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Ecological relationships between columnar cacti and nectar-feeding bats in Mexico

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 July 2009

Alfonso Valiente-Banuet
Affiliation:
Centro de Ecología, Universidad National Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-275México, 04510, D.F.
María Del Coro Arizmendi
Affiliation:
Centro de Ecología, Universidad National Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-275México, 04510, D.F.
Alberto Rojas-Martínez
Affiliation:
Centro de Ecología, Universidad National Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-275México, 04510, D.F.
Laura Domínguez-Canseco
Affiliation:
Centro de Ecología, Universidad National Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-275México, 04510, D.F.

Abstract

A bibliographical and herbarium investigation on the pollination syndrome of Mexican columnar cacti (tribe Pachycereeae) was conducted. Most Mexican species of columnar cacti show a chiropterophilic-pollination syndrome and they flower synchronously in March to May. The floral biology, reproductive system and visitors (to both fruits and flowers) of Neobuxbaumia tetetzo, the most abundant and dominant columnar cactus of succulent forest in the Tehuacan Valley, were studied. This species reached densities of c. 1200 individuals ha−1. The bats Leptonycteris curasoae and Choeronycteris mexicana were its only pollinators, whilst a more diverse array of visitors disperse seeds. Contrary to findings for multiple pollinators of columnar cacti in extratropical deserts in North America, the relationships between N. tetetzo and nectar-feeding bats was strong and tightly coupled in Mexico.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1996

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