The hitchhiker’s guide to alien ant invasions
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- Rabitsch, W. BioControl (2011) 56: 551. doi:10.1007/s10526-011-9370-x
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Alien ants are among the most deleterious predatory invertebrates causing havoc to native biodiversity including negative effects on other ant species, other invertebrates and vertebrates, particularly birds and lizards, ecosystem function, economy, animal and human health. The patterns of alien ant invasions and reasons for their success are among the most intensively studied facets of invasion ecology, with feedback to a general understanding of ant ecology. Alien ant management can intervene at any step during the invasion process, with action for preventive measures being the most efficient. Beside standard chemical treatments, new methods and technologies for mitigation and control of ant invasions are mostly in a trial stage. A brief outlook on the most promising offensive lines is given with particular attention paid to Wolbachia-symbiosis. Ultimately, an integrative alien species management strategy is imperative to cope with accelerating biodiversity losses due to biological invasions.