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Acta Theriologica

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 361–365 | Cite as

Pollen consumption by free-living mice

  • Pedro Adrián Aguilar-RodríguezEmail author
  • M. Cristina MacSwiney G.
  • Thorsten Krömer
  • José Guadalupe García-Franco
Short Communication

Abstract

We present the first evidence of mice actively searching and consuming the pollen of Bromeliaceae and describe this behavior for the first time based on video-recorded evidence in the wild. Following repeated observations of nocturnal florivory in several individuals of Tillandsia macropetala, mice of the genus Peromyscus were recorded consuming pollen from this bromeliad during the dry season in the tropical montane cloud forest of central Veracruz, Mexico. The mice first consumed the anthers and, although it also consumed part of the filaments, the majority of these were discarded once the mice had consumed the pollen. The mice seem to be opportunistic consumers of pollen in a season when other resources are possibly scarce. It would be of value to determine the proportion of the rodent diet represented by pollen and other floral products during periods of low food availability, as well as to determine the potential impact of such herbivory on plant reproductive success.

Keywords

Cloud forest Peromyscus Pollinivory Rodentia Tillandsia Veracruz 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We gratefully thank A. Knauer and J. Pech C. for help with the fieldwork. A. González C. and A. González R. assisted with the rodent identification. Thanks also to A. P. Vovides of the Instituto de Ecología A. C. for help in the laboratory. Thanks to E. Solís and L. Ruíz for the edition of photographs. The Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT) provided a scholarship to PAAR (Becario 59406). A collecting permit was issued by the Mexican Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SERMARNAT).

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Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pedro Adrián Aguilar-Rodríguez
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Cristina MacSwiney G.
    • 1
  • Thorsten Krömer
    • 1
  • José Guadalupe García-Franco
    • 2
  1. 1.Centro de Investigaciones TropicalesUniversidad VeracruzanaXalapaMexico
  2. 2.Red de Ecología FuncionalInstituto de Ecología, A.C.XalapaMexico

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