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    Alqarni, Abdulaziz Saad Awad, Awad Mohamed Raweh, Hael Saeed Ahmed and Owayss, Ayman Ahmad 2015. Pollination ecology of Acacia gerrardii Benth. (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) under extremely hot-dry conditions. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences,

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    Fleming, P.A. Hofmeyr, S.D. and Nicolson, S.W. 2007. Role of insects in the pollination of Acacia nigrescens (Fabaceae). South African Journal of Botany, Vol. 73, Issue. 1, p. 49.


Are giraffes pollinators or flower predators of Acacia nigrescens in Kruger National Park, South Africa?

  • Patricia A. Fleming (a1), Sally D. Hofmeyr (a2), Sue W. Nicolson (a3) and Johan T. du Toit (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2006

We examined the relationship between giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) and Acacia nigrescens in Kruger National Park, South Africa, to determine whether these tall ungulates may be providing a pollination service for the trees, or are simply flower predators. We quantified florivory and subsequent fruit set in the presence and absence of giraffes. Acacia nigrescens flowers are clearly a substantial dietary component for giraffes. Although A. nigrescens flowers contain almost three times as much condensed tannin as leaves, giraffes consume large quantities of flowers (∼85% of flowers within reach), resulting in distinct browse lines on the trees. This substantial florivory is detrimental to the overall fecundity of A. nigrescens, with significantly reduced fruit set at heights on trees that are accessible to giraffes. Fruit set increased above the reach of giraffes, suggesting successful pollination by insects. Giraffes were effectively flower predators of A. nigrescens in the season we examined.

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Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • ISSN: 0266-4674
  • EISSN: 1469-7831
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-tropical-ecology
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