Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Food source availability and interspecific dominance as structural mechanisms of ant-plant-hemipteran multitrophic networks.
Authors: Fagundes, Roberth
Cruz, Wesley Francisco Dáttilo da
Ribeiro, Sérvio Pontes
Gray, Victor Rico
Claro, Kleber Del
Keywords: Dominance behavior
Resource partitioning
Interspecific competition
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: FAGUNDES, R. et al. Food source availability and interspecific dominance as structural mechanisms of ant-plant-hemipteran multitrophic networks. Arthropod-Plant Interactions, v. 10, p. 207-220, 2016. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 10 jul. 2017.
Abstract: Extrafloral nectar of plants and honeydew of hemipterans is a food source extensively explored by ants. Although basically a sugary liquid food, nectar and honeydew are composed of different nutrients and offered in distinct ways; thus, ants must interact differently with plants and hemipterans. In this study we assessed the availability and dominance of nectar of extrafloral nectaries and honeydew of sap-sucking hemipterans (i.e., sugarbased resources) as mechanisms regulating interaction frequency and structuring ant-plant-hemipteran networks. We studied 12 plant species (240 shrubs, 20 per species) and 12 hemipteran species (240 aggregations, 20 per species) that interacted with 26 ant species in an area of Rupestrian Fields (Rocky Montane Savannah), Brazil. We observed that the 7 ant species that collected honeydew were a subset of the 25 ant species feeding on nectar, but the highly interacted species Camponotus crassus was the same for both subnetworks. The ant-plant subnetwork exhibited a nested pattern of interaction with a low degree of specialization, while the ant-hemipteran subnetwork exhibited lower nestedness but higher specialization. We found a positive relationship between the offer of EFNs and the number of interactions with ants, probably resulting from reduced competition in plants with high availability of EFNs. However, hemipteran species that were most abundant did not interact with more species of ants, probably because of the numerical dominance of the species tending all hemipteran aggregations, regardless of size. However, segregation between ant species was higher than expected by chance for both plants and hemipterans, con- firming a deterministic factor (i.e., competition between ant species) regulating the frequency of interactions. In summary, the availability of ENFs seems to be an important mechanism regulating ant-plant interactions, while numerical dominance seems to be an important mechanism structuring ant-hemipteran interactions.
ISSN: 1872-8847
Appears in Collections:DEBIO - Artigos publicados em periódicos

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
ARTIGO_FoodSourceAvailability.pdf1,07 MBAdobe PDFView/Open    Request a copy

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.