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
     
 

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

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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.

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Product Details

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

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Introduction: an historical background1
Ch. 1The myrmecochorous syndrome5
Ch. 2Diaspore removal by ants25
Ch. 3Factors influencing diaspore removal37
Ch. 4Effect of the ant species complex on diaspore removal53
Ch. 5Diaspore transporting by ants71
Ch. 6Seed flow in ant territories83
Ch. 7Secondary relocation of diaspores form ant nests97
Ch. 8Comparative analysis of plant dispersal systems by ants: diaspore concentration and redistribution111
Ch. 9Ecological implications of myrmecochory123
Ch. 10Interactions between ants and non-myrmecochorous plants143
Ch. 11Methods for studying myrmecochory153
Conclusions and outlook173
Glossary177
References185
Appendix201
Index217

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