Volume 23 Issue 5
Sep.  2002
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ZHANG Zhi-ying, LI Yu-hui, ZHAO Zhi-mo. Mutualism Between Ants and Myrmecochores. Zoological Research, 2002, 23(5): 437-443.
Citation: ZHANG Zhi-ying, LI Yu-hui, ZHAO Zhi-mo. Mutualism Between Ants and Myrmecochores. Zoological Research, 2002, 23(5): 437-443.

Mutualism Between Ants and Myrmecochores

  • Received Date: 1900-01-01
  • Rev Recd Date: 1900-01-01
  • Publish Date: 2002-10-22
  • A myrmecochore is the plant whose seed is dispersed by ants.During long coordinating evolution,a mutualism has been developed between the ants and myrmecochores.The relationship between them means the following:1)myrmecochores develop elaiosome which is an external appendage on seeds and ants favorite food;2)ants eat the elaiosome and leave the seed nearby their nests,which results in such plants dispersing.Myrmecochores distribute worldwide,but a great number of them have been mainly discovered in Australia and South Africa.Seeds removed by ants are mainly ones of herbs and shrubs.The study on the mutualism has showed that the seed dispersal by the ant is favorable for the seed protection,and ants nests are good for the seed germinating,seedling and community formation.The seed dispersal by the ant is an important factor affecting some communities structure of temperate forests.The mutualism also plays an important role in restoration of natural communities.
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