[UPDATED with a video, below] Some researchers recently published a study in which they placed Cataglyphis desert ants on treadmills. […]
Many research programs in biology neglect natural history. While investigating sophisticated hypotheses and theories, even very basic information […]
Meet Sophie Schofield, Dr. Tom Bishop, and Dr. Kate Parr:
These three ant researchers wanted to know how drastically different environments impact functional traits in ants. So, they found out, and published their discoveries in Myrmecological News in September of last year.
Every living thing needs nutrients. Much previous work has shown that a variety of soil nutrients – in particular Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K) – greatly impact plant communities. Often, human behaviors, especially agricultural practices like fertilization, have generated significant shifts in these nutrients. When environments become flushed with these nutrients, overall biomass typically increases but biodiversity often decreases. This is expected according to two hypotheses:
- Nutrient Limitation Hypothesis: Limitations in nutrients suppress abundance, and therefore increases in nutrients will drive increased abundance.
- Community Homogenization Hypothesis: Species that are most efficient at utilizing resources are prevented from completely excluding other species due to resource limitations. Therefore, increases in nutrients will allow these species to competitively exclude other species, decreasing overall diversity.
Six days ago, we featured a story about ant butts. Five days ago, we featured a quote from a […]
On Thursday, Field Correspondant Natalia Piland, who is currently undercover as an evolutionary biologist studying birds in Peru, provided The […]
Perhaps the most widely-appreciated characteristic of ant colonies is their propensity for collective decision-making. How does a colony, with behavioral […]
As our regular readers understand, ants should be highly appreciated. However, there are some animals in nature that have not yet learned this valuable lesson. In a recent paper published in Biodiversity Data Journal, Dr. Brian Brown and colleagues highlight one such unenlightened group of critters: phorid flies.
Not much time today to write a whole post, but this article in the New York Times is […]
Any casual observer of ants has probably discovered that, somehow, ants are able to return to their colony […]
I didn’t manage to write a post for today, but a recent study suggests that laziness may not […]
It may be Friday the 13th, but this article is talking about some lucky ants. Canopy ants, in particular. Ants that forage in trees exhibit a high level of ecological dominance, and ants are usually the most conspicuous organisms running around on tree trunks and branches, especially in tropical forests. This begs the question: Why? Dr. Terry McGlynn and Erica Parra, in a paper published last year, set out to address this question.