Name: Paulo Rogerio Torezani
Type: MSc dissertation
Publication date: 11/04/2018

Namesort descending Role
Albert David Ditchfield Advisor *

Examining board:

Namesort descending Role
Albert David Ditchfield Advisor *

Summary: The relation between plants and pollinating bats is well known among the literature.
The pollinating bats of the Neotropical region belong to the Phyllostomidae family
which includes frugivorous bats (e.g., Subfamily Stenodermatinae) and nectarivores
(e.g., Glossophaginae Subfamily). In Brazil, 74 species of these bats are present. The
diversity in the chemical composition of flowers and fruits related to nectarivore and
frugivorous groups is illustrated by the variation of the different amounts of sugars
found in their pulps and nectars. This relationship between the preference of the
pollinators / dispersers and the variation of the composition / concentration of sugars
has inspired several works related to the theme. Most of these studies were based on
the hypothesis that New World bats prefer the nectar sugars and fruits they normally
ingest in the natural environment. Most of the studies suggested that new studies are
needed to find possible nutritional factors associated with nectar, as well as the
composition / concentration of sugars. Based on this assumption, the objective of this
study was to evaluate the alimentary preference of nectarivorous bats for sugary
solutions with different compositions / concentrations and addition of vitamins. For this,
the type of sugar preferred by nectarivorous bats was tested; the preferred sugar
concentration by nectarivorous bats and the addition of vitamins to determine if this
influences or alters the feeding preference of nectarivorous bats. The methodology
used involved food preference tests using artificial drinkers, which were subdivided into
three stages: composition of sugars (sucrose, fructose and glucose), concentration of
sugars (low, medium and high) and addition of vitamins (vitamin C and vitamin B12).
Differences in dietary preference over the types of solutions were inferred from the
number of visits of bats in each drinking fountain as well as the analysis of the amount
of solution ingested. This study was carried out in the Forest Park of the National
Institute of the Atlantic Forest (Santa Teresa-ES). The results of this study conclude
that nectarivorous bats develop a preferential behavior for sugar sucrose, to the
detriment of monosaccharides such as fructose and glucose (hexoses), which refutes

the hypothesis that they even prefer sugar normally found in floral nectar. In relation to
the concentration, it was observed that, as expected and pointed out by other studies,
the preferred optimum concentration is found in floral nectar (20%), however,
alternatively, larger and smaller concentrations can be ingested. Regarding preference
based on the presence / absence of vitamins, it was found that chiroptera prefer
solutions of nectars containing these types of micronutrients, suggesting that they are
able to identify them during foraging.

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