Soil Modification by Colonies of Black Meadow Ants in a New York Old Field1
- Mary Ann Levan and
- Earl L. Stone2
The above-ground mounds of the black meadow ant Formica fusca L. had an average weight of 8.7 kg and occurred at a density of 109/ha on a small study site in central New York. Both mound and a larger diameter soil column beneath are extensively channelled and result in a coarse fragment concentration or stone line at the 10- to 15-cm depth. Channels extend to at least the 1.5-m depth, and up-ward transport of calcareous subsoil increases Ca and Mg concentrations and pH of the upper profile. In contrast, extensive replacement of the 0- to 10-cm horizon with subsoil reduces its organic matter content by about 50%. Increased concentrations of extractable P and K in the mound and upper mound profile are attributed to exogenous sources. After abandonment the mound columns remain as near-neutral nutritionally enriched microsites that may influence the course of old field succession.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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