Seed Dispersal by Ants in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem: by Elena Gorb

By Elena Gorb

Countless ants delivery and deposit seeds and thereby effect the survival, demise, and evolution of many plant species. In better vegetation, seed dispersal by way of ants (myrmecochory) has seemed repeatedly independently in several lineages. greater than 3000 plant species are recognized to make use of ant advice to be planted. Myrmecochory is a really attention-grabbing and really enigmatic type of mutualistic ant-plant institutions. This phenomenon is intensely advanced, simply because there are hundreds and hundreds of ant species hooked up with 1000's of plant species. This booklet successfully combines a radical method of investigating morphological and physiological variations of vegetation with stylish box experiments at the behaviour of ants. This monograph is a primary try at amassing information regarding morphology, ecology and phenology of ants and crops from one environment. The e-book supplies readers a wide ranging view of the hidden, poorly-known interrelations not just among pairs of ants and plant species, but additionally among species groups within the atmosphere. The authors have thought of not only one element of animal-plant relationships, yet have attempted to teach them in all their complexity. a few points of the ant-plant interactions defined within the ebook should be of curiosity to botanists, others to zoologists or ecologists, however the whole paintings is a wonderful instance of the wedding of those organic disciplines.

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Extra resources for Seed Dispersal by Ants in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem: Mechanisms, Strategies, Adaptations

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2). 87, n=14). Thus, these experimental data are 39 similar to our results, obtained for five other species of myrmecochores (see chapter 2), and support the hypothesis about the crucial role of seed dimensions for ant workers' attraction and, finally, for seed removal rates. en 1 -0,) 8 00,) .... a; cE ~ 4 2 0 CD A ,,11'''11111 j 10 ~~o o = = OJ 1111111111111'11 IIII =DDIIJ 0 20 = OJ === Iii r===== = 30 B OJ [ o 10 20 30 time, min Fig. 2. Removal rates of seeds of Corydalis bulbosa (A) and C. cava (B) by Formica polyctena ants.

5, A). Such similarity in attractiveness of intact diaspores and those with elaiosomes ablated may be explained by the presence of additional adaptations of diaspores of P. obscura to the myrmecochory. Presumably, the fat-containing erem coat and fat-containing tissues of the internal surface of the collar attract ants even after elaiosome ablation. In contrast to parenchymatous cells of elaiosome, which can be easily bitten off by ants, the pericarp is rather dense and thus protects the erem from damage by ant individuals.

Time of half removal of balls with seed body juice and with distilled water did not significantly differ (Fig. 6, A). Since the anatomical study of diaspores did not reveal a lipid-containing layer on the seed body surface, weak attractiveness of C. cava seed bodies may be explained by an absence of specific adaptations of seed bodies in this species to ant attraction. 2 Pulmonaria obscura erems Intact diaspores of P. obscura were removed significantly faster than paper balls infiltrated with distilled water, elaiosome juice, and erem juice (Fig.

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