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Title: Population ecology of Lasius flavius F. on chalk grassland.
Author: Wright, Philip John.
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 1990
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Lasius flavus F. is a common ant species on chalk grasslands in the south of England. This thesis examines the effects of the management regimes and environmental conditions of these grasslands, on the characteristics of the ant populations. The null hypothesis of the study was that the characteristics of L. flavus populations are not significantly affected by variation in: 1) management procedures, 2) the physical environment, 3) the biological environment. The ant populations, management regimes and environmental characteristics of twenty sample areas were investigated and subjected to intensive analysis to examine this hypothesis. The null hypothesis was rejected. The population of ants that an area of chalk grassland supports, depends on both the management of that area and the environmental conditions. In the short term (2 to 4 years) more intense management leads to significant reductions in the sizes of the soil mounds built by the ant colonies, and reductions in the sexual productivity and sexual investment ratios of the colonies. In the longer term (over 10 years) the density of mounds is also reduced. The most important environmental characteristic of the grasslands is the soil water regime. Drier areas support a lower density of colonies with smaller mounds. The numbers of root aphids (the major food source of the ant) are reduced by increased grazing intensity. Other invertebrate groups are also affected by the management regime and the physical environment of the sample areas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available