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  • Mutualism  (41)
  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Mutualism ; Yucca ; Yucca Moths ; Gestbenefit analysis ; Seed predation
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary Yucca moths are both obligate pollinators and obligate seed predators of yuccas. I measured the costs and net benefits per fruit arising for eight species of yuccas from their interaction with the yucca moth Tegeticula yuccasella. Yucca moths decrease the production of viable seeds as a result of oviposition by adults and feeding by larvae. Oviposition through the ovary wall caused 2.3–28.6% of ovules per locule to fail to develop, leaving fruit with constrictions, and overall, 0.6–6.6% of ovules per fruit were lost to oviposition by yucca moths. Individual yucca moth larvae ate 18.0–43.6% of the ovules in a locule. However, because of the number of larvae per fruit and the proportion of viable seeds, yucca moth larvae consumed only 0.0–13.6% of potentially viable ovules per fruit. Given both oviposition and feeding effects, yucca moths decreased viable seed production by 0.6–19.5%. The ratio of costs to (gross) benefits varied from 0% to 30%, indicating that up to 30% of the benefits available to yuccas are subsequently lost to yucca moths. The costs are both lower and more variable than in a similar pollinator-seed predator mutualism involving figs and fig wasps. There were differences between species of yuccas in the costs of associating with yucca moths. Yuccas with baccate fruit experienced lower costs than species with capsular fruit. There were also differences in costs between populations within species and high variation in costs between fruit within populations. High variability was the result of no yucca moth larvae being present in over 50% of the fruit in some populations, while other fruit produced up to 24 larvae. I present hypotheses explaining both the absence and high numbers of larvae per fruit.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Mutualism ; Myrmecophily ; Cecropia pachystachya ; Azteca muelleri ; Coelomera ruficornis
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary The effect of defence force size in colonies of the ant Azteca muelleri on the time spent to localize, attack and expel the specialized herbivorous beetle Coelomera ruficornis from Cecropia pachystachya bushes was studied in an area of Atlantic forest in northeastern Brazil. Our results show that Azteca muelleri expel Coelomera ruficornis from Cecropia pachystachya and that the number of ants leaving a colony (defence force size) is negatively correlated with the residence time of an adult beetle on the plant. Colonies with larger defence forces recruited larger numbers of ants, resulting in faster herbivore discovery (r 2=0.80; n=17; P〈0.001) and reduced herbivore residence time on a leaf (r 2=0.79 n=23; P〈0.001) before being driven off by the ants. We also found a negative and significant relationship between herbivore damage on leaves and ant colony size (r 2=0.28; n=17; P〈0.05). We conclude that larger colonies have more individuals available to patrol a plant and recruit defenders toward herbivores. This reduces the time spent to locate and expel susceptible herbivores from the plant. Since the plant probably benefits from reduced herbivory and the plant provides food for the ants, the association between Azteca muelleri and Cecropia pachystachya appears mutualistic.
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  • 3
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Oecologia 96 (1993), S. 276-281 
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Hemiargus isola ; Lycaenidae ; Formicidae ; Development ; Mutualism
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The transfer of nutrients between organisms is a common feature of mutualism. The production of these food rewards is often assumed to be costly. Estimation of the costs of producing food rewards is important for understanding the overall effects of the interaction on fitness. When food rewards are harvested by several species differing in foraging behavior, costs to the producer may differ. The larvae of many species in the butterfly family Lycaenidae produce secretions consumed by tending ants. Here I report that three North American ant species, Formica perpilosa, Dorymyrmex sp. (smithi complex), and Forelius foetida, had no negative effect on the duration of development and adult size of the lycaenid Hemiargus isola. Moreover, tending by the ant Formica perpilosa significantly enhanced larval growth, resulting in butterflies that were 20% heavier than their untended counterparts. Tending by the ants Dorymyrmex sp. (smithi complex) and Forelius foetida had no effect on butterfly weight. Tended, nonfeeding larvae lost 69% more weight than untended, nonfeeding larvae. Taken together, the results suggest that, although ant tending imposes a physiological cost, H. isola larvae use behavioral or physiological mechanisms to compensate or overcompensate for nutrients lost to ants.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Genetic relationships ; Growth form ; Mutualism ; Nucifraga columbiana ; Pinus flexilis
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Seed dispersal by the Clark's nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana Wilson) may markedly influence the growth form and genetic population structure of limber pine (Pinus flexilis James). The nutcracker buries clusters of seeds in subterranean caches; germination of clustered seeds often results in a growth form characterized by two or more genetically distinct trees with fused or contiguous trunks (tree clusters). The occurrence of a morphologically similar form, the multi-trunk tree (a single genet branched near the base), as well as the typical single-trunked tree, complicates the study of limber pine populations. We examined growth form distribution and genetic relationships in tree clusters in limber pine populations at four elevations (from 2585 m to 3460 m) in the Colorado Front Range. At three study areas, relative occurrence of limber pine growth forms, as well as that of associated pines, was examined by a point-centered quarter survey. From the four study areas, we collected foliage from each trunk from a total of 74 “clumps” (combined tree clusters and multi-trunk trees) in order to differentiate the two growth forms using starch gel protein electrophoresis. Tree “clumps” were significantly more common in limber pine than in ponderosa or lodgepole pine (P〈0.010). Although single-trunk limber pine was the most common growth form, except at the highest elevation, both multi-trunk trees and tree clusters were present in each stand. Tree clusters were estimated to comprise about 20% of the tree sites in each limber pine stand; the estimated proportion of multi-trunk trees varied by site from 5% to 77%. Trees in clusters were related, on average, as half to full siblings (mean r=0.43), but were unrelated to trees in other clusters (mean r=0.01). Electrophoretic analysis suggests possible genetic differentiation in limber pine that may be the result of different selection pressures on the growth forms.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Ficus fruit ; Wasp lethal temperatures Energy budgets ; Coevolution ; Mutualism
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Figs are completely dependent for pollen dispersal on species-specific fig-pollinating wasps that develop within developing fig fruits. These wasps are very sensitive to heat and die at temperatures only a few degrees above ambient. Such temperatures are expected and observed in objects exposed to full sunlight, as fig fruits frequently are. In detailed field and experimental studies of 11 species of Panamanian figs with fruit ranging in size from 5 mm to 50 mm in diameter, we found that both the relative and absolute contribution of transpiration to maintaining non-lethal fruit temperatures increased with fruit size. Small and large fruits reached temperatures of 3 and 8°C, respectively, above air temperature in full sunlight when transpiration was prevented by grease. The temperature reached by large, nontranspiring fruits was sufficient to kill their pollinators. Control fruits which transpired reached temperatures of 2–3°C above air temperature in sunlight, regardless of size. An analysis of the solar energy budget of fruit revealed that large fruits must transpire to maintain tolerable temperatures for the wasps because heat diffusion from fruit to air was too low to balance net radiation in sunlight. By contrast, small fruits do not need to transpire to maintain tolerable temperatures for the pollinators.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Ficus ; Coevolution ; Mutualism ; Receptivity ; Conservation biology
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Fig trees and their pollinating wasps form ca. 750 pairs of obligate mutualists, mainly in the tropics. Survival of each partner depends on that of its associated species. Here, we examine the possible outcome of such an interaction at small population size. Using phenology data collected on Ficus natalensis in Gabon, we modelled wasp survival and the reproductive success of the trees according to the duration of receptivity of the tree, the amplitude of flowering seasonality, and the size of the fig tree population. Since the duration of receptivity is critical in these population level models, we also determined the influence of individual selection on this phenological trait. The models give three major results: (1) The minimum fig population size required to sustain a wasp population increases with the amplitude of seasonality, and decreases with increasing duration of receptivity; (2) tree population reproductive success is higher when the duration of receptivity is longer and when the population is large, but (3) individual selection toward a long duration of receptivity is weak or absent.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Butterflies ; Ants ; Mutualism ; Myrmecophily
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Workers of three ant species (Lasius niger, Lasius flavus, Myrmica rubra) were caged in the laboratory together with caterpillars and pupae of five species of lycaenid butterflies. Mortality of ants was 3–5 times higher when the ants were confined with larvae lacking a dorsal nectar organ (Lycaena phlaeas, Lycaena tityrus) rather than with caterpillars which possess a nectar gland (Aricia agestis, Polyommatus bellargus, P. icarus). For all five species, ant survival was always lower at the pupal stage (where a nectar organ is always absent) than at the caterpillar stage and was largely equivalent for the butterfly species tested. The experimental data confirm earlier estimates that ants can derive nutritive benefits from tending facultatively myrmecophilous lycaenid caterpillars, even though these caterpillars produce nectarlike secretions at low rates.
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  • 8
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Oecologia 115 (1998), S. 391-400 
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Agaonidae ; Dioecy ; Mutualism ; Phenology ; Pollination
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Ficus species (figs) and their species-specific pollinator wasps are involved in an intimate mutualism in which wasps lay eggs in some ovaries of the closed inflorescences (syconia), and mature, inseminated offspring carry pollen from mature syconia to fertilize receptive inflorescences. In monoecious species, each syconium produces seeds and wasps. In functionally dioecious fig species, making up approximately half the figs worldwide, male and female functions are separated; hermaphrodite (functionally male) trees produce wasps and pollen only, while female trees produce seeds only. This sexual separation allows selection to act independently on the reproductive biology of each sex. Examining sexual specialization in a tight mutualism allows us to determine aspects of the mutualism that are flexible and those that are canalized. In this study, we quantified the phenology of two species of dioecious figs, F. exasperata and F. hispida, for 2 years by following the fates of several thousand syconia over time. In studying each of these species in a dry and a wet site in south India, we tested specific predictions of how dioecious figs might optimize sexual function. On female trees of both species, more inflorescences matured during the wet (monsoon) season than in any other season; this fruiting period enabled seeds to be produced during the season most suitable for germination. In F. exasperata, functionally male trees released most wasps from mature syconia in the dry season, during peak production of receptive female syconia, and thus maximized successful pollination. In F. hispida, “male” trees produced more syconia in the dry and monsoon seasons than in the post-monsoon season. In both species, male and female trees abscised more unpollinated, young inflorescences than pollinated inflorescences, but abscission appeared to be more likely due to resource- rather than pollinator- limitation. The phenology of F. exasperata requires that male inflorescences wait in receptive phase for scarce pollinators to arrive. As expected, male inflorescences of this species had a longer receptive phase than female inflorescences. In F. hispida, where pollinators are rarely scarce, duration of receptive phase was the same for both sexes. Duration of developing phase was longer in female syconia of both species than in male syconia, most likely because they need a longer period of investment in a fleshy fruit. Variation in developing phase of female syconia in one species (F. exasperata) was also greater than that in male syconia, and enabled female trees to sample a variety of germination environments in time. The strong sexual differences in both fig species support the hypothesis that selection for sexual specialization has strongly influenced the reproductive biology of these species.
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key wordsAcromyrmex ; Endophytic fungi ; Festuca ; Neotyphodium ; Mutualism
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Endophytic fungi, particularly in the genus Neotyphodium, are thought to interact mutualistically with host grasses primarily by deterring herbivores and pathogens via production of alkaloidal mycotoxins. Little is known, however, about how these endophytes interact with host plants and herbivores outside the realm of agronomic forage grasses, such as tall fescue, and their livestock grazers or invertebrate pest herbivores. We tested the effects of Neotyphodium inhabiting introduced tall fescue and native Arizona fescue on preference, survival, and performance of the leaf-cutting ant, Acromyrmex versicolor, an important generalist herbivore in the southwestern United States. In a choice experiment, we determined preferences of foraging queens and workers for infected and uninfected tall fescue and Arizona fescue. In a no-choice experiment, we determined queen survival, worker production, and size of fungal gardens for foundress queens reared on diets of infected and uninfected tall fescue and Arizona fescue. Foraging workers and queens did not significantly prefer either uninfected tall fescue or Arizona fescue relative to infected grasses, although ants tended to harvest more uninfected than infected tall fescue and more infected than uninfected Arizona fescue. Queen survivorship and length of survival was greater on uninfected tall fescue, uninfected Arizona fescue, and infected Arizona fescue than on infected tall fescue or the standard diet of palo verde and mesquite leaves. No queens survived beyond 6 weeks of the study when fed the infected tall fescue diet, in contrast to the effects of the other diets. Likewise, worker production was much lower and fungal garden size much smaller on infected tall fescue than in all other treatments, including the standard diet. In general, ant colonies survived and performed better on uninfected tall fescue and infected and uninfected Arizona fescue than standard diets of palo verde and mesquite leaves. The interaction of Neotyphodium with its host grasses is highly variable and these endophytes may increase, not alter, or even decrease resistance to herbivores. The direction of the interaction depends on host and fungal genotype, herbivore species, and environmental factors. The presence of endophytes in most, if not all, host plants suggests that endophytes may alter foraging patterns, performance, and survival of herbivores, such as leaf-cutting ants, but not always in ways that increase host plant fitness.
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  • 10
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Oecologia 73 (1987), S. 272-281 
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Competition ; Interaction ; Mutualism ; Predation
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary The classification of interspecific interactions can have an important impact on ecologists' world views. Previous classifications have often been incomplete, have suffered from ambiguously defined categories, and/or have wrongly equated categories of population level effects with particular mechanisms of interaction. I use several simple mathematical models to argue that effects on short-term population growth rate, long term population size, and short term relative fitness of interactants may differ qualitatively. Equating all (--) effects with competition and all (+-) effects with predation may have caused ecologists to ignore a variety of potentially important interaction mechanisms. Failure to define the type of effect used in classifying interactions has led to confusion about the nature of interactions; several controversies regarding competition have apparently been caused or exaccerbated by problems with definition or clasification. In applying classification schemes, ecologists should realize that the classification of an interaction between two populations may change with the sizes of those populations or of other populations with which they interact.
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