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Interactions between ants and pine weevils

effects on forest regeneration

Maňák, Vítězslav (2014). Interactions between ants and pine weevils. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2014:104
ISBN 978-91-576-8156-0
eISBN 978-91-576-8157-7
[Doctoral thesis]

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Ants interact with plants in various ways and ant presence on plants can decrease local abundance or activity of herbivores, which in turn increases plant fitness. Red wood ants (Formica rufa group) are common species in forests of northern Europe. A large part of their diet consists of honeydew produced by ant-tended arboreal aphids and ants have been shown to affect a wide range of herbivores both in tree canopies and undergrowth. The pine weevil, Hylobius abietis (L.), is an economically important forest pest species. Adult beetles feed on stem bark of transplanted conifer seedlings and cause severe seedling mortality in forest regeneration areas. In this thesis, interactions between ants and pine weevils were investigated to evaluate whether ants can affect weevils’ damage to conifer seedlings. The results showed that pine weevil damage to conifer seedlings with a food source attended by ants was significantly lower (by ca. 30%) compared to control seedlings. This effect was mainly ascribed to non-consumptive interactions i.e., the presence of ants distracted pine weevils from feeding. Observations of ant-weevil interactions supported this hypothesis, as ants frequently attacked pine weevils close to ant-attended seedlings and weevils’ locomotion behaviour increased during ant attacks. The effects of ant-attendance may be generalized to other aggressive ant species, as ant-attended seedlings visited by Lasius ants suffered lower damage by weevils compared to ant-excluded seedlings. Differences in ant abundance on the ground, however, did not affect damage to unbaited spruce seedlings, because similar feeding damage was recorded in areas with high and low abundance of red wood ants. Further, weevils’ damage to seedlings that were planted in close proximity to ant-attended seedlings was comparable to that of ant-excluded seedlings. This suggests that seedling protection by ants is probably mainly related to the ants' protection of food sources whereas abundance of ants has less effect on weevils’ feeding. Understanding the role of ants may have important implications for future strategies aiming to control pine weevil damage.

Authors/Creators:Maňák, Vítězslav
Title:Interactions between ants and pine weevils
Subtitle:effects on forest regeneration
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :20 November 2014
Depositing date:20 November 2014
Number of Pages:35
I.Maňák, V., Nordenhem, H., Björklund, N., Lenoir, L. & Nordlander, G. (2013). Ants protect conifer seedlings from feeding damage by the pine weevil Hylobius abietis. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 15(1), 98-105.
II.Maňák, V., Björklund, N., Lenoir, L., Knape, J. & Nordlander, G. Behavioural responses of pine weevils as a result of non-consumptive interactions with red wood ants (manuscript).
III.Maňák, V., Björklund, N., Lenoir, L. & Nordlander, G. (in press). The effect of red wood ant abundance on feeding damage by the pine weevil Hylobius abietis. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. Published online 18 October 2014: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/afe.12080
IV.Maňák, V., Björklund, N., Lenoir, L. & Nordlander, G. Testing associational resistance against pine weevils mediated by Lasius ants attending conifer seedlings (manuscript).
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8156-0
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8157-7
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:H Protection of plants and stored products > H10 Pests of plants
K Forestry > K70 Forest injuries and protection
L Animal production > L20 Animal ecology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Zoology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Behavioural Sciences Biology
Agrovoc terms:formica rufa, lasius, hylobius abietis, pinus sylvestris, seedlings, forest plantations, regeneration, integrated pest management, insect control, boreal forests
Keywords:ants, associational resistance, conifer seedlings, forest regeneration, Formica rufa group, herbivores, Hylobius abietis, integrated pest management, Lasius, non-consumptive effects, trait-mediated interactions, trophic cascade
Permanent URL:
ID Code:11662
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: Vítězslav Maňák
Deposited On:21 Nov 2014 13:54
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 11:09

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