Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://repositorio.unicamp.br/jspui/handle/REPOSIP/60381
Type: Artigo de periódico
Title: Interactions between ants, fruits and seeds in a restinga forest in south-eastern Brazil
Author: Passos, L
Oliveira, PS
Abstract: Fleshy diaspores (fruits, seeds) comprise a large portion of the litter on the floor of tropical forests, and interactions involving litter-foraging ants and diaspores are common in these areas. In this study, the interactions between ants and non-myrmecochorous diaspores (i.e. not adapted to dispersal by ants) were surveyed along a 1.4-km transect in a restinga forest (sandy soil) on the coast of south-eastern Brazil. During 2 y of monthly samplings, 562 interactions involving 48 ant species and 44 species of diaspore (0.02-11.10 g) were recorded. Ant-diaspore associations involved a considerable part of the ground-dwelling ant community. Large ponerine ants individually removed the diaspores up to 13 m, whereas small ants (myrmicines) normally recruited workers and consumed the diaspore on the spot. Ant-derived benefits to diaspores of non-myrmecochorous plants included secondary dispersal (small to medium-sized diaspores), and increased germination success after seed cleaning by ants. Large ponerine ants such as Odontomachus chelifer and Pachycondyla striata were the main seed vectors. Seedlings of three species were associated with nests of O. chelifer. The results indicate that ants play an important role in fruit/seed biology in the restinga forest.
Subject: ant-fruit/seed interaction
ant-plant interaction
Atlantic forest
fleshy diaspores
seed dispersal
Country: EUA
Editor: Cambridge Univ Press
Rights: embargo
Identifier DOI: 10.1017/S0266467403003298
Date Issue: 2003
Appears in Collections:Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos

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