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Hummingbird contribution to plant reproduction in the rupestrian grasslands is not defined by pollination syndrome.

Authors
  • Amorim, Marsal D1, 2
  • Maruyama, Pietro K3
  • Baronio, Gudryan J4
  • Azevedo, Cristiano S5
  • Rech, André R6
  • 1 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia Animal, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Diamantina, MG, 39100-000, Brazil. [email protected] , (Brazil)
  • 2 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, Conservação e Manejo da Vida Silvestre, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, 31270-901, Brazil. [email protected] , (Brazil)
  • 3 Departamento de Genética, Ecologia e Evolução, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, 31270-901, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 4 Programa de Pos-Graduação em Ciência Florestal, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Campus JK, Diamantina, MG, 39100-000, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 5 Departamento de Evolução, Biodiversidade e Meio Ambiente, Instituto de Ciências Exatas e Biológicas, Campus Morro do Cruzeiro, s/n, Bauxita, Ouro Prêto, MG, CEP: 35400-000, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 6 Faculdade Interdisciplinar de Humanidades, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Diamantina, Minas Gerais, 39100-000, Brazil. , (Brazil)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Oecologia
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
May 01, 2022
Volume
199
Issue
1
Pages
1–12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00442-021-05103-6
PMID: 35043254
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Floral traits mediate the roles of distinct animals as effective pollinators along a generalization/specialization continuum. Many plant species are visited by different pollinator functional groups and the specific contribution of each group is expected to reflect the set of floral characteristics defined by pollination syndromes. Although considered a highly specialized nectarivorous group, hummingbirds frequently visit flowers lacking apparent specialization to bird pollination. How they contribute to the reproduction of these plants, however, has not been evaluated through field experiments considering multiple non-related plant species simultaneously. Here, we investigated hummingbirds' contributions to the pollination of ten plant species comprising a gradient of adaptation to bird pollination in the Brazilian rupestrian grasslands. We excluded hummingbirds from flowers and evaluated their relative contribution in comparison to insects (mainly bees) on conspecific/heterospecific pollen deposition and fruit set. Floral traits that are typically associated with bird pollination were associated with increased pollen deposition, but not with fruit set in the presence of hummingbirds. With hummingbirds, conspecific and heterospecific pollen deposition increased in most species, while fruit set increased in four plant species with varying degrees of fit to ornithophily. Our results show that assessing the relative contribution of specific pollinator groups may depend on when this contribution is measured, i.e. pollen deposition or fruit set. Considering fruit set, our results indicate that hummingbirds contributed to plant reproduction independently of the fit to bird pollination syndrome. This emphasizes their importance as under-appreciated generalized pollinators in some communities. © 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

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