Myrmecochory


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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.

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For example, barochory (primary dispersal) could be followed by myrmecochory or hydrochory (secondary dispersal).
Myrmecochory in Viola: dynamics of seed-ant interactions in some West Virginia species.
This similarity, without the benefits of myrmecochory, puts these eggs at risk: while insectivorous birds may avoid seed-shaped eggs, granivorous birds should be more likely to eat them (Goeldi 1886).
In this study, we examined the hypothesis that disturbance disrupts the mutualistic system of myrmecochory.
Myrmecochory, as a general dispersal strategy, should be successful within a wide range of habitats in Knox County.
Myrmecochory in Australia's seasonal tropics: effects of disturbance on distance dispersal.
Myrmecochory in Viola: Dynamics of some seed-ant interactions in some West Virginia species.
Convergence of myrmecochory in mediterranean Australia and South Africa.
Seed dispersal in the tree Commiphora guillaumini: a combination of ornithochory and myrmecochory in a dry tropical forest in western Madagascar.
However, we are unaware of any published data quantifying the ecological benefits for ants in systems of myrmecochory (Beattie 1991).
Uncertain demographic consequences to ants calls into question whether this system of myrmecochory is actually a mutualism with reciprocal benefits as is usually assumed (sensu Cushman and Beattie 1991).