On the reproductive ecology of Nicotiana glauca, a cosmopolitan weed
AbstractReproductive events of Nicotiana glauca Grah. from the Pedregal de San Angel (SW of Cuenca del Valle de México, México) were studied. The species is esencially ornitophilous because it is visited by several hummingbird species (fam. Trochilidae) in the american continent, while in Africa and Asia is visited by sunbirds (fam . Nectariniidae) and honeyeaters (fam . Meliphagidae) respectively. N . glauca is highly beneficia! to the hummingbird populations in the Pedregal de San Angel because of its long flowering period and large amount of nectar produced; it is specially notorious where are not alternative sources of food. Introduced recently in Mexico, N. glauca has played an important role on the ecology, and particulary on the seasonal movements of hummingbirds. Both, trap-line and territoriality, are feeding stategies founded in the four hummingbird species identified in the Pedregal de San Angel; these feeding strategies have implications in the pollen flux between individuals of N. glauca. At this respect, the role played by the ilegitimate visitors is discussed. Experimental techniques carried out to know the breeding system showed that N. glauca is self-compatible and able to self-pollination, which is an important feature in its success as a colonizing species. Finally, three different dispersal mechanisms are described, and its importance in the present pattern of distribution of the species is discussed.
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