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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 3, p. 422-426
    Received: Aug 4, 1975
    Accepted: Jan 5, 1976

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Biosynthetic Alteration in a British Columbia Soil by Ants (Formica fusca Linné)1

  1. E. B. Wiken,
  2. L. Broersma,
  3. L. M. Lavkulich and
  4. L. Farstad2



The occurrence and pedological effects of active and recently active (inactive) ant mounds are compared with apparently unaffected soils in the subalpine region of Mt. Tatlow in British Columbia, Canada. The unaffected soils in the area are classified as Orthic Dystric Brunisols (Dystrochrepts). The soils have developed from post-Pleistocene glaciofluvial deposits and support a lodgepole pine-pine grass vegetative community. Comparison of the active and inactive colonies with the surrounding unaffected soils showed marked changes in particle size distribution, chemical properties, and structure formation. The biosynthetic alteration generated by ants (Formica fusca Linné) appears to reverse the general pedogenetic processes of leaching and horizonation. This process is only temporary as the inactive sites are similar to the surrounding unaffected soils.

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