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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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Scientists identify 66 alien species that pose the greatest threat to European biodiversity

Scientists identify 66 alien species that pose the greatest threat to European biodiversity

From an initial working list of 329 alien species considered to pose threats to biodiversity recently published by the EU, scientists have derived and agreed a list of eight species considered to be very high risk, 40 considered to be high risk, and 18 considered to be medium risk. The authors developed a horizon-scanning approach in order to derive a ranked list of potential invasive alien species. The approach is unique in the continental scale examined, the breadth of taxonomic groups and environments considered, and the methods and data sources used. Species considered included plants, terrestrial invertebrates, marine species, freshwater invertebrates and vertebrates. The highest proportion of the species identified originate in Asia, North America and South America. Aquatic species are most likely to arrive via shipping, while terrestrial invertebrates are most likely to arrive along with goods such as plants. The Mediterranean, Continental, Macaronesian and Atlantic biogeographic regions are predicted to be the most threatened across all taxonomic groups, while the Baltic, Black Sea and Boreal regions are least at risk. The Alpine region appears not to be under threat by any species. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Roy et al. (2018). Developing a list of invasive alien species likely to threaten biodiversity and ecosystems in the European Union. Glob Chang Biol DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14527


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcb.14527