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      Flower morphology, nectar features, and hummingbird visitation to Palicourea crocea (Rubiaceae) in the Upper Paraná River floodplain, Brazil

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          Abstract

          We investigated flower morphology, nectar features, and hummingbird visitation to Palicourea crocea (Rubiaceae), a common ornithophilous shrub found in the riparian forest understory in the Upper Paraná River floodplain, Brazil. Flowers are distylous and the style-stamen dimorphism is accompanied by other intermorph dimorphisms in corolla length, anther length, and stigma lobe length and form. We did not observe strict reciprocity in the positioning of stigma and anthers between floral morphs. Flowering occurred during the rainy season, October to December. Nectar standing crop per flowerwas relatively constant throughout the day, which apparently resulted in hummingbirds visiting the plant throughout the day. Energetic content of the nectar in each flower (66.5J) and that required daily by hummingbird visitors (up to 30kJ) would oblige visits to hundreds of flowers each day, and thus movements between plants that should result in pollen flow. Three hummingbird species visited the flowers: the Gilded Sapphire (Hylocharis chrysura), the Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis), and the Glittering-bellied Emerald (Chlorostilbon aureoventris). The frequency of hummingbird visitation, nectar features, and the scarcity of other hummingbird-visited flowers in the study area, indicate that P. crocea is an important nectar resource for short-billed hummingbirds in the study site.

          Translated abstract

          Investigamos a morfologia floral, as características do néctar e a visita de beija-flores a Palicourea crocea (Rubiaceae), uma espécie ornitófila arbustiva comumente encontrada no sub-bosque da vegetação ripária na planície de inundação do Alto Rio Paraná, Brasil. As flores são distílicas, sendo o dimorfismo estilete-estames acompanhado por outras variações morfológicas no comprimento da corola, altura das anteras, comprimento das anteras e comprimento e forma das papilas estigmáticas. Não foi observada reciprocidade estrita na posição dos estigmas e anteras entre flores longistilas e brevistilas. A floração da espécie ocorreu durante a estação chuvosa, de outubro a dezembro. A disponibilidade de néctar foi relativamente constante ao longo do dia, o que aparentemente possibilitou aos beija-flores visitar a planta o dia todo. O conteúdo energético de néctar por flor (66,5J) e a demanda diária de energia dos beija-flores visitantes(superior a 30kJ) os obrigaria a visitar diariamente centenas de flores da espécie, o que pode aumentar o fluxo de pólen. Três espécies de beija-flores foram observadas: beija-flor-dourado (Hylocharis chrysura), beija-flor-de-colete-preto ( Anthracothorax nigricollis) e esmeralda-de-bico-vermelho ( Chlorostilbon aureoventris). A freqüência de visita dos beija-flores, as características do néctar e a baixa disponibilidade de outras flores visitadas por beija-flores na área de estudo indicam que P. crocea é uma fonte de néctar importante para beija-flores de bico-curto no local.

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          Most cited references 55

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          Geographical Aspects of Bird-Flower Coevolution, with Particular Reference to Central America

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            Pollination ecology - A practical approach

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              Hummingbird-Pollinated Floras at Three Atlantic Forest Sites1

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Journal
                aabc
                Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
                An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc.
                Academia Brasileira de Ciências (Rio de Janeiro )
                1678-2690
                March 2006
                : 78
                : 1
                : 45-57
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Universidade Estadual de Maringá Brazil
                [2 ] Universidade Estadual de Londrina Brazil
                Article
                S0001-37652006000100006
                10.1590/S0001-37652006000100006
                Product
                Product Information: website
                Categories
                MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES

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