RODRIGUEZ CABAL mariano Alberto
Quantitative analysis of the effects of the exotic Argentine ant on seed-dispersal mutualisms
MARIANO A. RODRIGUEZ CABAL; KATHARINE L. STUBLE; MARTIN A. NUNEZ; NATHAN J. SANDERS
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2009 vol. 5 p. 499 - 522
Although it is increasingly clear that exotic inva- sive species affect seed-dispersal mutualisms, a synthetic examination of the effect of exotic invasive species on seed-dispersal mutualisms is lacking. Here, we review the impacts of the inva- sive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) on seed dispersal. We found that sites with L. humile had 92 per cent fewer native ant seed dispersers than did sites where L. humile was absent. In addition, L. humile did not replace native seed dispersers, as rates of seed removal and seedling establish- ment were all lower in the presence of L. humile than in its absence. We conclude that potential shifts in plant diversity and concomitant changes in ecosystem function may be a consequence of Argentine ant invasions, as well as invasions by other ant species. Because very few studies have examined the effects of non-ant invasive species on seed-dispersal mutualisms, the prevalence of disruption of seed-dispersal mutualisms by invasive species is unclear.