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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. 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

    hypothesized that fungal proteinase activity may have been under selection for efficiency and that different classes of proteinases might be involved. Results: We determined proteinase activity profiles across a wide pH range for fungus gardens of 14 Panamanian species of fungus-growing ants, representing...... classes. Remarkably, the single symbiont that is shared by species of the crown group of Atta and Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants mostly showed metalloproteinase activity, suggesting that recurrent changes in enzyme production may have occurred throughout the domestication history of fungus-garden symbionts......Background: Attine ants live in symbiosis with a basidiomycetous fungus that they rear on a substrate of plant material. This indirect herbivory implies that the symbiosis is likely to be nitrogen deprived, so that specific mechanisms may have evolved to enhance protein availability. We therefore...

  3. Evolutionary transitions in enzyme activity of ant fungus gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

    Fungus-growing (attine) ants and their fungal symbionts passed through several evolutionary transitions during their 50 million year old evolutionary history. The basal attine lineages often shifted between two main cultivar clades, whereas the derived higher-attine lineages maintained 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 toward partial degradation of plant cell walls, reflecting a plesiomorphic state of nondomesticated 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 breakdown of cell walls. The adaptive significance of the lower-attine symbiont shifts remains unclear. One of these shifts was obligate, but digestive advantages remained ambiguous, whereas the other remained facultative despite providing greater digestive efficiency.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

    communities of microbial and invertebrate symbionts have evolved associations with the dump material from leaf-cutting ant nests, to exploit decomposition niches that the ant garden-fungus does not utilize. Our approach thus provides detailed insight into the nutritional benefits and shortcomings associated......The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus......, to map the occurrence of cell wall polymers in consecutive sections of the fungus garden of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We show that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste...

  7. The fungus gardens of leaf-cutter ants undergo a distinct physiological transition during biomass degradation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huang, Eric L.; Aylward, Frank O.; Kim, Young-Mo; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Nicora, Carrie D.; Hu, Zeping; Metz, Thomas O.; Lipton, Mary S.; Smith, Richard D.; Currie, Cameron R.; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E.

    2014-08-01

    Leaf-cutter ants are dominant herbivores in ecosystems throughout the Neotropics. Rather than directly consuming the fresh foliar biomass they harvest, these ants use it to cultivate specialized fungus gardens. Although recent investigations have shed light on how plant biomass is degraded in fungus gardens, the cycling of nutrients that takes place in these specialized microbial ecosystems is still not well understood. Here, using metametabolomics and metaproteomics techniques, we examine the dynamics of nutrient turnover and biosynthesis in these gardens. Our results reveal that numerous free amino acids and sugars are depleted throughout the process of biomass degradation, indicating that easily accessible nutrients from plant material are readily consumed by microbes in these ecosystems. Accumulation of cellobiose and lignin derivatives near the end of the degradation process is consistent with previous findings of cellulases and laccases produced by Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, the fungus cultivated by leaf-cutter ants. Our results also suggest that ureides may be an important source of nitrogen in fungus gardens, especially during nitrogen-limiting conditions. No free arginine was detected in our metametabolomics experiments despite evidence that the host ants cannot produce this amino acid, suggesting that biosynthesis of this metabolite may be tightly regulated in the fungus garden. These results provide new insights into the dynamics of nutrient cycling that underlie this important ant-fungus symbiosis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Jarrod J; Budsberg, Kevin J; Suen, Garret; Wixon, Devin L; Balser, Teri C; Currie, Cameron R

    2010-03-29

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

  9. Mathematical modeling on obligate mutualism: Interactions between leaf-cutter ants and their fungus garden.

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    Kang, Yun; Clark, Rebecca; Makiyama, Michael; Fewell, Jennifer

    2011-11-21

    We propose a simple mathematical model by applying Michaelis-Menton equations of enzyme kinetics to study the mutualistic interaction between the leaf cutter ant and its fungus garden at the early stage of colony expansion. We derive sufficient conditions on the extinction and coexistence of these two species. In addition, we give a region of initial condition that leads to the extinction of two species when the model has an interior attractor. Our global analysis indicates that the division of labor by worker ants and initial conditions are two important factors that determine whether leaf cutter ants' colonies and their fungus garden can survive and grow or not. We validate the model by comparing model simulations and data on fungal and ant colony growth rates under laboratory conditions. We perform sensitive analysis of the model based on the experimental data to gain more biological insights on ecological interactions between leaf-cutter ants and their fungus garden. Finally, we give conclusions and discuss potential future work. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Defending against parasites: fungus-growing ants combine specialized behaviours and microbial symbionts to protect their fungus gardens.

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    Little, Ainslie E F; Murakami, Takahiro; Mueller, Ulrich G; Currie, Cameron R

    2006-03-22

    Parasites influence host biology and population structure, and thus shape the evolution of their hosts. Parasites often accelerate the evolution of host defences, including direct defences such as evasion and sanitation and indirect defences such as the management of beneficial microbes that aid in the suppression or removal of pathogens. Fungus-growing ants are doubly burdened by parasites, needing to protect their crops as well as themselves from infection. We show that parasite removal from fungus gardens is more complex than previously realized. In response to infection of their fungal gardens by a specialized virulent parasite, ants gather and compress parasitic spores and hyphae in their infrabuccal pockets, then deposit the resulting pellet in piles near their gardens. We reveal that the ants' infrabuccal pocket functions as a specialized sterilization device, killing spores of the garden parasite Escovopsis. This is apparently achieved through a symbiotic association with actinomycetous bacteria in the infrabuccal pocket that produce antibiotics which inhibit Escovopsis. The use of the infrabuccal pocket as a receptacle to sequester Escovopsis, and as a location for antibiotic administration by the ants' bacterial mutualist, illustrates how the combination of behaviour and microbial symbionts can be a successful defence strategy for hosts.

  11. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus Produces Diverse Enzymes for the Degradation of Recalcitrant Plant Polymers in Leaf-Cutter Ant Fungus Gardens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aylward, Frank O. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Tringe, Susannah G. [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Teiling, Clotilde [Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN (United States); Tremmel, Daniel [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Moeller, Joseph [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Scott, Jarrod J. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Barry, Kerrie W. [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Piehowski, Paul D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Nicora, Carrie D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Malfatti, Stephanie [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Monroe, Matthew E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Purvine, Samuel O. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Goodwin, Lynne A. [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Smith, Richard D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Weinstock, George [Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, MS (United States); Gerardo, Nicole [Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA (United States); Suen, Garret [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Lipton, Mary S. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Currie, Cameron R. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Smothsonian Tropical Research Inst., Balboa (Panama)

    2013-06-12

    Plants represent a large reservoir of organic carbon comprised largely 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 fungus gardens composed primarily of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, a basidiomycetous symbiont 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, metaproteomic, and phylogenetic tools we investigate its role in lignocellulose degradation in the fungus gardens of both Atta cephalotes and Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutter ants. We show that L. gongylophorus produces a diversity of lignocellulases in fungus 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 may be playing an important but previously uncharacterized role in lignocellulose degradation. Our study provides a comprehensive analysis of plant biomass degradation in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens and provides insight into the molecular dynamics underlying the symbiosis between these dominant herbivores and their obligate fungal cultivar.

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

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    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Nygaard, Sanne; Roepstorff, Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2013-01-08

    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 on the leaf pulp that the ants add to their gardens. This accurate deposition ensures that laccase activity is highest where new leaf material enters the fungus garden, but where fungal mycelium is too sparse to produce extracellular enzymes in sufficient quantities to detoxify phenolic compounds. Phylogenetic analysis of LgLcc1 ortholog sequences from symbiotic and free-living fungi revealed significant positive selection in the ancestral lineage that gave rise to the gongylidia-producing symbionts of leaf-cutting ants and their non-leaf-cutting ant sister group. Our results are consistent with fungal preadaptation and subsequent modification of a particular laccase enzyme for the detoxification of secondary plant compounds during the transition to active herbivory in the ancestor of leaf-cutting ants between 8 and 12 Mya.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; 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 neo...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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    Lange Lene

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leaf-cutting ants live in symbiosis with a fungus that they rear for food by providing it with live plant material. Until recently the fungus' main inferred function was to make otherwise inaccessible cell wall degradation products available to the ants, but new studies have shed doubt on this idea. To provide evidence for the cell wall degrading capacity of the attine ant symbiont, we designed PCR primers from conserved regions of known xylanase genes, to be used in PCR with genomic DNA from the symbiont as template. We also measured xylanase, cellulase and proteinase activities 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 activity in the newly established top layer. This vertical distribution appears to be negatively correlated with the concentration of glucose, which indicates a directly regulating role of glucose, as has been found in other fungi and has been previously suggested for the ant fungal symbiont. Conclusion The mutualistic fungus of Acromyrmex echinatior has a functional xylanase gene and is thus presumably able to at least partially degrade the cell walls of leaves. This finding supports a saprotrophic origin of the fungal symbiont. The observed distribution of enzyme activity leads us to propose that leaf-substrate degradation in fungus gardens is a multi-step process comparable to normal biodegradation of organic matter in soil ecosystems

  20. 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

    '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...

  1. 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

    by ant soldiers and that also newly hatched snakes manage to avoid ant attacks when they leaving their host colony. We speculate that L. annulata might use Atta and Acromyrmex leafcutter ant colonies as egg nurseries by some form of chemical insignificance, but more work is needed to understand...

  2. 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...

  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 ...... garden. This system can be viewed as ant induced crop optimization similar to human agricultural practices....... 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...... 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...

  4. 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....

  5. 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....

  6. 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

    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......, 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...

  7. Ecology: 'Devil's gardens' bedevilled by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E; Greene, Michael J; Gordon, Deborah M

    2005-09-22

    'Devil's gardens' are large stands of trees in the Amazonian rainforest that consist almost entirely of a single species, Duroia hirsuta, and, according to local legend, are cultivated by an evil forest spirit. Here we show that the ant Myrmelachista schumanni, which nests in D. hirsuta stems, creates devil's gardens by poisoning all plants except its host plants with formic acid. By killing these other plants, M. schumanni provides its colonies with abundant nest sites--a long-lasting benefit as colonies can live for 800 years.

  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. Specialized Fungal Parasites and Opportunistic Fungi in Gardens of Attine Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando C. Pagnocca

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants in the tribe Attini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae comprise about 230 described species that share the same characteristic: all coevolved in an ancient mutualism with basidiomycetous fungi cultivated for food. In this paper we focused on fungi other than the mutualistic cultivar and their roles in the attine ant symbiosis. Specialized fungal parasites in the genus Escovopsis negatively impact the fungus gardens. Many fungal parasites may have small impacts on the ants' fungal colony when the colony is balanced, but then may opportunistically shift to having large impacts if the ants' colony becomes unbalanced.

  10. 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

  11. Bacterial symbiont sharing in Megalomyrmex social parasites and their fungus-growing ant hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liberti, Joanito; Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Hansen, Lars H.

    2015-01-01

    nests such as consumption of the same fungus garden food, eating of host brood by social parasites, trophallaxis and grooming interactions between the ants, or parallel acquisition from the same nest environment. Our results imply that cohabiting ant social parasites and hosts may obtain functional...... benefits from bacterial symbiont transfer even when they are not closely related....

  12. 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 su...

  13. 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...

  14. 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

    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...... 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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......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...

  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...

  19. 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...

  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

    -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...

  1. Generalized antifungal activity and 454-screening of Pseudonocardia and Amycolatopsis bacteria in nests of fungus-growing ants

    OpenAIRE

    Sen, Ruchira; Ishak, Heather D.; Estrada, Dora; Dowd, Scot E.; Hong, Eunki; Mueller, Ulrich G.

    2009-01-01

    In many host-microbe mutualisms, hosts use beneficial metabolites supplied by microbial symbionts. Fungus-growing (attine) ants are thought to form such a mutualism with Pseudonocardia bacteria to derive antibiotics that specifically suppress the coevolving pathogen Escovopsis, which infects the ants' fungal gardens and reduces growth. Here we test 4 key assumptions of this Pseudonocardia-Escovopsis coevolution model. Culture-dependent and culture-independent (tag-encoded 454-pyrosequencing) ...

  2. A single Streptomyces symbiont makes multiple antifungals to support the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan F Seipke

    Full Text Available Attine ants are dependent on a cultivated fungus for food and use antibiotics produced by symbiotic Actinobacteria as weedkillers in their fungus gardens. Actinobacterial species belonging to the genera Pseudonocardia, Streptomyces and Amycolatopsis have been isolated from attine ant nests and shown to confer protection against a range of microfungal weeds. In previous work on the higher attine Acromyrmex octospinosus we isolated a Streptomyces strain that produces candicidin, consistent with another report that attine ants use Streptomyces-produced candicidin in their fungiculture. Here we report the genome analysis of this Streptomyces strain and identify multiple antibiotic biosynthetic pathways. We demonstrate, using gene disruptions and mass spectrometry, that this single strain has the capacity to make candicidin and multiple antimycin compounds. Although antimycins have been known for >60 years we report the sequence of the biosynthetic gene cluster for the first time. Crucially, disrupting the candicidin and antimycin gene clusters in the same strain had no effect on bioactivity against a co-evolved nest pathogen called Escovopsis that has been identified in ∼30% of attine ant nests. Since the Streptomyces strain has strong bioactivity against Escovopsis we conclude that it must make additional antifungal(s to inhibit Escovopsis. However, candicidin and antimycins likely offer protection against other microfungal weeds that infect the attine fungal gardens. Thus, we propose that the selection of this biosynthetically prolific strain from the natural environment provides A. octospinosus with broad spectrum activity against Escovopsis and other microfungal weeds.

  3. A Single Streptomyces Symbiont Makes Multiple Antifungals to Support the Fungus Farming Ant Acromyrmex octospinosus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seipke, Ryan F.; Barke, Jörg; Brearley, Charles; Hill, Lionel; Yu, Douglas W.; Goss, Rebecca J. M.; Hutchings, Matthew I.

    2011-01-01

    Attine ants are dependent on a cultivated fungus for food and use antibiotics produced by symbiotic Actinobacteria as weedkillers in their fungus gardens. Actinobacterial species belonging to the genera Pseudonocardia, Streptomyces and Amycolatopsis have been isolated from attine ant nests and shown to confer protection against a range of microfungal weeds. In previous work on the higher attine Acromyrmex octospinosus we isolated a Streptomyces strain that produces candicidin, consistent with another report that attine ants use Streptomyces-produced candicidin in their fungiculture. Here we report the genome analysis of this Streptomyces strain and identify multiple antibiotic biosynthetic pathways. We demonstrate, using gene disruptions and mass spectrometry, that this single strain has the capacity to make candicidin and multiple antimycin compounds. Although antimycins have been known for >60 years we report the sequence of the biosynthetic gene cluster for the first time. Crucially, disrupting the candicidin and antimycin gene clusters in the same strain had no effect on bioactivity against a co-evolved nest pathogen called Escovopsis that has been identified in ∼30% of attine ant nests. Since the Streptomyces strain has strong bioactivity against Escovopsis we conclude that it must make additional antifungal(s) to inhibit Escovopsis. However, candicidin and antimycins likely offer protection against other microfungal weeds that infect the attine fungal gardens. Thus, we propose that the selection of this biosynthetically prolific strain from the natural environment provides A. octospinosus with broad spectrum activity against Escovopsis and other microfungal weeds. PMID:21857911

  4. 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 ra...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia E Masiulionis

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M. M.; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A.; Jones, Tappey H.; Nash, David R.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    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 from their costly guest ants behaving as a functional soldier caste to meet lethal threats from agro-predator raiders. The fundamentally different life histories of the agro-predators and guest ants appear to facilitate their coexistence in a negative frequency-dependent manner. Because a guest ant colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when mercenary city defenders offered either net benefits or imposed net costs, depending on the level of threat from invading armies. PMID:24019482

  12. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A; Jones, Tappey H; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2013-09-24

    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 from their costly guest ants behaving as a functional soldier caste to meet lethal threats from agro-predator raiders. The fundamentally different life histories of the agro-predators and guest ants appear to facilitate their coexistence in a negative frequency-dependent manner. Because a guest ant colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when mercenary city defenders offered either net benefits or imposed net costs, depending on the level of threat from invading armies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Römer

    Full Text Available 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

  14. Rethinking crop-disease management in fungus-growing ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boomsma, J.J.; Aanen, D.K.

    2009-01-01

    Ant fungus farming has become a prominent model for studying the evolution of mutualistic cooperation, with recent advances in reconstructing the evolutionary origin and elaborations of the symbiosis (1, 2), discovering additional partners and clarifying their interactions (3, 4), and analyzing

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Leaf-cutting ants interact with several fungi in addition to the fungal symbiont they cultivate for food. Here, we assessed alien fungal communities in colonies of Atta cephalotes. Fungus garden fragments were sampled from colonies in the Atlantic Rainforest and in a cabruca agrosystem in the state of Bahia (Brazil) in two distinct periods to evaluate whether differences in nest habitat influence the diversity of fungi in the ant colonies. We recovered a total of 403 alien fungi isolates from 628 garden fragments. The prevalent taxa found in these samples were Escovopsis sp. (26 %), Escovopsioides nivea (24 %), and Trichoderma spirale (10.9 %). Fungal diversity was similar between the colonies sampled in both areas suggesting that ants focus on reducing loads of alien fungi in the fungus gardens instead of avoiding specific fungi. However, fungal taxa composition differed between colonies sampled in the two areas and between the sampling periods. These differences are likely explained by the availability of plant substrates available for foraging over habitats and periods. Ordination analysis further supported that sampling period was the main attribute for community structuring but also revealed that additional factors may explain the structuring of fungal communities in colonies of A. cephalotes. Copyright © 2015 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. No sex in fungus-farming ants or their crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himler, Anna G; Caldera, Eric J; Baer, Boris C; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2009-07-22

    Asexual reproduction imposes evolutionary handicaps on asexual species, rendering them prone to extinction, because asexual reproduction generates novel genotypes and purges deleterious mutations at lower rates than sexual reproduction. Here, we report the first case of complete asexuality in ants, the fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii, where queens reproduce asexually but workers are sterile, which is doubly enigmatic because the clonal colonies of M. smithii also depend on clonal fungi for food. Degenerate female mating anatomy, extensive field and laboratory surveys, and DNA fingerprinting implicate complete asexuality in this widespread ant species. Maternally inherited bacteria (e.g. Wolbachia, Cardinium) and the fungal cultivars can be ruled out as agents inducing asexuality. M. smithii societies of clonal females provide a unique system to test theories of parent-offspring conflict and reproductive policing in social insects. Asexuality of both ant farmer and fungal crop challenges traditional views proposing that sexual farmer ants outpace coevolving sexual crop pathogens, and thus compensate for vulnerabilities of their asexual crops. Either the double asexuality of both farmer and crop may permit the host to fully exploit advantages of asexuality for unknown reasons or frequent switching between crops (symbiont reassociation) generates novel ant-fungus combinations, which may compensate for any evolutionary handicaps of asexuality in M. smithii.

  18. 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...

  19. 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 po...

  20. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    -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...... predictor in this analysis, we conclude that sperm production trade-offs in males have been the major selective force affecting sperm length across the fungus-growing ants, rather than storage constraints in females. The relationship between sperm length and sexual dimorphism remained robust...

  1. Generalized antifungal activity and 454-screening of Pseudonocardia and Amycolatopsis bacteria in nests of fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen, Ruchira; Ishak, Heather D; Estrada, Dora; Dowd, Scot E; Hong, Eunki; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2009-10-20

    In many host-microbe mutualisms, hosts use beneficial metabolites supplied by microbial symbionts. Fungus-growing (attine) ants are thought to form such a mutualism with Pseudonocardia bacteria to derive antibiotics that specifically suppress the coevolving pathogen Escovopsis, which infects the ants' fungal gardens and reduces growth. Here we test 4 key assumptions of this Pseudonocardia-Escovopsis coevolution model. Culture-dependent and culture-independent (tag-encoded 454-pyrosequencing) surveys reveal that several Pseudonocardia species and occasionally Amycolatopsis (a close relative of Pseudonocardia) co-occur on workers from a single nest, contradicting the assumption of a single pseudonocardiaceous strain per nest. Pseudonocardia can occur on males, suggesting that Pseudonocardia could also be horizontally transmitted during mating. Pseudonocardia and Amycolatopsis secretions kill or strongly suppress ant-cultivated fungi, contradicting the previous finding of a growth-enhancing effect of Pseudonocardia on the cultivars. Attine ants therefore may harm their own cultivar if they apply pseudonocardiaceous secretions to actively growing gardens. Pseudonocardia and Amycolatopsis isolates also show nonspecific antifungal activities against saprotrophic, endophytic, entomopathogenic, and garden-pathogenic fungi, contrary to the original report of specific antibiosis against Escovopsis alone. We conclude that attine-associated pseudonocardiaceous bacteria do not exhibit derived antibiotic properties to specifically suppress Escovopsis. We evaluate hypotheses on nonadaptive and adaptive functions of attine integumental bacteria, and develop an alternate conceptual framework to replace the prevailing Pseudonocardia-Escovopsis coevolution model. If association with Pseudonocardia is adaptive to attine ants, alternate roles of such microbes could include the protection of ants or sanitation of the nest.

  2. 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 associatio...

  3. Exploitation Strategies in Social Parasites of Fungus Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clement, Janni Dolby

    One of the most remarkable and complex parasitic interactions is social parasitism, where a parasite exploits a complete society, rather than an individual organism. By integrating into a society the parasite gains protection against predators and diseases, and can redirect resources from the host...... to increase its own fitness. The host will use a sophisticated recognition system in order to accept nestmates and expel intruders from their societies. However this defence barrier can be overcome by parasites. Among the most specialized social parasites are the inquilines that exploit social insect colonies...... 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Yet More “Weeds” in the Garden: Fungal Novelties from Nests of Leaf-Cutting Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustin, Juliana O.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Nascimento, Robson J.; Mizubuti, Eduardo S. G.; Barreto, Robert W.; Elliot, Simon L.; Evans, Harry C.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24376525

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

    To combat disease, most fungus-growing ants (Attini) use antibiotics from mutualistic bacteria (Pseudonocardia) that are cultured on the ants' exoskeletons and chemical cocktails from exocrine glands, especially the metapleural glands (MG). Previous work has hypothesized that (i) Pseudonocardia a...

  9. 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...

  10. 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)

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

    2009-08-01

    The approximately 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 Apterostigma cultivates a distantly related lineage comprised of the G2 and G4 groups. The G2 and G4 fungi were previously shown to form a monophyletic group sister to the thread-like coral mushroom family Pterulaceae. Here, we identify an enigmatic coral mushroom that produces both fertile and sterile fruiting structures as the closest free-living relative of the G4 fungi, challenging the monophyly of the Apterostigma-cultivated fungi for the first time. Both nonparametric bootstrap and Bayesian posterior probability support the node leading to the G4 cultivars and a free-living Pterula mushroom. These data suggest three scenarios that contradict the hypothesis of strict coevolution: (1) multiple domestications, (2) escape from domestication, (3) selection of single cultivar lineages from an ancestral mixed-fungus garden. These results illustrate how incomplete phylogenies for coevolved symbionts impede our understanding of the patterns and processes of coevolution.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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

    , 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munkacsi, A B; Nees, Jan Pan; Villesen, Palle

    2004-01-01

    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 patter...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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 (... 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...

  18. Fungus-growing ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae on Santa Catarina Island, Brazil: patterns of occurrence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedito Cortês Lopes

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available A taxonomic survey on fungus-growing ants (Attini was made at 14 beaches on Santa Catarina Island (SC, Brazil. The samplings were manual, in soil or litterfall, in the following habitats: sandy beach, herbaceous vegetation and shrubby vegetation. From 12 species of Attini (ten of Acromyrmex Mayr and two of Cyphomyrmex Mayr, the most frequent were Cyphomyrmex morschi Emery and Acromyrmex crassispinus Forel, collected, respectively, on eight and ten of the monitored beaches. Altogether, Sorensen’s similarity coefficients were high (range: 0.59-0.80, in spite of the lower numbers of ant species on sandy beaches

  19. No effect of Zn-pollution on the energy content in the black garden ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz

    2016-05-01

    Social insects may display a response to environmental pollution at the colony level. The key trait of an ant colony is to share energy between castes in order to maintain the existing adult population and to feed the brood. In the present study we calorimetrically measured the energy content per body mass (J/mg) of adults and pupae of workers, males and females of the black garden ant Lasius niger. The ants were sampled from 37 wild colonies originating from 19 sites located along the metal pollution gradient established in a post-mining area in Poland. The cost of metal detoxification seen as a possible reduction in energy content with increasing pollution was found neither for pupae nor adults. However, a considerable part of variance in energy content is explained by belonging to the same colony. These findings stress the importance of colony-specific factors and/or the interaction of these factors with specific site in shaping the response of ants to metal-pollution stress. Colony-related factors may constrain possible selfish decisions of workers over energy allocation in workers and sexual castes.

  20. The Ant Cardiocondyla elegans as Host of the Enigmatic Endoparasitic Fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Giehr

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Data on host species and the distribution of the endoparasitic fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum increased continuously in recent decades. Here, we add the ant Cardiocondyla elegans as new host species. Colonies of the monogynous species were found infested in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon (South France. Samples from the nest indicate high infection rates. All castes and sexes were infected by the spores. Variations of infection rates between sampling methods and species are discussed.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Debaud, Sarah; Salas-Lopez, Alex; Born, Céline; Benoit, Laure; McKey, Doyle B; Attéké, Christiane; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain

    2013-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Breum Andersen, Sandra; Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R.

    2015-01-01

    Background: 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 garde...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Ješovnik

    Full Text Available 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

  7. New light on the systematics of fungi associated with attine ant gardens and the description of Escovopsis kreiselii sp. nov.

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    Lucas A Meirelles

    Full Text Available Since the formal description of fungi in the genus Escovopsis in 1990, only a few studies have focused on the systematics of this group. For more than two decades, only two Escovopsis species were described; however, in 2013, three additional Escovopsis species were formally described along with the genus Escovopsioides, both found exclusively in attine ant gardens. During a survey for Escovopsis species in gardens of the lower attine ant Mycetophylax morschi in Brazil, we found four strains belonging to the pink-colored Escovopsis clade. Careful examination of these strains revealed significant morphological differences when compared to previously described species of Escovopsis and Escovopsioides. Based on the type of conidiogenesis (sympodial, as well as morphology of conidiogenous cells (percurrent, non-vesiculated conidiophores, and DNA sequences, we describe the four new strains as a new species, Escovopsis kreiselii sp. nov. Phylogenetic analyses using three nuclear markers (Large subunit RNA; translation elongation factor 1-alpha; and internal transcribed spacer from the new strains as well as available sequences in public databases confirmed that all known fungi infecting attine ant gardens comprise a monophyletic group within the Hypocreaceae family, with very diverse morphological characteristics. Specifically, Escovopsis kreiselii is likely associated with gardens of lower-attine ants and its pathogenicity remains uncertain.

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

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    Barke Jörg

    2010-08-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Pandora formicae, a specialist ant pathogenic fungus: New insights into biology and taxonomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Małagocka, Joanna; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Eilenberg, Jørgen

    2017-02-01

    Among fungi from the order Entomophthorales (Entomophthoromycota), there are many specialized, obligatory insect-killing pathogens. Pandora formicae (Humber & Bałazy) Humber is a rare example of an entomophthoralean fungus adapted to exclusively infect social insects: wood ants from the genus Formica. There is limited information available on P. formicae; many important aspects of this host-pathogen system remain hitherto unknown, and the taxonomical status of the fungus is unclear. Our study fills out some main gaps in the life history of P. formicae, such as seasonal prevalence and overwintering strategy. Field studies of infection prevalence show a disease peak in late summer and early autumn. Typical thick-walled entomophthoralean resting spores of P. formicae are documented and described for the first time. The proportion of cadavers with resting spores increased from late summer throughout autumn, suggesting that these spores are the main overwintering fungal structures. In addition, the phylogenetic status of Pandora formicae is outlined. Finally, we review the available taxonomical literature and conclude that the name P. formicae should be used rather than the name P. myrmecophaga for ant-infecting fungi displaying described morphological features. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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....

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

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    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

  14. 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

    Background Cooperative benefits of mutualistic interactions are affected by genetic variation among the interacting partners, which may have consequences for interaction-specificities across guilds of sympatric species with similar mutualistic life histories. The gardens of fungus-growing (attine...

  15. Identification and characterization of a mesophilic phytase highly resilient to high-temperatures from a fungus-garden associated metagenome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Hao; Wu, Xiang; Xie, Liyuan; Huang, Zhongqian; Peng, Weihong; Gan, Bingcheng

    2016-03-01

    Phytases are enzymes degrading phytic acid and thereby releasing inorganic phosphate. While the phytases reported to date are majorly from culturable microorganisms, the fast-growing quantity of publicly available metagenomic data generated in the last decade has enabled bioinformatic mining of phytases in numerous data mines derived from a variety of ecosystems throughout the world. In this study, we are interested in the histidine acid phosphatase (HAP) family phytases present in insect-cultivated fungus gardens. Using bioinformatic approaches, 11 putative HAP phytase genes were initially screened from 18 publicly available metagenomes of fungus gardens and were further overexpressed in Escherichia coli. One phytase from a south pine beetle fungus garden showed the highest activity and was then chosen for further study. Biochemical characterization showed that the phytase is mesophilic but possesses strong ability to withstand high temperatures. To our knowledge, it has the longest half-life time at 100 °C (27 min) and at 80 °C (2.1 h) as compared to all the thermostable phytases publicly reported to date. After 100 °C incubation for 15 min, more than 93 % of the activity was retained. The activity was 3102 μmol P/min/mg at 37 °C and 4135 μmol P/min/mg at 52.5 °C, which is higher than all the known thermostable phytases. For the high activity level demonstrated at mesophilic temperatures as well as the high resilience to high temperatures, the phytase might be promising for potential application as an additive enzyme in animal feed.

  16. 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

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

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    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.

  18. 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

    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...

  19. 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

    gongylophorus. Higher agriculture fungal cultivars are characterized by specialized hyphal tip swellings, so-called gongylidia, which are considered a unique, derived morphological adaptation of higher attine fungi thought to be absent in lower attine fungi. Rare reports of gongylidia-like structures in fungus...... gardens of lower attines exist, but it was never tested whether these represent rare switches of lower attines to L. gonglyphorus cultivars or whether lower attine cultivars occasionally produce gongylidia. Here we describe the occurrence of gongylidia-like structures in fungus gardens of the asexual...

  20. Partial incompatibility between ants and symbiotic fungi in two sympatric species of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bot, A N; Rehner, S A; Boomsma, J J

    2001-10-01

    We investigate the nature and duration of incompatibility between certain combinations of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants and symbiotic fungi, taken from sympatric colonies of the same or a related species. Ant-fungus incompatibility appeared to be largely independent of the ant species involved, but could be explained partly by genetic differences among the fungus cultivars. Following current theoretical considerations, we develop a hypothesis, originally proposed by S. A. Frank, that the observed incompatibilities are ultimately due to competitive interactions between genetically different fungal lineages, and we predict that the ants should have evolved mechanisms to prevent such competition between cultivars within a single garden. This requires that the ants are able to recognize unfamiliar fungi, and we show that this is indeed the case. Amplified fragment length polymorphism genotyping further shows that the two sympatric Acromyrmex species share each other's major lineages of cultivar, confirming that horizontal transfer does occasionally take place. We argue and provide some evidence that chemical substances produced by the fungus garden may mediate recognition of alien fungi by the ants. We show that incompatibility between ants and transplanted, genetically different cultivars is indeed due to active killing of the novel cultivar by the ants. This incompatibility disappears when ants are force-fed the novel cultivar for about a week, a result that is consistent with our hypothesis of recognition induced by the resident fungus and eventual replacement of incompatibility compounds during force-feeding.

  1. 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...

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  4. 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...

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

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    Jeffrey Sosa-Calvo

    Full Text Available 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  9. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, P.; Gertsch, Pia 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 ...

  11. 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

    of the reservoir did not relate with the evolutionary transition from lower to higher attines and correlated at most only slightly with colony size. The results thus suggest that the relationship between leaf-cutting ants and their parasites is distinctly different from that for other attine ants, in accord...

  12. 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

  13. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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. 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...... and diversity of life-styles within the attine clade. We find significant differences in enzyme activity between different genera and life-styles of the ants. How these findings relate to attine ant coevolution and crop optimization are discussed....

  14. 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....

  15. Nutrition mediates the expression of cultivar-farmer conflict in a fungus-growing ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shik, Jonathan Z; Gomez, Ernesto B; Kooij, Pepijn W; Santos, Juan C; Wcislo, William T; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2016-09-06

    Attine ants evolved farming 55-60 My before humans. Although evolutionarily derived leafcutter ants achieved industrial-scale farming, extant species from basal attine genera continue to farm loosely domesticated fungal cultivars capable of pursuing independent reproductive interests. We used feeding experiments with the basal attine Mycocepurus smithii to test whether reproductive allocation conflicts between farmers and cultivars constrain crop yield, possibly explaining why their mutualism has remained limited in scale and productivity. Stoichiometric and geometric framework approaches showed that carbohydrate-rich substrates maximize growth of both edible hyphae and inedible mushrooms, but that modest protein provisioning can suppress mushroom formation. Worker foraging was consistent with maximizing long-term cultivar performance: ant farmers could neither increase carbohydrate provisioning without cultivars allocating the excess toward mushroom production, nor increase protein provisioning without compromising somatic cultivar growth. Our results confirm that phylogenetically basal attine farming has been very successful over evolutionary time, but that unresolved host-symbiont conflict may have precluded these wild-type symbioses from rising to ecological dominance. That status was achieved by the evolutionarily derived leafcutter ants following full domestication of a coevolving cultivar 30-35 Mya after the first attine ants committed to farming.

  16. Cryptic sexual populations account for genetic diversity and ecological success in a widely distributed, asexual fungus-growing ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabeling, Christian; Gonzales, Omar; Schultz, Ted R; Bacci, Maurício; Garcia, Marcos V B; Verhaagh, Manfred; Ishak, Heather D; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-07-26

    Sex and recombination are central processes in life generating genetic diversity. Organisms that rely on asexual propagation risk extinction due to the loss of genetic diversity and the inability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The fungus-growing ant species Mycocepurus smithii was thought to be obligately asexual because only parthenogenetic populations have been collected from widely separated geographic localities. Nonetheless, M. smithii is ecologically successful, with the most extensive distribution and the highest population densities of any fungus-growing ant. Here we report that M. smithii actually consists of a mosaic of asexual and sexual populations that are nonrandomly distributed geographically. The sexual populations cluster along the Rio Amazonas and the Rio Negro and appear to be the source of independently evolved and widely distributed asexual lineages, or clones. Either apomixis or automixis with central fusion and low recombination rates is inferred to be the cytogenetic mechanism underlying parthenogenesis in M. smithii. Males appear to be entirely absent from asexual populations, but their existence in sexual populations is indicated by the presence of sperm in the reproductive tracts of queens. A phylogenetic analysis of the genus suggests that M. smithii is monophyletic, rendering a hybrid origin of asexuality unlikely. Instead, a mitochondrial phylogeny of sexual and asexual populations suggests multiple independent origins of asexual reproduction, and a divergence-dating analysis indicates that M. smithii evolved 0.5-1.65 million years ago. Understanding the evolutionary origin and maintenance of asexual reproduction in this species contributes to a general understanding of the adaptive significance of sex.

  17. The Evolution of Personally Disadvantageous Punishment among Cofoundresses of the Ant Acromyrmex Versicolor

    OpenAIRE

    Cabrales, Antonio; Pollock, Gregory B.; Rissing, Steven W.

    1998-01-01

    Cofoundresses of the desert fungus garden ant Acromyrmex versicolor exhibit a forager specialist who subsumes all foraging risk prior to first worker eclosion (Rissing et al. 1989). In an experiment designed to mimic a "cheater" who refuses foraging assignment when her lot, cofoundresses delayed/failed to replace their forager, often leading to demise of their garden (Rissing et al. 1996). The cheater on task assignment is harmed, but so too is the punisher, as all will die without a healthy ...

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  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

    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...

  2. 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 fo...... that the fungus evolved some incredible adaptations to a mutualistic life with the ants....

  3. Generation of Nutrients and Detoxification: Possible Roles of Yeasts in Leaf-Cutting Ant Nests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando C. Pagnocca

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The possible roles played by yeasts in attine ant nests are mostly unknown. Here we present our investigations on the plant polysaccharide degradation profile of 82 yeasts isolated from fungus gardens of Atta and Acromyrmex species to demonstrate that yeasts found in ant nests may play the role of making nutrients readily available throughout the garden and detoxification of compounds that may be deleterious to the ants and their fungal cultivar. Among the yeasts screened, 65% exhibited cellulolytic enzymes, 44% exhibited pectinolytic activity while 27% and 17% possess enzyme systems for the degradation of protease and amylase, respectively. Galacturonic acid, which had been reported in previous work to be poorly assimilated by the ant fungus and also to have a negative effect on ants’ survival, was assimilated by 64% and 79% of yeasts isolated from nests of A. texana and Acromyrmex respectively. Our results suggest that yeasts found in ant nests may participate in generation of nutrients and removal of potentially toxic compounds, thereby contributing to the stability of the complex microbiota found in the leaf-cutting ant nests.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Genome Sequence of the Leaf-Cutter Ant Atta cephalotes Reveals Insights into Its Obligate Symbiotic Lifestyle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suen, Garret; Holt, Carson; Abouheif, Ehab; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Bouffard, Pascal; Caldera, Eric J.; Cash, Elizabeth; Cavanaugh, Amy; Denas, Olgert; Elhaik, Eran; Favé, Marie-Julie; Gadau, Jürgen; Gibson, Joshua D.; Graur, Dan; Grubbs, Kirk J.; Hagen, Darren E.; Harkins, Timothy T.; Helmkampf, Martin; Hu, Hao; Johnson, Brian R.; Kim, Jay; Marsh, Sarah E.; Moeller, Joseph A.; Muñoz-Torres, Mónica C.; Murphy, Marguerite C.; Naughton, Meredith C.; Nigam, Surabhi; Overson, Rick; Rajakumar, Rajendhran; Reese, Justin T.; Scott, Jarrod J.; Smith, Chris R.; Tao, Shu; Tsutsui, Neil D.; Viljakainen, Lumi; Wissler, Lothar; Yandell, Mark D.; Zimmer, Fabian; Taylor, James; Slater, Steven C.; Clifton, Sandra W.; Warren, Wesley C.; Elsik, Christine G.; Smith, Christopher D.; Weinstock, George M.; Gerardo, Nicole M.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21347285

  7. Polimorfismo do fungo simbionte de formigas cortadeiras submetido à luz ultravioleta Polymorphism of the cutting ants symbiotic fungus submitted to ultraviolet light

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina da Silva Borba

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available O presente trabalho teve por objetivo verificar o efeito de diferentes períodos de luz ultravioleta sobre a similaridade genética do fungo simbionte de formigas cortadeiras pertencentes às espécies Acromyrmex ambiguus, Acromyrmex crassispinus e Acromyrmex lundi, através da técnica AFLP. Os fungos foram inoculados em meio de cultura Pagnocca e mantidos em câmaras climatizadas à temperatura de 25 + 1°C e escotofase de 24h, por um período de 15 dias. Posteriormente, foram expostos à luz ultravioleta por períodos de: 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 e 30 minutos. Aos 45 dias após o tratamento, foi realizada a extração do DNA e padronização, realizando-se as reações de PCR por meio de 24 combinações de primers AFLP, das quais quatro foram selecionadas por apresentarem maior polimorfismo e consistência. Os dados moleculares foram transformados em matriz binária e analisados pelo programa estatístico NTSYS v. 2.1. As quatro combinações de primers utilizadas geraram 152 bandas polimórficas. As populações de fungos originárias de diferentes espécies de Acromyrmex apresentaram uma similaridade genética média de 37%, sendo que a indução de mutação através da luz ultravioleta permitiu obter isolados mais dissimilares.The present research was aimed at verifing the effect of different periods of ultraviolet light on the development of the symbiont fungus of leaf cutting ants belonging to the species Acromyrmex ambiguus, Acromyrmex crassispinus and Acromyrmex lundi, through the AFLP technique. The fungus were inoculated in Pagnocca's medium and maintained in climatized cameras at 25 + 1°C and 24 hours of darkness, for a period of 15 days. After that, they were exposed to ultraviolet light for 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 minutes. At 45 days after the treatment, the extraction and standardization of DNA was performed. PCR reactions were tested using 24 AFLP primer combinations, from which four were selected because they presented

  8. Unraveling Trichoderma species in the attine ant environment: description of three new taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, Quimi Vidaurre; Meirelles, Lucas Andrade; Chaverri, Priscila; Rodrigues, Andre

    2016-05-01

    Fungus-growing "attine" ants forage diverse substrates to grow fungi for food. In addition to the mutualistic fungal partner, the colonies of these insects harbor a rich microbiome composed of bacteria, filamentous fungi and yeasts. Previous work reported some Trichoderma species in the fungus gardens of leafcutter ants. However, no studies systematically addressed the putative association of Trichoderma with attine ants, especially in non-leafcutter ants. Here, a total of 62 strains of Trichoderma were analyzed using three molecular markers (ITS, tef1 and rpb2). In addition, 30 out of 62 strains were also morphologically examined. The strains studied correspond to the largest sampling carried out so far for Trichoderma in the attine ant environment. Our results revealed the richness of Trichoderma in this environment, since we found 20 Trichoderma species, including three new taxa described in the present work (Trichoderma attinorum, Trichoderma texanum and Trichoderma longifialidicum spp. nov.) as well as a new phylogenetic taxon (LESF 545). Moreover, we show that all 62 strains grouped within different clades across the Trichoderma phylogeny, which are identical or closely related to strains derived from several other environments. This evidence supports the transient nature of the genus Trichoderma in the attine ant colonies. The discovery of three new species suggests that the dynamic foraging behavior of these insects might be responsible for accumulation of transient fungi into their colonies, which might hold additional fungal taxa still unknown to science.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 from...... a primary school kitchen garden project in which Year 5 students engaged in tasks requiring proportional reasoning, which is a key aspect of numeracy....

  11. 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

    . To elucidate the extent to which metamorphosis interrupts associations between bacteria and hosts, we analyzed changes in gut microbiota during development and traced the transmission routes of dominant symbionts from the egg to adult stage in the leaf-cutting ants Acromyrmex echinatior and Atta cephalotes...... was the absolute dominant bacterial species across developmental stages in Acromyrmex and we confirmed that Atta lacks Wolbachia also in the immature stages, and had mostly Mollicutes bacteria in the adult worker guts. Wolbachia in Acromyrmex appeared to be transovarially transmitted similar to transmission...... 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...

  12. 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 ... round handles) on gate latches, doors, and faucets. Gardening as therapy For Gene Rothert gardening is a ...

  13. 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...

  14. Ant-plants and fungi: a new threeway symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defossez, Emmanuel; Selosse, Marc-André; Dubois, Marie-Pierre; Mondolot, Laurence; Faccio, Antonella; Djieto-Lordon, Champlain; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2009-06-01

    Symbioses between plants and fungi, fungi and ants, and ants and plants all play important roles in ecosystems. Symbioses involving all three partners appear to be rare. Here, we describe a novel tripartite symbiosis in which ants and a fungus inhabit domatia of an ant-plant, and present evidence that such interactions are widespread. We investigated 139 individuals of the African ant-plant Leonardoxa africana for occurrence of fungus. Behaviour of mutualist ants toward the fungus within domatia was observed using a video camera fitted with an endoscope. Fungi were identified by sequencing a fragment of their ribosomal DNA. Fungi were always present in domatia occupied by mutualist ants but never in domatia occupied by opportunistic or parasitic ants. Ants appear to favour the propagation, removal and maintenance of the fungus. Similar fungi were associated with other ant-plants in Cameroon. All belong to the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales; those from L. africana formed a monophyletic clade. These new plant-ant-fungus associations seem to be specific, as demonstrated within Leonardoxa and as suggested by fungal phyletic identities. Such tripartite associations are widespread in African ant-plants but have long been overlooked. Taking fungal partners into account will greatly enhance our understanding of symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms.

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. Reading a Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang-Jensen, Valerie

    2012-01-01

    School gardens--and efforts to connect gardening to K-12 learning--are burgeoning. Children's gardens--green spaces that keep in mind the way children play and explore an outdoor space--have been one of the biggest recent trends in gardening. Progressive educators have long promoted gardening as an opportunity to connect knowledge about plants,…

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. School gardens in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dyg, Pernille Malberg

    2016-01-01

    ). 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...

  1. Ant-plant symbioses: Stalking the chuyachaqui.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, D W; McKey, D

    1993-09-01

    According to Quechua-speaking peoples, orchard-like stands ('Supay Chacras') of two Amazonian ant-plant species are cultivated by the devil, or 'Chuyachaqui'. These "devil gardens" offer extreme examples of specializations that have evolved repeatedly in ant-plant associations. Numerous investigations are beginning to disclose the identity of the Chuyachaqui - the forces behind evolutionary specialization in ant-plant symbioses. These developments have important implications for our understanding of modes of coevolution in symbiotic mutualism, remarkable convergent similarities in the form of ant-plant symbioses on different continents, and pronounced intercontinental differences in the diversity and taxonomic composition of associates. Copyright © 1993. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Liberti, Joanito; Giampoudakis, Konstantinos

    2014-01-01

    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...... for decomposition enzymes....

  4. Rooftop Garden Design Challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roman, Harry T.

    2010-01-01

    A small commercial building in a nearby industrial park has decided to install a rooftop garden for its employees to enjoy. The garden will be about 100 feet long and 75 feet wide. This article presents a design challenge for technology and engineering students wherein they will assist in the initial conceptual design of the rooftop garden. The…

  5. Gardening: A Growing Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Phyllis

    2011-01-01

    While Americans are as eager as ever to beautify their homes and yards with attractive landscaping, more and more gardeners are looking to the practical aspects of gardening--raising plants for food and choosing easy-care ornamental plants that are friendly to the environment. For some gardeners, raising their own food is a lifestyle choice. With…

  6. Entomology: A Bee Farming a Fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Aanen, Duur K

    2015-11-16

    Farming is done not only by humans, but also by some ant, beetle and termite species. With the discovery of a stingless bee farming a fungus that provides benefits to its larvae, bees can be added to this list. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Wellbeing in School Gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wistoft, Karen; Dyg, Pernille Malberg

    2018-01-01

    The article explores the role of the outdoor environment in the Haver til Maver (Gardens for Bellies) Danish school garden program in relation to student wellbeing. It is based on exploratory multiple case study research, using an inductive research approach. The study indicates that the school...... 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....... Not all students thrive in the open, free, and sometimes chaotic space of the garden. However, the majority of students in the program seem to experience a sense of wellbeing....

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  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. 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…

  13. Wellbeing in School Gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wistoft, Karen; Dyg, Pernille Malberg

    2018-01-01

    environment, students’ relations with the natural environment seem also to affect their wellbeing as they develop empathy for animals, insects, and plants. Whether this influences their wellbeing, interpersonal relations, and planetary care in the long run after the program is not, however, documented......The article explores the role of the outdoor environment in the Haver til Maver (Gardens for Bellies) Danish school garden program in relation to student wellbeing. It is based on exploratory multiple case study research, using an inductive research approach. The study indicates that the school...... 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...... us to reduce agency to causation and to conceptualize actor-networks as homogeneous ontologies of force. This article proposes to regard ANT’s inability to conceptualize reflexivity and the interrelatedness of different ontologies as the fundamental problem of the theory. Drawing on Günther......, it offers an ‘infra-language’ of reflexive relations while maintaining ANT’s de-centred approach. This would enable us to conceptualize actor-networks as non-homogeneous, dynamic and connecting different societal rationales while maintaining the main strengths of ANT....

  16. 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...

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. School Gardens and Learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tiemensma, Britt Due

    2015-01-01

    This paper outlines the changing discourse on school gardens as a learning object as well as a learning environment in urban and rural schools in Denmark and Norway, two small states in Northern Europe. School and community gardens are to be found all over the world, and in Scandinavian...... 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...... of children learning to plant and care for plants in a school garden....

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Plant-ants feed their host plant, but above all a fungal symbiont to recycle nitrogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defossez, Emmanuel; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; McKey, Doyle; Selosse, Marc-André; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2011-05-07

    In ant-plant symbioses, plants provide symbiotic ants with food and specialized nesting cavities (called domatia). In many ant-plant symbioses, a fungal patch grows within each domatium. The symbiotic nature of the fungal association has been shown in the ant-plant Leonardoxa africana and its protective mutualist ant Petalomyrmex phylax. To decipher trophic fluxes among the three partners, food enriched in (13)C and (15)N was given to the ants and tracked in the different parts of the symbiosis up to 660 days later. The plant received a small, but significant, amount of nitrogen from the ants. However, the ants fed more intensively the fungus. The pattern of isotope enrichment in the system indicated an ant behaviour that functions specifically to feed the fungus. After 660 days, the introduced nitrogen was still present in the system and homogeneously distributed among ant, plant and fungal compartments, indicating efficient recycling within the symbiosis. Another experiment showed that the plant surface absorbed nutrients (in the form of simple molecules) whether or not it is coated by fungus. Our study provides arguments for a mutualistic status of the fungal associate and a framework for investigating the previously unsuspected complexity of food webs in ant-plant mutualisms.

  4. French intensive truck garden

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edwards, T D

    1983-01-01

    The French Intensive approach to truck gardening has the potential to provide substantially higher yields and lower per acre costs than do conventional farming techniques. It was the intent of this grant to show that there is the potential to accomplish the gains that the French Intensive method has to offer. It is obvious that locally grown food can greatly reduce transportation energy costs but when there is the consideration of higher efficiencies there will also be energy cost reductions due to lower fertilizer and pesticide useage. As with any farming technique, there is a substantial time interval for complete soil recovery after there have been made substantial soil modifications. There were major crop improvements even though there was such a short time since the soil had been greatly disturbed. It was also the intent of this grant to accomplish two other major objectives: first, the garden was managed under organic techniques which meant that there were no chemical fertilizers or synthetic pesticides to be used. Second, the garden was constructed so that a handicapped person in a wheelchair could manage and have a higher degree of self sufficiency with the garden. As an overall result, I would say that the garden has taken the first step of success and each year should become better.

  5. Garden varieties: how attractive are recommended garden plants to butterflies?

    OpenAIRE

    Shackleton, Kyle; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2016-01-01

    One way the public can engage in insect conservation is through wildlife gardening, including the growing of insect-friendly flowers as sources of nectar. However, plant varieties differ in the types of insects they attract. To determine which garden plants attracted which butterflies, we counted butterflies nectaring on 11 varieties of summer-flowering garden plants in a rural garden in East Sussex, UK. These plants were all from a list of 100 varieties considered attractive to British butte...

  6. 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...

  7. The evolution of genome size in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spagna Joseph C

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the economic and ecological importance of ants, genomic tools for this family (Formicidae remain woefully scarce. Knowledge of genome size, for example, is a useful and necessary prerequisite for the development of many genomic resources, yet it has been reported for only one ant species (Solenopsis invicta, and the two published estimates for this species differ by 146.7 Mb (0.15 pg. Results Here, we report the genome size for 40 species of ants distributed across 10 of the 20 currently recognized subfamilies, thus making Formicidae the 4th most surveyed insect family and elevating the Hymenoptera to the 5th most surveyed insect order. Our analysis spans much of the ant phylogeny, from the less derived Amblyoponinae and Ponerinae to the more derived Myrmicinae, Formicinae and Dolichoderinae. We include a number of interesting and important taxa, including the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile, Neotropical army ants (genera Eciton and Labidus, trapjaw ants (Odontomachus, fungus-growing ants (Apterostigma, Atta and Sericomyrmex, harvester ants (Messor, Pheidole and Pogonomyrmex, carpenter ants (Camponotus, a fire ant (Solenopsis, and a bulldog ant (Myrmecia. Our results show that ants possess small genomes relative to most other insects, yet genome size varies three-fold across this insect family. Moreover, our data suggest that two whole-genome duplications may have occurred in the ancestors of the modern Ectatomma and Apterostigma. Although some previous studies of other taxa have revealed a relationship between genome size and body size, our phylogenetically-controlled analysis of this correlation did not reveal a significant relationship. Conclusion This is the first analysis of genome size in ants (Formicidae and the first across multiple species of social insects. We show that genome size is a variable trait that can evolve gradually over long time spans, as well as rapidly, through processes that may

  8. Gardens Blessed by Grey Drops

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

    IDRC CRDI

    Yemen and the gardens have suffered much dryness and garbage pollution. Most gardeners ... The WaDImena project was keen in partnering with both the government and other organizations in this process. ... reduce poverty. Water demand.

  9. 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).

  10. Community gardening and social cohesion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, E.J.; Bock, B.B.; Berg, Van den W.; Visser, A.J.; Wiskerke, J.S.C.

    2016-01-01

    Community gardens vary in several ways: they are cultivated by different kinds of communities in various locations, entail individual or communal plots and the extent of active participation (e.g. gardening) differs. In this paper, we study seven community gardens with varying organisational

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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

  13. 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,

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. [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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Biedermann, Peter H W

    2012-06-06

    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. 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. 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 accessible hemicellulose components of the ray

  19. 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.

  20. Electric moving shadow garden

    OpenAIRE

    Bracey, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Electric Moving Shadow Garden is a multi-directional exploration of the links between artists and cinema, with multiple reference and contextual points. it accompanied the exhibition, UnSpooling: Artists & Cinema, curated by Bracey and Dave Griffiths at Corernhouse, Manchester, who also edited the publication. Published to accompany the Cornerhouse exhibition, UnSpooling: Artists & Cinema, curated by artists Andrew Bracey and Dave Griffiths. This illustrated catalogue explores how internat...

  1. Herbaria, gardens, organisations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    NN,

    1999-01-01

    Organizing Committee: Dr. B.J. Conn, Mr. L.A. Craven, Mr. J.R. Croft, Dr. A. Hay (cochair), Dr. R.P.J. de Kok, Dr. D.J. Mabberley, Dr. J.G. West (co-chair), Dr. P.G. Wilson. The Symposium & Mid-Conferences Tours will be held at and near the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney between 9-14 September 2001.

  2. Endophytic fungi reduce leaf-cutting ant damage to seedlings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittleston, L. S.; Brockmann, F.; Wcislo, W.; Van Bael, S. A.

    2011-01-01

    Our study examines how the mutualism between Atta colombica leaf-cutting ants and their cultivated fungus is influenced by the presence of diverse foliar endophytic fungi (endophytes) at high densities in tropical leaf tissues. We conducted laboratory choice trials in which ant colonies chose between Cordia alliodora seedlings with high (Ehigh) or low (Elow) densities of endophytes. The Ehigh seedlings contained 5.5 times higher endophyte content and a greater diversity of fungal morphospecies than the Elow treatment, and endophyte content was not correlated with leaf toughness or thickness. Leaf-cutting ants cut over 2.5 times the leaf area from Elow relative to Ehigh seedlings and had a tendency to recruit more ants to Elow plants. Our findings suggest that leaf-cutting ants may incur costs from cutting and processing leaves with high endophyte loads, which could impact Neotropical forests by causing variable damage rates within plant communities. PMID:20610420

  3. 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.

  4. A Garden of Possibilities

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  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. 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...... in relation to the environmental problems being addressed, and that we need gardens of reflection, interrogation and doubt, in order to engage with the deeper complexities of territorial transformations....

  7. 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...... in relation to the environmental problems being addressed, and that we need gardens of reflection, interrogation and doubt, in order to engage with the deeper complexities of territorial transformations....

  8. Designing to support community gardens by going beyond community gardens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, X.; Wakkary, R.; Rau, P.-L.P.

    2017-01-01

    Community gardens connect to many organizations in order to receive and offer resources and services. The complex sociotechnical systems in which community gardens inhabit bring both opportunities and challenges for designers who endeavor to support them. In this study, we investigated three

  9. Gardening with Children: My Summers at Beanstalk Children's Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoecklin, Vicki L.

    2009-01-01

    There has been increased interest in recent years on gardening with children and a variety of programs have been started to support different types of programmatic goals. Goals of gardening programs include environmental stewardship, personal growth/social skills, an integrated learning environment, nutrition/health, science education, practical…

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Garden Gnomes: Magical or Tacky?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynt, Deborah

    2012-01-01

    Garden gnomes: magical or tacky? Well, art is in the eye of the beholder, and for the author's advanced seventh-grade art class, garden gnomes are magical. Gnomes have a very long history, dating back to medieval times. A fairytale describes them as brownie-like creatures that are nocturnal helpers. In this article, the author describes how her…

  13. 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...

  14. The devil to pay: a cost of mutualism with Myrmelachista schumanni ants in ‘devil's gardens’ is increased herbivory on Duroia hirsuta trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E; Gordon, Deborah M

    2007-01-01

    ‘Devil's gardens’ are nearly pure stands of the myrmecophyte, Duroia hirsuta, that occur in Amazonian rainforests. Devil's gardens are created by Myrmelachista schumanni ants, which nest in D. hirsuta trees and kill other plants using formic acid as an herbicide. Here, we show that this ant–plant mutualism has an associated cost; by making devil's gardens, M. schumanni increases herbivory on D. hirsuta. We measured standing leaf herbivory on D. hirsuta trees and found that they sustain higher herbivory inside than outside devil's gardens. We also measured the rate of herbivory on nursery-grown D. hirsuta saplings planted inside and outside devil's gardens in ant-exclusion and control treatments. We found that when we excluded ants, herbivory on D. hirsuta was higher inside than outside devil's gardens. These results suggest that devil's gardens are a concentrated resource for herbivores. Myrmelachista schumanni workers defend D. hirsuta against herbivores, but do not fully counterbalance the high herbivore pressure in devil's gardens. We suggest that high herbivory may limit the spread of devil's gardens, possibly explaining why devil's gardens do not overrun Amazonian rainforests. PMID:17301016

  15. Novel fungal disease in complex leaf-cutting ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, David Peter; Evans, Harry C.; Hywel-Jones, Nigel

    2009-01-01

    1. The leaf-cutting ants practise an advanced system of mycophagy where they grow a fungus as a food source. As a consequence of parasite threats to their crops, they have evolved a system of morphological, behavioural, and chemical defences, particularly against fungal pathogens (mycopathogens). 2....... Specific fungal diseases of the leaf-cutting ants themselves have not been described, possibly because broad spectrum anti-fungal defences against mycopathogens have reduced their susceptibility to entomopathogens. 3. Using morphological and molecular tools, the present study documents three rare infection...... events of Acromyrmex and Atta leaf-cutting ants by Ophiocordyceps fungi, agenus of entomopathogens that is normally highly specific in its host choice. 4. As leaf-cutting ants have been intensively studied, the absence of prior records of Ophiocordyceps suggests that these infections may be a novel event...

  16. 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…

  17. Involving Families and Community through Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starbuck, Sara; Olthof, Maria

    2008-01-01

    Gardens are complex and require a variety of skills. Gross- and fine-motor activities, science concepts, language and literacy development, math, and community involvement are all part of the preschool gardening project the authors describe. They list gardening books for children and suggest container gardens for urban school settings. The authors…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Introductory Statistics in the Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagaman, John C.

    2017-01-01

    This article describes four semesters of introductory statistics courses that incorporate service learning and gardening into the curriculum with applications of the binomial distribution, least squares regression and hypothesis testing. The activities span multiple semesters and are iterative in nature.

  5. The graveyard and the Garden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bildsøe, Helle Schulz; Rahbek, Ulla

    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....

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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......, but the fungus had not grown out through the cuticle and (2) when the fungus was growing out from host cadaver and producing spores. These phases mark the switch from within-host growth to reproduction on the host surface, after fungus outgrowth through host integument. In this first de novo transcriptome...... of an entomophthoralean fungus, we detected expression of many pathogenicity-related genes, including secreted hydrolytic enzymes and genes related to morphological reorganization and nutrition uptake. Differences in expression of genes in these two infection phases were compared and showed a switch in enzyme expression...

  9. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Nash, David Richard; Higginbotham, Sarah

    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 showthat particularly the smallestworkers...... 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley

    2014-01-01

    with sporulating mycelium of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (infected nests), nests containing nestmates killed by freezing (uninfected nests), and empty nests. In contrast to the expectation pharaoh ant colonies preferentially (84%) moved into the infected nest when presented with the choice...... the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial) with frequent relocation into new nest sites...... and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown...

  14. Produce Your Own: A Community Gardening Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, JoLynn; Arnold, Shannon

    2012-01-01

    Many County Extension offices offer an adult Master Gardener Program, which includes advanced gardening training, short courses, newsletters, and conferences. However, with the comprehensive training provided comes a large time commitment. The Produce Your Own program was created to introduce adults to gardening in a similar manner, but with…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    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......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...

  2. 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...

  3. Arguing over public garden wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harmsen, B.

    1998-01-01

    During a seminar on energy production from garden and wood wastes, held in Amstelveen, Netherlands, 17 June 1998, and organized by the Netherlands Agency for Energy and the Environment (Novem), the options for municipalities to use biomass as a fuel were discussed. Also attention was paid to the interests of composting companies

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Yéego Gardening! A Community Garden Intervention to Promote Health on the Navajo Nation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ornelas, India J; Deschenie, Desiree; Jim, Jesse; Bishop, Sonia; Lombard, Kevin; Beresford, Shirley A

    2017-01-01

    Yéego Gardening! is a community garden intervention to increase gardening behavior, increase access to low-cost fruit and vegetables, and ultimately increase consumption in Navajo communities. To design a theory-based, culturally relevant intervention with three components: a community garden, monthly workshops on gardening and healthy eating, and community outreach. Gardens were constructed and maintained in collaboration with community-based organizations in two Navajo communities. Monthly workshops were held throughout the growing season and incorporated aspects of Navajo culture and opportunities to build confidence and skills in gardening and healthy eating behaviors. In addition, program staff attended community events to promote gardening and healthy eating. Community input was essential throughout the planning and implementation of the intervention. If effective, community gardens may be a way to increase fruit and vegetable availability and intake, and ultimately reduce risk of obesity and diabetes.

  13. 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

    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...... termite-associated Xylaria belong to a single clade, together with only three of the 26 non-termite-associated strains. Termite-associated Xylaria thus show specificity for fungus-growing termites (level 1). We did not find evidence for geographic or temporal structuring in these Xylaria phylogenies...

  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. Gardening for Health: Patterns of Gardening and Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among the Navajo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ornelas, India J; Osterbauer, Katie; Woo, Lisa; Bishop, Sonia K; Deschenie, Desiree; Beresford, Shirley A A; Lombard, Kevin

    2018-05-19

    American Indians, including Navajo, are disproportionately affected by obesity and diabetes, in part due to diet-related health behaviors. The purpose of this study was to assess the patterns of gardening and fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption among residents in two communities on the Navajo Nation in order to inform a community gardening intervention. We analyzed survey data collected from participants in the Yéego Gardening study conducted in two communities in the Navajo Nation (N = 169). We found that 51% of the sample gardened, and on average participants gardened 8.9 times per month. Lack of time (53%) and financial barriers, such as gas for transportation or irrigation (51 and 49%, respectively), were reported as barriers to gardening. Most participants reported low levels of self-efficacy (80%) and behavioral capability (82%) related to gardening. Those with higher levels of gardening self-efficacy and behavioral capability reported more frequent gardening. Average daily FV consumption was 2.5 servings. Most participants reported high levels of self-efficacy to eat FV daily (64%) and high behavioral capability to prepare FV (66%). There was a positive association between FV consumption and gardening, with those gardening more than 4 times per month eating about 1 more serving of FV per day than those gardening 4 or fewer times per month. Further research is needed to better understand how gardening can increase fruit and vegetable availability and consumption among residents of the Navajo Nation.

  16. The devil to pay: a cost of mutualism with Myrmelachista schumanni ants in ‘devil's gardens’ is increased herbivory on Duroia hirsuta trees

    OpenAIRE

    Frederickson, Megan E; Gordon, Deborah M

    2007-01-01

    ‘Devil's gardens’ are nearly pure stands of the myrmecophyte, Duroia hirsuta, that occur in Amazonian rainforests. Devil's gardens are created by Myrmelachista schumanni ants, which nest in D. hirsuta trees and kill other plants using formic acid as an herbicide. Here, we show that this ant–plant mutualism has an associated cost; by making devil's gardens, M. schumanni increases herbivory on D. hirsuta. We measured standing leaf herbivory on D. hirsuta trees and found that they sustain higher...

  17. 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

    fluid at pH values of 5–7, but the aspartic proteases were inactive across a pH range of 3–10. Protease activity disappeared when the ants were kept on a sugar water diet without fungus. Relative to normal mycelium, both metalloendoproteases, both serine proteases and one aspartic protease were...... fungi, consistent with previous indications of convergent evolution of decomposition enzymes in attine ant fungal symbionts and phytopathogenic fungi....

  18. Exploring the Relationship between Prior Knowledge on Rain Gardens and Supports for Adopting Rain Gardens Using a Structural Equation Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suyeon Kim

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to determine the effect of prior knowledge and visual evaluation on supports for rain garden installations. To achieve this objective, a survey was conducted to obtain prior knowledge of rain gardens, rain garden implementation support ratings, and visual evaluation of rain gardens in 100 visitors of three rain garden sites. Results of the analysis revealed that users’ visual evaluation of rain gardens played a role as a moderator in the relationship between prior knowledge and support for rain garden installations. In other words, education and publicity of rain gardens alone cannot increase support for rain gardens. However, if rain gardens are visually evaluated positively, the effects of education and publicity of rain gardens can be expected. Therefore, to successfully apply a rain garden policy in the future, basic consideration should be given to aesthetics in order to meet visitors’ visual expectations prior to education and publicity of rain gardens.

  19. 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.

  20. Perceived Effects of Community Gardening in Lower Mississippi Delta Gardening Participants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landry, Alicia S.; Chittendon, Nikki; Coker, Christine E. H.; Weiss, Caitlin

    2015-01-01

    This article describes the perceived physical and psychological health impacts of community gardening on participants in the Mississippi Delta. Themes identified include the use of gardening as an educational tool and as a means to increase self-efficacy and responsibility for personal and community health. Additional benefits of gardening as…

  1. 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...

  2. 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…

  3. 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

    with less aggression when they are later introduced into that colony. It appears, therefore, that fungus gardens are an independent and significant source of chemical compounds, potentially contributing a richer and more abundant blend of recognition cues to the colony ¿gestalt¿ than the innate chemical...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An attempt is here made to review the origin, role and status of botanic gardens ... The published literature on gardens is enormous and begins with what are known ... Key words/phrases: Botanic Garden, Ethiopia, Gullele, History, Importance, ...

  5. 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 ...

  6. Antílope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Anderson Martinho Moçambique

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Essa espécie de antílope só é encontrada em território angolano, sendo assim um símbolo nacional. Segundo a mitologia africana é símbolo de vivacidade, velocidade e beleza - Angola.

  7. Antílope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Anderson Martinho Moçambique

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Essa espécie de antílope só é encontrada em território angolano, sendo assim um símbolo nacional. Segundo a mitologia africana é símbolo de vivacidade, velocidade e beleza - Angola.

  8. 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, ...

  9. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    -ray scans and electron microscopy. The purpose of this study was to further characterize "ant-egg" cataract using modern technology and display the history of the "ant-eggs" after cataract extraction. METHODS: "Ant-eggs" were examined using Heidelberg SPECTRALIS Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Designed natural spaces: Informal gardens are perceived to be more restorative than formal gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elyssa eTwedt

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 versus 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.

  13. Exercise intensities of gardening tasks within older adult allotment gardeners in Wales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Jemma L; Smith, Alexander; Backx, Karianne; Clayton, Deborah A

    2015-04-01

    Previous research has suggested that gardening activity could be an effective form of regular exercise for improving physical and psychological health in later life. However, there is a lack of data regarding the exercise intensities of various gardening tasks across different types of gardening and different populations. The purpose of this study was to examine the exercise intensity of gardening activity for older adult allotment gardeners in Wales, United Kingdom following a similar procedure used in previous studies conducted in the United States and South Korea by Park and colleagues (2008a; 2011). Oxygen consumption (VO2) and energy expenditure for six gardening tasks were measured via indirect calorimetery using the portable Oxycon mobile device. From these measures, estimated metabolic equivalent units (METs) were calculated. Consistent with Park et al. (2008a; 2011) the six gardening tasks were classified as low to moderate-high intensity physical activities based on their metabolic values (1.9-5.7 METs).

  14. Evolutionarily advanced ant farmers rear polyploid fungal crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    to be lowly and facultatively polyploid (just over two haplotypes on average), whereas Atta and Acromyrmex symbionts are highly and obligatorily polyploid (ca. 5-7 haplotypes on average). This stepwise transition appears analogous to ploidy variation in plants and fungi domesticated by humans and in fungi...... 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...... domesticated by termites and plants, where gene or genome duplications were typically associated with selection for higher productivity, but allopolyploid chimerism was incompatible with sexual reproduction....

  15. BIBLICAL METAPHOR: THE COSMIC GARDEN HERITAGE

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The challenge here is to discuss the historical development of metaphor theory, to exemplify ... garden estate, found throughout biblical texts – and trust learning can ... language about God and Israel as sharing a divine garden or heritage space .... humans in general and their royal leader in particular are shown radically.

  16. "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…

  17. 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...

  18. 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....

  19. Home garden system dynamics in Southern Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mellisse, Beyene Teklu; Ven, van de Gerrie W.J.; Giller, Ken E.; Descheemaeker, Katrien

    2017-01-01

    Home gardens in southern Ethiopia are regarded as efficient farming systems, allowing interactions and synergies between crop, tree and livestock components. However, these age-old traditional home gardens are evolving rapidly in response to changes in both the socio-economic and biophysical

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Wellbeing and Social Relations in School Gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wistoft, Karen; Dyg, Pernille Malberg

    2017-01-01

    environment, students’ relations with the natural environment seem also to affect their wellbeing as they develop empathy for animals, insects, and plants. Whether this influences their wellbeing, interpersonal relations, and planetary care in the long run after the program is not, however, documented......The article explores the role of the outdoor environment in the Haver til Maver (Gardens for Bellies) Danish school garden program in relation to student wellbeing. It is based on exploratory multiple case study research, using an inductive research approach. The study indicates that the school...... 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...

  3. Density-dependence and within-host competition in a semelparous parasite of leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William; Petersen, Klaus; Ugelvig, Line

    2004-01-01

    the effects of parasite density and heterogeneity on parasite virulence and fitness using four strains of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae, and its leaf-cutting ant host Acromyrmex echinatior as the model system.RESULTS:The relationship between parasite density and infection...

  4. 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.

  5. Characterization of actinobacteria associated with three ant-plant mutualisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanshew, Alissa S; McDonald, Bradon R; Díaz Díaz, Carol; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Currie, Cameron R

    2015-01-01

    Ant-plant mutualisms are conspicuous and ecologically important components of tropical ecosystems that remain largely unexplored in terms of insect-associated microbial communities. Recent work has revealed that ants in some ant-plant systems cultivate fungi (Chaetothyriales) within their domatia, which are fed to larvae. Using Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. from French Guiana and Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana and Crematogaster margaritae/Keetia hispida, both from Cameroon, as models, we tested the hypothesis that ant-plant-fungus mutualisms co-occur with culturable Actinobacteria. Using selective media, we isolated 861 putative Actinobacteria from the three systems. All C. margaritae/K. hispida samples had culturable Actinobacteria with a mean of 10.0 colony forming units (CFUs) per sample, while 26 % of P. penetrator/Tachigali samples (mean CFUs 1.3) and 67 % of P. phylax/L. africana samples (mean CFUs 3.6) yielded Actinobacteria. The largest number of CFUs was obtained from P. penetrator workers, P. phylax alates, and C. margaritae pupae. 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of four main clades of Streptomyces and one clade of Nocardioides within these three ant-plant mutualisms. Streptomyces with antifungal properties were isolated from all three systems, suggesting that they could serve as protective symbionts, as found in other insects. In addition, a number of isolates from a clade of Streptomyces associated with P. phylax/L. africana and C. margaritae/K. hispida were capable of degrading cellulose, suggesting that Streptomyces in these systems may serve a nutritional role. Repeated isolation of particular clades of Actinobacteria from two geographically distant locations supports these isolates as residents in ant-plant-fungi niches.

  6. 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

    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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

    The runtime analysis of randomized search heuristics is a growing field where, in the last two decades, many rigorous results have been obtained. First runtime analyses of ant colony optimization (ACO) have been conducted only recently. In these studies simple ACO algorithms such as the 1-ANT...... that give us a more detailed impression of the 1-ANT’s performance. Furthermore, the experiments also deal with the question whether using many ant solutions in one iteration can decrease the total runtime....

  11. Gardening promotes neuroendocrine and affective restoration from stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Den Berg, Agnes E; Custers, Mariëtte 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 self-reported mood were repeatedly measured. Gardening and reading each led to decreases in cortisol during the recovery period, but decreases were significantly stronger in the gardening group. Positive mood was fully restored after gardening, but further deteriorated during reading. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that gardening can promote relief from acute stress.

  12. 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.

  13. The Botanic Garden of Tver State University

    OpenAIRE

    Volkova O M; Notov A A

    2004-01-01

    The Botanic Garden of Tver State University is situated at the meeting place of the Volga and Tvertza rivers. It is one of the main green spaces of Tver. The history of the Garden goes back to 1879. It was planted by the merchant Ilya Bobrov at the former territory of Otroch monastery. After the October Revolution the Garden be- came national property and was used as a leisure center. The main planting occurred between 1938 and 1941 but a great number of plants disappeared during ...

  14. 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...

  15. The Early History of UC Santa Cruz's Farm and Garden

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Paul; Norris, Phyllis; Martin, Orin; Tamura, Dennis; Hagege, Maya; Jarrell, Randall; Regional History Project, UCSC Library

    2002-01-01

    The Early History of UCSC's Farm and Garden documents the emergence of the organic gardening and farming movement in Santa Cruz. It includes interviews with Paul Lee, Phyllis Norris, Orin Martin, and Dennis Tamura, who were involved in the early years of the Garden. Maya Hagege, a former Farm and Garden apprentice and UCSC alumna, conducted the interviews, which were edited by Jarrell. Established in 1967 by master gardener Alan Chadwick, the original site was a neglected 4-acre plot...

  16. Operation Market-Garden: Ultra Intelligence Ignored

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jeffson, Joel

    2002-01-01

    .... Is this really the case? Operation Market-Garden, the plan envisioned by Field Marshal Montgomery, would open the gate into Germany and simultaneously force General Eisenhower to abandon his broad-front strategy in favor...

  17. The Therapy Garden Nacadia®

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sidenius, Ulrik

    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...... 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...... analyses, observations, participants’ logbooks, interviews and questionnaires. The first part of the study determined how the different types of activity were distributed around the garden and that the most preferred rooms were described as: “Enclosed”, or “slightly closed” but with a “view out”, to “see...

  18. 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)

  19. Cytogenetic data on the threatened leafcutter ant Atta robusta Borgmeier, 1939 (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Attini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; Aguiar, Hilton Jeferson Alves Cardoso de; Teixeira, Gisele Amaro; Mariano, Cléa Dos Santos Ferreira; Teixeira, Marcos da Cunha; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Pompolo, Silvia das Graças

    2015-10-01

    The karyotype of the threatened ant species Atta robusta is described so as to establish the evolutionary relationships of this taxon with other leafcutter ants. Standard Giemsa staining, C-banding, NOR banding, fluorochromes CMA3/DAPI, Hsc-FA technique and Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH) using 18S rDNA probe were conducted on a population from Aracruz, state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, allowing for comparisons with data available on Atta and other fungus-growing ant species. The diploid chromosome number observed for A. robusta was 2n=22, and the karyotypic formula was 18m+2sm+2st. Heterochromatic blocks were observed in the centromeric region of most chromosomes, where one pair of metacentric chromosomes is characterized by a GC-rich heterochromatic band in the interstitial region of its long arm. The detection of 18S rDNA using FISH confirmed the presence of single NOR for A. robusta. This is the first report of rDNA 18S detection using FISH for leafcutter ants. The cytogenetic results of this study confirm the information available for Atta and allow us to confirm the conserved chromosome number, morphology and banding pattern within the genus for the taxa studied to date, which included species from three out of the four groups of Atta indicated by molecular data. The accumulation of cytogenetic data on fungus-growing ants enhances the understanding of the genomic evolutionary patterns of Atta, since it belongs to a group of recent origin between the most well studied ants. Cytogenetic data does not indicate restrictions in relocation or reintroduction in areas where populations were extinct due to the conserved karyotype. This study allows for cytogenetic comparison of A. robusta with other ants of Atta, emphasizing the importance of chromosomal information for species conservation. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  20. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    OpenAIRE

    Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista; María Del Socorro Alatrista Gutierrez

    2007-01-01

    Entre 1982 a 2005 se registraron daños en 1 143 establecimientos de salud en el Perú, generalmente debido a sismos, lluvias e inundaciones. Los daños en los servicios de salud producen la interrupción de la atención de la población y de los programas de salud, así como generan un gran gasto para la rehabilitación y reconstrucción. Por ello, se requiere proteger a los establecimientos de salud y desarrollar una política de hospitales seguros ante desastres que incluya medidas para prevenir o r...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. La vivienda ante emergencias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arq. María Eugenia Gonzàlez Chipont

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Este trabajo propone analizar la evolución de la vivienda como respuesta ante emergencias desde principios del siglo XX hasta nuestros días. La secuencia de casos a analizar no sigue una cronología estricta sino que se organiza en función de un creciente grado de complejidad. Comienza con los aportes fundamentales de la vivienda mínima del movimiento moderno, con un fuerte acento en lo tecnológico, para ir profundizando, mientras avanzamos en el siglo, en los aspectos sociales de la arquitectura. Sin intentar oponer lo tecnológico y lo social, la estructura propuesta expresa un enriquecimiento de la cuestión técnica conforme se van ampliando sus objetivos sociales. Mientras los requerimientos tecnológicos como la inmediatez y la masividad de la respuesta, permanecen a lo largo del tiempo, la vivienda ante emergencias puede plantearse objetivos sociales cada vez más profundos. Los casos fueron elegidos a partir de autores renombrados de la Historia de la Arquitectura partiendo de ejemplos cercanos a la génesis del movimiento moderno para acercarnos cada vez más hacia el contexto actual de Latinoamérica. Se logra así un barrido geográfco pero principalmente cultural: desde las fuentes de la modernidad, bajo el paradigma sólido de la industrialización, hasta la inestabilidad de la ciudad posindustrial latinoamericana

  10. Pyrokinin β-neuropeptide affects necrophoretic behavior in fire ants (S. invicta), and expression of β-NP in a mycoinsecticide increases its virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yanhua; Pereira, Roberto M; Kilic, Engin; Casella, George; Keyhani, Nemat O

    2012-01-01

    Fire ants are one of the world's most damaging invasive pests, with few means for their effective control. Although ecologically friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides such as the insecticidal fungus Beauveria bassiana have been suggested for the control of fire ant populations, their use has been limited due to the low virulence of the fungus and the length of time it takes to kill its target. We present a means of increasing the virulence of the fungal agent by expressing a fire ant neuropeptide. Expression of the fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) pyrokinin β-neuropeptide (β-NP) by B. bassiana increased fungal virulence six-fold towards fire ants, decreased the LT(50), but did not affect virulence towards the lepidopteran, Galleria mellonella. Intriguingly, ants killed by the β-NP expressing fungus were disrupted in the removal of dead colony members, i.e. necrophoretic behavior. Furthermore, synthetic C-terminal amidated β-NP but not the non-amidated peptide had a dramatic effect on necrophoretic behavior. These data link chemical sensing of a specific peptide to a complex social behavior. Our results also confirm a new approach to insect control in which expression of host molecules in an insect pathogen can by exploited for target specific augmentation of virulence. The minimization of the development of potential insect resistance by our approach is discussed.

  11. 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

  12. 'It's not therapy, it's gardening': community gardens as sites of comprehensive primary healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Pauline; Brennan, Sebrina; Vandenberg, Miriam

    2018-05-28

    Using a participatory research framework, researchers at the Centre for Rural Health, University of Tasmania, explored the potential of Community Gardens to function as comprehensive primary healthcare (CPHC) environments. Community gardeners, coordinators, volunteers and Neighbourhood House coordinators discussed their understandings of the health benefits of community gardens, how they contribute to broad CPHC aims and the barriers and enablers to greater CPHC contributions in the future. This research identifies therapeutic features of Community Gardens and explores the correlations between these and CPHC. It is concluded that there are strong synergies between the aims and activities of Community Gardens and CPHC. To augment the therapeutic capacity of these sites requires adequate resourcing and skill development, suitable design, funding and policy support, along with innovative partnerships with health professionals.

  13. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

    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 before 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 approximately 25 cm above the soil, where temperature and humidity conditions were optimal for fungal growth. Experimental relocation confirmed that parasite fitness was lower outside this manipulative zone. Host resources were rapidly colonized and further secured by extensive internal structuring. Nutritional composition analysis indicated that such structuring allows the parasite to produce a large fruiting body for spore production. Our findings suggest that the osmotrophic lifestyle of fungi may have facilitated novel exploitation strategies.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Persian Gardens: Meanings, Symbolism, and Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leila Mahmoudi Farahani

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Culture and identity in a society can be represented in the architecture and the meanings intertwined with it. In this sense, the architecture and design are the interface for transferring meaning and identity to the nation and future generations. Persian gardens have been evolved through the history of Persian Empire in regard to the culture and beliefs of the society. This paper aims to investigate the patterns of design and architecture in Persian gardens and the meanings intertwined with their patterns and significant elements such as water and trees. Persian gardens are not only about geometries and shapes; but also manifest different design elements, each representing a specific symbol and its significance among the society. This paper seeks to explore Persian gardens in terms of their geometric structure, irrigation system, network construction and pavilions alongside design qualities such as hierarchy, symmetry, centrality, rhythm and harmony. In the second stage, the paper investigates the fundamental symbols and their philosophy in the creation of Persian gardens and in relation to the architecture and design.

  20. Examination of the immune responses of males and workers of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior and the effect of infection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Krug, A.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2005-01-01

    -cutting ant workers being more variable in age or more genetically diverse within colonies. When exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium, workers expressed a substantially reduced immune response 96 h after infection, suggesting that the immune system was either depleted by having to respond...

  1. CASE STUDY: Governador Valdares, Brazil — Gardening takes root ...

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

    2010-12-16

    Dec 16, 2010 ... CASE STUDY: Governador Valdares, Brazil — Gardening takes root in Governador ... out of Quito, by the Urban Management Program of UN-HABITAT. .... vegetable gardens as a way to pull through an economic crisis.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Rediscovering community: Interethnic relationships and community gardening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    August John Hoffman

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Community service work, volunteerism and mentoring have recently become popular topics of research as effective methods in improving self-esteem and civic responsibility. In the current study we explored the relationship between participation in a community service gardening program and ethnocentrism. We hypothesised that an inverse correlation would emerge where students who participated in a community service-gardening program would increase their perceptions of the importance of community service work and decrease their scores in ethnocentrism. Results of the paired samples t-test strongly support the hypothesis that community service gardening work significantly reduces reports of ethnocentrism: t(10 = -2.52, (p < .03 for community college students. The ramifications of the study and ramifications for future research are offered.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Recognition of endophytic Trichoderma species by leaf-cutting ants and their potential in a Trojan-horse management strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Silma L.; Evans, Harry C.; Jorge, Vanessa L.; Cardoso, Lucimar A. O.; Pereira, Fernanda S. T.; Rocha, Fabiano B.; Barreto, Robert W.; Hart, Adam G.

    2017-01-01

    Interactions between leaf-cutting ants, their fungal symbiont (Leucoagaricus) and the endophytic fungi within the vegetation they carry into their colonies are still poorly understood. If endophytes antagonistic to Leucoagaricus were found in plant material being carried by these ants, then this might indicate a potential mechanism for plants to defend themselves from leaf-cutter attack. In addition, it could offer possibilities for the management of these important Neotropical pests. Here, we show that, for Atta sexdens rubropilosa, there was a significantly greater incidence of Trichoderma species in the vegetation removed from the nests—and deposited around the entrances—than in that being transported into the nests. In a no-choice test, Trichoderma-infested rice was taken into the nest, with deleterious effects on both the fungal gardens and ant survival. The endophytic ability of selected strains of Trichoderma was also confirmed, following their inoculation and subsequent reisolation from seedlings of eucalyptus. These results indicate that endophytic fungi which pose a threat to ant fungal gardens through their antagonistic traits, such as Trichoderma, have the potential to act as bodyguards of their plant hosts and thus might be employed in a Trojan-horse strategy to mitigate the negative impact of leaf-cutting ants in both agriculture and silviculture in the Neotropics. We posit that the ants would detect and evict such ‘malign’ endophytes—artificially inoculated into vulnerable crops—during the quality-control process within the nest, and, moreover, that the foraging ants may then be deterred from further harvesting of ‘Trichoderma-enriched’ plants. PMID:28484603

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Anti-pathogen protection versus survival costs mediated by an ectosymbiont in an ant host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Matthias; Grasse, Anna V; Tragust, Simon; Cremer, Sylvia

    2015-01-22

    The fitness effects of symbionts on their hosts can be context-dependent, with usually benign symbionts causing detrimental effects when their hosts are stressed, or typically parasitic symbionts providing protection towards their hosts (e.g. against pathogen infection). Here, we studied the novel association between the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus and its fungal ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum for potential costs and benefits. We tested ants with different Laboulbenia levels for their survival and immunity under resource limitation and exposure to the obligate killing entomopathogen Metarhizium brunneum. While survival of L. neglectus workers under starvation was significantly decreased with increasing Laboulbenia levels, host survival under Metarhizium exposure increased with higher levels of the ectosymbiont, suggesting a symbiont-mediated anti-pathogen protection, which seems to be driven mechanistically by both improved sanitary behaviours and an upregulated immune system. Ants with high Laboulbenia levels showed significantly longer self-grooming and elevated expression of immune genes relevant for wound repair and antifungal responses (β-1,3-glucan binding protein, Prophenoloxidase), compared with ants carrying low Laboulbenia levels. This suggests that the ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum weakens its ant host by either direct resource exploitation or the costs of an upregulated behavioural and immunological response, which, however, provides a prophylactic protection upon later exposure to pathogens. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  12. Anti-pathogen protection versus survival costs mediated by an ectosymbiont in an ant host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Matthias; Grasse, Anna V.; Tragust, Simon; Cremer, Sylvia

    2015-01-01

    The fitness effects of symbionts on their hosts can be context-dependent, with usually benign symbionts causing detrimental effects when their hosts are stressed, or typically parasitic symbionts providing protection towards their hosts (e.g. against pathogen infection). Here, we studied the novel association between the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus and its fungal ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum for potential costs and benefits. We tested ants with different Laboulbenia levels for their survival and immunity under resource limitation and exposure to the obligate killing entomopathogen Metarhizium brunneum. While survival of L. neglectus workers under starvation was significantly decreased with increasing Laboulbenia levels, host survival under Metarhizium exposure increased with higher levels of the ectosymbiont, suggesting a symbiont-mediated anti-pathogen protection, which seems to be driven mechanistically by both improved sanitary behaviours and an upregulated immune system. Ants with high Laboulbenia levels showed significantly longer self-grooming and elevated expression of immune genes relevant for wound repair and antifungal responses (β-1,3-glucan binding protein, Prophenoloxidase), compared with ants carrying low Laboulbenia levels. This suggests that the ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum weakens its ant host by either direct resource exploitation or the costs of an upregulated behavioural and immunological response, which, however, provides a prophylactic protection upon later exposure to pathogens. PMID:25473011

  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 inves- tigated using ... the literature, it was considered in the model that (i) ant colony consists of two kinds of ants, good- ... ponents without a central controller [8].

  14. Asian gardens: history, beliefs and design

    OpenAIRE

    Turner, Tom

    2010-01-01

    [Book description from publisher's website]\\ud The gardens made on the fringes of Central Asia in the past 5000 years form a great arc. From the Fertile Crescent, it runs west to Europe and east to China and Japan. Asia's fringe was a zone of interchange: a vast landscape in which herders encountered farmers and the design of symbolic gardens began. It appears that as they became settlers, nomads retained a love of mobility, hunting and the wild places in which their ancestors had roamed. Cen...

  15. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    viable descriptions of the collective condition of humans and more-than-humans in the Anthropocene. Also and moving past a merely descriptive approach, it discusses it as a useful tool to engage with the situated globalities which come into being through the socio-spatial coupling of tourism......In recent years Actor-network theory (ANT) has increasingly been felt in the field of tourism studies (Van der Duim, Ren, & Jóhannesson, 2012). An important implication of the meeting between ANT and tourism studies is the notion of tourism being described as a heterogeneous assemblage of what we...... are used to define as the separate spheres of nature and culture. This paper explores and relates the central tenets of ANT in tourism with regard to the concept of the Anthropocene. It presents the ANT approach as a flat and object-oriented ontology and methodology and explores its potentials to carve out...

  16. Disease in the Society: Infectious Cadavers Result in Collapse of Ant Sub-Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loreto, Raquel G.; Hughes, David P.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the growing number of experimental studies on mechanisms of social immunity in ant societies, little is known about how social behavior relates to disease progression within the nests of ants. In fact, when empirically studying disease in ant societies, it is common to remove dead ants from experiments to confirm infection by the studied parasite. This unfortunately does not allow disease to progress within the nest as it may be assumed would happen under natural conditions. Therefore, the approach taken so far has resulted in a limited knowledge of diseases dynamics within the nest environment. Here we introduced a single infectious cadaver killed by the fungus Beauveria bassiana into small nests of the ant Camponotus castaneus. We then observed the natural progression of the disease by not removing the corpses of the ants that died following the first entry of the disease. Because some behaviors such as social isolation of sick individuals or the removal of cadavers by nestmates are considered social immune functions and thus adaptations at the colony level that reduce disease spread, we also experimentally confined some sub-colonies to one or two chamber nests to prevent the expression of such behaviors. Based on 51 small nests and survival studies in 1,003 ants we found that a single introduced infectious cadaver was able to transmit within the nest, and social immunity did not prevent the collapse of the small sub-colonies here tested. This was true whether ants did or did not have the option to remove the infectious cadaver. Therefore, we found no evidence that the typically studied social immunity behaviors can reduce disease spread in the conditions here tested. PMID:27529548

  17. Hollyhocks and Honeybees: Garden Projects for Young Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starbuck, Sara; Olthof, Marla; Midden, Karen

    Children are drawn to nature and the outdoors. This guide details the inclusion of gardening in the preschool curriculum at a university child development program in Illinois. Chapter 1 of the book, "Why Garden?" details the benefits of gardening for young children, describes the project approach used, discusses the role of the teacher,…

  18. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Brent F; Poulsen, Melissa N; Margulies, Jared D; Dix, Katie L; Palmer, Anne M; Nachman, Keeve E

    2014-01-01

    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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Ants Orase kultuurisõnum

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2007-01-01

    26. jaanuaril toimub Tallinna Ülikooli Akadeemilises Raamatukogus seminar silmapaistvast Eesti teadlasest ja tõlkijast Ants Orasest. Esinevad kirjandusteadlased Tallinna Ülikoolist, Tartu Ülikoolist ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseumist. Avaettekandeks on sõna Oklahoma Ülikooli professoril Vincent B. Leitchil, kes oli Ants Orase viimaseks juhendatavaks doktorandiks. Seminari korraldavad Tallinna Ülikool ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum. Vt ka Postimees, 26, jaan., lk. 18

  8. 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.

  9. Master Gardener-Led Lessons Increase Knowledge in Gardening and Environmental Science for Iowa Summer Camp Youth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Bruce J.; Haynes, Cynthia; Schrock, Denny; Duerfeldt, Kevin; Litchfield, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    Gardening and nutrition lessons for children can affect knowledge, actions, and behaviors that support more healthful lifestyles. The objective of the study described in this article was to determine the effectiveness of a master gardener--led education program for youth at a week-long summer camp in Iowa. Garden knowledge was assessed via a…

  10. Botanic garden as an environment for informal education: experience of Kaunas Botanical Garden

    OpenAIRE

    Jurkonis, Nerijus

    2017-01-01

    According to Willison (1994), botanic gardens have an obvious and vital role to play in conserving plants, but conservation cannot succeed without education. Kaunas botanical garden (KBG) of Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania has experience in a diverse range of education activities: from traditional guided excursions which present botanical collections, to informal education for preschoolers and schoolchildren. KBG is a partner in the Lithuanian Academy of Science’s project for the ‘Devel...

  11. 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

  12. Writing Gardens - Gardening Drawings: Fung, Brunier and Garening as a model of Landscape Architectural Practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Raxworthy

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Landscape architecture is different from other design discourses, notably architecture, because of its utilisation of' dynamic' construction media such as plant materials, soils and water, compared with the 'static' materials of architecture, colloquially described as bricks and mortar. This dynamism refers to the fact that landscape materials not only change, but get better over time. While this is a material difference, its implications extend to practice, which has been modelled, from architecture, to favour a static mode of representation: the drawing. While the drawing is important for the propositional nature of landscape architecture, it may be valuable to look at other disciplines, allied to landscape architecture, which might be seen as better able to engage with change. In this essay, the garden provides just such an example. In the writings of Stanislaus Fung on the Chinese garden text the Yuan vi, an argument is made about writing being a fundamental act in the endeavour of gardening that may offer a bridge across the 'ontological disparity' that exists between representation and the subject, the landscape. To speak of writing in this context suggests that writing about gardens is actually a type of gardening in itself. This argument is extended in the current essay quickly to see if it is also appropriate to consider drawings in this way. This essay also attempts to legitimate theoretically the real possibility of modifying landscape architectural practices to engage with change, by suggesting what might be learned from gardening. In further research by this author, this argument will be used as the theoretical basis for critiquing gardens in such a way that lessons learnt from garden designers can be valuably incorporated back into the discourse of landscape architecture.

  13. Life on Guam: Farm & Garden. 1977 Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Philip H.

    As part of an updated series of activity oriented educational materials dealing with aspects of the Guam environment, this publication focuses on backyard gardening and nursery methods. Included in this "How to Do It" learning resource are such agricultural techniques as hydroponics, grafting and budding, and fertilizing. This…

  14. 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.

  15. Community Gardening, Neighborhood Meetings, and Social Capital

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaimo, Katherine; Reischl, Thomas M.; Allen, Julie Ober

    2010-01-01

    This study examined associations between participation in community gardening/beautification projects and neighborhood meetings with perceptions of social capital at both the individual and neighborhood levels. Data were analyzed from a cross-sectional stratified random telephone survey conducted in Flint, Michigan (N=1916). Hierarchical linear…

  16. Aberdeen City Garden : Beyond Landscape or Architecture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jauslin, D.

    2012-01-01

    A team around the New York based Architects Diller, Scofidio & Renfro DS+R won a competition for the Aberdeen City Garden in January 2012 together with OLIN and Keppie Design. The proposal supported by a private deed to the city passed a public referendum in the Scottish costal town in March 2012

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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...

  20. Confusion in the Garden of Eden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skyum, Sven

    1975-01-01

    In this paper we examine the connection between unambiguity of cellular systems and the existence of Garden of Eden configurations in cellular automata. The examination includes both finite and infinite configurations. The connections are found by examining various properties of the global...

  1. Growing Language Awareness in the Classroom Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paugh, Patricia; Moran, Mary

    2013-01-01

    For four years, Pat Paugh, a university teacher educator, and Mary Moran, a teacher researcher, collaborated on action research by systematically studying literacy development connected to the latter's third-grade community gardening and urban farming curriculum. Their goal was to support an existing classroom culture that valued…

  2. Gamma irradiation studies on garden roses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deepti; Datta, S.K.

    1999-01-01

    Differential sensitivity with respect to sprouting, survival, plant height and morphological abnormalities were recorded in a gamma ray induced breeding programme with four cultivars of garden roses. Somatic mutations in flower colour/ shape were detected as chimera in three cultivars. Attempts are being made to isolate the mutant tissues in pure form. (author)

  3. Gardening Provides Valuable Time to Talk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Margaret

    2016-01-01

    Like many schools, Hornsea Community Primary School, which is situated in a rural coastal town in East Yorkshire, has a long wish list of both curriculum and pastoral ideals. A gardening club was started at the school with the intention of transforming two small areas of the school grounds that were very visible to the school community and to…

  4. Promoting nitrate removal in rain gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rain gardens are vegetated surface depressions, often located at low points in landscapes, designed to receive stormwater runoff from roads, roofs, and parking lots. The gardens’ sandy soils allow stormwater to drain quickly to the native soils below and eventually to groundwate...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:24734179

  8. 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.

  9. "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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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-review sh......-review shows that four out of five tested ant species deposit pheromones that repel herbivorous prey from their host plants.......Ants control pests via predation and physical deterrence; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may serve as warning signals to potential prey and other intruders. The presence of ant pheromones may, thus, be sufficient to repel pests from ant territories. This mini...

  13. How ants drop out: ant abundance on tropical mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longino, John T; Branstetter, Michael G; Colwell, Robert K

    2014-01-01

    In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature) and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops.

  14. How ants drop out: ant abundance on tropical mountains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T Longino

    Full Text Available In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Risks and benefits of gardening in urban soil; heavy metals and nutrient content in Los Angeles Community Gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, L. W.; Jenerette, D.; Bain, D. J.

    2012-12-01

    The availability of soil nutrients and heavy metals in urban community gardens can influence health of crops and participants. Interactions between garden history, management, and soils are understudied in cities. In July 2011, we collected soil samples from 45 plots at 6 Los Angeles community gardens. For comparison, 3 samples were collected from uncultivated garden soils and 3 more from outside soils. Samples were then tested for major nutrients- Nitrogen(N), Potassium (K), and Phosphorous (P)- and organic matter (SOM). We also measured concentrations of 29 metals in 3 gardens using Inductively Coupled Plasma- Atomic Emission Spectroscopy. Potassium and phosphorus exceeded optimum levels in all plots, with some over twice the maximum recommended levels. Over-fertilized soils may contribute to local watershed pollution and crop micronutrient deficiencies. Low soil SOM was observed in gardens in impoverished neighborhoods, possibly due to low quality amendments. Our metals analysis showed dangerous levels of lead (Pb)-- up to 1700 ppm in outside soils and 150 ppm in garden soils-- near older gardens, indicating lead deposition legacies. California lead safety standards indicate that children should not play near soils with Pb above 200 ppm, indicating need for long term monitoring of lead contaminated gardens. Arsenic (As) levels exceeded federal risk levels (0.3 ppm) and average CA background levels (2 ppm) in all areas, with some gardens exceeding 10 ppm. Heavy metal legacies in gardens may pose risks to participants with prolonged exposure and remediation of soils may be necessary.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Urban Gardening in the Crisis Conjuncture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Maughan

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Urban gardening finds itself at a juncture – not only are crises caused and exacerbated by the industrial food system urgently demonstrating the need for more localised, sustainable, and democratically-determined food systems, but alternative food movements are increasingly negotiating crises of their own. Critical Foodscapes was a one-day conference part-funded by Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study (IAS and the Food GRP. The conference was put together with the intention of bringing a ‘critical studies’ approach to the emerging research area of urban community food growing; namely, to put critical – but constructive – pressure on some of the assumptions which underlie current theory and practice of the various forms of urban food growing. This article offers some reflections on the conference itself as well as on the prospects for urban gardening more generally.

  1. Horticultural therapy: the garden benefits everyone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, D J

    1998-10-01

    Horticulture therapy (HT) is an applied adjuctive therapy, using plants and gardening materials, to help the client with mental illness to improve social skills, self-esteem, and use of leisure time. HT provides a nonthreatening context for the development of a therapeutic alliance between client and nursing student. HT provides a group experience for the student nurse, allowing the promotion of therapeutic community, assessment of patient status, and management of a therapy session from start to finish via the nursing process.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. Previous Gardening Experience and Gardening Enjoyment Is Related to Vegetable Preferences and Consumption Among Low-Income Elementary School Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Alexandra; Ranjit, Nalini; Fair, Cori N; Jennings, Rose; Warren, Judith L

    2016-10-01

    To examine if gardening experience and enjoyment are associated with vegetable exposure, preferences, and consumption of vegetables among low-income third-grade children. Cross-sectional study design, using baseline data from the Texas! Grow! Eat! Go! Twenty-eight Title I elementary schools located in different counties in Texas. Third-grade students (n = 1,326, 42% Hispanic) MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Gardening experience, gardening enjoyment, vegetable exposure, preference, and consumption. Random-effects regression models, adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, and body mass index percentile of child, estimated means and standard errors of vegetable consumption, exposure, and preference by levels of gardening experience and enjoyment. Wald χ 2 tests evaluated the significance of differences in means of outcomes across levels of gardening experience and enjoyment. Children with more gardening experience had greater vegetable exposure and higher vegetable preference and consumed more vegetables compared with children who reported less gardening experience. Those who reported that they enjoyed gardening had the highest levels of vegetable exposure, preference, and consumption. Garden-based interventions can have an important and positive effect on children's vegetable consumption by increasing exposure to fun gardening experiences. Copyright © 2016 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schöning, Caspar; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    of active research in insect sociobiology. Here we present microsatellite data for 176 males from eight colonies of the African army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus. Comparison with worker genotypes and inferred queen genotypes from the same colonies show that workers do not or at best very rarely reproduce...

  6. 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 ...

  7. Urbanization alters communities of flying arthropods in parks and gardens of a medium-sized city.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagucki, Edward; Burdine, Justin D; McCluney, Kevin E

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization transforms undeveloped landscapes into built environments, causing changes in communities and ecological processes. Flying arthropods play important roles in these processes as pollinators, decomposers, and predators, and can be important in structuring food webs. The goal of this study was to identify associations between urbanization and the composition of communities of flying (and floating) arthropods within gardens and parks in a medium-sized mesic city. We predicted that flying arthropod abundance and diversity would respond strongly to percent impervious surface and distance to city center, measurements of urbanization. Flying arthropods were sampled from 30 gardens and parks along an urbanization gradient in Toledo, Ohio, during July and August 2016, using elevated pan traps. A variety of potential predictor variables were also recorded at each site. We collected a total of 2,369 individuals representing nine orders. We found that flying arthropod community composition was associated with percent impervious surface and canopy cover. Overall flying arthropod abundance was negatively associated with percent impervious surface and positively associated with distance to city center. Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants), Lepidoptera (moths, butterflies), and Araneae (spiders) were positively associated with distance to city center. Hemiptera (true bugs), Diptera (flies), and Araneae were negatively associated with percent impervious surface. Both distance to city center and percent impervious surface are metrics of urbanization, and this study shows how these factors influence flying arthropod communities in urban gardens and city parks, including significant reductions in taxa that contain pollinators and predators important to urban agriculture and forestry. A variety of environmental factors also showed significant associations with responses (e.g. canopy cover and soil moisture), suggesting these factors may underlie or modulate the urbanization

  8. Refugees Connecting with a New Country through Community Food Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25198684

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Sowing Seeds for Healthier Diets: Children's Perspectives on School Gardening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nury, Edris; Sarti, Asia; Dijkstra, Coosje; Seidell, Jacob C; Dedding, Christine

    2017-06-25

    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 gardening in order to better understand and increase its potential for health promotion. Using participant observation and semi-structured interviews, we provided 45 primary schoolchildren (9-10 years) from Amsterdam, who participated in a comprehensive year-round school gardening programme, the opportunity to share their experiences and ideas on school gardening. Children particularly expressed enjoyment of the outdoor gardening portion of the programme as it enabled them to be physically active and independently nurture their gardens. Harvesting was the children's favourite activity, followed by planting and sowing. In contrast, insufficient gardening time and long explanations or instructions were especially disliked. Experiencing fun and enjoyment appeared to play a vital role in children's motivation to actively participate. Children's suggestions for programme improvements included more autonomy and opportunities for experimentation, and competition elements to increase fun and variety. Our results indicate that gaining insight into children's perspectives allows matching school gardening programmes more to children's wishes and expectations, thereby potentially enhancing their intrinsic motivation for gardening and vegetable consumption.

  17. Metabolites from marine fungus Aspergillus sp.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wahidullah, S.; Rajmanickam, R.; DeSouza, L.

    Chemical examination of a methanolic extract of the marine fungus, Aspergillus sp., isolated from marine grass environment, yielded a steroid, ergosterol peroxide (1), and a mixture of known glyceride esters (2,3) of unsaturated fatty acids...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Geosmithia-Ophiostoma: a New Fungus-Fungus Association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepori, Alessia L; Bettini, Priscilla P; Comparini, Cecilia; Sarrocco, Sabrina; Bonini, Anna; Frascella, Arcangela; Ghelardini, Luisa; Scala, Aniello; Vannacci, Giovanni; Santini, Alberto

    2018-04-01

    In Europe as in North America, elms are devastated by Dutch elm disease (DED), caused by the alien ascomycete Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. Pathogen dispersal and transmission are ensured by local species of bark beetles, which established a novel association with the fungus. Elm bark beetles also transport the Geosmithia fungi genus that is found in scolytids' galleries colonized by O. novo-ulmi. Widespread horizontal gene transfer between O. novo-ulmi and Geosmithia was recently observed. In order to define the relation between these two fungi in the DED pathosystem, O. novo-ulmi and Geosmithia species from elm, including a GFP-tagged strain, were grown in dual culture and mycelial interactions were observed by light and fluorescence microscopy. Growth and sporulation of O. novo-ulmi in the absence or presence of Geosmithia were compared. The impact of Geosmithia on DED severity was tested in vivo by co-inoculating Geosmithia and O. novo-ulmi in elms. A close and stable relation was observed between the two fungi, which may be classified as mycoparasitism by Geosmithia on O. novo-ulmi. These results prove the existence of a new component in the complex of organisms involved in DED, which might be capable of reducing the disease impact.

  1. 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.

  2. [Relationship between fruit and vegetable gardening and health-related factors: male community gardeners aged 50-74 years living in a suburban area of Japan].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machida, Daisuke; Yoshida, Tohru

    2017-01-01

    Objectives The aims of the study were as follows: 1) to investigate the relationship between community fruit and vegetable (FV) gardening and perceived changes in health-related factors by utilizing community gardens and 2) to determine the relationship of community FV gardening and other types of gardening on health-related factors among men aged 50-74 years living in a suburban area of Japan.Methods In this cross-sectional study, we targeted men aged 50-74 years living in a city in Gunma Prefecture. A survey solicited demographic characteristics, FV gardening information, and health-related factors [BMI, self-rated health status, FV intake, physical activity (PA), and perceived neighborhood social cohesion (PNSC)]. The participants were divided into three groups: community gardeners, other types of gardeners, and non-gardeners. Items related to community gardening and perceived changes in health-related factors were presented only to community gardeners. The relationship between community gardening and perceived changes in health-related factors were analyzed by computing correlation coefficients. The relationships between FV gardening and specific health-related factors were analyzed by logistic regression modeling.Results Significant positive correlations were observed between community FV gardening (the frequency of community gardening, the product of community gardening time and frequency of community gardening) and perceived changes in health-related factors (frequency of FV intake, amount of FV intake, and PA). The logistic regression models showed that 1) the number of participants with ≥23 METs h/week of PA was significantly greater among community gardeners than among non-gardeners; 2) the number of participants whose frequency of total vegetable intake, total vegetable intake (excluding juice), and total FV intake (excluding juice) was ≥5 times/day was significantly greater among other types of gardeners than non-gardeners; 3) participants

  3. Jan Baptist Xavery (1697-1742: A versatile garden artist

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis de Kool

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Dutch garden sculpture from the 18 th century is worthy of more systematic study. Such research may offer valuable insights into the position of garden sculpture within sculpture proper and its meaning in 18 th-century garden art. Jan Baptist Xavery is regarded as one of the most important sculptors working in the Netherlands during the 18 th century. His artistic career, his versatile body of work and his influence on other artists should therefore be studied in more depth. In view of the bloom in garden art in those days Xavery's significance as a 'garden artist' should not be overlooked in such a study. Garden sculptures should not be regarded as independent objects or pure decorative elements, but must be considered within the wider context of garden history. Tragically, many garden ornaments have been removed from their natural green environment. In their new settings they sometimes acquire a new meaning, but more often than not they are not done justice as the original harmonious 'composition' has been lost. As a result, this cultural-historical heritage is often treated indifferently. The few garden sculptures that have survived all calamities and can still be admired in public places are often placed at unsuitable locations and suffer from the weather or vandalism. Many garden sculptures, often damaged, have ended up anonymously in museum depots. Although they are safe there, the dreary catacombs of museums are a far cry from the green surroundings for which they were originally intended. Garden ornaments were, after all, not made for depots but to be looked at, studied and admired by enthusiasts, preferably in green surroundings. Otherwise, they will literally disappear from collective memory. Surely, the talented Jan Baptist Xavery and his contemporaries deserve a better fate than that.

  4. 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,…

  5. 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...

  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. Domestic Resistance: Gardening, Mothering, and Storytelling in Leslie Marmon Silko's "Gardens in the Dunes"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Stephanie

    2009-01-01

    Leslie Marmon Silko began her most recent work, "Gardens in the Dunes" (1999), intending to write a novel that would not be political. Following the publication of "Almanac of the Dead" (1992), which was simultaneously hailed as one of the most important books of the twentieth century and condemned for its angry self-righteousness, Silko…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Carbon dioxide sensing in the social context: Leaf-cutting ants prefer elevated CO2 levels to tend their brood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Römer, Daniela; Bollazzi, Martin; Roces, Flavio

    2018-05-18

    Social insects show temperature and humidity preferences inside their nests to successfully rear brood. In underground nests, ants also encounter rising CO 2 concentrations with increasing depth. It is an open question whether they use CO 2 as a cue to decide where to place and tend the brood. Leaf-cutting ants do show CO 2 preferences for the culturing of their symbiotic fungus. We evaluated their CO 2 choices for brood placement in laboratory experiments. Workers of Acromyrmex lundii in the process of relocating brood were offered a binary choice consisting of two interconnected chambers with different CO 2 concentrations. Values ranged from atmospheric to high concentrations of 4% CO 2 . The CO 2 preferences shown by workers for themselves and for brood placement were assessed by quantifying the number of workers and relocated brood in each chamber. Ants showed clear CO 2 preferences for brood placement. They avoided atmospheric levels, 1% and 4% CO 2 , and showed a preference for levels of 3%. This is the first report of CO 2 preferences for the maintenance of brood in social insects. The observed preferences for brood location were independent of the workers' own CO 2 preferences, since they showed no clear-cut pattern. Workers' CO 2 preferences for brood maintenance were slightly higher than those reported for fungus culturing, although brood is reared in the same chambers as the fungus in leaf-cutting ant nests. Workers' choices for brood placement in natural nests are likely the result of competing preferences for other environmental factors more crucial for brood survival, aside from those for CO 2 . Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. Peristalticity-driven banded chemical garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pópity-Tóth, É.; Schuszter, G.; Horváth, D.; Tóth, Á.

    2018-05-01

    Complex structures in nature are often formed by self-assembly. In order to mimic the formation, to enhance the production, or to modify the structures, easy-to-use methods are sought to couple engineering and self-assembly. Chemical-garden-like precipitation reactions are frequently used to study such couplings because of the intrinsic chemical and hydrodynamic interplays. In this work, we present a simple method of applying periodic pressure fluctuations given by a peristaltic pump which can be used to achieve regularly banded precipitate membranes in the copper-phosphate system.

  13. Ant-plant mutualism: a dietary by-product of a tropical ant's macronutrient requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcila Hernández, Lina M; Sanders, Jon G; Miller, Gabriel A; Ravenscraft, Alison; Frederickson, Megan E

    2017-12-01

    Many arboreal ants depend on myrmecophytic plants for both food and shelter; in return, these ants defend their host plants against herbivores, which are often insects. Ant-plant and other mutualisms do not necessarily involve the exchange of costly rewards or services; they may instead result from by-product benefits, or positive outcomes that do not entail a cost for one or both partners. Here, we examined whether the plant-ant Allomerus octoarticulatus pays a short-term cost to defend their host plants against herbivores, or whether plant defense is a by-product benefit of ant foraging for insect prey. Because the food offered by ant-plants is usually nitrogen-poor, arboreal ants may balance their diets by consuming insect prey or associating with microbial symbionts to acquire nitrogen, potentially shifting the costs and benefits of plant defense for the ant partner. To determine the effect of ant diet on an ant-plant mutualism, we compared the behavior, morphology, fitness, stable isotope signatures, and gaster microbiomes of A. octoarticulatus ants nesting in Cordia nodosa trees maintained for nearly a year with or without insect herbivores. At the end of the experiment, ants from herbivore exclosures preferred protein-rich baits more than ants in the control (i.e., herbivores present) treatment. Furthermore, workers in the control treatment were heavier than in the herbivore-exclusion treatment, and worker mass predicted reproductive output, suggesting that foraging for insect prey directly increased ant colony fitness. The gaster microbiome of ants was not significantly affected by the herbivore exclusion treatment. We conclude that the defensive behavior of some phytoecious ants is a by-product of their need for external protein sources; thus, the consumption of insect herbivores by ants benefits both the ant colony and the host plant. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Nutritive potentials and utilization of garden snail (Limicolaria aurora ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    AJB SERVER

    2006-10-16

    Oct 16, 2006 ... The possibility of using garden snail (Limicolaria aurora) meat meal as a protein source in fish feeds was tested in ... garden snail meat meal was used to replace fish meal at 0%, (control diet), 25, 50, 75 and 100% inclusion ..... Randall DJ, Brett JR (eds) Fish Physiology, Academic Press, NY 8: 279-352,.

  17. Information sharing, scheduling, and awareness in community gardening collaboration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, X.; Wakkary, R.; Neustædter, C.; Desjardins, A.

    2015-01-01

    Community gardens are places where people, as a collaborative group, grow food for themselves and for others. There is a lack of studies in HCI regarding collaboration in community gardens and considering technologies to support such collaborations. This paper reports on a detailed study of

  18. Community Gardens as a Platform for Education for Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corkery, Linda

    2004-01-01

    Community gardens fulfil many roles, including the reclamation of public space, community building, and the facilitation of social and cultural expression. This paper discusses a nexus between research and education for sustainability that evolved out of an examination of the role of community gardens in fostering community development and…

  19. 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…

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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…

  3. Gardens of Situations: Learning from the Danish Modern Landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boris, Stefan Darlan

    2009-01-01

    of an interlacing of understanding and space.” (Sieverts, 2007) Learning from a series of modern Danish landscape architectural projects by Brandt, Sørensen and Andersson I will define a specific form for gardening – and more importantly a specific form for gathering – which I call „Gardens of Situations...

  4. Tending a Virtual Garden: Exploring Connectivity between Cities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pakanen, Minna; Polli, Anna Maria; Lee, Stella

    2013-01-01

    their waiting time. ‘Virtual Garden’ creates the experience of ‘being connected’ by providing users with the possibility to ‘grow’ a collaborative garden using a smartphone and natural gestures as the control interaction. Lo-fi prototypes were used to gather user feedback which informed the design...... of the 'Virtual Garden'....

  5. 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, ...

  6. Gendered motivation for home gardening and maintenance of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Home gardening is a commonly encountered agricultural practice in Benin, consisting of cultivating or maintaining desired plant around homesteads. While the multiple ecosystem services they provided to population is widely acknowledged, motivation for home gardening is still poorly understood in Benin. This study aims ...

  7. 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…

  8. Reconceptualising Gardening to Promote Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Susan

    2012-01-01

    The ways in which gardening has been interpreted by schools in western societies have changed over the past 150 years. The intended purpose of school gardening with children (aged 5-14) and the pedagogies which teachers have adopted has varied depending on social, cultural and political expectations. This paper argues that a reconceptualised…

  9. Economic Gardening through Entrepreneurship Education: A Service-Learning Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desplaces, David E.; Wergeles, Fred; McGuigan, Patrick

    2009-01-01

    This article outlines the implementation of a service-learning approach in an entrepreneurship programme using an "economic gardening" strategy. Economic Gardening through Service-Learning (EGS-L) is an approach to economic development that helps local businesses and students grow through a facilitated learning process. Learning is made possible…

  10. Gardening as a therapeutic intervention in mental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Mathew

    This article describes why one low-secure unit chose to initiate a horticultural therapy project and organise it as a 'workers' cooperative'. The therapeutic benefits of gardening are explored, particularly focusing on the social benefits. The article also discusses the issue of hope, which is an intrinsic requirement in gardening.

  11. 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

  12. Occupational dermatitis in Danish gardeners and greenhouse workers (I)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paulsen, Evy; Søgaard, Jes; Andersen, Klaus Ejner

    1997-01-01

    in Danish gardeners and greenhouse workers. A cross-sectional study, based on a postal questionnaire and subsequent examination and patch testing of those who had occupational eczema from their present work or occupational problems with Compositae, was carried out in 1958 gardeners and greenhouse workers...

  13. 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…

  14. The Effects of Rain Garden Size on Hydrologic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rain gardens are vegetated depressions designed to accept stormwater runoff. Manuals and guidance documents recommend sizing rain garden cells from 3% to 43% of the associated drainage area, based on factors including soil type, slope, amount of impervious cover in the drainage ...

  15. 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,…

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Reina L.; Grace, J. Kenneth; Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2018-01-01

    Hawaii is home to over 60 ant species, including five of the six most damaging invasive ants. Although there have been many surveys of ants in Hawaii, the last island-wide hand-collection survey of ants on Oahu was conducted in 1988–1994. In 2012, a timed hand-collection of ants was made at 44 sites in a systematic, roadside survey throughout Oahu. Ants were identified and species distribution in relation to elevation, precipitation and soil type was analyzed. To assess possible convenience sampling bias, 15 additional sites were sampled further from roads to compare with the samples near roads. Twenty-four species of ants were found and mapped; Pheidole megacephala (F.), Ochetellus glaber (Mayr), and Technomyrmex difficilis Forel were the most frequently encountered ants. For six ant species, a logistic regression was performed with elevation, average annual precipitation, and soil order as explanatory variables. O. glaber was found in areas with lower precipitation around Oahu. Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle) and Tetramorium simillimum (Smith, F.) were found more often in lower elevations and in areas with the Mollisol soil order. Elevation, precipitation, and soil type were not significant sources of variation for P. megacephala, Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery, and T. difficilis. P. megacephala was associated with fewer mean numbers of ants where it occurred. Ant assemblages near and far from roads did not significantly differ. Many species of ants remain established on Oahu, and recent invaders are spreading throughout the island. Mapping ant distributions contributes to continued documentation and understanding of these pests. PMID:29439503

  19. 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.

  20. Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masashi Soga

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing evidence that gardening provides substantial human health benefits. However, no formal statistical assessment has been conducted to test this assertion. Here, we present the results of a meta-analysis of research examining the effects of gardening, including horticultural therapy, on health. We performed a literature search to collect studies that compared health outcomes in control (before participating in gardening or non-gardeners and treatment groups (after participating in gardening or gardeners in January 2016. The mean difference in health outcomes between the two groups was calculated for each study, and then the weighted effect size determined both across all and sets of subgroup studies. Twenty-two case studies (published after 2001 were included in the meta-analysis, which comprised 76 comparisons between control and treatment groups. Most studies came from the United States, followed by Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Studies reported a wide range of health outcomes, such as reductions in depression, anxiety, and body mass index, as well as increases in life satisfaction, quality of life, and sense of community. Meta-analytic estimates showed a significant positive effect of gardening on the health outcomes both for all and sets of subgroup studies, whilst effect sizes differed among eight subgroups. Although Egger's test indicated the presence of publication bias, significant positive effects of gardening remained after adjusting for this using trim and fill analysis. This study has provided robust evidence for the positive effects of gardening on health. A regular dose of gardening can improve public health.

  1. Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soga, Masashi; Gaston, Kevin J; Yamaura, Yuichi

    2017-03-01

    There is increasing evidence that gardening provides substantial human health benefits. However, no formal statistical assessment has been conducted to test this assertion. Here, we present the results of a meta-analysis of research examining the effects of gardening, including horticultural therapy, on health. We performed a literature search to collect studies that compared health outcomes in control (before participating in gardening or non-gardeners) and treatment groups (after participating in gardening or gardeners) in January 2016. The mean difference in health outcomes between the two groups was calculated for each study, and then the weighted effect size determined both across all and sets of subgroup studies. Twenty-two case studies (published after 2001) were included in the meta-analysis, which comprised 76 comparisons between control and treatment groups. Most studies came from the United States, followed by Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Studies reported a wide range of health outcomes, such as reductions in depression, anxiety, and body mass index, as well as increases in life satisfaction, quality of life, and sense of community. Meta-analytic estimates showed a significant positive effect of gardening on the health outcomes both for all and sets of subgroup studies, whilst effect sizes differed among eight subgroups. Although Egger's test indicated the presence of publication bias, significant positive effects of gardening remained after adjusting for this using trim and fill analysis. This study has provided robust evidence for the positive effects of gardening on health. A regular dose of gardening can improve public health.

  2. Bioremediation of engine oil polluted soil by the tropical white rot fungus, Lentinus squarrosulus Mont. (Singer).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adenipekun, Clementina O; Isikhuemhen, Omoanghe S

    2008-06-15

    This study was conducted to test the efficacy of an indigenous white rot fungus Lentinus squarrosulus in degrading engine oil in soil. Flasks containing sterilized garden soil (100 g) moistened with 75% distilled water (w/v) were contaminated with engine oil 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 20 and 40% w/w concentrations, inoculated with L. squarrosulus and incubated at room temperature for 90 days. Levels of organic matter, pH, total hydrocarbon and elemental content (C, Cu, Fe, K, N, Ni, Zn and available P) were determined post-fungal treatment. Results indicate that contaminated soils inoculated with L. squarrosulus had increased organic matter, carbon and available phosphorus, while the nitrogen and available potassium was reduced. A relatively high percentage degradation of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) was observed at 1% engine oil concentration (94.46%), which decreased to 64.05% TPH degradation at 40% engine oil contaminated soil after 90 days of incubation. The concentrations of Fe, Cu, Zn and Ni recovered from straw/fungal biomass complex increased with the increase of engine-oil contamination and bio-accumulation by the white-rot fungus. The improvement of nutrient content values as well as the bioaccumulation of heavy metals at all levels of engine oil concentrations tested through inoculations with L. squarrosulus is of importance for the bioremediation of engine-oil polluted soils.

  3. Fungus-insect gall of Phlebopus portentosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chun-Xia; He, Ming-Xia; Cao, Yang; Liu, Jing; Gao, Feng; Wang, Wen-Bing; Ji, Kai-Ping; Shao, Shi-Cheng; Wang, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Phlebopus portentosus is a popular edible wild mushroom found in the tropical Yunnan, China, and northern Thailand. In its natural habitats, a gall often has been found on some plant roots, around which fungal fruiting bodies are produced. The galls are different from common insect galls in that their cavity walls are not made from plant tissue but rather from the hyphae of P. portentosus. Therefore we have termed this phenomenon "fungus-insect gall". Thus far six root mealy bug species in the family Pseudococcidae that form fungus-insect galls with P. portentosus have been identified: Formicococcus polysperes, Geococcus satellitum, Planococcus minor, Pseudococcus cryptus, Paraputo banzigeri and Rastrococcus invadens. Fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of more than 21 plant species, including Delonix regia, Citrus maxima, Coffea arabica and Artocarpus heterophyllus. Greenhouse inoculation trials showed that fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of A. heterophyllus 1 mo after inoculation. The galls were subglobose to globose, fulvous when young and became dark brown at maturation. Each gall harbored one or more mealy bugs and had a chimney-like vent for ventilation and access to the gall. The cavity wall had three layers. Various shaped mealy bug wax deposits were found inside the wall. Fungal hyphae invaded the epidermis of plant roots and sometimes even the cortical cells during the late stage of gall development. The identity of the fungus inside the cavity was confirmed by molecular methods. © 2015 by The Mycological Society of America.

  4. 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

    2018-06-01

    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.

  5. 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...

  6. Three-dimensional visualization and a deep-learning model reveal complex fungal parasite networks in behaviorally manipulated ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredericksen, Maridel A; Zhang, Yizhe; Hazen, Missy L; Loreto, Raquel G; Mangold, Colleen A; Chen, Danny Z; Hughes, David P

    2017-11-21

    Some microbes possess the ability to adaptively manipulate host behavior. To better understand how such microbial parasites control animal behavior, we examine the cell-level interactions between the species-specific fungal parasite Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato and its carpenter ant host ( Camponotus castaneus ) at a crucial moment in the parasite's lifecycle: when the manipulated host fixes itself permanently to a substrate by its mandibles. The fungus is known to secrete tissue-specific metabolites and cause changes in host gene expression as well as atrophy in the mandible muscles of its ant host, but it is unknown how the fungus coordinates these effects to manipulate its host's behavior. In this study, we combine techniques in serial block-face scanning-electron microscopy and deep-learning-based image segmentation algorithms to visualize the distribution, abundance, and interactions of this fungus inside the body of its manipulated host. Fungal cells were found throughout the host body but not in the brain, implying that behavioral control of the animal body by this microbe occurs peripherally. Additionally, fungal cells invaded host muscle fibers and joined together to form networks that encircled the muscles. These networks may represent a collective foraging behavior of this parasite, which may in turn facilitate host manipulation. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  7. Long-term avoidance memory formation is associated with a transient increase in mushroom body synaptic complexes in leaf-cutting ants

    OpenAIRE

    Falibene, Agustina; Roces, Flavio; R?ssler, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Long-term behavioral changes related to learning and experience have been shown to be associated with structural remodeling in the brain. Leaf-cutting ants learn to avoid previously preferred plants after they have proved harmful for their symbiotic fungus, a process that involves long-term olfactory memory. We studied the dynamics of brain microarchitectural changes after long-term olfactory memory formation following avoidance learning in Acromyrmex ambiguus. After performing experiments to...

  8. Antígona y la muerte

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez Alcolea, Simona Micaela

    2012-01-01

    La ponencia analiza la muerte de Antígona en la obra de Sófocles. Se propone que su suicidio es un acto consciente de voluntad preanunciado a lo largo de toda la obra y no una medida desesperada. Con ese fin se exploran las posibles motivaciones de Antígona para poner fin a su vida. En el análisis se proponen tres respuestas (no necesariamente excluyentes): -Antígona responde a la ética homérica. Está en lucha con Creón, y su suicidio es su golpe de gracia al poder del rey. -Antígona...

  9. From Ant Trails to Pedestrian Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schadschneider

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a model for the simulation of pedestrian dynamics inspired by the behaviour of ants in ant trails. Ants communicate by producing a pheromone that can be smelled by other ants. In this model, pedestrians produce a virtual pheromone that influences the motion of others. In this way all interactions are strictly local, and so even large crowds can be simulated very efficiently. Nevertheless, the model is able to reproduce the collective effects observed empirically, eg the formation of lanes in counterflow. As an application, we reproduce a surprising result found in experiments of evacuation from an aircraft.

  10. Microorganisms transported by ants induce changes in floral nectar composition of an ant-pollinated plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vega, Clara; Herrera, Carlos M

    2013-04-01

    Interactions between plants and ants abound in nature and have significant consequences for ecosystem functioning. Recently, it has been suggested that nectar-foraging ants transport microorganisms to flowers; more specifically, they transport yeasts, which can potentially consume sugars and alter nectar composition. Therefore, ants could indirectly change nectar sugar profile, an important floral feature involved in the plant-pollinator mutualism. But this novel role for ants has never been tested. We here investigate the effects of nectarivorous ants and their associated yeasts on the floral nectar sugar composition of an ant-pollinated plant. Differences in the nectar sugar composition of ant-excluded and ant-visited flowers were examined in 278 samples by using high-performance liquid-chromatography. The importance of the genetic identity and density of ant-transported basidiomycetous and ascomycetous yeasts on the variation of nectar traits was also evaluated. Ant visitation had significant effects on nectar sugar composition. The nectar of ant-visited flowers contained significantly more fructose, more glucose, and less sucrose than the nectar of ant-excluded flowers, but these effects were context dependent. Nectar changes were correlated with the density of yeast cells in nectar. The magnitude of the effects of ant-transported ascomycetes was much higher than that of basiodiomycetes. Ants and their associated yeasts induce changes in nectar sugar traits, reducing the chemical control of the plant over this important floral trait. The potential relevance of this new role for ants as indirect nectar modifiers is a rich topic for future research into the ecology of ant-flower interactions.

  11. Pollination and facultative ant-association in the African leopard ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The role of extra-floral nectar appears to be recruitment of foraging ants to tend the flowers resulting in a facultative ant-association between the orchid and gregarious ants. Four different ant species were found to forage on A. africana's inflorescences. Ant-tended inflorescences suffered significantly less damage by insects.

  12. Michael Jackson antes del caos

    OpenAIRE

    Juan Luciano Nieves

    2015-01-01

    Michael Jackson es un buen ejemplo de cómo utilizar las relaciones públicas para realizar o manipular la imagen de un producto a través de los medios de comunicación. Este ensayo pretende analizar los eventos que tuvieron lugar antes de que el cantante fuera acusado de abuso sexual contra un menor. Dichos eventos formaron parte de un plan muy bien delineado para disminuir los efectos de la inminente crisis que se acercaba. Este trabajo combina la crítica retórica de temas de fantasía con teor...

  13. Viaje Antártico

    OpenAIRE

    Lasa, Gorka

    2017-01-01

    Ah, qué grandiosa sensación esta de poder caminar por los eternos hielos y dejar que mi vista se pierda en el horizonte crepuscular de esta desolada región! Aquellas solitarias islas, lamentos blancos en la distancia, aquellos azules glaciares llorando su neblina de frío y siglos. Al llamado lejano, mi alma se ve arrastrada por los vientos australes. Mítico ensueño que genera en mi imaginación el gran continente antártico. Belleza misteriosa e intimidante de la vastedad casi mágica que envuel...

  14. Foliar uptake of nitrogen from ant fecal droplets: an overlooked service to ant plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pinkalski, Christian Alexander Stidsen; Jensen, Karl-Martin Vagn; Damgaard, Christian Frølund

    2018-01-01

    and subsequently deposited fecal droplets on the seedlings, coffee leaves showed increased levels of 15N and total N compared to control plants without ants. This was evident for both exposed leaves and leaves covered in plastic bags (i.e. not directly exposed to ants). Thus, N from ant excretions was absorbed...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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, garde...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Participatory Rural Appraisal as an Approach to Environmental Education in Urban Community Gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Rebekah; Krasny, Marianne

    2003-01-01

    Describes the Cornell University Garden Mosaics program in which youth learn about ethnic gardening practices in urban community gardens using research methods adapted from the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). Conducts a study to determine whether youth could effectively facilitate PRA activities with gardeners and to document any social and…

  19. 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...

  20. Discussions on the Design of the Pool Landscape in the Rain Garden Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Shuzhen; Zhu, Yirong; Wei, Chaojun; Tao, Biaohong

    2018-03-01

    With rapid urbanization, the environmental problems are becoming increasingly prominent and diversified ecological landscape designs consequently appear with the rain garden landscape design as a typical. Based on the introduction to rain garden ecological functions and in combination with domestic and international rain garden landscape design cases, this paper discussed the rain garden pool landscape design.

  1. 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.

  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. Hybrid chaotic ant swarm optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Yuying; Wen Qiaoyan; Li Lixiang; Peng Haipeng

    2009-01-01

    Chaotic ant swarm optimization (CASO) is a powerful chaos search algorithm that is used to find the global optimum solution in search space. However, the CASO algorithm has some disadvantages, such as lower solution precision and longer computational time, when solving complex optimization problems. To resolve these problems, an improved CASO, called hybrid chaotic swarm optimization (HCASO), is proposed in this paper. The new algorithm introduces preselection operator and discrete recombination operator into the CASO; meanwhile it replaces the best position found by own and its neighbors' ants with the best position found by preselection operator and discrete recombination operator in evolution equation. Through testing five benchmark functions with large dimensionality, the experimental results show the new method enhances the solution accuracy and stability greatly, as well as reduces the computational time and computer memory significantly when compared to the CASO. In addition, we observe the results can become better with swarm size increasing from the sensitivity study to swarm size. And we gain some relations between problem dimensions and swam size according to scalability study.

  4. White-Nose Syndrome Fungus (Geomyces destructans) in Bat, France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puechmaille, Sébastien J.; Verdeyroux, Pascal; Fuller, Hubert; Gouilh, Meriadeg Ar; Bekaert, Michaël

    2010-01-01

    White-nose syndrome is caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans and is responsible for the deaths of >1,000,000 bats since 2006. This disease and fungus had been restricted to the northeastern United States. We detected this fungus in a bat in France and assessed the implications of this finding. PMID:20113562

  5. 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....

  6. 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...... 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...

  7. Collective efficacy in Denver, Colorado: Strengthening neighborhoods and health through community gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teig, Ellen; Amulya, Joy; Bardwell, Lisa; Buchenau, Michael; Marshall, Julie A; Litt, Jill S

    2009-12-01

    Community gardens are viewed as a potentially useful environmental change strategy to promote active and healthy lifestyles but the scientific evidence base for gardens is limited. As a step towards understanding whether gardens are a viable health promotion strategy for local communities, we set out to examine the social processes that might explain the connection between gardens, garden participation and health. We analyzed data from semi-structured interviews with community gardeners in Denver. The analysis examined social processes described by community gardeners and how those social processes were cultivated by or supportive of activities in community gardens. After presenting results describing these social processes and the activities supporting them, we discuss the potential for the place-based social processes found in community gardens to support collective efficacy, a powerful mechanism for enhancing the role of gardens in promoting health.

  8. 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

  9. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Videos for Educators Search English Español Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me! KidsHealth / For Kids / Hey! A ... Me picó una roja o colorada! What's a Fire Ant? There are many different types of fire ...

  11. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:26805882

  12. Closing the Gap: Communicating to Change Gardening Practices in Support of Native Biodiversity in Urban Private Gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yolanda M. van Heezik

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Private gardens collectively comprise the largest green space in most cities and the greatest potential for increasing the extent of wildlife-friendly and native-dominated habitat, improving the quality of ecosystem services, and providing opportunities for urban dwellers to reconnect with nature. Because attitudes and values driving landscape preferences in gardens are complex and often not conducive to biodiversity, and a gap exists between the possession of knowledge or values and the expression of pro-environmental behavior, facilitating change in gardening behavior is challenging. We attempted to improve knowledge and influence values, attitudes, and gardening behavior of 55 householders in favor of native biodiversity and environmentally friendly practices, through a two-way communication process, or interactive dialog, during a process of biodiversity documentation of their gardens. Informative feedback on their garden with a normative component was also provided. Despite being well educated and knowledgeable about common species at the start of the study, an increase in knowledge and shift in attitude was detected in 64% of householders: 40% reported a greater understanding of wildlife, and 26% made changes in their gardens, 13% to support native biodiversity. The normative component of our feedback information was of particular interest to 20% of householders. Because neighborhood norms influence gardening practices, changes adopted by a proportion of householders should be perpetuated across neighborhoods. The process of biodiversity assessment, dialog, and feedback was effective in improving knowledge of wildlife and native species, and stimulated a shift in attitude that resulted in native-friendly gardening practices. These changes were detected primarily through open self-report questions, rather than quantitative measures.

  13. 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.

  14. Ant aggression and evolutionary stability in plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oña, L; Lachmann, M

    2011-03-01

    Mutualistic partners derive a benefit from their interaction, but this benefit can come at a cost. This is the case for plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic associations. In exchange for protection from herbivores provided by the resident ants, plants supply various kinds of resources or nests to the ants. Most ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms are horizontally transmitted, and therefore, partners share an interest in growth but not in reproduction. This lack of alignment in fitness interests between plants and ants drives a conflict between them: ants can attack pollinators that cross-fertilize the host plants. Using a mathematical model, we define a threshold in ant aggressiveness determining pollinator survival or elimination on the host plant. In our model we observed that, all else being equal, facultative interactions result in pollinator extinction for lower levels of ant aggressiveness than obligatory interactions. We propose that the capacity to discriminate pollinators from herbivores should not often evolve in ants, and when it does it will be when the plants exhibit limited dispersal in an environment that is not seed saturated so that each seed produced can effectively generate a new offspring or if ants acquire an extra benefit from pollination (e.g. if ants eat fruit). We suggest specific mutualism examples where these hypotheses can be tested empirically. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Spread of Rare Fungus from Vancouver Island

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    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

  18. 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-.

  19. AntStar: Enhancing Optimization Problems by Integrating an Ant System and A⁎ Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Faisal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, nature-inspired techniques have become valuable to many intelligent systems in different fields of technology and science. Among these techniques, Ant Systems (AS have become a valuable technique for intelligent systems in different fields. AS is a computational system inspired by the foraging behavior of ants and intended to solve practical optimization problems. In this paper, we introduce the AntStar algorithm, which is swarm intelligence based. AntStar enhances the optimization and performance of an AS by integrating the AS and A⁎ algorithm. Applying the AntStar algorithm to the single-source shortest-path problem has been done to ensure the efficiency of the proposed AntStar algorithm. The experimental result of the proposed algorithm illustrated the robustness and accuracy of the AntStar algorithm.

  20. Recurrence analysis of ant activity patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Marcel Neves

    Full Text Available In this study, we used recurrence quantification analysis (RQA and recurrence plots (RPs to compare the movement activity of individual workers of three ant species, as well as a gregarious beetle species. RQA and RPs quantify the number and duration of recurrences of a dynamical system, including a detailed quantification of signals that could be stochastic, deterministic, or both. First, we found substantial differences between the activity dynamics of beetles and ants, with the results suggesting that the beetles have quasi-periodic dynamics and the ants do not. Second, workers from different ant species varied with respect to their dynamics, presenting degrees of predictability as well as stochastic signals. Finally, differences were found among minor and major caste of the same (dimorphic ant species. Our results underscore the potential of RQA and RPs in the analysis of complex behavioral patterns, as well as in general inferences on animal behavior and other biological phenomena.

  1. Ants defend aphids against lethal disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Charlotte; Agrawal, Anurag A.; Hajek, Ann E.

    2010-01-01

    Social insects defend their own colonies and some species also protect their mutualist partners. In mutualisms with aphids, ants typically feed on honeydew produced by aphids and, in turn guard and shelter aphid colonies from insect natural enemies. Here we report that Formica podzolica ants tending milkweed aphids, Aphis asclepiadis, protect aphid colonies from lethal fungal infections caused by an obligate aphid pathogen, Pandora neoaphidis. In field experiments, bodies of fungal-killed aphids were quickly removed from ant-tended aphid colonies. Ant workers were also able to detect infective conidia on the cuticle of living aphids and responded by either removing or grooming these aphids. Our results extend the long-standing view of ants as mutualists and protectors of aphids by demonstrating focused sanitizing and quarantining behaviour that may lead to reduced disease transmission in aphid colonies. PMID:19923138

  2. Persistence of pollination mutualisms in the presence of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers plant-pollinator-ant systems in which the plant-pollinator interaction is mutualistic but ants have both positive and negative effects on plants. The ants also interfere with pollinators by preventing them from accessing plants. While a Beddington-DeAngelis (BD) formula can describe the plant-pollinator interaction, the formula is extended in this paper to characterize the pollination mutualism under the ant interference. Then, a plant-pollinator-ant system with the extended BD functional response is discussed, and global dynamics of the model demonstrate the mechanisms by which pollination mutualism can persist in the presence of ants. When the ant interference is strong, it can result in extinction of pollinators. Moreover, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for survival, the strong interference could drive pollinators into extinction, which consequently lead to extinction of the ants themselves. When the ant interference is weak, a cooperation between plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms could occur, which promotes survival of both ants and pollinators, especially in the case that ants (respectively, pollinators) cannot survive in the absence of pollinators (respectively, ants). Even when the level of ant interference remains invariant, varying ants' negative effect on plants can result in survival/extinction of both ants and pollinators. Therefore, our results provide an explanation for the persistence of pollination mutualism when there exist ants.

  3. 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.

  4. Hormigas como plagas potenciales en tres criaderos de mariposas del suroccidente de Colombia Ants as potential pest of butterflies in three rearing in the southwest of Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Catalina Sanabria-Blandón

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available La fauna de hormigas asociada con la zoocría de mariposas en los departamentos de Valle del Cauca y Quindío (Colombia, se colectó por captura manual en tres ambientes (mariposario, vivero y laboratorio. De 125 muestras se extrajeron 779 hormigas, pertenecientes a cinco subfamilias, 18 géneros y 24 especies. El mayor número de especies se registró en el área de laboratorio (17, seguido por vivero (16 y mariposario (13. No se encontraron diferencias significativas (Chi² = 6.019, g.l.= 10, P>0.75, al evaluar la preferencia de las hormigas por un ambiente, sin embargo se observaron tendencias de esta manera: Wasmannia auropunctata (50%, Linepithema sp. (47%, Monomorium floricola (40% fueron las más importantes en el laboratorio, mientras que en el mariposario fueron Linepithema humile (42%, Camponotus novogranadensis (39% y Paratrechina longiconis (37.5% y en el vivero W. auropunctata (37.5% y P. longicornis (37.5%. Algunas de estas hormigas son reconocidas como vagabundas y plagas urbanas, lo que podría considerarse como un riesgo potencial para las actividades de zoocría de mariposas. En el presente estudio se propuso conocer las especies de hormigas que se asocian con tres criaderos de mariposas localizados en el suroccidente colombiano.The ant fauna associated to the butterflies rearing in the departments of Cauca Valley and Quindio (Colombia was studied. The ants were collected using manual capture method in three different environments (butterfly garden, nursery and laboratory. 779 ants were extracted from 125 samples, which belonged to five sub-families, 18 genera and 24 species. The greatest number of species were registered at the laboratory (17, followed by nursery (16 and butterfly garden (13. There weren't any significant differences (Chi2 = 6.019, d.f.= 10, P> 0.75, in assessing the preference of ants for some environment, however some trends were observed, on this way: at the lab Wasmannia auropunctata (50%, Linepithema sp

  5. SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL SURVEY OF PARKS AND GARDENS IN THE ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jerome Ihuma

    Federal University of Technology, Yola, Nigeria, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management. 3. University ... Opinions of Abuja residents and potential recreational parks and gardens users were sought using structured ..... Island Press.

  6. Community gardens: lessons learned from California Healthy Cities and Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twiss, Joan; Dickinson, Joy; Duma, Shirley; Kleinman, Tanya; Paulsen, Heather; Rilveria, Liz

    2003-09-01

    Community gardens enhance nutrition and physical activity and promote the role of public health in improving quality of life. Opportunities to organize around other issues and build social capital also emerge through community gardens. California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) promotes an inclusionary and systems approach to improving community health. CHCC has funded community-based nutrition and physical activity programs in several cities. Successful community gardens were developed by many cities incorporating local leadership and resources, volunteers and community partners, and skills-building opportunities for participants. Through community garden initiatives, cities have enacted policies for interim land and complimentary water use, improved access to produce, elevated public consciousness about public health, created culturally appropriate educational and training materials, and strengthened community building skills.

  7. 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

  8. 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 ...

  9. PROSPECTS OF THE CONTRIBUTION OF HOME GARDENS TO ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Admin

    Department of Forest Production and Products, University of Agriculture ... food in home gardens, stability of food supply over time, and ecological role of home ... RESEARCH IN FORESTRY, WILDLIFE AND ENVIRONMENTAL VOLUME 5, No.

  10. 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,...

  11. 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

  12. Gardens Blessed By Grey Drops | IDRC - International Development ...

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

    2010-12-10

    Dec 10, 2010 ... ... Yemen and the gardens have suffered much dryness and garbage pollution. ... The government would provide the funding while INWRDAM would ... of renewable and non-renewable resources as a way to reduce poverty.

  13. The Relationship between Restraints of Trade and Garden Leave

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeukai Mupangavanhu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available 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, in view of the decision in Vodacom (Pty Ltd v Motsa 2016 3 SA 116 (LC. The Labour Court grappled with the question of whether the enforcement of the garden leave provision impacts on the enforcement of a post-termination restraint of trade clause. Enforcement of both these types of clauses may be problematic. It can result in unfairness if an employee ends up being commercially inactive for a long period. The author argues that garden leave has a direct effect on the enforcement of a post- termination restraint of trade clause. Accordingly, a restraint of trade will be enforced only if the employer's proprietary interest requires additional protection beyond what is achieved under the garden leave clause.

  14. Gardening/Yard Work and Depressive Symptoms in African Americans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Elisa R; Sampselle, Carolyn M; Ronis, David L; Neighbors, Harold W; Gretebeck, Kimberlee A

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the frequency of gardening/yard work in relation to depressive symptoms in African-Americans while controlling for biological and social factors. A secondary analysis was performed on the National Survey of American Life (n=2,903) using logistic regression for complex samples. Gardening/Yard work was measured by self-reported frequency. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale. Biological and social factors, not gardening/yard work, were associated with depressive symptoms. Biological and social factors may need to be addressed before the association between gardening/yard work and depressive symptoms can be determined. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Rain Garden Research at EPA's Urban Watershed Research Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rain gardens are vegetated depressions designed to capture and infiltrate stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs, parking lots, and roads. The potential benefits compared to traditional curb and gutter drainage systems include peak flow attenuation in receiving...

  16. Rain Garden Research of EPA's Urban Watershed Research Facility (Poster)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rain gardens are vegetated depressions designed to capture and infiltrate stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs, parking lots, and roads. The potential benefits compared to traditional curb and gutter drainage systems include peak flow attenuation in receiving ...

  17. Michael Jackson antes del caos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Luciano Nieves

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Michael Jackson es un buen ejemplo de cómo utilizar las relaciones públicas para realizar o manipular la imagen de un producto a través de los medios de comunicación. Este ensayo pretende analizar los eventos que tuvieron lugar antes de que el cantante fuera acusado de abuso sexual contra un menor. Dichos eventos formaron parte de un plan muy bien delineado para disminuir los efectos de la inminente crisis que se acercaba. Este trabajo combina la crítica retórica de temas de fantasía con teoría de comunicación.

  18. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    Personal relationships are the cornerstone of vertebrate societies, but insect societies are either too large for individual recognition, or their members were assumed to lack the necessary cognitive abilities 1 and 2 . This paradigm has been challenged by the recent discovery that paper wasps...... recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other...... individually. Aggression was significantly lower in pairs of queens that had previously interacted than in pairs with similar social history but no experience with one another. Moreover, subordinates discriminated familiar and unfamiliar dominants in choice experiments in which physical contact, but not odor...

  19. FDTD-ANT User Manual

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Martin L.

    1995-01-01

    This manual explains the theory and operation of the finite-difference time domain code FDTD-ANT developed by Analex Corporation at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. This code can be used for solving electromagnetic problems that are electrically small or medium (on the order of 1 to 50 cubic wavelengths). Calculated parameters include transmission line impedance, relative effective permittivity, antenna input impedance, and far-field patterns in both the time and frequency domains. The maximum problem size may be adjusted according to the computer used. This code has been run on the DEC VAX and 486 PC's and on workstations such as the Sun Sparc and the IBM RS/6000.

  20. Visiting motivation and satisfaction of visitors to Chinese botanical gardens

    OpenAIRE

    He He; Jin Chen

    2011-01-01

    Botanical gardens (BGs) have attracted millions of visitors worldwide; therefore, BGs have become important sites for displaying and education for biodiversity. Understanding garden visitors’ motivations and their traveling satisfactory degree is crucial for BG management and its role in public education. In this study, we conducted survey in five Chinese BGs, i.e., Xiamen BG, Wuhan BG of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing BG, Kunming BG of CAS and Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gar...

  1. 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

  2. Garden's lighting by led-luminaries supplied by photovoltaic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vasilev, H.; Angelov, A.; Ganchev, G.

    2006-01-01

    The implementation of the project by investment entirely of Denima 2001 Ltd. for garden illumination of the part of the public garden 'Studentski' is consider. The illumination installation is implemented by PV batteries and by luminaries made up by fluorescent laps and LED. The goals of this pilot project are to make a comparative analyses and observation for the operation of the light system for future development

  3. 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)

  4. 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

  5. Embedded spirituality: gardening in daily life and stressful life experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unruh, Anita; Hutchinson, Susan

    2011-09-01

    There is a limited body of research examining the relationship between spirituality and leisure, or the impact of leisure in the context of daily life, and life with stressful events. To examine the meaning of gardens and gardening across different life experiences using hermeneutic phenomenology to focus on the lived experience of leisure gardening. Most participants were interviewed once in each season over a 1 year period usually in their home. There were 42 participants (27 women and 15 men) in this study. Fifteen individuals had been diagnosed with cancer and were in varying stages of diagnosis and treatment. Three people had a chronic and progressive disease. Four women were grieving the death of their spouse. Participants ranged in age from 32 to 80 years. In this paper, we focus on the spirituality-related themes in this study: spirituality as connectedness; spirituality as an expression of inner being; the garden as a spiritual place and gardening as spiritual activity; gardening as a spiritual journey; and, stewardship. Participants with religious views saw their garden as an extension of their spirituality and a confirmation of their beliefs. Participants with secular or sacred views of spirituality that was not related to any religious beliefs were more likely to embed their spirituality in their relationship with nature as manifested in their garden. This study extends current theory regarding leisure and its contribution to meaning focused coping, and spirituality as a significant component of leisure in living with stressful health and life events. © 2011 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences © 2011 Nordic College of Caring Science.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Harnessing ant defence at fruits reduces bruchid seed predation in a symbiotic ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G

    2014-06-22

    In horizontally transmitted mutualisms, mutualists disperse separately and reassemble in each generation with partners genetically unrelated to those in the previous generation. Because of this, there should be no selection on either partner to enhance the other's reproductive output directly. In symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms, myrmecophytic plants host defensive ant colonies, and ants defend the plants from herbivores. Plants and ants disperse separately, and, although ant defence can indirectly increase plant reproduction by reducing folivory, it is unclear whether ants can also directly increase plant reproduction by defending seeds. The neotropical tree Cordia alliodora hosts colonies of Azteca pittieri ants. The trees produce domatia where ants nest at stem nodes and also at the node between the peduncle and the rachides of the infloresence. Unlike the stem domatia, these reproductive domatia senesce after the tree fruits each year. In this study, I show that the tree's resident ant colony moves into these ephemeral reproductive domatia, where they tend honeydew-producing scale insects and patrol the nearby developing fruits. The presence of ants significantly reduced pre-dispersal seed predation by Amblycerus bruchid beetles, thereby directly increasing plant reproductive output.

  10. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The problem of collective search is a tradeoff between searching thoroughly and covering as much area as possible. This tradeoff depends on the density of searchers. Solutions to the problem of collective search are currently of much interest in robotics and in the study of distributed algorithms, for example to design ways that without central control robots can use local information to perform search and rescue operations. Ant colonies operate without central control. Because they can perceive only local, mostly chemical and tactile cues, they must search collectively to find resources and to monitor the colony's environment. Examining how ants in diverse environments solve the problem of collective search can elucidate how evolution has led to diverse forms of collective behavior. An experiment on the International Space Station in January 2014 examined how ants (Tetramorium caespitum perform collective search in microgravity. In the ISS experiment, the ants explored a small arena in which a barrier was lowered to increase the area and thus lower ant density. In microgravity, relative to ground controls, ants explored the area less thoroughly and took more convoluted paths. It appears that the difficulty of holding on to the surface interfered with the ants’ ability to search collectively. Ants frequently lost contact with the surface, but showed a remarkable ability to regain contact with the surface.

  11. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Azémar, Frédéric; Libert, Michel; Compin, Arthur; Hérault, Bruno; Orivel, Jérôme; Bouyer, Thierry; Corbara, Bruno

    2017-02-01

    Working along forest edges, we aimed to determine how some caterpillars can co-exist with territorially dominant arboreal ants (TDAAs) in tropical Africa. We recorded caterpillars from 22 lepidopteran species living in the presence of five TDAA species. Among the defoliator and/or nectarivorous caterpillars that live on tree foliage, the Pyralidae and Nymphalidae use their silk to protect themselves from ant attacks. The Notodontidae and lycaenid Polyommatinae and Theclinae live in direct contact with ants; the Theclinae even reward ants with abundant secretions from their Newcomer gland. Lichen feeders (lycaenid; Poritiinae), protected by long bristles, also live among ants. Some lycaenid Miletinae caterpillars feed on ant-attended membracids, including in the shelters where the ants attend them; Lachnocnema caterpillars use their forelegs to obtain trophallaxis from their host ants. Caterpillars from other species live inside weaver ant nests. Those of the genus Euliphyra (Miletinae) feed on ant prey and brood and can obtain trophallaxis, while those from an Eberidae species only prey on host ant eggs. Eublemma albifascia (Erebidae) caterpillars use their thoracic legs to obtain trophallaxis and trophic eggs from ants. Through transfer bioassays of last instars, we noted that herbivorous caterpillars living in contact with ants were always accepted by alien conspecific ants; this is likely due to an intrinsic appeasing odor. Yet, caterpillars living in ant shelters or ant nests probably acquire cues from their host colonies because they were considered aliens and killed. We conclude that co-evolution with ants occurred similarly in the Heterocera and Rhopalocera.

  12. Horticultural therapy: the 'healing garden'and gardening in rehabilitation measures at Danderyd Hospital Rehabilitation Clinic, Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Söderback, Ingrid; Söderström, Marianne; Schälander, Elisabeth

    2004-01-01

    Objectives were to review the literature on horticultural therapy and describe the Danderyd Hospital Horticultural Therapy Garden and its associated horticultural therapy programme. The literature review is based on the search words 'gardening', 'healing garden' and 'horticultural therapy'. The description is based on the second author's personal knowledge and popular-scientific articles initiated by her. The material has been integrated with acknowledged occupational therapy literature. The setting was the Danderyd Hospital Rehabilitation Clinic, Sweden, Horticultural Therapy Garden. Forty-six patients with brain damage participated in group horticultural therapy. Horticulture therapy included the following forms: imagining nature, viewing nature, visiting a hospital healing garden and, most important, actual gardening. It was expected to influence healing, alleviate stress, increase well-being and promote participation in social life and re-employment for people with mental or physical illness. The Horticultural Therapy Garden was described regarding the design of the outdoor environment, adaptations of garden tools, cultivation methods and plant material. This therapy programme for mediating mental healing, recreation, social interaction, sensory stimulation, cognitive re-organization and training of sensory motor function is outlined and pre-vocational skills and the teaching of ergonomical body positions are assessed. This study gives a broad historic survey and a systematic description of horticultural therapy with emphasis on its use in rehabilitation following brain damage. Horticulture therapy mediates emotional, cognitive and/or sensory motor functional improvement, increased social participation, health, well-being and life satisfaction. However, the effectiveness, especially of the interacting and acting forms, needs investigation.

  13. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suckling, D.M.; Peck, R.W.; Manning, L.M.; Stringer, L.D.; Cappadonna, J.; El-Sayed, A. M.

    2008-01-01

    Disruption of Argentine ant trail following and reduced ability to forage (measured by bait location success) was achieved after presentation of an oversupply of trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal. Experiments tested single pheromone point sources and dispersion of a formulation in small field plots. Ant walking behavior was recorded and digitized by using video tracking, before and after presentation of trail pheromone. Ants showed changes in three parameters within seconds of treatment: (1) Ants on trails normally showed a unimodal frequency distribution of walking track angles, but this pattern disappeared after presentation of the trail pheromone; (2) ants showed initial high trail integrity on a range of untreated substrates from painted walls to wooden or concrete floors, but this was significantly reduced following presentation of a point source of pheromone; (3) the number of ants in the pheromone-treated area increased over time, as recruitment apparently exceeded departures. To test trail disruption in small outdoor plots, the trail pheromone was formulated with carnuba wax-coated quartz laboratory sand (1 g quartz sand/0.2 g wax/1 mg pheromone). The pheromone formulation, with a half-life of 30 h, was applied by rotary spreader at four rates (0, 2.5, 7.5, and 25 mg pheromone/m2) to 1- and 4-m2 plots in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Ant counts at bait cards in treated plots were significantly reduced compared to controls on the day of treatment, and there was a significant reduction in ant foraging for 2 days. These results show that trail pheromone disruption of Argentine ants is possible, but a much more durable formulation is needed before nest-level impacts can be expected. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  14. The Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens and Natural Areas: A Floristic Case Study from Royal Botanical Gardens, Canada

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    David A. GALBRAITH; Natalie E. IWANYCKI; Brechann V. McGOEY; Jamie McGREGOR; James S. PRINGLE; Carl J. ROTHFELS; Tyler W. SMITH

    2011-01-01

    As leaders calling for the conservation of the world's plants, botanical gardens protect plants within living collections. Many also study, manage and restore plants in natural habitats. Royal Botanical Gardens (Ontario,Canada) has integrated both horticultural and natural heritage in its mission for decades. Envisioned by municipal leaders in the 1920s as a combination of nature sanctuaries and civic gardens, RBG now includes forests, wetlands and other habitats, gardens and built spaces. Today RBG is Canada's largest botanical garden on the basis of area.In the 1950s RBG began to inventory plant diversity. The checklist of spontaneous vascular plants now exceeds 1 170 species, of which 752 are native. This is 37% of Ontario's native vascular plants and 19% of the native vascular flora of Canada. The RBG nature sanctuaries are among the richest locations in Canada for species-level diversity.We examine the history of fioristic exploration within RBG and compare plant species-area relationships among protected natural areas in Ontario. This comparison supports the contention that the nature sanctuaries, and in particular Cootes Paradise, could be considered an important area for plants in Canada, and relative to the nation's flora, a biodiversity hotspot. The fact that a candidate vascular plant hotspot for Canada lies within a major botanical garden presents opportunities for raising public awareness of the importance of plant diversity, as well as focusing attention on the scientific and conservation biology needs of communities and individual species in this area.

  15. 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.

  16. Community and home gardens increase vegetable intake and food security of residents in San Jose, California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan Algert

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available As of 2013, 42 million American households were involved in growing their own food either at home or in a community garden plot. The purpose of this pilot study was to document the extent to which gardeners, particularly less affluent ones, increase their vegetable intake when eating from either home or community garden spaces. Eighty-five community gardeners and 50 home gardeners from San Jose, California, completed a survey providing information on demographic background, self-rated health, vegetable intake and the benefits of gardening. The gardeners surveyed were generally low income and came from a variety of ethnic and educational backgrounds. Participants in this study reported doubling their vegetable intake to a level that met the number of daily servings recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Growing food in community and home gardens can contribute to food security by helping provide access to fresh vegetables and increasing consumption of vegetables by gardeners and their families.

  17. Heavy metals in garden soils along roads in Szeged, Hungary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szolnoki, Zsuzsanna; Farsang, Andrea

    2010-05-01

    The soils of the urban environment, owing to the various anthropogenic activities, can be contaminated by heavy metals. The traffic is well-known for more decades to be main source of heavy metals mostly in cities. The accumulation of these elements can have different effects, either directly endangering the natural soil functions, or indirectly endangering the biosphere by bio-accumulation and inclusion in the food chain. The hobby gardens and the vegetable gardens directly along roads can be potential risky for people since unknown amount of heavy metals can be accumulated into organization of local residents due to consumption of vegetables and fruits grown in their own garden. The aim of this study was to determine the heavy metal content of garden soils directly along roads with heavy traffic in order to assess possible risk for human health. The total content and the mobile content of Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn have been determined in samples from garden soils along 5 busy roads of Szeged, South Hungary. Enrichment factor has been calculated with the help of control soil samples far from roads. The soil properties basically influencing on metal mobility have also been examined. Finally, the human health risk of these garden soils has been modelled by determination of health risk quotient (HRQ). As a result of our investigations, it can be claimed that mostly Cu, Zn and to a lesser degree the Ni, Cr and Pb accumulated in garden soils along roads depending on the traffic density. In general, the topsoils (0-10 cm) had higher amount of these metals rather than the subsoils (40-50 cm). Ni of these metals has approached; Cu has exceeded limit value while Pb is under it. Cd is very high in both soils along roads and control ones far from roads. Garden soils along the roads have such basic soil parameters (pH, mechanical soil type, humus content) that prove fairly high metal-binding capacity for these soils. Total risk of usage of these gardens (ingestion of soil

  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. 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.

  20. Harvest for health gardening intervention feasibility study in cancer survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Cindy K; Madan-Swain, Avi; Locher, Julie L; Desmond, Renee A; de Los Santos, Jennifer; Affuso, Olivia; Glover, Tony; Smith, Kerry; Carley, Joseph; Lipsitz, Mindy; Sharma, Ayushe; Krontiras, Helen; Cantor, Alan; Demark-Wahnefried, Wendy

    2013-08-01

    Cancer survivors are at increased risk for second malignancies, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and functional decline. Evidence suggests that a healthful diet and physical activity may reduce the risk of chronic disease and improve health in this population. We conducted a feasibility study to evaluate a vegetable gardening intervention that paired 12 adult and child cancer survivors with Master Gardeners to explore effects on fruit and vegetable intake, physical activity, quality-of-life, and physical function. Throughout the year-long study period, the survivor-Master Gardener dyads worked together to plan/plant three gardens, harvest/rotate plantings, and troubleshoot/correct problems. Data on diet, physical activity, and quality-of-life were collected via surveys; anthropometrics and physical function were objectively measured. Acceptability of the intervention was assessed with a structured debriefing survey. The gardening intervention was feasible (robust enrollment; minimal attrition) and well-received by cancer survivors and Master Gardeners. Improvement in three of four objective measures of strength, agility, and endurance was observed in 90% of survivors, with the following change scores [median (interquartile range)] noted between baseline and one-year follow-up: hand grip test [+ 4.8 (3.0, 6.7) kg], 2.44 meter Get-Up-and-Go [+ 1.0 (+ 1.8, + 0.2) seconds], 30-second chair stand [+ 3.0 (+ 1.0, 5.0) stands], and six-minute walk [+ 11.6 (6.1, 48.8) meters]. Increases of ≥ 1 fruit and vegetable serving/day and ≥ 30 minutes/week of physical activity were observed in 40% and 60%, respectively. These preliminary results support the feasibility and acceptability of a mentored gardening intervention and suggest that it may offer a novel and promising strategy to improve fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, and physical function in cancer survivors. A larger randomized controlled trial is needed to confirm our results.