Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Standard

Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants. / Pontoppidan, Maj-Britt; Himaman, Winanda; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Hughes, David Peter.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2009, p. e4835.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Pontoppidan, M-B, Himaman, W, Hywel-Jones, NL, Boomsma, JJ & Hughes, DP 2009, 'Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants', PLoS ONE, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. e4835. https://doi.org/10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004835

APA

Pontoppidan, M-B., Himaman, W., Hywel-Jones, N. L., Boomsma, J. J., & Hughes, D. P. (2009). Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants. PLoS ONE, 4(3), e4835. https://doi.org/10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004835

Vancouver

Pontoppidan M-B, Himaman W, Hywel-Jones NL, Boomsma JJ, Hughes DP. Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants. PLoS ONE. 2009;4(3):e4835. https://doi.org/10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004835

Author

Pontoppidan, Maj-Britt ; Himaman, Winanda ; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L. ; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan ; Hughes, David Peter. / Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants. In: PLoS ONE. 2009 ; Vol. 4, No. 3. pp. e4835.

Bibtex

@article{317db280e57111deba73000ea68e967b,
title = "Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants",
abstract = "Parasites are likely to play an important role in structuring host populations. Many adaptively manipulate host behaviour, so that the extended phenotypes of these parasites and their distributions in space and time are potentially important ecological variables. The fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which is pan-tropical in distribution, causes infected worker ants to leave their nest and die under leaves in the understory of tropical rainforests. Working in a forest dynamic plot in Southern Thailand we mapped the occurrence of these dead ants by examining every leaf in 1,360 m2 of primary rainforest. We established that high density aggregations exist (up to 26 dead ants/m2), which we coined graveyards. We further established that graveyards are patchily distributed in a landscape with no or very few O. unilateralis-killed ants. At some, but not all, spatial scales of analysis the density of dead ants correlated with temperature, humidity and vegetation cover. Remarkably, having found 2243 dead ants inside graveyards we only found 2 live ants of the principal host, ant Camponotus leonardi, suggesting that foraging host ants actively avoid graveyards. We discovered that the principal host ant builds nests in high canopy and its trails only occasionally descend to the forest floor where infection occurs. We advance the hypothesis that rare descents may be a function of limited canopy access to tree crowns and that resource profitability of such trees is potentially traded off against the risk of losing workers due to infection when forest floor trails are the only access routes. Our work underscores the need for an integrative approach that recognises multiple facets of parasitism, such as their extended phenotypes.",
author = "Maj-Britt Pontoppidan and Winanda Himaman and Hywel-Jones, {Nigel L.} and Boomsma, {Jacobus Jan} and Hughes, {David Peter}",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004835",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
pages = "e4835",
journal = "P L o S One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants

AU - Pontoppidan, Maj-Britt

AU - Himaman, Winanda

AU - Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.

AU - Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

AU - Hughes, David Peter

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Parasites are likely to play an important role in structuring host populations. Many adaptively manipulate host behaviour, so that the extended phenotypes of these parasites and their distributions in space and time are potentially important ecological variables. The fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which is pan-tropical in distribution, causes infected worker ants to leave their nest and die under leaves in the understory of tropical rainforests. Working in a forest dynamic plot in Southern Thailand we mapped the occurrence of these dead ants by examining every leaf in 1,360 m2 of primary rainforest. We established that high density aggregations exist (up to 26 dead ants/m2), which we coined graveyards. We further established that graveyards are patchily distributed in a landscape with no or very few O. unilateralis-killed ants. At some, but not all, spatial scales of analysis the density of dead ants correlated with temperature, humidity and vegetation cover. Remarkably, having found 2243 dead ants inside graveyards we only found 2 live ants of the principal host, ant Camponotus leonardi, suggesting that foraging host ants actively avoid graveyards. We discovered that the principal host ant builds nests in high canopy and its trails only occasionally descend to the forest floor where infection occurs. We advance the hypothesis that rare descents may be a function of limited canopy access to tree crowns and that resource profitability of such trees is potentially traded off against the risk of losing workers due to infection when forest floor trails are the only access routes. Our work underscores the need for an integrative approach that recognises multiple facets of parasitism, such as their extended phenotypes.

AB - Parasites are likely to play an important role in structuring host populations. Many adaptively manipulate host behaviour, so that the extended phenotypes of these parasites and their distributions in space and time are potentially important ecological variables. The fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which is pan-tropical in distribution, causes infected worker ants to leave their nest and die under leaves in the understory of tropical rainforests. Working in a forest dynamic plot in Southern Thailand we mapped the occurrence of these dead ants by examining every leaf in 1,360 m2 of primary rainforest. We established that high density aggregations exist (up to 26 dead ants/m2), which we coined graveyards. We further established that graveyards are patchily distributed in a landscape with no or very few O. unilateralis-killed ants. At some, but not all, spatial scales of analysis the density of dead ants correlated with temperature, humidity and vegetation cover. Remarkably, having found 2243 dead ants inside graveyards we only found 2 live ants of the principal host, ant Camponotus leonardi, suggesting that foraging host ants actively avoid graveyards. We discovered that the principal host ant builds nests in high canopy and its trails only occasionally descend to the forest floor where infection occurs. We advance the hypothesis that rare descents may be a function of limited canopy access to tree crowns and that resource profitability of such trees is potentially traded off against the risk of losing workers due to infection when forest floor trails are the only access routes. Our work underscores the need for an integrative approach that recognises multiple facets of parasitism, such as their extended phenotypes.

U2 - 10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004835

DO - 10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0004835

M3 - Journal article

VL - 4

SP - e4835

JO - P L o S One

JF - P L o S One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 3

ER -

ID: 16212348