Urbana house ants 2.0: Revisiting M. R. Smith's 1926 survey of house-infesting ants in central Illinois after 87 years

Andrea K. Belcher, May R Berenbaum, Andrew Suarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Quantifying the long-term ecological impacts of urbanization requires high-quality historical records and similar re-surveys over time. We replicated a survey conducted in 1924-1926 by Marion R. Smith of house-infesting ants in Urbana, Illinois, to examine how the house-infesting ant fauna and its control measures have changed over 87 years. We complemented residential sampling with pitfall, visual, and leaf litter surveys in the surrounding urban neighborhood and in three nearby forest fragments to characterize the ant fauna from which the house-infesting ants are drawn. In 1924-26, 12 ant species were collected in houses; the four most common were Tapinoma sessile (Say), Lasius alienus (Förster), Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer) and Solenopsis molesta (Say). In 2012-2013, we found eight species in houses, the four most common of which were Tapinoma sessile, Tetramorium caespitum (Linnaeus), C. pennsylvanicus, and C. nearcticus (Emery). Ant control measures have also changed dramatically, with the average amount spent per household in 2012-2013 nearly doubling (adjusted for inflation). We also found that the residential urban site had similar estimated species richness to one of the nearby forest remnants, demonstrating that the diversity of some arthropod groups can remain high in forested urban environments. Moreover, each site had a unique community of species, reinforcing the value of both small forest fragments and urban sites for supporting biodiversity. Our survey revealed changes in urban and house-infesting ant communities since the 1920s, but, in view of the global abundance of invasive ant species and the extensive changes in land use patterns in central Illinois, the relative similarity of the ant communities separated in time by 87 years was unexpected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-193
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Entomologist
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Fingerprint

ant
Formicidae
Tapinoma sessile
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
urban site
habitat fragmentation
Lasius alienus
Solenopsis molesta
control methods
Tetramorium caespitum
ant control
fauna
inflation
urbanization
plant litter
land use change
ecological impact
urban areas
historical record
leaf litter

Keywords

  • Ants
  • Biodiversity
  • Citizen science
  • Pesticide
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Urbana house ants 2.0 : Revisiting M. R. Smith's 1926 survey of house-infesting ants in central Illinois after 87 years. / Belcher, Andrea K.; Berenbaum, May R; Suarez, Andrew.

In: American Entomologist, Vol. 62, No. 3, 01.01.2016, p. 182-193.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{769b39710acb4a21b9663464b266e797,
title = "Urbana house ants 2.0: Revisiting M. R. Smith's 1926 survey of house-infesting ants in central Illinois after 87 years",
abstract = "Quantifying the long-term ecological impacts of urbanization requires high-quality historical records and similar re-surveys over time. We replicated a survey conducted in 1924-1926 by Marion R. Smith of house-infesting ants in Urbana, Illinois, to examine how the house-infesting ant fauna and its control measures have changed over 87 years. We complemented residential sampling with pitfall, visual, and leaf litter surveys in the surrounding urban neighborhood and in three nearby forest fragments to characterize the ant fauna from which the house-infesting ants are drawn. In 1924-26, 12 ant species were collected in houses; the four most common were Tapinoma sessile (Say), Lasius alienus (F{\"o}rster), Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer) and Solenopsis molesta (Say). In 2012-2013, we found eight species in houses, the four most common of which were Tapinoma sessile, Tetramorium caespitum (Linnaeus), C. pennsylvanicus, and C. nearcticus (Emery). Ant control measures have also changed dramatically, with the average amount spent per household in 2012-2013 nearly doubling (adjusted for inflation). We also found that the residential urban site had similar estimated species richness to one of the nearby forest remnants, demonstrating that the diversity of some arthropod groups can remain high in forested urban environments. Moreover, each site had a unique community of species, reinforcing the value of both small forest fragments and urban sites for supporting biodiversity. Our survey revealed changes in urban and house-infesting ant communities since the 1920s, but, in view of the global abundance of invasive ant species and the extensive changes in land use patterns in central Illinois, the relative similarity of the ant communities separated in time by 87 years was unexpected.",
keywords = "Ants, Biodiversity, Citizen science, Pesticide, Urbanization",
author = "Belcher, {Andrea K.} and Berenbaum, {May R} and Andrew Suarez",
year = "2016",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/ae/tmw041",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "62",
pages = "182--193",
journal = "American Entomologist",
issn = "1046-2821",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Urbana house ants 2.0

T2 - Revisiting M. R. Smith's 1926 survey of house-infesting ants in central Illinois after 87 years

AU - Belcher, Andrea K.

AU - Berenbaum, May R

AU - Suarez, Andrew

PY - 2016/1/1

Y1 - 2016/1/1

N2 - Quantifying the long-term ecological impacts of urbanization requires high-quality historical records and similar re-surveys over time. We replicated a survey conducted in 1924-1926 by Marion R. Smith of house-infesting ants in Urbana, Illinois, to examine how the house-infesting ant fauna and its control measures have changed over 87 years. We complemented residential sampling with pitfall, visual, and leaf litter surveys in the surrounding urban neighborhood and in three nearby forest fragments to characterize the ant fauna from which the house-infesting ants are drawn. In 1924-26, 12 ant species were collected in houses; the four most common were Tapinoma sessile (Say), Lasius alienus (Förster), Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer) and Solenopsis molesta (Say). In 2012-2013, we found eight species in houses, the four most common of which were Tapinoma sessile, Tetramorium caespitum (Linnaeus), C. pennsylvanicus, and C. nearcticus (Emery). Ant control measures have also changed dramatically, with the average amount spent per household in 2012-2013 nearly doubling (adjusted for inflation). We also found that the residential urban site had similar estimated species richness to one of the nearby forest remnants, demonstrating that the diversity of some arthropod groups can remain high in forested urban environments. Moreover, each site had a unique community of species, reinforcing the value of both small forest fragments and urban sites for supporting biodiversity. Our survey revealed changes in urban and house-infesting ant communities since the 1920s, but, in view of the global abundance of invasive ant species and the extensive changes in land use patterns in central Illinois, the relative similarity of the ant communities separated in time by 87 years was unexpected.

AB - Quantifying the long-term ecological impacts of urbanization requires high-quality historical records and similar re-surveys over time. We replicated a survey conducted in 1924-1926 by Marion R. Smith of house-infesting ants in Urbana, Illinois, to examine how the house-infesting ant fauna and its control measures have changed over 87 years. We complemented residential sampling with pitfall, visual, and leaf litter surveys in the surrounding urban neighborhood and in three nearby forest fragments to characterize the ant fauna from which the house-infesting ants are drawn. In 1924-26, 12 ant species were collected in houses; the four most common were Tapinoma sessile (Say), Lasius alienus (Förster), Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer) and Solenopsis molesta (Say). In 2012-2013, we found eight species in houses, the four most common of which were Tapinoma sessile, Tetramorium caespitum (Linnaeus), C. pennsylvanicus, and C. nearcticus (Emery). Ant control measures have also changed dramatically, with the average amount spent per household in 2012-2013 nearly doubling (adjusted for inflation). We also found that the residential urban site had similar estimated species richness to one of the nearby forest remnants, demonstrating that the diversity of some arthropod groups can remain high in forested urban environments. Moreover, each site had a unique community of species, reinforcing the value of both small forest fragments and urban sites for supporting biodiversity. Our survey revealed changes in urban and house-infesting ant communities since the 1920s, but, in view of the global abundance of invasive ant species and the extensive changes in land use patterns in central Illinois, the relative similarity of the ant communities separated in time by 87 years was unexpected.

KW - Ants

KW - Biodiversity

KW - Citizen science

KW - Pesticide

KW - Urbanization

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85029696920&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85029696920&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/ae/tmw041

DO - 10.1093/ae/tmw041

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85029696920

VL - 62

SP - 182

EP - 193

JO - American Entomologist

JF - American Entomologist

SN - 1046-2821

IS - 3

ER -