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Behavioural and physiological traits to thermal stress tolerance in two Spanish desert ants

AuthorsCerdá, Xim
Issue Date2001
CitationEtologia 9: 15- 27 (2001)
AbstractIn Mediterranean open habitats, dominant ant species are heat-intolerant and risk-averser, foraging very far from their critical thermal limits (CTM). Subordinate are heat-tolerant (thermophilic) and risk-proner, foraging very near their CTM, running a high heat mortality risk, but having better performance at high temperatures. Thermal tolerance allows a far greater dominance in the ecosystem by subordinates than might be expected from their relative abundance and fighting abilities. Foraging of subordinates is more influenced by temperature than by competition of dominants. The mutual exclusion between dominant and subordinate species seems the result of physiological specialization to different temperature ranges. Focussing on two Cataglyphis species (subordinate and thermophilic), two alternative mechanisms facing extreme heat are described: C. velox polymorphism (large workers are more resistant than small ones), and physiological and behavioural adaptations of C. rosenhaueri workers (all of them of small size).
Identifiersissn: 1130-3204
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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