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|Type:||Artigo de periódico|
|Title:||Extrafloral nectaries as a deterrent mechanism against seed predators in the chemically protected weed Crotalaria pallida (Leguminosae)|
|Abstract:||In several plants, extrafloral nectaries (EFN) are located close to the reproductive structures, suggesting that ants may act as a defence against specialized seed predators that overcome chemical defences. Alternatively, ants may also deter herbivores in a generalized manner, thereby protecting the whole plant. In this work, we examined the relationship between the chemically protected weed Crotalaria pallida Ait. (Leguminosae) that bears EFN, its specialized seed predator, the larvae of the arctiid moth Utetheisa ornatrix L. (Arctiidae) and ants. We tested two hypotheses related to the type of deterrence caused by ants. The Seed Predator Deterrence Hypothesis predicts that ant deterrence is directed primarily towards herbivores that destroy seeds and other reproductive structures, without attacking herbivores on vegetative structures. The General Deterrence Hypothesis states that ants are general in their effects, equally deterring herbivores in vegetative and reproductive structures. Our results supported the predictions of the Seed Predator Deterrence Hypothesis, namely, that (i) ant activity on EFN was related to the vulnerability of reproductive structures to attack by U ornatrix; (ii) ant patrolling was restricted almost entirely to racemes; (iii) ants- removed termites used as baits more frequently on racernes than on leaves; and (iv) U. ornatrix larvae were often expulsed from the racemes. These results indicate that EFN can act as another deterrent mechanism in chemically protected plants by promoting the expulsion of specialist seed predators.|
|Citation:||Austral Ecology. Blackwell Publishing, v. 31, n. 6, n. 776, n. 782, 2006.|
|Appears in Collections:||Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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