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The Ornaments of LifeCoevolution and Conservation in the Tropics$
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Theodore H. Fleming and W. John Kress

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226253404

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226023328.001.0001

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The Resource Base

The Resource Base

Chapter:
(p.63) 3 The Resource Base
Source:
The Ornaments of Life
Author(s):

Theodore H. Fleming

W. John Kress

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226023328.003.0003

Tropical plant-visiting birds and mammals feed on two distinctly different resources: nectar and fruit. This chapter describes the basic nutritional characteristics of the nectar and fruit resource bases and how the availability of these resources varies temporally and spatially. It presents quantitative estimates of the biomass of these resources within communities and the biomass of vertebrate nectarivores and frugivores that they support. It begins by summarizing data on the extent to which tropical plants rely on birds and mammals as their primary or exclusive pollinators and seed dispersers.

Keywords:   tropical birds, plant-visiting birds, mammals, nectar, fruit, nutrition biomass, pollinators, seed dispersers, nutritional characteristics, food plants

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