We assessed the effects of Azteca alfari presence on herbivory and growth of saplings for two Amazonian Cecropia species. For both species, rates of herbivory were low and did not differ between ant-removed and ant-maintained plants. Plant growth, measured over six months, was also similar among treatments. This is the first experiment to show that in its native mainland habitat, Cecropia may suffer low incidence of attack by insect herbivores in the absence of associated ants.
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Vol. 36 • No. 4