Science.gov

Sample records for abundant ant species

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 'productivity-based thinning

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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 Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Species Diversity and Distribution Patterns of the Ants of Amazonian Ecuador

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-03-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Richmond, Douglas S

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Richmond, Douglas S.

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have examined the effect of urbanization on species richness and most studies implicate urbanization as the major cause of biodiversity loss. However, no study has identified an explicit connection between urbanization and biodiversity loss as the impact of urbanization is typically inferred indirectly by comparing species diversity along urban-rural gradients at a single time point. A different approach is to focus on the temporal rather than the spatial aspect and perform “before and after” studies where species diversity is cataloged over time in the same sites. The current study examined changes in ant abundance and diversity associated with the conversion of natural habitats into urban habitats. Ant abundance and diversity were tracked in forested sites that became urbanized through construction and were examined at 3 time points - before, during, and after construction. On average, 4.3±1.2 unique species were detected in undisturbed plots prior to construction. Ant diversity decreased to 0.7±0.8 species in plots undergoing construction and 1.5±1.1 species in plots 1 year after construction was completed. With regard to species richness, urbanization resulted in the permanent loss of 17 of the 20 species initially present in the study plots. Recovery was slow and only 3 species were present right after construction was completed and 4 species were present 1 year after construction was completed. The second objective examined ant fauna recovery in developed residential lots based on time since construction, neighboring habitat quality, pesticide inputs, and the presence of invasive ants. Ant diversity was positively correlated with factors that promoted ecological recovery and negatively correlated with factors that promoted ecological degradation. Taken together, these results address a critical gap in our knowledge by characterizing the short- and long-term the effects of urbanization on the loss of ant biodiversity. PMID:22876291

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26241962

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. PMID:26528416

  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. Species traits and environmental characteristics together regulate ant-associated biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Kaitlin U; Crist, Thomas O

    2016-09-01

    Host-associated organisms (e.g., parasites, commensals, and mutualists) may rely on their hosts for only a portion of their life cycle. The life-history traits and physiology of hosts are well-known determinants of the biodiversity of their associated organisms. The environmental context may strongly influence this interaction, but the relative roles of host traits and the environment are poorly known for host-associated communities. We studied the roles of host traits and environmental characteristics affecting ant-associated mites in semi-natural constructed grasslands in agricultural landscapes of the Midwest USA. Mites are frequently found in ant nests and also riding on ants in a commensal dispersal relationship known as phoresy. During nonphoretic stages of their development, ant-associated mites rely on soil or nest resources, which may vary depending on host traits and the environmental context of the colony. We hypothesized that mite diversity is determined by availability of suitable host ant species, soil detrital resources and texture, and habitat disturbance. Results showed that that large-bodied and widely distributed ant species within grasslands support the most diverse mite assemblages. Mite richness and abundance were predicted by overall ant richness and grassland area, but host traits and environmental predictors varied among ant hosts: mites associated with Aphaenogaster rudis depended on litter depth, while Myrmica americana associates were predicted by host frequency and grassland age. Multivariate ordinations of mite community composition constructed with host ant species as predictors demonstrated host specialization at both the ant species and genus levels, while ordinations with environmental variables showed that ant richness, soil texture, and grassland age also contributed to mite community structure. Our results demonstrate that large-bodied, locally abundant, and cosmopolitan ant species are especially important regulators of

  3. Species traits and environmental characteristics together regulate ant-associated biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Kaitlin U; Crist, Thomas O

    2016-09-01

    Host-associated organisms (e.g., parasites, commensals, and mutualists) may rely on their hosts for only a portion of their life cycle. The life-history traits and physiology of hosts are well-known determinants of the biodiversity of their associated organisms. The environmental context may strongly influence this interaction, but the relative roles of host traits and the environment are poorly known for host-associated communities. We studied the roles of host traits and environmental characteristics affecting ant-associated mites in semi-natural constructed grasslands in agricultural landscapes of the Midwest USA. Mites are frequently found in ant nests and also riding on ants in a commensal dispersal relationship known as phoresy. During nonphoretic stages of their development, ant-associated mites rely on soil or nest resources, which may vary depending on host traits and the environmental context of the colony. We hypothesized that mite diversity is determined by availability of suitable host ant species, soil detrital resources and texture, and habitat disturbance. Results showed that that large-bodied and widely distributed ant species within grasslands support the most diverse mite assemblages. Mite richness and abundance were predicted by overall ant richness and grassland area, but host traits and environmental predictors varied among ant hosts: mites associated with Aphaenogaster rudis depended on litter depth, while Myrmica americana associates were predicted by host frequency and grassland age. Multivariate ordinations of mite community composition constructed with host ant species as predictors demonstrated host specialization at both the ant species and genus levels, while ordinations with environmental variables showed that ant richness, soil texture, and grassland age also contributed to mite community structure. Our results demonstrate that large-bodied, locally abundant, and cosmopolitan ant species are especially important regulators of

  4. 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. PMID:25444708

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

    PubMed

    Blüthgen, Nico; Gebauer, Gerhard; Fiedler, Konrad

    2003-11-01

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

  6. 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. PMID:17439474

  7. 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

  8. Body size, colony size, abundance, and ecological impact of exotic ants in Florida's upland ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With hundreds of species established in new localities around the world, ants are an important, widely distributed, and growing group of exotic animals. The success of many established exotic ants is hypothesized to be related to competitive advantages associated with smaller workers and larger col...

  9. New records of ant species from Yunnan, China.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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 Brachyponeraluteipes and Vollenhoviaemeryi. Only one confirmed exotic species Strumigenysmembranifera, 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27038576

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:20549328

  15. 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. PMID:26590597

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Divergent chemical cues elicit seed collecting by ants in an obligate multi-species mutualism in lowland Amazonia.

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-30

    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.

  19. Species Abundance Patterns in Complex Evolutionary Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokita, Kei

    2004-10-01

    An analytic theory of species abundance patterns (SAPs) in biological networks is presented. The theory is based on multispecies replicator dynamics equivalent to the Lotka-Volterra equation, with diverse interspecies interactions. Various SAPs observed in nature are derived from a single parameter. The abundance distribution is formed like a widely observed left-skewed lognormal distribution. As the model has a general form, the result can be applied to similar patterns in other complex biological networks, e.g., gene expression.

  20. How selection structures species abundance distributions

    PubMed Central

    Magurran, Anne E.; Henderson, Peter A.

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Disruption of ant-aphid mutualism in canopy enhances the abundance of beetles on the forest floor.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shuang; Zhang, Yuxin; 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.

  3. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laakkonen, J.; Fisher, R.N.; Case, T.J.

    2001-01-01

    1. 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. 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. 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. 5. 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. 6. 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

  5. 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

  6. Attenuation of species abundance distributions by sampling.

    PubMed

    Shimadzu, Hideyasu; Darnell, Ross

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Attenuation of species abundance distributions by sampling

    PubMed Central

    Shimadzu, Hideyasu; Darnell, Ross

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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. PMID:27622207

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:23687894

  13. Dominance and species co-occurrence in highly diverse ant communities: a test of the interstitial hypothesis and discovery of a three-tiered competition cascade.

    PubMed

    Arnan, Xavier; Gaucherel, Cédric; Andersen, Alan N

    2011-07-01

    The role of competitive exclusion is problematic in highly diverse ant communities where exceptional species richness occurs in the face of exceptionally high levels of behavioural dominance. A possible non-niche-based explanation is that the abundance of behaviourally dominant ants is highly patchy at fine spatial scales, and subordinate species act as insinuators by preferentially occupying these gaps--we refer to this as the interstitial hypothesis. To test this hypothesis, we examined fine-scale patterns of ant abundance and richness according to a three-tiered competition hierarchy (dominants, subdominants and subordinates) in an Australian tropical savanna using pitfall traps spaced at 2 m intervals. Despite the presence of gaps in the fine-scale abundance of individual species, the combined abundance of dominant ants (species of Iridomyrmex, Papyirus and Oecophylla) was relatively uniform. There was therefore little or no opportunity for subordinate species to preferentially occupy gaps in the foraging ranges of dominant species, and we found no relationship between the abundance of dominant ants and nondominant species richness at fine spatial scales. However, we found a negative relationship between subdominant and subordinate ants, a negative relationship between dominant and subdominant ants, and a positive relationship between dominant and subordinate ants. These results suggest that dominant species actually promote species richness by neutralizing the effects of subdominant species on subordinate species. Such indirect interactions have very close parallels with three-tiered trophic cascades in food webs, and we propose a "competition cascade" where the interactions are through a competition rather than trophic hierarchy.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Ant-mediated expansion of an obligate seeder species during the first years after fire.

    PubMed

    Arnan, X; Rodrigo, A; Molowny-Horas, R; Retana, J

    2010-11-01

    Most obligate seeder species build up a soil seed bank that is associated with massive seed germination in the year immediately after a fire. These species are also shade-intolerant and disappear when vegetation cover closes, creating unsuitable conditions for seedling recruitment. The only way for these plants to expand their populations is when habitats suitable for seedling recruitment arise (i.e. in years immediately after a fire). However, short primary seed dispersal of obligate seeders does not allow these plants to colonise the suitable habitats, and these habitats can only be colonised by secondary seed dispersion. We hypothesised that Fumana ericoides, an obligate-seeding small shrub, not only establishes abundantly in the first year after fire, but also expands its local range in the following years due to secondary dispersal by ants while suitable habitats are still available. We tested this hypothesis using experimental studies and a simulation model of potential population expansion in a recently burned area. Results showed that F. ericoides not only established prolifically in the year immediately after fire, but was also able to recruit new individuals and expand its population in the years following the fire, despite a low germination rate and short primary seed dispersal. Ant-mediated seed dispersal and availability of suitable habitats were key factors in this phenomenon: ants redistributed seeds in suitable habitats while they were available, which accelerated the expansion of F. ericoides because new plants established far away from the core population. PMID:21040299

  3. 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...

  4. Ecological niche structure and rangewide abundance patterns of species.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-23

    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

  5. 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. PMID:27651533

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Ants provide one of the best examples of the division of labor in animal societies. While the queens reproduce, workers generally refrain from laying eggs and dedicate themselves exclusively to domestic tasks. In many species, the small diploid larvae are bipotent and can develop either into workers or queens depending mostly on environmental cues. This generates a conflicting situation between the adults that tend to rear a majority of larvae into workers and the larvae whose individual interest may be to develop into reproductive queens. We tested the social regulation of larval caste fate in the fission-performing ant Aphaenogaster senilis. We first observed interactions between resident workers and queen- and worker-destined larvae in presence/absence of the queen. The results show that workers tend to specifically eliminate queen-destined larvae when the queen is present but not when she is absent or imprisoned in a small cage allowing for volatile pheromone exchanges. In addition, we found that the presence of already developed queen-destined larvae does not inhibit the development of younger still bipotent larvae into queens. Finally, we analyzed the cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of queen- and worker-destined larvae and found no significant quantitative or qualitative difference. Interestingly, the total amount of hydrocarbons on both larval castes is extremely low, which lends credence on the chemical insignificance hypothesis of larval ants. Overall, our results suggest that workers control larval development and police larvae that would develop into queens instead of workers. Such policing behavior is similar in many aspects to what is known of worker policing among adults. PMID:26874941

  10. Uni-directional trail sharing by two species of ants a Monte Carlo study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunduraci, T.; Kayacan, O.

    2015-06-01

    We study insect traffic, specifically ant traffic on a uni-directional trail which is shared by two species of ants, one of which is ‘good’ at smelling and the other ‘poor’. The two distinct species of ants are placed mixed on the same trail and individuals of both are permitted to make a U-turn when they encounter another ant in front of them. The theoretical scheme for the ant traffic is based on an asymmetric simple exclusion model. The ant traffic on the uni-directional trail is studied as a function of the number of ‘good-smelling’ ants and the evaporation probability of pheromones by keeping the number of ‘poor-smelling ants’ constant during Monte Carlo simulations.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Smith, Stephen; Cianci, Claudia; Grima, Ramon

    2015-12-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Model reduction for stochastic chemical systems with abundant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Stephen; Cianci, Claudia; Grima, Ramon

    2015-12-01

    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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Why abundant tropical tree species are phylogenetically old

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24043767

  18. 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. PMID:24043767

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27627322

  1. 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.

  2. Percolation Theory for the Distribution and Abundance of Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Fangliang; Hubbell, Stephen P.

    2003-11-01

    We develop and test new models that unify the mathematical relationships among the abundance of a species, the spatial dispersion of the species, the number of patches occupied by the species, the edge length of the occupied patches, and the scale on which the distribution of species is mapped. The models predict that species distributions will exhibit percolation critical thresholds, i.e., critical population abundances at which the fragmented patches (as measured by the number of patches and edge length) start to coalesce to form large patches.

  3. Gradients of precipitation and ant abundance may contribute to the altitudinal range limit of subsocial spiders: insights from a transplant experiment

    PubMed Central

    Purcell, Jessica; Avilés, Leticia

    2008-01-01

    Species range boundaries often form along environmental gradients that dictate the success of the phenotypes present in each habitat. Sociality may allow colonization of environments where related species with a solitary lifestyle cannot persist. Social spiders in the genus Anelosimus appear restricted to low- and mid-elevation moist environments in the tropics, while subsocial spiders, common at higher elevations and latitudes, appear to be absent from the lowland tropical rainforest. Here, we seek factors that may simultaneously prevent subsocial Anelosimus species from colonizing the lowland rainforest while favouring species with large social groups in this habitat. To this end, we transplanted small groups of a subsocial species, which contain the offspring of a single female, from cloud forest habitat in the centre of its natural range to lower montane rainforest on the range margin and to lowland rainforest outside of the species range. Groups transplanted at the range margin and below their range limit were less likely to disperse and experienced increased mortality. This was correlated with greater rainfall intensity and ant abundance. We show that protection from rainfall enhances the performance of small groups of spiders in the lowland rainforest, and suggest that predation or disturbance by ants may influence the geographical range limits of this species. PMID:18682370

  4. 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

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. Diversity is maintained by seasonal variation in species abundance

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Modelling occurrence and abundance of species when detection is imperfect

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Royle, J. Andrew; Nichols, J.D.; Kery, M.

    2005-01-01

    Relationships between species abundance and occupancy are of considerable interest in metapopulation biology and in macroecology. Such relationships may be described concisely using probability models that characterize variation in abundance of a species. However, estimation of the parameters of these models in most ecological problems is impaired by imperfect detection. When organisms are detected imperfectly, observed counts are biased estimates of true abundance, and this induces bias in stated occupancy or occurrence probability. In this paper we consider a class of models that enable estimation of abundance/occupancy relationships from counts of organisms that result from surveys in which detection is imperfect. Under such models, parameter estimation and inference are based on conventional likelihood methods. We provide an application of these models to geographically extensive breeding bird survey data in which alternative models of abundance are considered that include factors that influence variation in abundance and detectability. Using these models, we produce estimates of abundance and occupancy maps that honor important sources of spatial variation in avian abundance and provide clearly interpretable characterizations of abundance and occupancy adjusted for imperfect detection.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27257121

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Gustatory synergism in ants mediates a species-specific symbiosis with lycaenid butterflies.

    PubMed

    Hojo, Masaru K; Wada-Katsumata, Ayako; Ozaki, Mamiko; Yamaguchi, Susumu; Yamaoka, Ryohei

    2008-12-01

    Here we show that larvae of the lycaenid butterfly Niphanda fusca secrete droplets containing trehalose and glycine. These droplets attract the larva's host ants Camponotus japonicus, which collect and protect the larvae. We comparatively investigated gustatory preference for trehalose, glycine or a mixture of the two between host (C. japonicus) and non-host (Camponotus obscuripes) species of ants in behavioral and electrophysiological experiments. Glycine itself induced no taste sensation in either host or non-host ants. The mixture of trehalose plus glycine was chosen as much as pure trehalose by non-host ants. However, the host ants clearly preferred the mixture of trehalose plus glycine to trehalose alone. When we used sucrose instead of trehalose, the mixture of sucrose plus glycine was chosen as much as sucrose alone, in both species. These behavioral data are supported by the electrophysiological responsiveness to sugars and/or glycine in the sugar-taste receptor cells of the ants. Considering that lycaenid butterflies' secretions have species-specific compositions of sugar and amino acid; our results clearly showed that such species-specific compositions of larval secretions are precisely tuned to the feeding preferences of their host ant species, in which the feeding preferences are synergistically enhanced by amino acid.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:27002980

  18. Copepod abundance and species composition in the Eastern subtropical/tropical Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnack-Schiel, Sigrid B.; Mizdalski, Elke; Cornils, Astrid

    2010-12-01

    Abundance and species composition of copepods were studied during the expedition ANT XXI/1 on a latitudinal transect in the eastern Atlantic from 34°49.5'N to 27°28.1'S between 2-20 November 2002. Stratified zooplankton tows were carried out at 19 stations with a multiple opening-closing net between 300 m water depth and the surface. Cyclopoid and calanoid copepods showed similar patterns of distribution and abundance. Oithona was the most abundant cyclopoid genus, followed by Oncaea. A total of 149 calanoid copepod species were identified. Clausocalanus was by far the most abundant genus, comprising on average about 45% of all calanoids, followed by Calocalanus (13%), Delibus (9%), Paracalanus (6%), and Pleuromamma (5%). All other genera comprised on average less than 5% each, with 40 genera less than 1%. The calanoid copepod communities were distinguished broadly in accordance with sea surface temperature, separating the subtropical from the tropical stations, and were largely determined by variation in species composition and species abundance. Nine Clausocalanus species were identified. The most numerous Clausocalanus species was C. furcatus, which on average comprised half of all adult of this genus. C. pergens, C. paululus, and C. jobei, contributed an average of 19%, 9%, and 9%, respectively. The Clausocalanus species differed markedly in their horizontal and vertical distributions: C. furcatus, C. jobei, and C. mastigophorus had widespread distributions and inhabited the upper water layers. Major differences between the species were found in abundance. C. paululus and C. arcuicornis were biantitropical and were absent or occurred in very low numbers in the equatorial zone. C. parapergens was found at all stations and showed a bimodal distribution pattern with maxima in the subtropics. C. pergens occurred in higher numbers only at the southern stations, where it replaced C. furcatus in dominance. In contrast to the widespread species, the bulk of the C

  19. 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.

  20. Rapid divergence of microsatellite abundance among species of Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Ross, Charles L; Dyer, Kelly A; Erez, Tamar; Miller, Susan J; Jaenike, John; Markow, Therese A

    2003-07-01

    Among major taxonomic groups, microsatellites exhibit considerable variation in composition and allele length, but they also show considerable conservation within many major groups. This variation may be explained by slow microsatellite evolution so that all species within a group have similar patterns of variation, or by taxon-specific mutational or selective constraints. Unfortunately, comparing microsatellites across species and studies can be problematic because of biases that may exist among different isolation and analysis protocols. We present microsatellite data from five Drosophila species in the Drosophila subgenus: D. arizonae, D. mojavensis, and D. pachea (three cactophilic species), and D. neotestacea and D. recens (two mycophagous species), all isolated at the same time using identical protocols. For each species, we compared the relative abundance of motifs, the distribution of repeat size, and the average number of repeats. Dimers were the most abundant microsatellites for each species. However, we found considerable variation in the relative abundance of motif size classes among species, even between sister taxa. Frequency differences among motifs within size classes for the three cactophilic species, but not the two mycophagous species, are consistent with other studied Drosophila. Frequency distributions of repeat number, as well as mean size, show significant differences among motif size classes but not across species. Sizes of microsatellites in these five species are consistent with D. virilis, another species in the subgenus Drosophila, but they have consistently higher means than in D. melanogaster, in the subgenus Sophophora. These results confirm that many aspects of microsatellite variation evolve quickly but also are subject to taxon-specific constraints. In addition, the nature of microsatellite evolution is dependent on temporal and taxonomic scales, and some variation is conserved across broad taxonomic levels despite relatively high

  1. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.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 m2 due 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Correlates of gut community composition across an ant species (Cephalotes varians) elucidate causes and consequences of symbiotic variability.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yi; Łukasik, Piotr; Moreau, Corrie S; Russell, Jacob A

    2014-03-01

    Insect guts are often colonized by multispecies microbial communities that play integral roles in nutrition, digestion and defence. Community composition can differ across host species with increasing dietary and genetic divergence, yet gut microbiota can also vary between conspecific hosts and across an individual's lifespan. Through exploration of such intraspecific variation and its correlates, molecular profiling of microbial communities can generate and test hypotheses on the causes and consequences of symbioses. In this study, we used 454 pyrosequencing and TRFLP to achieve these goals in an herbivorous ant, Cephalotes varians, exploring variation in bacterial communities across colonies, populations and workers reared on different diets. C. varians bacterial communities were dominated by 16 core species present in over two-thirds of the sampled colonies. Core species comprised multiple genotypes, or strains and hailed from ant-specific clades containing relatives from other Cephalotes species. Yet three were detected in environmental samples, suggesting the potential for environmental acquisition. In spite of their prevalence and long-standing relationships with Cephalotes ants, the relative abundance and genotypic composition of core species varied across colonies. Diet-induced plasticity is a likely cause, but only pollen-based diets had consistent effects, altering the abundance of two types of bacteria. Additional factors, such as host age, genetics, chance or natural selection, must therefore shape natural variation. Future studies on these possibilities and on bacterial contributions to the use of pollen, a widespread food source across Cephalotes, will be important steps in developing C. varians as a model for studying widespread social insect-bacteria symbioses.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:25959973

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Capitalizing on opportunistic data for monitoring relative abundances of species.

    PubMed

    Giraud, Christophe; Calenge, Clément; Coron, Camille; Julliard, Romain

    2016-06-01

    With the internet, a massive amount of information on species abundance can be collected by citizen science programs. However, these data are often difficult to use directly in statistical inference, as their collection is generally opportunistic, and the distribution of the sampling effort is often not known. In this article, we develop a general statistical framework to combine such "opportunistic data" with data collected using schemes characterized by a known sampling effort. Under some structural assumptions regarding the sampling effort and detectability, our approach makes it possible to estimate the relative abundance of several species in different sites. It can be implemented through a simple generalized linear model. We illustrate the framework with typical bird datasets from the Aquitaine region in south-western France. We show that, under some assumptions, our approach provides estimates that are more precise than the ones obtained from the dataset with a known sampling effort alone. When the opportunistic data are abundant, the gain in precision may be considerable, especially for rare species. We also show that estimates can be obtained even for species recorded only in the opportunistic scheme. Opportunistic data combined with a relatively small amount of data collected with a known effort may thus provide access to accurate and precise estimates of quantitative changes in relative abundance over space and/or time. PMID:26496390

  13. Effectiveness of mosquito traps in measuring species abundance and composition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mosquito species abundance and composition estimates provided by trapping devices are commonly used to guide control efforts, but knowledge of trap biases is necessary for accurately interpreting results. We compared the Mosquito Magnet – Pro, the Mosquito Magnet – X and the CDC Miniature Light Trap...

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2012-11-01

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

  18. Analytical formulae for computing dominance from species-abundance distributions.

    PubMed

    Fung, Tak; Villain, Laura; Chisholm, Ryan A

    2015-12-01

    The evenness of an ecological community affects ecosystem structure, functioning and stability, and has implications for biodiversity conservation. In uneven communities, most species are rare while a few dominant species drive ecosystem-level properties. In even communities, dominance is lower, with possibly many species playing key ecological roles. The dominance aspect of evenness can be measured as a decreasing function of the proportion of species required to make up a fixed fraction (e.g., half) of individuals in a community. Here we sought general rules about dominance in ecological communities by linking dominance mathematically to the parameters of common theoretical species-abundance distributions (SADs). We found that if a community's SAD was log-series or lognormal, then dominance was almost inevitably high, with fewer than 40% of species required to account for 90% of all individuals. Dominance for communities with an exponential SAD was lower but still typically high, with fewer than 40% of species required to account for 70% of all individuals. In contrast, communities with a gamma SAD only exhibited high dominance when the average species abundance was below a threshold of approximately 100. Furthermore, we showed that exact values of dominance were highly scale-dependent, exhibiting non-linear trends with changing average species abundance. We also applied our formulae to SADs derived from a mechanistic community model to demonstrate how dominance can increase with environmental variance. Overall, our study provides a rigorous basis for theoretical explorations of the dynamics of dominance in ecological communities, and how this affects ecosystem functioning and stability. PMID:26409166

  19. 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. PMID:25473007

  20. 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. PMID:26885975

  1. 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. PMID:23786084

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:23320633

  9. Abundance anomaly of the 13C species of CCH

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakai, N.; Saruwatari, O.; Sakai, T.; Takano, S.; Yamamoto, S.

    2010-03-01

    Aims: We have observed the N = 1-0 lines of CCH and its 13C isotopic species toward a cold dark cloud, TMC-1 and a star-forming region, L1527, to investigate the 13C abundances and formation pathways of CCH. Methods: The observations have been carried out with the IRAM 30 m telescope. Results: We have successfully detected the lines of 13CCH and C13CH toward the both sources and found a significant intensity difference between the two 13C isotopic species. The [C13CH] /[13CCH] abundance ratios are 1.6 ± 0.4 (3σ) and 1.6 ± 0.1 (3σ) for TMC-1 and L1527, respectively. The abundance difference between C13CH and 13CCH means that the two carbon atoms of CCH are not equivalent in the formation pathway. On the other hand, the [CCH]/[C13CH] and [CCH]/[13CCH] ratios are evaluated to be larger than 170 and 250 toward TMC-1, and to be larger than 80 and 135 toward L1527, respectively. Therefore, both of the 13C species are significantly diluted in comparison with the interstellar 12C/13C ratio of 60. The dilution is discussed in terms of a behavior of 13C in molecular clouds.

  10. Measurement scale in maximum entropy models of species abundance

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Steven A.

    2010-01-01

    The consistency of the species abundance distribution across diverse communities has attracted widespread attention. In this paper, I argue that the consistency of pattern arises because diverse ecological mechanisms share a common symmetry with regard to measurement scale. By symmetry, I mean that different ecological processes preserve the same measure of information and lose all other information in the aggregation of various perturbations. I frame these explanations of symmetry, measurement, and aggregation in terms of a recently developed extension to the theory of maximum entropy. I show that the natural measurement scale for the species abundance distribution is log-linear: the information in observations at small population sizes scales logarithmically and, as population size increases, the scaling of information grades from logarithmic to linear. Such log-linear scaling leads naturally to a gamma distribution for species abundance, which matches well with the observed patterns. Much of the variation between samples can be explained by the magnitude at which the measurement scale grades from logarithmic to linear. This measurement approach can be applied to the similar problem of allelic diversity in population genetics and to a wide variety of other patterns in biology. PMID:21265915

  11. Neutral theory and relative species abundance in ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-08-01

    The theory of island biogeography asserts that an island or a local community approaches an equilibrium species richness as a result of the interplay between the immigration of species from the much larger metacommunity source area and local extinction of species on the island (local community). Hubbell generalized this neutral theory to explore the expected steady-state distribution of relative species abundance (RSA) in the local community under restricted immigration. Here we present a theoretical framework for the unified neutral theory of biodiversity and an analytical solution for the distribution of the RSA both in the metacommunity (Fisher's log series) and in the local community, where there are fewer rare species. Rare species are more extinction-prone, and once they go locally extinct, they take longer to re-immigrate than do common species. Contrary to recent assertions, we show that the analytical solution provides a better fit, with fewer free parameters, to the RSA distribution of tree species on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, than the lognormal distribution.

  12. Estimating the number of species in a stochastic abundance model.

    PubMed

    Chao, Anne; Bunge, John

    2002-09-01

    Consider a stochastic abundance model in which the species arrive in the sample according to independent Poisson processes, where the abundance parameters of the processes follow a gamma distribution. We propose a new estimator of the number of species for this model. The estimator takes the form of the number of duplicated species (i.e., species represented by two or more individuals) divided by an estimated duplication fraction. The duplication fraction is estimated from all frequencies including singleton information. The new estimator is closely related to the sample coverage estimator presented by Chao and Lee (1992, Journal of the American Statistical Association 87, 210-217). We illustrate the procedure using the Malayan butterfly data discussed by Fisher, Corbet, and Williams (1943, Journal of Animal Ecology 12, 42-58) and a 1989 Christmas Bird Count dataset collected in Florida, U.S.A. Simulation studies show that this estimator compares well with maximum likelihood estimators (i.e., empirical Bayes estimators from the Bayesian viewpoint) for which an iterative numerical procedure is needed and may be infeasible.

  13. When can species abundance data reveal non-neutrality?

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Which Models Are Appropriate for Six Subtropical Forests: Species-Area and Species-Abundance Models

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Shi Guang; Li, Lin; Chen, Zhen Cheng; Lian, Ju Yu; Lin, Guo Jun; Huang, Zhong Liang; Yin, Zuo Yun

    2014-01-01

    The species-area relationship is one of the most important topic in the study of species diversity, conservation biology and landscape ecology. The species-area relationship curves describe the increase of species number with increasing area, and have been modeled by various equations. In this paper, we used detailed data from six 1-ha subtropical forest communities to fit three species-area relationship models. The coefficient of determination and F ratio of ANOVA showed all the three models fitted well to the species-area relationship data in the subtropical communities, with the logarithm model performing better than the other two models. We also used the three species-abundance distributions, namely the lognormal, logcauchy and logseries model, to fit them to the species-abundance data of six communities. In this case, the logcauchy model had the better fit based on the coefficient of determination. Our research reveals that the rare species always exist in the six communities, corroborating the neutral theory of Hubbell. Furthermore, we explained why all species-abundance figures appeared to be left-side truncated. This was due to subtropical forests have high diversity, and their large species number includes many rare species. PMID:24755956

  16. 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. PMID:23949863

  17. 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.

  18. Community structure influences species' abundance along environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Eloranta, Antti P; Helland, Ingeborg P; Sandlund, Odd T; Hesthagen, Trygve; Ugedal, Ola; Finstad, Anders G

    2016-01-01

    Species' response to abiotic environmental variation can be influenced by local community structure and interspecific interactions, particularly in restricted habitats such as islands and lakes. In temperate lakes, future increase in water temperature and run-off of terrestrial (allochthonous) dissolved organic carbon (DOC) are predicted to alter community composition and the overall ecosystem productivity. However, little is known about how the present community structure and abiotic environmental variation interact to affect the abundance of native fish populations. We used a space-for-time approach to study how local community structure interact with lake morphometric and climatic characteristics (i.e. temperature and catchment productivity) to affect brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) yield in 283 Norwegian lakes located in different biogeographical regions. Brown trout yield (based on data from standardized survey gill net fishing; g 100 m(-2) gill net night(-1)) was generally lower in lakes where other fish species were present than in lakes with brown trout only. The yield showed an overall negative relationship with increasing temperature and a positive relationship with lake shoreline complexity. Brown trout yield was also negatively correlated with DOC load (measured using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index as a proxy) and lake size and depth (measured using terrain slope as a proxy), but only in lakes where other fish species were present. The observed negative response of brown trout yield to increasing DOC load and proportion of the pelagic open-water area is likely due to restricted (littoral) niche availability and competitive dominance of more pelagic fishes such as Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus (L.)). Our study highlights that, through competitive interactions, the local community structure can influence the response of a species' abundance to variation in abiotic conditions. Changes in biomass and niche use of top predators (such as the brown

  19. 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.

  20. Analyzing fractal property of species abundance distribution and diversity indexes.

    PubMed

    Su, Qiang

    2016-03-01

    Community diversity is usually characterized by numerical indexes; however it indeed depends on the species abundance distribution (SAD). Diversity indexes and SAD are based on the same information but treating as separate themes. Ranking species abundance from largest to smallest, the decreasing pattern can give the information about the SAD. Frontier proposed such SAD might be a fractal structure, and first applied the Zipf-Mandelbrot model to the SAD study. However, this model fails to include the Zipf model, and also fails to ensure an integer rank. In this study, a fractal model of SAD was reconstructed, and tested with 104 community samples from 8 taxonomic groups. The results show that there was a good fit of the presented model. Fractal parameter (p) determines the SAD of a community. The ecological significance of p relates to the "dominance" of a community. The correlation between p and classical diversity indexes show that Shannon index decreases and Simpson index increases as p increases. The main purpose of this paper is not to compare with other SADs models; it simply provides a new interpretation of SAD model construction, and preliminarily integrates diversity indexes and SAD model into a broader perspective of community diversity. PMID:26746388

  1. 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

  2. Analyzing fractal property of species abundance distribution and diversity indexes.

    PubMed

    Su, Qiang

    2016-03-01

    Community diversity is usually characterized by numerical indexes; however it indeed depends on the species abundance distribution (SAD). Diversity indexes and SAD are based on the same information but treating as separate themes. Ranking species abundance from largest to smallest, the decreasing pattern can give the information about the SAD. Frontier proposed such SAD might be a fractal structure, and first applied the Zipf-Mandelbrot model to the SAD study. However, this model fails to include the Zipf model, and also fails to ensure an integer rank. In this study, a fractal model of SAD was reconstructed, and tested with 104 community samples from 8 taxonomic groups. The results show that there was a good fit of the presented model. Fractal parameter (p) determines the SAD of a community. The ecological significance of p relates to the "dominance" of a community. The correlation between p and classical diversity indexes show that Shannon index decreases and Simpson index increases as p increases. The main purpose of this paper is not to compare with other SADs models; it simply provides a new interpretation of SAD model construction, and preliminarily integrates diversity indexes and SAD model into a broader perspective of community diversity.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-08-01

    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 tau 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 tau of those ants that exhibited diurnal patterns during LD entrainment was first >24 h after release into DD, and then became <24 h, after 6-9 days. The activity of the minor workers neither entrained to LD cycles nor showed any sign of free-run in DD. It appears that the circadian clocks of the ant species C. compressus are flexible, and may perhaps depend upon the tasks assigned to them in the colony.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  15. Multiphase myrmecochory: the roles of different ant species and effects of fire.

    PubMed

    Beaumont, Kieren P; Mackay, Duncan A; Whalen, Molly A

    2013-07-01

    Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) can be influenced by changes to ant assemblages resulting from habitat disturbance as well as by differences in disperser behaviour. We investigated the effect of habitat disturbance by fire on the dispersal of seeds of a myrmecochorous shrub, Pultenaea daphnoides. We also investigated the consequence of the seed relocation behaviours of two common dispersers (Pheidole sp. A and Rhytidoponera metallica) for the redispersal of seeds. Pheidole sp. A colonies did not relocate seeds outside their nests. In contrast, R. metallica colonies relocated 43.6% of seeds fed to them, of which 96.9% had residual elaiosome that remained attached. On average, R. metallica relocated seeds 78.9 and 60.7 cm from the nest entrances in burned and unburned habitat, respectively. Seeds were removed faster in burned than in unburned habitat, and seeds previously relocated by R. metallica were removed at similar rates to seeds with intact elaiosomes, but faster than seeds with detached elaiosomes. Dispersal distances were not significantly different between burned (51.3 cm) and unburned (70.9 cm) habitat or between seeds with different elaiosome conditions. Differences between habitat types in the frequency of seed removal, the shape of the seed dispersal curve, and the relative contribution of R. metallica and Pheidole sp. A to seed dispersal were largely due to the effect of recent fire on the abundance of Pheidole sp. A. Across habitat types, the number of seeds removed from depots and during dispersal trials most strongly related to the combined abundances of R. metallica and Pheidole. Our findings show that myrmecochory can involve more than one dispersal phase and that fire indirectly influences myrmecochory by altering the abundances of seed-dispersing ants. PMID:23386041

  16. New species of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, an ubiquitous pathogen of ants from Thailand.

    PubMed

    Kobmoo, Noppol; Mongkolsamrit, Suchada; Wutikhun, Taksadon; Tasanathai, Kanoksri; Khonsanit, Artit; Thanakitpipattana, Donnaya; Luangsa-Ard, Janet Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is an ubiquitous pathogen of ants with hidden phylogenetic diversity associated with host specificity. In this study, we describe two new species to this species complex: Ophiocordyceps septa and Ophiocordyceps rami. Both were found on unidentified ants of the genus Camponotus (C. sp.1 and C. sp2 respectively). Ophiocordyceps septa is very similar to Ophiocordyceps polyrhachis-furcata, Ophiocordyceps camponoti-leonardi, and Ophiocordyceps camponoti-saundersi (found respectively on the ants Polyrhachis furcata, Camponotus leonardi, and Camponotus saundersi) but differs in the size, the shape and the septation of the ascospores, while O. rami is clearly identifiable with macro-morphological features including multiple stromata similar to Ophiocordyceps halabalaensis on Camponotus gigas. A thorough morphological examination was also provided for O. polyrhachis-furcata, O. camponoti-leonardi, and O. camponoti saundersi, showing that the first was apparently distinguishable from the others by the absence of septation of the ascospores. A combined molecular phylogeny also supports O. septa and O. rami as distinct new species.

  17. Abundance changes and habitat availability drive species' responses to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mair, Louise; Hill, Jane K.; Fox, Richard; Botham, Marc; Brereton, Tom; Thomas, Chris D.

    2014-02-01

    There is little consensus as to why there is so much variation in the rates at which different species' geographic ranges expand in response to climate warming. Here we show that the relative importance of species' abundance trends and habitat availability for British butterfly species vary over time. Species with high habitat availability expanded more rapidly from the 1970s to mid-1990s, when abundances were generally stable, whereas habitat availability effects were confined to the subset of species with stable abundances from the mid-1990s to 2009, when abundance trends were generally declining. This suggests that stable (or positive) abundance trends are a prerequisite for range expansion. Given that species' abundance trends vary over time for non-climatic as well as climatic reasons, assessment of abundance trends will help improve predictions of species' responses to climate change, and help us to understand the likely success of different conservation strategies for facilitating their expansions.

  18. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Predicting the species abundance distribution using a model food web.

    PubMed

    Powell, Craig R; McKane, Alan J

    2008-12-21

    A large number of models of the species abundance distribution (SAD) have been proposed, many of which are generically similar to the log-normal distribution, from which they are often indistinguishable when describing a given data set. Ecological data sets are necessarily incomplete samples of an ecosystem, subject to statistical noise, and cannot readily be combined to yield a closer approximation to the underlying distribution. In this paper, we adopt the Webworld ecosystem model to study the predicted SAD in detail. The Webworld model is complex, and does not allow analytic examination of such features; rather, we use simulation data and an approach similar to that of ecologists analysing empirical data. By examining large sets of fully described data we are able to resolve features which can distinguish between models but which have not been investigated in detail in field data. We find that the power-law normal distribution is superior to both the log-normal and logit-normal distributions, and that the data can improve on even this at the high-population cut-off.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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. PMID:24194883

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. Breeding system, colony structure, and genetic differentiation in the Camponotus festinatus species complex of carpenter ants.

    PubMed

    Goodisman, Michael A D; Hahn, Daniel A

    2005-10-01

    All social insects live in highly organized societies. However, different social insect species display striking variation in social structure. This variation can significantly affect the genetic structure within populations and, consequently, the divergence between species. The purpose of this study was to determine if variation in social structure was associated with species diversification in the Camponotus festinatus desert carpenter ant species complex. We used polymorphic DNA microsatellite markers to dissect the breeding system of these ants and to determine if distinct C. festinatus forms hybridized in their natural range. Our analysis of single-queen colonies established in the laboratory revealed that queens typically mated with only a single male. The genotypes of workers sampled from a field population suggested that multiple, related queens occasionally reproduced within colonies and that colonies inhabited multiple nests. Camponotus festinatus workers derived from colonies of the same form originating at different locales were strongly differentiated, suggesting that gene flow was geographically restricted. Overall, our data indicate that C. festinatus populations are highly structured. Distinct C. festinatus forms possess similar social systems but are genetically isolated. Consequently, our data suggest that diversification in the C. festinatus species complex is not necessarily associated with a shift in social structure.

  6. Breeding system, colony structure, and genetic differentiation in the Camponotus festinatus species complex of carpenter ants.

    PubMed

    Goodisman, Michael A D; Hahn, Daniel A

    2005-10-01

    All social insects live in highly organized societies. However, different social insect species display striking variation in social structure. This variation can significantly affect the genetic structure within populations and, consequently, the divergence between species. The purpose of this study was to determine if variation in social structure was associated with species diversification in the Camponotus festinatus desert carpenter ant species complex. We used polymorphic DNA microsatellite markers to dissect the breeding system of these ants and to determine if distinct C. festinatus forms hybridized in their natural range. Our analysis of single-queen colonies established in the laboratory revealed that queens typically mated with only a single male. The genotypes of workers sampled from a field population suggested that multiple, related queens occasionally reproduced within colonies and that colonies inhabited multiple nests. Camponotus festinatus workers derived from colonies of the same form originating at different locales were strongly differentiated, suggesting that gene flow was geographically restricted. Overall, our data indicate that C. festinatus populations are highly structured. Distinct C. festinatus forms possess similar social systems but are genetically isolated. Consequently, our data suggest that diversification in the C. festinatus species complex is not necessarily associated with a shift in social structure. PMID:16405162

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria of Camponotus species (carpenter ants): systematics, evolution and ultrastructural characterization.

    PubMed

    Schröder, D; Deppisch, H; Obermayer, M; Krohne, G; Stackebrandt, E; Hôlldobler, B; Goebel, W; Gross, R

    1996-08-01

    Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria inherent to ants of the genus Camponotus were characterized. The bacteria were localized in bacteriocytes, which are specialized cells of both workers and queen ants; these cells are intercalated between epithelial cells of the midgut. The bacteriocytes show a different morphology from the normal epithelial cells and carry a large number of the rod-shaped Gram-negative bacteria free in the cytoplasm. The bacteria were never observed in the neighbouring epithelial cells, but they were found intracellularly in oocytes, strongly indicating a maternal transmission of the bacteria. The 16S DNA encoding rrs loci of the endosymbionts of four species of the genus Camponotus derived either from Germany (C. herculeanus and C. ligniperdus), North America (C. floridanus) or South America (C. rufipes) were cloned after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification using oligonucleotides complementary to all so far known eubacterial rrs sequences. The DNA sequences of the rrs loci of the four endosymbionts were determined, and, using various genus- and species-specific oligonucleotides derived from variable regions in the rrs sequences, the identity of the bacteria present in the bacteriocytes and the ovarian cells was confirmed by PCR and in situ hybridization techniques. Comparison of the 16S DNA sequences with the available database showed the endosymbiotic bacteria to be members of the gamma-subclass of Proteobacteria. They formed a distinct taxonomic group, a sister taxon of the taxons defined by the tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts. Within the gamma-subclass, the cluster of the ant, tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts are placed adjacent to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. The evolutionary tree of the ant endosymbionts reflects the systematic classification and geographical distribution of their host insects, indicating an early co-evolution of the symbiotic partners and a vertical transmission of the bacteria.

  11. Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria of Camponotus species (carpenter ants): systematics, evolution and ultrastructural characterization.

    PubMed

    Schröder, D; Deppisch, H; Obermayer, M; Krohne, G; Stackebrandt, E; Hôlldobler, B; Goebel, W; Gross, R

    1996-08-01

    Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria inherent to ants of the genus Camponotus were characterized. The bacteria were localized in bacteriocytes, which are specialized cells of both workers and queen ants; these cells are intercalated between epithelial cells of the midgut. The bacteriocytes show a different morphology from the normal epithelial cells and carry a large number of the rod-shaped Gram-negative bacteria free in the cytoplasm. The bacteria were never observed in the neighbouring epithelial cells, but they were found intracellularly in oocytes, strongly indicating a maternal transmission of the bacteria. The 16S DNA encoding rrs loci of the endosymbionts of four species of the genus Camponotus derived either from Germany (C. herculeanus and C. ligniperdus), North America (C. floridanus) or South America (C. rufipes) were cloned after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification using oligonucleotides complementary to all so far known eubacterial rrs sequences. The DNA sequences of the rrs loci of the four endosymbionts were determined, and, using various genus- and species-specific oligonucleotides derived from variable regions in the rrs sequences, the identity of the bacteria present in the bacteriocytes and the ovarian cells was confirmed by PCR and in situ hybridization techniques. Comparison of the 16S DNA sequences with the available database showed the endosymbiotic bacteria to be members of the gamma-subclass of Proteobacteria. They formed a distinct taxonomic group, a sister taxon of the taxons defined by the tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts. Within the gamma-subclass, the cluster of the ant, tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts are placed adjacent to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. The evolutionary tree of the ant endosymbionts reflects the systematic classification and geographical distribution of their host insects, indicating an early co-evolution of the symbiotic partners and a vertical transmission of the bacteria. PMID:8866472

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:26881747

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. A New (Old), Invasive Ant in the Hardwood Forests of Eastern North America and Its Potentially Widespread Impacts

    PubMed Central

    Guénard, Benoit; Dunn, Robert R.

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20657769

  19. Short- and long-day responses in the pre-adult developmental duration of two species of Camponotus ants.

    PubMed

    Lone, Shahnaz Rahman; Ilangovan, Vinodh; Murugan, Madhuvika; Sharma, Vijay Kumar

    2011-03-01

    We assessed the effect of different day/night lengths on the pre-adult developmental time of two species of Camponotus ants that normally develop in dark underground nests. We assayed larval (egg-to-pupal formation), pupal (pupal formation-to-adult emergence), and pre-adult (egg-to-adult emergence) durations in these ants under three different light/dark (LD) cycles of 12:12 h, 10:14 h, and 14:10 h. We observed that the pre-adult development time of ants under these day lengths was significantly different. Although both species developed fastest under 12:12 h LD, when asymmetric LD cycles were compared, night-active species (Camponotus compressus) developed faster under short days (10:14 h) and day-active species (C. paria) developed faster under long days (14:10 h). This day/night-length-mediated difference in pre-adult developmental duration was mostly due to modulation of larval duration; however, in day-active species it was also via altered pupal duration. These results thus indicate that the two species of Camponotus ants respond differently to short and long days, suggesting that seasonal timers regulate pre-adult development time in tropical ant species living in dark underground nests.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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. PMID:25651399

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. 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. PMID:17457552

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:15154488

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:22546442

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kinzner, Martin-Carl; Wagner, Herbert C; Peskoller, Andrea; Moder, Karl; Dowell, Floyd E; Arthofer, Wolfgang; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C; Steiner, Florian M

    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-optic NIRS

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

    PubMed

    Kinzner, Martin-Carl; Wagner, Herbert C; Peskoller, Andrea; Moder, Karl; Dowell, Floyd E; Arthofer, Wolfgang; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C; Steiner, Florian M

    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-optic NIRS

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Pseudacteon notocaudatus and Pseudacteon obtusitus (Diptera: Phoridae), two new species of fire ant parasitoids from South America.

    PubMed

    Plowes, Robert M; Folgarait, Patricia J; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2015-01-01

    Ongoing studies in South America of phorid flies of the genus Pseudacteon Coquillett 1907 have revealed two further new species in this genus that are described here: P. obtusitus and P. notocaudatus. Both species are parasitoids of Solenopsis (F.) fire ants. PMID:26624354

  18. Molecular phylogeny of fire ants of the Solenopsis saevissima species-group based on mtDNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Shoemaker, D DeWayne; Ahrens, Michael E; Ross, Kenneth G

    2006-01-01

    The systematics of South American fire ants (Solenopsis saevissima species-group) has been plagued by difficulties in recognizing species and their relationships on the basis of morphological characters. We surveyed mtDNA sequences from 623 individuals representing 13 described and undescribed species within the species-group and 18 individuals representing other major Solenopsis lineages to generate a phylogeny of the mitochondrial genome. Our analyses support the monophyly of the S. saevissima species-group, consistent with a single Neotropical origin and radiation of this important group of ants, as well as the monophyly of the socially polymorphic species within the group, consistent with a single origin of polygyny (multiple queens per colony) as a derived form of social organization. The mtDNA sequences of the inquiline social parasite S. daguerrei form a clade that appears to be distantly related to sequences from the several host species, consistent with the view that advanced social parasitism did not evolve via sympatric speciation of intraspecific parasites. An important general finding is that species-level polyphyly of the mtDNA appears to be the rule in this group of ants. The existence of multiple divergent mtDNA lineages within several nominal species (including the pest S. invicta) suggests that the pattern of widespread polyphyly often stems from morphological delimitation that overcircumscribes species. However, in two cases the mtDNA polyphyly likely results from recent interspecific hybridization. While resolving species boundaries and relationships is important for understanding general patterns of diversification of South American fire ants, these issues are of added importance because invasive fire ants are emerging as global pests and becoming important model organisms for evolutionary research.

  19. 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.

  20. From the Cover: Ecological community description using the food web, species abundance, and body size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, Joel E.; Jonsson, Tomas; Carpenter, Stephen R.

    2003-02-01

    Measuring the numerical abundance and average body size of individuals of each species in an ecological community's food web reveals new patterns and illuminates old ones. This approach is illustrated using data from the pelagic community of a small lake: Tuesday Lake, Michigan, United States. Body mass varies almost 12 orders of magnitude. Numerical abundance varies almost 10 orders of magnitude. Biomass abundance (average body mass times numerical abundance) varies only 5 orders of magnitude. A new food web graph, which plots species and trophic links in the plane spanned by body mass and numerical abundance, illustrates the nearly inverse relationship between body mass and numerical abundance, as well as the pattern of energy flow in the community. Species with small average body mass occur low in the food web of Tuesday Lake and are numerically abundant. Larger-bodied species occur higher in the food web and are numerically rarer. Average body size explains more of the variation in numerical abundance than does trophic height. The trivariate description of an ecological community by using the food web, average body sizes, and numerical abundance includes many well studied bivariate and univariate relationships based on subsets of these three variables. We are not aware of any single community for which all of these relationships have been analyzed simultaneously. Our approach demonstrates the connectedness of ecological patterns traditionally treated as independent. Moreover, knowing the food web gives new insight into the disputed form of the allometric relationship between body mass and abundance.

  1. New Insights on Jupiter's Deep Water Abundance from Disequilibrium Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Dong; Gierasch, Peter; Lunine, Jonathan; Mousis, Olivier

    2014-11-01

    The bulk water abundance on Jupiter potentially constrains the planet's formation conditions. We aim to improve the chemical constraints on Jupiter's deep water abundance in this paper. The eddy diffusion coefficient is used to model vertical mixing in planetary atmosphere, and based on laboratory studies dedicated to turbulent rotating convection, we propose a new formulation of eddy diffusion coefficient. The new formulation predicts a smooth transition from slow rotation regime (near the equator) to the rapid rotation regime (near the pole). We estimate an uncertainty for newly derived coefficient of less than 25%, which is much better than the one order of magnitude uncertainty used in the literature. We then reevaluate the water constraintprovided by CO, using the newer eddy diffusion coefficient. We considered two updated CO kinetic models, one model constrains the water enrichment (relative to solar) between 0.1 and 0.75, while the other one constrains the water enrichment between 7 and 23. This difference calls for a better assessment of CO kinetic models.

  2. New insights on Jupiter's deep water abundance from disequilibrium species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Dong; Gierasch, Peter J.; Lunine, Jonathan I.; Mousis, Olivier

    2015-04-01

    The bulk water abundance on Jupiter potentially constrains the planet's formation conditions. We improve the chemical constraints on Jupiter's deep water abundance in this paper. The eddy diffusion coefficient is used to model vertical mixing in planetary atmosphere, and based on laboratory studies dedicated to turbulent rotating convection, we propose a new formulation of the eddy diffusion coefficient for the troposphere of giant planets. The new formulation predicts a smooth transition from the slow rotation regime (near the equator) to the rapid rotation regime (near the pole). We estimate an uncertainty for the newly derived coefficient of less than 25%, which is much better than the one order of magnitude uncertainty used in the literature. We then reevaluate the water constraint provided by CO, using the newer eddy diffusion coefficient. We considered two updated CO kinetic models, one model constrains the water enrichment (relative to solar) between 0.1 and 0.75, while the other constrains the water enrichment between 3 and 11.

  3. 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.

  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. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Role of relative humidity in colony founding and queen survivorship in two carpenter ant species.

    PubMed

    Mankowski, Mark E; Morrell, J J

    2011-06-01

    Conditions necessary for optimal colony foundation in two carpenter ant species, Camponotus modoc Wheeler and Camponotus vicinus Mayr, were studied. Camponotus modoc and C. vicinus queens were placed in Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb. Franco) and Styrofoam blocks conditioned in sealed chambers at 70, 80, or 100% RH. Nanitic workers produced after 12 wk were used to assess the effects of substrate and moisture content on colony initiation. Queens of C. vicinus in Douglas-fir and Styrofoam produced worker numbers that did not differ significantly with moisture content; however, the number of colonies initiated by C. modoc differed significantly with moisture content. The results indicate that colony founding in C. vicinus is less sensitive to moisture content than C. modoc for Douglas-fir and Styrofoam. In another test, groups of queens of each species were exposed to 20, 50, 70, and 100% RH and the time until 50% mortality occurred was recorded for each species. C. vicinus lived significantly longer at each of the test humidities than C. modoc, suggesting that the former species is adapted to better survive under xeric conditions.

  8. Role of relative humidity in colony founding and queen survivorship in two carpenter ant species.

    PubMed

    Mankowski, Mark E; Morrell, J J

    2011-06-01

    Conditions necessary for optimal colony foundation in two carpenter ant species, Camponotus modoc Wheeler and Camponotus vicinus Mayr, were studied. Camponotus modoc and C. vicinus queens were placed in Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb. Franco) and Styrofoam blocks conditioned in sealed chambers at 70, 80, or 100% RH. Nanitic workers produced after 12 wk were used to assess the effects of substrate and moisture content on colony initiation. Queens of C. vicinus in Douglas-fir and Styrofoam produced worker numbers that did not differ significantly with moisture content; however, the number of colonies initiated by C. modoc differed significantly with moisture content. The results indicate that colony founding in C. vicinus is less sensitive to moisture content than C. modoc for Douglas-fir and Styrofoam. In another test, groups of queens of each species were exposed to 20, 50, 70, and 100% RH and the time until 50% mortality occurred was recorded for each species. C. vicinus lived significantly longer at each of the test humidities than C. modoc, suggesting that the former species is adapted to better survive under xeric conditions. PMID:21735888

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. Abundance of minor ion species at Mars: ASPERA-3 observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yiteng; Nilsson, Hans; Barabash, Stas; Li, Lei

    2012-07-01

    The main species at Mars are O+, O2+, CO2+, while there are also some minor species. This article successfully separates minor species of O++, He+ and H2+ with about 12eV by integrating from two and a half years ASPERA-3 data on Mars Express and by integrating and taking some corrections and data processing. At the same time some space statistic Statistics of these Mars ions and estimating are taken place. The result indicates O++ ions density reduce quickly in the region without sunlight, and have moreis higher at subsolar than in the high alatitude place,. and reduces quickly in the region without sunlight. He+ and H2+ have similar distribution in space mainly above in the high altitude ionosphere, and relatively reduce sparse in the midnight space. O++ and He+ have a comparable volume density about 0.1% of O+, and H2+ is muchone order of magnitude lowerless for one order. Our results imply that O++ ions in the martian space are mainly the product of phtoionization in the ionosphere, while H2+ and He+ might also be originated in the planet.

  16. 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.

  17. Unveiling the species-rank abundance distribution by generalizing the Good-Turing sample coverage theory.

    PubMed

    Chao, Anne; Hsieh, T C; Chazdon, Robin L; Colwell, Robert K; Gotelli, Nicholas J

    2015-05-01

    Based on a sample of individuals, we focus on inferring the vector of species relative abundance of an entire assemblage and propose a novel estimator of the complete species-rank abundance distribution (RAD). Nearly all previous estimators of the RAD use the conventional "plug-in" estimator Pi (sample relative abundance) of the true relative abundance pi of species i. Because most biodiversity samples are incomplete, the plug-in estimators are applied only to the subset of species that are detected in the sample. Using the concept of sample coverage and its generalization, we propose a new statistical framework to estimate the complete RAD by separately adjusting the sample relative abundances for the set of species detected in the sample and estimating the relative abundances for the set of species undetected in the sample but inferred to be present in the assemblage. We first show that P, is a positively biased estimator of pi for species detected in the sample, and that the degree of bias increases with increasing relative rarity of each species. We next derive a method to adjust the sample relative abundance to reduce the positive bias inherent in j. The adjustment method provides a nonparametric resolution to the longstanding challenge of characterizing the relationship between the true relative abundance in the entire assemblage and the observed relative abundance in a sample. Finally, we propose a method to estimate the true relative abundances of the undetected species based on a lower bound of the number of undetected species. We then combine the adjusted RAD for the detected species and the estimated RAD for the undetected species to obtain the complete RAD estimator. Simulation results show that the proposed RAD curve can unveil the true RAD and is more accurate than the empirical RAD. We also extend our method to incidence data. Our formulas and estimators are illustrated using empirical data sets from surveys of forest spiders (for abundance data) and

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

    PubMed

    Koch, Robert L; Pahs, Tiffany

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Koch, Robert L; Pahs, Tiffany

    2015-04-01

    In response to concerns of increasing significance of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) in northern states, a survey was conducted over 2 yr in Minnesota to characterize the Pentatomidae associated with field corn, Zea mays L. Halyomorpha halys (Stål), an exotic species, was not detected in this survey, despite continued detection of this species as an invader of human-made structures in Minnesota. Five species of Pentatomidae (four herbivorous; one predatory) were collected from corn. Across years, Euschistus variolarius (Palisot de Beauvois) and Euschistus servus euschistoides (Vollenhoven) had the greatest relative abundances and frequencies of detection. In 2012, the abundance of herbivorous species exceeded 25 nymphs and adults per 100 plants (i.e., an economic threshold) in 0.48% of fields. However, the abundance of herbivorous species did not reach economic levels in any fields sampled in 2013. The frequency of detection of herbivorous species and ratio of nymphs to adults was highest during reproductive growth stages of corn. The predator species, Podisus maculiventris (Say), was detected in 0 to 0.32% of fields. These results provide baseline information on the species composition and abundance of Pentatomidae in Minnesota field corn, which will be necessary for documentation of changes to this fauna as a result of the invasion of H. halys and to determine if some native species continue to increase in abundance in field crops. PMID:26313176

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

    PubMed Central

    Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Sermage, Claire

    2005-01-01

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

  2. A Common Scaling Rule for Abundance, Energetics, and Production of Parasitic and Free-Living Species

    PubMed Central

    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 −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. PMID:21778398

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26624156

  10. Spatial covariation of local abundance among different parasite species: the effect of shared hosts.

    PubMed

    Lagrue, C; Poulin, R

    2015-10-01

    Within any parasite species, abundance varies spatially, reaching higher values in certain localities than in others, presumably reflecting the local availability of host resources or the local suitability of habitat characteristics for free-living stages. In the absence of strong interactions between two species of helminths with complex life cycles, we might predict that the degree to which their abundances covary spatially is determined by their common resource requirements, i.e. how many host species they share throughout their life cycles. We test this prediction using five trematode species, all with a typical three-host cycle, from multiple lake sampling sites in New Zealand's South Island: Stegodexamene anguillae, Telogaster opisthorchis, Coitocaecum parvum, Maritrema poulini, and an Apatemon sp. Pairs of species from this set of five share the same host species at either one, two, or all three life cycle stages. Our results show that when two trematode species share the same host species at all three life stages, they show positive spatial covariation in abundance (of metacercarial and adult stages) across localities. When they share hosts at two life stages, they show positive spatial covariation in abundance in some cases but not others. Finally, if two trematode species share only one host species, at a single life stage, their abundances do not covary spatially. These findings indicate that the extent of resource sharing between parasite species can drive the spatial match-mismatch between their abundances, and thus influence their coevolutionary dynamics and the degree to which host populations suffer from additive or synergistic effects of multiple infections. PMID:26113509

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Olszewski, Thomas D.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:21653564

  13. 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

  14. Effects of interspecific competition between two urban ant species, Linepithema humile and Monomorium minimum, on toxic bait performance.

    PubMed

    Alder, Patricia; Silverman, Jules

    2005-04-01

    We evaluated the effects of interspecific competition on ant bait performance with two urban pest ants, the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the little black ant, Monomorium minimum (Buckley). In a laboratory study, the impact of a solid sulfluramid bait on M. minimum was diminished when L. humile were present, whereas the presence of M. minimum reduced the performance of a liquid fipronil bait against L. humile. Argentine ants were not adversely affected by sulfluramid bait at any time, whereas M. minimum was unaffected by fipronil bait until 14 d of exposure. In field studies measuring diel foraging activity, M. minimum seemed to delay L. humile foraging to food stations by approximately 30 min during summer 2001. However, L. humile subsequently recruited to food stations in very high numbers, thereby displacing M. minimum. L. humile visited food stations over an entire 24-h period, whereas M. minimum was only observed visiting food stations during daylight hours. Adjusting the timing of bait placement in the field may minimize any negative effects of interspecific competition between these two species on toxic bait performance. PMID:15889743

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  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. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Estimating species occurrence, abundance, and detection probability using zero-inflated distributions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wenger, S.J.; Freeman, Mary C.

    2008-01-01

    Researchers have developed methods to account for imperfect detection of species with either occupancy (presence-absence) or count data using replicated sampling. We show how these approaches can be combined to simultaneously estimate occurrence, abundance, and detection probability by specifying a zero-inflated distribution for abundance. This approach may be particularly appropriate when patterns of occurrence and abundance arise from distinct processes operating at differing spatial or temporal scales. We apply the model to two data sets: (1) previously published data for a species of duck, Anas platyrhynchos, and (2) data for a stream fish species, Etheostoma scotti. We show that in these cases, an incomplete-detection zero-inflated modeling approach yields a superior fit to the data than other models. We propose that zero-inflated abundance models accounting for incomplete detection be considered when replicate count data are available.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:25712048

  3. 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).

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26644988

  7. 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. PMID:26644988

  8. Abundance and species composition of Tintinnina (ciliophora) in Bahía Blanca estuary, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barría de Cao, M. S.

    1992-03-01

    Numerical abundance and seasonal cycle of tintinnines species were studied in the inner part of the Bahía Blanca estuary. Sampling was carried out at two fixed stations at approximately weekly intervals over the period March 1986-February 1987. Nineteen species representing five genera were recorded. Most species belonged to the genus Tintinnopsis. Maximal abundances of tintinnines, 10·1 × 10 3 1 -1 and 11·3 × 10 3 1 -1 at each station respectively, were found in summer. Minimal abundances, 0·5 × 10 3 1 -1 and 0·7 × 10 3 1 -1 at each station respectively, were found in winter. Tintinnidium balechi, Tintinnopsis parva and Tintinnopsis glans were present throughout the year. Tintinnopsis gracilis, Tintinnopsis baltica and Tintinnopsis beroidea exhibited seasonal occurrence, the remaining species did not show a clear pattern of distribution. The presence of Favella taraikaensis demonstrated occasional intrusions of typical fauna of the outer estuary.

  9. Biodiversity on Broadway - Enigmatic Diversity of the Societies of Ants (Formicidae) on the Streets of New York City

    PubMed Central

    Pećarević, Marko; Danoff-Burg, James; Dunn, Robert R.

    2010-01-01

    Each year, a larger proportion of the Earth's surface is urbanized, and a larger proportion of the people on Earth lives in those urban areas. The everyday nature, however, that humans encounter in cities remains poorly understood. Here, we consider perhaps the most urban green habitat, street medians. We sampled ants from forty-four medians along three boulevards in New York City and examined how median properties affect the abundance and species richness of native and introduced ants found on them. Ant species richness varied among streets and increased with area but was independent of the other median attributes measured. Ant assemblages were highly nested, with three numerically dominant species present at all medians and additional species present at a subset of medians. The most common ant species were the introduced Pavement ant (Tetramorium caespitum) and the native Thief ant (Solenopsis molesta) and Cornfield ant (Lasius neoniger). The common introduced species on the medians responded differently to natural and disturbed elements of medians. Tetramorium caespitum was most abundant in small medians, with the greatest edge/area ratio, particularly if those medians had few trees, whereas Nylanderia flavipes was most abundant in the largest medians, particularly if they had more trees. Many of the species encountered in Manhattan were similar to those found in other large North American cities, such that a relatively small subset of ant species probably represent most of the encounters humans have with ants in North America. PMID:20957156

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

    PubMed

    Koch, Robert L; Pahs, Tiffany

    2014-08-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vervack, R. J., Jr.; Killen, R. M.; Sprague, A. L.; Burger, M. H.; Merkel, A. W.; Sarantos, M.

    2011-10-01

    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 orbitalphase searches for additional species in Mercury's exosphere.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Decadal variability in abundances of the dominant euphausiid species in southern sectors of the California Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brinton, Edward; Townsend, Annie

    2003-08-01

    Euphausiid abundance data from broadly based California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation surveys in California and Baja California sectors of the California Current provided a time series distinguishing periodic, rhythmic and irregular species patterns. Comparisons with environmental indexes indicate significant correlations with warm-water species, most notably in coastal Nyctiphanes simplex. Oceanic warm-water species were similarly, but less extremely, allied with an index. Coastal warm-water N. simplex was uncommon off southern California before the atmospheric regime shift of the 1970s. It assumed a post-1978 pattern of rhythmic biannual abundance increases and decreases during 1981-2000. The near-tropical oceanic Euphausia eximia and Pacific Central subtropicals patterned similarly, but was more periodic than rhythmic. Euphausia pacifica, the most dominant and broadly ranging Euphausia species, peaked at irregular but distinct bi-decadal abundances during 6 strong La Niña episodes. The peaks uniformly collapsed by 90%, becoming El Niño-associated minima. The cold-water coastal northern species Thysanoessa spinifera frequently ranged far south off Baja California before 1960 but became limited to Central California in the 1980s. The importance of T. spinifera off the Californias is small compared with northern regions, but it extends to southern upwelling centers contributing to dominance, here, by cold-water euphausiids. Decadal periodicity of species abundances decreased in the 1990s, when trends became more common. Differences among sectors were minimal between the two Californias, but were often distinct between southern California and Central Baja California. Species abundances, comparing pre- and post-climate shift species averages, differed insignificantly for all species when logarithmic values were used. With arithmetic values, most 1977-1998 average values were the greater, but with large standard deviations.

  16. 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

  17. Global patterns in sandy beach macrofauna: Species richness, abundance, biomass and body size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defeo, Omar; McLachlan, Anton

    2013-10-01

    Global patterns in species richness in sandy beach ecosystems have been poorly understood until comparatively recently, because of the difficulty of compiling high-resolution databases at continental scales. We analyze information from more than 200 sandy beaches around the world, which harbor hundreds of macrofauna species, and explore latitudinal trends in species richness, abundance and biomass. Species richness increases from temperate to tropical sites. Abundance follows contrasting trends depending on the slope of the beach: in gentle slope beaches, it is higher at temperate sites, whereas in steep-slope beaches it is higher at the tropics. Biomass follows identical negative trends for both climatic regions at the whole range of beach slopes, suggesting decreasing rates in carrying capacity of the environment towards reflective beaches. Various morphodynamic variables determine global trends in beach macrofauna. Species richness, abundance and biomass are higher at dissipative than at reflective beaches, whereas a body size follows the reverse pattern. A generalized linear model showed that large tidal range (which determines the vertical dimension of the intertidal habitat), small size of sand particles and flat beach slope (a product of the interaction among wave energy, tidal range and grain size) are correlated with high species richness, suggesting that these parameters represent the most parsimonious variables for modelling patterns in sandy beach macrofauna. Large-scale patterns indicate a scaling of abundance to a body size, suggesting that dissipative beaches harbor communities with highest abundance and species with the smallest body sizes. Additional information for tropical and northern hemisphere sandy beaches (underrepresented in our compilation) is required to decipher more conclusive trends, particularly in abundance, biomass and body size. Further research should integrate meaningful oceanographic variables, such as temperature and primary

  18. Use of community-composition data to predict the fecundity and abundance of species.

    PubMed

    Elmendorf, Sarah C; Moore, Kara A

    2008-12-01

    Species distribution models are critical tools for the prediction of invasive species spread and conservation of biodiversity. The majority of species distribution models have been built with environmental data. Community ecology theory suggests that species co-occurrence data could also be used to predict current and potential distributions of species. Species assemblages are the products of biotic and environmental constraints on the distribution of individual species and as a result may contain valuable information for niche modeling. We compared the predictive ability of distribution models of annual grassland plants derived from either environmental or community-composition data. Composition-based models were built with the presence or absence of species at a site as predictors of site quality, whereas environment-based models were built with soil chemistry, moisture content, above-ground biomass, and solar radiation as predictors. The reproductive output of experimentally seeded individuals of 4 species and the abundance of 100 species were used to evaluate the resulting models. Community-composition data were the best predictors of both the site-specific reproductive output of sown individuals and the site-specific abundance of existing populations. Successful community-based models were robust to omission of data on the occurrence of rare species, which suggests that even very basic survey data on the occurrence of common species may be adequate for generating such models. Our results highlight the need for increased public availability of ecological survey data to facilitate community-based modeling at scales relevant to conservation. PMID:18847440

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:27651991

  5. Species richness and relative abundance of birds in natural and anthropogenic fragments of Brazilian Atlantic forest.

    PubMed

    dos Anjos, Luiz

    2004-06-01

    Bird communities were studied in two types of fragmented habitat of Atlantic forest in the State of Paraná, southern Brazil; one consisted of forest fragments that were created as a result of human activities (forest remnants), the other consisted of a set of naturally occurring forest fragments (forest patches). Using quantitative data obtained by the point counts method in 3 forest patches and 3 forest remnants during one year, species richness and relative abundance were compared in those habitats, considering species groups according to their general feeding habits. Insectivores, omnivores, and frugivores presented similar general tendencies in both habitats (decrease of species number with decreasing size and increasing isolation of forest fragment). However, these tendencies were different, when considering the relative abundance data: the trunk insectivores presented the highest value in the smallest patch while the lowest relative abundance was in the smallest remnant. In the naturally fragmented landscape, time permitted that the loss of some species of trunk insectivores be compensated for the increase in abundance of other species. In contrast, the remnants essentially represented newly formed islands that are not yet at equilibrium and where future species losses would make them similar to the patches.

  6. 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.

  7. Global correlations in tropical tree species richness and abundance reject neutrality.

    PubMed

    Ricklefs, Robert E; Renner, Susanne S

    2012-01-27

    Patterns of species richness and relative abundance at some scales cannot be distinguished from predictions of null models, including zero-sum neutral models of population change and random speciation-extinction models of evolutionary diversification. Both models predict that species richness or population abundance produced by independent iterations of the same processes in different regions should be uncorrelated. We find instead that the number of species and individuals in families of trees in forest plots are strongly correlated across Southeast Asia, Africa, and tropical America. These correlations imply that deterministic processes influenced by evolutionarily conservative family-level traits constrain the number of confamilial tree species and individuals that can be supported in regional species pools and local assemblages in humid tropical forests.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Ants are keystone predators in terrestrial trophic cascades. Addressing ants' roles in multitrophic interactions across regional gradients is important for understanding mechanisms behind range limits of species. We present four hypotheses of trophic dynamics occurring when ants are rare: first, there is a shift in predator communities; second, plants decrease investments in ant attraction and increase production of secondary metabolites; third, lower herbivory at high elevations allows plants to tolerate herbivory; and fourth, distribution of ant-plants can be limited based on ant abundance. Conducting experiments on multitrophic effects of ants across elevational gradients, and incorporating these results to ecological niche modeling (ENM) will improve our knowledge of the impacts of global change on ants, trophic interactions, and biodiversity. PMID:27436650

  10. 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

  11. The role of the symbiotic fungus in the digestive metabolism of two species of fungus-growing ants.

    PubMed

    D'Ettorre, P; Mora, P; Dibangou, V; Rouland, C; Errard, C

    2002-02-01

    Leaf-cutting ants live in an obligatory symbiosis with a fungus which they grow on fresh leaves harvested by workers. This study attempts to clarify the respective role of ants and fungus in the degradation of plant material, in order to highlight the evolutionary basis of this mutualistic association. The symbiotic system of two ant species, Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus and Acromyrmex crassispinus, was investigated. To identify the digestive carbohydrases, a total of 19 specific and synthetic plant material substrates were tested on workers from different castes (major and minor), larvae and fungus. Extracts of A. subterraneus and A. crassispinus workers showed high enzymatic activity particularly on starch, maltose, sucrose and alpha-1,4 glucoside. Larvae degraded starch, sucrose, maltose but also laminarin, and all the detected activities were higher than those found for workers. The symbiotic fungus of A. subterraneus was mostly active on laminarin, xylan and cellulose, while the symbiotic fungus of A. crassispinus was mostly active on laminarin, starch, maltose and sucrose. The enzymatic activities of ants and fungus belonging to the same symbiotic system tended not to overlap, suggesting that the association is highly evolved and of an ancient origin.

  12. 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

  13. Species composition and seasonal abundance of Chaetognatha in the subtropical coastal waters of Hong Kong

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tse, P.; Hui, S. Y.; Wong, C. K.

    2007-06-01

    Species composition, species diversity and seasonal abundance of chaetognaths were studied in Tolo Harbour and the coastal waters of eastern Hong Kong. Tolo Harbour is a semi-enclosed and poorly flushed bay with a long history of eutrophication. It opens into the eastern coast of Hong Kong which is fully exposed to water currents from the South China Sea. Zooplankton samples were collected monthly from July 2003 to July 2005 at six stations. Twenty species of chaetognaths were identified. They included six species of the genus Aidanosagitta ( Aidanosagitta neglecta, Aidanosagitta delicata, Aidanosagitta johorensis, Aidanosagitta regularis, Aidanosagitta bedfordii and Aidanosagitta crassa), four species of the genus Zonosagitta ( Zonosagitta nagae, Zonosagitta bedoti, Zonosagitta bruuni and Zonosagitta pulchra), three species of the genus Ferosagitta ( Ferosagitta ferox, Ferosagitta tokiokai and Ferosagitta robusta) and one species each from the genera Serratosagitta ( Serratosagitta pacifica), Decipisagitta ( Decipisagitta decipiens), Flaccisagitta ( Flaccisagitta enflata), Krohnitta ( Krohnitta pacifica), Mesosagitta ( Mesosagitta minima), Pterosagitta ( Pterosagitta draco) and Sagitta ( Sagitta bipunctata). The most abundant species were Flaccisagitta enflata, A. neglecta and A. delicata. Averaged over the entire study period, the densities of Flaccisagitta enflata, A. neglecta and A. delicata were 9.3, 6.6 and 5.2 ind. m -3, respectively. Overall, these species constituted 39.7%, 28.2% and 22.0% of all chaetognaths collected in the study. Averaged over the entire study, the density of most of the low abundance species was <0.6 ind. m -3. Flaccisagitta enflata occurred throughout the year at all sampling stations. Aidanosagitta neglecta occurred at all sampling stations, but was most common in summer. Aidanosagitta delicata was most common in Tolo Harbour during summer. Tolo Harbour supported larger populations, but fewer species of chaetognaths than the

  14. 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. PMID:25588119

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallade, M.; Houchmandzadeh, B.

    2006-11-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Plankton studies in San Francisco Bay; IV, Phytoplankton abundance and species composition, January 1980 - February 1981

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wong, R.L.; Cloern, J.E.

    1982-01-01

    Data are presented on the phytoplankton species composition and abundance in San Francisco Bay from January 1980 through February 1981. Phytoplankton were identified and enumerated in surface samples collected approximately every two weeks at selected stations in the main channel of the Bay, and at shoal stations in the central portion of South San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, and Suisun Bay. Also reported are separate species lists for microphytoplankton (< 60 micrometers) and macrophytoplankton (> 60 micrometers). (Author 's abstract)

  2. Individualistic sensitivities and exposure to climate change explain variation in species' distribution and abundance changes.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Georgina; Hill, Jane K; Brereton, Tom M; Brooks, David R; Chapman, Jason W; Fox, Richard; Oliver, Tom H; Thomas, Chris D

    2015-10-01

    The responses of animals and plants to recent climate change vary greatly from species to species, but attempts to understand this variation have met with limited success. This has led to concerns that predictions of responses are inherently uncertain because of the complexity of interacting drivers and biotic interactions. However, we show for an exemplar group of 155 Lepidoptera species that about 60% of the variation among species in their abundance trends over the past four decades can be explained by species-specific exposure and sensitivity to climate change. Distribution changes were less well predicted, but nonetheless, up to 53% of the variation was explained. We found that species vary in their overall sensitivity to climate and respond to different components of the climate despite ostensibly experiencing the same climate changes. Hence, species have undergone different levels of population "forcing" (exposure), driving variation among species in their national-scale abundance and distribution trends. We conclude that variation in species' responses to recent climate change may be more predictable than previously recognized. PMID:26601276

  3. Individualistic sensitivities and exposure to climate change explain variation in species' distribution and abundance changes.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Georgina; Hill, Jane K; Brereton, Tom M; Brooks, David R; Chapman, Jason W; Fox, Richard; Oliver, Tom H; Thomas, Chris D

    2015-10-01

    The responses of animals and plants to recent climate change vary greatly from species to species, but attempts to understand this variation have met with limited success. This has led to concerns that predictions of responses are inherently uncertain because of the complexity of interacting drivers and biotic interactions. However, we show for an exemplar group of 155 Lepidoptera species that about 60% of the variation among species in their abundance trends over the past four decades can be explained by species-specific exposure and sensitivity to climate change. Distribution changes were less well predicted, but nonetheless, up to 53% of the variation was explained. We found that species vary in their overall sensitivity to climate and respond to different components of the climate despite ostensibly experiencing the same climate changes. Hence, species have undergone different levels of population "forcing" (exposure), driving variation among species in their national-scale abundance and distribution trends. We conclude that variation in species' responses to recent climate change may be more predictable than previously recognized.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Regular Patterns for Proteome-Wide Distribution of Protein Abundance across Species

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ying; Ying, Wantao; Wu, Songfeng; Zhu, Yunping; Liu, Siqi; Yang, Pengyuan; Qian, Xiaohong; He, Fuchu

    2012-01-01

    A proteome of the bio-entity, including cell, tissue, organ, and organism, consists of proteins of diverse abundance. The principle that determines the abundance of different proteins in a proteome is of fundamental significance for an understanding of the building blocks of the bio-entity. Here, we report three regular patterns in the proteome-wide distribution of protein abundance across species such as human, mouse, fly, worm, yeast, and bacteria: in most cases, protein abundance is positively correlated with the protein's origination time or sequence conservation during evolution; it is negatively correlated with the protein's domain number and positively correlated with domain coverage in protein structure, and the correlations became stronger during the course of evolution; protein abundance can be further stratified by the function of the protein, whereby proteins that act on material conversion and transportation (mass category) are more abundant than those that act on information modulation (information category). Thus, protein abundance is intrinsically related to the protein's inherent characters of evolution, structure, and function. PMID:22427835

  10. Habitat traits and species interactions differentially affect abundance and body size in pond-breeding amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ousterhout, Brittany H; Anderson, Thomas L; Drake, Dana L; Peterman, William E; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2015-07-01

    In recent studies, habitat traits have emerged as stronger predictors of species occupancy, abundance, richness and diversity than competition. However, in many cases, it remains unclear whether habitat also mediates processes more subtle than competitive exclusion, such as growth, or whether intra- and interspecific interactions among individuals of different species may be better predictors of size. To test whether habitat traits are a stronger predictor of abundance and body size than intra- and interspecific interactions, we measured the density and body size of three species of larval salamanders in 192 ponds across a landscape. We found that the density of larvae was best predicted by models that included habitat features, while models incorporating interactions among individuals of different species best explained the body size of larvae. Additionally, we found a positive relationship between focal species density and congener density, while focal species body size was negatively related to congener density. We posit that salamander larvae may not experience competitive exclusion and thus reduced densities, but instead compensate for increased competition behaviourally (e.g. reduced foraging), resulting in decreased growth. The discrepancy between larval density and body size, a strong predictor of fitness in this system, also highlights a potential shortcoming in using density or abundance as a metric of habitat quality or population health. PMID:25643605

  11. Habitat traits and species interactions differentially affect abundance and body size in pond-breeding amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ousterhout, Brittany H; Anderson, Thomas L; Drake, Dana L; Peterman, William E; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2015-07-01

    In recent studies, habitat traits have emerged as stronger predictors of species occupancy, abundance, richness and diversity than competition. However, in many cases, it remains unclear whether habitat also mediates processes more subtle than competitive exclusion, such as growth, or whether intra- and interspecific interactions among individuals of different species may be better predictors of size. To test whether habitat traits are a stronger predictor of abundance and body size than intra- and interspecific interactions, we measured the density and body size of three species of larval salamanders in 192 ponds across a landscape. We found that the density of larvae was best predicted by models that included habitat features, while models incorporating interactions among individuals of different species best explained the body size of larvae. Additionally, we found a positive relationship between focal species density and congener density, while focal species body size was negatively related to congener density. We posit that salamander larvae may not experience competitive exclusion and thus reduced densities, but instead compensate for increased competition behaviourally (e.g. reduced foraging), resulting in decreased growth. The discrepancy between larval density and body size, a strong predictor of fitness in this system, also highlights a potential shortcoming in using density or abundance as a metric of habitat quality or population health.

  12. Observed and predicted effects of climate change on species abundance in protected areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, Alison; Ausden, Malcolm; Dodd, Andrew M.; Bradbury, Richard B.; Chamberlain, Dan E.; Jiguet, Frédéric; Thomas, Chris D.; Cook, Aonghais S. C. P.; Newson, Stuart E.; Ockendon, Nancy; Rehfisch, Mark M.; Roos, Staffan; Thaxter, Chris B.; Brown, Andy; Crick, Humphrey Q. P.; Douse, Andrew; McCall, Rob A.; Pontier, Helen; Stroud, David A.; Cadiou, Bernard; Crowe, Olivia; Deceuninck, Bernard; Hornman, Menno; Pearce-Higgins, James W.

    2013-12-01

    The dynamic nature and diversity of species' responses to climate change poses significant difficulties for developing robust, long-term conservation strategies. One key question is whether existing protected area networks will remain effective in a changing climate. To test this, we developed statistical models that link climate to the abundance of internationally important bird populations in northwestern Europe. Spatial climate-abundance models were able to predict 56% of the variation in recent 30-year population trends. Using these models, future climate change resulting in 4.0°C global warming was projected to cause declines of at least 25% for more than half of the internationally important populations considered. Nonetheless, most EU Special Protection Areas in the UK were projected to retain species in sufficient abundances to maintain their legal status, and generally sites that are important now were projected to be important in the future. The biological and legal resilience of this network of protected areas is derived from the capacity for turnover in the important species at each site as species' distributions and abundances alter in response to climate. Current protected areas are therefore predicted to remain important for future conservation in a changing climate.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Bacterial associates of arboreal ants and their putative functions in an obligate ant-plant mutualism.

    PubMed

    Eilmus, Sascha; Heil, Martin

    2009-07-01

    Bacterial communities are highly diverse and have great ecological importance. In the present study, we used an in silico analysis of terminal restriction fragments (tRF) to characterize the bacterial community of the plant ant Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus. This species is an obligate inhabitant of Acacia myrmecophytes and feeds exclusively on plant-derived food sources. Ants are the dominant insect group in tropical rain forests. Associations of ants with microbes, which contribute particularly to the ants' nitrogen nutrition, could allow these insects to live on mostly or entirely plant-based diets and could thus contribute to the explanation of the high abundances that are reached by tropical ants. We found tRF patterns representing at least 30 prokaryotic taxa, of which the Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Planctomycetes, Proteobacteria, and Spirochaetes comprised 93%. Because most bacterial taxa were found in all ant-derived samples studied and because the bacteria detected on the ants' host plant revealed little overlap with this community, we regard our results as reliably representing the bacterial community that is associated with P. ferrugineus. Genera with a likely function as ant symbionts were Burkholderia, Pantoea, Weissella, and several members of the Enterobacteriaceae. The presence of these and various other groups was confirmed via independent PCR and cultivation approaches. Many of the bacteria that we detected belong to purportedly N-fixing taxa. Bacteria may represent important further partners in ant-plant mutualisms, and their influences on ant nutrition can contribute to the extraordinary abundance and evolutionary success of tropical arboreal ants. PMID:19447959

  17. 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

  18. Effects of land-use intensity on arthropod species abundance distributions in grasslands.

    PubMed

    Simons, Nadja K; Gossner, Martin M; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Lange, Markus; Türke, Manfred; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2015-01-01

    As a rule, communities consist of few abundant and many rare species, which is reflected in the characteristic shape of species abundance distributions (SADs). The processes that shape these SADs have been a longstanding problem for ecological research. Although many studies found strong negative effects of increasing land-use intensity on diversity, few reports consider land-use effects on SADs. Arthropods (insects and spiders) were sampled on 142 grassland plots in three regions in Germany, which were managed with different modes (mowing, fertilization and/or grazing) and intensities of land use. We analysed the effect of land use on three parameters characterizing the shape of SADs: abundance decay rate (the steepness of the rank abundance curve, represented by the niche-preemption model parameter), dominance (Berger-Parker dominance) and rarity (Fisher's alpha). Furthermore, we tested the core-satellite hypothesis by comparing the species' rank within the SAD to their distribution over the land-use gradient. When data on Araneae, Cicadina, Coleoptera, Heteroptera and Orthoptera were combined, abundance decay rate increased with combined land-use intensity (including all modes). Among the single land-use modes, increasing fertilization and grazing intensity increased the decay rate of all taxa, while increasing mowing frequency significantly affected the decay rate only in interaction with fertilization. Results of single taxa differed in their details, but all significant interaction effects included fertilization intensity. Dominance generally increased with increasing fertilization and rarity decreased with increasing grazing or mowing intensity, despite small differences among taxa and regions. The majority of species found on <10% of the plots per region were generally rare (<10 individuals), which is in accordance with the core-satellite hypothesis. We found significant differences in the rarity and dominance of species between plots of low and high

  19. 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

  20. Habitat Selection and Temporal Abundance Fluctuations of Demersal Cartilaginous Species in the Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean)

    PubMed Central

    Maravelias, Christos D.; Tserpes, George; Pantazi, Maria; Peristeraki, Panagiota

    2012-01-01

    Predicting the occurrence of keystone top predators in a multispecies marine environment, such as the Mediterranean Sea, can be of considerable value to the long-term sustainable development of the fishing industry and to the protection of biodiversity. We analysed fisheries independent scientific bottom trawl survey data of two of the most abundant cartilaginous fish species (Scyliorhinus canicula, Raja clavata) in the Aegean Sea covering an 11-year sampling period. The current findings revealed a declining trend in R. clavata and S. canicula abundance from the late ′90 s until 2004. Habitats with the higher probability of finding cartilaginous fish present were those located in intermediate waters (depth: 200–400 m). The present results also indicated a preferential species' clustering in specific geographic and bathymetric regions of the Aegean Sea. Depth appeared to be one of the key determining factors for the selection of habitats for all species examined. With cartilaginous fish species being among the more biologically sensitive fish species taken in European marine fisheries, our findings, which are based on a standardized scientific survey, can contribute to the rational exploitation and management of their stocks by providing important information on temporal abundance trends and habitat preferences. PMID:22536389

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    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%). PMID:23388441

  3. Methanotrophic community abundance and composition in plateau soils with different plant species and plantation ways.

    PubMed

    Dai, Yu; Wu, Zhen; Xie, Shuguang; Liu, Yong

    2015-11-01

    Aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) play an important role in mitigating the methane emission in soil ecosystems to the atmosphere. However, the impact of plant species and plantation ways on the distribution of MOB remains unclear. The present study investigated MOB abundance and structure in plateau soils with different plant species and plantation ways (natural and managed). Soils were collected from unmanaged wild grassland and naturally forested sites, and managed farmland and afforested sites. A large variation in MOB abundance and structure was found in these studied soils. In addition, both type I MOB (Methylocaldum) and type II MOB (Methylocystis) were detected in these soils, while type II MOB usually outnumbered type I MOB. The distribution of soil MOB community was found to be collectively regulated by plantation way, plant species, the altitude of sampling site, and soil properties. PMID:26142389

  4. Ecological sampling of ants: competition and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Smith, Chris R

    2009-07-01

    Ants are among the most dominant taxa in terrestrial ecosystems, despite their small individual size. Furthermore, they are a hyperdiverse family with an estimated 20,000 species. Together, these two properties make ants a model for ecological interactions (specifically competition) and biodiversity estimation. Although there are many means of measuring diversity, the two most common among myrmecologists are baiting and pitfall trapping. Pitfall traps provide an almost unbiased estimate of the ground foraging community, whereas baiting allows the estimation of ecological dominance and the competitive outcomes between species. This protocol describes an approach to assay both abundance (pitfall traps) and ecological interactions (baits) in the same community. PMID:20147206

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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. PMID:26046534

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  9. 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. PMID:25412524

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Effect of trophic status in lakes on fungal species diversity and abundance.

    PubMed

    Pietryczuk, A; Cudowski, A; Hauschild, T

    2014-11-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the species diversity and abundance of fungi in relation to the hydrochemical conditions, with special emphasis on the trophic status and degree of pollution of lakes. The study was conducted in 14 lakes of the Augustów Lakeland (central Europe, NE Poland) with different hydrological conditions, type of stratification and trophic status. The analyses were performed in the hydrological year 2013. In the waters of the studied lakes, the mean abundance of fungi was 5600±3600 CFU/mL. The minimum value (800 CFU/mL) was recorded for the mesotrophic Płaskie Lake, and the maximum value (14,000 CFU/mL) was recorded for the eutrophic Pobojno Lake. A total of 38 species of fungi were identified, including 11 belonging to the aquatic hyphomycetes; up to 14 species were potentially pathogenic fungi. The potentially pathogenic fungi, particularly Candida albicans and Scopulariopsis fusca, were found in lakes with increased concentrations of chloride and sulphate(VI) ions and may thus serve as indicators of the degree of water pollution. This paper illustrates that the species diversity and abundance of fungi in limnic waters depend on the concentration of organic matter, chlorophyll a concentration, and the degree of water pollution. The results suggest that aquatic fungi can be a valuable indicator of the degree of pollution and the sanitary quality of the water. PMID:25145569

  13. Niche and neutral models predict asymptotically equivalent species abundance distributions in high-diversity ecological communities

    PubMed Central

    Chisholm, Ryan A.; Pacala, Stephen W.

    2010-01-01

    A fundamental challenge in ecology is to understand the mechanisms that govern patterns of relative species abundance. Previous numerical simulations have suggested that complex niche-structured models produce species abundance distributions (SADs) that are qualitatively similar to those of very simple neutral models that ignore differences between species. However, in the absence of an analytical treatment of niche models, one cannot tell whether the two classes of model produce the same patterns via similar or different mechanisms. We present an analytical proof that, in the limit as diversity becomes large, a strong niche model give rises to exactly the same asymptotic form of SAD as the neutral model, and we verify the analytical predictions for a Panamanian tropical forest data set. Our results strongly suggest that neutral processes drive patterns of relative species abundance in high-diversity ecological communities, even when strong niche structure exists. However, neutral theory cannot explain what generates high diversity in the first place, and it may not be valid in low-diversity communities. Our results also confirm that neutral theory cannot be used to infer an absence of niche structure or to explain ecosystem function. PMID:20733073

  14. Culicoides monitoring in Belgium in 2011: analysis of spatiotemporal abundance, species diversity and Schmallenberg virus detection.

    PubMed

    DE Regge, N; DE Deken, R; Fassotte, C; Losson, B; Deblauwe, I; Madder, M; Vantieghem, P; Tomme, M; Smeets, F; Cay, A B

    2015-09-01

    In 2011, Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were collected at 16 locations covering four regions of Belgium with Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (OVI) traps and at two locations with Rothamsted suction traps (RSTs). Quantification of the collections and morphological identification showed important variations in abundance and species diversity between individual collection sites, even for sites located in the same region. However, consistently higher numbers of Culicoides midges were collected at some sites compared with others. When species abundance and diversity were analysed at regional level, between-site variation disappeared. Overall, species belonging to the subgenus Avaritia together with Culicoides pulicaris (subgenus Culicoides) were the most abundant, accounting for 80% and 96% of all midges collected with RSTs and OVI traps, respectively. Culicoides were present during most of the year, with Culicoides obsoletus complex midges found from 9 February until 27 December. Real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction screening for Schmallenberg virus in the heads of collected midges resulted in the first detection of the virus in August 2011 and identified C. obsoletus complex, Culicoides chiopterus and Culicoides dewulfi midges as putative vector species. At Libramont in the south of Belgium, no positive pools were identified. PMID:25761054

  15. Differential effects of cocaine exposure on the abundance of phospholipid species in rat brain and blood*

    PubMed Central

    Cummings, Brian S.; Pati, Sumitra; Sahin, Serap; Scholpa, Natalie E.; Monian, Prashant; Trinquero, Paul O.; Clark, Jason K.; Wagner, John J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Lipid profiles in the blood are altered in human cocaine users, suggesting that cocaine-exposure can induce lipid remodeling. Methods Cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization in rats was followed by shotgun lipidomics using electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and determined changes in brain tissues. To determine if any lipidomic changes were also reflected in the blood, we performed principal component analysis (PCA) of lipidomic spectra isolated from cocaine-treated animals. Alterations in the abundance of phospholipid species were correlated with behavioral changes in the magnitude of either the initial response to drug or locomotor sensitization. Results Behavioral sensitization altered the relative abundance of several phospholipid species in the hippocampus and cerebellum, measured one week following the final exposure to cocaine. In contrast, relatively few effects on phospholipids in either the dorsal or the ventral striatum were observed. PCA analysis demonstrated that cocaine altered the relative abundance of several glycerophospholipid species as compared to saline-injected controls. Subsequent MS/MS analysis identified some of these lipids as phosphatidylethanolamines, phosphatidylserines and phosphatidylcholines. The relative abundance of some of these phospholipid species were well correlated (R2 of 0.7 or higher) with either the initial response to cocaine or locomotor sensitization. Conclusion Taken together, these data demonstrate that a cocaine-conditioning experience results in the remodeling of specific phospholipids in rat brain tissue in a region-specific manner and also alters the intensities and types of phospholipid species in rat blood. These results further suggest that such changes may serve as biomarkers to assess the neuroadaptations occurring following repeated exposure to cocaine. PMID:25960140

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:25413866

  20. Phylogenetic and transcriptomic analysis of chemosensory receptors in a pair of divergent ant species reveals sex-specific signatures of odor coding.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaofan; Slone, Jesse D; Rokas, Antonis; Berger, Shelley L; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar; Reinberg, Danny; Zwiebel, Laurence J

    2012-01-01

    Ants are a highly successful family of insects that thrive in a variety of habitats across the world. Perhaps their best-known features are complex social organization and strict division of labor, separating reproduction from the day-to-day maintenance and care of the colony, as well as strict discrimination against foreign individuals. Since these social characteristics in ants are thought to be mediated by semiochemicals, a thorough analysis of these signals, and the receptors that detect them, is critical in revealing mechanisms that lead to stereotypic behaviors. To address these questions, we have defined and characterized the major chemoreceptor families in a pair of behaviorally and evolutionarily distinct ant species, Camponotus floridanus and Harpegnathos saltator. Through comprehensive re-annotation, we show that these ant species harbor some of the largest yet known repertoires of odorant receptors (Ors) among insects, as well as a more modest number of gustatory receptors (Grs) and variant ionotropic glutamate receptors (Irs). Our phylogenetic analyses further demonstrate remarkably rapid gains and losses of ant Ors, while Grs and Irs have also experienced birth-and-death evolution to different degrees. In addition, comparisons of antennal transcriptomes between sexes identify many chemoreceptors that are differentially expressed between males and females and between species. We have also revealed an agonist for a worker-enriched OR from C. floridanus, representing the first case of a heterologously characterized ant tuning Or. Collectively, our analysis reveals a large number of ant chemoreceptors exhibiting patterns of differential expression and evolution consistent with sex/species-specific functions. These differentially expressed genes are likely associated with sex-based differences, as well as the radically different social lifestyles observed between C. floridanus and H. saltator, and thus are targets for further functional characterization

  1. Phylogenetic and transcriptomic analysis of chemosensory receptors in a pair of divergent ant species reveals sex-specific signatures of odor coding.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaofan; Slone, Jesse D; Rokas, Antonis; Berger, Shelley L; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar; Reinberg, Danny; Zwiebel, Laurence J

    2012-01-01

    Ants are a highly successful family of insects that thrive in a variety of habitats across the world. Perhaps their best-known features are complex social organization and strict division of labor, separating reproduction from the day-to-day maintenance and care of the colony, as well as strict discrimination against foreign individuals. Since these social characteristics in ants are thought to be mediated by semiochemicals, a thorough analysis of these signals, and the receptors that detect them, is critical in revealing mechanisms that lead to stereotypic behaviors. To address these questions, we have defined and characterized the major chemoreceptor families in a pair of behaviorally and evolutionarily distinct ant species, Camponotus floridanus and Harpegnathos saltator. Through comprehensive re-annotation, we show that these ant species harbor some of the largest yet known repertoires of odorant receptors (Ors) among insects, as well as a more modest number of gustatory receptors (Grs) and variant ionotropic glutamate receptors (Irs). Our phylogenetic analyses further demonstrate remarkably rapid gains and losses of ant Ors, while Grs and Irs have also experienced birth-and-death evolution to different degrees. In addition, comparisons of antennal transcriptomes between sexes identify many chemoreceptors that are differentially expressed between males and females and between species. We have also revealed an agonist for a worker-enriched OR from C. floridanus, representing the first case of a heterologously characterized ant tuning Or. Collectively, our analysis reveals a large number of ant chemoreceptors exhibiting patterns of differential expression and evolution consistent with sex/species-specific functions. These differentially expressed genes are likely associated with sex-based differences, as well as the radically different social lifestyles observed between C. floridanus and H. saltator, and thus are targets for further functional characterization

  2. Two closely related species of desert carpenter ant differ in individual-level allocation to fat storage.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Daniel A

    2006-01-01

    Comparison of closely related species that differ in their life histories is a powerful method for studying the underlying physiological mechanisms contributing to life-history variation. I investigated whether two closely related members of the Camponotus festinatus species complex of desert carpenter ants, C. nr. festinatus Desert Light and C. nr. festinatus Desert Dark, differed in their life-history tactics with respect to fat storage. Newly mated queens were collected in the field, and colonies were reared under common conditions in the laboratory for 2 yr before sampling. I show that the two species differ in fat storage at the individual level. While the basic scaling relationship between lean mass and fat content did not differ between the two species, Dark workers and soldiers stored significantly more fat per unit lean mass than Light workers or soldiers. There were no significant demographic differences in the proportions of workers or soldiers involved in fat storage between the two species, although there was a trend toward Light colonies having a greater proportion of soldiers storing large amounts of fat. There was also no significant difference in the total amount of fat stored by the two species at the colony level. The detection of strong individual-level effects but no colony-level effects was likely due to the low statistical power of colony-level analyses. Showing that these two closely related species differ in fat storage at the individual level in a common environment demonstrates their utility as a model for understanding the physiological and behavioral mechanisms regulating life-history variation in fat storage in ants.

  3. Two closely related species of desert carpenter ant differ in individual-level allocation to fat storage.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Daniel A

    2006-01-01

    Comparison of closely related species that differ in their life histories is a powerful method for studying the underlying physiological mechanisms contributing to life-history variation. I investigated whether two closely related members of the Camponotus festinatus species complex of desert carpenter ants, C. nr. festinatus Desert Light and C. nr. festinatus Desert Dark, differed in their life-history tactics with respect to fat storage. Newly mated queens were collected in the field, and colonies were reared under common conditions in the laboratory for 2 yr before sampling. I show that the two species differ in fat storage at the individual level. While the basic scaling relationship between lean mass and fat content did not differ between the two species, Dark workers and soldiers stored significantly more fat per unit lean mass than Light workers or soldiers. There were no significant demographic differences in the proportions of workers or soldiers involved in fat storage between the two species, although there was a trend toward Light colonies having a greater proportion of soldiers storing large amounts of fat. There was also no significant difference in the total amount of fat stored by the two species at the colony level. The detection of strong individual-level effects but no colony-level effects was likely due to the low statistical power of colony-level analyses. Showing that these two closely related species differ in fat storage at the individual level in a common environment demonstrates their utility as a model for understanding the physiological and behavioral mechanisms regulating life-history variation in fat storage in ants. PMID:16927231

  4. The control of rank-abundance distributions by a competitive despotic species.

    PubMed

    Mac Nally, Ralph; McAlpine, Clive A; Possingham, Hugh P; Maron, Martine

    2014-11-01

    Accounting for differences in abundances among species remains a high priority for community ecology. While there has been more than 80 years of work on trying to explain the characteristic S shape of rank-abundance distributions (RADs), there has been recent conjecture that the form may not depend on ecological processes per se but may be a general phenomenon arising in many unrelated disciplines. We show that the RAD shape can be influenced by an ecological process, namely, interference competition. The noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) is a hyperaggressive, 'despotic' bird that occurs over much of eastern Australia (>10(6) km(2)). We compiled data for bird communities from 350 locations within its range, which were collected using standard avian survey methods. We used hierarchical Bayesian models to show that the RAD shape was much altered when the abundance of the strong interactor exceeded a threshold density; RADs consistently were steeper when the density of the noisy miner ≥2.5 birds ha(-1). The structure of bird communities at sites where the noisy miner exceeded this density was very different from that at sites where the densities fell below the threshold: species richness and Shannon diversity were much reduced, but mean abundances and mean avian biomass per site did not differ substantially. PMID:25185775

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

    The fish yields of most Nigeria inland waters are generally on the decline for causes that may range from inadequate management of the fisheries to degradation of the water bodies. Sustainable exploitation requires knowledge of the ichthyofaunal composition in the water bodies. We did a survey of fish species in Anambra river basin for 22 months. Fish samples were collected using four different gears -hook and line of size 13, caste nets, gill nets, and cages of mesh sizes of 50 mm, 75 mm, and 100 mm each. We recorded 52 fish species belonging to 17 families: 171, 236, and 169 individuals at Ogurugu, Otuocha, and Nsugbe stations respectively. Two families, Characidae, 19.5%, and Mochokidae, 11.8%, constituted the dominant fish families in the river. The dominant fish species were Citherinus citherius, 9.02%, and Alestes nurse, 7.1%. Other fish species with significant abundance were Synodontis clarias 6.9%, Macrolepidotus curvier 5.7%, Labeo coubie 5.4%, Distichodus rostrtus 4.9%, and Schilbe mystus 4.5%. The meristic features of the two most abundant fish species caught are as follows: Citharinus citharius dorsal fins 20, anal fins 30, caudal fins 21, pectoral fins, 9 and 8 ventral fins, and Alestes nurse 10 dorsal fins, 14 anal fins, 31 caudal fins, 7 pectoral fins and 6 ventral fins. The morphometric features of the two most abundant fish species are Citharinus citharius total length 300 mm, standard length 231 mm, head length 69 mm, body length 101 mm, body girth 176 mm, body weight 900 mg. Alestes nurse total length 200, standard length 140 mm, head length 60 mm, body length 80 mm, body girth 120 mm, body weight 400 mg. The most abundant animal utilizing the basin was Ardea cinerea (D3) with 22.2% occurrence (D4) and this was followed by Caprini with 13.51%, and Varanus niloticus, 10.04%. The least abundant animals utilizing basin were Chephalophus rufilatus, and Erythrocebus patas, with 0.58% each of occurrence. PMID:19637699

  8. 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)

  9. Ant community structure during forest succession in a subtropical forest in South-East China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staab, Michael; Schuldt, Andreas; Assmann, Thorsten; Bruelheide, Helge; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2014-11-01

    Understanding how communities respond to environmental gradients is critical to predict responses of species to changing habitat conditions such as in regenerating secondary habitats after human land use. In this study, ground-living ants were sampled with pitfall traps in 27 plots in a heterogeneous and diverse subtropical forest to test if and how a broad set of environmental variables including elevation, successional age, and tree species richness influence ant diversity and community composition. In total, 13,441 ant individuals belonging to 71 species were found. Ant abundance was unrelated to all environmental variables. Rarefied ant species richness was negatively related to elevation, and Shannon diversity decreased with shrub cover. There was considerable variation in ant species amongst plots, associated with elevation, successional age, and variables related to succession such as shrub cover. It is shown that younger secondary forests may support a species-rich and diverse community of ants in subtropical forests even though the species composition between younger and older forests is markedly different. These findings confirm the conservation value of secondary subtropical forests, which is critical because subtropical forests have been heavily exploited by human activities globally. However, the findings also confirm that old-growth forest should have priority in conservation as it supports a distinct ant community. Our study identifies a set of ant species which are associated with successional age and may thus potentially assist local conservation planning.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Harris, Grant; 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 km(2) cells) and one targeted configuration provided the most accurate results. Both placed traps by expert opinion and moved traps between capture sessions

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Species abundance and diversity of Burkholderia cepacia complex in the environment.

    PubMed

    Ramette, Alban; LiPuma, John J; Tiedje, James M

    2005-03-01

    Despite considerable interest in studying Burkholderia cepacia complex in the environment, we still do not have efficient methods to detect, isolate, and screen large numbers of B. cepacia isolates. To better describe the ecology and diversity of B. cepacia complex, a colony hybridization assay was developed to detect specifically all species of the complex based on polymorphism of the variable V3 region of the 16S rRNA sequence. The sensitivity of the assay was dramatically enhanced by using a probe consisting of three repeats of a B. cepacia complex-specific probe, each separated by a phosphoramidite spacer. In addition, a duplex PCR targeting B. cepacia complex-specific recA and 16S rRNA sequences was developed to enable a fast and reliable diagnostic assay for members of the complex. When applied to maize rhizosphere samples, colony hybridization results were in good agreement with those of most-probable-number duplex PCR, both indicating a >100-fold fluctuation of abundance between individual plants. Using restriction analysis of recA for a total of 285 confirmed isolates of the B. cepacia complex, up to seven B. cepacia complex species were identified; however, their diversity and abundance were not evenly distributed among individual plants, and several allelic variants were commonly found from the same rhizosphere sample. These results indicate that not only complex communities of B. cepacia complex species and closely related strains of the same species may coexist at high population levels but also species composition and abundance may dramatically vary between individual plants. PMID:15746318

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. [Variations of fish species diversity, faunal assemblage, and abundances in Daya Bay in 1980-2007].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xue-hui; Du, Fi-yan; Qiu, Yong-song; Li, Chun-hou; Sun, Dian-rong; Jia, Xiao-ping

    2010-09-01

    Based on the 2004-2005 otter trawl survey data and the 1980-2007 relevant historical records, this paper analyzed the variations of fish species composition, faunal assemblage, diversity indices, dominant species, and abundance in Daya Bay. In the 2004-2005 trawl survey, a total of 107 fish species were recorded, belonging to 50 families and 13 orders, among which, meso-demersal fish were predominant, with 48 species recorded, and followed by pelagic and demersal fishes, with 37 and 21 species, respectively. The fishes in the Bay belonged to tropical and subtropical fauna, with the dominance of warm water fishes (97 species) and warm-temperate water fishes (10 species). The diversity index was the highest in summer (3.82), followed by in winter (3.37) and autumn (3.00), and the lowest in spring (2.40). The seasonal variation of Pielou evenness index mimicked that of diversity index. In 1980-2007, the characteristics of fish community in the Bay changed obviously. The species number reduced from 157 species in the 1980s to 110 species in the 1990s and to 107 species in 2004-2005, and the dominant species shifted from the high-value fishes such as hairtail and pomfret in the 1980s to low-value fishes such as sardine fish, anchovy, and juvenile porgy. A non-linear regression model composed of inter-annual trend and seasonal cycle was used to simulate the changes of fish stock density in 1980-1999 and 1990-2007, and the results indicated that in the two periods, the fish stock density in the Bay all showed a decreasing trend, but the decrement was larger in 1990-2007 than in 1980-1999. The seasonal variation of the stock density in 1980-1999 was relatively small, with an amplitude being 0.099, while that in 1990-2007 was relatively larger, with the amplitude being 0.420, illustrating that the fish abundance in the Bay had a larger seasonal fluctuation in 1990-2007.

  19. The trap-jaw ant genus Odontomachus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Sumatra, with a new species description.

    PubMed

    Satria, Rijal; Kurushima, Hiroaki; Herwina, Henny; Yamane, Seiki; Eguchi, Katsuyuki

    2015-01-01

    The ant genus Odontomachus Latreille is reviewed for Sumatra, the sixth largest island in the world and located in western Indonesia. Previously three species were recorded from the island: O. simillimus F. Smith, O. rixosus F. Smith, and O. latidens Mayr. We add two species to the fauna, O. procerus Emery stat. nov and Odontomachus minangkabau sp. nov. The new species belongs to O. rixosus species group, and it is morphologically most similar to O. rixosus and O. pararixosus Terayama & Ito. However, it can be separated from the latter two by its large body (HL 3.13-3.55 mm, WL 4.15-4.65 mm), the masticatory margin with 11-14 denticles, and dark-colored body. Odontomachus latidens subsp. sumatranus Emery is newly synonymized with O. procerus. The castes and sexes of the known species are also described, including the first descriptions of the male for O. latidens, O. procerus, and O. rixosus. A key to the Sumatran species based on the worker caste is provided, and the bionomics of each species is summarized. PMID:26624734

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  1. Understanding Long-Term Changes in Species Abundance Using a Niche-Based Approach

    PubMed Central

    Helaouët, Pierre; Beaugrand, Grégory; Edwards, Martin

    2013-01-01

    One of the major challenges to understanding population changes in ecology for assessment purposes is the difficulty in evaluating the suitability of an area for a given species. Here we used a new simple approach able to faithfully predict through time the abundance of two key zooplanktonic species by focusing on the relationship between the species’ environmental preferences and their observed abundances. The approach is applied to the marine copepods Calanus finmarchicus and C. helgolandicus as a case study characterising the multidecadal dynamics of the North Sea ecosystem. We removed all North Sea data from the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) dataset and described for both species a simplified ecological niche using Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and CPR Phytoplankton Colour Index (PCI). We then modelled the dynamics of each species by associating the North Sea’s environmental parameters to the species’ ecological niches, thus creating a method to assess the suitability of this area. By using both C. finmarchicus and C. helgolandicus as indicators, the procedure reproduces the documented switches from cold to warm temperate states observed in the North Sea. PMID:24265757

  2. 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.

  3. Vector-based and landmark-guided navigation in desert ants of the same species inhabiting landmark-free and landmark-rich environments.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Ken; Middleton, Eliza J T; Wehner, Rüdiger

    2012-09-15

    The central Australian desert ant Melophorus bagoti lives in a visually cluttered semi-arid habitat dotted with grass tussocks, bushes and trees. Previously, it was shown that this species has a higher propensity to switch from vector-based navigation to landmark-guided navigation compared with the North African desert ant Cataglyphis fortis, which usually inhabits a visually bare habitat. Here, we asked whether different colonies of M. bagoti, inhabiting more and less cluttered habitats, show a similar difference. We compared ants from typically cluttered habitats with ants from an exceptional nest located in an open field largely devoid of vegetation. Ants from both kinds of nests were trained to forage from a feeder and were then displaced to a distant test site on the open field. Under these conditions, ants from cluttered habitats switched more readily from vector-based navigation to landmark-guided navigation than ants from the open field. Thus, intraspecific differences caused by the experience of particular landmarks encountered en route, or of particular habitats, influence navigational strategies in addition to previously found interspecific, inherited differences due to the evolutionary history of living in particular habitats.

  4. Variation in Population Synchrony in a Multi-Species Seabird Community: Response to Changes in Predator Abundance.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Gail S; Bolton, Mark; Morrison, Paul; Monaghan, Pat

    2015-01-01

    Ecologically similar sympatric species, subject to typical environmental conditions, may be expected to exhibit synchronous temporal fluctuations in demographic parameters, while populations of dissimilar species might be expected to show less synchrony. Previous studies have tested for synchrony in different populations of single species, and those including data from more than one species have compared fluctuations in only one demographic parameter. We tested for synchrony in inter-annual changes in breeding population abundance and productivity among four tern species on Coquet Island, northeast England. We also examined how manipulation of one independent environmental variable (predator abundance) influenced temporal changes in ecologically similar and dissimilar tern species. Changes in breeding abundance and productivity of ecologically similar species (Arctic Sterna paradisaea, Common S. hirundo and Roseate Terns S. dougallii) were synchronous with one another over time, but not with a species with different foraging and breeding behaviour (Sandwich Terns Thalasseus sandvicensis). With respect to changes in predator abundance, there was no clear pattern. Roseate Tern abundance was negatively correlated with that of large gulls breeding on the island from 1975 to 2013, while Common Tern abundance was positively correlated with number of large gulls, and no significant correlations were found between large gull and Arctic and Sandwich Tern populations. Large gull abundance was negatively correlated with productivity of Arctic and Common Terns two years later, possibly due to predation risk after fledging, while no correlation with Roseate Tern productivity was found. The varying effect of predator abundance is most likely due to specific differences in the behaviour and ecology of even these closely-related species. Examining synchrony in multi-species assemblages improves our understanding of how whole communities react to long-term changes in the

  5. Variation in Population Synchrony in a Multi-Species Seabird Community: Response to Changes in Predator Abundance

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Gail S.; Bolton, Mark; Morrison, Paul; Monaghan, Pat

    2015-01-01

    Ecologically similar sympatric species, subject to typical environmental conditions, may be expected to exhibit synchronous temporal fluctuations in demographic parameters, while populations of dissimilar species might be expected to show less synchrony. Previous studies have tested for synchrony in different populations of single species, and those including data from more than one species have compared fluctuations in only one demographic parameter. We tested for synchrony in inter-annual changes in breeding population abundance and productivity among four tern species on Coquet Island, northeast England. We also examined how manipulation of one independent environmental variable (predator abundance) influenced temporal changes in ecologically similar and dissimilar tern species. Changes in breeding abundance and productivity of ecologically similar species (Arctic Sterna paradisaea, Common S. hirundo and Roseate Terns S. dougallii) were synchronous with one another over time, but not with a species with different foraging and breeding behaviour (Sandwich Terns Thalasseus sandvicensis). With respect to changes in predator abundance, there was no clear pattern. Roseate Tern abundance was negatively correlated with that of large gulls breeding on the island from 1975 to 2013, while Common Tern abundance was positively correlated with number of large gulls, and no significant correlations were found between large gull and Arctic and Sandwich Tern populations. Large gull abundance was negatively correlated with productivity of Arctic and Common Terns two years later, possibly due to predation risk after fledging, while no correlation with Roseate Tern productivity was found. The varying effect of predator abundance is most likely due to specific differences in the behaviour and ecology of even these closely-related species. Examining synchrony in multi-species assemblages improves our understanding of how whole communities react to long-term changes in the

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:26411785

  9. Depletion of Abundant Sequences by Hybridization (DASH): using Cas9 to remove unwanted high-abundance species in sequencing libraries and molecular counting applications.

    PubMed

    Gu, W; Crawford, E D; O'Donovan, B D; Wilson, M R; Chow, E D; Retallack, H; DeRisi, J L

    2016-03-04

    Next-generation sequencing has generated a need for a broadly applicable method to remove unwanted high-abundance species prior to sequencing. We introduce DASH (Depletion of Abundant Sequences by Hybridization). Sequencing libraries are 'DASHed' with recombinant Cas9 protein complexed with a library of guide RNAs targeting unwanted species for cleavage, thus preventing them from consuming sequencing space. We demonstrate a more than 99 % reduction of mitochondrial rRNA in HeLa cells, and enrichment of pathogen sequences in patient samples. We also demonstrate an application of DASH in cancer. This simple method can be adapted for any sample type and increases sequencing yield without additional cost.

  10. Depletion of Abundant Sequences by Hybridization (DASH): using Cas9 to remove unwanted high-abundance species in sequencing libraries and molecular counting applications.

    PubMed

    Gu, W; Crawford, E D; O'Donovan, B D; Wilson, M R; Chow, E D; Retallack, H; DeRisi, J L

    2016-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing has generated a need for a broadly applicable method to remove unwanted high-abundance species prior to sequencing. We introduce DASH (Depletion of Abundant Sequences by Hybridization). Sequencing libraries are 'DASHed' with recombinant Cas9 protein complexed with a library of guide RNAs targeting unwanted species for cleavage, thus preventing them from consuming sequencing space. We demonstrate a more than 99 % reduction of mitochondrial rRNA in HeLa cells, and enrichment of pathogen sequences in patient samples. We also demonstrate an application of DASH in cancer. This simple method can be adapted for any sample type and increases sequencing yield without additional cost. PMID:26944702

  11. 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.

  12. Commercial agrochemical applications in vineyards do not influence ant communities.

    PubMed

    Chong, Chee Seng; Hoffmann, Ary A; Thomson, Linda J

    2007-12-01

    Ants have been widely used as bioindicators for various terrestrial monitoring and assessment programs but are seldom considered in evaluation of nontarget pesticide effect. Much chemical assessment has been biased toward laboratory and bioassay testing for control of specific pest ant species. Several field studies that did explore the nontarget impacts of pesticides on ants have reported contradictory findings. To address the impact of chemical applications on ants, we tested the response of epigeal ant assemblages and community structure to three pesticide gradients (cumulative International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control toxicity rating, chlorpyrifos use rate, and sulfur use rate) in 19 vineyards. Ordination analyses using nonmetric multidimensional scaling detected community structures at species and genus levels, but the structures were not explained by any pesticide variables. There was no consistent pattern in species and genus percentage complementarities and ant assemblages along pesticide gradients. In contrast, ant community structure was influenced by the presence of shelterbelts near the sampling area. Reasons for the resilience of ants to pesticides are given and assessment at the colony level instead of workers abundance is suggested. The presence of Linepithema humile (Mayr) is emphasized. PMID:18284765

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:25352979

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Beyond the Patch: Disturbance Affects Species Abundances in the surrounding Community

    PubMed Central

    Dudgeon, Steve R.

    2009-01-01

    The role of disturbance in community ecology has been studied extensively and is thought to free resources and reset successional sequences at the local scale and create heterogeneity at the regional scale. Most studies have investigated effects on either the disturbed patch or on the entire community, but have generally ignored any effect of or on the community surrounding disturbed patches. We used marine fouling communities to examine the effect of a surrounding community on species abundance within a disturbed patch and the effect of a disturbance on species abudance in the surrounding community. We varied both the magnitude and pattern of disturbance on experimental settlement plates. Settlement plates were dominated by a non-native bryozoan, which may have established because of the large amount of initial space available on plates. Percent cover of each species within the patch were affected by the surrounding community, confirming previous studies’ predictions about edge effects from the surrounding community on dynamics within a patch. Disturbance resulted in lower percent cover in the surrounding community, but there were no differences between magnitudes or spatial patterns of disturbance. Disturbance lowered population growth rates in the surrounding community, potentially by altering the abiotic environment or species interactions. Following disturbance, the recovery of species within a patch may be affected by species in the surrounding community, but the effects of a disturbance can extend beyond the patch and alter abundances in the surrounding community. The dependence of patch dynamics on the surrounding community and the extended effects of disturbance on the surrounding community, suggest an important feedback of disturbance on patch dynamics indirectly via the surrounding community. PMID:20161249

  18. The predatory behaviour of a tramp ant species in its native range.

    PubMed

    Kenne, Martin; Mony, Ruth; Tindo, Maurice; Njaleu, Lydie Carole Kamaha; Orivel, Jerôme; Dejean, Alain

    2005-01-01

    Workers of the pest ant Paratrechina longicornis participate in a type of group hunting. Each individual forages with its long antennae wide open and moves quickly (6.3 cm/s) along an erratic path surrounded by nestmates behaving in the same way and within range of a recruiting pheromone. They detect prey by contact with successful workers singly capturing and retrieving small prey and seizing larger ones by an appendage. Then they recruit nestmates at short-range; all together they spread-eagle the prey and retrieve them whole. PMID:16286091

  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. PMID:27373449

  20. Spatial scale, abundance and the species-energy relationship in British birds.

    PubMed

    Evans, Karl L; Newson, Stuart E; Storch, David; Greenwood, Jeremy J D; Gaston, Kevin J

    2008-03-01

    richness in a single year, is lower in high-energy regions. These negative relationships between turnover and energy appear to be causal as both total and mean occupancy per species increases with energy. 5. While total density in 1 km x 1 km plots correlates positively with energy availability, such relationships are very weak for mean density per species. This suggests that the observed association between total abundance and species richness may not be mediated by population extinction rates, as predicted by the more individuals hypothesis. 6. The sampling mechanism suggests that species-energy relationships arise as high-energy areas support a greater number of individuals, and that random allocation of these individuals to local areas from a regional assemblage will generate species-energy relationships. While randomized local species-energy relationships are linear and positive, predicted richness is consistently greater than that observed. The mismatch between the observed and randomized species-energy relationships probably arises as a consequence of the aggregated nature of species distributions. The sampling mechanism, together with species spatial aggregation driven by limited habitat availability, may thus explain the species-energy relationship observed at this spatial scale.

  1. A taxonomic revision of South American species of the seed-harvester ant genus Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Part I.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert A

    2015-01-01

    South American species in the seed-harvester ant genus Pogonomyrmex (subfamily Myrmicinae) are interesting biologically because of their numerous queen phenotypes and life histories. This paper provides a taxonomic revision and reviews the natural history for 21 South American species of Pogonomyrmex so that we can better study their rich and interesting ecology, life history, and evolution. Species treated herein comprise all South American species-groups except for the brevibarbis and rastratus-groups. The following taxa are raised to species: pencosensis Forel 1914 and serpens Santschi 1922. The following new synonomies are proposed: bruchi Forel 1913 is synonomized under coarctatus Mayr 1868 and cunicularius carnivora Santschi 1925 under serpens Santschi 1922. The following new species is described: tinogasta. This paper redescribes workers of all species, and I describe queens and diagnose males for the following species: bispinosus (ergatoid queen, male), inermis (queen, male), laticeps (male), lobatus (queen, male), micans (queen), naegelii (ergatoid queen), pencosensis (ergatoid queen), serpens (ergatoid queen), tinogasta (brachypterous queen), and uruguayensis (queen, male). A neotype was designated for the untraceable or possibly lost type of P. bispinosus, and a holotype or lectotype was designated from syntypes for all other previously described taxa in order to provide a single name-bearing specimen and to facilitate future taxonomic studies. Of the 21 species treated herein, five species have ergatoid (wingless) queens (bispinosus, cunicularius, pencosensis, serpens, mayri), two have brachypterous (short-winged) queens (mendozanus, tinogasta), and two have dimorphic queens (winged and ergatoid in naegelii, brachypterous and ergatoid in laticeps). I also provide keys for workers and queens (in English and Spanish), photographs of all castes, distribution maps, and a summary of known biology. PMID:26624334

  2. A taxonomic revision of South American species of the seed-harvester ant genus Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Part I.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert A

    2015-10-13

    South American species in the seed-harvester ant genus Pogonomyrmex (subfamily Myrmicinae) are interesting biologically because of their numerous queen phenotypes and life histories. This paper provides a taxonomic revision and reviews the natural history for 21 South American species of Pogonomyrmex so that we can better study their rich and interesting ecology, life history, and evolution. Species treated herein comprise all South American species-groups except for the brevibarbis and rastratus-groups. The following taxa are raised to species: pencosensis Forel 1914 and serpens Santschi 1922. The following new synonomies are proposed: bruchi Forel 1913 is synonomized under coarctatus Mayr 1868 and cunicularius carnivora Santschi 1925 under serpens Santschi 1922. The following new species is described: tinogasta. This paper redescribes workers of all species, and I describe queens and diagnose males for the following species: bispinosus (ergatoid queen, male), inermis (queen, male), laticeps (male), lobatus (queen, male), micans (queen), naegelii (ergatoid queen), pencosensis (ergatoid queen), serpens (ergatoid queen), tinogasta (brachypterous queen), and uruguayensis (queen, male). A neotype was designated for the untraceable or possibly lost type of P. bispinosus, and a holotype or lectotype was designated from syntypes for all other previously described taxa in order to provide a single name-bearing specimen and to facilitate future taxonomic studies. Of the 21 species treated herein, five species have ergatoid (wingless) queens (bispinosus, cunicularius, pencosensis, serpens, mayri), two have brachypterous (short-winged) queens (mendozanus, tinogasta), and two have dimorphic queens (winged and ergatoid in naegelii, brachypterous and ergatoid in laticeps). I also provide keys for workers and queens (in English and Spanish), photographs of all castes, distribution maps, and a summary of known biology.

  3. STUDIES ON THE SPECIES COMPOSITION AND RELATIVE ABUNDANCE OF MOSQUITOES OF MPIGI DISTRICT, CENTRAL UGANDA

    PubMed Central

    Mayanja, Martin; Mutebi, John-Paul; Crabtree, Mary B.; Ssenfuka, Fred; Muwawu, Teddy; Lutwama, Julius J.

    2015-01-01

    Prediction of arboviral disease outbreaks and planning for appropriate control interventions require knowledge of the mosquito vectors involved. Although mosquito surveys have been conducted in different regions of Uganda since the mid 30’s such studies have not been carried out in Mpigi District. In October 2011, we conducted mosquito collections in Mpigi district to determine species composition and relative abundance of the different species. The survey was conducted in four villages, Njeru, Ddela, Kiwumu and Nsumbain Kammengo sub-county, Mpigi district, Uganda. CDC light traps baited with dry ice (carbon dioxide) were used to capture adult mosquitoes. A total of 54,878 mosquitoes comprising 46 species from eight genera were collected. The dominant species at all sites was Coquilletidia (Coquilletidia) fuscopennata Theobald (n=38,059, 69%), followed by Coquillettidia (Coquillettidia) metallica Theobald (n=4,265, 7.8%). The number of species collected varied from 17 in the genus Culex to 1 in the genus Lutzia. Of the 46 species identified, arboviruses had previously been isolated from 28 (60.9%) suggesting a high potential for arboviral transmission and/or maintenance in Mpigi District. PMID:26346305

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

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Peter A.; Magurran, Anne E.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.; Jung, R.E.; Rice, K.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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Distribution, species composition and relative abundances of sandflies in North Waziristan Agency, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Ali, N; Ullah, A; Wahid, S; Khisroon, M; Rasheed, S B

    2016-03-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the diversity of sandflies (Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) and the incidence of leishmaniasis in three villages of North Waziristan Agency, Pakistan. Sandflies were sampled monthly during 2012, at dusk and dawn, in selected indoor habitats including both bedrooms and animal sheds using a knock-down spray catch method. A total of 3687 sandflies were collected, including 1444 individuals in Drezanda, 1193 in Damdil and 1050 in Dattakhel. This study revealed 14 species of two genera, Phlebotomus (Phlebotomus sergenti, Phlebotomus papatasi, Phlebotomus caucasicus, Phlebotomus kazeruni, Phlebotomus alexandri and Phlebotomus salehi) and Sergentomyia (Sergentomyia dentate, Sergentomyia baghdadis, Sergentomyia babu, Sergentomyia theodori, Sergentomyia sumbarica, Sergentomyia dreyfussitur kestanica, Sergentomyia hogsoni pawlowskyi and Sergentomyia fallax afghanica) (both: Diptera: Psychodidae). Phlebotomus sergenti was the most abundant species (42.1%), followed by S. dentata (17.7%) and S. baghdadis (17.4%). The number of males collected represented about twice that of female flies, and the maximum number was collected in July, followed by August. The determination of the species composition of sandfly populations, seasonal variations, relative abundances and estimations of infection in the vector population may provide information about the dynamics of leishmaniasis transmission that is useful in planning vector control activities.

  8. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Warnock, N.; Haig, Susan 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, inaccessibility of sites, and few ornithologists. 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 in 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 determine species diversity. Aerial surveys of three large alkali lakes 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 shorebird sites. Based upon simulations of our monitoring effort and the magnitude and variation of numbers of American Avocets, detection of S-10% negative declines in populations of these birds would take a minimum of 7-23 years of 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Microbiomes of ant castes implicate new microbial roles in the fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex septentrionalis

    PubMed Central

    Ishak, Heather D.; Miller, Jessica L.; Sen, Ruchira; Dowd, Scot E.; Meyer, Eli; Mueller, Ulrich G.

    2011-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants employ several defenses against diseases, including disease-suppressing microbial biofilms on their integument and in fungal gardens. Here, we compare the phenology of microbiomes in natural nests of the temperate fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex septentrionalis using culture-dependent isolations and culture-independent 16S-amplicon 454-sequencing. 454-sequencing revealed diverse actinobacteria associated with ants, including most prominently Solirubrobacter (12.2–30.9% of sequence reads), Pseudonocardia (3.5–42.0%), and Microlunatus (0.4–10.8%). Bacterial abundances remained relatively constant in monthly surveys throughout the annual active period (late winter to late summer), except Pseudonocardia abundance declined in females during the reproductive phase. Pseudonocardia species found on ants are phylogenetically different from those in gardens and soil, indicating ecological separation of these Pseudonocardia types. Because the pathogen Escovopsis is not known to infect gardens of T. septentrionalis, the ant-associated microbes do not seem to function in Escovopsis suppression, but could protect against ant diseases, help in nest sanitation, or serve unknown functions. PMID:22355719

  1. Ant-mediated seed dispersal in a warmed world

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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. PMID:24688863

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. A review of the Central American and Caribbean species of the ant genus Eurhopalothrix Brown and Kempf, 1961 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with a key to New World species.

    PubMed

    Longino, John T

    2013-01-01

    The ant genus Eurhopalothrix occurs throughout the Neotropics and Australasian tropics, where it is an inhabitant of forest leaf litter and soil. The New World species are reviewed, with an emphasis on the fauna of the MesoAmerican corridor and the Caribbean. Previously unappreciated characters of mandibular dentition and labrum shape vary dramatically among species and species groups. A total of 28 New World species are recognized, of which 14 are described as new. A key to workers of all New World species is provided. Eurhopalothrix procera is reported for the first time in the New World. The following new species are described: E. cimu Longino, sp. nov., E. circumcapillum Longino, sp. nov., E. guadeloupensis Longino, sp. nov., E. hunhau Longino, sp. nov., E. mabuya Longino, sp. nov., E. machaquila Longino, sp. nov., E. megalops Longino, sp. nov., E. ortizae Longino, sp. nov., E. oscillum Longino, sp. nov., E. semicapillum Longino, sp. nov., E. sepultura Longino, sp. nov., E. vulcan Longino, sp. nov., E. xibalba Longino, sp. nov., and E. zipacna Longino. sn. nov. Eurhopalothrix schmidti (Menozzi) is removed from synonymy with E. gravis (Mann).

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. [Effects of lac insect honeydew on the diversity of ground-dwelling ants in lac plantation].

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhi-Xing; Chen, You-Qing; Li, Qiao; Wang, Si-Ming; Liu, Chun-Ju; Zhang, Wei

    2012-04-01

    By the method of pitfall trapping, an investigation was conducted on the diversity of ground-dwelling ants in a lac plantation in Yayi Town of Mojiang County, Yunnan Province of Southwest China in December 2009-May 2010, aimed to understand the effects of lac insect honeydew on the diversity of ground-dwelling ants. The presence or absence of lac insect honeydew and its dynamics all affected the species composition, abundance, and diversity of ground-dwelling ants. In the lac plantation with lac insect hosting, a total of 4953 ant individuals were collected, belonging to 34 species, 23 genera, and 5 subfamilies of Formicidae; whereas in the lac plantation without lac insect hosting, a total of 2416 ant individuals were collected, belonging to 30 species, 20 genera, and 5 subfamilies of Formicidae. The relative abundance, species richness (S), and ACE index in the lac plantation with lac insect hosting were higher than those in the lac plantation without lac insect hosting, and the common species and indicator species of ground-dwelling ants in the lac plantation with lac insect hosting differed from those in the lac plantation without lac insect hosting, suggesting that lac insect hosting altered the community structure of ground-dwelling ants. The adult lac insects excreted larger quantity of honeydew than the larval lac insects, and the relative abundance, S, and ACE index of ground-dwelling ants were higher at the adult stage than at the larval stage of lac insects. The common species and indicator species of ground-dwelling ants also had great differences between the two stages of lac insects.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vervack, R. J.; McClintock, W. E.; Killen, R. M.; Sprague, A. L.; Burger, M. H.; Merkel, A. W.; Sarantos, M.

    2011-12-01

    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, Al, Si, O, S, Mn, Cl, Ti, OH, and their ions, are expected to be present on the basis of MESSENGER surface measurements and models of Mercury's surface chemistry. Here we report on searches for these species made with the Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UVVS) channel of the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS). No obvious signatures of the listed species have yet been observed in Mercury's exosphere by the UVVS as of this writing. It is possible that detections are elusive because the optimum regions of the exosphere have not been sampled. The Sun-avoidance constraints on MESSENGER place tight limits on instrument boresight directions, and some regions are probed infrequently. If there are strong spatial gradients in the distribution of weakly emitting species, a high-resolution sampling of specific regions may be required to detect them. Summing spectra over time will also aid in the ability to detect weaker emission. Observations to date nonetheless permit strong upper limits to be placed on the abundances of many undetected species, in some cases as functions of time and space. As those limits are lowered with time, the absence of detections can provide insight into surface composition and the potential source mechanisms of exospheric material.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:18778268

  19. Systematic relationships and cospeciation of bacterial endosymbionts and their carpenter ant host species: proposal of the new taxon Candidatus Blochmannia gen. nov.

    PubMed

    Sauer, C; Stackebrandt, E; Gadau, J; Hölldobler, B; Gross, R

    2000-09-01

    The systematic relationships of intracellular bacteria of 13 Camponotus species (carpenter ants) from America and Europe were compared to those of their hosts. Phylogenetic trees of the bacteria and the ants were based on 16S rDNA (rrs) gene sequences and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences, respectively. The bacterial endosymbionts of Camponotus spp. form a distinct lineage in the y-subclass of the Proteobacteria. The taxa most closely related to these bacteria are endosymbionts of aphids and the tsetse fly. The bacterial and host phylogenies deduced from the sequence data show a high degree of congruence, providing significant evidence for cospeciation of the bacteria and the ants and a maternal transmission route of the symbionts. The cloned rrs genes of the endosymbionts contain putative intervening sequences (IVSs) with a much lower G+C content than the mean of the respective rrs genes. By in situ hybridization specific 16S rDNA oligonucleotide probes verified the presence of the bacteria within tissues of three of the eukaryotic hosts. It is proposed that the endosymbionts of these three carpenter ants be assigned to a new taxon 'Candidatus Blochmannia gen. nov.' with the symbionts of the individual ants being species named according to their host, 'Candidatus Blochmannia floridanus sp. nov.', 'Candidatus Blochmannia herculeanus sp. nov.' and 'Candidatus Blochmannia rufipes sp. nov.'.

  20. Systematic relationships and cospeciation of bacterial endosymbionts and their carpenter ant host species: proposal of the new taxon Candidatus Blochmannia gen. nov.

    PubMed

    Sauer, C; Stackebrandt, E; Gadau, J; Hölldobler, B; Gross, R

    2000-09-01

    The systematic relationships of intracellular bacteria of 13 Camponotus species (carpenter ants) from America and Europe were compared to those of their hosts. Phylogenetic trees of the bacteria and the ants were based on 16S rDNA (rrs) gene sequences and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences, respectively. The bacterial endosymbionts of Camponotus spp. form a distinct lineage in the y-subclass of the Proteobacteria. The taxa most closely related to these bacteria are endosymbionts of aphids and the tsetse fly. The bacterial and host phylogenies deduced from the sequence data show a high degree of congruence, providing significant evidence for cospeciation of the bacteria and the ants and a maternal transmission route of the symbionts. The cloned rrs genes of the endosymbionts contain putative intervening sequences (IVSs) with a much lower G+C content than the mean of the respective rrs genes. By in situ hybridization specific 16S rDNA oligonucleotide probes verified the presence of the bacteria within tissues of three of the eukaryotic hosts. It is proposed that the endosymbionts of these three carpenter ants be assigned to a new taxon 'Candidatus Blochmannia gen. nov.' with the symbionts of the individual ants being species named according to their host, 'Candidatus Blochmannia floridanus sp. nov.', 'Candidatus Blochmannia herculeanus sp. nov.' and 'Candidatus Blochmannia rufipes sp. nov.'. PMID:11034499

  1. [Species-area and species-abundance relationships of arthropod community in various vegetation restoration areas in Zhifanggou watershed, Shaanxi province of Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Feng; Hong, Bo; Li, Ying-Mei; Chen, Zhi-Jie; Zhang, Shu-Lian; Zhao, Hui-Yan

    2013-02-01

    Taking the Zhifanggou watershed in Ansai, Shaanxi Province of Northwest China as a study unit, an investigation on the arthropods in 8 forest stands was conducted from 2006 to 2008, with the species-area and species-abundance relationships of the arthropods in these stands analyzed by various mathematical models. In these forest stands, the species-area relationship of the arthropods accorded with the formula S= CAm With the increase of investigation area, the species number approached to a constant, and the corresponding smallest investigation area was in the order of natural bush > natural forest > Populus davidiana+Robinia pseudoacacia forest > Hippaphae rhamnoides +Caragana mocrophylla forest> Periploca sepium forest > Hippaphae rhamnoides forest > Robinia pseudoacacia forest > Caragana mocrophylla forest, indicating that the more complex the stands, the larger the minimum area needed to be investigated. Based on sampling investigation, the species-abundance models of the arthropods in various stands were established. Lognormal distribution model (LN) was most suitable to fit the arthropod community in natural recovery stands, suggesting that in the arthropod community, there were more species with medial individual amount and fewer abundant species and rare species, and no obvious dominant species. LogCauchy distribution model (LC) was most suitable to fit the arthropod community in mixed and pure stands. As compared with natural recovery stand, mixed and pure stands had more abundant and rare species, and more dominant species.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. [Ants in a hospital environment and its importance as vector of bacteria].

    PubMed

    Pesquero, Marcos A; Elias Filho, Jales; Carneiro, Lílian C; Feitosa, Sarah B; Oliveira, Marcos A C; Quintana, Rosângela C

    2008-01-01

    The external ant community of Hospital Municipal de Morrinhos, in Morrinhos, Goiás State, was characterized by the low rates of richness, diversity, dominance and equity of species abundance. Pheidole sp.1, a polygynic species was numerically dominant in this environment, although it coexists with potentially competitive species. This ant species prevailed within all hospital departments and its space-time distribution was a little aggregated (variance/mean ratio = 1.102, chi2 = 29.38, P < 0.01). Escherichia, Salmonella, Aeromonas, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus and Klebsiella were the bacteria associated to this ant species in nearly all hospital annexes. The unicolonialism of Pheidole sp.1 tends to increase the contamination and dissemination process of infecto-contagious agents. The control and management of this ant species must be followed by practices that reduce the colonization process by other queens and the quantity of site nidification within the hospital.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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 × 10(4) to 8.5 × 10(9) 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

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

    PubMed

    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 × 10(4) to 8.5 × 10(9) 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.

  12. 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

  13. Sequestration of glucosinolates and iridoid glucosides in sawfly species of the genus Athalia and their role in defense against ants.

    PubMed

    Opitz, Sebastian E W; Jensen, Søren R; Müller, Caroline

    2010-02-01

    In this study, the larval sequestration abilities and defense effectiveness of four sawfly species of the genus Athalia (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) that feed as larvae either on members of the Brassicaceae or Plantaginaceae were investigated. Brassicaceae are characterized by glucosinolates (GLSs), whereas Plantaginaceae contain iridoid glucosides (IGs) as characteristic secondary compounds. Athalia rosae and A. liberta feed on members of the Brassicaceae. Larvae of A. rosae sequester aromatic and aliphatic GLSs of Sinapis alba in their hemolymph, as shown previously, but no indolic GLSs; A. liberta larvae with a narrower host range sequester aliphatic as well as indolic GLSs from their host plant Alliaria petiolata. Larvae of A. circularis and A. cordata are specialized on members of the Plantaginaceae. Athalia circularis utilizes mainly Veronica beccabunga as host plant, whereas A. cordata feeds additionally on Plantago lanceolata. Both sawfly species sequester the IGs aucubin and catalpol. In V. beccabunga, catalpol esters and carboxylated IGs also occur. The high catalpol concentrations in hemolymph of A. circularis can only be explained by a metabolization of catalpol esters and subsequent uptake of the resulting catalpol. The carboxylated IGs of the plant are excreted. The IG-sequestering sawfly species are able to accumulate much higher glucoside concentrations in their hemolymph than the GLS-sequestering species, and the concentration of IGs in hemolymph increases constantly during larval development. The defensive effectiveness of hemolymph that contains GLSs or IGs and of the respective glucosides was tested in feeding-bioassays against a potential predator, the ant Myrmica rubra (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Hemolymph of IG-sequestering cryptic A. cordata larvae has a higher deterrence potential than hemolymph of the GLS-sequestering conspicuous A. rosae larvae. The results show that glucoside sequestration is widespread in the genus Athalia, but that the

  14. Raising groundwater differentially affects mineralization and plant species abundance in dune slacks.

    PubMed

    van Bodegom, Peter M; Oosthoek, Annelies; Broekman, Rob; Bakker, Chris; Aerts, Rien

    2006-10-01

    The experience with restoring high water levels (i.e., rewetting) within restoration ecology is limited, and information on changes in soil nutrient supply is scarce. A reduction in nutrient supply is needed to restore the desired oligotrophic vegetation. We determined the effects of restoration of high water levels on decomposition and net carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) mineralization rates in wet dune slacks and its consequences for the relative abundance of eutrophic vs. oligotrophic species in the vegetation. This was done by analyzing these variables for valleys that experienced a large groundwater rise vs. valleys that had a small groundwater rise but the same current water level. In addition, the influences of underlying factors (waterlogging, vegetation dieback, and soil dynamics prior to groundwater rise) were separated in a transplantation experiment. Short-term effects of large groundwater rise were a massive dieback of vegetation, increased thickness of the fermentation layer, increased microbial decomposition activity, increased C mineralization, and decreased net N mineralization. Net P mineralization was not affected. The relative abundance of oligotrophic vs. eutrophic species was greater at large groundwater rise. Changes in decomposition and mineralization by large groundwater rise were, however, not caused by the vegetation dieback, but due to previous soil conditions. Soils experiencing waterlogged conditions for 3-4 years or more prior to large groundwater rise had lower C and higher net N mineralization rates at waterlogged conditions than soils that had experienced aerobic conditions, presumably due to differences in labile soil C contents. Contrary to expectations induced by previously determined nutrient pulses and measured vegetation dieback, large groundwater rise resulted in lower soil nutrient supply rates and more oligotrophic vegetation. If these trends continue on the longer term, restoration of high water levels may be

  15. Acoustic communication by ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickling, Robert

    2002-05-01

    Many ant species communicate acoustically by stridulating, i.e., running a scraper over a washboard-like set of ridges. Ants appear to be insensitive to airborne sound. Consequently, myrmecologists have concluded that the stridulatory signals are transmitted through the substrate. This has tended to diminish the importance of acoustic communication, and it is currently believed that ant communication is based almost exclusively on pheromones, with acoustic communication assigned an almost nonexistent role. However, it can be shown that acoustic communication between ants is effective only if the medium is air and not the substrate. How, then, is it possible for ants to appear deaf to airborne sound and yet communicate through the air? An explanation is provided in a paper [R. Hickling and R. L. Brown, ``Analysis of acoustic communication by ants,'' J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1920-1929 (2000)]. Ants are small relative to the wavelengths they generate. Hence, they create a near field, which is characterized by a major increase in sound velocity (particle velocity of sound) in the vicinity of the source. Hair sensilla on the ants' antennae respond to sound velocity. Thus, ants are able to detect near-field sound from other ants and to exclude extraneous airborne sound.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Strength of evidence for density dependence in abundance time series of 1198 species.

    PubMed

    Brook, Barry W; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2006-06-01

    Population limitation is a fundamental tenet of ecology, but the relative roles of exogenous and endogenous mechanisms remain unquantified for most species. Here we used multi-model inference (MMI), a form of model averaging, based on information theory (Akaike's Information Criterion) to evaluate the relative strength of evidence for density-dependent and density-independent population dynamical models in long-term abundance time series of 1198 species. We also compared the MMI results to more classic methods for detecting density dependence: Neyman-Pearson hypothesis-testing and best-model selection using the Bayesian Information Criterion or cross-validation. Using MMI on our large database, we show that density dependence is a pervasive feature of population dynamics (median MMI support for density dependence = 74.7-92.2%), and that this holds across widely different taxa. The weight of evidence for density dependence varied among species but increased consistently, with the number of generations monitored. Best-model selection methods yielded similar results to MMI (a density-dependent model was favored in 66.2-93.9% of species time series), while the hypothesis-testing methods detected density dependence less frequently (32.6-49.8%). There were no obvious differences in the prevalence of density dependence across major taxonomic groups under any of the statistical methods used. These results underscore the value of using multiple modes of analysis to quantify the relative empirical support for a set of working hypotheses that encompass a range of realistic population dynamical behaviors.

  19. Field tests of interspecific competition in ant assemblages: revisiting the dominant red wood ants.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese

    2011-05-01

    1. There has been considerable debate on the importance of competition in ecological communities, but its importance in structuring ant assemblages has often been uncritically accepted. Here, we briefly review field experiments examining competition in ant assemblages and use a removal experiment to test the effect of the classical territorial dominant ant, Formica aquilonia. Ants of this species group are thought to structure communities through a dominance hierarchy. 2. First, we used pitfall traps to compare the abundance of other ants in replicated sites with low and high densities of F. aquilonia. We found differences in community composition, in particular, Camponotus herculeanus was more common in low-density sites, in accordance with predictions. Differences in ant assemblages were not owing to differences in measured habitat variables. 3. We removed F. aquilonia from a set of high-density sites, using physical and chemical methods, and repeated these procedures at procedural control sites. One year after removal, abundances of F. aquilonia at removal sites were similar to those at low-density sites. However, the composition of other species did not change in response to F. aquilonia removal. Replication rates were identical in the mensurative and experimental components of this study, so this is unlikely to be owing to the analysis being insufficiently powerful. 4. We suggest three possibilities for the lack of difference. First, the study may have been too short term or small scale to detect differences. However, previous studies have shown effects on smaller spatial- and temporal-scales. Second, priority effects may be important in the successful colonisation by F. aquilonia. Thirdly, boreal ant assemblages may be too depauperate for redundancy in ecological roles and for competition to play an important structuring role. 5. We thus recommend that long-term large-scale experiments be considered essential if we are to distinguish between competing

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:24271002

  4. 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.

  5. Seasonal abundance of livestock-associated Culicoides species in northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, L P C; Silva, F S

    2014-06-01

    Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) are of great medical and veterinary importance because the haematophagous females of some species can transmit diseases to humans and animals. In order to determine the presence and seasonal abundance of the bluetongue virus (BTV) vector Culicoides insignis Lutz at domestic animal sheds in northeastern Brazil, insects were collected once a month between January and December 2010. Light traps were set from 18.00 to 06.00 hours at a pigsty, chicken coop and bovine corral. Culicoides insignis accounted for 81% of the 22,316 specimens collected. Other well-represented species were: Culicoides paucienfuscatus Barbosa (3246 individuals), Culicoides diabolicus Hoffman (308), Culicoides leopoldoi Ortiz (224) and Culicoides duartei Tavares and Luna Dias (221). The remainder accounted for 4% of the total sample. Culicoides insignis occurred mostly at the cattle corral, 98.2% in the rainy season. This study confirms the presence and close association of C. insignis with cattle in Maranhão state, northeastern Brazil and emphasizes the risk of bluetongue infections spreading in the area. PMID:24382216

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Mono-dominance by invasive species provides opportunities to explore determinants of plant distributions and abundance; however, linking mechanistic results from small scale experiments to patterns in nature is difficult. We used experimentally derived competitive effects of an invader in North America, Acroptilon repens, on species with which it co-occurs in its native range of Uzbekistan and on species with which it occurs in its non-native ranges in North America, in individual-based models. We found that competitive effects yielded relative abundances of Acroptilon and other species in mo