Title

The Role of Habitat in the Persistence of Fire Ant Populations

Authors

Authors

W. R. Tschinkel;J. R. King

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

PLoS One

Keywords

SOLENOPSIS-INVICTA HYMENOPTERA; OLD FIELD SUCCESSION; ARTHROPOD; DIVERSITY; NATIVE ANTS; FORMICIDAE; FLORIDA; DISTURBANCE; ECOSYSTEM; COMMUNITIES; LOUISIANA; Multidisciplinary Sciences

Abstract

The association of the exotic fire ant, Solenopsis invicta with man-modified habitats has been amply demonstrated, but the fate of such populations if ecological succession proceeds has rarely been investigated. Resurvey of a fire ant population in a longleaf pine plantation after 25 years showed that the recovery of the site from habitat disturbance was associated with a large fire ant population decline. Most of the persisting colonies were associated with the disturbance caused by vehicle tracks. In a second study, mature monogyne fire ant colonies that had been planted in experimental plots in native groundcover of the north Florida longleaf pine forest had mostly vanished six years later. These observations and experiments show that S. invicta colonies rarely persist in the native habitat of these pine forests, probably because they are not replaced when they die. A single site harbored a modest population of polygyne fire ants whose persistence was probably facilitated by reproduction through colony fission.

Journal Title

Plos One

Volume

8

Issue/Number

10

Publication Date

1-1-2013

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

8

WOS Identifier

WOS:000326032600108

ISSN

1932-6203

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