Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Attack of the crazy ants - invasional ’meltdown’ on an oceanic island

17.09.2003


Biological invasions have well-known direct effects on native ecosystems but may also unleash forces with complex, unexpected consequences. These ecological surprises may be especially common in simple systems, like islands, following introduction of ’megainvaders,’ like tramp ants.



In the September issue of Ecology Letters, O’Dowd, Green, and Lake show that impacts of invasion by the crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes ramify through the food web in rainforest on Christmas Island, totally reconfiguring this ecosystem in just 1-2 years.

On the forest floor, crazy ant supercolonies extirpate the dominant native omnivore, which indirectly increases seedling recruitment but slows litter decomposition. In the forest canopy, new ant-Homoptera partnerships accelerate, exacerbate, and diversify impacts. Sustained high densities of ants are associated with outbreaks of host-generalist scale insects and honeydew-dependent sooty moulds, leading to canopy dieback and even tree deaths.


The indirect fallout from the displacement of a native keystone species by an ant invader, itself abetted by introduced mutualists, precipitates invasional ’meltdown’ in this island ecosystem. Even in simple systems, unforeseen effects and novel associations following introduction of a single alien species can make forecasting of impacts an elusive goal.

Kate Stinchcombe | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>