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Sample records for fire ant populations

  1. 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 ...

  2. Wolbachia infections in native and introduced populations of fire ants (Solenopsis spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, D D; Ross, K G; Keller, L; Vargo, E L; Werren, J H

    2000-12-01

    Wolbachia are cytoplasmically inherited bacteria that induce a variety of effects with fitness consequences on host arthropods, including cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis, male-killing and feminization. We report here the presence of Wolbachia in native South American populations of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, but the apparent absence of the bacteria in introduced populations of this pest species in the USA. The Wolbachia strains in native S. invicta are of two divergent types (A and B), and the frequency of infection varies dramatically between geographical regions and social forms of this host. Survey data reveal that Wolbachia also are found in other native fire ant species within the Solenopsis saevissima species complex from South America, including S. richteri. This latter species also has been introduced in the USA, where it lacks Wolbachia. Sequence data reveal complete phylogenetic concordance between mtDNA haplotype in S. invicta and Wolbachia infection type (A or B). In addition, the mtDNA and associated group A Wolbachia strain in S. invicta are more closely related to the mtDNA and Wolbachia strain found in S. richteri than they are to the mtDNA and associated group B Wolbachia in S. invicta. These data are consistent with historical introgression of S. richteri cytoplasmic elements into S. invicta populations, resulting in enhanced infection and mtDNA polymorphisms in S. invicta. Wolbachia may have significant fitness effects on these hosts (either directly or by cytoplasmic incompatibility) and therefore these microbes potentially could be used in biological control programmes to suppress introduced fire ant populations.

  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. Wolbachia wSinvictaA infections in natural populations of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta: testing for phenotypic effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwma, Andrew M; Shoemaker, Dewayne

    2011-01-01

    Wolbachia are intracellular bacteria that commonly infect many arthropods and some nematodes. In arthropods, these maternally transmitted bacteria often induce a variety of phenotypic effects to enhance their own spread within host populations. Wolbachia phenotypic effects generally either provide benefits to infected host females (cytoplasmic incompatibility, positive fitness effects) or bias host sex ratio in favor of females (male-killing, parthenogenesis, feminization), all of which increase the relative production of infected females in host populations. Wolbachia surveys have found infections to be exceedingly common in ants, but little is known at this juncture as to what phenotypic effects, if any, they induce in this group. Previous studies have demonstrated that individuals from native populations of the invasive fire ant Solenopsis invicta commonly harbor one or more of three Wolbachia variants. One of the variants, wSinvictaA, typically occurs at low prevalence in S. invicta populations, appears to have been transmitted horizontally into S. invicta three or more times, and has been lost repeatedly from host lineages over time. In order to determine the phenotypic effects and likely population dynamics of wSinvictaA infections in these ants, brood production patterns of newly mated fire ant queens were studied during simulated claustral founding and measured wSinvictaA transmission fidelity within mature single-queen families. No clear evidence was found for Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility, significant fitness effects, or male-killing. Maternal transmission was perfect to both virgin queens and males. Possible mechanisms for how this variant could be maintained in host populations are discussed.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Prospecting for viral natural enemies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metagenomics and next generation sequencing were employed to discover new virus natural enemies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren in its native range (i.e., Formosa, Argentina) with the ultimate goal of testing and releasing new viral pathogens into U.S. S. invicta populations to provide nat...

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  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

    and cases in which non-native species become established in intact (lacking extensive anthropogenic soil disturbance) communities and subsequently diminish the abundance and richness of native species is challenging on the basis of observation alone. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta......), an invasive species that occurs throughout much of the southeastern United States, is such an example. Rather than competitively displacing native species, fire ants may become established only in disturbed areas in which native species richness and abundance are already reduced. We used insecticide to reduce......, the abundance of native ants increased to levels comparable to those in control plots after 1 year. Our findings suggest that factors other than large reductions in ant abundance and species density (number of species per unit area) may affect the establishment of fire ants and that the response of native ants...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 brothe...

  20. 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

  1. Efficacy Testing of Pesticides used for Invertebrate Pests and Fire Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Event page for the upcoming Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) meeting on Efficacy Testing of Pesticides used for Invertebrate Pests and Fire Ants

  2. 78 FR 70530 - Notice of Determination; New and Revised Treatments for the Imported Fire Ant Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-26

    ... imported fire ant feeds on crops and builds large, hard mounds that damage farm and field machinery... and 301.81-5 of the regulations provide, among other things, that regulated articles requiring...

  3. Isolation of a pyrazine alarm pheromone component from the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Meer, Robert K; Preston, Catherine A; Choi, Man-Yeon

    2010-02-01

    Alarm pheromones in social insects are an essential part of a complex of pheromone interactions that contribute to the maintenance of colony integrity and sociality. The alarm pheromones of ants were among the first examples of animal pheromones identified, primarily because of the large amount of chemical produced and the distinctive responses of ants to the pheromone. However, the alarm pheromone of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, eluded identification for over four decades. We identified 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine as an alarm pheromone component of S. invicta. Worker fire ants detect the pyrazine alarm pheromone at 30 pg/ml, which is comparable to alarm pheromone sensitivities reported for other ant species. The source of this alarm pheromone are the mandibular glands, which, in fire ants, are not well developed and contain only about 300 pg of the compound, much less than the microgram quantities of alarm pheromones reported for several other ant species. Female and male sexuals and workers produce the pyrazine, which suggests that it may be involved in fire ant mating flight initiation, as well as the typical worker alarm response. This is the first report of 2-ethyl-3,6-dimethylpyrazine from a Solenopsis species and the first example of this alkaloid functioning as an alarm pheromone.

  4. 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...

  5. Prospecting for viral natural enemies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valles, Steven M; Porter, Sanford D; Calcaterra, Luis A

    2018-01-01

    Metagenomics and next generation sequencing were employed to discover new virus natural enemies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren in its native range (i.e., Formosa, Argentina) with the ultimate goal of testing and releasing new viral pathogens into U.S. S. invicta populations to provide natural, sustainable control of this ant. RNA was purified from worker ants from 182 S. invicta colonies, which was pooled into 4 groups according to location. A library was created from each group and sequenced using Illumina Miseq technology. After a series of winnowing methods to remove S. invicta genes, known S. invicta virus genes, and all other non-virus gene sequences, 61,944 unique singletons were identified with virus identity. These were assembled de novo yielding 171 contiguous sequences with significant identity to non-plant virus genes. Fifteen contiguous sequences exhibited very high expression rates and were detected in all four gene libraries. One contig (Contig_29) exhibited the highest expression level overall and across all four gene libraries. Random amplification of cDNA ends analyses expanded this contiguous sequence yielding a complete virus genome, which we have provisionally named Solenopsis invicta virus 5 (SINV-5). SINV-5 is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus with genome characteristics consistent with insect-infecting viruses from the family Dicistroviridae. Moreover, the replicative genome strand of SINV-5 was detected in worker ants indicating that S. invicta serves as host for the virus. Many additional sequences were identified that are likely of viral origin. These sequences await further investigation to determine their origins and relationship with S. invicta. This study expands knowledge of the RNA virome diversity found within S. invicta populations.

  6. Prospecting for viral natural enemies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in Argentina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven M Valles

    Full Text Available Metagenomics and next generation sequencing were employed to discover new virus natural enemies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren in its native range (i.e., Formosa, Argentina with the ultimate goal of testing and releasing new viral pathogens into U.S. S. invicta populations to provide natural, sustainable control of this ant. RNA was purified from worker ants from 182 S. invicta colonies, which was pooled into 4 groups according to location. A library was created from each group and sequenced using Illumina Miseq technology. After a series of winnowing methods to remove S. invicta genes, known S. invicta virus genes, and all other non-virus gene sequences, 61,944 unique singletons were identified with virus identity. These were assembled de novo yielding 171 contiguous sequences with significant identity to non-plant virus genes. Fifteen contiguous sequences exhibited very high expression rates and were detected in all four gene libraries. One contig (Contig_29 exhibited the highest expression level overall and across all four gene libraries. Random amplification of cDNA ends analyses expanded this contiguous sequence yielding a complete virus genome, which we have provisionally named Solenopsis invicta virus 5 (SINV-5. SINV-5 is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus with genome characteristics consistent with insect-infecting viruses from the family Dicistroviridae. Moreover, the replicative genome strand of SINV-5 was detected in worker ants indicating that S. invicta serves as host for the virus. Many additional sequences were identified that are likely of viral origin. These sequences await further investigation to determine their origins and relationship with S. invicta. This study expands knowledge of the RNA virome diversity found within S. invicta populations.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    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.

  10. A new fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) bait base carrier for moist conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafle, Lekhnath; Wu, Wen-Jer; Shih, Cheng-Jen

    2010-10-01

    A new water-resistant fire ant bait (T-bait; cypermethrin 0.128%) consisting of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) as a carrier was developed and evaluated against a standard commercial bait (Advion; indoxacarb 0.045%) under both laboratory and field conditions. When applying the normal T-bait or Advion in the laboratory, 100% of Solenopsis invicta Buren worker ants were killed within 4 days. However, when the T-bait and Advion were wetted, 70.6 and 39.7% of the ants were killed respectively. Under field conditions, dry T-bait and dry Advion had almost the same efficacy against ant colonies. However, when T-bait and Advion came in contact with water, the former's ability to kill S. invicta colonies in the field was only marginally reduced, while Advion lost virtually all of its activity. In addition, DDGS was also shown to be compatible with a number of other insecticides, such as d-allethrin, permethrin and pyrethrin. Based on its properties of remaining attractive to the fire ants when wetted, combined with its ant-killing abilities both in the laboratory and in the field, T-bait is an efficient fire ant bait, especially under moist conditions.

  11. Genetic transformation of midgut bacteria from the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Freder; Li, Haiwen; Vinson, S Bradleigh; Coates, Craig J

    2009-05-01

    In our previous study we isolated 10 bacterial species from fourth-instar larval midguts of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Here we report the genetic transformation and reintroduction of three species (Kluyvera cryocrescens, Serratia marcescens, and isolate 38) into the fire ant host. All three species were transformed with the plasmid vector, pZeoDsRed. High expression levels of DsRed were observed and the plasmid is maintained in these bacteria at 37 degrees C in the absence of antibiotic selection for at least 9 days of subculturing. The transformed bacteria were successfully reintroduced into fire ant larvae and survived in the fire ant gut for at least 7 days. Upon pupal emergence, 7 days after reintroduction, transformed bacteria can still be isolated, however, most were passed out in the meconium. We further demonstrated that the engineered bacteria could be spread within the colony by feeding this meconium to naive larvae with the aid of worker fire ants.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Determining the most effective concentration of cypermethrin and the appropriate carrier particle size for fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) bait.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafle, Lekhnath; Shih, Cheng-Jen

    2012-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the most effective particle size of DDGS (distiller's dried grains with solubles) as fire ant bait carrier, as well as the most effective concentration of cypermethrin as a toxicant against the red imported fire ant (RIFA) Solenopsis invicta Buren under laboratory conditions. The DDGS particle size did not affect the fire ant's preference for the bait, but it did affect the mass of DDGS being carried back to the nest. The size of the DDGS particles and the mass of DDGS being carried back to the nest were positively correlated. The most efficient particle size of DDGS was 0.8-2 mm. The concentration of cypermethrin has a specific range for killing fire ants in an efficient manner. Neither a very low nor a very high concentration of cypermethrin was able to kill fire ants efficiently. The most effective concentration of cypermethrin was 0.13% in DDGS when mixed with 15% shrimp shell powders and 11% soybean oil. Based on its ability to kill fire ants when mixed with cypermethrin, as well as the advantage of having a larger area coverage when sprayed in the field, DDGS as the carrier and cypermethrin as the toxicant can be considered to be an efficient way to prepare fire ant bait for controlling fire ants in infested areas. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

  14. 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...

  15. ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Sampling efficacy for the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stringer, Lloyd D; Suckling, David Maxwell; Baird, David; Vander Meer, Robert K; Christian, Sheree J; Lester, Philip J

    2011-10-01

    Cost-effective detection of invasive ant colonies before establishment in new ranges is imperative for the protection of national borders and reducing their global impact. We examined the sampling efficiency of food-baits and pitfall traps (baited and nonbaited) in detecting isolated red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) nests in multiple environments in Gainesville, FL. Fire ants demonstrated a significantly higher preference for a mixed protein food type (hotdog or ground meat combined with sweet peanut butter) than for the sugar or water baits offered. Foraging distance success was a function of colony size, detection trap used, and surveillance duration. Colony gyne number did not influence detection success. Workers from small nests (0- to 15-cm mound diameter) traveled no >3 m to a food source, whereas large colonies (>30-cm mound diameter) traveled up to 17 m. Baited pitfall traps performed best at detecting incipient ant colonies followed by nonbaited pitfall traps then food baits, whereas food baits performed well when trying to detect large colonies. These results were used to create an interactive model in Microsoft Excel, whereby surveillance managers can alter trap type, density, and duration parameters to estimate the probability of detecting specified or unknown S. invicta colony sizes. This model will support decision makers who need to balance the sampling cost and risk of failure to detect fire ant colonies.

  17. A Y-like social chromosome causes alternative colony organization in fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Intraspecific variability in social organization is common, yet the underlying causes are rarely known1-3. In the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, the existence of two divergent forms of social organisation is under the control of a single Mendelian genomic element marked by two variants of an odorant b...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Significance of the tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata (hymenoptera: formicidae) as part of the natural enemy complex responsible for successful biological control of many tropical irrigated rice pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Way, M J; Heong, K L

    2009-10-01

    The tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius) often nests very abundantly in the earthen banks (bunds) around irrigated rice fields in the tropics. Where some farmers habitually drain fields to the mud for about 3-4 days, the ants can quickly spread up to about 20 m into the fields where they collect food, including pest prey such as the eggs and young of the apple snail Pomacea caniculata (Lamarck) and insects such as lepidopterous larvae and hoppers, notably Nilaparvata lugens (Stäl) the brown planthopper (Bph) and green leafhoppers Nephotettix spp. Even in drained fields, the activity of S. geminata is restricted by rainfall in the wet season. The relatively few ant workers that forage characteristically into drained fields and on to the transplanted clumps of rice plants (hills) kill the normally few immigrant Bph adults but are initially slower acting than other species of the natural enemy complex. However, larger populations of Bph are fiercely attacked and effectively controlled by rapidly recruited ant workers; whereas, in the absence of the ant, the other natural enemies are inadequate. In normal circumstances, there is no ant recruitment in response to initially small populations of immigrant Bph and no evidence of incompatibility between ant foragers and other natural enemies such as spiders. However, when many ants are quickly and aggressively recruited to attack large populations of Bph, they temporarily displace some spiders from infested hills. It is concluded that, in suitable weather conditions and even when insecticides kill natural enemies within the rice field, periodic drainage that enables S. geminata to join the predator complex is valuable for ant-based control of pests such as snails and Lepidoptera, and especially against relatively large populations of Bph. Drainage practices to benefit ants are fully compatible with recent research, which shows that periodic drainage combats problems of 'yield decline' in intensively irrigated

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Population Development of Several Species of Ants on the Cocoa Trees in South Sulawesi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatahuddin Fatahuddin

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Several species of ants with different behavior have been found in cocoa plantations and their behavior is important to be considered because it might be correlated with the degree of protection of cocoa plant from cocoa pests. The aim of this research is to manipulate and to develop ants population in environment, so they are able to establish permanently in cocoa trees. This research was conducted in Papakaju Regions Luwu Regency in Juli to November 2009. In this study, 10 cocoa trees with ants were sampled (each species of ant in 10 cocoa trees. A control of 10 tree samples without ant was also taken. In order to assess the abundance of ant population, it was grouped based on scoring, which score 1 for less than 20 ants, score 2 for 21–50 ants, score 3 for 51–200 ants, score 4 for 201–1000 ants, and score 5 for more than 1000 per tree. The results indicated that average of population score of the three ants species reached the highest population for the Oecophylla. smaragdina with average score 4.85 (>1000 ants, Dolichoderus thoracicus, with average score 3.90 (> 200 ants and Crematogaster. difformis with average score 3.10 (>200 ants. This research indicated that three species of ants, Oecophylla smaragdina (weaver ant, Dolichoderus thoracicus (cocoa black ant and Crematogaster difformis (cracking ant. in farmer cocoa plantations in South Sulawesi giving better performance against major pests of cocoa in particular cocoa pod borer (CPB. Key words: Ant Population, Oecophylla smaragdina, Dolichoderus thoracicus, Crematogaster difformis, artificial nest, cocoa.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Briano, Juan; Calcaterra, Luis; Varone, Laura

    2012-01-01

    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 repo...

  10. 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.

  11. Imported fire ants near the edge of their range: disturbance and moisture determine prevalence and impact of an invasive social insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBrun, Edward G; Plowes, Robert M; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2012-07-01

    1. Habitat disturbance and species invasions interact in natural systems, making it difficult to isolate the primary cause of ecosystem degradation. A general understanding requires case studies of how disturbance and invasion interact across a variety of ecosystem - invasive species combinations. 2. Dramatic losses in ant diversity followed the invasion of central Texas by red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). However, recent manipulative studies in Florida revealed no effect on ant diversity following the removal of S. invicta from a disturbed pasture habitat, but moderate loss of diversity associated with their introduction into undisturbed habitat and no invasion occurred without disturbance. Thus, the importance of S. invicta in driving diversity loss and its ability to invade undisturbed systems is unresolved. 3. We examine the distribution and abundance of a large monogyne S. invicta population and its association with the co-occurring ant assemblage at a site in south Texas close to the aridity tolerance limit of S. invicta. 4. We document that moisture modulates S. invicta densities. Further, soil disturbing habitat manipulations greatly increase S. invicta population densities. However, S. invicta penetrates all habitats regardless of soil disturbance history. In contrast, controlled burns depress S. invicta densities. 5. In habitats where S. invicta is prevalent, it completely replaces native fire ants. However, S. invicta impacts native ants as a whole less strongly. Intriguingly, native ants responded distinctly to S. invicta in different environments. In wet, undisturbed environments, high S. invicta abundance disrupts the spatial structure of the ant assemblage by increasing clumping and is associated with reduced species density, while in dry-disturbed habitats, sites with high S. invicta abundance possess high numbers of native species. Analyses of co-occurrence indicate that reduced species density in wet

  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. Fire ants protect mealybugs against their natural enemies by utilizing the leaf shelters constructed by the leaf roller Sylepta derogata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aiming Zhou

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Activity of bifenthrin, chlorfenapyr, fipronil, and thiamethoxam against red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiltz, B A; Suiter, D R; Gardner, W A

    2010-06-01

    Bifenthrin, chlorfenapyr, fipronil, and thiamethoxam were evaluated for activity against the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Mobility impairment and lethal times were determined after topical treatments. Both immobilization and mortality occurred most quickly with bifenthrin, followed by thiamethoxam, chlorfenapyr, and fipronil. Mortality due to horizontal exposure was evaluated at 10, 20, or 30 degrees C, with three ratios of topically treated donor ant corpses to live recipients (5, 10, or 20% donors). Bifenthrin had the greatest horizontal activity of the chemicals tested. For chlorfenapyr, the only treatments having higher mortality than controls were the highest percentage donors at either 10 or 30 degrees C. Horizontal activity of fipronil was temperature dependent only with the highest proportion of donors and was lower than that ofbifenthrin but higher than that of chlorfenapyr or thiamethoxam. Mean mortality due to thiamethoxam was similar to that with chlorfenapyr. Significant mortality occurred in all of the 20 and 30 degrees C thiamethoxam treatments, but none of the 10 degrees C treatments. Effectiveness as a barrier was evaluated by providing a choice between bridges treated with insecticide or water. Although bifenthrin did not provide an impenetrable barrier, it was the only treatment having fewer ants than its paired control bridge. Mortality data suggest that a reduction in recruitment rather than repellency account for this result.

  18. An empirical test of Lanchester's square law: mortality during battles of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plowes, Nicola J.R; Adams, Eldridge S

    2005-01-01

    Lanchester's models of attrition describe casualty rates during battles between groups as functions of the numbers of individuals and their fighting abilities. Originally developed to describe human warfare, Lanchester's square law has been hypothesized to apply broadly to social animals as well, with important consequences for their aggressive behaviour and social structure. According to the square law, the fighting ability of a group is proportional to the square of the number of individuals, but rises only linearly with fighting ability of individuals within the group. By analyzing mortality rates of fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) fighting in different numerical ratios, we provide the first quantitative test of Lanchester's model for a non-human animal. Casualty rates of fire ants were not consistent with the square law; instead, group fighting ability was an approximately linear function of group size. This implies that the relative numbers of casualties incurred by two fighting groups are not strongly affected by relative group sizes and that battles do not disproportionately favour group size over individual prowess. PMID:16096093

  19. The demographic consequences of mutualism: ants increase host-plant fruit production but not population growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Kevin R; Ness, Joshua H; Bronstein, Judith L; Morris, William F

    2015-10-01

    The impact of mutualists on a partner's demography depends on how they affect the partner's multiple vital rates and how those vital rates, in turn, affect population growth. However, mutualism studies rarely measure effects on multiple vital rates or integrate them to assess the ultimate impact on population growth. We used vital rate data, population models and simulations of long-term population dynamics to quantify the demographic impact of a guild of ant species on the plant Ferocactus wislizeni. The ants feed at the plant's extrafloral nectaries and attack herbivores attempting to consume reproductive organs. Ant-guarded plants produced significantly more fruit, but ants had no significant effect on individual growth or survival. After integrating ant effects across these vital rates, we found that projected population growth was not significantly different between unguarded and ant-guarded plants because population growth was only weakly influenced by differences in fruit production (though strongly influenced by differences in individual growth and survival). However, simulations showed that ants could positively affect long-term plant population dynamics through services provided during rare but important events (herbivore outbreaks that reduce survival or years of high seedling recruitment associated with abundant precipitation). Thus, in this seemingly clear example of mutualism, the interaction may actually yield no clear benefit to plant population growth, or if it does, may only do so through the actions of the ants during rare events. These insights demonstrate the value of taking a demographic approach to studying the consequences of mutualism.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Contact toxicities of anuran skin alkaloids against the fire ant ( Solenopsis invicta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weldon, Paul J.; Cardoza, Yasmin J.; Vander Meer, Robert K.; Hoffmann, W. Clint; Daly, John W.; Spande, Thomas F.

    2013-02-01

    Nearly 500 alkaloids, representing over 20 structural classes, have been identified from the skin of neotropical poison frogs (Dendrobatidae). These cutaneous compounds, which are derived from arthropod prey of the frogs, generally are believed to deter predators. We tested the red imported fire ant ( Solenopsis invicta) for toxicosis following contact with 20 alkaloids (12 structural classes) identified from dendrobatids or other anurans. Individual ants forced to contact the dried residues of 13 compounds exhibited convulsions and/or reduced ambulation. We estimated the cutaneous concentrations of several compounds based on their reported recoveries from skin extracts of free-ranging frogs and our measurements of the skin surface areas of museum specimens. Pumiliotoxin 251D exhibited contact toxicity below its estimated cutaneous concentration in the Ecuadorian frog, Epipedobates anthonyi, an observation consistent with the hypothesized role of this compound in anuran chemical defense. Our results and those of a previous study of mosquitoes indicate that some anuran skin compounds function defensively as contact toxins against arthropods, permeating their exoskeleton.

  4. Heavy metal pollution disturbs immune response in wild ant populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sorvari, Jouni; Rantala, Liisa M.; Rantala, Markus J.; Hakkarainen, Harri; Eeva, Tapio

    2007-01-01

    Concern about the effects of environmental contaminants on immune function in both humans and wildlife is growing and practically nothing is known about this impact on terrestrial invertebrates, even though they are known to easily accumulate pollutants. We studied the effect of industrial heavy metal contamination on immune defense of a free-living wood ant (Formica aquilonia). To find out whether ants show an adapted immune function in a polluted environment, we compared encapsulation responses between local and translocated colonies. Local colonies showed higher heavy metal levels than the translocated ones but the encapsulation response was similar between the two groups, indicating that the immune system of local ants has not adapted to high contamination level. The encapsulation response was elevated in moderate whereas suppressed in high heavy metal levels suggesting higher risk for infections in heavily polluted areas. - Heavy metal pollution affects immune function in ants

  5. 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.

  6. Expression analysis of vitellogenins in the workers of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chloe Hawkings

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Vitellogenin has been proposed to regulate division of labor and social organization in social insects. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta harbors four distinct, adjacent vitellogenin genes (Vg1, Vg2, Vg3, and Vg4. Contrary to honey bees that have a single Vg ortholog as well as potentially fertile nurses, and to other ant species that lay trophic eggs, S. invicta workers completely lack ovaries or the ability to lay eggs. This provides a unique model to investigate whether Vg duplication in S. invicta was followed by subfunctionalization to acquire non-reproductive functions and whether Vg was co-opted to regulate behavior within the worker caste. To investigate these questions, we compared the expression patterns of S. invicta Vg genes among workers from different morphological subcastes or performing different tasks. RT-qPCRs revealed higher relative expression of Vg1 in major workers compared to both medium and minor workers, and of Vg2 in major workers when compared to minor workers. Relative expression of Vg1 was also higher in carbohydrate foragers when compared to nurses and protein foragers. By contrast, the level of expression of Vg2, Vg3, and Vg4 were not significantly different among the workers performing the specific tasks. Additionally, we analyzed the relationship between the expression of the Vg genes and S-hydroprene, a juvenile hormone analog. No changes in Vg expression were recorded in workers 12 h after application of the analog. Our results suggest that in S. invicta the Vg gene underwent subfunctionalization after duplication to new functions based on the expression bias observed in these data. This may suggest an alternative and still unknown function for Vg in the workers that needs to be investigated further.

  7. Heavy metal distribution and bioaccumulation in Chihuahuan Desert Rough Harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Del Toro, I.; Floyd, K.; Gardea-Torresdey, J.; Borrok, D.

    2010-01-01

    Heavy metal contamination can negatively impact arid ecosystems; however a thorough examination of bioaccumulation patterns has not been completed. We analyzed the distribution of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in soils, seeds and ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) populations of the Chihuahuan Desert near El Paso, TX, USA. Concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, and Pb in soils, seeds and ants declined as a function of distance from a now inactive Cu and Pb smelter and all five metals bioaccumulated in the granivorous ants. The average bioaccumulation factors for the metals from seeds to ants ranged from 1.04x (As) to 8.12x (Cd). The findings show bioaccumulation trends in linked trophic levels in an arid ecosystem and further investigation should focus on the impacts of heavy metal contamination at the community level. - Heavy metals bioaccumulate in desert ants.

  8. EPA Requests Nominations for Experts to Serve on the May 8-10, 2018 FIFRA SAP on Efficacy Testing of Pesticides used for Invertebrate Pests and Fire Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    FRN requesting nominations of experts to serve as ad hoc members for the May 8-10, 2018 FIFRA SAP meeting to consider and review methods for efficacy testing of pesticides used for treatments of invertebrate pests and fire ants.

  9. 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

  10. Habitat alteration increases invasive fire ant abundance to the detriment of amphibians and reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, B.D.; Rothermel, B.B.; Reed, R.N.; Luhring, T.M.; Schlatter, K.; Trenkamp, L.; Gibbons, J.W.

    2008-01-01

    Altered habitats have been suggested to facilitate red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) colonization and dispersal, possibly compounding effects of habitat alteration on native wildlife. In this study, we compared colonization intensity of wood cover boards by S. invicta among four forest management treatments in South Carolina, USA: an unharvested control (>30 years old); a partially thinned stand; a clearcut with coarse woody debris retained; and a clearcut with coarse woody debris removed. Additionally, we compared dehydration rates and survival of recently metamorphosed salamanders (marbled salamanders, Ambystoma opacum, and mole salamanders, A. talpoideum) among treatments. We found that the number of wood cover boards colonized by S. invicta differed significantly among treatments, being lowest in the unharvested forest treatments and increasing with the degree of habitat alteration. Salamanders that were maintained in experimental field enclosures to study water loss were unexpectedly subjected to high levels of S. invicta predation that differed among forest treatments. All known predation by S. invicta was restricted to salamanders in clearcuts. The amount of vegetative ground cover was inversely related to the likelihood of S. invicta predation of salamanders. Our results show that S. invicta abundance increases with habitat disturbance and that this increased abundance has negative consequences for amphibians that remain in altered habitats. Our findings also suggest that the presence of invasive S. invicta may compromise the utility of cover boards and other techniques commonly used in herpetological studies in the Southeast. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  11. Sampling high-altitude and stratified mating flights of red imported fire ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritz, Gary N; Fritz, Ann H; Vander Meer, Robert K

    2011-05-01

    With the exception of an airplane equipped with nets, no method has been developed that successfully samples red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, sexuals in mating/dispersal flights throughout their potential altitudinal trajectories. We developed and tested a method for sampling queens and males during mating flights at altitudinal intervals reaching as high as "140 m. Our trapping system uses an electric winch and a 1.2-m spindle bolted to a swiveling platform. The winch dispenses up to 183 m of Kevlar-core, nylon rope and the spindle stores 10 panels (0.9 by 4.6 m each) of nylon tulle impregnated with Tangle-Trap. The panels can be attached to the rope at various intervals and hoisted into the air by using a 3-m-diameter, helium-filled balloon. Raising or lowering all 10 panels takes approximately 15-20 min. This trap also should be useful for altitudinal sampling of other insects of medical importance.

  12. 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.

  13. Odorant binding proteins of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta: an example of the problems facing the analysis of widely divergent proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dietrich Gotzek

    Full Text Available We describe the odorant binding proteins (OBPs of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, obtained from analyses of an EST library and separate 454 sequencing runs of two normalized cDNA libraries. We identified a total of 18 putative functional OBPs in this ant. A third of the fire ant OBPs are orthologs to honey bee OBPs. Another third of the OBPs belong to a lineage-specific expansion, which is a common feature of insect OBP evolution. Like other OBPs, the different fire ant OBPs share little sequence similarity (∼ 20%, rendering evolutionary analyses difficult. We discuss the resulting problems with sequence alignment, phylogenetic analysis, and tests of selection. As previously suggested, our results underscore the importance for careful exploration of the sensitivity to the effects of alignment methods for data comprising widely divergent sequences.

  14. 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.

  15. Population responses to environmental change in a tropical ant: the interaction of spatial and temporal dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Doug; Vandermeer, John; Perfecto, Ivette; Philpott, Stacy M

    2014-01-01

    Spatial structure can have a profound, but often underappreciated, effect on the temporal dynamics of ecosystems. Here we report on a counterintuitive increase in the population of a tree-nesting ant, Azteca sericeasur, in response to a drastic reduction in the number of potential nesting sites. This surprising result is comprehensible when viewed in the context of the self-organized spatial dynamics of the ants and their effect on the ants' dispersal-limited natural enemies. Approximately 30% of the trees in the study site, a coffee agroecosystem in southern Mexico, were pruned or felled over a two-year period, and yet the abundance of the ant nests more than doubled over the seven-year study. Throughout the transition, the spatial distribution of the ants maintained a power-law distribution - a signal of spatial self organization - but the local clustering of the nests was reduced post-pruning. A cellular automata model incorporating the changed spatial structure of the ants and the resulting partial escape from antagonists reproduced the observed increase in abundance, highlighting how self-organized spatial dynamics can profoundly influence the responses of ecosystems to perturbations.

  16. Population responses to environmental change in a tropical ant: the interaction of spatial and temporal dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doug Jackson

    Full Text Available Spatial structure can have a profound, but often underappreciated, effect on the temporal dynamics of ecosystems. Here we report on a counterintuitive increase in the population of a tree-nesting ant, Azteca sericeasur, in response to a drastic reduction in the number of potential nesting sites. This surprising result is comprehensible when viewed in the context of the self-organized spatial dynamics of the ants and their effect on the ants' dispersal-limited natural enemies. Approximately 30% of the trees in the study site, a coffee agroecosystem in southern Mexico, were pruned or felled over a two-year period, and yet the abundance of the ant nests more than doubled over the seven-year study. Throughout the transition, the spatial distribution of the ants maintained a power-law distribution - a signal of spatial self organization - but the local clustering of the nests was reduced post-pruning. A cellular automata model incorporating the changed spatial structure of the ants and the resulting partial escape from antagonists reproduced the observed increase in abundance, highlighting how self-organized spatial dynamics can profoundly influence the responses of ecosystems to perturbations.

  17. Identifying vulnerable populations to death and injuries from residential fires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Stanley W; Butry, David T

    2017-08-03

    This study proposes and evaluates the theory that people who are susceptible to injury in residential fires are not susceptible to death in residential fires and vice versa. It is proposed that the population vulnerable to death in residential fires can be proxied by 'frailty', which is measured as age-gender adjusted fatality rates due to natural causes. This study uses an ecological approach and controls for exposure to estimate the vulnerability of different population groups to death and injury in residential fires. It allows fatalities and injuries to be estimated by different models. Frailty explains fire-related death in adults while not explaining injuries, which is consistent with the idea that deaths and injuries affect disjoint populations. Deaths and injuries in fire are drawn from different populations. People who are susceptible to dying in fires are unlikely to be injured in fires, and the people who are susceptible to injury are unlikely to die in fires. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  18. 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)

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. Patterns of host ant use by sympatric populations of Maculinea alcon and M. 'rebeli' in the Carpathian Basin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tartally, A.; Nash, David Richard; Lengyel, S.

    2008-01-01

    Maculinea butterflies show social parasitism via obligatory myrmecophily as their larvae are adopted and raised to pupation by Myrmica ants. Suitable hosts differ for different Maculinea species, and host ant specificity can further differ at the population-level. Although early studies suggested...... single ant species as main hosts for each Maculinea species, it has recently become clear that their host ant specificity is more complex. Maculinea alcon and Maculinea ‘rebeli’ have variously been separated according to adult and larval morphology, phenology, and their use of different ecosystems......, including host plant and host ant species. However, recent genetic evidence has questioned their separation as good species. Here we compare the use of host ants by M. alcon and M. ‘rebeli’ at the regional scale in NE-Hungary and Transylvania (Romania), where molecular studies have found no species...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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; Deslippe, Richard

    2002-05-01

    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.

  6. Analysis of Ant Colony Optimization and Population-Based Evolutionary Algorithms on Dynamic Problems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lissovoi, Andrei

    the dynamic optimum for finite alphabets up to size μ, while MMAS is able to do so for any finite alphabet size. Parallel Evolutionary Algorithms on Maze. We prove that while a (1 + λ) EA is unable to track the optimum of the dynamic fitness function Maze for offspring population size up to λ = O(n1-ε......This thesis presents new running time analyses of nature-inspired algorithms on various dynamic problems. It aims to identify and analyse the features of algorithms and problem classes which allow efficient optimization to occur in the presence of dynamic behaviour. We consider the following...... settings: λ-MMAS on Dynamic Shortest Path Problems. We investigate how in-creasing the number of ants simulated per iteration may help an ACO algorithm to track optimum in a dynamic problem. It is shown that while a constant number of ants per-vertex is sufficient to track some oscillations, there also...

  7. Comparative study of cocoa black ants temporal population distribution utilizing geospatial analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adnan, N. A.; Bakar, S.; Mazlan, A. H.; Yusoff, Z. Mohd; Rasam, A. R. Abdul

    2018-02-01

    Cocoa plantation also subjected to diseases and pests infestation. Some pests not only reduced the yield but also inhibit the growth of trees. Therefore, the Malaysia Cocoa Board (MCB) has explored Cocoa Black Ants (CBA) as one of their biological control mechanism to reduce the pest infestation of the Cocoa Pod Borer (CPB). CPB is capable to cause damage to cocoa beans, and later on will reduce the quality of dried cocoa beans. This study tries to integrate the use of geospatial analysis in understanding population distribution pattern of CBA to enhance its capability in controlling CPB infestation. Two objectives of the study are i) to generate temporal CBA distribution of cocoa plantation for two different blocks, and ii) to compare visually the CBA population distribution pattern with the aid of geospatial technique. This study managed to find the CBA population pattern which indicated spatially modest amount of low pattern distribution in February of 2007 until reaching the highest levels of ant populations in September 2007 and decreasing by the end of the year in 2009 for two different blocks (i.e 10B and 18A). Therefore, the usage of GIS is important to explain the CBA pattern population in the mature cocoa field. This finding might to be used as an indicator to examine the optimum distribution of CBA, which needed as a biological control agent against the CPB in the future.

  8. Uncoupling the effects of seed predation and seed dispersal by granivorous ants on plant population dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier Arnan

    Full Text Available Secondary seed dispersal is an important plant-animal interaction, which is central to understanding plant population and community dynamics. Very little information is still available on the effects of dispersal on plant demography and, particularly, for ant-seed dispersal interactions. As many other interactions, seed dispersal by animals involves costs (seed predation and benefits (seed dispersal, the balance of which determines the outcome of the interaction. Separate quantification of each of them is essential in order to understand the effects of this interaction. To address this issue, we have successfully separated and analyzed the costs and benefits of seed dispersal by seed-harvesting ants on the plant population dynamics of three shrub species with different traits. To that aim a stochastic, spatially-explicit individually-based simulation model has been implemented based on actual data sets. The results from our simulation model agree with theoretical models of plant response dependent on seed dispersal, for one plant species, and ant-mediated seed predation, for another one. In these cases, model predictions were close to the observed values at field. Nonetheless, these ecological processes did not affect in anyway a third species, for which the model predictions were far from the observed values. This indicates that the balance between costs and benefits associated to secondary seed dispersal is clearly related to specific traits. This study is one of the first works that analyze tradeoffs of secondary seed dispersal on plant population dynamics, by disentangling the effects of related costs and benefits. We suggest analyzing the effects of interactions on population dynamics as opposed to merely analyzing the partners and their interaction strength.

  9. Effects of heavy metal pollution on red wood ant (Formica s. str.) populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eeva, T.; Sorvari, J.; Koivunen, V.

    2004-01-01

    We studied the species composition, mound population densities, relative abundance and colony sizes of red wood ants along a well known air pollution gradient of a copper smelter in Southwest Finland. The dominant species, Formica aquilonia, was further studied for heavy metal (Al, Cu, Cd, Ni, Zn, As, Pb, Hg) levels and morphological characters (body mass, head width, labial gland disease) of workers. We found five species belonging to Formica s. str., and two of them showed changes in their relative abundance, which could not be explained by natural habitat differences. Nest mound volumes were 34% smaller in the polluted area, suggesting that smaller colonies can be maintained there. The heavy metal levels in F. aquilonia workers were higher in the polluted area for all metals, except Hg. The largest relative differences between the study areas (polluted/unpolluted) were found for As (4.1), Ni (2.4), Cu (2.1) and Pb (1.8). Morphological characters of workers were not related to the heavy metal levels. Our data showed that red wood ants can tolerate relatively high amounts of heavy metals and maintain reproducing colonies even in a heavily polluted area, but on the basis of smaller colony sizes, pollution stress may also cause trade-offs in reproduction. - Capsule: Five species of red wood ants vary in their sensitivity to heavy metal pollution but all of them had smaller colonies in a polluted area

  10. Social chromosome variants differentially affect queen determination and the survival of workers in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buechel, Séverine D; Wurm, Yanick; Keller, Laurent

    2014-10-01

    Intraspecific variation in social organization is common, yet the underlying causes are rarely known. An exception is the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in which the existence of two distinct forms of social colony organization is under the control of the two variants of a pair of social chromosomes, SB and Sb. Colonies containing exclusively SB/SB workers accept only one single queen and she must be SB/SB. By contrast, when colonies contain more than 10% of SB/Sb workers, they accept several queens but only SB/Sb queens. The variants of the social chromosome are associated with several additional important phenotypic differences, including the size, fecundity and dispersal strategies of queens, aggressiveness of workers, and sperm count in males. However, little is known about whether social chromosome variants affect fitness in other life stages. Here, we perform experiments to determine whether differential selection occurs during development and in adult workers. We find evidence that the Sb variant of the social chromosome increases the likelihood of female brood to develop into queens and that adult SB/Sb workers, the workers that cull SB/SB queens, are overrepresented in comparison to SB/SB workers. This demonstrates that supergenes such as the social chromosome can have complex effects on phenotypes at various stages of development. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

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    Wouter Dekoninck

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Fire management strategies to maintain species population processes in a fragmented landscape of fire-interval extremes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulloch, Ayesha I T; Pichancourt, Jean-Baptiste; Gosper, Carl R; Sanders, Angela; Chadès, Iadine

    2016-10-01

    Changed fire regimes have led to declines of fire-regime-adapted species and loss of biodiversity globally. Fire affects population processes of growth, reproduction, and dispersal in different ways, but there is little guidance about the best fire regime(s) to maintain species population processes in fire-prone ecosystems. We use a process-based approach to determine the best range of fire intervals for keystone plant species in a highly modified Mediterranean ecosystem in southwestern Australia where current fire regimes vary. In highly fragmented areas, fires are few due to limited ignitions and active suppression of wildfire on private land, while in highly connected protected areas fires are frequent and extensive. Using matrix population models, we predict population growth of seven Banksia species under different environmental conditions and patch connectivity, and evaluate the sensitivity of species survival to different fire management strategies and burning intervals. We discover that contrasting, complementary patterns of species life-histories with time since fire result in no single best fire regime. All strategies result in the local patch extinction of at least one species. A small number of burning strategies secure complementary species sets depending on connectivity and post-fire growing conditions. A strategy of no fire always leads to fewer species persisting than prescribed fire or random wildfire, while too-frequent or too-rare burning regimes lead to the possible local extinction of all species. In low landscape connectivity, we find a smaller range of suitable fire intervals, and strategies of prescribed or random burning result in a lower number of species with positive growth rates after 100 years on average compared with burning high connectivity patches. Prescribed fire may reduce or increase extinction risk when applied in combination with wildfire depending on patch connectivity. Poor growing conditions result in a significantly

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

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    AKHMAD RIZALI

    2008-06-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Insecticidal activity of Piper essential oils from the Amazon against the fire ant Solenopsis saevissima (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souto, R N P; Harada, A Y; Andrade, E H A; Maia, J G S

    2012-12-01

    Pepper plants in the genus Piper (Piperales: Piperaceae) are common in the Brazilian Amazon and many produce compounds with biological activity against insect pests. We evaluated the insecticidal effect of essential oils from Piper aduncum, Piper marginatum (chemotypes A and B), Piper divaricatum and Piper callosum against workers of the fire ant Solenopsis saevissima (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), as well as their chemical composition by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The lowest median lethal concentration (LC50) in 48 h was obtained with the oil of P. aduncum (58.4 mg/L), followed by the oils of P. marginatum types A (122.4 mg/L) and B (167.0 mg/L), P. divaricatum (301.7 mg/L), and P. callosum (312.6 mg/L). The major chemical constituents were dillapiole (64.4%) in the oil of P. aduncum; p-mentha-1(7),8-diene (39.0%), 3,4-methylenedioxypropiophenone (19.0%), and (E)-β-ocimene (9.8%) in P. marginatum chemotype A and (E)-isoosmorhizole (32.2%), (E)-anethole (26.4%), isoosmorhizole (11.2%), and (Z)-anethole (6.0%) in P. marginatum chemotype B; methyleugenol (69.2%) and eugenol (16.2%) in P. divaricatum; and safrole (69.2%), methyleugenol (8.6%), and β-pinene (6.2%) in P. callosum. These chemical constituents have been previously known to possess insecticidal properties.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maya eSaar

    2014-05-01

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

  17. Comparative effectiveness of light-microscopic techniques and PCR in detecting Thelohania solenopsae (Microsporidia) infections in red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milks, Maynard L; Sokolova, Yuliya Y; Isakova, Irina A; Fuxa, James R; Mitchell, Forrest; Snowden, Karen F; Vinson, S Bradleigh

    2004-01-01

    The main goal of this study was to compare the effectiveness of three staining techniques (calcofluor white M2R, Giemsa and modified trichrome), and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in detecting the microsporidium Thelohania solenopsae in red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). The effect of the number of ants in a sample on the sensitivity of the staining techniques and the PCR, and the effect of three DNA extraction protocols on the sensitivity of PCR were also examined. In the first protocol, the ants were macerated and the crude homogenate was used immediately in the PCR. In the second protocol, the homogenate was placed on a special membrane (FTA card) that traps DNA, which is subsequently used in the PCR. In the third protocol, the DNA was purified from the homogenate by traditional phenol-chloroform extraction. Except for PCR using FTA cards, the sensitivity (number of samples positive for T. solenopsae) of all detection techniques increased with the number of ants in the sample. Overall, Giemsa was the least sensitive of all detection techniques. Calcofluor was more sensitive than modified trichrome with ants from one site and was equally as sensitive as PCR with crude DNA or a FTA card with ants from both sites. Trichrome staining was equally as sensitive as PCR with a FTA card at both sites, but it was less sensitive than PCR with crude DNA at one site. PCR on FTA cards was less sensitive than PCR with crude DNA for ants from one site but not the other. There was no difference whether crude or phenol-chloroform purified DNA was used as template. In summary, the results of this study show that PCR based on a crude DNA solution is equal to or more sensitive in detecting T. solenopsae than the other detection techniques investigated, and that it can be used as a reliable diagnostic tool for screening field samples of S. invicta for T. solenopsae. Nevertheless, ant smear stained with calcofluor or modified trichrome should be used to buttress findings

  18. Isolation and characterization of Solenopsis invicta virus 3, a new positive-strand RNA virus infecting the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valles, Steven M.; Hashimoto, Yoshifumi

    2009-01-01

    We report the discovery of a new virus from the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) represents the third virus discovered from this ant species using the metagenomics approach. The single (positive)-strand RNA, monopartite, bicistronic genome of SINV-3 was sequenced in entirety (GenBank accession number (FJ528584)), comprised of 10,386 nucleotides, and polyadenylated at the 3' terminus. This genome size was confirmed by Northern analysis. The genome revealed 2 large open reading frames (ORFs) in the sense orientation with an untranslated region (UTR) at each end and between the two ORFs. The 5' proximal ORF (ORF 1) encoded a predicted protein of 299.1 kDa (2580 amino acids). The 3' proximal ORF (ORF 2) encoded a predicted protein of 73.2 kDa (651 amino acids). RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), helicase, and protease domains were recognized in ORF 1. SDS-PAGE separation of purified SINV-3 particles yielded 2 bands (ostensibly capsid proteins) with a combined molecular mass of 77.3 kDa which was similar to the mass predicted by ORF 2 (73.2 kDa). Phylogenetic analysis of the conserved amino acid sequences containing domains I to VIII of the RdRp from dicistroviruses, iflaviruses, plant small RNA viruses, picornaviruses, and 4 unassigned positive-strand RNA viruses revealed a trichotomous phenogram with SINV-3 and Kelp fly virus comprising a unique cluster. Electron microscopic examination of negatively stained samples of SINV-3 revealed isometric particles with apparent projections and a diameter of 27.3 ± 1.3 nm. SINV-3 was successfully transmitted to uninfected workers by feeding. The minus (replicative) strand of SINV-3 was detected in worker ants indicating replication of the virus. The possibility of using SINV-3 as a microbial control agent for fire ants is discussed.

  19. 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

  20. Fire Ant Allergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology Menu Search Main navigation Skip to content Conditions & Treatments Allergies Asthma Primary Immunodeficiency Disease Related Conditions Drug Guide Conditions Dictionary Just ...

  1. Targeted removal of ant colonies in ecological experiments, using hot water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 described. An automobile heater fan powered from a 12-v battery provided a draft. Dual bilge pumps pumped water from a large tank through a long coil of copper tubing within the kiln to produce 4 to 5 l. of hot water per min. The hot water was collected in 20 l. buckets and poured into fire ant nests previously opened by piercing with a stick. The entire assembly was transported in and operated from the back of a pickup truck. Five experimental plots containing 32 to 38 colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), were treated with hot water over a period of two years. All colonies on the treatment plots were treated twice with hot water early in 2004, reducing their numbers to zero. However new colonies were formed, and mature colonies expanded into the plots. A third treatment was made in the spring of 2005, after which fire ant populations were suppressed for over a year. Whereas the 5 control plots contained a total of 166 mostly large colonies, the 5 treatment plots contained no live colonies at all. Averaged over a two-year period, a 70% reduction in total number of colonies was achieved (P ants.

  2. New evidences supporting trophobiosis between populations of Edessa rufomarginata (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae and Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Paiva Silva

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Despite its important effect on the maintenance of tritrophic interactions among plants, insect herbivores, and ants, there is still a paucity of natural history and basic biology information involving trophobiosis among Heteroptera stink bugs. Here, based on previous observations of a new trophobiotic interaction between Edessa rufomarginata (De Geer, 1773 and Camponotus rufipes (Fabricius, 1775 ants, we describe the chemical profile of the honeydew obtained by Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry. There were mainly three different sugars (trehalose, glucose, and sorbose within our samples. The extrafloral nectaries of Caryocar brasiliense Camb., the host plant of E. rufomarginata, attracts a wide assemblage of Cerrado ants with varying aggressiveness toward herbivores. Therefore, this facultative trophobiotic interaction may allow the survival of the stink bug while feeding on the risky, highly ant-visited plant. Given the rarity of trophobiotic interactions between Pentatomidae species and ants and considering a zoological perspective within this family, here we discuss the ecological and evolutionary routes that may allow the rise of these interactions.

  3. Fire effects on the population structure of Zanthoxylum rhoifolium Lam (Rutaceae in a Brazilian savanna

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    IA. Silva

    Full Text Available Since cerrado fires may impede the growth of seedlings into trees, they may shape the population of woody species. In this study, we assessed the effects of a severe fire on the population structure and spatial distribution of Zanthoxylum rhoifolium, a widespread cerrado tree. We were interested to know the importance of the resprouting and sexual reproduction in regenerating the population. The study area had been for about six years protected from fire, before a severe fire at the end of the dry season in 2006. We sampled and measured all individuals of Z. rhoifolium found in 80 plots of 25 m². We found 149 individuals before the fire and 112 after the fire, of which 77 were resprouts from burned seedlings and saplings. We did not find significant differences between the population structure before and after the fire. The spatial distribution of the population remained clumped after the fire. Thus, the Z. rhoifolium population was very resilient to a severe fire. We did not find any new seedlings. As a consequence, resprouting seems to be more important than sexual reproduction in promptly regenerating the Z. rhoifolium populations.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Breeding system and reproductive skew in a highly polygynous ant population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haag-Liautard, C.; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Ovaskainen, O.

    2008-01-01

    of mature queens by mark-release-recapture in 29 nests and dissected a sub-sample of queens to assess their reproductive status. We also used microsatellites to estimate relatedness within and between all classes of nestmates (queens, their mates, worker brood, queen brood and male brood). Queen number...... Factors affecting relatedness among nest members in ant colonies with high queen number are still poorly understood. In order to identify the major determinants of nest kin structure, we conducted a detailed analysis of the breeding system of the ant Formica exsecta. We estimated the number...... was very high, with an arithmetic mean of 253 per nest. Most queens (90%) were reproductively active, consistent with the genetic analyses revealing that there was only a minimal reproductive skew among nestmate queens. Despite the high queen number and low reproductive skew, almost all classes...

  8. Prescribed fire, snag population dynamics, and avian nest site selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen E. Bagne; Kathryn L. Purcell; John T. Rotenberry

    2008-01-01

    Snags are an important resource for a wide variety of organisms, including cavity-nesting birds. We documented snag attributes in a mixed conifer forest dominated by ponderosa pine in the Sierra Nevada, California where fire is being applied during spring. A total of 328 snags were monitored before and after fire on plots burned once, burned twice, or left unburned to...

  9. Population and individual elephant response to a catastrophic fire in Pilanesberg National Park.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh-Ann Woolley

    Full Text Available In predator-free large herbivore populations, where density-dependent feedbacks occur at the limit where forage resources can no longer support the population, environmental catastrophes may play a significant role in population regulation. The potential role of fire as a stochastic mass-mortality event limiting these populations is poorly understood, so too the behavioural and physiological responses of the affected animals to this type of large disturbance event. During September 2005, a wildfire resulted in mortality of 29 (18% population mortality and injury to 18, African elephants in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa. We examined movement and herd association patterns of six GPS-collared breeding herds, and evaluated population physiological response through faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (stress levels. We investigated population size, structure and projected growth rates using a simulation model. After an initial flight response post-fire, severely injured breeding herds reduced daily displacement with increased daily variability, reduced home range size, spent more time in non-tourist areas and associated less with other herds. Uninjured, or less severely injured, breeding herds also shifted into non-tourist areas post-fire, but in contrast, increased displacement rate (both mean and variability, did not adjust home range size and formed larger herds post-fire. Adult cow stress hormone levels increased significantly post-fire, whereas juvenile and adult bull stress levels did not change significantly. Most mortality occurred to the juvenile age class causing a change in post-fire population age structure. Projected population growth rate remained unchanged at 6.5% p.a., and at current fecundity levels, the population would reach its previous level three to four years post-fire. The natural mortality patterns seen in elephant populations during stochastic events, such as droughts, follows that of the classic mortality pattern

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-26

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

  11. FIRE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brtis, J.S.; Hausheer, T.G.

    1990-01-01

    FIRE, a microcomputer based program to assist engineers in reviewing and documenting the fire protection impact of design changes has been developed. Acting as an electronic consultant, FIRE is designed to work with an experienced nuclear system engineer, who may not have any detailed fire protection expertise. FIRE helps the engineer to decide if a modification might adversely affect the fire protection design of the station. Since its first development, FIRE has been customized to reflect the fire protection philosophy of the Commonwealth Edison Company. That program is in early production use. This paper discusses the FIRE program in light of its being a useful application of expert system technologies in the power industry

  12. Long-term effects of fire and fire-return interval on population structure and growth of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelcy R. Ford; Emily S. Minor; Gordon A. Fox

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the effect of fire and fire frequency on stand structure and longleaf pine (Pinus palustris P. Mill.) growth and population demography in an experimental research area in a southwest Florida sandhill community. Data were collected from replicated plots that had prescribed fire-return intervals of 1, 2, 5, or 7 years or were left...

  13. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    barriers, which might have severe impacts on population structure and lead to population decline. Using nuclear microsatellite markers and mitochondrial sequences, we investigated genetic differentiation in a fragmented population in the Panama Canal area. While nuclear markers showed little...

  15. Firing properties of identified interneuron populations in the mammalian hindlimb central pattern generator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Butt, S. J B; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M.; Kiehn, Ole

    2002-01-01

    a heterogenous population with neurons that fired in all phases of the locomotor cycle and exhibited varying degrees of rhythmicity, from strongly rhythmic to nonrhythmic. Among the rhythmic, putative CPG dCINs were populations that fired inphase with the ipsilateral or with the contralateral L2 locomotorlike......, with little direct contribution from the intrinsic pacemaker hyperpolarization-activated inward current. For both ipsilaterally and contralaterally firing dCINs the dominant synaptic drive was in-phase with the ipsilateral L2 motor activity. This study provides the first characterization of putative CPG...

  16. 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.

  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. The demographic consequences of mutualism: ants increase host-plant fruit production but not population growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin Ford; Joshua H. Ness; Judith L. Bronstein; William F. Morris

    2015-01-01

    The impact of mutualists on a partner’s demography depends on how they affect the partner’s multiple vital rates and how those vital rates, in turn, affect population growth. However, mutualism studies rarely measure effects on multiple vital rates or integrate them to assess the ultimate impact on population growth. We used vital rate data, population models and...

  19. Sensitivity of population smoke exposure to fire locations in Equatorial Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Patrick S.; Jacob, Daniel J.; Mickley, Loretta J.; Koplitz, Shannon N.; Marlier, Miriam E.; DeFries, Ruth S.; Myers, Samuel S.; Chew, Boon Ning; Mao, Yuhao H.

    2015-02-01

    High smoke concentrations in Equatorial Asia, primarily from land conversion to oil palm plantations, affect a densely populated region and represent a serious but poorly quantified air quality concern. Continued expansion of the oil palm industry is expected but the resulting population exposure to smoke is highly dependent on where this expansion takes place. We use the adjoint of the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model to map the sensitivity of smoke concentrations in major Equatorial Asian cities, and for the population-weighted region, to the locations of the fires. We find that fires in southern Sumatra are particularly detrimental, and that a land management policy protecting peatswamp forests in Southeast Sumatra would be of great air quality benefit. Our adjoint sensitivities can be used to immediately infer population exposure to smoke for any future fire emission scenario.

  20. Successional changes in trophic interactions support a mechanistic model of post-fire population dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Annabel L

    2018-01-01

    Models based on functional traits have limited power in predicting how animal populations respond to disturbance because they do not capture the range of demographic and biological factors that drive population dynamics, including variation in trophic interactions. I tested the hypothesis that successional changes in vegetation structure, which affected invertebrate abundance, would influence growth rates and body condition in the early-successional, insectivorous gecko Nephrurus stellatus. I captured geckos at 17 woodland sites spanning a succession gradient from 2 to 48 years post-fire. Body condition and growth rates were analysed as a function of the best-fitting fire-related predictor (invertebrate abundance or time since fire) with different combinations of the co-variates age, sex and location. Body condition in the whole population was positively affected by increasing invertebrate abundance and, in the adult population, this effect was most pronounced for females. There was strong support for a decline in growth rates in weight with time since fire. The results suggest that increased early-successional invertebrate abundance has filtered through to a higher trophic level with physiological benefits for insectivorous geckos. I integrated the new findings about trophic interactions into a general conceptual model of mechanisms underlying post-fire population dynamics based on a long-term research programme. The model highlights how greater food availability during early succession could drive rapid population growth by contributing to previously reported enhanced reproduction and dispersal. This study provides a framework to understand links between ecological and physiological traits underlying post-fire population dynamics.

  1. 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.

  2. Variance in population firing rate as a measure of slow time-scale correlation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam C. Snyder

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Correlated variability in the spiking responses of pairs of neurons, also known as spike count correlation, is a key indicator of functional connectivity and a critical factor in population coding. Underscoring the importance of correlation as a measure for cognitive neuroscience research is the observation that spike count correlations are not fixed, but are rather modulated by perceptual and cognitive context. Yet while this context fluctuates from moment to moment, correlation must be calculated over multiple trials. This property undermines its utility as a dependent measure for investigations of cognitive processes which fluctuate on a trial-to-trial basis, such as selective attention. A measure of functional connectivity that can be assayed on a moment-to-moment basis is needed to investigate the single-trial dynamics of populations of spiking neurons. Here, we introduce the measure of population variance in normalized firing rate for this goal. We show using mathematical analysis, computer simulations and in vivo data how population variance in normalized firing rate is inversely related to the latent correlation in the population, and how this measure can be used to reliably classify trials from different typical correlation conditions, even when firing rate is held constant. We discuss the potential advantages for using population variance in normalized firing rate as a dependent measure for both basic and applied neuroscience research.

  3. Effects of fire on fish populations: Landscape perspectives on persistance of native fishes and nonnative fish invasions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, J.B.; Young, M.; Gresswell, Robert E.; Rieman, B.

    2003-01-01

    Our limited understanding of the short and long-term effects of fire on fish contributes to considerable uncertainty in assessments of the risks and benefits of fire management alternatives. A primary concern among the many potential effects of fire is the effects of fire and fire management on persistence of native fish populations. Limited evidence suggests vulnerability of fish to fire is contingent upon the quality of affected habitats, the amount and distribution of habitat (habitat fragmentation), and habitat specificity of the species in question. Species with narrow habitat requirements in highly degraded and fragmented systems are likely to be most vulnerable to fire and fire-related disturbance. In addition to effects of fire on native fish, there are growing concerns about the effects of fire on nonnative fish invasions. The role of fire in facilitating invasions by nonnative fishes is unknown, but experience with other species suggests some forms of disturbance associated with fire may facilitate invasion. Management efforts to promote persistence of fishes in fire-prone landscapes can take the form of four basic alternatives: (1) pre-fire management; (2) post-fire management; (3) managing fire itself (e.g. fire fighting); and (4) monitoring and adaptive management. Among these alternatives, pre-fire management is likely to be most effective. Effective pre-fire management activities will address factors that may render fish populations more vulnerable to the effects of fire (e.g. habitat degradation, fragmentation, and nonnative species). Post-fire management is also potentially important, but suffers from being a reactive approach that may not address threats in time to avert them. Managing fire itself can be important in some contexts, but negative consequences for fish populations are possible (e.g. toxicity of fire fighting chemicals to fish). Monitoring and adaptive management can provide important new information for evaluating alternatives, but

  4. AN UNUSUAL PATTERN OF GENE FLOW BETWEEN THE TWO SOCIAL FORMS OF THE FIRE ANT SOLENOPSIS INVICTA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Kenneth G; Shoemaker, D DeWayne

    1993-10-01

    Uncertainty over the role of shifts in social behavior in the process of speciation in social insects has stimulated interest in determining the extent of gene flow between conspecific populations differing in colony social organization. Allele and genotype frequencies at 12 neutral polymorphic protein markers, as well as the numbers of alleles at the sex-determining locus (loci), are shown here to be consistent with significant ongoing gene flow between two geographically adjacent populations of Solenopsis invicta that differ in colony queen number. Data from a thirteenth protein marker that is under strong differential selection in the two social forms confirm that such gene flow occurs. Data from this selected locus, combined with knowledge of the reproductive biology of the two social forms, further suggest that interform gene flow is largely unidirectional and mediated through males only. This unusual pattern of gene flow results from the influence of the unique social enviroments of the two forms on the behavior of workers and on the reproductive physiology of sexuals. © 1993 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. MITIGATION SCENARIOS FOR RESIDENTIAL FIRES IN DENSELY POPULATED URBAN SETTLEMENTS IN SUKAHAJI VILLAGE, BANDUNG CITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saut Aritua Hasiholan Sagala

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Residential fires are a form of disaster that often occurs in urban areas especially in densely populated settlements. This study looks at possible mitigation scenarios for this kind of disaster. A case study was conducted in Babakan Ciparay Sub-District in Bandung City, among the densely populated settlements, and was focused especially on Sukahaji Village, a sub-unit of Babakan Ciparay, which is the most densely populated village in Bandung City with up to 234.14 people/ha. There have been six structural fires recorded from 2007 until 2010 occurring in Sukahaji. This study applied stratified random sampling as the preferred sampling technique and data collection method from a total population of 3,227 buildings. The data was then examined using risk analysis. The results have led to two intervention measures suggested as mitigation scenarios for residential fires that can be applied within the Sukahaji Village. The study concludes that mitigation measures through strengthening community capacity can be the principal option in reducing risk to fires in densely populated urban settlements.

  6. Population exposure to hazardous air quality due to the 2015 fires in Equatorial Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crippa, P; Castruccio, S; Archer-Nicholls, S; Lebron, G B; Kuwata, M; Thota, A; Sumin, S; Butt, E; Wiedinmyer, C; Spracklen, D V

    2016-11-16

    Vegetation and peatland fires cause poor air quality and thousands of premature deaths across densely populated regions in Equatorial Asia. Strong El-Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole conditions are associated with an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires in Indonesia and Borneo, enhancing population exposure to hazardous concentrations of smoke and air pollutants. Here we investigate the impact on air quality and population exposure of wildfires in Equatorial Asia during Fall 2015, which were the largest over the past two decades. We performed high-resolution simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting model with Chemistry based on a new fire emission product. The model captures the spatio-temporal variability of extreme pollution episodes relative to space- and ground-based observations and allows for identification of pollution sources and transport over Equatorial Asia. We calculate that high particulate matter concentrations from fires during Fall 2015 were responsible for persistent exposure of 69 million people to unhealthy air quality conditions. Short-term exposure to this pollution may have caused 11,880 (6,153-17,270) excess mortalities. Results from this research provide decision-relevant information to policy makers regarding the impact of land use changes and human driven deforestation on fire frequency and population exposure to degraded air quality.

  7. Population exposure to hazardous air quality due to the 2015 fires in Equatorial Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crippa, P.; Castruccio, S.; Archer-Nicholls, S.; Lebron, G. B.; Kuwata, M.; Thota, A.; Sumin, S.; Butt, E.; Wiedinmyer, C.; Spracklen, D. V.

    2016-11-01

    Vegetation and peatland fires cause poor air quality and thousands of premature deaths across densely populated regions in Equatorial Asia. Strong El-Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole conditions are associated with an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires in Indonesia and Borneo, enhancing population exposure to hazardous concentrations of smoke and air pollutants. Here we investigate the impact on air quality and population exposure of wildfires in Equatorial Asia during Fall 2015, which were the largest over the past two decades. We performed high-resolution simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting model with Chemistry based on a new fire emission product. The model captures the spatio-temporal variability of extreme pollution episodes relative to space- and ground-based observations and allows for identification of pollution sources and transport over Equatorial Asia. We calculate that high particulate matter concentrations from fires during Fall 2015 were responsible for persistent exposure of 69 million people to unhealthy air quality conditions. Short-term exposure to this pollution may have caused 11,880 (6,153-17,270) excess mortalities. Results from this research provide decision-relevant information to policy makers regarding the impact of land use changes and human driven deforestation on fire frequency and population exposure to degraded air quality.

  8. Symmetry breaking in two interacting populations of quadratic integrate-and-fire neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratas, Irmantas; Pyragas, Kestutis

    2017-10-01

    We analyze the dynamics of two coupled identical populations of quadratic integrate-and-fire neurons, which represent the canonical model for class I neurons near the spiking threshold. The populations are heterogeneous; they include both inherently spiking and excitable neurons. The coupling within and between the populations is global via synapses that take into account the finite width of synaptic pulses. Using a recently developed reduction method based on the Lorentzian ansatz, we derive a closed system of equations for the neuron's firing rates and the mean membrane potentials in both populations. The reduced equations are exact in the infinite-size limit. The bifurcation analysis of the equations reveals a rich variety of nonsymmetric patterns, including a splay state, antiphase periodic oscillations, chimera-like states, and chaotic oscillations as well as bistabilities between various states. The validity of the reduced equations is confirmed by direct numerical simulations of the finite-size networks.

  9. 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

  10. Relative population exposures from coal-fired and nuclear power plants in India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramachandran, T.V.; Lalit, B.Y.; Mishra, U.C.

    1987-01-01

    Coal combustion for electric power generation results in dispersal of fly ash, and hence an additional radiation dose to the population living in the neighbourhood of the coal-fired power plants due to natural radioactivity present in coal. The radiation hazards of coal based and nuclear power plants operating in India are given. The dose commitments to the population living within an 88.5 km radius of the thermal and nuclear power plants in India have been computed using the method outlined in an ORNL report. The estimated dose rates for these two types of power plant were compared. The present study shows that the radiation dose from coal-fired and nuclear power plants are comparable.

  11. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2017-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  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 specie...

  14. 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.

  15. 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....

  16. 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....

  17. 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

  18. Predaceous ants, beach replenishment, and nest placement by sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetterer, James K; Wood, Lawrence D; Johnson, Chris; Krahe, Holly; Fitchett, Stephanie

    2007-10-01

    Ants known for attacking and killing hatchling birds and reptiles include the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren), tropical fire ant [Solenopsis geminata (Fabr.)], and little fire ant [Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger)]. We tested whether sea turtle nest placement influenced exposure to predaceous ants. In 2000 and 2001, we surveyed ants along a Florida beach where green turtles (Chelonia mydas L.), leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli), and loggerheads (Caretta caretta L.) nest. Part of the beach was artificially replenished between our two surveys. As a result, mean beach width experienced by nesting turtles differed greatly between the two nesting seasons. We surveyed 1,548 sea turtle nests (2000: 909 nests; 2001: 639 nests) and found 22 ant species. S. invicta was by far the most common species (on 431 nests); S. geminata and W. auropunctata were uncommon (on 3 and 16 nests, respectively). In 2000, 62.5% of nests had ants present (35.9% with S. invicta), but in 2001, only 30.5% of the nests had ants present (16.4% with S. invicta). Turtle nests closer to dune vegetation had significantly greater exposure to ants. Differences in ant presence on turtle nests between years and among turtle species were closely related to differences in nest placement relative to dune vegetation. Beach replenishment significantly lowered exposure of nests to ants because on the wider beaches turtles nested farther from the dune vegetation. Selective pressures on nesting sea turtles are altered both by the presence of predaceous ants and the practice of beach replenishment.

  19. 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.

  20. The evolution of genome size in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spagna Joseph C

    2008-02-01

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

  1. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Legge

    Full Text Available Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2 with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires. Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food, different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty, and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation. Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign

  3. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legge, Sarah; Garnett, Stephen; Maute, Kim; Heathcote, Joanne; Murphy, Steve; Woinarski, John C Z; Astheimer, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch) and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch)--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2) with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires). Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food), different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty), and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation). Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign' fire regime

  4. Cutaneous TRPM8-expressing sensory afferents are a small population of neurons with unique firing properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jankowski, Michael P; Rau, Kristofer K; Koerber, H Richard

    2017-04-01

    It has been well documented that the transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) receptor is involved in environmental cold detection. The role that this receptor plays in nociception however, has been somewhat controversial since conflicting reports have shown different neurochemical identities and responsiveness of TRPM8 neurons. In order to functionally characterize cutaneous TRMP8 fibers, we used two ex vivo somatosensory recording preparations to functionally characterize TRPM8 neurons that innervate the hairy skin in mice genetically engineered to express GFP from the TRPM8 locus. We found several types of cold-sensitive neurons that innervate the hairy skin of the mouse but the TRPM8-expressing neurons were found to be of two specific populations that responded with rapid firing to cool temperatures. The first group was mechanically insensitive but the other did respond to high threshold mechanical deformation of the skin. None of these fibers were found to contain calcitonin gene-related peptide, transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 or bind isolectin B4. These results taken together with other reports suggest that TRPM8 containing sensory neurons are environmental cooling detectors that may be nociceptive or non-nociceptive depending on the sensitivity of individual fibers to different combinations of stimulus modalities. © 2017 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia E Masiulionis

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

  6. Labor and Population Program: The Dangers of Smoke Haze. Mortality in Malaysia from Indonesian Forest Fires

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2002-01-01

    Between April and November of 1997, a widespread series of forest fires in Indonesia-particularly in the provinces of Sumatra and Kalimantan-threw a blanket of thick, smoky haze over a large portion of Southeast Asia...

  7. Labor and Population Program: The Dangers of Smoke Haze. Mortality in Malaysia from Indonesian Forest Fires

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2002-01-01

    .... All told, about 70 million people lived in areas affected by the smoke haze. An important research and policy concern is whether the smoke haze caused by the forest fires had significant health or mortality...

  8. Modeling interactions betweenspotted owl and barred owl populations in fire-prone forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background / Question / Methods Efforts to conserve northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in the eastern Cascades of Washington must merge the challenges of providing sufficient structurally complex forest habitat in a fire-prone landscape with the limitations impos...

  9. 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

  10. Effects of a fire on a population of treefrogs (Scinax cf. alter, Lutz) in a restinga habitat in southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, C F D; Ariani, C V; Menezes, V A; Vrcibradic, D

    2008-08-01

    The area of the Dunas da Joaquina, in Santa Catarina island, contains one of the most important remnants of restinga habitat in Santa Catarina State, southern Brazil. In December 2003, a fire occurred in a portion of this area, affecting most of the vegetation, including the bromeliad community. In this study, the density of individuals and the diet composition of the bromelicolous treefrog Scinax cf. alter were compared between the area affected by the fire and an adjacent unburned area. One-hundred-and-fifty-eight ground bromeliads (Vriesea friburguensis) were dissected and searched for the presence of treefrogs among their leaves. We found 30 frogs in 29.5% (23/78) of the bromeliads from the unburned site, with a mean of 1.3 frogs per rosette, and 15 frogs in 12.5% (10/80) of the bromeliads from the burned site, with a mean of 1.6 frogs per rosette. Eight (27%) of the frogs from the unburned site and eleven (73%) of those from the burned site had empty stomachs. Frogs from the burned site also contained less prey per stomach than those from the unburned site. The data suggest that the fire has negatively affected the local population of Scinax cf. alter, though it is possible that the population can recover.

  11. Windscale fire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Auxier, J.A.

    1986-01-01

    A graphite fire in the Windscale No. 1 reactor occurred during the period October 8-12, 1957. The Windscale reactors were located on a coastal plain in northwest England and were used to produce plutonium. A great wealth of information was gathered on the causes, handling, decontamination, and environmental effects of reactor accidents. Topics of discussion include: the cause of the fire; handling of the incident; radiation doses to the population; and radiation effects on the population

  12. Ant tending influences soldier production in a social aphid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shingleton, A W; Foster, W A

    2000-09-22

    The aphid Pseudoregma sundanica (Van der Goot) (Homoptera: Aphididae) has two defence strategies. It is obligatorily tended by various species of ant and also produces sterile soldiers. We investigated how they allocate their investment in these two strategies. We measured the size, number of soldiers, number and species of tending ant, and number and species of predators in P. sundanica populations. We found that the level of ant tending correlated negatively with soldier investment in P. sundanica. The species of tending ant also influenced soldier investment. We excluded ants from aphid populations and recorded changes in population size and structure over four weeks. Ant exclusion led to population decline and extinction. At the same time, surviving populations showed a significant increase in soldier investment. The data demonstrate that social aphids can adjust their investment in soldiers in direct response to environmental change.

  13. Diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in wood ant (.i.Formica polyctena./i.) nest temperature in two geographically distant populations along a south-north gradient

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Frouz, Jan; Finer, L.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 54, - (2007), s. 251-259 ISSN 0020-1812 Grant - others:Academy of Finland(FI) 200870 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Source of funding: V - iné verejné zdroje Keywords : ant nests * thermoregulation * Formica rufa group Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.391, year: 2007

  14. 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.

  15. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  16. 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

  17. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    1. With an expanding human population placing increasing pressure on the environment, agriculture needs sustainable production that can match conventional methods. Integrated pest management (IPM) is more sustainable, but not necessarily as efficient as conventional non-sustainable measures. 2...... 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...... of agricultural systems, this review emphasizes the potential of managing ants to achieve sustainable pest management solutions. The synthesis suggests future directions and may catalyse a research agenda on the utilization of ants, not only against arthropod pests, but also against weeds and plant diseases...

  18. Dispersal for survival: some observations on the trunk ant (Formica truncorum Fabricius)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mabelis, A.A.; Korczynska, J.

    2001-01-01

    The survival chance of the trunk ant (Formica truncorum) is compared with the survival chance of two other species of red wood ants: F.rufa and F.polyctena. Nest populations of F.truncorum are much smaller than nest populations of the other red wood ant species, which makes the species a weaker

  19. Fire Regime in Marginal Jack Pine Populations at Their Southern Limit of Distribution, Riding Mountain National Park, Central Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques C. Tardif

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In central Canada, long fire history reconstructions are rare. In a context where both anthropogenic and climate influences on fire regime have changed, Parks Canada has a mandate to maintain ecological integrity. Here we present a fire history derived from fire-scarred jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb. trees growing at their southern distribution limit in Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP. In Lake Katherine Fire Management Unit (LKFMU, a subregion within the park, fire history was reconstructed from archival records, tree-ring records, and charcoal in lake sediment. From about 1450 to 1850 common era (CE the fire return intervals varied from 37 to 125 years, according to models. During the period 1864–1930 the study area burned frequently (Weibull Mean Fire Intervals between 2.66 and 5.62 years; this period coincided with the end of First Nations occupation and the start of European settlement. Major recruitment pulses were associated with the stand-replacing 1864 and 1894 fires. This period nevertheless corresponded to a reduction in charcoal accumulation. The current fire-free period in LKFMU (1930–today coincides with RMNP establishment, exclusion of First Nations land use and increased fire suppression. Charcoal accumulation further decreased during this period. In the absence of fire, jack pine exclusion in LKFMU is foreseeable and the use of prescribed burning is advocated to conserve this protected jack pine ecosystem, at the southern margins of its range, and in the face of potential climate change.

  20. Using Population Matrix Modeling to Predict AEGIS Fire Controlmen Community Structure

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    McKeon, Thomas J

    2007-01-01

    .... A Population Matrix with Markov properties was used to develop the AEGIS FC aging model. The goal of this model was to provide an accurate predication of the future AEGIS FC community structure based upon variables...

  1. 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...

  2. Effects of a natural fire on a Kuenzler's hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus fendleri var. kuenzleri) and nylon hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus viridiflorus) population in Southeastern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert C. Sivinski

    2007-01-01

    During the summer of 1992, a natural wildfire burned 250 acres of juniper savanna on Rawhide Ridge in the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. This fire burned through the center of a Kuenzler's hedgehog cactus population. This threatened cactus is locally sympatric with the more abundant nylon hedgehog cactus, which has similar growth form and stature...

  3. Food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Flores, Rocío Vianey; Aguirre, Armando; Anjos, Diego V.; Neves, Frederico S.; Campos, Ricardo I.; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2018-02-01

    In this study, we conducted a series of experiments in a population of Vachellia constricta (Fabaceae) in the arid Tehuacan-Cuicatláan valley, Mexico, in order to evaluate if the food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions. Using an experiment with artificial nectaries, we observed that ants foraging on food sources with higher concentration of sugar are quicker in finding and attacking potential herbivorous insects. More specifically, we found that the same ant species may increase their defence effectiveness according to the quality of food available. These findings indicate that ant effectiveness in plant protection is context-dependent and may vary according to specific individual characteristics of plants. In addition, we showed that competitively superior ant species tend to dominate plants in periods with high nectar activity, emphasizing the role of the dominance hierarchy structuring ant-plant interactions. However, when high sugar food sources were experimentally available ad libitum, the nocturnal and competitively superior ant species, Camponotus atriceps, did not dominate the artificial nectaries during the day possibly due to limitation of its thermal tolerance. Therefore, temporal niche partitioning may be allowing the coexistence of two dominant ant species (Camponotus rubritorax during the day and C. atriceps at night) on V. constricta. Our findings indicate that the quality of the food source, and temporal shifts in ant dominance are key factors which structure the biotic plant defences in an arid environment.

  4. Fish and fire: Post-wildfire sediment dynamics and implications for the viability of trout populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, B. P.; Czuba, J. A.; Belmont, P.; Budy, P.; Finch, C.

    2017-12-01

    Episodic events in steep landscapes, such as wildfire and mass wasting, contribute large pulses of sediment to rivers and can significantly alter the quality and connectivity of fish habitat. Understanding where these sediment inputs occur, how they are transported and processed through the watershed, and their geomorphic effect on the river network is critical to predicting the impact on ecological aquatic communities. The Tushar Mountains of southern Utah experienced a severe wildfire in 2010, resulting in numerous debris flows and the extirpation of trout populations. Following many years of habitat and ecological monitoring in the field, we have developed a modeling framework that links post-wildfire debris flows, fluvial sediment routing, and population ecology in order to evaluate the impact and response of trout to wildfire. First, using the Tushar topographic and wildfire parameters, as well as stochastic precipitation generation, we predict the post-wildfire debris flow probabilities and volumes of mainstem tributaries using the Cannon et al. [2010] model. This produces episodic hillslope sediment inputs, which are delivered to a fluvial sediment, river-network routing model (modified from Czuba et al. [2017]). In this updated model, sediment transport dynamics are driven by time-varying discharge associated with the stochastic precipitation generation, include multiple grain sizes (including gravel), use mixed-size transport equations (Wilcock & Crowe [2003]), and incorporate channel slope adjustments with aggradation and degradation. Finally, with the spatially explicit adjustments in channel bed elevation and grain size, we utilize a new population viability analysis (PVA) model to predict the impact and recovery of fish populations in response to these changes in habitat. Our model provides a generalizable framework for linking physical and ecological models and for evaluating the extirpation risk of isolated fish populations throughout the

  5. Differential Activation of Fast-Spiking and Regular-Firing Neuron Populations During Movement and Reward in the Dorsal Medial Frontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insel, Nathan; Barnes, Carol A.

    2015-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex is thought to be important for guiding behavior according to an animal's expectations. Efforts to decode the region have focused not only on the question of what information it computes, but also how distinct circuit components become engaged during behavior. We find that the activity of regular-firing, putative projection neurons contains rich information about behavioral context and firing fields cluster around reward sites, while activity among putative inhibitory and fast-spiking neurons is most associated with movement and accompanying sensory stimulation. These dissociations were observed even between adjacent neurons with apparently reciprocal, inhibitory–excitatory connections. A smaller population of projection neurons with burst-firing patterns did not show clustered firing fields around rewards; these neurons, although heterogeneous, were generally less selective for behavioral context than regular-firing cells. The data suggest a network that tracks an animal's behavioral situation while, at the same time, regulating excitation levels to emphasize high valued positions. In this scenario, the function of fast-spiking inhibitory neurons is to constrain network output relative to incoming sensory flow. This scheme could serve as a bridge between abstract sensorimotor information and single-dimensional codes for value, providing a neural framework to generate expectations from behavioral state. PMID:24700585

  6. When invasive ants meet: effects of outbreeding on queen performance in the tramp ant Cardiocondyla itsukii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinze, Jürgen; Frohschammer, Sabine; Bernadou, Abel

    2017-08-18

    Most disturbed habitats in the tropics and subtropics harbor numerous species of invasive ants, and occasionally the same species has been introduced repeatedly from multiple geographical sources. We examined how experimental crossbreeding between sexuals from different populations affects the fitness of queens of the tramp ant Cardiocondyla itsukii, which is widely distributed in Asia and the Pacific Islands. Eggs laid by queens that mated with nestmate males had a higher hatching rate than eggs laid by queens mated to males from neighboring (Hawaii × Kauai) or distant introduced populations (Hawaii/Kauai × Okinawa). Furthermore, inbreeding queens had a longer lifespan and produced a less female-biased offspring sex ratio than queens from allopatric mating. This suggests that the genetic divergence between different source populations may already be so large that in case of multiple invasions eventual crossbreeding might negatively affect the fitness of tramp ants. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  7. Population and colony structure and morphometrics in the queen dimorphic little black ant, Monomorium sp. AZ-02, with a review of queen phenotypes in the genus Monomorium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert A Johnson

    Full Text Available The North American little black ant, Monomorium sp. AZ-02 (subfamily Myrmicinae, displays a dimorphism that consists of alate (winged and ergatoid (wingless queens. Surveys at our field site in southcentral Arizona, USA, demonstrated that only one queen phenotype (alate or ergatoid occurred in each colony during the season in which reproductive sexuals were produced. A morphometric analysis demonstrated that ergatoid queens retained all specialized anatomical features of alate queens (except for wings, and that they were significantly smaller and had a lower mass than alate queens. Using eight morphological characters, a discriminant analysis correctly categorized all queens (40 of 40 of both phenotypes. A molecular phylogeny using 420 base pairs of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I demonstrated that alate and ergatoid queens are two alternative phenotypes within the species; both phenotypes were intermixed on our phylogeny, and both phenotypes often displayed the same haplotype. A survey of the genus Monomorium (358 species found that wingless queens (ergatoid queens, brachypterous queens occur in 42 of 137 species (30.6% in which the queen has been described. These wingless queen species are geographically and taxonomically widespread as they occur on several continents and in eight species groups, suggesting that winglessness probably arose independently on many occasions in the genus.

  8. BREATHING FIRE: HOW STELLAR FEEDBACK DRIVES RADIAL MIGRATION, RAPID SIZE FLUCTUATIONS, AND POPULATION GRADIENTS IN LOW-MASS GALAXIES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Badry, Kareem; Geha, Marla; Wetzel, Andrew; Hopkins, Philip F.; Kereš, Dusan; Chan, T. K.; Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André

    2016-01-01

    We examine the effects of stellar feedback and bursty star formation on low-mass galaxies (M star  = 2 × 10 6  − 5 × 10 10 M ⊙ ) using the Feedback in Realistic Environments (FIRE) simulations. While previous studies emphasized the impact of feedback on dark matter profiles, we investigate the impact on the stellar component: kinematics, radial migration, size evolution, and population gradients. Feedback-driven outflows/inflows drive significant radial stellar migration over both short and long timescales via two processes: (1) outflowing/infalling gas can remain star-forming, producing young stars that migrate ∼1 kpc within their first 100 Myr, and (2) gas outflows/inflows drive strong fluctuations in the global potential, transferring energy to all stars. These processes produce several dramatic effects. First, galaxies’ effective radii can fluctuate by factors of >2 over ∼200 Myr, and these rapid size fluctuations can account for much of the observed scatter in the radius at fixed M star . Second, the cumulative effects of many outflow/infall episodes steadily heat stellar orbits, causing old stars to migrate outward most strongly. This age-dependent radial migration mixes—and even inverts—intrinsic age and metallicity gradients. Thus, the galactic-archaeology approach of calculating radial star formation histories from stellar populations at z = 0 can be severely biased. These effects are strongest at M star  ≈ 10 7–9.6 M ⊙ , the same regime where feedback most efficiently cores galaxies. Thus, detailed measurements of stellar kinematics in low-mass galaxies can strongly constrain feedback models and test baryonic solutions to small-scale problems in ΛCDM

  9. BREATHING FIRE: HOW STELLAR FEEDBACK DRIVES RADIAL MIGRATION, RAPID SIZE FLUCTUATIONS, AND POPULATION GRADIENTS IN LOW-MASS GALAXIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    El-Badry, Kareem; Geha, Marla [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT (United States); Wetzel, Andrew; Hopkins, Philip F. [TAPIR, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA USA (United States); Kereš, Dusan; Chan, T. K. [Department of Physics, Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla (United States); Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André, E-mail: kareem.el-badry@yale.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy and CIERA, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (United States)

    2016-04-01

    We examine the effects of stellar feedback and bursty star formation on low-mass galaxies (M{sub star} = 2 × 10{sup 6} − 5 × 10{sup 10} M{sub ⊙}) using the Feedback in Realistic Environments (FIRE) simulations. While previous studies emphasized the impact of feedback on dark matter profiles, we investigate the impact on the stellar component: kinematics, radial migration, size evolution, and population gradients. Feedback-driven outflows/inflows drive significant radial stellar migration over both short and long timescales via two processes: (1) outflowing/infalling gas can remain star-forming, producing young stars that migrate ∼1 kpc within their first 100 Myr, and (2) gas outflows/inflows drive strong fluctuations in the global potential, transferring energy to all stars. These processes produce several dramatic effects. First, galaxies’ effective radii can fluctuate by factors of >2 over ∼200 Myr, and these rapid size fluctuations can account for much of the observed scatter in the radius at fixed M{sub star}. Second, the cumulative effects of many outflow/infall episodes steadily heat stellar orbits, causing old stars to migrate outward most strongly. This age-dependent radial migration mixes—and even inverts—intrinsic age and metallicity gradients. Thus, the galactic-archaeology approach of calculating radial star formation histories from stellar populations at z = 0 can be severely biased. These effects are strongest at M{sub star} ≈ 10{sup 7–9.6} M{sub ⊙}, the same regime where feedback most efficiently cores galaxies. Thus, detailed measurements of stellar kinematics in low-mass galaxies can strongly constrain feedback models and test baryonic solutions to small-scale problems in ΛCDM.

  10. The role of wildfire, prescribed fire, and mountain pine beetle infestations on the population dynamics of black-backed woodpeckers in the black hills, South Dakota.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher T Rota

    Full Text Available Wildfire and mountain pine beetle infestations are naturally occurring disturbances in western North American forests. Black-backed woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus are emblematic of the role these disturbances play in creating wildlife habitat, since they are strongly associated with recently-killed forests. However, management practices aimed at reducing the economic impact of natural disturbances can result in habitat loss for this species. Although black-backed woodpeckers occupy habitats created by wildfire, prescribed fire, and mountain pine beetle infestations, the relative value of these habitats remains unknown. We studied habitat-specific adult and juvenile survival probabilities and reproductive rates between April 2008 and August 2012 in the Black Hills, South Dakota. We estimated habitat-specific adult and juvenile survival probability with Bayesian multi-state models and habitat-specific reproductive success with Bayesian nest survival models. We calculated asymptotic population growth rates from estimated demographic rates with matrix projection models. Adult and juvenile survival and nest success were highest in habitat created by summer wildfire, intermediate in MPB infestations, and lowest in habitat created by fall prescribed fire. Mean posterior distributions of population growth rates indicated growing populations in habitat created by summer wildfire and declining populations in fall prescribed fire and mountain pine beetle infestations. Our finding that population growth rates were positive only in habitat created by summer wildfire underscores the need to maintain early post-wildfire habitat across the landscape. The lower growth rates in fall prescribed fire and MPB infestations may be attributed to differences in predator communities and food resources relative to summer wildfire.

  11. The role of wildfire, prescribed fire, and mountain pine beetle infestations on the population dynamics of black-backed woodpeckers in the black hills, South Dakota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rota, Christopher T; Millspaugh, Joshua J; Rumble, Mark A; Lehman, Chad P; Kesler, Dylan C

    2014-01-01

    Wildfire and mountain pine beetle infestations are naturally occurring disturbances in western North American forests. Black-backed woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus) are emblematic of the role these disturbances play in creating wildlife habitat, since they are strongly associated with recently-killed forests. However, management practices aimed at reducing the economic impact of natural disturbances can result in habitat loss for this species. Although black-backed woodpeckers occupy habitats created by wildfire, prescribed fire, and mountain pine beetle infestations, the relative value of these habitats remains unknown. We studied habitat-specific adult and juvenile survival probabilities and reproductive rates between April 2008 and August 2012 in the Black Hills, South Dakota. We estimated habitat-specific adult and juvenile survival probability with Bayesian multi-state models and habitat-specific reproductive success with Bayesian nest survival models. We calculated asymptotic population growth rates from estimated demographic rates with matrix projection models. Adult and juvenile survival and nest success were highest in habitat created by summer wildfire, intermediate in MPB infestations, and lowest in habitat created by fall prescribed fire. Mean posterior distributions of population growth rates indicated growing populations in habitat created by summer wildfire and declining populations in fall prescribed fire and mountain pine beetle infestations. Our finding that population growth rates were positive only in habitat created by summer wildfire underscores the need to maintain early post-wildfire habitat across the landscape. The lower growth rates in fall prescribed fire and MPB infestations may be attributed to differences in predator communities and food resources relative to summer wildfire.

  12. Commentary: Warring ants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 27; Issue 2. Commentary: Warring ants: Lessons from Lanchester's laws of combat? Renee M Borges. Volume 27 Issue 2 March 2002 pp 75-78. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jbsc/027/02/0075-0078 ...

  13. Antílope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Anderson Martinho Moçambique

    2015-10-01

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

  14. Antílope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Anderson Martinho Moçambique

    2011-04-01

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

  15. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Ossola

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size.

  2. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Michael A.; Christie, Fiona J.; Hahs, Amy K.; Livesley, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i) ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii) ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii) ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size. PMID:26528416

  3. Population health effects of air quality changes due to forest fires in British Columbia in 2003 : estimates from physician-billing data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, D.; Copes, R.; Fisk, R.; Joy, R.; Chan, K.; Brauer, M.

    2006-03-15

    Forest fires near population centres in 2003 have had a significant economic impact on some communities in British Columbia. This abstract presented details of a study investigating the associations between particulate matter levels and physician visits in the Kelowna and Kamloops regions. Measurements of 24 hour averages of particulate matter were obtained from the monitoring network of the BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection and used to define weeks where forest fires resulted in increases in ambient PM. Weekly rates of physician visits for respiratory, cardiovascular and mental illnesses were obtained and compared for 2003, and aggregates of the 10 previous years. Results indicated that both the Kelowna and Kamloops regions experienced 5 weeks of elevated 24 hour PM levels. In the Kelowna region, increases in physician visits for respiratory diseases of between 46 and 78 per cent above 10 year mean rates were observed for 3 weeks during the forest fire period. Similar effects were not observed in Kamloops. Effects on visits for cardiovascular diseases or mental disorders were not observed in either community. It was concluded that the forest fire smoke and resultant particulate matter was associated with an excess of respiratory complaints in Kelowna area residents.

  4. ISSR and AFLP analysis of the temporal and spatial population structure of the post-fire annual, Nicotiana attenuata, in SW Utah

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Preston Catherine A

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The native annual tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata, is found primarily in large ephemeral populations (typically for less than 3 growing seasons after fires in sagebrush and pinyon-juniper ecosystems and in small persistent populations (for many growing seasons in isolated washes typically along roadsides throughout the Great Basin Desert of the SW USA. This distribution pattern is due to its unusual germination behavior. Ephemeral populations are produced by the germination of dormant seeds from long-lived seed banks which are stimulated to germinate by a combination of unidentified positive cues found in wood smoke and the removal of inhibitors leached from the unburned litter of the dominant vegetation. Persistent populations may result where these inhibitors do not exist, as in washes or along disturbed roadsides. To determine if this germination behavior has influenced population structure, we conducted an AFLP (244 individuals, ISSR (175 individuals and ISSR+ AFLP (175 individuals analysis on plants originating from seed collected from populations growing in 11 wash and burns over 11 years from the SW USA. Results Genetic variance as measured by both ISSR and AFLP markers was low among sites and comparatively higher within populations. Cluster analysis of the Utah samples with samples collected from Arizona, California, and Oregon as out-groups also did not reveal patterns. AMOVA analysis of the combined AFLP and ISSR data sets yielded significantly low genetic differentiation among sites (Φct, moderate among populations within sites (Φsc and higher genetic differentiation within populations (Φst. Conclusions We conclude that the seed dormancy of this post-fire annual and its resulting age structure in conjunction with natural selection processes are responsible for significantly low among sites and comparatively high within-population genetic variation observed in this species.

  5. 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.

  6. Testing the hypothesis of fire use for ecosystem management by neanderthal and upper palaeolithic modern human populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Laure Daniau

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It has been proposed that a greater control and more extensive use of fire was one of the behavioral innovations that emerged in Africa among early Modern Humans, favouring their spread throughout the world and determining their eventual evolutionary success. We would expect, if extensive fire use for ecosystem management were a component of the modern human technical and cognitive package, as suggested for Australia, to find major disturbances in the natural biomass burning variability associated with the colonisation of Europe by Modern Humans. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Analyses of microcharcoal preserved in two deep-sea cores located off Iberia and France were used to reconstruct changes in biomass burning between 70 and 10 kyr cal BP. Results indicate that fire regime follows the Dansgaard-Oeschger climatic variability and its impacts on fuel load. No major disturbance in natural fire regime variability is observed at the time of the arrival of Modern Humans in Europe or during the remainder of the Upper Palaeolithic (40-10 kyr cal BP. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results indicate that either Neanderthals and Modern humans did not influence fire regime or that, if they did, their respective influence was comparable at a regional scale, and not as pronounced as that observed in the biomass burning history of Southeast Asia.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Fire evolution in the radioactive forests of Ukraine and Belarus: future risks for the population and the environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    N. Evangeliou; Y. Balkanski; A. Cozic; WeiMin Hao; F. Mouillot; K. Thonicke; R. Paugam; S. Zibtsev; T. A. Mousseau; R. Wang; B. Poulter; A. Petkov; C. Yue; P. Cadule; B. Koffi; J. W. Kaiser; A. P. Moller

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we analyze the current and future status of forests in Ukraine and Belarus that were contaminated after the nuclear disaster in 1986. Using several models, together with remote-sensing data and observations, we studied how climate change in these forests may affect fire regimes. We investigated the possibility of 137Cs displacement over Europe...

  9. Wildland fire in ecosystems: effects of fire on fauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jane Kapler Smith

    2000-01-01

    VOLUME 1: Fires affect animals mainly through effects on their habitat. Fires often cause short-term increases in wildlife foods that contribute to increases in populations of some animals. These increases are moderated by the animals' ability to thrive in the altered, often simplified, structure of the postfire environment. The extent of fire effects on animal...

  10. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    OpenAIRE

    Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista; María Del Socorro Alatrista Gutierrez

    2007-01-01

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

  11. The diversity of microorganisms associated with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2002-05-01

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

  12. Raptors in the State Nature Reserve “Kerzhensky” After Forest Fires of 2010: Materials of Five-Year Monitoring of a Summer Bird Population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga S. Noskova

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available On the basis of five-year monitoring data on summer bird population in the Nature Reserve “Kerzhensky” after the catastrophic fires of 2010, a spatial distribution of raptors was analyzed (mainly birds of prey – Falconiformes. Main types of habitats were surveyed using line transect counts. In total 17 species of raptors were observed. Abundance of each species is presented here. Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis, Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus, Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo and Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo were the most common species of raptors in the Nature Reserve.

  13. Fire structures pine serotiny at different scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Serrano, Ana; Verdú, Miguel; González-Martínez, Santiago C; Pausas, Juli G

    2013-12-01

    Serotiny (delayed seed release with the consequent accumulation of a canopy seedbank) confers fitness benefits in environments with crown-fire regimes. Thus, we predicted that serotiny level should be higher in populations recurrently subjected to crown-fires than in populations where crown-fires are rare. In addition, under a high frequency of fires, space and resources are recurrently available, permitting recruitment around each mother to follow the seed rain shadow. Thus, we also predicted spatial aggregation of serotiny within populations. We compared serotiny, considering both the proportion and the age of serotinous cones, in populations living in contrasting fire regimes for two iconic Mediterranean pine species (Pinus halepensis, P. pinaster). We framed our results by quantitatively comparing the strength of the fire-serotiny relationship with previous studies worldwide. For the two species, populations living under high crown-fire recurrence regimes had a higher serotiny level than those populations where the recurrence of crown-fires was low. For P. halepensis (the species with higher serotiny), populations in high fire recurrence regimes had higher fine-scale spatial aggregation of serotiny than those inhabiting low fire recurrence systems. The strength of the observed fire-serotiny relationship in P. halepensis is among the highest in published literature. Fire regime shapes serotiny level among populations, and in populations with high serotiny, recurrent fires maintain a significant spatial structure for this trait. Consequently, fire has long-term evolutionary implications at different scales, emphasizing its prominent role in shaping the ecology of pines.

  14. La vivienda ante emergencias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arq. María Eugenia Gonzàlez Chipont

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Ex-ante benefit-cost analysis of the elimination of a Glossina palpalis gambiensis population in the Niayes of Senegal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fanny Bouyer

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available In 2005, the Government of Senegal embarked on a campaign to eliminate a Glossina palpalis gambiensis population from the Niayes area (∼ 1000 km(2 under the umbrella of the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC. The project was considered an ecologically sound approach to intensify cattle production. The elimination strategy includes a suppression phase using insecticide impregnated targets and cattle, and an elimination phase using the sterile insect technique, necessary to eliminate tsetse in this area.Three main cattle farming systems were identified: a traditional system using trypanotolerant cattle and two "improved" systems using more productive cattle breeds focusing on milk and meat production. In improved farming systems herd size was 45% lower and annual cattle sales were €250 (s.d. 513 per head as compared to €74 (s.d. 38 per head in traditional farming systems (p<10-3. Tsetse distribution significantly impacted the occurrence of these farming systems (p = 0.001, with 34% (s.d. 4% and 6% (s.d. 4% of improved systems in the tsetse-free and tsetse-infested areas, respectively. We calculated the potential increases of cattle sales as a result of tsetse elimination considering two scenarios, i.e. a conservative scenario with a 2% annual replacement rate from traditional to improved systems after elimination, and a more realistic scenario with an increased replacement rate of 10% five years after elimination. The final annual increase of cattle sales was estimated at ∼ €2800/km(2 for a total cost of the elimination campaign reaching ∼ €6400/km(2.Despite its high cost, the benefit-cost analysis indicated that the project was highly cost-effective, with Internal Rates of Return (IRR of 9.8% and 19.1% and payback periods of 18 and 13 years for the two scenarios, respectively. In addition to an increase in farmers' income, the benefits of tsetse elimination include a reduction of grazing pressure on

  16. Ants farm subterranean aphids mostly in single clone groups

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivens, Aniek B.F.; Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph; Pen, Ido

    2012-01-01

    mutualisms have been studied in sufficient genetic detail to address these issues, so we decided to characterize symbiont diversity in the complex mutualism between multiple root aphid species and Lasius flavus ants. After showing elsewhere that three of these aphid species have low dispersal and mostly...... if not exclusively asexual reproduction, we here investigate aphid diversity within and between ant nest mounds. Results The three focal species (Geoica utricularia, Forda marginata and Tetraneura ulmi) had considerable clonal diversity at the population level. Yet more than half of the ant mounds contained just....... The ants appear to eat most of the early instar aphids, so that adult aphids are unlikely to face limited phloem resources and scramble competition with other aphids. We suggest that such culling of carbohydrate-providing symbionts for protein ingestion may maintain maximal host yield per aphid while also...

  17. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    of ant pheromones may be sufficient to repel pest insects from ant territories. The study of ant semiochemicals is in its infancy, yet, evidence for their potential use in pest management is starting to build up. Pheromones from four of five tested ant species have been shown to deter herbivorous insect...... prey and competing ant species are also deterred by ant deposits, whereas ant symbionts may be attracted to them. Based on these promising initial findings, it seems advisable to further elucidate the signaling properties of ant pheromones and to test and develop their use in future pest management....

  18. 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.

  19. Growing Industries, Growing Invasions? The Case of the Argentine Ant in Vineyards of Northern Argentina

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Schulze-Sylvester; José A. Corronca; Carolina I. Paris

    2018-01-01

    The invasive Argentine ant causes ecological and economic damage worldwide. In 2011, this species was reported in vineyards of Cafayate, a wine-producing town in the Andes, Argentina. While the local xeric climate is unsuitable for Argentine ants, populations could establish in association with vineyards where human activity and irrigation facilitate propagule introduction and survival. In 2013–2014, we combined extensive sampling of the area using ant-baits with monitoring of the change in l...

  20. Adoption of parasitic Maculinea alcon caterpillars (Lepidoptera : Lycaenidae) by three Myrmica ant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Als, Thomas Damm; Nash, David Richard; Boomsma, J. J.

    2001-01-01

    Maculinea butterflies are parasites of Myrmica ant nests. The Alcon blue, Maculinea alcon, is unusual in that it parasitizes the nests of several Myrmica species, using M. rubra, M. ruginodis and M. scabrinodis as hosts in different parts of Europe. In Denmark it uses M. rubra and M. ruginodis....... alcon from three populations differing in their host use to laboratory nests of all three recorded host ant species collected from each of the M. alcon populations. We measured the attractiveness of the caterpillars to their host ants as the time taken for them to be adopted by each ant colony....... Caterpillars from all populations took longer to be adopted to M. scabrinodis nests than to nests of the other two ant species. Adoption times to M. rubra and M. ruginodis colonies differed: caterpillars from each of the two populations that used a single host species were adopted most quickly by that species...

  1. Behavioural and chemical evidence for multiple colonisation of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, in the Western Cape, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wossler Theresa C

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, is a widespread invasive ant species that has successfully established in nearly all continents across the globe. Argentine ants are characterised by a social structure known as unicoloniality, where territorial boundaries between nests are absent and intraspecific aggression is rare. This is particularly pronounced in introduced populations and results in the formation of large and spatially expansive supercolonies. Although it is amongst the most well studied of invasive ants, very little work has been done on this ant in South Africa. In this first study, we investigate the population structure of Argentine ants in South Africa. We use behavioural (aggression tests and chemical (CHC approaches to investigate the population structure of Argentine ants within the Western Cape, identify the number of supercolonies and infer number of introductions. Results Both the aggression assays and chemical data revealed that the Western Cape Argentine ant population can be divided into two behaviourally and chemically distinct supercolonies. Intraspecific aggression was evident between the two supercolonies of Argentine ants with ants able to discriminate among conspecific non-nestmates. This discrimination is linked to the divergence in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of ants originating from the two supercolonies. Conclusions The presence of these two distinct supercolonies is suggestive of at least two independent introductions of this ant within the Western Cape. Moreover, the pattern of colonisation observed in this study, with the two colonies interspersed, is in agreement with global patterns of Argentine ant invasions. Our findings are of interest because recent studies show that Argentine ants from South Africa are different from those identified in other introduced ranges and therefore provide an opportunity to further understand factors that determine the distributional and spread

  2. Trail Pheromone Disruption of Argentine Ant Trail Formation and Foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suckling, D.M.; Peck, R.W.; Stringer, L.D.; Snook, K.; Banko, P.C.

    2010-01-01

    Trail pheromone disruption of invasive ants is a novel tactic that builds on the development of pheromone-based pest management in other insects. Argentine ant trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal, was formulated as a micro-encapsulated sprayable particle and applied against Argentine ant populations in 400 m2 field plots in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. A widely dispersed point source strategy for trail pheromone disruption was used. Traffic rates of ants in bioassays of treated filter paper, protected from rainfall and sunlight, indicated the presence of behaviorally significant quantities of pheromone being released from the formulation for up to 59 days. The proportion of plots, under trade wind conditions (2-3 m s-1), with visible trails was reduced for up to 14 days following treatment, and the number of foraging ants at randomly placed tuna-bait cards was similarly reduced. The success of these trail pheromone disruption trials in a natural ecosystem highlights the potential of this method for control of invasive ant species in this and other environments. ?? Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010.

  3. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was inves- tigated using ... the literature, it was considered in the model that (i) ant colony consists of two kinds of ants, good- ... ponents without a central controller [8].

  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. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Paul Lachaud

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Ants Orase kultuurisõnum

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2007-01-01

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

  8. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Cremer

    Full Text Available It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects.

  9. The Evolution of Invasiveness in Garden Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line V.; Drijfhout, Falko P.; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C.; Steiner, Florian M.; Seifert, Bernhard; Hughes, David P.; Schulz, Andreas; Petersen, Klaus S.; Konrad, Heino; Stauffer, Christian; Kiran, Kadri; Espadaler, Xavier; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Aktaç, Nihat; Eilenberg, Jørgen; Jones, Graeme R.; Nash, David R.; Pedersen, Jes S.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects. PMID:19050762

  10. Geographical variation in host-ant specificity of the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Als, Thomas Damm; Nash, David Richard; Boomsma, J. J.

    2002-01-01

    1. Maculinea alcon uses three different species of Myrmica host ants along a north-south gradient in Europe. Based on this geographical variation in host ant use, Elmes et al. (1994) suggested that M. alcon might consist of three or more cryptic species or host races, each using a single...... and different host-ant species.2. Population-specific differences in allozyme genotypes of M. alcon in Denmark (Gadeberg Boomsma, 1997) have suggested that genetically differentiated forms may occur in a gradient across Denmark, possibly in relation to the use of different host ants.3. It was found that two...... host-ant species are indeed used as hosts in Denmark, but not in a clear-cut north-south gradient. Furthermore, specificity was not complete for many M. alcon populations. Of five populations investigated in detail, one used primarily M. rubra as a host, another exclusively used M. ruginodis, while...

  11. Native supercolonies of unrelated individuals in the invasive Argentine ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jes Søe; Krieger, Michael J. B.; Vogel, Valérie

    2006-01-01

    organization is not only a key attribute responsible for the ecological dominance of these ants, but also an evolutionary paradox because relatedness between nestmates is effectively zero. Recently, it has been proposed that, in the Argentine ant, unicoloniality is a derived trait that evolved after its......Kinship among group members has long been recognized as a main factor promoting the evolution of sociality and reproductive altruism, yet some ants have an extraordinary social organization, called unicoloniality, whereby individuals mix freely among physically separated nests. This type of social...... with related individuals who are aggressive toward members of other colonies, we found that native populations also form supercolonies, and are effectively unicolonial. Moreover, just as in introduced populations, the relatedness between nestmates is not distinguishable from zero in these native range...

  12. MODIS NDVI Response Following Fires in Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranson, K. Jon; Sun, G.; Kovacs, K.; Kharuk, V. I.

    2003-01-01

    The Siberian boreal forest is considered a carbon sink but may become an important source of carbon dioxide if climatic warming predictions are correct. The forest is continually changing through various disturbance mechanisms such as insects, logging, mineral exploitation, and especially fires. Patterns of disturbance and forest recovery processes are important factors regulating carbon flux in this area. NASA's Terra MODIS provides useful information for assessing location of fires and post fire changes in forests. MODIS fire (MOD14), and NDVI (MOD13) products were used to examine fire occurrence and post fire variability in vegetation cover as indicated by NDVI. Results were interpreted for various post fire outcomes, such as decreased NDVI after fire, no change in NDVI after fire and positive NDVI change after fire. The fire frequency data were also evaluated in terms of proximity to population centers, and transportation networks.

  13. How ants find each other; temporal and spatial patterns in nuptial flights

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordijk, J.; Morssinkhof, R.; Boer, P.; Schaffers, A.P.; Heijerman, Th.; Sykora, K.V.

    2008-01-01

    Reproduction is a key factor in understanding population ecology and therefore species occurrence. However, patterns in reproductive behaviour for distinct ant species remain insufficiently known. In this paper strategies in mate finding are studied for six ant species (Lasius niger, Lasius

  14. The effect of correlated neuronal firing and neuronal heterogeneity on population coding accuracy in guinea pig inferior colliculus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oran Zohar

    Full Text Available It has been suggested that the considerable noise in single-cell responses to a stimulus can be overcome by pooling information from a large population. Theoretical studies indicated that correlations in trial-to-trial fluctuations in the responses of different neurons may limit the improvement due to pooling. Subsequent theoretical studies have suggested that inherent neuronal diversity, i.e., the heterogeneity of tuning curves and other response properties of neurons preferentially tuned to the same stimulus, can provide a means to overcome this limit. Here we study the effect of spike-count correlations and the inherent neuronal heterogeneity on the ability to extract information from large neural populations. We use electrophysiological data from the guinea pig Inferior-Colliculus to capture inherent neuronal heterogeneity and single cell statistics, and introduce response correlations artificially. To this end, we generate pseudo-population responses, based on single-cell recording of neurons responding to auditory stimuli with varying binaural correlations. Typically, when pseudo-populations are generated from single cell data, the responses within the population are statistically independent. As a result, the information content of the population will increase indefinitely with its size. In contrast, here we apply a simple algorithm that enables us to generate pseudo-population responses with variable spike-count correlations. This enables us to study the effect of neuronal correlations on the accuracy of conventional rate codes. We show that in a homogenous population, in the presence of even low-level correlations, information content is bounded. In contrast, utilizing a simple linear readout, that takes into account the natural heterogeneity, even of neurons preferentially tuned to the same stimulus, within the neural population, one can overcome the correlated noise and obtain a readout whose accuracy grows linearly with the size of

  15. 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...

  16. Distribution, spread, and ecological associations of the introduced ant Pheidole obscurithorax in the southeastern United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shonna R. Storz

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available A field survey of the southeastern United States showed that Pheidole obscurithorax Naves, an ant introduced from South America, inhabits a 80-km-wide band along the coast between Mobile, Alabama, and Tallahassee, Florida, and is continuing to increase its range. In Tallahassee P. obscurithorax is rapidly spreading, and its nest density increased by a factor of 6.4 over a two-year period. Evidence suggests that P. obscurithorax has spread gradually by natural means. It coexists with the fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren, appears to be part of a largely exotic community of ants that are tolerant of highly disturbed habitats, and seems to have little negative effect on the ant communities that it invades.

  17. 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.

  18. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich G Mueller

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Leafcutter ants depend on the cultivation of symbiotic Attamyces fungi for food, which are thought to be grown by the ants in single-strain, clonal monoculture throughout the hundreds to thousands of gardens within a leafcutter nest. Monoculture eliminates cultivar-cultivar competition that would select for competitive fungal traits that are detrimental to the ants, whereas polyculture of several fungi could increase nutritional diversity and disease resistance of genetically variable gardens.Using three experimental approaches, we assessed cultivar diversity within nests of Atta leafcutter ants, which are most likely among all fungus-growing ants to cultivate distinct cultivar genotypes per nest because of the nests' enormous sizes (up to 5000 gardens and extended lifespans (10-20 years. In Atta texana and in A. cephalotes, we resampled nests over a 5-year period to test for persistence of resident cultivar genotypes within each nest, and we tested for genetic differences between fungi from different nest sectors accessed through excavation. In A. texana, we also determined the number of Attamyces cells carried as a starter inoculum by a dispersing queens (minimally several thousand Attamyces cells, and we tested for genetic differences between Attamyces carried by sister queens dispersing from the same nest. Except for mutational variation arising during clonal Attamyces propagation, DNA fingerprinting revealed no evidence for fungal polyculture and no genotype turnover during the 5-year surveys.Atta leafcutter ants can achieve stable, fungal monoculture over many years. Mutational variation emerging within an Attamyces monoculture could provide genetic diversity for symbiont choice (gardening biases of the ants favoring specific mutational variants, an analog of artificial selection.

  19. Adsorber fires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holmes, W.

    1987-01-01

    The following conclusions are offered with respect to activated charcoal filter systems in nuclear power plants: (1) The use of activated charcoal in nuclear facilities presents a potential for deep-seated fires. (2) The defense-in-depth approach to nuclear fire safety requires that if an ignition should occur, fires must be detected quickly and subsequently suppressed. (3) Deep-seated fires in charcoal beds are difficult to extinguish. (4) Automatic water sprays can be used to extinguish fires rapidly and reliably when properly introduced into the burning medium. The second part of the conclusions offered are more like challenges: (1) The problem associated with inadvertent actuations of fire protection systems is not a major one, and it can be reduced further by proper design review, installation, testing, and maintenance. Eliminating automatic fire extinguishing systems for the protection of charcoal adsorbers is not justified. (2) Removal of automatic fire protection systems due to fear of inadvertent fire protection system operation is a case of treating the effect rather than the cause. On the other hand, properly maintaining automatic fire protection systems will preserve the risk of fire loss at acceptable levels while at the same time reducing the risk of damage presented by inadvertent operation of fire protection systems

  20. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T Longino

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

  3. Does the afrotropical army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus go ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Swarm-raiding army ants are extremely polyphagous nomadic predators inhabiting tropical forests. They are considered keystone species because their raids can regulate the population dynamics of their prey and because a plethora of both invertebrate and vertebrate species are obligatorily or facultatively associated with ...

  4. INTRODUCTION The tailor or weaver ants of genus Oecophylla ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    smaragdina which is a sister species and ecological equivalent of ... Stability in population of Oecophylla in BSP and PG over 13 years suggests that weaver ant .... between the two years were significant at 95% confidence ..... over time is dependent on the nature of the perturbation. ... longinoda in relation to territorility and.

  5. 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...

  6. Effect of ant attendance by Monomorium minimum (Buckley) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on predation and parasitism of the soybean aphid Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbert, John J; Horn, David J

    2008-10-01

    Ant attendance is known to affect the population dynamics of aphids and may increase or decrease aphid populations through stimulation, predation, or protection. In this study, we performed a series of laboratory experiments to examine the effects of ant attendance on populations of the soybean aphid Aphis glycines. Aphid colonies were exposed to the predators Harmonia axyridis (Coccinellidae) and Orius insidiosus (Anthocoridae) and a parasitoid Aphidius colemani (Aphidiidae) in the presence and absence of attending Monomorium minimum (Formicidae). We also tested for direct effects of ant attendance in the absence of natural enemies. Ants attending soybean aphid populations were observed harassing or killing O. insidiosus and H. axyridis. Attendance interfered with both predator species, resulting in reduced predation and an increase in aphid numbers up to 10-fold in the presence of ants. Ants were not observed directly interfering with the parasitoid A. colemani, but the number of parasitized aphids was higher in aphid colonies that were left unattended by ants.

  7. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anselmo Nogueira

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

  9. 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.

  10. Visual cues for the retrieval of landmark memories by navigating wood ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Robert A; Graham, Paul; Collett, Thomas S

    2007-01-23

    Even on short routes, ants can be guided by multiple visual memories. We investigate here the cues controlling memory retrieval as wood ants approach a one- or two-edged landmark to collect sucrose at a point along its base. In such tasks, ants store the desired retinal position of landmark edges at several points along their route. They guide subsequent trips by retrieving the appropriate memory and moving to bring the edges in the scene toward the stored positions. The apparent width of the landmark turns out to be a powerful cue for retrieving the desired retinal position of a landmark edge. Two other potential cues, the landmark's apparent height and the distance that the ant walks, have little effect on memory retrieval. A simple model encapsulates these conclusions and reproduces the ants' routes in several conditions. According to this model, the ant stores a look-up table. Each entry contains the apparent width of the landmark and the desired retinal position of vertical edges. The currently perceived width provides an index for retrieving the associated stored edge positions. The model accounts for the population behavior of ants and the idiosyncratic training routes of individual ants. Our results imply binding between the edge of a shape and its width and, further, imply that assessing the width of a shape does not depend on the presence of any particular local feature, such as a landmark edge. This property makes the ant's retrieval and guidance system relatively robust to edge occlusions.

  11. Development of virtual bait stations to control Argentine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in environmentally sensitive habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choe, Dong-Hwan; Vetter, Richard S; Rust, Michael K

    2010-10-01

    A novel bait station referred to as a virtual bait station was developed and tested against field populations of the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), at White Beach, Camp Pendleton, in Oceanside, CA. White Beach is a nesting habitat for an endangered seabird, the California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni Mearns). The beach is heavily infested with Argentine ants, one of the threats for the California least tern chicks. Conventional pest control strategies are prohibited because of the existence of the protected bird species and the site's proximity to the ocean. The bait station consisted of a polyvinyl chloride pipe that was treated on the inside with fipronil insecticide at low concentrations to obtain delayed toxicity against ants. The pipe was provisioned with an inverted bottle of 25% sucrose solution, then capped, and buried in the sand. Foraging ants crossed the treated surface to consume the sucrose solution. The delayed toxicity of fipronil deposits allowed the ants to continue foraging on the sucrose solution and to interact with their nestmates, killing them within 3-5 d after exposure. Further modification of the bait station design minimized the accumulation of dead ants in the sucrose solution, significantly improving the longevity and efficacy of the bait station. The virtual bait station exploits the foraging behavior of the ants and provides a low impact approach to control ants in environmentally sensitive habitats. It excluded all insects except ants, required only milligram quantities of toxicant, and eliminated the problem of formulating toxicants into aqueous sugar baits.

  12. 7 CFR Appendix to Subpart - Imported Fire Ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... paint and usually is not recommended for use on equipment with conveyor belts and rubber parts. 2. Hay... equipment using compressors designed specifically for this purpose. Such compressors must provide free air... detection, control, exclusion, and enforcement program is designed to keep nurseries free of the imported...

  13. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Asymmetric dispersal and colonization success of Amazonian plant-ants queens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilio M Bruna

    Full Text Available The dispersal ability of queens is central to understanding ant life-history evolution, and plays a fundamental role in ant population and community dynamics, the maintenance of genetic diversity, and the spread of invasive ants. In tropical ecosystems, species from over 40 genera of ants establish colonies in the stems, hollow thorns, or leaf pouches of specialized plants. However, little is known about the relative dispersal ability of queens competing for access to the same host plants.We used empirical data and inverse modeling--a technique developed by plant ecologists to model seed dispersal--to quantify and compare the dispersal kernels of queens from three Amazonian ant species that compete for access to host-plants. We found that the modal colonization distance of queens varied 8-fold, with the generalist ant species (Crematogaster laevis having a greater modal distance than two specialists (Pheidole minutula, Azteca sp. that use the same host-plants. However, our results also suggest that queens of Azteca sp. have maximal distances that are four-sixteen times greater than those of its competitors.We found large differences between ant species in both the modal and maximal distance ant queens disperse to find vacant seedlings used to found new colonies. These differences could result from interspecific differences in queen body size, and hence wing musculature, or because queens differ in their ability to identify potential host plants while in flight. Our results provide support for one of the necessary conditions underlying several of the hypothesized mechanisms promoting coexistence in tropical plant-ants. They also suggest that for some ant species limited dispersal capability could pose a significant barrier to the rescue of populations in isolated forest fragments. Finally, we demonstrate that inverse models parameterized with field data are an excellent means of quantifying the dispersal of ant queens.

  15. 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, fire hydrants, and fire hoses. (a) Each vessel must be equipped with a self-priming, power driven fire...

  16. Ant exclusion in citrus over an 8-year period reveals a pervasive yet changing effect of ants on a Mediterranean spider assemblage.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

    Ants and spiders are ubiquitous generalist predators that exert top-down control on herbivore populations. Research shows that intraguild interactions between ants and spiders can negatively affect spider populations, but there is a lack of long-term research documenting the strength of such interactions and the potentially different effects of ants on the diverse array of species in a spider assemblage. Similarly, the suitability of family-level surrogates for finding patterns revealed by species-level data (taxonomic sufficiency) has almost never been tested in spider assemblages. We present a long-term study in which we tested the impact of ants on the spider assemblage of a Mediterranean citrus grove by performing sequential 1-year experimental exclusions on tree canopies for 8 years. We found that ants had a widespread influence on the spider assemblage, although the effect was only evident in the last 5 years of the study. During those years, ants negatively affected many spiders, and effects were especially strong for sedentary spiders. Analyses at the family level also detected assemblage differences between treatments, but they concealed the different responses to ant exclusion shown by some related spider species. Our findings show that the effects of experimental manipulations in ecology can vary greatly over time and highlight the need for long-term studies to document species interactions.

  17. 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...

  18. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. Utilização de adoçantes dietéticos entre adultos em Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil: um estudo de base populacional Use of diet sweeteners by adults in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil: a population-based study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta de Vargas Zanini

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Estudo de base populacional avaliou o uso de adoçantes dietéticos na população com idade ≥ 20 anos, residente na zona urbana do Município de Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. A coleta de dados ocorreu entre janeiro e julho de 2010, e 2.732 indivíduos foram entrevistados. Além das questões específicas quanto ao uso de adoçante dietético, foram coletadas informações sobre características demográficas, socioeconômicas e de saúde. Para as análises estatísticas, foram utilizados testes qui-quadrado de heterogeneidade e de tendência linear. A prevalência de uso de adoçante dietético foi 19% (IC95%: 17,1; 20,9, sendo 3,7 vezes maior entre idosos do que entre aqueles com 20-29 anos de idade. Nível econômico e estado nutricional apresentaram associação direta e significativa com o desfecho. Quase 98% da amostra utilizou adoçantes na forma líquida, sendo os mais consumidos (89,2% aqueles constituídos por sacarina e ciclamato de sódio. A mediana de ingestão diária foi 10 gotas (P25; P75 = 6; 18, entre usuários de adoçante líquido, ou 1,5 sachet (P25; P75 = 1; 4, para adoçante em pó. O uso de adoçante dietético foi maior entre mulheres e idosos.This population-based study evaluated the use of diet sweeteners by adults (> 20 years in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Data were collected from January to July 2010 (n = 2,732. Besides specific questions on diet sweeteners, demographic, socioeconomic, and health characteristics were recorded. Heterogeneity and linear trend chi-square tests were used for the statistical analysis. Prevalence of sweetener use was 19% (95%CI: 1.1-20.9, and was 3.7 times higher in elderly individuals as compared to 20-29-year-olds. Economic level and nutritional status were significantly associated with sweetener use. Nearly 98% of the sample used liquid sweeteners; the most frequently consumed (89.2% were those containing saccharin or sodium cyclamate. Average intake was 10 drops

  20. 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 ...

  1. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) feed off a fungus they cultivate in a mutualistic symbiosis in underground chambers by providing it substrate they collect outside the colony. The tribe of Attine ants ranges from small colonies of the paleo- and basal Attine species with a few hundred workers that fo...... that the fungus evolved some incredible adaptations to a mutualistic life with the ants....

  2. Coal fires in Indonesia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitehouse, Alfred E.; Mulyana, Asep A.S. [Office of Surface Mining/Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Coal Fire Project, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Agency for Training and Education, Jl. Gatot Subroto, Kav. 49, Jakarta 12950 (Indonesia)

    2004-07-12

    demonstrations to the Indonesian Government. Successful demonstrations obtained visible benefits for a large number of local interests and received overwhelmingly favorable public response. This built the public and political support needed to continue this work.These successes encouraged the Ministry to officially assume the responsibility for coal fire management by Decree 1539/20/MPE/1999. The Ministry reallocated internal funds to support portions of the immediate suppression projects and committed a portion of the Coal Royalty Fund to provide long-term support for coal fire suppression activities. Coal fires continue to present a serious risk to Indonesia's ecosystems, population and forest resources. The Ministry and local governments in East Kalimantan are still working on the coal fire inventory. It presently contains 164 coal fires, but it is far from complete. Unless these coal fires are managed or extinguished, they will add to the already catastrophic cycle of anthropogenic forest fires that further reduce Indonesia's forest resources and endangered species while contributing unnecessarily to global carbon emissions.

  3. Preface: Special issue on wildland fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alistair M. S. Smith; James A. Lutz; Chad M. Hoffman; Grant J. Williamson; Andrew T. Hudak

    2018-01-01

    Wildland fires are a critical Earth-system process that impacts human populations in each settled continent [1,2]. Wildland fires have often been stated as being essential to human life and civilization through the impacts on land clearance, agriculture, and hunting, with fire as a phenomenon serving a key role in the development of agricultural and industrial...

  4. Fire and the endangered Indiana bat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew B. Dickinson; Michael J. Lacki; Daniel R. Cox

    2009-01-01

    Fire and Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis) have coexisted for millennia in the central hardwoods region, yet past declines in populations of this endangered species, and the imperative of fire use in oak silviculture and ecosystem conservation, call for an analysis of both the risks and opportunities associated with using fires on landscapes in...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 signifier...

  8. 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…

  9. 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, fire mains, fire hydrants, and fire hoses. (a) Each vessel 36 feet (11.8 meters) or more in length must...

  10. 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...

  11. Serpentine soils affect heavy metal tolerance but not genetic diversity in a common Mediterranean ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frizzi, Filippo; Masoni, Alberto; Çelikkol, Mine; Palchetti, Enrico; Ciofi, Claudio; Chelazzi, Guido; Santini, Giacomo

    2017-08-01

    Natural habitats with serpentine soils are rich in heavy metal ions, which may significantly affect ecological communities. Exposure to metal pollutants results, for instance, in a reduction of population genetic diversity and a diffused higher tolerance towards heavy metals. In this study, we investigated whether chronic exposure to metals in serpentine soils affect accumulation patterns, tolerance towards metal pollutants, and genetic diversity in ants. In particular, we studied colonies of the common Mediterranean ant, Crematogaster scutellaris, along a contamination gradient consisting of two differently contaminated forests and a reference soil with no geogenic contamination. We first evaluated the metal content in both soil and ants' body. Then, we tested for tolerance towards metal pollutants by evaluating the mortality of ants fed with nickel (Ni) solutions of increasing concentrations. Finally, differences in genetic diversity among ants from different areas were assessed using eight microsatellite loci. Interestingly, a higher tolerance to nickel solutions was found in ants sampled in sites with intermediate levels of heavy metals. This may occur, because ants inhabiting strongly contaminated areas tend to accumulate higher amounts of contaminants. Additional ingestion of toxicants beyond the saturation threshold would lead to death. There was no difference in the genetic diversity among ant colonies sampled in different sites. This was probably the result of queen mediated gene flow during nuptial flights across uncontaminated and contaminated areas of limited geographical extent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Limited gene dispersal and spatial genetic structure as stabilizing factors in an ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malé, P-J G; Leroy, C; Humblot, P; Dejean, A; Quilichini, A; Orivel, J

    2016-12-01

    Comparative studies of the population genetics of closely associated species are necessary to properly understand the evolution of these relationships because gene flow between populations affects the partners' evolutionary potential at the local scale. As a consequence (at least for antagonistic interactions), asymmetries in the strength of the genetic structures of the partner populations can result in one partner having a co-evolutionary advantage. Here, we assess the population genetic structure of partners engaged in a species-specific and obligatory mutualism: the Neotropical ant-plant, Hirtella physophora, and its ant associate, Allomerus decemarticulatus. Although the ant cannot complete its life cycle elsewhere than on H. physophora and the plant cannot live for long without the protection provided by A. decemarticulatus, these species also have antagonistic interactions: the ants have been shown to benefit from castrating their host plant and the plant is able to retaliate against too virulent ant colonies. We found similar short dispersal distances for both partners, resulting in the local transmission of the association and, thus, inbred populations in which too virulent castrating ants face the risk of local extinction due to the absence of H. physophora offspring. On the other hand, we show that the plant populations probably experienced greater gene flow than did the ant populations, thus enhancing the evolutionary potential of the plants. We conclude that such levels of spatial structure in the partners' populations can increase the stability of the mutualistic relationship. Indeed, the local transmission of the association enables partial alignments of the partners' interests, and population connectivity allows the plant retaliation mechanisms to be locally adapted to the castration behaviour of their symbionts. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  13. Application of ground penetrating radar in detecting the hazards and risks of termites and ants in soil levees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiuhao; Henderson, Gregg; Mao, Lixin; Evans, Ahmad

    2009-08-01

    A ground penetrating radar (GPR) technique was used to detect Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) and red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) hazards and risks (targets) in a soil levee at the London Avenue Canal in New Orleans, LA. To make this assessment, GPR signal scans were examined for features produced by termite or ant activities and potential sources of food and shelter such as nests, tree roots, and voids (tunnels). The total scanned length of the soil levee was 4,125 m. The average velocity and effective depth of the radar penetration was 0.080 m/ns and 0.61 m, respectively. Four hundred twenty-seven targets were identified. Tree roots (38), voids (31), fire ant nests (209), and metal objects (149) were detected, but no Formosan termite carton nests were identified. The lack of identified termite nests may be related to drowning events at the time to the flood. Based on the target density (TD), the two new floodwall and levee sections that were rebuilt or reinforced after they were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were determined to be at low potential risk from termites and ants. A merging target density (MTD) method indicated a high potential risk near one of the breached sections still remains. Foraging and nesting activity of Formosan subterranean termites and red imported fire ants may be a contributory factor to the levee failure at the London Avenue Canal.

  14. Fighting Fire with Fire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bossetta, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Advancing the concept of populism as a political style, this study compares the debate performances of two British party leaders, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, as they clashed in a pair of televised debates over Britain’s EU membership ahead of the 2014 European Parliament elections. The argument ...

  15. 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.

  16. The Haleakala Argentine ant project: a synthesis of past research and prospects for the future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krushelnycky, Paul; Haines, William; Loope, Lloyd; Van Gelder, Ellen

    2011-01-01

    1. The Haleakala Argentine Ant Project is an ongoing effort to study the ecology of the invasive Argentine ant in the park, and if possible to develop a strategy to control this destructive species. 2. Past research has demonstrated that the Argentine ant causes very significant impacts on native arthropods where it invades, threatening a large portion of the park’s biodiversity in subalpine shrubland and alpine aeolian ecosystems. 3. Patterns of spread over the past 30+ years indicate that the invasion process is influenced to a substantial degree by abiotic factors such as elevation, rainfall and temperature, and that the ant has not reached its potential range. Predictions of total range in the park suggest that it has only invaded a small fraction of available suitable habitat, confirming that this species is one of most serious threats to the park’s natural resources. 4. Numerous experiments have been conducted since 1994 in an attempt to develop a method for eradicating the Argentine ant at Haleakala using pesticidal ant baits. Thirty baits have been screened for attractiveness to ants in the park, and ten of these were tested for effectiveness of control in field plots. While some of these baits have been very effective in reducing numbers of ants, none has been able to eliminate all nests in experimental plots. 5. Research into a secondary management goal of ant population containment was initiated in 1996. By treating only expanding margins of the park’s two ant populations with an ant pesticide, rates of outward spread were substantially reduced in some areas. While this strategy was implemented from 1997 to 2004, it was ultimately discontinued after 2004 because of the difficulty and insufficient effectiveness of the technique. 6. In order to achieve the types of results necessary for eradication, the project would probably need to explore the possibility of developing a specialized bait, rather than relying on a commercially produced bait. An

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oettler, Jan; Schmid, Volker S; Zankl, Niko; Rey, Olivier; Dress, Andreas; Heinze, Jürgen

    2013-01-01

    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.

  2. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Establishment of Black Ant (Dolichoderus thoracicuson Cocoa Plantation and Its Effects on Helopeltisspp. Infestation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soekadar Wiryadiputra

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Black ant (Dolichoderus thoracicusis the efficient biological control agent in suppressing main cocoa pests. It was reported that besides controlling the cocoa mirids, Helopeltisspp., this agent also can be used for biological control of cocoa pod borer (Conopomorpha cramerellaand rodents pest. Nevertheles, establishment of black ant in cocoa plantation is difficult. The objectives of research were to obtain the best method of black ant establisment and to know its effect on suppressing population and infestation of Helopeltis spp. The experiment was conducted on two cocoa ecosystems, namely cocoa plantation with coconut shading trees and with Gliricidia sepium shading trees. There were six methods of black ant establisment tried using a combination between black ant nest types and innoculation of mealybug (Cataenococcus hispidus. A control plot also added on these trial, therefore seven treatments were tried in this experiment and each treatmentwasreplicated three times. The results revealedthat on cocoa shaded by coconuts, ant establishment by the nests of coconut leaves combined with mealybug(Cataenococcus hispidusinoculation on husk wedges were the best method and could effectively control Helopeltis infestation. Good results of ant establishment also occurred on cocoa shaded by Gliricidia but its effect on Helopeltis infestation has not been significant. Four months after establishment of black ant on cocoa with coconut shading trees, Helopeltisspp. population on the plots treated by coconut leaves nest combined with innoculation of mealybug using husk wedges were very low, namely only one Helopeltisper 36 cocoa trees, whereas on control plot reaches of 85 Helopeltis. Infestation of Helopeltis measured by percentage of trees occupied by Helopeltisper 36 cocoa trees in the same period and treatment plot revealed also very low, namely 1.04% compared to 27.86% on that of the control plot. Key words : Cocoa, black ant (Dolichoderus thoracicus

  6. Antígona y la muerte

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez Alcolea, Simona Micaela

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Ant-plant symbioses: Stalking the chuyachaqui.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, D W; McKey, D

    1993-09-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vega, Clara; Herrera, Carlos M

    2013-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Cultural differences in ant-dipping tool length between neighbouring chimpanzee communities at Kalinzu, Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koops, Kathelijne; Schöning, Caspar; Isaji, Mina; Hashimoto, Chie

    2015-07-22

    Cultural variation has been identified in a growing number of animal species ranging from primates to cetaceans. The principal method used to establish the presence of culture in wild populations is the method of exclusion. This method is problematic, since it cannot rule out the influence of genetics and ecology in geographically distant populations. A new approach to the study of culture compares neighbouring groups belonging to the same population. We applied this new approach by comparing ant-dipping tool length between two neighbouring communities of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in the Kalinzu Forest, Uganda. Ant-dipping tool length varies across chimpanzee study sites in relation to army ant species (Dorylus spp.) and dipping location (nest vs. trail). We compared the availability of army ant species and dipping tool length between the two communities. M-group tools were significantly longer than S-group tools, despite identical army ant target species availabilities. Moreover, tool length in S-group was shorter than at all other sites where chimpanzees prey on epigaeic ants at nests. Considering the lack of ecological differences between the two communities, the tool length difference appears to be cultural. Our findings highlight how cultural knowledge can generate small-scale cultural diversification in neighbouring chimpanzee communities.

  12. Michael Jackson antes del caos

    OpenAIRE

    Juan Luciano Nieves

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Viaje Antártico

    OpenAIRE

    Lasa, Gorka

    2017-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  15. Effect of an invasive ant and its chemical control on a threatened endemic Seychelles millipede.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, James M; Samways, Michael J; Henwood, Jock; Kelly, Janine

    2011-06-01

    The impact of invasive species on island faunas can be of major local consequence, while their control is an important part of island ecosystem restoration. Among these invasive species are ants, of which some have a disruptive impact on indigenous arthropod populations. Here, we study the impact of the invasive African big-headed ant, Pheidole megacephala, on a small Seychelles island, Cousine, and assess the impact of this ant, and its chemical control, using the commercially available hydramethylnon-based bait, Siege, on the endemic keystone Seychelles giant millipede species, Sechelleptus seychellarum. We found no significant correlations in landscape-scale spatial overlap and abundance between the ant and the millipede. Furthermore, the ant did not attack healthy millipedes, but fed only on dying and dead individuals. The chemical defences of the millipede protected it from ant predation. Ingestion of the bait at standard concentration had no obvious impact on the millipede. The most significant threat to the Seychelles giant millipede in terms of P. megacephala invasion is from possible catastrophic shifts in ecosystem function through ant hemipteran mutualisms which can lead to tree mortality, resulting in alteration of the millipede's habitat.

  16. Density-dependent effects of ants on selection for bumble bee pollination in Polemonium viscosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galen, Candace; Geib, Jennifer C

    2007-05-01

    Mutualisms are commonly exploited by cheater species that usurp rewards without providing reciprocal benefits. Yet most studies of selection between mutualist partners ignore interactions with third species and consequently overlook the impact of cheaters on evolution in the mutualism. Here, we explicitly investigate how the abundance of nectar-thieving ants (cheaters) influences selection in a pollination mutualism between bumble bees and the alpine skypilot, Polemonium viscosum. As suggested in past work with this species, bumble bees accounted for most of the seed production (78% +/- 6% [mean +/- SE]) in our high tundra study population and, in the absence of ants, exerted strong selection for large flowers. We tested for indirect effects of ant abundance on seed set through bumble bee pollination services (pollen delivery and pollen export) and a direct effect through flower damage. Ants reduced seed set per flower by 20% via flower damage. As ant density increased within experimental patches, the rate of flower damage rose, but pollen delivery and export did not vary significantly, showing that indirect effects of increased cheater abundance on pollinator service are negligible in this system. To address how ants affect selection for plant participation in the pollination mutualism we tested the impact of ant abundance on selection for bumble bee-mediated pollination. Results show that the impact of ants on fitness (seed set) accruing under bumble bee pollination is density dependent in P. viscosum. Selection for bumble bee pollination declined with increasing ant abundance in experimental patches, as predicted if cheaters constrain fitness returns of mutualist partner services. We also examined how ant abundance influences selection on flower size, a key component of plant investment in bumble bee pollination. We predicted that direct effects of ants would constrain bumble bee selection for large flowers. However, selection on flower size was significantly

  17. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    viscosity is high and winged aphids rare, consistent with infrequent horizontal transmission between ant host colonies. The absence of the primary host shrub (Pistacia) may explain the absence of sex in three of the studied species, but elm trees (Ulmus) that are primary hosts of the fourth species (T...... above ground, whereas dispersal constraints and dependence on ant-tending may differentially affect the costs and benefits of sex in subterranean aphids. Here, we studied reproductive mode and dispersal in a community of root aphids that are obligately associated with the ant Lasius flavus. We assessed...... the genetic population structure of four species (Geoica utricularia, Tetraneura ulmi, Forda marginata and Forda formicaria) in a Dutch population and found that all species reproduce predominantly if not exclusively asexually, so that populations consist of multiple clonal lineages. We show that population...

  19. Loss of Wolbachia infection during colonisation in the invasive Argentine ant Linepithema humile

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reuter, M.; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Keller, L.

    2005-01-01

    Wolbachia are maternally inherited bacteria, which are very common in arthropods and nematodes. Wolbachia infection may affect host reproduction through feminisation, parthenogenesis, male-killing, cytoplasmic incompatibility and increased fecundity. Previous studies showing discrepancies between...... of Wolbachia were studied in three native and eight introduced populations of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile. The screening shows that the symbiont is common in the three native L. humile populations analysed. In contrast, Wolbachia was detected in only one of the introduced populations. The loss...... transmission of the symbiont may be important in ants as suggested by the sequence similarity of strains in the three genera Linepithema, Acromyrmex, and Solenopsis native from South and Central America....

  20. Active Fire Mapping Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Active Fire Mapping Program Current Large Incidents (Home) New Large Incidents Fire Detection Maps MODIS Satellite Imagery VIIRS Satellite Imagery Fire Detection GIS Data Fire Data in Google Earth ...

  1. Fire Safety (For Parents)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Staying Safe Videos for Educators Search English Español Fire Safety KidsHealth / For Parents / Fire Safety What's in ... event of a fire emergency in your home. Fire Prevention Of course, the best way to practice ...

  2. Fire Research Enclosure

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — FUNCTION: Simulates submarine fires, enclosed aircraft fires, and fires in enclosures at shore facilities .DESCRIPTION: FIRE I is a pressurizable, 324 cu m(11,400 cu...

  3. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations promote ant tending of aphids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kremer, Jenni M M; Nooten, Sabine S; Cook, James M; Ryalls, James M W; Barton, Craig V M; Johnson, Scott N

    2018-04-27

    Animal mutualisms, which involve beneficial interactions between individuals of different species, are common in nature. Insect-insect mutualism, for example, is widely regarded as a keystone ecological interaction. Some mutualisms are anticipated to be modified by climate change, but the focus has largely been on plant-microbe and plant-animal mutualisms rather than those between animals. Ant-aphid mutualisms, whereby ants tend aphids to harvest their honeydew excretions and, in return, provide protection for the aphids, are widespread. The mutualism is heavily influenced by the quality and quantity of honeydew produced by aphids, which is directly affected by host plant quality. As predicted increases in concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (eCO 2 ) are widely reported to affect plant nutritional chemistry, this may also alter honeydew quality and hence the nature of ant-aphid mutualisms. Using glasshouse chambers and field-based open-top chambers, we determined the effect of eCO 2 on the growth and nutritional quality (foliar amino acids) of lucerne (Medicago sativa). We determined how cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora) populations and honeydew production were impacted when feeding on such plants and how this affected the tending behaviour of ants (Iridomyrmex sp.). eCO 2 stimulated plant growth but decreased concentrations of foliar amino acids by 29% and 14% on aphid-infested plants and aphid-free plants, respectively. Despite the deterioration in host plant quality under eCO 2 , aphids maintained performance and populations were unchanged by eCO 2 . Aphids induced higher concentrations of amino acids (glutamine, asparagine, glutamic acid and aspartic acid) important for endosymbiont-mediated synthesis of essential amino acids. Aphids feeding under eCO 2 also produced over three times more honeydew than aphids feeding under ambient CO 2 , suggesting they were imbibing more phloem sap at eCO 2 . The frequency of ant tending of aphids more than doubled in

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oña, L; Lachmann, M

    2011-03-01

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

  7. Sugarcane straw and the populations of pests and nematodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leila Luci Dinardo-Miranda

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The green cane harvesting represented a significant change in sugarcane ecosystem due to the presence of straw left on the soil and to the absence of fire. These two factors may affect the populations of pests and their natural enemies. Among the pests benefit from the green cane harvesting stand out the spittlebug, Mahanarva fimbriolata, the curculionid Sphenophorus levis and sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis. In areas of green cane harvesting, the population of these species grew faster than in areas of burnt cane. On the other hand, there are virtually no records of attacks by lesser cornstalk borers in areas of green cane harvesting. Populations of plant parasitic nematodes and the beetles Migdolus fryanus, very important pests of sugarcane, were apparently not affected by the green cane harvesting. Despite the absence of more consistent information, it appears that populations of ants and the giant borer Telchin licus can increase in green cane areas, due primarily to the difficulty of pest control. The partial or total removal of straw from the field represents an additional change to the ecosystem that could alter the status of pests and nematodes. It is likely that spittlebug, the curculionid S. levis and sugarcane borer populations decrease if a portion of the straw is removed from the field. However, the pest populations in areas where the straw is collected will not return to their original conditions at the time of burnt cane harvesting because the absence of fire will be maintained.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Ants defend aphids against lethal disease

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. The influence of a water current on the larval deposition pattern of females of a diverging fire salamander population (Salamandra salamandra)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krause, E.T.; Caspers, B.A.

    2015-01-01

    Fire salamanders are amphibians that exhibit a highly specific reproductive mode termed ovo-viviparity. The eggs develop inside their mothers, and the females give birth to fully developed larvae. The larvae in our study area cluster in two distinct genetic groups that can be linked directly to the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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...... carried out by Carleton University and NRC-IRC performed on seven different types of fire loads representing commercial premises, comprise the tests used for the study. The results show that for some of the room test the heat release rate increased due to thermal feedback compared to free burn for a pre......-flashover fire. Two phenomena were observed, that relate well to theory was found. In an incipient phase the heat release rate rose with the temperature of the smoke layer/enclosure boundaries. This increase was also found to depend on the flammability properties of the burning object. The results also...

  15. 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.

  16. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

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

  17. FDTD-ANT User Manual

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Martin L.

    1995-01-01

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

  18. Sex ratio and Wolbachia infection in the ant Formica exsecta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, L; Liautard, C; Reuter, M; Brown, W D; Sundström, L; Chapuisat, M

    2001-08-01

    Sex allocation data in social Hymenoptera provide some of the best tests of kin selection, parent-offspring conflict and sex ratio theories. However, these studies critically depend on controlling for confounding ecological factors and on identifying all parties that potentially manipulate colony sex ratio. It has been suggested that maternally inherited parasites may influence sex allocation in social Hymenoptera. If the parasites can influence sex allocation, infected colonies are predicted to invest more resources in females than non-infected colonies, because the parasites are transmitted through females but not males. Prime candidates for such sex ratio manipulation are Wolbachia, because these cytoplasmically transmitted bacteria have been shown to affect the sex ratio of host arthropods by cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis, male-killing and feminization. In this study, we tested whether Wolbachia infection is associated with colony sex ratio in two populations of the ant Formica exsecta that have been the subject of extensive sex ratio studies. In these populations colonies specialize in the production of one sex or the other. We found that almost all F. exsecta colonies in both populations are infected with Wolbachia. However, in neither population did we find a significant association in the predicted direction between the prevalence of Wolbachia and colony sex ratio. In particular, colonies with a higher proportion of infected workers did not produce more females. Hence, we conclude that Wolbachia does not seem to alter the sex ratio of its hosts as a means to increase transmission rate in these two populations of ants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G

    2014-06-22

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

  20. 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.

  1. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Fire Regime Characteristics along Environmental Gradients in Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Vanesa Moreno

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Concern regarding global change has increased the need to understand the relationship between fire regime characteristics and the environment. Pyrogeographical theory suggests that fire regimes are constrained by climate, vegetation and fire ignition processes, but it is not obvious how fire regime characteristics are related to those factors. We used a three-matrix approach with a multivariate statistical methodology that combined an ordination method and fourth-corner analysis for hypothesis testing to investigate the relationship between fire regime characteristics and environmental gradients across Spain. Our results suggest that fire regime characteristics (i.e., density and seasonality of fire activity are constrained primarily by direct gradients based on climate, population, and resource gradients based on forest potential productivity. Our results can be used to establish a predictive model for how fire regimes emerge in order to support fire management, particularly as global environmental changes impact fire regime characteristics.

  4. Survival and growth of parasitic Maculinea alcon caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in nests of three Myrmica ant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, D. R.; Als, Thomas Damm; Boomsma, J. J.

    2011-01-01

    The Alcon blue butterfly (Maculinea alcon) parasitizes the nests of several Myrmica ant species. In Denmark, it uses M. rubra and M. ruginodis, but never M. scabrinodis. To further examine the basis of this specificity and local co-adaptation between host and parasite, the pattern of growth...... and survival of newly-adopted caterpillars of M. alcon in Myrmica subcolonies was examined in the laboratory. M. alcon caterpillars were collected from three populations differing in their host use, and reared in laboratory nests of all three ant species collected from each M. alcon population. While...... there were differences in the pattern of growth of caterpillars from different populations during the first few months after adoption, which depended on host ant species and the site from which the ants were collected, there was no evidence of major differences in final size achieved. Survival was, however...

  5. Can earthworms survive fire retardants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, W.N.; Olson, A.

    1996-01-01

    Most common fire retardants are foams or are similar to common agricultural fertilizers, such as ammonium sulfate and ammonium phosphate. Although fire retardants are widely applied to soils, we lack basic information about their toxicities to soil organisms. We measured the toxicity of five fire retardants (Firetrol LCG-R, Firetrol GTS-R, Silv-Ex Foam Concentrate, Phos-chek D-75, and Phos-chek WD-881) to earthworms using the pesticide toxicity test developed for earthworms by the European Economic Community. None was lethal at 1,000 ppm in the soil, which was suggested as a relatively high exposure under normal applications. We concluded that the fire retardants tested are relatively nontoxic to soil organisms compared with other environmental chemicals and that they probably do not reduce earthworm populations when applied under usual firefighting conditions.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rumsaïs Blatrix

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

  10. 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 ...

  11. Trail pheromone of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong-Hwan Choe

    Full Text Available The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile is recognized as one of the world's most damaging invasive species. One reason for the ecological dominance of introduced Argentine ant populations is their ability to dominate food and habitat resources through the rapid mobilization and recruitment of thousands of workers. More than 30 years ago, studies showed that (Z-9-hexadecenal strongly attracted Argentine ant workers in a multi-choice olfactometer, suggesting that (Z-9-hexadecenal might be the trail pheromone, or a component of a trail pheromone mixture. Since then, numerous studies have considered (Z-9-hexadecenal as the key component of the Argentine ant trails. Here, we report the first chemical analyses of the trails laid by living Argentine ants and find that (Z-9-hexadecenal is not present in a detectible quantity. Instead, two iridoids, dolichodial and iridomyrmecin, appear to be the primary chemical constituents of the trails. Laboratory choice tests confirmed that Argentine ants were attracted to artificial trails comprised of these two chemicals significantly more often than control trails. Although (Z-9-hexadecenal was not detected in natural trails, supplementation of artificial dolichodial+iridomyrmecin trails with an extremely low concentraion of (Z-9-hexadecenal did increase the efficacy of the trail-following behavior. In stark contrast with previous dogma, our study suggests that dolichodial and iridomyrmecin are major components of the Argentine ant trail pheromone. (Z-9-hexadecenal may act in an additive manner with these iridoids, but it does not occur in detectable quantities in Argentine ant recruitment trails.

  12. 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

  13. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    the more basal attine genera use substrates such as flowers, plant debris, small twigs, insect feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down the plant material that the ants provide...... or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Fungal enzymes that degrade plant cell walls may have functionally co-evolved with the ants in this scenario. We explore this hypothesis with direct measurements of enzyme activity in fungus gardens in 12 species across 8 genera spanning the entire phylogeny...... and diversity of life-styles within the attine clade. We find significant differences in enzyme activity between different genera and life-styles of the ants. How these findings relate to attine ant coevolution and crop optimization are discussed....

  14. 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.

  15. Urban Gerontological. Challenges of urban planning for the aging population of Mexico / Urbanismo Gerontológico. Retos de la planificación urbana ante el envejecimiento de la población de México

    OpenAIRE

    Diego Sánchez González

    2012-01-01

    Book Review: "Urban Gerontology. Population aging and urban facilities. The case of the city of Aguascalientes, "Oscar Narvaez Luis Montoya (2011). Aguascalientes Autonomous University of Aguascalientes. Reseña del libro: “Urbanismo Gerontológico. Envejecimiento demográfico y equipamiento urbano. El caso de la ciudad de Aguascalientes”, de Oscar Luis Narvaez Montoya (2011). Aguascalientes: Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes.

  16. Exotic ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Ohio

    OpenAIRE

    Ivanov,Kal

    2016-01-01

    The worldwide transfer of plants and animals outside their native ranges is an ever increasing problem for global biodiversity. Ants are no exception and many species have been transported to new locations often with profound negative impacts on local biota. The current study is based on data gathered since the publication of the “Ants of Ohio” in 2005. Here I expand on our knowledge of Ohio’s myrmecofauna by contributing new records, new distributional information and natural history notes. ...

  17. Improving Emergency Management by Modeling Ant Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    perform functions such as nursing the brood or maintaining the nest. The more mature workers will begin to travel outside the nest to perform foraging...small sized ants predominantly act in functional roles such as nurses or transport services within the nest. The larger sizes predominantly function...stages: the founding stage, the ergonomic stage, and the reproductive stage. The founding stage is marked by a queen ant successful mating and laying

  18. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal dese...

  19. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Browns Ferry fire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harkleroad, J.R.

    1983-01-01

    A synopsis of the March 22, 1975 fire at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is discussed. Emphasis is placed on events prior to and during the fire. How the fire started, fire fighting activities, fire and smoke development, and restoration activities are discussed

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  3. Ant and Mite Diversity Drives Toxin Variation in the Little Devil Poison Frog.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGugan, Jenna R; Byrd, Gary D; Roland, Alexandre B; Caty, Stephanie N; Kabir, Nisha; Tapia, Elicio E; Trauger, Sunia A; Coloma, Luis A; O'Connell, Lauren A

    2016-06-01

    Poison frogs sequester chemical defenses from arthropod prey, although the details of how arthropod diversity contributes to variation in poison frog toxins remains unclear. We characterized skin alkaloid profiles in the Little Devil poison frog, Oophaga sylvatica (Dendrobatidae), across three populations in northwestern Ecuador. Using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, we identified histrionicotoxins, 3,5- and 5,8-disubstituted indolizidines, decahydroquinolines, and lehmizidines as the primary alkaloid toxins in these O. sylvatica populations. Frog skin alkaloid composition varied along a geographical gradient following population distribution in a principal component analysis. We also characterized diversity in arthropods isolated from frog stomach contents and confirmed that O. sylvatica specialize on ants and mites. To test the hypothesis that poison frog toxin variability reflects species and chemical diversity in arthropod prey, we (1) used sequencing of cytochrome oxidase 1 to identify individual prey specimens, and (2) used liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry to chemically profile consumed ants and mites. We identified 45 ants and 9 mites in frog stomachs, including several undescribed species. We also showed that chemical profiles of consumed ants and mites cluster by frog population, suggesting different frog populations have access to chemically distinct prey. Finally, by comparing chemical profiles of frog skin and isolated prey items, we traced the arthropod source of four poison frog alkaloids, including 3,5- and 5,8-disubstituted indolizidines and a lehmizidine alkaloid. Together, the data show that toxin variability in O. sylvatica reflects chemical diversity in arthropod prey.

  4. The science of firescapes: Achieving fire-resilient communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alistair M. S. Smith; Crystal A. Kolden; Travis B. Paveglio; Mark A. Cochrane; David MJS Bowman; Max A. Moritz; Andrew D. Kliskey; Lilian Alessa; Andrew T. Hudak; Chad M. Hoffman; James A. Lutz; Lloyd P. Queen; Scott J. Goetz; Philip E. Higuera; Luigi Boschetti; Mike Flannigan; Kara M. Yedinak; Adam C. Watts; Eva K. Strand; Jan W. van Wagtendonk; John W. Anderson; Brian J. Stocks; John T. Abatzoglou

    2016-01-01

    Wildland fire management has reached a crossroads. Current perspectives are not capable of answering interdisciplinary adaptation and mitigation challenges posed by increases in wildfire risk to human populations and the need to reintegrate fire as a vital landscape process. Fire science has been, and continues to be, performed in isolated "silos," including...

  5. Fire safety at home

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... over the smoke alarm as needed. Using a fire extinguisher can put out a small fire to keep it from getting out of control. Tips for use include: Keep fire extinguishers in handy locations, at least one on ...

  6. 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...

  7. National Fire Protection Association

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... closed NFPA Journal® NFPA Journal® Update (newsletter) Fire Technology ... die from American home fires, and another 13,000 are injured each year. This is the story of fire that the statistics won't show ...

  8. FIRE CHARACTERISTICS FOR ADVANCED MODELLING OF FIRES

    OpenAIRE

    Otto Dvořák

    2016-01-01

    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.

  9. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Variation in male body size and reproductive allocation in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stürup, M.; den Boer, S. P. A.; Nash, David Richard

    2011-01-01

    species. In 2008 and 2009, we revisited a Panamanian population of Atta colombica leafcutter ants to partially repeat and complement a study of more than 15 years ago. We compared within- and between-colony variation in male body size (mass and width of head, mesosoma and gaster) and sperm characteristics...

  11. Endogenous choice of bank liquidity: the role of fire sales

    OpenAIRE

    Acharya, Viral; Song Shin, Hyun; Yorulmazer, Tanju

    2009-01-01

    Banks’ liquidity is a crucial determinant of the adversity of banking crises. In this paper, we consider the effect of fire sales and entry during crises on banks’ ex-ante choice of liquid asset holdings. We consider a setting with limited pledgeability of risky cash flows relative to safe ones and a differential expertise between banks and outsiders in employing banking assets. When a large number of banks fail, market for assets clears only at fire-sale prices and outsiders enter the market...

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. North American Invasion of the Tawny Crazy Ant (Nylanderia fulva) Is Enabled by Pheromonal Synergism from Two Separate Glands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qing-He; McDonald, Danny L; Hoover, Doreen R; Aldrich, Jeffrey R; Schneidmiller, Rodney G

    2015-09-01

    A new invader, the "tawny crazy ant", Nylanderia fulva (Hymenoptera: Formicidae; Formicinae), is displacing the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Formicidae: Myrmicinae), in the southern U.S., likely through its superior chemical arsenal and communication. Alone, formic acid is unattractive, but this venom (= poison) acid powerfully synergizes attraction of tawny crazy ants to volatiles from the Dufour's gland secretion of N. fulva workers, including the two major components, undecane and 2-tridecanone. The unexpected pheromonal synergism between the Dufour's gland and the venom gland appears to be another key factor, in addition to previously known defensive and detoxification semiochemical features, for the successful invasion and domination of N. fulva in the southern U.S. This synergism is an efficient mechanism enabling N. fulva workers to outcompete Solenopsis and other ant species for food and territory. From a practical standpoint, judicious point-source release formulation of tawny crazy ant volatiles may be pivotal for enhanced attract-and-kill management of this pest.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barke Jörg

    2010-08-01

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

  16. Molecular phylogenetic study of a myrmecophyte symbiosis: did Leonardoxa/ ant associations diversify via cospeciation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenuil, A; McKey, D B

    1996-10-01

    The Leonardoxa africana (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae) complex is a group of four closely related taxa (L1 to L4) exhibiting various grades of specificity and specialization in mutualistic associations with ants. Each of the two most specialized species, Leonardoxa taxon 3 (L3) and L. africana sensu stricto (L4), interacts with a specific species of formicine ant, respectively Aphomomyrmex after and Petalomyrmex phylax, which nests in specialized swollen twigs. These two monotypic genera are the sole African members of the tribe Myrmelachistini, and their occurrence in closely related plants suggested thehypothesis that the two associations L4/Petalomyrmex and L3/Aphomomyrmex are derived by cospeciation from an ancestral association. Phylogenies based on DNA sequences were reconstructed for the ants and compared with phylogenies available for the plants in order to test for this hypothesis of cospeciation. The resulting topologies suggest either that the association with myrmelachistine ants arose several times or that a plant species (L2) and an ant population split off from an ancestral association. Furthermore, dates of speciation events appear to differ between ants and corresponding plants. An estimate of at least 4 million years was obtained for the separation of Aphomomyrmex and Petalomyrmex, whereas biological, biogeographic, and molecular-genetic data suggest a much more recent divergence for the plants. Thus, we reject the hypothesis of cospeciation and conclude that Aphomomyrmex and Petalomyrmex independently colonized different taxa of Leonardoxa. This striking instance of parallel evolution supports the notion that specific ant-plant associations originated by ecological fitting of preadapted partners. We discuss alternative evolutionary scenarios that are consistent with molecular data.

  17. 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...

  18. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumner, Seirian; Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Pedersen, Jes Søe

    2004-01-01

    quantified and they tend to be similar in related species. Here we compare the mating strategies of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior and its recently derived social parasite Acromyrmex insinuator, which is also its closest relative 2 (see Fig. 1 ). We find that although the host queens mate with up......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 easily...... to a dozen different males, the social parasite mates only singly. This rapid and surprising reversion to single mating in a socially parasitic ant indicates that the costs of polyandry are probably specific to a free-living lifestyle....

  19. The worldwide expansion of the Argentine ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vogel, Valerie; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Giraud, Tatiana

    2010-01-01

    Aim The aim of this study was to determine the number of successful establishments of the invasive Argentine ant outside native range and to see whether introduced supercolonies have resulted from single or multiple introductions. We also compared the genetic diversity of native versus introduced...... supercolonies to assess the size of the propagules (i.e. the number of founding individuals) at the origin of the introduced supercolonies. Location Global. Methods We used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers and microsatellite loci to study 39 supercolonies of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile covering both......) and secondary introductions (from sites with established invasive supercolonies) were important in the global expansion of the Argentine ant. In combination with the similar social organization of colonies in the native and introduced range, this indicates that invasiveness did not evolve recently as a unique...

  20. 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.

  1. Predatory Aptness of Ants Against Red Flour Beetle, Tribolium Castaneum Herbst (Tenebrionidae: Coleoptera) in Wheat Flour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaheen, F.A.; Parveen, S.; Qadir, G.

    2016-01-01

    The red flour beetle (RFB), Tribolium castaneum is one of the most destructive pests of stored grains and other food products including wheat flour. Due to its severe infestation, the flour gets mouldy, turns yellowish, gets pungent odour and becomes unhealthy for human consumption. The infested samples of wheat flour by T. castaneum were collected from different localities and its culture was maintained in laboratory. Three ant species namely, Dorylus labiatus, Camponotus rufipes and Monomorium minimum were collected from forest and non-forest habitats and compared for their predation against different life stages of RFB. Results showed D. labiatus of forest habitat as an efficient pupal predator that consumed 91.66% pupae of RFB. It was significantly different from non-forest ant population and control with 73.33% and 11.66% pupal predation, respectively. C. rufipes from forest habitat showed maximum adult predation (25%), which was significantly higher than non-forest ant population and control jar with 15% and 3.33% adult predation, respectively. The forest population of M. minimum exhibited 56.66% larval predation that was significantly different from non-forest population with 41.66% larval consumption. Pupal stage was the highest vulnerable stage to the ant predation and was extremely predated by D. labiatus collected from forest habitats. The lowest predation was observed at larval stage by forest population of M. minimum (1.66%) that was significantly different from all the susceptible stages of RFB. These results indicate that ants could be used as biological control agents against RFB. (author)

  2. Ant-Based Phylogenetic Reconstruction (ABPR: A new distance algorithm for phylogenetic estimation based on ant colony optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karla Vittori

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available We propose a new distance algorithm for phylogenetic estimation based on Ant Colony Optimization (ACO, named Ant-Based Phylogenetic Reconstruction (ABPR. ABPR joins two taxa iteratively based on evolutionary distance among sequences, while also accounting for the quality of the phylogenetic tree built according to the total length of the tree. Similar to optimization algorithms for phylogenetic estimation, the algorithm allows exploration of a larger set of nearly optimal solutions. We applied the algorithm to four empirical data sets of mitochondrial DNA ranging from 12 to 186 sequences, and from 898 to 16,608 base pairs, and covering taxonomic levels from populations to orders. We show that ABPR performs better than the commonly used Neighbor-Joining algorithm, except when sequences are too closely related (e.g., population-level sequences. The phylogenetic relationships recovered at and above species level by ABPR agree with conventional views. However, like other algorithms of phylogenetic estimation, the proposed algorithm failed to recover expected relationships when distances are too similar or when rates of evolution are very variable, leading to the problem of long-branch attraction. ABPR, as well as other ACO-based algorithms, is emerging as a fast and accurate alternative method of phylogenetic estimation for large data sets.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-01

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

  4. The interaction of fire and mankind: Introduction†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaloner, William G.

    2016-01-01

    Fire has been an important part of the Earth system for over 350 Myr. Humans evolved in this fiery world and are the only animals to have used and controlled fire. The interaction of mankind with fire is a complex one, with both positive and negative aspects. Humans have long used fire for heating, cooking, landscape management and agriculture, as well as for pyrotechnologies and in industrial processes over more recent centuries. Many landscapes need fire but population expansion into wildland areas creates a tension between different interest groups. Extinguishing wildfires may not always be the correct solution. A combination of factors, including the problem of invasive plants, landscape change, climate change, population growth, human health, economic, social and cultural attitudes that may be transnational make a re-evaluation of fire and mankind necessary. The Royal Society meeting on Fire and mankind was held to address these issues and the results of these deliberations are published in this volume. This article is part of the themed issue ‘The interaction of fire and mankind’. PMID:27216519

  5. 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...

  6. Does the afrotropical army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus go extinct in fragmented forests?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schöning, Caspar; Kinuthia, Wanja; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    or facultatively associated with them. Field observations and mathematical modelling suggest that deforestation and accompanying forest fragmentation cause local extinctions of the neotropical swarm-raiding army ant Eciton burchellii which in turn have negative effects on its associated fauna. The aim......Swarm-raiding army ants are extremely polyphagous nomadic predators inhabiting tropical forests. They are considered keystone species because their raids can regulate the population dynamics of their prey and because a plethora of both invertebrate and vertebrate species are obligatorily...... of this study was to examine whether afrotropical army ants are affected by forest fragmentation in the same way. Surveys of Dorylus (Anomma) molestus colonies were carried out in forest fragments of different sizes and in the matrix habitat at two sites in Eastern Kenya, along the Lower Tana River...

  7. 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.

  8. Image Edge Tracking via Ant Colony Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ruowei; Wu, Hongkun; Liu, Shilong; Rahman, M. A.; Liu, Sanchi; Kwok, Ngai Ming

    2018-04-01

    A good edge plot should use continuous thin lines to describe the complete contour of the captured object. However, the detection of weak edges is a challenging task because of the associated low pixel intensities. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) has been employed by many researchers to address this problem. The algorithm is a meta-heuristic method developed by mimicking the natural behaviour of ants. It uses iterative searches to find the optimal solution that cannot be found via traditional optimization approaches. In this work, ACO is employed to track and repair broken edges obtained via conventional Sobel edge detector to produced a result with more connected edges.

  9. Optimal fire histories for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Luke T; Bennett, Andrew F; Clarke, Michael F; McCarthy, Michael A

    2015-04-01

    Fire is used as a management tool for biodiversity conservation worldwide. A common objective is to avoid population extinctions due to inappropriate fire regimes. However, in many ecosystems, it is unclear what mix of fire histories will achieve this goal. We determined the optimal fire history of a given area for biological conservation with a method that links tools from 3 fields of research: species distribution modeling, composite indices of biodiversity, and decision science. We based our case study on extensive field surveys of birds, reptiles, and mammals in fire-prone semi-arid Australia. First, we developed statistical models of species' responses to fire history. Second, we determined the optimal allocation of successional states in a given area, based on the geometric mean of species relative abundance. Finally, we showed how conservation targets based on this index can be incorporated into a decision-making framework for fire management. Pyrodiversity per se did not necessarily promote vertebrate biodiversity. Maximizing pyrodiversity by having an even allocation of successional states did not maximize the geometric mean abundance of bird species. Older vegetation was disproportionately important for the conservation of birds, reptiles, and small mammals. Because our method defines fire management objectives based on the habitat requirements of multiple species in the community, it could be used widely to maximize biodiversity in fire-prone ecosystems. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Ant-diaspore interactions during secondary succession in the Atlantic forest of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor P Zwiener

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Animal-plant interactions are important for the recovery of diversity and processes in secondary forests, which increasingly dominate the tropical landscape. We used a combination of observational and experimental approaches to study the interactions of ants with diaspores across a successional gradient of forests in Southern Brazil, from August 2007 to April 2008. In addition to diaspore removal rates, we assessed the species richness, diversity and behaviour of ants interacting with diaspores, in three replicated sites of four successional stages of forests. We recorded 22 ant species interacting with diaspores (an estimated 15% of the total species pool in the region. Species richness and diversity did not differ among successional stages but the behaviour of ants towards diaspores changed with the age of secondary forests. In old successional stages the removal of entire diaspores was more common than in young successional stages of forests. Concordantly, diaspore removal rates were lowest in the youngest successional stage of secondary forests and increased with the age of forests. These results indicate that ant-diaspore interactions in secondary forests are disturbed and lower removal rates in secondary forests are likely to constrain the recruitment of plant populations during secondary succession. Rev. Biol. Trop. 60 (2: 933-942. Epub 2012 June 01.

  11. Fire-driven alien invasion in a fire-adapted ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E; Brennan, Teresa J

    2012-08-01

    Disturbance plays a key role in many alien plant invasions. However, often the main driver of invasion is not disturbance per se but alterations in the disturbance regime. In some fire-adapted shrublands, the community is highly resilient to infrequent, high-intensity fires, but changes in the fire regime that result in shorter fire intervals may make these communities more susceptible to alien plant invasions. This study examines several wildfire events that resulted in short fire intervals in California chaparral shrublands. In one study, we compared postfire recovery patterns in sites with different prefire stand ages (3 and 24 years), and in another study we compared sites that had burned once in four years with sites that had burned twice in this period. The population size of the dominant native shrub Adenostoma fasciculatum was drastically reduced following fire in the 3-year sites relative to the 24-year sites. The 3-year sites had much greater alien plant cover and significantly lower plant diversity than the 24-year sites. In a separate study, repeat fires four years apart on the same sites showed that annual species increased significantly after the second fire, and alien annuals far outnumbered native annuals. Aliens included both annual grasses and annual forbs and were negatively correlated with woody plant cover. Native woody species regenerated well after the first fire but declined after the second fire, and one obligate seeding shrub was extirpated from two sites by the repeat fires. It is concluded that some fire-adapted shrublands are vulnerable to changes in fire regime, and this can lead to a loss of native diversity and put the community on a trajectory towards type conversion from a woody to an herbaceous system. Such changes result in alterations in the proportion of natives to non-natives, changes in functional types from deeply rooted shrubs to shallow rooted grasses and forbs, increased fire frequency due to the increase in fine fuels

  12. Fire-driven alien invasion in a fire-adapted ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E.; Brennan, Teresa J.

    2012-01-01

    Disturbance plays a key role in many alien plant invasions. However, often the main driver of invasion is not disturbance per se but alterations in the disturbance regime. In some fire-adapted shrublands, the community is highly resilient to infrequent, high-intensity fires, but changes in the fire regime that result in shorter fire intervals may make these communities more susceptible to alien plant invasions. This study examines several wildfire events that resulted in short fire intervals in California chaparral shrublands. In one study, we compared postfire recovery patterns in sites with different prefire stand ages (3 and 24 years), and in another study we compared sites that had burned once in four years with sites that had burned twice in this period. The population size of the dominant native shrub Adenostoma fasciculatum was drastically reduced following fire in the 3-year sites relative to the 24-year sites. The 3-year sites had much greater alien plant cover and significantly lower plant diversity than the 24-year sites. In a separate study, repeat fires four years apart on the same sites showed that annual species increased significantly after the second fire, and alien annuals far outnumbered native annuals. Aliens included both annual grasses and annual forbs and were negatively correlated with woody plant cover. Native woody species regenerated well after the first fire but declined after the second fire, and one obligate seeding shrub was extirpated from two sites by the repeat fires. It is concluded that some fire-adapted shrublands are vulnerable to changes in fire regime, and this can lead to a loss of native diversity and put the community on a trajectory towards type conversion from a woody to an herbaceous system. Such changes result in alterations in the proportion of natives to non-natives, changes in functional types from deeply rooted shrubs to shallow rooted grasses and forbs, increased fire frequency due to the increase in fine fuels

  13. Building 431 fire tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvares, N.J.; Beason, D.G.; Ford, H.W.; Magee, M.W.

    1977-01-01

    An extensive discussion of considerations for fire protection in the LLL mirror fusion test facility (MFTF) is presented. Because of the large volume and high bays of the building, sufficient data on fire detection is unavailable. Results of fire detection tests using controlled fire sources in the building are presented. Extensive data concerning the behavior of the building atmosphere are included. Candidate fire detection instrumentation and extinguishing systems for use in the building are briefly reviewed

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. Oecophylla smaragdina food conversion efficiency: prospects for ant farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    can be combined with the use of the ants in biological control programmes in tropical plantations where pest insects are converted into ant biomass. To assess the cost-benefits of ant farming based on artificial feeding, food consumption and food conversion efficiency (ECI) of Oecophylla smaragdina......Oecophylla ants are sold at high prices on several commercial markets as a human delicacy, as pet food or as traditional medicine. Currently markets are supplied by ants collected from the wild; however, an increasing interest in ant farming exists as all harvest is easily sold and as ant farming...... selling prices these efficiencies led to rates of return from 1.52 to 4.56, respectively, if: (i) protein is supplied from commercial products; or (ii) alternatively supplied from free sources such as insects and kitchen waste. These results suggest that Oecophylla ant farming may become highly profitable...

  17. Hybrid Bee Ant Colony Algorithm for Effective Load Balancing And ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF. OLIVER OSUAGWA

    Ant Colony algorithm is used in this hybrid Bee Ant Colony algorithm to solve load balancing issues ... Genetic Algorithm (MO-GA) for dynamic job scheduling that .... Information Networking and Applications Workshops. [7]. M. Dorigo & T.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    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......, the environmental cost of protein production may fall even lower than for other insects as the ants feed on pests that would otherwise reduce the plant yield and since the farming area is simultaneously in use for plant production. In this presentation I provide data showing (i) how the harvest of ants can...

  19. Estimating the net electricity energy generation and demand using the ant colony optimization approach. Case of Turkey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toksari, M. Duran

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents Turkey's net electricity energy generation and demand based on economic indicators. Forecasting model for electricity energy generation and demand is first proposed by the ant colony optimization (ACO) approach. It is multi-agent system in which the behavior of each ant is inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants to solve optimization problem. Ant colony optimization electricity energy estimation (ACOEEE) model is developed using population, gross domestic product (GDP), import and export. All equations proposed here are linear electricity energy generation and demand (linear A COEEGE and linear ACOEEDE) and quadratic energy generation and demand (quadratic A COEEGE and quadratic ACOEEDE). Quadratic models for both generation and demand provided better fit solution due to the fluctuations of the economic indicators. The ACOEEGE and ACOEEDE models indicate Turkey's net electricity energy generation and demand until 2025 according to three scenarios. (author)

  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. 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....

  2. Conservation threats due to human-caused increases in fire frequency in Mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syphard, Alexandra D; Radeloff, Volker C; Hawbaker, Todd J; Stewart, Susan I

    2009-06-01

    Periodic wildfire is an important natural process in Mediterranean-climate ecosystems, but increasing fire recurrence threatens the fragile ecology of these regions. Because most fires are human-caused, we investigated how human population patterns affect fire frequency. Prior research in California suggests the relationship between population density and fire frequency is not linear. There are few human ignitions in areas with low population density, so fire frequency is low. As population density increases, human ignitions and fire frequency also increase, but beyond a density threshold, the relationship becomes negative as fuels become sparser and fire suppression resources are concentrated. We tested whether this hypothesis also applies to the other Mediterranean-climate ecosystems of the world. We used global satellite databases of population, fire activity, and land cover to evaluate the spatial relationship between humans and fire in the world's five Mediterranean-climate ecosystems. Both the mean and median population densities were consistently and substantially higher in areas with than without fire, but fire again peaked at intermediate population densities, which suggests that the spatial relationship is complex and nonlinear. Some land-cover types burned more frequently than expected, but no systematic differences were observed across the five regions. The consistent association between higher population densities and fire suggests that regardless of differences between land-cover types, natural fire regimes, or overall population, the presence of people in Mediterranean-climate regions strongly affects the frequency of fires; thus, population growth in areas now sparsely settled presents a conservation concern. Considering the sensitivity of plant species to repeated burning and the global conservation significance of Mediterranean-climate ecosystems, conservation planning needs to consider the human influence on fire frequency. Fine-scale spatial

  3. 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....

  4. Ants, rodents and seed predation in Proteaceae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... their nests extremely rapidly. One benefit of the ant-plant interaction may be seed escape ... (odourless to humans when dry) household glue or, b) placing seed in a Petri dish ... the layout of exclosures was completed. Response was not as.

  5. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its ra...

  6. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...

  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. 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

  9. 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...

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Avian response to fire in pine–oak forests of Great Smoky Mountains National Park following decades of fire suppression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Eli T.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2016-01-01

    Fire suppression in southern Appalachian pine–oak forests during the past century dramatically altered the bird community. Fire return intervals decreased, resulting in local extirpation or population declines of many bird species adapted to post-fire plant communities. Within Great Smoky Mountains National Park, declines have been strongest for birds inhabiting xeric pine–oak forests that depend on frequent fire. The buildup of fuels after decades of fire suppression led to changes in the 1996 Great Smoky Mountains Fire Management Plan. Although fire return intervals remain well below historic levels, management changes have helped increase the amount of fire within the park over the past 20 years, providing an opportunity to study patterns of fire severity, time since burn, and bird occurrence. We combined avian point counts in burned and unburned areas with remote sensing indices of fire severity to infer temporal changes in bird occurrence for up to 28 years following fire. Using hierarchical linear models that account for the possibility of a species presence at a site when no individuals are detected, we developed occurrence models for 24 species: 13 occurred more frequently in burned areas, 2 occurred less frequently, and 9 showed no significant difference between burned and unburned areas. Within burned areas, the top models for each species included fire severity, time since burn, or both, suggesting that fire influenced patterns of species occurrence for all 24 species. Our findings suggest that no single fire management strategy will suit all species. To capture peak occupancy for the entire bird community within xeric pine–oak forests, at least 3 fire regimes may be necessary; one applying frequent low severity fire, another using infrequent low severity fire, and a third using infrequently applied high severity fire.

  14. 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 ...

  15. Dynamics of an ant-plant-pollinator model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Nathaniel Holland, J.

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we consider plant-pollinator-ant systems in which plant-pollinator interaction and plant-ant interaction are both mutualistic, but there also exists interference of pollinators by ants. The plant-pollinator interaction can be described by a Beddington-DeAngelis formula, so we extend the formula to characterize plant-pollinator mutualisms, including the interference by ants, and form a plant-pollinator-ant model. Using dynamical systems theory, we show uniform persistence of the model. Moreover, we demonstrate conditions under which boundary equilibria are globally asymptotically stable. The dynamics exhibit mechanisms by which the three species could coexist when ants interfere with pollinators. We define a threshold in ant interference. When ant interference is strong, it can drive plant-pollinator mutualisms to extinction. Furthermore, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for their persistence, then sufficiently strong ant interference could lead to their own extinction as well. Yet, when ant interference is weak, plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms can promote the persistence of one another.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Plant lock and ant key: pairwise coevolution of an exclusion filter in an ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brouat, C; Garcia, N; Andary, C; McKey, D

    2001-10-22

    Although observations suggest pairwise coevolution in specific ant-plant symbioses, coevolutionary processes have rarely been demonstrated. We report on, what is to the authors' knowledge, the strongest evidence yet for reciprocal adaptation of morphological characters in a species-specific ant-plant mutualism. The plant character is the prostoma, which is a small unlignified organ at the apex of the domatia in which symbiotic ants excavate an entrance hole. Each myrmecophyte in the genus Leonardoxa has evolved a prostoma with a different shape. By performing precise measurements on the prostomata of three related myrmecophytes, on their specific associated ants and on the entrance holes excavated by symbiotic ants at the prostomata, we showed that correspondence of the plant and ant traits forms a morphological and behavioural filter. We have strong evidence for coevolution between the dimensions and shape of the symbiotic ants and the prostoma in one of the three ant-Leonardoxa associations.

  19. 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...

  20. Genetic clusters and sex-biased gene flow in a unicolonial Formica ant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chapuisat Michel

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Animal societies are diverse, ranging from small family-based groups to extraordinarily large social networks in which many unrelated individuals interact. At the extreme of this continuum, some ant species form unicolonial populations in which workers and queens can move among multiple interconnected nests without eliciting aggression. Although unicoloniality has been mostly studied in invasive ants, it also occurs in some native non-invasive species. Unicoloniality is commonly associated with very high queen number, which may result in levels of relatedness among nestmates being so low as to raise the question of the maintenance of altruism by kin selection in such systems. However, the actual relatedness among cooperating individuals critically depends on effective dispersal and the ensuing pattern of genetic structuring. In order to better understand the evolution of unicoloniality in native non-invasive ants, we investigated the fine-scale population genetic structure and gene flow in three unicolonial populations of the wood ant F. paralugubris. Results The analysis of geo-referenced microsatellite genotypes and mitochondrial haplotypes revealed the presence of cryptic clusters of genetically-differentiated nests in the three populations of F. paralugubris. Because of this spatial genetic heterogeneity, members of the same clusters were moderately but significantly related. The comparison of nuclear (microsatellite and mitochondrial differentiation indicated that effective gene flow was male-biased in all populations. Conclusion The three unicolonial populations exhibited male-biased and mostly local gene flow. The high number of queens per nest, exchanges among neighbouring nests and restricted long-distance gene flow resulted in large clusters of genetically similar nests. The positive relatedness among clustermates suggests that kin selection may still contribute to the maintenance of altruism in unicolonial

  1. Interspecific competition between Solenopsis invicta and two native ant species, Pheidole fervens and Monomorium chinense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yin-Cheng; Kafle, Lekhnath; Shih, Cheng-Jen

    2011-04-01

    This study was designed to understand the effects of the interspecific competition between red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren and two native ant species, Pheidole fervens Smith and Monomorium chinense Santschi, by conducting colony interference and individual confrontation tests under laboratory conditions. The colony interference test showed that both native ant species, owing to their numerical advantage, killed the Solenopsis invicta virus-1 (SINV-1)-infected or healthy queens of S. invicta. Significantly less time was required for M. chinense to kill all SINV-1-infected S. invicta compared with the time required to kill the healthy S. invicta. Compared with healthy S. invicta, SINV-1-infected S. invicta spent a longer time eliminating the P. fervens colonies. In confrontation tests, M. chinense killed a significantly higher number of infected S. invicta minors than they did healthy minors, but the number of S. invicta majors (either infected or healthy) killed was substantially less. This study found that the viral infection weakened the competitive ability of S. invicta and made them prone to be eliminated by M. chinense but not by P. fervens.

  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. 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

  4. Invasion risk of the yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes under the Representative Concentration Pathways 8.5 climate change scenario in South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae-Min Jung

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes has destroyed local ecosystems in numerous countries, and their population sizes and distribution are likely to increase under global warming. To evaluate the risk of invasion by yellow crazy ant in South Korea, this study identified their potential habitats and predicted their future global distribution by modeling various climate change scenarios using CLIMEX software. Our modeling predicted that future climate conditions in South Korea will be favorable for the yellow crazy ant, and they could invade by the mid-21st century. We highlight the use of predictive algorithms to establish geographical areas with a high risk of yellow crazy ant invasion under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP 8.5 climate scenarios. Keywords: Anoplolepis gracilipes, climate change scenario, CLIMEX, invasive species, yellow crazy ant

  5. A spatio-temporal analysis of fires in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheldon Strydom

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence and history of fires in Africa has led to the continent being named "the fire continent". Fires are common on the continent and lead to a high number of annual fire disasters which result in many human fatalities and considerable financial loss. Increased population growth and concentrated settlement planning increase the probability of fire disasters and the associated loss of human life and financial loss when disasters occur. In order to better understand the spatial and temporal variations and characteristics of fires in South Africa, an 11-year data set of MODIS-derived Active Fire Hotspots was analysed using an open source geographic information system. The study included the mapping of national fire frequency over the 11-year period. Results indicate that the highest fire frequency occurred in the northeastern regions of South Africa, in particular the mountainous regions of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, and in the Western Cape. Increasing trends in provincial fire frequency were observed in eight of the nine provinces of South Africa, with Mpumalanga the only province for which a decrease in annual fire frequency was observed. Temporally, fires were observed in all months for all provinces, although distinct fire seasons were observed and were largely driven by rainfall seasons. The southwestern regions of South Africa (winter-rainfall regions experienced higher fire frequencies during the summer months and the rest of the country (summer-rainfall regions during the winter months. Certain regions those which experienced bimodal rainfall seasons did not display distinct fire seasons because of the complex wet and dry seasons. Investigation into the likely effects of climate change on South African fire frequency revealed that increased air temperatures and events such as La Niña have a marked effect on fire activity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  7. Human influence on California fire regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syphard, Alexandra D; Radeloff, Volker C; Keeley, Jon E; Hawbaker, Todd J; Clayton, Murray K; Stewart, Susan I; Hammer, Roger B

    2007-07-01

    Periodic wildfire maintains the integrity and species composition of many ecosystems, including the mediterranean-climate shrublands of California. However, human activities alter natural fire regimes, which can lead to cascading ecological effects. Increased human ignitions at the wildland-urban interface (WUI) have recently gained attention, but fire activity and risk are typically estimated using only biophysical variables. Our goal was to determine how humans influence fire in California and to examine whether this influence was linear, by relating contemporary (2000) and historic (1960-2000) fire data to both human and biophysical variables. Data for the human variables included fine-resolution maps of the WUI produced using housing density and land cover data. Interface WUI, where development abuts wildland vegetation, was differentiated from intermix WUI, where development intermingles with wildland vegetation. Additional explanatory variables included distance to WUI, population density, road density, vegetation type, and ecoregion. All data were summarized at the county level and analyzed using bivariate and multiple regression methods. We found highly significant relationships between humans and fire on the contemporary landscape, and our models explained fire frequency (R2 = 0.72) better than area burned (R2 = 0.50). Population density, intermix WUI, and distance to WUI explained the most variability in fire frequency, suggesting that the spatial pattern of development may be an important variable to consider when estimating fire risk. We found nonlinear effects such that fire frequency and area burned were highest at intermediate levels of human activity, but declined beyond certain thresholds. Human activities also explained change in fire frequency and area burned (1960-2000), but our models had greater explanatory power during the years 1960-1980, when there was more dramatic change in fire frequency. Understanding wildfire as a function of the

  8. 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.

  9. At Lunch with a Killer: The Effect of Weaver Ants on Host-Parasitoid Interactions on Mango.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Migani

    Full Text Available Predator-prey interactions can affect the behaviour of the species involved, with consequences for population distribution and competitive interactions. Under predation pressure, potential prey may adopt evasive strategies. These responses can be costly and could impact population growth. As some prey species may be more affected than others, predation pressure could also alter the dynamics among species within communities. In field cages and small observation cages, we studied the interactions between a generalist predator, the African weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda, two species of fruit flies that are primary pests of mango fruits, Ceratitis cosyra and Bactrocera dorsalis, and their two exotic parasitoids, Fopius arisanus and Diachasmimorpha longicaudata. In all experiments, either a single individual (observation cage experiments or groups of individuals (field cage experiments of a single species were exposed to foraging in the presence or absence of weaver ants. Weaver ant presence reduced the number of eggs laid by 75 and 50 percent in B. dorsalis and C. cosyra respectively. Similarly, parasitoid reproductive success was negatively affected by ant presence, with success of parasitism reduced by around 50 percent for both F. arisanus and D. longicaudata. The negative effect of weaver ants on both flies and parasitoids was mainly due to indirect predation effects. Encounters with weaver ant workers increased the leaving tendency in flies and parasitoids, thus reduced the time spent foraging on mango fruits. Parasitoids were impacted more strongly than fruit flies. We discuss how weaver ant predation pressure may affect the population dynamics of the fruit flies, and, in turn, how the alteration of host dynamics could impact parasitoid foraging behaviour and success.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. Ant species confer different partner benefits on two neotropical myrmecophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E

    2005-04-01

    The dynamics of mutualistic interactions involving more than a single pair of species depend on the relative costs and benefits of interaction among alternative partners. The neotropical myrmecophytes Cordia nodosa and Duroia hirsuta associate with several species of obligately symbiotic ants. I compared the ant partners of Cordia and Duroia with respect to two benefits known to be important in ant-myrmecophyte interactions: protection against herbivores provided by ants, and protection against encroaching vegetation provided by ants. Azteca spp., Myrmelachista schumanni, and Allomerus octoarticulatus demerarae ants all provide the leaves of Cordia and Duroia some protection against herbivores. However, Azteca and Allomerus provide more protection than does Myrmelachista to the leaves of their host plants. Although Allomerus protects the leaves of its hosts, plants occupied by Allomerus suffer more attacks by herbivores to their stems than do plants occupied by other ants. Relative to Azteca or Allomerus, Myrmelachista ants provide better protection against encroaching vegetation, increasing canopy openness over their host plants. These differences in benefits among the ant partners of Cordia and Duroia are reflected in the effect of each ant species on host plant size, growth rate, and reproduction. The results of this study show how mutualistic ant partners can differ with respect to both the magnitude and type of benefits they provide to the same species of myrmecophytic host.

  13. 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.

  14. Host ant independent oviposition in the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürst, Matthias A; Nash, David Richard

    2010-01-01

    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......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...

  15. 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.

  16. Fast and flexible: argentine ants recruit from nearby trails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, Tatiana P; Pinter-Wollman, Noa M; Moses, Melanie E; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-01-01

    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.

  17. 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...

  18. A review of fire interactions and mass fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Finney; Sara S. McAllister

    2011-01-01

    The character of a wildland fire can change dramatically in the presence of another nearby fire. Understanding and predicting the changes in behavior due to fire-fire interactions cannot only be life-saving to those on the ground, but also be used to better control a prescribed fire to meet objectives. In discontinuous fuel types, such interactions may elicit fire...

  19. The Frequency of Incipient Fires at the Savannah River Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanchard, A.

    1999-01-01

    Fire is a significant hazard in most industrial and nuclear facilities. As such it is important that adequate safeguards be provided to ensure a responsible level of safety. In determining this level of safety it is necessary to know three key parameters. These are the frequency of the incipient fire, the probability that a fire will grow from the incipient stage to cause the potential consequence, and the potential consequences (i.e., losses) from an unwanted fire. Consequence predictions have been modeled and evaluated extensively and can be readily confirmed by comparison with historic loss records. These loss records can also provide significant insight into the probability that given a fire it grows to create a defined consequence. The other key parameter, frequency, is the focus of this report. this report determines an alternative method for estimating Savannah River Site (SRS) building fire frequencies as a function of floor area to the linear method previously used. The frequency of an incipient fire is not easily derived from existing fire loss records. This occurs because the fire loss records do not make reference to the sample population. To derive an initiating frequency both the number of events (incipient fires) and the population (number of buildings and years in service) must be known. this report documents an evaluation that estimates the frequency of incipient fires in industrial and nuclear facilities. these estimates were developed from the unique historical record that has been maintained at the Savannah River Site

  20. 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...... and no transplantation. Thus, in ant nurseries the use of multiple queens during nest founding as well as transplantation of pupae from foreign colonies may be utilised to decrease the time it takes to produce a colony ready for implementation....

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Seerley Road Fire Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    A barn caught fire at on Seerley Road, Indianapolis. Five storage drums believed to contain metallic potassium were involved in the fire. EPA will perform additional sampling as part of removal operations and safe offsite transportation.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  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. The OECD FIRE database

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angner, A.; Berg, H.P.; Roewekamp, M.; Werner, W.; Gauvain, J.

    2007-01-01

    Realistic modelling of fire scenarios is still difficult due to the scarcity of reliable data needed for deterministic and probabilistic fire safety analysis. Therefore, it has been recognized as highly important to establish a fire event database on an international level. In consequence, several member countries of the Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD have decided in 2000 to establish the International Fire Data Exchange Project (OECD FIRE) to encourage multilateral co-operation in the collection and analysis of data related to fire events at nuclear power plants. This paper presents the OECD FIRE project objectives, work scope and current status of the OECD FIRE database after 3 years of operation as well as first preliminary statistical insights gained from the collected data. (orig.)

  11. 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.

  12. Seasonality directs contrasting food collection behavior and nutrient regulation strategies in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Steven C; Eubanks, Micky D; Gold, Roger E; Behmer, Spencer T

    2011-01-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. How do ants make sense of gravity? A Boltzmann Walker analysis of Lasius niger trajectories on various inclines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anaïs Khuong

    Full Text Available The goal of this study is to describe accurately how the directional information given by support inclinations affects the ant Lasius niger motion in terms of a behavioral decision. To this end, we have tracked the spontaneous motion of 345 ants walking on a 0.5×0.5 m plane canvas, which was tilted with 5 various inclinations by [Formula: see text] rad ([Formula: see text] data points. At the population scale, support inclination favors dispersal along uphill and downhill directions. An ant's decision making process is modeled using a version of the Boltzmann Walker model, which describes an ant's random walk as a series of straight segments separated by reorientation events, and was extended to take directional influence into account. From the data segmented accordingly ([Formula: see text] segments, this extension allows us to test separately how average speed, segments lengths and reorientation decisions are affected by support inclination and current walking direction of the ant. We found that support inclination had a major effect on average speed, which appeared approximately three times slower on the [Formula: see text] incline. However, we found no effect of the walking direction on speed. Contrastingly, we found that ants tend to walk longer in the same direction when they move uphill or downhill, and also that they preferentially adopt new uphill or downhill headings at turning points. We conclude that ants continuously adapt their decision making about where to go, and how long to persist in the same direction, depending on how they are aligned with the line of maximum declivity gradient. Hence, their behavioral decision process appears to combine klinokinesis with geomenotaxis. The extended Boltzmann Walker model parameterized by these effects gives a fair account of the directional dispersal of ants on inclines.

  15. 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.

  16. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Marcy A.; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-09-01

    The retinal fundus images are used in the treatment and diagnosis of several eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. This paper proposes a new method to detect the optic disc (OD) automatically, due to the fact that the knowledge of the OD location is essential to the automatic analysis of retinal images. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is an optimization algorithm inspired by the foraging behaviour of some ant species that has been applied in image processing for edge detection. Recently, the ACO was used in fundus images to detect edges, and therefore, to segment the OD and other anatomical retinal structures. We present an algorithm for the detection of OD in the retina which takes advantage of the Gabor wavelet transform, entropy and ACO algorithm. Forty images of the retina from DRIVE database were used to evaluate the performance of our method.

  17. Loft fire protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, E.R.; Jensen, J.D.

    1980-01-01

    Quantified criteria that was developed and applied to provide in-depth fire protection for the Loss of Fluid Test (LOFT) Facility are presented. The presentation describes the evolution process that elevated the facility's fire protection from minimal to that required for a highly protected risk or improved risk. Explored are some infrequently used fire protection measures that are poorly understood outside the fire protection profession

  18. A global database of ant species abundances

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gibb, H.; Dunn, R. R.; Sanders, N. J.; Grossman, B. F.; Photakis, M.; Abril, S.; Agosti, D.; Andersen, A. N.; Angulo, E.; Armbrecht, I.; Arnan, X.; Baccaro, F. B.; Bishop, T. R.; Boulay, R.; Brühl, C.; Castracani, C.; Cerdá, X.; Del Toro, I.; Delsinne, T.; Diaz, M.; Donoso, D. A.; Ellison, A. M.; Enríquez, M. L.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Feener, D. H.; Fisher, B. L.; Fisher, R. N.; Fitzpatrick, M. C.; Gómez, C.; Gotelli, N. J.; Gove, A.; Grasso, D. A.; Groc, S.; Guenard, B.; Gunawardene, N.; Heterick, B.; Hoffmann, B.; Janda, Milan; Jenkins, C.; Kaspari, M.; Klimeš, Petr; Lach, L.; Laeger, T.; Lattke, J.; Leponce, M.; Lessard, J.-P.; Longino, J.; Lucky, A.; Luke, S. H.; Majer, J.; McGlynn, T. P.; Menke, S.; Mezger, D.; Mori, A.; Moses, Jimmy; Munyai, T. C.; Pacheco, R.; Paknia, O.; Pearce-Duvet, J.; Pfeiffer, M.; Philpott, S. M.; Resasco, J.; Retana, J.; Silva, R. R.; Sorger, M. D.; Souza, J.; Suarez, A.; Tista, M.; Vasconcelos, H. L.; Vonshak, M.; Weisser, M. D.; Yates, M.; Parr, C. L.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 98, č. 3 (2017), s. 883-884 ISSN 0012-9658 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G; GA ČR GAP505/12/2467; GA ČR GPP505/12/P875 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : abundance * ants * database Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.809, year: 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecy.1682/abstract

  19. Public goods dilemma in asexual ant societies

    OpenAIRE

    Dobata, Shigeto; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2013-01-01

    This study reports experimental evidence for the “public goods dilemma” between cooperators and cheaters in an asexual ant society, in which cheating is always more rewarding for individuals but cooperation at the cost of individual fitness leads to better performance of groups. Although this dilemma provides the basic principle of social evolution, its experimental demonstration with underlying genetics and fitness evaluation for both cooperators and cheaters still lacks in societies other t...

  20. Ant colony optimization and constraint programming

    CERN Document Server

    Solnon, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Ant colony optimization is a metaheuristic which has been successfully applied to a wide range of combinatorial optimization problems. The author describes this metaheuristic and studies its efficiency for solving some hard combinatorial problems, with a specific focus on constraint programming. The text is organized into three parts. The first part introduces constraint programming, which provides high level features to declaratively model problems by means of constraints. It describes the main existing approaches for solving constraint satisfaction problems, including complete tree search

  1. 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…

  2. Fourmile Canyon Fire Findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell Graham; Mark Finney; Chuck McHugh; Jack Cohen; Dave Calkin; Rick Stratton; Larry Bradshaw; Ned Nikolov

    2012-01-01

    The Fourmile Canyon Fire burned in the fall of 2010 in the Rocky Mountain Front Range adjacent to Boulder, Colorado. The fire occurred in steep, rugged terrain, primarily on privately owned mixed ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests. The fire started on September 6 when the humidity of the air was very dry (¡Ö

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. Fire Department Emergency Response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanchard, A.; 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

  6. Equipping tomorrow's fire manager

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher A. Dicus

    2008-01-01

    Fire managers are challenged with an ever-increasing array of both responsibilities and critics. As in the past, fire managers must master the elements of fire behavior and ecology using the latest technologies. In addition, today’s managers must be equipped with the skills necessary to understand and liaise with a burgeoning group of vocal stakeholders while also...

  7. 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...

  8. Cost of two fire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vasil'ev, Yu.

    2001-01-01

    The problem of the protection of nuclear sites in connection with the fires in summer of 2000 near two greatest nuclear sites: the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory located on the site of Hanford Nuclear Center, and Los Alamos National Laboratory is considered. Both fires occur beyond the Laboratories. Undertaken urgent procedures for fire fighting and recovery of the objects are characterized [ru

  9. Do host species evolve a specific response to slave-making ants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delattre Olivier

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Social parasitism is an important selective pressure for social insect species. It is particularly the case for the hosts of dulotic (so called slave-making ants, which pillage the brood of host colonies to increase the worker force of their own colony. Such raids can have an important impact on the fitness of the host nest. An arms race which can lead to geographic variation in host defenses is thus expected between hosts and parasites. In this study we tested whether the presence of a social parasite (the dulotic ant Myrmoxenus ravouxi within an ant community correlated with a specific behavioral defense strategy of local host or non-host populations of Temnothorax ants. Social recognition often leads to more or less pronounced agonistic interactions between non-nestmates ants. Here, we monitored agonistic behaviors to assess whether ants discriminate social parasites from other ants. It is now well-known that ants essentially rely on cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate nestmates from aliens. If host species have evolved a specific recognition mechanism for their parasite, we hypothesize that the differences in behavioral responses would not be fully explained simply by quantitative dissimilarity in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, but should also involve a qualitative response due to the detection of particular compounds. We scaled the behavioral results according to the quantitative chemical distance between host and parasite colonies to test this hypothesis. Results Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles were distinct between species, but host species did not show a clearly higher aggression rate towards the parasite than toward non-parasite intruders, unless the degree of response was scaled by the chemical distance between intruders and recipient colonies. By doing so, we show that workers of the host and of a non-host species in the parasitized site displayed more agonistic behaviors (bites and ejections towards parasite

  10. Precision Rescue Behavior in North American Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Taylor

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Altruistic behavior, in which one individual provides aid to another at some cost to itself, is well documented. However, some species engage in a form of altruism, called rescue, that places the altruist in immediate danger. Here we investigate one such example, namely rescuing victims captured by predators. In a field experiment with two North American ant species, Tetramorium sp. E and Prenolepis imparis, individuals were held in artificial snares simulating capture. T. sp. E, but not P. imparis, exhibited digging, pulling, and snare biting, the latter precisely targeted to the object binding the victim. These results are the first to document precision rescue in a North American ant species; moreover, unlike rescue in other ants, T. sp. E rescues conspecifics from different colonies, mirroring their atypical social behavior, namely the lack of aggression between non-nestmate (heterocolonial conspecifics. In a second, observational study designed to demonstrate rescue from an actual predator, T. sp. E victims were dropped into an antlion's pit and the behavior of a single rescuer was observed. Results showed that T. sp. E not only attempted to release the victim, but also risked attacking the predator, suggesting that precision rescue may play an important role in this species' antipredator behavior.

  11. El periodista, ante la espiral de silencio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Fermín Galindo Arranz

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available La percepción de la profesión periodística y de su influencia cambia mucho a lo largo del tiempo, de las coyunturas históricas y de los diferentes países y sociedades en los que desempeñan su labor. En un contexto mundial, la gravedad de las situaciones de riesgo periodístico se encuadran en situaciones políticas, económicas o sociales también conflictivas; es entonces cuando se suele reproducir con facilidad en la opinión pública el fenómeno de la espiral del silencio, ante el que inevitablemente se sitúa el periodista. Por definición, el trabajo del periodista consiste en ser portavoz de las novedades que se producen, en dar informaciones y emitir opiniones en la esfera pública, se tiene que situar, por tanto, de forma individual y notoriamente pública ante los fenómenos de espiral de silencio que puedan producirse en la opinión pública. Antonio Tabucchi nos presenta en su novela "Sostiene Pereira" un ejemplo magnífico del dilema del periodista ante este tipo de situaciones.

  12. Recognition of social identity in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick eBos

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 is formed, where in the nervous system it is localized, and the possible role of learning. We combine seemingly contradictory evidence in to a novel, parsimonious theory for the information processing of nestmate recognition cues.

  13. A Non-lethal water-based removal-reapplication technique for behavioral analysis of cuticular compounds of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, Olivier; Martin, Jean-Michel; Ghomsi, Nathan Tene; Dejean, Alain

    2009-08-01

    Interspecific relationships among insects are often mediated by chemical cues, including non-volatile cuticular compounds. Most of these compounds are hydrocarbons that necessitate the use of solvents for their extraction, identification, and manipulation during behavioral assays. The toxicity of these solvents often precludes the removal and reapplication of hydrocarbons from and to live insects. As a consequence, dummies often are used in behavioral assays, but their passivity can bias the behavior of the responding insects. To overcome these limitations, we propose a method where cuticular compounds are extracted from live ants by placing them into glass vials half-filled with tepid water (ca. 34 degrees C) and vigorously shaking the vials to form an emulsion whose supernatant can be analyzed and/or reapplied to other ants. We demonstrate that cuticular compounds can be extracted from workers of the red fire ant, Solenopsis saevissima, and reapplied to the cuticle of workers from a sympatric species, Camponotus blandus (both Hymenoptera: Formicidae), while keeping the ants alive. Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis and behavioral assays were used to confirm the successful transfer of the behaviorally active compounds.

  14. Genetic evidence for landscape effects on dispersal in the army ant Eciton burchellii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soare, Thomas W; Kumar, Anjali; Naish, Kerry A; O'Donnell, Sean

    2014-01-01

    Inhibited dispersal, leading to reduced gene flow, threatens populations with inbreeding depression and local extinction. Fragmentation may be especially detrimental to social insects because inhibited gene flow has important consequences for cooperation and competition within and among colonies. Army ants have winged males and permanently wingless queens; these traits imply male-biased dispersal. However, army ant colonies are obligately nomadic and have the potential to traverse landscapes. Eciton burchellii, the most regularly nomadic army ant, is a forest interior species: colony raiding activities are limited in the absence of forest cover. To examine whether nomadism and landscape (forest clearing and elevation) affect population genetic structure in a montane E. burchellii population, we reconstructed queen and male genotypes from 25 colonies at seven polymorphic microsatellite loci. Pairwise genetic distances among individuals were compared to pairwise geographical and resistance distances using regressions with permutations, partial Mantel tests and random forests analyses. Although there was no significant spatial genetic structure in queens or males in montane forest, dispersal may be male-biased. We found significant isolation by landscape resistance for queens based on land cover (forest clearing), but not on elevation. Summed colony emigrations over the lifetime of the queen may contribute to gene flow in this species and forest clearing impedes these movements and subsequent gene dispersal. Further forest cover removal may increasingly inhibit Eciton burchellii colony dispersal. We recommend maintaining habitat connectivity in tropical forests to promote population persistence for this keystone species. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Influence of Fire Mosaics, Habitat Characteristics and Cattle Disturbance on Mammals in Fire-Prone Savanna Landscapes of the Northern Kimberley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radford, Ian J; Gibson, Lesley A; Corey, Ben; Carnes, Karin; Fairman, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Patch mosaic burning, in which fire is used to produce a mosaic of habitat patches representative of a range of fire histories ('pyrodiversity'), has been widely advocated to promote greater biodiversity. However, the details of desired fire mosaics for prescribed burning programs are often unspecified. Threatened small to medium-sized mammals (35 g to 5.5 kg) in the fire-prone tropical savannas of Australia appear to be particularly fire-sensitive. Consequently, a clear understanding of which properties of fire mosaics are most instrumental in influencing savanna mammal populations is critical. Here we use mammal capture data, remotely sensed fire information (i.e. time since last fire, fire frequency, frequency of late dry season fires, diversity of post-fire ages in 3 km radius, and spatial extent of recently burnt, intermediate and long unburnt habitat) and structural habitat attributes (including an index of cattle disturbance) to examine which characteristics of fire mosaics most influence mammals in the north-west Kimberley. We used general linear models to examine the relationship between fire mosaic and habitat attributes on total mammal abundance and richness, and the abundance of the most commonly detected species. Strong negative associations of mammal abundance and richness with frequency of late dry season fires, the spatial extent of recently burnt habitat (post-fire age fire age classes in the models. Our results indicate that both a high frequency of intense late dry season fires and extensive, recently burnt vegetation are likely to be detrimental to mammals in the north Kimberley. A managed fire mosaic that reduces large scale and intense fires, including the retention of ≥4 years unburnt patches, will clearly benefit savanna mammals. We also highlighted the importance of fire mosaics that retain sufficient shelter for mammals. Along with fire, it is clear that grazing by introduced herbivores also needs to be reduced so that habitat quality is

  16. Residence in Proximity of a Coal-Oil-Fired Thermal Power Plant and Risk of Lung and Bladder Cancer in North-Eastern Italy. A Population-Based Study: 1995-2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collarile, Paolo; Bidoli, Ettore; Barbone, Fabio; Zanier, Loris; Del Zotto, Stefania; Fuser, Simonetta; Stel, Fulvio; Panato, Chiara; Gallai, Irene; Serraino, Diego

    2017-07-31

    This study investigated the risk of lung and bladder cancers in people residing in proximity of a coal-oil-fired thermal power plant in an area of north-eastern Italy, covered by a population-based cancer registry. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) by sex, age, and histology were computed according to tertiles of residential exposure to benzene, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particular matter, and sulfur dioxide (SO2) among 1076 incident cases of lung and 650 cases of bladder cancers. In men of all ages and in women under 75 years of age, no significant associations were observed. Conversely, in women aged ≥75 years significantly increased risks of lung and bladder cancers were related to high exposure to benzene (IRR for highest vs. lowest tertile: 2.00 for lung cancer and 1.94 for bladder cancer) and NO2 (IRR: 1.72 for lung cancer; and 1.94 for bladder cancer). In these women, a 1.71-fold higher risk of lung cancer was also related to a high exposure to SO2. Acknowledging the limitations of our study, in particular that we did not have information regarding cigarette smoking habits, the findings of this study indicate that air pollution exposure may have had a role with regard to the risk of lung and bladder cancers limited to women aged ≥75 years. Such increased risk warrants further analytical investigations.

  17. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit from their costly guest ants behaving as a functional soldier caste to meet lethal threats from agro-predator raiders. The fundamentally different life histories of the agro-predators and guest ants appear to facilitate their coexistence in a negative frequency-dependent manner. Because a guest ant colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when mercenary city defenders offered either net benefits or imposed net costs, depending on the level of threat from invading armies. PMID:24019482

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-24

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit from their costly guest ants behaving as a functional soldier caste to meet lethal threats from agro-predator raiders. The fundamentally different life histories of the agro-predators and guest ants appear to facilitate their coexistence in a negative frequency-dependent manner. Because a guest ant colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when mercenary city defenders offered either net benefits or imposed net costs, depending on the level of threat from invading armies.

  19. Food-plant niche selection rather than the presence of ant nests explains oviposition patterns in the myrmecophilous butterfly genus Maculinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, J A; Elmes, G W

    2001-03-07

    It has been suggested that the socially parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon detects ant odours before ovipositing on initial larval food plants near colonies of its obligate ant host Myrmica ruginodis. It has also been suggested that overcrowding on food plants near M. ruginodis is avoided by an ability to detect high egg loads, resulting in a switch to selecting plants near less suitable ant species. If confirmed, this hypothesis (H1) would have serious implications for the application of current population models aimed at the conservation of endangered Maculinea species, which are based on the null hypothesis (H0) that females randomly select food plants whose flower buds are at a precise phenological stage, making oviposition independent of ants. If H1 were wrong, practical management based upon its assumptions could lead to the extinction of protected populations. We present data for the five European species of Maculinea which show that (i) each oviposits on a phenologically restricted flower-bud stage, which accounts for the apparent host-ant-mediated niche separation in sympatric populations of Maculinea nausithous and Maculinea teleius, (ii) there is no temporal shift in oviposition by Maculinea arion in relation to host ant distribution or egg density, and (iii) oviposition patterns in 13 populations of M. alcon's closest relative, Macaulinea rebeli, conform to H0 not H1 predictions. It is concluded that conservation measures should continue to be based on H0.

  20. Fires of sodium installations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hajek, L.; Tlalka, R.

    1984-01-01

    A survey is presented of the literature dealing with fires of sodium installations between 1974 and 1981. Also described are three experimental fires of ca 50 kg of sodium in an open area, monitored by UJV Rez. The experimental conditions of the experiments are described and a phenomenological description is presented of the course of the fires. The experiments showed a relationship between wind velocity in the area surrounding the fire and surface temperature of the sodium flame. Systems analysis methods were applied to sodium area, spray and tube fires. (author)

  1. 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.

  2. Temporal scaling behavior of forest and urban fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J.; Song, W.; Zheng, H.; Telesca, L.

    2009-04-01

    It has been found that many natural systems are characterized by scaling behavior. In such systems natural factors dominate the event dynamics. Forest fires in different countries have been found to exhibit frequency-size power law over many orders of magnitude and with similar value of parameters. But in countries with high population density such as China and Japan, more than 95% of the forest fire disasters are caused by human activities. Furthermore, with the development of society, the wildland-urban interface (WUI) area is becoming more and more populated, and the forest fire is much connected with urban fire. Therefore exploring the scaling behavior of fires dominated by human-related factors is very challenging. The present paper explores the temporal scaling behavior of forest fires and urban fires in Japan with mathematical methods. Two factors, Allan factor (AF) and Fano factor (FF) are used to investigate time-scaling of fire systems. It is found that the FF for both forest fires and urban fires increases linearly in log-log scales, and this indicates that it behaves as a power-law for all the investigated timescales. From the AF plot a 7 days cycle is found, which indicates a weekly cycle. This may be caused by human activities which has a weekly periodicity because on weekends people usually have more outdoor activities, which may cause more hidden trouble of fire disasters. Our findings point out that although the human factors are the main cause, both the forest fires and urban fires exhibit time-scaling behavior. At the same time, the scaling exponents for urban fires are larger than forest fires, signifying a more intense clustering. The reason may be that fires are affected not only by weather condition, but also by human activities, which play a more important role for urban fires than forest fires and have a power law distribution and scaling behavior. Then some work is done to the relative humidity. Similar distribution law characterizes the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz

    2016-05-01

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

  4. Invasive acacias experience higher ant seed removal rates at the invasion edges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Montesinos

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Seed dispersal is a key process for the invasion of new areas by exotic species. Introduced plants often take advantage of native generalist dispersers. Australian acacias are primarily dispersed by ants in their native range and produce seeds bearing a protein and lipid rich reward for ant mutualists (elaiosome. Nevertheless, the role of myrmecochory in the expansion of Australian acacias in European invaded areas is still not clear. We selected one European population of Acacia dealbata and another of A. longifolia and offered elaiosome-bearing and elaiosome-removed seeds to local ant communities. For each species, seeds were offered both in high-density acacia stands and in low-density invasion edges. For both acacia species, seed removal was significantly higher at the low-density edges. For A. longifolia, manual elimination of elaiosomes reduced the chance of seed removal by 80% in the low-density edges, whereas it made no difference on the high-density stands. For A. dealbata, the absence of elaiosome reduced seed removal rate by 52%, independently of the acacia density. Our data suggests that invasive acacias have found effective ant seed dispersers in Europe and that the importance of such dispersers is higher at the invasion edges.

  5. 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...

  6. Fire risk in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Seth Howard

    Fire is an integral part of ecosystems in the western United States. Decades of fire suppression have led to (unnaturally) large accumulations of fuel in some forest communities, such as the lower elevation forests of the Sierra Nevada. Urban sprawl into fire prone chaparral vegetation in southern California has put human lives at risk and the decreased fire return intervals have put the vegetation community at risk of type conversion. This research examines the factors affecting fire risk in two of the dominant landscapes in the state of California, chaparral and inland coniferous forests. Live fuel moisture (LFM) is important for fire ignition, spread rate, and intensity in chaparral. LFM maps were generated for Los Angeles County by developing and then inverting robust cross-validated regression equations from time series field data and vegetation indices (VIs) and phenological metrics from MODIS data. Fire fuels, including understory fuels which are not visible to remote sensing instruments, were mapped in Yosemite National Park using the random forests decision tree algorithm and climatic, topographic, remotely sensed, and fire history variables. Combining the disparate data sources served to improve classification accuracies. The models were inverted to produce maps of fuel models and fuel amounts, and these showed that fire fuel amounts are highest in the low elevation forests that have been most affected by fire suppression impacting the natural fire regime. Wildland fires in chaparral commonly burn in late summer or fall when LFM is near its annual low, however, the Jesusita Fire burned in early May of 2009, when LFM was still relatively high. The HFire fire spread model was used to simulate the growth of the Jesusita Fire using LFM maps derived from imagery acquired at the time of the fire and imagery acquired in late August to determine how much different the fire would have been if it had occurred later in the year. Simulated fires were 1.5 times larger

  7. 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

  8. Just follow your nose: homing by olfactory cues in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steck, Kathrin

    2012-04-01

    How is an ant-equipped with a brain that barely exceeds the size of a pinhead-capable of achieving navigational marvels? Even though evidences suggest that navigation is a multimodal process, ants heavily depend on olfactory cues-of pheromonal and non-pheromonal nature-for foraging and orientation. Recent studies have directed their attention to the efficiency of pheromone trail networks. Advances in neurophysiological techniques make it possible to investigate trail pheromone processing in the ant's brain. In addition to relying on pheromone odours, ants also make use of volatiles emanating from the nest surroundings. Deposited in the vicinity of the nest, these home-range markings help the ants to home after a foraging run. Furthermore, olfactory landmarks associated with the nest enhance ants' homing abilities. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Cercomacra and related antbirds (Aves, Formicariidae as army ant followers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Full Text Available Cercomacra and Schistocichla antbirds (Formicariidae favor dense foliage and seldom follow army ants for flushed prey, since the ants move through open forest understory as well as through dense zones. Two other lineages, the Drymophila-Hypocnemis lineage (of dense woodland understory and the Formicivora lineage (of dense bushes in dry or semiopen zones, also cannot follow ants regularly through open forest understory.

  10. Do herbivores eavesdrop on ant chemical communication to avoid predation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Gonthier

    Full Text Available Strong effects of predator chemical cues on prey are common in aquatic and marine ecosystems, but are thought to be rare in terrestrial systems and specifically for arthropods. For ants, herbivores are hypothesized to eavesdrop on ant chemical communication and thereby avoid predation or confrontation. Here I tested the effect of ant chemical cues on herbivore choice and herbivory. Using Margaridisa sp. flea beetles and leaves from the host tree (Conostegia xalapensis, I performed paired-leaf choice feeding experiments. Coating leaves with crushed ant liquids (Azteca instabilis, exposing leaves to ant patrolling prior to choice tests (A. instabilis and Camponotus textor and comparing leaves from trees with and without A. instabilis nests resulted in more herbivores and herbivory on control (no ant-treatment relative to ant-treatment leaves. In contrast to A. instabilis and C. textor, leaves previously patrolled by Solenopsis geminata had no difference in beetle number and damage compared to control leaves. Altering the time A. instabilis patrolled treatment leaves prior to choice tests (0-, 5-, 30-, 90-, 180-min. revealed treatment effects were only statistically significant after 90- and 180-min. of prior leaf exposure. This study suggests, for two ecologically important and taxonomically diverse genera (Azteca and Camponotus, ant chemical cues have important effects on herbivores and that these effects may be widespread across the ant family. It suggests that the effect of chemical cues on herbivores may only appear after substantial previous ant activity has occurred on plant tissues. Furthermore, it supports the hypothesis that herbivores use ant chemical communication to avoid predation or confrontation with ants.

  11. A Theoretic Basis for IS? The Contribution of ANT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jim Underwood

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Representation is a key issue of IS design and operation that is often ignored. Actor-network theory (ANT, a semiotic theory of stakeholders, provides a way of dealing with representation. Combining aspects of ANT and Foucault's discourse theory allows us to include concepts as actors and promises a flexible and durable foundation for IS practice, but ANT itself indicates that the search for a purely theoretical foundation for IS is misguided.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hooper-Bui, L.M. [Department of Environmental Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Kwok, E.S.C. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Buchholz, B.A., E-mail: buchholz2@llnl.gov [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States); Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Rust, M.K. [Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Eastmond, D.A. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Vogel, J.S. [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States)

    2015-10-15

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of {sup 14}C-sucrose, {sup 14}C-hydramethylnon, and {sup 14}C-fipronil was shared between single donor and recipient ants. Dead workers and queens contained significantly more hydramethylnon (122.7 and 22.4 amol/μg ant, respectively) than did live workers and queens (96.3 and 10.4 amol/μg ant, respectively). Dead workers had significantly more fipronil (420.3 amol/μg ant) than did live workers (208.5 amol/μg ant), but dead and live queens had equal fipronil levels (59.5 and 54.3 amol/μg ant, respectively). The distribution of fipronil differed within the bodies of dead and live queens; the highest amounts of fipronil were recovered in the thorax of dead queens whereas live queens had the highest levels in the head. Resurgence of polygynous ant colonies treated with hydramethylnon baits may be explained by queen survival resulting from sublethal doses due to a slowing of trophallaxis throughout the colony. Bait strategies and dose levels for controlling insect pests need to be based on the specific toxicant properties and trophic strategies for targeting the entire colony.

  15. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Clustering analysis is used in many disciplines and applications; it is an important tool that descriptively identifies homogeneous groups of objects based on attribute values. The ant colony clustering algorithm is a swarm-intelligent method used for clustering problems that is inspired by the behavior of ant colonies that cluster their corpses and sort their larvae. A new abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm using a data combination mechanism is proposed to improve the computational efficiency and accuracy of the ant colony clustering algorithm. The abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm is used to cluster benchmark problems, and its performance is compared with the ant colony clustering algorithm and other methods used in existing literature. Based on similar computational difficulties and complexities, the results show that the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm produces results that are not only more accurate but also more efficiently determined than the ant colony clustering algorithm and the other methods. Thus, the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm can be used for efficient multivariate data clustering. PMID:26839533

  16. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hooper-Bui, L.M.; Kwok, E.S.C.; Buchholz, B.A.; Rust, M.K.; Eastmond, D.A.; Vogel, J.S.

    2015-01-01

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of 14 C-sucrose, 14 C-hydramethylnon, and 14 C-fipronil was shared between single donor and recipient ants. Dead workers and queens contained significantly more hydramethylnon (122.7 and 22.4 amol/μg ant, respectively) than did live workers and queens (96.3 and 10.4 amol/μg ant, respectively). Dead workers had significantly more fipronil (420.3 amol/μg ant) than did live workers (208.5 amol/μg ant), but dead and live queens had equal fipronil levels (59.5 and 54.3 amol/μg ant, respectively). The distribution of fipronil differed within the bodies of dead and live queens; the highest amounts of fipronil were recovered in the thorax of dead queens whereas live queens had the highest levels in the head. Resurgence of polygynous ant colonies treated with hydramethylnon baits may be explained by queen survival resulting from sublethal doses due to a slowing of trophallaxis throughout the colony. Bait strategies and dose levels for controlling insect pests need to be based on the specific toxicant properties and trophic strategies for targeting the entire colony.

  17. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Ferrari, Matthew; Evans, Harry C.

    2012-01-01

    Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade......-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests...

  18. Signals can trump rewards in attracting seed-dispersing ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle M Turner

    Full Text Available Both rewards and signals are important in mutualisms. In myrmecochory, or seed dispersal by ants, the benefits to plants are relatively well studied, but less is known about why ants pick up and move seeds. We examined seed dispersal by the ant Aphaenogaster rudis of four co-occurring species of plants, and tested whether morphology, chemical signaling, or the nutritional quality of fatty seed appendages called elaiosomes influenced dispersal rates. In removal trials, ants quickly collected diaspores (seeds plus elaiosomes of Asarum canadense, Trillium grandiflorum, and Sanguinaria canadensis, but largely neglected those of T. erectum. This discrepancy was not explained by differences in the bulk cost-benefit ratio, as assessed by the ratio of seed to elaiosome mass. We also provisioned colonies with diaspores from one of these four plant species or no diaspores as a control. Colonies performed best when fed S. canadensis diaspores, worst when fed T. grandiflorum, and intermediately when fed A. canadense, T. erectum, or no diaspores. Thus, the nutritional rewards in elaiosomes affected colony performance, but did not completely predict seed removal. Instead, high levels of oleic acid in T. grandiflorum elaiosomes may explain why ants disperse these diaspores even though they reduce ant colony performance. We show for the first time that different elaiosome-bearing plants provide rewards of different quality to ant colonies, but also that ants appear unable to accurately assess reward quality when encountering seeds. Instead, we suggest that signals can trump rewards as attractants of ants to seeds.

  19. 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...

  20. [Syagrus romanzoffiana (Arecaceae) seed utilization by ants in a secondary forest in South Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Fernanda R; Begnini, Romualdo M; Klier, Vinícius A; Scherer, Karla Z; Lopes, Benedito C; Castellani, Tânia T

    2009-01-01

    Ants can nest in a wide variety of substracts. This paper shows Syagrus romanzoffiana seed utilization by ants in an Atlantic secondary forest. We report 29 seeds occupied by small-bodied ants, with 27 of them showing at least two ant development stages. Although a large number of seeds were sampled, a low level of ant occupation was observed.

  1. La escritura como espada ante el machismo

    OpenAIRE

    Rottoli, Sofía

    2016-01-01

    Cuando se trata de expresar una postura que abarque una temática demasiado amplia o controversial, recurrir a la escritura puede ser una buena opción de abordaje. Sobre todo cuando son discusiones que llevan años de vigencia. Las luchas feministas ante la violencia de género no son una excepción. Sus discusiones siempre tuvieron presencia en diversos campos, uno de ellos es la ya mencionada escritura. Centro de Investigación en Lectura y Escritura (CILE)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-22

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

  3. Ante-natal ionising radiation and cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1988-01-01

    This editorial comments on the latest reports of the Oxford Survey of Childhood Cancer (now based on Birmingham). With 14759 pairs, the latest survey is over 10-fold larger than the 1958 report and the calculation of fatal childhood cancer rate at one case in 990 ante-natal radiographic examinations is rather larger than the early estimates, in spite of the fetal radiation dose having been halved and the cure rate for childhood leukemia being much improved. Comments are made on the comparisons with bomb survivors, and on the much increased fatal cancer incidence after first trimester radiography. (UK)

  4. Ant Systems for a Dynamic TSP - Ants Caught in a Traffic Jam

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eyckelhof, C.J.; Dorigo, M.; Caro Di, G.; Snoek, M.; Sampels, M.

    2002-01-01

    In this paper we present a new Ants System approach to a dynamic Travelling Salesman Problem. Here the travel times between the cities are subject to change. To handle this dynamism several ways of adapting the pheromone matrix both locally and globally are considered. We show that the strategy of

  5. Advancing dendrochronological studies of fire in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant L. Harley; Christopher H. Baisan; Peter M. Brown; Donald A. Falk; William T. Flatley; Henri D. Grissino-Mayer; Amy Hessl; Emily K. Heyerdahl; Margot W. Kaye; Charles W. Lafon; Ellis Q. Margolis; R. Stockton Maxwell; Adam T. Naito; William J. Platt; Monica T. Rother; Thomas Saladyga; Rosemary L. Sherriff; Lauren A. Stachowiak; Michael C. Stambaugh; Elaine Kennedy Sutherland; Alan H. Taylor

    2018-01-01

    Dendroecology is the science that dates tree rings to their exact calendar year of formation to study processes that influence forest ecology (e.g., Speer 2010 [1], Amoroso et al., 2017 [2]). Reconstruction of past fire regimes is a core application of dendroecology, linking fire history to population dynamics and climate effects on tree growth and survivorship. Since...

  6. Spatial distribution of dominant arboreal ants in a malagasy coastal rainforest: gaps and presence of an invasive species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Dejean

    Full Text Available We conducted a survey along three belt transects located at increasing distances from the coast to determine whether a non-random arboreal ant assemblage, such as an ant mosaic, exists in the rainforest on the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. In most tropical rainforests, very populous colonies of territorially dominant arboreal ant species defend absolute territories distributed in a mosaic pattern. Among the 29 ant species recorded, only nine had colonies large enough to be considered potentially territorially dominant; the remaining species had smaller colonies and were considered non-dominant. Nevertheless, the null-model analyses used to examine the spatial structure of their assemblages did not reveal the existence of an ant mosaic. Inland, up to 44% of the trees were devoid of dominant arboreal ants, something not reported in other studies. While two Crematogaster species were not associated with one another, Brachymyrmex cordemoyi was positively associated with Technomyrmex albipes, which is considered an invasive species-a non-indigenous species that has an adverse ecological effect on the habitats it invades. The latter two species and Crematogaster ranavalonae were mutually exclusive. On the other hand, all of the trees in the coastal transect and at least 4 km of coast were occupied by T. albipes, and were interconnected by columns of workers. Technomyrmex albipes workers collected from different trees did not attack each other during confrontation tests, indicating that this species has formed a supercolony along the coast. Yet interspecific aggressiveness did occur between T. albipes and Crematogaster ranavalonae, a native species which is likely territorially dominant based on our intraspecific confrontation tests. These results suggest that the Masoala rainforest is threatened by a potential invasion by T. albipes, and that the penetration of this species further inland might be facilitated by the low density of native

  7. By their own devices: invasive Argentine ants have shifted diet without clear aid from symbiotic microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yi; Holway, David A; Łukasik, Piotr; Chau, Linh; Kay, Adam D; LeBrun, Edward G; Miller, Katie A; Sanders, Jon G; Suarez, Andrew V; Russell, Jacob A

    2017-03-01

    The functions and compositions of symbiotic bacterial communities often correlate with host ecology. Yet cause-effect relationships and the order of symbiont vs. host change remain unclear in the face of ancient symbioses and conserved host ecology. Several groups of ants exemplify this challenge, as their low-nitrogen diets and specialized symbioses appear conserved and ancient. To address whether nitrogen-provisioning symbionts might be important in the early stages of ant trophic shifts, we studied bacteria from the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile - an invasive species that has transitioned towards greater consumption of sugar-rich, nitrogen-poor foods in parts of its introduced range. Bacteria were present at low densities in most L. humile workers, and among those yielding quality 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing data, we found just three symbionts to be common and dominant. Two, a Lactobacillus and an Acetobacteraceae species, were shared between native and introduced populations. The other, a Rickettsia, was found only in two introduced supercolonies. Across an eight-year period of trophic reduction in one introduced population, we found no change in symbionts, arguing against a relationship between natural dietary change and microbiome composition. Overall, our findings thus argue against major changes in symbiotic bacteria in association with the invasion and trophic shift of L. humile. In addition, genome content from close relatives of the identified symbionts suggests that just one can synthesize most essential amino acids; this bacterium was only modestly abundant in introduced populations, providing little support for a major role of nitrogen-provisioning symbioses in Argentine ant's dietary shift. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. 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......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 combustion (FBC) systems, and grate-firing systems, which are employed in about 50%, 40% and 10% of all the co-firing plants, respectively. Their basic principles, process technologies, advantages, and limitations are presented, followed by a brief comparison of these technologies when applied to biomass co...

  9. Fire safety analysis: methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kazarians, M.

    1998-01-01

    From a review of the fires that have occurred in nuclear power plants and the results of fire risk studies that have been completed over the last 17 years, we can conclude that internal fires in nuclear power plants can be an important contributor to plant risk. Methods and data are available to quantify the fire risk. These methods and data have been subjected to a series of reviews and detailed scrutiny and have been applied to a large number of plants. There is no doubt that we do not know everything about fire and its impact on a nuclear power plants. However, this lack of knowledge or uncertainty can be quantified and can be used in the decision making process. In other words, the methods entail uncertainties and limitations that are not insurmountable and there is little or no basis for the results of a fire risk analysis fail to support a decision process

  10. Nectar Theft and Floral Ant-Repellence: A Link between Nectar Volume and Ant-Repellent Traits?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballantyne, Gavin; Willmer, Pat

    2012-01-01

    As flower visitors, ants rarely benefit a plant. They are poor pollinators, and can also disrupt pollination by deterring other flower visitors, or by stealing nectar. Some plant species therefore possess floral ant-repelling traits. But why do particular species have such traits when others do not? In a dry forest in Costa Rica, of 49 plant species around a third were ant-repellent at very close proximity to a common generalist ant species, usually via repellent pollen. Repellence was positively correlated with the presence of large nectar volumes. Repellent traits affected ant species differently, some influencing the behaviour of just a few species and others producing more generalised ant-repellence. Our results suggest that ant-repellent floral traits may often not be pleiotropic, but instead could have been selected for as a defence against ant thieves in plant species that invest in large volumes of nectar. This conclusion highlights to the importance of research into the cost of nectar production in future studies into ant-flower interactions. PMID:22952793

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-10-01

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

  12. The importance of ants in cave ecology, with new records and behavioral observations of ants in Arizona caves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert B. Pape

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The importance of ants as elements in cave ecology has been mostly unrecognized. A global list of ant species recorded from caves, compiled from a review of existing literature, is presented. This paper also reviews what is currently known about ants occurring in Arizona (USA caves. The diversity and distribution represented in these records suggests ants are relatively common cave visitors (trogloxenes. A general utilization of caves by ants within both temperate and tropical latitudes may be inferred from this combined evidence. Observations of ant behavior in Arizona caves demonstrate a low level and sporadic, but persistent, use of these habitats and their contained resources by individual ant colonies. Documentation of Neivamyrmex sp. preying on cave-inhabiting arthropods is reported here for the first time. Observations of hypogeic army ants in caves suggests they may not penetrate to great vertical depth in search of prey, but can be persistent occupants in relatively shallow, horizontal sections of caves where they may prey on endemic cave animals. First cave records for ten ant species are reported from Arizona caves. These include two species of Neivamyrmex (N. nigrescens Cresson and Neivamyrmex sp.; Formicidae: Dorylinae, four myrmicines (Pheidole portalensis Wilson, Pheidole cf. porcula Wheeler, Solenopsis aurea Wheeler and Stenamma sp. Westwood, one dolichoderine (Forelius keiferi Wheeler and three formicines (Lasius arizonicus Wheeler, L. sitiens Wilson, and Camponotus sp. Mayr.

  13. 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...

  14. Fire management in central America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrea L. Koonce; Armando González-Cabán

    1992-01-01

    Information on fire management operations in Central America is scant. To evaluate the known level of fire occurrence in seven countries in that area, fire management officers were asked to provide information on their fire control organizations and on any available fire statistics. The seven countries surveyed were Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua,...

  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. Designing fire safe interiors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belles, D W

    1992-01-01

    Any product that causes a fire to grow large is deficient in fire safety performance. A large fire in any building represents a serious hazard. Multiple-death fires almost always are linked to fires that grow quickly to a large size. Interior finishes have large, continuous surfaces over which fire can spread. They are regulated to slow initial fire growth, and must be qualified for use on the basis of fire tests. To obtain meaningful results, specimens must be representative of actual installation. Variables--such as the substrate, the adhesive, and product thickness and density--can affect product performance. The tunnel test may not adequately evaluate some products, such as foam plastics or textile wall coverings, thermoplastic materials, or materials of minimal mass. Where questions exist, products should be evaluated on a full-scale basis. Curtains and draperies are examples of products that ignite easily and spread flames readily. The present method for testing curtains and draperies evaluates one fabric at a time. Although a fabric tested alone may perform well, fabrics that meet test standards individually sometimes perform poorly when tested in combination. Contents and furnishings constitute the major fuels in many fires. Contents may involve paper products and other lightweight materials that are easily ignited and capable of fast fire growth. Similarly, a small source may ignite many items of furniture that are capable of sustained fire growth. Upholstered furniture can reach peak burning rates in less than 5 minutes. Furnishings have been associated with many multiple-death fires.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  17. 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.

  18. ANT tuner retrofit for LEB cavity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walling, L.; Goren, Y.; Kwiatkowski, S.

    1994-03-01

    This report describes a ferrite tuner design for the LEB cavity that utilizes techniques for bonding ferrite to metallic cooling plates that is utilized in the high-power rf and microwave industry. A test tuner was designed to fit into the existing LEB-built magnet and onto the Grimm LEB Cavity. It will require a new vacuum window in order to attain maximal tuning range and high voltage capability and a new center conductor of longer length and a different vacuum window connection than the Grimm center conductor. However, the new center conductor will be essentially identical to the Grimm center conductor in its basic construction and in the way it connects to the stand for support. The tuner is mechanically very similar to high-power stacked circulators built by ANT of Germany and was designed according to ANT's established engineering and design criteria and SSC LEB tuning and power requirements. The tuner design incorporates thin tiles of ferrite glued using a high-radiation-resistance epoxy to copper-plated stainless steel cooling plates of thickness 6.5 mm with water cooling channels inside the plates. The cooling plates constitute 16 pie-shaped segments arranged in a disk. They are electrically isolated from each other to suppress eddy currents. Five of these disks are arranged in parallel with high-pressure rf contacts between the plates at the outer radius. The end walls are slotted copper-plated stainless steel of thickness 3 mm

  19. Loading pattern optimization using ant colony algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoareau, Fabrice

    2008-01-01

    Electricite de France (EDF) operates 58 nuclear power plants (NPP), of the Pressurized Water Reactor type. The loading pattern optimization of these NPP is currently done by EDF expert engineers. Within this framework, EDF R and D has developed automatic optimization tools that assist the experts. LOOP is an industrial tool, developed by EDF R and D and based on a simulated annealing algorithm. In order to improve the results of such automatic tools, new optimization methods have to be tested. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithms are recent methods that have given very good results on combinatorial optimization problems. In order to evaluate the performance of such methods on loading pattern optimization, direct comparisons between LOOP and a mock-up based on the Max-Min Ant System algorithm (a particular variant of ACO algorithms) were made on realistic test-cases. It is shown that the results obtained by the ACO mock-up are very similar to those of LOOP. Future research will consist in improving these encouraging results by using parallelization and by hybridizing the ACO algorithm with local search procedures. (author)

  20. Ant Foraging Behavior for Job Shop Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahad Diyana Abdul

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is a new algorithm approach, inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants. It has frequently been applied to many optimization problems and one such problem is in solving the job shop problem (JSP. The JSP is a finite set of jobs processed on a finite set of machine where once a job initiates processing on a given machine, it must complete processing and uninterrupted. In solving the Job Shop Scheduling problem, the process is measure by the amount of time required in completing a job known as a makespan and minimizing the makespan is the main objective of this study. In this paper, we developed an ACO algorithm to minimize the makespan. A real set of problems from a metal company in Johor bahru, producing 20 parts with jobs involving the process of clinching, tapping and power press respectively. The result from this study shows that the proposed ACO heuristics managed to produce a god result in a short time.

  1. 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...

  2. 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)

  3. Modeling of compartment fire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sathiah, P.; Siccama, A.; Visser, D.; Komen, E.

    2011-01-01

    Fire accident in a containment is a serious threat to nuclear reactors. Fire can cause substantial loss to life and property. The risk posed by fire can also exceed the risk from internal events within a nuclear reactor. Numerous research efforts have been performed to understand and analyze the phenomenon of fire in nuclear reactor and its consequences. Modeling of fire is an important subject in the field of fire safety engineering. Two approaches which are commonly used in fire modeling are zonal modeling and field modeling. The objective of this work is to compare zonal and field modeling approach against a pool fired experiment performed in a well-confined compartment. Numerical simulations were performed against experiments, which were conducted within PRISME program under the framework of OECD. In these experiments, effects of ventilation flow rate on heat release rate in a confined and mechanically ventilated compartment is investigated. Time dependent changes in gas temperature and oxygen mass fraction were measured. The trends obtained by numerical simulation performed using zonal model and field model compares well with experiments. Further validation is needed before this code can be used for fire safety analyses. (author)

  4. A framework for developing safe and effective large-fire response in a new fire management paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher J. Dunn; Matthew P. Thompson; David E. Calkin

    2017-01-01

    The impacts of wildfires have increased in recent decades because of historical forest and fire management, a rapidly changing climate, and an increasingly populated wildland urban interface. This increasingly complex fire environment highlights the importance of developing robust tools to support risk-informed decision making. While tools have been developed to aid...

  5. Understanding heterogeneity of social preferences for fire prevention management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Varela, Elsa; Jacobsen, Jette Bredahl; Soliño, Mario

    2014-01-01

    The forest area burnt annually in the European Mediterranean region has more than doubled since the 1970s. In these forests, the main preventive action consists of forest compartmentalization by fuel break networks, which entail high costs and sometimes significant negative impacts. While many...... studies look at public preferences for fire suppression, this study analyses the heterogeneity of social preferences for fire prevention. The visual characteristics of fire prevention structures are very familiar to respondents, but their management is unfamiliar, which raises specific attention in terms...... for the density of fuel breaks. These results are important for designing fire prevention policies that are efficient and acceptable by the population....

  6. Aphid egg protection by ants: a novel aspect of the mutualism between the tree-feeding aphid Stomaphis hirukawai and its attendant ant Lasius productus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Kenji; Yashiro, Toshihisa

    2006-10-01

    Aphids often form mutualistic associations with ants, in which the aphids provide the ants with honeydew and the ants defend the aphids from predators. In this paper, we report aphid egg protection by ants as a novel aspect of the deeply interdependent relationship between a tree-feeding aphid and its attendant ant. The ant Lasius productus harbours oviparous females, males, and eggs of the hinoki cypress-feeding aphid Stomaphis hirukawai in its nests in winter. We investigated the behaviour of ants kept with aphid eggs in petri dishes to examine whether the ants recognise the aphid eggs and tend them or only provide a refuge for the aphids. Workers carried almost all of the aphid eggs into the nest within 24 h. The ants indiscriminately tended aphid eggs collected from their own colonies and those from other ant colonies. The ants cleaned the eggs and piled them up in the nest, and egg tending by ants dramatically increased aphid egg survival rates. Starving the ants showed no significant effect on aphid egg survivorship. Without ants, aphid eggs were rapidly killed by fungi. These results suggested that grooming by the ants protected the aphid eggs, at least, against pathogenic fungi. This hygienic service afforded by the ants seems indispensable for egg survival of these aphids in an environment rich in potentially pathogenic microorganisms.

  7. Current and potential ant impacts in the Pacific region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loope, Lloyd L.; Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2007-01-01

    Worldwide, ants are a powerful ecological force, and they appear to be dominant components of animal communities of many tropical and temperate ecosystems in terms of biomass and numbers of individuals (Bluthgen et al. 2000). For example, ants comprise up to 94% of arthropod individuals in fogging samples taken from diverse lowland tropical rainforest canopies, and 86% of the biomass (Davidson et al. 2003). The majority of these ant species and individuals obtain carbohydrates either from extrafloral nectaries or from sap-feeding Hemiptera that pass carbohydrate-rich “honeydew” to attending ants while concentrating nitrogen (N) from N-poor plant sap (Davidson et al. 2003). Honeydew and nectar represent key resources for arboreal ant species, although most ant species are at least partly carnivorous or scavengers (Bluthgen et al. 2004). In contrast to most of the terrestrial world, the biotas of many Pacific islands evolved without ants. Whereas endemic ant species are found in New Zealand (ca. 10 spp.), Tonga (ca. 10 spp.), and Samoa (ca. 12 spp.), other islands of Polynesia and parts of Micronesia likely lack native ants (Wilson and Taylor 1967, Wetterer 2002, Wetterer and Vargo 2003). About 20 Indo-Australian and western Pacific ant species range to the east and north of Samoa, but it is unclear how many of these were transported there by humans at some time (Wilson and Taylor 1967). Most of the remainder of the ant species currently found on Pacific islands are widespread species that fall in the category of “tramp species,” dispersed by recent human commerce and generally closely tied to human activity and urban areas (Wilson and Taylor 1967, McGlynn 1999). In Pacific island situations, some of these tramp ant species are able to thrive beyond areas of human activity. Relatively few ant species have been successful invaders of native communities on continents, and these include most of the species that pose the greatest problems for Pacific islands

  8. Grower perception of the significance of weaver ants as a fruit fly deterrent in Tanzanian smallholder mango production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirkegaard, Nina; Msogoya, Theodosy; Offenberg, Joachim

    2017-01-01

    Managed populations of weaver ants in mango trees have been used successfully in Australia, SE Asia and parts of Western Africa to deter fruit flies from ovipositing in ripening fruits. The presence of indigenous weaver ants in mango trees of smallholder growers in Tanzania offers the possibility...... of exploiting them as an affordable, environmentally -friendly method to improve marketable fruit yield and quality. In a preliminary interview study in a mango-growing region of rural Tanzania, the farmers were not convinced of any beneficial, deterrent effect attributable to the indigenous weaver ants...... the development of a significant proportion of any deposited eggs. Subsequent field studies supported the grower perceptions as they recorded only an erratic and limited deterrent effect....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Soil carabids and ants in two farming areas of yellow passion fruit (passiflora edulis) at Valle del Cauca, Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arenas, Anderson; Armbrecht, Inge; Chacon, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    The fauna of beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and ants that survive in the soil of a passion fruit crop under conventional management in Roldanillo-Valle del Cauca was examined, in March and May (rainy season) and in June and July (dry season), 2012. We carried out four samplings of monthly intensity in two plots with plants of different ages, and registered the species found. We found 149 individuals of Carabidae, distributed into ten species and 2447 ants, distributed in 19 morphospecies. The most abundant species of ants was Solenopsis geminata, while Megacephala (Tetracha) sobrina was the most abundant species of Carabidae. It was also found that the abundance and richness of carabid beetles tend to be higher in the rainy season, while some ant species showed a preference for specific seasonal periods. We conclude that a rich fauna of ground carabids and ants survives in the study area, which could contribute in the control of phytophagous insects populations associated with the crops of passion fruit.

  11. High severity fires, positive fire feedbacks and alternative stable states in Athrotaxis rainforest ecosystems in western Tasmania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holz, A.; Wood, S.; Fletcher, M. S.; Ward, C.; Hopf, F.; Veblen, T. T.; Bowman, D. M. J. S.

    2016-12-01

    Recurrent landscape fires present a powerful selective force on plant regeneration strategies that form a continuum between vegetative resprouters and obligate seeders. In the latter case, reduction of the interval between fires, combined with factors that affect plant traits and regeneration dynamics can drive plant population to local extinction. Here we use Athrotaxis selaginoides, a relict fire-sensitive Gondwanan tree species that occurs in western Tasmania, as model system to investigate the putative impacts of climate change and variability and human management of fire. We integrate landscape ecology (island-wide scale), with field survey and dendrochronology (stand-scale) and sedimentary records (watershed and landscape-scales) to garner a better understanding of the timing and impact of landscape fire on the vegetation dynamics of Athrotaxis at multiple scales. Across the species range sedimentary charcoal and pollen concentrations indicate that the recovery time since the last fire has consistently lengthened over the last 10,000 yrs. Stand-scale tree-age and fire-scar reconstructions suggest that populations of the Athrotxis have survive very infrequent landscape fires over the last 4-6 centuries, but that fire severity has increased following European colonization causing population collapse of Athrotaxis and an associate shift in stand structure and composition that favor resprouter species over obligate seeders. Overall our findings suggest that the resistance to fires and postfire recovery of populations of A. selaginoides have gradually declined throughout the Holocene and rapidly declined after Europeans altered fire regimes, a trend that matches the fate other Gondwanan conifers in temperate rainforests elsewhere in the southern Hemisphere.

  12. Spatial patterns of modern period human-caused fire occurrence in the Missouri Ozark Highlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jian Yang; Hong S. Healy; Stephen R. Shifley; Eric J. Gustafson

    2007-01-01

    The spatial pattern of forest fire locations is important in the study of the dynamics of fire disturbance. In this article we used a spatial point process modeling approach to quantitatively study the effects of land cover, topography, roads, municipalities, ownership, and population density on fire occurrence reported between 1970 and 2002 in the Missouri Ozark...

  13. 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.

  14. Ultrastructure of antennal sensillae of the samsum ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Black ant (Samsum), Pachycodyla sennarrensis, stings and injects venom and inflicts allergy (a rare clinical problem) due to its local and systemic reaction, which is considered as a health hazard amongst Saudi society. Thus, black ant is a source of serious concern for the government and experts as well.

  15. Development of a Bait System for the Pharaoh's Ant, Monomorium ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The infestation of the Pharaoh's ant, Monomorium pharaonis L. is widespread and, sometimes, very serious in homes, hospitals, restaurants, factories, etc. People are helpless because effective baited traps are not available locally, and little has been done locally to develop effective control strategies for these ants.

  16. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A preliminary species checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of. Kakamega Forest, Western Kenya, is presented. The species list is based on specimens sampled from 1999 until 2009, which are deposited in the ant collection of the Zoological Research Museum Koenig, Bonn, Germany, and the Natural History ...

  17. Ant species richness of fynbos and forest ecosystems in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The ant fauna in fynbos and forest habitats in the southern Cape are compared. There is no significant difference in ant species richness between the two undisturbed habitat types, and the only two species common to both are Acantholepis capensis and Camponotus maculatus. The degree of Hakea sericea infestation in ...

  18. Volatile chemicals in glands of the carpenter ant, Camponotus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Volatile chemicals in glands of the carpenter ant, Camponotus arminius. J.M. Brand, L.V. Mabinya, E.D. Morgan. Abstract. Camponotus arminius is a large black carpenter ant that occurs in tropical and sub-tropical Africa and has extensive foraging trails both in trees and on the ground. Analysis of excised mandibular glands ...

  19. Novel Phialophora species from leaf-cutting ants (tribe Attini)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Attili-Angelis, D.; Duarte, A.P.M.; Pagnocca, F.C.; Nagamoto, N.S.; de Vries, M.; Stielow, J.B.; de Hoog, G.S.

    2014-01-01

    Ants in the tribe Attini (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) maintain a 50 million-year-old lifestyle of co-evolution with symbiotic basidiomycetous fungi which they cultivate as essential source of nutrition. However, other microorganisms have been reported from ant habitats indicating a higher diversity of

  20. Why do house-hunting ants recruit in both directions?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Planqué, R.; Dechaume-Moncharmont, F.-X.; Franks, N.R.; Kovacs, T.; Marshall, J.A.R.

    2007-01-01

    To perform tasks, organisms often use multiple procedures. Explaining the breadth of such behavioural repertoires is not always straightforward. During house hunting, colonies of Temnothorax albipennis ants use a range of behaviours to organise their emigrations. In particular, the ants use tandem