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versión On-line ISSN 1870-7459


MORALES-CONTRERAS, Jonathan; MARTINEZ-MORALES, Miguel Angel  y  MARQUEZ-LUNA, Ubaldo. Floral resources used by the Cozumel Emerald (Chlorostilbon forficatus). Huitzil [online]. 2020, vol.21, n.1, e589.  Epub 03-Jul-2020. ISSN 1870-7459.

Knowing the richness and identity of floral resources used by a pollinator delineates its degree of trophic specialization and its vulnerability to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. This understanding is fundamental in the case of endemic species with a highly restricted geographical distribution. The Cozumel Emerald (Chlorostilbon forficatus), restricted to the island, is one of the 14 endemic species of hummingbirds in Mexico. This species has been poorly studied and many aspects of its biology are still unknown. In this study we: (1) described the diet of C. forficatus, (2) assessed if its diet includes exotic plant species, and (3) assessed whether its foraging behavior (i. e., to feed on native or exotic species) is associated with areas of human influence on Cozumel Island (human settlements and roads). We recorded the plant-hummingbird interaction in 14 transects surveyed in the tropical forests and mangroves of the island. Additionally, we included photographic records obtained from the Naturalista platform where C. forficatus was recorded feeding on flowers. Finally, we estimated the Euclidian distance between the site where the foraging events were recorded and the closest area of human influence. Our study shows that the Cozumel Emerald is a generalist floral visitor. Its diet is composed of the nectar of at least 19 plant species, seven of which are exotic to the island. Distance to the areas of human influence is significantly associated with the foraging behavior of C. forficatus. In or near human settlements and roads there is a higher probability that C. forficatus feeds on an exotic species. We propose to carry out studies to assess the role of exotic plant species in the diet of C. forficatus because their establishment and spread might have unexpected ecological effects on the insular ecosystem.

Palabras llave : diet; endemic hummingbird; exotic species; human settlement; Trochilidae.

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