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Ecología en Bolivia

On-line version ISSN 2075-5023

Abstract

VELASQUEZ-NORIEGA, Paola et al. Floral ecology and floral visitors of Puya atra (Bromeliaceae), a Bolivian endemic plant. Ecología en Bolivia [online]. 2020, vol.55, n.1, pp. 36-45. ISSN 2075-5023.

Hummingbirds and bromeliad species of the genus Puya occur exclusively in the Neotropics. Their interaction is important for the reproduction and genetic variability of these plants. To understand this relationship, it is important to study the phenology of Puya species, their floral characteristics, and their floral visitors. In this work, we studied the floral ecology of the Bolivian endemic Puya atra, which grows in the montane cloud forests of the Yungas. We made monthly visits to the study area for two years to record phenology data, to collect nectar samples, and to make direct observations of floral visitors (539 observation hours) during its three-months of flowering. In this period, P. atra produced 8.09 ± 1.59 μL of nectar per flower, which contains fructose and glucose. We confirmed that P. atra is visited by two species of longed-bill hummingbirds: Coeligena violifer and Pterophanes cyanopterus, being males of both species the main visitors. The morphology of both visitors allows contact with the reproductive parts of its flowers and the transfer of pollen, while the plant rewards hummingbirds with nectar. It seems that P. cyanopterus showed a tight synchronisation with the plant's phenology and visited more frequently with a greater abundance of flowers, showing a positive interaction with P. atra. However, it is necessary to continue with different studies on the breeding system and sugar production throughout the day of this Puya species as well as the behavioural response of these hummingbirds in its presence.

Keywords : Bolivia; Montane cloud forest; Ornithophily; Phenology; Trochilidae.

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