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Experiences in Transplanting Wood Ants into Plantations for Integrated Pest Management

Nielsen, J.S.; Nielsen, M.G. and Offenberg, J. (2018) Experiences in Transplanting Wood Ants into Plantations for Integrated Pest Management. Sociobiology, ?, x-x. [Submitted]

[thumbnail of Wood ant transplantation paper.docx] Microsoft Word - English
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Ants can function efficiently as biocontrol agents in open field horticulture. Temperate wood ants can control forest pests, including species damaging forest regeneration plots and fruit plantations. Thus, they possess potential as biocontrol agents in open field horticulture, if they can persist in these systems. Here we present observations on activity and survival of wood ants transplanted from forests into different types of plantations. Mound fragments were transplanted into a conifer seedling plot, an organic and a conventional Christmas tree plantation, and into an organic apple plantation. Colonies survived at least one year in all types of plantations. In some cases, however, ants moved to new locations or migrated between mound fragments, leaving some inactive. Our compiled experiences suggest that this can be prevented by providing a minimum mound size, keeping a minimum spacing between mounds and incorporation of sand and scent marked wood pieces from donor colonies to imitate naturally occurring nests. In conclusion, wood ants were tolerant to highly different habitat settings and will likely persist in most types of perennial horticultural systems, if managed properly. As they prey on many pest species, they are a potential new biocontrol agent for open agricultural systems.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Formica polyctena, forestry, fruit plantations, Christmas tree plantations, organic production, biological control.
Agrovoc keywords:
Ants -> Formicidae
biological pest control
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Ornamentals, flower bulbs and tree nurseries
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University
Denmark > Organic RDD 2.2 > MothStop
Deposited By: Krabsen, Janne
ID Code:33266
Deposited On:01 Jun 2018 14:11
Last Modified:01 Jun 2018 14:11
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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