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Associations between mites and leaf domatia have been widely reported, but little is known about their consequences for either plants or mites. By excising domatia from leaves of the laureltinus, Viburnum tinus L. (Caprifoliaceae), in the garden and laboratory, we showed that domatia alter the abundance, distribution, and reproduction of potential plant(More)
Plant populations are regulated by a diverse assortment of abiotic and biotic factors that influence seed dispersal and viability, and seedling establishment and growth at the microsite. Rarely does one animal guild exert as significant an influence on different plant assemblages as land crabs. We review three tropical coastal ecosystems-mangroves, island(More)
In multiply invaded ecosystems, introduced species should interact with each other as well as with native species. Invader-invader interactions may affect the success of further invaders by altering attributes of recipient communities and propagule pressure. The invasional meltdown hypothesis (IMH) posits that positive interactions among invaders initiate(More)
Litter processing by macroinvertebrates typically involves suites of species that act together to determine rates of breakdown and decomposition. However, tropical oceanic islands and coastal fringes on continents are often dominated by one or a few species of omnivorous land crabs that consume leaf litter. We used an exclusion experiment, together with(More)
Biological invasions have significant ecological, evolutionary and economic consequences. Ants are exemplary invaders and their invasion success is frequently attributed to a shift in social structure between native and introduced populations. Here, we use a multidisciplinary approach to determine the social structure, origin and expansion of the invasive(More)
The influence of keystone consumers on community structure is frequently context-dependent; the same species plays a central organising role in some situations, but not others. On Christmas Island, in the Indian Ocean, a single species of omnivorous land crab, Gecarcoidea natalis, dominates the forest floor across intact rainforest. We hypothesised that(More)
Optimal plant defense should incorporate any mechanisms that influence the feeding behavior of potential pests. From a diverse collection of examples suggesting that the defense of a plant may be improved in the company of specific neighbors, we discuss a framework of operational mechanisms that begin to clarify some aspects of the recognized influence of(More)
In second growth forest in lowland Costa Rica, ants forage at the foliar nectaries of juvenile Ochroma pyramidale. The relationship between leaf development, foliar nectar production and ant visitation indicates that nectar secretion and ant maintenance are greatest following rapid leaf expansion. Nectar measurements in the glasshouse corroborate field(More)
Characterstics of Australian endemic Helichrysum bracteratum and H. viscosum suggest that foraging ants act as "guards" of developing flowerheads, protecting capitula from seed predators: (1) extrafloral nectar is secreted from leaves subtending the capitula and from bracts encircling the floral disc during pre- to post-flowering periods; (2) capitula are(More)
In a study of the biochemical basis of seed dispersal by ants, elaiosomes of Acacia myrtifolia and Tetratheca stenocarpa induced seed collection: intact diaspores and elaiosomes were taken rapidly by ants while most seeds remained on the forest floor. Extracts of elaiosomes (non-polar lipids, polar lipids, and aqueous fractions) were differentially(More)