Record details

    Mechanisms of pH change in wood ant (Formica polyctena) nests
    Frouz, Jan
    Jílková, Veronika
    Šebek, Ondřej
Publication type
    článek v periodiku
Source title - serial
    Pedobiologia - International Journal of Soil Biology
    Roč. 55, č. 5
Thesaurus term
    Basic cations
Abstract (in english)
   We conducted a study to determine why the pH of wood ant nest materials is typically higher than that of the surrounding forest soil. An experiment with litter bags demonstrated that the pH of litter increased significantly (after only 7 months) in ant nests. Because the food that foraging ants bring into the nest contains easily decomposed carbohydrates and basic cations (largely in the form of honeydew and prey) that can cause increases in pH. we then estimated the amount of this influ of basic cations and easily decomposed carbohydrates. Based on these estimates, we conducted a second experiment to determine whether addition of field-determined quantities of an easily decomposed carbohydrate (glucose) or a basic cation (Ca2+) would increase the pH of the litter in artificial ant nests in the forest. Both glucose and Ca2+ additions significantly increased the pH of the litter but the increase was greater with Ca2+. The rate of pH increase in the artificial nests was similar to the ra
   te of increase in natural nests. According to our study, ants collect substantial amounts of mineral-enriched materials in this ecosystem, which collectively increase the pH of nest material. (c) 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
    UK Praha, Přírodovědecká fakulta
Contributor code
    UK, PřF
Source format
Import date
    27. 4. 2014