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Nectar and pollen of the invasive century plant Agave americana as a food resource for endemic birds

Invasive species are one of the major causes of biodiversity loss, especially in island ecosystems. However, introduced plants can also bring positive effects to the ecosystem by providing feeding resources for native threatened fauna. Here, the bird guild and its behaviour visiting the invasive century plant Agave americana in an insular environment is describe, and which factors are affecting visitation rates were determined. Number and species of birds visiting inflorescences on Tenerife, Canary Islands, were notes, and the factors affecting the number of visits and the visitor species richness were analysed. 81% of inflorescences were visited by eight native bird species. Visitation rate increased with density and diversity of birds and flower characteristics and decreased through the day. The native bird community uses the invasive century plant as a feeding resource at a higher rate than it uses endemic ornithophilous plants. This could have negative effects for the pollination of endemic plants, but positive effects for birds. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Rodríguez et al (2015) Nectar and pollen of the invasive century plant Agave americana as a food resource for endemic birds Bird Study 1-11 DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2015.1015484


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