Article: article from journal or magazin.
Colony-colony interactions between highly invasive ants
Basic and Applied Ecology
Among invasive species, ants are a particularly prominent group with enormous impacts on native biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Globalization and on-going climate change are likely to increase the rate of ant invasions in the future, leading to simultaneous introductions of several highly invasive species within the same area, Here, we investigate pairwise interactions among four highly invasive species, Linepithema humile,Lashis neglectus, Pheidole megacephala and Wasmannia auropunctata, at the whole colony level, using a laboratory set-up. :Each colony consisted of 300 workers and one queen. The number of surviving workers in the competing colonies was recorded daily over 7 weeks. We modelled the survival of each colony during pairwise colony interactions, using a nonlinear model characterizing the survival dynamics of each colony individually. The least dominant species was P. megacephala, which always went extinct. Interactions among the three other species showed more complex dynamics, rendering the outcome of the interactions less predictable. Overall, W auropunctata and L neglectus were the most dominant species. This study shows the importance of scaling up to the colony level in order to gain realism in predicting the outcome of multiple invasions.
Biological invasions, Invasive ants, Colony behaviour, Interference competition, Colony survival, Linepithema humile, Lasius neglectus, Pheidole megacephala, Wasmannia auropunctata
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