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The evolution of pollination and seed dispersal mutualisms is conditioned by the spatial and temporal co-occurrence of animals and plants. In the present study we explore the timing of seed release of a myrmecochorous plant (Helleborus foetidus) and ant activity in two populations in southern Spain during 2 consecutive years. The results indicate that fruit(More)
The seeds of many plant species present a food body that is consumed by animal dispersers. In theory, if the animals are polyphagous, the availability of alternative food resource other than the diaspore itself may influence its dispersal and survival. We used the myrmecochore Helleborus foetidus L. (Ranunculaceae), the seeds of which are attached to a(More)
Geographic variations in the correspondence between diaspore phenotypes and disperser behavior are thought to determine the evolution of plant-animal dispersal mutualisms. Helleborus foetidus is a widely distributed plant in Western Europe, which seeds bear a lipid rich elaiosome attracting ant dispersers. Laboratory cross-tests were conducted to check the(More)
The seeds of many plant species present a food body that is consumed by animal dispersers. In theory, if the animals are polyphagous, the availability of alternative food resource other than the diaspore itself may influence its dispersal and survival. We used the myrmecochore Helleborus foetidus L. (Ranunculaceae), the seeds ofwhich are attached to a(More)
Models based on the kin selection theory predict that in social hymenopterans, queens may favor a lower investment in the production of sexuals than workers. However, in perennial colonies, this conflict may be tuned down by colony-level selection because of the trade off between colony survival and reproductive allocation. In this study, we present a(More)
Cataglyphis ants are mostly scavengers adapted to forage individually in arid environments. Although they are widely thought to have lost the capacity of recruitment, we provide evidence that C. floricola foragers that find a large prey near their nest are able to solicit the help of nestmates to carry it cooperatively. After discovering a non-transportable(More)
We investigated the relative contribution of the queen and workers to colony nestmate recognition cues and on colony insularity in the Carpenter ant Camponotus fellah. Workers were either individually isolated, preventing contact with both queen and workers (colonial deprived, CD), kept in queenless groups, allowing only worker-worker interactions (queen(More)
The microhabitat in which plants grow affects the outcome of their interactions with animals, particularly non-specialist consumers. Nevertheless, as most research on this topic has dealt with either mutualists or antagonists, little is known about the indirect effects of plant microhabitats on the outcome of tripartite interactions involving plants and(More)
Worker sterility in honeybees is neither absolute nor irreversible. Whether under queen or worker control, it is likely to be mediated by pheromones. Queen-specific pheromones are not exclusive to queens; workers with activated ovaries also produce them. The association between ovarian activation and queen-like pheromone occurrence suggests the latter as(More)
In many ants, young queens disperse by flying away from their natal nest and found new colonies alone (independent colony founding, ICF). Alternatively, in some species, ICF was replaced by colony fission, in which young queens accompanied by workers found a new colony at walking distance from the mother nest. We compared the queen morphology of Cataglyphis(More)