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Selective broadcast of fenoxycarb bait on fire ant infested prairie: effect on native ant community
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This research describes the effect of a fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) infestation on the ant community of two north Texas blackland prairies, and the effect on the ant community when a bait formulation of the insect growth regulator, fenoxycarb, was selectively broadcast to control the fire ant. To assess effects, ant species richness' abundance and diversity were measured in two separate experiments. In the first experiment (conducted in 1992 and 1993), ants were sampled from fire ant infested, uninfested, and managed areas within management units on the two prairies. In the second experiment (conducted in 1993), ants were sampled within fire ant infested, uninfested, managed and native ant treatment plots. In the native ant treatment plot, fenoxycarb bait was broadcast over uninfested prairie to determine the effect on native ant species. The plant communities of different treatment plots, as estimated by line-intercept method, were similar in vegetative types. Twenty of the 32 ant species previously recorded from north Texas were sampled from the prairies during this study. In the first experiment, ant samples collected from both the managed and uninfested areas were significantly different from the fire ant infested area in mean species richness and diversity. The diversity of ants in the managed area was largely dueto the relative abundance of native species resistant to fire ants, while the diversity of the uninfested areas was due in part to the abundance of non-resistant species. In the second experiment, ant samples collected from the different treatment plots did not differ in species richness, abundance or diversity, except during the July, 1993 collection period when species richness and diversity (a) were significantly reduced in the area treated with fenoxycarb. Native species showed no change in relative abundance within the uninfested prairie where fenoxycarb was broadcast, although the abundance of S. invicta increased. The mean Simpson dominance measure, 1, was correlated with the number of fire ants collected within treatment plots. Fire ant infested areas were almost completely lacking in richness and diversity of native ant species. This research suggests the need for further study on the reestablishment of native species within previously infested areas, and the effect of fire ant baits on the ant community.
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Includes bibliographical references.
Morris, John Robert (1994). Selective broadcast of fenoxycarb bait on fire ant infested prairie: effect on native ant community. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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