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Effects of triclopyr on wood ants (family Formica)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Chemical pollutants are one of the main threats against biodiversity and chemicals affecting non-target organisms are of great environmental concern. The herbicide triclopyr is commonly used to keep weeds under control and is believed to be weakly toxic to animals and only lethal in high doses. However, the knowledge of possible sub-lethal behavior effects in low doses is scarce. This study investigates whether the wood ant (family Formica) show behavioral changes when exposed to sub-lethal doses of triclopyr. The main hypotheses tested were; i) ants behaving normally show a preference for dark surfaces (i.e. scototaxis); and ii) triclopyr affect this behavior trait among ants. The hypotheses were tested by exposing ants to diets containing 1, 10 and 100 mg/L triclopyr for 24 hours (acute) and 7 days (chronic). To what extent ants preferred the white surface (proportion of frames with the ant visible), their activity (proportion of speed above 1 mm/s) their exploration (proportion area covered) and their average velocities was measured using a newly developed tracking software (ToxTrac). The results clearly show that ants have preference for dark surfaces and thus, that the first hypothesis is valid. However, the second hypothesis appear invalid as the different exposures to triclopyr did not affect the examined behaviors. Based on the results, triclopyr appear to not affect non-target organism such as ants, although possible behavioral effects in other organisms and other behavioral traits cannot be excluded. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
triclopyr, scototaxis, ecotoxicology, behavior, Formica
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-136651OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-136651DiVA: diva2:1112864
Educational program
Bachelor of Science in Biology and Earthscience
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-20 Created: 2017-06-20 Last updated: 2017-06-20Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Examining effects of triclopyr on wood ants (family Formica)(488 kB)12 downloads
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File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 488 kBChecksum SHA-512
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Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Ecology

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf