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COMMUNITY ECOLOGY -ORIGINAL PAPER Do extrafloral nectar resources, species abundances,

Do extrafloral nectar resources, species abundances,
and body sizes contribute to the structure of ant≠plant
mutualistic networks?
Scott A. Chamberlain ∑ Jeffrey R. Kilpatrick ∑
J. Nathaniel Holland
Received: 3 November 2009 / Accepted: 20 May 2010 / Published online: 6 June 2010
” Springer-Verlag 2010
Abstract Recent research has shown that many mutual-
istic communities display non-random structures. While
our understanding of the structural properties of mutualistic
communities continues to improve, we know little of the
biological variables resulting in them. Mutualistic com-
munities include those formed between ants and extrafloral
(EF) nectar-bearing plants. In this study, we examined the
contributions of plant and ant abundance, plant and ant
size, and plant EF nectar resources to the network struc-
tures of nestedness and interaction frequency of ant≠plant
networks across five sites within one geographic locality in
the Sonoran Desert. Interactions between ant and plant


Source: Azevedo, Ricardo - Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston
Holland, J. Nathaniel - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology