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Partner choice through concealed floral sugar rewards evolved with the specialization of ant–plant mutualisms [New Phytologist]

Keywords : animal–plant interactions, ant–plant mutualisms, mutualism maintenance, partner choice, symbioses

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Obligate mutualisms require filtering mechanisms to prevent their exploitation by opportunists, but ecological contexts and traits facilitating the evolution of such mechanisms are largely unknown.
We investigated the evolution of filtering mechanisms in an epiphytic ant–plant symbiotic system in Fiji involving Rubiaceae and dolichoderine ants, using field experiments, metabolomics, X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scanning and phylogenetics.(...)

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