Title

Maintenance of Mutualism in a Neotropical Fig: Ficus Pertusa and Its Wasp Symbionts

Presenter

Asa Mease

Abstract

The maintenance of mutualism is poorly understood. As each member seeks to maximize its individual fitness, a coevolutionary arms race can alter the dynamics of the symbiotic relationship. Four hypotheses posit the maintenance of fig-fig wasp mutualism in the face of a generational discrepancy between the two organisms: 1. Ovipositor length, 2. Parasitic wasp competition, 3. Optimal foraging, and 4. Unbeatable seeds. I evaluated these hypotheses for the Neotropical fig species, Ficus pertusa. Even with the ability to access all ovules, both the pollinator and non-pollinator wasp species inhabit the same long-pedicelled ovule stratum—thus avoiding oviposition in ovules close to the syconium wall that become seeds. In light of this data I reject the parasite-mediated and ovipositor-limited hypotheses of mutualism maintenance. I also found high variation between individual trees of F. pertusa in foundress numbers, distribution, and resource partitioning by the host.

Faculty Sponsor

Susanne Altermann

Sponsor Department/Programs

Biology

Tracks

Poster Session

Terms of Use

If you have questions about permitted uses of this content, please contact the ARMINDA administrator

Location

Cordiner Hall

Presentation Type

Poster

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 19th, 1:00 PM Apr 19th, 2:00 PM

Maintenance of Mutualism in a Neotropical Fig: Ficus Pertusa and Its Wasp Symbionts

Cordiner Hall

The maintenance of mutualism is poorly understood. As each member seeks to maximize its individual fitness, a coevolutionary arms race can alter the dynamics of the symbiotic relationship. Four hypotheses posit the maintenance of fig-fig wasp mutualism in the face of a generational discrepancy between the two organisms: 1. Ovipositor length, 2. Parasitic wasp competition, 3. Optimal foraging, and 4. Unbeatable seeds. I evaluated these hypotheses for the Neotropical fig species, Ficus pertusa. Even with the ability to access all ovules, both the pollinator and non-pollinator wasp species inhabit the same long-pedicelled ovule stratum—thus avoiding oviposition in ovules close to the syconium wall that become seeds. In light of this data I reject the parasite-mediated and ovipositor-limited hypotheses of mutualism maintenance. I also found high variation between individual trees of F. pertusa in foundress numbers, distribution, and resource partitioning by the host.

Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).