IGN 18-8 - Ant-mediated seed dispersal along an elevation gradient

Thursday, August 10, 2017
C123, Oregon Convention Center
Israel Del Toro, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI
Ant-mediated seed dispersal, also known as myrmecochory, is a widespread and important mutualism that structures both plant and insect communities. Myrmecochory can be especially important for desert plant species, which have evolved to provide food rewards to ants in exchange for being relocated. We used a seed removal experiment to determine if ants remove more seeds at lower elevations compared with mid- and high-elevation seed depots. We also explored if seed identity mattered to foraging ants. Will they collect any seed or are those seeds adapted for ant-dispersal preferentially selected? Come find out what ants like to forage for!