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Bigger and sweeter passion fruits: effect of pollinator enhancement on fruit production and quality

JUNQUEIRA, Camila N., AUGUSTO, Solange C.
Apidologie 2017 v.48 no.2 pp. 131-140
Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa, Xylocopa, carpenter bees, fruit crops, fruits, passion fruits, pollination, pollinators, solitary bees, Brazil
Brazil stands out as the world’s largest producer of yellow passion fruit, a species of economic interest which, due to its self-incompatibility, depends on pollinators for fruit formation. The main pollinators of passion fruit are large solitary bees of the genus Xylocopa, commonly known as carpenter bees, which are potential candidates for management. Passion fruit crops exhibit a low density of pollinators and, consequently, a reduction in production. To improve management techniques of X. frontalis and X. grisescens, the general aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of pollinator enhancement on pollination services in passion fruit crop areas. Our results demonstrated that pollinator enhancement was an efficient way to minimize pollination deficit in passion fruit crops, as it promoted the production of a bigger and sweeter fruits. Data obtained in our study are essential to consolidate management techniques for carpenter bees in passion fruit crops.