Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (2): 327-337, 2013 | 10.14411/eje.2013.046

Long-term partitioning of space between two territorial species of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and their effect on subordinate species

Wojciech CZECHOWSKI1, BŠlint MARK”*,2, Alexander RADCHENKO1, Piotr ¶LIPI—SKI1
1 Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wilcza 64, 00-679 Warsaw, Poland, e-mail: wcz@miiz.waw.pl; agradchenko@hotmail.com; pslipinski@yahoo.com
2 Hungarian Department of Biology and Ecology, Babeļ-Bolyai University, Clinicilor 5-7, 400006 Cluj-Napoca, Romania, e-mail: balintm@gmail.com

Competition is a major force organizing ant communities and results in co-occurring species evolving different strategies for foraging and use of space. Territorial species, as top dominants exclude each other, while shaping the local ant communities both qualitatively and quantitatively. In this study we examined how two territorial species, Formica polyctena and Lasius fuliginosus, can coexist in adjacent territories over long periods of time, and whether they affect co-occurring species of ants in different ways. Field observations in the absence and in the presence of baits were carried out around a L. fuliginosus nest complex surrounded by a polydomous F. polyctena colony in S Finland in 2007-2009. Both species controlled their territories, but were affected by changes in the abundance of the other species and the distance from L. fuliginosus' main nest. They did not have the same effect on the subordinate species in the absence of baits, but the abundance of Myrmica spp. recorded at baits was negatively affected by both of the territorial species. The preferences of the different species for the artificial food sources differed: L. fuliginosus and F. polyctena preferred tuna to honey and Myrmica spp. honey to tuna. More individuals of the subordinate species were recorded in the territory of F. polyctena than of L. fuliginosus, although conflicts with this territorial species were also recorded. During the three years of the study almost no overlaps in the territories of the two territorial species were recorded, and there were mostly minor shifts in the boundaries of the territories. Differences between the two territorial species in their use of space and competitive effects ensured their coexistence at this particular site in Finland.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, Formicidae, ants, Formica polyctena, Lasius fuliginosus, Myrmica, competition, conflicts, interspecific hierarchy, territoriality

Received: July 4, 2012; Accepted: October 26, 2012; Published: April 11, 2013

Download citation

References

  1. ADLER F.R., LEBRUN E.G. & FEENER D.H. JR 2007: Maintaining diversity in an ant community: modeling, extending and testing the dominance-discovery trade-off. - Am. Nat. 169: 323-333 Go to original source...
  2. BEVERLY B.D., MCLENDON H., NACU S., HOLMES S. & GORDON D.M. 2009: How site fidelity leads to individual differences in the foraging activity of harvester ants. - Behav. Ecol. 20: 633-638 Go to original source...
  3. BISEAU J.-C. DE & PASTEELS J.M. 2000: Response thresholds to recruitment signals and the regulation of foraging intensity in the ant Myrmica sabuleti (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). - Behav. Proc. 48: 137-148 Go to original source...
  4. BRUYN DE G.J. 1978: Food territories in Formica polyctena (FGrst.). - Neth. J. Zool. 28: 55-61 Go to original source...
  5. CERDA X., DAHBI A. & RETANA J. 2002: Spatial patterns, temporal variability, and the role of multi-nest colonies in a monogynous Spanish desert ant. - Ecol. Entomol. 27: 7-15 Go to original source...
  6. COSENS D. & TOUSSAINT N. 1985: An experimental study of the foraging strategy of the wood ant Formica aquilonia. - Anim. Behav. 33: 541-552 Go to original source...
  7. CZECHOWSKI W. 1975: Bionomics of Formica (Coptoformica) pressilabris Nyl. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). - Ann. Zool. 33: 103-125
  8. CZECHOWSKI W. 1979: Competition between Lasius niger (L.) and Myrmica rugulosa Nyl. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). - Ann. Zool. 34: 437-451
  9. CZECHOWSKI W. 1985: Competition between Myrmica laevinodis Nyl. and Lasius niger (L.) (Hymenoptera, Formicoidea). - Ann. Zool. 39: 153-173
  10. CZECHOWSKI W. 1999: Lasius fuliginosus (Latr.) on a sandy dune - its living conditions and interference during raids of Formica sanguinea Latr. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). - Ann. Zool. 49: 117-123
  11. CZECHOWSKI W. 2000a: Interference of territorial ant species in the course of raids of Formica sanguinea Latr. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). - Ann. Zool. 50: 35-38
  12. CZECHOWSKI W. 2000b: The Jet Ant, Lasius fuliginosus, on guard of status quo in a multi-species ant assemblage. - Notatki Entomol. 1(1): 11-14 [in Polish]
  13. CZECHOWSKI W. 2002: Lasius fuliginosus (Latr.) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) as a facultative myrmecophagan. - Przegl. Zool. 46: 243-246 [in Polish]
  14. CZECHOWSKI W. 2004: Submissive posture of Myrmica rugulosa Nyl. in its interspecific relations (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). - Przegl. Zool. 48: 19-28 [in Polish, English abstr.]
  15. CZECHOWSKI W. & MARKO B. 2005: Competition between Formica cinerea Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and cooccurring ant species, with special reference to Formica rufa L.: direct and indirect interferences. - Pol. J. Ecol. 53: 467-487
  16. CZECHOWSKI W. & MARKO B. 2006: Uncomfortable protection: Formica polyctena FGrst. shelters Formica fusca L. from Formica sanguinea Latr. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). - Ann. Zool. 56: 539-548
  17. CZECHOWSKI W. & PISARSKI B. 1988: Inter- and intraspecific competitive relations in Camponotus ligniperdus (Latr.) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). - Ann. Zool. 41: 355-381
  18. CZECHOWSKI W. & VEPSALAINEN K. 2001: Formica rufa protects indirectly F. fusca against raids of F. sanguinea. - Ann. Zool. 51: 267-273
  19. CZECHOWSKI W., RADCHENKO A., CZECHOWSKA W. & VEPSALAINEN K. 2012: The Ants of Poland with Reference to the Myrmecofauna of Europe. Fauna Poloniae (New Series) Vol. 4. Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS, Warsaw, 496 pp
  20. DETRAIN C., TASSE O., VERSAEN M. & PASTEELS J.M. 2000: A field assessment of optimal foraging in ants: trail patterns and seed retrieval by the European harvester ant Messor barbarus. - Insectes Soc. 47: 56-62 Go to original source...
  21. DOBRZANSKA J. 1958: Partition of foraging grounds and modes of conveyings information among ants. - Acta Biol. Exp. 18: 55-67
  22. DOBRZANSKA J. 1965: On ethology of Lasius fuliginosus (Formicidae). Proceedings of the VIII Convention of the Polish Zoological Society. Olsztyn, pp. 107-109 [in Polish]
  23. DOBRZANSKA J. 1966: The control of the territory by Lasius fuliginosus Latr. - Acta Biol. Exp. 26: 193-213
  24. FOREL A. 1874: Les Fourmis de la Suisse. Societe Helvetique des Sciences Naturelles, Zurich, iv + 452 pp
  25. GALLE L. 1991: Structure and succession of ant assemblages in a north European sand dune area. - Holarct. Ecol. 14: 31-37
  26. GIBB H. & PARR C.L. 2010: How does habitat complexity affect ant foraging success? A test using functional measures on three continents. - Oecologia 164: 1061-1073 Go to original source...
  27. GORDON D.M., HOLMES S. & NACU S. 2008: The short-term regulation of foraging in harvester ants. - Behav. Ecol. 19: 217-222 Go to original source...
  28. HENNAUT-RICHE B., JOSENS G. & PASTEELS J.M. 1980: L'approvisionnement du nid chez Lasius fuliginosus: pistes, cycles d'activite et specialisation territorial des ouvrieres. In Cherix D. (ed.): Ecologie des Insectes Sociaux. C. R. UIEIS Sect. fr., 7-8 Sept. 1979. UIEIS, Nyon, Lausanne, pp. 71-78
  29. HOLLDOBLER B. & WILSON E.O. 1990: The Ants. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 732 pp
  30. KUPYANSKAYA A.N. 1988: Far-Eastern representative of the genus Liometopum (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). - Vestnik Zool. 1988(1): 29-34 [in Russian]
  31. MABELIS A.A. 1979: Wood ant wars: the relationship between aggression and predation in the red wood ant (Formica polyctena FGrst.). - Neth. J. Zool. 29: 451-620 Go to original source...
  32. MABELIS A.A. 1984: Interference between wood ants and other ant species. - Neth. J. Zool. 34: 1-20 Go to original source...
  33. MARKO B. & CZECHOWSKI W. 2004: Lasius psammophilus Seifert and Formica cinerea Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on sand dunes: conflict and coexistence. - Ann. Zool. 54: 365-378.
  34. MARKO B. & CZECHOWSKI W. 2012: Space use, foraging success and competitive relationships in Formica cinerea (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) on sand dunes in southern Finland. - Ethol. Ecol. Evol. 24: 149-164 Go to original source...
  35. MOGLICH M.H.J. & ALPERT G.D. 1979: Stone dropping by Conomyrma bicolor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a new technique of interference competition. - Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 6: 105-113 Go to original source...
  36. NOVGORODOVA T.A. 2005: Ant-aphid interactions in multispecies ant communities: some ecological and ethological aspects. - Eur. J. Entomol. 102: 495-501 Go to original source...
  37. NOVGORODOVA T.A. & REZNIKOVA ZH.I. 1996: Ecological aspects of interactions between ants and aphids in the forest park zone of the Novosibirsk Scientific Center. - Siber. J. Ecol. 3/4: 239-245
  38. PAVAN M. 1959: La dendrolasina. - Not. For. Mont. 64/65: 1737-1740
  39. PETRAKOVA L. & SCHLAGHAMERSKY J. 2011: Interactions between Liometopum microcephalum (Formicidae) and other dominant ant species of sympatric occurrence. - Comm. Ecol. 12(1): 9-17 Go to original source...
  40. PISARSKI B. 1980: Evolution of the competitive behaviour in social insects. - Insectes Soc. 27: 284-287
  41. PISARSKI B. (ed.). 1982: Structure et organisation des societes de fourmis de l'espece Formica (Coptoformica) exsecta Nyl. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). - Memorab. Zool. 38: 1-281
  42. PISARSKI B. & VEPSALAINEN K. 1989: Competitive hierarchy in ant communities (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). - Ann. Zool. 42: 321-329
  43. PUNTTILA P., HAILA Y., PAJUNEN T. & TUKIA H. 1991: Colonisation of clearcut forests by ants in the southern Finnish taiga: a quantitative survey. - Oikos 61: 250-262 Go to original source...
  44. PUNTTILA P., HAILA Y. & TUKIA H. 1996: Ant communities in taiga clearcuts: habitat effects and species interactions. - Ecography 19: 16-28 Go to original source...
  45. QUINET Y. & PASTEELS J.M. 1991: Spatiotemporal evolution of the trail network in Lasius fuliginosus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). - Belg. J. Zool. 121: 55-72
  46. QUINET Y. & PASTEELS J.M. 1996: Spatial specialization of the foragers and foraging strategy in Lasius fuliginosus (Latreille) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). - Insectes Soc. 43: 333-346 Go to original source...
  47. QUINET Y., DE BISEAU J.-C.D. & PASTEELS J.M. 1997: Food recruitment as a component of the trunk-trail foraging behaviour of Lasius fuliginosus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). - Behav. Process. 40: 75-83 Go to original source...
  48. R DEVELOPMENT CORE TEAM 2010: R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, URL http://www.R-project.org/
  49. RICE W.R. 1989: Analyzing tables of statistical tests. - Evolution 43: 223-225 Go to original source...
  50. REZNIKOVA ZH.I. & NOVGORODOVA T.A. 1998a: The importance of individual and social experience for interaction between ants and symbiotic aphids. - Dokl. Biol. Sci. 359: 173-175
  51. REZNIKOVA ZH.I. & NOVGORODOVA T.A. 1998b: Division of labour and exchange of information within ant settlements. - Usp. Sovrem. Biol. 118: 345-357 [in Russian, English abstr.]
  52. ROMANOVA YU.S. 1975: Ecology of the black shiny ant Lasius fuliginosus. In: Proceedings of the VIth All-Union Myrmecological Symposium "Ants and Forest Protection". Moscow, pp. 167-170 [in Russian]
  53. ROSENGREN R. 1971: Route fidelity, visual memory and recruitment behaviour in foraging wood ants of the genus Formica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). - Acta Zool. Fenn. 133: 1-106
  54. ROSENGREN R. 1977a: Foraging strategy of wood ants (Formica rufa group). I. Age polyethism and topographic traditions. - Acta Zool. Fenn. 149: 1-30
  55. ROSENGREN R. 1977b: Foraging strategy of wood ants (Formica rufa group). II. Nocturnal orientation and diel periodicity. - Acta Zool. Fenn. 150: 1-29
  56. ROSENGREN R. & FORTELIUS W. 1986: Ortstreue in foraging ants of the Formica rufa group - hierarchy of orienting cues and long-term memory. - Insectes Soc. 33: 306-337 Go to original source...
  57. ROSENGREN R. & FORTELIUS W. 1987: Trail communication and directional recruitment to food in red wood ants (Formica). - Ann. Zool. Fenn. 24: 137-146
  58. ROSENGREN R. & SUNDSTROM L. 1987: The foraging system of a red wood ant colony (Formica s. str.) - collecting and defending food through an extended phenotype. In Pasteels J.M. & Deneudourg J.L. (eds): From Individual to Collective Behaviour in Social Insects. Birkhaeuser, Basel, pp. 117-139
  59. RZESZOWSKI K. 2011: Territorialism of Lasius fuliginosus (Latr.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Effects on the Occurrence and Nest Densities of Subordinate Species. MSc. thesis, Warsaw University of Life Sciences - SGGW, Warszawa, 55 pp. [in Polish, English abstr.]
  60. SANDERS N.J. & GORDON D.M. 2003: Resource-dependent interactions and the organization of desert ant communities. - Ecology 84: 1024-1031 Go to original source...
  61. SAVOLAINEN R. 1991: Interference by wood ant influences size selection and retrieval rate of prey by Formica fusca. - Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 28: 1-7 Go to original source...
  62. SAVOLAINEN R. & VEPSALAINEN K. 1988: A competition hierarchy among boreal ants: impact on resource partitioning and community structure. - Oikos 51: 135-155 Go to original source...
  63. SAVOLAINEN R. & VEPSALAINEN K. 1989: Niche differentiation of ant species within territories of the wood ant Formica polyctena. - Oikos 56: 3-16 Go to original source...
  64. SAVOLAINEN R., VEPSALAINEN K. & WUORENRINNE H. 1989: Ant assemblages in the taiga biome: testing the role of territorial wood ants. - Oecologia 81: 481-486 Go to original source...
  65. SUNDSTROM L. 1993: Foraging responses of Formica truncorum (Hymenoptera; Formicidae); exploiting stable vs spatially and temporally variable resources. - Insectes Soc. 40: 147-161 Go to original source...
  66. VEPSALAINEN K. & PISARSKI B. 1982: Assembly of island ant communities. - Ann. Zool. Fenn. 19: 327-335
  67. VEPSALAINEN K. & SAVOLAINEN R. 1990: The effect of interference by Formicine ants on the foraging of Myrmica. - J. Anim. Ecol. 59: 643-654 Go to original source...
  68. VROEY DE C. 1980: Relations interspecifiques chez les fourmis. In Cherix D. (ed.): Ecologie des Insectes Sociaux. C. R. UIEIS Sect. fr., 7-8 Sept. 1979. UIEIS, Nyon, Lausanne, pp. 107-113
  69. ZAKHAROV A.A. 1972: Intraspecific Relations in Ants. Nauka, Moskva, 216 pp. [in Russian]
  70. ZAKHAROV A.A. 1975: Evolution of the social mode of life in ants. - Zool. Zh. 54: 861-872 [in Russian, English abstr.]
  71. ZAKHAROV A.A. 1978: Ant, Colony, Polycalic Colony. Nauka, Moskva, 144 pp. [in Russian]
  72. ZAKHAROV A.A. 1991: The Organization of Ants' Communities. Nauka, Moskva, 300 pp. [in Russian, English abstr.]