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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Innovative Technologies to Control Invasive Species that Impact Livestock

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Title: Higher ant diversity in native vegetation than in stands of the invasive arundo, Arundo donax L., along the Rio Grande basin in Texas, U.S.A.

Author
item Osbrink, Weste
item Goolsby, John
item Thomas, Donald
item Mejorado, Alba
item Showler, Allan
item Perez De Leon, Adalberto - Beto

Submitted to: International Journal of Insect Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2017
Publication Date: 7/1/2017
Citation: Osbrink, W.L., Goolsby, J., Thomas, D.B., Mejorado, A.B., Showler, A., Perez De Leon, A.A. 2017. Higher ant diversity in native vegetation than in stands of the invasive arundo, Arundo donax L., along the Rio Grande basin in Texas, U.S.A.. International Journal of Insect Science. 9:1-9.

Interpretive Summary: At the Rio Grande, Texan-Mexico border, ants collected in pitfall traps were identified and compared between native vegetation and stands of invasive arundo cane every month at 10 locations for a year. A total of 82,752 ants representing 28 genera and 76 species were collected. More ants were collected in the native vegetation than in the arundo stands. More ants were collected in the native vegetation because there was more food available than in the arundo stands. More ants, that are predators of ticks, may create a more robust biological barrier to cattle fever tick invasion from Mexico along the Rio Grande.

Technical Abstract: Ants collected in pitfall traps were identified and compared between native vegetation and monoculture stands of arundo, Arundo donax L., monthly at 10 locations for a year. A total of 82,752 ants representing 28 genera and 76 species were collected. More ants were collected in the native vegetation which also had greater species richness and biological diversity than ants collected from arundo stands. It is suggested that the greater heterogeneous nature of native vegetation provided greater and more predictable nourishment in the form of nectars and more abundant arthropod prey when compared to arundo monocultures. Greater diversity and abundance of ants that are predators of ticks is expected to create a more robust biological barrier to cattle fever tick invasion from Mexico along the Rio Grande.

Last Modified: 09/24/2017
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