The distribution of wood‐ants (Formica lugubris Zetterstedt) in a northern English forest

  • SUDD J
  • DOUGLAS J
  • GAYNARD T
 et al. 
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Abstract

ABSTRACT. 1. A survey of 202ha of planted forest in Langdale Forest, North Yorkshire, in 1972 discovered 326 occupied and thirtyeight deserted nests of Formica lugubris Zetterstedt. The average density of occupied nests was there- fore 1.61 ha-'. 2. Nests were associated with most crop trees and wild trees present, but were most abundant near to plantation margins and regenerating natural scrub. 3. In planted areas 76% of nests were found S m or less from the plantation boundary. More nests were found on the south and west border of plantations than on the north and east respectively, and most iests were not shaded from the south or southeast. 4. An analysis of nearest neighbour measurements showed that the dispersion of nests was not random but contagious (clumped). Nest mounds were higher in shaded situations than in unshaded. 5. The diameter of nest mounds was greater in araas planted with trees before 1945 than in areas planted since 1945. 6. The present population of F.lugubris appears to have spread into planted areas from nests present in marginal natural woodland which escaped the dis- turbance of the area at the time of planting.

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Authors

  • J. H. SUDD

  • J. M. DOUGLAS

  • T. GAYNARD

  • D. M. MURRAY

  • J. M. STOCKDALE

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