Sylvia Cremer is from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and the University of Regensburg in Germany. Working with colleagues from these institutes and the University of Keele in the UK, she looked at colonies of ants in 14 locations around Europe.
Using a combination of genetic, chemical and behavioural analyses, the researchers investigated the similarities between colonies to reconstruct the route of invasion and dispersal strategy of this pest ant. They established that the invading populations arose from only a handful of introductions to Europe and that infested sites are effective originators for new introductions. Dr Cremer explained what the results imply: “Many more infestations of the garden ant are likely to have taken place already, but have remained undiscovered due to the usual lag phase for invasive species to become established.”
The native range of invasive garden ants is unknown, but is thought to be in the Black Sea region. One hundred populations are already known in Europe. The ants can survive mean winter temperatures of -5°C, so their range could eventually extend from Scotland to Japan. Invasive garden ants are found in urban environments such as parks and gardens, rather than natural habitats. They are often very aggressive to native species, killing off indigenous insects and spiders.
Dr Cremer stated: “We hope that our present study will contribute to establish greater awareness of this pest ant, so that new infestations can be exterminated before they become damaging.”
Charlotte Webber | alfa
Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
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23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy