Red imported fire ant impacts on upland arthropods in Southern Mississippi

D. M. Epperson, C. R. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) have negative impacts on a broad array of invertebrate species. We investigated the impacts of fire ants on the upland arthropod community on 20∼40 ha study sites in southern Mississippi. Study sites were sampled from 19972000 before, during, and after fire ant bait treatments to reduce fire ant populations. Fire ant abundance was assessed with bait transects on all sites, and fire ant population indices were estimated on a subset of study sites. Species richness and diversity of other ant species was also assessed from bait transects. Insect biomass and diversity was determined from light trap samples. Following treatments, fire ant abundance and population indices were significantly reduced, and ant species diversity and richness were greater on treated sites. Arthropod biomass, species diversity and species richness estimated from light trap samples were negatively correlated with fire ant abundance, but there were no observable treatment effects. Solenopsis invicta has the potential to negatively impact native arthropod communities resulting in a potential loss of both species and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Volume163
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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