Bulletin of Forestry Science / Volume 9 / Issue 1 / Pages 35-50
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Role of red wood ants (Formica rufa group) in forest protection in europe – a literature review

Ágnes Fürjes-Mikó, Sándor Csősz & György Csóka


Correspondence: Fürjes-Mikó Ágnes

Postal address: H-3232 Mátrafüred, Hegyalja u. 18.

e-mail: miko.agnes[at]erti.naik.hu


Red wood ants are generalist predators. They prey on many insect groups, so may significantly influence their abundance. Species in Formica rufa group obtain their food mainly from tree canopies, so they can effectively reduce the herbivore pressure. European literature gives wide ranges for their food spectra. Based on investigations, almost half of their food consists of insects, including species considered “forest pests”. Honeydew of different Hemiptera species also plays an important role in their nutrition. The ant-aphid mutualistic relationship and its impacts on the health of trees and forests have been discussed for a long time. The ants may also have a positive effect on soil since their nest material contains concentrated minerals bound to organic materials. The trees near the nests can utilize these organic nutrients that can result in accelerated growth. In this paper we review the related Hungarian and European literature.

Keywords: red wood ants, forest health, predation, honeydew, aphid-ant mutualism, soil conditions

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    Fürjes-Mikó, Á., Csősz, S. & Csóka, Gy. (2019): Role of red wood ants (Formica rufa group) in forest protection in europe – a literature review. Bulletin of Forestry Science, 9(1): 35-50. (in Hungarian) DOI: 10.17164/EK.2019.003

    Volume 9, Issue 1
    Pages: 35-50

    DOI: 10.17164/EK.2019.003

    First published:
    25 June 2019

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