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      The Colony Structure and Population Biology of Invasive Ants

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      Conservation Biology

      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Biological invasions: Lessons for ecology.

           D. L. Lodge (1993)
          Anthropogenic introduction of species is homogenizing the earth's biota. Consequences of introductions are sometimes great, and are directly related to global climate change, biodiversity AND release of genetically engineered organisms. Progress in invasion studies hinges on the following research trends: realization that species' ranges are naturally dynamic; recognition that colonist species and target communities cannot be studied independently, but that species-community interactions determine invasion success; increasingly quantitative tests of how species and habitat characteristics relate to invasibility and impact; recognition from paleobiological, experimental and modeling studies that history, chance and determinism together shape community invasibility. Copyright © 1993. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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            The Evolution of Helping. I. An Ecological Constraints Model

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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
                Conservation Biology
                Conservation Biology
                Wiley-Blackwell
                0888-8892
                1523-1739
                February 2003
                February 2003
                : 17
                : 1
                : 48-58
                Article
                10.1046/j.1523-1739.2003.02018.x
                © 2003

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