Study of Ecological Characteristics of Lasius niger (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) Using Vegetation Data

Keywords: indicators, ants, optimum, acidity, hemeroby, nitrogen, urban conditions


When assessing the condition of Lasius niger (Linnaeus, 1858) nest complexes, plant communities should be considered. The aim of this work is to analyse ecological characteristics and structure of L. niger nest complexes using vegetation data. The study was conducted in Ukraine, in June 2017 (a nest complex on a territory near Vyshneve, Kyiv Oblast, 502 nest mounds) and in June 2022 (Chaika, Kyiv Oblast, 72 nest mounds, Stara Ushytsia, Khmelnytskyi Oblast, 134 nest mounds). Morphometric parametres of the mounds (diameter, height), their relative position and size classes in squares of 100 m2 were studied. At the same time, vegetation plots were carried out. Differences in the structure of L. niger nest mounds discussed previously are at least partly result from differences in the ecological conditions of the localities. Of the six ecological indicators (Hd — Tm), three — soil acidity and nitrogen, and the hemeroby indicator, which assesses the degree of anthropogenic pollution — have a significant influence on the abundance of L. niger nest mounds. These factors were shown to have a significant influence on the ant colony volume indicator. For most indicators, except moisture and light, the optimum for L. niger was close to 50 points (middle of the scale). For the anthropogenic factor, the range of values was the widest, which indirectly confirms the relative tolerance of this species to the anthropogenic influence of moderate intensity and allows its existence in urban conditions where competitive pressure from other species is lower. The sign of regression coefficient, especially the positive sign for the acidity and nitrogen indicators, demonstrates positive effect of these factors on the ant colony structure indicators.


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How to Cite
Stukalyuk, S., Goncharenko, I., & Kozyr, M. (2023). Study of Ecological Characteristics of Lasius niger (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) Using Vegetation Data. Zoodiversity, 57(6).