Learn More
It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example(More)
BACKGROUND The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is the most recently detected pest ant and the first known invasive ant able to become established and thrive in the temperate regions of Eurasia. In this study, we aim to reconstruct the invasion history of this ant in Europe analysing 14 populations with three complementary approaches: genetic(More)
BACKGROUND Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated the effects of parasite density and heterogeneity on parasite(More)
BACKGROUND Fragmentation of terrestrial ecosystems has had detrimental effects on metapopulations of habitat specialists. Maculinea butterflies have been particularly affected because of their specialized lifecycles, requiring both specific food-plants and host-ants. However, the interaction between dispersal, effective population size, and long-term(More)
The brood of ants and other social insects is highly susceptible to pathogens, particularly those that penetrate the soft larval and pupal cuticle. We here test whether the presence of a pupal cocoon, which occurs in some ant species but not in others, affects the sanitary brood care and fungal infection patterns after exposure to the entomopathogenic(More)
Life in a social group increases the risk of disease transmission. To counteract this threat, social insects have evolved manifold antiparasite defenses, ranging from social exclusion of infected group members to intensive care. It is generally assumed that individuals performing hygienic behaviors risk infecting themselves, suggesting a high direct cost of(More)
Due to the omnipresent risk of epidemics, insect societies have evolved sophisticated disease defences at the individual and colony level. An intriguing yet little understood phenomenon is that social contact to pathogen-exposed individuals reduces susceptibility of previously naive nestmates to this pathogen. We tested whether such social immunisation in(More)
Repeated pathogen exposure is a common threat in colonies of social insects, posing selection pressures on colony members to respond with improved disease-defense performance. We here tested whether experience gained by repeated tending of low-level fungus-exposed (Metarhizium robertsii) larvae may alter the performance of sanitary brood care in the clonal(More)
  • 1