- 1) Department of Biology, University of Utah, 84112, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
- 2) School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Zoology Building, 2006, NSW, Australia
Several common plants (Chenopodiaceae) of the Australian arid zone produce diaspores that bear small and inconspicuous food bodies and are adapted for dispersal by ants. For these species, myrmecochory probably represents an adaptation for highly directional dispersal of diaspores to favorable microsites where nutrients are concentrated and possibly more accessible. Dispersal of diaspores by ants can have a pronounced effect on plant dispersion. In habitats characterized by red, crusty alluvial loam soils, myrmecochorous species grow almost exclusively on ant mounds; these same species grow in relatively continuous stands in sandy soil habitats. The flora of the Australia arid zone may contain many plant species that are adapted to use ants as dispersal agents. We consider several factors that may have promoted or facilitated the evolution of myrmecochory in arid zone plants.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - ethologie animale
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics