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Thesis Abstract – Carter (2010)


Harvester Ant Seed Preferences in a Disturbed Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat

Author and college:

Sally Carter, Pomona College


May 3, 2010


Bachelor of Arts in Biology


Frances Hanzawa, Pomona College


Harvester ants feed primarily on seeds and have a variety of effects on surrounding plant communities, including changing the species composition of the soil seed bank and differentially reducing seedling recruitment rates of their preferred prey species. This study explores the seed preference of harvester ants of the genus Pogonomyrmex in the disturbed coastal sage scrub habitat of the Bernard Field Station. Harvester ants were found to consume a wide variety of seeds (at least 66 species), and showed a preference for native seeds over non-native seeds. This could potentially encourage the reproduction of invasive plant species, whose seeds are consumed by ants less frequently than seeds of native plants.

For more information:

Contact Frances Hanzawa – frances.hanzawa@pomona.edu

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