Myrmecochory


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Related to Myrmecochory: Elaiosome

Myrmecochory

 

the distribution of seeds and other plant embryos by ants. The ants eat the arillodes and caruncles, leaving the seeds themselves unharmed. An ant colony may disperse tens of thousands of seeds in this manner during a single growing season, to distances of 100 to 1,000 m from the anthill. Myrmecochory has been observed in temperate zones and in the tropics (primarily in Brazil). In temperate zones it occurs among numerous monocotyledons (Allium, Scilla, Gagea, Ornithogalum, Luzula, Melica, and Stipa) and dicotyledons (Filago, Corydalis, Chelidonium, Polygala, Cyclamen, Symphytum, Sempervivum, Thymus, Nepeta, Veronica, and Melampyrum). In some plants the seeds are distributed solely by ants; in others the seeds are dispersed by more than one means.

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Myrmecochory in Australia's seasonal tropics: effects of disturbance on distance dispersal.
Myrmecochory in Viola: dynamics of seed-ant interactions in some West Virginia species.