2011_Niechoj,R.pdf (3.3 MB)
Irish ants (hymenoptera, formicidae) : distribution, conservation and functional relationships
thesisposted on 2022-09-06, 14:56 authored by Robin Niechoj
This thesis consists of six chapters. Chapter 1 provides a general introduction to this work within the context of the wider national soil biodiversity project CréBeo. Furthermore ants, earthworms and the use of stable isotopes measurements as a tool for the investigation of trophic ecology of ants and other organisms are introduced. Chapter 2 presents the baseline survey undertaken for ants. An overview of the outcomes of surveys on other soil organisms is also provided. Chapter 3 provides information on the distribution of Irish ants in the Counties Clare, Galway and Limerick. It identifies species and habitats worthy of conservation and gives recommendations for the conservation of ants and suggests situations where information on ants should feed into conservation plans for other taxa. Chapter 4 investigates the relationships between long established colonies of the soil dwelling ant Lasius flavus (F.) and the earthworm community in old limestone grasslands. Chapter 5 presents new information on the trophic interactions of Irish ants based on the use of stable isotopes. It includes not just species of three native genera from a limestone pavement, a notably rare habitat in the European context, but also addresses ontogenetic, temporal and ecosystem aspects of this topic. Chapter 6 provides an overall conclusion for the thesis.