Seed dispersal by ants: behaviour-releasing compounds in elaiosomes.
Christine R Brew, Dennis J O'Dowd, Ian D Rae
Oecologia | Published : 1989
In a study of the biochemical basis of seed dispersal by ants, elaiosomes of Acacia myrtifolia and Tetratheca stenocarpa induced seed collection: intact diaspores and elaiosomes were taken rapidly by ants while most seeds remained on the forest floor. Extracts of elaiosomes (non-polar lipids, polar lipids, and aqueous fractions) were differentially collected by ants. Small pieces of pith impregnated with the polar lipid fraction from elaiosomes of either species elicited a removal rate by ants equivalent to that of intact elaiosomes and significantly higher than that of untreated pith. The non-polar lipid fraction, highest in concentration in elaiosomes of both species, elicited removal that..View full abstract