Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 105–111 | Cite as

Floral resource partitioning by ants and bees in a jambolan Syzygium jambolanum (Myrtaceae) agroforestry system in Brazilian Meridional Amazon

  • Wesley DáttiloEmail author
  • Rodrigo L. Martins
  • Vera Uhde
  • Janaína C. Noronha
  • Fernando P. Florêncio
  • Thiago J. Izzo


The fruit production of flowering plants critically depends on the pollination services provided by animals that compete for flower resources. The output of competitive interactions between ants and bees for inflorescences of jambolan Syzygium jambolanum (Myrtaceae) in an agroforestry system in Brazilian Meridional Amazonian are an interesting system of investigation due the possibility to control variables experimentally. In 20 S. jambolanum individuals we performed 300 treatments in different inflorescences of two strata (upper and lower) as follows: (1) ants exclusion, (2) bees exclusion, and (3) control group where ants and bees could access the inflorescences. There was no difference in the number of inflorescences, volume of nectar and sugar concentration between the strata. Also the visitors considered are distributed equally in the tree’s stratum. When bees were prevented from access the inflorescences, ants dominated more inflorescences only in the lower stratum. On the contrary, when ants were excluded, bees visited more inflorescences only in the upper stratum. We conclude that ants prevent the access to bees and vice versa as the result of different ability of resource utilization and foraging strategies. Thus, preventing the access of ants to the floral nectar could increase the level of nectar available to pollinators of S. jambolanum, thereby increasing productivity and reducing economic losses.


Competitive interactions Nectar Pollinator cheaters Pollination Agriculture 



We thank R.E. Vicente for her assistance during the fieldwork and Office National des Forêts Brazil by logistical support. We also thank CAPES by masters fellowship to WD, VH, JCN and FPF. This research was conducted as part of an ecology field course from the Ecology and Conservation of Biodiversity Graduate Program of the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso. This is publication 16 in the NEBAM technical series.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wesley Dáttilo
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Rodrigo L. Martins
    • 2
  • Vera Uhde
    • 1
  • Janaína C. Noronha
    • 1
  • Fernando P. Florêncio
    • 1
  • Thiago J. Izzo
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate Program in Ecology and Conservation of BiodiversityUniversidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Instituto de BiologiaCuiabáBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Campus Macaé, Pólo BarretoMacaéBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Ecology and Botany, Laboratory of Insect-Plant InteractionsUniversidade Federal de Mato GrossoCuiabáBrazil

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