Ants are probably the most dominant insect group on Earth, representing ten to fifteen percent of animal biomass in terrestrial ecosystems. Flowering plants, meanwhile, owe their evolutionary success to an array of interspecific interactions-such as pollination, seed dispersal, and herbivory-that have helped to shape their great diversity.
This book brings together findings from the scientific literature on the coevolution of ants and plants to provide a better understanding of the unparalleled success of these two remarkable groups, of interspecific interactions in general, and ultimately of terrestrial biological communities.
The book synthesizes the dynamics of ant-plant interactions, including the sources of variation in their outcomes. Victor Rico-Gray and Paulo S. Oliveira capture both the emerging appreciation of the importance of these interactions within ecosystems and the developing approaches that place studies of these interactions into a broader ecological and evolutionary context. The collaboration of two internationally renowned scientists, The Ecology and Evolution of Ant-Plant Interactions will become a standard reference for understanding the complex interactions between these two taxa.
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Victor Rico-Gray is a research scientist of ecology and chairman of the applied ecology department at the Instituto de Ecologia, A. C. in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Paulo S. Oliveira is professor of ecology at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil.