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Sample records for fire ant density

  1. Fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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, ...

  4. Eosinophilic Fasciitis Induced by Fire Ant Bites

    OpenAIRE

    Mallepalli, Jyothi R.; Quinet, Robert J.; Sus, Rachana

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To describe a case of eosinophilic fasciitis likely related to proximate fire ant bites and review the literature to summarize the etiology and clinical, laboratory, histopathological, and therapeutic aspects of eosinophilic fasciitis.

  5. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... together. Each sting will turn into an itchy white blister over the next day. What You Should Do If you ever think that you have been stung by a fire ant, tell an adult immediately . That's because the venom (poison) in the sting can cause the area around ...

  6. Fire ants perpetually rebuild sinking towers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  7. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants.

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    Jackson A Helms

    Full Text Available In the Found or Fly (FoF hypothesis ant queens experience reproduction-dispersal tradeoffs such that queens with heavier abdomens are better at founding colonies but are worse flyers. We tested predictions of FoF in two globally invasive fire ants, Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius, 1804 and S. invicta (Buren, 1972. Colonies of these species may produce two different monogyne queen types-claustral queens with heavy abdomens that found colonies independently, and parasitic queens with small abdomens that enter conspecific nests. Claustral and parasitic queens were similarly sized, but the abdomens of claustral queens weighed twice as much as those of their parasitic counterparts. Their heavier abdomens adversely impacted morphological predictors of flight ability, resulting in 32-38% lower flight muscle ratios, 55-63% higher wing loading, and 32-33% higher abdomen drag. In lab experiments maximum flight durations in claustral S. invicta queens decreased by about 18 minutes for every milligram of abdomen mass. Combining our results into a simple fitness tradeoff model, we calculated that an average parasitic S. invicta queen could produce only 1/3 as many worker offspring as a claustral queen, but could fly 4 times as long and have a 17- to 36-fold larger potential colonization area. Investigations of dispersal polymorphisms and their associated tradeoffs promises to shed light on range expansions in invasive species, the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies, and the selective forces driving the recurrent evolution of parasitism in ants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Introduced fire ants can exclude native ants from critical mutualist-provided resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Shawn M; Barnum, Thomas R; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2013-05-01

    Animals frequently experience resource imbalances in nature. For ants, one resource that may be particularly valuable for both introduced and native species is high-carbohydrate honeydew from hemipteran mutualists. We conducted field and laboratory experiments: (1) to test if red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) competed with native ants for access to mutualisms with aphids, and (2) to quantify the effects of aphid honeydew presence or absence on colony growth of native ants. We focused on native dolichoderine ants (Formicidae, Dolichoderinae) because they are abundant ants that have omnivorous diets that frequently include mutualist-provided carbohydrates. At two sites in the southeastern US, native dolichoderine ants were far less frequent, and fire ants more frequent, at carbohydrate baits than would be expected based on their frequency in pitfall traps. A field experiment confirmed that a native ant species, Dorymyrmex bureni, was only found tending aphids when populations of S. invicta were suppressed. In the laboratory, colonies of native dolichoderine ants with access to both honeydew and insect prey had twice as many workers and over twice as much brood compared to colonies fed only ad libitum insect prey. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that introduced ants compete for access to mutualist-provided carbohydrates with native ants and that these carbohydrates represent critical resources for both introduced and native ants. These results challenge traditional paradigms of arthropod and ant nutrition and contribute to growing evidence of the importance of nutrition in mediating ecological interactions.

  10. The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wurm, Yannick; Wang, John; Riba-Grognuz, Oksana

    2011-01-01

    Ants have evolved very complex societies and are key ecosystem members. Some ants, such as the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, are also major pests. Here, we present a draft genome of S. invicta, assembled from Roche 454 and Illumina sequencing reads obtained from a focal haploid male and his brothers......, a functional DNA methylation system, and a single putative telomerase ortholog. EST data indicate that this S. invicta telomerase ortholog has at least four spliceforms that differ in their use of two sets of mutually exclusive exons. Some of these and other unique aspects of the fire ant genome are likely...... linked to the complex social behavior of this species....

  11. FMR measurements in fire ants: evidence of magnetic material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esquivel, Darci M.S.; Acosta-Avalos, Daniel; El-Jaick, Lea J.; Cunha, Alexandra D.M.; Malheiros, Maria G.; Wajnberg, Eliane [Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas (CBPF), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Linhares, Marilia P. [Centro de Ciencias do Estado, do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    1998-01-01

    Based on the behavioral and the localization of iron-containing tissue fire ants were examined by EPR for magnetic material. Results suggest the presence of magnetite particles. (author) 12 refs., 1 fig.

  12. The Organization of Foraging in the Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2011-01-01

    Although natural selection in ants acts most strongly at the colony, or superorganismal level, foraging patterns have rarely been studied at that level, focusing instead on the behavior of individual foragers or groups of foragers. The experiments and observations in this paper reveal in broad strokes how colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), allocate their available labor to foraging, how they disperse that force within their territory, and how this force changes with colony size, season and worker age. Territory area is positively related to colony size and the number of foragers, more so during the spring than fall. Changes of colony size and territory area are driven by seasonal variation of sexual and worker production, which in turn drive seasonal variation of worker age-distribution. During spring sexual production, colonies shrink because worker production falls below replacement. This loss is proportional to colony size, causing forager density in the spring to be negatively related to colony and territory size. In the fall, colonies emphasize worker production, bringing colony size back up. However, because smaller colonies curtailed spring worker production less than larger ones, their fall forager populations are proportionally greater, causing them to gain territory at the expense of large colonies. Much variation of territory area remains unexplained and can probably be attributed to pressure from neighboring colonies. Boundaries between territories are characterized by “no ants' zones” mostly devoid of fire ants. The forager population can be divided into a younger group of recruitable workers that wait for scouts to activate them to help retrieve large food finds. About one-third of the recruits wait near openings in the foraging tunnels that underlie the entire territory, while two-thirds wait in the nest. Recruitment to food is initially very rapid and local from the foraging tunnels, while sustained

  13. The morphometry of solenopsis fire ants.

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    Walter R Tschinkel

    Full Text Available Size-related changes of body shape were explored in 15 polymorphic species of Solenopsis fire ants by analyzing body weight along with linear measurements of 24 body parts. Log regression slopes were used to detect changes of shape with increasing size. Within species, the largest workers weighed from about 5 to 30-fold as much as the smallest. The range of within-species body lengths varied from 1.6 mm to 4 mm. As worker size increased, the gaster tended to make up a larger proportion of body length, usually at the cost of the petiole, and rarely at the cost of head length or mesosoma length. In most, the relative volume of the gaster increased and that of the head and mesosoma decreased. Most also showed an increasingly "humped" mesosoma. For all species, head shape changed from barrel-shaped to heart-shaped as worker size increased. Antennae became relatively shorter as the relative size of the club decreased. Shape changes of the legs were more variable. S. geminata was exceptional in the extreme nature of its head shape change, and was the only species in which relative head volume increased and gaster volume decreased with increasing body size. With the exception of S. geminata, the allometric rules governing shape are remarkably similar across species, suggesting a genus-level developmental scheme that is not easily modified by evolution. It also suggests that the evolution of shape is highly constrained by these conserved growth rules, and that it acts primarily (perhaps only through allometric growth. The results are discussed in light of the growth of imaginal discs in a resource-limited body (the pupa. The substantial variation of allometries within species and across localities is also discussed in relation to using allometric patterns to identify species or to construct phylogenies.

  14. Effects of invasive European fire ants (Myrmica rubra on herring gull (Larus argentatus reproduction.

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    Luke E DeFisher

    Full Text Available Various invasive ant species have negatively affected reproductive success in birds by disrupting nest site selection, incubation patterns, food supply, and by direct predation on nestlings. Impacts can be particularly severe when non-native ants colonize seabird nesting islands where thousands of birds may nest in high densities on the ground or in burrows or crevices. Here we report on the first documented effects of Myrmica rubra, the European fire ant, on the reproduction of birds in its non-native range. We documented herring gulls (Larus argentatus on Appledore Island, Maine, engaging in more erratic incubation behaviors at nests infested by the ants. Newly-hatched chicks in some nests were swarmed by ants, leading to rapid chick death. Due to high overall rates of chick mortality, survival probabilities did not vary between nests with and without ant activity, however chick growth rates were slower at nests with ants than at ant-free nests. Ant infestation likely leads to longer-term fitness consequences because slower growth rates early in life may ultimately lead to lower post-fledging survival probabilities.

  15. The molecular clockwork of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Krista K; Kutowoi, Alexander; Wurm, Yannick; Shoemaker, Dewayne; Meier, Rudolf; Bloch, Guy

    2012-01-01

    The circadian clock is a core molecular mechanism that allows organisms to anticipate daily environmental changes and adapt the timing of behaviors to maximize efficiency. In social insects, the ability to maintain the appropriate temporal order is thought to improve colony efficiency and fitness. We used the newly sequenced fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) genome to characterize the first ant circadian clock. Our results reveal that the fire ant clock is similar to the clock of the honeybee, a social insect with an independent evolutionary origin of sociality. Gene trees for the eight core clock genes, period, cycle, clock, cryptochrome-m, timeout, vrille, par domain protein 1 & clockwork orange, show ant species grouping closely with honeybees and Nasonia wasps as an outgroup to the social Hymenoptera. Expression patterns for these genes suggest that the ant clock functions similar to the honeybee clock, with period and cry-m mRNA levels increasing during the night and cycle and clockwork orange mRNAs cycling approximately anti-phase to period. Gene models for five of these genes also parallel honeybee models. In particular, the single ant cryptochrome is an ortholog of the mammalian-type (cry-m), rather than Drosophila-like protein (cry-d). Additionally, we find a conserved VPIFAL C-tail region in clockwork orange shared by insects but absent in vertebrates. Overall, our characterization of the ant clock demonstrates that two social insect lineages, ants and bees, share a similar, mammalian-like circadian clock. This study represents the first characterization of clock genes in an ant and is a key step towards understanding socially-regulated plasticity in circadian rhythms by facilitating comparative studies on the organization of circadian clockwork.

  16. The molecular clockwork of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krista K Ingram

    Full Text Available The circadian clock is a core molecular mechanism that allows organisms to anticipate daily environmental changes and adapt the timing of behaviors to maximize efficiency. In social insects, the ability to maintain the appropriate temporal order is thought to improve colony efficiency and fitness. We used the newly sequenced fire ant (Solenopsis invicta genome to characterize the first ant circadian clock. Our results reveal that the fire ant clock is similar to the clock of the honeybee, a social insect with an independent evolutionary origin of sociality. Gene trees for the eight core clock genes, period, cycle, clock, cryptochrome-m, timeout, vrille, par domain protein 1 & clockwork orange, show ant species grouping closely with honeybees and Nasonia wasps as an outgroup to the social Hymenoptera. Expression patterns for these genes suggest that the ant clock functions similar to the honeybee clock, with period and cry-m mRNA levels increasing during the night and cycle and clockwork orange mRNAs cycling approximately anti-phase to period. Gene models for five of these genes also parallel honeybee models. In particular, the single ant cryptochrome is an ortholog of the mammalian-type (cry-m, rather than Drosophila-like protein (cry-d. Additionally, we find a conserved VPIFAL C-tail region in clockwork orange shared by insects but absent in vertebrates. Overall, our characterization of the ant clock demonstrates that two social insect lineages, ants and bees, share a similar, mammalian-like circadian clock. This study represents the first characterization of clock genes in an ant and is a key step towards understanding socially-regulated plasticity in circadian rhythms by facilitating comparative studies on the organization of circadian clockwork.

  17. Advances in Research on the Venom Chemistry of Imported Fire Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Workers of the imported fire ants, including red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, black imported fire ants, S. richteri Forel, and their hybrid (S. invicta × S. richteri), are vicious stingers. Since the venomous sting is a significant medical problem to humans, the chemistry of import...

  18. Comparative Immature Morphology of Brazilian Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis

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    Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson Fox

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although common in Brazil, the biology of the fire ant Solenopsis saevissima (Smith is still poorly studied. Larval descriptions are useful to genus-level ant systematics and sometimes to species-level taxonomy. This study presents a detailed description of juveniles of S. saevissima from Brazil, which were compared with Brazilian specimens of Solenopsis invicta Buren, Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius, and Solenopsis altipunctata Pitts. Different larval instars were separated by diagnostic morphological traits which were confirmed by observing moults. Reproductive larvae could be easily sorted by their distinctive body dimensions and shape. Contrary to previous reports on this species, the larvae of S. saevissima proved to be generally identical to those of S. invicta, while a few specimens resembled those of other close species, such as Solenopsis megergates Trager. Mature larvae thus presented considerable intraspecific variation in some characters recently proposed to aid fire ant species separation (morphology of head hairs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  20. Young fire ant workers feign death and survive aggressive neighbors

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    Cassill, Deby L.; Vo, Kim; Becker, Brandie

    2008-07-01

    Feigning death is a method of self-defense employed among a wide range of prey species when threatened by predator species. This paper reports on death-feigning behavior by the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, during intraspecific aggression among neighboring fire ant workers. Days-old workers responded to aggression by death feigning, weeks-old workers responded by fleeing and months-old workers responded by fighting back. By feigning death, days-old workers were four times more likely to survive aggression than older workers. From a proximate perspective, retaliation by young workers against aggressive older workers is certain to fail. With their relatively soft exoskeleton, young workers would be prone to injury and death and unable to execute an effective attack of biting or stinging older workers with harder exoskeletons. From an ultimate perspective, death feigning allows young workers to survive and contribute to brood care and colony growth, both of which are essential to queen survival and fitness.

  1. Fire Ants (Solenopsis spp. and Their Natural Enemies in Southern South America

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    Juan Briano

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We review the fire ant research conducted by the ARS-South American Biological Control Laboratory (SABCL since 1987 to find a complex of natural enemies in southern South America and evaluate their specificity and suitability for field release as self-sustaining biological control agents. We also include those studies conducted by the ARS-Center for Medical, Agriculture, and Veterinary Entomology in the United States with the SABCL collaboration. Ecological and biological information is reported on local fire ants and their microsporidia, nematodes, viruses, phorid flies, eucharitid wasps, strepsiptera, and parasitic ants. Their biology, abundance, distribution, detrimental effect, field persistence, specificity, and phenology are discussed. We conclude that the objectives of the ARS program in South America are being achieved and that the pioneering studies have served to encourage further investigations in the United States and other countries and advanced the implementation of biological control programs to decrease imported fire ant densities and damage. Still, several promising organisms should be further investigated for eventual field release in the near future.

  2. Impact of imidacloprid on new queens of imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are commonly used in managing pest ants, including the imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. There is increasing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides at sublethal concentrations have profound effects on social insects. However, the sublethal effect of neonicot...

  3. Network growth dynamics of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravish, Nick; Goodisman, Michael A. D.; Goldman, Daniel I.

    2012-02-01

    We study the construction dynamics and topology of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) nests. Fire ants in colonies of hundreds to hundreds of thousands create subterranean tunnel networks through the excavation of soil. We observed the construction of nests in a laboratory experiment. Workers were isolated from focal colony and placed in a quasi 2D, vertically oriented arena with wetted soil. We monitored nest growth using time-lapse photography. We found that nests grew linearly in time through tunnel lengthening and branching. Tunnel path length followed an extended power law distribution, P (l - l0)^β. Average degree of tunnel nodes was k = 2.17 ±0.40 and networks were cyclical. In simulation we model the nest growth as a branching and annihilating levy-flight process. We study this as a function of dimensionality (2D and 3D space considered) and step length distribution function P(ls). We find that in two-dimensions path length distribution is exponential, independent of the functional form of P(ls) consistent with a poisson spatial process while in three-dimensions P(l) = P(ls). Comparing simulation and experiment we attribute the slower than exponential tail of P(l) in experiment as a result of a behavioral component to the ant digging program.

  4. Effect of broadcast baiting on abundance patterns of red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and key local ant genera at long-term monitoring sites in Brisbane, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNaught, Melinda K; Wylie, F Ross; Harris, Evan J; Alston, Clair L; Burwell, Chris J; Jennings, Craig

    2014-08-01

    In 2001, the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) was identified in Brisbane, Australia. An eradication program involving broadcast bait treatment with two insect growth regulators and a metabolic inhibitor began in September of that year and is currently ongoing. To gauge the impacts of these treatments on local ant populations, we examined long-term monitoring data and quantified abundance patterns of S. invicta and common local ant genera using a linear mixed-effects model. For S. invicta, presence in pitfalls reduced over time to zero on every site. Significantly higher numbers of S. invicta workers were collected on high-density polygyne sites, which took longer to disinfest compared with monogyne and low-density polygyne sites. For local ants, nine genus groups of the 10 most common genera analyzed either increased in abundance or showed no significant trend. Five of these genus groups were significantly less abundant at the start of monitoring on high-density polygyne sites compared with monogyne and low-density polygyne sites. The genus Pheidole significantly reduced in abundance over time, suggesting that it was affected by treatment efforts. These results demonstrate that the treatment regime used at the time successfully removed S. invicta from these sites in Brisbane, and that most local ant genera were not seriously impacted by the treatment. These results have important implications for current and future prophylactic treatment efforts, and suggest that native ants remain in treated areas to provide some biological resistance to S. invicta.

  5. Mitochondrial genome evolution in fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotzek, Dietrich; Clarke, Jessica; Shoemaker, DeWayne

    2010-10-07

    Complete mitochondrial genome sequences have become important tools for the study of genome architecture, phylogeny, and molecular evolution. Despite the rapid increase in available mitogenomes, the taxonomic sampling often poorly reflects phylogenetic diversity and is often also biased to represent deeper (family-level) evolutionary relationships. We present the first fully sequenced ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) mitochondrial genomes. We sampled four mitogenomes from three species of fire ants, genus Solenopsis, which represent various evolutionary depths. Overall, ant mitogenomes appear to be typical of hymenopteran mitogenomes, displaying a general A+T-bias. The Solenopsis mitogenomes are slightly more compact than other hymentoperan mitogenomes (~15.5 kb), retaining all protein coding genes, ribosomal, and transfer RNAs. We also present evidence of recombination between the mitogenomes of the two conspecific Solenopsis mitogenomes. Finally, we discuss potential ways to improve the estimation of phylogenies using complete mitochondrial genome sequences. The ant mitogenome presents an important addition to the continued efforts in studying hymenopteran mitogenome architecture, evolution, and phylogenetics. We provide further evidence that the sampling across many taxonomic levels (including conspecifics and congeners) is useful and important to gain detailed insights into mitogenome evolution. We also discuss ways that may help improve the use of mitogenomes in phylogenetic analyses by accounting for non-stationary and non-homogeneous evolution among branches.

  6. Red imported fire ant impacts on upland arthropods in Southern Mississippi

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    Epperson, D.M.; Allen, Craig R.

    2010-01-01

    Red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) have negative impacts on a broad array of invertebrate species. We investigated the impacts of fire ants on the upland arthropod community on 20???40 ha study sites in southern Mississippi. Study sites were sampled from 19972000 before, during, and after fire ant bait treatments to reduce fire ant populations. Fire ant abundance was assessed with bait transects on all sites, and fire ant population indices were estimated on a subset of study sites. Species richness and diversity of other ant species was also assessed from bait transects. Insect biomass and diversity was determined from light trap samples. Following treatments, fire ant abundance and population indices were significantly reduced, and ant species diversity and richness were greater on treated sites. Arthropod biomass, species diversity and species richness estimated from light trap samples were negatively correlated with fire ant abundance, but there were no observable treatment effects. Solenopsis invicta has the potential to negatively impact native arthropod communities resulting in a potential loss of both species and function.

  7. Application of an Image Tracking Algorithm in Fire Ant Motion Experiment

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    Lichuan Gui

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available An image tracking algorithm, which was originally used with the particle image velocimetry (PIV to determine velocities of buoyant solid particles in water, is modified and applied in the presented work to detect motion of fire ant on a planar surface. A group of fire ant workers are put to the bottom of a tub and excited with vibration of selected frequency and intensity. The moving fire ants are captured with an image system that successively acquires image frames of high digital resolution. The background noise in the imaging recordings is extracted by averaging hundreds of frames and removed from each frame. The individual fire ant images are identified with a recursive digital filter, and then they are tracked between frames according to the size, brightness, shape, and orientation angle of the ant image. The speed of an individual ant is determined with the displacement of its images and the time interval between frames. The trail of the individual fire ant is determined with the image tracking results, and a statistical analysis is conducted for all the fire ants in the group. The purpose of the experiment is to investigate the response of fire ants to the substrate vibration. Test results indicate that the fire ants move faster after being excited, but the number of active ones are not increased even after a strong excitation.

  8. Can anthropic fires affect epigaeic and hypogaeic Cerrado ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) communities in the same way?

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    Canedo-Júnior, Ernesto de Oliveira; Cuissi, Rafael Gonçalves; Nelson Henrique de Almeida, Curi; Demetrio, Guilherme Ramos; Lasmar, Chaim José; Malves, Kira

    2016-03-01

    Fire occurrences are a common perturbation in Cerrado ecosystems, and may differently impact the local biodiversity. Arthropods are one of the taxa affected by fires, and among them, ants are known as good bioindicators. We aimed to evaluate the effect of anthropic fires on epigaeic and hypogaeic ant communities (species richness and composition) in Cerrado areas with different post-fire event recovery periods. We conducted the study in four Cerrado areas during two weeks of 2012 dry season: one unburned and three at different post-fire times (one month, one and two years). We sampled ants with pitfall traps in epigaeic and hypogaeic microhabitats. We collected 71 ant morpho-species from 25 genera. In the epigaeic microhabitat we sampled 56 morpho-species and 42 in the hypogaeic microhabitat. The area with the shortest recovery time presented lower epigaeic ant species richness (4.3 ± 2.00) in comparison to the other areas (8.1 ± 2.68 species on one year area; 10.3 ± 2.66 species on two years area; 10.4 ± 2.31 species on control area), but recovery time did not affect hypogaeic ant species richness. Regarding ant species composition, fire did not directly affect hypogaeic ant species, which remained the same even one month after fire event. However, two years were not enough to reestablish ant species composition in both microhabitats in relation to our control group samples. Our study is the first to assess anthropic fire effects upon epigaeic and hypogaeic ants communities; highlighting the importance of evaluating different microhabitats, to more accurately detect the effects of anthropic disturbances in biological communities. We concluded that ant communities are just partially affected by fire occurrences, and epigaeic assemblages are the most affected ones in comparison to hypogaeic ants. Furthermore the study provides knowledge to aid in the creation of vegetation management programs that allow Cerrado conservation.

  9. Ant-inspired density estimation via random walks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musco, Cameron; Su, Hsin-Hao; Lynch, Nancy A

    2017-10-03

    Many ant species use distributed population density estimation in applications ranging from quorum sensing, to task allocation, to appraisal of enemy colony strength. It has been shown that ants estimate local population density by tracking encounter rates: The higher the density, the more often the ants bump into each other. We study distributed density estimation from a theoretical perspective. We prove that a group of anonymous agents randomly walking on a grid are able to estimate their density within a small multiplicative error in few steps by measuring their rates of encounter with other agents. Despite dependencies inherent in the fact that nearby agents may collide repeatedly (and, worse, cannot recognize when this happens), our bound nearly matches what would be required to estimate density by independently sampling grid locations. From a biological perspective, our work helps shed light on how ants and other social insects can obtain relatively accurate density estimates via encounter rates. From a technical perspective, our analysis provides tools for understanding complex dependencies in the collision probabilities of multiple random walks. We bound the strength of these dependencies using local mixing properties of the underlying graph. Our results extend beyond the grid to more general graphs, and we discuss applications to size estimation for social networks, density estimation for robot swarms, and random walk-based sampling for sensor networks.

  10. Esterase in imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicata and S. richteri (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): activity, kinetics and variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black imported fire ant, Solenopsis richteri, is closely related to the notorious red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Despite being very similar in biology and behavior, S. invicta is a much more successful invader. In contrast to S. invicta that has invaded numberous countries and regions,...

  11. Arthropod prey of imported fire ants (Hymenopter: formicidae) in Mississippi sweetpotato fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Buren) are generally considered pests. They have also been viewed as beneficial predators feeding on other insect pests of agricultural and medical importance in various agroecosystems. This study documents the foraging habits of fire ants in sweetpotato. Swee...

  12. Pseudacteon decapitating flies: Potential vectors of a fire ant virus?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valles, S.M.; Porter, S.D.

    2007-01-01

    Solenopsis invicta virus (SINV-1) is a positive-stranded RNA virus recently found to infect all stages of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Valles et al. 2004; Valles and Strong 2005). SINV-1 and a second genotype have been tentatively assigned to the Dicistroviridae (Mayo 2002). Infected individuals or colonies did not exhibit any immediate, discernible symptoms in the field. However, under stress from introduction into the laboratory, brood death was often observed among infected colonies, ultimately leading to the death of the entire colony (Valles et al. 2004). These characteristics are consistent with other insect-infecting positive-stranded RNA viruses. They often persist as inapparent, asymptomatic infections that, under certain conditions, induce replication within the host, resulting in observable symptoms and often death (Christian and Scotti 1998; Fernandez et al. 2002). The SINV infection rate among colonies was reported to be around 25% in Gainesville, Florida (Valles et al. 2004; Valles and Strong 2005). SINV vertical and horizontal transmission were inferred based on RT-PCR detection of virus genome in eggs and successful colony to colony transfer under lab conditions (Valles et al. 2004). However, the exact mechanisms by which the virus is spread from nest to nest in the field are unknown. Our results indicate that SINV does not replicate within Pseudacteon decapitating flies that parasitize S. invicta. Flies appeared to develop normally from SINV-infected S. invicta workers. Mechanical transmission of SINV to uninfected ants by oviposition appears unlikely

  13. Fatty Amines from Little Black Ants, Monomorium minimum, and Their Biological Activities Against Red Imported Fire Ants, Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Chen, Jian

    2015-08-01

    Red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, are significant invasive pests. Certain native ant species can compete with S. invicta, such as the little black ant, Monomorium minimum. Defensive secretions may contribute to the competition capacity of native ants. The chemistry of ant defensive secretions in the genus Monomorium has been subjected to extensive research. The insecticidal alkaloids, 2,5-dialkyl-pyrrolidines and 2,5-dialkyl-pyrrolines have been reported to dominate the venom of M. minimum. In this study, analysis of defensive secretions of workers and queens of M. minimum revealed two primary amines, decylamine and dodecylamine. Neither amine has been reported previously from natural sources. Toxicity and digging suppression by these two amines against S. invicta were examined. Decylamine had higher toxicity to S. invicta workers than dodecylamine, a quicker knockdown effect, and suppressed the digging behavior of S. invicta workers at lower concentration. However, the amount of fatty amines in an individual ant was not enough to knockdown a fire ant or suppress its digging behavior. These amines most likely work in concert with other components in the chemical defense of M. minimum.

  14. Arthropod prey of imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Mississippi sweetpotato fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashid, Tahir; Chen, Jian; Vogt, James T; McLeod, Paul J

    2013-08-01

    The red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Buren), are generally considered pests. They have also been viewed as beneficial predators feeding on other insect pests of various agroecosystems. This study documents the foraging habits of fire ants in a sweetpotato field in Mississippi. Fire ant foraging trails connecting outside colonies to a sweetpotato field were exposed and foraging ants moving out of the field toward the direction of the colony were collected along with the solid food particles they were carrying. The food material was classified as arthropod or plant in origin. The arthropod particles were identified to orders. Fire ant foragers carried more arthropods than plant material. Coleoptera and Homoptera were the most abundant groups preyed upon. These insect orders contain various economically important pests of sweetpotato. Other major hexapod groups included the orders Hemiptera, Diptera and Collembola. The quantity of foraged material varied over the season. No damage to sweetpotato roots could be attributed to fire ant feeding. Imported fire ant foraging may reduce the number of insect pests in sweetpotato fields. © 2012 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stuble, Katharine L.; Kirkman, L. Katherine; Carroll, C. Ronald

    2011-01-01

    ), an invasive species that occurs throughout much of the southeastern United States, is such an example. Rather than competitively displacing native species, fire ants may become established only in disturbed areas in which native species richness and abundance are already reduced. We used insecticide to reduce...

  16. Imported fire ant envenomation: A clinicopathologic study of a recognizable form of arthropod assault reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villada, Gabriel; Hafeez, Farhaan; Ollague, Jose; Nousari, Carlos H; Elgart, George W

    2017-12-01

    Skin reactions to the sting of the imported fire ant have characteristic clinicopathological features. One case of experimental envenomation was prospectively followed during 48 hours, with biopsies. In addition, 6 cases from our laboratory were retrospectively evaluated histopathologically for the following features: spongiosis, exocytosis (and type of cells), pustule formation, erosion/ulceration, epidermal necrosis, scale/crust, papillary dermal edema, inflammatory dermal infiltrate (cell type, density, depth, distribution, shape), red blood cell extravasation, vasculopathy and vasculitis. The typical lesion follows a very distinctive clinical and histopathologic evolution over 48 hours, with the formation of a subepidermal pustule overlying a wedge-shaped area of dermal collagen basophilic degeneration with scattered neutrophils. In the 6 cases retrieved from our files, the main features were a superficial and deep dermal, perivascular, periadnexal and interstitial infiltrate consisting of neutrophils, with basophilic degeneration of the collagen. A subepidermal pustule was noted in half of the cases. In biopsies taken in a clinical setting, even in the absence of the characteristic subepidermal pustule, the diagnosis of imported fire ant sting can be suspected if there is a superficial and deep perivascular, periadnexal and interstitial infiltrate composed of neutrophils, with some basophilic denaturation of collagen. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Colony growth of two species of Solenopsis fire ants(Hymenoptera: Formicidae) reared with crickets and beef liver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most diets for rearing fire ants and other ants contain insects such as crickets or mealworms. Unfortunately, insect diets are expensive, especially for large rearing operations, and are not always easily available. This study was designed to examine colony growth of Solenopsis fire ants on beef liv...

  18. A 15-year post evaluation of the fire effects on ant community in an area of Amazonian forest

    OpenAIRE

    Santos, Jean C.; Delabie, Jacques H. C.; Fernandes, G. Wilson

    2008-01-01

    Fire represents an important disturbance to ant communities in areas of fire regime. Otherwise, little is known about the effects of fire on ant communities in areas of non-fire regimes, such as in the Amazonian region. We evaluated the long-term effect of fire on ant species richness in a rain forest (Bacaba Plateau) burned 15-years ago and compare our data with the data of primary unburned forest. A total of 85 ant species distributed in 21 genera and 14 tribes were collected; among them, 7...

  19. 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.

  20. Red imported fire ant impacts on wildlife: A decade of research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Craig R.; Epperson, D.M.; Garmestani, A.S.

    2004-01-01

    The negative impacts of biological invasion are economically and ecologically significant and, while incompletely quantified, they are clearly substantial. Ants (family Formicidae) are an important, although often overlooked, component of many terrestrial ecosystems. Six species of ants are especially striking in their global ability to invade, and their impacts. This paper focuses on the impacts of the most destructive of those species, the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), and focuses on impacts on native vertebrates. Red imported fire ants often become the dominant ant species in infested areas outside of their native range due to their aggressive foraging behavior, high reproductive capability and lack of predators and/or other strong competitors. The evidence suggests that mammals, birds and herpetofauna are vulnerable to negative impacts from fire ants, and some species are more likely to experience negative population-level impacts than other species. Assessing the ecological impacts of fire ants on wild animal populations is logistically difficult, and very few studies have combined replicated experimental manipulation with adequate spatial (>10 ha) and temporal (>1 y) scale. Thus, most studies have been observational, opportunistic, small-scale or 'natural' experiments. However, significant research, including an increase in experimental and mechanistic investigations, has occurred during the past decade, and this has led to information that can lead to better management of potentially affected species.

  1. Integrated pest management concepts for red imported fire ants Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drees, Bastiaan M; Calixto, Alejandro A; Nester, Paul R

    2013-08-01

    Management of imported fire ant species has evolved since their accidental introduction into the United States and currently uses integrated pest management concepts to design, implement, and evaluate suppression programs. Although eradication is the management goal in certain isolated infestation sites, localized goals vary dramatically in larger infestations where reinvasion of treated areas is likely. These goals are influenced by regulatory policies, medical liabilities, ecological impact, and/or economic considerations. Tactics employed in fire ant management programs presented here include cultural and biological control options along with judicious use of site-specific insecticide products. In addition, program design considerations that include management goal(s), action level(s), ant form (monogyne or polygyne), presence of nontarget ant species, size of treatment area, seasonality, implementation cost, and environmental impact are also presented. Optimally, elegant IPM programs are target specific, threshold driven, environmentally friendly and cost-effective. © 2012 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  2. Pheromonal Control of Dealation and Oogenesis in Virgin Queen Fire Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, David J. C.; Blum, Murray S.

    1981-04-01

    In the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, sexually mature virgin females are prevented from shedding their wings and becoming functional egg layers by the presence of the mated queen. Experimental data suggest that this inhibitory effect results from the action of a relatively nonvolatile primer pheromone (or pheromones) produced by the mated queen and distributed by the workers. Target ants are both virgin queens and workers.

  3. Host specificity and colony impacts of the fire ant pathogen, Solenopsis invicta virus 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Sanford D; Valles, Steven M; Oi, David H

    2013-09-01

    An understanding of host specificity is essential before pathogens can be used as biopesticides or self-sustaining biocontrol agents. In order to define the host range of the recently discovered Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3), we exposed laboratory colonies of 19 species of ants in 14 genera and 4 subfamilies to this virus. Despite extreme exposure during these tests, active, replicating infections only occurred in Solenopsis invicta Buren and hybrid (S. invicta×S. richteri) fire ant colonies. The lack of infections in test Solenopsis geminata fire ants from the United States indicates that SINV-3 is restricted to the saevissima complex of South American fire ants, especially since replicating virus was also found in several field-collected samples of the black imported fire ant, Solenopsis richteri Forel. S. invicta colonies infected with SINV-3 declined dramatically with average brood reductions of 85% or more while colonies of other species exposed to virus remained uninfected and healthy. The combination of high virulence and high host specificity suggest that SINV-3 has the potential for use as either a biopesticide or a self-sustaining biocontrol agent. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Development of a lateral flow immunoassay for rapid field detection of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is an aggressive, highly invasive pest ant species from South America that has been introduced into North America, Asia and Australia. Quarantine efforts have been imposed in the United States to minimize the spread of the ant. There remains an acute ...

  5. Effect of irradiation on queen survivorship and reproduction in the invasive fire ant Solenopsis invicta,(Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and a generic phytosanitary irradiation treatment for ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ants are common hitchhiker pests on traded agricultural commodities that could be controlled by postharvest irradiation treatment. We studied radiation tolerance in queens of the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren to determine the dose sufficient for its control. Virgin or fertile queens...

  6. Invasion Biology on Your Campus: Investigating the Red Imported Fire Ant in the Southeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forys, Elizabeth A.; Kelly, William B.; Ward, David T.

    2003-01-01

    Describes a laboratory activity on invasion biology to improve students' cognitive skills as well as manual skills. Requires students to develop hypotheses in which a common invasive species will succeed. Focuses on the red imported fire ant in the Southeastern United States, which is a non-native invasive species. (Contains 17 references.) (YDS)

  7. The insecticidal activities of fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) venoms against Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Li-Chuan; Kuo, Tai-Chih; Huang, Rong-Nan; Wu, Wen-Jer

    2012-10-01

    Although fire ants frequently have negative impacts on agricultural systems and public health, they have additional beneficial insecticidal effects. To evaluate the potential effect of fire ant venoms on agricultural pests, the compositions of the venoms and their insecticidal activities against Plutella xylostella (L.) larvae were evaluated under laboratory conditions. The alkaloids found in Solenopsis geminata (F.) venom are primarily saturated C11, which occur in both cis and trans forms, whereas the venom of S. invicta Buren contains six principal alkaloids (from trans C1, to C17). Moreover, the proportions of unsaturated alkaloids in the venom of polygynous S. invicta were significantly higher than the corresponding proportions in the monogynous S. invicta, as shown by our previous studies. Fire ant venoms were topically applied to the dorsal thoracic region of fourth-instar larvae of P. xylostella. The results of the experiment showed that the larval symptoms induced by fire ant venom include contractile, flaccid paralysis, black coloration and death. P. xylostella larvae were most susceptible to S. geminata venom. The order of the susceptibilities of the larvae to the venoms was as follows: S. geminata > S. invicta (monogyne form) > S. invicta (polygyne form), as measured by the corresponding LT50 values at 24 h.

  8. 78 FR 70530 - Notice of Determination; New and Revised Treatments for the Imported Fire Ant Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-26

    ... the updates to the PPQ Treatment Manual will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human..., stinging insect that, in large numbers, can seriously injure or even kill livestock, pets, and humans. The imported fire ant feeds on crops and builds large, hard mounds that damage farm and field machinery...

  9. Phoretic Arthropods of the Red Imported Fire Ant in Central Louisiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Moser; Stacy Blomquist

    2011-01-01

    More than 4,665 phoretic arthropods comprising29species were collected from alates of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis inoicta Buren, preparing to fly from nests in Pineville, LA. A wide variety of taxonomic groups were represented, including two insect and 17 mite families. Most arthropods fell into two classes: 1) those that may be truly phoretic with more than...

  10. Development of genetic markers distinguishing two invasive fire ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and their hybrids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Three SNP markers were developed that are completely diagnostic in distinguishing the two fire ant species Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri. Although a fourth marker we developed is not fully diagnostic, it is still useful given one of the variants is confined to S. richteri. Joint use of these ma...

  11. Monthly fluctuation of termite caste proportions (Isoptera) within fire ant mounds (hymenoptera: formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas G. Shelton; J.T. Vogt; Marla J. Tanley; Arthur G. Appel

    2003-01-01

    Monthly abundance and caste proportions of subterranean termites (Reticulitennes spp.) inhabiting red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) mounds were recorded during 1999 and 2000 from a relatively undisturbed forest edge in Tuskegee, Alabama. Temperature data were also recorded at these mounds; mean air, soil, and mound temperatures followed a sine model over...

  12. Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles differentiate tropical fire ant populations (Solenopsis geminata, Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) from hexane rinses of workers from two Florida populations (dark and red forms) of the tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminata, were separated by silica gel chromatography and identified by GC-MS analysis. Both the dark form and the red form produce similar CHCs with...

  13. Microencapsulated bait: Does it work with Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    The preference of red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta for microencapsulated (MC) pyriproxifen based corn grit baits (P-bait) was conducted in laboratory and field conditions. A positive correlation between the microencapsulation rate and water tolerance ability of P-bait was observed. A 20% in...

  14. Sociogenomics of cooperation and conflict during colony foundation in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

    Science.gov (United States)

    The genomic state of an individual results from the interplay between its internal condition and the external environment, which may include the social environment. The link between genes and social environment is clearly visible during the process of colony founding in the fire ant Solenopsis invic...

  15. The distribution and density of a lycaenid butterfly in relation to Lasius ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, D; Rodríguez, J; Thomas, C D; Fernández Haeger, J

    1992-09-01

    Larvae and pupae of lycaenid butteflies are often associated with ants: this is usually a mutualism in which ants guard the lycaenids from natural enemies, and the lycaenid larvae and pupae provide sugars and amino acids for the ants. A possible consequence of the interaction is spatially correlated ant and lycaenid distributions, but the phenomenon is poorly documented. We examined the lycaenid Plebejus argus, which is tended by Lasius ants. Within habitat patches, P. argus eggs, larvae and pupae were all spatially associated with Lasius. On a larger scale, the densities of butterflies in different habitat patches and populations, and whether the butterfly was present or not, were correlated with Lasius ant densities. The association of P. argus with Lasius ants is consistent among populations, and occurs at several spatial scales. Other aspects of the ecology of P. argus are more variable.

  16. The effects of fire on ant trophic assemblage and sex allocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caut, Stephane; Jowers, Michael J; Arnan, Xavier; Pearce-Duvet, Jessica; Rodrigo, Anselm; Cerda, Xim; Boulay, Raphaël R

    2014-01-01

    Fire plays a key role in ecosystem dynamics worldwide, altering energy flows and species community structure and composition. However, the functional mechanisms underlying these effects are not well understood. Many ground-dwelling animal species can shelter themselves from exposure to heat and therefore rarely suffer direct mortality. However, fire-induced alterations to the environment may change a species' relative trophic level within a food web and its mode of foraging. We assessed how fire could affect ant resource utilization at different scales in a Mediterranean forest. First, we conducted isotopic analyses on entire ant species assemblages and their potential food resources, which included plants and other arthropods, in burned and unburned plots 1 year postfire. Second, we measured the production of males and females by nests of a fire-resilient species, Aphaenogaster gibbosa, and analyzed the differences in isotopic values among workers, males, and females to test whether fire constrained resource allocation. We found that, in spite of major modifications in biotic and abiotic conditions, fire had little impact on the relative trophic position of ant species. The studied assemblage was composed of species with a wide array of diets. They ranged from being mostly herbivorous to completely omnivorous, and a given species' trophic level was the same in burned and unburned plots. In A. gibbosa nests, sexuals had greater δ(15)N values than workers in both burned and unburned plots, which suggests that the former had a more protein-rich diet than the latter. Fire also appeared to have a major effect on A. gibbosa sex allocation: The proportion of nests that produced male brood was greater on burned zones, as was the mean number of males produced per nest with the same reproductive investment. Our results show that generalist ants with relatively broad diets maintained a constant trophic position, even following a major disturbance like fire. However, the

  17. Are Invasive Species Stressful? The Glucocorticoid Profile of Native Lizards Exposed to Invasive Fire Ants Depends on the Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Sean P; Freidenfelds, Nicole A; Thawley, Christopher J; Robbins, Travis R; Langkilde, Tracy

    Invasive species represent a substantial threat to native species worldwide. Research on the impacts of invasive species on wild living vertebrates has focused primarily on population-level effects. The sublethal, individual-level effects of invaders may be equally important but are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of invasive fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on the physiological stress response of a native lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) within two experimental contexts: directly exposing lizards to a fire ant attack and housing lizards with fire ants in seminatural field enclosures. Lizards directly exposed to brief attack by fire ants had elevated concentrations of the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT), suggesting that these encounters can be physiologically stressful. However, lizards exposed for longer periods to fire ants in field enclosures had lower concentrations of CORT. This may indicate that the combined effects of confinement and fire ant exposure have pushed lizards into allostatic overload. However, lizards from fire ant enclosures appeared to have intact negative feedback controls of the stress response, evidenced by functioning adrenocorticotropic hormone responsiveness and lack of suppression of innate immunity (plasma bactericidal capacity). We review previous studies examining the stress response of wild vertebrates to various anthropogenic stressors and discuss how these-in combination with our results-underscore the importance of considering context (the length, frequency, magnitude, and types of threat) when assessing these impacts.

  18. Monitoring Effect of Fire on Ant Assemblages in Brazilian Rupestrian Grasslands: Contrasting Effects on Ground and Arboreal Fauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anjos, Diego; Campos, Ricardo; Campos, Renata; Ribeiro, Sérvio

    2017-01-01

    Fire is one of the most relevant ecological disturbances in nature. Little is known about the effects of fire on biodiversity in ecosystems like rupestrian grasslands, which share characteristics with savanna and forest biomes. Brazilian rupestrian grasslands are part of an endangered ecosystem that has been modified by anthropogenic fire events that have become more intense in recent decades. In this study, we evaluated the effects of fire on ground and arboreal ant assemblages through a two-year monitoring program (24 monthly samplings). We found that fire does not change cumulative species richness after 24 months, and that fire does not affect mean ant richness, abundance, and species composition in arboreal ants. On the other hand, fire increased mean ground ant species richness and abundance, and caused a significant change in species composition. Our results indicate a weak and beneficial effect of fire only for ground ant communities, which generally agrees with results from other studies in Brazilian savannas. Taken together, results from these studies may be useful for improvement of fire suppression policy in fire-prone habitats in Brazil. PMID:28644376

  19. Monitoring Effect of Fire on Ant Assemblages in Brazilian Rupestrian Grasslands: Contrasting Effects on Ground and Arboreal Fauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Anjos

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Fire is one of the most relevant ecological disturbances in nature. Little is known about the effects of fire on biodiversity in ecosystems like rupestrian grasslands, which share characteristics with savanna and forest biomes. Brazilian rupestrian grasslands are part of an endangered ecosystem that has been modified by anthropogenic fire events that have become more intense in recent decades. In this study, we evaluated the effects of fire on ground and arboreal ant assemblages through a two-year monitoring program (24 monthly samplings. We found that fire does not change cumulative species richness after 24 months, and that fire does not affect mean ant richness, abundance, and species composition in arboreal ants. On the other hand, fire increased mean ground ant species richness and abundance, and caused a significant change in species composition. Our results indicate a weak and beneficial effect of fire only for ground ant communities, which generally agrees with results from other studies in Brazilian savannas. Taken together, results from these studies may be useful for improvement of fire suppression policy in fire-prone habitats in Brazil.

  20. Prey and mound disassembly, manipulation and transport by fire ant collectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Bahnisikha; Monaenkova, Daria; Goodisman, Michael A.; Goldman, Daniel

    Fire ants inhabit subterranean nests covered by a hemispherical mound of soil permeated by narrow ( 1 body length diameter) tunnels. Fire ants can use their mound for long-term food storage [Gayahan &Tschinkel, J. Insect Sci.,2008]. Since mound tunnels are narrow, we expect that in addition to prey manipulation, mound reconfiguration could also be an important aspect of the food storage strategy. Ant colonies collected from wild were allowed to build nests in containers filled with clay soil in the laboratory. These colonies were offered diverse prey embedded with lead markers, including mealworms, crickets and shrimp. Ant-prey-soil interactions on the nest surface were recorded using overhead video and subsurface using x-ray imaging. Individual ants involved in prey storage exhibited three distinct behaviors: prey maneuvering, prey dissection and mound reconfiguration. Small prey (e.g. mealworms) were collectively carried intact into the mound through a tunnel, and then disassembled within the mound. Larger prey (e.g. shrimp) were dismantled into small pieces above the surface and carried to mound tunnels. The bodies of hard medium-sized prey (e.g. crickets) were buried after limb removal and then disassembled and moved into tunnels. Soil reconfiguration occurred in all cases.

  1. Dose response of red imported fire ant colonies to Solenopsis invicta virus 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valles, Steven M; Porter, Sanford D

    2015-10-01

    Baiting tests were conducted to evaluate the effect of increasing Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) dose on fire ant colonies. Actively growing early-stage fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) laboratory colonies were pulse-exposed for 24 hours to six concentrations of SINV-3 (10(1), 10(3), 10(5), 10(7), 10(9) genome equivalents/μl) in 1 ml of a 10 % sucrose bait and monitored regularly for two months. SINV-3 concentration had a significant effect on colony health. Brood rating (proportion of brood to worker ants) began to depart from the control group at 19 days for the 10(9) concentration and 26 days for the 10(7) concentration. At 60 days, brood rating was significantly lower among colonies treated with 10(9), 10(7), and 10(5) SINV-3 concentrations. The intermediate concentration, 10(5), appeared to cause a chronic, low-level infection with one colony (n = 9) supporting virus replication. Newly synthesized virus was not detected in any fire ant colonies treated at the 10(1) concentration, indicating that active infections failed to be established at this level of exposure. The highest bait concentration chosen, 10(9), appeared most effective from a control aspect; mean colony brood rating at this concentration (1.1 ± 0.9 at the 60 day time point) indicated poor colony health with minimal brood production. No clear relationship was observed between the quantity of plus genome strand detected and brood rating. Conversely, there was a strong relationship between the presence of the replicative genome strand and declining brood rating, which may serve as a predictor of disease severity. Recommendations for field treatment levels to control fire ants with SINV-3 are discussed.

  2. 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....

  3. Positive-Strand RNA Viruses Infecting the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven M. Valles

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri were introduced into the USA between 1918 and 1945. Since that time, they have expanded their USA range to include some 138 million hectares. Their introduction has had significant economic consequences with costs associated with damage and control efforts estimated at 6 billion dollars annually in the USA. The general consensus of entomologists and myrmecologists is that permanent, sustainable control of these ants in the USA will likely depend on self-sustaining biological control agents. A metagenomics approach successfully resulted in discovery of three viruses infecting S. invicta. Solenopsis invicta virus 1 (SINV-1, SINV-2, and SINV-3 are all positive, single-stranded RNA viruses and represent the first viral discoveries in any ant species. Molecular characterization, host relationships, and potential development and use of SINV-1, SINV-2, and SINV-3 as biopesticides are discussed.

  4. Toxicity of formic acid to red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jian; Rashid, Tahir; Feng, Guolei

    2012-10-01

    Ants often compete with other ants for resources. Although formic acid is a common defensive chemical of formicine ants, it does not occur in any other subfamilies in Formicidae. No information on toxicity of formic acid to red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, is available. This study examined its contact and fumigation toxicity to S. invicta in the laboratory. In a contact toxicity bioassay, 24 h LD50 values of formic acid for workers ranged from 124.54 to 197.71 µg ant(-1) . Female alates and queens were much less sensitive to formic acid than workers. At a concentration of 271.72 µg ant(-1) , which killed 81.09 ± 16.04% of workers, the 24 h mortality was up to 39.64% for female alates and 38.89% for queens. In fumigation bioassays, 24 h LC50 values ranged from 0.26 to 0.50 µg mL(-1) for workers, 0.32 µg mL(-1) for male alates and 0.70 µg mL(-1) for female alates. Complete mortality (100%) in queens occurred 24 h after they had been exposed to 1.57 µg mL(-1) of formic acid. At a concentration of 2.09 µg mL(-1) , KT50 values ranged from 23.03 to 43.85 min for workers, from 37.84 to 58.37 min for male alates, from 86.06 to 121.05 min for female alates and from 68.00 to 85.92 min for queens. When applied topically, formic acid was significantly less toxic than bifenthrin to red imported fire ants. Although its fumigation toxicity was lower than that of dichlorvos, formic acid had about an order of magnitude higher toxicity to S. invicta than to other insects studied so far. It may be worth investigating the use of formic acid for managing imported fire ants. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  5. Efficacy of Nootka Oil as a Biopesticide for Management of Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addesso, K M; Oliver, J B; O'Neal, P A; Youssef, N

    2017-08-01

    Recent concerns regarding the impact of traditional synthetic pesticides on nontarget organisms have generated demand for alternative products with lower environmental impact. This demand has led to increasing focus on plant essential oils as sources of new biopesticides. In this study, we demonstrate that the essential oil of the Alaskan yellow cedar, Cupressus nootkatensis (D. Don) Spach, has activity against hybrid imported fire ant workers, Solenopsis invicta Buren × Solenopsis richteri Forel. In digging assays, ants were repelled by nootka oil and digging continued to be suppressed by nearly 50% in nootka oil-treated sand aged 6 mo in the laboratory. Higher worker mortality was also observed in contact and fumigation assays compared to control checks. In a field drench test, mortality of mounds treated with nootka oil lagged behind mounds treated with bifenthrin treatment for 7 wk, but both nootka oil and bifenthrin had higher mortality than the untreated check at the end of the 12-wk evaluation period. In a band application evaluation, nootka oil plots maintained a 90-95% reduction in fire ant mounds from the 2nd to 17th wk, when new mounds began to intrude on the field plots. The quarantine-approved bifenthrin band treatment maintained 100% control from the 2nd to 24th wk. Although the formulation tested here did not perform to Federal Imported Fire Ant Quarantine standards, other formulations may enable this product to reach 100% control. In addition, nootka oil could be beneficial in situations where ant suppression rather than complete quarantine elimination is the management goal. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Fumigant Activity of Sweet Orange Essential Oil Fractions Against Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wei; Zhang, Ning; Chen, Hongli; Zhong, Balian; Yang, Aixue; Kuang, Fan; Ouyang, Zhigang; Chun, Jiong

    2017-08-01

    Sweet orange oil fractions were prepared by molecular distillation of cold-pressed orange oil from sample A (Citrus sinensis (L.) 'Hamlin' from America) and sample B (Citrus sinensis Osbeck 'Newhall' from China) respectively, and their fumigant activities against medium workers of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren) were investigated. The volatile composition of the orange oil fractions was identified and quantified using GC-MS. Fractions from sample A (A1, A2, and A3) contained 23, 37, and 48 chemical constituents, and fractions from sample B (B1, B2, and B3) contained 18, 29, and 26 chemical constituents, respectively. Monoterpenes were the most abundant components, accounting for 73.56% to 94.86% of total orange oil fractions, among which D-limonene (65.28-80.18%), β-pinene (1.71-5.58%), 3-carene (0.41-4.01%), β-phellandrene (0.58-2.10%), and linalool (0.31-2.20%) were major constituents. Fumigant bioassay indicated that all orange oil fractions exerted good fumigant toxicity against workers of fire ants at 3, 5, 10, and 20 mg/centrifuge tubes, and B1 had the strongest insecticidal potential, followed by A1, B2, A2, B3, and A3. The fractions composed of more high volatile molecules (A1 and B1) showed greater fumigant effects than others. Compounds linalool and D-limonene, which were the constituents of the orange oil, exhibited excellent fumigant toxicity against red imported fire ant workers. Linalool killed red imported fire ant workers completely at 5, 10, and 20 mg/tube after 8 h of treatment, and D-limonene induced >86% mortality at 8 h of exposure. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Long-term efficacy of two cricket and two liver diets for rearing laboratory fire ant colonies (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis Invicta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Effective diets are necessary for many kinds of laboratory studies of ants. We conducted a year-long study of imported fire ant colonies reared on either chicken liver, beef liver, banded crickets, or domestic crickets all with a sugar water supplement. Fire ant colonies thrived on diets of sugar ...

  8. Ant-mediated expansion of an obligate seeder species during the first years after fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, X; Rodrigo, A; Molowny-Horas, R; Retana, J

    2010-11-01

    Most obligate seeder species build up a soil seed bank that is associated with massive seed germination in the year immediately after a fire. These species are also shade-intolerant and disappear when vegetation cover closes, creating unsuitable conditions for seedling recruitment. The only way for these plants to expand their populations is when habitats suitable for seedling recruitment arise (i.e. in years immediately after a fire). However, short primary seed dispersal of obligate seeders does not allow these plants to colonise the suitable habitats, and these habitats can only be colonised by secondary seed dispersion. We hypothesised that Fumana ericoides, an obligate-seeding small shrub, not only establishes abundantly in the first year after fire, but also expands its local range in the following years due to secondary dispersal by ants while suitable habitats are still available. We tested this hypothesis using experimental studies and a simulation model of potential population expansion in a recently burned area. Results showed that F. ericoides not only established prolifically in the year immediately after fire, but was also able to recruit new individuals and expand its population in the years following the fire, despite a low germination rate and short primary seed dispersal. Ant-mediated seed dispersal and availability of suitable habitats were key factors in this phenomenon: ants redistributed seeds in suitable habitats while they were available, which accelerated the expansion of F. ericoides because new plants established far away from the core population. © 2009 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of The Netherlands.

  9. Symmetry breaking on density in escaping ants: experiment and alarm pheromone model.

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    Geng Li

    Full Text Available The symmetry breaking observed in nature is fascinating. This symmetry breaking is observed in both human crowds and ant colonies. In such cases, when escaping from a closed space with two symmetrically located exits, one exit is used more often than the other. Group size and density have been reported as having no significant impact on symmetry breaking, and the alignment rule has been used to model symmetry breaking. Density usually plays important roles in collective behavior. However, density is not well-studied in symmetry breaking, which forms the major basis of this paper. The experiment described in this paper on an ant colony displays an increase then decrease of symmetry breaking versus ant density. This result suggests that a Vicsek-like model with an alignment rule may not be the correct model for escaping ants. Based on biological facts that ants use pheromones to communicate, rather than seeing how other individuals move, we propose a simple yet effective alarm pheromone model. The model results agree well with the experimental outcomes. As a measure, this paper redefines symmetry breaking as the collective asymmetry by deducing the random fluctuations. This research indicates that ants deposit and respond to the alarm pheromone, and the accumulation of this biased information sharing leads to symmetry breaking, which suggests true fundamental rules of collective escape behavior in ants.

  10. Variation in ant populations with elevation, tree cover, and fire in a pinyon-juniper-dominated watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eugenie M. MontBlanc; Jeanne C. Chambers; Peter E. Brussard

    2007-01-01

    Climate change and fire suppression have facilitated expansion of pinyon-juniper woodlands into sagebrush- steppe ecosystems of the Great Basin, USA, resulting in a loss of biological diversity. To assess the effects of using prescribed fire in restoration efforts, ant abundance, species richness, and composition were examined pre- and post-burn along the elevation and...

  11. Toxicity and repellency of compounds from clove (Syzygium aromaticum) to red imported fire ants Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafle, Lekhnath; Shih, Cheng Jen

    2013-02-01

    The toxicity and repellency of the bioactive chemicals of clove (Syzygium aromaticum) powder, eugenol, eugenol acetate, and beta-caryophyllene were evaluated against workers of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. Clove powder applied at 3 and 12 mg/cm2 provided 100% ant mortality within 6 h, and repelled 99% within 3 h. Eugenol was the fastest acting compound against red imported fire ant compared with eugenol acetate, beta-caryophyllene, and clove oil. The LT50 values inclined exponentially with the increase in the application rate of the chemical compounds tested. However, repellency did not increase with the increase in the application rate of the chemical compounds tested, but did with the increase in exposure time. Eugenol, eugenol acetate, as well as beta-caryophyllene and clove oil may provide another tool for red imported fire ant integrated pest management, particularly in situations where conventional insecticides are inappropriate.

  12. Fire ant venom alkaloids act as key attractants for the parasitic phorid fly, Pseudacteon tricuspis (Diptera: Phoridae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li; Sharma, Kavita R.; Fadamiro, Henry Y.

    2009-12-01

    The phorid fly, Pseudacteon tricuspis Borgmeier, is an introduced parasitoid of imported fire ants, Solenopsis spp., in the USA. Although the assumption that phorid flies use fire ant alarm pheromones for host location is probably true, we demonstrated in a previous study the possible involvement of other ant semiochemicals in the response of P. tricuspis to fire ants. This study was conducted to determine the glandular sources and identity of the semiochemicals mediating this interaction. First, we tested the electroantennogram response of P. tricuspis to extracts of key body parts and glands of workers of the red imported fire ant, S. invicta Buren. The results confirm that the poison (venom) gland/sac is the key source of compounds which elicited strong antennal activity in P. tricuspis. Follow-up studies were conducted by using a combination of bioassay-guided fractionation and behavioral bioassays to test the hypothesis that attraction of this parasitoid to fire ants is mediated by venom alkaloids. The results confirm the response of P. tricuspis to physiologically relevant amounts of the two venom alkaloid fractions ( cis and trans alkaloid fractions) of S. invicta. Further analysis by coupled gas chromatography-electroantennogram detection revealed nine venom alkaloid components including two novel 2,6-dialkylpiperideines that elicited significant antennal activity in P. tricuspis. This is the first demonstration of the role of venom alkaloids of ants as attractants for their natural enemies. We propose a semiochemical-mediated host location mechanism for P. tricuspis involving both alarm pheromones and venom alkaloids. The ecological significance of these findings, including the attraction of male P. tricuspis to fire ant venom alkaloids, possibly for mate location, is discussed.

  13. Identification and expression of capa gene in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Man-Yeon Choi

    Full Text Available Recent genome analyses suggested the absence of a number of neuropeptide genes in ants. One of the apparently missing genes was the capa gene. Capa gene expression in insects is typically associated with the neuroendocrine system of abdominal ganglia; mature CAPA peptides are known to regulate diuresis and visceral muscle contraction. The apparent absence of the capa gene raised questions about possible compensation of these functions. In this study, we re-examined this controversial issue and searched for a potentially unrecognized capa gene in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. We employed a combination of data mining and a traditional PCR-based strategy using degenerate primers designed from conserved amino acid sequences of insect capa genes. Our findings demonstrate that ants possess and express a capa gene. As shown by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, processed products of the S. invicta capa gene include three CAPA periviscerokinins and low amounts of a pyrokinin which does not have the C-terminal WFGPRLa motif typical of CAPA pyrokinins in other insects. The capa gene was found with two alternative transcripts in the CNS. Within the ventral nerve cord, two capa neurons were immunostained in abdominal neuromeres 2-5, respectively, and projected into ventrally located abdominal perisympathetic organs (PSOs, which are the major hormone release sites of abdominal ganglia. The ventral location of these PSOs is a characteristic feature and was also found in another ant, Atta sexdens.

  14. Density-Dependent Benefits in Ant-Hemipteran Mutualism? The Case of the Ghost Ant Tapinoma melanocephalum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the Invasive Mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Aiming; Kuang, Beiqing; Gao, Yingrui; Liang, Guangwen

    2015-01-01

    Although density-dependent benefits to hemipterans from ant tending have been measured many times, few studies have focused on integrated effects such as interactions between ant tending, natural enemy density, and hemipteran density. In this study, we tested whether the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis is affected by tending by ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum), the presence of parasitoids, mealybug density, parasitoid density and interactions among these factors. Our results showed that mealybug colony growth rate and percentage parasitism were significantly affected by ant tending, parasitoid presence, and initial mealybug density separately. However, there were no interactions among the independent factors. There were also no significant interactions between ant tending and parasitoid density on either mealybug colony growth rate or percentage parasitism. Mealybug colony growth rate showed a negative linear relationship with initial mealybug density but a positive linear relationship with the level of ant tending. These results suggest that benefits to mealybugs are density-independent and are affected by ant tending level. PMID:25886510

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-27

    Sol i 2 is a potent allergen from the venom of red imported fire ant, which contains allergens Sol i 1, Sol i 2, Sol i 3, and Sol i 4 that are known to be powerful triggers of anaphylaxis. Sol i 2 causes IgE antibody production in about one-third of individuals stung by fire ants. Baculovirus recombinant dimeric Sol i 2 was crystallized as a native and selenomethionyl-derivatized protein, and its structure has been determined by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion at 2.6 Å resolution. The overall fold of each subunit consists of five helices that enclose a central hydrophobic cavity. The structure is stabilized by three intramolecular disulfide bridges and one intermolecular disulfide bridge. The nearest structural homologue is the sequence-unrelated odorant binding protein and pheromone binding protein LUSH of the fruit fly Drosophila, which may suggest a similar biological function. To test this hypothesis, we measured the reversible binding of various pheromones, plant odorants, and other ligands to Sol i 2 by the changes in N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine fluorescence emission upon binding of ligands that compete with N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine. The highest binding affinity was observed for hydrophobic ligands such as aphid alarm pheromone (E)-β-farnesene, analogs of ant alarm pheromones, and plant volatiles decane, undecane, and β-caryophyllene. Conceivably, Sol i 2 may play a role in capturing and/or transporting small hydrophobic ligands such as pheromones, odors, fatty acids, or short-living hydrophobic primers. Molecular surface analysis, in combination with sequence alignment, can explain the serological cross-reactivity observed between some ant species. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Fire Ants Protect Mealybugs against Their Natural Enemies by Utilizing the Leaf Shelters Constructed by the Leaf Roller Sylepta derogata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Aiming; Zeng, Ling; Lu, Yongyue; Xu, Yijuan; Liang, Guangwen

    2012-01-01

    The importance of mutualism is receiving more attention in community ecology. In this study, the fire ant Solenopsis invicta was found to take advantage of the shelters constructed by the leaf roller Sylepta derogata to protect mealybugs (Phenacoccus solenopsis) against their natural enemies. This protective effect of fire ant tending on the survival of mealybugs in shelters was observed when enemies and leaf rollers were simultaneously present. Specifically, fire ants moved the mealybugs inside the shelters produced by S. derogata on enemy-infested plants. Compared with that in plants without ants, the survival of mealybugs in shelters in the presence of natural enemies in plants with ants markedly improved. Both the protection of ants and the shelters provided by leaf rollers did not affect the survival of mealybugs in the absence of enemies in plants. Ants and leaf rollers significantly improved the survival of mealybugs in predator-infested plants, whereas no such improvement was observed in parasitoid-infested ones. PMID:23185505

  17. Genetic regulation of colony social organization in fire ants: an integrative overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotzek, Dietrich; Ross, Kenneth G

    2007-09-01

    Expression of colony social organization in fire ants appears to be under the control of a single Mendelian factor of large effect. Variation in colony queen number in Solenopsis invicta and its relatives is associated with allelic variation at the gene Gp-9, but not with variation at other unlinked genes; workers regulate queen identity and number on the basis of Gp-9 genotypic compatibility. Nongenetic factors, such as prior social experience, queen reproductive status, and local environment, have negligible effects on queen numbers which illustrates the nearly complete penetrance of Gp-9. As predicted, queen number can be manipulated experimentally by altering worker Gp-9 genotype frequencies. The Gp-9 allele lineage associated with polygyny in South American fire ants has been retained across multiple speciation events, which may signal the action of balancing selection to maintain social polymorphism in these species. Moreover, positive selection is implicated in driving the molecular evolution of Gp-9 in association with the origin of polygyny. The identity of the product of Gp-9 as an odorant-binding protein suggests plausible scenarios for its direct involvement in the regulation of queen number via a role in chemical communication. While these and other lines of evidence show that Gp-9 represents a legitimate candidate gene of major effect, studies aimed at determining (i) the biochemical pathways in which GP-9 functions; (ii) the phenotypic effects of molecular variation at Gp-9 and other pathway genes; and (iii) the potential involvement of genes in linkage disequilibrium with Gp-9 are needed to elucidate the genetic architecture underlying social organization in fire ants. Information that reveals the links between molecular variation, individual phenotype, and colony-level behaviors, combined with behavioral models that incorporate details of the chemical communication involved in regulating queen number, will yield a novel integrated view of the

  18. Effect of post-fire resprouting on leaf fluctuating asymmetry, extrafloral nectar quality, and ant-plant-herbivore interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves-Silva, Estevão; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2013-06-01

    Fires in the Cerrado savanna are a severe form of disturbance, but some species are capable of resprouting afterwards. It is unknown, however, how and whether post-fire resprouting represents a stressful condition to plants and how their rapid re-growth influences both the production of biochemical compounds, and interactions with mutualistic ants. In this study, we examined the influence of post-fire resprouting on biotic interactions (ant-plant-herbivore relationships) and on plant stress. The study was performed on two groups of the extrafloral nectaried shrub Banisteriopsis campestris (Malpighiaceae); one group was recovering from fire while the other acted as control. With respect to biotic interactions, we examined whether resprouting influenced extrafloral nectar concentration (milligrams per microliter), the abundance of the ant Camponotus crassus and leaf herbivory rates. Plant stress was assessed via fluctuating asymmetry (FA) analysis, which refers to deviations from perfect symmetry in bilaterally symmetrical traits (e.g., leaves) and indicates whether species are under stress. Results revealed that FA, sugar concentration, and ant abundance were 51.7 %, 35.7 % and 21.7 % higher in resprouting plants. Furthermore, C. crassus was significantly associated with low herbivory rates, but only in resprouting plants. This study showed that post-fire resprouting induced high levels of plant stress and influenced extrafloral nectar quality and ant-herbivore relationships in B. campestris. Therefore, despite being a stressful condition to the plant, post-fire resprouting individuals had concentrated extrafloral nectar and sustained more ants, thus strengthening the outcomes of ant-plant mutualism.

  19. Development of a lateral flow immunoassay for rapid field detection of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valles, Steven M; Strong, Charles A; Callcott, Anne-Marie A

    2016-07-01

    The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is an aggressive, highly invasive pest ant species from South America that has been introduced into North America, Asia, and Australia. Quarantine efforts have been imposed in the USA to minimize further spread of the ant. To aid the quarantine efforts, there remains an acute need for a rapid, field portable method for the identification of these ants. In this report, we describe two novel monoclonal antibodies that specifically bind the S. invicta venom protein 2 produced by S. invicta. Using these monoclonal antibodies we developed a lateral flow immunoassay that provides a rapid and portable method for the identification of S. invicta ants. The lateral flow immunoassay was validated against purified S. invicta venom protein 2 and 33 unique ant species (representing 15 % of the total species and 42 % of the Myrmicinae genera found in Florida), and only S. invicta and the S. invicta/richteri hybrid produced a positive result. These monoclonal antibodies were selective to S. invicta venom protein 2 and did not bind to proteins from congeners (i.e., S. geminata or S. richteri) known to produce a S. invicta venom protein 2 ortholog. This S. invicta lateral flow immunoassay provides a new tool for regulatory agencies in the USA to enforce quarantine protocols and limit the spread of this invasive ant. Graphical Abstract Field method to detect and identify the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

  20. Queen regulates biogenic amine level and nestmate recognition in workers of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Meer, Robert K.; Preston, Catherine A.; Hefetz, Abraham

    2008-12-01

    Nestmate recognition is a critical element in social insect organization, providing a means to maintain territoriality and close the colony to parasites and predators. Ants detect the colony chemical label via their antennae and respond to the label mismatch of an intruder with aggressive behavior. In the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, worker ability to recognize conspecific nonnestmates decreases if the colony queen is removed, such that they do not recognize conspecific nonnestmates as different. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the presence of the colony queen influences the concentration of octopamine, a neuromodulator, in worker ants, which in turn has an effect on nestmate recognition acuity in workers. We demonstrate that queenless workers exhibit reduced brain octopamine levels and reduced discriminatory acuteness; however, feeding queenless workers octopamine restored both. Dopamine levels are influenced by honeybee queen pheromones; however, levels of this biogenic amine were unchanged in our experiments. This is the first demonstration of a link between the presence of the colony queen, a worker biogenic amine, and conspecific nestmate recognition, a powerful expression of colony cohesion and territoriality.

  1. Essential Balm: A Strong Repellent Against Foraging and Defending Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Yuzhen; Ma, Tao; Chen, Xuan; Liu, Zhitao; Zhu, Chengqi; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Strecker, Rachel; Henderson, Gregg; Hooper-Bùi, Linda M; Chen, Xiaoyang; Sun, Zhaohui; Wen, Xiujun; Wang, Cai

    2016-08-01

    In the present study, the repellent effects of essential balm, a traditional medicine product in China, was tested against foraging and defending red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, under laboratory and field conditions. The laboratory study showed that both band- (width = 1 cm) and patch-smearing of essential balm at each concentration (0.5, 1, or 2 μl/cm(2)) significantly decreased the number of S. invicta foragers within the 6-h observation period. Moreover, band-smearing of 2 μl/cm(2) essential balm and patch-smearing of 0.5, 1, and 2 μl/cm(2) essential balm inhibited most S. invicta foraging activity at 3, 6, 6, and 24 h into the experiment, respectively. The field study showed that after a disturbance was created on the S. invicta mound, there were significantly less defending ants on the substance treated (patch-smeared) with 0.5, 1, and 2 μl/cm(2) essential balm than the controls, but the number of ants on the substance of these three concentrations was similar. Our study suggested that essential balm is a strong repellent against foraging and defending S. invicta and could be applied when temporary protection from S. invicta is needed. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Increased incidence of red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) presence in loggerhead sea turtle (Testudines: Cheloniidae) nests and observations of hatchling mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parris, L.B.; Lamont, M.M.; Carthy, R.R.

    2002-01-01

    Hatching sea turtles may be at risk to fire ant predation during egg incubation, and especially at risk once pipped from the egg, prior to hatchling emergence from the nest. In addition to direct mortality, fire ants have the potential to inflict debilitating injuries that may directly affect survival of the young. The increased incidence of red imported fire ant induced mortality and envenomization of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings on Cape San Blas suggests this invasive ant species may pose a serious threat to the future of this genetically distinct population.

  3. How do groups of red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) feed on a droplet of sugar water?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Cai; Chen, Xuan; Hooper-Bùi, Linda M; Strecker, Rachel; Wen, Yu-Zhen; Qin, Wen-Quan; Ma, Tao; Sun, Zhao-Hui; Chen, Xiao-Yang; Wen, Xiu-Jun

    2016-12-28

    Many previous studies have focused on the foraging behaviors and strategies of the red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren on solid food or granular bait; little attention has been paid to how liquid sugar is fed upon. In the present study, behavioral responses of S. invicta to 25% sucrose water droplets were observed. Five foraging patterns were identified in S. invicta colonies under laboratory conditions: (i) no feeding, no sucrose water feeding was observed; (ii) surround feeding, ants surrounded and fed along the edge of the sucrose droplet; (iii) stacked feeding, ants stacked and fed along the edge of the sucrose droplet; (iv) droplet-break feeding, ants broke the liquid droplet and sucked sucrose water that spread on surface of the substance or soil particles previously transported by ants; and (v) cover feeding, whole surface of the sucrose droplet was covered by layers of feeding ants. This is the first time cover feeding in S. invicta has been reported, which obviously requires more ants compared to the other patterns. In addition, individual ants were tracked in videos under laboratory conditions, and behavioral repertoires that led to stacking, covering and droplet-breaking were identified and described. The field investigation showed that surround feeding was most frequently performed by S. invicta foragers; however, cover feeding was not observed under field conditions during this study. Both laboratory and field studies showed colony-level variations in sugar-water feeding. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  4. Molecular variation at a candidate gene implicated in the regulation of fire ant social behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dietrich Gotzek

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The fire ant Solenopsis invicta and its close relatives display an important social polymorphism involving differences in colony queen number. Colonies are headed by either a single reproductive queen (monogyne form or multiple queens (polygyne form. This variation in social organization is associated with variation at the gene Gp-9, with monogyne colonies harboring only B-like allelic variants and polygyne colonies always containing b-like variants as well. We describe naturally occurring variation at Gp-9 in fire ants based on 185 full-length sequences, 136 of which were obtained from S. invicta collected over much of its native range. While there is little overall differentiation between most of the numerous alleles observed, a surprising amount is found in the coding regions of the gene, with such substitutions usually causing amino acid replacements. This elevated coding-region variation may result from a lack of negative selection acting to constrain amino acid replacements over much of the protein, different mutation rates or biases in coding and non-coding sequences, negative selection acting with greater strength on non-coding than coding regions, and/or positive selection acting on the protein. Formal selection analyses provide evidence that the latter force played an important role in the basal b-like lineages coincident with the emergence of polygyny. While our data set reveals considerable paraphyly and polyphyly of S. invicta sequences with respect to those of other fire ant species, the b-like alleles of the socially polymorphic species are monophyletic. An expanded analysis of colonies containing alleles of this clade confirmed the invariant link between their presence and expression of polygyny. Finally, our discovery of several unique alleles bearing various combinations of b-like and B-like codons allows us to conclude that no single b-like residue is completely predictive of polygyne behavior and, thus, potentially causally

  5. Comparing electroantennogram and behavioral responses of two Pseudacteon phorid fly species to body extracts of Black, Red and Hybrid imported fire ants, Solenopsis spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li; Ochieng, Samuel A; He, Xiaofang; Fadamiro, Henry Y

    2012-10-01

    Several phorid fly species were introduced to the southern United States for biological control of the invasive imported fire ants, Solenopsis richteri (Black), Solenopsis invicta (Red), and their Hybrid S. richteri×S. invicta (Hybrid). It has been previously reported that the Jaguariuna biotype of Pseudacteon tricuspis and the Formosan biotype of Pseudacteon curvatus could distinguish among the three fire ant species with greater preference for Hybrid and Red fire ants. We hypothesized that phorid flies might use host derived chemical cues to differentiate ant species. To determine possible differential olfactory sensitivity of phorid fly species to different fire ant species, we compared electroantennogram (EAG) and behavioral responses of both sexes of P. tricuspis and P. curvatus to body extracts of Black, Red and Hybrid fire ants. As worker sizes of Black and Hybrid fire ants used in this study were much larger than that of Red fire ant (the average weight for Black, Red and Hybrid workers was 1.707, 0.863, 1.223mg per ants, respectively), at doses of 0.01, 0.1, 1 worker equivalent, body extracts of Black and Hybrid fire ant elicited significantly greater EAG response in both sexes of P. tricuspis than that of Red fire ant. Similarly, the EAG response in female P. curvatus to body extract of Black fire ant was significantly greater than to body extract of Red fire ant. To eliminate worker size influence on EAG response in phorid flies, we conducted a second EAG study using a dose of 1mg ant equivalent (body extract from 1mg of worker). No difference in EAG responses was recorded to body extract obtained from the same amount of workers among the three fire ant species (we consider viable Hybrid fire ant as a species in this paper), suggesting that worker size differences contributed to difference in EAG response in the first EAG study. In both EAG studies, male P. tricuspis showed significantly greater EAG responses than male P. curvatus to all three fire ant

  6. Successful transmission of Solenopsis invicta virus 3 to Solenopsis invicta fire ant colonies in oil, sugar, and cricket bait formulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tests were conducted to evaluate whether Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) could be delivered in various bait formulations to fire ant colonies and measure the corresponding colony health changes associated with virus infection in Solenopsis invicta. Three bait formulations (10% sugar solution, c...

  7. Extracted Venom and Cuticular Compounds of Imported Fire Ants, Solenopsis spp., and Chemotaxonomic Applications Across a Persistent Hybrid Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Characterization of cuticular biomolecular assemblages for imported fire ants permit basic distinctions among colonies of S. invicta, S. richteri, and their hybrids; thus, providing opportunities to investigate details of landscape ecology for this species complex as well as to assess levels of inva...

  8. Potential economic impact of introduction and spread of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutrich, J.J.; VanGelder, E.; Loope, L.

    2007-01-01

    Globally, many invasive alien species have caused extensive ecological and economic damage from either accidental or intentional introduction. The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, has created billions of dollars in costs annually, spreading as an invasive species across the southern United States. In 1998, the red imported fire ant spread into California creating a highly probable future introduction via shipped products to Hawaii. This paper presents the estimation of potential economic impacts of the red imported fire ant (RIFA) to the state of Hawaii. Evaluation of impacts focuses on the economic sectors of (1) households, (2) agriculture (cattle and crop production), (3) infrastructure (cemeteries, churches, cities, electrical, telephone, and cable services, highways, hospitals and schools), (4) recreation, tourism and business (hotels/resort areas, golf courses, commercial businesses and tourists), and (5) government expenditures (with minimal intervention). The full annual economic costs of the red imported fire ant to Hawaii are estimated (in US$ 2006) to be $211 million/year, comprised of $77 million in damages and expenditures and $134 million in foregone outdoor opportunities to households and tourists. The present value of the projected costs of RIFA over a 20-year period after introduction total $2.5 billion. RIFA invasions across the globe indicate that economic cost-effective action in Hawaii entails implementation of prevention, early detection and rapid response treatment programs for RIFA. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Solenopsis invicta virus (sinv-1) infection and insecticide interactions in the red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Controlling invasive species is a growing concern; however, pesticides can be detrimental for non-target organisms. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren; Hymenoptera: Formicidae) has aggressively invaded approximately 138 million ha in the USA and causes over $6 billion in damage and ...

  10. Procedures to mititgate the impact of Solenopsis invicta Virus 3 in fire ant (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) rearing facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    During the initial characterization of Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3), virus-infected fire ant colonies were retrieved from the field and maintained in the laboratory rearing facility at the USDA, Gainesville, FL. During this time, all S. invicta colonies housed in the facility contracted SINV...

  11. Efficacy of three citrus oil formulations against solenopsis invicta buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), the red imported fire ant1,2

    Science.gov (United States)

    James T. Vogt; Thormas G. Shelton; Michael E. Merchant; Scott A. Russell; Marla J. Tanley; Arthur G. Appel

    2002-01-01

    Experiments were conducted in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas to assess efficacy of raw citrus peel extract (orange oil) and a commercial citrus oil formulation for control of Solenopsis invicta Buren, the red imported fire ant. A recipe containing orange oil (equal parts orange oil, cattlemen's molasses, and compost tea at 47 mL L1 water),...

  12. Impact of imidacloprid on new queens of imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian

    2015-12-08

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are commonly used in managing pest insects, including the imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. There is increasing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides at sublethal concentrations have profound effects on social insects. However, the sublethal effect of neonicotinoids on S. invicta has never been investigated. In this study, the newly mated queens were fed with water containing 0.01 or 0.25 μg/ml imidacloprid. Imidacloprid at both concentrations did not cause any increase in queen mortality during the founding stage; however, it significantly reduced queens' brood tending ability. In the 0.25 μg/ml imidacloprid treatment, the time to larval emergence was significantly delayed and no pupae or adult workers were produced. This study provides clear evidence that imidacloprid at sublethal concentrations has a significant detrimental impact on S. invicta queens and the development of incipient colonies.

  13. Evolution of gene expression in fire ants: the effects of developmental stage, caste, and species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ometto, Lino; Shoemaker, DeWayne; Ross, Kenneth G; Keller, Laurent

    2011-04-01

    Ants provide remarkable examples of equivalent genotypes developing into divergent and discrete phenotypes. Diploid eggs can develop either into queens, which specialize in reproduction, or workers, which participate in cooperative tasks such as building the nest, collecting food, and rearing the young. In contrast, the differentiation between males and females generally depends upon whether eggs are fertilized, with fertilized (diploid) eggs giving rise to females and unfertilized (haploid) eggs giving rise to males. To obtain a comprehensive picture of the relative contributions of gender (sex), caste, developmental stage, and species divergence to gene expression evolution, we investigated gene expression patterns in pupal and adult queens, workers, and males of two species of fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri. Microarray hybridizations revealed that variation in gene expression profiles is influenced more by developmental stage than by caste membership, sex, or species identity. The second major contributor to variation in gene expression was the combination of sex and caste. Although workers and queens share equivalent diploid nuclear genomes, they have highly distinctive patterns of gene expression in both the pupal and the adult stages, as might be expected given their extraordinary level of phenotypic differentiation. Overall, the difference in the proportion of differentially expressed genes was greater between workers and males than between workers and queens or queens and males, consistent with the fact that workers and males share neither gender nor reproductive capability. Moreover, between-species comparisons revealed that the greatest difference in gene expression patterns occurred in adult workers, a finding consistent with the fact that adult workers most directly experience the distinct external environments characterizing the different habitats occupied by the two species. Thus, much of the evolution of gene expression in ants may

  14. Molecular and social regulation of worker division of labour in fire ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manfredini, Fabio; Lucas, Christophe; Nicolas, Michael; Keller, Laurent; Shoemaker, Dewayne; Grozinger, Christina M

    2014-02-01

    Reproductive and worker division of labour (DOL) is a hallmark of social insect societies. Despite a long-standing interest in worker DOL, the molecular mechanisms regulating this process have only been investigated in detail in honey bees, and little is known about the regulatory mechanisms operating in other social insects. In the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, one of the most studied ant species, workers are permanently sterile and the tasks performed are modulated by the worker's internal state (age and size) and the outside environment (social environment), which potentially includes the effect of the queen presence through chemical communication via pheromones. However, the molecular mechanisms underpinning these processes are unknown. Using a whole-genome microarray platform, we characterized the molecular basis for worker DOL and we explored how a drastic change in the social environment (i.e. the sudden loss of the queen) affects global gene expression patterns of worker ants. We identified numerous genes differentially expressed between foraging and nonforaging workers in queenright colonies. With a few exceptions, these genes appear to be distinct from those involved in DOL in bees and wasps. Interestingly, after the queen was removed, foraging workers were no longer distinct from nonforaging workers at the transcriptomic level. Furthermore, few expression differences were detected between queenright and queenless workers when we did not consider the task performed. Thus, the social condition of the colony (queenless vs. queenright) appears to impact the molecular pathways underlying worker task performance, providing strong evidence for social regulation of DOL in S. invicta. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the U.S.A.

  15. Biological Control of Solenopsis Fire Ants by Pseudacteon Parasitoids: Theory and Practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lloyd W. Morrison

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Pseudacteon parasitoids are potential biocontrol agents of invasive Solenopsis fire ants. Pseudacteon species that parasitize the invasive S. invicta Buren and S. richteri Forel have been introduced to, and naturally dispersed across, the southeastern USA, although there is no evidence yet that Solenopsis host ant populations have decreased. The ability of introduced Pseudacteon species to regulate Solenopsis populations will depend upon the relative importance of top-down effects in the recipient communities. In this paper, I examine the characteristics of the Pseudacteon/Solenopsis parasitoid/host system and evaluate the extent to which research findings are consistent with top-down control. Laboratory and field experiments evaluating Solenopsis population regulation have been equivocal, and overall the available evidence provides little support for strong top-down effects in this system. Competitive exclusion may occur among introduced Pseudacteon species, and future efforts at biological control are likely to be more efficacious if they focus on other types of natural enemies.

  16. Range expansion drives the evolution of alternate reproductive strategies in invasive fire ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson A. Helms IV

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Many species are expanding their ranges in response to climate changes or species introductions. Expansion-related selection likely drives the evolution of dispersal and reproductive traits, especially in invasive species introduced into novel habitats. We used an agent-based model to investigate these relationships in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, by tracking simulated populations over 25 years. Most colonies of this invasive species produce two types of queens practicing alternate reproductive strategies. Claustral queens found new colonies in vacant habitats, while parasitic queens take over existing colonies whose queens have died. We investigated how relative investment in the two queen types affects population demography, habitat occupancy, and range expansion. We found that parasitic queens extend the ecological lifespan of colonies, thereby increasing a population’s overall habitat occupancy as well as average colony size (number of workers and territory size. At the same time, investment in parasitic queens slowed the rate of range expansion by diverting investment from claustral queens. Divergent selection regimes caused edge and interior populations to evolve different levels of reproductive investment, such that interior populations invested heavily in parasitic queens whereas those at the edge invested almost entirely in claustral queens. Our results highlight factors shaping ant life histories, including the evolution of social parasitism, and have implications for the response of species to range shifts.

  17. Leafcutter Ant Nests Inhibit Low-Intensity Fire Spread in the Understory of Transitional Forests at the Amazon's Forest-Savanna Boundary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine S. Carvalho

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutter ants (Atta spp. remove leaf litter and woody debris—potential fuels—in and around their nests and foraging trails. We conducted single and three annual experimental fires to determine the effects of this leaf-cutter ant activity on the behavior of low-intensity, slow-moving fires. In a transitional forest, where the southern Amazon forest meets the Brazilian savanna, we tested whether leaf-cutter ant nests and trails (i inhibit fire spread due to a lack of fuels, and (ii, thereby, reduce the total burned area during these experimental low-intensity fires, particularly at forest edges where leaf-cutter ant abundance was higher. Fine-medium fuel mass increased with an increase in distance from ant nest, and the mean area of bare soil was greater on nests than on the forest floor. Between 60 to 90 percent of the unburned area was within 30 m of ant nests, and burned area significantly increased with increasing distance to ant nests. In addition, the number of ant nests declined with increasing distance from the forest edge, and, with exception of the first experimental fire, burned area also increased with increasing distance from the edge. The present study provides new insight to fire ecology in Amazon environments.

  18. Defensive chemicals of tawny crazy ants, Nylanderia fulva and their toxicity to red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) has been reported as being able to displace Solenopsis invicta Buren, one of the most aggressive invasive ants in the world. Like S. invicta, N. fulva use chemical secretions in their defense/offense, which may contribute to their observed superior competition ability. In t...

  19. Mites (Acari: Scutacaridae) associated with the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis Invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), from Louisiana and Tennessee, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernst Ebermann; John C. Moser

    2008-01-01

    Four species of Scutacarus and one of Imparipes (Acari: Scutacaridae) are documented as phoretic from alates and workers of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) in Louisiana and Tennessee, U.S.A. One, Imparipes (Imparipes) louisianae)

  20. A picorna-like virus from the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta: initial discovery, genome sequence, and characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valles, Steven M.; Strong, Charles A.; Dang, Phat M.; Hunter, Wayne B.; Pereira, Roberto M.; Oi, David H.; Shapiro, Alexandra M.; Williams, David F.

    2004-01-01

    We report the first discovery and genome sequence of a virus infecting the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. The 8026 nucleotide, polyadenylated, RNA genome encoded two large open reading frames (ORF1 and ORF2), flanked and separated by 27, 223, and 171 nucleotide untranslated regions, respectively. The predicted amino acid sequence of the 5' proximal ORF1 (nucleotides 28 to 4218) exhibited significant identity and possessed consensus sequences characteristic of the helicase, cysteine protease, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase sequence motifs from picornaviruses, picorna-like viruses, comoviruses, caliciviruses, and sequiviruses. The predicted amino acid sequence of the 3' proximal ORF2 (nucleotides 4390-7803) showed similarity to structural proteins in picorna-like viruses, especially the acute bee paralysis virus. Electron microscopic examination of negatively stained samples from virus-infected fire ants revealed isometric particles with a diameter of 31 nm, consistent with Picornaviridae. A survey for the fire ant virus from areas around Florida revealed a pattern of fairly widespread distribution. Among 168 nests surveyed, 22.9% were infected. The virus was found to infect all fire ant caste members and developmental stages, including eggs, early (1st-2nd) and late (3rd-4th) instars, worker pupae, workers, sexual pupae, alates ( male and female ), and queens. The virus, tentatively named S. invicta virus (SINV-1), appears to belong to the picorna-like viruses. We did not observe any perceptible symptoms among infected nests in the field. However, in every case where an SINV-1-infected colony was excavated from the field with an inseminated queen and held in the laboratory, all of the brood in these colonies died within 3 months

  1. Assessing genetic structure with multiple classes of molecular markers: a case study involving the introduced fire ant Solenopsis invicta

    OpenAIRE

    Ross, K. G.; Shoemaker, D. D.; Krieger, M. J.; DeHeer, C. J.; Keller, L.

    1999-01-01

    We used 30 genetic markers of 6 different classes to describe hierarchical genetic structure in introduced populations of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. These included four classes of presumably neutral nuclear loci (allozymes, codominant random amplified polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs), microsatellites, and dominant RAPDs), a class comprising two linked protein-coding nuclear loci under selection, and a marker of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Patterns of structure revealed by F statistics and ex...

  2. A Keystone Ant Species Provides Robust Biological Control of the Coffee Berry Borer Under Varying Pest Densities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Jonathan R; Vandermeer, John; Perfecto, Ivette

    2015-01-01

    Species' functional traits are an important part of the ecological complexity that determines the provisioning of ecosystem services. In biological pest control, predator response to pest density variation is a dynamic trait that impacts the provision of this service in agroecosystems. When pest populations fluctuate, farmers relying on biocontrol services need to know how natural enemies respond to these changes. Here we test the effect of variation in coffee berry borer (CBB) density on the biocontrol efficiency of a keystone ant species (Azteca sericeasur) in a coffee agroecosystem. We performed exclosure experiments to measure the infestation rate of CBB released on coffee branches in the presence and absence of ants at four different CBB density levels. We measured infestation rate as the number of CBB bored into fruits after 24 hours, quantified biocontrol efficiency (BCE) as the proportion of infesting CBB removed by ants, and estimated functional response from ant attack rates, measured as the difference in CBB infestation between branches. Infestation rates of CBB on branches with ants were significantly lower (71%-82%) than on those without ants across all density levels. Additionally, biocontrol efficiency was generally high and did not significantly vary across pest density treatments. Furthermore, ant attack rates increased linearly with increasing CBB density, suggesting a Type I functional response. These results demonstrate that ants can provide robust biological control of CBB, despite variation in pest density, and that the response of predators to pest density variation is an important factor in the provision of biocontrol services. Considering how natural enemies respond to changes in pest densities will allow for more accurate biocontrol predictions and better-informed management of this ecosystem service in agroecosystems.

  3. Characterization of the allergen Sol gem 2 from the fire ant venom, Solenopsis geminata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Sukprasert

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Sol i 2 is a potent allergen in Solenopsis invicta venom, and most humans exhibit reactivity to it. The Sol gem 2 allergen found in the venom of the Thai tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata was analysed in the present study. The protein was present in higher amounts than other proteins, as determined by SDS-PAGE, and presumably has allergenic properties similar to those of Sol i 2. Sol gem 2 molecular weight is 28 and 15 kDa, respectively, under non-reducing and reducing conditions, indicating that its native form is a dimer. LC-MS/MS analysis confirmed its similarity to Sol i 2. The mono/dimeric form of Sol gem 2 was determined to be relevant by proteomic approach and immunoblotting. An anti-Sol gem 2 antibody was produced in mice, with a titer greater than 1:800 according to the Western blotting analysis. The Sol gem 2-neutralising activity of this antibody was determined in crickets. The paralytic dose 50 (PD50 of crude S. geminata venom was elevated from 0.18 mg/g of body weight to more than 0.90 mg/g of body weight after preincubation with antibody at a ratio of 1:1. These results suggest that Sol gem 2 plays an important role in mediating the effects of the piperidine derivatives in the venom.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, L P; Del-Claro, K

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Effect of Irradiation on Queen Survivorship and Reproduction in the Invasive Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and a Proposed Phytosanitary Irradiation Treatment for Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Follett, Peter A; Porcel, Sol; Calcaterra, Luis A

    2016-12-01

    We studied radiation tolerance in queens of the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to identify a dose that prevents reproduction. Virgin or fertile queens were collected from Santa Fe and Formosa provinces in Argentina and reared in the laboratory in microcolonies. Virgin queens were irradiated at 0 (control), 70, 90, 120, or 150 Gy, and fertile queens were irradiated at 0, 60, 125, and 190 Gy, and then followed for 11 wk in the microcolonies to evaluate survival and reproduction. Virgin queens lay trophic eggs that do not hatch, whereas fertile queens lay eggs that hatch and develop into brood. In general, queen oviposition and survival decreased with increasing irradiation dose. For virgin queens, no eggs were laid by irradiated queens after the third week, whereas the control queens continued laying eggs throughout the 11-wk experiment. For fertile queens, only one larva and no pupae was observed in the 60 Gy treatment and no larvae or pupae were observed in the 125 and 190 Gy treatments, whereas a total of 431 larvae and 83 pupae were produced by untreated control queens during 11 wks. Survivorship of virgin and fertile queens was similarly reduced by irradiation treatment. These results with S. invicta are consistent with previous findings for three other invasive ants, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger), Pheidole megacephala (F.), and Linephithema humile (Mayr), that are hitchhiker pests on fresh horticultural commodities. A radiation dose of 150 Gy is proposed as a phytosanitary treatment to prevent reproduction in ants. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  6. Colony-level behavioural variation correlates with differences in expression of the foraging gene in red imported fire ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bockoven, Alison A; Coates, Craig J; Eubanks, Micky D

    2017-11-01

    Among social insects, colony-level variation is likely to be widespread and has significant ecological consequences. Very few studies, however, have documented how genetic factors relate to behaviour at the colony level. Differences in expression of the foraging gene have been associated with differences in foraging and activity of a wide variety of organisms. We quantified expression of the red imported fire ant foraging gene (sifor) in workers from 21 colonies collected across the natural range of Texas fire ant populations, but maintained under standardized, environmentally controlled conditions. Colonies varied significantly in their behaviour. The most active colonies had up to 10 times more active foragers than the least active colony and more than 16 times as many workers outside the nest. Expression differences among colonies correlated with this colony-level behavioural variation. Colonies with higher sifor expression in foragers had, on average, significantly higher foraging activity, exploratory activity and recruitment to nectar than colonies with lower expression. Expression of sifor was also strongly correlated with worker task (foraging vs. working in the interior of the nest). These results provide insight into the genetic and physiological processes underlying collective differences in social behaviour. Quantifying variation in expression of the foraging gene may provide an important tool for understanding and predicting the ecological consequences of colony-level behavioural variation. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Intraspecific Variation among Social Insect Colonies: Persistent Regional and Colony-Level Differences in Fire Ant Foraging Behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison A Bockoven

    Full Text Available Individuals vary within a species in many ecologically important ways, but the causes and consequences of such variation are often poorly understood. Foraging behavior is among the most profitable and risky activities in which organisms engage and is expected to be under strong selection. Among social insects there is evidence that within-colony variation in traits such as foraging behavior can increase colony fitness, but variation between colonies and the potential consequences of such variation are poorly documented. In this study, we tested natural populations of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, for the existence of colony and regional variation in foraging behavior and tested the persistence of this variation over time and across foraging habitats. We also reared single-lineage colonies in standardized environments to explore the contribution of colony lineage. Fire ants from natural populations exhibited significant and persistent colony and regional-level variation in foraging behaviors such as extra-nest activity, exploration, and discovery of and recruitment to resources. Moreover, colony-level variation in extra-nest activity was significantly correlated with colony growth, suggesting that this variation has fitness consequences. Lineage of the colony had a significant effect on extra-nest activity and exploratory activity and explained approximately half of the variation observed in foraging behaviors, suggesting a heritable component to colony-level variation in behavior.

  8. Presence of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Westwood) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) stimulates burrowing behavior by larvae of the sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) (Diptera: Psychodidae)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Hamilton, James G.C.; Ward, Richard D.

    2010-01-01

    The sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) vectors leishmaniasis in the neotropics. Although much is known about the biology of adult flies, little is known about interactions with its natural enemies. Here, we examined behavior of larvae of L4 L. longipalpis on a soil substrate when exposed to the fire ant Solenopsis invicata (Westwood). When ants were absent, most larvae tended to remain at or close to the soil surface, but when ants were present the larvae burrowed into the soil. Sandflies seek refuges in the presence of generalist predators, thus rendering them immune to attack from many potential enemies. (author)

  9. Presence of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Westwood) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) stimulates burrowing behavior by larvae of the sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva) (Diptera: Psychodidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Jeffrey A; Hamilton, James G C; Ward, Richard D

    2010-01-01

    The sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva) vectors leishmaniasis in the neotropics. Although much is known about the biology of adult flies, little is known about interactions with its natural enemies. Here, we examined behavior of larvae of L4 L.longipalpis on a soil substrate when exposed to the fire ant Solenopsis invicata (Westwood). When ants were absent, most larvae tended to remain at or close to the soil surface, but when ants were present the larvae burrowed into the soil. Sandflies seek refuges in the presence of generalist predators, thus rendering them immune to attack from many potential enemies.

  10. Presence of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Westwood) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) stimulates burrowing behavior by larvae of the sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) (Diptera: Psychodidae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harvey, Jeffrey A. [Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Heteren (Netherlands). Dept. of Terrestrial Ecology; Hamilton, James G.C.; Ward, Richard D. [University of Keele, Staffordshire (United Kingdom). Centre for Applied Entomology and Parasitology. Dept. of Biological Sciences

    2010-01-15

    The sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) vectors leishmaniasis in the neotropics. Although much is known about the biology of adult flies, little is known about interactions with its natural enemies. Here, we examined behavior of larvae of L4 L. longipalpis on a soil substrate when exposed to the fire ant Solenopsis invicata (Westwood). When ants were absent, most larvae tended to remain at or close to the soil surface, but when ants were present the larvae burrowed into the soil. Sandflies seek refuges in the presence of generalist predators, thus rendering them immune to attack from many potential enemies. (author)

  11. Antimicrobial properties of nest volatiles in red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    In social insects, antimicrobial secretions are often used collectively for the benefit of the whole colony, which is an important component in social immunity. Many ant species build nests in which air circulation can be controlled. Volatile antimicrobial agents would be ideal in implementing socia...

  12. Can communication disruption of red imported fire ants reduce foraging success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive pest ants often coordinate resource retrieval and colony expansion through the use of recruitment pheromones for information sharing to optimise their foraging; we argue that the potential for disruption of trail pheromone communication deserves investigation as a new and benign ecologicall...

  13. Gaeolaelaps Invictianus, a new and unusual species of Hypoaspidine Mite (Acari: Mesostigmata: Laelapidae) phoretic on the red imported fire ant Solenopsis Invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Louisiana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Walter; John Moser

    2010-01-01

    A new species ofhypoaspidine laelapid mite, Gaeolaelaps invictianus, associated with the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren in the southern United States of America is described. This new species is unusual among the gamasine Mesostigmata in lacking a postanal seta in adults of both sexes and among species of Gaeolaelaps in being phoretic on dispersing male...

  14. A queen pheromone induces workers to kill sexual larvae in colonies of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klobuchar, Emily A; Deslippe, Richard J

    2002-07-01

    We conducted five bioassays to study how queens control the execution of sexual larvae by workers in colonies of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. In each assay, subset colonies were made from many large polygyne colonies, and the 20 sexual larvae they contained were monitored over time. Sexual larvae mostly survived in queenless colonies, but were mostly killed in colonies with a single dealated queen, regardless of whether or not the queen was fertilized. The larvae were also killed when fresh corpses of queens were added to queenless colonies. Whereas acetone extracts of queens did not produce a significant increase in killings, extracts in buffered saline induced workers to execute most sexual larvae, indicating successful extraction of an execution pheromone. We identified the probable storage location of the chemical as the poison sac, and found both fresh (1 day) and old (21 day) extracts of poison sacs to be equally effective in inducing executions. The pheromone is stable at room temperature, perhaps because venom alkaloids also present in the extracts keep the pheromone from degrading. It is apparently either proteinaceous or associated with a proteinaceous molecule, a novel finding, as no queen pheromone of a proteinaceous nature has been previously demonstrated in ants.

  15. Cytogenetic analysis of three species of Pseudacteon (Diptera, Phoridae parasitoids of the fire ants using standard and molecular techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mónica G. Chirino

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Pseudacteon flies, parasitoids of worker ants, are being intensively studied as potentially effective agents in the biological control of the invasive pest fire ant genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae. This is the first attempt to describe the karyotype of P. curvatus Borgmeier, P. nocens Borgmeier and P. tricuspis Borgmeier. The three species possess 2n = 6; chromosomes I and II were metacentric in the three species, but chromosome pair III was subtelocentric in P. curvatus and P. tricuspis, and telocentric in P. nocens. All three species possess a C positive band in chromosome II, lack C positive heterochromatin on chromosome I, and are mostly differentiated with respect to chromosome III. P. curvatus and P. tricuspis possess a C positive band, but at different locations, whereas this band is absent in P. nocens. Heterochromatic bands are neither AT nor GC rich as revealed by fluorescent banding. In situ hybridization with an 18S rDNA probe revealed a signal on chromosome II in a similar location to the C positive band in the three species. The apparent lack of morphologically distinct sex chromosomes is consistent with proposals of environmental sex determination in the genus. Small differences detected in chromosome length and morphology suggests that chromosomes have been highly conserved during the evolutionary radiation of Pseudacteon. Possible mechanisms of karyotype evolution in the three species are suggested.

  16. Solenopsis invicta virus 3: pathogenesis and stage specificity in red imported fire ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valles, Steven M; Porter, Sanford D; Firth, Andrew E

    2014-07-01

    Solenopsis invicta colonies were exposed to purified preparations of Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) to investigate virus pathogenesis at the colony level. Time course experiments revealed an infection exhibiting specificity for the adult stage (workers). SINV-3 genome and a capsid protein were increasingly present in worker ants with time. Northern blot analysis revealed two bands in RNA preparations from worker ants infected with SINV-3 corresponding to the genomic and sub-genomic species. Conversely, larval RNA preparations from SINV-3-infected colonies showed a near-complete absence of SINV-3 genome or sub-genome. The data confirm that SINV-3 is the etiological agent causing mortality among S. invicta colonies in the laboratory. We propose that SINV-3 infection somehow alters worker ant behavior, which may prevent them from acquiring and/or distributing solid food to the larvae. Consequently, larval mortality and impaired queen health occur as a result of starvation or neglect by the worker caste. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Propagule pressure and colony social organization are associated with the successful invasion and rapid range expansion of fire ants in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chin-Cheng; Ascunce, Marina S; Luo, Li-Zhi; Shao, Jing-Guo; Shih, Cheng-Jen; Shoemaker, DeWayne

    2012-02-01

    We characterized patterns of genetic variation in populations of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in China using mitochondrial DNA sequences and nuclear microsatellite loci to test predictions as to how propagule pressure and subsequent dispersal following establishment jointly shape the invasion success of this ant in this recently invaded area. Fire ants in Wuchuan (Guangdong Province) are genetically differentiated from those found in other large infested areas of China. The immediate source of ants in Wuchuan appears to be somewhere near Texas, which ranks first among the southern USA infested states in the exportation of goods to China. Most colonies from spatially distant, outlying areas in China are genetically similar to one another and appear to share a common source (Wuchuan, Guangdong Province), suggesting that long-distance jump dispersal has been a prevalent means of recent spread of fire ants in China. Furthermore, most colonies at outlier sites are of the polygyne social form (featuring multiple egg-laying queens per nest), reinforcing the important role of this social form in the successful invasion of new areas and subsequent range expansion following invasion. Several analyses consistently revealed characteristic signatures of genetic bottlenecks for S. invicta populations in China. The results of this study highlight the invasive potential of this pest ant, suggest that the magnitude of international trade may serve as a predictor of propagule pressure and indicate that rates and patterns of subsequent range expansion are partly determined by the interplay between species traits and the trade and transportation networks. © Published 2011. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  18. Esterase in imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): activity, kinetics and variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, J; Rashid, T; Feng, G

    2014-11-19

    Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri are two closely related invasive ants native to South America. Despite their similarity in biology and behavior, S. invicta is a more successful invasive species. Toxic tolerance has been found to be important to the success of some invasive species. Esterases play a crucial role in toxic tolerance of insects. Hence, we hypothesized that the more invasive S. invicta would have a higher esterase activity than S. richteri. Esterase activities were measured for workers and male and female alates of both ant species using α-naphthyl acetate and β-naphthyl acetate as substrates. Esterase activities in S. invicta were always significantly higher than those in S. richteri supporting our hypothesis. In S. invicta, male alates had the highest esterase activities followed by workers then female alates for both substrates. In S. richetri, for α-naphthyl acetate, male alates had the highest activity followed by female alates then workers, while for β-naphthyl acetate, female alates had the highest activity followed by male alates then workers. For workers, S. richteri showed significantly higher levels of variation about the mean esterase activity than S. invicta. However, S. invicta showed significantly higher levels of variation in both female and male alates.

  19. Wide Dynamic Range Multiband Infrared Radiometer for In-Fire Measurements of Wildland Fire Radiant Flux Density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kremens, R.; Dickinson, M. B.; Hardy, C.; Skowronski, N.; Ellicott, E. A.; Schroeder, W.

    2016-12-01

    We have developed a wide dynamic range (24-bit) data acquisition system for collection of radiant flux density (FRFD) data from wildland fires. The data collection subsystem was designed as an Arduino `shield' and incorporates a 24-bit analog-to-digital converter, precision voltage reference, real time clock, microSD card interface, audible annuciator and interface for various digital communication interfaces (RS232, I2C, SPI, etc.). The complete radiometer system consists of our custom-designed `shield', a commercially available Arduino MEGA computer circuit board and a thermopile sensor -amplifier daughter board. Software design and development is greatly assisted by the availability of a library of public-domain, user-implemented software. The daughter board houses a 5-band radiometer using thermopiles designed for this experiment (Dexter Research Corp., Dexter, MI) to allow determination of the total FRFD from the fire (using a wide band thermopile with a KRS-5 window, 0.1 - 30 um), the FRFD as would be received by an orbital asset like MODIS (3.95 um center wavelength (CWL) and 10.95 CWL, corresponding to MODIS bands 21/22 and 31, respectively) and wider bandpass (0.1-5.5 um and 8-14 um) corresponding to the FRFD recorded by `MWIR' and `LWIR' imaging systems. We required a very wide dynamic range system in order to be able to record the flux density from `cold' ground before the fire, through the `hot' flaming combustion stage, to the `cool' phase after passage of the fire front. The recording dynamic range required (with reasonable resolution at the lowest temperatures) is on the order of 106, which is not currently available in commercial instrumentation at a price point, size or feature set that is suitable for wildland fire investigations. The entire unit, along with rechargeable battery power supply is housed in a fireproof aluminum chassis box, which is then mounted on a mast at a height of 5 - 7 m above the fireground floor. We will report initial

  20. Defensive chemicals of tawny crazy ants, Nylanderia fulva (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and their toxicity to red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jian; Rashid, Tahir; Feng, Guolei; Zhao, Liming; Oi, David; Drees, Bastiaan Bart M

    2013-12-15

    Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) has been reported as being able to displace Solenopsis invicta Buren, one of the most aggressive invasive ants in the world. Like S. invicta, N. fulva use chemical secretions in their defense/offense, which may contribute to their observed superior competition ability. In this study, the defensive chemicals of N. fulva workers and their toxicity against S. invicta workers were investigated. Like other formicine ants, N. fulva workers produce formic acid in their poison glands and 2-ketones and alkanes in Dufour glands. Of these, undecane and 2-tridecanone are two principal compounds in the Dufour gland. Topical LD50 values of 2-tridecanone and undecane against S. invicta workers ranged from 18.51 to 24.67 μg/ant and 40.39 to 84.82 μg/ant, respectively. Undecane and 2-tridecanone had significantly higher contact toxicity than formic acid, whereas formic acid had significantly higher fumigation toxicity than undecane and 2-tridecanone. The combination of 2-tridecanone as a contact toxin and formic acid as a fumigant significantly decreased KT50 values when compared to those of individual compounds. N. fulva does not seem unique in terms of the chemistry of its defensive secretion as compared to other formicine ants. However, this ant contained more than two orders of magnitude of formic acid (wt/wt) than other formicine ants and one order of magnitude of 2-tridecanone than the common crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis (Latreille). The quantity, rather than quality, of the chemical secretion may contribute to the superior competition ability of N. fulva. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Geographical transition zone of Solenopsis fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Pseudacteon fly parasitoids (Diptera: Phoridae) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesquero, M A; Dias, A M P M

    2011-01-01

    Solenopsis saevissima (Smith) and Solenopsis invicta Buren are the most abundant and widely distributed fire ants in Brazil. The occurrence of the two fire ant species and of their parasitoids Pseudacteon spp. is described for a climatic and phytophysiognomic transition area in the state of São Paulo. Both fire ant species have a parapatric distribution, apparently determined by the climate: S. saevissima predominates in the north part of São Paulo (Aw climate), while S. invicta in the south (Cfa climate). A sympatric area is observed between the latitudes 21ºS and 23ºS. Two different communities of parasitic decapitating flies were associated with S. saevissima in the north and with S. invicta in the south, with a sympatric area in the municipality of São Carlos (21º58'S 47º53'W). The possible causes of this biogeographic pattern are discussed. Preference tests with Pseudacteon flies challenge the association of P. litoralis Borgmeier, P. curvatus Borgmeier, P. wasmanni Schmitz, P. pradei Borgmeier and P. obtusus Borgmeier with S. saevissima, and P. dentiger Borgmeier, P. disneyi Pesquero and P. lenkoi Borgmeier & Prado with S. invicta.

  2. Seed supply limits seedling recruitment of Eucalyptus miniata: interactions between seed predation by ants and fire in the Australian seasonal tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setterfield, Samantha Ann; Andersen, Alan Neil

    2018-01-22

    Seed predation can cause substantial seed losses and influence plant population dynamics, but the impact depends on the extent to which populations are limited by seed availability or favorable microsites for recruitment. Harvester ants are the dominant post-dispersal seed predators in Australia's tropical savannas, and their abundance and foraging efficiency, as well as the availability of seed and microsites, are affected by fire history. We undertook a predator-exclusion experiment to examine the interactive effects of fire history (no fire compared with annual burning over 5 years) and seed predation by ants on seedling establishment of the dominant savanna tree, Eucalyptus miniata, in northern Australia. Despite its large seed size, the rate of removal (~ 20-60%) was similar or higher than typically reported for eucalypts, although it was lower than that recorded for the smaller seeds of the co-occurring E. tetrodonta. Seed predation rates were twice as high in annually burnt compared to unburnt sites, but there was no significant difference in the proportion of seedlings that emerged from the initial seed available. Seedling emergence in both regimes was low, representing limited by both seed supply and microsite availability. However, seed predation by ants reduces the likelihood of seedling establishment from low to virtually zero, which suggests that it plays a potentially important role in the population dynamics of savanna eucalypts.

  3. Males are here to stay: fertilization enhances viable egg production by clonal queens of the little fire ant ( Wasmannia auropunctata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyakawa, Misato O.; Mikheyev, Alexander S.

    2015-04-01

    Evolution of reproduction strategies is affected by both phylogenetic and physiological constraints. Although clonality may benefit females, it may not be selected if a male contribution is necessary to start egg laying and embryo development. In little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, sexual populations employ a typical Hymenopteran system of reproduction. In clonal populations, however, queens and males are produced with only maternal and paternal genomes, respectively, whereas sterile workers are produced sexually. Although this system requires both sexes for worker production, previous work has shown that workers may also be produced clonally by the queens. If so, why are males maintained in this species? Our data suggest that fertilization is necessary to increase the hatching rate of eggs. Although clonal queens can indeed produce both workers and queens without mating, the hatching rate is far below the level necessary to maintain functional colonies. On the other hand, virgin queens from populations exhibiting the original Hymenopteran reproduction system also show low hatching rates, but produce only haploid male eggs. Reasons for the existence of W. auropunctata males have been disputed. However, our data suggest that physiological constraints, such as the requirement for insemination, must be considered in regard to evolution of reproduction systems, in addition to ecological data and theoretical considerations of fitness.

  4. Thelytokous parthenogenesis, male clonality and genetic caste determination in the little fire ant: new evidence and insights from the lab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foucaud, J; Estoup, A; Loiseau, A; Rey, O; Orivel, J

    2010-08-01

    Previous studies indicate that some populations of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, display an unusual reproduction system polymorphism. Although some populations have a classical haplodiploid reproduction system, in other populations queens are produced by thelytokous parthenogenesis, males are produced by a male clonality system and workers are produced sexually. An atypical genetic caste determination system was also suggested. However, these conclusions were indirectly inferred from genetic studies on field population samples. Here we set up experimental laboratory nests that allow the control of the parental relationships between individuals. The queens heading those nests originated from either putatively clonal or sexual populations. We characterized the male, queen and worker offspring they produced at 12 microsatellite loci. Our results unambiguously confirm the unique reproduction system polymorphism mentioned above and that male clonality is strictly associated with thelytokous parthenogenesis. We also observed direct evidence of the rare production of sexual gynes and arrhenotokous males in clonal populations. Finally, we obtained evidence of a genetic basis for caste determination. The evolutionary significance of the reproduction system polymorphism and genetic caste determination as well as future research opportunities are discussed.

  5. A 15-year post evaluation of the fire effects on ant community in an area of Amazonian forest Uma avaliação após 15 anos do efeito do fogo sobre a comunidade de formiga em uma área de floresta amazônica

    OpenAIRE

    Jean C. Santos; Jacques H. C. Delabie; G. Wilson Fernandes

    2008-01-01

    Fire represents an important disturbance to ant communities in areas of fire regime. Otherwise, little is known about the effects of fire on ant communities in areas of non-fire regimes, such as in the Amazonian region. We evaluated the long-term effect of fire on ant species richness in a rain forest (Bacaba Plateau) burned 15-years ago and compare our data with the data of primary unburned forest. A total of 85 ant species distributed in 21 genera and 14 tribes were collected; among them, 7...

  6. Intraspecific and Intracolonial Variation in the Profile of Venom Alkaloids and Cuticular Hydrocarbons of the Fire Ant Solenopsis saevissima Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson Fox

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fire ants are aggressive Neotropical ants that are extensively similar in general biology and morphology, making species identification difficult. Some fire ant species are top-rated pests spreading throughout the world by trade vessels. Many researchers attempted to sort between invasive and native species by using chemical characters, including patterns of venom alkaloids. The present study is the first to report intraspecific variation in some chemical characters, namely, cuticular hydrocarbons and venom alkaloids, within the Brazilian fire ant species Solenopsis saevissima and also reports on within-nest variations among members of different castes. Two different haplotypes (cryptic species of S. saevissima were clearly identified, one presenting a predominant combination of the venom alkaloids cis- and trans-2-methyl-6-undecylpiperidine with the cuticular hydrocarbons C23, 3-Me-C23, 10-C25 : 1, C25, and 3-Me-C25, and the other a predominant combination of cis- and trans-2-methyl-6-tridecenylpiperidine with predominance of 12-C25 : 1, C25, 11-Me-C25, 3-Me-C25, 13-C27 : 1, C27, and 13-Me-C27. Intranest variations revealed that the proportions among these compounds varied sensibly among workers of different sizes, gynes, and males (no alkaloids were detected in the latter. Larva contained vestiges of the same compounds. The recorded chemical profiles are quite different from previous reports with S. saevissima samples from São Paulo. The finds thus support other recent claims that S. saevissima includes cryptic species; the study, moreover, adds the find that they can occur in the same geographical location.

  7. Imported fire ant immunotherapy prescribing patterns in a large health care system during a 17-year period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haymore, Bret R; McCoy, Robert L; Nelson, Michael R

    2009-05-01

    No large evaluation has been performed of the maintenance vial concentration commonly used by physicians when prescribing imported fire ant (IFA) immunotherapy since the publication of the first Stinging Insect Hypersensitivity Practice Parameter 10 years ago. To describe the prescribing patterns for IFA immunotherapy among practicing allergists in a large health care setting and the impact of published Practice Parameter recommendations. Data from the US Army Centralized Allergen Extract Laboratory were analyzed to determine IFA immunotherapy prescribing patterns from 1990 to May 2007. This extract laboratory provides prescriptions for more than 320 US Department of Defense, US Department of Veterans Affairs, and US Public Health Service clinics. A total of 1,091 patients were given 1,437 new or revised prescriptions for IFA immunotherapy. Monotherapy for Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri was prescribed in 169 (11.8%) and 3 (0.1%) instances, respectively, with the remainder of patients given both IFA antigens. The most commonly prescribed maintenance vial dose was 0.5 mL of a 1:200 (wt/vol) dilution, accounting for 36.3% of prescriptions. A total of 17.3% of prescriptions had a maintenance vial dose of 0.5 mL of a 1:100 (wt/vol) dilution, 4.6% had a dilution of 1:10 (wt/vol), and 50.6% had a dilution between 1:10 and 1:100 (wt/vol). The mean starting dose was 4.4 10-fold dilutions below the maintenance dose (5.4 vials per treatment set). The most commonly prescribed maintenance dose was 0.5 mL of a 1:200 (wt/vol) dilution, although most prescriptions used a maintenance dose consistent with recommended dosing in the Stinging Insect Practice Parameters. Both IFA antigens were used by most physicians. Further study evaluating the effective dose range for IFA immunotherapy is needed.

  8. Nest density and other observations on a population of Aneuretus simoni Emery, 1893 (Formicidae, Aneuretinae and other ants in Indikada Mukalana Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka

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    Ratnayake K. S. Dias

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The Sri Lankan Relict Ant, Aneuretus simoni Emery, survives in several wet zone and intermediate zone forests in Sri Lanka. Nests of this species and other ants were surveyed at 159 m and 291 m elevations in Indikada Mukalana Forest Reserve by laying 20 quadrats of 1 m × 1 m at two plots of each locality in December, 2015. The number of ant nests within each quadrat was recorded; then the frequency of nest occurrence out of 40 quadrats, percentage nest abundance and mean nest density of A. simoni, as well as associated ant fauna were calculated. Percentage frequency of worker ant occurrence was also investigated using pitfall traps. Eighteen genera and 21 species in Aneuretinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Myrmicinae and Ponerinae were recorded from the two methods. Nests of A. simoni were found only in the locality at 291 m altitude in the forest; 17.5 % of quadrats with an A. simoni colonies, 9.7% of nest abundance in relation to that of other ant species and 0.18 m2 of mean nest density were observed. Nest density of A. simoni had the fourth rank among that of the other species. Frequency of occurrence of A. simoni workers in the pitfall traps at lower and upper elevations was 2% and 3%, respectively. An actualized map showing the current distribution of A. simoni is produced.

  9. Passive fire protection in high density village (case study, Bustaman Semarang)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukawi, Sukawi; Wahyu Firmandhani, Satriya; Hardiman, Gagoek

    2017-12-01

    Fire hazard is the disaster that always has an unpredictable process of coming. When it comes, its level scope and the magnitude of the effects cannot be predicted. Dense settlements especially in big cities, among others Bustaman Kampong Semarang never escape from physical problems such as flooding and wildfire. If both are compared in dense settlements scope, so that, wild fire is the most potentially catastrophic. It is necessary to do a research on passive fire protection in a village of high density city such as Bustaman. Qualitative research was conducted using descriptive method to conduct observations and interviews in the Bustaman. Bustaman as a high density village, with narrow roads and dense rows of houses. The terraced buildings are also encountered, and found many buildings use combustible material. That environmental conditions can facilitate the propagation of flames in case of fire. To improve the established Bustaman's environment, in terms of the application of passive fire protection systems, it is recommended to utilize the road as the dividing buildings. Need to build the separation wall fireproof in every each series in several units of too long buildings and attempted open space procurement that separates rows of buildings that are too long, and also the replacement of combustible material with a material that is more incombustible.

  10. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren kept Y not F: predicted sNPY endogenous ligands deorphanize the short NPF (sNPF receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prati Bajracharya

    Full Text Available Neuropeptides and their receptors play vital roles in controlling the physiology and behavior of animals. Short neuropeptide F (sNPF signaling regulates several physiological processes in insects such as feeding, locomotion, circadian rhythm and reproduction, among others. Previously, the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta sNPF receptor (S. invicta sNPFR, a G protein-coupled receptor, was immunolocalized in queen and worker brain and queen ovaries. Differential distribution patterns of S. invicta sNPFR protein in fire ant worker brain were associated both with worker subcastes and with presence or absence of brood in the colony. However, the cognate ligand for this sNPFR has not been characterized and attempts to deorphanize the receptor with sNPF peptides from other insect species which ended in the canonical sequence LRLRFamide, failed. Receptor deorphanization is an important step to understand the neuropeptide receptor downstream signaling cascade. We cloned the full length cDNA of the putative S. invicta sNPF prepropeptide and identified the putative "sNPF" ligand within its sequence. The peptide ends with an amidated Tyr residue whereas in other insect species sNPFs have an amidated Phe or Trp residue at the C-terminus. We stably expressed the HA-tagged S. invicta sNPFR in CHO-K1 cells. Two S. invicta sNPFs differing at their N-terminus were synthesized that equally activated the sNPFR, SLRSALAAGHLRYa (EC50 = 3.2 nM and SALAAGHLRYa (EC50 = 8.6 nM. Both peptides decreased the intracellular cAMP concentration, indicating signaling through the Gαi-subunit. The receptor was not activated by sNPF peptides from other insect species, honey bee long NPF (NPY or mammalian PYY. Further, a synthesized peptide otherwise identical to the fire ant sequence but in which the C-terminal amidated amino acid residue 'Y' was switched to 'F', failed to activate the sNPFR. This discovery will now allow us to investigate the function of sNPY and

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

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    Thomsen Lene

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated 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 was sigmoidal, with there being an invasion threshold for an infection to occur (an Allee effect. Although spore production was positively density-dependent, parasite fitness decreased with increasing parasite density, indicating within-host scramble competition. The dynamics differed little between the four strains tested. In mixed infections of three strains the infection-growth dynamics were unaffected by parasite heterogeneity. Conclusions The strength of within-host competition makes dispersal the best strategy for the parasite. Parasite heterogeneity may not have effected virulence or the infection dynamics either because the most virulent strain outcompeted the others, or because the interaction involved scramble competition that was impervious to parasite heterogeneity. The dynamics observed may be common for virulent parasites, such as Metarhizium, that produce aggregated transmission stages. Such parasites make useful models for investigating infection dynamics and the impact of parasite competition.

  12. Herbivory by leaf-cutter ants changes the glandular trichomes density and the volatile components in an aromatic plant model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo Marques, Marcia Ortiz; Maria Rodrigues, Tatiane

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Herbivory can induce several structural and functional alterations in the plant secretory system. Glandular trichomes are the main sites of production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with several chemical properties in Lamiaceae species. Ocimum species usually have three morphotypes of glandular trichomes (morphotype I is peltate and has a wide four-celled head; morphotype II is capitate and has a unicellular head; and morphotype III is capitate with a bicellular head) which produce a great amount of terpenes, although other chemical categories of substances are also produced. Despite the abundance of trichomes producing important anti-herbivory components in their leaves, the association between Ocimum species and leaf-cutter ants has been commonly registered in Brazil. We investigated the effect of leaf-cutter ant attack on the density of the glandular trichomes and on the chemistry of the VOCs released from leaves of O. gratissimum. Plants were subjected to Acromyrmex rugosus attack until 90 % of leaves were removed. After 40 days from the leaf-cutter attack, both treatments were sampled. The glandular trichome density was analysed by scanning electron microscopy. The VOCs were extracted utilizing headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) technique and analysed by gas chromatography. Generally, the density of glandular trichomes increased in the adaxial leaf surface of the attacked plants. However, we bring novelties on this topic since we analysed the density of each morphotype separately. The morphotype I decreased in the abaxial leaf surface, and increased in the adaxial leaf surface; the morphotype II increased in both leaf surfaces; and the morphotype III decreased in the abaxial leaf surface and remained constant in the adaxial leaf surface of attacked plants. In leaves of attacked plants, the (Z)-β-ocimene increased by 50 %, the α-selinene by 13 % and the germacrene D by 126 %, whereas the eugenol decreased by 70 %. Our data point to

  13. Induced Effects on Red Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Forager Size Ratios by Pseudacteon spp. (Diptera: Phoridae): Implications on Bait Size Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, J J; Puckett, R T; Gold, R E

    2015-10-01

    Red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, are adversely affected by phorid flies in the genus Pseudacteon by instigating defensive behaviors in their hosts, and in turn reducing the efficiency of S. invicta foraging. Multiple Pseudacteon species have been released in Texas, and research has been focused on the establishment and spread of these introduced biological control agents. Field experiments were conducted to determine bait particle size selection of S. invicta when exposed to phorid populations. Four different particle sizes of two candidate baits were offered to foragers (one provided by a pesticide manufacturer, and a laboratory-created bait). Foragers selectively were attracted to, and removed more 1-1.4-mm particles than any other bait size. The industry-provided bait is primarily made of particles in the 1.4-2.0 mm size, larger than what was selected by the ants in this study. While there was a preference for foragers to be attracted to and rest on the industry-provided blank bait, S. invicta removed more of the laboratory-created bait from the test vials. There was an abundance of workers with head widths ranging from 0.5-0.75 mm collected from baits. This was dissimilar from a previous study wherein phorid flies were not active and in which large workers were collected in higher abundance at the site. This implies that phorid fly activity caused a shift for red imported fire ant colonies to have fewer large foragers. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Effect of Nano bentonite on Fire Retardant Properties of Medium density fiberboard (MDF

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghonche Rassam

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, Fire – Retarding properties of nano-bentonite in medium density of fiberboard (MDF was studied. 10% of urea-formaldehyde resin was used as the adhesive of the matrix. Nano Bentonite at 5 levels (0%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% g/kg based of dry weight of fibers was used with the consumption of Urea-Formuldehyde (UF. Press pressure of 150 bar and temperature of 170during 4, 5, and 6 minutes were applied. Density was kept constant at 0.7 g/cm3 in all treatments. The measured properties consisted of mass reduction, inflammation time, fire-endurance, melting time and the burnt area. The results revealed that Nano-Bentonite had significant effect in approving fire retarding properties in medium density fiber board. The best properties at the level of 10% obtained and the same level recommended for industry use. The use of Nano-Bentonite more than 10% decreased the stickiness and the partly surface of fiberboards.

  15. Implications of stridulation behavior in the red and black imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren and Solenopsis richteri Forel, and their hybrid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquess, Jake

    Stridulation elicits a variety of behavioral responses in the Formicidae: distress, alarm and recruitment of nestmates. The intent of my research is to broaden the understanding of stridulation by investigating the morphology, multiple behaviors in which stridulation has been observed, and the behavioral response to the playback of these stridulatory signals in two closely related species, Solenopsis invicta, S. richteri, and their hybrid. A SEM examination of head width and the stridulatory organs of imported fire ant workers found the number of ridges on the "file" ( pars striden) to be positively correlated with body size. The increase in ridge number in relation to body size suggests that the number of pulses in each pulse train of the stridulation signal should increase as body size increases. Stridulation was not correlated with excavation behavior, but grinding, an incidental sound resulting from soil excavation, is a reliable indicator of excavation behavior. Absence of stridulation upon initial discovery of the food source and low amount of stridulation observed with ten or less ants present at the food source indicates that stridulation does not serve as an initial short range recruitment signal to nearby nestmates. Furthermore, over 90% of the total stridulation observed was recorded with 30 or more ants present at the food source. Finally, the time between calls decreased and the number of stridulations increased as more ants arrived at the food source. Stridulation in dyadic encounters between ants occurs almost exclusively during non-nestmate conspecitic interactions. Restrained ants or "defenders" accounted for 92.9% of the total stridulation observed compared to just 3.4% for "attackers." Restraint between the head and thorax or "neck" evoked the highest level of stridulation in majors. Stridulation during non-nestmate interactions is size specific, as trials involving majors had nearly twice as much stridulation (88.3%), than trials with mediums

  16. Resin duct size and density as ecophysiological traits in fire scars of Pseudotsuga menziesii and Larix occidentalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estelle Arbellay; Markus Stoffel; Elaine K. Sutherland; Kevin T. Smith; Donald A. Falk

    2014-01-01

    Resin ducts (RDs) are features present in most conifer species as defence structures against pests and pathogens; however, little is known about RD expression in trees following fire injury. This study investigates changes in RD size and density in fire scars of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and western larch (Larix occidentalis) as a means to evaluate the...

  17. Effects of overstory stand density and fire on ground layer vegetation in oak woodland and savanna habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    John B. Taft

    2009-01-01

    Vegetation changes underway in oak woodland and savanna communities in the eastern and midwestern United States, primarily a result of reduced fire frequency or fire absence, include increased tree density and shading and loss of species diversity in the ground layer. However, some habitats, particularly on dry-mesic to xeric sites, retain considerable restoration...

  18. Effect of gland extracts on digging and residing preferences of red imported fire ant workers (Hymenoptera: formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    There was evidence that ant-derived chemical stimuli were involved in regulating the digging behavior in Solenopsis invicta Buren. Unfortunately however, the source gland(s) and chemistry of such stimuli have never been revealed. In this study, extracts of mandibular, Dufour, postpharyngeal and po...

  19. Effects of piperidine and piperideine alkaloids from the venom of red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, on Pythium ultimum Trow growth in vitro and the application of piperideine alkaloids to control cucumber..

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pythium ultimum Trow is a plant pathogen that causes significant yield losses on many economically important crops. Chemical seed treatment has been used for disease control. In searching for alternatives, the venom alkaloids from red imported fire ant were tested against P. ultimum in vitro and to ...

  20. Do Mound Disturbance and Bait Placement Affect Bait Removal and Treatment Efficacy in Red Imported Fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae at Different Seasons?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xing P. Hu

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This study provides empirical evidence that disturbing mound immediately before application, as opposed to label recommendation, did not reduce foraging activity of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, except for about 10-min delay in foraging. Despite the delayed foraging, there was no significant difference in the amount of baits foraged between disturbed and undisturbed colonies. Eventually, >96% of the baits were foraged, with the maximum removal occurred by 2 and 3 h, respectively, in summer and spring trial. The fastest and great amount of bait removal 1 h post-treatment occurred to baits placed on mound, followed by 0.18–0.3-m from mound base, and the slowest 1.08–1.2-m from mound base. All treatment gave 100% control 1 mo later, regardless of the season, without colony relocation or new colony invasion in the test plots.

  1. A histochemical and X-ray microanalysis study of calcium changes in insect flight muscle degeneration in Solenopsis, the queen fire ant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, R.G.; Davis, W.L.; Vinson, S.B.

    1982-01-01

    Potassium pyroantimonate histochemistry, coupled with ethyleneglycoltetraacetic acid (EGTA)-chelation and X-ray microprobe analysis, was employed to localize intracellular calcium binding sites in the normal and degenerating flight musculature in queens of Solenopsis, the fire ant. In normal animals, calcium distribution was light to moderate within myofibrils and mitochondria. In the early contracture stages of the insemination-induced degeneration, both myofilament and mitochondrial calcium loading was markedly increased. In the terminal stages of myofibril breakdown, only Z-lines (isolated or in clusters) with an associated filamentous residue persisted. These complexes were also intensely calcium positive. This study further documents the presence of increased sarcoplasmic calcium during muscle necrosis. Surface membrane defects, mitochondrial calcium overload, and calcium-activated proteases may all be involved in this ''normal'' breakdown process

  2. Phorid flies, Pseudacteon spp. (Diptera: Phoridae), affect forager size ratios of red imported fire ants Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Texas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puckett, R T; Harris, M K

    2010-10-01

    Multiple species of Pseudacteon phorid flies (Diptera: Phoridae) are currently being released throughout the southern United States to aid biological control of red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). It is anticipated that these flies will interfere with S. invicta foraging, allowing native ant assemblages to outcompete S. invicta for available resources. Numerous studies have shown a decrease in S. invicta foraging intensity when exposed to phorids. This study documents a behavioral change in phorid-exposed S. invicta colonies at a phorid release site in central Texas. Significant differences in forager size ratios were detected between phorid-exposed and phorid-absent colonies. A similar phenomenon was recently documented in the native range of these insects in South America as well. Experimental manipulation of ratios of S. invicta worker sizes has been shown to have important effects on colony success. This newly documented phorid-mediated S. invicta colony-level effect represents a significant shift in S. invicta foraging dynamics and may provide an additional mechanism by which phorids can influence S. invicta populations in their United States range.

  3. Population density models of integrate-and-fire neurons with jumps: well-posedness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumont, Grégory; Henry, Jacques

    2013-09-01

    In this paper we study the well-posedness of different models of population of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with a population density approach. The synaptic interaction between neurons is modeled by a potential jump at the reception of a spike. We study populations that are self excitatory or self inhibitory. We distinguish the cases where this interaction is instantaneous from the one where there is a repartition of conduction delays. In the case of a bounded density of delays both excitatory and inhibitory population models are shown to be well-posed. But without conduction delay the solution of the model of self excitatory neurons may blow up. We analyze the different behaviours of the model with jumps compared to its diffusion approximation.

  4. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

    for correlations between spot density, ant activity and the likelihood of being detected by an ant. Spots were only found on trees with ants. On ant-trees, spots were distributed throughout the trees but with higher densities in areas with high ant activity and pheromone densities were higher on twigs compared...

  5. Experimental-theoretical approach to carbon monoxide density calculation at the incipient stage of the fire indoors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puzach, S. V.; Suleykin, E. V.; Akperov, R. G.; Nguyen, T. D.

    2017-11-01

    A new experimental-theoretical approach to the toxic gases concentrations assessment in case of fire indoors is offered. The analytical formulas for calculation of CO average volume density are received. These formulas do not contain the geometrical sizes of the room and surfaces dimensions of combustible materials and, therefore, are valid under conditions of as a small-scale fire as a large-scale fire. A small-scale experimental installation for modeling fire thermal and gas dynamics in the closed or open thermodynamic system has been designed. The results of the experiments on determining dependencies of CO average volume density from average volume temperature and oxygen average volume density as well as dependencies of specific coefficients of CO emission and specific mass rates of the combustible material gasification from the time of tests during the burning of wood, transformer oil and PVC cables shield are presented. The results of numerical experiments on CO density calculation in small and large scale rooms using the proposed analytical solutions, integral, zone and field models for calculation of fire thermal and gas dynamics are presented. The comparison with the experimental data obtained by the authors and given in the literature has been performed. It is shown that CO density calculation in the full-scale room at the incipient stage of the fire can be carried out taking into account only the experimental dependences of CO from temperature or O2 density, that have been obtained from small-scale experiments. Therefore the solution of the equation of carbon monoxide mass conservation law is not necessary.

  6. Honey Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

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

  7. The effect of diet and opponent size on aggressive interactions involving caribbean crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine C Horn

    Full Text Available Biotic interactions are often important in the establishment and spread of invasive species. In particular, competition between introduced and native species can strongly influence the distribution and spread of exotic species and in some cases competition among introduced species can be important. The Caribbean crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, was recently introduced to the Gulf Coast of Texas, and appears to be spreading inland. It has been hypothesized that competition with the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, may be an important factor in the spread of crazy ants. We investigated the potential of interspecific competition among these two introduced ants by measuring interspecific aggression between Caribbean crazy ant workers and workers of Solenopsis invicta. Specifically, we examined the effect of body size and diet on individual-level aggressive interactions among crazy ant workers and fire ants. We found that differences in diet did not alter interactions between crazy ant workers from different nests, but carbohydrate level did play an important role in antagonistic interactions with fire ants: crazy ants on low sugar diets were more aggressive and less likely to be killed in aggressive encounters with fire ants. We found that large fire ants engaged in fewer fights with crazy ants than small fire ants, but fire ant size affected neither fire ant nor crazy ant mortality. Overall, crazy ants experienced higher mortality than fire ants after aggressive encounters. Our findings suggest that fire ant workers might outcompete crazy ant workers on an individual level, providing some biotic resistance to crazy ant range expansion. However, this resistance may be overcome by crazy ants that have a restricted sugar intake, which may occur when crazy ants are excluded from resources by fire ants.

  8. The effect of diet and opponent size on aggressive interactions involving caribbean crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Katherine C; Eubanks, Micky D; Siemann, Evan

    2013-01-01

    Biotic interactions are often important in the establishment and spread of invasive species. In particular, competition between introduced and native species can strongly influence the distribution and spread of exotic species and in some cases competition among introduced species can be important. The Caribbean crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, was recently introduced to the Gulf Coast of Texas, and appears to be spreading inland. It has been hypothesized that competition with the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, may be an important factor in the spread of crazy ants. We investigated the potential of interspecific competition among these two introduced ants by measuring interspecific aggression between Caribbean crazy ant workers and workers of Solenopsis invicta. Specifically, we examined the effect of body size and diet on individual-level aggressive interactions among crazy ant workers and fire ants. We found that differences in diet did not alter interactions between crazy ant workers from different nests, but carbohydrate level did play an important role in antagonistic interactions with fire ants: crazy ants on low sugar diets were more aggressive and less likely to be killed in aggressive encounters with fire ants. We found that large fire ants engaged in fewer fights with crazy ants than small fire ants, but fire ant size affected neither fire ant nor crazy ant mortality. Overall, crazy ants experienced higher mortality than fire ants after aggressive encounters. Our findings suggest that fire ant workers might outcompete crazy ant workers on an individual level, providing some biotic resistance to crazy ant range expansion. However, this resistance may be overcome by crazy ants that have a restricted sugar intake, which may occur when crazy ants are excluded from resources by fire ants.

  9. Identification, expression, and immuno-reactivity of Sol i 2 & Sol i 4 venom proteins of queen red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockwood, Stephanie A; Haghipour-Peasley, Jilla; Hoffman, Donald R; Deslippe, Richard J

    2012-10-01

    We report on two low-molecular weight proteins that are stored in the venom of queen red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). Translated amino acid sequences identified one protein to have 74.8% identity with the Sol i 2w worker allergen, and the other protein was found to have 96/97% identity with Sol i 4.01w/4.02w worker allergens. Both Sol i 2 and Sol i 4 queen and worker proteins were expressed using pEXP1-DEST vector in SHuffle™ T7 Express lysY Escherichia coli. Proteins were expressed at significant concentrations, as opposed to the μg/ml amounts by our previous expression methods, enabling further study of these proteins. Sol i 2q protein bound weakly to human IgE, sera pooled from allergic patients, whereas Sol i 2w, Sol i 4.01w, and Sol i 4q proteins bound strongly. Despite Sol i 2w and Sol i 2q proteins having 74.8% identity, the queen protein is less immuno-reactive than the worker allergen. This finding is consistent with allergic individuals being less sensitive to queen than worker venom. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Insecticidal, fumigant, and repellent activities of sweet wormwood oil and its individual components against red imported fire ant workers (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ning; Tang, Liang; Hu, Wei; Wang, Kun; Zhou, You; Li, Hong; Huang, Congling; Chun, Jiong; Zhang, Zhixiang

    2014-01-01

    In total, 29 compounds from sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua L.) oil were identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The five active components were D-camphor, linalool, cineole, α-terpineol, and L(-)-borneol. The effectiveness of A. annua oil, as well as d-camphor, linalool, cineole, α-terpineol, and L(-)-borneol, as fumigants, contact insecticides, and repellents, were tested on the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren. The results indicated that A. annua oil has no significant topical toxicity; however, the spray contact test revealed that it has strong insecticidal activity and the inhibitory effect is stronger during closed exposure than during open exposure. In the fumigant test, cineole and D-camphor exhibited strong fumigant toxicity on minor and major S. invicta workers. They also caused 100% mortality at 5, 3, 2, and 1 mg/centrifuge tube but not at 0.5 mg/centrifuge tube. The mortality rates of linalool, α-terpineol, and L(-)-borneol exceeded 80% at 5, 3, and 2 mg/centrifuge tube. In the repellent test, cineole and d-camphor showed significant repellency at 100, 10, and 1 mg/kg. However, linalool, α-terpineol, and L(-)-borneol significantly facilitated digging at 10 and 1 mg/kg. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  11. The invasive ant, Solenopsis invicta, reduces herpetofauna richness and abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.; Slater, J.; Wiggers, E.

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles are declining globally. One potential cause of this decline includes impacts resulting from co-occurrence with non-native red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Although a growing body of anecdotal and observational evidence from laboratory experiments supports this hypothesis, there remains a lack of field scale manipulations testing the effect of fire ants on reptile and amphibian communities. We addressed this gap by measuring reptile and amphibian (“herpetofauna”) community response to successful fire ant reductions over the course of 2 years following hydramethylnon application to five 100–200 ha plots in southeastern coastal South Carolina. By assessing changes in relative abundance and species richness of herpetofauna in response to fire ant reductions, we were able to assess whether some species were particularly vulnerable to fire ant presence, and whether this sensitivity manifested at the community level. We found that herpetofauna abundance and species richness responded positively to fire ant reductions. Our results document that even moderate populations of red imported fire ants decrease both the abundance and diversity of herpetofauna. Given global herpetofauna population declines and continued spread of fire ants, there is urgency to understand the impacts of fire ants beyond anecdotal and singles species studies. Our results provides the first community level investigation addressing these dynamics, by manipulating fire ant abundance to reveal a response in herpetofauna species abundance and richness.

  12. Gray matter density reduction in the insula in fire survivors with posttraumatic stress disorder: a voxel-based morphometric study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shulin; Xia, Weiwei; Li, Lingjiang; Liu, Jun; He, Zhong; Zhang, Zishu; Yan, Lirong; Zhang, Jinli; Hu, Dewen

    2006-01-30

    Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) is an objective whole-brain technique for characterizing regional cerebral volume and tissue concentration differences in structural magnetic resonance images. In the current study, we used VBM to examine possible cerebral gray matter abnormalities in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to fire. The subjects included 12 victims of a fire disaster with PTSD and 12 matched victims of the same fire without PTSD. Magnetic resonance images were obtained on a 1.5-Tesla General Electric scanner at Central South University, and an entire brain volume of 248 contiguous slices was obtained for each subject. Then, gray matter density in patients with PTSD and control groups was compared by using a VBM approach in SPM2. Group analysis was thresholded at Pfire.

  13. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heinze, J.; Cremer, Sylvia; Eckl, N.

    2006-01-01

    Many invasive ant species, such as the Argentine ant or the red imported fire ant, have huge colonies with thousands of mass-foraging workers, which quickly monopolise resources and therefore represent a considerable threat to the native ant fauna. Cardiocondyla obscurior and several other species...

  14. Differences in sNPF receptor-expressing neurons in brains of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren worker subcastes: indicators for division of labor and nutritional status?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Castillo

    Full Text Available In the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, the neuronal and molecular mechanisms related to worker division of labor are poorly understood. Workers from different subcastes (major, medium and minors perform different tasks, which are loosely associated with their size. We hypothesized that the short neuropeptide F (sNPF signaling system (NPY-like could be involved in mechanisms of worker division of labor and sensing or responding to colony nutritional requirements. Thus, we investigated the expression of the short neuropeptide F receptor (sNPFR in the brain and subesophageal ganglion (SEG of workers from colonies with and without brood. Across worker subcastes a total of 9 clusters of immunoreactive sNPFR cells were localized in the brain and the subesophageal ganglion (SEG; some of these cells were similar to those observed previously in the queen. Worker brain sNPFR cell clusters were found in the protocerebrum near mushroom bodies, in the central complex and in the lateral horn. Other sNPFR immunoreactive cells were found at the edge of the antennal lobes. Across subcastes, we observed both a constant and a differential pattern of sNPFR clusters, with a higher number of sNPFR cells found in minor than in major workers. Those sNPFR cells detected in all worker subcastes appear to be involved in olfaction or SEG functions. The differential expression of clusters in subcastes suggests that sNPFR signaling is involved in regulating behaviors associated with specific subcastes and thus, division of labor. Some sNPFR cells appear to be involved in nutrient sensing and/or brood care, feeding behavior and locomotion. In colonies without brood, workers showed a lower cluster number, and an overall reduced sNPFR signal. Our results suggest the sNPF signaling system is a candidate for the neurobiological control of worker division of labor and sensing brood presence, perhaps correlating with protein requirements and availability.

  15. GP-9s are ubiquitous proteins unlikely involved in olfactory mediation of social organization in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter S Leal

    Full Text Available The red imported fire ant (RIFA, Solenopsis invicta, is an invasive species, accidentally introduced in the United States that can cause painful (sometimes life-threatening stings to human, pets, and livestock. Their colonies have two social forms: monogyne and polygyne that have a single and multiple functional queens, respectively. A major gene (Gp-9, identified as a putative pheromone-binding protein on the basis of a modest amino acid sequence identity, has been suggested to influence the expression of colony social organization. Monogyne queens are reported to possess only the GP-9B alleles, whereas polygyne queens possess both GP-9B and GP-9b. Thus, both social forms are reported to express GP-9B, with GP-9b being a marker expressed in polygynes but it is absent in monogynes. Here, we report two types of polygyne colonies, one that does not express GP-9b (monogyne-like and the other expressing both proteins, GP-9B and GP-9b. Given their expression pattern, GP-9s are hemolymph proteins, which are more likely to be involved in the transport of lipids and small ligands within the homocoel. GP-9B existed in two forms, one of them is phosphorylated. The helical-rich content of the protein resembles the secondary structures of a beetle hemolymph protein and moth pheromone-binding proteins. An olfactory role is unlikely given the lack of specific expression in the sensillar lymph. In marked contrast to GP-9s, a chemosensory protein, SinvCSP, is demonstrated to be specifically expressed in the antennae. Within the antennae, expression of SinvCSP is restricted to the last two segments, which are known to house olfactory sensilla.

  16. Resin duct size and density as ecophysiological traits in fire scars of Pseudotsuga menziesii and Larix occidentalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbellay, Estelle; Stoffel, Markus; Sutherland, Elaine K; Smith, Kevin T; Falk, Donald A

    2014-10-01

    Resin ducts (RDs) are features present in most conifer species as defence structures against pests and pathogens; however, little is known about RD expression in trees following fire injury. This study investigates changes in RD size and density in fire scars of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and western larch (Larix occidentalis) as a means to evaluate the ecophysiological significance of traumatic resinosis for tree defence and survival. Transverse and tangential microsections were prepared for light microscopy and image analysis in order to analyse axial and radial RDs, respectively. Epithelial cells of RDs and fusiform rays associated with radial RDs were also examined. RDs were compared between normal xylem and wound xylem at four different section heights along the fire-injured stem. Following fire injury, P. menziesii axial RDs narrowed by 38-43 % in the first year after injury, and the magnitude of this change increased with stem height. Larix occidentalis axial RDs widened by 46-50 % in the second year after injury. Radial RDs were of equivalent size in P. menziesii, but widened by 162-214 % in L. occidentalis. Fusiform rays were larger following fire injury, by 4-14 % in P. menziesii and by 23-38 % in L. occidentalis. Furthermore, axial RD density increased in both species due to the formation of tangential rows of traumatic RDs, especially in the first and second years after injury. However, radial RD density did not change significantly. These results highlight traumatic resinosis as a species-specific response. Pseudotsuga menziesii produce RDs of equivalent or reduced size, whereas L. occidentalis produce wider RDs in both the axial and radial duct system, thereby increasing resin biosynthesis and accumulation within the whole tree. Larix occidentalis thus appears to allocate more energy to defence than P. menziesii. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For

  17. The metapleural gland of ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-01-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions......-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG...... is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional...

  18. Standard Test Method for Water Absorption, Bulk Density, Apparent Porosity, and Apparent Specific Gravity of Fired Whiteware Products

    CERN Document Server

    American Society for Testing and Materials. Philadelphia

    2006-01-01

    1.1 This test method covers procedures for determining water absorption, bulk density, apparent porosity, and apparent specific gravity of fired unglazed whiteware products. 1.2 This standard may involve hazardous materials, operations, and equipment. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety problems associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

  19. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) in the West Indies: distribution of natural enemies and a possible test bed for release of self-sustaining biocontrol agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sample collections of Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were taken from 20 islands of the West Indies and evaluated for the presence of key pathogens and parasites of this invasive pest ant. We hypothesized that bottleneck events during the introduction of this ant species in the West In...

  20. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (Hymenoptera: formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (anti-x +/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites an

  1. Immunolocalization of the short neuropeptide F receptor in queen brains and ovaries of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Hsiao-Ling; Pietrantonio, Patricia V

    2011-06-14

    Insect neuropeptides are involved in diverse physiological functions and can be released as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators acting within the central nervous system, and as circulating neurohormones in insect hemolymph. The insect short neuropeptide F (sNPF) peptides, related to the vertebrate neuropeptide Y (NPY) peptides, have been implicated in the regulation of food intake and body size, and play a gonadotropic role in the ovaries of some insect species. Recently the sNPF peptides were localized in the brain of larval and adult Drosophila. However, the location of the sNPF receptor, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), has not yet been investigated in brains of any adult insect. To elucidate the sites of action of the sNPF peptide(s), the sNPF receptor tissue expression and cellular localization were analyzed in queens of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera), an invasive social insect. In the queen brains and subesophageal ganglion about 164 cells distributed in distinctive cell clusters (C1-C9 and C12) or as individual cells (C10, C11) were immuno-positive for the sNPF receptor. Most of these neurons are located in or near important sensory neuropils including the mushroom bodies, the antennal lobes, the central complex, and in different parts of the protocerebrum, as well as in the subesophageal ganglion. The localization of the sNPF receptor broadly links the receptor signaling pathway with circuits regulating learning and feeding behaviors. In ovaries from mated queens, the detection of sNPF receptor signal at the posterior end of oocytes in mid-oogenesis stage suggests that the sNPF signaling pathway may regulate processes at the oocyte pole. The analysis of sNPF receptor immunolocalization shows that the sNPF signaling cascade may be involved in diverse functions, and the sNPF peptide(s) may act in the brain as neurotransmitter(s) or neuromodulator(s), and in the ovaries as neurohormone(s). To our knowledge, this is the

  2. Immunolocalization of the short neuropeptide F receptor in queen brains and ovaries of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietrantonio Patricia V

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Insect neuropeptides are involved in diverse physiological functions and can be released as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators acting within the central nervous system, and as circulating neurohormones in insect hemolymph. The insect short neuropeptide F (sNPF peptides, related to the vertebrate neuropeptide Y (NPY peptides, have been implicated in the regulation of food intake and body size, and play a gonadotropic role in the ovaries of some insect species. Recently the sNPF peptides were localized in the brain of larval and adult Drosophila. However, the location of the sNPF receptor, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR, has not yet been investigated in brains of any adult insect. To elucidate the sites of action of the sNPF peptide(s, the sNPF receptor tissue expression and cellular localization were analyzed in queens of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera, an invasive social insect. Results In the queen brains and subesophageal ganglion about 164 cells distributed in distinctive cell clusters (C1-C9 and C12 or as individual cells (C10, C11 were immuno-positive for the sNPF receptor. Most of these neurons are located in or near important sensory neuropils including the mushroom bodies, the antennal lobes, the central complex, and in different parts of the protocerebrum, as well as in the subesophageal ganglion. The localization of the sNPF receptor broadly links the receptor signaling pathway with circuits regulating learning and feeding behaviors. In ovaries from mated queens, the detection of sNPF receptor signal at the posterior end of oocytes in mid-oogenesis stage suggests that the sNPF signaling pathway may regulate processes at the oocyte pole. Conclusions The analysis of sNPF receptor immunolocalization shows that the sNPF signaling cascade may be involved in diverse functions, and the sNPF peptide(s may act in the brain as neurotransmitter(s or neuromodulator(s, and in the ovaries

  3. Estimating canopy bulk density and canopy base height for conifer stands in the interior Western United States using the Forest Vegetation Simulator Fire and Fuels Extension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seth Ex; Frederick Smith; Tara Keyser; Stephanie Rebain

    2017-01-01

    The Forest Vegetation Simulator Fire and Fuels Extension (FFE-FVS) is often used to estimate canopy bulk density (CBD) and canopy base height (CBH), which are key indicators of crown fire hazard for conifer stands in the Western United States. Estimated CBD from FFE-FVS is calculated as the maximum 4 m running mean bulk density of predefined 0.3 m thick canopy layers (...

  4. 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...

  5. Targeted Removal of Ant Colonies in Ecological Experiments, Using Hot Water

    OpenAIRE

    Tschinkel, Walter R.; King, Joshua R.

    2007-01-01

    Ecological experiments on fire ants cannot, or should not, use poison baits to eliminate the fire ants because such baits are not specific to fire ants, or even to ants. Hot water is an extremely effective and specific killing agent for fire ant colonies, but producing large amounts of hot water in the field, and making the production apparatus mobile have been problematical. The construction and use of a charcoal-fired kiln made from a 55-gal. oil drum lined with a sand-fireclay mixture is d...

  6. 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

    was sigmoidal, with there being an invasion threshold for an infection to occur (an Allee effect). Although spore production was positively density-dependent, parasite fitness decreased with increasing parasite density, indicating within-host scramble competition. The dynamics differed little between the four......BACKGROUND:Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated...... strains tested. In mixed infections of three strains the infection-growth dynamics were unaffected by parasite heterogeneity.CONCLUSIONS:The strength of within-host competition makes dispersal the best strategy for the parasite. Parasite heterogeneity may not have effected virulence or the infection...

  7. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2017-01-01

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

  8. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

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

  9. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (hymenoptera:formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (x +/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites and 0.028 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on a burned site. Seventy-five percent of the nest entrances were located alongside the stems of sagebrush, indicating a preference for these microhabitats as nest locations. Above-ground activity times were determined by using time lapse photography. Activity commenced shortly after sunset, when light intensities dropped to 2.5 to 1.0 foot-candles (ca. 27 to 11 lux) and terminated just before sunrise. Light intensity appears to be the primary cue for controlling above-ground activity periods of this species, but temperature also appears to be an important factor. When soil surface temperatures drop to 1.7 to 3.9/sup 0/C, all above-ground activity ceases, irrespective of light intensity. 19 references, 3 figures, 2 tables.

  10. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (anti x=/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites and 0.028 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on a burned site. Seventy-five percent of the nest entrances were located alongside the stems of sagebrush, indicating a preference for these microhabitats as nest locations. Above-ground activity times were determined by using time lapse photography. Activity commenced shortly after sunset, when light intensities dropped to 2.5 to 1.0 foot-candles (ca. 27 to 11 lux) and terminated just before sunrise. Light intensity appears to be the primary cue for controlling above-ground activity periods of this species, but temperature also appears to be an important factor. When soil surface temperatures drop to 1.7 to 3.9/sup 0/C, all above-ground activity ceases, irrespective of light intensity.

  11. Confirmation of the genome position and mass of the viral protien, VP3, of Solenopsis Invicta Virus 1 (Picornavirales: Dicistroviridae) infecting the Red Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    A predicted peptide sequence corresponding to the capsid protein VP3 of SINV-1 was used to prepare a polyclonal antibody preparation and probe SDS-PAGE separated proteins from SINV-1 particles and S. invicta ants. The SINV-1 VP3 antibody preparation recognized a 24 kDa protein from denatured SINV-1...

  12. A 15-year post evaluation of the fire effects on ant community in an area of Amazonian forest Uma avaliação após 15 anos do efeito do fogo sobre a comunidade de formiga em uma área de floresta amazônica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean C. Santos

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Fire represents an important disturbance to ant communities in areas of fire regime. Otherwise, little is known about the effects of fire on ant communities in areas of non-fire regimes, such as in the Amazonian region. We evaluated the long-term effect of fire on ant species richness in a rain forest (Bacaba Plateau burned 15-years ago and compare our data with the data of primary unburned forest. A total of 85 ant species distributed in 21 genera and 14 tribes were collected; among them, 72 and 44 species were found on the litter and vegetation, respectively. The fire damaged forest studied supports an intermediate richness of ants when compared to a primary unburned rain forest in the same region. A comparative analysis of ant species richness showed that the Bacaba Plateau presented a different ant fauna when compared with the primary unburned forests, suggesting that fire can alter ant species composition. Although, our results cannot be conclusive on the effects of fire on ant community, they represent a pioneer data on human induced fire in tropical rain forests.O fogo representa uma importante perturbação para a comunidade de formigas em áreas de regime de fogo. No entanto, pouco se conhece sobre os efeitos do fogo na comunidade de formiga em áreas de não-regime, tal como a região da Amazônia. Nós analisamos o efeito de longo prazo do fogo sobre a riqueza de formiga numa floresta tropical queimada 15 anos atrás e comparamos nossos dados, com os de uma floresta primária não-queimada. Foram coletadas um total de 85 espécies de formigas distribuídas em 21 gêneros e 14 tribos, dentre eles 72 e 44 espécies foram encontradas na liteira e vegetação, respectivamente. Esta área de floresta queimada, com 85 espécies, pode suportar uma riqueza intermédia de formigas quando comparadas com uma floresta tropical primária não-queimada, com 29, 22 e 98 espécies na mesma região. Uma análise comparativa da riqueza de espécies de

  13. Synergistic effects of fire and elephants on arboreal animals in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    Disturbance is a crucial determinant of animal abundance, distribution and community structure in many ecosystems, but the ways in which multiple disturbance types interact remain poorly understood. The effects of multiple-disturbance interactions can be additive, subadditive or super-additive (synergistic). Synergistic effects in particular can accelerate ecological change; thus, characterizing such synergies, the conditions under which they arise, and how long they persist has been identified as a major goal of ecology. We factorially manipulated two principal sources of disturbance in African savannas, fire and elephants, and measured their independent and interactive effects on the numerically dominant vertebrate (the arboreal gekkonid lizard Lygodactylus keniensis) and invertebrate (a guild of symbiotic Acacia ants) animal species in a semi-arid Kenyan savanna. Elephant exclusion alone (minus fire) had negligible effects on gecko density. Fire alone (minus elephants) had negligible effects on gecko density after 4 months, but increased gecko density twofold after 16 months, likely because the decay of fire-damaged woody biomass created refuges and nest sites for geckos. In the presence of elephants, fire increased gecko density nearly threefold within 4 months of the experimental burn; this occurred because fire increased the incidence of elephant damage to trees, which in turn improved microhabitat quality for geckos. However, this synergistic positive effect of fire and elephants attenuated over the ensuing year, such that only the main effect of fire was evident after 16 months. Fire also altered the structure of symbiotic plant-ant assemblages occupying the dominant tree species (Acacia drepanolobium); this influenced gecko habitat selection but did not explain the synergistic effect of fire and elephants. However, fire-driven shifts in plant-ant occupancy may have indirectly mediated this effect by increasing trees' susceptibility to elephant damage. Our

  14. Housing Density and Ecosystem Function: Comparing the Impacts of Rural, Exurban, and Suburban Densities on Fire Hazard, Water Availability, and House and Road Distance Effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jelena Vukomanovic

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Many amenity-rich regions are experiencing rapid land-use change through low-density residential development or exurbanization. Those same natural-resource amenities that attracted migration are often degraded by housing growth and associated development. This study examines the impacts of exurbanization on three ecosystem indicators (fire hazard, water availability, and generalized distance effects of houses and roads and compares them to areas with rural and suburban housing densities in the Sonoita Plain, southeastern Arizona. We found that although they support significantly lower population densities, exurban areas have impacts on ecosystem function comparable to suburban areas. Exurban areas had the highest potential for fire, suggesting that it is the presence of people rather than the density that increases fire hazard. The increase in the number of wells in exurban areas far exceeded suburban areas and matched increases for agricultural use in rural areas. When the impacts of houses and roads on ecosystem function were considered, 98% of exurban areas were “highly” or “very highly” impacted, compared to 100% for suburban areas and 35% for rural areas. Since development in the area is not readily visible, assessing the spatial extent of impacts is important for understanding the vulnerability of systems and guiding decisions about development.

  15. An investigation of crown fuel bulk density effects on the dynamics of crown fire initiation in shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watcharapong Tachajapong; Jesse Lozano; Shankar Mahalingam; Xiangyang Zhou; David R. Weise

    2008-01-01

    Crown fire initiation is studied by using a simple experimental and detailed physical modeling based on Large Eddy Simulation (LES). Experiments conducted thus far reveal that crown fuel ignition via surface fire occurs when the crown base is within the continuous flame region and does not occur when the crown base is located in the hot plume gas region of the surface...

  16. Ant nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

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

  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. Unadapted behaviour of native, dominant ant species during the colonization of an aggressive, invasive ant

    OpenAIRE

    Le Breton, Julien; Orivel, J.; Chazeau, Jean; Dejean, A.

    2007-01-01

    Among the factors driving the invasive success of non-indigenous species, the "escape opportunity" or "enemy release" hypothesis argues that an invader's success may result partly from less resistance from the new competitors found in its introduced range. In this study, we examined competitive interactions between the little fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) and ant species of the genus Pheidole in places where both are native (French Guiana) and in places where only species of Pheidol...

  19. The use of weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) in tropical agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Canopy dwelling weaver ants are widely distributed throughout the Old World Tropics where they build up high densities on their host trees. If managed properly the high number of ants will control a range of pest insects and benefit crop production. Simultaneously the ant larvae production, fuelled...... by the consumed pest insects, can be harvested and utilised for nutrition as they are tasty and high in proteins, vitamins and minerals. Thus, plantations may function as ant farms and in addition to plant production also hosts the production of edible animal protein. In this setup harmful pest insects are turned...... farming as a way forward to solve an increasing future demand for protein. Weaver ant farming may build on natural food collected by the ants or alternatively be boosted by feeding the ant colonies actively with protein and sugar. In both cases, when ant biocontrol is combined with ant farming...

  20. Congestion and communication in confined ant traffic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravish, Nick; Gold, Gregory; Zangwill, Andrew; Goodisman, Michael A. D.; Goldman, Daniel I.

    2014-03-01

    Many social animals move and communicate within confined spaces. In subterranean fire ants Solenopsis invicta, mobility within crowded nest tunnels is important for resource and information transport. Within confined tunnels, communication and traffic flow are at odds: trafficking ants communicate through tactile interactions while stopped, yet ants that stop to communicate impose physical obstacles on the traffic. We monitor the bi-directional flow of fire ant workers in laboratory tunnels of varied diameter D. The persistence time of communicating ant aggregations, τ, increases approximately linearly with the number of participating ants, n. The sensitivity of traffic flow increases as D decreases and diverges at a minimum diameter, Dc. A cellular automata model incorporating minimal traffic features--excluded volume and communication duration--reproduces features of the experiment. From the model we identify a competition between information transfer and the need to maintain jam-free traffic flow. We show that by balancing information transfer and traffic flow demands, an optimum group strategy exists which maximizes information throughput. We acknowledge funding from NSF PoLS #0957659 and #PHY-1205878.

  1. Dynamic Network Formation Using Ant Colony Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-03-01

    Problem (DVRP) ............................................ 36 2.7.2 Dynamic Traveling Salesman Problem (DTSP) ....................................... 41...47 2.8.3 Distributed Traveling Salesman Problem ................................................. 48 2.8.4 FIRE Ant...uses the fixed cost of the network in its calculation and commodities are not included in the problem formulation . Using a probabilistic undirected

  2. Efecto de los cortafuegos sobre el ensamble de hormigas (Hymenoptera, Formicidae en una región semiárida, Argentina Effects of firebreaks on ant density (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in a semiarid region, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Rodrigo Tizón

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available En las regiones áridas y semiáridas los bordes de los caminos o cortafuegos pueden afectar variables micro-climáticas las cuales, a su vez, alteran la abundancia de las hormigas que nidifican en el suelo. Se estudió la densidad de nidos en ambientes con diferentes características edáficas (suelos sueltos y compactados, y de cobertura de vegetación (monte cerrado, pastizal y suelo desnudo. El área de estudio se encuentra en el sur del Caldenal (sudeste de La Pampa, tiene 12 ha clausuradas al pastoreo con seis unidades experimentales en cada una de las cuales se seleccionaron tres sitios con cobertura leñosa (monte, con cobertura herbácea (pastizal y con el 80% de suelo desnudo (cortafuegos. En cada sitio se registraron la temperatura superficial, y la humedad, el pH, y el grado de compactación del suelo. La densidad de nidos se evaluó colocando tres transectas (80 m x 5 m al azar por cada unidad experimental. La temperatura del suelo fue mayor en los cortafuegos y la compactación del suelo fue mayor en los ambientes de monte y pastizal. El ensamble de hormigas estudiado no mostró diferencias (p>0,05 de nidificación entre los ambientes. En cambio, Acromyrmex striatus (Roger, 1863 se encontró principalmente en los cortafuegos donde los suelos sueltos con mayor porosidad permiten mayor intercambio gaseoso e infiltración de agua. La construcción de cortafuegos favorece el establecimiento de especies cortadoras de hojas que por ventajas competitivas podrían afectar negativamente la composición de la comunidad de hormigas y las comunidades vegetales.In arid and semiarid regions, the presence of roads or firebreaks can affect microclimatic variables that influence the abundance of soil nesting ants. We studied ant nest density in environments with different soil types (loose and compacted soil, and vegetation cover (shrubland, grassland and bare soil south of Caldenal, La Pampa, Argentina. We selected three areas with woody cover

  3. Influências de Atta spp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae na recuperação da vegetação pós-fogo em floresta de transição amazônica Influences of leafcutter ant Atta spp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae on vegetation recovery after fire in Amazonian transitional forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine Santana Carvalho

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Este estudo investigou o papel das saúvas na recuperação da vegetação pós-fogo. Foi hipotetizado que a perturbação do fogo aumenta a abundância de ninhos de saúva (1 e as atividades de remoção de sementes (2 e desfolha (3, especialmente no ambiente de borda. Os ninhos de saúva foram inventariados e mapeados e após 17 meses, checados para o registro de sua atividade e de novas colônias emergindo na área. Realizou-se experimentos comparativos de remoção de sementes e desfolha de plântulas em duas parcelas de 50 ha, uma submetida a fogo anual (tratamento e outra sem fogo (controle. A abundância de ninhos de saúva foi maior na parcela tratamento que na parcela controle, especialmente na borda da floresta. As espécies encontradas foram: Atta cephalotes, A. laevigata e A. sexdens , sendo esta última a espécie mais abundante e que mostrou aumento em número de colônias ativas após 17 meses. O aumento na abundância de ninhos na parcela tratamento foi acompanhado por um aumento na atividade dessas formigas. Enquanto mais de duas folhas foram arrancadas por plântula nessa parcela, menos de uma foi registrada na parcela controle. Também a abundância média de galhos desfolhados e de sementes removidas por saúvas foi maior na parcela tratamento que na parcela controle. As saúvas tanto podem diminuir ou retardar o processo de regeneração florestal pós-fogo, quanto acelerá-lo, devido à elevada predação seletiva que favorece as espécies menos palatáveis. Desta forma, suas atividades podem modificador apenas a composição da vegetação recuperando-se do fogo.In this study we investigated the role of leaf-cutting ants in the post-fire vegetation recovery. We hypothesized that a forest plot submitted to annual fire presents: (1 higher abundance of leaf-cutting ant nests; (2 higher removal of seeds; and (3 higher herbivory rates of leaf-cutting ants, when compared to the forest plots without fire (control. The leaf

  4. Field suppression of the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a tropical fruit orchard in Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Evann; Follett, Peter A; Price, Don K; Stacy, Elizabeth A

    2008-08-01

    The little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is an invasive ant that forms supercolonies when it successfully invades new areas. W. auropunctata was first reported in Hawaii in 1999, and it has since invaded a variety of agricultural sites, including nurseries, orchards, and pastures. Amdro (hydramethylnon; in bait stations), Esteem (pyriproxyfen; broadcast bait), and Conserve (spinosad; ground spray) were tested for their efficacy against W. auropunctata in a rambutan, Nephelium lappaceum L. and mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana L., orchard by making treatments every 2 wk for 16 wk. Relative estimates of ant numbers in plots was determined by transect sampling using peanut butter-baited sticks. Significant treatment effects were observed on weeks 13-17, with reductions in ant counts occurring in the Amdro and Esteem treatments. During this period, the reduction in ant numbers from pretreatment counts averaged 47.1 and 92.5% in the Amdro and Esteem plots, respectively, whereas ant numbers in the untreated control plots increased by 185.9% compared with pretreatment counts. Conserve did not cause a reduction in ant counts as applied in our experiment. No plots for any of the treatments achieved 100% reduction. Pseudococcidae were counted on branch terminals at 4-wk intervals. The two predominant species, Nipaecoccus nipae (Maskell) and Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) were significantly lower in the Amdro and Esteem treatments on week 16 compared with controls. Many W. auropunctata were found nesting in protected sites in the orchard trees, which may have compromised the ground-based control methods. Absolute density estimates from shallow core samples taken from the orchard floor indicated the W. auropunctata supercolony exceeded 244 million ants and 22.7 kg wet weight per ha.

  5. Macroinvertebrates in North American tallgrass prairie soils: effects of fire, mowing, and fertilization on density and biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.A. Callaham; J.M. Blair; T.C. Todd; D.J. Kitchen; M.R. Whiles

    2003-01-01

    The responses of tallgrass prairie plant communities and ecosystem processes to fire and grazing are well characterized. However, responses of invertebrate consumer groups. and particularly soil-dwelling organisms, to these disturbances are not well known. At Konza Prairie Biological Station. we sampled soil macroinvertebrates in 1994 and 1999 as part of a long-term...

  6. 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.

  7. Investigation of variable density flow motions between two compartments connected with an open door: application to fire smoke propagation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lucchesi, Caroline

    2009-01-01

    The thesis deals with fire smoke propagation phenomena for typical nuclear facility scenario: two rooms connected with an open door. The objective is to study propagation phenomena in the final goal of improving the knowledge for safety and proposing data base for code validation. The methodology is based on the combination of three experimental approaches: reduced scale isothermal approach using air / helium gas mixture, reduced scale thermal approach using combustion of small cup of hydrocarbon and large scale approach with fire tests. The study focuses on filling process in the 'source' room, the flow at the doorway and the spill plume in the target room. The filling process investigation shows the influence of enrolments on air entrainment and the effect of thermal losses on the stratification. A coarse description of the flow at the doorway is proposed. The behaviour of the spill plume points out two regimes of spilling, the trajectory characteristics and the location of the impact at the ceiling. Several topics are investigated: the location of high temperature regions, the effect of mechanical ventilation, the effect of the dimension of the doorway, the trajectory of the spill plume, the effect of the convection heat flow. In addition, visualisations of smoke flow at large scale with laser techniques have been performed. (author)

  8. Effect of Mediterranean ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on California red scale (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) populations in citrus orchards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekas, A; Tena, A; Aguilar, A; Garcia-Marí, F

    2010-06-01

    We conducted an ant-exclusion experiment in a citrus orchard to evaluate the overall impact of three ant species native in the Mediterranean, Pheidole pallidula (Nylander), Plagiolepis schmitzii Forel, and Lasius grandis (Forel), on populations of Aonidiella aurantii Maskell (California red scale). The ant-exclusion was carried out in four experimental plots from March 2007 to November 2008. Another subset of four plots, adjacent to the ant-excluded plots, was used as control. We measured scale densities and percent parasitism on fruits at harvest in 2007 and 2008. Additionally, we sampled the seasonal trend of the scale on twigs and fruits in both treatments during 2008. California red scale densities in the ant-excluded treatment began to be significantly lower than in the ant-allowed control in May (1 mo after ant activity began), and this difference increased until November. Thus, the effect of the ants on California red scale density seems to be accumulative. At harvest, scale densities on fruits were significantly lower in the ant-excluded treatment. However, percent parasitism on fruits was similar between treatments. Finally, scale densities on the fruits of the ant-allowed plots were positively correlated with the number of ants that climbed to the citrus canopy. These results suggest that increases of scale densities induced by Mediterranean ants depend on the intensity of the ant-activity on citrus canopies.

  9. 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.

  10. Size matters: nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Soto, Estelí; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

    Understanding the drivers of ant diversity and co-occurrence in agroecosystems is fundamental because ants participate in interactions that influence agroecosystem processes. Multiple local and regional factors influence ant community assembly.We examined local factors that influence the structure of a twig-nesting ant community in a coffee system in Mexico using an experimental approach. We investigated whether twig characteristics (nest entrance size and diversity of nest entrance sizes) and nest strata (canopy shade tree or coffee shrub) affected occupation, species richness, and community composition of twig-nesting ants and whether frequency of occupation of ant species varied with particular nest entrance sizes or strata.We conducted our study in a shaded coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico, between March and June 2012. We studied ant nest colonization by placing artificial nests (bamboo twigs) on coffee shrubs and shade trees either in diverse or uniform treatments. We also examined whether differences in vegetation (no. of trees, canopy cover and coffee density) influenced nest colonization.We found 33 ant species occupying 73% of nests placed. Nest colonization did not differ with nest strata or size. Mean species richness of colonizing ants was significantly higher in the diverse nest size entrance treatment, but did not differ with nest strata. Community composition differed between strata and also between the diverse and uniform size treatments on coffee shrubs, but not on shade trees. Some individual ant species were more frequently found in certain nest strata and in nests with certain entrance sizes.Our results indicate that twig-nesting ants are nest-site limited, quickly occupy artificial nests of many sizes, and that trees or shrubs with twigs of a diversity of entrance sizes likely support higher ant species richness. Further, individual ant species more frequently occupy nests with different sized entrances promoting ant richness on individual coffee

  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. Fire History

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — The Fire Perimeters data consists of CDF fires 300 acres and greater in size and USFS fires 10 acres and greater throughout California from 1950 to 2002. Some fires...

  13. Fire Perimeters

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — The Fire Perimeters data consists of CDF fires 300 acres and greater in size and USFS fires 10 acres and greater throughout California from 1950 to 2003. Some fires...

  14. Fire Perimeters

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Fire Perimeters data consists of CDF fires 300 acres and greater in size and USFS fires 10 acres and greater throughout California from 1950 to 2003. Some fires...

  15. Fire History

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Fire Perimeters data consists of CDF fires 300 acres and greater in size and USFS fires 10 acres and greater throughout California from 1950 to 2002. Some fires...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Intrapopulation differences in ant eating in the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganas, Jessica; Robbins, Martha M

    2004-10-01

    Variability in ant eating has been observed in several populations of eastern and western gorillas. We investigated the occurrence of ant (Dorylus sp.) eating in two groups of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) with overlapping home ranges within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda from September 2001 to August 2002. We calculated the frequency of ant eating by an indirect method of analyzing fecal samples from silverbacks, adult females, and juveniles. One group consumed ants significantly more often than the other (3.3 vs 17.6% of days sampled). Furthermore, the group that consumed ants more often also consumed them on a seasonal basis (September-February monthly range: 0-8%; March-August monthly range: 30-42.9%). Finally, females and juveniles of this group consumed ants significantly more often than did the silverback (total samples containing ants: silverback, 2.1%; adult female, 13.2%; juvenile, 11.2%). Differences in ant eating between groups are likely due to variability in use of habitats where ants occur (particularly secondary forests). Surveys of ant densities in differing habitats, nutritional analysis of ants, and quantification of the amount of ants in their diets are necessary to understand if ant consumption is due to availability, nutritional value, group traditions, or taste preference.

  18. Widespread Chemical Detoxification of Alkaloid Venom by Formicine Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBrun, Edward G; Diebold, Peter J; Orr, Matthew R; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2015-10-01

    The ability to detoxify defensive compounds of competitors provides key ecological advantages that can influence community-level processes. Although common in plants and bacteria, this type of detoxification interaction is extremely rare in animals. Here, using laboratory behavioral assays and analyses of videotaped interactions in South America, we report widespread venom detoxification among ants in the subfamily Formicinae. Across both data sets, nine formicine species, representing all major clades, used a stereotyped grooming behavior to self-apply formic acid (acidopore grooming) in response to fire ant (Solenopsis invicta and S. saevissima) venom exposure. In laboratory assays, this behavior increased the survivorship of species following exposure to S. invicta venom. Species expressed the behavior when exposed to additional alkaloid venoms, including both compositionally similar piperidine venom of an additional fire ant species and the pyrrolidine/pyrroline alkaloid venom of a Monomorium species. In addition, species expressed the behavior following exposure to the uncharacterized venom of a Crematogaster species. However, species did not express acidopore grooming when confronted with protein-based ant venoms or when exposed to monoterpenoid-based venom. This pattern, combined with the specific chemistry of the reaction of formic acid with venom alkaloids, indicates that alkaloid venoms are targets of detoxification grooming. Solenopsis thief ants, and Monomorium species stand out as brood-predators of formicine ants that produce piperidine, pyrrolidine, and pyrroline venom, providing an important ecological context for the use of detoxification behavior. Detoxification behavior also represents a mechanism that can influence the order of assemblage dominance hierarchies surrounding food competition. Thus, this behavior likely influences ant-assemblages through a variety of ecological pathways.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Man-Yeon eChoi

    2012-02-01

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

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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

  3. Impact of African weaver ant nests [Oecophylla longinoda Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)] on Mango [Mangifera indica L. (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae)] leaves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Anato, Florence; Sinzogan, Antonio; Adandonon, Appolinaire

    2015-01-01

    Oecophylla ants are appreciated for their control of pests in plantation crops. However, the ants´ nest building may have negative impacts on trees. In this study we tested the effect of ant densities and nest building on the leaf performance of mango trees. Trees were divided into three groups......: trees without ants, trees with low and trees with high ant densities. Subsequently, the total number of leaves, the proportion of leaves used for nest construction, and tree growth was compared between these groups. The percentage of leaves used for nests was between 0.42-1.2 % (mean = 0.......7%±0.02) and the total number of leaves and tree growth was not significantly different between trees with and without ants. Further, leaf performance was compared between shoots with and without ant nests and between leaves in or outside ant nests. The number of leaves and lost leaves per shoot, leaf size, leaf...

  4. Fire protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Janetzky, E.

    1980-01-01

    Safety and fire prevention measurements have to be treated like the activities developing, planning, construction and erection. Therefore it is necessary that these measurements have to be integrated into the activities mentioned above at an early stage in order to guarantee their effectiveness. With regard to fire accidents the statistics of the insurance companies concerned show that the damage caused increased in the last years mainly due to high concentration of material. Organization of fire prevention and fire fighting, reasons of fire break out, characteristics and behaviour of fire, smoke and fire detection, smoke and heat venting, fire extinguishers (portable and stationary), construction material in presence of fire, respiratory protection etc. will be discussed. (orig./RW)

  5. Probabilistic approach to damage of tunnel lining due to fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šejnoha, Jiří; Sýkora, Jan; Novotná, Eva; Šejnoha, Michal

    2017-09-01

    In this paper, risk is perceived as the probable damage caused by a fire in the tunnel lining. In its first part the traffic flow is described as a Markov chain of joint states consisting of a combination of trucks/buses (TB) and personal cars (PC) from adjoining lanes. The heat release rate is then taken for a measure of the fire power. The intensity λf reflecting the frequency of fires was assessed based on extensive studies carried out in Austria [1] and Italy [2, 3]. The traffic density AADT, the length of the tunnel L, the percentage of TBs, and the number of lanes are the remaining parameters characterizing the traffic flow. In the second part, a special combination of models originally proposed by Bažant and Thonguthai [4], and Künzel & Kiessl [5] for the description of transport processes in concrete at very high temperatures creates a basis for the prediction of the thickness of the spalling zone and the volume of concrete degraded by temperatures that exceed a certain temperature level. The model was validated against a macroscopic test on concrete samples placed into the furnace.

  6. Fire investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomberg, A.

    There was considerable progress made on several fronts of fire investigation in the United States in recent years. Progress was made in increasing the quantity of fire investigation and reporting, through efforts to develop the National Fire Incident Reporting System. Improving overall quality of fire investigation is the objective of efforts such as the Fire Investigation Handbook, which was developed and published by the National Bureau of Standards, and the upgrading and expanding of the ""dictionary'' of fire investigation and reporting, the NFPA 901, Uniform Coding for Fire Protection, system. The science of fire investigation as furthered also by new approaches to post fire interviews being developed at the University of Washington, and by in-depth research into factors involved in several large loss fires, including the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Finally, the use of special study fire investigations - in-depth investigations concentrating on specific fire problems - is producing new glimpses into the nature of the national fire problem. A brief description of the status of efforts in each of these areas is discussed.

  7. Ante la ley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kafka Franz

    1999-12-01

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

  8. Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pless, Evlyn; Queirolo, Jovel; Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Crow, Sam; Allen, Kelsey; Mathur, Maya B; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-01-01

    Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

  9. Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evlyn Pless

    Full Text Available Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

  10. Fire Stations

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — Fire Stations in the United States Any location where fire fighters are stationed or based out of, or where equipment that such personnel use in carrying out their...

  11. The role of ant-tended extrafloral nectaries in the protection and benefit of a Neotropical rainforest tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Fuente, Marie Ann S; Marquis, Robert J

    1999-02-01

    One possible function of extrafloral nectaries is to attract insects, particularly ants, which defend plants from herbivores. We determined whether ants visiting saplings of the tree Stryphnodendronmicrostachyum (Leguminosae) provide protection (decreased plant damage due to ant molestation or killing of herbivores) and benefit (increased plant growth and reproduction associated with ant presence) to the plant. We compared ant and herbivore abundance, herbivore damage and growth of ant-visited plants and ant-excluded plants grown in sun and shade microhabitats of a 6-ha plantation in Costa Rica over a 7-month period. Results show that ants provided protection to plants not by reducing herbivore numbers but by molesting herbivores. Ants also reduced the incidence of pathogen attack on leaves. Protection was greater in the shade than in the sun, probably due to lower herbivore attack in the sun. Protection was also variable within sun and shade habitats, and this variability appeared to be related to variable ant visitation. Results also indicate that ant presence benefits the plant: ant-visited plants grew significantly more in height than ant-excluded plants. The cultivation of ants may serve as an important natural biological control in tropical forestry and agroforestry systems, where increased plant density can otherwise lead to increased herbivore attack.

  12. Specializations of birds that attend army ant raids: an ecological approach to cognitive and behavioral studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Sean; Logan, Corina J; Clayton, Nicola S

    2012-11-01

    Tropical birds forage at army ant raids on several continents. Obligate foraging at army ant raids evolved several times in the Neotropical true antbird family (Thamnophilidae), and recent evidence suggests a diversity of bird species from other families specialize to varying degrees on army ant exploitation. Army ant raids offer access to high prey densities, but the ant colonies are mobile and widely spaced. Successful army ant exploitation requires solving a complex foraging problem because army ant raids are unpredictable in space and time. Birds can counteract the challenges posed by the ants by using strategies that raise their chances of detecting army ant raids, and birds can use additional strategies to track army ant colonies they have located. Some features of army ant biology, such as their conspicuous swarms and columns, above-ground activity, and regular cycles of behavior, provide opportunities for birds to increase their effectiveness at exploiting raids. Changes in sensory, cognitive and behavioral systems may all contribute to specialized army ant exploitation in a bird population. The combination of specializations that are employed may vary independently among bird species and populations. The degree of army ant exploitation by birds varies geographically with latitude and elevation, and with historical patterns such as centers of distribution of obligate thamnophilid antbirds. We predict the set of specializations a given bird population exhibits will depend on local ecology, as well as phylogenetic history. Comparative approaches that focus on these patterns may indicate ecological and evolutionary factors that have shaped the costs and benefits of this foraging strategy. The development of army ant exploitation in individual birds is poorly understood, and individual expression of these specializations may depend on a combination of genetic adaptation with cognitive plasticity, possibly including social and experiential learning. Future

  13. US Fire Administration Fire Statistics

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — The U.S. Fire Administration collects data from a variety of sources to provide information and analyses on the status and scope of the fire problem in the United...

  14. Assembly Ants Tropical Dry Forest, Cali Botanical Garden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Cristina Gallego Ropero

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Consequences of forest clear-cuts for native and nonindigenous ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettler, J.A.; Taylor, M.D.; Allen, Craig R.; Spira, T.P.

    2004-01-01

    Currently, the southern United States produces more timber than any other region in the world. Entire timber stands are removed through a harvesting method called clear-cutting. This common forestry practice may lead to the replacement of native ant communities with invasive, nonindigenous species. In four deciduous forest sites in South Carolina, we monitored the change in ant species richness, diversity, and abundance immediately after forest clearing for a period of 15 mo to 2 yr and determined the incidence of colonization of the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta into these four newly disturbed sites. Each site consisted of an uncut, forested plot and a logged, pine-planted plot. Fire ants were collected in clear-cuts as early as 3 mo postcutting, and by the end of the experiment, they were found in all four treatment sites. Our study is the first to document, through a controlled experiment, that clear-cutting alters ant species assemblages by increasing S. invicta and Pheidole spp. populations and significantly reducing native ant numbers. Long-term studies are needed to assess how replacing native deciduous forests with pine monocultures affects ant assemblages. ?? 2004 Entomological Society of America.

  16. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    In recent years Actor-network theory (ANT) has increasingly been felt in the field of tourism studies (Van der Duim, Ren, & Jóhannesson, 2012). An important implication of the meeting between ANT and tourism studies is the notion of tourism being described as a heterogeneous assemblage of what we...... are used to define as the separate spheres of nature and culture. This paper explores and relates the central tenets of ANT in tourism with regard to the concept of the Anthropocene. It presents the ANT approach as a flat and object-oriented ontology and methodology and explores its potentials to carve out...

  17. Forest fires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuller, M.

    1991-01-01

    This book examines the many complex and sensitive issues relating to wildland fires. Beginning with an overview of the fires of 1980s, the book discusses the implications of continued drought and considers the behavior of wildland fires, from ignition and spread to spotting and firestorms. Topics include the effects of weather, forest fuels, fire ecology, and the effects of fire on plants and animals. In addition, the book examines firefighting methods and equipment, including new minimum impact techniques and compressed air foam; prescribed burning; and steps that can be taken to protect individuals and human structures. A history of forest fire policies in the U.S. and a discussion of solutions to fire problems around the world completes the coverage. With one percent of the earth's surface burning every year in the last decade, this is a penetrating book on a subject of undeniable importance

  18. Dynamics of the leaf-litter arthropod fauna following fire in a neotropical woodland savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasconcelos, Heraldo L; Pacheco, Renata; Silva, Raphael C; Vasconcelos, Pedro B; Lopes, Cauê T; Costa, Alan N; Bruna, Emilio M

    2009-11-09

    Fire is an important agent of disturbance in tropical savannas, but relatively few studies have analyzed how soil-and-litter dwelling arthropods respond to fire disturbance despite the critical role these organisms play in nutrient cycling and other biogeochemical processes. Following the incursion of a fire into a woodland savanna ecological reserve in Central Brazil, we monitored the dynamics of litter-arthropod populations for nearly two years in one burned and one unburned area of the reserve. We also performed a reciprocal transplant experiment to determine the effects of fire and litter type on the dynamics of litter colonization by arthropods. Overall arthropod abundance, the abundance of individual taxa, the richness of taxonomic groups, and the species richness of individual taxa (Formiciade) were lower in the burned site. However, both the ordinal-level composition of the litter arthropod fauna and the species-level composition of the litter ant fauna were not dramatically different in the burned and unburned sites. There is evidence that seasonality of rainfall interacts with fire, as differences in arthropod abundance and diversity were more pronounced in the dry than in the wet season. For many taxa the differences in abundance between burned and unburned sites were maintained even when controlling for litter availability and quality. In contrast, differences in abundance for Collembola, Formicidae, and Thysanoptera were only detected in the unmanipulated samples, which had a lower amount of litter in the burned than in the unburned site throughout most of our study period. Together these results suggest that arthropod density declines in fire-disturbed areas as a result of direct mortality, diminished resources (i.e., reduced litter cover) and less favorable microclimate (i.e., increased litter desiccation due to reduction in tree cover). Although these effects were transitory, there is evidence that the increasingly prevalent fire return interval of

  19. Dynamics of the leaf-litter arthropod fauna following fire in a neotropical woodland savanna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heraldo L Vasconcelos

    Full Text Available Fire is an important agent of disturbance in tropical savannas, but relatively few studies have analyzed how soil-and-litter dwelling arthropods respond to fire disturbance despite the critical role these organisms play in nutrient cycling and other biogeochemical processes. Following the incursion of a fire into a woodland savanna ecological reserve in Central Brazil, we monitored the dynamics of litter-arthropod populations for nearly two years in one burned and one unburned area of the reserve. We also performed a reciprocal transplant experiment to determine the effects of fire and litter type on the dynamics of litter colonization by arthropods. Overall arthropod abundance, the abundance of individual taxa, the richness of taxonomic groups, and the species richness of individual taxa (Formiciade were lower in the burned site. However, both the ordinal-level composition of the litter arthropod fauna and the species-level composition of the litter ant fauna were not dramatically different in the burned and unburned sites. There is evidence that seasonality of rainfall interacts with fire, as differences in arthropod abundance and diversity were more pronounced in the dry than in the wet season. For many taxa the differences in abundance between burned and unburned sites were maintained even when controlling for litter availability and quality. In contrast, differences in abundance for Collembola, Formicidae, and Thysanoptera were only detected in the unmanipulated samples, which had a lower amount of litter in the burned than in the unburned site throughout most of our study period. Together these results suggest that arthropod density declines in fire-disturbed areas as a result of direct mortality, diminished resources (i.e., reduced litter cover and less favorable microclimate (i.e., increased litter desiccation due to reduction in tree cover. Although these effects were transitory, there is evidence that the increasingly prevalent fire

  20. Forest fires in Pennsylvania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald A. Haines; William A. Main; Eugene F. McNamara

    1978-01-01

    Describes factors that contribute to forest fires in Pennsylvania. Includes an analysis of basic statistics; distribution of fires during normal, drought, and wet years; fire cause, fire activity by day-of-week; multiple-fire day; and fire climatology.

  1. Wildland fire limits subsequent fire occurrence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sean A. Parks; Carol Miller; Lisa M. Holsinger; Scott Baggett; Benjamin J. Bird

    2016-01-01

    Several aspects of wildland fire are moderated by site- and landscape-level vegetation changes caused by previous fire, thereby creating a dynamic where one fire exerts a regulatory control on subsequent fire. For example, wildland fire has been shown to regulate the size and severity of subsequent fire. However, wildland fire has the potential to influence...

  2. Ants, rodents and seed predation in Proteaceae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  3. Effect of density on traffic and velocity on trunk trails of Formica pratensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hönicke, C.; Bliss, P.; Moritz, R. F. A.

    2015-04-01

    The allocation of large numbers of workers facilitates the swift intake of locally available resources which is essential for ant colony survival. To organise the traffic between nest and food source, the black-meadow ant Formica pratensis establishes permanent trunk trails, which are maintained by the ants. To unravel the ant organisation and potential traffic rules on these trails, we analysed velocity and lane segregation under various densities by experimentally changing feeding regimes. Even under the highest ant densities achieved, we never observed any traffic jams. On the contrary, velocity increased after supplementary feeding despite an enhanced density. Furthermore, inbound ants returning to the nest had a higher velocity than those leaving the colony. Whilst at low and medium density the ants used the centre of the trail, they used the full width of the trail at high density. Outbound ants also showed some degree of lane segregation which contributes to traffic organisation.

  4. The natural history of the arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R. Tschinkel

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available The arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, is the most dominant arboreal ant in the pine forests of the coastal plain of northern Florida. The majority of pine trees harbor a colony of these ants. The colonies inhabit multiple chambers abandoned by bark-mining caterpillars, especially those of the family Cossidae, in the outer bark of living pines. They also inhabit ground level termite galleries in the bark, often locating the queen in galleries. The density of chambers and ants is highest in the base of the tree and drops sharply with height on the trunk. Because chambers are formed in the inner layer of bark, they gradually move outward as more bark layers are laid down, eventually sloughing off the tree's outer surface. Chambers have a mean lifetime of about 25 yr. The abundant chambers in pine bark are excavated by a small population of caterpillars and accumulate over decades. Ant colonies also inhabit abandoned galleries of woodboring beetles in dead branches in the crowns of pines. Because newly mated queens found colonies in abandoned woodboring beetle galleries in the first dead branches that form on pine saplings, C. ashmeadi is dependent on cavities made by other insects throughout its life cycle, and does little if any excavation of its own. Mature colonies nest preferentially in chambers greater than 10 cm2 in area, a relatively rare chamber size. In natural pine forests, this does not seem to limit the ant's populations.

  5. Social prophylaxis through distant corpse removal in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diez, Lise; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis; Detrain, Claire

    2012-10-01

    Living in groups raises important issues concerning waste management and related sanitary risks. Social insects such as ants live at high densities with genetically related individuals within confined and humid nests, all these factors being highly favorable for the spread of pathogens. Therefore, in addition to individual immunity, a social prophylaxis takes place, namely, by the removal of risky items such as corpses and their rejection at a distance from the ant nest. In this study, we investigate how Myrmica rubra workers manage to reduce encounters between potentially hazardous corpses and nestmates. Using both field and laboratory experiments, we describe how the spatial distribution and the removal distance of waste items vary as a function of their associated sanitary risks (inert item vs. corpse). In the field, corpse-carrying ants walked in a rather linear way away from the nest entrance and had an equal probability of choosing any direction. Therefore, they did not aggregate corpses in dedicated areas but scattered them in the environment. In both field and laboratory experiments, ants carrying corpses dropped their load in more remote—and less frequented—areas than workers carrying inert items. However, for equidistant areas, ants did not avoid dropping corpses at a location where they perceived area marking as a cue of high occupancy level by nestmates. Our results suggest that ants use distance to the nest rather than other occupancy cues to limit sanitary risks associated with dead nestmates.

  6. The use of artificial nests by weaver ants: a preliminary field observation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are managed in tropical plantations for their biocontrol of pests and to produce ant larvae as a food source. Main management objectives are to increase ant densities and colony longevity. As weaver ant nests are susceptible to harsh weather, rain storms may decimate...... populations or destroy colonies. The ants, however, show adaptive nesting behavior, which may mitigate storm impact. This study tested whether Oecophylla smaragdina was willing to use plastic bottles as safe artificial nesting sites, and whether adoption of artificial nests was seasonally related to harsh...... weather. Bottles were used for nesting throughout the stormy rainy season in a pomelo plantation with an open canopy, whereas in a mango plantation with a denser canopy the ants, after initial colonisation, left the bottles again at the end of the rainy season, especially in the calmer part...

  7. Carbohydrate supply limits invasion of natural communities by Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowles, Alexei D; Silverman, Jules

    2009-08-01

    The ability of species to invade new habitats is often limited by various biotic and physical factors or interactions between the two. Invasive ants, frequently associated with human activities, flourish in disturbed urban and agricultural environments. However, their ability to invade and establish in natural habitats is more variable. This is particularly so for the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). While biotic resistance and low soil moisture limits their invasion of natural habitats in some instances, the effect of food availability has been poorly explored. We conducted field experiments to determine if resource availability limits the spread and persistence of Argentine ants in remnant natural forest in North Carolina. Replicated transects paired with and without sucrose solution feeding stations were run from invaded urban edges into forest remnants and compared over time using baits and direct counts at feeding stations. Repeated under different timing regimes in 2006 and 2007, access to sucrose increased local Argentine ant abundances (1.6-2.5 fold) and facilitated their progression into the forest up to 73 +/- 21% of 50-m transects. Resource removal caused an expected decrease in Argentine ant densities in 2006, in conjunction with their retreat to the urban/forest boundary. However, in 2007, Argentine ant numbers unexpectedly continued to increase in the absence of sugar stations, possibly through access to alternative resources or conditions not available the previous year such as honeydew-excreting Hemiptera. Our results showed that supplementing carbohydrate supply facilitates invasion of natural habitat by Argentine ants. This is particularly evident where Argentine ants continued to thrive following sugar station removal.

  8. 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.

  9. Forager abundance and dietary relationships in a Namib Desert ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Thirteen ant species coexist on a barren gravel plain habitat in the central Namib Desert. Numerical density of foragers of all species fluctuated considerably over a 17-month period. Peaks in abundance correlated to rainfall events and hence primary production pulses. The majority of foragers were nocturnal in summer and ...

  10. Fire Whirls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tohidi, Ali; Gollner, Michael J.; Xiao, Huahua

    2018-01-01

    Fire whirls present a powerful intensification of combustion, long studied in the fire research community because of the dangers they present during large urban and wildland fires. However, their destructive power has hidden many features of their formation, growth, and propagation. Therefore, most of what is known about fire whirls comes from scale modeling experiments in the laboratory. Both the methods of formation, which are dominated by wind and geometry, and the inner structure of the whirl, including velocity and temperature fields, have been studied at this scale. Quasi-steady fire whirls directly over a fuel source form the bulk of current experimental knowledge, although many other cases exist in nature. The structure of fire whirls has yet to be reliably measured at large scales; however, scaling laws have been relatively successful in modeling the conditions for formation from small to large scales. This review surveys the state of knowledge concerning the fluid dynamics of fire whirls, including the conditions for their formation, their structure, and the mechanisms that control their unique state. We highlight recent discoveries and survey potential avenues for future research, including using the properties of fire whirls for efficient remediation and energy generation.

  11. On fire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Helle Rabøl

    The title of this paper: “On fire”, refers to two (maybe three) aspects: firstly as a metaphor of having engagement in a community of practice according to Lave & Wenger (1991), and secondly it refers to the concrete element “fire” in the work of the fire fighters – and thirdly fire as a signifie...... of frustrations and riots...

  12. Fire Synthesis

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    1000ºC or special infrastructure which require careful maintenance. In such a situation fire synthesis is a simpler method that can be adopted for the bulk production of high purity alumina and related oxides. Fire Synthesis. Preparation of Alumina ...

  13. Fire Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denker, Deb; West, Lee

    2009-01-01

    For education administrators, campus fires are not only a distressing loss, but also a stark reminder that a campus faces risks that require special vigilance. In many ways, campuses resemble small communities, with areas for living, working and relaxing. A residence hall fire may raise the specter of careless youth, often with the complication of…

  14. On fire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Helle Rabøl

    The title of this paper: “On fire”, refers to two (maybe three) aspects: firstly as a metaphor of having engagement in a community of practice according to Lave & Wenger (1991), and secondly it refers to the concrete element “fire” in the work of the fire fighters – and thirdly fire as a signifie...

  15. Forest-fire models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haiganoush Preisler; Alan Ager

    2013-01-01

    For applied mathematicians forest fire models refer mainly to a non-linear dynamic system often used to simulate spread of fire. For forest managers forest fire models may pertain to any of the three phases of fire management: prefire planning (fire risk models), fire suppression (fire behavior models), and postfire evaluation (fire effects and economic models). In...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

    are investigated. The influence of the evaporation factor in the pheromone update mechanism and the robustness of this parameter w.r.t. the runtime behavior have been determined for the example function OneMax.This work puts forward the rigorous runtime analysis of the 1-ANT on the example functions Leading......The runtime analysis of randomized search heuristics is a growing field where, in the last two decades, many rigorous results have been obtained. First runtime analyses of ant colony optimization (ACO) have been conducted only recently. In these studies simple ACO algorithms such as the 1-ANT......Ones and BinVal. With respect to Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs), such analyses were essential to develop methods for the analysis on more complicated problems. The proof techniques required for the 1-ANT, unfortunately, differ significantly from those for EAs, which means that a new reservoir of methods has...

  17. The effects of ant nests on soil fertility and plant performance: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Werenkraut, Victoria

    2017-07-01

    Ants are recognized as one of the major sources of soil disturbance world-wide. However, this view is largely based on isolated studies and qualitative reviews. Here, for the first time, we quantitatively determined whether ant nests affect soil fertility and plant performance, and identified the possible sources of variation of these effects. Using Bayesian mixed-models meta-analysis, we tested the hypotheses that ant effects on soil fertility and plant performance depend on the substrate sampled, ant feeding type, latitude, habitat and the plant response variable measured. Ant nests showed higher nutrient and cation content than adjacent non-nest soil samples, but similar pH. Nutrient content was higher in ant refuse materials than in nest soils. The fertilizer effect of ant nests was also higher in dry habitats than in grasslands or savannas. Cation content was higher in nests of plant-feeding ants than in nests of omnivorous species, and lower in nests from agro-ecosystems than in nests from any other habitat. Plants showed higher green/root biomass and fitness on ant nests soils than in adjacent, non-nest sites; but plant density and diversity were unaffected by the presence of ant nests. Root growth was particularly higher in refuse materials than in ant nest soils, in leaf-cutting ant nests and in deserts habitats. Our results confirm the major role of ant nests in influencing soil fertility and vegetation patterns and provide information about the factors that mediate these effects. First, ant nests improve soil fertility mainly through the accumulation of refuse materials. Thus, different refuse dump locations (external or in underground nest chambers) could benefit different vegetation life-forms. Second, ant nests could increase plant diversity at larger spatial scales only if the identity of favoured plants changes along environmental gradients (i.e. enhancing β-diversity). Third, ant species that feed on plants play a relevant role fertilizing soils

  18. 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...

  19. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    Many ant species are efficient control agents against a wide range of pest insects in many crops. They control pest insects via predation; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may be eavesdropped by potential prey and serve as chemical warning signals. Thus, the presence...... of ant pheromones may be sufficient to repel pest insects from ant territories. The study of ant semiochemicals is in its infancy, yet, evidence for their potential use in pest management is starting to build up. Pheromones from four of five tested ant species have been shown to deter herbivorous insect...... prey and competing ant species are also deterred by ant deposits, whereas ant symbionts may be attracted to them. Based on these promising initial findings, it seems advisable to further elucidate the signaling properties of ant pheromones and to test and develop their use in future pest management....

  20. 7 CFR Appendix to Subpart - Imported Fire Ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... and Straw Baled hay and straw stored in direct contact with the ground is ineligible for movement. 3... or plastic containers with drain holes prior to immersion Immerse soil balls and containers, singly... fiberglass, glass, or plastic in such a way that IFA is physically excluded and cannot become established...

  1. Trap-mulching Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Jules; Sorenson, Clyde E; Waldvogel, Michael G

    2006-10-01

    Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), management is constrained, in large part, by polydomy where nestmates are distributed extensively across urban landscapes, particularly within mulch. Management with trap-mulching is a novel approach derived from trap-cropping where ants are repelled from a broad domain of nest sites to smaller defined areas, which are subsequently treated with insecticide. This concept was field-tested with mulch surrounding ornamental trees replaced with a narrow band of pine (Pinus spp.) needle mulch (trap) within a much larger patch of repellent aromatic cedar (Juniperus spp.) mulch. After ants reestablished around the trees, the pine needle mulch band was treated with 0.06% fipronil (Termidor). Poor results were obtained when the trap extended from the tree trunk to the edge of the mulched area. When the trap was applied as a circular band around the tree trunk reductions in the number of foraging ants were recorded through 14 d compared with an untreated mulch control, but not for longer periods. Reductions in the number of ant nests within mulch were no different between the trap mulch and any of the other treatments. We conclude that trap-mulching offers limited benefits, and that successful management of Argentine ants will require implementation of complementary or perhaps alternative strategies.

  2. Measuring activity in ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noda, C.; Fernández, J.; Pérez-Penichet, C.; Altshuler, E.

    2006-12-01

    Ants, as paradigm of social insects, have become a recurrent example of efficient problem solvers via self-organization. In spite of the simple behavior of each individual, the colony as a whole displays "swarm intelligence:" the organization of ant trails for foraging is a typical output of it. But conventional techniques of observation can hardly record the amount of data needed to get a detailed understanding of self-organization of ant swarms in the wild. Here we are presenting a measurement system intended to monitor ant activity in the field comprising massive data acquisition and high sensitivity. A central role is played by an infrared sensor devised specifically to monitor relevant parameters to the activity of ants through the exits of the nest, although other sensors detecting temperature and luminosity are added to the system. We study the characteristics of the activity sensor and its performance in the field. Finally, we present massive data measured at one exit of a nest of Atta insularis, an ant endemic to Cuba, to illustrate the potential of our system.

  3. Fire drives transcontinental variation in tree birch defense against browsing by snowshoe hares

    Science.gov (United States)

    John P. Bryant; Thomas P. Clausen; Robert K. Swihart; Simon M. Landhäusser; Michael T. Stevens; Christopher D. B. Hawkins; Suzanne Carrière; Andrei P. Kirilenko; Alasdair M. Veitch; Richard A. Popko; David T. Cleland; Joseph H. Williams; Walter J. Jakubas; Michael R. Carlson; Karin Lehmkuhl Bodony; Merben Cebrian; Thomas F. Paragi; Peter M. Picone; Jeffery E. Moore; Edmond C. Packee; Thomas Malone

    2009-01-01

    Fire has been the dominant disturbance in boreal America since the Pleistocene, resulting in a spatial mosaic in which the most fire occurs in the continental northwest. Spatial variation in snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) density reflects the fire mosaic. Because fire initiates secondary forest succession, a fire mosaic creates...

  4. Study on bi-directional pedestrian movement using ant algorithms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gokce, Sibel; Kayacan, Ozhan

    2016-01-01

    A cellular automata model is proposed to simulate bi-directional pedestrian flow. Pedestrian movement is investigated by using ant algorithms. Ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called a pheromone, on the substrate while crawling forward. Similarly, it is considered that oppositely moving pedestrians drop ‘visual pheromones’ on their way and the visual pheromones might cause attractive or repulsive interactions. This pheromenon is introduced into modelling the pedestrians’ walking preference. In this way, the decision-making process of pedestrians will be based on ‘the instinct of following’. At some densities, the relationships of velocity–density and flux–density are analyzed for different evaporation rates of visual pheromones. Lane formation and phase transition are observed for certain evaporation rates of visual pheromones. (paper)

  5. Fire safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keski-Rahkonen, O.; Bjoerkman, J.; Hostikka, S.; Mangs, J.; Huhtanen, R.; Palmen, H.; Salminen, A.; Turtola, A.

    1998-01-01

    According to experience and probabilistic risk assessments, fires present a significant hazard in a nuclear power plant. Fires may be initial events for accidents or affect safety systems planned to prevent accidents and to mitigate their consequences. The project consists of theoretical work, experiments and simulations aiming to increase the fire safety at nuclear power plants. The project has four target areas: (1) to produce validated models for numerical simulation programmes, (2) to produce new information on the behavior of equipment in case of fire, (3) to study applicability of new active fire protecting systems in nuclear power plants, and (4) to obtain quantitative knowledge of ignitions induced by important electric devices in nuclear power plants. These topics have been solved mainly experimentally, but modelling at different level is used to interpret experimental data, and to allow easy generalisation and engineering use of the obtained data. Numerical fire simulation has concentrated in comparison of CFD modelling of room fires, and fire spreading on cables on experimental data. So far the success has been good to fair. A simple analytical and numerical model has been developed for fire effluents spreading beyond the room of origin in mechanically strongly ventilated compartments. For behaviour of equipment in fire several full scale and scaled down calorimetric experiments were carried out on electronic cabinets, as well as on horizontal and vertical cable trays. These were carried out to supply material for CFD numerical simulation code validation. Several analytical models were developed and validated against obtained experimental results to allow quick calculations for PSA estimates as well as inter- and extrapolations to slightly different objects. Response times of different commercial fire detectors were determined for different types of smoke, especially emanating from smoldering and flaming cables to facilitate selection of proper detector

  6. Ant-related oviposition is not associated to low parasitism of the myrmecophilous butterfly Allosmaitia strophius in an extrafloral nectaried shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bächtold, Alexandra; Alves-Silva, Estevão; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2017-08-01

    In Lycaenidae-ant mutualisms, ovipositing females select plants based on the presence and/or species of ants in order to maximize survival rates of immatures. The ants are supposed to protect the immatures from parasitoids, but there is large variation in the protection provided. Here, we experimentally investigated whether the occurrence of the facultative myrmecophilous Allosmaitia strophius (the dominant species in our study system) was ant-related. The parasitism rates of immatures collected in the field and reared in the laboratory were also investigated. Stems of the extrafloral nectaried shrub Peixotoa tomentosa were designated as either ant-present (control) or absent (treated). The occurrence of A. strophius on ant-present stems was five times greater than on treated stems. Most eggs and larvae were associated with Camponotus blandus and Ectatomma tuberculatum, two aggressive ant species in the Brazilian savanna. Egg parasitism rate was 9%, and all the parasitized eggs were on ant-present stems. Pupal parasitism on ant-present and ant-absent stems was 25.6% and 7%, respectively. The higher parasitism rate in the presence of ants might also have been density-dependent, because caterpillars were more abundant in ant-present stems. Tropical lycaenids are frequently found in association with patrolling ants. Nevertheless, there is growing evidence that parasitism is higher in the presence of ants, owing to caterpillar's density-dependent effects in plants with ants, and/or to the weak lycaenid-ant associations. This indicates that the offspring of myrmecophilous lycaenids may not benefit, at least in terms of lower parasitism, by living with ants.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The native ant, Tapinoma melanocephalum, improves the survival of an invasive mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis, by defending it from parasitoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Dong-Dong; Michaud, J P; Li, Pan; Zhou, Zhong-Shi; Xu, Zai-Fu

    2015-10-27

    Mutualistic ants can protect their partners from natural enemies in nature. Aenasius bambawalei is an important parasitoid of the the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis. We hypothesized that mutualism between native ants and mealybugs would favor survival of mealybugs. To test this, we examined effects of tending by the native mutualistic ant Tapinoma melanocephalum on growth of P. solenopsis colonies on Chinese hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, in a field setting. Ant workers with access to honeydew of mealybugs lived much longer than those provisioned only with water in the laboratory, and number of ant workers foraging increased significantly with growth of mealybug colonies in the field. In later observations, there were significant differences in densities of mealybugs between ant-tended and -excluded treatments. Survival rate of mealybugs experiencing parasitoid attack was significantly higher on ant-tended plants than on ant-excluded plants. When the parasitoid was excluded, there was no difference in survival rate of mealybugs between ant-tended and -excluded plants. In most cases, ants directly attacked the parasitoid, causing the parasitoid to take evasive action. We conclude that native ants such as T. melanocephalum have the potential to facilitate invasion and spread of P. solenopsis in China by providing them with protection from parasitoids.

  10. Riverine Landscape Patch Heterogeneity Drives Riparian Ant Assemblages in the Scioto River Basin, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paradzayi Tagwireyi

    Full Text Available Although the principles of landscape ecology are increasingly extended to include riverine landscapes, explicit applications are few. We investigated associations between patch heterogeneity and riparian ant assemblages at 12 riverine landscapes of the Scioto River, Ohio, USA, that represent urban/developed, agricultural, and mixed (primarily forested, but also wetland, grassland/fallow, and exurban land-use settings. Using remotely-sensed and ground-collected data, we delineated riverine landscape patch types (crop, grass/herbaceous, gravel, lawn, mudflat, open water, shrub, swamp, and woody vegetation, computed patch metrics (area, density, edge, richness, and shape, and conducted coordinated sampling of surface-active Formicidae assemblages. Ant density and species richness was lower in agricultural riverine landscapes than at mixed or developed reaches (measured using S [total number of species], but not using Menhinick's Index [DM], whereas ant diversity (using the Berger-Park Index [DBP] was highest in agricultural reaches. We found no differences in ant density, richness, or diversity among internal riverine landscape patches. However, certain characteristics of patches influenced ant communities. Patch shape and density were significant predictors of richness (S: R2 = 0.72; DM: R2=0.57. Patch area, edge, and shape emerged as important predictors of DBP (R2 = 0.62 whereas patch area, edge, and density were strongly related to ant density (R2 = 0.65. Non-metric multidimensional scaling and analysis of similarities distinguished ant assemblage composition in grass and swamp patches from crop, gravel, lawn, and shrub as well as ant assemblages in woody vegetation patches from crop, lawn, and gravel (stress = 0.18, R2 = 0.64. These findings lend insight into the utility of landscape ecology to river science by providing evidence that spatial habitat patterns within riverine landscapes can influence assemblage characteristics of riparian

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Reina L; Grace, J Kenneth; Krushelnycky, Paul D; Spafford, Helen

    2018-02-11

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

  13. Combining satellite-based fire observations and ground-based lightning detections to identify lightning fires across the conterminous USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Massada, A.; Hawbaker, T.J.; Stewart, S.I.; Radeloff, V.C.

    2012-01-01

    Lightning fires are a common natural disturbance in North America, and account for the largest proportion of the area burned by wildfires each year. Yet, the spatiotemporal patterns of lightning fires in the conterminous US are not well understood due to limitations of existing fire databases. Our goal here was to develop and test an algorithm that combined MODIS fire detections with lightning detections from the National Lightning Detection Network to identify lightning fires across the conterminous US from 2000 to 2008. The algorithm searches for spatiotemporal conjunctions of MODIS fire clusters and NLDN detected lightning strikes, given a spatiotemporal lag between lightning strike and fire ignition. The algorithm revealed distinctive spatial patterns of lightning fires in the conterminous US While a sensitivity analysis revealed that the algorithm is highly sensitive to the two thresholds that are used to determine conjunction, the density of fires it detected was moderately correlated with ground based fire records. When only fires larger than 0.4 km2 were considered, correlations were higher and the root-mean-square error between datasets was less than five fires per 625 km2 for the entire study period. Our algorithm is thus suitable for detecting broad scale spatial patterns of lightning fire occurrence, and especially lightning fire hotspots, but has limited detection capability of smaller fires because these cannot be consistently detected by MODIS. These results may enhance our understanding of large scale patterns of lightning fire activity, and can be used to identify the broad scale factors controlling fire occurrence.

  14. Distribution of invasive ants and methods for their control in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Robert W.; Banko, Paul C.; Snook, Kirsten; Euaparadorn, Melody

    2013-01-01

    , upper boundaries of big-headed ants coincided with lower boundaries of Argentine ants. Significantly, Wasmannia auropunctata (little fire ant) was not detected during our surveys. Formicidal baits tested for controlling Argentine ants included XstinguishTM (containing fipronil at 0.01%), Maxforce® (hydramethylnon 1.0%), and Australian Distance® (pyriproxyfen 0.5%). Each bait was distributed evenly over four 2500 m2 replicate plots. Applications were repeated approximately four weeks after the initial treatment. Plots were subdivided into 25 subplots and ants monitored within each subplot using paper cards containing tuna bait at approximately one week intervals for about 14 weeks. All treatments reduced ant numbers, but none eradicated ants on any of the plots. XstinguishTM produced a strong and lasting effect, depressing ant abundance below 1% of control plot levels within the first week and for about eight weeks afterward. Maxforce® was slower to attain maximum effectiveness, reducing ants to 8% of control levels after one week and 3% after six weeks. Australian Distance® was least effective, decreasing ant abundance to 19% of control levels after one week with numbers subsequently rebounding to 40% of controls at four weeks and 72% at 10 weeks. In measurements of the proportion of bait cards at which ants were detected, XstinguishTM clearly out-performed Maxforce®, reaching a minimum detection rate of 3% of bait cards at one week compared to a low of 19% for Maxforce® two weeks following the second treatment. Although ant abundances were dramatically reduced on XstinguishTM plots, it is not currently registered for use in the USA. Our results suggest that ant abundance can be greatly reduced using registered baits, but further research is needed before even small-scale eradication of Argentine ants can be achieved.  Formicidal baits tested to control big-headed ants included Amdro® (hydramethylnon 0.75%), XstinguishTM (fipronil 0.01%), Extinguish® Plus (a

  15. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    . Being predatory and organized as superorganisms, ants possess traits making them suitable agents in IPM. Recent works on weaver ants Oecophylla spp. showcase ants as highly efficient pest controllers. A synthesis shows that weaver ants can reduce pest numbers and their damage and increase yields...... in multiple crops. Their efficiency is comparable to chemical pesticides or higher, while at lower costs. They provide a rare example of documented efficient conservation biological control. 3. Weaver ants share beneficial traits with almost 13 000 other ant species and are unlikely to be unique...... in their properties as control agents. A synthesis of applied work on other ant species illustrates potentials for control of arthropod pests, weeds and plant diseases in orchards, forestry and arable crops. 4. Synthesis and applications. By showing that ant biocontrol can match synthetic pesticides in a wide setting...

  16. 46 CFR 28.820 - Fire pumps, fire mains, fire hydrants, and fire hoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Fire pumps, fire mains, fire hydrants, and fire hoses... REQUIREMENTS FOR COMMERCIAL FISHING INDUSTRY VESSELS Aleutian Trade Act Vessels § 28.820 Fire pumps, fire mains... pump connected to a fixed piping system. This pump must be capable of delivering an effective stream of...

  17. 46 CFR 28.315 - Fire pumps, fire mains, fire hydrants, and fire hoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Fire pumps, fire mains, fire hydrants, and fire hoses... After September 15, 1991, and That Operate With More Than 16 Individuals on Board § 28.315 Fire pumps... be equipped with a self-priming, power driven fire pump connected to a fixed piping system. (1) A...

  18. Fire Synthesis

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    special infrastructure which require careful maintenance. In such situation fire synthesis is a simpler method that can be adopted for the bulk production of high purity .... reaction between Ti and B to form titanium boride. The reaction between titanium (fuel- electron donor) and boron (oxidiser-electron acceptor) once initiated ...

  19. Forest Fires

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 6; Issue 11. Forest Fires - Origins and Ecological Paradoxes. K Narendran. General Article Volume 6 Issue 11 November 2001 pp 34-41. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/006/11/0034-0041 ...

  20. Fire Synthesis

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 16; Issue 12. Fire Synthesis - Preparation of Alumina Products. Tanu Mimani. Volume 16 Issue 12 December 2011 pp 1324-1332. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/016/12/1324-1332 ...

  1. Fire Synthesis

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 5; Issue 2. Fire Synthesis - Preparation of Alumina Products. Tanu Mimani. General Article Volume 5 Issue 2 February 2000 pp 50-57. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/005/02/0050-0057 ...

  2. The effects of fire on grassland bird communities of Barberspan ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Considering the frequent nature of fires and resultant drastic change in habitat following fire, research on the effects of fire on birds in the grasslands of South Africa is surprisingly scarce. For at least five months after burns we followed the changes in bird species composition, species richness and densities of two controlled ...

  3. Postfire Succession of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Nesting in Dead Wood of Northern Boreal Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boucher, Philippe; Hébert, Christian; Francoeur, André; Sirois, Luc

    2015-10-01

    Dead wood decomposition begins immediately after tree death and involves a large array of invertebrates. Ecological successions are still poorly known for saproxylic organisms, particularly in boreal forests. We investigated the use of dead wood as nesting sites for ants along a 60-yr postfire chronosequence in northeastern coniferous forests. We sampled a total of 1,625 pieces of dead wood, in which 263 ant nests were found. Overall, ant abundance increased during the first 30 yr after wildfire, and then declined. Leptothorax cf. canadensis Provancher, the most abundant species in our study, was absent during the first 2 yr postfire, but increased steadily until 30 yr after fire, whereas Myrmica alaskensis Wheeler, second in abundance, was found at all stages of succession in the chronosequence. Six other species were less frequently found, among which Camponotus herculeanus (Linné), Formica neorufibarbis Emery, and Formica aserva Forel were locally abundant, but more scarcely distributed. Dead wood lying on the ground and showing numerous woodborer holes had a higher probability of being colonized by ants. The C:N ratio was lower for dead wood colonized by ants than for noncolonized dead wood, showing that the continuous occupation of dead wood by ants influences the carbon and nitrogen dynamics of dead wood after wildfire in northern boreal forests. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. 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 ...

  5. ANT: A decade of interfering with tourism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duim, van der V.R.; Ren, C.; Johannesson, G.T.

    2017-01-01

    Ten years ago actor-network theory (ANT) entered this journal. To illustrate how the relational ontology and sensibilities of ANT lend themselves to particular kinds of research, we first interrogate the main controversies as a way to open up and discuss the main premises of ANT. These debates

  6. Adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Qiang; Chen, Wei-Neng; Yu, Zhengtao; Gu, Tianlong; Li, Yun; Zhang, Huaxiang; Zhang, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Seeking multiple optima simultaneously, which multimodal optimization aims at, has attracted increasing attention but remains challenging. Taking advantage of ant colony optimization algorithms in preserving high diversity, this paper intends to extend ant colony optimization algorithms to deal with multimodal optimization. First, combined with current niching methods, an adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization algorithm is introduced. In this algorithm, an adaptive parameter a...

  7. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was inves- tigated using one-dimensional cellular automata model. It is known that ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called pheromone, on the substrate. Apart from the studies in the literature, it was considered in the ...

  8. Orthogonal fitness benefits of nitrogen and ants for nitrogen-limited plants in the presence of herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Ableson, Ian; Kerber, Jennifer; Vannette, Rachel L; Tao, Leiling

    2017-12-01

    Predictable effects of resource availability on plant growth-defense strategies provide a unifying theme in theories of direct anti-herbivore defense, but it is less clear how resource availability modulates plant indirect defense. Ant-plant-hemipteran interactions produce mutualistic trophic cascades when hemipteran-tending ants reduce total herbivory, and these interactions are a key component of plant indirect defense in most terrestrial ecosystems. Here we conducted an experiment to test how ant-plant-hemipteran interactions depend on nitrogen (N) availability by manipulating the presence of ants and aphids under different N fertilization treatments. Ants increased plant flowering success by decreasing the densities of herbivores, and the effects of ants on folivores were positively related to the density of aphids. Unexpectedly, N fertilization produced no changes in plant N concentrations. Plants grown in higher N grew and flowered more, but aphid honeydew chemistry stayed the same, and neither the density of aphids nor the rate of ant attraction per aphid changed with N addition. The positive effects of ants and N addition on plant fitness were thus independent of one another. We conclude that N was the plant's limiting nutrient and propose that addition of the limiting nutrient is unlikely to alter the strength of mutualistic trophic cascades. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  9. Seed Dispersal by Ants in the Semi-arid Caatinga of North-east Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Inara R.; Wirth, Rainer; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Myrmecochory is a conspicuous feature of several sclerophyll ecosystems around the world but it has received little attention in the semi-arid areas of South America. This study addresses the importance of seed dispersal by ants in a 2500-km2 area of the Caatinga ecosystem (north-east Brazil) and investigates ant-derived benefits to the plant through myrmecochory. Methods Seed manipulation and dispersal by ants was investigated during a 3-year period in the Xingó region. Both plant and ant assemblages involved in seed dispersal were described and ant behaviour was characterized. True myrmecochorous seeds of seven Euphorbiaceae species (i.e. elaiosome-bearing seeds) were used in experiments designed to: (1) quantify the rates of seed cleaning/removal and the influence of both seed size and elaiosome presence on seed removal; (2) identify the fate of seeds dispersed by ants; and (3) document the benefits of seed dispersal by ants in terms of seed germination and seedling growth. Key Results Seed dispersal by ants involved one-quarter of the woody flora inhabiting the Xingó region, but true myrmecochory was restricted to 12·8 % of the woody plant species. Myrmecochorous seeds manipulated by ants faced high levels of seed removal (38–84 %) and 83 % of removed seeds were discarded on ant nests. Moreover, seed removal positively correlated with the presence of elaiosome, and elaiosome removal increased germination success by at least 30 %. Finally, some Euphorbiaceae species presented both increased germination and seedling growth on ant-nest soils. Conclusions Myrmecochory is a relevant seed dispersal mode in the Caatinga ecosystem, and is particularly frequent among Euphorbiaceae trees and shrubs. The fact that seeds reach micro-sites suitable for establishment (ant nests) supports the directed dispersal hypothesis as a possible force favouring myrmecochory in this ecosystem. Ecosystems with a high frequency of myrmecochorous plants appear not

  10. Densidade básica da madeira de sete espécies e três clones de eucalipto antes e durante o cultivo de shiitake = Basic density of wood from seven species and three clones of eucalyptus before and during shiitake cultivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meire Cristina Nogueira de Andrade

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Avaliou-se a densidade básica da madeira e casca de sete espécies (E. saligna, E. grandis, E. urophylla, E. camaldulensis, E. citriodora, E. paniculata e E. pellita e três clones de eucalipto (híbridos de E. grandis x E. urophylla antes e durante o cultivo das linhagens LE-95/01 e LE-96/18 de shiitake (Lentinula edodes em toras. Cada linhagem de shiitake foi inoculada em nove toras de cada tipo de eucalipto com 1 m de comprimento e 9 a 14 cm de diâmetro. Assim, o delineamento experimental foi inteiramente casualizado, com 20tratamentos e 9 repetições, sendo cada repetição correspondente a uma tora. As toras foram mantidas em estufa climatizada, com temperatura de 25 ± 5ºC e umidade relativa do ar entre 60-80% durante 12 meses. Para a determinação da densidade básica, analisaram-secunhas de discos e cascas de eucalipto recém-cortadas (sem inoculação das linhagens de L. edodes e em cunhas de discos retirados de toras já inoculadas com as linhagens de L. edodes após 8 e 12 meses de incubação. Verificou-se que a densidade básica da madeira, aolongo do ciclo de cultivo, foi reduzida em todos os tipos de eucalipto.Basic density of the wood and bark of seven eucalyptus species (E. saligna, E. grandis, E. urophylla, E. camaldulensis, E. citriodora, E.paniculata and E. pellita and three eucalyptus clones (E. grandis x E. urophylla hybrids were evaluated before and during the cultivation of shiitake (Lentinula edodes strains LE-95/01and LE-96/18 in logs. Each shiitake strain was inoculated into 9 logs of each type of eucalyptus with length of 1 m and diameter of 9 to 14 cm. Thus, the experimental design was totally randomized, with 20 treatments and 9 repetitions, with each repetition corresponding to one log. The logs were kept in a greenhouse, under the temperature of25 ± 5ºC and relative air humidity between 60-80 %, during 12 months. To determine basic density, newly cut disks and barks wedges of eucalyptus (without the

  11. Variability in individual activity bursts improves ant foraging success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, Daniel; Bartumeus, Frederic; Méndez, Vicenç; Andrade, José S; Espadaler, Xavier

    2016-12-01

    Using experimental and computational methods, we study the role of behavioural variability in activity bursts (or temporal activity patterns) for individual and collective regulation of foraging in A. senilis ants. First, foraging experiments were carried out under special conditions (low densities of ants and food and absence of external cues or stimuli) where individual-based strategies are most prevalent. By using marked individuals and recording all foraging trajectories, we were then able to precisely quantify behavioural variability among individuals. Our main conclusions are that (i) variability of ant trajectories (turning angles, speed, etc.) is low compared with variability of temporal activity profiles, and (ii) this variability seems to be driven by plasticity of individual behaviour through time, rather than the presence of fixed behavioural stereotypes or specialists within the group. The statistical measures obtained from these experimental foraging patterns are then used to build a general agent-based model (ABM) which includes the most relevant properties of ant foraging under natural conditions, including recruitment through pheromone communication. Using the ABM, we are able to provide computational evidence that the characteristics of individual variability observed in our experiments can provide a functional advantage (in terms of foraging success) to the group; thus, we propose the biological basis underpinning our observations. Altogether, our study reveals the potential utility of experiments under simplified (laboratory) conditions for understanding information-gathering in biological systems. © 2016 The Author(s).

  12. 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....

  13. 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....

  14. Indirect effects of mutualism: ant-treehopper associations deter pollinators and reduce reproduction in a tropical shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarra-Isassi, Javier; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2018-03-01

    Animal-pollinated plants can be susceptible to changes in pollinator availability. Honeydew-producing treehoppers frequently occur on inflorescences, potentially enhancing ant-mediated negative effects on pollination services. However, the effect of ant-attended, honeydew-producing insects on plant reproduction remains uncertain. We recorded the abundance of treehoppers and ants on Byrsonima intermedia (Malpighiaceae), and monitored floral visitors in a Brazilian cerrado savanna. We manipulated the presence of ants and ant-treehopper associations on inflorescences to assess their effect on pollination and fruit formation. We used dried ants pinned to inflorescences to evaluate the effect of ant presence and ant identity on potential pollinators. Results show that the presence of treehoppers increases ant abundance on flowers and disrupts pollination by oil-collecting bees, decreasing the frequency and duration of floral visits and reducing fruit and seed set. Treehopper herbivory has no direct effect on fruit or seed production, which are independent of treehopper density. Pinned ants promote avoidance by floral visitors, reducing the number of visits. Ant identity mediates visitation decisions, with Ectatomma brunneum causing greater avoidance by floral visitors than Camponotus rufipes. Field videos show that pollinating bees are harassed by ants near flowers, prompting avoidance behavior by the bees. This is the first demonstration of indirect effects by honeydew-gathering ants, via disrupted pollination, on plant reproduction in tropical cerrado savanna. Our results highlight the importance of studying other interactions near flowers, in addition to just observing pollinators, for a proper understanding of plant reproduction.

  15. Histiostoma Blomquisti N. SP. (Acari: Histiostomatidae) A phoretic mite of the red imported ant, Solenopsis Invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefan Wirth; John Moser

    2010-01-01

    The new species Histiostoma bJol1lquisti n. sp., associated with the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta, is described by its deutonymph. A putative adult female is depicted. The deutonymphs only attach to female alates, dealates and queens of S. invicta. While queens may be covered by more than 200 deutonymphs over their entire bodies, the numbers of deutonymphs...

  16. Fire and forest history at Mount Rushmore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Peter M; Wienk, Cody L; Symstad, Amy J

    2008-12-01

    Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota is known worldwide for its massive sculpture of four of the United States' most respected presidents. The Memorial landscape also is covered by extensive ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest that has not burned in over a century. We compiled dendroecological and forest structural data from 29 plots across the 517-ha Memorial and used fire behavior modeling to reconstruct the historical fire regime and forest structure and compare them to current conditions. The historical fire regime is best characterized as one of low-severity surface fires with occasional (> 100 years) patches (fire. We estimate that only approximately 3.3% of the landscape burned as crown fire during 22 landscape fire years (recorded at > or = 25% of plots) between 1529 and 1893. The last landscape fire was in 1893. Mean fire intervals before 1893 varied depending on spatial scale, from 34 years based on scar-to-scar intervals on individual trees to 16 years between landscape fire years. Modal fire intervals were 11-15 years and did not vary with scale. Fire rotation (the time to burn an area the size of the study area) was estimated to be 30 years for surface fire and 800+ years for crown fire. The current forest is denser and contains more small trees, fewer large trees, lower canopy base heights, and greater canopy bulk density than a reconstructed historical (1870) forest. Fire behavior modeling using the NEXUS program suggests that surface fires would have dominated fire behavior in the 1870 forest during both moderate and severe weather conditions, while crown fire would dominate in the current forest especially under severe weather. Changes in the fire regime and forest structure at Mount Rushmore parallel those seen in ponderosa pine forests from the southwestern United States. Shifts from historical to current forest structure and the increased likelihood of crown fire justify the need for forest restoration before a

  17. The Relationship Between Ants and Lycaeides melissa samuelis (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) at Concord Pine Barrens, NH, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascale, Elizabeth G; Thiet, Rachel K

    2016-04-22

    The Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis Nabokov) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) is a federally listed, endangered species that has experienced dramatic decline over its historic range. In surviving populations, Karner blue butterflies have a facultative mutualism with ants that could be critically important to their survival where their populations are threatened by habitat loss or disturbance. In this study, we investigated the effects of ants, wild blue lupine population status (native or restored), and fire on adult Karner blue butterfly abundance at the Concord Pine Barrens, NH, USA. Ant frequency (the number of times we collected each ant species in our pitfall traps) was higher in restored than native lupine treatments regardless of burn status during both Karner blue butterfly broods, and the trend was statistically significant during the second brood. We observed a positive relationship between adult Karner blue butterfly abundance and ant frequency during the first brood, particularly on native lupine, regardless of burn treatment. During the second brood, adult Karner blue butterfly abundance and ant frequency were not significantly correlated in any treatments or their combinations. Our findings suggest that a combination of native and restored lupine is important for supporting both Karner blue butterflies and ants at the Concord Pine Barrens, and that burning does not affect the mutualism. Thus, scientists and managers at the site may wish to target their habitat management activities to best support both Karner blue butterflies and the particular ant species that provide the greatest benefit to their survival. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Behavioral mechanisms and morphological symptoms of zombie ants dying from fungal infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Himaman Winanda

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasites that manipulate host behavior can provide prominent examples of extended phenotypes: parasite genomes controlling host behavior. Here we focus on one of the most dramatic examples of behavioral manipulation, the death grip of ants infected by Ophiocordyceps fungi. We studied the interaction between O. unilateralis s.l. and its host ant Camponotus leonardi in a Thai rainforest, where infected ants descend from their canopy nests down to understory vegetation to bite into abaxial leaf veins before dying. Host mortality is concentrated in patches (graveyards where ants die on sapling leaves ca. 25 cm above the soil surface where conditions for parasite development are optimal. Here we address whether the sequence of ant behaviors leading to the final death grip can also be interpreted as parasite adaptations and describe some of the morphological changes inside the heads of infected workers that mediate the expression of the death grip phenotype. Results We found that infected ants behave as zombies and display predictable stereotypical behaviors of random rather than directional walking, and of repeated convulsions that make them fall down and thus precludes returning to the canopy. Transitions from erratic wandering to death grips on a leaf vein were abrupt and synchronized around solar noon. We show that the mandibles of ants penetrate deeply into vein tissue and that this is accompanied by extensive atrophy of the mandibular muscles. This lock-jaw means the ant will remain attached to the leaf after death. We further present histological data to show that a high density of single celled stages of the parasite within the head capsule of dying ants are likely to be responsible for this muscular atrophy. Conclusions Extended phenotypes in ants induced by fungal infections are a complex example of behavioral manipulation requiring coordinated changes of host behavior and morphology. Future work should address the

  19. Behavioral mechanisms and morphological symptoms of zombie ants dying from fungal infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, David P; Andersen, Sandra B; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L; Himaman, Winanda; Billen, Johan; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2011-05-09

    Parasites that manipulate host behavior can provide prominent examples of extended phenotypes: parasite genomes controlling host behavior. Here we focus on one of the most dramatic examples of behavioral manipulation, the death grip of ants infected by Ophiocordyceps fungi. We studied the interaction between O. unilateralis s.l. and its host ant Camponotus leonardi in a Thai rainforest, where infected ants descend from their canopy nests down to understory vegetation to bite into abaxial leaf veins before dying. Host mortality is concentrated in patches (graveyards) where ants die on sapling leaves ca. 25 cm above the soil surface where conditions for parasite development are optimal. Here we address whether the sequence of ant behaviors leading to the final death grip can also be interpreted as parasite adaptations and describe some of the morphological changes inside the heads of infected workers that mediate the expression of the death grip phenotype. We found that infected ants behave as zombies and display predictable stereotypical behaviors of random rather than directional walking, and of repeated convulsions that make them fall down and thus precludes returning to the canopy. Transitions from erratic wandering to death grips on a leaf vein were abrupt and synchronized around solar noon. We show that the mandibles of ants penetrate deeply into vein tissue and that this is accompanied by extensive atrophy of the mandibular muscles. This lock-jaw means the ant will remain attached to the leaf after death. We further present histological data to show that a high density of single celled stages of the parasite within the head capsule of dying ants are likely to be responsible for this muscular atrophy. Extended phenotypes in ants induced by fungal infections are a complex example of behavioral manipulation requiring coordinated changes of host behavior and morphology. Future work should address the genetic basis of such extended phenotypes.

  20. Fire Behavior (FB)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert E. Keane

    2006-01-01

    The Fire Behavior (FB) method is used to describe the behavior of the fire and the ambient weather and fuel conditions that influence the fire behavior. Fire behavior methods are not plot based and are collected by fire event and time-date. In general, the fire behavior data are used to interpret the fire effects documented in the plot-level sampling. Unlike the other...

  1. Fire Symfonier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Svend Hvidtfelt

    2009-01-01

    sidste fire symfonier. Den er måske snarere at opfatte som et præludium til disse. At påstå, at symfonierne fra Holmboes side er planlagt til at være beslægtede, ville være at gå for vidt. Alene de 26 år, der skiller den 10. fra den 13., gør påstanden - i bedste fald - dubiøs. Når deres udformning...... udkrystallisering som i de sidste små 30 år af hans virke har afkastet disse fire variationer over en grundlæggende central holmboesk fornemmelse for form, melodi, klang og rytme. Denne oplevelse har fået mig til at udforske symfonierne, for at finde til bunds i dette holmboeske fællestræk, som jeg mener her står...

  2. Fermat's principle of least time predicts refraction of ant trails at substrate borders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Oettler

    Full Text Available Fermat's principle of least time states that light rays passing through different media follow the fastest (and not the most direct path between two points, leading to refraction at medium borders. Humans intuitively employ this rule, e.g., when a lifeguard has to infer the fastest way to traverse both beach and water to reach a swimmer in need. Here, we tested whether foraging ants also follow Fermat's principle when forced to travel on two surfaces that differentially affected the ants' walking speed. Workers of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, established "refracted" pheromone trails to a food source. These trails deviated from the most direct path, but were not different to paths predicted by Fermat's principle. Our results demonstrate a new aspect of decentralized optimization and underline the versatility of the simple yet robust rules governing the self-organization of group-living animals.

  3. Vegetation responses to season of fire in an aseasonal, fire-prone fynbos shrubland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tineke Kraaij

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Season of fire has marked effects on floristic composition in fire-prone Mediterranean-climate shrublands. In these winter-rainfall systems, summer-autumn fires lead to optimal recruitment of overstorey proteoid shrubs (non-sprouting, slow-maturing, serotinous Proteaceae which are important to the conservation of floral diversity. We explored whether fire season has similar effects on early establishment of five proteoid species in the eastern coastal part of the Cape Floral Kingdom (South Africa where rainfall occurs year-round and where weather conducive to fire and the actual incidence of fire are largely aseasonal. We surveyed recruitment success (ratio of post-fire recruits to pre-fire parents of proteoids after fires in different seasons. We also planted proteoid seeds into exclosures, designed to prevent predation by small mammals and birds, in cleared (intended to simulate fire fynbos shrublands at different sites in each of four seasons and monitored their germination and survival to one year post-planting (hereafter termed ‘recruitment’. Factors (in decreasing order of importance affecting recruitment success in the post-fire surveys were species, pre-fire parent density, post-fire age of the vegetation at the time of assessment, and fire season, whereas rainfall (for six months post-fire and fire return interval (>7 years had little effect. In the seed-planting experiment, germination occurred during the cooler months and mostly within two months of planting, except for summer-plantings, which took 2–3 months longer to germinate. Although recruitment success differed significantly among planting seasons, sites and species, significant interactions occurred among the experimental factors. In both the post-fire surveys and seed planting experiment, recruitment success in relation to fire- or planting season varied greatly within and among species and sites. Results of these two datasets were furthermore inconsistent, suggesting

  4. Vegetation responses to season of fire in an aseasonal, fire-prone fynbos shrubland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraaij, Tineke; Cowling, Richard M; van Wilgen, Brian W; Rikhotso, Diba R; Difford, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Season of fire has marked effects on floristic composition in fire-prone Mediterranean-climate shrublands. In these winter-rainfall systems, summer-autumn fires lead to optimal recruitment of overstorey proteoid shrubs (non-sprouting, slow-maturing, serotinous Proteaceae) which are important to the conservation of floral diversity. We explored whether fire season has similar effects on early establishment of five proteoid species in the eastern coastal part of the Cape Floral Kingdom (South Africa) where rainfall occurs year-round and where weather conducive to fire and the actual incidence of fire are largely aseasonal. We surveyed recruitment success (ratio of post-fire recruits to pre-fire parents) of proteoids after fires in different seasons. We also planted proteoid seeds into exclosures, designed to prevent predation by small mammals and birds, in cleared (intended to simulate fire) fynbos shrublands at different sites in each of four seasons and monitored their germination and survival to one year post-planting (hereafter termed 'recruitment'). Factors (in decreasing order of importance) affecting recruitment success in the post-fire surveys were species, pre-fire parent density, post-fire age of the vegetation at the time of assessment, and fire season, whereas rainfall (for six months post-fire) and fire return interval (>7 years) had little effect. In the seed-planting experiment, germination occurred during the cooler months and mostly within two months of planting, except for summer-plantings, which took 2-3 months longer to germinate. Although recruitment success differed significantly among planting seasons, sites and species, significant interactions occurred among the experimental factors. In both the post-fire surveys and seed planting experiment, recruitment success in relation to fire- or planting season varied greatly within and among species and sites. Results of these two datasets were furthermore inconsistent, suggesting that proteoid

  5. 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.

  6. Fire Models and Design Fires

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Annemarie

    The aim of this project is to perform an experimental study on the influence of the thermal feedback on the burning behavior of well ventilated pre-flashover fires. For the purpose an experimental method has been developed. Here the same identical objects are tested under free burn conditions...... documented a simple relation that can be used for estimating the impact of thermal feedback for pre-flashover design fires. A rapid increase of the heat release rate commenced after the incipient phase. This is seen as thermal runaway caused by the energy gain in the smoke layer exceeding the energy that can...... and in two different rooms, which only are varied by linings of significantly different thermal inertia. As all linings were non-combustible the heat release rate could be found without the influence of thermal feedback and for two different levels of thermal feedback. The ISO 9705 Room Corner Test facility...

  7. FIRE ALARM SYSTEM OUTDATED.

    Science.gov (United States)

    CHANDLER, L.T.

    AN EFFICIENT FIRE ALARM SYSTEM SHOULD--(1) PROVIDE WARNING OF FIRES THAT START IN HIDDEN OR UNOCCUPIED LOCATIONS, (2) INDICATE WHERE THE FIRE IS, (3) GIVE ADVANCE WARNING TO FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATION SO THAT PANIC AND CONFUSION CAN BE AVOIDED AND ORDERLY EVACUATION OCCUR, (4) AUTOMATICALLY NOTIFY CITY FIRE HEADQUARTERS OF THE FIRE, (5) OPERATE BY…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smadar Gilboa

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reina L. Tong

    2018-02-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Community structure of ground-ants: the role of single trees in a Mediterranean pastureland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-López, J.; Ruiz, N.; Fernández-Haeger, J.

    2003-09-01

    A study was carried out to determine the effect of single tree ( Quercus ilex subsp, ballota) shaded microhabitats on the community structure of ground-nesting ants in a semi-natural Mediterranean ecosystem ("dehesa"). A total of 1156 ant nests belonging to 20 species were detected in the study area, with a mean density of 10-11 nests per 100 m 2. Ground ant nests were denser under tree cover than on exposed grassland. Species richness and diversity also tended to increase in areas under tree canopies. These effects were found to be proportional to the area of tree cover up to a certain limit, beyond which the trend became negative. Species composition differed between open ground and tree-shaded microhabitats. Shade-tolerant species such as Plagiolepis pygmaea were more common near trees, whereas the seed harvester ant Messor barbarus was more common in open areas.

  12. Crown Fire Potential

    Data.gov (United States)

    Earth Data Analysis Center, University of New Mexico — Crown fire potential was modeled using FlamMap, an interagency fire behavior mapping and analysis program that computes potential fire behavior characteristics. The...

  13. Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi biomass distribution, fire regime and post-fire recovery in northeastern Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. C. Mack

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Climate change and land-use activities are increasing fire activity across much of the Siberian boreal forest, yet the climate feedbacks from forest disturbances remain difficult to quantify due to limited information on forest biomass distribution, disturbance regimes and post-disturbance ecosystem recovery. Our primary objective here was to analyse post-fire accumulation of Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi Mayr. aboveground biomass for a 100 000 km2 area of open forest in far northeastern Siberia. In addition to examining effects of fire size and topography on post-fire larch aboveground biomass, we assessed regional fire rotation and density, as well as performance of burned area maps generated from MODIS satellite imagery. Using Landsat imagery, we mapped 116 fire scar perimeters that dated c. 1966–2007. We then mapped larch aboveground biomass by linking field biomass measurements to tree shadows mapped synergistically from WorldView-1 and Landsat 5 satellite imagery. Larch aboveground biomass tended to be low during early succession (≤ 25 yr, 271 ± 26 g m−2, n = 66 [mean ± SE] and decreased with increasing elevation and northwardly aspect. Larch aboveground biomass tended to be higher during mid-succession (33–38 yr, 746 ± 100 g m−2, n = 32, though was highly variable. The high variability was not associated with topography and potentially reflected differences in post-fire density of tree regrowth. Neither fire size nor latitude were significant predictors of post-fire larch aboveground biomass. Fire activity was considerably higher in the Kolyma Mountains (fire rotation = 110 yr, fire density = 1.0 ± 1.0 fires yr−1 × 104 km−2 than along the forest-tundra border (fire rotation = 792 yr, fire density = 0.3 ± 0.3 fires yr−1 × 104 km−2. The MODIS burned area maps underestimated the total area burned in this region from 2000–2007 by 40%. Tree shadows mapped jointly using high and medium resolution satellite imagery

  14. 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...

  15. Microclimatic changes and the indirect loss of ant diversity in a tropical agroecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perfecto, I; Vandermeer, J

    1996-11-01

    Recent changes in the coffee agroecosystem of Costa Rica were used to study the mechanism of biodiversity loss in transforming agroecosystems, focusing on the ground-foraging ant community. Coffee farms are being transformed from vegetationally diverse shaded agroforestry systems to unshaded coffee monocultures. We tested the hypothesis that the high-light environment and lack of leaf litter cover in the unshaded system are the determinants of the differences in ground-foraging ant diversity. Four treatments were established within the light gaps of a shaded plantation: shade, leaf litter, shade plus leaf litter, and a control (no shade or leaf litter added). Ants were sampled using tuna fish baits and light and temperature were measured. Shade and leaf litter had a significant effect on the ant fauna but probably for indirect reasons having to do with species interactions. In both shade treatments, Solenopsis geminata, the tropical fire ant, decreased significantly while the other species increased. The possibility that the physical factor changes the nature of competitive interactions between the most abundant species is discussed.

  16. Modeling the effects of vegetation heterogeneity on wildland fire behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atchley, A. L.; Linn, R.; Sieg, C.; Middleton, R. S.

    2017-12-01

    Vegetation structure and densities are known to drive fire-spread rate and burn severity. Many fire-spread models incorporate an average, homogenous fuel density in the model domain to drive fire behavior. However, vegetation communities are rarely homogenous and instead present significant heterogeneous structure and fuel densities in the fires path. This results in observed patches of varied burn severities and mosaics of disturbed conditions that affect ecological recovery and hydrologic response. Consequently, to understand the interactions of fire and ecosystem functions, representations of spatially heterogeneous conditions need to be incorporated into fire models. Mechanistic models of fire disturbance offer insight into how fuel load characterization and distribution result in varied fire behavior. Here we use a physically-based 3D combustion model—FIRETEC—that solves conservation of mass, momentum, energy, and chemical species to compare fire behavior on homogenous representations to a heterogeneous vegetation distribution. Results demonstrate the impact vegetation heterogeneity has on the spread rate, intensity, and extent of simulated wildfires thus providing valuable insight in predicted wildland fire evolution and enhanced ability to estimate wildland fire inputs into regional and global climate models.

  17. 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.

  18. Specificity of an ant-lycaenid interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, D; Thomas, C D

    1992-09-01

    Many lycaenid butterflies are believed to be mutualists of ants - the butterfly larvae secrete sugars and amino acids as rewards for the ants, and the ants protect the larvae from predation or parasitism. We examined the specificity of the relationship between the lycaenid Plebejus argus and ants in the genus Lasius. Eggs were not attractive to Lasius ants until the emerging larvae had broken through the chorion. First instar larvae were palpated and picked up by Lasius workers and taken to the nest. First instars were mostly ignored by Myrmica sabuleti ants and they were rarely detected by Formica fusca. Older larvae were more attractive to Lasius than to the other ant genera. Pupae were very attractive to Lasius, moderately so to Myrmica, and were ignored by Formica fusca. Teneral adults were palpated by Lasius, but were attacked by Myrmica and Formica workers. We conclude that P. argus is a specialist associate of Lasius ants. Two populations of Plebejus argus were compared: one is naturally associated with Lasius niger, and the other with Lasius alienus. In reciprocal trials, larvae were slightly more attractive to their natural host ant species. Since test larvae were reared on a single host plant species in captivity, this differentiation probably has a genetic basis.

  19. Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ted R; Brady, Seán G

    2008-04-08

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

  20. 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.

  1. Ants (Formicidae) as food for birds in southern Africa: opportunism ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are eaten by a number of bird species in southern Africa. Our database contained 545 species (excluding waterbirds and raptors), of which 179 species have been observed feeding on ants, or had ants in their stomachs. Ants are eaten by birds in all ecosystems, but the consumption of ants ...

  2. Fire severity and ecosytem responses following crown fires in California shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, J.E.; Brennan, T.; Pfaff, A.H.

    2008-01-01

    Chaparral shrublands burn in large high-intensity crown fires. Managers interested in how these wildfires affect ecosystem processes generally rely on surrogate measures of fire intensity known as fire severity metrics. In shrublands burned in the autumn of 2003, a study of 250 sites investigated factors determining fire severity and ecosystem responses.Using structural equation modeling we show that stand age, prefire shrub density, and the shortest interval of the prior fire history had significant direct effects on fire severity, explaining >50% of the variation in severity.Fire severity per se is of interest to resource managers primarily because it is presumed to be an indicator of important ecosystem processes such as vegetative regeneration, community recovery, and erosion. Fire severity contributed relatively little to explaining patterns of regeneration after fire. Two generalizations can be drawn: fire severity effects are mostly short-lived, i.e., by the second year they are greatly diminished, and fire severity may have opposite effects on different functional types.Species richness exhibited a negative relationship to fire severity in the first year, but fire severity impacts were substantially less in the second postfire year and varied by functional type. Much of this relationship was due to alien plants that are sensitive to high fire severity; at all scales from 1 to 1000 m2, the percentage of alien species in the postfire flora declined with increased fire severity. Other aspects of disturbance history are also important determinants of alien cover and richness as both increased with the number of times the site had burned and decreased with time since last fire.A substantial number of studies have shown that remote-sensing indices are correlated with field measurements of fire severity. Across our sites, absolute differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR) was strongly correlated with field measures of fire severity and with fire history at a site

  3. Fire severity and ecosytem responses following crown fires in California shrublands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E; Brennan, Teresa; Pfaff, Anne H

    2008-09-01

    Chaparral shrublands burn in large high-intensity crown fires. Managers interested in how these wildfires affect ecosystem processes generally rely on surrogate measures of fire intensity known as fire severity metrics. In shrublands burned in the autumn of 2003, a study of 250 sites investigated factors determining fire severity and ecosystem responses. Using structural equation modeling we show that stand age, prefire shrub density, and the shortest interval of the prior fire history had significant direct effects on fire severity, explaining > 50% of the variation in severity. Fire severity per se is of interest to resource managers primarily because it is presumed to be an indicator of important ecosystem processes such as vegetative regeneration, community recovery, and erosion. Fire severity contributed relatively little to explaining patterns of regeneration after fire. Two generalizations can be drawn: fire severity effects are mostly shortlived, i.e., by the second year they are greatly diminished, and fire severity may have opposite effects on different functional types. Species richness exhibited a negative relationship to fire severity in the first year, but fire severity impacts were substantially less in the second postfire year and varied by functional type. Much of this relationship was due to alien plants that are sensitive to high fire severity; at all scales from 1 to 1000 m2, the percentage of alien species in the postfire flora declined with increased fire severity. Other aspects of disturbance history are also important determinants of alien cover and richness as both increased with the number of times the site had burned and decreased with time since last fire. A substantial number of studies have shown that remote-sensing indices are correlated with field measurements of fire severity. Across our sites, absolute differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR) was strongly correlated with field measures of fire severity and with fire history at a

  4. Fire Patterns and Drivers of Fires in the West African Tropical Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwomoh, F. K.; Wimberly, M. C.

    2015-12-01

    The West African tropical forest (referred to as the Upper Guinean forest, UGF), is a global biodiversity hotspot providing vital ecosystem services for the region's socio-economic and environmental wellbeing. It is also one of the most fragmented and human-modified tropical forest ecosystems, with the only remaining large patches of original forests contained in protected areas. However, these remnant forests are susceptible to continued fire-mediated degradation and forest loss due to intense climatic, demographic and land use pressures. We analyzed human and climatic drivers of fire activity in the sub-region to better understand the spatial and temporal patterns of these risks. We utilized MODIS active fire and burned area products to identify fire activity within the sub-region. We measured climatic variability using TRMM rainfall data and derived indicators of human land use from a variety of geospatial datasets. We used a boosted regression trees model to determine the influences of predictor variables on fire activity. Our analyses indicated that the spatial and temporal variability of precipitation is a key driving factor of fire activity in the UGF. Anthropogenic effects on fire activity in the area were evident through the influences of agriculture and low-density populations. These human footprints in the landscape make forests more susceptible to fires through forest fragmentation, degradation, and fire spread from agricultural areas. Forested protected areas within the forest savanna mosaic experienced frequent fires, whereas the more humid forest areas located in the south and south-western portions of the study area had fewer fires as these rainforests tend to offer some buffering against fire encroachment. These results improve characterization of UGF fire regime and expand our understanding of the spatio-temporal dynamics of tropical forest fires in response to human and climatic pressures.

  5. Population consequences of changes in an ant-seed mutualism in Sanguinaria canadensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pudlo, Ronald J; Beattie, Andrew J; Culver, David C

    1980-07-01

    Seed dispersal by ants was studied in three populations of the myrmecochore, Sanguinaria canadensis, located in three habitats, each of which showed a different level of disturbance. Frequency of seed removal and the distances seeds were carried by ants were related to plant density, dispersion and the relative proportions of sexual and asexual reproduction in each population. Seeds in the least disturbed habitat were removed frequently and carried, by a wide variety of ants, distances of up to 12 m. Plant density was low and clone size was small. There was a relatively low level of sexual (seed) reproduction but seeds were generally transported well beyond the boundaries of the parent clones. By contrast, at the most disturbed site, plant density was high and clone size was very large. While there was a high level of seed production, seeds were rarely moved by ants and since removal distances were short, the probability of a seed being relocated beyond the limits of the parent clone was miniscule. The third population from a habitat which was intermediate in disturbance yielded data intermediate to the others. The data show that habitat disturbance, in disrupting the ant fauna and hence the ant-seed mutualism, has profound effects upon population density, dispersion and patterns of reproduction. Density-dependent regulation of sexual output predicted, for example, by the Strawberry-Coral model (Williams 1975), is maladaptive when the antseed mutualism is disturbed. We discuss the implications of this for theoretical modeling, the significance of mutualisms and the assessment of disturbance for conservation.

  6. 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...

  7. Fire and fire ecology: Concepts and principles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Cochrane; Kevin C. Ryan

    2009-01-01

    Fire has been central to terrestrial life ever since early anaerobic microorganisms poisoned the atmosphere with oxygen and multicellular plant life moved onto land. The combination of fuels, oxygen, and heat gave birth to fire on Earth. Fire is not just another evolutionary challenge that life needed to overcome, it is, in fact, a core ecological process across much...

  8. 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.

  9. Fires, ecological effects of

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. J. Bond; Robert Keane

    2017-01-01

    Fire is both a natural and anthropogenic disturbance influencing the distribution, structure, and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems around the world. Many plants and animals depend on fire for their continued existence. Others species, such as rainforest plants species, are extremely intolerant of burning and need protection from fire. The properties of a fire...

  10. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    It is easy to comprehend the population biology of social insect colonies [11] using the basic principles which affect the formation of the ant trails. ..... [19] M G Deborah, Ant encounters interaction networks and colony behavior (Princeton Univer- sity Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2010). [20] K Nishinari, D Chowdhury and A ...

  11. Why is an Ant's Trail Straight?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    This interesting question puzzled the emi- nent theoretical physicist Richard Feynman when he was young. As a boy he did many ingenious and interesting experiments. One of them concerned ants. One day while taking a bath he placed a lump of sugar at one end of the bath tub and waited for an ant to locate it. Feynman ...

  12. 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.

  13. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

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

  14. 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

  15. Visual associative learning in wood ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, A Sofia D; Buckley, Christopher L; Niven, Jeremy E

    2018-02-07

    Wood ants are a model system for studying visual learning and navigation. They can forage for food and navigate to their nests effectively by forming memories of visual features in their surrounding environment. Previous studies of freely behaving ants have revealed many of the behavioural strategies and environmental features necessary for successful navigation. However, little is known about the exact visual properties of the environment that animals learn or the neural mechanisms that allow them to achieve this. As a first step towards addressing this, we developed a classical conditioning paradigm for visual learning in harnessed wood ants that allows us to control precisely the learned visual cues. In this paradigm, ants are fixed and presented with a visual cue paired with an appetitive sugar reward. Using this paradigm, we found that visual cues learnt by wood ants through Pavlovian conditioning are retained for at least 1 h. Furthermore, we found that memory retention is dependent upon the ants' performance during training. Our study provides the first evidence that wood ants can form visual associative memories when restrained. This classical conditioning paradigm has the potential to permit detailed analysis of the dynamics of memory formation and retention, and the neural basis of learning in wood ants. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  16. Intumescent Coatings as Fire Retardants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, J. A.; Fohlen, G. M.; Sawko, P. M.; Fish, R. H.

    1970-01-01

    The development of fire-retardant coatings to protect surfaces which may be exposed to fire or extreme heat is a subject of intense interest to many industries. A fire-retardant paint has been developed which represents a new chemical approach for preparing intumescent coatings, and potentially, is very important to fire-prevention authorities. The requirements for a superior coating include ease of application, suitability to a wide variety of surfaces and finishes, and stability over an extended period of time within a broad range of ambient temperature and humidity conditions. These innovative coatings, when activated by the heat of a fire, react to form a thick, low-density, polymeric coating or char layer. Water vapor and sulphur dioxide are released during the intumescent reaction. Two fire-protection mechanisms thus become available: (1) the char layer retards the flow of heat, due to the extremely low thermal conductivity; and (2) water vapor and sulfur dioxide are released, providing fire quenching properties. Still another mechanism functions in cases where the char, by virtue of its high oxidation resistance and low thermal conductivity, reaches a sufficiently high temperature to re-radiate much of the incident heat load. The coatings consist of dispersions of selective salts of a nitro-amino-arornatic compound. Specifically, para-nitroaniline bisulfate and the ammonium salt of para-nitroaniline-ortho sulphuric acid (2-amino-5-nitrobenzenesulphuric acid) are used. Suitable vehicles are cellulose nitrate of lacquer grade, a nitrite-phenolic modified rubber, or epoxy-polysulfide copolymer. Three separate formulations have been developed. A solvent is usually employed, such as methylethyl ketone, butyl acetate, or toluene, which renders the coatings suitably thin and which evaporates after the coatings are applied. Generally, the intumescent material is treated as insoluble in the vehicle, and is ground and dispersed in the vehicle and solvent like an

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) feed off a fungus they cultivate in a mutualistic symbiosis in underground chambers by providing it substrate they collect outside the colony. The tribe of Attine ants ranges from small colonies of the paleo- and basal Attine species with a few hundred workers...... that forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...... contribution to cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus in their direct environment and are, furthermore, considered pest species as they have a large impact on human agriculture. These factors make leaf-cutting ants an ideal study subject to better understand the mechanisms that make this mutualistic symbiosis so...

  20. 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.

  1. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    the discrimination behavior of the invasive pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) as a model for other invasive and supercolonial ant species. The pharaoh ant is one of the few ant species that can be reared in the laboratory for many generations. Furthermore, the possibility to do controlled crosses of colonies...... provides the unique opportunity to establish colonies of different genetic composition. These traits make this species a suitable study subject to set up behavioral experiments that aim to investigate which factors, and to which extent, might influence the inter- and intraspecific discrimination abilities...... other compounds. We also developed a new method for centroid calculation that increased the power of the analysis and can therefore be used in future studies that aim to identify nestmate recognition cues in other species. In the fourth chapter I investigated the nest site preference of pharaoh ant...

  2. Characterization of the Fire Regime and Drivers of Fires in the West African Tropical Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwomoh, F. K.; Wimberly, M. C.

    2016-12-01

    The Upper Guinean forest (UGF), encompassing the tropical regions of West Africa, is a globally significant biodiversity hotspot and a critically important socio-economic and ecological resource for the region. However, the UGF is one of the most human-disturbed tropical forest ecosystems with the only remaining large patches of original forests distributed in protected areas, which are embedded in a hotspot of climate stress & land use pressures, increasing their vulnerability to fire. We hypothesized that human impacts and climate interact to drive spatial and temporal variability in fire, with fire exhibiting distinctive seasonality and sensitivity to drought in areas characterized by different population densities, agricultural practices, vegetation types, and levels of forest degradation. We used the MODIS active fire product to identify and characterize fire activity in the major ecoregions of the UGF. We used TRMM rainfall data to measure climatic variability and derived indicators of human land use from a variety of geospatial datasets. We employed time series modeling to identify the influences of drought indices and other antecedent climatic indicators on temporal patterns of active fire occurrence. We used a variety of modeling approaches to assess the influences of human activities and land cover variables on the spatial pattern of fire activity. Our results showed that temporal patterns of fire activity in the UGF were related to precipitation, but these relationships were spatially heterogeneous. The pattern of fire seasonality varied geographically, reflecting both climatological patterns and agricultural practices. The spatial pattern of fire activity was strongly associated with vegetation gradients and anthropogenic activities occurring at fine spatial scales. The Guinean forest-savanna mosaic ecoregion had the most fires. This study contributes to our understanding of UGF fire regime and the spatio-temporal dynamics of tropical forest fires in

  3. Vegetation structure of plantain-based agrosystems determines numerical dominance in community of ground-dwelling ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassou, Anicet Gbéblonoudo; Tixier, Philippe; Dépigny, Sylvain; Carval, Dominique

    2017-01-01

    In tropics, ants can represent an important part of animal biomass and are known to be involved in ecosystem services, such as pest regulation. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the structuring of local ant communities is therefore important in agroecology. In the humid tropics of Africa, plantains are cropped in association with many other annual and perennial crops. Such agrosystems differ greatly in vegetation diversity and structure and are well-suited for studying how habitat-related factors affect the ant community. We analysed abundance data for the six numerically dominant ant taxa in 500 subplots located in 20 diversified, plantain-based fields. We found that the density of crops with foliage at intermediate and high canopy strata determined the numerical dominance of species. We found no relationship between the numerical dominance of each ant taxon with the crop diversity. Our results indicate that the manipulation of the densities of crops with leaves in the intermediate and high strata may help maintain the coexistence of ant species by providing different habitat patches. Further research in such agrosystems should be performed to assess if the effect of vegetation structure on ant abundance could result in efficient pest regulation.

  4. Smoke production in fires

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarvaranta, L.; Kokkala, M. [VTT Building Technology, Espoo (Finland). Building Physics, Building Services and Fire Technology

    1995-12-31

    Characterization of smoke, factors influencing smoke production and experimental methods for measuring smoke production are discussed in this literature review. Recent test-based correlation models are also discussed. Despite the large number of laboratories using different fire testing methods, published smoke data have been scarce. Most technical literature on smoke production from building materials is about experimental results in small scale tests. Compilations from cone calorimeter tests have been published for a few materials, e.g. upholstered furniture materials and some building products. Mass optical density data and compilations of gravimetric soot data are available for various materials as well as a number of smoke obscuration values. For a given material often a wide range of values of smoke output can be found in the literature and care should be exercised in applying the appropriate value in each case. In laboratory experiments, the production of smoke and its optical properties are often measured simultaneously with other fire properties as heat release and flame spread. The measurements are usually dynamic in full scale, i.e. they are performed in a flow-through system. In small scale they may be either dynamic, as in the cone calorimeter, or static, i.e. the smoke is accumulated in a closed box. Small-scale tests are necessary as practical tools. Full-scale tests are generally considered to be more reliable and are needed to validitate the small-scale tests

  5. Fire, safety and ventilation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hindle, D.

    1999-02-01

    Correct ventilation in tunnel environments is vital for the comfort and safety of the people passing through. This article gives details of products from several manufacturers of safety rescue and fire fighting equipment, fire and fume detection equipment, special fire resistant materials, fire resistant hydraulic oils and fire dampers, and ventilation systems. Company addresses and fax numbers are supplied. 4 refs., 5 tabs., 10 photos.

  6. Fire-Walking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willey, David

    2010-01-01

    This article gives a brief history of fire-walking and then deals with the physics behind fire-walking. The author has performed approximately 50 fire-walks, took the data for the world's hottest fire-walk and was, at one time, a world record holder for the longest fire-walk (www.dwilley.com/HDATLTW/Record_Making_Firewalks.html). He currently…

  7. Smoldering - The Fire Scenario

    OpenAIRE

    Torero, Jose L

    2000-01-01

    There are certain fire initiation scenarios that are particularly common, one of great significance is a fire initiated from the ignition of a porous fuel. Nearly 40% of the deaths due to fire can be traced to cigarette induced smolder of upholstered furniture and the mechanisms that control the process that transforms the weak smolder reaction occurring in the cigarette to a fire are still mostly unknown. A general description of this fire scenario and a discussion of its threats is pr...

  8. The Evolutionary Ecology of Multi-Queen Breeding in Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

    production. Finally, we aimed to gain insights into how native supercolonies emerge and compare to other nests of the same population. We found that supercolony nests reached higher density, had very low relatedness and lower genetic differentiation compared to non-supercolony (monogynous, polygynous) nests...... on other ant species to better understand the social syndromes and how supercolonies function. Foremost, this would help to manage invasive supercolonies that harm humans and biodiversity, but could also provide contribution to our general understanding on how ecology, especially demography impacts upon...... social evolution....

  9. Diaspore trait preferences of dispersing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reifenrath, Kerstin; Becker, Christine; Poethke, Hans Joachim

    2012-09-01

    Elaiosomes of myrmecochorous plant seeds are known to enhance the attraction of diaspore-dispersing ants by serving as a nutritional reward. However, it remained unclear which (nutritional) compounds affect diaspore preferences of ants. We hypothesized that apart from elaiosome/seed-size ratio, volume, and physical surface of diaspores, the quantity and the composition of fatty acids, amino acids, and sugars strongly influence the diaspore preferences of different species. Chemical (nutritional) profiles as well as structural properties of seeds with and without elaiosomes were analyzed and correlated with observed seed choice behavior of ants. Cafeteria experiments in the field confirmed the enhanced attractiveness of elaiosome-bearing seeds for all three ant species tested (Lasius fuliginosus, Myrmica ruginodis, and Temnothorax nylanderi), although seeds lacking elaiosomes also were transported. In multiple-choice cafeteria experiments with simultaneously offered diaspores of 16 plant species with and without elaiosome and with highly varying structural and chemical properties, all three ant species showed distinct preferences for certain diaspore species. Correlation analyses confirmed that the presence of an elaiosome represents the crucial factor that favors ant diaspore dispersal. In addition, the composition and the content of free amino acids, and to varying degrees fatty acids, were found to significantly affect preferences of each ant species, whereas the effect of single fatty acids acting as chemical triggers for diaspore transport by ants, as supposed by several studies, was not confirmed. In conclusion, although at least some diaspore species lacking elaiosomes attract ants for diaspore removal services by presenting nutritional seed coats, the production of elaiosomes seems to provide a worthwhile investment. Elaiosomes ensure rapid diaspore detection and removal due to chemical cue compounds and by offering a highly nutritional food supply, probably

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  11. 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...... perception, was prevented and in tests with anaesthetized queens. The cuticular chemical profiles of queens were neither associated with dominance nor fertility and, therefore, do not represent status badges 5 and 6 , and nestmate queens did not share a common odor. Personal recognition facilitates...

  12. 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.

  13. Davis Fire: Fire behavior and fire effects analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaWen T. Hollingsworth

    2010-01-01

    The Davis Fire presents an interesting example of fire behavior in subalpine fir, partially dead lodgepole pine with multiple age classes, and moist site Douglas-fir vegetation types. This has been summer of moderate temperatures and intermittent moisture that has kept live herbaceous and live woody moistures fairly high and dead fuel moistures at a moderate level....

  14. FIRES: Fire Information Retrieval and Evaluation System - A program for fire danger rating analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricia L. Andrews; Larry S. Bradshaw

    1997-01-01

    A computer program, FIRES: Fire Information Retrieval and Evaluation System, provides methods for evaluating the performance of fire danger rating indexes. The relationship between fire danger indexes and historical fire occurrence and size is examined through logistic regression and percentiles. Historical seasonal trends of fire danger and fire occurrence can be...

  15. Human impacts on fire occurrence: a case study of hundred years of forest fires in a dry alpine valley in Switzerland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zumbrunnen, T.; Menéndez, P.; Bugmann, H.; Conedera, M.; Gimmi, U.; Bürgi, M.

    2012-01-01

    Forest fire regimes are sensitive to alterations of climate, fuel load, and ignition sources. We investigated the impact of human activities and climate on fire occurrence in a dry continental valley of the Swiss Alps (Valais) by relating fire occurrence to population and road density, biomass

  16. Economy of scale: third partner strengthens a keystone ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior, Kirsten M; Palmer, Todd M

    2018-02-01

    While foundation species can stabilize ecosystems at landscape scales, their ability to persist is often underlain by keystone interactions occurring at smaller scales. Acacia drepanolobium is a foundation tree, comprising >95% of woody cover in East African black-cotton savanna ecosystems. Its dominance is underlain by a keystone mutualistic interaction with several symbiotic ant species in which it provides housing (swollen thorns) and carbohydrate-rich nectar from extra-floral nectaries (EFN). In return, it gains protection from catastrophic damage from mega-herbivores. Crematogaster mimosae is the ecologically dominant symbiotic ant in this system, also providing the highest protection services. In addition to tending EFN, C. mimosae tend scale insects for carbohydrate-rich honeydew. We investigated the role of scale insects in this specialized ant-plant interaction. Specifically, does this putatively redundant third partner strengthen the ant-plant mutualism by making the ant a better protector of the tree? Or does it weaken the mutualism by being costly to the tree while providing no additional benefit to the ant-plant mutualism? We coupled observational surveys with two scale-manipulation experiments and found evidence that this third partner strengthens the ant-plant mutualism. Trees with scale insects experimentally removed experienced a 2.5X increase in elephant damage compared to trees with scale insects present over 10 months. Reduced protection was driven by scale removal causing a decrease in ant colony size and per capita baseline activity and defensive behavior. We also found that ants increased scale-tending and the density of scale insects on trees when EFN were experimentally reduced. Thus, in this system, scale insects and EFN are likely complementary, rather than redundant, resources with scale insects benefitting ants when EFN production is low (such as during annual dry periods in this semi-arid ecosystem). This study reveals that a third

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. How to be an ant on figs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bain, Anthony; Harrison, Rhett D.; Schatz, Bertrand

    2014-05-01

    Mutualistic interactions are open to exploitation by one or other of the partners and a diversity of other organisms, and hence are best understood as being embedded in a complex network of biotic interactions. Figs participate in an obligate mutualism in that figs are dependent on agaonid fig wasps for pollination and the wasps are dependent on fig ovules for brood sites. Ants are common insect predators and abundant in tropical forests. Ants have been recorded on approximately 11% of fig species, including all six subgenera, and often affect the fig-fig pollinator interaction through their predation of either pollinating and parasitic wasps. On monoecious figs, ants are often associated with hemipterans, whereas in dioecious figs ants predominantly prey on fig wasps. A few fig species are true myrmecophytes, with domatia or food rewards for ants, and in at least one species this is linked to predation of parasitic fig wasps. Ants also play a role in dispersal of fig seeds and may be particularly important for hemi-epiphytic species, which require high quality establishment microsites in the canopy. The intersection between the fig-fig pollinator and ant-plant systems promises to provide fertile ground for understanding mutualistic interactions within the context of complex interaction networks.

  19. [Effects of fire recurrence on fire behaviour in cork oak woodlands (Quercus suber L.) and Mediterranean shrublands over the last fifty years].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffhauser, Alice; Pimont, François; Curt, Thomas; Cassagne, Nathalie; Dupuy, Jean-Luc; Tatoni, Thierry

    2015-12-01

    Past fire recurrence impacts the vegetation structure, and it is consequently hypothesized to alter its future fire behaviour. We examined the fire behaviour in shrubland-forest mosaics of southeastern France, which were organized along a range of fire frequency (0 to 3-4 fires along the past 50 years) and had different time intervals between fires. The mosaic was dominated by Quercus suber L. and Erica-Cistus shrubland communities. We described the vegetation structure through measurements of tree height, base of tree crown or shrub layer, mean diameter, cover, plant water content and bulk density. We used the physical model Firetec to simulate the fire behaviour. Fire intensity, fire spread, plant water content and biomass loss varied significantly according to fire recurrence and vegetation structure, mainly linked to the time since the last fire, then the number of fires. These results confirm that past fire recurrence affects future fire behaviour, with multi-layered vegetation (particularly high shrublands) producing more intense fires, contrary to submature Quercus woodlands that have not burnt since 1959 and that are unlikely to reburn. Further simulations, with more vegetation scenes according to shrub and canopy covers, will complete this study in order to discuss the fire propagation risk in heterogeneous vegetation, particularly in the Mediterranean area, with a view to a local management of these ecosystems. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Ant-nest soil and seedling growth in a neotropical ant-dispersed herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvitz, Carol C; Schemske, Douglas W

    1986-09-01

    A major hypothesis concerning the benefits of myrmecochory, seed dispersal by ants, to plants is that ant nests are nutrient-enriched microsites that are beneficial to seedling growth. We experimentally test this hypothesis for a neotropical myrmecochore, Calathea ovandensis, asking two questions: 1) is soil of nests of a seed-dispersing ant chemically or structurally distinct from surrounding soils, and 2) do seedlings grow better in soil collected from ant nests than in randomly collected soil? We found that although ant-nest soil was significantly enriched in nitrate-nitrogen, magnesium, iron, manganese, cadmium and percent organic matter compared to randomly collected soil, seedling growth was not significantly improved by ant-nest soil.

  3. What do myrmecophagous geckos eat when ants are not available ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Like other Pristurus species, P. samhaensis on Samha and P. sokotranus on Socotra were highly myrmecophagous (76.7% and 38.6% ants, respectively). However, ants were absent from the diet of P. samhaensis on Darsa. In contrast to the rich native ant fauna of the other islands, only one ant species was reported for ...

  4. Wildland fire in ecosystems: effects of fire on flora

    Science.gov (United States)

    James K. Brown; Jane Kapler Smith

    2000-01-01

    VOLUME 2: This state-of-knowledge review about the effects of fire on flora and fuels can assist land managers with ecosystem and fire management planning and in their efforts to inform others about the ecological role of fire. Chapter topics include fire regime classification, autecological effects of fire, fire regime characteristics and postfire plant community...

  5. Fire can suppress the development of macrophyllous thickets ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The ingression of woody plants into savannas, known as bush or shrub encroachment, has become a global concern. Fire has been acknowledged as a key factor in managing woody vegetation in savannas. This study assessed the role of fire in determining the total density, structure and composition of woody vegetation ...

  6. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

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

  7. Kunstikriitik Ants Juske sai doktoriks / Neeme Korv

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Korv, Neeme, 1974-

    2003-01-01

    Tartu Kõrgema Kunstikooli rektor Ants Juske kaitses 7. veebruaril Tallinnas Kunstiakadeemias edukalt doktoriväitekirja, juhendajaks oli professor Boris Bernštein ning oponeerisid doktor Altti Kuusamo Soomest ja professor Peeter Tulviste

  8. Modeling Urban Fire Growth,

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuclear explosion damage, *Explosion effects, *Fires, *Flame propagation, Growth (General), Area coverage, Ignition, Combustion, Casualties...Computerized simulation, Predictions, Countermeasures, Fire suppression, Damage assessment, Urban areas, Vulnerability, Data acquisition, Methodology, Symposia

  9. Fire Stations - 2009

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — Fire Stations in Kansas Any location where fire fighters are stationed or based out of, or where equipment that such personnel use in carrying out their jobs is...

  10. Fire Stations - 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — Fire Station Locations in Kansas Any location where fire fighters are stationed at or based out of, or where equipment that such personnel use in carrying out their...

  11. Buildings exposed to fire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-01-01

    The 24 lectures presented to the colloquium cover the following subject fields: (1) Behaviour of structural components exposed to fire; (2) Behaviour of building materials exposed to fire; (3) Thermal processes; (4) Safety related, theoretical studies. (PW) [de

  12. Filosofiens historiografi: Fire genrer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rorty, Richard

    2007-01-01

    Oversættelse af Richard Rortys artikel "Filosofiens historiografi: Fire genrer" Udgivelsesdato: 26 Oktober......Oversættelse af Richard Rortys artikel "Filosofiens historiografi: Fire genrer" Udgivelsesdato: 26 Oktober...

  13. Spacecraft Fire Safety Demonstration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of the Spacecraft Fire Safety Demonstration project is to develop and conduct large-scale fire safety experiments on an International Space Station...

  14. Fire Making, Part I

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Kathryn R.

    2002-04-01

    In the late 1930's and early 1940's, JCE published several historical accounts on methods for igniting fires. This "From Past Issues" summarizes an article by Warren N. Watson on the fire making arts of primitive peoples.

  15. Fires and Food Safety

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Forms FSIS United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service About FSIS District Offices Careers ... JSR 286) Actions ${title} Loading... Fires and Food Safety Fire! Few words can strike such terror. Residential ...

  16. Interagency Wildland Fire Cooperation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2004-01-01

    Wildlife Fire Assistance includes training personnel, forms partnerships for prescribed burns, state and regional data for fire management plans, develops agreements for DoD civilians to be reimbursed...

  17. Tunnel fire dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Ingason, Haukur; Lönnermark, Anders

    2015-01-01

    This book covers a wide range of issues in fire safety engineering in tunnels, describes the phenomena related to tunnel fire dynamics, presents state-of-the-art research, and gives detailed solutions to these major issues. Examples for calculations are provided. The aim is to significantly improve the understanding of fire safety engineering in tunnels. Chapters on fuel and ventilation control, combustion products, gas temperatures, heat fluxes, smoke stratification, visibility, tenability, design fire curves, heat release, fire suppression and detection, CFD modeling, and scaling techniques all equip readers to create their own fire safety plans for tunnels. This book should be purchased by any engineer or public official with responsibility for tunnels. It would also be of interest to many fire protection engineers as an application of evolving technical principles of fire safety.

  18. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Effects of the Heterogeneity of the Landscape and the Abundance of Wasmannia auropunctata on Ground Ant Assemblages in a Colombian Tropical Dry Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Achury

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the response of the ant assemblages to different management practices in the tropical dry forests of southwestern Colombia, 10 sites that conserve forest fragments surrounded by pastures and sugarcane crops were sampled. Tuna-fish baits placed on the ground in the three habitats captured 100 ant species (41 genera. The greatest number of species was found in the forests in contrast with a significant loss of richness and diversity in the productive habitats, the pastures being richer than the cane fields. Species richness was negatively correlated with the abundance of the little fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata. Ant species composition was related to soil temperature and percent ground cover, as well as being partially determined by location and the abundance of W. auropunctata. The forests had a significantly different species composition from the other two habitats, but there were no consistent differences between the pastures and the cane fields.

  20. FIRE CHARACTERISTICS FOR ADVANCED MODELLING OF FIRES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otto Dvořák

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper summarizes the material and fire properties of solid flammable/combustible materials /substances /products, which are used as inputs for the computer numerical fire models. At the same time it gives the test standards for their determination.

  1. Mass Fire Model Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-05-31

    done by several investigators, the theoretical work of Nielsen (Reference 12) and Nielsen and Tao (Refer- ence 13) specifically models the global...which are approximately equal. This procedure permits computation of the fire..induced wind by a superpositlon of effects from each usub -fire." Outsid...Storm Analysis, ITT Research Institute, Janu- ary 1970. .324 13. Nielsen , H.J. and L.N. Tao, "The Fire Plume Above a Large Free- Burning Fire,’ Tenth S

  2. Using pleometrosis (multiple queens) and pupae transplantation to boost weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) colony growth in ant nurseries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim; Nielsen, Mogens Gissel; Peng, Renkang

    2011-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are increasingly being used for biocontrol and are targeted for future production of insect protein in ant farms. An efficient production of live ant colonies may facilitate the utilization of these ants but the production of mature colonies is hampered by the long t...

  3. Antarctic Tephra Database (AntT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurbatov, A.; Dunbar, N. W.; Iverson, N. A.; Gerbi, C. C.; Yates, M. G.; Kalteyer, D.; McIntosh, W. C.

    2014-12-01

    Modern paleoclimate research is heavily dependent on establishing accurate timing related to rapid shifts in Earth's climate system. The ability to correlate these events at local, and ideally at the intercontinental scales, allows assessment, for example, of phasing or changes in atmospheric circulation. Tephra-producing volcanic eruptions are geologically instantaneous events that are largely independent of climate. We have developed a tephrochronological framework for paleoclimate research in Antarctic in a user friendly, freely accessible online Antarctic tephra (AntT) database (http://cci.um.maine.edu/AntT/). Information about volcanic events, including physical and geochemical characteristics of volcanic products collected from multiple data sources, are integrated into the AntT database.The AntT project establishes a new centralized data repository for Antarctic tephrochronology, which is needed for precise correlation of records between Antarctic ice cores (e.g. WAIS Divide, RICE, Talos Dome, ITASE) and global paleoclimate archives. The AntT will help climatologists, paleoclimatologists, atmospheric chemists, geochemists, climate modelers synchronize paleoclimate archives using volcanic products that establishing timing of climate events in different geographic areas, climate-forcing mechanisms, natural threshold levels in the climate system. All these disciplines will benefit from accurate reconstructions of the temporal and spatial distribution of past rapid climate change events in continental, atmospheric, marine and polar realms. Research is funded by NSF grants: ANT-1142007 and 1142069.

  4. Toxic industrial deposit remediation by ant activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jilkova, Veronika; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Toxic industrial deposits are often contaminated by heavy metals and the substrates have low pH values. In such systems, soil development is thus slowed down by high toxicity and acidic conditions which are unfavourable to soil fauna. Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) are considered tolerant to heavy metal pollution and are known to increase organic matter content and microbial activity in their nests. Here, we focused on soil remediation caused by three ant species (Formica sanguinea, Lasius niger, and Tetramorium sp.) in an ore-washery sedimentation basin near Chvaletice (Czech Republic). Soil samples were taken from the centre of ant nests and from the nest surroundings (>3 m from nests). Samples were then analyzed for microbial activity and biomass and contents of organic matter and nutrients. As a result, ant species that most influenced soil properties was F. sanguinea as there were higher microbial activity and total nitrogen and ammonia contents in ant nests than in the surrounding soil. We expected such a result because F. sanguinea builds conspicuous large nests and is a carnivorous species that brings substantial amounts of nitrogen in insect prey to their nests. Effects of the other two ant species might be lower because of smaller nests and different feeding habits as they rely mainly on honeydew from aphids or on plant seeds that do not contain much nutrients.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  6. Autonomous Forest Fire Detection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breejen, E. den; Breuers, M.; Cremer, F.; Kemp, R.A.W.; Roos, M.; Schutte, K.; Vries, J.S. de

    1998-01-01

    Forest fire detection is a very important issue in the pre-suppression process. Timely detection allows the suppression units to reach the fire in its initial stages and this will reduce the suppression costs considerably. The autonomous forest fire detection principle is based on temporal contrast

  7. Fire Department Emergency Response

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blanchard, A. [Westinghouse Savannah River Company, AIKEN, SC (United States); Bell, K.; Kelly, J.; Hudson, J.

    1997-09-01

    In 1995 the SRS Fire Department published the initial Operations Basis Document (OBD). This document was one of the first of its kind in the DOE complex and was widely distributed and reviewed. This plan described a multi-mission Fire Department which provided fire, emergency medical, hazardous material spill, and technical rescue services.

  8. Fire as Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolph, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    In this article, the author describes a project that deals with fire production as an aspect of technology. The project challenges students to be survivors in a five-day classroom activity. Students research various materials and methods to produce fire without the use of matches or other modern combustion devices, then must create "fire" to keep…

  9. Fire and forest meteorology

    Science.gov (United States)

    SA Ferguson; T.J. Brown; M. Flannigan

    2005-01-01

    The American Meteorological Society symposia series on Fire and Forest Meteorology provides biennial forums for atmospheric and fire scientists to introduce and discuss the latest and most relevant research on weather, climate and fire. This special issue highlights significant work that was presented at the Fifth Symposium in Orlando, Florida during 16-20 November...

  10. Targeted research to improve invasive species management: yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes in Samoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin D Hoffmann

    Full Text Available Lack of biological knowledge of invasive species is recognised as a major factor contributing to eradication failure. Management needs to be informed by a site-specific understanding of the invasion system. Here, we describe targeted research designed to inform the potential eradication of the invasive yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes on Nu'utele island, Samoa. First, we assessed the ant's impacts on invertebrate biodiversity by comparing invertebrate communities between infested and uninfested sites. Second, we investigated the timing of production of sexuals and seasonal variation of worker abundance and nest density. Third, we investigated whether an association existed between A. gracilipes and carbohydrate sources. Within the infested area there were few other ants larger than A. gracilipes, as well as fewer spiders and crabs, indicating that A. gracilipes is indeed a significant conservation concern. The timing of male reproduction appears to be consistent with places elsewhere in the world, but queen reproduction was outside of the known reproductive period for this species in the region, indicating that the timing of treatment regimes used elsewhere are not appropriate for Samoa. Worker abundance and nest density were among the highest recorded in the world, being greater in May than in October. These abundance and nest density data form baselines for quantifying treatment efficacy and set sampling densities for post-treatment assessments. The number of plants and insects capable of providing a carbohydrate supply to ants were greatest where A. gracilipes was present, but it is not clear if this association is causal. Regardless, indirectly controlling ant abundance by controlling carbohydrate supply appears to be promising avenue for research. The type of targeted, site-specific research such as that described here should be an integral part of any eradication program for invasive species to design knowledge-based treatment

  11. Alternative biomaterials: natural, non-woven, fibroin-based silk nanofibers of weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siri, Sineenat; Maensiri, Santi

    2010-06-01

    Silks of silkworms and spiders have been widely studied as biomaterials, however, none has been reported on silks produced by weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina). This study is the first to report on some properties of natural silk fibers of weaver ants and their potential application as a cell matrix. Weaver ant fibrous mat contained non-woven mesh of fibers with diameters ranging from 266 to 3056 nm. The average diameter of fibers was 766+/-326 nm. The thickness, mass, and apparent density of the fibrous mats were 39.0+/-9.8 microm, 0.8+/-0.1 mg/cm2, and 0.22+/-0.03 g/cm3, respectively. Freshly made fibrous mats by weaver ants were highly hydrophilic as determined by water contact angle analysis, whereas older ones were quite hydrophobic. TG-DTA analysis revealed a major weight loss peak from 260 up to about 330 degrees C, similar to the decomposition peak of Bombyx mori fibroin. FT-IR spectrum showed amide I, amide II, amide III, C-H and C-O peaks, which were attributed to random coil and beta-sheet conformation in the protein structure of the weaver ant fibers. The fibrous mat was slight toxic to the fibroblast NIH 3T3 cells (37.8% cell death), probably due to some toxic particles deposited on the fibers. Nevertheless, weaver ant fibrous mat served as a good matrix for cell adhesion. Results of this work provided evidence for the properties and a potential application of natural weaver ant fibers as an alternative, natural, fibroin-based matrix. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. An assessment of rehabilitation success in an African grassland using ants as bioindicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha-Leigh Jamison

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Many studies that evaluate rehabilitation make use of invertebrate bioindicators. Invertebrates, especially ants, make useful indicators as they are sensitive to environmental change. We compared ant assemblages in rehabilitated and control sites in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve, a protected area important for grassland conservation in South Africa. Pitfall traps were used to sample ant assemblages at six control sites and six rehabilitated sites. In addition, environmental and vegetation surveys were conducted at each site. We found that the ant assemblages differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites, although there was considerable overlap; the control sites supported a greater species density and higher abundance of ants than the rehabilitated sites. In total, 36 ant species were collected (control sites: 34 species; rehabilitated sites: 26 species. The environmental survey revealed that percentages of bare ground and coarse sand, as well as soil pH, differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites. The control and rehabilitated sites also supported significantly different plant assemblages. Three indicator ant species were identified for the control sites: Crematogaster rectinota, Crematogaster amita and Monomorium fastidium. No indicator species were identified for the rehabilitated sites. These results suggest that recovery from the previous agricultural use of the area is still incomplete and highlights the lack of research examining the success of rehabilitation in the grassland biome. Conservation implications: The present study illustrates the need for further research on rehabilitation techniques utilised in the grassland biome. This is of value as the remainder of South African grasslands are considered critically endangered.

  13. Mutualistic ants contribute to tank-bromeliad nutrition

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Epiphytism imposes physiological constraints resulting from the lack of access to the nutrient sources available to ground-rooted plants. A conspicuous adaptation in response to that lack is the phytotelm (plant-held waters) of tank-bromeliad species that are often nutrient-rich. Associations with terrestrial invertebrates also result in higher plant nutrient acquisition. Assuming that tank-bromeliads rely on reservoir-assisted nutrition, it was hypothesized that the dual association with mutualistic ants and the phytotelm food web provides greater nutritional benefits to the plant compared with those bromeliads involved in only one of these two associations. Methods Quantitative (water volume, amount of fine particulate organic matter, predator/prey ratio, algal density) and qualitative variables (ant-association and photosynthetic pathways) were compared for eight tank- and one tankless-bromeliad morphospecies from French Guiana. An analysis was also made of which of these variables affect nitrogen acquisition (leaf N and δ15N). Key Results All variables were significantly different between tank-bromeliad species. Leaf N concentrations and leaf δ15N were both positively correlated with the presence of mutualistic ants. The amount of fine particulate organic matter and predator/prey ratio had a positive and negative effect on leaf δ15N, respectively. Water volume was positively correlated with leaf N concentration whereas algal density was negatively correlated. Finally, the photosynthetic pathway (C3 vs. CAM) was positively correlated with leaf N concentration with a slightly higher N concentration for C3-Tillandsioideae compared with CAM-Bromelioideae. Conclusions The study suggests that some of the differences in N nutrition between bromeliad species can be explained by the presence of mutualistic ants. From a nutritional standpoint, it is more advantageous for a bromeliad to use myrmecotrophy via its roots than to use carnivory via its

  14. Predicting mortality of ponderosa pine regeneration after prescribed fire in the Black Hills, South Dakota, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mike Battaglia; Frederick W. Smith; Wayne D. Shepperd

    2009-01-01

    Reduction of crown fire hazard in Pinus ponderosa forests in the Black Hills, SD, often focuses on the removal of overstorey trees to reduce crown bulk density. Dense ponderosa pine regeneration establishes several years after treatment and eventually increases crown fire risk if allowed to grow. Using prescribed fire to control this regeneration is...

  15. Post-fire vegetative recruitment of the alien grass Glyceria maxima at ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An accidental fire at a site where the reproductive behaviour of Glyceria maxima was being investigated provided an opportunity to measure its effect on G. maxima vegetative recruitment. The fire burned G. maxima growing along the water's edge and down to a water depth of 10 cm. Post-fire tiller densities in these zones ...

  16. Forest landowner decisions and the value of information under fire risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory S. Amacher; Arun S. Malik; Robert G. Haight

    2005-01-01

    We estimate the value of three types of information about fire risk to a nonindustrial forest landowner: the relationship between fire arrival rates and stand age, the magnitude of fire arrival rates, and the efficacy of fuel reduction treatment. Our model incorporates planting density and the level and timing of fuel reduction treatment as landowner decisions. These...

  17. Factors controlling vegetation fires in protected and non-protected areas of myanmar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sumalika Biswas

    Full Text Available Fire is an important disturbance agent in Myanmar impacting several ecosystems. In this study, we quantify the factors impacting vegetation fires in protected and non-protected areas of Myanmar. Satellite datasets in conjunction with biophysical and anthropogenic factors were used in a spatial framework to map the causative factors of fires. Specifically, we used the frequency ratio method to assess the contribution of each causative factor to overall fire susceptibility at a 1km scale. Results suggested the mean fire density in non-protected areas was two times higher than the protected areas. Fire-land cover partition analysis suggested dominant fire occurrences in the savannas (protected areas and woody savannas (non-protected areas. The five major fire causative factors in protected areas in descending order include population density, land cover, tree cover percent, travel time from nearest city and temperature. In contrast, the causative factors in non-protected areas were population density, tree cover percent, travel time from nearest city, temperature and elevation. The fire susceptibility analysis showed distinct spatial patterns with central Myanmar as a hot spot of vegetation fires. Results from propensity score matching suggested that forests within protected areas have 11% less fires than non-protected areas. Overall, our results identify important causative factors of fire useful to address broad scale fire risk concerns at a landscape scale in Myanmar.

  18. Factors controlling vegetation fires in protected and non-protected areas of myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Sumalika; Vadrevu, Krishna Prasad; Lwin, Zin Mar; Lasko, Kristofer; Justice, Christopher O

    2015-01-01

    Fire is an important disturbance agent in Myanmar impacting several ecosystems. In this study, we quantify the factors impacting vegetation fires in protected and non-protected areas of Myanmar. Satellite datasets in conjunction with biophysical and anthropogenic factors were used in a spatial framework to map the causative factors of fires. Specifically, we used the frequency ratio method to assess the contribution of each causative factor to overall fire susceptibility at a 1km scale. Results suggested the mean fire density in non-protected areas was two times higher than the protected areas. Fire-land cover partition analysis suggested dominant fire occurrences in the savannas (protected areas) and woody savannas (non-protected areas). The five major fire causative factors in protected areas in descending order include population density, land cover, tree cover percent, travel time from nearest city and temperature. In contrast, the causative factors in non-protected areas were population density, tree cover percent, travel time from nearest city, temperature and elevation. The fire susceptibility analysis showed distinct spatial patterns with central Myanmar as a hot spot of vegetation fires. Results from propensity score matching suggested that forests within protected areas have 11% less fires than non-protected areas. Overall, our results identify important causative factors of fire useful to address broad scale fire risk concerns at a landscape scale in Myanmar.

  19. Differential ant exclusion from canopies shows contrasting top-down effects on community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestre, Laia; Piñol, J; Barrientos, J A; Espadaler, X

    2016-01-01

    Predators have far-reaching effects on communities by triggering top-down trophic cascades that influence ecosystem functioning. Omnivory and intraguild interactions between predators give rise to reticulate food webs and may either strengthen or dampen trophic cascades depending on context. Disentangling the effects of multiple predator species is therefore crucial for predicting the influence of predators on community structure. We focused on ants as dominant generalist predators in arthropod communities and set up a differential ant exclusion from canopies to examine its effects on assemblage species composition and densities of five arthropod groups (psocopterans, aphids, spiders, heteropterans and beetles). We coupled a glue band with tubes allowing only the ant Lasius grandis to reach the canopies to isolate its effect from the rest of crawling predators (ants, earwigs) and compared it against a full exclusion and a control. L. grandis alone had widespread effects on assemblage species composition, with contrasting species-specific responses within groups, where some species affected by L. grandis presence were not further affected by the presence of the whole crawling predator assemblage, and vice versa. Overall, L. grandis caused two- to threefold decreases of generalist predators and a threefold increase of aphids. However, it lacked further top-down effects on primary consumers, which only emerged when all crawling predators were present. This differential exclusion demonstrates the distinctive and widespread intraguild effects on community structure of a single ant species that contrast with the top-down effects exerted by the whole crawling predator assemblage.

  20. Fire Protection Program Manual

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharry, J A

    2012-05-18

    This manual documents the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Fire Protection Program. Department of Energy (DOE) Orders 420.1B, Facility Safety, requires LLNL to have a comprehensive and effective fire protection program that protects LLNL personnel and property, the public and the environment. The manual provides LLNL and its facilities with general information and guidance for meeting DOE 420.1B requirements. The recommended readers for this manual are: fire protection officers, fire protection engineers, fire fighters, facility managers, directorage assurance managers, facility coordinators, and ES and H team members.

  1. Fire retardant formulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2017-01-01

    The present invention relates to compositions where a substrate is liable to catch fire such as bituminous products, paints, carpets or the like. The invention relates to a composition comprising 40-95 weight % of a substrate to be rendered fire resistant such as bituminous material or paint......, carpets which substrate is mixed with 5-60 weight % of a fire retardant component. The invention relates to a fire retardant component comprising or being constituted of attapulgite, and a salt being a source of a blowing or expanding agent, where the attapulgite and the salt are electrostatically...... connected by mixing and subjecting the mixture of the two components to agitation. Also, the invention relates to compositions comprising 40-95 weight % of a substrate to be rendered fire resistant mixed with 5-60 weight % of a fire retardant according to claim 1 or 2, which fire retardant component...

  2. Expert System Development for Urban Fire Hazard Assessment. Study Case: Kendari City, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taridala, S.; Yudono, A.; Ramli, M. I.; Akil, A.

    2017-08-01

    Kendari City is a coastal urban region with the smallest area as well as the largest population in Southeast Sulawesi. Fires in Kendari City had rather frequently occurred and caused numerous material losses. This study aims to develop a model of urban fire risk and fire station site assessment. The model is developed using Expert Systems with the Geographic Information System (GIS). The high risk of fire area is the area which of high building density with combustible material, not crossed by arterial nor collector road. The fire station site should be appropriately close by high risk of fire area, located on arterial road and near with potential water resource.

  3. Removal of Nonmyrmecochorous Seeds by Ants: Role of Ants in Cattle Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Escobar-Ramírez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Livestock production models prevailing in Colombian Andes are simplified treeless pastures for extensive ranching, with the consequent reduction of environmental services, such as seed dispersal, due to lack of primary dispersers, scarcity of adequate sites for seedling establishment and competition with grasses. This study evaluated if, in these harsh environments, ants can promote the colonization of arboreal species through directed dispersion of seeds towards the nests. Ten seeds of each species were offered to ants in six grazing pastures. Ants removed 25% of the seeds (1827 in 48 hours. Preference for arillated and small-to-medium sized seeds, such as Pithecellobium dulce, and Guazuma ulmifolia, was observed. Cyphomyrmex major, Ectatomma ruidum, Solenopsis geminata and Atta cephalotes were the key ant species in seed removal. It was concluded that functional ant groups present in the pastures could contribute to secondary dispersion of seeds with potential for restoration.

  4. Statistical Mechanics of Collective Transport by Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinkoviezky, Itai; Gelblum, Aviram; Fonio, Ehud; Ghosh, Abhijit; Gov, Nir; Feinerman, Ofer

    Collective decisions and cooperation within groups are essential for the survival of many species. Conflicts within the group must be suppressed but conformism may render the system unresponsive to new information. Collective transport by ants is therefore an ideal model system to study how animal groups optimize these opposing requirements. We combine experiments and theory to characterize the collective transport. The ants are modeled as binary Ising spins, representing the two roles ants can perform during transport. It turns out that the ants poise themselves collectively near a critical point where the response to a newly attached ant is maximized. We identify the size as being proportional to an inverse effective temperature and thus the system can exhibit a mesoscopic transition between order and disorder by manipulating the size. Constraining the cargo with a string makes the system behave as a strongly non-linear pendulum. Theoretically we predict that a Hopf bifurcation occurs at a critical size followed by a global bifurcation where full swings emerge. Remarkably, these theoretical predictions were verified experimentally.

  5. Early ant trajectories: spatial behaviour before behaviourism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wehner, Rüdiger

    2016-04-01

    In the beginning of the twentieth century, when Jacques Loeb's and John Watson's mechanistic view of life started to dominate animal physiology and behavioural biology, several scientists with different academic backgrounds got engaged in studying the wayfinding behaviour of ants. Largely unaffected by the scientific spirit of the time, they worked independently of each other in different countries: in Algeria, Tunisia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America. In the current literature on spatial cognition these early ant researchers--Victor Cornetz, Felix Santschi, Charles Turner and Rudolf Brun--are barely mentioned. Moreover, it is virtually unknown that the great neuroanatomist Santiago Ramón y Cajal had also worked on spatial orientation in ants. This general neglect is certainly due to the fact that nearly all these ant researchers were scientific loners, who did their idiosyncratic investigations outside the realm of comparative physiology, neurobiology and the behavioural sciences of the time, and published their results in French, German, and Spanish at rather inaccessible places. Even though one might argue that much of their work resulted in mainly anecdotal evidence, the conceptual approaches of these early ant researchers preempt much of the present-day discussions on spatial representation in animals.

  6. Fossil evidence for the early ant evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Lacau, Sébastien; Néraudeau, Didier; Nel, André

    2008-02-01

    Ants are one of the most studied insects in the world; and the literature devoted to their origin and evolution, systematics, ecology, or interactions with plants, fungi and other organisms is prolific. However, no consensus yet exists on the age estimate of the first Formicidae or on the origin of their eusociality. We review the fossil and biogeographical record of all known Cretaceous ants. We discuss the possible origin of the Formicidae with emphasis on the most primitive subfamily Sphecomyrminae according to its distribution and the Early Cretaceous palaeogeography. And we review the evidence of true castes and eusociality of the early ants regarding their morphological features and their manner of preservation in amber. The mid-Cretaceous amber forest from south-western France where some of the oldest known ants lived, corresponded to a moist tropical forest close to the shore with a dominance of gymnosperm trees but where angiosperms (flowering plants) were already diversified. This palaeoenvironmental reconstruction supports an initial radiation of ants in forest ground litter coincident with the rise of angiosperms, as recently proposed as an ecological explanation for their origin and successful evolution.

  7. Fuzzy Rules for Ant Based Clustering Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amira Hamdi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a new intelligent technique for semisupervised data clustering problem that combines the Ant System (AS algorithm with the fuzzy c-means (FCM clustering algorithm. Our proposed approach, called F-ASClass algorithm, is a distributed algorithm inspired by foraging behavior observed in ant colonyT. The ability of ants to find the shortest path forms the basis of our proposed approach. In the first step, several colonies of cooperating entities, called artificial ants, are used to find shortest paths in a complete graph that we called graph-data. The number of colonies used in F-ASClass is equal to the number of clusters in dataset. Hence, the partition matrix of dataset founded by artificial ants is given in the second step, to the fuzzy c-means technique in order to assign unclassified objects generated in the first step. The proposed approach is tested on artificial and real datasets, and its performance is compared with those of K-means, K-medoid, and FCM algorithms. Experimental section shows that F-ASClass performs better according to the error rate classification, accuracy, and separation index.

  8. Quantification of supercolonial traits in the yellow crazy ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Hagedorn, Henry

    2014-02-16

    Supercoloniality is a social structure displayed by many invasive ant species, but there has been surprisingly little research quantifying the extent to which individual species display traits underlying such social organisation. This study quantifies three traits for the yellow crazy ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): little or no aggression between workers from different nests; the exchange of workers among nests; and resource exchange among nests, as well as supercolony structure arising from patterns of distribution and density of detections. Supercolonies displayed a structural continuum from being small ( 10,000 ha) and "diffuse" with little continuity among detections. Smaller supercolonies had greater ant densities than larger supercolonies. In laboratory trials, no aggression was observed between workers from different nests sourced from different supercolonies, and paired nests merged within 24 hours. Workers lacked nest fidelity by rapidly populating artificial nests containing alien queens. The daily worker turnover rate per nest was estimated to be below 20%. Resources were readily moved among nests, with a resource being detected up to 13 m away from a source within 24 hours, and as far as 32 m after four days. The rate and distance of resource movement increased with increasing worker and nest density. This research has demonstrated that A. gracilipes displays supercoloniality equivalent to that of the well-studied Argentine ant Linepithema humile. Quantification of these traits is required for other supercolonial species to improve our understanding of this social strategy, especially for invasive ants to aid in understanding factors that promote invasion success and to improve management. This is an open access paper. We use the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license that permits unrestricted use, provided that the paper is properly attributed.

  9. Fire Danger and Fire Weather Records

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Weather Service (formerly Weather Bureau) and Forest Service developed a program to track meteorological conditions conducive to forest fires, resulting...

  10. Adapting fire management to future fire regimes: impacts on boreal forest composition and carbon balance in Canadian National Parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Groot, W. J.; Flannigan, M. D.; Cantin, A.

    2009-04-01

    other areas where recent fire suppression history has been very successful, prescribed fire will be an important fire management activity to maintain current forest, shrubland, and grassland ecosystems. The model simulations showed that total fire exclusion would effectively lead to the loss of jack pine, and cause a sharp decline in aspen and birch stands. Increased future fire activity caused a general decrease in total carbon storage, but this impact was moderated by two other related impacts. Shorter fire cycles created a younger age-class distribution, which was represented by more fast-growing, high density stands with high detrital output. The second factor was a general forest composition shift towards faster growing species. Increased fire suppression caused an increase in long-term total biomass storage, but prescribed burning could also have a similar impact if controlled fires were used to replace wildfires and conducted during periods of reduced fire behaviour.

  11. All fired up

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN Bulletin

    2013-01-01

    Members of the Directorate and their support staff took part in a fire-fighting course organised by the CERN Fire Brigade just before the end-of-year break.  The Bulletin takes a look at the fire-fighting training on offer at CERN.   At CERN the risk of fire can never be under-estimated. In order to train personnel in the use of fire extinguishers, CERN's fire training centre in Prévessin acquired a fire-simulation platform in 2012. On the morning of 17 December 2012, ten members of the CERN directorate and their support staff tried out the platform, following in the footsteps of 400 other members of the CERN community who had already attended the course. The participants were welcomed to the training centre by Gilles Colin, a fire-fighter and instructor, who gave them a 30-minute introduction to general safety and the different types of fire and fire extinguishers, followed by an hour of practical instruction in the simulation facility. There they were able to pract...

  12. Glovebox fire experiment, (1)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kono, Keiichi; Sunaoshi, Mitsugu; Mishima, Tsuyoshi; Endo, Koichi.

    1979-01-01

    The gloveboxes used for plutonium facilities in Japan and foreign countries have considerable combustibles as their components, so that the fire resistivity of the gloveboxes is a serious problem in the safety evaluation of the facilities. Actually, a big fire having burned gloveboxes occurred in a foreign weapon facility. But the fire in the weapon facility should be distinguished from that in nuclear fuel facilities, since the former handles quite combustible plutonium metal, while the latter handle quite stable plutonium oxide. The countermeasures to fires should be decided, considering the properties and quantity of combustibles around gloveboxes and ventilation systems, as the probability and scale of fires can be presumed from them. From the viewpoint of safety, the experiment on glovebox fires was carried out by the Plutonium Fuel Division, PNC. The experimental conditions are explained. The samples were the acrylic resin panels with four glove ports and a small glovebox currently used. The glovebox showed the considerable fire resistance, and the panel hardly burned. The weakest component of the glovebox against fire was the gloves. The countermeasure to curtain the gloves with an insulating material seemed to be effective. The ventilation of the room and the glovebox worked as fire preventer at least in the first stage of fire. (Kako, I.)

  13. Managing wildland fires: integrating weather models into fire projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anne M. Rosenthal; Francis Fujioka

    2004-01-01

    Flames from the Old Fire sweep through lands north of San Bernardino during late fall of 2003. Like many Southern California fires, the Old Fire consumed susceptible forests at the urban-wildland interface and spread to nearby city neighborhoods. By incorporating weather models into fire perimeter projections, scientist Francis Fujioka is improving fire modeling as a...

  14. Combined use of weather forecasting and satellite remote sensing information for fire risk, fire and fire impact monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Knorr

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The restoration of fire-affected forest areas needs to be combined with their future protection from renewed catastrophic fires, such as those that occurred in Greece during the 2007 summer season. The present work demonstrates that the use of various sources of satellite data in conjunction with weather forecast information is capable of providing valuable information for the characterization of fire danger with the purpose of protecting the Greek national forest areas. This study shows that favourable meteorological conditions have contributed to the fire outbreak during the days of the unusually damaging fires in Peloponnese as well as Euboia (modern Greek: Evia at the end of August 2007. During those days, Greece was located between an extended high pressure system in Central Europe and a low pressure system in the Middle East. Their combination resulted in strong north-northeasterly winds in the Aegean Sea. As a consequence, strong winds were also observed in the regions of Evia and Peloponnese, especially in mountainous areas. The analysis of satellite images showing smoke emitted from the fires corroborates the results from the weather forecasts. A further analysis using the Fraction of Absorbed Photosyntetically Active Radiation (FAPAR as an indicator of active vegetation shows the extent of the destruction caused by the fire. The position of the burned areas coincides with that of the active fires detected in the earlier satellite image. Using the annual maximum FAPAR as an indicator of regional vegetation density, it was found that only regions with relatively high FAPAR were burned.

  15. Wood ants use resin to protect themselves against pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapuisat, Michel; Oppliger, Anne; Magliano, Pasqualina; Christe, Philippe

    2007-08-22

    Social life is generally associated with an increased exposure to pathogens and parasites, due to factors such as high population density, frequent physical contact and the use of perennial nest sites. However, sociality also permits the evolution of new collective behavioural defences. Wood ants, Formica paralugubris, commonly bring back pieces of solidified coniferous resin to their nest. Many birds and a few mammals also incorporate green plant material into their nests. Collecting plant material rich in volatile compounds might be an efficient way to fight bacteria and fungi. However, no study has demonstrated that this behaviour has a positive effect on survival. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence that animals using plant compounds with antibacterial and antifungal properties survive better when exposed to detrimental micro-organisms. The presence of resin strongly improves the survival of F. paralugubris adults and larvae exposed to the bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens, and the survival of larvae exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. These results show that wood ants capitalize on the chemical defences which have evolved in plants to collectively protect themselves against pathogens.

  16. Dual ant colony operational modal analysis parameter estimation method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitarz, Piotr; Powałka, Bartosz

    2018-01-01

    Operational Modal Analysis (OMA) is a common technique used to examine the dynamic properties of a system. Contrary to experimental modal analysis, the input signal is generated in object ambient environment. Operational modal analysis mainly aims at determining the number of pole pairs and at estimating modal parameters. Many methods are used for parameter identification. Some methods operate in time while others in frequency domain. The former use correlation functions, the latter - spectral density functions. However, while some methods require the user to select poles from a stabilisation diagram, others try to automate the selection process. Dual ant colony operational modal analysis parameter estimation method (DAC-OMA) presents a new approach to the problem, avoiding issues involved in the stabilisation diagram. The presented algorithm is fully automated. It uses deterministic methods to define the interval of estimated parameters, thus reducing the problem to optimisation task which is conducted with dedicated software based on ant colony optimisation algorithm. The combination of deterministic methods restricting parameter intervals and artificial intelligence yields very good results, also for closely spaced modes and significantly varied mode shapes within one measurement point.

  17. Fire feedbacks facilitate invasion of pine savannas by Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jens T; Beckage, Brian

    2009-10-01

    * Fire disturbance can mediate the invasion of ecological communities by nonnative species. Nonnative plants that modify existing fire regimes may initiate a positive feedback that can facilitate their continued invasion. Fire-sensitive plants may successfully invade pyrogenic landscapes if they can inhibit fire in the landscape. * Here, we investigated whether the invasive shrub Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) can initiate a fire-suppression feedback in a fire-dependent pine savanna ecosystem in the southeastern USA. * We found that prescribed burns caused significant (30-45%) mortality of Brazilian pepper at low densities and that savannas with more frequent fires contained less Brazilian pepper. However, high densities of Brazilian pepper reduced fire temperature by up to 200 degrees C, and experienced as much as 80% lower mortality. * A cellular automaton model was used to demonstrate that frequent fire may control low-density populations, but that Brazilian pepper may reach a sufficient density during fire-free periods to initiate a positive feedback that reduces the frequency of fire and converts the savanna to an invasive-dominated forest.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom M Fayle

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Miler

    Full Text Available When an antlion captures a foraging ant, the victim's nestmates may display rescue behaviour. This study tested the hypothesis that the expression of rescue behaviour depends on the life expectancy of the captured ant. This hypothesis predicts that the expression of rescue behaviour will be less frequent when the captured ant has a lower life expectancy than when it has a higher life expectancy because such a response would be adaptive at the colony level. Indeed, significant differences were found in the frequency of rescue behaviours in response to antlion victims with differing life expectancies. In agreement with prediction, victims with lower life expectancies were rescued less frequently, and those rescues had a longer latency and shorter duration. There was also a qualitative difference in the behaviour of rescuers to victims from the low and high life expectancy groups. Several explanations for these findings are proposed.

  1. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miler, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

    When an antlion captures a foraging ant, the victim's nestmates may display rescue behaviour. This study tested the hypothesis that the expression of rescue behaviour depends on the life expectancy of the captured ant. This hypothesis predicts that the expression of rescue behaviour will be less frequent when the captured ant has a lower life expectancy than when it has a higher life expectancy because such a response would be adaptive at the colony level. Indeed, significant differences were found in the frequency of rescue behaviours in response to antlion victims with differing life expectancies. In agreement with prediction, victims with lower life expectancies were rescued less frequently, and those rescues had a longer latency and shorter duration. There was also a qualitative difference in the behaviour of rescuers to victims from the low and high life expectancy groups. Several explanations for these findings are proposed.

  2. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nehring, Volker; Evison, Sophie E F; Santorelli, Lorenzo A

    2011-01-01

    behaviour is thought to be rare in one of the classic examples of cooperation--social insect colonies--because the colony-level costs of individual selfishness select against cues that would allow workers to recognize their closest relatives. In accord with this, previous studies of wasps and ants have...... found little or no kin information in recognition cues. Here, we test the hypothesis that social insects do not have kin-informative recognition cues by investigating the recognition cues and relatedness of workers from four colonies of the ant Acromyrmex octospinosus. Contrary to the theoretical...... prediction, we show that the cuticular hydrocarbons of ant workers in all four colonies are informative enough to allow full-sisters to be distinguished from half-sisters with a high accuracy. These results contradict the hypothesis of non-heritable recognition cues and suggest that there is more potential...

  3. Recognition of social identity in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend...... of hydrocarbons present on the cuticle of every individual (the “label”). Recognition occurs when an ant encounters another individual, and compares the label it perceives to an internal representation of its own colony odor (the “template”). A mismatch between label and template leads to rejection...... of the encountered individual. Although advances have been made in our understanding of how the label is produced and acquired, contradictory evidence exists about information processing of recognition cues. Here, we review the literature on template acquisition in ants and address how and when the template...

  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...... 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...

  5. Swarm controlled emergence for ant clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheidler, Alexander; Merkle, Daniel; Middendorf, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Swarm controlled emergence is proposed as an approach to control emergent effects in (artificial) swarms. The method involves the introduction of specific control agents into the swarm systems. Control agents behave similar to the normal agents and do not directly influence the behavior...... of the normal agents. The specific design of the control agents depends on the particular swarm system considered. The aim of this paper is to apply the method to ant clustering. Ant clustering, as an emergent effect, can be observed in nature and has inspired the design of several technical systems, e.......g. moving robots, and clustering algorithms. Design/methodology/approach: Different types of control agents for that ant clustering model are designed by introducing slight changes to the behavioural rules of the normal agents. The clustering behaviour of the resulting swarms is investigated by extensive...

  6. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

    Full Text Available The desert ants Cataglyphis navigate not only by path integration but also by using visual and olfactory landmarks to pinpoint the nest entrance. Here we show that Cataglyphis noda can additionally use magnetic and vibrational landmarks as nest-defining cues. The magnetic field may typically provide directional rather than positional information, and vibrational signals so far have been shown to be involved in social behavior. Thus it remains questionable if magnetic and vibration landmarks are usually provided by the ants' habitat as nest-defining cues. However, our results point to the flexibility of the ants' navigational system, which even makes use of cues that are probably most often sensed in a different context.

  7. Ant-gardens of tropical Asian rainforests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, Eva; Maschwitz, Ulrich

    2006-05-01

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

  8. Post-fire vegetation behaviour in large burnt scars from 2005 fire season in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastos, A.; Gouveia, C. M.; DaCamara, C. C.; Trigo, R. M.

    2012-04-01

    remaining areas (centre and south), vegetation recovered very slowly and irregularly. Four years following the fire, vegetation density in these two scars was still markedly below pre-fire levels. Spatial patterns of recovery times were assessed in order to evaluate the influence of physical factors such as fire damage, pre-fire vegetation density and land-cover type, in post-fire behaviour of vegetation for each scar. Pre-fire land-cover type raised as a key factor that may partially explain the differences observed, with shrublands and mixed forests recovering faster than coniferous. Gouveia C., DaCamara C.C. and Trigo R.M.: Post fire vegetation recovery in Portugal based on SPOT-VEGETATION data, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 10, 673-684, 2010. Viedma, O., Moreno, J.M. and Rieiro, I.: Interactions between land use/land cover change, forest fires and landscape structure in Sierra de Gredos (central Spain), Environmental Conservation, 33, 212-222, 2006.

  9. Avian community responses to post-fire forest structure: Implications for fire management in mixed conifer forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Angela M.; Manley, Patricia N.; Tarbill, Gina; Richardson, T.L.; Russell, Robin E.; Safford, Hugh D.; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.

    2015-01-01

    Fire is a natural process and the dominant disturbance shaping plant and animal communities in many coniferous forests of the western US. Given that fire size and severity are predicted to increase in the future, it has become increasingly important to understand how wildlife responds to fire and post-fire management. The Angora Fire burned 1243 hectares of mixed conifer forest in South Lake Tahoe, California. We conducted avian point counts for the first 3 years following the fire in burned and unburned areas to investigate which habitat characteristics are most important for re-establishing or maintaining the native avian community in post-fire landscapes. We used a multi-species occurrence model to estimate how avian species are influenced by the density of live and dead trees and shrub cover. While accounting for variations in the detectability of species, our approach estimated the occurrence probabilities of all species detected including those that were rare or observed infrequently. Although all species encountered in this study were detected in burned areas, species-specific modeling results predicted that some species were strongly associated with specific post-fire conditions, such as a high density of dead trees, open-canopy conditions or high levels of shrub cover that occur at particular burn severities or at a particular time following fire. These results indicate that prescribed fire or managed wildfire which burns at low to moderate severity without at least some high-severity effects is both unlikely to result in the species assemblages that are unique to post-fire areas or to provide habitat for burn specialists. Additionally, the probability of occurrence for many species was associated with high levels of standing dead trees indicating that intensive post-fire harvest of these structures could negatively impact habitat of a considerable proportion of the avian community.

  10. Ants of the Peloponnese, Greece (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borowiec Lech

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper relates to material obtained during two field trips to the Peloponnese in 2013 and 2016. With the inclusion of some hitherto unpublished ant material, it gives new records from a total of 92 sampling localities. 129 species (including morphospecies not attributed to any known taxon of ants have been recorded from the Peloponnese (southern Greece, 27 of which have been recorded from this region for the first time. Lasius reginae and 5 other morphospecies attributed only to species complexes are new to Greece.

  11. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    den Boer, Susanne; Stürup, Marlene; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2015-01-01

    The eusocial ants are unique in that females (queens) acquire and store sperm on a single mating flight early in adult life. This event largely determines the size (possibly millions of workers), longevity (possibly decades) and genetic variation of the colonies that queens found, but our...... understanding of the fundamental biology of ejaculate production, transfer and physiological function remains extremely limited. We studied the ejaculation process in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found that it starts with the appearance of a clear pre-ejaculatory fluid (PEF) at the tip...

  12. Ant functional responses along environmental gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, Xavier; Cerdá, Xim; Retana, Javier

    2014-11-01

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

  13. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  14. Little Bear Fire Summary Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah McCaffrey; Melanie Stidham; Hannah. Brenkert-Smith

    2013-01-01

    In June 2012, immediately after the Little Bear Fire burned outside Ruidoso, New Mexico, a team of researchers interviewed fire managers, local personnel, and residents to understand perceptions of the event itself, communication, evacuation, and pre-fire preparedness. The intensity of fire behavior and resulting loss of 242 homes made this a complex fire with a...

  15. The human and fire connection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theresa B. Jain

    2014-01-01

    We refer to fire as a natural disturbance, but unlike other disturbances such as forest insects and diseases, fire has had an intimate relationship with humans. Fire facilitated human evolution over two million years ago when our ancestors began to use fire to cook. Fire empowered our furbearers to adapt to cold climates, allowing humans to disperse and settle into...

  16. Wildland Fire Management Plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwager, K. [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)

    2017-09-30

    The Wildland Fire Management Plan (FMP) for Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) is written to comply with Department of Energy (DOE) Integrated Safety Management Policy; Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy and Program Review; and Wildland and Prescribed Fire Management Policy and Implementation Procedures Reference Guide. This current plan incorporates changes resulting from new policies on the national level as well as significant changes to available resources and other emerging issues, and replaces BNL's Wildland FMP dated 2014.

  17. Fundamentals of Fire Phenomena

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quintiere, James

    analyses. Fire phenomena encompass everything about the scientific principles behind fire behaviour. Combining the principles of chemistry, physics, heat and mass transfer, and fluid dynamics necessary to understand the fundamentals of fire phenomena, this book integrates the subject into a clear...... as a visiting professor at BYG.DTU financed by the Larsen and Nielsen Foundation, and is entered to the research database by Kristian Hertz responsible for the visiting professorship....

  18. Fire safety engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, D.N.

    1989-01-01

    The periodic occurrence of large-scale, potentially disastrous industrial accidents involving fire in hazardous environments such as oilwell blowouts, petrochemical explosions and nuclear installations highlights the need for an integrated approach to fire safety engineering. Risk reduction 'by design' and rapid response are of equal importance in the saving of life and property in such situations. This volume of papers covers the subject thoroughly, touching on such topics as hazard analysis, safety design and testing, fire detection and control, and includes studies of fire hazard in the context of environment protection. (author)

  19. WebFIRE

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Factor Information Retrieval (FIRE) Data System is a database management system containing EPA's recommended emission estimation factors for criteria and...

  20. Dealing with water deficit in Atta ant colonies: large ants scout for water while small ants transport it

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Carlos Da-Silva

    2012-07-01

    Leafcutter ants (Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Forel 1908 have an elaborate social organization, complete with caste divisions. Activities carried out by specialist groups contribute to the overall success and survival of the colony when it is confronted with environmental challenges such as dehydration. Ants detect variations in humidity inside the nest and react by activating several types of behavior that enhance water uptake and decrease water loss, but it is not clear whether or not a single caste collects water regardless of the cost of bringing this resource back to the colony. Accordingly, we investigated water collection activities in three colonies of Atta sexdens rubropilosa experimentally exposed to water stress. Specifically, we analyzed whether or not the same ant caste foraged for water, regardless of the absolute energetic cost (distance of transporting this resource back to the colony. Our experimental design offered water sources at 0 m, 1 m and 10 m from the nest. We studied the body size of ants near the water sources from the initial offer of water (time  =  0 to 120 min, and tested for specialization. We observed a reduction in the average size and variance of ants that corroborated the specialization hypothesis. Although the temporal course of specialization changed with distance, the final outcome was similar among distances. Thus, we conclude that, for this species, a specialist (our use of the word “specialist” does not mean exclusive task force is responsible for collecting water, regardless of the cost of transporting water back to the colony.

  1. Ant trail pheromone biosynthesis is triggered by a neuropeptide hormone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Man-Yeon Choi

    Full Text Available Our understanding of insect chemical communication including pheromone identification, synthesis, and their role in behavior has advanced tremendously over the last half-century. However, endocrine regulation of pheromone biosynthesis has progressed slowly due to the complexity of direct and/or indirect hormonal activation of the biosynthetic cascades resulting in insect pheromones. Over 20 years ago, a neurohormone, pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN was identified that stimulated sex pheromone biosynthesis in a lepidopteran moth. Since then, the physiological role, target site, and signal transduction of PBAN has become well understood for sex pheromone biosynthesis in moths. Despite that PBAN-like peptides (∼200 have been identified from various insect Orders, their role in pheromone regulation had not expanded to the other insect groups except for Lepidoptera. Here, we report that trail pheromone biosynthesis in the Dufour's gland (DG of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is regulated by PBAN. RNAi knock down of PBAN gene (in subesophageal ganglia or PBAN receptor gene (in DG expression inhibited trail pheromone biosynthesis. Reduced trail pheromone was documented analytically and through a behavioral bioassay. Extension of PBAN's role in pheromone biosynthesis to a new target insect, mode of action, and behavioral function will renew research efforts on the involvement of PBAN in pheromone biosynthesis in Insecta.

  2. Extended phenotype: nematodes turn ants into bird-dispersed fruits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, D P; Kronauer, D J C; Boomsma, J J

    2008-01-01

    A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs.......A recent study has discovered a novel extended phenotype of a nematode which alters its ant host to resemble ripe fruit. The infected ants are in turn eaten by frugivorous birds that disperse the nematode's eggs....

  3. The effect carbohydrate consumption on Argentine ants' nutritional ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Chou, Cheng T.

    2009-01-01

    As a result of accidental introduction, the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, has successfully invaded many parts of the world including the California coast. Argentine ants are extraordinarily effective in displacing native ants. This study aims to link animal behavior and growth to resource consumption. We examined how different diets affect Argentine ant behavior. We hypothesized that having a diet composed of both carbohydrate and protein may increase colony size and activity le...

  4. Size matters: Nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants

    OpenAIRE

    Jiménez-Soto, E; Philpott, SM

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Understanding the drivers of ant diversity and co-occurrence in agroecosystems is fundamental because ants participate in interactions that influence agroecosystem processes. Multiple local and regional factors influence ant community assembly. We examined local factors that influence the structure of a twig-nesting ant community in a coffee system in Mexico using an experimental approach. We investigated whether ...

  5. The principles for creation of fire-prevention forest belts with barriers of deciduous species for protection from crown fires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. N. Sannikov

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The article discuss one of the priority security problems in Russia, which is elaboration of the strategic system of the forest and society safeguards from catastrophic forest crown fires in connection with rapid climate warming. It is postulated, that a most effective and reliable barrier for the dispersal of the intensive crown fire in a coniferous forest massive can be a sufficiently wide strip of deciduous tree species – «deciduous forest barrier», which has phytomass capable of absorbing crown fire energy and transforming them to surface fire, which may be extinguished by technical means. The actuality of the natural study of the transition parameters from the crown fire to surface fire has been noted, depending on climate, fire intensity and the deciduous barrier structure. The results of the quantitative natural investigation of the consequences of catastrophic crown fires of 2004 in the island pine forests of forest-steppe zone in Kurgan Oblast, which passed through the belt of 50–70 year-old birch stands of middle density, has been cited and formalized mathematically. It has been shown, that 150 m width of deciduous forest barrier is necessary as a minimum for the reliable transition of the high intensive front crown fire to surface fire in the forest-steppe conditions of the Western Siberia, but this width reduces with a decreasing heating effect. It has been proposed to create the complex fire-prevention forest belts of different construction for the protection of forests, industrial objects and settlements. Besides a basic deciduous barrier, their structure should include technologically necessary buffer zones and zones for the localization and extinguishing surface fire, which stop a crown fire. It has been recommended to use natural regeneration of deciduous tree species, as a most effective and non-deficient method for the creation of deciduous forest barriers in the predominant forest types, except the lichen pine forests

  6. National Fire News- Current Wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 1 to 5) Current hours for the National Fire Information Center are (MST) 8:00 am - 4: ... information. March 9, 2018 Nationally, 35 new large fires were reported. Fire activity picked up in the ...

  7. Mating, hybridisation and introgression in Lasius ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Have, van der T.M.; Pedersen, J.S.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2011-01-01

    Recent reviews have shown that hybridisation among ant species is likely to be more common than previously appreciated. but that documented cases of introgression remain rare. After molecular phylogenetic work had shown that European Lasius niger (LINNAEUS, 1758) and L. psammophilus SEIFERT, 1992

  8. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumner, Seirian; Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Pedersen, Jes Søe

    2004-01-01

    A parasitic ant has abandoned the multiple mating habit of the queens of its related host. Multiple mating (polyandry) is widespread among animal groups, particularly insects 1 . But the factors that maintain it and underlie its evolution are hard to verify because benefits and costs are not easi...

  9. Histrionicotoxin alkaloids finally detected in an ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jones, Tappey H.; Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Spande, Thomas F.

    2012-01-01

    Workers of the ant Carebarella bicolor collected in Panama were found to have two major poison-frog alkaloids, cis- and trans-fused decahydroquinolines (DHQs) of the 269AB type, four minor 269AB isomers, two minor 269B isomers, and three isomers of DHQ 271D. For the first time in an ant, however......) sp., were found to have a very similar DHQ complex but failed to show HTXs. Several new DHQ alkaloids of MW 271 (named in the frog as 271G) are reported from the above ants that have both m/z 202 and 204 as major fragment ions, unlike the spectrum seen for the poison-frog alkaloid 271D, which has...... only an m/z 204 base peak. Found also for the first time in skin extracts from the comparison frog Oophaga granulifera of Costa Rica is a trace DHQ of MW 273. It is coded as 273F in the frog; a different isomer is found in the ant....

  10. Plasmodium parasitaemia among pregnant women attending ante ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... Ante-Natal Clinic at Military Hospital Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria using the Standard parasitological technique. Venous blood was collected from 200 pregnant women, both thick and thin blood films were made on clean greese-free glass slide and stained with 10% Giemsa stains diluted with 7.2 buffered water for ...

  11. Why is an Ant's Trail Straight?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    demonstrate their sense of geometry did not work." Feynman had recognized the importance of this problem of one ant pursuing another. Historically, pursuit problems are pretty old, dating back even to Leonardo da Vinci. In recent times this question has become all the more relevant in robotics. This problem has now been ...

  12. Water surface locomotion in tropical canopy ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, S P; Frederick, D N

    2014-06-15

    Upon falling onto the water surface, most terrestrial arthropods helplessly struggle and are quickly eaten by aquatic predators. Exceptions to this outcome mostly occur among riparian taxa that escape by walking or swimming at the water surface. Here we document sustained, directional, neustonic locomotion (i.e. surface swimming) in tropical arboreal ants. We dropped 35 species of ants into natural and artificial aquatic settings in Peru and Panama to assess their swimming ability. Ten species showed directed surface swimming at speeds >3 body lengths s(-1), with some swimming at absolute speeds >10 cm s(-1). Ten other species exhibited partial swimming ability characterized by relatively slow but directed movement. The remaining species showed no locomotory control at the surface. The phylogenetic distribution of swimming among ant genera indicates parallel evolution and a trend toward negative association with directed aerial descent behavior. Experiments with workers of Odontomachus bauri showed that they escape from the water by directing their swimming toward dark emergent objects (i.e. skototaxis). Analyses of high-speed video images indicate that Pachycondyla spp. and O. bauri use a modified alternating tripod gait when swimming; they generate thrust at the water surface via synchronized treading and rowing motions of the contralateral fore and mid legs, respectively, while the hind legs provide roll stability. These results expand the list of facultatively neustonic terrestrial taxa to include various species of tropical arboreal ants. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. Ants recognize foes and not friends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrieri, Fernando J.; Nehring, Volker; Jørgensen, Charlotte G.; Nielsen, John; Galizia, C. Giovanni; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    Discriminating among individuals and rejecting non-group members is essential for the evolution and stability of animal societies. Ants are good models for studying recognition mechanisms, because they are typically very efficient in discriminating ‘friends’ (nest-mates) from ‘foes’ (non-nest-mates). Recognition in ants involves multicomponent cues encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Here, we tested whether workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus use the presence and/or absence of cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate between nest-mates and non-nest-mates. We supplemented the cuticular profile with synthetic hydrocarbons mixed to liquid food and then assessed behavioural responses using two different bioassays. Our results show that (i) the presence, but not the absence, of an additional hydrocarbon elicited aggression and that (ii) among the three classes of hydrocarbons tested (unbranched, mono-methylated and dimethylated alkanes; for mono-methylated alkanes, we present a new synthetic pathway), only the dimethylated alkane was effective in eliciting aggression. Our results suggest that carpenter ants use a fundamentally different mechanism for nest-mate recognition than previously thought. They do not specifically recognize nest-mates, but rather recognize and reject non-nest-mates bearing odour cues that are novel to their own colony cuticular hydrocarbon profile. This begs for a reappraisal of the mechanisms underlying recognition systems in social insects. PMID:19364750

  14. Operant conditioning in the ant Myrmica sabuleti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammaerts, M C

    2004-11-30

    Operant conditioning could be obtained in the ant Myrmica sabuleti by presenting to the workers, during a six-day period, an apparatus containing either sugared water or meat as a reward. The conditioning obtained using sugared water as a reward was short lasting. A reconditioning was more persistent and lasted four hours. The ants' response was very precise, since they exhibited it only in front of an apparatus identical to that used during the training phase. Operant conditioning obtained using meat as a reward was more pronounced than that obtained by using sugared water, probably because meat is more valuable as a reward than sugar for the species studied, which is essentially a carnivorous one. Such a conditioning was rather persistent. Indeed, a first operant conditioning obtained by using meat as a reward could still be detected after seven hours, and a reconditioning was still significant after eight hours. One day after this eight-hour period without rewarding the ants, the response was higher again and a further day later, it was still significant. Since the operant conditioning is easy to perform and quantify and since the ants' response is very precise, such a conditioning can be used for further studying M. sabuleti workers' visual perception.

  15. Serotonin depresses feeding behaviour in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falibene, Agustina; Rössler, Wolfgang; Josens, Roxana

    2012-01-01

    Feeding behaviour is a complex functional system that relies on external signals and the physiological state of the animal. This is also the case in ants as they vary their feeding behaviour according to food characteristics, environmental conditions and - as they are social insects - to the colony's requirements. The biogenic amine serotonin (5-HT) was shown to be involved in the control and modulation of many actions and processes related to feeding in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In this study, we investigated whether 5-HT affects nectar feeding in ants by analysing its effect on the sucking-pump activity. Furthermore, we studied 5-HT association with tissues and neuronal ganglia involved in feeding regulation. Our results show that 5-HT promotes a dose-dependent depression of sucrose feeding in Camponotus mus ants. Orally administered 5-HT diminished the intake rate by mainly decreasing the volume of solution taken per pump contraction, without modifying the sucrose acceptance threshold. Immunohistochemical studies all along the alimentary canal revealed 5-HT-like immunoreactive processes on the foregut (oesophagus, crop and proventriculus), while the midgut and hindgut lacked 5-HT innervation. Although the frontal and suboesophageal ganglia contained 5-HT immunoreactive cell bodies, serotonergic innervation in the sucking-pump muscles was absent. The results are discussed in the frame of a role of 5-HT in feeding control in ants. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Ante Graovac – Life and Works

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nenad Raos

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Ivan Gutman, Biserka Pokrić, Damir Vukičević (Eds. Ante Graovac – Life and Works Mathematical Chemistry Monographs, Vol. 16 Faculty of Science, University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac (Serbia, 2014 306 + IV pages ◦ ISBN 978-86-6009-021-0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  17. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  18. A global database of ant species abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Road density

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Road density is generally highly correlated with amount of developed land cover. High road densities usually indicate high levels of ecological disturbance. More...

  20. Vestlus päevapoliitikast Ants Vahtrasega / Ants Vahtras ; interv. Hillar Padu

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Vahtras, Ants, 1953-

    2001-01-01

    Keskerakonna Hiiumaa osakonna esimees Ants Vahtras keskendub vestluses Keskerakonna kandidaatidele presidendi valimistele, arutleb presidendile vajalike isikuomaduste, haldusreformi, Hiiumaa Suurkogu, erastamiselt laekuva raha kasutamise üle ning annab hinnangu kultuuripoliitikale. Autor: Keskerakond

  1. Biogeography of mutualistic fungi cultivated by leafcutter ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leafcutter ants propagate co-evolving fungi for food. The nearly 50 species of leafcutter ants (Atta, Acromyrmex) range from Argentina to the USA, with the greatest species diversity in southern South America. We elucidate the biogeography of fungi cultivated by leafcutter ants using DNA-sequence an...

  2. Studies on the environmental implications of ants (Hymenoptera ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A study of ants associated wh two synanthropcenvironments in Awka was carried out in 2008 using pitfall and bait traps. The study yelded a total of 561 ants wth 409 obtaned from the hemisynanthrophic environment while 192 ants were collected from the endophilic environment. The percentage occurrence, total dstribution ...

  3. Niches and coexistence of ant communities in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.A. Torres

    1984-01-01

    I studied ant coexistence in adjacent areas of upland tropical forest, grassland, and agricultural land in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico. Data on food utilization, daily activity, nesting sites, microhabitat utilization and interspecific aggression were collected. Ants' tolerance to 45 degree C was determined in the laboratory. Agricultural and grassland ants eat grain...

  4. Population biology of Rhytidoponera ants (Hymenoptera:Formicidae)

    OpenAIRE

    BIZOS, Jiří

    2009-01-01

    Ants from the genus Rhytidoponera are known for specific type of social organization in which some workers can reproduce. Species of this ants are commonly occuring in lowland rainforests of New Guinea but their biology is unknown to great extent. This thesis reviews available molecular methods suitable for study of population structure and phylogeography of Rhytidpoponera ants in rainforest environment.

  5. Ant-egg cataract. An electron microscopic study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrøder, H D; Nissen, S H

    1979-01-01

    The ultrastructure of the ant-egg cataractous lens has been studied. Comparison of tissue demineralized by means of EDTA with untreated tissue showed the calcium salts in the ant-eggs to be mostly crystalline. A laminar appearance of the ant-egg seen in EDTA treated material suggested an intermit...

  6. Ants Orasest ja Anne Lange monograafiast / Jüri Talvet

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Talvet, Jüri, 1945-

    2005-01-01

    Arvustus: Oras, Ants. Luulekool. I, Apoloogia / koostajad Hando Runnel ja Jaak Rähesoo. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2003 ; Oras, Ants. Luulekool II, Meistriklass. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004 ; Lange, Anne. Ants Oras : [kirjandusteadlane, -kriitik ja tõlkija (1900-1982)]. Tartu : Ilmamaa, 2004

  7. Energy Efficient Routing in Wireless Sensor Networks based on Ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF. O. E. OSUAGWU

    2013-09-01

    Sep 1, 2013 ... Ant Colony Optimization, a swarm intelligence based optimization technique, has been successfully used in network routing. In this paper, we introduce a heuristic way to reduce energy consumption in WSNs routing process using Ant Colony Optimization. We introduce three Ant Colony Optimization ...

  8. Are ant feces nutrients for plants? A metabolomics approach to elucidate the nutritional effects on plants hosting weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidkjær, Nanna Hjort; Wollenweber, Bernd; Gislum, René

    2015-01-01

    Weaver ants (genus Oecophylla) are tropical carnivorous ant species living in high numbers in the canopies of trees. The ants excrete copious amounts of fecal matter on leaf surfaces, and these feces may provide nutrients to host trees. This hypothesis is supported by studies of ant-plant...... interactions involving other ant species that have demonstrated the transfer of nutrients from ants to plants. In this 7-months study, a GC–MS-based metabolomics approach along with an analysis of total nitrogen and carbon levels was used to study metabolic changes in ant-hosting Coffea arabica plants compared...... with control plants. The results showed elevated levels of total nitrogen, amino acids, fatty acids, caffeine, and secondary metabolites of the phenylpropanoid pathway in leaves from ant-hosting plants. Minor effects were observed for sugars, whereas little or no effect was observed for organic acids, despite...

  9. Effects of high fire frequency in creosote bush scrub vegetation of the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, M.L.

    2012-01-01

    Plant invasions can increase fire frequency in desert ecosystems where fires were historically infrequent. Although there are many resource management concerns associated with high frequency fire in deserts, fundamental effects on plant community characteristics remain largely unstudied. Here I describe the effects of fire frequency on creosote bush scrub vegetation in the Mojave Desert, USA. Biomass of the invasive annual grass Bromus rubens L. increased following fire, but did not increase further with additional fires. In contrast, density, cover and species richness of native perennial plants each decreased following fire and continued to decrease with subsequent fires, although not as dramatically as after the initial fire. Responses were similar 5 and 14 years post-fire, except that cover of Hymenoclea salsola Torr. & A. Gray and Achnatherum speciosa Trin. & Rupr. both increased in areas burnt once. These results suggest that control of B. rubens may be equally warranted after one, two or three fires, but revegetation of native perennial plants is most warranted following multiple fires. These results are valid within the scope of this study, which is defined as relatively short term vegetation responses (???14 years) to short fire return intervals (6.3 and 7.3 years for the two and three fire frequency levels) within creosote bush scrub of the Mojave Desert. ?? 2012 IAWF.

  10. Calibration of the CAFE-3D fire code with controlled indoor fire data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez, C.; Koski, J.A.; Khalil, I.; Suo-Anttila, A.

    2004-01-01

    The Container Analysis Fire Environment (CAFE) code contains a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based fire model that has been successfully coupled to standard finite element computer codes. This coupling of CFD and finite element codes allows for a more realistic modeling of the thermal performance of objects engulfed in fire, which aids in the design and risk analysis of radioactive material packages. The CAFE fire model is based on a three-dimensional finite volume formulation of basic fire chemistry and fluid dynamics. This fire model includes a variable-density primitive-variable formulation of mass, momentum, energy and species equations. Multiple chemical species and soot formation are included in the combustion model. Thermal radiation is modeled as diffusive radiation transport inside the flame zone and as view-factor radiation outside the flame zone. Turbulence is modeled with an eddy diffusivity model. The soot model is coupled to the diffusive radiation formulation using the Rosseland approximation and the optical properties of soot. In order to verify and improve the accuracy of computers codes, they should be benchmarked against test data. This paper describes a set of experiments that were performed at the Fire Laboratory for Accreditation of Modeling by Experiment (FLAME) fire facility of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. The paper also describes how the data collected from the experiments was used to calibrate and benchmark the CAFE-3D fire code. Detailed description of the tests performed and comparisons between the calculated results and the collected data from the experiments are provided

  11. VARIABILITY IN SOILS AND VEGETATION ASSOCIATED WITH HARVESTER ANT (POGONOMYRMEX RUGOSUS) NESTS ON A CHIHUAHUAN DESERT WATERSHED

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) nests on the density and cover of spring annual plants and on soil characteristics were measured at three locations characterized by different soils and dominant vegetation on a desert watershed. There were few differences in ve...

  12. Can the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) replace native ants in myrmecochory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Oliveras, Jordi

    2003-04-01

    We analyse the influence of the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) on the seed dispersal process of the myrmecochorous plants Euphorbia characias, E. biumbellata, Genista linifolia, G. triflora, G. monspessulana and Sarothamnus arboreus. The observations were made in two study plots of Mediterranean cork-oak secondary forest (invaded and non-invaded by L. humile). The presence of L. humile implies the displacement of all native ant species that disperse seeds. Seed transports in the non-invaded zone were carried out by eight ant species. In the invaded zone, L. humile workers removed and transported seeds to the nest. In vertebrate exclusion trials, we observed the same level of seed removal in the invaded and non-invaded zones. Two findings could explain this result. Although mean time to seed localization was higher for native ants (431.7 s) than that for L. humile (150.5 s), the mean proportion of seeds transported after being detected was higher (50.1%) in non-invaded than in invaded (16.8%) zones. The proportion of seeds removed and transported into an ant nest after an ant-seed interaction had dramatically reduced from non-invaded (41.9%) to invaded (7.4%) zones. The levels of seed dispersal by ants found prior to invasion are unlikely to be maintained in invaded zones. However, total replacement of seed dispersal function is possible if contact iteration finally offers similar levels or quantities of seeds reaching the nests. The results obtained confirm that the Argentine ant invasion may affect myrmecochory dramatically in the Mediterranean biome.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Lung density

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garnett, E S; Webber, C E; Coates, G

    1977-01-01

    The density of a defined volume of the human lung can be measured in vivo by a new noninvasive technique. A beam of gamma-rays is directed at the lung and, by measuring the scattered gamma-rays, lung density is calculated. The density in the lower lobe of the right lung in normal man during quiet...

  15. Landscape corridors can increase invasion by an exotic species and reduce diversity of native species.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Resasco, Julian [University of Florida; et al,

    2014-04-01

    Abstract. Landscape corridors are commonly used to mitigate negative effects of habitat fragmentation, but concerns persist that they may facilitate the spread of invasive species. In a replicated landscape experiment of open habitat, we measured effects of corridors on the invasive fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, and native ants. Fire ants have two social forms: polygyne, which tend to disperse poorly but establish at high densities, and monogyne, which disperse widely but establish at lower densities. In landscapes dominated by polygyne fire ants, fire ant abundance was higher and native ant diversity was lower in habitat patches connected by corridors than in unconnected patches. Conversely, in landscapes dominated by monogyne fire ants, connectivity had no influence on fire ant abundance and native ant diversity. Polygyne fire ants dominated recently created landscapes, suggesting that these corridor effects may be transient. Our results suggest that corridors can facilitate invasion and they highlight the importance of considering species’ traits when assessing corridor utility.

  16. Forest Fires 3

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    heat from within the Earth could be transferred to the charcoal layers above, from there onto the peat and other vegetation in the soil and finally when it comes in contact with forest litter it would develop into a natural forest fire. Ironically, in regions usually thought of as cool and wet, forest fires do occur naturally frop1 time to ...

  17. Fire research issue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard E. McArdle; Donald N. Matthews

    1934-01-01

    This number of Forest Research Motes is primarily for the forest fire protectionist. It consists of a number of very short articles, each of which gives the essence of the results of a study made recently by this Forest Experiment Station. These so-called fire studies which are represented herein by brief fragments are all part of an organized research program, having...

  18. Biomass co-firing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yin, Chungen

    2013-01-01

    Co-firing biomass with fossil fuels in existing power plants is an attractive option for significantly increasing renewable energy resource utilization and reducing CO2 emissions. This chapter mainly discusses three direct co-firing technologies: pulverized-fuel (PF) boilers, fluidized-bed combus...

  19. Fire forum 2006

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2006-07-01

    The conference contains 18 presentations on various aspects of fire prevention and protection within the power production plants and industry, safety of building constructions, cable and transformer problems, risk and safety evaluation methods, management aspects, relevant Norwegian and Icelandic laws and regulations and oil analysis. Some examples of fires and explosions are also presented. (tk)

  20. Hot fire, cool soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stoof, C.R.; Moore, D.; Fernandes, P.; Stoorvogel, J.J.; Fernandes, R.; Ferreira, A.J.D.; Ritsema, C.J.

    2013-01-01

    Wildfires greatly increase a landscape's vulnerability to flooding and erosion events by removing vegetation and changing soils. Fire damage to soil increases with increasing soil temperature, and, for fires where smoldering combustion is absent, the current understanding is that soil temperatures

  1. The fire brigade renovates

    CERN Multimedia

    2002-01-01

    The new fire engine at CERN's Fire Station. A shiny brand-new fire engine is now attracting all the attention of the members of CERN's fire brigade. Since the beginning of last week this engine has taken over from an 18-year-old one, which has now been 'retired' from service. This modern vehicle, built in Brescia, Italy, is much lighter and more powerful than the old one and is equipped to allow the fire service to tackle most call-outs without the support of at least one other vehicle, as is currently necessary. The new fire engine is designed to transport six fire-fighters, 2000 litres of water, and is equipped not only for fire fighting actions but also to respond initially to any other kind of call-out, such as traffic accidents, chemical incidents, pollution, lightning, etc. It goes almost without saying that it is provided with the most modern safety measures, a low centre of gravity, as well as a special chassis and a combination pump (low and high pressure), which improve the safety and performance ...

  2. Advanced fire information system

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Frost, PE

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The South African Advanced Fire Information System (AFIS) is the first near real-time satellite-based fire monitoring system in Africa. It was originally developed for, and funded by, the electrical power utility Eskom, to reduce the impact of wild...

  3. Fire exposed aluminium structures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maljaars, J.; Fellinger, J.; Soetens, F.

    2005-01-01

    Material properties and mechanical response models for fire design of steel structures are based on extensive research and experience. Contrarily, the behaviour of aluminium load bearing structures exposed to fire is relatively unexplored. This article gives an overview of physical and mechanical

  4. Fire exposed aluminium structures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maljaars, J.; Fellinger, J.H.H.; Soetens, F.

    2006-01-01

    Material properties and mechanical response models for fire design of steel structures are based on extensive research and experience. Contrarily, the behaviour of aluminium load bearing structures exposed to fire is relatively unexplored. This article gives an overview of physical and mechanical

  5. Management impacts on fire occurrence: A comparison of fire regimes of African and South American tropical savannas in different protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado, Swanni T; Silva, Thiago Sanna Freire; Archibald, Sally

    2018-04-14

    Humans can alter fire dynamics in grassland systems by changing fire frequency, fire seasonality and fuel conditions. These changes have effects on vegetation structure and recovery, species composition, and ecosystem function. Understanding how human management can affect fire regimes is vital to detect potential changes in the resilience of plant communities, and to predict vegetation responses to human interventions. We evaluated the fire regimes of two recently protected areas in Madagascar (Ibity and Itremo NPA) and one in Brazil (Serra do Cipó NP) before and after livestock exclusion and fire suppression policies. We compare the pre- and post-management fire history in these areas and analyze differences in terms of total annual burned area, density of ignitions, burn scar size distribution, fire return period and seasonal fire distribution. More than 90% of total park areas were burned at least once during the studied period, for all parks. We observed a significant reduction in the number of ignitions for Ibity NPA and Serra do Cipó NP after livestock exclusion and active fire suppression, but no significant change in total burned area for each protected area. We also observed a seasonal shift in burning, with fires happening later in the fire season (October-November) after management intervention. However, the protected areas in Madagascar had shorter fire return intervals (3.23 and 1.82 years) than those in Brazil (7.91 years). Our results demonstrate that fire exclusion is unattainable, and probably unwarranted in tropical grassland conservation areas, but show how human intervention in fire and vegetation patterns can alter various aspects of the fire regimes. This information can help with formulating realistic and effective fire management policies in these valuable conservation areas. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. FIRE_AX_MALBAL_SONDE

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — First ISCCP Regional Experiment (FIRE) Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment (ASTEX) Malcolm Baldridge Radiosonde Data in native format (FIRE_AX_MALBAL_SONDE)

  7. FIRE_AX_VALDIV_SONDE

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — First ISCCP Regional Experiment (FIRE) Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment (ASTEX) Malcolm Baldridge Radiosonde Data in Native format (FIRE_AX_VALDIV_SONDE)

  8. Potential Of Fired Clay Bricks Produced From Aponmu Clay Deposits

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The potential of fired clay obtained from Aponmu river, Ondo State. Nigeria for brick production have been investigated. Properties of produced bricks investigated was compressive strength, density and water absorption. The results shows that the Compressive strength, density and water absorption values ranged from 2.48 ...

  9. Bacterial diversity in Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis geminata ant colonies characterized by 16S amplicon 454 pyrosequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishak, Heather D; Plowes, Rob; Sen, Ruchira; Kellner, Katrin; Meyer, Eli; Estrada, Dora A; Dowd, Scot E; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-05-01

    Social insects harbor diverse assemblages of bacterial microbes, which may play a crucial role in the success or failure of biological invasions. The invasive fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Formicidae, Hymenoptera) is a model system for understanding the dynamics of invasive social insects and their biological control. However, little is known about microbes as biotic factors influencing the success or failure of ant invasions. This pilot study is the first attempt to characterize and compare microbial communities associated with the introduced S. invicta and the native Solenopsis geminata in the USA. Using 16S amplicon 454 pyrosequencing, bacterial communities of workers, brood, and soil from nest walls were compared between neighboring S. invicta and S. geminata colonies at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, Austin, Texas, with the aim of identifying potential pathogenic, commensal, or mutualistic microbial associates. Two samples of S. geminata workers showed high counts of Spiroplasma bacteria, a known pathogen or mutualist of other insects. A subsequent analysis using PCR and sequencing confirmed the presence of Spiroplasma in additional colonies of both Solenopsis species. Wolbachia was found in one alate sample of S. geminata, while one brood sample of S. invicta had a high count of Lactococcus. As expected, ant samples from both species showed much lower microbial diversity than the surrounding soil. Both ant species had similar overall bacterial diversities, although little overlap in specific microbes. To properly characterize a single bacterial community associated with a Solenopsis ant sample, rarefaction analyses indicate that it is necessary to obtain 5,000-10,000 sequences. Overall, 16S amplicon 454 pyrosequencing appears to be a cost-effective approach to screen whole microbial diversity associated with invasive ant species.

  10. Sodium fire protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raju, C.; Kale, R.D.

    1979-01-01

    Results of experiments carried out with sodium fires to develop extinguishment techniques are presented. Characteristics, ignition temperature, heat evolution and other aspects of sodium fires are described. Out of the powders tested for extinguishment of 10 Kg sodium fires, sodium bi-carbonate based dry chemical powder has been found to be the best extinguisher followed by large sized vermiculite and then calcium carbonate powders distributed by spray nozzles. Powders, however, do not extinguish large fires effectively due to sodium-concrete reaction. To control large scale fires in a LMFBR, collection trays with protective cover have been found to cause oxygen starvation better than flooding with inert gas. This system has an added advantage in that there is no damage to the sodium facilities as has been in the case of powders which often contain chlorine compounds and cause stress corrosion cracking. (M.G.B.)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Olff, H.

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Dead ant walking: a myrmecophilous beetle predator uses parasitoid host location cues to selectively prey on parasitized ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-08-17

    Myrmecophiles (i.e. organisms that associate with ants) use a variety of ecological niches and employ different strategies to survive encounters with ants. Because ants are typically excellent defenders, myrmecophiles may choose moments of weakness to take advantage of their ant associates. This hypothesis was studied in the rove beetle, Myrmedonota xipe, which associates with Azteca sericeasur ants in the presence of parasitoid flies. A combination of laboratory and field experiments show that M. xipe beetles selectively locate and prey upon parasitized ants. These parasitized ants are less aggressive towards beetles than healthy ants, allowing beetles to eat the parasitized ants alive without interruption. Moreover, behavioural assays and chemical analysis reveal that M. xipe are attracted to the ant's alarm pheromone, the same secretion used by the phorid fly parasitoids in host location. This strategy allows beetles access to an abundant but otherwise inaccessible resource, as A. sericeasur ants are typically highly aggressive. These results are the first, to our knowledge, to demonstrate a predator sharing cues with a parasitoid to gain access to an otherwise unavailable prey item. Furthermore, this work highlights the importance of studying ant-myrmecophile interactions beyond just their pairwise context. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. Energy Efficiency Performance Improvements for Ant-Based Routing Algorithm in Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adamu Murtala Zungeru

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The main problem for event gathering in wireless sensor networks (WSNs is the restricted communication range for each node. Due to the restricted communication range and high network density, event forwarding in WSNs is very challenging and requires multihop data forwarding. Currently, the energy-efficient ant based routing (EEABR algorithm, based on the ant colony optimization (ACO metaheuristic, is one of the state-of-the-art energy-aware routing protocols. In this paper, we propose three improvements to the EEABR algorithm to further improve its energy efficiency. The improvements to the original EEABR are based on the following: (1 a new scheme to intelligently initialize the routing tables giving priority to neighboring nodes that simultaneously could be the destination, (2 intelligent update of routing tables in case of a node or link failure, and (3 reducing the flooding ability of ants for congestion control. The energy efficiency improvements are significant particularly for dynamic routing environments. Experimental results using the RMASE simulation environment show that the proposed method increases the energy efficiency by up to 9% and 64% in converge-cast and target-tracking scenarios, respectively, over the original EEABR without incurring a significant increase in complexity. The method is also compared and found to also outperform other swarm-based routing protocols such as sensor-driven and cost-aware ant routing (SC and Beesensor.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-14

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

  15. Ant-cuckoo colony optimization for feature selection in digital mammogram.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jona, J B; Nagaveni, N

    2014-01-15

    Digital mammogram is the only effective screening method to detect the breast cancer. Gray Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM) textural features are extracted from the mammogram. All the features are not essential to detect the mammogram. Therefore identifying the relevant feature is the aim of this work. Feature selection improves the classification rate and accuracy of any classifier. In this study, a new hybrid metaheuristic named Ant-Cuckoo Colony Optimization a hybrid of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) and Cuckoo Search (CS) is proposed for feature selection in Digital Mammogram. ACO is a good metaheuristic optimization technique but the drawback of this algorithm is that the ant will walk through the path where the pheromone density is high which makes the whole process slow hence CS is employed to carry out the local search of ACO. Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier with Radial Basis Kernal Function (RBF) is done along with the ACO to classify the normal mammogram from the abnormal mammogram. Experiments are conducted in miniMIAS database. The performance of the new hybrid algorithm is compared with the ACO and PSO algorithm. The results show that the hybrid Ant-Cuckoo Colony Optimization algorithm is more accurate than the other techniques.

  16. Seasonality directs contrasting food collection behavior and nutrient regulation strategies in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven C Cook

    Full Text Available Long-lived animals, including social insects, often display seasonal shifts in foraging behavior. Foraging is ultimately a nutrient consumption exercise, but the effect of seasonality per se on changes in foraging behavior, particularly as it relates to nutrient regulation, is poorly understood. Here, we show that field-collected fire ant colonies, returned to the laboratory and maintained under identical photoperiod, temperature, and humidity regimes, and presented with experimental foods that had different protein (p to carbohydrate (c ratios, practice summer- and fall-specific foraging behaviors with respect to protein-carbohydrate regulation. Summer colonies increased the amount of food collected as the p:c ratio of their food became increasingly imbalanced, but fall colonies collected similar amounts of food regardless of the p:c ratio of their food. Choice experiments revealed that feeding was non-random, and that both fall and summer ants preferred carbohydrate-biased food. However, ants rarely ate all the food they collected, and their cached or discarded food always contained little carbohydrate relative to protein. From a nutrient regulation strategy, ants consumed most of the carbohydrate they collected, but regulated protein consumption to a similar level, regardless of season. We suggest that varied seasonal food collection behaviors and nutrient regulation strategies may be an adaptation that allows long-lived animals to meet current and future nutrient demands when nutrient-rich foods are abundant (e.g. spring and summer, and to conserve energy and be metabolically more efficient when nutritionally balanced foods are less abundant.

  17. USFA NFIRS 2000 Basic Fire Incident Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — The 2000 US Fire Administration Fire (USFA) Fire Incident & Cause Data was provided by the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Data Center's (NFDC's)...

  18. USFA NFIRS 2002 Basic Fire Incident Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — The 2002 US Fire Administration Fire (USFA) Fire Incident & Cause Data was provided by the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Data Center's (NFDC's)...

  19. USFA NFIRS 2004 Basic Fire Incident Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — The 2004 US Fire Administration Fire (USFA) Fire Incident & Cause Data was provided by the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Data Center's (NFDC's)...

  20. USFA NFIRS 2009 Basic Fire Incident Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — The 2009 US Fire Administration Fire (USFA) Fire Incident & Cause Data was provided by the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Data Center's (NFDC's)...

  1. USFA NFIRS 2001 Basic Fire Incident Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — The 2001 US Fire Administration Fire (USFA) Fire Incident & Cause Data was provided by the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Data Center's (NFDC's)...

  2. Fire science at LLNL: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hasegawa, H.K. (ed.)

    1990-03-01

    This fire sciences report from LLNL includes topics on: fire spread in trailer complexes, properties of welding blankets, validation of sprinkler systems, fire and smoke detectors, fire modeling, and other fire engineering and safety issues. (JEF)

  3. USFA NFIRS 2003 Basic Fire Incident Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — The 2003 US Fire Administration Fire (USFA) Fire Incident & Cause Data was provided by the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Data Center's (NFDC's)...

  4. USFA NFIRS 1999 Basic Fire Incident Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — The 1999 US Fire Administration Fire (USFA) Fire Incident & Cause Data was provided by the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Data Center's (NFDC's)...

  5. Edge detection in digital images using Ant Colony Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjan Kuchaki Rafsanjani

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is an optimization algorithm inspired by the behavior of real ant colonies to approximate the solutions of difficult optimization problems. In this paper, ACO is introduced to tackle the image edge detection problem. The proposed approach is based on the distribution of ants on an image; ants try to find possible edges by using a state transition function. Experimental results show that the proposed method compared to standard edge detectors is less sensitive to Gaussian noise and gives finer details and thinner edges when compared to earlier ant-based approaches.

  6. Fire spread in chaparral – a comparison of laboratory data and model predictions in burning live fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    David R. Weise; Eunmo Koo; Xiangyang Zhou; Shankar Mahalingam; Frédéric Morandini; Jacques-Henri Balbi

    2016-01-01

    Fire behaviour data from 240 laboratory fires in high-density live chaparral fuel beds were compared with model predictions. Logistic regression was used to develop a model to predict fire spread success in the fuel beds and linear regression was used to predict rate of spread. Predictions from the Rothermel equation and three proposed changes as well as two physically...

  7. 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).

  8. The Pied Piper: A Parasitic Beetle's Melodies Modulate Ant Behaviours.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Di Giulio

    Full Text Available Ants use various communication channels to regulate their social organisation. The main channel that drives almost all the ants' activities and behaviours is the chemical one, but it is long acknowledged that the acoustic channel also plays an important role. However, very little is known regarding exploitation of the acoustical channel by myrmecophile parasites to infiltrate the ant society. Among social parasites, the ant nest beetles (Paussus are obligate myrmecophiles able to move throughout the colony at will and prey on the ants, surprisingly never eliciting aggression from the colonies. It has been recently postulated that stridulatory organs in Paussus might be evolved as an acoustic mechanism to interact with ants. Here, we survey the role of acoustic signals employed in the Paussus beetle-Pheidole ant system. Ants parasitised by Paussus beetles produce caste-specific stridulations. We found that Paussus can "speak" three different "languages", each similar to sounds produced by different ant castes (workers, soldiers, queen. Playback experiments were used to test how host ants respond to the sounds emitted by Paussus. Our data suggest that, by mimicking the stridulations of the queen, Paussus is able to dupe the workers of its host and to be treated as royalty. This is the first report of acoustic mimicry in a beetle parasite of ants.

  9. The Pied Piper: A Parasitic Beetle's Melodies Modulate Ant Behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giulio, Andrea; Maurizi, Emanuela; Barbero, Francesca; Sala, Marco; Fattorini, Simone; Balletto, Emilio; Bonelli, Simona

    2015-01-01

    Ants use various communication channels to regulate their social organisation. The main channel that drives almost all the ants' activities and behaviours is the chemical one, but it is long acknowledged that the acoustic channel also plays an important role. However, very little is known regarding exploitation of the acoustical channel by myrmecophile parasites to infiltrate the ant society. Among social parasites, the ant nest beetles (Paussus) are obligate myrmecophiles able to move throughout the colony at will and prey on the ants, surprisingly never eliciting aggression from the colonies. It has been recently postulated that stridulatory organs in Paussus might be evolved as an acoustic mechanism to interact with ants. Here, we survey the role of acoustic signals employed in the Paussus beetle-Pheidole ant system. Ants parasitised by Paussus beetles produce caste-specific stridulations. We found that Paussus can "speak" three different "languages", each similar to sounds produced by different ant castes (workers, soldiers, queen). Playback experiments were used to test how host ants respond to the sounds emitted by Paussus. Our data suggest that, by mimicking the stridulations of the queen, Paussus is able to dupe the workers of its host and to be treated as royalty. This is the first report of acoustic mimicry in a beetle parasite of ants.

  10. Effects of vegetation cover, presence of a native ant species, and human disturbance on colonization by Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Katherine; Gordon, Deborah M

    2012-06-01

    The spread of non-native invasive species is affected by human activity, vegetation cover, weather, and interaction with native species. We analyzed data from a 17-year study of the distribution of the non-native Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) and the native winter ant (Prenolepis imparis) in a preserve in northern California (U.S.A.). We conducted logistic regressions and used model selection to determine whether the following variables were associated with changes in the distribution of each species: presence of conspecifics at neighboring sites, distance to development (e.g., roads, buildings, and landscaped areas), proportion of vegetation cover taller than 0.75 m, elevation, distance to water, presence of both species at a site, temperature, and rainfall. Argentine ants colonized unoccupied sites from neighboring sites, but the probability of appearance and persistence decreased as distance to development, vegetation cover, and elevation increased. Winter ants appeared and persisted in sites with relatively high vegetation cover (i.e., highly shaded sites). Presence of the 2 species was negatively associated in sites with high vegetation cover (more winter ants) and sites near development (more Argentine ants). Probability of colonization of Argentine ants decreased where winter ants were most persistent. At sites near development within the preserve, abundant Argentine ant populations may be excluding winter ants. The high abundance of Argentine ants at these sites may be due to immigration from suburban areas outside the preserve, which are high-quality habitat for Argentine ants. In the interior of the preserve, distance from development, low-quality habitat, and interaction with winter ants may in combination exclude Argentine ants. Interactions among the variables we examined were associated with low probabilities of Argentine ant colonization in the preserve. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Fast and flexible: argentine ants recruit from nearby trails.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana P Flanagan

    Full Text Available Argentine ants (Linepithema humile live in groups of nests connected by trails to each other and to stable food sources. In a field study, we investigated whether some ants recruit directly from established, persistent trails to food sources, thus accelerating food collection. Our results indicate that Argentine ants recruit nestmates to food directly from persistent trails, and that the exponential increase in the arrival rate of ants at baits is faster than would be possible if recruited ants traveled from distant nests. Once ants find a new food source, they walk back and forth between the bait and sometimes share food by trophallaxis with nestmates on the trail. Recruiting ants from nearby persistent trails creates a dynamic circuit, like those found in other distributed systems, which facilitates a quick response to changes in available resources.

  12. Parasite-induced fruit mimicry in a tropical canopy ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, S P; Kaspari, M; Dudley, R; Poinar, G

    2008-04-01

    Some parasites modify characteristics of intermediate hosts to facilitate their consumption by subsequent hosts, but examples of parasite-mediated mimicry are rare. Here we report dramatic changes in the appearance and behavior of nematode-parasitized ants such that they resemble ripe fruits in the tropical rain forest canopy. Unlike healthy ants, which are completely black, infected ants have bright red, berry-like gasters full of parasite eggs. The infected gasters are held in a conspicuous elevated position as the ants are walking, and they are easily detached from living ants, which also exhibit reduced defensive responses. This combination of changes presumably makes the infected ants attractive to frugivorous birds, which ingest the red gasters and pass the parasite eggs in their feces. The feces are collected by ants and fed to the developing brood, thus completing the cycle. This is the first documentation of parasites causing apparent fruit mimicry in an animal host to complete their life cycle.

  13. Insect navigation: do ants live in the now?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Paul; Mangan, Michael

    2015-03-01

    Visual navigation is a critical behaviour for many animals, and it has been particularly well studied in ants. Decades of ant navigation research have uncovered many ways in which efficient navigation can be implemented in small brains. For example, ants show us how visual information can drive navigation via procedural rather than map-like instructions. Two recent behavioural observations highlight interesting adaptive ways in which ants implement visual guidance. Firstly, it has been shown that the systematic nest searches of ants can be biased by recent experience of familiar scenes. Secondly, ants have been observed to show temporary periods of confusion when asked to repeat a route segment, even if that route segment is very familiar. Taken together, these results indicate that the navigational decisions of ants take into account their recent experiences as well as the currently perceived environment. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Exploring with PAM: Prospecting ANTS Missions for Solar System Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S. A.

    2003-01-01

    ANTS (Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm), a large (1000 member) swarm of nano to picoclass (10 to 1 kg) totally autonomous spacecraft, are being developed as a NASA advanced mission concept. ANTS, based on a hierarchical insect social order, use an evolvable, self-similar, hierarchical neural system in which individual spacecraft represent the highest level nodes. ANTS uses swarm intelligence attained through collective, cooperative interactions of the nodes at all levels of the system. At the highest levels this can take the form of cooperative, collective behavior among the individual spacecraft in a very large constellation. The ANTS neural architecture is designed for totally autonomous operation of complex systems including spacecraft constellations. The ANTS (Autonomous Nano Technology Swarm) concept has a number of possible applications. A version of ANTS designed for surveying and determining the resource potential of the asteroid belt, called PAM (Prospecting ANTS Mission), is examined here.

  15. Host ant independent oviposition in the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürst, Matthias A; Nash, David Richard

    2010-01-01

    Parasitic Maculinea alcon butterflies can only develop in nests of a subset of available Myrmica ant species, so female butterflies have been hypothesized to preferentially lay eggs on plants close to colonies of the correct host ants. Previous correlational investigations of host......-ant-dependent oviposition in this and other Maculinea species have, however, shown equivocal results, leading to a long-term controversy over support for this hypothesis. We therefore conducted a controlled field experiment to study the egg-laying behaviour of M. alcon. Matched potted Gentiana plants were set out close...... to host-ant nests and non-host-ant nests, and the number and position of eggs attached were assessed. Our results show no evidence for host-ant-based oviposition in M. alcon, but support an oviposition strategy based on plant characteristics. This suggests that careful management of host-ant distribution...

  16. Humans, Fires, and Forests - Social science applied to fire management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna J. Cortner; Donald R. Field; Pam Jakes; James D. Buthman

    2003-01-01

    The 2000 and 2002 fire seasons resulted in increased political scrutiny of the nation's wildland fire threats, and given the fact that millions of acres of lands are still at high risk for future catastrophic fire events, the issues highlighted by the recent fire seasons are not likely to go away any time soon. Recognizing the magnitude of the problem, the...

  17. The contribution of natural fire management to wilderness fire science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carol Miller

    2014-01-01

    When the federal agencies established policies in the late 1960s and early 1970s to allow the use of natural fires in wilderness, they launched a natural fire management experiment in a handful of wilderness areas. As a result, wildland fire has played more of its natural role in wilderness than anywhere else. Much of what we understand about fire ecology comes from...

  18. Mapping landscape fire frequency for fire regime condition class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale A. Hamilton; Wendel J. Hann

    2015-01-01

    Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) is a departure index that compares the current amounts of the different vegetation succession classes, fire frequency, and fire severity to historic reference conditions. FRCC assessments have been widely used for evaluating ecosystem status in many areas of the U.S. in reports such as land use plans, fire management plans, project...

  19. Electronic firing systems and methods for firing a device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frickey, Steven J [Boise, ID; Svoboda, John M [Idaho Falls, ID

    2012-04-24

    An electronic firing system comprising a control system, a charging system, an electrical energy storage device, a shock tube firing circuit, a shock tube connector, a blasting cap firing circuit, and a blasting cap connector. The control system controls the charging system, which charges the electrical energy storage device. The control system also controls the shock tube firing circuit and the blasting cap firing circuit. When desired, the control system signals the shock tube firing circuit or blasting cap firing circuit to electrically connect the electrical energy storage device to the shock tube connector or the blasting cap connector respectively.

  20. Cable tray fire tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klamerus, L.J.

    1978-01-01

    Funds were authorized by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to provide data needed for confirmation of the suitability of current design standards and regulatory guides for fire protection and control in water reactor power plants. The activities of this program through August 1978 are summarized. A survey of industry to determine current design practices and a screening test to select two cable constructions which were used in small scale and full scale testing are described. Both small and full scale tests to assess the adequacy of fire retardant coatings and full scale tests on fire shields to determine their effectiveness are outlined