TITLE

Seasonally different modes of seed dispersal in the prostrate annual, Chamaesyce maculata (L.) Small (Euphorbiaceae), with multiple overlapping generations

AUTHOR(S)
Ohnishi, Yoshihiro; Suzuki, Nobuhiko; Katayama, Noboru; Teranishi, Shin
PUB. DATE
March 2008
SOURCE
Ecological Research;Mar2008, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p299
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The modes of seed dispersal in the prostrate annual, Chamaesyce maculata, with multiple overlapping generations were investigated. We found that C. maculata has two modes of seed dispersal; autochory in the summer and myrmecochory in the autumn. Seasonally different modes of seed dispersal have not been known in other plant species. The large proportion of seeds produced in the summer was positioned further than the expanse of the parent plants by automatic mechanical seed dispersal. Therefore, autochory would be effective for avoiding competition between parent and offspring plants. No autochory occurred in the seeds produced in the autumn. The seeds of C. maculata without an elaiosome were dispersed by seed-collecting ants in the autumn. Although 18 ant species in total visited the plants of C. maculata at the 50 sites investigated, only two ant species, Tetramorium tsushimae and Pheidole noda frequently carried the seeds of C. maculata. The low frequency of seeds carried out of the nest by P. noda suggests that the workers of P. noda carry the seeds as food into their nest. So, P. noda might be a less effective seed disperser for C. maculata, corresponding to the effectiveness of seed dispersal by harvester ants. However, T. tsushimae ants frequently carried the seeds into and out of their nest, suggesting that T. tsushimae do not regard the seeds of C. maculata as a food resource. Thus, T. tsushimae may be an effective seed disperser for C. maculata.
ACCESSION #
31141621

 

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