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First record of flower visitation by a rodent in Neotropical Proteaceae, Oreocallis grandiflora

  • Santiago Cárdenas (a1), Carlos Nivelo-Villavicencio (a1), Juan D. Cárdenas (a1), Omar Landázuri P. (a2) and Boris A. Tinoco (a1)...

There is still much to learn about pollination ecology in areas of high species diversity, such as the Neotropical region. For example, the role of non-flying mammals in pollination is largely unknown in the Neotropical areas, despite the importance of this group in the pollination of plants in other regions. Here we report evidence for flower visitation by a rodent to Oreocallis grandiflora (Proteaceae) in our study site in the southern Andes of Ecuador. For a period of 241 h, camcorders equipped with infrared lights revealed 22 occurrences of floral visitation by Microryzomys altissimus (Cricetidae) to inflorescences of O. grandiflora. Pollen samples taken from the fur of captured individuals showed that M. altissimus carries pollen of O. grandiflora, indicating a potential pollinator role for the rodent. This is the first record of flower visitation by a rodent in the Neotropical Andes. Pollination interactions between non-flying mammals and Proteaceae have been reported in other southern hemisphere continents. This study underscores the need for more research on pollination interactions in the Neotropics, especially in critical Andean biodiversity hotspots.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Santiago Cárdenas;
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Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • ISSN: 0266-4674
  • EISSN: 1469-7831
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