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Vertebrate florivory on the short-columnar cactus Echinopsis rhodotricha K. Schum. in the Brazilian Chaco
- Gomes, Vanessa G. Nóbrega, Koroiva, Ricardo, Araujo, Andréa C.
- Plant ecology 2016 v.217 no.12 pp. 1481-1487
- Echinopsis, cacti and succulents, flowers, fruit set, fruits, pollinators, reproductive success, vertebrates
- Florivory can negatively affect the reproductive success of plants through its effects on fruit set. We report flower consumption of Echinopsis rhodotricha by Mazama americana and Pecari tajacu in the Brazilian Chaco. In order to evaluate the effects of florivory on the reproductive success of E. rhodotricha, we quantified and compared the fruit set between damaged and undamaged flowers in a natural population of this cactus. We recorded 21 damaged flowers in the year 2015 and 43 in 2016. Florivores consumed the whole flowers and therefore no fruits developed. The result of this study indicates that florivory decreases the fruit set in the studied population, both directly by damaging the reproductive organs and indirectly through the reduction of floral attractiveness and rewards for pollinators.