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|Title:||Parasites in the neighbourhood: Interactions of the mistletoe Phoradendron affine (Viscaceae) with its dispersers and hosts in urban areas of Brazil|
|Author:||(Maruyama, Pietro Kiyoshi|
Cunha, Amanda Ferreira
|Abstract:||Mistletoes constitute an important food resource for animals in many ecosystems. However, these plants are considered pests in urban areas because of deleterious effects they have on the host trees. Studies in urban areas were mostly focused on listing host species or procedures to control the “pest”. In this sense, broader studies including several aspects of mistletoes ecology in urban ecosystems are still missing. We studied the interaction of the mistletoe, Phoradendron affine, with its dispersers and hosts in two urban sites in Uberlândia, Brazil. Phoradendron affine fruits were consumed almost exclusively by Euphonia chlorotica, which was crucial for seed germination. Parasitism was recorded in five hosts, two native (Handroanthus chrysotrichus and Tabebuia roseoalba) and three exotic species (Spathodea campanulata, Ligustrum lucidum and Melia azedarach). Mistletoes were found parasitizing larger host trees, a trend commonly reported for mistletoe-host interaction. Mistletoe seed germination was not affected by the trees species, whether host or non-host, but the radicle of germinated seeds could not penetrate the bark and seedlings invariably died in non-host species. We found a high prevalence of parasitism in our study, in comparison to what previous studies reported for natural areas. The spatial distribution of the hosts and high light incidence on isolated host trees may lead to this high prevalence in urban areas. Rather than eradicated, mistletoes in urban areas should be ecologically managed and their importance for bird species conservation must be considered. More studies to determine which bird species are favoured by mistletoe presence in urban areas will be essential for this purpose|
|Subject:||Ecologia urbana (Biologia)|
|Appears in Collections:||IB - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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