par Detrain, Claire ;Bologna, Audrey
Référence Ecological entomology, 44, 3, page (380-388)
Publication Publié, 2019-06-01
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : 1. Myrmecochory sensu stricto is an ant–plant mutualism in which non-granivorous ants disperse plant diaspores after feeding on their nutrient-rich seed appendage, the elaiosome. Phenological traits associated with the diaspore can influence the behaviour of ants and thus their ultimate efficiency as seed dispersers. 2. This study investigated how a contrasting availability of seeds (20 vs. 200 seeds) from the diplochorous Chelidonium majus (Papaveraceae, Linnaeus) plant species influences the behaviour of Myrmica rubra (Formicidae, Linnaeus) ants, from the retrieval of seeds until their dispersal outside the ant nest. 3. Regardless of seed abundance, the ants collected the first diaspores at similar rates. Then, seed retrieval sped up over time for large seed sources until satiation took place with only one-third of the tested colonies wholly depleting abundant seed sources. 4. No active recruitment by trail-laying ants was triggered, even to an abundant seed source. 5. In both conditions of seed abundance, the majority of the diaspores retrieved inside the nest were discarded with the elaiosome removed and were dispersed at similar distances from the nest. 6. The paper concludes with a discussion of how the quantity of seeds released by a plant with a dual mode of dispersal can potentially influence the behaviour of ant dispersers and hence the dispersal efficiency derived from myrmecochory.