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https://anthecology.org/a/5655555555##See official page of publication2020-02-15
СТАТЬЯ
Ant Species Identity Mediates Reproductive Traits and Allocation in an Ant-garden BromeliadAnt Species Identity Mediates Reproductive Traits and Allocation in an Ant-garden Bromeliad
1
Leroy C.
Автор антэкологических публикаций

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1
Corbara B.
Автор антэкологических публикаций

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1
Pélozuelo L.
Автор антэкологических публикаций

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1
Carrias J.F.
Автор антэкологических публикаций

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1
Dejean A.
Автор антэкологических публикаций

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Céréghino R.
Автор антэкологических публикаций

See official publication page.Annals of Botany
525
Журнал с антэкологическими публикациями.
Oxford University Press · office@annbot.com

, . V. 109. No. 1.
P. 145152 (8).
Background and Aims. Determining the sources of variation in floral morphology is crucial to understanding the mechanisms underlying Angiosperm evolution. The selection of floral and reproductive traits is influenced by the plant's abiotic environment, florivores and pollinators. However, evidence that variations in floral traits result from mutualistic interactions with insects other than pollinators is lacking in the published literature and has rarely been investigated. We aimed to determine whether the association with either Camponotus femoratus or Pachycondyla goeldii (both involved in seed dispersal and plant protection) mediates the reproductive traits and allocation of Aechmea mertensii, an obligatory ant-garden tank-bromeliad, differently.

Methods. Floral and reproductive traits were compared between the two A. mertensii ant-gardens. The nitrogen flux from the ants to the bromeliads was investigated through experimental enrichments with stable isotopes (15N). Key Results. Camponotus femoratus-associated bromeliads produced inflorescences up to four times longer than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Also, the numbers of flowers and fruits were close to four times higher, and the number of seeds and their mass per fruit were close to 1·5 times higher in C. femoratus than in P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Furthermore, the 15N-enrichment experiment showed that C. femoratus-associated bromeliads received more nitrogen from ants than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads, with subsequent positive repercussions on floral development. Greater benefits were conferred to A. mertensii by the association with C. femoratus compared with P. goeldii ants.

Conclusions. We show for the first time that mutualistic associations with ants can result in an enhanced reproductive allocation for the bromeliad A. mertensii. Nevertheless, the strength and direction of the selection of floral and fruit traits change based on the ant species and were not related to light exposure. The different activities and ecological preferences of the ants may play a contrasting role in shaping plant evolution and speciation.
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