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Sample records for abundant ant species

  1. A global database of ant species abundances

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gibb, Heloise; Dunn, Rob R.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Grossman, Blair F.; Photakis, Manoli; Abril, Silvia; Agosti, Donat; Andersen, Alan N.; Angulo, Elena; Armbrecht, Ingre; Arnan, Xavier; Baccaro, Fabricio B.; Bishop, Tom R.; Boulay, Raphael; Bruhl, Carsten; Castracani, Cristina; Cerda, Xim; Del Toro, Israel; Delsinne, Thibaut; Diaz, Mireia; Donoso, David A.; Ellison, Aaron M.; Enriquez, Martha L.; Fayle, Tom M.; Feener Jr., Donald H.; Fisher, Brian L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Fitpatrick, Matthew C.; Gomez, Cristanto; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Gove, Aaron; Grasso, Donato A.; Groc, Sarah; Guenard, Benoit; Gunawardene, Nihara; Heterick, Brian; Hoffmann, Benjamin; Janda, Milan; Jenkins, Clinton; Kaspari, Michael; Klimes, Petr; Lach, Lori; Laeger, Thomas; Lattke, John; Leponce, Maurice; Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Longino, John; Lucky, Andrea; Luke, Sarah H.; Majer, Jonathan; McGlynn, Terrence P.; Menke, Sean; Mezger, Dirk; Mori, Alessandra; Moses, Jimmy; Munyai, Thinandavha Caswell; Pacheco, Renata; Paknia, Omid; Pearce-Duvet, Jessica; Pfeiffer, Martin; Philpott, Stacy M.; Resasco, Julian; Retana, Javier; Silva, Rogerio R.; Sorger, Magdalena D.; Souza, Jorge; Suarez, Andrew V.; Tista, Melanie; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.; Vonshak, Merav; Weiser, Michael D.; Yates, Michelle; Parr, Catherine L.

    2017-01-01

    What forces structure ecological assemblages? A key limitation to general insights about assemblage structure is the availability of data that are collected at a small spatial grain (local assemblages) and a large spatial extent (global coverage). Here, we present published and unpublished data from 51,388 ant abundance and occurrence records of more than 2693 species and 7953 morphospecies from local assemblages collected at 4212 locations around the world. Ants were selected because they are diverse and abundant globally, comprise a large fraction of animal biomass in most terrestrial communities, and are key contributors to a range of ecosystem functions. Data were collected between 1949 and 2014, and include, for each geo-referenced sampling site, both the identity of the ants collected and details of sampling design, habitat type and degree of disturbance. The aim of compiling this dataset was to provide comprehensive species abundance data in order to test relationships between assemblage structure and environmental and biogeographic factors. Data were collected using a variety of standardised methods, such as pitfall and Winkler traps, and will be valuable for studies investigating large-scale forces structuring local assemblages. Understanding such relationships is particularly critical under current rates of global change. We encourage authors holding additional data on systematically collected ant assemblages, especially those in dry and cold, and remote areas, to contact us and contribute their data to this growing dataset.

  2. A global database of ant species abundances.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Dunn, Rob R; Sanders, Nathan J; Grossman, Blair F; Photakis, Manoli; Abril, Silvia; Agosti, Donat; Andersen, Alan N; Angulo, Elena; Armbrecht, Inge; Arnan, Xavier; Baccaro, Fabricio B; Bishop, Tom R; Boulay, Raphaël; Brühl, 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, Donald H; Fisher, Brian L; Fisher, Robert N; Fitzpatrick, Matthew C; Gómez, Crisanto; 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; Tista, Melanie; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L; Vonshak, Merav; Weiser, Michael D; Yates, Michelle; Parr, Catherine L

    2017-03-01

    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 2,693 species and 7,953 morphospecies from local assemblages collected at 4,212 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 data set 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 standardized 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 data set. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  3. Species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in disturbed landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, J.H.; Krzysik, A.J.; Kovacic, D.A.; Duda, J.J.; Freeman, D.C.; Emlen, J.M.; Zak, J.C.; Long, W.R.; Wallace, M.P.; Chamberlin-Graham, C.; Nutter, J.P.; Balbach, H.E.

    2009-01-01

    Ants are used as indicators of environmental change in disturbed landscapes, often without adequate understanding of their response to disturbance. Ant communities in the southeastern United States displayed a hump-backed species richness curve against an index of landscape disturbance. Forty sites at Fort Benning, in west-central Georgia, covered a spectrum of habitat disturbance (military training and fire) in upland forest. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and warmer, more compact soils with shallower A-horizons. We sampled ground-dwelling ants with pitfall traps, and measured 15 habitat variables related to vegetation and soil. Ant species richness was greatest with a relative disturbance of 43%, but equitability was greatest with no disturbance. Ant abundance was greatest with a relative disturbance of 85%. High species richness at intermediate disturbance was associated with greater within-site spatial heterogeneity. Species richness was also associated with intermediate values of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a correlate of net primary productivity (NPP). Available NPP (the product of NDVI and the fraction of days that soil temperature exceeded 25 ??C), however, was positively correlated with species richness, though not with ant abundance. Species richness was unrelated to soil texture, total ground cover, and fire frequency. Ant species richness and equitability are potential state indicators of the soil arthropod community. Moreover, equitability can be used to monitor ecosystem change. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  4. How Ants Drop Out: Ant Abundance on Tropical Mountains

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature) and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops. PMID:25098722

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  7. Ant Abundance along a Productivity Gradient: Addressing Two Conflicting Hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Segev, Udi; Kigel, Jaime; Lubin, Yael; Tielbörger, Katja

    2015-01-01

    The number of individuals within a population or community and their body size can be associated with changes in resource supply. While these relationships may provide a key to better understand the role of abiotic vs. biotic constraints in animal communities, little is known about the way size and abundance of organisms change along resource gradients. Here, we studied this interplay in ants, addressing two hypotheses with opposite predictions regarding variation in population densities along resource gradients- the ‘productivity hypothesis’ and the ‘productivity-based thinning hypothesis’. The hypotheses were tested in two functional groups of ground-dwelling ants that are directly primary consumers feeding on seeds: specialized seed-eaters and generalist species. We examined variations in colony density and foraging activity (a size measurement of the forager caste) in six ant assemblages along a steep productivity gradient in a semi-arid region, where precipitation and plant biomass vary 6-fold over a distance of 250km. An increase in the density or foraging activity of ant colonies along productivity gradients is also likely to affect competitive interactions among colonies, and consequently clinal changes in competition intensity were also examined. Ant foraging activity increased with productivity for both functional groups. However, colony density revealed opposing patterns: it increased with productivity for the specialized seed-eaters, but decreased for the generalist species. Competition intensity, evaluated by spatial partitioning of species at food baits and distribution of colonies, was uncorrelated with productivity in the specialized seed-eaters, but decreased with increasing productivity in the generalists. Our results provide support for two contrasting hypotheses regarding the effect of resource availability on the abundance of colonial organisms- the ‘productivity hypothesis’ for specialized seed-eaters and the

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Belchior, Ceres; Sendoya, Sebastián F.

    2016-01-01

    Plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) are common in the Brazilian cerrado savanna, where climatic conditions having marked seasonality influence arboreal ant fauna organization. These ant-plant interactions have rarely been studied at community level. Here, we tested whether: 1) EFN-bearing plants are more visited by ants than EFN-lacking plants; 2) ant visitation is higher in the rainy season than in dry season; 3) plants producing young leaves are more visited than those lacking young leaves in the rainy season; 4) during the dry season, plants with old leaves and flowers are more visited than plants with young leaves and bare of leaves or flowers; 5) the composition of visiting ant fauna differs between plants with and without EFNs. Field work was done in a cerrado reserve near Uberlândia, MG State, Brazil, along ten transects (total area 3,000 m2), in the rainy (October-January) and dry seasons (April-July) of 2010–2011. Plants (72 species; 762 individuals) were checked three times per season for ant presence. Results showed that 21 species (29%) and 266 individuals (35%) possessed EFNs. These plants attracted 38 ant species (36 in rainy, 26 in dry season). In the rainy season, plants with EFNs had higher ant abundance/richness than plants without EFNs, but in the dry season, EFN presence did not influence ant visitation. Plant phenology affected ant richness and abundance in different ways: plants with young leaves possessed higher ant richness in the rainy season, but in the dry season ant abundance was higher on plants possessing old leaves or flowers. The species composition of plant-associated ant communities, however, did not differ between plants with and without EFNs in either season. These findings suggest that the effect of EFN presence on a community of plant-visiting ants is context dependent, being conditioned to seasonal variation. PMID:27438722

  10. Multiple Ant Species Tending Lac Insect Kerria yunnanensis (Hemiptera: Kerriidae) Provide Asymmetric Protection against Parasitoids

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qiao; Hoffmann, Benjamin D.; Zhang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of ant attendance on the parasitoid community and parasitism of lac insect Kerria yunnanensis aggregations in Yunnan province, China. We manipulated ant attendance to establish three treatments: (1) ant exclusion; (2) low ant attendance by several ant species; and (3) high ant attendance by Crematogaster macaoensis. Five parasitoid species were collected, with two species contributing 82.7 and 13.2% of total abundance respectively. Total parasitoid abundance was lowest in the February sample when K. yunnanensis was in its younger life stage, being significantly lower in the ant exclusion treatment. In April, all three treatments had significantly different parasitoid abundances, being highest in the ant exclusion treatment and the lowest in the high ant attendance treatment. When ants were present, there were strong negative relationships between total parasitoid abundance and ant abundance, with the relationships being dependent upon the ant species composition and abundance. The patterns of total parasitoid abundance were driven by the two most abundant parasitoid species. Parasitoid species richness did not differ among treatments or between sample times, however, multivariate analysis confirmed that overall parasitoid community structure differed significantly among treatments and between sample times, with the high ant attendance treatment differing most from the other two treatments. Interestingly the absence of ants did not result in increased parasitism from four of the five parasitoids. Ants in lac insect farming systems have a clear role for agricultural pest management. A full understanding of the asymmetric abilities of ants to influence parasitoid communities, and affect parasitism of hosts will require further experimental manipulation to assess the relative roles of 1) the abundance of each individual ant species on parasitoid access to hosts, 2) competition among parasitoids, and 3) the interaction between the

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22876291

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Penn, Hannah J; Dale, Andrew M

    2017-08-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Campos-Navarrete, María José; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A.; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2015-01-01

    Plant diversity can influence predators and omnivores and such effects may in turn influence herbivores and plants. However, evidence for these ecological feedbacks is rare. We evaluated if the effects of tree species (SD) and genotypic diversity (GD) on the abundance of different guilds of insect herbivores associated with big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) were contingent upon the protective effects of ants tending extra-floral nectaries of this species. This study was conducted within a larger experiment consisting of mahogany monocultures and species polycultures of four species and –within each of these two plot types– mahogany was represented by either one or four maternal families. We selected 24 plots spanning these treatment combinations, 10 mahogany plants/plot, and within each plot experimentally reduced ant abundance on half of the selected plants, and surveyed ant and herbivore abundance. There were positive effects of SD on generalist leaf-chewers and sap-feeders, but for the latter group this effect depended on the ant reduction treatment: SD positively influenced sap-feeders under ambient ant abundance but had no effect when ant abundance was reduced; at the same time, ants had negative effects on sap feeders in monoculture but no effect in polyculture. In contrast, SD did not influence specialist stem-borers or leaf-miners and this effect was not contingent upon ant reduction. Finally, GD did not influence any of the herbivore guilds studied, and such effects did not depend on the ant treatment. Overall, we show that tree species diversity influenced interactions between a focal plant species (mahogany) and ants, and that such effects in turn mediated plant diversity effects on some (sap-feeders) but not all the herbivores guilds studied. Our results suggest that the observed patterns are dependent on the combined effects of herbivore identity, diet breadth, and the source of plant diversity. PMID:26241962

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Pericarpial nectary-visiting ants do not provide fruit protection against pre-dispersal seed predators regardless of ant species composition and resource availability

    PubMed Central

    Ré Jorge, Leonardo; Benitez-Vieyra, Santiago; Amorim, Felipe W.

    2017-01-01

    Extrafloral nectaries can occur in both vegetative and reproductive plant structures. In many Rubiaceae species in the Brazilian Cerrado, after corolla abscission, the floral nectary continues to secret nectar throughout fruit development originating post-floral pericarpial nectaries which commonly attract many ant species. The occurrence of such nectar secreting structures might be strategic for fruit protection against seed predators, as plants are expected to invest higher on more valuable and vulnerable parts. Here, we performed ant exclusion experiments to investigate whether the interaction with ants mediated by the pericarpial nectaries of Tocoyena formosa affects plant reproductive success by reducing the number of pre-dispersal seed predators. We also assessed whether ant protection was dependent on ant species composition and resource availability. Although most of the plants were visited by large and aggressive ant species, such as Ectatomma tuberculatum and species of the genus Camponotus, ants did not protect fruits against seed predators. Furthermore, the result of the interaction was neither related to ant species composition nor to the availability of resources. We suggest that these results may be related to the nature and behavior of the most important seed predators, like Hemicolpus abdominalis weevil which the exoskeleton toughness prevent it from being predated by most ant species. On the other hand, not explored factors, such as reward quality, local ant abundance, ant colony characteristics and/or the presence of alternative energetic sources could also account for variations in ant frequency, composition, and finally ant protective effects, highlighting the conditionality of facultative plant-ant mutualisms. PMID:29211790

  18. The impact of wood ants (Formica rufa) on the distribution and abundance of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a Scots pine plantation.

    PubMed

    Hawes, C; Stewart, A; Evans, H

    2002-05-01

    The importance of wood ants (Formica rufa) in determining the community structure (defined as the relative abundance of component species) and small-scale distribution of carabids was examined in a mature Scots pine stand in the New Forest, southern England. Carabids and wood ants were sampled by pitfall trapping throughout the forest stand from March to September 1998. The abundance of individual carabid species were modelled using vegetation type (grass or bracken), litter depth and wood ant density as independent explanatory variables. Models were fitted using a maximum-likelihood method (GLIM v.3.77; Baker 1985) with the assumption of a Poisson distribution, using a log-link function. Areas of high wood ant density were characterised by low abundance and species richness of carabids and high percentage dominance by the most commonly sampled species, Abax parallelepipedus. The extent and type of vegetation cover was found to influence the distribution and abundance of certain carabid species but only in areas where the density of wood ants was low. Large-bodied species occurred more frequently in bracken-dominated patches where the litter layer was deeper and the density of potential prey items was higher. Wood ant density was found to be the most important determinant of carabid species abundance in the study site.

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

    PubMed

    Frederickson, Megan E

    2005-04-01

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

  20. Disentangling a rainforest food web using stable isotopes: dietary diversity in a species-rich ant community.

    PubMed

    Blüthgen, Nico; Gebauer, Gerhard; Fiedler, Konrad

    2003-11-01

    For diverse communities of omnivorous insects such as ants, the extent of direct consumption of plant-derived resources vs. predation is largely unknown. However, determination of the extent of "herbivory" among ants may be crucial to understand the hyper-dominance of ants in tropical tree crowns, where prey organisms tend to occur scarcely and unpredictably. We therefore examined N and C stable isotope ratios (delta(15)N and delta(13)C) in 50 ant species and associated insects and plants from a tropical rainforest in North Queensland, Australia. Variation between ant species was pronounced (range of species means: 7.1 per thousand in delta(15)N and 6.8 per thousand in delta(13)C). Isotope signatures of the entire ant community overlapped with those of several herbivorous as well as predacious arthropods. Variability in delta(15)N between ants was not correlated with plant delta(15)N from which they were collected. Ant species spread out in a continuum between largely herbivorous and purely predacious taxa, with a high degree of omnivory. Ant species' delta(15)N were consistent with the trophic level predicted by natural feeding observations, but not their delta(13)C. Low delta(15)N levels were recorded for ant species that commonly forage for nectar on understorey or canopy plants, intermediate levels for species with large colonies that were highly abundant on nectar and honeydew sources and were predacious, and the highest levels for predominantly predatory ground-foraging species. Colonies of the dominant weaver-ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) had significantly lower delta(15)N in mature forests (where preferred honeydew and nectar sources are abundant) than in open secondary vegetation. N concentration of ant dry mass showed only very limited variability across species and no correlation with trophic levels. This study demonstrates that stable isotopes provide a powerful tool for quantitative analyses of trophic niche partitioning and plasticity in complex and

  1. Stochastic species abundance models involving special copulas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huillet, Thierry E.

    2018-01-01

    Copulas offer a very general tool to describe the dependence structure of random variables supported by the hypercube. Inspired by problems of species abundances in Biology, we study three distinct toy models where copulas play a key role. In a first one, a Marshall-Olkin copula arises in a species extinction model with catastrophe. In a second one, a quasi-copula problem arises in a flagged species abundance model. In a third model, we study completely random species abundance models in the hypercube as those, not of product type, with uniform margins and singular. These can be understood from a singular copula supported by an inflated simplex. An exchangeable singular Dirichlet copula is also introduced, together with its induced completely random species abundance vector.

  2. Clonal growth and plant species abundance

    PubMed Central

    Herben, Tomáš; Nováková, Zuzana; Klimešová, Jitka

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Both regional and local plant abundances are driven by species' dispersal capacities and their abilities to exploit new habitats and persist there. These processes are affected by clonal growth, which is difficult to evaluate and compare across large numbers of species. This study assessed the influence of clonal reproduction on local and regional abundances of a large set of species and compared the predictive power of morphologically defined traits of clonal growth with data on actual clonal growth from a botanical garden. The role of clonal growth was compared with the effects of seed reproduction, habitat requirements and growth, proxied both by LHS (leaf–height–seed) traits and by actual performance in the botanical garden. Methods Morphological parameters of clonal growth, actual clonal reproduction in the garden and LHS traits (leaf-specific area – height – seed mass) were used as predictors of species abundance, both regional (number of species records in the Czech Republic) and local (mean species cover in vegetation records) for 836 perennial herbaceous species. Species differences in habitat requirements were accounted for by classifying the dataset by habitat type and also by using Ellenberg indicator values as covariates. Key Results After habitat differences were accounted for, clonal growth parameters explained an important part of variation in species abundance, both at regional and at local levels. At both levels, both greater vegetative growth in cultivation and greater lateral expansion trait values were correlated with higher abundance. Seed reproduction had weaker effects, being positive at the regional level and negative at the local level. Conclusions Morphologically defined traits are predictive of species abundance, and it is concluded that simultaneous investigation of several such traits can help develop hypotheses on specific processes (e.g. avoidance of self-competition, support of offspring) potentially

  3. New records of ant species from Yunnan, China

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Cong; Guénard, Benoit; Garcia, Francisco Hita; Yamane, Seiki; Blanchard, Benjamin; Yang, Da-Rong; Economo, Evan

    2015-01-01

    Abstract As with many other regions of the world, significant collecting, curation, and taxonomic efforts will be needed to complete the inventory of China’s ant fauna. This is especially true for the highly diverse tropical regions in the south of the country, where moist tropical forests harbor high species richness typical of the Southeast Asian region. We inventoried ants in the Xingshuangbanna prefecture, Yunnan, in June 2013, using a variety of methods including Winkler extraction and hand collection to sample ant diversity. We identified 213 species/morphospecies of ants from 10 subfamilies and 61 genera. After identification of 148 valid species of the 213 total species collected, 40 species represent new records for Yunnan province and 17 species are newly recorded for China. This increases the total number of named ant species in Yunnan and China to 447 and 951 respectively. The most common species collected were Brachyponera luteipes and Vollenhovia emeryi. Only one confirmed exotic species Strumigenys membranifera, was collected, although several others were potentially introduced by humans. These results highlight the high biodiversity value of the region, but also underscore how much work remains to fully document the native myrmecofauna. PMID:25685004

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

    PubMed

    De La Riva, Deborah G; Trumble, John T

    2016-06-01

    Competitive ability and numerical dominance are important factors contributing to the ability of invasive ant species to establish and expand their ranges in new habitats. However, few studies have investigated the impact of environmental contamination on competitive behavior in ants as a potential factor influencing dynamics between invasive and native ant species. Here we investigated the widespread contaminant selenium to investigate its potential influence on invasion by the exotic Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, through effects on reproduction and competitive behavior. For the fecundity experiment, treatments were provided to Argentine ant colonies via to sugar water solutions containing one of three concentrations of selenium (0, 5 and 10 μg Se mL(-1)) that fall within the range found in soil and plants growing in contaminated areas. Competition experiments included both the Argentine ant and the native Dorymyrmex bicolor to determine the impact of selenium exposure (0 or 15 μg Se mL(-1)) on exploitation- and interference-competition between ant species. The results of the fecundity experiment revealed that selenium negatively impacted queen survival and brood production of Argentine ants. Viability of the developing brood was also affected in that offspring reached adulthood only in colonies that were not given selenium, whereas those in treated colonies died in their larval stages. Selenium exposure did not alter direct competitive behaviors for either species, but selenium exposure contributed to an increased bait discovery time for D. bicolor. Our results suggest that environmental toxins may not only pose problems for native ant species, but may also serve as a potential obstacle for establishment among exotic species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Ants Learn Aphid Species as Mutualistic Partners: Is the Learning Behavior Species-Specific?

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Masayuki; Nakamuta, Kiyoshi; Nomura, Masashi

    2015-12-01

    In ant-aphid associations, many aphid species provide ants with honeydew and are tended by ants, whereas others are never tended and are frequently preyed upon by ants. In these relationships, ants must have the ability to discriminate among aphid species, with mutualistic aphids being accepted as partners rather than prey. Although ants reportedly use cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) of aphids to differentiate between mutualistic and non-mutualistic species, it is unclear whether the ability to recognize mutualistic aphid species as partners is innate or involves learning. Therefore, we tested whether aphid recognition by ants depends on learning, and whether the learning behavior is species-specific. When workers of the ant Tetramorium tsushimae had previously tended the cowpea aphid, Aphis craccivora, they were less aggressive toward this species. In addition, ants also reduced their aggressiveness toward another mutualistic aphid species, Aphis fabae, after tending A. craccivora, whereas ants remained aggressive toward the non-mutualistic aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, regardless of whether or not they had previous experience in tending A. craccivora. When ants were offered glass dummies treated with CHCs of these aphid species, ants that had tended A. craccivora displayed reduced aggression toward CHCs of A. craccivora and A. fabae. Chemical analyses showed the similarity of the CHC profiles between A. craccivora and A. fabae but not with A. pisum. These results suggest that aphid recognition of ants involves learning, and that the learning behavior may not be species-specific because of the similarity of CHCs between different aphid species with which they form mutualisms.

  6. Clonal growth and plant species abundance.

    PubMed

    Herben, Tomáš; Nováková, Zuzana; Klimešová, Jitka

    2014-08-01

    Both regional and local plant abundances are driven by species' dispersal capacities and their abilities to exploit new habitats and persist there. These processes are affected by clonal growth, which is difficult to evaluate and compare across large numbers of species. This study assessed the influence of clonal reproduction on local and regional abundances of a large set of species and compared the predictive power of morphologically defined traits of clonal growth with data on actual clonal growth from a botanical garden. The role of clonal growth was compared with the effects of seed reproduction, habitat requirements and growth, proxied both by LHS (leaf-height-seed) traits and by actual performance in the botanical garden. Morphological parameters of clonal growth, actual clonal reproduction in the garden and LHS traits (leaf-specific area - height - seed mass) were used as predictors of species abundance, both regional (number of species records in the Czech Republic) and local (mean species cover in vegetation records) for 836 perennial herbaceous species. Species differences in habitat requirements were accounted for by classifying the dataset by habitat type and also by using Ellenberg indicator values as covariates. After habitat differences were accounted for, clonal growth parameters explained an important part of variation in species abundance, both at regional and at local levels. At both levels, both greater vegetative growth in cultivation and greater lateral expansion trait values were correlated with higher abundance. Seed reproduction had weaker effects, being positive at the regional level and negative at the local level. Morphologically defined traits are predictive of species abundance, and it is concluded that simultaneous investigation of several such traits can help develop hypotheses on specific processes (e.g. avoidance of self-competition, support of offspring) potentially underlying clonal growth effects on abundance. Garden

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Effect of land cover, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laakkonen, Juha; Fisher, Robert N.; Case, Ted J.

    2001-01-01

    Because effects of habitat fragmentation and anthropogenic disturbance on native animals have been relatively little studied in arid areas and in insectivores, we investigated the roles of different land covers, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews, Notiosorex crawfordi and Sorex ornatus, in southern California.Notiosorex crawfordi was the numerically dominant species (trap-success rate 0·52) occurring in 21 of the 22 study sites in 85% of the 286 pitfall arrays used in this study.Sorex ornatus was captured in 14 of the sites, in 52% of the arrays with a total trap-success rate of 0·2. Neither of the species was found in one of the sites.The population dynamics of the two shrew species were relatively synchronous during the 4–5-year study; the peak densities usually occurred during the spring. Precipitation had a significant positive effect, and maximum temperature a significant negative effect on the trap-success rate of S. ornatus.Occurrence and abundance of shrews varied significantly between sites and years but the size of the landscape or the study site had no effect on the abundance of shrews. The amount of urban edge had no significant effect on the captures of shrews but increased edge allows invasion of the Argentine ants, which had a highly significant negative impact on the abundance of N. crawfordi.At the trap array level, the percentage of coastal sage scrub flora had a significant positive, and the percentage of other flora had a significant negative effect on the abundance of N. crawfordi. The mean canopy height and the abundance of N. crawfordi had a significant positive effect on the occurrence of S. ornatus.Our study suggests that the loss of native coastal sage scrub flora and increasing presence of Argentine ant colonies may significantly effect the distribution and abundance of N. crawfordi. The very low overall population densities of both shrew species in most study sites make both species

  9. How selection structures species abundance distributions

    PubMed Central

    Magurran, Anne E.; Henderson, Peter A.

    2012-01-01

    How do species divide resources to produce the characteristic species abundance distributions seen in nature? One way to resolve this problem is to examine how the biomass (or capacity) of the spatial guilds that combine to produce an abundance distribution is allocated among species. Here we argue that selection on body size varies across guilds occupying spatially distinct habitats. Using an exceptionally well-characterized estuarine fish community, we show that biomass is concentrated in large bodied species in guilds where habitat structure provides protection from predators, but not in those guilds associated with open habitats and where safety in numbers is a mechanism for reducing predation risk. We further demonstrate that while there is temporal turnover in the abundances and identities of species that comprise these guilds, guild rank order is conserved across our 30-year time series. These results demonstrate that ecological communities are not randomly assembled but can be decomposed into guilds where capacity is predictably allocated among species. PMID:22787020

  10. Occurrence and abundance of ants, reptiles, and mammals

    Treesearch

    Steven E. Hanser; Matthias Leu; Cameron L. Aldridge; Scott E. Neilsen; Mary M. Rowland; Steven T. Knick

    2011-01-01

    Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) associated wildlife are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation and by impacts associated with anthropogenic disturbances, including energy development. Understanding how species of concern as well as other wildlife including insects, reptiles, and mammals respond to type and spatial scale of disturbance is critical...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  12. Attenuation of species abundance distributions by sampling

    PubMed Central

    Shimadzu, Hideyasu; Darnell, Ross

    2015-01-01

    Quantifying biodiversity aspects such as species presence/ absence, richness and abundance is an important challenge to answer scientific and resource management questions. In practice, biodiversity can only be assessed from biological material taken by surveys, a difficult task given limited time and resources. A type of random sampling, or often called sub-sampling, is a commonly used technique to reduce the amount of time and effort for investigating large quantities of biological samples. However, it is not immediately clear how (sub-)sampling affects the estimate of biodiversity aspects from a quantitative perspective. This paper specifies the effect of (sub-)sampling as attenuation of the species abundance distribution (SAD), and articulates how the sampling bias is induced to the SAD by random sampling. The framework presented also reveals some confusion in previous theoretical studies. PMID:26064626

  13. Contrasting species and functional beta diversity in montane ant assemblages.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Tom R; Robertson, Mark P; van Rensburg, Berndt J; Parr, Catherine L

    2015-09-01

    Beta diversity describes the variation in species composition between sites and can be used to infer why different species occupy different parts of the globe. It can be viewed in a number of ways. First, it can be partitioned into two distinct patterns: turnover and nestedness. Second, it can be investigated from either a species identity or a functional-trait point of view. We aim to document for the first time how these two aspects of beta diversity vary in response to a large environmental gradient. Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains, southern Africa. We sampled ant assemblages along an extensive elevational gradient (900-3000 m a.s.l.) twice yearly for 7 years, and collected functional-trait information related to the species' dietary and habitat-structure preferences. We used recently developed methods to partition species and functional beta diversity into their turnover and nestedness components. A series of null models were used to test whether the observed beta diversity patterns differed from random expectations. Species beta diversity was driven by turnover, but functional beta diversity was composed of both turnover and nestedness patterns at different parts of the gradient. Null models revealed that deterministic processes were likely to be responsible for the species patterns but that the functional changes were indistinguishable from stochasticity. Different ant species are found with increasing elevation, but they tend to represent an increasingly nested subset of the available functional strategies. This finding is unique and narrows down the list of possible factors that control ant existence across elevation. We conclude that diet and habitat preferences have little role in structuring ant assemblages in montane environments and that some other factor must be driving the non-random patterns of species turnover. This finding also highlights the importance of distinguishing between different kinds of beta diversity.

  14. Abundance of introduced species at home predicts abundance away in herbaceous communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Firn, Jennifer; Moore, Joslin L.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric W.; HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Harpole, W. Stanley; Cleland, Elsa E.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Farrell, Kelly A.; Bakker, John D.; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Adler, Peter B.; Collins, Scott L.; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Crawley, Michael J.; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Hautier, Yann; Morgan, John W.; Leakey, Andrew D.B.; Kay, Adam; McCulley, Rebecca; Davies, Kendi F.; Stevens, Carly J.; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Holl, Karen D.; Klein, Julia A.; Fay, Phillip A.; Hagenah, Nicole; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Buckley, Yvonne M.

    2011-01-01

    Many ecosystems worldwide are dominated by introduced plant species, leading to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function. A common but rarely tested assumption is that these plants are more abundant in introduced vs. native communities, because ecological or evolutionary-based shifts in populations underlie invasion success. Here, data for 26 herbaceous species at 39 sites, within eight countries, revealed that species abundances were similar at native (home) and introduced (away) sites - grass species were generally abundant home and away, while forbs were low in abundance, but more abundant at home. Sites with six or more of these species had similar community abundance hierarchies, suggesting that suites of introduced species are assembling similarly on different continents. Overall, we found that substantial changes to populations are not necessarily a pre-condition for invasion success and that increases in species abundance are unusual. Instead, abundance at home predicts abundance away, a potentially useful additional criterion for biosecurity programmes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-10-01

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

  16. Impact of red imported fire ant infestation on northern bobwhite quail abundance trends in southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Craig R.; Willey, R.D.; Myers, P.E.; Horton, P.M.; Buffa, J.

    2000-01-01

    Northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus L.) populations are declining throughout their range. One factor contributing to the decline in the southeastern United States may be the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren). Recent research in Texas has documented that red imported fire ants can have a significant impact on northern bobwhite quail. That research was conducted in areas where fire ants are predominately polygynous (multiple queen). Polygynous infestations have much higher mound densities than the monogynous (single queen) form. In most of the southeastern United States, fire ants are predominately monogynous. We determined if there was a relationship between the invasion of monogynous red imported fire ants and abundance trends in northern bobwhite quail in the southeastern United States. For Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina we compared average northern bobwhite quail abundance based on Christmas Bird Count data for each county before and after fire ant invasion, and conducted regression analyses on bobwhite quail abundance and year preinvasion, and abundance and year postinvasion. Regionally, northern bobwhite quail were more abundant before (0.067 ??0.018 bobwhite quail per observer hour) than after fire ants invaded (0.019 ?? 0.006; Z = -3.746, df = 18, P 30-yr variation in invasion dates.

  17. Various chemical strategies to deceive ants in three Arhopala species (lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) exploiting Macaranga myrmecophytes.

    PubMed

    Inui, Yoko; Shimizu-Kaya, Usun; Okubo, Tadahiro; Yamsaki, Eri; Itioka, Takao

    2015-01-01

    Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants) are generally well protected from herbivore attacks by their symbiotic ants (plant-ants). However, larvae of Arhopala (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) species survive and develop on specific Macaranga ant-plant species without being attacked by the plant-ants of their host species. We hypothesized that Arhopala larvae chemically mimic or camouflage themselves with the ants on their host plant so that the larvae are accepted by the plant-ant species of their host. Chemical analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons showed that chemical congruency varied among Arhopala species; A. dajagaka matched well the host plant-ants, A. amphimuta did not match, and unexpectedly, A. zylda lacked hydrocarbons. Behaviorally, the larvae and dummies coated with cuticular chemicals of A. dajagaka were well attended by the plant-ants, especially by those of the host. A. amphimuta was often attacked by all plant-ants except for the host plant-ants toward the larvae, and those of A. zylda were ignored by all plant-ants. Our results suggested that conspicuous variations exist in the chemical strategies used by the myrmecophilous butterflies that allow them to avoid ant attack and be accepted by the plant-ant colonies.

  18. Various Chemical Strategies to Deceive Ants in Three Arhopala Species (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) Exploiting Macaranga Myrmecophytes

    PubMed Central

    Inui, Yoko; Shimizu-kaya, Usun; Okubo, Tadahiro; Yamsaki, Eri; Itioka, Takao

    2015-01-01

    Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants) are generally well protected from herbivore attacks by their symbiotic ants (plant-ants). However, larvae of Arhopala (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) species survive and develop on specific Macaranga ant-plant species without being attacked by the plant-ants of their host species. We hypothesized that Arhopala larvae chemically mimic or camouflage themselves with the ants on their host plant so that the larvae are accepted by the plant-ant species of their host. Chemical analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons showed that chemical congruency varied among Arhopala species; A. dajagaka matched well the host plant-ants, A. amphimuta did not match, and unexpectedly, A. zylda lacked hydrocarbons. Behaviorally, the larvae and dummies coated with cuticular chemicals of A. dajagaka were well attended by the plant-ants, especially by those of the host. A. amphimuta was often attacked by all plant-ants except for the host plant-ants toward the larvae, and those of A. zylda were ignored by all plant-ants. Our results suggested that conspicuous variations exist in the chemical strategies used by the myrmecophilous butterflies that allow them to avoid ant attack and be accepted by the plant-ant colonies. PMID:25853675

  19. Modeling species-abundance relationships in multi-species collections

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peng, S.; Yin, Z.; Ren, H.; Guo, Q.

    2003-01-01

    Species-abundance relationship is one of the most fundamental aspects of community ecology. Since Motomura first developed the geometric series model to describe the feature of community structure, ecologists have developed many other models to fit the species-abundance data in communities. These models can be classified into empirical and theoretical ones, including (1) statistical models, i.e., negative binomial distribution (and its extension), log-series distribution (and its extension), geometric distribution, lognormal distribution, Poisson-lognormal distribution, (2) niche models, i.e., geometric series, broken stick, overlapping niche, particulate niche, random assortment, dominance pre-emption, dominance decay, random fraction, weighted random fraction, composite niche, Zipf or Zipf-Mandelbrot model, and (3) dynamic models describing community dynamics and restrictive function of environment on community. These models have different characteristics and fit species-abundance data in various communities or collections. Among them, log-series distribution, lognormal distribution, geometric series, and broken stick model have been most widely used.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 likely was the same as that for which wild species exhibited reduced co-occurrence. Finally we explored whether our experimentally derived assembly rules could simulate realistic communities. Communities simulated using size-based species assembly exhibited diversities closer to wild communities than those simulated using size-independent assembly, with results being sensitive to the combination of rules employed. Hence, species segregation in the wild can be driven by competitive species assembly, and this process is sufficient to generate observed species abundance distributions for tropical epiphyte-dwelling ants. PMID:25622647

  1. Similar evolutionary potentials in an obligate ant parasite and its two host species

    PubMed Central

    Pennings, P S; Achenbach, A; Foitzik, S

    2011-01-01

    The spatial structure of host–parasite coevolution is shaped by population structure and genetic diversity of the interacting species. We analysed these population genetic parameters in three related ant species: the parasitic slavemaking ant Protomognathus americanus and its two host species Temnothorax longispinosus and T. curvispinosus. We sampled throughout their range, genotyped ants on six to eight microsatellite loci and an MtDNA sequence and found high levels of genetic variation and strong population structure in all three species. Interestingly, the most abundant species and primary host, T. longispinosus, is characterized by less structure, but lower local genetic diversity. Generally, differences between the species were small, and we conclude that they have similar evolutionary potentials. The coevolutionary interaction between this social parasite and its hosts may therefore be less influenced by divergent evolutionary potentials, but rather by varying selection pressures. We employed different methods to quantify and compare genetic diversity and structure between species and genetic markers. We found that Jost D is well suited for these comparisons, as long as mutation rates between markers and species are similar. If this is not the case, for example, when using MtDNA and microsatellites to study sex-specific dispersal, model-based inference should be used instead of descriptive statistics (such as D or GST). Using coalescent-based methods, we indeed found that males disperse much more than females, but this sex bias in dispersal differed between species. The findings of the different approaches with regard to genetic diversity and structure were in good accordance with each other. PMID:21324025

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  3. ABUNDANT OR RARE? A HYBRID APPROACH FOR DETERMINING SPECIES RELATIVE ABUNDANCE AT AN ECOREGOIONAL SCALE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Everyone knows what abundant and rare species are, but quantifying the concept proves elusive. As part of an EPA/USGS project to assess near-coastal species vulnerability to climate change affects, we designed a hybrid approach to determine species relative abundance at an ecoreg...

  4. ABUNDANT OR RARE? A HYBRID APPROACH FOR DETERMINING SPECIES RELATIVE ABUNDANCE AT AN ECOREGOIONAL SCALE - 2014

    EPA Science Inventory

    Everyone knows what abundant and rare species are, but quantifying the concept proves elusive. As part of an EPA/USGS project to assess near-coastal species vulnerability to climate change affects, we designed a hybrid approach to determine species relative abundance at an ecoreg...

  5. Social coercion of larval development in an ant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villalta, Irene; Amor, Fernando; Cerdá, Xim; Boulay, Raphaël

    2016-04-01

    Ants provide one of the best examples of the division of labor in animal societies. While the queens reproduce, workers generally refrain from laying eggs and dedicate themselves exclusively to domestic tasks. In many species, the small diploid larvae are bipotent and can develop either into workers or queens depending mostly on environmental cues. This generates a conflicting situation between the adults that tend to rear a majority of larvae into workers and the larvae whose individual interest may be to develop into reproductive queens. We tested the social regulation of larval caste fate in the fission-performing ant Aphaenogaster senilis. We first observed interactions between resident workers and queen- and worker-destined larvae in presence/absence of the queen. The results show that workers tend to specifically eliminate queen-destined larvae when the queen is present but not when she is absent or imprisoned in a small cage allowing for volatile pheromone exchanges. In addition, we found that the presence of already developed queen-destined larvae does not inhibit the development of younger still bipotent larvae into queens. Finally, we analyzed the cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of queen- and worker-destined larvae and found no significant quantitative or qualitative difference. Interestingly, the total amount of hydrocarbons on both larval castes is extremely low, which lends credence on the chemical insignificance hypothesis of larval ants. Overall, our results suggest that workers control larval development and police larvae that would develop into queens instead of workers. Such policing behavior is similar in many aspects to what is known of worker policing among adults.

  6. Social coercion of larval development in an ant species.

    PubMed

    Villalta, Irene; Amor, Fernando; Cerdá, Xim; Boulay, Raphaël

    2016-04-01

    Ants provide one of the best examples of the division of labor in animal societies. While the queens reproduce, workers generally refrain from laying eggs and dedicate themselves exclusively to domestic tasks. In many species, the small diploid larvae are bipotent and can develop either into workers or queens depending mostly on environmental cues. This generates a conflicting situation between the adults that tend to rear a majority of larvae into workers and the larvae whose individual interest may be to develop into reproductive queens. We tested the social regulation of larval caste fate in the fission-performing ant Aphaenogaster senilis. We first observed interactions between resident workers and queen- and worker-destined larvae in presence/absence of the queen. The results show that workers tend to specifically eliminate queen-destined larvae when the queen is present but not when she is absent or imprisoned in a small cage allowing for volatile pheromone exchanges. In addition, we found that the presence of already developed queen-destined larvae does not inhibit the development of younger still bipotent larvae into queens. Finally, we analyzed the cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of queen- and worker-destined larvae and found no significant quantitative or qualitative difference. Interestingly, the total amount of hydrocarbons on both larval castes is extremely low, which lends credence on the chemical insignificance hypothesis of larval ants. Overall, our results suggest that workers control larval development and police larvae that would develop into queens instead of workers. Such policing behavior is similar in many aspects to what is known of worker policing among adults.

  7. Use of abundance of one species as a surrogate for abundance of others

    Treesearch

    Samuel A. Cushman; Kevin S. McKelvey; Barry R. Noon; Kevin McGarigal

    2010-01-01

    Indicator species concepts have a long history in conservation biology. Arguments in favor of these approaches generally stress expediency and assume efficacy. We tested the premise that the abundance patterns of one species can be used to infer those of other species. Our data consisted of 72,495 bird observations on 55 species across 1046 plots distributed across 30...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Bacteria may contribute to distant species recognition in ant-aphid mutualistic relationships.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Christophe Y; Detrain, Claire; Thonart, Philippe; Haubruge, Eric; Francis, Frédéric; Verheggen, François J; Lognay, Georges C

    2017-04-01

    Mutualistic interactions between ant and aphid species have been the subject of considerable historical and contemporary investigations, the primary benefits being cleaning and protection for the aphids and carbohydrate-rich honeydew for the ants. Questions remained, however, as to the volatile semiochemical factor influencing this relationship. A recent study highlighted the role of bacterial honeydew volatile compounds in ant attraction. Here, ant's ability to distantly discriminate 2 aphid species was investigated based on bacterial honeydew semiochemicals emissions using a two-way olfactometer. Both the mutualistic aphid Aphis fabae L. and the nonmyrmecophilous aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris were found to be attractive for the ant Lasius niger L. The level of attraction was similar in both assays (control vs. one of the aphid species). However, when given a choice between these 2 aphid species, ants showed a significant preference for Aphis fabae. Honeydew volatiles, mostly from bacterial origins, are known to be a key element in ant attraction. Using the same olfactometry protocol, the relative attractiveness of volatiles emitted by honeydews collected from each aphid species and by bacteria isolated from each honeydew was investigated. Again, ants significantly preferred volatiles released by Aphis fabae honeydew and bacteria. This information suggests that microbial honeydew volatiles enable ants to distantly discriminate aphid species. These results strengthen the interest of studying the occurrence and potential impact of microorganisms in insect symbioses. © 2015 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  10. Model reduction for stochastic chemical systems with abundant species.

    PubMed

    Smith, Stephen; Cianci, Claudia; Grima, Ramon

    2015-12-07

    Biochemical processes typically involve many chemical species, some in abundance and some in low molecule numbers. We first identify the rate constant limits under which the concentrations of a given set of species will tend to infinity (the abundant species) while the concentrations of all other species remains constant (the non-abundant species). Subsequently, we prove that, in this limit, the fluctuations in the molecule numbers of non-abundant species are accurately described by a hybrid stochastic description consisting of a chemical master equation coupled to deterministic rate equations. This is a reduced description when compared to the conventional chemical master equation which describes the fluctuations in both abundant and non-abundant species. We show that the reduced master equation can be solved exactly for a number of biochemical networks involving gene expression and enzyme catalysis, whose conventional chemical master equation description is analytically impenetrable. We use the linear noise approximation to obtain approximate expressions for the difference between the variance of fluctuations in the non-abundant species as predicted by the hybrid approach and by the conventional chemical master equation. Furthermore, we show that surprisingly, irrespective of any separation in the mean molecule numbers of various species, the conventional and hybrid master equations exactly agree for a class of chemical systems.

  11. Model reduction for stochastic chemical systems with abundant species

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Stephen; Cianci, Claudia; Grima, Ramon

    2015-12-07

    Biochemical processes typically involve many chemical species, some in abundance and some in low molecule numbers. We first identify the rate constant limits under which the concentrations of a given set of species will tend to infinity (the abundant species) while the concentrations of all other species remains constant (the non-abundant species). Subsequently, we prove that, in this limit, the fluctuations in the molecule numbers of non-abundant species are accurately described by a hybrid stochastic description consisting of a chemical master equation coupled to deterministic rate equations. This is a reduced description when compared to the conventional chemical master equationmore » which describes the fluctuations in both abundant and non-abundant species. We show that the reduced master equation can be solved exactly for a number of biochemical networks involving gene expression and enzyme catalysis, whose conventional chemical master equation description is analytically impenetrable. We use the linear noise approximation to obtain approximate expressions for the difference between the variance of fluctuations in the non-abundant species as predicted by the hybrid approach and by the conventional chemical master equation. Furthermore, we show that surprisingly, irrespective of any separation in the mean molecule numbers of various species, the conventional and hybrid master equations exactly agree for a class of chemical systems.« less

  12. Individual-Based Ant-Plant Networks: Diurnal-Nocturnal Structure and Species-Area Relationship

    PubMed Central

    Dáttilo, Wesley; Fagundes, Roberth; Gurka, Carlos A. Q.; Silva, Mara S. A.; Vieira, Marisa C. L.; Izzo, Thiago J.; Díaz-Castelazo, Cecília; Del-Claro, Kleber; Rico-Gray, Victor

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance and increasing knowledge of ecological networks, sampling effort and intrapopulation variation has been widely overlooked. Using continuous daily sampling of ants visiting three plant species in the Brazilian Neotropical savanna, we evaluated for the first time the topological structure over 24 h and species-area relationships (based on the number of extrafloral nectaries available) in individual-based ant-plant networks. We observed that diurnal and nocturnal ant-plant networks exhibited the same pattern of interactions: a nested and non-modular pattern and an average level of network specialization. Despite the high similarity in the ants’ composition between the two collection periods, ant species found in the central core of highly interacting species totally changed between diurnal and nocturnal sampling for all plant species. In other words, this “night-turnover” suggests that the ecological dynamics of these ant-plant interactions can be temporally partitioned (day and night) at a small spatial scale. Thus, it is possible that in some cases processes shaping mutualistic networks formed by protective ants and plants may be underestimated by diurnal sampling alone. Moreover, we did not observe any effect of the number of extrafloral nectaries on ant richness and their foraging on such plants in any of the studied ant-plant networks. We hypothesize that competitively superior ants could monopolize individual plants and allow the coexistence of only a few other ant species, however, other alternative hypotheses are also discussed. Thus, sampling period and species-area relationship produces basic information that increases our confidence in how individual-based ant-plant networks are structured, and the need to consider nocturnal records in ant-plant network sampling design so as to decrease inappropriate inferences. PMID:24918750

  13. Heavy metal accumulation and ecosystem engineering by two common mine site-nesting ant species: implications for pollution-level assessment and bioremediation of coal mine soil.

    PubMed

    Khan, Shbbir R; Singh, Satish K; Rastogi, Neelkamal

    2017-04-01

    The present study focuses on the abundance, heavy metal content, and the impact of ecosystem engineering activities of two coal mine site-inhabiting ant species, Cataglyphis longipedem and Camponotus compressus. The abundance of Ct. longipedem increased while that of C. compressus decreased, with increasing soil pollution. Correspondence analysis reveals a close association between soil heavy metal concentrations and Ct. longipedem abundance, but this association is lacking in the case of C. compressus. Cataglyphis ants which occupy stress-characterized niches appear to be pre-adapted to tolerate heavy metal pollution. Higher concentrations of Zn and Mn in Ct. longipedem may contribute to the strengthening of the cuticular structures, necessary for nest excavation in the hard, arid soil and for single load carrying. C. compressus ants appear to be pollution sensitive. Their higher Fe content may be related to metal uptake via plant-derived liquids and species-specific regulatory mechanisms. The metal pollution index and biota-to-soil accumulation factors, calculated by using the ant body metal content of the two species, indicate an overall decrease of soil heavy metal concentrations with increase of the site age, which reflects the degree of pollution related to the mine site age. The concentrations of total and available heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Mn, Pb, and Cu) were significantly lower in the ant nest debris soil as compared to the reference soil. The results of the present study highlight the role of ants as bioindicators and in bioremediation of contaminated soil.

  14. Why abundant tropical tree species are phylogenetically old.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shaopeng; Chen, Anping; Fang, Jingyun; Pacala, Stephen W

    2013-10-01

    Neutral models of species diversity predict patterns of abundance for communities in which all individuals are ecologically equivalent. These models were originally developed for Panamanian trees and successfully reproduce observed distributions of abundance. Neutral models also make macroevolutionary predictions that have rarely been evaluated or tested. Here we show that neutral models predict a humped or flat relationship between species age and population size. In contrast, ages and abundances of tree species in the Panamanian Canal watershed are found to be positively correlated, which falsifies the models. Speciation rates vary among phylogenetic lineages and are partially heritable from mother to daughter species. Variable speciation rates in an otherwise neutral model lead to a demographic advantage for species with low speciation rate. This demographic advantage results in a positive correlation between species age and abundance, as found in the Panamanian tropical forest community.

  15. Honey Ants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

  16. Influences of Species Interactions With Aggressive Ants and Habitat Filtering on Nest Colonization and Community Composition of Arboreal Twig-Nesting Ants.

    PubMed

    Philpott, Stacy M; Serber, Zachary; De la Mora, Aldo

    2018-04-05

    Ant community assembly is driven by many factors including species interactions (e.g., competition, predation, parasitism), habitat filtering (e.g., vegetation differences, microclimate, food and nesting resources), and dispersal. Canopy ant communities, including dominant and twig-nesting ants, are structured by all these different factors, but we know less about the impacts of species interactions and habitat filters acting at the colonization or recruitment stage. We examined occupation of artificial twig nests placed in shade trees in coffee agroecosystems. We asked whether species interactions-aggression from the dominant canopy ant, Azteca sericeasur Longino (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)-or habitat filtering-species of tree where nests were placed or surrounding vegetation-influence colonization, species richness, and community composition of twig-nesting ants. We found 20 species of ants occupying artificial nests. Nest occupation was lower on trees with A. sericeasur, but did not differ depending on tree species or surrounding vegetation. Yet, there were species-specific differences in occupation depending on A. sericeasur presence and tree species. Ant species richness did not vary with A. sericeasur presence or tree species. Community composition varied with A. sericeasur presence and surrounding vegetation. Our results suggest that species interactions with dominant ants are important determinants of colonization and community composition of twig-nesting ants. Habitat filtering at the level of tree species did not have strong effects on twig-nesting ants, but changes in coffee management may contribute to differences in community composition with important implications for ant conservation in agricultural landscapes, as well as biological control of coffee pests.

  17. Diversity is maintained by seasonal variation in species abundance

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Some of the most marked temporal fluctuations in species abundances are linked to seasons. In theory, multispecies assemblages can persist if species use shared resources at different times, thereby minimizing interspecific competition. However, there is scant empirical evidence supporting these predictions and, to the best of our knowledge, seasonal variation has never been explored in the context of fluctuation-mediated coexistence. Results Using an exceptionally well-documented estuarine fish assemblage, sampled monthly for over 30 years, we show that temporal shifts in species abundances underpin species coexistence. Species fall into distinct seasonal groups, within which spatial resource use is more heterogeneous than would be expected by chance at those times when competition for food is most intense. We also detect seasonal variation in the richness and evenness of the community, again linked to shifts in resource availability. Conclusions These results reveal that spatiotemporal shifts in community composition minimize competitive interactions and help stabilize total abundance. PMID:24007204

  18. Abundance of introduced species at home predicts abundance away in herbaceous communities

    Treesearch

    J. Firn; J.L. Moore; A.S. MacDougall; E.T. Borer; E.W. Seabloom; J. HilleRisLambers; S. Harpole; E.E. Cleland; C.S. Brown; J.M.H. Knops; S.M. Prober; D.A. Pyke; K.A. Farrell; J.D. Bakker; L.R. O’Halloran; P.B. Adler; S.L. Collins; C.M. D’Antonio; M.J. Crawley; E.M. Wolkovich; K.J. La Pierre; B.A. Melbourne; Y. Hautier; J.W. Morgan; A.D.B. Leakey; A.D. Kay; R.L. McCulley; K.F. Davies; C.J. Stevens; C.J. Chu

    2011-01-01

    Many ecosystems worldwide are dominated by introduced plant species, leading to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function. A common but rarely tested assumption is that these plants are more abundant in introduced vs. native communities, because ecological or evolutionary-based shifts in populations underlie invasion success. Here, data for 26 herbaceous species at...

  19. Book review: A new view on the species abundance distribution

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2018-01-01

    The sampled relative abundances of species of a taxonomic group, whether birds, trees, or moths, in a natural community at a particular place vary in a way that suggests a consistent underlying pattern, referred to as the species abundance distribution (SAD). Preston [1] conjectured that the numbers of species, plotted as a histogram of logarithmic abundance classes called octaves, seemed to fit a lognormal distribution; that is, the histograms look like normal distributions, although truncated on the left-hand, or low-species-abundance, end. Although other specific curves for the SAD have been proposed in the literature, Preston’s lognormal distribution is widely cited in textbooks and has stimulated attempts at explanation. An important aspect of Preston’s lognormal distribution is the ‘veil line’, a vertical line drawn exactly at the point of the left-hand truncation in the distribution, to the left of which would be species missing from the sample. Dewdney rejects the lognormal conjecture. Instead, starting with the long-recognized fact that the number of species sampled from a community, when plotted as histograms against population abundance, resembles an inverted J, he presents a mathematical description of an alternative that he calls the ‘J distribution’, a hyperbolic density function truncated at both ends. When multiplied by species richness, R, it becomes the SAD of the sample.

  20. Linking species abundance distributions in numerical abundance and biomass through simple assumptions about community structure.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Peter A; Magurran, Anne E

    2010-05-22

    Species abundance distributions (SADs) are widely used as a tool for summarizing ecological communities but may have different shapes, depending on the currency used to measure species importance. We develop a simple plotting method that links SADs in the alternative currencies of numerical abundance and biomass and is underpinned by testable predictions about how organisms occupy physical space. When log numerical abundance is plotted against log biomass, the species lie within an approximately triangular region. Simple energetic and sampling constraints explain the triangular form. The dispersion of species within this triangle is the key to understanding why SADs of numerical abundance and biomass can differ. Given regular or random species dispersion, we can predict the shape of the SAD for both currencies under a variety of sampling regimes. We argue that this dispersion pattern will lie between regular and random for the following reasons. First, regular dispersion patterns will result if communities are comprised groups of organisms that use different components of the physical space (e.g. open water, the sea bed surface or rock crevices in a marine fish assemblage), and if the abundance of species in each of these spatial guilds is linked to the way individuals of varying size use the habitat. Second, temporal variation in abundance and sampling error will tend to randomize this regular pattern. Data from two intensively studied marine ecosystems offer empirical support for these predictions. Our approach also has application in environmental monitoring and the recognition of anthropogenic disturbance, which may change the shape of the triangular region by, for example, the loss of large body size top predators that occur at low abundance.

  1. Linking species abundance distributions in numerical abundance and biomass through simple assumptions about community structure

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Peter A.; Magurran, Anne E.

    2010-01-01

    Species abundance distributions (SADs) are widely used as a tool for summarizing ecological communities but may have different shapes, depending on the currency used to measure species importance. We develop a simple plotting method that links SADs in the alternative currencies of numerical abundance and biomass and is underpinned by testable predictions about how organisms occupy physical space. When log numerical abundance is plotted against log biomass, the species lie within an approximately triangular region. Simple energetic and sampling constraints explain the triangular form. The dispersion of species within this triangle is the key to understanding why SADs of numerical abundance and biomass can differ. Given regular or random species dispersion, we can predict the shape of the SAD for both currencies under a variety of sampling regimes. We argue that this dispersion pattern will lie between regular and random for the following reasons. First, regular dispersion patterns will result if communities are comprised groups of organisms that use different components of the physical space (e.g. open water, the sea bed surface or rock crevices in a marine fish assemblage), and if the abundance of species in each of these spatial guilds is linked to the way individuals of varying size use the habitat. Second, temporal variation in abundance and sampling error will tend to randomize this regular pattern. Data from two intensively studied marine ecosystems offer empirical support for these predictions. Our approach also has application in environmental monitoring and the recognition of anthropogenic disturbance, which may change the shape of the triangular region by, for example, the loss of large body size top predators that occur at low abundance. PMID:20071388

  2. How well can we predict forage species occurrence and abundance?

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    As part of a larger effort focused on forage species production and management, we have been developing a statistical modeling approach to predict the probability of species occurrence and the abundance for Orchard Grass over the Northeast region of the United States using two selected statistical m...

  3. Estimating abundance in the presence of species uncertainty

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chambert, Thierry A.; Hossack, Blake R.; Fishback, LeeAnn; Davenport, Jon M.

    2016-01-01

    1.N-mixture models have become a popular method for estimating abundance of free-ranging animals that are not marked or identified individually. These models have been used on count data for single species that can be identified with certainty. However, co-occurring species often look similar during one or more life stages, making it difficult to assign species for all recorded captures. This uncertainty creates problems for estimating species-specific abundance and it can often limit life stages to which we can make inference. 2.We present a new extension of N-mixture models that accounts for species uncertainty. In addition to estimating site-specific abundances and detection probabilities, this model allows estimating probability of correct assignment of species identity. We implement this hierarchical model in a Bayesian framework and provide all code for running the model in BUGS-language programs. 3.We present an application of the model on count data from two sympatric freshwater fishes, the brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans) and the ninespine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius), ad illustrate implementation of covariate effects (habitat characteristics). In addition, we used a simulation study to validate the model and illustrate potential sample size issues. We also compared, for both real and simulated data, estimates provided by our model to those obtained by a simple N-mixture model when captures of unknown species identification were discarded. In the latter case, abundance estimates appeared highly biased and very imprecise, while our new model provided unbiased estimates with higher precision. 4.This extension of the N-mixture model should be useful for a wide variety of studies and taxa, as species uncertainty is a common issue. It should notably help improve investigation of abundance and vital rate characteristics of organisms’ early life stages, which are sometimes more difficult to identify than adults.

  4. On the morphology of the digestive system of two Monomorium ant species.

    PubMed

    Solis, Daniel Russ; Rossi, Mônica Lanzoni; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Nogueira, Neusa de Lima; Tanaka, Francisco André Ossamu; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2013-01-01

    The digestive system of adults and mature larvae of two ant species of Monomorium Mayr (Hymoneptera: Formicidae) were described with the aid of light and scanning electron microscopy, as there is a lack of studies in this area. These two ant species are recurrently found in urban habitats and are known as 'tramp species,' as they cause problems in households, businesses, and hospitals. The most interesting finds of the present study include the existence of spinules in the crop of adults, and the number of Malpighian tubules and rectal pads was constant among different castes, ages, and species.

  5. On the Morphology of the Digestive System of Two Monomorium Ant Species

    PubMed Central

    Solis, Daniel Russ; Rossi, Mônica Lanzoni; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Nogueira, Neusa de Lima; Tanaka, Francisco André Ossamu; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2013-01-01

    The digestive system of adults and mature larvae of two ant species of Monomorium Mayr (Hymoneptera: Formicidae) were described with the aid of light and scanning electron microscopy, as there is a lack of studies in this area. These two ant species are recurrently found in urban habitats and are known as ‘tramp species,’ as they cause problems in households, businesses, and hospitals. The most interesting finds of the present study include the existence of spinules in the crop of adults, and the number of Malpighian tubules and rectal pads was constant among different castes, ages, and species. PMID:24224520

  6. Why are there more arboreal ant species in primary than in secondary tropical forests?

    PubMed

    Klimes, Petr; Idigel, Cliffson; Rimandai, Maling; Fayle, Tom M; Janda, Milan; Weiblen, George D; Novotny, Vojtech

    2012-09-01

    1. Species diversity of arboreal arthropods tends to increase during rainforest succession so that primary forest communities comprise more species than those from secondary vegetation, but it is not well understood why. Primary forests differ from secondary forests in a wide array of factors whose relative impacts on arthropod diversity have not yet been quantified. 2. We assessed the effects of succession-related determinants on a keystone ecological group, arboreal ants, by conducting a complete census of 1332 ant nests from all trees with diameter at breast height ≥ 5 cm occurring within two (unreplicated) 0·32-ha plots, one in primary and one in secondary lowland forest in New Guinea. Specifically, we used a novel rarefaction-based approach to match number, size distribution and taxonomic structure of trees in primary forest communities to those in secondary forest and compared the resulting numbers of ant species. 3. In total, we recorded 80 nesting ant species from 389 trees in primary forest but only 42 species from 295 trees in secondary forest. The two habitats did not differ in the mean number of ant species per tree or in the relationship between ant diversity and tree size. However, the between-tree similarity of ant communities was higher in secondary forest than in primary forest, as was the between-tree nest site similarity, suggesting that secondary trees were more uniform in providing nesting microhabitats. 4. Using our rarefaction method, the difference in ant species richness between two forest types was partitioned according to the effects of higher tree density (22·6%), larger tree size (15·5%) and higher taxonomic diversity of trees (14·3%) in primary than in secondary forest. The remaining difference (47·6%) was because of higher beta diversity of ant communities between primary forest trees. In contrast, difference in nest density was explained solely by difference in tree density. 5. Our study shows that reduction in plant taxonomic

  7. Fuel breaks affect nonnative species abundance in Californian plant communities

    Treesearch

    Kyle E Merriam; Jon E. Keeley; Jan L. Beyers

    2006-01-01

    We evaluated the abundance of nonnative plants on fuel breaks and in adjacent untreated areas to determine if fuel treatments promote the invasion of nonnative plant species. Understanding the relationship between fuel treatments and nonnative plants is becoming increasingly important as federal and state agencies are currently implementing large fuel treatment...

  8. Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite.

    PubMed

    de Bekker, Charissa; Quevillon, Lauren E; Smith, Philip B; Fleming, Kimberly R; Ghosh, Debashis; Patterson, Andrew D; Hughes, David P

    2014-08-29

    A compelling demonstration of adaptation by natural selection is the ability of parasites to manipulate host behavior. One dramatic example involves fungal species from the genus Ophiocordyceps that control their ant hosts by inducing a biting behavior. Intensive sampling across the globe of ants that died after being manipulated by Ophiocordyceps suggests that this phenomenon is highly species-specific. We advance our understanding of this system by reconstructing host manipulation by Ophiocordyceps parasites under controlled laboratory conditions and combining this with field observations of infection rates and a metabolomics survey. We report on a newly discovered species of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato from North America that we use to address the species-specificity of Ophiocordyceps-induced manipulation of ant behavior. We show that the fungus can kill all ant species tested, but only manipulates the behavior of those it infects in nature. To investigate if this could be explained at the molecular level, we used ex vivo culturing assays to measure the metabolites that are secreted by the fungus to mediate fungus-ant tissue interactions. We show the fungus reacts heterogeneously to brains of different ant species by secreting a different array of metabolites. By determining which ion peaks are significantly enriched when the fungus is grown alongside brains of its naturally occurring host, we discovered candidate compounds that could be involved in behavioral manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l.. Two of these candidates are known to be involved in neurological diseases and cancer. The integrative work presented here shows that ant brain manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l. is species-specific seemingly because the fungus produces a specific array of compounds as a reaction to the presence of the host brain it has evolved to manipulate. These studies have resulted in the discovery of candidate compounds involved in establishing behavioral manipulation

  9. Measuring β-diversity with species abundance data.

    PubMed

    Barwell, Louise J; Isaac, Nick J B; Kunin, William E

    2015-07-01

    In 2003, 24 presence-absence β-diversity metrics were reviewed and a number of trade-offs and redundancies identified. We present a parallel investigation into the performance of abundance-based metrics of β-diversity. β-diversity is a multi-faceted concept, central to spatial ecology. There are multiple metrics available to quantify it: the choice of metric is an important decision. We test 16 conceptual properties and two sampling properties of a β-diversity metric: metrics should be 1) independent of α-diversity and 2) cumulative along a gradient of species turnover. Similarity should be 3) probabilistic when assemblages are independently and identically distributed. Metrics should have 4) a minimum of zero and increase monotonically with the degree of 5) species turnover, 6) decoupling of species ranks and 7) evenness differences. However, complete species turnover should always generate greater values of β than extreme 8) rank shifts or 9) evenness differences. Metrics should 10) have a fixed upper limit, 11) symmetry (βA,B  = βB,A ), 12) double-zero asymmetry for double absences and double presences and 13) not decrease in a series of nested assemblages. Additionally, metrics should be independent of 14) species replication 15) the units of abundance and 16) differences in total abundance between sampling units. When samples are used to infer β-diversity, metrics should be 1) independent of sample sizes and 2) independent of unequal sample sizes. We test 29 metrics for these properties and five 'personality' properties. Thirteen metrics were outperformed or equalled across all conceptual and sampling properties. Differences in sensitivity to species' abundance lead to a performance trade-off between sample size bias and the ability to detect turnover among rare species. In general, abundance-based metrics are substantially less biased in the face of undersampling, although the presence-absence metric, βsim , performed well overall. Only

  10. Bottom-up effects of host-plant species diversity and top-down effects of ants interactively increase plant performance

    PubMed Central

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Mooney, Kailen A.; Zas, Rafael; Sampedro, Luis

    2012-01-01

    While plant diversity is well known to increase primary productivity, whether these bottom-up effects are enhanced by reciprocal top-down effects from the third trophic level is unknown. We studied whether pine tree species diversity, aphid-tending ants and their interaction determined plant performance and arthropod community structure. Plant diversity had a positive effect on aphids, but only in the presence of mutualistic ants, leading to a threefold greater number of both groups in the tri-specific cultures than in monocultures. Plant diversity increased ant abundance not only by increasing aphid number, but also by increasing ant recruitment per aphid. The positive effect of diversity on ants in turn cascaded down to increase plant performance; diversity increased plant growth (but not biomass), and this effect was stronger in the presence of ants. Consequently, bottom-up effects of diversity within the same genus and guild of plants, and top-down effects from the third trophic level (predatory ants), interactively increased plant performance. PMID:22951745

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Upscaling species richness and abundances in tropical forests

    PubMed Central

    Tovo, Anna; Suweis, Samir; Formentin, Marco; Favretti, Marco; Volkov, Igor; Banavar, Jayanth R.; Azaele, Sandro; Maritan, Amos

    2017-01-01

    The quantification of tropical tree biodiversity worldwide remains an open and challenging problem. More than two-fifths of the number of worldwide trees can be found either in tropical or in subtropical forests, but only ≈0.000067% of species identities are known. We introduce an analytical framework that provides robust and accurate estimates of species richness and abundances in biodiversity-rich ecosystems, as confirmed by tests performed on both in silico–generated and real forests. Our analysis shows that the approach outperforms other methods. In particular, we find that upscaling methods based on the log-series species distribution systematically overestimate the number of species and abundances of the rare species. We finally apply our new framework on 15 empirical tropical forest plots and quantify the minimum percentage cover that should be sampled to achieve a given average confidence interval in the upscaled estimate of biodiversity. Our theoretical framework confirms that the forests studied are comprised of a large number of rare or hyper-rare species. This is a signature of critical-like behavior of species-rich ecosystems and can provide a buffer against extinction. PMID:29057324

  14. Inferring invasive species abundance using removal data from management actions.

    PubMed

    Davis, Amy J; Hooten, Mevin B; Miller, Ryan S; Farnsworth, Matthew L; Lewis, Jesse; Moxcey, Michael; Pepin, Kim M

    2016-10-01

    Evaluation of the progress of management programs for invasive species is crucial for demonstrating impacts to stakeholders and strategic planning of resource allocation. Estimates of abundance before and after management activities can serve as a useful metric of population management programs. However, many methods of estimating population size are too labor intensive and costly to implement, posing restrictive levels of burden on operational programs. Removal models are a reliable method for estimating abundance before and after management using data from the removal activities exclusively, thus requiring no work in addition to management. We developed a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate abundance from removal data accounting for varying levels of effort, and used simulations to assess the conditions under which reliable population estimates are obtained. We applied this model to estimate site-specific abundance of an invasive species, feral swine (Sus scrofa), using removal data from aerial gunning in 59 site/time-frame combinations (480-19,600 acres) throughout Oklahoma and Texas, USA. Simulations showed that abundance estimates were generally accurate when effective removal rates (removal rate accounting for total effort) were above 0.40. However, when abundances were small (<50) the effective removal rate needed to accurately estimates abundances was considerably higher (0.70). Based on our post-validation method, 78% of our site/time frame estimates were accurate. To use this modeling framework it is important to have multiple removals (more than three) within a time frame during which demographic changes are minimized (i.e., a closed population; ≤3 months for feral swine). Our results show that the probability of accurately estimating abundance from this model improves with increased sampling effort (8+ flight hours across the 3-month window is best) and increased removal rate. Based on the inverse relationship between inaccurate abundances and

  15. Inferring invasive species abundance using removal data from management actions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, Amy J.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Miller, Ryan S.; Farnsworth, Matthew L.; Lewis, Jesse S.; Moxcey, Michael; Pepin, Kim M.

    2016-01-01

    Evaluation of the progress of management programs for invasive species is crucial for demonstrating impacts to stakeholders and strategic planning of resource allocation. Estimates of abundance before and after management activities can serve as a useful metric of population management programs. However, many methods of estimating population size are too labor intensive and costly to implement, posing restrictive levels of burden on operational programs. Removal models are a reliable method for estimating abundance before and after management using data from the removal activities exclusively, thus requiring no work in addition to management. We developed a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate abundance from removal data accounting for varying levels of effort, and used simulations to assess the conditions under which reliable population estimates are obtained. We applied this model to estimate site-specific abundance of an invasive species, feral swine (Sus scrofa), using removal data from aerial gunning in 59 site/time-frame combinations (480–19,600 acres) throughout Oklahoma and Texas, USA. Simulations showed that abundance estimates were generally accurate when effective removal rates (removal rate accounting for total effort) were above 0.40. However, when abundances were small (<50) the effective removal rate needed to accurately estimates abundances was considerably higher (0.70). Based on our post-validation method, 78% of our site/time frame estimates were accurate. To use this modeling framework it is important to have multiple removals (more than three) within a time frame during which demographic changes are minimized (i.e., a closed population; ≤3 months for feral swine). Our results show that the probability of accurately estimating abundance from this model improves with increased sampling effort (8+ flight hours across the 3-month window is best) and increased removal rate. Based on the inverse relationship between inaccurate abundances and

  16. Diversification amongst the South American fire ants: how when and why species barriers break down

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Fire ants (Solenopsis) are an ideal model system for studying speciation and coexistence. Based on preliminary mitochondrial work, they appear to be a relatively recent radiation, and possibly a species swarm (ancient hybridization among young species). We are using a variety of phylogenetic, phylog...

  17. How Much Variation Can One Ant Species Hold? Species Delimitation in the Crematogaster kelleri-Group in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Blaimer, Bonnie B.; Fisher, Brian L.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the species-level taxonomy of the Malagasy Crematogaster (Crematogaster) kelleri-group and an additional more distantly related species of the same subgenus. Morphological data from worker, queen and male ants, as well as genetic data from three nuclear genes (long wavelength rhodopsin, arginine kinase and carbomoylphosphate synthase) and one mitochondrial marker (cytochrome oxidase I) led to the recognition of six species. Within the C. kelleri-group, three new species are described: C. hazolava Blaimer sp. n., C. hafahafa Blaimer sp. n. and C. tavaratra Blaimer sp. n. The previously described taxa C. kelleri Forel and C. madagascariensis André are validated by our analysis. Conversely, our data suggests synonymy of C. adrepens Forel (with C. kelleri) and C. gibba Emery (with C. madagascariensis). A more distantly related and phylogenetically isolated species, C. tsisitsilo Blaimer sp. n., is further described. We report high levels of morphological and molecular variation in C. kelleri and illustrate that this variation can be explained partly by geography. Species descriptions, images, distribution maps and identification keys based on worker ants, as well as on queen and male ants where available, are presented for all six species. Our work highlights the elevated species richness of Crematogaster ants throughout Madagascar’s humid forests, especially in the far northern tip of the island, and the need to use multiple data sources to ensure clear demarcation of this diversity. PMID:23874503

  18. Food collection and response to pheromones in an ant species exposed to electromagnetic radiation.

    PubMed

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire; Rachidi, Zoheir; Bellens, François; De Doncker, Philippe

    2013-09-01

    We used the ant species Myrmica sabuleti as a model to study the impact of electromagnetic waves on social insects' response to their pheromones and their food collection. We quantified M. sabuleti workers' response to their trail, area marking and alarm pheromone under normal conditions. Then, we quantified the same responses while under the influence of electromagnetic waves. Under such an influence, ants followed trails for only short distances, no longer arrived at marked areas and no longer orientated themselves to a source of alarm pheromone. Also when exposed to electromagnetic waves, ants became unable to return to their nest and recruit congeners; therefore, the number of ants collecting food increases only slightly and slowly. After 180 h of exposure, their colonies deteriorated. Electromagnetic radiation obviously affects social insects' behavior and physiology.

  19. A new species of Trichoderma hypoxylon harbours abundant secondary metabolites.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jingzu; Pei, Yunfei; Li, Erwei; Li, Wei; Hyde, Kevin D; Yin, Wen-Bing; Liu, Xingzhong

    2016-11-21

    Some species of Trichoderma are fungicolous on fungi and have been extensively studied and commercialized as biocontrol agents. Multigene analyses coupled with morphology, resulted in the discovery of T. hypoxylon sp. nov., which was isolated from surface of the stroma of Hypoxylon anthochroum. The new taxon produces Trichoderma- to Verticillium-like conidiophores and hyaline conidia. Phylogenetic analyses based on combined ITS, TEF1-α and RPB2 sequence data indicated that T. hypoxylon is a well-distinguished species with strong bootstrap support in the polysporum group. Chemical assessment of this species reveals a richness of secondary metabolites with trichothecenes and epipolythiodiketopiperazines as the major compounds. The fungicolous life style of T. hypoxylon and the production of abundant metabolites are indicative of the important ecological roles of this species in nature.

  20. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  1. When Can Species Abundance Data Reveal Non-neutrality?

    PubMed Central

    Al Hammal, Omar; Alonso, David; Etienne, Rampal S.; Cornell, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Species abundance distributions (SAD) are probably ecology’s most well-known empirical pattern, and over the last decades many models have been proposed to explain their shape. There is no consensus over which model is correct, because the degree to which different processes can be discerned from SAD patterns has not yet been rigorously quantified. We present a power calculation to quantify our ability to detect deviations from neutrality using species abundance data. We study non-neutral stochastic community models, and show that the presence of non-neutral processes is detectable if sample size is large enough and/or the amplitude of the effect is strong enough. Our framework can be used for any candidate community model that can be simulated on a computer, and determines both the sampling effort required to distinguish between alternative processes, and a range for the strength of non-neutral processes in communities whose patterns are statistically consistent with neutral theory. We find that even data sets of the scale of the 50 Ha forest plot on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, are unlikely to be large enough to detect deviations from neutrality caused by competitive interactions alone, though the presence of multiple non-neutral processes with contrasting effects on abundance distributions may be detectable. PMID:25793889

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Species-specific differences in the fine structure of learning walk elements in Cataglyphis ants.

    PubMed

    Fleischmann, Pauline N; Grob, Robin; Wehner, Rüdiger; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2017-07-01

    Cataglyphis desert ants are famous navigators. Like all central place foragers, they are confronted with the challenge to return home, i.e. relocate an inconspicuous nest entrance in the ground, after their extensive foraging trips. When leaving the underground nest for the first time, desert ants perform a striking behavior, so-called learning walks that are well structured. However, it is still unclear how the ants initially acquire the information needed for sky- and landmark-based navigation, in particular how they calibrate their compass system at the beginning of their foraging careers. Using high-speed video analyses, we show that different Cataglyphis species include different types of characteristic turns in their learning walks. Pirouettes are full or partial rotations (tight turns about the vertical body axis) during which the ants frequently stop and gaze back in the direction of the nest entrance during the longest stopping phases. In contrast, voltes are small walked circles without directed stopping phases. Interestingly, only Cataglyphis ant species living in a cluttered, and therefore visually rich, environment (i.e. C. noda and C. aenescens in southern Greece) perform both voltes and pirouettes. They look back to the nest entrance during pirouettes, most probably to take snapshots of the surroundings. In contrast, C. fortis inhabiting featureless saltpans in Tunisia perform only voltes and do not stop during these turns to gaze back at the nest - even if a set of artificial landmarks surrounds the nest entrance. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Species delimitation: A case study in a problematic ant taxon

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Species delimitation has been invigorated as a discipline in systematics by an influx of new character sets, analytical methods, and conceptual advances. We use genetic data from 68 markers, combined with distributional, bioclimatic, and coloration information, to distinguish evolutionarily indepe...

  5. Abundance of common species, not species richness, drives delivery of a real-world ecosystem service.

    PubMed

    Winfree, Rachael; Fox, Jeremy W; Williams, Neal M; Reilly, James R; Cariveau, Daniel P

    2015-07-01

    Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments have established that species richness and composition are both important determinants of ecosystem function in an experimental context. Determining whether this result holds for real-world ecosystem services has remained elusive, however, largely due to the lack of analytical methods appropriate for large-scale, associational data. Here, we use a novel analytical approach, the Price equation, to partition the contribution to ecosystem services made by species richness, composition and abundance in four large-scale data sets on crop pollination by native bees. We found that abundance fluctuations of dominant species drove ecosystem service delivery, whereas richness changes were relatively unimportant because they primarily involved rare species that contributed little to function. Thus, the mechanism behind our results was the skewed species-abundance distribution. Our finding that a few common species, not species richness, drive ecosystem service delivery could have broad generality given the ubiquity of skewed species-abundance distributions in nature. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  6. Species composition and abundance of Brevipalpus spp. on different citrus species in Mexican orchards.

    PubMed

    Salinas-Vargas, D; Santillán-Galicia, M T; Valdez-Carrasco, J; Mora-Aguilera, G; Atanacio-Serrano, Y; Romero-Pescador, P

    2013-08-01

    We studied the abundance of Brevipalpus spp. in citrus orchards in the Mexican states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche. Mites were collected from 100 trees containing a mixture of citrus species where sweet orange was always the main species. Eight collections were made at each location from February 2010 to February 2011. Mites from the genus Brevipalpus were separated from other mites surveyed and their abundance and relationships with the different citrus species were quantified throughout the collection period. A subsample of 25% of the total Brevipalpus mites collected were identified to species level and the interaction of mite species and citrus species were described. Brevipalpus spp. were present on all collection dates and their relative abundance was similar on all citrus species studies. The smallest number of mites collected was during the rainy season. Brevipalpus phoenicis (Geijskes) and Brevipalpus californicus (Banks) were the only two species present and they were found in all locations except Campeche, where only B. phoenicis was present. Yucatan and Campeche are at greater risk of leprosis virus transmission than Quintana Roo because the main vector, B. phoenicis, was more abundant than B. californicus. The implications of our results for the design of more accurate sampling and control methods for Brevipalpus spp. are discussed.

  7. Few Ant Species Play a Central Role Linking Different Plant Resources in a Network in Rupestrian Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Mello, Marco A. R.; Bronstein, Judith L.; Guerra, Tadeu J.; Muylaert, Renata L.; Leite, Alice C.; Neves, Frederico S.

    2016-01-01

    Ant-plant associations are an outstanding model to study the entangled ecological interactions that structure communities. However, most studies of plant-animal networks focus on only one type of resource that mediates these interactions (e.g, nectar or fruits), leading to a biased understanding of community structure. New approaches, however, have made possible to study several interaction types simultaneously through multilayer networks models. Here, we use this approach to ask whether the structural patterns described to date for ant-plant networks hold when multiple interactions with plant-derived food rewards are considered. We tested whether networks characterized by different resource types differ in specialization and resource partitioning among ants, and whether the identity of the core ant species is similar among resource types. We monitored ant interactions with extrafloral nectaries, flowers, and fruits, as well as trophobiont hemipterans feeding on plants, for one year, in seven rupestrian grassland (campo rupestre) sites in southeastern Brazil. We found a highly tangled ant-plant network in which plants offering different resource types are connected by a few central ant species. The multilayer network had low modularity and specialization, but ant specialization and niche overlap differed according to the type of resource used. Beyond detecting structural differences across networks, our study demonstrates empirically that the core of most central ant species is similar across them. We suggest that foraging strategies of ant species, such as massive recruitment, may determine specialization and resource partitioning in ant-plant interactions. As this core of ant species is involved in multiple ecosystem functions, it may drive the diversity and evolution of the entire campo rupestre community. PMID:27911919

  8. On the statistical mechanics of species abundance distributions.

    PubMed

    Bowler, Michael G; Kelly, Colleen K

    2012-09-01

    A central issue in ecology is that of the factors determining the relative abundance of species within a natural community. The proper application of the principles of statistical physics to species abundance distributions (SADs) shows that simple ecological properties could account for the near universal features observed. These properties are (i) a limit on the number of individuals in an ecological guild and (ii) per capita birth and death rates. They underpin the neutral theory of Hubbell (2001), the master equation approach of Volkov et al. (2003, 2005) and the idiosyncratic (extreme niche) theory of Pueyo et al. (2007); they result in an underlying log series SAD, regardless of neutral or niche dynamics. The success of statistical mechanics in this application implies that communities are in dynamic equilibrium and hence that niches must be flexible and that temporal fluctuations on all sorts of scales are likely to be important in community structure. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Myrmecochory and short-term seed fate in Rhamnus alaternus: Ant species and seed characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bas, J. M.; Oliveras, J.; Gómez, C.

    2009-05-01

    Benefits conferred on plants in ant-mediated seed dispersal mutualisms (myrmecochory) depend on the fate of transported seeds. We studied the effects of elaiosome presence, seed size and seed treatment (with and without passage through a bird's digestive tract) on short-term seed fate in Rhamnus alaternus. In our study, we define short-term seed, or initial, seed fate, as the location where ants release the seeds after ant contact with it. The elaiosomes had the most influence on short-term fate, i.e. whether or not seeds were transported to the nest. The workers usually transported big seeds more often than small ones, but small ants did not transport large seeds. Effect of seed size on transport depended on the ant species and on the treatment of the seed (manual extraction simulating a direct fall from the parent plant vs. bird deposition corresponding to preliminary primary dispersal). Probability of removal of elaiosome-bearing seeds to the nest by Aphaenogaster senilis increased with increasing seed weight.

  10. Circadian consequences of social organization in the ant species Camponotus compressus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Vijay Kumar; Lone, Shahnaz Rahman; Goel, Anubhuthi; Chandrashekaran, M. K.

    The locomotor activity rhythm of different castes of the ant species Camponotus compressus was monitored individually under laboratory light/dark (LD) cycles, and under continuous darkness (DD). The colony of this ant species comprises two sexual castes, the queens and the males, and three worker castes, namely the major, media, and minor workers. The virgin males and virgin queens display rhythmic activity patterns, but the mated queens were arrhythmic while laying eggs, with the rhythmicity resuming soon after egg-laying. Under the LD regime, major workers showed nocturnal patterns, while about 75% of the media workers displayed nocturnal patterns and about 25% showed diurnal patterns. Under the DD regime, most major workers exhibited circadian rhythm of activity with a single steady state, whereas media workers displayed two types of activity patterns, with activity patterns changing after 6-9 days in DD (turn-arounds). The pre-turn-around τ of the ants that showed nocturnal activity patterns during LD entrainment was <24 h after release into DD, which then became >24 h, after 6-9 days. On the other hand, the pre-turn-around τ of those ants that exhibited diurnal patterns during LD entrainment was first >24 h after release into DD, and then became <24 h, after 6-9 days. The activity of the minor workers neither entrained to LD cycles nor showed any sign of free-run in DD. It appears that the circadian clocks of the ant species C. compressus are flexible, and may perhaps depend upon the tasks assigned to them in the colony.

  11. Astrochem: Abundances of chemical species in the interstellar medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maret, Sébastien; Bergin, Edwin A.

    2015-07-01

    Astrochem computes the abundances of chemical species in the interstellar medium, as function of time. It studies the chemistry in a variety of astronomical objects, including diffuse clouds, dense clouds, photodissociation regions, prestellar cores, protostars, and protostellar disks. Astrochem reads a network of chemical reactions from a text file, builds up a system of kinetic rates equations, and solves it using a state-of-the-art stiff ordinary differential equation (ODE) solver. The Jacobian matrix of the system is computed implicitly, so the resolution of the system is extremely fast: large networks containing several thousands of reactions are usually solved in a few seconds. A variety of gas phase process are considered, as well as simple gas-grain interactions, such as the freeze-out and the desorption via several mechanisms (thermal desorption, cosmic-ray desorption and photo-desorption). The computed abundances are written in a HDF5 file, and can be plotted in different ways with the tools provided with Astrochem. Chemical reactions and their rates are written in a format which is meant to be easy to read and to edit. A tool to convert the chemical networks from the OSU and KIDA databases into this format is also provided. Astrochem is written in C, and its source code is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

  12. Fuel breaks affect nonnative species abundance in Californian plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merriam, K.E.; Keeley, J.E.; Beyers, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    We evaluated the abundance of nonnative plants on fuel breaks and in adjacent untreated areas to determine if fuel treatments promote the invasion of nonnative plant species. Understanding the relationship between fuel treatments and nonnative plants is becoming increasingly important as federal and state agencies are currently implementing large fuel treatment programs throughout the United States to reduce the threat of wildland fire. Our study included 24 fuel breaks located across the State of California. We found that nonnative plant abundance was over 200% higher on fuel breaks than in adjacent wildland areas. Relative nonnative cover was greater on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers (28%) than on fuel breaks constructed by other methods (7%). Canopy cover, litter cover, and duff depth also were significantly lower on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers, and these fuel breaks had significantly more exposed bare ground than other types of fuel breaks. There was a significant decline in relative nonnative cover with increasing distance from the fuel break, particularly in areas that had experienced more numerous fires during the past 50 years, and in areas that had been grazed. These data suggest that fuel breaks could provide establishment sites for nonnative plants, and that nonnatives may invade surrounding areas, especially after disturbances such as fire or grazing. Fuel break construction and maintenance methods that leave some overstory canopy and minimize exposure of bare ground may be less likely to promote nonnative plants. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  13. Target strengths of two abundant mesopelagic fish species.

    PubMed

    Scoulding, Ben; Chu, Dezhang; Ona, Egil; Fernandes, Paul G

    2015-02-01

    Mesopelagic fish of the Myctophidae and Sternoptychidae families dominate the biomass of the oceanic deep scattering layers and, therefore, have important ecological roles within these ecosystems. Interest in the commercial exploitation of these fish is growing, so the development of techniques for estimating their abundance, distribution and, ultimately, sustainable exploitation are essential. The acoustic backscattering characteristics for two size classes of Maurolicus muelleri and Benthosema glaciale are reported here based on swimbladder morphology derived from digitized soft x-ray images, and empirical (in situ) measurements of target strength (TS) derived from an acoustic survey in a Norwegian Sea. A backscattering model based on a gas-filled prolate spheroid was used to predict the theoretical TS for both species across a frequency range between 0 and 250 kHz. Sensitivity analyses of the TS model to the modeling parameters indicate that TS is rather sensitive to the viscosity, swimbladder volume ratio, and tilt, which can result in substantial changes to the TS. Theoretical TS predictions close to the resonance frequency were in good agreement (±2 dB) with mean in situ TS derived from the areas acoustically surveyed that were spatially and temporally consistent with the trawl information for both species.

  14. Daughter Species Abundances in Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKay, Adam; Cochran, Anita; Dello Russo, Neil; Kelley, Michael

    2015-11-01

    We present analysis of high spectral resolution optical spectra of C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) acquired with the Tull Coude spectrometer on the 2.7-meter Harlan J. Smith Telescope at McDonald Observatory and the ARCES spectrometer mounted on the 3.5-meter Astrophysical Research Consortium Telescope at Apache Point Observatory. Both Tull Coude and ARCES provide high spectral resolution (R=30,000-60,000) and a large spectral range of approximately 3500-10000 Angstroms. We obtained two observation epochs, one in February 2015 at a heliocentric distance of 1.3 AU, and another in May 2015 at a heliocentric distance of 1.9 AU. Another epoch in late August 2015 at a heliocentric distance of 3.0 AU is scheduled. We will present production rates of the daughter species CN, C3, CH, C2, and NH2. We will also present H2O production rates derived from the [OI]6300 emission, as well as measurements of the flux ratio of the [OI]5577 Angstrom line to the sum of the [OI]6300 and [OI]6364 Angstrom lines (sometimes referred to as the oxygen line ratio). This ratio is indicative of the CO2 abundance of the comet. As we have observations at several heliocentric distances, we will examine how production rates and mixing ratios of the various species change with heliocentric distance. We will compare our oxygen line measurements to observations of CO2 made with Spitzer, as well as our other daughter species observations to those of candidate parent molecules made at IR wavelengths.

  15. Evidence of competition among three species of Pseudacteon decapitating flies released in the Gainesville area as fire ant biocontrol agents

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Three species of fire ant decapitating flies have been established in the Gainesville area. The first species, Pseudacteon tricuspis, was established in 1997. The second species, Pseudacteon curvatus, was established in 2003 and the third species, Pseudacteon obtusus, was established in 2008. The s...

  16. Paralyzing Action from a Distance in an Arboreal African Ant Species

    PubMed Central

    Rifflet, Aline; Tene, Nathan; Orivel, Jerome; Treilhou, Michel; Dejean, Alain; Vetillard, Angelique

    2011-01-01

    Due to their prowess in interspecific competition and ability to catch a wide range of arthropod prey (mostly termites with which they are engaged in an evolutionary arms race), ants are recognized as a good model for studying the chemicals involved in defensive and predatory behaviors. Ants' wide diversity of nesting habits and relationships with plants and prey types implies that these chemicals are also very diverse. Using the African myrmicine ant Crematogaster striatula as our focal species, we adopted a three-pronged research approach. We studied the aggressive and predatory behaviors of the ant workers, conducted bioassays on the effect of their Dufour gland contents on termites, and analyzed these contents. (1) The workers defend themselves or eliminate termites by orienting their abdominal tip toward the opponent, stinger protruded. The chemicals emitted, apparently volatile, trigger the recruitment of nestmates situated in the vicinity and act without the stinger having to come into direct contact with the opponent. Whereas alien ants competing with C. striatula for sugary food sources are repelled by this behavior and retreat further and further away, termites defend their nest whatever the danger. They face down C. striatula workers and end up by rolling onto their backs, their legs batting the air. (2) The bioassays showed that the toxicity of the Dufour gland contents acts in a time-dependent manner, leading to the irreversible paralysis, and, ultimately, death of the termites. (3) Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses showed that the Dufour gland contains a mixture of mono- or polyunsaturated long-chain derivatives, bearing functional groups like oxo-alcohols or oxo-acetates. Electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry showed the presence of a molecule of 1584 Da that might be a large, acetylated alkaloid capable of splitting into smaller molecules that could be responsible for the final degree of venom toxicity. PMID:22194854

  17. Iridium Concentrations and Abundances of Meteoritic Ejecta from the Eltanin Impact in Sediment Cores from Polarstern Expedition ANT XII/4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, Frank T.

    2002-01-01

    The abundances of meteoritic ejecta from the Eltanin asteroid impact have been examined in several sediment cores recovered by the FS Polarstern during expedition ANT XII/4 using elemental concentrations of iridium and weights of coarse ejecta debris. Three cores with well-preserved impact deposits, PS204-1, PS2708-1, and PS2709-1, each contain Ir and ejecta fluences similar to those found in USNS Eltanin core E13-4. Small Ir anomalies and traces of ejecta were found in cores PS2706-1 and PS2710-1, but since these cores lack well-defined deposits, these are considered to be reworked and not representative of the fallout. No evidence of ejecta was found in cores PS2802-1 and PS2705-1. These results confirm earlier speculation that the Eltanin impact resulted in deposits of ejecta with up to 1 gram/sq centimeter of depris over a wide area of the ocean floor. However, there are sill large uncertainties over the actual regional or global extent of this unique sediment deposit.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  19. Species are not most abundant in the centre of their geographic range or climatic niche.

    PubMed

    Dallas, Tad; Decker, Robin R; Hastings, Alan

    2017-12-01

    The pervasive idea that species should be most abundant in the centre of their geographic range or centre of their climatic niche is a key assumption in many existing ecological hypotheses and has been declared a general macroecological rule. However, empirical support for decreasing population abundance with increasing distance from geographic range or climatic niche centre (distance-abundance relationships) remains fairly weak. We examine over 1400 bird, mammal, fish and tree species to provide a thorough test of distance-abundance relationships, and their associations with species traits and phylogenetic relationships. We failed to detect consistent distance-abundance relationships, and found no association between distance-abundance slope and species traits or phylogenetic relatedness. Together, our analyses suggest that distance-abundance relationships may be rare, difficult to detect, or are an oversimplification of the complex biogeographical forces that determine species spatial abundance patterns. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  20. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-07

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal desert of northwestern Argentina, we surveyed the richness and phenology of EFN plants and their associated ants and examined the patterns in ant-plant interaction networks. We found that 25 ant species and 11 EFN-bearing plant species were linked together through 96 pairs of associations. Plants bearing EFNs were abundant, representing ca. 19 % of the species encountered in transects and 24 % of the plant cover. Most ant species sampled (ca. 77 %) fed on EF nectar. Interactions showed a marked seasonal pattern: EFN secretion was directly related to plant phenology and correlated with the time of highest ant ground activity. Our results reveal that EFN-mediated interactions are ecologically relevant components of deserts, and that EFN-bearing plants are crucial for the survival of desert ant communities. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  1. Commonly rare and rarely common: comparing population abundance of invasive and native aquatic species.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Gretchen J A; Vander Zanden, M Jake; Blum, Michael J; Clayton, Murray K; Hain, Ernie F; Hauxwell, Jennifer; Izzo, Marit; Kornis, Matthew S; McIntyre, Peter B; Mikulyuk, Alison; Nilsson, Erika; Olden, Julian D; Papeş, Monica; Sharma, Sapna

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species are leading drivers of environmental change. Their impacts are often linked to their population size, but surprisingly little is known about how frequently they achieve high abundances. A nearly universal pattern in ecology is that species are rare in most locations and abundant in a few, generating right-skewed abundance distributions. Here, we use abundance data from over 24,000 populations of 17 invasive and 104 native aquatic species to test whether invasive species differ from native counterparts in statistical patterns of abundance across multiple sites. Invasive species on average reached significantly higher densities than native species and exhibited significantly higher variance. However, invasive and native species did not differ in terms of coefficient of variation, skewness, or kurtosis. Abundance distributions of all species were highly right skewed (skewness>0), meaning both invasive and native species occurred at low densities in most locations where they were present. The average abundance of invasive and native species was 6% and 2%, respectively, of the maximum abundance observed within a taxonomic group. The biological significance of the differences between invasive and native species depends on species-specific relationships between abundance and impact. Recognition of cross-site heterogeneity in population densities brings a new dimension to invasive species management, and may help to refine optimal prevention, containment, control, and eradication strategies.

  2. Commonly Rare and Rarely Common: Comparing Population Abundance of Invasive and Native Aquatic Species

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Gretchen J. A.; Vander Zanden, M. Jake; Blum, Michael J.; Clayton, Murray K.; Hain, Ernie F.; Hauxwell, Jennifer; Izzo, Marit; Kornis, Matthew S.; McIntyre, Peter B.; Mikulyuk, Alison; Nilsson, Erika; Olden, Julian D.; Papeş, Monica; Sharma, Sapna

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species are leading drivers of environmental change. Their impacts are often linked to their population size, but surprisingly little is known about how frequently they achieve high abundances. A nearly universal pattern in ecology is that species are rare in most locations and abundant in a few, generating right-skewed abundance distributions. Here, we use abundance data from over 24,000 populations of 17 invasive and 104 native aquatic species to test whether invasive species differ from native counterparts in statistical patterns of abundance across multiple sites. Invasive species on average reached significantly higher densities than native species and exhibited significantly higher variance. However, invasive and native species did not differ in terms of coefficient of variation, skewness, or kurtosis. Abundance distributions of all species were highly right skewed (skewness>0), meaning both invasive and native species occurred at low densities in most locations where they were present. The average abundance of invasive and native species was 6% and 2%, respectively, of the maximum abundance observed within a taxonomic group. The biological significance of the differences between invasive and native species depends on species-specific relationships between abundance and impact. Recognition of cross-site heterogeneity in population densities brings a new dimension to invasive species management, and may help to refine optimal prevention, containment, control, and eradication strategies. PMID:24194883

  3. Variation in Extrafloral Nectary Productivity Influences the Ant Foraging

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Extrafloral nectar is the main food source offered by plants to predatory ants in most land environments. Although many studies have demonstrated the importance of extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) to plant defense against herbivores, the influence of EFNs secretory activity pattern on predatory ants remains yet not fully understood. Here, we verified the relation between the extrafloral nectar production of a plant community in Cerrado in different times of the day, and its attractiveness to ants. The extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) of seven plant species showed higher productivity overnight. Ant abundance was higher in times of large extrafloral nectar production, however, there was no positive relation between ant richness on plants and EFNs productivity. There was temporal resource partitioning among ant species, and it indicates strong resource competition. The nectar productivity varied among plant species and time of the day, and it influenced the visitation patterns of ants. Therefore, EFNs are a key ant-plant interaction driver in the studied system. PMID:28046069

  4. RELATIONSHIPS OF ALIEN PLANT SPECIES ABUNDANCE TO RIPARIAN VEGETATION, ENVIRONMENT, AND DISTURBANCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Riparian ecosystems are often invaded by alien species. We evaluated vegetation, environment, and disturbance conditions and their interrelationships with alien species abundance along reaches of 29 streams in eastern Oregon, USA. Using flexible-BETA clustering, indicator species...

  5. Plant Trait-Species Abundance Relationships Vary with Environmental Properties in Subtropical Forests in Eastern China

    PubMed Central

    Yan, En-Rong; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Chang, Scott X.; Wang, Xi-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how plant trait-species abundance relationships change with a range of single and multivariate environmental properties is crucial for explaining species abundance and rarity. In this study, the abundance of 94 woody plant species was examined and related to 15 plant leaf and wood traits at both local and landscape scales involving 31 plots in subtropical forests in eastern China. Further, plant trait-species abundance relationships were related to a range of single and multivariate (PCA axes) environmental properties such as air humidity, soil moisture content, soil temperature, soil pH, and soil organic matter, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) contents. At the landscape scale, plant maximum height, and twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, whereas mean leaf area (MLA), leaf N concentration (LN), and total leaf area per twig size (TLA) were negatively correlated with species abundance. At the plot scale, plant maximum height, leaf and twig dry matter contents, twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, but MLA, specific leaf area, LN, leaf P concentration and TLA were negatively correlated with species abundance. Plant trait-species abundance relationships shifted over the range of seven single environmental properties and along multivariate environmental axes in a similar way. In conclusion, strong relationships between plant traits and species abundance existed among and within communities. Significant shifts in plant trait-species abundance relationships in a range of environmental properties suggest strong environmental filtering processes that influence species abundance and rarity in the studied subtropical forests. PMID:23560114

  6. Plant trait-species abundance relationships vary with environmental properties in subtropical forests in eastern china.

    PubMed

    Yan, En-Rong; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Chang, Scott X; Wang, Xi-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how plant trait-species abundance relationships change with a range of single and multivariate environmental properties is crucial for explaining species abundance and rarity. In this study, the abundance of 94 woody plant species was examined and related to 15 plant leaf and wood traits at both local and landscape scales involving 31 plots in subtropical forests in eastern China. Further, plant trait-species abundance relationships were related to a range of single and multivariate (PCA axes) environmental properties such as air humidity, soil moisture content, soil temperature, soil pH, and soil organic matter, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) contents. At the landscape scale, plant maximum height, and twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, whereas mean leaf area (MLA), leaf N concentration (LN), and total leaf area per twig size (TLA) were negatively correlated with species abundance. At the plot scale, plant maximum height, leaf and twig dry matter contents, twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, but MLA, specific leaf area, LN, leaf P concentration and TLA were negatively correlated with species abundance. Plant trait-species abundance relationships shifted over the range of seven single environmental properties and along multivariate environmental axes in a similar way. In conclusion, strong relationships between plant traits and species abundance existed among and within communities. Significant shifts in plant trait-species abundance relationships in a range of environmental properties suggest strong environmental filtering processes that influence species abundance and rarity in the studied subtropical forests.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Evaluating Functional Diversity: Missing Trait Data and the Importance of Species Abundance Structure and Data Transformation

    PubMed Central

    Bryndová, Michala; Kasari, Liis; Norberg, Anna; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, Tom R.; Luke, Sarah H.; Sam, Katerina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Lepš, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect the accuracy of indices when data is incomplete. Using an existing approach, we simulated the effects of missing trait data by gradually removing data from a plant, an ant and a bird community dataset (12, 59, and 8 plots containing 62, 297 and 238 species respectively). We ranked plots by FD values calculated from full datasets and then from our increasingly incomplete datasets and compared the ranking between the original and virtually reduced datasets to assess the accuracy of FD indices when used on datasets with increasingly missing data. Finally, we tested the accuracy of FD indices with and without data transformation, and the effect of missing trait data per plot or per the whole pool of species. FD indices became less accurate as the amount of missing data increased, with the loss of accuracy depending on the index. But, where transformation improved the normality of the trait data, FD values from incomplete datasets were more accurate than before transformation. The distribution of data and its transformation are therefore as important as data completeness and can even mitigate the effect of missing data. Since the effect of missing trait values pool-wise or plot-wise depends on the data distribution, the method should be decided case by case. Data distribution and data transformation should be given more careful consideration when designing, analysing and interpreting FD studies, especially where trait data are missing. To this end, we provide the R package “traitor” to facilitate assessments of missing trait data. PMID:26881747

  9. Evaluating Functional Diversity: Missing Trait Data and the Importance of Species Abundance Structure and Data Transformation.

    PubMed

    Májeková, Maria; Paal, Taavi; Plowman, Nichola S; Bryndová, Michala; Kasari, Liis; Norberg, Anna; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, Tom R; Luke, Sarah H; Sam, Katerina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Lepš, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect the accuracy of indices when data is incomplete. Using an existing approach, we simulated the effects of missing trait data by gradually removing data from a plant, an ant and a bird community dataset (12, 59, and 8 plots containing 62, 297 and 238 species respectively). We ranked plots by FD values calculated from full datasets and then from our increasingly incomplete datasets and compared the ranking between the original and virtually reduced datasets to assess the accuracy of FD indices when used on datasets with increasingly missing data. Finally, we tested the accuracy of FD indices with and without data transformation, and the effect of missing trait data per plot or per the whole pool of species. FD indices became less accurate as the amount of missing data increased, with the loss of accuracy depending on the index. But, where transformation improved the normality of the trait data, FD values from incomplete datasets were more accurate than before transformation. The distribution of data and its transformation are therefore as important as data completeness and can even mitigate the effect of missing data. Since the effect of missing trait values pool-wise or plot-wise depends on the data distribution, the method should be decided case by case. Data distribution and data transformation should be given more careful consideration when designing, analysing and interpreting FD studies, especially where trait data are missing. To this end, we provide the R package "traitor" to facilitate assessments of missing trait data.

  10. Taxonomic Synopsis of the Ponto-Mediterranean Ants of Temnothorax nylanderi Species-Group

    PubMed Central

    Csősz, Sándor; Heinze, Jürgen; Mikó, István

    2015-01-01

    In the current revisionary work, the Temnothorax nylanderi species-group of myrmicine ants is characterized. Eighteen species belonging to this group in the Ponto-Mediterranean region are described or redefined based on an integrative approach that combines exploratory analyses of morphometric data and of a 658bp fragment of the mitochondrial gene for the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (CO I). The species group is subdivided into five species complexes: T. angustifrons complex, T. lichtensteini complex, T. nylanderi complex, T. parvulus complex, T. sordidulus complex, and two species, T. angulinodis sp. n. and T. flavicornis (Emery, 1870) form their own lineages. We describe seven new species (T. angulinodis sp. n., T. angustifrons sp. n., T. ariadnae sp. n., T. helenae sp. n., T. lucidus sp. n., T. similis sp. n., T. subtilis sp. n.), raise T. tergestinus (FINZI, 1928) stat.n. to species level, and propose a new junior synonymy for T. saxonicus (SEIFERT, 1995) syn.n. (junior synonym of T. tergestinus). We describe the worker caste and provide high quality images and distributional maps for all eighteen species. Furthermore, we provide a decision tree as an alternative identification key that visually gives an overview of this species-group. We make the first application to Formicidae of the Semantic Phenotype approach that has been used in previous taxonomic revisions. PMID:26536033

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

    PubMed

    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

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

  12. Seed banks in a degraded desert shrubland: Influence of soil surface condition and harvester ant activity on seed abundance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeFalco, L.A.; Esque, T.C.; Kane, J.M.; Nicklas, M.B.

    2009-01-01

    We compared seed banks between two contrasting anthropogenic surface disturbances (compacted, trenched) and adjacent undisturbed controls to determine whether site condition influences viable seed densities of perennial and annual Mojave Desert species. Viable seeds of perennials were rare in undisturbed areas (3-4 seeds/m2) and declined to <1 seed/m2 within disturbed sites. Annual seed densities were an order of magnitude greater than those of perennials, were one-third the undisturbed seed densities on compacted sites, but doubled on trenched sites relative to controls. On trenched sites, greater litter cover comprising the infructescences of the dominant spring annuals, and low gravel content, enhanced seed densities of both annuals and perennials. Litter cover and surface ruggedness were the best explanations for viable perennial seed densities on compacted sites, but litter cover and the presence of a common harvester ant explained annual seed densities better than any other surface characteristics that were examined. Surface disturbances can have a varied impact on the condition of the soil surface in arid lands. Nevertheless, the consistently positive relationship between ground cover of litter and viable seed density emphasizes the importance of litter as an indicator of site degradation and recovery potential in arid lands.

  13. Modelling community dynamics based on species-level abundance models from detection/nondetection data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yamaura, Yuichi; Royle, J. Andrew; Kuboi, Kouji; Tada, Tsuneo; Ikeno, Susumu; Makino, Shun'ichi

    2011-01-01

    1. In large-scale field surveys, a binary recording of each species' detection or nondetection has been increasingly adopted for its simplicity and low cost. Because of the importance of abundance in many studies, it is desirable to obtain inferences about abundance at species-, functional group-, and community-levels from such binary data. 2. We developed a novel hierarchical multi-species abundance model based on species-level detection/nondetection data. The model accounts for the existence of undetected species, and variability in abundance and detectability among species. Species-level detection/nondetection is linked to species- level abundance via a detection model that accommodates the expectation that probability of detection (at least one individuals is detected) increases with local abundance of the species. We applied this model to a 9-year dataset composed of the detection/nondetection of forest birds, at a single post-fire site (from 7 to 15 years after fire) in a montane area of central Japan. The model allocated undetected species into one of the predefined functional groups by assuming a prior distribution on individual group membership. 3. The results suggest that 15–20 species were missed in each year, and that species richness of communities and functional groups did not change with post-fire forest succession. Overall abundance of birds and abundance of functional groups tended to increase over time, although only in the winter, while decreases in detectabilities were observed in several species. 4. Synthesis and applications. Understanding and prediction of large-scale biodiversity dynamics partly hinge on how we can use data effectively. Our hierarchical model for detection/nondetection data estimates abundance in space/time at species-, functional group-, and community-levels while accounting for undetected individuals and species. It also permits comparison of multiple communities by many types of abundance-based diversity and similarity

  14. Fish and Phytoplankton Exhibit Contrasting Temporal Species Abundance Patterns in a Dynamic North Temperate Lake

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Gretchen J. A.; Carey, Cayelan C.

    2015-01-01

    Temporal patterns of species abundance, although less well-studied than spatial patterns, provide valuable insight to the processes governing community assembly. We compared temporal abundance distributions of two communities, phytoplankton and fish, in a north temperate lake. We used both 17 years of observed relative abundance data as well as resampled data from Monte Carlo simulations to account for the possible effects of non-detection of rare species. Similar to what has been found in other communities, phytoplankton and fish species that appeared more frequently were generally more abundant than rare species. However, neither community exhibited two distinct groups of “core” (common occurrence and high abundance) and “occasional” (rare occurrence and low abundance) species. Both observed and resampled data show that the phytoplankton community was dominated by occasional species appearing in only one year that exhibited large variation in their abundances, while the fish community was dominated by core species occurring in all 17 years at high abundances. We hypothesize that the life-history traits that enable phytoplankton to persist in highly dynamic environments may result in communities dominated by occasional species capable of reaching high abundances when conditions allow. Conversely, longer turnover times and broad environmental tolerances of fish may result in communities dominated by core species structured primarily by competitive interactions. PMID:25651399

  15. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal desert of northwestern Argentina, we surveyed the richness and phenology of EFN plants and their associated ants and examined the patterns in ant–plant interaction networks. We found that 25 ant species and 11 EFN-bearing plant species were linked together through 96 pairs of associations. Plants bearing EFNs were abundant, representing ca. 19 % of the species encountered in transects and 24 % of the plant cover. Most ant species sampled (ca. 77 %) fed on EF nectar. Interactions showed a marked seasonal pattern: EFN secretion was directly related to plant phenology and correlated with the time of highest ant ground activity. Our results reveal that EFN-mediated interactions are ecologically relevant components of deserts, and that EFN-bearing plants are crucial for the survival of desert ant communities. PMID:25381258

  16. DNA Barcodes for Species Identification in the Hyperdiverse Ant Genus Pheidole (Formicidae: Myrmicinae)

    PubMed Central

    Ng'endo, R.N.; Osiemo, Z.B.; Brandl, R.

    2013-01-01

    DNA sequencing is increasingly being used to assist in species identification in order to overcome taxonomic impediment. However, few studies attempt to compare the results of these molecular studies with a more traditional species delineation approach based on morphological characters. Mitochondrial DNA Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) gene was sequenced, measuring 636 base pairs, from 47 ants of the genus Pheidole (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) collected in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest to test whether the morphology-based assignment of individuals into species is supported by DNA-based species delimitation. Twenty morphospecies were identified, whereas the barcoding analysis identified 19 Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs). Fifteen out of the 19 DNA-based clusters allocated, using sequence divergence thresholds of 2% and 3%, matched with morphospecies. Both thresholds yielded the same number of MOTUs. Only one MOTU was successfully identified to species level using the CO1 sequences of Pheidole species already in the Genbank. The average pairwise sequence divergence for all 47 sequences was 19%, ranging between 0–25%. In some cases, however, morphology and molecular based methods differed in their assignment of individuals to morphospecies or MOTUs. The occurrence of distinct mitochondrial lineages within morphological species highlights groups for further detailed genetic and morphological studies, and therefore a pluralistic approach using several methods to understand the taxonomy of difficult lineages is advocated. PMID:23902257

  17. Rarity and diversity in forest ant assemblages of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lessard, J.-P.; Dunn, R.R.; Parker, C.R.; Sanders, N.J.

    2007-01-01

    We report on a systematic survey of the ant fauna occurring in hardwood forests in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At 22-mixed hardwood sites, we collected leaf-litter ant species using Winkler samplers. At eight of those sites, we also collected ants using pitfall and Malaise traps. In total, we collected 53 ant species. As shown in other studies, ant species richness tended to decline with increasing elevation. Leaf-litter ant assemblages were also highly nested. Several common species were both locally abundant and had broad distributions, while many other species were rarely detected. Winkler samplers, pitfall traps, and Malaise traps yielded samples that differed in composition, but not richness, from one another. Taken together, our work begins to illuminate the factors that govern the diversity, distribution, abundance, and perhaps rarity of ants of forested ecosystems in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

  18. Ant Species Differences Determined by Epistasis between Brood and Worker Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Linksvayer, Timothy A.

    2007-01-01

    Epistasis arising from physiological interactions between gene products often contributes to species differences, particularly those involved in reproductive isolation. In social organisms, phenotypes are influenced by the genotypes of multiple interacting individuals. In theory, social interactions can give rise to an additional type of epistasis between the genomes of social partners that can contribute to species differences. Using a full-factorial cross-fostering design with three species of closely related Temnothorax ants, I found that adult worker size was determined by an interaction between the genotypes of developing brood and care-giving workers, i.e. intergenomic epistasis. Such intergenomic social epistasis provides a strong signature of coevolution between social partners. These results demonstrate that just as physiologically interacting genes coevolve, diverge, and contribute to species differences, so do socially interacting genes. Coevolution and conflict between social partners, especially relatives such as parents and offspring, has long been recognized as having widespread evolutionary effects. This coevolutionary process may often result in coevolved socially-interacting gene complexes that contribute to species differences. PMID:17912371

  19. Hierarchical analysis of species distributions and abundance across environmental gradients

    Treesearch

    Jeffery Diez; Ronald H. Pulliam

    2007-01-01

    Abiotic and biotic processes operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales to shape many ecological processes, including species distributions and demography. Current debate about the relative roles of niche-based and stochastic processes in shaping species distributions and community composition reflects, in part, the challenge of understanding how these processes...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Experimental evidence that the introduced fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, does not competitively suppress co-occurring ants in a disturbed habitat.

    PubMed

    King, Joshua R; Tschinkel, Walter R

    2006-11-01

    1. The fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is a globally distributed invasive ant that is largely restricted to disturbed habitats in its introduced range. For more than half a century, biologists have believed its success results from superior competitive abilities relative to native ant species, as well as an escape from their natural enemies. 2. We used large volumes of hot water to kill fire ant colonies, and only fire ant colonies, on experimental plots in pastures, and found that populations and diversity of co-occurring ants did not subsequently increase. 3. These results are contrary to classical predictions and indicate that S. invicta is not a superior competitor that suppresses native ants, and that the low diversity and abundance of native ants in degraded ecosystems does not result from interaction with fire ants. Instead, other factors such as prior disturbance and recruitment limitation may be the primary limiting factors for native species in these habitats.

  2. Tallgrass prairie ants: their species composition, ecological roles, and response to management

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Ants are highly influential organisms in terrestrial ecosystems, including the tallgrass prairie, one of the most endangered ecosystems in North America. Through their tunneling, ants affect soil properties and resource availability for animals and plants. Ants also have important ecological roles a...

  3. Estimating abundances of interacting species using morphological traits, foraging guilds, and habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dorazio, Robert M.; Connor, Edward F.

    2014-01-01

    We developed a statistical model to estimate the abundances of potentially interacting species encountered while conducting point-count surveys at a set of ecologically relevant locations - as in a metacommunity of species. In the model we assume that abundances of species with similar traits (e.g., body size) are potentially correlated and that these correlations, when present, may exist among all species or only among functionally related species (such as members of the same foraging guild). We also assume that species-specific abundances vary among locations owing to systematic and stochastic sources of heterogeneity. For example, if abundances differ among locations due to differences in habitat, then measures of habitat may be included in the model as covariates. Naturally, the quantitative effects of these covariates are assumed to differ among species. Our model also accounts for the effects of detectability on the observed counts of each species. This aspect of the model is especially important for rare or uncommon species that may be difficult to detect in community-level surveys. Estimating the detectability of each species requires sampling locations to be surveyed repeatedly using different observers or different visits of a single observer. As an illustration, we fitted models to species-specific counts of birds obtained while sampling an avian community during the breeding season. In the analysis we examined whether species abundances appeared to be correlated due to similarities in morphological measures (body mass, beak length, tarsus length, wing length, tail length) and whether these correlations existed among all species or only among species of the same foraging guild. We also used the model to estimate the effects of forested area on species abundances and the effects of sound power output (as measured by body size) on species detection probabilities.

  4. Species abundance in a forest community in South China: A case of poisson lognormal distribution

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yin, Z.-Y.; Ren, H.; Zhang, Q.-M.; Peng, S.-L.; Guo, Q.-F.; Zhou, G.-Y.

    2005-01-01

    Case studies on Poisson lognormal distribution of species abundance have been rare, especially in forest communities. We propose a numerical method to fit the Poisson lognormal to the species abundance data at an evergreen mixed forest in the Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, South China. Plants in the tree, shrub and herb layers in 25 quadrats of 20 m??20 m, 5 m??5 m, and 1 m??1 m were surveyed. Results indicated that: (i) for each layer, the observed species abundance with a similarly small median, mode, and a variance larger than the mean was reverse J-shaped and followed well the zero-truncated Poisson lognormal; (ii) the coefficient of variation, skewness and kurtosis of abundance, and two Poisson lognormal parameters (?? and ??) for shrub layer were closer to those for the herb layer than those for the tree layer; and (iii) from the tree to the shrub to the herb layer, the ?? and the coefficient of variation decreased, whereas diversity increased. We suggest that: (i) the species abundance distributions in the three layers reflects the overall community characteristics; (ii) the Poisson lognormal can describe the species abundance distribution in diverse communities with a few abundant species but many rare species; and (iii) 1/?? should be an alternative measure of diversity.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Species’ functional traits are an important part of the ecological complexity that determines the provisioning of ecosystem services. In biological pest control, predator response to pest density variation is a dynamic trait that impacts the provision of this service in agroecosystems. When pest populations fluctuate, farmers relying on biocontrol services need to know how natural enemies respond to these changes. Here we test the effect of variation in coffee berry borer (CBB) density on the biocontrol efficiency of a keystone ant species (Azteca sericeasur) in a coffee agroecosystem. We performed exclosure experiments to measure the infestation rate of CBB released on coffee branches in the presence and absence of ants at four different CBB density levels. We measured infestation rate as the number of CBB bored into fruits after 24 hours, quantified biocontrol efficiency (BCE) as the proportion of infesting CBB removed by ants, and estimated functional response from ant attack rates, measured as the difference in CBB infestation between branches. Infestation rates of CBB on branches with ants were significantly lower (71%-82%) than on those without ants across all density levels. Additionally, biocontrol efficiency was generally high and did not significantly vary across pest density treatments. Furthermore, ant attack rates increased linearly with increasing CBB density, suggesting a Type I functional response. These results demonstrate that ants can provide robust biological control of CBB, despite variation in pest density, and that the response of predators to pest density variation is an important factor in the provision of biocontrol services. Considering how natural enemies respond to changes in pest densities will allow for more accurate biocontrol predictions and better-informed management of this ecosystem service in agroecosystems. PMID:26562676

  6. Lactobacillus and Pediococcus species richness and relative abundance in the vagina of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

    PubMed Central

    Gravett, Michael G.; Jin, Ling; Pavlova, Sylvia I.; Tao, Lin

    2012-01-01

    Background The rhesus monkey is an important animal model to study human vaginal health to which lactic acid bacteria play a significant role. However, the vaginal lactic acid bacterial species richness and relative abundance in rhesus monkeys is largely unknown. Methods Vaginal swab samples were aseptically obtained from 200 reproductive aged female rhesus monkeys. Following Rogosa agar plating, single bacterial colonies representing different morphotypes were isolated and analyzed for whole-cell protein profile, species-specifc PCR, and 16S rRNA gene sequence. Results A total of 510 Lactobacillus strains of 17 species and one Pediococcus acidilactici were identified. The most abundant species was L. reuteri, which colonized the vaginas of 86% monkeys. L. johnsonii was the second most abundant species, which colonized 36% of monkeys. The majority of monkeys were colonized by multiple Lactobacillus species. Conclusions The vaginas of rhesus monkeys are frequently colonized by multiple Lactobacillus species, dominated by L. reuteri. PMID:22429090

  7. Urbanization Level and Woodland Size Are Major Drivers of Woodpecker Species Richness and Abundance

    PubMed Central

    Myczko, Łukasz; Rosin, Zuzanna M.; Skórka, Piotr; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization is a process globally responsible for loss of biodiversity and for biological homogenization. Urbanization may have a direct negative impact on species behaviour and indirect effects on species populations through alterations of their habitats, for example patch size and habitat quality. Woodpeckers are species potentially susceptible to urbanization. These birds are mostly forest specialists and the development of urban areas in former forests may be an important factor influencing their richness and abundance, but documented examples are rare. In this study we investigated how woodpeckers responded to changes in forest habitats as a consequence of urbanization, namely size and isolation of habitat patches, and other within-patch characteristics. We selected 42 woodland patches in a gradient from a semi-natural rural landscape to the city centre of Poznań (Western Poland) in spring 2010. Both species richness and abundance of woodpeckers correlated positively to woodland patch area and negatively to increasing urbanization. Abundance of woodpeckers was also positively correlated with shrub cover and percentage of deciduous tree species. Furthermore, species richness and abundance of woodpeckers were highest at moderate values of canopy openness. Ordination analyses confirmed that urbanization level and woodland patch area were variables contributing most to species abundance in the woodpecker community. Similar results were obtained in presence-absence models for particular species. Thus, to sustain woodpecker species within cities it is important to keep woodland patches large, multi-layered and rich in deciduous tree species. PMID:24740155

  8. Urbanization level and woodland size are major drivers of woodpecker species richness and abundance.

    PubMed

    Myczko, Lukasz; Rosin, Zuzanna M; Skórka, Piotr; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization is a process globally responsible for loss of biodiversity and for biological homogenization. Urbanization may have a direct negative impact on species behaviour and indirect effects on species populations through alterations of their habitats, for example patch size and habitat quality. Woodpeckers are species potentially susceptible to urbanization. These birds are mostly forest specialists and the development of urban areas in former forests may be an important factor influencing their richness and abundance, but documented examples are rare. In this study we investigated how woodpeckers responded to changes in forest habitats as a consequence of urbanization, namely size and isolation of habitat patches, and other within-patch characteristics. We selected 42 woodland patches in a gradient from a semi-natural rural landscape to the city centre of Poznań (Western Poland) in spring 2010. Both species richness and abundance of woodpeckers correlated positively to woodland patch area and negatively to increasing urbanization. Abundance of woodpeckers was also positively correlated with shrub cover and percentage of deciduous tree species. Furthermore, species richness and abundance of woodpeckers were highest at moderate values of canopy openness. Ordination analyses confirmed that urbanization level and woodland patch area were variables contributing most to species abundance in the woodpecker community. Similar results were obtained in presence-absence models for particular species. Thus, to sustain woodpecker species within cities it is important to keep woodland patches large, multi-layered and rich in deciduous tree species.

  9. Role of early experience in ant enslavement: a comparative analysis of a host and a non-host species

    PubMed Central

    Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Sermage, Claire

    2005-01-01

    Background Ants use the odour of the colony to discriminate nestmates. In some species, this odour is learned during the first days following emergence, and thus early experience has a strong influence on nestmate discrimination. Slave-making ants are social parasites that capture brood of other ant species to increase the worker force of their colony. After emerging in the slave-maker nest, slave workers work as if they were in their own colony. We tested the hypothesis that early experience allows the deception of commonly enslaved species, while non-host species use a different mechanism, which does not involve learning. Results Pupae of a host species, Temnothorax unifasciatus, and a non-host species, T. parvulus, were allowed to emerge in the presence of workers of one of two slave-maker species, Chalepoxenus muellerianus or Myrmoxenus ravouxi. When T. unifasciatus was exposed to slave-makers for 10 days following emergence, they were more aggressive towards their own sisters and groomed the slave-maker more. T. parvulus gave a less clear result: while workers behaved more aggressively towards their sisters when exposed early to C. muellerianus workers, this was not the case when exposed early to M. ravouxi workers. Moreover, T. parvulus workers allogroomed conspecific nestmates less than T. unifasciatus. Allogrooming activity might be very important for the slave-makers because they are tended by their slaves. Conclusion Our findings show that early experience influences nestmate discrimination in the ant T. unifasciatus and can account for the successful enslavement of this species. However, the non-host species T. parvulus is less influenced by the early environment. This might help to explain why this species is never used by social parasites. PMID:16076389

  10. Topographic variables improve climate models of forage species abundance in the northeastern United States

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Species distribution modeling has most commonly been applied to presence-only data and to woody species, but detailed predicted abundance maps for forage species would be of great value for agricultural management and land use planning. We used field data from 107 farms across the northeastern Unite...

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  13. Species-abundance--seed-size patterns within a plant community affected by grazing disturbance.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gao-lin; Shang, Zhan-huan; Zhu, Yuan-jun; Ding, Lu-ming; Wang, Dong

    2015-04-01

    Seed size has been advanced as a key factor that influences the dynamics of plant communities, but there are few empirical or theoretical predictions of how community dynamics progress based on seed size patterns. Information on the abundance of adults, seedlings, soil seed banks, seed rains, and the seed mass of 96 species was collected in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China), which had different levels of grazing disturbance. The relationships between seed-mass-abundance patterns for adults, seedlings, the soil seed bank, and seed rain in the plant community were evaluated using regression models. Results showed that grazing levels affected the relationship between seed size and abundance properties of adult species, seedlings, and the soil seed bank, suggesting that there is a shift in seed-size--species-abundance relationships as a response to the grazing gradient. Grazing had no effect on the pattern of seed-size-seed-rain-abundance at four grazing levels. Grazing also had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--species-abundance and pattern of seed-size--soil-seed-bank-abundance in meadows with no grazing, light grazing, and moderate grazing), but there was a significant negative effect in meadows with heavy grazing. Grazing had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--seedling-abundance with no grazing, but had significant negative effects with light, moderate, and heavy grazing, and the |r| values increased with grazing levels. This indicated that increasing grazing pressure enhanced the advantage of smaller-seeded species in terms of the abundances of adult species, seedlings, and soil seed banks, whereas only the light grazing level promoted the seed rain abundance of larger-seeded species in the plant communities. This study suggests that grazing disturbances are favorable for increasing the species abundance for smaller-seeded species but not for the larger-seeded species in an alpine meadow community. Hence, there is a clear

  14. Relative abundance and species richness of terrestrial salamanders on hardwood ecosystem experiment sites before harvesting

    Treesearch

    Jami E. MacNeil; Rod N. Williams

    2013-01-01

    Terrestrial salamanders are ideal indicators of forest ecosystem integrity due to their abundance, their role in nutrient cycling, and their sensitivity to environmental change. To understand better how terrestrial salamanders are affected by forest management practices, we monitored species diversity and abundance before implementation of timber harvests within the...

  15. A common scaling rule for abundance, energetics, and production of parasitic and free-living species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dobson, Andy P.; Brown, James H.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2011-01-01

    The metabolic theory of ecology uses the scaling of metabolism with body size and temperature to explain the causes and consequences of species abundance. However, the theory and its empirical tests have never simultaneously examined parasites alongside free-living species. This is unfortunate because parasites represent at least half of species diversity. We show that metabolic scaling theory could not account for the abundance of parasitic or free-living species in three estuarine food webs until accounting for trophic dynamics. Analyses then revealed that the abundance of all species uniformly scaled with body mass to the - 3/4 power. This result indicates "production equivalence," where biomass production within trophic levels is invariant of body size across all species and functional groups: invertebrate or vertebrate, ectothermic or endothermic, and free-living or parasitic.

  16. Recognition of endophytic Trichoderma species by leaf-cutting ants and their potential in a Trojan-horse management strategy

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Silma L.; Evans, Harry C.; Jorge, Vanessa L.; Cardoso, Lucimar A. O.; Pereira, Fernanda S. T.; Rocha, Fabiano B.; Barreto, Robert W.; Hart, Adam G.

    2017-01-01

    Interactions between leaf-cutting ants, their fungal symbiont (Leucoagaricus) and the endophytic fungi within the vegetation they carry into their colonies are still poorly understood. If endophytes antagonistic to Leucoagaricus were found in plant material being carried by these ants, then this might indicate a potential mechanism for plants to defend themselves from leaf-cutter attack. In addition, it could offer possibilities for the management of these important Neotropical pests. Here, we show that, for Atta sexdens rubropilosa, there was a significantly greater incidence of Trichoderma species in the vegetation removed from the nests—and deposited around the entrances—than in that being transported into the nests. In a no-choice test, Trichoderma-infested rice was taken into the nest, with deleterious effects on both the fungal gardens and ant survival. The endophytic ability of selected strains of Trichoderma was also confirmed, following their inoculation and subsequent reisolation from seedlings of eucalyptus. These results indicate that endophytic fungi which pose a threat to ant fungal gardens through their antagonistic traits, such as Trichoderma, have the potential to act as bodyguards of their plant hosts and thus might be employed in a Trojan-horse strategy to mitigate the negative impact of leaf-cutting ants in both agriculture and silviculture in the Neotropics. We posit that the ants would detect and evict such ‘malign’ endophytes—artificially inoculated into vulnerable crops—during the quality-control process within the nest, and, moreover, that the foraging ants may then be deterred from further harvesting of ‘Trichoderma-enriched’ plants. PMID:28484603

  17. Recognition of endophytic Trichoderma species by leaf-cutting ants and their potential in a Trojan-horse management strategy.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Silma L; Evans, Harry C; Jorge, Vanessa L; Cardoso, Lucimar A O; Pereira, Fernanda S T; Rocha, Fabiano B; Barreto, Robert W; Hart, Adam G; Elliot, Simon L

    2017-04-01

    Interactions between leaf-cutting ants, their fungal symbiont ( Leucoagaricus ) and the endophytic fungi within the vegetation they carry into their colonies are still poorly understood. If endophytes antagonistic to Leucoagaricus were found in plant material being carried by these ants, then this might indicate a potential mechanism for plants to defend themselves from leaf-cutter attack. In addition, it could offer possibilities for the management of these important Neotropical pests. Here, we show that, for Atta sexdens rubropilosa , there was a significantly greater incidence of Trichoderma species in the vegetation removed from the nests-and deposited around the entrances-than in that being transported into the nests. In a no-choice test, Trichoderma- infested rice was taken into the nest, with deleterious effects on both the fungal gardens and ant survival. The endophytic ability of selected strains of Trichoderma was also confirmed, following their inoculation and subsequent reisolation from seedlings of eucalyptus. These results indicate that endophytic fungi which pose a threat to ant fungal gardens through their antagonistic traits, such as Trichoderma , have the potential to act as bodyguards of their plant hosts and thus might be employed in a Trojan-horse strategy to mitigate the negative impact of leaf-cutting ants in both agriculture and silviculture in the Neotropics. We posit that the ants would detect and evict such 'malign' endophytes-artificially inoculated into vulnerable crops-during the quality-control process within the nest, and, moreover, that the foraging ants may then be deterred from further harvesting of ' Trichoderma -enriched' plants.

  18. Assessing the sensitivity of avian species abundance to land cover and climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LeBrun, Jaymi J.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Thompson, Frank R.; Dijak, William D.; Millspaugh, Joshua J.

    2016-01-01

    Climate projections for the Midwestern United States predict southerly climates to shift northward. These shifts in climate could alter distributions of species across North America through changes in climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation), or through climate-induced changes on land cover. Our objective was to determine the relative impacts of land cover and climate on the abundance of five bird species in the Central United States that have habitat requirements ranging from grassland and shrubland to forest. We substituted space for time to examine potential impacts of a changing climate by assessing climate and land cover relationships over a broad latitudinal gradient. We found positive and negative relationships of climate and land cover factors with avian abundances. Habitat variables drove patterns of abundance in migratory and resident species, although climate was also influential in predicting abundance for some species occupying more open habitat (i.e., prairie warbler, blue-winged warbler, and northern bobwhite). Abundance of northern bobwhite increased with winter temperature and was the species exhibiting the most significant effect of climate. Models for birds primarily occupying early successional habitats performed better with a combination of habitat and climate variables whereas models of species found in contiguous forest performed best with land cover alone. These varied species-specific responses present unique challenges to land managers trying to balance species conservation over a variety of land covers. Management activities focused on increasing forest cover may play a role in mitigating effects of future climate by providing habitat refugia to species vulnerable to projected changes. Conservation efforts would be best served focusing on areas with high species abundances and an array of habitats. Future work managing forests for resilience and resistance to climate change could benefit species already susceptible to climate impacts.

  19. Long-Term Changes in Species Composition and Relative Abundances of Sharks at a Provisioning Site

    PubMed Central

    Brunnschweiler, Juerg M.; Abrantes, Kátya G.; Barnett, Adam

    2014-01-01

    Diving with sharks, often in combination with food baiting/provisioning, has become an important product of today’s recreational dive industry. Whereas the effects baiting/provisioning has on the behaviour and abundance of individual shark species are starting to become known, there is an almost complete lack of equivalent data from multi-species shark diving sites. In this study, changes in species composition and relative abundances were determined at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, a multi-species shark feeding site in Fiji. Using direct observation sampling methods, eight species of sharks (bull shark Carcharhinus leucas, grey reef shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, whitetip reef shark Triaenodon obesus, blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus, tawny nurse shark Nebrius ferrugineus, silvertip shark Carcharhinus albimarginatus, sicklefin lemon shark Negaprion acutidens, and tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier) displayed inter-annual site fidelity between 2003 and 2012. Encounter rates and/or relative abundances of some species changed over time, overall resulting in more individuals (mostly C. leucas) of fewer species being encountered on average on shark feeding dives at the end of the study period. Differences in shark community composition between the years 2004–2006 and 2007–2012 were evident, mostly because N. ferrugineus, C. albimarginatus and N. acutidens were much more abundant in 2004–2006 and very rare in the period of 2007–2012. Two explanations are offered for the observed changes in relative abundances over time, namely inter-specific interactions and operator-specific feeding protocols. Both, possibly in combination, are suggested to be important determinants of species composition and encounter rates, and relative abundances at this shark provisioning site in Fiji. This study, which includes the most species from a spatially confined shark provisioning site to date, suggests that long-term provisioning may result in competitive exclusion

  20. Long-term changes in species composition and relative abundances of sharks at a provisioning site.

    PubMed

    Brunnschweiler, Juerg M; Abrantes, Kátya G; Barnett, Adam

    2014-01-01

    Diving with sharks, often in combination with food baiting/provisioning, has become an important product of today's recreational dive industry. Whereas the effects baiting/provisioning has on the behaviour and abundance of individual shark species are starting to become known, there is an almost complete lack of equivalent data from multi-species shark diving sites. In this study, changes in species composition and relative abundances were determined at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, a multi-species shark feeding site in Fiji. Using direct observation sampling methods, eight species of sharks (bull shark Carcharhinus leucas, grey reef shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, whitetip reef shark Triaenodon obesus, blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus, tawny nurse shark Nebrius ferrugineus, silvertip shark Carcharhinus albimarginatus, sicklefin lemon shark Negaprion acutidens, and tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier) displayed inter-annual site fidelity between 2003 and 2012. Encounter rates and/or relative abundances of some species changed over time, overall resulting in more individuals (mostly C. leucas) of fewer species being encountered on average on shark feeding dives at the end of the study period. Differences in shark community composition between the years 2004-2006 and 2007-2012 were evident, mostly because N. ferrugineus, C. albimarginatus and N. acutidens were much more abundant in 2004-2006 and very rare in the period of 2007-2012. Two explanations are offered for the observed changes in relative abundances over time, namely inter-specific interactions and operator-specific feeding protocols. Both, possibly in combination, are suggested to be important determinants of species composition and encounter rates, and relative abundances at this shark provisioning site in Fiji. This study, which includes the most species from a spatially confined shark provisioning site to date, suggests that long-term provisioning may result in competitive exclusion among shark

  1. Odorous House Ants (Tapinoma sessile) as Back-Seat Drivers of Localized Ant Decline in Urban Habitats

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. Herpetofaunal species composition and relative abundance among three New England forest types

    Treesearch

    Richard M. DeGraaf; Deborah D. Rudis

    1990-01-01

    Drift fences and pitfall traps captured > 2000 reptiles and amphibians during 2 years; the most common species were wood frog (Rana sylvatica), American toad (Bufo americanus), and redback salamander (Plethodon cinereus). There were differences in species abundances among streamside and upland...

  3. Experimentally reducing species abundance indirectly affects food web structure and robustness.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Milton; Fernandes, G Wilson; Lewis, Owen T; Morris, Rebecca J

    2017-03-01

    Studies on the robustness of ecological communities suggest that the loss or reduction in abundance of individual species can lead to secondary and cascading extinctions. However, most such studies have been simulation-based analyses of the effect of primary extinction on food web structure. In a field experiment we tested the direct and indirect effects of reducing the abundance of a common species, focusing on the diverse and self-contained assemblage of arthropods associated with an abundant Brazilian shrub, Baccharis dracunculifolia D.C. (Asteraceae). Over a 5-month period we experimentally reduced the abundance of Baccharopelma dracunculifoliae (Sternorrhyncha: Psyllidae), the commonest galling species associated with B. dracunculifolia, in 15 replicate plots paired with 15 control plots. We investigated direct effects of the manipulation on parasitoids attacking B. dracunculifoliae, as well as indirect effects (mediated via a third species or through the environment) on 10 other galler species and 50 associated parasitoid species. The experimental manipulation significantly increased parasitism on B. dracunculifoliae in the treatment plots, but did not significantly alter either the species richness or abundance of other galler species. Compared to control plots, food webs in manipulated plots had significantly lower values of weighted connectance, interaction evenness and robustness (measured as simulated tolerance to secondary extinction), even when B. dracunculifoliae was excluded from calculations. Parasitoid species were almost entirely specialized to individual galler species, so the observed effects of the manipulation on food web structure could not have propagated via the documented trophic links. Instead, they must have spread either through trophic links not included in the webs (e.g. shared predators) or non-trophically (e.g. through changes in habitat availability). Our results highlight that the inclusion of both trophic and non

  4. How to be an ant on figs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  5. Thermal reactionomes reveal divergent responses to thermal extremes in warm and cool-climate ant species.

    PubMed

    Stanton-Geddes, John; Nguyen, Andrew; Chick, Lacy; Vincent, James; Vangala, Mahesh; Dunn, Robert R; Ellison, Aaron M; Sanders, Nathan J; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Cahan, Sara Helms

    2016-03-02

    The distributions of species and their responses to climate change are in part determined by their thermal tolerances. However, little is known about how thermal tolerance evolves. To test whether evolutionary extension of thermal limits is accomplished through enhanced cellular stress response (enhanced response), constitutively elevated expression of protective genes (genetic assimilation) or a shift from damage resistance to passive mechanisms of thermal stability (tolerance), we conducted an analysis of the reactionome: the reaction norm for all genes in an organism's transcriptome measured across an experimental gradient. We characterized thermal reactionomes of two common ant species in the eastern U.S, the northern cool-climate Aphaenogaster picea and the southern warm-climate Aphaenogaster carolinensis, across 12 temperatures that spanned their entire thermal breadth. We found that at least 2 % of all genes changed expression with temperature. The majority of upregulation was specific to exposure to low temperatures. The cool-adapted A. picea induced expression of more genes in response to extreme temperatures than did A. carolinensis, consistent with the enhanced response hypothesis. In contrast, under high temperatures the warm-adapted A. carolinensis downregulated many of the genes upregulated in A. picea, and required more extreme temperatures to induce down-regulation in gene expression, consistent with the tolerance hypothesis. We found no evidence for a trade-off between constitutive and inducible gene expression as predicted by the genetic assimilation hypothesis. These results suggest that increases in upper thermal limits may require an evolutionary shift in response mechanism away from damage repair toward tolerance and prevention.

  6. Species composition, abundance, and seasonal dynamics of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in Minnesota soybean fields.

    PubMed

    Koch, Robert L; Pahs, Tiffany

    2014-08-01

    Stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) have historically not been pests of soybean in Minnesota. In response to the invasion of Halyomorpha halys (Stål) and reports of increasing abundance of species native to North America, a state-wide survey of soybean was conducted over 3 yr in Minnesota to determine species composition, abundance, and seasonal dynamics of Pentatomidae associated with soybean. Fourteen species of Pentatomidae (12 herbivorous and two predatory) were collected from soybean. H. halys was not detected in this survey. Among the herbivorous species found, adults of Euschistus variolarius (Palisot de Beauvois) had the greatest relative abundance (60.51%) and frequency of detection (18.44%), followed by Euschistus servus euschistoides (Say) (19.37 and 3.04%, respectively) and Chinavia hilaris (Say) (5.50 and 1.69%, respectively). Abundance of herbivorous nymphs and adults exceeded an economic threshold (20 nymphs and adults per 100 sweeps) in 0.82% of fields in 2012 but not in 2011 or 2013. The frequency of detection of herbivorous species and ratio of nymphs to adults increased with increasing reproductive growth stage of soybean. In two of three years, herbivorous adults were more abundant in the edge compared with interior of fields. Two predatory Pentatomidae, Podisus maculiventris (Say) and Podisus placidus Uhler, comprised 5.95 and 1.62% of the pentatomid adults. Though the species composition of Pentatomidae in Minnesota soybean differs from that in eastern and southern states, the spatial (i.e., greater abundance near field edge) and seasonal dynamics (i.e., increasing abundance and reproduction with increasing reproductive maturity of soybean) in soybean appear similar.

  7. Human land use promotes the abundance and diversity of exotic species on caribbean islands.

    PubMed

    Jesse, Wendy A M; Behm, Jocelyn E; Helmus, Matthew R; Ellers, Jacintha

    2018-05-31

    Human land use causes major changes in species abundance and composition, yet native and exotic species can exhibit different responses to land use change. Native populations generally decline in human-impacted habitats while exotic species often benefit. In this study, we assessed the effects of human land use on exotic and native reptile diversity, including functional diversity, which relates to the range of habitat use strategies in biotic communities. We surveyed 114 reptile communities from localities that varied in habitat structure and human impact level on two Caribbean islands, and calculated species richness, overall abundance and evenness for every plot. Functional diversity indices were calculated using published trait data, which enabled us to detect signs of trait filtering associated with impacted habitats. Our results show that environmental variation among sampling plots was explained by two PCA ordination axes related to habitat structure (i.e. forest or non-forest) and human impact level (i.e. addition of man-made constructions such as roads and buildings). Several diversity indices were significantly correlated with the two PCA axes, but exotic and native species showed opposing responses. Native species reached the highest abundance in forests, while exotic species were absent in this habitat. Human impact was associated with an increase in exotic abundance and species richness, while native species showed no significant associations. Functional diversity was highest in non-forested environments on both islands, and further increased on St. Martin with the establishment of functionally unique exotic species in non-forested habitat. Habitat structure, rather than human impact, proved to be an important agent for environmental filtering of traits, causing divergent functional trait values across forested and non-forested environments. Our results illustrate the importance of considering various elements of land use when studying its impact on

  8. Early MESSENGER Results for Less Abundant or Weakly Emitting Species in Mercury's Exosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; McClintock, William E.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Sprague, Ann L.; Burger, Matthew H.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Sarantos, Menelaos

    2011-01-01

    Now that the Messenger spacecraft is in orbit about Mercury, the extended observing time enables searches for exospheric species that are less abundant or weakly emitting compared with those for which emission has previously been detected. Many of these species cannot be observed from the ground because of terrestrial atmospheric absorption. We report here on the status of MESSENGER orbital-phase searches for additional species in Mercury's exosphere.

  9. Do abundance distributions and species aggregation correctly predict macroecological biodiversity patterns in tropical forests?

    PubMed Central

    Wiegand, Thorsten; Lehmann, Sebastian; Huth, Andreas; Fortin, Marie‐Josée

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Aim It has been recently suggested that different ‘unified theories of biodiversity and biogeography’ can be characterized by three common ‘minimal sufficient rules’: (1) species abundance distributions follow a hollow curve, (2) species show intraspecific aggregation, and (3) species are independently placed with respect to other species. Here, we translate these qualitative rules into a quantitative framework and assess if these minimal rules are indeed sufficient to predict multiple macroecological biodiversity patterns simultaneously. Location Tropical forest plots in Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama, and in Sinharaja, Sri Lanka. Methods We assess the predictive power of the three rules using dynamic and spatial simulation models in combination with census data from the two forest plots. We use two different versions of the model: (1) a neutral model and (2) an extended model that allowed for species differences in dispersal distances. In a first step we derive model parameterizations that correctly represent the three minimal rules (i.e. the model quantitatively matches the observed species abundance distribution and the distribution of intraspecific aggregation). In a second step we applied the parameterized models to predict four additional spatial biodiversity patterns. Results Species‐specific dispersal was needed to quantitatively fulfil the three minimal rules. The model with species‐specific dispersal correctly predicted the species–area relationship, but failed to predict the distance decay, the relationship between species abundances and aggregations, and the distribution of a spatial co‐occurrence index of all abundant species pairs. These results were consistent over the two forest plots. Main conclusions The three ‘minimal sufficient’ rules only provide an incomplete approximation of the stochastic spatial geometry of biodiversity in tropical forests. The assumption of independent interspecific placements is most

  10. Species Composition and Abundance of Stink Bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) in Minnesota Field Corn.

    PubMed

    Koch, Robert L; Pahs, Tiffany

    2015-04-01

    In response to concerns of increasing significance of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) in northern states, a survey was conducted over 2 yr in Minnesota to characterize the Pentatomidae associated with field corn, Zea mays L. Halyomorpha halys (Stål), an exotic species, was not detected in this survey, despite continued detection of this species as an invader of human-made structures in Minnesota. Five species of Pentatomidae (four herbivorous; one predatory) were collected from corn. Across years, Euschistus variolarius (Palisot de Beauvois) and Euschistus servus euschistoides (Vollenhoven) had the greatest relative abundances and frequencies of detection. In 2012, the abundance of herbivorous species exceeded 25 nymphs and adults per 100 plants (i.e., an economic threshold) in 0.48% of fields. However, the abundance of herbivorous species did not reach economic levels in any fields sampled in 2013. The frequency of detection of herbivorous species and ratio of nymphs to adults was highest during reproductive growth stages of corn. The predator species, Podisus maculiventris (Say), was detected in 0 to 0.32% of fields. These results provide baseline information on the species composition and abundance of Pentatomidae in Minnesota field corn, which will be necessary for documentation of changes to this fauna as a result of the invasion of H. halys and to determine if some native species continue to increase in abundance in field crops. © 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.

  11. Impact of ecological doses of the most widespread phthalate on a terrestrial species, the ant Lasius niger.

    PubMed

    Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie; Salin, Karine; Devers, Séverine; Tasiemski, Aurélie; Schaffner, Pauline; Boulay, Raphaël; Billiard, Sylvain; Lenoir, Alain

    2014-05-01

    Phthalates are synthetic contaminants released into the environment notably by plastic waste. Semi-volatile, they adsorb to atmospheric particles and get distributed in all ecosystems. Effects of this major anthropogenic pollution in economical species in aquatic habitats have attracted large interest. On the contrary, very few studies have focused on wild terrestrial species. Yet, these lipophilic molecules are easily trapped by insect cuticle; ants and other insects have been shown to permanently bear among their cuticular components a non-negligible proportion of phthalates, meaning that they suffer from chronic exposure to these pollutants. Oral route could also be an additional way of contamination, as phthalates tend to stick to any organic particle. We show here via a food choice experiment that Lasius niger workers can detect, and avoid feeding on, food contaminated with DEHP (DiEthyl Hexyl Phthalate), the most widespread phthalate found in nature. This suggests that the main source of contamination for ants is atmosphere and that doses measured on the cuticle correspond to the chronic exposure levels for these animals. Such an ecologically relevant dose of DEHP was used to contaminate ants in lab and to investigate their physiological impact. Over a chronic exposure (1 dose per week for 5 weeks), the egg-laying rate of queens was significantly reduced lending credence to endocrine disruptive properties of such a pollutant, as also described for aquatic invertebrates. On the contrary, short term exposure (24h) to a single dose of DEHP does not induce oxidative stress in ant workers as expected, but leads to activation of the immune system. Because of their very large distribution, their presence in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems and their representation at all trophic levels, ants could be useful indicators of contamination by phthalates, especially via monitoring the level of activation of their immune state. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All

  12. Acoustical Scattering, Propagation, and Attenuation Caused by Two Abundant Pacific Schooling Species: Humboldt Squid and Hake

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    an area important for acoustical testing and tactical exercises, the most abundant species by biomass is Pacific hake, Merluccius productus, a fish...scattering characteristics of the animal especially if the animal has eaten hard- shelled mollusc prey. Figure 7. A dorsal scan (similar to an x-ray) of a...kHz echogram. 11 In order to generate abundance and biomass estimates for organisms using active acoustics, one assumption that can be made is

  13. Overview of the Distribution, Habitat Association and Impact of Exotic Ants on Native Ant Communities in New Caledonia

    PubMed Central

    Berman, Maïa; Andersen, Alan N.; Hély, Christelle; Gaucherel, Cédric

    2013-01-01

    Ants are among the most ubiquitous and harmful invaders worldwide, but there are few regional studies of their relationships with habitat and native ant communities. New Caledonia has a unique and diverse ant fauna that is threatened by exotic ants, but broad-scale patterns of exotic and native ant community composition in relation to habitat remain poorly documented. We conducted a systematic baiting survey of 56 sites representing the main New Caledonian habitat types: rainforest on ultramafic soils (15 sites), rainforest on volcano-sedimentary soils (13), maquis shrubland (15), Melaleuca-dominated savannas (11) and Acacia spirorbis thickets (2). We collected a total of 49 species, 13 of which were exotic. Only five sites were free of exotic species, and these were all rainforest. The five most abundant exotic species differed in their habitat association, with Pheidole megacephala associated with rainforests, Brachymyrmex cf. obscurior with savanna, and Wasmannia auropunctata and Nylanderia vaga present in most habitats. Anoplolepis gracilipes occurred primarily in maquis-shrubland, which contrasts with its rainforest affinity elsewhere. Multivariate analysis of overall ant species composition showed strong differentiation of sites according to the distribution of exotic species, and these patterns were maintained at the genus and functional group levels. Native ant composition differed at invaded versus uninvaded rainforest sites, in the absence of differences in habitat variables. Generalised Myrmicinae and Forest Opportunists were particularly affected by invasion. There was a strong negative relationship between the abundance of W. auropunctata and native ant abundance and richness. This emphasizes that, in addition to dominating many ant communities numerically, some exotic species, and in particular W. auropunctata, have a marked impact on native ant communities. PMID:23840639

  14. Seasonal variation of tsetse fly species abundance and prevalence of trypanosomes in the Maasai Steppe, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Nnko, Happiness J; Ngonyoka, Anibariki; Salekwa, Linda; Estes, Anna B; Hudson, Peter J; Gwakisa, Paul S; Cattadori, Isabella M

    2017-06-01

    Tsetse flies, the vectors of trypanosomiasis, represent a threat to public health and economy in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite these concerns, information on temporal and spatial dynamics of tsetse and trypanosomes remain limited and may be a reason that control strategies are less effective. The current study assessed the temporal variation of the relative abundance of tsetse fly species and trypanosome prevalence in relation to climate in the Maasai Steppe of Tanzania in 2014-2015. Tsetse flies were captured using odor-baited Epsilon traps deployed in ten sites selected through random subsampling of the major vegetation types in the area. Fly species were identified morphologically and trypanosome species classified using PCR. The climate dataset was acquired from the African Flood and Drought Monitor repository. Three species of tsetse flies were identified: G. swynnertoni (70.8%), G. m. morsitans (23.4%), and G.pallidipes (5.8%). All species showed monthly changes in abundance with most of the flies collected in July. The relative abundance of G. m. morsitans and G. swynnertoni was negatively correlated with maximum and minimum temperature, respectively. Three trypanosome species were recorded: T. vivax (82.1%), T. brucei (8.93%), and T. congolense (3.57%). The peak of trypanosome infections in the flies was found in October and was three months after the tsetse abundance peak; prevalence was negatively correlated with tsetse abundance. A strong positive relationship was found between trypanosome prevalence and temperature. In conclusion, we find that trypanosome prevalence is dependent on fly availability, and temperature drives both tsetse fly relative abundance and trypanosome prevalence. © 2017 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  15. Using species abundance distribution models and diversity indices for biogeographical analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fattorini, Simone; Rigal, François; Cardoso, Pedro; Borges, Paulo A. V.

    2016-01-01

    We examine whether Species Abundance Distribution models (SADs) and diversity indices can describe how species colonization status influences species community assembly on oceanic islands. Our hypothesis is that, because of the lack of source-sink dynamics at the archipelago scale, Single Island Endemics (SIEs), i.e. endemic species restricted to only one island, should be represented by few rare species and consequently have abundance patterns that differ from those of more widespread species. To test our hypothesis, we used arthropod data from the Azorean archipelago (North Atlantic). We divided the species into three colonization categories: SIEs, archipelagic endemics (AZEs, present in at least two islands) and native non-endemics (NATs). For each category, we modelled rank-abundance plots using both the geometric series and the Gambin model, a measure of distributional amplitude. We also calculated Shannon entropy and Buzas and Gibson's evenness. We show that the slopes of the regression lines modelling SADs were significantly higher for SIEs, which indicates a relative predominance of a few highly abundant species and a lack of rare species, which also depresses diversity indices. This may be a consequence of two factors: (i) some forest specialist SIEs may be at advantage over other, less adapted species; (ii) the entire populations of SIEs are by definition concentrated on a single island, without possibility for inter-island source-sink dynamics; hence all populations must have a minimum number of individuals to survive natural, often unpredictable, fluctuations. These findings are supported by higher values of the α parameter of the Gambin mode for SIEs. In contrast, AZEs and NATs had lower regression slopes, lower α but higher diversity indices, resulting from their widespread distribution over several islands. We conclude that these differences in the SAD models and diversity indices demonstrate that the study of these metrics is useful for

  16. Concepts and practices: Estimating abundance of prey species using hierarchical model-based approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dorazio, Robert; Kumar, N. Samba; Royle, Andy; Gopalaswamy, Arjun M.

    2017-01-01

    Tigers predominantly prey on large ungulate species, such as sambar (Cervus unicolor), red deer (Cervus elaphus), gaur (Bos gaurus), banteng (Bos javanicus), chital (Axis axis), muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak), wild pig (Sus scrofa), and bearded pig (Sus barbatus). The density of a tiger population is strongly correlated with the density of such prey species (Karanth et al. 2004). In the absence of direct hunting of tigers, abundance of prey in an area is the key determinant of the “carrying capacity” of that area for tigers (Chap. 2). Accurate estimates of prey abundance are often needed to assess the potential number of tigers a conservation area can support.

  17. Ants at Plant Wounds: A Little-Known Trophic Interaction with Evolutionary Implications for Ant-Plant Interactions.

    PubMed

    Staab, Michael; Fornoff, Felix; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Blüthgen, Nico

    2017-09-01

    Extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) allow plants to engage in mutualisms with ants, preventing herbivory in exchange for food. EFNs occur scattered throughout the plant phylogeny and likely evolved independent from herbivore-created wounds subsequently visited by ants collecting leaked sap. Records of wound-feeding ants are, however, anecdotal. By surveying 38,000 trees from 40 species, we conducted the first quantitative ecological study of this overlooked behavior. Ant-wound interactions were widespread (0.5% of tree individuals) and occurred on 23 tree species. Interaction networks were opportunistic, closely resembling ant-EFN networks. Fagaceae, a family lacking EFNs, was strongly overrepresented. For Fagaceae, ant occurrence at wounds correlated with species-level leaf damage, potentially indicating that wounds may attract mutualistic ants, which supports the hypothesis of ant-tended wounds as precursors of ant-EFN mutualisms. Given that herbivore wounds are common, wound sap as a steadily available food source might further help to explain the overwhelming abundance of ants in (sub)tropical forest canopies.

  18. Ant predation on herbivores through a multitrophic lens: how effects of ants on plant herbivore defense and natural enemies vary along temperature gradients.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Castañeda, G; Brehm, G; Fiedler, K; Dyer, L A

    2016-04-01

    Ants are keystone predators in terrestrial trophic cascades. Addressing ants' roles in multitrophic interactions across regional gradients is important for understanding mechanisms behind range limits of species. We present four hypotheses of trophic dynamics occurring when ants are rare: first, there is a shift in predator communities; second, plants decrease investments in ant attraction and increase production of secondary metabolites; third, lower herbivory at high elevations allows plants to tolerate herbivory; and fourth, distribution of ant-plants can be limited based on ant abundance. Conducting experiments on multitrophic effects of ants across elevational gradients, and incorporating these results to ecological niche modeling (ENM) will improve our knowledge of the impacts of global change on ants, trophic interactions, and biodiversity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Tree species composition affects the abundance of rowan (Sorbus aucuparia L.) in urban forests in Finland.

    PubMed

    Hamberg, Leena; Lehvävirta, Susanna; Kotze, D Johan; Heikkinen, Juha

    2015-03-15

    Recent studies have shown a considerable increase in the abundance of rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) saplings in urban forests in Finland, yet the reasons for this increase are not well understood. Here we investigated whether canopy cover or tree species composition, i.e., the basal areas of different tree species in Norway spruce dominated urban forests, affects the abundances of rowan seedlings, saplings and trees. Altogether 24 urban forest patches were investigated. We sampled the number of rowan and other saplings, and calculated the basal areas of trees. We showed that rowan abundance was affected by tree species composition. The basal area of rowan trees (≥ 5 cm in diameter at breast height, dbh) decreased with increasing basal area of Norway spruce, while the cover of rowan seedlings increased with an increase in Norway spruce basal area. However, a decrease in the abundance of birch (Betula pendula) and an increase in the broad-leaved tree group (Acer platanoides, Alnus glutinosa, Alnus incana, Amelanchier spicata, Prunus padus, Quercus robur, Rhamnus frangula and Salix caprea) coincided with a decreasing number of rowans. Furthermore, rowan saplings were scarce in the vicinity of mature rowan trees. Although it seems that tree species composition has an effect on rowan, the relationship between rowan saplings and mature trees is complex, and therefore we conclude that regulating tree species composition is not an easy way to keep rowan thickets under control in urban forests in Finland. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Cross-realm assessment of climate change impacts on species' abundance trends.

    PubMed

    Bowler, Diana E; Hof, Christian; Haase, Peter; Kröncke, Ingrid; Schweiger, Oliver; Adrian, Rita; Baert, Léon; Bauer, Hans-Günther; Blick, Theo; Brooker, Rob W; Dekoninck, Wouter; Domisch, Sami; Eckmann, Reiner; Hendrickx, Frederik; Hickler, Thomas; Klotz, Stefan; Kraberg, Alexandra; Kühn, Ingolf; Matesanz, Silvia; Meschede, Angelika; Neumann, Hermann; O'Hara, Robert; Russell, David J; Sell, Anne F; Sonnewald, Moritz; Stoll, Stefan; Sundermann, Andrea; Tackenberg, Oliver; Türkay, Michael; Valladares, Fernando; van Herk, Kok; van Klink, Roel; Vermeulen, Rikjan; Voigtländer, Karin; Wagner, Rüdiger; Welk, Erik; Wiemers, Martin; Wiltshire, Karen H; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin

    2017-02-17

    Climate change, land-use change, pollution and exploitation are among the main drivers of species' population trends; however, their relative importance is much debated. We used a unique collection of over 1,000 local population time series in 22 communities across terrestrial, freshwater and marine realms within central Europe to compare the impacts of long-term temperature change and other environmental drivers from 1980 onwards. To disentangle different drivers, we related species' population trends to species- and driver-specific attributes, such as temperature and habitat preference or pollution tolerance. We found a consistent impact of temperature change on the local abundances of terrestrial species. Populations of warm-dwelling species increased more than those of cold-dwelling species. In contrast, impacts of temperature change on aquatic species' abundances were variable. Effects of temperature preference were more consistent in terrestrial communities than effects of habitat preference, suggesting that the impacts of temperature change have become widespread for recent changes in abundance within many terrestrial communities of central Europe.

  1. Species abundance and potential biological control services in shade vs. sun coffee in Puerto Rico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Borkhataria, Rena R.; Collazo, Jaime A.; Groom, Martha J.

    2012-01-01

    Birds, lizards and insects were surveyed in three sun and three shade coffee plantations in Puerto Rico to provide a comprehensive comparison of biodiversity between plantations types and to identify potential interrelationships (e.g., biological or natural control services) between members of each taxon and coffee pests. Abundance of avian species, including insectivorous species, was significantly higher in shade coffee. Anolis cristatellus and A. stratulus were significantly more abundant in sun plantations whereas A. gundlachi and A. evermanni were detected more frequently in shade plantations. Insects in the orders Coleoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Neuroptera, and Psocoptera were significantly more abundant in shade coffee, while orthopterans were more abundant in sun. The coffee leaf miner (Leucoptera coffeela) and the flatid planthopper (Petrusa epilepsis) did not differ significantly between plantation types, nor did the abundance of the wasp complex that parasitizes the coffee leaf miner. These findings confirmed that shade plantations harbor a wide array of elements of biodiversity; but sun plantations may also harbor many elements of biodiversity, and in some cases, in higher abundance than in shade plantations.

  2. Species abundance distribution and population dynamics in a two-community model of neutral ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallade, M.; Houchmandzadeh, B.

    2006-11-01

    Explicit formulas for the steady-state distribution of species in two interconnected communities of arbitrary sizes are derived in the framework of Hubbell’s neutral model of biodiversity. Migrations of seeds from both communities as well as mutations in both of them are taken into account. These results generalize those previously obtained for the “island-continent” model and they allow an analysis of the influence of the ratio of the sizes of the two communities on the dominance/diversity equilibrium. Exact expressions for species abundance distributions are deduced from a master equation for the joint probability distribution of species in the two communities. Moreover, an approximate self-consistent solution is derived. It corresponds to a generalization of previous results and it proves to be accurate over a broad range of parameters. The dynamical correlations between the abundances of a species in both communities are also discussed.

  3. Invasive Fire Ants Reduce Reproductive Success and Alter the Reproductive Strategies of a Native Vertebrate Insectivore

    PubMed Central

    Ligon, Russell A.; Siefferman, Lynn; Hill, Geoffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    Background Introduced organisms can alter ecosystems by disrupting natural ecological relationships. For example, red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) have disrupted native arthropod communities throughout much of their introduced range. By competing for many of the same food resources as insectivorous vertebrates, fire ants also have the potential to disrupt vertebrate communities. Methodology/Principal Findings To explore the effects of fire ants on a native insectivorous vertebrate, we compared the reproductive success and strategies of eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) inhabiting territories with different abundances of fire ants. We also created experimental dyads of adjacent territories comprised of one territory with artificially reduced fire ant abundance (treated) and one territory that was unmanipulated (control). We found that more bluebird young fledged from treated territories than from adjacent control territories. Fire ant abundance also explained significant variation in two measures of reproductive success across the study population: number of fledglings and hatching success of second clutches. Furthermore, the likelihood of bluebird parents re-nesting in the same territory was negatively influenced by the abundance of foraging fire ants, and parents nesting in territories with experimentally reduced abundances of fire ants produced male-biased broods relative to pairs in adjacent control territories. Conclusions/Significance Introduced fire ants altered both the reproductive success (number of fledglings, hatching success) and strategies (decision to renest, offspring sex-ratio) of eastern bluebirds. These results illustrate the negative effects that invasive species can have on native biota, including species from taxonomically distant groups. PMID:21799904

  4. Landbird species composition and relative abundance during migration along the Rio Grande

    Treesearch

    Wang Yong; Deborah M. Finch

    1996-01-01

    In this paper, we report species composition and relative abundances of stopover migrants during spring and fall migration along the middle Rio Grande in 1994. We recorded 157 landbird species using mist-netting and survey methods at two sites on the Rio Grande, the Bosque del Apache and the Rio Grande Nature Center. A total of 6,509 birds was captured during spring...

  5. Estimating Lion Abundance using N-mixture Models for Social Species.

    PubMed

    Belant, Jerrold L; Bled, Florent; Wilton, Clay M; Fyumagwa, Robert; Mwampeta, Stanslaus B; Beyer, Dean E

    2016-10-27

    Declining populations of large carnivores worldwide, and the complexities of managing human-carnivore conflicts, require accurate population estimates of large carnivores to promote their long-term persistence through well-informed management We used N-mixture models to estimate lion (Panthera leo) abundance from call-in and track surveys in southeastern Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Because of potential habituation to broadcasted calls and social behavior, we developed a hierarchical observation process within the N-mixture model conditioning lion detectability on their group response to call-ins and individual detection probabilities. We estimated 270 lions (95% credible interval = 170-551) using call-ins but were unable to estimate lion abundance from track data. We found a weak negative relationship between predicted track density and predicted lion abundance from the call-in surveys. Luminosity was negatively correlated with individual detection probability during call-in surveys. Lion abundance and track density were influenced by landcover, but direction of the corresponding effects were undetermined. N-mixture models allowed us to incorporate multiple parameters (e.g., landcover, luminosity, observer effect) influencing lion abundance and probability of detection directly into abundance estimates. We suggest that N-mixture models employing a hierarchical observation process can be used to estimate abundance of other social, herding, and grouping species.

  6. Estimating Lion Abundance using N-mixture Models for Social Species

    PubMed Central

    Belant, Jerrold L.; Bled, Florent; Wilton, Clay M.; Fyumagwa, Robert; Mwampeta, Stanslaus B.; Beyer, Dean E.

    2016-01-01

    Declining populations of large carnivores worldwide, and the complexities of managing human-carnivore conflicts, require accurate population estimates of large carnivores to promote their long-term persistence through well-informed management We used N-mixture models to estimate lion (Panthera leo) abundance from call-in and track surveys in southeastern Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Because of potential habituation to broadcasted calls and social behavior, we developed a hierarchical observation process within the N-mixture model conditioning lion detectability on their group response to call-ins and individual detection probabilities. We estimated 270 lions (95% credible interval = 170–551) using call-ins but were unable to estimate lion abundance from track data. We found a weak negative relationship between predicted track density and predicted lion abundance from the call-in surveys. Luminosity was negatively correlated with individual detection probability during call-in surveys. Lion abundance and track density were influenced by landcover, but direction of the corresponding effects were undetermined. N-mixture models allowed us to incorporate multiple parameters (e.g., landcover, luminosity, observer effect) influencing lion abundance and probability of detection directly into abundance estimates. We suggest that N-mixture models employing a hierarchical observation process can be used to estimate abundance of other social, herding, and grouping species. PMID:27786283

  7. The Distribution and Abundance of Bird Species: Towards a Satellite, Data Driven Avian Energetics and Species Richness Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, James A.

    2003-01-01

    This paper addresses the fundamental question of why birds occur where and when they do, i.e., what are the causative factors that determine the spatio-temporal distributions, abundance, or richness of bird species? In this paper we outline the first steps toward building a satellite, data-driven model of avian energetics and species richness based on individual bird physiology, morphology, and interaction with the spatio-temporal habitat. To evaluate our model, we will use the North American Breeding Bird Survey and Christmas Bird Count data for species richness, wintering and breeding range. Long term and current satellite data series include AVHRR, Landsat, and MODIS.

  8. Estimating species - area relationships by modeling abundance and frequency subject to incomplete sampling.

    PubMed

    Yamaura, Yuichi; Connor, Edward F; Royle, J Andrew; Itoh, Katsuo; Sato, Kiyoshi; Taki, Hisatomo; Mishima, Yoshio

    2016-07-01

    Models and data used to describe species-area relationships confound sampling with ecological process as they fail to acknowledge that estimates of species richness arise due to sampling. This compromises our ability to make ecological inferences from and about species-area relationships. We develop and illustrate hierarchical community models of abundance and frequency to estimate species richness. The models we propose separate sampling from ecological processes by explicitly accounting for the fact that sampled patches are seldom completely covered by sampling plots and that individuals present in the sampling plots are imperfectly detected. We propose a multispecies abundance model in which community assembly is treated as the summation of an ensemble of species-level Poisson processes and estimate patch-level species richness as a derived parameter. We use sampling process models appropriate for specific survey methods. We propose a multispecies frequency model that treats the number of plots in which a species occurs as a binomial process. We illustrate these models using data collected in surveys of early-successional bird species and plants in young forest plantation patches. Results indicate that only mature forest plant species deviated from the constant density hypothesis, but the null model suggested that the deviations were too small to alter the form of species-area relationships. Nevertheless, results from simulations clearly show that the aggregate pattern of individual species density-area relationships and occurrence probability-area relationships can alter the form of species-area relationships. The plant community model estimated that only half of the species present in the regional species pool were encountered during the survey. The modeling framework we propose explicitly accounts for sampling processes so that ecological processes can be examined free of sampling artefacts. Our modeling approach is extensible and could be applied to a

  9. Ant community change across a ground vegetation gradient in north Florida's longleaf pine flatwoods

    PubMed Central

    Lubertazzi, David; Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2003-01-01

    Ant communities in longleaf pine habitats are poorly known and hence the naturally occurring ant assemblages of a large portion of southeastern North America are not well understood. This study examined the diverse ant community found in the longleaf pine flatwoods of north Florida and tested how ant diversity changes along a herbaceous ground cover gradient. Restoring the ground cover to its original floral composition is an important focus of longleaf pine conservation and hence it is important to understand how native faunal communities vary with ground cover variation. Using 4 sampling methods, we characterized the ant community and analyzed its within-habitat variation among 12 study sites. We found the highest plot species richness (55 species) and within-habitat species richness (72 species) ever recorded for North American ants. The ants formed three distinct communities. The low-diversity arboreal and subterranean assemblages varied little across forest stands while the diversity of the species-rich ground foraging ant community was negatively correlated with percent herbaceous cover. The imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (monogyne form), was unexpectedly found to be abundant in high herbaceous cover sites. Floral restoration of the pine flatwoods, which is increasing the proportion of herbaceous cover, is likely to cause an increase in the abundance of the imported fire ant. Abbreviation: ANF Apalachicola National Forest PMID:15841237

  10. Landscape and Local Correlates of Bee Abundance and Species Richness in Urban Gardens.

    PubMed

    Quistberg, Robyn D; Bichier, Peter; Philpott, Stacy M

    2016-03-31

    Urban gardens may preserve biodiversity as urban population densities increase, but this strongly depends on the characteristics of the gardens and the landscapes in which they are embedded. We investigated whether local and landscape characteristics are important correlates of bee (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) abundance and species richness in urban community gardens. We worked in 19 gardens in the California central coast and sampled bees with aerial nets and pan traps. We measured local characteristics (i.e., vegetation and ground cover) and used the USGS National Land Cover Database to classify the landscape surrounding our garden study sites at 2 km scales. We classified bees according to nesting type (i.e., cavity, ground) and body size and determined which local and landscape characteristics correlate with bee community characteristics. We found 55 bee species. One landscape and several local factors correlated with differences in bee abundance and richness for all bees, cavity-nesting bees, ground-nesting bees, and different sized bees. Generally, bees were more abundant and species rich in bigger gardens, in gardens with higher floral abundance, less mulch cover, more bare ground, and with more grass. Medium bees were less abundant in sites surrounded by more medium intensity developed land within 2 km. The fact that local factors were generally more important drivers of bee abundance and richness indicates a potential for gardeners to promote bee conservation by altering local management practices. In particular, increasing floral abundance, decreasing use of mulch, and providing bare ground may promote bees in urban gardens. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Pseudacteon flies, parasitoids of worker ants, are being intensively studied as potentially effective agents in the biological control of the invasive pest fire ant genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). This is the first attempt to describe the karyotype of P. curvatus Borgmeier, P. nocens Borgmeier and P. tricuspis Borgmeier. The three species possess 2n = 6; chromosomes I and II were metacentric in the three species, but chromosome pair III was subtelocentric in P. curvatus and P. tricuspis, and telocentric in P. nocens. All three species possess a C positive band in chromosome II, lack C positive heterochromatin on chromosome I, and are mostly differentiated with respect to chromosome III. P. curvatus and P. tricuspis possess a C positive band, but at different locations, whereas this band is absent in P. nocens. Heterochromatic bands are neither AT nor GC rich as revealed by fluorescent banding. In situ hybridization with an 18S rDNA probe revealed a signal on chromosome II in a similar location to the C positive band in the three species. The apparent lack of morphologically distinct sex chromosomes is consistent with proposals of environmental sex determination in the genus. Small differences detected in chromosome length and morphology suggests that chromosomes have been highly conserved during the evolutionary radiation of Pseudacteon. Possible mechanisms of karyotype evolution in the three species are suggested. PMID:21637448

  12. Earthworm abundance and species composition in abandoned tropical croplands: comparisons of tree plantations and secondary forests.

    Treesearch

    G. Gonzalez; X. Zou; S. Borges

    1996-01-01

    We compared patterns of earthworms abundance and species composition in tree plantation and secondary forest of Puerto Rico. Tree plantations included pine (Pinus caribea Morelet) and mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King) established in the 1930's; 1960's; and 1970's; secondary forests were naturally regenerated in areas adjacent to these plantations. We...

  13. Linking nitrogen partitioning and species abundance to invasion resistance in the Great Basin

    Treesearch

    J. J. James; K. W. Davies; R. L. Sheley; Z. T. Aanderud

    2008-01-01

    Resource partitioning has been suggested as an important mechanism of invasion resistance. The relative importance of resource partitioning for invasion resistance, however, may depend on how species abundance is distributed in the plant community. This study had two objectives. First, we quantified the degree to which one resource, nitrogen (N), is partitioned by time...

  14. Acoustical Scattering, Propagation, and Attenuation Caused by Two Abundant Pacific Schooling Species: Humboldt Squid and Hake

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    exercises, the most abundant species by biomass is Pacific hake, Merluccius productus, a fish with an air-filled swimbladder that averages 50 cm in length...its type of prey) may affect the scattering characteristics of the animal especially if the animal has eaten hard- shelled mollusc prey. Figure 7

  15. Do predators control prey species abundance? An experimental test with brown treesnakes on Guam

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, Earl W.; Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Converse, Sarah J.; Fritts, Thomas H.; Rodda, Gordon H.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of predators on the abundance of prey species is a topic of ongoing debate in ecology; the effect of snake predators on their prey has been less debated, as there exists a general consensus that snakes do not negatively influence the abundance of their prey. However, this viewpoint has not been adequately tested. We quantified the effect of brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis) predation on the abundance and size of lizards on Guam by contrasting lizards in two 1-ha treatment plots of secondary forest from which snakes had been removed and excluded vs. two 1-ha control plots in which snakes were monitored but not removed or excluded. We removed resident snakes from the treatment plots with snake traps and hand capture, and snake immigration into these plots was precluded by electrified snake barriers. Lizards were sampled in all plots quarterly for a year following snake elimination in the treatment plots. Following the completion of this experiment, we used total removal sampling to census lizards on a 100-m2 subsample of each plot. Results of systematic lizard population monitoring before and after snake removal suggest that the abundance of the skink, Carlia ailanpalai, increased substantially and the abundance of two species of gekkonids, Lepidodactylus lugubris and Hemidactylus frenatus, also increased on snake-free plots. No treatment effect was observed for the skink Emoia caeruleocauda. Mean snout–vent length of all lizard species only increased following snake removal in the treatment plots. The general increase in prey density and mean size was unexpected in light of the literature consensus that snakes do not control the abundance of their prey species. Our findings show that, at least where alternate predators are lacking, snakes may indeed affect prey populations.

  16. Fire Ant Decapitating Fly Cooperative Release Programs (1994–2008): Two Pseudacteon Species, P. tricuspis and P. curvatus, Rapidly Expand Across Imported Fire Ant Populations in the Southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Callcott, Anne-Marie A.; Porter, Sanford D.; Weeks, Ronald D.; “Fudd” Graham, L. C.; Johnson, Seth J.; Gilbert, Lawrence E.

    2011-01-01

    Natural enemies of the imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren S. richteri Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and their hybrid, include a suite of more than 20 fire ant decapitating phorid flies from South America in the genus Pseudacteon. Over the past 12 years, many researchers and associates have cooperated in introducing several species as classical or self-sustaining biological control agents in the United States. As a result, two species of flies, Pseudacteon tricuspis Borgmeier and P. curvatus Borgmeier (Diptera: Phoridae), are well established across large areas of the southeastern United States. Whereas many researchers have published local and state information about the establishment and spread of these flies, here distribution data from both published and unpublished sources has been compiled for the entire United States with the goal of presenting confirmed and probable distributions as of the fall of 2008. Documented rates of expansion were also used to predict the distribution of these flies three years later in the fall of 2011. In the fall of 2008, eleven years after the first successful release, we estimate that P. tricuspis covered about 50% of the fire ant quarantined area and that it will occur in almost 65% of the quarantine area by 2011. Complete coverage of the fire ant quarantined area will be delayed or limited by this species' slow rate of spread and frequent failure to establish in more northerly portions of the fire ant range and also, perhaps, by its preference for red imported fire ants (S. invicta). Eight years after the first successful release of P. curvatus, two biotypes of this species (one biotype occurring predominantly in the black and hybrid imported fire ants and the other occurring in red imported fire ants) covered almost 60% of the fire ant quarantined area. We estimate these two biotypes will cover almost 90% of the quarantine area by 2011 and 100% by 2012 or 2013. Strategic selection of several distributional gaps

  17. Recent Changes in Tree Species Abundance: Patterns, Trends, and Drivers Across Northeastern US Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gudex-Cross, D.; Pontius, J.; Adams, A.

    2017-12-01

    Monitoring trends in the abundance and distribution of tree species is essential to understanding potential impacts of climate change on forested ecosystems. Related studies to date have largely focused on modeling distributional shifts according to future climate scenarios or used field inventory data to examine compositional changes across broader landscapes. Here, we leverage a novel remote sensing technique that utilizes field data, multitemporal Landsat imagery, and spectral unmixing to model regional changes in the abundance (percent basal area) of key northeastern US species over a 30-year period (1985-2015). We examine patterns in how species abundance has changed, as well as their relationship with climate, landscape, and soil characteristics using spatial regression models. Results show significant declines in overall abundance for sugar maple ( 8.6% 30-yr loss), eastern hemlock ( 7.8% 30-yr loss), balsam fir ( 5.0% 30-yr loss), and red spruce ( 3.8% total 30-yr loss). Species that saw significant increasing abundance include American beech ( 7.0% 30-yr gain) and red maple ( 2.5% 30-yr gain). However, these changes were not consistent across the landscape. For example, red spruce is increasing at upper elevations with concurrent losses in balsam fir and birch species. Similarly, sugar maple decreases are concentrated at lower elevations, likely due to increases in American beech. Various abiotic factors were significantly associated with changes in species composition including landscape position (e.g. longitude, elevation, and heat load index) and ecologically-relevant climate variables (e.g. growing season precipitation and annual temperature range). Interestingly, there was a stronger relationship in abundance changes across longitudes, rather than latitudes or elevations as predicted in modeled species migration scenarios.These results indicate that the dominant composition of northeastern forests is changing in ways that run counter to accepted

  18. Impact of greenspaces in city on avian species richness and abundance in Northern Africa.

    PubMed

    Aouissi, Hani Amir; Gasparini, Julien; Belabed, Adnène Ibrahim; Bouslama, Zihad

    2017-08-01

    Increasing urbanization is a major challenge in the context of global changes, because this environment is known to negatively impact biodiversity. It is therefore important to identify factors maintaining biodiversity in such areas. Here, we tested in 650 sites whether the greenspaces in urbanized area of Annaba (Algeria) has positive effects on avian species richness and abundances. Our results show that species detection (n=26) is more important during the breeding season as compared to the winter season, and that avian species richness is positively affected by the greenspaces. For most species, greenspaces impact positively their presence and abundances. Only the feral pigeon was less detected in greenspaces as compared to built-up areas. Our study therefore confirmed, for the first time in a Northern African city, that greenspaces significantly increase the species richness and abundances of birds, and shows that the season can profoundly affect such indicators. Copyright © 2017 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Ants provide remarkable examples of equivalent genotypes developing into divergent and discrete phenotypes. Diploid eggs can develop either into queens, which specialize in reproduction, or workers, which participate in cooperative tasks such as building the nest, collecting food, and rearing the yo...

  20. [Abundance and species richness of fish associated to Thalassia testudinum at Cariaco Gulf, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Peña, Thays Allen; Jiménez, Mayré; Villafranca, Sioliz

    2004-12-01

    Fish are among the most abundant and diverse groups in Thalassia testudinum communities, in turn considered among the most productive and important ecosystems in marine environments. Three stations were sampled in the southern shore of Cariaco gulf (northwestern Venezuela) to quantify fish associated with T. testudinum, from December 1996 to November 1997. We used a 50 m long beach net ("chinchorro playero", height 1.50 m, mesh opening 0.7 cm. A total of 15 509 individuals were collected: 27 families, 38 genera and 44 specie were identified. The most abundant, in descending order, were Haemulon boschmae, Nicholsina usta, Orthopristis ruber, Xenomelaniris brasiliensis and Diplodus argenteus. Thirty three species were occasional visitors (75.0%) and ten were recurrent visitors (22.7%). The permanent resident, N. usta, is a characteristic species that uses T. testudinum throughout its life cycle.

  1. Intercropping With Fruit Trees Increases Population Abundance and Alters Species Composition of Spider Mites on Cotton.

    PubMed

    Li, Haiqiang; Pan, Hongsheng; Wang, Dongmei; Liu, Bing; Liu, Jian; Zhang, Jianping; Lu, Yanhui

    2018-05-05

    With the recent increase in planting of fruit trees in southern Xinjiang, the intercropping of fruit trees and cotton has been widely adopted. From 2014 to 2016, a large-scale study was conducted in Aksu, an important agricultural area in southern Xinjiang, to compare the abundance and species composition of spider mites in cotton fields under jujube-cotton, apple-cotton, and cotton monocrop systems. The abundance of spider mites in cotton fields under both intercropping systems was generally higher than in the cotton monocrop. The species composition of spider mites also differed greatly between cotton intercropped with apple or jujube compared to the cotton monocrop. The relative proportion of Tetranychus truncates Ehara (Acari: Tetranychidae) in the species complex generally increased while that of another spider mite, Tetranychus dunhuangensis Wang (Acari: Tetranychidae), decreased under fruit tree-cotton systems. More attention should be paid to the monitoring and management of spider mites, especially T. truncates in this important region of China.

  2. Historic Mining and Agriculture as Indicators of Occurrence and Abundance of Widespread Invasive Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Calinger, Kellen; Calhoon, Elisabeth; Chang, Hsiao-chi; Whitacre, James; Wenzel, John; Comita, Liza; Queenborough, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances often change ecological communities and provide opportunities for non-native species invasion. Understanding the impacts of disturbances on species invasion is therefore crucial for invasive species management. We used generalized linear mixed effects models to explore the influence of land-use history and distance to roads on the occurrence and abundance of two invasive plant species (Rosa multiflora and Berberis thunbergii) in a 900-ha deciduous forest in the eastern U.S.A., the Powdermill Nature Reserve. Although much of the reserve has been continuously forested since at least 1939, aerial photos revealed a variety of land-uses since then including agriculture, mining, logging, and development. By 2008, both R. multiflora and B. thunbergii were widespread throughout the reserve (occurring in 24% and 13% of 4417 10-m diameter regularly-placed vegetation plots, respectively) with occurrence and abundance of each varying significantly with land-use history. Rosa multiflora was more likely to occur in historically farmed, mined, logged or developed plots than in plots that remained forested, (log odds of 1.8 to 3.0); Berberis thunbergii was more likely to occur in plots with agricultural, mining, or logging history than in plots without disturbance (log odds of 1.4 to 2.1). Mining, logging, and agriculture increased the probability that R. multiflora had >10% cover while only past agriculture was related to cover of B. thunbergii. Proximity to roads was positively correlated with the occurrence of R. multiflora (a 0.26 increase in the log odds for every 1-m closer) but not B. thunbergii, and roads had no impact on the abundance of either species. Our results indicated that a wide variety of disturbances may aid the introduction of invasive species into new habitats, while high-impact disturbances such as agriculture and mining increase the likelihood of high abundance post-introduction. PMID:26046534

  3. Species abundance distributions in neutral models with immigration or mutation and general lifetimes.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Amaury

    2011-07-01

    We consider a general, neutral, dynamical model of biodiversity. Individuals have i.i.d. lifetime durations, which are not necessarily exponentially distributed, and each individual gives birth independently at constant rate λ. Thus, the population size is a homogeneous, binary Crump-Mode-Jagers process (which is not necessarily a Markov process). We assume that types are clonally inherited. We consider two classes of speciation models in this setting. In the immigration model, new individuals of an entirely new species singly enter the population at constant rate μ (e.g., from the mainland into the island). In the mutation model, each individual independently experiences point mutations in its germ line, at constant rate θ. We are interested in the species abundance distribution, i.e., in the numbers, denoted I(n)(k) in the immigration model and A(n)(k) in the mutation model, of species represented by k individuals, k = 1, 2, . . . , n, when there are n individuals in the total population. In the immigration model, we prove that the numbers (I(t)(k); k ≥ 1) of species represented by k individuals at time t, are independent Poisson variables with parameters as in Fisher's log-series. When conditioning on the total size of the population to equal n, this results in species abundance distributions given by Ewens' sampling formula. In particular, I(n)(k) converges as n → ∞ to a Poisson r.v. with mean γ/k, where γ : = μ/λ. In the mutation model, as n → ∞, we obtain the almost sure convergence of n (-1) A(n)(k) to a nonrandom explicit constant. In the case of a critical, linear birth-death process, this constant is given by Fisher's log-series, namely n(-1) A(n)(k) converges to α(k)/k, where α : = λ/(λ + θ). In both models, the abundances of the most abundant species are briefly discussed.

  4. Annual cycle of zooplankton abundance and species composition in Izmit Bay (the northeastern Marmara Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isinibilir, Melek; Kideys, Ahmet E.; Tarkan, Ahmet N.; Yilmaz, I. Noyan

    2008-07-01

    The monthly abundance, biomass and taxonomic composition of zooplankton of Izmit Bay (the northeastern Marmara Sea) were studied from October 2001 to September 2002. Most species within the zooplankton community displayed a clear pattern of succession throughout the year. Generally copepods and cladocerans were the most abundant groups, while the contribution of meroplankton increased at inner-most stations and dominated the zooplankton. Both species number ( S) and diversity ( H') were positively influenced by the increase in salinity of upper layers ( r = 0.30 and r = 0.31, p < 0.001, respectively), while chlorophyll a was negatively affected ( r = -0.36, p < 0.001). Even though Noctiluca scintillans had a significant seasonality ( F11,120 = 8.45, p < 0.001, ANOVA), abundance was not related to fluctuations in temperature and only chlorophyll a was adversely correlated ( r = -0.35, p < 0.001). In general, there are some minor differences in zooplankton assemblages of upper and lower layers. A comparison of the species composition and abundance of Izmit Bay with other Black Sea bays reveals a high similarity between them.

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

    Treesearch

    David Walter; John Moser

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Species richness and relative species abundance of Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera) in three forests with different perturbations in the North-Central Caribbean of Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Stephen, Carolyn; Sánchez, Ragde

    2014-09-01

    Measurements of species richness and species abundance can have important implications for regulations and conservation. This study investigated species richness and abundance of butterflies in the family Nymphalidae at undisturbed, and disturbed habitats in Tirimbina Biological Reserve and Nogal Private Reserve, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica. Traps baited with rotten banana were placed in the canopy and the understory of three habitats: within mature forest, at a river/forest border, and at a banana plantation/forest border. In total, 71 species and 487 individuals were caught and identified during May and June 2011 and May 2013. Species richness and species abundance were found to increase significantly at perturbed habitats (p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, respectively). The edge effect, in which species richness and abundance increase due to greater complementary resources from different habitats, could be one possible explanation for increased species richness and abundance.

  7. Habitat preferences of two sparrow species are modified by abundances of other birds in an urban environment

    PubMed Central

    Skórka, Piotr; Sierpowska, Katarzyna; Haidt, Andżelika; Myczko, Łukasz; Ekner-Grzyb, Anna; Rosin, Zuzanna M.; Kwieciński, Zbigniew; Suchodolska, Joanna; Takacs, Viktoria; Jankowiak, Łukasz; Wasielewski, Oskar; Graclik, Agnieszka; Krawczyk, Agata J.; Kasprzak, Adam; Szwajkowski, Przemysław; Wylegała, Przemysław; Malecha, Anna W.; Mizera, Tadeusz; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Every species has certain habitat requirements, which may be altered by interactions with other co-occurring species. These interactions are mostly ignored in predictive models trying to identify key habitat variables correlated with species population abundance/occurrence. We investigated how the structure of the urban landscape, food resources, potential competitors, predators, and interaction between these factors influence the abundance of house sparrow Passer domesticus and the tree sparrow P. montanus in sixty 25 ha plots distributed randomly across residential areas of the city of Poznań (Poland). The abundance of the house sparrow was positively correlated with the abundance of pigeons but negatively correlated with human-related food resources. There were significant interaction terms between abundances of other urban species and habitat variables in statistical models. For example, the abundance of house sparrow was negatively correlated with the abundance of corvids and tree sparrows but only when food resources were low. The abundance of tree sparrows positively correlated with density of streets and the distance from the city center. The abundance of this species positively correlated with the abundance of corvids when food resources were low but negatively correlated at low covers of green area. Our study indicates that associations between food resources, habitat covers, and the relative abundance of two sparrow species are altered by the abundance of other urban species. Competition, niche separation and social facilitation may be responsible for these interactive effects. Thus, biotic interactions should be included not only as an additive effect but also as an interaction term between abundance and habitat variables in statistical models predicting species abundance and occurrence. PMID:29491924

  8. Prevalence of avian haemosporidian parasites is positively related to the abundance of host species at multiple sites within a region.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Vincenzo A; Medeiros, Matthew C I; Collins, Michael D; Sari, Eloisa H R; Coffey, Elyse D; Dickerson, Rebecca C; Lugarini, Camile; Stratford, Jeffrey A; Henry, Donata R; Merrill, Loren; Matthews, Alix E; Hanson, Alison A; Roberts, Jackson R; Joyce, Michael; Kunkel, Melanie R; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2017-01-01

    Parasite prevalence is thought to be positively related to host population density owing to enhanced contagion. However, the relationship between prevalence and local abundance of multiple host species is underexplored. We surveyed birds and their haemosporidian parasites (genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) at multiple sites across eastern North America to test whether the prevalence of these parasites in a host species at a particular site is related to that host's local abundance. Prevalence was positively related to host abundance within most sites, although the effect was stronger and more consistent for Plasmodium than for Haemoproteus. In contrast, prevalence was not related to variation in the abundance of most individual host species among sites across the region. These results suggest that parasite prevalence partly reflects the relative abundances of host species in local assemblages. However, three nonnative host species had low prevalence despite being relatively abundant at one site, as predicted by the enemy release hypothesis.

  9. Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri: a new ant species discovered in the stomach of the dendrobatid poison frog, Oophaga sylvatica (Funkhouser)

    PubMed Central

    Rabeling, Christian; Sosa-Calvo, Jeffrey; O'Connell, Lauren A.; Coloma, Luis A.; Fernández, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The ant genus Lenomyrmex was recently discovered and described from mid to high elevation rainforests in southern Central and northwestern South America. Lenomyrmex currently consists of six described species, which are only rarely collected. Here, we add a new species, Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri sp. n., which was discovered in a stomach content sample of the dendrobatid frog, Oophaga sylvatica, from northwestern Ecuador. Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri can be distinguished from other species in the genus by the presence of a well-developed petiolar node, whereas in all other species the node of the petiole is ill-defined. In addition to the shape of the petiolar node, Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri can be distinguished from the morphologically similar Lenomyrmex costatus by (i) the presence of the metanotal suture, (ii) the direction of the striae on dorsum of propodeum (concentrically transverse in Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri, longitudinal in Lenomyrmex costatus), (iii) the finely striate dorsum of postpetiole, (iv) its larger size, and (v) distinctly darker coloration. We also describe the gyne of Lenomyrmex foveolatus. This collection record from northwestern Ecuador extends the geographic distribution of Lenomyrmex foveolatus 400 km south from its previous record in Colombia. A revised taxonomic key to the workers and gynes of all described Lenomyrmex species is provided. We discuss the taxonomic relationship of Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri to other species in the genus and its biology based on the limited information that is currently available. Finally, we briefly discuss the feeding ecology of dendrobatid poison frogs in the context of providing a valuable source of rarely collected and cryptic new ant species. PMID:27853401

  10. Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri: a new ant species discovered in the stomach of the dendrobatid poison frog, Oophaga sylvatica (Funkhouser).

    PubMed

    Rabeling, Christian; Sosa-Calvo, Jeffrey; O'Connell, Lauren A; Coloma, Luis A; Fernández, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The ant genus Lenomyrmex was recently discovered and described from mid to high elevation rainforests in southern Central and northwestern South America. Lenomyrmex currently consists of six described species, which are only rarely collected. Here, we add a new species, Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri sp. n. , which was discovered in a stomach content sample of the dendrobatid frog, Oophaga sylvatica , from northwestern Ecuador. Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri can be distinguished from other species in the genus by the presence of a well-developed petiolar node, whereas in all other species the node of the petiole is ill-defined. In addition to the shape of the petiolar node, Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri can be distinguished from the morphologically similar Lenomyrmex costatus by (i) the presence of the metanotal suture, (ii) the direction of the striae on dorsum of propodeum (concentrically transverse in Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri , longitudinal in Lenomyrmex costatus ), (iii) the finely striate dorsum of postpetiole, (iv) its larger size, and (v) distinctly darker coloration. We also describe the gyne of Lenomyrmex foveolatus . This collection record from northwestern Ecuador extends the geographic distribution of Lenomyrmex foveolatus 400 km south from its previous record in Colombia. A revised taxonomic key to the workers and gynes of all described Lenomyrmex species is provided. We discuss the taxonomic relationship of Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri to other species in the genus and its biology based on the limited information that is currently available. Finally, we briefly discuss the feeding ecology of dendrobatid poison frogs in the context of providing a valuable source of rarely collected and cryptic new ant species.

  11. Exposure to light enhances pre-adult fitness in two dark-dwelling sympatric species of ants

    PubMed Central

    Lone, Shahnaz Rahman; Sharma, Vijay Kumar

    2008-01-01

    Background In insects, circadian clocks play a key role in enhancing fitness by regulating life history traits such as developmental time and adult lifespan. These clocks use environmental light/dark (LD) cycles to fine-tune a wide range of behavioral and physiological processes. To study the effect of environmental LD conditions on pre-adult fitness components, we used two dark-dwelling sympatric species of ants (the night active Camponotus compressus and the day active Camponotus paria), which normally develop underground and have fairly long pre-adult developmental time. Results Our results suggest that ants develop fastest as pre-adults when maintained under constant light (LL), followed closely by 12:12 hr light/dark (LD), and then constant darkness (DD). While light exposure alters developmental rates of almost all stages of development, the overall pre-adult development in LL is speeded-up (relative to DD) by ~37% (34 days) in C. compressus and by ~35% (31 days) in C. paria. In LD too, development is faster (relative to DD) by ~29% (26 days) in C. compressus and by ~28% (25 days) in C. paria. Pre-adult viability of both species is also higher under LL and LD compared to DD. While pre-adult development time and viability is enhanced in LL and LD, clutch-size undergoes reduction, at least in C. compressus. Conclusion Exposure to light enhances pre-adult fitness in two dark-dwelling species of Camponotus by speeding-up development and by enhancing viability. This suggests that social ants use environmental light/dark cycles to modulate key life history traits such as pre-adult development time and viability. PMID:19046462

  12. The effect of peatland drainage and restoration on Odonata species richness and abundance.

    PubMed

    Elo, Merja; Penttinen, Jouni; Kotiaho, Janne S

    2015-04-09

    Restoration aims at reversing the trend of habitat degradation, the major threat to biodiversity. In Finland, more than half of the original peatland area has been drained, and during recent years, restoration of some of the drained peatlands has been accomplished. Short-term effects of the restoration on peatland hydrology, chemistry and vegetation are promising but little is known about how other species groups apart from vascular plants and bryophytes respond to restoration efforts. Here, we studied how abundance and species richness of Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) respond to restoration. We sampled larvae in three sites (restored, drained, pristine) on each of 12 different study areas. We sampled Odonata larvae before restoration (n = 12), during the first (n = 10) and the third (n = 7) year after restoration and used generalized linear mixed models to analyze the effect of restoration. Drained sites had lower abundance and species richness than pristine sites. During the third year after restoration both abundance and species richness had risen in restored sites. Our results show that Odonata suffer from drainage, but seem to benefit from peatland restoration and are able to colonize newly formed water pools already within three years after restoration.

  13. Modeling species richness and abundance of phytoplankton and zooplankton in radioactively contaminated water bodies.

    PubMed

    Shuryak, Igor

    2018-06-05

    Water bodies polluted by the Mayak nuclear plant in Russia provide valuable information on multi-generation effects of radioactive contamination on freshwater organisms. For example, lake Karachay was probably the most radioactive lake in the world: its water contained ∼2 × 10 7 Bq/L of radionuclides and estimated dose rates to plankton exceeded 5 Gy/h. We performed quantitative modeling of radiation effects on phytoplankton and zooplankton species richness and abundance in Mayak-contaminated water bodies. Due to collinearity between radioactive contamination, water body size and salinity, we combined these variables into one (called HabitatFactors). We employed a customized machine learning approach, where synthetic noise variables acted as benchmarks of predictor performance. HabitatFactors was the only predictor that outperformed noise variables and, therefore, we used it for parametric modeling of plankton responses. Best-fit model predictions suggested 50% species richness reduction at HabitatFactors values corresponding to dose rates of 10 4 -10 5  μGy/h for phytoplankton, and 10 3 -10 4  μGy/h for zooplankton. Under conditions similar to those in lake Karachay, best-fit models predicted 81-98% species richness reductions for various taxa (Cyanobacteria, Bacillariophyta, Chlorophyta, Rotifera, Cladocera and Copepoda), ∼20-300-fold abundance reduction for total zooplankton, but no abundance reduction for phytoplankton. Rotifera was the only taxon whose fractional abundance increased with contamination level, reaching 100% in lake Karachay, but Rotifera species richness declined with contamination level, as in other taxa. Under severe radioactive and chemical contamination, one species of Cyanobacteria (Geitlerinema amphibium) dominated phytoplankton, and rotifers from the genus Brachionus dominated zooplankton. The modeling approaches proposed here are applicable to other radioecological data sets. The results provide quantitative information

  14. Entedoninae wasps (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Eulophidae) associated with ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in tropical America, with new species and notes on their biology

    PubMed Central

    Hansson, Christer; Lachaud, Jean-Paul; Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Three new species of Eulophidae associated, or presumed to be associated with ants are described: two species of Horismenus Walker and one species of Microdonophagus Schauff. Information on the biology is also included. The two Horismenus species are from Chiapas, Mexico. Horismenus myrmecophagus sp. n. is known only from females and is a gregarious endoparasitoid in larvae of the weaver ant Camponotus sp. ca. textor. The parasitoids pupate inside the host larva, and an average of 6.7 individuals develops per host. This is the second time a species of genus Horismenus is found parasitizing the brood of a formicine ant of genus Camponotus. Horismenus microdonophagus sp. n. is described from both males and females, and is a gregarious endoparasitoid attacking the larvae of Microdon sp. (Diptera: Syrphidae), a predator on ant brood found in nests of Camponotus sp. ca. textor. The new species of Microdonophagus, Microdonophagus tertius, is from Costa Rica, and known only from the female. Nothing is known about its biology but since another species in same genus, Microdonophagus woodleyi Schauff, is associated with ants through its host, Microdon larva (with same biology as Horismenus microdonophagus), it is possible that also Microdonophagus tertius has this association. A new distributional record for Microdonophagus woodleyi is also reported, extending its distribution from Panama and Colombia to Brazil. PMID:22140342

  15. Estimating species – area relationships by modeling abundance and frequency subject to incomplete sampling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yamaura, Yuichi; Connor, Edward F.; Royle, Andy; Itoh, Katsuo; Sato, Kiyoshi; Taki, Hisatomo; Mishima, Yoshio

    2016-01-01

    Models and data used to describe species–area relationships confound sampling with ecological process as they fail to acknowledge that estimates of species richness arise due to sampling. This compromises our ability to make ecological inferences from and about species–area relationships. We develop and illustrate hierarchical community models of abundance and frequency to estimate species richness. The models we propose separate sampling from ecological processes by explicitly accounting for the fact that sampled patches are seldom completely covered by sampling plots and that individuals present in the sampling plots are imperfectly detected. We propose a multispecies abundance model in which community assembly is treated as the summation of an ensemble of species-level Poisson processes and estimate patch-level species richness as a derived parameter. We use sampling process models appropriate for specific survey methods. We propose a multispecies frequency model that treats the number of plots in which a species occurs as a binomial process. We illustrate these models using data collected in surveys of early-successional bird species and plants in young forest plantation patches. Results indicate that only mature forest plant species deviated from the constant density hypothesis, but the null model suggested that the deviations were too small to alter the form of species–area relationships. Nevertheless, results from simulations clearly show that the aggregate pattern of individual species density–area relationships and occurrence probability–area relationships can alter the form of species–area relationships. The plant community model estimated that only half of the species present in the regional species pool were encountered during the survey. The modeling framework we propose explicitly accounts for sampling processes so that ecological processes can be examined free of sampling artefacts. Our modeling approach is extensible and could be applied

  16. Negative plant-soil feedback predicts tree-species relative abundance in a tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Mangan, Scott A; Schnitzer, Stefan A; Herre, Edward A; Mack, Keenan M L; Valencia, Mariana C; Sanchez, Evelyn I; Bever, James D

    2010-08-05

    The accumulation of species-specific enemies around adults is hypothesized to maintain plant diversity by limiting the recruitment of conspecific seedlings relative to heterospecific seedlings. Although previous studies in forested ecosystems have documented patterns consistent with the process of negative feedback, these studies are unable to address which classes of enemies (for example, pathogens, invertebrates, mammals) exhibit species-specific effects strong enough to generate negative feedback, and whether negative feedback at the level of the individual tree is sufficient to influence community-wide forest composition. Here we use fully reciprocal shade-house and field experiments to test whether the performance of conspecific tree seedlings (relative to heterospecific seedlings) is reduced when grown in the presence of enemies associated with adult trees. Both experiments provide strong evidence for negative plant-soil feedback mediated by soil biota. In contrast, above-ground enemies (mammals, foliar herbivores and foliar pathogens) contributed little to negative feedback observed in the field. In both experiments, we found that tree species that showed stronger negative feedback were less common as adults in the forest community, indicating that susceptibility to soil biota may determine species relative abundance in these tropical forests. Finally, our simulation models confirm that the strength of local negative feedback that we measured is sufficient to produce the observed community-wide patterns in tree-species relative abundance. Our findings indicate that plant-soil feedback is an important mechanism that can maintain species diversity and explain patterns of tree-species relative abundance in tropical forests.

  17. The relative importance of pollinator abundance and species richness for the temporal variance of pollination services.

    PubMed

    Genung, Mark A; Fox, Jeremy; Williams, Neal M; Kremen, Claire; Ascher, John; Gibbs, Jason; Winfree, Rachael

    2017-07-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and the stability of ecosystem function is a fundamental question in community ecology, and hundreds of experiments have shown a positive relationship between species richness and the stability of ecosystem function. However, these experiments have rarely accounted for common ecological patterns, most notably skewed species abundance distributions and non-random extinction risks, making it difficult to know whether experimental results can be scaled up to larger, less manipulated systems. In contrast with the prolific body of experimental research, few studies have examined how species richness affects the stability of ecosystem services at more realistic, landscape scales. The paucity of these studies is due in part to a lack of analytical methods that are suitable for the correlative structure of ecological data. A recently developed method, based on the Price equation from evolutionary biology, helps resolve this knowledge gap by partitioning the effect of biodiversity into three components: richness, composition, and abundance. Here, we build on previous work and present the first derivation of the Price equation suitable for analyzing temporal variance of ecosystem services. We applied our new derivation to understand the temporal variance of crop pollination services in two study systems (watermelon and blueberry) in the mid-Atlantic United States. In both systems, but especially in the watermelon system, the stronger driver of temporal variance of ecosystem services was fluctuations in the abundance of common bee species, which were present at nearly all sites regardless of species richness. In contrast, temporal variance of ecosystem services was less affected by differences in species richness, because lost and gained species were rare. Thus, the findings from our more realistic landscapes differ qualitatively from the findings of biodiversity-stability experiments. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dunn, Robert

    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.

  19. [Distribution and changes in species composition and abundance of ichthyoplankton in the Yangtze estuary].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Heng; Yang, Sheng-Long; Meng, Hai-Xing

    2012-06-01

    Based on four surveys of eggs and larvae in the Yangtze estuary in 2005 (April and November) and 2006 (April and September), combined with the historical data of the wetland in 1990 (September) and 1991 (March), we analyzed seasonal changes in fish species composition and quantity of ichthyoplankton. Thirty-six species of egg and larvae were collected and marine fish species were the highest represented ecological guild. Average fish species and average abundance in spring were lower than in autumn for every survey. The total number of eggs in brackish water was higher than in fresh water, but the total number of larvae and juveniles in brackish water was lower. The abundance of eggs and larvae during from 2005 to 2006 in both spring and autumn was higher compared to those from 1990 to 1991. Obvious differences in species composition in September between 1990 and 2006 were found, especially for Erythroculter ilishaeformis and Neosalanx taihuensis. Fish species composition and quantity within the ichthyoplankton community has obviously changed in the Yangtze estuary over the last 20 years.

  20. Species composition, distribution and abundance of chaetodontidae along reef transects in the Flores Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adrim, Mohammad; Hutomo, Malikusworo

    Observations on chaetodontid fishes were made by applying a visual census technique at 13 coral reef locations in the Flores Sea region in October and November 1984. These observations were made along 50 m transect lines, parallel to the shore or the reef edge at depths between 3 to 12 m. Twenty-three species of Chaetodontidae were observed, representing three genera: Chaetodon (20 species), Heniochus (2 species) and Forcipiger (1 species). Chaetodon kleini, C. trifasciatus, C. melannotus and C. baronessa proved to be the most abundant species, and among them C. kleini and C. trifasciatus were the most widely distributed ones. Chaetodon semeion and C. mertensi were the rarest species. The greatest number of individuals (77) was counted at station 4.268 near Tanjung Burung, Sumbawa, while the greatest number of species (14) was observed at station 4.257, north of Komodo. The lowest number of individuals (17) was counted at station 4.175 near P. Bahuluang, Salayer, while station 4.251 near Teluk Slawi, Komodo, was inhabited by the smallest numbver of species (2). Numerical classification by using the Bray Curtis dissimilarity index resulted in three groups of entities. The first group was characterized by predomination of C. kleini and the second by predomination of C. melannotus. The third one was a loose group not characterized by any predominant species. The analyses indicated that the similarities of the chaetodontid communities between locations are not related to the distance between them, but rather to habitat conditions. For example predomination of C. melannotus is strongly related to the predomination of soft coral. Compared to other areas of Indonesia, e.g. Bali, Seribu Islands, Batam, Sunda Strait, and Ambon Bay, the Flores Sea reefs have a more abundant and more diverse chaetodontid fauna.

  1. Estimating forest species abundance through linear unmixing of CHRIS/PROBA imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stagakis, Stavros; Vanikiotis, Theofilos; Sykioti, Olga

    2016-09-01

    The advancing technology of hyperspectral remote sensing offers the opportunity of accurate land cover characterization of complex natural environments. In this study, a linear spectral unmixing algorithm that incorporates a novel hierarchical Bayesian approach (BI-ICE) was applied on two spatially and temporally adjacent CHRIS/PROBA images over a forest in North Pindos National Park (Epirus, Greece). The scope is to investigate the potential of this algorithm to discriminate two different forest species (i.e. beech - Fagus sylvatica, pine - Pinus nigra) and produce accurate species-specific abundance maps. The unmixing results were evaluated in uniformly distributed plots across the test site using measured fractions of each species derived by very high resolution aerial orthophotos. Landsat-8 images were also used to produce a conventional discrete-type classification map of the test site. This map was used to define the exact borders of the test site and compare the thematic information of the two mapping approaches (discrete vs abundance mapping). The required ground truth information, regarding training and validation of the applied mapping methodologies, was collected during a field campaign across the study site. Abundance estimates reached very good overall accuracy (R2 = 0.98, RMSE = 0.06). The most significant source of error in our results was due to the shadowing effects that were very intense in some areas of the test site due to the low solar elevation during CHRIS acquisitions. It is also demonstrated that the two mapping approaches are in accordance across pure and dense forest areas, but the conventional classification map fails to describe the natural spatial gradients of each species and the actual species mixture across the test site. Overall, the BI-ICE algorithm presented increased potential to unmix challenging objects with high spectral similarity, such as different vegetation species, under real and not optimum acquisition conditions. Its

  2. The fish fauna of Anambra river basin, Nigeria: species abundance and morphometry.

    PubMed

    Odo, Gregory Ejikeme; Didigwu, Nwani Christopher; Eyo, Joseph Effiong

    2009-01-01

    The fish yields of most Nigeria inland waters are generally on the decline for causes that may range from inadequate management of the fisheries to degradation of the water bodies. Sustainable exploitation requires knowledge of the ichthyofaunal composition in the water bodies. We did a survey of fish species in Anambra river basin for 22 months. Fish samples were collected using four different gears -hook and line of size 13, caste nets, gill nets, and cages of mesh sizes of 50 mm, 75 mm, and 100 mm each. We recorded 52 fish species belonging to 17 families: 171, 236, and 169 individuals at Ogurugu, Otuocha, and Nsugbe stations respectively. Two families, Characidae, 19.5%, and Mochokidae, 11.8%, constituted the dominant fish families in the river. The dominant fish species were Citherinus citherius, 9.02%, and Alestes nurse, 7.1%. Other fish species with significant abundance were Synodontis clarias 6.9%, Macrolepidotus curvier 5.7%, Labeo coubie 5.4%, Distichodus rostrtus 4.9%, and Schilbe mystus 4.5%. The meristic features of the two most abundant fish species caught are as follows: Citharinus citharius dorsal fins 20, anal fins 30, caudal fins 21, pectoral fins, 9 and 8 ventral fins, and Alestes nurse 10 dorsal fins, 14 anal fins, 31 caudal fins, 7 pectoral fins and 6 ventral fins. The morphometric features of the two most abundant fish species are Citharinus citharius total length 300 mm, standard length 231 mm, head length 69 mm, body length 101 mm, body girth 176 mm, body weight 900 mg. Alestes nurse total length 200, standard length 140 mm, head length 60 mm, body length 80 mm, body girth 120 mm, body weight 400 mg. The most abundant animal utilizing the basin was Ardea cinerea (D3) with 22.2% occurrence (D4) and this was followed by Caprini with 13.51%, and Varanus niloticus, 10.04%. The least abundant animals utilizing basin were Chephalophus rufilatus, and Erythrocebus patas, with 0.58% each of occurrence.

  3. Food-web models predict species abundances in response to habitat change.

    PubMed

    Gotelli, Nicholas J; Ellison, Aaron M

    2006-10-01

    Plant and animal population sizes inevitably change following habitat loss, but the mechanisms underlying these changes are poorly understood. We experimentally altered habitat volume and eliminated top trophic levels of the food web of invertebrates that inhabit rain-filled leaves of the carnivorous pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea. Path models that incorporated food-web structure better predicted population sizes of food-web constituents than did simple keystone species models, models that included only autecological responses to habitat volume, or models including both food-web structure and habitat volume. These results provide the first experimental confirmation that trophic structure can determine species abundances in the face of habitat loss.

  4. Food-Web Models Predict Species Abundances in Response to Habitat Change

    PubMed Central

    Gotelli, Nicholas J; Ellison, Aaron M

    2006-01-01

    Plant and animal population sizes inevitably change following habitat loss, but the mechanisms underlying these changes are poorly understood. We experimentally altered habitat volume and eliminated top trophic levels of the food web of invertebrates that inhabit rain-filled leaves of the carnivorous pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea. Path models that incorporated food-web structure better predicted population sizes of food-web constituents than did simple keystone species models, models that included only autecological responses to habitat volume, or models including both food-web structure and habitat volume. These results provide the first experimental confirmation that trophic structure can determine species abundances in the face of habitat loss. PMID:17002518

  5. Are the Most Plastic Species the Most Abundant Ones? An Assessment Using a Fish Assemblage

    PubMed Central

    Vidal, Nicolás; Zaldúa, Natalia; D'Anatro, Alejandro; Naya, Daniel E.

    2014-01-01

    Few studies have evaluated phenotypic plasticity at the community level, considering, for example, plastic responses in an entire species assemblage. In addition, none of these studies have addressed the relationship between phenotypic plasticity and community structure. Within this context, here we assessed the magnitude of seasonal changes in digestive traits (seasonal flexibility), and of changes during short-term fasting (flexibility during fasting), occurring in an entire fish assemblage, comprising ten species, four trophic levels, and a 37-fold range in body mass. In addition, we analyzed the relationship between estimates of digestive flexibility and three basic assemblage structure attributes, i.e., species trophic position, body size, and relative abundance. We found that: (1) Seasonal digestive flexibility was not related with species trophic position or with body size; (2) Digestive flexibility during fasting tended to be inversely correlated with body size, as expected from scaling relationships; (3) Digestive flexibility, both seasonal and during fasting, was positively correlated with species relative abundance. In conclusion, the present study identified two trends in digestive flexibility in relation to assemblage structure, which represents an encouraging departure point in the search of general patterns in phenotypic plasticity at the local community scale. PMID:24651865

  6. On the proportional abundance of species: Integrating population genetics and community ecology.

    PubMed

    Marquet, Pablo A; Espinoza, Guillermo; Abades, Sebastian R; Ganz, Angela; Rebolledo, Rolando

    2017-12-01

    The frequency of genes in interconnected populations and of species in interconnected communities are affected by similar processes, such as birth, death and immigration. The equilibrium distribution of gene frequencies in structured populations is known since the 1930s, under Wright's metapopulation model known as the island model. The equivalent distribution for the species frequency (i.e. the species proportional abundance distribution (SPAD)), at the metacommunity level, however, is unknown. In this contribution, we develop a stochastic model to analytically account for this distribution (SPAD). We show that the same as for genes SPAD follows a beta distribution, which provides a good description of empirical data and applies across a continuum of scales. This stochastic model, based upon a diffusion approximation, provides an alternative to neutral models for the species abundance distribution (SAD), which focus on number of individuals instead of proportions, and demonstrate that the relative frequency of genes in local populations and of species within communities follow the same probability law. We hope our contribution will help stimulate the mathematical and conceptual integration of theories in genetics and ecology.

  7. Sampling designs matching species biology produce accurate and affordable abundance indices

    PubMed Central

    Farley, Sean; Russell, Gareth J.; Butler, Matthew J.; Selinger, Jeff

    2013-01-01

    Wildlife biologists often use grid-based designs to sample animals and generate abundance estimates. Although sampling in grids is theoretically sound, in application, the method can be logistically difficult and expensive when sampling elusive species inhabiting extensive areas. These factors make it challenging to sample animals and meet the statistical assumption of all individuals having an equal probability of capture. Violating this assumption biases results. Does an alternative exist? Perhaps by sampling only where resources attract animals (i.e., targeted sampling), it would provide accurate abundance estimates more efficiently and affordably. However, biases from this approach would also arise if individuals have an unequal probability of capture, especially if some failed to visit the sampling area. Since most biological programs are resource limited, and acquiring abundance data drives many conservation and management applications, it becomes imperative to identify economical and informative sampling designs. Therefore, we evaluated abundance estimates generated from grid and targeted sampling designs using simulations based on geographic positioning system (GPS) data from 42 Alaskan brown bears (Ursus arctos). Migratory salmon drew brown bears from the wider landscape, concentrating them at anadromous streams. This provided a scenario for testing the targeted approach. Grid and targeted sampling varied by trap amount, location (traps placed randomly, systematically or by expert opinion), and traps stationary or moved between capture sessions. We began by identifying when to sample, and if bears had equal probability of capture. We compared abundance estimates against seven criteria: bias, precision, accuracy, effort, plus encounter rates, and probabilities of capture and recapture. One grid (49 km2 cells) and one targeted configuration provided the most accurate results. Both placed traps by expert opinion and moved traps between capture sessions, which

  8. Predicting probability of occurrence and factors affecting distribution and abundance of three Ozark endemic crayfish species at multiple spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nolen, Matthew S.; Magoulick, Daniel D.; DiStefano, Robert J.; Imhoff, Emily M.; Wagner, Brian K.

    2014-01-01

    We found that a range of environmental variables were important in predicting crayfish distribution and abundance at multiple spatial scales and their importance was species-, response variable- and scale dependent. We would encourage others to examine the influence of spatial scale on species distribution and abundance patterns.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, B D

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2015-03-01

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

  12. Diatom species abundance and morphologically-based dissolution proxies in coastal Southern Ocean assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warnock, Jonathan P.; Scherer, Reed P.

    2015-07-01

    Taphonomic processes alter diatom assemblages in sediments, thus potentially negatively impacting paleoclimate records at various rates across space, time, and taxa. However, quantitative taphonomic data is rarely included in diatom-based paleoenvironmental reconstructions and no objective standard exists for comparing diatom dissolution in sediments recovered from marine depositional settings, including the Southern Ocean's opal belt. Furthermore, identifying changes to diatom dissolution through time can provide insight into the efficiency of both upper water column nutrient recycling and the biological pump. This is significant in that reactive metal proxies (e.g. Al, Ti) in the sediments only account for post-depositional dissolution, not the water column where the majority of dissolution occurs. In order to assess the range of variability of responses to dissolution in a typical Southern Ocean diatom community and provide a quantitative guideline for assessing taphonomic variability in diatoms recovered from core material, a sediment trap sample was subjected to controlled, serial dissolution. By evaluating dissolution-induced changes to diatom species' relative abundance, three preservational categories of diatoms have been identified: gracile, intermediate, and robust. The relative abundances of these categories can be used to establish a preservation grade for diatom assemblages. However, changes to the relative abundances of diatom species in sediment samples may reflect taphonomic or ecological factors. In order to address this complication, relative abundance changes have been tied to dissolution-induced morphological change to the areolae of Fragilariopsis curta, a significant sea-ice indicator in Southern Ocean sediments. This correlation allows differentiation between gracile species loss to dissolution versus ecological factors or sediment winnowing. These results mirror a similar morphological dissolution index from a parallel study utilizing

  13. A new genus and species of Macrochelidae (Acari:Mesostigmata) associated with the Texas leaf cutting ant, Atta texana (Buckley) in Louisiana, USA

    Treesearch

    Gerald W. Krantz; John Moser

    2012-01-01

    Adults and nymphs of a new genus and species of the family Macrochelidae are described from detritus cavities of the leaf-cutting ant, Atta texana. This new species is notable in having peritremes with no posterior loop, a series of small subterminal teeth on the fixed cheliceral digit rather than the single large tooth typical of other macrochelids...

  14. Relative abundance and species richness of cerambycid beetles in partial cut and uncut bottomland hardwood forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newell, P.; King, S.

    2009-01-01

    Partial cutting techniques are increasingly advocated and used to create habitat for priority wildlife. However, partial cutting may or may not benefit species dependent on deadwood; harvesting can supplement coarse woody debris in the form of logging slash, but standing dead trees may be targeted for removal. We sampled cerambycid beetles during the spring and summer of 2006 and 2007 with canopy malaise traps in 1- and 2-year-old partial cut and uncut bottomland hardwood forests of Louisiana. We captured a total of 4195 cerambycid beetles representing 65 species. Relative abundance was higher in recent partial cuts than in uncut controls and with more dead trees in a plot. Total species richness and species composition were not different between treatments. The results suggest partial cuts with logging slash left on site increase the abundance of cerambycid beetles in the first few years after partial cutting and that both partial cuts and uncut forest should be included in the bottomland hardwood forest landscape.

  15. Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Andrew J.; Lips, Karen R.; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2010-01-01

    Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented declines attributed to a chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the severity of the crisis, quantitative analyses of the effects of the epidemic on amphibian abundance and diversity have been unavailable as a result of the lack of equivalent data collected before and following disease outbreak. We present a community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing changes in abundance and evolutionary diversity within the amphibian community of El Copé, Panama, following a disease epidemic and mass-mortality event. The epidemic reduced taxonomic, lineage, and phylogenetic diversity similarly. We discovered that 30 species were lost, including five undescribed species, representing 41% of total amphibian lineage diversity in El Copé. These extirpations represented 33% of the evolutionary history of amphibians within the community, and variation in the degree of population loss and decline among species was random with respect to the community phylogeny. Our approach provides a fast, economical, and informative analysis of loss in a community whether measured by species or phylogenetic diversity. PMID:20643927

  16. Facilitation influences patterns of perennial species abundance and richness in a subtropical dune system

    PubMed Central

    Dalotto, Cecilia E S; Sühs, Rafael B; Dechoum, Michele S; Pugnaire, Francisco I; Peroni, Nivaldo; Castellani, Tânia T

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Positive interactions in plant communities are under-reported in subtropical systems most likely because they are not identified as stressful environments. However, environmental factors or disturbance can limit plant growth in any system and lead to stressful conditions. For instance, salinity and low nutrient and water availability generate a gradient of stressful conditions in coastal systems depending on distance to shore. In a tropical coastal system in SE Brazil, we aimed to assess whether Guapira opposita, a shrub common in restinga environments, acted as nurse involved in ecological succession and which factors influenced its facilitation process. We sampled perennial species above 10 cm in height under the canopy of 35 G. opposita individuals and in neighbouring open areas. Shrub height, canopy area and distance to freshwater bodies were measured in the field, and distance to the ocean was obtained from aerial images. In addition, we measured the distance to the closest forest patch as a potential source of seeds. Plant abundance and species richness were higher under the canopy of G. opposita than in open areas. Facilitation by G. opposita was mainly determined by shrub height, which had a positive relationship with woody and bromeliads abundance and species richness while there was no relationship with the other factors. Overall, our data evidence that tropical environments may be highly stressful for plants and that nurse species play a key role in the regeneration of restinga environments, where their presence is critical to maintain ecosystem diversity and function. PMID:29644027

  17. Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Andrew J; Lips, Karen R; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2010-08-03

    Amphibian populations around the world are experiencing unprecedented declines attributed to a chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the severity of the crisis, quantitative analyses of the effects of the epidemic on amphibian abundance and diversity have been unavailable as a result of the lack of equivalent data collected before and following disease outbreak. We present a community-level assessment combining long-term field surveys and DNA barcode data describing changes in abundance and evolutionary diversity within the amphibian community of El Copé, Panama, following a disease epidemic and mass-mortality event. The epidemic reduced taxonomic, lineage, and phylogenetic diversity similarly. We discovered that 30 species were lost, including five undescribed species, representing 41% of total amphibian lineage diversity in El Copé. These extirpations represented 33% of the evolutionary history of amphibians within the community, and variation in the degree of population loss and decline among species was random with respect to the community phylogeny. Our approach provides a fast, economical, and informative analysis of loss in a community whether measured by species or phylogenetic diversity.

  18. Facilitation influences patterns of perennial species abundance and richness in a subtropical dune system.

    PubMed

    Dalotto, Cecilia E S; Sühs, Rafael B; Dechoum, Michele S; Pugnaire, Francisco I; Peroni, Nivaldo; Castellani, Tânia T

    2018-04-01

    Positive interactions in plant communities are under-reported in subtropical systems most likely because they are not identified as stressful environments. However, environmental factors or disturbance can limit plant growth in any system and lead to stressful conditions. For instance, salinity and low nutrient and water availability generate a gradient of stressful conditions in coastal systems depending on distance to shore. In a tropical coastal system in SE Brazil, we aimed to assess whether Guapira opposita , a shrub common in restinga environments, acted as nurse involved in ecological succession and which factors influenced its facilitation process. We sampled perennial species above 10 cm in height under the canopy of 35 G. opposita individuals and in neighbouring open areas. Shrub height, canopy area and distance to freshwater bodies were measured in the field, and distance to the ocean was obtained from aerial images. In addition, we measured the distance to the closest forest patch as a potential source of seeds. Plant abundance and species richness were higher under the canopy of G. opposita than in open areas. Facilitation by G. opposita was mainly determined by shrub height, which had a positive relationship with woody and bromeliads abundance and species richness while there was no relationship with the other factors. Overall, our data evidence that tropical environments may be highly stressful for plants and that nurse species play a key role in the regeneration of restinga environments, where their presence is critical to maintain ecosystem diversity and function.

  19. Parametric scaling from species relative abundances to absolute abundances in the computation of biological diversity: a first proposal using Shannon's entropy.

    PubMed

    Ricotta, Carlo

    2003-01-01

    Traditional diversity measures such as the Shannon entropy are generally computed from the species' relative abundance vector of a given community to the exclusion of species' absolute abundances. In this paper, I first mention some examples where the total information content associated with a given community may be more adequate than Shannon's average information content for a better understanding of ecosystem functioning. Next, I propose a parametric measure of statistical information that contains both Shannon's entropy and total information content as special cases of this more general function.

  20. Abundance and Spatial Dispersion of Rice Stem Borer Species in Kahama, Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Alfonce; Rwegasira, Gration M.

    2015-01-01

    Species diversity, abundance, and dispersion of rice stem borers in framer’s fields were studied in four major rice growing areas of Kahama District. Stem borer larvae were extracted from the damaged tillers in 16 quadrants established in each field. Adult Moths were trapped by light traps and collected in vials for identification. Results indicated the presence of Chilo partellus, Maliarpha separatella, and Sesamia calamistis in all study areas. The most abundant species was C. partellus (48.6%) followed by M. separatella (35.4%) and S. calamistis was least abundant (16.1%). Stem borers dispersion was aggregated along the edges of rice fields in three locations (wards) namely: Bulige, Chela, and Ngaya. The dispersion in the fourth ward, Kashishi was uniform as established from two of the three dispersion indices tested. Further studies would be required to establish the available alternative hosts, the extent of economic losses and the distribution of rice stem borers in the rest of the Lake zone of Tanzania. PMID:26411785

  1. The Human Release Hypothesis for biological invasions: human activity as a determinant of the abundance of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Heike; Brandt, Patric; Fischer, Joern; Welk, Erik; von Wehrden, Henrik

    2014-01-01

    Research on biological invasions has increased rapidly over the past 30 years, generating numerous explanations of how species become invasive. While the mechanisms of invasive species establishment are well studied, the mechanisms driving abundance patterns (i.e. patterns of population density and population size) remain poorly understood. It is assumed that invasive species typically have higher abundances in their new environments than in their native ranges, and patterns of invasive species abundance differ between invaded regions. To explain differences in invasive species abundance, we propose the Human Release Hypothesis. In parallel to the established Enemy Release Hypothesis, this hypothesis states that the differences in abundance of invasive species are found between regions because population expansion is reduced in some regions through continuous land management and associated cutting of the invasive species. The Human Release Hypothesis does not negate other important drivers of species invasions, but rather should be considered as a potentially important complementary mechanism. We illustrate the hypothesis via a case study on an invasive rose species, and hypothesize which locations globally may be most likely to support high abundances of invasive species. We propose that more extensive empirical work on the Human Release Hypothesis could be useful to test its general applicability.

  2. The Human Release Hypothesis for biological invasions: human activity as a determinant of the abundance of invasive plant species

    PubMed Central

    Zimmermann, Heike; Brandt, Patric; Fischer, Joern; Welk, Erik; von Wehrden, Henrik

    2014-01-01

    Research on biological invasions has increased rapidly over the past 30 years, generating numerous explanations of how species become invasive. While the mechanisms of invasive species establishment are well studied, the mechanisms driving abundance patterns (i.e. patterns of population density and population size) remain poorly understood. It is assumed that invasive species typically have higher abundances in their new environments than in their native ranges, and patterns of invasive species abundance differ between invaded regions. To explain differences in invasive species abundance, we propose the Human Release Hypothesis. In parallel to the established Enemy Release Hypothesis, this hypothesis states that the differences in abundance of invasive species are found between regions because population expansion is reduced in some regions through continuous land management and associated cutting of the invasive species. The Human Release Hypothesis does not negate other important drivers of species invasions, but rather should be considered as a potentially important complementary mechanism. We illustrate the hypothesis via a case study on an invasive rose species, and hypothesize which locations globally may be most likely to support high abundances of invasive species. We propose that more extensive empirical work on the Human Release Hypothesis could be useful to test its general applicability. PMID:25352979

  3. Larvae of uncommon caridean decapods in the German Bight: Species composition, distribution and abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wehrtmann, I. S.; Greve, W.

    1995-03-01

    Typically, the most abundant group of shrimp larvae in the German Bight is formed by representatives of the family Crangonidae. Larvae of the remaining species have been largely ignored, and only scarce information concerning their ecology is available. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to determine the species composition, distribution and abundance of noncrangonid shrimp larvae in the German Bight in July 1990, after the mildest winter of the century. The material is based upon plankton samples collected at 77 stations, covering the entire German Bight. Eight species were identified, as well as larvae of Palaemonidae and Processa-juveniles. Processa nouveli holthuisi (53.0%) and P. modica (31.3%) were predominant in the collection. The distribution of the two species was clearly separated: the main concentration of P. nouveli holthuisi (peak concentration of 1.94 larvae per m3) was confined to the northwest corner of the German Bight, while a majority of P. modica larvae (peak concentration of 0.54 larvae per m3) occurred at the southwesterly stations. The spatial distribution of Caridion steveni and Eualus occultus around Helgoland indicates the presence of an adult population at the only rocky island in the study area. Other taxa, such as larvae of Palaemonidae and juvenile Pandalina brevirostris were collected exclusively in estuarine habitats. Based upon both the results of the present study and comparable data, we conclude that developmental stages of ten non-crangonid species, as well as representatives of Palaemonidae, can be expected to occur in the plankton of the German Bight. The extremely mild temperatures of the preceding winter may have been, in part, responsible for the relatively high densities of some taxa encountered during our plankton survey. We assume that warm winter temperatures favour the immigration, reproduction and survival of cold-sensitive species.

  4. Pro-social behaviour of ants depends on their ecological niche-Rescue actions in species from tropical and temperate regions.

    PubMed

    Miler, Krzysztof; Yahya, Bakhtiar Effendi; Czarnoleski, Marcin

    2017-11-01

    Some ants display rescue behaviour, which is performed by nearby nestmates and directed at individuals in danger. Here, using several ant species, we demonstrate that rescue behaviour expression matches predicted occurrences based on certain aspects of species' ecological niches. Rescue occurred in sand-dwelling ants exposed both to co-occurring antlion larvae, representing the threat of being captured by a predator, and to nest cave-ins, representing the threat of being trapped in a collapsed nest chamber. Rescue also occurred in forest groundcover ants exposed to certain entrapment situations. However, rescue never occurred in species associated with open plains, which nest in hardened soils and forage largely on herbaceous plants, or in ants living in close mutualistic relationships with their host plants. In addition, because we tested each species in two types of tests, antlion larva capture tests and artificial entrapment tests, we highlight the importance of accounting for test context in studying rescue behaviour expression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Interactions between abundant fungal species influence the fungal community assemblage on limestone

    PubMed Central

    Morón-Ríos, Alejandro; Ortega-Morales, Benjamin Otto; De la Rosa-García, Susana; Partida-Martínez, Laila Pamela; Quintana, Patricia; Alayón-Gamboa, José Armando; Cappello-García, Silvia; González-Gómez, Santiago

    2017-01-01

    The assembly of fungal communities on stone materials is mainly influenced by the differential bioreceptivity of such materials and environmental conditions. However, little is known about the role of fungal interactions in the colonization and establishment of fungal species. We analyzed the effects of intra- and interspecific interactions between 11 species of fungi in oligotrophic and copiotrophic media and on limestone coupons. In a previous study, these species were the most frequently isolated in the epilithic biofilms of limestone walls exposed to a subtropical climate. In the culture media, we found a greater frequency of intra- and interspecific inhibitory effects in the oligotrophic medium than in the copiotrophic medium. On the limestone coupons, all fungi were able to establish; however, the colonization success rate varied significantly. Cladosporium cladosporioides had a less extensive colonization in isolation (control) than in dual interactions (coexistence) with other species. Phoma eupyrena exhibited the highest colonization success rate and competitive dominance among all tested species. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) analyses revealed that Pestalotiopsis maculans and Paraconiothyrium sp. produced calcium oxalate crystals during their growth on coupon surfaces, both in isolation and in dual interactions. Our results demonstrate that interactions between abundant fungal species influence the fungal colonization on substrates, the biomineralization and the fungal community assemblage growing in limestone biofilms. PMID:29211748

  6. Species Distribution Modelling: Contrasting presence-only models with plot abundance data.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Vitor H F; IJff, Stéphanie D; Raes, Niels; Amaral, Iêda Leão; Salomão, Rafael P; de Souza Coelho, Luiz; de Almeida Matos, Francisca Dionízia; Castilho, Carolina V; de Andrade Lima Filho, Diogenes; López, Dairon Cárdenas; Guevara, Juan Ernesto; Magnusson, William E; Phillips, Oliver L; Wittmann, Florian; de Jesus Veiga Carim, Marcelo; Martins, Maria Pires; Irume, Mariana Victória; Sabatier, Daniel; Molino, Jean-François; Bánki, Olaf S; da Silva Guimarães, José Renan; Pitman, Nigel C A; Piedade, Maria Teresa Fernandez; Mendoza, Abel Monteagudo; Luize, Bruno Garcia; Venticinque, Eduardo Martins; de Leão Novo, Evlyn Márcia Moraes; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Silva, Thiago Sanna Freire; Manzatto, Angelo Gilberto; Terborgh, John; Reis, Neidiane Farias Costa; Montero, Juan Carlos; Casula, Katia Regina; Marimon, Beatriz S; Marimon, Ben-Hur; Coronado, Euridice N Honorio; Feldpausch, Ted R; Duque, Alvaro; Zartman, Charles Eugene; Arboleda, Nicolás Castaño; Killeen, Timothy J; Mostacedo, Bonifacio; Vasquez, Rodolfo; Schöngart, Jochen; Assis, Rafael L; Medeiros, Marcelo Brilhante; Simon, Marcelo Fragomeni; Andrade, Ana; Laurance, William F; Camargo, José Luís; Demarchi, Layon O; Laurance, Susan G W; de Sousa Farias, Emanuelle; Nascimento, Henrique Eduardo Mendonça; Revilla, Juan David Cardenas; Quaresma, Adriano; Costa, Flavia R C; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Cintra, Bruno Barçante Ladvocat; Castellanos, Hernán; Brienen, Roel; Stevenson, Pablo R; Feitosa, Yuri; Duivenvoorden, Joost F; Aymard C, Gerardo A; Mogollón, Hugo F; Targhetta, Natalia; Comiskey, James A; Vicentini, Alberto; Lopes, Aline; Damasco, Gabriel; Dávila, Nállarett; García-Villacorta, Roosevelt; Levis, Carolina; Schietti, Juliana; Souza, Priscila; Emilio, Thaise; Alonso, Alfonso; Neill, David; Dallmeier, Francisco; Ferreira, Leandro Valle; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Praia, Daniel; do Amaral, Dário Dantas; Carvalho, Fernanda Antunes; de Souza, Fernanda Coelho; Feeley, Kenneth; Arroyo, Luzmila; Pansonato, Marcelo Petratti; Gribel, Rogerio; Villa, Boris; Licona, Juan Carlos; Fine, Paul V A; Cerón, Carlos; Baraloto, Chris; Jimenez, Eliana M; Stropp, Juliana; Engel, Julien; Silveira, Marcos; Mora, Maria Cristina Peñuela; Petronelli, Pascal; Maas, Paul; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; Henkel, Terry W; Daly, Doug; Paredes, Marcos Ríos; Baker, Tim R; Fuentes, Alfredo; Peres, Carlos A; Chave, Jerome; Pena, Jose Luis Marcelo; Dexter, Kyle G; Silman, Miles R; Jørgensen, Peter Møller; Pennington, Toby; Di Fiore, Anthony; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; Phillips, Juan Fernando; Rivas-Torres, Gonzalo; von Hildebrand, Patricio; van Andel, Tinde R; Ruschel, Ademir R; Prieto, Adriana; Rudas, Agustín; Hoffman, Bruce; Vela, César I A; Barbosa, Edelcilio Marques; Zent, Egleé L; Gonzales, George Pepe Gallardo; Doza, Hilda Paulette Dávila; de Andrade Miranda, Ires Paula; Guillaumet, Jean-Louis; Pinto, Linder Felipe Mozombite; de Matos Bonates, Luiz Carlos; Silva, Natalino; Gómez, Ricardo Zárate; Zent, Stanford; Gonzales, Therany; Vos, Vincent A; Malhi, Yadvinder; Oliveira, Alexandre A; Cano, Angela; Albuquerque, Bianca Weiss; Vriesendorp, Corine; Correa, Diego Felipe; Torre, Emilio Vilanova; van der Heijden, Geertje; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Ramos, José Ferreira; Young, Kenneth R; Rocha, Maira; Nascimento, Marcelo Trindade; Medina, Maria Natalia Umaña; Tirado, Milton; Wang, Ophelia; Sierra, Rodrigo; Torres-Lezama, Armando; Mendoza, Casimiro; Ferreira, Cid; Baider, Cláudia; Villarroel, Daniel; Balslev, Henrik; Mesones, Italo; Giraldo, Ligia Estela Urrego; Casas, Luisa Fernanda; Reategui, Manuel Augusto Ahuite; Linares-Palomino, Reynaldo; Zagt, Roderick; Cárdenas, Sasha; Farfan-Rios, William; Sampaio, Adeilza Felipe; Pauletto, Daniela; Sandoval, Elvis H Valderrama; Arevalo, Freddy Ramirez; Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, Isau; Garcia-Cabrera, Karina; Hernandez, Lionel; Gamarra, Luis Valenzuela; Alexiades, Miguel N; Pansini, Susamar; Cuenca, Walter Palacios; Milliken, William; Ricardo, Joana; Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela; Pos, Edwin; Ter Steege, Hans

    2018-01-17

    Species distribution models (SDMs) are widely used in ecology and conservation. Presence-only SDMs such as MaxEnt frequently use natural history collections (NHCs) as occurrence data, given their huge numbers and accessibility. NHCs are often spatially biased which may generate inaccuracies in SDMs. Here, we test how the distribution of NHCs and MaxEnt predictions relates to a spatial abundance model, based on a large plot dataset for Amazonian tree species, using inverse distance weighting (IDW). We also propose a new pipeline to deal with inconsistencies in NHCs and to limit the area of occupancy of the species. We found a significant but weak positive relationship between the distribution of NHCs and IDW for 66% of the species. The relationship between SDMs and IDW was also significant but weakly positive for 95% of the species, and sensitivity for both analyses was high. Furthermore, the pipeline removed half of the NHCs records. Presence-only SDM applications should consider this limitation, especially for large biodiversity assessments projects, when they are automatically generated without subsequent checking. Our pipeline provides a conservative estimate of a species' area of occupancy, within an area slightly larger than its extent of occurrence, compatible to e.g. IUCN red list assessments.

  7. Direct evidence that density-dependent regulation underpins the temporal stability of abundant species in a diverse animal community

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Peter A.; Magurran, Anne E.

    2014-01-01

    To understand how ecosystems are structured and stabilized, and to identify when communities are at risk of damage or collapse, we need to know how the abundances of the taxa in the entire assemblage vary over ecologically meaningful timescales. Here, we present an analysis of species temporal variability within a single large vertebrate community. Using an exceptionally complete 33-year monthly time series following the dynamics of 81 species of fishes, we show that the most abundant species are least variable in terms of temporal biomass, because they are under density-dependent (negative feedback) regulation. At the other extreme, a relatively large number of low abundance transient species exhibit the greatest population variability. The high stability of the consistently common high abundance species—a result of density-dependence—is reflected in the observation that they consistently represent over 98% of total fish biomass. This leads to steady ecosystem nutrient and energy flux irrespective of the changes in species number and abundance among the large number of low abundance transient species. While the density-dependence of the core species ensures stability under the existing environmental regime, the pool of transient species may support long-term stability by replacing core species should environmental conditions change. PMID:25100702

  8. Multilocus genetic characterization of two ant vectors (Group II "Dirty 22" species) known to contaminate food and food products and spread foodborne pathogens.

    PubMed

    Sulaiman, Irshad M; Anderson, Mickey; Oi, David H; Simpson, Steven; Kerdahi, Khalil

    2012-08-01

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration utilizes the presence of filth and extraneous materials as one of the criteria for implementing regulatory actions and assessing adulteration of food products of public health importance. Twenty-two prevalent pest species (also known as the ''Dirty 22'' species) have been considered by this agency as possible vehicles for the spread of foodborne diseases, and the presence of these species is considered an indicator of unsanitary conditions in food processing and storage facilities. In a previous study, we further categorized the Dirty 22 species into four groups: group I includes four cockroach species, group II includes two ant species, group III includes 12 fly species, and group IV includes four rodent species. Here, we describe the development of three nested PCR primer sets and multilocus genetic characterization by amplifying the small subunit rRNA, elongation factor 1-alpha, and wingless (WNT-1) genes of group II Dirty 22 ant species Monomorium pharaonis and Solenopsis molesta. These novel group II Dirty 22 species-specific nested PCR primer sets can be used when the specimens cannot be identified using conventional microscopic methods. These newly developed assays will provide correct identification of group II Dirty 22 ant species, and the information can be used in the control of foodborne pathogens.

  9. Microbial Distribution and Abundance in the Digestive System of Five Shipworm Species (Bivalvia: Teredinidae)

    PubMed Central

    Betcher, Meghan A.; Fung, Jennifer M.; Han, Andrew W.; O’Connor, Roberta; Seronay, Romell; Concepcion, Gisela P.; Distel, Daniel L.; Haygood, Margo G.

    2012-01-01

    Marine bivalves of the family Teredinidae (shipworms) are voracious consumers of wood in marine environments. In several shipworm species, dense communities of intracellular bacterial endosymbionts have been observed within specialized cells (bacteriocytes) of the gills (ctenidia). These bacteria are proposed to contribute to digestion of wood by the host. While the microbes of shipworm gills have been studied extensively in several species, the abundance and distribution of microbes in the digestive system have not been adequately addressed. Here we use Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) and laser scanning confocal microscopy with 16S rRNA directed oligonucleotide probes targeting all domains, domains Bacteria and Archaea, and other taxonomic groups to examine the digestive microbiota of 17 specimens from 5 shipworm species (Bankia setacea, Lyrodus pedicellatus, Lyrodus massa, Lyrodus sp. and Teredo aff. triangularis). These data reveal that the caecum, a large sac-like appendage of the stomach that typically contains large quantities of wood particles and is considered the primary site of wood digestion, harbors only very sparse microbial populations. However, a significant number of bacterial cells were observed in fecal pellets within the intestines. These results suggest that due to low abundance, bacteria in the caecum may contribute little to lignocellulose degradation. In contrast, the comparatively high population density of bacteria in the intestine suggests a possible role for intestinal bacteria in the degradation of lignocellulose. PMID:23028923

  10. Stream salamander species richness and abundance in relation to environmental factors in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Jung, Robin E.; Rice, Karen C.

    2005-01-01

    Stream salamanders are sensitive to acid mine drainage and may be sensitive to acidification and low acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) of a watershed. Streams in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, are subject to episodic acidification from precipitation events. We surveyed 25 m by 2 m transects located on the stream bank adjacent to the water channel in Shenandoah National Park for salamanders using a stratified random sampling design based on elevation, aspect and bedrock geology. We investigated the relationships of four species (Eurycea bislineata, Desmognathus fuscus, D. monticola and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) to habitat and water quality variables. We did not find overwhelming evidence that stream salamanders are affected by the acid-base status of streams in Shenandoah National Park. Desmognathus fuscus and D. monticola abundance was greater both in streams that had a higher potential to neutralize acidification, and in higher elevation (>700 m) streams. Neither abundance of E. bislineata nor species richness were related to any of the habitat variables. Our sampling method preferentially detected the adult age class of the study species and did not allow us to estimate population sizes. We suggest that continued monitoring of stream salamander populations in SNP will determine the effects of stream acidification on these taxa.

  11. Microbial distribution and abundance in the digestive system of five shipworm species (Bivalvia: Teredinidae).

    PubMed

    Betcher, Meghan A; Fung, Jennifer M; Han, Andrew W; O'Connor, Roberta; Seronay, Romell; Concepcion, Gisela P; Distel, Daniel L; Haygood, Margo G

    2012-01-01

    Marine bivalves of the family Teredinidae (shipworms) are voracious consumers of wood in marine environments. In several shipworm species, dense communities of intracellular bacterial endosymbionts have been observed within specialized cells (bacteriocytes) of the gills (ctenidia). These bacteria are proposed to contribute to digestion of wood by the host. While the microbes of shipworm gills have been studied extensively in several species, the abundance and distribution of microbes in the digestive system have not been adequately addressed. Here we use Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) and laser scanning confocal microscopy with 16S rRNA directed oligonucleotide probes targeting all domains, domains Bacteria and Archaea, and other taxonomic groups to examine the digestive microbiota of 17 specimens from 5 shipworm species (Bankia setacea, Lyrodus pedicellatus, Lyrodus massa, Lyrodus sp. and Teredo aff. triangularis). These data reveal that the caecum, a large sac-like appendage of the stomach that typically contains large quantities of wood particles and is considered the primary site of wood digestion, harbors only very sparse microbial populations. However, a significant number of bacterial cells were observed in fecal pellets within the intestines. These results suggest that due to low abundance, bacteria in the caecum may contribute little to lignocellulose degradation. In contrast, the comparatively high population density of bacteria in the intestine suggests a possible role for intestinal bacteria in the degradation of lignocellulose.

  12. Influence of interspecific competition on the recruitment behavior and liquid food transport in the tramp ant species Pheidole megacephala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dejean, Alain; Breton, Julien; Suzzoni, Jean Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Saux-Moreau, Corrie

    2005-07-01

    This study was conducted on the reactions of Pheidole megacephala scouts when finding liquid food sources situated on territories marked by competing dominant ant species or on unmarked, control areas to see if the number of recruited nestmates is affected and if soldiers behave in ways adapted to the situation. We show that scouts recruit more nestmates, particularly soldiers, on marked rather than on unmarked areas. This recruitment allows P. megacephala to organize the defence and rapid depletion of these food sources prior to any contact with competitors. Soldiers can carry liquid foods both (1) in their crops like other Myrmicinae and (2), in a new finding concerning myrmicine ants, under their heads and thoraxes like certain poneromorph genera because the droplets adhere through surface tension strengths. Later, the liquids stored in the crop are distributed to nestmates through regurgitations during trophallaxis and the external droplets are distributed through “social buckets”, or the mode of liquid food transfer common in poneromorphs. Their flexibility to use or not use the latter technique, based on the situation, corroborates other reports that Pheidole soldiers have a relatively large behavioral repertoire.

  13. Distribution and abundance of decapod crustacean larvae in the southeastern Bering Sea with emphasis on commercial species. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Armstrong, D.A.; Incze, L.S.; Wencker, D.L.

    1981-01-01

    Contents include: Distribution and abundance of king crab larvae, Paralithodes camtschatica and P. platypus in the southeast Bering Sea; Distribution and abundance of the larvae of tanner crabs in the southeastern Bering Sea; Distribution and abundance of other brachyuran larvae in the southeastern Bering Sea with emphasis on Erimacrus isenbeckii; Distribution and abundance of shrimp larvae in the southeastern Bering Sea with emphasis on pandalid species; Distribution and abundance of hermit crabs (Paguridae) in the southeasternBering Sea; Possible oil impacts on decapod larbae in the southeastern Bering Sea with emphesis on the St. George Basin.

  14. Environmental Correlates of Abundances of Mosquito Species and Stages in Discarded Vehicle Tires

    PubMed Central

    YEE, DONALD A.; KNEITEL, JAMIE M.; JULIANO, STEVEN A.

    2012-01-01

    Discarded vehicle tires are a common habitat for container mosquito larvae, although the environmental factors that may control their presence or abundance within a tire are largely unknown. We sampled discarded vehicle tires in six sites located within four counties of central Illinois during the spring and summer of 2006 to determine associations between a suite of environmental factors and community composition of container mosquitoes. Our goal was to find patterns of association between environmental factors and abundances of early and late instars. We hypothesized that environmental factors correlated with early instars would be indicative of oviposition cues, whereas environmental factors correlated with late instars would be those important for larval survival. We collected 13 species of mosquitoes, with six species (Culex restuans, Cx. pipiens, Aedes albopictus, Cx. salinarius, Ae. atropalpus, and Ae. triseriatus) accounting for ≈95% of all larvae. There were similar associations between congenerics and environmental factors, with Aedes associated with detritus type (fine detritus, leaves, seeds) and Culex associated with factors related to the surrounding habitat (human population density, canopy cover, tire size) or microorganisms (bacteria, protozoans). Although there was some consistency in factors that were important for early and late instar abundance, there were few significant associations between early and late instars for individual species. Lack of correspondence between factors that explain variation in early versus late instars, most notable for Culex, suggests a difference between environmental determinants of oviposition and survival within tires. Environmental factors associated with discarded tires are important for accurate predictions of mosquito occurrence at the generic level. PMID:20180308

  15. Assessing landscape constraints on species abundance: Does the neighborhood limit species response to local habitat conservation programs?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jorgensen, Christopher F.; Powell, Larkin A.; Lusk, Jeffrey J.; Bishop, Andrew A.; Fontaine, Joseph J.

    2014-01-01

    Landscapes in agricultural systems continue to undergo significant change, and the loss of biodiversity is an ever-increasing threat. Although habitat restoration is beneficial, management actions do not always result in the desired outcome. Managers must understand why management actions fail; yet, past studies have focused on assessing habitat attributes at a single spatial scale, and often fail to consider the importance of ecological mechanisms that act across spatial scales. We located survey sites across southern Nebraska, USA and conducted point counts to estimate Ring-necked Pheasant abundance, an economically important species to the region, while simultaneously quantifying landscape effects using a geographic information system. To identify suitable areas for allocating limited management resources, we assessed land cover relationships to our counts using a Bayesian binomial-Poisson hierarchical model to construct predictive Species Distribution Models of relative abundance. Our results indicated that landscape scale land cover variables severely constrained or, alternatively, facilitated the positive effects of local land management for Ring-necked Pheasants.

  16. Assessing Landscape Constraints on Species Abundance: Does the Neighborhood Limit Species Response to Local Habitat Conservation Programs?

    PubMed Central

    Jorgensen, Christopher F.; Powell, Larkin A.; Lusk, Jeffery J.; Bishop, Andrew A.; Fontaine, Joseph J.

    2014-01-01

    Landscapes in agricultural systems continue to undergo significant change, and the loss of biodiversity is an ever-increasing threat. Although habitat restoration is beneficial, management actions do not always result in the desired outcome. Managers must understand why management actions fail; yet, past studies have focused on assessing habitat attributes at a single spatial scale, and often fail to consider the importance of ecological mechanisms that act across spatial scales. We located survey sites across southern Nebraska, USA and conducted point counts to estimate Ring-necked Pheasant abundance, an economically important species to the region, while simultaneously quantifying landscape effects using a geographic information system. To identify suitable areas for allocating limited management resources, we assessed land cover relationships to our counts using a Bayesian binomial-Poisson hierarchical model to construct predictive Species Distribution Models of relative abundance. Our results indicated that landscape scale land cover variables severely constrained or, alternatively, facilitated the positive effects of local land management for Ring-necked Pheasants. PMID:24918779

  17. Competition between harvester ants and rodents in the cold desert

    SciTech Connect

    Landeen, D.S.; Jorgensen, C.D.; Smith, H.D.

    1979-09-30

    Local distribution patterns of three rodent species (Perognathus parvus, Peromyscus maniculatus, Reithrodontomys megalotis) were studied in areas of high and low densities of harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex owyheei) in Raft River Valley, Idaho. Numbers of rodents were greatest in areas of high ant-density during May, but partially reduced in August; whereas, the trend was reversed in areas of low ant-density. Seed abundance was probably not the factor limiting changes in rodent populations, because seed densities of annual plants were always greater in areas of high ant-density. Differences in seasonal population distributions of rodents between areas of high and low ant-densities weremore » probably due to interactions of seed availability, rodent energetics, and predation.« less

  18. A near-infrared spectroscopy routine for unambiguous identification of cryptic ant species

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The identification of species – of importance for most biological disciplines – is not always straightforward as cryptic species present a hurdle for traditional species discrimination. Fibre-optic near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a rapid and cheap method for a wide range of different applicatio...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  20. Linking Associations of Rare Low-Abundance Species to Their Environments by Association Networks

    DOE PAGES

    Karpinets, Tatiana V.; Gopalakrishnan, Vancheswaran; Wargo, Jennifer; ...

    2018-03-07

    Studies of microbial communities by targeted sequencing of rRNA genes lead to recovering numerous rare low-abundance taxa with unknown biological roles. We propose to study associations of such rare organisms with their environments by a computational framework based on transformation of the data into qualitative variables. Namely, we analyze the sparse table of putative species or OTUs (operational taxonomic units) and samples generated in such studies, also known as an OTU table, by collecting statistics on co-occurrences of the species and on shared species richness across samples. Based on the statistics we built two association networks, of the rare putativemore » species and of the samples respectively, using a known computational technique, Association networks (Anets) developed for analysis of qualitative data. Clusters of samples and clusters of OTUs are then integrated and combined with metadata of the study to produce a map of associated putative species in their environments. We tested and validated the framework on two types of microbiomes, of human body sites and that of the Populus tree root systems. We show that in both studies the associations of OTUs can separate samples according to environmental or physiological characteristics of the studied systems.« less

  1. Restinga forests of the Brazilian coast: richness and abundance of tree species on different soils.

    PubMed

    Magnago, Luiz F S; Martins, Sebastião V; Schaefer, Carlos E G R; Neri, Andreza V

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine changes in composition, abundance and richness of species along a forest gradient with varying soils and flood regimes. The forests are located on the left bank of the lower Jucu River, in Jacarenema Natural Municipal Park, Espírito Santo. A survey of shrub/tree species was done in 80 plots, 5x25 m, equally distributed among the forests studied. We included in the sampling all individuals with >3.2 cm diameter at breast height (1.30 m). Soil samples were collected from the surface layer (0-10 cm) in each plot for chemical and physical analysis. The results indicate that a significant pedological gradient occurs, which is influenced by varying seasonal groundwater levels. Restinga forest formations showed significant differences in species richness, except for Non-flooded Forest and Non-flooded Forest Transition. The Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) showed that some species are distributed along the gradient under the combined influence of drainage, nutrient concentration and physical characteristics of the soil. Regarding the variables tested, flooding seems to be a more limiting factor for the establishment of plant species in Restinga forests than basic soil fertility attributes.

  2. Linking Associations of Rare Low-Abundance Species to Their Environments by Association Networks

    SciTech Connect

    Karpinets, Tatiana V.; Gopalakrishnan, Vancheswaran; Wargo, Jennifer

    Studies of microbial communities by targeted sequencing of rRNA genes lead to recovering numerous rare low-abundance taxa with unknown biological roles. We propose to study associations of such rare organisms with their environments by a computational framework based on transformation of the data into qualitative variables. Namely, we analyze the sparse table of putative species or OTUs (operational taxonomic units) and samples generated in such studies, also known as an OTU table, by collecting statistics on co-occurrences of the species and on shared species richness across samples. Based on the statistics we built two association networks, of the rare putativemore » species and of the samples respectively, using a known computational technique, Association networks (Anets) developed for analysis of qualitative data. Clusters of samples and clusters of OTUs are then integrated and combined with metadata of the study to produce a map of associated putative species in their environments. We tested and validated the framework on two types of microbiomes, of human body sites and that of the Populus tree root systems. We show that in both studies the associations of OTUs can separate samples according to environmental or physiological characteristics of the studied systems.« less

  3. Soil disturbance effects on the composition of seed-dispersing ants in roadside environments.

    PubMed

    Palfi, Zsofia; Spooner, Peter G; Robinson, Wayne

    2017-02-01

    Myrmecochory (the dispersal of seeds by ants) is a significant ecological process in sclerophyll woodlands, but habitat disturbance is known to alter the extent and success of this mutualism. We investigated the influence of soil disturbance on the composition of the seed-dispersing ant community. Surveys were conducted in roadside verges where soils are regularly disturbed by road maintenance activities. Using a 'cafeteria' bait station approach, we selected 24 roads of different widths to investigate ant composition and abundance in relation to soil disturbance. We found ant species richness was greater in non-disturbed than disturbed zones, where road verge width significantly influenced results. The composition and abundance of individual seed-dispersing ant species varied between disturbed and non-disturbed zones. Rhytidoponera metallica were more abundant in non-disturbed sites, whereas Melophorus bruneus and Monomorium rothseini were more frequently recorded in disturbed areas. Commonly found Iridomyrmex purpureus was significantly more abundant in disturbed zones in narrow roadsides and vice versa in wide roadsides, and strongly influenced total community composition. Variation in the abundance of commonly recorded Iridomyrmex and Monomorium genera were related more to site conditions (roadside width and habitat) than soil disturbance. The rich composition of seed dispersing ants in roadside environments, and the effects of soil disturbances on these ant communities that we describe, provide a key insight to important seed dispersal vectors occurring in fragmented rural landscapes.

  4. Ant-plant-herbivore interactions in the neotropical cerrado savanna.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Paulo S; Freitas, André V L

    2004-12-01

    The Brazilian cerrado savanna covers nearly 2 million km2 and has a high incidence on foliage of various liquid food sources such as extrafloral nectar and insect exudates. These liquid rewards generate intense ant activity on cerrado foliage, making ant-plant-herbivore interactions especially prevalent in this biome. We present data on the distribution and abundance of extrafloral nectaries in the woody flora of cerrado communities and in the flora of other habitats worldwide, and stress the relevance of liquid food sources (including hemipteran honeydew) for the ant fauna. Consumption by ants of plant and insect exudates significantly affects the activity of the associated herbivores of cerrado plant species, with varying impacts on the reproductive output of the plants. Experiments with an ant-plant-butterfly system unequivocally demonstrate that the behavior of both immature and adult lepidopterans is closely related to the use of a risky host plant, where intensive visitation by ants can have a severe impact on caterpillar survival. We discuss recent evidence suggesting that the occurrence of liquid rewards on leaves plays a key role in mediating the foraging ecology of foliage-dwelling ants, and that facultative ant-plant mutualisms are important in structuring the community of canopy arthropods. Ant-mediated effects on cerrado herbivore communities can be revealed by experiments performed on wide spatial scales, including many environmental factors such as soil fertility and vegetation structure. We also present some research questions that could be rewarding to investigate in this major neotropical savanna.

  5. Ant-mediated seed dispersal in a warmed world

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Courtney M.; Rodriguez-Cabal, Mariano A.; Ribbons, Relena R.; Dunn, Robert R.; Sanders, Nathan J.

    2014-01-01

    Climate change affects communities both directly and indirectly via changes in interspecific interactions. One such interaction that may be altered under climate change is the ant-plant seed dispersal mutualism common in deciduous forests of eastern North America. As climatic warming alters the abundance and activity levels of ants, the potential exists for shifts in rates of ant-mediated seed dispersal. We used an experimental temperature manipulation at two sites in the eastern US (Harvard Forest in Massachusetts and Duke Forest in North Carolina) to examine the potential impacts of climatic warming on overall rates of seed dispersal (using Asarum canadense seeds) as well as species-specific rates of seed dispersal at the Duke Forest site. We also examined the relationship between ant critical thermal maxima (CTmax) and the mean seed removal temperature for each ant species. We found that seed removal rates did not change as a result of experimental warming at either study site, nor were there any changes in species-specific rates of seed dispersal. There was, however, a positive relationship between CTmax and mean seed removal temperature, whereby species with higher CTmax removed more seeds at hotter temperatures. The temperature at which seeds were removed was influenced by experimental warming as well as diurnal and day-to-day fluctuations in temperature. Taken together, our results suggest that while temperature may play a role in regulating seed removal by ants, ant plant seed-dispersal mutualisms may be more robust to climate change than currently assumed. PMID:24688863

  6. Consistency of mist netting and point counts in assessing landbird species richness and relative abundance during migration

    Treesearch

    Yong Wang; Deborah M. Finch

    2002-01-01

    We compared consistency of species richness and relative abundance data collected concurrently using mist netting and point counts during migration in riparian habitats along the middle Rio Grande of central New Mexico. Mist netting detected 74% and point counts detected 82% of the 197 species encountered during the study. Species that mist netting failed to capture...

  7. Differences in ecological structure, function, and native species abundance between native and invaded Hawaiian streams.

    PubMed

    Holitzki, Tara M; MacKenzie, Richard A; Wiegner, Tracy N; McDermid, Karla J

    2013-09-01

    Poeciliids, one of the most invasive species worldwide, are found on almost every continent and have been identified as an "invasive species of concern" in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. Despite their global prevalence, few studies have quantified their impacts on tropical stream ecosystem structure, function, and biodiversity. Utilizing Hawaiian streams as model ecosystems, we documented how ecological structure, function, and native species abundance differed between poeciliid-free and poeciliid-invaded tropical streams. Stream nutrient yields, benthic biofilm biomass, densities of macroinvertebrates and fish, and community structures of benthic algae, macroinvertebrates, and fish were compared between streams with and without established poeciliid populations on the island of Hawai'i, Hawaii, USA. Sum nitrate (sigmaNO3(-) = NO3(-) + NO2(-)), total nitrogen, and total organic carbon yields were eight times, six times, and five times higher, respectively, in poeciliid streams than in poeciliid-free streams. Benthic biofilm ash-free dry mass was 1.5x higher in poeciliid streams than in poeciliid-free streams. Percentage contributions of chironomids and hydroptilid caddisflies to macroinvertebrate densities were lower in poeciliid streams compared to poeciliid-free streams, while percentage contributions of Cheumatopsyche analis caddisflies, Dugesia sp. flatworms, and oligochaetes were higher. Additionally, mean densities of native gobies were two times lower in poeciliid streams than in poeciliid-free ones, with poeciliid densities being approximately eight times higher than native fish densities. Our results, coupled with the wide distribution of invasive poeciliids across Hawaii and elsewhere in the tropics, suggest that poeciliids may negatively impact the ecosystem structure, function, and native species abundance of tropical streams they invade. This underscores the need for increased public awareness to prevent future introductions and for

  8. The role of tending ants in host plant selection and egg parasitism of two facultative myrmecophilous butterflies.

    PubMed

    Bächtold, Alexandra; Alves-Silva, Estevão; Kaminski, Lucas A; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2014-11-01

    Ovipositing adult females of myrmecophilous lycaenids are expected to select plants based on ant presence in order to maximize the survivorship of immature stages. Usually, larvae feed ants with honey-like solutions and, in turn, ants ward off parasitoids. Nonetheless, a rarely investigated approach is whether ant partners can also extend their protective behavior towards lycaenids eggs. Here, we investigated the ant-related oviposition pattern of Allosmaitia strophius and Rekoa marius; then, we compared egg parasitism according to the presence of ants. Lycaenid oviposition and egg parasitism (in percent) were experimentally compared in ant-present and ant-excluded treatments. The study plant, Heteropterys byrsonimifolia, is an extrafloral nectaried shrub which supports several ant species. We sampled 280 eggs, of which 39.65 % belonged to A. strophius and 60.35 % to R. marius. Both lycaenids eggs were significantly more abundant on branches with ants, especially those with Camponotus crassus and Camponotus blandus, two ant species known to attend to lycaenids. A. strophius and R. marius parasitism was 4.5- and 2.4-fold higher, respectively, in ant-present treatments, but the results were not statistically significant. Our study shows that ant-mediated host plant selection in lycaenids might be much more widespread than previously thought, and not restricted to obligate myrmecophilous species. Tending ants may be inefficient bodyguards of lycaenid eggs, because unlike larvae which release sugared liquids, eggs do not offer obvious rewards to ants. Ants can ward off parasitoids of larvae, as observed elsewhere, but our findings show that positive ant-lycaenid interactions are conditional and depend on immature ontogeny.

  9. X-Ray microtomography for ant taxonomy: An exploration and case study with two new Terataner (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) species from Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Georg; Liu, Cong; Audisio, Tracy L.; Alpert, Gary D.; Fisher, Brian L.; Economo, Evan P.

    2017-01-01

    We explore the potential of x-ray micro computed tomography (μCT) for the field of ant taxonomy by using it to enhance the descriptions of two remarkable new species of the ant genus Terataner: T. balrog sp. n. and T. nymeria sp. n.. We provide an illustrated worker-based species identification key for all species found on Madagascar, as well as detailed taxonomic descriptions, which include diagnoses, discussions, measurements, natural history data, high-quality montage images and distribution maps for both new species. In addition to conventional morphological examination, we have used virtual reconstructions based on volumetric μCT scanning data for the species descriptions. We also include 3D PDFs, still images of virtual reconstructions, and 3D rotation videos for both holotype workers and one paratype queen. The complete μCT datasets have been made available online (Dryad, https://datadryad.org) and represent the first cybertypes in ants (and insects). We discuss the potential of μCT scanning and critically assess the usefulness of cybertypes for ant taxonomy. PMID:28328931

  10. Tree species, spatial heterogeneity, and seasonality drive soil fungal abundance, richness, and composition in Neotropical rainforests.

    PubMed

    Kivlin, Stephanie N; Hawkes, Christine V

    2016-12-01

    Tropical ecosystems remain poorly understood and this is particularly true for belowground soil fungi. Soil fungi may respond to plant identity when, for example, plants differentially allocate resources belowground. However, spatial and temporal heterogeneity in factors such as plant inputs, moisture, or nutrients can also affect fungal communities and obscure our ability to detect plant effects in single time point studies or within diverse forests. To address this, we sampled replicated monocultures of four tree species and secondary forest controls sampled in the drier and wetter seasons over 2 years. Fungal community composition was primarily related to vegetation type and spatial heterogeneity in the effects of vegetation type, with increasing divergence partly reflecting greater differences in soil pH and soil moisture. Across wetter versus drier dates, fungi were 7% less diverse, but up to four-fold more abundant. The combined effects of tree species and seasonality suggest that predicted losses of tropical tree diversity and intensification of drought have the potential to cascade belowground to affect both diversity and abundance of tropical soil fungi. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    PubMed

    Galen, Candace; Geib, Jennifer C

    2007-05-01

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

  12. Density dependence explains tree species abundance and diversity in tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Volkov, Igor; Banavar, Jayanth R; He, Fangliang; Hubbell, Stephen P; Maritan, Amos

    2005-12-01

    The recurrent patterns in the commonness and rarity of species in ecological communities--the relative species abundance--have puzzled ecologists for more than half a century. Here we show that the framework of the current neutral theory in ecology can easily be generalized to incorporate symmetric density dependence. We can calculate precisely the strength of the rare-species advantage that is needed to explain a given RSA distribution. Previously, we demonstrated that a mechanism of dispersal limitation also fits RSA data well. Here we compare fits of the dispersal and density-dependence mechanisms for empirical RSA data on tree species in six New and Old World tropical forests and show that both mechanisms offer sufficient and independent explanations. We suggest that RSA data cannot by themselves be used to discriminate among these explanations of RSA patterns--empirical studies will be required to determine whether RSA patterns are due to one or the other mechanism, or to some combination of both.

  13. Phylogeography in Response to Reproductive Strategies and Ecogeographic Isolation in Ant Species on Madagascar: Genus Mystrium (Formicidae: Amblyoponinae).

    PubMed

    Graham, Natalie R; Fisher, Brian L; Girman, Derek J

    2016-01-01

    The bulk of models used to understand the species diversification on Madagascar have been constructed using vertebrate taxa. It is not clear how these models affect less vagile species that may interact at a variety of spatial scales. Several studies on vertebrates have divided Madagascar into east-west bioclimatic regions, suggesting there is a fundamental division between eastern wet-adapted and western dry-adapted taxa. An alternative model of ecogeographic constraints shows a north-south division. We test whether the diversification in a small arthropod with variable degrees of dispersal conform to either model of ecogeographic constraints proposed for vertebrate taxa. We employ a molecular taxonomic dataset using ~2 kilobases nuDNA (Wg, LW Rh, Abd-A, 28s) and 790 basepairs mtDNA (CO1), along with geographic and habitat data, to examine the diversification patterns of the ant genus Mystrium Roger, 1862, (Subfamily Amblyoponinae) from Madagascar. The nuclear and mitochondrial phylogenies were both congruent with morphospecies as indicated in a recent revision of the genus. Species of Mystrium practice different colony reproductive strategies (winged queens vs non-winged queens). Alternate reproductive strategies led to inequalities in female dispersal ability among species, providing an additional layer for examination of the impacts of vagility on divergence, especially when measured using a maternally inherited locus. Mystrium species distribution patterns support these models of ecogeographic constraints. Reproductive strategy effected how Mystrium mtDNA lineages were associated with large-scale habitat distinctions and various topographical features. Furthermore, in some cases we find microgeographic population structure which appears to have been impacted by localized habitat differences (tsingy limestone formations, littoral forest) on a scale much smaller than that found in vertebrates. The current system offers a finer scale look at species

  14. Phylogeography in Response to Reproductive Strategies and Ecogeographic Isolation in Ant Species on Madagascar: Genus Mystrium (Formicidae: Amblyoponinae)

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Natalie R.; Fisher, Brian L.; Girman, Derek J.

    2016-01-01

    The bulk of models used to understand the species diversification on Madagascar have been constructed using vertebrate taxa. It is not clear how these models affect less vagile species that may interact at a variety of spatial scales. Several studies on vertebrates have divided Madagascar into east-west bioclimatic regions, suggesting there is a fundamental division between eastern wet-adapted and western dry-adapted taxa. An alternative model of ecogeographic constraints shows a north-south division. We test whether the diversification in a small arthropod with variable degrees of dispersal conform to either model of ecogeographic constraints proposed for vertebrate taxa. We employ a molecular taxonomic dataset using ~2 kilobases nuDNA (Wg, LW Rh, Abd-A, 28s) and 790 basepairs mtDNA (CO1), along with geographic and habitat data, to examine the diversification patterns of the ant genus Mystrium Roger, 1862, (Subfamily Amblyoponinae) from Madagascar. The nuclear and mitochondrial phylogenies were both congruent with morphospecies as indicated in a recent revision of the genus. Species of Mystrium practice different colony reproductive strategies (winged queens vs non-winged queens). Alternate reproductive strategies led to inequalities in female dispersal ability among species, providing an additional layer for examination of the impacts of vagility on divergence, especially when measured using a maternally inherited locus. Mystrium species distribution patterns support these models of ecogeographic constraints. Reproductive strategy effected how Mystrium mtDNA lineages were associated with large-scale habitat distinctions and various topographical features. Furthermore, in some cases we find microgeographic population structure which appears to have been impacted by localized habitat differences (tsingy limestone formations, littoral forest) on a scale much smaller than that found in vertebrates. The current system offers a finer scale look at species

  15. Phylogenetic Relationships Based on DNA Barcoding Among 16 Species of the Ant Genus Formica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from China

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yuan

    2017-01-01

    Abstract In this study, we sequenced fragments of cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1), internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) genes from 150 specimens belonging to 16 species of the ant genus Formica from China. Odontoponera transversa from Ponerinae and Polyergus samurai from Formicinae were added as distant relative and close relative outgroups, respectively. Neighbor-joining, maximum parsimony, and Bayesian interference methods were used to analyze their phylogenetic relationships based on CO1 gene sequence as well as combined sequence data of CO1 + ITS1, CO1 + ITS2, and CO1 + ITS1 + ITS2. The results showed that nine Formica species (i.e., Formica sinensis, Formica manchu, Formica uralensis, Formica sanguinea, Formica gagatoides, Formica candida, Formica fusca, Formica glauca, and Formica sp.) formed monophyletic clades, which in agreement with the results based on morphological taxonomy. By comparing the results of DNA barcoding and morphological taxonomy, we propose that Formica aquilonia maybe a junior synonym of F. polyctena and that cryptic species could likely existed in Formica sinae. Further studies on morphology, biology, and geography are needed to confirm this notion.

  16. MESSENGER Searches for Less Abundant or Weakly Emitting Species in Mercury's Exosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; McClintock, William E.; Killen, Rosemary M.; Sprague, Ann L.; Burger, Matthew H.; Merkel, Aimee W.; Sarantos, Menelaos

    2011-01-01

    Mercury's exosphere is composed of material that originates at the planet's surface, whether that material is native or delivered by the solar wind and micrometeoroids. Many exospheric species have been detected by remote sensing, including H and He by Mariner 10, Na, K, and Ca by ground-based observations, and H, Na, Ca, Mg, and Ca+ by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft. Other exospheric species, including Fe, AI, Si, 0, S, Mn, CI, Ti, OH, and their ions, are expected to be present on the basis of MESSENGER surface measurements and models of Mercury's surface chemistry. Here we report on searches for these species made with the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS) channel of the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS). No obvious signatures of the listed species have yet been observed in Mercury's exosphere by the UVVS as of this writing. It is possible that detections are elusive because the optimum regions of the exosphere have not been sampled. The Sun-avoidance constraints on MESSENGER place tight limits on instrument boresight directions, and some regions are probed infrequently. If there are strong spatial gradients in the distribution of weakly emitting species, a high-resolution sampling of specific regions may be required to detect them. Summing spectra over time will also aid in the ability to detect weaker emission. Observations to date nonetheless permit strong upper limits to be placed on the abundances of many undetected species, in some cases as functions of time and space. As those limits are lowered with time, the absence of detections can provide insight into surface composition and the potential source mechanisms of exospheric material.

  17. Macroinvertebrate abundance, water chemistry, and wetland characteristics affect use of wetlands by avian species in Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Longcore, J.R.; McAuley, D.G.; Pendelton, G.W.; Bennatti, C.R.; Mingo, T.M.; Stromborg, K.L.

    2006-01-01

    Our objective was to determine use by avian species (e.g., piscivores, marsh birds, waterfowl, selected passerines) of 29 wetlands in areas with low (<200 μeq l−1) acid-neutralizing capacity (ANC) in southeastern Maine. We documented bird, pair, and brood use during 1982–1984 and in 1982 we sampled 10 wetlands with a sweep net to collect invertebrates. We related mean numbers of invertebrates per wetland to water chemistry, basin characteristics, and avian use of different wetland types. Shallow, beaver (Castor canadensis)-created wetlands with the highest phosphorus levels and abundant and varied macrophyte assemblages supported greater densities of macroinvertebrates and numbers of duck broods (88.3% of all broods) in contrast to deep, glacial type wetlands with sparse vegetation and lower invertebrate densities that supported fewer broods (11.7%). Low pH may have affected some acid-intolerant invertebrate taxa (i.e., Ephemeroptera), but high mean numbers of Insecta per wetland were recorded from wetlands with a pH of 5.51. Other Classes and Orders of invertebrates were more abundant on wetlands with pH > 5.51. All years combined use of wetlands by broods was greater on wetlands with pH ≤ 5.51 (77.4%) in contract to wetlands with pH > 5.51 that supported 21.8% of the broods. High mean brood density was associated with mean number of Insecta per wetland. For lentic wetlands created by beaver, those habitats contained vegetative structure and nutrients necessary to provide cover to support invertebrate populations that are prey of omnivore and insectivore species. The fishless status of a few wetlands may have affected use by some waterfowl species and obligate piscivores.

  18. Chemotaxonomic study of undescribed species ofMyrmica ant from Idaho.

    PubMed

    Jackson, B D; Keegans, S J; Morgan, E D; Clark, W H; Blom, P E

    1991-02-01

    An undescribed species ofMyrmica collected in Idaho has been shown to have the same substances in its mandibular glands (3-octanol and 3-octanone and related 3-alkanols and 3-alkanones) and in its Dufour gland (linear alkanes, alkenes, and farnesene isomers and homologs) as previously examined European species ofMyrmica. The poison gland contains the trail pheromone 3-ethyl-2,5-dimethylpyrazine, common to allMyrmica species studied so far. The Dufour gland contains large amounts of bishomofarnesene, which easily distinguishes it from some 13 otherMyrmica already known.

  19. Laboratory investigations of the trail-following responses of four species of leaf-cutting ants with notes on the specificity of a trail pheromone of Atta texana (Buckley)

    Treesearch

    S. W. Robinson; John C. Moser; M. S. Blum; E. Amante

    1974-01-01

    Interspecific trail following activity of poison sac contents from four species of leaf-cutting ants was investigated. with only one exception, all the species teste followed trails made from each others poison sac contents. however when the ants were given a choice of following one of two separate trails, clear differences were shown in the poison sac contents of the...

  20. Retrievals of abundances of hydrocarbon and nitrile species in Titan’s upper atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yung, Yuk; Fan, Siteng; Shemansky, D. E.; Li, Cheng; Gao, Peter

    2017-10-01

    We develop an innovative retrieval method for Titan occultation measurements by the Cassini UVIS experiment. The T35 occultation is analyzed to illustrate the methodology. A significant number of occultations observed using the UVIS spectrographs show loss of pointing control required for correction of the spectral vectors. Consequently, only three stellar occultations have been analyzed to date. We use the Markov Chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) method to retrieve the abundances or upper limits of thirteen hydrocarbon and nitrile species (N2, CH4, C2H2, C2H4, C2H6, HCN, C4H2, C6N2, C6H6, tholin, HC3N, C2N2, NH3) along with the pointing error using the Cassini/UVIS simulator. These numbers are derived for the fast T35 occultation, which has never been analyzed because of large pointing errors. Uncertainty in the retrievals is determined using an intrinsic fitting probability distribution function. The Caltech/JPL photochemical and kinetics model, KINETICS, is used to calculate the atmospheric aforementioned species. Comparisons between model and observations reveal gaps in our current understanding of the chemical kinetics of hydrocarbons and nitrile species, especially for C6H6.

  1. Relating large-scale climate variability to local species abundance: ENSO forcing and shrimp in Breton Sound, Louisiana, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piazza, Bryan P.; LaPeyre, Megan K.; Keim, B.D.

    2010-01-01

    Climate creates environmental constraints (filters) that affect the abundance and distribution of species. In estuaries, these constraints often result from variability in water flow properties and environmental conditions (i.e. water flow, salinity, water temperature) and can have significant effects on the abundance and distribution of commercially important nekton species. We investigated links between large-scale climate variability and juvenile brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus abundance in Breton Sound estuary, Louisiana (USA). Our goals were to (1) determine if a teleconnection exists between local juvenile brown shrimp abundance and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and (2) relate that linkage to environmental constraints that may affect juvenile brown shrimp recruitment to, and survival in, the estuary. Our results identified a teleconnection between winter ENSO conditions and juvenile brown shrimp abundance in Breton Sound estuary the following spring. The physical connection results from the impact of ENSO on winter weather conditions in Breton Sound (air pressure, temperature, and precipitation). Juvenile brown shrimp abundance effects lagged ENSO by 3 mo: lower than average abundances of juvenile brown shrimp were caught in springs following winter El Niño events, and higher than average abundances of brown shrimp were caught in springs following La Niña winters. Salinity was the dominant ENSO-forced environmental filter for juvenile brown shrimp. Spring salinity was cumulatively forced by winter river discharge, winter wind forcing, and spring precipitation. Thus, predicting brown shrimp abundance requires incorporating climate variability into models.

  2. Incorporating abundance information and guiding variable selection for climate-based ensemble forecasting of species' distributional shifts.

    PubMed

    Tanner, Evan P; Papeş, Monica; Elmore, R Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D; Davis, Craig A

    2017-01-01

    Ecological niche models (ENMs) have increasingly been used to estimate the potential effects of climate change on species' distributions worldwide. Recently, predictions of species abundance have also been obtained with such models, though knowledge about the climatic variables affecting species abundance is often lacking. To address this, we used a well-studied guild (temperate North American quail) and the Maxent modeling algorithm to compare model performance of three variable selection approaches: correlation/variable contribution (CVC), biological (i.e., variables known to affect species abundance), and random. We then applied the best approach to forecast potential distributions, under future climatic conditions, and analyze future potential distributions in light of available abundance data and presence-only occurrence data. To estimate species' distributional shifts we generated ensemble forecasts using four global circulation models, four representative concentration pathways, and two time periods (2050 and 2070). Furthermore, we present distributional shifts where 75%, 90%, and 100% of our ensemble models agreed. The CVC variable selection approach outperformed our biological approach for four of the six species. Model projections indicated species-specific effects of climate change on future distributions of temperate North American quail. The Gambel's quail (Callipepla gambelii) was the only species predicted to gain area in climatic suitability across all three scenarios of ensemble model agreement. Conversely, the scaled quail (Callipepla squamata) was the only species predicted to lose area in climatic suitability across all three scenarios of ensemble model agreement. Our models projected future loss of areas for the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail in portions of their distributions which are currently areas of high abundance. Climatic variables that influence local abundance may not always scale up to influence species

  3. Species, Abundance and Function of Ammonia-oxidizing Archaea in Inland Waters across China

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Leiliu; Wang, Shanyun; Zou, Yuxuan; Xia, Chao; Zhu, Guibing

    2015-01-01

    Ammonia oxidation is the first step in nitrification and was thought to be performed solely by specialized bacteria. The discovery of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) changed this view. We examined the large scale and spatio-temporal occurrence, abundance and role of AOA throughout Chinese inland waters (n = 28). Molecular survey showed that AOA was ubiquitous in inland waters. The existence of AOA in extreme acidic, alkaline, hot, cold, eutrophic and oligotrophic environments expanded the tolerance limits of AOA, especially their known temperature tolerance to −25 °C, and substrate load to 42.04 mM. There were spatio-temporal divergences of AOA community structure in inland waters, and the diversity of AOA in inland water ecosystems was high with 34 observed species-level operational taxonomic units (OTUs; based on a 15% cutoff) distributed widely in group I.1b, I.1a, and I.1a-associated. The abundance of AOA was quite high (8.5 × 104 to 8.5 × 109 copies g−1), and AOA outnumbered ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in the inland waters where little human activities were involved. On the whole AOB predominate the ammonia oxidation rate over AOA in inland water ecosystems, and AOA play an indispensable role in global nitrogen cycle considering that AOA occupy a broader habitat range than AOB, especially in extreme environments. PMID:26522086

  4. Species, Abundance and Function of Ammonia-oxidizing Archaea in Inland Waters across China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Leiliu; Wang, Shanyun; Zou, Yuxuan; Xia, Chao; Zhu, Guibing

    2015-11-01

    Ammonia oxidation is the first step in nitrification and was thought to be performed solely by specialized bacteria. The discovery of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) changed this view. We examined the large scale and spatio-temporal occurrence, abundance and role of AOA throughout Chinese inland waters (n = 28). Molecular survey showed that AOA was ubiquitous in inland waters. The existence of AOA in extreme acidic, alkaline, hot, cold, eutrophic and oligotrophic environments expanded the tolerance limits of AOA, especially their known temperature tolerance to -25 °C, and substrate load to 42.04 mM. There were spatio-temporal divergences of AOA community structure in inland waters, and the diversity of AOA in inland water ecosystems was high with 34 observed species-level operational taxonomic units (OTUs; based on a 15% cutoff) distributed widely in group I.1b, I.1a, and I.1a-associated. The abundance of AOA was quite high (8.5 × 104 to 8.5 × 109 copies g-1), and AOA outnumbered ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in the inland waters where little human activities were involved. On the whole AOB predominate the ammonia oxidation rate over AOA in inland water ecosystems, and AOA play an indispensable role in global nitrogen cycle considering that AOA occupy a broader habitat range than AOB, especially in extreme environments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Diversity of Forest Litter-Inhabiting Ants Along Elevations in the Wayanad Region of the Western Ghats

    PubMed Central

    Sabu, Thomas K.; Vineesh, P. J.; Vinod, K.V.

    2008-01-01

    Litter ant diversity and abundance in relation to biotic and abiotic factors were analyzed at five primary forest sites lying between 300 to 1650 meter above mean sea level in the Wayanad region of the Western Ghats in Kerala, southern India. Ant abundance and species richness peaked at mid-elevations influenced by the presence of favourable physical conditions and abundance of prey resources. Dominance of ants preferring termites and Collembola as prey at sites rich in their specific prey resources indicate the influence of local prey resource availability in determining ant distribution. Dominant species (Tapinoma sp. and Solenopsis sp.) had wider distributions, being present at all elevations. Physical factors (slope of the terrain, rainfall, moisture, humidity, temperature) and prey resource availability (insect larvae, termites, Collembola) influenced ant species abundance at a regional scale, whereas at local scales, site specific variations in the relationship between abundance of ants and prey-predators and physical factors were recorded. The present study highlights the need to consider site-specific abiotic and biotic factors while examining the distribution patterns of litter ants along altitudinal gradients in other regions of the Western Ghats, which is a recognised hot spot of biodiversity with wide regional variation in vegetation types and faunal distribution patterns.

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

    PubMed

    Fournier, Denis; Tindo, Maurice; Kenne, Martin; Mbenoun Masse, Paul Serge; Van Bossche, Vanessa; De Coninck, Eliane; Aron, Serge

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Species richness and relative abundance of breeding birds in forests of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelms, C.O.; Twedt, D.J.; Smith, Winston Paul

    1993-01-01

    In 1992, the Vicksburg Field Research Station of the National Wetlands Research Center initiated research on the ecology of migratory birds within forests of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV). The MAV was historically a nearly contiguous bottomland hardwood forest, however, only remnants remain. These remnants are fragmented and often influenced by drainage projects, silviculture, agriculture, and urban development. Our objectives are to assess species richness and relative abundance, and to relate these to the size, quality, and composition of forest stands. Species richness and relative abundance were estimated for 53 randomly selected forest sites using 1 to 8 point counts per site, depending on the size of the forest fragment. However, statistical comparisons among sites will be restricted to an equal number ofpoint counts within the sites being compared. Point counts, lasting five minutes, were conducted from 11 May to 29 June 1992, foltowing Ralph, Sauer, and Droege (Point Count Standards; memo dated 9 March 1992). Vegetation was measured at the first three points on each site using a modification of the methods employed by Martin and Roper (Condor 90: 5 1-57; 1988). During 252 counts, 7 1 species were encountered, but only 62 species were encountered within a 50-m radius of point center. The mean number of species encountered within 50 m of a point, was 7.3 (s.d. = 2.7) and the mean number of individuals was 11.2 (s.d. = 4.2). The mean number of species detected at any distance was 9.6 (s.d, = 2.8) and the mean number of individuals was 15.6 (s.d. = 7.9). The most frequently encountered warblers in the MAV were Prothonotary Warbler and Northern Parula. Rarely encountered warblers were American Redstart and Worm-eating Warbler. The genera, Quercus, Ulmus, Carya, and Celtis were each encountered at 80 or more of the 152 points at which vegetation was sampled. Species most frequentlyencountered were: sugarberry (Celtis laevagata), water hickory (Caqa

  9. LogCauchy, log-sech and lognormal distributions of species abundances in forest communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yin, Z.-Y.; Peng, S.-L.; Ren, H.; Guo, Q.; Chen, Z.-H.

    2005-01-01

    Species-abundance (SA) pattern is one of the most fundamental aspects of biological community structure, providing important information regarding species richness, species-area relation and succession. To better describe the SA distribution (SAD) in a community, based on the widely used lognormal (LN) distribution model with exp(-x2) roll-off on Preston's octave scale, this study proposed two additional models, logCauchy (LC) and log-sech (LS), respectively with roll-offs of simple x-2 and e-x. The estimation of the theoretical total number of species in the whole community, S*, including very rare species not yet collected in sample, was derived from the left-truncation of each distribution. We fitted these three models by Levenberg-Marquardt nonlinear regression and measured the model fit to the data using coefficient of determination of regression, parameters' t-test and distribution's Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) test. Examining the SA data from six forest communities (five in lower subtropics and one in tropics), we found that: (1) on a log scale, all three models that are bell-shaped and left-truncated statistically adequately fitted the observed SADs, and the LC and LS did better than the LN; (2) from each model and for each community the S* values estimated by the integral and summation methods were almost equal, allowing us to estimate S* using a simple integral formula and to estimate its asymptotic confidence internals by regression of a transformed model containing it; (3) following the order of LC, LS, and LN, the fitted distributions became lower in the peak, less concave in the side, and shorter in the tail, and overall the LC tended to overestimate, the LN tended to underestimate, while the LS was intermediate but slightly tended to underestimate, the observed SADs (particularly the number of common species in the right tail); (4) the six communities had some similar structural properties such as following similar distribution models, having a common

  10. Variation in local abundance and species richness of stream fishes in relation to dispersal barriers: Implications for management and conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nislow, K.H.; Hudy, M.; Letcher, B.H.; Smith, E.P.

    2011-01-01

    1.Barriers to immigration, all else being equal, should in principle depress local abundance and reduce local species richness. These issues are particularly relevant to stream-dwelling species when improperly designed road crossings act as barriers to migration with potential impacts on the viability of upstream populations. However, because abundance and richness are highly spatially and temporally heterogeneous and the relative importance of immigration on demography is uncertain, population- and community-level effects can be difficult to detect. 2.In this study, we tested the effects of potential barriers to upstream movements on the local abundance and species richness of a diverse assemblage of resident stream fishes in the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia, U.S.A. Fishes were sampled using simple standard techniques above- and below road crossings that were either likely or unlikely to be barriers to upstream fish movements (based on physical dimensions of the crossing). We predicted that abundance of resident fishes would be lower in the upstream sections of streams with predicted impassable barriers, that the strength of the effect would vary among species and that variable effects on abundance would translate into lower species richness. 3.Supporting these predictions, the statistical model that best accounted for variation in abundance and species richness included a significant interaction between location (upstream or downstream of crossing) and type (passable or impassable crossing). Stream sections located above predicated impassable culverts had fewer than half the number of species and less than half the total fish abundance, while stream sections above and below passable culverts had essentially equivalent richness and abundance. 4.Our results are consistent with the importance of immigration and population connectivity to local abundance and species richness of stream fishes. In turn, these results suggest that when measured at

  11. Climatic controls on the global distribution, abundance, and species richness of mangrove forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Osland, Michael J.; Feher, Laura C.; Griffith, Kereen; Cavanaugh, Kyle C.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Day, Richard H.; Stagg, Camille L.; Krauss, Ken W.; Howard, Rebecca J.; Grace, James B.; Rogers, Kerrylee

    2017-01-01

    Mangrove forests are highly productive tidal saline wetland ecosystems found along sheltered tropical and subtropical coasts. Ecologists have long assumed that climatic drivers (i.e., temperature and rainfall regimes) govern the global distribution, structure, and function of mangrove forests. However, data constraints have hindered the quantification of direct climate-mangrove linkages in many parts of the world. Recently, the quality and availability of global-scale climate and mangrove data have been improving. Here, we used these data to better understand the influence of air temperature and rainfall regimes upon the distribution, abundance, and species richness of mangrove forests. Although our analyses identify global-scale relationships and thresholds, we show that the influence of climatic drivers is best characterized via regional range limit-specific analyses. We quantified climatic controls across targeted gradients in temperature and/or rainfall within 14 mangrove distributional range limits. Climatic thresholds for mangrove presence, abundance, and species richness differed among the 14 studied range limits. We identified minimum temperature-based thresholds for range limits in eastern North America, eastern Australia, New Zealand, eastern Asia, eastern South America, and southeast Africa. We identified rainfall-based thresholds for range limits in western North America, western Gulf of Mexico, western South America, western Australia, Middle East, northwest Africa, east central Africa, and west central Africa. Our results show that in certain range limits (e.g., eastern North America, western Gulf of Mexico, eastern Asia), winter air temperature extremes play an especially important role. We conclude that rainfall and temperature regimes are both important in western North America, western Gulf of Mexico, and western Australia. With climate change, alterations in temperature and rainfall regimes will affect the global distribution, abundance, and

  12. Remote sensing of the distribution and abundance of host species for spruce budworm in Northern Minnesota and Ontario

    Treesearch

    Peter T. Wolter; Philip A. Townsend; Brian R. Sturtevant; Clayton C. Kingdon

    2008-01-01

    Insects and disease affect large areas of forest in the U.S. and Canada. Understanding ecosystem impacts of such disturbances requires knowledge of host species distribution patterns on the landscape. In this study, we mapped the distribution and abundance of host species for the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) to facilitate landscape scale...

  13. Predicting recovery criteria for threatened and endangered plant species on the basis of past abundances and biological traits.

    PubMed

    Neel, Maile C; Che-Castaldo, Judy P

    2013-04-01

    Recovery plans for species listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act are required to specify measurable criteria that can be used to determine when the species can be delisted. For the 642 listed endangered and threatened plant species that have recovery plans, we applied recursive partitioning methods to test whether the number of individuals or populations required for delisting can be predicted on the basis of distributional and biological traits, previous abundance at multiple time steps, or a combination of traits and previous abundances. We also tested listing status (threatened or endangered) and the year the recovery plan was written as predictors of recovery criteria. We analyzed separately recovery criteria that were stated as number of populations and as number of individuals (population-based and individual-based criteria, respectively). Previous abundances alone were relatively good predictors of population-based recovery criteria. Fewer populations, but a greater proportion of historically known populations, were required to delist species that had few populations at listing compared with species that had more populations at listing. Previous abundances were also good predictors of individual-based delisting criteria when models included both abundances and traits. The physiographic division in which the species occur was also a good predictor of individual-based criteria. Our results suggest managers are relying on previous abundances and patterns of decline as guidelines for setting recovery criteria. This may be justifiable in that previous abundances inform managers of the effects of both intrinsic traits and extrinsic threats that interact and determine extinction risk. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Species composition and seasonal abundance of sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) in coffee agroecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Pérez, Jeanneth; Virgen, Armando; Rojas, Julio Cesar; Rebollar-Téllez, Eduardo Alfonso; Alfredo, Castillo; Infante, Francisco; Mikery, Oscar; Marina, Carlos Felix; Ibáñez-Bernal, Sergio

    2013-01-01

    The composition and seasonal occurrence of sandflies were investigated in coffee agroecosystems in the Soconusco region of Chiapas, Mexico. Insect sampling was performed on three plantations located at different altitudes: Finca Guadalupe Zajú [1,000 m above sea level (a.s.l.)], Finca Argovia (613 m a.s.l.) and Teotihuacán del Valle (429 m a.s.l.). Sandflies were sampled monthly from August 2007-July 2008 using three sampling methods: Shannon traps, CDC miniature light traps and Disney traps. Sampling was conducted for 3 h during three consecutive nights, beginning at sunset. A total of 4,387 sandflies were collected during the course of the study: 2,718 individuals in Finca Guadalupe Zajú, 605 in Finca Argovia and 1,064 in Teotihuacán del Valle. The Shannon traps captured 94.3% of the total sandflies, while the CDC light traps and Disney traps captured 4.9% and 0.8%, respectively. More females than males were collected at all sites. While the number of sandflies captured was positively correlated with temperature and relative humidity, a negative correlation was observed between sandfly numbers and rainfall. Five species of sandflies were captured: Lutzomyia cruciata , Lutzomyia texana , Lutzomyia ovallesi , Lutzomyia cratifer / undulata and Brumptomyia sp. Lu. cruciata , constituting 98.8% of the total, was the most abundant species. None of the captured sandflies was infected with Leishmania spp. PMID:24271002

  15. Abundance of antibiotic resistance genes and bacterial community composition in wild freshwater fish species.

    PubMed

    Marti, Elisabet; Huerta, Belinda; Rodríguez-Mozaz, Sara; Barceló, Damià; Marcé, Rafael; Balcázar, Jose Luis

    2018-04-01

    This study was aimed to determine the abundance of four antibiotic resistance genes (bla TEM , ermB, qnrS and sulI), as well as bacterial community composition associated with the intestinal mucus of wild freshwater fish species collected from the Foix and La Llosa del Cavall reservoirs, which represent ecosystems with high and low anthropogenic disturbance, respectively. Water and sediments from these reservoirs were also collected and analyzed to determine the pollution level by antibiotics. The bla TEM gene was only detected in brown trout and Ebro barbel, which were collected from La Llosa del Cavall reservoir. In contrast, the sulI and qnrS genes were only detected in common carp, which were collected from the Foix reservoir. Although the ermB gene was also detected in common carp, the values were below the limit of quantification. Likewise, water and sediment samples from the Foix reservoir had higher concentrations and more classes of antibiotics than those from La Llosa del Cavall. Pyrosequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes revealed significant differences in bacterial communities associated with the intestinal mucus of fish species. Therefore, these findings suggest that anthropogenic activities are not only increasing the pollution of aquatic environments, but also contributing to the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance in organisms that inhabit such environments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Diverse effects of degree of urbanisation and forest size on species richness and functional diversity of plants, and ground surface-active ants and spiders.

    PubMed

    Melliger, Ramona Laila; Braschler, Brigitte; Rusterholz, Hans-Peter; Baur, Bruno

    2018-01-01

    Urbanisation is increasing worldwide and is regarded a major driver of environmental change altering local species assemblages in urban green areas. Forests are one of the most frequent habitat types in urban landscapes harbouring many native species and providing important ecosystem services. By using a multi-taxa approach covering a range of trophic ranks, we examined the influence of degree of urbanisation and forest size on the species richness and functional diversity of plants, and ground surface-active ants and spiders. We conducted field surveys in twenty-six forests in the urban region of Basel, Switzerland. We found that a species' response to urbanisation varied depending on trophic rank, habitat specificity and the diversity indices used. In plants, species richness decreased with degree of urbanisation, whereas that of both arthropod groups was not affected. However, ants and spiders at higher trophic rank showed greater shifts in species composition with increasing degree of urbanisation, and the percentage of forest specialists in both arthropod groups increased with forest size. Local abiotic site characteristics were also crucial for plant species diversity and species composition, while the structural diversity of both leaf litter and vegetation was important for the diversity of ants and spiders. Our results highlight that even small urban forests can harbour a considerable biodiversity including habitat specialists. Nonetheless, urbanisation directly and indirectly caused major shifts in species composition. Therefore, special consideration needs to be given to vulnerable species, including those with special habitat requirements. Locally adapted management practices could be a step forward to enhance habitat quality in a way to maximize diversity of forest species and thus ensure forest ecosystem functioning; albeit large-scale factors also remain important.

  17. Consequences of prescribed fire and grazing on grassland ant communities.

    PubMed

    Underwood, Emma C; Christian, Caroline E

    2009-04-01

    Prescribed fire and livestock grazing are used for the management and restoration of native grasslands the world over; however, the effects of these management techniques on ant communities are unclear. We examined the response of ants to these disturbances in grasslands in northern California. Twenty-four 30 by 30 m plots were established across two sites that received one of four treatments: grazing, fire, grazing and fire, or no treatment. Ants were censused using 240 pitfall traps with one preburn and two postburn samples (14 d and 1 yr after burning). We analyzed ant abundance using broadly defined groups based on feeding habit and/or habitat use and detected no grazing effect but a significant fire effect that differed by group. Immediate postfire sampling showed an increase in cryptic species (particularly Brachymyrmex depilis). One year after the fire, no response was detected for cryptic species, but burned plots had greater abundance of seed harvesters. Analysis of vegetation showed burned plots had significantly greater forb cover, which might have provided greater food resources, and also lower biomass, which might have facilitated foraging. Understanding the effects of these management tools on ant abundance complements our understanding of their effect on vegetation and assists conservation practitioners effectively manage grassland ecosystems both in California and beyond.

  18. Temnothorax crasecundus sp. n. – a cryptic Eurocaucasian ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) discovered by Nest Centroid Clustering

    PubMed Central

    Seifert, Bernhard; Csösz, Sandor

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The paper integrates two independent studies of numeric morphology-based alpha-taxonomy of the cryptic ant species Temnothorax crassispinus (Karavajev, 1926) and Temnothorax crasecundus sp. n. conducted by different investigators, using different equipment, considering different character combinations and evaluating different samples. Samples investigated included 603 individual workers from 203 nests – thereof 104 nest samples measured by Seifert and 99 by Csösz. The material originated from Europe, Asia Minor and Caucasia. There was a very strong interspecific overlap in any of the 29 shape characters recorded and subjective expert determination failed in many cases. Primary classification hypotheses were formed by the exploratory data analysis Nest Centroid (NC) clustering and corrected to final species hypotheses by an iterative linear discriminant analysis algorithm. The evaluation of Seifert’s and Csösz’s data sets arrived at fully congruent conclusions. NC-Ward and NC-K-means clustering disagreed from the final species hypothesis in only 1.9 and 1.9% of the samples in Seifert’s data set and by 1.1 and 2.1% in Csösz’s data set which is a strong argument for heterospecificity. The type series of Temnothorax crassispinus and Temnothorax crasecundus sp. n. were allocated to different clusters with p = 0.9851 and p = 0.9912 respectively. The type series of the junior synonym Temnothorax slavonicus (Seifert, 1995) was allocated to the Temnothorax crassispinus cluster with p = 0.9927. Temnothorax crasecundus sp. n. and Temnothorax crassispinus are parapatric species with a long contact zone stretching from the Peloponnisos peninsula across Bulgaria northeast to the southern Ukraine. There is no indication for occurrence of interspecifically mixed nests or intraspecific polymorphism. However, a significant reduction of interspecific morphological distance at sites with syntopic occurrence of both species indicates local hybridization. The

  19. Models of Experimentally Derived Competitive Effects Predict Biogeographical Differences in the Abundance of Invasive and Native Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Sa; Ni, Guangyan; Callaway, Ragan M.

    2013-01-01

    Mono-dominance by invasive species provides opportunities to explore determinants of plant distributions and abundance; however, linking mechanistic results from small scale experiments to patterns in nature is difficult. We used experimentally derived competitive effects of an invader in North America, Acroptilon repens, on species with which it co-occurs in its native range of Uzbekistan and on species with which it occurs in its non-native ranges in North America, in individual-based models. We found that competitive effects yielded relative abundances of Acroptilon and other species in models that were qualitatively similar to those observed in the field in the two ranges. In its non-native range, Acroptilon can occur in nearly pure monocultures at local scales, whereas such nearly pure stands of Acroptilon appear to be much less common in its native range. Experimentally derived competitive effects of Acroptilon on other species predicted Acroptilon to be 4–9 times more proportionally abundant than natives in the North American models, but proportionally equal to or less than the abundance of natives in the Eurasian models. Our results suggest a novel way to integrate complex combinations of interactions simultaneously, and that biogeographical differences in the competitive effects of an invader correspond well with biogeographical differences in abundance and impact. PMID:24265701

  20. An illustrated guide to seeds found in nests of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius

    PubMed Central

    Domínguez, Daniel J.

    2017-01-01

    The Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius collects the seeds of many plant species and stores them in underground nest chambers for later consumption. Seeds taken from multiple nests in 1989, 2014 and 2015 were separated by size and species and identified through published keys, comparison with herbarium specimens and with identified seed collections. Harvester ants stored at least 58 species of seeds from 20 plant families in their chambers. This paper presents images of each seed species in several aspects, their relative abundance in P. badius nests, their size relative to the smallest, and links to online data and images of the parent plant species, as well as to herbarium specimens. A number of seeds and plant families present at the site were not found in ant nests. These data and images will be valuable for future studies and experiments to untangle the choices the ants make in relation to what the plants and the seasons offer them. PMID:28248988

  1. Diverse effects of degree of urbanisation and forest size on species richness and functional diversity of plants, and ground surface-active ants and spiders

    PubMed Central

    Melliger, Ramona Laila; Rusterholz, Hans-Peter; Baur, Bruno

    2018-01-01

    Urbanisation is increasing worldwide and is regarded a major driver of environmental change altering local species assemblages in urban green areas. Forests are one of the most frequent habitat types in urban landscapes harbouring many native species and providing important ecosystem services. By using a multi-taxa approach covering a range of trophic ranks, we examined the influence of degree of urbanisation and forest size on the species richness and functional diversity of plants, and ground surface-active ants and spiders. We conducted field surveys in twenty-six forests in the urban region of Basel, Switzerland. We found that a species’ response to urbanisation varied depending on trophic rank, habitat specificity and the diversity indices used. In plants, species richness decreased with degree of urbanisation, whereas that of both arthropod groups was not affected. However, ants and spiders at higher trophic rank showed greater shifts in species composition with increasing degree of urbanisation, and the percentage of forest specialists in both arthropod groups increased with forest size. Local abiotic site characteristics were also crucial for plant species diversity and species composition, while the structural diversity of both leaf litter and vegetation was important for the diversity of ants and spiders. Our results highlight that even small urban forests can harbour a considerable biodiversity including habitat specialists. Nonetheless, urbanisation directly and indirectly caused major shifts in species composition. Therefore, special consideration needs to be given to vulnerable species, including those with special habitat requirements. Locally adapted management practices could be a step forward to enhance habitat quality in a way to maximize diversity of forest species and thus ensure forest ecosystem functioning; albeit large-scale factors also remain important. PMID:29920553

  2. A Small Number of Low-abundance Bacteria Dominate Plant Species-specific Responses during Rhizosphere Colonization

    PubMed Central

    Dawson, Wayne; Hör, Jens; Egert, Markus; van Kleunen, Mark; Pester, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Plant growth can be affected by soil bacteria. In turn, plants are known to influence soil bacteria through rhizodeposits and changes in abiotic conditions. We aimed to quantify the phylotype richness and relative abundance of rhizosphere bacteria that are actually influenced in a plant species-specific manner and to determine the role of the disproportionately large diversity of low-abundance bacteria belonging to the rare biosphere (<0.1 relative abundance) in this process. In addition, we aimed to determine whether plant phylogeny has an influence on the plant species-specific rhizosphere bacterial community. For this purpose, 19 herbaceous plant species from five different plant orders were grown in a common soil substrate. Bacterial communities in the initial soil substrate and the established rhizosphere soils were compared by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Only a small number of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs, 97% sequence identity) responded either positively (ca. 1%) or negatively (ca. 1%) to a specific plant species. On average, 91% of plant-specific positive response OTUs comprised bacteria belonging to the rare biosphere, highlighting that low-abundance populations are metabolically active in the rhizosphere. In addition, low-abundance OTUs were in terms of their summed relative abundance major drivers of the bacterial phyla composition across the rhizosphere of all tested plant species. However, no effect of plant phylogeny could be observed on the established rhizosphere bacterial communities, neither when considering differences in the overall established rhizosphere communities nor when considering plant species-specific responders only. Our study provides a quantitative assessment of the effect of plants on their rhizosphere bacteria across multiple plant orders. Plant species-specific effects on soil bacterial communities involved only 18–111 bacterial OTUs out of several 1000s; this minority may potentially impact plant growth

  3. Geographic Mosaic of Plant Evolution: Extrafloral Nectary Variation Mediated by Ant and Herbivore Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira, Anselmo; Rey, Pedro J.; Alcántara, Julio M.; Feitosa, Rodrigo M.; Lohmann, Lúcia G.

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Ants with Attitude: Australian Jack-jumpers of the Myrmecia pilosula species complex, with descriptions of four new species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmeciinae).

    PubMed

    Taylor, Robert W

    2015-01-21

    The six known "Jack-jumper species Myrmecia pilosula Fr. Smith 1858, M. croslandi Taylor 1991, M. banksi, M. haskinsorum, M. imaii and M. impaternata spp.n. are reviewed, illustrated and keyed. Myrmecia imaii is known only from southwest Western Australia, the others variously from southeastern Australia and Tasmania. These taxa were previously confused under the name M. pilosula (for which a lectotype is designated). Previous cytogenetical findings, which contributed importantly to current taxonomic understanding, are summarized for each species. Eastern and Western geographical races of the widespread M. pilosula are recognized. Myrmecia croslandi is one of only two eukaryote animals known to possess a single pair of chromosomes (2n=2 3 or 4). Myrmecia impaternata is evidentially an allodiploid (n=5 or 14, 2n=19) sperm-dependent gynogenetic hybrid between M. banksi and an element of the eastern race of M. pilosula, or their immediate ancestry. The sting-injected venom of these ants can induce sometimes fatal anaphylaxis in sensitive humans. 

  5. Utilization of Anting-Anting (Acalypha indica) Leaves as Antibacterial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batubara, Irmanida; Wahyuni, Wulan Tri; Firdaus, Imam

    2016-01-01

    Anting-anting (Acalypha indica) plants is a species of plant having catkin type of inflorescence. This research aims to utilize anting-anting as antibacterial toward Streptococcus mutans and degradation of biofilm on teeth. Anting-anting leaves were extracted by maceration technique using methanol, chloroform, and n-hexane. Antibacterial and biofilm degradation assays were performed using microdilution technique with 96 well. n-Hexane extracts of anting-anting leaves gave the best antibacterial potency with minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration value of 500 μg/mL and exhibited good biofilm degradation activity. Fraction of F3 obtained from fractionation of n-hexane's extract with column chromatography was a potential for degradation of biofilm with IC50 value of 56.82 μg/mL. Alkaloid was suggested as antibacterial and degradation of biofilm in the active fraction.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Dynamic relationships between body size, species richness, abundance, and energy use in a shallow marine epibenthic faunal community

    PubMed Central

    Labra, Fabio A; Hernández-Miranda, Eduardo; Quiñones, Renato A

    2015-01-01

    We study the temporal variation in the empirical relationships among body size (S), species richness (R), and abundance (A) in a shallow marine epibenthic faunal community in Coliumo Bay, Chile. We also extend previous analyses by calculating individual energy use (E) and test whether its bivariate and trivariate relationships with S and R are in agreement with expectations derived from the energetic equivalence rule. Carnivorous and scavenger species representing over 95% of sample abundance and biomass were studied. For each individual, body size (g) was measured and E was estimated following published allometric relationships. Data for each sample were tabulated into exponential body size bins, comparing species-averaged values with individual-based estimates which allow species to potentially occupy multiple size classes. For individual-based data, both the number of individuals and species across body size classes are fit by a Weibull function rather than by a power law scaling. Species richness is also a power law of the number of individuals. Energy use shows a piecewise scaling relationship with body size, with energetic equivalence holding true only for size classes above the modal abundance class. Species-based data showed either weak linear or no significant patterns, likely due to the decrease in the number of data points across body size classes. Hence, for individual-based size spectra, the SRA relationship seems to be general despite seasonal forcing and strong disturbances in Coliumo Bay. The unimodal abundance distribution results in a piecewise energy scaling relationship, with small individuals showing a positive scaling and large individuals showing energetic equivalence. Hence, strict energetic equivalence should not be expected for unimodal abundance distributions. On the other hand, while species-based data do not show unimodal SRA relationships, energy use across body size classes did not show significant trends, supporting energetic

  8. Arbovirus circulation, temporal distribution, and abundance of mosquito species in two Carolina bay habitats.

    PubMed

    Ortiz, D I; Wozniak, A; Tolson, M W; Turner, P E

    2005-01-01

    Carolina bays, a type of geomorphic feature, may be important in the ecology of mosquito vectors in South Carolina. Their hydrology varies from wetland habitats with marked flooding/drying regimes to permanently flooded spring-fed lakes. Moreover, they possess characteristics that contribute to the support of a particularly abundant and diverse invertebrate fauna. Although it has been estimated that 2,700+ bays exist in South Carolina, approximately 97% have been altered; < or = 200 bays remain intact, and only 36 are protected by state-funded conservation projects. We conducted a study in two distinct Carolina bay habitats, Savage Bay Heritage Preserve (SBHP) and Woods Bay State Park (WBSP), from June 1997 to July 1998 to determine mosquito temporal distribution, species composition, and the occurrence of arbovirus activity. The largest mosquito collection was obtained at WBSP (n = 31,172) representing 25 species followed by SBHP (n = 3,940) with 24 species. Anopheles crucians complex were the most common species encountered in both bays. Two virus isolates were obtained from SBHP in 1997: Keystone (KEY) virus from Ochlerotatus atlanticus-tormentor and Cache Valley (CV) virus from Oc. canadensis canadensis. Twenty-nine (29) arbovirus-positive pools were obtained from WBSP: 28 in 1997 and one in 1998. KEY virus was isolated from three pools of Oc. atlanticus-tormentor and Tensaw (TEN) virus was isolated from two pools of An. crucians complex; 10 isolates could not be identified with the sera available. Additionally, 14 pools of An. crucians complex tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus antigen. These represent the first record of KEY and CV viruses in South Carolina. Our data indicate the presence of high mosquito density and diversity in both Carolina bay habitats, which may be influenced, in part, by seasonal changes in their hydroperiods. The study of mosquito and arbovirus ecology in Carolina Bay habitats could provide more information on

  9. Edge-interior differences in the species richness and abundance of drosophilids in a semideciduous forest fragment.

    PubMed

    Penariol, Leiza V; Madi-Ravazzi, Lilian

    2013-12-01

    Habitat fragmentation is the main cause of biodiversity loss, as remnant fragments are exposed to negative influences that include edge effects, prevention of migration, declines in effective population sizes, loss of genetic variability and invasion of exotic species. The Drosophilidae (Diptera), especially species of the genus Drosophila, which are highly sensitive to environmental variation, have been used as bioindicators. A twelve-month field study was conducted to evaluate the abundance and richness of drosophilids in an edge-interior transect in a fragment of semideciduous forest in São Paulo State, Brazil. One objective of the study was to evaluate the applied methodology with respect to its potential use in future studies addressing the monitoring and conservation of threatened areas. The species abundance along the transect showed a clear gradient, with species associated with disturbed environments, such as Drosophila simulans, Scaptodrosophila latifasciaeformis and Zaprionus indianus, being collected at the fragment edge and the species D. willistoni and D. mediostriata being found in the fragment's interior. Replacement of these species occurred at approximately 60 meters from the edge, which may be a reflection of edge effects on species abundance and richness because the species found within the habitat fragment are more sensitive to variations in temperature and humidity than those sampled near the edge. The results support the use of this methodology in studies on environmental impacts.

  10. Convergence and divergence in a long-term old-field succession: the importance of spatial scale and species abundance.

    PubMed

    Li, Shao-Peng; Cadotte, Marc W; Meiners, Scott J; Pu, Zhichao; Fukami, Tadashi; Jiang, Lin

    2016-09-01

    Whether plant communities in a given region converge towards a particular stable state during succession has long been debated, but rarely tested at a sufficiently long time scale. By analysing a 50-year continuous study of post-agricultural secondary succession in New Jersey, USA, we show that the extent of community convergence varies with the spatial scale and species abundance classes. At the larger field scale, abundance-based dissimilarities among communities decreased over time, indicating convergence of dominant species, whereas incidence-based dissimilarities showed little temporal tend, indicating no sign of convergence. In contrast, plots within each field diverged in both species composition and abundance. Abundance-based successional rates decreased over time, whereas rare species and herbaceous plants showed little change in temporal turnover rates. Initial abandonment conditions only influenced community structure early in succession. Overall, our findings provide strong evidence for scale and abundance dependence of stochastic and deterministic processes over old-field succession. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  11. Environmental factors influence both abundance and genetic diversity in a widespread bird species

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yang; Webber, Simone; Bowgen, Katharine; Schmaltz, Lucie; Bradley, Katharine; Halvarsson, Peter; Abdelgadir, Mohanad; Griesser, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Genetic diversity is one of the key evolutionary variables that correlate with population size, being of critical importance for population viability and the persistence of species. Genetic diversity can also have important ecological consequences within populations, and in turn, ecological factors may drive patterns of genetic diversity. However, the relationship between the genetic diversity of a population and how this interacts with ecological processes has so far only been investigated in a few studies. Here, we investigate the link between ecological factors, local population size, and allelic diversity, using a field study of a common bird species, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). We studied sparrows outside the breeding season in a confined small valley dominated by dispersed farms and small-scale agriculture in southern France. Population surveys at 36 locations revealed that sparrows were more abundant in locations with high food availability. We then captured and genotyped 891 house sparrows at 10 microsatellite loci from a subset of these locations (N = 12). Population genetic analyses revealed weak genetic structure, where each locality represented a distinct substructure within the study area. We found that food availability was the main factor among others tested to influence the genetic structure between locations. These results suggest that ecological factors can have strong impacts on both population size per se and intrapopulation genetic variation even at a small scale. On a more general level, our data indicate that a patchy environment and low dispersal rate can result in fine-scale patterns of genetic diversity. Given the importance of genetic diversity for population viability, combining ecological and genetic data can help to identify factors limiting population size and determine the conservation potential of populations. PMID:24363897

  12. Fire ants

    MedlinePlus

    ... a fire ant delivers a harmful substance, called venom, into your skin. This article is for information ... in the United States. Poisonous Ingredient Fire ant venom contains a chemical called piperidine. Where Found Fire ...

  13. Non-native Ants Are Smaller than Related Native Ants.

    PubMed

    McGlynn, Terrence P

    1999-12-01

    I compare the sizes of non-native and native ants to evaluate how worker size may be related to the ability of a species to invade new habitats. I compare the size of 78 non-native ant species belonging to 26 genera with the size of native congeneric species; native ants are larger than non-native ants in 22 of 26 genera. Ants were sorted by genera into fighting and nonfighting groups, based on observations of interspecific interactions with other ant species. In all of the genera with monomorphic worker castes that fight during competition, the non-native species were smaller than the native species. The genera that engage in combat had a higher frequency of significantly smaller size in non-native ants. I selected Wasmannia auropunctata for further studies, to compare native and non-native populations. Specimens of W. auropunctata from non-native populations were smaller than conspecific counterparts from its native habitat. I consider hypotheses to explain why non-native ants are smaller in size than native ants, including the role of colony size in interspecific fights, changes in life history, the release from intraspecific fighting, and climate. The discovery that fighting non-natives are smaller than their closest native relatives may provide insight into the mechanisms for success of non-native species, as well as the role of worker size and colony size during interspecific competition.

  14. Colobopsis explodens sp. n., model species for studies on "exploding ants" (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with biological notes and first illustrations of males of the Colobopsis cylindrica group.

    PubMed

    Laciny, Alice; Zettel, Herbert; Kopchinskiy, Alexey; Pretzer, Carina; Pal, Anna; Salim, Kamariah Abu; Rahimi, Mohammad Javad; Hoenigsberger, Michaela; Lim, Linda; Jaitrong, Weeyawat; Druzhinina, Irina S

    2018-01-01

    A taxonomic description of all castes of Colobopsis explodens Laciny & Zettel, sp. n. from Borneo, Thailand, and Malaysia is provided, which serves as a model species for biological studies on "exploding ants" in Southeast Asia. The new species is a member of the Colobopsis cylindrica (COCY) group and falls into a species complex that has been repeatedly summarized under the name Colobopsis saundersi (Emery, 1889) (formerly Camponotus saundersi ). The COCY species group is known under its vernacular name "exploding ants" for a unique behaviour: during territorial combat, workers of some species sacrifice themselves by rupturing their gaster and releasing sticky and irritant contents of their hypertrophied mandibular gland reservoirs to kill or repel rivals. This study includes first illustrations and morphometric characterizations of males of the COCY group: Colobopsis explodens Laciny & Zettel, sp. n. and Colobopsis badia (Smith, 1857). Characters of male genitalia and external morphology are compared with other selected taxa of Camponotini. Preliminary notes on the biology of C. explodens Laciny & Zettel, sp. n. are provided. To fix the species identity of the closely related C. badia , a lectotype from Singapore is designated. The following taxonomic changes within the C. saundersi complex are proposed: Colobopsis solenobia (Menozzi, 1926), syn. n. and Colobopsis trieterica (Menozzi, 1926), syn. n. are synonymized with Colobopsis corallina Roger, 1863, a common endemic species of the Philippines. Colobopsis saginata Stitz, 1925, stat. n ., hitherto a subspecies of C. badia , is raised to species level.

  15. Characterizing and predicting species distributions across environments and scales: Argentine ant occurrences in the eye of the beholder

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Menke, S.B.; Holway, D.A.; Fisher, R.N.; Jetz, W.

    2009-01-01

    Aim: Species distribution models (SDMs) or, more specifically, ecological niche models (ENMs) are a useful and rapidly proliferating tool in ecology and global change biology. ENMs attempt to capture associations between a species and its environment and are often used to draw biological inferences, to predict potential occurrences in unoccupied regions and to forecast future distributions under environmental change. The accuracy of ENMs, however, hinges critically on the quality of occurrence data. ENMs often use haphazardly collected data rather than data collected across the full spectrum of existing environmental conditions. Moreover, it remains unclear how processes affecting ENM predictions operate at different spatial scales. The scale (i.e. grain size) of analysis may be dictated more by the sampling regime than by biologically meaningful processes. The aim of our study is to jointly quantify how issues relating to region and scale affect ENM predictions using an economically important and ecologically damaging invasive species, the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). Location: California, USA. Methods: We analysed the relationship between sampling sufficiency, regional differences in environmental parameter space and cell size of analysis and resampling environmental layers using two independently collected sets of presence/absence data. Differences in variable importance were determined using model averaging and logistic regression. Model accuracy was measured with area under the curve (AUC) and Cohen's kappa. Results: We first demonstrate that insufficient sampling of environmental parameter space can cause large errors in predicted distributions and biological interpretation. Models performed best when they were parametrized with data that sufficiently sampled environmental parameter space. Second, we show that altering the spatial grain of analysis changes the relative importance of different environmental variables. These changes apparently result

  16. A database of marine phytoplankton abundance, biomass and species composition in Australian waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Claire H.; Coughlan, Alex; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf; Ajani, Penelope; Armbrecht, Linda; Atkins, Natalia; Bonham, Prudence; Brett, Steve; Brinkman, Richard; Burford, Michele; Clementson, Lesley; Coad, Peter; Coman, Frank; Davies, Diana; Dela-Cruz, Jocelyn; Devlin, Michelle; Edgar, Steven; Eriksen, Ruth; Furnas, Miles; Hassler, Christel; Hill, David; Holmes, Michael; Ingleton, Tim; Jameson, Ian; Leterme, Sophie C.; Lønborg, Christian; McLaughlin, James; McEnnulty, Felicity; McKinnon, A. David; Miller, Margaret; Murray, Shauna; Nayar, Sasi; Patten, Renee; Pritchard, Tim; Proctor, Roger; Purcell-Meyerink, Diane; Raes, Eric; Rissik, David; Ruszczyk, Jason; Slotwinski, Anita; Swadling, Kerrie M.; Tattersall, Katherine; Thompson, Peter; Thomson, Paul; Tonks, Mark; Trull, Thomas W.; Uribe-Palomino, Julian; Waite, Anya M.; Yauwenas, Rouna; Zammit, Anthony; Richardson, Anthony J.

    2016-06-01

    There have been many individual phytoplankton datasets collected across Australia since the mid 1900s, but most are unavailable to the research community. We have searched archives, contacted researchers, and scanned the primary and grey literature to collate 3,621,847 records of marine phytoplankton species from Australian waters from 1844 to the present. Many of these are small datasets collected for local questions, but combined they provide over 170 years of data on phytoplankton communities in Australian waters. Units and taxonomy have been standardised, obviously erroneous data removed, and all metadata included. We have lodged this dataset with the Australian Ocean Data Network (http://portal.aodn.org.au/) allowing public access. The Australian Phytoplankton Database will be invaluable for global change studies, as it allows analysis of ecological indicators of climate change and eutrophication (e.g., changes in distribution; diatom:dinoflagellate ratios). In addition, the standardised conversion of abundance records to biomass provides modellers with quantifiable data to initialise and validate ecosystem models of lower marine trophic levels.

  17. Semiparametric bivariate zero-inflated Poisson models with application to studies of abundance for multiple species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arab, Ali; Holan, Scott H.; Wikle, Christopher K.; Wildhaber, Mark L.

    2012-01-01

    Ecological studies involving counts of abundance, presence–absence or occupancy rates often produce data having a substantial proportion of zeros. Furthermore, these types of processes are typically multivariate and only adequately described by complex nonlinear relationships involving externally measured covariates. Ignoring these aspects of the data and implementing standard approaches can lead to models that fail to provide adequate scientific understanding of the underlying ecological processes, possibly resulting in a loss of inferential power. One method of dealing with data having excess zeros is to consider the class of univariate zero-inflated generalized linear models. However, this class of models fails to address the multivariate and nonlinear aspects associated with the data usually encountered in practice. Therefore, we propose a semiparametric bivariate zero-inflated Poisson model that takes into account both of these data attributes. The general modeling framework is hierarchical Bayes and is suitable for a broad range of applications. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our model through a motivating example on modeling catch per unit area for multiple species using data from the Missouri River Benthic Fishes Study, implemented by the United States Geological Survey.

  18. A database of marine phytoplankton abundance, biomass and species composition in Australian waters

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Claire H.; Coughlan, Alex; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf; Ajani, Penelope; Armbrecht, Linda; Atkins, Natalia; Bonham, Prudence; Brett, Steve; Brinkman, Richard; Burford, Michele; Clementson, Lesley; Coad, Peter; Coman, Frank; Davies, Diana; Dela-Cruz, Jocelyn; Devlin, Michelle; Edgar, Steven; Eriksen, Ruth; Furnas, Miles; Hassler, Christel; Hill, David; Holmes, Michael; Ingleton, Tim; Jameson, Ian; Leterme, Sophie C.; Lønborg, Christian; McLaughlin, James; McEnnulty, Felicity; McKinnon, A. David; Miller, Margaret; Murray, Shauna; Nayar, Sasi; Patten, Renee; Pritchard, Tim; Proctor, Roger; Purcell-Meyerink, Diane; Raes, Eric; Rissik, David; Ruszczyk, Jason; Slotwinski, Anita; Swadling, Kerrie M.; Tattersall, Katherine; Thompson, Peter; Thomson, Paul; Tonks, Mark; Trull, Thomas W.; Uribe-Palomino, Julian; Waite, Anya M.; Yauwenas, Rouna; Zammit, Anthony; Richardson, Anthony J.

    2016-01-01

    There have been many individual phytoplankton datasets collected across Australia since the mid 1900s, but most are unavailable to the research community. We have searched archives, contacted researchers, and scanned the primary and grey literature to collate 3,621,847 records of marine phytoplankton species from Australian waters from 1844 to the present. Many of these are small datasets collected for local questions, but combined they provide over 170 years of data on phytoplankton communities in Australian waters. Units and taxonomy have been standardised, obviously erroneous data removed, and all metadata included. We have lodged this dataset with the Australian Ocean Data Network (http://portal.aodn.org.au/) allowing public access. The Australian Phytoplankton Database will be invaluable for global change studies, as it allows analysis of ecological indicators of climate change and eutrophication (e.g., changes in distribution; diatom:dinoflagellate ratios). In addition, the standardised conversion of abundance records to biomass provides modellers with quantifiable data to initialise and validate ecosystem models of lower marine trophic levels. PMID:27328409

  19. Imported fire ants in the southeast

    Treesearch

    David F. Williams

    1998-01-01

    Two species of imported fire ants were introduced into the U.S. at Mobile, Alabama. The black imported fire ant, Solenopsis richteri Forel, was introduced around the early 1900's while the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren entered in the late 1930' or early 1940's. The red imported fire ant is the most...

  20. Sex Attractant Pheromones of Virgin Queens of Sympatric Slave-Making Ant Species in the Genus Polyergus, and their Possible Roles in Reproductive Isolation.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Les; Johnson, Christine A; Trager, James C; McElfresh, J Steven; Rodstein, Joshua; Millar, Jocelyn G

    2018-06-01

    Species of the ant genus Polyergus are social parasites that steal brood from colonies of their hosts in the closely related genus Formica. Upon emergence as adults in a mixed population, host Formica workers carry out all the normal worker functions within the Polyergus colony, including foraging, feeding, grooming, and rearing brood of the parasitic Polyergus ants. Some unmated Polyergus gynes (queens) run in the raiding columns of their colonies and attract males by releasing a pheromone from their mandibular glands. There are two Polyergus species groups in North America: an eastern P. lucidus group and a western P. breviceps group. One species of each of these groups, P. lucidus Mayr and P. mexicanus Emery, are sympatric in Missouri. In this study, we characterized the sex pheromones of virgin queens of two species of the P. lucidus group (P. lucidus sensu stricto and P. sanwaldi) and one species of the P. breviceps group (P. mexicanus), and compared these with the previously identified sex pheromone of P. topoffi of the P. breviceps group. We then used sex pheromone blends reconstructed from synthesized components of the two groups to test their efficacy at reproductively isolating these species. We found that methyl 6-methylsalicylate is conserved as the major component of the pheromone blends for both Polyergus species groups; however, methyl (R)-3-ethyl-4-methylpentanoate is the species-specific minor component produced by P. lucidus group queens, and (R)-3-ethyl-4-methylpentan-1-ol is the crucial minor component for P. breviceps group queens. The optimal ratio of the major and minor components for P. lucidus group queens was about 100:1 salicylate to ester. In concurrent field trials in Missouri, males of P. lucidus sensu stricto and P. mexicanus (a member of the P. breviceps group) were attracted almost exclusively to their particular blends of sex pheromone components. To our knowledge, this is the first example of a possible sex

  1. Physical factors affecting the abundance and species richness of fishes in the shallow waters of the southern Bothnian Sea (Sweden)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorman, Staffan

    1986-03-01

    The relationship between the composition of the fish assemblages and the abiotic environment in seven shallow areas within the same geographical range in the southern Bothnian Sea were studied in May, July, September and November 1982. Eighteen species were found in the areas and the major species were Pungitius pungitius (L.), Pomatoschistus minutus (Pallas), Gasterosteus aculeatus (L.), Phoxinus phoxinus (L.), Pomatoschistus microps (Krøyer) and Gobius niger L. The main purpose of the study was to examine the possible effects of exposure, organic contents in sediments and habitat heterogeneity on species richness and abundance of the assemblages. There was a negative correlation between the organic contents of the sediment and exposure. There were no significant correlations between exposure, organic contents, size of the areas and species numbers but habitat heterogeneity was positively correlated with species number. There were no correlations between fish abundance and heterogeneity of the areas. Negative correlations occurred between the exposure of the areas and fish abundance. The amounts of the pooled benthic fauna were negatively correlated to the exposure. The species/area hypothesis finds no support in the results, because there was no correlation between habitat heterogeneity of an area and its size. The effective fetch combined with the heterogeneity measurement of the areas seemed to be useful indicators of the species composition and fish abundance. Habitat heterogeneity and exposure were the most important structuring factors of these shallow water fish assemblages during the ice-free period and within the local geographical range. The assemblages consist of a mixture of species with marine or limnic origin and they have probably not evolved in the Bothnian Sea or together. They are most likely regulated by their physiological plasticity and not by interactions with other species.

  2. Colonial, more widely distributed and less abundant bird species undergo wider population fluctuations independent of their population trend

    PubMed Central

    Møller, Anders P.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding temporal variability in population size is important for conservation biology because wide population fluctuations increase the risk of extinction. Previous studies suggested that certain ecological, demographic, life-history and genetic characteristics of species might be related to the degree of their population fluctuations. We checked whether that was the case in a large sample of 231 European breeding bird species while taking a number of potentially confounding factors such as population trends or similarities among species due to common descent into account. When species-specific characteristics were analysed one by one, the magnitude of population fluctuations was positively related to coloniality, habitat, total breeding range, heterogeneity of breeding distribution and natal dispersal, and negatively related to urbanisation, abundance, relative number of subspecies, parasitism and proportion of polymorphic loci. However, when abundance (population size) was included in the analyses of the other parameters, only coloniality, habitat, total breeding range and abundance remained significantly related to population fluctuations. The analysis including all these predictors simultaneously showed that population size fluctuated more in colonial, less abundant species with larger breeding ranges. Other parameters seemed to be related to population fluctuations only because of their association with abundance or coloniality. The unexpected positive relationship between population fluctuations and total breeding range did not seem to be mediated by abundance. The link between population fluctuations and coloniality suggests a previously unrecognized cost of coloniality. The negative relationship between population size and population fluctuations might be explained by at least three types of non-mutually exclusive stochastic processes: demographic, environmental and genetic stochasticity. Measurement error in population indices, which was unknown, may

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Disentangling the Diversity of Arboreal Ant Communities in Tropical Forest Trees

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Tropical canopies are known for their high abundance and diversity of ants. However, the factors which enable coexistence of so many species in trees, and in particular, the role of foragers in determining local diversity, are not well understood. We censused nesting and foraging arboreal ant communities in two 0.32 ha plots of primary and secondary lowland rainforest in New Guinea and explored their species diversity and composition. Null models were used to test if the records of species foraging (but not nesting) in a tree were dependent on the spatial distribution of nests in surrounding trees. In total, 102 ant species from 389 trees occurred in the primary plot compared with only 50 species from 295 trees in the secondary forest plot. However, there was only a small difference in mean ant richness per tree between primary and secondary forest (3.8 and 3.3 sp. respectively) and considerably lower richness per tree was found only when nests were considered (1.5 sp. in both forests). About half of foraging individuals collected in a tree belonged to species which were not nesting in that tree. Null models showed that the ants foraging but not nesting in a tree are more likely to nest in nearby trees than would be expected at random. The effects of both forest stage and tree size traits were similar regardless of whether only foragers, only nests, or both datasets combined were considered. However, relative abundance distributions of species differed between foraging and nesting communities. The primary forest plot was dominated by native ant species, whereas invasive species were common in secondary forest. This study demonstrates the high contribution of foragers to arboreal ant diversity, indicating an important role of connectivity between trees, and also highlights the importance of primary vegetation for the conservation of native ant communities. PMID:25714831

  5. Effects of weather on the abundance and distribution on populations of 103 breeding bird species across the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allstadt, A. J.; Gorzo, J.; Bateman, B. L.; Heglund, P. J.; Pidgeon, A. M.; Thogmartin, W.; Vavrus, S. J.; Radeloff, V.

    2016-12-01

    Often, fewer birds are often observed in an area experiencing extreme weather, as local populations tend to leave an area (via out-migration or concentration in refugia) or experience a change in population size (via mortality or reduced fecundity). Further, weather patterns are often coherent over large areas so unsuitable weather may threaten large portions of an entire species range simultaneously. However, beyond a few iconic irruptive species, rarely have studies applied both the necessary scale and sensitivity required to assess avian population responses over entire species range. Here, we examined the effects of pre-breeding season weather on the distribution and abundances of 103 North American bird species from the late 1966-2010 using observed abundance records from the Breeding Bird Survey. We compared abundances with measures of drought and temperature over each species' range, and with three atmospheric teleconnections that describe large-scale circulation patterns influencing conditions on the ground. More than 90% of the species responded to at least one of our five weather variables. Grassland bird species tended to be most responsive to weather conditions and forest birds the least, though we found relations among all habitat types. For most species, the response was movement rather than large effects on the overall population size. Maps of these responses indicate that concentration and out-migration are both common strategies for coping with challenging weather conditions across a species range. The dynamic distribution of many bird species makes clear the need to account for temporal variability in conservation planning, as areas that are less important for a species' breeding success in most years may be very important in years with abnormal weather conditions.

  6. Climate warming increases biodiversity of small rodents by favoring rare or less abundant species in a grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Guangshun; Liu, Jun; Xu, Lei; Yu, Guirui; He, Honglin; Zhang, Zhibin

    2013-06-01

    Our Earth is facing the challenge of accelerating climate change, which imposes a great threat to biodiversity. Many published studies suggest that climate warming may cause a dramatic decline in biodiversity, especially in colder and drier regions. In this study, we investigated the effects of temperature, precipitation and a normalized difference vegetation index on biodiversity indices of rodent communities in the current or previous year for both detrended and nondetrended data in semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia during 1982-2006. Our results demonstrate that temperature showed predominantly positive effects on the biodiversity of small rodents; precipitation showed both positive and negative effects; a normalized difference vegetation index showed positive effects; and cross-correlation function values between rodent abundance and temperature were negatively correlated with rodent abundance. Our results suggest that recent climate warming increased the biodiversity of small rodents by providing more benefits to population growth of rare or less abundant species than that of more abundant species in Inner Mongolia grassland, which does not support the popular view that global warming would decrease biodiversity in colder and drier regions. We hypothesized that higher temperatures might benefit rare or less abundant species (with smaller populations and more folivorous diets) by reducing the probability of local extinction and/or by increasing herbaceous food resources. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  8. Predicting foundation bunchgrass species abundances: Model-assisted decision-making in protected-area sagebrush steppe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodhouse, Thomas J.; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Sheley, Roger L.; Smith, Brenda S.; Hoh, Shirley; Esposito, Daniel M.; Mata-Gonzalez, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    Foundation species are structurally dominant members of ecological communities that can stabilize ecological processes and influence resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasion. Being common, they are often overlooked for conservation but are increasingly threatened from land use change, biological invasions, and over-exploitation. The pattern of foundation species abundances over space and time may be used to guide decision-making, particularly in protected areas for which they are iconic. We used ordinal logistic regression to identify the important environmental influences on the abundance patterns of bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), Thurber's needlegrass (Achnatherum thurberianum), and Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda) in protected-area sagebrush steppe. We then predicted bunchgrass abundances along gradients of topography, disturbance, and invasive annual grass abundance. We used model predictions to prioritize the landscape for implementation of a management and restoration decision-support tool. Models were fit to categorical estimates of grass cover obtained from an extensive ground-based monitoring dataset. We found that remnant stands of abundant wheatgrass and bluegrass were associated with steep north-facing slopes in higher and more remote portions of the landscape outside of recently burned areas where invasive annual grasses were less abundant. These areas represented only 25% of the landscape and were prioritized for protection efforts. Needlegrass was associated with south-facing slopes, but in low abundance and in association with invasive cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Abundances of all three species were strongly negatively correlated with occurrence of another invasive annual grass, medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae). The rarity of priority bunchgrass stands underscored the extent of degradation and the need for prioritization. We found no evidence that insularity reduced invasibility; annual grass invasion represents

  9. Comparative physical mapping of 18S rDNA in the karyotypes of six leafcutter ant species of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex (Formicidae: Myrmicinae).

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Gisele Amaro; Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; de Aguiar, Hilton Jeferson Alves Cardoso; das Graças Pompolo, Silvia

    2017-10-01

    Leafcutter ants of the Atta and Acromyrmex genera are important plagues in different cultures. Cytogenetic data on chromosome number, morphology, and chromosomal banding pattern are only available for 17 species of leafcutter ants. Molecular cytogenetic data for the detection of ribosomal genes by the FISH technique are scarce, and only 15 Neotropical ant species have been studied. This study aimed to physically map the 18S ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) of six leafcutter ants belonging to the genera Atta and Acromyrmex using FISH. The results were compared with data on the fluorochrome CMA 3 currently available for these species. All analyzed species presented the 18S rDNA on one pair of chromosomes. In Acromyrmex subterraneus molestans and Ac. aspersus, FISH signals were observed in the terminal region of the short arm of the largest subtelocentric pair, while in Atta bisphaerica, A. laevigata, and A. sexdens, FISH signals were observed in the interstitial region of the long arm of the fourth metacentric pair. In Acromyrmex striatus, 18S rDNA was located in the interstitial region of the second metacentric pair. The karyotypic formula for Ac. aspersus was 2n = 38 (8m + 10sm + 16st + 4a), representing the first report in this species. The observed 18S rDNA regions in A. laevigata, A. sexdens, A. bisphaerica, Ac. aspersus, and Ac. subterraneus molestans corresponded to the CMA 3 + bands, while in Ac. striatus, several GC-rich bands and one pair of 18S rDNA bands were observed. No differential bands were visible using the DAPI fluorochrome. Karyotype uniformity with previously studied Atta spp. was also observed at the level of molecular cytogenetics using 18S rDNA FISH. A difference in the size of the chromosomal pair carrying the 18S rDNA gene was observed in Ac. striatus (2n = 22) and Atta spp. (2n = 22) highlighting the dissimilarity between these species. The results from the present study contribute to the description of 18S rDNA clusters

  10. Seasonal abundance and habitat use of bird species in and around Wondo Genet Forest, south-central Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Girma, Zerihun; Mamo, Yosef; Mengesha, Girma; Verma, Ashok; Asfaw, Tsyon

    2017-05-01

    The habitat use and seasonal migratory pattern of birds in Ethiopia is less explored as compared to diversity studies. To this end, this study aimed at investigating the patterns of distribution related to seasonality and the effect of habitat characteristics (elevation, slope, and average vegetation height) on habitat use of birds of Wondo Genet Forest Patch. A stratified random sampling design was used to assess the avian fauna across the four dominant habitat types found in the study area: natural forest, wooded grassland, grassland, and agroforestry land. A point transect count was employed to investigate avian species richness and abundance per habitat type per season. Ancillary data, such as elevation above sea level, latitude and longitude, average vegetation height, and percent slope inclination, were recorded with a GPS and clinometers per plot. A total of 33 migratory bird species were recorded from the area, of which 20 species were northern (Palearctic) migrants while 13 were inter-African migrants. There was a significant difference in the mean abundance of migratory bird species between dry and wet seasons ( t  = 2.13, p  = .038, df  = 44). The variation in mean abundance per plot between the dry and wet seasons in the grassland habitat was significant ( t  = 2.35, p  = .051, df  = 7). In most habitat types during both dry and wet seasons, omnivore birds were the most abundant. While slope was a good predictor for bird species abundance in the dry season, altitude and average vegetation height accounted more in the wet season. The patch of forest and its surrounding is an important bird area for migratory, endemic, and global threatened species. Hence, it is conservation priority area, and the study suggests that conservation coupled with ecotourism development is needed for its sustainability.

  11. Building essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) of species distribution and abundance at a global scale.

    PubMed

    Kissling, W Daniel; Ahumada, Jorge A; Bowser, Anne; Fernandez, Miguel; Fernández, Néstor; García, Enrique Alonso; Guralnick, Robert P; Isaac, Nick J B; Kelling, Steve; Los, Wouter; McRae, Louise; Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste; Obst, Matthias; Santamaria, Monica; Skidmore, Andrew K; Williams, Kristen J; Agosti, Donat; Amariles, Daniel; Arvanitidis, Christos; Bastin, Lucy; De Leo, Francesca; Egloff, Willi; Elith, Jane; Hobern, Donald; Martin, David; Pereira, Henrique M; Pesole, Graziano; Peterseil, Johannes; Saarenmaa, Hannu; Schigel, Dmitry; Schmeller, Dirk S; Segata, Nicola; Turak, Eren; Uhlir, Paul F; Wee, Brian; Hardisty, Alex R

    2018-02-01

    Much biodiversity data is collected worldwide, but it remains challenging to assemble the scattered knowledge for assessing biodiversity status and trends. The concept of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) was introduced to structure biodiversity monitoring globally, and to harmonize and standardize biodiversity data from disparate sources to capture a minimum set of critical variables required to study, report and manage biodiversity change. Here, we assess the challenges of a 'Big Data' approach to building global EBV data products across taxa and spatiotemporal scales, focusing on species distribution and abundance. The majority of currently available data on species distributions derives from incidentally reported observations or from surveys where presence-only or presence-absence data are sampled repeatedly with standardized protocols. Most abundance data come from opportunistic population counts or from population time series using standardized protocols (e.g. repeated surveys of the same population from single or multiple sites). Enormous complexity exists in integrating these heterogeneous, multi-source data sets across space, time, taxa and different sampling methods. Integration of such data into global EBV data products requires correcting biases introduced by imperfect detection and varying sampling effort, dealing with different spatial resolution and extents, harmonizing measurement units from different data sources or sampling methods, applying statistical tools and models for spatial inter- or extrapolation, and quantifying sources of uncertainty and errors in data and models. To support the development of EBVs by the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), we identify 11 key workflow steps that will operationalize the process of building EBV data products within and across research infrastructures worldwide. These workflow steps take multiple sequential activities into account, including identification and

  12. Density-dependent seedling mortality varies with light availability and species abundance in wet and dry Hawaiian forests

    Treesearch

    Faith Inman-Narahari; Rebecca Ostertag; Stephen P. Hubbell; Christian P. Giardina; Susan Cordell; Lawren Sack; Andrew MacDougall

    2016-01-01

    Conspecific density may contribute to patterns of species assembly through negative density dependence (NDD) as predicted by the Janzen-Connell hypothesis, or through facilitation (positive density dependence; PDD). Conspecific density effects are expected to be more negative in darker and wetter environments due to higher pathogen abundance and...

  13. A comparison of bird species composition and abundance between late- and mid-seral ponderosa pine forests

    Treesearch

    T. Luke George; Steve Zack; William F. Jr. Laudenslayer

    2005-01-01

    We compared the relative abundance of bird species between two ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests in northeastern California: one with a canopy of large old-growth trees present (Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest, BMEF) and the other with large trees essentially absent (Goosenest Adaptive Management Area, GAMA). We surveyed 24 units at BMEF...

  14. Importance of scale, land cover, and weather on the abundance of bird species in a managed forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grinde, Alexis R.; Hiemi, Gerald J.; Sturtevant, Brian R.; Panci, Hannah; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Wolter, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and habitat loss are projected to be the two greatest drivers of biodiversity loss over the coming century. While public lands have the potential to increase regional resilience of bird populations to these threats, long-term data are necessary to document species responses to changes in climate and habitat to better understand population vulnerabilities. We used generalized linear mixed models to determine the importance of stand-level characteristics, multi-scale land cover, and annual weather factors to the abundance of 61 bird species over a 20-year time frame in Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota, USA. Of the 61 species modeled, we were able to build final models with R-squared values that ranged from 26% to 69% for 37 species; the remaining 24 species models had issues with convergence or low explanatory power (R-squared < 20%). Models for the 37 species show that stand-level characteristics, land cover factors, and annual weather effects on species abundance were species-specific and varied within guilds. Forty-one percent of the final species models included stand-level characteristics, 92% included land cover variables at the 200 m scale, 51% included land cover variables at the 500 m scale, 46% included land cover variables at the 1000 m scale, and 38% included weather variables in best models. Three species models (8%) included significant weather and land cover interaction terms. Overall, models indicated that aboveground tree biomass and land cover variables drove changes in the majority of species. Of those species models including weather variables, more included annual variation in precipitation or drought than temperature. Annual weather variability was significantly more likely to impact abundance of species associated with deciduous forests and bird species that are considered climate sensitive. The long-term data and models we developed are particularly suited to informing science-based adaptive forest management plans that

  15. Variation in spatial scale of competing polydomous twig-nesting ants in coffee agroecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A.; Philpott, Stacy M.; Ramirez, Santiago R.

    2016-01-01

    Arboreal ants are both highly diverse and ecologically dominant in the tropics. This ecologically important group is particularly useful in ongoing efforts to understand processes that regulate species diversity and coexistence. Our study addresses how polydomy can influence patterns of nest occupation in competing arboreal ants. We examined the spatial structure of nest occupation (nest distance, abundance and density) in three polydomous co-occurring twig-nesting ant species (Pseudomyrmex simplex, P. ejectus and P. PSW-53) by mapping twigs occupied by ants from each species within plots in our study site. We then used two colony structure estimators (intraspecific aggression and cuticular hydrocarbon variation) to determine the relative degree of polydomy for each species. All work was conducted in coffee agroforests in Chiapas, Mexico. Our results revealed that the two species with highest abundance and nest density were also highly polydomous, where both species had either single or multiple non-aggressive colonies occupying nests on a large spatial scale (greater than the hectare level). Our results also indicate that the species with the lowest abundance and density is less polydomous, occupying several overlapping and territorial colonies at the hectare level in which multiple colonies never co-occur on the same host plant. These results contribute evidence that successful coexistence and highly polydomous colony structure may allow ants, through reduced intraspecific aggression, to successfully occupy more nests more densely than ant species that have multiple territorial colonies. Furthermore our study highlights the importance of considering intraspecific interactions when examining community assembly of ants. PMID:27795573

  16. Shotgun mitogenomics across body size classes in a local assemblage of tropical Diptera: Phylogeny, species diversity and mitochondrial abundance spectrum.

    PubMed

    Choo, Le Qin; Crampton-Platt, Alex; Vogler, Alfried P

    2017-10-01

    Mitochondrial genomes can be assembled readily from shotgun-sequenced DNA mixtures of mass-trapped arthropods ("mitochondrial metagenomics"), speeding up the taxonomic characterization. Bulk sequencing was conducted on some 800 individuals of Diptera obtained by canopy fogging of a single tree in Borneo dominated by small (<1.5 mm) individuals. Specimens were split into five body size classes for DNA extraction, to equalize read numbers across specimens and to study how body size, a key ecological trait, interacts with species and phylogenetic diversity. Genome assembly produced 304 orthologous mitochondrial contigs presumed to each represent a different species. The small-bodied fraction was the by far most species-rich (187 contigs). Identification of contigs was through phylogenetic analysis together with 56 reference mitogenomes, which placed most of the Bornean community into seven clades of small-bodied species, indicating phylogenetic conservation of body size. Mapping of shotgun reads against the mitogenomes showed wide ranges of read abundances within each size class. Ranked read abundance plots were largely log-linear, indicating a uniformly filled abundance spectrum, especially for small-bodied species. Small-bodied species differed greatly from other size classes in neutral metacommunity parameters, exhibiting greater levels of immigration, besides greater total community size. We suggest that the established uses of mitochondrial metagenomics for analysis of species and phylogenetic diversity can be extended to parameterize recent theories of community ecology and biodiversity, and by focusing on the number mitochondria, rather than individuals, a new theoretical framework for analysis of mitochondrial abundance spectra can be developed that incorporates metabolic activity approximated by the count of mitochondria. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  19. The Impact of Land Abandonment on Species Richness and Abundance in the Mediterranean Basin: A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Plieninger, Tobias; Hui, Cang; Gaertner, Mirijam; Huntsinger, Lynn

    2014-01-01

    Land abandonment is common in the Mediterranean Basin, a global biodiversity hotspot, but little is known about its impacts on biodiversity. To upscale existing case-study insights to the Pan-Mediterranean level, we conducted a meta-analysis of the effects of land abandonment on plant and animal species richness and abundance in agroforestry, arable land, pastures, and permanent crops of the Mediterranean Basin. In particular, we investigated (1) which taxonomic groups (arthropods, birds, lichen, vascular plants) are more affected by land abandonment; (2) at which spatial and temporal scales the effect of land abandonment on species richness and abundance is pronounced; (3) whether previous land use and current protected area status affect the magnitude of changes in the number and abundance of species; and (4) how prevailing landforms and climate modify the impacts of land abandonment. After identifying 1240 potential studies, 154 cases from 51 studies that offered comparisons of species richness and abundance and had results relevant to our four areas of investigation were selected for meta-analysis. Results are that land abandonment showed slightly increased (effect size  = 0.2109, P<0.0001) plant and animal species richness and abundance overall, though results were heterogeneous, with differences in effect size between taxa, spatial-temporal scales, land uses, landforms, and climate. In conclusion, there is no “one-size-fits-all” conservation approach that applies to the diverse contexts of land abandonment in the Mediterranean Basin. Instead, conservation policies should strive to increase awareness of this heterogeneity and the potential trade-offs after abandonment. The strong role of factors at the farm and landscape scales that was revealed by the analysis indicates that purposeful management at these scales can have a powerful impact on biodiversity. PMID:24865979

  20. Species composition, diversity and relative abundance of amphibians in forests and non-forest habitats on Langkawi Island, Peninsular Malaysia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nur Johana, J.; Muzzneena, A. M.; Grismer, L. L.; Norhayati, A.

    2016-11-01

    Anurans on Langkawi Island, Peninsular Malaysia exhibit variation in their habits and forms, ranging from small (SVL < 25 mm) to large (SVL > 150 mm), and occupy a range of habitats, such as riverine forests, agricultural fields, peat swamps, and lowland and upland dipterocarp forests. These variations provide a platform to explore species diversity, distribution, abundance, microhabitat, and other ecological parameters to understand the distribution patterns and to facilitate conservation and management of sensitive or important species and areas. The objective of this study was to evaluate the diversity and distribution of anuran species in different types of habitat on Langkawi Island. Specimens were collected based on active sampling using the Visual Encounter Survey (VES) method. We surveyed anuran species inhabiting seven types of habitat, namely agriculture (AG), coastal (CL), forest (FT), pond (PD), mangrove (MG), riparian forest (RF) and river (RV). A total of 775 individuals were sampled from all localities, representing 23 species from 12 genera and included all six families of frogs in Malaysia. FT and RF showed high values of Shannon Index, H', 2.60 and 2.38, respectively, followed by the other types of habitat, CL (1.82), RV (1.71), MG (1.56), PD (1.54), and AG (1.53). AG had the highest abundance (156 individuals) compared to other habitat types. Based on Cluster Analysis by using Jaccard coefficient (UPGMA), two groups can be clearly seen and assigned as forested species group (FT and RF) and species associating with human activity (AG, CL, PD, MG and RV). Forest species group is more diverse compared to non-forest group. Nevertheless, non-forest species are found in abundance, highlighting the relevance of these disturbed habitats in supporting the amphibians.

  1. Non-additive benefit or cost? Disentangling the indirect effects that occur when plants bearing extrafloral nectaries and honeydew-producing insects share exotic ant mutualists.

    PubMed

    Savage, Amy M; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-06-01

    In complex communities, organisms often form mutualisms with multiple different partners simultaneously. Non-additive effects may emerge among species linked by these positive interactions. Ants commonly participate in mutualisms with both honeydew-producing insects (HPI) and their extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing host plants. Consequently, HPI and EFN-bearing plants may experience non-additive benefits or costs when these groups co-occur. The outcomes of these interactions are likely to be influenced by variation in preferences among ants for honeydew vs. nectar. In this study, a test was made for non-additive effects on HPI and EFN-bearing plants resulting from sharing exotic ant guards. Preferences of the dominant exotic ant species for nectar vs. honeydew resources were also examined. Ant access, HPI and nectar availability were manipulated on the EFN-bearing shrub, Morinda citrifolia, and ant and HPI abundances, herbivory and plant growth were assessed. Ant-tending behaviours toward HPI across an experimental gradient of nectar availability were also tracked in order to investigate mechanisms underlying ant responses. The dominant ant species, Anoplolepis gracilipes, differed from less invasive ants in response to multiple mutualists, with reductions in plot-wide abundances when nectar was reduced, but no response to HPI reduction. Conversely, at sites where A. gracilipes was absent or rare, abundances of less invasive ants increased when nectar was reduced, but declined when HPI were reduced. Non-additive benefits were found at sites dominated by A. gracilipes, but only for M. citrifolia plants. Responses of HPI at these sites supported predictions of the non-additive cost model. Interestingly, the opposite non-additive patterns emerged at sites dominated by other ants. It was demonstrated that strong non-additive benefits and costs can both occur when a plant and herbivore share mutualist partners. These findings suggest that broadening the community

  2. Tree hole mosquito species composition and relative abundances differ between urban and adjacent forest habitats in northwestern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Mangudo, C; Aparicio, J P; Rossi, G C; Gleiser, R M

    2018-04-01

    Water-holding tree holes are main larval habitats for many pathogen vectors, especially mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). Along 3 years, the diversity and composition of mosquito species in tree holes of two neighbouring but completely different environments, a city and its adjacent forest, were compared using generalized linear mixed models, PERMANOVA, SIMPER and species association indexes. The city area (Northwest Argentina) is highly relevant epidemiologically due to the presence of Aedes aegypti L. (main dengue vector) and occurrence of dengue outbreaks; the Yungas rainforests are highly biologically diverse. In total seven mosquito species were recorded, in descending order of abundance: Ae. aegypti, Haemagogus spegazzinii Brèthes, Sabethes purpureus (Theobald), Toxorhynchites guadeloupensis Dyar and Knab, Aedes terrens Walker, Haemagogus leucocelaenus Dyar & Shannon and Sabethes petrocchiae (Shannon and Del Ponte). The seven mosquito species were recorded in both city sites and forested areas; however, their mosquito communities significantly diverged because of marked differences in the frequency and relative abundance of some species: Tx. guadeloupensis and Ae. aegypti were significantly more abundant in forest and urban areas, respectively. Positive significant associations were detected between Ae. aegypti, Hg. spegazzinii and Hg. leucocelaenus. The combined presence of Ae. aegypti, Haemagogus and Sabethes in the area also highlight a potential risk of yellow fever epidemics. Overall results show an impoverished tree hole mosquito fauna in urban environments, reflecting negative effects of urbanization on mosquito diversity.

  3. Valuing the Recreational Benefits of Wetland Adaptation to Climate Change: A Trade-off Between Species' Abundance and Diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faccioli, Michela; Riera Font, Antoni; Torres Figuerola, Catalina M.

    2015-03-01

    Climate change will further exacerbate wetland deterioration, especially in the Mediterranean region. On the one side, it will accelerate the decline in the populations and species of plants and animals, this resulting in an impoverishment of biological abundance. On the other one, it will also promote biotic homogenization, resulting in a loss of species' diversity. In this context, different climate change adaptation policies can be designed: those oriented to recovering species' abundance and those aimed at restoring species' diversity. Based on the awareness that knowledge about visitors' preferences is crucial to better inform policy makers and secure wetlands' public use and conservation, this paper assesses the recreational benefits of different adaptation options through a choice experiment study carried out in S'Albufera wetland (Mallorca). Results show that visitors display positive preferences for an increase in both species' abundance and diversity, although they assign a higher value to the latter, thus suggesting a higher social acceptability of policies pursuing wetlands' differentiation. This finding acquires special relevance not only for adaptation management in wetlands but also for tourism planning, as most visitors to S'Albufera are tourists. Thus, given the growing competition to attract visitors and the increasing demand for high environmental quality and unique experiences, promoting wetlands' differentiation could be a good strategy to gain competitive advantage over other wetland areas and tourism destinations.

  4. The adaptive significance of phasic colony cycles in army ants.

    PubMed

    Garnier, Simon; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2017-09-07

    Army ants are top arthropod predators in tropical forests around the world. The colonies of many army ant species undergo stereotypical behavioral and reproductive cycles, alternating between brood care and reproductive phases. In the brood care phase, colonies contain a cohort of larvae that are synchronized in their development and have to be fed. In the reproductive phase larvae are absent and oviposition takes place. Despite these colony cycles being a striking feature of army ant biology, their adaptive significance is unclear. Here we use a modeling approach to show that cyclic reproduction is favored under conditions where per capita foraging costs decrease with the number of larvae in a colony ("High Cost of Entry" scenario), while continuous reproduction is favored under conditions where per capita foraging costs increase with the number of larvae ("Resource Exhaustion" scenario). We argue that the former scenario specifically applies to army ants, because large raiding parties are required to overpower prey colonies. However, once raiding is successful it provides abundant food for a large cohort of larvae. The latter scenario, on the other hand, will apply to non-army ants, because in those species local resource depletion will force workers to forage over larger distances to feed large larval cohorts. Our model provides a quantitative framework for understanding the adaptive value of phasic colony cycles in ants. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Where to nest? Ecological determinants of chimpanzee nest abundance and distribution at the habitat and tree species scale.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Joana S; Meyer, Christoph F J; Vicente, Luis; Marques, Tiago A

    2015-02-01

    Conversion of forests to anthropogenic land-uses increasingly subjects chimpanzee populations to habitat changes and concomitant alterations in the plant resources available to them for nesting and feeding. Based on nest count surveys conducted during the dry season, we investigated nest tree species selection and the effect of vegetation attributes on nest abundance of the western chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes verus, at Lagoas de Cufada Natural Park (LCNP), Guinea-Bissau, a forest-savannah mosaic widely disturbed by humans. Further, we assessed patterns of nest height distribution to determine support for the anti-predator hypothesis. A zero-altered generalized linear mixed model showed that nest abundance was negatively related to floristic diversity (exponential form of the Shannon index) and positively with the availability of smaller-sized trees, reflecting characteristics of dense-canopy forest. A positive correlation between nest abundance and floristic richness (number of plant species) and composition indicated that species-rich open habitats are also important in nest site selection. Restricting this analysis to feeding trees, nest abundance was again positively associated with the availability of smaller-sized trees, further supporting the preference for nesting in food tree species from dense forest. Nest tree species selection was non-random, and oil palms were used at a much lower proportion (10%) than previously reported from other study sites in forest-savannah mosaics. While this study suggests that human disturbance may underlie the exclusive arboreal nesting at LCNP, better quantitative data are needed to determine to what extent the construction of elevated nests is in fact a response to predators able to climb trees. Given the importance of LCNP as refuge for Pan t. verus our findings can improve conservation decisions for the management of this important umbrella species as well as its remaining suitable habitats. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Combining counts and incidence data: an efficient approach for estimating the log-normal species abundance distribution and diversity indices.

    PubMed

    Bellier, Edwige; Grøtan, Vidar; Engen, Steinar; Schartau, Ann Kristin; Diserud, Ola H; Finstad, Anders G

    2012-10-01

    Obtaining accurate estimates of diversity indices is difficult because the number of species encountered in a sample increases with sampling intensity. We introduce a novel method that requires that the presence of species in a sample to be assessed while the counts of the number of individuals per species are only required for just a small part of the sample. To account for species included as incidence data in the species abundance distribution, we modify the likelihood function of the classical Poisson log-normal distribution. Using simulated community assemblages, we contrast diversity estimates based on a community sample, a subsample randomly extracted from the community sample, and a mixture sample where incidence data are added to a subsample. We show that the mixture sampling approach provides more accurate estimates than the subsample and at little extra cost. Diversity indices estimated from a freshwater zooplankton community sampled using the mixture approach show the same pattern of results as the simulation study. Our method efficiently increases the accuracy of diversity estimates and comprehension of the left tail of the species abundance distribution. We show how to choose the scale of sample size needed for a compromise between information gained, accuracy of the estimates and cost expended when assessing biological diversity. The sample size estimates are obtained from key community characteristics, such as the expected number of species in the community, the expected number of individuals in a sample and the evenness of the community.

  7. Spatial patterns of distribution, abundance, and species diversity of small odontocetes estimated using density surface modeling with line transect sampling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanaji, Yu; Okazaki, Makoto; Miyashita, Tomio

    2017-06-01

    Spatial patterns of distribution, abundance, and species diversity of small odontocetes including species in the Delphinidae and Phocoenidae families were investigated using long-term dedicated sighting survey data collected between 1983 and 2006 in the North Pacific. Species diversity indices were calculated from abundance estimated using density surface modeling of line-transect data. The estimated abundance ranged from 19,521 individuals in killer whale to 1,886,022 in pantropical spotted dolphin. The predicted density maps showed that the habitats of small odontocetes corresponded well with distinct oceanic domains. Species richness was estimated to be highest between 30 and 40°N where warm- and cold-water currents converge. Simpson's Diversity Index showed latitudinal diversity gradients of decreasing species numbers toward the poles. Higher diversity was also estimated in the coastal areas and the zonal areas around 35-42°N. Coastal-offshore gradients and latitudinal gradients are known for many taxa. The zonal areas around 35°N and 40°N coincide with the Kuroshio Current and its extension and the subarctic boundary, respectively. These results suggest that the species diversity of small odontocetes primarily follows general patterns of latitudinal and longitudinal gradients, while the confluence of faunas originating in distinct water masses increases species diversify in frontal waters around 30-40°N. Population densities tended to be higher for the species inhabiting higher latitudes, but were highest for intermediate latitudes at approximately 35-40°N. According to latitudinal gradients in water temperature and biological productivity, the costs for thermoregulation will decrease in warmer low latitudes, while feeding efficiency will increase in colder high latitudes. These trade-offs could optimize population density in intermediate latitudes.

  8. Power to detect trends in abundance of secretive marsh birds: effects of species traits and sampling effort

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steidl, Robert J.; Conway, Courtney J.; Litt, Andrea R.

    2013-01-01

    Standardized protocols for surveying secretive marsh birds have been implemented across North America, but the efficacy of surveys to detect population trends has not been evaluated. We used survey data collected from populations of marsh birds across North America and simulations to explore how characteristics of bird populations (proportion of survey stations occupied, abundance at occupied stations, and detection probability) and aspects of sampling effort (numbers of survey routes, stations/route, and surveys/station/year) affect statistical power to detect trends in abundance of marsh bird populations. In general, the proportion of survey stations along a route occupied by a species had a greater relative effect on power to detect trends than did the number of birds detected per survey at occupied stations. Uncertainty introduced by imperfect detection during surveys reduced power to detect trends considerably, but across the range of detection probabilities for most species of marsh birds, variation in detection probability had only a minor influence on power. For species that occupy a relatively high proportion of survey stations (0.20), have relatively high abundances at occupied stations (2.0 birds/station), and have high detection probability (0.50), ≥40 routes with 10 survey stations per route surveyed 3 times per year would provide an 80% chance of detecting a 3% annual decrease in abundance after 20 years of surveys. Under the same assumptions but for species that are less common, ≥100 routes would be needed to achieve the same power. Our results can help inform the design of programs to monitor trends in abundance of marsh bird populations, especially with regards to the amount of sampling effort necessary to meet programmatic goals.

  9. Determining the Diversity and Species Abundance Patterns in Arctic Soils using Rational Methods for Exploring Microbial Diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ovreas, L.; Quince, C.; Sloan, W.; Lanzen, A.; Davenport, R.; Green, J.; Coulson, S.; Curtis, T.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic microbial soil communities are intrinsically interesting and poorly characterised. We have inferred the diversity and species abundance distribution of 6 Arctic soils: new and mature soil at the foot of a receding glacier, Arctic Semi Desert, the foot of bird cliffs and soil underlying Arctic Tundra Heath: all near Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen. Diversity, distribution and sample sizes were estimated using the rational method of Quince et al., (Isme Journal 2 2008:997-1006) to determine the most plausible underlying species abundance distribution. A log-normal species abundance curve was found to give a slightly better fit than an inverse Gaussian curve if, and only if, sequencing error was removed. The median estimates of diversity of operational taxonomic units (at the 3% level) were 3600-5600 (lognormal assumed) and 2825-4100 (inverse Gaussian assumed). The nature and origins of species abundance distributions are poorly understood but may yet be grasped by observing and analysing such distributions in the microbial world. The sample size required to observe the distribution (by sequencing 90% of the taxa) varied between ~ 106 and ~105 for the lognormal and inverse Gaussian respectively. We infer that between 5 and 50 GB of sequencing would be required to capture 90% or the metagenome. Though a principle components analysis clearly divided the sites into three groups there was a high (20-45%) degree of overlap in between locations irrespective of geographical proximity. Interestingly, the nearest relatives of the most abundant taxa at a number of most sites were of alpine or polar origin. Samples plotted on first two principal components together with arbitrary discriminatory OTUs

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

  11. Ant diversity as a direct and indirect driver of pselaphine rove beetle (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) functional diversity in tropical rainforests, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

    PubMed

    Psomas, Elizabeth; Holdsworth, Sholto; Eggleton, Paul

    2018-04-20

    Pselaphinae is a species-rich beetle subfamily found globally, with many exhibiting myrmecophily-a symbiotic association with ants. Pselaphine-ant associations vary from facultative to obligate, but direct behavioral observations still remain scarce. Pselaphines are speciose and ecologically abundant within tropical leaf litter invertebrate communities where ants dominate, implying a potentially important ecological role that may be affected by habitat disturbances that impact ants. In this study, we measured and analyzed putative functional traits of leaf litter pselaphines associated with myrmecophily through morphometric analysis. We calculated "myrmecophile functional diversity" of pselaphines at different sites and examined this measure's relationship with ant abundance, in both old growth and logged rainforest sites in Sabah, Borneo. We show that myrmecophile functional diversity of pselaphine beetles increases as ant abundance increases. Old growth rainforest sites support a high abundance of ants, which is associated with a high abundance of probable myrmecophilous pselaphines. These results suggest a potential link between adult morphological characters and the functional role these beetles play in rainforest litter as ecological interaction partners with ants. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. [Abundance and species diversity of tabanids (Diptera) in the biosphere reserve Ipassa-Makokou (Gabon) during the rainy season].

    PubMed

    Mavoungou, J F; Makanga, B K; Acapovi-Yao, G; Desquesnes, M; M'Batchi, B

    2012-05-01

    The abundance and species diversity of tabanids were evaluated by trapping of insects using Vavoua traps, during the rainy season, from October 4 to November 30, 2009, in three different habitats: primary forest, secondary forest and village, in the biosphere reserve Ipassa-IRET Makokou in Gabon. Eight species belonging to three genera of tabanids have been identified for a total of 402 specimens caught. The tabanid species numerically the most abundant were: Tabanus secedens Walker, 1854 (55.2%), Tabanus obscurehirtus Ricardo, 1908 (13.9%), Chrysops dimidiatus Wulp, 1885 (11.2%) and Chrysops silaceus Austen, 1907 (10.7%). The less abundant species were Tabanus par Walker, 1854 (3.2%), Tabanus besti arbucklei Austen, 1912 (3%), Tabanus marmorosus congoicola Bequaert, 1930 (1%) and Ancala fasciata fasciata (Fabricius, 1775) (0.5%). Specimens of the genera Tabanus and Chrysops could not be identified, these insects represented respectively 0.7% and 0.5% of the insects trapped. The highest proportion of tabanids was trapped in secondary forest (75.1%) and the lower in primary forest (4.5%).

  13. Transcriptome discovery in non-model wild fish species for the development of quantitative transcript abundance assays

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hahn, Cassidy M.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Cornman, Robert S.; Mazik, Patricia M.; Blazer, Vicki S.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental studies increasingly identify the presence of both contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) and legacy contaminants in aquatic environments; however, the biological effects of these compounds on resident fishes remain largely unknown. High throughput methodologies were employed to establish partial transcriptomes for three wild-caught, non-model fish species; smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), white sucker (Catostomus commersonii) and brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus). Sequences from these transcriptome databases were utilized in the development of a custom nCounter CodeSet that allowed for direct multiplexed measurement of 50 transcript abundance endpoints in liver tissue. Sequence information was also utilized in the development of quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) primers. Cross-species hybridization allowed the smallmouth bass nCounter CodeSet to be used for quantitative transcript abundance analysis of an additional non-model species, largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). We validated the nCounter analysis data system with qPCR for a subset of genes and confirmed concordant results. Changes in transcript abundance biomarkers between sexes and seasons were evaluated to provide baseline data on transcript modulation for each species of interest.

  14. Transcriptome discovery in non-model wild fish species for the development of quantitative transcript abundance assays.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Cassidy M; Iwanowicz, Luke R; Cornman, Robert S; Mazik, Patricia M; Blazer, Vicki S

    2016-12-01

    Environmental studies increasingly identify the presence of both contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) and legacy contaminants in aquatic environments; however, the biological effects of these compounds on resident fishes remain largely unknown. High throughput methodologies were employed to establish partial transcriptomes for three wild-caught, non-model fish species; smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), white sucker (Catostomus commersonii) and brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus). Sequences from these transcriptome databases were utilized in the development of a custom nCounter CodeSet that allowed for direct multiplexed measurement of 50 transcript abundance endpoints in liver tissue. Sequence information was also utilized in the development of quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) primers. Cross-species hybridization allowed the smallmouth bass nCounter CodeSet to be used for quantitative transcript abundance analysis of an additional non-model species, largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). We validated the nCounter analysis data system with qPCR for a subset of genes and confirmed concordant results. Changes in transcript abundance biomarkers between sexes and seasons were evaluated to provide baseline data on transcript modulation for each species of interest. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. Empirical phylogenies and species abundance distributions are consistent with preequilibrium dynamics of neutral community models with gene flow.

    PubMed

    Bonnet-Lebrun, Anne-Sophie; Manica, Andrea; Eriksson, Anders; Rodrigues, Ana S L

    2017-05-01

    Community characteristics reflect past ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Here, we investigate whether it is possible to obtain realistically shaped modeled communities-that is with phylogenetic trees and species abundance distributions shaped similarly to typical empirical bird and mammal communities-from neutral community models. To test the effect of gene flow, we contrasted two spatially explicit individual-based neutral models: one with protracted speciation, delayed by gene flow, and one with point mutation speciation, unaffected by gene flow. The former produced more realistic communities (shape of phylogenetic tree and species-abundance distribution), consistent with gene flow being a key process in macro-evolutionary dynamics. Earlier models struggled to capture the empirically observed branching tempo in phylogenetic trees, as measured by the gamma statistic. We show that the low gamma values typical of empirical trees can be obtained in models with protracted speciation, in preequilibrium communities developing from an initially abundant and widespread species. This was even more so in communities sampled incompletely, particularly if the unknown species are the youngest. Overall, our results demonstrate that the characteristics of empirical communities that we have studied can, to a large extent, be explained through a purely neutral model under preequilibrium conditions. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. Few Highly Abundant Operational Taxonomic Units Dominate within Rumen Methanogenic Archaeal Species in New Zealand Sheep and Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Seedorf, Henning; Kittelmann, Sandra

    2014-01-01

    Sequencing and analyses of 16S rRNA gene amplicons were performed to estimate the composition of the rumen methanogen community in 252 samples from eight cohorts of sheep and cattle, separated into 16 different sample groups by diet, and to determine which methanogens are most prominent in the rumens of farmed New Zealand ruminants. Methanobacteriales (relative abundance ± standard deviation, 89.6% ± 9.8%) and Methanomassiliicoccales (10.4% ± 9.8%) were the two major orders and contributed 99.98% (±0.1%) to the rumen methanogen communities in the samples. Sequences from Methanobacteriales were almost entirely from only four different species (or clades of very closely related species). Each was detectable in at least 89% of the samples. These four species or clades were the Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii clade and Methanobrevibacter ruminantium clade with a mean abundance of 42.4% (±19.5% standard deviation) and 32.9% (±18.8%), respectively, and Methanosphaera sp. ISO3-F5 (8.2% ± 6.7%) and Methanosphaera sp. group5 (5.6% ± 5.7%). These four species or clades appeared to be primarily represented by only one or, in one case, two dominant sequence types per species or clade when the sequences were grouped into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at 99% sequence identity. The mean relative abundance of Methanomassiliicoccales in the samples was relatively low but exceeded 40% in some of the treatment groups. Animal feed affected the apparent methanogen community structure of both orders, as evident from differences in relative abundances of the major OTUs in animals under different feeding regimens. PMID:25416771

  17. Annual trend patterns of phytoplankton species abundance belie homogeneous taxonomical group responses to climate in the NE Atlantic upwelling.

    PubMed

    Bode, Antonio; Estévez, M Graciela; Varela, Manuel; Vilar, José A

    2015-09-01

    Phytoplankton is a sentinel of marine ecosystem change. Composed by many species with different life-history strategies, it rapidly responds to environment changes. An analysis of the abundance of 54 phytoplankton species in Galicia (NW Spain) between 1989 and 2008 to determine the main components of temporal variability in relation to climate and upwelling showed that most of this variability was stochastic, as seasonality and long term trends contributed to relatively small fractions of the series. In general, trends appeared as non linear, and species clustered in 4 groups according to the trend pattern but there was no defined pattern for diatoms, dinoflagellates or other groups. While, in general, total abundance increased, no clear trend was found for 23 species, 14 species decreased, 4 species increased during the early 1990s, and only 13 species showed a general increase through the series. In contrast, series of local environmental conditions (temperature, stratification, nutrients) and climate-related variables (atmospheric pressure indices, upwelling winds) showed a high fraction of their variability in deterministic seasonality and trends. As a result, each species responded independently to environmental and climate variability, measured by generalized additive models. Most species showed a positive relationship with nutrient concentrations but only a few showed a direct relationship with stratification and upwelling. Climate variables had only measurable effects on some species but no common response emerged. Because its adaptation to frequent disturbances, phytoplankton communities in upwelling ecosystems appear less sensitive to changes in regional climate than other communities characterized by short and well defined productive periods. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses: Pseudomyrmex ants and their ant-housing plants in the Neotropics

    PubMed Central

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Ward, Philip S.; Renner, Susanne S.

    2015-01-01

    Symbioses include some of the clearest cases of coevolution, but their origin, loss or reassembly with different partners can rarely be inferred. Here we use ant/plant symbioses involving three plant clades to investigate the evolution of symbioses. We generated phylogenies for the big-eyed arboreal ants (Pseudomyrmecinae), including 72% of their 286 species, as well as for five of their plant host groups, in each case sampling more than 61% of the species. We show that the ant-housing Vachellia (Mimosoideae) clade and its ants co-diversified for the past 5 Ma, with some species additionally colonized by younger plant-nesting ant species, some parasitic. An apparent co-radiation of ants and Tachigali (Caesalpinioideae) was followed by waves of colonization by the same ant clade, and subsequent occupation by a younger ant group. Wide crown and stem age differences between the ant-housing genus Triplaris (Polygonaceae) and its obligate ant inhabitants, and stochastic trait mapping, indicate that its domatium evolved earlier than the ants now occupying it, suggesting previous symbioses that dissolved. Parasitic ant species evolved from generalists, not from mutualists, and are younger than the mutualistic systems they parasitize. Our study illuminates the macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses, which has been highly dynamic, even in very specialized systems. PMID:26582029

  19. Ecological consequences of interactions between ants and honeydew-producing insects

    PubMed Central

    Styrsky, John D; Eubanks, Micky D

    2006-01-01

    Interactions between ants and honeydew-producing hemipteran insects are abundant and widespread in arthropod food webs, yet their ecological consequences are very poorly known. Ant–hemipteran interactions have potentially broad ecological effects, because the presence of honeydew-producing hemipterans dramatically alters the abundance and predatory behaviour of ants on plants. We review several studies that investigate the consequences of ant–hemipteran interactions as ‘keystone interactions’ on arthropod communities and their host plants. Ant–hemipteran interactions have mostly negative effects on the local abundance and species richness of several guilds of herbivores and predators. In contrast, out of the 30 studies that document the effects of ant–hemipteran interactions on plants, the majority (73%) shows that plants actually benefit indirectly from these interactions. In these studies, increased predation or harassment of other, more damaging, herbivores by hemipteran-tending ants resulted in decreased plant damage and/or increased plant growth and reproduction. The ecological consequences of mutualistic interactions between honeydew-producing hemipterans and invasive ants relative to native ants have rarely been studied, but they may be of particular importance owing to the greater abundance, aggressiveness and extreme omnivory of invasive ants. We argue that ant–hemipteran interactions are largely overlooked and underappreciated interspecific interactions that have strong and pervasive effects on the communities in which they are embedded. PMID:17148245

  20. Predicting abundance of 80 tree species following climate change in the Eastern United States

    Treesearch

    Louis R. Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Anantha M. Prasad

    1998-01-01

    Projected climate warming will potentially have profound effects on the earth?s biota, including a large redistribution of tree species. We developed models to evaluate potential shifts for 80 individual tree species in the eastern United States. First, environmental factors associated with current ranges of tree species were assessed using geographic information...

  1. Snow cover and extreme winter warming events control flower abundance of some, but not all species in high arctic Svalbard

    PubMed Central

    Semenchuk, Philipp R; Elberling, Bo; Cooper, Elisabeth J

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The High Arctic winter is expected to be altered through ongoing and future climate change. Winter precipitation and snow depth are projected to increase and melt out dates change accordingly. Also, snow cover and depth will play an important role in protecting plant canopy from increasingly more frequent extreme winter warming events. Flower production of many Arctic plants is dependent on melt out timing, since season length determines resource availability for flower preformation. We erected snow fences to increase snow depth and shorten growing season, and counted flowers of six species over 5 years, during which we experienced two extreme winter warming events. Most species were resistant to snow cover increase, but two species reduced flower abundance due to shortened growing seasons. Cassiope tetragona responded strongly with fewer flowers in deep snow regimes during years without extreme events, while Stellaria crassipes responded partly. Snow pack thickness determined whether winter warming events had an effect on flower abundance of some species. Warming events clearly reduced flower abundance in shallow but not in deep snow regimes of Cassiope tetragona, but only marginally for Dryas octopetala. However, the affected species were resilient and individuals did not experience any long term effects. In the case of short or cold summers, a subset of species suffered reduced reproductive success, which may affect future plant composition through possible cascading competition effects. Extreme winter warming events were shown to expose the canopy to cold winter air. The following summer most of the overwintering flower buds could not produce flowers. Thus reproductive success is reduced if this occurs in subsequent years. We conclude that snow depth influences flower abundance by altering season length and by protecting or exposing flower buds to cold winter air, but most species studied are resistant to changes. Winter warming events, often

  2. Seasonal and species-specific patterns in abundance of freshwater mussel glochidia in stream drift

    Treesearch

    Jacob J. Culp; Wendell R. Haag; D. Albrey Arrington; Thomas B. Kennedy

    2011-01-01

    Abstract. We examined seasonal patterns of abundance of mussel larvae (glochidia) in stream drift in a diverse, large-stream mussel assemblage in the Sipsey River, Alabama, across 1 y. We used recently developed techniques for glochidial identification combined with information about mussel fecundity and benthic assemblages to evaluate how well observed glochidial...

  3. Species richness and abundance of ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete sporocarps on a moisture gradient in the Tsuga heterophylla zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Dell, Thomas E.; Ammirati, Joseph F.; Schreiner, Edward G.

    1999-01-01

    Sporocarps of epigeous ectomycorrhizal fungi and vegetation data were collected from eight Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg. - Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco stands along a wet to dry gradient in Olympic National Park, Washington, U.S.A. One hundred and fifty species of ectomycorrhizal fungi were collected from a total sample area of 2.08 ha. Over 2 years, fungal species richness ranged from 19 to 67 taxa per stand. Sporocarp standing crop ranged from 0 to 3.8 kg/ha, averaging 0.58 kg/ha, 0.06 kg/ha in spring and 0.97 kg/ha in fall. Sporocarp standing crop and fungal species richness were correlated with precipitation. These results demonstrated that ectomycorrhizal fungal sporocarp abundance and species richness can be partly explained in terms of an environmental gradient.

  4. Presence and abundance of non-native plant species associated with recent energy development in the Williston Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, Todd M.

    2015-01-01

    The Williston Basin, located in the Northern Great Plains, is experiencing rapid energy development with North Dakota and Montana being the epicenter of current and projected development in the USA. The average single-bore well pad is 5 acres with an estimated 58,485 wells in North Dakota alone. This landscape-level disturbance may provide a pathway for the establishment of non-native plants. To evaluate potential influences of energy development on the presence and abundance of non-native species, vegetation surveys were conducted at 30 oil well sites (14 ten-year-old and 16 five-year-old wells) and 14 control sites in native prairie environments across the Williston Basin. Non-native species richness and cover were recorded in four quadrats, located at equal distances, along four transects for a total of 16 quadrats per site. Non-natives were recorded at all 44 sites and ranged from 5 to 13 species, 7 to 15 species, and 2 to 8 species at the 10-year, 5-year, and control sites, respectively. Respective non-native cover ranged from 1 to 69, 16 to 76, and 2 to 82 %. Total, forb, and graminoid non-native species richness and non-native forb cover were significantly greater at oil well sites compared to control sites. At oil well sites, non-native species richness and forb cover were significantly greater adjacent to the well pads and decreased with distance to values similar to control sites. Finally, non-native species whose presence and/or abundance were significantly greater at oil well sites relative to control sites were identified to aid management efforts.

  5. Capture-recapture abundance and survival estimates of three cetacean species in Icelandic coastal waters using trained scientist-volunteers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertulli, Chiara G.; Guéry, Loreleï; McGinty, Niall; Suzuki, Ailie; Brannan, Naomi; Marques, Tania; Rasmussen, Marianne H.; Gimenez, Olivier

    2018-01-01

    Knowledge of abundance and survival of humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and minke whales are essential to manage and conserve these species in Icelandic coastal shelf waters. Our main goal was to test the feasibility of employing inexpensive research methods (data collected by trained-scientist volunteers onboard opportunistic vessels) to assess abundance and apparent survival. No previous studies in Iceland have investigated these two demographic parameters in these three cetacean species using open capture-recapture models accounting for imperfect and possibly heterogeneous detection. A transient effect was accounted for whenever required to estimate the population of resident individuals. Identification photographs were collected by scientist-trained volunteers for 7 years (2006-2013) from onboard commercial whale-watching vessels in the coastal waters of Faxaflói (southwest coast, 4400 km2) and Skjálfandi (northeast coast, 1100 km2), Iceland. We estimated an average abundance of 83 humpback whales (Mn; 95% confidence interval: 54-130) in Skjálfandi; 238 white-beaked dolphins (La; [163-321]) in Faxaflói; and 67 minke whales (Ba; [53-82]) in Faxaflói and 24 (14-31) in Skjálfandi. We also found that apparent survival was constant for all three species (Mn: 0.52 [0.41-0.63], La: 0.79 [0.64-0.88], Ba-Faxaflói: 0.80 [0.67-0.88], Ba-Skjálfandi: 0.96 [0.60-0.99]). Our results showed inter-annual variation in abundance estimates which were small for all species, and the presence of transience for minke whales. A significant increase in abundance during the study period was solely found in minke whale data from Skjálfandi. Humpback whales and white-beaked dolphins showed lower apparent survival rates compared to similar baleen whale and dolphin populations. Our results show data collected by trained-scientist volunteers can produce viable estimates of abundance and survival although bias in the methods we employed exist and need to be addressed. With the

  6. Feeding ecology and trophic relationships of fish species in the lower Guadiana River Estuary and Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António Salt Marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sá, Rita; Bexiga, Constança; Veiga, Pedro; Vieira, Lina; Erzini, Karim

    2006-10-01

    In this study we analyze the feeding ecology and trophic relationships of some of the main fish species (Soleidae, Moronidae, Mullidae, Sparidae, Mugilidae, and Batrachoididae) of the lower Estuary of the Guadiana River and the Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António Salt Marsh. We examined the stomachs of 1415 fish caught monthly between September 2000 and August 2001. Feeding indices and coefficients were determined and used along with the results of multivariate analysis to develop diagrams of trophic interactions (food webs). Results show that these species are largely opportunistic predators. The most important prey items are amphipods, gobies (Gobiidae), shrimps ( Palaemon serratus and Crangon crangon), and polychaete worms. The lower Estuary and associated salt marshes are important nurseries and feeding grounds for the species studied. In this area, it is therefore important to monitor the effects of changes in river runoff, nutrient input, and temperature that result from construction of the Alqueva Dam upstream.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-09-22

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. The shark assemblage at French Frigate Shoals atoll, Hawai'i: species composition, abundance and habitat use.

    PubMed

    Dale, Jonathan J; Stankus, Austin M; Burns, Michael S; Meyer, Carl G

    2011-02-10

    Empirical data on the abundance and habitat preferences of coral reef top predators are needed to evaluate their ecological impacts and guide management decisions. We used longline surveys to quantify the shark assemblage at French Frigate Shoals (FFS) atoll from May to August 2009. Fishing effort consisted of 189 longline sets totaling 6,862 hook hours of soak time. A total of 221 sharks from 7 species were captured, among which Galapagos (Carcharhinus galapagensis, 36.2%), gray reef (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, 25.8%) and tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier, 20.4%) sharks were numerically dominant. A lack of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) distinguished the FFS shark assemblage from those at many other atolls in the Indo-Pacific. Compared to prior underwater visual survey estimates, longline methods more accurately represented species abundance and composition for the majority of shark species. Sharks were significantly less abundant in the shallow lagoon than adjacent habitats. Recaptures of Galapagos sharks provided the first empirical estimate of population size for any Galapagos shark population. The overall recapture rate was 5.4%. Multiple closed population models were evaluated, with Chao M(h) ranking best in model performance and yielding a population estimate of 668 sharks with 95% confidence intervals ranging from 289-1720. Low shark abundance in the shallow lagoon habitats suggests removal of a small number of sharks from the immediate vicinity of lagoonal islets may reduce short-term predation on endangered monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) pups, but considerable fishing effort would be required to catch even a small number of sharks. Additional data on long-term movements and habitat use of sharks at FFS are required to better assess the likely ecological impacts of shark culling.

  10. Refuge habitats for fishes during seasonal drying in an intermittent stream: Movement, survival and abundance of three minnow species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hodges, S.W.; Magoulick, D.D.

    2011-01-01

    Drought and summer drying can be important disturbance events in many small streams leading to intermittent or isolated habitats. We examined what habitats act as refuges for fishes during summer drying, hypothesizing that pools would act as refuge habitats. We predicted that during drying fish would show directional movement into pools from riffle habitats, survival rates would be greater in pools than in riffles, and fish abundance would increase in pool habitats. We examined movement, survival and abundance of three minnow species, bigeye shiner (Notropis boops), highland stoneroller (Campostoma spadiceum) and creek chub (Semotilus atromaculatus), during seasonal stream drying in an Ozark stream using a closed robust multi-strata mark-recapture sampling. Population parameters were estimated using plausible models within program MARK, where a priori models are ranked using Akaike's Information Criterion. Creek chub showed directional movement into pools and increased survival and abundance in pools during drying. Highland stonerollers showed strong directional movement into pools and abundance increased in pools during drying, but survival rates were not significantly greater in pools than riffles. Bigeye shiners showed high movement rates during drying, but the movement was non-directional, and survival rates were greater in riffles than pools. Therefore, creek chub supported our hypothesis and pools appear to act as refuge habitats for this species, whereas highland stonerollers partly supported the hypothesis and bigeye shiners did not support the pool refuge hypothesis. Refuge habitats during drying are species dependent. An urgent need exists to further understand refuge habitats in streams given projected changes in climate and continued alteration of hydrological regimes. ?? 2011 Springer Basel AG (outside the USA).

  11. Refuge habitats for fishes during seasonal drying in an intermittent stream: movement, survival and abundance of three minnow species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hodges, S.W.; Magoulick, Daniel D.

    2011-01-01

    Drought and summer drying can be important disturbance events in many small streams leading to intermittent or isolated habitats. We examined what habitats act as refuges for fishes during summer drying, hypothesizing that pools would act as refuge habitats. We predicted that during drying fish would show directional movement into pools from riffle habitats, survival rates would be greater in pools than in riffles, and fish abundance would increase in pool habitats. We examined movement, survival and abundance of three minnow species, bigeye shiner (Notropis boops), highland stoneroller (Campostoma spadiceum) and creek chub (Semotilus atromaculatus), during seasonal stream drying in an Ozark stream using a closed robust multi-strata mark-recapture sampling. Population parameters were estimated using plausible models within program MARK, where a priori models are ranked using Akaike's Information Criterion. Creek chub showed directional movement into pools and increased survival and abundance in pools during drying. Highland stonerollers showed strong directional movement into pools and abundance increased in pools during drying, but survival rates were not significantly greater in pools than riffles. Bigeye shiners showed high movement rates during drying, but the movement was non-directional, and survival rates were greater in riffles than pools. Therefore, creek chub supported our hypothesis and pools appear to act as refuge habitats for this species, whereas highland stonerollers partly supported the hypothesis and bigeye shiners did not support the pool refuge hypothesis. Refuge habitats during drying are species dependent. An urgent need exists to further understand refuge habitats in streams given projected changes in climate and continued alteration of hydrological regimes.

  12. The Shark Assemblage at French Frigate Shoals Atoll, Hawai‘i: Species Composition, Abundance and Habitat Use

    PubMed Central

    Dale, Jonathan J.; Stankus, Austin M.; Burns, Michael S.; Meyer, Carl G.

    2011-01-01

    Empirical data on the abundance and habitat preferences of coral reef top predators are needed to evaluate their ecological impacts and guide management decisions. We used longline surveys to quantify the shark assemblage at French Frigate Shoals (FFS) atoll from May to August 2009. Fishing effort consisted of 189 longline sets totaling 6,862 hook hours of soak time. A total of 221 sharks from 7 species were captured, among which Galapagos (Carcharhinus galapagensis, 36.2%), gray reef (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, 25.8%) and tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier, 20.4%) sharks were numerically dominant. A lack of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) distinguished the FFS shark assemblage from those at many other atolls in the Indo-Pacific. Compared to prior underwater visual survey estimates, longline methods more accurately represented species abundance and composition for the majority of shark species. Sharks were significantly less abundant in the shallow lagoon than adjacent habitats. Recaptures of Galapagos sharks provided the first empirical estimate of population size for any Galapagos shark population. The overall recapture rate was 5.4%. Multiple closed population models were evaluated, with Chao Mh ranking best in model performance and yielding a population estimate of 668 sharks with 95% confidence intervals ranging from 289–1720. Low shark abundance in the shallow lagoon habitats suggests removal of a small number of sharks from the immediate vicinity of lagoonal islets may reduce short-term predation on endangered monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) pups, but considerable fishing effort would be required to catch even a small number of sharks. Additional data on long-term movements and habitat use of sharks at FFS are required to better assess the likely ecological impacts of shark culling. PMID:21347321

  13. Project VeSElkA: abundance analysis of chemical species in HD 41076 and HD 148330

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalack, V.; Gallant, G.; Thibeault, C.

    2017-10-01

    A new semi-automatic approach is employed to carry out the abundance analysis of high-resolution spectra of HD 41076 and HD 148330 obtained recently with the spectropolarimetre Echelle SpectroPolarimetric Device for Observations of Stars at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. This approach allows to prepare in a semi-automatic mode the input data for the modified zeeman2 code and to analyse several hundreds of line profiles in sequence during a single run. It also provides more information on abundance distribution for each chemical element at the deeper atmospheric layers. Our analysis of the Balmer profiles observed in the spectra of HD 41076 and HD 148330 has resulted in the estimates of their effective temperature, gravity, metallicity and radial velocity. The respective models of stellar atmosphere have been calculated with the code phoenix and used to carry out abundance analysis employing the modified zeeman2 code. The analysis shows a deficit of the C, N, F, Mg, Ca, Ti, V, Cu, Y, Mo, Sm and Gd, and overabundance of Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Sr, Zr, Ba, Ce, Nd and Dy in the stellar atmosphere of HD 41076. In the atmosphere of HD 148330, the C, N and Mo appear to be underabundant, while the Ne, Na, Al, Si, P, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Zn, Sr, Y, Zr, Ba, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd and Dy are overabundant. We also have found signatures of vertical abundance stratification of Fe, Ti, Cr and Mn in HD 41076, and of Fe, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Y, Zr, Ce, Nd, Sm and Gd in HD 148330.

  14. Distribution of nekton species and abundance within and among four Oregon estuaries

    EPA Science Inventory

    Crabs, shrimps and fishes provide valued ecosystem goods and services to communities of the Pacific Northwest, including species that are fished for food and recreation and those that serve as prey for fished species. In the face of increasing use of these services and potential...

  15. ANTS AS INDICATORS OF EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSORS IN NORTH AMERICAN DESERT GRASSLANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The relative abundance of ant species was measured by pit-fall trapping at 44 sites in southern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona, U.S.A..Sites were selected for study based on documentation of a history of disturbance or protection from disturbance, exposure to varying intens...

  16. Seasonal dynamics in community structure, abundance, body size and sex ratio in two species of Neotropical annual fishes.

    PubMed

    Lanés, L E K; Godoy, R S; Maltchik, L; Polačik, M; Blažek, R; Vrtílek, M; Reichard, M

    2016-11-01

    Seven ephemeral pools on the coastal plain of southern Brazil were found to be inhabited by three annual and 22 non-annual fish species. Two common annual species (Austrolebias minuano and Cynopoecilus fulgens) exhibited clear seasonal dynamics, with the appearance of young fishes in the austral autumn (May to June) and a decline in abundance over the seasonal cycle. The third annual species, Austrolebias wolterstorffii, was rare. No seasonal dynamics were observed in non-annual fishes. The relative abundance of non-annual fishes compared with annual fishes increased over the seasonal cycle, but they coexisted widely. The size structure of annual fishes suggested the presence of a single age cohort in most pools though a second age cohort was registered in one pool in August, coinciding with a large flooding. Strong sexual dimorphism in body size was found in C. fulgens throughout the seasonal cycle, while no sexual dimorphism in body size was found in A. minuano. Female-biased sex ratios were recorded in both common annual fish species in the last three sampling dates (in spring), but not during the first two sampling dates (in winter). The natural lifespan of annual fishes was <8 months. Annual fishes disappeared before habitat desiccation in half of the pools, while non-annual fishes were still present. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  17. Reduced biological control and enhanced chemical pest management in the evolution of fungus farming in ants

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Nash, David R.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Wcislo, William T.

    2009-01-01

    To combat disease, most fungus-growing ants (Attini) use antibiotics from mutualistic bacteria (Pseudonocardia) that are cultured on the ants' exoskeletons and chemical cocktails from exocrine glands, especially the metapleural glands (MG). Previous work has hypothesized that (i) Pseudonocardia antibiotics are narrow-spectrum and control a fungus (Escovopsis) that parasitizes the ants' fungal symbiont, and (ii) MG secretions have broad-spectrum activity and protect ants and brood. We assessed the relative importance of these lines of defence, and their activity spectra, by scoring abundance of visible Pseudonocardia for nine species from five genera and measuring rates of MG grooming after challenging ants with disease agents of differing virulence. Atta and Sericomyrmex have lost or greatly reduced the abundance of visible bacteria. When challenged with diverse disease agents, including Escovopsis, they significantly increased MG grooming rates and expanded the range of targets. By contrast, species of Acromyrmex and Trachymyrmex maintain abundant Pseudonocardia. When challenged, these species had lower MG grooming rates, targeted primarily to brood. More elaborate MG defences and reduced reliance on mutualistic Pseudonocardia are correlated with larger colony size among attine genera, raising questions about the efficacy of managing disease in large societies with chemical cocktails versus bacterial antimicrobial metabolites. PMID:19324734

  18. Regional Variation in Parasite Species Richness and Abundance in the Introduced Range of the Invasive Lionfish, Pterois volitans.

    PubMed

    Sellers, Andrew J; Ruiz, Gregory M; Leung, Brian; Torchin, Mark E

    2015-01-01

    Parasites can play an important role in biological invasions. While introduced species often lose parasites from their native range, they can also accumulate novel parasites in their new range. The accumulation of parasites by introduced species likely varies spatially, and more parasites may shift to new hosts where parasite diversity is high. Considering that parasitism and disease are generally more prevalent at lower latitudes, the accumulation of parasites by introduced hosts may be greater in tropical regions. The Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) has become widely distributed across the Western Atlantic. In this study, we compared parasitism across thirteen locations in four regions, spanning seventeen degrees of latitude in the lionfish's introduced range to examine potential spatial variation in parasitism. In addition, as an initial step to explore how indirect effects of parasitism might influence interactions between lionfish and ecologically similar native hosts, we also compared parasitism in lionfish and two co-occurring native fish species, the graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata, and the lizardfish, Synodus intermedius, in the southernmost region, Panama. Our results show that accumulation of native parasites on lionfish varies across broad spatial scales, and that colonization by ectoparasites was highest in Panama, relative to the other study sites. Endoparasite richness and abundance, on the other hand, were highest in Belize where lionfish were infected by twice as many endoparasite species as lionfish in other regions. The prevalence of all but two parasite species infecting lionfish was below 25%, and we did not detect an association between parasite abundance and host condition, suggesting a limited direct effect of parasites on lionfish, even where parasitism was highest. Further, parasite species richness and abundance were significantly higher in both native fishes compared to lionfish, and parasite abundance was negatively

  19. Regional Variation in Parasite Species Richness and Abundance in the Introduced Range of the Invasive Lionfish, Pterois volitans

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Parasites can play an important role in biological invasions. While introduced species often lose parasites from their native range, they can also accumulate novel parasites in their new range. The accumulation of parasites by introduced species likely varies spatially, and more parasites may shift to new hosts where parasite diversity is high. Considering that parasitism and disease are generally more prevalent at lower latitudes, the accumulation of parasites by introduced hosts may be greater in tropical regions. The Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) has become widely distributed across the Western Atlantic. In this study, we compared parasitism across thirteen locations in four regions, spanning seventeen degrees of latitude in the lionfish's introduced range to examine potential spatial variation in parasitism. In addition, as an initial step to explore how indirect effects of parasitism might influence interactions between lionfish and ecologically similar native hosts, we also compared parasitism in lionfish and two co-occurring native fish species, the graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata, and the lizardfish, Synodus intermedius, in the southernmost region, Panama. Our results show that accumulation of native parasites on lionfish varies across broad spatial scales, and that colonization by ectoparasites was highest in Panama, relative to the other study sites. Endoparasite richness and abundance, on the other hand, were highest in Belize where lionfish were infected by twice as many endoparasite species as lionfish in other regions. The prevalence of all but two parasite species infecting lionfish was below 25%, and we did not detect an association between parasite abundance and host condition, suggesting a limited direct effect of parasites on lionfish, even where parasitism was highest. Further, parasite species richness and abundance were significantly higher in both native fishes compared to lionfish, and parasite abundance was negatively

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  2. Multitrophic interactions mediate the effects of climate change on herbivore abundance.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Ayla; Inouye, David W; Ogilvie, Jane E; Mooney, Emily H

    2017-10-01

    Climate change can influence the abundance of insect herbivores through direct and indirect mechanisms. In this study, we evaluated multitrophic drivers of herbivore abundance for an aphid species (Aphis helianthi) in a subalpine food web consisting of a host plant (Ligusticum porteri), mutualist ants and predatory lygus bugs (Lygus spp.). We used a model-selection approach to determine which climate and host plant cues best predict year-to-year variation in insect phenology and abundance observed over 6 years. We complemented this observational study with experiments that determined how elevated temperature interacts with (1) host plant phenology and (2) the ant-aphid mutualism to determine aphid abundance. We found date of snowmelt to be the best predictor of yearly abundance of aphid and lygus bug abundance but the direction of this effect differed. Aphids achieved lower abundances in early snowmelt years likely due to increased abundance of lygus bug predators in these years. Elevating temperature of L. porteri flowering stalks reduced their quality as hosts for aphid populations. However, warming aphid colonies on host plants of similar quality increased population growth rates. Importantly, this effect was apparent even in the absence of ants. While we observed fewer ants tending colonies at elevated temperatures, these colonies also had reduced numbers of lygus bug predators. This suggests that mutualism with ants becomes less significant as temperature increases, which contrasts other ant-hemipteran systems. Our observational and experimental results show the importance of multitrophic species interactions for predicting the effect of climate change on the abundances of herbivores.

  3. Effects of landscape composition and wetland fragmentation on frog and toad abundance and species richness in Iowa and Wisconsin, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Sauer, J.R.; Olsen, D.A.; Mossman, M.J.; Hemesath, L.M.; Lannoo, M.J.

    1999-01-01

    Management of amphibian populations to reverse recent declines will require defining high-quality habitat for individual species or groups of species, followed by efforts to retain or restore these habitats on the landscape. We examined landscape-level habitat relationships for frogs and toads by measuring associations between relative abundance and species richness based on survey data derived from anuran calls and features of land-cover maps for Iowa and Wisconsin. The most consistent result across all anuran guilds was a negative association with the presence of urban land. Upland and wetland forests and emergent wetlands tended to be positively associated with anurans. Landscape metrics that represent edges and patch diversity also had generally positive associations, indicating that anurans benefit from a complex of habitats that include wetlands. In Iowa the most significant associations with relative abundance were the length of the edge between wetland and forest (positive) and the presence of urban land (negative). In Wisconsin the two most significant associations with relative abundance were forest area and agricultural area (both positive). Anurans had positive associations with agriculture in Wisconsin but not in Iowa. Remnant forest patches in agricultural landscapes may be providing refuges for some anuran species. Differences in anuran associations with deep water and permanent wetlands between the two states suggest opportunities for management action. Large-scale maps can contribute to predictive models of amphibian habitat use, but water quality and vegetation information collected from individual wetlands will likely be needed to strengthen those predictions. Landscape habitat analyses provide a framework for future experimental and intensive research on specific factors affecting the health of anurans.

  4. Differences in ecological structure, function, and native species abundance between native and invaded Hawaiian streams

    Treesearch

    Tara Holitzki; Richard A. MacKenzie; Tracy N. Wiegner; Karla J. McDermid

    2013-01-01

    Poeciliids, one of the most invasive species worldwide, are found on almost every continent and have been identified as an ‘‘invasive species of concern’’ in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. Despite their global prevalence, few studies have quantified their impacts on tropical stream ecosystem structure, function, and biodiversity. Utilizing Hawaiian...

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

    SciTech Connect

    Resasco, Julian; 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 thanmore » 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.« less

  6. Alate susceptibility in ants

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

    Pathogens are predicted to pose a particular threat to eusocial insects because infections can spread rapidly in colonies with high densities of closely related individuals. In ants, there are two major castes: workers and reproductives. Sterile workers receive no direct benefit from investing in immunity, but can gain indirect fitness benefits if their immunity aids the survival of their fertile siblings. Virgin reproductives (alates), on the other hand, may be able to increase their investment in reproduction, rather than in immunity, because of the protection they receive from workers. Thus, we expect colonies to have highly immune workers, but relatively more susceptible alates. We examined the survival of workers, gynes, and males of nine ant species collected in Peru and Canada when exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. For the seven species in which treatment with B. bassiana increased ant mortality relative to controls, we found workers were significantly less susceptible compared with both alate sexes. Female and male alates did not differ significantly in their immunocompetence. Our results suggest that, as with other nonreproductive tasks in ant colonies like foraging and nest maintenance, workers have primary responsibility for colony immunity, allowing alates to specialize on reproduction. We highlight the importance of colony-level selection on individual immunity in ants and other eusocial organisms. PMID:25540683

  7. Stinging ants.

    PubMed

    Rhoades, R

    2001-08-01

    Ants belong to the order Hymenoptera, along with bees, wasps, yellow jackets, etc., they are the most successful animal genera in this world. It is their selfless social structure which accounts for their huge impact. Their effect on man ranges from the parasol ant, which makes plant cultivation untenable in certain parts of South America, to Solenopsis Invicta in the southeastern United States of America, which kill ground dwelling birds and small animals, harass livestock, and renders farmland unusable. With the exception of the Bulldog Ant of Australia (which is the size of a medium cockroach) direct toxic effects are not a lethal threat to man. Human fatalities and morbidity are related to secondary infections of excoriated stings or allergic anaphylaxis. This article reviews history and recent developments regarding stinging ants around the world.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Marín, Linda; Perfecto, Ivette

    2013-04-01

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

  10. Are parasite richness and abundance linked to prey species richness and individual feeding preferences in fish hosts?

    PubMed

    Cirtwill, Alyssa R; Stouffer, Daniel B; Poulin, Robert; Lagrue, Clément

    2016-01-01

    Variations in levels of parasitism among individuals in a population of hosts underpin the importance of parasites as an evolutionary or ecological force. Factors influencing parasite richness (number of parasite species) and load (abundance and biomass) at the individual host level ultimately form the basis of parasite infection patterns. In fish, diet range (number of prey taxa consumed) and prey selectivity (proportion of a particular prey taxon in the diet) have been shown to influence parasite infection levels. However, fish diet is most often characterized at the species or fish population level, thus ignoring variation among conspecific individuals and its potential effects on infection patterns among individuals. Here, we examined parasite infections and stomach contents of New Zealand freshwater fish at the individual level. We tested for potential links between the richness, abundance and biomass of helminth parasites and the diet range and prey selectivity of individual fish hosts. There was no obvious link between individual fish host diet and helminth infection levels. Our results were consistent across multiple fish host and parasite species and contrast with those of earlier studies in which fish diet and parasite infection were linked, hinting at a true disconnect between host diet and measures of parasite infections in our study systems. This absence of relationship between host diet and infection levels may be due to the relatively low richness of freshwater helminth parasites in New Zealand and high host-parasite specificity.

  11. Assessing the Impact of Deforestation of the Atlantic Rainforest on Ant-Fruit Interactions: A Field Experiment Using Synthetic Fruits

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Macroinvertebrate abundance, water chemistry, and wetland characteristics affect use of wetlands by avian species in Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Longcore, J.R.; McAuley, D.G.; Pendleton, G.W.; Bennatti, C.R.; Mingo, T.M.; Stromborg, K.L.; Hanson, Alan; Kerekes, Joseph; Paquet, Julie

    2006-01-01

    Our objective was to determine use by avian species (e.g., piscivores, marsh birds, waterfowl, selected passerines) of 29 wetlands in areas with low ( 5.51. All years combined use of wetlands by broods was greater on wetlands with pH 5.51 that supported 21.8% of the broods. High mean brood density was associated with mean number of Insecta per wetland. For lentic wetlands created by beaver, those habitats contained vegetative structure and nutrients necessary to provide cover to support invertebrate populations that are prey of omnivore and insectivore species. The fishless status of a few wetlands may have affected use by some waterfowl species and obligate piscivores.

  14. The abundance of pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophs in the root zone of plant species in invaded coastal sage scrub habitat.

    PubMed

    Irvine, Irina C; Brigham, Christy A; Suding, Katharine N; Martiny, Jennifer B H

    2012-01-01

    Pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophic bacteria (PPFMs) are associated with the roots, leaves and seeds of most terrestrial plants and utilize volatile C(1) compounds such as methanol generated by growing plants during cell division. PPFMs have been well studied in agricultural systems due to their importance in crop seed germination, yield, pathogen resistance and drought stress tolerance. In contrast, little is known about the PPFM abundance and diversity in natural ecosystems, let alone their interactions with non-crop species. Here we surveyed PPFM abundance in the root zone soil of 5 native and 5 invasive plant species along ten invasion gradients in Southern California coastal sage scrub habitat. PPFMs were present in every soil sample and ranged in abundance from 10(2) to 10(5) CFU/g dry soil. This abundance varied significantly among plant species. PPFM abundance was 50% higher in the root zones of annual or biennial species (many invasives) than perennial species (all natives). Further, PPFM abundance appears to be influenced by the plant community beyond the root zone; pure stands of either native or invasive species had 50% more PPFMs than mixed species stands. In sum, PPFM abundance in the root zone of coastal sage scrub plants is influenced by both the immediate and surrounding plant communities. The results also suggest that PPFMs are a good target for future work on plant-microorganism feedbacks in natural ecosystems.

  15. The Abundance of Pink-Pigmented Facultative Methylotrophs in the Root Zone of Plant Species in Invaded Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Irvine, Irina C.; Brigham, Christy A.; Suding, Katharine N.; Martiny, Jennifer B. H.

    2012-01-01

    Pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophic bacteria (PPFMs) are associated with the roots, leaves and seeds of most terrestrial plants and utilize volatile C1 compounds such as methanol generated by growing plants during cell division. PPFMs have been well studied in agricultural systems due to their importance in crop seed germination, yield, pathogen resistance and drought stress tolerance. In contrast, little is known about the PPFM abundance and diversity in natural ecosystems, let alone their interactions with non-crop species. Here we surveyed PPFM abundance in the root zone soil of 5 native and 5 invasive plant species along ten invasion gradients in Southern California coastal sage scrub habitat. PPFMs were present in every soil sample and ranged in abundance from 102 to 105 CFU/g dry soil. This abundance varied significantly among plant species. PPFM abundance was 50% higher in the root zones of annual or biennial species (many invasives) than perennial species (all natives). Further, PPFM abundance appears to be influenced by the plant community beyond the root zone; pure stands of either native or invasive species had 50% more PPFMs than mixed species stands. In sum, PPFM abundance in the root zone of coastal sage scrub plants is influenced by both the immediate and surrounding plant communities. The results also suggest that PPFMs are a good target for future work on plant-microorganism feedbacks in natural ecosystems. PMID:22383990

  16. The effect of habitat disturbance on the abundance of nocturnal lemur species on the Masoala Peninsula, northeastern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Sawyer, Rachel Mary; Fenosoa, Zo Samuel Ella; Andrianarimisa, Aristide; Donati, Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    Madagascar is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. The island's past and current rates of deforestation and habitat disturbance threaten its plethora of endemic biodiversity. On Madagascar, tavy (slash and burn agriculture), land conversion for rice cultivation, illegal hardwood logging and bushmeat hunting are the major contributors to habitat disturbance. Understanding species-specific responses to habitat disturbance across different habitat types is crucial when designing conservation strategies. We surveyed three nocturnal lemur species in four forest types of varying habitat disturbance on the Masoala Peninsula, northeastern Madagascar. We present here updated abundance and density estimates for the Endangered Avahi mooreorum and Lepilemur scottorum, and Microcebus sp. Distance sampling surveys were conducted on 11 transects, covering a total of 33 km after repeated transect walks. We collected data on tree height, bole height, diameter at breast height, canopy cover and tree density using point-quarter sampling to characterise the four forest types (primary lowland, primary littoral, selectively logged and agricultural mosaic). Median encounter rates by forest type ranged from 1 to 1.5 individuals (ind.)/km (Microcebus sp.), 0-1 ind./km (A. mooreorum) and 0-1 ind./km (L. scottorum). Species density estimates were calculated at 232.31 ind./km 2 (Microcebus sp.) and 121.21 ind./km 2 (A. mooreorum), while no density estimate is provided for L. scottorum due to a small sample size. Microcebus sp. was most tolerant to habitat disturbance, exhibiting no significant effect of forest type on abundance. Its small body size, omnivorous diet and generalised locomotion appear to allow it to tolerate a variety of habitat disturbance. Both A. mooreorum and L. scottorum showed significant effects of forest type on their respective abundance. This study suggests that the specialist locomotion and diet of A. mooreorum and L. scottorum make them susceptible to the

  17. Effects of urbanization on the distribution and abundance of amphibians and invasive species in southern California streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riley, S.P.D.; Busteed, G.T.; Kats, L.B.; Vandergon, T.L.; Lee, L.F.S.; Dagit, R.G.; Kerby, J.L.; Fisher, R.N.; Sauvajot, R.M.

    2005-01-01

    Urbanization negatively affects natural ecosystems in many ways, and aquatic systems in particular. Urbanization is also cited as one of the potential contributors to recent dramatic declines in amphibian populations. From 2000 to 2002 we determined the distribution and abundance of native amphibians and exotic predators and characterized stream habitat and invertebratecommunities in 35 streams in an urbanized landscape north of Los Angeles (U.S.A.). We measured watershed development as the percentage of area within each watershed occupied by urban land uses. Streams in more developed watersheds often had exotic crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and fish, and had fewer native species such as California newts (Taricha torosa) and California treefrogs (Hyla cadaverina). These effects seemed particularly evident above 8% development, a result coincident with other urban stream studies that show negative impacts beginning at 10-15% urbanization. For Pacific treefrogs (H. regilla), the most widespread native amphibian, abundance was lower in the presence of exotic crayfish, although direct urbanization effects were not found. Benthic macroinvertebrate communities were also less diverse in urban streams, especially for sensitive species. Faunal community changes in urban streams may be related to changes in physical stream habitat, such as fewer pool and more run habitats and increased water depth and flow, leading to more permanent streams. Variation in stream permanence was particularly evident in 2002, a dry year when many natural streams were dry but urban streams were relatively unchanged. Urbanization has significantly altered stream habitat in this region and may enhance invasion by exotic species and negatively affect diversity and abundance of native amphibians. ??2005 Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. Differential abundance of muscle proteome in cultured channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) subjected to ante-mortem stressors and its impact on fillet quality.

    PubMed

    Ciaramella, Michael A; Nair, Mahesh N; Suman, Surendranath P; Allen, Peter J; Schilling, M Wes

    2016-12-01

    The effects of environmental and handling stress during catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) aquaculture were evaluated to identify the biochemical alterations they induce in the muscle proteome and their impacts on fillet quality. Temperature (25°C and 33°C) and oxygen (~2.5mg/L [L] and >5mg/L [H]) were manipulated followed by sequential socking (S) and transport (T) stress to evaluate changes in quality when fish were subjected to handling (25-H-ST; temperature-oxygen-handling), oxygen stress (25-L-ST), temperature stress (33-H-ST) and severe stress (33-L-ST). Instrumental color and texture of fillets were evaluated, and muscle proteome profile was analyzed. Fillet redness, yellowness and chroma decreased, and hue angle increased in all treatments except temperature stress (33-H-ST). Alterations in texture compared to controls were observed when oxygen levels were held high. In general, changes in the abundance of structural proteins and those involved in protein regulation and energy metabolism were identified. Rearing under hypoxic conditions demonstrated a shift in metabolism to ketogenic pathways and a suppression of the stress-induced changes as the severity of the stress increased. Increased proteolytic activity observed through the down-regulation of various structural proteins could be responsible for the alterations in color and texture. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Associations between regional moisture gradient, tree species dominance, and downed wood abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, A. C.; Mills, J.

    2007-12-01

    Downed wood functions as a source of nurse logs, physical structure in streams, food, and carbon. Because downed wood is important in upland and aquatic habitats, an understanding of wood recruitment along a continuum from wet to dry landscapes is critical for both preservation of biodiversity and restoration of natural ecosystem structure and function. We assessed downed wood in public and private forests of Washington and Oregon by using a subset of the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database including 15,842 sampled conditions. Multivariate regression trees, ANOVA, and t-tests were used to discern environmental conditions most closely associated with abundance of woody debris. Of the 16 parameters included in the analysis, rainfall, forest ownership, number of damaged standing trees, and forest elevation were most indicative of woody debris abundance. The Hemlock/spruce Group, including hemlock, spruce, cedar, and white pine, most associated with wetter soils, had significantly more downed wood than 12 other forest groups. The Ponderosa Pine Group, indicative of drier sites with higher fire frequencies, included ponderosa pine, sugar pine, and incense cedar, and had significantly less downed wood volume. Overall, the amount of woody debris in either the Spruce/hemlock Group or the Ponderosa Pine Group did not change significantly as tree age increased from 5 to 350 years. Plots within the Hemlock/spruce with greater standing tree volume also had significantly greater downed wood volume. In contrast, greater downed wood volume was not associated with greater standing tree volume in the Ponderosa Pine Group. Knowledge of linkages among environmental variables and stand characteristics are useful in development of regional forest models aimed at understanding the effects of climate change and disturbance on forest succession.

  20. Multi-sensor data fusion for estimating forest species composition and abundance in northern Minnesota

    Treesearch

    Peter P. Wolter; Phillip A. Townsend

    2011-01-01

    The magnitude, duration, and frequency of forest disturbance caused by the spruce budworm and forest tent caterpillar in northern Minnesota and neighboring Ontario, Canada have increased over the last century due to a shift in forest species composition linked to historical fire suppression, forest management, and pesticide application that has fostered increased...

  1. Shrew species richness and abundance in relation to vernal pond habitat in southern New England

    Treesearch

    Robert T. Brooks; Katherine L. Doyle

    2001-01-01

    Vernal ponds are important aquatic habitat for many species of amphibians and invertebrates. While many aspects of such ponds have been investigated, small mammal populations in the adjacent upland [catchment] habitat are largely unstudied. We selected three ponds in central Massachusetts to determine whether the presence of vernal ponds in forested habitat influences...

  2. Species abundances, guild dominance patterns, and community structure of breeding riparian birds

    Treesearch

    Deborah M. Finch

    1989-01-01

    I investigated trends in bird species populations, guild structure, and bird communities along a riparian altitudinal cline in the Medicine Bow National Forest of southeastern Wyoming. Streamside habitats were divided into three elevational zones: low-elevation (2050 to 2260 m) cottonwood zone, mid-elevation (2290 to 2530 m) mixed shrub willow zone, and high elevation...

  3. Nekton communities in Hawaiian coastal wetlands: The distribution and abundance of introduced fish species

    Treesearch

    Richard Ames MacKenzie; Gregory L. Bruland

    2012-01-01

    Nekton communities were sampled from 38 Hawaiian coastal wetlands from 2007 to 2009 using lift nets, seines, and throw nets in an attempt to increase our understanding of the nekton assemblages that utilize these poorly studied ecosystems. Nekton were dominated by exotic species, primarily poeciliids (Gambusia affinis, Poecilia...

  4. Mapping host-species abundance of three major exotic forest pests

    Treesearch

    Randall S. Morin; Andrew M. Liebhold; Eugene R. Luzader; Andrew J. Lister; Kurt W. Gottschalk; Daniel B. Twardus

    2005-01-01

    Periodically over the last century, forests of the Eastern United States devastated by invasive pests. We used existing data to predict the geographical extent of future damage from beech bark disease (BBD), hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), and gypsy moth. The distributions of host species of these alien pests were mapped in 1-km2 cells by interpolating host basal area/ha...

  5. Delta smelt: Life history and decline of a once abundant species in the San Francisco Estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moyle, Peter B.; Brown, Larry R.; Durand, John R; Hobbs, James A.

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews what has been learned about Delta Smelt and its status since the publication of The State of Bay-Delta Science, 2008 (Healey et al. 2008). The Delta Smelt is endemic to the upper San Francisco Estuary. Much of its historic habitat is no longer available and remaining habitat is increasingly unable to sustain the population. As a listed species living in the central node of California’s water supply system, Delta Smelt has been the focus of a large research effort to understand causes of decline and identify ways to recover the species. Since 2008, a remarkable record of innovative research on Delta Smelt has been achieved, which is summarized here. Unfortunately, research has not prevented the smelt’s continued decline, which is the result of multiple, interacting factors. A major driver of decline is change to the Delta ecosystem from water exports, resulting in reduced outflows and high levels of entrainment in the large pumps of the South Delta. Invasions of alien species, encouraged by environmental change, have also played a contributing role in the decline. Severe drought effects have pushed Delta Smelt to record low levels in 2014–2015. The rapid decline of the species and failure of recovery efforts demonstrate an inability to manage the Delta for the “co-equal goals” of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and providing a reliable water supply for Californians. Diverse and substantial management actions are needed to preserve Delta Smelt.

  6. Characterising Wetland Properties in Relation to the Abundance of an Invasive Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanosik, L. E.; McEnroe, N. A.

    2008-12-01

    Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a colorful but aggressive invasive species found at the Goodyear Swamp Sanctuary in Upstate New York. Flowering from June to September allows a large number of seeds to spread quickly throughout the growing season. This invasive species can alter can alter a wetland's functional properties by impacting the hydrology and soil properties. These modified properties are of concern to wetland scientists and wetland managers as the characterisation of wetland condition becomes more important. Control or eradication of purple loosestrife within the Goodyear Swamp has become regionally important and is carried out by a U.S. Department of Agriculture approved leaf-eating beetle Galerucella calmariensis. A study to investigate the environmental conditions in which purple loosestrife has propagated and changed the native flora of Goodyear Swamp was developed. The aim was to characterize the soil physiochemical properties and hydrological conditions under which the species occurs. These data are relevant to be able to highlight the wetland conditions under which purple loosestrife might invade and to be able to compare treated and untreated wetlands. We highlight key differences in wetland functional properties caused by the invasion of this species.

  7. Assessing the sensitivity of avian species abundance to land cover and climate

    Treesearch

    Jaymi J. LeBrun; Wayne E. Thogmartin; Frank R. Thompson; William D. Dijak; Joshua J. Millspaugh

    2016-01-01

    Climate projections for the Midwestern United States predict southerly climates to shift northward. These shifts in climate could alter distributions of species across North America through changes in climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation), or through climate-induced changes on land cover. Our objective was to determine the relative impacts of land cover and...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  9. Species differences in nitrogen cycling in a humid sub-tropical forest inferred from 15N natural abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdisa Gurmesa, Geshere; Lu, Xiankai; Gundersen, Per; Mao, Qinggong; Zhou, Kaijun; Mo, Jiangming

    2017-04-01

    Studies of natural abundance of stable nitrogen isotope (δ15N) of ecosystems can provide integrated information about N status and N cycling rates within the ecosystems. Plant species with different N cycling traits can affect ecosystem δ15N, but such differences are poorly explored in tropical forests. This study evaluates the extent of variation in plant δ15N among co-occurring sub-tropical tropical tree species in old-growth mixed broadleaved forest in southern China. We compared leaf δ15N values among five co-occurring tree species under ambient deposition (control plots), and variation in plant δ15N response to a decade of N addition (N-plots) and to a one-year enriched 15N addition to both treatments in the study forest. We found significant differences in leaf δ15N values among tree species (up to 3‰) both in control and N-plots. Responses of leaf δ15N to N and 15N addition also differ among the tree species. These differences are explained by differences in N acquisition strategies (dependence on soil N and/or deposition N among the plant species) that is partly related to differences in mycorrhizal association among the studied plants. Our results indicate that plant species in N-rich tropical forests could have distinct N cycling traits as observed in many predominantly N-limited temperate and boreal forests. The finding, therefore, highlights the importance of considering tree species variation in studying N cycling in N-rich tropical forests.

  10. Species richness, relative abundance, and habitat associations of nocturnal birds along the rio grande in Southern texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skoruppa, M.K.; Woodin, M.C.; Blacklock, G.

    2009-01-01

    The segment of the Rio Grande between International Falcon Reservoir and Del Rio, Texas (distance ca. 350 km), remains largely unexplored ornithologically. We surveyed nocturnal birds monthly during February-June 1998 at 19 stations along the Rio Grande (n = 6) and at upland stock ponds (n = 13) in Webb County, Texas. We conducted 10-min point counts (n = 89) after sunset and before moonset. Four species of owls and five species of nightjars were detected. Nightjars, as a group, were nearly five limes more abundant (mean number/count = 2.63) than owls (mean number = 0.55). The most, common owl, the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), had a mean number of 0.25/point count. The mean for elf owls (Micrathene whitneyi) was 0.16/point count. The most common nightjars were the common poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii; 1.21/point count) and lesser nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennir, 1.16/point count). Survey sites on the river supported more species (mean = 2.2) than did upland stock ponds (mean = 1.4). However, only one species (common pauraque, Nyctidromus albicollis) showed a preference for the river sites. Our results establish this segment of the Rio Grande in southern Texas as an area of high diversity of nightjars in the United States, matched (in numbers of species) only by southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.

  11. Community analysis of the abundance and diversity of mosquito species (Diptera: Culicidae) in three European countries at different latitudes.

    PubMed

    Möhlmann, Tim W R; Wennergren, Uno; Tälle, Malin; Favia, Guido; Damiani, Claudia; Bracchetti, Luca; Koenraadt, Constantianus J M

    2017-10-23

    Studies on mosquito species diversity in Europe often focus on a specific habitat, region or country. Moreover, different trap types are used for these sampling studies, making it difficult to compare and validate results across Europe. To facilitate comparisons of trapping sites and community analysis, the present study used two trap types for monitoring mosquito species diversity in three habitat types for three different countries in Europe. Mosquitoes were trapped using Biogents Sentinel (BGS), and Mosquito Magnet Liberty Plus (MMLP) traps at a total of 27 locations in Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy, comprising farm, peri-urban and wetland habitats. From July 2014 to June 2015 all locations were sampled monthly, except for the winter months. Indices of species richness, evenness and diversity were calculated, and community analyses were carried out with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) techniques. A total of 11,745 female mosquitoes were trapped during 887 collections. More than 90% of the mosquitoes belonged to the genera Culex and Aedes, with Culex pipiens being the most abundant species. The highest mosquito diversity was found in Sweden. Within Sweden, species diversity was highest in wetland habitats, whereas in the Netherlands and Italy this was highest at farms. The NMDS analyses showed clear differences in mosquito communities among countries, but not among habitat types. The MMLP trapped a higher diversity of mosquito species than the BGS traps. Also, MMLP traps trapped higher numbers of mosquitoes, except for the genera Culex and Culiseta in Italy. A core mosquito community could be identified for the three countries, with Culex pipiens as the most abundant species. Differences in mosquito species communities were more defined by the three countries included in the study than by the three habitat types. Differences in mosquito community composition across countries may have implications for disease emergence and further spread throughout

  12. Leptanilla hypodracos sp. n., a new species of the cryptic ant genus Leptanilla (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Singapore, with new distribution data and an updated key to Oriental Leptanilla species

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Mark K. L.; Guénard, Benoit

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A new species of the cryptic and rarely collected ant genus Leptanilla is described. Leptanilla hypodracos sp. n. is the first Leptanilla recorded from Singapore in over a century since Leptanilla havilandi Forel, 1901 and represents the fourth species of Leptanilla known from the Malay Peninsula. An updated key to the Leptanilla of the Oriental region is presented. Taxonomic comparisons between Leptanilla hypodracos sp. n. and four morphologically similar species are provided with particular attention given to Leptanilla clypeata Yamane & Ito, 2001, for which new measurements and indices are presented. The first report is presented for the Leptanillinae subfamily from the southeastern part of China with a worker of the genus Leptanilla collected in Hong Kong. Finally, the potential of subterranean bait to collect Leptanilla species is discussed. PMID:26877667

  13. Declining Orangutan Encounter Rates from Wallace to the Present Suggest the Species Was Once More Abundant

    PubMed Central

    Meijaard, Erik; Welsh, Alan; Ancrenaz, Marc; Wich, Serge; Nijman, Vincent; Marshall, Andrew J.

    2010-01-01

    Background Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) currently occur at low densities and seeing a wild one is a rare event. Compared to present low encounter rates of orangutans, it is striking how many orangutan each day historic collectors like Alfred Russel Wallace were able to shoot continuously over weeks or even months. Does that indicate that some 150 years ago encounter rates with orangutans, or their densities, were higher than now? Methodology/Principal Findings We test this hypothesis by quantifying encounter rates obtained from hunting accounts, museum collections, and recent field studies, and analysing whether there is a declining trend over time. Logistic regression analyses of our data support such a decline on Borneo between the mid-19th century and the present. Even when controlled for variation in the size of survey and hunting teams and the durations of expeditions, mean daily encounter rates appear to have declined about 6-fold in areas with little or no forest disturbance. Conclusions/Significance This finding has potential consequences for our understanding of orangutans, because it suggests that Bornean orangutans once occurred at higher densities. We explore potential explanations—habitat loss and degradation, hunting, and disease—and conclude that hunting fits the observed patterns best. This suggests that hunting has been underestimated as a key causal factor of orangutan density and distribution, and that species population declines have been more severe than previously estimated based on habitat loss only. Our findings may require us to rethink the biology of orangutans, with much of our ecological understanding possibly being based on field studies of animals living at lower densities than they did historically. Our approach of quantifying species encounter rates from historic data demonstrates that this method can yield valuable information about the ecology and population density of species in the past, providing new insight into

  14. Abundance and species richness of snakes along the Middle Rio Grande riparian forest in New Mexico

    Treesearch

    Heather L. Bateman; Alice Chung-MacCoubrey; Howard L. Snell; Deborah M. Finch

    2009-01-01

    To understand the effects of removal of non-native plants and fuels on wildlife in the riparian forest of the Middle Rio Grande in New Mexico, we monitored snakes from 2000 to 2006 using trap arrays of drift fences, pitfalls, and funnel traps. We recorded 158 captures of 13 species of snakes from 12 study sites. We captured more snakes in funnel traps than in pitfalls...

  15. Draft Genome Sequences of Three Novel Low-Abundance Species Strains Isolated from Kefir Grain.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yongkyu; Blasche, Sonja; Patil, Kiran R

    2017-09-28

    We report here the genome sequences of three novel bacterial species strains- Bacillus kefirresidentii Opo, Rothia kefirresidentii KRP, and Streptococcus kefirresidentii YK-isolated from kefir grains collected in Germany. The draft genomes of these isolates were remarkably dissimilar (average nucleotide identities, 77.80%, 89.01%, and 92.10%, respectively) to those of the previously sequenced strains. Copyright © 2017 Kim et al.

  16. Complex foraging ecology of the red harvester ant and its effect on the soil seed bank

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luna, Pedro; García-Chávez, Juan Héctor; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2018-01-01

    Granivory is an important interaction in the arid and semi-arid zones of the world, since seeds form an abundant and nutritious resource in these areas. While species of the genus Pogonomyrmex have been studied in detail as seed predators, their impact on seed abundance in the soil has not yet been explored in sufficient depth. We studied the impact of the harvesting activities of the ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus on seed abundance in the soil of the Zapotitlán valley, Mexico. We found that P. barbatus activity significantly impacts the abundance of seeds in the soil, which is lower in the sites where P. barbatus forages than it is in sites with no recorded foraging. We also found that P. barbatus distributes intact seeds of three tree species, two of which are nurse plants, and could consequently be promoting the establishment of these species. Using tools derived from graph theory, we observed that the ant-seed interactions exhibit a nested pattern; where more depredated seed species seem to be the more spatially abundant in the environment. This study illustrates the complex foraging ecology of the harvester ant P. barbatus and elucidates its effect on the soil seed bank in a semi-arid environment.

  17. Ants contribute to pollination but not to reproduction in a rare calcareous grassland forb

    PubMed Central

    Bollmann, Felix; Saville, David; Riedel, Michael

    2018-01-01

    The number of plants pollinated by ants is surprisingly low given the abundance of ants and the fact that they are common visitors of angiosperms. Generally ants are considered as nectar robbers that do not provide pollination service. We studied the pollination system of the endangered dry grassland forb Euphorbia seguieriana and found two ant species to be the most frequent visitors of its flowers. Workers of Formica cunicularia carried five times more pollen than smaller Tapinoma erraticum individuals, but significantly more viable pollen was recovered from the latter. Overall, the viability of pollen on ant cuticles was significantly lower (p < 0.001)—presumably an antibiotic effect of the metapleural gland secretion. A marking experiment suggested that ants were unlikely to facilitate outcrossing as workers repeatedly returned to the same individual plant. In open pollinated plants and when access was given exclusively to flying insects, fruit set was nearly 100%. In plants visited by ants only, roughly one third of flowers set fruit, and almost none set fruit when all insects were excluded. The germination rate of seeds from flowers pollinated by flying insects was 31 ± 7% in contrast to 1 ± 1% resulting from ant pollination. We conclude that inbreeding depression may be responsible for the very low germination rate in ant pollinated flowers and that ants, although the most frequent visitors, play a negligible or even deleterious role in the reproduction of E. seguieriana. Our study reiterates the need to investigate plant fitness effects beyond seed set in order to confirm ant-plant mutualisms. PMID:29479496

  18. Reproductive ecology of phorid parasitoids in relation to the head size of leaf-cutting ants Atta sexdens Forel.

    PubMed

    Farder-Gomes, C F; Oliveira, M A; Gonçalves, P L; Gontijo, L M; Zanuncio, J C; Bragança, M A L; Pires, E M

    2017-08-01

    The leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is one of the most damaging agricultural pests in the Neotropics. Management strategies predominantly rely on the use of general insecticides. What is needed are more species-specific and environmentally friendly options. Parasitioids such as phorid flies (Diptera: Phoridae) may be one such option, but a greater understanding of the ecology of the flies and their ant hosts is essential to devise biological control strategies. Here we report parasitism rates, ant host size, parasitoid abundance per host and resultant sex ratios of two phorid species Apocephalus attophilus Borgmeier and Eibesfeldtphora tonhascai Brown parasitizing A.sexdens. The two species achieved parasitism rates of 1.48 and 1.46%, respectively and the pupal period was 14.7 ± 1.1 days and 22.1 ± 2.8 days, respectively. There was no significant difference between the head capsule width of ants parasitized by either A. attophilus or E. tonhascai. Likewise, there was no significant effect between the head capsule width of parasitized and unparasitized ants for both species. A significant positive correlation was found between the head capsule width of the parasitized ants and the number of adult parasitoids A. attophilus emerged. Ants parasitized by E. tonhascai survived significantly longer than those parasitized by A. attophilus. There was no significant effect of ant head width on the sex ratio of the offspring of either parasitoid species and no significant difference in the sex ratio (male: female) of their offspring. In summary, these data addressed here are important steps when considering natural enemies for biological control. Studying survival of the parasitized ants, parasitoid offspring sex ratio and host size preference allows for a better understanding of ant natural biological control in the field and can help in rearing of A. attophilus and E. tonhascai in laboratory.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    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. PMID:29152414

  1. Abundances and implications of volatile-bearing species from evolved gas analysis of the Rocknest aeolian deposit, Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archer, Paul Douglas; Franz, Heather B.; Sutter, Brad; Arevalo, Ricardo D.; Coll, Patrice; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; McAdam, Amy C.; McKay, Christopher P.; Ming, Douglas W.; Morris, Richard V.; Navarro-González, Rafael; Niles, Paul B.; Pavlov, Alex; Squyres, Steven W.; Stern, Jennifer C.; Steele, Andrew; Wray, James J.

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity detected evolved gases during thermal analysis of soil samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit in Gale Crater. Major species detected (in order of decreasing molar abundance) were H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2, all at the µmol level, with HCl, H2S, NH3, NO, and HCN present at the tens to hundreds of nmol level. We compute weight % numbers for the major gases evolved by assuming a likely source and calculate abundances between 0.5 and 3 wt.%. The evolution of these gases implies the presence of both oxidized (perchlorates) and reduced (sulfides or H-bearing) species as well as minerals formed under alkaline (carbonates) and possibly acidic (sulfates) conditions. Possible source phases in the Rocknest material are hydrated amorphous material, minor clay minerals, and hydrated perchlorate salts (all potential H2O sources), carbonates (CO2), perchlorates (O2 and HCl), and potential N-bearing materials (e.g., Martian nitrates, terrestrial or Martian nitrogenated organics, ammonium salts) that evolve NH3, NO, and/or HCN. We conclude that Rocknest materials are a physical mixture in chemical disequilibrium, consistent with aeolian mixing, and that although weathering is not extensive, it may be ongoing even under current Martian surface conditions.

  2. Neutral theory and the species abundance distribution: recent developments and prospects for unifying niche and neutral perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Matthews, Thomas J; Whittaker, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Published in 2001, The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography (UNTB) emphasizes the importance of stochastic processes in ecological community structure, and has challenged the traditional niche-based view of ecology. While neutral models have since been applied to a broad range of ecological and macroecological phenomena, the majority of research relating to neutral theory has focused exclusively on the species abundance distribution (SAD). Here, we synthesize the large body of work on neutral theory in the context of the species abundance distribution, with a particular focus on integrating ideas from neutral theory with traditional niche theory. First, we summarize the basic tenets of neutral theory; both in general and in the context of SADs. Second, we explore the issues associated with neutral theory and the SAD, such as complications with fitting and model comparison, the underlying assumptions of neutral models, and the difficultly of linking pattern to process. Third, we highlight the advances in understanding of SADs that have resulted from neutral theory and models. Finally, we focus consideration on recent developments aimed at unifying neutral- and niche-based approaches to ecology, with a particular emphasis on what this means for SAD theory, embracing, for instance, ideas of emergent neutrality and stochastic niche theory. We put forward the argument that the prospect of the unification of niche and neutral perspectives represents one of the most promising future avenues of neutral theory research. PMID:25360266

  3. Neutral theory and the species abundance distribution: recent developments and prospects for unifying niche and neutral perspectives.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Thomas J; Whittaker, Robert J

    2014-06-01

    Published in 2001, The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography (UNTB) emphasizes the importance of stochastic processes in ecological community structure, and has challenged the traditional niche-based view of ecology. While neutral models have since been applied to a broad range of ecological and macroecological phenomena, the majority of research relating to neutral theory has focused exclusively on the species abundance distribution (SAD). Here, we synthesize the large body of work on neutral theory in the context of the species abundance distribution, with a particular focus on integrating ideas from neutral theory with traditional niche theory. First, we summarize the basic tenets of neutral theory; both in general and in the context of SADs. Second, we explore the issues associated with neutral theory and the SAD, such as complications with fitting and model comparison, the underlying assumptions of neutral models, and the difficultly of linking pattern to process. Third, we highlight the advances in understanding of SADs that have resulted from neutral theory and models. Finally, we focus consideration on recent developments aimed at unifying neutral- and niche-based approaches to ecology, with a particular emphasis on what this means for SAD theory, embracing, for instance, ideas of emergent neutrality and stochastic niche theory. We put forward the argument that the prospect of the unification of niche and neutral perspectives represents one of the most promising future avenues of neutral theory research.

  4. Perceptions of Species Abundance, Distribution, and Diversity:Lessons from Four Decades of Sampling on a Government-Managed Reserve

    PubMed

    Gibbons; Burke; Lovich; Semlitsch; Tuberville; Bodie; Greene; Niewiarowski; Whiteman; Scott; Pechmann; Harrison; Bennett; Krenz; Mills; Buhlmann; Lee; Seigel; Tucker; Mills; Lamb; Dorcas; Congdon; Smith; Nelson; Dietsch; Hanlin; Ott; Karapatakis

    1997-03-01

    / We examined data relative to species abundance, distribution, anddiversity patterns of reptiles and amphibians to determine how perceptionschange over time and with level of sampling effort. Location data werecompiled on more than one million individual captures or observations of 98species during a 44-year study period on the US Department of Energy's(DOE) Savannah River Site National Environmental Research Park (SRS-NERP) inSouth Carolina. We suggest that perceptions of herpetofaunal speciesdiversity are strongly dependent on level of effort and that land managementdecisions based on short-term data bases for some faunal groups could resultin serious errors in environmental management. We provide evidence thatacquiring information on biodiversity distribution patterns is compatiblewith multiyear spatially extensive research programs and also provide aperspective of what might be achieved if long-term, coordinated researchefforts were instituted nationwide.To conduct biotic surveys on government-managed lands, we recommend revisionsin the methods used by government agencies to acquire and report biodiversitydata. We suggest that government and industry employees engaged inbiodiversity survey efforts develop proficiency in field identification forone or more major taxonomic groups and be encouraged to measure the status ofpopulations quantitatively with consistent and reliable methodologies. Wealso suggest that widespread academic cooperation in the dissemination ofinformation on regional patterns of biodiversity could result byestablishment of a peer-reviewed, scientifically rigorous journal concernedwith status and trends of the biota of the United States. KEY WORDS: Abundance; Amphibian; Biodiversity; Distribution; Landmanagement; Reptile

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

  6. Mapping species abundance by a spatial zero-inflated Poisson model: a case study in the Wadden Sea, the Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Lyashevska, Olga; Brus, Dick J; van der Meer, Jaap

    2016-01-01

    The objective of the study was to provide a general procedure for mapping species abundance when data are zero-inflated and spatially correlated counts. The bivalve species Macoma balthica was observed on a 500×500 m grid in the Dutch part of the Wadden Sea. In total, 66% of the 3451 counts were zeros. A zero-inflated Poisson mixture model was used to relate counts to environmental covariates. Two models were considered, one with relatively fewer covariates (model "small") than the other (model "large"). The models contained two processes: a Bernoulli (species prevalence) and a Poisson (species intensity, when the Bernoulli process predicts presence). The model was used to make predictions for sites where only environmental data are available. Predicted prevalences and intensities show that the model "small" predicts lower mean prevalence and higher mean intensity, than the model "large". Yet, the product of prevalence and intensity, which might be called the unconditional intensity, is very similar. Cross-validation showed that the model "small" performed slightly better, but the difference was small. The proposed methodology might be generally applicable, but is computer intensive.

  7. Influence of species, size and relative abundance on the outcomes of competitive interactions between brook trout and juvenile coho salmon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thornton, Emily J; Duda, Jeff; Quinn, Thomas P.

    2016-01-01

    Resource competition between animals is influenced by a number of factors including the species, size and relative abundance of competing individuals. Stream-dwelling animals often experience variably available food resources, and some employ territorial behaviors to increase their access to food. We investigated the factors that affect dominance between resident, non-native brook trout and recolonizing juvenile coho salmon in the Elwha River, WA, USA, to see if brook trout are likely to disrupt coho salmon recolonization via interference competition. During dyadic laboratory feeding trials, we hypothesized that fish size, not species, would determine which individuals consumed the most food items, and that species would have no effect. We found that species, not size, played a significant role in dominance; coho salmon won 95% of trials, even when only 52% the length of their brook trout competitors. As the pairs of competing fish spent more time together during a trial sequence, coho salmon began to consume more food, and brook trout began to lose more, suggesting that the results of early trials influenced fish performance later. In group trials, we hypothesized that group composition and species would not influence fish foraging success. In single species groups, coho salmon consumed more than brook trout, but the ranges overlapped. Brook trout consumption remained constant through all treatments, but coho salmon consumed more food in treatments with fewer coho salmon, suggesting that coho salmon experienced more intra- than inter-specific competition and that brook trout do not pose a substantial challenge. Based on our results, we think it is unlikely that competition from brook trout will disrupt Elwha River recolonization by coho salmon.

  8. Species composition and seasonal abundance of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in Louisiana soybean.

    PubMed

    Temple, J H; Davis, J A; Micinski, S; Hardke, J T; Price, P; Leonard, B R

    2013-08-01

    In Louisiana during the last decade, the redbanded stink bug, Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood), has become a significant and yield-limiting pest of soybean. The redbanded stink bug was previously reported in the United States in 1892, but was never considered an economically important pest until recently. Soybeans representing four maturity groups (MG) III, IV, V, and VI were sampled weekly from beginning bloom (R1) to physiological maturity (R8) during 2008-2010 at five locations across Louisiana to determine the Pentatomidae composition. In total, 13,146 stink bugs were captured and subsequently identified to species. The predominant species included the redbanded stink bug (54.2%); southern green stink bug (27.1%), Nezara viridula L.; brown stink bug (6.6%), Euschistus servus (Say); and green stink bug (5.5%), Acrosternum hilare (Say). Redbanded stink bug comprised the largest percentage of the complex collected at four of the five survey sites. Numbers exceeding action thresholds of this stink bug complex were only detected during R4 to R7 growth stages. Redbanded stink bug accounted for the largest percentage of the stink bug complex in early maturing soybean varieties (MG III [86%] and IV [60%]) and declined in later maturing soybeans (MG V [54%] and VI [50%]). The redbanded stink bug was initially identified in southern Louisiana during 2000 and had been reported in all soybean producing regions in Louisiana by 2006. This survey is the first to report the redbanded stink bug as a predominant pest of soybeans from locations within the United States.

  9. Relation between occupancy and abundance for a territorial species, the California spotted owl.

    PubMed

    Tempel, Douglas J; Gutiérrez, R J

    2013-10-01

    Land and resource managers often use detection-nondetection surveys to monitor the populations of species that may be affected by factors such as habitat alteration, climate change, and biological invasions. Relative to mark-recapture studies, using detection-nondetection surveys is more cost-effective, and recent advances in statistical analyses allow the incorporation of detection probability, covariates, and multiple seasons. We examined the efficacy of using detection-nondetection data (relative to mark-recapture data) for monitoring population trends of a territorial species, the California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis). We estimated and compared the finite annual rates of population change (λt ) and the resulting realized population change (Δt ) from both occupancy and mark-recapture data collected over 18 years (1993-2010). We used multiseason, robust-design occupancy models to estimate that territory occupancy declined during our study (Δt = 0.702, 95% CI 0.552-0.852) due to increasing territory extinction rates (ε(1993) = 0.019 [SE 0.012]; ε(2009) = 0.134 [SE 0.043]) and decreasing colonization rates (γ(1993) = 0.323 [SE 0.124]; γ(2009) = 0.242 [SE 0.058]). We used Pradel's temporal-symmetry model for mark-recapture data to estimate that the population trajectory closely matched the trends in territory occupancy (Δt = 0.725, 95% CI 0.445-1.004). Individual survival was constant during our study (φ(1993) = 0.816 [SE 0.020]; φ(2009) = 0.815 [SE 0.019]), whereas recruitment declined slightly (f(1993) = 0.195 [SE 0.032]; f(2009) = 0.160 [SE 0.023]). Thus, we concluded that detection-nondetection data can provide reliable inferences on population trends, especially when funds preclude more intensive mark-recapture studies. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Burrower bugs (Heteroptera: Cydnidae) in peanut: seasonal species abundance, tillage effects, grade reduction effects, insecticide efficacy, and management.

    PubMed

    Chapin, Jay W; Thomas, James S

    2003-08-01

    Pitfall traps placed in South Carolina peanut, Arachis hypogaea (L.), fields collected three species of burrower bugs (Cydnidae): Cyrtomenus ciliatus (Palisot de Beauvois), Sehirus cinctus cinctus (Palisot de Beauvois), and Pangaeus bilineatus (Say). Cyrtomenus ciliatus was rarely collected. Sehirus cinctus produced a nymphal cohort in peanut during May and June, probably because of abundant henbit seeds, Lamium amplexicaule L., in strip-till production systems. No S. cinctus were present during peanut pod formation. Pangaeus bilineatus was the most abundant species collected and the only species associated with peanut kernel feeding injury. Overwintering P. bilineatus adults were present in a conservation tillage peanut field before planting and two to three subsequent generations were observed. Few nymphs were collected until the R6 (full seed) growth stage. Tillage and choice of cover crop affected P. bilineatus populations. Peanuts strip-tilled into corn or wheat residue had greater P. bilineatus populations and kernel-feeding than conventional tillage or strip-tillage into rye residue. Fall tillage before planting a wheat cover crop also reduced burrower bug feeding on peanut. At-pegging (early July) granular chlorpyrifos treatments were most consistent in suppressing kernel feeding. Kernels fed on by P. bilineatus were on average 10% lighter than unfed on kernels. Pangaeus bilineatus feeding reduced peanut grade by reducing individual kernel weight, and increasing the percentage damaged kernels. Each 10% increase in kernels fed on by P. bilineatus was associated with a 1.7% decrease in total sound mature kernels, and kernel feeding levels above 30% increase the risk of damaged kernel grade penalties.

  11. Musings on the management of Nylanderia fulva Crazy Ants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Nylanderia fulva is an invasive crazy ant that can inundate landscapes and structures. This invasive ant has been called the Caribbean crazy ant in Florida and the Rasberry [sic] crazy ant in Texas. The species was thought to be Nylanderia pubens or Nylanderia near pubens, in Florida and Texas, resp...

  12. Examining the patterns and dynamics of species abundance distributions in succession of forest communities by model selection.

    PubMed

    Yin, Zuo-Yun; Zeng, Lu; Luo, Shao-Ming; Chen, Ping; He, Xiao; Guo, Wei; Li, Bailian

    2018-01-01

    There are a few common species and many rare species in a biological community or a multi-species collection in given space and time. This hollow distribution curve is called species abundance distribution (SAD). Few studies have examined the patterns and dynamics of SADs during the succession of forest communities by model selection. This study explored whether the communities in different successional stages followed different SAD models and whether there existed a best SAD model to reveal their intrinsic quantitative features of structure and dynamics in succession. The abundance (the number of individuals) of each vascular plant was surveyed by quadrat sampling method from the tree, shrub and herb layers in two typical communities (i.e., the evergreen needle- and broad-leaved mixed forest and the monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest) in southern subtropical Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, South China. The sites of two forest communities in different successional stages are both 1 ha in area. We collected seven widely representative SAD models with obviously different function forms and transformed them into the same octave (log2) scale. These models are simultaneously confronted with eight datasets from four layers of two communities, and their goodness-of-fits to the data were evaluated by the chi-squared test, the adjusted coefficient of determination and the information criteria. The results indicated that: (1) the logCauchy model followed all the datasets and was the best among seven models; (2) the fitness of each model to the data was not directly related to the successional stage of forest community; (3) according to the SAD curves predicted by the best model (i.e., the logCauchy), the proportion of rare species decreased but that of common ones increased in the upper layers with succession, while the reverse was true in the lower layers; and (4) the difference of the SADs increased between the upper and the lower layers with succession. We concluded that

  13. Examining the patterns and dynamics of species abundance distributions in succession of forest communities by model selection

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Shao-Ming; Chen, Ping; He, Xiao; Guo, Wei; Li, Bailian

    2018-01-01

    There are a few common species and many rare species in a biological community or a multi-species collection in given space and time. This hollow distribution curve is called species abundance distribution (SAD). Few studies have examined the patterns and dynamics of SADs during the succession of forest communities by model selection. This study explored whether the communities in different successional stages followed different SAD models and whether there existed a best SAD model to reveal their intrinsic quantitative features of structure and dynamics in succession. The abundance (the number of individuals) of each vascular plant was surveyed by quadrat sampling method from the tree, shrub and herb layers in two typical communities (i.e., the evergreen needle- and broad-leaved mixed forest and the monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest) in southern subtropical Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, South China. The sites of two forest communities in different successional stages are both 1 ha in area. We collected seven widely representative SAD models with obviously different function forms and transformed them into the same octave (log2) scale. These models are simultaneously confronted with eight datasets from four layers of two communities, and their goodness-of-fits to the data were evaluated by the chi-squared test, the adjusted coefficient of determination and the information criteria. The results indicated that: (1) the logCauchy model followed all the datasets and was the best among seven models; (2) the fitness of each model to the data was not directly related to the successional stage of forest community; (3) according to the SAD curves predicted by the best model (i.e., the logCauchy), the proportion of rare species decreased but that of common ones increased in the upper layers with succession, while the reverse was true in the lower layers; and (4) the difference of the SADs increased between the upper and the lower layers with succession. We concluded that

  14. Spatial patterns in the abundance of the coastal horned lizard

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Robert N.; Suarez, Andrew V.; Case, Ted J.

    2002-01-01

    Coastal horned lizards (   Phrynosoma coronatum) have undergone severe declines in southern California and are a candidate species for state and federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. Quantitative data on their habitat use, abundance, and distribution are lacking, however. We investigated the determinants of abundance for coastal horned lizards at multiple spatial scales throughout southern California. Specifically, we estimated lizard distribution and abundance by establishing 256 pitfall trap arrays clustered within 21 sites across four counties. These arrays were sampled bimonthly for 2–3 years. At each array we measured 26 “local” site descriptors and averaged these values with other “regional” measures to determine site characteristics. Our analyses were successful at identifying factors within and among sites correlated with the presence and abundance of coastal horned lizards. These factors included the absence of the invasive Argentine ant (  Linepithema humile) (and presence of native ant species eaten by the lizards), the presence of chaparral community plants, and the presence of sandy substrates. At a regional scale the relative abundance of Argentine ants was correlated with the relative amount of developed edge around a site. There was no evidence for spatial autocorrelation, even at the scale of the arrays within sites, suggesting that the determinants of the presence or absence and abundance of horned lizard can vary over relatively small spatial scales ( hundreds of meters). Our results suggest that a gap-type approach may miss some of the fine-scale determinants of species abundance in fragmented habitats.

  15. Community analysis of the abundance and diversity of biting midge species (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in three European countries at different latitudes.

    PubMed

    Möhlmann, Tim W R; Wennergren, Uno; Tälle, Malin; Favia, Guido; Damiani, Claudia; Bracchetti, Luca; Takken, Willem; Koenraadt, Constantianus J M

    2018-03-27

    The outbreaks of bluetongue and Schmallenberg disease in Europe have increased efforts to understand the ecology of Culicoides biting midges and their role in pathogen transmission. However, most studies have focused on a specific habitat, region, or country. To facilitate wider comparisons, and to obtain a better understanding of the spread of disease through Europe, the present study focused on monitoring biting midge species diversity in three different habitat types and three countries across Europe. Biting midges were trapped using Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute light traps at a total of 27 locations in Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy, comprising farm, peri-urban and wetland habitats. From July 2014 to June 2015 all locations were sampled monthly, except for during the winter months. Trapped midges were counted and identified morphologically. Indices on species richness, evenness and diversity were calculated. Community compositions were analysed using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) techniques. A total of 50,085 female midges were trapped during 442 collection nights. More than 88% of these belonged to the Obsoletus group. The highest midge diversity was found in Sweden, while species richness was highest in the Netherlands, and most specimens were trapped in Italy. For habitats within countries, diversity of the trapped midges was lowest for farms in all countries. Differences in biting midge species communities were more distinct across the three countries than the three habitat types. A core midge community could be identified, in which the Obsoletus group was the most abundant. Variations in vector communities across countries imply different patterns of disease spread throughout Europe. How specific species and their associated communities affect disease risk is still unclear. Our results emphasize the importance of midge diversity data at community level, how this differs across large geographic range within Europe, and its implications

  16. Culturable Rhodobacter and Shewanella species are abundant in estuarine turbidity maxima of the Columbia River

    PubMed Central

    Bräuer, S. L.; Adams, C.; Kranzler, K.; Murphy, D.; Xu, M.; Zuber, P.; Simon, H. M.; Baptista, A. M.; Tebo, B. M.

    2017-01-01

    Summary Measurements of dissolved, ascorbate-reducible and total Mn by ICP-OES revealed significantly higher concentrations during estuarine turbidity maxima (ETM) events, compared with non-events in the Columbia River. Most probable number (MPN) counts of Mn-oxidizing or Mn-reducing heterotrophs were not statistically different from that of other heterotrophs (103–104 cells ml−1) when grown in defined media, but counts of Mn oxidizers were significantly lower in nutrient-rich medium (13 cells ml−1). MPN counts of Mn oxidizers were also significantly lower on Mn(III)-pyrophosphate and glycerol (21 cells ml−1). Large numbers of Rhodobacter spp. were cultured from dilutions of 10−2 to 10−5, and many of these were capable of Mn(III) oxidation. Up to c. 30% of the colonies tested LBB positive, and all 77 of the successfully sequenced LBB positive colonies (of varying morphology) yielded sequences related to Rhodobacter spp. qPCR indicated that a cluster of Rhodobacter isolates and closely related strains (95–99% identity) represented approximately 1–3% of the total Bacteria, consistent with clone library results. Copy numbers of SSU rRNA genes for either Rhodobacter spp. or Bacteria were four to eightfold greater during ETM events compared with non-events. Strains of a Shewanella sp. were retrieved from the highest dilutions (10−5) of Mn reducers, and were also capable of Mn oxidation. The SSU rRNA gene sequences from these strains shared a high identity score (98%) with sequences obtained in clone libraries. Our results support previous findings that ETMs are zones with high microbial activity. Results indicated that Shewanella and Rhodobacter species were present in environmentally relevant concentrations, and further demonstrated that a large proportion of culturable bacteria, including Shewanella and Rhodobacter spp., were capable of Mn cycling in vitro. PMID:20977571

  17. Perceptions of species abundance, distribution, and diversity: Lessons from four decades of sampling on a government-managed reserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Burke, Vincent J.; Lovich, Jefferey E.; Semlitsch, Raymond D.; Tuberville, Tracey D.; Bodie, J. Russell; Greene, Judith L.; Niewiarowski, Peter H.; Whiteman, Howard H.; Scott, David E.; Pechmann, Joseph H. K.; Harrison, Christopher R.; Bennett, Stephen H.; Krenz, John D.; Mills, Mark S.; Buhlmann, Kurt A.; Lee, John R.; Seigel, Richard A.; Tucker, Anton D.; Mills, Tony M.; Lamb, Trip; Dorcas, Michael E.; Congdon, Justin D.; Smith, Michael H.; Nelson, David H.; Dietsch, M. Barbara; Hanlin, Hugh G.; Ott, Jeannine A.; Karapatakis, Deno J.

    1997-01-01

    We examined data relative to species abundance, distribution, and diversity patterns of reptiles and amphibians to determine how perceptions change over time and with level of sampling effort. Location data were compiled on more than one million individual captures or observations of 98 species during a 44-year study period on the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Savannah River Site National Environmental Research Park (SRS-NERP) in South Carolina. We suggest that perceptions of herpetofaunal species diversity are strongly dependent on level of effort and that land management decisions based on short-term data bases for some faunal groups