Chapter

Antagonism and Mutualism: <i>Direct Interactions</i>

Victor Rico-Gray and Paulo S. Oliveira

in The Ecology and Evolution of Ant-Plant Interactions

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780226713472
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226713540 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226713540.003.0006
Antagonism and Mutualism: Direct Interactions

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Although the origin of some mutualisms (for example, pollination and seed dispersal) mostly involves a change in the outcome of the interaction (from antagonism to mutualism), other mutualisms are built on interactions involving at least an antagonistic pair of species and a mutualistic pair of species. Most studies, however, consider directly the interaction between two species, even though the evolutionary unit of many mutualisms involves at least three species in a way that emphasizes the evolutionary relationships between antagonism and mutualism. This chapter first describes the classic case of the association between Pseudomyrmex and Acacia, in which plants offer inquiline ants a whole array of resources (food bodies, extrafloral nectar, and domatia) in exchange for defense against herbivores and competitors. It then reviews and discusses other cases of ant–plant interactions in which plants offer both food bodies and domatia, or only domatia, and also looks at interactions in which plants offer mainly extrafloral nectar (a few also provide domatia). Finally, the chapter focuses on plant defensive strategies, induced responses, and the nature of conditionality.

Keywords: Pseudomyrmex; Acacia; ants; plants; food bodies; antagonism; mutualism; conditionality; domatia; ant–plant interactions

Chapter.  12600 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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