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Spatial association between floral resources and hummingbird activity in a Mexican tropical montane cloud forest

  • Leonor Jiménez (a1), Simoneta Negrete-Yankelevich (a1) and Rogelio Macías-Ordóñez (a1)

Spatial distribution of resources is known to govern animal distribution and behaviour. However, few empirical studies have formally evaluated this relationship. Unlike previous studies in which a patch or gap of floral resources is defined a priori by the observer at a subjective perception scale, we used the Spatial Analysis by Distance IndicEs (SADIE) to assess the location, length and spatial co-occurrence of patches and gaps of Palicourea padifolia inflorescences and hummingbird activity (feeding, perching, vocalizing, flying past and agonistic behaviour) in a tropical montane cloud forest of central Veracruz, Mexico. Along a 1010-m transect, both resource and hummingbird activity had a distribution approximately 200% more aggregated than expected by chance, at a scale of tens to hundreds of metres in length. In addition, aggregation patterns of resource and overall and agonistic hummingbird activity were found to be positively associated in 2009 but negatively in 2010. Campylopterus curvipennis and Amazilia cyanocephala were the most frequent species involved in vocal and agonistic activity. The difference observed between the two years may be due to changes in the composition and dominance of hummingbird species with different foraging strategies. In both years, hummingbird overall activity was positively correlated to size of resource patches.

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