Title

The Effects of Environmental Changes on the Overall Productivity of Pogonomyrmex Occidentalis

School Name

Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

Grade Level

10th Grade

Presentation Topic

Zoology

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Abstract

The purpose of this experiment was to study how environmental factors, specifically heat and humidity affect the foraging activity of Harvester Ants. If the environment plays an important role in the lives of ants, how much more could these environmental factors have an affect on the human population? Knowing that the environment plays a factor in the world of insects, it was hypothesized that a colony of ants placed in a habitat with increased humidity and heat levels would collect more food and be more productive. To conduct this experiment, three colonies of harvester ants, each containing about thirty workers, were placed in separate environments of differing environmental conditions. The first was introduced to high heat, the second to high heat and high humidity and the third remained a controlled environment set to the surroundings of the room. Food was placed in a container and the ants were allowed to feed for twelve hours. At the end of the trials, the environment which consisted of higher heat and humidity produced the most active ants, having foraged more pieces of food and visibly dug the most tunnels. This leads to the conclusion that under these conditions, the majority of Western Harvester ants would be more productive in an environment like this, however this could lead to ecological issues if there suddenly becomes a shortage of food. In theory more active and productive ants would appear to be a positive result, when in actuality it will probably lead to harming natural ecosystems.

Location

Founders Hall 210 A

Start Date

3-30-2019 11:45 AM

Presentation Format

Oral and Written

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Mar 30th, 11:45 AM

The Effects of Environmental Changes on the Overall Productivity of Pogonomyrmex Occidentalis

Founders Hall 210 A

The purpose of this experiment was to study how environmental factors, specifically heat and humidity affect the foraging activity of Harvester Ants. If the environment plays an important role in the lives of ants, how much more could these environmental factors have an affect on the human population? Knowing that the environment plays a factor in the world of insects, it was hypothesized that a colony of ants placed in a habitat with increased humidity and heat levels would collect more food and be more productive. To conduct this experiment, three colonies of harvester ants, each containing about thirty workers, were placed in separate environments of differing environmental conditions. The first was introduced to high heat, the second to high heat and high humidity and the third remained a controlled environment set to the surroundings of the room. Food was placed in a container and the ants were allowed to feed for twelve hours. At the end of the trials, the environment which consisted of higher heat and humidity produced the most active ants, having foraged more pieces of food and visibly dug the most tunnels. This leads to the conclusion that under these conditions, the majority of Western Harvester ants would be more productive in an environment like this, however this could lead to ecological issues if there suddenly becomes a shortage of food. In theory more active and productive ants would appear to be a positive result, when in actuality it will probably lead to harming natural ecosystems.