Pollen Sources Used by Tetragonisca angustula (Latreille, 1811) (Apidae, Meliponini) in the Atlantic Forest, Northern Coast of Bahia

Brenna Pinheiro Bastos, Luciene Cristina Lima e Lima, Marcos da Costa Dórea

Abstract


Stingless bees are important floral visitors in tropical ecosystems and through pollination, play a key role in maintaining biodiversity and perpetuating native plant species. In this context, knowledge about the flora used by stingless bees is essential to promote their conservation in natural environments. This study had the objective of analyzing the pollen stored by Tetragonisca angustula (Latreille, 1811) in an Atlantic Forest area. A total of 27 pollen samples were collected from six colonies from April 2013 to March 2014. The samples were processed using acetolysis, in which pollen types were identified, photomicrographs and their frequency values were estimated. The most representative pollen types had their pollen morphology described. The analysis of the pollen sediment revealed 53 pollen types, three of which were indeterminate and the others belonged to 26 families. Among the registered pollen types, only 13 (distributed in ten families) showed frequency values over 10% in the analyzed samples, in which the majority presented a pollen morphology classified as microreticulated and tricolporate small monads. The pollen types Byrsonima (with frequency between 0.05 to 82.79%, which was recorded throughout the entire study period), Tapirira guianensis (0.92 to 55.65%), and Cecropia (0.24 to 49.32%), stood out as an important source of trophic resources for the maintenance and survival of T. angustula in an Atlantic Forest area. In addition, this study highlights the importance of palynological analysis for the knowledge of trophic resources used by stingless bees.


Keywords


stingless bees; melissopalynology; pollen-pot; bee flora; trophic resources

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v67i4.5596

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