BECAS
FERNANDEZ anahi Rocio
artículos
Título:
Refuse attracts? Effect of refuse dumps of leaf-cutting ants on floral traits
Autor/es:
FERNANDEZ, ANAHÍ; TADEY, MARIANA; FARJI-BRENER, ALEJANDRO G.
Revista:
AUSTRAL ECOLOGY
Editorial:
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Referencias:
Año: 2018
ISSN:
1442-9985
Resumen:
The nutrient-rich organic waste generated by ants may affect plant reproductive success directly byenhancing fruit production but also indirectly, by affecting floral traits related with pollinator attraction. Understandinghow these soil-nutrient hot spots influence floral phenotype is relevant to plant?pollination interactions.We experimentally evaluated whether the addition of organic waste from refuse dumps of the leaf-cutting antAcromyrmex lobicornis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Attini) alters floral traits associated with pollinator attractionin Eschscholzia californica (Ranunculales: Papaveraceae), an entomophilous herb. We analysed flower shape andsize using geometric morphometric techniques in plants with and without the addition of refuse-dumps soil,under greenhouse conditions. We also measured the duration of flowering season, days with new flowers, flowerproduction and floral display size. Plants growing in refuse-dumps soil showed higher flower shape diversity thanthose in control soil. Moreover, plants in refuse-dumps soil showed bigger flower and floral display size, longerflowering season, higher number of flowering days and flower production. As all these variables may potentiallyincrease pollinator visits, plants in refuse-dumps soil might increase their fitness through enhanced attraction.Our work describes how organic waste from ant nests may enhance floral traits involved in floral attraction, illustratinga novel way of how ants may indirectly benefit plants.