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dc.contributor.authorNicklen, E. Fleur
dc.descriptionThesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2006en_US
dc.description.abstractThe sum of costs and benefits in an interspecific interaction determines whether the relationship is mutualistic, neutral, or antagonistic. We investigate novel benefits Acacia constricta may gain from ant visitors and how A. constricta may minimize potential costs of ant visitation. A. constricta attracts ants onto its foliage and encourages nesting at its base with extrafloral nectaries. Plants with basal nests have significantly greater soil nutrients and produce twice as many seeds as plants lacking basal nests (Wagner 1997). Along side these benefits, however, ants can interfere with plant reproduction. This study tests whether augmented soil nutrients increase A. constricta's defenses and ant attractants. We further test mechanisms A. constricta may have to reduce the potential costs of ants to reproduction. We found that increased soil nutrients elevated defense mechanisms in A. constricta and increased extrafloral nectary number, suggesting ants that provide plants with nutrients may indirectly increase plant defense as well as participate in a feed back cycle where ants increase soil nutrients allowing plants to increase ant attractants. In addition, plants have at least two mechanisms to keeps ants separated from flowers, minimizing ant costs to reproduction.en_US
dc.description.tableofcontents1. Nutrient amendment increases extrafloral nectary number and chemical and physical defense in Acacia constricta -- 2. Conflict resolution in an ant-plant interaction : Acacia constricta traits reduce ant costs to reproduction -- Conclusion -- References.en_US
dc.titleAcacia constricta gains novel benefits from ants while minimizing potential conflictsen_US
dc.identifier.departmentDepartment of Biology and Wildlifeen_US

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  • Biological Sciences
    Includes WIldlife Biology and other Biological Sciences. For Marine Biology see the Marine Sciences collection.

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