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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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A synthesis of contemporary analytical and modeling approaches in population ecology

A synthesis of contemporary analytical and modeling approaches in population ecology

This new book provides an overview of the key analytical approaches that are currently used in demographic, genetic, and spatial analyses in population ecology. The chapters present current problems, introduce advances in analytical methods and models, and demonstrate the applications of quantitative methods to ecological data. The book covers new tools for designing robust field studies; estimation of abundance and demographic rates; matrix population models and analyses of population dynamics; and current approaches for genetic and spatial analysis. Each chapter is illustrated by empirical examples based on real datasets, with a companion website that offers online exercises and examples of computer code in the R statistical software platform. Eloy Revilla (EBD-CSIC), was in charge of the chapter "Individual and Agent-based Models in Population Ecology and Conservation Biology". Información[at]ebd.csic.es: Revilla (2020) Individual and Agent-based Models in Population Ecology and Conservation Biology.  Murray & Brett (Eds) Population Ecology in Practice. Wiley-Blackwell ISBN 978-0-470-67414-7


https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Population+Ecology+in+Practice-p-9780470674147