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Adaptive Advantage of Myrmecochory in the Ant-Dispersed Herb Lamium amplexicaule (Lamiaceae): Predation Avoidance through the Deterrence of Post-Dispersal Seed Predators.

Tanaka K, Ogata K, Mukai H, Yamawo A, Tokuda M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: This effect was most likely due to the behavioral alteration of Adomerus rotundus in response to the ant presence, because ants seldom predated Adomerus rotundus during the experiment.Our results demonstrated that the presence of ants decreases post-dispersal seed predation, even when the ants do not bury the seeds.The present study thus suggests that the non-consumptive effects of ants on seed predators benefit myrmecochorous plants.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Agriculture, Saga University, Saga, Japan; The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima, Japan.

ABSTRACT
Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is found worldwide, but the benefits that plants obtain from this mutualism remain uncertain. In the present study, we conducted laboratory experiments to demonstrate seed predator avoidance as a benefit of myrmecochory using the annual ant-dispersed herb Lamium amplexicaule, the disperser ant Tetramorium tsushimae, and the seed predatory burrower bug Adomerus rotundus. We compared the predation intensity of Lamium amplexicaule seeds by Adomerus rotundus under the presence or absence of Tetramorium tsushimae. Both the number of seeds sucked by Adomerus rotundus adults and the feeding duration of sucked seeds by nymphs were significantly reduced in the presence of ants. This effect was most likely due to the behavioral alteration of Adomerus rotundus in response to the ant presence, because ants seldom predated Adomerus rotundus during the experiment. Our results demonstrated that the presence of ants decreases post-dispersal seed predation, even when the ants do not bury the seeds. The present study thus suggests that the non-consumptive effects of ants on seed predators benefit myrmecochorous plants.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

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pone.0133677.g002: Illustration of the experimental apparatus.

Mentions: Laboratory experiments were conducted from October 2013 to January 2014 and in December 2014 to demonstrate the role of ant workers in the deterrence of post-dispersal seed predators. White plastic containers (22.5 cm diameter and 7.2 cm deep), the bottoms of which were lined with Kimtowels (Nippon Paper Crecia, Tokyo), were used as the experimental arenas. Three containers were assigned to both the treatment and control, respectively. The inner side walls of the plastic containers were coated with talc powder to prevent the ants and burrower bugs from escaping. In addition, the edge of the Kimtowels was attached to each plastic container with white plastic tape (19 mm wide) to prevent the burrower bugs from hiding in the gaps between the Kimtowels and the container. A hole was made at the center of each container, and a vinyl chloride tube (6 mm inner diameter and 10 cm long) was connected from the bottom side. In the treatment condition, the other end of the tube was connected to an artificial nest (Fig 2). In the control condition, the tube was not connected to an ant nest but was instead plugged with a cotton ball.


Adaptive Advantage of Myrmecochory in the Ant-Dispersed Herb Lamium amplexicaule (Lamiaceae): Predation Avoidance through the Deterrence of Post-Dispersal Seed Predators.

Tanaka K, Ogata K, Mukai H, Yamawo A, Tokuda M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Illustration of the experimental apparatus.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4510857&req=5

pone.0133677.g002: Illustration of the experimental apparatus.
Mentions: Laboratory experiments were conducted from October 2013 to January 2014 and in December 2014 to demonstrate the role of ant workers in the deterrence of post-dispersal seed predators. White plastic containers (22.5 cm diameter and 7.2 cm deep), the bottoms of which were lined with Kimtowels (Nippon Paper Crecia, Tokyo), were used as the experimental arenas. Three containers were assigned to both the treatment and control, respectively. The inner side walls of the plastic containers were coated with talc powder to prevent the ants and burrower bugs from escaping. In addition, the edge of the Kimtowels was attached to each plastic container with white plastic tape (19 mm wide) to prevent the burrower bugs from hiding in the gaps between the Kimtowels and the container. A hole was made at the center of each container, and a vinyl chloride tube (6 mm inner diameter and 10 cm long) was connected from the bottom side. In the treatment condition, the other end of the tube was connected to an artificial nest (Fig 2). In the control condition, the tube was not connected to an ant nest but was instead plugged with a cotton ball.

Bottom Line: This effect was most likely due to the behavioral alteration of Adomerus rotundus in response to the ant presence, because ants seldom predated Adomerus rotundus during the experiment.Our results demonstrated that the presence of ants decreases post-dispersal seed predation, even when the ants do not bury the seeds.The present study thus suggests that the non-consumptive effects of ants on seed predators benefit myrmecochorous plants.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Agriculture, Saga University, Saga, Japan; The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima, Japan.

ABSTRACT
Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is found worldwide, but the benefits that plants obtain from this mutualism remain uncertain. In the present study, we conducted laboratory experiments to demonstrate seed predator avoidance as a benefit of myrmecochory using the annual ant-dispersed herb Lamium amplexicaule, the disperser ant Tetramorium tsushimae, and the seed predatory burrower bug Adomerus rotundus. We compared the predation intensity of Lamium amplexicaule seeds by Adomerus rotundus under the presence or absence of Tetramorium tsushimae. Both the number of seeds sucked by Adomerus rotundus adults and the feeding duration of sucked seeds by nymphs were significantly reduced in the presence of ants. This effect was most likely due to the behavioral alteration of Adomerus rotundus in response to the ant presence, because ants seldom predated Adomerus rotundus during the experiment. Our results demonstrated that the presence of ants decreases post-dispersal seed predation, even when the ants do not bury the seeds. The present study thus suggests that the non-consumptive effects of ants on seed predators benefit myrmecochorous plants.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus