ATLANTIC POLLINATION: a data set of flowers and interaction with nectar-feeding vertebrates from the Atlantic Forest


Flowering plant species and their nectar-feeding vertebrates exemplify some of the most remarkable biotic interactions in the Neotropics. In the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, several species of birds (especially hummingbirds), bats, and non-flying mammals, as well as one lizard feed on nectar, often act as pollinators and contribute to seed output of flowering plants. We present a dataset containing information on flowering plants visited by nectar-feeding vertebrates and sampled at 166 localities in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. This dataset provides information on 1902 unique interactions among 515 species of flowering plants and 129 species of potential vertebrate pollinators and the patterns of species diversity across latitudes. All plant–vertebrate interactions compiled were recorded through direct observations of visits, and no inferences of pollinators based on floral syndromes were included. We also provide information on the most common plant traits used to understand the interactions between flowers and nectar-feeding vertebrates: plant growth form, corolla length, rate of nectar production per hour in bagged flowers, nectar concentration, flower color and shape, time of anthesis, presence or absence of perceptible fragrance by human, and flowering phenology as well as the plant’s threat status by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classification. For the vertebrates, status of threat by IUCN classification, body mass, bill or rostrum size are provided. Information on the frequency of visits and pollen deposition on the vertebrate’s body is provided from the original source when available. The highest number of unique interactions is recorded for birds (1771) followed by bats (110). For plants, Bromeliaceae contains the highest number of unique interactions (606), followed by Fabaceae (242) and Gesneriaceae (104). It is evident that there was geographical bias of the studies throughout the southeast of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and that most effort was directed to flower–hummingbird interactions. However, it reflects a worldwide tendency of more plants interacting with birds compared with other vertebrate species. The lack of similar protocols among studies to collect basic data limits the comparisons among areas and generalizations. Nevertheless, this dataset represents a notable effort to organize and highlight the importance of vertebrate pollinators in this hotspot of biodiversity on Earth and represents the data currently available. No copyright or proprietary restrictions are associated with the use of this data set. Please cite this data paper when the data are used in publications or scientific events.



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Ecology, v. 103, n. 2, 2022.