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GeoBioScience: Red Wood Ants as Bioindicators for Active Tectonic Fault Systems in the West Eifel (Germany).

Berberich G, Schreiber U - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Bottom Line: The results showed linear alignments and clusters of approx. 3,000 RWA mounds.A possible cause can be found in occasionally occurring H₂S in the fault systems, which is toxic at miniscule concentrations to the ants.Viewed overall, there is a strong relationship between RWA mounds and active tectonics in the West Eifel.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitätsstr. 5, 45141 Essen, Germany. gabriele.berberich@uni-due.de.

ABSTRACT
In a 1.140 km² study area of the volcanic West Eifel, a comprehensive investigation established the correlation between red wood ant mound (RWA; Formica rufa-group) sites and active tectonic faults. The current stress field with a NW-SE-trending main stress direction opens pathways for geogenic gases and potential magmas following the same orientation. At the same time, Variscan and Mesozoic fault zones are reactivated. The results showed linear alignments and clusters of approx. 3,000 RWA mounds. While linear mound distribution correlate with strike-slip fault systems documented by quartz and ore veins and fault planes with slickensides, the clusters represent crosscut zones of dominant fault systems. Latter can be correlated with voids caused by crustal block rotation. Gas analyses from soil air, mineral springs and mofettes (CO₂, Helium, Radon and H₂S) reveal limiting concentrations for the spatial distribution of mounds and colonization. Striking is further the almost complete absence of RWA mounds in the core area of the Quaternary volcanic field. A possible cause can be found in occasionally occurring H₂S in the fault systems, which is toxic at miniscule concentrations to the ants. Viewed overall, there is a strong relationship between RWA mounds and active tectonics in the West Eifel.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Spatial RWA mound distribution (approx. 3,000 mounds) in the 1,140 km² study area (a) and at the reference location Oberehe (b). In the study area, RWA mounds are not statistically distributed, but follow a certain shaped pattern: Roughly, 54% are in linear arrangements with a length ranging from several meters to kilometers, 39% of the mounds are found in clusters and approx. 7% are solitary mounds that appear in different habitats. At the reference location Oberehe (b) 212 RWA mounds predominantly in linear alignment were mapped. Though the reference site is surrounded by various forest stands, no further RWA mounds were found in those forest stands during the area-wide mapping.
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animals-03-00475-f005: Spatial RWA mound distribution (approx. 3,000 mounds) in the 1,140 km² study area (a) and at the reference location Oberehe (b). In the study area, RWA mounds are not statistically distributed, but follow a certain shaped pattern: Roughly, 54% are in linear arrangements with a length ranging from several meters to kilometers, 39% of the mounds are found in clusters and approx. 7% are solitary mounds that appear in different habitats. At the reference location Oberehe (b) 212 RWA mounds predominantly in linear alignment were mapped. Though the reference site is surrounded by various forest stands, no further RWA mounds were found in those forest stands during the area-wide mapping.

Mentions: GeoBioScience: Relationship between RWA mound sites and gaspermeable tectonic fault systems showing gas anomalies: Along the open systems geogenic gas concentrations exceed atmospheric standards (He > 5,220 ppb) and background values (CO2 > 2 Vol%; Rn, CH4 and H2S depending on the geological setting). Linear alignment of RWA mounds occurs if the gaspermeable fault is running open for a very long distance, e.g., 3 km at the Oberehe site (West Eifel, cf.Figure 5(b)). At crosscut zones of tectonic fault systems clusters of RWA mounds occur. Solitary mounds can be found mostly at unusual locations with spotty degassing [28].


GeoBioScience: Red Wood Ants as Bioindicators for Active Tectonic Fault Systems in the West Eifel (Germany).

Berberich G, Schreiber U - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Spatial RWA mound distribution (approx. 3,000 mounds) in the 1,140 km² study area (a) and at the reference location Oberehe (b). In the study area, RWA mounds are not statistically distributed, but follow a certain shaped pattern: Roughly, 54% are in linear arrangements with a length ranging from several meters to kilometers, 39% of the mounds are found in clusters and approx. 7% are solitary mounds that appear in different habitats. At the reference location Oberehe (b) 212 RWA mounds predominantly in linear alignment were mapped. Though the reference site is surrounded by various forest stands, no further RWA mounds were found in those forest stands during the area-wide mapping.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494391&req=5

animals-03-00475-f005: Spatial RWA mound distribution (approx. 3,000 mounds) in the 1,140 km² study area (a) and at the reference location Oberehe (b). In the study area, RWA mounds are not statistically distributed, but follow a certain shaped pattern: Roughly, 54% are in linear arrangements with a length ranging from several meters to kilometers, 39% of the mounds are found in clusters and approx. 7% are solitary mounds that appear in different habitats. At the reference location Oberehe (b) 212 RWA mounds predominantly in linear alignment were mapped. Though the reference site is surrounded by various forest stands, no further RWA mounds were found in those forest stands during the area-wide mapping.
Mentions: GeoBioScience: Relationship between RWA mound sites and gaspermeable tectonic fault systems showing gas anomalies: Along the open systems geogenic gas concentrations exceed atmospheric standards (He > 5,220 ppb) and background values (CO2 > 2 Vol%; Rn, CH4 and H2S depending on the geological setting). Linear alignment of RWA mounds occurs if the gaspermeable fault is running open for a very long distance, e.g., 3 km at the Oberehe site (West Eifel, cf.Figure 5(b)). At crosscut zones of tectonic fault systems clusters of RWA mounds occur. Solitary mounds can be found mostly at unusual locations with spotty degassing [28].

Bottom Line: The results showed linear alignments and clusters of approx. 3,000 RWA mounds.A possible cause can be found in occasionally occurring H₂S in the fault systems, which is toxic at miniscule concentrations to the ants.Viewed overall, there is a strong relationship between RWA mounds and active tectonics in the West Eifel.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitätsstr. 5, 45141 Essen, Germany. gabriele.berberich@uni-due.de.

ABSTRACT
In a 1.140 km² study area of the volcanic West Eifel, a comprehensive investigation established the correlation between red wood ant mound (RWA; Formica rufa-group) sites and active tectonic faults. The current stress field with a NW-SE-trending main stress direction opens pathways for geogenic gases and potential magmas following the same orientation. At the same time, Variscan and Mesozoic fault zones are reactivated. The results showed linear alignments and clusters of approx. 3,000 RWA mounds. While linear mound distribution correlate with strike-slip fault systems documented by quartz and ore veins and fault planes with slickensides, the clusters represent crosscut zones of dominant fault systems. Latter can be correlated with voids caused by crustal block rotation. Gas analyses from soil air, mineral springs and mofettes (CO₂, Helium, Radon and H₂S) reveal limiting concentrations for the spatial distribution of mounds and colonization. Striking is further the almost complete absence of RWA mounds in the core area of the Quaternary volcanic field. A possible cause can be found in occasionally occurring H₂S in the fault systems, which is toxic at miniscule concentrations to the ants. Viewed overall, there is a strong relationship between RWA mounds and active tectonics in the West Eifel.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus