1932

Abstract

Mistletoes are a diverse group of parasitic plants with a worldwide distribution. The hemiparasitic growth form is critical to understanding their biology, buffering variation in resource availability that constrains the distribution and growth of most plants. This is manifested in many aspects of mistletoe life history, including extended phenologies, abundant and high-quality fruits and nectar, and few chemical or structural defenses. Most mistletoe species rely on animals for both pollination and fruit dispersal, and this leads to a broad range of mistletoe-animal interactions. In this review, I summarize research on mistletoe biology and synthesize results from studies of mistletoe-animal interactions. I consolidate records of mistletoe-vertebrate interactions, incorporating species from 97 vertebrate families recorded as consuming mistletoe and from 50 using mistletoe as nesting sites. There is widespread support for regarding mistletoe as a keystone resource, and all quantitative data are consistent with mistletoe functioning as a determinant of alpha diversity. Manipulative experiments are highlighted as a key priority, and six explicit predictions are provided to guide future experimental research.

, , , , .

     From a letter to Asa Gray by Charles Darwin, 1857.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.32.081501.114024
2001-11-01
2024-07-15
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.32.081501.114024
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.32.081501.114024
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error