Migratory Pollinators Program


Allopatric populations - Groups of individuals of a species that inhabit different  geographic localities.

Bat pollination syndrome - In this report, this refers specifically to the traits that characterize a plant or flower that make it attractive to bats for nectar or pollen consumption.

Biodiversity - The variety of living organisms considered at all levels, from genetics through species, to higher taxonomic levels, and including the variety of habitats and  ecosystems.

C3 (Calvin) plants - Plants that assimilate atmospheric carbon dioxide directly via the enzyme ribulose-1,5 bisphosphate carboxylase in the cells of the leaf mesophyll.

CAM (Crassulacean acid metabolism) plants - Plants that assimilate carbon dioxide using a pathway in which the carbon dioxide is fixed into organic acids during the night and released during the day for photosynthesis.  Characteristic of succulent desert plants.

Carnivores - Animals that eat only meat.

Cladistic analysis - Examination of relatedness of species or populations using a system of classification based on historical (chronological) sequences of divergence from a common ancestor.

Coevolved - Members of two (or more) species contribute reciprocally to the forces of  natural selection that they exert on each other.

Conspecific - Belonging to the same species.

Crop content - The food stored in the crop, an expandable part of a bird's esophagus used for food storage.

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) - The carrier of genetic information in cells.

Endangered Natural Phenomenon - A spectacular aspect of the life history of an animal or plant species involving a large number of individuals that is threatened with impoverishment or demise; the species per se need not be in peril, rather, the phenomenon it exhibits is at stake.

Evolution - the progressive increase in the adaptation of organisms to their environment as a result of successive change in the kinds and frequencies of genes that occur in populations.

Gene flow - The consequence of cross-fertilization between members of a species across boundaries between populations, or within populations, which results in the spread of genes across and between populations.

Genetic mixing - Cross-fertilization.

Granivores - Animals that eat seeds.

Habitat conversion - The anthropogenic alteration of habitat from its natural state (e.g.  elimination of natural habitat to create agricultural fields).

Habitat fragmentation - The disruption of extensive habitats into isolated and small patches resulting in a loss of total habitat area, and smaller, more isolated remaining habitat patches.

Haplotype - The genetic makeup of a single chromosome.

Hummingbird flower syndrome - Traits that are characteristic of flowers that attract hummingbirds.

Insectivores - Animals that eat insects.

Isotope - Atoms of the same element having the same chemical properties but differing in mass and in the physical properties that depend on their mass.

Isotopic signature - The ratio of stable isotopes of a particular element found in organic matter. 

Keystone species - Species that have a disproportionately large effect on other species in a community.

Maternity roost - In this report, this refers specifically to the caves/mines used by lesser long-nosed bats for birthing of their young.

Mesquite bosque - Dense stands of mesquite.

Migration - The movement of individuals and commonly whole populations from one region to another.

Migratory corridors - In this report, this refers specifically to the geographic path an animal follows to get from wintering grounds to summering grounds or vice versa.  These paths can be continuous habitat or a network of suitable habitats in a stepping stone arrangement as in nectar corridors.

Mobile links - Mobile keystone species that influence the survival or reproductive success of other species through their movement over a geographic area such as highly specific pollinators.

Morphological - In reference to the form and structure of an organism.

MtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) - A single strand of DNA in the mitochondria of animals inherited through the egg cytoplasm (maternal inheritance).

Mutations - A spontaneous change in the genetic composition of an organism at the gene,  chromosome, or genomic level.  Mutations usually refer to alterations to new allelic forms, and represent new material for evolutionary change.

Mutualism - An interspecific relationship in which both organisms benefit, frequently a relationship of complete dependence.

Nectarivores - Animals that consume nectar.

Nucleotide - The subunit, or chain-link, in DNA and RNA, composed of a sugar, a base, and at least one phosphate group.

Phenology - Strictly speaking, this refers to the study of periodic biological events: in practice it is often applied to the periodic phenomena themselves, such as flowering in plants.

Plant-pollinator interaction - The interaction between plants and pollinators whereby the pollinator consumes nectar and/or pollen resulting in the transfer of pollen (genetic material) between plants.

Pollen load - The type and quantity of pollen carried (attached) to an individual pollinator.

Pollination - The transfer of pollen from the anther of a flower to the stigma of the same flower, a flower on the same plant, or a flower on another plant depending on the species resulting in fertilization and seed set.

Pollination service - The act of transferring pollen resulting in fertilization and seed set.

Pollinator - An animal that transfers pollen from one flower to another usually in the process of eating nectar and/or pollen.

Pollinator mutualism - An interaction between individuals of two (or more) species in  which the growth, growth rate and/or population size of both are increased in a reciprocal association, where this association specifically refers to the consumption of nectar and/or pollen and subsequent transfer of genetic material from one plant to another by a pollinator species.

Post-maternity roost - In this report, this refers specifically to the roosts that lesser long-nosed bats use after they leave the maternity roosts.

Recombination - The formation in offspring of combinations of genes not present in either parent.  This results from the assortment of chromosomes and their genes during the production of gametes and the subsequent union of different sorts of gametes at fertilization.

Refueling stop - A break in the migration journey for the purposes of replenishing fat reserves necessary for continuation of the trip.

Reproductive deme - A randomly interbreeding local population.

Reproductive success - Ability to create offspring that mature to reproductive age and are, in turn, able to create offspring.

Stable isotope - An isotope that is not decaying over time in contrast with radioactive isotopes.

Succulent plants - Plants with fleshy or juicy tissues with high water content, characteristic of desert and saline environments.

Systematics - Classification scheme.

Transient roosts - Roosts used during migration for short periods of time usually while refueling on nectar and/or fruit for the next leg of the journey.

Vampire bats - A species of bat that resides in South and Central America as well as the southern portion of North America.  This bat eats the blood of other animals. 

Vegetation condition - The state of the native vegetation in a particular area.


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Retrieved from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum web site on 05-18-2024