Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The importance of scavenging in ant invasions.

Abstract

Recent work underscores that ants are highly proficient and ubiquitous scavengers. These tendencies extend to numerically and behaviorally dominant introduced ants, which exhibit a suite of traits that allow them to exploit and monopolize carrion to a greater extent than is widely appreciated. We thus contend that an understanding of how introduced ants fit into food webs remains incomplete. Monopolization of carrion resources by introduced ants could increase worker production, enhance the ability of these species to compete with and prey upon other organisms, and alter the strength of direct and indirect interactions within food webs. Future work should consider how ant invasions influence energy transfer within and between green and brown food webs.