Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Guardian ants: How far does the protection of a plant-ant species to its specific host go?

December 03, 2015

Seemingly helpless against their much more lively natural enemies, plants have actually come up with a wide range of defences. In the present research, published in the open-access Journal of Hymenoptera Research, Dr. Adriana Sanchez, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia, and Edwin Bellota, Texas A&M University, USA, focus on the mutualistic relationship developed between a specific Neotropical knotweed and an ant species. During a series of ant-exclusion experiments the scientists observed and subsequently reported an aggressive and highly protective behaviour.

In order to assess the extent of protection these plant-ants provide their exclusive host with, the researchers compared the percentage of herbivory between control plants and experimental ones, which had their resident ants removed. The unambiguous results showed a 15-fold increase in the herbivory in the latter group, which kept on growing even further as the time progressed.

Normally, the studied ants patrol their hosts during both day and night at temperatures sometimes as low as 13C. Every time they found a herbivore, they were seen to attack it aggressively by biting and stinging.

"When an ant encountered a caterpillar, a worker approached and detected it with its antennae, and then recruited more workers. Typically more than 10 workers were recruited around the intruder in less than five minutes," shared their observations the researchers. "Several workers harassed the herbivore by stinging or biting, until it dropped off the plant. The caterpillars usually hung by a silk thread and attempted to move back onto the plant. However, individuals of Pseudomyrmex continued to chase them until they dropped again. This cycle was repeated several times."

While patrolling, they were noticed to remove any found debris from the top of the leaves. When they failed to find any signs of mosses, fungi or lichens on the sampled saplings, the scientists suggested that the ants not only protect their host from herbivores, but also from various disease-causing agents.

Plant vitality, growth and reproduction are seriously threatened by herbivores such as, in the case of the hereby studied knotweed, Triplaris americana, caterpillars and grasshoppers. Fighting for their life, plants use structural defenses, toxins, digestibility-reducing compounds, or mutualistic relationship with the enemies of their herbivores.

The herein researched Neotropical plant have found its way of survival through becoming the only host to the ant species Pseudomyrmex dendroicus, characterised with remarkable eyes, light brown body and potent venom, injected through a well-developed sting. In its turn, the knotweed shelters their entire colony in its hollow stems while another symbiont, scale insects, feeds them with the sugary sticky liquid it secrets on digesting plant sap.

###

Original source:

Sanchez A, Bellota E (2015) Protection against herbivory in the mutualism between Pseudomyrmex dendroicus (Formicidae) and Triplaris americana(Polygonaceae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 46: 71-83. doi: 10.3897/JHR.46.5518.

Pensoft Publishers


Related Herbivores Current Events and Herbivores News Articles


New horned dinosaur species with 'spiked shield' identified by Canadian Museum of Nature
A chance fossil discovery in Montana a decade ago has led to the identification of an audacious new species of horned dinosaur.

Panda poop study provides insights into microbiome, reproductive troubles
A stomachache can put a real damper on your love life -- especially if you're a giant panda.

New species from the Pliocene of Tibet reveals origin of ice age mountain sheep
Modern wild sheep, Ovis, is widespread in the mountain ranges of the Caucasus through Himalaya, Tibetan Plateau, Tianshan-Altai, eastern Siberia, and the Rocky Mountains in North America.

Ancient flowering plant was beautiful -- but probably poisonous
Researchers today announced in the journal Nature Plants the discovery of the first-ever fossil specimens of an "asterid" - a family of flowering plants that gave us everything from the potato to tomatoes, tobacco, petunias and our morning cup of coffee.

NREL explains the higher cellulolytic activity of a vital microorganism
Researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) say better understanding of a bacterium could lead to cheaper production of cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels.

The herbivore dilemma: How corn plants fights off simultaneous attacks
Corn seedlings are especially susceptible to hungry insect herbivores, such as caterpillars and aphids, because they lack woody stems and tough leaves. So what's a tender, young corn plant to do?

University of Alberta researcher tracks tyrannosaur's trail
Just outside the tiny town of Glenrock, Wyoming the footprints of a 66 million-year-old monster are cemented in stone.

The dandelion uses latex to protect its roots against insect feeding
Dandelions are troublesome weeds that are detested by most gardeners. Yet dandelions also have many insect enemies in nature.

A botanical survey to help understand change in our wild flora
Volunteers in the north-east of England have created a benchmark survey of common plants with which to identify change in the countryside, its result and causes.

Coral reefs could be more vulnerable to coastal development than predicted
For years, many scientists thought we had a secret weapon to protect coral reefs from nutrients flushed into the seas by human activity.
More Herbivores Current Events and Herbivores News Articles

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook: Over 175 Delicious Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook: Over 175 Delicious Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes
by Lindsay S. Nixon (Author)


This book will save you money by using "everyday" inexpensive ingredients, save you time with easy, no fuss recipes and improve your health with each nutritional bite.

Vegan chef of one of the top 50 food blogs on the Web, HappyHerbivore.com, Lindsay S. Nixon, creates recipes that show eating a low fat vegan diet is not only healthy but delicious, too.

Now, Nixon combines some of her tastiest recipes in The Happy Herbivore Cookbook, each made with no added fats, using only whole, unprocessed plant-based foods.

With Nixon's help its easy to make healthy food at home in minutes using inexpensive, "everyday" ingredients and tools.

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook includes:
A variety of recipes from quick and simple to decadent and advanced.Helpful hints and...

Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes

Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes
by Lindsay S. Nixon (Author)


After vegan chef Lindsay S. Nixon wrapped up her popular cookbook The Happy Herbivore Cookbook last year, she went back to her kitchen in her new home of St. Maarten. Island living encouraged Nixon to come up with simpler fare, which led to a follow-up cookbook focusing on recipes that bring tasty back to quick-and-easy.

Now, in Nixon's much-anticipated follow-up cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore, readers will see, once again, that just because plant-based eating is optimal for health, it doesn't have to also be expensive or time-consuming.

Everyday Happy Herbivore includes more than 175 doable recipes--recipes that are so quick and easy, you could cook three healthy meals from scratch every day like Nixon does.

Each of Nixon's recipes are made with...

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes with Workout Plans for Looking and Feeling Great

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes with Workout Plans for Looking and Feeling Great
by Lindsay S. Nixon (Author)


With easy, no-fuss recipes, the bestselling Happy Herbivore cookbooks show how easy, affordable, and delicious eating healthy can be. Now, in her latest cookbook, Happy Herbivore chef Lindsay S. Nixon provides recipes that put a special emphasis on weight-loss and a set of exercises that, like her recipes, are quick, easy, and produce great results.

Like all Happy Herbivore cookbooks, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean contains filling, flavorful, plant-based recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. But this time, Nixon takes healthy to an all-new level, with low-calorie, satisfying meals that will help you achieve your weight-loss goals—and without deprivation.

True to its title, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean also includes “recipes” for your body with basic workouts,...

The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living

The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living
by Lindsay S. Nixon (Author)


In her latest Happy Herbivore book, Lindsay S. Nixon provides what her readers have been clamoring for—a practical, in-depth guide to living the plant-based lifestyle.

A plant-based diet is not about saying “no” to a variety of foods. It’s about saying “yes” to you and your health. It’s about saying “yes” to whole, good-for-you foods that make you feel (and look!) great.

Embracing any new lifestyle means changes, questions, and skeptics at your door. You don’t have to face that alone. Nixon has been successfully living the Happy Herbivore lifestyle for years and during that time, she’s helped thousands of clients make the transition. In Happy Herbivore Life, she expertly walks you through how to thrive as a happy herbivore, from making the transition to...

Happy Herbivore Abroad: A Travelogue and Over 135 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes from Around the World

Happy Herbivore Abroad: A Travelogue and Over 135 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes from Around the World
by Lindsay S. Nixon (Author)


In the last 10 years, Happy Herbivore chef Lindsay S. Nixon has lived in eight states, visited 46, spent a year as an expat on a Caribbean island, and traveled to more than 35 places abroad. As a celebration of Nixon’s jet-setter lifestyle, Happy Herbivore Abroad combines traditional comfort foods from home with international inspiration and stories of her adventures.

A little of everything—basics, comfort food, international cuisine, and travelogue—Happy Herbivore Abroad provides your palate with more than 135 of Nixon’s crowd-pleasing vegan recipes low in fat, high on health, and made with everyday ingredients. True to the Happy Herbivore creed, these vegan dishes are easy to make, easy on your wallet, and completely plant-based.

As they say in France, bon...

Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings: Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Your Healthiest Celebrations and Special Occasions (Happy Hervibore)

Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings: Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Your Healthiest Celebrations and Special Occasions (Happy Hervibore)
by Lindsay S. Nixon (Author)


Bestselling vegan author Lindsay S. Nixon brings "healthy" and "holidays" together in her new book, Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings, filled with easy recipes that celebrate and define our favorite occasions throughout the year. From an elaborate, crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving, to a no-fuss, but dazzling New Year's Eve or cocktail party, to omnivore-approved potlucks such as Super Bowl Sunday, to summer fresh barbecues and picnics, and quick-fix casual dinner parties or lazy Sunday brunches with friends... Including more than 130 recipes, with new and old favorites, Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings guarantees you'll have healthy, festive, deliciously memorable meal, whatever you're celebrating!

Twelve different specials occasions are covered in detail with more than two...

Herbivores: Their Interactions with Secondary Plant Metabolites Second Edition, Volume I: The Chemical Participants

Herbivores: Their Interactions with Secondary Plant Metabolites Second Edition, Volume I: The Chemical Participants
by Gerald A. Rosenthal (Editor)


It has been more than ten years since the first edition of this book was published. During this time, our understanding of the interactions between plants and the animals that consume them, as mediated by secondary compounds (allelochemicals) of plants, has grown dramatically. In the Herbivores: Their Interactions with Secondary Plant Metabolites, Second Edition, only those areas of research where significant progress has been made since 1979 are included, and most of the contributing authors are new. This edition has been split into two volumes due to the vast amount of new material that has been generated on this subject. Both volumes will be of interest to evolutionary biologists, agriculturists, chemists, biochemists, physiologists, and ecologists. Volume 1, provides an exhaustive...

Manga Girl Seeks Herbivore Boy: Studying Japanese Gender at Cambridge (Japanese Studies / Japanologie)

Manga Girl Seeks Herbivore Boy: Studying Japanese Gender at Cambridge (Japanese Studies / Japanologie)
by Brigitte Steger (Editor), Angelika Koch (Editor)


Japan's gender roles are in turmoil. Traditional life courses for men and women are still presented as role models, but there is an increasing range of gender choices for those uncomfortable with convention. This collection of studies from the University of Cambridge provides fascinating insights into the diversity of gendered images, identities, and life-styles in contemporary Japan - from manga girls to herbivore boys, from absent fathers to transgender people. (Series: Japanese Studies / Japanologie - Vol. 3)

Vegan Protein Bowl: One Dish Protein Packed Meals For The Everyday Herbivore

Vegan Protein Bowl: One Dish Protein Packed Meals For The Everyday Herbivore
by Emma Walker (Author)


Receiving enough protein while being a vegan is an essential responsibility for a well balanced diet. Vegan protein bowls shows people how eliminating meat and dairy from your lifestyle doesn't mean you can't have protein packed nutrient dense meals on a daily basis. Inside you are greeted with a broad range of recipes for every meal of the day filled with diverse colors that will  leave your skin vibrant and soul yearning for more. Watch how Emma Walker(author & plant based culinary chef) revolutionizes the popular bowl-one dish meal utilizing various forms of vegetables,legumes,nuts,and ancient grains.Emma Has gathered an arsenal of recipes over her numerous trips around the world and now shares her personal high protein vegan cuisine for the everyday herbivore(omnivores welcomed to)....

Herbivores (What Animals Eat)

Herbivores (What Animals Eat)
by James Benefield (Author)


This book features a strong focus of picture to text, including a picture glossary at the back.

© 2017 BrightSurf.com