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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Anurag A. Agrawal Benjamin J. Dubin-Thaler

Anurag A. Agrawal Benjamin J. Dubin-Thaler
Induced responses to herbivory in the Neotropical ant-plant association
between Azteca ants and Cecropia trees: response of ants to potential
inducing cues
Received: 23 March 1998 / Accepted after revision: 5 July 1998
Abstract Plant defense against herbivores often involves
constitutive and inducible mechanisms of resistance.
Obligate ant-plants, which provide food and housing for
ants, are thought to primarily rely on ants for defense
against herbivores. This form of plant defense has
largely been viewed as static. We have been investigating
the dynamic nature of Azteca ants as an inducible de-
fense of Cecropia trees. Ants rapidly recruit to and pa-
trol sites of foliar damage. We propose that Azteca ants
can be viewed as an inducible defense for Cecropia trees
because of their sensitivity to cues associated with
herbivory, their rapid and aggressive recruiting ability,
and their reclaimable and redeployable nature as a plant
defense. In this study, we examine ant behavior follow-


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


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology