Floral visitors and potential pollinators of a rupicolous bromeliad (Pitcairnioideae) in the Brazilian semiarid

Jaqueiuto da Silva Jorge, Luciana Helena Silva Rocha, Jean Patrick Silva Rocha, Pedro Henrique Pierote Sousa, Roberto Lima Santos, Eliza Maria Xavier Freire

Abstract


There have been few studies about the pollinators of bromeliads of the genus Encholirium. Considering this lack of information, this study comes to fill a gap in the literature on the floral visitors and potential pollinators of E. spectabile. In order to perform this study, we observed the inflorescence of this species between 2011 and 2014 (four years of observation), in the semiarid region of Santa Maria municipality (Rio Grande do Norte state, northeastern Brazil). Floral visitors were observed through focal method. The observations were made during the day, starting at 06h a.m. until 06h p.m., and at night from 07h until 11h59 p.m. In about 1,800 hours of observations, 24 species were recorded visiting E. spectabile flowers, including 4 species of moths (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae and Geometridae), 3 species of bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae), 4 species of hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae) and 2 species of bats (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae), among others. Based on these results, we propose that the macambira bromeliads (E. spectabile) should be considered as key elements in the conservation of various taxonomic groups in the semiarid region, through the umbrella species theory as already proposed for other species of Bromeliaceae.

Keywords: associated fauna, caatinga biome, macambiras, Encholirium spectabile, biodiversity.


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