Red Of Ecologia Funcional Institute Ecologia

Xalapa de Enríquez, Mexico

Red Of Ecologia Funcional Institute Ecologia

Xalapa de Enríquez, Mexico
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Morales-Linares J.,Red Of Ecologia Funcional Institute Ecologia | Garcia-Franco J.G.,Red Of Ecologia Funcional Institute Ecologia | Flores-Palacios A.,Autonomous University of the State of Morelos | Valenzuela-Gonzalez J.E.,Red Of Ecologia Funcional Institute Ecologia | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Vegetation Science | Year: 2017

Questions: Ant-gardens (AGs) involve a close association between epiphytes and ants with concurrent mutualistic interactions including protection, dispersal and nutrition; however, little is known about the spatial structure patterns that determine their establishment and formation. Our main questions were: (1) do AGs have a particular pattern of vertical distribution on their host trees; (2) does a process of succession of epiphytes occur during development of AGs; and (3) are epiphytes segregated in AGs? Location: Anthropic landscape in southeast Mexico. Methods: We studied AGs built by Azteca gnava ants. We examined their vertical distribution on host trees as well as the diversity, composition and reproductive status of vascular epiphytes associated with the lower, middle and upper zones of small, medium and large AGs. Results: A total of 859 AGs and 10 871 epiphytes, belonging to 26 different species, were recorded. We found that AGs are primarily (75%) located within tree crowns, and that the diversity and composition of epiphytes vary among AG sizes and among AG zones. We infer that the epiphytes that first become established in AGs are the bromeliad Aechmea tillandsioides and the gesneriad Codonanthe uleana, followed by the orchid Epidendrum flexuosum and the cactus Epiphyllum phyllanthus; these species were recorded, either individually or in co-occurrence, in 74% of the AGs examined. The species Ae. tillandsioides, Coryanthes picturata and Epid. flexuosum were most frequent in the upper AG zone, while Epid. pachyrachis was most frequent in the middle AG zone. Conclusions: Our results show that AGs have distinct vertical distribution patterns on their tree hosts and that the establishment of epiphytes in AGs is successive and segregated, suggesting spatial and temporal optimization in the establishment and development of these complex mutualistic systems. © 2017 International Association for Vegetation Science.


Gonzalez-Marin R.M.,Red Of Ecologia Funcional Institute Ecologia | Moreno-Casasola P.,Red Of Ecologia Funcional Institute Ecologia | Orellana R.,Research Center Cientifica Of Yucatan Ac | Castillo A.,National Autonomous University of Mexico
Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge | Year: 2012

Palms are present in all wetland forests and provide many useful products, such as building materials and food. In order to recover the knowledge about the traditional use of wetlands palms, we studied and documented the construction of houses and the preparation of traditional recipes, by conducting interviews and participant observation in rural communities associated with wetlands in Mexico. The main findings of this study were: Attalea liebmannii, Sabal mexicana and Roystonea dunlapiana are used for building houses. The fruits of Cocos nucifera and A. liebmannii are used for the preparation of traditional recipes. An analysis of the cost of houses built of palms revealed that they are cheaper than those built with artificial materials. Although the respondents mentioned that the resistance of the houses built of natural materials is lower, they also mentioned other benefits associated with this type of construction (e.g. houses are cooler). Unfortunately, the traditional use of the palms is gradually disappearing due to changes in the customs of the people related to migration, as well as the depletion of these resources. It is necessary to rescue and promote the traditional use of palms, especially for native species. This may contribute to their conservation and, where relevant, palm cultivation and reforestation projects should be encouraged and implemented.

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