Skip to main content

Ant Plants: Macaranga

  • 22 Accesses

The paleotropical plant genus Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) comprises approximately 280 species with a geographic range from West Africa to Asia, North Australia, and Fiji. Most Macaranga species are light-demanding pioneer trees that naturally grow in secondary forest, along riverbanks, or in forest gaps (Fig. 1a, b). In Southeast Asia Macaranga are mainly found in humid forest, with their center of distribution being the lowland dipterocarp rainforest areas. Due to human activities, potential habitats for these pioneer species have largely increased during the last century, so that Macaranga species are now frequently found along roadsides and forest edges and in logged areas. A conspicuous feature of many Macaranga species is their close association with ants. Around 30 species of Macaranga in Southeast Asia have obligate associations with ants, such that the plants cannot survive over long periods of time without ants partners to defend them against herbivores [3, 4, 6].

Ant Plants:...

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-28102-1_154
  • Chapter length: 5 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   749.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-28102-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   799.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Ant Plants: Macaranga, Fig. 1
Ant Plants: Macaranga, Fig. 2

References

  1. Feldhaar, H., Gadau, J., & Fiala, B. (2010). Speciation in obligately plant-associated Crematogaster ants: Host-distribution rather than adaption towards specific hosts drives the process. In M. Glaubrecht & H. Schneider (Eds.), Evolution in action – Adaptive radiations and the origins of biodiversity (pp. 193–213). Berlin: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Feldhaar, H., Maschwitz, U., & Fiala, B. (2016). Taxonomic revision of the obligate plant-ants of the genus Crematogaster Lund (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), associated with Macaranga Thouars (Euphorbiaceae) on Borneo and the Malay Peninsula. Sociobiology, 63, 651–681.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Fiala, B., Jakob, A., Maschwitz, U., & Linsenmair, K. E. (1999). Diversity, evolutionary specialization and geographic distribution of a mutualistic ant-plant complex: Macaranga and Crematogaster in South East Asia. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 66, 305–331.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Fiala, B., Slik, F., Weising, K., Maschwitz, U., Mohamed, M., Jamsari, & Guicking, D. (2016). Phylogeography of three closely related myrmecophytic pioneer tree species in SE Asia: Implications for taxonomy. Organisms, Diversity & Evolution, 16, 39–52.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Heil, M., Fiala, B., Maschwitz, U., & Linsenmair, K. E. (2001). On benefits of indirect defence: Short- and long-term studies of antiherbivore protection via mutualistic ants. Oecologia, 126, 395–403.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  6. Quek, S. P., Davies, S. J., Ashton, P. S., Itino, T., & Pierce, N. E. (2007). The geography of diversification in mutualistic ants: A gene’s-eye view into the Neogene history of Sundaland rain forests. Molecular Ecology, 16, 2045–2062.

    CAS  PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Heike Feldhaar .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this entry

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Feldhaar, H., Fiala, B. (2021). Ant Plants: Macaranga. In: Starr, C.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Social Insects. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-28102-1_154

Download citation