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Neotropical Pollination

Last updated 4 months ago

The slopes of the Andes Mountains of South America house an amazing diversity of plants and animals. In fact, in a review of 25 global biodiversity hotspots, the Tropical Andes region ranked first in terms of total number of species (for both plants and vertebrates) as well number of endemic species. Animal pollination is thought to have played a critical role in generating this diversity. These Andean-centered taxa tend to have specialized pollination systems, are highly species-rich, and appear to have diversified quite recently. I propose to create taxon pages that highlight pollination and explosive diversification in the Tropical Andes. I will create species pages for both plants and pollinators of the region. Using pollination records from both primary and secondary literature, I will then add links between each plant and the animals that are known to pollinate it, thus constructing a virtual "pollination web‟ . In addition to adding hundreds of taxa to EOL for a region not currently well-represented, the pollination links will contribute a second level of information greater than the sum of these component species pages. I believe EOL is exceptionally well poised to house interaction networks and make this information available to the broadest possible audience. Last indexed March 15, 2015