Bromeliad-associated Reductions in Host Herbivory: Do Epiphytic Bromeliads Act as Commensalists or Mutualists?

Hammill, Edd, Corvalan P. and Srivastava D.S. (2014) Bromeliad-associated Reductions in Host Herbivory: Do Epiphytic Bromeliads Act as Commensalists or Mutualists?. Biotropica, 46 1: 78-82. doi:10.1111/btp.12073


Author Hammill, Edd
Corvalan P.
Srivastava D.S.
Title Bromeliad-associated Reductions in Host Herbivory: Do Epiphytic Bromeliads Act as Commensalists or Mutualists?
Journal name Biotropica   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3606
1744-7429
Publication date 2014-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/btp.12073
Open Access Status
Volume 46
Issue 1
Start page 78
End page 82
Total pages 5
Place of publication Hoboken, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Many members of the family Bromeliacae are able to adopt epiphytic lifestyles and colonize trees throughout the Neotropics. Bromeliacae do not extract nutrients from their hosts and confer relatively minor costs on their host plants. We suggest that bromeliads, however, may benefit their hosts by providing habitat for predators of host plant herbivores. We report a correlation between bromeliad presence and a reduction in herbivore damage in orange trees, an effect that is increased when bromeliads are colonized by ants. Our results may have important implications for agricultural systems in the Neotropics, where bromeliads are often removed in the belief they are parasitic. We instead demonstrate that bromeliads may impart a benefit to their hosts, and speculate that under particular circumstances they may be part of a three-species mutualism.
Keyword Agro-ecology
Ants
Bromeliad
Community ecology
Herbivory
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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