Soil fertility and plant growth in old-growth forests and pine plantations: possible effects of the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Buren)?
Benoit Lafleur and Linda M. Hooper-Bùi. Department of Entomology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Buren) are known to increase fertility of soil of their nests, and to increase protein, carotene and phosphorus content of plants growing around their nests in pastures. However, its importance in nutrient cycling and vegetation growth in old-growth forests and tree plantations remains unknown. The objectives of our study are (1) to study soil modifications created by fire ants, and (2) to study the effects that these modifications exert on plant growth in old-growth pine forests and pine plantations. We hypothesize that fire ants will increase the fertility of soil within the compass of their nests, and that the higher fertility of ant nest soil will favor plant growth.
Back to Apiculture and Social Insects (Ants et al.)
Back to Ten-Minute Papers, Section Ca, Cb, Cc, Cd, Ce, and Cf
Back to The 2002 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition