Leaf Volatiles from Two Corydalis Species Lure A Keystone Seed-dispersing Ant and Enhance Seed Retrieval

Yan Zhu, Dong Wang

Abstract


It has been reported that a suit of plant traits can regulate the ant-seed interaction and subsequently affect the seed dispersal. However, the role of plant volatiles in attracting the ants for seed dispersal remains little examined. We used a Y-tube olfactometer to test behavior response of a keystone seed-dispersing ant (Pristomyrmex pungens Mayr) to leaves and seeds of five co-occurring myrmecochorous Corydalis species (C. wilfordii Regel, C. racemosa (Thunberg) Persoon, C. sheareri S. Moore, C. balansae Prain and C. incisa (Thunberg) Persoon). Of the five species, only C. wilfordii and C. racemosa leaves emits heavily volatiles. We also performed seed cafeteria experiments to assess the effect of leaf volatiles from C. racemosa on seed retrieval by presenting simultaneously the seeds near the fresh leaf and the leaf immersed by diethyl ether both in the field and lab. The experiment using Y-tube showed that the ants were only significantly attracted by the fresh leaves of two species, C. wilfordii and C. racemosa. The cafeteria experiments showed that ants spent less time to detect the C. racemosa seeds which were near the fresh leaf, and transported these seeds more quickly. This indicated that the leaf volatiles can function as an attractant for the dispersing ants, and ant preference in turn enhance the seed retrieval. The findings reveal that leaf volatiles can play na important but underestimated role in shaping the ant-seed dispersing interactions.


Keywords


Ants; Corydalis; myrmecochory; plant volatiles; seed dispersal.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Arandarickert, A. & Fracchia, S. (2012). Are subordinate ants the best seed dispersers? Linking dominance hierarchies and seed dispersal ability in myrmecochory interactions. Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 6: 297–306. doi: 10.1007/s11829-011-9166-z

Baldwin, I. T. (2010). Plant volatiles. Current Biology, 20: R392–397. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.02.052

Beattie, A. J. (1985). The evolutionary ecology of ant-plant mutualisms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Borges, R. M. (2015). Fruit and seed volatiles: multiple stage settings, actors and props in an evolutionary play. Journal of the Indian Institute of Science, 95: 93–104.

Boulay, R., Carro, F., Soriguer, R. C. & Cerdá, X. (2007). Synchrony between fruit maturation and effective dispersers' foraging activity increases seed protection against seed predators. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 274: 2515–2522.

Brouat, C., McKey, D., Bessière, J. M., Pascal, L. & Hossaert-McKey, M. (2000). Leaf volatile compounds and the distribution of ant patrolling in an ant-plant protection mutualism: preliminary results on Leonardoxa (Fabaceae: Caesalpinioidae) and Petalomyrmex (Formicidae: Formicinae). Acta Oecologica, 21: 349–357. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2007.0594

Davidson, D. W., Seidel, J. L. & Epstein, W. W. (1990). Neotropical ant gardens II. Bioassays of seed compounds. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 16: 2993–3013. doi: 10.1007/BF00979490

Edwards, D. P., Arauco, R. & Hassall, M. (2007). Protection in an ant-plant mutualism: an adaptation or a sensory trap? Animal Behaviour, 74: 377–385. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.07.022

Gammans, N., Bullock, J. M., Gibbons, H. & Schönrogge, K. (2006). Reaction of mutualistic and granivorous ants to Ulex elaiosome chemicals. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 32: 1935–1947. doi: 10.1007/s10886-006-9119-7

Giladi, I. (2006). Choosing benefits or partners: a review of the evidence for the evolution of myrmecochory. Oikos, 112: 481–492. doi: 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2006.14258.x

Gorb, E. & Gorb, S. (2000). Effects of seed aggregation on the removal rates of elaiosome-bearing chelidonium majus and viola odourata seeds carried by formica polyctena ants. Ecological Research, 15: 187–192. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1703.2000.00338.x

Hughes, L., Westoby, M. & Jurago, E. (1994). Convergence of elaiosomes and insect prey: evidence from ant foraging behavior and fatty acid composition. Functional Ecology, 8: 358–365. doi: 10.2307/2389829

Hughes, L. & Westoby, M. (1992). Effect of diaspore characteristics on removal of seeds adapted for dispersal by ants. Ecology,73: 1300–1312. doi: 10.2307/1940677

Inui, Y., Miyamoto, Y. & Ohgushi, T. (2003). Comparison of volatile leaf compounds and herbivorous insect communities on three willow species. Population Ecology, 45: 41–46. doi: 10.1007/s10144-003-0138-8

Leal, I. R., Leal, L. C. & Andersen, A. N. (2015). The benefits of myrmecochory: a matter of stature. Biotropica, 47: 281–285. doi: 10.1111/btp.12213

Lengyel, S., Gove, A. D., Latimer, A. M., Majer, J. D. & Dunn, R. R. (2010) Convergent evolution of seed dispersal by ants, and phylogeny and biogeography in flowering plants: a global survey. Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics, 12: 43–55. doi: 10.1016/j.ppees.2009.08.001

Nakanishi, H. (1994). Myrmecochorous adaptations of Corydalis species (papaveraceae) in southern Japan. Ecological Research, 9: 1–8.

Oberrath, R. & Böhning-Gaese, K. (2002). Phenological adaptations of ant-dispersed plants to seasonal variation in ant activity. Ecology, 83: 1412–1420. doi: 10.2307/3071953

Pfeiffer, M., Huttenlocher, H. & Ayasse, M. (2010). Myrmecochorous plants use chemical mimicry to cheat seed-dispersing ants. Functional Ecology, 24: 545–555. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2009.01661.x

Pichersky, E. & Gershenzon, J. (2002). The formation and function of plant volatiles: perfumes for pollinator attraction and defense. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 5: 237–243. doi: 10.1016/S1369-5266(02)00251-0

Raguso, R. A. (2008) Wake up and smell the roses: the ecology and evolution of floral scent. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 39: 549–569. doi: 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.38.091206.095601

Sheridan, S. L., Iversen, K. A. & Itagaki, H. (1996). The role of chemical senses in seed-carrying behavior by ants: a behavioral, physiological, and morphological study. Journal of Insect Physiology, 42: 149–159. doi: 10.1016/0022-1910(95)00087-9

Turner, K. M. & Frederickson, M. E. (2013). Signals can trump rewards in attracting seed-dispersing ants. PLoS One, 8: e71871. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071871

Unsicker, S. B., Kunert, G. & Gershenzon, J. (2009). Protective perfumes: the role of vegetative volatiles in plant defense against herbivores. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 12: 1–7. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2009.04.001

Vega, C. D., Herrera, C. M. & Dötterl, S. (2014). Floral volatiles play a key role in specialized ant pollination. Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution & Systematics, 16: 32–42. doi: 10.1016/j.ppees.2013.11.002

Wanjiku, C., Khamis, F. M., Teal, P. E. A. & Torto, B. (2014). Plant Volatiles influence the African weaver ant-cashew tree mutualism. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 40: 1167–1175. doi: 10.1007/s10886-014-0512-3

Wu, Z. Y., Zhuang, X. & Su, Z. Y. (1999). Corydalis DC. In: Delectis Florae Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae Agendae Academiae Sinicae Edita. Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae, Tomus 32, (pp. 96–483). Beijing: Science Press.

Youngsteadt, E., Bustios, P. G. & Schal, C. (2010). Divergent chemical cues elicit seed collecting by ants in an obligate multi-species mutualism in lowland Amazonia. Plos One, 12: e15822. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015822

Youngsteadt, E., Nojima, S., Häberlein, C,, Schulz, S. & Schal, C. (2008). Seed odor mediates an obligate ant-plant mutualism in Amazonian rainforests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105: 4571–4575. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0708643105

Zhang, M. L., Su, Z. Y. & Lidén, M. (2008). Corydalis DC. In: Wu, Z.Y., Raven, P.H., Hong, D.Y. (eds.) Flora of China 7 Menispermaceae Through Capparaceae, (pp. 295–428). Beijing: Science Press, Beijing and Missouri Botanical Garden Press.

Zhu, Y. & Wang, D. (2014). Seed dispersal of Corydalis wilfordii and C. racemosa (Papaveraceae): effect of ant foraging and behavior and seed characteristics. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 34: 4938–4942. (In Chinese with English abstract) doi: 10.5846/stxb201301010005




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v65i3.2726

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


JCR Impact Factor 2016: 0.699