New insights in the evolution of plant-animal interactions – The evolution of bird pollination systems
Several thousand plant species are adapted to bird pollination in the tropics and subtropics worldwide. The pollination service is either provided by specialized nectar-feeding birds, such as hummingbirds, sunbirds or honeyeaters or by generalist birds, using nectar just as an addition to their normal diet.
Many groups of songbirds but also woodpeckers or doves belong to this group. In this talk we will analyse how different environmental and ecological factors influenced the evolution of specialized and generalist bird pollination and how these plant- bird mutualisms evolved.