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Type: Artigo de periódico
Title: Bigger Ant Colonies Reduce Herbivory And Herbivore Residence Time On Leaves Of An Ant-plant: Azteca Muelleri Vs. Coelomera Ruficornis On Cecropia Pachystachya
Author: Rocha C.F.D.
Bergallo H.G.
Abstract: The effect of defence force size in colonies of the ant Azteca muelleri on the time spent to localize, attack and expel the specialized herbivorous beetle Coelomera ruficornis from Cecropia pachystachya bushes was studied in an area of Atlantic forest in northeastern Brazil. Our results show that Azteca muelleri expel Coelomera ruficornis from Cecropia pachystachya and that the number of ants leaving a colony (defence force size) is negatively correlated with the residence time of an adult beetle on the plant. Colonies with larger defence forces recruited larger numbers of ants, resulting in faster herbivore discovery (r2=0.80; n=17; P<0.001) and reduced herbivore residence time on a leaf (r2=0.79 n=23; P<0.001) before being driven off by the ants. We also found a negative and significant relationship between herbivore damage on leaves and ant colony size (r2=0.28; n=17; P<0.05). We conclude that larger colonies have more individuals available to patrol a plant and recruit defenders toward herbivores. This reduces the time spent to locate and expel susceptible herbivores from the plant. Since the plant probably benefits from reduced herbivory and the plant provides food for the ants, the association between Azteca muelleri and Cecropia pachystachya appears mutualistic. © 1992 Springer-Verlag.
Editor: Springer-Verlag
Rights: fechado
Identifier DOI: 10.1007/BF00317792
Date Issue: 1992
Appears in Collections:Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos

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