Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Doug Emlen

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Biology

Abstract

An important component of understanding the dynamics and stability of communities is to elucidate how interspecific species interactions respond to various ecological disturbances. We address this issue by removing a dominant floral resource, Helianthella quinquenervis (Asteraceae) from an alpine meadow and observing the effects on plant-pollinator interactions. Specifically, we examined how this removal effected pollinator visitation, pollinator community structure, and co-flowering plant reproduction. We addressed three primary questions: (1) How do pollinator visitation rates vary between unmanipulated floral communities and those where the dominant floral resource is removed? (2) How does pollinator diversity and community composition differ between natural and manipulated communities? and 3) How does variation in pollinator visitation influence the reproduction of the two other co-dominant, flowering plant species? To study these components, we conducted paired plant-pollinator observations in control and removal plots for 30 hours per week for 5 weeks. We then analyzed differences in pollinator visitation rates between control and removal plots using paired t-tests and linear mixed effects models. At the community level, we found that overall pollinator visitation rates increased in response to resource availability. At the species level, the removal increased visitation to one common co-flowering plant species, and decreased visitation to another. Our findings illustrate how the removal of a dominant resource can alter the dynamics of plant-pollinator interactions and provide insight into how ecological communities respond to disturbance.

Category

Life Sciences

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Apr 27th, 10:20 AM Apr 27th, 10:40 AM

The Effect of Floral Resource Removal on Plant-Pollinator Interactions

UC 327

An important component of understanding the dynamics and stability of communities is to elucidate how interspecific species interactions respond to various ecological disturbances. We address this issue by removing a dominant floral resource, Helianthella quinquenervis (Asteraceae) from an alpine meadow and observing the effects on plant-pollinator interactions. Specifically, we examined how this removal effected pollinator visitation, pollinator community structure, and co-flowering plant reproduction. We addressed three primary questions: (1) How do pollinator visitation rates vary between unmanipulated floral communities and those where the dominant floral resource is removed? (2) How does pollinator diversity and community composition differ between natural and manipulated communities? and 3) How does variation in pollinator visitation influence the reproduction of the two other co-dominant, flowering plant species? To study these components, we conducted paired plant-pollinator observations in control and removal plots for 30 hours per week for 5 weeks. We then analyzed differences in pollinator visitation rates between control and removal plots using paired t-tests and linear mixed effects models. At the community level, we found that overall pollinator visitation rates increased in response to resource availability. At the species level, the removal increased visitation to one common co-flowering plant species, and decreased visitation to another. Our findings illustrate how the removal of a dominant resource can alter the dynamics of plant-pollinator interactions and provide insight into how ecological communities respond to disturbance.