Department the Wildlife, Fish and also the Environment, Swedish college of agricultural Sciences, Umeå 901 83, Sweden

Correspondence author. E-mail: h.gibb

Department the Wildlife, Fish and also the Environment, Swedish university of farming Sciences, Umeå 901 83, Sweden

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Department that Zoology, La Trobe University, Melbourne 3086, Australia

Department the Wildlife, Fish and the Environment, Swedish college of farming Sciences, Umeå 901 83, Sweden

Correspondence author. E-mail: h.gibb

Department the Wildlife, Fish and also the Environment, Swedish college of farming Sciences, Umeå 901 83, Sweden

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Studies based upon recruitment to big protein baits commonly show strong responses to speculative removals e.g. Andersen & Patel (1994), Sanders & Gordon (2003), Lebrun etal. (2007). This is probably a result of local exemption of types from focused resources that deserve to be monopolised by leading species. Previous authors have said that this provides their worth in measure outcomes at the populace level questionable because source partitioning is widespread and spatial and also temporal variation may promote coexistence (Hölldobler & Lumsden 1980; Ribas & Schoereder 2002; Gibb 2005; Parr & Gibb 2010). In spite of the riches of data on behavioral interactions at baits, the prominence of competitive interactions between varieties in regulating ant populations is hence unclear. That is also worth noting that just three of the fourteen previous ar experiments provided procedural controls (Table1). For removal experiments, in particular, which frequently involve the usage of poisons, it is very an overwhelming to determine how treatments might impact upon the populations of other varieties without together controls.

Here, we existing the results of one experiment experimentation the effect of removed of a types from one of the classical groups of dominant ants, the ar red timber ants of the Formica rufa group. Savolainen & Vepsäläinen (1988) defined a competitive hierarchy amongst the boreal ants, driven by this group, which has been extremely influential in researches of vain in ant assemblages world-wide. It promoted an expectation that whole assemblages, rather than a few closely related species, will be impacted by vain from dominant ants. In the case of boreal ants, assemblages space depauperate, bring about a simple community structure. Savolainen & Vepsäläinen (1988) proposed that Formica rufa group ants, ‘territorials’, competitively exclude, a team of nonterritorial species, well-known as ‘encounterers’, which behave aggressively towards people of alien colonies. A further group, the ‘submissives’, was expected to coexist v ‘territorials’, yet in reduced numbers, and also to it is in negatively influenced by ‘encounterers’. Mensurative experiment suggest an essential role because that competition in structuring this power structure (e.g. Savolainen & Vepsalainen 1989; Savolainen, Vepsäläinen & Wuorenrinne 1989; Savolainen 1991), yet no study has actually empirically experiment whether the regarded pattern is a an outcome of competition or some other factor. Back Rosengren (1986) addresses the Fennoscandian fauna in a manipulative experiment top top islands, results are an overwhelming to interpret, fan to short replication and also inherent differences in between control and introduction sites.

In this study, we experimentally remove swarms of Formica aquilonia (Yarrow) in mainland boreal forests, utilizing a replicated design and mensurative and experimental materials of identical power. We ask: walk competition native F.aquilonia framework the ant assemblage? If F.aquilonia is crucial in structuring boreal ant assemblages, we hypothesise the the variety of ‘encounterers’, particularly Camponotus herculeanus, will certainly be greater at sites through low 보다 high densities the F.aquilonia. Complying with Savolainen & Vepsäläinen (1988), a palliation in the thickness of F.aquilonia is guess to command to boost in the variety of C.herculeanus and also ‘submissive’ species of the genus Myrmica.

Materials and methods

research sites

This research was performed in the boreal woodlands of north Sweden between the latitudes of 63·6°N and also 64·5°N and longitudes of 19·7°E and also 20·7°E (Fig.1). All forests were dominated by Norway spruce, Picea abies (L.) (70–100%), return birches, Betula pubescens (Ehrh.) and also Betula pendula (Roth), and Scots pine, Pinus silvestris (L.) were additionally common. The understory consisted greatly of dwarf shrubs (Vaccinium spp.), and soils were moist and also of the sandy moraine type. Us selected sites v an median tree age of 80–100 years. Such sites may never have been clear cut, but big trees had actually been selectively removed.


Sites the supported colonies of the northern red timber ant, Formica aquilonia (Yarrow), to be the emphasis of this study. Formica aquilonia belongs to the F.rufa group, which is composed of territorially leading ant species that have actually been report to structure ant neighborhoods (Savolainen, Vepsäläinen & Wuorenrinne 1989). That is the most usual F.rufa group varieties in the central boreal an ar of Fennoscandia (Collingwood 1979) and also forms polygynous and polydomous nests throughout its selection (Pamilo, Chautems & Cherix 1992).

Ten sites through low densities of F.aquilonia and also ten sites v high densities were selected in May–June 2006 (Fig.1). In low-density sites, there were no colonies of F.aquilonia within approximately 100 m of a central point and an extremely low worker task was observed. High-density sites were centred about an active nest of F.aquilonia, which were component of a continuous colony with countless nests. Inter-nest ranges were roughly 50 m. Sites v low and also high densities of F.aquilonia to be geographically interspersed to prevent spatial autocorrelation. Low-density sites were selected in pairs the were located better than 200 m apart, to achieve sites the were as comparable as possible for the procedural regulate treatment. The procedural control was performed at low, quite than high-density sites because we to be interested in testing the effect of the procedure in an setting with a low thickness of F.aquilonia. This was because the removed was supposed to result in low densities that F.aquilonia. The was for this reason logical to test the result of the procedure in ~ low-density sites.

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Treatments

F.aquilonia abundances were diminished in fifty percent of the high-density website (n = 5), by applying treatments come all colonies within 60 m the the central point of the site. Comparable disturbances were used in the procedural control sites. The initial remove attempt involved digging increase entire colonies in removal sites in autumn/winter 2006–2007, as soon as they were inactive. In procedural regulate sites, we dug an equivalent variety of holes of similar size. Colonies were excavated under to the ground water level or till there were no clearly shows galleries i.e., 0·5–1·5 m. This method had minimal success, probably as a an outcome of rapid recolonisation from neighbouring swarms in beforehand spring, when the sites were inaccessible fan to snow melt. The second removal effort was performed in July 2007 and was considerably more successful. A poison, deltamethrin 7·5 g l−1, to be diluted (40 mL every 10 L water) and applied straight to all nests of F.aquilonia within 60 m of the main point the a site. Toxicity was used to the dugout stays of nests and to any new satellite swarms that had established after the initial swarm treatment. This therapy was repetitive at procedural control sites. The variety of F.aquilonia decreased substantially after treatment (Fig.2a). After ~ treatment, we hence had 5 paired sites through low densities the F.aquilonia, henceforth referred to as ‘Low density’ and ‘Procedural control’ sites, five sites through high densities the F.aquilonia‘High density’ and also five sites where densities had been substantially reduced ‘Removal’ (Fig.1).