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Dual response to nest flooding during monsoon in an Indian ant.

Kolay S, Annagiri S - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: Based on characterization of nest location, architecture and the response of these ants to different levels of flooding in their natural habitat as well as in the laboratory, we infer that they exhibit a dual response.On the other hand, inundated nests are evacuated and the ants occupy shelters at higher elevations.We conclude that focused studies of the monsoon biology of species that dwell in such climatic conditions may help us appreciate how organisms deal with, and adapt to, extreme seasonal changes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Behaviour &Ecology Lab, Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, Mohanpur, West Bengal 741246, India.

ABSTRACT
Flooding causes destruction of shelter and disruption of activity in animals occupying subterranean nests. To ensure their survival organisms have evolved various responses to combat this problem. In this study we examine the response of an Indian ant, Diacamma indicum, to nest flooding during the monsoon season. Based on characterization of nest location, architecture and the response of these ants to different levels of flooding in their natural habitat as well as in the laboratory, we infer that they exhibit a dual response. On the one hand, the challenges presented by monsoon are dealt with by occupying shallow nests and modifying the entrance with decorations and soil mounds. On the other hand, inundated nests are evacuated and the ants occupy shelters at higher elevations. We conclude that focused studies of the monsoon biology of species that dwell in such climatic conditions may help us appreciate how organisms deal with, and adapt to, extreme seasonal changes.

No MeSH data available.


(a) Nest elevation (grey bars, primary y axis) and length of entrance tunnel (white bars; secondary axis) of nests studied in the field in pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon periods. Each box represents the interquartile range, the line inside the box represents the median and the whiskers represent the range of the data. Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare nest parameters between different seasons. Bars carrying different letters or numbers are significantly different from each other. (b) Representative picture for nest entrances (arrow pointing towards the entrance) observed in pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon have been presented.
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f2: (a) Nest elevation (grey bars, primary y axis) and length of entrance tunnel (white bars; secondary axis) of nests studied in the field in pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon periods. Each box represents the interquartile range, the line inside the box represents the median and the whiskers represent the range of the data. Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare nest parameters between different seasons. Bars carrying different letters or numbers are significantly different from each other. (b) Representative picture for nest entrances (arrow pointing towards the entrance) observed in pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon have been presented.

Mentions: Diacamma indicum nests were studied in their natural habitat in eastern India during three periods, namely pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon (Fig. 1). Few nests observed during monsoon (25.6%) were subterranean whereas 70.3% nests in pre-monsoon (Contingency χ2 test, χ2 = 16.0, df = 1, p < 0.001) and 82.8% in post-monsoon (Contingency χ2 test, χ2 = 22.7, df = 1, p < 0.001) were subterranean. During the monsoon period even though some colonies occupied subterranean nests (25.6%) a majority of the colonies occupied nests located in places such as tree trunks (25.6%), hollows of bamboo stems (18.6%), cracks in brick piles (18.6%), fallen logs (4.7%) and other opportunistic nesting sites (7%). Nest elevations varied across seasons (Kruskal-Wallis test, T = 24.7, df = 2, p = 0.001; Fig. 2a). Nest entrances during monsoon (17.8 cm, 0.3–56.5 cm) were located at a significantly higher elevation than in pre-monsoon (0 cm, 0–21 cm) (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 1099.0, df1 = 42, df2 = 37, p = 0.001) and post-monsoon (0 cm, 0–0 cm) (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 978.5, df1 = 42, df2 = 29, p = 0.001) periods.


Dual response to nest flooding during monsoon in an Indian ant.

Kolay S, Annagiri S - Sci Rep (2015)

(a) Nest elevation (grey bars, primary y axis) and length of entrance tunnel (white bars; secondary axis) of nests studied in the field in pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon periods. Each box represents the interquartile range, the line inside the box represents the median and the whiskers represent the range of the data. Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare nest parameters between different seasons. Bars carrying different letters or numbers are significantly different from each other. (b) Representative picture for nest entrances (arrow pointing towards the entrance) observed in pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon have been presented.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4562246&req=5

f2: (a) Nest elevation (grey bars, primary y axis) and length of entrance tunnel (white bars; secondary axis) of nests studied in the field in pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon periods. Each box represents the interquartile range, the line inside the box represents the median and the whiskers represent the range of the data. Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare nest parameters between different seasons. Bars carrying different letters or numbers are significantly different from each other. (b) Representative picture for nest entrances (arrow pointing towards the entrance) observed in pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon have been presented.
Mentions: Diacamma indicum nests were studied in their natural habitat in eastern India during three periods, namely pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon (Fig. 1). Few nests observed during monsoon (25.6%) were subterranean whereas 70.3% nests in pre-monsoon (Contingency χ2 test, χ2 = 16.0, df = 1, p < 0.001) and 82.8% in post-monsoon (Contingency χ2 test, χ2 = 22.7, df = 1, p < 0.001) were subterranean. During the monsoon period even though some colonies occupied subterranean nests (25.6%) a majority of the colonies occupied nests located in places such as tree trunks (25.6%), hollows of bamboo stems (18.6%), cracks in brick piles (18.6%), fallen logs (4.7%) and other opportunistic nesting sites (7%). Nest elevations varied across seasons (Kruskal-Wallis test, T = 24.7, df = 2, p = 0.001; Fig. 2a). Nest entrances during monsoon (17.8 cm, 0.3–56.5 cm) were located at a significantly higher elevation than in pre-monsoon (0 cm, 0–21 cm) (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 1099.0, df1 = 42, df2 = 37, p = 0.001) and post-monsoon (0 cm, 0–0 cm) (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 978.5, df1 = 42, df2 = 29, p = 0.001) periods.

Bottom Line: Based on characterization of nest location, architecture and the response of these ants to different levels of flooding in their natural habitat as well as in the laboratory, we infer that they exhibit a dual response.On the other hand, inundated nests are evacuated and the ants occupy shelters at higher elevations.We conclude that focused studies of the monsoon biology of species that dwell in such climatic conditions may help us appreciate how organisms deal with, and adapt to, extreme seasonal changes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Behaviour &Ecology Lab, Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, Mohanpur, West Bengal 741246, India.

ABSTRACT
Flooding causes destruction of shelter and disruption of activity in animals occupying subterranean nests. To ensure their survival organisms have evolved various responses to combat this problem. In this study we examine the response of an Indian ant, Diacamma indicum, to nest flooding during the monsoon season. Based on characterization of nest location, architecture and the response of these ants to different levels of flooding in their natural habitat as well as in the laboratory, we infer that they exhibit a dual response. On the one hand, the challenges presented by monsoon are dealt with by occupying shallow nests and modifying the entrance with decorations and soil mounds. On the other hand, inundated nests are evacuated and the ants occupy shelters at higher elevations. We conclude that focused studies of the monsoon biology of species that dwell in such climatic conditions may help us appreciate how organisms deal with, and adapt to, extreme seasonal changes.

No MeSH data available.