• Corpus ID: 90424935

Measuring the Effects of “Opportunistic Defense” of the Bracken Fern, (Pteridium Aquilinum) by Patrolling Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in South Central Michigan

  title={Measuring the Effects of “Opportunistic Defense” of the Bracken Fern, (Pteridium Aquilinum) by Patrolling Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in South Central Michigan},
  author={Ricki E. Oldenkamp and Matthew M. Douglas},
  journal={Great Lakes Entomologist},
In this study we show that in South Central Michigan (Pierce Cedar Creek Institute) eight ant species patrol bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) during the sensitive crozier growth stage. At times these ants remove herbivorous insects from rapidly expanding fronds. A new method for analyzing herbivory of bracken fern is employed to measure chewing damage to the fronds. Our results show that ants do in fact remove some herbivores from bracken fronds during the crozier stage; however, statistical… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Ants impact sawfly oviposition on bracken fern in southern California
Bracken fern may derive a fitness benefit from attracting ants during the early phases of plant growth, through decreased herbivore oviposition, rather than through the deterrence of feeding larvae.
Harmostes reflexulus (Say) (Hemiptera: Rhopalidae): New Western U.S. Host Records, Analysis of Host-Plant Range, and Notes on Seasonality
Harmostes reflexulus (Say) is a bivoltine inflorescence specialist that tracks a succession of host composites (Asteraceae), typically remaining on a host until seed set, and is best represented among asteroid tribes that the rhopalid used as hosts.
The Southern Pine Seed Bug, Leptoglossus corculus (Hemiptera: Coreidae): New for Oklahoma
The southern pine seed bug or leaf–footed pine seed bug, Leptoglossus corculus (Say, 1832) is known previously from published records for 19 states in the U.S., including Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware,
“Hidden Gem” in a Student Collection: First Record of the Leaf-Footed Bug Leptoglossus clypealis (Heteroptera: Coreidae) in Illinois
The leaf-footed bug Leptoglossus clypealis Heidemann, 1910 (Heteroptera: Coreidae: Coreinae: Anisoscelini) is reported for the first time from Illinois, making it the easternmost for the species in the United States.


Ant‐Herbivore Interactions: Reasons for the Absence of Benefits to a Fern with Foliar Nectaries Vanessa K. Rashbrook
It is proposed that low ant density on the fronds is the primary factor limiting the occurrence of mutualism between bracken and ants in nature.
Ant protection of the nectaried fern Polypodium plebeium in central Mexico.
The results demonstrate that fern nectaries can support ant defense of the plant body as do the extrafloral nECTaries of many angiosperms.
Comparative spatial distribution, size, biomass and growth rate of two varieties of bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum L. Kuhn) in a neotropical montane habitat
A comparative field study of caudatum and arachnoideum, the two Pteridium aquilinum varieties known to grow in the neotropics, was performed in a montane savanna habitat of the Venezuelan Andes that was affected by wildfire, finding dissimilarities interpreted as the hitherto unreported indication of diverging growth strategies of two cohabitant bracken varieties following fire.
For ant-protected plants, the best defense is a hungry offense.
Testing in a protective mutualism between a guild of desert ants and the barrel cactus Ferocactus wislizeni supports the predictions of the "deficit" hypothesis, wherein plant protection is elicited by plant-mediated dietary imbalances.
Extra-nuptial nectar glands, by their secretion, attracts to the plants which bear them, hordes of ants which constitute a temporary and changing bodyguard, disputing the presence of all other insects with the exception of their proteges the sugar-secreting aphids, coccids, etc, and resisting often furiously and effectively, the onslaught of ruminants and other large animals.
The suggestion that ferns are under‐utilized as a food source by insects is discussed on the basis of an extensive survey of the literature, suggesting a long persistent association between f Ferns and insects.
New Protocol For Measuring Lepidoptera Wing Damage
A new protocol is introduced that provides a simple method for accurately quantifying wing damage of live Lepidoptera, without having to harm or remove them from the wild.
Density-mediated, context-dependent consumer-resource interactions between ants and extrafloral nectar plants.
Examination of how EFN resources mediate the density response of ants on senita cacti in the Sonoran Desert and their context-dependent use of floral resources found that consumer-resource interactions remained largely commensalistic.
The evolution of plant-insect mutualisms.
Several features uniting very diverse insect-plant mutualisms are identified and their evolutionary implications are discussed: the involvement of one mobile and one sedentary partner; natural selection on plant rewards; the existence of a continuum from specialization to generalization; and the ubiquity of cheating.