Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Interaction of the Ant-Plant Leonardoxa africana (Caesalpiniaceae) With Its Obligate Inhabitants in a Rainforest in Cameroon

Doyle Mckey
Biotropica
Vol. 16, No. 2 (Jun., 1984), pp. 81-99
DOI: 10.2307/2387840
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2387840
Page Count: 19
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Interaction of the Ant-Plant Leonardoxa africana (Caesalpiniaceae) With Its Obligate Inhabitants in a Rainforest in Cameroon
Preview not available

Abstract

This study describes the association between the ant-plant Leonardoxa africana (Caesalpiniaceae) and its inhabitants Petalomyrmex phylax (Formicinae) and Cataulacus mckeyi (Myrmicinae) in lowland rainforest in Cameroon. Ant-related features of Leonardoxa include foliar nectaries and swollen internodes which, when young, are excavated and occupied by the ants. Petalomyrmex workers protect the young leaves of Leonardoxa from herbivores. In the study site, possession of a Petalomyrmex colony appears to be required for a Leonardoxa shoot to survive to adulthood. In contrast, Cataulacus workers do not protect the plant and exclude Petalomyrmex from shoots they occupy; this species can be considered a parasite on the Leonardoxa x Petalomyrmex mutualism. Petalomyrmex workers patrol only the young leaves of Leonardoxa. Mature leaves are not patrolled but accumulate extremely little herbivore damage, being well defended chemically and mechanically. The hypothesis is proposed that in ant-plants such as Leonardoxa, whose leaves are very long-lived, the cost of providing leaves with permanent chemical or mechanical protection decreases relative to the cost of maintaining a large worker force of ants throughout the life of the leaf. A smaller worker force is maintained that patrols only the young leaves.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
81
    81
  • Thumbnail: Page 
82
    82
  • Thumbnail: Page 
83
    83
  • Thumbnail: Page 
84
    84
  • Thumbnail: Page 
85
    85
  • Thumbnail: Page 
86
    86
  • Thumbnail: Page 
87
    87
  • Thumbnail: Page 
88
    88
  • Thumbnail: Page 
89
    89
  • Thumbnail: Page 
90
    90
  • Thumbnail: Page 
91
    91
  • Thumbnail: Page 
92
    92
  • Thumbnail: Page 
93
    93
  • Thumbnail: Page 
94
    94
  • Thumbnail: Page 
95
    95
  • Thumbnail: Page 
96
    96
  • Thumbnail: Page 
97
    97
  • Thumbnail: Page 
98
    98
  • Thumbnail: Page 
99
    99