Competition mediating the outcome of a mutualism

protective services of ants as a limiting resource for membracids

J. H. Cushman, Thomas G Whitham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Phloem-feeding membracids (Publilia modesta) compete intraspecifically for the protective services of an ant mutualist (Formica altipetens). By experimentally increasing membracid densities, the authors observed three negative effects due to competition for ants: 1) a 45-59% reduction in the number of ants tending membracid aggregations, 2) a 63% increase in the abundance of a predatory salticid spider (Pellenes sp.), and 3) a 59% reduction in the mean number of membracid nymphs per plant. In total, the loss of protective services due to competition for mutualists translated into a 92% decrease in the production of newly eclosed membracid adults. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-865
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume138
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

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mutualism
ant
Formicidae
resource
Formica
phloem
spider
nymphs
Araneae
services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Competition mediating the outcome of a mutualism : protective services of ants as a limiting resource for membracids. / Cushman, J. H.; Whitham, Thomas G.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 138, No. 4, 1991, p. 851-865.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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