Christoph Litschauer

christoph.litschauer@gmx.at

PDF der Diplomarbeit im Hochschulschriften-Service der Universität Wien


Trophobiotic associations between ants and honeydew producers in eastern Austria

Trophobiotic associations between ants and honeydew producers are one of the most successful types of mutualistic symbioses between animals in terrestrial ecosystems. It is widely unknown if and how the functionality and existence of trophobiosis is affected through habitat disturbance and land use. There is presently no quantitative data about trophobiotic associations between ants and honeydew producers in different habitats of eastern Austria. Therefore, the first aim of this thesis project is to establish a valid and quantitative database. This database will provide a first insight into the frequency and intensity of associations between various ant and honeydew producer species, respectively. Through the specific design of the field survey (comparison of different habitats along gradients of land use intensity), it will be possible to assess the influence of habitat structure and habitat use on the communities of ants, honeydew producers, and the resulting associations. Field work will mainly be done in the national parks "Thayatal" and "Donauauen". The data will also be made available as basic information for future management decisions.