Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Attack Of The Crazy Ants - Invasional 'Meltdown' On An Oceanic Island

Date:
October 14, 2003
Source:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Summary:
Biological invasions have well-known direct effects on native ecosystems but may also unleash forces with complex, unexpected consequences. These ecological surprises may be especially common in simple systems, like islands, following introduction of 'megainvaders,' like tramp ants.

Biological invasions have well-known direct effects on native ecosystems but may also unleash forces with complex, unexpected consequences. These ecological surprises may be especially common in simple systems, like islands, following introduction of 'megainvaders,' like tramp ants.

In the September issue of Ecology Letters, O'Dowd, Green, and Lake show that impacts of invasion by the crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes ramify through the food web in rainforest on Christmas Island, totally reconfiguring this ecosystem in just 1-2 years.

On the forest floor, crazy ant supercolonies extirpate the dominant native omnivore, which indirectly increases seedling recruitment but slows litter decomposition. In the forest canopy, new ant-Homoptera partnerships accelerate, exacerbate, and diversify impacts. Sustained high densities of ants are associated with outbreaks of host-generalist scale insects and honeydew-dependent sooty moulds, leading to canopy dieback and even tree deaths.

The indirect fallout from the displacement of a native keystone species by an ant invader, itself abetted by introduced mutualists, precipitates invasional 'meltdown' in this island ecosystem. Even in simple systems, unforeseen effects and novel associations following introduction of a single alien species can make forecasting of impacts an elusive goal.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Attack Of The Crazy Ants - Invasional 'Meltdown' On An Oceanic Island." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031014072220.htm>.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2003, October 14). Attack Of The Crazy Ants - Invasional 'Meltdown' On An Oceanic Island. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031014072220.htm
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Attack Of The Crazy Ants - Invasional 'Meltdown' On An Oceanic Island." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031014072220.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins