Ranganathan, Yuvaraj and Ghara, Mahua and Borges, Renee M (2010) Temporal associations in fig-wasp-ant interactions: diel and phenological patterns. In: Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 137 (1). pp. 50-61.
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In a complex multitrophic plant-animal interaction system in which there are direct and indirect interactions between species, comprehending the dynamics of these multiple partners is very important for an understanding of how the system is structured. We investigated the plant Ficus racemosa L. (Moraceae) and its community of obligatory mutualistic and parasitic fig wasps (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) that develop within the fig inflorescence or syconium, as well as their interaction with opportunistic ants. We focused on temporal resource partitioning among members of the fig wasp community over the development cycle of the fig syconia during which wasp oviposition and development occur and we studied the activity rhythm of the ants associated with this community. We found that the seven members of the wasp community partitioned their oviposition across fig syconium development phenology and showed interspecific variation in activity across the day-night cycle. The wasps presented a distinct sequence in their arrival at fig syconia for oviposition, with the parasitoid wasps following the galling wasps. Although fig wasps are known to be largely diurnal, we documented night oviposition in several fig wasp species for the first time. Ant activity on the fig syconia was correlated with wasp activity and was dependent on whether the ants were predatory or trophobiont-tending species; only numbers of predatory ants increased during peak arrivals of the wasps.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Additional Information:||Copyright of this article belongs to Springer.|
|Keywords:||Apocrypta;Apocryptophagus;Ficus racemosa;gallers; Oecophylla smaragdina;Myrmicaria brunnea;parasitoids; predatory ants;resource partitioning;resource pulse; Technomyrmex albipes; tritrophic interactions.|
|Department/Centre:||Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences|
|Date Deposited:||27 Sep 2010 11:25|
|Last Modified:||06 Oct 2010 06:01|
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