Biología e interacciones multitróficas entre hormigas y una comunidad de artrópodos y sus depredadores en un cultivo ecológico de cítricos

  • Espadaler Gelabert, Francesc Xavier (Principal Investigator)
  • Barrientos Alfageme, José-Antonio (Investigator)
  • Piñol Pascual, Josep (Investigator)
  • Crisanto Gómez López (Investigator)

Project Details


Ants have been described as center of ecological interactions. By their ubiquity and abundance, ants establish many kinds of relations with other organisms, qualitatively and quantitatively important. The sing (positive, neutral or negative) is variable and depends on the specifics agents and on local and temporal circumstances. We propose to analyze these interactions in two scenarios: (a) A system with several species of native ants tending aphids in tangerine tress (Citrus clementina) in an organic grove. Using the community of arthropods and its predators, we want to study the interactions throughout four trophic levels on a paired basis: plant-herbivore; herbivore-predators; predators-super predators. We aim to discover the importance of the generalists predators (earwigs, ants, spiders and birds) using exclusion experiments of two of them, ants and birds. (b) A system in witch an exotic species, the Argentine ant Linepithema humile, has been able to penetrate in a non degraded zone, a rare situation with this species. Data on reproductive biology, behavior and its incidence in the local biodiversity will be obtained; its incidence in vertebrates (young of chicks of insectivorous birds) will be documented. The dynamics of the advance at the invasion fronts will be followed as well as in other habitats subjected to ecological disturbances. The dynamics of seasonal space movement of nests, in general, and of queens, in particular. The distribution of the queens in invaded zones invaded with the aim of determine when and where to be able to act on the queens as a control element of the advance of the invasion front. With those kind of data we will develop predictive models of the potential range of invasion of the Argentine ant at local and regional scale within the Iberian Peninsula. Those models will use environmental variables and physiological variables (degree-day models). The long term objective is to obtain data to be able to establish (...)
Effective start/end date1/10/0730/09/10

Collaborative partners

  • (lead)
  • Universitat de Girona


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