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Type: Artigo de periódico
Title: Interaction between Mutualisms: Ant-Tended Butterflies Exploit Enemy-Free Space Provided by Ant-Treehopper Associations
Author: Kaminski, LA
Freitas, AVL
Oliveira, PS
Abstract: Although mutualisms have been intensively investigated, demonstration of indirect effects between co-occurring mutualistic systems is rare. For instance, the ecological consequences of co-occurrence of ant-tended insects on a plant have never been examined for survival effects on either trophobiont species. Here, we assess the selective pressures mediating co-occurrence of a facultative ant-tended butterfly (Parrhasius polibetes) with ant-tended treehoppers (Guayaquila xiphias) on Schefflera vinosa shrubs. We evaluated host plant selection and caterpillar survival in P. polibetes in the presence and absence of ant-treehopper associations. Paired trials revealed that butterflies preferably oviposit on branches hosting ant-tended treehoppers when they had a choice between those and branches without this interaction. Presence of ant-tended treehoppers on a branch reduced the abundance of P. polibetes' natural enemies and improved caterpillar survival in both premyrmecophylic and ant-tended phases. Thus ant-tended treehoppers create an enemy-free space on foliage that butterflies exploit to protect larval offspring. These findings connect two widely documented ant-trophobiont mutualisms and highlight the importance of considering multiple interactions for a proper understanding of ant-plant-herbivore systems. Detection of other ant-based mutualisms on oviposition to improve offspring survival may have represented an important evolutionary step in the process of host plant selection in facultative myrmecophilous butterflies.
Subject: ant-plant-herbivore interactions
cerrado savanna
insect trophobionts
natural enemies
oviposition behavior
trophic and nontrophic indirect effects
Country: EUA
Editor: Univ Chicago Press
Citation: American Naturalist. Univ Chicago Press, v. 176, n. 3, n. 322, n. 334, 2010.
Rights: embargo
Identifier DOI: 10.1086/655427
Date Issue: 2010
Appears in Collections:Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos

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