Formica ant and Cinara aphid mutualisms on limber pines (Pinus flexilis)

Charles Chen, Lori Liu &
Ant-aphid mutualisms play important ecological roles in many ecosystems. While Formica ants are well studied model organisms, pine-specialist Cinara aphids remain understudied. Moreover, there is little research on ant-aphid mutualism in subalpine ecosystems. We investigated multiple species of Formica ants and their mutualistic interactions with Cinara aphids on the limber pine Pinus flexilis in a subalpine ecosystem. Cinara apini colonies were found tended to by silver, black, and red Formica ants, and they occupy older...
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