Data from: Three's a crowd: trade-offs between attracting pollinators and ant bodyguards with nectar rewards in Turnera
Dutton, Emily Marie et al. (2016), Data from: Three's a crowd: trade-offs between attracting pollinators and ant bodyguards with nectar rewards in Turnera, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hg353
Many plants attract insect pollinators with floral nectar (FN) and ant “bodyguards” with extrafloral nectar (EFN). If nectar production is costly or physiologically linked across glands, investment in one mutualism may trade off with investment in the other. We confirmed that changes in FN and EFN availability alter pollination and ant defense mutualisms in a field population of Turnera ulmifolia. Plants with additional FN tended to produce more seeds, while plants with reduced EFN production experienced less florivory. We then mimicked the consumptive effects of mutualists by removing FN or EFN daily for 50 days in a full factorial design using three Turnera species (T. joelii, T. subulata, and T. ulmifolia) in a glasshouse experiment. For T. ulmifolia and T. subulata, but not T. joelii, removing either nectar reduced production of the other, showing for the first time that EFN and FN production can trade off. In T. subulata, increased investment in FN decreased seed set, suggesting that nectar production can have direct fitness costs. Through the linked expression of EFN and FN, floral visitors may negatively affect biotic defense, and extrafloral nectary visitors may negatively affect pollination.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
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