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Sample records for invasive ant communities

  1. Competitive assembly of South Pacific invasive ant communities

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    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

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

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    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.

  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 evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

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    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.

  5. The Evolution of Invasiveness in Garden Ants

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    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

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

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    D. Montesinos

    2012-06-01

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

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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...

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  13. Invasive ants compete with and modify the trophic ecology of hermit crabs on tropical islands.

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    McNatty, Alice; Abbott, Kirsti L; Lester, Philip J

    2009-05-01

    Invasive species can dramatically alter trophic interactions. Predation is the predominant trophic interaction generally considered to be responsible for ecological change after invasion. In contrast, how frequently competition from invasive species contributes to the decline of native species remains controversial. Here, we demonstrate how the trophic ecology of the remote atoll nation of Tokelau is changing due to competition between invasive ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) and native terrestrial hermit crabs (Coenobita spp.) for carrion. A significant negative correlation was observed between A. gracilipes and hermit crab abundance. On islands with A. gracilipes, crabs were generally restricted to the periphery of invaded islands. Very few hermit crabs were found in central areas of these islands where A. gracilipes abundances were highest. Ant exclusion experiments demonstrated that changes in the abundance and distribution of hermit crabs on Tokelau are a result of competition. The ants did not kill the hermit crabs. Rather, when highly abundant, A. gracilipes attacked crabs by spraying acid and drove crabs away from carrion resources. Analysis of naturally occurring N and C isotopes suggests that the ants are effectively lowering the trophic level of crabs. According to delta(15) N values, hermit crabs have a relatively high trophic level on islands where A. gracilipes have not invaded. In contrast, where these ants have invaded we observed a significant decrease in delta(15) N for all crab species. This result concurs with our experiment in suggesting long-term exclusion from carrion resources, driving co-occurring crabs towards a more herbivorous diet. Changes in hermit crab abundance or distribution may have major ramifications for the stability of plant communities. Because A. gracilipes have invaded many tropical islands where the predominant scavengers are hermit crabs, we consider that their competitive effects are likely to be more prominent in

  14. Impacts of the Invasive European Red Ant (Myrmica rubra (L.): Hymenoptera; Formicidae) on a Myrmecochorous System in the Northeastern United States.

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    Gammans, Nicola; Drummond, Frank; Groden, Eleanor

    2018-05-16

    We investigated the impact of an invasive ant species from Europe, Myrmica rubra (L.), on a myrmecochorous system (seeds dispersed by ants) in its invaded range in North America. We assessed: 1) how M. rubra process the myrmecochorous diapsores (seeds and elaiosome as a single dispersal unit transported by ants) in comparison with native ants; 2) its preference for common native and invasive diaspore species relative to native ants; 3) how far they disperse diaspores in the field; and 4) the diaspore removal rate by invertebrates and vertebrates in infested areas compared to noninvaded sites. Field experiments demonstrated higher diaspore removal rates over a 10-min and 24-h period by M. rubra compared to native ants. M. rubra's diaspore dispersal distance was 40% greater compared to native ants. In two of three laboratory studies and one field study, there was no significant difference between the seed species which M. rubra and native ants selected. Our data suggest no long-term deleterious effects of M. rubra's invasion on diaspore dispersal in the Maine plant community that is comprised of both native and invasive species. This implies that M. rubra benefits from the myrmechorous plant species' diaspores by increasing their dispersal range away from the parent plant and potentially reducing seed predation. However, it is not known whether the fact that the native ant fauna and M. rubra are attracted to the same plant species' diaspores creates a high level of competition between the ants with deleterious effects on the native ant community.

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

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    Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Auina, Saronna; Stanley, Margaret C

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Climatic warming destabilizes forest ant communities.

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    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.

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

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    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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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

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

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

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

    2011-06-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L

    2005-06-01

    Measurement of ecosystem health is a very important but often difficult and sometimes fractious topic for applied ecologists. It is important because it can provide information about effects of various external influences like chemical, nuclear, and physical disturbance, and invasive species. Ecosystem health is also a measure of the rate or trajectory of degradation or recovery of systems that are currently suffering impact or those where restoration or remediation have taken place. Further, ecosystem health is the single best indicator of the quality of long term environmental stewardship because it not only provides a baseline condition, but also the means for future comparison and evaluation. Ecosystem health is difficult to measure because there are a nearly infinite number of variables and uncertainty as to which suites of variables are truly indicative of ecosystem condition. It would be impossible and prohibitively expensive to measure all those variables, or even all the ones that were certain to be valid indicators. Measurement of ecosystem health can also be a fractious topic for applied ecologists because there are a myriad of opinions as to which variables are the most important, most easily measured, most robust, and so forth. What is required is an integrative means of evaluating ecosystem health. All ecosystems are dynamic and undergo change either stochastically, intrinsically, or in response to external influences. The basic assumption about change induced by exogenous antropogenic influences is that it is directional and measurable. Historically measurements of surrogate parameters have been used in an attempt to quantify these changes, for example extensive water chemistry data in aquatic systems. This was the case until the 1980's when the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) (Karr et al. 1986), was developed. This system collects an array of metrics and fish community data within a stream ecosystem and develops a score or rating for the

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Macrodinychus mites as parasitoids of invasive ants: an overlooked parasitic association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachaud, Jean-Paul; Klompen, Hans; Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela

    2016-07-21

    Mites are frequent ant symbionts, yet the exact nature of their interactions with their hosts is poorly known. Generally, myrmecophilous mites show adaptations for dispersal through phoresis, but species that lack such an adaptation may have evolved unusual specialized relationships with their hosts. The immature stages of Macrodinychus multispinosus develop as ectoparasitoids of pupae of the invasive ant Paratrechina longicornis. Feeding stages show regressed locomotor appendages. These mites complete their development on a single host, sucking all of its body content and therefore killing it. Locally high proportions of parasitized host pupae suggest that M. multispinosus could serve as a biological control agent. This is the ninth species of Macrodinychus reported as ant parasite, and the third known as parasitoid of invasive ants, confirming a unique habit in the evolution of mite feeding strategies and suggesting that the entire genus might be parasitic on ants. Several mites' characteristics, such as their protective morphology, possible viviparity, lack of a specialized stage for phoretic dispersal, and low host specificity, combined with both the general low aggressiveness of invasive P. longicornis towards other ants and its possible susceptibility to generalist ectoparasites would account for the host shift in native macrodinychid mites.

  11. ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Plant invasions: Merging the concepts of species invasiveness and community invasibility

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Richardson, D. M.; Pyšek, Petr

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 30, č. 3 (2006), s. 409-431 ISSN 0309-1333 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : plant invasions * species invasiveness * community invasibility Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.278, year: 2006

  13. Density-dependent benefits in ant-hemipteran mutualism? The case of the ghost ant Tapinoma melanocephalum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae and the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aiming Zhou

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of an invasive ant on land snails in the Ogasawara Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchida, Shota; Mori, Hideaki; Kojima, Tsubasa; Hayama, Kayo; Sakairi, Yuko; Chiba, Satoshi

    2016-12-01

    We investigated how Pheidole megacephala has affected endemic achatinellid snails because these snails are excellent indicators of the impact of ants and they have high conservation value in Ogasawara. In 2015 we surveyed the Minamizaki area of Hahajima Island of Ogasawara, designated a core zone of the World Heritage Site, for P. megacephala. In Minamizaki, we determined the distribution and density of achatinellid snails in 2015 and compared these data with their distribution and density in 2005. Land cover in the survey area was entirely forest. We also tested whether P. megacephala preyed on achatinellid snails in the laboratory. P. megacephala was present in the forested areas of Minamizaki. Achatinellid snails were absent in 19 of 39 sites where P. megacephala was present, whereas in other areas densities of the snails ranged from 2 to 228 individuals/site. In the laboratory, P. megacephala carried 6 of 7 achatinellid snails and a broken shell was found. Snail distribution and density comparisons and results of the feeding experiments suggest that the presence of P. megacephala has contributed to the decline of achatinellid snails in forests in the survey area. Yet, P. megacephala is not on the official list of invasive non-native species. Stakeholders using the list of invasive species to develop conservation programs should recognize that invasiveness of non-native species differs depending on the ecosystem and that official lists may not be complete. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  19. Effects of urban development on ant communities: implications for ecosystem services and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.P. Sanford; Patricia N. Manley; Dennis D. Murphy

    2009-01-01

    Research that connects the effects of urbanization on biodiversity and ecosystem services is lacking. Ants perform multifarious ecological functions that stabilize ecosystems and contribute to a number of ecosystem services. We studied responses of ant communities to urbanization in the Lake Tahoe basin by sampling sites along a gradient...

  20. Edge Effects on Community and Social Structure of Northern Temperate Deciduous Forest Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie S. Banschbach

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Determining how ant communities are impacted by challenges from habitat fragmentation, such as edge effects, will help us understand how ants may be used as a bioindicator taxon. To assess the impacts of edge effects upon the ant community in a northern temperate deciduous forest, we studied edge and interior sites in Jericho, VT, USA. The edges we focused upon were created by recreational trails. We censused the ants at these sites for two consecutive growing seasons using pitfall traps and litter plot excavations. We also collected nests of the most common ant species at our study sites, Aphaenogaster rudis, for study of colony demography. Significantly greater total numbers of ants and ant nests were found in the edge sites compared to the interior sites but rarefaction analysis showed no significant difference in species richness. Aphaenogaster rudis was the numerically dominant ant in the habitats sampled but had a greater relative abundance in the interior sites than in the edge sites both in pitfall and litter plot data. Queen number of A. rudis significantly differed between the nests collected in the edge versus the interior sites. Habitat-dependent changes in social structure of ants represent another possible indicator of ecosystem health.

  1. Invasion of yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes in a Seychelles UNESCO palm forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Kaiser-Bunbury

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The mature palm forest of the Vallée de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the Seychelles island of Praslin, is a unique ecosystem containing many endemic species, including the iconic coco de mer palm Lodoicea maldivica. In 2009, the invasive yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes was recorded for the first time within the palm forest, raising concern about its potential impacts on the endemic fauna. This research aimed: (1 to assess the current distribution and spread of A. gracilipes within the palm forest; (2 to identify environmental variables that are linked to A. gracilipes distribution; and (3 to compare endemic species richness and abundance in A. gracilipes invaded and uninvaded areas. Anoplolepis gracilipes was confined to the north-east of the site and remained almost stationary between April 2010 and December 2012, with isolated outbreaks into the forest. Infested areas had significantly higher temperature and humidity and lower canopy cover. Abundance and species richness of the endemic arboreal fauna were lower in the A. gracilipes invaded area. Molluscs were absent from the invaded area. The current restricted distribution of A. gracilipes in this ecosystem, combined with lower abundance of endemic fauna in the invaded area, highlight the need for further research to assess control measures and the possible role of biotic resistance to the invasion of the palm forest by A. gracilipes.

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Dejean

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

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae-Min Jung

    2017-12-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  12. Ant-caterpillar antagonism at the community level: interhabitat variation of tritrophic interactions in a neotropical savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2015-03-01

    Ant foraging on foliage can substantially affect how phytophagous insects use host plants and represents a high predation risk for caterpillars, which are important folivores. Ant-plant-herbivore interactions are especially pervasive in cerrado savanna due to continuous ant visitation to liquid food sources on foliage (extrafloral nectaries, insect honeydew). While searching for liquid rewards on plants, aggressive ants frequently attack or kill insect herbivores, decreasing their numbers. Because ants vary in diet and aggressiveness, their effect on herbivores also varies. Additionally, the differential occurrence of ant attractants (plant and insect exudates) on foliage produces variable levels of ant foraging within local floras and among localities. Here, we investigate how variation of ant communities and of traits among host plant species (presence or absence of ant attractants) can change the effect of carnivores (predatory ants) on herbivore communities (caterpillars) in a cerrado savanna landscape. We sampled caterpillars and foliage-foraging ants in four cerrado localities (70-460 km apart). We found that: (i) caterpillar infestation was negatively related with ant visitation to plants; (ii) this relationship depended on local ant abundance and species composition, and on local preference by ants for plants with liquid attractants; (iii) this was not related to local plant richness or plant size; (iv) the relationship between the presence of ant attractants and caterpillar abundance varied among sites from negative to neutral; and (v) caterpillars feeding on plants with ant attractants are more resistant to ant predation than those feeding on plants lacking attractants. Liquid food on foliage mediates host plant quality for lepidopterans by promoting generalized ant-caterpillar antagonism. Our study in cerrado shows that the negative effects of generalist predatory ants on herbivores are detectable at a community level, affecting patterns of abundance and

  13. ANTS AS BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS FOR MONITORING CHANGES IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS: LESSONS FOR MONITORING PROTECTED AREAS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The responses of ant communities to structural change (removal of an invasive were studied in a replicated experiment in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. The results from sampling of ant communities by pit-fall trapping were validated by mapping ant colonies on the experimental plo...

  14. Revisiting the ants of Melanesia and the taxon cycle: historical and human-mediated invasions of a tropical archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Economo, Evan P; Sarnat, Eli M

    2012-07-01

    Understanding the historical evolution of biotas and the dynamics of contemporary human-mediated species introductions are two central tasks of biology. One hypothesis may address both-the taxon cycle. Taxon cycles are phases of range expansion and contraction coupled to ecological and evolutionary niche shifts. These historical invasion processes resemble human-mediated invasions in pattern and possibly mechanism, but both the existence of historical cycles and the roles of recent introductions are in question. We return to the system that originally inspired the taxon cycle-Melanesian ants-and perform novel tests of the hypothesis. We analyze (i) the habitat distributions of Fiji's entire ant fauna (183 species), (ii) ecological shifts associated with the in situ radiation of Fijian Pheidole in a phylogenetic context, and (iii) the ecological structure of a massive exotic ant invasion of the archipelago. Our analyses indicate lineages shift toward primary habitats, higher elevation, rarity, and ecological specialization with increasing level of endemism, consistent with taxon cycle predictions. The marginal habitats that historically formed a dispersal conduit in the Pacific are now mostly replaced by human-modified habitats dominated by a colonization pulse of exotic species. We propose this may represent the first phase of an incipient global cycle of human-mediated colonization, ecological shifts, and diversification.

  15. Competition can lead to unexpected patterns in tropical ant communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ellwood, M. D. F.; Blüthgen, N.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Foster, W. A.; Menzel, F.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 75, AUG 01 (2016), s. 24-34 ISSN 1146-609X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA14-32302S; GA ČR(CZ) GA16-09427S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ant mosaics * assembly rules * competitive exclusion Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.652, year: 2016 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1146609X16300832

  16. A conceptual framework for invasion in microbial communities

    KAUST Repository

    Kinnunen, Marta; Dechesne, Arnaud; Proctor, Caitlin; Hammes, Frederik; Johnson, David; Quintela-Baluja, Marcos; Graham, David; Daffonchio, Daniele; Fodelianakis, Stylianos; Hahn, Nicole; Boon, Nico; Smets, Barth F

    2016-01-01

    There is a growing interest in controlling-promoting or avoiding-the invasion of microbial communities by new community members. Resource availability and community structure have been reported as determinants of invasion success. However, most invasion studies do not adhere to a coherent and consistent terminology nor always include rigorous interpretations of the processes behind invasion. Therefore, we suggest that a consistent set of definitions and a rigorous conceptual framework are needed. We define invasion in a microbial community as the establishment of an alien microbial type in a resident community and argue how simple criteria to define aliens, residents, and alien establishment can be applied for a wide variety of communities. In addition, we suggest an adoption of the community ecology framework advanced by Vellend (2010) to clarify potential determinants of invasion. This framework identifies four fundamental processes that control community dynamics: dispersal, selection, drift and diversification. While selection has received ample attention in microbial community invasion research, the three other processes are often overlooked. Here, we elaborate on the relevance of all four processes and conclude that invasion experiments should be designed to elucidate the role of dispersal, drift and diversification, in order to obtain a complete picture of invasion as a community process.

  17. A conceptual framework for invasion in microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinnunen, Marta; Dechesne, Arnaud; Proctor, Caitlin; Hammes, Frederik; Johnson, David; Quintela-Baluja, Marcos; Graham, David; Daffonchio, Daniele; Fodelianakis, Stilianos; Hahn, Nicole; Boon, Nico; Smets, Barth F

    2016-01-01

    There is a growing interest in controlling—promoting or avoiding—the invasion of microbial communities by new community members. Resource availability and community structure have been reported as determinants of invasion success. However, most invasion studies do not adhere to a coherent and consistent terminology nor always include rigorous interpretations of the processes behind invasion. Therefore, we suggest that a consistent set of definitions and a rigorous conceptual framework are needed. We define invasion in a microbial community as the establishment of an alien microbial type in a resident community and argue how simple criteria to define aliens, residents, and alien establishment can be applied for a wide variety of communities. In addition, we suggest an adoption of the community ecology framework advanced by Vellend (2010) to clarify potential determinants of invasion. This framework identifies four fundamental processes that control community dynamics: dispersal, selection, drift and diversification. While selection has received ample attention in microbial community invasion research, the three other processes are often overlooked. Here, we elaborate on the relevance of all four processes and conclude that invasion experiments should be designed to elucidate the role of dispersal, drift and diversification, in order to obtain a complete picture of invasion as a community process. PMID:27137125

  18. A conceptual framework for invasion in microbial communities

    KAUST Repository

    Kinnunen, Marta

    2016-05-03

    There is a growing interest in controlling-promoting or avoiding-the invasion of microbial communities by new community members. Resource availability and community structure have been reported as determinants of invasion success. However, most invasion studies do not adhere to a coherent and consistent terminology nor always include rigorous interpretations of the processes behind invasion. Therefore, we suggest that a consistent set of definitions and a rigorous conceptual framework are needed. We define invasion in a microbial community as the establishment of an alien microbial type in a resident community and argue how simple criteria to define aliens, residents, and alien establishment can be applied for a wide variety of communities. In addition, we suggest an adoption of the community ecology framework advanced by Vellend (2010) to clarify potential determinants of invasion. This framework identifies four fundamental processes that control community dynamics: dispersal, selection, drift and diversification. While selection has received ample attention in microbial community invasion research, the three other processes are often overlooked. Here, we elaborate on the relevance of all four processes and conclude that invasion experiments should be designed to elucidate the role of dispersal, drift and diversification, in order to obtain a complete picture of invasion as a community process.

  19. Visualization of Metabolic Interaction Networks in Microbial Communities Using VisANT 5.0.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian R Granger

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The complexity of metabolic networks in microbial communities poses an unresolved visualization and interpretation challenge. We address this challenge in the newly expanded version of a software tool for the analysis of biological networks, VisANT 5.0. We focus in particular on facilitating the visual exploration of metabolic interaction between microbes in a community, e.g. as predicted by COMETS (Computation of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space, a dynamic stoichiometric modeling framework. Using VisANT's unique metagraph implementation, we show how one can use VisANT 5.0 to explore different time-dependent ecosystem-level metabolic networks. In particular, we analyze the metabolic interaction network between two bacteria previously shown to display an obligate cross-feeding interdependency. In addition, we illustrate how a putative minimal gut microbiome community could be represented in our framework, making it possible to highlight interactions across multiple coexisting species. We envisage that the "symbiotic layout" of VisANT can be employed as a general tool for the analysis of metabolism in complex microbial communities as well as heterogeneous human tissues. VisANT is freely available at: http://visant.bu.edu and COMETS at http://comets.bu.edu.

  20. Visualization of Metabolic Interaction Networks in Microbial Communities Using VisANT 5.0.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granger, Brian R; Chang, Yi-Chien; Wang, Yan; DeLisi, Charles; Segrè, Daniel; Hu, Zhenjun

    2016-04-01

    The complexity of metabolic networks in microbial communities poses an unresolved visualization and interpretation challenge. We address this challenge in the newly expanded version of a software tool for the analysis of biological networks, VisANT 5.0. We focus in particular on facilitating the visual exploration of metabolic interaction between microbes in a community, e.g. as predicted by COMETS (Computation of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space), a dynamic stoichiometric modeling framework. Using VisANT's unique metagraph implementation, we show how one can use VisANT 5.0 to explore different time-dependent ecosystem-level metabolic networks. In particular, we analyze the metabolic interaction network between two bacteria previously shown to display an obligate cross-feeding interdependency. In addition, we illustrate how a putative minimal gut microbiome community could be represented in our framework, making it possible to highlight interactions across multiple coexisting species. We envisage that the "symbiotic layout" of VisANT can be employed as a general tool for the analysis of metabolism in complex microbial communities as well as heterogeneous human tissues. VisANT is freely available at: http://visant.bu.edu and COMETS at http://comets.bu.edu.

  1. Workers select mates for queens: a possible mechanism of gene flow restriction between supercolonies of the invasive Argentine ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunamura, Eiriki; Hoshizaki, Sugihiko; Sakamoto, Hironori; Fujii, Takeshi; Nishisue, Koji; Suzuki, Shun; Terayama, Mamoru; Ishikawa, Yukio; Tatsuki, Sadahiro

    2011-05-01

    Some invasive ants form large networks of mutually non-aggressive nests, i.e., supercolonies. The Argentine ant Linepithema humile forms much larger supercolonies in introduced ranges than in its native range. In both cases, it has been shown that little gene flow occurs between supercolonies of this species, though the mechanism of gene flow restriction is unknown. In this species, queens do not undertake nuptial flight, and males have to travel to foreign nests and cope with workers before gaining access to alien queens. In this study, we hypothesized that male Argentine ants receive interference from workers of alien supercolonies. To test this hypothesis, we conducted behavioral and chemical experiments using ants from two supercolonies in Japan. Workers attacked males from alien supercolonies but not those from their own supercolonies. The level of aggression against alien males was similar to that against alien workers. The frequency of severe aggression against alien males increased as the number of recipient workers increased. Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, which serve as cues for nestmate recognition, of workers and males from the same supercolony were very similar. Workers are likely to distinguish alien males from males of their own supercolony using the profiles. It is predicted that males are subject to considerable aggression from workers when they intrude into the nests of alien supercolonies. This may be a mechanism underlying the restricted gene flow between supercolonies of Argentine ants. The Argentine ant may possess a distinctive reproductive system, where workers participate in selecting mates for their queens. We argue that the aggression of workers against alien males is a novel form of reproductive interference.

  2. Low levels of nestmate discrimination despite high genetic differentiation in the invasive pharaoh ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna M; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Pedersen, Jes Søe

    2010-01-01

    Background Ants typically distinguish nestmates from non-nestmates based on the perception of colony-specific chemicals, particularly cuticular hydrocarbons present on the surface of the ants' exoskeleton. These recognition cues are believed to play an important role in the formation of vast so...

  3. 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.

  4. A conceptual framework for invasion in microbial communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinnunen, Marta; Dechesne, Arnaud; Proctor, Caitlin

    2016-01-01

    and consistent terminology nor always include rigorous interpretations of the processes behind invasion. Therefore, we suggest that a consistent set of definitions and a rigorous conceptual framework are needed. We define invasion in a microbial community as the establishment of an alien microbial type...... in a resident community and argue how simple criteria to define aliens, residents, and alien establishment can be applied for a wide variety of communities. In addition, we suggest an adoption of the community ecology framework advanced by Vellend (2010) to clarify potential determinants of invasion....... This framework identifies four fundamental processes that control community dynamics: dispersal, selection, drift and diversification. While selection has received ample attention in microbial community invasion research, the three other processes are often overlooked. Here, we elaborate on the relevance of all...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  9. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezemer, T Martijn; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Cronin, James T

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As a novel resource they can affect the performance of native insect herbivores and their natural enemies such as parasitoids and predators, and this can lead to host shifts of these herbivores and natural enemies. Through the release of volatile compounds, and by changing the chemical complexity of the habitat, invasive plants can also affect the behavior of native insects such as herbivores, parasitoids, and pollinators. Studies that compare insects on related native and invasive plants in invaded habitats show that the abundance of insect herbivores is often lower on invasive plants, but that damage levels are similar. The impact of invasive plants on the population dynamics of resident insect species has been rarely examined, but invasive plants can influence the spatial and temporal dynamics of native insect (meta)populations and communities, ultimately leading to changes at the landscape level.

  10. Effects of temporally persistent ant nests of soil protozoan communities and the abundance of morphological types of amoeba

    Science.gov (United States)

    We compared soil protozoan communities near ant nests with soil protozoans in reference soils 5m from the edge of any mounds. We sampled three species of Chihuahuan Desert ants that construct nests that persist for more than a decade: a seed harvester, Pogonomymex rugosus, a liquid feeding honey-po...

  11. Cuticular hydrocarbons correlate with queen reproductive status in native and invasive Argentine ants (Linepithema humile, Mayr)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, Mireia; Lenoir, Alain; Ivon Paris, Carolina; Boulay, Raphaël; Gómez, Crisanto

    2018-01-01

    In insect societies, chemical communication plays an important role in colony reproduction and individual social status. Many studies have indicated that cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are the main chemical compounds encoding reproductive status. However, these studies have largely focused on queenless or monogynous species whose workers are capable of egg laying and have mainly explored the mechanisms underlying queen-worker or worker-worker reproductive conflicts. Less is known about what occurs in highly polygynous ant species with permanently sterile workers. Here, we used the Argentine ant as a model to examine the role of CHCs in communicating reproductive information in such insect societies. The Argentine ant is unicolonial, highly polygynous, and polydomous. We identified several CHCs whose presence and levels were correlated with queen age, reproductive status, and fertility. Our results also provide new insights into queen executions in the Argentine ant, a distinctive feature displayed by this species in its introduced range. Each spring, just before new sexuals appear, workers eliminate up to 90% of the mated queens in their colonies. We discovered that queens that survived execution had different CHC profiles from queens present before and during execution. More specifically, levels of some CHCs were higher in the survivors, suggesting that workers could eliminate queens based on their chemical profiles. In addition, queen CHC profiles differed based on season and species range (native vs. introduced). Overall, the results of this study provide new evidence that CHCs serve as queen signals and do more than just regulate worker reproduction. PMID:29470506

  12. 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.

  13. Antagonistic Interactions between the African Weaver Ant Oecophylla longinoda and the Parasitoid Anagyrus pseudococci Potentially Limits Suppression of the Invasive Mealybug Rastrococcus iceryoides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chrysantus M. Tanga

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The ant Oecophylla longinoda Latreille forms a trophobiotic relationship with the invasive mealybug Rastrococus iceryoides Green and promotes the latter’s infestations to unacceptable levels in the presence of their natural enemies. In this regard, the antagonistic interactions between the ant and the parasitoid Anagyrus pseudococci Girault were assessed under laboratory conditions. The percentage of parasitism of R. iceryoides by A. pseudococci was significantly higher on “ant-excluded” treatments (86.6% ± 1.27% compared to “ant-tended” treatments (51.4% ± 4.13%. The low female-biased sex-ratio observed in the “ant-tended” treatment can be attributed to ants’ interference during the oviposition phase, which disrupted parasitoids’ ability to fertilize eggs. The mean foraging time, host handling time and number of successful oviposition in “ant-excluded” treatment were significantly higher compared to “ant-tended” treatments. When ant workers were allowed access to sterilized sand grains, mummified and unmummified R. iceryoides, they selectively removed the mummified mealybugs, indicating that they recognized the mummies as potential foods (1.2 ± 0.46 to 7.8 ± 1.17 mummies at 10 min intervals for 2 h. Percentage emergence from mummified R. iceryoides removed by the ants was significantly lower compared to emergence from mummies not exposed to ants. Although, host seeking parasitoids frequently evaded attacks, some were killed by the foraging ant workers (2.0 ± 0.38 to 6.0 ± 0.88 at 10 min intervals for 2 h. These results suggest for the first time that the presence of O. longinoda has a detrimental effect on the abundance, reproductive success and possibly oviposition strategy of female parasitoids, which might be a delimiting factor in field conditions if both natural enemies are to be recommended for use within the same agro-ecosystem.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in an urban ecosystem near the Atlantic Rainforest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CM. Kamura

    Full Text Available The relationships between an urban ecosystem located near the Atlantic Rainforest in southeastern Brazil and ant communities were studied with the objective of quantifying the ant richness and abundance in the household environment and its surroundings. Eighty residences were sampled, where 58 species and 28 genera pertaining to 7 sub-families were found to be present. Inside the residences, the species richness was found to be lower (26, although the abundance was greater (10,670, with the wash area and kitchen being the locales that contributed with the greatest number of hits. The opposite was true in the areas outside the residences, where 54 species and 3,747 ants were observed. Inside houses, the species known as Tramp ants were found, in the following order of importance: Solenopsis -saevissima, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Linepithema humile, Paratrechina fulva, Wasmannia -auropunctata, P. -longicornis, Pheidole megacephala, Monomorium pharaonis and M. floricola. Externally, mainly in the yards and gardens, species such as Octostruma rugifera, Heteroponera dolo, Hypoponera sp.1 and sp.6, Gnamptogenys sp. 4, G. striatula, Odontomachus meinerti, Pachycondyla constricta and P. striata were found. In general, a greater number of species and lower abundance of individuals were observed in the neighborhoods nearer the mountains than in those closer to the urban center.

  17. Thermal characterization of European ant communities along thermal gradients and its implications for community resilience to temperature variability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier eArnan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Ecologists are increasingly concerned about how climate change will affect biodiversity yet have mostly addressed the issue at the species level. Here, we present a novel framework that accounts for the full range and complementarity of thermal responses present in a community; it may help reveal how biological communities will respond to climatic (i.e., thermal variability. First, we characterized the thermal niches of 147 ant species from 342 communities found along broad temperature gradients in western Europe. Within each community, species’ mean thermal breadth and the difference among species’ thermal optima (thermal complementarity were considered to define community thermal niche breadth—our proxy for community thermal resilience. The greater the range of thermal responses and their complementarity within a community, the greater the likelihood that the community could cope with novel conditions. Second, we used simulations to calculate how robust community thermal resilience was to random species extinctions. Community resilience was considered to be robust when random species extinctions largely failed to constrict initial community thermal breadth. Our results indicate that community thermal resilience was negatively and positively correlated with mean temperature and temperature seasonality, respectively. The pattern was reversed for robustness. While species richness did not directly affect community resilience to thermal variability, it did have a strong indirect effect because it determined community resilience robustness. Consequently, communities in warm, aseasonal regions are the most vulnerable to temperature variability, despite their greater number of species and resultant greater resilience robustness.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, M; Pedersen, J S; Keller, L

    2005-03-01

    WOLBACHIA are maternally inherited bacteria, which are very common in arthropods and nematodes. Wolbachia infection may affect host reproduction through feminisation, parthenogenesis, male-killing, cytoplasmic incompatibility and increased fecundity. Previous studies showing discrepancies between the phylogenies of Wolbachia and its arthropod hosts indicate that infection is frequently lost, but the causes of symbiont extinction have so far remained elusive. Here, we report data showing that colonisation of new habitats is a possible mechanism leading to the loss of infection. The presence and prevalence of Wolbachia were studied in three native and eight introduced populations of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile. The screening shows that the symbiont is common in the three native L. humile populations analysed. In contrast, Wolbachia was detected in only one of the introduced populations. The loss of infection associated with colonisation of new habitats may result from drift (founder effect) or altered selection pressures in the new habitat. Furthermore, a molecular phylogeny based on sequences of the Wolbachia wsp gene indicates that L. humile has been infected by a single strain. Horizontal transmission of the symbiont may be important in ants as suggested by the sequence similarity of strains in the three genera Linepithema, Acromyrmex, and Solenopsis native from South and Central America.

  20. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, B M; Pearson, D E; Mack, R N

    2014-07-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food preference. We evaluated the effect of postdispersal seed predators on the establishment of invasive, naturalized, and native species within and between adjacent forest and steppe communities of eastern Washington, USA that differ in severity of plant invasion. Seed removal from trays placed within guild-specific exclosures revealed that small mammals were the dominant seed predators in both forest and steppe. Seeds of invasive species (Bromus tectorum, Cirsium arvense) were removed significantly less than the seeds of native (Pseudoroegneria spicata, Balsamorhiza sagittata) and naturalized (Secale cereale, Centaurea cyanus) species. Seed predation limited seedling emergence and establishment in both communities in the absence of competition in a pattern reflecting natural plant abundance: S. cereale was most suppressed, B. tectorum was least suppressed, and P. spicata was suppressed at an intermediate level. Furthermore, seed predation reduced the residual seed bank for all species. Seed mass correlated with seed removal rates in the forest and their subsequent effects on plant recruitment; larger seeds were removed at higher rates than smaller seeds. Our vegetation surveys indicate higher densities and canopy cover of nonnative species occur in the steppe compared with the forest understory, suggesting the steppe may be more susceptible to invasion. Seed predation alone, however, did not result in significant differences in establishment for any species between these communities, presumably due to similar total small-mammal abundance between communities. Consequently, preferential seed predation by small

  1. 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.

  2. Genetic structure, nestmate recognition and behaviour of two cryptic species of the invasive big-headed ant Pheidole megacephala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denis Fournier

    Full Text Available Biological invasions are recognized as a major cause of biodiversity decline and have considerable impact on the economy and human health. The African big-headed ant Pheidole megacephala is considered one of the world's most harmful invasive species.To better understand its ecological and demographic features, we combined behavioural (aggression tests, chemical (quantitative and qualitative analyses of cuticular lipids and genetic (mitochondrial divergence and polymorphism of DNA microsatellite markers data obtained for eight populations in Cameroon. Molecular data revealed two cryptic species of P. megacephala, one inhabiting urban areas and the other rainforests. Urban populations belong to the same phylogenetic group than those introduced in Australia and in other parts of the world. Behavioural analyses show that the eight populations sampled make up four mutually aggressive supercolonies. The maximum distance between nests from the same supercolony was 49 km and the closest distance between two nests belonging to two different supercolonies was 46 m. The genetic data and chemical analyses confirmed the behavioural tests as all of the nests were correctly assigned to their supercolony. Genetic diversity appears significantly greater in Africa than in introduced populations in Australia; by contrast, urban and Australian populations are characterized by a higher chemical diversity than rainforest ones.Overall, our study shows that populations of P. megacephala in Cameroon adopt a unicolonial social structure, like invasive populations in Australia. However, the size of the supercolonies appears several orders of magnitude smaller in Africa. This implies competition between African supercolonies and explains why they persist over evolutionary time scales.

  3. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    B. M. Connolly; D. E. Pearson; R. N. Mack

    2014-01-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food...

  4. 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...

  5. Responses of the soil fungal communities to the co-invasion of two invasive species with different cover classes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, C; Zhou, J; Liu, J; Jiang, K; Xiao, H; Du, D

    2018-01-01

    Soil fungal communities play an important role in the successful invasion of non-native species. It is common for two or more invasive plant species to co-occur in invaded ecosystems. This study aimed to determine the effects of co-invasion of two invasive species (Erigeron annuus and Solidago canadensis) with different cover classes on soil fungal communities using high-throughput sequencing. Invasion of E. annuus and/or S. canadensis had positive effects on the sequence number, operational taxonomic unit (OTU) richness, Shannon diversity, abundance-based cover estimator (ACE index) and Chao1 index of soil fungal communities, but negative effects on the Simpson index. Thus, invasion of E. annuus and/or S. canadensis could increase diversity and richness of soil fungal communities but decrease dominance of some members of these communities, in part to facilitate plant further invasion, because high soil microbial diversity could increase soil functions and plant nutrient acquisition. Some soil fungal species grow well, whereas others tend to extinction after non-native plant invasion with increasing invasion degree and presumably time. The sequence number, OTU richness, Shannon diversity, ACE index and Chao1 index of soil fungal communities were higher under co-invasion of E. annuus and S. canadensis than under independent invasion of either individual species. The co-invasion of the two invasive species had a positive synergistic effect on diversity and abundance of soil fungal communities, partly to build a soil microenvironment to enhance competitiveness of the invaders. The changed diversity and community under co-invasion could modify resource availability and niche differentiation within the soil fungal communities, mediated by differences in leaf litter quality and quantity, which can support different fungal/microbial species in the soil. © 2017 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  6. Timing is everything: priority effects alter community invasibility after disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symons, Celia C; Arnott, Shelley E

    2014-02-01

    Theory suggests that communities should be more open to the establishment of regional species following disturbance because disturbance may make more resources available to dispersers. However, after an initial period of high invasibility, growth of the resident community may lead to the monopolization of local resources and decreased probability of successful colonist establishment. During press disturbances (i.e., directional environmental change), it remains unclear what effect regional dispersal will have on local community structure if the establishment of later arriving species is affected by early arriving species (i.e., if priority effects are important). To determine the relationship between time-since-disturbance and invasibility, we conducted a fully factorial field mesocosm experiment that exposed tundra zooplankton communities to two emerging stressors - nutrient and salt addition, and manipulated the arrival timing of regional dispersers. Our results demonstrate that invasibility decreases with increasing time-since-disturbance as abundance (nutrient treatments) or species richness (salt treatments) increases in the resident community. Results suggest that the relative timing of dispersal and environmental change will modify the importance of priority effects in determining species composition after a press disturbance.

  7. Chronic effects of an invasive species on an animal community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doody, J Sean; Rhind, David; Green, Brian; Castellano, Christina; McHenry, Colin; Clulow, Simon

    2017-08-01

    Invasive species can trigger trophic cascades in animal communities, but published cases involving their removal of top predators are extremely rare. An exception is the invasive cane toad (Rhinella marina) in Australia, which has caused severe population declines in monitor lizards, triggering trophic cascades that facilitated dramatic and sometimes unexpected increases in several prey of the predators, including smaller lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodiles, and birds. Persistence of isolated populations of these predators with a decades-long sympatry with toads suggests the possibility of recovery, but alternative explanations are possible. Confirming predator recovery requires longer-term study of populations with both baseline and immediate post-invasion densities. Previously, we quantified short-term impacts of invasive cane toads on animal communities over seven years at two sites in tropical Australia. Herein, we test the hypothesis that predators have begun to recover by repeating the study 12 yr after the initial toad invasion. The three predatory lizards that experienced 71-97% declines in the short-term study showed no sign of recovery, and indeed a worse fate: two of the three species were no longer detectable in 630 km of river surveys, suggesting local extirpation. Two mesopredators that had increased markedly in the short term due to these predator losses showed diverse responses in the medium term; a small lizard species increased by ~500%, while populations of a snake species showed little change. Our results indicate a system still in ecological turmoil, having not yet reached a "new equilibrium" more than a decade after the initial invasion; predator losses due to this toxic invasive species, and thus downstream effects, were not transient. Given that cane toads have proven too prolific to eradicate or control, we suggest that recovery of impacted predators must occur unassisted by evolutionary means: dispersal into extinction sites from

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. Native plant community response to alien plant invasion and removal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jara ANDREU

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Given the potential ecological impacts of invasive species, removal of alien plants has become an important management challenge and a high priority for environmental managers. To consider that a removal effort has been successful requires both, the effective elimination of alien plants and the restoration of the native plant community back to its historical composition and function. We present a conceptual framework based on observational and experimental data that compares invaded, non-invaded and removal sites to quantify invaders’ impacts and native plant recover after their removal. We also conduct a meta-analysis to quantitatively evaluate the impacts of plant invaders and the consequences of their removal on the native plant community, across a variety of ecosystems around the world. Our results that invasion by alien plants is responsible for a local decline in native species richness and abundance. Our analysis also provides evidence that after removal, the native vegetation has the potential to recover to a pre-invasion target state. Our review reveal that observational and experimental approaches are rarely used in concert, and that reference sites are scarcely employed to assess native species recovery after removal. However, we believe that comparing invaded, non-invaded and removal sites offer the opportunity to obtain scientific information with relevance for management.

  11. Invasion of nitrite oxidizer dominated communities: interactions between propagule pressure and community composition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinnunen, Marta; Dechesne, Arnaud; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen

    consider a broader community ecology framework. For example, the effect of propagule pressure, often studied in macro-ecology, has rarely been examined for microbial communities. Also, the interactions between processes governing community assembly and propagule pressure on invasion success have never been...... by nitrite oxidizer strain (Candidatus Nitrotoga sp. HW29) at 3 different propagule pressures. The reactors were then operated another 2 weeks before analyzing community composition by targeted qPCRs and 16S rRNA gene amplicon analysis. We successfully assembled resident communities with different ratios...

  12. Isolated and Community Contexts Produce Distinct Responses by Host Plants to the Presence of Ant-Aphid Interaction: Plant Productivity and Seed Viability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santiago, Graziele Silva; Zurlo, Luana Fonseca; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Carvalho, Rafaela Pereira; Alves, Guilherme Pereira; Carvalho, Mariana Comanucci Silva; Souza, Brígida

    2017-01-01

    Ant-aphid interactions may affect host plants in several ways, however, most studies measure only the amount of fruit and seed produced, and do not test seed viability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of the presence of ant-aphid interactions upon host plant productivity and seed viability in two different contexts: isolated and within an arthropod community. For this purpose we tested the hypothesis that in both isolated and community contexts, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction will have a positive effect on fruit and seed production, seed biomass and rate of seed germination, and a negative effect on abnormal seedling rates, in comparison to plants without ants. We performed a field mesocosm experiment containing five treatments: Ant-aphid, Aphid, Community, Ant-free community and Control. We counted fruits and seeds produced by each treatment, and conducted experiments for seed biomass and germinability. We found that in the community context the presence of an ant-aphid interaction negatively affected fruit and seed production. We think this may be because aphid attendance by tending-ants promotes aphid damage to the host plant, but without an affect on seed weight and viability. On the other hand, when isolated, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction positively affected fruit and seed production. These positive effects are related to the cleaning services offered to aphids by tending-ants, which prevent the development of saprophytic fungi on the surface of leaves, which would cause a decrease in photosynthetic rates. Our study is important because we evaluated some parameters of plant fitness that have not been addressed very well by other studies involving the effects of ant-aphid interactions mainly on plants with short life cycles. Lastly, our context dependent approach sheds new light on how ecological interactions can vary among different methods of crop management. PMID:28141849

  13. Isolated and Community Contexts Produce Distinct Responses by Host Plants to the Presence of Ant-Aphid Interaction: Plant Productivity and Seed Viability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernesto Oliveira Canedo-Júnior

    Full Text Available Ant-aphid interactions may affect host plants in several ways, however, most studies measure only the amount of fruit and seed produced, and do not test seed viability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of the presence of ant-aphid interactions upon host plant productivity and seed viability in two different contexts: isolated and within an arthropod community. For this purpose we tested the hypothesis that in both isolated and community contexts, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction will have a positive effect on fruit and seed production, seed biomass and rate of seed germination, and a negative effect on abnormal seedling rates, in comparison to plants without ants. We performed a field mesocosm experiment containing five treatments: Ant-aphid, Aphid, Community, Ant-free community and Control. We counted fruits and seeds produced by each treatment, and conducted experiments for seed biomass and germinability. We found that in the community context the presence of an ant-aphid interaction negatively affected fruit and seed production. We think this may be because aphid attendance by tending-ants promotes aphid damage to the host plant, but without an affect on seed weight and viability. On the other hand, when isolated, the presence of an ant-aphid interaction positively affected fruit and seed production. These positive effects are related to the cleaning services offered to aphids by tending-ants, which prevent the development of saprophytic fungi on the surface of leaves, which would cause a decrease in photosynthetic rates. Our study is important because we evaluated some parameters of plant fitness that have not been addressed very well by other studies involving the effects of ant-aphid interactions mainly on plants with short life cycles. Lastly, our context dependent approach sheds new light on how ecological interactions can vary among different methods of crop management.

  14. Outbreaks of Invasive Kingella kingae Infections in Closed Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yagupsky, Pablo; Ben-Ami, Yael; Trefler, Ronit; Porat, Nurith

    2016-02-01

    To describe the results of the epidemiologic investigation of outbreaks of invasive Kingella kingae infections among attendees at daycare facilities located in 4 closed communities in Israel. The preschool-aged population of communities with clusters of Kingella cases had oropharyngeal cultures performed. K kingae isolates from infected patients and healthy contacts were genotyped by pulsed field gel electrophoresis to determine the spread of outbreak strains. The affected closed communities (3 military bases and 1 "kibbutz" commune) were characterized by tight social and family networks and intensive mingling. The outbreaks affected 9 of 51 attendees (attack rate: 17.6%) age 8-19 months (median: 12 months), within a 21-day period. Cases included skeletal system infections (n = 8) and bacteremia (n = 1); K kingae isolates were confirmed by the use of blood culture vials and selective media. Clinical presentation was mild and acute-phase reactants were usually normal or only moderately elevated. Thirty out of 55 (54.5%) asymptomatic children carried the outbreak strains. Analysis of the 3 clusters in which the entire preschool-aged population was cultured revealed that 31 of 71 (43.7%) children younger than 24 months of age were colonized with K kingae organisms compared with 8 of 105 (7.6%) older children (P presentation of invasive K kingae infections and the fastidious nature of the organism, a high index of suspicion and use of sensitive detection methods are recommended. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

    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 determined the effects of environmental factors on nest CO2 efflux and calculated an index of nest structure. The mean CO2 efflux from nests was significantly higher than those from the surrounding soil in the wet and dry seasons. The CO2 efflux was species-specific, showing significant differences among the 13 ant species. The soil moisture content significantly affected nest CO2 efflux, but there was no clear relationship between nest CO2 efflux and nest soil temperature. The diameter of the nest entrance hole affected CO2 efflux. However, there was no significant difference in CO2 efflux rates between single-hole and multiple-hole nests. Our results suggest that in a tropical forest ecosystem the increase in CO2 efflux from subterranean ant nests is caused by species-specific activity of ants, the nest soil environment, and nest structure.

  17. Diversity reduces invasibility in experimental plant communities: the role of plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ruijven, J.; De Deyn, G.B.; Berendse, F.

    2003-01-01

    Several studies have presented experimental evidence that diversity reduces invasibility in grassland communities. The interpretation of these results has been disputed recently and it was proposed that sampling effects were responsible for the observed decrease of invasibility with diversity. The

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Invasion in microbial communities: Role of community composition and assembly processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinnunen, Marta

    of microbial community assembly. Biotic factors include interactions between different microbial groups as well as the community response to alien species – invaders. Microbial invasions can have significant effects on the composition and functioning of resident communities. There is, however, lack......Microbes contribute to all biogeochemical cycles on earth and are responsible for key biological processes that support the survival of plants and animals. There is increased interest in controlling and managing microbial communities in different ecosystems in order to make targeted microbiological...... processes more effective. In order to manage microbial communities, it is essential to understand the factors that shape and influence microbial community composition. In addition to abiotic factors, such as environmental conditions and resource availability, biotic factors also shape the dynamics...

  1. Fire and invasive exotic plant species in eastern oak communities: an assessment of current knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cynthia D. Huebner

    2006-01-01

    Successful regeneration of oak-dominated communities in the Eastern United States historically requires disturbance such as fire, making them vulnerable to invasion by exotic plants. Little is currently known about the effects of fire on invasive plant species and the effects of invasive plant species on fire regimes of this region. Seventeen common eastern invaders...

  2. 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.

  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. 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...

  5. Habitat Modification by the Leaf-Cutter Ant, Atta cephalotes, and Patterns of Leaf-Litter Arthropod Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Rachel L; Murphy, Serena K; Moran, Matthew D

    2017-12-08

    Ecosystem engineers are profoundly important in many biological communities. A Neotropical taxonomic group considered to have engineering effects is the Formicidae (ants). Leaf-cutter ants (LCAs), in particular, which form extensive colonies of millions of individuals, can be important ecosystem engineers in these environments. While the effects of LCAs on plant community structure and soil chemistry are well-studied, their effects on consumers are poorly understood. Therefore, we examined the indirect effects of the LCA Atta cephalotes L. on the leaf-litter arthropod community. We compared abundance and diversity patterns at ant nests to areas distant from nests, utilizing both a factorial design and gradient analysis for both nocturnal and diurnal arthropods. We found that arthropod abundance and diversity was significantly lower for multiple taxonomic groups and trophic levels near leaf-cutter nests, and this pattern was strongest at night. Exceptions to this pattern included two morphospecies of Collembola that were more abundant on nests, suggesting some specialization for these species. For the gradient analysis, abundance increased exponentially for most groups of arthropods. However, for the dominant arthropod species, the amphipod Cerrorchestia hyloraina Lindeman, a quadratic function was the best fit curvilinear model for abundance. It appeared that C. hyloraina had maximal abundance at the transition between nest site and less disturbed forest. These results indicate that LCA activity has a strong effect on the leaf-litter arthropod community, adding to spatial heterogeneity within neotropical forests. These effects may translate into changes in important ecological processes such as nutrient cycling and food web function. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Weak vs. strong invaders of natural plant communities: Assessing invasibility and impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yvette K. Ortega; Dean E. Pearson

    2005-01-01

    In response to the profound threat of exotic species to natural systems, much attention has been focused on the biotic resistance hypothesis, which predicts that diverse communities should better resist invasions. While studies of natural communities generally refute this hypothesis, reporting positive relationships between native species diversity and invasibility,...

  7. An Evolutionary Modelling Approach To Understanding The Factors Behind Plant Invasiveness And Community Susceptibility To Invasion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warren, John; Topping, Christopher John; James, Penri

    2011-01-01

    Ecologists have had limited success in understanding which introduced species may become invasive. An evolutionary model is used to investigate which traits are associated with invasiveness. Translocation experiments were simulated in which species were moved into similar but evolutionary younger...

  8. Independent Effects of Invasive Shrubs and Deer Herbivory on Plant Community Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey S. Ward

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Both invasive species and deer herbivory are recognized as locally important drivers of plant community dynamics. However, few studies have examined whether their effects are synergistic, additive, or antagonistic. At three study areas in southern New England, we examined the interaction of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann herbivory and three levels of invasive shrub control over seven growing seasons on the dynamics of nine herbaceous and shrub guilds. Although evidence of synergistic interactions was minimal, the separate effects of invasive shrub control and deer herbivory on plant community composition and dynamics were profound. Plant communities remained relatively unchanged where invasive shrubs were not treated, regardless if deer herbivory was excluded or not. With increasing intensity of invasive shrub control, native shrubs and forbs became more dominant where deer herbivory was excluded, and native graminoids became progressively more dominant where deer herbivory remained severe. While deer exclusion and intensive invasive shrub control increased native shrubs and forbs, it also increased invasive vines. Restoring native plant communities in areas with both established invasive shrub thickets and severe deer browsing will require an integrated management plan to eliminate recalcitrant invasive shrubs, reduce deer browsing intensity, and quickly treat other opportunistic invasive species.

  9. Changes in soil bacterial communities induced by the invasive plant Pennisetum setaceum in a semiarid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, Gema; Caravaca, Fuensanta; del Mar Alguacil, María; Fernández-López, Manuel; José Fernández-González, Antonio; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Roldán, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Invasive alien species are considered as a global threat being among the main causes of biodiversity loss. Plant invasions have been extensively studied from different disciplines with the purpose of identifying predictor traits of invasiveness and finding solutions. However, less is known about the implication of the rhizosphere microbiota in these processes, even when it is well known the importance of the interaction between plant rhizosphere and microbial communities. The objective of this study was to determine whether native and invasive plants support different bacterial communities in their rhizospheres and whether there are bacterial indicator species that might be contributing to the invasion process of these ecosystems. We carried out a study in five independent locations under Mediterranean semiarid conditions, where the native Hyparrhenia hirta is being displaced by Pennisetum setaceum, an aggressive invasive Poaceae and soil bacterial communities were amplified and 454-pyrosequenced. Changes in the composition and structure of the bacterial communities, owing to the invasive status of the plant, were detected when the richness and alpha-diversity estimators were calculated as well as when we analyzed the PCoA axes scores. The Indicator Species Analysis results showed a higher number of indicators for invaded communities at all studied taxonomic levels. In conclusion, the effect of the invasiveness and its interaction with the soil location has promoted shifts in the rhizosphere bacterial communities which might be facilitating the invader success in these ecosystems.

  10. Global Invasion History of the Tropical Fire Ant, Solenopsis geminata: A Stowaway on the First Global Trade Routes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biological invasions are largely thought to be contemporary, having recently increased sharply in the wake of globalization. However, human commerce had already become global in scope by the mid-16th century, when the Spanish connected the New World with Europe and Asia via their Manila galleon and ...

  11. 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

  12. Invasion of top and intermediate consumers in a size structured fish community

    OpenAIRE

    Ask, Per

    2010-01-01

    In this thesis I have investigated the effects of invading top and intermediate consumers in a size-structured fish community, using a combination of field studies, a lake invasion experiment and smaller scale pond and aquaria experiments. The lake invasion experiment was based on introductions of an intermediate consumer, ninespine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius L.), in to allopatric populations of an omnivorous top predator, Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus L.). The invasion experiment was...

  13. Community structure affects annual grass weed invasion during restoration of a shrub-steppe ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phil S. Allen; Susan E. Meyer

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration of shrub-steppe communities in the western United States is often hampered by invasion of exotic annual grasses during the process. An important question is how to create restored communities that can better resist reinvasion by these weeds. One hypothesis is that communities comprised of species that are functionally similar to the invader will...

  14. Passing the Remote: Community and Television Viewing in Woobinda and La guerra degli Antò

    OpenAIRE

    Seger, Monica

    2011-01-01

    This paper explores television-modeled narratives in Silvia Ballestra’s La guerra degli Antò, of 1992, and Aldo Nove’s Woobinda, of 1996. In so doing, it considers both the role of a text's author and the majority/minority reception practices that lead to its social imprint. For a definition of reception practices it turns to the work of media and reception scholars such as Henry Jenkins and Ien Ang. Employing a soap-operatic narrative and respecting the viewing practices of a mi...

  15. The influence of insecticides and vegetation in structuring Formica mound ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Maine lowbush blueberry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choate, Beth; Drummond, Francis A

    2013-04-01

    Assessing the influence of new, reduced-risk insecticides on natural enemies within agroecosystems is essential to developing integrated pest management strategies. Three species of mound-building Formica ants are abundant throughout Maine lowbush blueberry fields (Formica exsectoides Forel, F. glacialis Wheeler, and F. ulkei Emery). All three species have been described in the literature as predaceous, with research demonstrating that F. exsectoides preys on major pest insects of lowbush blueberry. The objectives of this study were to determine the impact of common-use and newly introduced insecticides on Formica sp. ant communities in lowbush blueberry fields. Laboratory assays indicated that the commonly applied insecticide phosmet is toxic to F. exsectoides, even after 8 d of field weathering (P insecticides, such as acetamiprid, had little effect on survival of all three species. Abundance of each species in the field varied with lowbush blueberry pesticide-use strategy and amount of nonblueberry vegetation. Both F. exsectoides and F. glacialis were most abundant in organic fields; however, overall F. glacialis was the most abundant in fields of all management types. Field surveys support laboratory results suggesting that phosmet is highly toxic to these species and influences their spatial pattern. Manipulation of the crop to conserve natural enemies in lowbush blueberry is difficult because the crop is not planted; therefore, we must look closely at the incorporation of low toxicity insecticides with natural enemies to efficiently control pest insects.

  16. Phytoplankton Communities in Green Bay, Lake Michigan after Invasion by Dreissenid Mussels: Increased Dominance by Cyanobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bart T. De Stasio

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Biological invasions of aquatic systems disrupt ecological communities, and cause major changes in diversity and ecosystem function. The Laurentian Great Lakes of North America have been dramatically altered by such invasions, especially zebra (Dreissena polymorpha and quagga (D. rostriformis bugensis mussels. Responses to mussel invasions have included increased water clarity, and decreased chlorophyll and phytoplankton abundance. Although not all systems have responded similarly, in general, mussels have changed nutrient dynamics and physical habitat conditions. Therefore examination of different impacts can help us further understand mechanisms that underlie ecosystem responses to biological invasions. To aid our understanding of ecosystem impacts, we sampled established locations along a well-studied trophic gradient in Green Bay, Lake Michigan, after the 1993 zebra mussel invasion. A strong trophic gradient remained during the period sampled after the mussel invasion (2000–2012. However, mean summer chlorophyll increased and other measures of phytoplankton biomass (microscope and electronic cell counting did not change significantly. Multivariate analyses of phytoplankton community structure demonstrate a significant community shift after the invasion. Cyanobacteria increased in dominance, with Microcystis becoming the major summer taxon in lower Green Bay. Diatom diversity and abundance also increased and Chlorophyta became rare. Phytoplankton responses along the trophic gradient of Green Bay to zebra mussel invasion highlight the importance of mussel effects on nutrient dynamics and phytoplankton diversity and function.

  17. Plant Invasions Associated with Change in Root-Zone Microbial Community Structure and Diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard R Rodrigues

    Full Text Available The importance of plant-microbe associations for the invasion of plant species have not been often tested under field conditions. The research sought to determine patterns of change in microbial communities associated with the establishment of invasive plants with different taxonomic and phenetic traits. Three independent locations in Virginia, USA were selected. One site was invaded by a grass (Microstegium vimineum, another by a shrub (Rhamnus davurica, and the third by a tree (Ailanthus altissima. The native vegetation from these sites was used as reference. 16S rRNA and ITS regions were sequenced to study root-zone bacterial and fungal communities, respectively, in invaded and non-invaded samples and analyzed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME. Though root-zone microbial community structure initially differed across locations, plant invasion shifted communities in similar ways. Indicator species analysis revealed that Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs closely related to Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Ascomycota increased in abundance due to plant invasions. The Hyphomonadaceae family in the Rhodobacterales order and ammonia-oxidizing Nitrospirae phylum showed greater relative abundance in the invaded root-zone soils. Hyphomicrobiaceae, another bacterial family within the phyla Proteobacteria increased as a result of plant invasion, but the effect associated most strongly with root-zones of M. vimineum and R. davurica. Functional analysis using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt showed bacteria responsible for nitrogen cycling in soil increased in relative abundance in association with plant invasion. In agreement with phylogenetic and functional analyses, greater turnover of ammonium and nitrate was associated with plant invasion. Overall, bacterial and fungal communities changed congruently across plant invaders, and support the hypothesis that

  18. Integrating biology into invasive species management is a key principle for eradication success: the case of yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes in northern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, B D

    2015-04-01

    The lack of biological knowledge of many invasive species remains as one of the greatest impediments to their management. Here I detail targeted research into the biology of the yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes within northern Australia and detail how such knowledge can be used to improve the management outcomes for this species. I quantified nest location and density in three habitats, worker activity over 24 h, infestation expansion rate, seasonal variation of worker abundance and the timing of production of sexuals. Nests were predominantly (up to 68%) located at the bases of large trees, indicating that search efforts should focus around tree bases. Nest density was one nest per 22, 7.1 and 6.3 m2 in the three habitats, respectively. These data form the baselines for quantifying treatment efficacy and set sampling densities for post-treatment assessments. Most (60%) nests were underground, predominantly (89%) occurring in an open area rather than underneath a rock or log. Some seasonality was evident for nests within leaf litter, with most (83%) occurring during the 'wet season' (October-March). Of the underground nests, most were shallow, with 44% being less than 10 cm deep, and 67% being less than 20 cm deep. Such nest location and density information serves many management purposes, for improving detection, mapping and post-treatment assessments, and also provided strong evidence that carbohydrate supply was a major driver of A. gracilipes populations. Just over half of the nests (56%) contained queens. Of the 62 underground nests containing queens, most queens (80%) were located at the deepest chamber. When queens were present, most often (38%) only one queen was present, the most being 16. Queen number per nest was the lowest in July and August just prior to the emergence of virgin queens in September, with queen numbers then remaining steadily high until April. Nothing is known for any ant species about how the queen number per nest/colony affects

  19. Parasite community dynamics in an invasive vole – From focal introduction to wave front

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah E. Perkins

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Multiple parasite species simultaneously infecting a host can interact with one another, which has the potential to influence host-parasite interactions. Invasive species typically lose members of their parasite community during the invasion process. Not only do the founding population escape their parasites, but the rapid range expansion of invaders once in the invaded range can lead to additional stochastic loss of parasites. As such, parasite community dynamics may change along an invasion gradient, with consequences for host invasion success. Here, we use the bank vole, Myodes glareolus, introduced as a small founding population at a point source in the Republic of Ireland in c.1920's and its ecto- and endoparasites to ask: i how does the parasite community vary across an invasion gradient, and ii are parasite community associations driven by host traits and/or distance from the point of host introduction? We sampled the parasite community of M. glareolus at the proposed focal site of introduction, at mid-wave and the invasion front, and used a parasite interactivity index and statistical models to determine the potential for the parasite community to interact. Bank voles harboured up to six different parasite taxa, with a significantly higher parasite interactivity index at the foci of introduction (z = 2.33, p = 0.02 than elsewhere, suggesting the most established parasite community has greater opportunities to interact. All but one of four synergistic parasite community associations were driven by host traits; sex and body mass. The remaining parasite-parasite associations occurred at the mid-point of the invasion wave, suggesting that specific parasite-parasite interactions are not mediated by distance from a focal point of host introduction. We propose that host traits rather than location along an invasion gradient are more likely to determine parasite-parasite interactions in the invasive bank vole. Keywords: Enemy release

  20. Plant community responses to simultaneous changes in temperature, nitrogen availability, and invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise S Gornish

    Full Text Available Increasing rates of change in climate have been observed across the planet and have contributed to the ongoing range shifts observed for many species. Although ecologists are now using a variety of approaches to study how much and through what mechanisms increasing temperature and nutrient pollution may influence the invasions inherent in range shifts, accurate predictions are still lacking.In this study, we conducted a factorial experiment, simultaneously manipulating warming, nitrogen addition and introduction of Pityopsis aspera, to determine how range-shifting species affect a plant community. We quantified the resident community using ordination scores, then used structural equation modeling to examine hypotheses related to how plants respond to a network of experimental treatments and environmental variables. Variation in soil pH explained plant community response to nitrogen addition in the absence of invasion. However, in the presence of invasion, the direct effect of nitrogen on the community was negligible and soil moisture was important for explaining nitrogen effects. We did not find effects of warming on the native plant community in the absence of invasion. In the presence of invasion, however, warming had negative effects on functional richness directly and invasion and herbivory explained the overall positive effect of warming on the plant community.This work highlights the variation in the biotic and abiotic factors responsible for explaining independent and collective climate change effects over a short time scale. Future work should consider the complex and non-additive relationships among factors of climate change and invasion in order to capture more ecologically relevant features of our changing environment.

  1. Investigating Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Community Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Wilfred

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a field study project that explores factors influencing forest community structure and lifts the veil off of "plant blindness." This ecological study consists of three laboratories: (1) preliminary field trip to the study site; (2) plant survey; and (3) analyzing plant community structure with descriptive…

  2. Allelopathy and resource competition: the effects of Phragmites australis invasion in plant communities

    OpenAIRE

    Uddin, Md Nazim; Robinson, Randall William

    2017-01-01

    Background Phragmites australis, a ubiquitous wetland plant, has been considered one of the most invasive species in the world. Allelopathy appears to be one of the invasion mechanisms, however, the effects could be masked by resource competition among target plants. The difficulty of distinguishing allelopathy from resource competition among plants has hindered investigations of the role of phytotoxic allelochemicals in plant communities. This has been addressed via experiments conducted in ...

  3. Community Impacts of Prosopis juliflora Invasion: Biogeographic and Congeneric Comparisons

    OpenAIRE

    Kaur, Rajwant; Gonzáles, Wilfredo L.; Llambi, Luis Daniel; Soriano, Pascual J.; Callaway, Ragan M.; Rout, Marnie E.; Gallaher, Timothy J.; Inderjit,

    2012-01-01

    We coordinated biogeographical comparisons of the impacts of an exotic invasive tree in its native and non-native ranges with a congeneric comparison in the non-native range. Prosopis juliflora is taxonomically complicated and with P. pallida forms the P. juliflora complex. Thus we sampled P. juliflora in its native Venezuela, and also located two field sites in Peru, the native range of Prosopis pallida. Canopies of Prosopis juliflora, a native of the New World but an invader in many other r...

  4. 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.

  5. Soil nutritional status and biogeography influence rhizosphere microbial communities associated with the invasive tree Acacia dealbata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamutando, Casper N; Vikram, Surendra; Kamgan-Nkuekam, Gilbert; Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Greve, Michelle; Roux, Johannes J Le; Richardson, David M; Cowan, Don; Valverde, Angel

    2017-07-26

    Invasiveness and the impacts of introduced plants are known to be mediated by plant-microbe interactions. Yet, the microbial communities associated with invasive plants are generally poorly understood. Here we report on the first comprehensive investigation of the bacterial and fungal communities inhabiting the rhizosphere and the surrounding bulk soil of a widespread invasive tree, Acacia dealbata. Amplicon sequencing data indicated that rhizospheric microbial communities differed significantly in structure and composition from those of the bulk soil. Two bacterial (Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria) and two fungal (Pezizomycetes and Agaricomycetes) classes were enriched in the rhizosphere compared with bulk soils. Changes in nutritional status, possibly induced by A. dealbata, primarily shaped rhizosphere soil communities. Despite a high degree of geographic variability in the diversity and composition of microbial communities, invasive A. dealbata populations shared a core of bacterial and fungal taxa, some of which are known to be involved in N and P cycling, while others are regarded as plant pathogens. Shotgun metagenomic analysis also showed that several functional genes related to plant growth promotion were overrepresented in the rhizospheres of A. dealbata. Overall, results suggest that rhizosphere microbes may contribute to the widespread success of this invader in novel environments.

  6. Litter drives ecosystem and plant community changes in cattail invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrer, Emily C; Goldberg, Deborah E

    2009-03-01

    Invaded systems are commonly associated with a change in ecosystem processes and a decline in native species diversity; however, many different causal pathways linking invasion, ecosystem change, and native species decline could produce this pattern. The initial driver of environmental change may be anthropogenic, or it may be the invader itself; and the mechanism behind native species decline may be the human-induced environmental change, competition from the invader, or invader-induced environmental change (non-trophic effects). We examined applicability of each of these alternate pathways in Great Lakes coastal marshes invaded by hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca). In a survey including transects in three marshes, we found that T. x glauca was associated with locally high soil nutrients, low light, and large amounts of litter, and that native diversity was highest in areas of shallow litter depth. We tested whether live T. x glauca plants or their litter induced changes in the environment and in diversity with a live plant and litter transplant experiment. After one year, Typha litter increased soil NH4+ and N mineralization twofold, lowered light levels, and decreased the abundance and diversity of native plants, while live Typha plants had no effect on the environment or on native plants. This suggests that T. x glauca, through its litter production, can cause the changes in ecosystem processes that we commonly attribute to anthropogenic nutrient loading and that T. x glauca does not displace native species through competition for resources, but rather affects them non-trophically through its litter. Moreover, because T. x glauca plants were taller when grown with their own litter, we suggest that this invader may produce positive feedbacks and change the environment in ways that benefit itself and may promote its own invasion.

  7. 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.

  8. Invasion by Cordgrass Increases Microbial Diversity and Alters Community Composition in a Mangrove Nature Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Liu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Invasion by exotic plant species can alter ecosystem function and reduce native plant diversity, but relatively little is known about their effects on belowground microbial communities. Here we investigated the effects of exotic cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora invasion on the distribution of soil bacterial communities in a mangrove nature reserve of the Jiulong River Estuary, southeast China using high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene and multivariate statistical analysis. Our results showed that S. alterniflora invasion altered soil properties, and significantly increased soil bacterial taxa richness, primarily by stimulating an increase in conditionally rare or rare taxa, and changes in community composition and function. Abundant, conditionally rare and rare subcommunities exhibited similar response patterns to environment changes, with both conditionally rare and rare taxa showing a stronger response than abundant ones. Habitat generalists were detected among abundant, conditionally rare and rare taxa, whereas habitat specialists were only identified among conditionally rare taxa and rare taxa. In addition, we found that vegetation was the key factor driving these patterns. However, our comparative analysis indicated that both environmental selection, and neutral process, significantly contributed to soil bacterial community assembly. These results could improve the understanding of the microbial processes and mechanisms of cordgrass invasion, and offer empirical data of use in the restoration and management of the mangrove wetlands.

  9. The impact of failure: unsuccessful bacterial invasions steer the soil microbial community away from the invader's niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallon, C A; Le Roux, X; van Doorn, G S; Dini-Andreote, F; Poly, F; Salles, J F

    2018-03-01

    Although many environments like soils are constantly subjected to invasion by alien microbes, invaders usually fail to succeed, succumbing to the robust diversity often found in nature. So far, only successful invasions have been explored, and it remains unknown to what extent an unsuccessful invasion can impact resident communities. Here we hypothesized that unsuccessful invasions can cause impacts to soil functioning by decreasing the diversity and niche breadth of resident bacterial communities, which could cause shifts to community composition and niche structure-an effect that is likely exacerbated when diversity is compromised. To examine this question, diversity gradients of soil microbial communities were subjected to invasion by the frequent, yet oft-unsuccessful soil invader, Escherichia coli, and evaluated for changes to diversity, bacterial community composition, niche breadth, and niche structure. Contrary to expectations, diversity and niche breadth increased across treatments upon invasion. Community composition and niche structure were also altered, with shifts of niche structure revealing an escape by the resident community away from the invader's resources. Importantly, the extent of the escape varied in response to the community's diversity, where less diverse communities experienced larger shifts. Thus, although transient and unsuccessful, the invader competed for resources with resident species and caused tangible impacts that modified both the diversity and functioning of resident communities, which can likely generate a legacy effect that influences future invasion attempts.

  10. Community impacts of Prosopis juliflora invasion: biogeographic and congeneric comparisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Rajwant; Gonzáles, Wilfredo L; Llambi, Luis Daniel; Soriano, Pascual J; Callaway, Ragan M; Rout, Marnie E; Gallaher, Timothy J; Inderjit

    2012-01-01

    We coordinated biogeographical comparisons of the impacts of an exotic invasive tree in its native and non-native ranges with a congeneric comparison in the non-native range. Prosopis juliflora is taxonomically complicated and with P. pallida forms the P. juliflora complex. Thus we sampled P. juliflora in its native Venezuela, and also located two field sites in Peru, the native range of Prosopis pallida. Canopies of Prosopis juliflora, a native of the New World but an invader in many other regions, had facilitative effects on the diversity of other species in its native Venezuela, and P. pallida had both negative and positive effects depending on the year, (overall neutral effects) in its native Peru. However, in India and Hawaii, USA, where P. juliflora is an aggressive invader, canopy effects were consistently and strongly negative on species richness. Prosopis cineraria, a native to India, had much weaker effects on species richness in India than P. juliflora. We carried out multiple congeneric comparisons between P. juliflora and P. cineraria, and found that soil from the rhizosphere of P. juliflora had higher extractable phosphorus, soluble salts and total phenolics than P. cineraria rhizosphere soils. Experimentally applied P. juliflora litter caused far greater mortality of native Indian species than litter from P. cineraria. Prosopis juliflora leaf leachate had neutral to negative effects on root growth of three common crop species of north-west India whereas P. cineraria leaf leachate had positive effects. Prosopis juliflora leaf leachate also had higher concentrations of total phenolics and L-tryptophan than P. cineraria, suggesting a potential allelopathic mechanism for the congeneric differences. Our results also suggest the possibility of regional evolutionary trajectories among competitors and that recent mixing of species from different trajectories has the potential to disrupt evolved interactions among native species.

  11. Genes, communities & invasive species: understanding the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdon, J J; Thrall, P H; Ericson, L

    2013-08-01

    Reciprocal interactions between hosts and pathogens drive ecological, epidemiological and co-evolutionary trajectories, resulting in complex patterns of diversity at population, species and community levels. Recent results confirm the importance of negative frequency-dependent rather than 'arms-race' processes in the evolution of individual host-pathogen associations. At the community level, complex relationships between species abundance and diversity dampen or alter pathogen impacts. Invasive pathogens challenge these controls reflecting the earliest stages of evolutionary associations (akin to arms-race) where disease effects may be so great that they overwhelm the host's and community's ability to respond. Viewing these different stabilization/destabilization phases as a continuum provides a valuable perspective to assessment of the role of genetics and ecology in the dynamics of both natural and invasive host-pathogen associations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Characterization of Ant Communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Twigs in the Leaf Litter of the Atlantic Rainforest and Eucalyptus Trees in the Southeast Region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora R. de Souza

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fragments of Atlantic Rainforest and extensive eucalyptus plantations are part of the landscape in the southeast region of Brazil. Many studies have been conducted on litter ant diversity in these forests, but there are few reports on the nesting sites. In the present study, we characterized the ant communities that nest in twigs in the leaf litter of dense ombrophilous forests and eucalyptus trees. The colony demographics associated with the physical structure of the nest were recorded. In the eucalyptus forests, the study examined both managed and unmanaged plantations. During five months, all undecomposed twigs between 10 and 30 cm in length containing ants found within a 16-m2 area on the surface of the leaf litter were collected. A total of 307 nests and 44 species were recorded. Pheidole, Solenopsis, and Camponotus were the most represented genera. Pheidole sp.13, Pheidole sp.43 and Linepithema neotropicum were the most populous species. The dense ombrophilous forest and a eucalyptus plantation unmanaged contained the highest number of colonized twigs; these communities were the most similar and the most species rich. Our results indicate that the twigs are important resources as they help to maintain the litter diversity of dense rain forest and abandoned eucalypt crops.

  13. 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.

  14. Invasive lionfish harbor a different external bacterial community than native Bahamian fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, J. L.; Olson, J. B.

    2013-12-01

    The introduction and subsequent spread of lionfish into the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea has become a worldwide conservation issue. These highly successful invaders may also be capable of introducing non-native microorganisms to the invaded regions. This study compared the bacterial communities associated with lionfish external tissue to those of native Bahamian fishes and ambient water. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses demonstrated that lionfish bacterial communities were significantly different than those associated with three native Bahamian fishes. Additionally, all fishes harbored distinct bacterial communities from the ambient bacterioplankton. Analysis of bacterial clone libraries from invasive lionfish and native squirrelfish indicated that lionfish communities were more diverse than those associated with squirrelfish, yet did not contain known fish pathogens. Using microscopy and molecular genetic approaches, lionfish eggs were examined for the presence of bacteria to evaluate the capacity for vertical transmission. Eggs removed from the ovaries of gravid females were free of bacteria, suggesting that lionfish likely acquire bacteria from the environment. This study was the first examination of bacterial communities associated with the invasive lionfish and indicated that they support different communities of environmentally derived bacteria than Caribbean reef fishes.

  15. Solidago canadensis invasion affects soil N-fixing bacterial communities in heterogeneous landscapes in urban ecosystems in East China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Congyan; Jiang, Kun; Zhou, Jiawei; Wu, Bingde

    2018-03-12

    Soil nitrogen-fixing bacterial communities (SNB) can increase the level of available soil N via biological N-fixation to facilitate successful invasion of several invasive plant species (IPS). Meanwhile, landscape heterogeneity can greatly enhance regional invasibility and increase the chances of successful invasion of IPS. Thus, it is important to understand the soil micro-ecological mechanisms driving the successful invasion of IPS in heterogeneous landscapes. This study performed cross-site comparisons, via metagenomics, to comprehensively analyze the effects of Solidago canadensis invasion on SNB in heterogeneous landscapes in urban ecosystems. Rhizospheric soil samples of S. canadensis were obtained from nine urban ecosystems [Three replicate quadrats (including uninvaded sites and invaded sites) for each type of urban ecosystem]. S. canadensis invasion did not significantly affect soil physicochemical properties, the taxonomic diversity of plant communities, or the diversity and richness of SNB. However, some SNB taxa (i.e., f_Micromonosporaceae, f_Oscillatoriaceae, and f_Bacillaceae) changed significantly with S. canadensis invasion. Thus, S. canadensis invasion may alter the community structure, rather than the diversity and richness of SNB, to facilitate its invasion process. Of the nine urban ecosystems, the diversity and richness of SNB was highest in farmland wasteland. Accordingly, the community invasibility of farmland wasteland may be higher than that of the other types of urban ecosystem. In brief, landscape heterogeneity, rather than S. canadensis invasion, was the strongest controlling factor for the diversity and richness of SNB. One possible reason may be the differences in soil electrical conductivity and the taxonomic diversity of plant communities in the nine urban ecosystems, which can cause notable shifts in the diversity and richness of SNB. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Influence of a carp invasion on the zooplankton community in Laguna Medina, a Mediterranean shallow lake

    OpenAIRE

    Norbert, Florian; López-Luque, raquel; Ospina-Álvarez, Natalia; Hufnagel, Levente; Green, Andy J.

    2016-01-01

    The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a highly invasive species and an ecological engineer. It has been repeatedly shown to increase nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton biomass while destroying submerged macrophytes, although there are few studies from the Mediterranean region. We studied its impact on the zooplankton community in Laguna de Medina lake, a shallow lake in Jerez de la Frontera, south-west Spain. Carp were removed with rotenone in 2007 but returned in 2010-2011. ...

  17. Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) communities in reclaimed and unreclaimed brown coal mining spoil dumps in the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Holec, Michal; Frouz, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 49, č. 4 (2005), s. 345-357 ISSN 0031-4056 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) 1QS600660505; GA ČR(CZ) GA526/01/1055 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Keywords : succession * ant * coal mining Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.862, year: 2005

  18. An evaluation of the impact of Melaleuca quinquenervia invasion and managment on plant community structure after fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The successful management of invasive species can be particularly difficult in natural areas that depend on disturbances such as fire to maintain community structure and function. In these systems, fire-adapted invasive species may disproportionally benefit from post-fire resource availability, inc...

  19. 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....

  20. Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species – the roles of community attributes, Bromus Interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne; Germino, Matthew; Belnap, Jayne; Brown, Cynthia; Schupp, Eugene W.; St. Clair, Samuel B

    2016-01-01

    The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromushereafter) are diverse and context specific. They are influenced by the environmental characteristics and attributes of the community, the traits of Bromus species, and the direct and indirect interactions of Bromus with the plant community. Environmental factors, in particular ambient and soil temperatures, have significant effects on the ability of Bromus to establish and spread. Seasonality of precipitation relative to temperature influences plant community resistance toBromus through effects on soil water storage, timing of water and nutrient availability, and dominant plant life forms. Differences among plant communities in how well soil resource use by the plant community matches resource supply rates can influence the magnitude of resource fluctuations due to either climate or disturbance and thus the opportunities for invasion. The spatial and temporal patterns of resource availability and acquisition of growth resources by Bromus versus native species strongly influence resistance to invasion. Traits of Bromus that confer a “priority advantage” for resource use in many communities include early-season germination and high growth and reproductive rates. Resistance to Bromus can be overwhelmed by high propagule supply, low innate seed dormancy, and large, if short-lived, seed banks. Biological crusts can inhibit germination and establishment of invasive annual plants, including several annual Bromus species, but are effective only in the absence of disturbance. Herbivores can have negative direct effects on Bromus, but positive indirect effects through decreases in competitors. Management strategies can be improved through increased understanding of community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species.

  1. Where do adaptive shifts occur during invasion A multidisciplinary approach to unravel cold adaptation in a tropical ant species invading the Mediterranean zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although evolution is now recognized as improving the invasive success of populations, where and when key adaptation event(s) occur often remains unclear. Here we used a multidisciplinary approach to disentangle the eco-evolutionary scenario of invasion of a Mediterranean zone (i.e. Israel) by the t...

  2. Invasion of a dominant floral resource: effects on the floral community and pollination of native plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodell, Karen; Parker, Ingrid M

    2017-01-01

    Through competition for pollinators, invasive plants may suppress native flora. Community-level studies provide an integrative assessment of invasion impacts and insights into factors that influence the vulnerability of different native species. We investigated effects of the nonnative herb Lythrum salicaria on pollination of native species in 14 fens of the eastern United States. We compared visitors per flower for 122 native plant species in invaded and uninvaded fens and incorporated a landscape-scale experiment, removing L. salicaria flowers from three of the invaded fens. Total flower densities were more than three times higher in invaded than uninvaded or removal sites when L. salicaria was blooming. Despite an increase in number of visitors with number of flowers per area, visitors per native flower declined with increasing numbers of flowers. Therefore, L. salicaria invasion depressed visitation to native flowers. In removal sites, visitation to native flowers was similar to uninvaded sites, confirming the observational results and also suggesting that invasion had not generated a persistent build-up of visitor populations. To study species-level impacts, we examined effects of invasion on visitors per flower for the 36 plant species flowering in both invaded and uninvaded fens. On average, the effect of invasion represented about a 20% reduction in visits per flower. We measured the influence of plant traits on vulnerability to L. salicaria invasion using meta-analysis. Bilaterally symmetrical flowers experienced stronger impacts on visitation, and similarity in flower color to L. salicaria weakly intensified competition with the invader for visitors. Finally, we assessed the reproductive consequences of competition with the invader in a dominant flowering shrub, Dasiphora fruticosa. Despite the negative effect of invasion on pollinator visitation in this species, pollen limitation of seed production was not stronger in invaded than in uninvaded

  3. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaller, Johann G; Parth, Myriam; Szunyogh, Ilona; Semmelrock, Ines; Sochurek, Susanne; Pinheiro, Marcia; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2013-05-13

    Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms' specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms containing more plant

  4. Soil seed banks in plant invasions: promoting species invasiveness and long-term impakt on plant community dynamics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gioria, M.; Pyšek, Petr; Moravcová, Lenka

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 84, č. 2 (2012), s. 327-350 ISSN 0032-7786 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/0563 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : soil seed bank * plant invasions * species invasive ness Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.833, year: 2012

  5. Ecophysiological Responses of Invasive and Native Grass Communities with Simulated Warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quade, B.; Ravi, S.; Huxman, T. E.

    2010-12-01

    William Quade1, Sujith Ravi2, Ashley Weide2, Greg Barron-Gafford2, Katerina Dontsova2 and Travis E Huxman2 1Carthage College, WI 2 B2 Earthscience & UA Biosphere 2, University of Arizona, Tucson. Abstract Climate change, anthropogenic disturbances and lack of proper management practices have rendered many arid regions susceptible to invasions by exotic grasses with consequent ecohydrological, biogeochemical and socio economic implications. Thus, understanding the ecophysiological processes driving these large-scale vegetation shifts in drylands, in the context of rising temperatures and recurrent droughts is fundamental to global change research. Using the Biosphere 2 facility to maintain distinct temperature treatments of ambient and predicted warmer conditions (+ 4o C) inside, we compared the physiological (e.g. photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, biomass) responses of a native grass - Heteropogan contortus (Tanglehead) and an invasive grass - Pennisetum ciliare (Buffelgrass) growing in single and mixed communities. The results indicate that Buffelgrass can assimilate more CO2 per unit leaf area under current conditions, though warming seems to inhibit the performance when looking at biomass, photosynthesis and stomatal conductance. Under similar moisture regimes Buffelgrass performed better than Tangle head in mixed communities regardless of the temperature. Both grasses had decrease in stomatal conductance with warmer conditions, however the Buffel grass did not have the same decrease of conductance when planted in a mixed communities. Key words: Buffelgrass, Tanglehead, Biosphere 2, stomatal conductance, climate change

  6. Are the effects of an invasive crayfish on lake littoral macroinvertebrate communities consistent over time?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruokonen T. J.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Management of invasive species requires assessment of their effects on recipient ecosystems. However, impact assessment of invasive species commonly lacks a long-term perspective which can potentially lead to false conclusions. We examined the effects of the invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus Dana on the stony littoral macroinvertebrate communities of a large boreal lake and assessed the extent to which the patterns observed in previous short-term studies were stable over time. We used temporal macroinvertebrate data collected in five consecutive years from a site with a well-established crayfish population, a site with no crayfish and a site where crayfish had been recently introduced. Our results revealed that signal crayfish had temporally rather consistent negative effects on the benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages but that the effects might be limited to certain taxa, in particular Gastropoda and Coleoptera. We also observed increases in Gastropoda density and taxa richness following a decline in crayfish density, indicating that the recovery of invertebrate assemblages might be fast. Hence, negative effects on benthic macroinvertebrates can likely be minimized by effective control of the signal crayfish population.

  7. Impacts of elevated temperature on ant species, communities and ecological roles at two temperate forests in Eastern North America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunn, Robert [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)

    2014-04-01

    Over the course of five years we have established a long-term array of warming chambers at Duke and Harvard Forest that simulate future conditions with regard to temperature. In these chambers, we have studied, ants, other animal taxa, fungi, bacteria and plants and their responses to the treatments. We have coupled these studies with lab experiments, large-scale observations, and models to contextualize our results. Finally, we have developed integrative models of the future distribution of species and their consequences as a result of warming in eastern North America and more generally.

  8. Invasiveness does not predict impact: response of native land snail communities to plant invasions in riparian habitats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Horáčková, J.; Juřičková, L.; Šizling, A. L.; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 9 (2014), s. 1-10, e108296 E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : plant invasions * land snails * impact Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.234, year: 2014

  9. 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...

  10. Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackerott, Serena; Valdivia, Abel; Cox, Courtney E; Silbiger, Nyssa J; Bruno, John F

    2017-01-01

    Invasive lionfish are assumed to significantly affect Caribbean reef fish communities. However, evidence of lionfish effects on native reef fishes is based on uncontrolled observational studies or small-scale, unrepresentative experiments, with findings ranging from no effect to large effects on prey density and richness. Moreover, whether lionfish affect populations and communities of native reef fishes at larger, management-relevant scales is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lionfish on coral reef prey fish communities in a natural complex reef system. We quantified lionfish and the density, richness, and composition of native prey fishes (0-10 cm total length) at sixteen reefs along ∼250 km of the Belize Barrier Reef from 2009 to 2013. Lionfish invaded our study sites during this four-year longitudinal study, thus our sampling included fish community structure before and after our sites were invaded, i.e., we employed a modified BACI design. We found no evidence that lionfish measurably affected the density, richness, or composition of prey fishes. It is possible that higher lionfish densities are necessary to detect an effect of lionfish on prey populations at this relatively large spatial scale. Alternatively, negative effects of lionfish on prey could be small, essentially undetectable, and ecologically insignificant at our study sites. Other factors that influence the dynamics of reef fish populations including reef complexity, resource availability, recruitment, predation, and fishing could swamp any effects of lionfish on prey populations.

  11. Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serena Hackerott

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Invasive lionfish are assumed to significantly affect Caribbean reef fish communities. However, evidence of lionfish effects on native reef fishes is based on uncontrolled observational studies or small-scale, unrepresentative experiments, with findings ranging from no effect to large effects on prey density and richness. Moreover, whether lionfish affect populations and communities of native reef fishes at larger, management-relevant scales is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lionfish on coral reef prey fish communities in a natural complex reef system. We quantified lionfish and the density, richness, and composition of native prey fishes (0–10 cm total length at sixteen reefs along ∼250 km of the Belize Barrier Reef from 2009 to 2013. Lionfish invaded our study sites during this four-year longitudinal study, thus our sampling included fish community structure before and after our sites were invaded, i.e., we employed a modified BACI design. We found no evidence that lionfish measurably affected the density, richness, or composition of prey fishes. It is possible that higher lionfish densities are necessary to detect an effect of lionfish on prey populations at this relatively large spatial scale. Alternatively, negative effects of lionfish on prey could be small, essentially undetectable, and ecologically insignificant at our study sites. Other factors that influence the dynamics of reef fish populations including reef complexity, resource availability, recruitment, predation, and fishing could swamp any effects of lionfish on prey populations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. Impact of an invasive weed, Parthenium hysterophorus, on a pasture community in south east Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Thi; Bajwa, Ali Ahsan; Belgeri, Amalia; Navie, Sheldon; O'Donnell, Chris; Adkins, Steve

    2017-12-01

    Parthenium weed is a highly invasive alien species in more than 40 countries around the world. Along with severe negative effects on human and animal health and crop production, it also causes harm to ecosystem functioning by reducing the native plant species biodiversity. However, its impacts on native plant species, especially in pasture communities, are less known. Given parthenium weed causes substantial losses to Australian pastures' productivity, it is crucial to estimate its impact on pasture communities. This study evaluates the impact of parthenium weed upon species diversity in a pasture community at Kilcoy, south east Queensland, Australia. Sub-sites containing three levels of parthenium weed density (i.e. high, low and zero) were chosen to quantify the above- and below-ground plant community structure. Species richness, diversity and evenness were all found to be significantly reduced as the density of parthenium weed increased; an effect was evident even when parthenium weed was present at relatively low densities (i.e. two plants m -2 ). This trend was observed in the summer season as well as in winter season when this annual weed was absent from the above-ground plant community. This demonstrates the strong impact that parthenium weed has upon the community composition and functioning throughout the year. It also shows the long-term impact of parthenium weed on the soil seed bank where it had displaced several native species. So, management options used for parthenium weed should also consider the reduction of parthenium weed seed bank along with controlling its above-ground populations.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Prevalence and invasiveness of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: A meta-analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shipeng Li

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Reports suggest that the prevalence of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA has increased, and that CA-MRSA is more virulent than healthcare-associated (HA-MRSA. Aims: The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of the invasiveness and prevalence of CA-MRSA in patients; we systematically reviewed the literature by conducting a meta-analysis. Materials and Methods: We searched the MEDLINE and PUBMED databases from the year these databases were established to January 2013. Results: The pooled CA-MRSA prevalence among 50,737 patients from 33 studies was 39.0% (range, 30.8-47.8%. The pooled CA-MRSA prevalence rates among pediatric and adult patients with MRSA infection were 50.2% (range, 37.5-62.8% and 42.3% (range, 16.4-73.3%, respectively. The pooled CA-MRSA prevalence rates of MRSA-infected patients in Asia, Europe, and North America were 23.1% (range, 12.0-39.8%, 37.4% (range, 21.1-56.4%, and 47.4% (range, 35.8-59.4%, respectively. Using the random effects model, we determined that the pooled odds ratio of invasive infections in CA- and HA-MRSA was 0.30 (95% confidence interval: 0.08-1.10; P = 0.07, test for heterogeneity P < 0.00001. Conclusions: The prevalence of CA-MRSA in MRSA infection varied with area and population. No difference in the ability to cause invasive infections was found between CA- and HA-MRSA. This finding challenges the view that CA-MRSA is more virulent than HA-MRSA.

  18. Oral Samples as Non-Invasive Proxies for Assessing the Composition of the Rumen Microbial Community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilma Tapio

    Full Text Available Microbial community analysis was carried out on ruminal digesta obtained directly via rumen fistula and buccal fluid, regurgitated digesta (bolus and faeces of dairy cattle to assess if non-invasive samples could be used as proxies for ruminal digesta. Samples were collected from five cows receiving grass silage based diets containing no additional lipid or four different lipid supplements in a 5 x 5 Latin square design. Extracted DNA was analysed by qPCR and by sequencing 16S and 18S rRNA genes or the fungal ITS1 amplicons. Faeces contained few protozoa, and bacterial, fungal and archaeal communities were substantially different to ruminal digesta. Buccal and bolus samples gave much more similar profiles to ruminal digesta, although fewer archaea were detected in buccal and bolus samples. Bolus samples overall were most similar to ruminal samples. The differences between both buccal and bolus samples and ruminal digesta were consistent across all treatments. It can be concluded that either proxy sample type could be used as a predictor of the rumen microbial community, thereby enabling more convenient large-scale animal sampling for phenotyping and possible use in future animal breeding programs aimed at selecting cattle with a lower environmental footprint.

  19. Invasion of Opuntia humifusa and O. phaeacantha (Cactaceae into plant communities of the Karadag Nature Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina V. Fateryga

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The results of a study of Opuntia humifusa and O. phaeacantha naturalised in the Karadag Nature Reserve (southeastern part of the Crimean Peninsula are presented. There, the largest coenopopulations of Opuntia plants are confined to the «biostation» territory (bordering with the park, administrative buildings and housing estate. Twelve localities were described in the Karadag Reserve. These differ by phytocoenotic characteristics, area and floristic composition. Seven localities include only O. humifusa plants; four ones include only O. phaeacantha individuals; and both the species are present on the twelfth locality. The total number of individuals of each species and ontogenetic structure of the population were studied in each locality. The total number of O. humifusa individuals in the Karadag Reserve is more than 600 plants within the «biostation» territory, while the total number of O. phaeacantha plants is about 400 individuals. Studying of the plant communities has been carried out according to the Braun-Blanquet method. Opuntia plants form derivate communities within degraded steppes, phryganoid-steppes, and semi-desert badland phytocoenoses almost at all studied localities. A significant number of synanthropic species (including alien plants was found within these communities. Opuntia plants are able to self-reproduce predominantly vegetatively. Self-seeding reproduction occurs less frequently. Both species can be considered as invasive plants because they have a high adaptive capacity.

  20. 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 ...

  1. Responses of soil N-fixing bacteria communities to invasive plant species under different types of simulated acid deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Congyan; Zhou, Jiawei; Jiang, Kun; Liu, Jun; Du, Daolin

    2017-06-01

    Biological invasions have incurred serious threats to native ecosystems in China, and soil N-fixing bacteria communities (SNB) may play a vital role in the successful plant invasion. Meanwhile, anthropogenic acid deposition is increasing in China, which may modify or upgrade the effects that invasive plant species can cause on SNB. We analyzed the structure and diversity of SNB by means of new generation sequencing technology in soils with different simulated acid deposition (SAD), i.e., different SO4 2- to NO3 - ratios, and where the invasive ( Amaranthus retroflexus L.) and the native species ( Amaranthus tricolor L.) grew mixed or isolated for 3 months. A. retroflexus itself did not exert significant effects on the diversity and richness of SNB but did it under certain SO4 2- to NO3 - ratios. Compared to soils where the native species grew isolated, the soils where the invasive A. retroflexus grew isolated showed lower relative abundance of some SNB classes under certain SAD treatments. Some types of SAD can alter soil nutrient content which in turn could affect SNB diversity and abundance. Specifically, greater SO4 2- to NO3 - ratios tended to have more toxic effects on SNB likely due to the higher exchange capacity of hydroxyl groups (OH-) between SO4 2- and NO3 -. As a conclusion, it can be expected a change in the structure of SNB after A. retroflexus invasion under acid deposition rich in sulfuric acid. This change may create a plant soil feedback favoring future A. retroflexus invasions.

  2. Effects of the emerald ash borer invasion on the community composition of arthropods associated with ash tree boles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire is an invasive non-native wood-boring beetle that has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) in North America, and threatens to extirpate the ecological services provided by the genus. Identifying the arthropod community assoc...

  3. 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...

  4. Influence of Spartina alterniflora invasion stages on macrobenthic communities on a tidal flat in Wenzhou Bay, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bao-Ming Ge

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Many coastal habitats in eastern China are being substantially altered by the invasion of Spartina alterniflora. The species richness, density, Margalef's diversity index (R and Shannon's diversity index (H' of macrobenthic communities on a tidal flat in Wenzhou Bay, China, were analyzed with the factors of invasion stage and season, in 2007. A significant effect of invasion stage, season, and the interaction between them on communities was detected. The macrobenthic community was more complex in the patch of initial S. alterniflora invasion than in the patches of some other invasion stages. Macrobenthic communities were classified by cluster and ordination in accordance with the habitat character of the S. alterniflora invasion stage. Our research demonstrated that the S. alterniflora invasion stage affected the macrobenthic communities significantly. The results indicated that biodiversity increased in the initial stage of invasion (invasion age 1-2 years and then decreased in the stage of invasion underway (invasion age 3-4 years and in the stage of invasion completed (invasion age 5-6 years; this phenomenon was related to the change in the S. alterniflora canopy which accompanied the invasion stages.Muitos habitats costeiros vêm sendo alterados substancialmente pela invasão de Spartina alterniflora no leste da China. Em 2007, em uma planície de maré situada em Wenzhou Bay, foram analisadas riqueza de espécies, densidade e diversidade da macrofauna bêntica em relação a diferentes estágios da invasão da gramínea e à estação do ano. Para as medidas de diversidade foram usados os índices de Margalef (R e de Shannon (H'. Foram detectados efeitos significativos do estágio de invasão e época do ano sobre a macrofauna. As comunidades macrofaunais foram mais complexas nas manchas onde a invasão de S. alterniflora estava no seu início, quando considerados os locais onde as manchas estavam em estágios mais avançados. Através das

  5. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

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    Chelsea J Carey

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing, plant invasion + nitrogen (N fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5-6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO3- availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes.

  6. Allelopathy and resource competition: the effects of Phragmites australis invasion in plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uddin, Md Nazim; Robinson, Randall William

    2017-12-01

    Phragmites australis, a ubiquitous wetland plant, has been considered one of the most invasive species in the world. Allelopathy appears to be one of the invasion mechanisms, however, the effects could be masked by resource competition among target plants. The difficulty of distinguishing allelopathy from resource competition among plants has hindered investigations of the role of phytotoxic allelochemicals in plant communities. This has been addressed via experiments conducted in both the greenhouse and laboratory by growing associated plants, Melaleuca ericifolia, Rumex conglomeratus, and model plant, Lactuca sativa at varying densities with the allelopathic plant, P. australis, its litter and leachate of P. australis litter. This study investigated the potential interacting influences of allelopathy and resource competition on plant growth-density relationships. In greenhouse, the root exudates mediated effects showed the strongest growth inhibition of M. ericifolia at high density whereas litter mediated results revealed increased growth at medium density treatments compared to low and high density. Again, laboratory experiments related to seed germination and seedling growth of L. sativa and R. conglomeratus exhibited phytotoxicity decreased showing positive growth as plant density increased and vice versa. Overall, the differential effects were observed among experiments but maximum individual plant biomass and some other positive effects on plant traits such as root and shoot length, chlorophyll content occurred at an intermediate density. This was attributed to the sharing of the available phytotoxin among plants at high densities which is compatible to density-dependent phytotoxicity model. The results demonstrated that plant-plant interference is the combined effect of allelopathy and resource competition with many other factors but this experimental design, target-neighbor mixed-culture in combination of plant grown at varying densities with varying

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Biodiversity of Soil Microbial Communities Following Woody Plant Invasion of Grassland: An Assessment Using Molecular Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Gentry, T. J.; Filley, T. R.; Boutton, T. W.

    2012-12-01

    Woody plants have encroached into grasslands, savannas, and other grass-dominated ecosystems throughout the world during the last century. This dramatic vegetation change is likely driven by livestock grazing, altered fire frequencies, elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and/or changes in atmospheric deposition patterns. Woody invasion often results in significant changes in ecosystem function, including alterations in above- and belowground primary productivity, soil C, N, and P storage and turnover, and the size and activity of the soil microbial biomass pool. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships and interactions between plant communities and soil microbial communities in the Rio Grande Plains region of southern Texas where grasslands have been largely replaced by woodlands. Research was conducted along a successional chronosequence representing the stages of woody plant encroachment from open grassland to closed-canopy woodland. To characterize soil microbial community composition, soil samples (0-7.5 cm) were collected in remnant grasslands (representing time 0) and near the centers of woody plant clusters, groves, and drainage woodlands ranging in age from 10 to 130 yrs. Ages of woody plant stands were determined by dendrochronology. Community DNA was extracted from each soil sample with a MoBio PowerMax Soil DNA isolation kit. The DNA concentrations were quantified on a NanoDrop ND-1000 spectrophotometer and diluted to a standard concentration. Pyrosequencing was performed by the Research and Testing Laboratory (Lubbock, TX) according to Roche 454 Titanium chemistry protocols. Samples were amplified with primers 27F and 519R for bacteria, and primers ITS1F and ITS4 for fungi. Sequences were aligned using BioEdit and the RDP Pipeline and analyzed in MOTHUR. Non-metric multidimensional scaling of the operational taxonomic units identified by pyrosequencing revealed that both bacterial and fungal community composition were

  10. Bacterial invasion potential in water is determined by nutrient availability and the indigenous community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Nevel, Sam; De Roy, Karen; Boon, Nico

    2013-09-01

    In drinking water (DW) and the distribution systems, bacterial growth and biofilm formation have to be controlled both for limiting taste or odour development and preventing clogging or biocorrosion problems. After a contamination with undesired bacteria, factors like nutrient availability and temperature will influence the survival of these invaders. Understanding the conditions enabling invaders to proliferate is essential for a holistic approach towards microbial risk assessment in DW. Pseudomonas putida was used as a model invader because this easy-growing bacterium can use a wide range of substrates. Invasion experiments in oligo- to eutrophic waters showed the requirement of both a carbon and phosphate source for survival of P. putida in DW. Addition of C, N and P enabled P. putida to grow in DW from 5.80 × 10(4) to 1.84 × 10(8) cells mL(-1) and survive for at least 12 days. However, in surface water with similar nutrient concentrations, P. putida did not survive, indicating the concomitant importance of the present indigenous microbial community of the specific water sample. Either extensive carbon or phosphate limitation can be used in water treatment design in order to obtain a DW which is not susceptible for unwanted bacterial growth. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Differences found in the macroinvertebrate community composition in the presence or absence of the invasive alien crayfish, Orconectes hylas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeland-Riggert, Brandye T.; Cairns, Stefan H.; Poulton, Barry C.; Riggert, Chris M.

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of alien species into aquatic ecosystems have been well documented, including invasions of crayfish species; however, little is known about the effects of these introductions on macroinvertebrate communities. The woodland crayfish (Orconectes hylas (Faxon)) has been introduced into the St. Francis River watershed in southeast Missouri and has displaced populations of native crayfish. The effects of O. hylas on macroinvertebrate community composition were investigated in a fourth-order Ozark stream at two locations, one with the presence of O. hylas and one without. Significant differences between sites and across four sampling periods and two habitats were found in five categories of benthic macroinvertebrate metrics: species richness, percent/composition, dominance/diversity, functional feeding groups, and biotic indices. In most seasons and habitat combinations, the invaded site had significantly higher relative abundance of riffle beetles (Coleoptera: Elmidae), and significantly lower Missouri biotic index values, total taxa richness, and both richness and relative abundance of midges (Diptera: Chironomidae). Overall study results indicate that some macroinvertebrate community differences due to the O. hylas invasion were not consistent between seasons and habitats, suggesting that further research on spatial and temporal habitat use and feeding ecology of Ozark crayfish species is needed to improve our understanding of the effects of these invasions on aquatic communities.

  14. Race to Displace: A Game to Model the Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopwood, Jennifer L.; Flowers, Susan K.; Seidler, Katie J.; Hopwood, Erica L.

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species are a substantial threat to biodiversity. Educating students about invasive species introduces fundamental concepts in biology, ecology, and environmental science. In the Race to Displace game, students assume the characteristics of select native or introduced plants and experience first hand the influences of species interactions…

  15. [Invasive pneumococcal disease in the Community of Valencia. Six years of surveillance (2007-2012)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciancotti Oliver, Lucía Rosa; Huertas Zarco, Isabel; Pérez Pérez, Elvira; Carmona Martí, Esther; Carbó Malonda, Rosa; Gil Bru, Ana; González Moran, Francisco

    2015-03-01

    The introduction of conjugated anti-pneumonia vaccines has led to a change in the epidemiology of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD). The aim of this study is to describe the trends in IPD in the Community of Valencia during the period 2007-2012. A retrospective, descriptive and longitudinal study was conducted on IPD in the Community of Valencia during the period 2007-2012, The information sources used were the Epidemiological Surveillance Analysis (Análisis de la Vigilancia Epidemiológica (AVE)) and the Valencian Microbiology Network (Red Microbiológica Valenciana (RedMIVA)) of the Valencia Health Department. The incidence of IPD decreased between 2007 and 2012 in all age groups, mainly in the under 5 year-olds, dropping from 30.5 cases to 12.3 cases per 10(5) inhabitants (p< .001). Pneumonia was the principal presentation of the disease, with a decrease in its rates from 6.9 to 4.1 cases per 10(5) inhabitants (p< .001). A gradual, non-significant, reduction from 26% to 12% (p=.23) was observed in the proportion of cases due to the serotypes contained in the heptavalent vaccine (PCV7), mainly in the under 5 year-olds. The cases due to additional serotypes in 13-valent conjugated vaccine (1, 3, 5, 6A, 7F and 19A) also showed a decreasing trend, mainly in vaccinated under 5 year-olds (52.6% vs 14.3%; p=.03), while the cases due to non-vaccine serotypes significantly increased from 42.3% to 56.7% in the general population (p=.002), and from 47.4% to 78.6% in vaccinated under 5 year-olds (p=.08). The results of this study show a reduction in the incidence of IPD, with a decrease in the proportion of cases produced by vaccine serotypes, and an increase in the proportion of those not vaccinated. Epidemiological Surveillance is necessary to monitor the trends in the disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier España, S.L.U. y Sociedad Española de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica. All rights reserved.

  16. Effects of Spartina alterniflora invasion on the communities of methanogens and sulfate-reducing bacteria in estuarine marsh sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jemaneh eZeleke

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The effect of plant invasion on the microorganisms of soil sediments is very important for estuary ecology. The community structures of methanogens and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB as a function of Spartina alterniflora invasion in Phragmites australis-vegetated sediments of the Dongtan wetland in the Yangtze River estuary, China, were investigated using 454 pyrosequencing and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR of the methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA and dissimilatory sulfite-reductase (dsrB genes. Sediment samples were collected from two replicate locations, and each location included three sampling stands each covered by monocultures of P. australis, S. alterniflora and both plants (transition stands, respectively. qPCR analysis revealed higher copy numbers of mcrA genes in sediments from S. alterniflora stands than P. australis stands (5- and 7.5-fold more in the spring and summer, respectively, which is consistent with the higher methane flux rates measured in the S. alterniflora stands (up to 8.01 ± 5.61 mg m-2 h-1. Similar trends were observed for SRB, and they were up to two orders of magnitude higher than the methanogens. Diversity indices indicated a lower diversity of methanogens in the S. alterniflora stands than the P. australis stands. In contrast, insignificant variations were observed in the diversity of SRB with the invasion. Although Methanomicrobiales and Methanococcales, the hydrogenotrophic methanogens, dominated in the salt marsh, Methanomicrobiales displayed a slight increase with the invasion and growth of S. alterniflora, whereas the later responded differently. Methanosarcina, the metabolically diverse methanogens, did not vary with the invasion of, but Methanosaeta, the exclusive acetate utilizers, appeared to increase with S. alterniflora invasion. In SRB, sequences closely related to the families Desulfobacteraceae and Desulfobulbaceae dominated in the salt marsh, although they displayed minimal changes with the S

  17. Effects of Bromus tectorum invasion on microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling in two adjacent undisturbed arid grassland communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, Sean M.; Ziegler, Susan E.; Belnap, Jayne; Evans, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    Soil nitrogen (N) is an important component in maintaining ecosystem stability, and the introduction of non-native plants can alter N cycling by changing litter quality and quantity, nutrient uptake patterns, and soil food webs. Our goal was to determine the effects of Bromus tectorum (C3) invasion on soil microbial N cycling in adjacent non-invaded and invaded C3 and C4 native arid grasslands. We monitored resin-extractable N, plant and soil δ13C and δ15N, gross rates of inorganic N mineralization and consumption, and the quantity and isotopic composition of microbial phospholipid biomarkers. In invaded C3 communities, labile soil organic N and gross and net rates of soil N transformations increased, indicating an increase in overall microbial N cycling. In invaded C4 communities labile soil N stayed constant, but gross N flux rates increased. The δ13C of phospholipid biomarkers in invaded C4 communities showed that some portion of the soil bacterial population preferentially decomposed invader C3-derived litter over that from the native C4 species. Invasion in C4 grasslands also significantly decreased the proportion of fungal to bacterial phospholipid biomarkers. Different processes are occurring in response to B. tectorum invasion in each of these two native grasslands that: 1) alter the size of soil N pools, and/or 2) the activity of the microbial community. Both processes provide mechanisms for altering long-term N dynamics in these ecosystems and highlight how multiple mechanisms can lead to similar effects on ecosystem function, which may be important for the construction of future biogeochemical process models.

  18. Epidemiology and patterns of care for invasive breast carcinoma at a community hospital in Southern India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venkata Phanindra

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Breast cancer incidence in India is on rise. We report epidemiological, clinical and survival patterns of breast cancer patients from community perspective. Methods All breast cancer patients treated at this hospital from July 2000 to July 2005 were included. All had cytological or histological confirmation of breast cancer. TNM guidelines for staging and Immunohistochemistry to assess the receptor status were used. Either lumpectomy with axillary lymph node dissection or Modified radical mastectomy (MRM was done for operable breast cancer, followed by 6 cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy with FAC or CMF regimens to patients with pT >1 cm or lymph node positive or estrogen receptor negative and radiotherapy to patients after breast conservation surgery, pT size > 5 cm, 4 or more positive nodes and stage IIIB disease. Patients with positive Estrogen receptor or Progesterone receptor were advised Tamoxifene 20 mg per day for 3 years. Descriptive analysis was performed. Independent T test and Chi-square test were used. Overall survival time was computed by Kaplan – Meier method. Results Of 1488 cancer patients, 122 (8.2% had breast cancer. Of 122 patients, 96.7% had invasive breast carcinoma and 3.3% had sarcoma. 94% came from the rural and semi urban areas. Premenopausal women were 27%. The median age was 50 years. Stage I-6.8%, II-45.8%, III-22%, IV-6.8%, Bilateral breast cancer – 2.5%. The mean pT size was 3.9 cm. ER and PR were positive in 31.6% and 28.1% respectively. MRM was done in 93.8%, while 6.3% patients underwent breast conservation surgery. The mean of the lymph nodes dissected were 3. CMF and FAC regimens were used in 48.8% and 51.2% of patients respectively. FAC group were younger than the CMF group (43.6 yr vs. 54 yrs, P = 0.000. Toxicities were more in FAC than CMF group, alopecia (100% vs. 26.2%, grade2 or more emesis (31.8% vs. 9.2%, grade2 or more fatigue (40.9% vs.19%, anemia (43.1% vs. 16.6%. Median

  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. Man-induced hydrological changes, metazooplankton communities and invasive species in the Berre Lagoon (Mediterranean Sea, France)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delpy, Floriane; Pagano, Marc; Blanchot, Jean; Carlotti, François; Thibault-Botha, Delphine

    2012-01-01

    The Berre Lagoon has been under strong anthropogenic pressure since the early 1950s. The opening of the hydroelectric EDF power plant in 1966 led to large salinity drops. The zooplankton community was mainly composed of two common brackish species: Acartia tonsa and Brachionus plicatilis. Since 2006, European litigation has strongly constrained the input of freshwater, maintaining the salinity above 15. A study was performed between 2008 and 2010 to evaluate how these modifications have impacted the zooplankton community. Our results show that the community is more diverse and contains several coastal marine species (i.e., Centropages typicus, Paracalanus parvus and Acartia clausi). A. tonsa is still present but is less abundant, whereas B. plicatilis has completely disappeared. Strong predatory marine species, such as chaetognaths, the large conspicuous autochtonous jellyfish Aurelia aurita and the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, are now very common as either seasonal or permanent features of the lagoon.

  1. 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.

  2. Impact of invasions by alien plants on soil seed bank communities: emerging patterns

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gioria, Margherita; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 3 (2014), s. 132-142 ISSN 1433-8319 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/11/1028; GA ČR GB14-36079G Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : plant invasions * impact * soil seed bank Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.606, year: 2014

  3. Eutrophication and Dreissena invasion as drivers of biodiversity: a century of change in the mollusc community of Oneida Lake.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vadim A Karatayev

    Full Text Available Changes in nutrient loading and invasive species are among the strongest human-driven disturbances in freshwater ecosystems, but our knowledge on how they affect the biodiversity of lakes is still limited. We conducted a detailed historical analysis of the mollusc community of Oneida Lake based on our comprehensive lakewide study in 2012 and previous surveys dating back to 1915. In the early 20th century, the lake had a high water clarity, with abundant macrophytes and benthic algae, and hosted the most diverse molluscan community in New York State, including 32 gastropod and 9 unionid species. By the 1960s, lake turbidity increased during a period of anthropogenic eutrophication, resulting in a 38% decline in species richness and a 95% reduction in abundance of native gastropods grazing on benthic algae. Following the invasion of Dreissena spp. in 1991 and subsequent increases in water clarity, native gastropod species richness expanded by 37% and abundance increased 20-fold by 2012. In contrast, filter-feeding unionids were unaffected by increased turbidity during the period of eutrophication but were extirpated by dreissenids. Through contrasting effects on turbidity, eutrophication and Dreissena spp. have likely driven the observed changes in native grazing gastropods by affecting the abundance of light-limited benthic algae. Given the high species richness and ecological importance of benthic grazers, monitoring and managing turbidity is important in preserving molluscan diversity.

  4. Effect of plant species richness on weed invasion in experimental plant communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lanta, Vojtěch; Lepš, Jan

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 198, č. 2 (2008), s. 253-263 ISSN 1385-0237 R&D Projects: GA ČR GD206/03/H034; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516; CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : Biodiversity * Invasion * Weeds Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.730, year: 2008

  5. The legacy of plant invasions: changes in the soil seed bank of invaded plant communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gioria, Margherita; Pyšek, Petr

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 66, č. 1 (2016), s. 40-53 ISSN 0006-3568 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-13491S; GA ČR GB14-36079G Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : plant invasions * soil seed bank * impact Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 5.378, year: 2016

  6. Impacts of an invasive tree across trophic levels: species richness, community composition and resident species’ traits

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hejda, Martin; Hanzelka, J.; Kadlec, T.; Štrobl, M.; Pyšek, Petr

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 9 (2017), s. 997-1007 ISSN 1366-9516 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36079G; GA ČR(CZ) GA14-21715S Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : invasions * impact * trophic level Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Biodiversity conservation Impact factor: 4.391, year: 2016

  7. Legacy effects overwhelm the short-term effects of exotic plant invasion and restoration on soil microbial community structure, enzyme activities, and nitrogen cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgersma, Kenneth J; Ehrenfeld, Joan G; Yu, Shen; Vor, Torsten

    2011-11-01

    Plant invasions can have substantial consequences for the soil ecosystem, altering microbial community structure and nutrient cycling. However, relatively little is known about what drives these changes, making it difficult to predict the effects of future invasions. In addition, because most studies compare soils from uninvaded areas to long-established dense invasions, little is known about the temporal dependence of invasion impacts. We experimentally manipulated forest understory vegetation in replicated sites dominated either by exotic Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii), native Viburnums, or native Vacciniums, so that each vegetation type was present in each site-type. We compared the short-term effect of vegetation changes to the lingering legacy effects of the previous vegetation type by measuring soil microbial community structure (phospholipid fatty acids) and function (extracellular enzymes and nitrogen mineralization). We also replaced the aboveground litter in half of each plot with an inert substitute to determine if changes in the soil microbial community were driven by aboveground or belowground plant inputs. We found that after 2 years, the microbial community structure and function was largely determined by the legacy effect of the previous vegetation type, and was not affected by the current vegetation. Aboveground litter removal had only weak effects, suggesting that changes in the soil microbial community and nutrient cycling were driven largely by belowground processes. These results suggest that changes in the soil following either invasion or restoration do not occur quickly, but rather exhibit long-lasting legacy effects from previous belowground plant inputs.

  8. 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

  9. How ecosystems change following invasion by Robinia pseudoacacia: Insights from soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzaro, Lorenzo; Mazza, Giuseppe; d'Errico, Giada; Fabiani, Arturo; Giuliani, Claudia; Inghilesi, Alberto F; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Landi, Silvia; Lastrucci, Lorenzo; Pastorelli, Roberta; Roversi, Pio Federico; Torrini, Giulia; Tricarico, Elena; Foggi, Bruno

    2018-05-01

    Biological invasions are a global threat to biodiversity. Since the spread of invasive alien plants may have many impacts, an integrated approach, assessing effects across various ecosystem components, is needed for a correct understanding of the invasion process and its consequences. The nitrogen-fixing tree Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) is a major invasive species worldwide and is used in forestry production. While its effects on plant communities and soils are well known, there have been few studies on soil fauna and microbes. We investigated the impacts of the tree on several ecosystem components, using a multi-trophic approach to combine evidence of soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities. We sampled soil and vegetation in managed forests, comparing those dominated by black locust with native deciduous oak stands. We found qualitative and quantitative changes in all components analysed, such as the well-known soil nitrification and acidification in stands invaded by black locust. Bacterial richness was the only component favoured by the invasion. On the contrary, abundance and richness of microarthropods, richness of nematodes, and richness and diversity of plant communities decreased significantly in invaded stands. The invasion process caused a compositional shift in all studied biotic communities and in relationships between the different ecosystem components. We obtained clear insights into the effects of invasion of managed native forests by black locust. Our data confirms that the alien species transforms several ecosystem components, modifying the plant-soil community and affecting biodiversity at different levels. Correct management of this aggressive invader in temperate forests is urgently required. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Assessing plant community composition fails to capture impacts of white-tailed deer on native and invasive plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuzzo, Victoria; Dávalos, Andrea; Blossey, Bernd

    2017-07-01

    Excessive herbivory can have transformative effects on forest understory vegetation, converting diverse communities into depauperate ones, often with increased abundance of non-native plants. White-tailed deer are a problematic herbivore throughout much of eastern North America and alter forest understory community structure. Reducing (by culling) or eliminating (by fencing) deer herbivory is expected to return understory vegetation to a previously diverse condition. We examined this assumption from 1992 to 2006 at Fermilab (Batavia, IL) where a cull reduced white-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ) abundance in 1998/1999 by 90 % from 24.6 to 2.5/km 2 , and at West Point, NY, where we assessed interactive effects of deer, earthworms, and invasive plants using 30 × 30 m paired fenced and open plots in 12 different forests from 2009 to 2012. We recorded not only plant community responses (species presence and cover) within 1 m 2 quadrats, but also responses of select individual species (growth, reproduction). At Fermilab, introduced Alliaria petiolata abundance initially increased as deer density increased, but then declined after deer reduction. The understory community responded to the deer cull by increased cover, species richness and height, and community composition changed but was dominated by early successional native forbs. At West Point plant community composition was affected by introduced earthworm density but not deer exclusion. Native plant cover increased and non-native plant cover decreased in fenced plots, thus keeping overall plant cover similar. At both sites native forb cover increased in response to deer reduction, but the anticipated response of understory vegetation failed to materialize at the community level. Deer-favoured forbs ( Eurybia divaricata , Maianthemum racemosum , Polygonatum pubescens and Trillium recurvatum ) grew taller and flowering probability increased in the absence of deer. Plant community monitoring fails to capture

  11. Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species: The roles of community attributes, Bromus interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits [Chapter 10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Matthew J. Germino; Jayne Belnap; Cynthia S. Brown; Eugene W. Schupp; Samuel B. St. Clair

    2016-01-01

    The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromus hereafter) are diverse and context specific. They are influenced by the environmental characteristics and attributes of the community, the traits of Bromus species, and the direct and indirect interactions of Bromus with the plant community. Environmental factors, in...

  12. Interactions between the invasive Burmese python, Python bivittatus Kuhl, and the local mosquito community in Florida, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Lawrence E; Krysko, Kenneth L; Avery, Michael L; Gillett-Kaufman, Jennifer L; Kawahara, Akito Y; Connelly, C Roxanne; Kaufman, Phillip E

    2018-01-01

    The Burmese python, Python bivittatus Kuhl, is a well-established invasive species in the greater Everglades ecosystem of southern Florida, USA. Most research on its ecological impacts focuses on its role as a predator and its trophic interactions with native vertebrate species, particularly mammals. Beyond predation, there is little known about the ecological interactions between P. bivittatus and native faunal communities. It is likely that established populations of P. bivittatus in southern Florida serve as hosts for native mosquito communities. To test this concept, we used mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I DNA barcoding to determine the hosts of blood fed mosquitoes collected at a research facility in northern Florida where captive P. bivittatus and Argentine black and white tegu, Salvator merianae (Duméril and Bibron), are maintained in outdoor enclosures, accessible to local mosquitoes. We recovered python DNA from the blood meals of three species of Culex mosquitoes: Culex erraticus (Dyar and Knab), Culex quinquefasciatus Say, and Culex pilosus (Dyar and Knab). Culex erraticus conclusively (P = 0.001; Fisher's Exact Test) took more blood meals from P. bivittatus than from any other available host. While the majority of mosquito blood meals in our sample were derived from P. bivittatus, only one was derived from S. merianae. These results demonstrate that local mosquitoes will feed on invasive P. bivittatus, a recently introduced host. If these interactions also occur in southern Florida, P. bivittatus may be involved in the transmission networks of mosquito-vectored pathogens. Our results also illustrate the potential of detecting the presence of P. bivittatus in the field through screening mosquito blood meals for their DNA.

  13. Interactions between the invasive Burmese python, Python bivittatus Kuhl, and the local mosquito community in Florida, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawrence E Reeves

    Full Text Available The Burmese python, Python bivittatus Kuhl, is a well-established invasive species in the greater Everglades ecosystem of southern Florida, USA. Most research on its ecological impacts focuses on its role as a predator and its trophic interactions with native vertebrate species, particularly mammals. Beyond predation, there is little known about the ecological interactions between P. bivittatus and native faunal communities. It is likely that established populations of P. bivittatus in southern Florida serve as hosts for native mosquito communities. To test this concept, we used mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I DNA barcoding to determine the hosts of blood fed mosquitoes collected at a research facility in northern Florida where captive P. bivittatus and Argentine black and white tegu, Salvator merianae (Duméril and Bibron, are maintained in outdoor enclosures, accessible to local mosquitoes. We recovered python DNA from the blood meals of three species of Culex mosquitoes: Culex erraticus (Dyar and Knab, Culex quinquefasciatus Say, and Culex pilosus (Dyar and Knab. Culex erraticus conclusively (P = 0.001; Fisher's Exact Test took more blood meals from P. bivittatus than from any other available host. While the majority of mosquito blood meals in our sample were derived from P. bivittatus, only one was derived from S. merianae. These results demonstrate that local mosquitoes will feed on invasive P. bivittatus, a recently introduced host. If these interactions also occur in southern Florida, P. bivittatus may be involved in the transmission networks of mosquito-vectored pathogens. Our results also illustrate the potential of detecting the presence of P. bivittatus in the field through screening mosquito blood meals for their DNA.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Metazoan parasite communities: support for the biological invasion of Barbus barbus and its hybridization with the endemic Barbus meridionalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Gettová

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recently, human intervention enabled the introduction of Barbus barbus from the Rhône River basin into the Barbus meridionalis habitats of the Argens River. After an introduction event, parasite loss and lower infection can be expected in non-native hosts in contrast to native species. Still, native species might be endangered by hybridization with the incomer and the introduction of novel parasite species. In our study, we aimed to examine metazoan parasite communities in Barbus spp. populations in France, with a special emphasis on the potential threat posed by the introduction of novel parasite species by invasive B. barbus to local B. meridionalis. Methods Metazoan parasite communities were examined in B. barbus, B. meridionalis and their hybrids in three river basins in France. Microsatellites were used for the species identification of individual fish. Parasite abundance, prevalence, and species richness were compared. Effects of different factors on parasite infection levels and species richness were tested using GLM. Results Metazoan parasites followed the expansion range of B. barbus and confirmed its introduction into the Argens River. Here, the significantly lower parasite number and lower levels of infection found in B. barbus in contrast to B. barbus from the Rhône River supports the enemy release hypothesis. Barbus barbus × B. meridionalis hybridization in the Argens River basin was confirmed using both microsatellites and metazoan parasites, as hybrids were infected by parasites of both parental taxa. Trend towards higher parasite diversity in hybrids when compared to parental taxa, and similarity between parasite communities from the Barbus hybrid zone suggest that hybrids might represent “bridges” for parasite infection between B. barbus and B. meridionalis. Risk of parasite transmission from less parasitized B. barbus to more parasitized B. meridionalis indicated from our study in the Argens River

  17. Arthropods of Rose Atoll with special reference to ants and Pulvinaria Urbicola Scales (Hempitera Coccidae) on Pisonia Grandis trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.; Pendleton, Frank; Schmaedick, Mark; Ernsberger, Kelsie

    2014-01-01

    Rose Atoll, at the eastern end of the Samoan Archipelago, is a small but important refuge for seabirds, shorebirds, and sea turtles. While the vertebrate community is relatively well-studied, the terrestrial arthropod fauna, and its role in ecosystem function, are poorly known. Arthropods may be influencing the decline of Pisonia grandis, an ecologically important tree that once dominated the 6.6 ha of land on Rose Atoll. Reasons for the decline are not fully understood but a facultative relationship between two invasive arthropods, the soft scale Pulvinaria urbicola and ants, likely has contributed to tree death. The primary objectives of this study were to systematically survey the terrestrial arthropod fauna and identify ant species that tend scales on Pisonia. Using an array of standard arthropod collecting techniques, at least 73 species from 20 orders were identified, including nine ant species. Of the ants collected, only Tetramorium bicarinatum and T. simillimum were observed tending scales on Pisonia. No known natural enemies of Pulvinaria scales were found, suggesting little predation on scale populations. Treatment of Pisonia with the systemic insecticide imidacloprid failed to eliminate Pulvinaria scales, although short-term suppression apparently occurred. The arthropod fauna of Rose Atoll is dominated by exotic species that likely have a significant impact on the structure and function of the island’s ecosystem.

  18. Does invasive Chondrostoma nasus shift the parasite community structure of endemic Parachondrostoma toxostoma in sympatric zones?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The composition of parasite communities in two cyprinid species in southern France – native and threatened Parachondrostoma toxostoma and introduced Chondrostoma nasus – was investigated. In sympatry, these two species form two hybrid zones in the Durance and Ardeche Rivers. Due to their different feeding preference and habitat positions in allopatry, we supposed a difference in parasite communities between fish species. We expected more similar parasite communities in sympatric zones associated with habitat overlap (facilitating the transmission of ectoparasites) and similar feeding (more generalist behaviour when compared to allopatry, facilitating the transmission of endoparasites) in both fish species. Finally, we investigated whether P. toxostoma x C. nasus hybrids are less parasitized then parental species. Methods One allopatric population of each fish species plus two sympatric zones were sampled. Fish were identified using cytochrome b gene and 41 microsatellites loci and examined for all metazoan parasites. Results A high Monogenea abundance was found in both allopatric and sympatric populations of C. nasus. Trematoda was the dominant group in parasite communities of P. toxostoma from the allopatric population. In contrast, the populations of P. toxostoma in sympatric zones were parasitized by Dactylogyrus species found in C. nasus populations, but their abundance in endemic species was low. Consequently, the similarity based on parasite presence/absence between the sympatric populations of P. toxostoma and C. nasus was high. Sympatric populations of P. toxostoma were more similar than allopatric and sympatric populations of this species. No difference in ectoparasite infection was found between P. toxostoma and hybrids, whilst C. nasus was more parasitized by Monogenea. Conclusions The differences in endoparasites between P. toxostoma and C. nasus in allopatry are probably linked to different feeding or habitat conditions, but host

  19. Phosphorus as a Limiting Nutrient in Zooplankton Communities Above a Reef Dominated by the Invasive Quagga Mussel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, J.; Cuhel, R. L.; Aguilar, C.

    2008-12-01

    Comprehensive water column data were retrieved from three sites in open waters of Lake Michigan during the summer of 2008. At two, the invasive quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) functioned as a phosphorus sink. One of these sites, Sheboygan Reef (SR04), exhibited a lower average soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) value throughout its water column. The large size fraction of the phytoplankton community at this site contained proportionally less of the total seston phosphorus than at other comparable sites. Instead of this simply being a reflection of less large phytoplankton, phosphorus enrichment experiments conducted along with other lines of evidence indicate it may, in fact, reflect less phosphorus per unit of weight in the large phytoplankton community. In these experiments, larger phytoplankton were observed to be less efficient at assimilating phosphate after low-level additions (0.1 μM) were made to simulate the amount of phosphorus added during for example a rainstorm. The relatively inefficient uptake of short-term injections of phosphate observed in the large phytoplankton class is more influential on the overall uptake of phosphorus at a site like SR04 which ordinarily has low levels of available phosphorus (quagga mussel community at this site (>10,000 m-2) dominated the phosphorus inventory (mmol P/m2). Furthermore, C:N:P ratios indicate that zooplankton at all three sites may be suffering from a phosphorus deficit. A dominant presence of quagga mussels at Sheboygan Reef was correlated with decreased SRP levels and relatively low levels of phosphorus at the producer and consumer levels in the water column.

  20. Experimental suppression of ants foraging on rainforest vegetation in New Guinea: testing methods for a whole-forest manipulation of insect communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Klimeš, Petr; Janda, Milan; Ibalim, S.; Kua, J.; Novotný, Vojtěch

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 36, č. 1 (2011), s. 94-103 ISSN 0307-6946 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600960712; GA AV ČR KJB612230701; GA MŠk LC06073; GA MŠk ME09082; GA ČR GD206/08/H044; GA ČR GA206/09/0115; GA ČR GAP505/10/0673 Grant - others:U.S. National Science Foundation(US) DEB-0841885; U.S. National Science Foundation(US) DEB-0816749; Grant Agency of University of South Bohemia(CZ) 052/2010/P; Grant Agency of University of South Bohemia(CZ) 136/2010/P Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : ant exclusion * bait traps * canopy Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.995, year: 2011

  1. 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.

  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. Legal immigrants: invasion of alien microbial communities during winter occurring desert dust storms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weil, Tobias; De Filippo, Carlotta; Albanese, Davide; Donati, Claudio; Pindo, Massimo; Pavarini, Lorenzo; Carotenuto, Federico; Pasqui, Massimiliano; Poto, Luisa; Gabrieli, Jacopo; Barbante, Carlo; Sattler, Birgit; Cavalieri, Duccio; Miglietta, Franco

    2017-03-10

    A critical aspect regarding the global dispersion of pathogenic microorganisms is associated with atmospheric movement of soil particles. Especially, desert dust storms can transport alien microorganisms over continental scales and can deposit them in sensitive sink habitats. In winter 2014, the largest ever recorded Saharan dust event in Italy was efficiently deposited on the Dolomite Alps and was sealed between dust-free snow. This provided us the unique opportunity to overcome difficulties in separating dust associated from "domestic" microbes and thus, to determine with high precision microorganisms transported exclusively by desert dust. Our metagenomic analysis revealed that sandstorms can move not only fractions but rather large parts of entire microbial communities far away from their area of origin and that this microbiota contains several of the most stress-resistant organisms on Earth, including highly destructive fungal and bacterial pathogens. In particular, we provide first evidence that winter-occurring dust depositions can favor a rapid microbial contamination of sensitive sink habitats after snowmelt. Airborne microbial depositions accompanying extreme meteorological events represent a realistic threat for ecosystem and public health. Therefore, monitoring the spread and persistence of storm-travelling alien microbes is a priority while considering future trajectories of climatic anomalies as well as anthropogenically driven changes in land use in the source regions.

  4. Incidence of invasive macrophytes on methylmercury budget in temperate lakes: Central role of bacterial periphytic communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gentès, Sophie; Monperrus, Mathilde; Legeay, Alexia; Maury-Brachet, Régine; Davail, Stephane; André, Jean-Marc; Guyoneaud, Rémy

    2013-01-01

    Several studies demonstrated high mercury (Hg) methylation and demethylation in the periphyton associated with floating roots in tropical ecosystems. The importance of aquatic plants on methylmercury production in three temperate ecosystems from south-western France was evaluated through Hg species concentrations, and Hg methylation/demethylation activities by using stable isotopic tracers ( 199 Hg(II), Me 201 Hg). Hg accumulation and high methylation and demethylation yields were detected in plant roots and periphyton, whereas results for sediment and water were low to insignificant. The presence of sulfate reducing prokaryotes was detected in all compartments (T-RFLP based on dsrAB amplified through nested PCR) and their main role in Hg methylation could be demonstrated. In turn, sulfate reduction inhibition did not affect demethylation activities. The estimation of net MeHg budgets in these ecosystems suggested that aquatic rhizosphere is the principal location for methylmercury production and may represent an important source for the contamination of the aquatic food chain. - Highlights: ► Both Hg methylation and demethylation occur in the periphyton of temperate ecosystems. ► Aquatic rhizosphere is the main compartment for net methylmercury production. ► Sulfate reducers are detected in all ecosystem compartments (water, sediment, periphyton). ► Sulfate reducers are responsible for methylmercury production in aquatic roots. - The incidence of periphytic microbial communities on net methylmercury production is highlighted in temperate aquatic ecosystems.

  5. Disturbance by an endemic rodent in an arid shrubland is a habitat filter: effects on plant invasion and taxonomical, functional and phylogenetic community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobedo, Víctor M; Rios, Rodrigo S; Salgado-Luarte, Cristian; Stotz, Gisela C; Gianoli, Ernesto

    2017-03-01

    Disturbance often drives plant invasion and may modify community assembly. However, little is known about how these modifications of community patterns occur in terms of taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic structure. This study evaluated in an arid shrubland the influence of disturbance by an endemic rodent on community functional divergence and phylogenetic structure as well as on plant invasion. It was expected that disturbance would operate as a habitat filter favouring exotic species with short life cycles. Sixteen plots were sampled along a disturbance gradient caused by the endemic fossorial rodent Spalacopus cyanus , measuring community parameters and estimating functional divergence for life history traits (functional dispersion index) and the relative contribution to functional divergence of exotic and native species. The phylogenetic signal (Pagel's lambda) and phylogenetic community structure (mean phylogenetic distance and mean nearest taxon phylogenetic distance) were also estimated. The use of a continuous approach to the disturbance gradient allowed the identification of non-linear relationships between disturbance and community parameters. The relationship between disturbance and both species richness and abundance was positive for exotic species and negative for native species. Disturbance modified community composition, and exotic species were associated with more disturbed sites. Disturbance increased trait convergence, which resulted in phylogenetic clustering because traits showed a significant phylogenetic signal. The relative contribution of exotic species to functional divergence increased, while that of natives decreased, with disturbance. Exotic and native species were not phylogenetically distinct. Disturbance by rodents in this arid shrubland constitutes a habitat filter over phylogeny-dependent life history traits, leading to phylogenetic clustering, and drives invasion by favouring species with short life cycles. Results can be

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lloyd W. Morrison

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. Testing the enemy release hypothesis: abundance and distribution patterns of helminth communities in grey mullets (Teleostei: Mugilidae) reveal the success of invasive species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarabeev, Volodimir; Balbuena, Juan Antonio; Morand, Serge

    2017-09-01

    The abundance and aggregation patterns of helminth communities of two grey mullet hosts, Liza haematocheilus and Mugil cephalus, were studied across 14 localities in Atlantic and Pacific marine areas. The analysis matched parasite communities of (i) L. haematocheilus across its native and introduced populations (Sea of Japan and Sea of Azov, respectively) and (ii) the introduced population of L. haematocheilus with native populations of M. cephalus (Mediterranean, Azov-Black and Japan Seas). The total mean abundance (TMA), as a feature of the infection level in helminth communities, and slope b of the Taylor's power law, as a measure of parasite aggregation at the infra and component-community levels, were estimated and compared between host species and localities using ANOVA. The TMA of the whole helminth community in the introduced population of L. haematocheilus was over 15 times lower than that of the native population, but the difference was less pronounced for carried (monogeneans) than for acquired (adult and larval digeneans) parasite communities. Similar to the abundance pattern, the species distribution in communities from the invasive population of L. haematocheilus was less aggregated than from its native population for endoparasitic helminths, including adult and larval digeneans, while monogeneans showed a similar pattern of distribution in the compared populations of L. haematocheilus. The aggregation level of the whole helminth community, endoparasitic helminths, adult and larval digeneans was lower in the invasive host species in comparison with native ones as shown by differences in the slope b. An important theoretical implication from this study is that the pattern of parasite aggregation may explain the success of invasive species in ecosystems. Because the effects of parasites on host mortality are likely dose-dependent, the proportion of susceptible host individuals in invasive species is expected to be lower, as the helminth distribution in

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wossler Theresa C

    2011-02-01

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

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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, ...

  15. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Assessment of the perceived effects and management challenges of Mikania micrantha invasion in Chitwan National Park buffer zone community forest, Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khadka, Akriti

    2017-04-01

    The effects of invasion by Mikania micrantha in the buffer zone of Chitwan National Park (CNP) of Nepal are well documented; however the studies were confined to appraising the perception of household and did not assess the changes in livelihood activities after the invasion. This study presents the effects of invasion of M. micrantha on the livelihood of buffer zone of the Chitwan National Park; hence addressing the gap in information and shows the complex effect of M. micrantha on rural livelihood. The study used a questionnaire survey to 170 households in the CNP of Nepal. The results indicate that the invasion of M. micrantha have negative effects on the community livelihood in the study area. Basic forest products such as fodder and fuel wood have become scarce as a result of reduction in the native plants. Also the spread of M. micrantha is creating impassable copse that destroy wildlife abode and jungle paths resulting into animals to shift their habitat to core area thereby reducing tourism revenues. Therefore, the study concludes that invasion of M. micrantha directly or indirectly is modifying the rural household livelihoods and a quick action is stipulated. Hence, a higher level body like the Ministry of Forestry or Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation needs to take care of issues related to alien species. Correspondingly, it is also very important that people are aware and educated about alien species and their effects.

  18. 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

  19. Microinvertebrates in CELSS Hydroponic Rhizosphere: Experimental Invasion as a Test of Community Stability and a Test of a Method to Measure Bacterivory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sager, John; Garland, Jay; Jenkins, David G.

    1996-01-01

    This report consists of two separate draft manuscripts, each prepared for submittal to a peer-reviewed journal after Kennedy Space Center (KSC) colleague editorial review and final revision. References for the two papers have been combined in this report. The two manuscripts are: (1) Experimental invasion of aquatic rhizosphere habitat and invertebrate communities, and (2) Lysozyme analysis is neither protistan- or bacteriore-specific.

  20. Non-nuclear radiological emergencies. Special plan for radiological risk of the Valencian Community; Emergencias radiológicas no nucleares. Plan especial ante el riesgo radiológico de la Comunidad Valenciana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodríguez Rodrigo, I.; Piles Alepuz, I.; Peiró Juan, J.; Calvet Rodríguez, D.

    2015-07-01

    After the publication of the Radiological Hazard Basic Directive, Generalitat (the regional government in Valencian Community) initiated the edition of the pertinent Special Plan, with the objective to assemble the response of all the Security and Emergency Agencies, including the Armed Forces, in a radiological emergency affecting the territory of the Valencian Community, under a single hierarchy command. Being approved and homologated the Radiological Hazard Special Plan, Generalitat has undertaken the implementation process planned to finish in June 2015. Following the same process as other Plans, implementation is organized in a first informative stage, followed of a formative and training stage, and finishing with an activation exercise of the Plan. At the end of the process, is expected that every Agency will know their functions, the structure and organization in which the intervention takes place, the resources needed, and adapt their protocols to the Plan requirements. From the beginning, it has been essential working together with the Nuclear Safety Council, as is established in the agreement signed in order to collaborate in Planning, Preparedness and Response in Radiological Emergencies. [Spanish] Tras la publicación de la Directriz Básica de Riesgo Radiológico, la Generalitat inició la redacción del correspondiente Plan Especial, con el objetivo de articular la respuesta de todos los organismos de Seguridad y Emergencias, y las Fuerzas Armadas, en una emergencia radiológica que afecte al territorio de la Comunidad Valenciana, bajo la dirección de un mando único. Aprobado y homologado el Plan Especial ante el Riesgo Radiológico, la Generalitat ha acometido el proceso de implantación que finalizará en junio de 2015. Por analogía con otros planes de la Comunidad, la implantación se estructura en una primera fase divulgativa e informativa, seguida de una fase formativa y de adiestramiento, culminando con un simulacro de activación del Plan

  1. 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.

  2. Temporal Variation in the Abundance and Richness of Foliage-Dwelling Ants Mediated by Extrafloral Nectar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belchior, Ceres; Sendoya, Sebastián F; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2016-01-01

    Plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) are common in the Brazilian cerrado savanna, where climatic conditions having marked seasonality influence arboreal ant fauna organization. These ant-plant interactions have rarely been studied at community level. Here, we tested whether: 1) EFN-bearing plants are more visited by ants than EFN-lacking plants; 2) ant visitation is higher in the rainy season than in dry season; 3) plants producing young leaves are more visited than those lacking young leaves in the rainy season; 4) during the dry season, plants with old leaves and flowers are more visited than plants with young leaves and bare of leaves or flowers; 5) the composition of visiting ant fauna differs between plants with and without EFNs. Field work was done in a cerrado reserve near Uberlândia, MG State, Brazil, along ten transects (total area 3,000 m2), in the rainy (October-January) and dry seasons (April-July) of 2010-2011. Plants (72 species; 762 individuals) were checked three times per season for ant presence. Results showed that 21 species (29%) and 266 individuals (35%) possessed EFNs. These plants attracted 38 ant species (36 in rainy, 26 in dry season). In the rainy season, plants with EFNs had higher ant abundance/richness than plants without EFNs, but in the dry season, EFN presence did not influence ant visitation. Plant phenology affected ant richness and abundance in different ways: plants with young leaves possessed higher ant richness in the rainy season, but in the dry season ant abundance was higher on plants possessing old leaves or flowers. The species composition of plant-associated ant communities, however, did not differ between plants with and without EFNs in either season. These findings suggest that the effect of EFN presence on a community of plant-visiting ants is context dependent, being conditioned to seasonal variation.

  3. Temporal Variation in the Abundance and Richness of Foliage-Dwelling Ants Mediated by Extrafloral Nectar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ceres Belchior

    Full Text Available Plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs are common in the Brazilian cerrado savanna, where climatic conditions having marked seasonality influence arboreal ant fauna organization. These ant-plant interactions have rarely been studied at community level. Here, we tested whether: 1 EFN-bearing plants are more visited by ants than EFN-lacking plants; 2 ant visitation is higher in the rainy season than in dry season; 3 plants producing young leaves are more visited than those lacking young leaves in the rainy season; 4 during the dry season, plants with old leaves and flowers are more visited than plants with young leaves and bare of leaves or flowers; 5 the composition of visiting ant fauna differs between plants with and without EFNs. Field work was done in a cerrado reserve near Uberlândia, MG State, Brazil, along ten transects (total area 3,000 m2, in the rainy (October-January and dry seasons (April-July of 2010-2011. Plants (72 species; 762 individuals were checked three times per season for ant presence. Results showed that 21 species (29% and 266 individuals (35% possessed EFNs. These plants attracted 38 ant species (36 in rainy, 26 in dry season. In the rainy season, plants with EFNs had higher ant abundance/richness than plants without EFNs, but in the dry season, EFN presence did not influence ant visitation. Plant phenology affected ant richness and abundance in different ways: plants with young leaves possessed higher ant richness in the rainy season, but in the dry season ant abundance was higher on plants possessing old leaves or flowers. The species composition of plant-associated ant communities, however, did not differ between plants with and without EFNs in either season. These findings suggest that the effect of EFN presence on a community of plant-visiting ants is context dependent, being conditioned to seasonal variation.

  4. Emergence of nutrient-cycling feedbacks related to plant size and invasion success in a wetland community-ecosystem model

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Currie, W. S.; Goldberg, D. E.; Martina, J.; Wildová, Radka; Farrer, E.; Elgersma, K. J.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 282, 24 JUNE (2014), s. 69-82 ISSN 0304-3800 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : wetland * invasive species * biodiversity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 2.321, year: 2014

  5. Do invasive alien plants really threaten river bank vegetation? A case study based on plant communities typical for Chenopodium ficifolium—An indicator of large river valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, Arkadiusz; Rola, Kaja

    2018-01-01

    Riparian zones are very rich in species but subjected to strong anthropogenic changes and extremely prone to alien plant invasions, which are considered to be a serious threat to biodiversity. Our aim was to determine the spatial distribution of Chenopodium ficifolium, a species demonstrating strong confinement to large river valleys in Central Europe and an indicator of annual pioneer nitrophilous vegetation developing on river banks, which are considered to be of importance to the European Community. Additionally, the habitat preferences of the species were analysed. Differences in the richness and abundance of species diagnostic for riverside habitats, as well as the contribution of resident and invasive alien species in vegetation plots along three rivers differing in terms of size and anthropogenic impact were also examined. Finally, the effect of invaders on the phytocoenoses typical for C. ficifolium was assessed. The frequency of C. ficifolium clearly decreased with an increasing distance from the river. Among natural habitats, the species mostly preferred the banks of large rivers. The vegetation plots developing on the banks of the three studied rivers differed in total species richness, the number and cover of resident, diagnostic and invasive alien species, as well as in species composition. Our research indicates that abiotic and anthropogenic factors are the most significant drivers of species richness and plant cover of riverbank vegetation, and invasive alien plants affect this type of vegetation to a small extent. PMID:29543919

  6. Do invasive alien plants really threaten river bank vegetation? A case study based on plant communities typical for Chenopodium ficifolium-An indicator of large river valleys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobis, Agnieszka; Nowak, Arkadiusz; Rola, Kaja

    2018-01-01

    Riparian zones are very rich in species but subjected to strong anthropogenic changes and extremely prone to alien plant invasions, which are considered to be a serious threat to biodiversity. Our aim was to determine the spatial distribution of Chenopodium ficifolium, a species demonstrating strong confinement to large river valleys in Central Europe and an indicator of annual pioneer nitrophilous vegetation developing on river banks, which are considered to be of importance to the European Community. Additionally, the habitat preferences of the species were analysed. Differences in the richness and abundance of species diagnostic for riverside habitats, as well as the contribution of resident and invasive alien species in vegetation plots along three rivers differing in terms of size and anthropogenic impact were also examined. Finally, the effect of invaders on the phytocoenoses typical for C. ficifolium was assessed. The frequency of C. ficifolium clearly decreased with an increasing distance from the river. Among natural habitats, the species mostly preferred the banks of large rivers. The vegetation plots developing on the banks of the three studied rivers differed in total species richness, the number and cover of resident, diagnostic and invasive alien species, as well as in species composition. Our research indicates that abiotic and anthropogenic factors are the most significant drivers of species richness and plant cover of riverbank vegetation, and invasive alien plants affect this type of vegetation to a small extent.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Feasibility of Invasive Grass Detection in a Desertscrub Community Using Hyperspectral Field Measurements and Landsat TM Imagery

    OpenAIRE

    Olsson, Aaryn D.; Leeuwen, Willem J.D. van; Marsh, Stuart E.

    2011-01-01

    Invasive species’ phenologies often contrast with those of native species, representing opportunities for detection of invasive species with multi-temporal remote sensing. Detection is especially critical for ecosystem-transforming species that facilitate changes in disturbance regimes. The African C4 grass, Pennisetum ciliare, is transforming ecosystems on three continents and a number of neotropical islands by introducing a grass-fire cycle. However, previous attempts at discriminating P. c...

  9. Toxicity and utilization of chemical weapons: does toxicity and venom utilization contribute to the formation of species communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westermann, Fabian L; McPherson, Iain S; Jones, Tappey H; Milicich, Lesley; Lester, Philip J

    2015-08-01

    Toxicity and the utilization of venom are essential features in the ecology of many animal species and have been hypothesized to be important factors contributing to the assembly of communities through competitive interactions. Ants of the genus Monomorium utilize a variety of venom compositions, which have been reported to give them a competitive advantage. Here, we investigate two pairs of Monomorium species, which differ in the structural compositions of their venom and their co-occurrence patterns with the invasive Argentine ant. We looked at the effects of Monomorium venom toxicity, venom utilization, and aggressive physical interactions on Monomorium and Argentine ant survival rates during arena trials. The venom toxicity of the two species co-occurring with the invasive Argentine ants was found to be significantly higher than the toxicity of the two species which do not. There was no correlation between venom toxicity and Monomorium survival; however, three of the four Monomorium species displayed significant variability in their venom usage which was associated with the number of Argentine ant workers encountered during trials. Average Monomorium mortality varied significantly between species, and in Monomorium smithii and Monomorium antipodum, aggressive interactions with Argentine ants had a significant negative effect on their mortality. Our study demonstrates that different factors and strategies can contribute to the ability of a species to withstand the pressure of a dominant invader at high abundance, and venom chemistry appears to be only one of several strategies utilized.

  10. Livelihood benefits and costs from an invasive alien tree (Acacia dealbata) to rural communities in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngorima, A; Shackleton, C M

    2018-05-31

    The negative effects of invasive alien species (IAS) are increasingly invoked to justify widespread and usually top-down approaches for their management or eradication. However, very little of the research or discourse is based on investigating local perceptions, uses and struggles with IAS, and how their presence influences and changes local livelihoods. The objective of this study was to assess the perceptions and livelihood uses of Acacia dealbata by local communities at three localities in the montane grasslands of the Eastern Cape, South Africa, using a combination of random household interviews, focus group discussions and participatory tools. We calculated direct-use values for each product and household (based on quantity used and local prices) and disaggregated these by gender of the household head and wealth quartiles. The results revealed the dualistic role of A. dealbata in local livelihoods. On the one hand, A. dealbata was widely used for firewood (100% of households), tools (77%) and construction timber (73%), with limited use for traditional medicines and forage. The cumulative value of approximately ZAR 2870 (±US$224) per household per year (across all households) represents considerable cash saving to households, most of whom are quite poor by national and international measures. On the other hand, the increasing extent of A. dealbata (93% said it was increasing) exacerbates local household vulnerability though reported reductions in cultivated areas, crop yields and forage production, and allegedly higher risks of crime. This quandary is well encapsulated by the considerable majority of respondents (84%) not wanting higher extents and densities of A. dealbata, but an equally high majority not wanting its total removal from local landscapes. Most respondents disliked A. dealbata in fields, close to homesteads or along primary access routes, and were more tolerant of it away from such sites. Institutional and use dynamics have varied over several

  11. 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...

  12. KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND USE OF PAIN RELIEF IN LABOUR AMONG WOMEN ATTENDING ANTE-NATAL CLINIC AT SHALOM COMMUNITY HOSPITAL, ATHI RIVER.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njiru, J N; Esiromo, M A; Omari, H O

    2014-07-01

    To find out the knowledge, attitude and practice of pain relief methods during labour among mothers attending antenatal clinics at Shalom Community Hospital, Athi River, Kenya. Cross Sectional study. Shalom Community Hospital, Athi River, Kenya. Two hundred and seven participants attending antenatal clinics at the facility were recruited. The median age of the participants was 28 years and a median parity of one. Most of the study participants, 89.4%, were not aware of any pain relief method during labour. Among the 10.6% patients that were of a pain relief method, 54% had gotten the knowledge from the doctors. All the patients had experienced pain in labour with 72% rating the pain as severe pain. Only 37% of the patients were offered a pain relief method and the intramuscular injectable was offered to all. Majority (88%) of those offered a form of pain relief rated the pain relief method as ineffective. A majority of the women 93% would use a pain relief method in the next labour with epidural method being the most preferred method. The level of knowledge of pain relief methods among mothers islow. There is need to integrate information on pain relief options in labour as part of antenatal services offered routinely. Epidural analgesia services should be enhanced.

  13. Invasive Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a Japanese Girl with Disseminating Multiple Organ Infection: A Case Report and Review of Japanese Pediatric Cases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryuta Yonezawa

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Pediatric invasive community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA infection is very serious and occasionally fatal. This infectious disease is still a relatively rare and unfamiliar infectious disease in Japan. We report a positive outcome in a 23-month-old Japanese girl with meningitis, osteomyelitis, fasciitis, necrotizing pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and bacteremia due to CA-MRSA treated with linezolid. PCR testing of the CA-MRSA strain was positive for PVL and staphylococcal enterotoxin b and negative for ACME. SCC mec was type IVa. This case underscores the selection of effective combinations of antimicrobial agents for its treatment. We need to be aware of invasive CA-MRSA infection, which rapidly progresses with a serious clinical course, because the incidence of the disease may be increasing in Japan.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Ericaceous dwarf shrubs affect ectomycorrhizal fungal community of the invasive Pinus strobus and native Pinus sylvestris in a pot experiment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kohout, Petr; Sýkorová, Zuzana; Bahram, M.; Hadincová, Věroslava; Albrechtová, Jana; Tedersoo, L.; Vohník, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 5 (2011), s. 403-412 ISSN 0940-6360 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : plant invasions * mycorrhizal symbioses * seedlings establishment Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.630, year: 2011

  18. Feasibility of Invasive Grass Detection in a Desertscrub Community Using Hyperspectral Field Measurements and Landsat TM Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart E. Marsh

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Invasive species’ phenologies often contrast with those of native species, representing opportunities for detection of invasive species with multi-temporal remote sensing. Detection is especially critical for ecosystem-transforming species that facilitate changes in disturbance regimes. The African C4 grass, Pennisetum ciliare, is transforming ecosystems on three continents and a number of neotropical islands by introducing a grass-fire cycle. However, previous attempts at discriminating P. ciliare in North America using multi-spectral imagery have been unsuccessful. In this paper, we integrate field measurements of hyperspectral plant species signatures and canopy cover with multi-temporal spectral analysis to identify opportunities for detection using moderate-resolution multi-spectral imagery. By applying these results to Landsat TM imagery, we show that multi-spectral discrimination of P. ciliare in heterogeneous mixed desert scrub is feasible, but only at high abundance levels that may have limited value to land managers seeking to control invasion. Much higher discriminability is possible with hyperspectral shortwave infrared imagery because of differences in non-photosynthetic vegetation in uninvaded and invaded landscapes during dormant seasons but these spectra are unavailable in multispectral sensors. Therefore, we recommend hyperspectral imagery for distinguishing invasive grass-dominated landscapes from uninvaded desert scrub.

  19. Competitive effects of non-native plants are lowest in native plant communities that are most vulnerable to invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.Stephen Brewer; W. Chase Bailey

    2014-01-01

    Despite widespread acknowledgment that disturbance favors invasion, a hypothesis that has received little attention is whether non-native invaders have greater competitive effects on native plants in undisturbed habitats than in disturbed habitats. This hypothesis derives from the assumption that competitive interactions are more persistent in habitats that have not...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean C. Santos

    2008-01-01

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

  2. 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....

  3. 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.

  4. Tritrophic effects of birds and ants on a canopy food web, tree growth, and phytochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kailen A. Mooney

    2007-01-01

    Insectivorous birds and ants co-occur in most terrestrial communities, and theory predicts that emergent properties (i.e., nonadditive effects) can determine their combined influence on arthropods and plants. In a three-year factorial experiment, I investigated whether the effects of birds on pine and its arthropods differed based on the presence of ants that were...

  5. Ecological effects of invasive alien species on native communities, with particular emphasis on the interactions between aphids and ladybirds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kindlmann, Pavel; Ameixa, Olga; Dixon, Anthony F. G.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 56, č. 4 (2011), s. 469-476 ISSN 1386-6141 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : invasive alien species * predators * insect pest s * ecological effects * intraguild predation Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.927, year: 2011

  6. Ecological impacts of invasive alien plants: a meta-analysis of their effects on species, communities and ecosystems

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vila, M.; Espinar, J. L.; Hejda, Martin; Hulme, P. E.; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Maron, J. L.; Pergl, Jan; Schaffner, U.; Sun, Y.; Pyšek, Petr

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 14, č. 7 (2011), s. 702-708 ISSN 1461-023X R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR GA206/09/0563 Grant - others:European Comission(XE) 7E09072-(KBBE-212827) Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : biological invasions * impact * organisational level Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 17.557, year: 2011

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Paul Lachaud

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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].

  9. The effects of an invasive seaweed on native communities vary along a gradient of land-based human impacts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Bulleri

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The difficulty in teasing apart the effects of biological invasions from those of other anthropogenic perturbations has hampered our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the global biodiversity crisis. The recent elaboration of global-scale maps of cumulative human impacts provides a unique opportunity to assess how the impact of invaders varies among areas exposed to different anthropogenic activities. A recent meta-analysis has shown that the effects of invasive seaweeds on native biota tend to be more negative in relatively pristine than in human-impacted environments. Here, we tested this hypothesis through the experimental removal of the invasive green seaweed, Caulerpa cylindracea, from rocky reefs across the Mediterranean Sea. More specifically, we assessed which out of land-based and sea-based cumulative impact scores was a better predictor of the direction and magnitude of the effects of this seaweed on extant and recovering native assemblages. Approximately 15 months after the start of the experiment, the removal of C. cylindracea from extant assemblages enhanced the cover of canopy-forming macroalgae at relatively pristine sites. This did not, however, result in major changes in total cover or species richness of native assemblages. Preventing C. cylindracea re-invasion of cleared plots at pristine sites promoted the recovery of canopy-forming and encrusting macroalgae and hampered that of algal turfs, ultimately resulting in increased species richness. These effects weakened progressively with increasing levels of land-based human impacts and, indeed, shifted in sign at the upper end of the gradient investigated. Thus, at sites exposed to intense disturbance from land-based human activities, the removal of C. cylindracea fostered the cover of algal turfs and decreased that of encrusting algae, with no net effect on species richness. Our results suggests that competition from C. cylindracea is an important determinant of

  10. The effects of an invasive seaweed on native communities vary along a gradient of land-based human impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulleri, Fabio; Badalamenti, Fabio; Iveša, Ljiljana; Mikac, Barbara; Musco, Luigi; Jaklin, Andrej; Rattray, Alex; Vega Fernández, Tomás; Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro

    2016-01-01

    The difficulty in teasing apart the effects of biological invasions from those of other anthropogenic perturbations has hampered our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the global biodiversity crisis. The recent elaboration of global-scale maps of cumulative human impacts provides a unique opportunity to assess how the impact of invaders varies among areas exposed to different anthropogenic activities. A recent meta-analysis has shown that the effects of invasive seaweeds on native biota tend to be more negative in relatively pristine than in human-impacted environments. Here, we tested this hypothesis through the experimental removal of the invasive green seaweed, Caulerpa cylindracea, from rocky reefs across the Mediterranean Sea. More specifically, we assessed which out of land-based and sea-based cumulative impact scores was a better predictor of the direction and magnitude of the effects of this seaweed on extant and recovering native assemblages. Approximately 15 months after the start of the experiment, the removal of C. cylindracea from extant assemblages enhanced the cover of canopy-forming macroalgae at relatively pristine sites. This did not, however, result in major changes in total cover or species richness of native assemblages. Preventing C. cylindracea re-invasion of cleared plots at pristine sites promoted the recovery of canopy-forming and encrusting macroalgae and hampered that of algal turfs, ultimately resulting in increased species richness. These effects weakened progressively with increasing levels of land-based human impacts and, indeed, shifted in sign at the upper end of the gradient investigated. Thus, at sites exposed to intense disturbance from land-based human activities, the removal of C. cylindracea fostered the cover of algal turfs and decreased that of encrusting algae, with no net effect on species richness. Our results suggests that competition from C. cylindracea is an important determinant of benthic assemblage

  11. 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...

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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'.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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'.

  15. A participatory approach to elucidate the consequences of land invasions on REDD+ initiatives: A case study with Indigenous communities in Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergara-Asenjo, Gerardo; Mateo-Vega, Javier; Alvarado, Alexis; Potvin, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    Land tenure and tenure security are among the most important factors determining the viability and success of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiatives. The premise of the present paper is that territorial conflicts lead to forest loss and compromise the successful implementation of REDD+. Within this context, the main objectives of this paper are to (i) document, relying on participatory methods, the extent to which land conflicts drive deforestation and (ii) reflect on the legal context of REDD+ examining if, from an Indigenous perspective, it offers tools to resolve such conflicts. We used the Upper Bayano Watershed in eastern Panama as a case study of complex land tenure dynamics, and their effects on forest conservation in the context of REDD+. Combining a range of participatory methods including participatory mapping and forest carbon stock assessment, we estimated the consequences of land invasions on forest carbon stocks. Our analysis shows that invasions of Indigenous territories amounted to 27.6% of the total deforestation for the period of 2001-2014. The situation is of paramount concern in the Embera territory of Majé where 95.4% of total deforestation was caused by colonist invaders. Using and validating the maps made freely available by the Global Forest Change initiative of the University of Maryland, we then developed a reference level for the watershed and carried out a back of the envelop estimation of likely REDD+ revenue, showing its potential to bring much needed income to Indigenous communities striving to protect their forest estate. Our analysis of current legislation in Panama highlights confusion and important legal voids and emphasizes the strong links between land tenure, carbon ownership, and territorial invasions. The options and shortcoming of implementing REDD+ in Indigenous territories is discussed in the conclusion taking our legal review into account.

  16. Community-based outbreaks in vulnerable populations of invasive infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 5 and 8 in Calgary, Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otto G Vanderkooi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Outbreaks of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD typically occur within institutions. Beginning in 2005, we detected an increase in serotype (ST 5 and ST8 IPD cases, predominantly in homeless persons living in an open community. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: CASPER (Calgary Area S. pneumoniae Epidemiology Research surveillance study of all IPD (sterile site isolates in our region (pop ~1,100,000. Interviews and chart reviews of all cases and all isolates phenotypically analyzed and selected isolated tested by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: During 2005-2007, 162 cases of ST5 IPD and 45 cases of ST8 IPD were identified. The isolates demonstrated phenotypic and genotypic clonality. The ST5 isolates were sequence type (ST 289 and demonstrated intermediate susceptibility to TMP-SMX. The ST8 isolates were predominantly ST1268, with a susceptible antimicrobial susceptibility profile. Individuals with ST5 IPD were more likely to be middle aged (OR 2.6, homeless (OR 4.4, using illicit drugs(OR 4.8, and asthmatic(OR 2.6. Those with ST8 were more likely to be male (OR 4.4, homeless (OR 2.6, aboriginal (OR7.3, and a current smoker (OR 2.5. Overlapping outbreaks of ST5 and ST8 IPD occurred in an open community in Calgary, Canada and homelessness was a predominant risk factor. Homelessness represents a unique community in which pneumococcal outbreaks can occur.

  17. Clinical and epidemiological factors associated with methicillin resistance in community-onset invasive Staphylococcus aureus infections: prospective multicenter cross-sectional study in Korea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eu Suk Kim

    Full Text Available Successful empirical therapy of Staphylococcus aureus infections requires the ability to predict methicillin resistance. Our aim was to identify predictors of methicillin resistance in community-onset (CO invasive S. aureus infections. Sixteen hospitals across Korea participated in this study from May to December 2012. We prospectively included cases of S. aureus infection in which S. aureus was isolated from sterile clinical specimens ≤ 72 hours after hospitalization. Clinical and epidemiological data were gathered and compared in methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA cases. Community-associated (CA infections were defined as in previous studies. In total, there were 786 cases of community-onset S. aureus infection, 102 (13.0% of which were CA-MRSA. In addition to known risk factors, exposure to 3rd generation cephalosporins in the past 6 months [odds ratio (OR, 1.922; 95% confidence interval (CI, 1.176-3.142] and close contact with chronically ill patients in the past month (OR, 2.647; 95% CI, 1.189-5.891 were independent risk factors for MRSA infection. However, no clinical predictors of CA-MRSA were identified. Methicillin resistance, CO infection, and appropriateness of empirical antibiotics were not significantly related to 30-day mortality. MRSA infection should be suspected in patients recently exposed to 3rd generation cephalosporins or chronically-ill patients. There were no reliable predictors of CA-MRSA infection, and mortality was not affected by methicillin resistance.

  18. Assessing the cardiology community position on transradial intervention and the use of bivalirudin in patients with acute coronary syndrome undergoing invasive management: results of an EAPCI survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamo, Marianna; Byrne, Robert A; Baumbach, Andreas; Haude, Michael; Windecker, Stephan; Valgimigli, Marco

    2016-10-20

    Our aim was to report on a survey initiated by the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions (EAPCI) collecting the opinion of the cardiology community on the invasive management of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), before and after the MATRIX trial presentation at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2015 Scientific Sessions. A web-based survey was distributed to all individuals registered on the EuroIntervention mailing list (n=15,200). A total of 572 and 763 physicians responded to the pre- and post-ACC survey, respectively. The radial approach emerged as the preferable access site for ACS patients undergoing invasive management with roughly every other responder interpreting the evidence for mortality benefit as definitive and calling for a guidelines upgrade to class I. The most frequently preferred anticoagulant in ACS patients remains unfractionated heparin (UFH), due to higher costs and greater perceived thrombotic risks associated with bivalirudin. However, more than a quarter of participants declared the use of bivalirudin would increase after MATRIX. The MATRIX trial reinforced the evidence for a causal association between bleeding and mortality and triggered consensus on the superiority of the radial versus femoral approach. The belief that bivalirudin mitigates bleeding risk is common, but UFH still remains the preferred anticoagulant based on lower costs and thrombotic risks.

  19. 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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Benthic O-2 uptake of two cold-water coral communities estimated with the non-invasive eddy correlation technique

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rovelli, Lorenzo; Attard, Karl M.; Bryant, Lee D.

    2015-01-01

    , was a channel-like sound in Northern Norway at a depth of 220 m. Both sites were characterized by the presence of live mounds of the reef framework-forming scleractinian Lophelia pertusa and reef-associated fauna such as sponges, crustaceans and other corals. The measured O-2 uptake at the 2 sites varied...... times higher than the global mean for soft sediment communities at comparable depths. The measurements document the importance of CWC communities for local and regional carbon cycling and demonstrate that the EC technique is a valuable tool for assessing rates of benthic O2 uptake in such complex...

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorosheva, E A; Reznikova, Zh I

    2006-01-01

    . Instead, they recognize an "enemy's image" and selectively attack relatively small predatory carabids rather than herbivorous species. Experiments with dummy beetles suggest that ants react for several hierarchically organized key characteristics of competitors such as speed of movement, dark color, bilateral symmetry, protuberances (legs, antennae), and smell. Among "professional" groups in ant family, guards and hunters react to beetles aggressively, whereas aphid tenders ignore them. Sophisticated combination of flexible and innate behavioral patterns enables insects to share territories and interact in the mode of relatively mild, spatial, competition instead of predation. Eliciting sets of hierarchically organized features of competitors that govern adjustment of spatial distribution in insects' community enable us to integrate ideas of classic and cognitive ethology.

  6. 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...

  7. Invasive Candidiasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases Mycotic Diseases Branch Invasive Candidiasis Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Global Emergence ... antifungal drugs. Learn more about C. auris Invasive candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast (a ...

  8. Recent human history governs global ant invasion dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleo Bertelsmeier; Sébastien Ollier; Andrew Liebhold; Laurent Keller

    2017-01-01

    Human trade and travel are breaking down biogeographic barriers, resulting in shifts in the geographical distribution of organisms, yet it remains largely unknown whether different alien species generally follow similar spatiotemporal colonization patterns and how such patterns are driven by trends in global trade. Here, we analyse the global distribution of 241 alien...

  9. Early invasion population structure of quagga mussel and associated benthic invertebrate community composition on soft sediment in a large reservoir

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittmann, Marion E.; Chandra, Sudeep; Caires, Andrea; Denton, Marianne; Rosen, Michael R.; Wong, Wai Hing; Teitjen, Todd; Turner, Kent; Roefer, Peggy; Holdren, G. Chris

    2010-01-01

    In 2007 an invasive dreissenid mussel species, Dreissena bugensis (quagga mussel), was discovered in Lake Mead reservoir (AZ–NV). Within 2 years, adult populations have spread throughout the lake and are not only colonizing hard substrates, but also establishing in soft sediments at depths ranging from 1 to >100 m. Dreissena bugensis size class and population density distribution differs between basins; cluster analysis revealed 5 adult cohorts within Boulder Basin and Overton Arm but low densities and low cohort survival in the Las Vegas Basin. Regression analysis suggests depth and temperature are not primary controllers of D. bugensis density in Lake Mead, indicating other factors such as sediment type, food availability or other resource competition may be important. Monthly veliger tows showed at least 2 major spawning events per year, with continuous presence of veligers in the water column. Adult mussels have been found in spawn or post-spawn condition in soft sediments in shallow to deep waters (>80 m) indicating the potential for reproduction at multiple depths. Comparisons to a 1986 benthic survey suggest there have been shifts in nondreissenid macroinvertebrate composition; however, it is unclear if this is due to D. bugensis presence. Current distribution of nondreissenid macroinvertebrates is heterogeneous in all 3 basins, and their biodiversity decreased when D. bugensis density was 2500/m2 or greater.

  10. Impacto das capinas mecânica e química do sub-bosque de Eucalyptus grandis sobre a comunidade de formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae Impact of mechanical and chemical weedings of Eucalyptus grandis undergrowth on an ant community (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucimeire de Souza Ramos

    2004-02-01

    Full Text Available O efeito das capinas mecânica e química do sub-bosque em plantações de eucaliptos e as conseqüências desses tratamentos sobre a comunidade de formigas foram avaliados no município de Bom Despacho, Minas Gerais, Brasil. As formigas foram coletadas com o extrator de Winkler. Coletou-se um total de 86 espécies, pertencentes a seis subfamílias. Oito dias após as capinas, o número de espécies reduziu-se de um quarto para os dois tipos de capina. Sessenta dias após, o número de espécies tendeu a retornar ao estágio inicial, verificando-se que a eliminação do sub-bosque causa efeito deletério imediato, de igual intensidade e de pouca duração sobre a comunidade de formigas. As razões das variações observadas serão discutidas.The effect of mechanical and chemical undergrowth weedings on an ant community was tested in eucalypts plantations and the consequences of such treatments were evaluated at Bom Despacho, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. The ants were collected by applying the Winkler trap method. Eighty-six species of six sub-families were found. Eight days after the clearings, the number of species dropped to 1/4 in both weedings systems. Sixty days later, the number of species tended to return to the initial level, showing that undergrowth elimination caused an immediate depressive effect on the ant community of similar intensity and over a short time. The reasons of the variations observed are discussed.

  11. Ants and their effects on an insect herbivore community associated with the inflorescences of Byrsonima crassifolia (Linnaeus H.B.K. (Malpighiaceae Formigas e seus efeitos em uma comunidade de insetos herbívoros associada com as inflorescências de Byrsonima crassifolia (Linnaeus H.B.K. (Malpighiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Wilson Fernandes

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The effects of ants on the insect community on inflorescences of Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae were tested in an ant exclusion experiment in a cerrado vegetation in southeastern Brazil. Forty-four species of insects (23 families and nine species of ants (6 genera and 3 subfamilies were found on the inflorescences of B. crassifolia. The exclusion of ants, primarily Camponotus sericeiventris and Camponotus spp., reduced the treehopper population to 20% of the original abundance. Ant exclusion and time influenced the abundance of chewing (Exclusion, POs efeitos de formigas na comunidade de insetos em inflorescências de Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae foram testados em um experimento de exclusão em uma vegetação de cerrado no Sudeste do Brasil. Quarenta e quatro espécies de insetos (23 famílias e nove espécies de formigas (seis gêneros e três subfamílias foram encontradas nas inflorescências de B. crassifolia. A exclusão das formigas, principalmente de Camponotus sericeiventris e de Camponotus spp. reduziu a população de membracídeos para 20% da abundância original. Exclusão das formigas e o tempo influenciaram a abundância de insetos mastigadores (exclusão, P<0,001; tempo, P<0,002 e sugadores (exclusão, P<0,02; tempo, P<0,01. Insetos mastigadores e sugadores foram encontrados duas vezes mais em inflorescências com formigas excluídas quando comparados com inflorescências controle (P<0,001. Insetos sugadores foram encontrados 1,5 vezes mais em inflorescências com formigas excluídas do que no controle. Apenas o tempo influenciou significativamente a riqueza de insetos mastigadores e sugadores associados com as inflorescências de B. crassifolia. Inflorescências em ramos controle foram significativamente menos atacadas por herbívoros do que inflorescências em ramos com formigas excluídas (P<0,001. Portanto, estes resultados sugerem que a presença das formigas influencia a estrutura da comunidade de insetos herb

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel E Moller

    Full Text Available The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus degrades cellulose have hampered our understanding of the selection forces that induced large scale herbivory and of the ensuing ecological footprint of these ants. Here we use a recently established technique, based on polysaccharide microarrays probed with antibodies and carbohydrate binding modules, to map the occurrence of cell wall polymers in consecutive sections of the fungus garden of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We show that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste material that the ants remove from their fungus garden. These results demonstrate that biomass entering leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens is only partially utilized and explain why disproportionally large amounts of plant material are needed to sustain colony growth. They also explain why substantial communities of microbial and invertebrate symbionts have evolved associations with the dump material from leaf-cutting ant nests, to exploit decomposition niches that the ant garden-fungus does not utilize. Our approach thus provides detailed insight into the nutritional benefits and shortcomings associated with fungus-farming in ants.

  20. The effects of exotic weed Flaveria bidentis with different invasion ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Aghomotsegin

    community, especially its effect pattern at different invasion stages. In this study, soil ... invasion significantly decreased the richness of soil bacterial community, and the decline contents were positively ...... in nitrogen turnover. Agric. Ecosyst.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

    on other ant species to better understand the social syndromes and how supercolonies function. Foremost, this would help to manage invasive supercolonies that harm humans and biodiversity, but could also provide contribution to our general understanding on how ecology, especially demography impacts upon......). Multi-queen breeding requires both social and life-history adaptations from individuals to decrease intra-colony conflicts and to ensure that sterile workers receive inclusive fitness benefits despite lowered relatedness. However, it remains unclear exactly what ecological and life-history covariates...

  2. 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.

  3. The Global Spine Care Initiative: applying evidence-based guidelines on the non-invasive management of back and neck pain to low- and middle-income communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Roger; Côté, Pierre; Randhawa, Kristi; Torres, Paola; Yu, Hainan; Nordin, Margareta; Hurwitz, Eric L; Haldeman, Scott; Cedraschi, Christine

    2018-02-19

    The purpose of this review was to develop recommendations for the management of spinal disorders in low-income communities, with a focus on non-invasive pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies for non-specific low back and neck pain. We synthesized two evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the management of low back and neck pain. Our recommendations considered benefits, harms, quality of evidence, and costs, with attention to feasibility in medically underserved areas and low- and middle-income countries. Clinicians should provide education and reassurance, advise patients to remain active, and provide information about self-care options. For acute low back and neck pain without serious pathology, primary conservative treatment options are exercise, manual therapy, superficial heat, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). For patients with chronic low back and neck pain without serious pathology, primary treatment options are exercise, yoga, cognitive behavioral therapies, acupuncture, biofeedback, progressive relaxation, massage, manual therapy, interdisciplinary rehabilitation, NSAIDs, acetaminophen, and antidepressants. For patients with spinal pain with radiculopathy, clinicians may consider exercise, spinal manipulation, or NSAIDs; use of other interventions requires extrapolation from evidence regarding effectiveness for non-radicular spinal pain. Clinicians should not offer treatments that are not effective, including benzodiazepines, botulinum toxin injection, systemic corticosteroids, cervical collar, electrical muscle stimulation, short-wave diathermy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and traction. Guidelines developed for high-income settings were adapted to inform a care pathway and model of care for medically underserved areas and low- and middle-income countries by considering factors such as costs and feasibility, in addition to benefits, harms, and the quality of underlying evidence. The selection of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shonna R. Storz

    2004-04-01

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

  5. Temperature limits trail following behaviour through pheromone decay in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oudenhove, Louise; Billoir, Elise; Boulay, Raphaël; Bernstein, Carlos; Cerdá, Xim

    2011-12-01

    In Mediterranean habitats, temperature affects both ant foraging behaviour and community structure. Many studies have shown that dominant species often forage at lower temperature than subordinates. Yet, the factors that constrain dominant species foraging activity in hot environments are still elusive. We used the dominant ant Tapinoma nigerrimum as a model species to test the hypothesis that high temperatures hinder trail following behaviour by accelerating pheromone degradation. First, field observations showed that high temperatures (> 30°C) reduce the foraging activity of T. nigerrimum independently of the daily and seasonal rhythms of this species. Second, we isolated the effect of high temperatures on pheromone trail efficacy from its effect on worker physiology. A marked substrate was heated during 10 min (five temperature treatments from 25°C to 60°C), cooled down to 25°C, and offered in a test choice to workers. At hot temperature treatments (>40°C), workers did not discriminate the previously marked substrate. High temperatures appeared therefore to accelerate pheromone degradation. Third, we assessed the pheromone decay dynamics by a mechanistic model fitted with Bayesian inference. The model predicted ant choice through the evolution of pheromone concentration on trails as a function of both temperature and time since pheromone deposition. Overall, our results highlighted that the effect of high temperatures on recruitment intensity was partly due to pheromone evaporation. In the Mediterranean ant communities, this might affect dominant species relying on chemical recruitment, more than subordinate ant species, less dependent on chemical communication and less sensitive to high temperatures.

  6. 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....

  7. 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....

  8. Dataset on the abundance of ants and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields with intercropped plants

    OpenAIRE

    Anicet Gbèblonoudo Dassou; Dominique Carval; Sylvain Dépigny; Gabriel Fansi; Philippe Tixier

    2016-01-01

    The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled ?Ant abundance and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields as affected by intercropping? (A.G. Dassou, D. Carval, S. D?pigny, G.H Fansi, P. Tixier, 2015) [1]. This article describes how associated crops maize (Zea mays), cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) and bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) intercropped in the plantain fields in Cameroun modify ant community structure and damages of banana weevil Cosmop...

  9. Do invasive plant species alter soil health?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive species may alter soil characteristics or interact with the soil microbial community to yield a competitive advantage. Our objectives were to determine: if invasive plant species alter soil properties important to soil health; and the long-term effects of invasive plant species on soil pro...

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    stability Science & Innovation Collaboration Careers Community Environment Science & Innovation Recruitment Events Community Commitment Giving Campaigns, Drives Economic Development Employee Funded neighbor pledge: contribute to quality of life in Northern New Mexico through economic development

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong-Hwan Choe

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

  16. 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.

  17. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Chemical and behavioral integration of army ant-associated rove beetles - a comparison between specialists and generalists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Beeren, Christoph; Brückner, Adrian; Maruyama, Munetoshi; Burke, Griffin; Wieschollek, Jana; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2018-01-01

    Host-symbiont interactions are embedded in ecological communities and range from unspecific to highly specific relationships. Army ants and their arthropod guests represent a fascinating example of species-rich host-symbiont associations where host specificity ranges across the entire generalist - specialist continuum. In the present study, we compared the behavioral and chemical integration mechanisms of two extremes of the generalist - specialist continuum: generalist ant-predators in the genus Tetradonia (Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae: Athetini), and specialist ant-mimics in the genera Ecitomorpha and Ecitophya (Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae: Ecitocharini). Similar to a previous study of Tetradonia beetles, we combined DNA barcoding with morphological studies to define species boundaries in ant-mimicking beetles. This approach found four ant-mimicking species at our study site at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. Community sampling of Eciton army ant parasites revealed that ant-mimicking beetles were perfect host specialists, each beetle species being associated with a single Eciton species. These specialists were seamlessly integrated into the host colony, while generalists avoided physical contact to host ants in behavioral assays. Analysis of the ants' nestmate recognition cues, i.e. cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), showed close similarity in CHC composition and CHC concentration between specialists and Eciton burchellii foreli host ants. On the contrary, the chemical profiles of generalists matched host profiles less well, indicating that high accuracy in chemical host resemblance is only accomplished by socially integrated species. Considering the interplay between behavior, morphology, and cuticular chemistry, specialists but not generalists have cracked the ants' social code with respect to various sensory modalities. Our results support the long-standing idea that the evolution of host-specialization in parasites is a trade-off between the range of

  20. An assessment of community health workers' ability to screen for cardiovascular disease risk with a simple, non-invasive risk assessment instrument in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Mexico, and South Africa: an observational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaziano, Thomas A; Abrahams-Gessel, Shafika; Denman, Catalina A; Montano, Carlos Mendoza; Khanam, Masuma; Puoane, Thandi; Levitt, Naomi S

    2015-09-01

    Cardiovascular disease contributes substantially to the non-communicable disease (NCD) burden in low-income and middle-income countries, which also often have substantial health personnel shortages. In this observational study we investigated whether community health workers could do community-based screenings to predict cardiovascular disease risk as effectively as could physicians or nurses, with a simple, non-invasive risk prediction indicator in low-income and middle-income countries. This observation study was done in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Mexico, and South Africa. Each site recruited at least ten to 15 community health workers based on usual site-specific norms for required levels of education and language competency. Community health workers had to reside in the community where the screenings were done and had to be fluent in that community's predominant language. These workers were trained to calculate an absolute cardiovascular disease risk score with a previously validated simple, non-invasive screening indicator. Community health workers who successfully finished the training screened community residents aged 35-74 years without a previous diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease. Health professionals independently generated a second risk score with the same instrument and the two sets of scores were compared for agreement. The primary endpoint of this study was the level of direct agreement between risk scores assigned by the community health workers and the health professionals. Of 68 community health worker trainees recruited between June 4, 2012, and Feb 8, 2013, 42 were deemed qualified to do fieldwork (15 in Bangladesh, eight in Guatemala, nine in Mexico, and ten in South Africa). Across all sites, 4383 community members were approached for participation and 4049 completed screening. The mean level of agreement between the two sets of risk scores was 96·8% (weighted κ=0·948, 95% CI 0·936-0·961) and community health workers showed

  1. Chinese tallow trees (Triadica sebifera) from the invasive range outperform those from the native range with an active soil community or phosphorus fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ling; Zhang, Yaojun; Wang, Hong; Zou, Jianwen; Siemann, Evan

    2013-01-01

    Two mechanisms that have been proposed to explain success of invasive plants are unusual biotic interactions, such as enemy release or enhanced mutualisms, and increased resource availability. However, while these mechanisms are usually considered separately, both may be involved in successful invasions. Biotic interactions may be positive or negative and may interact with nutritional resources in determining invasion success. In addition, the effects of different nutrients on invasions may vary. Finally, genetic variation in traits between populations located in introduced versus native ranges may be important for biotic interactions and/or resource use. Here, we investigated the roles of soil biota, resource availability, and plant genetic variation using seedlings of Triadica sebifera in an experiment in the native range (China). We manipulated nitrogen (control or 4 g/m(2)), phosphorus (control or 0.5 g/m(2)), soil biota (untreated or sterilized field soil), and plant origin (4 populations from the invasive range, 4 populations from the native range) in a full factorial experiment. Phosphorus addition increased root, stem, and leaf masses. Leaf mass and height growth depended on population origin and soil sterilization. Invasive populations had higher leaf mass and growth rates than native populations did in fresh soil but they had lower, comparable leaf mass and growth rates in sterilized soil. Invasive populations had higher growth rates with phosphorus addition but native ones did not. Soil sterilization decreased specific leaf area in both native and exotic populations. Negative effects of soil sterilization suggest that soil pathogens may not be as important as soil mutualists for T. sebifera performance. Moreover, interactive effects of sterilization and origin suggest that invasive T. sebifera may have evolved more beneficial relationships with the soil biota. Overall, seedlings from the invasive range outperformed those from the native range, however

  2. 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...

  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. 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.

  5. Increase in quantity and quality of suitable areas for invasive species as climate changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertelsmeier, Cleo; Luque, Gloria M; Courchamp, Franck

    2013-12-01

    As climatically suitable range projections become increasingly used to assess distributions of species, we recommend systematic assessments of the quality of habitat in addition to the classical binary classification of habitat. We devised a method to assess occurrence probability, captured by a climatic suitability index, through which we could determine variations in the quality of potential habitat. This relative risk assessment circumvents the use of an arbitrary suitability threshold. We illustrated our method with 2 case studies on invasive ant species. We estimated invasion potential of the destroyer ant (Monomorium destructor) and the European fire ant (Myrmica rubra) on a global scale currently and by 2080 with climate change. We found that 21.1% of the world's landmass currently has a suitable climate for the destroyer ant and 16% has a suitable climate for European fire ant. Our climatic suitability index showed that both ant species would benefit from climate change, but in different ways. The size of the potential distribution increased by 35.8% for the destroyer ant. Meanwhile, the total area of potential distribution remained the same for the European fire ant (>0.05%), but the level of climatic suitability within this range increased greatly and led to an improvement in habitat quality (i.e., of invasive species' establishment likelihood). Either through quantity or quality of suitable areas, both invasive ant species are likely to increase the extent of their invasion in the future, following global climate change. Our results show that species may increase their range if either more areas become suitable or if the available areas present improved suitability. Studies in which an arbitrary suitability threshold was used may overlook changes in area quality within climatically suitable areas and as a result reach incorrect predictions. Incremento de la Cantidad y Calidad de Áreas Idóneas para Especies Invasoras a Medida que Cambia el Clima.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Invasion of a mined landscape: what habitat characteristics are influencing the occurrence of invasive plants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Lemke; I.A. Tazisong; Y. Wang; J.A. Brown

    2012-01-01

    Throughout the world, the invasion of alien plants is an increasing threat to native biodiversity. Invasion is especially prevalent in areas affected by land transformation and anthropogenic disturbance. Surface mines are a major disturbance, and thus may promote the establishment and expansion of invasive plant communities. Environmental and habitat factors that may...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grauer, Kit, Ed.

    1995-01-01

    Art in context of community is the theme of this newsletter. The theme is introduced in an editorial "Community-Enlarging the Definition" (Kit Grauer). Related articles include: (1) "The Children's Bridge is not Destroyed: Heart in the Middle of the World" (Emil Robert Tanay); (2) "Making Bridges: The Sock Doll…

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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

  20. Breakdown of an ant-plant mutualism follows the loss of large herbivores from an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Todd M; Stanton, Maureen L; Young, Truman P; Goheen, Jacob R; Pringle, Robert M; Karban, Richard

    2008-01-11

    Mutualisms are key components of biodiversity and ecosystem function, yet the forces maintaining them are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of removing large mammals on an ant-Acacia mutualism in an African savanna. Ten years of large-herbivore exclusion reduced the nectar and housing provided by plants to ants, increasing antagonistic behavior by a mutualistic ant associate and shifting competitive dominance within the plant-ant community from this nectar-dependent mutualist to an antagonistic species that does not depend on plant rewards. Trees occupied by this antagonist suffered increased attack by stem-boring beetles, grew more slowly, and experienced doubled mortality relative to trees occupied by the mutualistic ant. These results show that large mammals maintain cooperation within a widespread symbiosis and suggest complex cascading effects of megafaunal extinction.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Michael Jackson antes del caos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Luciano Nieves

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Autonomous Agents on Expedition: Humans and Progenitor Ants and Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilee, M. L.; Clark, P. E.; Curtis, S. A.; Truszkowski, W. F.

    2002-01-01

    The Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) is an advanced mission architecture based on a social insect analog of many specialized spacecraft working together to achieve mission goals. The principal mission concept driving the ANTS architecture is a Main Belt Asteroid Survey in the 2020s that will involve a thousand or more nano-technology enabled, artificially intelligent, autonomous pico-spacecraft (architecture. High level, mission-oriented behaviors are to be managed by a control / communications layer of the swarm, whereas common low level functions required of all spacecraft, e.g. attitude control and guidance and navigation, are handled autonomically on each spacecraft. At the higher levels of mission planning and social interaction deliberative techniques are to be used. For the asteroid survey, ANTS acts as a large community of cooperative agents while for precursor missions there arises the intriguing possibility of Progenitor ANTS and humans acting together as agents. For optimal efficiency and responsiveness for individual spacecraft at the lowest levels of control we have been studying control methods based on nonlinear dynamical systems. We describe the critically important autonomous control architecture of the ANTS mission concept and a sequence of partial implementations that feature increasingly autonomous behaviors. The scientific and engineering roles that these Progenitor ANTS could play in human missions or remote missions with near real time human interactions, particularly to the Moon and Mars, will be discussed.

  16. A community-based education program about cervical cancer improves knowledge and screening behavior in Honduran women Programa educacional basado en la comunidad mejora el conocimiento sobre el cáncer cervicouterino y la conducta ante el tamizaje de mujeres en Honduras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca B. Perkins

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: This study examined changes in knowledge and behavior after a community-based cervical cancer education program in Honduras. METHODS: The program consisted of radio broadcasts targeting rural women and presentations to community nurses. The effectiveness of the radio broadcasts was assessed using a cross-sectional design (control groups n = 124, n = 243; intervention group n = 233. A pre-/ post-test design was used to evaluate the nurses’ training program (n = 32. A subset of nurses (n = 16 was retested two years later. Evaluation included t tests, chi-square and Fisher exact analyses. RESULTS: The radio broadcast increased the proportion of women who were familiar with the term "cervical cancer," who could identify means of preventing cervical cancer, and who understood the purpose of the Pap smear. In addition, older and under-screened women were successfully recruited for screening via radio. The nurses’ program improved understanding of the correct use of the Pap smear, the age-related risk of dysplasia, and the proper triage of abnormal results. The nurses retained a significant amount of knowledge two years after this training. CONCLUSIONS: In developing countries, inexpensive, community-based educational programs using radio broadcasts and lecture presentations can increase cervical cancer knowledge and improve screening behavior.OBJETIVOS: Examinar los cambios ocurridos en el conocimiento sobre el cáncer cervicouterino y el comportamiento ante el tamizaje después de un programa educacional basado en la comunidad en Honduras. MÉTODOS: El programa consistió en transmisiones radiales dirigidas a mujeres de zonas rurales y conferencias a enfermeros de la comunidad. La eficacia de las transmisiones radiales se evaluó mediante un diseño transversal (grupos de control: n = 124 y n = 243; grupo de intervención: n = 233. Se utilizó una prueba previa y otra posterior para evaluar el programa de entrenamiento de enfermeros

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Are ant assemblages of Brazilian veredas characterised by location or habitat type?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CB Costa-Milanez

    Full Text Available Wetland areas in the Brazilian Cerrado, known as “veredas”, represent ecosystems formed on sandy soils with high concentrations of peat, and are responsible for the recharge of aquiferous reservoirs. They are currently under threat by various human activities, most notably the clearing of vegetation for Eucalyptus plantations. Despite their ecological importance and high conservation value, little is known about the actual effects of human disturbance on the animal community. To assess how habitat within different veredas, and plantations surrounding them affect ant assemblages, we selected four independent vereda locations, two being impacted by Eucalyptus monoculture (one younger and one mature plantation and two controls, where the wetland was surrounded by cerrado vegetation. Ant sampling was conducted in May 2010 (dry season using three complementary methods, namely baits, pitfall traps, and hand collection, in the wetland and in the surrounding habitats. A total of 7,575 ants were sampled, belonging to seven subfamilies, 32 genera and 124 species. Ant species richness and abundance did not differ between vereda locations, but did between the habitats. When impacted by the monoculture, ant species richness and abundance decreased in wetlands, but were less affected in the cerrado habitat. Ant species composition differed between the three habitats and between vereda locations. Eucalyptus plantations had an ant species composition defined by high dominance of Pheidole sp. and Solenopsis invicta, while natural habitats were defined by Camponotus and Crematogaster species. Atta sexdens was strictly confined to native habitats of non-impacted “veredas”. Eucalyptus monocultures require high quantities of water in the early stages, which may have caused a decrease in groundwater level in the wetland, allowing hypogeic ants such as Labidus praedator to colonise this habitat.

  1. Are ant assemblages of Brazilian veredas characterised by location or habitat type?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa-Milanez, C B; Lourenço-Silva, G; Castro, P T A; Majer, J D; Ribeiro, S P

    2014-02-01

    Wetland areas in the Brazilian Cerrado, known as "veredas", represent ecosystems formed on sandy soils with high concentrations of peat, and are responsible for the recharge of aquiferous reservoirs. They are currently under threat by various human activities, most notably the clearing of vegetation for Eucalyptus plantations. Despite their ecological importance and high conservation value, little is known about the actual effects of human disturbance on the animal community. To assess how habitat within different veredas, and plantations surrounding them affect ant assemblages, we selected four independent vereda locations, two being impacted by Eucalyptus monoculture (one younger and one mature plantation) and two controls, where the wetland was surrounded by cerrado vegetation. Ant sampling was conducted in May 2010 (dry season) using three complementary methods, namely baits, pitfall traps, and hand collection, in the wetland and in the surrounding habitats. A total of 7,575 ants were sampled, belonging to seven subfamilies, 32 genera and 124 species. Ant species richness and abundance did not differ between vereda locations, but did between the habitats. When impacted by the monoculture, ant species richness and abundance decreased in wetlands, but were less affected in the cerrado habitat. Ant species composition differed between the three habitats and between vereda locations. Eucalyptus plantations had an ant species composition defined by high dominance of Pheidole sp. and Solenopsis invicta, while natural habitats were defined by Camponotus and Crematogaster species. Atta sexdens was strictly confined to native habitats of non-impacted "veredas". Eucalyptus monocultures require high quantities of water in the early stages, which may have caused a decrease in groundwater level in the wetland, allowing hypogeic ants such as Labidus praedator to colonise this habitat.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Effect of perceived stress on depression of Chinese "Ant Tribe" and the moderating role of dispositional optimism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bo; Pu, Jun; Hou, Hanpo

    2015-05-08

    This study examines the moderating role of dispositional optimism on the relationship between perceived stress and depression of the Chinese "Ant Tribe." A total of 427 participants from an Ant Tribe community completed the measures of perceived stress, optimism, and depression. The structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis showed that dispositional optimism moderated the association between perceived stress and depression. The Ant Tribe with high perceived stress reported higher scores in depression than those with low perceived stress at low dispositional optimism level. However, the impact of perceived stress on depression was insignificant in the high dispositional optimism group. © The Author(s) 2015.

  5. Use of a cancer registry is preferable to a direct-to-community approach for recruitment to a cohort study of wellbeing in women newly diagnosed with invasive breast cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farrugia Helen

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Breast cancer (BC mortality is declining such that the number of survivors of BC in the community is increasing. BC survivors report a range of sequelae from their cancer and its management beyond the period of their immediate treatment. Previous studies to document these have generally been small, clinic-based or commenced years after diagnosis. We have recruited a large cohort of women newly diagnosed with invasive BC from the community who will be followed for five years in order to systematically document the physical, psychological and socio-economic consequences of BC and its treatment. The aim of this manuscript is to describe the issues encountered in the recruitment of this community-based study population. Methods Women residing in the southern Australian state of Victoria newly diagnosed with invasive BC were recruited to this cohort study using two approaches: directly from the community using an advertising campaign and contemporaneously using an invitation to participate from the Victorian Cancer Registry (VCR. Results Over the two and half year recruitment period, 2135 women were recruited and agreed to receive the enrollment questionnaire (EQ. Of these, 1684 women were eligible and completed an EQ, with the majority of participants having been recruited through the VCR (n = 1321. Only 16% of women contacted by the VCR actively refused participation following a letter of invitation and phone follow-up. The age distribution and tumour characteristics of participants are consistent with state-wide data and their residential postcodes include 400 of a possible 699. Recruitment through a direct community awareness program aimed at women with newly diagnosed invasive BC was difficult, labour-intensive and expensive. Barriers to the recruitment process were identified. Conclusion Most of the women in this study were recruited through a state-based cancer registry. Limitations to recruitment occurred because we

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Poulsen

    Full Text Available Mutualistic associations are shaped by the interplay of cooperation and conflict among the partners involved, and it is becoming increasingly clear that within many mutualisms multiple partners simultaneously engage in beneficial interactions. Consequently, a more complete understanding of the dynamics within multipartite mutualism communities is essential for understanding the origin, specificity, and stability of mutualisms. Fungus-growing ants cultivate fungi for food and maintain antibiotic-producing Pseudonocardia actinobacteria on their cuticle that help defend the cultivar fungus from specialized parasites. Within both ant-fungus and ant-bacterium mutualisms, mixing of genetically distinct strains can lead to antagonistic interactions (i.e., competitive conflict, which may prevent the ants from rearing multiple strains of either of the mutualistic symbionts within individual colonies. The success of different ant-cultivar-bacterium combinations could ultimately be governed by antagonistic interactions between the two mutualists, either as inhibition of the cultivar by Pseudonocardia or vice versa. Here we explore cultivar-Pseudonocardia antagonism by evaluating in vitro interactions between strains of the two mutualists, and find frequent antagonistic interactions both from cultivars towards Pseudonocardia and vice versa. To test whether such in vitro antagonistic interactions affect ant colonies in vivo, we performed sub-colony experiments using species of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants. We created novel ant-fungus-bacterium pairings in which there was antagonism from one, both, or neither of the ants' microbial mutualists, and evaluated the effect of directional antagonism on cultivar biomass and Pseudonocardia abundance on the cuticle of workers within sub-colonies. Despite the presence of frequent in vitro growth suppression between cultivars and Pseudonocardia, antagonism from Pseudonocardia towards the cultivar did not reduce sub

  12. 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. ...

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. A global assessment of invasive plant impacts on resident species, communities and ecosystems: the interaction of impact measures, invading species’ traits and environment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Hulme, P. E.; Pergl, Jan; Hejda, Martin; Schaffner, U.; Vila, M.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 5 (2012), s. 1725-1737 ISSN 1354-1013 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/11/1112 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : biological invasions * impact * global assessment Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 6.910, year: 2012

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Dataset on the abundance of ants and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields with intercropped plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassou, Anicet Gbèblonoudo; Carval, Dominique; Dépigny, Sylvain; Fansi, Gabriel; Tixier, Philippe

    2016-12-01

    The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled "Ant abundance and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields as affected by intercropping" (A.G. Dassou, D. Carval, S. Dépigny, G.H Fansi, P. Tixier, 2015) [1]. This article describes how associated crops maize (Zea mays), cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) and bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) intercropped in the plantain fields in Cameroun modify ant community structure and damages of banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus. The field data set is made publicly available to enable critical or extended analyzes.

  1. Dataset on the abundance of ants and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields with intercropped plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anicet Gbèblonoudo Dassou

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled “Ant abundance and Cosmopolites sordidus damage in plantain fields as affected by intercropping” (A.G. Dassou, D. Carval, S. Dépigny, G.H Fansi, P. Tixier, 2015 [1]. This article describes how associated crops maize (Zea mays, cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium and bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria intercropped in the plantain fields in Cameroun modify ant community structure and damages of banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus. The field data set is made publicly available to enable critical or extended analyzes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aiming Zhou

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

  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. Long-term changes in communities of native coccinellids: population fluctuations and the effect of competition from an invasive non-native species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Honěk, A.; Martínková, Z.; Dixon, Anthony F. G.; Roy, H. E.; Pekárek, S.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 3 (2016), s. 202-209 ISSN 1752-458X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA14-26561S; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : ladybird harmonia-axyridis * coleoptera-coccinellidae * intraguild predation * habitat preferences * central-europe * spread * ladybeetle * beetles * history * decline * Adalia * Anatis * Calvia * Coccinella * Halyzia * Harmonia * intraguild predation * invasive alien species * ladybird beetles * Propylea Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.840, year: 2016

  5. Positive feedback between mycorrhizal fungi and plants influences plant invasion success and resistance to invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qian; Yang, Ruyi; Tang, Jianjun; Yang, Haishui; Hu, Shuijin; Chen, Xin

    2010-08-24

    Negative or positive feedback between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and host plants can contribute to plant species interactions, but how this feedback affects plant invasion or resistance to invasion is not well known. Here we tested how alterations in AMF community induced by an invasive plant species generate feedback to the invasive plant itself and affect subsequent interactions between the invasive species and its native neighbors. We first examined the effects of the invasive forb Solidago canadensis L. on AMF communities comprising five different AMF species. We then examined the effects of the altered AMF community on mutualisms formed with the native legume forb species Kummerowia striata (Thunb.) Schindl. and on the interaction between the invasive and native plants. The host preferences of the five AMF were also assessed to test whether the AMF form preferred mutualistic relations with the invasive and/or the native species. We found that S. canadensis altered AMF spore composition by increasing one AMF species (Glomus geosporum) while reducing Glomus mosseae, which is the dominant species in the field. The host preference test showed that S. canadensis had promoted the abundance of AMF species (G. geosporum) that most promoted its own growth. As a consequence, the altered AMF community enhanced the competitiveness of invasive S. canadensis at the expense of K. striata. Our results demonstrate that the invasive S. canadensis alters soil AMF community composition because of fungal-host preference. This change in the composition of the AMF community generates positive feedback to the invasive S. canadensis itself and decreases AM associations with native K. striata, thereby making the native K. striata less dominant.

  6. Positive feedback between mycorrhizal fungi and plants influences plant invasion success and resistance to invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Zhang

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Negative or positive feedback between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF and host plants can contribute to plant species interactions, but how this feedback affects plant invasion or resistance to invasion is not well known. Here we tested how alterations in AMF community induced by an invasive plant species generate feedback to the invasive plant itself and affect subsequent interactions between the invasive species and its native neighbors. We first examined the effects of the invasive forb Solidago canadensis L. on AMF communities comprising five different AMF species. We then examined the effects of the altered AMF community on mutualisms formed with the native legume forb species Kummerowia striata (Thunb. Schindl. and on the interaction between the invasive and native plants. The host preferences of the five AMF were also assessed to test whether the AMF form preferred mutualistic relations with the invasive and/or the native species. We found that S. canadensis altered AMF spore composition by increasing one AMF species (Glomus geosporum while reducing Glomus mosseae, which is the dominant species in the field. The host preference test showed that S. canadensis had promoted the abundance of AMF species (G. geosporum that most promoted its own growth. As a consequence, the altered AMF community enhanced the competitiveness of invasive S. canadensis at the expense of K. striata. Our results demonstrate that the invasive S. canadensis alters soil AMF community composition because of fungal-host preference. This change in the composition of the AMF community generates positive feedback to the invasive S. canadensis itself and decreases AM associations with native K. striata, thereby making the native K. striata less dominant.

  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. Identifying Ant-Mirid Spatial Interactions to Improve Biological Control in Cacao-Based Agroforestry System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagny Beilhe, Leïla; Piou, Cyril; Tadu, Zéphirin; Babin, Régis

    2018-06-06

    The use of ants for biological control of insect pests was the first reported case of conservation biological control. Direct and indirect community interactions between ants and pests lead to differential spatial pattern. We investigated spatial interactions between mirids, the major cocoa pest in West Africa and numerically dominant ant species, using bivariate point pattern analysis to identify potential biological control agents. We assume that potential biological control agents should display negative spatial interactions with mirids considering their niche overlap. The mirid/ant data were collected in complex cacao-based agroforestry systems sampled in three agroecological areas over a forest-savannah gradient in Cameroon. Three species, Crematogaster striatula Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Crematogaster clariventris Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and Oecophylla longinoda Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with high predator and aggressive behaviors were identified as dominant and showed negative spatial relationships with mirids. The weaver ant, O. longinoda was identified as the only potential biological control agent, considering its ubiquity in the plots, the similarity in niche requirements, and the spatial segregation with mirids resulting probably from exclusion mechanisms. Combining bivariate point pattern analysis to good knowledge of insect ecology was an effective method to identify a potentially good biological control agent.

  9. Chemical camouflage: a key process in shaping an ant-treehopper and fig-fig wasp mutualistic network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Lu, Min; Cook, James M; Yang, Da-Rong; Dunn, Derek W; Wang, Rui-Wu

    2018-01-30

    Different types of mutualisms may interact, co-evolve and form complex networks of interdependences, but how species interact in networks of a mutualistic community and maintain its stability remains unclear. In a mutualistic network between treehoppers-weaver ants and fig-pollinating wasps, we found that the cuticular hydrocarbons of the treehoppers are more similar to the surface chemical profiles of fig inflorescence branches (FIB) than the cuticular hydrocarbons of the fig wasps. Behavioral assays showed that the cuticular hydrocarbons from both treehoppers and FIBs reduce the propensity of weaver ants to attack treehoppers even in the absence of honeydew rewards, suggesting that chemical camouflage helps enforce the mutualism between weaver ants and treehoppers. High levels of weaver ant and treehopper abundances help maintain the dominance of pollinating fig wasps in the fig wasp community and also increase fig seed production, as a result of discriminative predation and disturbance by weaver ants of ovipositing non-pollinating fig wasps (NPFWs). Ants therefore help preserve this fig-pollinating wasp mutualism from over exploitation by NPFWs. Our results imply that in this mutualistic network chemical camouflage plays a decisive role in regulating the behavior of a key species and indirectly shaping the architecture of complex arthropod-plant interactions.

  10. Positive interactions between desert granivores: localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Edelman

    Full Text Available Facilitation, when one species enhances the environment or performance of another species, can be highly localized in space. While facilitation in plant communities has been intensely studied, the role of facilitation in shaping animal communities is less well understood. In the Chihuahuan Desert, both kangaroo rats and harvester ants depend on the abundant seeds of annual plants. Kangaroo rats, however, are hypothesized to facilitate harvester ants through soil disturbance and selective seed predation rather than competing with them. I used a spatially explicit approach to examine whether a positive or negative interaction exists between banner-tailed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys spectabilis mounds and rough harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus colonies. The presence of a scale-dependent interaction between mounds and colonies was tested by comparing fitted spatial point process models with and without interspecific effects. Also, the effect of proximity to a mound on colony mortality and spatial patterns of surviving colonies was examined. The spatial pattern of kangaroo rat mounds and harvester ant colonies was consistent with a positive interspecific interaction at small scales (<10 m. Mortality risk of vulnerable, recently founded harvester ant colonies was lower when located close to a kangaroo rat mound and proximity to a mound partly predicted the spatial pattern of surviving colonies. My findings support localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats, likely mediated through ecosystem engineering and foraging effects on plant cover and composition. The scale-dependent effect of kangaroo rats on abiotic and biotic factors appears to result in greater founding and survivorship of young colonies near mounds. These results suggest that soil disturbance and foraging by rodents can have subtle impacts on the distribution and demography of other species.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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....

  14. 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.

  15. Evidences that human disturbance simplify the ant fauna associated a Stachytarpheta glabra Cham. (Verbenaceae compromising the benefits of ant-plant mutualism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BC. Barbosa

    Full Text Available Interaction among species, like ants and plants through extrafloral nectaries (EFNs, are important components of ecological communities’ evolution. However, the effect of human disturbance on such specific interactions and its ecological consequences is poorly understood. This study evaluated the outcomes of mutualism between ants and the EFN-bearing plant Stachytarpheta glabra under anthropogenic disturbance. We compared the arthropod fauna composition between two groups of twenty plant individuals, one in an area disturbed by human activities and one in a preserved area. We also check the plant investment in herbivory defense and the consequential leaf damage by herbivore. Our results indicate that such disturbances cause simplification of the associated fauna and lack of proper ant mutualist. This led to four times more herbivory on plants of disturbed areas, despite the equal amount of EFN and ant visitors and low abundance of herbivores. The high pressure of herbivory may difficult the re-establishment of S. glabra, an important pioneer species in ferruginous fields, therefore it may affect resilience of this fragile ecological community.

  16. Are local filters blind to provenance? Ant seed predation suppresses exotic plants more than natives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson; Nadia S. Icasatti; Jose L. Hierro; Benjamin J. Bird

    2014-01-01

    The question of whether species' origins influence invasion outcomes has been a point of substantial debate in invasion ecology. Theoretically, colonization outcomes can be predicted based on how species' traits interact with community filters, a process presumably blind to species' origins. Yet, exotic plant introductions commonly result in monospecific...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Modeling invasive alien plant species in river systems : Interaction with native ecosystem engineers and effects on hydro-morphodynamic processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oorschot, M.; Kleinhans, M. G.; Geerling, G.W.; Egger, G.; Leuven, R.S.E.W.; Middelkoop, H.

    2017-01-01

    Invasive alien plant species negatively impact native plant communities by out-competing species or changing abiotic and biotic conditions in their introduced range. River systems are especially vulnerable to biological invasions, because waterways can function as invasion corridors. Understanding

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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....

  7. 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....

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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 ...

  14. Operant conditioning in the ant Myrmica sabuleti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cammaerts, M C

    2004-11-30

    Operant conditioning could be obtained in the ant Myrmica sabuleti by presenting to the workers, during a six-day period, an apparatus containing either sugared water or meat as a reward. The conditioning obtained using sugared water as a reward was short lasting. A reconditioning was more persistent and lasted four hours. The ants' response was very precise, since they exhibited it only in front of an apparatus identical to that used during the training phase. Operant conditioning obtained using meat as a reward was more pronounced than that obtained by using sugared water, probably because meat is more valuable as a reward than sugar for the species studied, which is essentially a carnivorous one. Such a conditioning was rather persistent. Indeed, a first operant conditioning obtained by using meat as a reward could still be detected after seven hours, and a reconditioning was still significant after eight hours. One day after this eight-hour period without rewarding the ants, the response was higher again and a further day later, it was still significant. Since the operant conditioning is easy to perform and quantify and since the ants' response is very precise, such a conditioning can be used for further studying M. sabuleti workers' visual perception.

  15. Fitossociologia e uso múltiplo de espécies arbóreas em floresta manejada, comunidade Santo Antônio, município de Santarém, estado do Pará Phytosociology and multiple use of forest species in a logged forest in Santo Antonio community, municipality of Santarém, Pará state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larissa Santos de Almeida

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Avaliou-se a fitossociologia de floresta manejada em lotes de comunitários da Comunidade Santo Antônio no Assentamento Moju I e II, município de Santarém, Amazônia brasileira. Foram instaladas 12 parcelas de 50 m x 200 m (1 por lote anotando-se indivíduos com CAP ≥ 157,1 cm (nível 3 de inclusão; 12 sub-parcelas de 50 m x 50 m, para os indivíduos com 94,2 cm ≤ CAP The forest potential was evaluated in the logged area in the Moju I and II Settlement, located at a secondary road near km 124 of the BR 163 highway, in the municipality of Santarém, Brazilian Amazonia. Twelve 50 m x 200 m plots were established in a 12 ha sample area, in which all trees CPH (circumference 1.3 m above ground > 157.5 cm were recorded; twelve 50 m x 50 m subplots in which individuals 94.2 cm ≤ CAP < 157.1 cm were recorded; and twelve 50 m x 25 m subplots for measuring individuals 31.4 cm ≤ CAP < 94.2 cm. A total of 1227 trees from 175 species and 38 families were recorded in the forest sample. Higher number of species was found in Fabaceae and genus Inga was the richest. Diversity Shannon index (H' was 4.39 and Evenness index (J was 0,85. The analysis of VIA showed that remain forest keeps a stock of timber and non-timber potential species for using by the community. Carapa guianensis, Caryocar villosum, Brosimum parinarioides, Aniba canellila, Bowdichia virgilioides and Andira surinamensis can be suggested to be removed from the timber harvesting list, thus improving community economic return. Manilkara huberi and Carapa guianensis were the species with more expressive timber and non-timber uses, respectively, according to the present market and the potential of known uses; so it will be very interesting that these characteristics can be taking into consideration during the elaboration of plans and management of the forest.

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. The role of ants, birds and bats for ecosystem functions and yield in oil palm plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denmead, Lisa H; Darras, Kevin; Clough, Yann; Diaz, Patrick; Grass, Ingo; Hoffmann, Munir P; Nurdiansyah, Fuad; Fardiansah, Rico; Tscharntke, Teja

    2017-07-01

    One of the world's most important and rapidly expanding crops, oil palm, is associated with low levels of biodiversity. Changes in predator communities might alter ecosystem services and subsequently sustainable management but these links have received little attention to date. Here, for the first time, we manipulated ant and flying vertebrate (birds and bats) access to oil palms in six smallholder plantations in Sumatra (Indonesia) and measured effects on arthropod communities, related ecosystem functions (herbivory, predation, decomposition and pollination) and crop yield. Arthropod predators increased in response to reductions in ant and bird access, but the overall effect of experimental manipulations on ecosystem functions was minimal. Similarly, effects on yield were not significant. We conclude that ecosystem functions and productivity in oil palm are, under current levels of low pest pressure and large pollinator populations, robust to large reductions of major predators. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delattre Olivier

    2012-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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....

  13. Effects of invasive plants on arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litt, Andrea R; Cord, Erin E; Fulbright, Timothy E; Schuster, Greta L

    2014-12-01

    Non-native plants have invaded nearly all ecosystems and represent a major component of global ecological change. Plant invasions frequently change the composition and structure of vegetation communities, which can alter animal communities and ecosystem processes. We reviewed 87 articles published in the peer-reviewed literature to evaluate responses of arthropod communities and functional groups to non-native invasive plants. Total abundance of arthropods decreased in 62% of studies and increased in 15%. Taxonomic richness decreased in 48% of studies and increased in 13%. Herbivorous arthropods decreased in response to plant invasions in 48% of studies and increased in 17%, likely due to direct effects of decreased plant diversity. Predaceous arthropods decreased in response to invasive plants in 44% of studies, which may reflect indirect effects due to reductions in prey. Twenty-two percent of studies documented increases in predators, which may reflect changes in vegetation structure that improved mobility, survival, or web-building for these species. Detritivores increased in 67% of studies, likely in response to increased litter and decaying vegetation; no studies documented decreased abundance in this functional group. Although many researchers have examined effects of plant invasions on arthropods, sizeable information gaps remain, specifically regarding how invasive plants influence habitat and dietary requirements. Beyond this, the ability to predict changes in arthropod populations and communities associated with plant invasions could be improved by adopting a more functional and mechanistic approach. Understanding responses of arthropods to invasive plants will critically inform conservation of virtually all biodiversity and ecological processes because so many organisms depend on arthropods as prey or for their functional roles, including pollination, seed dispersal, and decomposition. Given their short generation times and ability to respond rapidly to

  14. Plant defences against ants provide a pathway to social parasitism in butterflies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricelli, Dario; Barbero, Francesca; Occhipinti, Andrea; Bertea, Cinzia M.; Bonelli, Simona; Casacci, Luca P.; Zebelo, Simon A.; Crocoll, Christoph; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Maffei, Massimo E.; Thomas, Jeremy A.; Balletto, Emilio

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the chemical cues and gene expressions that mediate herbivore–host-plant and parasite–host interactions can elucidate the ecological costs and benefits accruing to different partners in tight-knit community modules, and may reveal unexpected complexities. We investigated the exploitation of sequential hosts by the phytophagous–predaceous butterfly Maculinea arion, whose larvae initially feed on Origanum vulgare flowerheads before switching to parasitize Myrmica ant colonies for their main period of growth. Gravid female butterflies were attracted to Origanum plants that emitted high levels of the monoterpenoid volatile carvacrol, a condition that occurred when ants disturbed their roots: we also found that Origanum expressed four genes involved in monoterpene formation when ants were present, accompanied by a significant induction of jasmonates. When exposed to carvacrol, Myrmica workers upregulated five genes whose products bind and detoxify this biocide, and their colonies were more tolerant of it than other common ant genera, consistent with an observed ability to occupy the competitor-free spaces surrounding Origanum. A cost is potential colony destruction by Ma. arion, which in turn may benefit infested Origanum plants by relieving their roots of further damage. Our results suggest a new pathway, whereby social parasites can detect successive resources by employing plant volatiles to simultaneously select their initial plant food and a suitable sequential host. PMID:26156773

  15. Morphology and ultrastructure of the mandibular gland in the ant Brachyponera sennaarensis (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billen, Johan; Al-Khalifa, Mohammed

    2018-01-01

    The 'samsum ant' Brachyponera sennaarensis is an invasive species in Saudi Arabia, where it forms a serious threat because of its painful sting. As part of a morphological survey of the exocrine system of this species, we studied the mandibular gland of males, queens and workers of this species. The gland of males is similar to the common anatomical appearance the mandibular gland has in ants in general, but is considerably different in queens and workers. In both female castes, the secretory cells are grouped in one single cluster, that is surrounded by a thick sheath of connective tissue. The duct cells, that transport the secretion towards the wrinkled reservoir, appear considerably folded. Both the sheath of connective tissue and the folded ducts are considered as a mechanical reinforcement of the gland, although the reason for such reinforcement remains unclear as we are not aware of any peculiar movements of the mandibles in queens and workers. At the ultrastructural level, the secretory cells in all castes are characterized by a well-developed smooth endoplasmic reticulum, which is indicative for the elaboration of a non-proteinaceous and hence possibly pheromonal secretion. The clear structural differences between males and the two female castes, which so far had not been found in other ant species, show that the mandibular gland in B. sennaarensis most likely has a different caste-dependent function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Marcy A.; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-09-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Identifying Shifts in Leaf-Litter Ant Assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae across Ecosystem Boundaries Using Multiple Sampling Methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Wiezik

    Full Text Available Global or regional environmental changes in climate or land use have been increasingly implied in shifts in boundaries (ecotones between adjacent ecosystems such as beech or oak-dominated forests and forest-steppe ecotones that frequently co-occur near the southern range limits of deciduous forest biome in Europe. Yet, our ability to detect changes in biological communities across these ecosystems, or to understand their environmental drivers, can be hampered when different sampling methods are required to characterize biological communities of the adjacent but ecologically different ecosystems. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae have been shown to be particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and vegetation and they require different sampling methods in closed vs. open habitats. We compared ant assemblages of closed-forests (beech- or oak-dominated and open forest-steppe habitats in southwestern Carpathians using methods for closed-forest (litter sifting and open habitats (pitfall trapping, and developed an integrated sampling approach to characterize changes in ant assemblages across these adjacent ecosystems. Using both methods, we collected 5,328 individual ant workers from 28 species. Neither method represented ant communities completely, but pitfall trapping accounted for more species (24 than litter sifting (16. Although pitfall trapping characterized differences in species richness and composition among the ecosystems better, with beech forest being most species poor and ecotone most species rich, litter sifting was more successful in identifying characteristic litter-dwelling species in oak-dominated forest. The integrated sampling approach using both methods yielded more accurate characterization of species richness and composition, and particularly so in species-rich forest-steppe habitat where the combined sample identified significantly higher number of species compared to either of the two methods on their own. Thus, an integrated

  6. Identifying Shifts in Leaf-Litter Ant Assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) across Ecosystem Boundaries Using Multiple Sampling Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiezik, Michal; Svitok, Marek; Wieziková, Adela; Dovčiak, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Global or regional environmental changes in climate or land use have been increasingly implied in shifts in boundaries (ecotones) between adjacent ecosystems such as beech or oak-dominated forests and forest-steppe ecotones that frequently co-occur near the southern range limits of deciduous forest biome in Europe. Yet, our ability to detect changes in biological communities across these ecosystems, or to understand their environmental drivers, can be hampered when different sampling methods are required to characterize biological communities of the adjacent but ecologically different ecosystems. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) have been shown to be particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and vegetation and they require different sampling methods in closed vs. open habitats. We compared ant assemblages of closed-forests (beech- or oak-dominated) and open forest-steppe habitats in southwestern Carpathians using methods for closed-forest (litter sifting) and open habitats (pitfall trapping), and developed an integrated sampling approach to characterize changes in ant assemblages across these adjacent ecosystems. Using both methods, we collected 5,328 individual ant workers from 28 species. Neither method represented ant communities completely, but pitfall trapping accounted for more species (24) than litter sifting (16). Although pitfall trapping characterized differences in species richness and composition among the ecosystems better, with beech forest being most species poor and ecotone most species rich, litter sifting was more successful in identifying characteristic litter-dwelling species in oak-dominated forest. The integrated sampling approach using both methods yielded more accurate characterization of species richness and composition, and particularly so in species-rich forest-steppe habitat where the combined sample identified significantly higher number of species compared to either of the two methods on their own. Thus, an integrated sampling

  7. Unconventional gas development facilitates plant invasions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Kathryn M; Mortensen, David A; Drohan, Patrick J; Averill, Kristine M

    2017-11-01

    Vegetation removal and soil disturbance from natural resource development, combined with invasive plant propagule pressure, can increase vulnerability to plant invasions. Unconventional oil and gas development produces surface disturbance by way of well pad, road, and pipeline construction, and increased traffic. Little is known about the resulting impacts on plant community assembly, including the spread of invasive plants. Our work was conducted in Pennsylvania forests that overlay the Marcellus and Utica shale formations to determine if invasive plants have spread to edge habitat created by unconventional gas development and to investigate factors associated with their presence. A piecewise structural equation model was used to determine the direct and indirect factors associated with invasive plant establishment on well pads. The model included the following measured or calculated variables: current propagule pressure on local access roads, the spatial extent of the pre-development road network (potential source of invasive propagules), the number of wells per pad (indicator of traffic density), and pad age. Sixty-one percent of the 127 well pads surveyed had at least one invasive plant species present. Invasive plant presence on well pads was positively correlated with local propagule pressure on access roads and indirectly with road density pre-development, the number of wells, and age of the well pad. The vast reserves of unconventional oil and gas are in the early stages of development in the US. Continued development of this underground resource must be paired with careful monitoring and management of surface ecological impacts, including the spread of invasive plants. Prioritizing invasive plant monitoring in unconventional oil and gas development areas with existing roads and multi-well pads could improve early detection and control of invasive plants. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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

    2013-09-24

    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.

  11. Plant–soil feedback induces shifts in biomass allocation in the invasive plant Chromolaena odorata

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Te Beest, M

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Soil communities and their interactions with plants may play a major role in determining the success of invasive species. However, rigorous investigations of this idea using cross-continental comparisons, including native and invasive plant...

  12. 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.

  13. Enfermedad neumocócica invasiva en la población infantil de la Comunidad Valenciana Invasive pneumococcal disease in children in the community of Valencia, Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Goicoechea-Sáez

    2003-12-01

    .Objective: Pneumococcal disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children. The recent authorization of the heptavalent conjugate vaccine has increased interest in this disease. The objective of this study was to identify the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of this disease, as well as its outcome in the pediatric population of the Autonomous Community of Valencia. Method: Data were obtained from the medical records of children aged less than 15 years who were positive for pneumococcus isolation on admission to hospital between 1996 and 2000. All the public hospitals of the Autonomous Community of Valencia were included. Changes in incidence were evaluated by comparing rates and outcomes (sequelae and lethality through frequency and age distribution. Results: One hundred twenty-seven cases were registered, giving a mean annual rate of 3.89/105 inhabitants aged less than 15 years. The rate was 20.14 in children aged less than 2 years. A total of 29.1% of the children had previous health problems. The main clinical manifestations included sepsis/bacteremia (38%, pneumonia (31% and meningitis (24%. At discharge sequelae were present in 10 children, 75% of whom were aged less than 2 years. Eight children died (6.3% lethality. Conclusions: In the period and region studied, pneumococcal infection was present mainly in children aged less than 2 years and in those with previous health problems. In the last few years, mortality has increased. Thus, inclusion of pneumococcal disease in the epidemiological surveillance system would be appropriate to achieve more precise estimations of its epidemiological patterns and to determine whether the conjugate vaccine represents a solution to the problems currently associated with this bacteria.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Migani

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae of the Solomon Islands and a new survey of Makira Island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eli Sarnat

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The intent of this paper is to facilitate future research of the Solomon Islands ant fauna by providing the first comprehensively researched species inventory in over 75 years. The species list presented here includes the names of all ant species recorded from the islands that are available in the literature together with specimen records from several museum collections and new records from our 2008 Makira field expedition. All the names of described species presented are valid in accordance with the most recent Formicidae classification. In total, the checklist is composed of 237 species and subspecies (including 30 morphospecies in 59 genera representing nine subfamilies. We report that the recent field expedition added 67 new species records to Makira and 28 new species records to the Solomon Islands. Our research recovered species occurrence records for 32 individual islands and five island groups. The five islands with the highest number of recorded species are: Makira (142 spp., Guadalcanal (107 spp., Malaita (70 spp., Santa Isabel (68 spp., and Rennell (66 spp.. Based on our results, we discuss the taxonomic composition of the archipelago’s ant fauna, which islands are most in need of additional sampling, and the importance of establishing biodiversity baselines before environmental threats such as the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata cause irrevocable harm to the native biodiversity.

  18. Effects of an African weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda, in controlling mango fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Benin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Mele, Paul; Vayssières, Jean-François; Van Tellingen, Esther; Vrolijks, Jan

    2007-06-01

    Six mango, Mangifera indica L., plantations around Parakou, northern Benin, were sampled at 2-wk intervals for fruit fly damage from early April to late May in 2005. Mean damage ranged from 1 to 24% with a weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda (Latreille), being either abundant or absent. The fruit fly complex is made up of Ceratitis spp. and Bactrocera invadens Drew et al., a new invasive species in West Africa. In 2006, Ceratitis spp. peaked twice in the late dry season in early April and early May, whereas B. invadens populations quickly increased at the onset of the rains, from mid-May onward. Exclusion experiments conducted in 2006 with 'Eldon', 'Kent', and 'Gouverneur' confirmed that at high ant abundance levels, Oecophylla significantly reduced fruit fly infestation. Although fruit fly control methods are still at an experimental stage in this part of the world, farmers who tolerated weaver ants in their orchard were rewarded by significantly better fruit quality. Conservation biological control with predatory ants such as Oecophylla in high-value tree crops has great potential for African and Asian farmers. Implications for international research for development at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research level are discussed.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Anjos

    2017-06-01

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

  10. [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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Soil modification by invasive plants: Effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2008-01-01

    Invasive plants are capable of modifying attributes of soil to facilitate further invasion by conspecifics and other invasive species. We assessed this capability in three important plant invaders of grasslands in the Great Plains region of North America: leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). In a glasshouse, these three invasives or a group of native species were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in both steam-pasteurized and non-pasteurized soils, after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Two of the three invasive species, Bromus and Agropyron, exhibited significant self-facilitation via soil modification. Bromus and Agropyron also had significant facilitative effects on other invasives via soil modification, while Euphorbia had significant antagonistic effects on the other invasives. Both Agropyron and Euphorbia consistently suppressed growth of two of three native forbs, while three native grasses were generally less affected. Almost all intra- and interspecific effects of invasive soil conditioning were dependent upon presence of soil biota from field sites where these species were successful invaders. Overall, these results suggest that that invasive modification of soil microbiota can facilitate plant invasion directly or via 'cross-facilitation' of other invasive species, and moreover has potential to impede restoration of native communities after removal of an invasive species. However, certain native species that are relatively insensitive to altered soil biota (as we observed in the case of the forb Linum lewisii and the native grasses), may be valuable as 'nurse'species in restoration efforts. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Severe plant invasions can increase mycorrhizal fungal abundance and diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lekberg, Ylva; Gibbons, Sean; Rosendahl, Søren

    2013-01-01

    Invasions by non-native plants can alter ecosystem functions and reduce native plant diversity, but relatively little is known about their effect on belowground microbial communities. We show that invasions by knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) and leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula, hereafter spurge...... plant provenance.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 14 March 2013; doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.41....

  5. Invasion of Langebaan Lagoon, South Africa, by Mytilus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In 1992 the invasive mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis began establishing beds on the centre sandbanks of Langebaan Lagoon. This global invader had previously been restricted to rocky shores along the South African coastline. In order to investigate the effect of the invasion on naturally-occurring communities, ...

  6. Impact of Prosopis (mesquite) invasion and clearing on vegetation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We evaluated the impact of Prosopis invasion and clearing on vegetation species composition and diversity (alien and indigenous species richness and cover) in Nama-Karoo rangeland on two sheep farms in the Beaufort ... Keywords: invasive plants – exotic, Nama-Karoo, plant community ecology, rehabilitation, semi-arid ...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. 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)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Shifts in dynamic regime of an invasive lady beetle are linked to the invasion and insecticidal management of its prey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bahlai, C.A.; Werf, van der W.; O'Neal, M.; Hemerik, L.; Landis, D.A.

    2015-01-01

    The spread and impact of invasive species may vary over time in relation to changes in the species itself, the biological community of which it is part, or external controls on the system. Here we investigate whether there have been changes in dynamic regimes over the last 20 years of two invasive

  2. A review of operations research models in invasive species management: state of the art, challenges, and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    İ. Esra Büyüktahtakın; Robert G. Haight

    2017-01-01

    Invasive species are a major threat to the economy, the environment, health, and thus human well-being. The international community, including the United Nations' Global Invasive Species Program (GISP), National Invasive Species Council (NISC), and Center for Invasive Species Management (CISM), has called for a rapid control of invaders in order to minimize their...

  3. 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...

  4. 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....

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Arthropods Associate with their Red Wood ant Host without Matching Nestmate Recognition Cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmentier, Thomas; Dekoninck, Wouter; Wenseleers, Tom

    2017-07-01

    Social insect colonies provide a valuable resource that attracts and offers shelter to a large community of arthropods. Previous research has suggested that many specialist parasites of social insects chemically mimic their host in order to evade aggression. In the present study, we carry out a systematic study to test how common such chemical deception is across a group of 22 arthropods that are associated with red wood ants (Formica rufa group). In contrast to the examples of chemical mimicry documented in some highly specialized parasites in previous studies, we find that most of the rather unspecialized red wood ant associates surveyed did not use mimicry of the cuticular hydrocarbon recognition cues to evade host detection. Instead, we found that myrmecophiles with lower cuticular hydrocarbon concentrations provoked less host aggression. Therefore, some myrmecophiles with low hydrocarbon concentrations appear to evade host detection via a strategy known as chemical insignificance. Others showed no chemical disguise at all and, instead, relied on behavioral adaptations such as particular defense or evasion tactics, in order to evade host aggression. Overall, this study indicates that unspecialized myrmecophiles do not require the matching of host recognition cues and advanced strategies of chemical mimicry, but can integrate in a hostile ant nest via either chemical insignificance or specific behavioral adaptations.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Disturbance promotes non-indigenous bacterial invasion in soil microcosms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Manqiang; Strandmark, Lisa Bjørnlund; Rønn, Regin

    2012-01-01

    Invasion-biology is largely based on non-experimental observation of larger organisms. Here, we apply an experimental approach to the subject. By using microbial-based microcosm-experiments, invasion-biology can be placed on firmer experimental, and hence, less anecdotal ground. A better...... understanding of the mechanisms that govern invasion-success of bacteria in soil communities will provide knowledge on the factors that hinder successful establishment of bacteria artificially inoculated into soil, e.g. for remediation purposes. Further, it will yield valuable information on general principles...... of invasion biology in other domains of life....

  14. Deeply