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Sample records for invasive ant communities

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowles, Alexei D; Silverman, Jules

    2009-08-01

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

  2. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its...... rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus....... We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus...

  3. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Cremer

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

  4. The Evolution of Invasiveness in Garden Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants.

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    Jackson A Helms

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

  6. New mutualism for old: indirect disruption and direct facilitation of seed dispersal following Argentine ant invasion.

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    Rowles, Alexei D; O'Dowd, Dennis J

    2009-01-01

    The indirect effects of biological invasions on native communities are poorly understood. Disruption of native ant communities following invasion by the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is widely reported to lead indirectly to the near complete collapse of seed dispersal services. In coastal scrub in southeastern Australia, we examined seed dispersal and handling of two native and two invasive alien plant species at Argentine ant-invaded or -uninvaded sites. The Argentine ant virtually eliminates the native keystone disperser Rhytidoponera victoriae, but seed dispersal did not collapse following invasion. Indeed, Argentine ants directly accounted for 92% of all ant-seed interactions and sustained overall seed dispersal rates. Nevertheless, dispersal quantity and quality among seed species differed between Argentine ant-invaded and -uninvaded sites. Argentine ants removed significantly fewer native Acacia retinodes seeds, but significantly more small seeds of invasive Polygala myrtifolia than did native ants at uninvaded sites. They also handled significantly more large seeds of A. sophorae, but rarely moved them >5 cm, instead recruiting en masse, consuming elaiosomes piecemeal and burying seeds in situ. In contrast, Argentine ants transported and interred P. myrtifolia seeds in their shallow nests. Experiments with artificial diaspores that varied in diaspore and elaiosome masses, but kept seed morphology and elaiosome quality constant, showed that removal by L. humile depended on the interaction of seed size and percentage elaiosome reward. Small diaspores were frequently taken, independent of high or low elaiosome reward, but large artificial diaspores with high reward instead elicited mass recruitment by Argentine ants and were rarely moved. Thus, Argentine ants appear to favour some diaspore types and reject others based largely on diaspore size and percentage reward. Such variability in response indirectly reduces native seed dispersal and can directly

  7. Effects of an alien ant invasion on abundance, behavior, and reproductive success of endemic island birds.

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    Davis, Naomi E; O'Dowd, Dennis J; Green, Peter T; Nally, Ralph Mac

    2008-10-01

    Biological invaders can reconfigure ecological networks in communities, which changes community structure, composition, and ecosystem function. We investigated whether impacts caused by the introduced yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), a pantropical invader rapidly expanding its range, extend to higher-order consumers by comparing counts, behaviors, and nesting success of endemic forest birds in ant-invaded and uninvaded rainforest on Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Point counts and direct behavioral observations showed that ant invasion altered abundances and behaviors of the bird species we examined: the Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus erythropleurus), Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica natalis), and Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis). The thrush, which frequents the forest floor, altered its foraging and reproductive behaviors in ant-invaded forest, where nest-site location changed, and nest success and juvenile counts were lower. Counts of the dove, which forages exclusively on the forest floor, were 9-14 times lower in ant-invaded forest. In contrast, counts and foraging success of the white-eye, a generalist feeder in the understory and canopy, were higher in ant-invaded forest, where mutualism between the ant and honeydew-secreting scale insects increased the abundance of scale-insect prey. These complex outcomes involved the interplay of direct interference by ants and altered resource availability and habitat structure caused indirectly by ant invasion. Ecological meltdown, rapidly unleashed by ant invasion, extended to these endemic forest birds and may affect key ecosystem processes, including seed dispersal.

  8. 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.

  9. The widespread collapse of an invasive species: Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in New Zealand

    OpenAIRE

    Cooling, Meghan; Hartley, Stephen; Sim, Dalice A.; Lester, Philip J.

    2011-01-01

    Synergies between invasive species and climate change are widely considered to be a major biodiversity threat. However, invasive species are also hypothesized to be susceptible to population collapse, as we demonstrate for a globally important invasive species in New Zealand. We observed Argentine ant populations to have collapsed in 40 per cent of surveyed sites. Populations had a mean survival time of 14.1 years (95% CI = 12.9–15.3 years). Resident ant communities had recovered or partly re...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Mutualism between co-introduced species facilitates invasion and alters plant community structure

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

    2015-01-01

    Generalized mutualisms are often predicted to be resilient to changes in partner identity. Variation in mutualism-related traits between native and invasive species however, can exacerbate the spread of invasive species (‘invasional meltdown’) if invasive partners strongly interact. Here we show how invasion by a seed-dispersing ant (Myrmica rubra) promotes recruitment of a co-introduced invasive over native ant-dispersed (myrmecochorous) plants. We created experimental communities of invasive (M. rubra) or native ants (Aphaenogaster rudis) and invasive and native plants and measured seed dispersal and plant recruitment. In our mesocosms, and in laboratory and field trials, M. rubra acted as a superior seed disperser relative to the native ant. By contrast, previous studies have found that invasive ants are often poor seed dispersers compared with native ants. Despite belonging to the same behavioural guild, seed-dispersing ants were not functionally redundant. Instead, native and invasive ants had strongly divergent effects on plant communities: the invasive plant dominated in the presence of the invasive ant and the native plants dominated in the presence of the native ant. Community changes were not due to preferences for coevolved partners: variation in functional traits of linked partners drove differences. Here, we show that strongly interacting introduced mutualists can be major drivers of ecological change. PMID:25540283

  15. 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...

  16. Discovery-dominance trade-off among widespread invasive ant species.

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    Bertelsmeier, Cleo; Avril, Amaury; Blight, Olivier; Jourdan, Hervé; Courchamp, Franck

    2015-07-01

    Ants are among the most problematic invasive species. They displace numerous native species, alter ecosystem processes, and can have negative impacts on agriculture and human health. In part, their success might stem from a departure from the discovery-dominance trade-off that can promote co-existence in native ant communities, that is, invasive ants are thought to be at the same time behaviorally dominant and faster discoverers of resources, compared to native species. However, it has not yet been tested whether similar asymmetries in behavioral dominance, exploration, and recruitment abilities also exist among invasive species. Here, we establish a dominance hierarchy among four of the most problematic invasive ants (Linepithema humile, Lasius neglectus, Wasmannia auropunctata, Pheidole megacephala) that may be able to arrive and establish in the same areas in the future. To assess behavioral dominance, we used confrontation experiments, testing the aggressiveness in individual and group interactions between all species pairs. In addition, to compare discovery efficiency, we tested the species' capacity to locate a food resource in a maze, and the capacity to recruit nestmates to exploit a food resource. The four species differed greatly in their capacity to discover resources and to recruit nestmates and to dominate the other species. Our results are consistent with a discovery-dominance trade-off. The species that showed the highest level of interspecific aggressiveness and dominance during dyadic interactions.

  17. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

    ? or ?tramps?, though often considered negative influences, can also be seen as natural experiments, generating a number of questions in the fields of ecology and evolution. Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis) are very successful invaders of human habitation in most parts of the world. Individual pharaoh ants...... of invasion biology and evolution in social insects. I have developed methods for establishing colonies of different genetic composition through controlled crossings of genetically different colonies, and established that measurable genetic as well as morphological variation exists between different......, a region where they are very common. Employing species?specific microsatellite markers, I found a structure of multiple introductions and isolation of colonies even on relatively small geographical scales. Enemy release is a central concept in invasion biology, frequently proposed to play an important part...

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

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

    2013-01-01

    The first invasive ants were detected in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) more than 80 years ago. Ecological impacts of these ants are largely unknown, but studies in Hawai`i and elsewhere increasingly show that invasive ants can reduce abundance and diversity of native arthropod communities as well as disrupt pollination and food webs. Prior to the present study, knowledge of ant distributions in HAVO has primarily been restricted to road- and trail-side surveys of the Kīlauea and Mauna Loa Strip sections of the park. Due to the risks that ants pose to HAVO resources, understanding their distributions and identifying tools to eradicate or control populations of the most aggressive species is an important objective of park managers. We mapped ant distributions in two of the most intensively managed sections of the park, Mauna Loa Strip and Kahuku. We also tested the efficacy of baits to control the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) and the big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala), two of the most aggressive and ecologically destructive species in Hawai`i. Efficacy testing of formicidal bait was designed to provide park managers with options for eradicating small populations or controlling populations that occur at levels beyond which they can be eradicated. Within the Mauna Loa Strip and Kahuku sections of HAVO we conducted systematic surveys of ant distributions at 1625 stations covering nearly 200 km of roads, fences, and transects between August 2008 and April 2010. Overall, 15 ant species were collected in the two areas, with 12 being found on Mauna Loa Strip and 11 at Kahuku. Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi was most widespread at both sites, ranging in elevation from 920 to 2014 m, and was the only species found above 1530 m. Argentine ants and big-headed ants were also found in both areas, but their distributions did not overlap. Surveys of Argentine ants identified areas of infestation covering 560 ha at Mauna Loa Strip and 585 ha at Kahuku. At both sites

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

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    Benjamin D Hoffmann

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugelvig, Line; Drijfhout, Falko; Kronauer, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is the most recently detected pest ant and the first known invasive ant able to become established and thrive in the temperate regions of Eurasia. In this study, we aim to reconstruct the invasion history of this ant in Europe analysing 14...... between populations could be predicted from their genetic and chemical distance, and two major clusters of non-aggressive groups of populations were found. However, populations of L. neglectus did not separate into clear supercolonial associations, as is typical for other invasive ants. CONCLUSIONS...... started through introductions from other invasive populations. This indicates that existing introduced populations have a very high invasive potential when the ants are inadvertently spread by human transport....

  1. Field evaluations of the efficacy of Distance Plus on invasive ant species in northern Australia.

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    Webb, Garry A; Hoffmann, Benjamin D

    2013-08-01

    The efficacy of Distance Plus Ant Bait, containing the insect growth regulator pyriproxyfen, was tested in the field against two invasive ant species in northern Australia: African big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala (F.)) and yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes (Fr. Smith)). Results were also gained for a third pest species, Singapore ant (Monomorium destructor (Jerdon)), from one trial focused primarily on P. megacephala. Five studies were conducted throughout northern Australia, each with different protocols, but common to all was the broad-scale dispersal of Distance Plus, coupled with long-term monitoring of ant population levels. Additionally, a laboratory trial was conducted to assess if there was a direct toxic effect by the bait on A. gracilipes workers, and ant community data were collected at some sites in the A. gracilipes trial to assess nontarget impacts and subsequent ecological recovery. All three species were greatly affected by the treatments. The abundance of P. megacephala declined dramatically in all trials, and by the final assessment for each study, very few ants remained, with those remaining being attributable to edge effects from neighboring untreated properties. At both sites that it occurred, M. destructor was initially at least codominant with P. megacephala, but by the final assessment, only three M. destructor individuals were present at one lure at one site, and only a single individual at the other site. Abundance of A. gracilipes fell, on average, to 31% of control levels by 91 d and then slowly recovered, with subsequent treatments only providing slightly greater control. No direct toxic effect on workers was found in the laboratory trial, indicating that population declines of A. gracilipes were typical bait-related declines resulting from reduced worker replacement. Nontarget impacts of the bait could not be distinguished from the negative competitive impacts ofA. gracilipes, but there was a noticeable absence of some key

  2. Chemical defense by the native winter ant (Prenolepis imparis against the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile.

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    Trevor R Sorrells

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile is established worldwide and displaces native ant species. In northern California, however, the native winter ant (Prenolepis imparis persists in invaded areas. We found that in aggressive interactions between the two species, P. imparis employs a potent defensive secretion. Field observations were conducted at P. imparis nest sites both in the presence and absence of L. humile. These observations suggested and laboratory assays confirmed that P. imparis workers are more likely to secrete when outnumbered by L. humile. Workers of P. imparis were also more likely to secrete near their nest entrances than when foraging on trees. One-on-one laboratory trials showed that the P. imparis secretion is highly lethal to L. humile, causing 79% mortality. The nonpolar fraction of the secretion was chemically analyzed with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, and found to be composed of long-chain and cyclic hydrocarbons. Chemical analysis of dissected P. imparis workers showed that the nonpolar fraction is derived from the Dufour's gland. Based on these conclusions, we hypothesize that this chemical defense may help P. imparis to resist displacement by L. humile.

  3. 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.

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

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-01-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  10. The invasion biology and sociogenetics of pharaoh ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anna Mosegaard

    been introduced multiple times from an as of yet unknown native range, but little is known about their local mode of spread and propagule pressure. To learn more, I investigated the population genetic structure and phylogeography of pharaoh ants on different geographical scales in Thailand and malaysia...... in the success of introduced species. To investigate the enemy release hypothesis in Pharaoh ants, I screened introduced populations from several localities around the world for the presence of the presumed detrimental intracellular bacterium Wolbachia. Wolbachia was frequently present in introduced colonies...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    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...

  12. Diversity and distribution of ant communities in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.A. Torres

    1984-01-01

    I studied ants in upland tropical forest, grassland and agricultural land in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, to uncover factors responsible for the distribution and number of species in these communities. Observations, laboratory studies and field experiments were used. Microclimate influenced the distributions of Pheidole fallax, Solenopsis geminata and Monomorium ebeninum...

  13. From endogenous to exogenous pattern formation: Invasive plant species changes the spatial distribution of a native ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kevin; He, Yifan; Campbell, Susanna K; Colborn, A Shawn; Jackson, Eliot L; Martin, Austin; Monagan, Ivan V; Ong, Theresa Wei Ying; Perfecto, Ivette

    2017-06-01

    Invasive species are a significant threat to global biodiversity, but our understanding of how invasive species impact native communities across space and time remains limited. Based on observations in an old field in Southeast Michigan spanning 35 years, our study documents significant impacts of habitat change, likely driven by the invasion of the shrub, Elaeagnus umbellata, on the nest distribution patterns and population demographics of a native ant species, Formica obscuripes. Landcover change in aerial photographs indicates that E. umbellata expanded aggressively, transforming a large proportion of the original open field into dense shrubland. By comparing the ant's landcover preferences before and after the invasion, we demonstrate that this species experienced a significant unfavorable change in its foraging areas. We also find that shrub landcover significantly moderates aggression between nests, suggesting nests are more related where there is more E. umbellata. This may represent a shift in reproductive strategy from queen flights, reported in the past, to asexual nest budding. Our results suggest that E. umbellata may affect the spatial distribution of F. obscuripes by shifting the drivers of nest pattern formation from an endogenous process (queen flights), which led to a uniform pattern, to a process that is both endogenous (nest budding) and exogenous (loss of preferred habitat), resulting in a significantly different clustered pattern. The number and sizes of F. obscuripes nests in our study site are projected to decrease in the next 40 years, although further study of this population's colony structures is needed to understand the extent of this decrease. Elaeagnus umbellata is a common invasive shrub, and similar impacts on native species might occur in its invasive range, or in areas with similar shrub invasions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. 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

    -called supercolonies that have been described for some invasive ant species, but general conclusions about the role of these cues are hampered by only few species being studied. Here we use data on cuticular hydrocarbons, aggression and microsatellite genetic markers to investigate the interdependence of chemical...... recognition cues, genetic distance and nestmate discrimination in the pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis), a widespread pest species, and ask whether introduced populations of this species are genetically differentiated and exhibit intraspecific aggression. Results Microsatellite analyses of a total of 35...... colonies. There was a positive correlation between geographical and genetic distance, but no other significant relationships were detected between aggression, chemical profile, genetic distance and geographical distance. Conclusions The pharaoh ant has a global invasion history of numerous independent...

  15. Honeydew-producing hemipterans in Florida associated with Nylanderia fulva (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), an invasive crazy ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) (Formicidae) is an invasive pest ant that has been reported in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Workers tend various honeydew producing hemipterans in Florida landscapes and natural areas. We sought to understand the seasonal foraging activities of N. fulva and its ...

  16. 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....

  17. Canopy Vegetation Influences Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Communities in Headwater Stream Riparian Zones of Central Appalachia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jonathan T.; Adkins, Joshua K.; Rieske, Lynne K.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In the eastern United States, eastern hemlock Tusga canadensis (L.) Carriere forests are threatened by the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, a pest that is causing widespread hemlock mortality. Eastern hemlock is an essential component of forested communities. Adelgid-induced hemlock mortality is causing a shift in forest composition and structure, altering ecosystem function and thereby influencing the arthropod community. Using pitfall traps at three sites, we monitored ground-dwelling arthropods at 30-d intervals in hemlock-dominated and deciduous-dominated forests in central Appalachia over 2 yr. Here, we focus on the ant community (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) collected in the summer months. Ants form a ubiquitous and integral component of the invertebrate community, functioning at various trophic levels as predators, herbivores, and omnivores, and fulfilling important roles in forest ecosystems. We found no difference in overall ant abundance between hemlock-dominated and deciduous-dominated forests but did detect significant differences in the genera Prenolepis between forest types ( P < 0.01) and Aphaenogaster across study locations ( P  = 0.02). Three genera were unique to deciduous forests; one was unique to hemlock forests. Not surprisingly, total formicids and several genera demonstrated temporal differences in abundance, with greater numbers captured in July than in August. As hemlock woolly adelgid-induced mortality of eastern hemlock becomes more pervasive, changes in forest composition and structure are imminent, accompanied by shifts in hemlock associates. PMID:25528753

  18. 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

  19. Distinctive fungal communities in an obligate African ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Christopher C M; Martins, Dino J; Pelaez, Julianne N; Billen, Johan P J; Pringle, Anne; Frederickson, Megan E; Pierce, Naomi E

    2017-03-15

    Three ant species nest obligately in the swollen-thorn domatia of the African ant-plant Vachellia ( Acacia ) drepanolobium , a model system for the study of ant-defence mutualisms and species coexistence. Here we report on the characteristic fungal communities generated by these ant species in their domatia. First, we describe behavioural differences between the ant species when presented with a cultured fungal isolate in the laboratory. Second, we use DNA metabarcoding to show that each ant species has a distinctive fungal community in its domatia, and that these communities remain characteristic of the ant species over two Kenyan sampling locations separated by 190 km. Third, we find that DNA extracted from female alates of Tetraponera penzigi and Crematogaster nigriceps contained matches for most of the fungal metabarcodes from those ant species' domatia, respectively. Fungal hyphae and other debris are also visible in sections of these alates' infrabuccal pockets. Collectively, our results indicate that domatium fungal communities are associated with the ant species occupying the tree. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first record of such ant-specific fungal community-level differences on the same myrmecophytic host species. These differences may be shaped by ant behaviour in the domatia, and by ants vectoring fungi when they disperse to establish new colonies. The roles of the fungi with respect to the ants and their host plant remain to be determined. © 2017 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-27

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Schulze-Sylvester

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 land use and vineyard cultivated area over the past 15 years. Our results revealed that the species has thus far remained confined to a relatively isolated small area, owing to an effective barrier of dry shrublands surrounding the infested vineyards; yet the recent expansion of vineyard acreage in this region will soon connect this encapsulated area with the rest of the valley. When this happens, vulnerable ecosystems and the main local industry will be put at risk. This case provides a rare opportunity to study early invasion dynamics and reports, to the best of our knowledge, for the first time, the Argentine ant in high altitude agroecosystems.

  2. Metatranscriptomics and pyrosequencing facilitate discovery of potential viral natural enemies of the invasive Caribbean crazy ant, Nylanderia pubens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valles, Steven M; Oi, David H; Yu, Fahong; Tan, Xin-Xing; Buss, Eileen A

    2012-01-01

    Nylanderia pubens (Forel) is an invasive ant species that in recent years has developed into a serious nuisance problem in the Caribbean and United States. A rapidly expanding range, explosive localized population growth, and control difficulties have elevated this ant to pest status. Professional entomologists and the pest control industry in the United States are urgently trying to understand its biology and develop effective control methods. Currently, no known biological-based control agents are available for use in controlling N. pubens. Metagenomics and pyrosequencing techniques were employed to examine the transcriptome of field-collected N. pubens colonies in an effort to identify virus infections with potential to serve as control agents against this pest ant. Pyrosequencing (454-platform) of a non-normalized N. pubens expression library generated 1,306,177 raw sequence reads comprising 450 Mbp. Assembly resulted in generation of 59,017 non-redundant sequences, including 27,348 contigs and 31,669 singlets. BLAST analysis of these non-redundant sequences identified 51 of potential viral origin. Additional analyses winnowed this list of potential viruses to three that appear to replicate in N. pubens. Pyrosequencing the transcriptome of field-collected samples of N. pubens has identified at least three sequences that are likely of viral origin and, in which, N. pubens serves as host. In addition, the N. pubens transcriptome provides a genetic resource for the scientific community which is especially important at this early stage of developing a knowledgebase for this new pest.

  3. Studying the Complex Communities of Ants and Their Symbionts Using Ecological Network Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivens, Aniek B F; von Beeren, Christoph; Blüthgen, Nico; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2016-01-01

    Ant colonies provide well-protected and resource-rich environments for a plethora of symbionts. Historically, most studies of ants and their symbionts have had a narrow taxonomic scope, often focusing on a single ant or symbiont species. Here we discuss the prospects of studying these assemblies in a community ecology context using the framework of ecological network analysis. We introduce three basic network metrics that we consider particularly relevant for improving our knowledge of ant-symbiont communities: interaction specificity, network modularity, and phylogenetic signal. We then discuss army ant symbionts as examples of large and primarily parasitic communities, and symbiotic sternorrhynchans as examples of generally smaller and primarily mutualistic communities in the context of these network analyses. We argue that this approach will provide new and complementary insights into the evolutionary and ecological dynamics between ants and their many associates, and will facilitate comparisons across different ant-symbiont assemblages as well as across different types of ecological networks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanford, Monte P; Manley, Patricia N; Murphy, Dennis D

    2009-02-01

    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 of urban land development. We sampled ant communities, measured vegetation characteristics, quantified human activities, and evaluated ant-community responses by grouping ants into service-providing units (SPUs), defined as a group of organisms and their populations that perform specific ecosystem services, to provide an understanding of urbanization impacts on biodiversity and their delivery of ecosystem services. Species richness and abundance peaked at intermediate levels of urban development, as did the richness of 3 types of ant SPUs (aerators, decomposers, and compilers). With increasing land development aerator and decomposer ants significantly declined in abundance, whereas compiler ants significantly increased in abundance. Competing models demonstrated that precipitation was frequently among the strongest influences on ant community structure; however, urban development and human activities also had a strong, negative influence on ants, appearing in most models with DeltaAIC(c) ecosystem services were maintained until development reached 30-40%. Our data provide evidence that ecosystem functions, such as water infiltration and soil productivity, may be diminished at sites subject to greater levels of urbanization and that conserving ant communities and the ecosystem services they provide could be an important target in land-use planning and conservation efforts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Niches and coexistence of ant communities in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.A. Torres

    1984-01-01

    I studied ant coexistence in adjacent areas of upland tropical forest, grassland, and agricultural land in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico. Data on food utilization, daily activity, nesting sites, microhabitat utilization and interspecific aggression were collected. Ants' tolerance to 45 degree C was determined in the laboratory. Agricultural and grassland ants eat grain...

  8. Bacterial community composition and diversity in an ancestral ant fungus symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellner, Katrin; Ishak, Heather D; Linksvayer, Timothy A; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-07-01

    Fungus-farming ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Attini) exhibit some of the most complex microbial symbioses because both macroscopic partners (ants and fungus) are associated with a rich community of microorganisms. The ant and fungal microbiomes are thought to serve important beneficial nutritional and defensive roles in these symbioses. While most recent research has investigated the bacterial communities in the higher attines (e.g. the leaf-cutter ant genera Atta and Acromyrmex), which are often associated with antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria, very little is known about the microbial communities in basal lineages, labeled as 'lower attines', which retain the ancestral traits of smaller and more simple societies. In this study, we used 16S amplicon pyrosequencing to characterize bacterial communities of the lower attine ant Mycocepurus smithii among seven sampling sites in central Panama. We discovered that ant and fungus garden-associated microbiota were distinct from surrounding soil, but unlike the situation in the derived fungus-gardening ants, which show distinct ant and fungal microbiomes, microbial community structure of the ants and their fungi were similar. Another surprising finding was that the abundance of actinomycete bacteria was low and instead, these symbioses were characterized by an abundance of Lactobacillus and Pantoea bacteria. Furthermore, our data indicate that Lactobacillus strains are acquired from the environment rather than acquired vertically. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson A. Helms IV

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Intercontinental chemical variation in the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera Formicidae): a key to the invasive success of a tramp species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Errard, Christine; Delabie, Jacques; Jourdan, Hervé; Hefetz, Abraham

    2005-07-01

    Unicoloniality emerges as a feature that characterizes successful invasive species. Its underlying mechanism is reduced intraspecific aggression while keeping interspecific competitiveness. To that effect, we present here a comparative behavioural and chemical study of the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata in parts of its native and introduced ranges. We tested the hypothesis that introduced populations (New Caledonia archipelago) have reduced intraspecific aggression relative to native populations (e.g., Ilhéus area, Brazil) and that this correlates with reduced variability in cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). As predicted, there was high intraspecific aggression in the Brazilian populations, but no intraspecific aggression among the New Caledonian populations. However, New Caledonian worker W. auropunctata remained highly aggressive towards ants of other invasive species. The chemical data corresponded with the behaviour. While CHCs of ants from the regions of Brazil diverged, the profiles of ants from various localities in New Caledonia showed high uniformity. We suggest that in New Caledonia W. auropunctata appears to behave as a single supercolony, whereas in its native range it acts as a multicolonial species. The uniformity of recognition cues in the New Caledonia ants may reflect a process whereby recognition alleles became fixed in the population, but may also be the consequence of a single introduction event and subsequent aggressive invasion of the ecosystem. Chemical uniformity coupled with low intraspecific but high interspecific aggression, lend credence to the latter hypothesis.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Ecology of microfungal communities in gardens of fungus-growing ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a year-long survey of three species of attine ants in Central Texas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Andre; Mueller, Ulrich G; Ishak, Heather D; Bacci, Maurício; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2011-11-01

    We profiled the microfungal communities in gardens of fungus-growing ants to evaluate possible species-specific ant-microfungal associations and to assess the potential dependencies of microfungal diversity on ant foraging behavior. In a 1-year survey, we isolated microfungi from nests of Cyphomyrmex wheeleri, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Atta texana in Central Texas. Microfungal prevalence was higher in gardens of C. wheeleri (57%) than in the gardens of T. septentrionalis (46%) and A. texana (35%). Culture-dependent methods coupled with a polyphasic approach of species identification revealed diverse and changing microfungal communities in all the sampling periods. Diversity analyses showed no obvious correlations between the number of observed microfungal species, ant species, or the ants' changing foraging behavior across the seasons. However, both correspondence analysis and 5.8S-rRNA gene unifrac analyses suggested structuring of microfungal communities by ant host. These host-specific differences may reflect in part the three different environments where ants were collected. Most interestingly, the specialized fungal parasite Escovopsis was not isolated from any attine garden in this study near the northernmost limit of the range of attine ants, contrasting with previous studies that indicated a significant incidence of this parasite in ant gardens from Central and South America. The observed differences of microfungal communities in attine gardens suggest that the ants are continuously in contact with a diverse microfungal species assemblage. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Ant predation on an invasive herbivore: Can an extrafloral nectar-producing plant provide associational resistance to Opuntia individuals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    The legume Chamaecrista fasciculata attracts ants to its extrafloral nectar (EFN) which can lead to reduced herbivory and increased fecundity for the plant. In Florida, Opuntia stricta and O. humifusa, hosts of the invasive moth Cactoblastis cactorum, are often found growing in close association wit...

  18. 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.

  19. Tradeoffs, competition, and coexistence in eastern deciduous forest ant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuble, Katharine L; Rodriguez-Cabal, Mariano A; McCormick, Gail L; Jurić, Ivan; Dunn, Robert R; Sanders, Nathan J

    2013-04-01

    Ecologists have long sought to explain the coexistence of multiple potentially competing species in local assemblages. This is especially challenging in species-rich assemblages in which interspecific competition is intense, as it often is in ant assemblages. As a result, a suite of mechanisms has been proposed to explain coexistence among potentially competing ant species: the dominance-discovery tradeoff, the dominance-thermal tolerance tradeoff, spatial segregation, temperature-based niche partitioning, and temporal niche partitioning. Through a series of observations and experiments, we examined a deciduous forest ant assemblage in eastern North America for the signature of each of these coexistence mechanisms. We failed to detect evidence for any of the commonly suggested mechanisms of coexistence, with one notable exception: ant species appear to temporally partition foraging times such that behaviourally dominant species foraged more intensely at night, while foraging by subdominant species peaked during the day. Our work, though focused on a single assemblage, indicates that many of the commonly cited mechanisms of coexistence may not be general to all ant assemblages. However, temporal segregation may play a role in promoting coexistence among ant species in at least some ecosystems, as it does in many other organisms.

  20. 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.

  1. Global potential distribution of an invasive species, the yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Youhua

    2008-09-01

    Changes to the Earth's climate may affect the distribution of countless species. Understanding the potential distribution of known invasive species under an altered climate is vital to predicting impacts and developing management policy. The present study employs ecological niche modeling to construct the global potential distribution range of the yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) using past, current and future climate scenarios. Three modeling algorithms, GARP, BioClim and Environmental Distance, were used in a comparative analysis. Output from the models suggest firstly that this insect originated from south Asia, expanded into Europe and then into Afrotropical regions, after which it formed its current distribution. Second, the invasive risk of A. gracilipes under future climatic change scenarios will become greater because of an extension of suitable environmental conditions in higher latitudes. Third, when compared to the GARP model, BioClim and Environmental Distance models were better at modeling a species' ancestral distribution. These findings are discussed in light of the predictive accuracy of these models. © 2008 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.

  2. Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy: a community hospital experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaid, Sachin; Pandelidis, Steve

    2011-07-01

    Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP) for primary hyperparathyroidism can be successfully performed using preoperative sestamibi scan and intraoperative radioguidance without the need of measurement of intraoperative parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. The purpose of our study was to review the outcomes of MIPs performed in a community hospital without measuring PTH levels intraoperatively and to demonstrate that this is an effective therapeutic modality with comparable success rates. We performed a retrospective medical record review of patients undergoing MIPs from April 1, 1998, through May 31, 2005, in a 500-bed community hospital. A total of 188 parathyroidectomies for primary hyperparathyroidism were performed by a single surgeon during the study period, 111 of which were MIPs. In this series of 111 patients, we found 2 recurrences, achieving a success rate of 98.2%. Higher preoperative PTH levels and gland weight had a direct correlation with the successful performance of MIP.

  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. Spatial Distribution of Dominant Arboreal Ants in a Malagasy Coastal Rainforest: Gaps and Presence of an Invasive Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Fisher, Brian L.; Corbara, Bruno; Rarevohitra, Raymond; Randrianaivo, Richard; Rajemison, Balsama; Leponce, Maurice

    2010-01-01

    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, territorially dominant

  5. 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.

  6. The foraging kinetics of ground ant communities in different mexican coffee agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestel, D; Dickschen, F

    1990-08-01

    Foraging efficiency was studied by measuring the rate of tuna fish bait discovery by ants in unshaded and two types of shaded coffee systems. We also investigated the effect of weed biomass upon ant foraging efficiency. We found that the rate of discovery was faster in the coffee system with no shade than in systems with shade trees. The rate of discovery in the two types of shade systems (monospecific and polyspecific shade) was similar. Differences in the foraging rate between systems seem to be related to the composition of the ground ant community in each of the systems, and to cumulative factors such as plant diversity, microclimate and interspecific competition. No correlation was found between weed biomass and ant foraging efficiency. The results of this study support the idea of manipulating agroecosystem plant and structural diversity in order to enhance pest regulation by ants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-09-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. The GÉANT network: addressing current and future needs of the HEP community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capone, Vincenzo; Usman, Mian

    2015-12-01

    The GÉANT infrastructure is the backbone that serves the scientific communities in Europe for their data movement needs and their access to international research and education networks. Using the extensive fibre footprint and infrastructure in Europe the GÉANT network delivers a portfolio of services aimed to best fit the specific needs of the users, including Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure, end-to-end performance monitoring, advanced network services (dynamic circuits, L2-L3VPN, MD-VPN). This talk will outline the factors that help the GÉANT network to respond to the needs of the High Energy Physics community, both in Europe and worldwide. The Pan-European network provides the connectivity between 40 European national research and education networks. In addition, GÉANT also connects the European NRENs to the R&E networks in other world region and has reach to over 110 NREN worldwide, making GÉANT the best connected Research and Education network, with its multiple intercontinental links to different continents e.g. North and South America, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The High Energy Physics computational needs have always had (and will keep having) a leading role among the scientific user groups of the GÉANT network: the LHCONE overlay network has been built, in collaboration with the other big world REN, specifically to address the peculiar needs of the LHC data movement. Recently, as a result of a series of coordinated efforts, the LHCONE network has been expanded to the Asia-Pacific area, and is going to include some of the main regional R&E network in the area. The LHC community is not the only one that is actively using a distributed computing model (hence the need for a high-performance network); new communities are arising, as BELLE II. GÉANT is deeply involved also with the BELLE II Experiment, to provide full support to their distributed computing model, along with a perfSONAR-based network monitoring system. GÉANT has also

  17. Ant-mediated ecosystem processes are driven by trophic community structure but mainly by the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas-Lopez, Alex; Mickal, Houadria; Menzel, Florian; Orivel, Jérôme

    2017-01-01

    The diversity and functional identity of organisms are known to be relevant to the maintenance of ecosystem processes but can be variable in different environments. Particularly, it is uncertain whether ecosystem processes are driven by complementary effects or by dominant groups of species. We investigated how community structure (i.e., the diversity and relative abundance of biological entities) explains the community-level contribution of Neotropical ant communities to different ecosystem processes in different environments. Ants were attracted with food resources representing six ant-mediated ecosystem processes in four environments: ground and vegetation strata in cropland and forest habitats. The exploitation frequencies of the baits were used to calculate the taxonomic and trophic structures of ant communities and their contribution to ecosystem processes considered individually or in combination (i.e., multifunctionality). We then investigated whether community structure variables could predict ecosystem processes and whether such relationships were affected by the environment. We found that forests presented a greater biodiversity and trophic complementarity and lower dominance than croplands, but this did not affect ecosystem processes. In contrast, trophic complementarity was greater on the ground than on vegetation and was followed by greater resource exploitation levels. Although ant participation in ecosystem processes can be predicted by means of trophic-based indices, we found that variations in community structure and performance in ecosystem processes were best explained by environment. We conclude that determining the extent to which the dominance and complementarity of communities affect ecosystem processes in different environments requires a better understanding of resource availability to different species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into bacterial communities in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aylward, Frank O.; Burnum, Kristin E.; Scott, Jarrod J.; Suen, Garret; Tringe, Susannah G.; Adams, Sandra M.; Barry, Kerrie W.; Nicora, Carrie D.; Piehowski, Paul D.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Starrett, Gabriel J.; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Smith, Richard D.; Lipton, Mary S.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2012-09-01

    Herbivores gain access to nutrients stored in plant biomass largely by harnessing the metabolic activities of microbes. Leaf-cutter ants of the genus Atta are a hallmark example; these dominant Neotropical herbivores cultivate symbiotic fungus gardens on massive quantities of fresh plant forage. As the external digestive system of the ants, fungus gardens facilitate the production and sustenance of millions of workers in mature Atta colonies. Here we use metagenomic, and metaproteomic techniques to characterize the bacterial diversity and overall physiological potential of fungus gardens from two species of Atta. Our analysis of over 1.2 Gbp of community metagenomic sequence and three 16S pyrotag libraries reveals that, in addition to harboring the dominant fungal crop, these ecosystems contain abundant populations of Enterobacteriaceae, including the genera Enterobacter, Pantoea, Klebsiella, Citrobacter, and Escherichia. We show that these bacterial communities possess genes commonly associated with lignocellulose degradation, and likely participate in the processing of plant biomass. Additionally, we demonstrate that bacteria in these environments encode a diverse suite of biosynthetic pathways, and that they may enrich the nitrogen-poor forage of the ants with B-vitamins, amino acids, and proteins. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that fungus gardens are highly-specialized fungus-bacteria communities that efficiently convert plant material into usable energy for their ant hosts. Together with recent investigations into the microbial symbionts of vertebrates, our work underscores the importance of microbial communities to the ecology and evolution of herbivorous metazoans.

  2. Ecosystem-Wide Morphological Structure of Leaf-Litter Ant Communities along a Tropical Latitudinal Gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Rogério R.; Brandão, Carlos Roberto F.

    2014-01-01

    General principles that shape community structure can be described based on a functional trait approach grounded on predictive models; increased attention has been paid to factors accounting for the functional diversity of species assemblages and its association with species richness along environmental gradients. We analyze here the interaction between leaf-litter ant species richness, the local communities' morphological structure and fundamental niche within the context of a northeast-southeast latitudinal gradient in one of the world's most species-rich ecosystems, the Atlantic Forest, representing 2,700 km of tropical rainforest along almost 20o of latitude in eastern Brazil. Our results are consistent with an ecosystem-wide pattern in communities' structure, with relatively high species turnover but functionally analogous leaf-litter ant communities' organization. Our results suggest directional shifts in the morphological space along the environmental gradient from overdispersed to aggregated (from North to South), suggesting that primary productivity and environmental heterogeneity (altitude, temperature and precipitation in the case) determine the distribution of traits and regulate the assembly rules, shaping local leaf-litter ant communities. Contrary to the expected and most common pattern along latitudinal gradients, the Atlantic Forest leaf litter ant communities show an inverse pattern in richness, that is, richer communities in higher than in lower latitudes. The morphological specialization of communities showed more morphologically distinct communities at low latitudes and species redundancy at high latitudes. We claim that an inverse latitudinal gradient in primary productivity and environmental heterogeneity across the Atlantic forest may affect morphological diversity and species richness, enhancing species coexistence mechanisms, and producing thus the observed patterns. We suggest that a functional framework based on flexible enough traits

  3. Ecosystem-wide morphological structure of leaf-litter ant communities along a tropical latitudinal gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Rogério R; Brandão, Carlos Roberto F

    2014-01-01

    General principles that shape community structure can be described based on a functional trait approach grounded on predictive models; increased attention has been paid to factors accounting for the functional diversity of species assemblages and its association with species richness along environmental gradients. We analyze here the interaction between leaf-litter ant species richness, the local communities' morphological structure and fundamental niche within the context of a northeast-southeast latitudinal gradient in one of the world's most species-rich ecosystems, the Atlantic Forest, representing 2,700 km of tropical rainforest along almost 20° of latitude in eastern Brazil. Our results are consistent with an ecosystem-wide pattern in communities' structure, with relatively high species turnover but functionally analogous leaf-litter ant communities' organization. Our results suggest directional shifts in the morphological space along the environmental gradient from overdispersed to aggregated (from North to South), suggesting that primary productivity and environmental heterogeneity (altitude, temperature and precipitation in the case) determine the distribution of traits and regulate the assembly rules, shaping local leaf-litter ant communities. Contrary to the expected and most common pattern along latitudinal gradients, the Atlantic Forest leaf litter ant communities show an inverse pattern in richness, that is, richer communities in higher than in lower latitudes. The morphological specialization of communities showed more morphologically distinct communities at low latitudes and species redundancy at high latitudes. We claim that an inverse latitudinal gradient in primary productivity and environmental heterogeneity across the Atlantic forest may affect morphological diversity and species richness, enhancing species coexistence mechanisms, and producing thus the observed patterns. We suggest that a functional framework based on flexible enough traits

  4. Ecosystem-wide morphological structure of leaf-litter ant communities along a tropical latitudinal gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogério R Silva

    Full Text Available General principles that shape community structure can be described based on a functional trait approach grounded on predictive models; increased attention has been paid to factors accounting for the functional diversity of species assemblages and its association with species richness along environmental gradients. We analyze here the interaction between leaf-litter ant species richness, the local communities' morphological structure and fundamental niche within the context of a northeast-southeast latitudinal gradient in one of the world's most species-rich ecosystems, the Atlantic Forest, representing 2,700 km of tropical rainforest along almost 20° of latitude in eastern Brazil. Our results are consistent with an ecosystem-wide pattern in communities' structure, with relatively high species turnover but functionally analogous leaf-litter ant communities' organization. Our results suggest directional shifts in the morphological space along the environmental gradient from overdispersed to aggregated (from North to South, suggesting that primary productivity and environmental heterogeneity (altitude, temperature and precipitation in the case determine the distribution of traits and regulate the assembly rules, shaping local leaf-litter ant communities. Contrary to the expected and most common pattern along latitudinal gradients, the Atlantic Forest leaf litter ant communities show an inverse pattern in richness, that is, richer communities in higher than in lower latitudes. The morphological specialization of communities showed more morphologically distinct communities at low latitudes and species redundancy at high latitudes. We claim that an inverse latitudinal gradient in primary productivity and environmental heterogeneity across the Atlantic forest may affect morphological diversity and species richness, enhancing species coexistence mechanisms, and producing thus the observed patterns. We suggest that a functional framework based on

  5. 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...... observed to be species and community combination specific. This evolutionary study represents a novel in silico attempt to tackle invasiveness in an experimental framework, and may provide a new methodology for tackling these issues....

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanga, Chrysantus M; Ekesi, Sunday; Govender, Prem; Nderitu, Peterson W; Mohamed, Samira A

    2015-12-23

    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.

  9. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanga, Chrysantus M.; Ekesi, Sunday; Govender, Prem; Nderitu, Peterson W.; Mohamed, Samira A.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26703741

  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. 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.

  18. Invasive Species Mediate Insecticide Effects on Community and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Andreia C M; Machado, Ana L; Bordalo, Maria D; Saro, Liliana; Simão, Fátima C P; Rocha, Rui J M; Golovko, Oksana; Žlábek, Vladimír; Barata, Carlos; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Pestana, João L T

    2018-04-03

    Anthropogenic activities increase pesticide contamination and biological invasions in freshwater ecosystems. Understanding their combined effects on community structure and on ecosystem functioning presents challenges for an improved ecological risk assessment. This study focuses on an artificial stream mesocosms experiment testing for direct and indirect effects of insecticide (chlorantraniliprole - CAP) exposure on the structure of a benthic macroinvertebrate freshwater community and on ecosystem functioning (leaf decomposition, primary production). To understand how predator identity and resource quality alter the community responses to chemical stress, the mediating effects of an invasive predator species (crayfish Procambarus clarkii) and detritus quality (tested by using leaves of the invasive Eucalyptus globulus) on insecticide toxicity were also investigated. Low concentrations of CAP reduced the abundance of shredders and grazers, decreasing leaf decomposition and increasing primary production. Replacement of autochthonous predators and leaf litter by invasive species decreased macroinvertebrate survival, reduced leaf decomposition, and enhanced primary production. Structural equation modeling (SEM) highlighted that CAP toxicity to macroinvertebrates was mediated by the presence of crayfish or eucalypt leaf litter which are now common in many Mediterranean freshwaters. In summary, our results demonstrate that the presence of these two invasive species alters the effects of insecticide exposure on benthic freshwater communities. The approach used here also allowed for a mechanistic evaluation of indirect effects of these stressors and of their interaction on ecosystem functional endpoint, emphasizing the value of incorporating biotic stressors in ecotoxicological experiments.

  19. Combined effects of temperature and interspecific competition on the mortality of the invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus: A laboratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frizzi, Filippo; Bartalesi, Viola; Santini, Giacomo

    2017-04-01

    The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is a dominant species due to its capacity to form large supercolonies. This species was assumed to possess a wide thermal niche since it is able to adapt to cold climates, which is a factor that boosted its rapid expansion from south to many central-northern European Countries. However, the effect of variations in environmental temperatures on its competitive ability against other species has still not been investigated. In this paper, we analyzed the change in survival ability of Lasius neglectus during encounters with two Mediterranean dominant ants (Crematogaster scutellaris and Tapinoma nigerrimum) at four different temperatures (15, 20, 25 and 30°C). Firstly, control tests were performed to provide the baseline survival ability of the three species at different temperatures. Secondly, competition tests were carried out at the same temperatures. Lasius neglectus survival was negatively affected by high temperature (30°C) in control tests, and this impairment was much more pronounced in competition tests. On the contrary, the two opponent species were only marginally affected by temperatures in control tests. Crematogaster scutellaris was a better competitor than L. neglectus, particularly at high temperatures. Tapinoma nigerrimum was a weaker competitor and was always outcompeted by L. neglectus, particularly at low temperatures. This result could suggest that L. neglectus is at a disadvantage during interspecific encounters when temperatures are high and that the predicted future increase in environmental temperatures may potentially enhance this handicap. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. High temperature and temperature variation undermine future disease susceptibility in a population of the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamminger, Tobias; Steier, Thomas; Tragust, Simon

    2016-06-01

    Environmental temperature and temperature variation can have strong effects on the outcome of host-parasite interactions. Whilst such effects have been reported for different host systems, long-term consequences of pre-infection temperatures on host susceptibility and immunity remain understudied. Here, we show that experiencing both a biologically relevant increase in temperature and temperature variation undermines future disease susceptibility of the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus when challenged with a pathogen under a constant temperature regime. In light of the economic and ecological importance of many social insects, our results emphasise the necessity to take the hosts' temperature history into account when studying host-parasite interactions under both natural and laboratory conditions, especially in the face of global change.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    -through biofilm reactors using drinking water as inoculum and continuous feeding with nitrite a sole energy source. Different nitrite loading rates were applied, as these were previously shown to influence nitrifying guild composition and stochasticity [1]. After 6 weeks, the reactors were invaded for 24 hours......Managing invasion of microbial communities by new members can be a powerful tool in microbial resource management. Abundant studies have examined how resource availability and resident community diversity affect invasion success. Yet, a more rigorous approach towards studying invasion would...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  3. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Cronin, J.T.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As 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.

  4. Response of Native Insect Communities to Invasive Plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Cronin, J.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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. 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.

  7. Ecological and sanitary impacts of bacterial communities associated to biological invasions in African commensal rodent communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diagne, Christophe; Galan, Maxime; Tamisier, Lucie; d'Ambrosio, Jonathan; Dalecky, Ambroise; Bâ, Khalilou; Kane, Mamadou; Niang, Youssoupha; Diallo, Mamoudou; Sow, Aliou; Gauthier, Philippe; Tatard, Caroline; Loiseau, Anne; Piry, Sylvain; Sembène, Mbacké; Cosson, Jean-François; Charbonnel, Nathalie; Brouat, Carine

    2017-11-03

    Changes in host-parasite ecological interactions during biological invasion events may affect both the outcome of invasions and the dynamics of exotic and/or endemic infections. We tested these hypotheses, by investigating ongoing house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) and black rat (Rattus rattus) invasions in Senegal (West Africa). We used a 16S gene rRNA amplicon sequencing approach to study potentially zoonotic bacterial communities in invasive and native rodents sampled along two well-defined independent invasion routes. We found that individual host factors (body mass and sex) were important drivers of these bacterial infections in rodents. We observed that the bacterial communities varied along invasion routes and differed between invasive and native rodents, with native rodents displaying higher overall bacterial diversity than invasive rodents. Differences in prevalence levels for some bacterial Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) provided support for ecological processes connecting parasitism and invasion success. Finally, our results indicated that rodent invasions may lead to the introduction of exotic bacterial genera and/or to changes in the prevalence of endemic ones. This study illustrates the difficulty of predicting the relationship between biodiversity and disease risks, and advocate for public health prevention strategies based on global pathogen surveillance followed by accurate characterization of potential zoonotic agents.

  8. 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.

  9. Impacts of intensive logging on the trophic organisation of ant communities in a biodiversity hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Woodcock

    Full Text Available Trophic organisation defines the flow of energy through ecosystems and is a key component of community structure. Widespread and intensifying anthropogenic disturbance threatens to disrupt trophic organisation by altering species composition and relative abundances and by driving shifts in the trophic ecology of species that persist in disturbed ecosystems. We examined how intensive disturbance caused by selective logging affects trophic organisation in the biodiversity hotspot of Sabah, Borneo. Using stable nitrogen isotopes, we quantified the positions in the food web of 159 leaf-litter ant species in unlogged and logged rainforest and tested four predictions: (i there is a negative relationship between the trophic position of a species in unlogged forest and its change in abundance following logging, (ii the trophic positions of species are altered by logging, (iii disturbance alters the frequency distribution of trophic positions within the ant assemblage, and (iv disturbance reduces food chain length. We found that ant abundance was 30% lower in logged forest than in unlogged forest but changes in abundance of individual species were not related to trophic position, providing no support for prediction (i. However, trophic positions of individual species were significantly higher in logged forest, supporting prediction (ii. Consequently, the frequency distribution of trophic positions differed significantly between unlogged and logged forest, supporting prediction (iii, and food chains were 0.2 trophic levels longer in logged forest, the opposite of prediction (iv. Our results demonstrate that disturbance can alter trophic organisation even without trophically-biased changes in community composition. Nonetheless, the absence of any reduction in food chain length in logged forest suggests that species-rich arthropod food webs do not experience trophic downgrading or a related collapse in trophic organisation despite the disturbance caused by

  10. 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

  11. The gut bacterial communities associated with lab-raised and field-collected ants of Camponotus fragilis (Formicidae: Formicinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hong; Wei, Cong; Wheeler, Diana E

    2014-09-01

    Camponotus is the second largest ant genus and known to harbor the primary endosymbiotic bacteria of the genus Blochmannia. However, little is known about the effect of diet and environment changes on the gut bacterial communities of these ants. We investigated the intestinal bacterial communities in the lab-raised and field-collected ants of Camponotus fragilis which is found in the southwestern United States and northern reaches of Mexico. We determined the difference of gut bacterial composition and distribution among the crop, midgut, and hindgut of the two types of colonies. Number of bacterial species varied with the methods of detection and the source of the ants. Lab-raised ants yielded 12 and 11 species using classical microbial culture methods and small-subunit rRNA genes (16S rRNAs) polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment-length polymorphism analysis, respectively. Field-collected ants yielded just 4 and 1-3 species using the same methods. Most gut bacterial species from the lab-raised ants were unevenly distributed among the crop, midgut, and hindgut, and each section had its own dominant bacterial species. Acetobacter was the prominent bacteria group in crop, accounting for about 55 % of the crop clone library. Blochmannia was the dominant species in midgut, nearly reaching 90 % of the midgut clone library. Pseudomonas aeruginosa dominated the hindgut, accounting for over 98 % of the hindgut clone library. P. aeruginosa was the only species common to all three sections. A comparison between lab-raised and field-collected ants, and comparison with other species, shows that gut bacterial communities vary with local environment and diet. The bacterial species identified here were most likely commensals with little effect on their hosts or mild pathogens deleterious to colony health.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinnunen, Marta

    system that enabled me to manipulate the relative importance of selection versus drift during initial community assembly. I used this new system to establish resident microbial biofilm communities dominated by nitrite-oxidizing bacteria, where the direction of selection as well as contribution of drift...... 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...... suggested the adoption of the community ecology framework advanced by Vellend (2010) to identify determinants of invasion. This framework lists the four fundamental processes that govern community assembly as: dispersal, selection, drift and diversification. We have suggested that it is important...

  14. Influence of invasive Spartina growth stages on associated macrofaunal communities

    OpenAIRE

    Neira, Carlos; Levin, Lisa A.; Grosholz, Edwin D.; Mendoza, Guillermo

    2007-01-01

    In coastal wetlands, invasive plants often act as ecosystem engineers altering flow, light and sediments which, in turn, can affect benthic animal communities. However, the degree of influence of the engineer will vary significantly as it grows, matures and senesces, and surprisingly little is known about how the influence of an ecosystem engineer varies with ontogeny. We address this issue on the tidal flats of San Francisco Bay where hybrid Spartina (foliosa x alterniflora) invaded 30 years...

  15. Molecular approach to describing a seed-based food web: the post-dispersal granivore community of an invasive plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundgren, Jonathan G; Saska, Pavel; Honěk, Alois

    2013-06-01

    Communities of post-dispersal granivores can shape the density and dispersion of exotic plants and invasive weeds, yet plant ecologists have a limited perception of the relative trophic linkages between a seed species and members of its granivore community. Dandelion seeds marked with Rabbit IgG were disseminated into replicated plots in the recipient habitat (South Dakota) and the native range (Czech Republic). Arthropods were collected in pitfall traps, and their guts were searched for the protein marker using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Seed dishes were placed in each plot, and dandelion seed removal rates were measured. The entire experiment was repeated five times over the dandelion flowering period. Gut analysis revealed that approximately 22% of specimens tested positive for the seed marker. A more diverse granivore community had trophic linkages to seeds than has been previously realized under field conditions. This community included taxa such as isopods, millipedes, weevils, rove beetles, and caterpillars, in addition to the traditionally recognized ants, crickets, and carabid beetles. Rarefaction and Chao analysis estimated approximately 16 and 27 species in the granivore communities of the Czech Republic and South Dakota, respectively. Generalist granivore communities are diverse and polyphagous, and are clearly important as a form of biotic resistance to invasive and weedy plants. These granivore communities can be managed to limit population growth of these pests.

  16. Biodiversity assessment in incomplete inventories: leaf litter ant communities in several types of Bornean rain forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Pfeiffer

    Full Text Available Biodiversity assessment of tropical taxa is hampered by their tremendous richness, which leads to large numbers of singletons and incomplete inventories in survey studies. Species estimators can be used for assessment of alpha diversity, but calculation of beta diversity is hampered by pseudo-turnover of species in undersampled plots. To assess the impact of unseen species, we investigated different methods, including an unbiased estimator of Shannon beta diversity that was compared to biased calculations. We studied alpha and beta diversity of a diverse ground ant assemblage from the Southeast Asian island of Borneo in different types of tropical forest: diperocarp forest, alluvial forest, limestone forest and heath forests. Forests varied in plant composition, geology, flooding regimes and other environmental parameters. We tested whether forest types differed in species composition and if species turnover was a function of the distance between plots at different spatial scales. As pseudo-turnover may bias beta diversity we hypothesized a large effect of unseen species reducing beta diversity. We sampled 206 ant species (25% singletons from ten subfamilies and 55 genera. Diversity partitioning among the four forest types revealed that whereas alpha species richness and alpha Shannon diversity were significantly smaller than expected, beta-diversity for both measurements was significantly higher than expected by chance. This result was confirmed when we used the unbiased estimation of Shannon diversity: while alpha diversity was much higher, beta diversity differed only slightly from biased calculations. Beta diversity as measured with the Chao-Sørensen or Morisita-Horn Index correlated with distance between transects and between sample points, indicating a distance decay of similarity between communities. We conclude that habitat heterogeneity has a high influence on ant diversity and species turnover in tropical sites and that unseen species

  17. From Community to Text and Back : On Semiotics and Ant as Text-Based Methods for Fleeting Objects of Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pelizza, Annalisa

    2010-01-01

    This article illustrates a case study where the adoption of epistemological assumptions and data analysis techniques borrowed from both semiotics and ANT have enabled the researcher to transcend the limits that characterise traditional studies on online communities underpinned by a “sociology of the

  18. Mechanisms of Invasion Resistance of Aquatic Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petruzzella, Antonella; Manschot, Johan; van Leeuwen, Casper H. A.; Grutters, Bart M. C.; Bakker, Elisabeth S.

    2018-01-01

    Invasive plant species are among the major threats to freshwater biodiversity. Few experimental studies have investigated whether native plant diversity can provide biotic resistance to invaders in freshwater ecosystems. At small spatial scales, invasion resistance may increase with plant species richness due to a better use of available resources, leaving less available for a potential invader (Complementarity effect) and/or the greater probability to have a highly competitive (or productive) native species in the community (Selection effect). In submerged aquatic plant communities, we tested the following hypotheses: (1) invader establishment success is greatest in the absence of a native plant community; (2) lower in plant communities with greater native species richness, due to complementary and/or selection effects; and (3) invader establishment success would be lowest in rooted plant communities, based on the limiting similarity theory as the invader is a rooted submerged species. In a greenhouse experiment, we established mesocosms planted with 0 (bare sediment), 1, 2, and 4 submerged plant species native to NW Europe and subjected these to the South African invader Lagarosiphon major (Ridl.) Moss. We used two rooted (Myriophyllum spicatum L., Potamogeton perfoliatus L.) and two non-rooted native species (Ceratophyllum demersum L., Utricularia vulgaris L.) representing two distinct functional groups considering their nutrient acquisition strategy which follows from their growth form, with, respectively, the sediment and water column as their main nutrient source. We found that the presence of native vegetation overall decreased the establishment success of an alien aquatic plant species. The strength of this observed biotic resistance increased with increasing species richness of the native community. Mainly due to a selection effect, the native biomass of mixed communities overyielded, and this further lowered the establishment success of the invader in our

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salyer, Adam; Bennett, Gary W; Buczkowski, Grzegorz A

    2014-01-01

    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 "back

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Shrub invasion decreases diversity and alters community stability in northern Chihuahuan Desert plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Báez

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Global climate change is rapidly altering species range distributions and interactions within communities. As ranges expand, invading species change interactions in communities which may reduce stability, a mechanism known to affect biodiversity. In aridland ecosystems worldwide, the range of native shrubs is expanding as they invade and replace native grassland vegetation with significant consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. METHODOLOGY: We used two long-term data sets to determine the effects of shrub encroachment by Larrea tridentata on subdominant community composition and stability in formerly native perennial grassland dominated by Bouteloua eriopoda in New Mexico, USA. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our results indicated that Larrea invasion decreased species richness during the last 100 years. We also found that over shorter temporal scales species-poor subdominant communities in areas invaded by Larrea were less stable (more variable in time compared to species rich communities in grass-dominated vegetation. Compositional stability increased as cover of Bouteloua increased and decreased as cover of Larrea increased. SIGNIFICANCE: Changes in community stability due to altered interspecific interactions may be one mechanism by which biodiversity declines in grasslands following shrub invasion. As global warming increases, shrub encroachment into native grasslands worldwide will continue to alter species interactions and community stability both of which may lead to a decline in biodiversity.

  3. Shrub invasion decreases diversity and alters community stability in northern Chihuahuan Desert plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Báez, Selene; Collins, Scott L

    2008-06-04

    Global climate change is rapidly altering species range distributions and interactions within communities. As ranges expand, invading species change interactions in communities which may reduce stability, a mechanism known to affect biodiversity. In aridland ecosystems worldwide, the range of native shrubs is expanding as they invade and replace native grassland vegetation with significant consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. We used two long-term data sets to determine the effects of shrub encroachment by Larrea tridentata on subdominant community composition and stability in formerly native perennial grassland dominated by Bouteloua eriopoda in New Mexico, USA. Our results indicated that Larrea invasion decreased species richness during the last 100 years. We also found that over shorter temporal scales species-poor subdominant communities in areas invaded by Larrea were less stable (more variable in time) compared to species rich communities in grass-dominated vegetation. Compositional stability increased as cover of Bouteloua increased and decreased as cover of Larrea increased. Changes in community stability due to altered interspecific interactions may be one mechanism by which biodiversity declines in grasslands following shrub invasion. As global warming increases, shrub encroachment into native grasslands worldwide will continue to alter species interactions and community stability both of which may lead to a decline in biodiversity.

  4. Species invasion history influences community evolution in a tri-trophic food web model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akihiko Mougi

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent experimental studies have demonstrated the importance of invasion history for evolutionary formation of community. However, only few theoretical studies on community evolution have focused on such views.We used a tri-trophic food web model to analyze the coevolutionary effects of ecological invasions by a mutant and by a predator and/or resource species of a native consumer species community and found that ecological invasions can lead to various evolutionary histories. The invasion of a predator makes multiple evolutionary community histories possible, and the evolutionary history followed can determine both the invasion success of the predator into the native community and the fate of the community. A slight difference in the timing of an ecological invasion can lead to a greatly different fate. In addition, even greatly different community histories can converge as a result of environmental changes such as a predator trait shift or a productivity change. Furthermore, the changes to the evolutionary history may be irreversible.Our modeling results suggest that the timing of ecological invasion of a species into a focal community can largely change the evolutionary consequences of the community. Our approach based on adaptive dynamics will be a useful tool to understand the effect of invasion history on evolutionary formation of community.

  5. Species invasion history influences community evolution in a tri-trophic food web model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mougi, Akihiko; Nishimura, Kinya

    2009-08-24

    Recent experimental studies have demonstrated the importance of invasion history for evolutionary formation of community. However, only few theoretical studies on community evolution have focused on such views. We used a tri-trophic food web model to analyze the coevolutionary effects of ecological invasions by a mutant and by a predator and/or resource species of a native consumer species community and found that ecological invasions can lead to various evolutionary histories. The invasion of a predator makes multiple evolutionary community histories possible, and the evolutionary history followed can determine both the invasion success of the predator into the native community and the fate of the community. A slight difference in the timing of an ecological invasion can lead to a greatly different fate. In addition, even greatly different community histories can converge as a result of environmental changes such as a predator trait shift or a productivity change. Furthermore, the changes to the evolutionary history may be irreversible. Our modeling results suggest that the timing of ecological invasion of a species into a focal community can largely change the evolutionary consequences of the community. Our approach based on adaptive dynamics will be a useful tool to understand the effect of invasion history on evolutionary formation of community.

  6. 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.

  7. Resource pulses can alleviate the biodiversity-invasion relationship in soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallon, Cyrus A; Poly, Franck; Le Roux, Xavier; Marring, Irene; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana Falcão

    2015-04-01

    The roles of species richness, resource use, and resource availability are central to many hypotheses explaining the diversity-invasion phenomenon but are generally not investigated together. Here, we created a large diversity gradient of soil microbial communities by either assembling communities of pure bacterial strains or removing the diversity of a natural soil. Using data on the resource-use capacities of the soil communities and an invader that were gathered from 71 carbon sources, we quantified the niches available to both constituents by using the metrics community niche and remaining niche available to the invader. A strong positive relationship between species richness and community niche across both experiments indicated the presence of resource complementarity. Moreover, community niche and the remaining niche available to the invader predicted invader abundance well. This suggested that increased competition in communities of higher diversity limits community invasibility and underscored the importance of resource availability as a key mechanism through which diversity hinders invasions. As a proof of principle, we subjected selected invaded communities to a resource pulse, which progressively uncoupled the link between soil microbial diversity and invasion and allowed the invader to rebound after nearly being eliminated in some communities. Our results thus show that (1) resource competition suppresses invasion, (2) biodiversity increases resource competition and decreases invasion through niche preemption, and (3) resource pulses that cannot be fully used, even by diverse communities, are favorable to invasion.

  8. Two invasive acacia species secure generalist pollinators in invaded communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesinos, Daniel; Castro, Sílvia; Rodríguez-Echeverría, Susana

    2016-07-01

    Exotic entomophilous plants need to establish effective pollinator interactions in order to succeed after being introduced into a new community, particularly if they are obligatory outbreeders. By establishing these novel interactions in the new non-native range, invasive plants are hypothesised to drive changes in the composition and functioning of the native pollinator community, with potential impacts on the pollination biology of native co-flowering plants. We used two different sites in Portugal, each invaded by a different acacia species, to assess whether two native Australian trees, Acacia dealbata and Acacia longifolia, were able to recruit pollinators in Portugal, and whether the pollinator community visiting acacia trees differed from the pollinator communities interacting with native co-flowering plants. Our results indicate that in the invaded range of Portugal both acacia species were able to establish novel mutualistic interactions, predominantly with generalist pollinators. For each of the two studied sites, only two other co-occurring native plant species presented partially overlapping phenologies. We observed significant differences in pollinator richness and visitation rates among native and non-native plant species, although the study of β diversity indicated that only the native plant Lithodora fruticosa presented a differentiated set of pollinator species. Acacias experienced a large number of visits by numerous pollinator species, but massive acacia flowering resulted in flower visitation rates frequently lower than those of the native co-flowering species. We conclude that the establishment of mutualisms in Portugal likely contributes to the effective and profuse production of acacia seeds in Portugal. Despite the massive flowering of A. dealbata and A. longifolia, native plant species attained similar or higher visitation rates than acacias.

  9. 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.

  10. Do invasive plants structure microbial communities to accelerate decomposition in intermountain grasslands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McTee, Michael R; Lekberg, Ylva; Mummey, Dan; Rummel, Alexii; Ramsey, Philip W

    2017-12-01

    Invasive plants are often associated with greater productivity and soil nutrient availabilities, but whether invasive plants with dissimilar traits change decomposer communities and decomposition rates in consistent ways is little known. We compared decomposition rates and the fungal and bacterial communities associated with the litter of three problematic invaders in intermountain grasslands; cheatgrass ( Bromus tectorum ), spotted knapweed ( Centaurea stoebe ) and leafy spurge ( Euphorbia esula ), as well as the native bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pseudoroegneria spicata ). Shoot and root litter from each plant was placed in cheatgrass, spotted knapweed, and leafy spurge invasions as well as remnant native communities in a fully reciprocal design for 6 months to see whether decomposer communities were species-specific, and whether litter decomposed fastest when placed in a community composed of its own species (referred to hereafter as home-field advantage-HFA). Overall, litter from the two invasive forbs, spotted knapweed and leafy spurge, decomposed faster than the native and invasive grasses, regardless of the plant community of incubation. Thus, we found no evidence of HFA. T-RFLP profiles indicated that both fungal and bacterial communities differed between roots and shoots and among plant species, and that fungal communities also differed among plant community types. Synthesis . These results show that litter from three common invaders to intermountain grasslands decomposes at different rates and cultures microbial communities that are species-specific, widespread, and persistent through the dramatic shifts in plant communities associated with invasions.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    ), 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......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...... 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...

  13. Invasion is a community affair: Clandestine followers in the bacterial community associated to green algae, Caulerpa racemosa, track the invasion source.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania Aires

    Full Text Available Biological invasions rank amongst the most deleterious components of global change inducing alterations from genes to ecosystems. The genetic characteristics of introduced pools of individuals greatly influence the capacity of introduced species to establish and expand. The recently demonstrated heritability of microbial communities associated to individual genotypes of primary producers makes them a potentially essential element of the evolution and adaptability of their hosts. Here, we characterized the bacterial communities associated to native and non-native populations of the marine green macroalga Caulerparacemosa through pyrosequencing, and explored their potential role on the strikingly invasive trajectory of their host in the Mediterranean. The similarity of endophytic bacterial communities from the native Australian range and several Mediterranean locations confirmed the origin of invasion and revealed distinct communities associated to a second Mediterranean variety of C. racemosa long reported in the Mediterranean. Comparative analysis of these two groups demonstrated the stability of the composition of bacterial communities through the successive steps of introduction and invasion and suggested the vertical transmission of some major bacterial OTUs. Indirect inferences on the taxonomic identity and associated metabolism of bacterial lineages showed a striking consistency with sediment upheaval conditions associated to the expansion of their invasive host and to the decline of native species. These results demonstrate that bacterial communities can be an effective tracer of the origin of invasion and support their potential role in their eukaryotic host's adaptation to new environments. They put forward the critical need to consider the 'meta-organism' encompassing both the host and associated micro-organisms, to unravel the origins, causes and mechanisms underlying biological invasions.

  14. Experimentally testing and assessing the predictive power of species assembly rules for tropical canopy ants

    OpenAIRE

    Fayle, Tom M; Eggleton, Paul; Manica, Andrea; Yusah, Kalsum M; Foster, William A

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how species assemble into communities is a key goal in ecology. However, assembly rules are rarely tested experimentally, and their ability to shape real communities is poorly known. We surveyed a diverse community of epiphyte-dwelling ants and found that similar-sized species co-occurred less often than expected. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that invasion was discouraged by the presence of similarly-sized resident species. The size difference for which invasion was less ...

  15. Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Shan-Shan; Dai, Zhi-Cong; Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Si, Chun-Can; Huang, Ping; Wang, Rui-Ping; Zhong, Qiong-Xin; Du, Dao-Lin

    2014-01-01

    The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%), compared with the native plants (over 60%). Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants.

  16. Effects of a Nonnative, Invasive Lovegrass on Agave palmeri Distribution, Abundance, and Insect Pollinator Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-01

    Agave stalks are edible to wild herbivores such as deer, javelina, rodents, and rabbits (USFWS 1999). Because agave stalks often remain available... plants on military lands.” The objective of the work unit is to provide a better under- standing of the impacts of invasive species on key components of...ecosystems and pollinator communities. The study documented herein emphasized the integration of invasive nonnative plant invasion with other

  17. 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...

  18. Large-scale facilitation of a sessile community by an invasive habitat-forming snail

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thyrring, Jakob; Thomsen, Mads Solgaard; Wernberg, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We provide an example of extensive facilitation of a sessile community throughout an invaded estuary by the invasive snail Batillaria australis. We show that B. australis greatly increases a limiting resource (attachment space) to a community of sessile organisms and estimate that a large......, as a functional group, has benefitted significantly from this invasion. These results expand the current understanding of how invaded marine systems respond to habitat-forming invaders....

  19. 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.

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

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    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

  1. Honey Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

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

  2. Microbial communities in marine sediments modify success of an invasive macrophyte.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gribben, Paul E; Nielsen, Shaun; Seymour, Justin R; Bradley, Daniel J; West, Matthew N; Thomas, Torsten

    2017-08-29

    Invasive plants have extensive impacts on ecosystem function and biodiversity globally. Our inability to manage invasive species stems in part from a lack of understanding of the processes that control their successful establishment and spread. To date, studies have largely considered how above-ground processes control native/invasive plant interactions. Emerging research from terrestrial and wetland ecosystems demonstrates that below-ground processes under microbial control can determine the outcome of interactions between native and invasive plants. Whether sediment microbes modify the success of invasive macrophytes in marine ecosystems is untested, despite marine sediment microbes controlling many ecological processes (e.g. nutrient cycling) comparable to those in terrestrial ecosystems. We first show that sediment bacterial communities differ between the native seagrass Zostera capricorni and the invasive alga Caulerpa taxifolia and that those differences relate to functional changes in sulfur cycling between the macrophytes. Second, by experimentally manipulating the microbial communities we show that intact microbial communities in Z. capricorni sediments provide biotic resistance by reducing C. taxifolia fragment growth 119% compared to when they are inactive, and intact microbial communities in C. taxifolia sediments have positive feedbacks by increasing fragment growth 200%. Thus, similar to terrestrial ecosystems, microorganisms appear to indirectly control the success of invasive macrophytes in marine ecosystems.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Clonal organisms with occasional sex are important for our general understanding of the costs and benefits that maintain sexual reproduction. Cyclically parthenogenetic aphids are highly variable in their frequency of sexual reproduction. However, studies have mostly focused on free-living aphids...... 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...... to L. flavus populations, so that all four root aphid species would have realistic opportunities for completing their sexual life cycle....

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Habitat fragmentation, tree diversity, and plant invasion interact to structure forest caterpillar communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stireman, John O; Devlin, Hilary; Doyle, Annie L

    2014-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation and invasive species are two of the most prominent threats to terrestrial ecosystems. Few studies have examined how these factors interact to influence the diversity of natural communities, particularly primary consumers. Here, we examined the effects of forest fragmentation and invasion of exotic honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii, Caprifoliaceae) on the abundance and diversity of the dominant forest herbivores: woody plant-feeding Lepidoptera. We systematically surveyed understory caterpillars along transects in 19 forest fragments over multiple years in southwestern Ohio and evaluated how fragment area, isolation, tree diversity, invasion by honeysuckle and interactions among these factors influence species richness, diversity and abundance. We found strong seasonal variation in caterpillar communities, which responded differently to fragmentation and invasion. Abundance and richness increased with fragment area, but these effects were mitigated by high levels of honeysuckle, tree diversity, landscape forest cover, and large recent changes in area. Honeysuckle infestation was generally associated with decreased caterpillar abundance and diversity, but these effects were strongly dependent on other fragment traits. Effects of honeysuckle on abundance were moderated when fragment area, landscape forest cover and tree diversity were high. In contrast, negative effects of honeysuckle invasion on caterpillar diversity were most pronounced in fragments with high tree diversity and large recent increases in area. Our results illustrate the complex interdependencies of habitat fragmentation, plant diversity and plant invasion in their effects on primary consumers and emphasize the need to consider these processes in concert to understand the consequences of anthropogenic habitat change for biodiversity.

  12. Chemical and structural effects of invasive plants on herbivore-parasitoid/predator interactions in native communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Fortuna, T.

    2012-01-01

    The introduction and/or spread of exotic organisms into new habitats is considered a major threat to biodiversity. Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect native communities, competing with and excluding other plants and disrupting a wide range of trophic interactions associated with

  13. 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.

  14. Restoration of native plant communities infested by invasive weeds -- Sawmill Creek Research Natural Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter Rice

    2000-01-01

    Invasive alien weeds established themselves on the Sawmill Creek Research Natural Area, harming elk feeding grounds and threatening the integrity of the native plant community. Management enacted herbicide control over several growing seasons, resulting in greater elk winter forage on study plots. Monitoring the long-term effects of herbicide as a restoration tool...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajwant Kaur

    Full Text Available 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Large-scale facilitation of a sessile community by an invasive habitat-forming snail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thyrring, Jakob; Thomsen, Mads Solgaard; Wernberg, Thomas

    2013-12-01

    We provide an example of extensive facilitation of a sessile community throughout an invaded estuary by the invasive snail Batillaria australis. We show that B. australis greatly increases a limiting resource (attachment space) to a community of sessile organisms and estimate that a large part of the invaded estuary now contain ca. 50 times more sessile individuals associated with the invader than all native snails combined. We argue that native snails are unlikely to have been dramatically reduced by the invader, and we therefore suggest that the shell-attached sessile community, as a functional group, has benefitted significantly from this invasion. These results expand the current understanding of how invaded marine systems respond to habitat-forming invaders.

  19. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Predicting invasive species impacts: a community module functional response approach reveals context dependencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, Rachel A; Dick, Jaimie T A; Pritchard, Daniel W; Ennis, Marilyn; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M

    2015-03-01

    Predatory functional responses play integral roles in predator-prey dynamics, and their assessment promises greater understanding and prediction of the predatory impacts of invasive species. Other interspecific interactions, however, such as parasitism and higher-order predation, have the potential to modify predator-prey interactions and thus the predictive capability of the comparative functional response approach. We used a four-species community module (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to compare the predatory functional responses of native Gammarus duebeni celticus and invasive Gammarus pulex amphipods towards three invertebrate prey species (Asellus aquaticus, Simulium spp., Baetis rhodani), thus, quantifying the context dependencies of parasitism and a higher-order fish predator on these functional responses. Our functional response experiments demonstrated that the invasive amphipod had a higher predatory impact (lower handling time) on two of three prey species, which reflects patterns of impact observed in the field. The community module also revealed that parasitism had context-dependent influences, for one prey species, with the potential to further reduce the predatory impact of the invasive amphipod or increase the predatory impact of the native amphipod in the presence of a higher-order fish predator. Partial consumption of prey was similar for both predators and occurred increasingly in the order A. aquaticus, Simulium spp. and B. rhodani. This was associated with increasing prey densities, but showed no context dependencies with parasitism or higher-order fish predator. This study supports the applicability of comparative functional responses as a tool to predict and assess invasive species impacts incorporating multiple context dependencies. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  2. 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.

  3. Lineage overwhelms environmental conditions in determining rhizosphere bacterial community structure in a cosmopolitan invasive plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Jennifer L; Kearns, Patrick J; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Wigginton, Sara; Allen, Warwick J; Greenwood, Michael; Tran, Khang; Yu, Jennifer; Cronin, James T; Meyerson, Laura A

    2017-09-05

    Plant-microbe interactions play crucial roles in species invasions but are rarely investigated at the intraspecific level. Here, we study these interactions in three lineages of a globally distributed plant, Phragmites australis. We use field surveys and a common garden experiment to analyze bacterial communities in the rhizosphere of P. australis stands from native, introduced, and Gulf lineages to determine lineage-specific controls on rhizosphere bacteria. We show that within-lineage bacterial communities are similar, but are distinct among lineages, which is consistent with our results in a complementary common garden experiment. Introduced P. australis rhizosphere bacterial communities have lower abundances of pathways involved in antimicrobial biosynthesis and degradation, suggesting a lower exposure to enemy attack than native and Gulf lineages. However, lineage and not rhizosphere bacterial communities dictate individual plant growth in the common garden experiment. We conclude that lineage is crucial for determination of both rhizosphere bacterial communities and plant fitness.Environmental factors often outweigh host heritable factors in structuring host-associated microbiomes. Here, Bowen et al. show that host lineage is crucial for determination of rhizosphere bacterial communities in Phragmites australis, a globally distributed invasive plant.

  4. 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.

  5. Host and Environmental Specificity in Bacterial Communities Associated to Two Highly Invasive Marine Species (Genus Asparagopsis)

    OpenAIRE

    Aires, Tânia; Serrão, Ester A.; Engelen, Aschwin H.

    2016-01-01

    As habitats change due to global and local pressures, population resilience, and adaptive processes depend not only on their gene pools but also on their associated bacteria communities. The hologenome can play a determinant role in adaptive evolution of higher organisms that rely on their bacterial associates for vital processes. In this study, we focus on the associated bacteria of the two most invasive seaweeds in southwest Iberia (coastal mainland) and nearby offshore Atlantic islands, As...

  6. Under the canopy: Community-wide effects of invasive algae in Marine Protected Areas revealed by metabarcoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wangensteen, Owen S; Cebrian, Emma; Palacín, Creu; Turon, Xavier

    2018-02-01

    We analysed with multigene (18S and COI) metabarcoding the effects of the proliferation of invasive seaweeds on rocky littoral communities in two Spanish Marine Protected Areas. The invasive algae studied were Caulerpa cylindracea, Lophocladia lallemandii and Asparagopsis armata. They are canopy-forming, landscape-dominant seaweeds, and we were interested in their effects on the underlying communities of meiobenthos and macrobenthos, separated in two size fractions through sieving. A new semiquantitative treatment of metabarcoding data is introduced. The results for both markers showed that the presence of the invasive seaweed had a significant effect on the understory communities for Lophocladia lallemandii and Asparagopsis armata but not for Caulerpa cylindracea. Likewise, changes in MOTU richness and diversity with invasion status varied in magnitude and direction depending on the alga considered. Our results showed that metabarcoding allows monitoring of the less conspicuous, but not least important, effects of the presence of dominant invasive seaweeds. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Negative per capita effects of two invasive plants, Lythrum salicaria and Phalaris arundinacea, on the moth diversity of wetland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schooler, S S; McEvoy, P B; Hammond, P; Coombs, E M

    2009-06-01

    Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect the diversity of plant communities. However, little is known about the effect of invasive plants on the diversity at other trophic levels. In this study, we examine the per capita effects of two invasive plants, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), on moth diversity in wetland communities at 20 sites in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Prior studies document that increasing abundance of these two plant species decreases the diversity of plant communities. We predicted that this reduction in plant diversity would result in reduced herbivore diversity. Four measurements were used to quantify diversity: species richness (S), community evenness (J), Brillouin's index (H) and Simpson's index (D). We identified 162 plant species and 156 moth species across the 20 wetland sites. The number of moth species was positively correlated with the number of plant species. In addition, invasive plant abundance was negatively correlated with species richness of the moth community (linear relationship), and the effect was similar for both invasive plant species. However, no relationship was found between invasive plant abundance and the three other measures of moth diversity (J, H, D) which included moth abundance in their calculation. We conclude that species richness within, and among, trophic levels is adversely affected by these two invasive wetland plant species.

  10. 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.

  11. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-11

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

  12. 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.

  13. Asymmetric Dispersal and Colonization Success of Amazonian Plant-Ants Queens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruna, Emilio M.; Izzo, Thiago J.; Inouye, Brian D.; Uriarte, Maria; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.

    2011-01-01

    Background 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. Methodology/Principal Findings 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. Conclusions/Significance 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruna, Emilio M; Izzo, Thiago J; Inouye, Brian D; Uriarte, Maria; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L

    2011-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. 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

  18. Bacterial diversity in Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis geminata ant colonies characterized by 16S amplicon 454 pyrosequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishak, Heather D; Plowes, Rob; Sen, Ruchira; Kellner, Katrin; Meyer, Eli; Estrada, Dora A; Dowd, Scot E; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-05-01

    Social insects harbor diverse assemblages of bacterial microbes, which may play a crucial role in the success or failure of biological invasions. The invasive fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Formicidae, Hymenoptera) is a model system for understanding the dynamics of invasive social insects and their biological control. However, little is known about microbes as biotic factors influencing the success or failure of ant invasions. This pilot study is the first attempt to characterize and compare microbial communities associated with the introduced S. invicta and the native Solenopsis geminata in the USA. Using 16S amplicon 454 pyrosequencing, bacterial communities of workers, brood, and soil from nest walls were compared between neighboring S. invicta and S. geminata colonies at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, Austin, Texas, with the aim of identifying potential pathogenic, commensal, or mutualistic microbial associates. Two samples of S. geminata workers showed high counts of Spiroplasma bacteria, a known pathogen or mutualist of other insects. A subsequent analysis using PCR and sequencing confirmed the presence of Spiroplasma in additional colonies of both Solenopsis species. Wolbachia was found in one alate sample of S. geminata, while one brood sample of S. invicta had a high count of Lactococcus. As expected, ant samples from both species showed much lower microbial diversity than the surrounding soil. Both ant species had similar overall bacterial diversities, although little overlap in specific microbes. To properly characterize a single bacterial community associated with a Solenopsis ant sample, rarefaction analyses indicate that it is necessary to obtain 5,000-10,000 sequences. Overall, 16S amplicon 454 pyrosequencing appears to be a cost-effective approach to screen whole microbial diversity associated with invasive ant species.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Treatment-based Markov chain models clarify mechanisms of invasion in an invaded grassland community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelis, Lisa Castillo; Wootton, J Timothy

    2010-02-22

    What are the relative roles of mechanisms underlying plant responses in grassland communities invaded by both plants and mammals? What type of community can we expect in the future given current or novel conditions? We address these questions by comparing Markov chain community models among treatments from a field experiment on invasive species on Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile. Because of seed dispersal, grazing and disturbance, we predicted that the exotic European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) facilitates epizoochorous exotic plants (plants with seeds that stick to the skin an animal) at the expense of native plants. To test our hypothesis, we crossed rabbit exclosure treatments with disturbance treatments, and sampled the plant community in permanent plots over 3 years. We then estimated Markov chain model transition probabilities and found significant differences among treatments. As hypothesized, this modelling revealed that exotic plants survive better in disturbed areas, while natives prefer no rabbits or disturbance. Surprisingly, rabbits negatively affect epizoochorous plants. Markov chain dynamics indicate that an overall replacement of native plants by exotic plants is underway. Using a treatment-based approach to multi-species Markov chain models allowed us to examine the changes in the importance of mechanisms in response to experimental impacts on communities.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  6. Increased anthropogenic disturbance and aridity reduce phylogenetic and functional diversity of ant communities in Caatinga dry forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, Xavier; Arcoverde, Gabriela B; Pie, Marcio R; Ribeiro-Neto, José D; Leal, Inara R

    2018-03-09

    Anthropogenic disturbance and climate change are major threats to biodiversity. The Brazilian Caatinga is the world's largest and most diverse type of seasonally dry tropical forest. It is also one of the most threatened, but remains poorly studied. Here, we analyzed the individual and combined effects of anthropogenic disturbance (three types: livestock grazing, wood extraction, and miscellaneous use of forest resources) and increasing aridity on taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional ant diversity in the Caatinga. We found no aridity and disturbance effects on taxonomic diversity. In spite of this, functional diversity, and to a lesser extent phylogenetic diversity, decreased with increased levels of disturbance and aridity. These effects depended on disturbance type: livestock grazing and miscellaneous resource use, but not wood extraction, deterministically filtered both components of diversity. Interestingly, disturbance and aridity interacted to shape biodiversity responses. While aridity sometimes intensified the negative effects of disturbance, the greatest declines in biodiversity were in the wettest areas. Our results imply that anthropogenic disturbance and aridity interact in complex ways to endanger biodiversity in seasonally dry tropical forests. Given global climate change, neotropical semi-arid areas are habitats of concern, and our findings suggest Caatinga conservation policies must prioritize protection of the wettest areas, where biodiversity loss stands to be the greatest. Given the major ecological relevance of ants, declines in both ant phylogenetic and functional diversity might have downstream effects on ecosystem processes, insect populations, and plant populations. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Do well-integrated species of an inquiline community have a lower brood predation tendency? A test using red wood ant myrmecophiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmentier, Thomas; Dekoninck, Wouter; Wenseleers, Tom

    2016-01-19

    A host infected with multiple parasitic species provides a unique system to test evolutionary and ecological hypotheses. Different parasitic species associated with a single host are expected to occupy different niches. This niche specialization can evolve from intraguild competition among parasites. However, niche specialization can also be structured directly by the host when its defence strategy depends on the parasite's potential impact. Then it can be expected that species with low or no tendency to prey on host brood will elicit less aggression than severe brood parasitic species and will be able to integrate better in the host system. We examined this hypothesis in a large community of symbionts associated with European red wood ants (Formica rufa group) by testing the association between 1) level of symbiont integration (i.e. presence in dense brood chambers vs. less populated chambers without brood) 2) level of ant aggression towards the symbiont 3) brood predation tendency of the symbiont. Symbionts differed vastly in integration level and we demonstrated for the first time that relatively unspecialized ant symbionts or myrmecophiles occur preferentially in brood chambers. Based on their integration level, we categorize the tested myrmecophiles into three categories: 1) species attracted to the dense brood chambers 2) species rarely or never present in the brood chambers 3) species randomly distributed throughout the nest. The associates varied greatly in brood predation tendency and in aggression elicited. However, we did not find a correlation for the whole myrmecophile community between a) brood predation tendency and host's aggression b) integration level and host's aggression c) integration level and brood predation tendency. Our results indicate that red wood ants did not act more hostile towards species that have a high tendency to prey on brood compared to species that are less likely or do not prey on brood. We show that potentially harmful

  10. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

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

  11. 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.

  12. Discrimination Behavior in the Supercolonial Pharaoh Ant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi

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

  13. 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.

  14. The effect carbohydrate consumption on Argentine ants' nutritional ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Chou, Cheng T.

    2009-01-01

    As a result of accidental introduction, the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, has successfully invaded many parts of the world including the California coast. Argentine ants are extraordinarily effective in displacing native ants. This study aims to link animal behavior and growth to resource consumption. We examined how different diets affect Argentine ant behavior. We hypothesized that having a diet composed of both carbohydrate and protein may increase colony size and activity le...

  15. Community Sampling and Integrative Taxonomy Reveal New Species and Host Specificity in the Army Ant-Associated Beetle Genus Tetradonia (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Aleocharinae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Beeren, Christoph; Maruyama, Munetoshi; Kronauer, Daniel J. C.

    2016-01-01

    Army ant colonies host a diverse community of arthropod symbionts. Among the best-studied symbiont communities are those of Neotropical army ants of the genus Eciton. It is clear, however, that even in these comparatively well studied systems, a large proportion of symbiont biodiversity remains unknown. Even more striking is our lack of knowledge regarding the nature and specificity of these host-symbiont interactions. Here we surveyed the diversity and host specificity of rove beetles of the genus Tetradonia Wasmann, 1894 (Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae). Systematic community sampling of 58 colonies of the six local Eciton species at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica, combined with an integrative taxonomic approach, allowed us to uncover species diversity, host specificity, and co-occurrence patterns of symbionts in unprecedented detail. We used an integrative taxonomic approach combining morphological and genetic analyses, to delineate species boundaries. Mitochondrial DNA barcodes were analyzed for 362 Tetradonia specimens, and additional nuclear markers for a subset of 88 specimens. All analyses supported the presence of five Tetradonia species, including two species new to science. Host specificity is highly variable across species, ranging from generalists such as T. laticeps, which parasitizes all six local Eciton species, to specialists such as T. lizonae, which primarily parasitizes a single species, E. hamatum. Here we provide a dichotomous key along with diagnostic molecular characters for identification of Tetradonia species at La Selva Biological Station. By reliably assessing biodiversity and providing tools for species identification, we hope to set the baseline for future studies of the ecological and evolutionary dynamics in these species-rich host-symbiont networks. PMID:27829037

  16. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. 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

  18. Seasonal heterogeneity provides a niche opportunity for ascidian invasion in subtropical marine communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astudillo, Juan C; Leung, Kenneth M Y; Bonebrake, Timothy C

    2016-12-01

    Implications of changes in environmental conditions caused by seasonality and human alterations on the recruitment of non-native species and their biotic resistance to predation are poorly understood. Here, through the use of experimental recruitment panels and predation exclusion cages, we examined 1) whether a subtropical seasonality (i.e., tropical and temperate conditions) affects the recruitment and abundance of the non-native ascidian Ciona intestinalis, the cryptogenic Styela plicata and Ascidia sydneiensis, and native Hermandia momus in fouling communities in Hong Kong, 2) whether human environmental alterations (i.e., typhoon shelters and sheltered bays with different habitat alteration and seawater quality) affect the abundance of the ascidians, and 3) whether predation reduces the abundance of ascidians under different environmental conditions caused by seasonality and human alteration. Our experimental results indicate that seasonality provides a temporal niche for the recruitment of the ascidians; C. intestinalis and S. plicata recruited mostly in winter, whereas A. sydneiensis and H. momus recruited in summer. Ciona intestinalis was the only ascidian that prospered in anthropogenically altered environments where it monopolized communities. The marked seasonal recruitment of the ascidians obscured the effect of predation between seasons, whereas human alteration did not affect predation. The recruitment of the ascidians in subtropical communities appeared to correspond to their original temperate or tropical distributions, hence Ciona intestinalis, with a temperate native distribution, benefits from a temporal niche opportunity during winter conditions. We argue that seasonality, as an important ecological factor for recruitment and community ecology dynamics, must also be considered in the context of biological invasion. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. The effects of mesquite invasion on a southeastern Arizona grassland bird community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, J.; Mannan, R.W.; DeStefano, S.; Kirkpatrick, C.

    1998-01-01

    We determined which vegetal features influenced the distribution and abundance of grassland birds at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona. The density and distribution of mesquite (Prosopis velutina) exerted the strongest influence on the grassland bird community. Abundances of Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus; r2 = 0.363, P = 0.025) and Lucy's Warbler (Vermivora luciae; r2 = 0.348, P = 0.04), and total abundance of birds (r2 = 0.358, P = 0.04) were positively correlated with increasing density of mesquite (Prosopis velutina), whereas abundance of Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus; r2 = 0.452, P = 0.02) was negatively correlated with increasing mesquite density. Abundance of Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus; r2 = 0.693, P < 0.001) was positively correlated with an increasing patchiness of mesquite. Shrub-dependent bird species dominated the community, accounting for 12 of the 18 species and 557 of the 815 individuals detected. Species relying on extensive areas of open grassland were largely absent from the study area, perhaps a result of the recent invasion of mesquite into this semi-desert grassland.

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reina L. Tong

    2018-02-01

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

  6. Size matters: Nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants

    OpenAIRE

    Jiménez-Soto, E; Philpott, SM

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Understanding the drivers of ant diversity and co-occurrence in agroecosystems is fundamental because ants participate in interactions that influence agroecosystem processes. Multiple local and regional factors influence ant community assembly. We examined local factors that influence the structure of a twig-nesting ant community in a coffee system in Mexico using an experimental approach. We investigated whether ...

  7. Ant nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

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

  8. Socioeconomic Factors Explain Racial Disparities in Invasive Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Disease Rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    See, Isaac; Wesson, Paul; Gualandi, Nicole; Dumyati, Ghinwa; Harrison, Lee H; Lesher, Lindsey; Nadle, Joelle; Petit, Susan; Reisenauer, Claire; Schaffner, William; Tunali, Amy; Mu, Yi; Ahern, Jennifer

    2017-03-01

    Invasive community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) incidence in the United States is higher among black persons than white persons. We explored the extent to which socioeconomic factors might explain this racial disparity. A retrospective cohort was based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infections Program surveillance data for invasive community-associated MRSA cases (isolated from a normally sterile site of an outpatient or on hospital admission day ≤3 in a patient without specified major healthcare exposures) from 2009 to 2011 in 33 counties of 9 states. We used generalized estimating equations to determine census tract-level factors associated with differences in MRSA incidence and inverse odds ratio-weighted mediation analysis to determine the proportion of racial disparity mediated by socioeconomic factors. Annual invasive community-associated MRSA incidence was 4.59 per 100000 among whites and 7.60 per 100000 among blacks (rate ratio [RR], 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.52-1.80). In the mediation analysis, after accounting for census tract-level measures of federally designated medically underserved areas, education, income, housing value, and rural status, 91% of the original racial disparity was explained; no significant association of black race with community-associated MRSA remained (RR, 1.05; 95% CI, .92-1.20). The racial disparity in invasive community-associated MRSA rates was largely explained by socioeconomic factors. The specific factors that underlie the association between census tract-level socioeconomic measures and MRSA incidence, which may include modifiable social (eg, poverty, crowding) and biological factors (not explored in this analysis), should be elucidated to define strategies for reducing racial disparities in community-associated MRSA rates.

  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. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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, Christopher 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.

  13. Differences Found in the Macroinvertebrate Community Composition in the Presence or Absence of the Invasive Alien Crayfish, Orconectes hylas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandye T Freeland-Riggert

    Full Text Available 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. 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 SO 4 2- to NO 3 - 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 SO 4 2- to NO 3 - 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 SO 4 2- to NO 3 - ratios tended to have more toxic effects on SNB likely due to the higher exchange capacity of hydroxyl groups (OH - ) between SO 4 2- and NO 3 - . 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1983-11-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. [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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom M Fayle

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Bacterial communities associated with invasive populations of Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, L J; Martinez-Sañudo, I; Mazzon, L; Prabhakar, C S; Girolami, V; Deng, Y L; Dai, Y; Li, Z H

    2016-12-01

    The oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) is a destructive insect pest of a wide range of fruits and vegetables. This pest is an invasive species and is currently distributed in some provinces of China. To recover the symbiotic bacteria of B. dorsalis from different invasion regions in China, we researched the bacterial diversity of this fruit fly among one laboratory colony (Guangdong, China) and 15 wild populations (14 sites in China and one site in Thailand) using DNA-based approaches. The construction of 16S rRNA gene libraries allowed the identification of 24 operational taxonomic units of associated bacteria at the 3% distance level, and these were affiliated with 3 phyla, 5 families, and 13 genera. The higher bacterial diversity was recovered in wild populations compared with the laboratory colony and in samples from early term invasion regions compared with samples from late term invasion regions. Moreover, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Providencia sp. were two of the most frequently recovered bacteria, present in flies collected from three different regions in China where B. dorsalis is invasive. This study for the first time provides a systemic investigation of the symbiotic bacteria of B. dorsalis from different invasion regions in China.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1983-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1983-11-01

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

  9. Alien and invasive species in plant communities of the Vistula and Brennica rivers gravel bars (Western Carpathians, Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilczek Zbigniew

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Gravel bars are the initial habitats, inseparably connected to the mountain streams. On the one hand, they are an unstable substrate, influenced by the overflows and high waters; however, they are also exposed to strong sunlight and heat. This situation determines specific vegetation which, due to dynamic changes in the habitat, has a pioneer character. What is more, gravel bars are areas where many river migratory species and many random species appear. Among them, there are also synanthropic species. In years 2011-2012, floristic and phytosociological studies were conducted in the Silesian Beskids. The goal of these studies was to recognize the vegetation of the gravel bars of the Vistula and the Brennica rivers - from their springs in the Silesian Beskids to the point where the Brennica River flows into the Vistula River in the Silesian Foothills. The studied section of the two rivers is regulated. Particular attention was paid to the synanthropic species that pose a threat to the native flora. In 9 recognized types of plant communities, 293 vascular plant species were recognized. More than 15% of the flora were alien species (45 and 22 of them were considered to be invasive. The most common invasive species that were spotted included: Impatiens glandulifera, Heracleum mantegazzianum and Reynoutria japonica. Plant communities with the biggest number and share of alien species were Plantago major-Barbarea vulgaris community and Phalaridetum arundinaceae.

  10. Invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides suffers more severe herbivory pressure than native competitors in recipient communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Haihao; Dong, Xianru; Wang, Ligong; Chen, Xiuwen; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2016-01-01

    Host-enemy interactions are vital mechanisms that explain the success or failure of invasive plants in new ranges. We surveyed the defoliation of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides and co-occurring native plants on two islands during different seasons over three consecutive years and measured the leaf nitrogen content and the C/N ratio of each plant species. To evaluate the effects of herbivory on A. philoxeroides, an herbivore exclosure experiment was conducted. We found that the mean defoliation of A. philoxeroides was higher than that of native plants, regardless of whether the dominant species was A. philoxeroides or native plants. A. philoxeroides defoliation increased significantly as the months progressed, whereas the defoliation of the total population of native plants was constant. The leaf nitrogen content was positively correlated with defoliation, and it was highest in A. philoxeroides. Additionally, A. philoxeroides in the herbivore exclusion treatment showed an increase in shoot biomass and total shoot length. Our study revealed that native generalist herbivores prefer the invasive plant to the natives because of the higher leaf nitrogen content. These results support the biotic resistance hypothesis, suggesting that native herbivore species can limit the population spread of invasive plants. PMID:27827418

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Soto, Estelí; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Effects of vegetation cover, presence of a native ant species, and human disturbance on colonization by Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Katherine; Gordon, Deborah M

    2012-06-01

    The spread of non-native invasive species is affected by human activity, vegetation cover, weather, and interaction with native species. We analyzed data from a 17-year study of the distribution of the non-native Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) and the native winter ant (Prenolepis imparis) in a preserve in northern California (U.S.A.). We conducted logistic regressions and used model selection to determine whether the following variables were associated with changes in the distribution of each species: presence of conspecifics at neighboring sites, distance to development (e.g., roads, buildings, and landscaped areas), proportion of vegetation cover taller than 0.75 m, elevation, distance to water, presence of both species at a site, temperature, and rainfall. Argentine ants colonized unoccupied sites from neighboring sites, but the probability of appearance and persistence decreased as distance to development, vegetation cover, and elevation increased. Winter ants appeared and persisted in sites with relatively high vegetation cover (i.e., highly shaded sites). Presence of the 2 species was negatively associated in sites with high vegetation cover (more winter ants) and sites near development (more Argentine ants). Probability of colonization of Argentine ants decreased where winter ants were most persistent. At sites near development within the preserve, abundant Argentine ant populations may be excluding winter ants. The high abundance of Argentine ants at these sites may be due to immigration from suburban areas outside the preserve, which are high-quality habitat for Argentine ants. In the interior of the preserve, distance from development, low-quality habitat, and interaction with winter ants may in combination exclude Argentine ants. Interactions among the variables we examined were associated with low probabilities of Argentine ant colonization in the preserve. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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 * Weed s Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.730, year: 2008

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    and that switching from one host to another is possible. To test the likelihood of this hypothesis, host switching was experimentally induced, and successfully achieved, among five distinct genera of ants, one of which was in a different sub-family than the leaf-cutter ants. 5. Given the substantial differences...... events of Acromyrmex and Atta leaf-cutting ants by Ophiocordyceps fungi, agenus of entomopathogens that is normally highly specific in its host choice. 4. As leaf-cutting ants have been intensively studied, the absence of prior records of Ophiocordyceps suggests that these infections may be a novel event...... among the five host ants, the ability of Ophiocordyceps to shift between such distant hosts is remarkable; the results are discussed in the context of ant ecological immunology and fungal invasion strategies....

  19. Landscape corridors can increase invasion by an exotic species and reduce diversity of native species.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Resasco, Julian [University of Florida; et al,

    2014-04-01

    Abstract. Landscape corridors are commonly used to mitigate negative effects of habitat fragmentation, but concerns persist that they may facilitate the spread of invasive species. In a replicated landscape experiment of open habitat, we measured effects of corridors on the invasive fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, and native ants. Fire ants have two social forms: polygyne, which tend to disperse poorly but establish at high densities, and monogyne, which disperse widely but establish at lower densities. In landscapes dominated by polygyne fire ants, fire ant abundance was higher and native ant diversity was lower in habitat patches connected by corridors than in unconnected patches. Conversely, in landscapes dominated by monogyne fire ants, connectivity had no influence on fire ant abundance and native ant diversity. Polygyne fire ants dominated recently created landscapes, suggesting that these corridor effects may be transient. Our results suggest that corridors can facilitate invasion and they highlight the importance of considering species’ traits when assessing corridor utility.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Can the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) replace native ants in myrmecochory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Oliveras, Jordi

    2003-04-01

    We analyse the influence of the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) on the seed dispersal process of the myrmecochorous plants Euphorbia characias, E. biumbellata, Genista linifolia, G. triflora, G. monspessulana and Sarothamnus arboreus. The observations were made in two study plots of Mediterranean cork-oak secondary forest (invaded and non-invaded by L. humile). The presence of L. humile implies the displacement of all native ant species that disperse seeds. Seed transports in the non-invaded zone were carried out by eight ant species. In the invaded zone, L. humile workers removed and transported seeds to the nest. In vertebrate exclusion trials, we observed the same level of seed removal in the invaded and non-invaded zones. Two findings could explain this result. Although mean time to seed localization was higher for native ants (431.7 s) than that for L. humile (150.5 s), the mean proportion of seeds transported after being detected was higher (50.1%) in non-invaded than in invaded (16.8%) zones. The proportion of seeds removed and transported into an ant nest after an ant-seed interaction had dramatically reduced from non-invaded (41.9%) to invaded (7.4%) zones. The levels of seed dispersal by ants found prior to invasion are unlikely to be maintained in invaded zones. However, total replacement of seed dispersal function is possible if contact iteration finally offers similar levels or quantities of seeds reaching the nests. The results obtained confirm that the Argentine ant invasion may affect myrmecochory dramatically in the Mediterranean biome.

  3. Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Lacking PVL, as a Cause of Severe Invasive Infection Treated with Linezolid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catarina Gouveia

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA is an emerging public health problem worldwide. Severe invasive infections have been described, mostly associated with the presence of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL. In Portugal limited information exists regarding CA-MRSA infections. In this study we describe the case of a previously healthy 12-year-old female, sport athlete, who presented to the hospital with acetabulofemoral septic arthritis, myositis, fasciitis, acetabulum osteomyelitis, and pneumonia. The MRSA isolated from blood and synovial fluid was PVL negative and staphylococcal enterotoxin type P (SEP and type L (SEL positive, with a vancomycin MIC of 1.0 mg/L and resistant to clindamycin and ciprofloxacin. The patient was submitted to multiple surgical drainages and started on vancomycin, rifampicin, and gentamycin. Due to persistence of fever and no microbiological clearance, linezolid was started with improvement. This is one of the few reported cases of severe invasive infection caused by CA-MRSA in Portugal, which was successfully treated with linezolid. In spite of the severity of infection, the MRSA isolate did not produce PVL.

  4. Potential impacts of invasive Spartina alterniflora on spring bird communities at Chongming Dongtan, a Chinese wetland of international importance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Xiaojing; Cai, Yinting; Choi, Chiyeung; Ma, Zhijun; Chen, Jiakuan; Li, Bo

    2009-06-01

    Invasive smooth cordgrass ( Spartina alterniflora, hereafter Spartina) has been expanding rapidly in the estuarine wetlands at Chongming Dongtan (East China) at the expense of native sea-bulrush ( Scirpus mariqueter, hereafter Scirpus) and common reed ( Phragmites australis, hereafter Phragmites). To examine the potential impacts of the Spartina invasion on bird diversity, we compared the abundance and species richness of birds in habitats created by Spartina, Phragmites, Spartina mixed with Phragmites, Scirpus, and the bare intertidal zone at Chongming Dongtan in spring 2008. Most birds were recorded in the native habitats, with songbirds and breeding birds being most abundant in the Phragmites habitats, and waterbirds and migrants being most abundant in the Scirpus habitats and bare intertidal zone. Both species number and population densities of birds were lower in the exotic Spartina habitats than in the other four habitats. Although some songbirds and breeding birds used the Spartina-invaded habitats, and even preferred Spartina-invaded habitats to Scirpus habitats and bare intertidal zone, their densities were lower in the Spartina-invaded habitats than in the native Phragmites habitats. This might have resulted from the dense Spartina stands restricting bird movement and providing insufficient useable food for most birds. We conclude that the spread of exotic Spartina has negative impacts on local bird communities. Because Chongming Dongtan is an important stopover site for energy replenishment of shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, urgent measures are needed to control further spread of Spartina and to restore the native habitats for birds.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krysko, Kenneth L.; Gillett-Kaufman, Jennifer L.; Kawahara, Akito Y.; Connelly, C. Roxanne

    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. PMID:29342169

  7. 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.

  8. How does altered precipitation and annual grass invasion affect plant N uptake in a native semi-arid shrub community?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauritz, M.; Lipson, D.; Cleland, E. E.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change is expected to alter precipitation patterns, which will change the timing and amount of plant resources. Precipitation patterns determine water and nitrogen (N) availability, because water stimulates microbial N turnover and N transport. In order for plants to utilize water and N, they must coincide with the phenology and meet physiological requirements of the plant. As resource supply shifts, differences in species' ability to acquire resources will affect plant community composition. Semiarid ecosystems, such as shrublands in Southern California, are particularly sensitive to shifts in precipitation because they are severely water limited. This study takes advantage of the altered phenology and resource demands presented by invasive annual grasses in a native semiarid shrubland. The goal is to understand how altered precipitation patterns affect plant N uptake. Rainfall levels were manipulated to 50% and 150% of ambient levels. It is expected that higher rainfall levels promote annual grass invasion because grasses have higher water and N requirements and begin to grow earlier in the season than shrubs. A 15N tracer was added with the first rain event and plant samples were collected regularly to track the movement of N into the plants. Net soil N accumulation was determined using resin bags. Invasive grasses altered the timing and amount of N uptake but amount of rainfall had less effect on N distribution. 15N was detected sooner and at higher level in grasses than shrubs. 24hours after the first rain event 15N was detectable in grasses, 15N accumulated rapidly and peaked 2 months earlier than shrubs. Shrub 15N levels remained at pre-rain event levels for the first 2 months and began to increase at the beginning of spring, peak mid-spring and decline as the shrubs entered summer dormancy. One year later 15N levels in annual grass litter remained high, while 15N levels in shrubs returned to initial background levels as a result of resorption. 15N

  9. Linking a Large-Watershed Hydrogeochemical Model to a Wetland Community-Ecosystem Model to Estimate Plant Invasion Risk in the Coastal Great Lakes Region, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, W. S.; Bourgeau-Chavez, L. L.; Elgersma, K. J.; French, N. H. F.; Goldberg, D. E.; Hart, S.; Hyndman, D. W.; Kendall, A. D.; Martin, S. L.; Martina, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes region of the Upper Midwest, USA, agricultural and urban land uses together with high N deposition are contributing to elevated flows of N in rivers and groundwater to coastal wetlands. The functioning of coastal wetlands, which provide a vital link between land and water, are imperative to maintaining the health of the entire Great Lakes Basin. Elevated N inflows are believed to facilitate the spread of large-stature invasive plants (cattails and Phragmites) that reduce biodiversity and have complex effects on other ecosystem services including wetland N retention and C accretion. We enhanced the ILHM (Integrated Landscape Hydrology Model) to simulate the effects of land use on N flows in streams, rivers, and groundwater throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. We used the hydroperiods and N loading rates simulated by ILHM as inputs to the Mondrian model of wetland community-ecosystem processes to estimate invasion risk and other ecosystem services in coastal wetlands around the Michigan coast. Our linked models produced threshold behavior in the success of invasive plants in response to N loading, with the threshold ranging from ca. 8 to 12 g N/m2 y, depending on hydroperiod. Plant invasions increased wetland productivity 3-fold over historically oligotrophic native communities, decreased biodiversity but slightly increased wetland N retention. Regardless of invasion, elevated N loading resulted in significantly enhanced rates of C accretion, providing an important region-wide mechanism of C storage. The linked models predicted a general pattern of greater invasion risk in the southern basins of lakes Michigan and Huron relative to northern areas. The basic mechanisms of invasion have been partially validated in our field mesocosms constructed for this project. The general regional patterns of increased invasion risk have been validated through our field campaigns and remote sensing conducted for this project.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. Impact of invasive plants on the species richness, diversity and composition of invaded communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hejda, Martin; Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 97, č. 3 (2009), s. 393-403 ISSN 0022-0477 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Grant - others:Evropská komise(XE) GOCE-CT-2003–506675; Evropská komise(XE) KBBE-212459 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : impact * neophyte * plant community Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 4.690, year: 2009

  12. The exotic invasive plant, Amaranthus viridis, suppresses the growth of native acacia by altering soil microbial communities structure and functionalities in a sahelian ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanon, A.; Beguiristain, T.; Sylla, S.; Berthelin, J.; Duponnois, R.

    2009-01-01

    The functioning and stability of terrestrial ecosystems are mainly determined by plant specific richness and composition, which in turn, are closely interlinked with soil organisms development, in particular, soil microorganisms. One of the main success ways of invasive plants was these exogenous organisms-mediated modifications in soil microbial communities composition and diversity as well as their functioning, thus compromising native plant survival. (Author)

  13. The role of plant litter on nutrient mineralization and vegetation dynamics in three sage-steppe communities with differing levels of annual grass invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant litter is an integral part of ecosystem nutrient cycling, which directly impacts vegetation dynamics. The net effects of litter are largely determined by the quantity and source material of the litter. Invasion of sage-steppe communities by annual grasses (e.g., Bromus tectorum) has caused dra...

  14. 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

  15. 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

    OpenAIRE

    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 biod...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Herbivory of an invasive slug in a model grassland community can be affected by earthworms and mycorrhizal fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trouvé, Raphaël; Drapela, Thomas; Frank, Thomas; Hadacek, Franz; Zaller, Johann G

    Invasion of non-native species is among the top threats for the biodiversity and functioning of native and agricultural ecosystems worldwide. We investigated whether the herbivory of the slug Arion vulgaris (formerly Arion lusitanicus ; Gastropoda), that is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe, is affected by soil organisms commonly present in terrestrial ecosystems (i.e. earthworms-Annelida: Lumbricidae and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi-AMF, Glomerales). We hypothesized that slug herbivory would be affected by soil organisms via altered plant nutrient availability and plant quality. In a greenhouse experiment, we created a simple plant community consisting of a grass, a forb, and a legume species and inoculated these systems with either two earthworm species and/or four AMF taxa. Slugs were introduced after plants were established. Earthworms significantly reduced total slug herbivory in AMF-inoculated plant communities ( P  = 0.013). Across plant species, earthworms increased leaf total N and secondary metabolites, AMF decreased leaf thickness. Mycorrhizae induced a shift in slug feeding preference from non-legumes to legumes; the grass was generally avoided by slugs. AMF effects on legume herbivory can partly be explained by the AMF-induced increase in total N and decrease in C/N ratio; earthworm effects are less clear as no worm-induced alterations of legume plant chemistry were observed. The presence of earthworms increased average AMF colonization of plant roots by 140 % ( P  slug is altered by a belowground control of plant chemical quality and community structure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Ant functional responses along environmental gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, Xavier; Cerdá, Xim; Retana, Javier

    2014-11-01

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

  2. From rainforest to oil palm plantations: Shifts in predator population and prey communities, but resistant interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Konopik

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic habitat change can dramatically alter biotic communities in tropical landscapes. Species that persist in human dominated landscapes are therefore likely to modify the way they interact. Although human impacts on community composition are relatively well studied, changes in species interactions are less well documented. Here we assess how logging of rainforest and conversion to oil palm plantations affects the populations of the ant-specialist giant river toad (Phrynoidis juxtaspera, and the availability and composition of its ant prey. We measured canopy cover as an estimate for the degree of disturbance and found that toad abundance decreased with increasing disturbance, and that retaining riparian vegetation should therefore help conserve this species. Both abundance and species richness of local ground-foraging ants increased with disturbance, and ant community composition was altered. Despite these changes, composition of ants consumed by toads was only weakly affected by habitat change, with the exception of the invasive yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes, which was positively selected in oil palm plantations. This suggests that predator–prey interactions can be mostly maintained with habitat disturbance despite shifts in the community composition of potential prey, and even that some predators are capable of exploiting new prey sources in novel ecosystems.

  3. 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

  4. Invasion and translocation of uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolated from urosepsis and patients with community-acquired urinary tract infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owrangi, B; Masters, N; Kuballa, A; O'Dea, C; Vollmerhausen, T L; Katouli, M

    2018-01-16

    Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) strains are found in high numbers in the gut of patients with urinary tract infections (UTIs). We hypothesised that in hospitalised patients, UPEC strains might translocate from the gut to the blood stream and that this could be due to the presence of virulence genes (VGs) that are not commonly found in UPEC strains that cause UTI only. To test this, E. coli strains representing 75 dominant clonal groups of UPEC isolated from the blood of hospitalised patients with UTI (urosepsis) (n = 22), hospital-acquired (HA) UTI without blood infection (n = 24) and strains isolated from patients with community-acquired (CA)-UTIs (n = 29) were tested for their adhesion to, invasion and translocation through Caco-2 cells, in addition to the presence of 34 VGs associated with UPEC. Although there were no differences in the rate and degree of translocation among the groups, urosepsis and HA-UTI strains showed significantly higher abilities to adhere (P = 0.0095 and P UPEC strains, irrespective of their source, are capable of translocating through gut epithelium. However, urosepsis and HA-UTI strains have a much better ability to interact with gut epithelia and have a greater virulence potential than CA-UPEC, which allows them to cause blood infection.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    OpenAIRE

    Yonezawa, Ryuta; Kuwana, Tsukasa; Kawamura, Kengo; Inamo, Yasuji

    2015-01-01

    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...

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Impacts of an Invasive Non-Native Annual Weed, Impatiens glandulifera, on Above- and Below-Ground Invertebrate Communities in the United Kingdom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanner, Robert A.; Varia, Sonal; Eschen, René; Wood, Suzy; Murphy, Sean T.; Gange, Alan C.

    2013-01-01

    Vegetation community composition and the above- and below-ground invertebrate communities are linked intrinsically, though few studies have assessed the impact of non-native plants on both these parts of the community together. We evaluated the differences in the above- (foliage- and ground-dwelling) and below-ground invertebrate communities in nine uninvaded plots and nine plots invaded by the annual invasive species Impatiens glandulifera, in the UK during 2007 and 2008. Over 139,000 invertebrates were identified into distinct taxa and categorised into functional feeding groups. The impact of I. glandulifera on the vegetation and invertebrate community composition was evaluated using multivariate statistics including principal response curves (PRC) and redundancy analysis (RDA). In the foliage-dwelling community, all functional feeding groups were less abundant in the invaded plots, and the species richness of Coleoptera and Heteroptera was significantly reduced. In the ground-dwelling community, herbivores, detritivores, and predators were all significantly less abundant in the invaded plots. In contrast, these functional groups in the below-ground community appeared to be largely unaffected, and even positively associated with the presence of I. glandulifera. Although the cover of I. glandulifera decreased in the invaded plots in the second year of the study, only the below-ground invertebrate community showed a significant response. These results indicate that the above- and below-ground invertebrate communities respond differently to the presence of I. glandulifera, and these community shifts can potentially lead to a habitat less biologically diverse than surrounding native communities; which could have negative impacts on higher trophic levels and ecosystem functioning. PMID:23840648

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Chen, Jian

    2015-08-01

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

  1. Assessing ant seed predation in threatened plants: a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, María José; Escudero, Adrián; Iriondo, José María

    2005-11-01

    Erodium paularense is a threatened plant species that is subject to seed predation by the granivorous ant Messor capitatus. In this paper we assessed the intensity and pattern of ant seed predation and looked for possible adaptive strategies at the seed and plant levels to cope with this predation. Seed predation was estimated in 1997 and 1998 at the population level by comparing total seed production and ant consumption, assessed by counting seed hulls in refuse piles. According to this method, ant seed predation ranged between 18% and 28%. A more detailed and direct assessment conducted in 1997 raised this estimate to 43%. In this assessment spatial and temporal patterns of seed predation by ants were studied by mapping all nest entrances in the studied area and marking the mature fruits of 109 reproductive plants with a specific colour code throughout the seed dispersal period. Intact fruit coats were later recovered from the refuse piles, and their mother plants and time of dispersal were identified. Seeds dispersed at the end of the dispersal period had a greater probability of escaping from ant seed predation. Similarly, in plants with late dispersal a greater percentage of seeds escaped from ant predation. Optimum dispersal time coincided with the maximum activity of granivorous ants because, at this time, ants focused their harvest on other plant species of the community. It was also observed that within-individual seed dispersal asynchrony minimised seed predation. From a conservation perspective, results show that the granivorous ant-plant interaction cannot be assessed in isolation and that the intensity of its effects basically depends on the seed dispersal pattern of the other members of the plant community. Furthermore, this threat must be assessed by considering the overall situation of the target population. Thus, in E. paularense, the strong limitation of safe-sites for seedling establishment reduces the importance of seed predation.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yonezawa, Ryuta; Kuwana, Tsukasa; Kawamura, Kengo; Inamo, Yasuji

    2015-01-01

    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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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, ...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Homogenization and impoverishment of taxonomic and functional diversity of ants in Eucalyptus plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martello, Felipe; de Bello, Francesco; Morini, Maria Santina de Castro; Silva, Rogério R; Souza-Campana, Débora Rodriges de; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Carmona, Carlos P

    2018-02-19

    Despite its negative impacts on the environment and biodiversity, tree plantations can contribute to biodiversity conservation in fragmented landscapes, as they harbor many native species. In this study, we investigated the impact of Eucalyptus plantations on the taxonomic and functional diversity of ant communities, comparing ant communities sampled in managed and unmanaged (abandoned for 28 years) Eucalyptus plantations, and native Atlantic rain forests. Eucalyptus plantations, both managed and unmanaged, reduced the functional diversity and increased the similarity between ant communities leading to functional homogenization. While communities in managed plantations had the lowest values of both taxonomic and functional ant diversities, ant communities from unmanaged plantations had similar values of species richness, functional redundancy and Rao's Q compared to ant communities from forest patches (although functional richness was lower). In addition, communities in unmanaged Eucalyptus plantations were taxonomically and functionally more similar to communities located in managed plantations, indicating that Eucalyptus plantations have a severe long-term impact on ant communities. These results indicate that natural regeneration may mitigate the impact of Eucalyptus management, particularly regarding the functional structure of the community (α diversity), although it does not attenuate the effects of long term homogenization in community composition (β diversity).

  10. Stress-gradient hypothesis explains susceptibility to Bromus tectorum invasion and community stability in North America's semi-arid Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisner, Michael D.; Doescher, Paul S.; Pyke, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Questions: (1) What combinations of overlapping water and heat stress and herbivory disturbance gradients are associated with shifts in interactions between Artemisia tridentata subsp. wyomingensis (Artemisia) and herbaceous beneficiary species? (2) Do interactions between Artemisia and beneficiaries shift from competition to facilitation with increasing stress-disturbance where facilitation and competition are most frequent and strongest at the highest and lowest levels, respectively? (3) Do such relationships differ for native and non-native beneficiaries? (4) What are the implications of any observed shifts in interactions between community compositional stability in space and susceptibility to invasion?

  11. The impact of coffee and pasture agriculture on predatory and omnivorous leaf-litter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Nivia da Silva; Zanetti, Ronald; Santos, Mônica Silva; Peñaflor, Maria Fernanda Gomes Villalba; Broglio, Sônia Maria Forti; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles

    2013-01-01

    Ants are known to function as reliable biological indicators for habitat impact assessment. They play a wide range of ecological roles depending on their feeding and nesting habits. By clustering ants in guilds, it is possible both to assess how agriculture and forest fragmentation can disturb ant communities and to predict the ecological impacts due to losses of a specific guild. This study aimed at determining the impact of non-shaded coffee and pasture agriculture on predatory and omnivorous guilds of leaf-litter ants of Atlantic Forest fragments in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Both coffee and pasture agriculture influenced leaf-litter ant community, although coffee was more disruptive than pasture. Coffee agriculture not only disturbed the diversity of predatory ants, but also negatively affected the number of predatory and omnivorous ants when compared to forest fragments. In contrast, pasture agriculture only disrupted the abundance of predatory ants. Fragment edges skirting crops were negatively affected in terms of leaf-litter ant abundance, but not diversity. Cluster analysis showed that forest fragments were similar irrespective of the cultivation, but the borders were similar to the crop. The study assessed agriculture impact by surveying ant guilds, and revealed that the predatory guild is more susceptible than omnivorous ants.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Effects of invasive European bird cherry (Prunus padus) on leaf litter processing by aquatic invertebrate shredder communities in urban Alaskan streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roon, David A.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Wurtz, Tricia L.

    2014-01-01

    European bird cherry (Prunus padus) (EBC) is an invasive ornamental tree that is spreading rapidly in riparian forests of urban Alaska. To determine how the spread of EBC affects leaf litter processing by aquatic invertebrate shredders, we conducted complementary leaf pack experiments in two streams located in Anchorage, Alaska. The first experiment contrasted invasive EBC with three native tree species—thin-leaf alder (Alnus tenuifolia), paper birch (Betula neoalaskana), and black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa)—in one reach of Chester Creek; finding that EBC leaf litter broke down significantly faster than birch and cottonwood, but at a similar rate to alder. The second experiment contrasted EBC with alder in four reaches of Campbell and Chester creeks; finding that while EBC leaf litter broke down significantly faster than alder in Chester Creek, EBC broke down at a similar rate to alder in Campbell Creek. Although EBC sometimes supported fewer shredders by both count and mass, shredder communities did not differ significantly between EBC and native plants. Collectively, these data suggest that invasive EBC is not currently exhibiting strong negative impacts on leaf litter processing in these streams, but could if it continues to spread and further displaces native species over time.

  18. 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.

  19. Ante la ley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kafka Franz

    1999-12-01

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

  20. Cheatgrass invasion and wildlife habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has altered native plant communities and the wildlife species that depend on these communities. Cheatgrass has truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native plant species for limited resources, thus building persistent...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. The scent of supercolonies: the discovery, synthesis and behavioural verification of ant colony recognition cues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sulc Robert

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ants form highly social and cooperative colonies that compete, and often fight, against other such colonies, both intra- and interspecifically. Some invasive ants take sociality to an extreme, forming geographically massive 'supercolonies' across thousands of kilometres. The success of social insects generally, as well as invasive ants in particular, stems from the sophisticated mechanisms used to accurately and precisely distinguish colonymates from non-colonymates. Surprisingly, however, the specific chemicals used for this recognition are virtually undescribed. Results Here, we report the discovery, chemical synthesis and behavioural testing of the colonymate recognition cues used by the widespread and invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile. By synthesizing pure versions of these chemicals in the laboratory and testing them in behavioural assays, we show that these compounds trigger aggression among normally amicable nestmates, but control hydrocarbons do not. Furthermore, behavioural testing across multiple different supercolonies reveals that the reaction to individual compounds varies from colony to colony -- the expected reaction to true colony recognition labels. Our results also show that both quantitative and qualitative changes to cuticular hydrocarbon profiles can trigger aggression among nestmates. These data point the way for the development of new environmentally-friendly control strategies based on the species-specific manipulation of aggressive behaviour. Conclusion Overall, our findings reveal the identity of specific chemicals used for colonymate recognition by the invasive Argentine ants. Although the particular chemicals used by other ants may differ, the patterns reported here are likely to be true for ants generally. As almost all invasive ants display widespread unicoloniality in their introduced ranges, our findings are particularly relevant for our understanding of the biology of these damaging

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley

    2014-01-01

    During colony relocation, the selection of a new nest involves exploration and assessment of potential sites followed by colony movement on the basis of a collective decision making process. Hygiene and pathogen load of the potential nest sites are factors worker scouts might evaluate, given...... 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Ants, rodents and seed predation in Proteaceae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  12. 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.

  13. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schöning, Caspar; Humle, Tatyana; Möbius, Yasmin

    2008-01-01

    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-ea...

  15. 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...

  16. Invasion of Sargassum muticum in Limfjorden (Denmark) and its possible impact on the indigenous macroalgal community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stæhr, Peter Anton; Pedersen, Morten F.; Thomsen, Mads S.

    2000-01-01

    community structure that were closely related to the increased abundance of S. muticum. Not only did the dominance of S. muticum increase significantly from 1990 to 1997, but the cover of several indigenous species belonging to the genera Laminaria, Fucus, and Codium decreased during the same period...

  17. Litter chemistry, community shift, and non-additive effects drive litter decomposition changes following invasion by a generalist pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard C. Cobb; David M. Rizzo

    2016-01-01

    Forest pathogens have strong potential to shape ecosystem function by altering litterfall, microclimate, and changing community structure. We quantified changes in litter decomposition from a set of distinct diseases caused by Phytophthora ramorum, an exotic generalist pathogen. Phytophthora ramorum causes leaf blight and...

  18. Community composition and structure had no effect on forest susceptibility to invasion by the emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annemarie Smith; Daniel A. Herms; Robert P. Long; Kamal J.K. Gandhi

    2015-01-01

    Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), is a non-native, wood-boring beetle that has caused widespread mortality of ash (Fraxinus Linnaeus (Oleaceae)) in eastern North America. During 2004-2007, we determined whether forest community composition and structure of black (F. nigra...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    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...... between 5 and 46 mmol m(-2) d(-1), mainly depending on the ambient flow characteristics. The average uptake rate estimated from the similar to 24 h long deployments amounted to 27.8 +/- 2.3 mmol m(-2) d(-1) at Mingulay and 24.8 +/- 2.6 mmol m(-2) d(-1) at Stjernsund (mean +/- SE). These rates are 4 to 5...

  2. Improving Access to Adjuvant Intravesical Therapy for Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer in a Community Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Dorothy R

    2015-01-01

    Relative to the high incidence of bladder cancer in Connecticut, an analysis of practice patterns in treatment of early stage bladder cancer was undertaken in a 275-bed community hospital, to determine if the practice patterns mirrored National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. A nurse-led performance improvement project followed. Subsequently change in bladder cancer recurrence rates related to change in practice patterns was assessed.

  3. 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.

  4. Occurrence of Killer Yeasts in Leaf-Cutting Ant Nests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carreiro, S.C.; Pagnocca, F.C.; Bacci Jr., M.; Bueno, O.C.; Hebling, M.J.A.; Middelhoven, W.J.

    2002-01-01

    Killer activity was screened in 99 yeast strains isolated from the nests of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens against 6 standard sensitive strains, as well as against each other. Among this yeast community killer activity was widespread since 77 strains (78 %) were able to kill or inhibit the growth

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Invasive Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive species have significantly changed the Great Lakes ecosystem. An invasive species is a plant or animal that is not native to an ecosystem, and whose introduction is likely to cause economic, human health, or environmental damage.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choe, Dong-Hwan; Villafuerte, David B; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2012-01-01

    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.

  8. Trail Pheromone of the Argentine Ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choe, Dong-Hwan; Villafuerte, David B.; Tsutsui, Neil D.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23028739

  9. 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...

  10. [Interactions between invasive plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yan-fang; Guo, Shao-xia; Li, Min

    2011-09-01

    The invasion of invasive plants changes the biological community structure in their invaded lands, leading to the biodiversity loss. As an important component of soil microorganisms in terrestrial ecosystem, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi can affect the growth performance of invasive plants. This kind of specific relations between AM fungi and invasive plants also implies that AM fungi can affect plant invasion. On the other hand, the invasion of invasive plants can affect the community structure and function of AM fungi. This paper summarized the species and harms of invasive plants in China, and discussed the relationships between AM fungi and invasive plants invasion, including the roles of AM fungi in the processes of invasive plants invasion, the effects of the invasion on AM fungi, and the interactive mechanisms between the invasion and AM fungi.

  11. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Trap-mulching Argentine ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

  13. Measuring activity in ant colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  14. A boreal invasion in response to climate change? Range shifts and community effects in the borderland between forest and tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmhagen, Bodil; Kindberg, Jonas; Hellström, Peter; Angerbjörn, Anders

    2015-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that climate warming will allow southern species to advance north and invade northern ecosystems. We review the changes in the Swedish mammal and bird community in boreal forest and alpine tundra since the nineteenth century, as well as suggested drivers of change. Observed changes include (1) range expansion and increased abundance in southern birds, ungulates, and carnivores; (2) range contraction and decline in northern birds and carnivores; and (3) abundance decline or periodically disrupted dynamics in cyclic populations of small and medium-sized mammals and birds. The first warm spell, 1930-1960, stands out as a period of substantial faunal change. However, in addition to climate warming, suggested drivers of change include land use and other anthropogenic factors. We hypothesize all these drivers interacted, primarily favoring southern generalists. Future research should aim to distinguish between effects of climate and land-use change in boreal and tundra ecosystems.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  19. Species-Specific Seed Dispersal in an Obligate Ant-Plant Mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Baca, Jeniffer Alvarez; Osborne, Jason; Schal, Coby

    2009-01-01

    Throughout lowland Amazonia, arboreal ants collect seeds of specific plants and cultivate them in nutrient-rich nests, forming diverse yet obligate and species-specific symbioses called Neotropical ant-gardens (AGs). The ants depend on their symbiotic plants for nest stability, and the plants depend on AGs for substrate and nutrients. Although the AGs are limited to specific participants, it is unknown at what stage specificity arises, and seed fate pathways in AG epiphytes are undocumented. Here we examine the specificity of the ant-seed interaction by comparing the ant community observed at general food baits to ants attracted to and removing seeds of the AG plant Peperomia macrostachya. We also compare seed removal rates under treatments that excluded vertebrates, arthropods, or both. In the bait study, only three of 70 ant species collected P. macrostachya seeds, and 84% of observed seed removal by ants was attributed to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. In the exclusion experiment, arthropod exclusion significantly reduced seed removal rates, but vertebrate exclusion did not. We provide the most extensive empirical evidence of species specificity in the AG mutualism and begin to quantify factors that affect seed fate in order to understand conditions that favor its departure from the typical diffuse model of plant-animal mutualism. PMID:19194502

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  1. Keystone mutualism strengthens top-down effects by recruiting large-bodied ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Robert E; Singer, Michael S

    2018-03-01

    Determining the impacts of mutualistic interactions and predator diversity on food webs are two important goals in community ecology. In this study, we examined how predator community variation mediates the strength of top-down effects in the presence and absence of mutualistic interactions. We examined the impacts of predatory ant species that simultaneously prey on leaf-chewing herbivores (Lepidoptera) and engage in food-for-protection mutualisms with sap-feeding herbivores (Hemiptera) in the lower canopy of Connecticut forests. In this 2-year study, we examined three hypothetical mechanisms by which mutualisms can alter the top-down effects of ants: (1) sap feeders increase ant abundance, thus strengthening predatory effects; (2) sap feeders increase the relative abundance of a species that has stronger predatory effects; and (3) changes to predator diversity (species richness) are caused by sap feeders mediating top-down effects of the ant community. Experiments revealed that host plants occupied by sap feeders favored large-bodied ant species in the genus Camponotus, but there were no changes to community-wide ant abundance or ant species richness. Fitting predictions of predation strength based on the functional trait of body size, large-bodied Camponotus suppressed caterpillars and reduced leaf herbivory. This work shows that the ant-hemipteran mutualism, which has been characterized as a keystone interaction, can generate strong top-down effects on leaf-chewing herbivores and herbivory via increasing the relative abundance of species with functional traits relevant to predation, such as body size. Therefore, the emergence of specific ants as keystone predators in a community can be contingent upon their mutualism with sap-feeding Hemiptera.

  2. 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.

  3. [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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Changes in seagrass polychaete assemblages after invasion by Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea (Chlorophyta: Caulerpales: community structure, trophic guilds and taxonomic distinctness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Box

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available A two-year study focusing on the associated polychaete assemblages revealed that the degradation of the Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows, together with the colonisation of rhizomes by invasive Caulerpa racemosa in the Balearic Islands, have produced important changes in the ecosystem functioning, and have therefore affected the benthic faunal communities. The highest abundance and number of species occurred in C. racemosa from August to December. The species composition of the polychaete assemblage in C. racemosa is similar to that of P. oceanica but abundances of shared species differ between Caulerpa and Posidonia. Abundance, number of species and diversity were positively correlated with C. racemosa biomass. The spatial complexity provided by the network of C. racemosa fronds and stolons seemed to combine with that of the remaining seagrass mat to support a well developed polychaete assemblage. Although invaded meadows harboured significantly modified polychaete assemblages when compared with living P. oceanica meadows, the main impacts seem to be non-harmful (i.e. increased abundance and number of species and mainly affect their seasonal patterns, which is a direct consequence of the corresponding biomass seasonality of C. racemosa.

  8. 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

  9. Long-term olfactory memories are stabilised via protein synthesis in Camponotus fellah ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerrieri, Fernando Javier; D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Deveaud, J-M.

    2011-01-01

    Ants exhibit impressive olfactory learning abilities. Operant protocols in which ants freely choose between rewarded and nonrewarded odours have been used to characterise associative olfactory learning and memory. Yet, this approach precludes the use of invasive methods allowing the dissection...... of molecular bases of learning and memory. An open question is whether the memories formed upon olfactory learning that are retrievable several days after training are indeed based on de novo protein synthesis. Here, we addressed this question in the ant Camponotus fellah using a conditioning protocol in which...... to conditioning. Cycloheximide did not impair acquisition of either short-term memory (10¿min) or early and late mid-term memories (1 or 12¿h). These results show that, upon olfactory learning, ants form different memories with variable molecular bases. While short- and mid-term memories do not require protein...

  10. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. [An investigation of the efficacy of invasive-noninvasive sequential mechanical ventilation in senile patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Fengying; Xu, Sicheng; Liu, Guangming; Wang, Xiuyan

    2015-07-01

    To investigate the efficacy of invasive-noninvasive sequential mechanical ventilation (MV) in senile patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). A prospective study was conducted. The patients with severe CAP aged ≥75 years admitted to Department of Respiratory Intensive Care Unit (RICU) of the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University from November 2012 to July 2014, with refusal to have tracheostomy, were enrolled. All patients meeting the diagnostic criteria of CAP and severe CAP were first admitted into the Department of Emergency, and they were found to need MV without absolute contraindication for noninvasive ventilation (NIV) in RICU. The patients were mechanically ventilated via endotracheal intubation (ETI), and they were randomly divided into invasive-noninvasive sequential MV group (sequential MV group) and conventional MV group. NIV was initiated immediately when patients matched the conditions for early extubation in the sequential MV group. Oxygen therapy (5 L/min) via a Venturi mask was provided when the indications of conventional extubation were met. The baseline data and clinical characteristics were recorded, the risk factors of death were analyzed by logistic regression analysis, and 60-day survival rate was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier curve. Ninety-one senile patients with severe CAP were enrolled, among them 28 patients died within 60 days, with a mortality rate of 30.77%. No significant difference in 60-day mortality was found between sequential MV group (n=44) and conventional MV group [n=47, 25.0% (11/44) vs. 36.2% (17/47), χ2=1.331, P=0.249]. In the sequential MV group, the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) was significantly decreased [27.3% (12/44) vs. 55.3% (26/47), χ2=7.350, P=0.007], and the rate of ETI≥2 times was increased [59.1% (26/44) vs. 29.8% (14/47), χ2=5.095, P=0.024] as compared with conventional MV group. Compared with survival group, the patients in non-survival group showed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  16. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-15

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

  18. Nutrition modifies critical thermal maximum of a dominant canopy ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bujan, Jelena; Kaspari, Michael

    2017-10-01

    While adaptive responses to climate gradients are increasingly documented, little is known about how individuals alter their upper thermal tolerances. Long-term increases in dietary carbohydrates can elevate upper thermal tolerances in insects. We explored how the nutritional state of a Neotropical canopy ant governs its CT max - the temperature at which individuals lose muscle control. We predicted that Azteca chartifex workers recently fed a carbohydrate-rich diet, such as honeydew and extrafloral nectar, would use that energy to increase their CT max . Moreover, if a carbohydrate-rich diet increases CT max , then we predicted that ants from colonies with high CT max s feed at a lower trophic level, and thus have a higher carbon:nitrogen ratio. We used A. chartifex colonies from a long-term fertilization experiment where phosphorus addition increased A. chartifex foraging activity with respect to controls. As foraging activity can be governed by resource availability, we first measured CT max of field collected colonies. In freshly collected field colonies, CT max was 2°C higher in control plots. This difference disappeared when ants were provided with only water for 10h. Ants were then provided with a 10% sucrose solution ad lib which increased CT max by 5°C. We thus support the hypothesis that enhanced carbohydrate nutrition enables higher thermal tolerance, but this does not appear to be linked to colony trophic status, higher carbon:nitrogen ratios, or higher total body phosphorus. This short-term thermal plasticity linked to carbohydrate nutrition demonstrates the importance of ant diet in shaping their physiological traits. It is especially relevant to ant species that maintain high abundance by feeding on plant exudates. In a rapidly warming world, carbohydrate availability and use may represent a new element for predicting population and community responses of herbivorous insects. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. ANT: A decade of interfering with tourism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Adaptive multimodal continuous ant colony optimization

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  6. Natural aversive learning in Tetramorium ants reveals ability to form a generalizable memory of predators' pit traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollis, Karen L; McNew, Kelsey; Sosa, Talisa; Harrsch, Felicia A; Nowbahari, Elise

    2017-06-01

    Many species of ants fall prey to pit-digging larval antlions (Myrmeleon spp.), extremely sedentary predators that wait, nearly motionless at the bottom of their pit traps, for prey to stumble inside. Previous research, both in the field and laboratory, has demonstrated a remarkable ability of these ants to rescue trapped nestmates, thus sabotaging antlions' attempts to capture them. Here we show that pavement ants, Tetramorium sp. E, an invasive species and a major threat to biodiversity, possess yet another, more effective, antipredator strategy, namely the ability to learn to avoid antlion traps following a single successful escape from a pit. More importantly, we show that this learned antipredator behavior, an example of natural aversive learning in insects, is more complicated than a single cue-to-consequence form of associative learning. That is, pavement ants were able to generalize, after one experience, from the learned characteristics of the pit and its specific location, to other pits and other contexts that differed in many features. Such generalization, often described as a lack of precise stimulus control, nonetheless would be especially adaptive in nature, enabling ants to negotiate antlions' pit fields, which contain a hundred or more pits within a few centimetres of one another. Indeed, the ability to generalize in exactly this way almost certainly is responsible for the sudden, and heretofore inexplicable, behavioural modifications of ants in response to an invasion of antlions in the vicinity of an ant colony. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen Fredsted, Palle; Gertsch, Pia J.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan (Koos)

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  13. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Boomsma, JJ

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Which individuals are at increased risk of pneumococcal disease and why? Impact of COPD, asthma, smoking, diabetes, and/or chronic heart disease on community-acquired pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Antoni; Blasi, Francesco; Dartois, Nathalie; Akova, Murat

    2015-01-01

    Pneumococcal disease (including community-acquired pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease) poses a burden to the community all year round, especially in those with chronic underlying conditions. Individuals with COPD, asthma or who smoke, and those with chronic heart disease or diabetes mellitus have been shown to be at increased risk of pneumococcal disease compared with those without these risk factors. These conditions, and smoking, can also adversely affect patient outcomes, including short-term and long-term mortality rates, following pneumonia. Community-acquired pneumonia, and in particular pneumococcal pneumonia, is associated with a significant economic burden, especially in those who are hospitalised, and also has an impact on a patient's quality of life. Therefore, physicians should target individuals with COPD, asthma, heart disease or diabetes mellitus, and those who smoke, for pneumococcal vaccination at the earliest opportunity at any time of the year. PMID:26219979

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Uncharismatic Invasives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clark, Jonathan L.

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Although philosophers have examined the ethics of invasive species management, there has been little research approaching this topic from a descriptive, ethnographic perspective. In this article I examine how invasive species managers think about the moral status of the animals they seek to manage. I do so through a case study of Oregon’s efforts to manage the invasive species that are rafting across the Pacific attached to tsunami debris in the wake of the Japanese tsunami of 2011. Focusing on the state’s response to a dock that washed ashore on Agate Beach with various marine invertebrates attached to it, I argue that these animals’ position on two intersecting scales of moral worth—the sociozoologic scale and the phylogenetic scale—rendered them unworthy of moral consideration.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Ant Larval Demand Reduces Aphid Colony Growth Rates in an Ant-Aphid Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Cook

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Ants often form mutualistic interactions with aphids, soliciting honeydew in return for protective services. Under certain circumstances, however, ants will prey upon aphids. In addition, in the presence of ants aphids may increase the quantity or quality of honeydew produced, which is costly. Through these mechanisms, ant attendance can reduce aphid colony growth rates. However, it is unknown whether demand from within the ant colony can affect the ant-aphid interaction. In a factorial experiment, we tested whether the presence of larvae in Lasius niger ant colonies affected the growth rate of Aphis fabae colonies. Other explanatory variables tested were the origin of ant colonies (two separate colonies were used and previous diet (sugar only or sugar and protein. We found that the presence of larvae in the ant colony significantly reduced the growth rate of aphid colonies. Previous diet and colony origin did not affect aphid colony growth rates. Our results suggest that ant colonies balance the flow of two separate resources from aphid colonies- renewable sugars or a protein-rich meal, depending on demand from ant larvae within the nest. Aphid payoffs from the ant-aphid interaction may change on a seasonal basis, as the demand from larvae within the ant colony waxes and wanes.

  4. 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

  5. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Does Mutualism Drive the Invasion of Two Alien Species? The Case of Solenopsis invicta and Phenacoccus solenopsis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Although mutualism between ants and honeydew-producing hemipterans has been extensively recognized in ecosystem biology, however few attempts to test the hypothesis that mutualism between two alien species leads to the facilitation of the invasion process. To address this problem, we focus on the conditional mutualism between S. invicta and P. solenopsis by field investigations and indoor experiments. In the laboratory, ant colony growth increased significantly when ants had access to P. solenopsis and animal-based food. Honeydew produced by P. solenopsis also improved the survival of ant workers. In the field, colony density of P. solenopsis was significantly greater on plots with ants than on plots without ants. The number of mealybug mummies on plants without fire ants was almost three times that of plants with fire ants, indicating a strong effect of fire ants on mealybug survival. In addition, the presence of S. invicta successfully contributed to the spread of P. solenopsis. The quantity of honeydew consumption by S. invicta was significantly greater than that of a presumptive native ant, Tapinoma melanocephalum. When compared with the case without ant tending, mealybugs tended by ants matured earlier and their lifespan and reproduction increased. T. melanocephalum workers arrived at honeydew more quickly than S. invicta workers, while the number of foraging S. invicta workers on plants steadily increased, eventually exceeding that number of T. melanocephalum foragers. Overall, these results suggest that the conditional mutualism between S. invicta and P. solenopsis facilitates population growth and fitness of both species. S. invicta tends to acquire much more honeydew and drive away native ants, promoting their predominance. These results suggest that the higher foraging tempo of S. invicta may provide more effective protection of P. solenopsis than native ants. Thus mutualism between these two alien species may facilitate the invasion success of both

  7. Indigenous weaver ants and fruit fly control in Tanzanian smallholder mango production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirkegaard, Nina; Offenberg, Hans Joachim; Msogoya, T. J.

    2016-01-01

    The presence of weaver ant colonies can reduce fruit fly oviposition in mango production and can be effective as a fruit fly control strategy. Patrolling ants may disturb landing flies and may also deposit repellent compounds on to the fruits. This control strategy is being applied to export......-orientated African mango production and the present study examines its potential for income-limited, rural production. The investigation was based in a community of mango growers in Tanzania where weaver ants are present, but not actively managed, in the mango trees. Fruits are harvested as mature, but not ripe...... freshly picked, suggesting continuing, postharvest attention from fruit flies. The consensus view was sceptical of any benefits due to the presence of weaver ants. Postharvest storage and procedures to accelerate ripening of the harvested fruit fortuitously reduce the infestation levels by raising fruit...

  8. 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

    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...... 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......, 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...

  9. From Ant Trails to Pedestrian Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schadschneider

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Specificity of an ant-lycaenid interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, D; Thomas, C D

    1992-09-01

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

  11. Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ted R; Brady, Seán G

    2008-04-08

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

  12. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  14. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

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

  15. Archaeal rhizosphere communities differ between the native and invasive lines of the wetland plant phragmites australis (common reed) in a Chesapeake Bay subestuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phragmites australis, a common wetland plant species worldwide, is best known in North America as persistent invasive species. Only in recent decades was a native line, Phragmites australis subsp. americanus, confirmed in North American wetlands. This study investigated whether the two lines suppo...

  16. Monitoring the Diversity of Hunting Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on a Fragmented and Restored Andean Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera-Rangel, J; Jiménez-Carmona, E; Armbrecht, I

    2015-10-01

    Hunting ants are predators of organisms belonging to different trophic levels. Their presence, abundance, and diversity may reflect the diversity of other ants and contribute to evaluate habitat conditions. Between 2003 and 2005 the restoration of seven corridors in an Andean rural landscape of Colombia was performed. The restoration took place in lands that were formerly either forestry plantations or pasturelands. To evaluate restoration progress, hunting ants were intensely sampled for 7 yr, using sifted leaf litter and mini-Winkler, and pitfall traps in 21 plots classified into five vegetation types: forests, riparian forests, two types of restored corridors, and pasturelands. The ant communities were faithful to their habitat over time, and the main differences in ant composition, abundance, and richness were due to differences among land use types. The forests and riparian forests support 45% of the species in the landscape while the restored corridors contain between 8.3-25%. The change from forest to pasturelands represents a loss of 80% of the species. Ant composition in restored corridors was significantly different than in forests but restored corridors of soil of forestry plantations retained 16.7% more species than restored corridors from pasturelands. Ubiquitous hunting ants, Hypoponera opacior (Forel) and Gnamptogenys ca andina were usually associated with pastures and dominate restored corridors. Other cryptic, small, and specialized hunting ants are not present in the restored corridors. Results suggest that the history of land use is important for the biodiversity of hunting ants but also that corridors have not yet effectively contributed toward conservation goals. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Hagedorn, Henry

    2014-02-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. 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.

  1. Habitat disturbance and the diversity and abundance of ants (Formicidae) in the Southeastern Fall-Line Sandhills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, J.H.; Hughie, H.H.; Jones, S.; Wrinn, K.; Krzysik, A.J.; Duda, J.J.; Freeman, D. Carl; Emlen, J.M.; Zak, J.C.; Kovacic, D.A.; Chamberlin-Graham, C.; Balbach, H.

    2004-01-01

    We examined habitat disturbance, species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in the Fall-Line Sandhills, at Fort Benning, Georgia. We collected ants with pitfall traps, sweep nets, and by searching tree trunks. Disturbed areas were used for military training; tracked and wheeled vehicles damaged vegetation and soils. Highly disturbed sites had fewer trees, diminished ground cover, warmer soils in the summer, and more compacted soils with a shallower A-horizon. We collected 48 species of ants, in 23 genera (141,468 individuals), over four years of sampling. Highly disturbed areas had fewer species, and greater numbers of ants than did moderately or lightly disturbed areas. The ant communities in disturbed areas were also less equitable, and were dominated by Dorymyrmex smithi.

  2. 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.

  3. [Ants as biological indicators of human impact in mangroves of the southeastern coast of Bahia, Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delabie, Jacques H C; Paim, Valéria R L de M; Do Nascimento, Ivan C; Campiolo, Sofia; Mariano, Cléa dos S F

    2006-01-01

    Mangroves are common in estuaries along the Atlantic coast of Brazil. Although plant diversity is low, this ecosystem supports a range of animals, offering some resources for non-aquatic organisms. Many insects live in mangroves and, between them, many ant species that are exclusively arboreous. Mangroves throughout the world suffer from high levels of human impact, and this is particularly true for southeastern Bahia, where land-uses include traditional crab and fish exploitation, urban development, refuse pollution, recreation, and timber extraction. The ants of 13 mangrove sites, representing a range of levels of human use, have been studied along 250 km of the southern Bahia littoral, between Itacaré and Porto Seguro. Ants were sampled both inside and on the periphery of the tidal zone, using entomological rainbow, baiting, collect of hollow branches and pit-fall. A total of 108 species have been collected, with the richest genera being Camponotus and Pseudomyrmex, and the most frequent belonging to the genera Azteca and Crematogaster. The ant community living on the periphery of mangrove areas is rather homogeneous regardless of the degree of environmental perturbation, but varies markedly with the disturbance inside the mangroves themselves. The evolution of richness of the both communities, mangrove and periphery, is negatively related to the human effects, even limited to the periphery. Ant communities therefore have the potential to be useful as biological indicators of ecological impacts of land-use in these mangrove systems.

  4. The structured diversity of specialized gut symbionts of the New World army ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Łukasik, Piotr; Newton, Justin A; Sanders, Jon G; Hu, Yi; Moreau, Corrie S; Kronauer, Daniel J C; O'Donnell, Sean; Koga, Ryuichi; Russell, Jacob A

    2017-07-01

    Symbiotic bacteria play important roles in the biology of their arthropod hosts. Yet the microbiota of many diverse and influential groups remain understudied, resulting in a paucity of information on the fidelities and histories of these associations. Motivated by prior findings from a smaller scale, 16S rRNA-based study, we conducted a broad phylogenetic and geographic survey of microbial communities in the ecologically dominant New World army ants (Formicidae: Dorylinae). Amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene across 28 species spanning the five New World genera showed that the microbial communities of army ants consist of very few common and abundant bacterial species. The two most abundant microbes, referred to as Unclassified Firmicutes and Unclassified Entomoplasmatales, appear to be specialized army ant associates that dominate microbial communities in the gut lumen of three host genera, Eciton, Labidus and Nomamyrmex. Both are present in other army ant genera, including those from the Old World, suggesting that army ant symbioses date back to the Cretaceous. Extensive sequencing of bacterial protein-coding genes revealed multiple strains of these symbionts coexisting within colonies, but seldom within the same individual ant. Bacterial strains formed multiple host species-specific lineages on phylogenies, which often grouped strains from distant geographic locations. These patterns deviate from those seen in other social insects and raise intriguing questions about the influence of army ant colony swarm-founding and within-colony genetic diversity on strain coexistence, and the effects of hosting a diverse suite of symbiont strains on colony ecology. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Cryptic diversity, high host specificity and reproductive synchronization in army ant-associated Vatesus beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Beeren, Christoph; Maruyama, Munetoshi; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2016-02-01

    Army ants and their arthropod symbionts represent one of the most species-rich animal associations on Earth, and constitute a fascinating example of diverse host-symbiont interaction networks. However, despite decades of research, our knowledge of army ant symbionts remains fragmentary due to taxonomic ambiguity and the inability to study army ants in the laboratory. Here, we present an integrative approach that allows us to reliably determine species boundaries, assess biodiversity, match different developmental stages and sexes, and to study the life cycles of army ant symbionts. This approach is based on a combination of community sampling, DNA barcoding, morphology and physiology. As a test case, we applied this approach to the staphylinid beetle genus Vatesus and its different Eciton army ant host species at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. DNA barcoding led to the discovery of cryptic biodiversity and, in combination with extensive community sampling, revealed strict host partitioning with no overlap in host range. Using DNA barcoding, we were also able to match the larval stages of all focal Vatesus species. In combination with studies of female reproductive physiology, this allowed us to reconstruct almost the complete life cycles of the different beetle species. We show that Vatesus beetles are highly adapted to the symbiosis with army ants, in that their reproduction and larval development are synchronized with the stereotypical reproductive and behavioural cycles of their host colonies. Our approach can now be used to study army ant-symbiont communities more broadly, and to obtain novel insights into co-evolutionary and ecological dynamics in species-rich host-symbiont systems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  10. Why is an Ant's Trail Straight?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  11. 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.

  12. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

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

  13. 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

  14. Visual associative learning in wood ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-07

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

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

  19. 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.

  20. Diaspore trait preferences of dispersing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    Personal relationships are the cornerstone of vertebrate societies, but insect societies are either too large for individual recognition, or their members were assumed to lack the necessary cognitive abilities 1 and 2 . This paradigm has been challenged by the recent discovery that paper wasps...... recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other...... perception, was prevented and in tests with anaesthetized queens. The cuticular chemical profiles of queens were neither associated with dominance nor fertility and, therefore, do not represent status badges 5 and 6 , and nestmate queens did not share a common odor. Personal recognition facilitates...

  3. 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.

  4. Questioning the implementation of habitat corridors: a case study in interior São Paulo using ants as bioindicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DM. Lapola

    Full Text Available In this paper we operated ant collections in three inland Atlantic forest fragments and in the neighboring Edmundo Navarro de Andrade State Forest (FEENA, an Eucalyptus plantation located in Rio Claro, interior of São Paulo State. We show that the ant communities of the native forest fragments are more similar among themselves than to the ant community of FEENA. Thus we evidence that, in addition to the clear difference in vegetation segment, other components of the biota (like ants can be different between FEENA and the native forest fragments. Our results conveniently served as a basis to discuss the proposal of connecting FEENA to the three native forest fragments by a habitat corridor. These fragments are important to conservation purposes since they represent the biggest areas of native vegetation in the region.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. How to be an ant on figs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Stable isotopes reveal links between human food inputs and urban ant diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penick, Clint A; Savage, Amy M; Dunn, Robert R

    2015-05-07

    The amount of energy consumed within an average city block is an order of magnitude higher than that consumed in any other ecosystem over a similar area. This is driven by human food inputs, but the consequence of these resources for urban animal populations is poorly understood. We investigated the role of human foods in ant diets across an urbanization gradient in Manhattan using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes. We found that some-but not all-ant species living in Manhattan's most urbanized habitats had δ(13)C signatures associated with processed human foods. In particular, pavement ants (Tetramorium sp. E) had increased levels of δ(13)C similar to δ(13)C levels in human fast foods. The magnitude of this effect was positively correlated with urbanization. By contrast, we detected no differences in δ(15)N, suggesting Tetramorium feeds at the same trophic level despite shifting to human foods. This pattern persisted across the broader ant community; species in traffic islands used human resources more than park species. Our results demonstrate that the degree urban ants exploit human resources changes across the city and among species, and this variation could play a key role in community structure and ecosystem processes where human and animal food webs intersect. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Pattern of utilization of ante-natal and delivery services in a semi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Pattern of utilization of ante-natal and delivery services in a semi-urban community of. North-Central Nigeria. Jimoh Maryam Abimbola1, Akande Tanimola Makanjuola1, Salaudeen Adekunle Ganiyu1,. Uthman Mohammed Mubashir Babatunde1, Durowade Kabir Adekunle2, Aremu Ayodele Olatayo3. 1. Department of ...

  18. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Geospatial assessment of invasive plants on reclaimed mines in Alabama

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Lemke; C.J. Schweitzer; W. Tadesse; Y. Wang; J.A. Brown

    2013-01-01

    Throughout the world, the invasion of nonnative plants is an increasing threat to native biodiversity and ecosystem sustainability. Invasion is especially prevalent in areas affected by land transformation and disturbance. Surface mines are a major land transformation, and thus may promote the establishment and persistence of invasive plant communities. Using the Shale...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvitz, Carol C; Schemske, Douglas W

    1986-09-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, J; Rashid, T; Feng, G

    2014-11-19

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

  6. 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

  7. Eosinophilic Fasciitis Induced by Fire Ant Bites

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Species composition and predation pressure of the gelatinous zooplankton community in the western Dutch Wadden Sea before and after the invasion of the ctenophore

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Walraven, L.; Daan, R.; Langenberg, V.T.; van der Veer, H.W.

    2017-01-01

    The ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi A. Agassiz, 1865 is a successful, recent, macroplanktonic invader in European coastal waters, including theDutch Wadden Sea. It occurs year-round in substantial numbers. The effect of M. leidyi on structure of the gelatinous zooplankton community inthe Dutch Wadden

  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 t...

  13. Antarctic Tephra Database (AntT)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Invasive amebiasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grecu, F; Bulgariu, Teodora; Blanaru, Oana; Dragomir, C; Lunca, Claudia; Stratan, I; Manciuc, Carmen; Luca, V

    2006-01-01

    Digestive amoebiasis with his invasive form is an unusual pathology encountered in the temperate zone. This could lead to a life threatening complication: systemic amoebiasis. A 55-year-old male was treated successfully of systemic amoebiasis in a third referral hospital. The diagnosis was established based on epidemiology data and microscopical identification of trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica. The amoebicidal, antibiotic and supportive treatments was firstly administrated. The clinical picture of intestinal amoebiasis raised from dysenteric syndrome to necrotizing enteritis. The bowel perforation with localized peritonitis was followed by chronic enteric fistula. Amoebic liver abscess, as the most frequent extraintestinal complication, was concomitantly diagnosed and treated. Urinary amoebiasis was considered as complication in the context of systemic dissemination: any other location could become a site of an amoebic abscess. Multidisciplinary approach was the successful key in the management of the patient, including antiparasitic therapy and antibiotic prophylaxis, intensive care and multiple surgical approaches. The diagnosis of digestive amoebiasis and systemic complication may be delayed in nonendemic areas, leading to advanced and complicated stages of the disease. The surgical approach is most efficiently to treat a large liver amoebic abscess and intraperitoneal collections.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Deep divergence and rapid evolutionary rates in gut-associated Acetobacteraceae of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Bryan P; Wernegreen, Jennifer J

    2016-07-11

    Symbiotic associations between gut microbiota and their animal hosts shape the evolutionary trajectories of both partners. The genomic consequences of these relationships are significantly influenced by a variety of factors, including niche localization, interaction potential, and symbiont transmission mode. In eusocial insect hosts, socially transmitted gut microbiota may represent an intermediate point between free living or environmentally acquired bacteria and those with strict host association and maternal transmission. We characterized the bacterial communities associated with an abundant ant species, Camponotus chromaiodes. While many bacteria had sporadic distributions, some taxa were abundant and persistent within and across ant colonies. Specially, two Acetobacteraceae operational taxonomic units (OTUs; referred to as AAB1 and AAB2) were abundant and widespread across host samples. Dissection experiments confirmed that AAB1 and AAB2 occur in C. chromaiodes gut tracts. We explored the distribution and evolution of these Acetobacteraceae OTUs in more depth. We found that Camponotus hosts representing different species and geographical regions possess close relatives of the Acetobacteraceae OTUs detected in C. chromaiodes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that AAB1 and AAB2 join other ant associates in a monophyletic clade. This clade consists of Acetobacteraceae from three ant tribes, including a third, basal lineage associated with Attine ants. This ant-specific AAB clade exhibits a significant acceleration of substitution rates at the 16S rDNA gene and elevated AT content. Substitutions along 16S rRNA in AAB1 and AAB2 result in ~10 % reduction in the predicted rRNA stability. Combined, these patterns in Camponotus-associated Acetobacteraceae resemble those found in cospeciating gut associates that are both socially and maternally transmitted. These associates may represent an intermediate point along an evolutionary trajectory manifest most extremely in

  20. 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.

  1. The Effect of Temperature Increases on an Ant-Hemiptera-Plant Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagata, Katayo; Gibb, Heloise

    2016-01-01

    Global temperature increases are significantly altering species distributions and the structure of ecological communities. However, the impact of temperature increases on multi- species interactions is poorly understood. We used an ant-Hemiptera-plant interaction to examine the potential outcomes of predicted temperature increases for each partner and for the availability of honeydew, a keystone resource in many forest ecosystems. We re-created this interaction in growth cabinets using predicted mean summer temperatures for Melbourne, Australia, for the years 2011 (23°C), 2050 (25°C) and 2100 (29°C), respectively, under an unmitigated greenhouse gas emission scenario. Plant growth and ant foraging activities increased, while scale insect growth, abundance and size, honeydew standing crop per tree and harvesting by ants decreased at 29°C, relative to lower temperatures (23 and 25°C). This led to decreased scale insect infestations of plants and reduced honeydew standing crop per tree at the highest temperature. At all temperatures, honeydew standing crop was lower when ants harvested the honeydew from scale insects, but the impact of ant harvesting was particularly significant at 29°C, where combined effects of temperature and ants reduced honeydew standing crop to below detectable levels. Although temperature increases in the next 35 years will have limited effects on this system, by the end of this century, warmer temperatures may cause the availability of honeydew to decline. Decline of honeydew may have far-reaching trophic effects on honeydew and ant-mediated interactions. However, field-based studies that consider the full complexity of ecosystems may be required to elucidate these impacts.

  2. Characterisation and cross-amplification of polymorphic microsatellite loci in ant-associated root-aphids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivens, A.B.F.; Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph; Boomsma, J.J.

    2011-01-01

    Twenty-six polymorphic microsatellite loci were developed for four species of ant-associated root-aphids: Geoica utricularia, Forda marginata, Tetraneura ulmi and Anoecia corni. We found up to 9 alleles per locus, with an average of 4.8. We also report polymorphic cross-amplification of eleven...... of these markers between different pairs of study species. Furthermore, we tested previously published aphid microsatellites and found one locus developed for Pemphigus bursarius to be polymorphic in G. utricularia. These microsatellite markers will be useful to study the population structure of aphids associated...... with the ant Lasius flavus and possibly other ants. Such studies are relevant because: 1. L. flavus mounds and their associated flora and fauna are often key components in protected temperate grasslands, and 2. L. flavus and its diverse community of root-aphids provide an interesting model system for studying...

  3. The business community and the democratic regimes in Spain: the Second Republic and the Transition | Los empresarios ante los regímenes democráticos en España: la II República y la Transición

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ángeles González Fernández

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The attitude of the business community towards the Second Republic in the 1930s and the transition to democracy in the 1970s was remarkably similar, despite the fact that these were different models of change, with different political and socio-economic contexts. This similarity stems from a common acceptance of democracy, although this was not unconditional. It had to be a form of democracy linked to a free market economy, capable of guaranteeing political stability, law and order, and private property, all of which did not necessarily entail opposition to redistributive policies – provided these were not at variance with the defence of their interests, which tended to coincide with the general interests of the Nation. The key lies not so much in the business community itself, but in the consensus that underpinned the democratic transition of the 1970s; in the willingness of the political actors to include the social partners in the agreement to establish a stable and solid institutional framework, based on a free market economy, and guaranteeing the business community adequate business prospects. | La actitud de los empresarios ante la II República y la transición democrática en los años setenta guarda una notable semejanza, pese a tratarse de dos modelos de cambio distintos y a la existencia de contextos políticos y económico-sociales diferentes. Una similitud que proviene de una común aceptación de la democracia, aunque no de forma incondicional. Ha de ser una democracia vinculada a la economía de libre mercado, capaz de garantizar la estabilidad política, el orden público y la propiedad privada, rasgos que no implican oposición a políticas redistributivas –siempre y cuando se hallen supeditadas al respeto y defensa de sus intereses, que suelen ser identificados con el interés general de la Nación–. La clave no reside tanto en los empresarios como en el carácter consensuado de la transición democrática de los a

  4. 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...

  5. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in vineyards that are infested or uninfested with Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) in Southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munhae, Catarina De Bortoli; Morini, Maria Santina De Castro; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2014-10-15

    The association between ants and mealybugs can result in damage to agriculture, including vineyards. In southern Brazil, the ant Linepithema micans F. contributes to the dispersal of Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Wille) (ground pearl), a root mealybug that can lead to economic losses. In this study, the ant communities in vineyards that were infested or uninfested with ground pearls were evaluated in the primary municipalities that produce the Niágara Rosada variety of grapes in southeastern Brazil. The hypothesis of this study was that the composition of the ant community differs between vineyards with and without E. brasiliensis. The ants were collected using subterranean traps in 10 vineyards infested with this mealybug and 10 uninfested vineyards. There was no significant association between ground pearls and the composition or richness of the ant species. Solenopsis invicta (Buren) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) was the most frequently observed, and Pheidole aberrans (Mayr), Pheidole subarmata (Mayr), and Brachymyrmex incisus F. were common, especially in the rainy season when ground-pearl nymphs were prevalent in the state of São Paulo. Species from preserved or specialized environments were recorded in the vineyards, even with the use of conventional management techniques. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perfecto, I; Vandermeer, J

    1996-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Escobar-Ramírez

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Impact of an Invasive Longhorned Beetle, Tetropium fuscum (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), on Community Structure of Subcortical and Wood-Associated Insects in Eastern Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heustis, Allyson; Moise, Eric R D; Johns, Rob; Pureswaran, Deepa S; Heard, Stephen B

    2018-02-08

    Tetropium fuscum (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), a phloem-feeding and wood-boring beetle introduced from Eurasia, attacks spruce in eastern Canada alongside its native congener Tetropium cinnamopterum Kirby. We reared phloem- and wood-feeding insects (and their predators) from bolts of red and Norway spruce (Picea rubens and Picea abies) in Nova Scotia, comparing insect communities between bolts with added eggs of T. fuscum or T. cinnamopterum and bolts without added Tetropium (controls). We tested for impacts of each Tetropium on insect community structure (Simpson's diversity, richness, and evenness). We also asked whether, consistent with Darwin's Naturalization Hypothesis, Tetropium spp. would have greater impacts on emergence of its closer relatives (which might be most likely to compete and/or share natural enemies). Addition of Tetropium eggs (either species) to bolts lowered insect diversity in both host trees. Both richness and evenness components of diversity were always lower in +Tetropium treatments, although different components reached statistical significance in different Tetropium species × host combinations. Addition of Tetropium spp. significantly reduced emergence of some species: Evodinus monticola (Randall) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) was reduced by T. fuscum on both hosts and by T. cinnamopterum on Norway spruce; Hylobius congener Dalla Torre, Schenkling, and Marshall was reduced by T. fuscum on red spruce; and Xylophagus sp. (Diptera: Xylophagidae) was reduced by T. cinnamopterum on Norway spruce. However, there was no relationship between Tetropium's impact on a community member and their phylogenetic relatedness, and the overall impacts of Tetropium presence were not very different between T. fuscum and T. cinnamopterum. © The Author(s) 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.

  10. Statistical Mechanics of Collective Transport by Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  11. Early ant trajectories: spatial behaviour before behaviourism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wehner, Rüdiger

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Fossil evidence for the early ant evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

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    Krzysztof Miler

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

  16. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miler, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Recognition of social identity in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nick; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Swarm controlled emergence for ant clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheidler, Alexander; Merkle, Daniel; Middendorf, Martin

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

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