The cost of hosting ants

The cost of hosting ants

The cost of host­ing ants

Hosting ants con­fers effect­ive pro­tec­tion against herb­i­vores, and swollen, hol­low stems func­tion­ing as doma­tia have evolved many times in plants. Blatrix et al. study the allo­metry of stem sec­ond­ary growth in Leonardoxa afric­ana subsp. afric­ana, whose inter­nodes dis­play both a solid basal seg­ment and a hol­low distal part (the doma­tium), thus allow­ing paired com­par­ison of invest­ment in wood. They show that the cost of pro­du­cing a doma­tium is very high at the begin­ning of inter­node growth, but quickly tends to zero. The total cost of this defence trait is much higher early in onto­geny of the plant, when alloc­a­tion to growth is most cru­cial, sug­gest­ing that doma­tia con­fer great bene­fits dur­ing these life his­tory stages

Annals of Botany Office.

The Annals of Botany Office is based at the University of Leicester.

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