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Manual Seed Dispersal by Ants in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem: Mechanisms, Strategies, Adaptations

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Seed dispersal

The greater dispersal distance observed in this study reflects the fact that most seeds were dispersed by A. These large ants usually are capable of carrying seeds for long distances PIZO et al. For instance, individuals of A. In the case of A. The behavior of A. In most cases, when a seed was found by C. Indeed, Leal observed that the removal of elaiosome improves seed germination of many Euphorbiaceae species because it liberates the micropyle, the structure responsible for seed imbibition. In fact, on two occasions, workers of A. Germination experiments are needed to test a beneficial effect of seed cleaning to R.

There is indirect evidence that deposition of R. From the individuals of R. The advantage of myrmecochory to R. In this case, plants would benefit from a nutrient-enriched soil for seed germination and seedling growth. Though large ants such as A. This mutualistic interaction may increase the establishment of R. I am very grateful to R. Martins and J. Figueira, and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions on the early versions of the manuscript, to A. Santos for help during field work, and to A. Santos for ant identification. I also thank the staff of the Ecological Station of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais for their kindness during the work in the reserve.

Ant-plant interactions. Plant-animal interactions: an evolutionary approach. New York: Blackwell Publishing, Campina Grande: Embrapa, Documentos, Importance of primary and secondary seed dispersal in the Malagasy tree Commiphora guillaumini. Ecology , v. Cryptic consequences of dispersal mutualism: Seed burial, elaiosome removal, and seed-bank dynamics.

Seed Dispersal By Ants In A Deciduous Forest Ecosystem: Mechanisms, Strategies, Adaptations

Dispersal of Miconia argentea seeds by the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica. Journal of Tropical Ecology , v. Seedling recruitment in a semi-arid Patagonian steppe: Facilitative effects of refuse dumps of leaf-cutting ants. Journal of Vegetation Sciences , v.

Ant benefits in a seed dispersal mutualism. Oecologia , v. Myrmecochorous dispersal distances:A world survey. Journal of Biogeography , v. Seed dispersal by ants in a deciduous forest ecosystem: Mechanisms, strategies, adaptations. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, Directed dispersal: Demographic analysis of anant-seed mutualism. American Naturalist , v. Human poisoning from native and cultivated plants. Durham: Duke University Press, Analysis of how ant behaviors affect germination in a tropical myrmecochore Calathea microcephala P.

Koernicke Marantaceae : microsite selection and aril removal by Neotropical ants, Odontomachus , Pachycondyla , and Solenopsis Formicidae. Seed dispersal of a neotropical myrmecochore: Variation in removal rates and dispersal distance. Biotropica , v.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

When seed dispersal matters. Bioscience , v. Effect of diaspore characteristics on removal of seeds adapted for dispersal by ants. Removal of seeds from neotropical frugivore feces: Ants responses to seed number. Plant-animal interactions.

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New York: McGraw-Hill, Interactions between fungus-growing ants Attini , fruits and seeds in cerrado vegetation in southeast Brazil. Adaptive advantages of myrmecochory: The predator-avoidance hypothesis tested over a wide geographic range. Ecography , v. Unexpected relationships and valuable mistakes: Nonmyrmecochorous Prosopis dispersed by messy leafcutting ants in harvesting their seeds.

Dispersal of Seeds

Austral Ecology , v. Food from seed-dispersal mutualism shifts sex ratios in colonies of the ant Aphaenogaster rudis. Seed cleaning by Mycocepurus goeldii ants Attini facilitates germination in Hymenaea courbaril Caesalpiniaceae.

Seed Dispersal by Ants in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem

Ant dispersal of Croton priscus Euphorbiaceae seeds in a tropical semideciduous forest in southeastern Brazil. Ants affect the distribution and performance of Clusia criuva seedlings, a primarily bird-dispersed rainforest tree. Journal of Ecology , v.


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