What is the symbiotic relationship between a wasp and a fig tree?
One of the interactions studied by Borges and her team is the 80-million-year relationship between the fig tree and the fig wasp. The tree and the wasp share a mutualistic relationship, with the wasps pollinating fig trees’ flowers and the trees, in return, providing wasps with mating and hatching grounds.
What do fig trees do for fig wasps?
Figs offer a snug nursery where fig wasps can lay eggs and raise young. In turn, fig wasps distribute fig pollen, enabling the plant to make seeds and reproduce. Theirs is a unique relationship, one of the best examples of mutualism in nature, where both of its members and the wider ecosystem benefit.
What animals depend on fig trees?
They are a “keystone” species. Birds, bats, monkeys, elephants, giraffe, insects and many more – all eat figs and in doing so disperse the seeds. Figs will also float down rivers and germinate along the strand line. Fig trees are often found along river banks.
How do fig wasps and fig plants interact?
Fig & Fig Wasp Mutualism When the female flowers inside the immature fruit are ready for pollination the fig emits an enticing aroma that attracts only female wasps of the specific type for that tree. The wasp finds the fig by its scent and struggles to get inside through the small opening at the end of the fig.
What animals eat the fig tree leaves?
Each bat eats half its weight in fig pulp every night. Even elephants, which spend as much as 16 hours a day eating, enjoy the sweet goodness of figs. African elephants also snack on fig tree leaves and twigs. These giants travel far and wide and are thus able to disperse the fig tree’s seeds during their journeys.
Can you grow figs without wasps?
Figs Without Wasps? Most commercial figs, like the ones you buy at the store, are grown without wasps. While wasp bodies may add some crunch to a tasty fig, you probably won’t find a wasp inside a fig you are about to eat, even if you look really hard.
Do fig trees attract wasps?
Though almost all types of fruit trees can attract wasps, fig-trees have a special relationship with the insects. Fig trees have evolved alongside fig wasps, a group of around 900 tiny wasp species that each pollinate one of the world’s 900 species of the fig tree.
Do fig trees Eat wasps?
The commercially cultivated fig tree is usually a female parthenocarpic variety of the ancient common fig (Ficus carica) and does not need pollination to produce fruit. On the other hand, those species of fig trees that rely on wasps for pollination will likely contain bits of wasps in the fruit.
Do fig trees eat wasps?
Are fig trees good for wildlife?
And these trees are the ones that are really important for wildlife in the forest because they feed a huge variety of birds, bats and other creatures, and they produce up to a million figs more than once a year, so they’re like pop-up restaurants in the rainforest.
How do figs grow wasps?
If the fig is a male, she lays her eggs inside. These hatch into larvae that burrow out, turn into wasps and fly off, carrying fig pollen with them. If the wasp climbs into a female fig, she pollinates it, but cannot lay her eggs and just dies alone.
How do figs pollinate without wasps?
Some types of fig that are grown for human consumption have figs that ripen without pollination. It is also possible to trick plants into ripening figs without wasps by spraying them with plant hormones.