IGN 18-7 - Studying ant foraging in an urbanizing world: Human food subsidies and the shifting nutritional landscape of cities

Thursday, August 10, 2017
C123, Oregon Convention Center
Amy M. Savage, Biology, Rutgers University - Camden, Camden, NJ and Clint A. Penick, Applied Ecology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Ants are among the first animals that most people encounter, especially in urban ecosystems. However, the ecology of urban ants has remained largely unexplored until recently. Mary Talbot was one of the first biologists to seriously study ants in cities, when she assessed Chicago’s ant fauna in 1934. She also pioneered detailed studies of ant foraging behaviors outside of cities. We will discuss our research at the interface of these approaches - the nutritional ecology of urban ants, with a special emphasis on the consequences of human food subsidies in the diets of urban ants for ants and their prey.