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|Type:||Artigo de periódico|
|Title:||Interhabitat differences in ant activity on plant foliage: ants at extrafloral nectaries of Hibiscus pernambucensis in sandy and mangrove forests|
|Abstract:||The association between visiting ants and the extrafloral nectaries (EFN)-bearing shrub Hibiscus pernambucensis Arruda (Malvaceae) was investigated in two different coastal habitats - a permanently dry sandy forest and a regularly inundated mangrove forest. In both habitats the frequency of plants with ants and the mean number of ants per plant were much higher on H. pernambucensis than on non-nectariferous neighbouring plants. In the sandy forest the proportion of live termite baits attacked by ants on H. pernambucensis was much higher than on plants lacking EFNs. In the mangrove, however, ants attacked equal numbers of termites on either plant class. Ant attendance to tuna/honey baits revealed that overall ant activity in the sandy forest is higher than in the mangrove area. The vertical distribution (ground vs. foliage) of ant activity also differed between habitats. While in the mangrove foraging ants were more frequent at baits placed on foliage, in the sandy forest ant attendance was higher at ground baits. Plants housing ant colonies were more common in the mangrove than in the sandy forest. Frequent flooding in the mangrove may have resulted in increased numbers of ant nests on vegetation and scattered ant activity across plant foliage, irrespective of possession of EFNs. Thus plants with EFNs in the mangrove may not experience increased ant aggression towards potential herbivores relative to plants lacking EFNs. The study suggests that the vertical distribution of ant activity, as related to different nest site distribution (ground vs. foliage) through a spatial scale, can mediate ant foraging patterns on plant foliage and probably affect the ants' potential for herbivore deterrence on an EFN-bearing plant species.|
|Editor:||Blackwell Publishing Ltd|
|Appears in Collections:||Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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