Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



American Journal of Botany (February 1980) 67(2).


Copyright 1980, Botanical Society of America. Used by permission.


Ipomoea leptophylla Torr. (Convolvulaceae) is a sprawling dry-site morning glory with two types of extrafloral nectaries: foliar nectaries and nectaries on the outside of the sepals. Both are shown to greatly increase insect visitation to the plant. Ants visiting sepal-surface nectaries significantly decrease flower damage caused by grasshoppers and seed losses caused by bruchids. These results are similar to those for I. carnea and other plants whose extrafloral nectary-ant interactions have been studied, but differ in detail. This is the first demonstration of antiherbivore defense of a prairie plant by nectary visitors.

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