How plants and honeydew-producing hemipterans affect ant species richness and structure in a tropical forest zone

Extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) and hemipteran honeydew are often discussed as two alternative mechanisms encouraging ant visitation in mutualistic ant–plant relationships, but little is known about the processes that generate distribution pattern in species-rich insect communities. A case study on the interaction between ants, EFN-bearing plants and hemipterans was investigated along a gradient of increasing disturbance from regenerated forest to mixed crop field. Ants, EFN-bearing plants and hemipterans sampling was conducted in these vegetations during the wet and the dry seasons in five locations. Results showed that partitioning of ant species between season and vegetation was significantly different from random. High specialization index was observed in hemipterans/plants and ant/hemipterans interactions. Low specialization index was observed between ants and EFN-bearing plants mainly in the mixed crop field. Ant species were mostly found in non-aggressive co-occurrence at nectar sources. At the species level, specialization index was high for Anoplolepis tenella (0.86 ± 0.06) and also for its associated hemipterans Stictococcus vayssierei (0.97 ± 0.02). This association is detrimental to food crop especially cassava. These results outline the effect of vegetation and food source on the structure of the ant assemblage and interaction in tropical forest zone.

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Creator Fotso Kuate, Apollin
Creator Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Creator email a.fotso@cgiar.org
Creator ID Type ORCID
Creator ID 0000-0002-5247-7519
Subject Vocab (AGROVOC/GACS/CAB) Vegetation,Homoptera,Honeydew,Nectar,Cassava,Hemiptera,Ants,Insects,Wet season,Dry season,Forest,Fallow
Subject(s) Extrafloral nectaries,Honeydew,Interactions
Publisher International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Person 1 Rachid Hanna
Contributor Person 1 Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Person 1 email r.hanna@cgiar.org
Contributor Person 2 Maurice Tindo
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Contributor Person 3 Peter Nagel
Contributor Person 3 Affiliation
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Contributor Person 4 Armand Doumtsop
Contributor Person 4 Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Person 4 email a.doumtsop@cgiar.org
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Contributor Project Lead Organisation Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Project Lead Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor CRP CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Banana(RTB)
Contributor Partner Not Applicable
Contributor Donor Research Fellow Partnership Program (RFPP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Contributor Project Toward Sustainable control options against the African root and tuber scale. Understanding the Biology on the associated ant Anoplolepis tenella in the Congo Basin
Project ID
Contributor Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Open-Access status Open Access
Production Date 2007-08-15
Embargo End Date
Content Type Dataset
File Format csv
Identifier Type DOI
Identifier https://doi.org/10.25502/0pwy-sx75/d
Identifier Citation Fotso Kuate A, Hanna R, Tindo M, Doumtsop A, Nagel P. 2015. How plants and honeydew-producing hemipterans affect ant species richness and structure in a tropical forest zone. Insectes Soc 62:443-453. doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00040-015-0423-5
Source Toward Sustainable control options against the African root and tuber scale. Understanding the Biology on the associated ant Anoplolepis tenella in the Congo Basin
Language English
Relation Not applicable
Agroecological Zone Humid warm tropics
Coverage Region Sub-Saharan Africa
Coverage country Cameroon
Coverage Admin Unit Not applicable
Coverage Y (Latitude) 3.90019, 3.90000, 3.82252, 3.84440
Coverage X (Longitude) 11.88062, 10.78333, 11.07259, 10.70070
Coverage Start Date
Coverage End Date 2007-08-15
Contact Fotso Kuate, Apollin; Visiting Scientist, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contact Email a.fotso@cgiar.org
Restriction CC-BY 4.0
Email Permission None
Rights CC-BY 4.0