The effects of species interactions are not always obvious. This issue examines the nature of the relationship between army ants and ant-following birds. Students will design a hypothetical experiment to measure the effect of birds on army ant foraging success, interpret the results of a real experiment, and consider the consequences of the interaction on the ant colony and the forest community.
NOTE: This Issue is different from other Figure Sets in TIEE in that students explore a specific question (in this case about mutualistic relationships) and uses figures from just one paper. The editors would welcome complimentary submissions for this Figure Set.
interspecific interactions, mutualism, commensalism, parasitism, experimental design, foraging, social behavior
design an experiment, essay, essay quiz
Biology Department, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY 13820, firstname.lastname@example.org
This figure set was developed and written with partial support from a Wandersee Scholar-in-Residence award from Hartwick College. It was greatly improved by input from students in Biol-225 at Hartwick College and suggestions by two reviewers.
Kuhlmann, Mark. April 2006, posting date. Do Antbirds Help or Hinder Army Ants? Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 4: Issues Figure Set #1 [online]. http://tiee.ecoed.net/vol/v4/issues/figure_sets/army_ants/abstract.html
Army ant workers (Eciton burchellii) clustered around a captured insect.
Photo by Alex Wild, used with permission.
full size image