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Encyclopedia of Social Insects

Living Edition
| Editors: Christopher K. Starr

Ant Plants, Macaranga

  • Heike FeldhaarEmail author
  • Brigitte Fiala
Living reference work entry
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_154-1
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Synonyms

Myrmecophyte

The paleotropical plant genus Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) comprises approximately 280 species with a geographic range from West Africa to Asia, North Australia, and Fiji. Most Macaranga species are light-demanding pioneer trees that naturally grow in secondary forest, along riverbanks, or in forest gaps (Fig. 1a, b). In Southeast Asia Macaranga are mainly found in humid forest, with their center of distribution being the lowland dipterocarp rainforest areas. Due to human activities, potential habitats for these pioneer species have largely increased during the last century, so that Macaranga species are now frequently found along roadsides and forest edges and in logged areas. A conspicuous feature of many Macaranga species is their close association with ants. Around 30 species of Macaranga in Southeast Asia have obligate associations with ants, such that the plants cannot survive over long periods of time without ants partners to defend them against herbivores [ 3,...
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References

  1. 1.
    Feldhaar, H., Gadau, J., & Fiala, B. (2010). Speciation in obligately plant-associated Crematogaster ants: Host-distribution rather than adaption towards specific hosts drives the process. In M. Glaubrecht & H. Schneider (Eds.), Evolution in action – Adaptive radiations and the origins of biodiversity (pp. 193–213). Berlin: Springer.
  2. 2.
    Feldhaar, H., Maschwitz, U., & Fiala, B. (2016). Taxonomic revision of the obligate plant-ants of the genus Crematogaster Lund (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), associated with Macaranga Thouars (Euphorbiaceae) on Borneo and the Malay Peninsula. Sociobiology, 63, 651–681.
  3. 3.
    Fiala, B., Jakob, A., Maschwitz, U., & Linsenmair, K. E. (1999). Diversity, evolutionary specialization and geographic distribution of a mutualistic ant-plant complex: Macaranga and Crematogaster in South East Asia. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 66, 305–331.
  4. 4.
    Fiala, B., Slik, F., Weising, K., Maschwitz, U., Mohamed, M., Jamsari, & Guicking, D. (2016). Phylogeography of three closely related myrmecophytic pioneer tree species in SE Asia: Implications for taxonomy. Organisms, Diversity & Evolution, 16, 39–52.
  5. 5.
    Heil, M., Fiala, B., Maschwitz, U., & Linsenmair, K. E. (2001). On benefits of indirect defence: Short- and long-term studies of antiherbivore protection via mutualistic ants. Oecologia, 126, 395–403.
  6. 6.
    Quek, S. P., Davies, S. J., Ashton, P. S., Itino, T., & Pierce, N. E. (2007). The geography of diversification in mutualistic ants: A gene’s-eye view into the Neogene history of Sundaland rain forests. Molecular Ecology, 16, 2045–2062.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Animal Ecology I, Bayreuth Center for Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER)University of BayreuthBayreuthGermany
  2. 2.Animal Ecology and Tropical Ecology (Zoology III), BiocenterUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany