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These direct effects reverberate through communities as other taxa are affected indirectly (18, 19).
To examine the frequency and degree of intraspecific aggression among nests at a local spatial scale, behavioral data were collected in Argentina at five sites on the Rio Paraná [Reserva Otamendi (8 nests), Reserva Ecologíca Costanera Sur (9 nests), Parque Nacional Pre Delta (9 nests), Porto Ocampo (9 nests), and Itá-Ibaté (9 nests)] and at three sites on the Rio Uruguay [Ibicuy (7 nests), Colón (6 nests), and Alvear (7 nests)]. Introduced populations of Argentine ants were sampled in Chile, Bermuda, and the United States.
Highly invasive ants are often unicolonial, forming supercolonies in which workers and queens mix freely among physically separate nests.
By reducing costs associated with territoriality, unicolonial species can attain high worker densities, allowing them to achieve interspecific dominance.
Here we examine the behavior and population genetics of the highly invasive Argentine ant () in its native and introduced ranges, and provide a mechanism to explain its success as an invader.
The Argentine ant is a widespread and damaging invasive species (10).
Invasive species are recognized as a leading threat to biodiversity as well as an increasing economic concern (1–3).