Red wood Ants (Formica rufa-group) prefer mature pine forests in Variscan granite environments (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.13133/2284-4880/474

Keywords:

Red wood ants (Formica polyctena), variable and quasi-invariant factors, forest types, tree age classes, Variscan Granites, geochemical composition of bedrock, geomorphology, tectonics

Abstract

We used presence/absence data of 5,160 red wood ant nests (RWA; Formica polyctena) acquired in a systematic large-scale area-wide survey in two study areas (≈350 ha) in the Oberpfalz, NE Bavaria, Germany to explore for the first time the influence of variable (e.g., forest type, tree age) and quasi-invariant factors (e.g., tectonics, geochemical composition of the bedrock) on nest size and spatial distribution for Variscan granites. A combination of the forest type (mature pine-dominated forests (≈80–140 years) as main variable factor and the geochemical property of the Variscan granites with their high natural Radon potential and moderate heat production as main quasi-invariant factor could explain the high nest numbers in both study areas. In addition, the spatially clustered distribution patterns of the observed nests suggest a strong interaction between nests and their quasi-invariant environment, especially the directionality of the present-day stress field and the direction of the tectonically formed “Erbendorfer Line”. In general, such a combination of variable and quasi-invariant factors can be addressed as particularly favorable RWA habitats.

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Published

2022-05-15

How to Cite

Berberich, G. M., Berberich, M. B., & Gibhardt, M. (2022). Red wood Ants (Formica rufa-group) prefer mature pine forests in Variscan granite environments (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Fragmenta Entomologica, 54(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.13133/2284-4880/474

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