Jérémie Lauth

PhD defended on July, 8th. 2013

Comparative ecology and evolution of agricultural processes in mutualistic interactions involving Allomerus ants and their myrmecophyte hosts

I am interested in the ecology and evolution of tritipartite mutualistic interactions. My researches focus more specifically in understanding in which conditions each partner will interact with the two other to modulate net positive outcomes for the whole community.

My PhD thesis focuses on the comparative study of tripartite mutualisms involving ants of the genus Allomerus, the myrmecophytic plants they inhabit and a fungus the ants cultivate to build galleries on the stems of their host plants.These galleries are then used by the ants as a trap to capture prey.

The first part of my PhD consists in defining the relationship between the three ant species and their fungal partners using molecular tools and genetics population studies.

The second part consist in understand how this fungal partner can affect negatively and/or positively the mutualistic interaction between ants and plants using field experiments such as partner exclusions, ant colonies and myrmecophytes traits measurements, 15N provisioning...

Comparing three different systems involving three closely related ant species allows further investigations in understanding the proximate and ultimate mechanisms involved in these associations to provide an holistic picture of coevolution between three different partners.

FSE Guyane {PNG}Union Européenne {PNG}

Cette thèse a été cofinancée par l’Union Européenne.

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