Seed dispersal by ants in a deciduous forest ecosystem : Mechanisms, Strategies, Adaptations

Auteurs
Éditeurs
Parution
31/08/2003
Pages
240
Catégorie
Langue

Présentation

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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Sommaire

  • xiForeword
  • xiiiPreface
  • 1Introduction: an historical background
  • 5Chapter 1. The myrmecochorous syndrome
    • 51. What is myrmecochory?
    • 62. The concept of the myrmecochorous syndrome
    • 63. Mechanisms of ant attraction
      • 73.1. Diversity of elaiosomes
      • 93.2. Elaiosomes originating from seed tissues
      • 113.3. Elaiosomes originating from fruit tissues
      • 133.4. Chemical composition of elaiosomes
      • 133.5. Elaiosome compounds attracting ants
      • 153.6. Effect of diaspore and elaiosome dimensions on diaspore attractiveness for ants
    • 164. Diaspore deposition into microsites frequently visited by ants
    • 195. Synchronisation of the plant fruiting periods with periods of ant activity
    • 216. Supplementary assimilating organs
    • 227. The myrmecochorous syndrome in facultative myrmecochores
    • 228. Other examples of ant-plant relationships
    • 239. The myrmecochorous syndrome and criteria of myrmecochory
    • 2410. Summary
  • 25Chapter 2. Diaspore removal by ants
    • 251. «Cafeteria» experiments
    • 262. Morphology of diaspores of myrmecochorous plants
    • 283. Removal rates of elaiosome-bearing seeds by Formica polyctena workers
    • 284. Removal rates of seeds by the ant species complex of the forest
    • 315. Do ants prefer seeds of particular plant species?
    • 326. Do ants select seeds with the largest elaiosomes?
    • 347. Are there differences in the body size of ant workers which remove seeds of different plant species ?
    • 368. Summary
  • 37Chapter 3. Factors influencing diaspore removal
    • 371. Effect of the diaspore size in Cot-ydalis bulbosa and Corydalis cava
      • 381.1. Morphology and anatomy of diaspores
      • 381.2. Removal rates of seeds
    • 392. Effect of elaiosome, diaspore body. and their contents
      • 402.1. Seed anatomy
        • 402.1.1. Corydalis cava seeds
        • 412.1.2. Pulmonaria obscura erems
      • 432.2. Experiments with diaspores and juices from elaiosomes and diaspore bodies
        • 442.2.1. Corvdalis cava seeds
        • 442.2.2. Pulmonaria obscura erems
        • 452.2.3. Diaspore structures that attract ants
    • 463. Effect of diaspore aggregation
      • 473.1. Cafeteria experiments with different degrees of seed aggregation in the depot
      • 493.2. Diaspore aggregation in obligate and facultative myrmecochores
    • 504. Summary
  • 53Chapter 4. Effect of the ant species complex on diaspore removal
    • 541. Visits to seed depots by ant foragers and seed removal
      • 541.1. Total seed removal at different microsites
      • 581.2. Contribution of different ant species to seed removal
        • 581.2.1. Formica polyctena territory
        • 581.2.2. Myrmica rubra territory
        • 581.2.3. Lasius fuliginosus territory
    • 592. Microsite quality for the myrmecochore
    • 603. Elaiosome consumption and seed removal
      • 603.1. Duration of seed manipulation by ants
      • 613.2. Number of seeds probed by ants prior to removal
      • 623.3. Elaiosome consumption
      • 633.4. Interactions between workers of different ant species at seed depots
    • 644. Effect of ant recruitment behaviour and learning on seed removal
      • 644.1. Mark-recapture experiments
      • 674.2. Recruitment and learning in ants and seed removal rates
    • 685. Summary
  • 71Chapter 5. Diaspore transporting by ants
    • 721. Methods of diaspore transporting
    • 742. Diaspore dropping during transport
    • 753. Dependence of diaspore dropping on the ant worker size
    • 774. Effect of diaspore dropping on dispersal distance
      • 774.1. Complex of factors used in the computer model
      • 774.2. Computer model
    • 815. Summary
  • 83Chapter 6. Seed flow in ant territories
    • 841. Direct observations of the seed flow
    • 852. Soil seed material
      • 852.1. Herbaceous species
      • 872.2. Myrmecochores
      • 892.3. Non-myrmecochores
    • 903. Effect of ant workers on the vegetation
    • 914. Seed flow in the territory of the Formica polyctena colony
      • 914.1. Diaspore concentration in ant nests
      • 914.2. Flow of diaspores of myrmecochores
      • 934.3. Flow of diaspores of non-myrmecochores
    • 945. Summary
  • 97Chapter 7. Secondary relocation of diaspores from ant nests
    • 981. Composition of mature plants and seedlings in various microsites
      • 981.1. Mature plants
      • 981.2. Seedlings
      • 1011.3. Effect of ants on the distribution of plants in the forest
    • 1032. Plant species composition of the soil seed pools at various microsites
    • 1063. Distribution of diaspores within territories of ant colonies
      • 1063.1. Diaspore flow within territories of colonies of Formica polyctena and Lasius fuliginosus ants
      • 1073.2. Effect of ant behaviour on the distribution of diaspores
      • 1083.3. Advantages for plants from the secondary relocation of diaspores
    • 1084. Summary
  • 111Chapter 8. Comparative analysis of plant dispersal systems by ants: diaspore concentration and redistribution
    • 1111. Variables used for simulation
    • 1132. What proportion of diaspores reaches ant nests?
    • 1143. Comparison of systems of diaspore dispersal by ants
      • 1143.1. Dispersal without secondary relocation of diaspores
      • 1173.2. Dispersal with secondary relocation of diaspores
    • 1184. Analysis of diaspore dispersal systems
    • 1225. Summary
  • 123Chapter 9. Ecological implications of myrmecochory
    • 1231. Selective advantages of myrmecochory
      • 1231.1. Hypotheses of selective advantages of myrmecochory
        • 1231.1.1. Hypothesis of the nest environment
        • 1241.1.2. Hypothesis of diaspore escape from predators
        • 1241.1.3. Competition avoidance hypothesis
        • 1251.1.4. Fire escape hypothesis
        • 1251.1.5. Hypothesis of the dispersal for distance
      • 1261.2. Recent studies of selective advantages of myrmecochory
    • 1262. Ant nests as microhabitats for myrmecochores
      • 1272.1. Viola odorata plants on nests of Formica polyctena ants
      • 1292.2. Advantages for plants growing on ant nests
    • 1303. Decrease of seedling density as a selective advantage of myrmecochory
      • 1313.1. Spatial distribution of seedlings in Corydalis bulhosa
        • 1313.1.1. First year of the experiment
        • 1333.1.2. Second year of the experiment
      • 1343.2. Effect of ants on seed dispersal of Corydalis bulbosa
    • 1364. Effect of myrmecochory on the spatial distribution and mortality rate of seedlings in Asarum europaeum
      • 1384.1. Spatial distribution and seedling mortality
      • 1394.2. Effect of ants on seed dispersal in A. europaeum
    • 1405. Summary
  • 143Chapter 10. Interactions between ants and non-myrmecochorous plants
    • 1441. Interactions between the non-myrmecochore Galium aparine and Formica polyctena ants
      • 1441.1. Removal and transport of diaspores
      • 1451.2. Dynamics of seedling density and plant growth
    • 1492. Asymmetry of interactions between non-myrmecochores and ants
      • 1492.1. Plant concentration on the nest mounds
      • 1492.2. Why do ants remove and transport diaspores without elaiosomes ?
      • 1502.3. Character of interactions between non-myrmecochores and ants
    • 1513. Summary
  • 153Chapter 11. Methods for studying myrmecochory
    • 1531. Study site
    • 1542. Plant species covered by the experiments
      • 1552.1. Obligate myrmecochores
      • 1562.2. Facultative myrmecochores
      • 1562.3. Non-myrmecochores
    • 1573. Ant species used in the experiments
    • 1574. Methods
      • 1574.1. Morphology and anatomy
      • 1584.2. Field observations and experiments
        • 1584.2.1. Studies on the myrmecochorous syndrome
        • 1594.2.2. oCafeteriao experiments
        • 1604.2.3. Factors influencing diaspore removal rate
        • 1624.2.4. Effect of the ant species composition on diaspore removal
        • 1644.2.5. Diaspore transport by ants
        • 1654.2.6. Plant diaspore flows on ant territories
        • 1654.2.7. Secondary relocation of diaspores by ants
        • 1654.2.8. Ecological aspects of the myrmecochory
        • 1684.2.9. Interactions between ants and non-myrmecochorous plants
      • 1694.3 Soil seed bank
    • 1705. Summary
  • 173Conclusions and outlook
  • 177Glossary
  • 185References
  • 201Appendix
  • 217Index

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