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Early Results of Three-Year Monitoring of Red Wood Ants' Behavioral Changes and Their Possible Correlation with Earthquake Events.

Berberich G, Berberich M, Grumpe A, Wöhler C, Schreiber U - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Bottom Line: Early results show that ants have a well-identifiable standard daily routine.Based on this automated approach, a statistical analysis of the ants' behavior will be carried out.In addition, other parameters (climate, geotectonic and biological), which may influence behavior, will be included in the analysis.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

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

ABSTRACT
Short-term earthquake predictions with an advance warning of several hours or days are currently not possible due to both incomplete understanding of the complex tectonic processes and inadequate observations. Abnormal animal behaviors before earthquakes have been reported previously, but create problems in monitoring and reliability. The situation is different with red wood ants (RWA; Formica rufa-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)). They have stationary mounds on tectonically active, gas-bearing fault systems. These faults may be potential earthquake areas. For three years (2009-2012), two red wood ant mounds (Formica rufa-group), located at the seismically active Neuwied Basin (Eifel, Germany), have been monitored 24/7 by high-resolution cameras with both a color and an infrared sensor. Early results show that ants have a well-identifiable standard daily routine. Correlation with local seismic events suggests changes in the ants' behavior hours before the earthquake: the nocturnal rest phase and daily activity are suppressed, and standard daily routine does not resume until the next day. At present, an automated image evaluation routine is being applied to the more than 45,000 hours of video streams. Based on this automated approach, a statistical analysis of the ants' behavior will be carried out. In addition, other parameters (climate, geotectonic and biological), which may influence behavior, will be included in the analysis.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The automatically determined activity index (blue) for the time interval June 08–30, 2010 (AntCam 1) combined with the manually analyzed activities (green) in correlation with local earthquakes with a magnitude of <2. At lower magnitudes, an anomalous behavior may possibly be present as well. A comparison of the earth tides and the earthquake events suggest a possible correlation for the given time interval. An accumulation of earthquakes (June 09 (day 161); June 12–14 (days 163–165) and June 26–29 (days 177–180)) occurs only when the absolute values of the vertical displacements are at their maximum. A similar, but less pronounced, relation can be observed for nuptial flights in the given time interval (June 22–30, days 174–181). It is necessary to further analyze these relationships in long-term studies.
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animals-03-00063-f012: The automatically determined activity index (blue) for the time interval June 08–30, 2010 (AntCam 1) combined with the manually analyzed activities (green) in correlation with local earthquakes with a magnitude of <2. At lower magnitudes, an anomalous behavior may possibly be present as well. A comparison of the earth tides and the earthquake events suggest a possible correlation for the given time interval. An accumulation of earthquakes (June 09 (day 161); June 12–14 (days 163–165) and June 26–29 (days 177–180)) occurs only when the absolute values of the vertical displacements are at their maximum. A similar, but less pronounced, relation can be observed for nuptial flights in the given time interval (June 22–30, days 174–181). It is necessary to further analyze these relationships in long-term studies.

Mentions: Earth tide data provided by the University of Bern [42] were evaluated (cf.Figure 5(b)). The earth’s response to the gravitational influence of both the Sun and the Moon results in two slight lunar and two solar tidal bulges (earth tides). The two bulges occur at the surface part of the earth that approximately faces the Moon and at the opposite surface part while the Earth rotates around its axis. Earth tides can be correlated with volcanic eruptions [43]. Whether earth tides also trigger earthquakes is still under discussion [44]. Another question is if earth tides might also trigger the ants’ behavior with regard to their daily routine or nuptial flights (cf.Figure 12(a)).


Early Results of Three-Year Monitoring of Red Wood Ants' Behavioral Changes and Their Possible Correlation with Earthquake Events.

Berberich G, Berberich M, Grumpe A, Wöhler C, Schreiber U - Animals (Basel) (2013)

The automatically determined activity index (blue) for the time interval June 08–30, 2010 (AntCam 1) combined with the manually analyzed activities (green) in correlation with local earthquakes with a magnitude of <2. At lower magnitudes, an anomalous behavior may possibly be present as well. A comparison of the earth tides and the earthquake events suggest a possible correlation for the given time interval. An accumulation of earthquakes (June 09 (day 161); June 12–14 (days 163–165) and June 26–29 (days 177–180)) occurs only when the absolute values of the vertical displacements are at their maximum. A similar, but less pronounced, relation can be observed for nuptial flights in the given time interval (June 22–30, days 174–181). It is necessary to further analyze these relationships in long-term studies.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4495521&req=5

animals-03-00063-f012: The automatically determined activity index (blue) for the time interval June 08–30, 2010 (AntCam 1) combined with the manually analyzed activities (green) in correlation with local earthquakes with a magnitude of <2. At lower magnitudes, an anomalous behavior may possibly be present as well. A comparison of the earth tides and the earthquake events suggest a possible correlation for the given time interval. An accumulation of earthquakes (June 09 (day 161); June 12–14 (days 163–165) and June 26–29 (days 177–180)) occurs only when the absolute values of the vertical displacements are at their maximum. A similar, but less pronounced, relation can be observed for nuptial flights in the given time interval (June 22–30, days 174–181). It is necessary to further analyze these relationships in long-term studies.
Mentions: Earth tide data provided by the University of Bern [42] were evaluated (cf.Figure 5(b)). The earth’s response to the gravitational influence of both the Sun and the Moon results in two slight lunar and two solar tidal bulges (earth tides). The two bulges occur at the surface part of the earth that approximately faces the Moon and at the opposite surface part while the Earth rotates around its axis. Earth tides can be correlated with volcanic eruptions [43]. Whether earth tides also trigger earthquakes is still under discussion [44]. Another question is if earth tides might also trigger the ants’ behavior with regard to their daily routine or nuptial flights (cf.Figure 12(a)).

Bottom Line: Early results show that ants have a well-identifiable standard daily routine.Based on this automated approach, a statistical analysis of the ants' behavior will be carried out.In addition, other parameters (climate, geotectonic and biological), which may influence behavior, will be included in the analysis.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

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

ABSTRACT
Short-term earthquake predictions with an advance warning of several hours or days are currently not possible due to both incomplete understanding of the complex tectonic processes and inadequate observations. Abnormal animal behaviors before earthquakes have been reported previously, but create problems in monitoring and reliability. The situation is different with red wood ants (RWA; Formica rufa-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)). They have stationary mounds on tectonically active, gas-bearing fault systems. These faults may be potential earthquake areas. For three years (2009-2012), two red wood ant mounds (Formica rufa-group), located at the seismically active Neuwied Basin (Eifel, Germany), have been monitored 24/7 by high-resolution cameras with both a color and an infrared sensor. Early results show that ants have a well-identifiable standard daily routine. Correlation with local seismic events suggests changes in the ants' behavior hours before the earthquake: the nocturnal rest phase and daily activity are suppressed, and standard daily routine does not resume until the next day. At present, an automated image evaluation routine is being applied to the more than 45,000 hours of video streams. Based on this automated approach, a statistical analysis of the ants' behavior will be carried out. In addition, other parameters (climate, geotectonic and biological), which may influence behavior, will be included in the analysis.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus