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Type: Artigo de periódico
Title: Spider-fed bromeliads: seasonal and interspecific variation in plant performance
Author: GONCALVES, Ana Zangirolame
MERCIER, Helenice
ROMERO, Gustavo Quevedo
Abstract: Background and Aims Several animals that live on bromeliads can contribute to plant nutrition through nitrogen provisioning (digestive mutualism). The bromeliad-living spider Psecas chapoda (Salticidae) inhabits and breeds on Bromelia balansae in regions of South America, but in specific regions can also appear on Ananas comosus (pineapple) plantations and Aechmea distichantha. Methods Using isotopic and physiological methods in greenhouse experiments, the role of labelled ((15)N) spider faeces and Drosophila melanogaster flies in the nutrition and growth of each host plant was evaluated, as well as seasonal variation in the importance of this digestive mutualism. Key Results Spiders contributed 0.6 +/- 0.2% (mean +/- s.e.; dry season) to 2.7 +/- 1% (wet season) to the total nitrogen in B. balansae, 2.4 +/- 0.4% (dry) to 4.1 +/- 0.3% (wet) in An. comosus and 3.8 +/- 0.4% (dry) to 5 +/- 1% (wet) in Ae. distichantha. In contrast, flies did not contribute to the nutrition of these bromeliads. Chlorophylls and carotenoid concentrations did not differ among treatments. Plants that received faeces had higher soluble protein concentrations and leaf growth (RGR) only during the wet season. Conclusions These results indicate that the mutualism between spiders and bromeliads is seasonally restricted, generating a conditional outcome. There was interspecific variation in nutrient uptake, probably related to each species` performance and photosynthetic pathways. Whereas B. balansae seems to use nitrogen for growth, Ae. distichantha apparently stores nitrogen for stressful nutritional conditions. Bromeliads absorbed more nitrogen coming from spider faeces than from flies, reinforcing the beneficial role played by predators in these digestive mutualisms.
Subject: Bromelioideae
Bromelia balansae
Ananas comosus
Aechmea distichantha
chlorophylls and carotenoid
soluble protein
spider-bromeliad interactions
stable isotope (15)N
nitrogen flux
Country: Inglaterra
Rights: fechado
Identifier DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcr047
Date Issue: 2011
Appears in Collections:IB - Artigos e Outros Documentos

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