Helena Maura Torezan-Silingardi

Helena Maura Torezan-Silingardi
Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (UFU) | UFU · Institute of Biology (IB)

Biologist, Master in Ecology and Doctor in Entomology

About

57
Publications
23,194
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
942
Citations
Introduction
I am a Professor at the Institute of Biology (INBIO), Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (UFU), Brazil. My research is about Natural and Agricultural Plant Science. My current projects are "Ecological aspects of plant reproduction, with special attention to pollinators, pillagers and floral herbivores", "Plant phenology", "Floral biology and plant reproductive systems", "Animal-plant interactions related to fruit production".
Additional affiliations
August 2009 - present
Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (UFU)
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (57)
Article
Full-text available
Environmental impacts of conventional agriculture have generated interest in sustainable agriculture. Biological pest control is a fundamental tool, and ants are key players providing ecological services, as well as some disservices. We have used a meta-analytical approach to investigate the contribution of ants to biological control, considering t...
Article
Scientometric investigation and scientific production analysis are essential for science progress. Although a vast number of studies on Brazilian ant diversity have been carried out, a critical analysis of the advances in its scientific production is still missing. We compiled a comprehensive database on ant diversity papers carried out in the Braz...
Article
Road edge effects consist of changes in abiotic and biotic conditions resulting from the new artificial boundaries on the vegetation that are created by a road. It is known that edge effects can have variable direct and indirect influences on the biota, can be species-specific and also site-specific. However, edge effects for most plant species and...
Article
Full-text available
The mutualism of ants and extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants is known to reduce rates of herbivory. However, ants may have negative impacts on other mutualisms such as pollination, constituting an indirect cost of a facultative mutualism. For instance, when foraging on or close to reproductive plant parts ants might attack pollinators or inhi...
Article
Predatory social wasps are well studied in several aspects; however, foraging behaviour, especially that which takes place away from the nest at often unpredictable locations, or specialized behaviours to find and subdue prey are not well understood. In the Brazilian tropical savanna, the Polistinae wasp Brachygastra lecheguana is specialized in pr...
Article
Facilitation is an ecological interaction in which the presence of one species (e.g., ecosystem engineers) alters the environment in a way that enhances growth, survival or reproduction of a neighboring species. Wood-boring insects are considered facilitators for cavities-nesting ants, which experience intense intra and interspecific competition fo...
Chapter
In this introductory chapter we present a general view of plant-animal interactions. We discuss the origins of these interactions and how they evolved to shape the amazing biodiversity of life that surrounds us, a main goal of evolutionary biology. Biotic interactions are dynamic and their outcomes vary in space and time in a wide spectrum from pos...
Book
Full-text available
This textbook provides the first overview of plant-animal interactions for twenty years focused on the needs of students and professors. It discusses a range of topics from the basic structures of plant-animal interactions to their evolutionary implications in producing and maintaining biodiversity. It also highlights innovative aspects of plant-an...
Chapter
Full-text available
Pollination is one of the most important plant-animal interactions driving the joint diversification and evolution of seed plants and animals. Typically classified as a mutualistic relationship, pollination indeed can present a myriad of interactions whose outcomes are highly conditional on the costs and benefits of each partner, depending on the m...
Article
Ants are one of the most abundant insect groups in citrus orchards. They help in controlling pests, but they can also facilitate the outbreak of other pests, such as those that produce honeydew. Moreover, ants can also affect natural enemies of pests. Here, we review how ants affect pest abundance, considering whether the pest produces honeydew and...
Article
1. Plants allocate defenses in order to decrease costs and maximize benefits against herbivores. The Optimal Defense Theory (ODT) predicts that continuously expressed (i.e., constitutive) defenses are expected in structures of high value, whereas defenses that are expressed or that increase their expression only after damage or upon risk of damage...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Inspired by wind dispersing seeds, this paper presents the performance study of a small-prototype horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) by means of low-speed wind tunnel testing. The rotor blade design was based on the Q. Multiflora seed from the Brazilian's Cerrado vegetation. To evaluate and compare the power coefficient, cp, a baseline conventiona...
Article
This article comments on: Nicola Delnevo, Eddie J van Etten, Nicola Clemente, Luna Fogu, Evelina Pavarani, Margaret Byrne and William D Stock, Pollen adaptation to ant pollination: a case study from the Proteaceae, Annals of Botany, Volume 126, Issue 3, 1 September 2020, Pages 377–389, https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcaa058.
Article
Full-text available
Besides the effectiveness of floral visitors, to better understand pollination systems is necessary to consider the role of predators. Ants are ubiquitous on the vegetation, especially on plants bearing extrafloral (EFNs) and pericarpial nectaries (PNs). Both EFNs and PNs reward ants which in turn provide to plants effective protection against...
Article
Phenological studies of Brazilian savanna vegetation have described a generalized phenological pattern for all species, mainly based on rainfall and temperature. Few studies have considered wind as an explanatory factor; abiotic factors may impact differently on phenophases, and one phenophase may influence the performance of another. Thus, we aim...
Article
Full-text available
Whenever we think of pollination, bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, perhaps beetles and flies or even bats spring to mind – but never ants. However, ants are omnipresent in almost all terrestrial ecosystems and ant–plant associations are widely diverse and distributed throughout the world, contributing to complex ecological networks (Del-Claro et al...
Article
Full-text available
As a focus for conservation efforts, biodiversity has received increased attention in the last fifty years. Searching for patterns in biodiversity, researchers have suggested studies including: ecological communities, cladistics classifications, hierarchical compositions of different levels of organization, and groups of taxonomically related speci...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: Ant-plant associations are widely diverse and distributed throughout the world, leading to complex ecological networks. Regarding ant-plant mutualism, ant pollination is a very rare interaction and few studies have shown the role of ants as pollinators. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the role of ants as effective pollinators...
Article
Most flowering plant species, including those under cultivation, are pollinated by animals. The passion flower (Passiflora setacea DC.) variety BRS Perola do Cerrado is apparently dependent on pollinators for the production of its fruits; however, very little is known about its reproductive biology. The present work analyzes the periods of flowerin...
Poster
Full-text available
The ant-plant interaction, in which ants are attracted to a plant bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs), is a type of mutualism. The plants offer extrafloral nectar in exchange for ant defense of the plant against its herbivores. This interaction has been widely studied; however, many studies have focused only on the mutualistic role of interactors...
Poster
Full-text available
The ant-plant interaction, in which ants are attracted to a plant bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs), is a type of mutualism. The plants offer extrafloral nectar in exchange for ant defense of the plant against its herbivores. This interaction has been widely studied; however, many studies have focused only on the mutualistic role of interactors...
Article
Full-text available
Climatic parameters are able to influence the timing of phenological events affecting the degree of synchrony among plant species, their interactions, and reproductive success. Shrubs of Malpighiaceae family in the Brazilian Tropical Savanna present sequential flowering phenology. We verified variations in climatic factors (temperature and precipit...
Chapter
The tools involved in the study of ecological networks are relatively new and very useful to improve the knowledge about communities, biodiversity, and their conservation. In many tropical habitats, ants form the major part of the arthropod fauna found on vegetation and, therefore, it is extremely common to observe ants establishing ecological inte...
Book
Full-text available
O livro “Temas Atuais em Ecologia Comportamental e Interações - Anais do II Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Symposium” foi organizado para expor em forma de capítulos os trabalhos apresentados oralmente no II BecInt, realizado ao longo dos dias 15 a 18 de junho de 2017, no Campus Santa Mônica da Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Minas Gerais,...
Chapter
In terrestrial communities, multitrophic interactions comprise a minimum of three trophic levels that interact among each other: plants, herbivores and their natural enemies. The top-down forces exerted by invertebrate predators on herbivores, and their cascading effect on plants, are very important to community structuring. Among major invertebrat...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial and temporal limited resource and niche overlap studies have been widely used to explain resource­sharing in community ecology. Furthermore, morphological and behavioral differences among species are relevant to predict how they may share niche availabilities. We evaluated temporal niche overlap and the ability of visitors to collect floral...
Article
Differentiation in angiosperms is often linked to small changes in floral features including morphology , but also phenology and floral resources, which select different arrays of pollinators and result in disassortative mating. Unonopsis is a bee-pollinated genus in the mostly beetle-pollinated tropical family Annonaceae. We studied Unonopsis guat...
Article
Full-text available
All mutualistic plant–animal interactions are mediated by costs and benefits in relationships where resources (from plants) are exchanged by services (from animals). The most common trading coin that plants offer to pay for animal services is nectar; the main servers are hymenopterans. Extrafloral nectar (EFN) is produced in almost all aboveground...
Article
Full-text available
Predators affect plant fitness when they forage on them and reduce the action of herbivores. Our study evaluates the complementary effects of spiders and ants that visit the extrafloral nectaries of Eriotheca gracilipes(Malvaceae) on the production of fruits and viable seeds of these savanna trees. Four experimental groups were established: control...
Article
Full-text available
Extrafloral nectary drinking ants are known as effective plant guards, but some herbivores may circumvent ant attacks by foraging on different plant parts or presenting adaptations to avoid ant predation. Here we experimentally investi-gated the effect of Camponotus blandus on the florivory of the extrafloral nectaried shrub Banisteriopsis malifoli...
Data
Conditional outcomes in ant-plant-herbivore interactions influenced by sequential flowering.Flora http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.flora.2014.04.004 This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript. The manuscript will undergo copyedit...
Data
Full-text available
Conditional outcomes in ant-plant-herbivore interactions influenced by sequential flowering.Flora http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.flora.2014.04.004 This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript. The manuscript will undergo copyedit...
Data
Full-text available
Pericarpial nectaries (PNs) have frequently been treated in the literature as extrafloral nectaries (EFNs). This treatment is partly justified by their morphological and functional similarities in attracting bodyguard ants to protect the plant against herbivores. Palicourea rigida is a common Neotropical savanna treelet with tubular yellow flowers...
Article
Full-text available
Pericarpial nectaries (PNs) have frequently been treated in the literature as extrafloral nectaries (EFNs). This treatment is partly justified by their morphological and functional similarities in attracting bodyguard ants to protect the plant against herbivores. Palicourea rigida is a common Neotropical savanna treelet with tubular yellow flowers...
Article
Full-text available
The central tendency in ecological studies to explain variations in the outcomes of biotic interactions is to suppose that the majority of meaningful functional diversity occurs at the species level. However, individuals are rarely identical and behavioral ecology shows that consistent individual differences alter the roles that individuals play wi...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies have investigated the mechanisms behind the structure of arboreal ant assemblages. In this study, the objective was to evaluate the effect of availability of honeydew-producing colonies of Calloconophora pugionata (Membracidae) on the structure of ant assemblages associated with the host plant Myrcia obovata (Myrtaceae) in an Atlantic...
Article
Full-text available
The causal mechanisms shaping and structuring ecological communities are among the most important themes in ecology. The study of insect-plant interactions in trophic nets is pointed out as basic to improve our knowledge on this issue. The cerrado tropical savanna, although extremely diverse, distributed in more than 20% of the Brazilian territory...
Poster
Full-text available
O objetivo deste estudo foi verificar se a associação com formigas através dos sectários extraflorais (NEFs) reduz os danos da herbivoria foliar e floral em Peixotoa tomentosa A. Juss em uma área de Cerrado. As formigas reduziram os danos causados por herbívoros nas folhas, mas não nas estruturas reprodutivas das plantas. Trips (Thysanoptera) foram...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background/Question/Methods Plant-animal interactions may vary in their results, from mutualistic to antagonistic, depending on spatial and temporal variations. Interactions between interactions can have strong influence in these associations, considering that the composition of associated species change spatially and temporally. We tested the outc...
Article
Full-text available
Wasps are important predators spread all over the world, but their inter-actions with other species are not well studied in tropical region, especially concerning the Eumeninae group in the Neotropical area. Here I describe the predatory behavior of Pachodynerus brevithorax Sussure, 1853 (Vespidae, Eumeninae) on larvae of endophytic beetles that fe...
Article
Full-text available
Adenocalymma bracteatum is a shrub of dense foliage and yellow flowers, easily found on grasslands areas in Central Brazil. The aim of this study was to determine the reproductive biology and the flower visitors of A. bracteatum in a pasture area nearby Ivinhema city, MS (Brazil). The flowering peak occurs in winter. The flower reflects ultraviolet...
Article
Full-text available
The causal mechanisms shaping and structuring ecological communities are among the most important themes in ecology. The study of insect-plant interactions in trophic nets is pointed out as basic to improve our knowledge on this issue. The cerrado tropical savanna, although extremely diverse, distributed in more than 20% of the Brazilian territory...
Article
Full-text available
Experimental manipulation and description of behavioral repertoires are just two examples of many different tools used in behavioral ecology to increase the knowledge about plant-animal interactions. Behavioral ecology allows us to evaluate how one behavior can maximize individual fitness and also makes it possible to quantify variations within pop...
Article
Full-text available
We studied the reproductive ecology of two species from one of the largest Neotropical genera in Myrtaceae, Myrcia rostrata DC. and M. tomentosa (AUBL.) DC., which are commonly found in South American forests and cerrado.Their small hermaphrodite flowers are bee-pollinated, as usual for the species of Myrtaceae, and pollen is the sole reward offere...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
The Anthropocene is perverse with savannas, the Brazilian cerrado less than 7% remain. For 30 years I have led a research group investigating animal-plant interactions in the cerrado, and our publications indicate that interactive biodiversity, mapped with ecological networks, may be degrading faster than expected by global warming and intense fires. In the last ten years, we have shown that the cerrado region we study suffered almost 1ºC of average increase in temperature, causing Malpighiaceae species to rupture in sequential flowering, with damage to the associated fauna of herbivores, predators and parasitoids. The multitrophic systems we studied (plants, herbivores, ants, spiders, pollinators, seed dispersers) have allowed us over the years to map the main associated species through ecological networks, the modularity and connectivity of the networks, as well as experimental field manipulations revealed the functional role of each organism involved and the results of these interactions, usually conditional. In July 2021, the cerrado reserve suffered two frosts, followed in September by a devastating fire, which particularly affected the shrub layer. We see this as an opportunity to monitor the resilience of ecological networks of previously documented interactions, assess the loss and/or recovery of interactive biodiversity, and test experimentally whether the results of ecological interactions (herbivory, induced biotic defense, pollination) will be maintained. These three lines of investigation, which will involve the use of multilayer ecological networks (first time in the cerrado), will allow us to test our hypothesis that the composition of ecological networks can change in time and space, but that the results of ecological interactions remain demonstrating the resilience of interactions and confirming one of the basic premises of John N. Thompson's evolutionary geographic mosaics theory. Chamada CNPq/MCTI/FNDCT Nº 18/2021 - Faixa B - Grupos Consolidados
Project
This project aims to unravel the interactions between different animals and plants bearing extrafloral nectaries in an individual-ecosystem spectrum.
Project
O estudo tem como objetivo geral, investigar e comparar a variação temporal e espacial da estrutura de redes de interações multitróficas formiga-planta-polinizador entre áreas próximas de Cerrado e Mata Atlântica, buscando avaliar o resultado dessas interações em relação ao sucesso reprodutivo vegetal.