Multiple invasions in urbanized landscapes: interactions between the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus and Japanese knotweeds (Fallopia spp.)

Abstract : Urbanized landscapes are the theater of multiple simultaneous biological invasions likely to affect spread dynamics when co-occurring introduced species interact with each other. Interactions between widespread invaders call for particular atten- tion because they are likely to be common and because non-additive outcomes of such associations might induce negative consequences (e.g., enhanced population growth increasing impacts or resistance to control). We explored the invasions of two widespread invasive taxa: the Japanese knotweed species complex Fallopia spp. and the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus, in the urban area of Lyon (France). First, we investigated landscape habitat preferences as well as co-occurrence rates of the two species. We showed that Fallopia spp. and L. neglectus had broadly overlapping environmental preferences (measured by seven landscape variables), but their landscape co-occurrence pattern was random, indicating independent spread and non-obligatory association. Second, as Fallopia spp. produce extra-floral nectar, we estimated the amount of nectar L. neglectus used under field conditions without ant competitors. We estimated that L. neglectus collected 150–321 kg of nectar in the month of April (when nectar production is peaking) in a 1162 m2 knotweed patch, an amount likely to boost ant population growth. Finally, at six patches of Fallopia spp. surveyed, herbivory levels were low (1–6% loss of leaf surface area) but no relationship between ant abundance (native and invasive) and loss of leaf surface was found. Co-occurrences of Fallopia spp. and L. neglectus are likely to become more common as both taxa colonize landscapes, which could favor the spread and invasion success of the invasive ant.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 1:26:40 PM
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Jérôme Gippet, Florence Piola, Soraya Rouifed, Marie-Rose Viricel, Sara Puijalon, et al.. Multiple invasions in urbanized landscapes: interactions between the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus and Japanese knotweeds (Fallopia spp.). Arthropod-Plant Interactions, Springer Verlag, 2018, 12 (3), pp.351-360. ⟨hal-01953973⟩

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