Next Article in Journal
The Effect of the Type of Non-Caged Housing System, Genotype and Age on the Behaviour of Laying Hens
Next Article in Special Issue
Influence of the Number of Queens on Nest Establishment: Native and Invasive Ant Species
Previous Article in Journal
Milk Production and Energetic Metabolism of Heat-Stressed Dairy Goats Supplemented with Propylene Glycol
Article

The Native Ant Lasius niger Can Limit the Access to Resources of the Invasive Argentine Ant

1
Ecologie Systématique Evolution, CNRS, AgroParisTech, Paris-Saclay University, 91405 Orsay, France
2
Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, IRD, IMBE, Avignon University, 84000 Avignon, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2451; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122451
Received: 21 November 2020 / Revised: 12 December 2020 / Accepted: 15 December 2020 / Published: 21 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolutionary Ecology of Eusocial Insects in a Changing World)
Invasive ants are often highly dominant competitors, having strong impacts on native species. Such invaders often exploit resources better than native species, finding them first or collecting them faster. They are also often more efficient when interfering with other species, suffering fewer losses or preventing access to resources. We assessed the competitive behavior of the invasive Argentine ant when facing another invasive species or a native dominant species. The exploratory behavior of the Argentine ant was strongly inhibited by the native dominant species. The Argentine ant brought very few prey resources to its nest and killed few opponents. Conversely, the other invasive species had low impact on the Argentine ant. Contrary to expectations, the invasive species lacked the ability to hinder resource exploitation by the Argentine ant, whereas the native dominant species did. These results suggest that a native species could impact invasive populations of the Argentine ant by interference competition, perhaps better so than some invasive species. In the northern half of Europe, it could prevent further expansion of this highly invasive species.
Within ant communities, the biotic resistance of native species against invasive ones is expected to be rare, because invasive species are often highly dominant competitors. The invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile (Mayr)) often demonstrated numerical dominance against its opponents, increased aggressiveness, and ability to quickly recruit to food. The present study aimed to assess the behavioral mechanisms involved in the interspecific competition between L. humile, facing either an invasive species (Lasius neglectus Van Loon, Boomsma and Andrásfalvy) or a native dominant species (Lasius niger (Linnaeus)). The resource exploitation by the Argentine ant was investigated during one-hour competitive interactions using 10 dead Drosophila flies as prey. When facing La. niger, L. humile exploratory behavior was strongly inhibited, it brought very few prey resources, and killed few opponents. Conversely, La. neglectus had a low impact on L. humile. Contrarily to expectations, the invasive La. neglectus lacked the ability to hinder L. humile resource exploitation, whereas the native La. niger did. These results suggest that La. niger could impact invasive populations of L. humile by interference competition, perhaps better so than some invasive species. While L. humile has become invasive in Southern Europe, the invasion process could be slowed down in the northern latitudes by such native dominant species. View Full-Text
Keywords: aggression; Argentine ant; dominant species; interference competition; invasive species; resource exploitation aggression; Argentine ant; dominant species; interference competition; invasive species; resource exploitation
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Cordonnier, M.; Blight, O.; Angulo, E.; Courchamp, F. The Native Ant Lasius niger Can Limit the Access to Resources of the Invasive Argentine Ant. Animals 2020, 10, 2451. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122451

AMA Style

Cordonnier M, Blight O, Angulo E, Courchamp F. The Native Ant Lasius niger Can Limit the Access to Resources of the Invasive Argentine Ant. Animals. 2020; 10(12):2451. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122451

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cordonnier, Marion, Olivier Blight, Elena Angulo, and Franck Courchamp. 2020. "The Native Ant Lasius niger Can Limit the Access to Resources of the Invasive Argentine Ant" Animals 10, no. 12: 2451. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122451

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop