Long-term ant-species-dependent dynamics of a myrmecochorous plant community.

Gorb, E. V., Filippov, A. E. and Gorb, S. N. (2013) Long-term ant-species-dependent dynamics of a myrmecochorous plant community. Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 7 (3). pp. 277-286. DOI 10.1007/s11829-012-9242-z.

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Myrmecochory or seed dispersal by ants is a widely spread phenomenon, and myrmecochorous plants constitute a large portion of species in many ecosystems. Since the ant species complex in the ecosystem is continuously changing in time and space, the long-term effects of such ant–plant interactions on the plant community remained unclear. The manifold information obtained in numerous previous studies from one ecosystem in the deciduous forests of Central Ukraine allowed us to simulate the possible scenarios for plant survival and distribution in the ecosystem after a reduction in the number or local extinction of one of the ant species. The results of the virtual long-term experiment show that the abundance and spatial distribution of myrmecochorous plants strongly depends on both the abundance of ants and their species composition in the ecosystem. The positive role of ant species diversity for maintaining myrmecochorous plant species diversity is shown. Competition between plant species for seed dispersers is influenced by the ant community in such a way that the disappearance of one ant species may lead to the reduction or even local extinction of a particular plant population.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Times Cited: 0 Gorb, Elena V. Filippov, Alexander E. Gorb, Stanislav N.
Keywords: Insect–plant interactions Dispersal strategy Modelling Population Spatial distribution Survival
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s11829-012-9242-z
ISSN: 1872-8855
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2014 09:20
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2019 11:17
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/24937

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