▪ tropical tree
      several species of tropical tree of the family Cecropiaceae common to the understory layer of disturbed forest habitats of Central and South America. It is easily recognized by its thin, white-ringed trunk and umbrella-like arrangement of large leaves at the branch tips. These extremely fast-growing trees are colonizers of forest gaps or clearings. They usually live about 30 years and grow to less than 18 metres (60 feet), producing a very soft wood in the process. Trees are either male or female, with the female producing nearly one million seeds every time it fruits. Flowers are very small and borne on elongated, hanging structures called catkins.

      The cecropia's interaction with Azteca ants is a classic case of defense mutualism in the tropics. The tree provides the ants with a nest consisting of multiple chambers within the stems as the ants burrow through the soft internal tissue. Food is also provided to the ants in the form of lipid-rich structures that the tree produces at the base of its leaves. The food bodies are produced in the greatest quantity under young leaves. Ants patrol these areas and prevent insects from damaging this foliage. Some ant species also benefit the tree by actively cutting vines that grow onto the tree.

      In spite of such an elaborate defense, cecropias attract a wide variety of birds and other animals that feed on fruit, flowers, or leaves. Sloths (sloth) even prefer to feed on cecropia trees, as the ants do not seem concerned with the main leaf surfaces or external wood surfaces. (See rainforest ecosystem sidebar, “.”)

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cecropia — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda ? Cecropia Archivo:Starr 031118 0038 Cecropia angustifolia.jpg Cecropia angustifolia Clasificación científica Reino …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cecropia — Cecropia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cecropĭa — (C. L.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Artocarpeae, Diöcie, Diandrie L. Arten: südamerikanische Bäume; C. peltata mit astlosem, an der Spitze eine Kranz den großen, schildförmigen, 7–9lappigen Blättern tragendem Stamm; der schleimige, herbe …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Cecropĭa — L. (Trompetenbaum, Kanonenbaum), Gattung der Morazeen, Milchsaft führende Bäume mit hohem, geringeltem Stamm, gefächertem Mark, wechselständigen, großen, tief eingeschnittenen, unterseits oft weißfilzigen Blättern und unansehnlichen Blüten in… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cecropia — Cecropĭa L., Ameisenbaum, Pflanzengattg. der Urtikazeen, Bäume des trop. Amerikas, liefern Kautschuk, in ihrer Rinde ein Mittel gegen Durchfälle. C. peltāta L. (Ambauba , Imbauba , Trompeten oder Armleuchterbaum), bei uns im Warmhaus; eine der… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cecropia —   [griechisch] die, /...pi|en, Ameisenbaum, Gattung der Maulbeergewächse im tropischen Südamerika; Bäume von häufig kandelaberartigem Wuchs. In den hohlen, gekammerten Stängeln nisten Ameisen und ernähren sich von den kleinen, nährstoffreichen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • CECROPIA — vide Ceorops …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Cecropia — Ameisenbäume Cecropia glaziovi Systematik Abteilung: Bedecktsamer (Magnoliophyta) Klasse …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cecropia — This article is about the tropical plant. It is also an old name for the Acropolis, Athens. In North America, the moth species Hyalophora cecropia is known as a Cecropia Moth . Taxobox name = Cecropia image width = 240px image caption = Cecropia… …   Wikipedia

  • Cecropia — Cecropia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • cecropia — [sɪ krəʊpɪə] noun 1》 a fast growing tropical American tree. [Genus Cecropia.] 2》 (also cecropia moth) a very large reddish brown North American silk moth. [Platysamia cecropia.] Origin C19: mod. L., from the name Cecrops, a king of Attica …   English new terms dictionary

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