Soil movement by desert ants

TitleSoil movement by desert ants
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1986
AuthorsWhitford WG, Schaefer D, Wisdom W
JournalThe Southwestern Naturalist
Date Published1986
Call Number00752
Keywordsant, soil movement, article, articles, journal, journals, soil movement, ants

Estimates of quantities of soil moved by the activities of ants from the soil profiel to the surface in a shinnery oak (Quercus harvardii) - mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) area 40 km east of Carlsbad, NM. Soils were sandy loams. The average quantity of soil moved to the surface by ants during the period of surface activity (May - September) was 84.2 +/- 4 g m-2

The area is characterized by spring and summer rainfall 304 mm and a frost free period from March through October. We established twelve permanent 1 m2 plots in which we collected all the new soil of the nests of the ant colonies in these quadrats. This soil was placed in bags identified number, returned to the laboratory, dried and weighed. The quantities of soil (x ± SD) transported from deep in the soil profile to the surface workings (i.e., cleaning tunnels, new chambers, etc.) were as follows: May 8, 17.4 ± June 10, 13.5 ± 8.8 g/m-2; July 10, 2.1 ± 1.8 g/m-2; August 9, 9.8 ± 7.5 g/m-2; and, 26, 43.1 ± 19.1g/m-2.

Reprint EditionIn File (03/01/2001)