Seed Dispersal by Ants in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem: Mechanisms, Strategies, Adaptations / Edition 1 by Elena Gorb, Stanislav Gorb | | 9781402013799 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Seed Dispersal by Ants in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem: Mechanisms, Strategies, Adaptations / Edition 1

Seed Dispersal by Ants in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem: Mechanisms, Strategies, Adaptations / Edition 1

by Elena Gorb, Stanislav Gorb
     
 

ISBN-10: 1402013795

ISBN-13: 9781402013799

Pub. Date: 08/31/2003

Publisher: Springer Netherlands

Countless ants transport and deposit seeds and thereby influence the survival, death, and evolution of many plant species. In higher plants, seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) has appeared many times independently in different lineages. More than 3000 plant species are known to utilize ant assistance to be planted. Myrmecochory is a very interesting and rather

Overview

Countless ants transport and deposit seeds and thereby influence the survival, death, and evolution of many plant species. In higher plants, seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) has appeared many times independently in different lineages. More than 3000 plant species are known to utilize ant assistance to be planted. Myrmecochory is a very interesting and rather enigmatic form of mutualistic ant-plant associations. This phenomenon is extremely complex, because there are hundreds of ant species connected with hundreds of plant species. This book effectively combines a thorough approach to investigating morphological and physiological adaptations of plants with elegant field experiments on the behaviour of ants. This monograph is a first attempt at collecting information about morphology, ecology and phenology of ants and plants from one ecosystem. The book gives readers a panoramic view of the hidden, poorly-known interrelations not only between pairs of ants and plant species, but also between species communities in the ecosystem. The authors have considered not just one aspect of animal-plant relationships, but have tried to show them in all their complexity. Some aspects of the ant-plant interactions described in the book may be of interest to botanists, others to zoologists or ecologists, but the entire work is an excellent example of the marriage of these biological disciplines.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402013799
Publisher:
Springer Netherlands
Publication date:
08/31/2003
Edition description:
2003
Pages:
226
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.36(d)

Table of Contents

Forewordxi
Prefacexiii
Introduction: an historical background1
Chapter 1.The myrmecochorous syndrome5
1.What is myrmecochory?5
2.The concept of the myrmecochorous syndrome6
3.Mechanisms of ant attraction6
3.1Diversity of elaiosomes7
3.2.Elaiosomes originating from seed tissues9
3.3.Elaiosomes originating from fruit tissues11
3.4.Chemical composition of elaiosomes13
3.5.Elaiosome compounds attracting ants13
3.6.Effect of diaspore and elaiosome dimensions on diaspore attractiveness for ants15
4.Diaspore deposition into microsites frequently visited by ants16
5.Synchronisation of the plant fruiting periods with periods of ant activity19
6.Supplementary assimilating organs21
7.The myrmecochorous syndrome in facultative myrmecochores22
8.Other examples of ant-plant relationships22
9.The myrmecochorous syndrome and criteria of myrmecochory23
10.Summary24
Chapter 2.Diaspore removal by ants25
1.[double left angle bracket]Cafeteria[double right angle bracket] experiments25
2.Morphology of diaspores of myrmecochorous plants26
3.Removal rates of elaiosome-bearing seeds by Formica polyctena workers28
4.Removal rates of seeds by the ant species complex of the forest28
5.Do ants prefer seeds of particular plant species?31
6.Do ants select seeds with the largest elaiosomes?32
7.Are there differences in the body size of ant workers which remove seeds of different plant species?34
8.Summary36
Chapter 3.Factors influencing diaspore removal37
1.Effect of the diaspore size in Corydalis bulbosa and Corydalis cava37
1.1.Morphology and anatomy of diaspores38
1.2.Removal rates of seeds38
2.Effect of elaiosome, diaspore body, and their contents39
2.1.Seed anatomy40
2.1.1.Corydalis cava seeds40
2.1.2.Pulmonaria obscura erems41
2.2.Experiments with diaspores and juices from elaiosomes and diaspore bodies43
2.2.1.Corydalis cava seeds44
2.2.2.Pulmonaria obscura erems44
2.2.3.Diaspore structures that attract ants45
3.Effect of diaspore aggregation46
3.1.Cafeteria experiments with different degrees of seed aggregation in the depot47
3.2.Diaspore aggregation in obligate and facultative myrmecochores49
4.Summary50
Chapter 4.Effect of the ant species complex on diaspore removal53
1.Visits to seed depots by ant foragers and seed removal54
1.1.Total seed removal at different microsites54
1.2.Contribution of different ant species to seed removal58
1.2.1.Formica polyctena territory58
1.2.2.Myrmica rubra territory58
1.2.3.Lasius fuliginosus territory58
2.Microsite quality for the myrmecochore59
3.Elaiosome consumption and seed removal60
3.1.Duration of seed manipulation by ants60
3.2.Number of seeds probed by ants prior to removal61
3.3.Elaiosome consumption62
3.4.Interactions between workers of different ant species at seed depots63
4.Effect of ant recruitment behaviour and learning on seed removal64
4.1.Mark-recapture experiments64
4.2.Recruitment and learning in ants and seed removal rates67
5.Summary68
Chapter 5.Diaspore transporting by ants71
1.Methods of diaspore transporting72
2.Diaspore dropping during transport74
3.Dependence of diaspore dropping on the ant worker size75
4.Effect of diaspore dropping on dispersal distance77
4.1Complex of factors used in the computer model77
4.2Computer model77
5.Summary81
Chapter 6.Seed flow in ant territories83
1.Direct observations of the seed flow84
2.Soil seed material85
2.1.Herbaceous species85
2.2.Myrmecochores87
2.3.Non-myrmecochores89
3.Effect of ant workers on the vegetation90
4.Seed flow in the territory of the Formica polyctena colony91
4.1.Diaspore concentration in ant nests91
4.2.Flow of diaspores of myrmecochores91
4.3.Flow of diaspores of non-myrmecochores93
5.Summary94
Chapter 7.Secondary relocation of diaspores from ant nests97
1.Composition of mature plants and seedlings in various microsites98
1.1.Mature plants98
1.2.Seedlings98
1.3.Effect of ants on the distribution of plants in the forest101
2.Plant species composition of the soil seed pools at various microsites103
3.Distribution of diaspores within territories of ant colonies106
3.1.Diaspore flow within territories of colonies of Formica polyctena and Lasius fuliginosus ants106
3.2.Effect of ant behaviour on the distribution of diaspores107
3.3.Advantages for plants from the secondary relocation of diaspores108
4.Summary108
Chapter 8.Comparative analysis of plant dispersal systems by ants: diaspore concentration and redistribution111
1.Variables used for simulation111
2.What proportion of diaspores reaches ant nests?113
3.Comparison of systems of diaspore dispersal by ants114
3.1.Dispersal without secondary relocation of diaspores114
3.2.Dispersal with secondary relocation of diaspores117
4.Analysis of diaspore dispersal systems118
5.Summary122
Chapter 9.Ecological implications of myrmecochory123
1.Selective advantages of myrmecochory123
1.1.Hypotheses of selective advantages of myrmecochory123
1.1.1.Hypothesis of the nest environment123
1.1.2.Hypothesis of diaspore escape from predators124
1.1.3.Competition avoidance hypothesis124
1.1.4.Fire escape hypothesis125
1.1.5.Hypothesis of the dispersal for distance125
1.2.Recent studies of selective advantages of myrmecochory126
2.Ant nests as microhabitats for myrmecochores126
2.1.Viola odorata plants on nests of Formica polyctena ants127
2.2.Advantages for plants growing on ant nests129
3.Decrease of seedling density as a selective advantage of myrmecochory130
3.1.Spatial distribution of seedlings in Corydalis bulbosa131
3.1.1.First year of the experiment131
3.1.2.Second year of the experiment133
3.2.Effect of ants on seed dispersal of Corydalis bulbosa134
4.Effect of myrmecochory on the spatial distribution and mortality rate of seedlings in Asarum europaeum136
4.1.Spatial distribution and seedling mortality138
4.2.Effect of ants on seed dispersal in A. europaeum139
5.Summary140
Chapter 10.Interactions between ants and non-myrmecochorous plants143
1.Interactions between the non-myrmecochore Galium aparine and Formica polyctena ants144
1.1.Removal and transport of diaspores144
1.2.Dynamics of seedling density and plant growth145
2.Asymmetry of interactions between non-myrmecochores and ants149
2.1.Plant concentration on the nest mounds149
2.2.Why do ants remove and transport diaspores without elaiosomes?149
2.3.Character of interactions between non-myrmecochores and ants150
3.Summary151
Chapter 11.Methods for studying myrmecochory153
1.Study site153
2.Plant species covered by the experiments154
2.1.Obligate myrmecochores155
2.2.Facultative myrmecochores156
2.3.Non-myrmecochores156
3.Ant species used in the experiments157
4.Methods157
4.1.Morphology and anatomy157
4.2.Field observations and experiments158
4.2.1.Studies on the myrmecochorous syndrome158
4.2.2.[double left angle bracket]Cafeteria[double right angle bracket] experiments159
4.2.3.Factors influencing diaspore removal rate160
4.2.4.Effect of the ant species composition on diaspore removal162
4.2.5.Diaspore transport by ants164
4.2.6.Plant diaspore flows on ant territories165
4.2.7.Secondary relocation of diaspores by ants165
4.2.8.Ecological aspects of the myrmecochory165
4.2.9.Interactions between ants and non-myrmecochorous plants168
4.3.Soil seed bank169
5.Summary170
Conclusions and outlook173
Glossary177
References185
Appendix201
Index217

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >