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Ant Mosaics

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Ant mosaics occur when two or more competitively dominant ant species show a nonoverlapping, checkerboard-like spatial distribution pattern within a forest or other habitat. Such a pattern was originally described by Room in 1971 [10] and termed an ant mosaic 2 years later by Leston [7]. Since then, ant mosaics have been studied across different continents and habitats. Among social insects, mosaic-like distribution patterns are not exclusive to ants and have been found for termites as well [6].

Ant colonies commonly vigorously defend their nest sites, and aggression against non-nestmates often extends well beyond the nest entrance, sometimes involving territorial exclusion of other ant species. As a result, competitively superior ant species with relatively large colonies and an aggressive behavioral dominance of other species are expected to mutually exclude each other from their territories. Ant species co-existing within the territories of dominant ants are regarded as...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-28102-1_9
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Ant Mosaics, Fig. 1

References

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Correspondence to Nico Blüthgen .

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Blüthgen, N. (2021). Ant Mosaics. In: Starr, C.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Social Insects. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-28102-1_9

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