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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 3, p. 425-428
     
    Received: Oct 17, 1966
    Published: May, 1967


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1967.03615995003100030036x

Ant (Formica cinerea) Pedoturbation in a Prairie Soil1

  1. F. Paul Baxter and
  2. Francis D. Hole

Abstract

Abstract

Active and recently active mounds made by the ant (Formica cinerea montana Emery) number 1,531 ha and occupy 1.7% of the area of the surface of Tama silt loam in a prairie remnant in southwestern Wisconsin. The average volume of an ant mound is 0.02 m3, of which about 12% is occupied by channels and chambers. The mineral soil in the upper half to two-thirds of a representative mound consists about 85% of B horizon material, judging by soil color, content of clay, and oriented argillans. Unusually high contents of available K and P in the mound are probably a result of concentration by the ants of organic materials, particularly those derived from plant sap from aphids; of rapid mineralization of organic matter; and by addition by the ants of B horizon material. Upward movement of soil material by ants could account for the relatively high clay content of the A horizon of Tama silt loam in southwestern Wisconsin, as contrasted with that of the A horizon of the comparable nearby forest soil.

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