The Ecology and Evolution of Ant-Plant Interactions

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University of Chicago Press, Jul 15, 2007 - Science - 331 pages

Ants are probably the most dominant insect group on Earth, representing ten to fifteen percent of animal biomass in terrestrial ecosystems. Flowering plants, meanwhile, owe their evolutionary success to an array of interspecific interactions—such as pollination, seed dispersal, and herbivory—that have helped to shape their great diversity. The Ecology and Evolution of Ant-Plant Interactions brings together findings from the scientific literature on the coevolution of ants and plants to provide a better understanding of the unparalleled success of these two remarkable groups, of interspecific interactions in general, and ultimately of terrestrial biological communities.

The Ecology and Evolution of Ant-Plant Interactions synthesizes the dynamics of ant-plant interactions, including the sources of variation in their outcomes. Victor Rico-Gray and Paulo S. Oliveira capture both the emerging appreciation of the importance of these interactions within ecosystems and the developing approaches that place studies of these interactions into a broader ecological and evolutionary context. The collaboration of two internationally renowned scientists, The Ecology and Evolution of Ant-Plant Interactions will become a standard reference for understanding the complex interactions between these two taxa.

 

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Contents

1 AntPlant Interactions
1
LeafCutting and SeedHarvesting Ants
21
Ants as Primary
42
Ants as Secondary SeedDispersers
68
Ants and Flowers
85
Direct Interactions
99
Indirect Interactions
142
Life History of AntFed Plants and AntGarden Systems
163
9 CanopyDwelling Ants Plant and Insect Exudates and Ant Mosaics
177
10 Variation in AntPlant Interactions
193
11 AntPlant Interactions in Agriculture
215
12 Overview and Perspectives
231
Literature Cited
253
Index
313
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About the author (2007)

Victor Rico-Gray is a research scientist of ecology and Chairman of the Applied Ecology Department at the Instituto de Ecologia, A. C. in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Paulo S. Oliveira is professor of ecology at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

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