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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.


Nest depths measured from casts obtained in the laboratory from four sets of experiments- control, control + water, control + ant and water + ant. Each box represents the interquartile range, the line inside the box represents the median and the whiskers represent the range of the data. Comparisons of parameters were carried out using Mann-Whitney U test and symbols above the boxes indicate categories that are significantly different from each other.
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f3: Nest depths measured from casts obtained in the laboratory from four sets of experiments- control, control + water, control + ant and water + ant. Each box represents the interquartile range, the line inside the box represents the median and the whiskers represent the range of the data. Comparisons of parameters were carried out using Mann-Whitney U test and symbols above the boxes indicate categories that are significantly different from each other.

Mentions: Experiments were performed in the laboratory to study the changes made to the nest structure by D. indicum colonies on being subjected to mild water stress. The nest depth obtained by measuring the vertical length of the casts (entrance tunnel + chamber) was significantly different across experiments (Kruskal-Wallis test, T = 11.9, df = 3, p = 0.008; Fig. 3). Although the depths of the nests made in the control + ant treatments (7.9 cm, 7.1–10 cm) were higher than the nest depths in all other treatments, pair-wise comparisons show that the depths of control + ant nests were significantly higher than only control + water nests (4.4 cm, 3.9–4.9 cm) (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 82.5, df1 = 8, df2 = 12, p = 0.03). Depths of control + ant nests were not significantly different from control nests (6.4 cm, 5.2–6.8 cm) (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 76.5, df1 = 8, df2 = 12, p = 0.1) and water + ant nests (5.7 cm, 4.7–6.3 cm) (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 111.5, df1 = 12, df2 = 12, p = 0.1). The depths of nests obtained after water + ant treatment were comparable to control nests (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 56.5, df1 = 8, df2 = 12, p = 0.5) and control + water nests (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 68.0, df1 = 8, df2 = 12, p = 0.3). For pair-wise comparisons of nest depths the corrected p-values using Holm-Bonferroni correction has been presented. Control + ant and water + ant nests had similar number of chambers (Control + ant: 1, 1–1, Water + ant: 1, 1–2, Mann-Whitney U test, U = 82.0, df1 = 12, df2 = 12, p = 0.6) and chamber volumes were comparable between the two treatments (Control + ant: 29.4 cc, 17.6–90.8 cc, Water + ant: 53 cc, 34.6–97.5 cc, Mann-Whitney U test, U = 81.0, df1 = 12, df2 = 12, p = 0.6).


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

Kolay S, Annagiri S - Sci Rep (2015)

Nest depths measured from casts obtained in the laboratory from four sets of experiments- control, control + water, control + ant and water + ant. Each box represents the interquartile range, the line inside the box represents the median and the whiskers represent the range of the data. Comparisons of parameters were carried out using Mann-Whitney U test and symbols above the boxes indicate categories that are significantly different from each other.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f3: Nest depths measured from casts obtained in the laboratory from four sets of experiments- control, control + water, control + ant and water + ant. Each box represents the interquartile range, the line inside the box represents the median and the whiskers represent the range of the data. Comparisons of parameters were carried out using Mann-Whitney U test and symbols above the boxes indicate categories that are significantly different from each other.
Mentions: Experiments were performed in the laboratory to study the changes made to the nest structure by D. indicum colonies on being subjected to mild water stress. The nest depth obtained by measuring the vertical length of the casts (entrance tunnel + chamber) was significantly different across experiments (Kruskal-Wallis test, T = 11.9, df = 3, p = 0.008; Fig. 3). Although the depths of the nests made in the control + ant treatments (7.9 cm, 7.1–10 cm) were higher than the nest depths in all other treatments, pair-wise comparisons show that the depths of control + ant nests were significantly higher than only control + water nests (4.4 cm, 3.9–4.9 cm) (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 82.5, df1 = 8, df2 = 12, p = 0.03). Depths of control + ant nests were not significantly different from control nests (6.4 cm, 5.2–6.8 cm) (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 76.5, df1 = 8, df2 = 12, p = 0.1) and water + ant nests (5.7 cm, 4.7–6.3 cm) (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 111.5, df1 = 12, df2 = 12, p = 0.1). The depths of nests obtained after water + ant treatment were comparable to control nests (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 56.5, df1 = 8, df2 = 12, p = 0.5) and control + water nests (Mann-Whitney U test, U = 68.0, df1 = 8, df2 = 12, p = 0.3). For pair-wise comparisons of nest depths the corrected p-values using Holm-Bonferroni correction has been presented. Control + ant and water + ant nests had similar number of chambers (Control + ant: 1, 1–1, Water + ant: 1, 1–2, Mann-Whitney U test, U = 82.0, df1 = 12, df2 = 12, p = 0.6) and chamber volumes were comparable between the two treatments (Control + ant: 29.4 cc, 17.6–90.8 cc, Water + ant: 53 cc, 34.6–97.5 cc, Mann-Whitney U test, U = 81.0, df1 = 12, df2 = 12, p = 0.6).

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.