnaire and by interviewing staff in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The data collection structured proforma used the post-occupation assessment method. Gardening promoted physical movement, presented cognitive challenges and provided opportunities for social participation. Half the gardens were enclosed with sensory plants and 85% were adapted for wheelchairs. A total of 57% of gardens visited had simple designs with flowers, shrubs, lawns and trees. A social center was important especially for dementia clients. Planted pots were used in 79% of gardens. The effectiveness of therapy gardens was assessed at 71% of sites.

  2. Ecology and population structure of a tree wound-infecting fungus in a native South African forest environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misse, Alain C; Barnes, Irene; Roets, Francois; Mbenoun, Michael; Wingfield, Michael J; Roux, Jolanda

    2017-01-01

    Ceratocystis tsitsikammensis was first isolated from bark harvesting wounds on two indigenous tree species in the Afromontane forests of the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Inoculation studies indicated that it is a potential pathogen of native Rapanea melanophloeos trees. In this study, we investigated the distribution, ecology and biology of C. tsitsikammensis in the Garden Route National Park of South Africa. Isolates were obtained from wounds on R. melanophloeos, three non-native hosts as well as from nitidulid and staphylinid beetles visiting wounds on these trees. The genetic diversity and population biology of the fungus was examined using microsatellite markers. Its mating strategy was also determined by amplifying its mating type genes and the fungus was shown to be homothallic. Despite the homothallic nature of the fungus, high levels of random mating and absence of genetic structure was found in the investigated population, suggesting a strong effect of gene flow, probably linked to insect dispersal. The gene diversity of C. tsitsikammensis was similar to that of a related fungus, Ceratocystis albifundus, that is known to be native in Africa. This, together with the fact that C. tsitiskamensis is not known elsewhere, within or outside South Africa, suggests that it is native and endemic to the Cape Afromontane region. Copyright © 2016 British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The diversity of ant-associated black yeasts: insights into a newly discovered world of symbiotic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voglmayr, Hermann; Mayer, Veronika; Maschwitz, Ulrich; Moog, Joachim; Djieto-Lordon, Champlain; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2011-10-01

    Based on pure culture studies and DNA phylogenetic analyses, black yeasts (Chaetothyriales, Ascomycota) are shown to be widely distributed and important components of numerous plant-ant-fungus networks, independently acquired by several ant lineages in the Old and New World. Data from ITS and LSU nu rDNA demonstrate that a high biodiversity of fungal species is involved. There are two common ant-fungus symbioses involving black yeasts: (1) on the carton walls of ant nests and galleries, and (2) the fungal mats growing within non-pathogenic naturally hollow structures (so-called domatia) provided by myrmecophytic plants as nesting space for ants (ant-plant symbiosis). Most carton- and domatia-inhabiting fungi stem from different phylogenetic lineages within Chaetothyriales, and almost all of the fungi isolated are still undescribed. Despite being closely related, carton and domatia fungi are shown to differ markedly in their morphology and ecology, indicating that they play different roles in these associations. The carton fungi appear to improve the stability of the carton, and several species are commonly observed to co-occur on the same carton. Carton fungi commonly have dark-walled monilioid hyphae, colouring the carton blackish and apparently preventing other fungi from invading the carton. Despite the simultaneous presence of usually several species of fungi, forming complex associations on the carton, little overlap is observed between carton fungi from different ant species, even those that co-occur in nature, indicating at least some host specificity of fungi. Most fungi present on carton belong to Chaetothyriales, but in a few samples, Capnodiales are also an important component. Carton fungi are difficult to assign to anamorph genera, as most lack conidiation. The domatia fungi are more specific. In domatia, usually only one or two fungal species co-occur, producing a dense layer on living host plant tissue in domatia. They have hyaline or light brown

  4. Social-insect fungus farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aanen, Duur Kornelis; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    Which social insects rear their own food? Growing fungi for food has evolved twice in social insects: once in new-world ants about 50 million years ago; and once in old-world termites between 24 and 34 million years ago [1] and [2] . The termites domesticated a single fungal lineage - the extant...... the farming insects with most of their food ( Figure 1 ). No secondary reversals to the ancestral life style are known in either group, which suggests that the transitions to farming were as drastically innovative and irreversible as when humans made this step about 10,000 years ago....

  5. Runtime analysis of the 1-ANT ant colony optimizer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

    are investigated. The influence of the evaporation factor in the pheromone update mechanism and the robustness of this parameter w.r.t. the runtime behavior have been determined for the example function OneMax.This work puts forward the rigorous runtime analysis of the 1-ANT on the example functions Leading......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......Ones and BinVal. With respect to Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs), such analyses were essential to develop methods for the analysis on more complicated problems. The proof techniques required for the 1-ANT, unfortunately, differ significantly from those for EAs, which means that a new reservoir of methods has...

  6. "Otherways" into the Garden: Re-Visioning the Feminine in "The Secret Garden."

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Linda T.

    2002-01-01

    Documents the author's interpretation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden." Explores a series of questions dealing with issues such as sight, speech, power, gender construction, and symbolism. Reveals the positive and potent ways women subvert the hegemony of patriarchal society and the celebration of the divine feminine…

  7. A Garden of Stories: An English Lesson in a Botanical Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazor, Rachel

    2011-01-01

    Five middle school teachers are among the few people wandering around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, squinting at labels describing the plants that will bloom soon. The author and her colleagues are on a reconnaissance mission, trying to plan an interdisciplinary field trip for the seventh grade. They represent different departments--science, math,…

  8. Farmer's market, demonstration gardens, and research projects expand outreach of Extension Master Gardeners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamela J. Bennett; Ellen M. Bauske; Alison Stoven O' Connor; Jean Reeder; Carol Busch; Heidi A. Kratsch; Elizabeth Leger; Angela O' Callaghan; Peter J. Nitzche; Jim Downer

    2013-01-01

    Extension Master Gardener (EMG) volunteers are central to expanding the outreach and engagement of extension staff. A workshop format was used at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science on 31 July 2012 in Miami, FL to identify successful management techniques and projects that expand EMG volunteer outreach, leading to increased extension...

  9. Mass Spectrometry in the Home and Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulliam, Christopher J.; Bain, Ryan M.; Wiley, Joshua S.; Ouyang, Zheng; Cooks, R. Graham

    2015-02-01

    Identification of active components in a variety of chemical products used directly by consumers is described at both trace and bulk levels using mass spectrometry. The combination of external ambient ionization with a portable mass spectrometer capable of tandem mass spectrometry provides high chemical specificity and sensitivity as well as allowing on-site monitoring. These experiments were done using a custom-built portable ion trap mass spectrometer in combination with the ambient ionization methods of paper spray, leaf spray, and low temperature plasma ionization. Bactericides, garden chemicals, air fresheners, and other products were examined. Herbicide applied to suburban lawns was detected in situ on single leaves 5 d after application.

  10. The role of symbiont genetic distance and potential adaptability in host preference towards Pseudonocardia symbionts in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Maynard, Janielle; Roland, Damien L.

    2011-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants display symbiont preference in behavioral assays, both towards the fungus they cultivate for food and Actinobacteria they maintain on their cuticle for antibiotic production against parasites. These Actinobacteria, genus Pseudonocardia Henssen (Pseudonocardiacea: Actinomycetales......), help defend the ants’ fungal mutualist from specialized parasites. In Acromyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) leaf-cutting ants, individual colonies maintain either a single or a few strains of Pseudonocardia, and the symbiont is primarily vertically transmitted between generations by colony...... with two non-native strains, elucidating the role of genetic distance on preference between strains and Pseudonocardia origin. Our findings suggest that ants tend to prefer bacteria more closely related to their native bacterium and that genetic similarity is probably more important than whether symbionts...

  11. Botanic gardens should lead the way to create a “Garden Earth” in the Anthropocene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles H. Cannon

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The strength and expertise that botanic gardens bring to conservation are based on their detailed knowledge and understanding of the care, management, and biology of a diversity of plant species. This emphasis on the organism has led to many ex-situ and in-situ conservation programs aimed at protecting endangered species, restoring threatened populations, and establishing living plant and seed collections of endangered species. In China, the scale and pace of change in land and resource use, often leading to environmental degradation, has created a strong emphasis on improving environmental conditions. If done properly, being “green” can be a surprisingly complex issue, because it should encompass and exploit the whole of plant diversity and function. Unfortunately, ‘green’ often includes a small portion of this whole. Earth's rich plant diversity presents considerable opportunity but requires expertise and knowledge for stable and beneficial management. With the dawning of the Anthropocene, we should strive to live on a “Garden Earth”, where we design and manage our environments, both built and natural, to create a healthy, beneficial living landscape for people and other organisms. The staff of botanic gardens worldwide and the living collections they maintain embody the best examples of sustainable, beautiful, and beneficial environments that thrive on plant diversity. This expertise should be a fundamental resource for agencies in all sectors responsible for managing and designing “green” infrastructure. Botanic gardens should actively engage and contribute to these opportunities, from large public infrastructure projects to small private conservation efforts. Here, we discuss several ongoing conservation efforts, primarily in China, and attempt to identify areas where botanic gardens could make a significant and meaningful difference.

  12. Front gardens to car parks: changes in garden permeability and effects on flood regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warhurst, Jennifer R; Parks, Katherine E; McCulloch, Lindsay; Hudson, Malcolm D

    2014-07-01

    This study addresses the consequences of widespread conversion of permeable front gardens to hard standing car parking surfaces, and the potential consequences in high-risk urban flooding hotspots, in the city of Southampton. The last two decades has seen a trend for domestic front gardens in urban areas to be converted for parking, driven by the lack of space and increased car ownership. Despite media and political attention, the effects of this change are unknown, but increased and more intense rainfall, potentially linked to climate change, could generate negative consequences as runoff from impermeable surfaces increases. Information is limited on garden permeability change, despite the consequences for ecosystem services, especially flood regulation. We focused on eight flooding hotspots identified by the local council as part of a wider urban flooding policy response. Aerial photographs from 1991, 2004 and 2011 were used to estimate changes in surface cover and to analyse permeability change within a digital surface model in a GIS environment. The 1, 30 and 100 year required attenuation storage volumes were estimated, which are the temporary storage required to reduce the peak flow rate given surface permeability. Within our study areas, impermeable cover in domestic front gardens increased by 22.47% over the 20-year study period (1991-2011) and required attenuation storage volumes increased by 26.23% on average. These increases suggest that a consequence of the conversion of gardens to parking areas will be a potential increase in flooding frequency and severity - a situation which is likely to occur in urban locations worldwide. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    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...

  14.   The fungus Trichoderma spp. on vegetables

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne

      The fungus Trichoderma spp. on vegetables   Anne Winding, National Environmental Research Institute, Roskilde, AU   Trichoderma spp. is a naturally occurring fungus in soil and T. harzianum is an active ingredient in microbial pest control agents (MPCA) active against root pathogenic fungi....... The MPCA is administered to the plants by watering. The fungus establishes in the root zone and exerts its beneficial effect by general increase of resistance against pathogenic fungi. The natural occurrence of Trichoderma spp. and the fate and survival of the introduced T. harzianum on vegetables...

  15. Children Gardening: First Steps Towards a Sustainable Future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Robin C.

    1995-01-01

    Children's gardening is introduced within the broader frame of reference of sustainable development, regenerative design, and biodesign. Gardening in the primary grades is proposed as one of the most feasible pedagogical approaches for ensuring a daily learning experience that provides contact with nature. Presents a case study of children's…

  16. Development and pilot study findings of the Delta Garden Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    The purpose of this study was to explore how school–based gardening programs can affect health and related behaviors and to assess how such programs can be sustainable over time and replicated to more settings. Across the world, there has been a recent revitalization and reinvention of gardening eff...

  17. Predicting Teacher Likelihood to Use School Gardens: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kincy, Natalie; Fuhrman, Nicholas E.; Navarro, Maria; Knauft, David

    2016-01-01

    A quantitative survey, built around the theory of planned behavior, was used to investigate elementary teachers' attitudes, school norms, perceived behavioral control, and intent in both current and ideal teaching situations toward using gardens in their curriculum. With positive school norms and teachers who garden in their personal time, 77% of…

  18. Measurement of farm level efficiency of home gardens in Uyo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    To investigate the farm level efficiency of home vegetable gardens in Uyo, a stochastic production function which incorporates a model for the technical inefficiency effects was used. Using farm-level data from 80 home gardeners obtained through structured questionnaire, the parameters were estimated simultaneously with ...

  19. The relationship between restraints of trade and garden leave ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The relationship between restraints of trade and garden leave. ... Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal/Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad ... The purpose of the article is to examine the relationship between a so-called "garden leave" clause and a post-termination restraint of trade clause in employment contracts, ...

  20. From Garden to Recipient: A Direct Approach to Nutrition Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    Maine Harvest for Hunger (MHH) involves Master Gardeners in food security through participation in gleaning and gardening projects that benefit food pantries. A statewide survey (Murphy, 2011a) indicates many food pantries face increased demand but are unable to distribute all of the donated produce. The MHH program in Oxford County is designed to…

  1. Society News: Astronomy in the garden wins RHS prize

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-10-01

    The Spaced Out garden, sponsored by the RAS, won a Gold Medal from the Royal Horticultural Society at the Tatton Park Garden Show in August. It also provided a showcase for a model of the Philae Lander, part of ESA's Rosetta mission to comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and an unusual occasion for astronomy outreach.

  2. An all-inorganic polyoxometalate-polyoxocation chemical garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Points, Laurie J; Cooper, Geoffrey J T; Dolbecq, Anne; Mialane, Pierre; Cronin, Leroy

    2016-01-31

    Herein, we show it is possible to produce wholly inorganic chemical gardens from a cationic polyoxometalate (POM) seed in an anionic POM solution, demonstrating a wholly POM-based chemical garden system that produces architectures over a wide concentration range. Six concentration dependent growth regimes have been discovered and characterized: clouds, membranes, slugs, tubes, jetting and budding.

  3. A Rain Garden for Our School: Becoming Environmental Stewards

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadyen, Joy

    2012-01-01

    In this article, the author talks about a rain garden project at Hampton Elementary School in Bay City, Michigan. The goal of the project was to slow and filter silt-laden runoff (from parking lots, sidewalks, and playground) on its path to Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron. In addition, doing so, the rain gardens would demonstrate to the township, city,…

  4. Community and School Gardens as Spaces for Learning Social Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Kimberley; Ferreira, Jo-Anne

    2015-01-01

    Can community and school gardens help people learn to build social resilience to potential food shortages? We seek to address this question through an examination of the ways in which gardens can teach individual and community resiliency in times of emergency, pockets of food insecurity, and the challenges presented by climate change. We focus on…

  5. School Gardens: Cultivating Food Security in Nova Scotia Public Schools?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlsson, Liesel; Williams, Patricia L; Hayes-Conroy, Jessica S; Lordly, Daphne; Callaghan, Edith

    2016-09-01

    A small but growing body of peer-reviewed research suggests that school gardens can play a role in building community food security (CFS); however, to date little research exploring the role of school gardens in supporting CFS is available. This paper begins to address this gap in the literature. A qualitative, exploratory, single-case study design was used. The focus of this case study was the school food garden at an elementary school in the River Valley, Nova Scotia, school community. Results provide useful information about potential CFS effects of school gardens in addition to the environmental effects on school gardens important to their effectiveness as CFS tools. Findings suggest children gained food-related knowledge, skills, and values that support long-term CFS. A local social and political landscape at the community, provincial, and school board level were key to strengthening this garden's contributions to CFS. We support Dietitians of Canada's nomination of school gardens as an indicator of CFS with theoretical and practical evidence, underscore the importance of a supportive environment, and need for further research in this area. Health professionals and community organizations provide critical support, helping to weave gardens into a greater movement towards building CFS.

  6. School Gardens: Situating Students within a Global Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolsey, Thomas DeVere; Lapp, Diane

    2014-01-01

    School-based gardens are increasingly common. The benefits to students reflect principles of global education by modeling sustainability through responsible ecological planning and service to the community, the environment, and humanity. The authors propose a pedagogical framework for planning school gardens and related experiences that…

  7. Bauran Pemasaran Yang Mempengaruhi Loyalitas Konsumen Di Hotel Garden Palace

    OpenAIRE

    Wijaya, Adeline; Cynthia, Cynthia

    2017-01-01

    Bauran Pemasaran yang Mempengaruhi Loyalitas Konsumen di Hotel Garden Palace Penelitian ini dilakukan untuk mengetahui pengaruh bauran pemasaran terhadap loyalitas konsumen dengan kepuasan konsumen sebagai variabel perantara di hotel Garden Palace Surabaya. Indikator-indikator yang terdapat dalam bauran pemasaran berperan dalam membentuk kepuasan konsumen sehingga menghasilkan loyalitas konsumen. Teknik analisis data yang digunakan adalah Partial Least Square (PLS). Hasil penelitian menunjukk...

  8. Flow Dynamics and Nutrient Reduction in Rain Gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    The hydrological dynamics and changes in stormwater nutrient concentrations within rain gardens were studied by introducing captured stormwater runoff to rain gardens at EPA’s Urban Water Research Facility in Edison, New Jersey. The runoff used in these experiments was collected...

  9. Nutritive potentials and utilization of garden snail (Limicolaria aurora ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The possibility of using garden snail (Limicolaria aurora) meat meal as a protein source in fish feeds was tested in Clarias gariepinus fingerlings. Five isonitrogenous (43% crude protein) diets in which garden snail meat meal was used to replace fish meal at 0%, (control diet), 25, 50, 75 and 100% inclusion levels were used ...

  10. Herbal gardens of India: A statistical analysis report | Rao | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A knowledge system of the herbal garden in India was developed and these herbal gardens' information was statistically classified for efficient data processing, sharing and retrieving of information, which could act as a decision tool to the farmers, researchers, decision makers and policy makers in the field of medicinal ...

  11. Engaging Urban Students in a Schoolyard Beautification and Gardening Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Linda

    2012-01-01

    Community gardening provides many benefits for students like outdoor physical activity, an understanding of plant life cycles, food production and healthy eating (Blair, 2009; Whiren, 1995). Gardening also provides hands-on learning opportunities to draw parallels between what is needed for plants to grow and what students need to be healthy. When…

  12. Indicators to support healthy urban gardening in urban management.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schram-Bijkerk, Dieneke; Otte, Piet; Dirven, Liesbet; Breure, Anton M

    2018-01-01

    Urban gardening is part of a trend towards more parks and green areas in cities, consumption of organic, locally grown products, and a closer relationship with one's own living environment. Our literature review shows that urban gardens provide opportunities for physical activity and allow people to

  13. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    Many ant species are efficient control agents against a wide range of pest insects in many crops. They control pest insects via predation; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may be eavesdropped by potential prey and serve as chemical warning signals. Thus, the presence...... 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....

  14. Trap-mulching Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Jules; Sorenson, Clyde E; Waldvogel, Michael G

    2006-10-01

    Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), management is constrained, in large part, by polydomy where nestmates are distributed extensively across urban landscapes, particularly within mulch. Management with trap-mulching is a novel approach derived from trap-cropping where ants are repelled from a broad domain of nest sites to smaller defined areas, which are subsequently treated with insecticide. This concept was field-tested with mulch surrounding ornamental trees replaced with a narrow band of pine (Pinus spp.) needle mulch (trap) within a much larger patch of repellent aromatic cedar (Juniperus spp.) mulch. After ants reestablished around the trees, the pine needle mulch band was treated with 0.06% fipronil (Termidor). Poor results were obtained when the trap extended from the tree trunk to the edge of the mulched area. When the trap was applied as a circular band around the tree trunk reductions in the number of foraging ants were recorded through 14 d compared with an untreated mulch control, but not for longer periods. Reductions in the number of ant nests within mulch were no different between the trap mulch and any of the other treatments. We conclude that trap-mulching offers limited benefits, and that successful management of Argentine ants will require implementation of complementary or perhaps alternative strategies.

  15. Measuring activity in ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noda, C.; Fernández, J.; Pérez-Penichet, C.; Altshuler, E.

    2006-12-01

    Ants, as paradigm of social insects, have become a recurrent example of efficient problem solvers via self-organization. In spite of the simple behavior of each individual, the colony as a whole displays "swarm intelligence:" the organization of ant trails for foraging is a typical output of it. But conventional techniques of observation can hardly record the amount of data needed to get a detailed understanding of self-organization of ant swarms in the wild. Here we are presenting a measurement system intended to monitor ant activity in the field comprising massive data acquisition and high sensitivity. A central role is played by an infrared sensor devised specifically to monitor relevant parameters to the activity of ants through the exits of the nest, although other sensors detecting temperature and luminosity are added to the system. We study the characteristics of the activity sensor and its performance in the field. Finally, we present massive data measured at one exit of a nest of Atta insularis, an ant endemic to Cuba, to illustrate the potential of our system.

  16. U.S. National Fungus Collections

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Agriculture — The U.S. National Fungus Collections (BPI) are the “Smithsonian for fungi” and are the repository for over one million fungal specimens worldwide - the largest such...

  17. Cascading effects of a highly specialized beech-aphid–fungus interaction on forest regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan C. Cook-Patton

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Specialist herbivores are thought to often enhance or maintain plant diversity within ecosystems, because they prevent their host species from becoming competitively dominant. In contrast, specialist herbivores are not generally expected to have negative impacts on non-hosts. However, we describe a cascade of indirect interactions whereby a specialist sooty mold (Scorias spongiosa colonizes the honeydew from a specialist beech aphid (Grylloprociphilus imbricator, ultimately decreasing the survival of seedlings beneath American beech trees (Fagus grandifolia. A common garden experiment indicated that this mortality resulted from moldy honeydew impairing leaf function rather than from chemical or microbial changes to the soil. In addition, aphids consistently and repeatedly colonized the same large beech trees, suggesting that seedling-depauperate islands may form beneath these trees. Thus this highly specialized three-way beech-aphid–fungus interaction has the potential to negatively impact local forest regeneration via a cascade of indirect effects.

  18. Discovering the Giant Nest Architecture of Grass-Cutting Ants, Atta capiguara (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forti, Luiz Carlos; Protti de Andrade, Ana Paula; Camargo, Roberto da Silva; Caldato, Nadia; Moreira, Aldenise Alves

    2017-03-28

    Atta capiguara is a grass-cutting ant species frequently found in Cerrado biome. However, little is known about the giant nest architecture of this ant. In this study, we investigated the architecture of three A. capiguara nests from a fragment of Cerrado in Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil. Casts were made of the nests by filling them with cement to permit better visualization of internal structures such as chambers and tunnels. After excavation, the depth and dimensions (length, width, and height) of the chambers were measured. The results showed the shape of Atta capiguara nests consisting of mounds of loose soil with unique features resembling a conic section. The fungus chambers were found distant from the mound of loose soil and were spaced apart and distributed laterally at the soil profile. The waste chambers were located beneath the largest mound of loose soil. Both the fungus and waste chambers were separated and distant. Our study contributes to a better understanding of the so far unknown nest architecture of the grass-cutting ant A. capiguara .

  19. Perceived Benefits of Participation and Risks of Soil Contamination in St. Louis Urban Community Gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Roger; Gable, Leah; Rivera-Núñez, Zorimar

    2017-12-23

    Community gardens are credited for promoting health within neighborhoods, by increasing healthy food intake and exercise frequency. These benefits, however, are potentially undermined as urban soils are often contaminated from industrial legacies. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived benefits of participation and risks of soil contamination within urban community gardens, and factors associated with soil contamination concerns. Ninety-three gardeners were interviewed across 20 community gardens in St. Louis, Missouri between June and August 2015. Surveys included questions on demographics, gardening practices, and perceptions of community gardening. Multilevel logistic models assessed how gardener demographics, gardening practices, and garden characteristics were associated with soil contamination concerns. Common perceived benefits of community gardening were community building (68.8%), healthy and fresh food (35.5%), and gardening education (18.3%). Most gardeners (62.4%) were not concerned about soil contamination, but nearly half (48.4%) stated concerns about heavy metals. Black race was significantly associated with soil contamination concerns (OR 5.47, 95% CI 1.00-30.15, p = .04). Community gardens offer numerous social and health benefits. Although most gardeners were not concerned about soil contamination, black gardeners were more likely to have concerns. Garden leaders should provide resources to gardeners to learn about soil contamination and methods to manage their risk, particularly in minority neighborhoods.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

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

  1. Garden of Ambivalence The Topology of the Mother-child Dyad in Grey Gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Defne Tüzün

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The Maysles brothers’ 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens, portrays the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edith, known as Little Edie, the aunt and first cousin, respectively, of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. The mother and daughter live together in their East Hampton house that is literally falling apart. As their identical names imply, the Beales share a symbiotic relationship which is reflected in every aspect of their life. I argue that Grey Gardens calls for Julia Kristeva’s insistence on abjection as a crucial struggle with “spatial ambivalence (inside/outside uncertainty” and an attempt to mark out a space in the undifferentiated field of the mother-child symbiosis. In Powers of Horror, Kristeva (1982 states, “abjection preserves what existed in the archaism of pre-objectal relationship” (p. 10. Grey Gardens portrays the topology of the mother-child dyad, which pertains to a particular spatio-temporality: where this primordial relationship is concerned, object and subject crumble, and the distinction between past and present is irrelevant.

  2. Paving the way for space gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Patricia

    1990-01-01

    The Ecological Life Support System, a plant growth experiment now in its third year of closed chamber production at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, is discussed. Possible spin-off applications of hydrophonics experiments are noted. It is projected that long-term goals will include the integration of this garden system into the process of waste recycling for fertilization, air refreshment, and potable water recovery in a closed environment. The Biomass Production Chamber, a two-story bubble-shape steel biosphere modified from a Mercury/Gemini program attitude chamber provides a usable volume of 7.3 m x 3.6 m in diameter containing growing racks, piping for nutrient solutions, specialized lighting and sensors that provide information to the computers controlling the chamber and its functions. Computer programs provide highly sensitive monitoring and regulation of the system. Crops successfully harvested to date include dwarf wheat, lettuce, and soybeans.

  3. Experimental Study on the Health Benefits of Garden Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Juyoung

    2017-07-24

    To mitigate the negative effects of modern cities on health, scientists are focusing on the diverse benefits of natural environments; a conceptual approach to use gardens for promoting human health is being attempted. In this study, the effects of the visual landscape of a traditional garden on psychological and physiological activities were investigated. Eighteen male and female adults participated in this indoor experiment (mean age, 26.7 years). Twelve different landscape images for city and garden were presented continuously for 90 s. In the time series changes of oxygenated hemoglobin (O₂Hb), different patterns of changes were observed between the city and garden. The mean O₂Hb values increased for the city landscapes, whereas they decreased for the garden landscapes both in the left and right prefrontal cortices. Significant differences in the negative psychological states of tension, fatigue, confusion, and anxiety were observed between the city and garden landscapes. Important differences in the physiological and psychological responses to the two different landscapes were also detected between male and female participants, providing valuable clues to individual differences in the health benefits of natural landscapes. To validate the use of gardens as a resource for promoting health in urban dwellers, further scientific evidence, active communication, and collaboration among experts in the relevant field are necessary.

  4. A carbohydrate-rich diet increases social immunity in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kay, Adam D; Bruning, Abbie J; van Alst, Andy; Abrahamson, Tyler T; Hughes, W O H; Kaspari, Michael

    2014-03-07

    Increased potential for disease transmission among nest-mates means living in groups has inherent costs. This increased potential is predicted to select for disease resistance mechanisms that are enhanced by cooperative exchanges among group members, a phenomenon known as social immunity. One potential mediator of social immunity is diet nutritional balance because traits underlying immunity can require different nutritional mixtures. Here, we show how dietary protein-carbohydrate balance affects social immunity in ants. When challenged with a parasitic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, workers reared on a high-carbohydrate diet survived approximately 2.8× longer in worker groups than in solitary conditions, whereas workers reared on an isocaloric, high-protein diet survived only approximately 1.3× longer in worker groups versus solitary conditions. Nutrition had little effect on social grooming, a potential mechanism for social immunity. However, experimentally blocking metapleural glands, which secrete antibiotics, completely eliminated effects of social grouping and nutrition on immunity, suggesting a causal role for secretion exchange. A carbohydrate-rich diet also reduced worker mortality rates when whole colonies were challenged with Metarhizium. These results provide a novel mechanism by which carbohydrate exploitation could contribute to the ecological dominance of ants and other social groups.

  5. Wood ants use resin to protect themselves against pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapuisat, Michel; Oppliger, Anne; Magliano, Pasqualina; Christe, Philippe

    2007-08-22

    Social life is generally associated with an increased exposure to pathogens and parasites, due to factors such as high population density, frequent physical contact and the use of perennial nest sites. However, sociality also permits the evolution of new collective behavioural defences. Wood ants, Formica paralugubris, commonly bring back pieces of solidified coniferous resin to their nest. Many birds and a few mammals also incorporate green plant material into their nests. Collecting plant material rich in volatile compounds might be an efficient way to fight bacteria and fungi. However, no study has demonstrated that this behaviour has a positive effect on survival. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence that animals using plant compounds with antibacterial and antifungal properties survive better when exposed to detrimental micro-organisms. The presence of resin strongly improves the survival of F. paralugubris adults and larvae exposed to the bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens, and the survival of larvae exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. These results show that wood ants capitalize on the chemical defences which have evolved in plants to collectively protect themselves against pathogens.

  6. Indicators to support healthy urban gardening in urban management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schram-Bijkerk, Dieneke; Otte, Piet; Dirven, Liesbet; Breure, Anton M

    2018-04-15

    Urban gardening is part of a trend towards more parks and green areas in cities, consumption of organic, locally grown products, and a closer relationship with one's own living environment. Our literature review shows that urban gardens provide opportunities for physical activity and allow people to consume homegrown fruit and vegetables. Urban gardens may also reduce stress levels of gardeners and improve social cohesion. In this way, they can help to prevent health problems. Good quality of urban soil and the functioning of soil ecosystems are indispensable prerequisites for these. We developed a framework that shows how ecosystem health and human health are interconnected in urban gardening, by placing it in the context of urban green space management and valuation. This study yields a set of indicators, which can be used to assess soil ecosystem services and health impacts. They may provide a basis for the evolving dialogue in decision-making processes and partnership activities in urban management. Recognizing the potential effects and discussing what is important to whom, might be enough to find synergies. Importantly, the initiators of urban gardens are often citizens, who seek support from other stakeholders. The social network established by gardens may contribute to health-enabling, cohesive communities involved with their living environment. To maximize health benefits, it is useful to make the urban gardens accessible to many people. This study suggests that urban gardens deserve a position in urban green space management as they may help to address societal challenges like urbanization, health and well-being in aging populations and climate adaptation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Local and landscape drivers of predation services in urban gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philpott, Stacy M; Bichier, Peter

    2017-04-01

    In agroecosystems, local and landscape features, as well as natural enemy abundance and richness, are significant predictors of predation services that may result in biological control of pests. Despite the increasing importance of urban gardening for provisioning of food to urban populations, most urban gardeners suffer from high pest problems, and have little knowledge about how to manage their plots to increase biological control services. We examined the influence of local, garden scale (i.e., herbaceous and arboreal vegetation abundance and diversity, ground cover) and landscape (i.e., landscape diversity and surrounding land use types) characteristics on predation services provided by naturally occurring predators in 19 urban gardens in the California central coast. We introduced sentinel pests (moth eggs and larvae and pea aphids) onto greenhouse-raised plants taken to gardens and assigned to open or bagged (predator exclosure) treatments. We found high predation rates with between 40% and 90% of prey items removed in open treatments. Predation services varied with local and landscape factors, but significant predictors differed by prey species. Predation of eggs and aphids increased with vegetation complexity in gardens, but larvae predation declined with vegetation complexity. Smaller gardens experienced higher predation services, likely due to increases in predator abundance in smaller gardens. Several ground cover features influenced predation services. In contrast to patterns in rural agricultural landscapes, predation on aphids declined with increases in landscape diversity. In sum, we report the relationships between several local management factors, as well as landscape surroundings, and implications for garden management. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. 76 FR 62756 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-People's Garden...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-11

    ...: Proposed Collection; Comment Request--People's Garden Initiative Evaluation of Healthy Gardens Healthy... on proposed information collections. This is a new information for the ``Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth Study,'' part of the USDA's People's Garden program. This study will use the network of...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CM. Kamura

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

  10. Monomorphic ants undergo within-colony morphological changes along the metal-pollution gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz; Woch, Marcin W

    2015-04-01

    In ants, intra and inter-colony variation in body size can be considerable, even in monomorphic species. It has been previously shown that size-related parameters can be environmentally sensitive. The shape of the body size distribution curve is, however, rarely investigated. In this study, we measured head widthes of the black garden ant Lasius niger workers using digital methods. The ants were sampled from 51 colonies originating from 19 sites located along a metal pollution gradient, established in a former mining area in Poland. Total zinc concentrations in random samples of small invertebrates were used as a measure of site pollution levels. We found that the skewness of head size distribution grows significantly in line with the pollution level of the site, ranging from values slightly below zero (about -0.5) in the least polluted site up to a positive value (about 1.5) in the most polluted site. This result indicates that the frequency of small ants grows as pollution levels increase. The coefficient of variation, as well as the measures of central tendency, was not related to the pollution level. Four hypotheses explaining the obtained results are proposed. The bias towards the higher frequency of small workers may result from energy limitation and/or metal toxicity, but may also have an adaptive function.

  11. Cryptorchidism and hypospadias in sons of gardeners and farmers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weidner, I S; Møller, H; Jensen, Tina Kold

    1998-01-01

    Cryptorchidism and hypospadias have been related to prenatal estrogen exposure in animal models. Some chemicals used in farming and gardening have been shown to possess estrogenic and other hormone-disrupting effects. Earlier studies have indicated increased risks of urogenital malformations...... in the sons of pesticide appliers. In the present study, parental occupation in the farming and gardening industry among 6,177 cases of cryptorchidism, 1,345 cases of hypospadias, and 23,273 controls, born live from 1983 to 1992 in Denmark, was investigated in a register-based case-control study...... of female gardeners could suggest an association with prenatal exposure to occupationally related chemicals....

  12. Cryptorchidism and hypospadias in sons of gardeners and farmers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weidner, I S; Møller, H; Jensen, Tina Kold

    1998-01-01

    in the sons of pesticide appliers. In the present study, parental occupation in the farming and gardening industry among 6,177 cases of cryptorchidism, 1,345 cases of hypospadias, and 23,273 controls, born live from 1983 to 1992 in Denmark, was investigated in a register-based case-control study....... A significantly increased risk of cryptorchidism but not hypospadias was found in sons of women working in gardening (adjusted odds ratio = 1.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.14-2.47). The risks were not increased in sons of men working in farming or gardening. The increased risk of cryptorchidism among sons...

  13. Green Team Hosts Plant Swap to Encourage Gardening | Poster

    Science.gov (United States)

    By Carolynne Keenan, Contributing Writer What started out as a way for Howard Young, Ph.D., to thin out his garden last fall turned into the NCI at Frederick Green Team’s Plant Swap. The group held its Fall Plant Swap on October 24, encouraging all members of the Fort Detrick community to pick up a free plant or swap a plant of theirs for another. “Those who love to garden introduce others to the joy of gardening,” said Dolores Winterstein, a member of the Green Team and the coordinator of the Fall Plant Swap.

  14. Adapting the botanical landscape of Melbourne Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria in response to climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J. Entwisle

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Botanic gardens around the world maintain collections of living plants for science, conservation, education, beauty and more. These collections change over time – in scope and content – but the predicted impacts of climate change will require a more strategic approach to the succession of plant species and their landscapes. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria has recently published a ‘Landscape Succession Strategy’ for its Melbourne Gardens, a spectacular botanical landscape established in 1846. The strategy recognizes that with 1.6 million visitors each year, responsibility for a heritage-listed landscape and the need to care for a collection of 8500 plant species of conservation and scientific importance, planting and planning must take into account anticipated changes to rainfall and temperature. The trees we plant today must be suitable for the climate of the twenty-second century. Specifically, the Strategy sets out the steps needed over the next twenty years to transition the botanic garden to one resilient to the climate modelled for 2090. The document includes a range of practical measures and achievable (and at times somewhat aspirational targets. Climate analogues will be used to identify places in Australia and elsewhere with conditions today similar to those predicted for Melbourne in 2090, to help select new species for the collection. Modelling of the natural and cultivated distribution of species will be used to help select suitable growth forms to replace existing species of high value or interest. Improved understanding of temperature gradients within the botanic garden, water holding capacity of soils and plant water use behaviour is already resulting in better targeted planting and irrigation. The goal is to retain a similar diversity of species but transition the collection so that by 2036 at least 75% of the species are suitable for the climate in 2090. Over the next few years we hope to provide 100% of irrigation water

  15. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Reina L; Grace, J Kenneth; Krushelnycky, Paul D; Spafford, Helen

    2018-02-11

    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.

  16. Mites (Acari Associated with the Desert Seed Harvester Ant, Messor pergandei (Mayr

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaitlin A. Uppstrom

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Mites (Acari associated with the seed harvester ant Messor pergandei were investigated in the Sonoran desert of Arizona. At least seven representatives of the mite genera Armacarus, Lemanniella, Petalomium, Forcellinia, Histiostoma, Unguidispus, and Cosmoglyphus are phoretically associated with M. pergandei. Most of these morphospecies show preference for specific phoretic attachment sites and primarily use female alates rather than male alates for dispersal. Five mite morphospecies were found in low numbers inhabiting the chaff piles: Tydeidae sp., Procaeculus sp., Anystidae sp., Bakerdania sp., and Tetranychidae sp. The phoretic Petalomium sp. was observed consuming fungus growing on a dead queen, but the roles of the other mite species remain mostly unresolved.

  17. Environmental protection: private vegetable gardens on water protected areas in Ljubljana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Strajnar

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The areas of allotment gardens and private vegetable gardens are two types of ‘small-scale agriculture’ on water protected areas in Ljubljana and surroundings. From the environmental protection point of view, these gardens are important for the intensity of production and large number of gardeners. In author’s graduation thesis the gardening habits have been investigated in detail. We combined data from fi eld work with numerous measurements of phytopharmaceutical products and nutrients in soil and vegetables.

  18. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    . Being predatory and organized as superorganisms, ants possess traits making them suitable agents in IPM. Recent works on weaver ants Oecophylla spp. showcase ants as highly efficient pest controllers. A synthesis shows that weaver ants can reduce pest numbers and their damage and increase yields...... in multiple crops. Their efficiency is comparable to chemical pesticides or higher, while at lower costs. They provide a rare example of documented efficient conservation biological control. 3. Weaver ants share beneficial traits with almost 13 000 other ant species and are unlikely to be unique...... in their properties as control agents. A synthesis of applied work on other ant species illustrates potentials for control of arthropod pests, weeds and plant diseases in orchards, forestry and arable crops. 4. Synthesis and applications. By showing that ant biocontrol can match synthetic pesticides in a wide setting...

  19. Ühe aia saamislugu - Savills Garden / Merilen Mentaal

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Mentaal, Merilen, 1972-

    2007-01-01

    Marcus Barnetti ja Philip Nixoni kujundatud Savills Garden pälvis 2007.a. Chelsea Flower Show'l tähelepanu. Range ja lihtsa joonega veepinnad ning müüripingid loovad aiale selge struktuuri. Intervjuu aiakujundajatega

  20. A Botanical Garden Data Base Implemented in SAS Software.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Edward A.; Lewis, Bruce R.

    1985-01-01

    A database had been developed for the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden's Living Plant Collection using Statistical Analysis System software. Implementation procedures, data dictionary maintenance, data entry, updating, and reporting are described. (JN)

  1. Passive therapeutic gardens. A study on an inpatient geriatric ward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pachana, Nancy A; McWha, J Lindsay; Arathoon, Maureen

    2003-05-01

    A brief history of the link between horticultural activities and care of patients, particularly psychiatric patients, is reviewed in this article. Past research on both passive and active garden activities is examined in terms of physical and psychological benefits to patients. A passive garden intervention on an inpatient geriatric ward is described. Participants in this study were patients on a geriatric inpatient ward in a mid-sized regional hospital in New Zealand. Behavioral observations of patient movement on the ward were used to demonstrate the effects on patient behavior in response to the presence of the conservatory garden. Results showed a positive reaction to the conservatory, which was maintained 6 months after the initial plants were installed. The benefits of such garden installations are discussed, and areas for further research are outlined. Procedures, ethical concerns, and practical considerations of setting up such a conservatory on an inpatient ward are discussed.

  2. Baseline assessment of fish communities of the Flower Garden Banks

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The work developed baseline information on fish and benthic communities within the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS). Surveys employed diving,...

  3. Compatibility and economic assessment of sweetpotato and garden ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ecological zone of Nigeria, to determine the compatibility and economic viability of sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) and garden egg (Solanum gelio) intercrop during 2011 and 2012 cropping seasons. Two sweetpotato varieties; NR05/022 and ...

  4. Sowing Seeds for Healthier Diets : Children's Perspectives on School Gardening

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nury, Edris; Sarti, Asia; Dijkstra, Coosje; Seidell, Jacob C; Dedding, Christine

    2017-01-01

    School gardening programmes are among the most promising interventions to improve children's vegetable intake. Yet, low vegetable intake among children remains a persistent public health challenge. This study aimed to explore children's perspectives, experiences, and motivations concerning school

  5. Actinomycetes in garden soils of the city of Kirov

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirokikh, I. G.; Solov'eva, E. S.; Ashikhmina, T. Ya.

    2013-05-01

    The population density, diversity, and structure of the actinomycetic complexes were studied in garden soils of the city of Kirov. The relationships between the structure of the complexes and the acidity, the concentrations of the mobile forms of heavy metals, and the soil humus content were analyzed. The specific features of the actinomycetic population in the garden soils of the city in comparison with the transport ecotopes and suburban territories were revealed. It was demonstrated that the actinomycetic complexes in the garden soils preserve their structural similarity with the actinomycetic complexes of the suburban forest parks despite certain changes in the composition of the dominant species and the relative abundance of the separate taxa. The obtained data indicate that the garden plots in the city contribute to the preservation of ecologically balanced ecosystems.

  6. Seeding Social Capital? Urban Community Gardening and Social Capital

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Søren

    2017-01-01

    , it is demonstrated that several studies substantiate that urban community gardens create social capital, both bonding and bridging, and exhibit indications of linking. It is moreover identified how there is much to be learned from future research, illuminating how urban community gardens can foster social capital...... focus on the structural dimensions of social capital, in addition to the cognitive dimensions, as this would yield a more nuanced depiction of social advantages of urban community gardening.......There is a continuing debate regarding urban community gardening’s benefits to local communities, and a particularly interesting branch of this debate has focused on community gardens capacity to encourage and facilitate social interaction, which may generate social capital. Social capital...

  7. Leptospira Exposure and Gardeners: A Case-Control Seroprevalence Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado-Esquivel, Cosme; Hernandez-Tinoco, Jesus; Sanchez-Anguiano, Luis Francisco; Ramos-Nevarez, Agar; Cerrillo-Soto, Sandra Margarita; Guido-Arreola, Carlos Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Background Leptospira can be found in soil. However, it is unclear whether occupational exposure to soil may represent a risk for Leptospira infection in humans. Therefore, we sought to determine the association of Leptospira IgG seroprevalence with the occupation of gardener, and to determine the epidemiological characteristics of gardeners associated with Leptospira exposure. Methods We performed a case-control study in 168 gardeners and 168 age- and gender-matched control subjects without gardening occupation in Durango City, Mexico. The seroprevalence of anti-Leptospira IgG antibodies in cases and controls was determined using an enzyme immunoassay. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the association of Leptospira exposure and the characteristics of the gardeners. Results Anti-Leptospira IgG antibodies were found in 10 (6%) of 168 gardeners and in 15 (8.9%) of 168 control subjects (odds ratio (OR): 0.64; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.28 - 1.48; P = 0.40). Multivariate analysis showed that Leptospira seropositivity was positively associated with female gender (OR: 5.82; 95% CI: 1.11 - 30.46; P = 0.03), and negatively associated with eating while working (OR: 0.21; 95% CI: 0.05 - 0.87; P = 0.03). In addition, multivariate analysis showed that high anti-Leptospira levels were associated with consumption of boar meat (OR: 28.00; 95% CI: 1.20 - 648.80; P = 0.03). Conclusions This is the first case-control study of Leptospira exposure in gardeners. Results do not support an association of Leptospira exposure with the occupation of gardener. However, further studies to confirm the lack of this association are needed. The potential role of consumption of boar meat in Leptospira infection deserves further investigation. PMID:26668679

  8. Local habitats recreation in gardening as an environmental education tool

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Contreras-Lopez, F.; Victoria-Cos, I. M.; Cos, J.; Sotomayor, J. A.

    2009-01-01

    A garden has been implanted at IMIDA facilities in La Alberca (Murcia) which recreates different habitats of Murcia Region, with two main objective: 1) to be used as a tool for environmental education, encouraging social awareness in habitats and flora species protection, and 2) to obtain relevant information for the use of regional wild flora in gardening, both for the ornamental interest of not extensively spread species, and its low eater irrigation needs. (Author)

  9. Estimated lead (Pb) exposures for a population of urban community gardeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spliethoff, Henry M; Mitchell, Rebecca G; Shayler, Hannah; Marquez-Bravo, Lydia G; Russell-Anelli, Jonathan; Ferenz, Gretchen; McBride, Murray

    2016-08-01

    Urban community gardens provide affordable, locally grown, healthy foods and many other benefits. However, urban garden soils can contain lead (Pb) that may pose risks to human health. To help evaluate these risks, we measured Pb concentrations in soil, vegetables, and chicken eggs from New York City community gardens, and we asked gardeners about vegetable consumption and time spent in the garden. We then estimated Pb intakes deterministically and probabilistically for adult gardeners, children who spend time in the garden, and adult (non-gardener) household members. Most central tendency Pb intakes were below provisional total tolerable intake (PTTI) levels. High contact intakes generally exceeded PTTIs. Probabilistic estimates showed approximately 40 % of children and 10 % of gardeners exceeding PTTIs. Children's exposure came primarily from dust ingestion and exposure to higher Pb soil between beds. Gardeners' Pb intakes were comparable to children's (in µg/day) but were dominated by vegetable consumption. Adult household members ate less garden-grown produce than gardeners and had the lowest Pb intakes. Our results suggest that healthy gardening practices to reduce Pb exposure in urban community gardens should focus on encouraging cultivation of lower Pb vegetables (i.e., fruits) for adult gardeners and on covering higher Pb non-bed soils accessible to young children. However, the common practice of replacement of root-zone bed soil with clean soil (e.g., in raised beds) has many benefits and should also continue to be encouraged.

  10. Designing of Genow Botanical Garden with Sustainable Architecture Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masoumeh Hassan Doost Asl Barkoosaraei

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Now a day, botanical gardens are considered as the most important and influential public green spaces in most countries of the world. These complexes on one hand have scientific and research applications in the fields of botany, gardening, conservation and plant ecology, and on the other hand they play an important role in public education and tourism. So it can be said that botanical gardens have been converted from merely research environments to multi-functional green spaces. The purpose of this study is designing the Botanical Gardens in Genow ecotourism region, located in of north of Bandar Abbas as a research-tourism complex that has been welcomed by citizens and tourists and respond to the various of their users. Selecting Genow region was due to its vicinity to the Protected Area and Reserve Biosphere of Genow (in terms of life value of diverse plants of protected area. In the process of designing the relevance of botanical garden with Genow echo tourist area, in performance dimension have been considered by the use of Persian garden pattern, and in terms of relationship with nature, with the benefit of recreational spaces and enjoyment of sustainable architecture components (green roofs, living walls the biological filter in the interior parts, that due to having these features will be considered by non-researcher tourists in Genow ecotourism region.

  11. An evaluation of the California Instructional School Garden Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazzard, Eric L; Moreno, Elizabeth; Beall, Deborah L; Zidenberg-Cherr, Sheri

    2012-02-01

    California Assembly Bill 1535 awarded $US 15 million to California public schools to promote, develop and sustain instructional school gardens through the California Instructional School Garden Program (CISGP). The present study was designed to assess the effectiveness of the CISGP at assisting schools in implementing, maintaining and sustaining an academic school garden programme, determine how schools utilized the funding they received and assess the impact of the California state budget crisis on the CISGP. A mid-term evaluation was used to assess the degree to which schools achieved their instructional garden-related goals. California. Only schools that applied for the CIGSP grant as part of a school district and also provided a contact email and had a unique contact person were included in the study (n 3103, 80·6 %). In general, many schools reported not achieving their predicted goals with regard to the CISGP grant. Only 39·4 % of schools reported accomplishing all of their garden-related goals. Over one-third (37·8 %) of schools reported that their school gardens were negatively affected by the California budget deficit. The difference between predicted and actual utilization of the CISGP grants may be due to a combination of the effects of budget shortfall and insufficiency of the grant award amount.

  12. Improved Gradation for Rain Garden of Low Impact Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sandra; Chang, Fu-Ming

    2016-04-01

    With rapid urban and economic development, living standard improves in urban areas but urban ecological environments deteriorate rapidly. Urban waterlogging and flooding have become a serious problem for urban water security. As urbanization continues, sustainability is the key to balance between urban development and healthy environment. Rain garden is recommended to be one of the best ways to reduce urban pollutants. It not only diminishes runoff flooding but also purify water in the urban area. The studies on rain gardens are mainly about how to incorporate rain garden to purify water quality, but lack of researches on runoff control. This project focuses on rain garden under Low Impact Development using indoor laboratory to test and quantify the water holding capacities of two different Taiwan indigenous rain garden plants, Taiwan Cyclosorus and Sour Grass. The results show that the water holding capacity of Sour Grass (10%-37%) is better than that of Taiwan Cyclosorus (6.8%-17.3%). The results could be a helpful reference for Low Impact Development in urban flood prevention and urban planning. Keywords: Low Impact Development; rain garden; indoor laboratory experiments; water holding capacity; porosity

  13. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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 ...

  14. ANT: A decade of interfering with tourism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duim, van der V.R.; Ren, C.; Johannesson, G.T.

    2017-01-01

    Ten years ago actor-network theory (ANT) entered this journal. To illustrate how the relational ontology and sensibilities of ANT lend themselves to particular kinds of research, we first interrogate the main controversies as a way to open up and discuss the main premises of ANT. These debates

  15. Adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Qiang; Chen, Wei-Neng; Yu, Zhengtao; Gu, Tianlong; Li, Yun; Zhang, Huaxiang; Zhang, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Seeking multiple optima simultaneously, which multimodal optimization aims at, has attracted increasing attention but remains challenging. Taking advantage of ant colony optimization algorithms in preserving high diversity, this paper intends to extend ant colony optimization algorithms to deal with multimodal optimization. First, combined with current niching methods, an adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization algorithm is introduced. In this algorithm, an adaptive parameter a...

  16. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was inves- tigated 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 ...

  17. Facilitating Fresh: State Laws Supporting School Gardens Are Associated With Use of Garden-Grown Produce in School Nutrition Services Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Lindsey; Leider, Julien; Piekarz, Elizabeth; Schermbeck, Rebecca M; Merlo, Caitlin; Brener, Nancy; Chriqui, Jamie F

    2017-06-01

    To examine whether state laws are associated with the presence of school gardens and the use of garden-grown produce in school nutrition services programs. Nationally representative data from the School Health Policies and Practices Study 2014 were combined with objectively coded state law data regarding school gardens. Outcomes were: (1) the presence of a school garden at each school (n = 419 schools), and (2) the use of garden-grown items in the school nutrition services program. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine each outcome. Contextual covariates included school level, size, locale, US Census region, student race/ethnic composition, and percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-priced meals. State law was not significantly associated with whether schools had a garden, but it was associated with whether schools used garden-grown items in nutrition services programs (odds ratio, 4.21; P garden-grown items in nutrition services programs was 15.4% among schools in states with a supportive law, vs 4.4% among schools in states with no law. State laws that support school gardens may facilitate the use of garden-grown items in school nutrition service programs. Additional research is needed regarding the types of messaging that might be most effective for motivating school administrators to appreciate the value of school gardens. In addition, another area for further research pertains to scaling garden programs for broader reach. Copyright © 2017 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. All rights reserved.

  18. Historical gardens of the Banat region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hegedűs Noémi Melitta

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the article is the studying of a frequently seen phenomenon, which is the loss of value as far as some buildings and their surroundings are concerned, which, at the moment of their construction, held great historical and architectural value, but in time they have gradually lost their value due to political, social, and cultural changes. In the Banat region of the first half of the 19th century, we can remark the dominance of the neoclassical style. The parks of the Banat region, apart from their role of satisfying the visual aesthetic appearances, are very well adapted to the place. They are unique, but the pattern after which they were conceived is common, according to the fashion of the era in which they were created. The subject of the research develops around the historical gardens belonging to certain historical monuments. The aim of researching these landscape arrangements is the investigation of the present-day situation and their evolution that has led to their actual transformation.

  19. Interaction between workers during a short time window is required for bacterial symbiont transmission in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Sarah E; Poulsen, Michael; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Currie, Cameron R

    2014-01-01

    Stable associations between partners over time are critical for the evolution of mutualism. Hosts employ a variety of mechanisms to maintain specificity with bacterial associates. Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants farm a fungal cultivar as their primary nutrient source. These ants also carry a Pseudonocardia Actinobacteria exosymbiont on their bodies that produces antifungal compounds that help inhibit specialized parasites of the ants' fungal garden. Major workers emerge from their pupal cases (eclose) symbiont-free, but exhibit visible Actinobacterial coverage within 14 days post-eclosion. Using subcolony experiments, we investigate exosymbiont transmission within Acromyrmex colonies. We found successful transmission to newly eclosed major workers fostered by major workers with visible Actinobacteria in all cases (100% acquiring, n = 19). In contrast, newly eclosed major workers reared without exosymbiont-carrying major workers did not acquire visible Actinobacteria (0% acquiring, n = 73). We further show that the majority of ants exposed to major workers with exosymbionts within 2 hours of eclosion acquired bacteria (60.7% acquiring, n = 28), while normal acquisition did not occur when exposure occurred later than 2 hours post-eclosion (0% acquiring, n = 18). Our findings show that transmission of exosymbionts to newly eclosed major workers occurs through interactions with exosymbiont-covered workers within a narrow time window after eclosion. This mode of transmission likely helps ensure the defensive function within colonies, as well as specificity and partner fidelity in the ant-bacterium association.

  20. Contamination of Pine Seeds by the Pitch Canker Fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. David Dwinell; S.W. Fraedrich

    1999-01-01

    The pitch canker fungus, Fusarium subglutinans f. sp. pini, has been identified as a significant problem in man pine seed orchards and nursuries in the South. THe fungus causes strobilus mortality, seed deterioation, and cankers on the main stem, branches, and shoots of pines Dwinell and others 1985). The pitche canker fungus...

  1. Open-Ended Experimentation with the Fungus Pilobolus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coble, Charles R.; Bland, Charles E.

    This paper describes open-ended experimentation with the fungus Pilobolus for laboratory work by high school students. The fungus structure and reproduction is described and sources of the fungus are suggested. Four areas for investigation are suggested: the effect of a diffuse light source, the effect of a point light source, the effect of light…

  2. COMMUNITY GARDENS AND FOOD SECURITY IN RURAL LIVELIHOOD DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL AND MARKET GARDENS IN MBERENGWA, ZIMBABWE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernard Chazovachii

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper seeks to assess the contribution of community gardens on food security in rural livelihoods development in Mberengwa ward 27. Despite the introduction of community gardens in ward 27, poverty persisted amongst the vulnerable groups in the district. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used in collection of data through questionnaires, interviews and focused group discussions (FGDs. Analysis was done using descriptive statistics and content analysis. This study revealed that the vulnerable people of Mberengwa derived income, basic horticultural skills, enriching their garden soils and food commodities from the Imbahuru community garden. Factors like all year-round production of crops, intensiveness of the activity, monitoring and evaluation by extension workers, field days in all seasons and demand of the crop varieties grown influence food security in the district. However challenges persisted due to their seclusion of these gardeners from credit facilicities, lack of irrigation equipment, unstable power relations among leaders and the project was associated with the weak in society. The research concludes that the gardening project should be done not in isolation with the Zimbabwe's agrarian reform programme which would provide all forms of capital which capacitated the vulnerable rural dwellers.

  3. Do leaf cutting ants cut undetected? Testing the effect of ant-induced plant defences on foraging decisions in Atta colombica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Kost

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutting ants (LCAs are polyphagous, yet highly selective herbivores. The factors that govern their selection of food plants, however, remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that the induction of anti-herbivore defences by attacked food plants, which are toxic to either ants or their mutualistic fungus, should significantly affect the ants' foraging behaviour. To test this "induced defence hypothesis," we used lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus, a plant that emits many volatile organic compounds (VOCs upon herbivore attack with known anti-fungal or ant-repellent effects. Our results provide three important insights into the foraging ecology of LCAs. First, leaf-cutting by Atta ants can induce plant defences: Lima bean plants that were repeatedly exposed to foraging workers of Atta colombica over a period of three days emitted significantly more VOCs than undamaged control plants. Second, the level to which a plant has induced its anti-herbivore defences can affect the LCAs' foraging behaviour: In dual choice bioassays, foragers discriminated control plants from plants that have been damaged mechanically or by LCAs 24 h ago. In contrast, strong induction levels of plants after treatment with the plant hormone jasmonic acid or three days of LCA feeding strongly repelled LCA foragers relative to undamaged control plants. Third, the LCA-specific mode of damaging leaves allows them to remove larger quantities of leaf material before being recognized by the plant: While leaf loss of approximately 15% due to a chewing herbivore (coccinelid beetle was sufficient to significantly increase VOC emission levels after 24 h, the removal of even 20% of a plant's leaf area within 20 min by LCAs did not affect its VOC emission rate after 24 h. Taken together, our results support the "induced defence hypothesis" and provide first empirical evidence that the foraging behaviour of LCAs is affected by the induction of plant defence responses.

  4. [The origin and development of the herbal gardens of the Owari clan].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, S

    1996-12-01

    The early herbal garden of the Owari Clan was called Ofuke-Oyakuen. By careful reading of the "Illustration of the Honorable Herb Garden (OYakuen no Zu), it is pointed out that this garden might have been opened around 1562 when 39 species of herbs granted by Shogun Iemitsu were planted. This garden was enlarged in about 1684. We found that the well-known "Honorable Illustration of Former Herb Garden (Moto-oyakuen On-ezu)" was a drawing of a part of this enlarged herbal garden. On the other hand, in 1735 a new herbal garden, Oshitayashiki-oyakuen was opened for cultivation of Panax Shinseng. While this garden produced fair results at Panax cultivation, it was closed in 1869 at the Meiji Restoration. In the last days of the Tokugawa regime, herbalists of this garden had made original advances in natural history.

  5. Leaf processing behaviour in Atta leafcutter ants: 90% of leaf cutting takes place inside the nest, and ants select pieces that require less cutting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrett, Ryan W; Carlson, Katherine A; Goggans, Matthew Scott; Nesson, Michael H; Shepard, Christopher A; Schofield, Robert M S

    2016-01-01

    Leafcutter ants cut trimmings from plants, carry them to their underground nests and cut them into smaller pieces before inoculating them with a fungus that serves as a primary food source for the colony. Cutting is energetically costly, so the amount of cutting is important in understanding foraging energetics. Estimates of the cutting density, metres of cutting per square metre of leaf, were made from samples of transported leaf cuttings and of fungal substrate from field colonies of Atta cephalotes and Atta colombica. To investigate cutting inside the nest, we made leaf-processing observations of our laboratory colony, A. cephalotes. We did not observe the commonly reported reduction of the leaf fragments into a pulp, which would greatly increase the energy cost of processing. Video clips of processing behaviours, including behaviours that have not previously been described, are linked. An estimated 2.9 (±0.3) km of cutting with mandibles was required to reduce a square metre of leaf to fungal substrate. Only about 12% (±1%) of this cutting took place outside of the nest. The cutting density and energy cost is lower for leaf material with higher ratios of perimeter to area, so we tested for, and found that the laboratory ants had a preference for leaves that were pre-cut into smaller pieces. Estimates suggest that the energy required to transport and cut up the leaf material is comparable to the metabolic energy available from the fungus grown on the leaves, and so conservation of energy is likely to be a particularly strong selective pressure for leafcutter ants.

  6. Rock phosphate solubilization by the ectomycorrhizal fungus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SAM

    2014-06-18

    Jun 18, 2014 ... African Journal of Biotechnology. Full Length Research Paper. Rock phosphate solubilization by the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria fraterna and its associated mycorrhizal helper bacterial strains. S. Arumanayagam1* and M. Arunmani2. 1Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

  7. Review of fungus-induced asthmatic reactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kauffman, H. F.; TOMEE, J. F.; van der Werf, T. S.; de Monchy, J. G.; Koëter, G. K.

    Fungus-induced obstructive airway disease in atopic individuals can be differentiated into two categories: first, uncomplicated asthmatic reactions due to high but transient exposure to fungal spores (fungal asthma), resulting in a T-H2-type response with immunoglobulin E-mediated reactions and

  8. Spread of Rare Fungus from Vancouver Island

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2006-12-20

    Cryptococcus gattii, a rare fungus normally found in the tropics, has infected people and animals on Vancouver Island, Canada. Dr. David Warnock, Director, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, CDC, discusses public health concerns about further spread of this organism.  Created: 12/20/2006 by Emerging Infectious Diseases.   Date Released: 12/29/2006.

  9. Death from Fungus in the Soil

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2012-12-17

    Dr. Shira Shafir, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, discusses her study about fungus found in soil.  Created: 12/17/2012 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 12/18/2012.

  10. Renal fungus ball: a challenging clinical problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Wei Phin; Turba, Ulku C; Deane, Leslie A

    2017-04-28

    We describe a case of renal pelvi-ureteric fungus ball managed with placement of two nephrostomy tubes and amphotericin B irrigation through a nephrostomy tube with the other to free drain. A 46-year-old man with uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes mellitus was referred to the urology clinic for workup of recurrent urinary tract infection. Urine culture grew Candida albicans. The patient was started on oral fluconazole therapy. Cystoscopy and cystogram revealed a grade 3 left vesicoureteral reflux and right retrograde pyelogram revealed a filling defect in the right renal pelvis extending into the proximal ureter with severe hydroureteronephrosis. Two nephrostomy tubes were placed (mid-pole and lower pole) to ensure that the system was not obstructed. Amphotericin B (50 mg/1000 ml normal saline) irrigation was then instilled through the mid-pole nephrostomy tube at a rate of 30 ml/h with the lower pole nephrostomy tube to free drain. An antegrade nephrostogram was performed after 5 days of amphotericin B instillation, showing complete resolution of the fungus ball. The patient is awaiting definitive minimally invasive management of the distal ureteral narrowing. Renal and pelvi-ureteric fungus ball is a challenging clinical entity. It must be addressed promptly and efficiently to be successful. We describe a minimally invasive approach that was tolerated well and resulted in complete clearance of the fungus ball in a relatively short time frame.

  11. A endophytic fungus, Ramichloridium cerophilum , promotes growth ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A fungal endophyte, Ramichloridium cerophilum, was identified as a Class 2 endophytes species obtained from the leaf of common sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus L). This fungus was found to grow endophylically in the roots of Chinese cabbage seedlings. Light microscopy of cross-sections of colonized Chinese cabbage ...

  12. Global distribution of the pitch canker fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. David Dwinell

    1998-01-01

    The pitch canker fungus, Fusarium subglutinans f. sp. pini, causes diseases of pines in the United States, Haiti, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and South Africa. Pitch canker was first reported in Virginia pine in North Carolina in 1946. Although the disease was reported in Haitian pine in 1953, pitch canker was generally considered a...

  13. Sensibility of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Pelargonium sidoides, known as umckaloabo, is a plant originally from South Africa and its extract is used in popular medicine. The fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, an important entomopathogen used in biological control of pests, is also employed as model for the evaluation of toxicity and compatibility of different products, ...

  14. Botrallin from the endophytic fungus Hyalodendriella sp ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    use

    2011-12-12

    Dec 12, 2011 ... Bioassay-guided fractionation of the crude methanol extract of the mycelia from the endophytic fungus. Hyalodendriella sp. Ponipodef12, associated with the hybrid 'Neva' of Populus deltoides Marsh × P. nigra L., led to the isolation of one compound coded as P12-1 which was identified as botrallin (1,7-.

  15. Rock phosphate solubilization by the ectomycorrhizal fungus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In the present study, few mycorrhizal helper bacterial (MHB) strains such as Pseudomonas putida, Erwinia herbicola and Bacillus subtilis were isolated and identified from surface sterilized basidiomata and mycorrhizosphere of an ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria fraterna association with Eucalyptus globulus. To evaluate ...

  16. The garden as a laboratory: the role of domestic gardens as places of scientific exploration in the long 18th century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickman, Clare

    2014-06-01

    Eighteenth-century gardens have traditionally been viewed as spaces designed for leisure, and as representations of political status, power and taste. In contrast, this paper will explore the concept that gardens in this period could be seen as dynamic spaces where scientific experiment and medical practice could occur. Two examples have been explored in the pilot study which has led to this paper - the designed landscapes associated with John Hunter's Earl's Court residence, in London, and the garden at Edward Jenner's house in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. Garden history methodologies have been implemented in order to consider the extent to which these domestic gardens can be viewed as experimental spaces.

  17. Assessment of Gardening Wastes as a Co-Substrate for Diapers Degradation by the Fungus Pleurotus ostreatus

    OpenAIRE

    Rosa María Espinosa-Valdemar; Alethia Vázquez-Morillas; Sara Ojeda-Benítez; Gabriela Arango-Escorcia; Sonia Cabrera-Elizalde; Xochitl Quecholac-Piña; Maribel Velasco-Pérez; Perla X. Sotelo-Navarro

    2015-01-01

    Waste with high biomass content generated in cities in developing countries is sent to landfills or open dumps. This research aims to degrade biomass content in urban waste through cultivation, at pilot scale, of the edible mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus. First, the number of diapers used by one baby per week was measured with a survey in day care facilities. Then, cellulose content of diapers was assessed. Finally, cultivation of P. ostreatus was carried out using as substrate a mixture of dia...

  18. Introduced fire ants can exclude native ants from critical mutualist-provided resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Shawn M; Barnum, Thomas R; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2013-05-01

    Animals frequently experience resource imbalances in nature. For ants, one resource that may be particularly valuable for both introduced and native species is high-carbohydrate honeydew from hemipteran mutualists. We conducted field and laboratory experiments: (1) to test if red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) competed with native ants for access to mutualisms with aphids, and (2) to quantify the effects of aphid honeydew presence or absence on colony growth of native ants. We focused on native dolichoderine ants (Formicidae, Dolichoderinae) because they are abundant ants that have omnivorous diets that frequently include mutualist-provided carbohydrates. At two sites in the southeastern US, native dolichoderine ants were far less frequent, and fire ants more frequent, at carbohydrate baits than would be expected based on their frequency in pitfall traps. A field experiment confirmed that a native ant species, Dorymyrmex bureni, was only found tending aphids when populations of S. invicta were suppressed. In the laboratory, colonies of native dolichoderine ants with access to both honeydew and insect prey had twice as many workers and over twice as much brood compared to colonies fed only ad libitum insect prey. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that introduced ants compete for access to mutualist-provided carbohydrates with native ants and that these carbohydrates represent critical resources for both introduced and native ants. These results challenge traditional paradigms of arthropod and ant nutrition and contribute to growing evidence of the importance of nutrition in mediating ecological interactions.

  19. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S.; Truszkowski, W.

    2002-05-01

    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.

  20. No evidence for immune priming in ants exposed to a fungal pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reber, Anabelle; Chapuisat, Michel

    2012-01-01

    There is accumulating evidence that invertebrates can acquire long-term protection against pathogens through immune priming. However, the range of pathogens eliciting immune priming and the specificity of the response remain unclear. Here, we tested if the exposure to a natural fungal pathogen elicited immune priming in ants. We found no evidence for immune priming in Formica selysi workers exposed to Beauveria bassiana. The initial exposure of ants to the fungus did not alter their resistance in a subsequent challenge with the same fungus. There was no sign of priming when using homologous and heterologous combinations of fungal strains for exposure and subsequent challenges at two time intervals. Hence, within the range of conditions tested, the immune response of this social insect to the fungal pathogen appears to lack memory and strain-specificity. These results show that immune priming is not ubiquitous across pathogens, hosts and conditions, possibly because of immune evasion by the pathogen or efficient social defences by the host.

  1. Lock-picks: fungal infection facilitates the intrusion of strangers into ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csata, Enikő; Timuş, Natalia; Witek, Magdalena; Casacci, Luca Pietro; Lucas, Christophe; Bagnères, Anne-Geneviève; Sztencel-Jabłonka, Anna; Barbero, Francesca; Bonelli, Simona; Rákosy, László; Markó, Bálint

    2017-01-01

    Studies investigating host-parasite systems rarely deal with multispecies interactions, and mostly explore impacts on hosts as individuals. Much less is known about the effects at colony level, when parasitism involves host organisms that form societies. We surveyed the effect of an ectoparasitic fungus, Rickia wasmannii, on kin-discrimination abilities of its host ant, Myrmica scabrinodis, identifying potential consequences at social level and subsequent changes in colony infiltration success of other organisms. Analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), known to be involved in insects’ discrimination processes, revealed variations in chemical profiles correlated with the infection status of the ants, that could not be explained by genetic variation tested by microsatellites. In behavioural assays, fungus-infected workers were less aggressive towards both non-nestmates and unrelated queens, enhancing the probability of polygyny. Likewise, parasitic larvae of Maculinea butterflies had a higher chance of adoption by infected colonies. Our study indicates that pathogens can modify host recognition abilities, making the society more prone to accept both conspecific and allospecific organisms. PMID:28402336

  2. Study protocol: can a school gardening intervention improve children's diets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christian, Meaghan S; El Evans, Charlotte; Conner, Mark; Ransley, Joan K; Cade, Janet E

    2012-04-26

    The current academic literature suggests there is a potential for using gardening as a tool to improve children's fruit and vegetable intake. This study is two parallel randomised controlled trials (RCT) devised to evaluate the school gardening programme of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening, to determine if it has an effect on children's fruit and vegetable intake. Trial One will consist of 26 schools; these schools will be randomised into two groups, one to receive the intensive intervention as "Partner Schools" and the other to receive the less intensive intervention as "Associate Schools". Trial Two will consist of 32 schools; these schools will be randomised into either the less intensive intervention "Associate Schools" or a comparison group with delayed intervention. Baseline data collection will be collected using a 24-hour food diary (CADET) to collect data on dietary intake and a questionnaire exploring children's knowledge and attitudes towards fruit and vegetables. A process measures questionnaire will be used to assess each school's gardening activities. The results from these trials will provide information on the impact of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening on children's fruit and vegetable intake. The evaluation will provide valuable information for designing future research in primary school children's diets and school based interventions. ISRCTN11396528.

  3. Heavy metal contamination in a school vegetable garden in Johannesburg.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kootbodien, T; Mathee, A; Naicker, N; Moodley, N

    2012-03-07

    Feeding schemes based on school garden produce have been proposed as an effective solution to food insecurity and hunger among learners in South Africa. However, few studies have looked at the potential contamination of school food gardens when situated near mine tailing dams. The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential heavy metal contamination in a school vegetable garden in Johannesburg. Twenty soil samples were collected from the study school and a comparison school. Surface and deep (±10 cm beneath the surface) soil samples were analysed using X-ray fluorescence for levels of arsenic, chromium, copper, lead and zinc. Thirteen vegetables samples were collected from the school garden, and compared with six samples from a national retailer and four obtained from a private organic garden. The heavy metal concentrations of the vegetable samples were analysed in the laboratories of the South African Agricultural Research Council. High levels of arsenic were found in the school soil samples, and elevated concentrations of lead and mercury in the school vegetables. Calculation of the estimated daily intake for a child of 30 kg however, indicated that levels of lead, mercury and arsenic in vegetables were within acceptable limits. However, the levels of lead in the vegetable samples were high across all three sites. Further investigation and research should be undertaken to assess the source/s and extent of public exposure to heavy metals in vegetables in South Africa.

  4. Gardening for the mental well-being of homeless women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabbe, Linda; Ball, Janell; Goldstein, Allison

    2013-12-01

    To explore the perceptions of homeless women regarding their experience in a shelter-based garden project to promote mental wellness. Participants planted and tended the vegetable garden and prepared and ate the fruits of their labor. A qualitative descriptive design with a conventional content analysis of narrative data. Data were gathered in semistructured interviews. Participants were homeless daytime shelter guests who had participated in at least eight gardening sessions over 4 weeks. The project was started in the fall of 2010 and the interviews were conducted over 2 months in the summer of 2011. Two polarized themes were identified in the narratives, clustering around negative and positive thoughts. The "dark" theme centered on marginalization and the oppressiveness of shelter life. The "light" theme centered on stress relief, feeling socially included, and personal change. The gardening experience interrupted the participants' negative ruminations, offering stress relief and elements of social inclusion and self-actualization. Gardening is an inexpensive and positive intervention for a population with a high incidence of mental illness and distress.

  5. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    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...

  6. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reina L. Tong

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. Functional diversity of home gardens and their agrobiodiversity conservation benefits in Benin, West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gbedomon, Rodrigue Castro; Salako, Valère Kolawolé; Fandohan, Adandé Belarmain; Idohou, Alix Frank Rodrigue; Glèlè Kakaї, Romain; Assogbadjo, Achille Ephrem

    2017-11-25

    Understanding the functional diversity of home gardens and their socio-ecological determinants is essential for mainstreaming these agroforestry practices into agrobiodiversity conservation strategies. This paper analyzed functional diversity of home gardens, identified the socio-ecological drivers of functions assigned to them, and assessed the agrobiodiversity benefits of home gardens functions. Using data on occurring species in home garden (HG) and functions assigned to each species by the gardeners, the study combined clustering and discriminant canonical analyses to explore the functional diversity of 360 home gardens in Benin, West Africa. Next, multinomial logistic models and chi-square tests were used to analyze the effect of socio-demographic characteristics of gardeners (age, gender, and education level), agro-ecological zones (humid, sub-humid, and semi-arid), and management regime (single and multiple managers) on the possession of a functional type of home gardens. Generalized linear models were used to assess the effect of the functions of home gardens and the determinant factor on their potential in conserving agrobiodiversity. Seven functional groups of home gardens, four with specific functions (food, medicinal, or both food and medicinal) and three with multiple functions (more than two main functions), were found. Women owned most of home gardens with primarily food plant production purpose while men owned most of home gardens with primarily medicinal plant production purposes. Finding also showed that multifunctional home gardens had higher plant species diversity. Specifically, crops and crop wild relatives occurred mainly in home gardens with food function while wild plant species were mostly found in home gardens with mainly medicinal function. Home gardening is driven by functions beyond food production. These functions are mostly related to direct and extractive values of home gardens. Functions of home gardens were gendered, with women

  8. Ant Larval Demand Reduces Aphid Colony Growth Rates in an Ant-Aphid Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Cook

    2012-02-01

    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.

  9. Expositions of the Botanic Garden of Petrozavodsk State University: "Round Garden"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirilkina Tatiana

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The exhibition "Round Garden" founded in 2005 by curator of fruit department Tatyana Kirilkina, Ph.D. Landings made in the regular style with radiation (rotary symmetry. This allowed a small area to place more than 70 taxa of traditional and new for Karelia fruit and berry crops. In the center of the exhibition - decorative Malus prunifolia 'Hyvingiensis' with an umbrella form crown. Among the new crop of Karelia - raspberry ( Rubus xanthocarpus Bur et Franch., Tibetan raspberries ( Rubus rosifolius Sm., blackberry ( Rubus fruticosus L., variety selection of Finnish Arctic raspberry ( Rubus arcticus L. and currants, columnar apple trees, apple trees in semi-dwarf rootstocks, ornamental varieties of fruit and others.

  10. Gardening and urban landscaping: significant players in global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niinemets, Ulo; Peñuelas, Josep

    2008-02-01

    Global warming leads to shifts in vegetation types in given temperate environments. The fastest species movement is due to the globalized supply and use of exotic plants in gardening and urban landscaping. These standard practices circumvent dispersal limitations and biological and environmental stresses; they have three major global impacts: (i) the enhancement of biological invasions, (ii) the elevation of volatile organic compound emissions and the resulting increase in photochemical smog formation, and (iii) the enhancement of CO(2) fixation and water use by gardened plants. These global effects, none of which are currently considered in global-change scenarios, are increasingly amplified with further warming and urbanization. We urge for quantitative assessment of the global effects of gardening and urban landscaping.

  11. [Dutch Zoological Gardens (until 1940) in historical context].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwart, P

    2009-01-01

    The history of the zoological gardens is an example of transformation through the ages; it is one of the ways men are dealing with their enviroment. Through the ages there were six reasons to keep wild animals: (1) Religion; 2. Power and Richness; (3) To get acquainted with animals (from tropical regions); (4) Study and Education; (5) Amusement and (6) Preservation of the species. The first Dutch "zoos", of the Dukes of Guelders in the 14th and of the stadholders in the 19th century, can serve as examples of the will to demonstrate power and richness. The Amsterdam Zoological Garden, "Artis", the zoological gardens of Rotterdam and of The Hague were founded for reasons of study and/ or education. Burgers' Dierenpark (Arnhem), Ouwehand's Dierenpark (Rhenen), Dierenpark Emmen en Dierenpark Wassenaar originated as leisure activities of their owners.

  12. Constraints Perceived by Students in School Vegetable Gardening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dilip S

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala to identify the constraints experienced by students in the course of engaging in school vegetable gardening programme. Ten schools were selected for data enumeration. A total of 130 respondents with 100 students comprising ten students each and 30 teachers comprising three each, from each school were selected for meeting the objectives of the study. The reaction to each constraint was obtained on a four-point continuum namely most important, important, less important and least important with the score 4, 3, 2 and 1 respectively. Mean rank cumulative index for each constraint was worked out and the constraints were ranked and catalogued. The major constraints as perceived by students in school vegetable garden projects were, high input cost followed by lack of student’s participation, lack of teacher’s involvement, non-availability of implements, high labour cost, poor storage facilities and lack of knowledge about gardening.

  13. Energy recovery from garden waste in a LCA perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naroznova, Irina; Møller, Jacob; Scheutz, Charlotte

    2015-01-01

    According to the common strategies regarding waste management and energy supply in EU countries, more efficient utilization of organic waste resources (including garden waste) with both nutrient and energy recovery is desired. Each of the most common treatments applied today – composting, direct...... treatment alternatives (AD, composting, direct use on land and incineration) was conducted. The results showed that none of the scenarios assessed was best in all impact categories simultaneously, i.e. an overall ranking of the technologies was not possible. Moreover, many trade-offs between nutrient...... use on land and incineration – only provides one of the two services. A technology ensuring both nutrient and energy utilization is anaerobic digestion (AD) that has become applicable for treatment of garden waste recently. In this study, life cycle assessment aimed to compare four garden waste...

  14. Garden ponds as potential introduction pathway of ornamental crayfish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patoka J.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The private stocking of ornamental crayfish in garden ponds was discussed in previous studies, but there is a lack of detailed analysis for better understanding of this introduction pathway. The Czech Republic is one of leading EU countries in trade with ornamental crayfish and private garden ponds are popular among people. The crayfish keepers in the country were interviewed by self-administered questionnaire to gather data about principal characteristics of the keepers and detailed information about crayfish breeding that are of interest for conservation managers. Besides of releasing crayfish into garden ponds, alarming illegal behavior such as releasing of juvenile crayfish into the wild, and capturing of indigenous crayfish from wild populations, were registered. Therefore focusing on public education to increase awareness of possible unwanted consequences of crayfish release and introduction of an obligation to inform customers about hazardousness of non-indigenous crayfish species for retailers and wholesalers is recommended.

  15. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. California teachers perceive school gardens as an effective nutritional tool to promote healthful eating habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Heather; Zidenberg-Cherr, Sheri

    2005-11-01

    This study assessed elementary school teachers' perceived attitudes and barriers associated with school gardens, as well as the purpose and use of gardens in schools, specifically in relation to the link between gardens and nutrition. The questionnaire was mailed to California fourth-grade teachers at schools with gardens (N = 1,665). The response rate was 36% (n = 592). Teachers perceived the garden to be somewhat to very effective at enhancing academic performance, physical activity, language arts, and healthful eating habits. Nutrition was taught with the use of the garden by 47% of responding teachers. This research provides evidence for needed standards-based curricula materials and teacher training in relation to gardening and nutrition. The results from this study will contribute to development of needed resources and methods by which to encourage the use of gardens and nutrition education in schools.

  17. Manicured, romantic, or wild? The relation between need for structure and preferences for garden styles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Berg, Agnes E.; van Winsum-Westra, Marijke

    2010-01-01

    The present research examined individual differences in preferences for three basic garden styles: manicured, romantic, and wild. Building on theoretical insights from landscape preference research, it was hypothesized that preferences for garden styles are guided by psychological needs. This

  18. Therapeutic experiences of community gardens: putting flow in its place.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitt, Hannah

    2014-05-01

    This paper develops the concept of therapeutic place experiences by considering the role of activity. Research of community gardening finds that particular tasks are therapeutic and exhibit the characteristics of flow, but those who lack influence over their community gardening are less likely to benefit from flow as their sense of control is reduced. The notion of emplaced flow is proposed to locate individual experiences amongst socio-spatial factors which limit self-determinacy and therefore affect wellbeing. Emplacing flow prompts critical reflection on who is excluded from therapeutic place experiences, and whether sites offering momentary escape have an enduring impact on wellbeing. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The false gardener in Lope de Vega's plays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcella Trambaioli

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The dramatic mask of the false gardener, one of the many types of noble disguised as a peasant, is specially frequent in Lope de Vega’s urban comedy; if in the main plot the love gardener courts his lover taking profit of the disguise, in the comic plot the dramatic type is parodied thanks to his links with real peasants; about 1615, Lope, already masked as Belardo in the Romancero, makes use of this dramatic type as a spokesman of his personal courtly ambitions.

  20. STUDY ON QUANTITATIVE CHARACTERS OF ORGANIC SEEDS IN GARDEN PEA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kalapchieva

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The experiment was conducted in the Maritsa Vegetable Crops Research Institute, Plovdiv during the period 2008-2009. Four garden pea varieties were grown in the conditions of organic and conventional production. The purpose of the experiment was to study the quantitative characters of seeds obtained in organic production. It was established that the organic garden pea seeds differ with lower absolute weight compared to the seeds obtained in conventional system but they kept high germination (89,5-96,5 close to the control variant. The late variety Vyatovo grown with organic fertilizers and biopesticides are with the lowest percentage of injuries by Bruchus pisi l.