Download The Evolutionary Ecology of Ant-Plant Mutualisms by Andrew James Beattie PDF

By Andrew James Beattie

Mutualistic interactions among ants and vegetation contain rewards provided through crops and prone played via ants in a jointly valuable courting. The rewards are largely foodstuff and/or nest websites, and ants in flip practice a couple of prone for vegetation: they disperse and plant seeds; they defend foliage, buds, and reproductive buildings from enemies equivalent to herbivores and seed predators; they fertilize crops with crucial nutrition; and so they might occasionally functionality as pollinators. during this e-book, in the beginning released in 1985, Professor Beattie stories the attention-grabbing common historical past of ant-plant interactions, discusses the clinical facts for the mutualistic nature of those relationships, and reaches a few conclusions in regards to the ecological and evolutionary approaches that mildew them. this significant paintings explores the typical heritage, experimental strategy, and integration with modern evolutionary and ecological literature of the time will entice a large choice of biologists.

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Stephenson (1982b), for example, observed 3858 ants descending the trunks of Catalpa, a tree with extrafloral nectaries, on the return journey to their nests. Twenty-nine of them carried an egg or larva of the principle herbivore, the sphinx moth Ceratomia catalpae. Tilman (1978) observed ants attacking and removing tent caterpillars on cherry trees. This predatory behavior was confined to the period, shortly after bud- 42 Evolutionary ecology of ant-plant mutualisms 80- 60- 0 CD i 4 °

Having said this, a few cases of food body production (Table 2) appear to be associated with ant protection or myrmecotrophy (see Chapter 5). The most complex food bodies are those of some of the same Central American Acacia species that bear domatia and are formed by additional meristematic growth at the tip of each rachis and pinnule of the compound leaf. It is differentiated anatomically into several tissues including a vascular bundle and a parenchymatous cortex of cells containing protein stored as tubules and lipids stored as droplets.

025. 001. (A? , O'Dowd 1979; Pickett & Clark 1979). This has suggested that ants reduce the losses of new shoots to herbivores and that a major benefit to the plant is continued vegetative expansion, especially vertically, so that a competitive advantage over neighbors is maintained. Other benefits may also result from the reduction in losses of metabolites to herbivores and from concomitant gains in metabolites allocated to reproduction. Several authors have suggested that reduced seed set in the absence of ants may result in part from increased herbivory of leaves, rather than direct predation of seeds.

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