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Interactions between ants, flowers and flower visitors in cerrado vegetation: case study with Byrsonima intermedia A. Juss. (Malpighiaceae)

Grant number: 14/12486-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2014
Effective date (End): February 29, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Paulo Sergio Moreira Carvalho de Oliveira
Grantee:Javier Eduardo Ibarra Isassi
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Ants and plants have mutualistic relationships: ants reducing herbivores and with seed dispersal and plants give ants food and shelter. However, the presence of ants in the flowers it is commonly considered as an antagonic relation, because normally, ants do not pollinate but do use the resources offered by the flowers to the pollinators, reducing their visitation. The ant-plant interactions are very common in the cerrado. Although many authors have studied the effect of the presence of the ants on the herbivores or the relation of the ants with the presence of extrafloral nectaries, the effect of ants visiting flowers has been studied very little in the cerrado. Byrsonima intermedia (known as murici-do-campo in Brazil) it is a common plant no cerrado biome. This plant has elaiofores (oil-producing glands) in the base of the flowers and it is the resource that bees, especially of the Epicharis genus, look for and in exchange they pollinate the plant through the buzz-pollination. Field observations have allowed findings of ants present in the inflorescences of B. intermedia. There are no studies related with the presence of ants in the inflorescences of B. intermedia nor with their effects on the reproduction of said plant. This study pretends to investigate the diversity of ants associated with the plant and to determine the resource they are after during the day. Also it pretends to determine if the ants act as pollinators of the plant and the effect of the presence of the flower-visiting ants on the other visitors and possible pollinators. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
IBARRA-ISASSI, JAVIER; SENDOYA, SEBASTIAN FELIPE. Ants as floral visitors of Blutaparon portulacoides (A. St-Hil.) Mears (Amaranthaceae): an ant pollination system in the Atlantic Rainforest. ARTHROPOD-PLANT INTERACTIONS, v. 10, n. 3, p. 221-227, . (12/23399-3, 14/12486-8)
IBARRA-ISASSI, JAVIER; OLIVEIRA, PAULO S.. Indirect effects of mutualism: ant-treehopper associations deter pollinators and reduce reproduction in a tropical shrub. Oecologia, v. 186, n. 3, p. 691-701, . (14/12486-8, 14/23141-1)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
ISASSI, Javier Eduardo Ibarra. Interactions between ants, treehoppers, flowers and flower visitors in cerrado vegetations: experimental study with Byrsonima intermedia A. Juss. 2016. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Biologia Campinas, SP.

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