Classic Themes: Ants, Plants and Fungi

  • Tim R. New


The interactions between ants and plants collectively display an enormous variety of intricate and specific associations. As noted in the previous chapter, some ants pollinate flowers, but their roles in that capacity are vastly overshadowed by the predominance of other Hymenoptera. However, the variety of other interactions between ants and plants has led to more being written on these themes than on any other mutualism-related topics. Some of those interactions rank amongst the classic mutualisms described. In his overview, Buckley (1982) listed six broad categories of ant-plant interactions that he included as ‘mutualisms’. In addition to pollination, these were associations with extrafloral nectaries, food bodies, domatia, ant-epiphytes, ant gardens and seed dispersal. Each of these broad themes has received considerable attention, and they collectively indicate the broad array of interdependences flowing from associations between different plant groups and different ant taxa, with many interactions very specific. Key reviews include those by Janzen (1966), Beattie (1985) and Rico-Gray and Oliveira (2007), the last being an encyclopaedic synthesis and reference source with numerous examples.


Acacias Ant gardens Domatia Epiphytes Extrafloral nectaries Food bodies Formicidae Herbivory Mutualism Myrmecochory Myrmecophytes Plant defences 


  1. Amsellem L, McKey DB (2006) Integrating phenological, chemical and biotic defences in ant-plant protection mutualisms; a case study of two myrmecophyte lineages. Chemoecology 16:223–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Apple JL, Feener DH Jr (2001) Ant visitation of extrafloral nectaries of Passiflora: the effects of nectary attributes and ant behavior on patterns in facultative ant-plant mutualisms. Oecologia 127:409–416PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Assuncao MA, Torezan-Silingardi M, Del-Claro K (2014) Do ant visitors to extrafloral nectaries repel pollinators and cause an indirect cost of mutualism? Flora 209:244–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beattie AJ (1985) The evolutionary ecology of ant-plant interactions. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  5. Beaumont KP, Mackay DA, Whalen MA (2013) Multiphase myrmecochory: the roles of different ant species and effects of fire. Oecologia 172:791–803PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Becerra JX, Venable DL (1989) Extrafloral nectaries: a defense against ant-Homoptera mutualisms? Oikos 55:276–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bentley BJ (1977) Extrafloral nectaries and protection by pugnacious bodyguards. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 8:407–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berg RY (1975) Myrmecochorous plants in Australia and their dispersal by ants. Aust J Bot 213:475–508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bixenmann RJ, Coley PD, Kursaw TA (2011) Is extrafloral nectar production induced by herbivores or ants in a tropical facultative ant-plant mutualism? Oecologia 165:417–425PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Blatrix R, Mayer V (2010) Communication in ant-plant symbioses. In: Baluska F, Nincovic V (eds) Plant communication from an ecological perspective. Springer, Berlin, pp 127–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Blatrix R, Bouamer S, Morand S, Selosse M-A (2009) Ant-plant mutualisms should be viewed as symbiotic communities. Plant Signal Behav 4:554–556PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bluthgen N, Verhaagh M, Goitia W, Jaffe K, Morewetz W, Barthloot W (2000) How plants shape the ant community in the Amazonian rainforest canopy: the key role of extrafloral nectaries and hemipteran honeydew. Oecologia 125: 229-240Google Scholar
  13. Bluthgen N, Wesenberg J (2001) Ants induce domatia in a rain forest tree (Vochysia vismiaefolia). Biotropica 33:637–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brouat C, Garcia N, Andary C, McKey D (2016) Plant lock and ant key: pairwise coevolution of an exclusion filter in an ant-plant mutualism. Proc R Soc Lond B 268:2131–2141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Buckley RC (1982) Ant-plant interactions: a world review. In: Buckley RC (ed) Ant-plant interactions in Australia. W. Junk, The Hague, pp 111–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Caldera EJ, Poulsen M, Suen G, Currie CR (2009) Insect symbioses: a case study of past, present, and future fungus-growing ant research. Environ Entomol 38:78–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Carroll CR, Janzen DH (1973) Ecology of foraging by ants. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 4:231–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cembrowski AR, Tan MG, Thomson JD, Frederickson ME (2014) Ants and ant scent reduce bumblebee pollination of artificial flowers. Am Nat 183:133–139PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Correa NN, Silva PSD, Wirth R, Tabarelli M, Leal IR (2010) How leaf-cutting ants impact forests: drastic nest effects on light environment and plant assemblages. Oecologia 162:103–115PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cronin G (1998) Between species and temporal variation in Acacia-ant-herbivore interactions. Biotropica 30:135–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dattilo W, Marquitti FMD, Guimares PR Jr, Izzo TJ (2014) The structure of ant-plant ecological networks: is abundance enough? Ecology 95:475–485PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Davidson DW (1988) Ecological studies of Neotropical ant gardens. Ecology 69:1138–1152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Davidson DW, McKey D (1993) The evolutionary ecology of symbiotic ant-plant relationships. J Hymenopt Res 2:13–83Google Scholar
  24. de la Fuente MAS, Marquis RJ (1999) The role of ant-tended extrafloral nectaries in the protection and benefit of a neotropical rainforest tree. Oecologia 118:192–202PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. de Vega C, Arista M, Ortiz PL, Herrera CM, Talavera S (2009) The ant-pollination system of Cytinus hypocistis (Cytinaceae), a Mediterranean root holoparasite. Ann Bot 102:1065–1075CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Defossez E, Selosse MA, Dubois MP, Mondolot L, Faccio A (and 3 other authors) (2009) Ant-plants and fungi: new threeway symbiosis. New Phytol 182:942–949Google Scholar
  27. Di Giusto B, Anstett M-C, Donnias E, McKey DB (2001) Variation in the effectiveness of biotic defence: the case of an opportunistic ant-plant protection mutualism. Oecologia 129:367–375PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. do Nascimento EA, Del-Claro K (2010) Ant visitation to extrafloral nectaries decreases herbivory and increases fruit set in Chamaecrista debilis (Fabaceae) in a Neotropical savanna. Flora 205:754–756CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Dyer LA, Letourneau DK (1999) Relative strengths of top-down and bottom-up forces in a tropical forest community. Oecologia 119:265–274PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Edwards DP, Arauco R, Hassall M, Sutherland WJ, Chamberlains K, Wadhams LJ, Yu DW (2007) Protection in an ant-plant mutualism: an adaptation or a sensory trap? Anim Behav 74:377–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Edwards DP, Frederickson ME, Shepard GH, Yu DW (2009) A plant needs ants like a dog needs fleas: Myrmelachista schumanni ants gall many tree species to create housing. Am Nat 174:734–740PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Fiala B, Grunsky H, Maschwitz U, Linsenmaier KE (1994) Diversity of ant-plant interactions: protective efficacy in Macaranga species with different degrees of ant association. Oecologia 97:186–192PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Fokuhl G, Heinze J, Poschlod P (2012) Myrmecochory by small ants – beneficial effects though elaiosome nutrition and seed dispersal. Acta Oecol 38:71–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Fonseca CR (1993) Nesting space limits colony size of the plant-ant Pseudomyrmex concolor. Oikos 67:473–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Frederickson ME, Gordon DM (2007) The devil to pay: a cost of mutualism with Myrmelachista schumanni ants in ‘devil’s gardens’ is increased herbivory on Duroia hirsuta trees. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Soc 274:1117–1123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Frederickson ME, Greene MJ, Gordon DM (2005) ‘Devil’s gardens’ bedeviled by ants. Nature 437:495–496PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Galen C (2005) Catching ants with honey: an experimental test of distraction and satiation as alternative modes of escape from flower-damaging ants. Oecologia 144:80–87PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Gammans N, Bullock JM, Schonrogge K (2005) Ant benefits in a seed dispersal mutualism. Oecologia 146:43–49PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gastreich KR, Gentry GL (2004) Faunal studies in model Piper spp. systems, with a focus on spider-induced indirect interactions and novel insect-Piper mutualisms. In: Dyer LA, Palmer ADN (eds) Piper: a model genus for studies of phytochemistry, ecology, and evolution. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, pp 97–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Giladi I (2006) Choosing benefits or partners: a review of the evidence for the evolution of myrmecochory. Oikos 112:481–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Gomez C, Espadaler X (2013) An update of the world survey of myrmecochorous dispersal distances. Ecography 36:1193–1201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Gonzalez-Teuber M, Kaltenpoth M, Boland W (2014) Mutualistic ants as an indirect defence against leaf pathogens. New Phytol 202:640–650PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Gorb SN, Gorb EV (1999) Dropping rates of elaiosome-bearing seed during transport by ants (Formica polyctena Foerst.): implications for distance dispersal. Acta Oecol 20:509–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Green AM, Mueller UG, Adams RMM (2002) Extensive exchange of fungal cultivars between sympatric species of fungus-growing ants. Mol Ecol 11:191–195PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Heil M (2010) Ant-plant mutualisms. In: Encyclopedia of life sciences. Wiley, Chichester. doi: 10.1002/978047001902.a0022558 Google Scholar
  46. Heil M, McKey D (2003) Protective ant-plant interactions as model systems in ecological and evolutionary research. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 34:425–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Heil M, Fiala B, Kaiser W, Linsenmaier KE (1998) Chemical contents of Macaranga food bodies: adaptations to their role in ant attraction and nutrition. Funct Ecol 12:117–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Heil M, Fiala B, Maschwitz U, Linsenmaier KE (2001) On benefits of indirect defence: short- and long-term studies of antiherbivore protection via mutualistic ants. Oecologia 126:395–403PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Heil M, Hilpert A, Fiala B, Bin Hashim R, Strohm E, Zotz G, Linsenmaier KE (2002) Nutrient allocation of Macaranga triloba ant plants to growth, photosynthesis, and indirect defence. Funct Ecol 16:475–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Hodson AK, Gastreich KR (2006) Evidence for a novel mutualism in the tropical understorey shrub Piper urostachyum. Biotropica 38:127–131Google Scholar
  51. Horvitz CC, Schemske DW (1986) Seed dispersal of a neotropical myrmecochore: variation in removal rates and dispersal distance. Biotropica 18:319–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Hughes L, Westoby M, Jurado E (1994) Convergence of elaiosomes and insect prey: evidence from ant foraging behaviour and fatty acid composition. Funct Ecol 8:358–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Huxley CR (1980) Symbiosis between ants and epiphytes. Biol Rev 55:321–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Huxley CR (1982) Ant-epiphytes of Australia. In: Buckley RC (ed) Ant-plant interactions in Australia. W. Junk, The Hague, pp 63–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Itino T, Itioka T (2001) Interspecific variation and ontogenetic change in antiherbivore defense in myrmecophytic Macaranga species. Ecol Res 16:765–774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Itino T, Davies SJ, Tada H, Hieda Y, Inoguchi M, Itioka T, Yamane S, Inoue T (2001) Cospeciation of ants and plants. Ecol Res 16:787–793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Itioka T, Nomura M, Inui Y, Itino T, Inoue T (2000) Difference in intensity of ant defense among three species of Macaranga myrmecophytes in a south-east Asian dipterocarp forest. Biotropica 32:318–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Janzen DH (1966) Coevolution of mutualism between ants and acacias in Central America. Evolution 20:249–275PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Janzen DH (1967) Interaction of the bull’s-horn acacia (Acacia cornigera L.) with an ant inhabitant (Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus F. Smith) in eastern Mexico. Univ Kansas Sci Bull 47:315–558Google Scholar
  60. Janzen DH (1969) Allelopathy by myrmecophytes: the ant Azteca as an allelopathic agent of Cecropia. Ecology 50:147–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Janzen DH (1974) Swollen thorn acacias of Central America. Smithson Contrib Bot 13:1–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. King EG, Caylor KK (2010) Herbivores and mutualistic ants interact to modify tree photosynthesis. New Phytol 187:17–21PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Kokolo B, Atteke C, Ibrahim B, Blatrix R (2016) Pattern of specificity in the tripartite symbiosis between Barteria plants, ants and Chaetothyriales Fungi. Symbiosis 69:169–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Koptur S (1985) Alternative defenses against herbivores in Inga (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) over an elevational gradient. Ecology 66:1639–1650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Koptur S (2005) Nectar as fuel for plant protectors. In: Wackers FL, van Rijn PCJ, Bruin J (eds) Plant-provided food and herbivore-carnivore interactions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 76–108Google Scholar
  66. Kwit C, Marcello GJ, Gonzalez JL, Shapiro AC, Bracken RD (2012) Advantages of seed dispersal for a myrmecochorous temperate forest herb. Am Midl Nat 168:9–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Lanan MC, Bronstein JL (2013) An ant’s–eye view of an ant-plant mutualism. Oecologia 172:779–790Google Scholar
  68. Latteman TA, Mead JE, DuValt MA, Bunting CC, Bevington JM (2014) Differences in anti-herbivore defences in non-myrmecophyte and myrmecophyte Cecropia trees. Biotropica 46:652–656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Leal IR, Silva PSD, Oliveira PS (2011) Natural history and ecological correlates of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini) in the neotropical cerrado savanna. Ann Entomol Soc Am 104:901–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Lubertazzi D, Lubertazzi MAA, McCoy N, Gove AD, Majer JD, Dunn RR (2010) The ecology of a keystone seed disperser, the ant Rhytidoponera violacea. J Insect Sci 18:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Manzaneda AJ, Fedriani JM, Rey PJ (2005) Adaptive advantages of myrmecochory: the predator-avoidance hypothesis tested over a wide geographic range. Ecography 28:583–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Marazzi B, Bronstein JL, Koptur S (2013) The diversity, ecology and evolution of extrafloral nectaries: current perspectives and future challenges. Ann Bot 111:1243–1250PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Maschwitz U, Fiala B, Moog J, Saw LG (1991) Two new myrmecophytic associations from the Malay Peninsula: ants of the genus Cladomyrma (Formicidae: Camponotinae) as partners of Saraca thaipingensis (Caesalpiniaceae) and Crypteronia griffithii (Crypteroniaceae). Insect Soc 38:27–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Mayer VE, Frederickson ME, McKey D, Blatrix R (2014) Current issues in the evolutionary ecology of ant-plant symbioses. New Phytol 202:749–764PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Meyer ST, Roces F, Wirth R (2006) Selecting the drought-stressed: effects of plant stress on intraspecific and within-plant herbivory patterns of the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica. Funct Ecol 20:973–981CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Meyer ST, Neubauer M, Sayer EL, Leal IR, Tabarelli M, Wirth R (2013) Leaf-cutting ants as ecosystem engineers: topsoil and litter perturbations around Atta cephalotes nests reduce nutrient availability. Ecol Entomol 38:497–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Mueller UG (2002) Ant versus fungus versus mutualism: ant-cultivar conflict and the deconstruction of the attine ant-fungus symbiosis. Am Nat 160:S67–S98PubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. Ness JH (2006) A mutualism’s indirect costs: the most aggressive plant bodyguards also deter pollinators. Oikos 113:506–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Ness JH, Morin DF, Giladi I (2009) Uncommon specialization in a mutualism between a temperate herbaceous plant guild and an ant: are Aphaenogaster ants keystone mutualists? Oikos 118:1793–1804CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Neto JDR, Pinho BX, Meyer ST, Wirth R, Leal IR (2012) Drought stress drives intraspecific choice of food plants by Atta leaf-cutting ants. Entomol Exp Appl 144:209–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. New TR (2005) Invertebrate conservation and agricultural ecosystems. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Oleson JM, Lindberg AB, Eskildsen LI, Svenning JC, Lindberg R (2002) Plants in the devil’s garden: intruders in an ant-plant mutualism. Ecotropica 8:81–86Google Scholar
  83. Oliver TH, Leather SR, Cook JM (2008) Macroevolutionary patterns in the origin of mutualisms involving ants. J Evol Biol 21:1597–1608PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Ona L, Lachmann M (2011) Ant aggression and evolutionary stability in plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic interactions. J Evol Biol 24:617–629PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Palmer TM, Brody AK (2007) Mutualism as reciprocal exploitation: African plant-ants defend foliar but not reproductive structures. Ecology 88:3004–3011PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Palmer TM, Stanton ML, Young TP, Goheen JR, Pringle EM, Karban R (2008) Breakdown of an ant-plant mutualism follows the loss of large herbivores from an African savanna. Science 319:192–195PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Peakall R, Beattie AJ (1991) The genetic consequences of worker ant pollination in a self-compatible, clonal orchid. Evolution 45:1837–1848PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Peakall R, Beattie AJ, James SH (1987) Pseudocopulation of an orchid by male ants: a test of two hypotheses accounting for the rarity of ant pollination. Oecologia 73:522–524PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Piovia-Scott J (2011) The effect of disturbance on an ant-plant mutualism. Oecologia 166:411–420PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Quek S-P, Davies SJ, Itino T, Pierce NE (2004) Codiversification in an ant-plant mutualism: stem texture and the evolution of host use in Crematogaster (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) inhabitants of Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae). Evolution 58:554–570PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Razafimandimbison SG, Moog J, Lantz H, Maschwitz U, Bremer B (2005) Re-assessment of monophyly, evolution of myrmecophytism, and rapid radiation in Neonauclea s.s. (Rubiaceae). Mol Phylogenet Evol 34:334–354PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Rico-Gray V, Oliveira PS (2007) The ecology and evolution of ant-plant interactions. University of Chicago Press, Chicago/LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Ridsdale CE (1989) A revision of Neonauclea (Rubiaceae). Blumea 34:177–275Google Scholar
  94. Risch SJ, Rickson FR (1981) Mutualism in which ants must be present before plants produce food bodies. Nature 291:149–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Root RB (1973) Organization of plant-arthropod association in simple and diverse habitats: the fauna of collards (Brassica oleracea). Ecol Monogr 43:95–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Rudgers JA (2002) Evolutionary ecology of ant-wild cotton associations. Ph D thesis, University of California, Davis. (not seen, cited by Rudgers et al. 2003, below)Google Scholar
  97. Rudgers JA, Gardener MC (2004) Extrafloral nectar as a resource mediating multispecies interactions. Ecology 85:1495–1502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Rudgers JA, Hodgen JG, White JW (2003) Behavioral mechanisms underlie an ant-plant mutualism. Oecologia 135:51–59PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Ruhren S, Handel SN (1999) Jumping spiders (Salticidae) enhance the seed production of a plant with extrafloral nectaries. Oecologia 119:227–230PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Sachs JL (2015) Exploitation of mutualism. In: Bronstein JL (ed) Mutualism. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 93–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Sagers CL, Ginger SM, Evans RD (2000) Carbon and nitrogen isotopes trace nutrient exchange in an ant-plant mutualism. Oecologia 123:582–586PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Savage AM, Peterson MA (2007) Mutualism in a community context: the positive feedback between an ant-aphid mutualism and a gall-making midge. Oecologia 151:280–291PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Schumer M, Birger R, Tantipathananandh C, Aurisano J, Maggioni M, Mwangi P (2013) Infestation by a common parasite is correlated with ant symbiont identity in a plant-ant mutualism. Biotropica 45:276–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Shimizu-kaya U, Itioka T (2016) Reduced ant defenses in Macaranga myrmecophytes (Euphorbiaceae) infested with a winged phasmid. Ecol Res 31:665–672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Smiley J (1978) Plant chemistry and the evolution of host specificity: new evidence from Heliconius and Passiflora. Science 201:745–747PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Stanton ML, Palmer TM (2011) The high cost of mutualism: effects of four species of East African ant symbionts on their myrmecophyte host tree. Ecology 92:1073–1082PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Tanaka K, Ogata K, Mukai H, Yamawo A, Tokuda M (2015) Adaptive advantage of myrmecochory in the ant-dispersed herb Lamium amplexicaule (Lamiaceae): predation avoidance through the deterrence of post-dispersal seed predators. PLoS One 10(7):e0133677. doi: 10.1371/lournal.pone.0133677 PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. Tarnita CE, Palmer TM, Pringle RM (2014) Colonisation and competition dynamics can explain incomplete sterilisation parasitism in ant-plant symbioses. Ecol Lett 17:1290–1298PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  109. Turner KM, Frederickson ME (2013) Signals can trump rewards in attracting seed-dispersing ants. PLoS One 8:e71871. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071871 PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Vittecoq M, Djieto-Lordon C, Buatois B, Dormont L, McKey D, Blatrix R (2011) The evolution of communication in two ant-plant mutualisms. Evol Biol 38:360–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Warren RJ II, Giladi I (2014) Ant-mediated seed dispersal: a few ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) benefit many plants. Myrmecol News 20:129–140Google Scholar
  112. Warren RJ II, Giladi I, Bradford MA (2014) Competition as a mechanism structuring mutualisms. J Ecol 102:486–495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  113. Way MJ (1963) Mutualism between ants and honeydew-producing Homoptera. Annu Rev Entomol 8:307–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  114. Wirth R, Beyschlag R, Tyel J, Holldobler B (1997) Annual foraging of the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica in a semideciduous rain forest in Panama. J Trop Ecol 13:741–757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  115. Wirth R, Herz H, Tyel TJ, Beyschlag W, Holldobler B (2003) Herbivory of leaf-cutting ants: a case study of Atta colombica in the tropical rainforest of Panama, Ecological studies, vol 164. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  116. Wirth R, Meyer SR, Almeida WR, Araujo MV Jr, Barbosa VS, Leal IR (2007) Increasing densities of leaf-cutting ants (Atta spp.) with proximity to the edge in a Brazilian Atlantic forest. J Trop Ecol 23:501–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Yu DW (1994) The structural role of epiphytes in ant gardens. Biotropica 26:222–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. Yu DW, Pierce NE (1998) A castration parasite of an ant-plant mutualism. Proc R Soc Lond B 265:375–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim R. New
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Environment & EvolutionLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations