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Ecology, 87(7), 2006, pp. 18051815 2006 by the Ecological Society of America
 

Summary: Ecology, 87(7), 2006, pp. 1805≠1815
” 2006 by the Ecological Society of America
THE DISRUPTION OF AN ANT≠APHID MUTUALISM INCREASES
THE EFFECTS OF BIRDS ON PINE HERBIVORES
KAILEN A. MOONEY
1
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0334 USA
Abstract. Predators affect herbivores directly and indirectly, by consumptive and
nonconsumptive effects, and the combined influence of multiple predators is shaped by
interactions among predators. I documented the individual and combined effects of birds
(chickadees, nuthatches, warblers) and ants (Formica podzolica) on arthropods residing in pine
(Pinus ponderosa) canopies in a factorial field experiment. Birds and ants removed herbivores
but simultaneously benefited them by removing predatory arthropods. Birds and ants had net
negative and positive effects, respectively, on the abundance of herbivore prey, supporting the
notion that vertebrate predators have stronger negative effects on herbivores than do
arthropod predators. Aphids (ant-tended and untended species) constituted three-quarters of
herbivore biomass. The effect of birds on ant-tended aphids was twice that on untended aphid
species or tended aphid species without ants. This was not due to there being more ant-tended
aphids for birds to prey on; tended and untended aphid species were in similar abundances in
the absence of birds. Instead, the effects of birds were strengthened by attributes of the

  

Source: Agrawal, Anurag - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Entomollogy, Cornell University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology