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Psyche
Volume 2012, Article ID 978019, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/978019
Research Article

Pollination Requirements and the Foraging Behavior of Potential Pollinators of Cultivated Brazil Nut (Bertholletia excelsa Bonpl.) Trees in Central Amazon Rainforest

1Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Ceará (UFC), Avenida Mister Hull 2977, Campus do Pici, CEP 60021-970, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
2Department of Zoology, Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), Rua Barão de Geremoabo 147, Campus de Ondina, CEP 40170-290, Salvador, BA, Brazil
3Entomology Laboratory, Embrapa Amazônia Oriental (CPATU), Travavessa Dr. Enéas Pinheiro s/n, CEP 66095-100, Belém, PA, Brazil

Received 5 December 2011; Revised 7 March 2012; Accepted 25 March 2012

Academic Editor: Tugrul Giray

Copyright © 2012 M. C. Cavalcante et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This study was carried out with cultivated Brazil nut trees (Bertholletia excelsa Bonpl., Lecythidaceae) in the Central Amazon rainforest, Brazil, aiming to learn about its pollination requirements, to know the floral visitors of Brazil nut flowers, to investigate their foraging behavior and to determine the main floral visitors of this plant species in commercial plantations. Results showed that B. excelsa is predominantly allogamous, but capable of setting fruits by geitonogamy. Nineteen bee species, belonging to two families, visited and collected nectar and/or pollen throughout the day, although the number of bees decreases steeply after 1000 HR. Only 16, out of the 19 bee species observed, succeeded entering the flower and potentially acted as pollinators. However, due to the abundance, flower frequency and foraging behavior of floral visitors, it was concluded that only the species Eulaema mocsaryi and Xylocopa frontalis could be considered relevant potential pollinators.