Studies of a South East Asian ant-plant association: protection of Macaranga trees by Crematogaster borneensis

  title={Studies of a South East Asian ant-plant association: protection of Macaranga trees by Crematogaster borneensis},
  author={Brigitte Fiala and Ulrich Maschwitz and Tho Yow Pong and Andreas J. Helbig},
SummaryIn the humid tropics of SE Asia there are some 14 myrmecophytic species of the pioneer tree genus Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae). In Peninsular Malaysia a close association exists between the trees and the small, non-stinging myrmicine Crematogaster borneensis. These ants feed mainly on food bodies provided by the plants and have their colonies inside the hollow internodes. In a ten months field study we were able to demonstrate for four Macaranga species (M. triloba, M. hypoleuca, M. hosei… 

Studies on the south east Asian ant-plant associationCrematogaster borneensis/Macaranga: Adaptations of the ant partner

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Diversity of ant-plant interactions: protective efficacy in Macaranga species with different degrees of ant association

The hypothesis that non-specific, facultative associations with ants can be advantageous for Macaranga plants is supported and food bodies appear to have lower attractive value for opportunistic ants than EFN and may require a specific dietary adaptation.

Potential host range of myrmecophilous Arhopala butterflies (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) feeding on Macaranga myrmecophytes

It is suggested that the aggressive behaviours of plant-ants towards leaf-feeding insects restrict the potential host-plant ranges of some Macaranga-feeding Arhopala butterflies.

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Thorn-dwelling ants provide antiherbivore defence for camelthorn trees, Vachellia erioloba, in Namibia

It is shown that experimental exclusion of ants leads to greater levels of herbivory on trees, highlighting the potential of the V. erioloba–ant mutualism for studying ant–plant interactions that involve multiple, simultaneously resident thorn-dwelling ant species.

A bioassay for measuring the intensities of ant defenses on Macaranga myrmecophytes

The results of previous studies investigating the interspecific differences in ant defense intensities using ant-exclusion experiments suggest that the bioassay using A. major larvae is valid for the assessment of relative intensities of ant defenses on Macaranga species.

Nuptial flight of the Southeast Asian plant-ant Crematogaster captiosa (Forel, 1911) and the phenology of colony founding Brigitte

Data on C. captiosa from theMalay Peninsula as well as Borneo indicate that sexual production and colonyfounding occurs throughout the year, and Macaranga saplings for colony founding can also become available outside peak seasons from seed banks after disturbance.

Host‐plant use by two Orthomeria (Phasmida: Aschiphasmatini) species feeding on Macaranga myrmecophytes

Phasmid behavior that appeared to minimize plant‐ant attacks is described, and there was little overlap between their host‐plant preferences.

Trade-Off Between Chemical and Biotic Antiherbivore Defense in the South East Asian Plant Genus Macaranga

The hypothesis of a trade-off between chemical and biotic defense in the genus Macaranga is supported, as high tannin contents and, thus more effective chemical defense, were observed in nonmyrmecophytic MacARanga species associated only facultatively with ants as compared to obligate myrmecphytes.

Ant Protection against Herbivory in Three Species of Tococa (Melastomataceae) Occupying Different Environments1

The genus Tococa is comprised of 47 species of small trees and shrubs distributed from southern Mexico to Bolivia. About 30 of the species have ant domatia that develop at the base of the leaf blade



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It seems that the plant may receive a nutritional benefit from the ants' presence by absorbing nutrients released from decaying nest material inside the stem, as well as increase the competitive fitness of the plants by removing encroaching vines.

Epiphytic myrmecophytes in Sarawak : mutualism through the feeding of plants by ants

It appears that the ant species regularly living in these epiphytic myrmecophytes are of greatest importance in feeding the plant rather than in protecting it, which indicates that some Southeast Asian myRMecophytic mutualisms are based on protection of the plant by ants.

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It is argued that the plant/ant relationship has had a considerable influence on both the ecology and evolution of the plants, but that this varies in different species.

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In a Nigerian rain forest, occupation of Barteria fistulosa saplings by Pachysima aethiops ants results in the plants having more leaves, more branches, more leaves per branch, and less damage to the

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Nutrient acquisition facilitated by litter collection and ant colonies on two Malaysian palms

Methods for nutrient acquisition should have been under intense selection pressure throughout a species' evolutionary history, and to this end it is found that a variety of characteristics, both physiological and morphological, aid in nutrient trapping, uptake, and incorporation.

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The data suggest that Pheidole inhabiting Piper plants are important in plant defense from herbivores and that adherance to a classical notion of aggression in similar studies might bias the initial question-asking stages of an investigation.

Pruning of host plant neighbors by ants: an experimental approach.

Experiments in tropical moist forest of Peru tested the hypothesis that pruning may reduce the threat of invasions by potentially dangerous alien ants and found that basal clearings maintained by Pseudomyrmex around their hosts appear to reduce the likelihood that Crematogaster workers will occur in the vicinity of the tree trunk.