Reduced flower visitation by nectar-feeding birds in response to fire in Cape fynbos vegetation, South Africa
Article in Press
Nectar-feeding birds are important pollinators in fire-prone regions of the world, but the impact of fires on these bird communities has seldom been studied. Nectar-feeding bird communities were censused during peak flowering, before and after fire in the Cape fynbos of South Africa. The abundance and species richness of nectar-feeding birds decreased at all sites. In a controlled experiment, two common bird-pollinated plants, which flower profusely after a fire, were presented in floral arrays in burnt and unburnt vegetation. Birds visited flowers only in the unburnt areas. The results are surprising given the large number of bird-pollinated plants that have fire-stimulated flowering. © 2011 Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V.