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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Torres, María F. [1], Weiblen, George [2], Madriñán, Santiago [3].

Cecropia-ant interactions in Colombia: Identification and network analysis.

Ant-plant interactions range from totally specialist mutualisms to generalists associations, including parasites and facultative associates. The Neotropical plant genus Cecropia is frequently associated with protective ants, however, little is known about the complete network of associations. Additionally, ant identification is complex and hard to handle. We sampled the ants from most Cecropia species occurring in Colombia. Using character-based DNA Barcoding, we assigned Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTU) to ant sequences. Specialization degree at species (d’i) and network level (H’2) was calculated from the matrix recording Cecropia-MOTUs interactions. 16 Cecropia species were found associating 30 ant MOTUs. H’2 suggested a nested structure of the network. High d’i values were strongly influenced by the low frequency of some associations. No significant asymmetries or dependence between ant and plant d’I were found. Cecropia-ant network structure is similar to a non-strictly mutualist network of associations. Many factors such as habitat specialization, host shifting events, and horizontal transference might be shaping the associations, rather than host specificity.

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Related Links:
Laboratorio de Botánica y Sistemática

1 - Universidad de los Andes, Laboratorio de Botánica y Systemática, Apartado Aéreo 4976, Bogotá, DC, 00001, Colombia
2 - University of Minnesota, PLANT BIOLOGY, 250 Biological Sciences Center, 1445 Gortner Ave, St. Paul, MN, 55108, USA
3 - Universidad de los Andes, Laboratorio de Botánica y Sistemática, Apartado Aéreo 4976, Bogotá, DC, 00001, Colombia


Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:45 PM
Number: PEC029
Abstract ID:879
Candidate for Awards:None

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