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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle

Large- and Small-Scale Environmental Factors Drive Distributions of Ant Mound Size Across a Latitudinal Gradient

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Department of Ecology, University of Szeged, Közép fasor 52, H-6726 Szeged, Hungary
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Doctoral School in Biology, Faculty of Science and Informatics, University of Szeged, Közép fasor 52, H-6726 Szeged, Hungary
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Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wilcza Street 64, 00-679 Warsaw, Poland
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Doctoral School of Environmental Sciences, University of Szeged, Rerrich Béla Square 1, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
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Department of Forest Biological Sciences, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna 4031, Philippines
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Department of Physical Geography and Geoinformatics, University of Szeged, Egyetem Street 2-6, H-6722 Szeged, Hungary
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(6), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11060350
Received: 11 May 2020 / Revised: 30 May 2020 / Accepted: 1 June 2020 / Published: 4 June 2020
Red wood ants are keystone species of forest ecosystems in Europe. Environmental factors and habitat characteristics affect the size of their nest mounds, an important trait being in concordance with a colony’s well-being and impact on its surroundings. In this study, we investigated the effect of large-scale (latitude and altitude) and small-scale environmental factors (e.g., characteristics of the forest) on the size of nest mounds of Formica polyctena in Central Europe. We predicted that the change in nest size is in accordance with Bergmann’s rule that states that the body size of endotherm animals increases with the higher latitude and/or altitude. We found that the size of nests increased along the latitudinal gradient in accordance with Bergmann’s rule. The irradiation was the most important factor responsible for the changes in nest size, but temperature and local factors, like the perimeter of the trees and their distance from the nest, were also involved. Considering our results, we can better understand the long-term effects and consequences of the fast-changing environmental factors on this ecologically important group. This knowledge can contribute to the planning of forest management tactics in concordance with the assurance of the long-term survival of red wood ants. View Full-Text
Keywords: altitudinal gradient; Bergmann’s rule; Formica polyctena; latitudinal gradient; nest mound altitudinal gradient; Bergmann’s rule; Formica polyctena; latitudinal gradient; nest mound
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MDPI and ACS Style

Juhász, O.; Bátori, Z.; Trigos-Peral, G.; Lőrinczi, G.; Módra, G.; Bóni, I.; Kiss, P.J.; Aguilon, D.J.; Tenyér, A.; Maák, I. Large- and Small-Scale Environmental Factors Drive Distributions of Ant Mound Size Across a Latitudinal Gradient. Insects 2020, 11, 350. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11060350

AMA Style

Juhász O, Bátori Z, Trigos-Peral G, Lőrinczi G, Módra G, Bóni I, Kiss PJ, Aguilon DJ, Tenyér A, Maák I. Large- and Small-Scale Environmental Factors Drive Distributions of Ant Mound Size Across a Latitudinal Gradient. Insects. 2020; 11(6):350. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11060350

Chicago/Turabian Style

Juhász, Orsolya; Bátori, Zoltán; Trigos-Peral, Gema; Lőrinczi, Gábor; Módra, Gábor; Bóni, Imola; Kiss, Péter J.; Aguilon, Dianne J.; Tenyér, Anna; Maák, István. 2020. "Large- and Small-Scale Environmental Factors Drive Distributions of Ant Mound Size Across a Latitudinal Gradient" Insects 11, no. 6: 350. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11060350

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