Roura-Pascual, N, Suarez, AV, McNyset, K, Gomez, C, Pons, P, Touyama, Y, Wild, AL, Gascon, F, Peterson, AT (2006). Niche differentiation and fine-scale projections for Argentine ants based on remotely sensed data. ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS, 16(5), 1832-1841.
Modeling ecological niches of species is a promising approach for predicting the geographic potential of invasive species in new environments. Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) rank among the most successful invasive species: native to South America, they have invaded broad areas worldwide. Despite their widespread success, little is known about what makes an area susceptible-or not-to invasion. Here, we use a genetic algorithm approach to ecological niche modeling based on high-resolution remote-sensing data to examine the roles of niche similarity and difference in predicting invasions by this species. Our comparisons support a picture of general conservatism of the species' ecological characteristics, in spite of distinct geographic and community contexts.