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Influence of its associated ant species on the life history of the myrmecophyte Cordia nodosa in French Guiana

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 October 2004

Alain Dejean
Affiliation:
Laboratoire d'Évolution et Diversité Biologique, Université Toulouse III, Bâtiment 4R3, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse cedex 4, France
Angélique Quilichini
Affiliation:
Laboratoire d'Évolution et Diversité Biologique, Université Toulouse III, Bâtiment 4R3, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse cedex 4, France
Jacques H. C. Delabie
Affiliation:
U.P.A. Laboratório de Mirmecologia, Convênio UESC/CEPLAC, C.P.7, 45600-000 Itabuna, Bahia, Brazil
Jérôme Orivel
Affiliation:
Laboratoire d'Évolution et Diversité Biologique, Université Toulouse III, Bâtiment 4R3, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse cedex 4, France
Bruno Corbara
Affiliation:
Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale de la Cognition (UMR CNRS 6024), Université Blaise Pascal, 34 avenue Carnot, 63037 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex, France
Marc Gibernau
Affiliation:
Laboratoire d'Évolution et Diversité Biologique, Université Toulouse III, Bâtiment 4R3, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse cedex 4, France

Abstract

Variation in the ant species associated with myrmecophytes (plants that provide their associated ants with nesting space, and sometimes with a complete diet) has been noted at both the regional and local levels, with plant distribution generally wider than that of the ants (Fonseca & Ganade 1996). This is the case for Cordia nodosa Lamark (Boraginaceae, subfamily Ehretioideae) whose most frequent associate ant species in Peru are Allomerus demararae (Wheeler) and Azteca spp. (Yu & Pierce 1998), while Azteca sp.1 and Allomerus octoarticulatus are the most frequent in Amazonian Brazil and French Guiana, respectively (Fowler 1993, Solano et al. 2003). Cordia nodosa plants are understorey treelets mostly less than 2 m tall, but taller individuals can be found. Their domatia are swollen, hollow stem nodes that form as the growing shoot tip invaginates through a subapical pore that then closes over when the domatium is mature (Yu 2001). So, plant-ants must reopen the chamber where the pore used to be, thus forming a kind of prostoma.

Type
Brief Report
Copyright
2004 Cambridge University Press

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