What limits a stalled Argentine ant invasion? Effects of human-caused disturbance and resistance from a native ant [electronic resource]
- Katherine Fitzgerald.
- 2010, c2011.
- Physical description
- 1 online resource.
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|3781 2010 F||In-library use|
- Fitzgerald, Katherine.
- Gordon, Deborah (Film producer) primary advisor.
- Dirzo, Rodolfo, advisor.
- Tuljapurkar, Shripad, 1951- advisor.
- Stanford University. Department of Biological Sciences.
- When exotic species invade natural environments, they often cause destruction to native biological communities. In order to conserve native species, it is useful to understand what limits the extent of invasions. It is even more desirable to be able to predict where invasions will and will not occur. In this dissertation, I investigate the limits of an invasion at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve by the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). This invasion has been tracked since 1993 through twice-yearly ant surveys. Since 2001, the invasion appears to have stopped, and the interior of the preserve remains uninvaded. I observed how Argentine ants and native ants, particularly the native winter ant (Prenolepis imparis) responded to one another and to habitat, climate, and seasonal factors. At a small scale, weekly changes in Argentine ant presence within a few hundred square meters is limited by winter ant presence and microclimate effects. At the large scale of a whole natural area, the long-term spatial extent of Argentine ant invasion is closely tied to developed areas. Examining seasonal changes in Argentine ant and winter ant distribution on a hectare scale, it is evident that Argentine and winter ants affect one another differently in different habitats, and that Argentine ants have a stronger negative effect in sites closer to development.
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- Submitted to the Department of Biological Sciences.
- Ph.D. Stanford University 2011
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