Kleber Del-Claro

Kleber Del-Claro
Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (UFU) | UFU · Institute of Biology (IB) / CNPq 1A

Dr
Full Professor - Univ. Federal Uberlândia - Brazil - 1A Researcher Brazilian Council of Science (CNPq).

About

310
Publications
118,264
Reads
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Introduction
Our mission is to help people in developing their skills in science (biology, animal behavior, ecology, plant-animal interactions) becoming more competitive and collaborative. We open to collaborations with people interested in to work seriously, altruistically and in benefit of nature preservation and researchers "well-fare"! Join us! See: https://www.cienciaquenosfazemos.org/ https://www.cienciaquenosfazemos.org/leci-lab
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - January 2020
Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (UFU)
Position
  • Managing Director
January 1992 - present
Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (UFU)
Position
  • Managing Director
January 1992 - present
Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (UFU)
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • General Ecology; Behavioral Ecology; Ecology of Plant-Animal Interactions

Publications

Publications (310)
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
Although fire-and ant–plant interactions influence the community structure and dynamics of Neotropical savannas, no previous studies have considered their simultaneous effects on target host plants. We monitored the effect of ant exclusion for 3 years on leaf area loss to leaf chewing insects, thrips abundance, and reproductive output of the extraf...
Article
Full-text available
1. Variation in plant phenology allows plants to escape from herbivory. Insect herbivores manipulate their host plants by producing shelters, which they inhabit, and are protected against natural enemies and/or unfavourable environmental conditions. Environmental modifications induced by living organisms are characterised as ecosystem engineering....
Article
Full-text available
Current evidence suggests that ant–plant relationships may influence species composition, abundance, and interactions at the community scale. The main resource that plants offer to ants is extrafloral nectar (EFN) and the major part of published studies shown benefits from ants to plants possessing EFNs. However, the complementary question of wheth...
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
Full-text available
In ant–plant mutualisms mediated by plant-based liquid resources (e.g., extrafloral and pericarpial nectar), third-party exploiters are often present. Usually, the costs of having exploiters species seem to have little to no effect on ant–plant mutualistic interaction. However, little is known about how and to what extent exploiters affect mutualis...
Article
Despite the historical efforts to list and organize the taxonomic knowledge about the Brazilian ant fauna, the most diverse in the world, several gaps regarding species distribution data and sampling coverage persist. In an attempt to fill some of these gaps, we here apply a scientometric approach to provide an updated overview of the ants of Brazi...
Article
Despite the historical efforts to list and organize the taxonomic knowledge about the Brazilian ant fauna, the most diverse in the world, several gaps regarding species distribution data and sampling coverage persist. In an attempt to fill some of these gaps, we here apply a scientometric approach to provide an updated overview of the ants of Brazi...
Article
1. In animals, changes in colour pigmentation in an intraspecific context are usually described as a polymorphism adaptive to environmental factors. According to the thermal melanism hypothesis (TMH), melanic individuals are more active because they may attain higher temperature and then benefit from higher size, foraging time and reproduction. The...
Article
1. Studies assessing the effects of the spatial distribution of ant nests on ant-plant mutualisms are rare, even though they could be decisive to the outcomes of such interactions. Here, we investigated how ant nest abundance and richness affected a Neotropical plant with extrafloral nectaries (EFN), Smilax polyantha (Smilacaceae). 2. We used bait...
Article
Many neotropical ants form mutualistic associations with myrmecophytes, receiving shelter and/or food in exchange for protection. However, our knowledge about their natural history is still unclear. Here, we investigate the natural history of ant Pseudomyrmex concolor that nests inside the foliar rachis of Tachigali myrmecophila (Fabaceae). We desc...
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...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses the articulations between Educommunication practices and dissemination of Science and Technology (S&T) made possible by UFU Ciência extension project, carried out by Research Department of Federal University of Uberlândia in 2017 and 2018, in the process of production and streaming of web videos. In this sense, it presents de...
Article
en There is increasing evidence that the outcomes of mutualistic interactions between ants and plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) are context-dependent. In particular, the total number, density, and size of EFNs, as well as the abundance and identity of ants attending host plants, are considered as key factors determining the nature and st...
Article
In this remembrance, we have brought together some of Victor Rico‐Gray’s friends and collaborators to recall his many contributions to tropical ecology and his influence on so many young scientists. Victor’s research ranged from Mexican ethnobotany to the evolutionary ecology of complex interactions between ants and plants. His research was highly...
Chapter
Defaunation, the local decline in animal abundance, the contraction of their range, and global extinction of species, is an overlooked manifestation of the Anthropocene. Available information however shows that it is an omnipresent and impactful disturbance on biodiversity which is causing significant disruptions in species interactions networks, i...
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...
Chapter
Biotic defenses, often called indirect defenses, are relationships in which one organism attracts predators of its own enemies. A classic example of biotic defense is the ant-plant mutualism in which ants protect EFN-bearing plants from herbivores, but other interspecific interactions also qualify as biotic defense, including spider-plant, ant-aphi...
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...
Article
Full-text available
Complex social insect species exhibit task specialization mediated by morphological and behavioral traits. However, evidence of such traits is scarce for other social arthropods. We investigated whether the social pseudoscorpion Paratemnoides nidificator exhibits morphologically and behaviorally specialized individuals in prey capture. We measured...
Article
1. Mechanisms promoting stable coexistence allow multiple species to persist in the same trophic level of a given network of species interactions. One of the most common stabilizing mechanisms of coexistence is niche differentiation, such as temporal and spatial patchiness. To understand the limits of coexistence between species we have to understa...
Article
Full-text available
Pseudomyrmex concolor is an Amazonian ant that works as an induced biotic defence of its host plant. Nevertheless, there is no information about the division of labour in P. concolor and how it impacts its ant–plant mutualism. We hypothesized that the spatio-temporal variation in P. concolor workers might be reflected in labour division associated...
Article
Pseudomyrmex concolor is an Amazonian ant that works as an induced biotic defence of its host plant. Nevertheless, there is no information about the division of labour in P. concolor and how it impacts its ant-plant mutualism. We hypothesized that the spatio-temporal variation in P. concolor workers might be reflected in labour division associated...
Article
1. The factors that drive resource removal by insect predators hold the clue to understanding their role in structuring ecological communities and their evolution. Harvester ants are formidable seed predators and invertebrate carcass feeders. However, the extent to which neutral and niche‐based factors drive the selection and removal of preferred f...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Due to the crisis in protective equipment caused by a pandemic, it generates needs for equipment rationing among professionals working in the health area, with the need for many health professionals to use homemade masks. Therefore, this is a comparative study regarding the relative efficiencies of commercial respiratory masks (medical...
Article
Interactions between ants and plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) are among the most common mutualisms in Neotropical regions. Plants secrete extrafloral nectar, a carbohydrate‐rich food that attracts ants, which in return protect plants against herbivores. This ant‐plant mutualism is subjected to temporal variation, in which abiotic factor...
Article
Extrafloral nectar, a carbohydrate-rich liquid, is the main plant-based resource offered in exchange for ant protection. The positive results of this protection provided by ants are widely studied and supported; however, studies showing the benefits that ants and their colonies have from the resources offered by plants such as extrafloral nectar ar...
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...
Article
Full-text available
Complex social insect species exhibit task specialization mediated by morphological and behavioral traits. However, evidence of such traits is scarce for other social arthropods. We investigated whether the social pseudoscorpion Paratemnoides nidificator exhibits morphologically and behaviorally specialized individuals in prey capture. We measured...
Article
Full-text available
The journal Sociobiology announces the adoption of a series of editorial innovations that aim to speed up review and publication time, to select high quality articles for publication, to adopt transparent and ethical editorial standards and to reinforce the culture of open acess scientific publishing.
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...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no agreement, until the current date, about the recommendations of homemade face mask use for the general population, and one of the reasons is a lack of information about their real protective rule on spreading aerosols and viruses. This is a comparative study regarding the relative efficiencies of commercial...
Article
Spiders are diverse and abundant predators on vegetation in all terrestrial ecosystems, but only a few studies have examined their role in modulating spider–herbivore interactions throughout the year. We tested the hypothesis that spiders may reduce herbivore abundance on vegetation, resulting in lower leaf area loss and increased fitness (seed set...
Article
1. Harvester ants are major seed predators in arid environments. However, given that many harvester ants are partly omnivorous and therefore potentially attracted to the elaiosomes of myrmecochorous seeds, it is unclear if these ants act as predators or dispersers when removing myrmecochorous seeds. 2. We describe the outcomes of interactions betwe...
Article
In male odonates, both size and fat content are related to territory defence and mating success. Males that are larger and have higher energy reserves win relatively more disputes for territory and attract more females. Wing colour has also been regarded as a mechanism that influences agonistic behaviour between males, as wing pigmentation might be...
Article
Diaspore (e.g. seeds, fruits) dispersal is pivotal for plant communities and often involves several steps and different dispersing agents. Most studies focusing on diaspore dispersal by animals have highlighted the role of vertebrates, neglecting the role of ants in the diaspore dispersal of non‐myrmecochorous plants. Diaspore dispersal by ants is...
Article
Carotenoids are exogenously sourced pigments that determine plumage coloration in many species of birds. Aside from plumage coloration, carotenoids play a role in mounting an immune response and neutralizing the by-products of cytotoxic activity. We determined whether colorimetric descriptors of carotenoid-based plumage predict infection occurrence...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic disturbances decrease the resources available to ants and simplify the ant fauna. This could affect ant–plant interactions, especially if key-species disappear. In terms of conservation, disturbances can select for ants resilient to disturbances, and such species can be considered indicators of succession processes. Here, we investiga...
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
Ouratea hexasperma (Baill.) (Ochnaceae) trees can be infected by pathogens, which drastically alters branch structure by inducing witches' brooms, a massed proliferation of short and bushy branches, similar to broom. These structures can be used by other organisms, mainly arthropods, as nest refuges and places for prey. In this study, we tested and...
Article
Full-text available
Ants are abundant in terrestrial ecosystems, especially in the Brazilian Cerrado, where they can play several roles at different levels of the food chain, including protection of plants against herbivores. Although there are many studies that evaluate the ant–plant interaction in the Cerrado, little is known about the natural history of most specie...
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
RESUMO: O presente artigo disserta sobre as articulações entre práticas educomunicativas e a divulgação de Ciência e Tecnologia (C&T) viabilizadas pelo projeto de extensão UFU Ciência, realizado pela Diretoria de Pesquisa da Universidade Federal de Uberlândia em 2017 e 2018, no processo de produção e veiculação de vídeos para internet. Neste sentid...
Book
This book presents a broad view of the ecology and behavior of aquatic insects, raising awareness of this conspicuous and yet little known fauna that inhabits inland waterbodies such as rivers, lakes and streams, and is particularly abundant and diverse in tropical ecosystems. The chapters address topics such as distribution, dispersal, territorial...
Chapter
Evolution begets diversity, and insects are the most diverse organisms in the history of life, so insects should provide profound insight into evolution. Insects are considered keystone species because loss of their critical ecological functions (e.g., pollinators; seed dispersers; predators; and parasitoids) could lead to collapse of the wider eco...
Article
Full-text available
1. Harvester ants perform important ecological functions, such as seed predation and redistribution of nutrients in the soil, through a complex of ecological interactions. Most studies are static descriptions of network structure, while their temporal organisations and the factors that modulate it have been neglected. 2. This study describes the te...
Article
Temporal distribution, seed damage and notes on the natural history of Acanthoscelides quadridentatus and Acanthoscelides winderi (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) on their host plant, Mimosa setosa var. paludosa (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae), in the Brazilian Cerrado ABSTRACT The seed beetles, Acanthoscelides quadridentatus and Acanthoscelides wind...
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
Spiders are ubiquitous in most vegetation, however very little empirical data are available on specific spider-plant interactions and their reciprocal outcomes. In the Brazilian Cerrado, the plant Mimosa setosa var. paludosa, (Fabaceae) has glandular trichomes in its leaves and stems, commonly entrapping insects (i.e. carrion) as well as hosting th...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of microgastrine wasp, Cotesia itororensis Sousa-Lopes & Whitfield, sp. nov., is described from a Brazilian savanna area in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais. This species is a koinobiont endoparasitoid recorded from caterpillars of Oospila pallidaria (Schaus, 1897) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), feeding on Mimosa setosa var. paludosa (Fabaceae:...
Article
Full-text available
Cotesia itororensis sp. nov. from Brazilian savanna: a new reared microgastrine wasp (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) described using an integrative taxonomic approach Abstract A new species of microgastrine wasp, Cotesia itororensis Sousa-Lopes & Whitfield, sp. nov., is described from a Brazilian savanna area in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais. This species is...
Article
Full-text available
Ants and plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) are among the most abundant interacting organisms in the Neotropics, being considered excellent models for studies of ecological interactions. These mutualisms have been studied for more than 150 years. The first studies on this subject addressed the indirect benefit of the presence of ants on pl...
Article
Fire is one of the main natural disturbances in Tropical Savannas, changing the diversity of species, altering the structure of species interactions, and driving the evolution of adaptations. Here, we investigated the effects of fire disturbance on interactions between ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries in Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna). We ca...
Article
Full-text available
Solitary aculeate wasps represent the family Mutillidae (Hymenoptera) with high sexual dimorphism. The adult females are wingless and usually immature parasitoids of other insects and males are most often winged and generally feed on nectar. There are few records in the literature of adults of Mutillidae wasps feeding on extrafloral nectaries (EFNs...
Cover Page
Full-text available
Undoubtedly bees are some of the most extensively researched group organisms on Earth, and this might have to do with a long history of coexistence between these insects and humans. Honey bees and other social bees have been exploited for food since prehistory, and their charms as highly elaborated societies have puzzled curious individuals, from n...
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...
Data
All data used in the paper entitled: "Colony size, habitat structure, and prey size shape the predation ecology of a social pseudoscorpion from a tropical savanna"
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
Ant-diaspore interactions are directly related to fruit consumption, seed predation and dispersal , being determinant for the plant fitness. However, although abundant and diversified, these ecological interactions have been neglected in network studies. Understanding the structure of these networks is the first step in preserving these ecological...