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Measure of leaf area removed by insects in plants growing on gaps with and without ant gardens

Cite this dataset

Izzo, Thiago (2020). Measure of leaf area removed by insects in plants growing on gaps with and without ant gardens [Dataset]. Dryad.


This databank compreend the instantaneous measure of leaf area removed by insects in 5 leaves of 1306 plants growing on gaps with and without ant gardens. The ant gardens (AGs) are associations of epyfites, planted and mantained by mutualistic ants whose defend this plants agaist herbivores. The ants are not restricted to the AGs, but instead, forage for food, particularly extrafloral nectar of plants growing along the gap area. Particularly on Amazon forest, the most frequently ants associated to AGs are Crematogaster levior (Myrmicinae) and Camponotus femoratus (Formicinae), living together in the AGS in a parabiotic association and present in all AGs studied. The idea of the study behind the collection of these data is to determine if the proptective role of the AG ants can be extrapolated to the plants growing on the gap. So, we determined the effect of there extremely agressive ants on the herbivory of treelets and shrubs growing on the gap area.



The herbivory was taken between 27-Apr to 15-May-2015, in two forested sites of the Biodiversity Research Program (PPBio) in southern Amazonia. The distance botween the sites are about 15 km and both is located on the Continental farm, municipality of Cláudia, Mato Grosso, Brazil. The cordinates sites is: Site I (11°34’S, 55°17’W); Site II (11°35’S, 55°17'W).  Along 24 Km (12 KM in each site) of trails we found treefall gaps with (16) and without (17) ant gardens growing on the trees. In each of those gaps, 20 individuals of shrubs and treelets with extrafloral nectaries (EFN), and the same number of plants with approximately the same height, but without EFN were taken. In some gaps, however, the numbers of plants taken did not reach 20 individuals. For each plant, the proportion of leaf area removed by herbivores were measurred on five (5) apical leaves. 

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