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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 Here, we present published and unpublished data from 51,388 ant abundance and occurrence records of more than 2693 species and 7953 morphospecies from local assemblages collected at 4212 locations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.

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

    PubMed

    Stuble, Katharine L; Kirkman, L Katherine; Carroll, C Ronald; Sanders, Nathan J

    2011-06-01

    The degree to which changes in community composition mediate the probability of colonization and spread of non-native species is not well understood, especially in animal communities. High species richness may hinder the establishment of non-native species. Distinguishing between this scenario and cases in which non-native species become established in intact (lacking extensive anthropogenic soil disturbance) communities and subsequently diminish the abundance and richness of native species is challenging on the basis of observation alone. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), an invasive species that occurs throughout much of the southeastern United States, is such an example. Rather than competitively displacing native species, fire ants may become established only in disturbed areas in which native species richness and abundance are already reduced. We used insecticide to reduce the abundance of native ants and fire ants in four experimental plots. We then observed the reassembly and reestablishment of the ants in these plots for 1 year after treatment. The abundance of fire ants in treated plots did not differ from abundance in control plots 1 year after treatment. Likewise, the abundance of native ants increased to levels comparable to those in control plots after 1 year. Our findings suggest that factors other than large reductions in ant abundance and species density (number of species per unit area) may affect the establishment of fire ants and that the response of native ants and fire ants to disturbance can be comparable.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Multiple ant species tending lac insect Kerria yunnanensis (Hemiptera: Kerriidae) provide asymmetric protection against parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Chen, Youqing; Lu, Zhixing; 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

  9. Patterns of ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) richness and relative abundance along an aridity gradient in Western Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Sánchez, A J; Lattke, J E; Viloria, A L

    2013-04-01

    In xeric ecosystems, ant diversity response to aridity varies with rainfall magnitude and gradient extension. At a local scale and with low precipitation regimes, increased aridity leads to a reduction of species richness and an increased relative abundance for some ant species. In order to test this pattern in tropical environments, ant richness and relative abundance variation were evaluated along 35 km of an aridity gradient in the Araya Peninsula, state of Sucre, Venezuela. Three sampling stations comprising five transects each were set up. Pitfall traps and direct collecting from vegetation were assessed per transect. Overall, 52 species, 23 genera, and 7 subfamilies of ants were recorded in the peninsula. The total number of species and genera recorded by both sampling stations and transects decreased linearly with increasing aridity. Total relative abundance was highest in the most arid portion of the peninsula, with Crematogaster rochai (Forel) and Camponotus conspicuus zonatus (Emery) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) being the numerically dominant species. Spatial and multivariate analyses revealed significant changes in ant composition every 11 km of distance, and showed a decrease of ant diversity with the increase of harsh conditions in the gradient. Here, we discuss how local geographic and topographic features of Araya originate the aridity gradient and so affect the microhabitat conditions for the ant fauna.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  11. Three energy variables predict ant abundance at a geographical scale.

    PubMed Central

    Kaspari, M; Alonso, L; O'Donnell, S

    2000-01-01

    Energy theory posits three processes that link local abundance of ectotherms to geographical gradients in temperature. A survey of 49 New World habitats found a two order of magnitude span in the abundance (nests m(-2)) of ground nesting ants (Formicidae). Abundance increased with net primary productivity (r2=0.55), a measure of the baseline supply of harvestable energy. Abundance further increased with mean temperature (r2=0.056), a constraint on foraging activity for this thermophilic taxon. Finally for a given mean temperature, ants were more abundant in seasonal sites with longer, colder winters (r2 = 0.082) that help ectotherm taxa sequester harvested energy in non-productive months. All three variables are currently changing on a global scale. All should be useful in predicting biotic responses to climate change. PMID:10737406

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

    PubMed

    Ryder Wilkie, Kari T; Mertl, Amy L; Traniello, James F A

    2010-10-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Fast food in ant communities: how competing species find resources.

    PubMed

    Pearce-Duvet, Jessica M C; Moyano, Martin; Adler, Frederick R; Feener, Donald H

    2011-09-01

    An understanding of foraging behavior is crucial to understanding higher level community dynamics; in particular, there is a lack of information about how different species discover food resources. We examined the effect of forager number and forager discovery capacity on food discovery in two disparate temperate ant communities, located in Texas and Arizona. We defined forager discovery capacity as the per capita rate of resource discovery, or how quickly individual ants arrived at resources. In general, resources were discovered more quickly when more foragers were present; this was true both within communities, where species identity was ignored, as well as within species. This pattern suggests that resource discovery is a matter of random processes, with ants essentially bumping into resources at a rate mediated by their abundance. In contrast, species that were better discoverers, as defined by the proportion of resources discovered first, did not have higher numbers of mean foragers. Instead, both mean forager number and mean forager discovery capacity determined discovery success. The Texas species used both forager number and capacity, whereas the Arizona species used only forager capacity. There was a negative correlation between a species' prevalence in the environment and the discovery capacity of its foragers, suggesting that a given species cannot exploit both high numbers and high discovery capacity as a strategy. These results highlight that while forager number is crucial to determining time to discovery at the community level and within species, individual forager characteristics influence the outcome of exploitative competition in ant communities.

  15. Samsum ant, Brachyponera sennaarensis (Formicidae: Ponerinae): Distribution and abundance in Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Al-Khalifa, Mohammed Saleh; Mashaly, Ashraf Mohamed Ali; Siddiqui, Mohammed Iqbal; Al-Mekhlafi, Fahd Abdu

    2015-01-01

    Invasive species are capable of causing considerable damage to natural ecosystems, agriculture and economies throughout the World. Samsum ant, Brachyponera (Pachycondyla) sennaarensis has been a reason for medical implication and social nuisance through its poisonous and severely painful sting causing anaphylactic shock in many cases. We surveyed for the presence of the samsum ant in various provinces of Saudi Arabia. B. sennaarensis was the abundant Ponerinae species in human settlements. In the Eastern provinces, however, few samples were collected, and none were found in the Northern and Western provinces. Infestations of B. sennaarensis were particularly severe in the spring and summer seasons, when the ants make nests in moist areas and in cracks in cemented structures, whereas the extent of infestation reduced in winter seasons. PMID:26288561

  16. 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.

  17. Genetic diversity is positively associated with fine-scale momentary abundance of an invasive ant

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, Monica A M; Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Ritchie, Peter A; Lester, Philip J

    2012-01-01

    Many introduced species become invasive despite genetic bottlenecks that should, in theory, decrease the chances of invasion success. By contrast, population genetic bottlenecks have been hypothesized to increase the invasion success of unicolonial ants by increasing the genetic similarity between descendent populations, thus promoting co-operation. We investigated these alternate hypotheses in the unicolonial yellow crazy ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes, which has invaded Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory. We used momentary abundance as a surrogate measure of invasion success, and investigated the relationship between A. gracilipes genetic diversity and its abundance, and the effect of its abundance on species diversity and community structure. We also investigated whether selected habitat characteristics contributed to differences in A. gracilipes abundance, for which we found no evidence. Our results revealed a significant positive association between A. gracilipes genetic diversity and abundance. Invaded communities were less diverse and differed in structure from uninvaded communities, and these effects were stronger as A. gracilipes abundance increased. These results contradict the hypothesis that genetic bottlenecks may promote unicoloniality. However, our A. gracilipes study population has diverged since its introduction, which may have obscured evidence of the bottleneck that would likely have occurred on arrival. The relative importance of genetic diversity to invasion success may be context dependent, and the role of genetic diversity may be more obvious in the absence of highly favorable novel ecological conditions. PMID:23139870

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ossola, Alessandro; 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.

  1. 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

  2. [Ants: species-area relationship in tropical dry forest fragments].

    PubMed

    Lozano-Zambrano, Fabio H; Ulloa-Chacón, Patricia; Armbrecht, Inge

    2009-01-01

    We analyzed the effect of fragmentation on ant species-area and specimen frequency-area relationships in nine patches of tropical dry forest in the middle Cauca river basin in Colombia. Species richness and specimen relative frequency of ants were positively correlated with area, whereas no significant correlation was found between species richness and the degree of isolation calculated for the forest patches. As the fragmentation affects different functional groups in different ways, we analyzed the species-area relationship for separate functional groups of ants. According to the habitat requirements we found that the species richness increased faster as area increased for ants inhabiting decomposing wood, followed by ants associated with trees, while species richness of ants living under dead leaves did not correlate with area. According to the food preference, species richness was positively correlated with area for the army ant group, while no significant correlation was found for solitary hunters or for leaf-cutting ants. Ant species richness and specimen density were calculated from equal size samples and examined in relation to the habitat area. An inverse correlation was found only for specimen density, the opposite of what was expected. To our knowledge this is one of the first studies showing differential responses of functional groups of ants to habitat loss. Moreover, it emphasizes the conservation value of small forest fragments for ants in a tropical dry forest.

  3. Reactions by army ant workers to nestmates having had contact with sympatric ant species.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain; Corbara, Bruno

    2014-11-01

    It was recently shown that Pheidole megacephala colonies (an invasive species originating from Africa) counterattack when raided by the army ant, Eciton burchellii. The subsequent contact permits Pheidole cuticular compounds (that constitute the "colony odour") to be transferred onto the raiding Eciton, which are then not recognised by their colony-mates and killed. Using a simple method for transferring cuticular compounds, we tested if this phenomenon occurs for Neotropical ants. Eciton workers rubbed with ants from four sympatric species were released among their colony-mates. Individuals rubbed with Solenopsis saevissima or Camponotus blandus workers were attacked, but not those rubbed with Atta sexdens, Pheidole fallax or with colony-mates (control lot). So, the chemicals of certain sympatric ant species, but not others, trigger intra-colonial aggressiveness in Eciton. We conclude that prey-ant chemicals might have played a role in the evolution of army ant predatory behaviour, likely influencing prey specialization in certain cases.

  4. Ecosystem engineering and predation: the multi-trophic impact of two ant species.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Dirk; van Veen, F J Frank

    2011-05-01

    1. Ants are ubiquitous ecosystem engineers and generalist predators and are able to affect ecological communities via both pathways. They are likely to influence any other terrestrial arthropod group either directly or indirectly caused by their high abundance and territoriality. 2. We studied the impact of two ant species common in Central Europe, Myrmica rubra and Lasius niger, on an arthropod community. Colony presence and density of these two ant species were manipulated in a field experiment from the start of ant activity in spring to late summer. 3. The experiment revealed a positive influence of the presence of one ant colony on densities of decomposers, herbivores and parasitoids. However, in the case of herbivores and parasitoids, this effect was reversed in the presence of two colonies. 4. Generally, effects of the two ant species were similar with the exception of their effect on Braconidae parasitoid densities that responded positively to one colony of M. rubra but not of L. niger. 5. Spider density was not affected by ant colony manipulation, but species richness of spiders responded positively to ant presence. This effect was independent of ant colony density, but where two colonies were present, spider richness was significantly greater in plots with two M. rubra colonies than in plots with one colony of each ant species. 6. To test whether the positive ecosystem engineering effects were purely caused by modified properties of the soil, we added in an additional experiment (i) the soil from ant nests (without ants) or (ii) unmodified soil or (iii) ant nests (including ants) to experimental plots. Ant nest soil on its own did not have a significant impact on densities of decomposers, herbivores or predators, which were significantly, and positively, affected by the addition of an intact nest. 7. The results suggest an important role of both ant species in the grassland food web, strongly affecting the densities of decomposers, herbivores and higher

  5. Fire disturbance disrupts an acacia ant-plant mutualism in favor of a subordinate ant species.

    PubMed

    Sensenig, Ryan L; Kimuyu, Duncan K; Ruiz Guajardo, Juan Carlos; Veblen, Kari E; Riginos, Corinna; Young, Truman P

    2017-03-08

    Although disturbance theory has been recognized as a useful framework in examining the stability of ant-plant mutualisms, very few studies have examined the effects of fire disturbance on these mutualisms. In myrmecophyte-dominated savannas, fire and herbivory are key drivers that could influence ant-plant mutualisms by causing complete colony mortality and/or decreasing colony size, which potentially could alter dominance hierarchies if subordinate species are more fire resilient. We used a large-scale, replicated fire experiment to examine long-term effects of fire on acacia-ant community composition. To determine if fire shifted ant occupancy from a competitive dominant to a subordinate ant species we surveyed the acacia-ant community in 6-7-year-old burn sites and examined how the spatial scale of these burns influenced ant community responses. We then used two short-term fire experiments to explore possible mechanisms for the shifts in community patterns observed. Because survival of ant colonies is largely dependent on their ability to detect and escape an approaching fire, we first tested the evacuation response of all four ant species when exposed to smoke (fire signal). Then to better understand how fire and its interaction with large mammal herbivory affect the density of ants per tree, we quantified ant worker density in small prescribed burns within herbivore exclusion plots. We found clear evidence suggesting that fire disturbance favored the subordinate ant Crematogaster nigriceps more than the dominant and strong mutualist ant C. mimosae, whereby C. nigriceps: 1) was the only species to occupy a greater proportion of trees in 6-7 year old burn sites compared to unburned sites, 2) had higher burn/unburn tree ratios with increasing burn size; and 3) evacuated significantly faster than C. mimosae in the presence of smoke. Fire and herbivory had opposite effects on ant density per meter of branch for both C. nigriceps and C. mimosae, with fire decreasing

  6. 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

  7. Army ants in four forests: geographic variation in raid rates and species composition.

    PubMed

    O'Donnell, Sean; Lattke, John; Powell, Scott; Kaspari, Michael

    2007-05-01

    1. The New World army ants are top predators in the litter of tropical forest, but no comprehensive studies exist on variation in assemblage-wide activity and species composition. We used standardized protocols to estimate foraging raid rates and species composition of army ant communities in four Neotropical forests. The study sites spanned approximately 10 degrees latitude, with two sites each in Central and South America. 2. We recorded a total of 22 species of army ants. The four sites varied in observed and estimated species richness. Species overlap was highest between the Central American sites, and lowest between the South American sites. 3. Raid activity varied significantly among sites. Raid activity per kilometre of trail walks was over four times higher at the most active site (Sta. Maria, Venezuela) than at the least active site (Barro Colorado Island, Panama). Furthermore, each site showed a different diel pattern of activity. For example, raid activity was higher during daylight hours in Costa Rica, and higher at night in Venezuela. Raid activity relationships with ambient temperature also varied significantly among sites. 4. The overall rate of army ant raids passing through 1 m(2) plots was 0.73 raids per day, but varied among sites, from 0 raids per day (Panama) to 1.2 raids per day (Venezuela). 5. Primarily subterranean species were significantly more abundant in Venezuela, and above-ground foragers that form large swarm fronts were least abundant in Panama. The site heterogeneity in species abundance and diel activity patterns has implications for army ant symbionts, including ant-following birds, and for the animals hunted by these top predators.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Changes in monoterpene emission rates of Quercus ilex infested by aphids tended by native or invasive Lasius ant species.

    PubMed

    Paris, Carolina I; Llusia, Joan; Peñuelas, Josep

    2010-07-01

    The emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) depends on temperature and light. Other factors such as insect herbivory also may modify VOC emission. In particular, aphid feeding promotes the release of new compounds and changes the composition of plant volatile blends. Given that some aphids are tended by ants, we investigated whether ants change the emission of VOCs indirectly through attendance on aphids. The effect of Lachnus roboris aphids and two different tending ant species on terpene emission rates of 4-year-old holm oak (Quercus ilex) saplings was investigated during a field experiment. There were five treatments: saplings alone (T1), saplings infested with L. roboris aphids (T2), saplings infested with aphids tended by the local ant Lasius grandis (T3), those tended by small colonies of the invasive ant Lasius neglectus (T4), and those tended by large colonies of the same invasive ant species (T5). The infestation by L. roboris elicited the emission of Delta(3)-carene and increased the emission of myrcene and gamma-terpinene. Terpene emissions were modified depending on the tending ant species. Attendance by the local ant L. grandis increased alpha and beta-pinene and sabinene. Attendance by the invasive ant L. neglectus only decreased significantly the emission of myrcene, one of the major compounds of the Q. ilex blend. Aphid abundance decreased with time for all treatments, but there was no difference in aphid abundance among treatments. Total terpene emission rates were not correlated with aphid abundance. These results highlight that aphids and tending ants may change terpene emission rates, depending on the ant species.

  11. 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.

  12. Insecticidal and repellence activity of the essential oil of Pogostemon cablin against urban ants species.

    PubMed

    Albuquerque, Elânia L D; Lima, Janaína K A; Souza, Felipe H O; Silva, Indira M A; Santos, Abraão A; Araújo, Ana Paula A; Blank, Arie F; Lima, Rafaely N; Alves, Péricles B; Bacci, Leandro

    2013-09-01

    Ants are highly abundant in neotropical regions, with certain species adapted to the urban environment, where they can cause damage to human health. The main method for controlling ants consists of using organosynthetic insecticides, which are potentially toxic to the environment. Essential plant oils are considered a viable alternative to the use of conventional insecticides. In this study, we analyze the bioinsecticidal activity and repellence of patchouli essential oil (Pogostemon cablin) against three species of urban ants: Camponotus melanoticus, Camponotus novograndensis, and Dorymyrmex thoracicus. The chemical composition of the essential oil was analyzed by GC-MS and GC-FID. The major compounds were patchoulol (36.6%) followed by α-bulnesene (13.95%), and α-guaiene (11.96%). Toxicity and repellency bioassays were performed using the essential oil over the ants, and mortality evaluations were performed at 4, 24, and 48 h after performing the bioassays. Mortality percentage of the ants on 7 μg/mg was on average 84%. The essential oil of P. cablin displayed toxicity against all three species of urban ants, with the lowest LD₅₀ being observed for D. thoracicus (2.02 μg oil/mg insect) after 48 h of exposure compared to C. melanoticus (2.34 μg oil/mg insect) and C. novogranadensis (2.95 μg oil/mg insect). The essential oil of P. cablin was strongly repellent to the three species of ants in all concentrations tested (0.01% and 1% v/v). Considering the potential toxicity and repellency of the P. cablin essential oil to the urban ants, future studies could investigate the practical application of this oil to control of this insects.

  13. Divergent Chemical Cues Elicit Seed Collecting by Ants in an Obligate Multi-Species Mutualism in Lowland Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Guerra Bustios, Patricia; Schal, Coby

    2010-01-01

    In lowland Amazonian rainforests, specific ants collect seeds of several plant species and cultivate them in arboreal carton nests, forming species-specific symbioses called ant-gardens (AGs). In this obligate mutualism, ants depend on the plants for nest stability and the plants depend on ant nests for substrate and nutrients. AG ants and plants are abundant, dominant members of lowland Amazonian ecosystems, but the cues ants use to recognize the seeds are poorly understood. To address the chemical basis of the ant-seed interaction, we surveyed seed chemistry in nine AG species and eight non-AG congeners. We detected seven phenolic and terpenoid volatiles common to seeds of all or most of the AG species, but a blend of the shared compounds was not attractive to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. We also analyzed seeds of three AG species (Anthurium gracile, Codonanthe uleana, and Peperomia macrostachya) using behavior-guided fractionation. At least one chromatographic fraction of each seed extract elicited retrieval behavior in C. femoratus, but the active fractions of the three plant species differed in polarity and chemical composition, indicating that shared compounds alone did not explain seed-carrying behavior. We suggest that the various AG seed species must elicit seed-carrying with different chemical cues. PMID:21209898

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

    PubMed

    Webb, Garry A; Hoffmann, Benjamin D

    2013-08-01

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

  15. Disruption of Ant-Aphid Mutualism in Canopy Enhances the Abundance of Beetles on the Forest Floor

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Keming

    2012-01-01

    Ant-aphid mutualism is known to play a key role in the structure of the arthropod community in the tree canopy, but its possible ecological effects for the forest floor are unknown. We hypothesized that aphids in the canopy can increase the abundance of ants on the forest floor, thus intensifying the impacts of ants on other arthropods on the forest floor. We tested this hypothesis in a deciduous temperate forest in Beijing, China. We excluded the aphid-tending ants Lasius fuliginosus from the canopy using plots of varying sizes, and monitored the change in the abundance of ants and other arthropods on the forest floor in the treated and control plots. We also surveyed the abundance of ants and other arthropods on the forest floor to explore the relationships between ants and other arthropods in the field. Through a three-year experimental study, we found that the exclusion of ants from the canopy significantly decreased the abundance of ants on the forest floor, but increased the abundance of beetles, although the effect was only significant in the large ant-exclusion plot (80*60 m). The field survey showed that the abundance of both beetles and spiders was negatively related to the abundance of ants. These results suggest that aphids located in the tree canopy have indirect negative effects on beetles by enhancing the ant abundance on the forest floor. Considering that most of the beetles in our study are important predators, the ant-aphid mutualism can have further trophic cascading effects on the forest floor food web. PMID:22558156

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Ant species identity mediates reproductive traits and allocation in an ant-garden bromeliad

    PubMed Central

    Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Carrias, Jean-François; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Determining the sources of variation in floral morphology is crucial to understanding the mechanisms underlying Angiosperm evolution. The selection of floral and reproductive traits is influenced by the plant's abiotic environment, florivores and pollinators. However, evidence that variations in floral traits result from mutualistic interactions with insects other than pollinators is lacking in the published literature and has rarely been investigated. We aimed to determine whether the association with either Camponotus femoratus or Pachycondyla goeldii (both involved in seed dispersal and plant protection) mediates the reproductive traits and allocation of Aechmea mertensii, an obligatory ant-garden tank-bromeliad, differently. Methods Floral and reproductive traits were compared between the two A. mertensii ant-gardens. The nitrogen flux from the ants to the bromeliads was investigated through experimental enrichments with stable isotopes (15N). Key Results Camponotus femoratus-associated bromeliads produced inflorescences up to four times longer than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Also, the numbers of flowers and fruits were close to four times higher, and the number of seeds and their mass per fruit were close to 1·5 times higher in C. femoratus than in P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Furthermore, the 15N-enrichment experiment showed that C. femoratus-associated bromeliads received more nitrogen from ants than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads, with subsequent positive repercussions on floral development. Greater benefits were conferred to A. mertensii by the association with C. femoratus compared with P. goeldii ants. Conclusions We show for the first time that mutualistic associations with ants can result in an enhanced reproductive allocation for the bromeliad A. mertensii. Nevertheless, the strength and direction of the selection of floral and fruit traits change based on the ant species and were not related to light

  19. 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.

  20. Targeted Research to Improve Invasive Species Management: Yellow Crazy Ant Anoplolepis gracilipes in Samoa

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. Enough is enough: the effects of symbiotic ant abundance on herbivory, growth, and reproduction in an African acacia.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Todd M; Brody, Alison K

    2013-03-01

    Understanding how cooperative interactions evolve and persist remains a central challenge in biology. Many mutualisms are thought to be maintained by "partner fidelity feedback," in which each partner bases their investment on the benefits they receive. Yet, we know little about how benefits change as mutualists vary their investment, which is critical to understanding the balance between mutualism and antagonism in any given partnership. Using an obligate ant-plant mutualism, we manipulated the density of symbiotic acacia ants (Crematogaster mimosae) and examined how the costs and benefits to Acacia drepanolobium trees scaled with ant abundance. Benefits of ants to plants saturated with increasing ant abundance for protection from branch browsing by elephants and attack by branch galling midges, while varying linearly for protection from cerambycid beetles. In addition, the risk of catastrophic whole-tree herbivory by elephants was highest for trees with very low ant abundance. However, there was no relationship between ant abundance and herbivory by leaf-feeding invertebrates, nor by vertebrate browsers such as giraffe, steinbuck, and Grant's gazelle. Ant abundance did not significantly influence rates of branch growth on acacias, but there was a significant negative relationship between ant abundance and the number of fruits produced by host plants, suggesting that maintaining high-density ant colonies is costly. Because benefits to plants largely saturated with increasing colony size, while costs to plant reproduction increased, we suggest that ant colonies may achieve abundances that are higher than optimal for host plants. Our results highlight the conflicts of interest inherent in many mutualisms, and demonstrate the value of examining the shape of curves relating costs and benefits within these globally important interactions.

  2. Species-Specific Cuticular Hydrocarbon Stability within European Myrmica Ants.

    PubMed

    Guillem, Rhian M; Drijfhout, Falko P; Martin, Stephen J

    2016-10-01

    Recognition is a fundamental process on which all subsequent behaviors are based at every organizational level, from the gene up to the super-organism. At the whole organism level, visual recognition is the best understood. However, chemical communication is far more widespread than visual communication, but despite its importance is much less understood. Ants provide an excellent model system for chemical ecology studies as it is well established that compounds known as cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are used as recognition cues in ants. Therefore, stable species-specific odors should exist, irrespective of geographic locality. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the CHC profiles of workers of twelve species of Myrmica ants from four countries across Europe, from Iberia to the Balkans and from the Mediterranean to Fennoscandia. CHCs remained qualitatively stable within each species, right down to the isomer level. Despite the morphological similarity that occurs within the genus Myrmica, their CHCs were highly diverse but remarkably species-specific and stable across wide geographical areas. This indicates a genetic mechanism under strong selection that produces these species-specific chemical profiles, despite each species encountering different environmental conditions across its range.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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, Philip A; Hagenah, Nicole; Kirkman, Kevin P; Buckley, Yvonne M

    2011-03-01

    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.

  5. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, C.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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. An invasive ant species able to counterattack marabunta raids.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain; Azémar, Frédéric; Roux, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    In the Neotropics where it was introduced, the invasive ant Pheidole megacephala counterattacked raids by the army ants Eciton burchellii or E. hamatum. The Eciton workers that returned to their bivouac were attacked and spread-eagled and most of them killed by their outgoing colony mates. Little by little the zone where returning and outgoing Eciton workers encountered one another moved away from the Pheidole nest which was no longer attacked, so that most of the colony was spared. Using a water-based technique rounded out by bioassays, we show that Pheidole compounds were transferred onto the Eciton cuticle during the counterattacks, so that outgoing workers do not recognize returning colony mates, likely perceived as potential prey. Because P. megacephala is an introduced African species, this kind of protection, which cannot be the result of coevolutive processes, corresponds to a kind of by-product due to its aggressiveness during colony defence.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Gadau, Jürgen; Helmkampf, Martin; Nygaard, Sanne; Roux, Julien; Simola, Daniel F; Smith, Chris R; Suen, Garret; Wurm, Yannick; Smith, Christopher D

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  15. Leaf-cutting ant nests near roads increase fitness of exotic plant species in natural protected areas

    PubMed Central

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Ghermandi, Luciana

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that promote the invasion of natural protected areas by exotic plants is a central concern for ecology. We demonstrated that nests of the leaf-cutting ant, Acromyrmex lobicornis, near roadsides promote the abundance, growth and reproduction of two exotic plant species, Carduus nutans and Onopordum acanthium, in a national park in northern Patagonia, Argentina and determine the mechanisms that produce these effects. Refuse dumps (RDs) from ant nests have a higher nutrient content than nearby non-nest soils (NNSs); foliar nutrient content and their 15N isotopic signature strongly suggest that plants reach and use these nutrients. Both species of exotic plants in RDs were 50–600% more abundant; seedlings had 100–1000% more foliar area and root and leaf biomass; and adult plants produced 100–300% more seeds than nearby NNS plants. Plants can thus gain access to and benefit from the nutrient content of ant RD, supporting the hypotheses that enhanced resource availability promotes exotic plant performance that could increase the likelihood of biological invasions. The two exotics produce an estimated of 8 385 000 more seeds ha−1 in areas with ant nests compared with areas without; this exceptional increase in seed production represents a potential threat to nearby non-invaded communities. We propose several management strategies to mitigate this threat. Removal efforts of exotics should be focused on ant RDs, where plants are denser and represent a higher source of propagules. PMID:18364316

  16. Predicted correspondence between species abundances and dendrograms of niche similarities

    PubMed Central

    Sugihara, George; Bersier, Louis-Félix; Southwood, T. Richard E.; Pimm, Stuart L.; May, Robert M.

    2003-01-01

    We examine a hypothesized relationship between two descriptions of community structure: the niche-overlap dendrogram that describes the ecological similarities of species and the pattern of relative abundances. Specifically, we examine the way in which this relationship follows from the niche hierarchy model, whose fundamental assumption is a direct connection between abundances and underlying hierarchical community organization. We test three important, although correlated, predictions of the niche hierarchy model and show that they are upheld in a set of 11 communities (encompassing fishes, amphibians, lizards, and birds) where both abundances and dendrograms were reported. First, species that are highly nested in the dendrogram are on average less abundant than species from branches less subdivided. Second, and more significantly, more equitable community abundances are associated with more evenly branched dendrogram structures, whereas less equitable abundances are associated with less even dendrograms. This relationship shows that abundance patterns can give insight into less visible aspects of community organization. Third, one can recover the distribution of proportional abundances seen in assemblages containing two species by treating each branch point in the dendrogram as a two-species case. This reconstruction cannot be achieved if abundances and the dendrogram are unrelated and suggests a method for hierarchically decomposing systems. To our knowledge, this is the first test of a species abundance model based on nontrivial predictions as to the origins and causes of abundance patterns, and not simply on the goodness-of-fit of distributions. PMID:12702773

  17. Decreased small mammal and on-host tick abundance in association with invasive red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta).

    PubMed

    Castellanos, Adrian A; Medeiros, Matthew C I; Hamer, Gabriel L; Morrow, Michael E; Eubanks, Micky D; Teel, Pete D; Hamer, Sarah A; Light, Jessica E

    2016-09-01

    Invasive species may impact pathogen transmission by altering the distributions and interactions among native vertebrate reservoir hosts and arthropod vectors. Here, we examined the direct and indirect effects of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) on the native tick, small mammal and pathogen community in southeast Texas. Using a replicated large-scale field manipulation study, we show that small mammals were more abundant on treatment plots where S. invicta populations were experimentally reduced. Our analysis of ticks on small mammal hosts demonstrated a threefold increase in the ticks caught per unit effort on treatment relative to control plots, and elevated tick loads (a 27-fold increase) on one common rodent species. We detected only one known human pathogen (Rickettsia parkeri), present in 1.4% of larvae and 6.7% of nymph on-host Amblyomma maculatum samples but with no significant difference between treatment and control plots. Given that host and vector population dynamics are key drivers of pathogen transmission, the reduced small mammal and tick abundance associated with S. invicta may alter pathogen transmission dynamics over broader spatial scales.

  18. Decreased small mammal and on-host tick abundance in association with invasive red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta)

    PubMed Central

    Medeiros, Matthew C. I.; Hamer, Gabriel L.; Morrow, Michael E.; Eubanks, Micky D.; Teel, Pete D.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive species may impact pathogen transmission by altering the distributions and interactions among native vertebrate reservoir hosts and arthropod vectors. Here, we examined the direct and indirect effects of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) on the native tick, small mammal and pathogen community in southeast Texas. Using a replicated large-scale field manipulation study, we show that small mammals were more abundant on treatment plots where S. invicta populations were experimentally reduced. Our analysis of ticks on small mammal hosts demonstrated a threefold increase in the ticks caught per unit effort on treatment relative to control plots, and elevated tick loads (a 27-fold increase) on one common rodent species. We detected only one known human pathogen (Rickettsia parkeri), present in 1.4% of larvae and 6.7% of nymph on-host Amblyomma maculatum samples but with no significant difference between treatment and control plots. Given that host and vector population dynamics are key drivers of pathogen transmission, the reduced small mammal and tick abundance associated with S. invicta may alter pathogen transmission dynamics over broader spatial scales. PMID:27651533

  19. Geographical range and local abundance of tree species in China.

    PubMed

    Ren, Haibao; Condit, Richard; Chen, Bin; Mi, Xiangcheng; Cao, Min; Ye, Wanhui; Hao, Zhanqing; Ma, Keping

    2013-01-01

    Most studies on the geographical distribution of species have utilized a few well-known taxa in Europe and North America, with little research in China and its wide range of climate and forest types. We assembled large datasets to quantify the geographic ranges of tree species in China and to test several biogeographic hypotheses: 1) whether locally abundant species tend to be geographically widespread; 2) whether species are more abundant towards their range-centers; and 3) how abundances are correlated between sites. Local abundances of 651 species were derived from four tree plots of 20-25 ha where all individuals ≥1 cm in stem diameter were mapped and identified taxonomically. Range sizes of these species across China were then estimated from over 460,000 geo-referenced records; a Bayesian approach was used, allowing careful measures of error of each range estimate. The log-transformed range sizes had a bell-shaped distribution with a median of 703,000 km(2), and >90% of 651 species had ranges >10(5) km(2). There was no relationship between local abundance and range size, and no evidence for species being more abundant towards their range-centers. Finally, species' abundances were positively correlated between sites. The widespread nature of most tree species in China suggests few are vulnerable to global extinction, and there is no indication of the double-peril that would result if rare species also had narrow ranges.

  20. Effects of substrate, ant and fungal species on plant fiber degradation in a fungus-gardening ant symbiosis.

    PubMed

    DeMilto, Alexandria M; Rouquette, Monte; Mueller, Ulrich G; Kellner, Katrin; Seal, Jon N

    2017-02-11

    Fungus-gardening or attine ants have outsourced most of their digestive function to a symbiotic fungus. The ants feed their fungus - essentially an external digestive organ - a variety of substrates of botanical origin, including fresh and dried flowers, leaves and insect frass (processed leaves). Although plant tissues are rich in fibers (lignocelluloses, hemicelluloses, pectins and starches) and the symbiotic fungus possesses the genetic and enzymatic machinery to metabolize these compounds, the highly derived attines, the leaf-cutters (Atta and Acromyrmex), are known to produce fiber-rich waste. While leaf-cutting ants are important consumers of primary plant tissue, there have been fewer studies on physiological activity of fungi grown by closely related ant species in the genus Trachymyrmex, which generally grow related species of fungi, have smaller colonies and consume a wider variety of fungal substrates in addition to fresh leaves and flowers. In this study, we measured the cellulase activity of the fungus-gardening ants Atta texana, Trachymyrmex arizonensis and T. septentrionalis. We then quantified fiber consumption of the fungus-gardening ants Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Trachymyrmex arizonensis by comparing the amounts and percentages present in their food and in fungus garden refuse during a controlled feeding experiment over the span of several months. Finally, we compared waste composition of T. arizonensis colonies growing different fungal strains, because this species is known to cultivate multiple strains of Leucoagaricus in its native range. The leaf-cutting ant A. texana was found to have lower cellulytic activity than T. arizonensis or T. septentrionalis. Total lignocellulose and hemicellulose amounts were significantly lower in refuse piles than in the substrates fed to the Trachymyrmex colonies, thus these fibers were consumed by the fungal symbionts of these ant species. Although lignocellulose utilization was similar in two distinct

  1. 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.

  2. Geographical Range and Local Abundance of Tree Species in China

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Haibao; Condit, Richard; Chen, Bin; Mi, Xiangcheng; Cao, Min; Ye, Wanhui; Hao, Zhanqing; Ma, Keping

    2013-01-01

    Most studies on the geographical distribution of species have utilized a few well-known taxa in Europe and North America, with little research in China and its wide range of climate and forest types. We assembled large datasets to quantify the geographic ranges of tree species in China and to test several biogeographic hypotheses: 1) whether locally abundant species tend to be geographically widespread; 2) whether species are more abundant towards their range-centers; and 3) how abundances are correlated between sites. Local abundances of 651 species were derived from four tree plots of 20–25 ha where all individuals ≥1 cm in stem diameter were mapped and identified taxonomically. Range sizes of these species across China were then estimated from over 460,000 geo-referenced records; a Bayesian approach was used, allowing careful measures of error of each range estimate. The log-transformed range sizes had a bell-shaped distribution with a median of 703,000 km2, and >90% of 651 species had ranges >105 km2. There was no relationship between local abundance and range size, and no evidence for species being more abundant towards their range-centers. Finally, species’ abundances were positively correlated between sites. The widespread nature of most tree species in China suggests few are vulnerable to global extinction, and there is no indication of the double-peril that would result if rare species also had narrow ranges. PMID:24130772

  3. 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.

  4. 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 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.

  5. Individual-based ant-plant networks: diurnal-nocturnal structure and species-area relationship.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. Ecological niche structure and rangewide abundance patterns of species

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Meyer, Enrique; Díaz-Porras, Daniel; Peterson, A. Townsend; Yáñez-Arenas, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    Spatial abundance patterns across species' ranges have attracted intense attention in macroecology and biogeography. One key hypothesis has been that abundance declines with geographical distance from the range centre, but tests of this idea have shown that the effect may occur indeed only in a minority of cases. We explore an alternative hypothesis: that species' abundances decline with distance from the centroid of the species' habitable conditions in environmental space (the ecological niche). We demonstrate consistent negative abundance–ecological distance relationships across all 11 species analysed (turtles to wolves), and that relationships in environmental space are consistently stronger than relationships in geographical space. PMID:23134784

  7. 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.

  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. The decoupling of abundance and species richness in lizard communities.

    PubMed

    Nimmo, Dale G; James, Simon G; Kelly, Luke T; Watson, Simon J; Bennett, Andrew F

    2011-05-01

    1. Patterns of species richness often correlate strongly with measures of energy. The more individuals hypothesis (MIH) proposes that this relationship is facilitated by greater resources supporting larger populations, which are less likely to become extinct. Hence, the MIH predicts that community abundance and species richness will be positively related. 2. Recently, Buckley & Jetz (2010, Journal of Animal Ecology, 79, 358-365) documented a decoupling of community abundance and species richness in lizard communities in south-west United States, such that richer communities did not contain more individuals. They predicted, as a consequence of the mechanisms driving the decoupling, a more even distribution of species abundances in species-rich communities, evidenced by a positive relationship between species evenness and species richness. 3. We found a similar decoupling of the relationship between abundance and species richness for lizard communities in semi-arid south-eastern Australia. However, we note that a positive relationship between evenness and richness is expected because of the nature of the indices used. We illustrate this mathematically and empirically using data from both sets of lizard communities. When we used a measure of evenness, which is robust to species richness, there was no relationship between evenness and richness in either data set. 4. For lizard communities in both Australia and the United States, species dominance decreased as species richness increased. Further, with the iterative removal of the first, second and third most dominant species from each community, the relationship between abundance and species richness became increasingly more positive. 5. Our data support the contention that species richness in lizard communities is not directly related to the number of individuals an environment can support. We propose an alternative hypothesis regarding how the decoupling of abundance and richness is accommodated; namely, an inverse

  10. Canopy cover negatively affects arboreal ant species richness in a tropical open habitat.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, A C M; Ribas, C R

    2016-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis of a negative relationship between vegetation characteristics and ant species richness in a Brazilian open vegetation habitat, called candeial. We set up arboreal pitfalls to sample arboreal ants and measured the following environmental variables, which were used as surrogate of environmental heterogeneity: tree richness, tree density, tree height, circumference at the base of the plants, and canopy cover. Only canopy cover had a negative effect on the arboreal ant species richness. Vegetation characteristics and plant species composition are probably homogeneous in candeial, which explains the lack of relationship between other environmental variables and ant richness. Open vegetation habitats harbor a large number of opportunistic and generalist species, besides specialist ants from habitats with high temperatures. An increase in canopy cover decreases sunlight incidence and may cause local microclimatic differences, which negatively affect the species richness of specialist ants from open areas. Canopy cover regulates the richness of arboreal ants in open areas, since only few ant species are able to colonize sites with dense vegetation; most species are present in sites with high temperature and luminosity. Within open vegetation habitats the relationship between vegetation characteristics and species richness seems to be the opposite from closed vegetation areas, like forests.

  11. Multiple peaks of species abundance distributions induced by sparse interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obuchi, Tomoyuki; Kabashima, Yoshiyuki; Tokita, Kei

    2016-08-01

    We investigate the replicator dynamics with "sparse" symmetric interactions which represent specialist-specialist interactions in ecological communities. By considering a large self-interaction u , we conduct a perturbative expansion which manifests that the nature of the interactions has a direct impact on the species abundance distribution. The central results are all species coexistence in a realistic range of the model parameters and that a certain discrete nature of the interactions induces multiple peaks in the species abundance distribution, providing the possibility of theoretically explaining multiple peaks observed in various field studies. To get more quantitative information, we also construct a non-perturbative theory which becomes exact on tree-like networks if all the species coexist, providing exact critical values of u below which extinct species emerge. Numerical simulations in various different situations are conducted and they clarify the robustness of the presented mechanism of all species coexistence and multiple peaks in the species abundance distributions.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Reduced entomopathogen abundance in Myrmica ant nests-testing a possible immunological benefit of myrmecophily using Galleria mellonella as a model.

    PubMed

    Schär, Sämi; Larsen, Louise L M; Meyling, Nicolai V; Nash, David R

    2015-10-01

    Social insects such as ants have evolved collective rather than individual immune defence strategies against diseases and parasites at the level of their societies (colonies), known as social immunity. Ants frequently host other arthropods, so-called myrmecophiles, in their nests. Here, we tested the hypothesis that myrmecophily may partly arise from selection for exploiting the ants' social immunity. We used larvae of the wax moth Galleria mellonella as 'model myrmecophiles' (baits) to test this hypothesis. We found significantly reduced abundance of entomopathogens in ant nests compared with the surrounding environment. Specific entomopathogen groups (Isaria fumosorosea and nematodes) were also found to be significantly less abundant inside than outside ant nests, whereas one entomopathogen (Beauveria brongniartii) was significantly more abundant inside nests. We therefore hypothesize that immunological benefits of entering ant nests may provide us a new explanation of why natural selection acts in favour of such a life-history strategy.

  15. Diversity and biogeography of a species-rich ant fauna of the Australian seasonal tropics.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Alan N; Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Oberprieler, Stefanie

    2016-09-15

    Although ants are an ecologically dominant and extensively studied faunal group throughout the tropics, there is a poor understanding of tropical ant diversity and distribution at large spatial scales. Here we use a collection developed from 3 decades of ant surveys to present the first analysis of ant diversity and biogeography of a large tropical region. Our objective was to document the species richness, composition, and biogeographic distributions of the ant fauna of the 400 000 km(2) "Top End" of Australia's Northern Territory. The known Top End ant fauna comprises 901 native species from 59 genera. The richest genera are Pheidole (90 species), Melophorus (83), Monomorium (83), Camponotus (71), Meranoplus (63), Polyrhachis (57), Rhytidoponera (50), Tetramorium (43), Cerapachys (32), and Iridomyrmex (31). The fauna is the center of diverse radiations within species-groups of genera such as Meranoplus, Rhytidoponera, and Leptogenys. It also includes IndoMalayan species that have likely bypassed the normal dispersal route into Australia through Cape York Peninsula in North Queensland. Faunistic similarity with other regions of far northern Australia is associated more with rainfall than with geographic proximity. Most (60%) of Top End ant species have not been recorded elsewhere, and, despite uncertainties relating to species delimitation and sampling intensity, this appears to be a credible estimate of the level of endemism. Such exceptionally high endemism can be attributed to the Top End's geographic isolation from other regions of northern Australia with comparably high rainfall.

  16. Chemical recognition of partner plant species by foundress ant queens in Macaranga-Crematogaster myrmecophytism.

    PubMed

    Inui, Y; Itioka, T; Murase, K; Yamaoka, R; Itino, T

    2001-10-01

    The partnership in the Crematogaster-Macaranga ant-plant interaction is highly species-specific. Because a mutualistic relationship on a Macaranga plant starts with colonization by a foundress queen of a partner Crematogaster species, we hypothesized that the foundress queens select their partner plant species by chemical recognition. We tested this hypothesis with four sympatric Macaranga species and their Crematogaster plant-ant species. We demonstrated that foundress Crematogaster queens can recognize their partner Macaranga species by contact with the surface of the seedlings, that they can recognize compounds from the stem surface of seedlings of their partner plant species, and that the gas chromatographic profiles are characteristic of the plant species. These findings support the hypothesis that foundress queens of the Crematogaster plant-ant species select their partner Macaranga species by recognizing nonvolatile chemical characteristics of the stem surfaces of seedlings.

  17. 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)

  18. Highly similar microbial communities are shared among related and trophically similar ant species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ants dominate many terrestrial ecosystems, yet we know little about their nutritional physiology and ecology. While traditionally viewed as predators and scavengers, recent isotopic studies revealed that many dominant ant species are functional herbivores. As with other insects with nitrogen-poor di...

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  20. Null model analysis of species associations using abundance data.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Werner; Gotelli, Nicholas J

    2010-11-01

    The influence of negative species interactions has dominated much of the literature on community assembly rules. Patterns of negative covariation among species are typically documented through null model analyses of binary presence/absence matrices in which rows designate species, columns designate sites, and the matrix entries indicate the presence (1) or absence (0) of a particular species in a particular site. However, the outcome of species interactions ultimately depends on population-level processes. Therefore, patterns of species segregation and aggregation might be more clearly expressed in abundance matrices, in which the matrix entries indicate the abundance or density of a species in a particular site. We conducted a series of benchmark tests to evaluate the performance of 14 candidate null model algorithms and six covariation metrics that can be used with abundance matrices. We first created a series of random test matrices by sampling a metacommunity from a lognormal species abundance distribution. We also created a series of structured matrices by altering the random matrices to incorporate patterns of pairwise species segregation and aggregation. We next screened each algorithm-index combination with the random and structured matrices to determine which tests had low Type I error rates and good power for detecting segregated and aggregated species distributions. In our benchmark tests, the best-performing null model does not constrain species richness, but assigns individuals to matrix cells proportional to the observed row and column marginal distributions until, for each row and column, total abundances are reached. Using this null model algorithm with a set of four covariance metrics, we tested for patterns of species segregation and aggregation in a collection of 149 empirical abundance matrices and 36 interaction matrices collated from published papers and posted data sets. More than 80% of the matrices were significantly segregated, which

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

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Ana Z; Oliveira, Rafael S; Oliveira, Paulo S; Romero, Gustavo Q

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves, Ana Z.; Oliveira, Rafael S.; Oliveira, Paulo S.; Romero, Gustavo Q.

    2016-01-01

    Predator activities may lead to the accumulation of nutrients in specific areas of terrestrial habitats where they dispose of prey carcasses. In their feeding sites, predators may increase nutrient availability in the soil and favor plant nutrition and growth. However, the translocation of nutrients from one habitat to another may depend on predator identity and diet, as well as on the amount of prey intake. Here we used isotopic (15N) and physiological methods in greenhouse experiments to evaluate the effects of the identity of predatory ants (i.e., the consumption of prey and nest sites) on the nutrition and growth of the bromeliad Quesnelia arvensis. We showed that predatory ants with protein-based nutrition (i.e., Odontomachus hastatus, Gnamptogenys moelleri) improved the performance of their host bromeliads (i.e., increased foliar N, production of soluble proteins and growth). On the other hand, the contribution of Camponotus crassus for the nutritional status of bromeliads did not differ from bromeliads without ants, possibly because this ant does not have arthropod prey as a preferred food source. Our results show, for the first time, that predatory ants can translocate nutrients from one habitat to another within forests, accumulating nutrients in their feeding sites that become available to bromeliads. Additionally, we highlight that ant contribution to plant nutrition may depend on predator identity and its dietary requirements. Nest debris may be especially important for epiphytic and terrestrial bromeliads in nutrient-poor environments. PMID:27002980

  3. Relative species abundance of replicator dynamics with sparse interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obuchi, Tomoyuki; Kabashima, Yoshiyuki; Tokita, Kei

    2016-11-01

    A theory of relative species abundance on sparsely-connected networks is presented by investigating the replicator dynamics with symmetric interactions. Sparseness of a network involves difficulty in analyzing the fixed points of the equation, and we avoid this problem by treating large self interaction u, which allows us to construct a perturbative expansion. Based on this perturbation, we find that the nature of the interactions is directly connected to the abundance distribution, and some characteristic behaviors, such as multiple peaks in the abundance distribution and all species coexistence at moderate values of u, are discovered in a wide class of the distribution of the interactions. The all species coexistence collapses at a critical value of u, u c , and this collapsing is regarded as a phase transition. To get more quantitative information, we also construct a non-perturbative theory on random graphs based on techniques of statistical mechanics. The result shows those characteristic behaviors are sustained well even for not large u. For even smaller values of u, extinct species start to appear and the abundance distribution becomes rounded and closer to a standard functional form. Another interesting finding is the non-monotonic behavior of diversity, which quantifies the number of coexisting species, when changing the ratio of mutualistic relations Δ . These results are examined by numerical simulations, which show that our theory is exact for the case without extinct species, but becomes less and less precise as the proportion of extinct species grows.

  4. Seed Selection by the Harvester Ant Pogonomyrmex rugosus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Coastal Sage Scrub: Interactions With Invasive Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Briggs, C M; Redak, R A

    2016-08-01

    Harvester ants can be the dominant seed predators on plants by collecting and eating seeds and are known to influence plant communities. Harvester ants are abundant in coastal sage scrub (CSS), and CSS is frequently invaded by several exotic plant species. This study used observations of foraging and cafeteria-style experiments to test for seed species selection by the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex rugosus Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in CSS. Analysis of foraging behavior showed that P. rugosus carried seeds of exotic Erodium cicutarium (L.) and exotic Brassica tournefortii (Gouan) on 85 and 15% of return trips to the nest (respectively), and only a very few ants carried the native seeds found within the study areas. When compared with the availability of seeds in the field, P. rugosus selected exotic E. cicutarium and avoided both native Encelia farinosa (Torrey & A. Gray) and exotic B. tournefortii. Foraging by P. rugosus had no major effect on the seed bank in the field. Cafeteria-style experiments confirmed that P. rugosus selected E. cicutarium over other available seeds. Native Eriogonum fasciculatum (Bentham) seeds were even less selected than E. farinosa and B. tournefortii.

  5. Common garden experiments reveal uncommon responses across temperatures, locations, and species of ants.

    PubMed

    Pelini, Shannon L; Diamond, Sarah E; Maclean, Heidi; Ellison, Aaron M; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Sanders, Nathan J; Dunn, Robert R

    2012-12-01

    Population changes and shifts in geographic range boundaries induced by climate change have been documented for many insect species. On the basis of such studies, ecological forecasting models predict that, in the absence of dispersal and resource barriers, many species will exhibit large shifts in abundance and geographic range in response to warming. However, species are composed of individual populations, which may be subject to different selection pressures and therefore may be differentially responsive to environmental change. Asystematic responses across populations and species to warming will alter ecological communities differently across space. Common garden experiments can provide a more mechanistic understanding of the causes of compositional and spatial variation in responses to warming. Such experiments are useful for determining if geographically separated populations and co-occurring species respond differently to warming, and they provide the opportunity to compare effects of warming on fitness (survivorship and reproduction). We exposed colonies of two common ant species in the eastern United States, Aphaenogaster rudis and Temnothorax curvispinosus, collected along a latitudinal gradient from Massachusetts to North Carolina, to growth chamber treatments that simulated current and projected temperatures in central Massachusetts and central North Carolina within the next century. Regardless of source location, colonies of A. rudis, a keystone seed disperser, experienced high mortality and low brood production in the warmest temperature treatment. Colonies of T. curvispinosus from cooler locations experienced increased mortality in the warmest rearing temperatures, but colonies from the warmest locales did not. Our results suggest that populations of some common species may exhibit uniform declines in response to warming across their geographic ranges, whereas other species will respond differently to warming in different parts of their geographic

  6. 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.

  7. Environmental correlates of species rank - abundance distributions in global drylands.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Werner; Soliveres, Santiago; Thomas, Andrew D; Dougill, Andrew J; Maestre, Fernando T

    2016-06-01

    Theoretical models predict lognormal species abundance distributions (SADs) in stable and productive environments, with log-series SADs in less stable, dispersal driven communities. We studied patterns of relative species abundances of perennial vascular plants in global dryland communities to: i) assess the influence of climatic and soil characteristics on the observed SADs, ii) infer how environmental variability influences relative abundances, and iii) evaluate how colonisation dynamics and environmental filters shape abundance distributions. We fitted lognormal and log-series SADs to 91 sites containing at least 15 species of perennial vascular plants. The dependence of species relative abundances on soil and climate variables was assessed using general linear models. Irrespective of habitat type and latitude, the majority of the SADs (70.3%) were best described by a lognormal distribution. Lognormal SADs were associated with low annual precipitation, higher aridity, high soil carbon content, and higher variability of climate variables and soil nitrate. Our results do not corroborate models predicting the prevalence of log-series SADs in dryland communities. As lognormal SADs were particularly associated with sites with drier conditions and a higher environmental variability, we reject models linking lognormality to environmental stability and high productivity conditions. Instead our results point to the prevalence of lognormal SADs in heterogeneous environments, allowing for more evenly distributed plant communities, or in stressful ecosystems, which are generally shaped by strong habitat filters and limited colonisation. This suggests that drylands may be resilient to environmental changes because the many species with intermediate relative abundances could take over ecosystem functioning if the environment becomes suboptimal for dominant species.

  8. Relating species abundance distributions to species-area curves in two Mediterranean-type shrublands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.

    2003-01-01

    Based on both theoretical and empirical studies there is evidence that different species abundance distributions underlie different species-area relationships. Here I show that Australian and Californian shrubland communities (at the scale from 1 to 1000 m2) exhibit different species-area relationships and different species abundance patterns. The species-area relationship in Australian heathlands best fits an exponential model and species abundance (based on both density and cover) follows a narrow log normal distribution. In contrast, the species-area relationship in Californian shrublands is best fit with the power model and, although species abundance appears to fit a log normal distribution, the distribution is much broader than in Australian heathlands. I hypothesize that the primary driver of these differences is the abundance of small-stature annual species in California and the lack of annuals in Australian heathlands. Species-area is best fit by an exponential model in Australian heathlands because the bulk of the species are common and thus the species-area curves initially rise rapidly between 1 and 100 m2. Annuals in Californian shrublands generate very broad species abundance distributions with many uncommon or rare species. The power function is a better model in these communities because richness increases slowly from 1 to 100 m2 but more rapidly between 100 and 1000 m2due to the abundance of rare or uncommon species that are more likely to be encountered at coarser spatial scales. The implications of this study are that both the exponential and power function models are legitimate representations of species-area relationships in different plant communities. Also, structural differences in community organization, arising from different species abundance distributions, may lead to different species-area curves, and this may be tied to patterns of life form distribution.

  9. Reduced entomopathogen abundance in Myrmica ant nests—testing a possible immunological benefit of myrmecophily using Galleria mellonella as a model

    PubMed Central

    Schär, Sämi; Larsen, Louise L. M.; Meyling, Nicolai V.; Nash, David R.

    2015-01-01

    Social insects such as ants have evolved collective rather than individual immune defence strategies against diseases and parasites at the level of their societies (colonies), known as social immunity. Ants frequently host other arthropods, so-called myrmecophiles, in their nests. Here, we tested the hypothesis that myrmecophily may partly arise from selection for exploiting the ants’ social immunity. We used larvae of the wax moth Galleria mellonella as ‘model myrmecophiles’ (baits) to test this hypothesis. We found significantly reduced abundance of entomopathogens in ant nests compared with the surrounding environment. Specific entomopathogen groups (Isaria fumosorosea and nematodes) were also found to be significantly less abundant inside than outside ant nests, whereas one entomopathogen (Beauveria brongniartii) was significantly more abundant inside nests. We therefore hypothesize that immunological benefits of entering ant nests may provide us a new explanation of why natural selection acts in favour of such a life-history strategy. PMID:26587252

  10. The effects of acoustic misclassification on cetacean species abundance estimation.

    PubMed

    Caillat, Marjolaine; Thomas, Len; Gillespie, Douglas

    2013-09-01

    To estimate the density or abundance of a cetacean species using acoustic detection data, it is necessary to correctly identify the species that are detected. Developing an automated species classifier with 100% correct classification rate for any species is likely to stay out of reach. It is therefore necessary to consider the effect of misidentified detections on the number of observed data and consequently on abundance or density estimation, and develop methods to cope with these misidentifications. If misclassification rates are known, it is possible to estimate the true numbers of detected calls without bias. However, misclassification and uncertainties in the level of misclassification increase the variance of the estimates. If the true numbers of calls from different species are similar, then a small amount of misclassification between species and a small amount of uncertainty around the classification probabilities does not have an overly detrimental effect on the overall variance. However, if there is a difference in the encounter rate between species calls and/or a large amount of uncertainty in misclassification rates, then the variance of the estimates becomes very large and this dramatically increases the variance of the final abundance estimate.

  11. Factors affecting Culicoides species composition and abundance in avian nests.

    PubMed

    Martínez-de la Puente, J; Merino, S; Tomás, G; Moreno, J; Morales, J; Lobato, E; Talavera, S; Sarto I Monteys, V

    2009-08-01

    Mechanisms affecting patterns of vector distribution among host individuals may influence the population and evolutionary dynamics of vectors, hosts and the parasites transmitted. We studied the role of different factors affecting the species composition and abundance of Culicoides found in nests of the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). We identified 1531 females and 2 males of 7 different Culicoides species in nests, with C. simulator being the most abundant species, followed by C. kibunensis, C. festivipennis, C. segnis, C. truncorum, C. pictipennis and C. circumscriptus. We conducted a medicationxfumigation experiment randomly assigning bird's nests to different treatments, thereby generating groups of medicated and control pairs breeding in fumigated and control nests. Medicated pairs were injected with the anti-malarial drug Primaquine diluted in saline solution while control pairs were injected with saline solution. The fumigation treatment was carried out using insecticide solution or water for fumigated and control nests respectively. Brood size was the main factor associated with the abundance of biting midges probably because more nestlings may produce higher quantities of vector attractants. In addition, birds medicated against haemoparasites breeding in non-fumigated nests supported a higher abundance of C. festivipennis than the rest of the groups. Also, we found that the fumigation treatment reduced the abundance of engorged Culicoides in both medicated and control nests, thus indicating a reduction of feeding success produced by the insecticide. These results represent the first evidence for the role of different factors in affecting the Culicoides infracommunity in wild avian nests.

  12. 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.

  13. Respiratory and cuticular water loss in insects with continuous gas exchange: comparison across five ant species.

    PubMed

    Schilman, Pablo E; Lighton, John R B; Holway, David A

    2005-12-01

    Respiratory water loss (RWL) in insects showing continuous emission of CO(2) is poorly studied because few methodologies can measure it. Comparisons of RWL between insects showing continuous and discontinuous gas exchange cycles (DGC) are therefore difficult. We used two recently developed methodologies (the hyperoxic switch and correlation between water-loss and CO(2) emission rates) to compare cuticular permeabilities and rates of RWL in five species of ants, the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) and four common native ant competitors. Our results showed that RWL in groups of ants with moderate levels of activity and continuous gas exchange were similar across the two measurement methods, and were similar to published values on insects showing the DGC. Furthermore, ants exposed to anoxia increased their total water loss rates by 50-150%. These results suggest that spiracular control under continuous gas exchange can be as effective as the DGC in reducing RWL. Finally, the mesic-adapted Argentine ant showed significantly higher rates of water loss and cuticular permeability compared to four ant species native to dry environments. Physiological limitations may therefore be responsible for restricting the distribution of this invasive species in seasonally dry environments.

  14. 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

  15. Nest site selection and induced response in a dominant arboreal ant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dejean, Alain; Grangier, Julien; Leroy, Céline; Orivel, Jerôme; Gibernau, Marc

    2008-09-01

    It is well known that arboreal ants, both territorially dominant species and plant ants (e.g., species associated with myrmecophytes or plants housing them in hollow structures), protect their host trees from defoliators. Nevertheless, the presence of an induced defense, suggested by the fact that the workers discovering a leaf wound recruit nestmates, is only known for plant ants. Based on the results from a field study, we show here (1) that colonies of Azteca chartifex, a territorially dominant, neotropical arboreal ant species, mostly selected Goupia glabra (Goupiaceae) trees in which to build their principal carton nests and (2) that plant signals induced workers to recruit nestmates, which patrol the leaves, likely providing the plant with a biotic defense. Furthermore, the number of recruited workers was clearly higher on G. glabra, their most frequently selected host tree species, than on other tree species. These results show that contrary to what was previously believed, induced responses are also found in territorially dominant arboreal ants and so are not limited to the specific associations between myrmecophytes and plant ants.

  16. Interspecific and temporal variation of ant species within Acacia drepanolobium ant domatia, a staple food of patas monkeys (Erythrocebus patas) in Laikipia, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Isbell, Lynne A; Young, Truman P

    2007-12-01

    The ants that live in the swollen thorns (domatia) of Acacia drepanolobium are staple foods for patas monkeys (Erythrocebus patas). To obtain a better understanding of these insects as resources for patas monkeys, we sampled the contents of 1,051 swollen thorns (ant domatia) over a 22-month period from December 1999 to September 2001, in Laikipia, Kenya. First, we confirmed that of the four species of ants that live on A. drepanolobium, Crematogaster sjostedti, the competitively dominant ant in this system, does not rear significant brood in the swollen thorns and is therefore not a major food item of patas monkeys. Second, across the other three species that do use swollen thorns for rearing their brood, C. nigriceps, C. mimosae, and Tetraponera penzigi, the number of worker ants per swollen thorn increased with increasing competitive dominance. Third, although there was considerable month-to-month variation in the number of workers, immatures, and especially alates (winged reproductives) within species, there was less variation across species because ant production was asynchronous. Variation in domatia contents was poorly related to rainfall for each of the three species. Finally, distal thorns held more alates and fewer workers than interior thorns, and branches higher off the ground held more alates and more workers than lower branches. For the numerically dominant C. mimosae, higher branches held significantly more immature ants than did lower branches. Ants are reliable food resources for patas monkeys, and are probably more reliable than many plant resources in this highly seasonal environment. We estimate that patas monkeys may get as much as a third of their daily caloric needs from these ants year-round. As ants and other insects are widely consumed by primates, we suggest that greater consideration be given to species differences in animal food choices and that further studies be conducted to examine the degree to which ants influence energy intake and

  17. Ant-fungus species combinations engineer physiological activity of fungus gardens.

    PubMed

    Seal, J N; Schiøtt, M; Mueller, U G

    2014-07-15

    Fungus-gardening insects are among the most complex organisms because of their extensive co-evolutionary histories with obligate fungal symbionts and other microbes. Some fungus-gardening insect lineages share fungal symbionts with other members of their lineage and thus exhibit diffuse co-evolutionary relationships, while others exhibit little or no symbiont sharing, resulting in host-fungus fidelity. The mechanisms that maintain this symbiont fidelity are currently unknown. Prior work suggested that derived leaf-cutting ants in the genus Atta interact synergistically with leaf-cutter fungi (Attamyces) by exhibiting higher fungal growth rates and enzymatic activities than when growing a fungus from the sister-clade to Attamyces (so-called 'Trachymyces'), grown primarily by the non-leaf cutting Trachymyrmex ants that form, correspondingly, the sister-clade to leaf-cutting ants. To elucidate the enzymatic bases of host-fungus specialization in leaf-cutting ants, we conducted a reciprocal fungus-switch experiment between the ant Atta texana and the ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis and report measured enzymatic activities of switched and sham-switched fungus gardens to digest starch, pectin, xylan, cellulose and casein. Gardens exhibited higher amylase and pectinase activities when A. texana ants cultivated Attamyces compared with Trachymyces fungi, consistent with enzymatic specialization. In contrast, gardens showed comparable amylase and pectinase activities when T. arizonensis cultivated either fungal species. Although gardens of leaf-cutting ants are not known to be significant metabolizers of cellulose, T. arizonensis were able to maintain gardens with significant cellulase activity when growing either fungal species. In contrast to carbohydrate metabolism, protease activity was significantly higher in Attamyces than in Trachymyces, regardless of the ant host. Activity of some enzymes employed by this symbiosis therefore arises from complex interactions between the

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Assessing introduction risk using species' rank-abundance distributions.

    PubMed

    Chan, Farrah T; Bradie, Johanna; Briski, Elizabeta; Bailey, Sarah A; Simard, Nathalie; MacIsaac, Hugh J

    2015-01-22

    Mixed-species assemblages are often unintentionally introduced into new ecosystems. Analysing how assemblage structure varies during transport may provide insights into how introduction risk changes before propagules are released. Characterization of introduction risk is typically based on assessments of colonization pressure (CP, the number of species transported) and total propagule pressure (total PP, the total abundance of propagules released) associated with an invasion vector. Generally, invasion potential following introduction increases with greater CP or total PP. Here, we extend these assessments using rank-abundance distributions to examine how CP : total PP relationships change temporally in ballast water of ocean-going ships. Rank-abundance distributions and CP : total PP patterns varied widely between trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific voyages, with the latter appearing to pose a much lower risk than the former. Responses also differed by taxonomic group, with invertebrates experiencing losses mainly in total PP, while diatoms and dinoflagellates sustained losses mainly in CP. In certain cases, open-ocean ballast water exchange appeared to increase introduction risk by uptake of new species or supplementation of existing ones. Our study demonstrates that rank-abundance distributions provide new insights into the utility of CP and PP in characterizing introduction risk.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. How many and which ant species are being accidentally moved around the world?

    PubMed

    Miravete, Verónica; Roura-Pascual, Núria; Dunn, Robert R; Gómez, Crisanto

    2014-08-01

    Human transportation facilitates the dispersal of exotic ants, but few studies have quantified the magnitude and geography of these movements. We used several non-parametric indices to estimate the number of species successfully introduced to or established in new regions. We also compared their source biogeographic realms to assess the importance of geographical origin in determining the likelihood of establishment after introduction. Occurrence data on exotic ants derive from studies of three temperate regions. Our results suggest that the numbers of introduced or established ants may be much larger than the numbers so far documented. Ants introduced or established in new regions tend to arrive from the same or neighbouring realms, as would be expected if exotic species tend to match climates and if arrival/establishment is dependent upon higher trade rates from neighbouring countries.

  4. Density-Dependent Effects of an Invasive Ant on a Ground-Dwelling Arthropod Community.

    PubMed

    Cooling, M; Sim, D A; Lester, P J

    2015-02-01

    It is frequently assumed that an invasive species that is ecologically or economically damaging in one region, will typically be so in other environments. The Argentine ant Linepithema humile (Mayr) is listed among the world's worst invaders. It commonly displaces resident ant species where it occurs at high population densities, and may also reduce densities of other ground-dwelling arthropods. We investigated the effect of varying Argentine ant abundance on resident ant and nonant arthropod species richness and abundance in seven cities across its range in New Zealand. Pitfall traps were used to compare an invaded and uninvaded site in each city. Invaded sites were selected based on natural varying abundance of Argentine ant populations. Argentine ant density had a significant negative effect on epigaeic ant abundance and species richness, but hypogaeic ant abundance and species richness was unaffected. We observed a significant decrease in Diplopoda abundance with increasing Argentine ant abundance, while Coleoptera abundance increased. The effect on Amphipoda and Isopoda depended strongly on climate. The severity of the impact on negatively affected taxa was reduced in areas where Argentine ant densities were low. Surprisingly, Argentine ants had no effect on the abundance of the other arthropod taxa examined. Morphospecies richness for all nonant arthropod taxa was unaffected by Argentine ant abundance. Species that are established as invasive in one location therefore cannot be assumed to be invasive in other locations based on presence alone. Appropriate management decisions should reflect this knowledge.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-07

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Asymmetrical behavioral response towards two boron toxicants depends on the ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Sola, Francisco; Falibene, Agustina; Josens, Roxana

    2013-04-01

    Urban ants are a worldwide critical household pests, and efforts to control them usually involve the use of alimentary baits containing slow-acting insecticides. A common toxicant used is boron, either as borax or boric acid. However, the presence of these compounds can affect the consumption of baits by reducing their acceptance and ingestion. Moreover, as feeding motivation varies widely, according not only to food properties but also to colony conditions, bait consumption might be diminished further in certain situations. In this study, we compared the feeding response of ants toward two boron toxic baits (boric acid and borax) in low motivation situations that enhance any possible phago-deterrence the baits may produce. Most studies investigating bait ingestion evaluate whole nests or groups of ants; here, we analyzed the individual ingestion behavior and mortality of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the carpenter ant, Camponotus mus (Roger), for two boron baits, to detect which compound generates a higher rejection in each of these species. Although these two species have similar feeding habits, our results showed that ants under low motivation conditions reduced the acceptance and consumption of the toxic baits asymmetrically. While L. humile mostly rejected the borax, C. mus rejected the boric acid. These results denote the importance of considering the preference of each species when developing a pest management strategy.

  8. 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.

  9. Foraminifera Species Richness, Abundance, and Diversity Research in Bolinas, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunwin, N.; Ingram, Z.; Mendez, M.; Sandoval, K.

    2015-12-01

    Foraminifera are abundant, diverse, respond rapidly to environmental change, and are present in all marine and estuarine environments, making them important indicator species. A survey of occurrence and distribution of foraminifera in the Bolinas Lagoon, Marin County, California was carried out by Hedman in 1975, but no study since has focused on foraminiferal composition within this important ecosystem. In July 2015, the Careers in Science (CiS) Intern Program collected samples at 12 sites previously examined in the 1975 study. Thirty-six samples were collected from the upper few centimeters of sediment from a variety of intertidal and subtidal environments within the lagoon. Foraminifera from each sample were isolated, identified and species richness, abundance and diversity quantified. Furthermore, comparisons of faunal composition represented in our recent collection and that of Hedman's 1975 report are made.

  10. Relative Abundance of Oligosaccharides in Candida Species as Determined by Fluorophore-Assisted Carbohydrate Electrophoresis

    PubMed Central

    Goins, Tresa L.; Cutler, Jim E.

    2000-01-01

    Fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis (FACE) is a straightforward, sensitive method for determining the presence and relative abundance of individual oligomannosyl residues in Candida mannoprotein, the major antigenic determinant located on the outer surface of the yeast cell wall. The single terminal aldehydes of oligomannosyl residues released by hydrolysis were tagged with the charged fluorophore 8-aminonaphthalene-1,3,6-trisulfonate (ANTS) and separated with high resolution on the basis of size by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. ANTS fluorescence labeling was not biased by oligomannoside length; therefore, band fluorescence intensity was directly related to the relative abundance of individual oligomannoside moieties in heterogeneous samples. FACE analysis revealed the major oligomannosides released by acid hydrolysis and β-elimination of Fehling-precipitated mannan from Candida albicans, which were the same as those previously reported in studies based on mass and nuclear magnetic spectroscopic analysis. FACE was also amenable to the analysis of samples obtained by direct hydrolysis of whole yeast cells. Whole-cell acid hydrolysis and whole-cell β-elimination of two isolates each of C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. krusei, C. lusitaniae, C. parapsilosis, C. rugosa, C. stellatoidea, and C. tropicalis resulted in oligomannoside gel banding patterns that were species and strain specific for the 16 isolates surveyed. Whereas some bands were specific for an individual isolate or species, other bands were shared by two or three species in various groupings. Differences in the mannoprotein composition of C. albicans A9 and four spontaneous cell surface mutants were also detected. Mannan “fingerprints,” or banding pattern profiles, derived from the electrophoretic mobilities of individual bands relative to the migration of acid-hydrolyzed dextran (relative migration index) yielded profiles characteristic of individual isolates not revealed by

  11. Distinctive life traits and distribution along environmental gradients of dominant and subordinate Mediterranean ant species.

    PubMed

    Arnan, Xavier; Cerdá, Xim; Retana, Javier

    2012-10-01

    For most animal and plant species, life traits strongly affect their species-specific role, function or position within ecological communities. Previous studies on ant communities have mostly focused on the role of dominant species and the outcome of interspecific interactions. However, life traits of ant species have seldom been considered within a community framework. This study (1) analyses life traits related to ecological and behavioural characteristics of dominant and subordinate ant species from 13 sites distributed throughout the Iberian Peninsula, (2) determines how similar the ant species are within each of the two levels of the dominance hierarchy, and (3) establishes the distribution patterns of these different groups of species along environmental gradients. Our results showed that the differences between dominants and subordinates fall into two main categories: resource exploitation and thermal tolerance. Dominant species have more populated colonies and defend food resources more fiercely than subordinates, but they display low tolerance to high temperatures. We have identified different assemblages of species included within each of these two levels in the dominance hierarchy. The distribution of these assemblages varied along the environmental gradient, shifting from dominant Dolichoderinae and cryptic species in moist areas, to dominant Myrmicinae and hot climate specialists mainly in open and hot sites. We have been able to identify a set of life traits of the most common Iberian ant species that has enabled us to characterise groups of dominant and subordinate species. Although certain common features within the groups of both dominants and subordinates always emerge, other different features allow for differentiating subgroups within each of these groups. These different traits allow the different subgroups coping with particular conditions across environmental gradients.

  12. Interstellar isomeric species: Energy, stability and abundance relationship

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etim, Emmanuel E.; Arunan, Elangannan

    2016-12-01

    Accurate enthalpies of formation are reported for known and potential interstellar isomeric species using high-level ab initio quantum-chemical calculations. A total of 130 molecules comprising of 31 isomeric groups and 24 cyanide/isocyanide pairs with molecules ranging from 3 to 12 atoms have been considered. The results show an interesting relationship between energy, stability and abundance (ESA) existing among these molecules. Among the isomeric species, isomers with lower enthalpies of formation are more easily observed in the interstellar medium compared to their counterparts with higher enthalpies of formation. Available data in the literature confirm the high abundance of the most stable isomer over other isomers in the different groups considered. Potential for interstellar hydrogen bonding accounts for the few exceptions observed. Thus, in general, it suffices to say that the interstellar abundances of related species could be linked to their stabilities if other factors do not dominate. The immediate consequences of this relationship in addressing some of the whys and wherefores among interstellar molecules and in predicting some possible candidates for future astronomical observations are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27869187

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26257879

  17. Effects of three species of Chihuahuan Desert ants on annual plants and soil properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We tested the hypothesis that ant species, which occupy the same nest for a decade or longer, would modify nest soils by increasing soil nutrients and microorganisms resulting in increased biomass, density, cover and species richness of annual plants. We measured soil properties and annual plants on...

  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. 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

  20. Abundant Microsatellite Diversity and Oil Content in Wild Arachis Species

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Xiaoping; Chen, Yuning; Xiao, Yingjie; Zhao, Xinyan; Tang, Mei; Huang, Jiaquan; Upadhyaya, Hari D.; Liao, Boshou

    2012-01-01

    The peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is an important oil crop. Breeding for high oil content is becoming increasingly important. Wild Arachis species have been reported to harbor genes for many valuable traits that may enable the improvement of cultivated Arachis hypogaea, such as resistance to pests and disease. However, only limited information is available on variation in oil content. In the present study, a collection of 72 wild Arachis accessions representing 19 species and 3 cultivated peanut accessions were genotyped using 136 genome-wide SSR markers and phenotyped for oil content over three growing seasons. The wild Arachis accessions showed abundant diversity across the 19 species. A. duranensis exhibited the highest diversity, with a Shannon-Weaver diversity index of 0.35. A total of 129 unique alleles were detected in the species studied. A. rigonii exhibited the largest number of unique alleles (75), indicating that this species is highly differentiated. AMOVA and genetic distance analyses confirmed the genetic differentiation between the wild Arachis species. The majority of SSR alleles were detected exclusively in the wild species and not in A. hypogaea, indicating that directional selection or the hitchhiking effect has played an important role in the domestication of the cultivated peanut. The 75 accessions were grouped into three clusters based on population structure and phylogenic analysis, consistent with their taxonomic sections, species and genome types. A. villosa and A. batizocoi were grouped with A. hypogaea, suggesting the close relationship between these two diploid wild species and the cultivated peanut. Considerable phenotypic variation in oil content was observed among different sections and species. Nine alleles were identified as associated with oil content based on association analysis, of these, three alleles were associated with higher oil content but were absent in the cultivated peanut. The results demonstrated that there is great

  1. Clustering of ant communities and indicator species analysis using self-organizing maps.

    PubMed

    Park, Sang-Hyun; Hosoishi, Shingo; Ogata, Kazuo; Kuboki, Yuzuru

    2014-09-01

    To understand the complex relationships that exist between ant assemblages and their habitats, we performed a self-organizing map (SOM) analysis to clarify the interactions among ant diversity, spatial distribution, and land use types in Fukuoka City, Japan. A total of 52 species from 12 study sites with nine land use types were collected from 1998 to 2012. A SOM was used to classify the collected data into three clusters based on the similarities between the ant communities. Consequently, each cluster reflected both the species composition and habitat characteristics in the study area. A detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) corroborated these findings, but removal of unique and duplicate species from the dataset in order to avoid sampling errors had a marked effect on the results; specifically, the clusters produced by DCA before and after the exclusion of specific data points were very different, while the clusters produced by the SOM were consistent. In addition, while the indicator value associated with SOMs clearly illustrated the importance of individual species in each cluster, the DCA scatterplot generated for species was not clear. The results suggested that SOM analysis was better suited for understanding the relationships between ant communities and species and habitat characteristics.

  2. Leg allometry in ants: extreme long-leggedness in thermophilic species.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Stefan; Wehner, Rüdiger

    2012-01-01

    The thermophilic ant genera Cataglyphis and Ocymyrmex share a variety of specialisations that enable them to engage in high-speed foraging at considerably higher temperatures than less heat-tolerant species. In the present account we test the hypothesis that thermophilic ants have longer legs than closely related species from more mesic habitats. By comparing large-sized, medium-sized, and small-sized species of Cataglyphis and Ocymyrmex with size-matched species of the closely related non-thermophilic genera Formica (Formicinae) and Messor (Myrmicinae), respectively, we show that the thermophilic species are equipped with considerably longer legs than their less heat-tolerant relatives. Hence phylogenetically, extreme long-leggedness has evolved at least twice in desert ants: in the Formicinae and the Myrmicinae. Functionally, this morphological trait is adaptive for a number of reasons. The long legs raise the body into cooler layers of air and enable higher running speeds, which increase convective cooling and reduce foraging time. These are important adaptations all the more as due to the low food density prevailing in desert habitats foraging Cataglyphis and Ocymyrmex ants have to cover large distances within their physically demanding foraging grounds.

  3. Impact of Two Ant Species on Egg Parasitoids Released as Part of a Biological Control Program

    PubMed Central

    Kergunteuil, Alan; Basso, César; Pintureau, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    Biological control using Trichogramma pretiosum Riley (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae), an egg parasitoid wasp, was tested in Uruguay to reduce populations of lepidopteran pests on soybeans. It was observed that the commercial parasitoid dispensers, which were made of cardboard, were vulnerable to small predators that succeeded in entering and emptying the containers of all the eggs parasitized by T. pretiosum. Observations in a soybean crop showed that the only small, common predators present were two ant species. The species responsible for the above mentioned predation was determined from the results of a laboratory experiment in which the behavior of the two common ants was tested. A modification of the dispensers to prevent introduction of this ant has been proposed and successfully tested in the laboratory and in the field. PMID:24738954

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Species-specific leaf volatile compounds of obligate Macaranga myrmecophytes and host-specific aggressiveness of symbiotic Crematogaster ants.

    PubMed

    Inui, Yoko; Itioka, Takao

    2007-11-01

    Macaranga myrmecophytes harbor species-specific Crematogaster ants that defend host trees from herbivores. We examined ant aggressive behaviors when artificially damaged leaf pieces from another tree were offered to four sympatric species of obligate Macaranga myrmecophytes. The ants showed aggressive behavior in response to leaf pieces regardless of the leaf species; however, aggressiveness was higher when conspecific leaf pieces were offered than when nonhost species were offered. Thus, ants can recognize leaf damage and distinguish among damaged leaf species. Chemical analyses of volatile compounds emitted from damaged leaves that may induce ant defense showed that the composition of the minor compounds differed among the four Macaranga species, although there were many compounds in common.

  7. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Metagenomic abundance estimation and diagnostic testing on species level

    PubMed Central

    Lindner, Martin S.; Renard, Bernhard Y.

    2013-01-01

    One goal of sequencing-based metagenomic community analysis is the quantitative taxonomic assessment of microbial community compositions. In particular, relative quantification of taxons is of high relevance for metagenomic diagnostics or microbial community comparison. However, the majority of existing approaches quantify at low resolution (e.g. at phylum level), rely on the existence of special genes (e.g. 16S), or have severe problems discerning species with highly similar genome sequences. Yet, problems as metagenomic diagnostics require accurate quantification on species level. We developed Genome Abundance Similarity Correction (GASiC), a method to estimate true genome abundances via read alignment by considering reference genome similarities in a non-negative LASSO approach. We demonstrate GASiC’s superior performance over existing methods on simulated benchmark data as well as on real data. In addition, we present applications to datasets of both bacterial DNA and viral RNA source. We further discuss our approach as an alternative to PCR-based DNA quantification. PMID:22941661

  10. Comparing inclined locomotion in a ground-living and a climbing ant species: sagittal plane kinematics.

    PubMed

    Weihmann, Tom; Blickhan, Reinhard

    2009-11-01

    Formicine ants are able to detect slopes in the substrates they crawl on. It was assumed that hair fields between the main segments of the body and between the proximal leg segments contribute to graviception which triggers a change of posture in response to substrate slopes. The sagittal kinematics of two ant species were investigated and compared on different slopes. Cataglyphis fortis, a North African desert ant, is well known for its extraordinary sense of orientation in texturally almost uniform habitats, while Formica pratensis, a common central-European species, primarily uses landmarks and pheromone traces for orientation. A comparison of these two species reveals differences in postural adaptations during inclined locomotion. Only minor slope-dependent angular adjustments were observed. The largest is a 25 degrees head rotation for Cataglyphis, even if the slope is changed by 150 degrees, suggesting dramatic changes in the field of vision. The trunk's pitch adjustment towards the increasing slope is low in both species. On all slopes Cataglyphis achieves higher running speeds than Formica and displays greater slope-dependent variation in body height. This indicates different strategies for coping with changing slopes. These specific aspects have to be reflected in the ants' respective mode of slope perception.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-23

    Synergies between invasive species and climate change are widely considered to be a major biodiversity threat. However, invasive species are also hypothesized to be susceptible to population collapse, as we demonstrate for a globally important invasive species in New Zealand. We observed Argentine ant populations to have collapsed in 40 per cent of surveyed sites. Populations had a mean survival time of 14.1 years (95% CI = 12.9-15.3 years). Resident ant communities had recovered or partly recovered after their collapse. Our models suggest that climate change will delay colony collapse, as increasing temperature and decreasing rainfall significantly increased their longevity, but only by a few years. Economic and environmental costs of invasive species may be small if populations collapse on their own accord.

  12. SPECIES-ABUNDANCE-BIOMASS RESPONSES BY ESTUARINE MACROBENTHOS TO SEDIMENT CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Macrobenthic community responses can be measured through concerted changes in univariate metrics, including species richness, total abundance, and total biomass. The classic model of pollution effects on marine macroinvertebrate communities recognizes that species/abundance/bioma...

  13. 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

  14. Ecological engineering by a native leaf-cutting ant increases the performance of exotic plant species.

    PubMed

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Lescano, Natalia; Ghermandi, Luciana

    2010-05-01

    Numerous mechanisms are proposed to explain why exotic plants successfully invade natural communities. However, the positive effects of native engineers on exotic plant species have received less consideration. We tested whether the nutrient-rich soil patches created by a native ecological engineer (refuse dumps from the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lobicornis) increase the performance of exotic more than native plants. In a greenhouse experiment, individuals from several native and exotic species were planted in pots with refuse dumps (RDs) and non-nest soils (NNSs). Total plant biomass and foliar nutrient content were measured at the end of the experiment. We also estimated the cover of exotic and native plant species in external RDs from 54 field ant nests and adjacent areas. Greenhouse plants showed more biomass and foliar nutrient content in RDs than in NNS pots. Nevertheless, differences in the final mean biomass among RD and NNS plants were especially great in exotics. Accordingly, the cover of exotic plants was higher in field RDs than in adjacent, non-nest soils. Our results demonstrated that plants can benefit from the enhanced nutrient content of ant RDs, and that A. lobicornis acts as an ecosystem engineer, creating a substrate that especially increases the performance of exotics. This supports the fluctuating resource hypothesis as a mechanism to promote biological invasions, and illustrates how this hypothesis may operate in nature. Since ant nests and exotic plants are more common in disturbed than in pristine environments, the role of ant nests in promoting biological invasions might be of particular interest. Proposals including the use of engineer species to restore disturbed habitats should be planned with caution because of their potential role in promoting invasions.

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. An extensive comparison of species-abundance distribution models

    PubMed Central

    Baldridge, Elita; Harris, David J.; Xiao, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    A number of different models have been proposed as descriptions of the species-abundance distribution (SAD). Most evaluations of these models use only one or two models, focus on only a single ecosystem or taxonomic group, or fail to use appropriate statistical methods. We use likelihood and AIC to compare the fit of four of the most widely used models to data on over 16,000 communities from a diverse array of taxonomic groups and ecosystems. Across all datasets combined the log-series, Poisson lognormal, and negative binomial all yield similar overall fits to the data. Therefore, when correcting for differences in the number of parameters the log-series generally provides the best fit to data. Within individual datasets some other distributions performed nearly as well as the log-series even after correcting for the number of parameters. The Zipf distribution is generally a poor characterization of the SAD. PMID:28028483

  18. Nylanderia deceptrix sp. n., a new species of obligately socially parasitic formicine ant (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Messer, Steven J.; Cover, Stefan P.; LaPolla, John S.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Obligately socially parasitic ants are social parasites that typically lack the sterile worker caste, and depend on the host species for survival and brood care. The genus Nylanderia has over 130 described species and subspecies, none of which, until this study, were known social parasites. Here we describe the first social parasite known in the genus, Nylanderia deceptrix. Aspects of the biology of the host species, Nylanderia parvula (Mayr 1870), and Nylanderia deceptrix are examined. The data from both the host and the parasite species are combined to better understand the host-parasite relationship. PMID:26865815

  19. Competitive assembly of South Pacific invasive ant communities

    PubMed Central

    Lester, Philip J; Abbott, Kirsti L; Sarty, Megan; Burns, KC

    2009-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Ants on plants: a meta-analysis of the role of ants as plant biotic defenses.

    PubMed

    Rosumek, Felix B; Silveira, Fernando A O; de S Neves, Frederico; de U Barbosa, Newton P; Diniz, Livia; Oki, Yumi; Pezzini, Flavia; Fernandes, G Wilson; Cornelissen, Tatiana

    2009-06-01

    We reviewed the evidence on the role of ants as plant biotic defenses, by conducting meta-analyses for the effects of experimental removal of ants on plant herbivory and fitness with data pooled from 81 studies. Effects reviewed were plant herbivory, herbivore abundance, hemipteran abundance, predator abundance, plant biomass and reproduction in studies where ants were experimentally removed (n = 273 independent comparisons). Ant removal exhibited strong effects on herbivory rates, as plants without ants suffered almost twice as much damage and exhibited 50% more herbivores than plants with ants. Ants also influenced several parameters of plant fitness, as plants without ants suffered a reduction in biomass (-23.7%), leaf production (-51.8%), and reproduction (-24.3%). Effects were much stronger in tropical regions compared to temperate ones. Tropical plants suffered almost threefold higher herbivore damage than plants from temperate regions and exhibited three times more herbivores. Ant removal in tropical plants resulted in a decrease in plant fitness of about 59%, whereas in temperate plants this reduction was not statistically significant. Ant removal effects were also more important in obligate ant-plants (=myrmecophytes) compared to plants exhibiting facultative relationships with hemiptera or those plants with extrafloral nectaries and food bodies. When only tropical plants were considered and the strength of the association between ants and plants taken into account, plants with obligate association with ants exhibited almost four times higher herbivory compared to plants with facultative associations with ants, but similar reductions in plant reproduction. The removal of a single ant species increased plant herbivory by almost three times compared to the removal of several ant species. Altogether, these results suggest that ants do act as plant biotic defenses, but the effects of their presence are more pronounced in tropical systems, especially in

  2. 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.

  3. Distribution, abundance and persistence of Orasema spp. (Hym:Eucharitidae) parasitic on fire ants in South America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Parasitoid wasps of the genus Orasema Cameron have been considered as potential candidates for biological control of imported fire ants in the United States. Surveys were conducted for their occurrence in fire ant colonies across southern South America. In Argentina, 443 ant colonies were excavated ...

  4. Development of parasitic Maculinea teleius (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae) larvae in laboratory nests of four Myrmica ant host species.

    PubMed

    Witek, M; Skórka, P; Sliwińska, E B; Nowicki, P; Moroń, D; Settele, J; Woyciechowski, M

    2011-08-01

    Maculinea butterflies are social parasites of Myrmica ants. Methods to study the strength of host ant specificity in the Maculinea-Myrmica association include research on chemical and acoustic mimicry as well as experiments on ant adoption and rearing behaviour of Maculinea larvae. Here we present results of laboratory experiments on adoption, survival, development and integration of M. teleius larvae within the nests of different Myrmica host species, with the objective of quantifying the degree of specialization of this Maculinea species. In the laboratory, a total of 94 nests of four Myrmica species: M. scabrinodis, M. rubra, M.ruginodis and M. rugulosa were used. Nests of M. rubra and M. rugulosa adopted M. teleius larvae more readily and quickly than M. ruginodis colonies. No significant differences were found in the survival rates of M. teleius larvae reared by different ant species. Early larval growth of M. teleius larvae differed slightly among nests of four Myrmica host species. Larvae reared by colonies of M. rugulosa which were the heaviest at the beginning of larval development had the lowest mean larval body mass after 18 weeks compared to those reared by other Myrmica species. None of the M.teleius larvae was carried by M. scabrinodis or M. rubra workers after ant nests were destroyed, which suggests a lack of integration with host colonies. Results indicate that Myrmica species coming from the same site differ in their ability to adopt and rear M. teleius larvae but there was no obvious adaptation of this butterfly species to one of the host ant species. This may explain why, under natural conditions, all four ants can be used as hosts of this butterfly species. Slight advantages of particular Myrmica species as hosts at certain points in butterfly larval development can be explained by the ant species biology and colony structure rather than by specialization of M. teleius.

  5. Colony structure and spatial partitioning of cavity dwelling ant species in nuts of eastern US forest floors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nut-bearing trees create islands of high efficiency, low cost housing opportunities for ant colonies. Fallen nuts in leaf litter from previous seasons provide ready-made nest sites for cavity dwelling ant species, as well as affording protection from the elements. Suitable nuts for nests require an ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ometto, Lino; Shoemaker, DeWayne; Ross, Kenneth G; Keller, Laurent

    2011-04-01

    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 young. In contrast, the differentiation between males and females generally depends upon whether eggs are fertilized, with fertilized (diploid) eggs giving rise to females and unfertilized (haploid) eggs giving rise to males. To obtain a comprehensive picture of the relative contributions of gender (sex), caste, developmental stage, and species divergence to gene expression evolution, we investigated gene expression patterns in pupal and adult queens, workers, and males of two species of fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri. Microarray hybridizations revealed that variation in gene expression profiles is influenced more by developmental stage than by caste membership, sex, or species identity. The second major contributor to variation in gene expression was the combination of sex and caste. Although workers and queens share equivalent diploid nuclear genomes, they have highly distinctive patterns of gene expression in both the pupal and the adult stages, as might be expected given their extraordinary level of phenotypic differentiation. Overall, the difference in the proportion of differentially expressed genes was greater between workers and males than between workers and queens or queens and males, consistent with the fact that workers and males share neither gender nor reproductive capability. Moreover, between-species comparisons revealed that the greatest difference in gene expression patterns occurred in adult workers, a finding consistent with the fact that adult workers most directly experience the distinct external environments characterizing the different habitats occupied by the two species. Thus, much of the evolution of gene expression in ants may

  14. The Nest Architecture of Three Species of North Florida Aphaenogaster Ants

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2011-01-01

    The architecture of the subterranean nests of Aphaenogaster floridana Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), A. treatae Forel and A. ashmeadi (Emery), was studied from plaster, wax, or metal casts. After structural features were quantified from digital images, the entombed ants were retrieved from the plaster by dissolution or wax casts by melting and counted. Nests of all three species were rather simple, small and vertical, with horizontal chambers connected by vertical shafts. Shafts descending to lower chambers tended to arise from chamber edges, whereas those connecting to a chamber above tended to arise from chamber centers. A. floridana had the largest nests and colonies, and multiple shafts commonly connected upper chambers, a feature lacking in the other two species. In A. floridana nests a higher proportion of chamber area and greater spacing between chambers occurred in the deeper parts of the nest, regardless of nest size. The other two species showed no vertical differentiation of any size-free measure at any nest size. In all three species, nest size increased more slowly than the worker population, so crowding was greater in large colonies than in small, in contrast to the situation in three other ant species for which data were available. An appendix with stereo images of all casts is provided. PMID:22221290

  15. The Relationship between Canopy Cover and Colony Size of the Wood Ant Formica lugubris - Implications for the Thermal Effects on a Keystone Ant Species

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yi-Huei; Robinson, Elva J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Climate change may affect ecosystems and biodiversity through the impacts of rising temperature on species’ body size. In terms of physiology and genetics, the colony is the unit of selection for ants so colony size can be considered the body size of a colony. For polydomous ant species, a colony is spread across several nests. This study aims to clarify how climate change may influence an ecologically significant ant species group by investigating thermal effects on wood ant colony size. The strong link between canopy cover and the local temperatures of wood ant’s nesting location provides a feasible approach for our study. Our results showed that nests were larger in shadier areas where the thermal environment was colder and more stable compared to open areas. Colonies (sum of nests in a polydomous colony) also tended to be larger in shadier areas than in open areas. In addition to temperature, our results supported that food resource availability may be an additional factor mediating the relationship between canopy cover and nest size. The effects of canopy cover on total colony size may act at the nest level because of the positive relationship between total colony size and mean nest size, rather than at the colony level due to lack of link between canopy cover and number of nests per colony. Causal relationships between the environment and the life-history characteristics may suggest possible future impacts of climate change on these species. PMID:25551636

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Common European birds are declining rapidly while less abundant species' numbers are rising.

    PubMed

    Inger, Richard; Gregory, Richard; Duffy, James P; Stott, Iain; Voříšek, Petr; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity is undergoing unprecedented global decline. Efforts to slow this rate have focused foremost on rarer species, which are at most risk of extinction. Less interest has been paid to more common species, despite their greater importance in terms of ecosystem function and service provision. How rates of decline are partitioned between common and less abundant species remains unclear. Using a 30-year data set of 144 bird species, we examined Europe-wide trends in avian abundance and biomass. Overall, avian abundance and biomass are both declining with most of this decline being attributed to more common species, while less abundant species showed an overall increase in both abundance and biomass. If overall avian declines are mainly due to reductions in a small number of common species, conservation efforts targeted at rarer species must be better matched with efforts to increase overall bird numbers, if ecological impacts of birds are to be maintained.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-19

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

  20. Variation in Extrafloral Nectary Productivity Influences the Ant Foraging.

    PubMed

    Lange, Denise; Calixto, Eduardo Soares; Del-Claro, Kleber

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Three new species and reassessment of the rare Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Leptanilloidinae)

    PubMed Central

    Borowiec, Marek L.; Longino, John T.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract We describe three new species of the Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides: Leptanilloides gracilis sp. n. based on workers from Mexico and Guatemala, Leptanilloides erinys sp. n. based on workers and a gyne from Ecuador, and Leptanilloides femoralis sp. n. based on workers from Venezuela. The description of Leptanilloides gracilis is a northern extension of the known range of the genus, now numbering eleven described species. We also describe and discuss three unassociated male morphotypes from Central America. We report the occurrence of a metatibial gland in Leptanilloides and a fused promesonotal connection (suture) in some species. We provide a modified, detailed diagnosis of the genus and a revised key to the worker caste of the known species. PMID:22140337

  3. 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.

  4. The high cost of mutualism: effects of four species of East African ant symbionts on their myrmecophyte host tree.

    PubMed

    Stanton, Maureen L; Palmer, Todd M

    2011-05-01

    Three recent meta-analyses of protective plant-ant mutualisms report a surprisingly weak relationship between herbivore protection and measured demographic benefits to ant-plants, suggesting high tolerance for herbivory, substantial costs of ant-mediated defense, and/or benefits that are realized episodically rather than continuously. Experimental manipulations of protective ant-plant associations typically last for less than a year, yet virtually all specialized myrmecophytes are long-lived perennials for which the costs and benefits of maintaining ant symbionts could accrue at different rates over the host's lifetime. To complement long-term monitoring studies, we experimentally excluded each of four ant symbionts from their long-lived myrmecophyte host trees (Acacia drepanolobium) for 4.5 years. Ant species varied in their effectiveness against herbivores and in their effects on intermediate-term growth and reproduction, but the level of herbivore protection provided was a poor predictor of the net impact they had on host trees. Removal of the three Crematogaster species resulted in cumulative gains in host tree growth and/or reproduction over the course of the experiment, despite the fact that two of those species significantly reduce chronic herbivore damage. In contrast, although T. penzigi is a relatively poor defender, the low cost of maintaining this ant symbiont apparently eliminated negative impacts on overall tree growth and reproduction, resulting in enhanced allocation to new branch growth by the final census. Acacia drepanolobium is evidently highly tolerant of herbivory by insects and small browsers, and the costs of maintaining Crematogaster colonies exceeded the benefits received during the study. No experimental trees were killed by elephants, but elephant damage was uniquely associated with reduced tree growth, and at least one ant species (C. mimosae) strongly deterred elephant browsing. We hypothesize that rare but catastrophic damage by

  5. 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

  6. Fish and phytoplankton exhibit contrasting temporal species abundance patterns in a dynamic north temperate lake.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. A new (old), invasive ant in the hardwood forests of eastern North America and its potentially widespread impacts.

    PubMed

    Guénard, Benoit; Dunn, Robert R

    2010-07-21

    Biological invasions represent a serious threat for the conservation of biodiversity in many ecosystems. While many social insect species and in particular ant species have been introduced outside their native ranges, few species have been successful at invading temperate forests. In this study, we document for the first time the relationship between the abundance of the introduced ant, Pachycondyla chinensis, in mature forests of North Carolina and the composition, abundance and diversity of native ant species using both a matched pair approach and generalized linear models. Where present, P. chinensis was more abundant than all native species combined. The diversity and abundance of native ants in general and many individual species were negatively associated with the presence and abundance of P. chinensis. These patterns held regardless of our statistical approach and across spatial scales. Interestingly, while the majority of ant species was strongly and negatively correlated with the abundance and presence of P. chinensis, a small subset of ant species larger than P. chinensis was either as abundant or even more abundant in invaded than in uninvaded sites. The large geographic range of this ant species combined with its apparent impact on native species make it likely to have cascading consequences on eastern forests in years to come, effects mediated by the specifics of its life history which is very different from those of other invasive ants. The apparent ecological impacts of P. chinensis are in addition to public health concerns associated with this species due to its sometimes, deadly sting.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Herbert C.; Peskoller, Andrea; Moder, Karl; Dowell, Floyd E.; Arthofer, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Species identification—of importance for most biological disciplines—is not always straightforward as cryptic species hamper traditional identification. Fibre-optic near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a rapid and inexpensive method of use in various applications, including the identification of species. Despite its efficiency, NIRS has never been tested on a group of more than two cryptic species, and a working routine is still missing. Hence, we tested if the four morphologically highly similar, but genetically distinct ant species Tetramorium alpestre, T. caespitum, T. impurum, and T. sp. B, all four co-occurring above 1,300 m above sea level in the Alps, can be identified unambiguously using NIRS. Furthermore, we evaluated which of our implementations of the three analysis approaches, partial least squares regression (PLS), artificial neural networks (ANN), and random forests (RF), is most efficient in species identification with our data set. We opted for a 100% classification certainty, i.e., a residual risk of misidentification of zero within the available data, at the cost of excluding specimens from identification. Additionally, we examined which strategy among our implementations, one-vs-all, i.e., one species compared with the pooled set of the remaining species, or binary-decision strategies, worked best with our data to reduce a multi-class system to a two-class system, as is necessary for PLS. Our NIRS identification routine, based on a 100% identification certainty, was successful with up to 66.7% of unambiguously identified specimens of a species. In detail, PLS scored best over all species (36.7% of specimens), while RF was much less effective (10.0%) and ANN failed completely (0.0%) with our data and our implementations of the analyses. Moreover, we showed that the one-vs-all strategy is the only acceptable option to reduce multi-class systems because of a minimum expenditure of time. We emphasise our classification routine using fibre

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

    PubMed

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

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

  13. Arthropod communities in a selenium-contaminated habitat with a focus on ant species.

    PubMed

    De La Riva, Deborah G; Hladun, Kristen R; Vindiola, Beatriz G; Trumble, John T

    2017-01-01

    The selenium contamination event that occurred at Kesterson Reservoir (Merced Co., CA) during the 1970-80s is a frequently cited example for the negative effects of contamination on wildlife. Despite the importance of arthropods for ecosystem services and functioning, relatively little information is available as to the impacts of pollution on arthropod community dynamics. We conducted surveys of the arthropod community present at Kesterson Reservoir to assess the impacts of selenium contamination on arthropod diversity, with a focus on ant species richness, composition and density. Trophic groups were compared to determine which arthropods were potentially receiving the greatest selenium exposure. Plant samples were analyzed to determine the selenium content by site and by location within plant. Soil concentrations varied across the study sites, but not across habitat types. Topsoil contained higher levels of selenium compared to core samples. Plants contained similar concentrations of selenium in their leaves, stems and flowers, but flowers contained the greatest range of concentrations. Individuals within the detritivores/decomposers and predators accumulated the greatest concentrations of selenium, whereas nectarivores contained the lowest concentrations. Species composition differed across the sites: Dorymyrmex bicolor was located only at the site containing the greatest soil selenium concentration, but Solenopsis xyloni was found at most sites and was predominant at six of the sites. Selenium concentrations in ants varied by species and collection sites. Nest density was also found to differ across sites, but was not related to soil selenium or any of the habitat variables measured in our study. Selenium was not found to impact species richness, but was a significant variable for the occurrence of two out of the eight native species identified.

  14. Conserved microsatellites in ants enable population genetic and colony pedigree studies across a wide range of species.

    PubMed

    Butler, Ian A; Siletti, Kimberly; Oxley, Peter R; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2014-01-01

    Broadly applicable polymorphic genetic markers are essential tools for population genetics, and different types of markers have been developed for this purpose. Microsatellites have been employed as particularly polymorphic markers for over 20 years. However, PCR primers for microsatellite loci are often not useful outside the species for which they were designed. This implies that a new set of loci has to be identified and primers developed for every new study species. To overcome this constraint, we identified 45 conserved microsatellite loci based on the eight currently available ant genomes and designed primers for PCR amplification. Among these loci, we chose 24 for in-depth study in six species covering six different ant subfamilies. On average, 11.16 of these 24 loci were polymorphic and in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in any given species. The average number of alleles for these polymorphic loci within single populations of the different species was 4.59. This set of genetic markers will thus be useful for population genetic and colony pedigree studies across a wide range of ant species, supplementing the markers available for previously studied species and greatly facilitating the study of the many ant species lacking genetic markers. Our study shows that it is possible to develop microsatellite loci that are both conserved over a broad range of taxa, yet polymorphic within species. This should encourage researchers to develop similar tools for other large taxonomic groups.

  15. Conserved Microsatellites in Ants Enable Population Genetic and Colony Pedigree Studies across a Wide Range of Species

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Ian A.; Siletti, Kimberly; Oxley, Peter R.; Kronauer, Daniel J. C.

    2014-01-01

    Broadly applicable polymorphic genetic markers are essential tools for population genetics, and different types of markers have been developed for this purpose. Microsatellites have been employed as particularly polymorphic markers for over 20 years. However, PCR primers for microsatellite loci are often not useful outside the species for which they were designed. This implies that a new set of loci has to be identified and primers developed for every new study species. To overcome this constraint, we identified 45 conserved microsatellite loci based on the eight currently available ant genomes and designed primers for PCR amplification. Among these loci, we chose 24 for in-depth study in six species covering six different ant subfamilies. On average, 11.16 of these 24 loci were polymorphic and in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in any given species. The average number of alleles for these polymorphic loci within single populations of the different species was 4.59. This set of genetic markers will thus be useful for population genetic and colony pedigree studies across a wide range of ant species, supplementing the markers available for previously studied species and greatly facilitating the study of the many ant species lacking genetic markers. Our study shows that it is possible to develop microsatellite loci that are both conserved over a broad range of taxa, yet polymorphic within species. This should encourage researchers to develop similar tools for other large taxonomic groups. PMID:25244681

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    Caused by Two Abundant Pacific Schooling Species: Humboldt Squid and Hake Kelly J. Benoit-Bird College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences 104...Abundant Pacific Schooling Species: Humboldt Squid and Hake 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT...with maximum lengths of up to 90 cm. A more recent immigrant to these waters, is the similarly sized and highly abundant jumbo or Humboldt squid

  17. Biodiversity below ground: probing the subterranean ant fauna of Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Ryder Wilkie, Kari T; Mertl, Amy L; Traniello, James F A

    2007-09-01

    Ants are abundant, diverse, and ecologically dominant in tropical forests. Subterranean ants in particular are thought to have a significant environmental impact, although difficulties associated with collecting ants underground and examining their ecology and behavior have limited research. In this paper, we present the results of a study of subterranean ant diversity in Amazonian Ecuador that employs a novel probe to facilitate the discovery of species inhabiting the soil horizon. Forty-seven species of ants in 19 genera, including new and apparently rare species, were collected in probes. Approximately 19% of the species collected at different depths in the soil were unique to probe samples. Analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) results showed that the species composition of ants collected with the probe was significantly different from samples collected using other techniques. Additionally, ANOSIM computations indicated the species assemblage of ants collected 12.5 cm below the surface was significantly different from those found at 25, 37.5, and 50 cm. Ant diversity and species accumulation rates decreased with increasing depth. There were no species unique to the lowest depths, suggesting that subterranean ants may not be distributed deep in the soil in Amazonia due to the high water table. The technique we describe could be used to gain new insights into the distribution and biology of subterranean ant species and other members of the species-rich soil invertebrate macrofauna.

  18. 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

  19. Impacts of residual insecticide barriers on perimeter-invading ants, with particular reference to the odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile.

    PubMed

    Scharf, Michael E; Ratliff, Catina R; Bennett, Gary W

    2004-04-01

    Three liquid insecticide formulations were evaluated as barrier treatments against perimeter-invading ants at a multifamily housing complex in West Lafayette, IN. Several ant species were present at the study site, including (in order of abundance) pavement ant, Tetramorium caespitum (L.); honey ant, Prenolepis imparis (Say); odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say); thief ant, Solenopsis molesta (Say); acrobat ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi (Mayr); crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle), field ants, Formica spp.; and carpenter ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer). Studies began in May 2001 and concluded 8 wk later in July. Individual replicate treatments were placed 0.61 in (2 feet) up and 0.92 m (3 feet) out from the ends of 46.1 by 10.1-m (151 by 33-foot) apartment buildings. Ant sampling was performed with 10 placements of moist cat food for 1 h within treatment zones, followed by capture and removal of recruited ants for later counting. All treatments led to substantial reductions in ant numbers relative to untreated controls. The most effective treatment was fipronil, where 2% of before-treatment ant numbers were present at 8 wk after treatment. Both imidacloprid and cyfluthrin barrier treatments had efficacy comparative with fipronil, but to 4 and 2 wk, respectively. Odorous house ants were not sampled before treatment. Comparisons of ant species composition between treatments and controls revealed an increase in odorous house ant frequencies at 1-8 wk after treatment in treated locations only. These results demonstrate efficacy for both nonrepellent and repellent liquid insecticides as perimeter treatments for pest ants. In addition, our findings with odorous house ant highlight an apparent invasive-like characteristic of this species that may contribute to its dramatic increase in structural infestation rates in many areas of the United States.

  20. 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.

  1. Wood-nesting ants and their parasites in forests and coffee agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    De La Mora, Aldo; Philpott, Stacy M

    2010-10-01

    Agricultural intensification is linked to reduced species richness and may limit the effectiveness of predators in agricultural systems. We studied the abundance, diversity, and species composition of wood-nesting ants and frequency of parasitism of poneromorph ants in coffee agroeco systems and a forest fragment in Chiapas, Mexico. In three farms differing in shade management and in a nearby forest fragment, we surveyed ants nesting in rotten wood. We collected pupae of all poneromorph ants encountered, and incubated pupae for 15 d to recover emerging ant parasites. If no parasites emerged, we dissected pupae to examine for parasitism. Overall, we found 63 ant morphospecies, 29 genera, and 7 subfamilies from 520 colonies. There were no significant differences in ant richness or abundance between the different sites. However, there were significant differences in the species composition of ants sampled in the four different sites. The parasitism rates of ants differed according to site; in the forest 77.7% of species were parasitized, and this number declined with increasing intensification in traditional polyculture (40%),commercial polyculture (25%), and shade monoculture (16.6%). For three of four poneromorph species found in >1 habitat, parasitism rates were higher in the more vegetatively complex sites. The result that both ant species composition and ant parasitism differed among by site indicates that coffee management intensification affects wood-nesting ant communities. Further, coffee intensification may significantly alter interactions between ants and their parasites, with possible implications for biological control in coffee agroecosystems.

  2. Mosquitoes of Zika Forest, Uganda: species composition and relative abundance.

    PubMed

    Kaddumukasa, M A; Mutebi, J-P; Lutwama, J J; Masembe, C; Akol, A M

    2014-01-01

    Mosquito collections were conducted in Zika Forest near Entebbe, Uganda, from July 2009 through June 2010 using CO2-baited light traps, ovitraps, and human-baited catches. In total, 163,790 adult mosquitoes belonging to 12 genera and 58 species were captured. Of these, 22 species (38%) were captured in Zika Forest for the first time. All the new records found in the forest in this study had previously been captured in other regions of Uganda, implying that they are native to the country and do not represent new introductions. More than 20 species previously collected in Zika Forest were not detected in our collections, and this may suggest a change in the mosquito fauna during the past 40 yr or variation in species composition from year to year. Arboviruses of public health importance have previously been isolated from >50% of the 58 mosquito species captured in Zika Forest, which suggests ahigh potential for transmission and maintenance of a wide range of arboviruses in Zika Forest.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Estimating Abundances of Interacting Species Using Morphological Traits, Foraging Guilds, and Habitat

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24727898

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  9. Argentine ant invasion associated with loblolly pines in the southeastern United States: minimal impacts but seasonally sustained.

    PubMed

    Rowles, Alexei D; Silverman, Jules

    2010-08-01

    Invasive ants are notorious for directly displacing native ant species. Although such impacts are associated with Argentine ant invasions (Linepithema humile) worldwide, impacts within natural habitat are less widely reported, particularly those affecting arboreal ant communities. Argentine ants were detected in North Carolina mixed pine-hardwood forest for the first time but were localized on and around loblolly pines (Pinus taeda), probably because of association with honeydew-producing Hemiptera. We explored the potential impacts of L. humile on arboreal and ground-foraging native ant species by comparing interspersed loblolly pines invaded and uninvaded by Argentine ants. Impacts on native ants were assessed monthly over 1 yr by counting ants in foraging trails on pine trunks and in surrounding plots using a concentric arrangement of pitfall traps at 1, 2, and 3 m from the base of each tree. Of floristics and habitat variables, higher soil moisture in invaded plots was the only difference between plot types, increasing confidence that any ant community differences were caused by Argentine ants. Overall patterns of impact were weak. Composition differed significantly between Argentine ant invaded and uninvaded trunks and pitfalls but was driven only by the presence of Argentine ants rather than any resulting compositional change in native ant species. Native ant abundance and richness were similarly unaffected by L. humile. However, the abundance of individual ant species was more variable. Although numbers of the arboreal Crematogaster ashmeadi (Myrmicinae) declined on and around invaded pines, epigeic Aphaenogaster rudis (Myrmicinae) remained the most abundant species in all plots. Argentine ant densities peaked in late summer and fall, therefore overlapping with most native ants. Unexpected was their continued presence during even the coldest months. We provide evidence that Argentine ants can invade and persist in native North Carolina forests, probably

  10. Relationships between species richness, evenness, and abundance in a southwestern savanna.

    PubMed

    Bock, Carl E; Jones, Zach F; Bock, Jane H

    2007-05-01

    Species richness and evenness are components of biological diversity that may or may not be correlated with one another and with patterns of species abundance. We compared these attributes among flowering plants, grasshoppers, butterflies, lizards, summer birds, winter birds, and rodents across 48 plots in the grasslands and mesquite-oak savannas of southeastern Arizona. Species richness and evenness were uncorrelated or weakly negatively correlated for each taxonomic group, supporting the conclusion that richness alone is an incomplete measure of diversity. In each case, richness was positively correlated with one or more measures of abundance. By contrast, evenness usually was negatively correlated with the abundance variables, reflecting the fact that plots with high evenness generally were those where all species present were about equally uncommon. Therefore richness, but not evenness, usually was a positive predictor of places of conservation value, if these are defined as places where species of interest are especially abundant. Species diversity was more positively correlated with evenness than with richness among grasshoppers and flowering plants, in contrast to the other taxonomic groups, and the positive correlations between richness and abundance were comparatively weak for grasshoppers and plants as well. Both of these differences can be attributed to the fact that assemblages of plants and grasshoppers were numerically dominated by small subsets of common species (grasses and certain spur-throated grasshoppers) whose abundances differed greatly among plots in ways unrelated to species richness of the groups as a whole.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Associations of forest cover, fragment area, and connectivity with neotropical understory bird species richness and abundance.

    PubMed

    Martensen, Alexandre Camargo; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Banks-Leite, Cristina; Prado, Paulo Inácio; Metzger, Jean Paul

    2012-12-01

    Theoretical and empirical studies demonstrate that the total amount of forest and the size and connectivity of fragments have nonlinear effects on species survival. We tested how habitat amount and configuration affect understory bird species richness and abundance. We used mist nets (almost 34,000 net hours) to sample birds in 53 Atlantic Forest fragments in southeastern Brazil. Fragments were distributed among 3 10,800-ha landscapes. The remaining forest in these landscapes was below (10% forest cover), similar to (30%), and above (50%) the theoretical fragmentation threshold (approximately 30%) below which the effects of fragmentation should be intensified. Species-richness estimates were significantly higher (F= 3715, p = 0.00) where 50% of the forest remained, which suggests a species occurrence threshold of 30-50% forest, which is higher than usually occurs (<30%). Relations between forest cover and species richness differed depending on species sensitivity to forest conversion and fragmentation. For less sensitive species, species richness decreased as forest cover increased, whereas for highly sensitive species the opposite occurred. For sensitive species, species richness and the amount of forest cover were positively related, particularly when forest cover was 30-50%. Fragment size and connectivity were related to species richness and abundance in all landscapes, not just below the 30% threshold. Where 10% of the forest remained, fragment size was more related to species richness and abundance than connectivity. However, the relation between connectivity and species richness and abundance was stronger where 30% of the landscape was forested. Where 50% of the landscape was forested, fragment size and connectivity were both related to species richness and abundance. Our results demonstrated a rapid loss of species at relatively high levels of forest cover (30-50%). Highly sensitive species were 3-4 times more common above the 30-50% threshold than below it

  14. Taxonomic studies on the ant genus Ponera Latreille, 1804 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with the description of a new species from India

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Himender; Rilta, Joginder Singh

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Four species of the ant genus Ponera Latreille, 1804, are recorded from India. The present study reports one new species Ponera sikkimensis sp. n., a divergent population of Ponera indica Bharti & Wachkoo, 2012 and one new record, Ponera paedericera Zhou, 2001 from India. An identification key and distributions for the four known Indian species of Ponera based on the worker caste are provided. PMID:26487822

  15. Macroalgal mats and species abundance: a field experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hull, S. C.

    1987-11-01

    A field experiment was carried out whereby the density of macroalgae ( Enteromorpha spp.) was manipulated and the resultant changes in sediment infaunal density were monitored. Four densities of Enteromorpha spp. were used: 0,0·3, 1, and 3 kg FW m -2, corresponding to control, low-, medium-, and high-density plots. The experiment ran from May to October 1985 and was sampled on three occasions. By July, the density of Corophium volutator was reduced at all weed levels when compared to control plots, whereas densities of Hydrobia ulvae, Macoma balthica, Nereis diversicolor, and Capitella capitata, all increased. Samples taken in October when the weed mats were buried in the sediment showed fewer differences than in July. Macoma, Nereis, and Capitella were still significantly more abundant at medium and high weed densities. Corophium showed no significant treatment effect. There was, however, a highly significant difference in population size structure for Corophium. Measurements of sediment redox potential and silt content under medium- and high-density plots revealed rapid anoxia with a significant increase in siltation.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  17. Does morphology predict trophic position and habitat use of ant species and assemblages?

    PubMed

    Gibb, H; Stoklosa, J; Warton, D I; Brown, A M; Andrew, N R; Cunningham, S A

    2015-02-01

    A functional traits-based theory of organismal communities is critical for understanding the principles underlying community assembly, and predicting responses to environmental change. This is particularly true for terrestrial arthropods, of which only 20% are described. Using epigaeic ant assemblages, we asked: (1) can we use morphological variation among species to predict trophic position or preferred microhabitat; (2) does the strength of morphological associations suggest recent trait divergence; (3) do environmental variables at site scale predict trait sets for whole assemblages? We pitfall-trapped ants from a revegetation chronosequence and measured their morphology, trophic position [using C:N stoichiometry and stable isotope ratios (δ)] and characteristics of microhabitat and macrohabitat. We found strong associations between high trophic position (low C:N and high δ(15)N) in body tissue and morphological traits: predators were larger, had more laterally positioned eyes, more physical protection and tended to be monomorphic. In addition, morphological traits were associated with certain microhabitat features, e.g. smaller heads were associated with the bare ground microhabitat. Trait-microhabitat relationships were more pronounced when phylogenetic adjustments were used, indicating a strong influence of recent trait divergences. At the assemblage level, our fourth corner analysis revealed associations between the prevalence of traits and macrohabitat, although these associations were not the same as those based on microhabitat associations. This study shows direct links between species-level traits and both diet and habitat preference. Trait-based prediction of ecological roles and community structure is thus achievable when integrating stoichiometry, morphology and phylogeny, but scale is an important consideration in such predictions.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Ant (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) diversity along a pollution gradient near the Middle Ural Copper Smelter, Russia.

    PubMed

    Belskaya, Elena; Gilev, Alexey; Belskii, Eugen

    2017-03-13

    Ants are considered to be suitable indicators of ecological change and are widely used in land management and environmental monitoring. However, responses of ant communities to industrial pollution are less known so far. We studied pollution-related variations of ant diversity and abundance near the Middle Ural Copper Smelter (Russia) in 2009 and 2013, with pitfall traps set up at 10 sites in Picea obovata and Abies sibirica forest. This study provided evidences for humped pollution-induced dynamics of ant diversity and abundance. Species richness and diversity peaked in the habitat intermediate between slightly damaged and fully destroyed forest ecosystems. The total abundance of ants peaked in the middle of the pollution gradient and was determined mainly by the dominant species Formica aquilonia. The abundance of other species increased towards the smelter, but was less important for total abundance than that of red wood ants. Community dominants changed with increase of exposure; F. aquilonia, a typical species of mature forests, was replaced by species of open habitats, Lasius niger and Myrmica ruginodis. Habitat variables and competition between species seem to affect local ant communities more strongly than pollution exposure. Stand basal area and cover of the field layer were the main determinants of ant diversity and abundance of individual species.

  1. Accounting for dispersal and biotic interactions to disentangle the drivers of species distributions and their abundances

    PubMed Central

    Boulangeat, Isabelle; Gravel, Dominique; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2014-01-01

    Although abiotic factors, together with dispersal and biotic interactions, are often suggested to explain the distribution of species and their abundances, species distribution models usually focus on abiotic factors only. We propose an integrative framework linking ecological theory, empirical data and statistical models to understand the distribution of species and their abundances together with the underlying community assembly dynamics. We illustrate our approach with 21 plant species in the French Alps. We show that a spatially nested modelling framework significantly improves the model’s performance and that the spatial variations of species presence–absence and abundances are predominantly explained by different factors. We also show that incorporating abiotic, dispersal and biotic factors into the same model bring new insights to our understanding of community assembly. This approach, at the crossroads between community ecology and biogeography, is a promising avenue for a better understanding of species co-existence and biodiversity distribution. PMID:22462813

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-22

    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 -¾ 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.

  4. The effect of soil-borne pathogens depends on the abundance of host tree species

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yu; Fang, Suqin; Chesson, Peter; He, Fangliang

    2015-01-01

    The overarching issue for understanding biodiversity maintenance is how fitness advantages accrue to a species as it becomes rare, as this is the defining feature of stable coexistence mechanisms. Without these fitness advantages, average fitness differences between species will lead to exclusion. However, empirical evidence is lacking, especially for forests, due to the difficulty of manipulating density on a large-enough scale. Here we took advantage of naturally occurring contrasts in abundance between sites of a subtropical tree species, Ormosia glaberrima, to demonstrate how low-density fitness advantages accrue by the Janzen–Connell mechanism. The results showed that soil pathogens suppressed seedling recruitment of O. glaberrima when it is abundant but had little effect on the seedlings when it is at low density due to the lack of pathogens. The difference in seedling survival between abundant and low-density sites demonstrates strong dependence of pathogenic effect on the abundance of host species. PMID:26632594

  5. Changes in the Relative Abundance of Two Saccharomyces Species from Oak Forests to Wine Fermentations

    PubMed Central

    Dashko, Sofia; Liu, Ping; Volk, Helena; Butinar, Lorena; Piškur, Jure; Fay, Justin C.

    2016-01-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its sibling species Saccharomyces paradoxus are known to inhabit temperate arboreal habitats across the globe. Despite their sympatric distribution in the wild, S. cerevisiae is predominantly associated with human fermentations. The apparent ecological differentiation of these species is particularly striking in Europe where S. paradoxus is abundant in forests and S. cerevisiae is abundant in vineyards. However, ecological differences may be confounded with geographic differences in species abundance. To compare the distribution and abundance of these two species we isolated Saccharomyces strains from over 1200 samples taken from vineyard and forest habitats in Slovenia. We isolated numerous strains of S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus, as well as a small number of Saccharomyces kudriavzevii strains, from both vineyard and forest environments. We find S. cerevisiae less abundant than S. paradoxus on oak trees both within and outside the vineyard, but more abundant on grapevines and associated substrates. Analysis of the uncultured microbiome shows, that both S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus are rare species in soil and bark samples, but can be much more common in grape must. In contrast to S. paradoxus, European strains of S. cerevisiae have acquired multiple traits thought to be important for life in the vineyard and dominance of wine fermentations. We conclude, that S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus currently share both vineyard and non-vineyard habitats in Slovenia and we discuss factors relevant to their global distribution and relative abundance. PMID:26941733

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    Caused by Two Abundant Pacific Schooling Species: Humboldt Squid and Hake Kelly J. Benoit-Bird College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences 104...Attenuation Caused by Two Abundant Pacific Schooling Species: Humboldt Squid and Hake 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6...have successfully recruited graduate students that will conduct thesis research as part of this project. RESULTS Both hake and Humboldt squid

  7. The most relictual fungus-farming ant species cultivates the most recently evolved and highly domesticated fungal symbiont species.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Ted R; Sosa-Calvo, Jeffrey; Brady, Seán G; Lopes, Cauê T; Mueller, Ulrich G; Bacci, Mauricio; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L

    2015-05-01

    Fungus-farming (attine) ant agriculture is made up of five known agricultural systems characterized by remarkable symbiont fidelity in which five phylogenetic groups of ants faithfully cultivate five phylogenetic groups of fungi. Here we describe the first case of a lower-attine ant cultivating a higher-attine fungus based on our discovery of a Brazilian population of the relictual fungus-farming ant Apterostigma megacephala, known previously from four stray specimens from Peru and Colombia. We find that A. megacephala is the sole surviving representative of an ancient lineage that diverged ∼39 million years ago, very early in the ∼55-million-year evolution of fungus-farming ants. Contrary to all previously known patterns of ant-fungus symbiont fidelity, A. megacephala cultivates Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, a highly domesticated fungal cultivar that originated only 2-8 million years ago in the gardens of the highly derived and recently evolved (∼12 million years ago) leaf-cutting ants. Because no other lower fungus-farming ant is known to cultivate any of the higher-attine fungi, let alone the leaf-cutter fungus, A. megacephala may provide important clues about the biological mechanisms constraining the otherwise seemingly obligate ant-fungus associations that characterize attine ant agriculture.

  8. 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.

  9. New species and records of Pseudacteon Coquillett, 1907 (Diptera, Phoridae), parasitoids of the fire ant Solenopsis geminata group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Pereira, Thalles Platiny Lavinscky; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Bravo, Freddy

    2015-09-29

    The genus Pseudacteon Coquillett (Diptera, Phoridae) has a worldwide distribution and comprises parasitic myrmecophilous species that decapitate host ants. Seventy one species are known in the genus, 41 of them occur in the Neotropical Region and are 25 from Brazil. In northeastern Brazil, there are only records for two species, Pseudacteon dentiger Borgmeier and Pseudacteon antiguensis Malloch. In this paper, two new species of the genus are described from female specimens, Pseudacteon pesqueroi new spec. and Pseudacteon plowesi new spec., and also, new records of three Pseudacteon species for the Brazilian Northeast are given.

  10. Species diversity and seasonal abundance of Culicoides biting midges in northwestern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Aybar, C A Veggiani; Juri, M J Dantur; De Grosso, M S Lizarralde; Spinelli, G R

    2010-03-01

    The species diversity and seasonal abundance of biting midges of the genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were studied in northwestern Argentina during the period 2003-2005. A total of 5437 Culicoides specimens were collected using CDC light traps in three areas of the mountainous rainforest area. The most common species were Culicoides paraensis (Goeldi) and C. insignis Lutz, Culicoides lahillei (Iches), C. venezuelensis Ortiz & Mirsa, C. debilipalpis Lutz and C. crescentis Wirth & Blanton were also collected. Culicoides paraensis was abundant during the summer, and C. insignis and C. lahillei during late summer and early fall. Accumulated rainfall was the climatic variable most related to fluctuation in abundance of C. paraensis.

  11. Remembrance of things past: modelling the relationship between species' abundances in living communities and death assemblages.

    PubMed

    Olszewski, Thomas D

    2012-02-23

    Accumulations of dead skeletal material are a valuable archive of past ecological conditions. However, such assemblages are not equivalent to living communities because they mix the remains of multiple generations and are altered by post-mortem processes. The abundance of a species in a death assemblage can be quantitatively modelled by successively integrating the product of an influx time series and a post-mortem loss function (a decay function with a constant half-life). In such a model, temporal mixing increases expected absolute dead abundance relative to average influx as a linear function of half-life and increases variation in absolute dead abundance values as a square-root function of half-life. Because typical abundance distributions of ecological communities are logarithmically distributed, species' differences in preservational half-life would have to be very large to substantially alter species' abundance ranks (i.e. make rare species common or vice-versa). In addition, expected dead abundances increase at a faster rate than their range of variation with increased time averaging, predicting greater consistency in the relative abundance structure of death assemblages than their parent living community.

  12. Gradients in the Number of Species at Reef-Seagrass Ecotones Explained by Gradients in Abundance

    PubMed Central

    Tuya, Fernando; Vanderklift, Mathew A.; Wernberg, Thomas; Thomsen, Mads S.

    2011-01-01

    Gradients in the composition and diversity (e.g. number of species) of faunal assemblages are common at ecotones between juxtaposed habitats. Patterns in the number of species, however, can be confounded by patterns in abundance of individuals, because more species tend to be found wherever there are more individuals. We tested whether proximity to reefs influenced patterns in the composition and diversity (‘species density’ = number of species per area and ‘species richness’ = number of species per number of individuals) of prosobranch gastropods in meadows of two seagrasses with different physiognomy: Posidonia and Amphibolis. A change in the species composition was observed from reef-seagrass edges towards the interiors of Amphibolis, but not in Posidonia meadows. Similarly, the abundance of gastropods and species density was higher at edges relative to interiors of Amphibolis meadows, but not in Posidonia meadows. However, species richness was not affected by proximity to reefs in either type of seagrass meadow. The higher number of species at the reef-Amphibolis edge was therefore a consequence of higher abundance, rather than species richness per se. These results suggest that patterns in the composition and diversity of fauna with proximity to adjacent habitats, and the underlying processes that they reflect, likely depend on the physiognomy of the habitat. PMID:21629654

  13. Gradients in the number of species at reef-seagrass ecotones explained by gradients in abundance.

    PubMed

    Tuya, Fernando; Vanderklift, Mathew A; Wernberg, Thomas; Thomsen, Mads S

    2011-01-01

    Gradients in the composition and diversity (e.g. number of species) of faunal assemblages are common at ecotones between juxtaposed habitats. Patterns in the number of species, however, can be confounded by patterns in abundance of individuals, because more species tend to be found wherever there are more individuals. We tested whether proximity to reefs influenced patterns in the composition and diversity ('species density'  =  number of species per area and 'species richness'  =  number of species per number of individuals) of prosobranch gastropods in meadows of two seagrasses with different physiognomy: Posidonia and Amphibolis. A change in the species composition was observed from reef-seagrass edges towards the interiors of Amphibolis, but not in Posidonia meadows. Similarly, the abundance of gastropods and species density was higher at edges relative to interiors of Amphibolis meadows, but not in Posidonia meadows. However, species richness was not affected by proximity to reefs in either type of seagrass meadow. The higher number of species at the reef-Amphibolis edge was therefore a consequence of higher abundance, rather than species richness per se. These results suggest that patterns in the composition and diversity of fauna with proximity to adjacent habitats, and the underlying processes that they reflect, likely depend on the physiognomy of the habitat.

  14. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Epperson, D.M.; Allen, C.R.

    2010-01-01

    Red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) have negative impacts on a broad array of invertebrate species. We investigated the impacts of fire ants on the upland arthropod community on 20???40 ha study sites in southern Mississippi. Study sites were sampled from 19972000 before, during, and after fire ant bait treatments to reduce fire ant populations. Fire ant abundance was assessed with bait transects on all sites, and fire ant population indices were estimated on a subset of study sites. Species richness and diversity of other ant species was also assessed from bait transects. Insect biomass and diversity was determined from light trap samples. Following treatments, fire ant abundance and population indices were significantly reduced, and ant species diversity and richness were greater on treated sites. Arthropod biomass, species diversity and species richness estimated from light trap samples were negatively correlated with fire ant abundance, but there were no observable treatment effects. Solenopsis invicta has the potential to negatively impact native arthropod communities resulting in a potential loss of both species and function.

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

    PubMed

    Resasco, Julian; Haddad, Nick M; Orrock, John L; Shoemaker, DeWayne; Brudvig, Lars A; Damschen, Ellen I; Tewksbury, Joshua J; Levey, Douglas J

    2014-08-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Quantifying uncertainty in the potential distribution of an invasive species: climate and the Argentine ant.

    PubMed

    Hartley, Stephen; Harris, Richard; Lester, Philip J

    2006-09-01

    Maps of a species' potential range make an important contribution to conservation and invasive species risk analysis. Spatial predictions, however, should be accompanied by an assessment of their uncertainty. Here, we use multimodel inference to generate confidence intervals that incorporate both the uncertainty involved in model selection as well as the error associated with model fitting. In the case of the invasive Argentine ant, we found that it was most likely to occur where the mean daily temperature in mid-winter was 7-14 degrees C and maximum daily temperatures during the hottest month averaged 19-30 degrees C. Uninvaded regions vulnerable to future establishment include: southern China, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, central Madagascar, Morocco, high-elevation Ethiopia, Yemen and a number of oceanic islands. Greatest uncertainty exists over predictions for China, north-east India, Angola, Bolivia, Lord Howe Island and New Caledonia. Quantifying the costs of different errors (false negatives vs. false positives) was considered central for connecting modelling to decision-making and management processes.

  19. Ants contribute significantly to the pollination of a biodiesel plant, Jatropha curcas.

    PubMed

    Luo, Chang W; Li, Kun; Chen, Xiao M; Huang, Zachary Y

    2012-10-01

    Ants are the most abundant visitors to the flowers of Jatropha curcas L., but it is not clear how much they contribute to the pollination of this plant. In this study, we observed floral visitor assemblage and foraging behavior of ants, measured pollen loads carried by ants and deposited on stigmas, and determined the contribution of ants to the female reproductive success of J. curcas through exclusion experiments. Ants were the most abundant pollinators, accounting for 71.03 and 78.17% of total visits at two study sites. Among different ant species, Tapinoma melanocephalum (F.) is always the most abundant and the only common ant species at two study sites, which might suggest its important role in the pollination of J. curcas. Pollen loads carried by ants were significantly different among different species at two study sites. Pollen loads carried by ants increased with increased body length. Although the flowers exposed only to the ants produced less fruit than those exposed only to the winged visitors, ants alone resulted in almost 60% fruit set. Thus, ants could play a major role in the pollination of J. curcas if winged insects are absent.

  20. Regional-scale directional changes in abundance of tree species along a temperature gradient in Japan.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Satoshi N; Ishihara, Masae I; Hidaka, Amane

    2015-09-01

    Climate changes are assumed to shift the ranges of tree species and forest biomes. Such range shifts result from changes in abundances of tree species or functional types. Owing to global warming, the abundance of a tree species or functional type is expected to increase near the colder edge of its range and decrease near the warmer edge. This study examined directional changes in abundance and demographic parameters of forest trees along a temperature gradient, as well as a successional gradient, in Japan. Changes in the relative abundance of each of four functional types (evergreen broad-leaved, deciduous broad-leaved, evergreen temperate conifer, and evergreen boreal conifer) and the demography of each species (recruitment rate, mortality, and population growth rate) were analyzed in 39 permanent forest plots across the Japanese archipelago. Directional changes in the relative abundance of functional types were detected along the temperature gradient. Relative abundance of evergreen broad-leaved trees increased near their colder range boundaries, especially in secondary forests, coinciding with the decrease in deciduous broad-leaved trees. Similarly, relative abundance of deciduous broad-leaved trees increased near their colder range boundaries, coinciding with the decrease in boreal conifers. These functional-type-level changes were mainly due to higher recruitment rates and partly to the lower mortality of individual species at colder sites. This is the first report to show that tree species abundances in temperate forests are changing directionally along a temperature gradient, which might be due to current or past climate changes as well as recovery from past disturbances.

  1. Pseudacteon calderensis, a new fly species (Diptera:Phoridae) attacking the fire ant Solenopsis interrupta (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) in northwestern Argentina

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A new species of Pseudacteon phorid fly Pseudacteon calderis (Diptera: Phoridae) is described from females attacking worker ants of Solenopsis interrupta Santschi in Salta and Jujuy provinces, northwestern Argentina. Pseudacteon calderis differs from almost all other South American Pseudacteon speci...

  2. Regional species richness of families and the distribution of abundance and rarity in a local community of forest Hymenoptera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulrich, Werner

    2005-09-01

    Recent investigations about the relationship between the number of species of taxonomic lineages and regional patterns of species abundances gave indecisive results. Here, it is shown that mean densities of species of a species-rich community of forest Hymenoptera (673 species out of 25 families) were positively related to the number of European species per family. The fraction of abundant species per family declined and the fraction of rare species increased with species richness. Species rich families contained relatively more species, which were present in only one study year (occasional species), and relatively fewer species present during the whole study period (frequent species).

  3. Temporal comparison and predictors of fish species abundance and richness on undisturbed coral reef patches.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Elena L E S; Roche, Dominique G; Binning, Sandra A; Wismer, Sharon; Bshary, Redouan

    2015-01-01

    Large disturbances can cause rapid degradation of coral reef communities, but what baseline changes in species assemblages occur on undisturbed reefs through time? We surveyed live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness in 1997 and again in 2007 on 47 fringing patch reefs of varying size and depth at Mersa Bareika, Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt. No major human or natural disturbance event occurred between these two survey periods in this remote protected area. In the absence of large disturbances, we found that live coral cover, reef fish abundance and fish species richness did not differ in 1997 compared to 2007. Fish abundance and species richness on patches was largely related to the presence of shelters (caves and/or holes), live coral cover and patch size (volume). The presence of the ectoparasite-eating cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, was also positively related to fish species richness. Our results underscore the importance of physical reef characteristics, such as patch size and shelter availability, in addition to biotic characteristics, such as live coral cover and cleaner wrasse abundance, in supporting reef fish species richness and abundance through time in a relatively undisturbed and understudied region.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Dynamics of the evolution of Batesian mimicry: molecular phylogenetic analysis of ant-mimicking Myrmarachne (Araneae: Salticidae) species and their ant models.

    PubMed

    Ceccarelli, F S; Crozier, R H

    2007-01-01

    Batesian mimicry is seen as an example of evolution by natural selection, with predation as the main driving force. The mimic is under selective pressure to resemble its model, whereas it is disadvantageous for the model to be associated with the palatable mimic. In consequence one might expect there to be an evolutionary arms race, similar to the one involving host-parasite coevolution. In this study, the evolutionary dynamics of a Batesian mimicry system of model ants and ant-mimicking salticids is investigated by comparing the phylogenies of the two groups. Although Batesian mimics are expected to coevolve with their models, we found the phylogenetic patterns of the models and the mimics to be indicative of adaptive radiation by the mimic rather than co-speciation between the mimic and the model. This shows that there is strong selection pressure on Myrmarachne, leading to a high degree of polymorphism. There is also evidence of sympatric speciation in Myrmarachne, the reproductive isolation possibly driven by female mate choice in polymorphic species.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Evolutionary patterns of range size, abundance and species richness in Amazonian angiosperm trees

    PubMed Central

    Chave, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Amazonian tree species vary enormously in their total abundance and range size, while Amazonian tree genera vary greatly in species richness. The drivers of this variation are not well understood. Here, we construct a phylogenetic hypothesis that represents half of Amazonian tree genera in order to contribute to explaining the variation. We find several clear, broad-scale patterns. Firstly, there is significant phylogenetic signal for all three characteristics; closely related genera tend to have similar numbers of species and similar mean range size and abundance. Additionally, the species richness of genera shows a significant, negative relationship with the mean range size and abundance of their constituent species. Our results suggest that phylogenetically correlated intrinsic factors, namely traits of the genera themselves, shape among lineage variation in range size, abundance and species richness. We postulate that tree stature may be one particularly relevant trait. However, other traits may also be relevant, and our study reinforces the need for ambitious compilations of trait data for Amazonian trees. In the meantime, our study shows how large-scale phylogenies can help to elucidate, and contribute to explaining, macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns in hyperdiverse, yet poorly understood regions like the Amazon Basin. PMID:27651991

  11. Evolutionary patterns of range size, abundance and species richness in Amazonian angiosperm trees.

    PubMed

    Dexter, Kyle; Chave, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Amazonian tree species vary enormously in their total abundance and range size, while Amazonian tree genera vary greatly in species richness. The drivers of this variation are not well understood. Here, we construct a phylogenetic hypothesis that represents half of Amazonian tree genera in order to contribute to explaining the variation. We find several clear, broad-scale patterns. Firstly, there is significant phylogenetic signal for all three characteristics; closely related genera tend to have similar numbers of species and similar mean range size and abundance. Additionally, the species richness of genera shows a significant, negative relationship with the mean range size and abundance of their constituent species. Our results suggest that phylogenetically correlated intrinsic factors, namely traits of the genera themselves, shape among lineage variation in range size, abundance and species richness. We postulate that tree stature may be one particularly relevant trait. However, other traits may also be relevant, and our study reinforces the need for ambitious compilations of trait data for Amazonian trees. In the meantime, our study shows how large-scale phylogenies can help to elucidate, and contribute to explaining, macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns in hyperdiverse, yet poorly understood regions like the Amazon Basin.

  12. Predators reduce abundance and species richness of coral reef fish recruits via non-selective predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinlein, J. M.; Stier, A. C.; Steele, M. A.

    2010-06-01

    Predators have important effects on coral reef fish populations, but their effects on community structure have only recently been investigated and are not yet well understood. Here, the effect of predation on the diversity and abundance of young coral reef fishes was experimentally examined in Moorea, French Polynesia. Effects of predators were quantified by monitoring recruitment of fishes onto standardized patch reefs in predator-exclosure cages or uncaged reefs. At the end of the 54-day experiment, recruits were 74% less abundant on reefs exposed to predators than on caged ones, and species richness was 42% lower on reefs exposed to predators. Effects of predators varied somewhat among families, however, rarefaction analysis indicated that predators foraged non-selectively among species. These results indicate that predation can alter diversity of reef fish communities by indiscriminately reducing the abundance of fishes soon after settlement, thereby reducing the number of species present on reefs.

  13. Soil biota effects on local abundances of three grass species along a land-use gradient.

    PubMed

    Heinze, J; Werner, T; Weber, E; Rillig, M C; Joshi, J

    2015-09-01

    Biotic plant-soil interactions and land-use intensity are known to affect plant individual fitness as well as competitiveness and therefore plant-species abundances in communities. Therefore, a link between soil biota and land-use intensity on local abundance of plant species in grasslands can be expected. In two greenhouse experiments, we investigated the effects of soil biota from grassland sites differing in land-use intensity on three grass species that vary in local abundances along this land-use gradient. We were interested in those soil-biota effects that are associated with land-use intensity, and whether these effects act directly or indirectly. Therefore, we grew the three plant species in two separate experiments as single individuals and in mixtures and compared their performance. As single plants, all three grasses showed a similar performance with and without soil biota. In contrast, in mixtures growth of the species in response to the presence or absence of soil biota differed. This resulted in different soil-biota effects that tend to correspond with patterns of species-specific abundances in the field for two of the three species tested. Our results highlight the importance of indirect interactions between plants and soil microorganisms and suggest that combined effects of soil biota and plant-plant interactions are involved in structuring plant communities. In conclusion, our experiments suggest that soil biota may have the potential to alter effects of plant-plant interactions and therefore influence plant-species abundances and diversity in grasslands.

  14. Habitat selection determines abundance, richness and species composition of beetles in aquatic communities.

    PubMed

    Binckley, Christopher A; Resetarits, William J

    2005-09-22

    Distribution and abundance patterns at the community and metacommunity scale can result from two distinct mechanisms. Random dispersal followed by non-random, site-specific mortality (species sorting) is the dominant paradigm in community ecology, while habitat selection provides an alternative, largely unexplored, mechanism with different demographic consequences. Rather than differential mortality, habitat selection involves redistribution of individuals among habitat patches based on perceived rather than realized fitness, with perceptions driven by past selection. In particular, habitat preferences based on species composition can create distinct patterns of positive and negative covariance among species, generating more complex linkages among communities than with random dispersal models. In our experiments, the mere presence of predatory fishes, in the absence of any mortality, reduced abundance and species richness of aquatic beetles by up to 80% in comparison with the results from fishless controls. Beetle species' shared habitat preferences generated distinct patterns of species richness, species composition and total abundance, matching large-scale field patterns previously ascribed to random dispersal and differential mortality. Our results indicate that landscape-level patterns of distribution and species diversity can be driven to a large extent by habitat selection behaviour, a critical, but largely overlooked, mechanism of community and metacommunity assembly.

  15. Environmental correlates of species rank – abundance distributions in global drylands

    PubMed Central

    Ulrich, Werner; Soliveres, Santiago; Thomas, Andrew D.; Dougill, Andrew J.; Maestre, Fernando T.

    2016-01-01

    Theoretical models predict lognormal species abundance distributions (SADs) in stable and productive environments, with log-series SADs in less stable, dispersal driven communities. We studied patterns of relative species abundances of perennial vascular plants in global dryland communities to: i) assess the influence of climatic and soil characteristics on the observed SADs, ii) infer how environmental variability influences relative abundances, and iii) evaluate how colonisation dynamics and environmental filters shape abundance distributions. We fitted lognormal and log-series SADs to 91 sites containing at least 15 species of perennial vascular plants. The dependence of species relative abundances on soil and climate variables was assessed using general linear models. Irrespective of habitat type and latitude, the majority of the SADs (70.3%) were best described by a lognormal distribution. Lognormal SADs were associated with low annual precipitation, higher aridity, high soil carbon content, and higher variability of climate variables and soil nitrate. Our results do not corroborate models predicting the prevalence of log-series SADs in dryland communities. As lognormal SADs were particularly associated with sites with drier conditions and a higher environmental variability, we reject models linking lognormality to environmental stability and high productivity conditions. Instead our results point to the prevalence of lognormal SADs in heterogeneous environments, allowing for more evenly distributed plant communities, or in stressful ecosystems, which are generally shaped by strong habitat filters and limited colonisation. This suggests that drylands may be resilient to environmental changes because the many species with intermediate relative abundances could take over ecosystem functioning if the environment becomes suboptimal for dominant species. PMID:27330404

  16. 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

  17. Habitat partitioning by five congeneric and abundant Choerodon species (Labridae) in a large subtropical marine embayment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fairclough, D. V.; Clarke, K. R.; Valesini, F. J.; Potter, I. C.

    2008-04-01

    The habitats occupied by the juveniles and adults of five morphologically similar, diurnally active and abundant Choerodon species in the large subtropical environment of Shark Bay, a "World Heritage Property" on the west coast of Australia, have been determined. The densities of the two life cycle stages of each Choerodon species in those habitats were used in various analyses to test the hypotheses that: (1) habitats are partitioned among these species and between their juveniles and adults; (2) such habitat partitioning is greatest in the case of the two Western Australian endemic species, i.e. Choerodon rubescens and Choerodon cauteroma; and (3) the extent of habitat partitioning between both of these two species and the only species that is widely distributed in the Indo-West Pacific, i.e. Choerodon schoenleinii, will be less pronounced. Initially, catches of each of the five congeneric species, obtained during other studies in Shark Bay by angling, spearfishing and otter trawling, were collated to elucidate the broad distribution of these species in that embayment. Underwater visual census was then used to determine the densities of the juveniles and adults of each Choerodon species at sites representing the four habitat types in which one or more of these species had been caught, i.e. reefs in marine waters at the western boundary of the bay and seagrass, reefs and rocky shorelines in the two inner gulfs. The compositions of the Choerodon species over marine (entrance channel) reefs and in seagrass were significantly different and each differed significantly from those in both inner gulf reefs and rocky shorelines, which were, however, not significantly different. Choerodon rubescens was restricted to exposed marine reefs, and thus occupied a different habitat and location of the bay than C. cauteroma, the other endemic species, which was almost exclusively confined to habitats found in the inner gulfs. Choerodon cauteroma differed from other Choerodon

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Porphyromonas gingivalis is the most abundant species detected in coronary and femoral arteries

    PubMed Central

    Mougeot, J-L. C.; Stevens, C. B.; Paster, B. J.; Brennan, M. T.; Lockhart, P. B.; Mougeot, F. K. B

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT An association between oral bacteria and atherosclerosis has been postulated. A limited number of studies have used 16S RNA gene sequencing-based metagenomics approaches to identify bacteria at the species level from atherosclerotic plaques in arterial walls. The objective of this study was to establish detailed oral microbiome profiles, at both genus and species level, of clinically healthy coronary and femoral artery tissues from patients with atherosclerosis. Tissue specimens were taken from clinically non-atherosclerotic areas of coronary or femoral arteries used for attachment of bypass grafts in 42 patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Bacterial DNA was sequenced using the MiSeq platform, and sequence reads were screened in silico for nearly 600 oral species using the HOMINGS ProbeSeq species identification program. The number of sequence reads matched to species or genera were used for statistical analyses. A total of 230 and 118 species were detected in coronary and femoral arteries, respectively. Unidentified species detected by genus-specific probes consisted of 45 and 30 genera in coronary and in femoral artery tissues, respectively. Overall, 245 species belonging to 95 genera were detected in coronary and femoral arteries combined. The most abundant species were Porphyromonas gingivalis, Enterococcus faecalis, and Finegoldia magna based on species probes. Porphyromonas, Escherichia, Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, and Streptococcus genera represented 88.5% mean relative abundance based on combined species and genus probe detections. Porphyromonas was significantly more abundant than Escherichia (i.e. 46.8% vs. 19.3%; p = 0.0005). This study provides insight into the presence and types of oral microbiome bacterial species found in clinically non-atherosclerotic arteries. PMID:28326156

  1. 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 than in unconnected patches. Conversely, in landscapes dominated by monogyne fire ants, connectivity had no influence on fire ant abundance and native ant diversity. Polygyne fire ants dominated recently created landscapes, suggesting that these corridor effects may be transient. Our results suggest that corridors can facilitate invasion and they highlight the importance of considering species’ traits when assessing corridor utility.

  2. 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.

  3. First record of the myrmicine ant genus Carebara Westwood, 1840 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Saudi Arabia with description of a new species, C. abuhurayri sp. n.

    PubMed

    Aldawood, Abdulrahman S; Sharaf, Mostafa R; Taylor, Brian

    2011-04-28

    The myrmicine ant genus Carebara is recorded for the first time in Saudi Arabia from the Arabian Peninsula as a whole. A new species Carebara abuhurayrisp. n. is described based on workers collected from Al Bahah region. One of the smallest ant species known to occur in Arabia, Carebara abuhurayri is found in an area inhabited by many ant species including Tetramorium sericeiventre Emery, 1877, Pheidole minuscula Bernard, 1952, Pheidole sp., Monomorium destructor (Jerdon, 1851), Monomorium exiguum (Forel, 1894) and Monomorium sp. and Crematogaster sp.

  4. First record of the myrmicine ant genus Carebara Westwood, 1840 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Saudi Arabia with description of a new species, C. abuhurayri sp. n.

    PubMed Central

    Aldawood, Abdulrahman S.; Sharaf, Mostafa R.; Taylor, Brian

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The myrmicine ant genus Carebara is recorded for the first time in Saudi Arabia from the Arabian Peninsula as a whole. A new species Carebara abuhurayri sp. n. is described based on workers collected from Al Bahah region. One of the smallest ant species known to occur in Arabia, Carebara abuhurayri is found in an area inhabited by many ant species including Tetramorium sericeiventre Emery, 1877, Pheidole minuscula Bernard, 1952, Pheidole sp., Monomorium destructor (Jerdon, 1851), Monomorium exiguum (Forel, 1894) and Monomorium sp. and Crematogaster sp. PMID:21594112

  5. A Spectroscopic Survey of Metallic Species Abundances in the Lunar Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flynn, B. C.; Stern, S. A.

    1996-12-01

    The first results of an ongoing effort to search for new species in the lunar atmosphere are presented. The observations in terms of the degree to which atomic metal abundances in the lunar atmosphere are stoichiometric, that is, proportional to surface abundances (as the Na:K ratio is), are discussed. Na and K are the only atmospheric constituents to have been observed from Earth, but Apollo sample returns established that a variety of species are more abundant in the lunar surface than either Na or K. Simple stoichiometric arguments (i.e., assuming atmospheric production proportional to surface abundance) predict that relatively abundant lunar surface constituents such as Si, Al, Ca, Mg, Fe, and Ti should be more abundant in the lunar atmosphere than either Na or K. The 2.7-m coudé and 2.1-m cassegrain echelle spectrographs at the University of Texas McDonald Observatory were used to investigate this hypothesis by searching for solar resonant scattering lines of nine metallic species between 3700 and 9700 Å. Spectra were taken 20 arcsec above the apparent subsolar limb of the Moon near quarter phase on 30 July 1994 and 10-12 March 1995. Upper limits were obtained for the first time for the abundant lunar surface species Si, Al, Ca, Fe, and Ti, as well as Ba and the alkalis Li, Rb, and Cs. In the cases of Si, Ca, Fe, and Ti, the derived upper limits are more than an order of magnitude lower than the simple stoichiometric model predicts. The upper limits for Li and Al are less constraining. The Ba, Rb, and Cs upper limits lead to the conclusion that those species are not stoichiometrically overabundant above the detection threshold in the atmosphere. It is concluded that the stoichiometric Na:K ratio is peculiar in that the mechanism(s) that produce the lunar Na and K atmosphere somehow favor those atomic species over many more or comparably abundant lunar surface species.

  6. Does beach nourishment have long-term effects on intertidal macroinvertebrate species abundance?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leewis, Lies; van Bodegom, Peter M.; Rozema, Jelte; Janssen, Gerard M.

    2012-11-01

    Coastal squeeze is the largest threat for sandy coastal areas. To mitigate seaward threats, erosion and sea level rise, sand nourishment is commonly applied. However, its long-term consequences for macroinvertebrate fauna, critical to most ecosystem services of sandy coasts, are still unknown. Seventeen sandy beaches - nourished and controls - were sampled along a chronosequence to investigate the abundance of four dominant macrofauna species and their relations with nourishment year and relevant coastal environmental variables. Dean's parameter and latitude significantly explained the abundance of the spionid polychaete Scolelepis squamata, Beach Index (BI), sand skewness, beach slope and latitude explained the abundance of the amphipod Haustorius arenarius and Relative Tide Range (RTR), recreation and sand sorting explained the abundance of Bathyporeia sarsi. For Eurydice pulchra, no environmental variable explained its abundance. For H. arenarius, E. pulchra and B. sarsi, there was no relation with nourishment year, indicating that recovery took place within a year after nourishment. Scolelepis squamata initially profited from the nourishment with "over-recolonisation". This confirms its role as an opportunistic species, thereby altering the initial community structure on a beach after nourishment. We conclude that the responses of the four dominant invertebrates studied in the years following beach nourishment are species specific. This shows the importance of knowing the autecology of the sandy beach macroinvertebrate fauna in order to be able to mitigate the effects of beach nourishment and other environmental impacts.

  7. Nutrient availability modifies species abundance and community structure of Fucus-associated littoral benthic fauna.

    PubMed

    Korpinen, Samuli; Jormalainen, Veijo; Pettay, Esko

    2010-01-01

    The brown alga Fucus vesiculosus is a foundation species in the Baltic Sea littoral, hosting a rich faunal community. We compared the species composition and diversity of invertebrate macrofauna living on F. vesiculosus between sites differing in their eutrophication status and exposure to waves at three different times during a season. We determined the size, nitrogen and phlorotannin content of the alga. The invertebrate community differed substantially between sites near fish farms and those in more pristine environment. Snails and bivalves were more abundant on the Fucus stands near fish farms than on control stands, where crustaceans were more abundant. The abundance of molluscs decreased with the increasing shore exposure, while gammaridean amphipods dominated on the exposed shores. Abundance of several taxa increased during the proceeding growing season. The density of the most important herbivore of F. vesiculosus, Idotea balthica, varied 100-fold during the season being the lowest in June and the highest in August when the generation born in the summer started to feed on Fucus. Thus, the diversity and composition of Fucus-associated invertebrate fauna varies both with environmental conditions of the stand and seasonally. Although the negative effects of eutrophication on distribution and abundance of Fucus stands are well documented, a moderate increase of nutrients was found to increase the species richness of Fucus-associated fauna in early summer.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Consequences of organic farming and landscape heterogeneity for species richness and abundance of farmland birds.

    PubMed

    Smith, Henrik G; Dänhardt, Juliana; Lindström, Ake; Rundlöf, Maj

    2010-04-01

    It has been suggested that organic farming may benefit farmland biodiversity more in landscapes that have lost a significant part of its former landscape heterogeneity. We tested this hypothesis by comparing bird species richness and abundance during the breeding season in organic and conventional farms, matched to eliminate all differences not directly linked to the farming practice, situated in either homogeneous plains with only a little semi-natural habitat or in heterogeneous farmland landscapes with abundant field borders and semi-natural grasslands. The effect of farm management on species richness interacted with landscape structure, such that there was a positive relationship between organic farming and diversity only in homogeneous landscapes. This pattern was mainly dependent on the species richness of passerine birds, in particular those that were invertebrate feeders. Species richness of non-passerines was positively related to organic farming independent of the landscape context. Bird abundance was positively related to landscape heterogeneity but not to farm management. This was mainly because the abundance of passerines, particularly invertebrate feeders, was positively related to landscape heterogeneity. We suggest that invertebrate feeders particularly benefit from organic farming because of improved foraging conditions through increased invertebrate abundances in otherwise depauperate homogeneous landscapes. Although many seed-eaters also benefit from increased insect abundance, they may also utilize crop seed resources in homogeneous landscapes and conventional farms. The occurrence of an interactive effect of organic farming and landscape heterogeneity on bird diversity will have consequences for the optimal allocation of resources to restore the diversity of farmland birds.

  16. Species diversity and abundance of ticks in three habitats in southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Otranto, Domenico

    2013-04-01

    A 2-year study was conducted from March 2010 to March 2012 in a forested area in southern Italy to evaluate the species diversity and abundance of free-living ticks in 3 different habitats: (i) a meadow habitat within an enclosure inhabited by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus); (ii) a man-made trail located in a high-altitude, forested area; and (iii) a grassland near a house inhabited by 3 people. In total, 10,795 ticks were collected. Ixodes ricinus was the most abundant species (69.0%), followed by Haemaphysalis inermis (19.1%), Rhipicephalus turanicus (6.7%), Dermacentor marginatus (3.2%), and Hyalomma marginatum (1.0%). The least frequently collected species were Rhipicephalus bursa, Haemaphysalis parva, Haemaphysalis sulcata, and Haemaphysalis concinna, representing together less than 1% of the collections. Immature ticks predominated over adult ticks. In particular, immature stages of Ix. ricinus (i.e., 3246 larvae and 3554 nymphs) represented 63% of the total number of ticks collected. High levels of species diversity and abundance of ticks were recorded in all habitats and the daily number of ticks collected was negatively correlated with daily mean temperature, evapotranspiration, and saturation deficit. This study indicates that the southern Italian climate is suitable for different tick species, which may find a preferred 'climate niche' during a specific season, when a combination of factors (e.g., suitable meteorological and environmental conditions) associated with the presence of suitable hosts will facilitate their development and reproduction.

  17. Spatial predictability of juvenile fish species richness and abundance in a coral reef environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mellin, C.; Andréfouët, S.; Ponton, D.

    2007-12-01

    Juvenile reef fish communities represent an essential component of coral reef ecosystems in the current focus of fish population dynamics and coral reef resilience. Juvenile fish survival depends on habitat characteristics and is, following settlement, the first determinant of the number of individuals within adult populations. The goal of this study was to provide methods for mapping juvenile fish species richness and abundance into spatial domains suitable for micro and meso-scale analysis and management decisions. Generalized Linear Models predicting juvenile fish species richness and abundance were developed according to spatial and temporal environmental variables measured from 10 m up to 10 km in the southwest lagoon of New Caledonia. The statistical model was further spatially generalized using a 1.5-m resolution, independently created, remotely sensed, habitat map. This procedure revealed that : (1) spatial factors at 10 to 100-m scale explained up to 71% of variability in juvenile species richness, (2) a small improvement (75%) was gained when a combination of environmental variables at different spatial and temporal scales was used and (3) the coupling of remotely sensed data, geographical information system tools and point-based ecological data showed that the highest species richness and abundance were predicted along a narrow margin overlapping the coral reef flat and adjacent seagrass beds. Spatially explicit models of species distribution may be relevant for the management of reef communities when strong relationships exist between faunistic and environmental variables and when models are built at appropriate scales.

  18. Abundance of biting midge species (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae, Culicoides spp.) on cattle farms in Korea.

    PubMed

    Oem, Jae-Ku; Chung, Joon-Yee; Kwon, Mee-Soon; Kim, Toh-Kyung; Lee, Tae-Uk; Bae, You-Chan

    2013-01-01

    Culicoides biting midges were collected on three cattle farms weekly using light traps overnight from May to October between 2010 and 2011 in the southern part of Korea. The seasonal and geographical abundance of Culicodes spp. were measured. A total of 16,538 biting midges were collected from 2010 to 2011, including seven species of Culicoides, four of which represented 98.42% of the collected specimens. These four species were Culicodes (C.) punctatus (n = 14,413), C. arakawae (n = 1,120), C. oxystoma (n = 427), and C. maculatus (n = 318). C. punctatus was the predominant species (87.15%).

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Helminth parasitism in two closely related South African rodents: abundance, prevalence, species richness and impinging factors.

    PubMed

    Spickett, Andrea; Junker, Kerstin; Krasnov, Boris R; Haukisalmi, Voitto; Matthee, Sonja

    2017-04-01

    We investigated patterns of helminth infection in two closely related rodents (social Rhabdomys pumilio occurring mainly in xeric habitats and solitary R. dilectus occurring mainly in mesic habitats) at 20 localities in different biomes of South Africa and asked if between-species differences were mainly caused by difference in sociality or difference in environmental conditions of their respective habitats. Helminths recovered from the gastrointestinal tract totalled 11 nematode and 5 cestode species from R. pumilio and 19 nematode and 7 cestode species from R. dilectus. In both hosts, mean abundance and prevalence of nematodes were higher compared to cestodes. Cestode infection as well as nematode abundance, species richness or prevalence did not differ between the two rodents. However, incidence of nematode infection was significantly higher in R. dilectus than in R. pumilio. Moreover, nematode numbers and species richness in infracommunities of R. pumilio inhabiting the relatively more xeric Karoo biome were significantly lower than in those inhabiting the relatively less xeric Fynbos biome. Although we could not unequivocally distinguish between effects of host sociality and environmental factors on the number of individuals and species of helminths in the two hosts, differences in the incidence of nematode infection between R. pumilio and R. dilectus as well as differences in the number of nematode individuals and species between R. pumilio from the Fynbos and the Karoo suggested the effect of environmental conditions on helminth infection to be more important than that of sociality.

  2. 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.

  3. Testing the effects of ant invasions on non-ant arthropods with high-resolution taxonomic data.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Cause; Naughton, Ida; Boser, Christina; Holway, David

    2015-10-01

    Invasions give rise to a wide range of ecological effects. Many invasions proceed without noticeable impacts on the resident biota, whereas others shift species composition and even alter ecosystem function. Ant invasions generate a broad spectrum of ecological effects, but controversy surrounds the extent of these impacts, especially with regard to how other arthropods are affected. This uncertainty in part results from the widespread use of low-resolution taxonomic data, which can mask the presence of other introduced species and make it difficult to isolate the effects of ant invasions on native species. Here, we use high-resolution taxonomic data to examine the effects of Argentine ant invasions on arthropods on Santa Cruz Island, California. We sampled arthropods in eight pairs of invaded and uninvaded plots and then collaborated with taxonomic experts to identify taxa in four focal groups: spiders, bark lice, beetles, and ants. Spiders, bark lice, and beetles made up ~40% of the 9868 non-ant arthropod individuals sampled; the majority of focal group arthropods were putatively native taxa. Although our results indicate strong negative effects of the Argentine ant on native ants, as is well documented, invaded and uninvaded plots did not differ with respect to the richness, abundance, or species composition of spiders, bark lice, and beetles. One common, introduced species of bark louse was more common in uninvaded plots than in invaded plots, and including this species into our analyses changed the relationship between bark louse richness vs. L. humile abundance from no relationship to a significant negative relationship. This case illustrates how failure to differentiate native and introduced taxa can lead to erroneous conclusions about the effects of ant invasions. Our results caution against unqualified assertions about the effects of ant invasions on non-ant arthropods, and more generally demonstrate that accurate assessments of invasion impacts depend on

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

    PubMed

    Lubertazzi, David; Tschinkel, Walter

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Daytime warming lowers community temporal stability by reducing the abundance of dominant, stable species.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhongling; Zhang, Qian; Su, Fanglong; Zhang, Chunhui; Pu, Zhichao; Xia, Jianyang; Wan, Shiqiang; Jiang, Lin

    2017-01-01

    Daytime warming and nighttime warming have the potential to influence plant community structure and ecosystem functions. However, their impacts on ecological stability remain largely unexplored. We conducted an eight-year field experiment to compare the effects of daytime and nighttime warming on the temporal stability of a temperate steppe in northern China. Our results showed that the cover and stability of dominant species, stability of subordinate species, and compensatory dynamics among species strongly influenced community-level stability. However, daytime, but not nighttime, warming significantly reduced community temporal stability mainly through the reduction in the abundance of dominant, stable species. These findings demonstrate the differential effects of daytime and nighttime warming on community stability and emphasize the importance of understanding the changes of dominant species for accurately predicting community dynamics under climate warming.

  8. Rich and rare—First insights into species diversity and abundance of Antarctic abyssal Gastropoda (Mollusca)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwabe, Enrico; Michael Bohn, Jens; Engl, Winfried; Linse, Katrin; Schrödl, Michael

    2007-08-01

    , and all these 84 species seem endemic to Antarctica south of the Polar Front. Comparing diversity and abundances based on epibenthic sledge samples, there is no clear relationship between Antarctic deep-sea gastropod abundance and species richness with depth. However, both Antarctic and adjacent deep-sea areas are still far from being adequately sampled to allow more comprehensive conclusions.

  9. 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.

  10. Species Abundance Distribution of Ectoparasites on Norway Rats (Rattus norvegicus) from a Localized Area in Southwest China

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Xian Guo; Dong, Wen Ge; Men, Xing Yuan; Qian, Ti Jun; Wu, Dian; Ren, Tian Guang; Qin, Feng; Song, Wen Yu; Yang, Zhi Hua; Fletcher, Quinn E

    2016-01-01

    Background: The species of ectoparasites that live on a specific host in a geographical region form an ectoparasite community. Species abundance distributions describe the number of individuals observed for each different species that is encountered within a community. Based on properties of the species abundance distribution, the expected total number of species present in the community can be estimated. Methods: Preston’s lognormal distribution model was used to fit the expected species abundance distribution curve. Using the expected species abundance distribution curve, we estimated the total number of expected parasite species present and the amount of species that were likely missed by our sampling in the field. Results: In total, 8040 ectoparasites (fleas, sucking lice, gamasid mites and chigger mites) were collected from 431 Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) from a localized area in southwest China. These ectoparasites were identified to be 47 species from 26 genera in 10 families. The majority of ectoparasite species were chigger mites (family Trombiculidae) while the majority of individuals were sucking lice in the family Polyplacidae. The expected species abundance distribution curve demonstrated the classic pattern that the majority of ectoparasite species were rare and that there were a few common species. The total expected number of ectoparasite species on R. norvegicus was estimated to be 85 species, and 38 species were likely missed by our sampling in the field. Conclusions: Norway rats harbor a large suite of ectoparasites. Future field investigations should sample large numbers of host individuals to assess ectoparasite populations. PMID:27308277

  11. 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

  12. Abundance, species composition of microzooplankton from the coastal waters of Port Blair, South Andaman Island

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Microzooplankton consisting of protists and metazoa <200 μm. It displays unique feeding mechanisms and behaviours that allow them to graze cells up to five times their own volume. They can grow at rates which equal or exceed prey growth and can serve as a viable food source for metazoans. Moreover, they are individually inconspicuous, their recognition as significant consumers of oceanic primary production. The microzooplankton can be the dominant consumers of phytoplankton production in both oligo- and eutrophic regions of the ocean and are capable of consuming >100% of primary production. Results The microzooplankton of the South Andaman Sea were investigated during September 2011 to January 2012. A total of 44 species belong to 19 genera were recorded in this study. Tintinnids made larger contribution to the total abundance (34%) followed in order by dinoflagellates (24%), ciliates (20%) and copepod nauplii (18%). Foraminifera were numerically less (4%). Tintinnids were represented by 20 species belong to 13 genera, Heterotrophic dinoflagellates were represented by 17 species belong to 3 genera and Ciliates comprised 5 species belong to 3 genera. Eutintinus tineus, Tintinnopsis cylindrical, T. incertum, Protoperidinium divergens, Lomaniella oviformes, Strombidium minimum were the most prevalent microzooplankton. Standing stock of tintinnids ranged from 30–80 cells.L-1 and showed a reverse distribution with the distribution of chlorophyll a relatively higher species diversity and equitability was found in polluted harbour areas. Conclusions The change of environmental variability affects the species composition and abundance of microzooplankton varied spatially and temporarily. The observations clearly demonstrated that the harbor area differed considerably from other area in terms of species present and phytoplankton biomass. Further, the phytoplankton abundance is showed to be strongly influenced by tintinnid with respect to the relationship of

  13. Abundance and phenology patterns of two pond-breeding salamanders determine species interactions in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Thomas L; Hocking, Daniel J; Conner, Christopher A; Earl, Julia E; Harper, Elizabeth B; Osbourn, Michael S; Peterman, William E; Rittenhouse, Tracy A G; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2015-03-01

    Phenology often determines the outcome of interspecific interactions, where early-arriving species often dominate interactions over those arriving later. The effects of phenology on species interactions are especially pronounced in aquatic systems, but the evidence is largely derived from experimental studies. We examined whether differences in breeding phenology between two pond-breeding salamanders (Ambystoma annulatum and A. maculatum) affected metamorph recruitment and demographic traits within natural populations, with the expectation that the fall-breeding A. annulatum would negatively affect the spring-breeding A. maculatum. We monitored populations of each species at five ponds over 4 years using drift fences. Metamorph abundance and survival of A. annulatum were affected by intra- and interspecific processes, whereas metamorph size and date of emigration were primarily influenced by intraspecific effects. Metamorph abundance, snout-vent length, date of emigration and survival for A. maculatum were all predicted by combinations of intra- and interspecific effects, but often showed negative relationships with A. annulatum metamorph traits and abundance. Size and date of metamorphosis were strongly correlated within each species, but in opposite patterns (negative for A. annulatum and positive for A. maculatum), suggesting that the two species use alternative strategies to enhance terrestrial survival and that these factors may influence their interactions. Our results match predictions from experimental studies that suggest recruitment is influenced by intra- and interspecific processes which are determined by phenological differences between species. Incorporating spatiotemporal variability when modeling population dynamics is necessary to understand the importance of phenology in species interactions, especially as shifts in phenology occur under climate change.

  14. 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.

  15. Interaction between Mutualisms: Ant-tended butterflies exploit enemy-free space provided by ant-treehopper associations.

    PubMed

    Kaminski, Lucas A; Freitas, André V L; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2010-09-01

    Although mutualisms have been intensively investigated, demonstration of indirect effects between co-occurring mutualistic systems is rare. For instance, the ecological consequences of co-occurrence of ant-tended insects on a plant have never been examined for survival effects on either trophobiont species. Here, we assess the selective pressures mediating co-occurrence of a facultative ant-tended butterfly (Parrhasius polibetes) with ant-tended treehoppers (Guayaquila xiphias) on Schefflera vinosa shrubs. We evaluated host plant selection and caterpillar survival in P. polibetes in the presence and absence of ant-treehopper associations. Paired trials revealed that butterflies preferably oviposit on branches hosting ant-tended treehoppers when they had a choice between those and branches without this interaction. Presence of ant-tended treehoppers on a branch reduced the abundance of P. polibetes' natural enemies and improved caterpillar survival in both premyrmecophylic and ant-tended phases. Thus ant-tended treehoppers create an enemy-free space on foliage that butterflies exploit to protect larval offspring. These findings connect two widely documented ant-trophobiont mutualisms and highlight the importance of considering multiple interactions for a proper understanding of ant-plant-herbivore systems. Detection of other ant-based mutualisms on oviposition to improve offspring survival may have represented an important evolutionary step in the process of host plant selection in facultative myrmecophilous butterflies.

  16. 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

  17. 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 hoelldoblerisp. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Plankton studies in San Francisco Bay; II, Phytoplankton abundance and species composition, July 1977-December 1979

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wong, Raymond L. J.; Cloern, James E.

    1981-01-01

    Data are presented on the phytoplankton species composition and abundance in San Francisco Bay from July 1977 through December 1979. Phytoplankton identification and enumerations were made at selected stations. Sample collections were made at selected stations in the main channel of the Bay from Rio Vista on the Sacramento River to Calaveras Point in South San Francisco Bay, and at shoal stations in the central portion of South San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, and Suisun Bay. Also reported, from October 1978 through December 1979, are the calculated phytoplankton carbon and percent nondiatom carbon, and the species list. This study is one component of an ongoing interdisciplinary study of San Francisco Bay. (USGS)

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Shifts in Campylobacter species abundance may reflect general microbial community shifts in periodontitis progression

    PubMed Central

    Henne, Karsten; Fuchs, Felix; Kruth, Sebastian; Horz, Hans-Peter; Conrads, Georg

    2014-01-01

    Background Oral Campylobacter species have been found to be associated with periodontitis progression. While the etiological significance of Campylobacter rectus is quite established, the association of C. gracilis, C. concisus, and C. curvus with health or disease remains contradictory. Objectives This study hypothesizes that the proportion of species within the Campylobacter genus rather than the absolute abundance of a single species is a suitable indicator for periodontitis progression. Design Subgingival plaque from 90 periodontitis patients and gingival sulcus fluid of 32 healthy individuals were subjected to a newly developed nested PCR approach, in which all Campylobacter spp. were amplified simultaneously. The resulting mixture of 16S-rRNA-gene-amplicons were separated by single-stranded conformation polymorphism (SSCP) gel electrophoresis, followed by sequencing and identification of excised bands and relative quantification of band intensities. In all samples, the abundance of selected periodontitis marker species was determined based on DNA hybridization on a microarray. Results The highly prevalent Campylobacter community was composed of varying proportions of C. rectus, C. gracilis, C. concisus, and C. curvus. Cluster analysis based on SSCP-banding pattern resulted in distinct groups which in turn coincided with significant differences in abundance of established periodontitis marker species (Tannerella forsythia, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Fusobacterium nucleatum) and progression. Conclusions The shift in the Campylobacter community composition seems to display the general microbial community shift during clinical progression in a simplified manner. The focus on members of the Campylobacter in this study suggests that this genus can be an indicator of ecological changes in the subgingival oral microflora. PMID:25412608

  5. Mosquito species succession and physicochemical factors affecting their abundance in rice fields in Mwea, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Muturi, Ephantus J; Mwangangi, Joseph; Shililu, Josephat; Muriu, Simon; Jacob, Benjamin; Kabiru, Ephantus; Gu, Weidong; Mbogo, Charles; Githure, John; Novak, Robert

    2007-03-01

    The succession of mosquito species and abiotic factors affecting their distribution and abundance in rice (Oryza spp.) fields was investigated over a 16-wk rice growing cycle covering the period between January and May 2006. Fifteen experimental rice plots were sampled for mosquito larvae and characterized based on rice height, number of tillers, floating vegetation cover, water depth, water temperature, turbidity, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, and conductivity. Microscopic identification of 3,025 larvae yielded nine mosquito species predominated by Anopheles arabiensis Patton (45.0%), Culex quinquefasciatus Say (35.8%), Anopheles pharoensis Theobald (9.0%) and Ficalbia splendens Theobald (7.1%). Other species, including Anopheles rufipes Gough, Anopheles coustani Laveran, Anonopheles maculipalpis Giles, Culex annulioris Theobald, and Culex poicilipes Theobald made up 3.1% of the total collection. Anopheles gambiae s.l., Cx. quinquefasciatus, and An. pharoensis occurred throughout the cycle, but they were more abundant up to 4 wk posttransplanting with peaks after fertilizer application. As rice plants became established, three groups of mosquitoes were recognized: the first groups included An. rufipes, Fl. splendens, and Cx. annulioris, which occurred throughout much of the second half of the rice cycle, whereas the second group included Cx. poicilipes, which was found in the middle of the rice cycle. An. coustani and An. maculipalpis formed the third group occurring toward the end of the cycle. Dissolved oxygen, number of tillers, and rice height were negatively associated with the abundance ofAn. arabiensis and Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae. In addition, Cx. quinquefasciatus also was associated with water depth (-ve) and turbidity (+ve). Abundance of An. pharoensis larvae was significantly associated with water temperature (+ve), the number of tillers (-ve), and rice height (-ve), whereas Fl. splendens was significantly associated with

  6. 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

  7. Moisture conditions and the presence of bryophytes determine fescue species abundance in a dry calcareous grassland.

    PubMed

    Otsus, Merit; Zobel, Martin

    2004-01-01

    Festuca ovina is the abundant matrix-forming species and F. rubra a subordinate species in shallow-soil calcareous grasslands. F. pratensis is a transient species, occurring sparsely in this community. We hypothesised that the different abundances of these three species are primarily due to the differential effect of moisture conditions on their germination and early establishment, and that the effect of the pattern of rainfall intensity depends on the presence or absence of a bryophyte layer. We studied the dependence of the germination and establishment of the three fescue species on the moisture conditions both in the laboratory and in the patches of intact grassland community (microcosms). In a laboratory germination experiment, F. pratensis showed the highest, F. rubra, the intermediate and F. ovina, the lowest drought tolerance. In microcosms, the establishment of F. ovina was the highest. At the same time, the annual mortality of seedlings of F. ovina was the lowest. All three species responded positively to an increasing irrigation level. Differently from F. ovina, F. rubra showed a positive response only in plots from which the bryophyte layer had been removed, while F. pratensis responded positively to both irrigation and bryophyte removal. We conclude that moisture conditions have a differential effect on the three fescue species mainly in the seedling establishment, not in the germination phase. For the successful establishment of F. rubra and F. pratensis, the coincidence of high rainfall and local disturbance, removing bryophytes, is required. The presence or absence of bryophytes had no effect on establishment in dry years, while in rainy years the removal of bryophytes has a clear positive effect.

  8. The seasonal abundance of phlebotomine sand flies, Lutzomyia species in Florida.

    PubMed

    Mann, Rajinder S; Kaufman, Phillip E

    2010-03-01

    The seasonality of phlebotomine sand flies was studied in Florida, utilizing colored light-emitting diode- and attractant-baited Mosquito Magnet MM-X traps from September 2006 to September 2008 at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, Gainesville, FL. A total of 6,278 sand flies were collected from 314 actual nights and 1,692 total trap-nights, yielding 3.7 sand flies per trap-night. Lutzomyia shannoni was the predominant species, constituting 55% to 80% of the total sand fly populations collected during the studies. Both L. shannoni and L. vexator populations were highly seasonal and were moderately influenced by weather factors. Lutzomyia shannoni populations peaked in May and showed reduced activity during December, January, and February. This species was active throughout the year and showed positive and negative correlations with average monthly temperature and relative humidity, respectively. Lutzomyia vexator showed peak activity during August and October with an activity lull from December to March. This species showed a positive correlation with average monthly temperature. No correlations were observed with either species for average daily, weekly, or 1- to 8-wk-lagging precipitation, number of rainy days, wind speed, or lunar phases. Lutzomyia shannoni abundance was weakly correlated to L. vexator abundance. No other Lutzomyia spp. were collected during the study.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Bacterial colonization and extinction on marine aggregates: stochastic model of species presence and abundance

    PubMed Central

    Kramer, Andrew M; Lyons, M Maille; Dobbs, Fred C; Drake, John M

    2013-01-01

    Organic aggregates provide a favorable habitat for aquatic microbes, are efficiently filtered by shellfish, and may play a major role in the dynamics of aquatic pathogens. Quantifying this role requires understanding how pathogen abundance in the water and aggregate size interact to determine the presence and abundance of pathogen cells on individual aggregates. We build upon current understanding of the dynamics of bacteria and bacterial grazers on aggregates to develop a model for the dynamics of a bacterial pathogen species. The model accounts for the importance of stochasticity and the balance between colonization and extinction. Simulation results suggest that while colonization increases linearly with background density and aggregate size, extinction rates are expected to be nonlinear on small aggregates in a low background density of the pathogen. Under these conditions, we predict lower probabilities of pathogen presence and reduced abundance on aggregates compared with predictions based solely on colonization. These results suggest that the importance of aggregates to the dynamics of aquatic bacterial pathogens may be dependent on the interaction between aggregate size and background pathogen density, and that these interactions are strongly influenced by ecological interactions and pathogen traits. The model provides testable predictions and can be a useful tool for exploring how species-specific differences in pathogen traits may alter the effect of aggregates on disease transmission. PMID:24340173

  14. 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

    2017-02-23

    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.

  15. Integration of non-indigenous species within the interspecific abundance-occupancy relationship

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rigal, François; Whittaker, Robert J.; Triantis, Kostas A.; Borges, Paulo A. V.

    2013-04-01

    There is a broad consensus that habitat disturbance and introduction of non-indigenous species may dramatically modify community structure, particularly in insular ecosystems. However, it is less clear whether emergent macroecological patterns are similarly affected. The positive interspecific abundance-occupancy relationship (IAOR) is one of the most pervasive macroecological patterns, yet has rarely been analyzed for oceanic island assemblages. We use an extensive dataset for arthropods from six islands within the Azorean archipelago to test: (1) whether indigenous and non-indigenous species are distributed differently within the IAOR; and (2) to the extent that they are, can differences can be attributed to two indices of disturbance. We implemented modeling averaged methods using five of the most common IAOR models to derive an averaged IAOR fit for each island. After testing if species colonization status (indigenous versus non-indigenous) may explain the residuals of the IAOR, we identified true negative and positive outliers and tested the effect of colonization status on the likelihood of a species being a positive or negative outlier. We found that the indigenous and non-indigenous species are randomly distributed on both sides of the overall IAOR. Only for Flores Island, were non-indigenous species more aggregated than indigenous species. We were unable to detect a meaningful relationship between deviation from the IAOR and disturbance, despite the undoubted impact of both severe habitat loss and non-indigenous species on these oceanic islands. Our results show that the non-indigenous species have been integrated alongside indigenous species in the contemporary Azorean arthropod communities such that they are mostly undetectable by the study of the IAOR.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Effects of habitat fragmentation and degradation on flocks of African ant-following birds.

    PubMed

    Peters, Marcell K; Likare, Smith; Kraemer, Manfred

    2008-06-01

    Tropical rain forests are rapidly cleared, fragmented, and degraded in sub-Saharan Africa; however, little is known about the response of species and even of key ecological groups to these processes. One of the most intriguing (but often neglected) ecological phenomena in African rain forests is the interaction between swarm-raiding army ants and ant-following birds. Similar to their well-known Neotropical representatives, ant-following birds in Africa track the massive swarm raids of army ants and feed on arthropods flushed by the ants. In this study we analyzed the effect of habitat fragmentation and degradation of a mid-altitude Congo-Guinean rain forest in western Kenya on the structure of ant-following bird flocks. Significant numbers of swarm raids were located in all forest fragments and in both undegraded and degraded forest. Fifty-six different species of birds followed army ant raids, forming bird flocks of one to 15 species. We quantitatively differentiated the bird community into five species of specialized ant-followers and 51 species of opportunistic ant-followers. Species richness and size of bird flocks decreased with decreasing size of forest fragments and was higher in undegraded than in degraded habitat. This was caused by the decrease of the species richness and number of specialized ant-followers at swarms, while the group of opportunistic ant-followers was affected little by habitat fragmentation and degradation. The composition of bird flocks was more variable in small fragments and degraded forest, compared to undegraded habitat in large fragments. The effect of habitat fragmentation on flock structure was best explained by the strong decline of the abundance of specialized ant-followers in small forest fragments. To conserve the association of army ants and ant-following birds in its natural state, vast areas of unfragmented and undegraded tropical rain forest are necessary.

  19. 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.

  20. Abiotic mediation of a mutualism drives herbivore abundance.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Emily H; Phillips, Joseph S; Tillberg, Chadwick V; Sandrow, Cheryl; Nelson, Annika S; Mooney, Kailen A

    2016-01-01

    Species abundance is typically determined by the abiotic environment, but the extent to which such effects occur through the mediation of biotic interactions, including mutualisms, is unknown. We explored how light environment (open meadow vs. shaded understory) mediates the abundance and ant tending of the aphid Aphis helianthi feeding on the herb Ligusticum porteri. Yearly surveys consistently found aphids to be more than 17-fold more abundant on open meadow plants than on shaded understory plants. Manipulations demonstrated that this abundance pattern was not due to the direct effects of light environment on aphid performance, or indirectly through host plant quality or the effects of predators. Instead, open meadows had higher ant abundance and per capita rates of aphid tending and, accordingly, ants increased aphid population growth in meadow but not understory environments. The abiotic environment thus drives the abundance of this herbivore exclusively through the mediation of a protection mutualism.

  1. 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.

  2. Monitoring species richness and abundance of shorebirds in the western Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Warnock, N.; Haig, S.M.; Oring, L.W.

    1998-01-01

    Broad-scale avian surveys have been attempted within North America with mixed results. Arid regions, such as the Great Basin, are often poorly sampled because of the vastness of the region, inacessibilty of sites, and few ornithologist. In addition, extreme variability in wetland habitat conditions present special problems for conducting censuses of species inhabiting these areas. We examined these issues in assessing multi-scale shorebird (order: Charadriiformes) censuses conducted the western Great Basin from 1992-1997. On ground surveys, we recorded 31 species of shorebirds, but were unable to accurately estimate population size. Conversely, on aerial surveys we were able to estimate regional abundance of some shorebirds, but were unable to determined species diversity. Acrial surveys of three large alkali lakcs in Oregon (Goose, Summer, and abert Lakes) revealed > 300,000 shorebirds in one year of this study, of which 67% were American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana) and 30% phalaropes (Phalaropus spp.). These lakes clearly meet Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network guidelines for designation as important shorebirds sites. Based upon simulations of our monitoring effort and the magnitude and variation of numbers of American Avocets, detection of 5-10% negative declines in population of these birds would take a minimum of 7-23 years comparable effort. We conclude that a combination of ground and aerial surveys must be conducted at multiple sites and years and over a large region to obtain an accurate picture of the diversity, abundance, and trends of shorebirds in the western Great Basin.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.; Armstrong, J.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.

  5. Abundance of Woody Riparian Species in the Western USA in Relation to Phenology, Climate, and Flow Regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auble, G. T.; Friedman, J. M.; Scott, M. L.; Shafroth, P. B.; Merigliano, M. M.; Freehling, M. D.; Evans, R. E.; Griffin, E. R.

    2004-12-01

    We randomly selected 475 long-term U.S. Geological Survey stream gaging stations in 17 western states to relate the presence and abundance of woody species to environmental factors. Along a 1.3-km reach near each station we measured the cover of all species on a list of the 44 most abundant large woody riparian species in the region. We used logistic regression to fit the response of four abundant species to growing degree days and mean precipitation. Then we related relative abundance of these 4 species to timing of the flood peak in sites where the likelihood of occurrence was greater than 0.5. The exotics Tamarix ramosissima (saltcedar) and Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian-olive) are now the third and fourth most frequently occurring large woody riparian species in the western U.S. and the second and fifth most abundant. In climatically suitable areas, species differences in reproductive phenology produce different relations of abundance to flow regime. Because of its limited period of seed release and viability in early summer, cottonwood (Populus deltoides) is disadvantaged where floods occur in the spring or fall. Abundances of saltcedar, because of its long period of seed release; Russian-olive, because of seed dormancy; and Salix exigua, because of the importance of vegetative spread, are much less sensitive to flood timing.

  6. Environmental correlates of abundances of mosquito species and stages in discarded vehicle tires.

    PubMed

    Yee, Donald A; Kneitel, Jamie M; Juliano, Steven A

    2010-01-01

    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 r95% 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.

  7. Abundance and species richness of Coreoidea (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) from Parque Estadual do Turvo, Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Barcellos, Aline; Schmidt, Letícia S; Brailovsky, Harry

    2008-01-01

    The coreoid fauna from Neotropics is poorly known, especially in terms of community studies. Aiming at contributing to this knowledge, a two-year study was carried out at Parque Estadual do Turvo, Municipality of Derrubadas, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, to evaluate the composition, abundance and species richness of Coreoidea. Samplings were conducted in the springs of 2003 and 2004 (October), and autumns of 2004 and 2005 (May), using beating tray method, along two trails of the park. Sampling effort (hours X collectors) totaled 153h. A total of 282 individuals of Coreoidea were collected, distributed in 28 species of Alydidae, Coreidae and Rhopalidae. The most abundant species was the coreid Cebrenis supina Brailovsky, representing 16% of the collected individuals, followed by the rhopalids Jadera aeola (Dallas), and Harmostes sp., with 12.1% and 11.7%, respectively. The estimated richnesses by Chao 1, Chao 2, Jackknife 1 and Jackknife 2 indicated that the observed richness corresponds to 70% to 80% of the expected for the area. The estimated richness through rarefaction was significantly higher in spring 2003 and autumn 2004 than in the other periods. There was no significant difference, however, between spring of 2003 and autumn of 2004, and between spring of 2004 and autumn of 2005, for the same parameter. Yucumã and Garcia trails did not differ significantly for the estimated richness. Singletons and doubletons represented 32.1% of the recorded species. Additionally, eight other species were obtained qualitatively by using, besides beating tray without protocol, manual collection.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Water Mites (Acari: Hydrachnida) of Ozark Streams - Abundance, Species Richness, and Potential as Environmental Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radwell, A. J.; Brown, A. V.

    2005-05-01

    Because water mites are tightly linked to other stream metazoans through parasitism and predation, they are potentially effective indicators of environmental quality. Meiofauna (80 μm to 1 mm) were sampled from headwater riffles of 11 Ozark streams to determine relative abundance and densities of major meiofauna taxa. Water mites comprised 15.3% of the organisms collected exceeded only by chironomids (50.2%) and oligochaetes (17.8%), and mean water mite density among the 11 streams was 265 organisms per liter. The two streams that differed the most in environmental quality were sampled using techniques suitable for identification of species. An estimated 32 species from 20 genera and 13 families were found in the least disturbed stream; an estimated 19 species from 13 genera and 8 families were found in the most disturbed stream. This preliminary finding supports the notion that water mite species richness declines in response to environmental disturbance. Many species could only be identified as morphospecies of particular genera, but the ongoing taxonomic revision of Hydrachnida is expected to provide needed information. A collaborative effort between those interested in taxonomy/systematics of water mites and ecologists interested in the significance of water mites in aquatic communities could prove mutually beneficial.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Shrub encroachment affects mammalian carnivore abundance and species richness in semiarid rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaum, Niels; Rossmanith, Eva; Popp, Alexander; Jeltsch, Florian

    2007-01-01

    Shrub encroachment due to overgrazing has led to dramatic changes of savanna landscapes and is considered to be one of the most threatening forms of rangeland degradation e.g. via habitat fragmentation. Mammalian carnivores are particularly vulnerable to local extinction in fragmented landscapes. However, our understanding of how shrub encroachment affects mammalian carnivores is poor. Here we investigated the relative sensitivities of ten native carnivores to different levels of shrub cover ranging from low (<5%) to high shrub cover (>25%) in 20 southern Kalahari rangeland sites. Relative abundance of carnivores was monitored along 40 sand transects (5 m × 250 m) for each site. Our results show that increasing shrub cover affects carnivore species differently. African wild cats, striped polecats, cape foxes and suricates were negatively affected, whereas we found hump-shaped responses for yellow mongooses, bat-eared foxes and small-spotted genets with maximum abundance at shrub covers between 10 and 18%. In contrast, black-backed jackals, slender mongooses and small spotted cats were not significantly affected by increasing shrub cover. However, a negative impact of high shrub cover above 18% was congruent for all species. We conclude that intermediate shrub cover (10-18%) in savanna landscapes sustain viable populations of small carnivores.

  14. Species richness and abundance of forest birds in relation to radiation at Chernobyl.

    PubMed

    Moller, A P; Mousseau, T A

    2007-10-22

    The effects of low-level radiation on the abundance of animals are poorly known, as are the effects on ecosystems and their functioning. Recent conclusions from the UN Chernobyl forum and reports in the popular media concerning the effects of radiation from Chernobyl on animals have left the impression that the Chernobyl exclusion zone is a thriving ecosystem, filled with an increasing number of rare species. Surprisingly, there are no standardized censuses of common animals in relation to radiation, leaving the question about the ecological effects of radiation unresolved. We conducted standardized point counts of breeding birds at forest sites around Chernobyl differing in level of background radiation by over three orders of magnitude. Species richness, abundance and population density of breeding birds decreased with increasing level of radiation, even after controlling statistically for the effects of potentially confounding factors such as soil type, habitat and height of the vegetation. This effect was differential for birds eating soil invertebrates living in the most contaminated top soil layer. These results imply that the ecological effects of Chernobyl on animals are considerably greater than previously assumed.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  16. How climate warming impacts the distribution and abundance of two small flatfish species in the North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hal, Ralf; Smits, Kalle; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D.

    2010-07-01

    Climate change, specifically temperature, affects the distribution and densities of species in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we looked at the effect of temperature during winter and spawning period on latitudinal range shifts and changes in abundance of two non-commercial North Sea fish species, solenette ( Buglossidium luteum) and scaldfish ( Arnoglossus laterna). Both species have increased in abundance and moved to the north since the late 1980s, coinciding with a series of mild winters. In 1996, following a very cold winter, the abundance of both species temporarily decreased as they retracted to the south. The shift in temperature affected adult habitat conditions, allowing them to immigrate into new areas where they subsequently reproduced successfully. We can conclude this because recruitment improved following the increase in abundance. The recruitment relates significantly to the higher adult stock and higher temperatures. The predictions of higher average temperatures and milder winters in the North Sea make it likely that these species will increase further in abundance and move northward. The observed increase in abundance of these small flatfish species will affect the North Sea food web and therefore commercial species, e.g. plaice, by predation on juveniles and competition for benthic food resources.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  18. Habitat fragmentation and effects of herbivore (howler monkey) abundances on bird species richness.

    PubMed

    Feeley, Kenneth J; Terborgh, John W

    2006-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation can alter herbivore abundances, potentially causing changes in the plant community that can propagate through the food web and eventually influence other important taxonomic groups such as birds. Here we test the relationship between the density of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) and bird species richness on a large set of recently isolated land-bridge islands in Lago Guri, Venezuela (n = 29 islands). Several of these islands host relict populations of howler monkeys at densities up to more than 30 times greater than those on the mainland. These "hyperabundant" herbivores previously have been shown to have a strong positive influence on aboveground plant productivity. We predicted that this should lead to a positive, indirect effect of howler monkey density on bird species richness. After accounting for passive sampling (the tendency for species richness to be positively associated with island area, regardless of differences in habitat quality) we found a significant positive correlation between howler monkey density and bird species richness. A path analysis incorporating data on tree growth rates from a subset of islands (n = 9) supported the hypothesis that the effect of howler monkeys on the resident bird communities is indirect and is mediated through changes in plant productivity and habitat quality. These results highlight the potential for disparate taxonomic groups to be related through indirect interactions and trophic cascades.

  19. Variation in predator species abundance can cause variable selection pressure on warning signaling prey

    PubMed Central

    Valkonen, Janne K; Nokelainen, Ossi; Niskanen, Martti; Kilpimaa, Janne; Björklund, Mats; Mappes, Johanna

    2012-01-01

    Predation pressure is expected to drive visual warning signals to evolve toward conspicuousness. However, coloration of defended species varies tremendously and can at certain instances be considered as more camouflaged rather than conspicuous. Recent theoretical studies suggest that the variation in signal conspicuousness can be caused by variation (within or between species) in predators' willingness to attack defended prey or by the broadness of the predators' signal generalization. If some of the predator species are capable of coping with the secondary defenses of their prey, selection can favor reduced prey signal conspicuousness via reduced detectability or recognition. In this study, we combine data collected during three large-scale field experiments to assess whether variation in avian predator species (red kite, black kite, common buzzard, short-toed eagle, and booted eagle) affects the predation pressure on warningly and non-warningly colored artificial snakes. Predation pressure varied among locations and interestingly, if common buzzards were abundant, there were disadvantages to snakes possessing warning signaling. Our results indicate that predator community can have important consequences on the evolution of warning signals. Predators that ignore the warning signal and defense can be the key for the maintenance of variation in warning signal architecture and maintenance of inconspicuous signaling. PMID:22957197

  20. Connectivity and conditional models of access and abundance of species in stream networks.

    PubMed

    Chelgren, Nathan D; Dunham, Jason B

    2015-07-01

    Barriers to passage of aquatic organisms at stream road crossings are a major cause of habitat fragmentation in stream networks. Accordingly, large investments have been made to restore passage at these crossings, but often without estimation of population-level benefits. Here, we describe a broad-scale approach to quantifying the effectiveness of passage restoration in terms interpretable at population levels, namely numbers of fish and length of stream gained through restoration, by sampling abundance in a study design that accounts for variable biogeographic species pools, variable stream and barrier configurations, and variable probabilities of capture and detectability for multiple species. We modified an existing zero-inflated negative-binomial model to estimate the probability of site access, abundance conditional on access, and capture probability of individual fish. Therein, we modeled probability of access as a function of gradient, stream road-crossing type, and downstream access by fish simultaneously with a predictive model for abundance at sites accessible to fish. Results indicated that replacement of barriers with new crossing designs intended to allow for greater movement was associated with dramatically higher probability of access for all fishes, including migratory Pacific salmon, trout, sculpin, and lamprey. Conversely, existing non-replaced crossings negatively impacted fish distributions. Assuming no downstream constraints on access, we estimated the potential length of stream restored by the program ranged between 7.33 (lamprey) and 15.28 km (small coastal cutthroat and rainbow trout). These contributions represented a fraction of the total length available upstream (187 km) of replaced crossings. When limited ranges of species were considered, the estimated contributions of culvert replacement were reduced (1.65-km range, for longnose dace to 12.31 km for small coastal cutthroat and rainbow trout). Numbers of fish contributed ranged from

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Oviposition behaviour of four ant parasitoids (Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Euphorinae, Neoneurini and Ichneumonidae, Hybrizontinae), with the description of three new European species

    PubMed Central

    Gómez Durán, José-María; van Achterberg, Cornelis

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The oviposition behaviour of four ant parasitoids was observed and filmed for the first time. The movies are available from YouTube (search for Elasmosoma, Hybrizon, Kollasmosoma and Neoneurus). Two of the observed species (Neoneurus vesculus sp. n. and Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n.) are new to science. A third species (Neoneurus recticalcar sp. n.) is described from Slovakia and Norway. Keys to the Palaearctic species of the genera Neoneurus and Kollasmosoma are added. PMID:21998538

  5. The Relationship Between Ants and Lycaeides melissa samuelis (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) at Concord Pine Barrens, NH, USA.

    PubMed

    Pascale, Elizabeth G; Thiet, Rachel K

    2016-04-22

    The Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis Nabokov) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) is a federally listed, endangered species that has experienced dramatic decline over its historic range. In surviving populations, Karner blue butterflies have a facultative mutualism with ants that could be critically important to their survival where their populations are threatened by habitat loss or disturbance. In this study, we investigated the effects of ants, wild blue lupine population status (native or restored), and fire on adult Karner blue butterfly abundance at the Concord Pine Barrens, NH, USA. Ant frequency (the number of times we collected each ant species in our pitfall traps) was higher in restored than native lupine treatments regardless of burn status during both Karner blue butterfly broods, and the trend was statistically significant during the second brood. We observed a positive relationship between adult Karner blue butterfly abundance and ant frequency during the first brood, particularly on native lupine, regardless of burn treatment. During the second brood, adult Karner blue butterfly abundance and ant frequency were not significantly correlated in any treatments or their combinations. Our findings suggest that a combination of native and restored lupine is important for supporting both Karner blue butterflies and ants at the Concord Pine Barrens, and that burning does not affect the mutualism. Thus, scientists and managers at the site may wish to target their habitat management activities to best support both Karner blue butterflies and the particular ant species that provide the greatest benefit to their survival.

  6. 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

  7. Ant-mediated seed dispersal in a warmed world.

    PubMed

    Stuble, Katharine L; 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.

  8. Plant community responses to long-term fertilization: changes in functional group abundance drive changes in species richness.

    PubMed

    Dickson, Timothy L; Gross, Katherine L

    2013-12-01

    Declines in species richness due to fertilization are typically rapid and associated with increases in aboveground production. However, in a long-term experiment examining the impacts of fertilization in an early successional community, we found it took 14 years for plant species richness to significantly decline in fertilized plots, despite fertilization causing a rapid increase in aboveground production. To determine what accounted for this lag in the species richness response, we examined several potential mechanisms. We found evidence suggesting the abundance of one functional group-tall species with long-distance (runner) clonality-drove changes in species richness, and we found little support for other mechanisms. Tall runner species initially increased in abundance due to fertilization, then declined dramatically and were not abundant again until later in the experiment, when species richness and the combined biomass of all other functional groups (non-tall runner) declined. Over 86 % of the species found throughout the course of our study are non-tall runner, and there is a strong negative relationship between non-tall runner and tall runner biomass. We therefore suggest that declines in species richness in the fertilized treatment are due to high tall runner abundance that decreases the abundance and richness of non-tall runner species. By identifying the functional group that drives declines in richness due to fertilization, our results help to elucidate how fertilization decreases plant richness and also suggest that declines in richness due to fertilization can be lessened by controlling the abundance of species with a tall runner growth form.

  9. Ant plant herbivore interactions in the neotropical cerrado savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Direct and indirect effects of warming on aphids, their predators, and ant mutualists.

    PubMed

    Barton, Brandon T; Ives, Anthony R

    2014-06-01

    Species exist within communities of other interacting species, so an exogenous force that directly affects one species can indirectly affect all other members of the community. In the case of climate change, many species may be affected directly and subsequently initiate numerous indirect effects that propagate throughout the community. Therefore, the net effect of climate change on any one species is a function of the direct and indirect effects. We investigated the direct and indirect effects of climate warming on corn leaf aphids, a pest of corn and other grasses, by performing an experimental manipulation of temperature, predators, and two common aphid-tending ants. Although warming had a positive direct effect on aphid population growth rate, warming reduced aphid abundance when ants and predators were present. This occurred because winter ants, which aggressively defend aphids from predators under control temperatures, were less aggressive toward predators and less abundant when temperatures were increased. In contrast, warming increased the abundance of cornfield ants, but they did not protect aphids from predators with the same vigor as winter ants. Thus, warming broke down the ant-aphid mutualism and counterintuitively reduced the abundance of this agricultural pest.

  17. 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

  18. Modelling the Abundances of Two Major Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) Species in the Niayes Area of Senegal.

    PubMed

    Diarra, Maryam; Fall, Moussa; Lancelot, Renaud; Diop, Aliou; Fall, Assane G; Dicko, Ahmadou; Seck, Momar Talla; Garros, Claire; Allène, Xavier; Rakotoarivony, Ignace; Bakhoum, Mame Thierno; Bouyer, Jérémy; Guis, Hélène

    2015-01-01

    In Senegal, considerable mortality in the equine population and hence major economic losses were caused by the African horse sickness (AHS) epizootic in 2007. Culicoides oxystoma and Culicoides imicola, known or suspected of being vectors of bluetongue and AHS viruses are two predominant species in the vicinity of horses and are present all year-round in Niayes area, Senegal. The aim of this study was to better understand the environmental and climatic drivers of the dynamics of these two species. Culicoides collections were obtained using OVI (Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute) light traps at each of the 5 sites for three nights of consecutive collection per month over one year. Cross Correlation Map analysis was performed to determine the time-lags for which environmental variables and abundance data were the most correlated. C. oxystoma and C. imicola count data were highly variable and overdispersed. Despite modelling large Culicoides counts (over 220,000 Culicoides captured in 354 night-traps), using on-site climate measures, overdispersion persisted in Poisson, negative binomial, Poisson regression mixed-effect with random effect at the site of capture models. The only model able to take into account overdispersion was the Poisson regression mixed-effect model with nested random effects at the site and date of capture levels. According to this model, meteorological variables that contribute to explaining the dynamics of C. oxystoma and C. imicola abundances were: mean temperature and relative humidity of the capture day, mean humidity between 21 and 19 days prior a capture event, density of ruminants, percentage cover of water bodies within a 2 km radius and interaction between temperature and humidity for C. oxystoma; mean rainfall and NDVI of the capture day and percentage cover of water bodies for C. imicola. Other variables such as soil moisture, wind speed, degree days, land cover or landscape metrics could be tested to improve the models. Further work

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Osland, Michael J.; Feher, Laura; 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

  2. 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

  3. Declines in abundance and species richness of birds following a major flood on the upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Klaas, E.E.

    1997-01-01

    We examined the abundance and species richness of birds breeding in floodplain forests of the Upper Mississippi River in 1992 through 1994, and used a two-way ANOVA with repeated measures to identify effects of a 1993 flood on the bird community. Sixty-five study plots were divided into treatment and control plots based on whether they were flooded in 1993. Among 84 species observed on all plots, 41 species decreased in abundance from 1992 to 1994, 13 increased, 5 were unchanged. Sample sizes were inadequate to evaluate trends for 25 species. Species richness declined over the three-year period. Of 36 species tested with the ANOVA, 20 had a significant main effect of Year. Cool, wet conditions may have contributed to poor reproductive success in 1993, and resulted in widespread decline in floodplain bird abundance during the year following the flood. Bird abundance increased on most unflooded plots in 1993, probably because birds were displaced from flooded plots. This pattern was most striking for neotropical migrants, species preferring habitat edges, lower canopy nesters, and species that forage in the air. We suggest that periodic major flooding may maintain suitable floodplain habitat for Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) in the face of competition from House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) for nest sites.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-01

    Research that connects the effects of urbanization on biodiversity and ecosystem services is lacking. Ants perform multifarious ecological functions that stabilize ecosystems and contribute to a number of ecosystem services. We studied responses of ant communities to urbanization in the Lake Tahoe basin by sampling sites along a gradient of urban land development. We sampled ant communities, measured vegetation characteristics, quantified human activities, and evaluated ant-community responses by grouping ants into service-providing units (SPUs), defined as a group of organisms and their populations that perform specific ecosystem services, to provide an understanding of urbanization impacts on biodiversity and their delivery of ecosystem services. Species richness and abundance peaked at intermediate levels of urban development, as did the richness of 3 types of ant SPUs (aerators, decomposers, and compilers). With increasing land development aerator and decomposer ants significantly declined in abundance, whereas compiler ants significantly increased in abundance. Competing models demonstrated that precipitation was frequently among the strongest influences on ant community structure; however, urban development and human activities also had a strong, negative influence on ants, appearing in most models with DeltaAIC(c) < 2 for species richness and abundance patterns of SPUs and generalists. Response diversity was observed within SPUs, which suggests that the corresponding ecosystem services were maintained until development reached 30-40%. Our data provide evidence that ecosystem functions, such as water infiltration and soil productivity, may be diminished at sites subject to greater levels of urbanization and that conserving ant communities and the ecosystem services they provide could be an important target in land-use planning and conservation efforts.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  8. Historical abundance and morphology of Didymosphenia species in Naknek Lake, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pite, D.P.; Lane, K.A.; Hermann, A.K.; Spaulding, S.A.; Finney, B.P.

    2009-01-01

    Since the 1980s, nuisance blooms of Didymosphenia geminata (Lyngbye) M. Schmidt have been documented in sites that are warmer and more mesotrophic than historical records indicate. While the invasion of D. geminata in New Zealand is well documented, it is less clear whether nuisance blooms in North America are a new phenomenon. In order to test the hypothesis that D. geminata blooms have increased in recent years, we examined the historical record of this species in sediments of Naknek Lake, in Katmai National Park, Alaska. Chronological control was established by relating the presence of two ash layers to known volcanic eruptions. We identified two species of Didymosphenia within the sediment record: D. geminata and D. clavaherculis (Ehrenberg) Metzeltin et Lange-Bertalot. This is the first published record of D. clavaherculis in North America. We found no statistically significant change in the numerical presence of D. geminata or D. clavaherculis, as a group, in Naknek Lake between the years 1218 and 2003. While there has been no sudden, or recent, increase in abundance of Didymosphenia in Naknek Lake, morphological features of D. geminata populations in Naknek Lake are distinct compared to morphological features of D. geminata in streams containing nuisance blooms from sites in North America and New Zealand. Variance in the morphology of Didymosphenia cells may help determine relationships between distinct sub-populations and establish the history of habitat invasion.

  9. 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

  10. Seasonal Dynamics of Ant Community Structure in the Moroccan Argan Forest

    PubMed Central

    Keroumi, Abderrahim El; 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. PMID:23421815

  11. 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.

  12. Models of experimentally derived competitive effects predict biogeographical differences in the abundance of invasive and native plant species.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. A mutualism with a native membracid facilitates pollinator displacement by Argentine ants.

    PubMed

    Lach, Lori

    2007-08-01

    The loss of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services are major threats posed by the spread of alien invasive species. Invasive ants are frequently associated with declines in the diversity of ground-dwelling arthropods but also may affect plants through their attraction to floral nectar and tending of hemipterans. Protea nitida is a tree native to the South African fynbos that hosts a native membracid, Beaufortiana sp., which is tended by ants. Here I compare Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) to native ants in their attraction to P. nitida inflorescences in the presence and absence of the membracid, and their effects on other floral arthropod visitors, seed set, and ovule predation. Argentine ant discovery of inflorescences increased at least 13-fold when membracids were present on the branch, whereas native ant discovery of inflorescences was only doubled by membracid presence at one site in one study year and was unaffected in the other three site-years. Excluding Argentine ants from inflorescences resulted in an increase in several arthropod taxa and potential pollinators; native ant exclusion had no positive effects. Thus the mutualism between Argentine ants and the membracid is facilitating pollinator deterrence by the ants. Though Argentine ants were not associated with a decline in P. nitida seed set or ovule predation, declines in generalist insect pollinators may have ramifications for the 83% of fynbos plants that are insect pollinated. Pitfall traps showed that Argentine ants were not more abundant than native ants in non-invaded sites. Focusing only on abundance on the ground and displacement of ground-dwelling arthropod fauna may lead to an underestimate of the effects of invasive ants on their adopted communities.

  14. Ants of the Genus Solenopsis Westwood 1840 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Arabian Peninsula with Description of a New Species, Solenopsis elhawagryi

    PubMed Central

    Sharaf, Mostafa R.; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S.

    2012-01-01

    Ants of the genus Solenopsis Westwood in the Arabian Peninsula are revised. Six species are treated: Solenopsis elhawagryi Sharaf & Aldawood sp. n., S. geminata (Fabricius, 1804), S. omana Collingwood & Agosti, 1996, S. saudiensis Sharaf & Aldawood, 2011, S. sumara Collingwood & Agosti, 1996, and S. zingibara Collingwood & Agosti, 1996. Solenopsis elhawagryi is described from Beljorashi Governorate, Al Baha Province, Saudi Arabia, based on worker castes and the queen with notes on this species biology and ecology. Solenopsis sumara workers are redescribed and illustrated for the first time and a lectotype is designated. An identification key to the Arabian and Egyptian species is provided with scanning electron micrographs to facilitate species recognition. PMID:23226211

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Determinants of distribution and abundance of two shrub species, Guiera senegalensis and Piliostigma reticulatum, in Peanut Basin, Senegal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lufafa, A.; Diédhiou, I.; Ndiaye, N.; Kizito, F.; Dick, R.; Noller, J. S.

    2005-05-01

    The ability to predict and manage the course of landscape-level ecological change and its longer-term consequences on ecosystem functions (e.g. carbon stabilization and soil degradation mitigation) depends on the ability to understand how a particular ecosystem functions and the mechanisms that control the distribution, configuration and abundance of key species. Guiera senegalensis and Piliostigma reticulatum are two native shrub species that are widely found in Sub-Saharan Africa but unrecognized in their potential role in regulating hydrological and carbon cycles in both natural and agro-ecosystems. Our objective was to conduct a study on the determinants of landscape-level distribution and abundance of these shrub species as a basis for ecological modeling and management of this fragile semiarid environment. Formal Recursive Inference Modeling was used to adduce determinants of species presence while logistic regression and geostatistical approaches were used to estimate shrub abundance within their communities. The results showed that distribution of the shrubs is controlled by four factors: geological substrate, mean annual temperature, mean annual rainfall and landform (profile convexity). Relative abundance within the shrub communities is under the influence of mean annual rainfall, maximum annual temperature and elevation (for G. senegalensis) and mean annual rainfall, mean annual temperature, elevation and landform (profile convexity) (for P. reticulatum). Predictive models for shrub distribution and abundance were generally poor, probably highlighting the weakness of statistical models in analysis and quantification of the spatial structure of ecosystems.

  20. Species Diversity, Abundance, and Host Preferences of Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in Two Different Ecotypes of Madagascar With Recent RVFV Transmission.

    PubMed

    Jean Jose Nepomichene, Thiery Nirina; Elissa, Nohal; Cardinale, Eric; Boyer, Sebastien

    2015-09-01

    Mosquito diversity and abundance were examined in six Madagascan villages in either arid (Toliary II district) or humid (Mampikony district) ecotypes, each with a history of Rift Valley fever virus transmission. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention light traps without CO2 (LT) placed near ruminant parks and animal-baited net trap (NT) baited with either zebu or sheep/goat were used to sample mosquitoes, on two occasions between March 2011 and October 2011. Culex tritaeniorhynchus (Giles) was the most abundant species, followed by Culex antennatus (Becker) and Anopheles squamosus/cydippis (Theobald/de Meillon). These three species comprised more than half of all mosquitoes collected. The NT captured more mosquitoes in diversity and in abundance than the LT, and also caught more individuals of each species, except for An. squamosus/cydippis. Highest diversity and abundance were observed in the humid and warm district of Mampikony. No host preference was highlighted, except for Cx. tritaeniorhynchus presenting a blood preference for zebu baits. The description of species diversity, abundance, and host preference described herein can inform the development of control measures to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases in Madagascar.

  1. [Species-abundance distribution patterns along succession series of Phyllostachys glauca forest in a limestone mountain].

    PubMed

    Shi, Jian-min; Fan, Cheng-fang; Liu, Yang; Yang, Qing-pei; Fang, Kai; Fan, Fang-li; Yang, Guang-yao

    2015-12-01

    To detect the ecological process of the succession series of Phyllostachys glauca forest in a limestone mountain, five niche models, i.e., broken stick model (BSM), niche preemption model (NPM), dominance preemption model (DPM), random assortment model (RAM) and overlap- ping niche model (ONM) were employed to describe the species-abundance distribution patterns (SDPs) of 15 samples. χ² test and Akaike information criterion (AIC) were used to test the fitting effects of the five models. The results showed that the optimal SDP models for P. glauca forest, bamboo-broadleaved mixed forest and broadleaved forest were DPM (χ² = 35.86, AIC = -69.77), NPM (χ² = 1.60, AIC = -94.68) and NPM (χ² = 0.35, AIC = -364.61), respectively. BSM also well fitted the SDP of bamboo-broadleaved mixed forest and broad-leaved forest, while it was unsuitable to describe the SDP of P. glauca forest. The fittings of RAM and ONM in the three forest types were all rejected by the χ² test and AIC. With the development of community succession from P. glauca forest to broadleaved forest, the species richness and evenness increased, and the optimal SDP model changed from DPM to NPM. It was inferred that the change of ecological process from habitat filtration to interspecific competition was the main driving force of the forest succession. The results also indicated that the application of multiple SDP models and test methods would be beneficial to select the best model and deeply understand the ecological process of community succession.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 

  7. [Seasonal evaluation of mammal species richness and abundance in the "Mário Viana" municipal reserve, Mato Grosso, Brasil].

    PubMed

    Rocha, Ednaldo Cândido; Silva, Elias; Martins, Sebastião Venâncio; Barreto, Francisco Cândido Cardoso

    2006-09-01

    We evaluated seasonal species presence and richness, and abundance of medium and large sized mammalian terrestrial fauna in the "Mário Viana" Municipal Biological Reserve, Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso, Brazil. During 2001, two monthly visits were made to an established transect, 2,820 m in length. Records of 22 mammal species were obtained and individual footprint sequences quantified for seasonal calculation of species richness and relative abundance index (x footprints/km traveled). All 22 species occurred during the rainy season, but only 18 during the dry season. Pseudalopex vetulus (Lund, 1842) (hoary fox), Eira barbara (Linnaeus, 1758) (tayra), Puma concolor (Linnaeus, 1771) (cougar) and Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris (Linnaeus, 1766) (capybara) were only registered during the rainy season. The species diversity estimated using the Jackknife procedure in the dry season (19.83, CI = 2.73) was smaller than in the rainy season (25.67, CI = 3.43). Among the 18 species common in the two seasons, only four presented significantly different abundance indexes: Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758 (nine-banded armadillo), Euphractus sexcinctus (Linnaeus, 1758) (six-banded armadillo), Dasyprocta azarae Lichtenstein, 1823 (Azara's Agouti) and Tapirus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758) (tapir). On the other hand, Priodontes maximus (Kerr, 1792) (giant armadillo) and Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758) (ocelot) had identical abundance index over the two seasons. Distribution of species abundance in the sampled area followed the expected pattern for communities in equilibrium, especially in the rainy season, suggesting that the environment still maintains good characteristics for mammal conservation. The present study shows that the reserve, although only 470 ha in size, plays an important role for conservation of mastofauna of the area as a refuge in an environment full of anthropic influence (mainly cattle breeding in exotic pasture).

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

    PubMed

    Tschinkel, Walter R; 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.

  9. 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

  10. A study of Culicoides in Rondônia, in the Brazilian Amazon: species composition, relative abundance and potential vectors.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, L P C; Pereira Júnior, A M; Farias, E S; Almeida, J F; Rodrigues, M S; Resadore, F; Pessoa, F A C; Medeiros, J F

    2017-03-01

    There is very little information available about Culicoides species (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in the western Brazilian Amazon. However, studies of the fauna of this region are essential to knowledge of the species and potential vectors within it. Thus, the present study aims to evaluate the abundance, richness and composition of Culicoides species in rural areas in the state of Rondônia, Brazil. Culicoides specimens were collected in forest and pasture environments in the municipality of Porto Velho, using light traps. A total of 1708 individuals (1136 females and 572 males) belonging to 33 species were collected; 28 of these samples represent new records for the state of Rondônia and include the first record of Culicoides contubernalis in Brazil. Culicoides insignis was the most abundant species (86.1%). Species richness was greater in forest areas (32 species, 96.96%), whereas pastures presented the greatest number of Culicoides captured (n = 1540, 90.1%). This study shows that Culicoides populations differ between forest and pasture environments and indicates that the abundance of C. insignis is an important factor in epidemiological vigilance studies in the region.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Cuervo, José J; 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

  13. First cytogenetic characterization of a species of the arboreal ant genus Azteca Forel, 1978 (Dolichoderinae, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Danon Clemes; Cristiano, Maykon Passos; Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; Lopes, Denilce Meneses; Pompolo, Silvia das Graças

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we present, for the first time, a detailed karyotype characterization of a species of the genus Azteca (Dolichoderinae, Formicidae). Cerebral ganglia from Azteca trigona Emery, 1893 were excised and submitted to colchicine hypotonic solution and chromosomal preparations were analyzed through conventional staining with Giemsa, C-banding, silver nitrate staining (AgNO3) and sequential base-specific fluorochromes. The analysis shows that Azteca trigona has a diploid number of 28 chromosomes. The karyotype consists of five metacentric pairs, seven acrocentric pairs and two pseudo-acrocentric pairs, which represents a karyotype formula 2K= 10M + 14A + 4A(M) and a diploid number of the arms 2AN = 38. The analysis of heterochromatin distribution revealed a positive block on distal region of the short arm of fourth metacentric pair, which was coincident with Ag-NOR band and CMA3 fluorochrome staining, meaning that rDNA sequences are interspaced by GC-rich base pairs sequences. The C-banding also marked short arms of other chromosomes, indicating centric fissions followed by heterochromatin growth. The karyotype analysis of Azteca trigona allowed the identification of cytogenetic markers that will be helpful in a difficult taxonomic group as Azteca and discussion about evolutionary aspects of the genome organization.

  14. Genetic Structure, Nestmate Recognition and Behaviour of Two Cryptic Species of the Invasive Big-Headed Ant Pheidole megacephala

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Background 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. Methodology/Principal Findings 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. Conclusions/Significance 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. PMID:22371822

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Ant diversity and its relationship with vegetation and soil factors in an alluvial fan of the Tehuacán Valley, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ríos-Casanova, Leticia; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Rico-Gray, Víctor

    2006-05-01

    In this study, we analyze the ant community found along an alluvial fan located in the Tehuacán Valley, central Mexico. Considering that this fan is composed of four terraces with different soils and vegetation structures, our main goal was to determine whether there are significant differences in ant diversity among terraces. To accomplish this goal, we determine species richness and abundance in order to calculate diversity and evenness indices. In addition, we classify species in different feeding guilds to evaluate whether differences among terraces exist. We expected higher ant diversity and variety of food guilds in terraces with sandy soils and complex vegetation structures than in terraces with argillic and calcic horizons. Correlations between several diversity parameters, and soil percent-sand and vegetation structure were also conducted. A total of 26 ant species were recorded along the fan. Species richness was not different among terraces whereas abundance was higher in sandy soils and on terraces with complex vegetation structure. Particularly, the abundance of the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus was higher in these terraces decreasing total ant diversity and evenness. Species richness within feeding guilds was similar among terraces with the generalized foragers as the most common. Our work suggests that percentage of sand in the soil and complexity of vegetation structure of the alluvial fan studied might be influencing ant distribution and favoring the abundance of numerically dominant species which could be affecting the diversity patterns of the whole community.

  1. Fire ants

    MedlinePlus

    ... please enable JavaScript. Fire ants are red-colored insects. A sting from a fire ant delivers a ... poison control. Those who have an allergy to insect bites or stings should carry a bee sting ...

  2. The impact of land abandonment on species richness and abundance in the Mediterranean Basin: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of habitat-forming species richness, evenness, identity, and abundance on benthic intertidal community establishment and productivity.

    PubMed

    Lemieux, Julie; Cusson, Mathieu

    2014-01-01

    In a context of reduced global biodiversity, the potential impacts from the loss of habitat-forming species (HFS) on ecosystem structure and functioning must be established. These species are often the main community primary producers and have a major role in the establishment of organisms through facilitation processes. This study focuses on macroalgae and mussels as HFS within an intertidal zone along the St. Lawrence estuary (Quebec, Canada). Over a 16-week period, we manipulated the in situ diversity profile (richness, evenness, identity, and abundance) of the dominant HFS (Fucus distichus edentatus, F. vesiculosus, and Mytilus spp.) in order to define their role in both the establishment of associated species and community primary production. Contrary to expectation, no general change in HFS richness, evenness, abundance, or identity on associated species community establishment was observed. However, over the study period, the HFS diversity profile modified the structure within the trophic guilds, which may potentially affect further community functions. Also, our results showed that the low abundance of HFS had a negative impact on the primary productivity of the community. Our results suggest that HFS diversity profiles have a limited short-term role in our study habitat and may indicate that biological forcing in these intertidal communities is less important than environmental conditions. As such, there was an opportunistic establishment of species that ensured rapid colonization regardless of the absence, or the diversity profile, of facilitators such as HFS.

  8. Seasonal fecundity is not related to geographic position across a species' global range despite a central peak in abundance.

    PubMed

    Ruskin, Katharine J; Etterson, Matthew A; Hodgman, Thomas P; Borowske, Alyssa C; Cohen, Jonathan B; Elphick, Chris S; Field, Christopher R; Kern, Rebecca A; King, Erin; Kocek, Alison R; Kovach, Adrienne I; O'Brien, Kathleen M; Pau, Nancy; Shriver, W Gregory; Walsh, Jennifer; Olsen, Brian J

    2017-01-01

    The range of a species is determined by the balance of its demographic rates across space. Population growth rates are widely hypothesized to be greatest at the geographic center of the species range, but indirect empirical support for this pattern using abundance as a proxy has been mixed, and demographic rates are rarely quantified on a large spatial scale. Therefore, the texture of how demographic rates of a species vary over its range remains an open question. We quantified seasonal fecundity of populations spanning the majority of the global range of a single species, the saltmarsh sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus), which demonstrates a peak of abundance at the geographic center of its range. We used a novel, population projection method to estimate seasonal fecundity inclusive of seasonal and spatial variation in life history traits that contribute to seasonal fecundity. We replicated our study over 3 years, and compared seasonal fecundity to latitude and distance among plots. We observed large-scale patterns in some life history traits that contribute to seasonal fecundity, such as an increase in clutch size with latitude. However, we observed no relationship between latitude and seasonal fecundity. Instead, fecundity varied greatly among plots separated by as little as 1 km. Our results do not support the hypothesis that demographic rates are highest at the geographic and abundance center of a species range, but rather they suggest that local drivers strongly influence saltmarsh sparrow fecundity across their global range.

  9. Effects of Habitat-Forming Species Richness, Evenness, Identity, and Abundance on Benthic Intertidal Community Establishment and Productivity

    PubMed Central

    Lemieux, Julie; Cusson, Mathieu

    2014-01-01

    In a context of reduced global biodiversity, the potential impacts from the loss of habitat-forming species (HFS) on ecosystem structure and functioning must be established. These species are often the main community primary producers and have a major role in the establishment of organisms through facilitation processes. This study focuses on macroalgae and mussels as HFS within an intertidal zone along the St. Lawrence estuary (Quebec, Canada). Over a 16-week period, we manipulated the in situ diversity profile (richness, evenness, identity, and abundance) of the dominant HFS (Fucus distichus edentatus, F. vesiculosus, and Mytilus spp.) in order to define their role in both the establishment of associated species and community primary production. Contrary to expectation, no general change in HFS richness, evenness, abundance, or identity on associated species community establishment was observed. However, over the study period, the HFS diversity profile modified the structure within the trophic guilds, which may potentially affect further community functions. Also, our results showed that the low abundance of HFS had a negative impact on the primary productivity of the community. Our results suggest that HFS diversity profiles have a limited short-term role in our study habitat and may indicate that biological forcing in these intertidal communities is less important than environmental conditions. As such, there was an opportunistic establishment of species that ensured rapid colonization regardless of the absence, or the diversity profile, of facilitators such as HFS. PMID:25313459

  10. Valuing the recreational benefits of wetland adaptation to climate change: a trade-off between species' abundance and diversity.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Invasive ants carry novel viruses in their new range and form reservoirs for a honeybee pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Sébastien, Alexandra; Lester, Philip J.; Hall, Richard J.; Wang, Jing; Moore, Nicole E.; Gruber, Monica A. M.

    2015-01-01

    When exotic animal species invade new environments they also bring an often unknown microbial diversity, including pathogens. We describe a novel and widely distributed virus in one of the most globally widespread, abundant and damaging invasive ants (Argentine ants, Linepithema humile). The Linepithema humile virus 1 is a dicistrovirus, a viral family including species known to cause widespread arthropod disease. It was detected in samples from Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. Argentine ants in New Zealand were also infected with a strain of Deformed wing virus common to local hymenopteran species, which is a major pathogen widely associated with honeybee mortality. Evidence for active replication of viral RNA was apparent for both viruses. Our results suggest co-introduction and exchange of pathogens within local hymenopteran communities. These viral species may contribute to the collapse of Argentine ant populations and offer new options for the control of a globally widespread invader. PMID:26562935

  13. 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.

  14. Generalized Additive Models Used to Predict Species Abundance in the Gulf of Mexico: An Ecosystem Modeling Tool

    PubMed Central

    Drexler, Michael; Ainsworth, Cameron H.

    2013-01-01

    Spatially explicit ecosystem models of all types require an initial allocation of biomass, often in areas where fisheries independent abundance estimates do not exist. A generalized additive modelling (GAM) approach is used to describe the abundance of 40 species groups (i.e. functional groups) across the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) using a large fisheries independent data set (SEAMAP) and climate scale oceanographic conditions. Predictor variables included in the model are chlorophyll a, sediment type, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and depth. Despite the presence of a large number of zeros in the data, a single GAM using a negative binomial distribution was suitable to make predictions of abundance for multiple functional groups. We present an example case study using pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duroarum) and compare the results to known distributions. The model successfully predicts the known areas of high abundance in the GoM, including those areas where no data was inputted into the model fitting. Overall, the model reliably captures areas of high and low abundance for the large majority of functional groups observed in SEAMAP. The result of this method allows for the objective setting of spatial distributions for numerous functional groups across a modeling domain, even where abundance data may not exist. PMID:23691223

  15. Chilean blue whales as a case study to illustrate methods to estimate abundance and evaluate conservation status of rare species.

    PubMed

    Williams, Rob; Hedley, Sharon L; Branch, Trevor A; Bravington, Mark V; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Findlay, Ken P

    2011-06-01

    Often abundance of rare species cannot be estimated with conventional design-based methods, so we illustrate with a population of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) a spatial model-based method to estimate abundance. We analyzed data from line-transect surveys of blue whales off the coast of Chile, where the population was hunted to low levels. Field protocols allowed deviation from planned track lines to collect identification photographs and tissue samples for genetic analyses, which resulted in an ad hoc sampling design with increased effort in areas of higher densities. Thus, we used spatial modeling methods to estimate abundance. Spatial models are increasingly being used to analyze data from surveys of marine, aquatic, and terrestrial species, but estimation of uncertainty from such models is often problematic. We developed a new, broadly applicable variance estimator that showed there were likely 303 whales (95% CI 176-625) in the study area. The survey did not span the whales' entire range, so this is a minimum estimate. We estimated current minimum abundance relative to pre-exploitation abundance (i.e., status) with a population dynamics model that incorporated our minimum abundance estimate, likely population growth rates from a meta-analysis of rates of increase in large baleen whales, and two alternative assumptions about historic catches. From this model, we estimated that the population was at a minimum of 9.5% (95% CI 4.9-18.0%) of pre-exploitation levels in 1998 under one catch assumption and 7.2% (CI 3.7-13.7%) of pre-exploitation levels under the other. Thus, although Chilean blue whales are probably still at a small fraction of pre-exploitation abundance, even these minimum abundance estimates demonstrate that their status is better than that of Antarctic blue whales, which are still <1% of pre-exploitation population size. We anticipate our methods will be broadly applicable in aquatic and terrestrial surveys for rarely encountered species

  16. Plankton studies in San Francisco Bay; V, Zooplankton species composition and abundance in the South Bay, 1980-1981

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hutchinson, Anne

    1982-01-01

    Data are presented that summarize zooplankton species composition and abundance in South San Francisco Bay during 1980 and 1981. Sampling was conducted at least twice monthly at thirteen stations, from the southern extremity of the South Bay to the Golden Gate Bridge between January 1980 and May 1981. Samples were collected by pump at three depths in the shipping channel and one depth over the shoals. Subsamples were enumerated while alive. Total zooplankton biomass as carbon was calculated from estimated carbon quotas and abundances of each organism enumerated.

  17. Effectiveness and biases of Winkler litter extraction and pitfall trapping for collecting ground-dwelling ants in northern temperate forests.

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Kaloyan; Keiper, Joe

    2009-12-01

    The sampling efficiency of pitfall traps and Winkler litter extraction in northern deciduous forests was compared using ants. Both techniques are among the most common methods used to measure the diversity of organisms active on the forest floor. During 2005-2006, 90 Winkler and 180 pitfall trap samples from urban forest fragments in northeastern Ohio obtained 9,203 ants representing 31 species. Winklers captured all 31 species, whereas pitfall traps collected a total of 24 species. Winkler samples accumulated species more rapidly than did pitfall traps and had greater total species richness and higher abundance of ants recorded. Consistent with other studies, Winkler sampling was found to catch a greater number of smaller ants, whereas pitfall trapping caught a greater number of large-bodied ants. According to estimates of expected species richness, the combination of the two sampling techniques allowed for the collection of approximately 90% of the ants expected in the surveyed area. Site variation had little effect on the inherent differences in sampling efficacy between the two methods. Either technique adequately collected samples for broad comparisons and documentation of the more typical and representative ant fauna, but Winkler extraction exhibited the advantage of a more complete inventory. The application of both techniques should be considered if the aims of a study require estimation of community properties, such as relative abundance.

  18. Mosquito species diversity and abundance in relation to land use in a riceland agroecosystem in Mwea, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Muturi, Ephantus J; Shililu, Josephat; Jacob, Benjamin; Gu, Weidong; Githure, John; Novak, Robert

    2006-06-01

    We conducted an entomological survey to determine the mosquito species diversity and abundance in relation to land use in the Mwea rice scheme, Kenya. Adult mosquitoes were collected by indoor spraying of houses and outdoors by CDC light traps in three villages representing planned (Mbuinjeru) and unplanned (Kiamachiri) rice agroecosystems and a non-irrigated agroecosystem (Murinduko). During the 12-month sampling period, a total of 98,708 mosquitoes belonging to five genera and 25 species were collected. The five most common species collected during this study were Anopheles arabiensis Patton (52.5%), Culex quinquefasciatus Say (36.7%), Anopheles pharoensis Theobald (5.2%), Anopheles coustani Laveran (1.4%), and Anopheles funestus Giles (1.3%). Anopheles arabiensis, Cx quinquefasciatus, and An. pharoensis were more abundant in rice agroecosystems than in the non-irrigated agroecosystem, and in planned than in the unplanned rice agroecosystems. In contrast, An. funestus was more abundant in the non-irrigated agroecosystem. The mosquito species diversity (H) and evenness (E(H)) in the non-irrigated agroecosystem (Shannon diversity Index, H = 1.507, EH = 0.503) was significantly higher than in the rice agroecosystems (H) = 0.968, E(H) = 0.313, unplanned; and H= 1.040, E(H) = 0.367 planned). Results of lag cross correlation analysis revealed a strong relationship between rainfall and the abundance of An. arabiensis, and C. quinquefasciatus in the non-irrigated agroecosystem but not in the rice agroecosystems. It is inferred from the data that different levels of habitat perturbations with regard to rice cultivation have different effects on mosquito diversity and abundance. This provides an understanding of how mosquito diversity is impacted by different habitat management and rice cropping strategies.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Ant allergens and hypersensitivity reactions in response to ant stings.

    PubMed

    Potiwat, Rutcharin; Sitcharungsi, Raweerat

    2015-12-01

    Hypersensitivity reactions caused by ant stings are increasingly recognized as an important cause of death by anaphylaxis. Only some species of ants ( e.g. Solenopsis spp., Myrmecia spp., and Pachycondyla spp.) cause allergic reactions. Ant species are identified by evaluating the morphologic structures of worker ants or by molecular techniques. Ant venom contains substances, including acids and alkaloids, that cause toxic reactions, and those from Solenopsis invicta or the imported fire ant have been widely studied. Piperidine alkaloids and low protein contents can cause local reactions (sterile pustules) and systemic reactions (anaphylaxis). Imported fire ant venoms are cross-reactive; for example, the Sol i 1 allergen from S. invicta has cross-reactivity with yellow jacket phospholipase. The Sol i 3 allergen is a member of the antigen 5 family that has amino acid sequence identity with vespid antigen 5. The clinical presentations of ant hypersensitivity are categorized into immediate and delayed reactions: immediate reactions, such as small local reactions, large local reactions, and systemic reactions, occur within 1-4 hours after the ant stings, whereas delayed reactions, such as serum sickness and vasculitis, usually occur more than 4 hours after the stings. Tools for the diagnosis of ant hypersensitivity are skin testing, serum specific IgE, and sting challenge tests. Management of ant hypersensitivity can be divided into immediate (epinephrine, corticosteroids), symptomatic (antihistamines, bronchodilators), supportive (fluid resuscitation, oxygen therapy), and preventive (re-sting avoidance and immunotherapy) treatments.

  2. [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%).

  3. 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.