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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Patel, Payal [1], Sydney, Jackson [2], Garcia, Loriann [3].

Fire Ant Interactions with Spider Milkweed (Asclepias viridis) Communities.

The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), is an invasive species in the southern United States.  How these ants affect plant and insect communities in prairie ecosystems is largely unknown.  Here, we investigate the interactions between fire ants and other members of a Blackland prairie community: spider milkweed (Asclepias viridis) and milkweed aphid (Aphis nerii).  We first measured the milkweed density and the density of fire ants mounds at the Clinton and Edith Sneed Prairie Restoration Site (Grayson Co. TX).  Then we monitored the frequency of fire ant-milkweed aphid interactions and conducted manipulative experiments to determine how fire ants affect pollinator visits to spider milkweed.  Our results show that there was an high overall abundance of milkweed in 2016.  In addition, fire ants were frequently found foraging on milkweed flowers, but there was a limited amount of ant-aphid interactions present at the time of data collection.  There was also limited number of pollinator visits to milkweed, regardless of ant presence or absence in our manipulative experiment.  In future investigations we will study how nectar robbing by fire ants may affect monarch butterfly populations in north Texas. 

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1 - Austin College, Biology, 900 N Grand Ave, Sherman, TX, 75090, USA
2 - Austin College, 900 N Grand Ave, Sherman, TX, 75090, USA
3 - Austin College, Biology, Suite 61631, Sherman, Texas, 75090, United States

nectar thieves.

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P, Recent Topics Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT004
Abstract ID:731
Candidate for Awards:None

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