Role of extrafloral nectaries of Vicia faba in attraction of ants and herbivore exclusion by ants

  title={Role of extrafloral nectaries of Vicia faba in attraction of ants and herbivore exclusion by ants},
  author={Noboru Katayama and Nobuhiko Suzuki},
  journal={Entomological Science},
We directly evaluated the role of extrafloral nectaries (EFN) in ant attraction and herbivore exclusion by experimental removal of EFN in the laboratory. When EFN of Vicia faba Linnaeus (Leguminosae) were artificially removed, the number of workers of Tetramorium tsushimae Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) visiting the plant decreased, and the efficiency of herbivore exclusion by ants also decreased. Herbivore exclusion by ants was mostly ineffective on a plant when less than four workers visited… 

The effects of the root endophytic fungus Acremonium strictum on plant-herbivore interactions

Results from this part suggest that plants regulate multiple mutualisms in response to variation in resource availability so as to attain a favourable cost/benefit ratio.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi reduce the construction of extrafloral nectaries in Vicia faba

The reduction in EF nectaries in mycorrhizal plants potentially represents a mechanism for indirect effects of AMF on the protective insects that exploit EF nECTaries as a food source (e.g., ants).

Post Fire Resprouting of Banisteriopsis malifolia (Malpighiaceae) and the Role of Extrafloral Nectaries on the Associated Ant Fauna in a Brazilian Savanna

According to the plant vigor hypothesis, herbivores are favored by the growing of rapid resprouting plants, however in plants with extrafloral nectaries not the herbivores, but rather patrolling ants

Plant age and the inducibility of extrafloral nectaries in Vicia faba

The hypothesis that a plant’s ability to induce extrafloral nectar, and therefore recruit more ant “bodyguards,” may be related to the interaction of plant age and severity of damage is suggested.

Deterrent effect of a guild of extrafloral nectary‐visiting ant species on Raphidopalpa foveicollis, a major insect pest of sponge gourd, Luffa cylindrica

Results support the optimal defence hypothesis, as the plant structures most closely linked to plant fitness bear the extrafloral nectaries and are defended by the visiting ant species, which is a valuable, indirect plant‐protection strategy of an annual crop plant.

Anti-herbivory defense of two Vicia species with and without extrafloral nectaries

It is considered that V. sativa adopts the ant defense via EFNs in spite of its low reliability because the indirect ant defense supported by EFNs requires only low investment, allowing the plants to attain rapid growth in the early spring.

Ant–herbivore interactions in an extrafloral nectaried plant: are ants good plant guards against curculionid beetles?

Investigation of the effect of Camponotus blandus on the florivory of the extrafloral nectaried shrub Banisteriopsis malifolia; and a possible spatial segregation between ants and herbivores (leaves and flowers) revealed no significant influence of C. blandUS on the reduction of florvory.

Interactions between an endophytic fungus, aphids and extrafloral nectaries: do endophytes induce extrafloral‐mediated defences in Vicia faba?

The organism model in the present study serves as a model for investigating how endophytic colonization alters the response of EF nectary traits to herbivory, and variable responses in EF-mediated indirect defences as influenced by endophytes could be explained as trade-offs in defence.

Physiological benefits of nectar feeding by a predatory beetle

It is concluded that nectar improves the survival and nutrient reserves of predators during periods of prey scarcity, and that the availability of nectar during these periods improves the long-term reproductive capacity of predators.

The diversity, ecology and evolution of extrafloral nectaries: current perspectives and future challenges.

The understanding of the roles EFNs play in plant biology is being revolutionized with the use of new tools from developmental biology and genomics, new modes of analysis allowing hypothesis-testing in large-scale phylogenetic frameworks, and new levels of inquiry extending to community-scale interaction networks.



Extrafloral nectaries: ants, herbivores and fecundity in Cassia fasciculata

  • C. Kelly
  • Environmental Science
  • 2004
Results of ant exclusion experiments at the two sites showed that ant visitation resulted in decreased herbivore numbers, decreased leaf area loss, increased growth, and at one site decreased plant mortality.

The role of ant-tended extrafloral nectaries in the protection and benefit of a Neotropical rainforest tree

Results show that ants provided protection to plants not by reducing herbivore numbers but by molesting herbivores, and indicate that ant presence benefits the plant: ant-visited plants grew significantly more in height than ant-excluded plants.

Interaction between ants, extrafloral nectaries and insect herbivores in Neotropical coastal sand dunes: herbivore deterrence by visiting ants increases fruit set in Opuntia stricta (Cactaceae)

The results show how the association of EFNs with vulnerable reproductive plant organs can result in a direct ant-derived benefit to plant fitness, leading to increased fruit set in the Cactaceae under natural conditions.

Changes in the Use of Extrafloral Nectaries of Vicia faba (Leguminosae) and Honeydew of Aphids by Ants with Increasing Aphid Density

This study showed that ants shifted their collection pattern from extrafloral nectar to honeydew at higher density of aphids per plant, and it may be considered that Honeydew is more attractive for ants than EFN at higher aphid density.


A series of ant exclusion experiments show that branches without ants have significantly fewer larvae removed, have significantly more leaf herbivory, and produce significantly fewer mature fruits than control branches (with ants).

Spatial Variation in the Effect of Ants on Extrafloral Nectary Plant

Results show that the possession of extrafloral nectaries can lead to increased reproduction in Cassia fasciculata, and the strength of this effect was found to vary widely among local populations.

Plants Bearing Extrafloral Nectaries and the Associated Ant Community: Interhabitat Differences in the Reduction of Herbivore Damage

It is demonstrated that ants attracted to sugar droplets on plants can reduce the level of herbivore damage, and this protection is more effective in disturbed habitats, such as forest clearings and edges, where ant—forager abundance is high.

Efficiency of herbivore exclusion by ants attracted to aphids on the vetch Vicia angustifolia L. (Leguminosae)

The present study highlights the significance of indirect interactions between ants and plants with extrafloral nectary, mediated by ant attraction to aphids for herbivore exclusion of plants.


Variation and interdependence of various components of plant-animal interactions are likely to result in variation in the magnitude of their beneficial or detrimental impact on plants, and such variation should be incorporated into plant demographic models as spatially varying alternate life history paths to yield insight into the evolutionary impact.

Facultative mutualism between weedy vetches bearing extrafloral nectaries and weedy ants in California

Vetches (Vicia spp.) were studied in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the spring of 1978 to determine if these ants protect the vetches from herbivores or seed predators, and analysis of sugar and amino acid composition of extrafloral nectar served as a basis for feeding tests with Argentine ants.