Hypoxic conditions and oxygen supply in nests of the mangrove ant, Camponotus anderseni, during and after inundation

M NIELSEN, Keith Christian, H MALTE

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    The small ant Camponotus anderseni lives exclusively in twigs of the mangrove tree Sonneratia alba, and during inundation, the entrance hole is blocked with a soldier's head which effectively prevents flooding. The nests can be very crowded, with the ants and coccids filling up to 50% of the volume, and due to their metabolic activity, the conditions in the nests during inundation become hypercapnic and hypoxic. Each nest has only one entrance, and the opening is quite small (1.56 � 0.03 mm). The mean diameter of the galleries is 2.31 � 0.23 mm, independent of the thickness of the twig and length of the nest. During normal conditions with open nests, the oxygen depletion is substantial in the part of the nest most distant from the opening, and in a 120 mm long nest the oxygen concentration can be as low as 15.7%. During simulated inundation, in which the nest entrances were blocked, the oxygen concentration dropped to very low levels (<0.5%) after one hour. After opening the nest entrance, the oxygen concentration increased again, but for a 100 mm long nest it took nearly 20 minutes before the concentration was back to the normal depressed level. Mathematical modelling of the steady-state oxygen concentrations in the innermost part of the nests shows a lower O2 concentration than calculated. The time for equilibration of oxygen after inundation is longer than expected for small nests, presumably because the passive diffusion is obstructed by the nest contents. The "dilemma" faced by C. anderseni is to avoid drowning without suffering anoxia or hypercapnia, and they show a remarkable ability to adapt to the extreme conditions in the mangrove and exploit a niche where the density of other ants is insignificant. � 2008 Birkh�er Verlag.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-39
    Number of pages5
    JournalInsectes Sociaux
    Volume56
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Fingerprint

    Camponotus
    anaerobic conditions
    mangrove
    ant
    nest
    Formicidae
    nests
    oxygen
    hypercapnia
    anoxia
    hypoxia
    niche

    Cite this

    @article{b81289d201b24f08bffdedd7117f7742,
    title = "Hypoxic conditions and oxygen supply in nests of the mangrove ant, Camponotus anderseni, during and after inundation",
    abstract = "The small ant Camponotus anderseni lives exclusively in twigs of the mangrove tree Sonneratia alba, and during inundation, the entrance hole is blocked with a soldier's head which effectively prevents flooding. The nests can be very crowded, with the ants and coccids filling up to 50{\%} of the volume, and due to their metabolic activity, the conditions in the nests during inundation become hypercapnic and hypoxic. Each nest has only one entrance, and the opening is quite small (1.56 � 0.03 mm). The mean diameter of the galleries is 2.31 � 0.23 mm, independent of the thickness of the twig and length of the nest. During normal conditions with open nests, the oxygen depletion is substantial in the part of the nest most distant from the opening, and in a 120 mm long nest the oxygen concentration can be as low as 15.7{\%}. During simulated inundation, in which the nest entrances were blocked, the oxygen concentration dropped to very low levels (<0.5{\%}) after one hour. After opening the nest entrance, the oxygen concentration increased again, but for a 100 mm long nest it took nearly 20 minutes before the concentration was back to the normal depressed level. Mathematical modelling of the steady-state oxygen concentrations in the innermost part of the nests shows a lower O2 concentration than calculated. The time for equilibration of oxygen after inundation is longer than expected for small nests, presumably because the passive diffusion is obstructed by the nest contents. The {"}dilemma{"} faced by C. anderseni is to avoid drowning without suffering anoxia or hypercapnia, and they show a remarkable ability to adapt to the extreme conditions in the mangrove and exploit a niche where the density of other ants is insignificant. � 2008 Birkh�er Verlag.",
    keywords = "ant, concentration (composition), equilibrium, flooding, hypoxia, mangrove, metabolism, nest, numerical model, Camponotus, Coccoidea, Formicidae, Sonneratia alba",
    author = "M NIELSEN and Keith Christian and H MALTE",
    year = "2009",
    language = "English",
    volume = "56",
    pages = "35--39",
    journal = "Insectes Sociaux",
    issn = "0020-1812",
    publisher = "Birkhauser Verlag",
    number = "1",

    }

    Hypoxic conditions and oxygen supply in nests of the mangrove ant, Camponotus anderseni, during and after inundation. / NIELSEN, M; Christian, Keith; MALTE, H.

    In: Insectes Sociaux, Vol. 56, No. 1, 2009, p. 35-39.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Hypoxic conditions and oxygen supply in nests of the mangrove ant, Camponotus anderseni, during and after inundation

    AU - NIELSEN, M

    AU - Christian, Keith

    AU - MALTE, H

    PY - 2009

    Y1 - 2009

    N2 - The small ant Camponotus anderseni lives exclusively in twigs of the mangrove tree Sonneratia alba, and during inundation, the entrance hole is blocked with a soldier's head which effectively prevents flooding. The nests can be very crowded, with the ants and coccids filling up to 50% of the volume, and due to their metabolic activity, the conditions in the nests during inundation become hypercapnic and hypoxic. Each nest has only one entrance, and the opening is quite small (1.56 � 0.03 mm). The mean diameter of the galleries is 2.31 � 0.23 mm, independent of the thickness of the twig and length of the nest. During normal conditions with open nests, the oxygen depletion is substantial in the part of the nest most distant from the opening, and in a 120 mm long nest the oxygen concentration can be as low as 15.7%. During simulated inundation, in which the nest entrances were blocked, the oxygen concentration dropped to very low levels (<0.5%) after one hour. After opening the nest entrance, the oxygen concentration increased again, but for a 100 mm long nest it took nearly 20 minutes before the concentration was back to the normal depressed level. Mathematical modelling of the steady-state oxygen concentrations in the innermost part of the nests shows a lower O2 concentration than calculated. The time for equilibration of oxygen after inundation is longer than expected for small nests, presumably because the passive diffusion is obstructed by the nest contents. The "dilemma" faced by C. anderseni is to avoid drowning without suffering anoxia or hypercapnia, and they show a remarkable ability to adapt to the extreme conditions in the mangrove and exploit a niche where the density of other ants is insignificant. � 2008 Birkh�er Verlag.

    AB - The small ant Camponotus anderseni lives exclusively in twigs of the mangrove tree Sonneratia alba, and during inundation, the entrance hole is blocked with a soldier's head which effectively prevents flooding. The nests can be very crowded, with the ants and coccids filling up to 50% of the volume, and due to their metabolic activity, the conditions in the nests during inundation become hypercapnic and hypoxic. Each nest has only one entrance, and the opening is quite small (1.56 � 0.03 mm). The mean diameter of the galleries is 2.31 � 0.23 mm, independent of the thickness of the twig and length of the nest. During normal conditions with open nests, the oxygen depletion is substantial in the part of the nest most distant from the opening, and in a 120 mm long nest the oxygen concentration can be as low as 15.7%. During simulated inundation, in which the nest entrances were blocked, the oxygen concentration dropped to very low levels (<0.5%) after one hour. After opening the nest entrance, the oxygen concentration increased again, but for a 100 mm long nest it took nearly 20 minutes before the concentration was back to the normal depressed level. Mathematical modelling of the steady-state oxygen concentrations in the innermost part of the nests shows a lower O2 concentration than calculated. The time for equilibration of oxygen after inundation is longer than expected for small nests, presumably because the passive diffusion is obstructed by the nest contents. The "dilemma" faced by C. anderseni is to avoid drowning without suffering anoxia or hypercapnia, and they show a remarkable ability to adapt to the extreme conditions in the mangrove and exploit a niche where the density of other ants is insignificant. � 2008 Birkh�er Verlag.

    KW - ant

    KW - concentration (composition)

    KW - equilibrium

    KW - flooding

    KW - hypoxia

    KW - mangrove

    KW - metabolism

    KW - nest

    KW - numerical model

    KW - Camponotus

    KW - Coccoidea

    KW - Formicidae

    KW - Sonneratia alba

    M3 - Article

    VL - 56

    SP - 35

    EP - 39

    JO - Insectes Sociaux

    JF - Insectes Sociaux

    SN - 0020-1812

    IS - 1

    ER -