Effect of diaspore characteristics on removal of seeds adapted for dispersal by ants

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127 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Examined elaiosome-bearing seeds in sclerophyll vegetation near Sydney, New South Wales, comparing the response to these diaspores of three seed-removing ant species, two of which (Rhytidoponera "metallica' and Aphaenogaster longiceps), produce more favourable seed fates that the third species (Pheidole sp.1) (See 92L/11976). Clumped seeds were removed significantly faster than single seeds by Pheidole, a group forager. A longiceps, a solitary forager, removed single seeds faster while R. "metallica' removed single and clumped seeds at the same rate. Presence of elaiosomes on seeds increased removal rates, especially by A. longiceps and R. "metallica'. Both A. longiceps and R. "metallica' responded positively to elaiosome/load ratio while Pheidole responded mainly to diaspore size. Diaspores with high elaiosome/seed ratios are more likely to be removed by A. longiceps or R. "metallica' than by Pheidole. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1300-1312
Number of pages13
JournalEcology
Volume73
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992

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