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. 1997 Mar;12(3):104-8.
doi: 10.1016/s0169-5347(96)10067-7.

Non-flying Mammals as Pollinators


Non-flying Mammals as Pollinators

S M Carthew et al. Trends Ecol Evol. .


Non-flying mammals such as marsupials, primates and rodents have long been reported to visit flowers, but, until recently, evidence confirming their role in pollination was lacking. Three types of data have been sought in order to establish pollinator effectivness: (1) evidence of regular visitation to flowers, (2) evidence that mammals carry significant loads of pollen, and (3) experimental evidence for pollination. Here, we review recent studies that provide these data. It is now clear that many species of marsupials and primates are involved in pollination in Australia, Africa and South and Central America. We also examine earlier contentions that some plants exhibit traits that have co-evolved with non-flying mammal pollinators. Much more research is still required to understand the importance of these animals in pollination.

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