Trade-offs in an ant-plant-fungus mutualism: paper accepted for publication!
The manuscript describing trade-offs and service exchange in the tripartite plant-ant-fungus association that I studied during my PhD is accepted for publication in Proceedings B. This study compares two ant species associated with the same plant and fungus species. These ants show different investments in mutualistic relationships and pay different costs for different services. Our results show that local coexistence between the ants should be fleeting, due to differences in their competitiveness.
This is a very cool article resulting from a collaboration with Jérôme Orivel, Jérémie Lauth, Olivier Roux, Frédéric Petitclerc, Alain Dejean and Céline Leroy. Its publication rewards more than a decade of research on the Allomerus-Hirtella system in French Guiana. We progressed so much in our understanding of this amazing ant-plant-fungus mutualism since the discovery of the trap/galleries!
This new paper is titled « Trade-offs in mutualistic investment in a tripartite symbiosis » and will certainly be online soon.