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Latest Ornithophily Stories

2012-11-21 15:06:30

How flowers have evolved particular colors, shapes and scents to attract pollinators has long fascinated ecologists. Now, using artificial flowers and high-speed video, researchers have gained intriguing insights into the intimate relationship between hummingbirds and the flowers they pollinate. The study, published in the British Ecological Society's journal Functional Ecology, is the first to measure how much energy hummingbirds use while hovering to feed from flowers of different...

2012-06-08 13:40:34

Inflorescence architecture of Babiana ringens may have evolved in response to selective pressures from both herbivores and pollinators Floral displays, such as the color, shape, size, and arrangement of flowers, are typically thought to have evolved primarily in response to selection by pollinators–for animal-pollinated species, being able to attract animal vectors is vital to an individual plant's reproductive success. But can herbivores also exert similarly strong selective forces...

2011-09-06 12:41:14

Across the western Cape of South Africa can be found small plants in the Iris family called Babiana. Flitting between them are sunbirds, small colourful birds like the African version of hummingbirds, that drink the nectar of flowers and in doing so pollinate them. New research to be published early next year in a special edition on plant mating in the Annals of Botany (http://j.mp/pRSzzC) by De Waal, Anderson and Barrett shows that while birds are important for plant reproduction, when it...

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2011-06-20 07:58:55

High-mountain wildflower season reduced, affecting pollinators like bees, hummingbirds It's summer wildflower season in the Rocky Mountains, a time when high-peaks meadows are dotted with riotous color. But for how long? Once, wildflower season in montane meadow ecosystems extended throughout the summer months. But now scientists have found a fall-off in wildflowers at mid-season. They published their results, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), in the current issue of the...

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2011-01-22 09:05:33

Pollinators interact with their landscapes to affect the genetic structure of 3 Penstemon species in the Great Basin Do mountain tops act as sky islands for species that live at high elevations? Are plant populations on these mountain tops isolated from one another because the valleys between them act as barriers, or can pollinators act as bridges allowing genes to flow among distant populations? Dr. Andrea Kramer and colleagues from the Chicago Botanic Garden and the University of Illinois...

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2010-01-21 15:14:31

Messenger molecule in oral secretions of herbivorous insects changes flower opening time of their host plants: Hummingbirds take over role as pollinators from moths Butterflies and moths are welcome visitors to many plant species. Plants attract insect pollinators with the colors, forms, nectars and scents of their flowers to ensure fertilization and reproduction. However, female moths are also threatening to the plant: Once attracted by the flower's scent, they lay their eggs on the green...


Word of the Day
negawatt
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.