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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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Tent roosting may have driven the evolution of yellow skin coloration in Stenodermatinae bats

Tent roosting may have driven the evolution of yellow skin coloration in Stenodermatinae bats

The recent discovery of the first mammal that deposits significant amounts of carotenoid pigments in the skin (the Honduran white bat Ectophylla alba) has highlighted the presence of conspicuous yellow coloration in the bare skin of some bats. This is patent in the subfamily Stenodermatinae, where many species build tents with plant leaves for communal roosting at daytime. On the basis that tents offer rich light conditions by partly allowing sunlight to pass through the leaves and this makes that yellow coloration probably provides camouflage benefits to tent?roosting bats; that gregariousness facilitates visual communication; and that all Stenodermatinae bats possess retinal L?cones that allow the perception of long?wavelength light and have a frugivorous diet from which carotenoids are obtained, authors hypothesized that tent?roosting may have driven the evolution of yellow skin coloration in this group of bats. This prediction was tested in 71 species within Stenodermatinae. Reconstructions of ancestral states showed that the common ancestor was most likely not colorful and did not roost in tents, but both traits early appeared in the first phylogenetic ramification. Phylogenetically controlled analyses showed that, as predicted, yellow skin coloration and tent?roosting coevolved after their appearance. This is the first explanation for the evolution of body coloration in nocturnal mammals. As the light environment of nocturnal forests is dominated by yellow?green wavelengths that coincide with the spectral sensitivity of some bats, nocturnal light conditions may have acted jointly with diurnal light conditions in tents to favor the evolution of yellow skin coloration in these animals. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Galván et al (2019) Tent-roosting may have driven the evolution of yellow skin coloration in Stenodermatinae bats. J Zool Syst Evol Res https://doi.org/10.1111/jzs.12329


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jzs.12329