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The behavioral ecology of nectar robbing: Why be tactic constant?
, Barker J.L.
, Lichtenberg E.M.
, Richardson L.L.
Current Opinion in Insect Science
, 2017. V. 21. No. . P. 14–18
Журнал с антэкологическими публикациями.
How do animals forage in environments with variable food resources? For animals foraging at flowers, the concept of floral constancy has provided a framework for understanding why organisms visit some flower species while bypassing others. Here we extend this framework to understand the various flower-handling tactics that floral visitors employ. Nectar robbers are animals that remove nectar through holes bitten in flowers, often without providing pollination service. Many foragers can switch between robbing and visiting flowers legitimately to gain access to nectar. Here we document that even though individuals can switch foraging tactics, they often do not. We explore whether, instead, individuals exhibit constancy to either robbing or visiting flowers legitimately, which we term tactic constancy. We then extend hypotheses of floral constancy to understand when and why floral visitors might exhibit tactic constancy. Recognizing tactic constancy in nectar robbing raises intriguing questions for future research into its ecological and evolutionary consequences for plants, floral visitors, and their interactions.