An invasive ant distribution database to support biosecurity risk analysis in the PacificMonica A. M. Gruber A B C , Meghan Cooling B and Allan R. Burne B
A Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand.
B Pacific Biosecurity, Victoria Link Limited, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 1762, Wellington, New Zealand.
C Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pacific Conservation Biology 23(3) 258-261 https://doi.org/10.1071/PC17004
Submitted: 7 February 2017 Accepted: 27 March 2017 Published: 15 June 2017
Invasive species are one of the most serious threats to biodiversity. Up-to-date and accurate information on the distribution of invasive species is an important biosecurity risk analysis tool. Several databases are available to determine the distributions of invasive and native species. However, keeping this information current is a real challenge. Ants are among the most widespread invasive species. Five species of ants are listed in the IUCN list of damaging invasive species, and many other species are also invasive in the Pacific. We sought to determine and update the distribution information for the 18 most problematic invasive ant species in the Pacific to assist Small Island Developing States with risk analysis. We compared the information on six public databases, conducted a literature review, and contacted experts on invasive ants in the Pacific region to resolve conflicting information. While most public records were accurate we found some new records had not yet been incorporated in the public databases, and some information was inaccurate. The maintenance of public databases faces an enormous challenge in balancing completeness (~15 000 ant species in this case) with accuracy (the impossibility of constantly surveying) and utility.
Additional keywords: invasive species, biological invasions
ReferencesGruber, M. A. M. (2013). Survey of ants on Kiritimati Island, Kiribati in February–March 2013. Unpublished report for The Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF).
Gruber, M. A. M., Cooling, M., and Burne, A. R. (2016). PIAT: the Pacific Invasive Ant Toolkit. Pacific Biosecurity. New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Available at: http://piat.org.nz [accessed 1 February 2017].
Guénard, B., Weiser, M. D., Gómez, K., Nitish, N., and Economo, E. P. (2017). The Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics (GABI) database: synthesizing data on the geographic distribution of ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 24, 83–89.
Hoffmann, B. D., Luque, G. M., Bellard, C., Holmes, N. D., and Donlan, C. J. (2016). Improving invasive ant eradication as a conservation tool: a review. Biological Conservation 198, 37–49.
| Improving invasive ant eradication as a conservation tool: a review.CrossRef |
Holway, D. A., Lach, L., Suarez, A. V., Tsutsui, N. D., and Case, T. J. (2002). The causes and consequences of ant invasions. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 33, 181–233.
| The causes and consequences of ant invasions.CrossRef |
Lowe, S., Browne, M., Boudjelas, S., and De Poorter, M. (2000). 100 of the World’s worst invasive alien species. A selection from the Global Invasive Species Database. The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) a specialist group of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
McKenna, S. A., Butler, D. J., and Wheatley, A. (2015). Rapid biodiversity assessment of Republic of Narau. Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
Na, J. P. S., and Lee, C. Y. (2001). Identification key to common urban pest ants in Malaysia. Tropical Biomedicine 18, 1–17.
Sarnat, E. M. (2008). PIAkey: identification guide to ants of the Pacific Islands. Edition 2.0. Lucid v. 3.4. USDA/APHIS/PPQ Center for Plant Health Science and Technology and University of California — Davis. Available at: http://idtools.org/id/ants/pia/ [accessed 1 October 2016].
Sarnat, E. M., and Economo, E. P. (2012). The ants of Fiji. University of California Press Publication in Entomology 132: iii–viii; 1–384.
Saurara, L., and Vaqalo, M. (2015). Trip report to Nauru. Unpublished report. Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
Waterhouse, D. F. (1997). The major invertebrate pests and weeds of agriculture and plantation forestry in the southern and western Pacific. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra, Australia, 93 pp.
Wetterer, J. K. (2005). Worldwide distribution and potential spread of the long legged ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 45, 77–97.
Wetterer, J. K. (2013). Exotic spread of Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) beyond North America. Sociobiology 60, 50–55.
| Exotic spread of Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) beyond North America.CrossRef |
Wilson, E. O., and Taylor, R. W. (1967). The ants of Polynesia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pacific Insects Monograph 14, 1–109.