Featured BIOSPEX Project
Ant Plants of Virginia


Ant Plants of Virginia logo

Contact

Andrea Weeks

Organization

South East Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC).

Partners

South East Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC).

Funding Source

National Science Foundation #EF-1410086, “Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: The Key to the Cabinets: Building and sustaining a research database for a global biodiversity hotspot.” and the Virginia Native Plant Society.

Description

Ants are essential to the life of over 11,000 plant species worldwide. Help us learn more about this remarkable partnership in Virginia.

The forests of eastern North America are a global hotspot for a remarkable ecological interaction: myrmecochory or ant-based seed dispersal. Over thirty genera of plants native to this region rely on ants to distribute their seeds. These plants produce a specialized food reward on their seeds, called an elaiosome, that is consumed by ants once they return to their nest with the harvested seeds (see photo inset – elaiosome-bearing seed of bloodroot; credit, Alex Wild). Afterwards, ants discard the undamaged seeds in underground waste-pits or by their nest’s entrance, where germination conditions are ideal. Consequently, distributions of many native plant species, including some of Virginia’s most recognizable wildflowers such as bloodroot, trout lily and spring beauty, are governed by ants. Help us learn more about the diversity and distribution of this remarkable ecological interaction while expanding your knowledge of the many ant-plants that call Virginia home.

Incentives

Geographic Scope

The Commonwealth of Virginia, USA

Taxonomic Scope

Vascular plants

Temporal Scope

1880's to present

Language Skills Required

English

Activities

Expeditions

2 Expeditions 4044 Transcriptions 170 Transcribers

Title Date

No Expeditions exist.

Title Date
Card image cap

Ant Plants of Virginia - I

Ants are essential to the life of over 11,000 plant species worldwide. Help us learn more about this remarkable partnership in Virginia.

3042 Transcriptions

100.00% completed


Card image cap

Ant Plants of Virginia - II

Ants are essential to the life of over 11,000 plant species worldwide. Help us learn more about this remarkable partnership in Virginia.

980 Transcriptions

100.00% completed


Events


Title Date

No current Events exist.

Title Date

No current Events exist.

Transcriptions

Heat Map Transcribed Specimens

FSU Florida Museum IdigBio University of Florida National Science Foundation