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Information about predation risks is critical for herbivorous insects, and natural selection favors their ability to detect predators before oviposition and to select enemy-free foliage when offspring mortality risk is high. Food plants are selected by ovipositing butterflies, and offspring survival frequently varies among plants because of variation in the(More)
Ant foraging on foliage can substantially affect how phytophagous insects use host plants and represents a high predation risk for caterpillars, which are important folivores. Ant-plant-herbivore interactions are especially pervasive in cerrado savanna due to continuous ant visitation to liquid food sources on foliage (extrafloral nectaries, insect(More)
Plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) are common in the Brazilian cerrado savanna, where climatic conditions having marked seasonality influence arboreal ant fauna organization. These ant-plant interactions have rarely been studied at community level. Here, we tested whether: 1) EFN-bearing plants are more visited by ants than EFN-lacking plants; 2)(More)
Ants frequently interact with fleshy fruits on the ground of tropical forests. This interaction is regarded as mutualistic because seeds benefit from enhanced germination and dispersal to nutrient-rich microsites, whereas ants benefit from consuming the nutritious pulp/aril. Considering that the process of deforestation affects many attributes of the(More)
Ant dominance in tropical ecosystems can be explained by a capacity to exploit liquid foods such as extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) and secretions from honeydew-producing hemipterans (HPHs). Such nutritious exudates may determine ant distribution in space and shape specialization in ant–plant interactions. We provide a first assessment of how EFNs and HPHs(More)
Ant pollination is a debated topic that requires more attention in order to clarify the role of ants as potential pollinators. Although many authors consider ants as mere nectar robbers, there are studies proving that ants may act as pollinators and that some plants even have flower traits acting as ant attractors. In this study, we evaluated the role of(More)
An open question in the evolutionary ecology of ant-plant facultative mutualism is how other members of the associated community can affect the interaction to a point where reciprocal benefits are disrupted. While visiting Qualea grandiflora shrubs to collect sugary rewards at extrafloral nectaries, tropical savanna ants deter herbivores and reduce leaf(More)
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