Estimation of dispersal distances of the obligately plant-associated ant Crematogaster decamera

Autor(en): Tuerke, Manfred
Fiala, Brigitte
Linsenmair, Karl Eduard
Feldhaar, Heike
Stichwörter: Ant-plant symbiosis; COEXISTENCE; COLONIZATION; COMPUTER-PROGRAM; dispersal; Entomology; horizontal transmission; Macaranga; MACARANGA SPECIES EUPHORBIACEAE; MUTUALISTIC ANTS; myrmecophyte; PHYLOGENETIC-RELATIONSHIPS; POPULATION-STRUCTURE; SOUTHEAST-ASIA; SPATIALLY STRUCTURED ENVIRONMENT; SUBGENUS DECACREMA
Erscheinungsdatum: 2010
Herausgeber: WILEY-BLACKWELL
Journal: ECOLOGICAL ENTOMOLOGY
Volumen: 35
Ausgabe: 5
Startseite: 662
Seitenende: 671
Zusammenfassung: 
1. In obligate symbioses with horizontal transmission, the population dynamics of the partner organisms are highly interdependent. Host population size limits symbiont number, and distribution of partners is restricted by the presence and thus dispersal abilities of their respective partner. The Crematogaster decamera-Macaranga hypoleuca ant-plant symbiosis is obligate for both partners. Host survival depends on colonisation by its ant partner while foundress queens require hosts for colony establishment. 2. An experimental approach and population genetic analyses were combined to estimate dispersal distances of foundresses in their natural habitat in a Bornean primary rainforest. 3. Colonisation frequency was significantly negatively correlated with distance to potential reproductive colonies. Results were similar for seedlings at natural densities as well as for seedlings brought out in the area experimentally. Population genetic analysis revealed significant population differentiation with an F(ST) of 0.041 among foundresses (n = 157) located at maximum 2280 m apart. In genetic spatial autocorrelation, genotypes of foundresses were significantly more similar than expected at random below 550 m and less similar above 620 m. Direct estimation of dispersal distances by pedigree analysis yielded an average dispersal distance of 468 m (maximum 1103 m). 4. For ants that disperse on the wing, genetic differentiation at such small spatial scales is unusual. The specific nesting requirements of the queens and the necessity for queens to find a host quickly could lead to colonisation of the first suitable seedling encountered, promoting short dispersal distances. Nonetheless, dispersal distances of C. decamera queens may vary with habitat or host spatial distribution.
ISSN: 03076946
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2311.2010.01222.x

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