Merav Vonshak

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Biological invasions are generally thought to occur after human aided migration to a new range. However, human activities prior to migration may also play a role. We studied here the evolutionary genetics of introduced populations of the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata at a worldwide scale. Using microsatellite markers, we reconstructed the main routes(More)
Evolution may improve the invasiveness of populations, but it often remains unclear whether key adaptation events occur after introduction into the recipient habitat (i.e. post-introduction adaptation scenario), or before introduction within the native range (i.e. prior-adaptation scenario) or at a primary site of invasion (i.e. bridgehead scenario). We(More)
The little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, constitutes one clonal supercolony throughout Israel, providing an opportunity to examine the effects of genotype versus environment on nestmate recognition. Intraspecific encounters among field-collected or among laboratory-maintained colonies were nonaggressive, but encounters between freshly collected and(More)
Many studies have focused on the impacts of climate change on biological assemblages, yet little is known about how climate interacts with other major anthropogenic influences on biodiversity, such as habitat disturbance. Using a unique global database of 1128 local ant assemblages, we examined whether climate mediates the effects of habitat disturbance on(More)
The little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, probably arrived in Israel in ca. 1998 and was identified in 2005; this is the first record of this species from open areas outside the tropics and subtropics. It survives harsher conditions than in its native habitats, with minimal annual temperatures as low as 6°C, and 5–12 consecutive rainless months (under 15(More)
1 BioServe Space Technologies, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA, 2 AnTracks Computer Vision Systems, Mountain View, CA, USA, 3 Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA, 4 Department of Mathematics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA, 5 Department of Integrative Biology, University of(More)
Key evolutionary events associated with invasion success are traditionally thought to occur in the introduced, rather than the native range of species. In the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata, however, a shift in reproductive system has been demonstrated within the native range, from the sexual non-dominant populations of natural habitats to the clonal(More)
Competition between invasive species and native ones in the new environment was found to be significant and to affect both animal and plant species. Invasive ants are notorious for displacing local ant species through competition. Competitive displacement of native species can occur through interference and or resource competition. However, for invasive(More)
1 BioServe Space Technologies, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA, 2 AnTracks Computer Vision Systems, Mountain View, CA, USA, 3 Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA, 4 Department of Mathematics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA, 5 Department of Integrative Biology, University of(More)