Body size variation of the ant Lasius niger along a metal pollution gradient

Irena Grześ , Mateusz Okrutniak , Monika Gorzałczany , Piotr Piszczek


The phenotypic diversity of ant workers plays a fundamental role in their biology. In this study, we asked if the body size variation of monomorphic workers of the ant Lasius niger (Formicidae) responds adaptively to metal pollution in a post-mining metal-polluted area. Nest samples of workers were collected along a pollution gradient to calculate the within-colony variance in body size (expressed as maximum head width, HW). The results showed that the body size variation of L. niger was unrelated to the pollution index but demonstrated considerable variation between colonies even within the same study site. We suggest that the differences in morphological diversity between the colonies of L. niger could be shaped by colony personality traits, i.e., by colony-specific foraging and/or the feeding efficiency of nursing workers. The study supports previous findings, showing that morphological traits in Lasius ants are weakly related to environmental metal pollution.
Author Irena Grześ (FoAS / IoAS)
Irena Grześ,,
- Institute of Animal Science
, Mateusz Okrutniak (FoAS / IoAS)
Mateusz Okrutniak,,
- Institute of Animal Science
, Monika Gorzałczany (FoAS / IoAS)
Monika Gorzałczany,,
- Institute of Animal Science
, Piotr Piszczek
Piotr Piszczek,,
Journal seriesEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research, ISSN 0944-1344, e-ISSN 1614-7499, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in EnglishAnts, Trace metals, Body size, Pollution, Adaptation, Colony personality
ASJC Classification2700 General Medicine; 2304 Environmental Chemistry; 2307 Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis; 2310 Pollution
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); author's original; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); after publication
Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.032; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 2.914 (2) - 2018=3.208 (5)
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FinansowanieThis research was financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland.
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