, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp 476–478 | Cite as

Green islands — predation not nutrition

  • Pekka Niemelä
  • Kari J. Laine
Short Communications


The existence of green islands around wood-ant nests in otherwise damaged birch forests has been explained by two alternative hypotheses: (1) predation by ants protects the trees against defoliators, and (2) the ants ameliorate tree vigor by concentrating soil nutrients. The size of green islands and the nitrogen content of the soil and foliage do not support the nutrition hypothesis. These data and general knowledge about the foraging strategy of wood ants are consistent with the predation hypothesis.


Nitrogen Nitrogen Content Alternative Hypothesis Soil Nutrient General Knowledge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pekka Niemelä
    • 1
  • Kari J. Laine
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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