Rewind: “Relations between ants and plant world” from Marcus V. Locatelli

With this article starts the cooperation of this blog with Marcus Vinicius Locatelli, agronomist engineer trained at the Federal University of Viçosa, 2006. Currently Masters course in the department of soils and plant nutrition in the same institution. Its line of research is fertility of the soil and fertilization of cultures, specifically, working with modeling. I develop, concomitantly, some work with orchids.
As orchid enthusiast he has open the blog Orquidofilia e Orquidologia full of interesting ideas and arguments.

This is its latest work:

foto Marcus V. Locatelli
Not rare find in the woods bush of orchids and other plants as Bromeliaceas full of ants.

There are a number of known ecological relationships between ants and plants, far beyond the herbivory linked to the leaf cutting ants.

For example, mutualism, or protocooperation which is characterized by both species, plant and insect, obtain benefits from the association.

foto Marcus V. Locatelli
The plants are far from being passive in the surrounding environment, their bodies are biochemically communicate among themselves, inducing a morpho-physiological responses to their survival.

Among the morphological include the production of cuticle thicker, as physical barriers against the attacks of pests, as well as structures in their bodies that serve as shelter for the predators of their pests, for example, plants myrmecophyte, special example in our case, the orchid from Central America Myrmecophila tibicinis aka Schomburgkia tibicinis (Bateman ex Lindl.) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 25: 51 (1917), also here, with holes and cameras on the grounds of their pseudobulbs, serving as a shelter for Formicidaes.

foto Marcus V. Locatelli
And physiologically, summarising a range enormous, and little understood, secondary metabolites, such as phenols, which make them very indigestible to their enemies. There is still the semiochemicals used in the communication between the bodies of the same species, the pheromones, and between different species, allelochemicals, illustrating the latter, as the plants under attack from his enemies say the natural enemies of the same: “come here have food for you,” through volatile substances released into the environment, which serve as a “guide” for them until they arrive, substances which are also called infochemicals, which would be of great importance for those species hunt of insects, nomads and solitary.

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