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Brazilian Journal of Biology

Print version ISSN 1519-6984

Braz. J. Biol. vol.72 no.1 São Carlos Feb. 2012


Hummingbird and the assemblage of flowers in a caatinga vegetation.



The authors developed this study between June, 2007 and May, 2008, in an area of arboreal-shrub caatinga vegetation, in Santa Cruz do Capibaribe municipality, Pernambuco State, Brazil.

Even though the organization of hummingbird communities and their flower assemblages have been studied since the 1970's, one Brazilian habitat that has received little study from the standpoint of hummingbird-plant communities is the caatinga dryland vegetation. Because this habitat contains a mixture of ornithophilous and especially non-ornithophilous plants, further studies of how hummingbirds utilize this environment are desirable.

By these means, in an attempt to increase our understanding on hummingbird communities, the authors studied the organization of hummingbird communities and the biotic interactions between them and their floral resources.

The study published in the Brazilian Journal of Biology, vol.72 no.1, reported that five species of hummingbirds were recorded visiting 31 species of plants in the community studied, of which only five presented attributes related to ornithophily. The remaining were non-ornithophilous, especially entomophilous species. The authors suggest that hummingbirds may also be acting as pollen vectors for some of the plant species not identified as ornithophilous.

In this study hummingbirds varied among the plant species used as floral resources as well as in their frequency of visits. According to the authors, differences in plant species abundance, hummingbird preference, competitive exclusion or flowering seasonality are factors likely to influence those variations, but further studies are needed.   

The authors are grateful to CAPES for the financial support to FMG Las-Casas during her Master's degree.



Flor Maria Guedes Las-Casas
Laboratório de Ornitologia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco,



Complete article:

F.M.G. Las-Casas, S.M. Azevedo-Júnior, M.M. Dias.

"The community of hummingbirds (Aves: Trochilidae) and the assemblage of flowers in a caatinga vegetation". Brazilian Journal of Biology., 2012, vol.72, no.1, p. 


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