Forum: Use of Leaf Domatia on Wild Grape (Vitis Munsoniana) by Arthropods in Central Florida

David Evans Walter, Harold A. Denmark

Abstract


Pocket-like domatia on the underside of the leaves of wild grape, Vitis munsoniana Simpson, were occupied by fungivorous (47.0@%), predatory (7.8%), and rarely herbivorous (0.8%) arthropods, primarily mites. At two sites in Orlando, FL, fungivorous taxa increased from low levels during the spring dry season to high levels (40-96% of domatia occupied by fungivores) after the onset of the rainy season in late May. These results support the hypothesis that leaf domatia are used primarily by mites that are potentially beneficial to the plant, and suggest that there may be a mutualistic relationship between the plant and fungivorous mites.

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