Species Composition and Abundance of Sunbirds Foraging on Tapinanthus globiferus Parasitizing
Citrus sinensis in Permanent Site of Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
Ombugadu A1*, Benson RF1, Ahmed HO1, Ombugadu EO2, Pam VA1, Audu
EA1, Adamu S3, Njila HL4, Echor BO4, Deme GG5, Abbas AA6, Aimankhu
OS1, Terna TP7, Ayuba SO1, Dogo KS1, Angbalaga GA6, Attah AS1, Adejoh
VA1, Micah EM1, Samuel MD1, Anyim JO1, Nkup CD8, Maro SA1, Polycarp
IA1, Simon ME1 and Uzoigwe NR1
1Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa
State, Nigeria 2Plant Pathology Unit, Department of Crop Production, Faculty of Agriculture and
Agricultural Technology, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi, Bauchi State,
Nigeria 3Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa,
Nasarawa LGA, Nasarawa State, Nigeria 4Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Natural Sciences,
University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria 5State Key Laboratory of Ecology and Conservation, Institute of Zoology, Chinese
Academy of Science, Beijing, PR, China 6Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Federal University of Lafia,
Nasarawa State, Nigeria 7Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa
State, Nigeria 8Department of Biology, College of Arts, Science and Technology, Kurgwi, Qua’an LGA,
Plateau State, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author: Ombugadu A, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Federal
University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria.
The foraging strategies of animals is often shaped by the distribution and availability of resources. Ornithophilous plants greatly rely on avian foraging preference which is measured based on the frequency of avian visit and duration of foraging. To this end, the study on species composition and abundance of sunbirds foraging on Tapinanthus globiferus parasitizing Citrus sinensis in Permanent Site of Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria was carried out from January to July 2017. Focal observation with the aid of a pair of binoculars on visiting sunbirds was carried out thrice weekly in the morning and evening sessions on twelve randomly selected C. sinensis trees parasitized by T. globiferus. A total of 376 sunbirds were sighted which spread across Chalcomitra senegalensis (scarlet–chested sunbird) 181 (48.13%), Cinnyris venustus (variable sunbird) 134 (35.63%), Cinnyris pulchellus (beautiful sunbird) 43 (11.17%) and Cyanomitra verticalis (green-headed sunbird) 19 (5.05%). Thus, there was a very high significant difference (F180 = 8.129, Adjusted R2 = 0.1046, P < 0.001) in relation to the abundance of sunbird species foraging on T. globiferus. The abundance of sunbirds foraging on T. globiferus between months and as well as in relation to seasons showed a very high significant difference (months: F655 = 9.216, Adjusted R2 = 0.0586, P < 0.001; seasons: t = -5.8684, df = 589.02, P < 0.001). Also, abundance of sunbirds foraging on mistletoe showed a very high significant difference (t = 8.5947, df = 472.33, P < 0.001) in relation to time of day. On the average, Cinnyris pulchellus (beautiful sunbird) spent the highest foraging time (20.0 ± 2.0 seconds) on T. globiferus. However, there was no significant difference (F180 = 0.3172, Adjusted R2 = -0.01132, P = 0.8129) in foraging duration between sunbird species. This is the first study on sunbirds in the University Permanent Site which clearly shows that the Citrus orchard is a potential conservation site that will be of great benefit to sunbirds and other organisms, hence, it should not be cleared for building construction in the near future but allocated as a part of the Institution’s zoological garden. Trees parasitized by mistletoe in the area should be protected.
Keywords: Sunbirds; Tapinanthus globiferus; Citrus sinensis; Months; Seasons; Time of Day; Foraging Duration
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Citation: Ombugadu A., et al. “Species Composition and Abundance of Sunbirds Foraging on Tapinanthus globiferus Parasitizing Citrus sinensis in
Permanent Site of Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria".Acta Scientific Biotechnology 1.8 (2020): 03-10.