, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 51-62
Date: 04 Aug 2011

Acerola pollinators in the savanna of Central Brazil: temporal variations in oil-collecting bee richness and a mutualistic network

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Abstract

We present parameters to support the conservation and management of Acerola pollinators. We monitored pollinator visits to this fruit shrub in a Brazilian savanna and identified the pollinator’s other food resources. Twenty-three species of pollinators were sampled. Although there were temporal variations in visitor frequency, satisfactory levels of fruit set were obtained. This temporal variation promoted a compensatory effect on plant reproduction as the pollinator species were replaced during the course of flowering. The analysis of pollen loads showed grains of 16 plant species and four pollen types belonging to seven families that formed a network with a nested pattern. Such a network suggests that generalist plants must be available in the crop vicinity. The data presented suggest the natural viability of cultivating Acerola in the savannas of Central Brazil and the importance of natural lands for providing nesting resources and to enhance the bee diversity in agroecosystems.

Manuscript Editor: Marla Spivak