Ant-plant interactions in the Iberian Peninsula are poorly known. Myrecochory, or seed dispersal by ants, is an interesting example of such an interaction. We plan to study several aspects of dispersal and reproductive biology in two species (\ul Euphorbia characias\ul0 , xerophyllous and \ul Helleborus foetidus\ul0 , mesophyllous) whose seeds are dispersed by ants. For the spurge species, the fate of plantulae germinated in ant nests will be followed. Elaiosome chemistry will be checked to identify key substance that trigger transport by ants. Soil compoosition will be studied to evaluate potential benefits for seeds to germinate in nutrient enriched soils. Granivorous ants will be studied in three populations. The ant species and potential predators attracted to seeds will be checked. Spatial patterns of plantulae can give information on dispersal processes. Several components of reproductive biology (number of flowers, carpels, opvules, nectaries, stamens, P/O, pollinators and seed set) will be studied for the three populations.
|Effective start/end date||1/12/97 → 1/12/00|