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Argentine ants harm nestlings of the blue tit

The consequences of ant invasions on ecosystems may only become apparent after long periods. In addition, predicting how sensitive native fauna will respond is only possible if the underlying proximate mechanisms of their impact are identified. The attraction of the native and invasive ant community to artificial bird nests was studied, together with reproduction of a wild native songbird over five consecutive breeding seasons in relation to the presence of an invasive ant species. Biometric, reproductive and individual blood parameters of great tits Parus major breeding in invaded as compared to uninvaded sites by Argentine ants Linepithema humile were analysed. Great tits bred preferably in uninvaded territories by the Argentine ant. Moreover, Argentine ants were more abundant at nests in invaded sites, than any native ant species were at uninvaded sites. Further, Argentine ants recruited at the artificial nests more intensively and responded to a larger variety of nest (intact eggs, cracked eggs, faeces, and cracked eggs plus faeces) contents than native species. Although breeding success and adult condition did not vary in relation to invasion status, offspring quality was negatively affected by the presence of Argentine ants. Nestlings reared in invaded sites were lighter, with lower wing/tarsus length ratio and had a reduced nutritional condition and altered oxidative stress balance as measured from several blood parameters. The interspersed distribution and small distance between invaded versus uninvaded territories suggest that ant presence affects nestling condition through direct interference at the nest. These results highlight the importance of evaluating the proximate effects like physiological parameters of the native fauna, when studying invasive ant-native bird interactions. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Álvarez et al (2020) Breeding consequences for a songbird nesting in Argentine ant' invaded land. Biol Invasions https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-020-02297-3


https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-020-02297-3
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Finalist European Natura 2000 Award

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We are very happy to announce that the application entitled "Reinforcing the roles of remote sensing in Natura 2000 monitoring" presented by our colleague Ricardo Díaz-Delgado has been selected as a finalist of the European Natura 2000 award 2020 edition under Cross-border Cooperation and Networking category. As finalist, this proposal is eligible for the ‘European Natura 2000 Citizens' Award', the winner being decided by a public online vote. Feel free to share this initiative and if you would like to support it we kindly ask you to vote for it before 15 September 2020 at: https://natura2000award-application.eu/finalist/3126. In order to vote you should provide a valid email address in the webpage. A confirmation email will then be sent to the specified address with a link in the main body to be clicked in order to validate your vote. Only validated votes are counted. We sincerely thank you for your support and for spreading the news through your email lists, colleagues and social networks and media. This proposal is a result of the efforts made over the last years to transfer knowledge on the use of remote sensing in the conservation and monitoring of Natura 2000 protected areas. These efforts have contributed to the implementation of  the Eurosite Remote Sensing Support Group  and the publication of the book "The roles of remote sensing in nature conservation". All thanks to the collaboration between Eurosite and the Remote Sensing & GIS Lab and The Monitoring Team on Natural Resources and Processes of the Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC).

 


https://natura2000award-application.eu/finalist/3126