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|Type:||Artigo de periódico|
|Title:||Interaction between ants and seeds of a nonmyrmecochorous neotropical tree, Cabralea canjerana (Meliaceae), in the Atlantic forest of southeast Brazil|
|Abstract:||On the forest floor of two Atlantic forest sites in southeast Brazil, we recorded 26 ant species (12 genera) interacting with the seeds of Cabralea canjerana (Meliaceae), a typical ornithochorous tree whose seeds are covered by a lipid-rich aril. The ants treat the arillate seeds in three different ways: (1) the large ponerine ants Pachycondyla striata and Odontomachus chelifer individually remove the seeds to their nests, (2) many species (Pheidole spp.) recruit workers to remove the aril on the spot, or (3) Solenopsis spp, recruit nestmates and cover the seeds with soil before removing the aril on the spot. The ants remove the aril exceptionally rapidly, and removal greatly facilitates seed germination. Seed predation by insects below fruiting trees is severe, and field experiments using vertebrate exclosures showed that rodents also prey heavily upon seeds found near parent trees. Ponerine ants actively remove seeds from this predation-prone zone. By removing bird-manipulated and naturally fallen seeds, ants can play a key role in the fate of medium-sized seeds like those of C. canjerana.|
|Editor:||Botanical Soc Amer Inc|
|Appears in Collections:||Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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