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The Fate of Viola Seeds Dispersed by Ants

David C. Culver and Andrew J. Beattie
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 67, No. 5 (May - Jun., 1980), pp. 710-714
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2442664
Page Count: 5
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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.
The Fate of Viola Seeds Dispersed by Ants
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Abstract

Experimental plantings of the seeds of the two species Viola odorata and V. hirta were carried out to determine relative importance of three effects of myrmecochory: 1) clumping of seeds, 2) scarification of the testa and elaiosome removal, and 3) relocation into ant nests. The study site was a beech-larch wood in southern England. Data show that clumping slightly reduces seedling emergence, scarification and elaiosome removal slightly enhances it, while the nest environment significantly increases the rate of seedling emergence Only the last effect is statistically significant. Seedlings from nests have larger first adult leaves. The possible impact of ant manipulation of seeds on seedling recruitment into myrmecochorous populations is discussed.

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