Remember Me
Or use your Academic/Social account:


Or use your Academic/Social account:


You have just completed your registration at OpenAire.

Before you can login to the site, you will need to activate your account. An e-mail will be sent to you with the proper instructions.


Please note that this site is currently undergoing Beta testing.
Any new content you create is not guaranteed to be present to the final version of the site upon release.

Thank you for your patience,
OpenAire Dev Team.

Close This Message


Verify Password:
Verify E-mail:
*All Fields Are Required.
Please Verify You Are Human:
fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Chen, Yi-Huei; Robinson, Elva J. H. (2014)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Journal: PLoS ONE
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Ants, Research Article, Habitats, Collective Animal Behavior, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Global Change Ecology, Ecology, Animals, Biology and Life Sciences, Behavioral Ecology, Animal Behavior, Arthropoda, Environmental Impacts, Medicine, Insects, Ecophysiology, Q, R, Hymenoptera, Science, Entomology, Organisms, Forest Ecology, Invertebrates, Zoology, Terrestrial Ecology
Climate change may affect ecosystems and biodiversity through the impacts of rising temperature on species' body size. In terms of physiology and genetics, the colony is the unit of selection for ants so colony size can be considered the body size of a colony. For polydomous ant species, a colony is spread across several nests. This study aims to clarify how climate change may influence an ecologically significant ant species group by investigating thermal effects on wood ant colony size. The strong link between canopy cover and the local temperatures of wood ant's nesting location provides a feasible approach for our study. Our results showed that nests were larger in shadier areas where the thermal environment was colder and more stable compared to open areas. Colonies (sum of nests in a polydomous colony) also tended to be larger in shadier areas than in open areas. In addition to temperature, our results supported that food resource availability may be an additional factor mediating the relationship between canopy cover and nest size. The effects of canopy cover on total colony size may act at the nest level because of the positive relationship between total colony size and mean nest size, rather than at the colony level due to lack of link between canopy cover and number of nests per colony. Causal relationships between the environment and the life-history characteristics may suggest possible future impacts of climate change on these species.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • 1. Smith RL, Smith TTM (2003) Elements of Ecology: Benjamin-Cummings Publishing Company.
    • 2. Hughes II (2000) Biological consequences of global warming: is the signal already apparent? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 15: 56-61.
    • 3. Parmesan C (1996) Climate and species' range. Nature 382: 765-766.
    • 4. Forero-Medina G, Joppa L, Pimm SL (2011) Constraints to species' elevational range shifts as climate changes. Conservation Biology 25: 163-171.
    • 5. Atkinson D (1994) Temperature and organism size - a biological law for ectotherms. Advances in Ecological Research 25: 1-58.
    • 6. Blanckenhorn WU, Demont M (2004) Bergmann and converse Bergmann latitudinal clines in arthropods: Two ends of a continuum? Integrative and Comparative Biology 44: 413-424.
    • 7. Brown JH, Lomolino MV (1998) Biogeography. Sunderland, Massachusetts, USA: Sinauer.
    • 8. Smith FA, Betancourt JL, Brown JH (1995) Evolution of body size in the woodrat over the past 25,000 years of climate change. Science 270: 2012-2014.
    • 9. Hunt G, Roy K (2006) Climate change, body size evolution, and Cope's Rule in deep-sea ostracodes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103: 1347-1352.
    • 10. Kaspari M, Vargo EL (1995) Colony size as a buffer against seasonality - Bergmann's rule in social insects. American Naturalist 145: 610-632.
    • 11. Tschinkel WR (1998) Sociometry and sociogenesis of colonies of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius: worker characteristics in relation to colony size and season. Insectes Sociaux 45: 385-410.
    • 12. Tschinkel WR (1999) Sociometry and sociogenesis of colonies of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius: distribution of workers, brood and seeds within the nest in relation to colony size and season. Ecological Entomology 24: 222-237.
    • 13. Palmer TM (2004) Wars of attrition: colony size determines competitive outcomes in a guild of African acacia ants. Animal Behaviour 68: 993-1004.
    • 14. Eckert CD, Winston ML, Ydenberg RC (1994) The relationship between population size, amount of brood, and individual foraging behavior in the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. Oecologia 97: 248-255.
    • 15. Herbers JM, Choiniere E (1996) Foraging behaviour and colony structure in ants. Animal Behaviour 51: 141-153.
    • 16. Pamilo P, Chautems D, Cherix D (1992) Genetic differentiation of disjunct populations of the ants Formica aquilonia and Formica lugubris in Europe. Insectes Sociaux 39: 15-29.
    • 17. O'Donnell S, Jeanne RL (1992) The effects of colony characteristics on life span and foraging behavior of individual wasps (Polybia occidentalis, Hymenoptera, Vespidae). Insectes Sociaux 39: 73-80.
    • 18. Asano E, Cassill DL (2012) Modeling temperature-mediated fluctuation in colony size in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Journal of Theoretical Biology 305: 70-77.
    • 19. Porter SD, Tschinkel WR (1993) Fire ant thermal preferences: behavioral control of growth and metabolism. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 32: 321-329.
    • 20. Bernasconi C, Cherix D, Seifert B, Pamilo P (2011) Molecular taxonomy of the Formica rufa group (red wood ants) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a new cryptic species in the Swiss Alps? Myrmecological News 14: 37-47.
    • 21. Cotti G (1996) A bibliography of the Formica rufa group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Insect Social Life 1: 133-136.
    • 22. Punttila P, Haila Y, Niemel a¨ J, Pajunen T (1994) Ant communities in fragments of old-growth taiga and managed surroundings. Annales Zoologici Fennici 31: 131-144.
    • 23. Punttila P, Niemel a¨ P, Karhu K (2004) The impact of wood ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on the structure of invertebrate community on mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp czerepanovii). Annales Zoologici Fennici 41: 429-446.
    • 24. Kilpel a¨inen J, Punttila P, Sundstr o¨m L, Niemel a¨ P, Fine´ r L (2005) Forest stand structure, site type and distribution of ant mounds in boreal forests in Finland in the 1950s. Annales Zoologici Fennici 42: 243- 258.
    • 25. Sudd J, Lodhi A (1981) The distribution of foraging workers of the wood and Formica lugubris Zetterstedt (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) and their effect on the numbers and diversity of other arthropoda. Biological Conservation 20: 133-145.
    • 26. Savolainen R, Vepsa¨l a¨inen K (1988) A competition hierarchy among boreal ants: impact on resource partitioning and community structure. Oikos 51: 135-155.
    • 27. Rolstad J, Loken B, Rolstad E (2000) Habitat selection as a hierarchical spatial process: the green woodpecker at the northern edge of its distribution range. Oecologia 124: 116-129.
    • 28. Haemig PD (1992) Competition between ants and birds in a Swedish forest. Oikos 65: 479-483.
    • 29. Rosengren R, Sundstr o¨m L (1991) The interaction between red wood ants, Cinara aphids, and pines - a ghost of mutualism past. In: Huxley CR, Cutler DF, editors. Ant - Plant Interactions: Oxford University Press. 80-91.
    • 30. Styrsky J, Eubanks M (2007) Ecological consequences of interactions between ants and honeydewproducing insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 274: 151-164.
    • 31. Laakso J, Set a¨la¨ H (1997) Nest mounds of red wood ants (Formica aquilonia): hot spots for litterdwelling earthworms. Oecologia 111: 565-569.
    • 32. Laakso J, Set a¨l a¨ H (1998) Composition and trophic structure of detrital food web in ant nest mounds of Formica aquilonia and in the surrounding forest soil. Oikos 81: 266-278.
    • 33. Domisch T, Ohashi M, Fine´ r L, Risch AC, Sundstr o¨m L, et al. (2008) Decomposition of organic matter and nutrient mineralisation in wood ant (Formica rufa group) mounds in boreal coniferous forests of different age. Biology and Fertility of Soils 44: 539-545.
    • 34. Jurgensen M, Fin e´r L, Domisch T, Kilpel a¨inen J, Punttila P, et al. (2008) Organic mound-building ants: their impact on soil properties in temperate and boreal forests. Journal of Applied Entomology 132: 266-275.
    • 35. Robinson NA, Robinson EJH (2013) Myrmecophiles and other invertebrate nest associates of the red wood ant Formica rufa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in north-west England. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History 26: 67-88.
    • 36. Ellison A (2012) Out of Oz: opportunities and challenges for using ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) as biological indicators in north-temperate cold biomes. Myrmecological News 17: 105-119.
    • 37. IUCN (2014) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2.
    • 38. ACIA (2004) Impacts of a Warming Arctic-Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. Cambridge, UK.
    • 39. Walther GR, Post E, Convey P, Menzel A, Parmesan C, et al. (2002) Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature 416: 389-395.
    • 40. Diamond SE, Penick CA, Pelini SL, Ellison AM, Gotelli NJ, et al. (2013) Using physiology to predict the responses of ants to climatic warming. Integrative and Comparative Biology 53: 965-974.
    • 41. Andrew NR, Hart RA, Jung M-P, Hemmings Z, Terblanche JS (2013) Can temperate insects take the heat? A case study of the physiological and behavioural responses in a common ant, Iridomyrmex purpureus (Formicidae), with potential climate change. Journal of Insect Physiology 59: 870-880.
    • 42. Stuble KL, Pelini SL, Diamond SE, Fowler DA, Dunn RR, et al. (2013) Foraging by forest ants under experimental climatic warming: a test at two sites. Ecology and Evolution 3: 482-491.
    • 43. Roura-Pascual N, Suarez AV, Gomez C, Pons P, Touyama Y, et al. (2004) Geographical potential of Argentine ants (Linepithema humile Mayr) in the face of global climate change. Proceedings Biological Sciences 271: 2527-2535.
    • 44. Morrison LW, Korzukhin MD, Porter SD (2005) Predicted range expansion of the invasive fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, in the eastern United States based on the VEMAP global warming scenario. Diversity and Distributions 11: 199-204.
    • 45. Diamond SE, Sorger DM, Hulcr J, Pelini SL, Toro ID, et al. (2012) Who likes it hot? A global analysis of the climatic, ecological, and evolutionary determinants of warming tolerance in ants. Global Change Biology 18: 448-456.
    • 46. Chen Y (2008) Global potential distribution of an invasive species, the yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) under climate change. Integrative Zoology 3: 166-175.
    • 47. Bertelsmeier C, Guenard B, Courchamp F (2013) Climate change may boost the invasion of the Asian needle ant. PLoS One 8: e75438.
    • 48. Bertelsmeier C, Luque GM, Courchamp F (2013) Increase in quantity and quality of suitable areas for invasive species as climate changes. Conservation Biology 27: 1458-1467.
    • 49. Pelini SL, Diamond SE, Maclean H, Ellison AM, Gotelli NJ, et al. (2012) Common garden experiments reveal uncommon responses across temperatures, locations, and species of ants. Ecology and Evolution 2: 3009-3015.
    • 50. Ellis S, Robinson EJH (2014) Polydomy in red wood ants. Insectes Sociaux 61: 111-122.
    • 51. Debout G, Schatz B, Elias M, Mckey D (2007) Polydomy in ants: what we know, what we think we know, and what remains to be done. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 90: 319-348.
    • 52. Rodriguez-Garcia E, Ordonez C, Bravo F (2011) Effects of shrub and canopy cover on the relative growth rate of Pinus pinaster Ait. seedlings of different sizes. Annals of Forest Science 68: 337-346.
    • 53. van Gils HAJA, Vanderwoude C (2012) Leafcutter ant (Atta sexdens) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nest distribution responds to canopy removal and changes in micro-climate in the southern Colombian Amazon. Florida Entomologist 95: 914-921.
    • 54. Punttila P, Kilpela¨ inen J (2009) Distribution of mound-building ant species (Formica spp., Hymenoptera) in Finland: preliminary results of a national survey. Annales Zoologici Fennici 46: 1-15.
    • 55. Sorvari J, Hakkarainen H (2005) Deforestation reduces nest mound size and decreases the production of sexual offspring in the wood ant Formica aquilonia. Annales Zoologici Fennici 42: 259-267.
    • 56. Huang SP, Porter WP, Tu MC, Chiou CR (2014) Forest cover reduces thermally suitable habitats and affects responses to a warmer climate predicted in a high-elevation lizard. Oecologia 175: 25-35.
    • 57. Geiger R, Aron RH, Todhunter P (2009) The Climate Near the Ground. USA: Rowman & Littlefield.
    • 58. Rosengren R, Fortelius W, Lindstr o¨m K, Luther A (1987) Phenology and causation of nest heating and thermoregulation in red wood ants of the Formica rufa group studied in coniferous forest habitats in southern Finland. Annales Zoologici Fennici 24: 147-155.
    • 59. Bernasconi C, Maeder A, Cherix D, Pamilo P (2005) Diversity and genetic structure of the wood ant Formica lugubris in unmanaged forests. Annales Zoologici Fennici 42: 189-199.
    • 60. Maeder A, Freitag A, Cherix D (2005) Species and nestmate brood discrimination in the sibling wood ant species Formica paralugubris and Formica lugubris. Annales Zoologici Fennici 42: 201-212.
    • 61. Sudd JH, Douglas JM, Gaynard T, Murray DM, Stockdale JM (1977) Distribution of wood ants (Formica lugubris Zetterstedt) in a northern English forest. Ecological Entomology 2: 301-313.
    • 62. Ellis S, Franks DW, Robinson EJH (2014) Resource redistribution in polydomous ant nest networks: local or global? Behavioral Ecology 25: 1183-1191.
    • 63. Chen YH, Robinson EJH (2013) A comparison of mark-release-recapture methods for estimating colony size in the wood ant Formica lugubris. Insectes Sociaux 60: 351-359.
    • 64. Eeva T, Sorvari J, Kolvunen V (2004) Effects of heavy metal pollution on red wood ant (Formica s. str.) populations. Environmental Pollution 132: 533-539.
    • 65. Frazer GW, Canham C, Lertzman K (1999) Gap Light Analyzer (GLA), Version 2.0: Imaging software to extract canopy structure and gap light transmission indices from true-colour fisheye photographs, users manual and program documentation. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, and the Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, New York 36.
    • 66. Suggitt AJ, Gillingham PK, Hill JK, Huntley B, Kunin WE, et al. (2011) Habitat microclimates drive fine-scale variation in extreme temperatures. Oikos 120: 1-8.
    • 67. Frouz J, Fin e´r L (2007) Diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in wood ant (Formica polyctena) nest temperature in two geographically distant populations along a south - north gradient. Insectes Sociaux 54: 251-259.
    • 68. Brandt D (1980) The thermal diffusivity of the organic material of a mound of Formica polyctena Foerst. In relation to the thermoregulation of the brood (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Netherlands Journal of Zoology 30: 326-344.
    • 69. Frouz J (2000) The effect of nest moisture on daily temperature regime in the nests of Formica polyctena wood ants. Insectes Sociaux 47: 229-235.
    • 70. Coenen-Stass D, Schaarschmidt B, Lamprecht I (1980) Temperature distribution and calorimetric determination of heat production in the nest of the wood ant, Formica polyctena (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Ecology 61: 238-244.
    • 71. Tschinkel WR (1993) Sociometry and sociogenesis of colonies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta during one annual cycle. Ecological Monographs 63: 425-457.
    • 72. Gordon DM, Rosengren R, Sundstr o¨m L (1992) The allocation of foragers in red wood ants. Ecological Entomology 17: 114-120.
    • 73. Punttila P (1996) Succession, forest fragmentation, and the distribution of wood ants. Oikos 75: 291- 298.
  • No similar publications.

Share - Bookmark

Cite this article