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Author Leroy, C.; Carrias, J.-F.; Corbara, B.; Pélozuelo, L.; Dezerald, O.; Brouard, O.; Dejean, A.; Céréghino, R. url  openurl
  Title Mutualistic ants contribute to tank-bromeliad nutrition Type Journal Article
  Year 2013 Publication Annals of Botany Abbreviated Journal Ann. Bot.  
  Volume 112 Issue 5 Pages 919-926  
  Keywords δ15N; Algae; ants; Bromeliaceae; food webs; Formicinae; French Guiana; mutualistic interactions; nitrogen; phytotelmata; stable isotopes; tank bromeliad  
  Abstract (up) Background and AimsEpiphytism imposes physiological constraints resulting from the lack of access to the nutrient sources available to ground-rooted plants. A conspicuous adaptation in response to that lack is the phytotelm (plant-held waters) of tank-bromeliad species that are often nutrient-rich. Associations with terrestrial invertebrates also result in higher plant nutrient acquisition. Assuming that tank-bromeliads rely on reservoir-assisted nutrition, it was hypothesized that the dual association with mutualistic ants and the phytotelm food web provides greater nutritional benefits to the plant compared with those bromeliads involved in only one of these two associations.MethodsQuantitative (water volume, amount of fine particulate organic matter, predator/prey ratio, algal density) and qualitative variables (ant-association and photosynthetic pathways) were compared for eight tank- and one tankless-bromeliad morphospecies from French Guiana. An analysis was also made of which of these variables affect nitrogen acquisition (leaf N and δ15N).Key ResultsAll variables were significantly different between tank-bromeliad species. Leaf N concentrations and leaf δ15N were both positively correlated with the presence of mutualistic ants. The amount of fine particulate organic matter and predator/prey ratio had a positive and negative effect on leaf δ15N, respectively. Water volume was positively correlated with leaf N concentration whereas algal density was negatively correlated. Finally, the photosynthetic pathway (C3 vs. CAM) was positively correlated with leaf N concentration with a slightly higher N concentration for C 3-Tillandsioideae compared with CAM-Bromelioideae.ConclusionsThe study suggests that some of the differences in N nutrition between bromeliad species can be explained by the presence of mutualistic ants. From a nutritional standpoint, it is more advantageous for a bromeliad to use myrmecotrophy via its roots than to use carnivory via its tank. The results highlight a gap in our knowledge of the reciprocal interactions between bromeliads and the various trophic levels (from bacteria to large metazoan predators) that intervene in reservoir-assisted nutrition. © The Author 2013.  
  Address CNRS, UMR 8172, Écologie des Forêts de Guyane, Campus Agronomique, F-97379 Kourou cedex, France  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 03057364 (Issn) ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Export Date: 9 September 2013; Source: Scopus; Coden: Anboa; doi: 10.1093/aob/mct147; Language of Original Document: English; Correspondence Address: Leroy, C.; IRD, UMR AMAP (BotAnique et BioinforMatique de l'Architecture des Plantes), Boulevard de la Lironde, TA A-51/PS2, F-34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France; email: Approved no  
  Call Number EcoFoG @ webmaster @ Serial 501  
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