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Sample records for ground ant diversity

  1. Diversity and ecology of ground dwelling ants at Khao Nan National Park, southern Thailand

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    Suparoek Watanasit

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Khao Nan National Park (KNNP is located in the southern part of Thailand. Its flora and fauna are diverse, however there is little information about the diversity of ants. The aim of this study was to determine species diversity and ecology of ants at KNNP. Three study sites (Baucheak Trail, Pra Forest and Sunantha Trail were chosen and at each three permanent plots of 30x30 m were selected at least 500 m apart. The ant sampling was extracted from leaf litter by the Winkler bag method. Physical factors of precipitation, humidity, air temperature, and soil temperature were recorded during the collection of ants every two months between January 2006 and January 2007. A total number of 172 species and 43 genera belonging to 9 subfamilies were identified. The top five dominant genera of ants were Pheidole (27 species following by Tetramorium (14 species, Camponotus (13 species, Pachycondyla (12 species, and Crematogaster (9 species. The influence of the study sites on the species number of ants in this study indicated that the study sites had an affect on the species number. Regarding the environmental factors, the results showed that the individual numbers of Pheidole was significantly negatively correlated to precipitation, whereas Pachycondyla was significantly negatively correlated to humidity, while both genera were significantly positively correlated to air temperature and soil temperature. Moreover, Camponotus was the only genus significantly positively correlated to the air temperature.

  2. The effects of forest conversion to oil palm on ground-foraging ant communities depend on beta diversity and sampling grain.

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    Wang, Wendy Y; Foster, William A

    2015-08-01

    Beta diversity - the variation in species composition among spatially discrete communities - and sampling grain - the size of samples being compared - may alter our perspectives of diversity within and between landscapes before and after agricultural conversion. Such assumptions are usually based on point comparisons, which do not accurately capture actual differences in total diversity. Beta diversity is often not rigorously examined. We investigated the beta diversity of ground-foraging ant communities in fragmented oil palm and forest landscapes in Sabah, Malaysia, using diversity metrics transformed from Hill number equivalents to remove dependences on alpha diversity. We compared the beta diversities of oil palm and forest, across three hierarchically nested sampling grains. We found that oil palm and forest communities had a greater percentage of total shared species when larger samples were compared. Across all grains and disregarding relative abundances, there was higher beta diversity of all species among forest communities. However, there were higher beta diversities of common and very abundant (dominant) species in oil palm as compared to forests. Differences in beta diversities between oil palm and forest were greatest at the largest sampling grain. Larger sampling grains in oil palm may generate bigger species pools, increasing the probability of shared species with forest samples. Greater beta diversity of all species in forest may be attributed to rare species. Oil palm communities may be more heterogeneous in common and dominant species because of variable community assembly events. Rare and also common species are better captured at larger grains, boosting differences in beta diversity between larger samples of forest and oil palm communities. Although agricultural landscapes support a lower total diversity than natural forests, diversity especially of abundant species is still important for maintaining ecosystem stability. Diversity in

  3. Diversity of the ground-dwelling ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of a moist, Montane forest of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste".

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    Hites, N L; Mourão, M A N; Araújo, F O; Melo, M V C; de Biseau, J C; Quinet, Y

    2005-01-01

    Although the so called "green islands" of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste" are economically, socially, and ecologically important. relatively little is known about their biodiversity. We present the results of the first survey of the ground-dwelling ant fauna of a secondary forest in the Serra de Baturité (4 degrees 05'-4 degrees 40' S / 38 degrees 30'-39 degrees 10' W), among the biggest of the moist, montane forests of the state of Ceará, Brazil. From February to March 2001, samples were taken every 50 m along twelve 200 m transects, each separated from the others by at least 50 m and cut on either side of a recreational trail. Where possible, two transects were cut from the same starting point on the trail, one on either side. At each sample site two methods were used, as recommended in the ALL. protocol: a pitfall trap and the treatment of 1 m2 of leaf litter with the Winkler extractor. The myrmecofauna of the Serra de Baturité is quite diverse: individuals from 72 species, 23 genera, and six subfamilies were collected. The observed patterns of specific richness show the same tendencies noted in other tropical regions, particularly the frequency of capture distribution with many rare and few abundant species. Differences with the Atlantic and Amazonian forests were also observed, especially the relative importance of the Ponerinac and Formicinae subfamilies, indicating a possible influence of the surrounding "caatinga" (savanna-like ecosystem) on the myrmecofauna of the moist, montane forest.

  4. Species diversity and distribution patterns of the ants of Amazonian Ecuador.

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    Kari T Ryder Wilkie

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Ants are among the most diverse, abundant and ecologically significant organisms on earth. Although their species richness appears to be greatest in the New World tropics, global patterns of ant diversity and distribution are not well understood. We comprehensively surveyed ant diversity in a lowland primary rainforest in Western Amazonia, Ecuador using canopy fogging, pitfall traps, baits, hand collecting, mini-Winkler devices and subterranean probes to sample ants. A total of 489 ant species comprising 64 genera in nine subfamilies were identified from samples collected in only 0.16 square kilometers. The most species-rich genera were Camponotus, Pheidole, Pseudomyrmex, Pachycondyla, Brachymyrmex, and Crematogaster. Camponotus and Pseudomyrmex were most diverse in the canopy, while Pheidole was most diverse on the ground. The three most abundant ground-dwelling ant genera were Pheidole, Solenopsis and Pyramica. Crematogaster carinata was the most abundant ant species in the canopy; Wasmannia auropunctata was most abundant on the ground, and the army ant Labidus coecus was the most abundant subterranean species. Ant species composition among strata was significantly different: 80% of species were found in only one stratum, 17% in two strata, and 3% in all three strata. Elevation and the number of logs and twigs available as nest sites were significant predictors of ground-dwelling ant species richness. Canopy species richness was not correlated with any ecological variable measured. Subterranean species richness was negatively correlated with depth in the soil. When ant species were categorized using a functional group matrix based on diet, nest-site preference and foraging ecology, the greatest diversity was found in Omnivorous Canopy Nesters. Our study indicates ant species richness is exceptionally high at Tiputini. We project 647-736 ant species in this global hotspot of biodiversity. Considering the relatively small area surveyed, this

  5. Diversity of the ground-dwelling ant fauna (Hymenoptera:Formicidae of a moist,montane forest of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste "

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    N. L Hites

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Although the so called "green islands" of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste" are economically, socially, and ecologically important, relatively little is known about their biodiversity. We present the results of the first survey of the ground-dwelling ant fauna of a secondary forest in the Serra de Baturité (4° 05’ - 4° 40’ S / 38° 30’ - 39° 10’ W, among the biggest of the moist, montane forests of the state of Ceará, Brazil. From February to March 2001, samples were taken every 50 m along twelve 200 m transects, each separated from the others by at least 50 m and cut on either side of a recreational trail. Where possible, two transects were cut from the same starting point on the trail, one on either side. At each sample site two methods were used, as recommended in the ALL protocol: a pitfall trap and the treatment of 1 m² of leaf litter with the Winkler extractor. The myrmecofauna of the Serra de Baturité is quite diverse: individuals from 72 species, 23 genera, and six subfamilies were collected. The observed patterns of specific richness show the same tendencies noted in other tropical regions, particularly the frequency of capture distribution with many rare and few abundant species. Differences with the Atlantic and Amazonian forests were also observed, especially the relative importance of the Ponerinae and Formicinae subfamilies, indicating a possible influence of the surrounding "caatinga" (savanna-like ecosystem on the myrmecofauna of the moist,montane forest. Rev. Biol. Trop. 53(1-2:165-173. Epub 2005 Jun 24Se presentan los resultados del primer inventario de la mirmecofauna del suelo en un parche de bosque montano húmedo del "Nordeste" semi-árido brasileño. Aunque estos parches o "islas verdes" son importantes económica, social, y ecológicamente, se conoce relativamente poco acerca de su biodiversidad. La investigación fue llevada a cabo en un bosque secundario en la Serra de Baturité, uno de los mayores del

  6. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

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    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...

  7. Tracing the rise of ants - out of the ground.

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    Andrea Lucky

    Full Text Available The evolution of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae is increasingly well-understood due to recent phylogenetic analyses, along with estimates of divergence times and diversification rates. Yet, leading hypotheses regarding the ancestral habitat of ants conflict with new findings that early ant lineages are cryptic and subterranean. Where the ants evolved, in respect to habitat, and how habitat shifts took place over time have not been formally tested. Here, we reconstruct the habitat transitions of crown-group ants through time, focusing on where they nest and forage (in the canopy, litter, or soil. Based on ancestral character reconstructions, we show that in contrast to the current consensus based on verbal arguments that ants evolved in tropical leaf litter, the soil is supported as the ancestral stratum of all ants. We also find subsequent movements up into the litter and, in some cases, into the canopy. Given the global importance of ants, because of their diversity, ecological influence and status as the most successful eusocial lineage on Earth, understanding the early evolution of this lineage provides insight into the factors that made this group so successful today.

  8. The diversity of microorganisms associated with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

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    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.

  9. Ground-dwelling ant fauna of sites with high levels of copper.

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    Diehl, E; Sanhudo, C E; Diehl-Fleig, Ed

    2004-02-01

    Richness and diversity of ant species are related to environmental factors such as vegetation, soil, presence of heavy metals, and insecticides, which allow the use of the assemblage members as terrestrial indicators of environmental conservation status. This study presents the results of ground ants surveyed in Minas do Camaquã in the municipality of Cacapava do Sul (Camaquã Basin), State of Rio Grande do Sul. Collections were performed in four sites, which high levels of copper in the soil, three of which--a mine, a liquid reject, and a solid reject-, had sparse or no plant cover, and one site where Pinus has been used for rehabilitation. Parque das Guaritas was the control site, since it presented normal levels of copper and a dense savanna cover. For each site, three transect lines extending 100 m were draw, and at each 10 m sardine baits were distributed; after two hours the ants present were collected. Hand collections in all five sites were performed during one hour (capture effort). A total of 51 species belonging to 17 genera were collected. The control site was the richest in ant species (r = 45). Sites with high level of copper and poor plant cover presented the lowest richness: mine (r = 14), solid reject (r = 15), and liquid reject (r = 16). In contrast, the site planted with Pinus presented an increment in richness (r = 24) of ground-dwelling ants, suggesting a reahabilitation process.

  10. Ground-dwelling ant fauna of sites with high levels of copper

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    E. Diehl

    Full Text Available Richness and diversity of ant species are related to environmental factors such as vegetation, soil, presence of heavy metals, and insecticides, which allow the use of the assemblage members as terrestrial indicators of environmental conservation status. This study presents the results of ground ants surveyed in Minas do Camaquã in the municipality of Caçapava do Sul (Camaquã Basin, State of Rio Grande do Sul. Collections were performed in four sites, with high levels of copper in the soil, three of which - a mine, a liquid reject, and a solid reject -, had sparse or no plant cover, and one site where Pinus has been used for rehabilitation. Parque das Guaritas was the control site, since it presented normal levels of copper and a dense savanna cover. For each site, three transect lines extending 100 m were draw, and at each 10 m sardine baits were distributed; after two hours the ants present were collected. Hand collections in all five sites were performed during one hour (capture effort. A total of 51 species belonging to 17 genera were collected. The control site was the richest in ant species (r = 45. Sites with high level of copper and poor plant cover presented the lowest richness: mine (r = 14, solid reject (r = 15, and liquid reject (r = 16. In contrast, the site planted with Pinus presented an increment in richness (r = 24 of ground-dwelling ants, suggesting a reahabilitation process.

  11. Are Tree Species Diversity and Genotypic Diversity Effects on Insect Herbivores Mediated by Ants?

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    María José Campos-Navarrete

    Full Text Available Plant diversity can influence predators and omnivores and such effects may in turn influence herbivores and plants. However, evidence for these ecological feedbacks is rare. We evaluated if the effects of tree species (SD and genotypic diversity (GD on the abundance of different guilds of insect herbivores associated with big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla were contingent upon the protective effects of ants tending extra-floral nectaries of this species. This study was conducted within a larger experiment consisting of mahogany monocultures and species polycultures of four species and -within each of these two plot types- mahogany was represented by either one or four maternal families. We selected 24 plots spanning these treatment combinations, 10 mahogany plants/plot, and within each plot experimentally reduced ant abundance on half of the selected plants, and surveyed ant and herbivore abundance. There were positive effects of SD on generalist leaf-chewers and sap-feeders, but for the latter group this effect depended on the ant reduction treatment: SD positively influenced sap-feeders under ambient ant abundance but had no effect when ant abundance was reduced; at the same time, ants had negative effects on sap feeders in monoculture but no effect in polyculture. In contrast, SD did not influence specialist stem-borers or leaf-miners and this effect was not contingent upon ant reduction. Finally, GD did not influence any of the herbivore guilds studied, and such effects did not depend on the ant treatment. Overall, we show that tree species diversity influenced interactions between a focal plant species (mahogany and ants, and that such effects in turn mediated plant diversity effects on some (sap-feeders but not all the herbivores guilds studied. Our results suggest that the observed patterns are dependent on the combined effects of herbivore identity, diet breadth, and the source of plant diversity.

  12. Energy gradients and the geographic distribution of local ant diversity.

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    Kaspari, Michael; Ward, Philip S; Yuan, May

    2004-08-01

    Geographical diversity gradients, even among local communities, can ultimately arise from geographical differences in speciation and extinction rates. We evaluated three models--energy-speciation, energy-abundance, and area--that predict how geographic trends in net diversification rates generate trends in diversity. We sampled 96 litter ant communities from four provinces: Australia, Madagascar, North America, and South America. The energy-speciation hypothesis best predicted ant species richness by accurately predicting the slope of the temperature diversity curve, and accounting for most of the variation in diversity. The communities showed a strong latitudinal gradient in species richness as well as inter-province differences in diversity. The former vanished in the temperature-diversity residuals, suggesting that the latitudinal gradient arises primarily from higher diversification rates in the tropics. However, inter-province differences in diversity persisted in those residuals--South American communities remained more diverse than those in North America and Australia even after the effects of temperature were removed.

  13. ANT

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    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....

  14. Agricultural matrices affect ground ant assemblage composition inside forest fragments.

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    Diego Santana Assis

    Full Text Available The establishment of agricultural matrices generally involves deforestation, which leads to fragmentation of the remaining forest. This fragmentation can affect forest dynamics both positively and negatively. Since most animal species are affected, certain groups can be used to measure the impact of such fragmentation. This study aimed to measure the impacts of agricultural crops (matrices on ant communities of adjacent lower montane Atlantic rainforest fragments. We sampled nine forest fragments at locations surrounded by different agricultural matrices, namely: coffee (3 replicates; sugarcane (3; and pasture (3. At each site we installed pitfall traps along a 500 m transect from the interior of the matrix to the interior of the fragment (20 pitfall traps ~25 m apart. Each transect was partitioned into four categories: interior of the matrix; edge of the matrix; edge of the fragment; and interior of the fragment. For each sample site, we measured ant species richness and ant community composition within each transect category. Ant richness and composition differed between fragments and matrices. Each sample location had a specific composition of ants, probably because of the influence of the nature and management of the agricultural matrices. Species composition in the coffee matrix had the highest similarity to its corresponding fragment. The variability in species composition within forest fragments surrounded by pasture was greatest when compared with forest fragments surrounded by sugarcane or, to a lesser extent, coffee. Functional guild composition differed between locations, but the most representative guild was 'generalist' both in the agricultural matrices and forest fragments. Our results are important for understanding how agricultural matrices act on ant communities, and also, how these isolated forest fragments could act as an island of biodiversity in an 'ocean of crops'.

  15. Agricultural matrices affect ground ant assemblage composition inside forest fragments.

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    Assis, Diego Santana; Dos Santos, Iracenir Andrade; Ramos, Flavio Nunes; Barrios-Rojas, Katty Elena; Majer, Jonathan David; Vilela, Evaldo Ferreira

    2018-01-01

    The establishment of agricultural matrices generally involves deforestation, which leads to fragmentation of the remaining forest. This fragmentation can affect forest dynamics both positively and negatively. Since most animal species are affected, certain groups can be used to measure the impact of such fragmentation. This study aimed to measure the impacts of agricultural crops (matrices) on ant communities of adjacent lower montane Atlantic rainforest fragments. We sampled nine forest fragments at locations surrounded by different agricultural matrices, namely: coffee (3 replicates); sugarcane (3); and pasture (3). At each site we installed pitfall traps along a 500 m transect from the interior of the matrix to the interior of the fragment (20 pitfall traps ~25 m apart). Each transect was partitioned into four categories: interior of the matrix; edge of the matrix; edge of the fragment; and interior of the fragment. For each sample site, we measured ant species richness and ant community composition within each transect category. Ant richness and composition differed between fragments and matrices. Each sample location had a specific composition of ants, probably because of the influence of the nature and management of the agricultural matrices. Species composition in the coffee matrix had the highest similarity to its corresponding fragment. The variability in species composition within forest fragments surrounded by pasture was greatest when compared with forest fragments surrounded by sugarcane or, to a lesser extent, coffee. Functional guild composition differed between locations, but the most representative guild was 'generalist' both in the agricultural matrices and forest fragments. Our results are important for understanding how agricultural matrices act on ant communities, and also, how these isolated forest fragments could act as an island of biodiversity in an 'ocean of crops'.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  18. [Behavioral mechanisms of spatial competition between red wood ants (Formica aquilonia) and ground beetles (Carabidae)].

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    Dorosheva, E A; Reznikova, Zh I

    2006-01-01

    Behavioral aspects of spatial competition between red wood ants (Formica aquilonia) and six mass species of Carabidae were studied in field and laboratory experiments. We showed that red wood ants essentially influence spatial distribution of ground beetles on their common territories. Transplantation experiments suggest that in newly established ants' settlements stronger forms of interrelations arise than in old stable colony. To examine the ability of beetles to avoid collisions with ants we used two experimental techniques. In laboratory, we tested carabids ability to avoid a clash in a Y-shaped labyrinth containing an active tethered ant in one section. In field experiments we compared quantitative characteristics of movements (such as crookedness of individual trajectories, speed of movement, the time spent on stops) for beetles placed close to ants foraging routes and on ant-free plots. All beetles studied displayed a clear tendency to learn, that is, to modity their behavior in order to avoid collisions with ants. Species that exhibited best parameters of learning were closer to ants by their size and characteristic movement, namely, Pterostichus oblogopunctatus and P. magus. Beetles' stereotyped behavioral tactics can be considered universal for avoiding collisions with any subject (for instance, with an ant) of a certain size and speed of movements. A set of tactics in the labyrinth included: (1) attempts to round the ant; (2) turns away after touching the ant with antennae; (3) turns away without a contact; (4) avoidances of a dangerous section; (5) stops near the ant with the antennae hidden. Comparing pairwise difference between four species shows that beetles use species-specific preference for definite combinations of tactics. Effective learning allows carabids to penetrate into ant foraging territory and partly avoide interference competition. It seems that red wood ants are not inclined to learn to avoid collisions with competing carabid species

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  1. The effect of water on the ground nesting habits of the giant tropical ant, Paraponera clavata

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    Elahi, Robin

    2005-01-01

    The large predatory ant, Paraponera clavata, exerts measurable top-down effects in wet and moist Neotropical forests, and therefore its distribution has potential ecological implications. To determine how water affects the presence of this important predator, the ground nesting ecology of P. clavata was examined with respect to various habitat characteristics. Four hectares of disturbed Costa Rican lowland rain forest were surveyed for ant colonies to determine nest distribution patterns in w...

  2. A diverse ant fauna from the mid-cretaceous of Myanmar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae.

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    Phillip Barden

    Full Text Available A new collection of 24 wingless ant specimens from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Albian-Cenomanian, 99 Ma comprises nine new species belonging to the genus Sphecomyrmodes Engel and Grimaldi. Described taxa vary considerably with regard to total size, head and body proportion, cuticular sculpturing, and petiole structure while all species are unified by a distinct shared character. The assemblage represents the largest known diversification of closely related Cretaceous ants with respect to species number. These stem-group ants exhibit some characteristics previously known only from their extant counterparts along with presumed plesiomorphic morphology. Consequently, their morphology may inform hypotheses relating to basal relationships and general patterns of ant evolution. These and other uncovered Cretaceous species indicate that stem-group ants are not simply wasp-like, transitional formicids, but rather a group of considerable adaptive diversity, exhibiting innovations analogous to what crown-group ants would echo 100 million years later.

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

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    Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Arboreal ant colonies as 'hot-points' of cryptic diversity for myrmecophiles: the weaver ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and its interaction network with its associates.

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    Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. RESULTS: We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. CONCLUSIONS: Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as 'hot-points' of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management

  5. Arboreal ant colonies as 'hot-points' of cryptic diversity for myrmecophiles: the weaver ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and its interaction network with its associates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

    Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as 'hot-points' of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management programs.

  6. Arboreal Ant Colonies as ‘Hot-Points’ of Cryptic Diversity for Myrmecophiles: The Weaver Ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and Its Interaction Network with Its Associates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. Materials and Methods We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. Results We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. Conclusions Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as ‘hot-points’ of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management programs. PMID:24941047

  7. The effect of urbanization on ant abundance and diversity: a temporal examination of factors affecting biodiversity.

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    Grzegorz Buczkowski

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have examined the effect of urbanization on species richness and most studies implicate urbanization as the major cause of biodiversity loss. However, no study has identified an explicit connection between urbanization and biodiversity loss as the impact of urbanization is typically inferred indirectly by comparing species diversity along urban-rural gradients at a single time point. A different approach is to focus on the temporal rather than the spatial aspect and perform "before and after" studies where species diversity is cataloged over time in the same sites. The current study examined changes in ant abundance and diversity associated with the conversion of natural habitats into urban habitats. Ant abundance and diversity were tracked in forested sites that became urbanized through construction and were examined at 3 time points - before, during, and after construction. On average, 4.3 ± 1.2 unique species were detected in undisturbed plots prior to construction. Ant diversity decreased to 0.7 ± 0.8 species in plots undergoing construction and 1.5 ± 1.1 species in plots 1 year after construction was completed. With regard to species richness, urbanization resulted in the permanent loss of 17 of the 20 species initially present in the study plots. Recovery was slow and only 3 species were present right after construction was completed and 4 species were present 1 year after construction was completed. The second objective examined ant fauna recovery in developed residential lots based on time since construction, neighboring habitat quality, pesticide inputs, and the presence of invasive ants. Ant diversity was positively correlated with factors that promoted ecological recovery and negatively correlated with factors that promoted ecological degradation. Taken together, these results address a critical gap in our knowledge by characterizing the short- and long-term the effects of urbanization on the loss of ant

  8. The effect of urbanization on ant abundance and diversity: a temporal examination of factors affecting biodiversity.

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    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Richmond, Douglas S

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have examined the effect of urbanization on species richness and most studies implicate urbanization as the major cause of biodiversity loss. However, no study has identified an explicit connection between urbanization and biodiversity loss as the impact of urbanization is typically inferred indirectly by comparing species diversity along urban-rural gradients at a single time point. A different approach is to focus on the temporal rather than the spatial aspect and perform "before and after" studies where species diversity is cataloged over time in the same sites. The current study examined changes in ant abundance and diversity associated with the conversion of natural habitats into urban habitats. Ant abundance and diversity were tracked in forested sites that became urbanized through construction and were examined at 3 time points - before, during, and after construction. On average, 4.3 ± 1.2 unique species were detected in undisturbed plots prior to construction. Ant diversity decreased to 0.7 ± 0.8 species in plots undergoing construction and 1.5 ± 1.1 species in plots 1 year after construction was completed. With regard to species richness, urbanization resulted in the permanent loss of 17 of the 20 species initially present in the study plots. Recovery was slow and only 3 species were present right after construction was completed and 4 species were present 1 year after construction was completed. The second objective examined ant fauna recovery in developed residential lots based on time since construction, neighboring habitat quality, pesticide inputs, and the presence of invasive ants. Ant diversity was positively correlated with factors that promoted ecological recovery and negatively correlated with factors that promoted ecological degradation. Taken together, these results address a critical gap in our knowledge by characterizing the short- and long-term the effects of urbanization on the loss of ant biodiversity.

  9. Disentangling the diversity of arboreal ant communities in tropical forest trees.

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    Klimes, Petr; Fibich, Pavel; Idigel, Cliffson; Rimandai, Maling

    2015-01-01

    Tropical canopies are known for their high abundance and diversity of ants. However, the factors which enable coexistence of so many species in trees, and in particular, the role of foragers in determining local diversity, are not well understood. We censused nesting and foraging arboreal ant communities in two 0.32 ha plots of primary and secondary lowland rainforest in New Guinea and explored their species diversity and composition. Null models were used to test if the records of species foraging (but not nesting) in a tree were dependent on the spatial distribution of nests in surrounding trees. In total, 102 ant species from 389 trees occurred in the primary plot compared with only 50 species from 295 trees in the secondary forest plot. However, there was only a small difference in mean ant richness per tree between primary and secondary forest (3.8 and 3.3 sp. respectively) and considerably lower richness per tree was found only when nests were considered (1.5 sp. in both forests). About half of foraging individuals collected in a tree belonged to species which were not nesting in that tree. Null models showed that the ants foraging but not nesting in a tree are more likely to nest in nearby trees than would be expected at random. The effects of both forest stage and tree size traits were similar regardless of whether only foragers, only nests, or both datasets combined were considered. However, relative abundance distributions of species differed between foraging and nesting communities. The primary forest plot was dominated by native ant species, whereas invasive species were common in secondary forest. This study demonstrates the high contribution of foragers to arboreal ant diversity, indicating an important role of connectivity between trees, and also highlights the importance of primary vegetation for the conservation of native ant communities.

  10. Diversity of leaf litter ant communities in Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary and nearby rubber plantations, Songkhla, Southern Thailand

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    Tobias O. Bickel

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Large areas of Southern Thailand's former natural rainforest have been replaced by rubber plantations. Despite the fact that rubber plantations dominate the landscape, little is known about its capacity to sustain forest dwelling species. We used leaf litter ants as a bioindicator from two natural forests, a rubber plantation forest and a completely cleared ruderal area in Southern Thailand, Songkla Province. There was a substantial decline in ant diversity from the undisturbed forest towards the ruderal area along a gradient of environmental disturbance. Additionally, there was a turnover in species composition between the different habitats and an increase in arboreal species "enhancing" the sparse ground foraging ant community in the plantation habitat. Also, alien tramp species replaced native species in the plantation and ruderal habitats. This study shows that despite their forest like appearance rubber plantations are a poor habitat for native leaf litter-inhabiting ants and unsuitable to sustain biodiversity in general. The changes in community structure in the secondary forest showed the importance of primary forest habitat to maintain regional biodiversity.

  11. Spider diversity in coffee agroecosystems: the influence of agricultural intensification and aggressive ants.

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    Marín, Linda; Perfecto, Ivette

    2013-04-01

    Spiders are a very diverse group of invertebrate predators found in agroecosystems and natural systems. However, spider distribution, abundance, and eventually their ecological function in ecosystems can be influenced by abiotic and biotic factors such as agricultural intensification and dominant ants. Here we explore the influence of both agricultural intensification and the dominant arboreal ant Azteca instabilis on the spider community in coffee agroecosystems in southern Mexico. To measure the influence of the arboreal ant Azteca instabilis (F. Smith) on the spider community inhabiting the coffee layer of coffee agroecosystems, spiders were collected from coffee plants that were and were not patrolled by the ant in sites differing in agricultural intensification. For 2008, generalized linear mixed models showed that spider diversity was affected positively by agricultural intensification but not by the ant. However, results suggested that some spider species were associated with A. instabilis. Therefore, in 2009 we concentrated our research on the effect of A. instabilis on spider diversity and composition. For 2009, generalized linear mixed models show that spider richness and abundance per plant were significantly higher in the presence of A. instabilis. In addition, analyses of visual counts of insects and sticky traps data show that more resources were present in plants patrolled by the ant. The positive effect of A. instabilis on spiders seems to be caused by at least two mechanisms: high abundance of insects and protection against predators.

  12. Eurajoki Olkiluoto study on species of ground beetles and ants 2008

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    Santaharju, J.; Helminen, S.-L.; Yrjoelae, R.

    2009-02-01

    The species of ants and Ground beetles at Olkiluoto in Eurajoki were studied in the summer of 2008 during two trapping periods: in June and August. The research goal was to clarify the species on Olkiluoto island of the earlier mentioned groups, at least at the family level, and to collect samples for further examination by Posiva. The trapping areas were selected at Olkiluoto in Posiva test monitoring sectors, a part of the trapping areas was the same as the earlier study. Species of ants, depending on their particular species, are a very dominating group of insects. The ants are the most important predators, scavengers and soil movers in Finnish forests. It looks as if the biomass of ants may be more than 10% of the biomass of all animals in certain areas of Finnish forests. In Finland there are about 60 species of ants that have been observed. They have been divided into four sub-groups, which are Myrmicinae, Formicinae, Ponerinae and Dolichoderinae. In Finland there are close to 300 species of ground beetles (Carabidae), which are divided into dozens of different families. The species, to a great extent, consist mostly of predatory insects that prey on microbes in field layers, but a part of them are specialized in feeding on flora. Ground beetles are usually divided into three groups according to their choice of habitat: Species that favour open biotopes, species that favour forests, and generalist species that can thrive in a variety of environments. Ground beetles also reflect changes in their living environment, and possibly they can be significant as socalled bio-indicators. Pitfall traps were used as the method of research. The preservative fluid used was ethanol (50%) with dishwashing liquid to remove surface tension. The points were located in various different biotopes in fields, meadows and forests. The data collected was defined as a minimum for the family level of Ground beetles and for ants to the species or species pairs. The species of Ground

  13. Eurajoki Olkiluoto study on species of ground beetles and ants 2008

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    Santaharju, J.; Helminen, S.-L.; Yrjoelae, R. (Environmental Research Yrjoelae Ltd, Helsinki (Finland))

    2009-02-15

    The species of ants and Ground beetles at Olkiluoto in Eurajoki were studied in the summer of 2008 during two trapping periods: in June and August. The research goal was to clarify the species on Olkiluoto island of the earlier mentioned groups, at least at the family level, and to collect samples for further examination by Posiva. The trapping areas were selected at Olkiluoto in Posiva test monitoring sectors, a part of the trapping areas was the same as the earlier study. Species of ants, depending on their particular species, are a very dominating group of insects. The ants are the most important predators, scavengers and soil movers in Finnish forests. It looks as if the biomass of ants may be more than 10% of the biomass of all animals in certain areas of Finnish forests. In Finland there are about 60 species of ants that have been observed. They have been divided into four sub-groups, which are Myrmicinae, Formicinae, Ponerinae and Dolichoderinae. In Finland there are close to 300 species of ground beetles (Carabidae), which are divided into dozens of different families. The species, to a great extent, consist mostly of predatory insects that prey on microbes in field layers, but a part of them are specialized in feeding on flora. Ground beetles are usually divided into three groups according to their choice of habitat: Species that favour open biotopes, species that favour forests, and generalist species that can thrive in a variety of environments. Ground beetles also reflect changes in their living environment, and possibly they can be significant as socalled bio-indicators. Pitfall traps were used as the method of research. The preservative fluid used was ethanol (50%) with dishwashing liquid to remove surface tension. The points were located in various different biotopes in fields, meadows and forests. The data collected was defined as a minimum for the family level of Ground beetles and for ants to the species or species pairs. The species of Ground

  14. Diversity of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in two rubber plantations in Songkhla Province, Southern Thailand

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    Suparoek Watanasit

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Ants play important roles in tropical rainforest ecosystems. In southern Thailand, many such areas have been extensivelylogged and replaced by rubber plantations. Since changes to the environment can cause changes to the diversity offlora and fauna, the objectives of this study were to determine habitat influences on the ant composition between homogenousand heterogeneous rubber plantations, and to investigate if any environmental factors can be directly correlated withchanges in the ant community. Three 100 m–line-transects, spaced 100 m apart, were laid out at two study sites. Four samplingmethods, hand collecting (HC, leaf litter sampling (LL, honey bait (HB and soil sampling (SS, were used to sample ants.Temperature, humidity, and precipitation were recorded. Samples were collected every two months from June 2004 to April2005. The results showed that a total of six subfamilies (Aenictinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinaemand Pseudomyrmecinae, comprising 29 genera and 87 species were found in the two study sites. The dominant genera werePheidole and Crematogaster, followed by Pheidologeton and Pachycondyla. The sampling methods used in this studyindicated that LL and HC were most suitable for sampling ants, and any combination of sampling methods detected moreant species than a single method did. Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA grouped ant species between the two typesof rubber plantation, and also divided ant species into three groups by sampling method: HC group, SS group and LL+HBgroup. DCA did not group ant species by seasonal changes, however. Further, canonical correspondence analysis detectedno effect of temperature, humidity, or precipitation on the ant community.

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

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    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Paratrechina longicornis ants in a tropical dry forest harbor specific Actinobacteria diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, Ruth D Hernández; Cafaro, Matías J

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of Actinobacteria associated with Paratrechina longicornis, an ant species that prefers a high protein diet, in a subtropical dry forest (Guánica, Puerto Rico) was determined by culture methods and by 16S rDNA clone libraries. The results of both methodologies were integrated to obtain a broader view of the diversity. Streptomyces, Actinomadura, Nocardia, Ornithinimicrobium, Tsukamurella, Brevibacterium, Saccharopolyspora, Nocardioides, Microbacterium, Leifsonia, Pseudonocardia, Corynebacterium, Geodermatophilus, Amycolatopsis, and Nonomuraea were found associated with the ants. The genera Streptomyces and Actinomadura were the most abundant. Also, the diversity of Actinobacteria associated with the soil surrounding the nest was determined using 16S rDNA clone libraries. In total, 27 genera of Actinobacteria were associated with the nest soils. A dominant genus was not observed in any of the soil samples. We compared statistically the Actinobacteria communities among P. longicornis nests and each nest with its surrounding soil using the clone libraries data. We established that the communities associated with the ants were consistent and significantly different from those found in the soil in which the ants live. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Cerrado ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae as indicators of edge effects

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    Carlos Roberto F. Brandão

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Large-scale agricultural production in Brazil preferentially occupies plateaus reclaimed from areas originally covered by Cerrado (savanna. Depending on the region, a percentage of the pristine vegetation coverage must be preserved by law, resulting in the creation of fragmented legal Cerrado reserves. The geometry of these relatively small legal reserves creates new habitat edges and ecotones, whose effects on the invertebrate fauna are poorly understood. This study aimed to assess the effects of abrupt edges resulting from soy production on ground-dwelling ant assemblages in the Brazilian Cerrado. The study sites are located within the Amazon region, in the state of Maranhão, northern Brazil, but were covered by Cerrado on a relatively low plateau, irregularly inter-spaced with gallery forests along streams. We compared species richness and species composition of ground-dwelling ants along eight transects set 0, 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 m into the sensu stricto Cerrado and 50 and 100 m into the soy field. The collecting periods covered the wet and dry seasons. Effects on ant species richness were non-significant, although composition of the assemblages was significantly affected by edge effects, which were, in part, found to be species specific. We hypothesize that edge effects are probably greater than estimated because of the shape and complexity of reserves. Consideration of edge effects in the Cerrado Biome should enable the design of appropriate reserve sizes and shapes to meet conservation goals.

  19. The effect of water on the ground nesting habits of the giant tropical ant, Paraponera clavata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elahi, Robin

    2005-11-18

    The large predatory ant, Paraponera clavata, exerts measurable top-down effects in wet and moist Neotropical forests, and therefore its distribution has potential ecological implications. To determine how water affects the presence of this important predator, the ground nesting ecology of P. clavata was examined with respect to various habitat characteristics. Four hectares of disturbed Costa Rican lowland rain forest were surveyed for ant colonies to determine nest distribution patterns in wet and dry habitat; significantly more colonies were found in dry habitat. Seventeen of 19 nests built on slopes of > 5 degrees inclination were positioned on the downward side of the tree, possibly using the trunk as a shield against runoff during rain showers. Moisture and pH inside nests were significantly different from adjacent soil. These results suggest that water influences the ground nesting habits of P. clavata, thus ecological differences between comparatively wet and dry portions of tropical forests may arise from the relative abundance of this ant species.

  20. Ants of João da Cunha Island, SC, Brazil: composition and diversity

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    Ricardo Corbetta

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available The ant species of João da Cunha Island, SC, were collected both manually and by the use of attractive baits of honey and sardine. The samples were taken at 10 sites, each having one bait of each type, totalling 20 samples in each collection. A total of 14 genera, 52 species and 5 subfamilies was sampled in one year of monthly sampling. The richest genera were Pheidole (16 species and Camponotus (9. The biological diversity values were high, and the ant fauna presented a strong seazonality on account of this diversity. The greatest similarity between seasons of the year was observed between spring and summer, followed by autumn and winter.

  1. Diversity of canopy ants at a reserve area of Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla

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    Takodee, T.

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Diversity of canopy ants was examined by using pyrethoid fogging technique at a reserve area of Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla Province. A permanent plot of 100x100 m2 was set up and dividedinto 100 sub-units (10x10 m2. Three plants were randomly selected for pyrethoid fogging applications each time bimothly during July 2004 - May 2005. The results showed that a total of 2,343 individuals were collectedin 14 genera, 5 subfamily and 31 species. The Formicinae and Myrmicinae were the major subfamilies found in equal species numbers of 13. Shannon- Weiner Index and evenness value of ants were 1.73±0.39 and 0.35±0.08, respectively.Seasonal changes (wet and dry had no effect on individual numbers of ant species in each subfamily. The influence of physical factors (rainfall, temperature and relative humidity on numbers of ant species wasalso investigated. A significant negative correlation between rainfall and species numbers of Camponotus (Tanaemyrmex sp.2 was found, while temperature had a significant positive correlation with Crematogaster (Orthocrema sp.4, Meranoplus castaneus (F.Smith and Tetraponera sp.4, and relative humidity had asignificant positive correlation with only Tetraponera sp.4.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

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    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. Ant Fauna Diversity in an Area Degraded by Diamond Mining in the State of Mato Grosso,Brazil

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    Jorge João Aparecido Nahra

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed at sampling the diversity of ants in environments influenced by diamond mining activities in the Brazilian savannah, providing information on the ant fauna in this region of Mato Grosso.The study was carried out in the city of Poxoréu-MT, Brazil, in a property with diamond mining,where pitfall traps were installed in four different transects per environment: A1 – degraded area by diamond mining A2 – adjacent area to A1 with savannah vegetation with anthropogenic influence, A3 – adjacent area to A2 with anthropized savannah vegetation, bordering with A4 – area with savannah vegetation preserved without anthropogenic changes. Samples were collected bimonthly for a period of one year, and the samples were quantified and identified taking into account their species level in order to allow the application of the diversity indices for each environment. 15 species of ants were sampled among the four environments, being nine species in A1, 13 in A2, 15 in A3 and 12 species in A4, presenting Brachymyrmex patagonicus as the most abundant, foraging in all environments. Diversity indices allow to conclude that A3 has the greatest diversity of species, and conversely the lower dominance, in all environments. However, A1 was the most dominant species of ants due to the lowest diversity. Thus, environmental degradation by diamond mining can affect the composition of ants and their dominance in the savannah vegetation.

  5. Spatial grain and the causes of regional diversity gradients in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaspari, Michael; Yuan, May; Alonso, Leeanne

    2003-03-01

    Gradients of species richness (S; the number of species of a given taxon in a given area and time) are ubiquitous. A key goal in ecology is to understand whether and how the many processes that generate these gradients act at different spatial scales. Here we evaluate six hypotheses for diversity gradients with 49 New World ant communities, from tundra to rain forest. We contrast their performance at three spatial grains from S(plot), the average number of ant species nesting in a m2 plot, through Fisher's alpha, an index that treats our 30 1-m2 plots as subsamples of a locality's diversity. At the smallest grain, S(plot), was tightly correlated (r2 = 0.99) with colony abundance in a fashion indistinguishable from the packing of randomly selected individuals into a fixed space. As spatial grain increased, the coaction of two factors linked to high net rates of diversification--warm temperatures and large areas of uniform climate--accounted for 75% of the variation in Fisher's alpha. However, the mechanisms underlying these correlations (i.e., precisely how temperature and area shape the balance of speciation to extinction) remain elusive.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Comparison of Ant Community Diversity and Functional Group Composition Associated to Land Use Change in a Seasonally Dry Oak Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuautle, M; Vergara, C H; Badano, E I

    2016-04-01

    Ants have been used to assess land use conversion, because they reflect environmental change, and their response to these changes have been useful in the identification of bioindicators. We evaluated ant diversity and composition associated to different land use change in a temperate forest (above 2000 m asl) in Mexico. The study was carried out in "Flor del Bosque" Park a vegetation mosaic of native Oak Forests and introduced Eucalyptus and grasslands. Species richness, dominance and diversity rarefaction curves, based on ant morphospecies and functional groups, were constructed and compared among the three vegetation types, for the rainy and the dry seasons of 2008-2009. Jaccard and Sorensen incidence-based indices were calculated to obtain similarity values among all the habitats. The Oak Forest was a rich dominant community, both in species and functional groups; the Eucalyptus plantation was diverse with low dominance. The most seasonality habitat was the grassland, with low species and high functional group diversity during the dry seasons, but the reverse pattern during the wet season. The Oak Forest was more similar to the Eucalyptus plantation than to the grassland, particularly during the dry season. Oak Forests are dominated by Cold Climate Specialists, specifically Prenolepis imparis (Say). The Eucalyptus and the grassland are characterized by generalized Myrmicinae, as Pheidole spp. and Monomorium ebenium (Forel). The conservation of the native Oak Forest is primordial for the maintenance of Cold Climate Specialist ant communities. The microclimatic conditions in this forest, probably, prevented the invasion by opportunistic species.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-06-12

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

  10. The effects of biogeography on ant diversity and activity on the Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Adam T; Rykken, Jessica J; Farrell, Brian D

    2011-01-01

    Many studies have examined how island biogeography affects diversity on the scale of island systems. In this study, we address how diversity varies over very short periods of time on individual islands. To do this, we compile an inventory of the ants living in the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Boston, Massachusetts, USA using data from a five-year All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory of the region's arthropods. Consistent with the classical theory of island biogeography, species richness increased with island size, decreased with island isolation, and remained relatively constant over time. Additionally, our inventory finds that almost half of the known Massachusetts ant fauna can be collected in the BHI, and identifies four new species records for Massachusetts, including one new to the United States, Myrmica scabrinodis. We find that the number of species actually active on islands depended greatly on the timescale under consideration. The species that could be detected during any given week of sampling could by no means account for total island species richness, even when correcting for sampling effort. Though we consistently collected the same number of species over any given week of sampling, the identities of those species varied greatly between weeks. This variation does not result from local immigration and extinction of species, nor from seasonally-driven changes in the abundance of individual species, but rather from weekly changes in the distribution and activity of foraging ants. This variation can be upwards of 50% of ant species per week. This suggests that numerous ant species on the BHI share the same physical space at different times. This temporal partitioning could well explain such unexpectedly high ant diversity in an isolated, urban site.

  11. The effects of biogeography on ant diversity and activity on the Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam T Clark

    Full Text Available Many studies have examined how island biogeography affects diversity on the scale of island systems. In this study, we address how diversity varies over very short periods of time on individual islands. To do this, we compile an inventory of the ants living in the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Boston, Massachusetts, USA using data from a five-year All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory of the region's arthropods. Consistent with the classical theory of island biogeography, species richness increased with island size, decreased with island isolation, and remained relatively constant over time. Additionally, our inventory finds that almost half of the known Massachusetts ant fauna can be collected in the BHI, and identifies four new species records for Massachusetts, including one new to the United States, Myrmica scabrinodis. We find that the number of species actually active on islands depended greatly on the timescale under consideration. The species that could be detected during any given week of sampling could by no means account for total island species richness, even when correcting for sampling effort. Though we consistently collected the same number of species over any given week of sampling, the identities of those species varied greatly between weeks. This variation does not result from local immigration and extinction of species, nor from seasonally-driven changes in the abundance of individual species, but rather from weekly changes in the distribution and activity of foraging ants. This variation can be upwards of 50% of ant species per week. This suggests that numerous ant species on the BHI share the same physical space at different times. This temporal partitioning could well explain such unexpectedly high ant diversity in an isolated, urban site.

  12. Effects of above-ground plant species composition and diversity on the diversity of soil-borne microorganisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kowalchuk, G.A.; Buma, D.S; De Boer, W.; Klinkhamer, P.G.L.; Van Veen, J.A.

    2002-01-01

    A coupling of above-ground plant diversity and below-ground microbial diversity has been implied in studies dedicated to assessing the role of macrophyte diversity on the stability, resilience, and functioning of ecosystems. Indeed, above-ground plant communities have long been assumed to drive

  13. Ground-foraging ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae and rainfall effect on pitfall trapping in a deciduous thorn woodland (Caatinga, Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francyregis A Nunes

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The semi-arid Caatinga is the fourth largest biome of Brazil, which biota still remains one of the most poorly known, especially with regard to invertebrate groups. In this study, a ground-foraging ant assemblage was surveyed during one year and the effect of rainfall on pitfall trapping was assessed. The study was performed in an area located in the municipality of Pentecoste (3º48’ S - 39º20’ W, in the State of Ceará. A 200m transect with 20 equidistant sampling points was established. Transect sampling was performed once a month during 12 months, over the period August 2008-August 2009. At each sampling point, a pitfall trap partially filled with a mixture of ethanol and monoethylene glycol was placed at the beginning of each month and remained in the field for seven days. 39 species belonging to six subfamilies and 19 genera, plus two unidentified species, were collected, with Pheidole (10 spp. and Camponotus (8 spp. being the taxa with the most species. 23 species were frequent, being found in more than 50% of the 12 transect samplings. Five species had an intermediate frequency (25 to 50%, while 13 were relatively infrequent (less than 25%. Most of the species (22 showed low occurrence, being found in less than 10% of the 240 samples (20 samples each month, during 12 months. Only five species were collected in more than 50% of the samples, those species being also responsible for most of the total abundance (number of captured individuals of all species observed each month. The speciesaccumulation curves (observed and estimated indicated that sampling sufficiency was attained, and that about 92% of the estimated ground-foraging ant fauna had been collected. 40 and 29 species were collected in the dry and rainy season, respectively, with monthly species richness ranging from 13 to 28. The total ant abundance showed a drastic decrease during the rainy season, and a negative linear correlation was found between rainfall and total ant

  14. Associations of Two Ecologically Significant Social Insect Taxa in the Litter of an Amazonian Rainforest: Is There a Relationship between Ant and Termite Species Richness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy L. Mertl

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In spite of the ecological dominance of Neotropical ants and termites, little is understood about how their interactions influence their species richness and distribution. We surveyed ground-dwelling termite and ant species in a primary rainforest in Ecuador and analyzed ecological correlates of diversity. Termite richness was positively correlated with ant richness and abundance of twig-nesting ants. We found no evidence of competition for twigs between termites and ants. No ecological factors were correlated with termite diversity although elevation and twig and log abundance influenced ant diversity. When ant richness was compared to the richness of termites employing different predator defenses, a positive correlation was found with soldierless termites, but not genera employing chemical or mechanical defense. Our results suggest that multiple ecological factors influence ant and termite diversity, and that ant predation on termites may have a greater effect than competition between ant and termites for nest sites and food sources.

  15. Cloning and sequencing of wsp encoding gene fragments reveals a diversity of co-infecting Wolbachia strains in Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Borm, S.; Wenseleers, T.; Billen, J.

    2003-01-01

    Acromyrmex insinuator hosted two additional infections. The multiple Wolbachia strains may influence the expression of reproductive conflicts in leafcutter ants, but the expected turnover of infections may make the cumulative effects on host ant reproduction complex. The additional Wolbachia infections......By sequencing part of the wsp gene of a series of clones, we detected an unusually high diversity of nine Wolbachia strains in queens of three species of leafcutter ants. Up to four strains co-occurred in a single ant. Most strains occurred in two clusters (InvA and InvB), but the social parasite...

  16. Partitioning the impact of environment and spatial structure on alpha and beta components of taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity in European ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, Xavier; Cerdá, Xim; Retana, Javier

    2015-01-01

    We analyze the relative contribution of environmental and spatial variables to the alpha and beta components of taxonomic (TD), phylogenetic (PD), and functional (FD) diversity in ant communities found along different climate and anthropogenic disturbance gradients across western and central Europe, in order to assess the mechanisms structuring ant biodiversity. To this aim we calculated alpha and beta TD, PD, and FD for 349 ant communities, which included a total of 155 ant species; we examined 10 functional traits and phylogenetic relatedness. Variation partitioning was used to examine how much variation in ant diversity was explained by environmental and spatial variables. Autocorrelation in diversity measures and each trait's phylogenetic signal were also analyzed. We found strong autocorrelation in diversity measures. Both environmental and spatial variables significantly contributed to variation in TD, PD, and FD at both alpha and beta scales; spatial structure had the larger influence. The different facets of diversity showed similar patterns along environmental gradients. Environment explained a much larger percentage of variation in FD than in TD or PD. All traits demonstrated strong phylogenetic signals. Our results indicate that environmental filtering and dispersal limitations structure all types of diversity in ant communities. Strong dispersal limitations appear to have led to clustering of TD, PD, and FD in western and central Europe, probably because different historical and evolutionary processes generated different pools of species. Remarkably, these three facets of diversity showed parallel patterns along environmental gradients. Trait-mediated species sorting and niche conservatism appear to structure ant diversity, as evidenced by the fact that more variation was explained for FD and that all traits had strong phylogenetic signals. Since environmental variables explained much more variation in FD than in PD, functional diversity should be a

  17. Distribution and Diversity of the Cryptic Ant Genus Oxyepoecus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae in Paraguay with Descriptions of Two New Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Delsinne

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We discuss the diversity and distribution of the ant genus Oxyepoecus in Paraguay. Oxyepoecus inquilinus is recorded for the first time, and new distribution data are given for O. rastratus and O. vezenyii. Published data for O. bruchi, O. rastratus, O. reticulatus, and O. vezenyii are summarized. Two new species are described (O. bidentatus n. sp. and O. striatus n. sp., and a key to the workers of the seven Paraguayan Oxyepoecus species is provided. At Teniente Enciso National Park, four species cooccur. This locality appears as a promising site for studies documenting the biology of this poorly known ant genus, and because of the IUCN “vulnerable“ Red List classification of O. inquilinus, the importance of the Teniente Enciso National Park for biological conservation is clearly established.

  18. Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Grounded Theory Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draucker, Claire Burke; Al-Khattab, Halima; Hines, Dana D; Mazurczyk, Jill; Russell, Anne C; Stephenson, Pam Shockey; Draucker, Shannon

    2014-04-28

    National initiatives in the United States call for health research that addresses racial/ethnic disparities. Although grounded theory (GT) research has the potential to contribute much to the understanding of the health experiences of people of color, the extent to which it has contributed to health disparities research is unclear. In this article we describe a project in which we reviewed 44 GT studies published in Qualitative Health Research within the last five years. Using a framework proposed by Green, Creswell, Shope, and Clark (2007), we categorized the studies at one of four levels based on the status and significance afforded racial/ethnic diversity. Our results indicate that racial/ethnic diversity played a primary role in five studies, a complementary role in one study, a peripheral role in five studies, and an absent role in 33 studies. We suggest that GT research could contribute more to health disparities research if techniques were developed to better analyze the influence of race/ethnicity on health-related phenomena.

  19. Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Grounded Theory Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draucker, Claire Burke; Al-Khattab, Halima; Hines, Dana D.; Mazurczyk, Jill; Russell, Anne C.; Stephenson, Pam Shockey; Draucker, Shannon

    2014-01-01

    National initiatives in the United States call for health research that addresses racial/ethnic disparities. Although grounded theory (GT) research has the potential to contribute much to the understanding of the health experiences of people of color, the extent to which it has contributed to health disparities research is unclear. In this article we describe a project in which we reviewed 44 GT studies published in Qualitative Health Research within the last five years. Using a framework proposed by Green, Creswell, Shope, and Clark (2007), we categorized the studies at one of four levels based on the status and significance afforded racial/ethnic diversity. Our results indicate that racial/ethnic diversity played a primary role in five studies, a complementary role in one study, a peripheral role in five studies, and an absent role in 33 studies. We suggest that GT research could contribute more to health disparities research if techniques were developed to better analyze the influence of race/ethnicity on health-related phenomena. PMID:26401523

  20. Ant Diversity and Distribution along Elevation Gradients in the Australian Wet Tropics: The Importance of Seasonal Moisture Stability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somayeh Nowrouzi

    Full Text Available The threat of anthropogenic climate change has seen a renewed focus on understanding contemporary patterns of species distribution. This is especially the case for the biota of tropical mountains, because tropical species often have particularly narrow elevational ranges and there are high levels of short-range endemism. Here we describe geographic patterns of ant diversity and distribution in the World Heritage-listed rainforests of the Australian Wet Tropics (AWT, revealing seasonal moisture stability to be an important environmental correlate of elevational patterns of species composition. We sampled ants in leaf litter, on the litter surface and on tree trunks at 26 sites from six subregions spanning five degrees of latitude and elevation ranges from 100-1,300 m. A total of 296 species from 63 genera were recorded. Species richness showed a slight peak at mid elevations, and did not vary significantly with latitude. Species composition varied substantially between subregions, and many species have highly localised distributions. There was very marked species turnover with elevation, with a particularly striking compositional disjunction between 600 m and 800 m at each subregion. This disjunction coincides with a strong environmental threshold of seasonal stability in moisture associated with cloud 'stripping'. Our study therefore provides further support for climatic stability as a potential mechanism underlying patterns of diversity. The average height of orographic cloud layers is predicted to rise under global warming, and associated shifts in seasonal moisture stability may exacerbate biotic change caused by rising temperature alone.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhukova, Mariya; Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Schiøtt, Morten

    2017-01-01

    . To elucidate the extent to which metamorphosis interrupts associations between bacteria and hosts, we analyzed changes in gut microbiota during development and traced the transmission routes of dominant symbionts from the egg to adult stage in the leaf-cutting ants Acromyrmex echinatior and Atta cephalotes...... was the absolute dominant bacterial species across developmental stages in Acromyrmex and we confirmed that Atta lacks Wolbachia also in the immature stages, and had mostly Mollicutes bacteria in the adult worker guts. Wolbachia in Acromyrmex appeared to be transovarially transmitted similar to transmission...... in solitary insects. In contrast, Mollicutes were socially transmitted from old workers to newly emerged callows. We found that larval and pupal guts of both ant species contained Pseudomonas and Enterobacter bacteria that are also found in fungus gardens, but hardly or not in adult workers, suggesting...

  2. Elevational gradients in phylogenetic structure of ant communities reveal the interplay of biotic and abiotic constraints on diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machac, Antonin; Janda, Milan; Dunn, Robert R.

    2011-01-01

    A central focus of ecology and biogeography is to determine the factors that govern spatial variation in biodiversity. Here, we examined patterns of ant diversity along climatic gradients in three temperate montane systems: Great Smoky Mountains National Park (USA), Chiricahua Mountains (USA......), and Vorarlberg (Austria). To identify the factors which potentially shape these elevational diversity gradients, we analyzed patterns of community phylogenetic structure (i.e. the evolutionary relationships among species coexisting in local communities). We found that species at low-elevation sites tended...... to be evenly dispersed across phylogeny, suggesting that these communities are structured by interspecific competition. In contrast, species occurring at high-elevation sites tended to be more closely related than expected by chance, implying that these communities are structured primarily by environmental...

  3. 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.

  4. High recombination frequency creates genotypic diversity in colonies of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sirviö, A.; Gadau, J.; Rueppell, O.

    2006-01-01

    Honeybees are known to have genetically diverse colonies because queens mate with many males and the recombination rate is extremely high. Genetic diversity among social insect workers has been hypothesized to improve general performance of large and complex colonies, but this idea has not been t...

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harry C Evans

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

  7. Ground-foraging ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae and rainfall effect on pitfall trapping in a deciduous thorn woodland (Caatinga, Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francyregis A Nunes

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The semi-arid Caatinga is the fourth largest biome of Brazil, which biota still remains one of the most poorly known, especially with regard to invertebrate groups. In this study, a ground-foraging ant assemblage was surveyed during one year and the effect of rainfall on pitfall trapping was assessed. The study was performed in an area located in the municipality of Pentecoste (3º48’ S - 39º20’ W, in the State of Ceará. A 200m transect with 20 equidistant sampling points was established. Transect sampling was performed once a month during 12 months, over the period August 2008-August 2009. At each sampling point, a pitfall trap partially filled with a mixture of ethanol and monoethylene glycol was placed at the beginning of each month and remained in the field for seven days. 39 species belonging to six subfamilies and 19 genera, plus two unidentified species, were collected, with Pheidole (10 spp. and Camponotus (8 spp. being the taxa with the most species. 23 species were frequent, being found in more than 50% of the 12 transect samplings. Five species had an intermediate frequency (25 to 50%, while 13 were relatively infrequent (less than 25%. Most of the species (22 showed low occurrence, being found in less than 10% of the 240 samples (20 samples each month, during 12 months. Only five species were collected in more than 50% of the samples, those species being also responsible for most of the total abundance (number of captured individuals of all species observed each month. The speciesaccumulation curves (observed and estimated indicated that sampling sufficiency was attained, and that about 92% of the estimated ground-foraging ant fauna had been collected. 40 and 29 species were collected in the dry and rainy season, respectively, with monthly species richness ranging from 13 to 28. The total ant abundance showed a drastic decrease during the rainy season, and a negative linear correlation was found between rainfall and total ant

  8. Biodiversity on Broadway--enigmatic diversity of the societies of ants (Formicidae on the streets of New York City.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko Pećarević

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Each year, a larger proportion of the Earth's surface is urbanized, and a larger proportion of the people on Earth lives in those urban areas. The everyday nature, however, that humans encounter in cities remains poorly understood. Here, we consider perhaps the most urban green habitat, street medians. We sampled ants from forty-four medians along three boulevards in New York City and examined how median properties affect the abundance and species richness of native and introduced ants found on them. Ant species richness varied among streets and increased with area but was independent of the other median attributes measured. Ant assemblages were highly nested, with three numerically dominant species present at all medians and additional species present at a subset of medians. The most common ant species were the introduced Pavement ant (Tetramorium caespitum and the native Thief ant (Solenopsis molesta and Cornfield ant (Lasius neoniger. The common introduced species on the medians responded differently to natural and disturbed elements of medians. Tetramorium caespitum was most abundant in small medians, with the greatest edge/area ratio, particularly if those medians had few trees, whereas Nylanderia flavipes was most abundant in the largest medians, particularly if they had more trees. Many of the species encountered in Manhattan were similar to those found in other large North American cities, such that a relatively small subset of ant species probably represent most of the encounters humans have with ants in North America.

  9. The Effect of Urbanization on Ant Abundance and Diversity: A Temporal Examination of Factors Affecting Biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Richmond, Douglas S.

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have examined the effect of urbanization on species richness and most studies implicate urbanization as the major cause of biodiversity loss. However, no study has identified an explicit connection between urbanization and biodiversity loss as the impact of urbanization is typically inferred indirectly by comparing species diversity along urban-rural gradients at a single time point. A different approach is to focus on the temporal rather than the spatial aspect and perform "...

  10. Properties of Arboreal Ant and Ground-Termite Nests in relation to Their Nesting Sites and Location in a Tropical-Derived Savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. C. Echezona

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem engineers such as ants and termites play an important role in the fertility of tropical soils. Physicochemical analyses were thus carried out on some arboreal ant nests collected from mango (Mangifera indica, bush mango (Irvingia gabonensis, kola (Cola nitida, newbouldia plant (Newbouldia laevis, and oil bean plant (Pentaclethra macrophylla and on ground nest of termite, Odontotermes sudanensis Sjost. (Isoptera: Termitidae in Nigeria. Arboreal nests, particularly those of M. indica, were significantly richer in the chemical constituents sampled, compared to those of ground-termite nests or adjacent unaffected soils. Available water capacity of nests from M. indica (60.0% was significantly higher than those of other sites or locations sampled. While biogenic structures were sandy-loamy in texture, their corresponding adjacent soils were either sandy or sandy-loamy. Soils worked by ants and termites had greater proportions of silt-sized (17.9 versus 9.7 and clay-sized (19.2 versus 9.3 to the detriment of coarse-sized particles (51.2 versus 60.9 and fine-sand-sized particles (11.7 versus 20.1 relative to the adjacent soils. Generally, biogenic structures were about 348% richer in P than their corresponding adjacent soils; an attribute, which holds a strong promise in bioremediation and biofortification of soils especially during amendment.

  11. Comparison Between Ground Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Communities Foraging in the Straw Mulch of Sugarcane Crops and in the Leaf Litter of Neighboring Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, N S; Saad, L P; Souza-Campana, D R; Bueno, O C; Morini, M S C

    2017-02-01

    In many sugarcane plantations in Brazil, the straw is left on the soil after harvesting, and vinasse, a by-product of the production of sugar and ethanol, is used for fertigation. Our goal was to compare ant community composition and species richness in the straw mulch of sugarcane crops with the leaf litter of neighboring forests. We tested the hypothesis that ant communities in the straw mulch of vinasse-irrigated sugarcane crops and in the forest leaf litter were similar, because the combination of straw mulching and vinasse irrigation has a positive effect on soil fauna. Straw mulch and leaf litter were collected from 21 sites and placed in Berlese funnels. In total, 61 species were found in the forest leaf litter, whereas 34 and 28 species were found in the straw mulch of sugarcane fields with and without vinasse, respectively. Ant communities differed between forest and crop fields, but the species in the sugarcane straw mulch were a subset of the species found in the forest leaf litter. Although vinasse is rich in organic matter, it did not increase ant diversity. Seven feeding and/or foraging types were identified and, among the different types, surface-foraging omnivorous ants were the most prevalent in all habitats. Vinasse-irrigated sugarcane straw mulch had more predatory species than mulch from vinasse-free fields, but fewer than forest leaf litter. However, this positive effect of vinasse irrigation should be carefully evaluated because vinasse has negative effects on the environment. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. 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

  13. Ground beetle (Coleoptera, Carabidae diversity in Finnish arable land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.K. HELENIUS

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Carabid data compiled from six independent studies, consisting of 97 799 individuals trapped by pitfalls from Finnish agricultural fields and identified to 111 species were analyzed. Shannon-Wiener H' diversity index was typically around 2.5 and expected species number rarefied to 600 trapped individuals was typically around 30 species. The five most abundant species accounted for 42% of the total catch, and the thirty most abundant species made up 98% of the total catch. Percentage similarities among the assemblages by PS-index were from 16% to 48%. In comparison to published data about carabid diversity in boreal forests, which form the dominating habitat matrix in which Finnish farmland is embedded as relatively small patches, arable fields harbor more species rich assemblages, with more even rank-abundance distributions but variable species composition. Importance of landscape (regional level, instead of spatial level of crop fields, in understanding carabid diversity in farmland is discussed. Inclusion of carabids into monitoring schemes of agro-biodiversity at landscape level is suggested.

  14. MEMS two-axis force plate array used to measure the ground reaction forces during the running motion of an ant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahashi, Hidetoshi; Thanh-Vinh, Nguyen; Jung, Uijin G; Shimoyama, Isao; Matsumoto, Kiyoshi

    2014-01-01

    A terrestrial insect can perform agile running maneuvers. However, the balance of ground reaction forces (GRFs) between each leg in an insect have remained poorly characterized. In this report, we present a micro force plate array for the simultaneous measurement of the anterior and vertical components of GRFs of multiple legs during the running motion of an ant. The proposed force plate, which consists of a 2000 µm × 980 µm × 20 µm plate base as the contact surface of an ant's leg, and the supported beams with piezoresistors on the sidewall and surface are sufficiently compact to be adjacently arrayed along the anterior direction. Eight plates arrayed in parallel were fabricated on the same silicon-on-insulator substrate to narrow the gap between each plate to 20 µm. We compartmented the plate surface into 32 blocks and evaluated the sensitivities to two-axis forces in each block so that the exerted forces could be detected wherever a leg came into contact. The force resolutions in both directions were under 1 µN within ±20 µN. Using the fabricated force plate array, we achieved a simultaneous measurement of the GRFs of three legs on one side while an ant was running. (paper)

  15. Community composition and diversity of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in Yaoluoping National Nature Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wen-Bo; Liu, Nai-Yi; Wu, Yun-He; Zhang, Yu-Cai; Xu, Qin; Chu, Jun; Wang, Shu-Yan

    2017-01-01

    Abstract This study used pitfall trapping to examine community composition and diversity of ground beetles in five different habitats (coniferous, deciduous, mixed coniferous, farmland, and settlements) within Anhui Yaoluoping National Nature Reserve from May to September 2014. In total, 1,352 ground beetles were collected, belonging to 16 genera and 44 species. Of these, four dominant species Dolichus halensis, Harpalus pastor, Carabus casaleianus, and Pheropsophus jessoensis were identified, respectively, comprising 370, 177, 131, and 123 individuals. The deciduous forest showed greater diversity (3.78 according to Shannon–Weiner index), equitability (0.80 according to Pielou’s index), and dominance (9.52 according to Simpson’s index) when compared with farmland, but species richness in the deciduous forest (27) was lower than that in farmland (35). One-way analysis of variance showed that ground beetle species composition and abundance among different habitats varied significantly. Cluster analysis and principal coordinate analysis showed that farmland shared low community similarity with other habitat types, and coniferous and mixed coniferous forests shared similar community types. Our results indicate that species composition, abundance, and diversity of ground beetles are affected by different habitat types, with deciduous forest types being critical in maintaining the diversity of rare species. We recommend reducing cultivated farmland area and increasing the area of carefully planned deciduous forest in order to better protect ground beetle diversity in the region.

  16. Citrus-orchard ground harbours a diverse, well-established and abundant ground-dwelling spider fauna

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monzo, C.; Molla, O.; Vanaclocha, P.; Monton, H.; Melic, A.; Castanera, P.; Urbaneja, A.

    2011-07-01

    Ground-dwelling spider assemblages comprise one of the most representative predatory groups to be found in many crops. There is some evidence of the role that ground-dwelling spiders play in controlling certain citrus pests; however, there are almost no studies about the abundance and composition of this predatory group in citrus orchards. A three-year survey conducted using pitfall traps in three citrus orchards in Eastern Spain yielded more than five-thousand ground-dwelling spiders belonging to more than 50 species and 20 families. Wandering families such as Lycosidae, Gnaphosidae and Zodariidae were the most numerous in terms of captures. The generalist predator Pardosa cribata Simon (Araneae: Lycosidae) was the most common species, representing a quarter of all captures, followed by Zodarion cesari Pekar. (Araneae: Zodariidae) and Trachyzelotes fuscipes (Koch) (Araneae: Gnaphosidae). Spiders were active throughout the year with a peak population in summer. The species abundance data for the three spider assemblages sampled fitted a log normal statistical model which is consistent with a well-established community. The presence of a cover crop provided higher abundance of alternative prey and consequently higher abundance and diversity of ground-dwelling spiders. This work demonstrates that the citrus-orchard ground harbours a diverse and abundant ground-dwelling spider fauna, which is also active throughout the year. A challenge for future studies will be to establish conservation management strategies for these predators, that will improve biological control of those citrus pests that inhabit or spend part of their life cycle on the orchard floor. (Author) 49 refs.

  17. The effects of food presentation and microhabitat upon resource monopoly in a ground-foraging ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terrence P McGlynn

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available In Neotropical wet forests several species of omnivorous, resource-defending ants, live and forage in close proximity to one another. Although the forest floor is heterogeneous in microhabitat and food quantity, little is known about the impact of microhabitat and food variation upon resource monopoly among ants. We investigated how food type and microhabitat influence food monopoly in resource-defending ants in old-growth tropical wet forest in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica. We measured several microhabitat characteristics at 66 points in a 0.5 hectare plot, and baited each point with two categories of tuna bait. These baits were presented in "split" and "clumped" arrangements. We measured the frequency of bait monopoly by a single species, as well as the number of recruited ant foragers at a bait. Out of five common species, two (Wasmannia auropunctata and Pheidole simonsi more frequently monopolized one bait type over the other, and one (P. simonsi recruited more ants to the split baits. We then considered the recruitment response by all ant species in the community. We found that the frequency of monopoly, sharing, and the absence of ants at a given point in the rainforest differed with bait type. The frequency of monopoly was associated with microhabitat type in two out of eight microhabitat variables (leaf litter depth and palms; variation in two other types (canopy tree distance and leafcutter ant trails was associated with changes in forager number. In at least two ant species, food presentation affected monopoly at baits; among all resource-defending ants, the microhabitats where ants foraged for food and the type of food located determined in part the frequency of monopoly and the number of foragers at the food item. These results suggest that the location and presentation of food items determines in part which ant species will utilize the resource.En los bosques húmedos de la Región Neotropical conviven varias especies de

  18. Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Courtney L; Bowman, William D

    2008-12-16

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics of plant species diversity. We amended native soils with litter mixtures containing up to 4 alpine plant species, and we used 9 litter chemical traits to evaluate the chemical composition (i.e., the identity and quantity of compounds) and chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. The chemical composition of the litter mixtures was the strongest predictor of soil respiration, net N mineralization, and microbial biomass N. Soil respiration and net N mineralization rates were also significantly correlated with the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. In contrast, soil C and N cycling rates were poorly correlated with plant species richness, and there was no relationship between species richness and the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. These results indicate that the composition and diversity of chemical compounds in litter are potentially important functional traits affecting decomposition, and simple metrics like plant species richness may fail to capture variation in these traits. Litter chemical traits therefore provide a mechanistic link between organisms, species diversity, and key components of below-ground ecosystem function.

  19. Generic diversity of ants (Himenopteros: Formicidae in forest set, forest border and areas cultivated three Communities of the Municipality of Coripata, Nor Yungas Department of La Paz, Bolivia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamani-Mamani Beatriz

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The biodiversity is the variety of all the vegetables, animals and the microorganisms that end up coexisting and interaction inside an ecosystem to be interrelated to each other. The ants represent the biggest abundance inside the insects. The family Formicidae is characterized by the importance that has in the natural ecosystems and for the variety of ecological functions that you/they complete, due to the association with many plants and animals. They have a great variability in the feeding and they use diverse nidificación forms; however they are very scarce the carried out studies. The present investigation was carried out in the municipality of Coripata, where the family Formicidae showed bigger abundance and wealth among habitats. For that they settled the 5 traps of having fallen by place (Altuspata, Choro and Alto Choro in three types of different habitats (forest, forest border and cultivation during 12 months. 15026 individuals were distributed in 6 subfamilies with 26 goods and 46 species y/o morfoespecies found in total. This shows that it exists a great wealth and abundance of ants in this ecosystem. The subfamilies Ecitoninae showed a bigger number of individuals for the habit form that you/they have of being depredators and nomadic. The biggest wealth and abundance of ants was identified in the area of forest of the place Altuspata. Inside the subfamilies Ecitoninae the species Labidus spininoides and Labidus praedator presented bigger number, and with regard to the places one has similarity as for the quantity of individuals.

  20. Influence of small-scale disturbances by kangaroo rats on Chihuahuan Desert ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. L. Schooley; B. T. Bestelmeyer; J. F. Kelly

    2000-01-01

    Banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis) are prominent ecosystem engineers that build large mounds that influence the spatial structuring of fungi, plants, and some ground-dwelling animals. Ants are diverse and functionally important components of arid ecosystems; some species are also ecosystem engineers. We investigated the effects of...

  1. Adaptive Radiation in Socially Advanced Stem-Group Ants from the Cretaceous.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-02-22

    Across terrestrial ecosystems, modern ants are ubiquitous. As many as 94 out of every 100 individual arthropods in rainforests are ants, and they constitute up to 15% of animal biomass in the Amazon. Moreover, ants are pervasive agents of natural selection as over 10,000 arthropod species are specialized inquilines or myrmecomorphs living among ants or defending themselves through mimicry. Such impact is traditionally explained by sociality: ants are the first major group of ground-dwelling predatory insects to become eusocial, increasing efficiency of tasks and establishing competitive superiority over solitary species. A wealth of specimens from rich deposits of 99 million-year-old Burmese amber resolves ambiguity regarding sociality and diversity in the earliest ants. The stem-group genus Gerontoformica maintained distinct reproductive castes including morphotypes unknown in solitary aculeate (stinging) wasps, providing insight into early behavior. We present rare aggregations of workers, indicating group recruitment as well as an instance of interspecific combat; such aggression is a social feature of modern ants. Two species and an unusual new genus are described, further expanding the remarkable diversity of early ants. Stem-group ants are recovered as a paraphyletic assemblage at the base of modern lineages varying greatly in size, form, and mouthpart structure, interpreted here as an adaptive radiation. Though Cretaceous stem-group ants were eusocial and adaptively diverse, we hypothesize that their extinction resulted from the rise of competitively superior crown-group taxa that today form massive colonies, consistent with Wilson and Hölldobler's concept of "dynastic succession." Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Elevational gradients in phylogenetic structure of ant communities reveal the interplay of biotic and abiotic constraints on diversity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Machač, A.; Janda, Milan; Dunn, R. R.; Sanders, N. J.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 34, č. 3 (2011), s. 364-371 ISSN 0906-7590 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB612230701; GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR GD206/08/H044; GA ČR GA206/09/0115; GA ČR GAP505/10/0673 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : diversity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.188, year: 2011

  3. Edge effects and beta diversity in ground and canopy beetle communities of fragmented subtropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Marisa J; Catterall, Carla P; Stork, Nigel E

    2018-01-01

    Clearing of dry forests globally creates edges between remnant forest and open anthropogenic habitats. We used flight intercept traps to evaluate how forest beetle communities are influenced by distance from such edges, together with vertical height, spatial location, and local vegetation structure, in an urbanising region (Brisbane, Australia). Species composition (but not total abundance or richness) differed greatly between ground and canopy. Species composition also varied strongly among sites at both ground and canopy levels, but almost all other significant effects occurred only at ground level, where: species richness declined from edge to interior; composition differed between positions near edges ( 50 m); high local canopy cover was associated with greater total abundance and richness and differing composition; and greater distances to the city centre were associated with increased total abundances and altered composition. Analyses of individual indicator species associated with this variation enabled further biological interpretations. A global literature synthesis showed that most spatially well-replicated studies of edge effects on ground-level beetles within forest fragments have likewise found that positions within tens of metres from edges with open anthropogenic habitats had increased species richness and different compositions from forest interior sites, with fewer effects on abundance. Accordingly, negative edge effects will not prevent relatively small compact fragments (if >10-20 ha) from supporting forest-like beetle communities, although indirect consequences of habitat degradation remain a threat. Retention of multiple spatially scattered forest areas will also be important in conserving forest-dependent beetles, given high levels of between-site diversity.

  4. Edge effects and beta diversity in ground and canopy beetle communities of fragmented subtropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catterall, Carla P.; Stork, Nigel E.

    2018-01-01

    Clearing of dry forests globally creates edges between remnant forest and open anthropogenic habitats. We used flight intercept traps to evaluate how forest beetle communities are influenced by distance from such edges, together with vertical height, spatial location, and local vegetation structure, in an urbanising region (Brisbane, Australia). Species composition (but not total abundance or richness) differed greatly between ground and canopy. Species composition also varied strongly among sites at both ground and canopy levels, but almost all other significant effects occurred only at ground level, where: species richness declined from edge to interior; composition differed between positions near edges ( 50 m); high local canopy cover was associated with greater total abundance and richness and differing composition; and greater distances to the city centre were associated with increased total abundances and altered composition. Analyses of individual indicator species associated with this variation enabled further biological interpretations. A global literature synthesis showed that most spatially well-replicated studies of edge effects on ground-level beetles within forest fragments have likewise found that positions within tens of metres from edges with open anthropogenic habitats had increased species richness and different compositions from forest interior sites, with fewer effects on abundance. Accordingly, negative edge effects will not prevent relatively small compact fragments (if >10–20 ha) from supporting forest-like beetle communities, although indirect consequences of habitat degradation remain a threat. Retention of multiple spatially scattered forest areas will also be important in conserving forest-dependent beetles, given high levels of between-site diversity. PMID:29494680

  5. Mind the Roots: Phenotyping Below-Ground Crop Diversity and Its Influence on Final Yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieters, C.; Guadagno, C. R.; Lemli, S.; Hosseini, A.; Ewers, B. E.

    2017-12-01

    Changes in global climate patterns and water regimes are having profound impacts on worldwide crop production. An ever-growing population paired with increasing temperatures and unpredictable periods of severe drought call for accurate modeling of future crop yield. Although novel approaches are being developed in high-throughput, above-ground image phenotyping, the below-ground plant system is still poorly phenotyped. Collection of plant root morphology and hydraulics are needed to inform mathematical models to reliably estimate yields of crops grown in sub-optimal conditions. We used Brassica rapa to inform our model as it is a globally cultivated crop with several functionally diverse cultivars. Specifically, we use 7 different accessions from oilseed (R500 and Yellow Sarson), leafy type (Pac choi and Chinese cabbage), a vegetable turnip, and two Wisconsin Fast Plants (Imb211 and Fast Plant self-compatible), which have shorter life cycles and potentially large differences in allocation to roots. Bi-weekly, we harvested above and below-ground biomass to compare the varieties in terms of carbon allocation throughout their life cycle. Using WinRhizo software, we analyzed root system length and surface area to compare and contrast root morphology among cultivars. Our results confirm that root structural characteristics are crucial to explain plant water use and carbon allocation. The root:shoot ratio reveals a significant (p physiological traits such as gas exchange, chlorophyll content, and chlorophyll a fluorescence. A thorough analysis of the root system will clarify carbon dynamics and hydraulics at the whole-plant level, improving final yield predictions.

  6. Distribution and diversity of ground beetles in Başkonuş Mountain National Park of Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avgin, Sakine Serap

    2006-07-01

    This study was carried out in National Park Başkonuş Mountain (Kahramanmaraş, Turkey), in Mediterranean region from April to October of 2004 and 2005. A total 31 species of ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) were recorded in the pitfall traps. Among them, Carabus (Archicarabus) gotschi caramanus Fairmaire, 1886, Carabus (Procrustes) coriaceus mopsucrenae Peyron, 1858 and Nebria (Nebria) hemprichi Klug, 1832 were the most abundant species. Distribution, diversity and monthly distribution of species in steppes, forest edge and forest interior, and chorotypes and ecology of these species were separately given in this study. It was recorded that the diversity of ground beetles was significantly higher in the forest edge and steppes than in the forest interior. There was no significant difference in the diversity of ground beetles in the steppes and the forest edge.

  7. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2017-01-01

    Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) offers an ‘infra-language’ of the social that allows one to trace social relations very dynamically, while at the same time dissolving human agency, thus providing a flat and de-centred way into sociology. However, ANT struggles with its theoretical design that may lead...... 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....

  8. Relationships between Plant Diversity and the Abundance and α-Diversity of Predatory Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a Mature Asian Temperate Forest Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems. PMID:24376582

  9. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems.

  10. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Zou

    Full Text Available A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems.

  11. Dataset of long-term monitoring of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the influence areas of a hydroelectric power plant on the Madeira River in the Amazon Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Itanna O; de Souza, Jorge L P

    2018-01-01

    Biodiversity loss is accelerating rapidly in response to increasing human influence on the Earth's natural ecosystems. One way to overcome this problem is by focusing on places of human interest and monitoring the changes and impacts on the biodiversity. This study was conducted at six sites within the influence area of the Santo Antônio Hydroelectric Power Plant in the margins of the Madeira River in Rondônia State. The sites cover a latitudinal gradient of approximately 100 km in the Brazilian Amazon Basin. The sampling design included six sampling modules with six plots (transects) each, totaling 30 sampling plots. The transects were distributed with 0 km, 0.5 km, 1 km, 2 km, 3 km and 4 km, measured perpendicularly from the river margin towards the interior of the forest. For sampling the ground-dwelling ants, the study used the ALL (ants of the leaf litter) protocol, which is standardized globally in the inventories of ant fauna. For the purpose of impact indicators, the first two campaigns (September 2011 to November 2011) were carried out in the pre-filling period, while campaigns 3 to 10 (February 2012 to November 2014) were carried out during and after the filling of the hydroelectric reservoir. A total of 253 events with a total of 9,165 occurrences were accounted during the monitoring. The ants were distributed in 10 subfamilies, 68 genera and 324 species/morphospecies. The impact on ant biodiversity during the periods before and after filling was measured by ecological indicators and by the presence and absence of some species/morphospecies. This is the first study, as far as we know, including taxonomic and ecological treatment to monitor the impact of a hydroelectric power plant on ant fauna. Until recently, most studies conducted on hydroelectric plants, located in the Amazon Basin, were carried out after the implementation of dams in order to assess their impacts on the environment and biodiversity (Benchimol and Peres 2015, Latrubesse et al. 2017

  12. Selection indicates preference in diverse habitats: a ground-nesting bird (Charadrius melodus using reservoir shoreline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Anteau

    Full Text Available Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers. We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2 that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median, but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.

  13. Selection indicates preference in diverse habitats: a ground-nesting bird (Charadrius melodus) using reservoir shoreline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anteau, Michael J; Sherfy, Mark H; Wiltermuth, Mark T

    2012-01-01

    Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m) during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2)) that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had nest sites (11% median), but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.

  14. Venom toxicity and composition in three Pseudomyrmex ant species having different nesting modes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchard, Axel; Labrière, Nicolas; Roux, Olivier; Petitclerc, Frédéric; Orivel, Jérôme; Escoubas, Pierre; Koh, Jennifer M S; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2014-09-01

    We aimed to determine whether the nesting habits of ants have influenced their venom toxicity and composition. We focused on the genus Pseudomyrmex (Pseudomyrmecinae) comprising terrestrial and arboreal species, and, among the latter, plant-ants that are obligate inhabitants of myrmecophytes (i.e., plants sheltering ants in hollow structures). Contrary to our hypothesis, the venom of the ground-dwelling species, Pseudomyrmex termitarius, was as efficacious in paralyzing prey as the venoms of the arboreal and the plant-ant species, Pseudomyrmex penetrator and Pseudomyrmex gracilis. The lethal potency of P. termitarius venom was equipotent with that of P. gracilis whereas the venom of P. penetrator was less potent. The MALDI-TOF MS analysis of each HPLC fraction of the venoms showed that P. termitarius venom is composed of 87 linear peptides, while both P. gracilis and P. penetrator venoms (23 and 26 peptides, respectively) possess peptides with disulfide bonds. Furthermore, P. penetrator venom contains three hetero- and homodimeric peptides consisting of two short peptidic chains linked together by two interchain disulfide bonds. The large number of peptides in P. termitarius venom is likely related to the large diversity of potential prey plus the antibacterial peptides required for nesting in the ground. Whereas predation involves only the prey and predator, P. penetrator venom has evolved in an environment where trees, defoliating insects, browsing mammals and ants live in equilibrium, likely explaining the diversity of the peptide structures. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Sperm competition promotes diversity of sperm bundles in Ohomopterus ground beetles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takami, Yasuoki; Sota, Teiji

    2007-07-01

    Diversification of sperm morphology has been investigated in the context of sperm competition, but the adaptive significance of sperm bundles is still unclear. In analyzing 10 taxa of the genus Carabus subgenus Ohomopterus and one related Carabus ground beetles, we found that dimorphic sperm bundles occurred in most species with varied degrees of bimodality, whereas sperm were generally monomorphic. Comparative analyses with phylogenetically independent contrasts revealed that the sizes of large and small sperm bundles evolved more rapidly than, and were not correlated with, the length of sperm, suggesting more intense selection on sperm bundle sizes and their independent responses to different evolutionary forces. The size of large sperm bundles was positively correlated with male genital morphology (pertinent to displacement of rival spermatophores) and postcopulatory guarding duration as well as male body length, suggesting that larger sperm bundles have been favored when the risk of spermatophore displacement is high. Larger sperm bundles may be advantageous because of their ability to migrate more rapidly into the spermatheca. In contrast, no clear association was detected between the small sperm bundle size and mating traits despite its rapid diversification. The present study provides the first record of heteromorphic sperm bundles, the diversity of which may be promoted by sperm competition.

  16. Seasonal Distribution and Diversity of Ground Arthropods in Microhabitats Following a Shrub Plantation Age Sequence in Desertified Steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Rentao; Zhu, Fan; Song, Naiping; Yang, Xinguo; Chai, Yongqing

    2013-01-01

    In desertified regions, shrub-dominated patches are important microhabitats for ground arthropod assemblages. As shrub age increases, soil, vegetation and microbiological properties can change remarkably and spontaneously across seasons. However, relatively few studies have analyzed how ground arthropods respond to the microhabitats created by shrubs of different plantation ages across seasons. Using 6, 15, 24 and 36 year-old plantations of re-vegetated shrubs (Caragana koushinskii) in the desert steppe of northwestern China as a model system, we sampled ground arthropod communities using a pitfall trapping method in the microhabitats under shrubs and in the open areas between shrubs, during the spring, summer and autumn. The total ground arthropod assemblage was dominated by Carabidae, Melolonthidae, Curculionidae, Tenebrionidae and Formicidae that were affected by plantation age, seasonal changes, or the interaction between these factors, with the later two groups also influenced by microhabitat. Overall, a facilitative effect was observed, with more arthropods and a greater diversity found under shrubs as compared to open areas, but this was markedly affected by seasonal changes. There was a high degree of similarity in arthropod assemblages and diversity between microhabitats in summer and autumn. Shrub plantation age significantly influenced the distribution of the most abundant groups, and also the diversity indices of the ground arthropods. However, there was not an overall positive relationship between shrub age and arthropod abundance, richness or diversity index. The influence of plantation age on arthropod communities was also affected by seasonal changes. From spring through summer to autumn, community indices of ground arthropods tended to decline, and a high degree of similarity in these indices (with fluctuation) was observed among different ages of shrub plantation in autumn. Altogether the recovery of arthropod communities was markedly affected by

  17. Refuse dumps from leaf-cutting ant nests reduce the intensity of above-ground competition among neighboring plants in a Patagonian steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G.; Lescano, María Natalia

    2017-11-01

    In arid environments, the high availability of sunlight due to the scarcity of trees suggests that plant competition take place mainly belowground for water and nutrients. However, the occurrence of soil disturbances that increase nutrient availability and thereby promote plant growth may enhance shoot competition between neighboring plants. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to evaluate the influence of the enriched soil patches generated by the leaf-cutting ant, Acromyrmex lobicornis, on the performance of the alien forb Carduus thoermeri (Asteraceae) under different intraspecific competition scenarios. Our results showed that substrate type and competition scenario affected mainly aboveground plant growth. As expected, plants growing without neighbors and in nutrient-rich ant refuse dumps showed more aboveground biomass than plants growing with neighbors and in nutrient-poor steppe soils. However, aboveground competition was more intense in nutrient-poor substrates: plants under shoot and full competition growing in the nutrient-rich ant refuse dumps showed higher biomass than those growing on steppe soils. Belowground biomass was similar among focal plants growing under different substrate type. Our results support the traditional view that increments in resource availability reduce competition intensity. Moreover, the fact that seedlings in this sunny habitat mainly compete aboveground illustrates how limiting factors may be scale-dependent and change in importance as plants grow.

  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. Exploring the Diversity of Exoplanet Atmospheres Using Ground-Based Transit Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Jacob

    This is a proposal to fund an observational study of the atmospheres of exoplanets in order to improve our understanding of the nature and origins of these mysterious worlds. The observations will be performed using our new approach for ground-based transit spectroscopy measurements that yields space-telescope quality data. We will also carry out supporting theoretical calculations with new abundance retrieval codes to interpret the measurements. Our project includes a survey of giant exoplanets, and intensive study of especially compelling exoplanets. For the survey, optical and near-infrared transmission spectra, and near-infrared emission spectra will be measured for giant exoplanets with a wide range of estimated temperatures, heavy element abundance, and mass. This comprehensive characterization of a large sample of these planets is now crucial to investigate such issues for their atmospheres as the carbon-to-oxygen ratios and overall metallicities, cause of thermal inversions, and prevalence and nature of high-altitude hazes. The intensive study of compelling individual planets will focus on low-mass (M spectroscopy, and leveraging its particular sensitivity to the atmospheric scale height. Observations for the project will be carried out with Magellan, Keck, Gemini, and VLT. The team has institutional access to Magellan and Keck, and a demonstrated record of obtaining time on Gemini and VLT for these observations through public channels. This proposal is highly relevant for current and future NASA projects. We are seeking to understand the diversity of exoplanets revealed by planet searches like Kepler and the Eta-Earth survey. Our observations will complement, extend, and provide context for similar observations with HST and Spitzer. We will investigate the fundamental nature of the closest kin to Earth-size exoplanets, and this is an important foundation that must be laid down before studying habitable planets with JWST and a future TPF-like mission.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paradzayi Tagwireyi

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

  1. Spatial Factors Play a Major Role as Determinants of Endemic Ground Beetle Beta Diversity of Madeira Island Laurisilva

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boieiro, Mário; Carvalho, José C.; Cardoso, Pedro; Aguiar, Carlos A. S.; Rego, Carla; de Faria e Silva, Israel; Amorim, Isabel R.; Pereira, Fernando; Azevedo, Eduardo B.; Borges, Paulo A. V.; Serrano, Artur R. M.

    2013-01-01

    The development in recent years of new beta diversity analytical approaches highlighted valuable information on the different processes structuring ecological communities. A crucial development for the understanding of beta diversity patterns was also its differentiation in two components: species turnover and richness differences. In this study, we evaluate beta diversity patterns of ground beetles from 26 sites in Madeira Island distributed throughout Laurisilva – a relict forest restricted to the Macaronesian archipelagos. We assess how the two components of ground beetle beta diversity (βrepl – species turnover and βrich - species richness differences) relate with differences in climate, geography, landscape composition matrix, woody plant species richness and soil characteristics and the relative importance of the effects of these variables at different spatial scales. We sampled 1025 specimens from 31 species, most of which are endemic to Madeira Island. A spatially explicit analysis was used to evaluate the contribution of pure environmental, pure spatial and environmental spatially structured effects on variation in ground beetle species richness and composition. Variation partitioning showed that 31.9% of species turnover (βrepl) and 40.7% of species richness variation (βrich) could be explained by the environmental and spatial variables. However, different environmental variables controlled the two types of beta diversity: βrepl was influenced by climate, disturbance and soil organic matter content whilst βrich was controlled by altitude and slope. Furthermore, spatial variables, represented through Moran’s eigenvector maps, played a significant role in explaining both βrepl and βrich, suggesting that both dispersal ability and Madeira Island complex orography are crucial for the understanding of beta diversity patterns in this group of beetles. PMID:23724065

  2. Diversidade de formigas na Floresta Nacional de Chapecó, Santa Catarina, Brasil Ants diversity in Floresta Nacional de Chapecó in Santa Catarina State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junir Antonio Lutinski

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available A mirmecofauna da Floresta Nacional de Chapecó, Gleba I, foi estudada por coletas semanais realizadas de dezembro de 2003 a dezembro de 2004. Foram utilizadas armadilhas do tipo malaise, pit-fall, iscas com sardinha, iscas com glicose, rede de varredura, guarda-chuva entomológico e funil de Berlese. Três constituições vegetais foram amostradas, sendo pinus, eucalipto e Floresta Ombrófila Mista e Floresta Estacional Decidual. Foram capturadas 137.019 espécimes de nove subfamílias, 18 tribos, 36 gêneros e 121 espécies. Os índices de diversidade de Margalef obtidos foram 9,9; 9,7 e 12,6; de Shannon e Wiener 3,0; 3,2 e 3,4 e de equitabilidade de 0,69; 0,73 e 0,74, para as áreas com pinus, eucalipto e mata nativa, respectivamente. Estes resultados indicam uma distribuição mais uniforme na comunidade da mata nativa, caracterizando-se como um importante reservatório espécies de formigas no Oeste catarinense.Mirmecofauna of the Floresta Nacional de Chapecó, Field I, was studied by weekly collections from December of 2003 to December of 2004. Malaise, pit-fall, sardine baits, glucose baits, sweeping net, entomological umbrella and Berlese funnel had been used. Three vegetal constitutions where showed, like pinus, eucalyptus Ombrófila Mista and Estacional Decidual native forests. 137.019 specimens of nine subfamilies, 18 tribes, 36 generas and 121 species were captured. The indices of diversity of Margalef were 9.9; 9.7 and 12.6; of Shannon and Wiener 3.0; 3.2 and 3.4 and of equitability of 0.69; 0.73 and 0.74, for the areas with pinus, eucalyptus and native forest, respectively. These results indicate a more uniform distribution in the community of the native forest, characterizing itself as an important reservoir species of ants in the West region of the Santa Catarina State, Brazil.

  3. 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.

  4. The diversity and abundance of ground herbs in lowland mixed dipterocarp forest and heath forest in Brunei Darussalam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurul Hazlina Zaini

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Herbaceous plants are important components of total plant species richness in tropical forests. Ground herb diversity and abundance were studied in a lowland Mixed Dipterocarp forest (Andulau and a heath forest (Bukit Sawat in Brunei Darussalam, Borneo. At each site, all ground herbs in twenty randomly selected 10 × 10 m subplots within a one hectare permanent plot were censused and identified. The study recorded a total of 20 families and 32 genera of ground herbs, with the family Zingiberaceae as the most abundant at both sites. Thirteen genera were recorded only at Andulau and 7 genera were exclusive to Bukit Sawat, with twelve genera common to both sites. Ground herb species richness appear higher at Andulau than Bukit Sawat (37 vs. 29, but this difference was not statistically significant at the subplot level. However, ground herb abundance and density were significantly higher at Bukit Sawat than Andulau (n =  846 vs. 385; 4230 vs. 1925 individuals ha-1. The more open canopy at Bukit Sawat may provide higher light availability here than at Andulau, which is characterised by a closed canopy. We suggest that light availability is the most important environmental factor influencing ground herb density and abundance at these sites. 

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function

    OpenAIRE

    Meier, Courtney L.; Bowman, William D.

    2008-01-01

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics...

  9. Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portraits In Courage Vol. VIII Portraits In Courage Vol. IX Portraits In Courage Vol. X AF Sites Social -Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce Executive Order 13548 : Virtual Diversity Conference Air Force Diversity & Inclusion Air Force Diversity Graphic There is no

  10. [Effects of topography on the diversity and distribution pattern of ground plants in karst montane forests in Southwest Guangxi, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Tie-Xiang; Zhang, He-Ping; Ou, Zhi-Yang; Tan, Yi-Bo

    2014-10-01

    Covariance analysis, curve-fitting, and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) were used to explore the effects of topographic factors on the plant diversity and distribution patterns of ground flora with different growth forms in the karst mountains of Southwest Guangxi, China. A total of 152 ground plants were recorded. Among them, 37 species were ferns, 44 species herbs, 9 species lianas, and 62 species shrubs. Covariance analysis revealed that altitude significantly correlated with the individual number and richness of ground plants, and slope aspect had a significant effect on richness. Statistical analyses showed a highly significant nonlinear correlation between the individual number or richness of ground plants and altitude. Results of CCA revealed that slope aspect had a significant effect on the distribution pattern of ferns, and slope had a significant effect on the distribution patterns of herbs, lianas and shrubs. Ferns were more sensitive than herbs, lianas and shrubs to changes in heat and soil water caused by aspect. The effect of slope was stronger than that of elevation on soil water and nutrients, and it was the most important topographic factor that affected the distribution patterns of herbs, lianas and shrubs in this region.

  11. Ant mosaics in Bornean primary rain forest high canopy depend on spatial scale, time of day, and sampling method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalsum M. Yusah

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Competitive interactions in biological communities can be thought of as giving rise to “assembly rules” that dictate the species that are able to co-exist. Ant communities in tropical canopies often display a particular pattern, an “ant mosaic”, in which competition between dominant ant species results in a patchwork of mutually exclusive territories. Although ant mosaics have been well-documented in plantation landscapes, their presence in pristine tropical forests remained contentious until recently. Here we assess presence of ant mosaics in a hitherto under-investigated forest stratum, the emergent trees of the high canopy in primary tropical rain forest, and explore how the strength of any ant mosaics is affected by spatial scale, time of day, and sampling method. Methods To test whether these factors might impact the detection of ant mosaics in pristine habitats, we sampled ant communities from emergent trees, which rise above the highest canopy layers in lowland dipterocarp rain forests in North Borneo (38.8–60.2 m, using both baiting and insecticide fogging. Critically, we restricted sampling to only the canopy of each focal tree. For baiting, we carried out sampling during both the day and the night. We used null models of species co-occurrence to assess patterns of segregation at within-tree and between-tree scales. Results The numerically dominant ant species on the emergent trees sampled formed a diverse community, with differences in the identity of dominant species between times of day and sampling methods. Between trees, we found patterns of ant species segregation consistent with the existence of ant mosaics using both methods. Within trees, fogged ants were segregated, while baited ants were segregated only at night. Discussion We conclude that ant mosaics are present within the emergent trees of the high canopy of tropical rain forest in Malaysian Borneo, and that sampling technique, spatial scale, and time

  12. Above- and below-ground effects of plant diversity depend on species origin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuebbing, Sara E.; Classen, Aimee Taylor; Sanders, Nate

    2015-01-01

    -interaction models to describe how species' interactions influenced diversity-productivity relationships. Communities with more species had higher total biomass than did monoculture communities, but native and nonnative communities diverged in root : shoot ratios and the mechanism responsible for increased......Although many plant communities are invaded by multiple nonnative species, we have limited information on how a species' origin affects ecosystem function. We tested how differences in species richness and origin affect productivity and seedling establishment. We created phylogenetically paired...... native and nonnative plant communities in a glasshouse experiment to test diversity-productivity relationships and responsible mechanisms (i.e. selection or complementarity effects). Additionally, we tested how productivity and associated mechanisms influenced seedling establishment. We used diversity...

  13. What's Slithering around on Your School Grounds? Transforming Student Awareness of Reptile & Amphibian Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasek, Terry M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hall, Jeff

    2005-01-01

    The protocols used in a research project on amphibian and reptile diversity at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center near New Bern, North Carolina is described. An increasing or stable number of amphibians and reptiles would indicate that the forest has a balance of invertebrates, leaf litter, moisture, pH, debris, burrows and habitat…

  14. Changes in ground beetle diversity and community composition in age structured forests (Coleoptera, Carabidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn Riley

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available We examined diversity, community composition, and wing-state of Carabidae as a function of forest age in Piedmont North Carolina. Carabidae were collected monthly from 396 pitfall traps (12×33 sites from March 2009 through February 2010, representing 5 forest age classes approximately 0, 10, 50, 85, and 150 years old. A total of 2,568 individuals, representing 30 genera and 63 species, were collected. Carabid species diversity, as estimated by six diversity indices, was significantly different between the oldest and youngest forest age classes for four of the six indices. Most carabid species were habitat generalists, occurring in all or most of the forest age classes. Carabid species composition varied across forest age classes. Seventeen carabid species were identified as potential candidates for ecological indicators of forest age. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS showed separation among forest age classes in terms of carabid beetle community composition. The proportion of individuals capable of flight decreased significantly with forest age.

  15. 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....

  16. Plant diversity to support humans in a CELSS ground based demonstrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, J. M.; Hoff, J. E.

    1981-01-01

    A controlled ecological life support system (CELSS) for human habitation in preparation for future long duration space flights is considered. The success of such a system depends upon the feasibility of revitalization of food resources and the human nutritional needs which are to be met by these food resources. Edible higher plants are prime candidates for the photoautotrophic components of this system if nutritionally adequate diets can be derived from these plant sources to support humans. Human nutritional requirements information based on current knowledge are developed for inhabitants envisioned in the CELSS ground based demonstrator. Groups of plant products that can provide the nutrients are identified.

  17. Effect of tillage and planting date on seasonal abundance and diversity of predacious ground beetles in cotton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, R B; Parajulee, M N

    2010-01-01

    other species. Ground beetle species abundance, diversity, and species richness were significantly higher in conservation tillage plots. This suggests that field conditions arising from the practice of conservation tillage may support higher predacious ground beetle activity than might be observed under field conditions arising from conventional tillage practices.

  18. Species diversity and qualitative assessment of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in three riparian habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michels, G J; Carney, V A; Jones, E N; Pollock, D A

    2010-06-01

    In a 3-yr study involving saltcedar-free, saltcedar-infested, and burned habitats in a riparian area at Lake Meredith, TX, the number of carabid species collected, diversity indices, and indicator species varied significantly among habitats. A 3-yr average of 15, 14, and 24 carabid species were collected from the saltcedar-free, saltcedar-infested, and burned habitats, respectively. Values for species richness, Shannon's and Simpson's diversity indices, and evenness index for pooled data collected from 2005 to 2007 were higher in the burned habitat followed by the saltcedar-free habitat and the saltcedar-infested habitat. Within-year parameters across the three habitats generally followed the pooled data results with some variation. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analyses clearly indicated groups of carabid species preferred specific habitats. Five species in the burned area had indicator species percentage values >50% (Agonum punctiforme, Agonum texanum, Brachinus alternans, Harpalus pensylvanicus, and Poecilus chalcites). In the saltcedar-infested and saltcedar-free habitats, only one species in each habitat had indicator species percentage values that exceeded 50%: Calathus opaculus and Cicindela punctulata punctulata, respectively.

  19. Green turtle (Chelonia mydas genetic diversity at Paranaguá Estuarine Complex feeding grounds in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Costa Jordão

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles are marine reptiles that undertake long migrations through their life, with limited information regarding juvenile stages. Feeding grounds (FGs, where they spend most of their lives, are composed by individuals from different natal origins, known as mixed stock populations. The aim of this study was to assess genetic composition, natal origins and demographic history of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas at the Paranaguá Estuarine Complex (PEC, Brazil, considered a Natural World Heritage site. Tissue samples of stranded animals were collected (n = 60, and 700 bp mitochondrial DNA sequences were generated and compared to shorter sequences from previously published studies. Global exact tests of differentiation revealed significant differences among PEC and the other FGs, except those at the South Atlantic Ocean. Green turtles at PEC present genetic signatures similar to those of nesting females from Ascension Island, Guinea Bissau and Aves Island/Surinam. Population expansion was evidenced to have occurred 20–25 kYA, reinforcing the hypothesis of recovery from Southern Atlantic refugia after the last Glacial Maximum. These results contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of green turtle populations at a protected area by providing knowledge on the dispersion patterns and reinforcing the importance of the interconnectivity between nesting and foraging populations.

  20. Supporting a Diverse Community of Undergraduate Researchers in Satellite and Ground-Based Remote Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, R.; Liou-Mark, J.

    2012-12-01

    The U.S. remains in grave danger of losing its global competitive edge in STEM. To find solutions to this problem, the Obama Administration proposed two new national initiatives: the Educate to Innovate Initiative and the $100 million government/private industry initiative to train 100,000 STEM teachers and graduate 1 million additional STEM students over the next decade. To assist in ameliorating the national STEM plight, the New York City College of Technology has designed its NSF Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program in satellite and ground-based remote sensing to target underrepresented minority students. Since the inception of the program in 2008, a total of 45 undergraduate students of which 38 (84%) are considered underrepresented minorities in STEM have finished or are continuing with their research or are pursuing their STEM endeavors. The program is comprised of the three primary components. The first component, Structured Learning Environments: Preparation and Mentorship, provides the REU Scholars with the skill sets necessary for proficiency in satellite and ground-based remote sensing research. The students are offered mini-courses in Geographic Information Systems, MATLAB, and Remote Sensing. They also participate in workshops on the Ethics of Research. Each REU student is a member of a team that consists of faculty mentors, post doctorate/graduate students, and high school students. The second component, Student Support and Safety Nets, provides undergraduates a learning environment that supports them in becoming successful researchers. Special networking and Brown Bag sessions, and an annual picnic with research scientists are organized so that REU Scholars are provided with opportunities to expand their professional community. Graduate school support is provided by offering free Graduate Record Examination preparation courses and workshops on the graduate school application process. Additionally, students are supported by college

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. Evolutionary diversity of bile salts in reptiles and mammals, including analysis of ancient human and extinct giant ground sloth coprolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Bile salts are the major end-metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion and in influencing the intestinal microflora. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt diversity in both reptiles and mammals, including analysis of 8,000 year old human coprolites and coprolites from the extinct Shasta ground sloth (Nothrotherium shastense). Results While there is significant variation of bile salts across species, bile salt profiles are generally stable within families and often within orders of reptiles and mammals, and do not directly correlate with differences in diet. The variation of bile salts generally accords with current molecular phylogenies of reptiles and mammals, including more recent groupings of squamate reptiles. For mammals, the most unusual finding was that the Paenungulates (elephants, manatees, and the rock hyrax) have a very different bile salt profile from the Rufous sengi and South American aardvark, two other mammals classified with Paenungulates in the cohort Afrotheria in molecular phylogenies. Analyses of the approximately 8,000 year old human coprolites yielded a bile salt profile very similar to that found in modern human feces. Analysis of the Shasta ground sloth coprolites (approximately 12,000 years old) showed the predominant presence of glycine-conjugated bile acids, similar to analyses of bile and feces of living sloths, in addition to a complex mixture of plant sterols and stanols expected from an herbivorous diet. Conclusions The bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution, with some bile salt modifications only found within single groups such as marsupials. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt structures in different species provides a potentially rich model system for the evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates. Our results also demonstrate the stability of bile salts in coprolites preserved in arid climates

  4. Evolutionary diversity of bile salts in reptiles and mammals, including analysis of ancient human and extinct giant ground sloth coprolites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hofmann Alan F

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bile salts are the major end-metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion and in influencing the intestinal microflora. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt diversity in both reptiles and mammals, including analysis of 8,000 year old human coprolites and coprolites from the extinct Shasta ground sloth (Nothrotherium shastense. Results While there is significant variation of bile salts across species, bile salt profiles are generally stable within families and often within orders of reptiles and mammals, and do not directly correlate with differences in diet. The variation of bile salts generally accords with current molecular phylogenies of reptiles and mammals, including more recent groupings of squamate reptiles. For mammals, the most unusual finding was that the Paenungulates (elephants, manatees, and the rock hyrax have a very different bile salt profile from the Rufous sengi and South American aardvark, two other mammals classified with Paenungulates in the cohort Afrotheria in molecular phylogenies. Analyses of the approximately 8,000 year old human coprolites yielded a bile salt profile very similar to that found in modern human feces. Analysis of the Shasta ground sloth coprolites (approximately 12,000 years old showed the predominant presence of glycine-conjugated bile acids, similar to analyses of bile and feces of living sloths, in addition to a complex mixture of plant sterols and stanols expected from an herbivorous diet. Conclusions The bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution, with some bile salt modifications only found within single groups such as marsupials. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt structures in different species provides a potentially rich model system for the evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates. Our results also demonstrate the stability of bile salts in coprolites

  5. 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

  6. Hormigas cazadoras en sistemas productivos del piedemonte amazónico colombiano: diversidad y especies indicadoras Hunter ants in productive systems of Colombian amazon foothills: diversity and indicator species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Catalina Sanabria-Blandón

    2011-01-01

    methods for sampling ants (TSBF, formalin soil washing, screening of litter and direct search. A total of 280 organisms was collected, corresponding to nine genera and 35 species, belonging to the subfamilies Ectatomminae, Paraponerinae and Ponerinae. Pachycondyla was the most diverse genus (13 species. The abundance of ants was directly correlated with species richness and the number of exclusive species. The highest richness was observed in the agroforestry (24 species, followed by silvopastoral (19 and the lowest in traditional (8. Five species were common in the three systems and seven species marked the most differences in composition between systems (this was: Ectatomma ruidum, Hypoponera sp.1 and sp.4, Odontomachus haematodus, O. brunneus and Pachycondyla constricta. The species Odontomachus brunneus was indicator for the traditional system and Paraponera clavata was in silvopastoral system. Direct search was the most efficient method to sample ants in the Colombian Amazon foothills.

  7. 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.

  8. Structure and diversity of ground mesofauna inUlmus and Populus consortia in the industrial areas of mining and smelting complex of krivyi rig basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Kachinskaya

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The structure and biological diversity of ground mesofauna on a consortium level of organisation of ecosystems are considered. Indicators of structural organisation and biodiversity of ground mesofauna were analised in Ulmus and Populus consortia in the conditions of industrial territories of mining and smelting complex of Krivyi Rig Basin. It is established that taxonomical structure of ground mesofauna is characterised by insignificant number and quantity of taxonomical groups. Prevalence of hortobionts and herpetobionts in morpho-ecological structure of the community testifies to their attachment to consortium’s determinants and influence of steppe climate on its structure. Dominance of phytophages and polyphages in trophic structure is caused by a combination of consortium determinants specificity and «a zone source» of the fauna formations. The structural organisation of ground mesofauna in consortia of Ulmus and Populus in the conditions of industrial sites is characterised by simplified taxonomical structure with low biodiversity at all levels.

  9. República, nación y democracia ante el desafío de la diversidad Republic, nation and democracy against the challenge of diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susana Villavicencio

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available La República no es sólo el nombre de una nación estado y su régimen. Es también un modelo nacional de integración basado en la concepción universalista de la ciudadanía que afirma la figura abstracta de la persona jurídica, portadora de iguales derechos y obligaciones, y valores de civismo y civilidad. Este trabajo analiza cómo la emergencia de la diversidad cultural en Argentina pone en cuestión los conceptos modernos de república, nación y democracia. Examina asimismo cómo los legados de la república, que supone una visión homogeneizada de la diversidad, implican una ambivalencia entre la adhesión a principios universalistas de progreso de la humanidad y la realidad de una democracia excluyente que valorizaba una cultura por sobre otras. Se estudian las narrativas de la identidad nacional, mostrando cómo la oposición civilización -barbarie afecta la visión de los desafíos del futuro de la democracia en América Latina.Republic is not only the name of a nation and its regime. It is also a national model of integration based on a universalist conception of citizenship that sustains the abstract figure of the legal person, endowed with equal rights and obligations, and values of civism and civility, the foundation stones of a society that arises from a contract. This paper analyses how the emergency of the cultural diversity in Argentina calls into question modern political concepts like republic, nation and democracy. It is also evaluated how the republic's inheritance, which supposes an homogenized sight of diversity, gives rise to an ambivalence among the adherence to universalist principles of the progress of humanity and the reality of an excluding democracy that gave value to one culture above others. The narratives of national identity are studied describing how the opposition between civilization and barbariy affects the way Latin Americans see the great challenges presented by the future of democracy, and by the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. [Effect of ground mulch managements on soil bacterial community structure and diversity in the non-irrigated apple orchard in Weibei Loess Plateau].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yuexing; Wen, Xiaoxia; Sun, Yulin; Zhang, Junli; Lin, Xiaoli; Liao, Yuncheng

    2015-07-04

    We studied the changes in soil bacterial communities induced by ground mulch managements at different apple growth periods. We adopted the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) with PCR-amplified 16S rRNA fragments to determine soil bacterial community structure and diversity. Soil bacterial community structure with different ground mulch managements were significantly different. Both the mulch management strategies and apple growth periods affected the predominant groups and their abundance in soil bacterial communities. Grass mulch and cornstalk mulch treatments had higher bacterial diversity and richness than the control at young fruit period and fruit expanding period, whereas film mulch treatment had no significant difference compared with the control. During mature period, bacterial diversity in the control reached its maximum, which may be ascribed to the rapid growth and reproduction of the r-selection bacteria. The clustering and detrended correspondence analysis revealed that differences in soil bacterial communities were closely correlated to apple growth periods and ground mulch managements. Soil samples from the grass mulch and cornstalk mulch treatments clustered together while those mulched with plastic film treatment were similar to the control. The most abundant phylum in soil bacterial community was Proteobacteria followed by Bacteroidetes. Some other phyla were also detected, such as Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi. Mulching with plant (Grass/Cornstalk) had great effects on soil bacterial community structure and enhanced the diversity while film mulch management had no significant effects.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Diversity and above-ground biomass patterns of vascular flora induced by flooding in the drawdown area of China's Three Gorges Reservoir.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Wang

    Full Text Available Hydrological alternation can dramatically influence riparian environments and shape riparian vegetation zonation. However, it was difficult to predict the status in the drawdown area of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR, because the hydrological regime created by the dam involves both short periods of summer flooding and long-term winter impoundment for half a year. In order to examine the effects of hydrological alternation on plant diversity and biomass in the drawdown area of TGR, twelve sites distributed along the length of the drawdown area of TGR were chosen to explore the lateral pattern of plant diversity and above-ground biomass at the ends of growing seasons in 2009 and 2010. We recorded 175 vascular plant species in 2009 and 127 in 2010, indicating that a significant loss of vascular flora in the drawdown area of TGR resulted from the new hydrological regimes. Cynodon dactylon and Cyperus rotundus had high tolerance to short periods of summer flooding and long-term winter flooding. Almost half of the remnant species were annuals. Species richness, Shannon-Wiener Index and above-ground biomass of vegetation exhibited an increasing pattern along the elevation gradient, being greater at higher elevations subjected to lower submergence stress. Plant diversity, above-ground biomass and species distribution were significantly influenced by the duration of submergence relative to elevation in both summer and previous winter. Several million tonnes of vegetation would be accumulated on the drawdown area of TGR in every summer and some adverse environmental problems may be introduced when it was submerged in winter. We conclude that vascular flora biodiversity in the drawdown area of TGR has dramatically declined after the impoundment to full capacity. The new hydrological condition, characterized by long-term winter flooding and short periods of summer flooding, determined vegetation biodiversity and above-ground biomass patterns along the

  19. The genomic impact of 100 million years of social evolution in seven ant species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gadau, Jürgen; Helmkampf, Martin; Nygaard, Sanne

    2012-01-01

    Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) represent one of the most successful eusocial taxa in terms of both their geographic distribution and species number. The publication of seven ant genomes within the past year was a quantum leap for socio- and ant genomics. The diversity of social organization in ants...... between social and solitary insects, as well as among ant species. Altogether, these seven ant genomes open exciting new research avenues and opportunities for understanding the genetic basis and regulation of social species, and adaptive complex systems in general....... makes them excellent model organisms to study the evolution of social systems. Comparing the ant genomes with those of the honeybee, a lineage that evolved eusociality independently from ants, and solitary insects suggests that there are significant differences in key aspects of genome organization...

  20. 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.

  1. Contrasting land uses in Mediterranean agro-silvo-pastoral systems generated patchy diversity patterns of vascular plants and below-ground microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagella, Simonetta; Filigheddu, Rossella; Caria, Maria Carmela; Girlanda, Mariangela; Roggero, Pier Paolo

    2014-12-01

    The aims of this paper were (i) to define how contrasting land uses affected plant biodiversity in Mediterranean agro-silvo-pastoral-systems across a gradient of disturbance regimes: cork oak forests, secondary grasslands, hay crops, grass covered vineyards, tilled vineyards; (ii) to determine whether these patterns mirrored those of below-ground microorganisms and whether the components of γ-diversity followed a similar model. The disturbance regimes affected plant assemblage composition. Species richness decreased with increasing land use intensity, the Shannon index showed the highest values in grasslands and hay crops. Plant assemblage composition patterns mirrored those of Basidiomycota and Ascomycota. Richness in Basidiomycota, denitrifying bacteria and microbial biomass showed the same trend as that observed for vascular plant richness. The Shannon index pattern of below-ground microorganisms was different from that of plants. The plant γ-diversity component model weakly mirrored those of Ascomycota. Patchy diversity patterns suggest that the maintenance of contrasting land uses associated with different productions typical of agro-silvo-pastoral-systems can guarantee the conservation of biodiversity. Copyright © 2014 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. USING ANT COMMUNITIES FOR RAPID ASSESSMENT OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM HEALTH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L; Doug Martin, D; Michael Paller, M; Eric Nelson, E

    2007-01-12

    Ecosystem health with its near infinite number of variables is difficult to measure, and there are many opinions as to which variables are most important, most easily measured, and most robust, Bioassessment avoids the controversy of choosing which physical and chemical parameters to measure because it uses responses of a community of organisms that integrate all aspects of the system in question. A variety of bioassessment methods have been successfully applied to aquatic ecosystems using fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Terrestrial biotic index methods are less developed than those for aquatic systems and we are seeking to address this problem here. This study had as its objective to examine the baseline differences in ant communities at different seral stages from clear cut back to mature pine plantation as a precursor to developing a bioassessment protocol. Comparative sampling was conducted at four seral stages; clearcut, 5 year, 15 year and mature pine plantation stands. Soil and vegetation data were collected at each site. All ants collected were preserved in 70% ethyl alcohol and identified to genus. Analysis of the ant data indicates that ants respond strongly to the habitat changes that accompany ecological succession in managed pine forests and that individual genera as well as ant community structure can be used as an indicator of successional change. Ants exhibited relatively high diversity in both early and mature seral stages. High ant diversity in the mature seral stages was likely related to conditions on the forest floor which favored litter dwelling and cool climate specialists.

  3. The roots of diversity: below ground species richness and rooting distributions in a tropical forest revealed by DNA barcodes and inverse modeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Andrew Jones

    Full Text Available Plants interact with each other, nutrients, and microbial communities in soils through extensive root networks. Understanding these below ground interactions has been difficult in natural systems, particularly those with high plant species diversity where morphological identification of fine roots is difficult. We combine DNA-based root identification with a DNA barcode database and above ground stem locations in a floristically diverse lowland tropical wet forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, where all trees and lianas >1 cm diameter have been mapped to investigate richness patterns below ground and model rooting distributions.DNA barcode loci, particularly the cpDNA locus trnH-psba, can be used to identify fine and small coarse roots to species. We recovered 33 species of roots from 117 fragments sequenced from 12 soil cores. Despite limited sampling, we recovered a high proportion of the known species in the focal hectare, representing approximately 14% of the measured woody plant richness. This high value is emphasized by the fact that we would need to sample on average 13 m(2 at the seedling layer and 45 m(2 for woody plants >1 cm diameter to obtain the same number of species above ground. Results from inverse models parameterized with the locations and sizes of adults and the species identifications of roots and sampling locations indicates a high potential for distal underground interactions among plants.DNA barcoding techniques coupled with modeling approaches should be broadly applicable to studying root distributions in any mapped vegetation plot. We discuss the implications of our results and outline how second-generation sequencing technology and environmental sampling can be combined to increase our understanding of how root distributions influence the potential for plant interactions in natural ecosystems.

  4. Competence of Litter Ants for Rapid Biodiversity Assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. H. Saumya E. Silva

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Rapid Biodiversity Assessment approaches associated with focusing taxa have overcome many of the problems related to large scale surveys. This study examined the suitability of litter ants as a focusing taxon by checking whether diversity and species assemblages of litter ants reflect the overall picture of arthropod diversity and assemblages in leaf litter in two vegetation types: secondary forest and pine plantation in Upper Hanthana forest reserve, Sri Lanka. In each vegetation type, arthropods were sampled using three sampling methods (Winkler extraction, hand collection, and pitfall traps along three 100 m line transects. From the two sites, 1887 litter ants (34 species and 3488 litter arthropods (52 species were collected. Species assemblages composition of both ants and other arthropods differed significantly between the two sites (ANOSIM, p=0.001 with both groups generating distinct clusters for the two sites (SIMPROF, p=0.001. But there was no significant correlation (p>0.05 between abundance and richness of litter ants and those of other arthropods in both vegetation types. The overall finding suggests that the litter ants do not reflect the holistic picture of arthropod diversity and assemblages in leaf litter, but the quality of the habitat for the survival of all litter arthropods.

  5. Inactivation of a diverse set of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in ground beef by high pressure processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are frequently implicated in foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls of ground beef. In this study we determined the High Pressure Processing (HPP) D-10 value (the processing conditions needed to reduce the microbial population by 1 log) of 39 individua...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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, ...

  10. "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...

  11. 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

  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. The Knowledge Base of Teaching in Linguistically Diverse Contexts: 10 Grounded Principles of Multilingual Classroom Pedagogy for EAL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yongcan; Fisher, Linda; Forbes, Karen; Evans, Michael

    2017-01-01

    This paper aims to define the knowledge base of teaching in linguistically diverse secondary schools in England. Based on extensive interviews with the teachers across two schools, the paper identifies a range of good practices centred on flexibility and differentiation. These include diversifying teaching resources by using bilingual materials…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Guzmán-Mendoza

    2010-08-01

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

  15. Molecular Diversity of Compounds from Pygidial Gland Secretions of Cave-Dwelling Ground Beetles: The First Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vesović, Nikola; Ćurčić, Srećko; Vujisić, Ljubodrag; Nenadić, Marija; Krstić, Gordana; Perić-Mataruga, Vesna; Milosavljević, Slobodan; Antić, Dragan; Mandić, Boris; Petković, Matija; Vučković, Ivan; Marković, Đorđe; Vrbica, Maja; Ćurčić, Božidar; Makarov, Slobodan

    2015-06-01

    Three adult cave-dwelling ground beetle species were induced to discharge secretions of their pygidial glands into vials. Dichloromethane extraction was used to obtain the secretions. In total, 42 compounds were identified by GC/MS analysis. Pheggomisetes ninae contained 32 glandular compounds, Laemostenus (Pristonychus) punctatus 13, whereas Duvalius (Paraduvalius) milutini had nine compounds. Caproic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids were present in the samples of all analyzed species. Undecane was predominant in the extract of L. punctatus. Palmitic acid was the major component in the secretion of D. milutini. Finally, the most abundant compounds in P. ninae secretion were heptacosene and nonacosadienes. Herein, we present the first data on the identification of pygidial gland secretion components in both troglophilous and troglobite cave-dwelling ground beetles. Some compounds are reported for the first time in the secretions of ground beetles and other higher or lower taxa. The adaptation to underground life has not led to a reduction or changes in the chemical defense mechanism in the analyzed troglophilous and troglobitic Platyninae and Trechinae taxa.

  16. The value of grounded theory for disentangling inequalities in maternal-childhealthcare in contexts of diversity: A psycho-sociopolitical approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Hernández Plaza

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Adopting a psycho-sociopolitical approach, the present paper describes the results of a community-basedparticipatory needs assessment focusing on the perceived needs of women of reproductive age as users ofprimary healthcare in contexts of migration-driven diversity and socioeconomic vulnerability in theMetropolitan Area of Lisbon. The investigation comprised 64 in-depth interviews with women, includingnatives and immigrants to Portugal from the main origin countries in the context under study (Brazil, CapeVerde, and other Portuguese- speaking African countries and a survey of 125 women, again natives andimmigrants from these countries. The central role of qualitative methodology and grounded theory, in theframework of a multi-method research, allowed understanding the needs of women as embedded incontexts characterized by asymmetrical power relations, in terms of unequal opportunities and resources,at multiple interrelated ecological levels (personal, relational, organizational, community, socioeconomic,health system/policy, cultural/migration. The priority perceived needs of women were primarily related tosocioeconomic disadvantage, severely aggravated in the current contexts of crisis; and factors at the healthsystem level, mainly unequal access to family doctors, excessive waiting lists, and increases in the directcosts of healthcare. Results allow questioning the adequacy of cultural competence approaches for thereduction of inequalities in maternal-child healthcare in the context under study, showing the critical andinnovative value of qualitative methodology and grounded theory in research on social justice and healthin contexts of diversity characterized by unequal power dynamics.

  17. 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

  18. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA Approach to Seasonal and Zooplankton Diversity Relationships in Fishing Grounds of Mannar Gulf, India

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    Selvin J. PITCHAIKANI

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Principal component analysis (PCA is a technique used to emphasize variation and bring out strong patterns in a dataset. It is often used to make data easy to explore and visualize. The primary objective of the present study was to record information of zooplankton diversity in a systematic way and to study the variability and relationships among seasons prevailed in Gulf of Mannar. The PCA for the zooplankton seasonal diversity was investigated using the four seasonal datasets to understand the statistical significance among the four seasons. Two different principal components (PC were segregated in all the seasons homogeneously. PCA analyses revealed that Temora turbinata is an opportunistic species and zooplankton diversity was significantly different from season to season and principally, the zooplankton abundance and its dynamics in Gulf of Mannar is structured by seasonal current patterns. The factor loadings of zooplankton for different seasons in Tiruchendur coastal water (GOM is different compared with the Southwest coast of India; particularly, routine and opportunistic species were found within the positive and negative factors. The copepods Acrocalanus gracilis and Acartia erythrea were dominant in summer and Southwest monsoon due to the rainfall and freshwater discharge during the summer season; however, these species were replaced by Temora turbinata during Northeast monsoon season.

  19. Myrmeciza and related antbirds (Aves, Formicariidae as army ant followers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin O. Willis

    1984-01-01

    Full Text Available Antbirds of the genera Myrmeciza (including Sipia and Myrmoborus, Gymnocichla, and Sclateria hop near or on the ground in fairly dense vegetation, "pounding" their tails downward. Where dense understory vegetation is widespread and ants move in it for long distances, certain of these antbirds become regular ant followers: M. immaculata and M. fortis in cluttered moist foothill forest from Costa Rica to upper Amazonia; Gymnocichla nudiceps in moist cluttered second growth of Central America to Colombia. Where the forest understory is more open, Myrmeciza species follow ants mainly in cluttered patches: M. exsul in lowland forest west of the Andes, M. myotherina east of the Andes. Myrmeciza or relatives that specialize on water-edge or very dense zones rarely follow ants.

  20. Projected distributions and diversity of flightless ground beetles within the Australian Wet Tropics and their environmental correlates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyran M Staunton

    Full Text Available With the impending threat of climate change, greater understanding of patterns of species distributions and richness and the environmental factors driving them are required for effective conservation efforts. Species distribution models enable us to not only estimate geographic extents of species and subsequent patterns of species richness, but also generate hypotheses regarding environmental factors determining these spatial patterns. Projected changes in climate can then be used to predict future patterns of species distributions and richness. We created distribution models for most of the flightless ground beetles (Carabidae within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area of Australia, a major component of regionally endemic invertebrates. Forty-three species were modelled and the environmental correlates of these distributions and resultant patterns of species richness were examined. Flightless ground beetles generally inhabit upland areas characterised by stable, cool and wet environmental conditions. These distribution and richness patterns are best explained using the time-stability hypothesis as this group's primary habitat, upland rainforest, is considered to be the most stable regional habitat. Projected changes in distributions indicate that as upward shifts in distributions occur, species currently confined to lower and drier mountain ranges will be more vulnerable to climate change impacts than those restricted to the highest and wettest mountains. Distribution models under projected future climate change suggest that there will be reductions in range size, population size and species richness under all emission scenarios. Eighty-eight per cent of species modelled are predicted to decline in population size by over 80%, for the most severe emission scenario by the year 2080. These results suggest that flightless ground beetles are among the most vulnerable taxa to climate change impacts so far investigated in the Wet Tropics World

  1. Projected distributions and diversity of flightless ground beetles within the Australian Wet Tropics and their environmental correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staunton, Kyran M; Robson, Simon K A; Burwell, Chris J; Reside, April E; Williams, Stephen E

    2014-01-01

    With the impending threat of climate change, greater understanding of patterns of species distributions and richness and the environmental factors driving them are required for effective conservation efforts. Species distribution models enable us to not only estimate geographic extents of species and subsequent patterns of species richness, but also generate hypotheses regarding environmental factors determining these spatial patterns. Projected changes in climate can then be used to predict future patterns of species distributions and richness. We created distribution models for most of the flightless ground beetles (Carabidae) within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area of Australia, a major component of regionally endemic invertebrates. Forty-three species were modelled and the environmental correlates of these distributions and resultant patterns of species richness were examined. Flightless ground beetles generally inhabit upland areas characterised by stable, cool and wet environmental conditions. These distribution and richness patterns are best explained using the time-stability hypothesis as this group's primary habitat, upland rainforest, is considered to be the most stable regional habitat. Projected changes in distributions indicate that as upward shifts in distributions occur, species currently confined to lower and drier mountain ranges will be more vulnerable to climate change impacts than those restricted to the highest and wettest mountains. Distribution models under projected future climate change suggest that there will be reductions in range size, population size and species richness under all emission scenarios. Eighty-eight per cent of species modelled are predicted to decline in population size by over 80%, for the most severe emission scenario by the year 2080. These results suggest that flightless ground beetles are among the most vulnerable taxa to climate change impacts so far investigated in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. These

  2. Diapriinae Wasps (Hymenoptera: Diaprioidea: Diapriidae Associated with Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta S. Loiácono

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We provide an overview of diapriid wasps associated with ants in Argentina and the diversity of interactions they have developed with their hosts. As a result, we report 16 species of nine genera of Diapriinae, two new geographic distributions, three new association records, illustrations, and photographs. We highlight myrmecophile symphylic species, with a high degree of integration with the host ants, adaptation being morphological and behavioral. A table with diapriid species and ant hosts is given.

  3. Diversity patterns of ground beetles and understory vegetation in mature, secondary, and plantation forest regions of temperate northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Wang, Shunzhong; Warren-Thomas, Eleanor; Liu, Yunhui; Yu, Zhenrong; Wang, Changliu; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2015-02-01

    Plantation and secondary forests form increasingly important components of the global forest cover, but our current knowledge about their potential contribution to biodiversity conservation is limited. We surveyed understory plant and carabid species assemblages at three distinct regions in temperate northeastern China, dominated by mature forest (Changbaishan Nature Reserve, sampled in 2011 and 2012), secondary forest (Dongling Mountain, sampled in 2011 and 2012), and forest plantation habitats (Bashang Plateau, sampled in 2006 and 2007), respectively. The α-diversity of both taxonomic groups was highest in plantation forests of the Bashang Plateau. Beetle α-diversity was lowest, but plant and beetle species turnover peaked in the secondary forests of Dongling Mountain, while habitats in the Changbaishan Nature Reserve showed the lowest turnover rates for both taxa. Changbaishan Nature Reserve harbored the highest proportion of forest specialists. Our results suggest that in temperate regions of northern China, the protected larch plantation forest established over extensive areas might play a considerable role in maintaining a high biodiversity in relation to understory herbaceous plant species and carabid assemblages, which can be seen as indicators of forest disturbance. The high proportion of phytophagous carabids and the rarity of forest specialists reflect the relatively homogenous, immature status of the forest ecosystems on the Bashang Plateau. China's last remaining large old-growth forests like the ones on Changbaishan represent stable, mature ecosystems which require particular conservation attention.

  4. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Werenkraut, Victoria

    2017-07-01

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

  6. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, P.; Gertsch, Pia J.; Frydenberg, J.

    1999-01-01

    Queens of leafcutter ants exhibit the highest known levels of multiple mating (up to 10 mates per queen) among ants. Multiple mating may have been selected to increase genetic diversity among nestmate workers, which is hypothesized to be critical in social systems with large, long-lived colonies ...

  8. Interaction and common ground in dementia: Communication across linguistic and cultural diversity in a residential dementia care setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strandroos, Lisa; Antelius, Eleonor

    2017-09-01

    Previous research concerning bilingual people with a dementia disease has mainly focused on the importance of sharing a spoken language with caregivers. While acknowledging this, this article addresses the multidimensional character of communication and interaction. As using spoken language is made difficult as a consequence of the dementia disease, this multidimensionality becomes particularly important. The article is based on a qualitative analysis of ethnographic fieldwork at a dementia care facility. It presents ethnographic examples of different communicative forms, with particular focus on bilingual interactions. Interaction is understood as a collective and collaborative activity. The text finds that a shared spoken language is advantageous, but is not the only source of, nor a guarantee for, creating common ground and understanding. Communicative resources other than spoken language are for example body language, embodiment, artefacts and time. Furthermore, forms of communication are not static but develop, change and are created over time. Ability to communicate is thus not something that one has or has not, but is situationally and collaboratively created. To facilitate this, time and familiarity are central resources, and the results indicate the importance of continuity in interpersonal relations.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Biogeography of Puerto Rican ants: a non-equilibrium case?

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.A. Torres; R.R. Snelling

    1997-01-01

    Ants were studied on Puerto Rico and 44 islands surrounding Puerto Rico. Habitat diversity was the best predictor of the number of species per island and the distributions of species followed a nested subset pattern. The number of extinctions per island was low, approximately 1 to 2 extinctions per island in a period of 18 years, and the rates of colonization seem to...

  12. Recurrent bridgehead effects accelerate global alien ant spread

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleo Bertelsmeier; Sébastien Ollier; Andrew M. Liebhold; Eckehard G. Brockerhoff; Darren Ward; Laurent Keller

    2018-01-01

    Biological invasions are a major threat to biological diversity, agriculture, and human health. To predict and prevent new invasions, it is crucial to develop a better understanding of the drivers of the invasion process. The analysis of 4,533 border interception events revealed that at least 51 different alien ant species were intercepted at US ports over a period of...

  13. Tree-Dwelling Ants: Contrasting Two Brazilian Cerrado Plant Species without Extrafloral Nectaries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas Maravalhas

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants dominate vegetation stratum, exploiting resources like extrafloral nectaries (EFNs and insect honeydew. These interactions are frequent in Brazilian cerrado and are well known, but few studies compare ant fauna and explored resources between plant species. We surveyed two cerrado plants without EFNs, Roupala montana (found on preserved environments of our study area and Solanum lycocarpum (disturbed ones. Ants were collected and identified, and resources on each plant noted. Ant frequency and richness were higher on R. montana (67%; 35 spp than S. lycocarpum (52%; 26, the occurrence of the common ant species varied between them, and similarity was low. Resources were explored mainly by Camponotus crassus and consisted of scale insects, aphids, and floral nectaries on R. montana and two treehopper species on S. lycocarpum. Ants have a high diversity on cerrado plants, exploring liquid and prey-based resources that vary in time and space and affect their presence on plants.

  14. 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....

  15. Hospitales seguros ante desastres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celso Vladimir Bambaren Alatrista

    2007-07-01

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

  16. Habitat structure and diversity influence the nesting success of an endangered large cavity-nesting bird, the Southern Ground-hornbill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh Combrink

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Habitat features can have a profound effect on the nesting success of birds. Savannas are often managed with predators and large herbivores as priority species, with little thought to the many bird species that management decisions could affect. Using a data set spanning seven breeding seasons, we examined how nesting success of Southern Ground-hornbills (SGHs Bucorvus leadbeateri in the Kruger National Park varied as a result of various environmental and habitat factors within a radius of 3 km surrounding the nest site. Identifying which factors affect nesting success will allow for targeted management efforts to ensure the long-term survival of SGHs both within and outside of protected areas. Habitat structure and diversity of the vegetation surrounding the nest were the most influential factors on SGH nesting success. SGHs require open grassy areas for foraging and areas with large trees for nesting. Savanna habitat drivers such as elephants and fire should be managed to ensure that sufficient large trees are able to establish in the landscape and to control for bush encroachment. This is especially important in areas earmarked for SGH reintroductions. Nest sites of SGHs should be monitored to mitigate any structural changes in the habitat surrounding the nests. Nests should be modified or artificial nest sites provided, where nests have been damaged or lost, to ensure the continued presence of these birds in African savannas. Conservation implications: Habitat structure and diversity surrounding Southern Groundhornbill nests has a significant impact on their nesting success. This highlights the importance of monitoring vegetation change in savanna habitats where they occur. Management of savanna areas should take factors that influence bush encroachment, such as fire and elephants, into account to ensure the long-term persistence of these birds.

  17. 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.

  18. Community Structure of Leaf-Litter Ants in a Neotropical Dry Forest: A Biogeographic Approach to Explain Betadiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogério Silvestre

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes habitat and geographic correlates of ant diversity in Serra da Bodoquena, a poorly surveyed region of central-western Brazil. We discuss leaf-litter ant diversity on a regional scale, with emphasis on the contribution of each of the processes that form the evolutionary basis of contemporary beta diversity. The diversity of leaf-litter ants was assessed from a series of 262 Winkler samples conducted in two microbasins within a deciduous forest domain. A total of 170 litter-dwelling ant species in 45 genera and 11 subfamilies was identified. The data showed that the study areas exhibited different arrangements of ant fauna, with a high turnover in species composition between sites, indicating high beta diversity. Our analysis suggests that the biogeographic history of this tropical dry forest in the centre of South America could explain ant assemblage structure more than competitive dominance. The co-occurrence analysis showed that species co-occur less often than expected by chance in only two of the localities, suggesting that, for most of the species, co-occurrences are random. The assessment of the structure of the diversity of litter-dwelling ants is the first step in understanding the beta diversity patterns in this region of great biogeographic importance.

  19. 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].

  20. Ants at Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, Songkhla

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Watanasit, S.

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate diversity of ant at Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, Hat Yai, Songkhla. Three line transects (100 m each were randomly set up in 2 types of forest area, disturbed and undisturbed. Hand collecting (HC and leaf litter sampling (LL were applied for ant collection within a time limit of 30 minutes for each method. This study was carried out every month during Febuary 2002- Febuary 2003. The results showed that 206 species were placed under 8 subfamilies: Aenictinae, Cerapachyinae, Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Leptanillinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinae and Pseudomyrmecinae. Study sites and collection methods could divide ant species into 2 groups, whereas seasonal change could not distinguish the groups by DCA of multivariate analysis.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. New fossil ants in French Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

    Recent studies on the ant phylogeny are mainly based on the molecular analyses of extant subfamilies and do not include the extinct, only Cretaceous subfamily Sphecomyrminae. However, the latter is of major importance for ant relationships, as it is considered the most basal subfamily. Therefore, each new discovery of a Mesozoic ant is of high interest for improving our understanding of their early history and basal relationships. In this paper, a new sphecomyrmine ant, allied to the Burmese amber genus Haidomyrmex, is described from mid-Cretaceous amber of France as Haidomyrmodes mammuthus gen. and sp. n. The diagnosis of the tribe Haidomyrmecini is emended based on the new type material, which includes a gyne (alate female) and two incomplete workers. The genus Sphecomyrmodes, hitherto known by a single species from Burmese amber, is also reported and a new species described as S. occidentalis sp. n. after two workers remarkably preserved in a single piece of Early Cenomanian French amber. The new fossils provide additional information on early ant diversity and relationships and demonstrate that the monophyly of the Sphecomyrminae, as currently defined, is still weakly supported.

  5. Diversidade de formigas epigéicas (Hymenoptera, Formicidae em três ambientes no Parque Estadual Mata dos Godoy, Londrina, Paraná Epigeic ants diversity (Hymenoptera, Formicidae in three environments in Mata dos Godoy State Park, Londrina, State of Paraná, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle T. Lopes

    nine subfamilies. Myrmicinae was the richest subfamily (58 spp. followed by Formicinae (20 spp., Ponerinae (9 spp., Ectatomminae, Heteroponerinae, Ecitoninae and Pseudomyrmecinae (3 species each, Dolichoderinae (2 spp. and Proceratiinae (1 specie. The richest genera were Pheidole Westwood, 1839 and Camponotus Mayr, 1861, respectively with 14 and 11 species. The primary forest showed the highest richness values, number of exclusive species and diversity (92 spp., 20 spp. and H' = 3.51, respectively, followed by the reforestation area (73 spp., 6 spp. and H' = 3.47 and the secondary growth forest (67 spp., 4 spp. and H'= 3.34. The similarity values between the three environments were rather high. In each sample series, the observed richness was between 33 and 53 species and the estimated richness was between 35 and 86 species. The occurrence of seven guilds of ants was defined: omnivore species, specialist predators, generalist predator litter, armyants, vegetation dominant, soil dominant and fungus growers.

  6. Dissimilarity of Ant Communities Increases with Precipitation, but not Reduced Land-Use Intensity, in Indonesian Cacao Agroforestry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damayanti Buchori

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Land-use degradation and climate change are well-known drivers of biodiversity loss, but little information is available about their potential interaction. Here, we focus on the effects of land-use and precipitation on ant diversity in cacao agroforestry. In Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, we selected 16 cacao agroforestry plots with a shaded vs. unshaded plot in each of eight villages differing in precipitation (1032–2051 mm annual rainfall. On each plot, 10 cacao trees with similar size and age (7–10 years were selected for hand collection of ants on each cacao tree and the soil surface. In total, we found 80 ant species belonging to five subfamilies. Land-use intensification (removal of shade trees and precipitation had no effect on species richness of ants per cacao tree (alpha diversity and, in an additive partitioning approach, within-plot beta diversity. However, higher precipitation (but not shade significantly increased ant species dissimilarity across cacao trees within a plot, with ant species showing contrasting responses to precipitation. Reduced precipitation causing drought stress appeared to contribute to convergence of ant community structure, presumably via reduced heterogeneity in cacao tree growth. In conclusion, reduced precipitation greatly influenced ant community dissimilarity and appeared to be more important for ant community structure than land-use intensification.

  7. Using Ants as bioindicators: Multiscale Issues in Ant Community Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecological patterns and processes are characteristically scale dependent, and research findings often cannot be translated easily from one scale to another. Conservation biology is challenged by a lack of congruence between the spatial scales of ecological research (typically involving small plots and land management (typically involving whole landscapes. Here, I discuss spatial scaling issues as they relate to an understanding of ant communities and, consequently, their use as bioindicators in land management. Our perceptions of fundamental patterns and processes in ant communities depend on scale: taxa that are behaviorally dominant at one scale are not necessarily so at others, functional groups recognized at one scale are often inappropriate for others, and the role of competition in community structure depends on the scale of analysis. Patterns of species richness and composition, and the ability of total richness to be estimated by surrogates, are all also scale dependent. Ant community ecology has a tradition of detailed studies in small plots, but the use of ants as bioindicators requires a predictive understanding of community structure and dynamics at a range of spatial scales. Such an appreciation of ant communities and their most effective use as bioindicators is best served by studies integrating results from plot-scale research with the broad-scale paradigms of biogeography, systematics, and evolutionary biology.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    Introduction: Fungus-growing ants cultivate specialized fungi in the tribe Leucocoprineae (Lepiotaceae: Basidiomycota) inside their nests. The conspicuous leaf-cutting ants in the genus Atta build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex ...... garden. This system can be viewed as ant induced crop optimization similar to human agricultural practices....... have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas the more basal attine genera use substrates such as dry plant material (leaf litter and small twigs) and also insect...... feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down the plant material that the ants provide or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Methods: (1.) We made a literature survey...

  9. Riqueza de formigas de solo na praia da Pedreira, Parque Estadual de Itapuã, Viamão, RS, Brasil Richness of ground-dwelling ants in the Praia da Pedreira, Parque Estadual de Itapuã, Viamão, RS, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Diehl

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Neste trabalho são listadas as espécies de formigas de solo encontradas em três ambientes (mata nativa, barreira pedregosa e areias da orla na praia da Pedreira, localizada na Zona de Uso Intensivo do Parque Estadual de Itapuã, município de Viamão, RS. No total, foram identificadas 60 espécies representantes de 24 gêneros, 18 tribos e oito subfamílias (Dolichoderinae, Ecitoninae, Ectatomminae, Formicinae, Heteroponerinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinae e Pseudomyrmecinae. Dos três ambientes amostrados, de acordo com o estimador de riqueza jackknife de primeira ordem, a mata nativa apresentou a maior riqueza (Sest= 37,5, seguindo-se a barreira pedregosa (Sest= 8,9 e as areias da orla (Sest= 5,9. Apenas Acromyrmex laticeps, Crematogaster sp. e Solenopsis invicta foram comuns aos três ambientes. Neste trabalho é feito o primeiro registro de ocorrência de Pachycondyla crenata e Pachycondyla laevigata (Ponerinae para o Rio Grande do Sul.Aiming to improve the knowledge on the Brazilian biodiversity, especially the ant fauna of Rio Grande do Sul State (Southern Brazil, this survey was conducted in the Praia da Pedreira, a site of Intensive Use of the Parque Estadual de Itapuã. Ground-dwelling ant species were surveyed for three environments in the beach (native forest, rock bar and sand bar, during 12 months (April/2000 - March/2001. Collections resulted in 60 species belonging to 24 genera, 18 tribes and eight subfamilies (Dolichoderinae, Ecitoninae, Ectatomminae, Formicinae, Heteroponerinae, Myrmicinae, Ponerinae and Pseudomyrmecinae. According to the first order jackknife estimator, the native forest area presented the greatest richness (Sest= 37.5, followed by rock bar (Sest= 8.9 and sand bar (Sest= 5.9. Only Acromyrmex laticeps, Crematogaster sp. and Solenopsis invicta were common to all three environments. This paper presents the first record of Pachycondyla crenata and Pachycondyla laevigata (Ponerinae occurrence in the Rio Grande do Sul

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of dam-induced landscape fragmentation on amazonian ant-plant mutualistic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emer, Carine; Venticinque, Eduardo Martins; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto

    2013-08-01

    Mutualistic networks are critical to biological diversity maintenance; however, their structures and functionality may be threatened by a swiftly changing world. In the Amazon, the increasing number of dams poses a large threat to biological diversity because they greatly alter and fragment the surrounding landscape. Tight coevolutionary interactions typical of tropical forests, such as the ant-myrmecophyte mutualism, where the myrmecophyte plants provide domatia nesting space to their symbiotic ants, may be jeopardized by the landscape changes caused by dams. We analyzed 31 ant-myrmecophyte mutualistic networks in undisturbed and disturbed sites surrounding Balbina, the largest Central Amazonian dam. We tested how ant-myrmecophyte networks differ among dam-induced islands, lake edges, and undisturbed forests in terms of species richness, composition, structure, and robustness (number of species remaining in the network after partner extinctions). We also tested how landscape configuration in terms of area, isolation, shape, and neighborhood alters the structure of the ant-myrmecophyte networks on islands. Ant-myrmecophytic networks were highly compartmentalized in undisturbed forests, and the compartments had few strongly connected mutualistic partners. In contrast, networks at lake edges and on islands were not compartmentalized and were negatively affected by island area and isolation in terms of species richness, density, and composition. Habitat loss and fragmentation led to coextinction cascades that contributed to the elimination of entire ant-plant compartments. Furthermore, many myrmecophytic plants in disturbed sites lost their mutualistic ant partners or were colonized by opportunistic, nonspecialized ants. Robustness of ant-myrmecophyte networks on islands was lower than robustness near lake edges and in undisturbed forest and was particularly susceptible to the extinction of plants. Beyond the immediate habitat loss caused by the building of large dams

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R Tschinkel

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

  15. 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.

  16. Poneromorph Ants Associated with Parasitoid Wasps of the Genus Kapala Cameron (Hymenoptera: Eucharitidae in French Guiana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Paul Lachaud

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Eucharitid wasps are specific, specialized parasitoids of ants. The genus Kapala Cameron is the most common in the Neotropics but few species are described, and information dealing with their biology, behavior and host associations is scarce. Numerous poneromorph ant colonies were inspected over 4 collection surveys in French Guiana. A diverse fauna of parasites and parasitoids was found, including mermithid nematodes, flies, eucharitids, and another gregarious endoparasitoid wasp. Five new host associations for Kapala are reported, all of them involving medium- to large-size poneromorph ant species from 4 genera: Ectatomma brunneum Fr. Smith, Gnamptogenys tortuolosa (Fr. Smith, Odontomachus haematodus (L., O. mayi Mann, and Pachycondyla verenae (Forel. Three other associations involving O. hastatus (Fabr., P. apicalis (Latreille, and P. stigma (Fabr., already reported for other countries but new for French Guiana, are confirmed. The data extend the number of hosts for Kapala to 24 ant species from 7 genera. The high diversity of the ant host genera associated with Kapala, combined with the fact that these ant genera are the most widely distributed among Neotropical poneromorph ants, could account for the dominant status of the genus Kapala among the eucharitine wasps of Central and South America.

  17. Community analysis of microbial sharing and specialization in a Costa Rican ant-plant-hemipteran symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Moreau, Corrie S

    2017-03-15

    Ants have long been renowned for their intimate mutualisms with trophobionts and plants and more recently appreciated for their widespread and diverse interactions with microbes. An open question in symbiosis research is the extent to which environmental influence, including the exchange of microbes between interacting macroorganisms, affects the composition and function of symbiotic microbial communities. Here we approached this question by investigating symbiosis within symbiosis. Ant-plant-hemipteran symbioses are hallmarks of tropical ecosystems that produce persistent close contact among the macroorganism partners, which then have substantial opportunity to exchange symbiotic microbes. We used metabarcoding and quantitative PCR to examine community structure of both bacteria and fungi in a Neotropical ant-plant-scale-insect symbiosis. Both phloem-feeding scale insects and honeydew-feeding ants make use of microbial symbionts to subsist on phloem-derived diets of suboptimal nutritional quality. Among the insects examined here, Cephalotes ants and pseudococcid scale insects had the most specialized bacterial symbionts, whereas Azteca ants appeared to consume or associate with more fungi than bacteria, and coccid scale insects were associated with unusually diverse bacterial communities. Despite these differences, we also identified apparent sharing of microbes among the macro-partners. How microbial exchanges affect the consumer-resource interactions that shape the evolution of ant-plant-hemipteran symbioses is an exciting question that awaits further research. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Ants: Major Functional Elements in Fruit Agro-Ecosystems and Biological Control Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamine Diamé

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Ants are a very diverse taxonomic group. They display remarkable social organization that has enabled them to be ubiquitous throughout the world. They make up approximately 10% of the world’s animal biomass. Ants provide ecosystem services in agrosystems by playing a major role in plant pollination, soil bioturbation, bioindication, and the regulation of crop-damaging insects. Over recent decades, there have been numerous studies in ant ecology and the focus on tree cropping systems has given added importance to ant ecology knowledge. The only missing point in this knowledge is the reasons underlying difference between the positive and negative effects of ants in tree cropping systems. This review article provides an overview of knowledge of the roles played by ants in orchards as functional elements, and on the potential of Oecophylla weaver ants as biological control agents. It also shows the potential and relevance of using ants as an agro-ecological diagnosis tool in orchards. Lastly, it demonstrates the potential elements which may determine the divergent negative and positive of their effects on cropping systems.

  19. 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.

  20. Multiple Levels of Recognition in Ants: A Feature of Complex Societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2008-01-01

    diverse. In ants, social interactions are regulated by at least three levels of recognition. Nestmate recognition occurs between colonies, is very effective, and involves fast processing. Within a colony, division of labor is enhanced by recognition of different classes of individuals. Ultimately......, in particular circumstances, such as cooperative colony founding with stable dominance hierarchies, ants are capable of individual recognition. The underlying recognition cues and mechanisms appear to be specific to each recognition level, and their integrated understanding could contribute...

  1. Imidacloprid seed treatments affect individual ant behavior and community structure but not egg predation, pest abundance or soybean yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penn, Hannah J; Dale, Andrew M

    2017-08-01

    Neonicotinoid seed treatments are under scrutiny because of their variable efficacy against crop pests and for their potential negative impacts on non-target organisms. Ants provide important biocontrol services in agroecosystems and can be indicators of ecosystem health. This study tested for effects of exposure to imidacloprid plus fungicide or fungicide-treated seeds on individual ant survival, locomotion and foraging capabilities and on field ant community structure, pest abundance, ant predation and yield. Cohorts of ants exposed to either type of treated seed had impaired locomotion and a higher incidence of morbidity and mortality but no loss of foraging capacity. In the field, we saw no difference in ant species richness, regardless of seed treatment. Blocks with imidacloprid did have higher species evenness and diversity, probably owing to variable effects of the insecticide on different ant species, particularly Tetramorium caespitum. Ant predation on sentinel eggs, pest abundance and soybean growth and yield were similar in the two treatments. Both seed treatments had lethal and sublethal effects on ant individuals, and the influence of imidacloprid seed coating in the field was manifested in altered ant community composition. Those effects, however, were not strong enough to affect egg predation, pest abundance or soybean yield in field blocks. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heraldo L. Vasconcelos

    2008-09-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  5. 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....

  6. Diversidade de insetos antófilos em áreas com reflorestamento de eucalipto, município de Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil Diversity of anthophile insects in an area with eucalypt plantations in the municipality of Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Letícia Azambuja Lopes

    Full Text Available O efeito da fragmentação de habitats tem sido avaliado medindo-se a riqueza e diversidade de determinados grupos funcionais, especialmente insetos visitantes florais. Esses organismos possibilitam conectividade funcional entre plantações e áreas protegidas e a restauração de ambientes alterados. Este estudo objetivou analisar a diversidade de insetos antófilos ao longo de transectos estabelecidos entre mata ciliar e reflorestamento de eucaliptos e exclusivamente entre talhões de eucaliptos, no sul do Brasil. Os insetos coligidos pertencem às ordens Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera e Hemiptera. Comparativamente a outros estudos, a abundância de insetos foi baixa. Vinte e oito espécies foram encontradas em ambos ambientes, enquanto 138 foram exclusivas em um ambiente (61 em mata ciliar/eucaliptos e 77 em eucaliptos/eucaliptos. Os insetos visitaram flores de 31 espécies vegetais, representantes de 20 famílias. Nos dois ambientes foram encontradas poucas espécies dominantes e um grande número representadas por um único indivíduo. A alta diversidade foi similar nos dois ambientes de estudo (H' = 4,084 e H' = 4,018. Entre os insetos, as abelhas mostraram a maior diversidade nos ambientes mata ciliar/eucaliptos (H' = 3,211 e eucaliptos/eucaliptos (H' = 2,8. Considerando-se a similaridade na estrutura da comunidade entre os ambientes, a fauna de insetos antófilos difere quanto à composição de espécies e número de indivíduos das espécies amostradas.The result of habitat fragmentation has been assessed through measuring of richness and diversity of some functional groups, especially flower-visiting insects. These organisms allow functional connectivity between plantations and protected areas and the restoration of disturbed environments. This study aimed to analyze the diversity of anthophilous insects on transects established between a gallery forest and the eucalyptus reforestation and exclusively among a section

  7. 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....

  8. 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....

  9. Ants sow the seeds of global diversification in flowering plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Gove, Aaron D; Latimer, Andrew M; Majer, Jonathan D; Dunn, Robert R

    2009-01-01

    The extraordinary diversification of angiosperm plants in the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods has produced an estimated 250,000-300,000 living angiosperm species and has fundamentally altered terrestrial ecosystems. Interactions with animals as pollinators or seed dispersers have long been suspected as drivers of angiosperm diversification, yet empirical examples remain sparse or inconclusive. Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) may drive diversification as it can reduce extinction by providing selective advantages to plants and can increase speciation by enhancing geographical isolation by extremely limited dispersal distances. Using the most comprehensive sister-group comparison to date, we tested the hypothesis that myrmecochory leads to higher diversification rates in angiosperm plants. As predicted, diversification rates were substantially higher in ant-dispersed plants than in their non-myrmecochorous relatives. Data from 101 angiosperm lineages in 241 genera from all continents except Antarctica revealed that ant-dispersed lineages contained on average more than twice as many species as did their non-myrmecochorous sister groups. Contrasts in species diversity between sister groups demonstrated that diversification rates did not depend on seed dispersal mode in the sister group and were higher in myrmecochorous lineages in most biogeographic regions. Myrmecochory, which has evolved independently at least 100 times in angiosperms and is estimated to be present in at least 77 families and 11 000 species, is a key evolutionary innovation and a globally important driver of plant diversity. Myrmecochory provides the best example to date for a consistent effect of any mutualism on large-scale diversification.

  10. Bacterial Infections across the Ants: Frequency and Prevalence of Wolbachia, Spiroplasma, and Asaia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie Kautz

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial endosymbionts are common across insects, but we often lack a deeper knowledge of their prevalence across most organisms. Next-generation sequencing approaches can characterize bacterial diversity associated with a host and at the same time facilitate the fast and simultaneous screening of infectious bacteria. In this study, we used 16S rRNA tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing to survey bacterial communities of 310 samples representing 221 individuals, 176 colonies and 95 species of ants. We found three distinct endosymbiont groups—Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria: Rickettsiales, Spiroplasma (Firmicutes: Entomoplasmatales, and relatives of Asaia (Alphaproteobacteria: Rhodospirillales—at different infection frequencies (at the ant species level: 22.1%, 28.4%, and 14.7%, resp. and relative abundances within bacterial communities (1.0%–99.9%. Spiroplasma was particularly enriched in the ant genus Polyrhachis, while Asaia relatives were most prevalent in arboreal ants of the genus Pseudomyrmex. While Wolbachia and Spiroplasma have been surveyed in ants before, Asaia, an acetic acid bacterium capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, has received much less attention. Due to sporadic prevalence across all ant taxa investigated, we hypothesize facultative associations for all three bacterial genera. Infection patterns are discussed in relation to potential adaptation of specific bacteria in certain ant groups.

  11. Infection of army ant pupae by two new parasitoid mites (Mesostigmata: Uropodina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Brückner

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A great variety of parasites and parasitoids exploit ant societies. Among them are the Mesostigmata mites, a particularly common and diverse group of ant-associated arthropods. While parasitism is ubiquitous in Mesostigmata, parasitoidism has only been described in the genus Macrodinychus. Yet information about the basic biology of most Macrodinychus species is lacking. Out of 24 formally described species, information about basic life-history traits is only available for three species. Here we formally describe two new Macrodinychus species, i.e. Macrodinychus hilpertae and Macrodinychus derbyensis. In both species, immature stages developed as ecto-parasitoids on ant pupae of the South-East Asian army ant Leptogenys distinguenda. By piercing the developing ant with their chelicera, the mites apparently suck ant hemolymph, ultimately killing host individuals. We compare infection rates among all studied Macrodinychus species and discuss possible host countermeasures against parasitoidism. The cryptic lifestyle of living inside ant nests has certainly hampered the scientific discovery of Macrodinychus mites and we expect that many more macrodinychid species await scientific discovery and description.

  12. Infection of army ant pupae by two new parasitoid mites (Mesostigmata: Uropodina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brückner, Adrian; Klompen, Hans; Bruce, Andrew Iain; Hashim, Rosli; von Beeren, Christoph

    2017-01-01

    A great variety of parasites and parasitoids exploit ant societies. Among them are the Mesostigmata mites, a particularly common and diverse group of ant-associated arthropods. While parasitism is ubiquitous in Mesostigmata, parasitoidism has only been described in the genus Macrodinychus . Yet information about the basic biology of most Macrodinychus species is lacking. Out of 24 formally described species, information about basic life-history traits is only available for three species. Here we formally describe two new Macrodinychus species, i.e. Macrodinychus hilpertae and Macrodinychus derbyensis . In both species, immature stages developed as ecto-parasitoids on ant pupae of the South-East Asian army ant Leptogenys distinguenda . By piercing the developing ant with their chelicera, the mites apparently suck ant hemolymph, ultimately killing host individuals. We compare infection rates among all studied Macrodinychus species and discuss possible host countermeasures against parasitoidism. The cryptic lifestyle of living inside ant nests has certainly hampered the scientific discovery of Macrodinychus mites and we expect that many more macrodinychid species await scientific discovery and description.

  13. Differential effects of land use on ant and herbivore insect communities associated with Caryocar brasiliense (Caryocaraceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico S. Neves

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Simplification of natural habitats leads to a modification of the community associated with a host plant. Pequi trees (Caryocar brasiliense are common to find in central Brazil, especially in the middle of monocultures, such as soy, corn, pasturelands or Eucalyptus plantations. On this scenario we hypothesized that habitat modification differentially affects the diversity of ants and herbivore insects associated with this species. The aim of the work was to test if C. brasiliense trees located in human modified habitats, support a lower species richness and abundance of ants, and a greater species richness and abundance of insect herbivores, compared to preserved cerrado habitats. The study was conducted in a Cerrado area located in Northern Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Ants and herbivore insects were collected monthly during 2005 using beating technique. The results showed that ant species richness was higher in pequi trees located in preserved Cerrado, followed by trees in pastureland and Eucalyptus plantation, respectively. The ant abundance was lower in the Eucalyptus plantation but no difference in ant abundance was observed between trees in pastureland and the preserved Cerrado. Moreover, herbivore insects exhibited lower number of species and individuals in trees located in the preserved Cerrado than in the pastureland and Eucalyptus plantation. We concluded that habitats simplified by human activities may result in diversity loss and may change species interactions.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  17. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from the pres......Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from...... the presence of these ants. First of all, the chemical footprint left by the high density of ants in managed host trees may results in additional benefits. (i) Ant deposits may lead to improved fruit quality, e.g. increased sugar content, (ii) ant deposits may deter important pests (chemical deterrence) from...... crops, and lastly, (iii) ant waste products deposited ias anal spots contain urea that may be taken up by plant leaves and in this way fertilize ant-plants. On top of chemical services, weaver ants have been shown to reduce plant disease incidence via competitive exclusion of other ant species because...

  18. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  19. Habitat and species identity, not diversity, predict the extent of refuse consumption by urban arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Henderson, Ryanna C; Savage, Amy M; Ernst, Andrew F; Dunn, Robert R; Frank, Steven D

    2015-03-01

    Urban green spaces provide ecosystem services to city residents, but their management is hindered by a poor understanding of their ecology. We examined a novel ecosystem service relevant to urban public health and esthetics: the consumption of littered food waste by arthropods. Theory and data from natural systems suggest that the magnitude and resilience of this service should increase with biological diversity. We measured food removal by presenting known quantities of cookies, potato chips, and hot dogs in street medians (24 sites) and parks (21 sites) in New York City, USA. At the same sites, we assessed ground-arthropod diversity and abiotic conditions, including history of flooding during Hurricane Sandy 7 months prior to the study. Arthropod diversity was greater in parks (on average 11 hexapod families and 4.7 ant species per site), than in medians (nine hexapod families and 2.7 ant species per site). However, counter to our diversity-based prediction, arthropods in medians removed 2-3 times more food per day than did those in parks. We detected no effect of flooding (at 19 sites) on this service. Instead, greater food removal was associated with the presence of the introduced pavement ant (Tetramorium sp. E) and with hotter, drier conditions that may have increased arthropod metabolism. When vertebrates also had access to food, more was removed, indicating that arthropods and vertebrates compete for littered food. We estimate that arthropods alone could remove 4-6.5 kg of food per year in a single street median, reducing its availability to less desirable fauna such as rats. Our results suggest that species identity and habitat may be more relevant than diversity for predicting urban ecosystem services. Even small green spaces such as street medians provide ecosystem services that may complement those of larger habitat patches across the urban landscape. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. 'Grounded' Politics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Garbi

    2012-01-01

    play within one particular neighbourhood: Nørrebro in the Danish capital, Copenhagen. The article introduces the concept of grounded politics to analyse how groups of Muslim immigrants in Nørrebro use the space, relationships and history of the neighbourhood for identity political statements....... The article further describes how national political debates over the Muslim presence in Denmark affect identity political manifestations within Nørrebro. By using Duncan Bell’s concept of mythscape (Bell, 2003), the article shows how some political actors idealize Nørrebro’s past to contest the present...... ethnic and religious diversity of the neighbourhood and, further, to frame what they see as the deterioration of genuine Danish identity....

  1. Seasonal dynamics of ant community structure in the Moroccan Argan Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Keroumi, Abderrahim; Naamani, Khalid; Soummane, Hassna; Dahbi, Abdallah

    2012-01-01

    In this study we describe the structure and composition of ant communities in the endemic Moroccan Argan forest, using pitfall traps sampling technique throughout the four seasons between May 2006 and February 2007. The study focused on two distinct climatic habitats within the Essaouira Argan forest, a semi-continental site at Lahssinate, and a coastal site at Boutazarte. Thirteen different ant species were identified, belonging to seven genera. Monomorium subopacum Smith and Tapinoma simrothi Krausse-Heldrungen (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were the most abundant and behaviorally dominant ant species in the arganeraie. In addition, more specimens were captured in the semi-continental site than in the coastal area. However, no significant difference was observed in species richness, evenness, or diversity between both sites. Composition and community structure showed clear seasonal dynamics. The number of species, their abundance, their diversity, and their evenness per Argan tree were significantly dissimilar among seasons. The richness (except between summer and autumn), and the abundance and the evenness of ant species among communities, showed a significant difference between the dry period (summer and spring) and the rainy period (winter and autumn). Higher abundance and richness values occurred in the dry period of the year. Ant species dominance and seasonal climatic variations in the arganeraie might be among the main factors affecting the composition, structure, and foraging activity of ant communities. This study, together with recent findings on ant predation behavior below Argan trees, highlights the promising use of dominant ant species as potential agents of Mediterranean fruit fly bio-control in the Argan forest and surrounding ecosystems.

  2. 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.

  3. [Effects of environmental factors on the ant fauna of restinga community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, André B; Mayhé-Nunes, Antônio J; Queiroz, Jarbas M; Souza, Guilherme O; Ramos, Elaine F

    2007-01-01

    The effects of environmental factors on the richness, diversity and abundance of ants were studied in the Restinga da Marambaia, south coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. The samples were taken using pitfall traps in August/2004 (winter) and March/2005 (summer) in three different vegetation types: (1) herbaceous ridge palmoid (homogeneous habitat); (2) shrub dune thicket and (3) ridge forest (heterogeneous habitats). At each habitat a range of environmental attributes was recorded: soil temperature and humidity, percentage of soil covering by litter and litter depth. Ninety-two ant species belonging to 36 genera and eight subfamilies were recorded. Density of ant species and abundance varied significantly between habitats and seasons; ant diversity varied only between habitats. Homogeneous habitat had lower ant species density, abundance and diversity than heterogeneous habitats. The two first variables were positively correlated with litter depth and both were higher in summer than in winter samples. There were more species of Ponerinae and Ectatomminae in heterogeneous than in the homogeneous habitat, whereas the Formicinae species were more abundant in the later.

  4. 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.

  5. Habitat structure and diversity influence the nesting success of an endangered large cavity-nesting bird, the Southern Ground-hornbill

    OpenAIRE

    Combrink, Leigh; Combrink, Hendrik J.; Botha, André J.; Downs, Colleen T.

    2017-01-01

    Habitat features can have a profound effect on the nesting success of birds. Savannas are often managed with predators and large herbivores as priority species, with little thought to the many bird species that management decisions could affect. Using a data set spanning seven breeding seasons, we examined how nesting success of Southern Ground-hornbills (SGHs) Bucorvus leadbeateri in the Kruger National Park varied as a result of various environmental and habitat factors within a radius of 3...

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Cognitive LF-Ant: A Novel Protocol for Healthcare Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Alencar

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the authors present the Cognitive LF-Ant protocol for emergency reporting in healthcare wireless sensor networks. The protocol is inspired by the natural behaviour of ants and a cognitive component provides the capabilities to dynamically allocate resources, in accordance with the emergency degree of each patient. The intra-cluster emergency reporting is inspired by the different capabilities of leg-manipulated ants. The inter-cluster reporting is aided by the cooperative modulation diversity with spectrum sensing, which can detect new emergency reporting requests and forward them. Simulations results show the decrease of average delay time as the probability of opportunistic access increases, which privileges the emergency reporting related to the patients with higher priority of resources’ usage. Furthermore, the packet loss rate is decreased by the use of cooperative modulation diversity with spectrum sensing.

  11. Nasa's Ant-Inspired Swarmie Robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leucht, Kurt W.

    2016-01-01

    As humans push further beyond the grasp of earth, robotic missions in advance of human missions will play an increasingly important role. These robotic systems will find and retrieve valuable resources as part of an in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) strategy. They will need to be highly autonomous while maintaining high task performance levels. NASA Kennedy Space Center has teamed up with the Biological Computation Lab at the University of New Mexico to create a swarm of small, low-cost, autonomous robots to be used as a ground-based research platform for ISRU missions. The behavior of the robot swarm mimics the central-place foraging strategy of ants to find and collect resources in a previously unmapped environment and return those resources to a central site. This talk will guide the audience through the Swarmie robot project from its conception by students in a New Mexico research lab to its robot trials in an outdoor parking lot at NASA. The software technologies and techniques used on the project will be discussed, as well as various challenges and solutions that were encountered by the development team along the way.

  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. Plant Killing by Mutualistic Ants Increases the Density of Host Species Seedlings in the Dry Forest of Costa Rica

    OpenAIRE

    Amador-Vargas, Sabrina

    2012-01-01

    Some species of plant-mutualistic ants kill the vegetation growing in the vicinities of their host plant, creating an area of bare ground (clearing). The reduced competition in the clearing may facilitate the establishment of host species sprouts (clones and seedlings), which in turn benefits the ants with additional food and shelter (“sprout-establishment hypothesis”). To test this hypothesis, the density and origin of Acacia collinsii sprouts growing inside clearings and in the vicinities o...

  15. 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...

  16. The value of grounded theory for disentangling inequalities in maternal-child healthcare in contexts of diversity : a psycho-sociopolitical approach

    OpenAIRE

    Hernández Plaza, Sonia; Padilla, Beatriz; Ortiz, Alejandra; Rodrigues, Elsa

    2014-01-01

    Adopting a psycho-sociopolitical approach, the present paper describes the results of a community-based participatory needs assessment focusing on the perceived needs of women of reproductive age as users of primary healthcare in contexts of migration-driven diversity and socioeconomic vulnerability in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon. The investigation comprised 64 in-depth interviews with women, including natives and immigrants to Portugal from the main origin countries in the co...

  17. The value of grounded theory for disentangling inequalities in maternal-child healthcare in contexts of diversity: a psycho-sociopolitical approach

    OpenAIRE

    Hernández Plaza, Sonia; Padilla, Beatriz; Ortiz, Alejandra; Rodrigues, Elsa

    2014-01-01

    Adopting a psycho-sociopolitical approach, the present paper describes the results of a community-based participatory needs assessment focusing on the perceived needs of women of reproductive age as users of primary healthcare in contexts of migration-driven diversity and socioeconomic vulnerability in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon. The investigation comprised 64 in-depth interviews with women, including natives and immigrants to Portugal from the main origin countries in the context under ...

  18. 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.

  19. Empirical test of the influence of global warming and forest disturbance on ant fauna at the Gwangneung Forest Long Term Ecological Research site, South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae-Sung Kwon

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the effects of forest disturbance and climate change on the ant fauna at the Long Term Ecological Research site in Gwangneung Forest, Korea in 2003 and 2012. After forest disturbance, the occurrence and abundance of ants belonging to the functional groups of forest ground forager and soil and litter dweller are predicted to decrease, while the occurrence and abundance of ants belonging to the open land forager and forest vegetation forager functional groups are predicted to increase. In terms of the effects of climate change, if the optimum temperature of the ants is lower than the annual average temperature in the survey area, the occurrence and abundance of the ants are predicted to decrease and vice versa. Ant surveys were carried out using pitfall traps. Changes in the dominant species, occurrence, and abundance mostly corresponded to the predictions for forest disturbance, but did not match the prediction for an increase in temperature.

  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. Ants visiting inflorescences of Actinocephalus polyanthus (Bong. Sano (Eriocaulaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tânia Tarabini Castellani

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Plants from the family Eriocaulaceae have a secretion of nectar in floral structures which promotes insect visitation, including ants. This study evaluated the ant species visiting inflorescences of Actinocephalus polyanthus in coastal dunes in southern Brazil and it checked whether the richness and composition of the visiting assemblies differed between the female and male flowering phenophases, due to the greater supply of resources by male flowers. Comments on the resources used and the visiting behavior were also investigated. We found 15 ant species, belonging to 8 genera and 4 subfamilies. There was no difference with regard to richness and diversity of visiting species associated to the male or female flowering phenophase. However, there was a difference with regard to the similarity of these assemblies, due to the higher occurrence of Camponotus fastigatus in the female flowering. Most species registered belong to genera which, typically, use floral and extrafloral nectar as food resource or they are generalist. Brachymyrmex sp.1, Camponotus fastigatus, and Dorymyrmex sp. were observed with pollen stuck to their body, something which suggests a potential transportation of this pollen between flowers.

  2. 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.

  3. Ants of Ambon Islands – diversity survey and checklist

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Latumahina, F.; Borovanská, Michaela; Musyafa, neexistuje; Sumardi, neexistuje; Susetya Putra, N.; Janda, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 472, JAN 15 (2015), s. 43-57 ISSN 1313-2989 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/2467 Grant - others:Marie Curie Fellowship(CZ) PIOFGA2009-25448 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Moluccas * Indo-Australia * Melanesia Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.938, year: 2015 http://zookeys.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=4518

  4. Current Understanding and Future Prospects of Host Selection, Acceptance, Discrimination, and Regulation of Phorid Fly Parasitoids That Attack Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaitlyn A. Mathis

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Phorid fly parasitoids (Diptera: Phoridae have evolved a diverse array of cues used to successfully parasitize their ant hosts. Successful parasitism often involves (a host habitat location, (b host location, (c host acceptance, (d host discrimination, and (e host regulation. In this paper we discuss our current understanding of how phorid flies use each of these steps to successfully parasitize ant hosts. We examine the wide variety of strategies and cues used by a multiple species of phorid flies within three separate genera that most commonly parasitize ants (Apocephalus, Pseudacteon, and Neodohrniphora and discuss future directions within this field of study.

  5. External immunity in ant societies: sociality and colony size do not predict investment in antimicrobials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halawani, Omar; Pearson, Bria; Mathews, Stephanie; López-Uribe, Margarita M.; Dunn, Robert R.; Smith, Adrian A.

    2018-01-01

    Social insects live in dense groups with a high probability of disease transmission and have therefore faced strong pressures to develop defences against pathogens. For this reason, social insects have been hypothesized to invest in antimicrobial secretions as a mechanism of external immunity to prevent the spread of disease. However, empirical studies linking the evolution of sociality with increased investment in antimicrobials have been relatively few. Here we quantify the strength of antimicrobial secretions among 20 ant species that cover a broad spectrum of ant diversity and colony sizes. We extracted external compounds from ant workers to test whether they inhibited the growth of the bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis. Because all ant species are highly social, we predicted that all species would exhibit some antimicrobial activity and that species that form the largest colonies would exhibit the strongest antimicrobial response. Our comparative approach revealed that strong surface antimicrobials are common to particular ant clades, but 40% of species exhibited no antimicrobial activity at all. We also found no correlation between antimicrobial activity and colony size. Rather than relying on antimicrobial secretions as external immunity to control pathogen spread, many ant species have probably developed alternative strategies to defend against disease pressure. PMID:29515850

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  7. Modelling Vulnerability and Range Shifts in Ant Communities Responding to Future Global Warming in Temperate Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Tae-Sung; Li, Fengqing; Kim, Sung-Soo; Chun, Jung Hwa; Park, Young-Seuk

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is likely leading to species' distributional shifts, resulting in changes in local community compositions and diversity patterns. In this study, we applied species distribution models to evaluate the potential impacts of temperature increase on ant communities in Korean temperate forests, by testing hypotheses that 1) the risk of extinction of forest ant species would increase over time, and 2) the changes in species distribution ranges could drive upward movements of ant communities and further alter patterns of species richness. We sampled ant communities at 335 evenly distributed sites across South Korea and modelled the future distribution range for each species using generalized additive models. To account for spatial autocorrelation, autocovariate regressions were conducted prior to generalized additive models. Among 29 common ant species, 12 species were estimated to shrink their suitable geographic areas, whereas five species would benefit from future global warming. Species richness was highest at low altitudes in the current period, and it was projected to be highest at the mid-altitudes in the 2080s, resulting in an upward movement of 4.9 m yr-1. This altered the altitudinal pattern of species richness from a monotonic-decrease curve (common in temperate regions) to a bell-shaped curve (common in tropical regions). Overall, ant communities in temperate forests are vulnerable to the on-going global warming and their altitudinal movements are similar to other faunal communities.

  8. Functional structure of ant and termite assemblages in old growth forest, logged forest and oil palm plantation in Malaysian Borneo

    OpenAIRE

    Luke, Sarah H.; Fayle, Tom M.; Eggleton, Paul; Turner, Edgar C.; Davies, Richard G.

    2014-01-01

    Forested tropical landscapes around the world are being extensively logged and converted to agriculture, with serious consequences for biodiversity and potentially ecosystem functioning. Here we investigate associations between habitat disturbance and functional diversity of ants and termites – two numerically dominant and functionally important taxa in tropical rain forests that perform key roles in predation, decomposition, nutrient cycling and seed dispersal. We compared ant and termite oc...

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

  11. Seasonal contrasts in the response of coffee ants to agroforestry shade-tree management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teodoro, A V; Sousa-Souto, L; Klein, A-M; Tscharntke, T

    2010-12-01

    In many tropical landscapes, agroforestry systems are the last forested ecosystems, providing shade, having higher humidity, mitigating potential droughts, and possessing more species than any other crop system. Here, we tested the hypothesis that higher levels of shade and associated humidity in agroforestry enhance coffee ant richness more during the dry than rainy season, comparing ant richness in 22 plots of three coffee agroforestry types in coastal Ecuador: simple-shade agroforests (intensively managed with low tree species diversity), complex-shade agroforests (extensively managed with intermediate tree species diversity) and abandoned coffee agroforests (abandoned for 10-15 yr and resembling secondary forests). Seasonality affected responses of ant richness but not composition to agroforestry management, in that most species were observed in abandoned coffee agroforests in the dry season. In the rainy season, however, most species were found in simple-shade agroforests, and complex agroforestry being intermediate. Foraging coffee ants species composition did not change differently according to agroforestry type and season. Results show that shade appears to be most important in the dry seasons, while a mosaic of different land-use types may provide adequate environmental conditions to ant species, maximizing landscape-wide richness throughout the year. © 2010 Entomological Society of America

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Recolonization patterns of ants in a rehabilitated lignite mine in central Italy: Potential for the use of Mediterranean ants as indicators of restoration processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ottonetti, L.; Tucci, L.; Santini, G. [University of Florence, Florence (Italy)

    2006-03-15

    Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) assemblages were sampled with pitfall traps in three different habitats associated with a rehabilitated mine district and in undisturbed forests in Tuscany, Italy. The four habitats were (1) open fields (3-4 years old); (2) a middle-age mixed plantation (10 years); (3) an old-age mixed plantation (20 years); and (4) an oak woodland (40 years) not directly affected by mining activities. The aim of the study was to analyze ant recolonization patterns in order to provide insights on the use of Mediterranean ant fauna as indicators of restoration processes. Species richness and diversity were not significantly different among the four habitats. However, multivariate analyses showed that the assemblages in the different habitats were clearly differentiated, with similarity relationships reflecting a successional gradient among rehabilitated sites. The observed patterns of functional group changes along the gradient broadly accord with those of previous studies in other biogeographic regions. These were (1) a decrease of dominant Dolichoderinae and opportunists; (2) an increase in the proportion of cold-climate specialists; and (3) the appearance of the Cryptic species in the oldest plantations, with a maximum of abundance in the woodland. In conclusion, the results of our study supported the use of Mediterranean ants as a suitable tool for biomonitoring of restoration processes, and in particular, the functional group approach proved a valuable framework to better interpret local trends in terms of global ecological patterns. Further research is, however, needed in order to obtain a reliable classification of Mediterranean ant functional groups.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Assessing the impact of deforestation of the Atlantic rainforest on ant-fruit interactions: a field experiment using synthetic fruits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Gabriela D Bieber

    Full Text Available Ants frequently interact with fleshy fruits on the ground of tropical forests. This interaction is regarded as mutualistic because seeds benefit from enhanced germination and dispersal to nutrient-rich microsites, whereas ants benefit from consuming the nutritious pulp/aril. Considering that the process of deforestation affects many attributes of the ecosystem such as species abundance and composition, and interspecific interactions, we asked whether the interaction between ants and fallen fleshy fruits in the Brazilian Atlantic forest differs between human-created fragments and undisturbed forests. We controlled diaspore type and quantity by using synthetic fruits (a plastic 'seed' covered by a lipid-rich 'pulp', which were comparable to lipid-rich fruits. Eight independent areas (four undisturbed forests, and four disturbed forest fragments were used in the field experiment, in which we recorded the attracted ant species, ant behaviour, and fruit removal distance. Fruits in undisturbed forest sites attracted a higher number of species than those in disturbed forests. Moreover, the occurrence of large, fruit-carrying ponerine ants (Pachycondyla, Odontomachus; 1.1 to 1.4 cm was higher in undisturbed forests. Large species (≥3 mm of Pheidole (Myrmicinae, also able to remove fruits, did not differ between forest types. Following these changes in species occurrence, fruit displacement was more frequent in undisturbed than in disturbed forests. Moreover, displacement distances were also greater in the undisturbed forests. Our data suggest that fallen fleshy fruits interacting with ants face different fates depending on the conservation status of the forest. Together with the severe loss of their primary dispersers in human-disturbed tropical forest sites, vertebrate-dispersed fruits may also be deprived of potential ant-derived benefits in these habitats due to shifts in the composition of interacting ant species. Our data illustrate the use of

  2. Assessing the impact of deforestation of the Atlantic rainforest on ant-fruit interactions: a field experiment using synthetic fruits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieber, Ana Gabriela D; Silva, Paulo S D; Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2014-01-01

    Ants frequently interact with fleshy fruits on the ground of tropical forests. This interaction is regarded as mutualistic because seeds benefit from enhanced germination and dispersal to nutrient-rich microsites, whereas ants benefit from consuming the nutritious pulp/aril. Considering that the process of deforestation affects many attributes of the ecosystem such as species abundance and composition, and interspecific interactions, we asked whether the interaction between ants and fallen fleshy fruits in the Brazilian Atlantic forest differs between human-created fragments and undisturbed forests. We controlled diaspore type and quantity by using synthetic fruits (a plastic 'seed' covered by a lipid-rich 'pulp'), which were comparable to lipid-rich fruits. Eight independent areas (four undisturbed forests, and four disturbed forest fragments) were used in the field experiment, in which we recorded the attracted ant species, ant behaviour, and fruit removal distance. Fruits in undisturbed forest sites attracted a higher number of species than those in disturbed forests. Moreover, the occurrence of large, fruit-carrying ponerine ants (Pachycondyla, Odontomachus; 1.1 to 1.4 cm) was higher in undisturbed forests. Large species (≥3 mm) of Pheidole (Myrmicinae), also able to remove fruits, did not differ between forest types. Following these changes in species occurrence, fruit displacement was more frequent in undisturbed than in disturbed forests. Moreover, displacement distances were also greater in the undisturbed forests. Our data suggest that fallen fleshy fruits interacting with ants face different fates depending on the conservation status of the forest. Together with the severe loss of their primary dispersers in human-disturbed tropical forest sites, vertebrate-dispersed fruits may also be deprived of potential ant-derived benefits in these habitats due to shifts in the composition of interacting ant species. Our data illustrate the use of synthetic fruits

  3. Ants sow the seeds of global diversification in flowering plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szabolcs Lengyel

    Full Text Available The extraordinary diversification of angiosperm plants in the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods has produced an estimated 250,000-300,000 living angiosperm species and has fundamentally altered terrestrial ecosystems. Interactions with animals as pollinators or seed dispersers have long been suspected as drivers of angiosperm diversification, yet empirical examples remain sparse or inconclusive. Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory may drive diversification as it can reduce extinction by providing selective advantages to plants and can increase speciation by enhancing geographical isolation by extremely limited dispersal distances.Using the most comprehensive sister-group comparison to date, we tested the hypothesis that myrmecochory leads to higher diversification rates in angiosperm plants. As predicted, diversification rates were substantially higher in ant-dispersed plants than in their non-myrmecochorous relatives. Data from 101 angiosperm lineages in 241 genera from all continents except Antarctica revealed that ant-dispersed lineages contained on average more than twice as many species as did their non-myrmecochorous sister groups. Contrasts in species diversity between sister groups demonstrated that diversification rates did not depend on seed dispersal mode in the sister group and were higher in myrmecochorous lineages in most biogeographic regions.Myrmecochory, which has evolved independently at least 100 times in angiosperms and is estimated to be present in at least 77 families and 11 000 species, is a key evolutionary innovation and a globally important driver of plant diversity. Myrmecochory provides the best example to date for a consistent effect of any mutualism on large-scale diversification.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha-Leigh Jamison

    2016-09-01

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

  9. 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 ...

  10. Mutualism, hybrid inviability and speciation in a tropical ant-plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Léotard, G; Saltmarsh, A; Kjellberg, F; McKey, D

    2008-07-01

    Although biotic interactions are particularly intricate in the tropics, few studies have examined whether divergent adaptations to biotic interactions lead to speciation in tropical organisms. Ant-plant mutualisms are widespread in the tropics. Within Leonardoxa africana, two subspecies present contrasting defences against herbivores. Young leaves of subsp. africana are defended by mutualistic ants, whereas subsp. gracilicaulis satiates herbivores by synchronized leaf production. Subsp. africana possesses hollow internodes and many large foliar nectaries, housing and feeding ants. We detected no genetic introgression between the two subspecies in the contact zone between them. F1 hybrids were present. They were intermediate in phenotype, expressing reduced, nonfunctional but costly myrmecophilic traits. However, they suffered more herbivory than their parents. Hybrids remained small, failing to reach reproductive size, probably due to their maladapted defence phenotype. Hence, there could be a direct link between adaptation to mutualism and reproductive isolation: biotic interactions could be a driver of tropical diversity.

  11. The View from the Trees: Nocturnal Bull Ants, Myrmecia midas, Use the Surrounding Panorama While Descending from Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freas, Cody A; Wystrach, Antione; Narendra, Ajay; Cheng, Ken

    2018-01-01

    Solitary foraging ants commonly use visual cues from their environment for navigation. Foragers are known to store visual scenes from the surrounding panorama for later guidance to known resources and to return successfully back to the nest. Several ant species travel not only on the ground, but also climb trees to locate resources. The navigational information that guides animals back home during their descent, while their body is perpendicular to the ground, is largely unknown. Here, we investigate in a nocturnal ant, Myrmecia midas , whether foragers travelling down a tree use visual information to return home. These ants establish nests at the base of a tree on which they forage and in addition, they also forage on nearby trees. We collected foragers and placed them on the trunk of the nest tree or a foraging tree in multiple compass directions. Regardless of the displacement location, upon release ants immediately moved to the side of the trunk facing the nest during their descent. When ants were released on non-foraging trees near the nest, displaced foragers again travelled around the tree to the side facing the nest. All the displaced foragers reached the correct side of the tree well before reaching the ground. However, when the terrestrial cues around the tree were blocked, foragers were unable to orient correctly, suggesting that the surrounding panorama is critical to successful orientation on the tree. Through analysis of panoramic pictures, we show that views acquired at the base of the foraging tree nest can provide reliable nest-ward orientation up to 1.75 m above the ground. We discuss, how animals descending from trees compare their current scene to a memorised scene and report on the similarities in visually guided behaviour while navigating on the ground and descending from trees.

  12. The View from the Trees: Nocturnal Bull Ants, Myrmecia midas, Use the Surrounding Panorama While Descending from Trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cody A. Freas

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Solitary foraging ants commonly use visual cues from their environment for navigation. Foragers are known to store visual scenes from the surrounding panorama for later guidance to known resources and to return successfully back to the nest. Several ant species travel not only on the ground, but also climb trees to locate resources. The navigational information that guides animals back home during their descent, while their body is perpendicular to the ground, is largely unknown. Here, we investigate in a nocturnal ant, Myrmecia midas, whether foragers travelling down a tree use visual information to return home. These ants establish nests at the base of a tree on which they forage and in addition, they also forage on nearby trees. We collected foragers and placed them on the trunk of the nest tree or a foraging tree in multiple compass directions. Regardless of the displacement location, upon release ants immediately moved to the side of the trunk facing the nest during their descent. When ants were released on non-foraging trees near the nest, displaced foragers again travelled around the tree to the side facing the nest. All the displaced foragers reached the correct side of the tree well before reaching the ground. However, when the terrestrial cues around the tree were blocked, foragers were unable to orient correctly, suggesting that the surrounding panorama is critical to successful orientation on the tree. Through analysis of panoramic pictures, we show that views acquired at the base of the foraging tree nest can provide reliable nest-ward orientation up to 1.75 m above the ground. We discuss, how animals descending from trees compare their current scene to a memorised scene and report on the similarities in visually guided behaviour while navigating on the ground and descending from trees.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Preliminary survey of ants at a reserve area of Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla Province, Southern Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niranee Binnima

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Prince of Songkla University is the first university established in the southern part of Thailand. A reserve area is planned at Ko Hong Hill near the university. The flora of this area has been previously explored but a few fauna species have been studied. Although ants are one of dominant groups in this forest, there is no record of their diversity. Thus, the aim of this study is to determine the ant diversity in terms of species composition. Three sampling methods, pitfall trap (PF, hand collecting (HC and leaf litter sifting (LL were applied to collection of ants along 3 line transects each of 90 meter in length and 500 meter apart during April 2001. Six subfamilies (Formicinae, Myrmicinae, Dorylinae, Ponerinae, Dolichoderinae and Pseudomyrmecinae of ants, comprising 44 species, were found. The results also showed that HC was the most sufficient method resulting in the highest number of ant species, while the combination of two methods (HC and LL yielded the highest number of ant species.

  17. 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. ...

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. Yersinia pestis strains of ancient phylogenetic branch 0.ANT are widely spread in the high-mountain plague foci of Kyrgyzstan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eroshenko, Galina A; Nosov, Nikita Yu; Krasnov, Yaroslav M; Oglodin, Yevgeny G; Kukleva, Lyubov M; Guseva, Natalia P; Kuznetsov, Alexander A; Abdikarimov, Sabyrzhan T; Dzhaparova, Aigul K; Kutyrev, Vladimir V

    2017-01-01

    Fifty six Yersinia pestis strains, isolated over the period of more than 50 years in three high-mountain foci of Kyrgyzstan (Tien Shan, Alai, and Talas), have been characterized by means of PCR and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing methods. Seven of these strains were also characterized by means of whole genome sequencing and genome-wide SNP phylogenetic analysis. It was found that forty two strains belong to 0.ANT2, 0.ANT3 and 0.ANT5 phylogenetic branches. From these, strains of 0.ANT2 and 0.ANT3 branches were earlier detected in China only, whereas 0.ANT5 phylogenetic branch was identified for Y. pestis phylogeny for the first time. According to the results of genome-wide SNP analysis, 0.ANT5 strains are ones of the most closely related to Y. pestis strain responsible for the Justinianic Plague. We have also found out that four of the studied strains belong to the phylogenetic branch 2.MED1, and ten strains from Talas high-mountain focus belong to the phylogenetic branch 0.PE4 (sub-branch 0.PE4t). Established diversity of Y. pestis strains and extensive dissemination of the strains pertaining to the 0.ANT branch confirm the antiquity of the mentioned above plague foci and suggest that strains of the 0.ANT branch, which serve as precursors for all highly virulent Y. pestis strains, had their origin in the Tien Shan mountains.

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-29

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

  3. The nature of culture: technological variation in chimpanzee predation on army ants revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schöning, Caspar; Humle, Tatyana; Möbius, Yasmin; McGrew, W C

    2008-07-01

    Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) predation on army ants (Dorylus, subgenus Anomma) is an impressive example of skillful use of elementary technology, and it has been suggested to reflect cultural differences among chimpanzee communities. Alternatively, the observed geographic diversity in army-ant-eating may represent local behavioral responses of the chimpanzees to the anti-predator traits of the army ant species present at the different sites. We examined assemblages of available prey species, their behavior and morphology, consumption by chimpanzees, techniques employed, and tool lengths at 14 sites in eastern, central, and western Africa. Where army ants are eaten, tool length and concomitant technique are a function of prey type. Epigaeically foraging species with aggressive workers that inflict painful bites are harvested with longer tools and usually by the "pull-through" technique; species foraging in leaf-litter with less aggressive workers that inflict less painful bites are harvested with short tools and by the "direct-mouthing" technique. However, prey species characteristics do not explain several differences in army-ant-eating between Bossou (Guinea) and Taï (Ivory Coast), where the same suite of prey species is available and is consumed. Moreover, the absence of army-ant-eating at five sites cannot be explained by the identity of available prey species, as all the species found at these sites are eaten elsewhere. We conclude that some of the observed variation in the predator-prey relationship of chimpanzees and army ants reflects environmental influences driven by the prey, while other variation is not linked to prey characteristics and may be solely sociocultural.

  4. 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.

  5. Giant ants and their shape: revealing relationships in the genus Titanomyrma with geometric morphometrics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Katzke

    2018-01-01

    are one of the most dominant taxa in the animal kingdom and new methods can aid in investigating their diversity in the present and in deep time. GM of the ant wing delivers significant results and this core of methods is able to enhance the toolset we have now to analyse the complex biology of the ants. It can prove as especially useful in the future when incorporated into better understanding aspects of evolutionary patterns and ant palaeontology.

  6. Giant ants and their shape: revealing relationships in the genus Titanomyrma with geometric morphometrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katzke, Julian; Barden, Phillip; Dehon, Manuel; Michez, Denis; Wappler, Torsten

    2018-01-01

    most dominant taxa in the animal kingdom and new methods can aid in investigating their diversity in the present and in deep time. GM of the ant wing delivers significant results and this core of methods is able to enhance the toolset we have now to analyse the complex biology of the ants. It can prove as especially useful in the future when incorporated into better understanding aspects of evolutionary patterns and ant palaeontology.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Discovery of defense- and neuropeptides in social ants by genome-mining.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian W Gruber

    Full Text Available Natural peptides of great number and diversity occur in all organisms, but analyzing their peptidome is often difficult. With natural product drug discovery in mind, we devised a genome-mining approach to identify defense- and neuropeptides in the genomes of social ants from Atta cephalotes (leaf-cutter ant, Camponotus floridanus (carpenter ant and Harpegnathos saltator (basal genus. Numerous peptide-encoding genes of defense peptides, in particular defensins, and neuropeptides or regulatory peptide hormones, such as allatostatins and tachykinins, were identified and analyzed. Most interestingly we annotated genes that encode oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (inotocins and their putative receptors. This is the first piece of evidence for the existence of this nonapeptide hormone system in ants (Formicidae and supports recent findings in Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle and Nasonia vitripennis (parasitoid wasp, and therefore its confinement to some basal holometabolous insects. By contrast, the absence of the inotocin hormone system in Apis mellifera (honeybee, another closely-related member of the eusocial Hymenoptera clade, establishes the basis for future studies on the molecular evolution and physiological function of oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (vasotocin nonapeptide family and their receptors in social insects. Particularly the identification of ant inotocin and defensin peptide sequences will provide a basis for future pharmacological characterization in the quest for potent and selective lead compounds of therapeutic value.

  13. Defensive traits exhibit an evolutionary trade-off and drive diversification in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, Benjamin D; Moreau, Corrie S

    2017-02-01

    Evolutionary biologists have long predicted that evolutionary trade-offs among traits should constrain morphological divergence and species diversification. However, this prediction has yet to be tested in a broad evolutionary context in many diverse clades, including ants. Here, we reconstruct an expanded ant phylogeny representing 82% of ant genera, compile a new family-wide trait database, and conduct various trait-based analyses to show that defensive traits in ants do exhibit an evolutionary trade-off. In particular, the use of a functional sting negatively correlates with a suite of other defensive traits including spines, large eye size, and large colony size. Furthermore, we find that several of the defensive traits that trade off with a sting are also positively correlated with each other and drive increased diversification, further suggesting that these traits form a defensive suite. Our results support the hypothesis that trade-offs in defensive traits significantly constrain trait evolution and influence species diversification in ants. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  14. Grounded theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Tina

    2015-04-29

    Grounded theory is a popular research approach in health care and the social sciences. This article provides a description of grounded theory methodology and its key components, using examples from published studies to demonstrate practical application. It aims to demystify grounded theory for novice nurse researchers, by explaining what it is, when to use it, why they would want to use it and how to use it. It should enable nurse researchers to decide if grounded theory is an appropriate approach for their research, and to determine the quality of any grounded theory research they read.

  15. The expression and impact of antifungal grooming in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reber, A; Purcell, J; Buechel, S D; Buri, P; Chapuisat, M

    2011-05-01

    Parasites can cause extensive damage to animal societies in which many related individuals frequently interact. In response, social animals have evolved diverse individual and collective defences. Here, we measured the expression and efficiency of self-grooming and allo-grooming when workers of the ant Formica selysi were contaminated with spores of the fungal entomopathogen Metarhizium anisopliae. The amount of self-grooming increased in the presence of fungal spores, which shows that the ants are able to detect the risk of infection. In contrast, the amount of allo-grooming did not depend on fungal contamination. Workers groomed all nestmate workers that were re-introduced into their groups. The amount of allo-grooming towards noncontaminated individuals was higher when the group had been previously exposed to the pathogen. Allo-grooming decreased the number of fungal spores on the surface of contaminated workers, but did not prevent infection in the conditions tested (high dose of spores and late allo-grooming). The rate of disease transmission to groomers and other nestmates was extremely low. The systematic allo-grooming of all individuals returning to the colony, be they contaminated or not, is probably a simple but robust prophylactic defence preventing the spread of fungal diseases in insect societies. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  16. 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...

  17. Savanna ant species richness is maintained along a bioclimatic gradient of increasing latitude and decreasing rainfall in northern Australia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Alan N.; Del Toro, Israel; Parr, Catherine L.

    2015-01-01

    of 246 species from 37 genera. Mean observed species richness pooled across sampling periods was similar at sand (85.4) and loam (82.2) sites, but was less than half this at clay sites (40.0). Ant communities were also compositionally distinct on clay soils compared with sands and loams. Individual...... genera showed variable diversity patterns, ranging from a linear increase to a linear decrease in species richness along the NATT. However, total species richness was relatively uniform along the gradient. Patterns of ant species turnover were consistent with previously recognized biogeographical......Aim: Using a standardized sampling protocol along a 600-km transect in northern Australia, we tested whether ant diversity within a single biome, tropical savanna, decreases with increasing latitude (as a surrogate of temperature) and decreasing rainfall, as is expected for biodiversity in general...

  18. 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.

  19. Siberian population of the New Stone Age: mtDNA haplotype diversity in the ancient population from the Ust'-Ida I burial ground, dated 4020-3210 BC by 14C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naumova O, Y u; Rychkov S, Y u

    1998-03-01

    On the basis of analysis of mtDNA from skeletal remains, dated by 14C 4020-3210 BC, from the Ust'-Ida I Neolithic burial ground in Cis-Baikal area of Siberia, we obtained genetic characteristics of the ancient Mongoloid population. Using the 7 restriction enzymes for the analysis of site's polymorphism in 16,106-16,545 region of mtDNA, we studied the structure of the most frequent DNA haplotypes, and estimated the intrapopulational nucleotide diversity of the Neolithic population. Comparison of the Neolithic and modern indigeneous populations from Siberia, Mongolia and Ural showed, that the ancient Siberian population is one of the ancestors of the modern population of Siberia. From genetic distance, in the assumption of constant nucleotide substitution rate, we estimated the divergence time between the Neolithic and the modern Siberian population. This divergence time (5572 years ago) is conformed to the age of skeletal remains (5542-5652 years). With use of the 14C dates of the skeletal remains, nucleotide substitution rate in mtDNA was estimated as 1% sequence divergence for 8938-9115 years.

  20. Food resource and temporal partitioning amongst a guild of predatory agroecosystem - inhabiting ant species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivek Mohan AGARWAL, Neelkamal RASTOGI

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Prey diversity and temporal foraging patterns of six abundant, predatory ant species were investigated seasonally in an agroecosystem with two main vegetable crops. Pheidole sp. demonstrated the highest predation success and therefore appears to be the dominant species while Tapinoma melanocephalum showed the lowest success under the natural field conditions. Investigation of prey diversity and temporal activity patterns with the null model tests of niche overlap revealed a significant overlap indicating that the activity periods and prey diversity may not be solely influenced by interactions among the co-existing ant species. However, niche partitioning in the daily peak activity periods was demonstrated during all the three seasons (summer, rainy and winter particularly between Pheidole sp. and T. melanocephalum. Pheidole sp. exhibited a high intensity, broadly extended mono-modal foraging pattern. Camponotus compressus and C. paria showed bi-modality in their foraging activity during the rainy season and mono-modal patterns during summer and winter seasons. Pachycondyla tesserinoda, Tetramorium sp. and T. melanocephalum exhibited peak foraging activities in the morning hours during the summer and rainy seasons. The activity profiles of C. compressus and T. melanocephalum were skewed towards late afternoon hours during the winter season indicating avoidance of foraging activity during the favourable periods when the more aggressive Pheidole sp. is active. In the sponge gourd agroecosystem, the ants captured predominantly hymenopteran, orthopteran and coleopteran insects. While Pheidole sp. hunted mainly the large orthopteran prey, other ant species captured worker ants in the sponge gourd agroecosystem. In the cauliflower agroecosystem, while other species captured prey chiefly belonging to six orders, i.e., Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Isoptera and Diptera, Pheidole sp. was the only species to also hunt orthopteran prey

  1. On Heels and Toes: How Ants Climb with Adhesive Pads and Tarsal Friction Hair Arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endlein, Thomas; Federle, Walter

    2015-01-01

    Ants are able to climb effortlessly on vertical and inverted smooth surfaces. When climbing, their feet touch the substrate not only with their pretarsal adhesive pads but also with dense arrays of fine hairs on the ventral side of the 3rd and 4th tarsal segments. To understand what role these different attachment structures play during locomotion, we analysed leg kinematics and recorded single-leg ground reaction forces in Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) climbing vertically on a smooth glass substrate. We found that the ants engaged different attachment structures depending on whether their feet were above or below their Centre of Mass (CoM). Legs above the CoM pulled and engaged the arolia ('toes'), whereas legs below the CoM pushed with the 3rd and 4th tarsomeres ('heels') in surface contact. Legs above the CoM carried a significantly larger proportion of the body weight than legs below the CoM. Force measurements on individual ant tarsi showed that friction increased with normal load as a result of the bending and increasing side contact of the tarsal hairs. On a rough sandpaper substrate, the tarsal hairs generated higher friction forces in the pushing than in the pulling direction, whereas the reverse effect was found on the smooth substrate. When the tarsal hairs were pushed, buckling was observed for forces exceeding the shear forces found in climbing ants. Adhesion forces were small but not negligible, and higher on the smooth substrate. Our results indicate that the dense tarsal hair arrays produce friction forces when pressed against the substrate, and help the ants to push outwards during horizontal and vertical walking.

  2. On Heels and Toes: How Ants Climb with Adhesive Pads and Tarsal Friction Hair Arrays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Endlein

    Full Text Available Ants are able to climb effortlessly on vertical and inverted smooth surfaces. When climbing, their feet touch the substrate not only with their pretarsal adhesive pads but also with dense arrays of fine hairs on the ventral side of the 3rd and 4th tarsal segments. To understand what role these different attachment structures play during locomotion, we analysed leg kinematics and recorded single-leg ground reaction forces in Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina climbing vertically on a smooth glass substrate. We found that the ants engaged different attachment structures depending on whether their feet were above or below their Centre of Mass (CoM. Legs above the CoM pulled and engaged the arolia ('toes', whereas legs below the CoM pushed with the 3rd and 4th tarsomeres ('heels' in surface contact. Legs above the CoM carried a significantly larger proportion of the body weight than legs below the CoM. Force measurements on individual ant tarsi showed that friction increased with normal load as a result of the bending and increasing side contact of the tarsal hairs. On a rough sandpaper substrate, the tarsal hairs generated higher friction forces in the pushing than in the pulling direction, whereas the reverse effect was found on the smooth substrate. When the tarsal hairs were pushed, buckling was observed for forces exceeding the shear forces found in climbing ants. Adhesion forces were small but not negligible, and higher on the smooth substrate. Our results indicate that the dense tarsal hair arrays produce friction forces when pressed against the substrate, and help the ants to push outwards during horizontal and vertical walking.

  3. 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...

  4. 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....

  5. 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.

  6. Diverse Effects of a Seven-Year Experimental Grassland Fragmentation on Major Invertebrate Groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braschler, Brigitte; Baur, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss, but observed effects vary and may depend on the group examined. Time since fragmentation may explain some differences between taxonomical groups, as some species and thus species composition respond with a delay to changes in their environment. Impacts of drivers of global change may thus be underestimated in short-term studies. In our study we experimentally fragmented nutrient-poor dry calcareous grasslands and studied the response of species richness, individual density and species composition of various groups of invertebrates (gastropods, ants, ground beetles, rove beetles, orthoptera, spiders, woodlice) in 12 small (1.5 m * 1.5 m) and 12 large (4.5 m * 4.5 m) fragments and their corresponding control plots after 7 years. We further examined responses to fragmentation in relation to body size and habitat preferences. Responses to fragmentation varied between taxonomical groups. While spider species richness and individual density were lower in fragments, the opposite was true for an orthopteran species and woodlice. Species composition and β-diversity differed between fragments and control plots for some groups. However, the interaction treatment*plot size was rarely significant. Species with high occupancy rates in undisturbed control plots responded more negatively to the fragmentation, while species with large body size were relatively more abundant in fragments in some groups. No effect of the fragmentation was found for ants, which may have the longest lag times because of long-lived colonies. However, relationships between abundance and the species' preferences for environmental factors affected by edge effects indicate that ant diversity too may be affected in the longer-term. Our results show the importance of considering different groups in conservation management in times of widespread fragmentation of landscapes. While species richness may respond slowly, changes in abundance related to

  7. Diverse Effects of a Seven-Year Experimental Grassland Fragmentation on Major Invertebrate Groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigitte Braschler

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss, but observed effects vary and may depend on the group examined. Time since fragmentation may explain some differences between taxonomical groups, as some species and thus species composition respond with a delay to changes in their environment. Impacts of drivers of global change may thus be underestimated in short-term studies. In our study we experimentally fragmented nutrient-poor dry calcareous grasslands and studied the response of species richness, individual density and species composition of various groups of invertebrates (gastropods, ants, ground beetles, rove beetles, orthoptera, spiders, woodlice in 12 small (1.5 m * 1.5 m and 12 large (4.5 m * 4.5 m fragments and their corresponding control plots after 7 years. We further examined responses to fragmentation in relation to body size and habitat preferences. Responses to fragmentation varied between taxonomical groups. While spider species richness and individual density were lower in fragments, the opposite was true for an orthopteran species and woodlice. Species composition and β-diversity differed between fragments and control plots for some groups. However, the interaction treatment*plot size was rarely significant. Species with high occupancy rates in undisturbed control plots responded more negatively to the fragmentation, while species with large body size were relatively more abundant in fragments in some groups. No effect of the fragmentation was found for ants, which may have the longest lag times because of long-lived colonies. However, relationships between abundance and the species' preferences for environmental factors affected by edge effects indicate that ant diversity too may be affected in the longer-term. Our results show the importance of considering different groups in conservation management in times of widespread fragmentation of landscapes. While species richness may respond slowly, changes in

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borowiec Lech

    2017-09-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Decreasing water availability across the globe improves the effectiveness of protective ant-plant mutualisms: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Laura C; Peixoto, Paulo E C

    2017-08-01

    Abiotic conditions can increase the costs of services and/or the benefits of rewards provided by mutualistic partners. Consequently, in some situations, the outcome of mutualisms can move from beneficial to detrimental for at least one partner. In the case of protective mutualisms between ant bodyguards and plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs), plants from arid environments face a trade-off between EFN production and maintenance and water and carbon economy. This trade-off may increase EFN costs and decrease their value as a defensive strategy to plants in such environments. Despite this, the presence of EFNs is an ubiquitous trait in plants from arid environments, suggesting that they provide greater benefits to plants in these environments to compensate for their higher costs. We used a meta-analysis to investigate if such benefits do increase with decreasing water availability and the possible underlying causes (such as ant behaviour or ant diversity). As predicted, ant effect on EFN plants performance increased as mean annual precipitation decreased. We also found that the frequency of dominant ants on EFN plants increased in drier areas. Due to the more aggressive behaviour of dominant ants, we suggest that they represent an important factor shaping the adaptive value of EFNs to plants in arid environments. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  13. Paralyzing action from a distance in an arboreal African ant species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Rifflet

    Full Text Available Due to their prowess in interspecific competition and ability to catch a wide range of arthropod prey (mostly termites with which they are engaged in an evolutionary arms race, ants are recognized as a good model for studying the chemicals involved in defensive and predatory behaviors. Ants' wide diversity of nesting habits and relationships with plants and prey types implies that these chemicals are also very diverse. Using the African myrmicine ant Crematogaster striatula as our focal species, we adopted a three-pronged research approach. We studied the aggressive and predatory behaviors of the ant workers, conducted bioassays on the effect of their Dufour gland contents on termites, and analyzed these contents. (1 The workers defend themselves or eliminate termites by orienting their abdominal tip toward the opponent, stinger protruded. The chemicals emitted, apparently volatile, trigger the recruitment of nestmates situated in the vicinity and act without the stinger having to come into direct contact with the opponent. Whereas alien ants competing with C. striatula for sugary food sources are repelled by this behavior and retreat further and further away, termites defend their nest whatever the danger. They face down C. striatula workers and end up by rolling onto their backs, their legs batting the air. (2 The bioassays showed that the toxicity of the Dufour gland contents acts in a time-dependent manner, leading to the irreversible paralysis, and, ultimately, death of the termites. (3 Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses showed that the Dufour gland contains a mixture of mono- or polyunsaturated long-chain derivatives, bearing functional groups like oxo-alcohols or oxo-acetates. Electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry showed the presence of a molecule of 1584 Da that might be a large, acetylated alkaloid capable of splitting into smaller molecules that could be responsible for the final degree of venom toxicity.

  14. Parachuting behavior and predation by ants in the nettle caterpillar, Scopelodes contracta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamazaki, Kazuo

    2010-01-01

    This paper documents the bizarre descending behavior from the tree crown to the ground of the larvae of the moth, Scopelodes contracta Walker (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae) and the interaction of the larva with predatory ants. S. contracta larvae infest leaves of many tree species in urban areas and orchards in Japan. Mature larvae and leaves without basal leaf parts were found under trees of four species infested with S. contracta larvae in Osaka, Japan. Individual larvae riding on leaves were observed falling from tree crowns to the ground. Many S. contracta cocoons were found in the soil below the trees two weeks after the observed parachuting. These observations indicate that S. contracta larvae parachuted to the ground where they spin their cocoons in the soil. When a larva that had just parachuted down was returned to an arboreal twig, the larva repeated the parachuting behavior. This parachuting behavior appears to be adaptive, because larvae can descend to the ground safely and with low energy cost. Worker ants of Tetramorium tsushimae Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Pristomyrmex punctatus Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) occasionally attacked larvae on the ground before they had a chance to burrow in the soil.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Arthropod diversity and assemblage structure response to deforestation and desertification in the Sahel of western Senegal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon J. Lingbeek

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Drylands are highly vulnerable to desertification and among the most endangered ecosystems. To understand how biodiversity responds to environmental degradation in these fragile ecosystems, we examined whether arthropod, beetle, spider and ant diversity and assemblage structure differed (1 between seasons, (2 among locations (3 between protected areas of tropical dry forest and adjacent communal lands suffering from desertification, as well as (4 how vegetation impacts assemblage structures. We established 12 plots spaced homogenously throughout each protected area and the adjacent communal land at three locations: Beersheba, Bandia and Ngazobil. Within each plot, we measured canopy closure, vegetation height, percent cover of bare ground, leaf litter, grasses and forbs and collected arthropods using pitfall traps during the 2014 dry (May and rainy (September seasons. We collected 123,705 arthropods representing 733 morphospecies, 10,849 beetles representing 216 morphospecies, 4969 spiders representing 91 morphospecies and 59,183 ants representing 45 morphospecies. Results showed greater arthropod and beetle diversities (P = 0.002–0.040 in the rainy season, no difference in diversity among locations for any taxonomic group and a difference (P ≤ 0.001 in diversity for all taxa between protected areas and communal lands. Assemblage structures of all taxa responded (P = 0.001 to vegetation characteristics, differed (P = 0.015–0.045 between seasons and, with a few exceptions, locations and fragments. Our results illustrate the importance of a multi-taxa approach in understanding biodiversity response to anthropogenic disturbances as well as the value of protected areas in preserving biodiversity of the Sahel.

  20. 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....

  1. 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....

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. An ant-plant by-product mutualism is robust to selective logging of rain forest and conversion to oil palm plantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayle, Tom M; Edwards, David P; Foster, William A; Yusah, Kalsum M; Turner, Edgar C

    2015-06-01

    Anthropogenic disturbance and the spread of non-native species disrupt natural communities, but also create novel interactions between species. By-product mutualisms, in which benefits accrue as side effects of partner behaviour or morphology, are often non-specific and hence may persist in novel ecosystems. We tested this hypothesis for a two-way by-product mutualism between epiphytic ferns and their ant inhabitants in the Bornean rain forest, in which ants gain housing in root-masses while ferns gain protection from herbivores. Specifically, we assessed how the specificity (overlap between fern and ground-dwelling ants) and the benefits of this interaction are altered by selective logging and conversion to an oil palm plantation habitat. We found that despite the high turnover of ant species, ant protection against herbivores persisted in modified habitats. However, in ferns growing in the oil palm plantation, ant occupancy, abundance and species richness declined, potentially due to the harsher microclimate. The specificity of the fern-ant interactions was also lower in the oil palm plantation habitat than in the forest habitats. We found no correlations between colony size and fern size in modified habitats, and hence no evidence for partner fidelity feedbacks, in which ants are incentivised to protect fern hosts. Per species, non-native ant species in the oil palm plantation habitat (18 % of occurrences) were as important as native ones in terms of fern protection and contributed to an increase in ant abundance and species richness with fern size. We conclude that this by-product mutualism persists in logged forest and oil palm plantation habitats, with no detectable shift in partner benefits. Such persistence of generalist interactions in novel ecosystems may be important for driving ecosystem functioning.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. Removal and Burial of Weed Seeds by Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) From the Soil Surface of a Cropped Area in Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minkey, D M; Spafford, H

    2016-10-01

    Although granivorous ants are known to collect weed seeds from cropping areas in Australia, the fate of these seeds has not been adequately investigated. Seeds of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaud.) and wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum L.) were placed around the nests of five native ant species (Iridomyrmex greensladei Shattuck, Rhytidoponera metallica Smith, Melophorus turneri Forel, Monomorium rothsteini Forel, and Pheidole hartmeyeri Forel) and tracked continuously over a 24-h period. Removal rates and seed preference of the ant species were evaluated. Ant nests were then excavated to determine the placement of seeds that were taken into each nest. Seed preference, seed removal efficiencies, activity, and seed storage all varied between the ant species. Annual ryegrass seed was collected by three species of ants and was removed from the soil surface more efficiently than wild radish seed. Most ant species stored seed below ground at a depth that is inhibitory to emergence, thereby potentially removing that portion of seed from the seed bank, but some seed was placed at germinable depths. Pheidole hartmeyeri was identified as a likely biological control agent for annual ryegrass seeds and wild radish, while Me. turneri and Mo. rothsteini have potential as biocontrol agents for annual ryegrass, but further research is needed. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. First observation of Dorylus ant feeding in Budongo chimpanzees supports absence of stick-tool culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugisha, Steven; Zuberbühler, Klaus; Hobaiter, Catherine

    2016-07-01

    The use of stick- or probe-tools is a chimpanzee universal, recorded in all long-term study populations across Africa, except one: Budongo, Uganda. Here, after 25 years of observation, stick-tool use remains absent under both natural circumstances and strong experimental scaffolding. Instead, the chimpanzees employ a rich repertoire of leaf-tools for a variety of dietary and hygiene tasks. One use of stick-tools in other communities is in feeding on the aggressive Dorylus 'army ant' species, consumed by chimpanzees at all long-term study sites outside of mid-Western Uganda. Here we report the first observation of army-ant feeding in Budongo, in which individuals from the Waibira chimpanzee community employed detached leaves to feed on a ground swarm. We describe the behaviour and discuss whether or not it can be considered tool use, together with its implication for the absence of stick-tool 'culture' in Budongo chimpanzees.

  9. Subterranean ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae as prey of fossorial reptiles (Reptilia, Squamata: Amphisbaenidae in Central Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávia de Araújo Esteves

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The ant diversity observed in stomach contents of fossorial reptiles was compared to the subterranean ant richness collected using traditional and modern techniques of ant collections. We analyzed the alimentary tract of 64 specimens of amphisbaenians (4 Amphisbaena alba, 10 A. fuliginosa, 25 A. vermicularis, and 25 Leposternon infraorbitale collected during the fauna rescue for the construction of Serra da Mesa hydroelectric dam in the Tocantins River (from 1992 to 1997, in Minaçu County, Goiás, Brazil. We found only five ant species present in the stomach contents, all belonging to the army ants subfamily Ecitoninae. In contrast, the traditional techniques for subterranean ants' collection are far more efficient than the exam of fossorial reptile's stomach contents, collecting a much richer and diverse ant fauna. The exclusive occurrence of army ants in the alimentary tract of these fossorial reptiles suggests that they trace the chemical trails laid by the ants while moving inside and over the soil. Further, the occurrence of the epigaeic army ants Eciton and Labidus in the stomach contents suggests that amphisbaenians may forage on the soil surface as well.A diversidade de formigas no conteúdo estomacal de répteis fossoriais foi comparada à riqueza de formigas subterrâneas coletadas com o uso de técnicas tradicionais e modernas para sua coleta. Analisamos o trato alimentar de 64 espécimes de anfisbenídeos (4 Amphisbaena alba, 10 A. fuliginosa, 25 A. vermicularis e 25 Leposternon infraorbitale coletados durante o resgate da fauna para a construção da represa da Hidroelétrica da Serra da Mesa no Rio Tocantins (de 1992 a 1997, na cidade de Minaçu, Goiás, Brasil. Encontramos apenas cinco espécies de formigas presentes nos conteúdos estomacais aqui examinados, todas pertencentes à subfamília das formigas-de-correição, Ecitoninae. Ao contrário, as técnicas tradicionais de coleta de formigas subterrâneas são muito mais

  10. 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....

  11. Leaf-litter amount as a factor in the structure of a ponerine ants community (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ponerinae in an eastern Amazonian rainforest, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandro Herbert dos Santos Bastos

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-litter amount as a factor in the structure of a ponerine ants community (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ponerinae in an eastern Amazonian rainforest, Brazil. Leaf-litter may be an important factor in structuring ponerine ant communities (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ponerinae in tropical rainforests. We specifically examined how leaf-litter affects the structure of a ponerine ant community in primary Amazonian rainforest sites at the Ferreira Penna Scientific Station, Pará, Brazil. A total of 53 species belonging to eight genera of three ponerine tribes were collected with mini-Winkler extractors. The amount of leaf-litter positively affected the abundance and richness of the ponerine ant community, and also influenced species composition. Nearby samples often had low species similarity, especially when adjacent samples differed in the amount of leaf-litter. Leaf-litter availability in Amazonian primary forests is a key factor for distribution of ground-dwelling ponerine species, even at small scales.

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of the Trophobiont Herbivore Calloconophora pugionata (Hemiptera on Ant Fauna Associated with Myrcia obovata (Myrtaceae in a Montane Tropical Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberth Fagundes

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Many studies have investigated the mechanisms behind the structure of arboreal ant assemblages. In this study, the objective was to evaluate the effect of availability of honeydew-producing colonies of Calloconophora pugionata (Membracidae on the structure of ant assemblages associated with the host plant Myrcia obovata (Myrtaceae in an Atlantic forest of Minas Gerais (Brazil. Our experiment consisted in a gradual exclusion of hemipteran colonies out of the host plant crown and further record of the ant assemblage response (species richness, composition, and occurrence to the presence and density of treehopper colonies. The hypothesis was that an increase in the number of trophobiont herbivores results in an increase in tending ant occurrence but a reduction in ant species diversity. Results corroborated our main hypothesis: membracids had a positive effect on the occurrence of ants but negative on species richness. Overall insect occurrence was also reduced with increasing in C. pugionata colonies, probably due to strengthening dominant ant species territory sizes and intensification of patrolling.

  14. 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.

  15. Temporal variation in the composition of ant assemblages (Hymenoptera, Formicidae on trees in the Pantanal floodplain, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stela de Almeida Soares

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Temporal variation in the composition of ant assemblages (Hymenoptera, Formicidae on trees in the Pantanal floodplain, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. In this paper we investigate how seasonal flooding influences the composition of assemblages of ants foraging on trees in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul. During the flood in the Pantanal, a large area is covered by floods that are the main forces that regulate the pattern of diversity in these areas. However, the effects of such natural disturbances in the ant communities are poorly known. In this sense, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of temporal variation in assemblages of ants foraging on trees in the Pantanal of Miranda. Samples were collected during a year in two adjacent areas, one who suffered flooding during the wet period and another that did not suffer flooding throughout the year. In 10 sites for each evaluated habitat, five pitfall traps were installed at random in trees 25 m apart from each other. In the habitat with flooding, the highest richness was observed during the flooding period, while there was no significant change in richness in the area that does not suffer flooding. The diversity of species between the two evaluated habitats varied significantly during the two seasons. Most ants sampled belong to species that forage and nest in soil. This suggests that during the flood in flooded habitats, ants that did not migrate to higher areas without flooding adopt the strategy to search for resources in the tree canopy.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. Ground water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osmond, J.K.; Cowart, J.B.

    1982-01-01

    The subject is discussed under the headings: background and theory (introduction; fractionation in the hydrosphere; mobility factors; radioisotope evolution and aquifer classification; aquifer disequilibria and geochemical fronts); case studies (introduction; (a) conservative, and (b) non-conservative, behaviour); ground water dating applications (general requirements; radon and helium; radium isotopes; uranium isotopes). (U.K.)

  20. Ground water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osmond, J.K.; Cowart, J.B.

    1992-01-01

    The great variations in concentrations and activity ratios of 234 U/ 238 U in ground waters and the features causing elemental and isotopic mobility in the hydrosphere are discussed. Fractionation processes and their application to hydrology and other environmental problems such as earthquake, groundwater and aquifer dating are described. (UK)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Ants show a leftward turning bias when exploring unknown nest sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Edmund R; O'Shea-Wheller, Thomas; Albery, Gregory F; Bridger, Tamsyn H; Gumn, Mike; Franks, Nigel R

    2014-12-01

    Behavioural lateralization in invertebrates is an important field of study because it may provide insights into the early origins of lateralization seen in a diversity of organisms. Here, we present evidence for a leftward turning bias in Temnothorax albipennis ants exploring nest cavities and in branching mazes, where the bias is initially obscured by thigmotaxis (wall-following) behaviour. Forward travel with a consistent turning bias in either direction is an effective nest exploration method, and a simple decision-making heuristic to employ when faced with multiple directional choices. Replication of the same bias at the colony level would also reduce individual predation risk through aggregation effects, and may lead to a faster attainment of a quorum threshold for nest migration. We suggest the turning bias may be the result of an evolutionary interplay between vision, exploration and migration factors, promoted by the ants' eusociality.

  5. Evidence that acidification-induced declines in plant diversity and productivity are mediated by changes in below-ground communities and soil properties in a semi-arid steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Dima; Lan, Zhichun; Bai, Xue; Grace, James B.; Bai, Yongfei

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic acid deposition–induced soil acidification is one of the major threats to biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and services. Few studies, however, have explored in detail how above-ground changes in plant species richness and productivity resulting from soil acidification are mediated by effects on below-ground biota and soil properties.

  6. The Megadiverse Australian Ant Genus Melophorus: Using CO1 Barcoding to Assess Species Richness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan N. Andersen

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Melophorus is an exceptionally diverse ant genus from arid Australia that has received little taxonomic attention, such that just a fraction of its remarkable number of species is described. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre (TERC in Darwin holds by far the most extensive collection of Melophorus, and as of September 2016 this comprised >850 sorted morphospecies. However, the reliability of such morphospecies is open to question because species delimitation is extremely challenging due to highly generalized morphology and worker polymorphism. Here we use CO1 barcoding of 401 Melophorus specimens from 188 morphospecies in the TERC collection to determine the reliability of morphologically-based species delimitations as a basis for assessing true diversity within the genus. Our CO1 data confirm the extremely challenging nature of morphologically-based species delimitation within Melophorus, and suggest substantially higher diversity than that indicated by morphospecies. We found many cases where combinations of high (>10% CO1 divergence, polyphyly, sympatric association, and morphological differentiation indicated that single morphospecies represented multiple lineages. Overall, our analysis indicates that the 188 morphospecies barcoded represent at least 225 independent CO1 lineages. We discuss these results in terms of both their limitations and implications for estimating the total number of species in this exceptionally diverse, arid-adapted ant genus.

  7. Evaluating effects of habitat loss and land-use continuity on ant species richness in seminatural grassland remnants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

    Seminatural grasslands in Europe are susceptible to habitat destruction and fragmentation that result in negative effects on biodiversity because of increased isolation and area effects on extinction rate. However even small habitatpatches of seminatural grasslands might be of value for conservation and restoration of species richness in a landscape with a long history of management, which has been argued to lead to high species richness. We tested whether ant communities have been negatively affected by habitat loss and increased isolation of seminatural grasslands during the twentieth century. We examined species richness and community composition in seminatural grasslands of different size in a mosaic landscape in Central Sweden. Grasslands managed continuously over centuries harbored species-rich and ecologically diverse ant communities. Grassland remnant size had no effect on ant species richness. Small grassland remnants did not harbor a nested subset of the ant species of larger habitats. Community composition of ants was mainly affected by habitat conditions. Our results suggest that the abandonment of traditional land use and the encroachment of trees, rather than the effects of fragmentation, are important for species composition in seminatural grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of considering land-use continuity and dispersal ability of thefocal organisms when examining the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity. Landscape history should be considered in conservation programs focusing on effects of land-use change.

  8. Morphological and Chemical Characterization of the Invasive Ants in Hives of Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simoes, M R; Giannotti, E; Tofolo, V C; Pizano, M A; Firmino, E L B; Antonialli-Junior, W F; Andrade, L H C; Lima, S M

    2016-02-01

    Apiculture in Brazil is quite profitable and has great potential for expansion because of the favorable climate and abundancy of plant diversity. However, the occurrence of pests, diseases, and parasites hinders the growth and profitability of beekeeping. In the interior of the state of São Paulo, apiaries are attacked by ants, especially the species Camponotus atriceps (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), which use the substances produced by Apis mellifera scutellata (Lepeletier) (Hymenoptera: Apidae), like honey, wax, pollen, and offspring as a source of nourishment for the adult and immature ants, and kill or expel the adult bees during the invasion. This study aimed to understand the invasion of C. atriceps in hives of A. m. scutellata. The individuals were classified into castes and subcastes according to morphometric analyses, and their cuticular chemical compounds were identified using Photoacoustic Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS). The morphometric analyses were able to classify the individuals into reproductive castes (queen and gynes), workers (minor and small ants), and the soldier subcaste (medium and major ants). Identification of cuticular hydrocarbons of these individuals revealed that the eight beehives were invaded by only three colonies of C. atriceps; one of the colonies invaded only one beehive, and the other two colonies underwent a process called sociotomy and were responsible for the invasion of the other seven beehives. The lack of preventive measures and the nocturnal behavior of the ants favored the invasion and attack on the bees.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-24

    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.

  12. QTL Mapping of Sex Determination Loci Supports an Ancient Pathway in Ants and Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Misato O Miyakawa

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Sex determination mechanisms play a central role in life-history characteristics, affecting mating systems, sex ratios, inbreeding tolerance, etc. Downstream components of sex determination pathways are highly conserved, but upstream components evolve rapidly. Evolutionary dynamics of sex determination remain poorly understood, particularly because mechanisms appear so diverse. Here we investigate the origins and evolution of complementary sex determination (CSD in ants and bees. The honey bee has a well-characterized CSD locus, containing tandemly arranged homologs of the transformer gene [complementary sex determiner (csd and feminizer (fem]. Such tandem paralogs appear frequently in aculeate hymenopteran genomes. However, only comparative genomic, but not functional, data support a broader role for csd/fem in sex determination, and whether species other than the honey bee use this pathway remains controversial. Here we used a backcross to test whether csd/fem acts as a CSD locus in an ant (Vollenhovia emeryi. After sequencing and assembling the genome, we computed a linkage map, and conducted a quantitative trait locus (QTL analysis of diploid male production using 68 diploid males and 171 workers. We found two QTLs on separate linkage groups (CsdQTL1 and CsdQTL2 that jointly explained 98.0% of the phenotypic variance. CsdQTL1 included two tandem transformer homologs. These data support the prediction that the same CSD mechanism has indeed been conserved for over 100 million years. CsdQTL2 had no similarity to CsdQTL1 and included a 236-kb region with no obvious CSD gene candidates, making it impossible to conclusively characterize it using our data. The sequence of this locus was conserved in at least one other ant genome that diverged >75 million years ago. By applying QTL analysis to ants for the first time, we support the hypothesis that elements of hymenopteran CSD are ancient, but also show that more remains to be learned about the

  13. Using Ant Communities For Rapid Assessment Of Terrestrial Ecosystem Health

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L

    2005-06-01

    conditions. Also, as with the aquatic RBAs using macroinvertebrates, ants have a wide variety of functional foraging or feeding groups, by whose abundance or scarcity an evaluation of the system health may be made. Much of the ground work has been done for useful ant RBAs, but it has primarily been in Australia, Europe, the US desert Southwest, and South America. However, the work already done will transport well to other ecoregions and as has been done with the IBI, it could be adapted with an appropriate investment of time and resources. It would be necessary to establish taxonomic expertise, allocate the local ant fauna to functional groups, and evaluation and modification of metrics and characteristics used to develop indices in the existing methods. Successful adaptation and application of an ant RBA would provide a cost effective, useful, and robust tool for evaluating the health of terrestrial ecosystems anywhere in the region.

  14. 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.

  15. Diversity management

    OpenAIRE

    Knákalová, Lucie

    2009-01-01

    The key topic of the work is diversity management, i.e. management of em-ployees" diversity within organization. Opening part of the work identifies the position of diversity within society and related phenomena such as stereotypes, biases and various forms of discrimination. Then the work discusses the role of diversity management in organizations, its principles and basic areas of focus. Attention is paid to certain social groups that the diversity management concept should especially deal ...

  16. A Ground Systems Template for Remote Sensing Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, Timothy P.; Trombka, Jacob I.; Floyd, Samuel R.; Truskowski, Walter; Starr, Richard D.; Clark, Pamela E.; Evans, Larry G.

    2002-10-01

    Spaceborne remote sensing using gamma and X-ray spectrometers requires particular attention to the design and development of reliable systems. These systems must ensure the scientific requirements of the mission within the challenging technical constraints of operating instrumentation in space. The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft included X-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers (XGRS), whose mission was to map the elemental chemistry of the 433 Eros asteroid. A remote sensing system template, similar to a blackboard systems approach used in artificial intelligence, was identified in which the spacecraft, instrument, and ground system was designed and developed to monitor and adapt to evolving mission requirements in a complicated operational setting. Systems were developed for ground tracking of instrument calibration, instrument health, data quality, orbital geometry, solar flux as well as models of the asteroid's surface characteristics, requiring an intensive human effort. In the future, missions such as the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) program will have to rely heavily on automation to collectively encounter and sample asteroids in the outer asteroid belt. Using similar instrumentation, ANTS will require information similar to data collected by the NEAR X-ray/Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (XGRS) ground system for science and operations management. The NEAR XGRS systems will be studied to identify the equivalent subsystems that may be automated for ANTS. The effort will also investigate the possibility of applying blackboard style approaches to automated decision making required for ANTS.

  17. A ground systems template for remote sensing systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McClanahan, Timothy P.; Trombka, Jacob I.; Floyd, Samuel R.; Truskowski, Walter; Starr, Richard D.; Clark, Pamela E.; Evans, Larry G.

    2002-01-01

    Spaceborne remote sensing using gamma and X-ray spectrometers requires particular attention to the design and development of reliable systems. These systems must ensure the scientific requirements of the mission within the challenging technical constraints of operating instrumentation in space. The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft included X-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers (XGRS), whose mission was to map the elemental chemistry of the 433 Eros asteroid. A remote sensing system template, similar to a blackboard systems approach used in artificial intelligence, was identified in which the spacecraft, instrument, and ground system was designed and developed to monitor and adapt to evolving mission requirements in a complicated operational setting. Systems were developed for ground tracking of instrument calibration, instrument health, data quality, orbital geometry, solar flux as well as models of the asteroid's surface characteristics, requiring an intensive human effort. In the future, missions such as the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) program will have to rely heavily on automation to collectively encounter and sample asteroids in the outer asteroid belt. Using similar instrumentation, ANTS will require information similar to data collected by the NEAR X-ray/Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (XGRS) ground system for science and operations management. The NEAR XGRS systems will be studied to identify the equivalent subsystems that may be automated for ANTS. The effort will also investigate the possibility of applying blackboard style approaches to automated decision making required for ANTS

  18. Ground Pollution Science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oh, Jong Min; Bae, Jae Geun

    1997-08-01

    This book deals with ground pollution science and soil science, classification of soil and fundamentals, ground pollution and human, ground pollution and organic matter, ground pollution and city environment, environmental problems of the earth and ground pollution, soil pollution and development of geological features of the ground, ground pollution and landfill of waste, case of measurement of ground pollution.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. [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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. Communication grounding facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Gye Seong

    1998-06-01

    It is about communication grounding facility, which is made up twelve chapters. It includes general grounding with purpose, materials thermal insulating material, construction of grounding, super strength grounding method, grounding facility with grounding way and building of insulating, switched grounding with No. 1A and LCR, grounding facility of transmission line, wireless facility grounding, grounding facility in wireless base station, grounding of power facility, grounding low-tenton interior power wire, communication facility of railroad, install of arrester in apartment and house, install of arrester on introduction and earth conductivity and measurement with introduction and grounding resistance.

  18. 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

  19. Diversity Index

    Data.gov (United States)

    Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina — This map service summarizes racial and ethnic diversity in the United States in 2012.The Diversity Index shows the likelihood that two persons chosen at random from...

  20. Managing Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geber, Beverly

    1990-01-01

    Demographic trends imply that organizations must learn to manage a diverse work force. Ways to change organizational systems, structures, and practices to eliminate subtle barriers are awareness training, attitude change, and valuing diversity. (SK)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Rethinking Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996

    These three papers were presented at a symposium on rethinking diversity in human resource development (HRD) moderated by Neal Chalofsky at the 1996 conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development. "Diversity: A Double-Edged Sword" (Sally F. Angus) presents the notion of work force diversity through two differing perspectives in order to…

  5. Reliability optimization using multiobjective ant colony system approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao Jianhua; Liu Zhaoheng; Dao, M.-T.

    2007-01-01

    The multiobjective ant colony system (ACS) meta-heuristic has been developed to provide solutions for the reliability optimization problem of series-parallel systems. This type of problems involves selection of components with multiple choices and redundancy levels that produce maximum benefits, and is subject to the cost and weight constraints at the system level. These are very common and realistic problems encountered in conceptual design of many engineering systems. It is becoming increasingly important to develop efficient solutions to these problems because many mechanical and electrical systems are becoming more complex, even as development schedules get shorter and reliability requirements become very stringent. The multiobjective ACS algorithm offers distinct advantages to these problems compared with alternative optimization methods, and can be applied to a more diverse problem domain with respect to the type or size of the problems. Through the combination of probabilistic search, multiobjective formulation of local moves and the dynamic penalty method, the multiobjective ACSRAP, allows us to obtain an optimal design solution very frequently and more quickly than with some other heuristic approaches. The proposed algorithm was successfully applied to an engineering design problem of gearbox with multiple stages

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

    Bacterial endosymbionts are common in all insects, and symbiosis has played an integral role in ant evolution. Atta sexdens rubropilosa leaf-cutting ants cultivate their symbiotic fungus using fresh leaves. They need to defend themselves and their brood against diseases, but they also need to defend their obligate fungus gardens, their primary food source, from infection, parasitism, and usurpation by competitors. This study aimed to characterize the microbial communities in whole workers and different tissues of A. sexdens rubropilosa queens using Ion Torrent NGS. Our results showed that the microbial community in the midgut differs in abundance and diversity from the communities in the postpharyngeal gland of the queen and in whole workers. The main microbial orders in whole workers were Lactobacillales, Clostridiales, Enterobacteriales, Actinomycetales, Burkholderiales, and Bacillales. In the tissues of the queens, the main orders were Burkholderiales, Clostridiales, Syntrophobacterales, Lactobacillales, Bacillales, and Actinomycetales (midgut) and Entomoplasmatales, unclassified γ-proteobacteria, and Actinomycetales (postpharyngeal glands). The high abundance of Entomoplasmatales in the postpharyngeal glands (77%) of the queens was an unprecedented finding. We discuss the role of microbial communities in different tissues and castes. Bacteria are likely to play a role in nutrition and immune defense as well as helping antimicrobial defense in this ant species.

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Cuticular chemistry of males and females in the ant Formica fusca

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chernenko, Anton; Holman, Luke; Helanterä, Heikki

    2012-01-01

    in mediating recognition of society members and, thereby, allowing kin selection to operate. Here, we examined whether cuticular hydrocarbon profiles are sex-specific and whether males and young queens of the ant Formica fusca have colony-specific profiles. We also investigated whether there is a relationship...... between genetic relatedness and chemical diversity within colonies. We demonstrated that female and male sexuals do not have unique sex-specific compounds, but that there are quantitative chemical differences between the sexes. Out of the 51 cuticular hydrocarbon compounds identified, 10 showed...

  13. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  15. A veritable menagerie of heritable bacteria from ants, butterflies, and beyond: broad molecular surveys and a systematic review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob A Russell

    Full Text Available Maternally transmitted bacteria have been important players in the evolution of insects and other arthropods, affecting their nutrition, defense, development, and reproduction. Wolbachia are the best studied among these and typically the most prevalent. While several other bacteria have independently evolved a heritable lifestyle, less is known about their host ranges. Moreover, most groups of insects have not had their heritable microflora systematically surveyed across a broad range of their taxonomic diversity. To help remedy these shortcomings we used diagnostic PCR to screen for five groups of heritable symbionts-Arsenophonus spp., Cardinium hertigii, Hamiltonella defensa, Spiroplasma spp., and Wolbachia spp.-across the ants and lepidopterans (focusing, in the latter case, on two butterfly families-the Lycaenidae and Nymphalidae. We did not detect Cardinium or Hamiltonella in any host. Wolbachia were the most widespread, while Spiroplasma (ants and lepidopterans and Arsenophonus (ants only were present at low levels. Co-infections with different Wolbachia strains appeared especially common in ants and less so in lepidopterans. While no additional facultative heritable symbionts were found among ants using universal bacterial primers, microbes related to heritable enteric bacteria were detected in several hosts. In summary, our findings show that Wolbachia are the dominant heritable symbionts of ants and at least some lepidopterans. However, a systematic review of symbiont frequencies across host taxa revealed that this is not always the case across other arthropods. Furthermore, comparisons of symbiont frequencies revealed that the prevalence of Wolbachia and other heritable symbionts varies substantially across lower-level arthropod taxa. We discuss the correlates, potential causes, and implications of these patterns, providing hypotheses on host attributes that may shape the distributions of these influential bacteria.

  16. Transcriptome characterisation of the ant Formica exsecta with new insights into the evolution of desaturase genes in social hymenoptera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélène Badouin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Despite the recent sequencing of seven ant genomes, no genomic data are available for the genus Formica, an important group for the study of eusocial traits. We sequenced the transcriptome of the ant Formica exsecta with the 454 FLX Titanium technology from a pooled sample of workers from 70 Finnish colonies. RESULTS: About 1,000,000 reads were obtained from a normalised cDNA library. We compared the assemblers MIRA3.0 and Newbler2.6 and showed that the latter performed better on this dataset due to a new option which is dedicated to improve contig formation in low depth portions of the assemblies. The 29,579 contigs represent 27 Mb. 50% showed similarity with known proteins and 25% could be assigned a category of gene ontology. We found more than 13,000 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms. The Δ9 desaturase gene family is an important multigene family involved in chemical communication in insects. We found six Δ9 desaturases in this Formica exsecta transcriptome dataset that were used to reconstruct a maximum-likelihood phylogeny of insect desaturases and to test for signatures of positive selection in this multigene family in ant lineages. We found differences with previous phylogenies of this gene family in ants, and found two clades potentially under positive selection. CONCLUSION: This first transcriptome reference sequence of Formica exsecta provided sequence and polymorphism data that will allow researchers working on Formica ants to develop studies to tackle the genetic basis of eusocial phenotypes. In addition, this study provided some general guidelines for de novo transcriptome assembly that should be useful for future transcriptome sequencing projects. Finally, we found potential signatures of positive selection in some clades of the Δ9 desaturase gene family in ants, which suggest the potential role of sequence divergence and adaptive evolution in shaping the large diversity of chemical cues in social insects.

  17. Ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae from the seasonally dry tropical forest of northeastern Brazil: a compilation from field surveys in Bahia and literature records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mônica A. Ulysséa

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae from the seasonally dry tropical forest of northeastern Brazil: a compilation from field surveys in Bahia and literature records. The Caatingas occur predominantly in northeastern Brazil and comparatively it is the biome that received less attention than any other ecosystem in Brazil, representing the region where invertebrate groups are less known. We present here the first list of ant species of the Caatingas, compiling information from the literature, from a study of samples preserved in alcohol in the Laboratory of Entomology (Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, and from a field survey conducted in Milagres, Bahia, submitting standardized 1-m² samples of the leaf-litter to Winkler extractors. Summing all information, 11 subfamilies, 61 genera and 173 species (plus one subspecies of ants are recognized in the biome. This species number does not consider morphospecies that could not be named due to the lack of reliable recent taxonomic information for some Neotropical ant genera. The list presented here for ant species of the Caatingas is therefore underestimated, but it is relevant because it allows the identification of areas to be sampled in order to improve our knowledge of the diversity of ants in this biome.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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

  3. In vitro studies of ante-mortem proliferation kinetics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McBride, W.H.; Withers, H.R.

    1986-01-01

    Using K562 human erythroblastoid cells, it was concluded that dose fractionation has no discrepant effect on the ante-mortem proliferation kinetics of doomed cells as opposed to clonogenic cell survival and that effects on ante-mortem proliferation kinetics cannot be solely responsible for the differences in fractionation response between early and late responding tissues. (UK)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Life-Histories of Sub-Arctic Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Heinze, Jürgen

    1993-01-01

    Ant species belonging to seven genera occur in habitats near the tree line in the Northern Hemisphere. An analysis of colony founding strategies suggests that in addition to physiological cold resistance, behavioral and sociometric adaptations might be important for survival and propagation of ants in subarctic biomes.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. ADAPTIVE ANT COLONY OPTIMIZATION BASED GRADIENT FOR EDGE DETECTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Febri Liantoni

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Ant Colony Optimization (ACO is a nature-inspired optimization algorithm which is motivated by ants foraging behavior. Due to its favorable advantages, ACO has been widely used to solve several NP-hard problems, including edge detection. Since ACO initially distributes ants at random, it may cause imbalance ant distribution which later affects path discovery process. In this paper an adaptive ACO is proposed to optimize edge detection by adaptively distributing ant according to gradient analysis. Ants are adaptively distributed according to gradient ratio of each image regions. Region which has bigger gradient ratio, will have bigger number of ant distribution. Experiments are conducted using images from various datasets. Precision and recall are used to quantitatively evaluate performance of the proposed algorithm. Precision and recall of adaptive ACO reaches 76.98 % and 96.8 %. Whereas highest precision and recall for standard ACO are 69.74 % and 74.85 %. Experimental results show that the adaptive ACO outperforms standard ACO which randomly distributes ants.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Boomsma, JJ

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile as back-seat drivers of localized ant decline in urban habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Salyer

    Full Text Available Invasive species and habitat disturbance threaten biodiversity worldwide by modifying ecosystem performance and displacing native organisms. Similar homogenization impacts manifest locally when urbanization forces native species to relocate or reinvade perpetually altered habitat. This study investigated correlations between ant richness and abundance in response to urbanization and the nearby presence of invasive ant species, odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile, within its native region. Surveying localized ant composition within natural, semi-natural, and urban habitat supported efforts to determine whether T. sessile appear to be primary (drivers threats as instigators or secondary (passengers threats as inheritors of indigenous ant decline. Sampling 180 sites, evenly split between all habitats with and without T. sessile present, yielded 45 total species. Although urbanization and T. sessile presence factors were significantly linked to ant decline, their interaction correlated to the greatest reduction of total ant richness (74% and abundance (81%. Total richness appeared to decrease from 27 species to 18 when natural habitat is urbanized and from 18 species to 7 with T. sessile present in urban plots. Odorous house ant presence minimally influenced ant communities within natural and semi-natural habitat, highlighting the importance of habitat alteration and T. sessile presence interactions. Results suggest urbanization releases T. sessile from unknown constraints by decreasing ant richness and competition. Within urban environment, T. sessile are pre-adapted to quickly exploit new resources and grow to supercolony strength wherein T. sessile drive adjacent biodiversity loss. Odorous house ants act as passengers and drivers of ecological change throughout different phases of urban 'invasion'. This progression through surviving habitat alteration, exploiting new resources, thriving, and further reducing interspecific competition supports a

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Undecomposed Twigs in the Leaf Litter as Nest-Building Resources for Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Areas of the Atlantic Forest in the Southeastern Region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae Tanaami Fernandes

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In tropical forests, the leaf-litter stratum exhibits one of the greatest abundances of ant species. This diversity is associated with the variety of available locations for nest building. Ant nests can be found in various microhabitats, including tree trunks and fallen twigs in different stages of decomposition. In this study, we aimed to investigate undecomposed twigs as nest-building resources in the leaf litter of dense ombrophilous forest areas in the southeastern region of Brazil. Demographic data concerning the ant colonies, the physical characteristics of the nests, and the population and structural of the forest were observed. Collections were performed manually over four months in closed canopy locations that did not have trails or flooded areas. A total of 294 nests were collected, and 34 ant species were recorded. Pheidole, Camponotus, and Hypoponera were the richest genera observed; these genera were also among the most populous and exhibited the greatest abundance of nests. We found no association between population size and nest diameter. Only tree cover influenced the nest abundance and species richness. Our data indicate that undecomposed twigs may be part of the life cycle of many species and are important for maintaining ant diversity in the leaf litter.

  14. Weaver Ants to Control Fruit Fly Damage to Tanzanian Mangoes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirkegaard, Nina

    in Australia and West Africa. In this study, small scale farmers did not think weaver ants protected their mangoes from fruit flies. Observational studies confirmed the farmers’ views. No volatile compounds, likely to be responsible for the weaver ants’ deterrent effect, were identified. This study focused...... mangoes varied a lot with zero infestation in some fruits and more than 100 pupae emerging from other fruits, indicating that other factors than the presence of weaver ants affect the fruit flies’ decision on where to oviposit. It was not uncommon for farmers to place newly harvested mangoes below mango...... not shown to be effectively deterring fruit flies, there is no great motivation for farmers to adopt weaver ants. Assuming the weaver ants could be managed in a way that made weaver ants deter fruit flies effectively there are still some economic aspects which should be studied further. It is necessary...

  15. Behind every great ant, there is a great gut

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Sapountzis, Panagiotis

    2012-01-01

    on the potential contribution of the ants’ gut symbionts. This issue of Molecular Ecology contains a study by Anderson et al. (2012), who take a comparative approach to explore the link between trophic levels and ant microbiomes, specifically, to address three main questions: (i) Do closely related herbivorous...... conserved gut microbiomes, suggesting symbiont functions that directly relate to dietary preference of the ant host. These findings suggest an ecological role of gut symbionts in ants, for example, in metabolism and/or protection, and the comparative approach taken supports a model of co-evolution between...... ant species and specific core symbiont microbiomes. This study, thereby, highlights the omnipresence and importance of gut symbioses—also in the Hymenoptera—and suggests that these hitherto overlooked microbes likely have contributed to the ecological success of the ants....

  16. Egg-laying butterflies distinguish predaceous ants by sight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Freitas, André V L; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2009-07-01

    Information about predation risks is critical for herbivorous insects, and natural selection favors their ability to detect predators before oviposition and to select enemy-free foliage when offspring mortality risk is high. Food plants are selected by ovipositing butterflies, and offspring survival frequently varies among plants because of variation in the presence of predators. Eunica bechina butterflies oviposit on Caryocar brasiliense, an ant-defended plant. Experiments with dried Camponotus and Cephalotes ants pinned to leaves revealed that butterflies use ant size and form as visual cues to avoid ovipositing on plant parts occupied by ants more likely to kill larval offspring. Presence of sap-sucking bugs did not affect butterfly oviposition. This is the first demonstration that visual recognition of predators can mediate egg-laying decisions by an insect herbivore and that an insect will discriminate among different species of potential predators. This unusual behavioral capability permits specialization on a risky, ant-defended food plant.

  17. ANT International chemistry update and best practices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nordmann, F.; Odar, S.; Venz, H.; Kysela, J.; Ruehle, W.; Riess, R.

    2010-01-01

    There is an increasing number of Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) in various countries. Their chemistry practices are different due to the variety of designs and experiences while in the past the view was more monolithic. This is allowing a very rich experience that is extremely difficult to fully be aware of. ANT International is now collecting and evaluating these data as well as related R and D Information. This allows interested parties to have an easier access to the various sources of information. The chemistry experts associated to ANT International have been gathering a comprehensive detailed view of: The numerous laboratory data gained all over the world during the past decades; The extensive plant operating experiences with various types of chemistry strategies, crosschecked for various types of reactors designs and materials; An experienced international knowledge able to give the comprehensive overview that young engineers now in charge of many other activities are unable to fully cover. This paper gives the core conclusions of the detailed ANT International reports and results that have recently been gathered in the area of chemistry. It particularly covers: The primary water chemistry and its relation with radionuclides, dose rates and fuel behaviour; The secondary water chemistry focusing on its rationale selection depending on materials, design and other constraints; The start up and shutdown chemistry with it large variety of practices hardly understandable even for some experts; and, The maintenance remedies such as decontamination, steam generator cleaning and its alternate options. Various types of Reactor designs (PWR, VVER, BWR, CANDU®) are considered. The different materials, for example the impact of steam generator tubing and its evolution on the secondary water chemistry rationale or on the radioactivity built-up in the primary coolant, are described. The ways to improve the plant operation with a long term reliability as well as the most

  18. The regulation of ant colony foraging activity without spatial information.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balaji Prabhakar

    Full Text Available Many dynamical networks, such as the ones that produce the collective behavior of social insects, operate without any central control, instead arising from local interactions among individuals. A well-studied example is the formation of recruitment trails in ant colonies, but many ant species do not use pheromone trails. We present a model of the regulation of foraging by harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus colonies. This species forages for scattered seeds that one ant can retrieve on its own, so there is no need for spatial information such as pheromone trails that lead ants to specific locations. Previous work shows that colony foraging activity, the rate at which ants go out to search individually for seeds, is regulated in response to current food availability throughout the colony's foraging area. Ants use the rate of brief antennal contacts inside the nest between foragers returning with food and outgoing foragers available to leave the nest on the next foraging trip. Here we present a feedback-based algorithm that captures the main features of data from field experiments in which the rate of returning foragers was manipulated. The algorithm draws on our finding that the distribution of intervals between successive ants returning to the nest is a Poisson process. We fitted the parameter that estimates the effect of each returning forager on the rate at which outgoing foragers leave the nest. We found that correlations between observed rates of returning foragers and simulated rates of outgoing foragers, using our model, were similar to those in the data. Our simple stochastic model shows how the regulation of ant colony foraging can operate without spatial information, describing a process at the level of individual ants that predicts the overall foraging activity of the colony.

  19. Identity, Diversity and Diversity Management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holck, Lotte; Muhr, Sara Louise; Villeseche, Florence

    2016-01-01

    – The work can encourage policy makers, diversity and HR managers to question their own practices and assumptions leading to more theoretical informed diversity management practices. Originality/value – The theoretical connections between identity and diversity literature have so far not been reviewed......The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the identity and diversity literatures and discuss how a better understanding of the theoretical connections between the two informs both diversity research and diversity management practices. Design/methodology/approach – Literature...... and limitations – is crucial for successful diversity management research and practice. Research limitations/implications – The authors argue for a better understanding of differences, overlaps and limits of different identity perspectives, and for a stronger engagement with practice. Practical implications...

  20. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    To ameliorate the impact of disease, social insects combine individual innate immune defenses with collective social defenses. This implies that there are different levels of selection acting on investment in immunity, each with their own trade-offs. We present the results of a cross......-fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genotype and social rearing environment upon individual and social immune defenses. We used a multiply mating leaf-cutting ant, enabling us to test for patriline effects within a colony, as well as cross-colony matriline effects. The worker's father influenced...... both individual innate immunity (constitutive antibacterial activity) and the size of the metapleural gland, which secretes antimicrobial compounds and functions in individual and social defense, indicating multiple mating could have important consequences for both defense types. However, the primarily...

  1. Ex-ante Evaluation von Investitionsalternativen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Müller

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Der Beitrag zeigt, wie mit Hilfe der Methode der agentenbasierten Modellierung und Simulation (ABMS ein Beitrag zur ex-ante Policy-Beratung geleistet werden kann. Anhand eines exemplarischen Anwendungsfalls, der VISIBLE Simulationsumgebung („Virtual Simulation Lab for the Analysis of Investments in Learning and Education“, diskutieren wir die Konsequenzen unterschiedlicher Kooperationsförderinstrumente für Wissensdiffusionsprozesse in Netzwerken am Beispiel der Region Heilbronn-Franken. Die Simulationsergebnisse zeigen, dass die strukturelle Konfiguration eines regionalen Innovationssystems eine zentrale Bedeutung für die Gestaltung von Kooperationsfördermaßnahmen hat und dass Interventionen, die darauf abzielen, Wissenstransfer zwischen den Akteuren anzuregen, genau die entgegengesetzten Wirkungen entfalten können.

  2. Swarm controlled emergence for ant clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheidler, Alexander; Merkle, Daniel; Middendorf, Martin

    2013-01-01

    .g. moving robots, and clustering algorithms. Design/methodology/approach: Different types of control agents for that ant clustering model are designed by introducing slight changes to the behavioural rules of the normal agents. The clustering behaviour of the resulting swarms is investigated by extensive...... for future research to investigate the application of the method in other swarm systems. Swarm controlled emergence might be applied to control emergent effects in computing systems that consist of many autonomous components which make decentralized decisions based on local information. Practical...... simulation studies. Findings: It is shown that complex behavior can emerge in systems with two types of agents (normal agents and control agents). For a particular behavior of the control agents, an interesting swarm size dependent effect was found. The behaviour prevents clustering when the number...

  3. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

    The majority of eusocial insect species live in small, kin structured colonies that are mutually aggressive and rarely interact. By contrast, a restricted group of ant species show a peculiar social organization called unicoloniality, where colonies can grow to vast networks of geographically...... and genetic distance between colony pairs, further confirming the important role of endogenous cues in the nestmate recognition of this species. The third chapter presents a methodological study on the best procedures for identifying chemical compounds used for nestmate recognition in social insects. We first...... evaluated the power of different combinations of data transformation and chemical distance calculation in differentiating between true nestmate recognition (NMR) cues and other compounds. We found that particular combinations of statistical procedures are more effective in differentiating NMR cues from...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas A Meirelles

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

  5. An ant genus-group (Prenolepis) illuminates the biogeography and drivers of insect diversification in the Indo-Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matos-Maraví, Pável; Clouse, Ronald M; Sarnat, Eli M; Economo, Evan P; LaPolla, John S; Borovanska, Michaela; Rabeling, Christian; Czekanski-Moir, Jesse; Latumahina, Fransina; Wilson, Edward O; Janda, Milan

    2018-06-01

    The Malay Archipelago and the tropical South Pacific (hereafter the Indo-Pacific region) are considered biodiversity hotspots, yet a general understanding of the origins and diversification of species-rich groups in the region remains elusive. We aimed to test hypotheses for the evolutionary processes driving insect species diversity in the Indo-Pacific using a higher-level and comprehensive phylogenetic hypothesis for an ant clade consisting of seven genera. We estimated divergence times and reconstructed the biogeographical history of ant species in the Prenolepis genus-group (Formicidae: Formicinae: Lasiini). We used a fossil-calibrated phylogeny to infer ancestral geographical ranges utilizing a biogeographic model that includes founder-event speciation. Ancestral state reconstructions of the ants' ecological preferences, and diversification rates were estimated for selected Indo-Pacific clades. Overall, we report that faunal interchange between Asia and Australia has occurred since at least 20-25 Ma, and early dispersal to the Fijian Basin happened during the early and mid-Miocene (ca. 10-20 Ma). Differences in diversification rates across Indo-Pacific clades may be related to ecological preference breadth, which in turn may have facilitated geographical range expansions. Ancient dispersal routes suggested by our results agree with the palaeogeography of the region. For this particular group of ants, the rapid orogenesis in New Guinea and possibly subsequent ecological shifts may have promoted their rapid diversification and widespread distribution across the Indo-Pacific. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. How much variation can one ant species hold? Species delimitation in the Crematogaster kelleri-group in Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonnie B Blaimer

    Full Text Available We investigated the species-level taxonomy of the Malagasy Crematogaster (Crematogaster kelleri-group and an additional more distantly related species of the same subgenus. Morphological data from worker, queen and male ants, as well as genetic data from three nuclear genes (long wavelength rhodopsin, arginine kinase and carbomoylphosphate synthase and one mitochondrial marker (cytochrome oxidase I led to the recognition of six species. Within the C. kelleri-group, three new species are described: C. hazolava Blaimer sp. n., C. hafahafa Blaimer sp. n. and C. tavaratra Blaimer sp. n. The previously described taxa C. kelleri Forel and C. madagascariensis André are validated by our analysis. Conversely, our data suggests synonymy of C. adrepens Forel (with C. kelleri and C. gibba Emery (with C. madagascariensis. A more distantly related and phylogenetically isolated species, C. tsisitsilo Blaimer sp. n., is further described. We report high levels of morphological and molecular variation in C. kelleri and illustrate that this variation can be explained partly by geography. Species descriptions, images, distribution maps and identification keys based on worker ants, as well as on queen and male ants where available, are presented for all six species. Our work highlights the elevated species richness of Crematogaster ants throughout Madagascar's humid forests, especially in the far northern tip of the island, and the need to use multiple data sources to ensure clear demarcation of this diversity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fernanda Miori de Zarzuela

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evlyn Pless

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

  9. Competitive assembly of South Pacific invasive ant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarty Megan

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The relative importance of chance and determinism in structuring ecological communities has been debated for nearly a century. Evidence for determinism or assembly rules is often evaluated with null models that randomize the occurrence of species in particular locales. However, analyses of the presence or absence of species ignores the potential influence of species abundances, which have long been considered of major importance on community structure. Here, we test for community assembly rules in ant communities on small islands of the Tokelau archipelago using both presence-absence and abundance data. We conducted three sets of analyses on two spatial scales using three years of sampling data from 39 plots on 11 islands. Results First, traditional null model tests showed support for negative species co-occurrence patterns among plots within islands, but not among islands. A plausible explanation for this result is that analyses at larger spatial scales merge heterogeneous habitats that have considerable effects on species occurrences. Second, analyses of ant abundances showed that samples with high ant abundances had fewer species than expected by chance, both within and among islands. One ant species, the invasive yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes, appeared to have a particularly strong effect on community structure correlated with its abundance. Third, abundances of most ant species were inversely correlated with the abundances of all other ants at both spatial scales. This result is consistent with competition theory, which predicts species distributions are affected by diffuse competition with suites of co-occurring species. Conclusion Our results support a pluralistic explanation for ant species abundances and assembly. Both stochastic and deterministic processes interact to determine ant community assembly, though abundance patterns clearly drive the deterministic patterns in this community. These deterministic

  10. Diversity Management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ravazzani, Silvia

    2018-01-01

    This entry provides an overview of diversity management which, in the context of organizations, consists in the strategic process of harnessing the potential of all employees to create an inclusive environment and, at the same time, contribute to meeting organizational goals. The entry first...... describes the complex construct of diversity that has been variously conceptualized in the literature, embracing multiple social and informational diversity dimensions such as gender, age, culture, values, and workstyle. This is followed by illustration of the historical development of diversity-management...... discourse and practice, and possible overarching approaches guiding organizations. It goes on to elucidate elements linked to the implementation of diversity management: positive and negative outcomes, most spread practices including communication, and contingency factors shaping the understanding...

  11. Industrious leaf cutter ants and their carbon footprints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, A. C.; Dierick, D.; Trahan, N. A.; Allen, M. F.; Schwendenmann, L.; Harmon, T. C.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Fernandez Bou, A. S.; Zelikova, T. J.

    2017-12-01

    Leaf cutter ants (LCA) are considered ecosystem engineers in Neotropical forest ecosystems because they alter physical and environmental conditions for other organisms. LCA excavate large underground nests, maintaining intricate tunnels and fungal and waste chambers, and they continuously bring in vast amounts of fresh leaf material. In order to understand their ecosystem-wide impacts, we set out to determine whether their engineering activities fundamentally alter soil structure, soil nutrient pools, and gas fluxes in a wet tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. To directly compare LCA nest to non-nest sites, we utilized embedded sensor arrays with series of soil moisture, CO2, O2, and temperature sensors placed at four soil depths and automated minirhizotrons (AMR) to measure root and hyphal production and turnover. We also collected soils for biogeochemical analyses and measured soil CO2 fluxes and carbon isotope ratios of below-ground CO2 for two years. Our measurements confirmed that LCA alter their soil environment to regulate internal soil CO2 concentrations, moisture, and temperature, increasing O2 concentrations in the process. There were marked differences in soil structure inside nests relative to non-nests and these were associated with increased root and hyphal production and turnover in nests. Soil C, N, P, and their respective degrading enzymes were highly variable among sites and between nests and controls but N and P increased with soil depth and were generally higher in nests than controls. Contrary to our expectations, C mineralization rates were lower in nests but CO2 fluxes were high from nest vents and similar to non-nests elsewhere. At the system scale, LCA appear to fundamentally change the soil environment inside their nests and create spatial heterogeneity in biogeochemical processes and root and hyphal growth, influencing the overall C balance of Neotropical forests.

  12. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Warehouse stocking optimization based on dynamic ant colony genetic algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xiaoxu

    2018-04-01

    In view of the various orders of FAW (First Automotive Works) International Logistics Co., Ltd., the SLP method is used to optimize the layout of the warehousing units in the enterprise, thus the warehouse logistics is optimized and the external processing speed of the order is improved. In addition, the relevant intelligent algorithms for optimizing the stocking route problem are analyzed. The ant colony algorithm and genetic algorithm which have good applicability are emphatically studied. The parameters of ant colony algorithm are optimized by genetic algorithm, which improves the performance of ant colony algorithm. A typical path optimization problem model is taken as an example to prove the effectiveness of parameter optimization.

  15. Ant colony algorithm for clustering in portfolio optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subekti, R.; Sari, E. R.; Kusumawati, R.

    2018-03-01

    This research aims to describe portfolio optimization using clustering methods with ant colony approach. Two stock portfolios of LQ45 Indonesia is proposed based on the cluster results obtained from ant colony optimization (ACO). The first portfolio consists of assets with ant colony displacement opportunities beyond the defined probability limits of the researcher, where the weight of each asset is determined by mean-variance method. The second portfolio consists of two assets with the assumption that each asset is a cluster formed from ACO. The first portfolio has a better performance compared to the second portfolio seen from the Sharpe index.

  16. Automating ActionScript Projects with Eclipse and Ant

    CERN Document Server

    Koning, Sidney

    2011-01-01

    Automating repetitive programming tasks is easier than many Flash/AS3 developers think. With the Ant build tool, the Eclipse IDE, and this concise guide, you can set up your own "ultimate development machine" to code, compile, debug, and deploy projects faster. You'll also get started with versioning systems, such as Subversion and Git. Create a consistent workflow for multiple machines, or even complete departments, with the help of extensive Ant code samples. If you want to work smarter and take your skills to a new level, this book will get you on the road to automation-with Ant. Set up y

  17. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

    Social insect colonies perform a number of tasks affecting the environments they live in. Some unintentionally introduced species have attracted the attention of scientists and general public alike when causing a number of changes to the composition and functioning of ecosystems. Such ?invaders...... laboratory lineages, thus building the foundation for future research on the species. In addition, I have started a selection experiment (still ongoing in collaboration with Dr. T. Linksvayer) using pharaoh ants, which is the first time artificial selection is attempted in an ant species. Pharaoh ants have...

  18. Symbiotic mutualism with a community of opportunistic ants: protection, competition, and ant occupancy of the myrmecophyte Barteria nigritana (Passifloraceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Dejean, Alain; Gibernau, Marc; Hossaert-McKey, Martine; McKey, Doyle

    2004-10-01

    Barteria nigritana is a myrmecophyte tree of Lower Guinea coastal vegetation. Unlike the more specialised B. fistulosa, which harbours a single host-specific mutualistic ant, B. nigritana is associated with several opportunistic ants. Such symbiotic, yet opportunistic, ant-plant associations have been little studied. On 113 clumps of B. nigritana, we censused ant associates and herbivores and compared herbivory on plants occupied by different ants. In addition to these correlative data, protection conferred by different ant species was compared by herbivore-placement experiments. Identity of ant associate changed predictably over plant ontogeny. Pheidole megacephala was restricted to very small plants; saplings were occupied by either Oecophylla longinoda or Crematogaster sp., and the latter species was the sole occupant of larger trees. Damage by caterpillars of the nymphalid butterfly Acraea zetes accounted for much of the herbivory to leaves. Ant species differed in the protection provided to hosts. While P. megacephala provided no significant protection, plants occupied by O. longinoda and Crematogaster sp. suffered less damage than did unoccupied plants or those occupied by P. megacephala. Furthermore, O. longinoda provided more effective protection than did Crematogaster sp. Herbivore-placement experiments confirmed these results. Workers of O. longinoda killed or removed all larval instars of A. zetes. Crematogaster preyed on only the two first larval instars, and P. megacephala preyed mainly on eggs, only rarely attacking the two first larval instars. Opportunistic ants provided significant protection to this relatively unspecialised myrmecophyte. The usual associate of mature trees was not the species that provided most protection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Worker morphology of the ant Gnamptogenys striatula Mayr (Formicidae, Ectatomminae in different landscapes from the Atlantic Forest domain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roseli F. Oliveira

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Morphological traits, such as size and shape, may reflect a combination of ecological and evolutionary responses by organisms. Ants have been used to evaluate the relationship between the environment and species coexistence and morphology. In the present study, we analyzed the morphology of workers of Gnamptogenys striatula Mayr in different landscapes from the Atlantic Domain in southeastern Brazil, focusing on the variation in the morphological attributes of these populations compared to those from a dense ombrophilous forest. Eighteen morphological traits of functional importance for interactions between workers and the environment were measured to characterize the size and shape of the workers. In general, the results show that ants of urban areas possess some morphological attributes of smaller size, with highly overlapped morphological space between the populations in forested ecosystems. Further, some of the traits related to predation were relatively smaller in modified land areas than in the populations from preserved areas of dense ombrophilous forest. These results help broaden the knowledge regarding morphological diversity in G. striatula, suggesting that the characterization of the morphology may be important to quantify the effects of land use on morphological diversity, and presumably, to facilitate the use of ants as biological indicators.

  1. Selenium exposure results in reduced reproduction in an invasive ant species and altered competitive behavior for a native ant species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De La Riva, Deborah G.; Trumble, John T.

    2016-01-01

    Competitive ability and numerical dominance are important factors contributing to the ability of invasive ant species to establish and expand their ranges in new habitats. However, few studies have investigated the impact of environmental contamination on competitive behavior in ants as a potential factor influencing dynamics between invasive and native ant species. Here we investigated the widespread contaminant selenium to investigate its potential influence on invasion by the exotic Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, through effects on reproduction and competitive behavior. For the fecundity experiment, treatments were provided to Argentine ant colonies via to sugar water solutions containing one of three concentrations of selenium (0, 5 and 10 μg Se mL −1 ) that fall within the range found in soil and plants growing in contaminated areas. Competition experiments included both the Argentine ant and the native Dorymyrmex bicolor to determine the impact of selenium exposure (0 or 15 μg Se mL −1 ) on exploitation- and interference-competition between ant species. The results of the fecundity experiment revealed that selenium negatively impacted queen survival and brood production of Argentine ants. Viability of the developing brood was also affected in that offspring reached adulthood only in colonies that were not given selenium, whereas those in treated colonies died in their larval stages. Selenium exposure did not alter direct competitive behaviors for either species, but selenium exposure contributed to an increased bait discovery time for D. bicolor. Our results suggest that environmental toxins may not only pose problems for native ant species, but may also serve as a potential obstacle for establishment among exotic species. - Highlights: • Argentine ant colonies exposed to selenium had reduced fecundity compared to unexposed colonies. • Viability of offspring was negatively impacted by selenium. • Queen survival was reduced in colonies

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugelvig, Line; Drijfhout, Falko; Kronauer, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is the most recently detected pest ant and the first known invasive ant able to become established and thrive in the temperate regions of Eurasia. In this study, we aim to reconstruct the invasion history of this ant in Europe analysing 14 po...

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra B Andersen

    Full Text Available 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 and that hyperparasites often castrate Ophiocordyceps. However, once fruiting bodies become sexually mature they appear robust. Such parasite life-history traits are consistent with iteroparity--a reproductive strategy rarely considered in fungi. We discuss how tropical habitats with high biodiversity of hyperparasites and high spore mortality has likely been crucial for the evolution and maintenance of iteroparity in parasites with low dispersal potential.

  6. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    -growing ants, representing 9 of the 12 recognized genera, and mapped these onto the ant phylogeny. We show that average sperm length across species is highly variable and decreases with mature colony size in basal genera with singly mated queens, suggesting that sperm production or storage constraints affect...... the evolution of sperm length. Sperm length does not decrease further in multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, despite substantial further increases in colony size. In a combined analysis, sexual dimorphism explained 63.1% of the variance in sperm length between species. As colony size was not a significant...... predictor in this analysis, we conclude that sperm production trade-offs in males have been the major selective force affecting sperm length across the fungus-growing ants, rather than storage constraints in females. The relationship between sperm length and sexual dimorphism remained robust...

  7. Ant groups optimally amplify the effect of transiently informed individuals

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

    To cooperatively transport a large load, it is important that carriers conform in their efforts and align their forces. A downside of behavioural conformism is that it may decrease the group's responsiveness to external information. Combining experiment and theory, we show how ants optimize collective transport. On the single-ant scale, optimization stems from decision rules that balance individuality and compliance. Macroscopically, these rules poise the system at the transition between random walk and ballistic motion where the collective response to the steering of a single informed ant is maximized. We relate this peak in response to the divergence of susceptibility at a phase transition. Our theoretical models predict that the ant-load system can be transitioned through the critical point of this mesoscopic system by varying its size; we present experiments supporting these predictions. Our findings show that efficient group-level processes can arise from transient amplification of individual-based knowledge.

  8. Florida alternative NTCIP testing software (ANTS) for actuated signal controllers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    The scope of this research project did include the development of a software tool to test devices for NTCIP compliance. Development of the Florida Alternative NTCIP Testing Software (ANTS) was developed by the research team due to limitations found w...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Ant colony search algorithm for optimal reactive power optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenin K.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents an (ACSA Ant colony search Algorithm for Optimal Reactive Power Optimization and voltage control of power systems. ACSA is a new co-operative agents’ approach, which is inspired by the observation of the behavior of real ant colonies on the topic of ant trial formation and foraging methods. Hence, in the ACSA a set of co-operative agents called "Ants" co-operates to find good solution for Reactive Power Optimization problem. The ACSA is applied for optimal reactive power optimization is evaluated on standard IEEE, 30, 57, 191 (practical test bus system. The proposed approach is tested and compared to genetic algorithm (GA, Adaptive Genetic Algorithm (AGA.

  12. application of ant colony optimisation in distribution transformer sizing

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    HP

    Keywords: ant colony, optimization, transformer sizing, distribution transformer. 1. INTRODUCTION ... more intensive pheromone and higher probability to be chosen [12]. ..... pp.29-41, 1996. [7] EC global market place, “Technical Parameters”,.

  13. Fluid intake rates in ants correlate with their feeding habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, J; Roces, F

    2003-04-01

    This study investigates the techniques of nectar feeding in 11 different ant species, and quantitatively compares fluid intake rates over a wide range of nectar concentrations in four species that largely differ in their feeding habits. Ants were observed to employ two different techniques for liquid food intake, in which the glossa works either as a passive duct-like structure (sucking), or as an up- and downwards moving shovel (licking). The technique employed for collecting fluids at ad libitum food sources was observed to be species-specific and to correlate with the presence or absence of a well-developed crop in the species under scrutiny. Workers of ponerine ants licked fluid food during foraging and transported it as a droplet between their mandibles, whereas workers of species belonging to phylogenetically more advanced subfamilies, with a crop capable of storing liquids, sucked the fluid food, such as formicine ants of the genus Camponotus. In order to evaluate the performance of fluid collection during foraging, intake rates for sucrose solutions of different concentrations were measured in four ant species that differ in their foraging ecology. Scaling functions between fluid intake rates and ant size were first established for the polymorphic species, so as to compare ants of different size across species. Results showed that fluid intake rate depended, as expected and previously reported in the literature, on sugar concentration and the associated fluid viscosity. It also depended on both the species-specific feeding technique and the extent of specialization on foraging on liquid food. For similarly-sized ants, workers of two nectar-feeding ant species, Camponotus rufipes (Formicinae) and Pachycondyla villosa (Ponerinae), collected fluids with the highest intake rates, while workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens (Myrmicinae) and a predatory ant from the Rhytidoponera impressa-complex (Ponerinae) did so with the lowest rate. Calculating the

  14. Understanding Diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.L. van Knippenberg (Daan)

    2007-01-01

    textabstractDaan van Knippenberg is Professor of Organizational Behavior at RSM Erasmus University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His research interests include work group performance, especially work group diversity and group decision making, leadership, in particular the roles of

  15. Climatic warming destabilizes forest ant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Sarah E; Nichols, Lauren M; Pelini, Shannon L; Penick, Clint A; Barber, Grace W; Cahan, Sara Helms; Dunn, Robert R; Ellison, Aaron M; Sanders, Nathan J; Gotelli, Nicholas J

    2016-10-01

    How will ecological communities change in response to climate warming? Direct effects of temperature and indirect cascading effects of species interactions are already altering the structure of local communities, but the dynamics of community change are still poorly understood. We explore the cumulative effects of warming on the dynamics and turnover of forest ant communities that were warmed as part of a 5-year climate manipulation experiment at two sites in eastern North America. At the community level, warming consistently increased occupancy of nests and decreased extinction and nest abandonment. This consistency was largely driven by strong responses of a subset of thermophilic species at each site. As colonies of thermophilic species persisted in nests for longer periods of time under warmer temperatures, turnover was diminished, and species interactions were likely altered. We found that dynamical (Lyapunov) community stability decreased with warming both within and between sites. These results refute null expectations of simple temperature-driven increases in the activity and movement of thermophilic ectotherms. The reduction in stability under warming contrasts with the findings of previous studies that suggest resilience of species interactions to experimental and natural warming. In the face of warmer, no-analog climates, communities of the future may become increasingly fragile and unstable.

  16. Recognition in ants: social origin matters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joël Meunier

    Full Text Available The ability of group members to discriminate against foreigners is a keystone in the evolution of sociality. In social insects, colony social structure (number of queens is generally thought to influence abilities of resident workers to discriminate between nestmates and non-nestmates. However, whether social origin of introduced individuals has an effect on their acceptance in conspecific colonies remains poorly explored. Using egg-acceptance bioassays, we tested the influence of social origin of queen-laid eggs on their acceptance by foreign workers in the ant Formica selysi. We showed that workers from both single- and multiple-queen colonies discriminated against foreign eggs from single-queen colonies, whereas they surprisingly accepted foreign eggs from multiple-queen colonies. Chemical analyses then demonstrated that social origins of eggs and workers could be discriminated on the basis of their chemical profiles, a signal generally involved in nestmate discrimination. These findings provide the first evidence in social insects that social origins of eggs interfere with nestmate discrimination and are encoded by chemical signatures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowles, Alexei D; Silverman, Jules

    2009-08-01

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

  18. Hybridization in East African swarm-raiding army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel Jc; Peters, Marcell K; Schöning, Caspar

    2011-01-01

    Hybridization can have complex effects on evolutionary dynamics in ants because of the combination of haplodiploid sex-determination and eusociality. While hybrid non-reproductive workers have been found in a range of species, examples of gene-flow via hybrid queens and males are rare. We studied...... hybridization in East African army ants (Dorylus subgenus Anomma) using morphology, mitochondrial DNA sequences, and nuclear microsatellites....

  19. An Improved Ant Colony Matching by Using Discrete Curve Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Saadi, Younes; Sari, Eka,; Herawan, Tutut

    2014-01-01

    Part 1: Information & Communication Technology-EurAsia Conference 2014, ICT-EurAsia 2014; International audience; In this paper we present an improved Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) for contour matching, which can be used to match 2D shapes. Discrete Curve Evolution (DCE) technique is used to simplify the extracted contour. In order to find the best correspondence between shapes, the match process is formulated as a Quadratic Assignment Problem (QAP) and resolved by using Ant Colony Optimizati...

  20. Behavior of ergatoid males in the ant, Cardiocondyla nuda

    OpenAIRE

    Heinze, Jürgen; Künholz, S.; Schilder, K.; Hölldobler, B.

    1993-01-01

    Ergatoid males of the ant, Cardiocondyla nuda, attack and frequently kill young males during or shortly after eclosion. Smaller colonies therefore contain typically only one adult male, which may inseminate all alate queens which are reared in the colony over a few weeks. In larger colonies, several males may be present, however, fighting among adult males was not observed. We discuss the significance of male fighting behavior in ants.

  1. Ants farm subterranean aphids mostly in single clone groups - an example of prudent husbandry for carbohydrates and proteins?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivens Aniek BF

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutualistic interactions are wide-spread but the mechanisms underlying their evolutionary stability and ecological dynamics remain poorly understood. Cultivation mutualisms in which hosts consume symbionts occur in phylogenetically diverse groups, but often have symbiont monocultures for each host. This is consistent with the prediction that symbionts should avoid coexistence with other strains so that host services continue to benefit relatives, but it is less clear whether hosts should always favor monocultures and what mechanisms they might have to manipulate symbiont diversity. Few 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 a single aphid species, a significantly higher percentage than expected from a random distribution. Over 60% of these single-species mounds had a single aphid clone, and clones tended to persist across subsequent years. Whenever multiple species/clones co-occurred in the same mound, they were spatially separated with more than 95% of the aphid chambers containing individuals of a single clone. Conclusions L. flavus “husbandry” is characterized by low aphid “livestock” diversity per colony, especially at the nest-chamber level, but it lacks the exclusive monocultures known from other cultivation mutualisms. The ants appear to eat most of the early instar aphids, so that adult aphids are unlikely to face limited phloem resources and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-22

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

  4. [Ants as carriers of microorganisms in hospital environments].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Rogério Dos Santos; Ueno, Mariko

    2008-01-01

    Concern exists regarding the real possibility of public health threats caused by pathogenic agents that are carried by urban ants. The present study had the objective of isolating and identifying the microorganisms that are associated with ants in hospital environments. One hundred and twenty-five ants of the same species were collected from different units of a university hospital. Each ant was collected using a swab soaked with physiological solution and was transferred to a tube containing brain heart infusion broth and incubated at 35 degrees C for 24 hours. From each tube, with growth, inoculations were made into specific culturing media, to isolate any microorganisms. The ants presented a high capacity for carrying microorganism groups: spore-producing Gram-positive bacilli 63.5%, Gram-negative bacilli 6.3%, Gram-positive cocci 23.1%, filamentous fungi 6.7% and yeast 0.5%. Thus, it can be inferred that ants may be one of the agents responsible for disseminating microorganisms in hospital environments.

  5. Species-Specific Effects of Ant Inhabitants on Bromeliad Nutrition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Z Gonçalves

    Full Text Available Predator activities may lead to the accumulation of nutrients in specific areas of terrestrial habitats where they dispose of prey carcasses. In their feeding sites, predators may increase nutrient availability in the soil and favor plant nutrition and growth. However, the translocation of nutrients from one habitat to another may depend on predator identity and diet, as well as on the amount of prey intake. Here we used isotopic (15N and physiological methods in greenhouse experiments to evaluate the effects of the identity of predatory ants (i.e., the consumption of prey and nest sites on the nutrition and growth of the bromeliad Quesnelia arvensis. We showed that predatory ants with protein-based nutrition (i.e., Odontomachus hastatus, Gnamptogenys moelleri improved the performance of their host bromeliads (i.e., increased foliar N, production of soluble proteins and growth. On the other hand, the contribution of Camponotus crassus for the nutritional status of bromeliads did not differ from bromeliads without ants, possibly because this ant does not have arthropod prey as a preferred food source. Our results show, for the first time, that predatory ants can translocate nutrients from one habitat to another within forests, accumulating nutrients in their feeding sites that become available to bromeliads. Additionally, we highlight that ant contribution to plant nutrition may depend on predator identity and its dietary requirements. Nest debris may be especially important for epiphytic and terrestrial bromeliads in nutrient-poor environments.

  6. Reaction of mutualistic and granivorous ants to ulex elaiosome chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gammans, Nicola; Bullock, James M; Gibbons, Hannah; Schönrogge, Karsten

    2006-09-01

    It has been proposed that chemicals on plant elaiosomes aid seed detection by seed-dispersing ants. We hypothesized that the chemical interaction between ants and elaiosomes is more intimate than a generic attraction, and that elaiosome chemicals will attract mutualistic but not granivorous ant species. We investigated this by using two gorse species, Ulex minor and U. europaeus, and two associated ant species from European heathlands, the mutualist Myrmica ruginodis and the granivore Tetramorium caespitum. Behavioral studies were conducted with laboratory nests and foraging arenas. Both ants will take Ulex seeds, but while M. ruginodis showed increased antennation toward ether extracts of elaiosome surface chemicals compared with controls, T. caespitum showed no response. Elaiosome extracts were separated into seven lipid fractions. M. ruginodis showed increased antennation only toward the diglyceride fractions of both Ulex species, whereas T. caespitum showed no consistent reaction. This indicates that M. ruginodis can detect the elaiosome by responding to its surface chemicals, but T. caespitum is unresponsive to these chemicals. Responses to surface chemicals could increase the rate of seed detection in the field, and so these results suggest that Ulex elaiosomes produce chemicals that facilitate attraction of mutualistic rather than granivorous ant species. This could reduce seed predation and increase Ulex fitness.

  7. Aversive learning of odor-heat associations in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desmedt, Lucie; Baracchi, David; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Giurfa, Martin; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2017-12-15

    Ants have recently emerged as useful models for the study of olfactory learning. In this framework, the development of a protocol for the appetitive conditioning of the maxilla-labium extension response (MaLER) provided the possibility of studying Pavlovian odor-food learning in a controlled environment. Here we extend these studies by introducing the first Pavlovian aversive learning protocol for harnessed ants in the laboratory. We worked with carpenter ants Camponotus aethiops and first determined the capacity of different temperatures applied to the body surface to elicit the typical aversive mandible opening response (MOR). We determined that 75°C is the optimal temperature to induce MOR and chose the hind legs as the stimulated body region because of their high sensitivity. We then studied the ability of ants to learn and remember odor-heat associations using 75°C as the unconditioned stimulus. We studied learning and short-term retention after absolute (one odor paired with heat) and differential conditioning (a punished odor versus an unpunished odor). Our results show that ants successfully learn the odor-heat association under a differential-conditioning regime and thus exhibit a conditioned MOR to the punished odor. Yet, their performance under an absolute-conditioning regime is poor. These results demonstrate that ants are capable of aversive learning and confirm previous findings about the different attentional resources solicited by differential and absolute conditioning in general. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Water stress strengthens mutualism among ants, trees, and scale insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth G Pringle

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant-plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant-plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism.

  9. An invasive slug exploits an ant-seed dispersal mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadley Dunphy, Shannon A; Prior, Kirsten M; Frederickson, Megan E

    2016-05-01

    Plant-animal mutualisms, such as seed dispersal, are often vulnerable to disruption by invasive species. Here, we show for the first time how a non-ant invasive species negatively affects seed dispersal by ants. We examined the effects of several animal species that co-occur in a temperate deciduous forest-including native and invasive seed-dispersing ants (Aphaenogaster rudis and Myrmica rubra, respectively), an invasive slug (Arion subfuscus), and native rodents-on a native myrmecochorous plant, Asarum canadense. We experimentally manipulated ant, slug, and rodent access to seed depots and measured seed removal. We also video-recorded depots to determine which other taxa interact with seeds. We found that A. rudis was the main disperser of seeds and that A. subfuscus consumed elaiosomes without dispersing seeds. Rodent visitation was rare, and rodent exclusion had no significant effect on seed or elaiosome removal. We then used data obtained from laboratory and field mesocosm experiments to determine how elaiosome robbing by A. subfuscus affects seed dispersal by A. rudis and M. rubra. We found that elaiosome robbing by slugs reduced seed dispersal by ants, especially in mesocosms with A. rudis, which picks up seeds more slowly than M. rubra. Taken together, our results show that elaiosome robbing by an invasive slug reduces seed dispersal by ants, suggesting that invasive slugs can have profound negative effects on seed dispersal mutualisms.

  10. Water stress strengthens mutualism among ants, trees, and scale insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Akçay, Erol; Raab, Ted K; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-11-01

    Abiotic environmental variables strongly affect the outcomes of species interactions. For example, mutualistic interactions between species are often stronger when resources are limited. The effect might be indirect: water stress on plants can lead to carbon stress, which could alter carbon-mediated plant mutualisms. In mutualistic ant-plant symbioses, plants host ant colonies that defend them against herbivores. Here we show that the partners' investments in a widespread ant-plant symbiosis increase with water stress across 26 sites along a Mesoamerican precipitation gradient. At lower precipitation levels, Cordia alliodora trees invest more carbon in Azteca ants via phloem-feeding scale insects that provide the ants with sugars, and the ants provide better defense of the carbon-producing leaves. Under water stress, the trees have smaller carbon pools. A model of the carbon trade-offs for the mutualistic partners shows that the observed strategies can arise from the carbon costs of rare but extreme events of herbivory in the rainy season. Thus, water limitation, together with the risk of herbivory, increases the strength of a carbon-based mutualism.

  11. Diversity of Wolbachia pipientis strain wPip in a genetically admixtured, above-ground Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae) population: association with form molestus ancestry and host selection patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morningstar, Rebecca J; Hamer, Gabriel L; Goldberg, Tony L; Huang, Shaoming; Andreadis, Theodore G; Walker, Edward D

    2012-05-01

    Analysis of molecular genetic diversity in nine marker regions of five genes within the bacteriophage WO genomic region revealed high diversity of the Wolbachia pipentis strain wPip in a population of Culex pipiens L. sampled in metropolitan Chicago, IL. From 166 blood fed females, 50 distinct genetic profiles of wPip were identified. Rarefaction analysis suggested a maximum of 110 profiles out of a possible 512 predicted by combinations of the nine markers. A rank-abundance curve showed that few strains were common and most were rare. Multiple regression showed that markers associated with gene Gp2d, encoding a partial putative capsid protein, were significantly associated with ancestry of individuals either to form molestus or form pipiens, as determined by prior microsatellite allele frequency analysis. None of the other eight markers was associated with ancestry to either form, nor to ancestry to Cx. quinquefasciatus Say. Logistic regression of host choice (mammal vs. avian) as determined by bloodmeal analysis revealed that significantly fewer individuals that had fed on mammals had the Gp9a genetic marker (58.5%) compared with avian-fed individuals (88.1%). These data suggest that certain wPip molecular genetic types are associated with genetic admixturing in the Cx. pipiens complex of metropolitan Chicago, IL, and that the association extends to phenotypic variation related to host preference.

  12. CO2 efflux from subterranean nests of ant communities in a seasonal tropical forest, Thailand

    OpenAIRE

    Hasin, Sasitorn; Ohashi, Mizue; Yamada, Akinori; Hashimoto, Yoshiaki; Tasen, Wattanachai; Kume, Tomonori; Yamane, Seiki

    2014-01-01

    Many ant species construct subterranean nests. The presence of their nests may explain soil respiration “hot spots”, an important factor in the high CO2 efflux from tropical forests. However, no studies have directly measured CO2 efflux from ant nests. We established 61 experimental plots containing 13 subterranean ant species to evaluate the CO2 efflux from subterranean ant nests in a tropical seasonal forest, Thailand. We examined differences in nest CO2 efflux among ant species. We determi...

  13. The role of fusion in ant chromosome evolution: insights from cytogenetic analysis using a molecular phylogenetic approach in the genus mycetophylax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Danon Clemes; das Graças Pompolo, Silvia; Cristiano, Maykon Passos; Tavares, Mara Garcia

    2014-01-01

    Among insect taxa, ants exhibit one of the most variable chromosome numbers ranging from n = 1 to n = 60. This high karyotype diversity is suggested to be correlated to ants diversification. The karyotype evolution of ants is usually understood in terms of Robertsonian rearrangements towards an increase in chromosome numbers. The ant genus Mycetophylax is a small monogynous basal Attini ant (Formicidae: Myrmicinae), endemic to sand dunes along the Brazilian coastlines. A recent taxonomic revision validates three species, Mycetophylax morschi, M. conformis and M. simplex. In this paper, we cytogenetically characterized all species that belongs to the genus and analyzed the karyotypic evolution of Mycetophylax in the context of a molecular phylogeny and ancestral character state reconstruction. M. morschi showed a polymorphic number of chromosomes, with colonies showing 2n = 26 and 2n = 30 chromosomes. M. conformis presented a diploid chromosome number of 30 chromosomes, while M. simplex showed 36 chromosomes. The probabilistic models suggest that the ancestral haploid chromosome number of Mycetophylax was 17 (Likelihood framework) or 18 (Bayesian framework). The analysis also suggested that fusions were responsible for the evolutionary reduction in chromosome numbers of M. conformis and M. morschi karyotypes whereas fission may determines the M. simplex karyotype. These results obtained show the importance of fusions in chromosome changes towards a chromosome number reduction in Formicidae and how a phylogenetic background can be used to reconstruct hypotheses about chromosomes evolution.

  14. Ground water '89

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-01-01

    The proceedings of the 5th biennial symposium of the Ground Water Division of the Geological Society of South Africa are presented. The theme of the symposium was ground water and mining. Papers were presented on the following topics: ground water resources; ground water contamination; chemical analyses of ground water and mining and its influece on ground water. Separate abstracts were prepared for 5 of the papers presented. The remaining papers were considered outside the subject scope of INIS

  15. Using ant-behavior-based simulation model AntWeb to improve website organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Weigang; Pinheiro Dib, Marcos V.; Teles, Wesley M.; Morais de Andrade, Vlaudemir; Alves de Melo, Alba C. M.; Cariolano, Judas T.

    2002-03-01

    Some web usage mining algorithms showed the potential application to find the difference among the organizations expected by visitors to the website. However, there are still no efficient method and criterion for a web administrator to measure the performance of the modification. In this paper, we developed an AntWeb, a model inspired by ants' behavior to simulate the sequence of visiting the website, in order to measure the efficient of the web structure. We implemented a web usage mining algorithm using backtrack to the intranet website of the Politec Informatic Ltd., Brazil. We defined throughput (the number of visitors to reach their target pages per time unit relates to the total number of visitors) as an index to measure the website's performance. We also used the link in a web page to represent the effect of visitors' pheromone trails. For every modification in the website organization, for example, putting a link from the expected location to the target object, the simulation reported the value of throughput as a quick answer about this modification. The experiment showed the stability of our simulation model, and a positive modification to the intranet website of the Politec.

  16. Evaluation and prediction of groundwater storage changes in Beijing under the impacts of the South to North Water Diversion Project and climate change using ground observations, remote sensing and modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, D.; Wada, Y.; Zhao, J.; Hong, Y.; Liu, D.; You, L.

    2017-12-01

    As China's Capital, Beijing currently has a population of 22 million people with per capital water resources of less than 100 m3, one twentieth of the national average and one eightieth of the global. Groundwater withdrawals (2.3 billion m3/year) account for approximately two thirds of total water use (3.5 billion m3/year) in Beijing, resulting in significant groundwater depletion and associated environmental issues, such as land subsidence. Increases in human and ecological water demand would add further pressure on Beijing's groundwater resources. Unsustainable groundwater use threatens societal and economic development of Beijing and poses a large uncertainty in future water supply. To partly alleviate the water shortage issue in the more arid and industrialized North China, the Chinese government has launched the largest water diversion project in the world, i.e., the South to North Water Diversion Project (SNWD), which is a multi-decadal mega-infrastructure project, with the aim to transfer 44.8 billion m3 of fresh water annually from the Yangtze River in the more humid south through three canal and pipeline systems (east, central, and west routes). Its central route flows from the upper reaches of the Han River, a tributary of the Yangtze River to Beijing, Tianjin and other major cities in Hebei and Henan Provinces. Since Dec 2014 when the water transferred by the central route reached Beijing to Feb 2017, totally 2 billion m3 of water has been transferred. This has profoundly altered the structure of water supply in Beijing. This study quantifies how the SNWD project impacts groundwater storage of Beijing and projects how groundwater storage changes in the future under different climate and policy scenarios.

  17. Does genetic diversity hinder parasite evolution in social insect colonies?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    of host genetic diversity on parasite evolution by carrying out serial passages of a virulent fungal pathogen through leaf-cutting ant workers of known genotypes. Parasite virulence increased over the nine-generation span of the experiment while spore production decreased. The effect of host relatedness...... upon virulence appeared limited. However, parasites cycled through more genetically diverse hosts were more likely to go extinct during the experiment and parasites cycled through more genetically similar hosts had greater spore production. These results indicate that host genetic diversity may indeed...

  18. 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