Research published in the journal of Current Biology describes an extraordinary interaction between the Axinaea genus of plants and birds in Central and South America. The research highlights the vulnerability of mutual relationships to population declines. Habitat loss and degradation, climate change and disease may have a greater impact on specialised species rather than on generalists, which may be quicker to adapt to environmental change.
Here’s some explosive news from the world of pollinators: A rain forest plant baits birds with puffy treats, then blasts any takers with pollen—a unique discovery. The new research details the first example in which birds, plucking at stamens one by one, are the only target, and the first known case in this plant family of a flower offering a food reward of this kind.