Document Detail

Does exogenic food benefit both partners in an ant-plant mutualism? The case of Cecropia obtusa and its guest Azteca plant-ants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22464429     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
In the mutualisms involving the myrmecophyte Cecropia obtusa and Azteca ovaticeps or A. alfari, both predatory, the ants defend their host trees from enemies and provide them with nutrients (myrmecotrophy). A. ovaticeps provisioned with prey and then (15)N-enriched food produced more individuals than did control colonies (not artificially provisioned). This was not true for A. alfari colonies, possibly due to differences in the degree of maturity of the colonies for the chosen range of host tree sizes (less than 3m in height). Myrmecotrophy was demonstrated for both Azteca species as provisioning the ants with (15)N-enriched food translated into higher δ(15)N values in host plant tissues, indicating that nitrogen passed from the food to the plant. Thus, the predatory activity of their guest ants benefits the Cecropia trees not only because the ants protect them from defoliators since most prey are phytophagous insects but also because the plant absorbs nutrients.
Alain Dejean; Frédéric Petitclerc; Olivier Roux; Jérôme Orivel; Céline Leroy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2012-02-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Comptes rendus biologies     Volume:  335     ISSN:  1768-3238     ISO Abbreviation:  C. R. Biol.     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-04-02     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101140040     Medline TA:  C R Biol     Country:  France    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  214-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
CNRS, écologie des forêts de Guyane (UMR-CNRS 8172), campus agronomique, 97379 Kourou cedex, France; UPS, écolab, université de Toulouse, 118, route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse, France.
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