Directed dispersal: demographic analysis of an ant-seed mutualism

Frances M. Hanzawa, A. J. Beattie, David C. Culver

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    118 Citations (Scopus)


    Examined the effects of seed dispersal by ants on the demography of 2 seed cohorts of Corydalis aurea: one relocated to ant nests by undisturbed ant foragers, and a control cohort of equal numbers planted by hand in the vicinity of each nest. The ant-treated cohort produced 90% more offspring than the control cohort and had a higher finite rate of increase: a finite rate of increase of 2.83 per year versus a rate of 2.05 per year for the control. The higher rate for the ant-treated cohort was the result not of an increase in the fecundity of reproductive plants, which did not differ significantly from that of the control, but of a significant increase in survival to reproduction. The benefit to the ant-handled plants was determined by the specific end point of dispersal, not by removal of seeds from the parent plant per se or distance moved. -from Authors

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalAmerican Naturalist
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1988


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