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Psyche
Volume 2015, Article ID 873415, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/873415
Research Article

Body Size of the Monomorphic Ant Lasius niger: Young Colonies along a Metal Pollution Gradient

Department of Environmental Zoology, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Aleja Mickiewicza 24/28, 30-059 Krakow, Poland

Received 15 July 2015; Accepted 20 September 2015

Academic Editor: Jacques Hubert Charles Delabie

Copyright © 2015 Irena M. Grześ et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Metal pollution may cause the decrease in the individual body size. In ants, the morphological diversity within and between colonies may be much higher than that considered before, even in monomorphic ants. In this study we measured the body size, expressed as head width, of Lasius niger workers collected from 44 young colonies in their ergonomic stage along a well-known gradient exhibiting chronic metal pollution. We calculated statistics describing the body size distribution curve, namely, average, median, data range, skewness, and kurtosis. None of these statistics correlated with the pollution level. Contrary to our previous study performed on mature colonies, workers from young colonies do not display pollution-related morphological changes. The results stress the importance of developmental stage of colony on diversifying body size of the worker cast, in monomorphic ants living in metal-polluted areas.