About this book
Comprising a substantial part of living biomass on earth, ants are integral to the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. More than 12,000 species have been described to date, and it is estimated that perhaps as many still await classification.
Ant Ecology explores key ecological issues and new developments in myrmecology across a range of scales. The book begins with a global perspective on species diversity in time and space and explores interactions at the community level before describing the population ecology of these social insects. The final section covers the recent ecological phenomenon of invasive ants: how they move across the globe, invade, affect ecosystems, and are managed by humans. Each chapter links ant ecology to broader ecological principles, provides a succinct summary, and discusses future research directions. Practical aspects of myrmecology, applications of ant ecology, debates, and novel discoveries are highlighted in text boxes throughout the volume.
The book concludes with a synthesis of the current state of the field and a look at exciting future research directions. The extensive reference list and full glossary are invaluable for researchers, and those new to the field.
PART 1 - GLOBAL ANT DIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION;
1. Taxonomy, Phylogenetics, and Evolution;
3. Geographic Gradients;
4. Ant Conservation: Current Status and Call to Action;
PART 2 - COMMUNITY DYNAMICS;
5. Competition and the Role of Dominant Ants;
6. Ants as Mutualists;
7. Food and Shelter: How Resources Influence Ant Ecology;
8. Ant Biodiversity and Function in Disturbed and Changing Habitats;
PART 3 - POPULATION ECOLOGY;
9. Colonial Reproduction and Life Histories;
10. Colony Structure;
11. Nestmate Recognition;
12. Foraging and Defence Strategies in Ants;
PART 4 - INVASIVE ANTS;
13. Biogeographic and Taxonomic Patterns of Introduced Ants;
14. Invasion Processes and Causes of Success;
15. Consequences of Ant Invasions;
16. Invasive Ant Management;
17. Synthesis and Perspectives; Glossary; References; Index
Dr. Lori Lach is a Research Fellow in the Ecosystems Restoration Laboratory at Murdoch University. She has conducted myrmecological research in many parts of the globe. Her current research interests include ant-plant and mutualistic interactions, and the consequences of biological invasions on these interactions. She is also interested in restoring native ant communities following ant invasion, and the development of restoration practices that facilitate invertebrate conservation.
Dr. Catherine Parr is the present Trapnell Fellow is African Ecology at the University of Oxford. She is a community ecologist with broad research interests encapsulating species coexistence and biodiversity conservation. Much of her research focuses on ant communities in the savannas of southern Africa and northern Australia. Current projects involve investigating the importance of habitat complexity in mediating competition.
Dr. Kirsti Abbott is an Assistant Lecturer and invasion ecologist at Monash University, with specific expertise in ants on islands, mutualisms, and management of invasive ants for biodiversity conservation. She is affiliated with isolated oceanic islands through advisory panels that help battle invasive ants, and has a passion for science communication and debate in the public arena. She currently teaches undergraduate students the importance of the practice and application of science in the hope they appreciate its contribution to the sustainability of the world we live in.