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Cohabitation of tree holes by ants and breeding birds in a temperate deciduous forest
- Mitrus, Sławomir, Hebda, Grzegorz, Wesołowski, Tomasz
- Scandinavian journal of forest research 2016 v.31 no.2 pp. 135-139
- Lasius, Parus major, Poecile palustris, birds, deciduous forests, national parks, nesting sites, nests, tree breeding, tree cavities, Poland
- A previously unknown association of ants with birds breeding in tree holes is described. Ants Lasius brunneus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were found in c. 15% of nests of Parus major L. and Poecile palustris L. (Paridae) breeding in tree holes in the primeval deciduous forest located in the Białowieża National Park (Poland). The ants preferably used holes located higher above the ground. As such holes are warmer than the unused holes or other nest sites, it is suggested that the ants cohabit holes utilized by the tits to gain thermal benefits.