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      Exotic ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Ohio

      Journal of Hymenoptera Research

      Pensoft Publishers

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          The Causes and Consequences of Ant Invasions

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            Interactive effects of habitat modification and species invasion on native species decline.

            Different components of global environmental change are often studied and managed independently, but mounting evidence points towards complex non-additive interaction effects between drivers of native species decline. Using the example of interactions between land-use change and biotic exchange, we develop an interpretive framework that will enable global change researchers to identify and discriminate between major interaction pathways. We formalise a distinction between numerically mediated versus functionally moderated causal pathways. Despite superficial similarity of their effects, numerical and functional pathways stem from fundamentally different mechanisms of action and have fundamentally different consequences for conservation management. Our framework is a first step toward building a better quantitative understanding of how interactions between drivers might mitigate or exacerbate the net effects of global environmental change on biotic communities in the future.
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              Evolution of supercolonies: the Argentine ants of southern Europe.

              Some ants have an extraordinary social organization, called unicoloniality, whereby individuals mix freely among physically separated nests. This type of social organization is not only a key attribute responsible for the ecological domination of these ants, but also an evolutionary paradox and a potential problem for kin selection theory because relatedness between nest mates is effectively zero. The introduction of the Argentine ant in Europe was apparently accompanied by a dramatic loss of inter-nest aggression and the formation of two immense supercolonies (which effectively are two unicolonial populations). Introduced populations experienced only limited loss of genetic diversity at neutral markers, indicating that the breakdown of recognition ability is unlikely to be merely due to a genetic bottleneck. Rather, we suggest that a "genetic cleansing" of recognition cues occurred after introduction. Indeed workers of the same supercolony are never aggressive to each other despite the large geographical distance and considerable genetic differentiation between sampling sites. By contrast, aggression is invariably extremely high between the two supercolonies, indicating that they have become fixed for different recognition alleles. The main supercolony, which ranges over 6,000 km from Italy to the Spanish Atlantic coast, effectively forms the largest cooperative unit ever recorded.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Hymenoptera Research
                JHR
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2607
                1070-9428
                August 29 2016
                August 29 2016
                : 51
                : 203-226
                Article
                10.3897/jhr.51.9135
                © 2016
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