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Distribution of Red Wood Ants (Formica Polyctena FÖRst.) Over the Foraging Area of Their Nest, and the Influence of a Conspecific Neighbouring Population

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

1. Two models are proposed concerning the way in which predator-ants walk into the field from the nest, namely a line source model (the workers walk into the field exclusively via the tracks) and a point source model (the workers walk in straight lines from the nest). It appeared that catches of workers in pitfall traps could be described better by the line source model than by the point source model. The conclusion is that most ants foraging in the sector between two tracks leading from a nest will leave the nest by way of one of the tracks. 2. As the spring advances, foragers move on average further from the nest, unless they are prevented from doing so by ants from a neighbouring nest. This means that the foraging areas of the nests are confined to a considerable extent bythe presence of ants from neighbouring nests, and that we are dealing with competition of the contest type.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ecology, Zoological Laboratory, University of Leiden, The Netherlands


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