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Ecology, 85(5), 2004, pp. 12441250 2004 by the Ecological Society of America
 

Summary: 1244
REPORTS
Ecology, 85(5), 2004, pp. 1244­1250
2004 by the Ecological Society of America
ANT BODY SIZE PREDICTS DISPERSAL DISTANCE OF ANT-ADAPTED
SEEDS: IMPLICATIONS OF SMALL-ANT INVASIONS
J. H. NESS,1,4
J. L. BRONSTEIN,1
A. N. ANDERSEN,2
AND J. N. HOLLAND3
1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 USA
2CSIRO Tropical Ecosystem Research Centre, Winnellie, Northern Territory 0822 Australia
3Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005 USA
Abstract. The services provided within a community can change as the species com-
position of that community changes. For example, ant­seed dispersal mutualisms can be
disrupted in habitats dominated by invasive ants. We propose that this disruption is related
to changes in mean ant body size, given that invasive ants are smaller than most native
seed-dispersing ants. We demonstrate that the mean and maximum distances that ants
transport seeds adapted for ant dispersal increase with worker body size, and that this
relationship is an accelerating power function. This pattern is consistent among three ant

  

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