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(Referência obtida automaticamente do Web of Science, por meio da informação sobre o financiamento pela FAPESP e o número do processo correspondente, incluída na publicação pelos autores.)

The structure of ant-plant ecological networks: Is abundance enough?

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Autor(es):
Dattilo, Wesley [1] ; Marquitti, Flavia M. D. [2] ; Guimaraes, Paulo R. [2] ; Izzo, Thiago J. [1]
Número total de Autores: 4
Afiliação do(s) autor(es):
[1] Univ Fed Mato Grosso, Dept Ecol Bot, Lab Ecol Comunidades, BR-78060900 Cuiaba, MT - Brazil
[2] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Biociencias, Dept Ecol, BR-05508900 Sao Paulo - Brazil
Número total de Afiliações: 2
Tipo de documento: Artigo Científico
Fonte: ECOLOGY; v. 95, n. 2, p. 475-485, FEB 2014.
Citações Web of Science: 32
Resumo

Knowledge of the mechanisms that shape biodiversity is essential to understand the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of interacting species. Recent studies posit that most of the organization of mutualistic networks is shaped by differences in species abundance among interacting species. In this study, we examined the mutualism involving plants with extrafloral nectaries and their associated ants. We show empirically that the difference in abundance among ants on vegetation partially explains the network structure of mutualistic interactions and that it is independent of ant species compositions: an ant species that is abundant usually interacts with more plant species. Moreover, nested networks are generated by simple variation in ant abundance on foliage. However, in ant-plant mutualistic networks, nestedness was higher than in networks describing the occurrence of ants on plants without a food resource. Additionally, the plant and ant species with the highest number of interactions within these networks interacted more among themselves than expected under the assumption of an abundance-based, random mixing of individuals. We hypothesize that the dominance of these ant species occurs because these ants are able to outcompete other ant species when feeding on extrafloral nectaries and because of the presence of ecophysiological adaptations to utilize liquid food. (AU)

Processo FAPESP: 09/54422-8 - Estrutura e dinâmica coevolutiva em redes de interações mutualísticas
Beneficiário:Paulo Roberto Guimarães Junior
Linha de fomento: Auxílio à Pesquisa - Apoio a Jovens Pesquisadores
Processo FAPESP: 12/05935-5 - Dinâmica eco-evolutiva de interações mutualísticas
Beneficiário:Flávia Maria Darcie Marquitti
Linha de fomento: Bolsas no Exterior - Estágio de Pesquisa - Doutorado