Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department or Program
Sean B. Menke
Sodium is vital for maintaining osmotic balance, muscle activity, and nervous system function in many organisms. The availability of sodium can drastically impact populations within ecosystems. Salt content from human foods and salt from winter road treatments could increase Na+ availability. I hypothesize that Na+ availability is more limited when moving away from Chicago. I baited ants along two 50km transects extending West and North from downtown Chicago. Transects contained 10 evenly spaced forested sites. Baits were equally split between H20, 20% sugar, and 1% salt concentration. Thirteen ant species were collected, but only three species recruited to salt baits. There is no relationship between ant recruitment to salt and distance from Chicago. It is possible that proximity to roads is the more important variable in determining salt availability. Thus, the urban gradient may not matter due to the spatial scale in which ants live.
Servin, Marco Andres, "Ant Recruitment to Salt Along Chicago’s Urban Gradient" (2020). Senior Theses.