Wood ants play an ecologically dominant and conspicuous role in temperate boreal forests, making a keystone contribution to woodland ecosystem functions and processes. Wood ant taxonomy and global distributions set the scene for this text's exploration of wood ants as social insects, examining their flexible social structures, genetics, population ecology, and behaviour, from nest-mate recognition to task allocation. Wood ants' interactions with their environment and with other organisms are essential to their success: competition, predation and mutualism are described and analysed. Bringing together the expertise of ecological researchers and conservation practitioners, this book provides practical and theoretical advice about sampling and monitoring these insects, and outlines the requirements for effective conservation. This is an indispensable resource for wood ant researchers, entomologists, conservationists and ecological consultants, as well as anyone interested in social insects, keystone species and the management and conservation of forest ecosystems.
• Provides the most comprehensive coverage available on all aspects of wood ant ecology and conservation, including all known species of wood ant • Identifies and highlights knowledge gaps and priority areas, informing and guiding the reader towards future research potential • Synthesizes ecological research findings and applied conservation outputs, providing a wealth of relevant information in one easily accessible format
1. Introducing wood ants: evolution, phylogeny and distribution Jenni A. Stockan, Elva J. H. Robinson, James Trager, Izumi Yao and Bernhard Seifert; 2. Wood ant reproductive biology and social systems Arnaud Maeder, Daniel Cherix, Christian Bernasconi, Anne Freitag and Samuel Ellis; 3. Population genetics of wood ants Pekka Pamilo, Perttu Seppä and Heikki Helanterä; 4. Where and why? Red wood ant population ecology Anita C. Risch, Samuel Ellis and Hayley Wiswell; 5. Colony and species recognition among the Formica ants Stephen J. Martin; 6. Interspecific competition and coexistence between wood ants Therese Johansson and Heloise Gibb; 7. Wood ant foraging and mutualism with aphids Timo Domisch, Anita C. Risch and Elva J. H. Robinson; 8. Wood ants and their interaction with other organisms Elva J. H. Robinson, Jenni A. Stockan and Glenn R. Iason; 9. Contribution of wood ants to nutrient cycling and ecosystem function Jan Frouz, Veronika Jílková and Jouni Sorvari; 10. Diversity, ecology and conservation of wood ants in North America James Trager; 11. Sampling and monitoring wood ants Anne Freitag, Jenni A. Stockan, Christian Bernasconi, Arnaud Maeder and Daniel Cherix; 12. Threats, conservation and management Jouni Sorvari; 13. Future directions for wood ant ecology and conservation Elva J. H. Robinson and Jenni A. Stockan.