WorldWideScience

Sample records for honeybee pollination efficiency

  1. AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF HONEYBEE POLLINATION MARKETS

    OpenAIRE

    Rucker, Randal R.; Thurman, Walter N.; Burgett, Michael

    2001-01-01

    Pollination by honeybees plays an important role in modern agriculture. Some crops are greatly dependent on honeybees (almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, and cherries are examples) while the yields and quality of other crops are significantly enhanced by honeybee pollination. The importance of understanding pollination markets has increased recently due to changes brought on by the twin scourges of Varroa and tracheal mites. Both are infestations of feral and domestic bees that imply gre...

  2. Agricultural Policies Exacerbate Honeybee Pollination Service Supply-Demand Mismatches Across Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breeze, Tom D.; Vaissière, Bernard E.; Bommarco, Riccardo; Petanidou, Theodora; Seraphides, Nicos; Kozák, Lajos; Scheper, Jeroen; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C.; Kleijn, David; Gyldenkærne, Steen; Moretti, Marco; Holzschuh, Andrea; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C.; Pärtel, Meelis; Zobel, Martin; Potts, Simon G.

    2014-01-01

    Declines in insect pollinators across Europe have raised concerns about the supply of pollination services to agriculture. Simultaneously, EU agricultural and biofuel policies have encouraged substantial growth in the cultivated area of insect pollinated crops across the continent. Using data from 41 European countries, this study demonstrates that the recommended number of honeybees required to provide crop pollination across Europe has risen 4.9 times as fast as honeybee stocks between 2005 and 2010. Consequently, honeybee stocks were insufficient to supply >90% of demands in 22 countries studied. These findings raise concerns about the capacity of many countries to cope with major losses of wild pollinators and highlight numerous critical gaps in current understanding of pollination service supplies and demands, pointing to a pressing need for further research into this issue. PMID:24421873

  3. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) seed yield in relation to phosphorus fertilization and honeybee pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Kahtani, Saad Naser; Taha, El-Kazafy Abdou; Al-Abdulsalam, Mohammed

    2017-07-01

    This investigation was conducted at the Agricultural and Veterinary Training and Research Station, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia, during the alfalfa growing season in 2014. The study aimed to evaluate the impact of phosphorus fertilization and honeybee pollination on alfalfa seed production. The experiment was divided into 9 treatments of open pollination, honeybee pollination, and non-pollination with three different levels (0, 300 or 600 kg P2O5/ha/year) of triple super phosphate. All vegetative growth attributes of Hassawi alfalfa were significantly higher in the non-insect pollination plots, while the yield and yield component traits were significantly higher with either open pollination or honeybee pollination in parallel with the increasing level of phosphorus fertilizer up to 600 kg P2O5/ha/year in light salt-affected loamy sand soils. There was no seed yield in Hassawi alfalfa without insect pollination. Therefore, placing honeybee colonies near the fields of Hassawi alfalfa and adding 600 kg P2O5/ha/year can increase seed production.

  4. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. seed yield in relation to phosphorus fertilization and honeybee pollination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saad Naser Al-Kahtani

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This investigation was conducted at the Agricultural and Veterinary Training and Research Station, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia, during the alfalfa growing season in 2014. The study aimed to evaluate the impact of phosphorus fertilization and honeybee pollination on alfalfa seed production. The experiment was divided into 9 treatments of open pollination, honeybee pollination, and non-pollination with three different levels (0, 300 or 600 kg P2O5/ha/year of triple super phosphate. All vegetative growth attributes of Hassawi alfalfa were significantly higher in the non-insect pollination plots, while the yield and yield component traits were significantly higher with either open pollination or honeybee pollination in parallel with the increasing level of phosphorus fertilizer up to 600 kg P2O5/ha/year in light salt-affected loamy sand soils. There was no seed yield in Hassawi alfalfa without insect pollination. Therefore, placing honeybee colonies near the fields of Hassawi alfalfa and adding 600 kg P2O5/ha/year can increase seed production.

  5. Pollination of Rapeseed (Brassica napus by Africanized Honeybees (Hymenoptera: Apidae on Two Sowing Dates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EMERSON D. CHAMBÓ

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, performed in the western part of the state of Paraná, Brazil, two self-fertile hybrid commercial rapeseed genotypes were evaluated for yield components and physiological quality using three pollination tests and spanning two sowing dates. The treatments consisted of combinations of two rapeseed genotypes (Hyola 61 and Hyola 433, three pollination tests (uncovered area, covered area without insects and covered area containing a single colony of Africanized Apis mellifera honeybees and two sowing dates (May 25th, 2011 and June 25th, 2011. The presence of Africanized honeybees during flowering time increased the productivity of the rapeseed. Losses in the productivity of the hybrids caused by weather conditions unfavorable for rapeseed development were mitigated through cross-pollination performed by the Africanized honeybees. Weather conditions may limit the foraging activity of Africanized honeybees, causing decreased cross-pollination by potential pollinators, especially the Africanized A. mellifera honeybee. The rapeseed hybrids respond differently depending on the sowing date, and the short-cycle Hyola 433 hybrid is the most suitable hybrid for sowing under less favorable weather conditions.

  6. Pollination of rapeseed (Brassica napus) by Africanized honeybees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on two sowing dates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambó, Emerson D; De Oliveira, Newton T E; Garcia, Regina C; Duarte-Júnior, José B; Ruvolo-Takasusuki, Maria Claudia C; Toledo, Vagner A

    2014-12-01

    In this study, performed in the western part of the state of Paraná, Brazil, two self-fertile hybrid commercial rapeseed genotypes were evaluated for yield components and physiological quality using three pollination tests and spanning two sowing dates. The treatments consisted of combinations of two rapeseed genotypes (Hyola 61 and Hyola 433), three pollination tests (uncovered area, covered area without insects and covered area containing a single colony of Africanized Apis mellifera honeybees) and two sowing dates (May 25th, 2011 and June 25th, 2011). The presence of Africanized honeybees during flowering time increased the productivity of the rapeseed. Losses in the productivity of the hybrids caused by weather conditions unfavorable for rapeseed development were mitigated through cross-pollination performed by the Africanized honeybees. Weather conditions may limit the foraging activity of Africanized honeybees, causing decreased cross-pollination by potential pollinators, especially the Africanized A. mellifera honeybee. The rapeseed hybrids respond differently depending on the sowing date, and the short-cycle Hyola 433 hybrid is the most suitable hybrid for sowing under less favorable weather conditions.

  7. Oriental orchid (Cymbidium pumilum) attracts drones of the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) as pollinators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, M; Ono, M; Asada, S; Yoshida, T

    1991-12-01

    The discovery that drones of the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) pollinate the oriental orchid (Cymbidium pumilum) is reported. Drones are attracted to the orchid flower aroma mainly during their mating flights in April through May. Some drones cluster on the flower racemes and others insert their heads deep into the flowers. Drones with pollinia on their scutellum visit other orchids, which facilitates pollination. Individual workers and swarming colonies are also strongly attracted by the flower aroma, but the allopatric western honeybee (Apis mellifera) is not attracted.

  8. Re-evaluation of honeybees and wind on pollination of avocado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avocado (Persea americana Mill) flowers, with their synchronously dichogamous behavior, are considered to be pollinated by honeybees, despite the lack of any direct evidence. Results in south Florida showed that avocado pollen was transferable by wind and dispersed over a brief period of time (15-60...

  9. Estimating the density of honeybee colonies across their natural range to fill the gap in pollinator decline censuses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Dietemann, Vincent; Allsopp, Mike H; Costa, Cecilia; Crewe, Robin M; Dall'olio, Raffaele; DE LA Rúa, Pilar; El-Niweiri, Mogbel A A; Fries, Ingemar; Kezic, Nikola; Meusel, Michael S; Paxton, Robert J; Shaibi, Taher; Stolle, Eckart; Moritz, Robin F A

    2010-04-01

    Although pollinator declines are a global biodiversity threat, the demography of the western honeybee (Apis mellifera) has not been considered by conservationists because it is biased by the activity of beekeepers. To fill this gap in pollinator decline censuses and to provide a broad picture of the current status of honeybees across their natural range, we used microsatellite genetic markers to estimate colony densities and genetic diversity at different locations in Europe, Africa, and central Asia that had different patterns of land use. Genetic diversity and colony densities were highest in South Africa and lowest in Northern Europe and were correlated with mean annual temperature. Confounding factors not related to climate, however, are also likely to influence genetic diversity and colony densities in honeybee populations. Land use showed a significantly negative influence over genetic diversity and the density of honeybee colonies over all sampling locations. In Europe honeybees sampled in nature reserves had genetic diversity and colony densities similar to those sampled in agricultural landscapes, which suggests that the former are not wild but may have come from managed hives. Other results also support this idea: putative wild bees were rare in our European samples, and the mean estimated density of honeybee colonies on the continent closely resembled the reported mean number of managed hives. Current densities of European honeybee populations are in the same range as those found in the adverse climatic conditions of the Kalahari and Saharan deserts, which suggests that beekeeping activities do not compensate for the loss of wild colonies. Our findings highlight the importance of reconsidering the conservation status of honeybees in Europe and of regarding beekeeping not only as a profitable business for producing honey, but also as an essential component of biodiversity conservation.

  10. Seasonal and annual variations in the pollination efficiency of a pollinator community of Dictamnus albus L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisogni, A; Rossi, M; Sgolastra, F; Bortolotti, L; Bogo, G; de Manincor, N; Quaranta, M; Galloni, M

    2016-05-01

    The interplay between insect and plant traits outlines the patterns of pollen transfer and the subsequent plant reproductive fitness. We studied the factors that affect the pollination efficiency of a pollinator community of Dictamnus albus L. by evaluating insect behaviour and morphological characteristics in relation to flowering phenology. In order to extrapolate the pollinator importance of single taxa and of the whole pollinator guild, we calculated an index distinguishing between potential (PPI) and realized (RPI) pollinator importance. Although the pollinator species spectrum appeared rather constant, we found high intra- and inter-annual variability of pollinator frequency and importance within the insect community. Flower visitation rate strictly depended on insect abundance and on the overlap between their flying period and flower blooming. All the pollinators visited flowers from the bottom to the top of the racemes, excluding intra-plant geitonogamous pollination, and most of them showed high pollen fidelity. Only medium large-sized bees could contact the upward bending stiles while feeding on nectar, highlighting a specialisation of the plant towards bigger pollinators. Moreover, we found evidence of functional specialisation, since all pollinators were restricted to a single taxonomic group (order: Hymenoptera; superfamily: Apoidea). Both the PPI and RPI indices indicate Habropoda tarsata as the most important pollinator of D. albus. Following hand cross-pollination experiments we revealed the presence of pollination limitation in 1 of the 3 years of field study. We discuss this result in relation to flowering abundance and to possible mismatches of phenological periods between plants and insects. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  11. Honey bee visitation to sunflower: effects on pollination and plant genotype

    OpenAIRE

    Emerson Dechechi Chambó; Regina Conceição Garcia; Newton Tavares Escocard de Oliveira; José Barbosa Duarte-Júnior

    2011-01-01

    Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is an allogamic plant, which needs insects on flowering, especially the honeybees for seed production. Collecting nectar and pollen by honeybees in agricultural crops is essential to apiculture, as well as a better understanding of plant biology. The foraging behavior of Africanized Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae) and its efficiency of pollination on seed yield of sunflower genotypes (open pollination and restricted pollination) were evaluated. There w...

  12. Honeybee Pollination Techniques for Facility Strawberry%设施草莓蜜蜂授粉技术

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    聂洪光; 焦明亮; 彭殿林

    2012-01-01

    为提高温室草莓的产量和质量,介绍提高其座果率的措施。根据我国北方地区设施草莓生产的实际情况,探讨蜜蜂授粉技术的施用要点。以期为草莓种植提供科学的参考。%This article discusses measures to improve the percentage of fertile fruits for strawberries grown in greenhouse with the aim of improving its yields and quality. The author expounds on the key points in the application of honeybee pollination techniques in view of the actuality of facility strawberry growth in northern China in a bid to provide reference for the growth of strawberry.

  13. How Efficient Is Apis cerana (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Pollinating Cabbage, Brassica oleracea var. capitata? Pollination Behavior, Pollinator Effectiveness, Pollinator Requirement, and Impact of Pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Johnson; Sah, Khushboo; Subbanna, Avupati Rns; Preetha, G; Gupta, JaiPrakash

    2017-06-01

    Cabbage is a cross-pollinated crop because of sporophytic self-incompatibility, and honey bees play an important role in its pollination. Though Asian honey bees, Apis cerana F., are used in pollination of cabbage, the rate of visitation, behavior, pollinator efficacy, and impact on seed-set are to be determined. Apis cerana occupy a share of 19.18% of all the flower visitors of cabbage in natural habitat of North Western Indian Himalayas. Pollination behavior in terms of peak activity, flowers processed per unit time, time spent per flower, and time spent in search of flowers are studied separately for both pollen and nectar foragers. Pollinator effectiveness as measured by seed set in flowers excluded from bee visitation, single bee visit, and unrestricted pollinator visits was 0.11. Studies on the impact of A. cerana bee pollination in cabbage seed production revealed an increase of 17.28% in siliqua per panicle, with 26.11% increase in seed yield. For assessing the requirement of A. cerana to pollinate one hectare of cabbage, flower availability and the speed with which the pollen and nectar foragers process the flowers are taken into consideration. A forager is estimated to pollinate 4,780 flowers a day, but cabbage flower requires 9.09 visits of A. cerana for optimum seed set. Thus, a maximum of 4,999 bee foragers or 8.33 colonies are needed to effectively pollinate 1 ha of cabbage. Though A. cerana is a good pollinator, our findings suggest that it is not an ideal pollinator of cabbage. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Efficiency losses in the pollination services market: A data envelopment analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honeybees, mainly known for producing honey, also provide critical ecosystems services (Goulson, 2003; Potts et al., 2010). Their pollination is vital to the production of numerous cash crops that the U.S.’s agricultural sector depends on, particularly almonds (Aizen and Harder 2009, Bond et al. 201...

  15. Food for honeybees? Pollinators and seed set of Anthyllis barba-jovis L. (Fabaceae in arid coastal areas of the Mediterranean basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Benelli

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Abundance and diversity of insect pollinators are declining in many ecosystems worldwide. The abundance and diversity of wild and managed bees are related to the availability of continuous floral resources. In particular, in Mediterranean basin countries, the presence of wildflower spots enhances the establishment of social Apoidea, since coastal regions are usually characterized by pollen and nectar shortage in early spring and late summer. Anthyllis barba-jovis produces both nectar and pollen as important food source for bees helping them to overcome early spring period food shortage. We investigated flowering, seed set, and pollinator diversity of A. barba-jovis in arid coastal environments of the Mediterranean basin. Pollinator abundance reached a maximum in early April. Honeybees were the most common pollinators followed by bumblebees and solitary bees. Plants prevented from entomophilous pollination showed inbreeding depression with a strong decrease in seed-set. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on pollination ecology of A. barba-jovis.

  16. Pollination efficiency of Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758 (Hymenoptera, Apidae) on the monoecious plants Jatropha mollissima (Pohl) Baill. and Jatropha mutabilis (Pohl) Baill. (Euphorbiaceae) in a semi-arid Caatinga area, northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, E L; Viana, B F

    2011-02-01

    Previous studies have shown the superior competitive ability of honeybees compared with native bees in the exploitation of floral resources and nesting sites besides their low efficiency in pollinating native plant species. However, there is little evidence of the effect of this invading species on autochthonous plant populations in natural environments. Thus experiments were performed to test the pollination efficiency of honeybees in two species of Jatropha (Euphorbiaceae), J. mollissima (Pohl) Baill. and J. mutabilis (Pohl) Baill., after a single flower visitation. Samplings were carried out between March and April 2006 in a hyperxerophilous shrub-arboreal Caatinga at Estação Biológica de Canudos, Bahia (9º 56´ 34" S, 38º 59´ 17" W), the property of Fundação Biodiversitas. Apis mellifera was efficient at pollinating J. mollissima (100%) and J. mutabilis (85%). This high efficiency may be explained by 1) the simple floral characteristics of both plant species, which facilitate access to the sexual organs of the plant; and 2) the body size of A. mellifera that fits the flower's dimensions.

  17. Masting promotes individual- and population-level reproduction by increasing pollination efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Linhart, Yan B; Mooney, Kailen A

    2014-04-01

    Masting is a reproductive strategy defined as the intermittent and synchronized production of large seed crops by a plant population. The pollination efficiency hypothesis proposes that masting increases pollination success in plants. Despite its general appeal, no previous studies have used long-term data together with population- and individual-level analyses to assess pollination efficiency between mast and non-mast events. Here we rigorously tested the pollination efficiency hypothesis in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), a long-lived monoecious, wind-pollinated species, using a data set on 217 trees monitored annually for 20 years. Relative investment in male and female function by individual trees did not vary between mast and non-mast years. At both the population and individual level, the rate of production of mature female cones relative to male strobili production was higher in mast than non-mast years, consistent with the predicted benefit of reproductive synchrony on reproductive success. In addition, at the individual level we found a higher conversion of unfertilized female conelets into mature female cones during a mast year compared to a non-mast year. Collectively, parallel results at the population and individual tree level provide robust evidence for the ecological, and potentially also evolutionary, benefits of masting through increased pollination efficiency.

  18. Highly efficient pollination by bumblebees ensures seed production in Pedicularis lachnoglossa (Orobanchaceae), an early-flowering Himalayan plant

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wen-Bin YU; De-Zhu LI; Hong WANG

    2012-01-01

    Pedicularis (Orobranchaceae) is a common high altitude genus of the Himalayas that may be affected by pollination limitation.Using Pedicularis lachnoglossa from Yulong (Jade Dragon) Snow Mountain in Lijiang (Yunnan Province,southwest China),we investigated the effects of high altitude habitats on the process of pollination and seed production.Floral biology,pollinator foraging behavior,breeding system,and pollination efficiency were examined using observation and exclusionary techniques.Pedicularis lachnoglossa was found to be entomophilous and exclusively pollinated by Bombusfriseanus and B.yunnanicola.Our results indicated that pollination limitation in P.lachnoglossa was not significant.Under open pollination,approximately 80% of flowers were successfully pollinated and developed to fruits,and about 38% of ovules developed to mature seeds.Bumblebee pollination is highly precise and efficient in P lachnoglossa,because its flowering phenology and floral characters enhance the foraging of bumblebees on flowers.This study supports that animal pollination plays a crucial role in the outbreeding of the early flowering Pedicularis.The evolution of floral specification in Pedicularis has the advantages of adaptation to bumblebee pollination in adverse high altitude habitats.

  19. Efficiency of local Indonesia honey bees (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putra, Ramadhani Eka; Kinasih, Ida

    2014-01-01

    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is considered as one of major agricultural commodity of Indonesia farming. However, monthly production is unstable due to lack of pollination services. Common pollinator agent of tomatoes is bumblebees which is unsuitable for tropical climate of Indonesia and the possibility of alteration of local wild plant interaction with their pollinator. Indonesia is rich with wild bees and some of the species already domesticated for years with prospect as pollinating agent for tomatoes. This research aimed to assess the efficiency of local honey bee (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis), as pollinator of tomato. During this research, total visitation rate and total numbers of pollinated flowers by honey bee and stingless bee were compared between them with bagged flowers as control. Total fruit production, average weight and size also measured in order to correlated pollination efficiency with quantity and quality of fruit produced. Result of this research showed that A. cerana has slightly higher rate of visitation (p>0.05) and significantly shorter handling time (p tomato flowers. However, honey bee pollinated tomato flowers more efficient pollinator than stingless bee (80.3 and 70.2% efficiency, respectively; p tomatoes were similar (p>0.05). Based on the results, it is concluded that the use of Apis cerana and Trigona spp., for pollinating tomatoes in tropical climates could be an alternative to the use of non-native Apis mellifera and bumblebees (Bombus spp.). However, more researches are needed to evaluate the cost/benefit on large-scale farming and greenhouse pollination using both bees against other bee species and pollination methods.

  20. Pollen transfer efficiency and its effect on inflorescence size in deceptive pollination strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scopece, G; Schiestl, F P; Cozzolino, S

    2015-03-01

    Pollination systems differ in pollen transfer efficiency, a variable that may influence the evolution of flower number. Here we apply a comparative approach to examine the link between pollen transfer efficiency and the evolution of inflorescence size in food and sexually deceptive orchids. We examined pollination performance in nine food-deceptive, and eight sexually deceptive orchids by recording pollen removal and deposition in the field. We calculated correlations between reproductive success and flower number (as a proxy for resources allocated during reproductive process), and directional selection differentials were estimated on flower number for four species. Results indicate that sexually deceptive species experience decreased pollen loss compared to food-deceptive species. Despite producing fewer flowers, sexually deceptive species attained levels of overall pollination success (through male and female function) similar to food-deceptive species. Furthermore, a positive correlation between flower number and pollination success was observed in food-deceptive species, but this correlation was not detected in sexually deceptive species. Directional selection differentials for flower number were significantly higher in food compared to sexually deceptive species. We suggest that pollination systems with more efficient pollen transfer and no correlation between pollination success and number of flowers produced, such as sexual deception, may allow the production of inflorescences with fewer flowers that permit the plant to allocate fewer resources to floral displays and, at the same time, limit transpiration. This strategy can be particularly important for ecological success in Mediterranean water-deprived habitats, and might explain the high frequency of sexually deceptive species in these specialised ecosystems. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  1. MtDNA COI-COII marker and drone congregation area: an efficient method to establish and monitor honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) conservation centres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertrand, Bénédicte; Alburaki, Mohamed; Legout, Hélène; Moulin, Sibyle; Mougel, Florence; Garnery, Lionel

    2015-05-01

    Honeybee subspecies have been affected by human activities in Europe over the past few decades. One such example is the importation of nonlocal subspecies of bees which has had an adverse impact on the geographical repartition and subsequently on the genetic diversity of the black honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera. To restore the original diversity of this local honeybee subspecies, different conservation centres were set up in Europe. In this study, we established a black honeybee conservation centre Conservatoire de l'Abeille Noire d'Ile de France (CANIF) in the region of Ile-de-France, France. CANIF's honeybee colonies were intensively studied over a 3-year period. This study included a drone congregation area (DCA) located in the conservation centre. MtDNA COI-COII marker was used to evaluate the genetic diversity of CANIF's honeybee populations and the drones found and collected from the DCA. The same marker (mtDNA) was used to estimate the interactions and the haplotype frequency between CANIF's honeybee populations and 10 surrounding honeybee apiaries located outside of the CANIF. Our results indicate that the colonies of the conservation centre and the drones of the DCA show similar stable profiles compared to the surrounding populations with lower level of introgression. The mtDNA marker used on both DCA and colonies of the conservation centre seems to be an efficient approach to monitor and maintain the genetic diversity of the protected honeybee populations.

  2. Displacement of a native by an alien bumblebee: lower pollinator efficiency overcome by overwhelmingly higher visitation frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madjidian, Josefin A; Morales, Carolina L; Smith, Henrik G

    2008-07-01

    Biological invasions might constitute a major threat to mutualisms. Introduced pollinators might competitively displace their native counterparts, which in turn affects the pollination of native plants, if native and alien visitors differ in pollinator effectiveness. Since its invasion in 1994 into south-west Argentina, the introduced European bumblebee Bombus ruderatus has continuously increased in abundance, along with a simultaneous decrease in the abundance of the native Bombus dahlbomii. The latter is the only native bumblebee species of the temperate forests of southern South America, and the main pollinator of the endemic herb Alstroemeria aurea. In order to evaluate the impact of the ongoing displacement of the native by the alien bumblebee, we compared the pollinator effectiveness (i.e., the combination of pollinator efficiency per visit and visitation frequency) between both bumblebee species, as well as related pollinator traits that might account for potential differences in pollinator efficiency. Native Bombus dahlbomii, which has a larger body and spent more time per flower, was the more efficient pollinator compared to Bombus ruderatus, both in terms of quantity and quality of pollen deposited per visit. However, Bombus ruderatus was a much more frequent flower visitor than Bombus dahlbomii. As a consequence, Bombus ruderatus is nowadays a more effective pollinator of A. aurea than its native congener. Despite the lack of evidence of an increase in seed set at the population level, comparisons with historical records of Bombus dahlbomii abundances prior to Bombus ruderatus' invasion suggest that the overall pollination intensity of A. aurea might in fact have risen as a consequence of this invasion. Field experiments like these, that incorporate the natural variation in abundance of native and alien species, are powerful means to demonstrate that the consequences of invasions are more complex than previous manipulated and controlled experiments have

  3. How to efficiently obtain accurate estimates of flower visitation rates by pollinators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fijen, Thijs P.M.; Kleijn, David

    2017-01-01

    Regional declines in insect pollinators have raised concerns about crop pollination. Many pollinator studies use visitation rate (pollinators/time) as a proxy for the quality of crop pollination. Visitation rate estimates are based on observation durations that vary significantly between studies.

  4. A comparative analysis of lactic acid bacteria isolated from honeybee gut and flowers, with focus on phylogeny and plasmid profiling

    OpenAIRE

    Linjordet, Marte S.

    2016-01-01

    Apis mellifera (honeybee) are of huge value as they are the most important pollinator worldwide. Declines in honeybee populations have made the honeybee subject to much scientific research. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been discovered in the honeybee gut and are believed to be of great importance to the honeybee health, protecting them against bee pathogens. Comparing LAB communities in the honeybee gut to those found on flowers may help highlight the route and importance of floral transmi...

  5. Transient exposure to low levels of insecticide affects metabolic networks of honeybee larvae

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Derecka, Kamila; Blythe, Martin J; Malla, Sunir; Genereux, Diane P; Guffanti, Alessandro; Pavan, Paolo; Moles, Anna; Snart, Charles; Ryder, Thomas; Ortori, Catharine A; Barrett, David A; Schuster, Eugene; Stöger, Reinhard

    2013-01-01

    .... Such new, anthropogenic stressors include the neonicotinoid class of crop-protecting agents, which have been implicated in the population declines of pollinating insects, including honeybees (Apis mellifera...

  6. Efficiency of pollination and satiation of predators determine reproductive output in Iberian Juniperus thurifera woodlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezquida, E T; Rodríguez-García, E; Olano, J M

    2016-01-01

    Fruit production in animal-dispersed plants has a strong influence on fitness because large crops increase the number of seeds dispersed by frugivores. Large crops are costly, and environmental control of plant resources is likely play a role in shaping temporal and spatial variations in seed production, particularly in fluctuating environments such as the Mediterranean. The number of fruits that start to develop and the proportion of viable seeds produced are also linked to the number of flowers formed and the efficiency of pollination in wind-pollinated plants. Finally, large fruit displays also attract seed predators, having a negative effect on seed output. We assessed the relative impact of environmental conditions on fruit production, and their combined effect on seed production, abortion and seed loss through three predispersal predators in Juniperus thurifera L., sampling 14 populations across the Iberian Peninsula. Wetter than average conditions during flowering and early fruit development led to larger crop sizes; this effect was amplified at tree level, with the most productive trees during more favourable years yielding fruits with more viable seeds and less empty and aborted seeds. In addition, large crops satiated the less mobile seed predator. The other two predispersal predators responded to plant traits, the presence of other seed predators and environmental conditions, but did not show a satiation response to the current-year crop. Our large-scale study on a dioecious, wind-pollinated Mediterranean juniper indicates that pollination efficiency and satiation of seed predators, mediated by environmental conditions, are important determinants of reproductive output in this juniper species. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  7. The prevalence of parasites and pathogens in Asian honeybees Apis cerana in China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jilian Li

    Full Text Available Pathogens and parasites represent significant threats to the health and well-being of honeybee species that are key pollinators of agricultural crops and flowers worldwide. We conducted a nationwide survey to determine the occurrence and prevalence of pathogens and parasites in Asian honeybees, Apis cerana, in China. Our study provides evidence of infections of A. cerana by pathogenic Deformed wing virus (DWV, Black queen cell virus (BQCV, Nosema ceranae, and C. bombi species that have been linked to population declines of European honeybees, A. mellifera, and bumble bees. However, the prevalence of DWV, a virus that causes widespread infection in A. mellifera, was low, arguably a result of the greater ability of A. cerana to resist the ectoprasitic mite Varroa destructor, an efficient vector of DWV. Analyses of microbial communities from the A. cerana digestive tract showed that Nosema infection could have detrimental effects on the gut microbiota. Workers infected by N. ceranae tended to have lower bacterial quantities, with these differences being significant for the Bifidobacterium and Pasteurellaceae bacteria groups. The results of this nationwide screen show that parasites and pathogens that have caused serious problems in European honeybees can be found in native honeybee species kept in Asia. Environmental changes due to new agricultural practices and globalization may facilitate the spread of pathogens into new geographic areas. The foraging behavior of pollinators that are in close geographic proximity likely have played an important role in spreading of parasites and pathogens over to new hosts. Phylogenetic analyses provide insights into the movement and population structure of these parasites, suggesting a bidirectional flow of parasites among pollinators. The presence of these parasites and pathogens may have considerable implications for an observed population decline of Asian honeybees.

  8. Pollination following grafting introduces efficiently Ocimum basilicum L. genes into Nicotiana tabacum L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Q. Wei

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Tobacco is an important cash crop in the world. However, the genetic basis is comparatively narrow among the modern Nicotiana tabacum cultivars, limiting its potential for quality improvement. To introduce genes conferring desirable chemical constituents from medicinal plants, a distant hybridization test was conducted between N. tabacum and Ocimum basilicum L. Seedlings of wild type Nicotiana sylvestris and N. tabacum cultivar 78-04 respectively acted as rootstock and scion. During the flowering season, hand pollination between 78-04 as pistillate parent and O. basilicum as pollen parent was carried out under 22-25°C temperature and 70-80% of relative humidity in the greenhouse. Seed sets of 55% were obtained in 78-04, and about 400 seeds per capsule were produced. But both non-grafted and self-grafted 78-04 plants rarely resulted in fruits by hand pollination and those obtained were without seed. Similar results were obtained in different material combination. The interfamilial F1 hybrids acquired showed distinct variation with various morphological characteristics, and their hybrid nature was confirmed by isozyme and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD analyses. This result indicated that pollination following grafting can facilitate gene exchange and recombination at the interfamilial level and efficiently overcome barriers of sexual incompatibility between N. tabacum and O. basilicum. Our research not only extends the genetic basis of tobacco but also will provide valuable germplasm for improvement of varieties.

  9. The breeding system and effectiveness of introduced and native pollinators of the endangered tropical tree Goetzea elegans (Solanaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago-Valentín, Eugenio

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The impact of introduced species on native organisms is one of the main conservation concerns around the world. To fully understand the effect of introduced pollinators on native plants, it is important to know the reproductive biology of the focal species, especially its pollination biology. In this study we examined the breeding system of the endangered tree Goetzea elegans (Solanaceae, and compared pollination effectiveness of the two main floral visitors, Coereba flaveola (an avian nectarivore, and Apis mellifera (the introduced European Honeybee. We assessed the breeding system of G. elegans by applying several pollination treatments to flowers of cultivated trees to test fruit set, seed set, and seed viability. We also examined the pollination efficiency of A. mellifera and C. flaveola , and compared all the treatments with positive and negative controls. Our results indicate that the introduced honeybee A. mellifera is as efficient as the native bird C. flaveola in pollinating the flowers of G. elegans. This study also showed that G. elegans requires cross–pollination for fruit and seed set, and to obtain high seed viability rates. Despite the fact that many studies report exotic species as detrimental for native organisms, we document a case where an introduced insect has a beneficial impact on the reproductive biology of an endangered tropical tree.

  10. Honey bee visitation to sunflower: effects on pollination and plant genotype

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emerson Dechechi Chambó

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L. is an allogamic plant, which needs insects on flowering, especially the honeybees for seed production. Collecting nectar and pollen by honeybees in agricultural crops is essential to apiculture, as well as a better understanding of plant biology. The foraging behavior of Africanized Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae and its efficiency of pollination on seed yield of sunflower genotypes (open pollination and restricted pollination were evaluated. There were peaks of visits by A. mellifera for nectar collection on the 2nd and 3rd flowering days between 7h00 and 8h30. The average density of A. mellifera during increased visitation ranged from 2.27 to 2.94 bees per capitulum. Nectar collecting bees were more frequent (2.28 bees per capitulum than pollen collecting (0.40 bees per capitulum. On the 3rd flowering day, Helio 360 and Aguará hybrids had higher (p ≤ 0.05 number of bee visits per flower head than the other genotypes. Seed yield was 43 % higher (p ≤ 0.05 from sunflower plants that were visited by pollinator-insects compared with plants restricted to pollinators.

  11. Do honeybees shape the bacterial community composition in floral nectar?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yana Aizenberg-Gershtein

    Full Text Available Floral nectar is considered the most important reward animal-pollinated plants offer to attract pollinators. Here we explore whether honeybees, which act as pollinators, affect the composition of bacterial communities in the nectar. Nectar and honeybees were sampled from two plant species: Amygdalus communis and Citrus paradisi. To prevent the contact of nectar with pollinators, C. paradisi flowers were covered with net bags before blooming (covered flowers. Comparative analysis of bacterial communities in the nectar and on the honeybees was performed by the 454-pyrosequencing technique. No significant differences were found among bacterial communities in honeybees captured on the two different plant species. This resemblance may be due to the presence of dominant bacterial OTUs, closely related to the Arsenophonus genus. The bacterial communities of the nectar from the covered and uncovered C. paradisi flowers differed significantly; the bacterial communities on the honeybees differed significantly from those in the covered flowers' nectar, but not from those in the uncovered flowers' nectar. We conclude that the honeybees may introduce bacteria into the nectar and/or may be contaminated by bacteria introduced into the nectar by other sources such as other pollinators and nectar thieves.

  12. Pollination Services of Mango Flower Pollinators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huda, A Nurul; Salmah, M R Che; Hassan, A Abu; Hamdan, A; Razak, M N Abdul

    2015-01-01

    Measuring wild pollinator services in agricultural production is very important in the context of sustainable management. In this study, we estimated the contribution of native pollinators to mango fruit set production of two mango cultivars Mangifera indica (L). cv. 'Sala' and 'Chok Anan'. Visitation rates of pollinators on mango flowers and number of pollen grains adhering to their bodies determined pollinator efficiency for reproductive success of the crop. Chok Anan failed to produce any fruit set in the absence of pollinators. In natural condition, we found that Sala produced 4.8% fruit set per hermaphrodite flower while Chok Anan produced 3.1% per flower. Hand pollination tremendously increased fruit set of naturally pollinated flower for Sala (>100%), but only 33% for Chok Anan. Pollinator contribution to mango fruit set was estimated at 53% of total fruit set production. Our results highlighted the importance of insect pollinations in mango production. Large size flies Eristalinus spp. and Chrysomya spp. were found to be effective pollen carriers and visited more mango flowers compared with other flower visitors. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  13. Risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairbrother, Anne; Purdy, John; Anderson, Troy; Fell, Richard

    2014-04-01

    The European honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an important pollinator of agricultural crops. Since 2006, when unexpectedly high colony losses were first reported, articles have proliferated in the popular press suggesting a range of possible causes and raising alarm over the general decline of bees. Suggested causes include pesticides, genetically modified crops, habitat fragmentation, and introduced diseases and parasites. Scientists have concluded that multiple factors in various combinations-including mites, fungi, viruses, and pesticides, as well as other factors such as reduction in forage, poor nutrition, and queen failure-are the most probable cause of elevated colony loss rates. Investigators and regulators continue to focus on the possible role that insecticides, particularly the neonicotinoids, may play in honeybee health. Neonicotinoid insecticides are insect neurotoxicants with desirable features such as broad-spectrum activity, low application rates, low mammalian toxicity, upward systemic movement in plants, and versatile application methods. Their distribution throughout the plant, including pollen, nectar, and guttation fluids, poses particular concern for exposure to pollinators. The authors describe how neonicotinoids interact with the nervous system of honeybees and affect individual honeybees in laboratory situations. Because honeybees are social insects, colony effects in semifield and field studies are discussed. The authors conclude with a review of current and proposed guidance in the United States and Europe for assessing the risks of pesticides to honeybees.

  14. Effects of Different Pollination Methods on Fruit Quality of Melon Cultured in Greenhouse%不同授粉方式对设施厚皮甜瓜果实品质的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    付秋实; 张新英; 朱慧芹; 王怀松

    2014-01-01

    s:The aim of this study was to explore the effects of 3 pollination methods-honeybee pollination, artificial pollination and forchlorfenuron treatment on melon(Cucumis melo L.)fruit quality. The results showed that honeybee pollination and forchlorfenuron treatment compared with artificial pollination could significantly improve the single fruit weight,increase fruit longitudinal and diameters,flesh thickness,and contents of glucose, fructose and sucrose in fruit. But the soluble sugar contents in seeds and thousand seeds weight of forchlorfenuron treatment were significantly lower than that of honeybee and artificial pollination. Forchlorfenuron treatment could also obviously lessen the species of aromatic substance and reduce the content of aromatic substance than honeybee and artificial pollinations. The residue quantity of forchlorfenuron 30 days after spraying was only 0.62 μg·kg-1. It is in the range of security. Honeybee pollination could significantly improve fruit quality. Therefore,honeybee pollination is one of the important matching technologies,which can qurantee the safe,superior and efficient melon production in greenhouse.%比较了蜜蜂授粉、人工授粉及氯吡脲喷花对设施厚皮甜瓜果实品质的影响。结果表明:蜜蜂授粉、氯吡脲喷花与人工授粉相比,可以显著提高厚皮甜瓜的单瓜质量、果实纵径、横径、果肉厚以及果实中葡萄糖、果糖和蔗糖的含量。但是,采用氯吡脲喷花显著降低了种子中可溶性糖含量及千粒重,明显减少了果实中风味物质的种类和含量。氯吡脲喷花后30 d果实中的氯吡脲残留量仅为0.62μg·kg-1,残留量在安全范围之内。因此,采用蜜蜂授粉可以显著改善果实品质,是设施甜瓜实现安全、优质、高效生产的重要配套技术之一。

  15. Pollination efficiency and effectiveness or bumble bees and hummingbirds visiting Delphinium nelsonii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waser, Nicholas M.

    1990-12-01

    Full Text Available Delphinium nelsonii Greene is a spring-flowering perennial of the Rocky Mountains of North America. Its blue flowers conform to a classical «bee pollination syndrome», but in western Colorado they are visited by hummingbirds (mostly in the first half of the flowering season as well as bumble bee queens (mostly in the second half of the season. Experiments with potted plants showed that a bee deposits about 10 times as much pollen while visiting a flower as does a bird, and causes about la times as many seeds to be set. In contrast, bees and birds appear similar in the «quality» of pollen they deliver, e. g., in its outcrossing distance. At the level of entire pollinator populations, hummingbird visitation rates may be over 10 times as great as those or bumble bees, in part because birds visit flowers more quickly. Thus the two visitor classes should deliver similar pollen quantities overall, which is confirmed by similar pollen loads of flowers early and late in the season, and should contribute about equally to seed set, which is confirmed by several experiments and observations. Exact relative contributions probably depend on pollinator population sizes, which in the case of hummingbirds appear to have varied 2.5 fold across 14 years. The similar contributions or birds and bees lo seed set shows that individual pollination efficiency must be distinguished from population-level effectiveness. and that the «pollination syndrome» of a flower may not indicate present-day effectiveness of its visitors.

    [ca] Delphinium nelsonii Greene és una planta perenne de floració primaveral que creix a les Muntanyes Rocoses de Nordamèrica. Les seves flors blaves s'acorden a la clàssica (síndrome de pol-linització per abellots», però, a l'oest de Colorado, són visitades per colibrís (durant la primera meitat del període de floració així com per reines d'abellots (principalment durant la segona meitat del període. Els

  16. Large pollen loads of a South African asclepiad do not interfere with the foraging behaviour or efficiency of pollinating honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coombs, G.; Dold, A. P.; Brassine, E. I.; Peter, C. I.

    2012-07-01

    The pollen of asclepiads (Asclepiadoideae, Apocynaceae) and most orchids (Orchidaceae) are packaged as large aggregations known as pollinaria that are removed as entire units by pollinators. In some instances, individual pollinators may accumulate large loads of these pollinaria. We found that the primary pollinator of Cynanchum ellipticum (Apocynaceae—Asclepiadoideae), the honey bee Apis mellifera, accumulate very large agglomerations of pollinaria on their mouthparts when foraging on this species. We tested whether large pollinarium loads negatively affected the foraging behaviour and foraging efficiency of honey bees by slowing foraging speeds or causing honey bees to visit fewer flowers, and found no evidence to suggest that large pollinarium loads altered foraging behaviour. C. ellipticum displayed consistently high levels of pollination success and pollen transfer efficiency (PTE). This may be a consequence of efficiently loading large numbers of pollinaria onto pollinators even when primary points of attachment on pollinators are already occupied and doing so in a manner that does not impact the foraging behaviour of pollinating insects.

  17. Olfactory attraction of the hornet Vespa velutina to honeybee colony odors and pheromones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couto, Antoine; Monceau, Karine; Bonnard, Olivier; Thiéry, Denis; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Since the beginning of the last century, the number of biological invasions has continuously increased worldwide. Due to their environmental and economical consequences, invasive species are now a major concern. Social wasps are particularly efficient invaders because of their distinctive biology and behavior. Among them, the yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina, is a keen hunter of domestic honeybees. Its recent introduction to Europe may induce important beekeeping, pollination, and biodiversity problems. Hornets use olfactory cues for the long-range detection of food sources, in this case the location of honeybee colonies, but the exact nature of these cues remains unknown. Here, we studied the orientation behavior of V. velutina workers towards a range of hive products and protein sources, as well as towards prominent chemical substances emitted by these food sources. In a multiple choice test performed under controlled laboratory conditions, we found that hornets are strongly attracted to the odor of some hive products, especially pollen and honey. When testing specific compounds, the honeybee aggregation pheromone, geraniol, proved highly attractive. Pheromones produced by honeybee larvae or by the queen were also of interest to hornet workers, albeit to a lesser extent. Our results indicate that V. velutina workers are selectively attracted towards olfactory cues from hives (stored food, brood, and queen), which may signal a high prey density. This study opens new perspectives for understanding hornets' hunting behavior and paves the way for developing efficient trapping strategies against this invasive species.

  18. Olfactory attraction of the hornet Vespa velutina to honeybee colony odors and pheromones.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine Couto

    Full Text Available Since the beginning of the last century, the number of biological invasions has continuously increased worldwide. Due to their environmental and economical consequences, invasive species are now a major concern. Social wasps are particularly efficient invaders because of their distinctive biology and behavior. Among them, the yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina, is a keen hunter of domestic honeybees. Its recent introduction to Europe may induce important beekeeping, pollination, and biodiversity problems. Hornets use olfactory cues for the long-range detection of food sources, in this case the location of honeybee colonies, but the exact nature of these cues remains unknown. Here, we studied the orientation behavior of V. velutina workers towards a range of hive products and protein sources, as well as towards prominent chemical substances emitted by these food sources. In a multiple choice test performed under controlled laboratory conditions, we found that hornets are strongly attracted to the odor of some hive products, especially pollen and honey. When testing specific compounds, the honeybee aggregation pheromone, geraniol, proved highly attractive. Pheromones produced by honeybee larvae or by the queen were also of interest to hornet workers, albeit to a lesser extent. Our results indicate that V. velutina workers are selectively attracted towards olfactory cues from hives (stored food, brood, and queen, which may signal a high prey density. This study opens new perspectives for understanding hornets' hunting behavior and paves the way for developing efficient trapping strategies against this invasive species.

  19. Chronic neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and parasite stress differentially affects learning in honeybees and bumblebees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piiroinen, Saija; Goulson, Dave

    2016-04-13

    Learning and memory are crucial functions which enable insect pollinators to efficiently locate and extract floral rewards. Exposure to pesticides or infection by parasites may cause subtle but ecologically important changes in cognitive functions of pollinators. The potential interactive effects of these stressors on learning and memory have not yet been explored. Furthermore, sensitivity to stressors may differ between species, but few studies have compared responses in different species. Here, we show that chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid clothianidin impaired olfactory learning acquisition in honeybees, leading to potential impacts on colony fitness, but not in bumblebees. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae slightly impaired learning in honeybees, but no interactive effects were observed. Nosema did not infect bumblebees (3% infection success). Nevertheless, Nosema-treated bumblebees had a slightly lower rate of learning than controls, but faster learning in combination with neonicotinoid exposure. This highlights the potential for complex interactive effects of stressors on learning. Our results underline that one cannot readily extrapolate findings from one bee species to others. This has important implications for regulatory risk assessments which generally use honeybees as a model for all bees.

  20. Assessing the health status of managed honeybee colonies (HEALTHY-B): a toolbox to facilitate harmonised data collection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Søren Saxmose

    2016-01-01

    Tools are provided to assess the health status of managed honeybee colonies by facilitating further harmonisation of data collection and reporting, design of field surveys across the European Union (EU) and analysis of data on bee health. The toolbox is based on characteristics of a healthy managed....... The capacity to provide pollination services is regarded as an indication of a healthy colony, but it is assessed only in relation to the provision of honey because technical limitations hamper the assessment of pollination as regulating service (e.g. to pollinate wild plants) in field surveys across the EU...... and EFSA is required to further validate methods and facilitate the efficient use of precise and accurate bee health data that are collected by many initiatives throughout the EU....

  1. Diet effects on honeybee immunocompetence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaux, Cédric; Ducloz, François; Crauser, Didier; Le Conte, Yves

    2010-08-23

    The maintenance of the immune system can be costly, and a lack of dietary protein can increase the susceptibility of organisms to disease. However, few studies have investigated the relationship between protein nutrition and immunity in insects. Here, we tested in honeybees (Apis mellifera) whether dietary protein quantity (monofloral pollen) and diet diversity (polyfloral pollen) can shape baseline immunocompetence (IC) by measuring parameters of individual immunity (haemocyte concentration, fat body content and phenoloxidase activity) and glucose oxidase (GOX) activity, which enables bees to sterilize colony and brood food, as a parameter of social immunity. Protein feeding modified both individual and social IC but increases in dietary protein quantity did not enhance IC. However, diet diversity increased IC levels. In particular, polyfloral diets induced higher GOX activity compared with monofloral diets, including protein-richer diets. These results suggest a link between protein nutrition and immunity in honeybees and underscore the critical role of resource availability on pollinator health.

  2. Comparison of the efficiency of the bumble bees Bombus impatiens and Bombus ephippiatus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) as pollinators of tomato in greenhouses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Ruiz, Alfonso; Jones, Robert W

    2012-12-01

    Experiments were conducted in a commercial tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L. (Solanaceae) greenhouse to compare the relative foraging effort and efficiency of two bumble bee species: Bombus impatiens Cresson, a species from northeastern North America, commercially reared and used for pollination in Mexico; and B. ephippiatus Say, a native species of Mexico and central America. B. ephippiatus was as efficient in pollination of tomatoes as B. impatiens, as indicated by all variables of fruit quality: fruit weight, number of seed per fruit, and maximum fruit diameter. The two species had similar levels of hourly and daily foraging activity. They had the same response to temperature fluctuation. Pollination rates by both species were similar and close to 100% throughout the sample period. However, B. impatiens showed greater foraging activity during the first half of the 27-d sample period, whereas B. ephipiatus had greater relative activity during the last half. This study establish that B. ephippiatus is as efficient as B. impatiens as a pollinator of tomatoes in greenhouses and thus a candidate as a managed pollinator. However, standard reliable methods for mass rearing of B. ephippiatus are not yet available. Such methods are necessary to ensure healthy colonies and optimum pollination for producers and will reduce the pressure for the unregulated collection of queens in the field and the subsequent reduction of populations of this species.

  3. Pollination biology: biodiversity conservation and agricultural production

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Abrol, D. P

    2012-01-01

    ..., there has been no shortage of interest in studies on honeybees in relation to pollination. Indeed, a brief perusal of this subject at the website Google scholar shows that during the last century the publication of research papers in this area has grown exponentially, and in just the last decade, some 15,000 items have appeared. In the event, it is both fai...

  4. Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garratt, M P D; Breeze, T D; Boreux, V; Fountain, M T; McKerchar, M; Webber, S M; Coston, D J; Jenner, N; Dean, R; Westbury, D B; Biesmeijer, J C; Potts, S G

    2016-01-01

    Insect pollination underpins apple production but the extent to which different pollinator guilds supply this service, particularly across different apple varieties, is unknown. Such information is essential if appropriate orchard management practices are to be targeted and proportional to the potential benefits pollinator species may provide. Here we use a novel combination of pollinator effectiveness assays (floral visit effectiveness), orchard field surveys (flower visitation rate) and pollinator dependence manipulations (pollinator exclusion experiments) to quantify the supply of pollination services provided by four different pollinator guilds to the production of four commercial varieties of apple. We show that not all pollinators are equally effective at pollinating apples, with hoverflies being less effective than solitary bees and bumblebees, and the relative abundance of different pollinator guilds visiting apple flowers of different varieties varies significantly. Based on this, the taxa specific economic benefits to UK apple production have been established. The contribution of insect pollinators to the economic output in all varieties was estimated to be £92.1M across the UK, with contributions varying widely across taxa: solitary bees (£51.4M), honeybees (£21.4M), bumblebees (£18.6M) and hoverflies (£0.7M). This research highlights the differences in the economic benefits of four insect pollinator guilds to four major apple varieties in the UK. This information is essential to underpin appropriate investment in pollination services management and provides a model that can be used in other entomolophilous crops to improve our understanding of crop pollination ecology.

  5. Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M P D Garratt

    Full Text Available Insect pollination underpins apple production but the extent to which different pollinator guilds supply this service, particularly across different apple varieties, is unknown. Such information is essential if appropriate orchard management practices are to be targeted and proportional to the potential benefits pollinator species may provide. Here we use a novel combination of pollinator effectiveness assays (floral visit effectiveness, orchard field surveys (flower visitation rate and pollinator dependence manipulations (pollinator exclusion experiments to quantify the supply of pollination services provided by four different pollinator guilds to the production of four commercial varieties of apple. We show that not all pollinators are equally effective at pollinating apples, with hoverflies being less effective than solitary bees and bumblebees, and the relative abundance of different pollinator guilds visiting apple flowers of different varieties varies significantly. Based on this, the taxa specific economic benefits to UK apple production have been established. The contribution of insect pollinators to the economic output in all varieties was estimated to be £92.1M across the UK, with contributions varying widely across taxa: solitary bees (£51.4M, honeybees (£21.4M, bumblebees (£18.6M and hoverflies (£0.7M. This research highlights the differences in the economic benefits of four insect pollinator guilds to four major apple varieties in the UK. This information is essential to underpin appropriate investment in pollination services management and provides a model that can be used in other entomolophilous crops to improve our understanding of crop pollination ecology.

  6. Pollination crisis in the butterfly-pollinated wild carnation Dianthus carthusianorum?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloch, Daniel; Werdenberg, Niels; Erhardt, Andreas

    2006-01-01

    Knowledge of pollination services provided by flower visitors is a prerequisite for understanding (co)evolutionary processes between plants and their pollinators, for evaluating the degree of specialization in the pollination system, and for assessing threats from a potential pollination crisis. This study examined pollination efficiency and visitation frequency of pollinators--key traits of pollinator-mediated fecundity--in a natural population of the wild carnation Dianthus carthusianorum. The five lepidopteran pollinator species observed differed in pollination efficiency and visitation frequency. Pollinator importance, the product of pollination efficiency and visitation frequency, was determined by the pollinator's visitation frequency. Pollination of D. carthusianorum depended essentially on only two of the five recorded pollinator species. Seed set was pollen-limited and followed a saturating dose-response function with a threshold of c. 50 deposited pollen grains for fruit development. Our results confirm that D. carthusianorum is specialized to lepidopteran pollinators, but is not particularly adapted to the two main pollinator species identified. The local persistence of D. carthusianorum is likely to be at risk as its reproduction depends essentially on only two of the locally abundant, but generally vulnerable, butterfly species.

  7. Interaction intensity and pollinator-mediated selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trunschke, Judith; Sletvold, Nina; Ågren, Jon

    2017-02-27

    In animal-pollinated plants, the opportunity for selection and the strength of pollinator-mediated selection are expected to increase with the degree of pollen limitation. However, whether differences in pollen limitation can explain variation in pollinator-mediated and net selection among animal-pollinated species is poorly understood. In the present study, we quantified pollen limitation, variance in relative fitness and pollinator-mediated selection on five traits important for pollinator attraction (flowering start, plant height, flower number, flower size) and pollination efficiency (spur length) in natural populations of 12 orchid species. Pollinator-mediated selection was quantified by subtracting estimates of selection gradients for plants receiving supplemental hand-pollination from estimates obtained for open-pollinated control plants. Mean pollen limitation ranged from zero to 0.96. Opportunity for selection, pollinator-mediated selection and net selection were all positively related to pollen limitation, whereas nonpollinator-mediated selection was not. Opportunity for selection varied five-fold, strength of pollinator-mediated selection varied three-fold and net selection varied 1.5-fold among species. Supplemental hand-pollination reduced both opportunity for selection and selection on floral traits. The results show that the intensity of biotic interactions is an important determinant of the selection regime, and indicate that the potential for pollinator-mediated selection and divergence in floral traits is particularly high in species that are strongly pollen-limited.

  8. Quantitative genetics theory for genomic selection and efficiency of breeding value prediction in open-pollinated populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Marcelo Soriano Viana

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT To date, the quantitative genetics theory for genomic selection has focused mainly on the relationship between marker and additive variances assuming one marker and one quantitative trait locus (QTL. This study extends the quantitative genetics theory to genomic selection in order to prove that prediction of breeding values based on thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs depends on linkage disequilibrium (LD between markers and QTLs, assuming dominance. We also assessed the efficiency of genomic selection in relation to phenotypic selection, assuming mass selection in an open-pollinated population, all QTLs of lower effect, and reduced sample size, based on simulated data. We show that the average effect of a SNP substitution is proportional to LD measure and to average effect of a gene substitution for each QTL that is in LD with the marker. Weighted (by SNP frequencies and unweighted breeding value predictors have the same accuracy. Efficiency of genomic selection in relation to phenotypic selection is inversely proportional to heritability. Accuracy of breeding value prediction is not affected by the dominance degree and the method of analysis, however, it is influenced by LD extent and magnitude of additive variance. The increase in the number of markers asymptotically improved accuracy of breeding value prediction. The decrease in the sample size from 500 to 200 did not reduce considerably accuracy of breeding value prediction.

  9. Aspects of the use of honeybees and bumblebees as vector of antagonistic micro-organisms in plant diseas control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steen, van der J.J.M.; Langerak, C.J.; Tongeren, van C.A.M.; Dik, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris L.) are used for pollination in agriculture and horticulture. The morphological and behavioural characteristics of bees make them good pollinators. Thanks to this, bees may also be used as vector of antagonistic micro-organisms for plan

  10. Species richness of wild bees, but not the use of managed honeybees, increases fruit set of a pollinator‐dependent crop

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mallinger, Rachel E; Gratton, Claudio; Diekötter, Tim

    2015-01-01

    .... Therefore, at the farm scale, we examined the pollination contribution of both native, wild bees and managed honeybees to apples and assessed the relative importance of bee abundance vs. species richness...

  11. Wind of change: new insights on the ecology and evolution of pollination and mating in wind-pollinated plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Jannice; Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2009-01-01

    Background The rich literature that characterizes the field of pollination biology has focused largely on animal-pollinated plants. At least 10 % of angiosperms are wind pollinated, and this mode of pollination has evolved on multiple occasions among unrelated lineages, and hence this discrepancy in research interest is surprising. Here, the evolution and functional ecology of pollination and mating in wind-pollinated plants are discussed, a theoretical framework for modelling the selection of wind pollination is outlined, and pollen capture and the occurrence of pollen limitation in diverse wind-pollinated herbs are investigated experimentally. Scope and Conclusions Wind pollination may commonly evolve to provide reproductive assurance when pollinators are scarce. Evidence is presented that pollen limitation in wind-pollinated plants may not be as common as it is in animal-pollinated species. The studies of pollen capture in wind-pollinated herbs demonstrate that pollen transfer efficiency is not substantially lower than in animal-pollinated plants as is often assumed. These findings challenge the explanation that the evolution of few ovules in wind-pollinated flowers is associated with low pollen loads. Floral and inflorescence architecture is crucial to pollination and mating because of the aerodynamics of wind pollination. Evidence is provided for the importance of plant height, floral position, and stamen and stigma characteristics in promoting effective pollen dispersal and capture. Finally, it is proposed that geitonogamous selfing may alleviate pollen limitation in many wind-pollinated plants with unisexual flowers. PMID:19218583

  12. Wind of change: new insights on the ecology and evolution of pollination and mating in wind-pollinated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Jannice; Barrett, Spencer C H

    2009-06-01

    The rich literature that characterizes the field of pollination biology has focused largely on animal-pollinated plants. At least 10 % of angiosperms are wind pollinated, and this mode of pollination has evolved on multiple occasions among unrelated lineages, and hence this discrepancy in research interest is surprising. Here, the evolution and functional ecology of pollination and mating in wind-pollinated plants are discussed, a theoretical framework for modelling the selection of wind pollination is outlined, and pollen capture and the occurrence of pollen limitation in diverse wind-pollinated herbs are investigated experimentally. Wind pollination may commonly evolve to provide reproductive assurance when pollinators are scarce. Evidence is presented that pollen limitation in wind-pollinated plants may not be as common as it is in animal-pollinated species. The studies of pollen capture in wind-pollinated herbs demonstrate that pollen transfer efficiency is not substantially lower than in animal-pollinated plants as is often assumed. These findings challenge the explanation that the evolution of few ovules in wind-pollinated flowers is associated with low pollen loads. Floral and inflorescence architecture is crucial to pollination and mating because of the aerodynamics of wind pollination. Evidence is provided for the importance of plant height, floral position, and stamen and stigma characteristics in promoting effective pollen dispersal and capture. Finally, it is proposed that geitonogamous selfing may alleviate pollen limitation in many wind-pollinated plants with unisexual flowers.

  13. Caffeine in floral nectar enhances a pollinator's memory of reward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, G A; Baker, D D; Palmer, M J; Stabler, D; Mustard, J A; Power, E F; Borland, A M; Stevenson, P C

    2013-03-08

    Plant defense compounds occur in floral nectar, but their ecological role is not well understood. We provide evidence that plant compounds pharmacologically alter pollinator behavior by enhancing their memory of reward. Honeybees rewarded with caffeine, which occurs naturally in nectar of Coffea and Citrus species, were three times as likely to remember a learned floral scent as were honeybees rewarded with sucrose alone. Caffeine potentiated responses of mushroom body neurons involved in olfactory learning and memory by acting as an adenosine receptor antagonist. Caffeine concentrations in nectar did not exceed the bees' bitter taste threshold, implying that pollinators impose selection for nectar that is pharmacologically active but not repellent. By using a drug to enhance memories of reward, plants secure pollinator fidelity and improve reproductive success.

  14. Quantitative comparison of caste differences in honeybee hemolymph.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Queenie W T; Howes, Charles G; Foster, Leonard J

    2006-12-01

    The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an invaluable partner in agriculture around the world both for its production of honey and, more importantly, for its role in pollination. Honeybees are largely unexplored at the molecular level despite a long and distinguished career as a model organism for understanding social behavior. Like other eusocial insects, honeybees can be divided into several castes: the queen (fertile female), workers (sterile females), and drones (males). Each caste has different energetic and metabolic requirements, and each differs in its susceptibility to pathogens, many of which have evolved to take advantage of the close social network inside a colony. Hemolymph, arthropods' equivalent to blood, distributes nutrients throughout the bee, and the immune components contained within it form one of the primary lines of defense against invading microorganisms. In this study we have applied qualitative and quantitative proteomics to gain a better understanding of honeybee hemolymph and how it varies among the castes and during development. We found large differences in hemolymph protein composition, especially between larval and adult stage bees and between male and female castes but even between adult workers and queens. We also provide experimental evidence for the expression of several unannotated honeybee genes and for the detection of biomarkers of a viral infection. Our data provide an initial molecular picture of honeybee hemolymph, to a greater depth than previous studies in other insects, and will pave the way for future biochemical studies of innate immunity in this animal.

  15. Parameterization of the InVEST Crop Pollination Model to spatially predict abundance of wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) native bee pollinators in Maine, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groff, Shannon C.; Loftin, Cynthia S.; Drummond, Frank; Bushmann, Sara; McGill, Brian J.

    2016-01-01

    Non-native honeybees historically have been managed for crop pollination, however, recent population declines draw attention to pollination services provided by native bees. We applied the InVEST Crop Pollination model, developed to predict native bee abundance from habitat resources, in Maine's wild blueberry crop landscape. We evaluated model performance with parameters informed by four approaches: 1) expert opinion; 2) sensitivity analysis; 3) sensitivity analysis informed model optimization; and, 4) simulated annealing (uninformed) model optimization. Uninformed optimization improved model performance by 29% compared to expert opinion-informed model, while sensitivity-analysis informed optimization improved model performance by 54%. This suggests that expert opinion may not result in the best parameter values for the InVEST model. The proportion of deciduous/mixed forest within 2000 m of a blueberry field also reliably predicted native bee abundance in blueberry fields, however, the InVEST model provides an efficient tool to estimate bee abundance beyond the field perimeter.

  16. Evaluation of Yield Component Traits of Honeybee-Pollinated (Apis mellifera L.Rapeseed Canola (Brassica napus L. Evaluación de Parámetros de Rendimiento del Raps (Brassica napus L. Polinizado por Abejas (Apis mellifera L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximena Araneda Durán

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent introduction of hybrid varieties raises the question if bees (Apis mellifera L. contribute as pollinator agents in developing the full yield potential of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.. In order to evaluate the yield achieved by B. napus cv. Artus pollinated by A. mellifera testing was carried out in the district of Freire, La Araucanía Region, Chile. This consisted in isolating or excluding rapeseed plants from pollinators with exclusion cages. Treatments applied were total exclusion (T1, partial exclusion (T2 and free pollination (T0 with a density of 6.5 hives ha-1, in order to determine the following yield components traits: grains per silique, siliques per plant, 1000 grain weight and yield. The experimental design used was randomized complete blocks with three treatments and three replicates. Results obtained show that the parameter least affected by bee intervention was the grains per silique variable. In contrast, siliques per plant and 1000 grain weight parameters presented significant differences, contributing to a yield greater than 5 t ha-1; which represented a figure 50.34% higher than in the treatment without bees. It may be concluded that the inclusion of bees in crops is fully justified as a production tool.La reciente introducción de variedades híbridas plantea la interrogante de la contribución que pueda tener la presencia de abejas (Apis mellifera L. como agentes polinizadores para desarrollar en pleno el potencial productivo del raps (Brassica napus L.. Con el objetivo de evaluar el rendimiento alcanzado por B. napus cv. Artus polinizado por A. mellifera, se realizó un ensayo en la localidad de Freire, Región de La Araucanía, Chile. Éste consistió en aislar o excluir las plantas de raps de los polinizadores mediante el uso de jaulas excluidoras. Los tratamientos consistieron en la exclusión total (T1, exclusión parcial (T2 y libre polinización (T0 con una densidad de 6,5 colmenas ha-1, con el fin de determinar

  17. Efficacy of honeybees (Apis mellifera on the production of sunflower (Helianthus annus L. seeds in the Sudan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osman Abd Elmhmoud Altayeb

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Study was conducted to test the efficacy of the honeybees in the production of sunflower seeds. This experiment was conducted in Complete Randomized Block Design in the cropping season of 2011- 2012 at Sinnar region, Sudan. Three different patterns of pollination i.e. pollination with honey bee (H, open pollination (O and control without pollination (C were tested for the seed set in sun flower. Each treatments contains twenty (20 plants. Results of study revealed significant differences among the tested pollination pattern. Among these highest seed set ratios (80% and 79% were obtained in the open (O and honey bee (H pollination system. While only 45.2% seed set was reported in the control (C where plants kept in closed system and away from insect pollination. Furthermore, the mean seeds weights per head (27.65g and 26.88g were also reported higher in open and honey bee pollinated system and it was 162.3% and 155% higher than the control respectively. Similar types of trends was reported in the weight parameters of hundred seeds, the superiority was shown by open and honey bee pollination. This weight was 52% and 45% higher than the control treatment (C respectively. Therefore, the results of the study revealed that use of honeybees as pollinator for sunflower can contribute in hybrid seed production in better manner.

  18. Nosema Tolerant Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Escape Parasitic Manipulation of Apoptosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurze, Christoph; Le Conte, Yves; Dussaubat, Claudia; Erler, Silvio; Kryger, Per; Lewkowski, Oleg; Müller, Thomas; Widder, Miriam; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2015-01-01

    Apoptosis is not only pivotal for development, but also for pathogen defence in multicellular organisms. Although numerous intracellular pathogens are known to interfere with the host’s apoptotic machinery to overcome this defence, its importance for host-parasite coevolution has been neglected. We conducted three inoculation experiments to investigate in the apoptotic respond during infection with the intracellular gut pathogen Nosema ceranae, which is considered as potential global threat to the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and other bee pollinators, in sensitive and tolerant honeybees. To explore apoptotic processes in the gut epithelium, we visualised apoptotic cells using TUNEL assays and measured the relative expression levels of subset of candidate genes involved in the apoptotic machinery using qPCR. Our results suggest that N. ceranae reduces apoptosis in sensitive honeybees by enhancing inhibitor of apoptosis protein-(iap)-2 gene transcription. Interestingly, this seems not be the case in Nosema tolerant honeybees. We propose that these tolerant honeybees are able to escape the manipulation of apoptosis by N. ceranae, which may have evolved a mechanism to regulate an anti-apoptotic gene as key adaptation for improved host invasion. PMID:26445372

  19. Nosema Tolerant Honeybees (Apis mellifera Escape Parasitic Manipulation of Apoptosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Kurze

    Full Text Available Apoptosis is not only pivotal for development, but also for pathogen defence in multicellular organisms. Although numerous intracellular pathogens are known to interfere with the host's apoptotic machinery to overcome this defence, its importance for host-parasite coevolution has been neglected. We conducted three inoculation experiments to investigate in the apoptotic respond during infection with the intracellular gut pathogen Nosema ceranae, which is considered as potential global threat to the honeybee (Apis mellifera and other bee pollinators, in sensitive and tolerant honeybees. To explore apoptotic processes in the gut epithelium, we visualised apoptotic cells using TUNEL assays and measured the relative expression levels of subset of candidate genes involved in the apoptotic machinery using qPCR. Our results suggest that N. ceranae reduces apoptosis in sensitive honeybees by enhancing inhibitor of apoptosis protein-(iap-2 gene transcription. Interestingly, this seems not be the case in Nosema tolerant honeybees. We propose that these tolerant honeybees are able to escape the manipulation of apoptosis by N. ceranae, which may have evolved a mechanism to regulate an anti-apoptotic gene as key adaptation for improved host invasion.

  20. Insights into social insects from the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauser, Frank; Cazzamali, Giuseppe; Williamson, Michael

    2006-01-01

    Here we report the genome sequence of the honeybee Apis mellifera, a key model for social behaviour and essential to global ecology through pollination. Compared with other sequenced insect genomes, the A. mellifera genome has high A+T and CpG contents, lacks major transposon families, evolves mo...

  1. Insights into social insects from the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauser, Frank; Cazzamali, Giuseppe; Williamson, Michael

    2006-01-01

    Here we report the genome sequence of the honeybee Apis mellifera, a key model for social behaviour and essential to global ecology through pollination. Compared with other sequenced insect genomes, the A. mellifera genome has high A+T and CpG contents, lacks major transposon families, evolves more...

  2. Pollination and Restoration

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kingsley W. Dixon

    2009-01-01

    Pollination services underpin sustainability of restored ecosystems. Yet, outside of agri-environments, effective restoration of pollinator services in ecological restoration has received little attention...

  3. Variation in pollinator effectiveness in swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata (Apocynaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivey, Christopher T; Martinez, Pocholo; Wyatt, Robert

    2003-02-01

    The contribution of a pollinator toward plant fitness (i.e., its "effectiveness") can determine its importance for the plant's evolutionary ecology. We compared pollinators in a population of Asclepias incarnata (Apocynaceae) for several components of pollinator effectiveness over two flowering seasons to evaluate their importance to plant reproduction. Insects of the order Hymenoptera predominate in A. incarnata pollination, but there appears to be no specialization for pollination within this order. Pollinators varied significantly in nearly every component of effectiveness that we measured, including pollen load, removal and deposition of pollen, pollination efficiency (deposition/removal), flower-handling time, and potential for geitonogamy (fractional pollen deposition). The visitation rate of pollinators also varied significantly between years and through time within years. Pollination success and percentage fruit-set of unmanipulated plants in the population also varied significantly between years, and pollination success varied among sample times within years. Most components of effectiveness were weakly correlated, suggesting that the contributions of visitor species toward pollination varied among effectiveness components. Mean flower-handling time, however, was strongly correlated with several components, including pollen removal and deposition, pollination efficiency, and fractional pollen deposition. These findings highlight the significance of pollination variability for plant reproduction and suggest that time-dependent foraging behaviors may play an important role in determining pollinator effectiveness.

  4. Hairiness: the missing link between pollinators and pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liñán-Cembrano, Gustavo; Beggs, Jacqueline R.; Howlett, Brad G.; Pattemore, David E.; Bartomeus, Ignasi

    2016-01-01

    Background Functional traits are the primary biotic component driving organism influence on ecosystem functions; in consequence, traits are widely used in ecological research. However, most animal trait-based studies use easy-to-measure characteristics of species that are at best only weakly associated with functions. Animal-mediated pollination is a key ecosystem function and is likely to be influenced by pollinator traits, but to date no one has identified functional traits that are simple to measure and have good predictive power. Methods Here, we show that a simple, easy to measure trait (hairiness) can predict pollinator effectiveness with high accuracy. We used a novel image analysis method to calculate entropy values for insect body surfaces as a measure of hairiness. We evaluated the power of our method for predicting pollinator effectiveness by regressing pollinator hairiness (entropy) against single visit pollen deposition (SVD) and pollen loads on insects. We used linear models and AICC model selection to determine which body regions were the best predictors of SVD and pollen load. Results We found that hairiness can be used as a robust proxy of SVD. The best models for predicting SVD for the flower species Brassica rapa and Actinidia deliciosa were hairiness on the face and thorax as predictors (R2 = 0.98 and 0.91 respectively). The best model for predicting pollen load for B. rapa was hairiness on the face (R2 = 0.81). Discussion We suggest that the match between pollinator body region hairiness and plant reproductive structure morphology is a powerful predictor of pollinator effectiveness. We show that pollinator hairiness is strongly linked to pollination—an important ecosystem function, and provide a rigorous and time-efficient method for measuring hairiness. Identifying and accurately measuring key traits that drive ecosystem processes is critical as global change increasingly alters ecological communities, and subsequently, ecosystem

  5. Variations in pollinator density and impacts on large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb. crop yield in Sikkim Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kailash S. Gaira

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb., a perennial cash crop, cultivated under an agroforestry system in the eastern Himalaya of India, is well recognized as a pollination-dependent crop. Observations on pollinator abundance in Mamlay watershed of Sikkim Himalaya were collected during the blooming season to evaluate the pollinator abundance across sites and time frames, and impact of pollinator abundance on crop yield from 2010 to 2012. The results revealed that the bumblebees and honeybees are most frequent visitors of large cardamom flowers. The abundance of honeybees, however, varied between sites for the years 2010–2012, while that of bumblebees varied for the years 2011 and 2012. The abundance of honeybees resulted in a variation within time frames for 2010 and 2011, while that of bumblebees varied for 2010 and 2012 (p<0.01. The density of pollinators correlated positively with the number of flowers of the target crop. The impact of pollinator abundance revealed that the increasing bumblebee visitation resulted in a higher yield of the crop (i.e. 17–41 g/plant and the increasing abundance of all bees (21–41 g/plant was significant (p<0.03. Therefore, the study concluded that the large cardamom yield is sensitive to pollinator abundance and there is a need for adopting the best pollinator conservation and management practices toward sustaining the yield of large cardamom.

  6. Interactive effects of large- and small-scale sources of feral honey-bees for sunflower in the Argentine Pampas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agustín Sáez

    Full Text Available Pollinators for animal pollinated crops can be provided by natural and semi-natural habitats, ranging from large vegetation remnants to small areas of non-crop land in an otherwise highly modified landscape. It is unknown, however, how different small- and large-scale habitat patches interact as pollinator sources. In the intensively managed Argentine Pampas, we studied the additive and interactive effects of large expanses (up to 2200 ha of natural habitat, represented by untilled isolated "sierras", and narrow (3-7 m wide strips of semi-natural habitat, represented by field margins, as pollinator sources for sunflower (Helianthus annus. We estimated visitation rates by feral honey-bees, Apis mellifera, and native flower visitors (as a group at 1, 5, 25, 50 and 100 m from a field margin in 17 sunflower fields 0-10 km distant from the nearest sierra. Honey-bees dominated the pollinator assemblage accounting for >90% of all visits to sunflower inflorescences. Honey-bee visitation was strongly affected by proximity to the sierras decreasing by about 70% in the most isolated fields. There was also a decline in honey-bee visitation with distance from the field margin, which was apparent with increasing field isolation, but undetected in fields nearby large expanses of natural habitat. The probability of observing a native visitor decreased with isolation from the sierras, but in other respects visitation by flower visitors other than honey-bees was mostly unaffected by the habitat factors assessed in this study. Overall, we found strong hierarchical and interactive effects between the study large and small-scale pollinator sources. These results emphasize the importance of preserving natural habitats and managing actively field verges in the absence of large remnants of natural habitat for improving pollinator services.

  7. Pollinator specialization and pollination syndromes of three related North American Silene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Richard J; Westbrook, M Jody; Rohde, Alexandra S; Cridland, Julie M; Fenster, Charles B; Dudash, Michele R

    2009-08-01

    Community and biogeographic surveys often conclude that plant-pollinator interactions are highly generalized. Thus, a central implication of the pollination syndrome concept, that floral trait evolution occurs primarily via specialized interactions of plants with their pollinators, has been questioned. However, broad surveys may not distinguish whether flower visitors are actual pollen vectors and hence lack power to assess the relationship between syndrome traits and the pollinators responsible for their evolution. Here we address whether the floral traits of three closely related hermaphroditic Silene spp. native to eastern North America (S. caroliniana, S. virginica, and S. stellata) correspond to predicted specialized pollination based on floral differences among the three species and the congruence of these floral features with recognized pollination syndromes. A nocturnal/diurnal pollinator exclusion experiment demonstrated that all three Silene spp. have diurnal pollinators, and only S. stellata has nocturnal pollinators. Multiyear studies of visitation rates demonstrated that large bees, hummingbirds, and nocturnal moths were the most frequent pollinators of S. caroliniana, S. virginica, and S. stellata, respectively. Estimates of pollen grains deposited and removed per visit generally corroborated the visitation rate results for all three species. However, the relatively infrequent diurnal hawkmoth pollinators of S. caroliniana were equally effective and more efficient than the most frequent large bee visitors. Pollinator importance (visitation X deposition) of each of the animal visitors to each species was estimated and demonstrated that in most years large bees and nocturnal moths were the most important pollinators of S. caroliniana and S. stellata, respectively. By quantifying comprehensive aspects of the pollination process we determined that S. virginica and S. stellata were specialized on hummingbirds and nocturnal moths, respectively, and S

  8. Host pollination mode and mutualist pollinator presence: net effect of internally ovipositing parasite in the fig-wasp mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fengping; Peng, Yanqiong; Compton, Stephen G.; Zhao, Yi; Yang, Darong

    2009-04-01

    The Ficus-their specific pollinating fig wasps (Chalcidoidea, Agaonidae) interaction presents a striking example of mutualism. Figs also shelter numerous non-pollinating fig wasps (NPFW) that exploit the fig-pollinator mutualism. Only a few NPFW species can enter figs to oviposit, they do not belong to the pollinating lineage Agaonidae. The internally ovipositing non-agaonid fig wasps can efficiently pollinate the Ficus species that were passively pollinated. However, there is no study to focus on the net effect of these internally ovipositing non-agaonid wasps in actively pollinated Ficus species. By collecting the data of fig wasp community and conducting controlled experiments, our results showed that internally ovipositing Diaziella bizarrea cannot effectively pollinate Ficus glaberrima, an actively pollinated monoecious fig tree. Furthermore, D. bizarrea failed to reproduce if they were introduced into figs without Eupristina sp., the regular pollinator, as all the figs aborted. Furthermore, although D. bizarrea had no effect on seed production in shared figs, it significantly reduced the number of Eupristina sp. progeny emerging from them. Thus, our experimental evidence shows that reproduction in Diaziella depends on the presence of agaonid pollinators, and whether internally ovipositing parasites can act as pollinators depends on the host fig’s pollination mode (active or passive). Overall, this study and others suggest a relatively limited mutualistic role for internally ovipositing fig wasps from non-pollinator (non-Agaonidae) lineages.

  9. Deceptive pollination of orchids

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Mutualism, or a mutually beneficial interaction between two organisms, are ubiquitous in ecological systems. However, some “empty flowers”, which offer pollinators no any kinds of rewards, design different strategies to attract pollinators without providing rewards to the pollinators. These pollination mechanisms are called deceptive pollination. The family Orchidaceae, representing one of the largest groups in angiosperms, is distinguished by high floral diversity and intricate adaptations t...

  10. Autonomous self-pollination and insect visitors in partially and fully mycoheterotrophic species of Cymbidium (Orchidaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suetsugu, Kenji

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have examined the reproductive ecology of mycoheterotrophic plants, but the existing literature hypothesizes that they adopt a self-pollinating strategy. Although growing evidence indicates that some rewarding mycoheterotrophic plants depend (at least partially) on an insect-mediated pollination system, it remains unclear whether some mycoheterotrophic plants can attract pollinators without nectar or other rewards. Moreover, in a broader evolutionary/ecological context, the question of whether the evolution of mycoheterotrophy induces a shift in pollination pattern is still unknown. Here I present a comparative investigation into the breeding system of two fully mycoheterotrophic orchids, Cymbidium macrorhizon and C. aberrans, and their closest extant relative, the mixotrophic C. lancifolium. Pollination experiments were conducted to determine the breeding system of these plants. In addition, flower visitors that might contribute to pollination were recorded. Flowers at different maturity stages were examined to investigate mechanisms enabling or limiting self-fertilization. While nectarless flowers of C. lancifolium and C. macrorhizon can successfully attract potential pollinator honeybees, all three Cymbidium possess an effective self-pollination system in which the rostellum that physically separates the stigma and pollinia is absent. Because mixotrophic and mycoheterotrophic Cymbidium occupy low-light niches, pollinator foraging would be negatively influenced by low-light intensity. In partial and fully mycoheterotrophic Cymbidium, autogamy would likely be favoured as a reproductive assurance to compensate for pollinator limitation due to their lack of nectar and pollinators' hostile habitat preferences.

  11. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehn, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-10-01

    Niche complementarity is a commonly invoked mechanism underlying the positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but little empirical evidence exists for complementarity among pollinator species. This study related differences in three functional traits of pollinating bees (flower height preference, daily time of flower visitation and within-flower behaviour) to the seed set of the obligate cross-pollinated pumpkin Cucurbita moschata Duch. ex Poir. across a land-use intensity gradient from tropical rainforest and agroforests to grassland in Indonesia. Bee richness and abundance changed with habitat variables and we used this natural variation to test whether complementary resource use by the diverse pollinator community enhanced final yield. We found that pollinator diversity, but not abundance, was positively related to seed set of pumpkins. Bees showed species-specific spatial and temporal variation in flower visitation traits and within-flower behaviour, allowing for classification into functional guilds. Diversity of functional groups explained even more of the variance in seed set (r2=45%) than did species richness (r2=32%) highlighting the role of functional complementarity. Even though we do not provide experimental, but rather correlative evidence, we can link spatial and temporal complementarity in highly diverse pollinator communities to pollination success in the field, leading to enhanced crop yield without any managed honeybees.

  12. Honeybees increase fruit set in native plant species important for wildlife conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wild cherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  13. Long-term effect of temperature on honey yield and honeybee phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langowska, Aleksandra; Zawilak, Michał; Sparks, Tim H.; Glazaczow, Adam; Tomkins, Peter W.; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-12-01

    There is growing concern about declines in pollinator species, and more recently reservations have been expressed about mismatch in plant-pollinator synchrony as a consequence of phenological change caused by rising temperatures. Long-term changes in honeybee Apis mellifera phenology may have major consequences for agriculture, especially the pollinator market, as well as for honey production. To date, these aspects have received only modest attention. In the current study, we examine honeybee and beekeeping activity in southern Poland for the period 1965-2010, supplemented by hive yields from a beekeeper in southern UK in the same period. We show that despite negative reports on honeybee condition, and documented climate change, the studied apiary managed to show a marked increase in honey production over the 46 year study period, as did that from the UK. The proportion of the annual yield originating from the first harvest decreased during the study period and was associated with rising temperatures in summer. Honeybee spring phenology showed strong negative relationships with temperature but no overall change through time because temperatures of key early spring months had not increased significantly. In contrast, increasing yields and an increased number of harvests (and hence a later final harvest and longer season) were detected and were related to rising temperatures in late spring and in summer.

  14. Honeybees Increase Fruit Set in Native Plant Species Important for Wildlife Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P.

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wildcherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  15. Pollinator diversity (Hymenoptera and Diptera in semi-natural habitats in Serbia during summer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mudri-Stojnić Sonja

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assess species diversity and population abundance of the two main orders of pollinating insects, Hymenoptera and Diptera. The survey was conducted in 16 grassland fragments within agro-ecosystems in Vojvodina, as well as in surrounding fields with mass-flowering crops. Pollinators were identified and the Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index was used to measure their diversity. Five families, 7 subfamilies, 26 genera and 63 species of insects were recorded. All four big pollinator groups investigated were recorded; hoverflies were the most abundant with 32% of the total number of individuals, followed by wild bees - 29%, honeybees - 23% and bumblebees with 16%.

  16. Bats and bees are pollinating Parkia biglobosa in The Gambia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Kristin Marie; Ræbild, Anders; Hansen, Henrik

    2012-01-01

    A pollination experiment was conducted with Parkia biglobosa (Fabaceae) in The Gambia. P. biglobosa is integrated in the farming systems and produces fruit pulp and seeds used in cooking. The species is bat-pollinated, and in areas with few bats the main pollinators are assumed to be honey bees....... A higher rate of effective pollination will in many instances increase fruit production, and the aim of this study was to investigate pollination efficiency of different pollinators. Access of flower visiting animals to flowers was controlled by nets with differently sized mesh, using five trees...... as replicates. The pollinators’ identity, efficiency, and relative effect were determined. Bats, honey bees, and stingless bees were able to pollinate the species. Bat-visited capitula produced more pods, but not significantly more than honey bees. Honey bees were more efficient than stingless bees, resulting...

  17. Orchid pollination by sexual deception: pollinator perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskett, A C

    2011-02-01

    The extraordinary taxonomic and morphological diversity of orchids is accompanied by a remarkable range of pollinators and pollination systems. Sexually deceptive orchids are adapted to attract specific male insects that are fooled into attempting to mate with orchid flowers and inadvertently acting as pollinators. This review summarises current knowledge, explores new hypotheses in the literature, and introduces some new approaches to understanding sexual deception from the perspective of the duped pollinator. Four main topics are addressed: (1) global patterns in sexual deception, (2) pollinator identities, mating systems and behaviours, (3) pollinator perception of orchid deceptive signals, and (4) the evolutionary implications of pollinator responses to orchid deception, including potential costs imposed on pollinators by orchids. A global list of known and putative sexually deceptive orchids and their pollinators is provided and methods for incorporating pollinator perspectives into sexual deception research are provided and reviewed. At present, almost all known sexually deceptive orchid taxa are from Australia or Europe. A few sexually deceptive species and genera are reported for New Zealand and South Africa. In Central and Southern America, Asia, and the Pacific many more species are likely to be identified in the future. Despite the great diversity of sexually deceptive orchid genera in Australia, pollination rates reported in the literature are similar between Australian and European species. The typical pollinator of a sexually deceptive orchid is a male insect of a species that is polygynous, monandrous, haplodiploid, and solitary rather than social. Insect behaviours involved in the pollination of sexually deceptive orchids include pre-copulatory gripping of flowers, brief entrapment, mating, and very rarely, ejaculation. Pollinator behaviour varies within and among pollinator species. Deception involving orchid mimicry of insect scent signals is

  18. Modeling colony collapse disorder in honeybees as a contagion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kribs-Zaleta, Christopher M; Mitchell, Christopher

    2014-12-01

    Honeybee pollination accounts annually for over $14 billion in United States agriculture alone. Within the past decade there has been a mysterious mass die-off of honeybees, an estimated 10 million beehives and sometimes as much as 90% of an apiary. There is still no consensus on what causes this phenomenon, called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. Several mathematical models have studied CCD by only focusing on infection dynamics. We created a model to account for both healthy hive dynamics and hive extinction due to CCD, modeling CCD via a transmissible infection brought to the hive by foragers. The system of three ordinary differential equations accounts for multiple hive population behaviors including Allee effects and colony collapse. Numerical analysis leads to critical hive sizes for multiple scenarios and highlights the role of accelerated forager recruitment in emptying hives during colony collapse.

  19. Population dependence in the interactions with neighbors for pollination: A field experiment with Taraxacum officinale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lázaro, Amparo; Totland, Orjan

    2010-05-01

    PREMISE OF THE STUDY. The fitness of plants depends on their immediate biotic and abiotic environmental surroundings. The floral neighborhood of individual plants is part of this immediate environment and affects the frequency and behavior of their pollinators. However, the interactions among plants for pollination might differ among populations because populations differ in floral densities and pollinator assemblages. Despite that, manipulative experiments of the floral neighborhood in different populations with a specific focus on pollinator behavior are still rare. METHODS. We introduced mixtures of two species (Salvia farinacae and Tagetes bonanza) in two populations of Taraxacum officinale and examined their effect on pollinators' foraging behavior on Taraxacum. KEY RESULTS. The effects of the heterospecific neighborhood differed among pollinator groups and between the two populations. Only honeybees consistently preferred both the most diverse (containing three species) and completely pure patches of Taraxacum in both populations. We found a strong and positive effect of patch diversity on visitation to Taraxacum in one population, whereas in the other population either no effect or a negative effect of plant diversity occurred, which we attribute to differences between populations in the ratio of pollinators to inflorescences. Pollinator visitation consistently increased with local Taraxacum density in both populations. CONCLUSIONS. Our study shows that a similar local neighborhood can differentially affect the frequency and foraging behavior of pollinators, even in closely situated populations. Experimental studies conducted in several populations would contribute to determine which factors drive the variation in pollination interactions among populations.

  20. The importance of pollinator generalization and abundance for the reproductive success of a generalist plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Belén Maldonado

    Full Text Available Previous studies have examined separately how pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success, but none so far has evaluated simultaneously the relative importance of these pollinator attributes. Here we evaluated the extent to which pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success per visit and at the population level on a generalist plant, Opuntia sulphurea (Cactaceae. We used field experiments and path analysis to evaluate whether the per-visit effect is determined by the pollinator's degree of generalization, and whether the population level effect (pollinator impact is determined by the pollinator's degree of generalization and abundance. Based on the models we tested, we concluded that the per-visit effect of a pollinator on plant reproduction was not determined by the pollinators' degree of generalization, while the population-level impact of a pollinator on plant reproduction was mainly determined by the pollinators' degree of generalization. Thus, generalist pollinators have the greatest species impact on pollination and reproductive success of O. sulphurea. According to our analysis this greatest impact of generalist pollinators may be partly explained by pollinator abundance. However, as abundance does not suffice as an explanation of pollinator impact, we suggest that vagility, need for resource consumption, and energetic efficiency of generalist pollinators may also contribute to determine a pollinator's impact on plant reproduction.

  1. The pollination syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steenis, van C.G.G.J.

    1980-01-01

    Recently I came across a paper on the pollination of the terrestrial orchid Listera ovata and I have observed with pleasure that the author also checked on the ’reverse’ side of pollination, viz. the question whether cross-pollination by insects is compulsory. This reminded me of the large list of M

  2. Pollination Drop in Juniperus communis: Response to Deposited Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugnaini, Serena; Nepi, Massimo; Guarnieri, Massimo; Piotto, Beti; Pacini, Ettore

    2007-01-01

    . These results suggest that the non-specific response may decrease the probability of pollen landing on the drop, reducing pollination efficiency. PMID:17942592

  3. Improvement of controlled pollination techniques of poplar

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Zhong-cheng; LIU Zong-you; HOU Kai-ju; SUN Xian-meng; ZHANG Ji-he; SHEN Bao-xian

    2008-01-01

    Over a number of years, in order to find substitutes for two traditional poplar pollination techniques: outdoor bridging trees and indoor cutting with water culture, research into two new pollination methods of uprooted outdoor seed trees and outdoor cutting branches was carried out. The advantages of two new and improved techniques were of efficiency, economy, safety and ease of operation. The methods can be applied in hybridization and breeding of poplar and other easy-to-root trees.

  4. The Acute Oral Toxicity of Commonly Used Pesticides in Iran, to Honeybees (Apis Mellifera Meda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rasuli Farhang

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The honey bee is credited with approximately 85% of the pollinating activity necessary to supply about one-third of the world’s food supply. Well over 50 major crops depend on these insects for pollination. The crops produce more abundantly when honey bees are plentiful. Worker bees are the ones primarily affected by pesticides. Poisoning symptoms can vary depending on the developmental stage of the individual bee, and the kind of chemical employed. The oral toxicity of these insecticides: (phosalone and pirimicarb, acaricide (propargite, insecticide and acaricide (fenpropathrin, fungicides, and bactericides (copper oxychloride and the Bordeaux mixture, were evaluated for the purposes of this research. The results showed that fenpropathrin had high acute oral toxicity (LC50-24h and LC50-48 were 0.54 and 0.3 ppm, respectively. Propargite had 7785 ppm (active ingredient for LC50-24h and 6736 ppm (active ingredient for LC50-48h in honeybees and is therefore, non-toxic to Apis mellifera. On the other hand, copper oxychloride had minimum acute oral toxicity to honeybees (LC50-24h and LC50-48 were 4591.5 and 5407.9 ppm, respectively and was therefore considered non-toxic. Also, the Bordeaux mixture was safe to use around honeybees. Phosalone and primicarb were considered highly and moderately toxic to honeybees, respectively.

  5. Characterization of the honeybee AmNaV1 channel and tools to assess the toxicity of insecticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosselin-Badaroudine, Pascal; Moreau, Adrien; Delemotte, Lucie; Cens, Thierry; Collet, Claude; Rousset, Matthieu; Charnet, Pierre; Klein, Michael L; Chahine, Mohamed

    2015-07-23

    Pollination is important for both agriculture and biodiversity. For a significant number of plants, this process is highly, and sometimes exclusively, dependent on the pollination activity of honeybees. The large numbers of honeybee colony losses reported in recent years have been attributed to colony collapse disorder. Various hypotheses, including pesticide overuse, have been suggested to explain the disorder. Using the Xenopus oocytes expression system and two microelectrode voltage-clamp, we report the functional expression and the molecular, biophysical, and pharmacological characterization of the western honeybee's sodium channel (Apis Mellifera NaV1). The NaV1 channel is the primary target for pyrethroid insecticides in insect pests. We further report that the honeybee's channel is also sensitive to permethrin and fenvalerate, respectively type I and type II pyrethroid insecticides. Molecular docking of these insecticides revealed a binding site that is similar to sites previously identified in other insects. We describe in vitro and in silico tools that can be used to test chemical compounds. Our findings could be used to assess the risks that current and next generation pesticides pose to honeybee populations.

  6. Two bee-pollinated plant species show higher seed production when grown in gardens compared to arable farmland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Cussans

    Full Text Available Insect pollinator abundance, in particular that of bees, has been shown to be high where there is a super-abundance of floral resources; for example in association with mass-flowering crops and also in gardens where flowering plants are often densely planted. Since land management affects pollinator numbers, it is also likely to affect the resultant pollination of plants growing in these habitats. We hypothesised that the seed or fruit set of two plant species, typically pollinated by bumblebees and/or honeybees might respond in one of two ways: 1 pollination success could be reduced when growing in a floriferous environment, via competition for pollinators, or 2 pollination success could be enhanced because of increased pollinator abundance in the vicinity.We compared the pollination success of experimental plants of Glechoma hederacea L. and Lotus corniculatus L. growing in gardens and arable farmland. On the farms, the plants were placed either next to a mass-flowering crop (oilseed rape, Brassica napus L. or field beans, Vicia faba L. or next to a cereal crop (wheat, Triticum spp.. Seed set of G. hederacea and fruit set of L. corniculatus were significantly higher in gardens compared to arable farmland. There was no significant difference in pollination success of G. hederacea when grown next to different crops, but for L. corniculatus, fruit set was higher in the plants growing next to oilseed rape when the crop was in flower.The results show that pollination services can limit fruit set of wild plants in arable farmland, but there is some evidence that the presence of a flowering crop can facilitate their pollination (depending on species and season. We have also demonstrated that gardens are not only beneficial to pollinators, but also to the process of pollination.

  7. The virulent, emerging genotype B of Deformed wing virus is closely linked to overwinter honeybee worker loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Natsopoulou, Myrsini Eirini; McMahon, Dino P.; Doublet, Vincent

    2017-01-01

    Bees are considered to be threatened globally, with severe overwinter losses of the most important commercial pollinator, the Western honeybee, a major concern in the Northern Hemisphere. Emerging infectious diseases have risen to prominence due to their temporal correlation with colony losses...

  8. Pollinator recognition by a keystone tropical plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betts, Matthew G; Hadley, Adam S; Kress, W John

    2015-03-17

    Understanding the mechanisms enabling coevolution in complex mutualistic networks remains a central challenge in evolutionary biology. We show for the first time, to our knowledge, that a tropical plant species has the capacity to discriminate among floral visitors, investing in reproduction differentially across the pollinator community. After we standardized pollen quality in 223 aviary experiments, successful pollination of Heliconia tortuosa (measured as pollen tube abundance) occurred frequently when plants were visited by long-distance traplining hummingbird species with specialized bills (mean pollen tubes = 1.21 ± 0.12 SE) but was reduced 5.7 times when visited by straight-billed territorial birds (mean pollen tubes = 0.20 ± 0.074 SE) or insects. Our subsequent experiments revealed that plants use the nectar extraction capacity of tropical hummingbirds, a positive function of bill length, as a cue to turn on reproductively. Furthermore, we show that hummingbirds with long bills and high nectar extraction efficiency engaged in daily movements at broad spatial scales (∼1 km), but that territorial species moved only short distances (<100 m). Such pollinator recognition may therefore affect mate selection and maximize receipt of high-quality pollen from multiple parents. Although a diffuse pollinator network is implied, because all six species of hummingbirds carry pollen of H. tortuosa, only two species with specialized bills contribute meaningfully to its reproduction. We hypothesize that this pollinator filtering behavior constitutes a crucial mechanism facilitating coevolution in multispecies plant-pollinator networks. However, pollinator recognition also greatly reduces the number of realized pollinators, thereby rendering mutualistic networks more vulnerable to environmental change.

  9. Honeybee economics: optimisation of foraging in a variable world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut

    2016-06-20

    In honeybees fast and efficient exploitation of nectar and pollen sources is achieved by persistent endothermy throughout the foraging cycle, which means extremely high energy costs. The need for food promotes maximisation of the intake rate, and the high costs call for energetic optimisation. Experiments on how honeybees resolve this conflict have to consider that foraging takes place in a variable environment concerning microclimate and food quality and availability. Here we report, in simultaneous measurements of energy costs, gains, and intake rate and efficiency, how honeybee foragers manage this challenge in their highly variable environment. If possible, during unlimited sucrose flow, they follow an 'investment-guided' ('time is honey') economic strategy promising increased returns. They maximise net intake rate by investing both own heat production and solar heat to increase body temperature to a level which guarantees a high suction velocity. They switch to an 'economizing' ('save the honey') optimisation of energetic efficiency if the intake rate is restricted by the food source when an increased body temperature would not guarantee a high intake rate. With this flexible and graded change between economic strategies honeybees can do both maximise colony intake rate and optimise foraging efficiency in reaction to environmental variation.

  10. Macroecology of pollination networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kristian Trøjelsgaard; Olesen, Jens Mogens

    2013-01-01

    this latitudinal diversity gradient scales up to entities as complex as networks is unknown.We investigated this using a dataset of 54 community-wide pollination networks and hypothesized that pollination networks would display a latitudinal and altitudinal species richness gradient, increasing specialization...... towards the tropics, and that network topology would be affected by current climate. Location Global. Methods Each network was organized as a presence/absence matrix, consisting of P plant species, A pollinator species and their links. From these matrices, network parameters were estimated. Additionally...... with either latitude or elevation. However, network modularity decreased significantly with latitude whereas mean number of links per plant species (Lp) and A/P ratio peaked at mid-latitude. Above 500 m a.s.l., A/P ratio decreased and mean number of links per pollinator species (La) increased with elevation...

  11. Threatened pollination systems in native flora of the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Tetsuto

    2006-08-01

    Various alien species have been introduced to the Ogasawara Islands (Japan). A survey was made investigating whether the native pollination systems fit an 'island syndrome' (biasing the flora to dioecy, with subdued, inconspicuous flowers) and whether alien species have disrupted the native pollination network. Flower visitors and floral traits were determined in the field (12 islands) and from the literature. Associations among floral traits such as sexual expression, flower colour and flower shape were tested. Among the 269 native flowering plants, 74.7 % are hermaphroditic, 13.0 % are dioecious and 7.1 % are monoecious. Classification by flower colour revealed that 36.0 % were white, 21.6 % green and 13.8 % yellow. Woody species (trees and shrubs) comprised 36.5 % of the flora and were associated with dioecy and white flowers. Solitary, endemic small bees were the dominant flower visitors and visited 66.7 % of the observed species on satellite islands where the native pollination networks are preserved. In contrast to the situation on the satellite islands, introduced honeybees were the most dominant pollinator (visiting 60.1 % of observed species) on the two main islands, Chichi-jima and Haha-jima, and had spread to satellite islands near Chichi-jima Island. The island syndrome for pollination systems in the Ogasawara Islands was evident in a high percentage of dioecious species, the subdued colour of the native flora and solitary flower visitors on satellite islands. The shape and colour adaptations of several flowers suggested native pollination niches for long-proboscis moths and carpenter bees. However, the domination and expansion of introduced honeybees have the potential for disruption of the native pollination network in the two main, and several satellite, islands of the Ogasawara Islands.

  12. Carbohydrates, pollinators, and cycads

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Cycad biology, ecology, and horticulture decisions are not supported by adequate research, and experiments in cycad physiology in particular have been deficient. Our recent report on free sugar content in a range of cycad taxa and tissues sets the stage for developing continued carbohydrate research. Growth and development of cycad pollen, mediation of the herbivory traits of specialist pollinators, and support of expensive strobilus behavioral traits are areas of cycad pollination biology th...

  13. Impact of honeybee (Apis mellifera L. density on wild bee foraging behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goras Georgios

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees are globally regarded as important crop pollinators and are also valued for their honey production. They have been introduced on an almost worldwide scale. During recent years, however, several studies argue their possible competition with unmanaged pollinators. Here we examine the possible effects of honey bees on the foraging behaviour of wild bees on Cistus creticus flowers in Northern Greece. We gradually introduced one, five, and eight honey-bee hives per site, each containing ca. 20,000 workers. The visitation frequency and visit duration of wild bees before and after the beehive introductions were measured by flower observation. While the visitation frequencies of wild bees were unaffected, the average time wild bees spent on C. creticus increased with the introduction of the honey-bee hives. Although competition between honey bees and wild bees is often expected, we did not find any clear evidence for significant effects even in honey-bee densities much higher than the European-wide average of 3.1 colonies/km2.

  14. Pollination services enhanced with urbanization despite increasing pollinator parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodorou, Panagiotis; Radzevičiūtė, Rita; Settele, Josef; Schweiger, Oliver; Murray, Tomás E; Paxton, Robert J

    2016-06-29

    Animal-mediated pollination is required for the reproduction of the majority of angiosperms, and pollinators are therefore essential for ecosystem functioning and the economy. Two major threats to insect pollinators are anthropogenic land-use change and the spread of pathogens, whose effects may interact to impact pollination. Here, we investigated the relative effects on the ecosystem service of pollination of (i) land-use change brought on by agriculture and urbanization as well as (ii) the prevalence of pollinator parasites, using experimental insect pollinator-dependent plant species in natural pollinator communities. We found that pollinator habitat (i.e. availability of nesting resources for ground-nesting bees and local flower richness) was strongly related to flower visitation rates at the local scale and indirectly influenced plant pollination success. At the landscape scale, pollination was positively related to urbanization, both directly and indirectly via elevated visitation rates. Bumblebees were the most abundant pollinator group visiting experimental flowers. Prevalence of trypanosomatids, such as the common bumblebee parasite Crithidia bombi, was higher in urban compared with agricultural areas, a relationship which was mediated through higher Bombus abundance. Yet, we did not find any top-down, negative effects of bumblebee parasitism on pollination. We conclude that urban areas can be places of high transmission of both pollen and pathogens.

  15. Functional morphology and wasp pollination of two South American asclepiads (Asclepiadoideae-Apocynaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiemer, A P; Sérsic, A N; Marino, S; Simões, A O; Cocucci, A A

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND AIMS The extreme complexity of asclepiad flowers (Asclepiadoideae-Apocynaceae) has generated particular interest in the pollination biology of this group of plants especially in the mechanisms involved in the pollination processes. This study compares two South American species, Morrenia odorata and Morrenia brachystephana, with respect to morphology and anatomy of flower structures, dynamic aspects of the pollination mechanism, diversity of visitors and effectiveness of pollinators. Floral structure was studied with fresh and fixed flowers following classical techniques. The pollination mechanism was studied by visiting fresh flowers in the laboratory with artificial pollinator body parts created with an eyelash. Morphometric and nectar measurements were also taken. Pollen transfer efficiency in the flowers was calculated by recording the frequency of removed and inserted pollinia. Visitor activity was recorded in the field, and floral visitors were captured for subsequent analysis of pollen loads. Finally, pollinator effectiveness was calculated with an index. The detailed structure of the flowers revealed a complex system of guide rails and chambers precisely arranged in order to achieve effective pollinaria transport. Morrenia odorata is functionally specialized for wasp pollination, and M. brachystephana for wasp and bee pollination. Pollinators transport chains of pollinaria adhered to their mouthparts. Morrenia odorata and M. brachystephana present differences in the morphology and size of their corona, gynostegium and pollinaria, which explain the differences in details of the functioning of the general pollination mechanism. Pollination is performed by different groups of highly effective pollinators. Morrenia species are specialized for pollination mainly by several species of wasps, a specialized pollination which has been poorly studied. In particular, pompilid wasps are reported as important pollinators in other regions outside South

  16. Impact of chronic neonicotinoid exposure on honeybee colony performance and queen supersedure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Sandrock

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Honeybees provide economically and ecologically vital pollination services to crops and wild plants. During the last decade elevated colony losses have been documented in Europe and North America. Despite growing consensus on the involvement of multiple causal factors, the underlying interactions impacting on honeybee health and colony failure are not fully resolved. Parasites and pathogens are among the main candidates, but sublethal exposure to widespread agricultural pesticides may also affect bees. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To investigate effects of sublethal dietary neonicotinoid exposure on honeybee colony performance, a fully crossed experimental design was implemented using 24 colonies, including sister-queens from two different strains, and experimental in-hive pollen feeding with or without environmentally relevant concentrations of thiamethoxam and clothianidin. Honeybee colonies chronically exposed to both neonicotinoids over two brood cycles exhibited decreased performance in the short-term resulting in declining numbers of adult bees (-28% and brood (-13%, as well as a reduction in honey production (-29% and pollen collections (-19%, but colonies recovered in the medium-term and overwintered successfully. However, significantly decelerated growth of neonicotinoid-exposed colonies during the following spring was associated with queen failure, revealing previously undocumented long-term impacts of neonicotinoids: queen supersedure was observed for 60% of the neonicotinoid-exposed colonies within a one year period, but not for control colonies. Linked to this, neonicotinoid exposure was significantly associated with a reduced propensity to swarm during the next spring. Both short-term and long-term effects of neonicotinoids on colony performance were significantly influenced by the honeybees' genetic background. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Sublethal neonicotinoid exposure did not provoke increased winter losses. Yet

  17. Large Carpenter Bees as Agricultural Pollinators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamar Keasar

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Large carpenter bees (genus Xylocopa are wood-nesting generalist pollinators of broad geographical distribution that exhibit varying levels of sociality. Their foraging is characterized by a wide range of food plants, long season of activity, tolerance of high temperatures, and activity under low illumination levels. These traits make them attractive candidates for agricultural pollination in hot climates, particularly in greenhouses, and of night-blooming crops. Carpenter bees have demonstrated efficient pollination service in passionflower, blueberries, greenhouse tomatoes and greenhouse melons. Current challenges to the commercialization of these attempts lie in the difficulties of mass-rearing Xylocopa, and in the high levels of nectar robbing exhibited by the bees.

  18. Phenology of Migration and Decline in Colony Numbers and Crop Hosts of Giant Honeybee (Apis dorsata F. in Semiarid Environment of Northwest India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ram Chander Sihag

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The colonies of the giant honeybee (Apis dorsata immigrate in the semiarid environment of Northwest India in October-November with the onset of flowering on pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan/toria (Brassica campestris var. toria, stay here during the rich pollen and nectar flow period from December to mid-May, and emigrate in late May/early June when floral dearth is witnessed. This honeybee was free from any conspicuous viral, bacterial, and fungal diseases and also did not have any serious predators and enemies. However, about 20 percent of the old colonies were infested with Tropilaelaps clareae and 100 percent of the old colonies with Galleria mellonella; none of the swarm colonies had these pests. While the migration schedule of this honeybee remained similar year after year, the number of colonies immigrating in this region declined markedly over the years; the number in 2012 was even less than half of that recorded in 1984. During its stay in this region, this honeybee acted as an important pollinator of more than 30 crop plants of this region. The causes of seasonal migration and decline in the number of colonies of this honeybee and its importance in crop pollination have been discussed.

  19. Floral scent composition predicts bee pollination system in five butterfly bush (Buddleja, Scrophulariaceae) species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, W-C; Chen, G; Vereecken, N J; Dunn, B L; Ma, Y-P; Sun, W-B

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally, plant-pollinator interactions have been interpreted as pollination syndrome. However, the validity of pollination syndrome has been widely doubted in modern studies of pollination ecology. The pollination ecology of five Asian Buddleja species, B. asiatica, B. crispa, B. forrestii, B. macrostachya and B. myriantha, in the Sino-Himalayan region in Asia, flowering in different local seasons, with scented inflorescences were investigated during 2011 and 2012. These five species exhibited diverse floral traits, with narrow and long corolla tubes and concealed nectar. According to their floral morphology, larger bees and Lepidoptera were expected to be the major pollinators. However, field observations showed that only larger bees (honeybee/bumblebee) were the primary pollinators, ranging from 77.95% to 97.90% of total visits. In this study, floral scents of each species were also analysed using coupled gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Although the five Buddleja species emitted differentiated floral scent compositions, our results showed that floral scents of the five species are dominated by substances that can serve as attractive signals to bees, including species-specific scent compounds and principal compounds with larger relative amounts. This suggests that floral scent compositions are closely associated with the principal pollinator assemblages in these five species. Therefore, we conclude that floral scent compositions rather than floral morphology traits should be used to interpret plant-pollinator interactions in these Asian Buddleja species. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  20. Pollination system of the Pilosocereus leucocephalus columnar cactus (tribe Cereeae) in eastern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munguía-Rosas, M A; Sosa, V J; Jácome-Flores, M E

    2010-07-01

    It has been suggested that there is a geographic dichotomy in the pollination systems of chiropterophilous columnar cacti: in intra-tropical areas they are pollinated almost exclusively by bats, whereas in extratropical areas they are pollinated by bats, birds and bees. However, currently the studies are clumped both taxonomically (mainly Pachycereeae species) and geographically (mainly in the Tehuacan Valley and the Sonoran Desert). This clumping limits the possibility of generalising the pattern to other regions or cactus tribes. Only four of the 36 chiropterophilous cacti in Pilosocereus have been studied. Despite the tropical distribution of two Pilosocereus species, bees account for 40-100% of their fruit set. We examined how specialised is the pollination system of P. leucocephalus in eastern Mexico. As we studied tropical populations, we expected a bat-specialised pollination system. However, previous studies of Pilosocereus suggest that a generalised pollination system is also possible. We found that this cactus is mainly bat-pollinated (bats account for 33-65% of fruit set); although to a lesser degree, diurnal visitors also caused some fruit set (7-15%). Diurnal visitors were more effective in populations containing honeybee hives. P. leucocephalus is partially self-compatible (14-18% of fructification) but unable to set fruit without visitors. Despite the variation in pollination system, P. leucocephalus shows more affinity with other columnar cacti from tropical regions than with those from extratropical regions. Although we report here that a new species of tropical Pilosocereus is relatively bat-specialised, this Cereeae genus is more flexible in its pollination system than the Pachycereeae genera.

  1. Pollination syndromes in a specialised plant-pollinator interaction: does floral morphology predict pollinators in Calceolaria?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murúa, M; Espíndola, A

    2015-03-01

    Pollination syndromes are defined as suites of floral traits evolved in response to selection imposed by a particular group of pollinators (e.g., butterflies, hummingbirds, bats). Although numerous studies demonstrated their occurrence in plants pollinated by radically different pollinators, it is less known whether it is possible to identify them within species pollinated by one functional pollinator group. In such a framework, we expect floral traits to evolve also in response to pollinator subgroups (e.g., species, genera) within that unique functional group. On this, specialised pollination systems represent appropriate case studies to test such expectations. Calceolaria is a highly diversified plant genus pollinated by oil-collecting bees in genera Centris and Chalepogenus. Variation in floral traits in Calceolaria has recently been suggested to reflect adaptations to pollinator types. However, to date no study has explicitly tested that observation. In this paper, we quantitatively test that hypothesis by evaluating the presence of pollination syndromes within the specialised pollination system formed by several Calceolaria and their insect pollinators. To do so, we use multivariate approaches and explore the structural matching between the morphology of 10 Calceolaria taxa and that of their principal pollinators. Our results identify morphological matching between floral traits related to access to the reward and insect traits involved in oil collection, confirming the presence of pollinator syndromes in Calceolaria. From a general perspective, our findings indicate that the pollination syndrome concept can be also extended to the intra-pollinator group level. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  2. Blueberry pollination in southern Brazil and their influence on fruit quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Madruga Telesca da Silveira

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Blueberry (Vaccinium ashei is a relatively new crop in cultivation under Southern Brazil conditions. The first collection introduced in the area was formed by rabbiteye cultivars which need insect pollinators and also pollinizers. The aim of this work was to observe if there were differences between pollinizers on fruit quality of the commercial cultivar and also to observe the most effective and frequent insect pollinators, under natural conditions. It was concluded that pollen source has an effect on quality of blueberry fruits. Bumblebees are the most efficient pollinators; however the species found in southern Brazil are different from the ones mentioned in the U.S. literature.

  3. Carbohydrates, pollinators, and cycads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marler, Thomas E; Lindström, Anders J

    2015-01-01

    Cycad biology, ecology, and horticulture decisions are not supported by adequate research, and experiments in cycad physiology in particular have been deficient. Our recent report on free sugar content in a range of cycad taxa and tissues sets the stage for developing continued carbohydrate research. Growth and development of cycad pollen, mediation of the herbivory traits of specialist pollinators, and support of expensive strobilus behavioral traits are areas of cycad pollination biology that would benefit from a greater understanding of the role of carbohydrate relations. PMID:26479502

  4. Spider Movement, UV Reflectance and Size, but Not Spider Crypsis, Affect the Response of Honeybees to Australian Crab Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llandres, Ana L.; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A.

    2011-01-01

    According to the crypsis hypothesis, the ability of female crab spiders to change body colour and match the colour of flowers has been selected because flower visitors are less likely to detect spiders that match the colour of the flowers used as hunting platform. However, recent findings suggest that spider crypsis plays a minor role in predator detection and some studies even showed that pollinators can become attracted to flowers harbouring Australian crab spider when the UV contrast between spider and flower increases. Here we studied the response of Apis mellifera honeybees to the presence of white or yellow Thomisus spectabilis Australian crab spiders sitting on Bidens alba inflorescences and also the response of honeybees to crab spiders that we made easily detectable painting blue their forelimbs or abdomen. To account for the visual systems of crab spider's prey, we measured the reflectance properties of the spiders and inflorescences used for the experiments. We found that honeybees did not respond to the degree of matching between spiders and inflorescences (either chromatic or achromatic contrast): they responded similarly to white and yellow spiders, to control and painted spiders. However spider UV reflection, spider size and spider movement determined honeybee behaviour: the probability that honeybees landed on spider-harbouring inflorescences was greatest when the spiders were large and had high UV reflectance or when spiders were small and reflected little UV, and honeybees were more likely to reject inflorescences if spiders moved as the bee approached the inflorescence. Our study suggests that only the large, but not the small Australian crab spiders deceive their preys by reflecting UV light, and highlights the importance of other cues that elicited an anti-predator response in honeybees. PMID:21359183

  5. Honeybee immunity and colony losses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Nazzi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The decline of honeybee colonies and their eventual collapse is a widespread phenomenon in the Northern hemisphere of the globe, which severely limits the beekeeping industry. This dramatic event is associated with an enhanced impact of parasites and pathogens on honeybees, which is indicative of reduced immunocompetence. The parasitic mite Varroa destructor and the vectored viral pathogens appear to play a key-role in the induction of this complex syndrome. In particular, the Deformed Wing Virus (DWV is widespread and is now considered, along with Varroa, one of the major causes of bee colony losses. Several lines of evidence indicate that this mite/DWV association severely affects the immune system of honeybees and makes them more sensitive to the action of other stress factors. The molecular mechanisms underpinning these complex interactions are currently being investigated and the emerging information has allowed the development of a new functional model, describing how different stress factors may synergistically concur in the induction of bee immune alteration and health decline. This provides a new logical framework in which to interpret the proposed multifactorial origin of bee colony losses and sets the stage for a more comprehensive and integrated analysis of the effect that multiple stress agents may have on honeybees.

  6. Honeybee odometry and scent guidance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vladusich, T; Hemmi, JM; Zeil, J

    2006-01-01

    We report on a striking asymmetry in search behaviour observed in honeybees trained to forage alternately at one of two feeder sites in a narrow tunnel. Bees were trained by periodically switching the position of a sucrose reward between relatively short and long distances in the tunnel. Search beha

  7. Floral function: effects of traits on pollinators, male and female pollination success, and female fitness across three species of milkweeds (Asclepias).

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Rosa, Raffica J; Conner, Jeffrey K

    2017-01-01

    Central questions in plant reproductive ecology are whether the functions of floral traits in hermaphrodites create conflict between sexes that could slow evolution, and whether individual floral traits function in pollinator attraction, efficiency, or both. We studied how floral traits affect pollinator visitation and efficiency, and how they affect male and female function and female fitness within and across three Asclepias species that differ in floral morphology. Using separate multiple regressions, we regressed pollen removal, deposition, and fruit number onto six floral traits. We also used path analyses integrating these variables with pollinator visitation data for two of the species to further explore floral function and its effects on fruit production. Most traits affected male pollination success only, and these effects often differed between species. The exception was increased slit length, which increased pollinia insertion in two of the species. There were no interspecific differences in the effects of the traits on female pollination success. All traits except horn reach affected pollination efficiency in at least one species, and horn reach and two hood dimensions were the only traits to affect pollinator attraction, but in just one species. Traits tended to function in only one sex, and more traits affected function through pollinator efficiency than through attraction. There was no significant link between female pollination success and female fitness in any of the three species; this pattern is consistent with fruit production not being limited by pollen deposition. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  8. Pollinator Research at EPA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Of great concern, honey bee populations have experienced dramatic declines in the US and in many other countries. In response to this issue, the White House instructed the EPA and USDA to lead a Federal Task Force to develop a National Strategy on Pollinator Health which called f...

  9. You'd better walk alone: Changes in forest composition affect pollination efficiency and pre-dispersal cone damage in Iberian Juniperus thurifera forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-García, E; Mezquida, E T; Olano, J M

    2017-08-19

    Changes in land-use patterns are a major driver of global environmental change. Cessation of traditional land-use practices has led to forest expansion and shifts in forest composition. Consequently, former monospecific forests maintained by traditional management are progressing towards mixed forests. However, knowledge is scarce on how the presence of other tree species will affect reproduction of formerly dominant species. We explored this question in the wind-pollinated tree Juniperus thurifera. We hypothesised that the presence of heterospecific trees would have a negative effect on cone production and on the proportion of cones attacked by specialised predators. We assessed the relative importance of forest composition on cone production, seed development and pre-dispersal cone damage on nine paired pure and mixed J. thurifera forests in three regions across the Iberian Peninsula. The effects of forest composition on crop size, cone and seed characteristics, as well as damage by pre-dispersal arthropods were tested using mixed models. Cone production was lower and seed abortion higher in mixed forests, suggesting higher pollination failure. In contrast, cone damage by arthropods was higher in pure forests, supporting the hypothesis that presence of non-host plants reduces damage rates. However, the response of each arthropod to forest composition was species-specific and the relative rates of cone damage varied depending on individual tree crops. Larger crop sizes in pure forests compensated for the higher cone damage rates, leading to a higher net production of sound seeds compared to mixed forests. This study indicates that ongoing changes in forest composition after land abandonment may impact tree reproduction. © 2017 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  10. Virion Structure of Black Queen Cell Virus, a Common Honeybee Pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spurny, Radovan; Přidal, Antonín; Pálková, Lenka; Kiem, Hoa Khanh Tran; de Miranda, Joachim R.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Viral diseases are a major threat to honeybee (Apis mellifera) populations worldwide and therefore an important factor in reliable crop pollination and food security. Black queen cell virus (BQCV) is the etiological agent of a fatal disease of honeybee queen larvae and pupae. The virus belongs to the genus Triatovirus from the family Dicistroviridae, which is part of the order Picornavirales. Here we present a crystal structure of BQCV determined to a resolution of 3.4 Å. The virion is formed by 60 copies of each of the major capsid proteins VP1, VP2, and VP3; however, there is no density corresponding to a 75-residue-long minor capsid protein VP4 encoded by the BQCV genome. We show that the VP4 subunits are present in the crystallized virions that are infectious. This aspect of the BQCV virion is similar to that of the previously characterized triatoma virus and supports the recent establishment of the separate genus Triatovirus within the family Dicistroviridae. The C terminus of VP1 and CD loops of capsid proteins VP1 and VP3 of BQCV form 34-Å-tall finger-like protrusions at the virion surface. The protrusions are larger than those of related dicistroviruses. IMPORTANCE The western honeybee is the most important pollinator of all, and it is required to sustain the agricultural production and biodiversity of wild flowering plants. However, honeybee populations worldwide are suffering from virus infections that cause colony losses. One of the most common, and least known, honeybee pathogens is black queen cell virus (BQCV), which at high titers causes queen larvae and pupae to turn black and die. Here we present the three-dimensional virion structure of BQCV, determined by X-ray crystallography. The structure of BQCV reveals large protrusions on the virion surface. Capsid protein VP1 of BQCV does not contain a hydrophobic pocket. Therefore, the BQCV virion structure provides evidence that capsid-binding antiviral compounds that can prevent the

  11. Reproductive biology and nectar secretion dynamics of Penstemon gentianoides (Plantaginaceae: a perennial herb with a mixed pollination system?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucía Salas-Arcos

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Background In many plant species, pollination syndromes predict the most effective pollinator. However, other floral visitors may also offer effective pollination services and promote mixed pollination systems. Several species of the species-rich Penstemon (Plantaginaceae exhibit a suite of floral traits that suggest adaptation for pollination by both hymenopterans and hummingbirds. Transitions from the ancestral hymenopteran pollination syndrome to more derived hummingbird pollination syndrome may be promoted if the quantity or quality of visits by hummingbirds is increased and if the ancestral pollinator group performs less efficiently. The quantification of such shifts in pollination systems in the group is still limited. We aimed to investigate floral traits linked to this pollination syndrome in Penstemon gentianoides with flowers visited by bumblebees and hummingbirds. Methods We investigated the floral biology, pollinator assemblages, breeding system and nectar production patterns ofP. gentianoides inhabiting a temperate montane forest in central Mexico. Pollination experiments were also conducted to assess the pollinator effectiveness of bumblebees and hummingbirds. Results P. gentianoides flowers are protandrous, with 8-d male phase (staminate flowers, followed by the ∼1–7 d female phase (pistillate phase. Flowers display traits associated with hymenopteran pollination, including purple flowers abruptly ampliate-ventricose to a broad throat with anthers and stigmas included, and long lifespans. However, the nectar available in the morning hours was abundant and dilute, traits linked to flowers with a hummingbird pollination syndrome. Two hummingbird species made most of the visits to flowers, Selasphorus platycercus (30.3% of all visits, followed by Archilochus colubris (11.3%. Bumblebees (Bombus ephippiatus, B. huntii and B. weisi accounted for 51.8% of all recorded visits, but their foraging activity was restricted to the warmer

  12. Reproductive biology and nectar secretion dynamics of Penstemon gentianoides (Plantaginaceae): a perennial herb with a mixed pollination system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas-Arcos, Lucía; Ornelas, Juan Francisco

    2017-01-01

    Background In many plant species, pollination syndromes predict the most effective pollinator. However, other floral visitors may also offer effective pollination services and promote mixed pollination systems. Several species of the species-rich Penstemon (Plantaginaceae) exhibit a suite of floral traits that suggest adaptation for pollination by both hymenopterans and hummingbirds. Transitions from the ancestral hymenopteran pollination syndrome to more derived hummingbird pollination syndrome may be promoted if the quantity or quality of visits by hummingbirds is increased and if the ancestral pollinator group performs less efficiently. The quantification of such shifts in pollination systems in the group is still limited. We aimed to investigate floral traits linked to this pollination syndrome in Penstemon gentianoides with flowers visited by bumblebees and hummingbirds. Methods We investigated the floral biology, pollinator assemblages, breeding system and nectar production patterns ofP. gentianoides inhabiting a temperate montane forest in central Mexico. Pollination experiments were also conducted to assess the pollinator effectiveness of bumblebees and hummingbirds. Results P. gentianoides flowers are protandrous, with 8-d male phase (staminate) flowers, followed by the ∼1–7 d female phase (pistillate phase). Flowers display traits associated with hymenopteran pollination, including purple flowers abruptly ampliate-ventricose to a broad throat with anthers and stigmas included, and long lifespans. However, the nectar available in the morning hours was abundant and dilute, traits linked to flowers with a hummingbird pollination syndrome. Two hummingbird species made most of the visits to flowers, Selasphorus platycercus (30.3% of all visits), followed by Archilochus colubris (11.3%). Bumblebees (Bombus ephippiatus, B. huntii and B. weisi) accounted for 51.8% of all recorded visits, but their foraging activity was restricted to the warmer hours

  13. Reproductive biology and nectar secretion dynamics of Penstemon gentianoides (Plantaginaceae): a perennial herb with a mixed pollination system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas-Arcos, Lucía; Lara, Carlos; Ornelas, Juan Francisco

    2017-01-01

    In many plant species, pollination syndromes predict the most effective pollinator. However, other floral visitors may also offer effective pollination services and promote mixed pollination systems. Several species of the species-rich Penstemon (Plantaginaceae) exhibit a suite of floral traits that suggest adaptation for pollination by both hymenopterans and hummingbirds. Transitions from the ancestral hymenopteran pollination syndrome to more derived hummingbird pollination syndrome may be promoted if the quantity or quality of visits by hummingbirds is increased and if the ancestral pollinator group performs less efficiently. The quantification of such shifts in pollination systems in the group is still limited. We aimed to investigate floral traits linked to this pollination syndrome in Penstemon gentianoides with flowers visited by bumblebees and hummingbirds. We investigated the floral biology, pollinator assemblages, breeding system and nectar production patterns of P. gentianoides inhabiting a temperate montane forest in central Mexico. Pollination experiments were also conducted to assess the pollinator effectiveness of bumblebees and hummingbirds. P. gentianoides flowers are protandrous, with 8-d male phase (staminate) flowers, followed by the ∼1-7 d female phase (pistillate phase). Flowers display traits associated with hymenopteran pollination, including purple flowers abruptly ampliate-ventricose to a broad throat with anthers and stigmas included, and long lifespans. However, the nectar available in the morning hours was abundant and dilute, traits linked to flowers with a hummingbird pollination syndrome. Two hummingbird species made most of the visits to flowers, Selasphorus platycercus (30.3% of all visits), followed by Archilochus colubris (11.3%). Bumblebees (Bombus ephippiatus, B. huntii and B. weisi) accounted for 51.8% of all recorded visits, but their foraging activity was restricted to the warmer hours. Hummingbirds made more foraging

  14. Emerging viral disease risk to pollinating insects: ecological, evolutionary and anthropogenic factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manley, Robyn; Boots, Mike; Wilfert, Lena

    2015-04-01

    The potential for infectious pathogens to spillover and emerge from managed populations to wildlife communities is poorly understood, but ecological, evolutionary and anthropogenic factors are all likely to influence the initial exposure and subsequent infection, spread and impact of disease. Fast-evolving RNA viruses, known to cause severe colony losses in managed honeybee populations, deserve particular attention for their propensity to jump between host species and thus threaten ecologically and economically important wild pollinator communities. We review the literature on pollinator viruses to identify biological and anthropogenic drivers of disease emergence, highlight gaps in the literature, and discuss potential management strategies. We provide evidence that many wild pollinator species are exposed to viruses from commercial species, resulting in multiple spillover events. However, it is not clear whether species become infected as a result of spillover or whether transmission is occurring within these wild populations. Ecological traits of pollinating insects, such as overlapping ranges, niches and behaviours, clearly promote cross-species transmission of RNA viruses. Moreover, we conclude that the social behaviour and phylogenetic relatedness of social pollinators further facilitate within- and between-host transmission, leaving these species particularly vulnerable to emerging diseases. We argue that the commercial use of pollinators is a key driver of disease emergence in these beneficial insects and that this must be addressed by management and policy. Synthesis and applications. There are important knowledge gaps, ranging from disease distribution and prevalence, to pathogen life history and virulence, to the impacts of disease emergence, which need to be addressed as research priorities. It is clear that avoiding anthropogenic pathogen spillover is crucial to preventing and managing disease emergence in pollinators, with far-reaching effects on our

  15. Controlled pollination in Araucaria angustifolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justina Inês Anselmini

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to develop a methodology for controlled pollination of Araucaria angustifolia, aiming at the genetic improvement of the species and increased yield of pine nuts through management with supplemental pollination. A methodology of controlled pollination was developed in which several experiments were carried out in 2003-2005 period. The effects of the following parameters were evaluated: controlled pollination, amount of pollen applied per female strobilus, time of pollination, and development stage of the female strobilus during pollination on the number of pine nuts yielded per pine cone. A single controlled pollination procedure results in low yield of fully filled pine nuts, and pollination at later development stages of the female strobilus results in high yields of fully filled pine nuts per pine cone. Controlled pollination in A. angustifolia proved effective for pine nut production and its application in oriented breeding procedures will enable breeding that up until now was considered impossible in nature on account of the considerable distance between the parent plants. Controlled pollination performed twice in female strobili more than 30 mm in diameter does increase the yield of pine nuts per pine cone.

  16. Spatial variation in pollinator-mediated selection on phenology, floral display and spur length in the orchid Gymnadenia conopsea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapurlat, Elodie; Ågren, Jon; Sletvold, Nina

    2015-12-01

    Spatial variation in plant-pollinator interactions may cause variation in pollinator-mediated selection on floral traits, but to establish this link conclusively experimental studies are needed. We quantified pollinator-mediated selection on flowering phenology and morphology in four populations of the fragrant orchid Gymnadenia conopsea, and compared selection mediated by diurnal and nocturnal pollinators in two of the populations. Variation in pollinator-mediated selection explained most of the among-population variation in the strength of directional and correlational selection. Pollinators mediated correlational selection on pairs of display traits, and on one display trait and spur length, a trait affecting pollination efficiency. Only nocturnal pollinators selected for longer spurs, and mediated stronger selection on the number of flowers compared with diurnal pollinators in one population. The two types of pollinators caused correlational selection on different pairs of traits and selected for different combinations of spur length and number of flowers. The results demonstrate that spatial variation in interactions with pollinators may result in differences in directional and correlational selection on floral traits in a plant with a semi-generalized pollination system, and suggest that differences in the relative importance of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators can cause variation in selection.

  17. Pollination syndromes ignored

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maruyama, P. K.; Oliveira, G. M.; Ferreira, Célia Maria Dias

    2013-01-01

    Generalization prevails in flower-animal interactions, and although animal visitors are not equally effective pollinators, most interactions likely represent an important energy intake for the animal visitor. Hummingbirds are nectar-feeding specialists, and many tropical plants are specialized...... for hummingbirds in these areas are scarce. We here studied the availability and use of floral resources by hummingbirds in two different areas of the Cerrado, the seasonal savannas in Central Brazil. Roughly half the hummingbird visited plant species were non-ornithophilous, and these contributed greatly...... energy provided by non-ornithophilous plants may facilitate reproduction of truly ornithophilous flowers by attracting and maintaining hummingbirds in the area. This may promote asymmetric hummingbird-plant associations, i.e., pollination depends on floral traits adapted to hummingbird morphology...

  18. Evaluating pollination deficits in pumpkin production in New York.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, J D; Huseth, A S; Nault, B A

    2014-10-01

    Potential decreases in crop yield from reductions in bee-mediated pollination services threaten food production demands of a growing population. Many fruit and vegetable growers supplement their fields with bee colonies during crop bloom. The extent to which crop production requires supplementary pollination services beyond those provided by wild bees is not well documented. Pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo L., requires bee-mediated pollination for fruit development. Previous research identified the common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens (Cresson), as the most efficient pumpkin pollinator. Two concomitant studies were conducted to examine pollination deficits in New York pumpkin fields from 2011 to 2013. In the first study, fruit weight, seed set, and B. impatiens visits to pumpkin flowers were compared across fields supplemented with B. impatiens colonies at a recommended stocking density of five colonies per hectare, a high density of 15 colonies per hectare, or not supplemented with bees. In the second study, fruit weight and seed set of pumpkins that received supplemental pollen through hand-pollination were compared with those that were open-pollinated by wild bees. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with B. impatiens colonies, regardless of stocking density, did not increase fruit weight, seed set, or B. impatiens visits to pumpkin flowers. Fruit weight and seed set did not differ between hand- and open-pollinated treatments. In general, we conclude that pumpkin production in central New York is not limited by inadequate pollination services provided by wild bees and that on average, supplementation with B. impatiens colonies did not improve pumpkin yield.

  19. Pollinators: Downward Trends and Lofty Goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollinators are essential to natural and managed landscapes. By providing critical pollination services, bees, birds, beetles, butterflies, bats and other animals enhance biodiversity and contribute to production of many nutritious foods. Honey bees alone pollinate 90 commercia...

  20. Pollination syndromes in African Marantaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ley, Alexandra C; Classen-Bockhoff, Regine

    2009-07-01

    The Marantaceae (550 spp.) is the most derived family in the order Zingiberales and exhibits a complex explosive pollination mechanism. To understand the evolutionary significance of this unique process of pollen transfer, comparative morphological and ecological studies were conducted in Gabon. During a total stay of 11 months, 31 species of Marantaceae were investigated at different sites in Gabon. The study included analyses of floral diversity, observations on the pollinator spectrum as well as ecological measurements (e.g. nectar sugar concentration and volume). Analyses reveal five flower types based on flower size and pigmentation, spatial arrangement of the floral tube and presence/absence of nectar guides and conspicuous outer staminodes. Each type is associated with a specific functional pollinator group leading to the description of distinct pollination syndromes. The 'small (horizontal)' flowers are predominantly pollinated by small bees (Thrinchostoma spp., Allodapula ornaticeps), the 'large (horizontal)' and 'medium-sized (horizontal)' flowers by medium-sized bees (Amegilla vivida, Thrinchostoma bicometes), the 'locked (horizontal)' flowers by large bees (Xylocopa nigrita, X. varipes) and the '(large) vertical' flowers by sunbirds. The longevity of Marantaceae individuals and the omnipresence of their pollinators allowed the specialization to a given functional pollinator group. Intermediate ecological values, however, make occasional pollinator overlaps possible, indicating potential pathways of pollinator shifts. Similar radiation tendencies observed on other continents hint at similar selective pressures and evolutionary constraints.

  1. The Dynamics of Pollination Markets

    OpenAIRE

    Champetier, Antoine

    2010-01-01

    The economic problem of a commercial beekeeper is akin to that of a traveling salesman with the important difference that bees simultaneously pollinate crops and feed on them. In other words, bees not only provide pollination services but also feed on the crops they visit. As a result, the number and price of bees available for pollination at any time for any crop is determined by the demand for pollination services and the supply of bee food from other crops in the market. I develop a dynami...

  2. Masting in wind-pollinated trees: system-specific roles of weather and pollination dynamics in driving seed production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogdziewicz, Michał; Szymkowiak, Jakub; Kasprzyk, Idalia; Grewling, Łukasz; Borowski, Zbigniew; Borycka, Katarzyna; Kantorowicz, Władysław; Myszkowska, Dorota; Piotrowicz, Katarzyna; Ziemianin, Monika; Pesendorfer, Mario B

    2017-10-01

    Masting, the highly variable production of synchronized large seed crops, is a common reproductive strategy in plant populations. In wind-pollinated trees, flowering and pollination dynamics are hypothesized to provide the mechanistic link for the well-known relationship between weather and population-level seed production. Several hypotheses make predictions about the effect of weather on annual pollination success. The pollen coupling hypothesis predicts that weather and plant resources drive the flowering effort of trees, which directly translates into the size of seed crops through efficient pollination. In contrast, the pollination Moran effect hypothesis predicts that weather affects pollination efficiency, leading to occasional bumper crops. Furthermore, the recently formulated phenology synchrony hypothesis predicts that Moran effects can arise because of weather effects on flowering synchrony, which, in turn, drives pollination efficiency. We investigated the relationship between weather, airborne pollen, and seed production in common European trees, two oak species (Quercus petraea and Q. robur) and beech (Fagus sylvatica) with a 19-yr data set from three sites in Poland. Our results show that warm summers preceding flowering correlated with high pollen abundance and warm springs resulted in short pollen seasons (i.e., high flowering synchrony) for all three species. Pollen abundance was the best predictor for seed crops in beech, as predicted under pollen coupling. In oaks, short pollen seasons, rather than pollen abundance, correlated with large seed crops, providing support for the pollination Moran effect and phenology synchrony hypotheses. Fundamentally different mechanisms may therefore drive masting in species of the family Fagacae. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  3. Brief communications: Parasitic honeybees get royal treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beekman, M.; Calis, J.N.M.; Boot, W.J.

    2000-01-01

    Since the human-assisted movement of the Cape honeybee Apis mellifera capensis out of its native territory, its workers have invaded colonies of the African honeybee A. m. scutellata. When this happens, their ovaries develop and they begin to reproduce, which results in the death of the scutellata q

  4. Interpatch foraging in honeybees-rational decision making at secondary hubs based upon time and motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najera, Daniel A; McCullough, Erin L; Jander, Rudolf

    2012-11-01

    For honeybees, Apis mellifera, the hive has been well known to function as a primary decision-making hub, a place from which foragers decide among various directions, distances, and times of day to forage efficiently. Whether foraging honeybees can make similarly complex navigational decisions from locations away from the hive is unknown. To examine whether or not such secondary decision-making hubs exist, we trained bees to forage at four different locations. Specifically, we trained honeybees to first forage to a distal site "CT" 100 m away from the hive; if food was present, they fed and then chose to go home. If food was not present, the honeybees were trained to forage to three auxiliary sites, each at a different time of the day: A in the morning, B at noon, and C in the afternoon. The foragers learned to check site CT for food first and then efficiently depart to the correct location based upon the time of day if there was no food at site CT. Thus, the honeybees were able to cognitively map motivation, time, and five different locations (Hive, CT, A, B, and C) in two spatial dimensions; these are the contents of the cognitive map used by the honeybees here. While at site CT, we verified that the honeybees could choose between 4 different directions (to A, B, C, and the Hive) and thus label it as a secondary decision-making hub. The observed decision making uncovered here is inferred to constitute genuine logical operations, involving a branched structure, based upon the premises of motivational state, and spatiotemporal knowledge.

  5. Novel biopesticide based on a spider venom peptide shows no adverse effects on honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakasu, Erich Y T; Williamson, Sally M; Edwards, Martin G; Fitches, Elaine C; Gatehouse, John A; Wright, Geraldine A; Gatehouse, Angharad M R

    2014-07-22

    Evidence is accumulating that commonly used pesticides are linked to decline of pollinator populations; adverse effects of three neonicotinoids on bees have led to bans on their use across the European Union. Developing insecticides that pose negligible risks to beneficial organisms such as honeybees is desirable and timely. One strategy is to use recombinant fusion proteins containing neuroactive peptides/proteins linked to a 'carrier' protein that confers oral toxicity. Hv1a/GNA (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin), containing an insect-specific spider venom calcium channel blocker (ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a) linked to snowdrop lectin (GNA) as a 'carrier', is an effective oral biopesticide towards various insect pests. Effects of Hv1a/GNA towards a non-target species, Apis mellifera, were assessed through a thorough early-tier risk assessment. Following feeding, honeybees internalized Hv1a/GNA, which reached the brain within 1 h after exposure. However, survival was only slightly affected by ingestion (LD50>100 µg bee(-1)) or injection of fusion protein. Bees fed acute (100 µg bee(-1)) or chronic (0.35 mg ml(-1)) doses of Hv1a/GNA and trained in an olfactory learning task had similar rates of learning and memory to no-pesticide controls. Larvae were unaffected, being able to degrade Hv1a/GNA. These tests suggest that Hv1a/GNA is unlikely to cause detrimental effects on honeybees, indicating that atracotoxins targeting calcium channels are potential alternatives to conventional pesticides.

  6. Symbionts as major modulators of insect health: lactic acid bacteria and honeybees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Vásquez

    Full Text Available Lactic acid bacteria (LAB are well recognized beneficial host-associated members of the microbiota of humans and animals. Yet LAB-associations of invertebrates have been poorly characterized and their functions remain obscure. Here we show that honeybees possess an abundant, diverse and ancient LAB microbiota in their honey crop with beneficial effects for bee health, defending them against microbial threats. Our studies of LAB in all extant honeybee species plus related apid bees reveal one of the largest collections of novel species from the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium ever discovered within a single insect and suggest a long (>80 mya history of association. Bee associated microbiotas highlight Lactobacillus kunkeei as the dominant LAB member. Those showing potent antimicrobial properties are acquired by callow honey bee workers from nestmates and maintained within the crop in biofilms, though beekeeping management practices can negatively impact this microbiota. Prophylactic practices that enhance LAB, or supplementary feeding of LAB, may serve in integrated approaches to sustainable pollinator service provision. We anticipate this microbiota will become central to studies on honeybee health, including colony collapse disorder, and act as an exemplar case of insect-microbe symbiosis.

  7. Honeybees and beehives are rich sources for fructophilic lactic acid bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Akihito; Salminen, Seppo

    2013-09-01

    Fructophilic lactic acid bacteria (FLAB) are a specific group of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) characterized and described only recently. They prefer fructose as growth substrate and inhabit only fructose-rich niches. Honeybees are high-fructose-consuming insects and important pollinators in nature, but reported to be decreasing in the wild. In the present study, we analyzed FLAB microbiota in honeybees, larvae, fresh honey and bee pollen. A total of 66 strains of LAB were isolated from samples using a selective isolation technique for FLAB. Surprisingly, all strains showed fructophilic characteristics. The 66 strains and ten FLAB strains isolated from flowers in a separate study were genotypically separated into six groups, four of which being identified as Lactobacillus kunkeei and two as Fructobacillus fructosus. One of the L. kunkeei isolates showed antibacterial activity against Melissococcus plutonius, a causative pathogen of European foulbrood, this protection being attributable to production of an antibacterial peptide or protein. Culture-independent analysis suggested that bee products and larvae contained simple Lactobacillus-group microbiota, dominated by L. kunkeei, although adult bees carried a more complex microbiota. The findings clearly demonstrate that honeybees and their products are rich sources of FLAB, and FLAB are potential candidates for future bee probiotics.

  8. Use of repellents for honeybees (Apis mellifera L. in vitro in the yellow passion-fruit (Passiflora edulis Deg crop and in confined beef cattle feeders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Nicodemo

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The presence of Apis mellifera in places such as candy and soft drink factories, restaurants, and ice-cream shops has been a concern to many people. In the yellow passion-fruit crop, Apis mellifera is able to collect all anther pollen but has no active role in pollination. Honeybees also visit animal feeders with chopped sugar cane, preventing the cattle from eating. This work studied the effect of natural and synthetic substances as Apis mellifera repellents in vitro in the yellow passion-fruit crop and in confined beef cattle feeders. There was a repellent effect in vitro with the following substances in decreasing order: tobacco, rue, garlic, parsley, and century plant extracts; average effect was twenty-five minutes. For the yellow passion-fruit, garlic extracts and 2-heptanone were equally efficient with a two and a half hour repellent action. Garlic and citronella extracts were efficient in repelling Apis mellifera from confined beef cattle feeder for six hours. Garlic repellent action was higher than citronella.

  9. Direct and Pollinator-Mediated Effects of Herbivory on Strawberry and the Potential for Improved Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muola, Anne; Weber, Daniela; Malm, Lisa E; Egan, Paul A; Glinwood, Robert; Parachnowitsch, Amy L; Stenberg, Johan A

    2017-01-01

    The global decline in pollinators has partly been blamed on pesticides, leading some to propose pesticide-free farming as an option to improve pollination. However, herbivores are likely to be more prevalent in pesticide-free environments, requiring knowledge of their effects on pollinators, and alternative crop protection strategies to mitigate any potential pollination reduction. Strawberry leaf beetles (SLB) Galerucella spp. are important strawberry pests in Northern Europe and Russia. Given that SLB attack both leaf and flower tissue, we hypothesized pollinators would discriminate against SLB-damaged strawberry plants (Fragaria vesca, cultivar 'Rügen'), leading to lower pollination success and yield. In addition we screened the most common commercial cultivar 'Rügen' and wild Swedish F. vesca genotypes for SLB resistance to assess the potential for inverse breeding to restore high SLB resistance in cultivated strawberry. Behavioral observations in a controlled experiment revealed that the local pollinator fauna avoided strawberry flowers with SLB-damaged petals. Low pollination, in turn, resulted in smaller more deformed fruits. Furthermore, SLB-damaged flowers produced smaller fruits even when they were hand pollinated, showing herbivore damage also had direct effects on yield, independent of indirect effects on pollination. We found variable resistance in wild woodland strawberry to SLB and more resistant plant genotypes than the cultivar 'Rügen' were identified. Efficient integrated pest management strategies should be employed to mitigate both direct and indirect effects of herbivory for cultivated strawberry, including high intrinsic plant resistance.

  10. Direct and Pollinator-Mediated Effects of Herbivory on Strawberry and the Potential for Improved Resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Muola

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The global decline in pollinators has partly been blamed on pesticides, leading some to propose pesticide-free farming as an option to improve pollination. However, herbivores are likely to be more prevalent in pesticide-free environments, requiring knowledge of their effects on pollinators, and alternative crop protection strategies to mitigate any potential pollination reduction. Strawberry leaf beetles (SLB Galerucella spp. are important strawberry pests in Northern Europe and Russia. Given that SLB attack both leaf and flower tissue, we hypothesized pollinators would discriminate against SLB-damaged strawberry plants (Fragaria vesca, cultivar ‘Rügen’, leading to lower pollination success and yield. In addition we screened the most common commercial cultivar ‘Rügen’ and wild Swedish F. vesca genotypes for SLB resistance to assess the potential for inverse breeding to restore high SLB resistance in cultivated strawberry. Behavioral observations in a controlled experiment revealed that the local pollinator fauna avoided strawberry flowers with SLB-damaged petals. Low pollination, in turn, resulted in smaller more deformed fruits. Furthermore, SLB-damaged flowers produced smaller fruits even when they were hand pollinated, showing herbivore damage also had direct effects on yield, independent of indirect effects on pollination. We found variable resistance in wild woodland strawberry to SLB and more resistant plant genotypes than the cultivar ‘Rügen’ were identified. Efficient integrated pest management strategies should be employed to mitigate both direct and indirect effects of herbivory for cultivated strawberry, including high intrinsic plant resistance.

  11. Reproductive interference between honeybee species in artificial sympatry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remnant, Emily J; Koetz, Anna; Tan, Ken; Hinson, Eloise; Beekman, Madeleine; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2014-03-01

    Reproductive isolation between closely related species is often incomplete. The Western honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the Eastern hive bee, Apis cerana, have been allopatric for millions of years, but are nonetheless similar in morphology and behaviour. During the last century, the two species were brought into contact anthropogenically, providing potential opportunities for interspecific matings. Hybrids between A. mellifera and A. cerana are inviable, so natural interspecific matings are of concern because they may reduce the viability of A. cerana and A. mellifera populations - two of the world's most important pollinators. We examined the mating behaviour of A. mellifera and A. cerana queens and drones from Caoba Basin, China and Cairns, Australia. Drone mating flight times overlap in both areas. Analysis of the spermathecal contents of queens with species-specific genetic markers indicated that in Caoba Basin, 14% of A. mellifera queens mated with at least one A. cerana male, but we detected no A. cerana queens that had mated with A. mellifera males. Similarly, in Cairns, no A. cerana queens carried A. mellifera sperm, but one-third of A. mellifera queens had mated with at least one A. cerana male. No hybrid embryos were detected in eggs laid by interspecifically mated A. mellifera queens in either location. However, A. mellifera queens artificially inseminated with A. cerana sperm produced inviable hybrid eggs or unfertilized drones. This suggests that reproductive interference will impact the viability of honeybee populations wherever A. cerana and A. mellifera are in contact.

  12. Pollination biology of Impatiens cuspidate Wight and Arn. (Balsaminaceae, a rare and endemic balsam of the Western Ghats, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.K. Sreekala

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The pollination biology of Impatiens cuspidata, a rare and endemic balsam from the Western Ghats, has been studied with special reference to phenology, pollination, pollen-pistil interactions, breeding experiments and stigma receptivity. It flowers at night between 2330 and 0430 hr; flowering days extend up to 160 days in a year. The anther dehisced one day before anthesis, which confirmed the protandrous condition of the flower. Pollen-ovule ratio was calculated as 1729:1. Hawk moths, honeybees, flies and butterflies are the major pollinators of Impatiens cuspidata. Pollen grains are oval, having an average diameter of 28.24μm. Pollen viability by FCR test confirmed that 82% pollen grains are viable on the day of anthesis. Best pollen germination along with 1636μm tube development was achieved in Brewbakers medium. Stigma was more receptive (up to 80% on the first day of flower opening. It chiefly reproduced by means of cross pollination, where the fruit set was only 40%, but artificial cross-pollination through xenogamy enhanced fruit set up to 80%. The plant is an obligate out-crosser and self incompatible, as confirmed by various hand pollination experiments. Seed germination in natural and controlled conditions was only 20%. Its dependence on a specialized habitat, bottlenecks in sexual reproduction, low percentage of seed germination and other abiotic factors could be reasons for its limited distribution and endemism.

  13. Floral ratios in the figs of Ficus montana span the range from actively to passively pollinated fig trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suleman, Nazia; Quinnell, Rupert J.; Compton, Stephen G.

    2014-05-01

    Fig trees (Ficus spp., Moraceae) and their associated obligate pollinator fig wasps (Agaonidae) are partners in what is often a pair-wise species-specific association. Their interaction centres on the unique enclosed inflorescence of Ficus species - the fig. Among dioecious fig tree species, only pollinated ovules in figs on female trees develop into seeds. On male trees, galled ovules support development of the fig wasp offspring that will transport their pollen, but no seeds develop. Some fig wasp species actively collect and disperse pollen, whereas others are typical insect pollinators in that pollen is transferred passively. Active pollination is associated with improved larval survivorship in pollinated figs. Because active pollination is much more efficient, their host figs need to contain far fewer male flowers and across numerous Ficus species anther-ovule ratios are a good predictor of pollination mode. We examined variation in inflorescence size and floral ratios among male figs of the Asian Ficus montana and its consequences for the amounts of pollen that would be available for each pollinator to collect. Inflorescence size (total flower number) was highly variable, and female pollinator offspring production was higher in figs with more female flowers. Pollinator offspring numbers and anther-ovule ratios were also highly variable, and encompassed the range typical of both actively and passively pollinated fig tree species. In combination, this variation resulted in large differences in the extent to which pollinators were competing for access to pollen, with potential fitness consequences for both partners in the mutualism.

  14. The physics of pollinator attraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyroud, Edwige; Glover, Beverley J

    2017-10-01

    Contents 350 I. 350 II. 350 III. 352 IV. 353 V. 353 353 References 354 SUMMARY: This Tansley Insight focuses on recent advances in our understanding of how flowers manipulate physical forces to attract animal pollinators and ensure reproductive success. Research has traditionally explored the role of chemical pigments and volatile organic compounds as cues for pollinators, but recent reports have demonstrated the importance of physical and structural means of pollinator attraction. Here we explore the role of petal microstructure in influencing floral light capture and optics, analysing colour, gloss and polarization effects. We discuss the interaction between flower, pollinator and gravity, and how petal surface structure can influence that interaction. Finally, we consider the role of electrostatic forces in pollen transfer and pollinator attraction. We conclude that this new interdisciplinary field is evolving rapidly. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  15. Thrips pollination of Mesozoic gymnosperms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñalver, Enrique; Labandeira, Conrad C; Barrón, Eduardo; Delclòs, Xavier; Nel, Patricia; Nel, André; Tafforeau, Paul; Soriano, Carmen

    2012-05-29

    Within modern gymnosperms, conifers and Ginkgo are exclusively wind pollinated whereas many gnetaleans and cycads are insect pollinated. For cycads, thrips are specialized pollinators. We report such a specialized pollination mode from Early Cretaceous amber of Spain, wherein four female thrips representing a genus and two species in the family Melanthripidae were covered by abundant Cycadopites pollen grains. These females bear unique ring setae interpreted as specialized structures for pollen grain collection, functionally equivalent to the hook-tipped sensilla and plumose setae on the bodies of bees. The most parsimonious explanation for this structure is parental food provisioning for larvae, indicating subsociality. This association provides direct evidence of specialized collection and transportation of pollen grains and likely gymnosperm pollination by 110-105 million years ago, possibly considerably earlier.

  16. Pervasiveness of parasites in pollinators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evison, Sophie E F; Roberts, Katherine E; Laurenson, Lynn; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Hui, Jeffrey; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Smith, Judith E; Budge, Giles; Hughes, William O H

    2012-01-01

    Many pollinator populations are declining, with large economic and ecological implications. Parasites are known to be an important factor in the some of the population declines of honey bees and bumblebees, but little is known about the parasites afflicting most other pollinators, or the extent of interspecific transmission or vectoring of parasites. Here we carry out a preliminary screening of pollinators (honey bees, five species of bumblebee, three species of wasp, four species of hoverfly and three genera of other bees) in the UK for parasites. We used molecular methods to screen for six honey bee viruses, Ascosphaera fungi, Microsporidia, and Wolbachia intracellular bacteria. We aimed simply to detect the presence of the parasites, encompassing vectoring as well as actual infections. Many pollinators of all types were positive for Ascosphaera fungi, while Microsporidia were rarer, being most frequently found in bumblebees. We also detected that most pollinators were positive for Wolbachia, most probably indicating infection with this intracellular symbiont, and raising the possibility that it may be an important factor in influencing host sex ratios or fitness in a diversity of pollinators. Importantly, we found that about a third of bumblebees (Bombus pascuorum and Bombus terrestris) and a third of wasps (Vespula vulgaris), as well as all honey bees, were positive for deformed wing virus, but that this virus was not present in other pollinators. Deformed wing virus therefore does not appear to be a general parasite of pollinators, but does interact significantly with at least three species of bumblebee and wasp. Further work is needed to establish the identity of some of the parasites, their spatiotemporal variation, and whether they are infecting the various pollinator species or being vectored. However, these results provide a first insight into the diversity, and potential exchange, of parasites in pollinator communities.

  17. Pervasiveness of parasites in pollinators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie E F Evison

    Full Text Available Many pollinator populations are declining, with large economic and ecological implications. Parasites are known to be an important factor in the some of the population declines of honey bees and bumblebees, but little is known about the parasites afflicting most other pollinators, or the extent of interspecific transmission or vectoring of parasites. Here we carry out a preliminary screening of pollinators (honey bees, five species of bumblebee, three species of wasp, four species of hoverfly and three genera of other bees in the UK for parasites. We used molecular methods to screen for six honey bee viruses, Ascosphaera fungi, Microsporidia, and Wolbachia intracellular bacteria. We aimed simply to detect the presence of the parasites, encompassing vectoring as well as actual infections. Many pollinators of all types were positive for Ascosphaera fungi, while Microsporidia were rarer, being most frequently found in bumblebees. We also detected that most pollinators were positive for Wolbachia, most probably indicating infection with this intracellular symbiont, and raising the possibility that it may be an important factor in influencing host sex ratios or fitness in a diversity of pollinators. Importantly, we found that about a third of bumblebees (Bombus pascuorum and Bombus terrestris and a third of wasps (Vespula vulgaris, as well as all honey bees, were positive for deformed wing virus, but that this virus was not present in other pollinators. Deformed wing virus therefore does not appear to be a general parasite of pollinators, but does interact significantly with at least three species of bumblebee and wasp. Further work is needed to establish the identity of some of the parasites, their spatiotemporal variation, and whether they are infecting the various pollinator species or being vectored. However, these results provide a first insight into the diversity, and potential exchange, of parasites in pollinator communities.

  18. Insect Visitors and Potential Pollinators of Orchis militaris (Orchidaceae) in Southern Belgium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneresse, Thomas; Tyteca, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    As part of a research project on the food deception strategy in Orchis militaris (L.), the objective of this study was to identify insect visitors and potential pollinators of this orchid species in Belgium. In 2013, insects were collected over 2 d per site in five localities distributed in Southern Belgium (Wallonia). A total of 104 insects belonging to 49 species were caught. Dipterans were the most abundant visitors (50% of total specimens), followed by Hymenopterans (32%). Rhingia campestris Meigen, Bombylius venosus Mikan, Apis mellifera (L.), and Bombus lapidarius (L.) were the most abundant species. Only five specimens bore one to more than 10 pollinia: four honeybees (A. mellifera) and one bumblebee worker (B. lapidarius). These two species should be considered as potential pollinators in the study area, but probably not confirmed ones. PMID:27694346

  19. Bee bread increases honeybee haemolymph protein and promote better survival despite of causing higher Nosema ceranae abundance in honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basualdo, Marina; Barragán, Sergio; Antúnez, Karina

    2014-08-01

    Adequate protein nutrition supports healthy honeybees and reduces the susceptibility to disease. However little is known concerning the effect of the diet on Nosema ceranae development, an obligate intracellular parasite that disturbs the protein metabolism of honeybees (Apis mellifera). Here we tested the effect of natural (bee bread) and non-natural protein diets (substitute) on haemolymph proteins titers of honeybee and N. ceranae spore production. The natural diet induced higher levels of protein and parasite development, but the survival of bees was also higher than with non-natural diets. The data showed that the administration of an artificially high nutritious diet in terms of crude protein content is not sufficient to promote healthy bees; rather the protein ingested should be efficiently assimilated. The overall results support the idea that the physiological condition of the bees is linked to protein levels in the haemolymph, which affects the tolerance to parasite; consequently the negative impact of the parasite on host fitness is not associated only with the level of infection.

  20. Exposure to multiple cholinergic pesticides impairs olfactory learning and memory in honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Sally M; Wright, Geraldine A

    2013-05-15

    Pesticides are important agricultural tools often used in combination to avoid resistance in target pest species, but there is growing concern that their widespread use contributes to the decline of pollinator populations. Pollinators perform sophisticated behaviours while foraging that require them to learn and remember floral traits associated with food, but we know relatively little about the way that combined exposure to multiple pesticides affects neural function and behaviour. The experiments reported here show that prolonged exposure to field-realistic concentrations of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid and the organophosphate acetylcholinesterase inhibitor coumaphos and their combination impairs olfactory learning and memory formation in the honeybee. Using a method for classical conditioning of proboscis extension, honeybees were trained in either a massed or spaced conditioning protocol to examine how these pesticides affected performance during learning and short- and long-term memory tasks. We found that bees exposed to imidacloprid, coumaphos, or a combination of these compounds, were less likely to express conditioned proboscis extension towards an odor associated with reward. Bees exposed to imidacloprid were less likely to form a long-term memory, whereas bees exposed to coumaphos were only less likely to respond during the short-term memory test after massed conditioning. Imidacloprid, coumaphos and a combination of the two compounds impaired the bees' ability to differentiate the conditioned odour from a novel odour during the memory test. Our results demonstrate that exposure to sublethal doses of combined cholinergic pesticides significantly impairs important behaviours involved in foraging, implying that pollinator population decline could be the result of a failure of neural function of bees exposed to pesticides in agricultural landscapes.

  1. Comparison of Anther Yield and Pollen Viability between Different Efficient Pollination Trees to Apple%不同品系苹果高效授粉树花药产出率及花粉生活力比较

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董彦; 韩甜甜; 吴曼; 沈向

    2012-01-01

    The anther yield and pollen viability of different new bred crabapple lines were compared in this paper. The results showed that the efficient lines 1379, 1681, 5309, 7098, 7538, 7551, 7560, 7653, 7654, 7660 and 7672 had higher anther yield and pollen viability with the blooming period similar to Red Fuji apple tree and long duration, so they were better for pollination to apple.%以新选育的苹果高效授粉树不同品系为试材,研究各品系的花药产出率及花粉活力,结果表明,苹果高效授粉树优系1379、1681、5309、7098、7538、7551、7560、7653、7654、7660及7672花药产出率大,花粉生活力高,花期与红富士苹果相近、持续时间长,可满足苹果授粉需要.

  2. Organic farming improves pollination success in strawberries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Georg K S; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G

    2012-01-01

    Pollination of insect pollinated crops has been found to be correlated to pollinator abundance and diversity. Since organic farming has the potential to mitigate negative effects of agricultural intensification on biodiversity, it may also benefit crop pollination, but direct evidence of this is scant. We evaluated the effect of organic farming on pollination of strawberry plants focusing on (1) if pollination success was higher on organic farms compared to conventional farms, and (2) if there was a time lag from conversion to organic farming until an effect was manifested. We found that pollination success and the proportion of fully pollinated berries were higher on organic compared to conventional farms and this difference was already evident 2-4 years after conversion to organic farming. Our results suggest that conversion to organic farming may rapidly increase pollination success and hence benefit the ecosystem service of crop pollination regarding both yield quantity and quality.

  3. Organic farming improves pollination success in strawberries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg K S Andersson

    Full Text Available Pollination of insect pollinated crops has been found to be correlated to pollinator abundance and diversity. Since organic farming has the potential to mitigate negative effects of agricultural intensification on biodiversity, it may also benefit crop pollination, but direct evidence of this is scant. We evaluated the effect of organic farming on pollination of strawberry plants focusing on (1 if pollination success was higher on organic farms compared to conventional farms, and (2 if there was a time lag from conversion to organic farming until an effect was manifested. We found that pollination success and the proportion of fully pollinated berries were higher on organic compared to conventional farms and this difference was already evident 2-4 years after conversion to organic farming. Our results suggest that conversion to organic farming may rapidly increase pollination success and hence benefit the ecosystem service of crop pollination regarding both yield quantity and quality.

  4. Multiple reversal olfactory learning in honeybees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theo Mota

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available In multiple reversal learning, animals trained to discriminate a reinforced from a non-reinforced stimulus are subjected to various, successive reversals of stimulus contingencies (e.g. A+ vs. B-, A- vs. B+, A+ vs. B-. This protocol is useful to determine whether or not animals learn to learn and solve successive discriminations faster (or with fewer errors with increasing reversal experience. Here we used the olfactory conditioning of proboscis extension reflex to study how honeybees Apis mellifera perform in a multiple reversal task. Our experiment contemplated four consecutive differential conditioning phases involving the same odors (A+ vs. B- to A- vs. B+ to A+ vs. B- to A- vs. B+. We show that bees in which the weight of reinforced or non-reinforced stimuli was similar mastered the multiple olfactory reversals. Bees which failed the task exhibited asymmetric responses to reinforced and non-reinforced stimuli, thus being unable to rapidly reverse stimulus contingencies. Efficient reversers did not improve their successive discriminations but rather tended to generalize their choice to both odors at the end of conditioning. As a consequence, both discrimination and reversal efficiency decreasedalong experimental phases. This result invalidates a learning-to-learn effect and indicates that bees do not only respond to the actual stimulus contingencies but rather combine these with an average of past experiences with the same stimuli.  

  5. Pollination deficits in UK apple orchards

    OpenAIRE

    Garratt, M.P.D.; Truslove, C.L.; Coston, D. J.; Evans, R. L.; Moss, E. D.; Dodson, C.; Jenner, N.; Biesmeijer, J.C.; Potts, S. G.

    2013-01-01

    Apple production in the UK is worth over £100 million per annum and this production is heavily dependent on insect pollination. Despite its importance, it is not clear which insect pollinators carry out the majority of this pollination. Furthermore, it is unknown whether current UK apple production, in terms of both yield and quality, suffers pollination deficits and whether production value could be increased through effective management of pollination services. The present study set out to ...

  6. Mechanisms and evolution of deceptive pollination in orchids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jersáková, Jana; Johnson, Steven D; Kindlmann, Pavel

    2006-05-01

    The orchid family is renowned for its enormous diversity of pollination mechanisms and unusually high occurrence of non-rewarding flowers compared to other plant families. The mechanisms of deception in orchids include generalized food deception, food-deceptive floral mimicry, brood-site imitation, shelter imitation, pseudoantagonism, rendezvous attraction and sexual deception. Generalized food deception is the most common mechanism (reported in 38 genera) followed by sexual deception (18 genera). Floral deception in orchids has been intensively studied since Darwin, but the evolution of non-rewarding flowers still presents a major puzzle for evolutionary biology. The two principal hypotheses as to how deception could increase fitness in plants are (i) reallocation of resources associated with reward production to flowering and seed production, and (ii) higher levels of cross-pollination due to pollinators visiting fewer flowers on non-rewarding plants, resulting in more outcrossed progeny and more efficient pollen export. Biologists have also tried to explain why deception is overrepresented in the orchid family. These explanations include: (i) efficient removal and deposition of pollinaria from orchid flowers in a single pollinator visit, thus obviating the need for rewards to entice multiple visits from pollinators; (ii) efficient transport of orchid pollen, thus requiring less reward-induced pollinator constancy; (iii) low-density populations in many orchids, thus limiting the learning of associations of floral phenotypes and rewards by pollinators; (iv) packaging of pollen in pollinaria with limited carry-over from flower to flower, thus increasing the risks of geitonogamous self-pollination when pollinators visit many flowers on rewarding plants. All of these general and orchid-specific hypotheses are difficult to reconcile with the well-established pattern for rewardlessness to result in low pollinator visitation rates and consequently low levels of fruit

  7. Odour concentration affects odour identity in honeybees

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Geraldine A Wright; Mitchell G.A Thomson; Brian H Smith

    2005-01-01

    ... such as the molecular identity of the odorant. The experiments with honeybees reported here show a departure from odour-concentration invariance and are consistent with a lower-concentration regime in which odour concentration contributes...

  8. Pollinator responses to floral colour change, nectar, and scent promote reproductive fitness in Quisqualis indica (Combretaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Juan; Wang, Gang; Sui, Yi; Wang, Menglin; Zhang, Ling

    2016-04-13

    Floral colour change is visual signals for pollinators to avoid old flowers and increase pollination efficiency. Quisqualis indica flowers change colour from white to pink to red may be associated with a shift from moth to butterfly pollination. To test this hypothesis, we investigated Q. indica populations in Southwest China. Flowers secreted nectar continuously from the evening of anthesis until the following morning, then decreased gradually with floral colour change. The scent compounds in the three floral colour stages were similar; however, the scent composition was different, and the scent emission rate decreased from the white to red stage. Dichogamy in Q. indica prevents self-pollination and interference of male and female functions. Controlled pollinations demonstrated that this species is self-incompatible and needs pollinators for seed production. Different pollinators were attracted in each floral colour stage; mainly moths at night and bees and butterflies during the day. Observations of open-pollinated inflorescences showed that white flowers had a higher fruit set than pink or red flowers, indicating the high contribution of moths to reproductive success. We concluded that the nectar and scent secretion are related to floral colour change in Q. indica, in order to attract different pollinators and promote reproductive fitness.

  9. Caveats to quantifying ecosystem services: fruit abortion blurs benefits from crop pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Merijn M; Veddeler, Dorthe; Bogdanski, Anne K; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Tscharntke, Teja; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2007-09-01

    The recent trend to place monetary values on ecosystem services has led to studies on the economic importance of pollinators for agricultural crops. Several recent studies indicate regional, long-term pollinator declines, and economic consequences have been derived from declining pollination efficiencies. However, use of pollinator services as economic incentives for conservation must consider environmental factors such as drought, pests, and diseases, which can also limit yields. Moreover, "flower excess" is a well-known reproductive strategy of plants as insurance against unpredictable, external factors that limit reproduction. With three case studies on the importance of pollination levels for amounts of harvested fruits of three tropical crops (passion fruit in Brazil, coffee in Ecuador, and cacao in Indonesia) we illustrate how reproductive strategies and environmental stress can obscure initial benefits from improved pollination. By interpreting these results with findings from evolutionary sciences, agronomy, and studies on wild-plant populations, we argue that studies on economic benefits from pollinators should include the total of ecosystem processes that (1) lead to successful pollination and (2) mobilize nutrients and improve plant quality to the extent that crop yields indeed benefit from enhanced pollinator services. Conservation incentives that use quantifications of nature's services to human welfare will benefit from approaches at the ecosystem level that take into account the broad spectrum of biological processes that limit or deliver the service.

  10. [Pollination biology of Fritillaria delavayi].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yong-Qian; Zhang, Li-Xuan; Wang, Ming-Run; Song, Bo

    2014-05-01

    In this study, the processes of pollination ecology of Fritillaria delavayi were investigated to document its reproductive characteristics. Some individuals of F. delavayi could produce seeds under bagging without emasculation (11%), but the rate was significantly lower than that of the natural control (87%). It is suggesting that pollination of F. delavayi largely depends on pollen vectors. Bombus sushikini was the only effective pollinator of F. delavayi and the visitation frequency was 0.003 time xXflower(-1) x min(-1). Flowering of F. delavayi in whole population lasted for 35 d and single flower for 11 d. Pollen viability and stigma receptivity lasted for 9 d and were relatively long compared with other Fritillaria genus plants. Consequently, bumblebee pollination and long floral longevity seem to be important for reproductive assurance of F. delavayi in harsh alpine environments.

  11. The modularity of pollination networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Jens Mogens; Bascompte, J.; Dupont, Yoko

    2007-01-01

    consist of strongly connected species. The importance of modularity has been discussed for a long time, but no consensus on its prevalence in ecological networks has yet been reached. Progress is hampered by inadequate methods and a lack of large datasets. We analyzed 51 pollination networks including...... almost 10,000 species and 20,000 links and tested for modularity by using a recently developed simulated annealing algorithm. All networks with >150 plant and pollinator species were modular, whereas networks with

  12. Africanized honeybees are slower learners than their European counterparts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couvillon, Margaret J.; Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2010-02-01

    Does cognitive ability always correlate with a positive fitness consequence? Previous research in both vertebrates and invertebrates provides mixed results. Here, we compare the learning and memory abilities of Africanized honeybees ( Apis mellifera scutellata hybrid) and European honeybees ( Apis mellifera ligustica). The range of the Africanized honeybee continues to expand, superseding the European honeybee, which led us to hypothesize that they might possess greater cognitive capabilities as revealed by a classical conditioning assay. Surprisingly, we found that fewer Africanized honeybees learn to associate an odor with a reward. Additionally, fewer Africanized honeybees remembered the association a day later. While Africanized honeybees are replacing European honeybees, our results show that they do so despite displaying a relatively poorer performance on an associative learning paradigm.

  13. (Collection of high quality acoustical records for honeybees)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kerr, H.T.; Buchanan, M.E.

    1987-02-19

    High quality acoustical data records were collected for both European and Africanized honeybees under various field conditions. This data base was needed for more rigorous evaluation of a honeybee identification technique previously developed by the travelers from preliminary data sets. Laboratory-grade recording equipment was used to record sounds made by honeybees in and near their nests and during foraging flights. Recordings were obtained from European and Africanized honeybees in the same general environment. Preliminary analyses of the acoustical data base clearly support the general identification algorithm: Africanized honeybee noise has significantly higher frequency content than does European honeybee noise. As this algorithm is refined, it may result in the development of a simple field-portable device for identifying subspecies of honeybees. Further, the honeybee's acoustical signals appear to be correlated with specific colony conditions. Understanding these variations may have enormous benefit for entomologists and for the beekeeping industry.

  14. Assessment of nutritional resources quality from honeybees (Apis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    concentrations of ten essential amino acids for bees were within the optimum range of food needs for honeybees (set for ... for determining the health of honeybees in the ..... 1: Kisangani, 2: Mampu, 3: Kavwaya, F: fructose and G: glucose.

  15. Moonlight pollination in the gymnosperm Ephedra (Gnetales).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rydin, Catarina; Bolinder, Kristina

    2015-04-01

    Most gymnosperms are wind-pollinated, but some are insect-pollinated, and in Ephedra (Gnetales), both wind pollination and insect pollination occur. Little is, however, known about mechanisms and evolution of pollination syndromes in gymnosperms. Based on four seasons of field studies, we show an unexpected correlation between pollination and the phases of the moon in one of our studied species, Ephedra foeminea. It is pollinated by dipterans and lepidopterans, most of them nocturnal, and its pollination coincides with the full moon of July. This may be adaptive in two ways. Many nocturnal insects navigate using the moon. Further, the spectacular reflection of the full-moonlight in the pollination drops is the only apparent means of nocturnal attraction of insects in these plants. In the sympatric but wind-pollinated Ephedra distachya, pollination is not correlated to the full moon but occurs at approximately the same dates every year. The lunar correlation has probably been lost in most species of Ephedra subsequent an evolutionary shift to wind pollination in the clade. When the services of insects are no longer needed for successful pollination, the adaptive value of correlating pollination with the full moon is lost, and conceivably also the trait. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  16. Pollination of a native plant changes with distance and density of invasive plants in a simulated biological invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckman, Daniela; Campbell, Diane R

    2016-08-01

    Effects of an exotic plant on pollination may change as the invasive increases in density. Quantity of pollinator visits to a native may increase, decrease, or change nonlinearly, while visit quality is likely to decrease with greater interspecific pollen movement. How visit quantity and quality contribute to the effect on reproductive success at each invasion stage has not been measured. We simulated four stages of invasion by Brassica nigra by manipulating the neighborhood of potted plants of the native Phacelia parryi in a field experiment. Stages were far from the invasion, near the invasion, intermixed with the invasive at low density, and intermixed at high density. We measured pollinator visitation, conspecific and invasive pollen deposition, and seed set for P. parryi at each stage. Native individuals near invasive plants and within areas of low invasive density showed greatest seed production, as expected from concurrent changes in conspecific and invasive pollen deposition. Those plants experienced facilitation of visits and received more conspecific pollen relative to plants farther from invasives. Native individuals within high invasive density also received frequent visits by many pollinators (although not honeybees), but the larger receipt of invasive pollen predicted interference with pollen tubes that matched patterns in seed set. Pollinator visitation was highest when exotic plants were nearby. Detrimental effects of heterospecific pollen deposition were highest at high exotic density. Our study quantified how reproduction benefits from near proximity to a showy invasive, but is still vulnerable when the invasive reaches high density. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  17. Multiple criteria for evaluating pollinator performance in highbush blueberry (Ericales: Ericaceae) agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Shelley R; Tarpy, David R; Burrack, Hannah J

    2013-12-01

    Numerous bee species provide pollination services in agricultural ecosystems. Evaluating a pollinator's performance with regard to a crop is an important step in attributing pollination services and predicting how changes in a bee community or foraging environment will affect those services. We used multiple criteria to evaluate pollinators of North Carolina highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum L., agroecosystems. For five groups of bees (Apis mellifera L., Bombus spp., Habropoda laboriosa F., small native bees, and Xylocopa virginica L.), we measured forager abundance through transect observations, quantified per-visit efficiency as viable seed set resulting from a single visit, and analyzed bee presence in different weather conditions. We also considered two other criteria affecting pollinator performance-visitation rate and interspecific influence. A. mellifera was the most abundant bee in the majority of our survey sites, yet had low per-visit efficiency and reduced foraging activity in inclement weather. Small native bees were highly efficient pollinators. Their visits resulted in nearly twice as many seeds as A. mellifera or H. laboriosa. Bombus spp., H. laboriosa, and small native bees were more resilient to fluctuations in temperature, wind speed, and solar radiation than A. mellifera. Although nectar-robbing X. virginica contributed to little pollination through direct flower visits, their presence within the crop impacts the behavior and performance of other individuals. Underscoring the importance of evaluating pollinator performance via multiple criteria, our results show that bee groups contribute to pollination in different ways. These differences may provide functional complementarity and stability of pollination services to agricultural systems.

  18. Pollination and floral biology of Adonis vernalis L. (Ranunculaceae – a case study of threatened species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bożena Denisow

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Although the knowledge of pollination systems of rare and threatened species is one of the principles for development of optimal conservation and management strategies, the data about their pollination requirements are scarce or incomplete. Different problems are listed (xerothermic habitat disappearance, overgrowing of patches, plant biology i.e., slow plant growth, problems with seed germination among the possible causes of Adonis vernalis being threatened, but until now no consideration was given to the flowering biology and pollination. The observations of flowering biology of A. vernalis (Ranunculaceae, a clonal species, were conducted in an out-of-compact-range population, in the Lublin Upland, Poland (51°18'55" N, 22°38'21" E, in 2011–2013. The reproductive potential of A. vernalis is related to the population age structure, pollination syndrome, and breeding system. The flowers exhibit incomplete protogyny. The dichogamy function is supported by different (biological, morphological mechanisms. Stigma receptivity occurred about one day before anthers started shedding self-pollen, and pollen viability was increasing gradually during the flower life-span (66.3% in distal anthers vs. 77.3% in proximal. The decrease in pollen production and in pollen viability coincided with the lowest degree of seed set, irrespective of the pollination treatment. Pollen vectors are necessary for efficient pollination, as the proportion of pistils setting fruits after open pollination (41–82.1% was significantly higher compared to spontaneous self-pollination (only 5.5–12.3%. The pollination requirements together with pollen/ovule ratio (P/O = 501 indicate a facultative xenogamous breeding system in A. vernalis. Therefore, in the conditions of the global lack of pollinators, improper pollination may weaken the population by leading to a decrease in the proportion of recombinants, and in addition to other factors, may accelerate extinction of small A

  19. 蜜蜂蛋白质组研究进展%Advanced Research on Honeybee Proteome

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李建科; 冯毛; 郑爱娟

    2011-01-01

    蜜蜂在自然界和人类社会中具有举足轻重的作用.蜜蜂授粉不但能够提高农作物的产量和质量,而且对维持自然界生物多样性具有重要贡献,同时蜜蜂提供给人类的蜂产品也具有较高的营养和保健功能.随着基因组测序工作的完成,作为模式生物,蜜蜂蛋白质组学研究进入了一个新的阶段.目前对蜜蜂蛋白质组的研究比较常用的是双向电泳结合质谱的研究方法,包括不同品系蜜蜂卵、幼虫、蛹、级型分化、咽下腺等发育相关蛋白质组及差异蛋白质组研究,蜜蜂毒腺、头部、胸部、血淋巴、精液、受精囊、附腺等器官和组织的蛋白质组分析,以及蜂王浆、蜂花粉、蜂毒等部分蜂产品的蛋白质组等.本文综述了近年来蜜蜂相关蛋白质组研究进展,对其今后在蜂业科学的研究应用进行了展望,以期对蜜蜂研究有所借鉴.%Honeybee plays an important role for the nature and the human. It is crucial for agriculture as a facilitator of pollination and indispensable to maintain the biological diversity of the ecological system. Also, bee products are widely used for their nutrition and health care functions to the mankind. The proteomic researches on honeybee have been ushered into a new stage since the completion of the honeybee genome sequencing project. And the combination of two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry is the most popular method in honeybee proteome investigations. This paper reviewed the advances in honeybee proteomics concerning the development of honeybee egg, larva, pupa, hypopharyngeal gland and caste differentiation, the comparison between nurses and foragers, the analysis of some tissues and organs such as honeybee head, thorax, hemolymph, venom gland, queen spermathecal gland, male accessory gland and sperm, the studies on royal jelly, pollen, honeybee venom and so on, hoping to provide some clues for future studies.

  20. Virus infections of honeybees Apis Mellifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppina Tantillo

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The health and vigour of honeybee colonies are threatened by numerous parasites (such as Varroa destructor and Nosema spp. and pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa. Among honeybee pathogens, viruses are one of the major threats to the health and wellbeing of honeybees and cause serious concern for researchers and beekeepers. To tone down the threats posed by these invasive organisms, a better understanding of bee viral infections will be of crucial importance in developing effective and environmentally benign disease control strategies. Here we summarize recent progress in the understanding of the morphology, genome organization, transmission, epidemiology and pathogenesis of eight honeybee viruses: Deformed wing virus (DWV and Kakugo virus (KV; Sacbrood virus (SBV; Black Queen cell virus (BQCV; Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV; Kashmir bee virus (KBV; Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV; Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV. The review has been designed to provide researchers in the field with updated information about honeybee viruses and to serve as a starting point for future research.

  1. Virus Infections of Honeybees Apis Mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tantillo, Giuseppina; Bottaro, Marilisa; Di Pinto, Angela; Martella, Vito; Di Pinto, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    The health and vigour of honeybee colonies are threatened by numerous parasites (such as Varroa destructor and Nosema spp.) and pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa. Among honeybee pathogens, viruses are one of the major threats to the health and well-being of honeybees and cause serious concern for researchers and beekeepers. To tone down the threats posed by these invasive organisms, a better understanding of bee viral infections will be of crucial importance in developing effective and environmentally benign disease control strategies. Here we summarize recent progress in the understanding of the morphology, genome organization, transmission, epidemiology and pathogenesis of eight honeybee viruses: Deformed wing virus (DWV) and Kakugo virus (KV); Sacbrood virus (SBV); Black Queen cell virus (BQCV); Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV); Kashmir bee virus (KBV); Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV); Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV). The review has been designed to provide researchers in the field with updated information about honeybee viruses and to serve as a starting point for future research. PMID:27800411

  2. Enhancing Legume Ecosystem Services through an Understanding of Plant–Pollinator Interplay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suso, María J.; Bebeli, Penelope J.; Christmann, Stefanie; Mateus, Célia; Negri, Valeria; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A. A.; Torricelli, Renzo; Veloso, Maria M.

    2016-01-01

    Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant–pollinator interplay (PPI), in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles an international team of genebank managers, geneticists, plant breeders, experts on environmental governance and agro-ecology, and comprises several sections. The contributions in these sections outline both the state of the art of knowledge in the field and the novel aspects under development, and encompass a range of reviews, opinions and perspectives. The first three sections explore the role of PPI in legume breeding strategies. PPI based approaches to crop improvement can make it possible to adapt and re-design breeding strategies to meet both goals of: (1) optimal productivity, based on an efficient use of pollinators, and (2) biodiversity conservation. The next section deals with entomological aspects and focuses on the protection of the “pest control service” and pollinators in legume crops. The final section addresses general approaches to encourage the synergy between food production and pollination services at farmer field level. Two basic approaches are proposed: (a) Farming with Alternative Pollinators and (b) Crop Design System. PMID:27047514

  3. Enhancing Legume Ecosystem Services through an Understanding of Plant-Pollinator Interplay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suso, María J; Bebeli, Penelope J; Christmann, Stefanie; Mateus, Célia; Negri, Valeria; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A A; Torricelli, Renzo; Veloso, Maria M

    2016-01-01

    Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant-pollinator interplay (PPI), in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles an international team of genebank managers, geneticists, plant breeders, experts on environmental governance and agro-ecology, and comprises several sections. The contributions in these sections outline both the state of the art of knowledge in the field and the novel aspects under development, and encompass a range of reviews, opinions and perspectives. The first three sections explore the role of PPI in legume breeding strategies. PPI based approaches to crop improvement can make it possible to adapt and re-design breeding strategies to meet both goals of: (1) optimal productivity, based on an efficient use of pollinators, and (2) biodiversity conservation. The next section deals with entomological aspects and focuses on the protection of the "pest control service" and pollinators in legume crops. The final section addresses general approaches to encourage the synergy between food production and pollination services at farmer field level. Two basic approaches are proposed: (a) Farming with Alternative Pollinators and (b) Crop Design System.

  4. Enhancing legume ecosystem services through an understanding of plant-pollinator interplay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jose eSuso

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Legumes are bee-pollinated, but to a different extent. The importance of the plant-pollinator interplay (PPI, in flowering crops such as legumes lies in a combination of the importance of pollination for the production service and breeding strategies, plus the increasing urgency in mitigating the decline of pollinators through the development and implementation of conservation measures. To realize the full potential of the PPI, a multidisciplinary approach is required. This article assembles an international team of genebank managers, geneticists, plant breeders, experts on environmental governance and agro-ecology, and comprises several sections. The contributions in these sections outline both the state of the art of knowledge in the field and the novel aspects under development, and encompass a range of reviews, opinions and perspectives. The first three sections explore the role of PPI in legume breeding strategies. PPI based approaches to crop improvement can make it possible to adapt and re-design breeding strategies to meet both goals of: 1 optimal productivity, based on an efficient use of pollinators, and 2 biodiversity conservation. The next section deals with entomological aspects and focuses on the protection of the pest control service and pollinators in legume crops. The final section addresses general approaches to encourage the synergy between food production and pollination services at farmer field level. Two basic approaches are proposed: a Farming with Alternative Pollinators (FAP and b Crop Design System (CDS.

  5. A quantitative review of pollination syndromes: do floral traits predict effective pollinators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas-Guerrero, Víctor; Aguilar, Ramiro; Martén-Rodríguez, Silvana; Ashworth, Lorena; Lopezaraiza-Mikel, Martha; Bastida, Jesús M; Quesada, Mauricio

    2014-03-01

    The idea of pollination syndromes has been largely discussed but no formal quantitative evaluation has yet been conducted across angiosperms. We present the first systematic review of pollination syndromes that quantitatively tests whether the most effective pollinators for a species can be inferred from suites of floral traits for 417 plant species. Our results support the syndrome concept, indicating that convergent floral evolution is driven by adaptation to the most effective pollinator group. The predictability of pollination syndromes is greater in pollinator-dependent species and in plants from tropical regions. Many plant species also have secondary pollinators that generally correspond to the ancestral pollinators documented in evolutionary studies. We discuss the utility and limitations of pollination syndromes and the role of secondary pollinators to understand floral ecology and evolution.

  6. Meta-analysis of pollen limitation reveals the relevance of pollination generalization in the Atlantic forest of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolowski, Marina; Ashman, Tia-Lynn; Freitas, Leandro

    2014-01-01

    Despite the extensive knowledge of pollen limitation in angiosperms, its assessment within tropical forests is still limited. Especially lacking are large scale comparisons of species within this biome - one that is highly diverse but also becoming increasingly threatened. In fact, many tropical plant species depend upon pollinators for reproduction but evaluation of the impact of this dependence via different levels of pollination specialization has yet to be made at the biome scale. We assessed the occurrence and magnitude of pollen limitation for species in the Brazilian Atlantic forest and tested the association of pollination specialization, breeding system, and life habit with pollination efficiency. We compiled data from studies published between 1985 and 2012. We calculated species' effect size (d) from data on fruit set after hand cross-pollination and natural pollination and conducted standard and phylogenetically independent meta-analysis. Overall pollen limitation was moderate, with magnitude of 0.50, and 95% confidence interval [0.37, 0.62] for 126 species. Pollen limitation was observed in 39% of species. Pollination specialization was the factor that best explained the occurrence of pollen limitation. Specifically, phenotypic and ecological specialists (plants with zygomorphic flowers and pollinated by one species of pollinator, respectively) had higher pollen limitation than generalist plants (actinomorphic flowers and pollination by two or more species). Functional generalists (plants pollinated by three or more functional groups) were not pollen limited. On the other hand, breeding system and life habit were not associated to pollen limitation. Pollen limitation was observed in the Atlantic forest and its magnitude was comparable to that for angiosperms as a whole. The finding that pollination specialization was the strongest predictor of pollen limitation suggests that specialist plants in this biome may be most prone to the reproductive failure

  7. Meta-analysis of pollen limitation reveals the relevance of pollination generalization in the Atlantic forest of Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Wolowski

    Full Text Available Despite the extensive knowledge of pollen limitation in angiosperms, its assessment within tropical forests is still limited. Especially lacking are large scale comparisons of species within this biome - one that is highly diverse but also becoming increasingly threatened. In fact, many tropical plant species depend upon pollinators for reproduction but evaluation of the impact of this dependence via different levels of pollination specialization has yet to be made at the biome scale. We assessed the occurrence and magnitude of pollen limitation for species in the Brazilian Atlantic forest and tested the association of pollination specialization, breeding system, and life habit with pollination efficiency. We compiled data from studies published between 1985 and 2012. We calculated species' effect size (d from data on fruit set after hand cross-pollination and natural pollination and conducted standard and phylogenetically independent meta-analysis. Overall pollen limitation was moderate, with magnitude of 0.50, and 95% confidence interval [0.37, 0.62] for 126 species. Pollen limitation was observed in 39% of species. Pollination specialization was the factor that best explained the occurrence of pollen limitation. Specifically, phenotypic and ecological specialists (plants with zygomorphic flowers and pollinated by one species of pollinator, respectively had higher pollen limitation than generalist plants (actinomorphic flowers and pollination by two or more species. Functional generalists (plants pollinated by three or more functional groups were not pollen limited. On the other hand, breeding system and life habit were not associated to pollen limitation. Pollen limitation was observed in the Atlantic forest and its magnitude was comparable to that for angiosperms as a whole. The finding that pollination specialization was the strongest predictor of pollen limitation suggests that specialist plants in this biome may be most prone to the

  8. Pollination by brood-site deception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urru, Isabella; Stensmyr, Marcus C; Hansson, Bill S

    2011-09-01

    Pollination is often regarded as a mutualistic relationship between flowering plants and insects. In such a relationship, both partners gain a fitness benefit as a result of their interaction. The flower gets pollinated and the insect typically gets a food-related reward. However, flower-insect communication is not always a mutualistic system, as some flowers emit deceitful signals. Insects are thus fooled by irresistible stimuli and pollination is accomplished. Such deception requires very fine tuning, as insects in their typically short life span, try to find mating/feeding breeding sites as efficiently as possible, and following deceitful signals thus is both costly and time-consuming. Deceptive flowers have thus evolved the ability to emit signals that trigger obligate innate or learned responses in the targeted insects. The behavior, and thus the signals, exploited are typically involved in reproduction, from attracting pheromones to brood/food-site cues. Chemical mimicry is one of the main modalities through which flowers trick their pollen vectors, as olfaction plays a pivotal role in insect-insect and insect-plant interactions. Here we focus on floral odors that specifically mimic an oviposition substrate, i.e., brood-site mimicry. The phenomenon is wide spread across unrelated plant lineages of Angiosperm, Splachnaceae and Phallaceae. Targeted insects are mainly beetles and flies, and flowers accordingly often emit, to the human nose, highly powerful and fetid smells that are conversely extremely attractive to the duped insects. Brood-site deceptive plants often display highly elaborate flowers and have evolved a trap-release mechanism. Chemical cues often act in unison with other sensory cues to refine the imitation.

  9. Pyrethroids and Nectar Toxins Have Subtle Effects on the Motor Function, Grooming and Wing Fanning Behaviour of Honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Caitlin J; Softley, Samantha; Williamson, Sally M; Stevenson, Philip C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-01-01

    Sodium channels, found ubiquitously in animal muscle cells and neurons, are one of the main target sites of many naturally-occurring, insecticidal plant compounds and agricultural pesticides. Pyrethroids, derived from compounds found only in the Asteraceae, are particularly toxic to insects and have been successfully used as pesticides including on flowering crops that are visited by pollinators. Pyrethrins, from which they were derived, occur naturally in the nectar of some flowering plant species. We know relatively little about how such compounds--i.e., compounds that target sodium channels--influence pollinators at low or sub-lethal doses. Here, we exposed individual adult forager honeybees to several compounds that bind to sodium channels to identify whether these compounds affect motor function. Using an assay previously developed to identify the effect of drugs and toxins on individual bees, we investigated how acute exposure to 10 ng doses (1 ppm) of the pyrethroid insecticides (cyfluthrin, tau-fluvalinate, allethrin and permethrin) and the nectar toxins (aconitine and grayanotoxin I) affected honeybee locomotion, grooming and wing fanning behaviour. Bees exposed to these compounds spent more time upside down and fanning their wings. They also had longer bouts of standing still. Bees exposed to the nectar toxin, aconitine, and the pyrethroid, allethrin, also spent less time grooming their antennae. We also found that the concentration of the nectar toxin, grayanotoxin I (GTX), fed to bees affected the time spent upside down (i.e., failure to perform the righting reflex). Our data show that low doses of pyrethroids and other nectar toxins that target sodium channels mainly influence motor function through their effect on the righting reflex of adult worker honeybees.

  10. Pyrethroids and Nectar Toxins Have Subtle Effects on the Motor Function, Grooming and Wing Fanning Behaviour of Honeybees (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitlin J Oliver

    Full Text Available Sodium channels, found ubiquitously in animal muscle cells and neurons, are one of the main target sites of many naturally-occurring, insecticidal plant compounds and agricultural pesticides. Pyrethroids, derived from compounds found only in the Asteraceae, are particularly toxic to insects and have been successfully used as pesticides including on flowering crops that are visited by pollinators. Pyrethrins, from which they were derived, occur naturally in the nectar of some flowering plant species. We know relatively little about how such compounds--i.e., compounds that target sodium channels--influence pollinators at low or sub-lethal doses. Here, we exposed individual adult forager honeybees to several compounds that bind to sodium channels to identify whether these compounds affect motor function. Using an assay previously developed to identify the effect of drugs and toxins on individual bees, we investigated how acute exposure to 10 ng doses (1 ppm of the pyrethroid insecticides (cyfluthrin, tau-fluvalinate, allethrin and permethrin and the nectar toxins (aconitine and grayanotoxin I affected honeybee locomotion, grooming and wing fanning behaviour. Bees exposed to these compounds spent more time upside down and fanning their wings. They also had longer bouts of standing still. Bees exposed to the nectar toxin, aconitine, and the pyrethroid, allethrin, also spent less time grooming their antennae. We also found that the concentration of the nectar toxin, grayanotoxin I (GTX, fed to bees affected the time spent upside down (i.e., failure to perform the righting reflex. Our data show that low doses of pyrethroids and other nectar toxins that target sodium channels mainly influence motor function through their effect on the righting reflex of adult worker honeybees.

  11. Pollinators show flower colour preferences but flowers with similar colours do not attract similar pollinators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reverté, Sara; Retana, Javier; Gómez, José M; Bosch, Jordi

    2016-08-01

    Colour is one of the main floral traits used by pollinators to locate flowers. Although pollinators show innate colour preferences, the view that the colour of a flower may be considered an important predictor of its main pollinators is highly controversial because flower choice is highly context-dependent, and initial innate preferences may be overridden by subsequent associative learning. Our objective is to establish whether there is a relationship between flower colour and pollinator composition in natural communities. We measured the flower reflectance spectrum and pollinator composition in four plant communities (85 plant species represented by 109 populations, and 32 305 plant-pollinator interactions in total). Pollinators were divided into six taxonomic groups: bees, ants, wasps, coleopterans, dipterans and lepidopterans. We found consistent associations between pollinator groups and certain colours. These associations matched innate preferences experimentally established for several pollinators and predictions of the pollination syndrome theory. However, flowers with similar colours did not attract similar pollinator assemblages. The explanation for this paradoxical result is that most flower species are pollination generalists. We conclude that although pollinator colour preferences seem to condition plant-pollinator interactions, the selective force behind these preferences has not been strong enough to mediate the appearance and maintenance of tight colour-based plant-pollinator associations. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Agrochemical synergism imposes higher risk to Neotropical bees than to honeybees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé, Hudson V. V.; Ramos, Gabryele S.; Araújo, Micaele F.; Santana, Weyder C.; Santos, Gil R.; Guedes, Raul Narciso C.; Maciel, Carlos D.; Newland, Philip L.

    2017-01-01

    Bees are key pollinators whose population numbers are declining, in part, owing to the effects of different stressors such as insecticides and fungicides. We have analysed the susceptibility of the Africanized honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the stingless bee, Partamona helleri, to commercial formulations of the insecticides deltamethrin and imidacloprid. The toxicity of fungicides based on thiophanate-methyl and chlorothalonil were investigated individually and in combination, and with the insecticides. Results showed that stingless bees were more susceptible to insecticides than honeybees. The commercial fungicides thiophanate-methyl or chlorothalonil caused low mortality, regardless of concentration; however, their combination was as toxic as imidacloprid to both species, and over 400-fold more toxic than deltamethrin for A. mellifera. There were highly synergistic effects on mortality caused by interactions in the mixture of imidacloprid and the fungicides thiophanate-methyl, chlorothalonil and the combined fungicide formulation in A. mellifera, and also to a lesser extent in P. helleri. By contrast, mixtures of the deltamethrin and the combined fungicide formulation induced high synergy in P. helleri, but had little effect on the mortality of A. mellifera. Differences in physiology and modes of action of agrochemicals are discussed as key factors underlying the differences in susceptibility to agrochemicals. PMID:28280585

  13. Interaction between Varroa destructor and imidacloprid reduces flight capacity of honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanken, Lisa J; van Langevelde, Frank; van Dooremalen, Coby

    2015-12-01

    Current high losses of honeybees seriously threaten crop pollination. Whereas parasite exposure is acknowledged as an important cause of these losses, the role of insecticides is controversial. Parasites and neonicotinoid insecticides reduce homing success of foragers (e.g. by reduced orientation), but it is unknown whether they negatively affect flight capacity. We investigated how exposing colonies to the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid affect flight capacity of foragers. Flight distance, time and speed of foragers were measured in flight mills to assess the relative and interactive effects of high V. destructor load and a field-realistic, chronic sub-lethal dose of imidacloprid. Foragers from colonies exposed to high levels of V. destructor flew shorter distances, with a larger effect when also exposed to imidacloprid. Bee body mass partly explained our results as bees were heavier when exposed to these stressors, possibly due to an earlier onset of foraging. Our findings contribute to understanding of interacting stressors that can explain colony losses. Reduced flight capacity decreases the food-collecting ability of honeybees and may hamper the use of precocious foraging as a coping mechanism during colony (nutritional) stress. Ineffective coping mechanisms may lead to destructive cascading effects and subsequent colony collapse.

  14. So near and yet so far: harmonic radar reveals reduced homing ability of Nosema infected honeybees.

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    Stephan Wolf

    Full Text Available Pathogens may gain a fitness advantage through manipulation of the behaviour of their hosts. Likewise, host behavioural changes can be a defence mechanism, counteracting the impact of pathogens on host fitness. We apply harmonic radar technology to characterize the impact of an emerging pathogen--Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia--on honeybee (Apis mellifera flight and orientation performance in the field. Honeybees are the most important commercial pollinators. Emerging diseases have been proposed to play a prominent role in colony decline, partly through sub-lethal behavioural manipulation of their hosts. We found that homing success was significantly reduced in diseased (65.8% versus healthy foragers (92.5%. Although lost bees had significantly reduced continuous flight times and prolonged resting times, other flight characteristics and navigational abilities showed no significant difference between infected and non-infected bees. Our results suggest that infected bees express normal flight characteristics but are constrained in their homing ability, potentially compromising the colony by reducing its resource inputs, but also counteracting the intra-colony spread of infection. We provide the first high-resolution analysis of sub-lethal effects of an emerging disease on insect flight behaviour. The potential causes and the implications for both host and parasite are discussed.

  15. Rare royal families in honeybees, Apis mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moritz, Robin F. A.; Lattorff, H. Michael G.; Neumann, Peter; Kraus, F. Bernhard; Radloff, Sarah E.; Hepburn, H. Randall

    2005-10-01

    The queen is the dominant female in the honeybee colony, Apis mellifera, and controls reproduction. Queen larvae are selected by the workers and are fed a special diet (royal jelly), which determines caste. Because queens mate with many males a large number of subfamilies coexist in the colony. As a consequence, there is a considerable potential for conflict among the subfamilies over queen rearing. Here we show that honeybee queens are not reared at random but are preferentially reared from rare “royal” subfamilies, which have extremely low frequencies in the colony's worker force but a high frequency in the queens reared.

  16. Habitat fragmentation leads to reduced pollinator visitation, fruit production and recruitment in urban mangrove forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermansen, Tyge D; Minchinton, Todd E; Ayre, David J

    2017-09-08

    Mangrove forests worldwide undergo anthropogenic fragmentation that may threaten their existence, and yet there have been few tests of the effects of fragmentation on demographic processes critical for mangrove regeneration. Predicting the effects of habitat fragmentation on mangroves is problematic as pollinators may move more freely across water than terrestrial habitat, and propagules can be widely dispersed by water. Here, within each of two estuaries, we compared pollinator diversity and activity, reproductive effort and output, and rates of recruitment for sets of three large (>1500 trees), medium (300-500) and small (fragmentation on the abundance of pollinators (honeybees), the production and quality of fruit and the survival rate of seedlings to be similar, showing significant reduction of recruitment in small stands. This study provides the first rigorous evidence that recruitment of mangroves, like for many terrestrial plants, is negatively impacted by habitat fragmentation. From a management perspective, we argue that in the short term our data imply the importance of conserving the largest possible stands. However, additional work is needed to determine (1) the proportion of recruits within small stands that originate within large stands, (2) how seedling performance varies with fruit size and genotype, and (3) how seedling size and performance vary with the abundance and diversity of pollen.

  17. Do honeybees, Apis mellifera scutellata, regulate humidity in their nest?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human, Hannelie; Nicolson, Sue W.; Dietemann, Vincent

    2006-08-01

    Honeybees are highly efficient at regulating the biophysical parameters of their hive according to colony needs. Thermoregulation has been the most extensively studied aspect of nest homeostasis. In contrast, little is known about how humidity is regulated in beehives, if at all. Although high humidity is necessary for brood development, regulation of this parameter by honeybee workers has not yet been demonstrated. In the past, humidity was measured too crudely for a regulation mechanism to be identified. We reassess this issue, using miniaturised data loggers that allow humidity measurements in natural situations and at several places in the nest. We present evidence that workers influence humidity in the hive. However, there are constraints on potential regulation mechanisms because humidity optima may vary in different locations of the nest. Humidity could also depend on variable external factors, such as water availability, which further impair the regulation. Moreover, there are trade-offs with the regulation of temperature and respiratory gas exchanges that can disrupt the establishment of optimal humidity levels. As a result, we argue that workers can only adjust humidity within sub-optimal limits.

  18. East learns from West: Asiatic honeybees can understand dance language of European honeybees.

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    Songkun Su

    Full Text Available The honeybee waggle dance, through which foragers advertise the existence and location of a food source to their hive mates, is acknowledged as the only known form of symbolic communication in an invertebrate. However, the suggestion, that different species of honeybee might possess distinct 'dialects' of the waggle dance, remains controversial. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether different species of honeybee can learn from and communicate with each other. This study reports experiments using a mixed-species colony that is composed of the Asiatic bee Apis cerana cerana (Acc, and the European bee Apis mellifera ligustica (Aml. Using video recordings made at an observation hive, we first confirm that Acc and Aml have significantly different dance dialects, even when made to forage in identical environments. When reared in the same colony, these two species are able to communicate with each other: Acc foragers could decode the dances of Aml to successfully locate an indicated food source. We believe that this is the first report of successful symbolic communication between two honeybee species; our study hints at the possibility of social learning between the two honeybee species, and at the existence of a learning component in the honeybee dance language.

  19. Analysis of the waggle dance motion of honeybees for the design of a biomimetic honeybee robot.

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    Tim Landgraf

    Full Text Available The honeybee dance "language" is one of the most popular examples of information transfer in the animal world. Today, more than 60 years after its discovery it still remains unknown how follower bees decode the information contained in the dance. In order to build a robotic honeybee that allows a deeper investigation of the communication process we have recorded hundreds of videos of waggle dances. In this paper we analyze the statistics of visually captured high-precision dance trajectories of European honeybees (Apis mellifera carnica. The trajectories were produced using a novel automatic tracking system and represent the most detailed honeybee dance motion information available. Although honeybee dances seem very variable, some properties turned out to be invariant. We use these properties as a minimal set of parameters that enables us to model the honeybee dance motion. We provide a detailed statistical description of various dance properties that have not been characterized before and discuss the role of particular dance components in the commmunication process.

  20. Analysis of the Waggle Dance Motion of Honeybees for the Design of a Biomimetic Honeybee Robot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landgraf, Tim; Rojas, Raúl; Nguyen, Hai; Kriegel, Fabian; Stettin, Katja

    2011-01-01

    The honeybee dance “language” is one of the most popular examples of information transfer in the animal world. Today, more than 60 years after its discovery it still remains unknown how follower bees decode the information contained in the dance. In order to build a robotic honeybee that allows a deeper investigation of the communication process we have recorded hundreds of videos of waggle dances. In this paper we analyze the statistics of visually captured high-precision dance trajectories of European honeybees (Apis mellifera carnica). The trajectories were produced using a novel automatic tracking system and represent the most detailed honeybee dance motion information available. Although honeybee dances seem very variable, some properties turned out to be invariant. We use these properties as a minimal set of parameters that enables us to model the honeybee dance motion. We provide a detailed statistical description of various dance properties that have not been characterized before and discuss the role of particular dance components in the commmunication process. PMID:21857906

  1. Do pollinators contribute to nutritional health?

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    Alicia M Ellis

    Full Text Available Despite suggestions that animal pollinators are crucial for human nutritional health, no studies have actually tested this claim. Here, we combined data on crop pollination requirements, food nutrient densities, and actual human diets to predict the effects of pollinator losses on the risk of nutrient deficiency. In four developing countries and across five nutrients, we found that 0 to 56% of populations would become newly at risk if pollinators were removed. Increases in risk were most pronounced for vitamin A in populations with moderate levels of total nutrient intake. Overall, the effects of pollinator decline varied widely among populations and nutrients. We conclude that the importance of pollinators to human nutrition depends critically on the composition of local diets, and cannot be reliably predicted from global commodity analyses. We identify conditions under which severe health effects of pollinator loss are most likely to occur.

  2. The mechanism of pollination drop withdrawal in Ginkgo biloba L.

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    Jin Biao

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The pollination drop (PD is a characteristic feature of many wind-pollinated gymnosperms. Although accumulating evidence shows that the PD plays a critical role in the pollination process, the mechanism of PD withdrawal is still unclear. Here, we carefully observed the PD withdrawal process and investigated the underlying mechanism of PD withdrawal, which will aid the understanding of wind-pollination efficiency in gymnosperms. Results In Ginkgo biloba, PDs were secreted on the micropyle during the pollination period and persisted for about 240 h when not pollinated under laboratory conditions. The withdrawal of an isolated PD required only 1 h for evaporation, much less than a PD on the living ovule, which required 100 h. When pollinated with viable pollen, PDs withdrew rapidly within 4 h. In contrast, nonviable pollen and acetone-treated pollen did not cause PD withdrawal. Although 100% relative humidity significantly inhibited PD withdrawal, pollinated PDs still could withdraw completely within 48 h. Pollen grains of Cycas revoluta, which are similar to those of G. biloba, could induce PD withdrawal more rapidly than those of two distantly related gymnosperms (Pinus thunbergii and Abies firma or two angiosperms (Paeonia suffruticosa and Orychophragmus violaceus. Furthermore, pollen of G. biloba and C. revoluta submerged immediately when encountering the PD, then sank to the bottom and entered the micropyle. The saccate pollen of P. thunbergii and A. firma submerged into the PD, but remained floating at the top and finally accumulated on the micropyle after PD withdrawal. In contrast, pollen of the angiosperms P. suffruticosa, Salix babylonica, and O. violaceus did not submerge, instead remaining clustered at the edge without entering the PD. Conclusions We conclude that PD withdrawal is primarily determined by the dynamic balance between evaporation and ovule secretion, of which pollen is a critical stimulator

  3. Serial position learning in honeybees.

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    Randolf Menzel

    Full Text Available Learning of stimulus sequences is considered as a characteristic feature of episodic memory since it contains not only a particular item but also the experience of preceding and following events. In sensorimotor tasks resembling navigational performance, the serial order of objects is intimately connected with spatial order. Mammals and birds develop episodic(-like memory in serial spatio-temporal tasks, and the honeybee learns spatio-temporal order when navigating between the nest and a food source. Here I examine the structure of the bees' memory for a combined spatio-temporal task. I ask whether discrimination and generalization are based solely on simple forms of stimulus-reward learning or whether they require sequential configurations. Animals were trained to fly either left or right in a continuous T-maze. The correct choice was signaled by the sequence of colors (blue, yellow at four positions in the access arm. If only one of the possible 4 signals is shown (either blue or yellow, the rank order of position salience is 1, 2 and 3 (numbered from T-junction. No learning is found if the signal appears at position 4. If two signals are shown, differences at positions 1 and 2 are learned best, those at position 3 at a low level, and those at position 4 not at all. If three or more signals are shown these results are corroborated. This salience rank order again appeared in transfer tests, but additional configural phenomena emerged. Most of the results can be explained with a simple model based on the assumption that the four positions are equipped with different salience scores and that these add up independently. However, deviations from the model are interpreted by assuming stimulus configuration of sequential patterns. It is concluded that, under the conditions chosen, bees rely most strongly on memories developed during simple forms of associative reward learning, but memories of configural serial patterns contribute, too.

  4. Honeybees, Butterflies, and Ladybugs: Partners to Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Ashley

    2009-01-01

    Honeybees, butterflies, and ladybugs all have fascinating mutually beneficial relationships with plants and play important ecosystem roles. Children also love these creatures. But how do we teach children about these symbiotic interactions and help them appreciate their vital roles in our environment? One must is to give children direct experience…

  5. Honeybees, Butterflies, and Ladybugs: Partners to Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Ashley

    2009-01-01

    Honeybees, butterflies, and ladybugs all have fascinating mutually beneficial relationships with plants and play important ecosystem roles. Children also love these creatures. But how do we teach children about these symbiotic interactions and help them appreciate their vital roles in our environment? One must is to give children direct experience…

  6. Honeybee communication: a signal for danger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Mandyam V

    2010-04-27

    Scout honeybees recruit other bees to visit a newly discovered food source through the famous 'waggle dance'. Now a new study reports that other nest mates can induce the dancer to stop advertising, if they have experienced danger at that location.

  7. The importance of bee pollination of the sour cherry (Prunus cerasus Cultivar ‘Stevnsbaer’ in Denmark

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    Lise Hansted

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Low fruit set, despite normally-developed flowers, is often a significant contributor to poor yield of the self-fertile sour cherry (Prunus cerasus cultivar ‘Stevnsbaer’ in Denmark. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of insect, and particularly, bee pollination on the fruit set of this cultivar, in order to provide orchard management information for both Danish ‘Stevnsbaer’ growers and beekeepers. Visits to cherry flowers by honey bees (Apis mellifera, Bombus species and solitary bees, were recorded during the flowering of ‘Stevnsbaer’ in five separate Danish orchards. The results indicate that there is a significantly higher fruit set on open pollinated branches when compared to caged branches, where bees and other pollinating insects where excluded. The results were qualitatively consistent over three different seasons (2007, 2009 and 2010. A period of prolonged cold, humid weather before and during early flowering probably reduced fruit set significantly in 2010 compared to 2009. Regarding the apparent benefits of bee pollination on fruit set and subsequent implications for yield, we recommend placing honeybees in ‘Stevnsbaer’ orchards during flowering to sustain commercially viable production. Another valuable management strategy would be to improve foraging and nesting conditions to support both honey and wild bees in and around the orchards.

  8. Reproductive biology of Acrolophia cochlearis (Orchidaceae): estimating rates of cross-pollination in epidendroid orchids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Craig I; Johnson, Steven D

    2009-08-01

    Pollen fates strongly influence mating success in plants but are difficult to quantify. By promoting foraging constancy in pollinators, floral rewards such as nectar may enhance the overall efficiency of pollen transfer. However, this can also lead to high levels of geitonogamy. Pollen fates were studied in Acrolophia cochlearis, a member of a terrestrial epidendroid orchid genus that includes both rewarding and deceptive species. Pollinator observations were conducted. Pollen transfer efficiency (PTE), the proportion of removed pollinia deposited on stigmas, was measured in a large population at regular intervals throughout the 5-month flowering season. The level of cross-pollination in two populations was estimated from the percentage of seeds with embryos in naturally pollinated fruits. Acrolophia cochlearis (and a congener A. micrantha) produce minute but concentrated nectar rewards. Observations showed that A. cochlearis is pollinated exclusively by a solitary bee species, Colletes claripes. Although both sexes visited flowers, only males carried pollinaria. Overall levels of pollination and PTE of the rewarding A. cochlearis were much higher than in a deceptive congener, A. capensis. Seeds resulting from self-fertilization had a significantly lower probability of containing viable embryos than did those from cross-fertilization. This dichotomy in fruit quality was used to estimate that cross-pollination occurred in approx. 66 % of A. cochlearis flowers in a large dense population and approx. 10 % in a small sparse population. Traits of A. cochlearis that limit geitonogamy include pollinarium reconfiguration that exceeds the visit time of pollinators and rapid flower senescence following visitation. Presence of a nectar reward in Acrolophia cochlearis results in high levels of PTE. It is estimated that approx. 33-90 % of fruits in natural populations arise from self-pollination in this species.

  9. Capsule formation and asymbiotic seed germination in some hybrids of Phalaenopsis, influenced by pollination season and capsule maturity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balilashaki, Khosro; Gantait, Saikat; Naderi, Roohangiz; Vahedi, Maryam

    2015-07-01

    We explored the influence of pollination season and maturity of capsule on post-pollination capsule formation and in vitro asymbiotic seed germination, respectively. Three Phalaenopsis orchid hybrids, namely, 'Athens', 'Moscow' and 'Lusaka' flowers were artificially self-pollinated during winter, spring, summer and fall seasons and the impact of the pollination seasons was evident during capsule formation. It was observed that winter was the most suitable season for pollination of all the three Phalanaeopsis hybrids resulting in 80-88 % capsule formation. During summer, the pollination success rate was 24-28 %, but resulted in successful capsule formation. Season of pollination further delimited the germination efficiency of seeds harvested from capsules of variable maturity levels. Invariably, seeds collected from winter-pollinated capsules performed best in germination compared to other seasons, for instance, 'Moscow' seeds took less than 14 days to germinate from capsules developed following winter-pollination. Regarding the influence of capsule maturity on seed germination, we observed that seeds derived from 5-month mature capsules, invariably took least time to germinate than that of the 3-month or 7-month in all three hybrids, e.g., for 'Moscow' it was 13.9 days with a maximum of 90.3 % germination.

  10. Bird pollination of Canary Island endemic plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollerton, Jeff; Cranmer, Louise; Stelzer, Ralph J.; Sullivan, Steve; Chittka, Lars

    2009-02-01

    The Canary Islands are home to a guild of endemic, threatened bird-pollinated plants. Previous work has suggested that these plants evolved floral traits as adaptations to pollination by flower specialist sunbirds, but subsequently, they appear to have co-opted generalist passerine birds as sub-optimal pollinators. To test this idea, we carried out a quantitative study of the pollination biology of three of the bird-pollinated plants, Canarina canariensis (Campanulaceae), Isoplexis canariensis (Veronicaceae) and Lotus berthelotii (Fabaceae), on the island of Tenerife. Using colour vision models, we predicted the detectability of flowers to bird and bee pollinators. We measured pollinator visitation rates, nectar standing crops as well as seed-set and pollen removal and deposition. These data showed that the plants are effectively pollinated by non-flower specialist passerine birds that only occasionally visit flowers. The large nectar standing crops and extended flower longevities (>10 days) of Canarina and Isoplexis suggests that they have evolved a bird pollination system that effectively exploits these low frequency non-specialist pollen vectors and is in no way sub-optimal. Seed set in two of the three species was high and was significantly reduced or zero in flowers where pollinator access was restricted. In L. berthelotii, however, no fruit set was observed, probably because the plants were self-incompatible horticultural clones of a single genet. We also show that, while all three species are easily detectable for birds, the orange Canarina and the red Lotus (but less so the yellow-orange Isoplexis) should be difficult to detect for insect pollinators without specialised red receptors, such as bumblebees. Contrary to expectations if we accept that the flowers are primarily adapted to sunbird pollination, the chiffchaff ( Phylloscopus canariensis) was an effective pollinator of these species.

  11. (Apidae: Hymenoptera) pollination on yields of Cucumeropsis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    plants). A second experimental field, without honeybee colonies, was the control (T0). Each experimental field. (with or ... parasites, disease, climate change, agricultural intensification, ... Köppen climate classification, which a monthly rainfall ...

  12. Pollinator guild organization and its consequences for reproduction in three synchronopatric species of Tibouchina (Melastomataceae

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    Ana Maria Franco

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Pollinator guild organization and its consequences for reproduction in three synchronopatric species of Tibouchina (Melastomataceae. In co-flowering plant species, pollinator sharing can result in interspecific pollen transfer and fecundity reduction. Competition will be relaxed whenever there is a large amount of initial pollen supply or if each plant species occupies different habitat patches. Reproduction in Tibouchina cerastifolia (Naudin Cogn., T. clinopodifolia (DC. Cogn. and T. gracilis (Bonpl. Cogn. was studied in an area of Atlantic rainforest to examine whether synchronopatry induces time partitioning among pollinator species. Eleven bee species comprised the pollinator guild. Among pollinators, there were overlaps in bee species composition and in flower visitation time. Direct competition for pollen in Tibouchina Aubl. at the study site seems to lead to different activity periods among the bee species, in which Bombus pauloensis Friese,1913 was most active earlier, while the other species were active later in the day. Bombus pauloensis, the largest bee species recorded on Tibouchina flowers, was the most important and efficient pollinator. This species harvested pollen before the other species and had the shortest handling time. The plants reproduced sexually by selfing or outcrossing, and hybridization was not avoided by incompatibility reactions at the style. The avoidance of direct competition for pollen and no pollinator partitioning among the synchronopatric species of Tibouchina may reflect a facilitative interaction among these pioneer plants.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Formation of Long-Term Reward Memories and Extinction Memories in the Honeybee ("Apis Mellifera")

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-01-01

    The honeybee ("Apis mellifera") has long served as an invertebrate model organism for reward learning and memory research. Its capacity for learning and memory formation is rooted in the ecological need to efficiently collect nectar and pollen during summer to ensure survival of the hive during winter. Foraging bees learn to associate a…

  14. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Formation of Long-Term Reward Memories and Extinction Memories in the Honeybee ("Apis Mellifera")

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-01-01

    The honeybee ("Apis mellifera") has long served as an invertebrate model organism for reward learning and memory research. Its capacity for learning and memory formation is rooted in the ecological need to efficiently collect nectar and pollen during summer to ensure survival of the hive during winter. Foraging bees learn to associate a…

  15. Transient exposure to low levels of insecticide affects metabolic networks of honeybee larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derecka, Kamila; Blythe, Martin J; Malla, Sunir; Genereux, Diane P; Guffanti, Alessandro; Pavan, Paolo; Moles, Anna; Snart, Charles; Ryder, Thomas; Ortori, Catharine A; Barrett, David A; Schuster, Eugene; Stöger, Reinhard

    2013-01-01

    The survival of a species depends on its capacity to adjust to changing environmental conditions, and new stressors. Such new, anthropogenic stressors include the neonicotinoid class of crop-protecting agents, which have been implicated in the population declines of pollinating insects, including honeybees (Apis mellifera). The low-dose effects of these compounds on larval development and physiological responses have remained largely unknown. Over a period of 15 days, we provided syrup tainted with low levels (2 µg/L(-1)) of the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid to beehives located in the field. We measured transcript levels by RNA sequencing and established lipid profiles using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry from worker-bee larvae of imidacloprid-exposed (IE) and unexposed, control (C) hives. Within a catalogue of 300 differentially expressed transcripts in larvae from IE hives, we detect significant enrichment of genes functioning in lipid-carbohydrate-mitochondrial metabolic networks. Myc-involved transcriptional response to exposure of this neonicotinoid is indicated by overrepresentation of E-box elements in the promoter regions of genes with altered expression. RNA levels for a cluster of genes encoding detoxifying P450 enzymes are elevated, with coordinated downregulation of genes in glycolytic and sugar-metabolising pathways. Expression of the environmentally responsive Hsp90 gene is also reduced, suggesting diminished buffering and stability of the developmental program. The multifaceted, physiological response described here may be of importance to our general understanding of pollinator health. Muscles, for instance, work at high glycolytic rates and flight performance could be impacted should low levels of this evolutionarily novel stressor likewise induce downregulation of energy metabolising genes in adult pollinators.

  16. POLLINATION SYNDROMES OF NEW WORLD SALVIA SPECIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO BIRD POLLINATION

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Petra Wester; Regine Claβen-Bockhoff

    2011-01-01

    .... This paper presents a complete list of all currently accepted New World Salvia species and their classification according to their pollination syndromes, focusing particularly on bird-pollinated species...

  17. Africanized honeybees in urban areas: a public health concern

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Zaluski

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of Africanized honeybees in Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil, and to implement a program to remove such swarms. Methods The occurrences of Africanized honeybee swarms between 2010 and 2012 were studied and strategies to prevent accidents were developed. Results We noted 1,164 cases of Africanized honeybee occurrences in the city, and 422 swarms were collected. The developed strategies to prevent accidents were disseminated to the population. Conclusions We contributed to reducing the risks represented by Africanized honeybee swarms in urban areas, by collecting swarms and disseminating strategic information for preventing accidents.

  18. Pollinator deception in the orchid mantis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hanlon, James C; Holwell, Gregory I; Herberstein, Marie E

    2014-01-01

    Mimicry has evolved in contexts such as camouflage, predator deterrence, luring of prey, and pollinator attraction. Mimicry of flowers has until now been demonstrated only in angiosperms, yet it has been hypothesized that the Malaysian orchid mantis Hymenopus coronatus mimics a flower to attract pollinators as prey. Despite the popularity of this charismatic insect, this long-discussed hypothesis has never been experimentally investigated. We found that, as predicted for mimicry, the color of H. coronatus is indistinguishable from the color of sympatric flowers for hymenopteran pollinators. Field experiments show that isolated mantises attract wild pollinators at a rate even higher than flowers and capture these pollinators as prey items. After more than a century of conjecture, we provide the first experimental evidence of pollinator deception in the orchid mantis and the first description of a unique predatory strategy that has not been documented in any other animal species.

  19. Pollination Ecology and Pollination System of Impatiens reptans (Balsaminaceae) Endemic to China

    OpenAIRE

    TIAN, JIANPING; Liu, Keming; HU, GUANGWAN

    2004-01-01

    • Background and Aims China is one of the centres of geographical distribution of Impatiens L. Studies of the pollination ecology of this genus in China have, until now, been unreported. Impatiens reptans, a species endemic to China, was studied. The aims were to examine the pollination ecology and pollination system of this species, to compare its pollination ecology with other Impatiens species growing in Sumatra and Japan, and to discuss possible reasons for its limited distribution.

  20. Eficiência de acessos de Cucurbita maxima como polinizadores de abóbora híbrida do tipo "Tetsukabuto" Efficiency of Cucurbita maxima accessions as pollinators in the commercial production of pumpkin ("Tetsukabuto" type

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Warley Marcos Nascimento

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available A abóbora tipo “Tetsukabuto” é um híbrido interespecífico, macho estéril, resultante do cruzamento entre Cucurbita maxima e C. moschata. Uma das estratégias utilizadas para produção comercial de frutos de “Tetsukabuto” tem sido o plantio adjacente e concomitante de acessos de C. maxima ou C. moschata como polinizadores. Este trabalho teve por objetivo avaliar a eficiência de diferentes acessos de C. maxima como fontes de pólen para produção comercial de abóbora tipo “Tetsukabuto”. A cultivar de moranga "Exposição" e o acesso "Nirvana" foram utilizados como polinizadores para produção de frutos de dois híbridos do tipo varietal “Tetsukabuto” ("Jabras" e "Kyoto". Foram avaliados os tratamentos (cruzamentos Jabras x Exposição, Jabras x Nirvana, Tetsukabuto x Exposição, Tetsukabuto x Nirvana, em quatro repetições. Foram determinados os parâmetros massa dos frutos, diâmetro dos frutos, espessura da polpa, número e massa de sementes. O acesso "Nirvana" (cultivar em fase de validação pode ser utilizado na produção comercial como polinizador de abóboras deste grupo varietal sem nenhum prejuízo quando comparado com a moranga "Exposição"."Tetsukabuto" pumpkins are interspecific hybrids between Cucurbita maxima x C. moschata accessions. Such hybrids, however, are often male-sterile due to the impaired ability of the staminate flowers to produce functional pollen. The use of intervening rows of staminate (pollen-donor plants is one strategy employed in order to have commercial fruit production. In the present work, two C. maxima accessions ["Exposição" (E and "Nirvana" (N] were employed as pollen-donors (staminate parents and their efficiency was compared considering fruit and seed yield parameters. Two pistillate Tetsukabuto hybrids ["Jabras" (J and "Kyoto Tetsukabuto" (KT] were employed in four possible unidirectional crosses (J x E, J x N, KT x E and KT x N. Fruits were produced using standard manual

  1. Native bees and plant pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsberg, H.S.

    2004-01-01

    Bees are important pollinators, but evidence suggests that numbers of some species are declining. Decreases have been documented in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (which was introduced to North America), but there are no monitoring programs for the vast majority of native species, so we cannot be sure about the extent of this problem. Recent efforts to develop standardized protocols for bee sampling will help us collect the data needed to assess trends in bee populations. Unfortunately, diversity of bee life cycles and phenologies, and the large number of rare species, make it difficult to assess trends in bee faunas. Changes in bee populations can affect plant reproduction, which can influence plant population density and cover, thus potentially modifying horizontal and vertical structure of a community, microclimate near the ground, patterns of nitrogen deposition, etc. These potential effects of changes in pollination patterns have not been assessed in natural communities. Effects of management actions on bees and other pollinators should be considered in conservation planning.

  2. The genetics of reproductive organ morphology in two Petunia species with contrasting pollination syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermann, Katrin; Klahre, Ulrich; Venail, Julien; Brandenburg, Anna; Kuhlemeier, Cris

    2015-05-01

    Switches between pollination syndromes have happened frequently during angiosperm evolution. Using QTL mapping and reciprocal introgressions, we show that changes in reproductive organ morphology have a simple genetic basis. In animal-pollinated plants, flowers have evolved to optimize pollination efficiency by different pollinator guilds and hence reproductive success. The two Petunia species, P. axillaris and P. exserta, display pollination syndromes adapted to moth or hummingbird pollination. For the floral traits color and scent, genetic loci of large phenotypic effect have been well documented. However, such large-effect loci may be typical for shifts in simple biochemical traits, whereas the evolution of morphological traits may involve multiple mutations of small phenotypic effect. Here, we performed a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of floral morphology, followed by an in-depth study of pistil and stamen morphology and the introgression of individual QTL into reciprocal parental backgrounds. Two QTLs, on chromosomes II and V, are sufficient to explain the interspecific difference in pistil and stamen length. Since most of the difference in organ length is caused by differences in cell number, genes underlying these QTLs are likely to be involved in cell cycle regulation. Interestingly, conservation of the locus on chromosome II in a different P. axillaris subspecies suggests that the evolution of organ elongation was initiated on chromosome II in adaptation to different pollinators. We recently showed that QTLs for pistil and stamen length on chromosome II are tightly linked to QTLs for petal color and volatile emission. Linkage of multiple traits will enable major phenotypic change within a few generations in hybridizing populations. Thus, the genomic architecture of pollination syndromes in Petunia allows for rapid responses to changing pollinator availability.

  3. Deceptive Ceropegia dolichophylla fools its kleptoparasitic fly pollinators with exceptional floral scent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annemarie eHeiduk

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Ceropegia species (Apocynaceae have deceptive pitfall flowers and exploit small flies as pollinators, supposedly by chemical mimicry. Only preliminary data on the composition of flower scents are available for a single species so far, and the mimicry system is not yet understood in any species.We collected data on basic pollination aspects of C. dolichophylla, analyzed floral scent by gas chromatography linked to mass spectrometry, identified electrophysiologically active scent components by gas chromatography coupled with electroantennographic detection, and determined compounds responsible for pollinator attraction in bioassays. We found that flowers of C. dolichophylla are visited by small flies of several taxa. Only Milichiidae and Chloropidae carried pollinaria and are, thus, pollinators. The pollen transfer efficiency at two different sites was 2 % and 4 %, respectively. The floral scent was dominated by spiroacetals, mainly (2S,6R,8S-8-methyl-2-propyl-1,7-dioxaspiro[5.5]undecane, n-tridecane, and N-(3-methylbutylacetamide. This spiroacetal and the acetamide elicited the most intense electrophysiological responses in fly antennae, and bioassays confirmed the capability of the spiroacetal in eliciting behavioral responses in pollinators. Most flies, determined as pollinators of C. dolichophylla, are kleptoparasites. They exploit insect prey of predatory arthropods as food source to which they are attracted by volatiles. 8-Methyl-2-propyl-1,7-dioxaspiro[5.5]undecane and N-(3-methylbutylacetamide have not been identified before as volatiles of other plants, however, they are known as insect volatiles. Both compounds occur in the venom glands of paper wasps, a potential food source for the pollinators of C. dolichophylla. We propose that C. dolichophylla shows a kleptomyiophilous pollination strategy. It mimics insect related odors to exploit the food-seeking behavior of its kleptoparasitic pollinators.

  4. Detection of Methyl Salicylate Transforted by Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Using Solid Phase Microextration (SPME) Fibers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    BENDER, SUSAN FAE ANN; RODACY, PHILIP J.; BARNETT, JAMES L.; BENDER, GARY L.

    2001-12-01

    The ultimate goal of many environmental measurements is to determine the risk posed to humans or ecosystems by various contaminants. Conventional environmental monitoring typically requires extensive sampling grids covering several media including air, water, soil and vegetation. A far more efficient, innovative and inexpensive tactic has been found using honeybees as sampling mechanisms. Members from a single bee colony forage over large areas ({approx}2 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 2}), making tens of thousands of trips per day, and return to a fixed location where sampling can be conveniently conducted. The bees are in direct contact with the air, water, soil and vegetation where they encounter and collect any contaminants that are present in gaseous, liquid and particulate form. The monitoring of honeybees when they return to the hive provides a rapid method to assess chemical distributions and impacts (1). The primary goal of this technology is to evaluate the efficiency of the transport mechanism (honeybees) to the hive using preconcentrators to collect samples. Once the extent and nature of the contaminant exposure has been characterized, resources can be distributed and environmental monitoring designs efficiently directed to the most appropriate locations. Methyl salicylate, a chemical agent surrogate was used as the target compound in this study.

  5. Pollinators visit related plant species across 29 plant-pollinator networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vamosi, Jana C; Moray, Clea M; Garcha, Navdeep K; Chamberlain, Scott A; Mooers, Arne Ø

    2014-06-01

    Understanding the evolution of specialization in host plant use by pollinators is often complicated by variability in the ecological context of specialization. Flowering communities offer their pollinators varying numbers and proportions of floral resources, and the uniformity observed in these floral resources is, to some degree, due to shared ancestry. Here, we find that pollinators visit related plant species more so than expected by chance throughout 29 plant-pollinator networks of varying sizes, with "clade specialization" increasing with community size. As predicted, less versatile pollinators showed more clade specialization overall. We then asked whether this clade specialization varied with the ratio of pollinator species to plant species such that pollinators were changing their behavior when there was increased competition (and presumably a forced narrowing of the realized niche) by examining pollinators that were present in at least three of the networks. Surprisingly, we found little evidence that variation in clade specialization is caused by pollinator species changing their behavior in different community contexts, suggesting that clade specialization is observed when pollinators are either restricted in their floral choices due to morphological constraints or innate preferences. The resulting pollinator sharing between closely related plant species could result in selection for greater pollinator specialization.

  6. Geographical variation in autonomous self-pollination levels unrelated to pollinator service in Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, C M; Sánchez-Lafuente, A M; Medrano, M; Guitián, J; Cerdá, X; Rey, P

    2001-06-01

    Autonomous self-pollination may be considered as a mechanism enhancing plant reproductive success when plant access to pollen sources may limit seed production. We have studied the relationship between geographical patterns of variation in pollinator service to Helleborus foetidus and self-pollination ability in three widely spaced regions in the Iberian Peninsula. As could be expected from its early flowering period, pollinator visitation rates to both plants and flowers of H. foetidus were very low at all sites. Pollinator composition remained consistent among regions, but there was significant variation among regions in pollinator service. Despite the low visitation rates, fruit set did not appear to be pollen limited in any of the study areas, which may be explained by the long duration of flowers (up to 20 d). When pollinators were excluded experimentally, fruit set decreased significantly, but substantial levels of self-pollination occurred at all regions. Autonomous self-pollination levels were lowest in the two regions with lowest pollinator service and highest in the region with highest pollinator service. This disagreement between our results and the expectations derived from the reproductive assurance hypothesis may reflect a nonequilibrium situation of the northern H. foetidus populations in relation to their current pollinating environment.

  7. On methodology of foraging behavior of pollinating insects

    OpenAIRE

    Yanbing Gong; Shuangquan Huang

    2007-01-01

    Foraging behavior of pollinating insects can directly influence plant–pollinator interactions in many aspects, thus studies on pollinator behavior are important for understanding plant diversity and ecological processes of plant reproduction. In this paper, we describe the characteristics of major pollinating insects and discuss the methods for studying foraging behavior of pollinating insects and factors potentially influencing pollinator behaviors. We also suggest some practical methods for...

  8. Pollination Strategies to Increase Productivity of the African Fruit Trees Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. paradoxa & Parkia biglobosa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Kristin Marie

    The PhD thesis has studied the pollination ecology of two popular fruit trees used in agro-forestry parklands in The Gambia and Burkina Faso. Both species are economically and nutritionally important. The methods used have been a combination of size-based exclusion trials and direct observations...... of the potential pollinators in the flowers. For one of the species, a number of seeds from the resulting pods were genotyped and the distances to the assigned father trees were found. Due to relatively few flower-visitors it was possible to assign the effective pollinators for both species. The main results...... for Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. paradoxa are the findings that honey bees were the most efficient pollinators, and that stingless bees and solitary bees partly could compensate honey bees. The stingless bees often construct nests in older V. paradoxa trees, and when excluding honey bees, these trees yielded...

  9. Beetle pollination and flowering rhythm of Annona coriacea Mart. (Annonaceae) in Brazilian cerrado: Behavioral features of its principal pollinators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Marilza Silva; Silva, Ricardo José; Paulino-Neto, Hipólito Ferreira; Pereira, Mônica Josene Barbosa

    2017-01-01

    The conservation and sustainable management of Annona coriacea requires knowledge of its floral and reproductive biology, and of its main pollinators and their life cycles. In this work, we analyzed these aspects in detail. Floral biology was assessed by observing flowers from the beginning of anthesis to senescence. The visiting hours and behavior of floral visitors in the floral chamber were recorded, as were the sites of oviposition. Excavations were undertaken around specimens of A. coriacea to determine the location of immature pollinators. Anthesis was nocturnal, starting at sunset, and lasted for 52-56 h. The flowers were bisexual, protogynous and emitted a strong scent similar to the plant´s own ripe fruit. There was pronounced synchrony among all floral events (the period and duration of stigmatic receptivity, release of odor, pollen release and drooping flowers) in different individuals, but no synchrony in the same individuals. All of the flowers monitored were visited by beetle species of the genera Cyclocephala and Arriguttia. Beetles arrived at the flowers with their bodies covered in pollen and these pollen grains were transferred to the stigmata while foraging on nutritious tissues at the base of the petals. With dehiscence of the stamens and retention within the floral chamber, the bodies of the floral visitors were again covered with pollen which they carried to newly opened flowers, thus promoting the cycle of pollination. After leaving the flowers, female beetles often excavated holes in the soil to lay eggs. Larvae were found between the leaf litter and the first layer of soil under specimens of A. coriacea. Cyclocephala beetles were the main pollinators of A. coriacea, but Arriguttia brevissima was also considered a pollinator and is the first species of this genus to be observed in Annonaceae flowers. Annona coriacea was found to be self-compatible with a low reproductive efficiency in the area studied. The results of this investigation

  10. Pollinator interactions with yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) across urban, agricultural, and natural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leong, Misha; Kremen, Claire; Roderick, George K

    2014-01-01

    Pollinator-plant relationships are found to be particularly vulnerable to land use change. Yet despite extensive research in agricultural and natural systems, less attention has focused on these interactions in neighboring urban areas and its impact on pollination services. We investigated pollinator-plant interactions in a peri-urban landscape on the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, where urban, agricultural, and natural land use types interface. We made standardized observations of floral visitation and measured seed set of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), a common grassland invasive, to test the hypotheses that increasing urbanization decreases 1) rates of bee visitation, 2) viable seed set, and 3) the efficiency of pollination (relationship between bee visitation and seed set). We unexpectedly found that bee visitation was highest in urban and agricultural land use contexts, but in contrast, seed set rates in these human-altered landscapes were lower than in natural sites. An explanation for the discrepancy between floral visitation and seed set is that higher plant diversity in urban and agricultural areas, as a result of more introduced species, decreases pollinator efficiency. If these patterns are consistent across other plant species, the novel plant communities created in these managed landscapes and the generalist bee species that are favored by human-altered environments will reduce pollination services.

  11. Wind-Dragged Corolla Enhances Self-Pollination: A New Mechanism of Delayed Self-Pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Rongming; Li, Xiaojie; Luo, Yibo; Dong, Ming; Xu, Huanli; Chen, Xuan; Dafni, Amots

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Delayed self-pollination is a mechanism that allows animal-pollinated plants to outcross while ensuring seed production in the absence of pollinators. This study aims to explore a new mechanism of delayed self-pollination facilitated by wind-driven corolla abscission in Incarvillea sinensis var. sinensis. Methods Floral morphology and development, and the process of delayed self-pollination were surveyed. Experiments dealing with pollinator and wind exclusion, pollination manipulations, and pollinator observations were conducted in the field. Key Results Delayed self-pollination occurs when the abscising corolla driven by wind drags the adherent epipetalous stamens, thus leading to contact of anthers with stigma in late anthesis. There is no dichogamy and self-incompatibility in this species. The significantly higher proportion of abscised corolla under natural conditions as compared with that in wind-excluding tents indicates the importance of wind in corolla abscission. When pollinators were excluded, corolla abscission significantly increased the number of pollen grains deposited on the stigma and, as a result, the fruit and seed set. Only half of the flowers in plots were visited by pollinators, and the fruit set of emasculated flowers was significantly lower than that of untreated flowers in open pollination. This species has a sensitive stigma, and its two open stigmatic lobes closed soon after being touched by a pollinator, but always reopened if no or only little pollen was deposited. Conclusions This delayed self-pollination, which involved the movement of floral parts, the active participation of the wind and sensitive stigma, is quite different from that reported previously. This mechanism provides reproductive assurance for this species. The sensitive stigma contributes to ensuring seed production and reducing the interference of selfing with outcrossing. The pollination pattern, which combines actions by bees with indirect

  12. Pollination ecology of two species of Elleanthus (Orchidaceae): novel mechanisms and underlying adaptations to hummingbird pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, C E P; Amorim, F W; Mayer, J L S; Sazima, M

    2016-01-01

    Relationships among floral biology, floral micromorphology and pollinator behaviour in bird-pollinated orchids are important issues to understand the evolution of the huge flower diversity within Orchidaceae. We aimed to investigate floral mechanisms underlying the interaction with pollinators in two hummingbird-pollinated orchids occurring in the Atlantic forest. We assessed floral biology, nectar traits, nectary and column micromorphologies, breeding systems and pollinators. In both species, nectar is secreted by lip calli through spaces between the medial lamellar surfaces of epidermal cells. Such a form of floral nectar secretion has not been previously described. Both species present functional protandry and are self-compatible yet pollinator-dependent. Fruit set in hand-pollination experiments was more than twice that under natural conditions, evidencing pollen limitation. The absence of fruit set in interspecific crosses suggests the existence of post-pollination barriers between these sympatric co-flowering species. In Elleanthus brasiliensis, fruits resulting from cross-pollination and natural conditions were heavier than those resulting from self-pollination, suggesting advantages to cross-pollination. Hummingbirds pollinated both species, which share at least one pollinator species. Species differences in floral morphologies led to distinct pollination mechanisms. In E. brasiliensis, attachment of pollinarium to the hummingbird bill occurs through a lever apparatus formed by an appendage in the column, another novelty to our knowledge of orchid pollination. In E. crinipes, pollinarium attachment occurs by simple contact with the bill during insertion into the flower tube, which fits tightly around it. The novelties described here illustrate the overlooked richness in ecology and morphophysiology in Orchidaceae. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  13. A global test of the pollination syndrome hypothesis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jeff Ollerton; Ruben Alarcón; Nickolas M. Waser; Mary V. Price; Stella Watts; Louise Cranmer; Andrew Hingston; Craig I. Peter; John Rotenberry

    2009-01-01

    .... • Methods Flowers in six communities from three continents were scored for expression of floral traits used in published descriptions of the pollination syndromes, and simultaneously the pollinators...

  14. Modeling Decentralized Organizational Change in Honeybee Societies

    OpenAIRE

    Hoogendoorn, Mark; Schut, Martijn; Treur, Jan

    2006-01-01

    Multi-agent organizations in dynamic environments, need to have the ability to adapt to environmental changes to ensure a continuation of proper functioning. Such adaptations can be made through a centralized decision process or come from the individuals within the organization. In the domain of social insects, such as honeybees and wasps, organizations are known to adapt in a decentralized fashion to environmental changes. An organizational model for decentralized organizational change is pr...

  15. Harmful Effects of Biocides on Honeybees

    OpenAIRE

    GÜREL, Yasemin; Çarhan, Ahmet; KOÇ, Feride; Daş, Yavuz Kürşad

    2015-01-01

    Biocides are chemical substances which are use to fight against harmful insects around residential areas and enviroment. Furthermore, drink water disinfectans, hospital and food industry disinfectants are also included as biocidal products. Recently, biocidal products are blamed for the honeybee loss and colony collapse disorder (CCD). There are several factors have been determined for CCD in some countries (Fletcher and Barnett, 2003, Rortais and col., 2005; Underwood and vanEngelsdorp ve co...

  16. High specialisation in the pollination system of Mandevilla tenuifolia (J.C. Mikan) Woodson (Apocynaceae) drives the effectiveness of butterflies as pollinators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Araújo, L D A; Quirino, Z G M; Machado, I C

    2014-09-01

    Butterfly pollination in the tropics is considered somewhat effective or solely effective in a few plant species. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that Mandevilla tenuifolia (Apocynaceae), which has floral attributes associated with psychophily, has strategies adapted to pollination by butterflies, restricting other floral visitors and making these insects act as efficient pollinators. We analysed the floral and reproductive biology of M. tenuifolia, as well as the frequency and efficiency of its flower visitors. M. tenuifolia is an herb whose flowers have strong herkogamy and secondary pollen presentation on the style head, which corresponds to 60.4% of pollen on the anthers. Flower longevity and the long period of receptivity of the stigmatic region associated with the large amount of pollen removed in the first visits suggest that flowers remain functionally female during part of anthesis. Butterflies, mainly of the families Nymphalidae and Pieridae, are the only pollinators of M. tenuifolia. Despite being self-compatible, M. tenuifolia depends on biotic vectors for fruit production. A non-significant difference in fruit set between controlled treatments and natural conditions suggests that the pollinators are efficient. The inclination resulting from the landing of butterflies on flowers, together with flower morphology, guiding the insect proboscis inside the floral tube, as well as the frequency and efficiency of butterfly visits, are evidence of the close relationship between butterflies and M. tenuifolia, and also of the efficiency of these insects as pollinators. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  17. Perceptual and neural olfactory similarity in honeybees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Guerrieri

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available The question of whether or not neural activity patterns recorded in the olfactory centres of the brain correspond to olfactory perceptual measures remains unanswered. To address this question, we studied olfaction in honeybees Apis mellifera using the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response. We conditioned bees to odours and tested generalisation responses to different odours. Sixteen odours were used, which varied both in their functional group (primary and secondary alcohols, aldehydes and ketones and in their carbon-chain length (from six to nine carbons. The results obtained by presentation of a total of 16 x 16 odour pairs show that (i all odorants presented could be learned, although acquisition was lower for short-chain ketones; (ii generalisation varied depending both on the functional group and the carbon-chain length of odours trained; higher generalisation was found between long-chain than between short-chain molecules and between groups such as primary and secondary alcohols; (iii for some odour pairs, cross-generalisation between odorants was asymmetric; (iv a putative olfactory space could be defined for the honeybee with functional group and carbon-chain length as inner dimensions; (v perceptual distances in such a space correlate well with physiological distances determined from optophysiological recordings of antennal lobe activity. We conclude that functional group and carbon-chain length are inner dimensions of the honeybee olfactory space and that neural activity in the antennal lobe reflects the perceptual quality of odours.

  18. Perceptual and Neural Olfactory Similarity in Honeybees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guerrieri Fernando

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The question of whether or not neural activity patterns recorded in the olfactory centres of the brain correspond to olfactory perceptual measures remains unanswered. To address this question, we studied olfaction in honeybees Apis mellifera using the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response. We conditioned bees to odours and tested generalisation responses to different odours. Sixteen odours were used, which varied both in their functional group (primary and secondary alcohols, aldehydes and ketones and in their carbon-chain length (from six to nine carbons.The results obtained by presentation of a total of 16 x 16 odour pairs show that (i all odorants presented could be learned, although acquisition was lower for short-chain ketones; (ii generalisation varied depending both on the functional group and the carbon-chain length of odours trained; higher generalisation was found between long-chain than between short-chain molecules and between groups such as primary and secondary alcohols; (iii for some odour pairs, cross-generalisation between odorants was asymmetric; (iv a putative olfactory space could be defined for the honeybee with functional group and carbon-chain length as inner dimensions; (v perceptual distances in such a space correlate well with physiological distances determined from optophysiological recordings of antennal lobe activity. We conclude that functional group and carbon-chain length are inner dimensions of the honeybee olfactory space and that neural activity in the antennal lobe reflects the perceptual quality of odours.

  19. Social waves in giant honeybees repel hornets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald Kastberger

    Full Text Available Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata nest in the open and have evolved a plethora of defence behaviors. Against predatory wasps, including hornets, they display highly coordinated Mexican wave-like cascades termed 'shimmering'. Shimmering starts at distinct spots on the nest surface and then spreads across the nest within a split second whereby hundreds of individual bees flip their abdomens upwards. However, so far it is not known whether prey and predator interact and if shimmering has anti-predatory significance. This article reports on the complex spatial and temporal patterns of interaction between Giant honeybee and hornet exemplified in 450 filmed episodes of two A. dorsata colonies and hornets (Vespa sp.. Detailed frame-by-frame analysis showed that shimmering elicits an avoidance response from the hornets showing a strong temporal correlation with the time course of shimmering. In turn, the strength and the rate of the bees' shimmering are modulated by the hornets' flight speed and proximity. The findings suggest that shimmering creates a 'shelter zone' of around 50 cm that prevents predatory wasps from foraging bees directly from the nest surface. Thus shimmering appears to be a key defence strategy that supports the Giant honeybees' open-nesting life-style.

  20. Social Waves in Giant Honeybees Repel Hornets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastberger, Gerald; Schmelzer, Evelyn; Kranner, Ilse

    2008-01-01

    Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) nest in the open and have evolved a plethora of defence behaviors. Against predatory wasps, including hornets, they display highly coordinated Mexican wave-like cascades termed ‘shimmering’. Shimmering starts at distinct spots on the nest surface and then spreads across the nest within a split second whereby hundreds of individual bees flip their abdomens upwards. However, so far it is not known whether prey and predator interact and if shimmering has anti-predatory significance. This article reports on the complex spatial and temporal patterns of interaction between Giant honeybee and hornet exemplified in 450 filmed episodes of two A. dorsata colonies and hornets (Vespa sp.). Detailed frame-by-frame analysis showed that shimmering elicits an avoidance response from the hornets showing a strong temporal correlation with the time course of shimmering. In turn, the strength and the rate of the bees' shimmering are modulated by the hornets' flight speed and proximity. The findings suggest that shimmering creates a ‘shelter zone’ of around 50 cm that prevents predatory wasps from foraging bees directly from the nest surface. Thus shimmering appears to be a key defence strategy that supports the Giant honeybees' open-nesting life-style. PMID:18781205

  1. Magnetoreception system in honeybees (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chin-Yuan Hsu

    Full Text Available Honeybees (Apis mellifera undergo iron biomineralization, providing the basis for magnetoreception. We showed earlier the presence of superparamagnetic magnetite in iron granules formed in honeybees, and subscribed to the notion that external magnetic fields may cause expansion or contraction of the superparamagnetic particles in an orientation-specific manner, relaying the signal via cytoskeleton (Hsu and Li 1994. In this study, we established a size-density purification procedure, with which quantitative amount of iron granules was obtained from honey bee trophocytes and characterized; the density of iron granules was determined to be 1.25 g/cm(3. While we confirmed the presence of superparamagnetic magnetite in the iron granules, we observed changes in the size of the magnetic granules in the trophycytes upon applying additional magnetic field to the cells. A concomitant release of calcium ion was observed by confocal microscope. This size fluctuation triggered the increase of intracellular Ca(+2 , which was inhibited by colchicines and latrunculin B, known to be blockers for microtubule and microfilament syntheses, respectively. The associated cytoskeleton may thus relay the magnetosignal, initiating a neural response. A model for the mechanism of magnetoreception in honeybees is proposed, which may be applicable to most, if not all, magnetotactic organisms.

  2. Collective fluid mechanics of honeybee nest ventilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravish, Nick; Combes, Stacey; Wood, Robert J.; Peters, Jacob

    2014-11-01

    Honeybees thermoregulate their brood in the warm summer months by collectively fanning their wings and creating air flow through the nest. During nest ventilation workers flap their wings in close proximity in which wings continuously operate in unsteady oncoming flows (i.e. the wake of neighboring worker bees) and near the ground. The fluid mechanics of this collective aerodynamic phenomena are unstudied and may play an important role in the physiology of colony life. We have performed field and laboratory observations of the nest ventilation wing kinematics and air flow generated by individuals and groups of honeybee workers. Inspired from these field observations we describe here a robotic model system to study collective flapping wing aerodynamics. We microfabricate arrays of 1.4 cm long flapping wings and observe the air flow generated by arrays of two or more fanning robotic wings. We vary phase, frequency, and separation distance among wings and find that net output flow is enhanced when wings operate at the appropriate phase-distance relationship to catch shed vortices from neighboring wings. These results suggest that by varying position within the fanning array honeybee workers may benefit from collective aerodynamic interactions during nest ventilation.

  3. Do pollinator distributions underlie the evolution of pollination ecotypes in the Cape shrub Erica plukenetii?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Niet, Timotheüs; Pirie, Michael D; Shuttleworth, Adam; Johnson, Steven D; Midgley, Jeremy J

    2014-01-01

    According to the Grant-Stebbins model of pollinator-driven divergence, plants that disperse beyond the range of their specialized pollinator may adapt to a new pollination system. Although this model provides a compelling explanation for pollination ecotype formation, few studies have directly tested its validity in nature. Here we investigate the distribution and pollination biology of several subspecies of the shrub Erica plukenetii from the Cape Floristic Region in South Africa. We analyse these data in a phylogenetic context and combine these results with information on pollinator ranges to test whether the evolution of pollination ecotypes is consistent with the Grant-Stebbins model. Pollinator observations showed that the most common form of E. plukenetii with intermediate corolla length is pollinated by short-billed Orange-breasted sunbirds. Populations at the northern fringe of the distribution are characterized by long corollas, and are mainly pollinated by long-billed Malachite sunbirds. A population with short corollas in the centre of the range was mainly pollinated by insects, particularly short-tongued noctuid moths. Bird exclusion in this population did not have an effect on fruit set, while insect exclusion reduced fruit set. An analysis of floral scent across the range, using coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, showed that the scent bouquets of flowers from moth-pollinated populations are characterized by a larger number of scent compounds and higher emission rates than those in bird-pollinated populations. This was also reflected in clear separation of moth- and bird-pollinated populations in a two-dimensional phenotype space based on non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis of scent data. Phylogenetic analyses of chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences strongly supported monophyly of E. plukenetii, but not of all the subspecies. Reconstruction of ancestral character states suggests two shifts from traits associated with short

  4. Experimental Wing Damage Affects Foraging Effort and Foraging Distance in Honeybees Apis mellifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew D. Higginson

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Bees acquire wing damage as they age, and loss of wing area affects longevity and behaviour. This may influence colony performance via effects on worker behaviour. The effects of experimental wing damage were studied in worker honeybees in observation hives by recording survivorship, how often and for how long bees foraged, and by decoding waggle dances. Mortality rate increased with both age and wing damage. Damaged bees carried out shorter and/or less frequent foraging trips, foraged closer to the hive, and reported the profitability of flower patches to be lower than did controls. These results suggest that wing damage caused a reduction in foraging ability, and that damaged bees adjusted their foraging behaviour accordingly. Furthermore, the results suggest that wing damage affects the profitability of nectar sources. These results have implications for the colony dynamics and foraging efficiency in honeybees.

  5. Comparative proteomic analysis reveals mite (Varroa destructor) resistance-related proteins in Eastern honeybees (Apis cerana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, T; Shen, F; Liu, Z; Yin, L; Shen, J; Liang, Q; Luo, Y X

    2015-08-21

    The mite (Varroa destructor) has become the greatest threat to apiculture worldwide. As the original host of the mite, Apis cerana can effectively resist the mite. An increased understanding of the resistance mechanisms of Eastern honeybees against V. destructor may help researchers to protect other species against these parasites. In this study, the proteomes of 4 Apis cerana colonies were analyzed using an isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation technology. We determined the differences in gene and protein expression between susceptible and resistant colonies that were either unchallenged or challenged by V. destructor. The results showed that a total of 1532 proteins were identified. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis suggested that the transcription factors and basic metabolic and respiratory processes were efficient and feasible factors controlling this resistance, and 12 differentially expressed proteins were identified in Venn analysis. The results were validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. This study may provide insight into the genetic mechanisms underlying the resistance of honeybee to mites.

  6. A Locomotor Deficit Induced by Sublethal Doses of Pyrethroid and Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the Honeybee Apis mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charreton, Mercédès; Decourtye, Axel; Henry, Mickaël; Rodet, Guy; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Charnet, Pierre; Collet, Claude

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture towards non-targeted organisms and especially pollinators has recently drawn the attention from a broad scientific community. Increased honeybee mortality observed worldwide certainly contributes to this interest. The potential role of several neurotoxic insecticides in triggering or potentiating honeybee mortality was considered, in particular phenylpyrazoles and neonicotinoids, given that they are widely used and highly toxic for insects. Along with their ability to kill insects at lethal doses, they can compromise survival at sublethal doses by producing subtle deleterious effects. In this study, we compared the bee’s locomotor ability, which is crucial for many tasks within the hive (e.g. cleaning brood cells, feeding larvae…), before and after an acute sublethal exposure to one insecticide belonging to the two insecticide classes, fipronil and thiamethoxam. Additionally, we examined the locomotor ability after exposure to pyrethroids, an older chemical insecticide class still widely used and known to be highly toxic to bees as well. Our study focused on young bees (day 1 after emergence) since (i) few studies are available on locomotion at this stage and (ii) in recent years, pesticides have been reported to accumulate in different hive matrices, where young bees undergo their early development. At sublethal doses (SLD48h, i.e. causing no mortality at 48h), three pyrethroids, namely cypermethrin (2.5 ng/bee), tetramethrin (70 ng/bee), tau-fluvalinate (33 ng/bee) and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (3.8 ng/bee) caused a locomotor deficit in honeybees. While the SLD48h of fipronil (a phenylpyrazole, 0.5 ng/bee) had no measurable effect on locomotion, we observed high mortality several days after exposure, an effect that was not observed with the other insecticides. Although locomotor deficits observed in the sublethal range of pyrethroids and thiamethoxam would suggest deleterious effects in the field, the case

  7. A Locomotor Deficit Induced by Sublethal Doses of Pyrethroid and Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the Honeybee Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercédès Charreton

    Full Text Available The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture towards non-targeted organisms and especially pollinators has recently drawn the attention from a broad scientific community. Increased honeybee mortality observed worldwide certainly contributes to this interest. The potential role of several neurotoxic insecticides in triggering or potentiating honeybee mortality was considered, in particular phenylpyrazoles and neonicotinoids, given that they are widely used and highly toxic for insects. Along with their ability to kill insects at lethal doses, they can compromise survival at sublethal doses by producing subtle deleterious effects. In this study, we compared the bee's locomotor ability, which is crucial for many tasks within the hive (e.g. cleaning brood cells, feeding larvae…, before and after an acute sublethal exposure to one insecticide belonging to the two insecticide classes, fipronil and thiamethoxam. Additionally, we examined the locomotor ability after exposure to pyrethroids, an older chemical insecticide class still widely used and known to be highly toxic to bees as well. Our study focused on young bees (day 1 after emergence since (i few studies are available on locomotion at this stage and (ii in recent years, pesticides have been reported to accumulate in different hive matrices, where young bees undergo their early development. At sublethal doses (SLD48h, i.e. causing no mortality at 48 h, three pyrethroids, namely cypermethrin (2.5 ng/bee, tetramethrin (70 ng/bee, tau-fluvalinate (33 ng/bee and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (3.8 ng/bee caused a locomotor deficit in honeybees. While the SLD48h of fipronil (a phenylpyrazole, 0.5 ng/bee had no measurable effect on locomotion, we observed high mortality several days after exposure, an effect that was not observed with the other insecticides. Although locomotor deficits observed in the sublethal range of pyrethroids and thiamethoxam would suggest deleterious effects in the field

  8. A Locomotor Deficit Induced by Sublethal Doses of Pyrethroid and Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the Honeybee Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charreton, Mercédès; Decourtye, Axel; Henry, Mickaël; Rodet, Guy; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Charnet, Pierre; Collet, Claude

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture towards non-targeted organisms and especially pollinators has recently drawn the attention from a broad scientific community. Increased honeybee mortality observed worldwide certainly contributes to this interest. The potential role of several neurotoxic insecticides in triggering or potentiating honeybee mortality was considered, in particular phenylpyrazoles and neonicotinoids, given that they are widely used and highly toxic for insects. Along with their ability to kill insects at lethal doses, they can compromise survival at sublethal doses by producing subtle deleterious effects. In this study, we compared the bee's locomotor ability, which is crucial for many tasks within the hive (e.g. cleaning brood cells, feeding larvae…), before and after an acute sublethal exposure to one insecticide belonging to the two insecticide classes, fipronil and thiamethoxam. Additionally, we examined the locomotor ability after exposure to pyrethroids, an older chemical insecticide class still widely used and known to be highly toxic to bees as well. Our study focused on young bees (day 1 after emergence) since (i) few studies are available on locomotion at this stage and (ii) in recent years, pesticides have been reported to accumulate in different hive matrices, where young bees undergo their early development. At sublethal doses (SLD48h, i.e. causing no mortality at 48 h), three pyrethroids, namely cypermethrin (2.5 ng/bee), tetramethrin (70 ng/bee), tau-fluvalinate (33 ng/bee) and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (3.8 ng/bee) caused a locomotor deficit in honeybees. While the SLD48h of fipronil (a phenylpyrazole, 0.5 ng/bee) had no measurable effect on locomotion, we observed high mortality several days after exposure, an effect that was not observed with the other insecticides. Although locomotor deficits observed in the sublethal range of pyrethroids and thiamethoxam would suggest deleterious effects in the field, the case of

  9. Climate-driven spatial mismatches between British orchards and their pollinators: increased risks of pollination deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polce, Chiara; Garratt, Michael P; Termansen, Mette; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Challinor, Andrew J; Lappage, Martin G; Boatman, Nigel D; Crowe, Andrew; Endalew, Ayenew Melese; Potts, Simon G; Somerwill, Kate E; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C

    2014-09-01

    Understanding how climate change can affect crop-pollinator systems helps predict potential geographical mismatches between a crop and its pollinators, and therefore identify areas vulnerable to loss of pollination services. We examined the distribution of orchard species (apples, pears, plums and other top fruits) and their pollinators in Great Britain, for present and future climatic conditions projected for 2050 under the SRES A1B Emissions Scenario. We used a relative index of pollinator availability as a proxy for pollination service. At present, there is a large spatial overlap between orchards and their pollinators, but predictions for 2050 revealed that the most suitable areas for orchards corresponded to low pollinator availability. However, we found that pollinator availability may persist in areas currently used for fruit production, which are predicted to provide suboptimal environmental suitability for orchard species in the future. Our results may be used to identify mitigation options to safeguard orchard production against the risk of pollination failure in Great Britain over the next 50 years; for instance, choosing fruit tree varieties that are adapted to future climatic conditions, or boosting wild pollinators through improving landscape resources. Our approach can be readily applied to other regions and crop systems, and expanded to include different climatic scenarios. © 2014 The Authors Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. The Dependence of Crops for Pollinators and the Economic Value of Pollination in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannini, T C; Cordeiro, G D; Freitas, B M; Saraiva, A M; Imperatriz-Fonseca, V L

    2015-06-01

    Food production is challenged by changes in climate and land use and expanding human population growth. Proper pollination can increase the production and quality of fruit, nut, oil, and fiber crops. We reviewed crop dependence on pollinators and estimated the economic value of pollination per year for each crop in Brazil. We analyzed 141 crops and found that 85 depend on pollinators. Almost one-third of these crops have an essential or great dependence on pollinators. The economic contribution of pollinators totals ∼30% (∼US$12 billion) of the total annual agricultural income of the dependent crops (totalizing almost US$45 billion). However, half of these figures includes soybean crop (US$5.7 billion of pollinators' contribution and US$22 billion of annual income). Soybean was considered as having a modest dependence on pollinators, but this remains controversial because pollinator dependence might vary among different varieties cultivated in Brazil. Moreover, we have no information about pollinator dependence regarding some important crops, showing the urgent need for basic research into reproductive biology and pollination ecology. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Modelling the subgenual organ of the honeybee, Apis mellifera

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Storm, Jesper; Kilpinen, Ole

    1998-01-01

    In a recent study on the honeybee (Apis mellifera), the subgenual organ was observed moving inside the leg during sinusoidal vibrations of the leg (Kilpinen and Storm 1997). The subgenual organ of the honeybee is suspended in a haemolymph channel in the tibia of each leg. When the leg accelerates...

  12. Butterflies visit more frequently, but bees are better pollinators: the importance of mouthpart dimensions in effective pollen removal and deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrios, Beyte; Pena, Sean R; Salas, Andrea; Koptur, Suzanne

    2016-01-06

    Pollination studies often use visitation frequency of potential pollinators as an indicator of their importance, but this is only one component and may not reflect actual pollen transfer rates. In this study, we determine the most effective pollinator group of Angadenia berteroi, a tropical perennial subshrub with large yellow flowers that set few fruits. We determined visitation frequency and pollen transfer effectiveness of the four most common groups of visitors (long- and short-tongued bees, and skipper and non-skipper butterflies). Using potted plants, we exposed flowers to single visits from different types of pollinators to measure fruit set. We demonstrate that A. berteroi is most effectively pollinated by long-tongued bees, though many other species visit the flowers; the most frequent visitor group is not the most important pollinator, because they neither carry nor deposit much pollen, as the width of their proboscis is small compared with long-tongued bees. In this system, the width of the proboscis of the pollinators correlates with pollen transfer efficiency. Our results demonstrate the importance of pollen removal, pollen deposition, and fruit set, in determining the most effective pollinators, rather than visitor frequency. The distinctive morphology of these flowers, with a large bell and a narrow, short tube, suggests that other flowers of this shape may similarly benefit more from visitors with mouthparts shorter than previously considered optimal.

  13. An evolutionary basis for pollination ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemstein, S.C.

    1987-01-01

    In the introduction and chapter 2 the incentives and way of reasoning are given for the description of an evolutionary basis of pollination ecology. Starting from the until recently rather anecdotical character of the study of pollination ecology as a whole, and in the absence of large-scale correla

  14. An evolutionary basis for pollination ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemstein, S.C.

    1987-01-01

    In the introduction and chapter 2 the incentives and way of reasoning are given for the description of an evolutionary basis of pollination ecology. Starting from the until recently rather anecdotical character of the study of pollination ecology as a whole, and in the absence of large-scale

  15. Pollination Research Methods with Apis mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    This chapter describes field and lab procedures for doing experiments on honey bee pollination. Most of the methods apply to any insect for whom pollen vectoring capacity is the question. What makes honey bee pollination distinctive is its historic emphasis on agricultural applications; hence one fi...

  16. Pollination deficits in UK apple orchards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Paul Douglas Garratt

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Apple production in the UK is worth over £100 million per annum and this production is heavily dependent on insect pollination. Despite its importance, it is not clear which insect pollinators carry out the majority of this pollination. Furthermore, it is unknown whether current UK apple production, in terms of both yield and quality, suffers pollination deficits and whether production value could be increased through effective management of pollination services. The present study set out to address some of these unknowns and showed that solitary bee activity is high in orchards and that they could be making a valuable contribution to pollination. Furthermore, fruit set and apple seed number were found to be suffering potential pollination deficits although these were not reflected in apple quality. Deficits could be addressed through orchard management practices to improve the abundance and diversity of wild pollinators. Such practices include provision of additional floral resources and nesting habitats as well as preservation of semi-natural areas. The cost effectiveness of such strategies would need to be understood taking into account the potential gains to the apple industry.

  17. Pollination deficits in UK apple orchards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Potts

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Apple production in the UK is worth over £100 million per annum and this production is heavily dependent on insect pollination. Despite its importance, it is not clear which insect pollinators carry out the majority of this pollination. Furthermore, it is unknown whether current UK apple production, in terms of both yield and quality, suffers pollination deficits and whether production value could be increased through effective management of pollination services. The present study set out to address some of these unknowns and showed that solitary bee activity is high in orchards and that they could be making a valuable contribution to pollination. Furthermore, fruit set and apple seed number were found to be suffering potential pollination deficits although these were not reflected in apple quality. Deficits could be addressed through orchard management practices to improve the abundance and diversity of wild pollinators. Such practices include provision of additional floral resources and nesting habitats as well as preservation of semi-natural areas. The cost effectiveness of such strategies would need to be understood taking into account the potential gains to the apple industry.

  18. An evolutionary basis for pollination ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemstein, S.C.

    1987-01-01

    In the introduction and chapter 2 the incentives and way of reasoning are given for the description of an evolutionary basis of pollination ecology. Starting from the until recently rather anecdotical character of the study of pollination ecology as a whole, and in the absence of large-scale correla

  19. Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, Simon G; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Kremen, Claire; Neumann, Peter; Schweiger, Oliver; Kunin, William E

    2010-06-01

    Pollinators are a key component of global biodiversity, providing vital ecosystem services to crops and wild plants. There is clear evidence of recent declines in both wild and domesticated pollinators, and parallel declines in the plants that rely upon them. Here we describe the nature and extent of reported declines, and review the potential drivers of pollinator loss, including habitat loss and fragmentation, agrochemicals, pathogens, alien species, climate change and the interactions between them. Pollinator declines can result in loss of pollination services which have important negative ecological and economic impacts that could significantly affect the maintenance of wild plant diversity, wider ecosystem stability, crop production, food security and human welfare. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Generalization versus specialization in plant pollination systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson; Steiner

    2000-04-01

    The long-standing notion that most angiosperm flowers are specialized for pollination by particular animal types, such as birds or bees, has been challenged recently on the basis of apparent widespread generalization in pollination systems. At the same time, biologists working mainly in the tropics and the species-rich temperate floras of the Southern hemisphere are documenting pollination systems that are remarkably specialized, often involving a single pollinator species. Current studies are aimed at understanding: (1) the ecological forces that have favoured either generalization or specialization in particular lineages and regions; (2) the implications for selection on floral traits and divergence of populations; and (3) the risk of collapse in plant-pollinator mutualisms of varying specificity.

  1. Pollinator-mediated evolution of floral signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiestl, Florian P; Johnson, Steven D

    2013-05-01

    Because most plants rely on animals for pollination, insights from animal sensory ecology and behavior are essential for understanding the evolution of flowers. In this review, we compare and contrast three main types of pollinator responses to floral signals--receiver bias, 'adaptive' innate preferences, and associative learning--and discuss how they can shape selection on floral signals. We show that pollinator-mediated selection on floral signals can be strong and that the molecular bases of floral signal variation are often surprisingly simple. These new empirical and conceptual insights into pollinator-mediated evolution provide a framework for understanding patterns of both convergent (pollination syndromes) and advergent (floral mimicry) floral signal evolution. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Sublethal pesticide doses negatively affect survival and the cellular responses in American foulbrood-infected honeybee larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Javier Hernández; Krainer, Sophie; Engert, Antonia; Schuehly, Wolfgang; Riessberger-Gallé, Ulrike; Crailsheim, Karl

    2017-02-01

    Disclosing interactions between pesticides and bee infections is of most interest to understand challenges that pollinators are facing and to which extent bee health is compromised. Here, we address the individual and combined effect that three different pesticides (dimethoate, clothianidin and fluvalinate) and an American foulbrood (AFB) infection have on mortality and the cellular immune response of honeybee larvae. We demonstrate for the first time a synergistic interaction when larvae are exposed to sublethal doses of dimethoate or clothianidin in combination with Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of AFB. A significantly higher mortality than the expected sum of the effects of each individual stressor was observed in co-exposed larvae, which was in parallel with a drastic reduction of the total and differential hemocyte counts. Our results underline that characterizing the cellular response of larvae to individual and combined stressors allows unmasking previously undetected sublethal effects of pesticides in colony health.

  3. Sublethal pesticide doses negatively affect survival and the cellular responses in American foulbrood-infected honeybee larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Javier Hernández; Krainer, Sophie; Engert, Antonia; Schuehly, Wolfgang; Riessberger-Gallé, Ulrike; Crailsheim, Karl

    2017-01-01

    Disclosing interactions between pesticides and bee infections is of most interest to understand challenges that pollinators are facing and to which extent bee health is compromised. Here, we address the individual and combined effect that three different pesticides (dimethoate, clothianidin and fluvalinate) and an American foulbrood (AFB) infection have on mortality and the cellular immune response of honeybee larvae. We demonstrate for the first time a synergistic interaction when larvae are exposed to sublethal doses of dimethoate or clothianidin in combination with Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of AFB. A significantly higher mortality than the expected sum of the effects of each individual stressor was observed in co-exposed larvae, which was in parallel with a drastic reduction of the total and differential hemocyte counts. Our results underline that characterizing the cellular response of larvae to individual and combined stressors allows unmasking previously undetected sublethal effects of pesticides in colony health. PMID:28145462

  4. Transmission and the role of honeybees in field spread of blueberry shock ilarvirus, a pollen-borne virus of highbush blueberry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bristow, P R; Martin, R R

    1999-02-01

    ABSTRACT The rapid and random spread of blueberry shock ilarvirus (BlShV) in commercial plantings suggested that insects played a role in transmission. Transmission from infected field plants to trap plants only occurred during bloom, indicating that flowers were the avenue for infection and flower-visiting insects including pollinators were involved. Trap plants readily became infected during bloom when a honeybee hive was included in cages with diseased field plants and trap plants. There was limited transmission in cages without a hive and no transmission when healthy field bushes were caged with trap plants either with or without honeybees. Infective pollen survived within the hive for 1 but not 2 weeks. Western flower thrips did not transmit BlShV when they were allowed to feed on caged flowering trap plants in the presence of a source of infected pollen. Results of pollen washes, cell disruption, and electron microscopy show that particles of BlShV were on, in, and between the cells of the pollen tetrad. Pollen from infected plants germinated as readily as pollen from healthy plants. BlShV was seedborne, but at a low level. All 42 cultivars tested were susceptible to BlShV when inoculated by grafting. The primary mechanism of transmission appears to be the transfer of BlShV-contaminated pollen by honeybees from flowers on infected plants to flowers on healthy plants.

  5. Bees, birds and yellow flowers: pollinator-dependent convergent evolution of UV patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papiorek, S; Junker, R R; Alves-Dos-Santos, I; Melo, G A R; Amaral-Neto, L P; Sazima, M; Wolowski, M; Freitas, L; Lunau, K

    2016-01-01

    Colour is one of the most obvious advertisements of flowers, and occurs in a huge diversity among the angiosperms. Flower colour is responsible for attraction from a distance, whereas contrasting colour patterns within flowers aid orientation of flower visitors after approaching the flowers. Due to the striking differences in colour vision systems and neural processing across animal taxa, flower colours evoke specific behavioural responses by different flower visitors. We tested whether and how yellow flowers differ in their spectral reflectance depending on the main pollinator. We focused on bees and birds and examined whether the presence or absence of the widespread UV reflectance pattern of yellow flowers predicts the main pollinator. Most bee-pollinated flowers displayed a pattern with UV-absorbing centres and UV-reflecting peripheries, whereas the majority of bird-pollinated flowers are entirely UV- absorbing. In choice experiments we found that bees did not show consistent preferences for any colour or pattern types. However, all tested bee species made their first antennal contact preferably at the UV-absorbing area of the artificial flower, irrespective of its spatial position within the flower. The appearance of UV patterns within flowers is the main difference in spectral reflectance between yellow bee- and bird-pollinated flowers, and affects the foraging behaviour of flower visitors. The results support the hypothesis that flower colours and the visual capabilities of their efficient pollinators are adapted to each other.

  6. Adding Perches for Cross-Pollination Ensures the Reproduction of a Self-Incompatible Orchid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Li-Qiang; Rao, Wen-Hui; Zhang, Yu-Ting; Tang, Guang-Da; Huang, Lai-Qiang

    2013-01-01

    Background Outcrossing is known to carry genetic advantages in comparison with inbreeding. In many cases, flowering plants develop a self-incompatibility mechanism, along with a floral component adaptation mechanism, to avoid self-pollination and to promote outbreeding. Orchids commonly have a lip in their flower that functions as the a visiting plate for insect pollinators. Aside from the lip, however, many species (including Coelogyne rigida) have sheaths around the axis of inflorescence. The function of these sheaths remains unknown, and has long been a puzzle to researchers. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated the function of these sheaths in relation to the lip and the pollinators, as well as their role in the modes of pollination and reproduction of Coelogyne rigida in 30 flowering populations of orchids in the limestone area of Southeast Yunnan, China. We found that self-incompatible C. rigida developed specialized bird perches around the basal axis of inflorescence to attract sunbirds and to complement their behavioral tendency to change foraging locations frequently. This self-incompatibility mechanism operates separately from the floral component adaptation mechanism. This mechanism thus prevents bees from repeatedly visiting the floral lip of the same plant which, in turn, results in autogamy. In this way, instead of preventing autogamy, C. rigida responds to these negative effects through a highly efficient cross-pollination method that successfully transfers pollen to different plants. Conclusions The proposed method ensures reproductive success, while offsetting the infertile self-pollination by insects, thereby reducing mating costs and addressing the lack of cross-pollination. The adaptation provides a novel and striking example of structural adaptation that promotes cross-pollination in angiosperms. PMID:23308277

  7. Adding perches for cross-pollination ensures the reproduction of a self-incompatible orchid.

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    Zhong-Jian Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Outcrossing is known to carry genetic advantages in comparison with inbreeding. In many cases, flowering plants develop a self-incompatibility mechanism, along with a floral component adaptation mechanism, to avoid self-pollination and to promote outbreeding. Orchids commonly have a lip in their flower that functions as the a visiting plate for insect pollinators. Aside from the lip, however, many species (including Coelogyne rigida have sheaths around the axis of inflorescence. The function of these sheaths remains unknown, and has long been a puzzle to researchers. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the function of these sheaths in relation to the lip and the pollinators, as well as their role in the modes of pollination and reproduction of Coelogyne rigida in 30 flowering populations of orchids in the limestone area of Southeast Yunnan, China. We found that self-incompatible C. rigida developed specialized bird perches around the basal axis of inflorescence to attract sunbirds and to complement their behavioral tendency to change foraging locations frequently. This self-incompatibility mechanism operates separately from the floral component adaptation mechanism. This mechanism thus prevents bees from repeatedly visiting the floral lip of the same plant which, in turn, results in autogamy. In this way, instead of preventing autogamy, C. rigida responds to these negative effects through a highly efficient cross-pollination method that successfully transfers pollen to different plants. CONCLUSIONS: The proposed method ensures reproductive success, while offsetting the infertile self-pollination by insects, thereby reducing mating costs and addressing the lack of cross-pollination. The adaptation provides a novel and striking example of structural adaptation that promotes cross-pollination in angiosperms.

  8. Hox gene expression leads to differential hind leg development between honeybee castes.

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    Ana Durvalina Bomtorin

    Full Text Available Beyond the physiological and behavioural, differences in appendage morphology between the workers and queens of Apis mellifera are pre-eminent. The hind legs of workers, which are highly specialized pollinators, deserve special attention. The hind tibia of worker has an expanded bristle-free region used for carrying pollen and propolis, the corbicula. In queens this structure is absent. Although the morphological differences are well characterized, the genetic inputs driving the development of this alternative morphology remain unknown. Leg phenotype determination takes place between the fourth and fifth larval instar and herein we show that the morphogenesis is completed at brown-eyed pupa. Using results from the hybridization of whole genome-based oligonucleotide arrays with RNA samples from hind leg imaginal discs of pre-pupal honeybees of both castes we present a list of 200 differentially expressed genes. Notably, there are castes preferentially expressed cuticular protein genes and members of the P450 family. We also provide results of qPCR analyses determining the developmental transcription profiles of eight selected genes, including abdominal-A, distal-less and ultrabithorax (Ubx, whose roles in leg development have been previously demonstrated in other insect models. Ubx expression in workers hind leg is approximately 25 times higher than in queens. Finally, immunohistochemistry assays show that Ubx localization during hind leg development resembles the bristles localization in the tibia/basitarsus of the adult legs in both castes. Our data strongly indicate that the development of the hind legs diphenism characteristic of this corbiculate species is driven by a set of caste-preferentially expressed genes, such as those encoding cuticular protein genes, P450 and Hox proteins, in response to the naturally different diets offered to honeybees during the larval period.

  9. Hox gene expression leads to differential hind leg development between honeybee castes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomtorin, Ana Durvalina; Barchuk, Angel Roberto; Moda, Livia Maria; Simoes, Zila Luz Paulino

    2012-01-01

    Beyond the physiological and behavioural, differences in appendage morphology between the workers and queens of Apis mellifera are pre-eminent. The hind legs of workers, which are highly specialized pollinators, deserve special attention. The hind tibia of worker has an expanded bristle-free region used for carrying pollen and propolis, the corbicula. In queens this structure is absent. Although the morphological differences are well characterized, the genetic inputs driving the development of this alternative morphology remain unknown. Leg phenotype determination takes place between the fourth and fifth larval instar and herein we show that the morphogenesis is completed at brown-eyed pupa. Using results from the hybridization of whole genome-based oligonucleotide arrays with RNA samples from hind leg imaginal discs of pre-pupal honeybees of both castes we present a list of 200 differentially expressed genes. Notably, there are castes preferentially expressed cuticular protein genes and members of the P450 family. We also provide results of qPCR analyses determining the developmental transcription profiles of eight selected genes, including abdominal-A, distal-less and ultrabithorax (Ubx), whose roles in leg development have been previously demonstrated in other insect models. Ubx expression in workers hind leg is approximately 25 times higher than in queens. Finally, immunohistochemistry assays show that Ubx localization during hind leg development resembles the bristles localization in the tibia/basitarsus of the adult legs in both castes. Our data strongly indicate that the development of the hind legs diphenism characteristic of this corbiculate species is driven by a set of caste-preferentially expressed genes, such as those encoding cuticular protein genes, P450 and Hox proteins, in response to the naturally different diets offered to honeybees during the larval period.

  10. A horizon scan of future threats and opportunities for pollinators and pollination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark J.F. Brown

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background. Pollinators, which provide the agriculturally and ecologically essential service of pollination, are under threat at a global scale. Habitat loss and homogenisation, pesticides, parasites and pathogens, invasive species, and climate change have been identified as past and current threats to pollinators. Actions to mitigate these threats, e.g., agri-environment schemes and pesticide-use moratoriums, exist, but have largely been applied post-hoc. However, future sustainability of pollinators and the service they provide requires anticipation of potential threats and opportunities before they occur, enabling timely implementation of policy and practice to prevent, rather than mitigate, further pollinator declines. Methods.Using a horizon scanning approach we identified issues that are likely to impact pollinators, either positively or negatively, over the coming three decades. Results.Our analysis highlights six high priority, and nine secondary issues. High priorities are: (1 corporate control of global agriculture, (2 novel systemic pesticides, (3 novel RNA viruses, (4 the development of new managed pollinators, (5 more frequent heatwaves and drought under climate change, and (6 the potential positive impact of reduced chemical use on pollinators in non-agricultural settings. Discussion. While current pollinator management approaches are largely driven by mitigating past impacts, we present opportunities for pre-emptive practice, legislation, and policy to sustainably manage pollinators for future generations.

  11. A horizon scan of future threats and opportunities for pollinators and pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Mark J F; Dicks, Lynn V; Paxton, Robert J; Baldock, Katherine C R; Barron, Andrew B; Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Freitas, Breno M; Goulson, Dave; Jepsen, Sarina; Kremen, Claire; Li, Jilian; Neumann, Peter; Pattemore, David E; Potts, Simon G; Schweiger, Oliver; Seymour, Colleen L; Stout, Jane C

    2016-01-01

    Background. Pollinators, which provide the agriculturally and ecologically essential service of pollination, are under threat at a global scale. Habitat loss and homogenisation, pesticides, parasites and pathogens, invasive species, and climate change have been identified as past and current threats to pollinators. Actions to mitigate these threats, e.g., agri-environment schemes and pesticide-use moratoriums, exist, but have largely been applied post-hoc. However, future sustainability of pollinators and the service they provide requires anticipation of potential threats and opportunities before they occur, enabling timely implementation of policy and practice to prevent, rather than mitigate, further pollinator declines. Methods.Using a horizon scanning approach we identified issues that are likely to impact pollinators, either positively or negatively, over the coming three decades. Results.Our analysis highlights six high priority, and nine secondary issues. High priorities are: (1) corporate control of global agriculture, (2) novel systemic pesticides, (3) novel RNA viruses, (4) the development of new managed pollinators, (5) more frequent heatwaves and drought under climate change, and (6) the potential positive impact of reduced chemical use on pollinators in non-agricultural settings. Discussion. While current pollinator management approaches are largely driven by mitigating past impacts, we present opportunities for pre-emptive practice, legislation, and policy to sustainably manage pollinators for future generations.

  12. Profiling crop pollinators: life history traits predict habitat use and crop visitation by Mediterranean wild bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisanty, Gideon; Mandelik, Yael

    2015-04-01

    -history traits of bee communities can help assess the pollination services they are likely to provide (when taking into account single-visit pollination efficiency). The ecotone between agricultural fields and surrounding habitats is a major barrier that filters many bee species, particularly with regard to their nesting requirements. Thus, greater attention should be given to management practices that encourage pollinators to live and nest, and not only forage, within fields.

  13. Nectar and Pollen Sources for Honeybee (Apis cerana cerana Fabr.) in Qinglan Mangrove Area, Hainan Island, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yi-Feng Yao; Subir Bera; Yu-Fei Wang; Cheng-Sen Li

    2006-01-01

    In the present study, nectar and pollen sources for honeybee (Apis cerana cerana Fabr.) were studied in Qinglan mangrove area, Hainan Island, China, based on microscopic analysis of honey and pollen load (corbicular and gut contents) from honeybees collected in October and November 2004. Qualitative and quantitative melittopalynological analysis of the natural honey sample showed that the honey is of unifloral type with Mimosa pudica L. (Mimosaceae) as the predominant (89.14%) source of nectar and pollen for A.cerana cerana in October. Members of Araceae are an important minor (3%-15%) pollen type, whereas those of Arecaceae are a minor (<3%) pollen type. Pollen grains of Nypa fruticans Wurmb., Rhizophora spp.,Excoecaria agallocha L., Lumnitzera spp., Bruguiera spp., Kandelia candel Druce, and Ceriops tagal (Perr.)C. B. Rob. are among the notable mangrove taxa growing in Qinglan mangrove area recorded as minor taxa in the honey, The absolute pollen count (i.e. the number of pollen grains/10 g honey sample) suggests that the honey belongs to Group Ⅴ (>1 000 000). Pollen analysis from the corbicular and gut contents of A. cerana cerana revealed the highest representation (95.60%) of members of Sonneratia spp. (Sonneratiaceae),followed by Bruguiera spp. (Rhizophoraceae), Euphorbiaceae, Poaceae, Fabaceae, Arecaceae, Araceae,Anacardiaceae, and Rubiaceae. Of these plants, those belonging to Sonneratia plants are the most important nectar and pollen sources for A. cerana cerana and are frequently foraged and pollinated by these bees in November.

  14. [New Approach to the Mitotype Classification in Black Honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera and Iberian Honeybee Apis mellifera iberiensis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilyasov, R A; Poskryakov, A V; Petukhov, A V; Nikolenko, A G

    2016-03-01

    The black honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera L. is today the only subspecies of honeybee which is suitable for commercial breeding in the climatic conditions of Northern Europe with long cold winters. The main problem of the black honeybee in Russia and European countries is the preservation of the indigenous gene pool purity, which is lost as a result of hybridization with subspecies, A. m. caucasica, A. m. carnica, A. m. carpatica, and A. m. armeniaca, introduced from southern regions. Genetic identification of the subspecies will reduce the extent of hybridization and provide the gene pool conservation of the black honeybee. Modern classification of the honeybee mitotypes is mainly based on the combined use ofthe DraI restriction endonuclease recognition site polymorphism and sequence polymorphism of the mtDNA COI-COII region. We performed a comparative analysis of the mtDNA COI-COII region sequence polymorphism in the honeybees ofthe evolutionary lineage M from Ural and West European populations of black honeybee A. m. mellifera and Spanish bee A. m. iberiensis. A new approach to the classification of the honeybee M mitotypes was suggested. Using this approach and on the basis of the seven most informative SNPs of the mtDNA COI-COII region, eight honeybee mitotype groups were identified. In addition, it is suggested that this approach will simplify the previously proposed complicated mitotype classification and will make it possible to assess the level of the mitotype diversity and to identify the mitotypes that are the most valuable for the honeybee breeding and rearing.

  15. Pollinator shifts between Ophrys sphegodes populations: might adaptation to different pollinators drive population divergence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitkopf, H; Schlüter, P M; Xu, S; Schiestl, F P; Cozzolino, S; Scopece, G

    2013-10-01

    Local adaptation to different pollinators is considered one of the possible initial stages of ecological speciation as reproductive isolation is a by-product of the divergence in pollination systems. However, pollinator-mediated divergent selection will not necessarily result in complete reproductive isolation, because incipient speciation is often overcome by gene flow. We investigated the potential of pollinator shift in the sexually deceptive orchids Ophrys sphegodes and Ophrys exaltata and compared the levels of floral isolation vs. genetic distance among populations with contrasting predominant pollinators. We analysed floral hydrocarbons as a proxy for floral divergence between populations. Floral adoption of pollinators and their fidelity was tested using pollinator choice experiments. Interpopulation gene flow and population differentiation levels were estimated using AFLP markers. The Tyrrhenian O. sphegodes population preferentially attracted the pollinator bee Andrena bimaculata, whereas the Adriatic O. sphegodes population exclusively attracted A. nigroaenea. Significant differences in scent component proportions were identified in O. sphegodes populations that attracted different preferred pollinators. High interpopulation gene flow was detected, but populations were genetically structured at species level. The high interpopulation gene flow levels independent of preferred pollinators suggest that local adaptation to different pollinators has not (yet) generated detectable genome-wide separation. Alternatively, despite extensive gene flow, few genes underlying floral isolation remain differentiated as a consequence of divergent selection. Different pollination ecotypes in O. sphegodes might represent a local selective response imposed by temporal variation in a geographical mosaic of pollinators as a consequence of the frequent disturbance regimes typical of Ophrys habitats.

  16. Spatial and Temporal Trends of Global Pollination Benefit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenbach, Sven; Seppelt, Ralf; Liebscher, Juliane; Dormann, Carsten F.

    2012-01-01

    Pollination is a well-studied and at the same time a threatened ecosystem service. A significant part of global crop production depends on or profits from pollination by animals. Using detailed information on global crop yields of 60 pollination dependent or profiting crops, we provide a map of global pollination benefits on a 5′ by 5′ latitude-longitude grid. The current spatial pattern of pollination benefits is only partly correlated with climate variables and the distribution of cropland. The resulting map of pollination benefits identifies hot spots of pollination benefits at sufficient detail to guide political decisions on where to protect pollination services by investing in structural diversity of land use. Additionally, we investigated the vulnerability of the national economies with respect to potential decline of pollination services as the portion of the (agricultural) economy depending on pollination benefits. While the general dependency of the agricultural economy on pollination seems to be stable from 1993 until 2009, we see increases in producer prices for pollination dependent crops, which we interpret as an early warning signal for a conflict between pollination service and other land uses at the global scale. Our spatially explicit analysis of global pollination benefit points to hot spots for the generation of pollination benefits and can serve as a base for further planning of land use, protection sites and agricultural policies for maintaining pollination services. PMID:22563427

  17. Persistence of pollination mutualisms in the presence of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers plant-pollinator-ant systems in which the plant-pollinator interaction is mutualistic but ants have both positive and negative effects on plants. The ants also interfere with pollinators by preventing them from accessing plants. While a Beddington-DeAngelis (BD) formula can describe the plant-pollinator interaction, the formula is extended in this paper to characterize the pollination mutualism under the ant interference. Then, a plant-pollinator-ant system with the extended BD functional response is discussed, and global dynamics of the model demonstrate the mechanisms by which pollination mutualism can persist in the presence of ants. When the ant interference is strong, it can result in extinction of pollinators. Moreover, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for survival, the strong interference could drive pollinators into extinction, which consequently lead to extinction of the ants themselves. When the ant interference is weak, a cooperation between plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms could occur, which promotes survival of both ants and pollinators, especially in the case that ants (respectively, pollinators) cannot survive in the absence of pollinators (respectively, ants). Even when the level of ant interference remains invariant, varying ants' negative effect on plants can result in survival/extinction of both ants and pollinators. Therefore, our results provide an explanation for the persistence of pollination mutualism when there exist ants.

  18. Managed bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) caged with blueberry bushes at high density did not increase fruit set or fruit weight compared to open pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. W. Campbell; J. O' Brien; J. H. Irvin; C. B. Kimmel; J. C. Daniels; J. D. Ellis

    2017-01-01

    Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) is an important crop grown throughout Florida. Currently, most blueberry growers use honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to provide pollination services for highbush blueberries even though bumble bees (Bombus spp.) have been shown to be more efficient at pollinating blueberries on a per bee basis. In general, contribution of...

  19. Florivory and pollinator visitation: a cautionary tale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuji, Kaoru; Dhami, Manpreet K.; Cross, David J.R.; Rice, Carolyn P.; Romano, Nic H.; Fukami, Tadashi

    2016-01-01

    Florivory, or damage to flowers by herbivores, can make flowers less attractive to pollinators, potentially resulting in reduced plant fitness. However, not many studies have combined observations with experiments to assess the causal link between florivory and pollination. We conducted field observations at eight sites in northern California, combined with field experiments that involved artificial floral damage, to study the effect of florivory on pollination in the hummingbird-pollinated sticky monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus. We used two indicators of pollinator visitation, stigma closure and the presence of microorganisms in floral nectar. The field observations revealed that stigma closure was less frequent in damaged flowers than in intact flowers. In the experiments, however, floral damage did not decrease stigma closure or microbial detection in nectar. Instead, neighbouring flowers were similar for both indicators. These results suggest that the observed negative association between florivory and pollination is not causal and that the location of flowers is more important to pollinator visitation than florivory in these populations of M. aurantiacus. PMID:27178063

  20. Modularity, pollination systems, and interaction turnover in plant-pollinator networks across space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carstensen, Daniel W; Sabatino, Malena; Morellato, Leonor Patricia C

    2016-05-01

    Mutualistic interaction networks have been shown to be structurally conserved over space and time while pairwise interactions show high variability. In such networks, modularity is the division of species into compartments, or modules, where species within modules share more interactions with each other than they do with species from other modules. Such a modular structure is common in mutualistic networks and several evolutionary and ecological mechanisms have been proposed as underlying drivers. One prominent explanation is the existence of pollination syndromes where flowers tend to attract certain pollinators as determined by a set of traits. We investigate the modularity of seven community level plant-pollinator networks sampled in rupestrian grasslands, or campos rupestres, in SE Brazil. Defining pollination systems as corresponding groups of flower syndromes and pollinator functional groups, we test the two hypotheses that (1) interacting species from the same pollination system are more often assigned to the same module than interacting species from different pollination systems and; that (2) interactions between species from the same pollination system are more consistent across space than interactions between species from different pollination systems. Specifically we ask (1) whether networks are consistently modular across space; (2) whether interactions among species of the same pollination system occur more often inside modules, compared to interactions among species of different pollination systems, and finally; (3) whether the spatial variation in interaction identity, i.e., spatial interaction rewiring, is affected by trait complementarity among species as indicated by pollination systems. We confirm that networks are consistently modular across space and that interactions within pollination systems principally occur inside modules. Despite a strong tendency, we did not find a significant effect of pollination systems on the spatial consistency of

  1. Floral biology and behavior of Africanized honeybees Apis mellifera in soybean (Glycine max L. Merril

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wainer César Chiari

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available This research was carried out to evaluate the pollination by Africanized honeybees Apis mellifera, the floral biology and to observe the hoarding behavior in the soybean flowers (Glycine max Merril, var. BRS-133. The treatments were constituted of demarcated areas for free visitation of insects, covered areas by cages with a honeybee colony (A. mellifera and also covered areas by cage without insects visitation. All areas had 24 m² (4m x 6m. The soybean flowers stayed open for a larger time (82.82 ± 3.48 hours in covered area without honeybees. The stigma of the flowers was also more receptive (P=0.0021 in covered area without honeybees (87.3 ± 33.0% and at 10:42 o'clock was the schedule of greater receptivity. The pollen stayed viable in all treatments, the average was 99.60 ± 0.02%, which did not present differences among treatments. The percentage of abortion of the flowers was 82.91% in covered area without honeybees, this result was superior (P=0.0002 to the 52.66% and 53.95% of the treatments uncovered and covered with honeybees, respectively. Honeybees were responsible for 87.7% of the pollination accomplished by the insects. The medium amounts of total sugar and glucose measured in the nectar of the flowers were, 14.33 ± 0.96 mg/flower and 3.61 ± 0.36 mg/ flower, respectively, not showing differences (PEste experimento teve como objetivos avaliar a polinização realizada por abelhas Apis mellifera, estudar a biologia floral e observar o comportamento de coleta nas flores de soja (Glycine max L. Merril, variedade BRS-133 plantadas na região de Maringá-PR. Os tratamentos constituíram de áreas demarcadas de livre visitação por insetos, áreas cobertas por gaiolas, com uma colônia de abelhas (A. mellifera no seu interior e plantas também cobertas por gaiola que impedia a visitação por insetos. Todas as áreas possuíam 24 m² (4 m x 6 m. As flores de soja permaneceram abertas por um tempo maior (82,82 ± 3,48 horas no

  2. Do abundance and proximity of the alien Impatiens glandulifera affect pollination and reproductive success of two sympatric co-flowering native species?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Laure Jacquemart

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In invasion ecology, potential impacts of aliens on native flora are still under debate. Our aim was to determine the pollinator mediated effects of both proximity and abundance of an alien species on the reproductive success of natives. We chose the highly invasive Impatiens glandulifera and two native species: Epilobium angustifolium and Aconitum napellus ssp. lusitanicum. These species share characteristics allowing for pollination interactions: similar biotopes, overlapping flowering periods and same main pollinators. The effects of abundance (5, 25 and 100 individuals and proximity (0 and 15 m of the alien on visitation rate, insect behaviour, pollen deposition and reproductive success of both natives were investigated during 2 flowering seasons. We used centred visitation rates as they can be directly interpreted as a positive or negative effect of the invasive.Both abundance and proximity of the alien increased bumblebee visitation rates to both natives. On the other hand, abundance of the exotic species had a slight negative effect on honeybee visits to natives while its proximity had no effect. The behaviour of bumblebees changed as visitors left significantly more often the native plants for I. glandulifera when its abundance increased. As a consequence of this “inconstancy”, bees deposited considerable quantities of alien pollen on native stigmas. Nevertheless, this interspecific pollen transfer did not decrease seed set in natives. Self-compatibility and high attractiveness of both native species probably alleviate the risk of altered pollinator services and reproductive success due to the invader in natural populations.

  3. Generalist versus specialist pollination systems in 26 Oenothera (Onagraceae

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    Kyra Neipp Krakos

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Although generalized and specialized plants are often discussed as alternative states, the biological reality may better be viewed as a continuum. However, estimations of pollinator specificity have been confounded in some studies by the assumption that all floral visitors are pollinators. Failure to account for pollen load can lead to inaccurate conclusions regarding the number of pollinators with which a species actually interacts. The aim of this study was to clarify the distribution of pollination-system specialization within one clade, using a more rigorous assessment of pollen flow. The genus Oenothera has long been used as a model system for studying reproductive biology, and it provides a diversity of pollination systems and a wealth of historical data. Both floral visitation rate and pollen-load analysis of sampled pollinators, combined into a metric of pollen flow, were used to quantify the pollination systems of 26 Oenothera taxa. Metric of pollinator specialization were calculated as functions of both total pollinator taxa, and as pollinator functional groups. We found that for Oenothera, the number of floral visitors highly overestimates the number of pollinators, and is inadequate for determining or predicting pollination system specialization. We found that that pollination systems were distributed on a gradient from generalized to specialized, with more pollinator-specialized plant taxa, especially when estimated using pollinator functional groups. These results are in conflict with previous studies that depict most plant species as generalists, and this finding may be related to how prior studies have estimated specialization.

  4. Wind pollination in Pinus roxburghii

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vinod Prasad KHANDURI; Chandra Mohan SHARMA

    2007-01-01

    Stigmatic pollen load and pollen concentration in the air were studied in the natural population of Pinus roxburghii at Ashtavakra (900 m asl), in the Pauri forest division of Garhwal Himalaya, India. The results reflect diurnal pollen occurrence in P. roxburghii, with the strong significant correlations between pollen concentrations in the air and wind speed, air temperature and relative air humidity. A significant correlation was also observed between microsporangium dehiscence and pollen occurrence in the air. The maximum concentration of pollen grains in the air and higher rates of pollen deposition onto the megasporophylls were between 12 pm and 16 pm of the day, which conforms the best time for pollination in a day in P. roxburghii. The receptivity of Ovulate strobili varied from 3 to 5days, however, the bagged strobili remained receptive up to 6 days.

  5. Ecological intensification to mitigate impacts of conventional intensive land use on pollinators and pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó; Espíndola, Anahí; Vanbergen, Adam J; Settele, Josef; Kremen, Claire; Dicks, Lynn V

    2017-05-01

    Worldwide, human appropriation of ecosystems is disrupting plant-pollinator communities and pollination function through habitat conversion and landscape homogenisation. Conversion to agriculture is destroying and degrading semi-natural ecosystems while conventional land-use intensification (e.g. industrial management of large-scale monocultures with high chemical inputs) homogenises landscape structure and quality. Together, these anthropogenic processes reduce the connectivity of populations and erode floral and nesting resources to undermine pollinator abundance and diversity, and ultimately pollination services. Ecological intensification of agriculture represents a strategic alternative to ameliorate these drivers of pollinator decline while supporting sustainable food production, by promoting biodiversity beneficial to agricultural production through management practices such as intercropping, crop rotations, farm-level diversification and reduced agrochemical use. We critically evaluate its potential to address and reverse the land use and management trends currently degrading pollinator communities and potentially causing widespread pollination deficits. We find that many of the practices that constitute ecological intensification can contribute to mitigating the drivers of pollinator decline. Our findings support ecological intensification as a solution to pollinator declines, and we discuss ways to promote it in agricultural policy and practice. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Male moths provide pollination benefits in the Silene latifolia–Hadena bicruris nursery pollination system

    OpenAIRE

    Labouche, Anne-Marie; Bernasconi, Giorgina

    2009-01-01

    1. Evolutionary conflicts of interest underlie mutualisms, including plant/pollinator interactions. This is particularly evident in 'nursery pollination', in which the pollinators lay eggs inside the flowers and the offspring of the pollinator consume the developing seeds. Low benefit (pollination service) to cost (seed predation) ratios could destabilize such associations towards parasitism. 2. Although in most of the well-known cases pollen transfer is associated with oviposition, in some ...

  7. Olfactory coding in the honeybee lateral horn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roussel, Edith; Carcaud, Julie; Combe, Maud; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2014-03-03

    Olfactory systems dynamically encode odor information in the nervous system. Insects constitute a well-established model for the study of the neural processes underlying olfactory perception. In insects, odors are detected by sensory neurons located in the antennae, whose axons project to a primary processing center, the antennal lobe. There, the olfactory message is reshaped and further conveyed to higher-order centers, the mushroom bodies and the lateral horn. Previous work has intensively analyzed the principles of olfactory processing in the antennal lobe and in the mushroom bodies. However, how the lateral horn participates in olfactory coding remains comparatively more enigmatic. We studied odor representation at the input to the lateral horn of the honeybee, a social insect that relies on both floral odors for foraging and pheromones for social communication. Using in vivo calcium imaging, we show consistent neural activity in the honeybee lateral horn upon stimulation with both floral volatiles and social pheromones. Recordings reveal odor-specific maps in this brain region as stimulations with the same odorant elicit more similar spatial activity patterns than stimulations with different odorants. Odor-similarity relationships are mostly conserved between antennal lobe and lateral horn, so that odor maps recorded in the lateral horn allow predicting bees' behavioral responses to floral odorants. In addition, a clear segregation of odorants based on pheromone type is found in both structures. The lateral horn thus contains an odor-specific map with distinct representations for the different bee pheromones, a prerequisite for eliciting specific behaviors.

  8. Mathematical analysis of the honeybee waggle dance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, R; Ikeno, H; Kimura, T; Ohashi, Mizue; Aonuma, H; Ito, E

    2012-01-01

    A honeybee informs her nestmates of the location of a flower by doing a waggle dance. The waggle dance encodes both the direction of and distance to the flower from the hive. To reveal how the waggle dance benefits the colony, we created a Markov model of bee foraging behavior and performed simulation experiments by incorporating the biological parameters that we obtained from our own observations of real bees as well as from the literature. When two feeders were each placed 400 m away from the hive in different directions, a virtual colony in which honeybees danced and correctly transferred information (a normal, real bee colony) made significantly greater numbers of successful visits to the feeders compared to a colony with inaccurate information transfer. Howerer, when five feeders were each located 400 m from the hive, the inaccurate information transfer colony performed better than the normal colony. These results suggest that dancing's ability to communicate accurate information depends on the number of feeders. Furthermore, because non-dancing colonies always made significantly fewer visits than those two colonies, we concluded that dancing behavior is beneficial for hives' ability to visit food sources.

  9. Honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) drone embryo proteomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jianke; Fang, Yu; Zhang, Lan; Begna, Desalegn

    2011-03-01

    Little attention has been paid to the drone honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) which is a haploid individual carrying only the set of alleles that it inherits from its mother. Molecular mechanisms underlying drone embryogenesis are poorly understood. This study evaluated protein expression profiles of drone embryogenesis at embryonic ages of 24, 48 and 72h. More than 100 reproducible proteins were analyzed by mass spectrometry on 2D electrophoresis gels. Sixty-two proteins were significantly changed at the selected three experimental age points. Expression of the metabolic energy requirement-related protein peaked at the embryonic age of 48h, whereas development and metabolizing amino acid-related proteins expressed optimally at 72h. Cytoskeleton, protein folding and antioxidant-related proteins were highly expressed at 48 and 72h. Protein networks of the identified proteins were constructed and protein expressions were validated at the transcription level. This first proteomic study of drone embryogenesis in the honeybee may provide geneticists an exact timetable and candidate protein outline for further manipulations of drone stem cells.

  10. Learning in Insect Pollinators and Herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Patricia L; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2017-01-31

    The relationship between plants and insects is influenced by insects' behavioral decisions during foraging and oviposition. In mutualistic pollinators and antagonistic herbivores, past experience (learning) affects such decisions, which ultimately can impact plant fitness. The higher levels of dietary generalism in pollinators than in herbivores may be an explanation for the differences in learning seen between these two groups. Generalist pollinators experience a high level of environmental variation, which we suggest favors associative learning. Larval herbivores employ habituation and sensitization-strategies useful in their less variable environments. Exceptions to these patterns based on habitats, mobility, and life history provide critical tests of current theory. Relevant plant traits should be under selection to be easily learned and remembered in pollinators and difficult to learn in herbivores. Insect learning thereby has the potential to have an important, yet largely unexplored, role in plant-insect coevolution.

  11. The pollination biology of North American orchids

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Argue, Charles L

    2012-01-01

    .... The Pollination Biology of North American Orchids brings together, for the first time, a comprehensive treatment of this information for all native and introduced North American orchids found north...

  12. Floral divergence, pollinator partitioning and the spatiotemporal pattern of plant-pollinator interactions in three sympatric Adenophora species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang-Qiu; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2013-12-01

    Floral divergence among congeners may relate to differential utilization of pollinators and contribute to reducing overlap in pollination niches. To investigate whether and how floral differences are associated with differential utilization of pollinators in three sympatric Adenophora species, we analyzed floral traits and evaluated the contribution of different visitors to pollination. We compared visitation rates of different pollinator categories in different years and sites. A suite of floral traits differed among the three Adenophora species, suggesting adaptation to diurnal versus nocturnal pollination and an intermediate condition. However, many visitor species were shared among the three plant species, suggesting that floral traits did not rigorously filter visitors. Effective pollinators were large bees and moths. The importance of large bees as pollinators decreased whereas that of moths increased along the gradient from typically bee-pollinated to moth-pollinated flowers. The intermediate species (A. khasiana) differed substantially from the other two species in pollinator species but not in pollinator categories. The principal pollinator category of each species was constant across years and sites except in the intermediate species where it differed between two sites. Overall, the three sympatric species of Adenophora partition pollinators by floral divergence and the principal pollinators coincide with the predictions based on floral syndromes.

  13. Population density of oil palm pollinator weevil Elaeidobius kamerunicus based on seasonal effect and age of oil palm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daud, Syarifah Nadiah Syed Mat; Ghani, Idris Abd.

    2016-11-01

    The pollinating weevil, Elaedobius kamerunicus (EK) has been known to be the most efficient insect pollinator of oil palm, and has successfully improved the oil palm pollination and increased the yield. Its introduction has greatly reduced the need for assisted pollination. The purpose of this study was to identify the population density of oil palm pollinator weevil EK using the concept of pollinator force and to relate the population density with the seasonal effect and the age of oil palm at Lekir Oil Palm Plantation Batu 14, Perak, Peninsular Malaysia. The pollinator force of the weevil was sustained at a range between 3095.2 to 19126.1 weevils per ha. The overall mean of weevil per spikelet shows that the range of weevil was between 13.51 and 54.06 per spikelet. There was no correlation between rainfall and population density of EK. However, positive correlation was obtained between weevil density and the number of anthesising female inflorescence of oil palm (r= 0.938, ppollinator force per spikelete and the Fresh fruit Bunch (FFB), fruit set or fruit to bunch ratio.

  14. Floral trait evolution associated with shifts between insect and wind pollination in the dioecious genus Leucadendron (Proteaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsford, Megan R; Hobbhahn, Nina; Midgley, Jeremy J; Johnson, Steven D

    2016-01-01

    Transitions between animal and wind pollination have occurred in many lineages and have been linked to various floral modifications, but these have seldom been assessed in a phylogenetic framework. In the dioecious genus Leucadendron (Proteaceae), transitions from insect to wind pollination have occurred at least four times. Using analyses that controlled for relatedness among Leucadendron species, we investigated how these transitions shaped the evolution of floral structural and signaling traits, including the degree of sexual dimorphism in these traits. Pollen grains of wind-pollinated species were found to be smaller, more numerous, and dispersed more efficiently in wind than were those of insect-pollinated species. Wind-pollinated species also exhibited a reduction in spectral contrast between showy subtending leaves and background foliage, reduced volatile emissions, and a greater degree of sexual dimorphism in color and scent. Uniovulate flowers and inflorescence condensation are conserved ancestral features in Leucadendron and likely served as exaptations in shifts to wind pollination. These results offer insights into the key modifications of male and female floral traits involved in transitions between insect and wind pollination.

  15. How an orchid harms its pollinator.

    OpenAIRE

    2002-01-01

    Certain orchids produce flowers that mimic the sex pheromones and appearance of female insects in order to attract males by sexual deception for the purpose of pollination. In a series of field experiments, we found that the sexually deceptive orchid, Chiloglottis trapeziformis, can have a negative impact on its wasp pollinator Neozeleboria cryptoides. Male and female wasps, however, were affected differently by the orchid's deceit because of their different roles in the mimicry system. Male ...

  16. Using citizen science to monitor pollination services

    OpenAIRE

    Birkin, Linda; Goulson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    1. Pollination by insects is a vital ecosystem service and the need for its assessment is increasing in recognition and political pressure, but there are currently no large-scale systematic monitoring schemes in place to measure the direct provision of this service.\\ud 2. This study tested a protocol for using a citizen science approach to quantify pollination service provision in gardens and allotments, requiring participants to grow Vica faba L. plants and carry out some simple manipulation...

  17. Breaking-bud pollination: a new pollination process in partially opened flowers by small bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaji, Futa; Ohsawa, Takeshi A

    2015-09-01

    Plant-pollinator interactions have usually been researched in flowers that have fully opened. However, some pollinators can visit flowers before full opening and contribute to fruit and seed sets. In this paper, we researched the pollination biology of flowers just starting to open in four field experiments. We observed the insect visitors to Lycoris sanguinea var. sanguinea for 3 years at five sites. These observations revealed that only small bees, Lasioglossum japonicum, often entered through tiny spaces between the tepals of 'breaking buds' (i.e. partially opened flowers) and collected pollen. We hypothesized that they can pollinate this species at the breaking-bud stage, when the stigma is located near the anthers. To measure the pollination effect of small bees at the breaking-bud stage, we bagged several breaking buds after small bees had visited them and examined whether these buds were pollinated. In bagging experiments, 30% of the breaking buds set fruit and seeds. Fruit-set ratios of the breaking buds did not differ significantly from those of the fully opened flowers, which had been visited by several insect species. We also counted the pollen grain numbers on the body of L. japonicum and on the anthers of randomly-selected and manipulated flowers. These experiments revealed that all of the captured bees had some pollen of target plants and that L. japonicum collected most of the pollen grains at the breaking-bud stage. Our results showed that the new pollination process, breaking-bud pollination, happened in breaking buds by L. japonicum, although there is no evidence to reveal that this is the most effective pollination method for L. sanguinea var. sanguinea. In principle, this new pollination process can occur in other flowering plants and our results are a major contribution to studies of plant-pollinator interactions.

  18. Generalization versus Specialization in Pollination Systems: Visitors, Thieves, and Pollinators of Hypoestes aristata (Acanthaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padyšáková, Eliška; Bartoš, Michael; Tropek, Robert; Janeček, Štěpán

    2013-01-01

    Many recent studies have suggested that the majority of animal-pollinated plants have a higher diversity of pollinators than that expected according to their pollination syndrome. This broad generalization, often based on pollination web data, has been challenged by the fact that some floral visitors recorded in pollination webs are ineffective pollinators. To contribute to this debate, and to obtain a contrast between visitors and pollinators, we studied insect and bird visitors to virgin flowers of Hypoestes aristata in the Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon. We observed the flowers and their visitors for 2-h periods and measured the seed production as a metric of reproductive success. We determined the effects of individual visitors using 2 statistical models, single-visit data that were gathered for more frequent visitor species, and frequency data. This approach enabled us to determine the positive as well as neutral or negative impact of visitors on H. aristata’s reproductive success. We found that (i) this plant is not generalized but rather specialized; although we recorded 15 morphotaxa of visitors, only 3 large bee species seemed to be important pollinators; (ii) the carpenter bee Xylocopa cf. inconstans was both the most frequent and the most effective pollinator; (iii) the honey bee Apis mellifera acted as a nectar thief with apparent negative effects on the plant reproduction; and (iv) the close relationship between H. aristata and carpenter bees was in agreement with the large-bee pollination syndrome of this plant. Our results highlight the need for studies detecting the roles of individual visitors. We showed that such an approach is necessary to evaluate the pollination syndrome hypothesis and create relevant evolutionary and ecological hypotheses. PMID:23593135

  19. Generalization versus specialization in pollination systems: visitors, thieves, and pollinators of Hypoestes aristata (Acanthaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padyšáková, Eliška; Bartoš, Michael; Tropek, Robert; Janeček, Stěpán

    2013-01-01

    Many recent studies have suggested that the majority of animal-pollinated plants have a higher diversity of pollinators than that expected according to their pollination syndrome. This broad generalization, often based on pollination web data, has been challenged by the fact that some floral visitors recorded in pollination webs are ineffective pollinators. To contribute to this debate, and to obtain a contrast between visitors and pollinators, we studied insect and bird visitors to virgin flowers of Hypoestes aristata in the Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon. We observed the flowers and their visitors for 2-h periods and measured the seed production as a metric of reproductive success. We determined the effects of individual visitors using 2 statistical models, single-visit data that were gathered for more frequent visitor species, and frequency data. This approach enabled us to determine the positive as well as neutral or negative impact of visitors on H. aristata's reproductive success. We found that (i) this plant is not generalized but rather specialized; although we recorded 15 morphotaxa of visitors, only 3 large bee species seemed to be important pollinators; (ii) the carpenter bee Xylocopa cf. inconstans was both the most frequent and the most effective pollinator; (iii) the honey bee Apis mellifera acted as a nectar thief with apparent negative effects on the plant reproduction; and (iv) the close relationship between H. aristata and carpenter bees was in agreement with the large-bee pollination syndrome of this plant. Our results highlight the need for studies detecting the roles of individual visitors. We showed that such an approach is necessary to evaluate the pollination syndrome hypothesis and create relevant evolutionary and ecological hypotheses.

  20. [Entomophilic pollination of squash, Cucurbita moschata (Cucurbitaceae)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serra, Bruna D V; Campos, Lucio A de O

    2010-01-01

    The objectives of this work were to determine the squash entomofauna in the region of Viçosa, Minas Gerais state, to study their behavior on flowers and their importance for pollination, verifying the role of each pollinator. The most common species were Trigona spinipes (Fabricius), Trigona hyalinata (Lepeletier), Apis mellifera (L.) and Melipona quadrifasciata (Lepeletier). The visitation behavior of A. mellifera, M. quadrifasciata, and Bombus morio (Swederus) were similar. They visited flowers for nectar collection, positioning themselves vertically between the corolla and the sexual structures of the flowers, with the back directed toward the floral axis, which permitted the removal of pollen from the anthers of flowers with stamens and its deposition on the stigma of flowers with pistils, being considered therefore effective pollinators. Trigona spinipes and T. hyalinata foraged in groups, preventing other species from landing on the flowers which they occupied. Due to their small body size and only infrequent contact with the sexual structures of the flowers, these species are considered occasional pollinators. The number of fruits produced differed between freely visited flowers, those prevented from receiving visits and those visited only a single time by M. quadrifasciata, B. morio, A. mellifera, T. hyalinata or T. spinipes. Flowers prevented from receiving visits or visited only once by T. spinipes did not produce fruits. The remaining pollination systems led to fruitification, with open pollination or a single visit from either M. quadrifasciata or B. morio leading to most fruit production.

  1. Petal micromorphology and its relationship to pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, V B S; Pimentel, R M M; Chagas, M G S; Alves, G D; Castro, C C

    2017-03-01

    The characteristics of petal epidermal conical cells affect the quality of the signals perceived by various pollinators. This study aimed to identify variations in micromorphological characteristics of flower petals and their relationship to melittophily, ornithophily and chiropterophily pollination systems. The petals of 11 species were analysed using scanning electron microscopy and optical microscopy and the micromorphological traits were described, measured and compared using Tukey's test, PCA and cluster analysis. Unlike chiropterophily, all melittophilous and some ornithophilous species possessed adaxial epidermal conical cells. Cluster grouping separated chiropterophilous flowers from melittophilous and ornithophilous. PCA analysis showed that the two morphometric profile of conical cells was the attribute that most strongly influenced the grouping of species. When considering the data set of the three pollination systems, melittophilous and ornithophilous plants were more similar to each other than they were to chriopterophilous species. The distance between conical cell apices is an important parameter in interactions with pollinators. This study facilitated recognition of smoothing pollinator resource access through petal micromorphological characteristics. Further research regarding the biometry of micromorphological traits related to pollination is required. © 2016 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  2. Honeybee colony marketing and its implications for queen rearing ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Honeybee colony marketing and its implications for queen rearing and beekeeping ... This increased promotion is creating increasing demand for bee colonies in the ... which can cause genetic mix-up, disease transmissions and failure to

  3. Notch signalling mediates reproductive constraint in the adult worker honeybee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Elizabeth J.; Hyink, Otto; Dearden, Peter K.

    2016-01-01

    The hallmark of eusociality is the reproductive division of labour, in which one female caste reproduces, while reproduction is constrained in the subordinate caste. In adult worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) reproductive constraint is conditional: in the absence of the queen and brood, adult worker honeybees activate their ovaries and lay haploid male eggs. Here, we demonstrate that chemical inhibition of Notch signalling can overcome the repressive effect of queen pheromone and promote ovary activity in adult worker honeybees. We show that Notch signalling acts on the earliest stages of oogenesis and that the removal of the queen corresponds with a loss of Notch protein in the germarium. We conclude that the ancient and pleiotropic Notch signalling pathway has been co-opted into constraining reproduction in worker honeybees and we provide the first molecular mechanism directly linking ovary activity in adult worker bees with the presence of the queen. PMID:27485026

  4. The status and future prospects of honeybee production in Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The status and future prospects of honeybee production in Africa. ... The introduction of modern technologies and the improvement of the existing indigenous knowledge in beekeeping industry have shown major development ... Article Metrics.

  5. Propolis chemical composition and honeybee resistance against Varroa destructor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popova, M; Reyes, M; Le Conte, Y; Bankova, V

    2014-01-01

    Propolis is known as honeybee chemical defence against infections and parasites. Its chemical composition is variable and depends on the specificity of the local flora. However, there are no data concerning the relationship between propolis chemical composition and honeybee colony health. We tried to answer this question, studying the chemical composition of propolis of bee colonies from an apiary near Avignon, which are tolerant to Varroa destructor, comparing it with colonies from the same apiary which are non-tolerant to the mites. The results indicated that non-tolerant colonies collected more resin than the tolerant ones. The percentage of four biologically active compounds - caffeic acid and pentenyl caffeates - was higher in propolis from tolerant colonies. The results of this study pave the way to understanding the effect of propolis in individual and social immunity of the honeybees. Further studies are needed to clarify the relationship between propolis chemical composition and honeybee colony health.

  6. A review of African honeybees, behaviour and potential for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa ... to synthesize available information on African honeybee species and races and behaviour. The aim was to assess potential for options to increase beekeeping production and food security.

  7. A heterogeneous landscape does not guarantee high crop pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samnegård, Ulrika; Hambäck, Peter A; Lemessa, Debissa; Nemomissa, Sileshi; Hylander, Kristoffer

    2016-09-14

    The expansion of pollinator-dependent crops, especially in the developing world, together with reports of worldwide pollinator declines, raises concern of possible yield gaps. Farmers directly reliant on pollination services for food supply often live in regions where our knowledge of pollination services is poor. In a manipulative experiment replicated at 23 sites across an Ethiopian agricultural landscape, we found poor pollination services and severe pollen limitation in a common oil crop. With supplementary pollination, the yield increased on average by 91%. Despite the heterogeneous agricultural matrix, we found a low bee abundance, which may explain poor pollination services. The variation in pollen limitation was unrelated to surrounding forest cover, local bee richness and bee abundance. While practices that commonly increase pollinators (restricted pesticide use, flower strips) are an integral part of the landscape, these elements are apparently insufficient. Management to increase pollination services is therefore in need of urgent investigation.

  8. Comparison of flight design of Asian honeybee drones

    OpenAIRE

    Radloff, Sarah; Randall Hepburn, H.; KOENIGER, Gudrun

    2003-01-01

    International audience; The excess power index (integrating body dry mass, thorax-to-body dry mass and wing surface area) was compared in drones of seven Asian Apis species. There are two statistically distinct groups of drones: drones of the dwarf honeybees form one class, all other Asian species belong to the second. Drones of dwarf honeybees have a 36% ergonomic advantage in power availability and 20% advantage in available excess power over all other drones. Comparisons of flight dimensio...

  9. Flower pollination algorithm: A novel approach for multiobjective optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xin-She; Karamanoglu, Mehmet; He, Xingshi

    2014-09-01

    Multiobjective design optimization problems require multiobjective optimization techniques to solve, and it is often very challenging to obtain high-quality Pareto fronts accurately. In this article, the recently developed flower pollination algorithm (FPA) is extended to solve multiobjective optimization problems. The proposed method is used to solve a set of multiobjective test functions and two bi-objective design benchmarks, and a comparison of the proposed algorithm with other algorithms has been made, which shows that the FPA is efficient with a good convergence rate. Finally, the importance for further parametric studies and theoretical analysis is highlighted and discussed.

  10. Ginger and the beetle: Evidence of primitive pollination system in a Himalayan endemic alpine ginger (Roscoea alpina, Zingiberaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paudel, Babu Ram; Shrestha, Mani; Dyer, Adrian G; Li, Qing-Jun

    2017-01-01

    The Himalayan endemic alpine genus Roscoea, like other members of ginger family, exhibits the combination of floral traits that would fit pollination by long distant foragers such as bees, birds or flies. We studied the pollination biology of Roscoea alpina, observed potential floral visitors and determined their foraging behaviour, visitation frequency and pollination efficiency, to seek evidence in support of the pollination syndrome hypothesis. We also measured the floral spectra of R. alpina flowers to evaluate if signals fit with the currently known framework for observed floral visitors. We found that R. alpina have autonomous selfing and pollinator-mediated crossing, but lack apomixis. We observed that a beetle (Mylabris sp.), and a moth (Macroglossum nycteris) visit the flowers of R. alpina for pollen and nectar feeding respectively. Our field observations, the stigmatic pollen count and fruit set data indicated that the visit by the beetle was legitimate, while that of the moth was illegitimate. Emasculated flowers visited by beetles set as many fruits and seeds/fruit as auto-selfed and naturally pollinated flowers, while emasculated flowers excluded from beetle visits did not set fruit and seed; indicating that a single visit of a beetle to the flowers of R. alpina can facilitate pollination. We found that flower spectral signal of R. alpina does not fit typical spectra previously reported for beetle or bee-visited flowers. Our results suggest that, to ensure reproductive success in alpine habitat, R. alpina has evolved autonomous selfing as a predominant mode of reproduction, while beetle pollination would promote genetic diversity of this plant species. The visitation of beetles to the flowers of R. alpina, despite floral signal mismatch with the classically associated beetle vision, suggests that a different visual processing may operate in this plant-pollinator interaction at high altitudes.

  11. Ginger and the beetle: Evidence of primitive pollination system in a Himalayan endemic alpine ginger (Roscoea alpina, Zingiberaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, Mani; Dyer, Adrian G.; Li, Qing-Jun

    2017-01-01

    The Himalayan endemic alpine genus Roscoea, like other members of ginger family, exhibits the combination of floral traits that would fit pollination by long distant foragers such as bees, birds or flies. We studied the pollination biology of Roscoea alpina, observed potential floral visitors and determined their foraging behaviour, visitation frequency and pollination efficiency, to seek evidence in support of the pollination syndrome hypothesis. We also measured the floral spectra of R. alpina flowers to evaluate if signals fit with the currently known framework for observed floral visitors. We found that R. alpina have autonomous selfing and pollinator-mediated crossing, but lack apomixis. We observed that a beetle (Mylabris sp.), and a moth (Macroglossum nycteris) visit the flowers of R. alpina for pollen and nectar feeding respectively. Our field observations, the stigmatic pollen count and fruit set data indicated that the visit by the beetle was legitimate, while that of the moth was illegitimate. Emasculated flowers visited by beetles set as many fruits and seeds/fruit as auto-selfed and naturally pollinated flowers, while emasculated flowers excluded from beetle visits did not set fruit and seed; indicating that a single visit of a beetle to the flowers of R. alpina can facilitate pollination. We found that flower spectral signal of R. alpina does not fit typical spectra previously reported for beetle or bee-visited flowers. Our results suggest that, to ensure reproductive success in alpine habitat, R. alpina has evolved autonomous selfing as a predominant mode of reproduction, while beetle pollination would promote genetic diversity of this plant species. The visitation of beetles to the flowers of R. alpina, despite floral signal mismatch with the classically associated beetle vision, suggests that a different visual processing may operate in this plant-pollinator interaction at high altitudes. PMID:28723912

  12. Parallel Declines in Pollinators and Insect-Pollinated Plants in Britain and the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biesmeijer, J.S.; Roberts, S.P.M.; Reemer, M.; Ohlemüller, R.; Edwards, M.; Peeters, T.; Schaffers, A.P.; Potts, S.G.; Kleukers, R.; Thomas, C.D.; Settele, J.; Kunin, W.E.

    2006-01-01

    Despite widespread concern about declines in pollination services, little is known about the patterns of change in most pollinator assemblages. By studying bee and hoverfly assemblages in Britain and the Netherlands, we found evidence of declines (pre-versus post-1980) in local bee diversity in both

  13. Generalist bees pollinate red-flowered Penstemon eatonii: Duality in the hummingbird pollination syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    James H. Cane; Rick. Dunne

    2014-01-01

    The red tubular flowers of Penstemon eatonii (Plantaginaceae) typify the classic pollination syndrome for hummingbirds. Bees are thought to diminish its seed siring potential, but we found that foraging female generalist bees (Apis, Anthophora) deposited substantial amounts of conspecific pollen on P. eatonii stigmas. In the absence of hummingbirds, bee pollination of...

  14. Deformed wing virus implicated in overwintering honeybee colony losses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Highfield, Andrea C; El Nagar, Aliya; Mackinder, Luke C M; Noël, Laure M-L J; Hall, Matthew J; Martin, Stephen J; Schroeder, Declan C

    2009-11-01

    The worldwide decline in honeybee colonies during the past 50 years has often been linked to the spread of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and its interaction with certain honeybee viruses. Recently in the United States, dramatic honeybee losses (colony collapse disorder) have been reported; however, there remains no clear explanation for these colony losses, with parasitic mites, viruses, bacteria, and fungal diseases all being proposed as possible candidates. Common characteristics that most failing colonies share is a lack of overt disease symptoms and the disappearance of workers from what appears to be normally functioning colonies. In this study, we used quantitative PCR to monitor the presence of three honeybee viruses, deformed wing virus (DWV), acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), and black queen cell virus (BQCV), during a 1-year period in 15 asymptomatic, varroa mite-positive honeybee colonies in Southern England, and 3 asymptomatic colonies confirmed to be varroa mite free. All colonies with varroa mites underwent control treatments to ensure that mite populations remained low throughout the study. Despite this, multiple virus infections were detected, yet a significant correlation was observed only between DWV viral load and overwintering colony losses. The long-held view has been that DWV is relatively harmless to the overall health status of honeybee colonies unless it is in association with severe varroa mite infestations. Our findings suggest that DWV can potentially act independently of varroa mites to bring about colony losses. Therefore, DWV may be a major factor in overwintering colony losses.

  15. Aspects of Honeybee Natural History According to the Solega

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aung Si

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Honeybees and their products are highly prized by many cultures around the world, and as a result, indigenous communities have come to possess rich and detailed knowledge of the biology of these important insects. In this paper, I present an in-depth investigation into some aspects of honeybee natural history, as related to me by the Solega people of southern India. The Solega recognize, name, and exploit four honeybee species, and are well aware of the geographical and temporal distributions of each one. In spite of not being beekeepers – as they only forage for wild honey – their knowledge of obscure and complex phenomena such as honeybee gender and reproduction rivals that of comparable, non-industrial beekeeping societies. Swarming, another hard-to-understand honeybee behavior, is also accurately explained by Solega consultants. I contrast this knowledge to that of European bee-keeping cultures, as evidenced by the writings of Aristotle and 18th century European beekeepers. This paper shows that the Solega have a reliable and internally consistent body of honeybee knowledge based entirely on brief encounters with these wild, migratory insects that are present in the forest for only part of the year.

  16. Parallel declines in pollinators and insect-pollinated plants in Britain and the Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biesmeijer, J C; Roberts, S P M; Reemer, M; Ohlemüller, R; Edwards, M; Peeters, T; Schaffers, A P; Potts, S G; Kleukers, R; Thomas, C D; Settele, J; Kunin, W E

    2006-07-21

    Despite widespread concern about declines in pollination services, little is known about the patterns of change in most pollinator assemblages. By studying bee and hoverfly assemblages in Britain and the Netherlands, we found evidence of declines (pre-versus post-1980) in local bee diversity in both countries; however, divergent trends were observed in hoverflies. Depending on the assemblage and location, pollinator declines were most frequent in habitat and flower specialists, in univoltine species, and/or in nonmigrants. In conjunction with this evidence, outcrossing plant species that are reliant on the declining pollinators have themselves declined relative to other plant species. Taken together, these findings strongly suggest a causal connection between local extinctions of functionally linked plant and pollinator species.

  17. Beetle pollination and flowering rhythm of Annona coriacea Mart. (Annonaceae) in Brazilian cerrado: Behavioral features of its principal pollinators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Mônica Josene Barbosa

    2017-01-01

    The conservation and sustainable management of Annona coriacea requires knowledge of its floral and reproductive biology, and of its main pollinators and their life cycles. In this work, we analyzed these aspects in detail. Floral biology was assessed by observing flowers from the beginning of anthesis to senescence. The visiting hours and behavior of floral visitors in the floral chamber were recorded, as were the sites of oviposition. Excavations were undertaken around specimens of A. coriacea to determine the location of immature pollinators. Anthesis was nocturnal, starting at sunset, and lasted for 52–56 h. The flowers were bisexual, protogynous and emitted a strong scent similar to the plant´s own ripe fruit. There was pronounced synchrony among all floral events (the period and duration of stigmatic receptivity, release of odor, pollen release and drooping flowers) in different individuals, but no synchrony in the same individuals. All of the flowers monitored were visited by beetle species of the genera Cyclocephala and Arriguttia. Beetles arrived at the flowers with their bodies covered in pollen and these pollen grains were transferred to the stigmata while foraging on nutritious tissues at the base of the petals. With dehiscence of the stamens and retention within the floral chamber, the bodies of the floral visitors were again covered with pollen which they carried to newly opened flowers, thus promoting the cycle of pollination. After leaving the flowers, female beetles often excavated holes in the soil to lay eggs. Larvae were found between the leaf litter and the first layer of soil under specimens of A. coriacea. Cyclocephala beetles were the main pollinators of A. coriacea, but Arriguttia brevissima was also considered a pollinator and is the first species of this genus to be observed in Annonaceae flowers. Annona coriacea was found to be self-compatible with a low reproductive efficiency in the area studied. The results of this investigation

  18. How well do we understand landscape effects on pollinators and pollination services?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blandina Felipe Viana

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Many studies in the past decade, mostly in temperate countries, have documented the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on species richness, composition, and abundance and the behaviour of pollinators. Changes in landscape structure are considered to be the primary causes of the limitation of pollination services in agricultural systems. Here, we review evidence of general patterns as well as gaps in knowledge that could be used to support the development of policies for pollinator conservation and the restoration of degraded landscapes. Our results indicate a recent increase in the number of studies on the relationships between pollination processes and landscape patterns, with some key trends already being established. Many authors indicate, for example, that the spatial organization of a landscape has a great influence on the survival and dispersal capacity of many pollinators, as spatial organization affects resource availability and determines the functional connectivity of the landscape. Additionally, the shape, size and spatial arrangement of the patches of each type of natural environment, as well as the occurrence of different types of land use, can create sites with different degrees of connectivity or even barriers to movement between patches, which can deeply modify pollinator flows through the landscape and consequently the success of cross-pollination. However, there are still some gaps, such as in the knowledge of which critical values of habitat loss can lead to drastic increases in pollinator extinction rates, information that is needed to evaluate at what point plant-pollinator interactions may collapse. We also need to concentrate research effort on improving a landscape’s capacity to facilitate pollinator flow (connectivity between crops and nesting/foraging areas.

  19. The natural history of pollination and mating in bird-pollinated Babiana (Iridaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Waal, Caroli; Anderson, Bruce; Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Floral variation, pollination biology and mating patterns were investigated in sunbird-pollinated Babiana (Iridaceae) species endemic to the Western Cape of South Africa. The group includes several taxa with specialized bird perches and it has been proposed that these function to promote cross-pollination. Methods Pollinator observations were conducted in 12 populations of five taxa (B. ringens subspp. ringens, australis, B. hirsuta, B. avicularis, B. carminea) and geographic variation in morphological traits investigated in the widespread B. ringens. Experimental pollinations were used to determine the compatibility status, facility for autonomous self-pollination and intensity of pollen limitation in six populations of four taxa. Allozyme markers were employed to investigate mating patterns in four populations of three species. Key Results Sunbirds were the primary pollinators of the five Babiana taxa investigated. Correlated geographical variation in perch size, flower size and stigma–anther separation was evident among B. ringens populations. Experimental pollinations demonstrated that B. ringens and B. avicularis were self-compatible with variation in levels of autonomous self-pollination and weak or no pollen limitation of seed set. In contrast, B. hirsuta was self-incompatible and chronically pollen limited. Estimates of outcrossing rate indicated mixed mating with substantial self-fertilization in all species investigated. Conclusions Despite the possession of specialized bird perches in B. ringens and B. avicularis, these structures do not prevent considerable selfing from occurring, probably as a result of autonomous self-pollination. In eastern populations of B. ringens, smaller flowers and reduced herkogamy appear to be associated with a shift to predominant selfing. Relaxed selection on perch function due to increased selfing may explain the increased incidence of apical flowers in some populations. PMID:21831856

  20. Using Pollination Deficits to Infer Pollinator Declines: Can Theory Guide Us?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James D. Thomson

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Authors examining pollinator declines frequently discuss pollination deficits, either as contemporary evidence that declines have occurred or as a possible negative consequence of future declines. Because pollination deficits can be measured in short-term studies, it would be useful if such studies could somehow replace painstaking documentation of insect population trends. I examine the legitimacy of this type of substitution with reference to evolutionary theory and natural plant populations. Operationally, pollination deficits are detected through pollen supplementation experiments. Although simple, these experiments are subject to subtleties of interpretation because of biases and nonlinear responses, which I discuss. Although it has been found that, in 62% of the natural populations studied, fruit or seed sets are at least sometimes limited by insufficient pollen, other research suggests that intact natural systems ought to arrive at an evolutionary equilibrium in which reproduction is limited equally by pollination and by maternal resources. Therefore, chronic severe pollination deficits may indicate that the pollinator service of a plant population has declined from some higher level in the past. However, there is no evidence of widespread declines, and, because of stochastic factors in nature, occasional shortfalls of pollination should be expected even at equilibrium. Although the effects of pollination deficits on plant population dynamics have been little studied, moderate declines in seed production may have relatively little effect on population growth rates because resources not expended on fruits and seeds may be reallocated to vegetative persistence or spread. It is therefore premature to conclude that pollinator declines are having strong effects on natural plant populations, but this mostly reflects a lack of data and is no cause for complacency. Theory must be supplemented by case studies; I give one example and

  1. The natural history of pollination and mating in bird-pollinated Babiana (Iridaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Waal, Caroli; Anderson, Bruce; Barrett, Spencer C H

    2012-02-01

    Floral variation, pollination biology and mating patterns were investigated in sunbird-pollinated Babiana (Iridaceae) species endemic to the Western Cape of South Africa. The group includes several taxa with specialized bird perches and it has been proposed that these function to promote cross-pollination. Pollinator observations were conducted in 12 populations of five taxa (B. ringens subspp. ringens, australis, B. hirsuta, B. avicularis, B. carminea) and geographic variation in morphological traits investigated in the widespread B. ringens. Experimental pollinations were used to determine the compatibility status, facility for autonomous self-pollination and intensity of pollen limitation in six populations of four taxa. Allozyme markers were employed to investigate mating patterns in four populations of three species. Sunbirds were the primary pollinators of the five Babiana taxa investigated. Correlated geographical variation in perch size, flower size and stigma-anther separation was evident among B. ringens populations. Experimental pollinations demonstrated that B. ringens and B. avicularis were self-compatible with variation in levels of autonomous self-pollination and weak or no pollen limitation of seed set. In contrast, B. hirsuta was self-incompatible and chronically pollen limited. Estimates of outcrossing rate indicated mixed mating with substantial self-fertilization in all species investigated. Despite the possession of specialized bird perches in B. ringens and B. avicularis, these structures do not prevent considerable selfing from occurring, probably as a result of autonomous self-pollination. In eastern populations of B. ringens, smaller flowers and reduced herkogamy appear to be associated with a shift to predominant selfing. Relaxed selection on perch function due to increased selfing may explain the increased incidence of apical flowers in some populations.

  2. Migration effects on population dynamics of the honeybee-mite interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honeybees are amazing and highly beneficial insect species that play important roles in undisturbed and agricultural ecosystems. Unfortunately, honeybees are increasingly threatened by numerous factors, most notably the parasitic Varroa mite (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman). A recent field s...

  3. Thermoregulation and adaptation in honeybee swarms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocko, Samuel; Mahadevan, L.

    2012-11-01

    Swarming is an essential part of honeybee behavior, wherein thousands of bees cling onto each other to form a dense cluster that is exposed to the environment for up to several days. This cluster has the ability to maintain its core temperature actively without a central controller raising the question of mechanism. Inspired by experimental observations, we treat the swarm cluster as an active porous structure with a variable metabolism that needs to adjust to outside conditions to control heat loss and regulate its core temperature. Using a continuum model that takes the form of a set of advection-diffusion equations for heat transfer in a mobile porous medium, we show that effective thermoregulation can result from the collective behavior of individual bees in the cluster.

  4. Valuing insect pollination services with cost of replacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allsopp, Mike H; de Lange, Willem J; Veldtman, Ruan

    2008-09-10

    Value estimates of ecosystem goods and services are useful to justify the allocation of resources towards conservation, but inconclusive estimates risk unsustainable resource allocations. Here we present replacement costs as a more accurate value estimate of insect pollination as an ecosystem service, although this method could also be applied to other services. The importance of insect pollination to agriculture is unequivocal. However, whether this service is largely provided by wild pollinators (genuine ecosystem service) or managed pollinators (commercial service), and which of these requires immediate action amidst reports of pollinator decline, remains contested. If crop pollination is used to argue for biodiversity conservation, clear distinction should be made between values of managed- and wild pollination services. Current methods either under-estimate or over-estimate the pollination service value, and make use of criticised general insect and managed pollinator dependence factors. We apply the theoretical concept of ascribing a value to a service by calculating the cost to replace it, as a novel way of valuing wild and managed pollination services. Adjusted insect and managed pollinator dependence factors were used to estimate the cost of replacing insect- and managed pollination services for the Western Cape deciduous fruit industry of South Africa. Using pollen dusting and hand pollination as suitable replacements, we value pollination services significantly higher than current market prices for commercial pollination, although lower than traditional proportional estimates. The complexity associated with inclusive value estimation of pollination services required several defendable assumptions, but made estimates more inclusive than previous attempts. Consequently this study provides the basis for continued improvement in context specific pollination service value estimates.

  5. Valuing insect pollination services with cost of replacement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mike H Allsopp

    Full Text Available Value estimates of ecosystem goods and services are useful to justify the allocation of resources towards conservation, but inconclusive estimates risk unsustainable resource allocations. Here we present replacement costs as a more accurate value estimate of insect pollination as an ecosystem service, although this method could also be applied to other services. The importance of insect pollination to agriculture is unequivocal. However, whether this service is largely provided by wild pollinators (genuine ecosystem service or managed pollinators (commercial service, and which of these requires immediate action amidst reports of pollinator decline, remains contested. If crop pollination is used to argue for biodiversity conservation, clear distinction should be made between values of managed- and wild pollination services. Current methods either under-estimate or over-estimate the pollination service value, and make use of criticised general insect and managed pollinator dependence factors. We apply the theoretical concept of ascribing a value to a service by calculating the cost to replace it, as a novel way of valuing wild and managed pollination services. Adjusted insect and managed pollinator dependence factors were used to estimate the cost of replacing insect- and managed pollination services for the Western Cape deciduous fruit industry of South Africa. Using pollen dusting and hand pollination as suitable replacements, we value pollination services significantly higher than current market prices for commercial pollination, although lower than traditional proportional estimates. The complexity associated with inclusive value estimation of pollination services required several defendable assumptions, but made estimates more inclusive than previous attempts. Consequently this study provides the basis for continued improvement in context specific pollination service value estimates.

  6. Contrasting effects of invasive plants in plant-pollinator networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Vilà, Montserrat; Santamaría, Luís

    2008-04-01

    The structural organization of mutualism networks, typified by interspecific positive interactions, is important to maintain community diversity. However, there is little information available about the effect of introduced species on the structure of such networks. We compared uninvaded and invaded ecological communities, to examine how two species of invasive plants with large and showy flowers (Carpobrotus affine acinaciformis and Opuntia stricta) affect the structure of Mediterranean plant-pollinator networks. To attribute differences in pollination to the direct presence of the invasive species, areas were surveyed that contained similar native plant species cover, diversity and floral composition, with or without the invaders. Both invasive plant species received significantly more pollinator visits than any native species and invaders interacted strongly with pollinators. Overall, the pollinator community richness was similar in invaded and uninvaded plots, and only a few generalist pollinators visited invasive species exclusively. Invasive plants acted as pollination super generalists. The two species studied were visited by 43% and 31% of the total insect taxa in the community, respectively, suggesting they play a central role in the plant-pollinator networks. Carpobrotus and Opuntia had contrasting effects on pollinator visitation rates to native plants: Carpobrotus facilitated the visit of pollinators to native species, whereas Opuntia competed for pollinators with native species, increasing the nestedness of the plant-pollinator network. These results indicate that the introduction of a new species to a community can have important consequences for the structure of the plant-pollinator network.

  7. Wild pollinators enhance oilseed rape yield in small-holder farming systems in China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zou, Yi; Xiao, Haijun; Bianchi, Felix J.J.A.; Jauker, Frank; Luo, Shudong; Werf, van der Wopke

    2017-01-01

    Background: Insect pollinators play an important role in crop pollination, but the relative contribution of wild pollinators and honey bees to pollination is currently under debate. There is virtually no information available on the strength of pollination services and the identity of pollination

  8. Disease dynamics of honeybees with Varroa destructor as parasite and virus vector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Yun; Blanco, Krystal; Davis, Talia; Wang, Ying; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria

    2016-05-01

    The worldwide decline in honeybee colonies during the past 50 years has often been linked to the spread of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and its interaction with certain honeybee viruses carried by Varroa mites. In this paper, we propose a honeybee-mite-virus model that incorporates (1) parasitic interactions between honeybees and the Varroa mites; (2) five virus transmission terms between honeybees and mites at different stages of Varroa mites: from honeybees to honeybees, from adult honeybees to the phoretic mites, from brood to the reproductive mites, from the reproductive mites to brood, and from adult honeybees to the phoretic mites; and (3) Allee effects in the honeybee population generated by its internal organization such as division of labor. We provide completed local and global analysis for the full system and its subsystems. Our analytical and numerical results allow us have a better understanding of the synergistic effects of parasitism and virus infections on honeybee population dynamics and its persistence. Interesting findings from our work include: (a) due to Allee effects experienced by the honeybee population, initial conditions are essential for the survival of the colony. (b) Low adult honeybees to brood ratios have destabilizing effects on the system which generate fluctuating dynamics that lead to a catastrophic event where both honeybees and mites suddenly become extinct. This catastrophic event could be potentially linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) of honeybee colonies. (c) Virus infections may have stabilizing effects on the system, and parasitic mites could make disease more persistent. Our model illustrates how the synergy between the parasitic mites and virus infections consequently generates rich dynamics including multiple attractors where all species can coexist or go extinct depending on initial conditions. Our findings may provide important insights on honeybee viruses and parasites and how to best control them

  9. Pollination biology of basal angiosperms (ANITA grade).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thien, Leonard B; Bernhardt, Peter; Devall, Margaret S; Chen, Zhi-Duan; Luo, Yi-Bo; Fan, Jian-Hua; Yuan, Liang-Chen; Williams, Joseph H

    2009-01-01

    The first three branches of the angiosperm phylogenetic tree consist of eight families with ∼201 species of plants (the ANITA grade). The oldest flower fossil for the group is dated to the Early Cretaceous (115-125 Mya) and identified to the Nymphaeales. The flowers of extant plants in the ANITA grade are small, and pollen is the edible reward (rarely nectar or starch bodies). Unlike many gymnosperms that secrete "pollination drops," ANITA-grade members examined thus far have a dry-type stigma. Copious secretions of stigmatic fluid are restricted to the Nymphaeales, but this is not nectar. Floral odors, floral thermogenesis (a resource), and colored tepals attract insects in deceit-based pollination syndromes throughout the first three branches of the phylogenetic tree. Self-incompatibility and an extragynoecial compitum occur in some species in the Austrobaileyales. Flies are primary pollinators in six families (10 genera). Beetles are pollinators in five families varying in importance as primary (exclusive) to secondary vectors of pollen. Bees are major pollinators only in the Nymphaeaceae. It is hypothesized that large flowers in Nymphaeaceae are the result of the interaction of heat, floral odors, and colored tepals to trap insects to increase fitness.

  10. The pollination ecology of Paraboea rufescens (Gesneriaceae): a buzz-pollinated tropical herb with mirror-image flowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jiang-Yun; Ren, Pan-Yu; Yang, Zi-Hui; Li, Qing-Jun

    2006-03-01

    Gesneriaceae is a pantropical plant family with over 3000 species. A great variety of pollination mechanisms have been reported for the neotropical members of the family, but the details of buzz-pollination and enantiostyly for the family have not been described. We investigated the floral biology and pollination ecology of Paraboea rufescens in Xishuangbanna, south-west China, considering three aspects: (1) the type of enantiostyly exhibited; (2) whether the species is self-compatible; and (3) whether pollinator behaviour could enhance the precision of pollen transfer between flowers of contrasting stylar orientation. Flowering phenology was monitored once a month during vegetative growth, and once a week during flowering both in the field and under cultivation. Pollination manipulations and pollinator observation in the field were conducted. Anthesis occurred early during the morning, and flowers remained open for 1-5 d, depending on weather conditions. Controlled pollinations revealed that P. rufescens is self-compatible, and exhibited inbreeding depression in seed set. Plants were pollinator limited in natural populations. The similar stylar deflection among flowers within a plant limits autonomous self-pollination as well as pollination between flowers. Two species of bumble bees (Bombus spp.), Amegila malaccensis and Nomia sp. effectively pollinated P. rufescens. These pollinators visited flowers in search of pollen with almost the same frequency. None of the pollinators appeared to discriminate between left- or right-handed flowers. Paraboea rufescens exhibits monomorphic enantiostylous flowers and a buzz-pollination syndrome. Floral morphology in P. rufescens and pollinator foraging behaviour seems likely to reduce self-pollination and pollinations between flowers of the same stylar deflection.

  11. Floral advertisement and the competition for pollination services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Michael A; Hadany, Lilach

    2015-06-01

    Flowering plants are a major component of terrestrial ecosystems, and most of them depend on animal pollinators for reproduction. Thus, the mutualism between flowering plants and their pollinators is a keystone ecological relationship in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Though plant-pollinator interactions have received considerable amount of attention, there are still many unanswered questions. In this paper, we use methods of evolutionary game theory to investigate the co-evolution of floral advertisement and pollinator preferences Our results indicate that competition for pollination services among plant species can in some cases lead to specialization of the pollinator population to a single plant species (oligolecty). However, collecting pollen from multiple plants - at least at the population level - is evolutionarily stable under a wider parameter range. Finally, we show that, in the presence of pollinators, plants that optimize their investment in attracting vs. rewarding visiting pollinators outcompete plants that do not.

  12. Novel Consequences of Bird Pollination for Plant Mating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Siegfried L; Phillips, Ryan D; Karron, Jeffrey D; Johnson, Steven D; Roberts, David G; Hopper, Stephen D

    2017-05-01

    Pollinator behaviour has profound effects on plant mating. Pollinators are predicted to minimise energetic costs during foraging bouts by moving between nearby flowers. However, a review of plant mating system studies reveals a mismatch between behavioural predictions and pollen-mediated gene dispersal in bird-pollinated plants. Paternal diversity of these plants is twice that of plants pollinated solely by insects. Comparison with the behaviour of other pollinator groups suggests that birds promote pollen dispersal through a combination of high mobility, limited grooming, and intra- and interspecies aggression. Future opportunities to test these predictions include seed paternity assignment following pollinator exclusion experiments, single pollen grain genotyping, new tracking technologies for small pollinators, and motion-triggered cameras and ethological experimentation for quantifying pollinator behaviour. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 7 CFR 760.204 - Eligible livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Eligible livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish... for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program § 760.204 Eligible livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish. (a) To be considered eligible livestock for livestock feed losses and grazing...

  14. Disease dynamics of honeybees with Varroa destructor as parasite and virus vector

    Science.gov (United States)

    The worldwide decline in honeybee colonies during the past 50 years has often been linked to the spread of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and its interaction with certain honeybee viruses carried by Varroa mites. In this article, we propose a honeybee-mite-virus model that incorporates (1) par...

  15. Functionality of Selected Aromatic Lamiaceae in Attracting Pollinators in Central Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbir, Jelena; Azpiazu, Celeste; Badenes-Pérez, Francisco R; Fernández-Quintanilla, César; Dorado, José

    2016-04-01

    Planting floral margins in agricultural landscapes has been shown to increase the abundance of pollinators in agro-ecosystems. However, to create efficient margins, it is necessary to use attractive, not weedy native plants with different blooming periods to prolong the availability of floral resources. Six native perennial plants of the Lamiaceae with different blooming periods were studied in a randomized block design, with the final aim to select the most efficient plants in floral mixtures by studying relationships between their floral phenology, floral density, and attractiveness to pollinators in Central Spain. In addition, their spatial expansion, i.e., potential weediness, was estimated under the field conditions, as the final purpose of the plants is to be implemented within the agro-ecosystems. The results showed that plant species with higher floral density (Nepeta tuberosa L. and Hyssopus officinalis L.) showed significantly higher attractiveness to pollinators and enhanced the attractiveness of floral mixtures. Species that bloomed in early spring (Salvia verbenaca L.) and in summer (Melissa officinalis L. and Thymbra capitata L.) did not efficiently contribute to the attractiveness of the mixtures to pollinators. In addition, besides high floral density of Salvia officinalis L. and N. tuberosa in the spring, warm and dry weather in spring 2012 enhanced the activity of bees, while cold and rainy weather in spring 2013 enhanced the activity of hoverflies. None of the plants showed weedy growth and so posed no danger of invading adjacent crops.

  16. Pollination of cucumber, Cucumis sativus L. (Cucurbitales: Cucurbitaceae), by the stingless bees Scaptotrigona aff. depilis moure and Nannotrigona testaceicornis Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) in greenhouses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Solange A B dos; Roselino, Ana C; Bego, Luci R

    2008-01-01

    When for a successful fruit development the fertilization of flowers is necessary, bees can be used as crop-pollinators in greenhouses. In the present study, we investigated the effectiveness of the stingless bees Scaptotrigona aff. depilis Moure and Nannotrigona testaceicornis Lepeletier as pollinators of cucumber plants (Cucumus sativus var. caipira) in greenhouses during the Brazilian winter season. The study was conducted in four greenhouses (GH), of which two greenhouses contained bee colonies to ascertain pollination of the cucumber plants (GH I, with S. aff. depilis, GH II, with N. testaceicornis), whereas the other two greenhouses (GH III, GH IV) had no bee colonies and served as control groups. Furthermore, we planted cucumbers in an open field plot (OA) where pollination by any/various visiting insects could occur. Each of the experimental areas measured 87.5 m2. Without pollination (GH III, GH IV), the plants produced a low number of cucumbers, and the fruits were smaller and less heavy than in those experimental areas where pollination occurred. In the open field area, not protected against unfavorable climatic conditions, the plants produced fewer flowers than the plants in the greenhouses. The highest cucumber yield (with the highest amount of perfect fruits) was found in those greenhouses which housed the stingless bees as pollinators (GH I, GH II). Our results demonstrate that stingless bees can be successfully and efficiently used as pollinators of greenhouse cucumbers during the winter season.

  17. Changes in pollinator fauna affect altitudinal variation of floral size in a bumblebee-pollinated herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagano, Yusuke; Abe, Kota; Kitazawa, Tomoaki; Hattori, Mitsuru; Hirao, Akira S; Itino, Takao

    2014-09-01

    Geographic trait variations are often caused by locally different selection regimes. As a steep environmental cline along altitude strongly influences adaptive traits, mountain ecosystems are ideal for exploring adaptive differentiation over short distances. We investigated altitudinal floral size variation of Campanula punctata var. hondoensis in 12 populations in three mountain regions of central Japan to test whether the altitudinal floral size variation was correlated with the size of the local bumblebee pollinator and to assess whether floral size was selected for by pollinator size. We found apparent geographic variations in pollinator assemblages along altitude, which consequently produced a geographic change in pollinator size. Similarly, we found altitudinal changes in floral size, which proved to be correlated with the local pollinator size, but not with altitude itself. Furthermore, pollen removal from flower styles onto bees (plant's male fitness) was strongly influenced by the size match between flower style length and pollinator mouthpart length. These results strongly suggest that C. punctata floral size is under pollinator-mediated selection and that a geographic mosaic of locally adapted C. punctata exists at fine spatial scale.

  18. Contrasting Pollinators and Pollination in Native and Non-Native Regions of Highbush Blueberry Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbs, Jason; Elle, Elizabeth; Bobiwash, Kyle; Haapalainen, Tiia; Isaacs, Rufus

    2016-01-01

    Highbush blueberry yields are dependent on pollination by bees, and introduction of managed honey bees is the primary strategy used for pollination of this crop. Complementary pollination services are also provided by wild bees, yet highbush blueberry is increasingly grown in regions outside its native range where wild bee communities may be less adapted to the crop and growers may still be testing appropriate honey bee stocking densities. To contrast crop pollination in native and non-native production regions, we sampled commercial 'Bluecrop' blueberry fields in British Columbia and Michigan with grower-selected honey bee stocking rates (0-39.5 hives per ha) to compare bee visitors to blueberry flowers, pollination and yield deficits, and how those vary with local- and landscape-scale factors. Observed and Chao-1 estimated species richness, as well as Shannon diversity of wild bees visiting blueberries were significantly higher in Michigan where the crop is within its native range. The regional bee communities were also significantly different, with Michigan farms having greater dissimilarity than British Columbia. Blueberry fields in British Columbia had fewer visits by honey bees than those in Michigan, irrespective of stocking rate, and they also had lower berry weights and a significant pollination deficit. In British Columbia, pollination service increased with abundance of wild bumble bees, whereas in Michigan the abundance of honey bees was the primary predictor of pollination. The proportion of semi-natural habitat at local and landscape scales was positively correlated with wild bee abundance in both regions. Wild bee abundance declined significantly with distance from natural borders in Michigan, but not in British Columbia where large-bodied bumble bees dominated the wild bee community. Our results highlight the varying dependence of crop production on different types of bees and reveal that strategies for pollination improvement in the same crop can

  19. Large-scale pollination experiment demonstrates the importance of insect pollination in winter oilseed rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindström, Sandra A M; Herbertsson, Lina; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2016-03-01

    Insect pollination, despite its potential to contribute substantially to crop production, is not an integrated part of agronomic planning. A major reason for this are knowledge gaps in the contribution of pollinators to yield, which partly result from difficulties in determining area-based estimates of yield effects from insect pollination under field conditions. We have experimentally manipulated honey bee Apis mellifera densities at 43 oilseed rape Brassica napus fields over 2 years in Scandinavia. Honey bee hives were placed in 22 fields; an additional 21 fields without large apiaries in the surrounding landscape were selected as controls. Depending on the pollination system in the parental generation, the B. napus cultivars in the crop fields are classified as either open-pollinated or first-generation hybrids, with both types being open-pollinated in the generation of plants cultivated in the fields. Three cultivars of each type were grown. We measured the activity of flower-visiting insects during flowering and estimated yields by harvesting with small combine harvesters. The addition of honey bee hives to the fields dramatically increased abundance of flower-visiting honey bees in those fields. Honey bees affected yield, but the effect depended on cultivar type (p = 0.04). Post-hoc analysis revealed that open-pollinated cultivars, but not hybrid cultivars, had 11% higher yields in fields with added honey bees than those grown in the control fields (p = 0.07). To our knowledge, this is the first whole-field study in replicated landscapes to assess the benefit of insect pollination in oilseed rape. Our results demonstrate that honey bees have the potential to increase oilseed rape yields, thereby emphasizing the importance of pollinator management for optimal cultivation of oilseed rape.

  20. Pollinating fauna of a phryganic ecosystem: species list

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petanidou, Th.

    1991-01-01

    Studies on the pollination biology of Mediterranean scrub vegetations (maquis and phrygana) are not available as yet on an ecosystem level. To analyse in detail the pollination food web of the phrygana, the vegetation and the pollinator fauna of a phryganic ecosystem near Athens has been continuousl

  1. Evolution of pollination niches in a generalist plant clade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, José María; Perfectti, Francisco; Abdelaziz, Mohamed; Lorite, Juan; Muñoz-Pajares, Antonio Jesús; Valverde, Javier

    2015-01-01

    It is widely assumed that floral diversification occurs by adaptive shifts between pollination niches. In contrast to specialized flowers, identifying pollination niches of generalist flowers is a challenge. Consequently, how generalist pollination niches evolve is largely unknown. We apply tools from network theory and comparative methods to investigate the evolution of pollination niches among generalist species belonging to the genus Erysimum. These species have similar flowers. We found that the studied species may be grouped in several multidimensional niches separated not by a shift of pollinators, but instead by quantitative variation in the relative abundance of pollinator functional groups. These pollination niches did not vary in generalization degree; we did not find any evolutionary trend toward specialization within the studied clade. Furthermore, the evolution of pollination niche fitted to a Brownian motion model without phylogenetic signal, and was characterized by frequent events of niche convergences and divergences. We presume that the evolution of Erysimum pollination niches has occurred mostly by recurrent shifts between slightly different generalized pollinator assemblages varying spatially as a mosaic and without any change in specialization degree. Most changes in pollination niches do not prompt floral divergence, a reason why adaptation to pollinators is uncommon in generalist plants. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  2. Pollen Sliding as a New Self-pollination Mechanism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2004-01-01

    @@ Flowering plants have evolved many different techniques to ensure pollination. In some species self-pollination is the norm despite the genetic benefits of crosspollination. As an evolutionary mechanism, the selfing process allows a plant to propagate, for instance, in places where pollination agents such as wind or animals are unreliable.

  3. Generalised pollination systems for three invasive milkweeds in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, M; Johnson, S D

    2013-05-01

    Because most plants require pollinator visits for seed production, the ability of an introduced plant species to establish pollinator relationships in a new ecosystem may have a central role in determining its success or failure as an invader. We investigated the pollination ecology of three milkweed species - Asclepias curassavica, Gomphocarpus fruticosus and G. physocarpus - in their invaded range in southeast Queensland, Australia. The complex floral morphology of milkweeds has often been interpreted as a general trend towards specialised pollination requirements. Based on this interpretation, invasion by milkweeds contradicts the expectation than plant species with specialised pollination systems are less likely to become invasive that those with more generalised pollination requirements. However, observations of flower visitors in natural populations of the three study species revealed that their pollination systems are essentially specialised at the taxonomic level of the order, but generalised at the species level. Specifically, pollinators of the two Gomphocarpus species included various species of Hymenoptera (particularly vespid wasps), while pollinators of A. curassavica were primarily Lepidoptera (particularly nymphalid butterflies). Pollinators of all three species are rewarded with copious amounts of highly concentrated nectar. It is likely that successful invasion by these three milkweed species is attributable, at least in part, to their generalised pollinator requirements. The results of this study are discussed in terms of how data from the native range may be useful in predicting pollination success of species in a new environment.

  4. The pollination biology of Burmeistera (Campanulaceae): specialization and syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muchhala, Nathan

    2006-08-01

    The floral traits of plants with specialized pollination systems both facilitate the primary pollinator and restrict other potential pollinators. To explore interactions between pollinators and floral traits of the genus Burmeistera, I filmed floral visitors and measured pollen deposition for 10 species in six cloud forest sites throughout northern Ecuador. Nine species were primarily bat-pollinated (84-100% of pollen transfer); another (B. rubrosepala) was exclusively hummingbird-pollinated. According to a principal components analysis of 11 floral measurements, flowers of B. rubrosepala were morphologically distinct. Floral traits of all species closely matched traditional ornithophilous and chiropterophilous pollination syndromes; flowers of B. rubrosepala were bright red, lacked odor, opened in the afternoon, and had narrow corolla apertures and flexible pedicels, which positioned them below the foliage. Flowers of the bat-pollinated species were dull-colored, emitted odor, opened in the evening, and had wide apertures and rigid pedicels, which positioned them beyond the foliage. Aperture width appeared most critical to restricting pollination; hummingbirds visited wide flowers without contacting the reproductive parts, and bats did not visit the narrow flowers of B. rubrosepala. Aperture width may impose an adaptive trade-off that favors the high degree of specialization in the genus. Other floral measurements were highly variable amongst bat-pollinated species, including stigma exsertion, calyx lobe morphology, and pedicel length. Because multiple species of Burmeistera often coexist, such morphological diversity may reduce pollen competition by encouraging pollinator fidelity and/or spatially partitioning pollinator's bodies.

  5. Pesticide residues in honeybees, honey and bee pollen by LC-MS/MS screening: reported death incidents in honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasiotis, Konstantinos M; Anagnostopoulos, Chris; Anastasiadou, Pelagia; Machera, Kyriaki

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate reported cases of honeybee death incidents with regard to the potential interrelation to the exposure to pesticides. Thus honeybee, bee pollen and honey samples from different areas of Greece were analyzed for the presence of pesticide residues. In this context an LC-ESI-MS/MS multiresidue method of total 115 analytes of different chemical classes such as neonicotinoids, organophosphates, triazoles, carbamates, dicarboximides and dinitroanilines in honeybee bodies, honey and bee pollen was developed and validated. The method presents good linearity over the ranges assayed with correlation coefficient values r(2)≥0.99, recoveries ranging for all matrices from 59 to 117% and precision (RSD%) values ranging from 4 to 27%. LOD and LOQ values ranged - for honeybees, honey and bee pollen - from 0.03 to 23.3 ng/g matrix weight and 0.1 up to 78 ng/g matrix weight, respectively. Therefore this method is sufficient to act as a monitoring tool for the determination of pesticide residues in cases of suspected honeybee poisoning incidents. From the analysis of the samples the presence of 14 active substances was observed in all matrices with concentrations ranging for honeybees from 0.3 to 81.5 ng/g, for bee pollen from 6.1 to 1273 ng/g and for honey one sample was positive to carbendazim at 1.6 ng/g. The latter confirmed the presence of such type of compounds in honeybee body and apicultural products. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Did pollination shifts drive diversification in southern African Gladiolus? Evaluating the model of pollinator-driven speciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Luis M; Manning, John C; Goldblatt, Peter; Vargas, Pablo

    2012-07-01

    The pollinator-driven ecological speciation model has frequently been invoked to explain plant richness in biodiversity hotspots. Here, by focusing on Gladiolus (260 species), a flagship example of a clade with diverse pollination biology, we test the hypothesis that high species diversity in southern Africa, one of the world's most floristically rich regions, has primarily been driven by ecological shifts in pollination systems. We use phylogenetic methods to estimate rates of transition between the seven highly specialized pollination strategies in Gladiolus. We find that pollination systems have evolved multiple times and that some pollination strategies arose by a variety of evolutionary pathways. Pollination shifts account for up to one-third of all lineage splitting events in the genus, providing partial support for the pollinator-driven speciation model. Transitions from the ancestral pollination mode to derived systems have also resulted in increased rates of diversification, suggesting that certain pollination systems may speed up speciation processes, independently of pollination shifts per se. This study suggests that frequent pollination shifts have played a role in driving high phenotypic and species diversity but indicates that additional factors need to be invoked to account for the spectacular diversification in southern African Gladiolus.

  7. A new hybrid bee pollinator flower pollination algorithm for solar PV parameter estimation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ram, J. Prasanth; Babu, T. Sudhakar; Dragicevic, Tomislav

    2017-01-01

    parameters, all of these methods do not guarantee their convergence to the global optimum. Hence, the authors of this paper have proposed a new hybrid Bee pollinator Flower Pollination Algorithm (BPFPA) for the PV parameter extraction problem. The PV parameters for both single diode and double diode...... are extracted and tested under different environmental conditions. For brevity, the I01, I02, Ipv for double diode and I0,Ipv for single diode models are calculated analytically where the remaining parameters ‘Rs, Rp, a1, a2’ are optimized using BPFPA method. It is found that, the proposed Bee Pollinator method...... (HS), Flower Pollination Algorithm (FPA) and Artificial Bee Swarm Optimization (ABSO). In addition, various outcomes of PV modeling and different parameters influencing the accurate PV modeling are critically analyzed....

  8. Generalist bees pollinate red-flowered Penstemon eatonii: refining the hummingbird pollination syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    The red tubular flowers of Penstemon eatonii (Plantaginaceae, formerly Scrophulariaceae) conform to the classic pollination syndrome for hummingbirds. This could be problematic when farming this wildflower for rangeland restoration seed. By some models and experiments with nectaring bumblebees at ...

  9. Automatic behaviour analysis system for honeybees using computer vision

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tu, Gang Jun; Hansen, Mikkel Kragh; Kryger, Per

    2016-01-01

    -cost embedded computer with very limited computational resources as compared to an ordinary PC. The system succeeds in counting honeybees, identifying their position and measuring their in-and-out activity. Our algorithm uses background subtraction method to segment the images. After the segmentation stage......, the methods are primarily based on statistical analysis and inference. The regression statistics (i.e. R2) of the comparisons of system predictions and manual counts are 0.987 for counting honeybees, and 0.953 and 0.888 for measuring in-activity and out-activity, respectively. The experimental results...... demonstrate that this system can be used as a tool to detect the behaviour of honeybees and assess their state in the beehive entrance. Besides, the result of the computation time show that the Raspberry Pi is a viable solution in such real-time video processing system....

  10. Evolutionary breakdown of pollination specialization in a Caribbean plant radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martén-Rodríguez, Silvana; Fenster, Charles B; Agnarsson, Ingi; Skog, Laurence E; Zimmer, Elizabeth A

    2010-10-01

    • Ecological generalization is postulated to be the rule in plant-pollinator interactions; however, the evolution of generalized flowers from specialized ancestors has rarely been demonstrated. This study examines the evolution of pollination and breeding systems in the tribe Gesnerieae (Gesneriaceae), an Antillean plant radiation that includes specialized and generalized species. • Phylogenetic reconstruction was based on two nDNA markers (internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and G-CYCLOIDEA (GCYC) and morphology. The total evidence Bayesian phylogeny was used for assessment of floral character evolution using Bayesian stochastic character mapping. • Mapping of the pollination system resulted in at least two origins of bat pollination and two origins of generalized pollination (bats, moths and hummingbirds). The evolution of bat pollination was associated with floral transitions reflecting the chiropterophilous floral syndrome. The evolution of generalization was associated with subcampanulate corollas. Autonomous breeding systems evolved only in hummingbird-pollinated lineages. • The correlated evolution of floral traits and pollination systems provides support for the pollination syndrome concept. Floral transitions may have been favored by the low frequency of hummingbird visitation in the Antilles, while the presence of autonomous pollination may have allowed the diversification of ornithophilous lineages. Results suggest that pollinator depauperate faunas on islands select for the evolution of reproductive assurance mechanisms, including generalization and autogamy. © The Authors (2010). Journal compilation © New Phytologist (2010).

  11. Dealing with complexity in pollination management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Peter Borgen; Tscheulin, Thomas; POTTS, Simon G

    Interactions between pollinators and agricultural production are complex to understand and lack of knowledge is, therefore, a challenge for legislation and management. Knowledge tends to be partial and specific to particular systems. Thus, there is a critical need for structural knowledge that can...

  12. How an orchid harms its pollinator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Bob B M; Schiestl, Florian P

    2002-08-07

    Certain orchids produce flowers that mimic the sex pheromones and appearance of female insects in order to attract males by sexual deception for the purpose of pollination. In a series of field experiments, we found that the sexually deceptive orchid, Chiloglottis trapeziformis, can have a negative impact on its wasp pollinator Neozeleboria cryptoides. Male and female wasps, however, were affected differently by the orchid's deceit because of their different roles in the mimicry system. Male wasps could not discriminate between the chemical cues of orchids and female wasps, a vital signal in long-range attraction. Males, however, learn to avoid areas containing orchids. This strategy has implications for females attempting to attract mates in areas occupied by orchids. Compared with circumstances when females were on their own, females in the presence of orchids elicited fewer male approaches and no copulation attempts. Females in a large orchid patch also elicited fewer male approaches than females in a small patch. The nature of the orchid's impact on its wasp pollinator indicates an arms race evolutionary scenario in this interaction between plant and pollinator.

  13. Coevolution: puff pollination in tropical flowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Joan

    2014-07-21

    A new study shows that birds plucking anthers of the Melastome, Axinaea, demonstrate a novel bird pollination mechanism. Each stamen of Axinaea offers a nutrient-rich, berry-like food body that, when bitten, releases a puff of pollen allowing transfer to stigmas by wind or the pollen-dusted bird.

  14. Pollination Ecology of Caesalpinia crista (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIShi-Jint; ZHANGDian-Xiang; LILin; CHENZhong-Yi

    2004-01-01

    The flowering phenology, pollination ecology and breeding system of Caesa/pinia crista L.were studied in Dinghushan Nature Reserve, Guangdong, China. The species started blooming in Februaryor March, then last till late April. It took about one week from first flower appearance to its full blooming,which lasted for 2-4 d. The pollen-ovule ratio was 18 000~500. The breeding system was self-incompatible,and protogynous xenogamy. Hymenoptera constituted the major group of pollinators. The pollination typeis ambophily, the species could be pollinated by wind if the pollinators were unavailable: this is the firstrecord of ambophily in the genus Caesalpinia. The floral structure adaptation to the pollinating behavior ofcarpenter bees was described. The influences of artificial treatments in pollination biological studies onthe flowering and fruiting of the plants were also discussed.

  15. Uni-directional interaction and plant-pollinator-robber coexistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L; Holland, J Nathaniel

    2012-09-01

    A mathematical model for the plant-pollinator-robber interaction is studied to understand the factors leading to the widespread occurrence and stability of such interactions. In the interaction, a flowering plant provides resource for its pollinator and the pollinator has both positive and negative effects on the plant. A nectar robber acts as a plant predator, consuming a common resource with the pollinator, but with a different functional response. Using dynamical systems theory, mechanisms of species coexistence are investigated to show how a robber could invade the plant-pollinator system and persist stably with the pollinator. In addition, circumstances are demonstrated in which the pollinator's positive and negative effects on the plant could determine the robber's invasibility and the three-species coexistence.

  16. Ecological stoichiometry of the honeybee: Pollen diversity and adequate species composition are needed to mitigate limitations imposed on the growth and development of bees by pollen quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuszewska, Karolina; Asselman, Michel; Denisow, Bożena; Stawiarz, Ernest; Woyciechowski, Michał; Weiner, January

    2017-01-01

    The least understood aspects of the nutritional needs of bees are the elemental composition of pollen and the bees’ need for a stoichiometrically balanced diet containing the required proportions of nutrients. Reduced plant diversity has been proposed as an indirect factor responsible for the pollinator crisis. We suggest stoichiometric mismatch resulting from a nutritionally unbalanced diet as a potential direct factor. The concentrations and stoichiometric ratios of C, N, S, P, K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Mn, and Cu were studied in the bodies of honeybees of various castes and sexes and in the nectar and pollen of various plant species. A literature review of the elemental composition of pollen was performed. We identified possible co-limitations of bee growth and development resulting mainly from the scarcity of Na, S, Cu, P and K, and possibly Zn and N, in pollen. Particular castes and sexes face specific limitations. Concentrations of potentially limiting elements in pollen revealed high taxonomic diversity. High floral diversity may be necessary to maintain populations of pollen eaters. Single-species crop plantations, even if these species are rich in nectar and pollen, might limit bee growth and development, not allowing for gathering nutrients in adequate proportions. However, particular plant species may play greater roles than others in balancing honeybee diets. Therefore, we suggest specific plant species that may (1) ensure optimal growth and production of individuals by producing pollen that is exceptionally well balanced stoichiometrically (e.g., clover) or (2) prevent growth and development of honeybees by producing pollen that is extremely unbalanced for bees (e.g., sunflower). Since pollen is generally poor in Na, this element must be supplemented using “dirty water”. Nectar cannot supplement the diet with limiting elements. Stoichiometric mismatch should be considered in intervention strategies aimed at improving the nutritional base for bees

  17. Small hive beetles survive in honeybee prisons by behavioural mimicry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, J. D.; Pirk, C. W. W.; Hepburn, H. R.; Kastberger, G.; Elzen, P. J.

    2002-05-01

    We report the results of a simple experiment to determine whether honeybees feed their small hive beetle nest parasites. Honeybees incarcerate the beetles in cells constructed of plant resins and continually guard them. The longevity of incarcerated beetles greatly exceeds their metabolic reserves. We show that survival of small hive beetles derives from behavioural mimicry by which the beetles induce the bees to feed them trophallactically. Electronic supplementary material to this paper can be obtained by using the Springer LINK server located at htpp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00114-002-0326-y.

  18. Mast Cells Can Enhance Resistance to Snake and Honeybee Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metz, Martin; Piliponsky, Adrian M.; Chen, Ching-Cheng; Lammel, Verena; Åbrink, Magnus; Pejler, Gunnar; Tsai, Mindy; Galli, Stephen J.

    2006-07-01

    Snake or honeybee envenomation can cause substantial morbidity and mortality, and it has been proposed that the activation of mast cells by snake or insect venoms can contribute to these effects. We show, in contrast, that mast cells can significantly reduce snake-venom-induced pathology in mice, at least in part by releasing carboxypeptidase A and possibly other proteases, which can degrade venom components. Mast cells also significantly reduced the morbidity and mortality induced by honeybee venom. These findings identify a new biological function for mast cells in enhancing resistance to the morbidity and mortality induced by animal venoms.

  19. Population dynamics and the ecological stability of obligate pollination mutualisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, J. Nathaniel; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2001-01-01

    Mutualistic interactions almost always produce both costs and benefits for each of the interacting species. It is the difference between gross benefits and costs that determines the net benefit and the per-capita effect on each of the interacting populations. For example, the net benefit of obligate pollinators, such as yucca and senita moths, to plants is determined by the difference between the number of ovules fertilized from moth pollination and the number of ovules eaten by the pollinator's larvae. It is clear that if pollinator populations are large, then, because many eggs are laid, costs to plants are large, whereas, if pollinator populations are small, gross benefits are low due to lack of pollination. Even though the size and dynamics of the pollinator population are likely to be crucial, their importance has been neglected in the investigation of mechanisms, such as selective fruit abortion, that can limit costs and increase net benefits. Here, we suggest that both the population size and dynamics of pollinators are important in determining the net benefits to plants, and that fruit abortion can significantly affect these. We develop a model of mutualism between populations of plants and their pollinating seed-predators to explore the ecological consequences of fruit abortion on pollinator population dynamics and the net effect on plants. We demonstrate that the benefit to a plant population is unimodal as a function of pollinator abundance, relative to the abundance of flowers. Both selective abortion of fruit with eggs and random abortion of fruit, without reference to whether they have eggs or not, can limit pollinator population size. This can increase the net benefits to the plant population by limiting the number of eggs laid, if the pollination rate remains high. However, fruit abortion can possibly destabilize the pollinator population, with negative consequences for the plant population.

  20. Direct and Indirect Influence of Non-Native Neighbours on Pollination and Fruit Production of a Native Plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Montero-Castaño

    Full Text Available Entomophilous non-native plants can directly affect the pollination and reproductive success of native plant species and also indirectly, by altering the composition and abundance of floral resources in the invaded community. Separating direct from indirect effects is critical for understanding the mechanisms underlying the impacts of non-native species on recipient communities.Our aims are: (a to explore both the direct effect of the non-native Hedysarum coronarium and its indirect effect, mediated by the alteration of floral diversity, on the pollinator visitation rate and fructification of the native Leopoldia comosa and (b to distinguish whether the effects of the non-native species were due to its floral display or to its vegetative interactions.We conducted field observations within a flower removal experimental setup (i.e. non-native species present, absent and with its inflorescences removed at the neighbourhood scale.Our study illustrates the complexity of mechanisms involved in the impacts of non-native species on native species. Overall, Hedysarum increased pollinator visitation rates to Leopoldia target plants as a result of direct and indirect effects acting in the same direction. Due to its floral display, Hedysarum exerted a direct magnet effect attracting visits to native target plants, especially those made by the honeybee. Indirectly, Hedysarum also increased the visitation rate of native target plants. Due to the competition for resources mediated by its vegetative parts, it decreased floral diversity in the neighbourhoods, which was negatively related to the visitation rate to native target plants. Hedysarum overall also increased the fructification of Leopoldia target plants, even though such an increase was the result of other indirect effects compensating for the observed negative indirect effect mediated by the decrease of floral diversity.

  1. Long-term exposure to antibiotics has caused accumulation of resistance determinants in the gut microbiota of honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Baoyu; Fadhil, Nibal H; Powell, J Elijah; Kwong, Waldan K; Moran, Nancy A

    2012-10-30

    Antibiotic treatment can impact nontarget microbes, enriching the pool of resistance genes available to pathogens and altering community profiles of microbes beneficial to hosts. The gut microbiota of adult honeybees, a distinctive community dominated by eight bacterial species, provides an opportunity to examine evolutionary responses to long-term treatment with a single antibiotic. For decades, American beekeepers have routinely treated colonies with oxytetracycline for control of larval pathogens. Using a functional metagenomic screen of bacteria from Maryland bees, we detected a high incidence of tetracycline/oxytetracycline resistance. This resistance is attributable to known resistance loci for which nucleotide sequences and flanking mobility genes were nearly identical to those from human pathogens and from bacteria associated with farm animals. Surveys using diagnostic PCR and sequencing revealed that gut bacteria of honeybees from diverse localities in the United States harbor eight tetracycline resistance loci, including efflux pump genes (tetB, tetC, tetD, tetH, tetL, and tetY) and ribosome protection genes (tetM and tetW), often at high frequencies. Isolates of gut bacteria from Connecticut bees display high levels of tetracycline resistance. Resistance genes were ubiquitous in American samples, though rare in colonies unexposed for 25 years. In contrast, only three resistance loci, at low frequencies, occurred in samples from countries not using antibiotics in beekeeping and samples from wild bumblebees. Thus, long-term antibiotic treatment has caused the bee gut microbiota to accumulate resistance genes, drawn from a widespread pool of highly mobile loci characterized from pathogens and agricultural sites. We found that 50 years of using antibiotics in beekeeping in the United States has resulted in extensive tetracycline resistance in the gut microbiota. These bacteria, which form a distinctive community present in healthy honeybees worldwide, may

  2. Fire promotes pollinator visitation: implications for ameliorating declines of pollination services.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael E Van Nuland

    Full Text Available Pollinators serve critical roles for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, and have an estimated annual value of over $150 billion for global agriculture. Mounting evidence from agricultural systems reveals that pollinators are declining in many regions of the world, and with a lack of information on whether pollinator communities in natural systems are following similar trends, identifying factors which support pollinator visitation and services are important for ameliorating the effects of the current global pollinator crisis. We investigated how fire affects resource structure and how that variation influences floral pollinator communities by comparing burn versus control treatments in a southeastern USA old-field system. We hypothesized and found a positive relationship between fire and plant density of a native forb, Verbesina alternifolia, as well as a significant difference in floral visitation of V. alternifolia between burn and control treatments. V. alternifolia density was 44% greater and floral visitation was 54% greater in burned treatments relative to control sites. When the density of V. alternifolia was experimentally reduced in the burn sites to equivalent densities observed in control sites, floral visitation in burned sites declined to rates found in control sites. Our results indicate that plant density is a proximal mechanism by which an imposed fire regime can indirectly impact floral visitation, suggesting its usefulness as a tool for management of pollination services. Although concerns surround the negative impacts of management, indirect positive effects may provide an important direction to explore for managing future ecological and conservation issues. Studies examining the interaction among resource concentration, plant apparency, and how fire affects the evolutionary consequences of altered patterns of floral visitation are overdue.

  3. Dynamics of an ant-plant-pollinator model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Nathaniel Holland, J.

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we consider plant-pollinator-ant systems in which plant-pollinator interaction and plant-ant interaction are both mutualistic, but there also exists interference of pollinators by ants. The plant-pollinator interaction can be described by a Beddington-DeAngelis formula, so we extend the formula to characterize plant-pollinator mutualisms, including the interference by ants, and form a plant-pollinator-ant model. Using dynamical systems theory, we show uniform persistence of the model. Moreover, we demonstrate conditions under which boundary equilibria are globally asymptotically stable. The dynamics exhibit mechanisms by which the three species could coexist when ants interfere with pollinators. We define a threshold in ant interference. When ant interference is strong, it can drive plant-pollinator mutualisms to extinction. Furthermore, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for their persistence, then sufficiently strong ant interference could lead to their own extinction as well. Yet, when ant interference is weak, plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms can promote the persistence of one another.

  4. Bee pollination improves crop quality, shelf life and commercial value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klatt, Björn K; Holzschuh, Andrea; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; Smit, Inga; Pawelzik, Elke; Tscharntke, Teja

    2014-01-22

    Pollination improves the yield of most crop species and contributes to one-third of global crop production, but comprehensive benefits including crop quality are still unknown. Hence, pollination is underestimated by international policies, which is particularly alarming in times of agricultural intensification and diminishing pollination services. In this study, exclusion experiments with strawberries showed bee pollination to improve fruit quality, quantity and market value compared with wind and self-pollination. Bee-pollinated fruits were heavier, had less malformations and reached higher commercial grades. They had increased redness and reduced sugar-acid-ratios and were firmer, thus improving the commercially important shelf life. Longer shelf life reduced fruit loss by at least 11%. This is accounting for 0.32 billion US$ of the 1.44 billion US$ provided by bee pollination to the total value of 2.90 billion US$ made with strawberry selling in the European Union 2009. The fruit quality and yield effects are driven by the pollination-mediated production of hormonal growth regulators, which occur in several pollination-dependent crops. Thus, our comprehensive findings should be transferable to a wide range of crops and demonstrate bee pollination to be a hitherto underestimated but vital and economically important determinant of fruit quality.

  5. Pollination niche overlap between a parasitic plant and its host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollerton, Jeff; Stott, Adrian; Allnutt, Emma; Shove, Sam; Taylor, Chloe; Lamborn, Ellen

    2007-03-01

    Niche theory predicts that species which share resources should evolve strategies to minimise competition for those resources, or the less competitive species would be extirpated. Some plant species are constrained to co-occur, for example parasitic plants and their hosts, and may overlap in their pollination niche if they flower at the same time and attract the same pollinators. Using field observations and experiments between 1996 and 2006, we tested a series of hypotheses regarding pollination niche overlap between a specialist parasitic plant Orobanche elatior (Orobanchaceae) and its host Centaurea scabiosa (Asteraceae). These species flower more or less at the same time, with some year-to-year variation. The host is pollinated by a diverse range of insects, which vary in their effectiveness, whilst the parasite is pollinated by a single species of bumblebee, Bombus pascuorum, which is also an effective pollinator of the host plant. The two species therefore have partially overlapping pollination niches. These niches are not finely subdivided by differential pollen placement, or by diurnal segregation of the niches. We therefore found no evidence of character displacement within the pollination niches of these species, possibly because pollinators are not a limiting resource for these plants. Direct observation of pollinator movements, coupled with experimental manipulations of host plant inflorescence density, showed that Bombus pascuorum only rarely moves between inflorescences of the host and the parasite and therefore the presence of one plant is unlikely to be facilitating pollination in the other. This is the first detailed examination of pollination niche overlap in a plant parasite system and we suggest avenues for future research in relation to pollination and other shared interactions between parasitic plants and their hosts.

  6. Conservation of Bio synthetic pheromone pathways in honeybees Apis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Stephen J.; Jones, Graeme R.

    Social insects use complex chemical communication systems to govern many aspects of their life. We studied chemical changes in Dufour's gland secretions associated with ovary development in several genotypes of honeybees. We found that C28-C38 esters were associated only with cavity nesting honeybee queens, while the alcohol eicosenol was associated only with their non-laying workers. In contrast, both egg-laying anarchistic workers and all parasitic Cape workers from queenright colonies showed the typical queen pattern (i.e. esters present and eicosenol absent), while egg-laying wild-type and anarchistic workers in queenless colonies showed an intermediate pattern, producing both esters and eicosenol but at intermediate levels. Furthermore, neither esters nor eicosenol were found in aerial nesting honeybee species. Both esters and eicosenol are biosynthetically similar compounds since both are recognizable products of fatty acid biosynthesis. Therefore, we propose that in honeybees the biosynthesis of esters and eicosenol in the Dufour's gland is caste-regulated and this pathway has been conserved over evolutionary time.

  7. Genetic structure of Balearic honeybee populations based on microsatellite polymorphism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moritz Robin FA

    2003-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The genetic variation of honeybee colonies collected in 22 localities on the Balearic Islands (Spain was analysed using eight polymorphic microsatellite loci. Previous studies have demonstrated that these colonies belong either to the African or west European evolutionary lineages. These populations display low variability estimated from both the number of alleles and heterozygosity values, as expected for the honeybee island populations. Although genetic differentiation within the islands is low, significant heterozygote deficiency is present, indicating a subpopulation genetic structure. According to the genetic differentiation test, the honeybee populations of the Balearic Islands cluster into two groups: Gimnesias (Mallorca and Menorca and Pitiusas (Ibiza and Formentera, which agrees with the biogeography postulated for this archipelago. The phylogenetic analysis suggests an Iberian origin of the Balearic honeybees, thus confirming the postulated evolutionary scenario for Apis mellifera in the Mediterranean basin. The microsatellite data from Formentera, Ibiza and Menorca show that ancestral populations are threatened by queen importations, indicating that adequate conservation measures should be developed for protecting Balearic bees.

  8. Biophysics of the subgenual organ of the honeybee, Apis mellifera

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kilpinen, Ole; Storm, Jesper

    1997-01-01

    The subgenual organ of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) is suspended in a haemolymph channel in the tibia of each leg. When the leg is accelerated, inertia causes the haemolymph (and the subgenual organ) to lag behind the movement of the rest of the leg. The magnitude of this phase lag determines...

  9. Sleep Deprivation affects Extinction but Not Acquisition Memory in Honeybees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussaini, Syed Abid; Bogusch, Lisa; Landgraf, Tim; Menzel, Randolf

    2009-01-01

    Sleep-like behavior has been studied in honeybees before, but the relationship between sleep and memory formation has not been explored. Here we describe a new approach to address the question if sleep in bees, like in other animals, improves memory consolidation. Restrained bees were observed by a web camera, and their antennal activities were…

  10. Wax combs mediate nestmate recognition by guard honeybees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Wenseleers, Tom; Dawson, Jenny

    2006-01-01

    Research has shown that the wax combs are important in the acquisition of colony odour in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. However, many of these studies were conducted in the laboratory or under artificial conditions. We investigated the role of the wax combs in nestmate recognition in the natural...

  11. Sleep Deprivation affects Extinction but Not Acquisition Memory in Honeybees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussaini, Syed Abid; Bogusch, Lisa; Landgraf, Tim; Menzel, Randolf

    2009-01-01

    Sleep-like behavior has been studied in honeybees before, but the relationship between sleep and memory formation has not been explored. Here we describe a new approach to address the question if sleep in bees, like in other animals, improves memory consolidation. Restrained bees were observed by a web camera, and their antennal activities were…

  12. Forward and Backward Second-Order Pavlovian Conditioning in Honeybees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussaini, Syed Abid; Komischke, Bernhard; Menzel, Randolf; Lachnit, Harald

    2007-01-01

    Second-order conditioning (SOC) is the association of a neutral stimulus with another stimulus that had previously been combined with an unconditioned stimulus (US). We used classical conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) in honeybees ("Apis mellifera") with odors (CS) and sugar (US). Previous SOC experiments in bees were…

  13. Sperm use economy of honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Collins, Jason; Maalaps, Kristiina;

    2016-01-01

    the fecundity and longevity of queens and therefore colony fitness. We quantified the number of sperm that honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens use to fertilize eggs. We examined sperm use in naturally mated queens of different ages and in queens artificially inseminated with different volumes of semen. We found...

  14. Synthesis of wax in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piek, T.

    1964-01-01

    Newly emerged honeybee workers were fed during 1 or 2 weeks with sucrose containing either heavy water, sodium acetate with deuterium, sodium acetate-1-14C, or uniformly labelled glucose-14C. The various lipid fractions were isolated in order to investigate the origin of the secreted wax components.

  15. Stimulating natural supersedure of honeybee queens, Apis mellifera

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriksma, H.P.; Calis, J.N.M.; Boot, W.J.

    2004-01-01

    When a honeybee queen starts to fail, she is often superseded by a young queen that takes over reproduction inside the colony. Natural supersedure in winter leads to an unfertilised young queen and colony loss. To reduce these losses we tried to stimulate supersedure of queens earlier in the season.

  16. Genetic variation in natural honeybee populations, Apis mellifera capensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepburn, Randall; Neumann, Peter; Radloff, Sarah E.

    2004-09-01

    Genetic variation in honeybee, Apis mellifera, populations can be considerably influenced by breeding and commercial introductions, especially in areas with abundant beekeeping. However, in southern Africa apiculture is based on the capture of wild swarms, and queen rearing is virtually absent. Moreover, the introduction of European subspecies constantly failed in the Cape region. We therefore hypothesize a low human impact on genetic variation in populations of Cape honeybees, Apis mellifera capensis. A novel solution to studying genetic variation in honeybee populations based on thelytokous worker reproduction is applied to test this hypothesis. Environmental effects on metrical morphological characters of the phenotype are separated to obtain a genetic residual component. The genetic residuals are then re-calculated as coefficients of genetic variation. Characters measured included hair length on the abdomen, width and length of wax plate, and three wing angles. The data show for the first time that genetic variation in Cape honeybee populations is independent of beekeeping density and probably reflects naturally occurring processes such as gene flow due to topographic and climatic variation on a microscale.

  17. Efficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    I.P. van Staveren (Irene)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractThe dominant economic theory, neoclassical economics, employs a single economic evaluative criterion: efficiency. Moreover, it assigns this criterion a very specific meaning. Other – heterodox – schools of thought in economics tend to use more open concepts of efficiency, related to comm

  18. A comparison of controlled self-pollination and open pollination results based on maize grain quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Sulewska

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Maize (Zea mays L. grain endosperm is triploid (3n, of which 2n come from the male (transferred by pollen and only 1n from the female plant, thus a major impact of the male form can be expected on grain quality parameters. A good example of this relationship is the phenomenon of xenia. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of pollen on grain quality. The field experiment was conducted in 2011; seeds were harvested from eight cultivars: Bosman, Blask, Tur, Kozak, Bielik, Smok, SMH 220 and Kresowiak, derived from free pollination and controlled self-pollination of maize. Analyses of nutrient contents and starch content in the grain were conducted in the laboratory. In addition, 1000 grain weight and the hectoliter weight of all grain samples were recorded. The results confirmed differences in grain quality of maize hybrids obtained by self-pollination and by open pollination. Grain of maize plants obtained by open-pollination was characterised by higher contents of N-free extract and starch, and lower protein content. Undertaking further studies on this subject may indicate specific recommendations for agricultural practice, such as mixtures of hybrids with good combining abilities, which will contribute to improved grain quality without additional costs.

  19. Wind pollination and propagule formation in Rhizophora mangle L. (Rhizophoraceae): resource or pollination limitation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadia, Tarcila L; Machado, Isabel C

    2014-03-01

    Rhizophora mangle is considered as a self-compatible mangrove, and is pollinated by wind and insects. However, there is no information about fruit production by autogamy and agamospermy and on the foraging behavior of its flower visitors. Hence, the present study analyzed the pollination and reproductive systems of R. mangle in a mangrove community in northern Pernambuco, Brazil. Floral morphology, sequence of anthesis, and behavior of flower visitors were described; the proportion of flowers that resulted in mature propagules was also recorded. Autogamy, agamospermy, and wind pollination tests were performed, and a new anemophily index is proposed. The flowers of R. mangle are hermaphrodite, protandric, and have high P/O rate. Flies were observed on flowers only during the male phase, probably feeding on mites that consume pollen. Rhizophora mangle is not agamospermic and its fruit production rate by spontaneous self-pollination is low (2.56%) compared to wind pollination (19.44%). The anemophily index was high 0.98, and thus it was considered as a good indicator. Only 13.79% of the flowers formed mature propagules. The early stages of fruit development are the most critical and susceptible to predation. Rhizophora mangle is, therefore, exclusively anemophilous in the study area and the propagule dispersal seems to be limited by herbivory.

  20. In-Depth N-Glycosylation Reveals Species-Specific Modifications and Functions of the Royal Jelly Protein from Western (Apis mellifera) and Eastern Honeybees (Apis cerana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Mao; Fang, Yu; Han, Bin; Xu, Xiang; Fan, Pei; Hao, Yue; Qi, Yuping; Hu, Han; Huo, Xinmei; Meng, Lifeng; Wu, Bin; Li, Jianke

    2015-12-04

    Royal jelly (RJ), secreted by honeybee workers, plays diverse roles as nutrients and defense agents for honeybee biology and human health. Despite being reported to be glycoproteins, the glycosylation characterization and functionality of RJ proteins in different honeybee species are largely unknown. An in-depth N-glycoproteome analysis and functional assay of RJ produced by Apis mellifera lingustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc) were conducted. RJ produced by Aml yielded 80 nonredundant N-glycoproteins carrying 190 glycosites, of which 23 novel proteins harboring 35 glycosites were identified. For Acc, all 43 proteins glycosylated at 138 glycosites were reported for the first time. Proteins with distinct N-glycoproteomic characteristics in terms of glycoprotein species, number of N-glycosylated sites, glycosylation motif, abundance level of glycoproteins, and N-glycosites were observed in this two RJ samples. The fact that the low inhibitory efficiency of N-glycosylated major royal jelly protein 2 (MRJP2) against Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) and the absence of antibacterial related glycosylated apidaecin, hymenoptaecin, and peritrophic matrix in the Aml RJ compared to Acc reveal the mechanism for why the Aml larvae are susceptible to P. larvae, the causative agent of a fatal brood disease (American foulbrood, AFB). The observed antihypertension activity of N-glycosylated MRJP1 in two RJ samples and a stronger activity found in Acc than in Aml reveal that specific RJ protein and modification are potentially useful for the treatment of hypertensive disease for humans. Our data gain novel understanding that the western and eastern bees have evolved species-specific strategies of glycosylation to fine-tune protein activity for optimizing molecular function as nutrients and immune agents for the good of honeybee and influence on the health promoting activity for human as well. This serves as a valuable resource for the targeted probing of the biological

  1. Multi-model Cross Pollination in Time

    CERN Document Server

    Du, Hailiang

    2016-01-01

    Predictive skill of complex models is often not uniform in model-state space; in weather forecasting models, for example, the skill of the model can be greater in populated regions of interest than in "remote" regions of the globe. Given a collection of models, a multi-model forecast system using the cross pollination in time approach can be generalised to take advantage of instances where some models produce systematically more accurate forecast of some components of the model-state. This generalisation is stated and then successfully demonstrated in a moderate ~40 dimensional nonlinear dynamical system suggested by Lorenz. In this demonstration four imperfect models, each with similar global forecast skill, are used. Future applications in weather forecasting and in economic forecasting are discussed. The demonstration establishes that cross pollinating forecast trajectories to enrich the collection of simulations upon which the forecast is built can yield a new forecast system with significantly more skill...

  2. Invasive mutualists erode native pollination webs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo A Aizen

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant-animal mutualisms are characterized by weak or asymmetric mutual dependences between interacting species, a feature that could increase community stability. If invasive species integrate into mutualistic webs, they may alter web structure, with consequences for species persistence. However, the effect of alien mutualists on the architecture of plant-pollinator webs remains largely unexplored. We analyzed the extent of mutual dependency between interacting species, as a measure of mutualism strength, and the connectivity of 10 paired plant-pollinator webs, eight from forests of the southern Andes and two from oceanic islands, with different incidences of alien species. Highly invaded webs exhibited weaker mutualism than less-invaded webs. This potential increase in network stability was the result of a disproportionate increase in the importance and participation of alien species in the most asymmetric interactions. The integration of alien mutualists did not alter overall network connectivity, but links were transferred from generalist native species to super-generalist alien species during invasion. Therefore, connectivity among native species declined in highly invaded webs. These modifications in the structure of pollination webs, due to dominance of alien mutualists, can leave many native species subject to novel ecological and evolutionary dynamics.

  3. Managed Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Caged With Blueberry Bushes at High Density Did Not Increase Fruit Set or Fruit Weight Compared to Open Pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, J W; O'Brien, J; Irvin, J H; Kimmel, C B; Daniels, J C; Ellis, J D

    2017-04-01

    Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) is an important crop grown throughout Florida. Currently, most blueberry growers use honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to provide pollination services for highbush blueberries even though bumble bees (Bombus spp.) have been shown to be more efficient at pollinating blueberries on a per bee basis. In general, contribution of bumble bees to the pollination of commercial highbush blueberries in Florida is unknown. Herein, we determined if managed bumble bees could contribute to highbush blueberry pollination. There were four treatments in this study: two treatments of caged commercial bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) colonies (low and high weight hives), a treatment excluding all pollinators, and a final treatment which allowed all pollinators (managed and wild pollinators) in the area have access to the plot. All treatments were located within a highbush blueberry field containing two cultivars of blooming plants, 'Emerald' and 'Millennia', with each cage containing 16 mature blueberry plants. We gathered data on fruit set, berry weight, and number of seeds produced per berry. When pollinators were excluded, fruit set was significantly lower in both cultivars (58%). Berry weight was not significantly different among the treatments, and the number of seeds per berry did not show a clear response. This study emphasizes the importance of bumble bees as an effective pollinator of blueberries and the potential beneficial implications of the addition of bumble bees in commercial blueberry greenhouses or high tunnels. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. A global test of the pollination syndrome hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollerton, Jeff; Alarcón, Ruben; Waser, Nickolas M; Price, Mary V; Watts, Stella; Cranmer, Louise; Hingston, Andrew; Peter, Craig I; Rotenberry, John

    2009-06-01

    'Pollination syndromes' are suites of phenotypic traits hypothesized to reflect convergent adaptations of flowers for pollination by specific types of animals. They were first developed in the 1870s and honed during the mid 20th Century. In spite of this long history and their central role in organizing research on plant-pollinator interactions, the pollination syndromes have rarely been subjected to test. The syndromes were tested here by asking whether they successfully capture patterns of covariance of floral traits and predict the most common pollinators of flowers. Flowers in six communities from three continents were scored for expression of floral traits used in published descriptions of the pollination syndromes, and simultaneously the pollinators of as many species as possible were characterized. Ordination of flowers in a multivariate 'phenotype space' defined by the syndromes showed that almost no plant species fall within the discrete syndrome clusters. Furthermore, in approximately two-thirds of plant species, the most common pollinator could not be successfully predicted by assuming that each plant species belongs to the syndrome closest to it in phenotype space. The pollination syndrome hypothesis as usually articulated does not successfully describe the diversity of floral phenotypes or predict the pollinators of most plant species. Caution is suggested when using pollination syndromes for organizing floral diversity, or for inferring agents of floral adaptation. A fresh look at how traits of flowers and pollinators relate to visitation and pollen transfer is recommended, in order to determine whether axes can be identified that describe floral functional diversity more successfully than the traditional syndromes.

  5. Insufficient Evidence of Purported Lunar Effect on Pollination in Ephedra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margot, Jean-Luc

    2015-10-01

    It has been suggested that the timing of pollination in Ephedra foeminea coincides with the full moon in July. The implication is that the plant can detect the full moon through light or gravity and that this trait is an evolutionary adaptation that aids the navigation by pollinating insects. Here we show that there are insufficient data to make such a claim, and we predict that pollinations of E. foeminea do not in general coincide with the full moon.

  6. Ecosystem restoration strengthens pollination network resilience and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N; Mougal, James; Whittington, Andrew E; Valentin, Terence; Gabriel, Ronny; Olesen, Jens M; Blüthgen, Nico

    2017-02-09

    Land degradation results in declining biodiversity and the disruption of ecosystem functioning worldwide, particularly in the tropics. Vegetation restoration is a common tool used to mitigate these impacts and increasingly aims to restore ecosystem functions rather than species diversity. However, evidence from community experiments on the effect of restoration practices on ecosystem functions is scarce. Pollination is an important ecosystem function and the global decline in pollinators attenuates the resistance of natural areas and agro-environments to disturbances. Thus, the ability of pollination functions to resist or recover from disturbance (that is, the functional resilience) may be critical for ensuring a successful restoration process. Here we report the use of a community field experiment to investigate the effects of vegetation restoration, specifically the removal of exotic shrubs, on pollination. We analyse 64 plant-pollinator networks and the reproductive performance of the ten most abundant plant species across four restored and four unrestored, disturbed mountaintop communities. Ecosystem restoration resulted in a marked increase in pollinator species, visits to flowers and interaction diversity. Interactions in restored networks were more generalized than in unrestored networks, indicating a higher functional redundancy in restored communities. Shifts in interaction patterns had direct and positive effects on pollination, especially on the relative and total fruit production of native plants. Pollinator limitation was prevalent at unrestored sites only, where the proportion of flowers producing fruit increased with pollinator visitation, approaching the higher levels seen in restored plant communities. Our results show that vegetation restoration can improve pollination, suggesting that the degradation of ecosystem functions is at least partially reversible. The degree of recovery may depend on the state of degradation before restoration

  7. Has pollination mode shaped the evolution of ficus pollen?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gang; Chen, Jin; Li, Zong-Bo; Zhang, Feng-Ping; Yang, Da-Rong

    2014-01-01

    The extent to which co-evolutionary processes shape morphological traits is one of the most fascinating topics in evolutionary biology. Both passive and active pollination modes coexist in the fig tree (Ficus, Moraceae) and fig wasp (Agaonidae, Hymenoptera) mutualism. This classic obligate relationship that is about 75 million years old provides an ideal system to consider the role of pollination mode shifts on pollen evolution. Twenty-five fig species, which cover all six Ficus subgenera, and are native to the Xishuangbanna region of southwest China, were used to investigate pollen morphology with scanning electron microscope (SEM). Pollination mode was identified by the Anther/Ovule ratio in each species. Phylogenetic free regression and a correlated evolution test between binary traits were conducted based on a strong phylogenetic tree. Seventeen of the 25 fig species were actively pollinated and eight species were passively pollinated. Three pollen shape types and three kinds of exine ornamentation were recognized among these species. Pollen grains with ellipsoid shape and rugulate ornamentation were dominant. Ellipsoid pollen occurred in all 17 species of actively pollinated figs, while for the passively pollinated species, two obtuse end shapes were identified: cylinder and sphere shapes were identified in six of the eight species. All passively pollinated figs presented rugulate ornamentation, while for actively pollinated species, the smoother types - psilate and granulate-rugulate ornamentations - accounted for just five and two among the 17 species, respectively. The relationship between pollen shape and pollination mode was shown by both the phylogenetic free regression and the correlated evolution tests. Three pollen shape and ornamentation types were found in Ficus, which show characteristics related to passive or active pollination mode. Thus, the pollen shape is very likely shaped by pollination mode in this unique obligate mutualism.

  8. Study of single-electron information-processing circuit mimicking foraging behavior of honeybee swarm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanabe, Toshihiko; Oya, Takahide

    2017-06-01

    A new single-electron (SE) circuit mimicking the foraging behavior of a honeybee swarm is proposed. Recently, a “nature-inspired” or “biomimetic” technology has been attracting attention for developing innovative functional systems applying emerging nanoscale devices. In particular, the foraging behavior of honeybees is focused on as an architecture for a SE circuit. Honeybees show two foraging behaviors, namely, a probability search and a “waggle dance” (sharing information). By combining these behaviors, it can be considered that the foraging behavior is a unique information-processing act. For constructing a new system, a SE circuit mimicking the behavior was designed, constructed, and simulated. The SE circuit was constructed by assuming that the information that honeybees share corresponds to the operation of the circuit. The results of the simulation confirmed that the SE circuit mimics the information-sharing behavior of honeybees. Namely, the proposed honeybee-inspired SE circuit can perform functional information processing.

  9. Varroa destructor mite in Africanized honeybee colonies Apis mellifera L. under royal jelly or honey production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro da Rosa Santos

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated the level of invasion of Varroa mite into worker brood cells, the infestation rate on adult worker honeybees, total and effective reproduction rates of the mite in Africanized honeybee colonies under royal jelly or honey production. Invasion and infestation rates were not statistically different between honeybee colonies producing honey or royal jelly and the averages for these parameters were 5.79 and 8.54%, respectively. Colonies producing honey presented a higher (p < 0.05 total and effective reproduction of Varroa than colonies producing royal jelly. There was a negative correlation between levels of invasion and infestation with minimum external temperature, relative humidity and rainfall. The variables month and season influenced the development of the mite, but rates were low and within the range normally found in Brazil for Africanized honeybee colonies, which confirm the greater resistance of these honeybees to Varroa destructor than European honeybees.

  10. Physico-Chemical Characteristics of Pollinated and Non Pollinated Date Fruit of District Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wahid Bux Jatoi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Elemental patterns are often used for the classification or identification of date fruit varieties. Five ripening stages of six date varieties were collected and studied from the pre ripening to the post ripening stage. Pollinated and non-pollinated date fruit of the same varieties were compared for their physical and chemical parameters. Physical parameters such as size, mass, colour, moisture, and pH were measured. In case of chemical characteristics the mineral composition of six different varieties of district Khairpur dates palm (Phoenix dactylifera L. fruit (Gorho, Asul Khurmo, Nur Aseel, Ghuray Wari, Toto, and Allah Wari were analysed using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS. Generally, size, moisture and mineral content of the pollinated fruit increased up to 3rd and 4th stage then declined.

  11. Competition for pollinators and intra-communal spectral dissimilarity of flowers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Kooi, C. J.; Pen, I.; Staal, M.; Stavenga, D. G.; Elzenga, J. T. M.

    Competition for pollinators occurs when, in a community of flowering plants, several simultaneously flowering plant species depend on the same pollinator. Competition for pollinators increases interspecific pollen transfer rates, thereby reducing the number of viable offspring. In order to decrease

  12. Dose-dependent effects of nectar alkaloids in a montane plant-pollinator community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although secondary metabolites are prevalent in floral nectar, the ecological consequences for pollinators and pollination remain relatively unexplored. While often deterrent to pollinators at high concentrations, secondary metabolite concentrations in nectar tend to be much lower than secondary met...

  13. Pollinator guilds respond differently to urban habitat fragmentation in a oak-savannah ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habitat fragmentation is widely thought to threaten biodiversity. However, response of pollinators to habitat fragmentation is still poorly understood, as pollinator communities are notoriously spatially variable. We investigated pollinator community structure in a highly fragmented oak-savannah ec...

  14. Functional differentiation in pollination processes among floral traits in Serapias species (Orchidaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegrino, Giuseppe; Bellusci, Francesca; Palermo, Anna Maria

    2017-09-01

    Floral displays, influencing attractiveness to insects, increase the number of pollinator visits and the efficiency of each visit in terms of pollen exchange and thus affect the plant reproductive success. Here, we conducted an in situ manipulation experiment to investigate whether the floral modifications affect reproductive success in natural orchid populations of Serapias lingua and Serapias vomeracea. We estimated male and female reproductive success of three treatment groups, disassembly of floral tube, cutting of lip, and painting of the callus surface, in terms of pollinaria removed/deposited and fruit production. Results revealed that phenotypic modification had opposite effects on reproductive success of two examine species. Indeed, reproductive success was significantly increased by the detached of the petals and sepals, and decreased, due to callus painting and lip removal, in S. lingua. On the contrary, unmanipulated plants of S. vomeracea showed significantly higher value of pollinaria removed and deposited and fruit set than manipulated ones. The differences between S. lingua and S. vomeracea agree to the different pollination strategy of examined species. S. vomeracea shows shelter imitation strategy, and thus, the disassembly of tunnel-like corolla does not allow the insects to use the flower as a refuge, while S. lingua is a sexually deceptive orchid and therefore the opening of the flower made more visible callus (visible at a greater distance) increasing the pollinators attraction. This study provides evidence that pollinators were largely sensitive to the experimental modification of the flower phenotype, which is consistent with the presence of significant selection on individual floral characters. Our experimental investigations of the effects of variation in display on pollinator visitation provide insights into the evolution of floral morphology in orchid with shelter imitation strategy.

  15. Evaluation of common methods for sampling invertebrate pollinator assemblages: net sampling out-perform pan traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popic, Tony J; Davila, Yvonne C; Wardle, Glenda M

    2013-01-01

    Methods for sampling ecological assemblages strive to be efficient, repeatable, and representative. Unknowingly, common methods may be limited in terms of revealing species function and so of less value for comparative studies. The global decline in pollination services has stimulated surveys of flower-visiting invertebrates, using pan traps and net sampling. We explore the relative merits of these two methods in terms of species discovery, quantifying abundance, function, and composition, and responses of species to changing floral resources. Using a spatially-nested design we sampled across a 5000 km(2) area of arid grasslands, including 432 hours of net sampling and 1296 pan trap-days, between June 2010 and July 2011. Net sampling yielded 22% more species and 30% higher abundance than pan traps, and better reflected the spatio-temporal variation of floral resources. Species composition differed significantly between methods; from 436 total species, 25% were sampled by both methods, 50% only by nets, and the remaining 25% only by pans. Apart from being less comprehensive, if pan traps do not sample flower-visitors, the link to pollination is questionable. By contrast, net sampling functionally linked species to pollination through behavioural observations of flower-visitation interaction frequency. Netted specimens are also necessary for evidence of pollen transport. Benefits of net-based sampling outweighed minor differences in overall sampling effort. As pan traps and net sampling methods are not equivalent for sampling invertebrate-flower interactions, we recommend net sampling of invertebrate pollinator assemblages, especially if datasets are intended to document declines in pollination and guide measures to retain this important ecosystem service.

  16. Global malnutrition overlaps with pollinator-dependent micronutrient production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; Dombeck, Emily; Gerber, James; Knuth, Katherine A.; Mueller, Nathaniel D.; Mueller, Megan; Ziv, Guy; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2014-01-01

    Pollinators contribute around 10% of the economic value of crop production globally, but the contribution of these pollinators to human nutrition is potentially much higher. Crops vary in the degree to which they benefit from pollinators, and many of the most pollinator-dependent crops are also among the richest in micronutrients essential to human health. This study examines regional differences in the pollinator dependence of crop micronutrient content and reveals overlaps between this dependency and the severity of micronutrient deficiency in people around the world. As much as 50% of the production of plant-derived sources of vitamin A requires pollination throughout much of Southeast Asia, whereas other essential micronutrients such as iron and folate have lower dependencies, scattered throughout Africa, Asia and Central America. Micronutrient deficiencies are three times as likely to occur in areas of highest pollination dependence for vitamin A and iron, suggesting that disruptions in pollination could have serious implications for the accessibility of micronutrients for public health. These regions of high nutritional vulnerability are understudied in the pollination literature, and should be priority areas for research related to ecosystem services and human well-being. PMID:25232140

  17. Pollinators' mating rendezvous and the evolution of floral advertisement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Michael A; Hadany, Lilach

    2013-01-07

    Successful cross-fertilization in plant species that rely on animal pollinators depends not just on the number of pollinator visits, but also on these visits' duration. Furthermore, in non-deceptive pollination, a visit's duration depends on the magnitude of the reward provided to the pollinator. Accordingly, plants that rely on biotic pollination have to partition their investment in cross-fertilization assurance between attracting pollinator visits - advertisement, and rewarding visitors to assure that the visit is of productive duration. Here we analyze these processes by a combination of optimality methods and game theoretical modeling. Our results indicate that the optimality in such allocation of resources depends on the types of reward offered to the pollinators. More precisely, we show that plants that offer both food reward and mating rendezvous to pollinators will evolve to allocate a higher proportion of their cross-fertilization assurance budget to advertisement than plants that offer only food reward. That is, our results indicate that pollinators' mating habits may play a role in floral evolution.

  18. Degradation of soil fertility can cancel pollination benefits in sunflower.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamburini, Giovanni; Berti, Antonio; Morari, Francesco; Marini, Lorenzo

    2016-02-01

    Pollination and soil fertility are important ecosystem services to agriculture but their relative roles and potential interactions are poorly understood. We explored the combined effects of pollination and soil fertility in sunflower using soils from a trial characterized by different long-term input management in order to recreate plausible levels of soil fertility. Pollinator exclusion was used as a proxy for a highly eroded pollination service. Pollination benefits to yield depended on soil fertility, i.e., insect pollination enhanced seed set and yield only under higher soil fertility indicating that limited nutrient availability may constrain pollination benefits. Our study provides evidence for interactions between above- and belowground ecosystem services, highlighting the crucial role of soil fertility in supporting agricultural production not only directly, but also indirectly through pollination. Management strategies aimed at enhancing pollination services might fail in increasing yield in landscapes characterized by high soil service degradation. Comprehensive knowledge about service interactions is therefore essential for the correct management of ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes.

  19. [Preliminary study on pollination biology of Tulipa edulis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Zhengjun; Zhu, Zaibiao; Guo, Qiaosheng; Xu, Hongjian; Ma, Hongliang; Miao, Yuanyuan

    2012-02-01

    Current study on the pollination biology of Tulipa edulis was conducted to investigate its pollination characteristics and to provide references for artificial domestication and breeding of T. edulis. Flowering dynamics, pollinators, morphology and structure of flower were observed. Different methods were adopted to evaluate the pollen vitality, and benzidine-H2O2 method was used for estimation of the stigma receptivity. Breeding system was evaluated based on out-crossing index (OCI) , pollen-ovule ratio (P/O) and the results of emasculation, bagging and artificial pollination studies. The flower of T. edulis showed typical characteristics of Liliaceae. The pollen remained viable to some extent during all the anthesis and peaked within three days after blossoming. Stigma acceptability peaked in the first day of blossom and dwindled away in the next four days. The type of breeding system of T. edulis was facultative xenogamy, three species of Halictus are the main pollination insects. The type of breeding system of T. edulis was facultative xenogamy, withal cross-pollination give priority to self-pollination, and the insects play a main role on the pollination of T. edulis, further validation are needed to judge if the wind is helpful to pollination.

  20. Physical interaction between floral specialist bees Ptilothrix bombiformis (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) enhances pollination of hibiscus (section Trionum: Malvaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Specialist bees, those species with narrow dietary niches, rely on a few related species of floral hosts for food. Accordingly, specialists are thought of as being more efficient pollinators than are generalists. There is growing evidence, however, that this is not true in all cases. For example, we...

  1. Reproductive biology and nectar production of the Mexican endemic Psittacanthus auriculatus (Loranthaceae), a hummingbird-pollinated mistletoe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Crespo, M J; Ornelas, J F; Martén-Rodríguez, S; González-Rodríguez, A; Lara, C

    2016-01-01

    Many mistletoe species produce 'bird'-pollinated flowers; however, the reproductive biology of the majority of these species has not been studied. Psittacanthus auriculatus is a Mexican endemic mistletoe, most common in open, dry mesquite grassland. Knowledge of the reproductive biology of P. auriculatus is essential for understanding species formation and diversification of Psittacanthus mistletoes, but it is currently poorly understood. Thus, we studied floral biology and phenology, nectar production and breeding system and pollination of this species. The hermaphroditic red-pink flowers open from the middle to the tip and petals are curly, but remain partially fused forming a floral tube of ca. 20-mm long. Flowers are partially protandrous, produce large amounts of nectar, last 2 days, and stigma receptivity is highest during the second day. We recorded hummingbirds (Cynanthus latirostris, Hylocharis leucotis, Amazilia beryllina, A. violiceps, Calothorax lucifer, Archilochus colubris) and less commonly butterflies (Agraulis vanillae, Anteos clorinde, Papilio multicaudatus, Phocides urania, Phoebis sennae) as floral visitors. P. auriculatus flowers are self-compatible. However, this mistletoe is an obligate animal-pollinated species, as the sensitive stigma avoids self-pollination. Under natural conditions, reproductive success was higher than in manually selfed or cross-pollinated flowers, likely due to the traplining foraging behaviour of hummingbirds. We suggest that the apparent efficient foraging behaviour of hummingbirds maintains gene flow among P. auriculatus, promoting outcrossing.

  2. Asymmetrical disassortative pollination in a distylous primrose: the complementary roles of bumblebee nectar robbers and syrphid flies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xing-Fu; Jiang, Xian-Feng; Li, Li; Zhang, Zhi-Qiang; Li, Qing-Jun

    2015-01-12

    Heterostyly is a floral polymorphism characterized by reciprocal herkogamy maintained through high levels of mating between morphs, serviced by appropriate pollinators. We studied how differential efficiency and abundance of distinct pollinators affect plant female reproduction in self- and intra-morph incompatible distylous Primula secundiflora. Bumblebees and syrphid flies were found to be the most abundant floral visitors. Bumblebees frequently exhibited nectar-robbing behavior. Because the robbing holes were always situated between the high- and low-level organs on both morphs, nectar-robbing bumblebees only pollinated S-styled flowers. L-styled flowers set four times as many seeds as did S-styled flowers after being visited by pollen-collecting syrphid flies. The natural female fecundity and the magnitude of pollen limitation varied between the morphs within populations because of the mosaic distribution of nectar-robbing bumblebees and syrphid flies. L-styled flowers and S-styled flowers set the same number of seeds after supplemental hand pollination, indicating equivalent female reproductive potential. We suggest that bumblebee nectar robbers and syrphid flies play an important role in sustaining the floral dimorphism of heterostyly in P. secundiflora because of their complementary roles in the pollination system.

  3. Comparative pollination biology of Venezuelan columnar cacti and the role of nectar-feeding bats in their sexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nassar, J; Ramirez, N; Linares, O

    1997-07-01

    The floral biology, reproductive system, and visitation behavior of pollinators of four species of columnar cacti, Stenocereus griseus, Pilosocereus moritzianus, Subpilocereus repandus, and Subpilocereus horrispinus, were studied in two arid zones in the north of Venezuela. Our results support the hypothesis that Venezuelan species of columnar cacti have evolved toward specialization on bat pollination. Additional information on the floral biology of a fifth species, Pilosocereus lanuginosus, was also included. All species showed the typical traits that characterize the pollination syndrome of chiropterophily. All species but Pilosocereus moritzianus were obligate outcrossers. Nectar and pollen were restricted to nocturnal floral visitors. Two species of nectar-feeding bats, Leptonycteris curasoae Miller and Glossophaga longirostris Miller, were responsible for practically all the fruit set in these cacti. Frequency of bat visitation per flower per night was highly variable within and between species of cactus, with average frequencies varying between 27 and 78 visits/flower/night. In general terms, the pattern of floral visitation through the night was significantly correlated with the pattern of nectar production and nectar sugar concentration for all species of cactus. Under natural pollination, fruit:flower ratios varied from 0.46 in Subpilocereus repandus to 0.76 in Stenocereus griseus. The efficiency of bat pollination in terms of seed:ovule ratio was high in all species, varying between 0.70 and 0.94.

  4. Effects of Different Pollination Treatments on Nutrition Changes of the Ovary in Chinese Chestnut (Castanea mollissima Blume

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Zou

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima Blume has noteworthy ecological, economic and cultural importance in the Northern Hemisphere. The low yield of chestnut often affect the economic efficiency. Ovary development is an important step in nut production. Changes in nutrient contents during ovary development in chestnut cultivar ‘Yanshanzaofeng’ have not been thoroughly investigated. In this study, cultivar ‘Yanshanzaofeng’ and ‘Dabanhong’ were used as material. About 50~100 pollinated female inflorescences were picked every five days (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 days to determine N, P, K, fat, total soluble sugar, crude protein and starch contents. The results indicated that the contents of total soluble sugar, starch and fat increased constantly in ovaries after self-and cross-pollination, but protein, N and K contents first increased in 20 DAP (day after pollination and after that decreased in the stage of young fruit development. The changes of P has two peak values, one was in 40 DAP and the other was in 50 DAP. P and crude protein were not significantly after pollination treatments. However, N, sugar, starch, fat and K were significantly higher in cross-pollination treatment it seems that these nutrient has a decisive role during ovary development in chestnut. The characteristics of these nutrition changes provide a basis information for spraying N, P, K etc during ovary development and may have the potential to improve nut yield.

  5. Reproductive resource partitioning in two sympatric Goniothalamus species (Annonaceae) from Borneo: floral biology, pollinator trapping and plant breeding system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Jenny Y. Y.; Pang, Chun-Chiu; Ramsden, Lawrence; Saunders, Richard M. K.

    2016-01-01

    The floral phenology, pollination ecology and breeding systems of two sympatric early-divergent angiosperms, Goniothalamus tapisoides and G. suaveolens (Annonaceae) are compared. The flowers are protogynous and morphologically similar, with anthesis over 23–25 h. Both species are predominantly xenogamous and pollinated by small beetles: G. tapisoides mainly by Curculionidae and G. suaveolens mainly by Nitidulidae. Coevolution and reproductive resource partitioning, reducing interspecific pollen transfer, is achieved by temporal isolation, due to contrasting floral phenologies; and ethological isolation, due to contrasting floral scents that contain attractants specific to the two beetle families. Analysis of floral scents revealed three volatiles (3-methylbutyl acetate, ethyl hexanoate and 2-phenylethanol) that are known to be nitidulid attractants in the floral scent of G. suaveolens, but absent from that of G. tapisoides. An effective pollinator trapping mechanism is demonstrated for both species, representing the first such report for the family. Trapping is achieved by the compression of the outer petals against the apertures between the inner petals. This trapping mechanism is likely to be a key evolutionary innovation for Goniothalamus, increasing pollination efficiency by increasing pollen loading on beetles during the staminate phase, promoting effective interfloral pollinator movements, and increasing seed-set by enabling rapid turn-over of flowers. PMID:27767040

  6. Low doses of neonicotinoid pesticides in food rewards impair short-term olfactory memory in foraging-age honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Geraldine A; Softley, Samantha; Earnshaw, Helen

    2015-10-19

    Neonicotinoids are often applied as systemic seed treatments to crops and have reported negative impact on pollinators when they appear in floral nectar and pollen. Recently, we found that bees in a two-choice assay prefer to consume solutions containing field-relevant doses of the neonicotinoid pesticides, imidacloprid (IMD) and thiamethoxam (TMX), to sucrose alone. This suggests that neonicotinoids enhance the rewarding properties of sucrose and that low, acute doses could improve learning and memory in bees. To test this, we trained foraging-age honeybees to learn to associate floral scent with a reward containing nectar-relevant concentrations of IMD and TMX and tested their short (STM) and long-term (LTM) olfactory memories. Contrary to our predictions, we found that none of the solutions enhanced the rate of olfactory learning and some of them impaired it. In particular, the effect of 10 nM IMD was observed by the second conditioning trial and persisted 24 h later. In most other groups, exposure to IMD and TMX affected STM but not LTM. Our data show that negative impacts of low doses of IMD and TMX do not require long-term exposure and suggest that impacts of neonicotinoids on olfaction are greater than their effects on rewarding memories.

  7. Impact of Varroa destructor on honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata) colony development in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Ursula; Pirk, Christian W W; Crewe, Robin M; Human, Hannelie; Dietemann, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    The devastating effects of Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman on European honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera L.) have been well documented. Not only do these mites cause physical damage to parasitised individuals when they feed on them, they also transmit viruses and other pathogens, weaken colonies and can ultimately cause their death. Nevertheless, not all honeybee colonies are doomed once Varroa mites become established. Some populations, such as the savannah honeybee, A. m. scutellata, have become tolerant after the introduction of the parasite and are able to withstand the presence of these mites without the need for acaricides. In this study, we measured daily Varroa mite fall, Varroa infestation rates of adult honeybees and worker brood, and total Varroa population size in acaricide treated and untreated honeybee colonies. In addition, honeybee colony development was compared between these groups in order to measure the cost incurred by Varroa mites to their hosts. Daily Varroa mite fall decreased over the experimental period with different dynamics in treated and untreated colonies. Varroa infestation rates in treated adult honeybees and brood were lower than in untreated colonies, but not significantly so. Thus, indicating a minimal benefit of treatment thereby suggesting that A. m. scutellata have the ability to maintain mite populations at low levels. We obtained baseline data on Varroa population dynamics in a tolerant honeybee over the winter period. Varroa mites appeared to have a low impact on this honeybee population, given that colony development was similar in the treated and untreated colonies.

  8. Comparison of Varroa destructor and Worker Honeybee Microbiota Within Hives Indicates Shared Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubert, Jan; Kamler, Martin; Nesvorna, Marta; Ledvinka, Ondrej; Kopecky, Jan; Erban, Tomas

    2016-08-01

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is a major pest of the honeybee Apis mellifera. In a previous study, bacteria were found in the guts of mites collected from winter beehive debris and were identified using Sanger sequencing of their 16S rRNA genes. In this study, community comparison and diversity analyses were performed to examine the microbiota of honeybees and mites at the population level. The microbiota of the mites and honeybees in 26 colonies in seven apiaries in Czechia was studied. Between 10 and 50 Varroa females were collected from the bottom board, and 10 worker bees were removed from the peripheral comb of the same beehive. Both bees and mites were surface sterilized. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene libraries revealed significant differences in the Varroa and honeybee microbiota. The Varroa microbiota was less diverse than was the honeybee microbiota, and the relative abundances of bacterial taxa in the mite and bee microbiota differed. The Varroa mites, but not the honeybees, were found to be inhabited by Diplorickettsia. The relative abundance of Arsenophonus, Morganella, Spiroplasma, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas was higher in Varroa than in honeybees, and the Diplorickettsia symbiont detected in this study is specific to Varroa mites. The results demonstrated that there are shared bacteria between Varroa and honeybee populations but that these bacteria occur in different relative proportions in the honeybee and mite bacteriomes. These results support the suggestion of bacterial transfer via mites, although only some of the transferred bacteria may be harmful.

  9. Evaluation of the defensive behavior of two honeybee ecotypes using a laboratory test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andere Cecilia

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Honeybee defensive behavior is a useful selection criterion, especially in areas with Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera L. In all genetic improvement programs the selected characters must be measured with precision, and because of this we evaluated a metabolic method for testing honeybee defensive behavior in the laboratory for its usefulness in distinguishing between honeybee ecotypes and selecting honeybees based on their level of defensive responses. Ten honeybee colonies were used, five having been produced by feral queens from a subtropical region supposedly colonized by Africanized honeybees and five by queens from a temperate region apparently colonized by European honeybees. We evaluate honeybee defensive behavior using a metabolic test based on oxygen consumption after stimulation with an alarm pheromone, measuring the time to the first response, time to maximum oxygen consumption, duration of activity, oxygen consumption at first response, maximum oxygen consumption and total oxygen consumption, colonies being ranked according to the values obtained for each variable. Significant (p < 0.05 differences were detected between ecotypes for each variable but for all variables the highest rankings were obtained for colonies of subtropical origin, which had faster and more intense responses. All variables were highly associated (p < 0.05. Total oxygen consumption was the best indicator of metabolic activity for defensive behavior because it combined oxygen consumption and the length of the response. This laboratory method may be useful for evaluating the defensive behavior of honey bees in genetic programs designed to select less defensive bees.

  10. Organic farming favours insect-pollinated over non-insect pollinated forbs in meadows and wheat fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batáry, Péter; Sutcliffe, Laura; Dormann, Carsten F; Tscharntke, Teja

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the relative effects of landscape-scale management intensity, local management intensity and edge effect on diversity patterns of insect-pollinated vs. non-insect pollinated forbs in meadows and wheat fields. Nine landscapes were selected differing in percent intensively used agricultural area (IAA), each with a pair of organic and conventional winter wheat fields and a pair of organic and conventional meadows. Within fields, forbs were surveyed at the edge and in the interior. Both diversity and cover of forbs were positively affected by organic management in meadows and wheat fields. This effect, however, differed significantly between pollination types for species richness in both agroecosystem types (i.e. wheat fields and meadows) and for cover in meadows. Thus, we show for the first time in a comprehensive analysis that insect-pollinated plants benefit more from organic management than non-insect pollinated plants regardless of agroecosystem type and landscape complexity. These benefits were more pronounced in meadows than wheat fields. Finally, the community composition of insect-pollinated and non-insect-pollinated forbs differed considerably between management types. In summary, our findings in both agroecosystem types indicate that organic management generally supports a higher species richness and cover of insect-pollinated plants, which is likely to be favourable for the density and diversity of bees and other pollinators.

  11. Contribution of entomophilous pollination to fruit production of West Indian cherry plants

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    José Eduardo Martins deOliveira; Daniel Nicodemo; Favízia Freitas deOliveira

    2015-01-01

    .... This study aimed to determine the dependence degree of the West Indian cherry Olivier cultivar, concerning the entomophilous pollination, as well as discovering its potential pollinators, by studying...

  12. More than royal food - Major royal jelly protein genes in sexuals and workers of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Buttstedt, Anja; Moritz, Robin Fa; Erler, Silvio

    2013-01-01

    ...) have been identified on chromosome 11 in the honeybee's genome. We determined the expression of mrjp1-9 among the honeybee worker caste (nurses, foragers) and the sexuals (queens (unmated, mated) and drones...

  13. Rain pollination provides reproductive assurance in a deceptive orchid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Xu-Li; Barrett, Spencer C. H.; Lin, Hua; Chen, Ling-Ling; Zhou, Xiang; Gao, Jiang-Yun

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Abiotic pollination by wind or water is well established in flowering plants. In some species pollination by rain splashes, a condition known as ombrophily, has been proposed as a floral strategy. However, evidence for this type of abiotic pollination has remained controversial and many reported cases have subsequently been shown to be false. This study investigates ombrophily in the deceptive orchid Acampe rigida to determine the mechanism by which this species is able to maintain high fecundity, despite flowering during the rainy season in south-west China when pollinators are scarce. Methods The floral mechanisms promoting rain pollination in A. rigida were observed and described in detail. Controlled pollination experiments and observations of floral visitors were conducted. A field experiment using rain shelters at 14 sites in Guangxi, south-west China, evaluated the contribution of rain pollination to fruit-set. Key Results During rainfall, raindrops physically flicked away the anther cap exposing the pollinarium. Raindrops then caused pollinia to be ejected upwards with the strap-like stipe pulling them back and causing them to fall into the stigmatic cavity, resulting in self-pollination. Neither flower nor pollen function were damaged by water. Although A. rigida is self-compatible, it is incapable of autonomous self-pollination without the assistance of rain splashes. The results of the rain-sheltering experiment indicated that rain pollination contributed substantially to increasing fruit-set, although there was variation among sites in the intensity of this effect. Conclusions A. rigida flowers during the rainy season, when pollinators are scarce, and ombrophily functions to provide reproductive assurance without compromising opportunities for outcrossing. PMID:22851311

  14. Pollination triggers female gametophyte development in immature Nicotiana tabacum flowers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Michael S.; Bertolino, Lígia T.; Cossalter, Viviane; Quiapim, Andréa C.; DePaoli, Henrique C.; Goldman, Gustavo H.; Teixeira, Simone P.; Goldman, Maria H. S.

    2015-01-01

    In Nicotiana tabacum, female gametophytes are not fully developed at anthesis, but flower buds pollinated 12 h before anthesis produce mature embryo sacs. We investigated several pollination-associated parameters in N. tabacum flower buds to determine the developmental timing of important events in preparation for successful fertilization. First, we performed hand pollinations in flowers from stages 4 to 11 to study at which developmental stage pollination would produce fruits. A Peroxtesmo test was performed to correlate peroxidase activity on the stigma surface, indicative of stigma receptivity, with fruit set. Pollen tube growth and female gametophyte development were microscopically analyzed in pistils of different developmental stages. Fruits were obtained only after pollinations of flower buds at late stage 7 and older; fruit weight and seed germination capacity increased as the developmental stage of the pollinated flower approached anthesis. Despite positive peroxidase activity and pollen tube growth, pistils at stages 5 and 6 were unable to produce fruits. At late stage 7, female gametophytes were undergoing first mitotic division. After 24 h, female gametophytes of unpollinated pistils were still in the end of the first division, whereas those of pollinated pistils showed egg cells. RT-qPCR assay showed that the expression of the NtEC1 gene, a marker of egg cell development, is considerably higher in pollinated late stage 7 ovaries compared with unpollinated ovaries. To test whether ethylene is the signal eliciting female gametophyte maturation, the expression of ACC synthase was examined in unpollinated and pollinated stage 6 and late stage 7 stigmas/styles. Pollination induced NtACS expression in stage 6 pistils, which are unable to produce fruits. Our results show that pollination is a stimulus capable of triggering female gametophyte development in immature tobacco flowers and suggests the existence of a yet undefined signal sensed by the pistil. PMID

  15. 不同蜂传粉对设施桃果实生长发育和品质的影响%Effects of pollination by different bees on peach fruit development and quality under greenhouse conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董捷; 安建东; 黄家兴; 周志勇; 赵亚周; 邢艳红

    2011-01-01

    Honeybee Apis metlifera and bumblebee Bomhus hypocrita are Ihe two main pollinators of greenhouse peaches in China. The effects of pollination by the two bee species on peach fruit development and quality were studied in greenhouse conditions in Pinggu of Beijing City for 2008-2010. The results showed that the diameter growth rate of peach fruit pollinated by B. Hypocrita was significantly higher (P0.05) in fruit quality between fruits pollinated by different pollinator species. However, the quality of fruits pollinated by bees was significantly better (P<0.05) than that of the control (artificial pollination). Compared with A. Mellifera pollination, B. Hypocrita pollination resulted in higher single fruit weight and lower rate of malformed fruit (P<0.05) of peach fruits. In conclusion, the Chinese native bumblebee B. Hypocrita was a better pollinator of greenhouses peach than the honeybee A. Mellifera.%应用意大利蜜蜂和小峰熊蜂在北京平谷区果树试验站为设施桃传粉,以研究2种蜂的传粉行为对设施桃果实生长发育及其品质的影响.结果表明,应用小峰熊蜂授粉,设施桃果实在整个发育过程中的果径增长速度显著高于意大利蜜蜂授粉的果实(P<0.05).2种蜂授粉的设施桃果实发育历期不同,小峰熊蜂授粉区的桃果实比意大利蜜蜂授粉区的果实提前7d左右成熟.桃的生理落果高峰在小峰熊蜂授粉区出现2次,而在意大利蜜蜂授粉区出现3次.在小峰熊蜂授粉区,距离蜂箱不同距离之间的桃座果率基本一致;而在意大利蜜蜂授粉区,座果率随着与蜂箱距离的增大而明显降低.小峰熊蜂授粉区桃树的平均座果率略高于意大利蜜蜂授粉区,但二者之间差异不显著(P>0.05).经2种蜂传粉的设施桃果实营养品质差异不显著(P>0 05),但二者均明显优于人工授粉组(对照).和意大利蜜蜂授粉的桃果实相比,经小峰熊蜂传粉后的桃果实,

  16. 78 FR 10167 - Pollinator Summit: Status of Ongoing Collaborative Efforts To Protect Pollinators; Notice of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-13

    ... of honey bees and pollinators to pesticides. Invited presenters will provide briefings on current... are several factors affecting honey bee health, pesticides are among these variables; and, new... which may lead to pesticide exposure to bees. The public meeting will also include best...

  17. Integrated crop pollination: Combining strategies to ensure stable and sustainable yields of pollination-dependent crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeting the nutritional needs of our growing human population will be increasingly dependent on bees and other pollinators that provide the essential delivery of pollen to crop flowers during bloom. Honey bees have experienced population declines in some regions, and similar changes are evident for ...

  18. Effect of flumethrin on survival and olfactory learning in honeybees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Tan

    Full Text Available Flumethrin has been widely used as an acaricide for the control of Varroa mites in commercial honeybee keeping throughout the world for many years. Here we test the mortality of the Asian honeybee Apis cerana cerana after treatment with flumethrin. We also ask (1 how bees react to the odor of flumethrin, (2 whether its odor induces an innate avoidance response, (3 whether its taste transmits an aversive reinforcing component in olfactory learning, and (4 whether its odor or taste can be associated with reward in classical conditioning. Our results show that flumethrin has a negative effect on Apis ceranàs lifespan, induces an innate avoidance response, acts as a punishing reinforcer in olfactory learning, and interferes with the association of an appetitive conditioned stimulus. Furthermore flumethrin uptake within the colony reduces olfactory learning over an extended period of time.

  19. Vibration transmission characteristics of the legs of freely standing honeybees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rohrseitz, Kristin; Kilpinen, Ole

    1997-01-01

    The leg vibrations of honeybees standing on a vibrating substrate were measured with laser Doppler vibrometry, both in freely standing bees and in bees attached to a holder. In both cases, no resonances were found. In the fixed bee preparation, the legs moved with approximately the same amplitude...... as the stimulator. This was also the case in freely standing honeybees, except around 400 Hz, where an average attenuation of approximately 6 dB was observed. In the fixed bee preparation, the vertical movements of the legs were also measured during horizontal stimulation. The vertical vibration amplitude...... of the legs was 15-20 dB lower than the horizontal stimulation amplitude. The electrophysiologically and behaviourally determined thresholds for vibration stimulation increased by approximately 10 dB, when the stimulus direction was changed from vertical to horizontal. These observations support the notion...

  20. Vision and air flow combine to streamline flying honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Gavin J; Luu, Tien; Ball, David; Srinivasan, Mandyam V

    2013-01-01

    Insects face the challenge of integrating multi-sensory information to control their flight. Here we study a 'streamlining' response in honeybees, whereby honeybees raise their abdomen to reduce drag. We find that this response, which was recently reported to be mediated by optic flow, is also strongly modulated by the presence of air flow simulating a head wind. The Johnston's organs in the antennae were found to play a role in the measurement of the air speed that is used to control the streamlining response. The response to a combination of visual motion and wind is complex and can be explained by a model that incorporates a non-linear combination of the two stimuli. The use of visual and mechanosensory cues increases the strength of the streamlining response when the stimuli are present concurrently. We propose this multisensory integration will make the response more robust to transient disturbances in either modality.

  1. Preliminary synthesis of pollination biology in the Cape flora

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Rebelo, AG

    1987-01-01

    Full Text Available biology are covered. Chapters reviewing plant breeding systems, insect, bird, mammal and wind pollination, and gene flow are introduced by a perspective on the role of the fossil record in pollination biology. A speculative chapter on the constraints...

  2. A preliminary synthesis of pollination biology in the Cape flora

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Rebelo, AG

    1987-01-01

    Full Text Available biology are covered. Chapters reviewing plant breeding systems, insect, bird, mammal and wind pollination, and gene flow are introduced by a perspective on the role of the fossil record in pollination biology. A speculative chapter on the constraints...

  3. Pollination and protection against herbivory of Nepalese Coelogyninae (Orchidaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Subedi, A.; Chaudhary, R.P.; Achterberg, van C.; Heijerman, T.; Lens, F.; Dooren, van T.J.M.; Gravendeel, B.

    2011-01-01

    • Premise of the Study: Although many species in the orchid genus Coelogyne are horticulturally popular, hardly anything is known about their pollination. Pollinators of three species were observed in the fi eld in Nepal. This information is urgently needed because many orchid species in Nepal are

  4. Pollination and protection against herbivory of Nepalese Coelogyninae (Orchydaceae).

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Subedi, A.; Chaudhar, R.P.; Achterberg, C.; Heijerman, Th.; Lens, F.; Dooren, van T.J.M.; Gravendeel, B.

    2011-01-01

    • Premise of the Study: Although many species in the orchid genus Coelogyne are horticulturally popular, hardly anything is known about their pollination. Pollinators of three species were observed in the field in Nepal. This information is urgently needed because many orchid species in Nepal are

  5. A Global Test of the Pollination Syndrome Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollination syndromes are suites of phenotypic traits hypothesized to reflect convergent adaptations of flowers for pollination by specific types of animals. They were dirst developed in the 1870s and honed during the mid 20th Century. In spite of this long history and their central role in organi...

  6. Pollination and protection against herbivory of Nepalese Coelogyninae (Orchydaceae).

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Subedi, A.; Chaudhar, R.P.; Achterberg, C.; Heijerman, Th.; Lens, F.; Dooren, van T.J.M.; Gravendeel, B.

    2011-01-01

    • Premise of the Study: Although many species in the orchid genus Coelogyne are horticulturally popular, hardly anything is known about their pollination. Pollinators of three species were observed in the field in Nepal. This information is urgently needed because many orchid species in Nepal are en

  7. Timing of Bag Application and Removal in Controlled Mass Pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    F.E. Bridgwater; D.L. Bramlett; V.D. Hipkins

    1999-01-01

    Controlled mass pollination (CMP) among outstanding parents is one way to increase genetic gains from traditional wind-pollinated seed orchards, but the economic success of CMP depends on both genetic gains and costs. CMP has been shown. to be cost-effective (Bridgwater et al. 1998) even when costs were adjusted for risk (Byram and Bridgwater 1999, These Proceedings...

  8. How specialised is bird pollination in the Cactaceae?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorostiague, P; Ortega-Baes, P

    2016-01-01

    Many cactus species produce 'bird' flowers; however, the reproductive biology of the majority of these species has not been studied. Here, we report on a study of the pollination of two species from the Cleistocactus genus, cited as an ornithophilous genus, in the context of the different ways in which they are specialised to bird pollination. In addition, we re-evaluate the level of specialisation of previous studies of cacti with bird pollination and evaluate how common phenotypic specialisation to birds is in this family. Both Cleistocactus species exhibited ornithophilous floral traits. Cleistocactus baumannii was pollinated by hummingbirds, whereas Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus was pollinated by hummingbirds and bees. Pollination by birds has been recorded in 27 cactus species, many of which exhibit ornithophilous traits; however, they show generalised pollination systems with bees, bats or moths in addition to birds being their floral visitors. Of all cactus species, 27% have reddish flowers. This trait is associated with diurnal anthesis and a tubular shape. Phenotypic specialisation to bird pollination is recognised in many cactus species; however, it is not predictive of functional and ecological specialisation in this family. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  9. Parallel chemical switches underlying pollinator isolation in Asian Mitella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okamoto, T; Okuyama, Y; Goto, R; Tokoro, M; Kato, M

    2015-03-01

    Floral scents are among the key signals used by pollinators to navigate to specific flowers. Thus, evolutionary changes in scents should have strong impacts on plant diversification, although scent-mediated plant speciation through pollinator shifts has rarely been demonstrated, despite being likely. To examine whether and how scent-mediated plant speciation may have occurred, we investigated the Asimitellaria plant lineage using multidisciplinary approaches including pollinator observations, chemical analyses of the floral scents, electroantennographic analyses and behavioural bioassays with the pollinators. We also performed phylogenetically independent contrast analyses of the pollinator/floral scent associations. First, we confirmed that the pairs of the sympatric, cross-fertile Asimitellaria species in three study sites consistently attract different pollinators, namely long-tongued and short-tongued fungus gnats. We also found that a stereoisomeric set of floral volatiles, the lilac aldehydes, could be responsible for the pollinator specificity. This is because the compounds consistently elicited responses in the antennae of the long-tongued fungus gnats and had contrasting effects on the two pollinators, that is triggering the nectaring behaviour of long-tongued fungus gnats while repelling short-tongued fungus gnats in a laboratory experiment. Moreover, we discovered that volatile composition repeatedly switched in Asimitellaria between species adapted to long-tongued and short-tongued fungus gnats. Collectively, our results support the idea that recurrent scent-mediated speciation has taken place in the Asimitellaria-fungus gnat system.

  10. Pollination and protection against herbivory of Nepalese Coelogyninae (Orchidaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Subedi, A.; Chaudhary, R.P.; Achterberg, van C.; Heijerman, T.; Lens, F.; Dooren, van T.J.M.; Gravendeel, B.

    2011-01-01

    • Premise of the Study: Although many species in the orchid genus Coelogyne are horticulturally popular, hardly anything is known about their pollination. Pollinators of three species were observed in the fi eld in Nepal. This information is urgently needed because many orchid species in Nepal are e

  11. Pollination and protection against herbivory of Nepalese Coelogyninae (Orchydaceae).

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Subedi, A.; Chaudhar, R.P.; Achterberg, C.; Heijerman, Th.; Lens, F.; Dooren, van T.J.M.; Gravendeel, B.

    2011-01-01

    • Premise of the Study: Although many species in the orchid genus Coelogyne are horticulturally popular, hardly anything is known about their pollination. Pollinators of three species were observed in the field in Nepal. This information is urgently needed because many orchid species in Nepal are en

  12. Hybridization between pollination syndromes as an ecological and evolutionary resource.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronk, Quentin; Yang, Ji Yong

    2016-12-01

    In plants, pollination syndromes (the correlated presence of many features of relevance to pollination mode, for instance pollination by a particular animal clade) are a striking feature of plant biodiversity, providing great floral phenotypic diversity (Fenster et al. ). Adaptation to a particular animal pollinator provides an explanation for why recently diverged plants can have such extreme differentiation in floral form. One might expect such elaborate adaptations to provide a high degree of pollinator specificity and hence reproductive isolation, but there are many cases where substantial gene flow exists between extreme floral morphs (see Table 1), and the resulting hybrids may be highly fertile. This gene flow provides tremendous opportunities to study the genetics and biology of the pollination syndromes by providing intermediate forms and segregating genotypes. If it is true that pollination syndromes result from adaptation under strong selection, we will expect such flowers to be crucibles of natural selection. If strong selection for particular floral phenotypes can be shown, then this, when coupled with hybridization, will give us one of the most valuable of all experimental systems for evolutionary research: gene flow and selection in balance. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, the paper of Milano et al. () delivers this. It shows that in populations of the Ipomopsis aggregata complex, gene flow between pollination morphs is high and selection to stabilize those morphs is also high: a probable case of gene flow-selection balance. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Using pennycress, camelina, and canola cash crops to provision pollinators

    Science.gov (United States)

    As pollinator decline continues, the need to provide high value forage for insects continues to rise. Finding agricultural crops to diversify the landscape and provide forage is one way to improve pollinator health. Three winter industrial oilseed crops (pennycress, winter camelina, and winter canol...

  14. Plants and colour: Flowers and pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Renee; Owens, Simon J.; Rørslett, Bjørn

    2011-03-01

    While there is a range of colours found in plants the predominant colour is green. Pigments in plants have several roles e.g. photosynthesis and signalling. If colour is to be used as a signal then it must stand out from green. However, one should be aware that there are also coloured compounds where we have not yet fully investigated the role of colour in their functions—they may have roles in, for example, defence or heat exchange. In this paper, we will describe the basic chemistry of the major pigments found in plants and especially floral pigments. We will then discuss their locations in parts of the flower (such as sepals, petals, pollen and nectar), the cells in which they are found and their sub-cellular locations. Floral pigments have a large role to play in pollination of flowers by animals. They can and are modified in many ways during the development of flowers in nature, for example, at emergence and post-pollination. There are a range of biochemical mechanisms of colour change both within flowers and in isolated pigments. Some of the factors influencing colour are temperature, co-pigments, pH, metals, sugars, anthocyanin stacking and cell shape. There is a renewed interest in analysing floral pigments and how they are modified partly because of advances in recombinant DNA technologies, but also because of pollinators and their significance to biodiversity and for evolutionary studies. There is continued strong interest from the horticultural industry for the introduction of new colours e.g. the blue rose and for the exploitation of natural dyes. Funding in this area may impact future research in a potentially beneficial way but it must not deflect us from science-based conservation.

  15. APPLICATION OF NATURAL POLLINATOR BOMBUS TERRESTRIS IN CULTIVATION OF THE ‘BIO’ VEGETABLES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erjola Keci

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available In this study is presented the pollination activity of the Bombus terrestris L. Type: Arthropoda, Class: Insecta, Order: Hymenoptera, Family: Apidae, Genus: Bombus Latr. The aim is presentation of the evidences in the impact on the efficiency and qualitative improvement of the plant cucumber Cucurum sativum and the red pepper plant Capsicum annuum in greenhouses. The experiments conducted during the period 2009-2010 in the Germenji (Lushnje related to the cucumber plant and the red pepper plant to the Hamallaj (Durrës. Application of the pollination material in comparison with the control greenhouse, give evidences regarding to the enhancement of the fructifying proportion, with 80.3% to the cucumber plant and 84.1% to the red pepper plant with a confidence level of 97%.

  16. Diversity of wild bees supports pollination services in an urbanized landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowenstein, David M; Matteson, Kevin C; Minor, Emily S

    2015-11-01

    Plantings in residential neighborhoods can support wild pollinators. However, it is unknown how effectively wild pollinators maintain pollination services in small, urban gardens with diverse floral resources. We used a 'mobile garden' experimental design, whereby potted plants of cucumber, eggplant, and purple coneflower were brought to 30 residential yards in Chicago, IL, USA, to enable direct assessment of pollination services provided by wild pollinator communities. We measured fruit and seed set and investigated the effect of within-yard characteristics and adjacent floral resources on plant pollination. Increased pollinator visitation and taxonomic richness generally led to increases in fruit and seed set for all focal plants. Furthermore, fruit and seed set were correlated across the three species, suggesting that pollination services vary across the landscape in ways that are consistent among different plant species. Plant species varied in terms of which pollinator groups provided the most visits and benefit for pollination. Cucumber pollination was linked to visitation by small sweat bees (Lasioglossum spp.), whereas eggplant pollination was linked to visits by bumble bees. Purple coneflower was visited by the most diverse group of pollinators and, perhaps due to this phenomenon, was more effectively pollinated in florally-rich gardens. Our results demonstrate how a diversity of wild bees supports pollination of multiple plant species, highlighting the importance of pollinator conservation within cities. Non-crop resources should continue to be planted in urban gardens, as these resources have a neutral and potentially positive effect on crop pollination.

  17. Detection of Illicit Drugs by Trained Honeybees (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Schott

    Full Text Available Illegal drugs exacerbate global social challenges such as substance addiction, mental health issues and violent crime. Police and customs officials often rely on specially-trained sniffer dogs, which act as sensitive biological detectors to find concealed illegal drugs. However, the dog "alert" is no longer sufficient evidence to allow a search without a warrant or additional probable cause because cannabis has been legalized in two US states and is decriminalized in many others. Retraining dogs to recognize a narrower spectrum of drugs is difficult and training new dogs is time consuming, yet there are no analytical devices with the portability and sensitivity necessary to detect substance-specific chemical signatures. This means there is currently no substitute for sniffer dogs. Here we describe an insect screening procedure showing that the western honeybee (Apis mellifera can sense volatiles associated with pure samples of heroin and cocaine. We developed a portable electroantennographic device for the on-site measurement of volatile perception by these insects, and found a positive correlation between honeybee antennal responses and the concentration of specific drugs in test samples. Furthermore, we tested the ability of honeybees to learn the scent of heroin and trained them to show a reliable behavioral response in the presence of a highly-diluted scent of pure heroin. Trained honeybees could therefore be used to complement or replace the role of sniffer dogs as part of an automated drug detection system. Insects are highly sensitive to volatile compounds and provide an untapped resource for the development of biosensors. Automated conditioning as presented in this study could be developed as a platform for the practical detection of illicit drugs using insect-based sensors.

  18. Genetic characterization of Lithuanian honeybee lines based on ISSR polymorphism

    OpenAIRE

    Ceksteryte, Violeta; Paplauskiene, Vanda; Tamasauskiene, Diana; Pasakinskiene, Izolda; Mazeikiene, Ingrida

    2012-01-01

    International audience; This study presents the first results from the selection and evaluation of inter-simple sequence repeat markers for the genetic assessment of honeybee lines developed in Lithuania and introduced subspecies. Two Lithuania-bred lines of Apis mellifera carnica were compared to those introduced from Czech Republic and Slovenia and also to a subspecies introduced from the Caucasus (Apis mellifera caucasica) and local Buckfast hybrids. The genetic constitution was assayed wi...

  19. Pollination by sexual deception-it takes chemistry to work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohman, Björn; Flematti, Gavin R; Barrow, Russell A; Pichersky, Eran; Peakall, Rod

    2016-08-01

    Semiochemicals are of paramount importance in sexually deceptive plants. These plants sexually lure specific male insects as pollinators by chemical and physical mimicry of the female of the pollinator. The strategy has evolved repeatedly in orchids, with a wide diversity of insect groups exploited. Chemical communication systems confirmed by field bioassays include: alkenes and alkanes in bee pollinated Ophrys species, keto-acid and hydroxy-acids in scoliid wasp pollinated O. speculum, and cyclohexanediones and pyrazines in thynnine wasp pollinated Chiloglottis and Drakaea orchids, respectively. In Ophrys, stearoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturase (SAD) enzymes have been confirmed to control species level variation in alkene double bond position. The production of cyclohexanediones in Chiloglottis unexpectedly depends on UVB light, a phenomenon unknown for other plant specialised metabolites. Potential biosynthetic pathways for other systems are explored, and alternative approaches to further accelerate chemical discovery in sexually deceptive plants are proposed.

  20. Floral evolution: Beyond traditional viewpoint of pollinator mediated floral design

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Chunfeng; GUO Youhao

    2005-01-01

    Pollination biology provides new insight for understanding the evolutionary mechanism and process of the existing diversity in floral design of angiosperms. Evolutionary biologists have established some rules and models to try to explain the ubiquitous relationship between pollination system and floral evolution. However, as new techniques have been applied and more and more new pollination events found in recent years, the relationship between pollination system and floral evolution has become less clear. Researchers realized that floral evolution is more complicated and idiosyncratic than simple adaptive models. The traditional viewpoints of pollinator mediated floral design urgently need new reevaluation. This paper attempts to make a brief review of such main opinions and introduce their new insights according to recent studies. Finally, we also give some suggestions for future study by reviewing several new viewpoints about floral evolution.

  1. Pollination mechanisms in palms – a synoecological perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barfod, Anders S.; Hagen, Melanie; Borchsenius, Finn

    More than 60 pollination ecological studies have been conducted on palms since Henderson’s almost 25 year old review of palm pollination. Most studies are aut-ecological studies that provide a detailed snapshot of the pollination of a limited number of palm individuals of the same species....... They confirm that most palm inflorescences offer a loose framework for the interaction between the palms and their insect visitors. The pollinators are typically weevils (superfamily Curculionidea), rove beetles (family Staphylinidae), sweat bees (family Halictidae), stingless bees (tribe Meliponini, family...... Apidae), and flies (order Diptera). Less is known about variations in the composition of the visiting insect fauna across the geographic range of a given palm species. A number canopy studies have contributed to our understanding of palms in broader palm-pollinator networks and provided insight...

  2. Reproduction, social behavior, and aging trajectories in honeybee workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, Luke; Kuster, Ryan; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-02-01

    While a negative correlation between reproduction and life span is commonly observed, specialized reproductive individuals outlive their non-reproductive nestmates in all eusocial species, including the honeybee, Apis mellifera (L). The consequences of reproduction for individual life expectancy can be studied directly by comparing reproductive and non-reproductive workers. We quantified the life span consequences of reproduction in honeybee workers by removal of the queen to trigger worker reproduction. Furthermore, we observed the social behavior of large cohorts of workers under experimental and control conditions to test for associations with individual life expectancy. Worker life expectancy was moderately increased by queen removal. Queenless colonies contained a few long-lived workers, and oviposition behavior was associated with a strong reduction in mortality risk, indicating that a reproductive role confers a significant survival advantage. This finding is further substantiated by an association between brood care behavior and worker longevity that depends on the social environment. In contrast, other in-hive activities, such as fanning, trophallaxis, and allogrooming did not consistently affect worker life expectancy. The influence of foraging varied among replicates. An earlier age of transitioning from in-hive tasks to outside foraging was always associated with shorter life spans, in accordance with previous studies. In sum, our studies quantify how individual mortality is affected by particular social roles and colony environments and demonstrate interactions between the two. The exceptional, positive association between reproduction and longevity in honeybees extends to within-caste plasticity, which may be exploited for mechanistic studies.

  3. Proteomic analysis of honeybee worker (Apis mellifera hypopharyngeal gland development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jianke

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hypopharyngeal glands (HG of honeybee workers play an important role in honeybee nutrition and caste differentiation. Previous research mainly focused on age-dependent morphological, physiological, biochemical and genomic characters of the HG. Here proteomics and biochemical network analysis were used to follow protein changes during the HG development. Results A total of 87, 76, 85, 74, 71, and 55 proteins were unambiguously identified on day 1, 3, 6, 12, 15 and 20, respectively. These proteins were major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs, metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, cytoskeleton, development regulation, antioxidant, molecule transporter, regulation of transcription/translation, proteins with folding functions. The most interesting is that MRJP's that have been detected in the HG of the newly emerged worker bees. The MRJP's expression is at peak level from 6-12 days, was validated by western blot analysis of MRJP1, 2 and 3. Moreover, 35 key node proteins were found in the biochemical networks of the HG. Conclusions HG secretes RJ at peak level within 6-12 days, but the worker bee can secrete royal jelly (RJ since birth, which is a new finding. Several key node proteins play an important role in the biochemical networks of the developing HG. This provides us some target proteins when genetically manipulating honeybees.

  4. Ocellar structure and neural innervation in the honeybee

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Shan eHung

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Honeybees have a visual system composed of three ocelli (simple eyes located on the top of the head, in addition to two large compound eyes. Although experiments have been conducted to investigate the role of the ocelli within the visual system, their optical characteristics, and function remain controversial. In this study, we created three-dimensional (3-D reconstructions of the honeybee ocelli, conducted optical measurements and filled ocellar descending neurons to assist in determining the role of ocelli in honeybees. In both the median and lateral ocelli, the ocellar retinas can be divided into dorsal and ventral parts. Using the 3-D model we were able to assess the viewing angles of the retinas. The dorsal retinas view the horizon while the ventral retinas view the sky, suggesting quite different roles in attitude control. We used the hanging drop technique to assess the spatial resolution of each retina. The lateral ocelli have considerably higher spatial resolution compared to the median ocellus. Moreover, in both types of ocellus the dorsal retina has a higher spatial resolution than the ventral retina. In addition, we established which ocellar retinas provide the input to five pairs of large ocellar descending neurons. We found that four of the neuron pairs had their dendritic fields in the dorsal retinas of the lateral ocelli, while the fifth had fine dendrites in the ventral retina. One of the neuron pairs also sent very fine dendrites into the border region between the dorsal and ventral retinas of the median ocellus.

  5. Mating flights select for symmetry in honeybee drones (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Moritz, Robin F A

    2010-03-01

    Males of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) fly to specific drone congregation areas (DCAs), which virgin queens visit in order to mate. From the thousands of drones that are reared in a single colony, only very few succeed in copulating with a queen, and therefore, a strong selection is expected to act on adult drones during their mating flights. In consequence, the gathering of drones at DCAs may serve as an indirect mate selection mechanism, assuring that queens only mate with those individuals having a better flight ability and a higher responsiveness to the queen's visual and chemical cues. Here, we tested this idea relying on wing fluctuating asymmetry (FA) as a measure of phenotypic quality. By recapturing marked drones at a natural DCA and comparing their size and FA with a control sample of drones collected at their maternal hives, we were able to detect any selection on wing size and wing FA occurring during the mating flights. Although we found no solid evidence for selection on wing size, wing FA was found to be significantly lower in the drones collected at the DCA than in those collected at the hives. Our results demonstrate the action of selection during drone mating flights for the first time, showing that developmental stability can influence the mating ability of honeybee drones. We therefore conclude that selection during honeybee drone mating flights may confer some fitness advantages to the queens.

  6. Mating flights select for symmetry in honeybee drones ( Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2010-03-01

    Males of the honeybee ( Apis mellifera) fly to specific drone congregation areas (DCAs), which virgin queens visit in order to mate. From the thousands of drones that are reared in a single colony, only very few succeed in copulating with a queen, and therefore, a strong selection is expected to act on adult drones during their mating flights. In consequence, the gathering of drones at DCAs may serve as an indirect mate selection mechanism, assuring that queens only mate with those individuals having a better flight ability and a higher responsiveness to the queen’s visual and chemical cues. Here, we tested this idea relying on wing fluctuating asymmetry (FA) as a measure of phenotypic quality. By recapturing marked drones at a natural DCA and comparing their size and FA with a control sample of drones collected at their maternal hives, we were able to detect any selection on wing size and wing FA occurring during the mating flights. Although we found no solid evidence for selection on wing size, wing FA was found to be significantly lower in the drones collected at the DCA than in those collected at the hives. Our results demonstrate the action of selection during drone mating flights for the first time, showing that developmental stability can influence the mating ability of honeybee drones. We therefore conclude that selection during honeybee drone mating flights may confer some fitness advantages to the queens.

  7. Parasitic Cape honeybee workers, Apis mellifera capensis, evade policing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Stephen J.; Beekman, Madeleine; Wossler, Theresa C.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2002-01-01

    Relocation of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, by bee-keepers from southern to northern South Africa in 1990 has caused widespread death of managed African honeybee, A. m. scutellata, colonies. Apis mellifera capensis worker bees are able to lay diploid, female eggs without mating by means of automictic thelytoky (meiosis followed by fusion of two meiotic products to restore egg diploidy), whereas workers of other honeybee subspecies are able to lay only haploid, male eggs. The A. m. capensis workers, which are parasitizing and killing A. m. scutellata colonies in northern South Africa, are the asexual offspring of a single, original worker in which the small amount of genetic variation observed is due to crossing over during meiosis (P. Kryger, personal communication). Here we elucidate two principal mechanisms underlying this parasitism. Parasitic A. m. capensis workers activate their ovaries in host colonies that have a queen present (queenright colonies), and they lay eggs that evade being killed by other workers (worker policing)-the normal fate of worker-laid eggs in colonies with a queen. This unique parasitism by workers is an instance in which a society is unable to control the selfish actions of its members.

  8. Western honeybee drones and workers (Apis mellifera ligustica) have different olfactory mechanisms than eastern honeybees (Apis cerana cerana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woltedji, Dereje; Song, Feifei; Zhang, Lan; Gala, Alemayehu; Han, Bin; Feng, Mao; Fang, Yu; Li, Jianke

    2012-09-07

    The honeybees Apis mellifera ligustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc) are two different western and eastern bee species that evolved in distinct ecologies and developed specific antennal olfactory systems for their survival. Knowledge of how their antennal olfactory systems function in regards to the success of each respective bee species is scarce. We compared the antennal morphology and proteome between respective sexually mature drones and foraging workers of both species using a scanning electron microscope, two-dimensional electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Despite the general similarities in antennal morphology of the drone and worker bees between the two species, a total of 106 and 100 proteins altered their expression in the drones' and the workers' antennae, respectively. This suggests that the differences in the olfactory function of each respective bee are supported by the change of their proteome. Of the 106 proteins that altered their expression in the drones, 72 (68%) and 34 (32%) were overexpressed in the drones of Aml and Acc, respectively. The antennae of the Aml drones were built up by the highly expressed proteins that were involved in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, molecular transporters, antioxidation, and fatty acid metabolism in contrast to the Acc drones. This is believed to enhance the antennal olfactory functions of the Aml drones as compared to the Acc drones during their mating flight. Likewise, of the 100 proteins with expression changes between the worker bees of the two species, 67% were expressed in higher levels in the antennae of Aml worker contrasting to 33% in the Acc worker. The overall higher expressions of proteins related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, molecular transporters, and antioxidation in the Aml workers compared with the Acc workers indicate the Aml workers require more antennal proteins for their olfactory

  9. Fly pollination in Ceropegia (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae): biogeographic and phylogenetic perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ollerton, Jeff; Masinde, Siro; Meve, Ulrich; Picker, Mike; Whittington, Andrew

    2009-06-01

    Ceropegia (Apocynaceae subfamily Asclepiadoideae) is a large, Old World genus of >180 species, all of which possess distinctive flask-shaped flowers that temporarily trap pollinators. The taxonomic diversity of pollinators, biogeographic and phylogenetic patterns of pollinator exploitation, and the level of specificity of interactions were assessed in order to begin to understand the role of pollinators in promoting diversification within the genus. Flower visitor and pollinator data for approx. 60 Ceropegia taxa were analysed with reference to the main centres of diversity of the genus and to a cpDNA-nrDNA molecular phylogeny of the genus. Ceropegia spp. interact with flower-visiting Diptera from at least 26 genera in 20 families, of which 11 genera and 11 families are pollinators. Size range of flies was 0.5-4.0 mm and approx. 94 % were females. Ceropegia from particular regions do not use specific fly genera or families, though Arabian Peninsula species are pollinated by a wider range of Diptera families than those in other regions. The basal-most clade interacts with the highest diversity of Diptera families and genera, largely due to one hyper-generalist taxon, C. aristolochioides subsp. deflersiana. Species in the more-derived clades interact with a smaller diversity of Diptera. Approximately 60 % of taxa are so far recorded as interacting with only a single genus of pollinators, the remaining 40 % being less conservative in their interactions. Ceropegia spp. can therefore be ecological specialists or generalists. The genus Ceropegia has largely radiated without evolutionary shifts in pollinator functional specialization, maintaining its interactions with small Diptera. Intriguing biogeographic and phylogenetic patterns may reflect processes of regional dispersal, diversification and subsequent specialization onto a narrower range of pollinators, though some of the findings may be caused by inconsistent sampling. Comparisons are made with other plant genera

  10. Flight of the bumble bee: Buzzes predict pollination services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller-Struttmann, Nicole E; Heise, David; Schul, Johannes; Geib, Jennifer C; Galen, Candace

    2017-01-01

    Multiple interacting factors drive recent declines in wild and managed bees, threatening their pollination services. Widespread and intensive monitoring could lead to more effective management of wild and managed bees. However, tracking their dynamic populations is costly. We tested the effectiveness of an inexpensive, noninvasive and passive acoustic survey technique for monitoring bumble bee behavior and pollination services. First, we assessed the relationship between the first harmonic of the flight buzz (characteristic frequency) and pollinator functional traits that influence pollination success using flight cage experiments and a literature search. We analyzed passive acoustic survey data from three locations on Pennsylvania Mountain, Colorado to estimate bumble bee activity. We developed an algorithm based on Computational Auditory Scene Analysis that identified and quantified the number of buzzes recorded in each location. We then compared visual and acoustic estimates of bumble bee activity. Using pollinator exclusion experiments, we tested the power of buzz density to predict pollination services at the landscape scale for two bumble bee pollinated alpine forbs (Trifolium dasyphyllum and T. parryi). We found that the characteristic frequency was correlated with traits known to affect pollination efficacy, explaining 30-52% of variation in body size and tongue length. Buzz density was highly correlated with visual estimates of bumble bee density (r = 0.97), indicating that acoustic signals are predictive of bumble bee activity. Buzz density predicted seed set in two alpine forbs when bumble bees were permitted access to the flowers, but not when they were excluded from visiting. Our results indicate that acoustic signatures of flight can be deciphered to monitor bee activity and pollination services to bumble bee pollinated plants. We propose that applications of this technique could assist scientists and farmers in rapidly detecting and responding to bee

  11. Pollinator adaptation and the evolution of floral nectar sugar composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrahamczyk, S; Kessler, M; Hanley, D; Karger, D N; Müller, M P J; Knauer, A C; Keller, F; Schwerdtfeger, M; Humphreys, A M

    2017-01-01

    A long-standing debate concerns whether nectar sugar composition evolves as an adaptation to pollinator dietary requirements or whether it is 'phylogenetically constrained'. Here, we use a modelling approach to evaluate the hypothesis that nectar sucrose proportion (NSP) is an adaptation to pollinators. We analyse ~ 2100 species of asterids, spanning several plant families and pollinator groups (PGs), and show that the hypothesis of adaptation cannot be rejected: NSP evolves towards two optimal values, high NSP for specialist-pollinated and low NSP for generalist-pollinated plants. However, the inferred adaptive process is weak, suggesting that adaptation to PG only provides a partial explanation for how nectar evolves. Additional factors are therefore needed to fully explain nectar evolution, and we suggest that future studies might incorporate floral shape and size and the abiotic environment into the analytical framework. Further, we show that NSP and PG evolution are correlated - in a manner dictated by pollinator behaviour. This contrasts with the view that a plant necessarily has to adapt its nectar composition to ensure pollination but rather suggests that pollinators adapt their foraging behaviour or dietary requirements to the nectar sugar composition presented by the plants. Finally, we document unexpectedly sucrose-poor nectar in some specialized nectarivorous bird-pollinated plants from the Old World, which might represent an overlooked form of pollinator deception. Thus, our broad study provides several new insights into how nectar evolves and we conclude by discussing why maintaining the conceptual dichotomy between adaptation and constraint might be unhelpful for advancing this field. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. Two invasive acacia species secure generalist pollinators in invaded communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesinos, Daniel; Castro, Sílvia; Rodríguez-Echeverría, Susana

    2016-07-01

    Exotic entomophilous plants need to establish effective pollinator interactions in order to succeed after being introduced into a new community, particularly if they are obligatory outbreeders. By establishing these novel interactions in the new non-native range, invasive plants are hypothesised to drive changes in the composition and functioning of the native pollinator community, with potential impacts on the pollination biology of native co-flowering plants. We used two different sites in Portugal, each invaded by a different acacia species, to assess whether two native Australian trees, Acacia dealbata and Acacia longifolia, were able to recruit pollinators in Portugal, and whether the pollinator community visiting acacia trees differed from the pollinator communities interacting with native co-flowering plants. Our results indicate that in the invaded range of Portugal both acacia species were able to establish novel mutualistic interactions, predominantly with generalist pollinators. For each of the two studied sites, only two other co-occurring native plant species presented partially overlapping phenologies. We observed significant differences in pollinator richness and visitation rates among native and non-native plant species, although the study of β diversity indicated that only the native plant Lithodora fruticosa presented a differentiated set of pollinator species. Acacias experienced a large number of visits by numerous pollinator species, but massive acacia flowering resulted in flower visitation rates frequently lower than those of the native co-flowering species. We conclude that the establishment of mutualisms in Portugal likely contributes to the effective and profuse production of acacia seeds in Portugal. Despite the massive flowering of A. dealbata and A. longifolia, native plant species attained similar or higher visitation rates than acacias.

  13. Developing European conservation and mitigation tools for pollination services: approaches of the STEP (Status and Trends of European Pollinators) project

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Potts, S.G.; Biesmeijer, J.C.; Bommarco, R.; Felicioli, A.; Fischer, M.; Jokinen, P.; Kleijn, D.; Klein, A.M.; Kunin, W.E.; Neumann, P.; Penev, L.D.; Petanidou, T.; Rasmont, P.; Roberts, S.P.M.; Smith, H.G.; Sorensen, P.B.; Steffan-Dewenter, I.; Vaissiere, B.E.; Vila, M.; Vujic, A.; Woyciechowski, M.; Zobel, M.; Settele, J.; Schweiger, O.

    2011-01-01

    Pollinating insects form a key component of European biodiversity, and provide a vital ecosystem service to crops and wild plants. There is growing evidence of declines in both wild and domesticated pollinators, and parallel declines in plants relying upon them. The STEP project (Status and Trends o

  14. The role of pollinator diversity in the evolution of corolla-shape integration in a pollination-generalist plant clade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, José María; Perfectti, Francisco; Klingenberg, Christian Peter

    2014-08-19

    Flowers of animal-pollinated plants are integrated structures shaped by the action of pollinator-mediated selection. It is widely assumed that pollination specialization increases the magnitude of floral integration. However, empirical evidence is still inconclusive. In this study, we explored the role of pollinator diversity in shaping the evolution of corolla-shape integration in Erysimum, a plant genus with generalized pollination systems. We quantified floral integration in Erysimum using geometric morphometrics and explored its evolution using phylogenetic comparative methods. Corolla-shape integration was low but significantly different from zero in all study species. Spatial autocorrelation and phylogenetic signal in corolla-shape integration were not detected. In addition, integration in Erysimum seems to have evolved in a way that is consistent with Brownian motion, but with frequent convergent evolution. Corolla-shape integration was negatively associated with the number of pollinators visiting the flowers of each Erysimum species. That is, it was lower in those species having a more generalized pollination system. This negative association may occur because the co-occurrence of many pollinators imposes conflicting selection and cancels out any consistent selection on specific floral traits, preventing the evolution of highly integrated flowers.

  15. How do honeybees attract nestmates using waggle dances in dark and noisy hives?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuji Hasegawa

    Full Text Available It is well known that honeybees share information related to food sources with nestmates using a dance language that is representative of symbolic communication among non-primates. Some honeybee species engage in visually apparent behavior, walking in a figure-eight pattern inside their dark hives. It has been suggested that sounds play an important role in this dance language, even though a variety of wing vibration sounds are produced by honeybee behaviors in hives. It has been shown that dances emit sounds primarily at about 250-300 Hz, which is in the same frequency range as honeybees' flight sounds. Thus the exact mechanism whereby honeybees attract nestmates using waggle dances in such a dark and noisy hive is as yet unclear. In this study, we used a flight simulator in which honeybees were attached to a torque meter in order to analyze the component of bees' orienting response caused only by sounds, and not by odor or by vibrations sensed by their legs. We showed using single sound localization that honeybees preferred sounds around 265 Hz. Furthermore, according to sound discrimination tests using sounds of the same frequency, honeybees preferred rhythmic sounds. Our results demonstrate that frequency and rhythmic components play a complementary role in localizing dance sounds. Dance sounds were presumably developed to share information in a dark and noisy environment.

  16. Risk indicators affecting honeybee colony survival in Europe: one year of surveillance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacques, Antoine; Laurent, Marion; Bougeard, Stéphanie

    2016-01-01

    The first pan-European harmonized active epidemiological surveillance program on honeybee colony mortality (EPILOBEE) was set up across 17 European Member States to estimate honeybee colony mortality over winter and during the beekeeping season. In nine Member States, overwinter losses were higher...

  17. Spatial and temporal variation of metal concentrations in adult honeybees (Apis mellifera L.)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steen, van der J.J.M.; Kraker, J.; Grotenhuis, J.T.C.

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) have great potential for detecting and monitoring environmental pollution, given their wide-ranging foraging behaviour. Previous studies have demonstrated that concentrations of metals in adult honeybees were significantly higher at polluted than at control locations. T

  18. Characterization of secreted proteases of Paenibacillus larvae, potential virulence factors in honeybee larval infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American Foulbrood (AFB), the most severe bacterial disease that affects honeybee larvae. AFB causes a significant decrease in the honeybee population affecting the beekeeping industry and agricultural production. After infection of larvae, P. larvae se...

  19. A selective sweep in a microsporidian parasite Nosema-tolerant honeybee population, Apis mellifera

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huang, Q.; Lattorff, H. M. G.; Kryger, P.;

    2014-01-01

    Nosema is a microsporidian parasite of the honeybee, which infects the epithelial cells of the gut. In Denmark, honeybee colonies have been selectively bred for the absence of Nosema over decades, resulting in a breeding line that is tolerant toward Nosema infections. As the tolerance toward the ...

  20. Projected climate change threatens pollinators and crop production in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannini, Tereza Cristina; Costa, Wilian França; Cordeiro, Guaraci Duran; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia; Saraiva, Antonio Mauro; Biesmeijer, Jacobus; Garibaldi, Lucas Alejandro

    2017-01-01

    Animal pollination can impact food security since many crops depend on pollinators to produce fruits and seeds. However, the effects of projected climate change on crop pollinators and therefore on crop production are still unclear, especially for wild pollinators and aggregate community responses. Using species distributional modeling, we assessed the effects of climate change on the geographic distribution of 95 pollinator species of 13 Brazilian crops, and we estimated their relative impacts on crop production. We described these effects at the municipality level, and we assessed the crops that were grown, the gross production volume of these crops, the total crop production value, and the number of inhabitants. Overall, considering all crop species, we found that the projected climate change will reduce the probability of pollinator occurrence by almost 0.13 by 2050. Our models predict that almost 90% of the municipalities analyzed will face species loss. Decreases in the pollinator occurrence probability varied from 0.08 (persimmon) to 0.25 (tomato) and will potentially affect 9% (mandarin) to 100% (sunflower) of the municipalities that produce each crop. Municipalities in central and southern Brazil will potentially face relatively large impacts on crop production due to pollinator loss. In contrast, some municipalities in northern Brazil, particularly in the northwestern Amazon, could potentially benefit from climate change because pollinators of some crops may increase. The decline in the probability of pollinator occurrence is found in a large number of municipalities with the lowest GDP and will also likely affect some places where crop production is high (20% to 90% of the GDP) and where the number of inhabitants is also high (more than 6 million people). Our study highlights key municipalities where crops are economically important and where pollinators will potentially face the worst conditions due to climate change. However, pollinators may be able to

  1. Energetic optimisation of foraging honeybees: flexible change of strategies in response to environmental challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut

    2014-01-01

    Heterothermic insects like honeybees, foraging in a variable environment, face the challenge of keeping their body temperature high to enable immediate flight and to promote fast exploitation of resources. Because of their small size they have to cope with an enormous heat loss and, therefore, high costs of thermoregulation. This calls for energetic optimisation which may be achieved by different strategies. An 'economizing' strategy would be to reduce energetic investment whenever possible, for example by using external heat from the sun for thermoregulation. An 'investment-guided' strategy, by contrast, would be to invest additional heat production or external heat gain to optimize physiological parameters like body temperature which promise increased energetic returns. Here we show how honeybees balance these strategies in response to changes of their local microclimate. In a novel approach of simultaneous measurement of respiration and body temperature foragers displayed a flexible strategy of thermoregulatory and energetic management. While foraging in shade on an artificial flower they did not save energy with increasing ambient temperature as expected but acted according to an 'investment-guided' strategy, keeping the energy turnover at a high level (∼56-69 mW). This increased thorax temperature and speeded up foraging as ambient temperature increased. Solar heat was invested to increase thorax temperature at low ambient temperature ('investment-guided' strategy) but to save energy at high temperature ('economizing' strategy), leading to energy savings per stay of ∼18-76% in sunshine. This flexible economic strategy minimized costs of foraging, and optimized energetic efficiency in response to broad variation of environmental conditions.

  2. Species distribution models for crop pollination: a modelling framework applied to Great Britain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polce, Chiara; Termansen, Mette; Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesus; Boatman, Nigel D; Budge, Giles E; Crowe, Andrew; Garratt, Michael P; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Potts, Simon G; Ramirez, Jorge A; Somerwill, Kate E; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C

    2013-01-01

    Insect pollination benefits over three quarters of the world's major crops. There is growing concern that observed declines in pollinators may impact on production and revenues from animal pollinated crops. Knowing the distribution of pollinators is therefore crucial for estimating their availability to pollinate crops; however, in general, we have an incomplete knowledge of where these pollinators occur. We propose a method to predict geographical patterns of pollination service to crops, novel in two elements: the use of pollinator records rather than expert knowledge to predict pollinator occurrence, and the inclusion of the managed pollinator supply. We integrated a maximum entropy species distribution model (SDM) with an existing pollination service model (PSM) to derive the availability of pollinators for crop pollination. We used nation-wide records of wild and managed pollinators (honey bees) as well as agricultural data from Great Britain. We first calibrated the SDM on a representative sample of bee and hoverfly crop pollinator species, evaluating the effects of different settings on model performance and on its capacity to identify the most important predictors. The importance of the different predictors was better resolved by SDM derived from simpler functions, with consistent results for bees and hoverflies. We then used the species distributions from the calibrated model to predict pollination service of wild and managed pollinators, using field beans as a test case. The PSM allowed us to spatially characterize the contribution of wild and managed pollinators and also identify areas potentially vulnerable to low pollination service provision, which can help direct local scale interventions. This approach can be extended to investigate geographical mismatches between crop pollination demand and the availability of pollinators, resulting from environmental change or policy scenarios.

  3. Species distribution models for crop pollination: a modelling framework applied to Great Britain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Polce

    Full Text Available Insect pollination benefits over three quarters of the world's major crops. There is growing concern that observed declines in pollinators may impact on production and revenues from animal pollinated crops. Knowing the distribution of pollinators is therefore crucial for estimating their availability to pollinate crops; however, in general, we have an incomplete knowledge of where these pollinators occur. We propose a method to predict geographical patterns of pollination service to crops, novel in two elements: the use of pollinator records rather than expert knowledge to predict pollinator occurrence, and the inclusion of the managed pollinator supply. We integrated a maximum entropy species distribution model (SDM with an existing pollination service model (PSM to derive the availability of pollinators for crop pollination. We used nation-wide records of wild and managed pollinators (honey bees as well as agricultural data from Great Britain. We first calibrated the SDM on a representative sample of bee and hoverfly crop pollinator species, evaluating the effects of different settings on model performance and on its capacity to identify the most important predictors. The importance of the different predictors was better resolved by SDM derived from simpler functions, with consistent results for bees and hoverflies. We then used the species distributions from the calibrated model to predict pollination service of wild and managed pollinators, using field beans as a test case. The PSM allowed us to spatially characterize the contribution of wild and managed pollinators and also identify areas potentially vulnerable to low pollination service provision, which can help direct local scale interventions. This approach can be extended to investigate geographical mismatches between crop pollination demand and the availability of pollinators, resulting from environmental change or policy scenarios.

  4. Species Distribution Models for Crop Pollination: A Modelling Framework Applied to Great Britain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polce, C.; Termansen, M.; Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J.; Boatman, N.D.; Budge, G.E.; Crowe, A.; Garratt, M.P.; Pietravalle, S.; Potts, S.G.; Ramirez, J. A.; Somerwill, K.E.; Biesmeijer, J.C.

    2013-01-01

    Insect pollination benefits over three quarters of the world's major crops. There is growing concern that observed declines in pollinators may impact on production and revenues from animal pollinated crops. Knowing the distribution of pollinators is therefore crucial for estimating their

  5. Species Distribution Models for Crop Pollination: A Modelling Framework Applied to Great Britain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    C. Polce; M. Termansen; J. Aguirre-Gutiérrez; N.D. Boatman; G.E. Budge; A. Crowe; M.P. Garratt; S. Pietravalle; S.G. Potts; J. A. Ramirez; K.E. Somerwill; J.C. Biesmeijer

    2013-01-01

    Insect pollination benefits over three quarters of the world's major crops. There is growing concern that observed declines in pollinators may impact on production and revenues from animal pollinated crops. Knowing the distribution of pollinators is therefore crucial for estimating their availabilit

  6. Detection of viral sequences in semen of honeybees (Apis mellifera): evidence for vertical transmission of viruses through drones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Constanze; Schröder, Marion; Bienefeld, Kaspar; Genersch, Elke

    2006-06-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) can be attacked by many eukaryotic parasites, and bacterial as well as viral pathogens. Especially in combination with the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, viral honeybee diseases are becoming a major problem in apiculture, causing economic losses worldwide. Several horizontal transmission routes are described for some honeybee viruses. Here, we report for the first time the detection of viral sequences in semen of honeybee drones suggesting mating as another horizontal and/or vertical route of virus transmission. Since artificial insemination and controlled mating is widely used in honeybee breeding, the impact of our findings for disease transmission is discussed.

  7. Are commercial probiotics and prebiotics effective in the treatment and prevention of honeybee nosemosis C?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ptaszyńska, Aneta A; Borsuk, Grzegorz; Zdybicka-Barabas, Agnieszka; Cytryńska, Małgorzata; Małek, Wanda

    2016-01-01

    The study was conducted to investigate the effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (a commercial probiotic) and inulin (a prebiotic) on the survival rates of honeybees infected and uninfected with Nosema ceranae, the level of phenoloxidase (PO) activity, the course of nosemosis, and the effect on the prevention of nosemosis development in bees. The cells of L. rhamnosus exhibited a high rate of survival in 56.56 % sugar syrup, which was used to feed the honeybees. Surprisingly, honeybees fed with sugar syrup supplemented with a commercial probiotic and a probiotic + prebiotic were more susceptible to N. ceranae infection, and their lifespan was much shorter. The number of microsporidian spores in the honeybees fed for 9 days prior to N. ceranae infection with a sugar syrup supplemented with a commercial probiotic was 25 times higher (970 million spores per one honeybee) than in a control group fed with pure sucrose syrup (38 million spores per one honeybee). PO activity reached its highest level in the hemolymph of this honeybee control group uninfected with N. ceranae. The addition of probiotics or both probiotics and prebiotics to the food of uninfected bees led to the ~2-fold decrease in the PO activity. The infection of honeybees with N. ceranae accompanied an almost 20-fold decrease in the PO level. The inulin supplemented solely at a concentration of 2 μg/mL was the only administrated factor which did not significantly affect honeybees' survival, the PO activity, or the nosemosis infection level. In conclusion, the supplementation of honeybees' diet with improperly selected probiotics or both probiotics and prebiotics does not prevent nosemosis development, can de-regulate insect immune systems, and may significantly increase bee mortality.

  8. Floral advertisement scent in a changing plant-pollinators market.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filella, Iolanda; Primante, Clara; Llusià, Joan; Martín González, Ana M; Seco, Roger; Farré-Armengol, Gerard; Rodrigo, Anselm; Bosch, Jordi; Peñuelas, Josep

    2013-12-05

    Plant-pollinator systems may be considered as biological markets in which pollinators choose between different flowers that advertise their nectar/pollen rewards. Although expected to play a major role in structuring plant-pollinator interactions, community-wide patterns of flower scent signals remain largely unexplored. Here we show for the first time that scent advertisement is higher in plant species that bloom early in the flowering period when pollinators are scarce relative to flowers than in species blooming later in the season when there is a surplus of pollinators relative to flowers. We also show that less abundant flowering species that may compete with dominant species for pollinator visitation early in the flowering period emit much higher proportions of the generalist attractant β-ocimene. Overall, we provide a first community-wide description of the key role of seasonal dynamics of plant-specific flower scent emissions, and reveal the coexistence of contrasting plant signaling strategies in a plant-pollinator market.

  9. Long-Proboscid Flies as Pollinators of Cretaceous Gymnosperms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñalver, Enrique; Arillo, Antonio; Pérez-de la Fuente, Ricardo; Riccio, Mark L; Delclòs, Xavier; Barrón, Eduardo; Grimaldi, David A

    2015-07-20

    The great evolutionary success of angiosperms has traditionally been explained, in part, by the partnership of these plants with insect pollinators. The main approach to understanding the origins of this pervasive relationship has been study of the pollinators of living cycads, gnetaleans, and basal angiosperms. Among the most morphologically specialized living pollinators are diverse, long-proboscid flies. Early such flies include the brachyceran family Zhangsolvidae, previously known only as compression fossils from the Early Cretaceous of China and Brazil. It belongs to the infraorder Stratiomyomorpha, a group that includes the flower-visiting families Xylomyidae and Stratiomyidae. New zhangsolvid specimens in amber from Spain (ca. 105 mega-annum [Ma]) and Myanmar (100 Ma) reveal a detailed proboscis structure adapted to nectivory. Pollen clumped on a specimen from Spain is Exesipollenites, attributed to a Mesozoic gymnosperm, most likely the Bennettitales. Late Mesozoic scorpionflies with a long proboscis have been proposed as specialized pollinators of various extinct gymnosperms, but pollen has never been observed on or in their bodies. The new discovery is a very rare co-occurrence of pollen with its insect vector and provides substantiating evidence that other long-proboscid Mesozoic insects were gymnosperm pollinators. Evidence is thus now gathering that visitors and probable pollinators of early anthophytes, or seed plants, involved some insects with highly specialized morphological adaptations, which has consequences for interpreting the reproductive modes of Mesozoic gymnosperms and the significance of insect pollination in angiosperm success.

  10. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Dara A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Wickens, Jennifer B.; Wickens, Victoria J.; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2015-12-01

    Recent concern over global pollinator declines has led to considerable research on the effects of pesticides on bees. Although pesticides are typically not encountered at lethal levels in the field, there is growing evidence indicating that exposure to field-realistic levels can have sublethal effects on bees, affecting their foraging behaviour, homing ability and reproductive success. Bees are essential for the pollination of a wide variety of crops and the majority of wild flowering plants, but until now research on pesticide effects has been limited to direct effects on bees themselves and not on the pollination services they provide. Here we show the first evidence to our knowledge that pesticide exposure can reduce the pollination services bumblebees deliver to apples, a crop of global economic importance. Bumblebee colonies exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide provided lower visitation rates to apple trees and collected pollen less often. Most importantly, these pesticide-exposed colonies produced apples containing fewer seeds, demonstrating a reduced delivery of pollination services. Our results also indicate that reduced pollination service delivery is not due to pesticide-induced changes in individual bee behaviour, but most likely due to effects at the colony level. These findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the functioning of natural ecosystems.

  11. Pollinator-mediated assemblage processes in California wildflowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briscoe Runquist, R; Grossenbacher, D; Porter, S; Kay, K; Smith, J

    2016-05-01

    Community assembly is the result of multiple ecological and evolutionary forces that influence species coexistence. For flowering plants, pollinators are often essential for plant reproduction and establishment, and pollinator-mediated interactions may influence plant community composition. Here, we use null models and community phylogenetic analyses of co-occurrence patterns to determine the role of pollinator-mediated processes in structuring plant communities dominated by congeners. We surveyed three species-rich genera (Limnanthes, Mimulus and Clarkia) with centres of diversity in the Sierra Nevada of California. Each genus contains species that co-flower and share pollinators, and each has a robust phylogeny. Within each genus, we surveyed 44-48 communities at three spatial scales, measured floral and vegetative traits and tested for segregation or aggregation of: (i) species, (ii) floral traits (which are likely to be influenced by pollinators), and (iii) vegetative traits (which are likely affected by other environmental factors). We detected both aggregation and segregation of floral traits that were uncorrelated with vegetative trait patterns; we infer that pollinators have shaped the community assembly although the mechanisms may be varied (competition, facilitation, or filtering). We also found that mating system differences may play an important role in allowing species co-occurrence. Together, it appears that pollinators influence community assemblage in these three clades.

  12. Shift from bird to butterfly pollination in Clivia (Amaryllidaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiepiel, Ian; Johnson, Steven D

    2014-01-01

    Pollinator shifts have been implicated as a driver of divergence in angiosperms. We tested the hypothesis that there was a transition from bird- to butterfly pollination in the African genus Clivia (Amaryllidaceae) and investigated how floral traits may have been either modified or retained during this transition. We identified pollinators using field observations, correlations between lepidopteran wing scales and pollen on stigmas, and single-visit and selective exclusion experiments. We also quantified floral rewards and advertising traits. The upright trumpet-shaped flowers of C. miniata were found to be pollinated effectively by swallowtail butterflies during both nectar-feeding and brush visits. These butterflies transfer pollen on their wings, as evidenced by positive correlations between wing scales and pollen loads on stigmas. All other Clivia species have narrow pendulous flowers that are visited by sunbirds. Selective exclusion of birds and large butterflies from flowers of two Clivia species resulted in a significant decline in seed production. From the distribution of pollination systems on available phylogenies, it is apparent that a shift took place from bird- to butterfly pollination in Clivia. This shift was accompanied by the evolution of trumpet-shaped flowers, smaller nectar volume, and emission of scent, while flower color and nectar chemistry do not appear to have been substantially modified. These results are consistent with the idea that pollinator shifts can explain major floral modifications during plant diversification.

  13. Delivery of crop pollination services is an insufficient argument for wild pollinator conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleijn, David; Winfree, Rachael; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Henry, Mickaël; Isaacs, Rufus; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kremen, Claire; M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Rader, Romina; Ricketts, Taylor H; Williams, Neal M; Lee Adamson, Nancy; Ascher, John S; Báldi, András; Batáry, Péter; Benjamin, Faye; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Blitzer, Eleanor J; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brand, Mariëtte R; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Button, Lindsey; Cariveau, Daniel P; Chifflet, Rémy; Colville, Jonathan F; Danforth, Bryan N; Elle, Elizabeth; Garratt, Michael P.D.; Herzog, Felix; Holzschuh, Andrea; Howlett, Brad G; Jauker, Frank; Jha, Shalene; Knop, Eva; Krewenka, Kristin M; Le Féon, Violette; Mandelik, Yael; May, Emily A; Park, Mia G; Pisanty, Gideon; Reemer, Menno; Riedinger, Verena; Rollin, Orianne; Rundlöf, Maj; Sardiñas, Hillary S; Scheper, Jeroen; Sciligo, Amber R; Smith, Henrik G; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Thorp, Robbin; Tscharntke, Teja; Verhulst, Jort; Viana, Blandina F; Vaissière, Bernard E; Veldtman, Ruan; Westphal, Catrin; Potts, Simon G

    2015-01-01

    There is compelling evidence that more diverse ecosystems deliver greater benefits to people, and these ecosystem services have become a key argument for biodiversity conservation. However, it is unclear how much biodiversity is needed to deliver ecosystem services in a cost-effective way. Here we show that, while the contribution of wild bees to crop production is significant, service delivery is restricted to a limited subset of all known bee species. Across crops, years and biogeographical regions, crop-visiting wild bee communities are dominated by a small number of common species, and threatened species are rarely observed on crops. Dominant crop pollinators persist under agricultural expansion and many are easily enhanced by simple conservation measures, suggesting that cost-effective management strategies to promote crop pollination should target a different set of species than management strategies to promote threatened bees. Conserving the biological diversity of bees therefore requires more than just ecosystem-service-based arguments. PMID:26079893

  14. Delivery of crop pollination services is an insufficient argument for wild pollinator conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleijn, David; Winfree, Rachael; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Henry, Mickaël; Isaacs, Rufus; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kremen, Claire; M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Rader, Romina; Ricketts, Taylor H; Williams, Neal M; Lee Adamson, Nancy; Ascher, John S; Báldi, András; Batáry, Péter; Benjamin, Faye; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Blitzer, Eleanor J; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brand, Mariëtte R; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Button, Lindsey; Cariveau, Daniel P; Chifflet, Rémy; Colville, Jonathan F; Danforth, Bryan N; Elle, Elizabeth; Garratt, Michael P D; Herzog, Felix; Holzschuh, Andrea; Howlett, Brad G; Jauker, Frank; Jha, Shalene; Knop, Eva; Krewenka, Kristin M; Le Féon, Violette; Mandelik, Yael; May, Emily A; Park, Mia G; Pisanty, Gideon; Reemer, Menno; Riedinger, Verena; Rollin, Orianne; Rundlöf, Maj; Sardiñas, Hillary S; Scheper, Jeroen; Sciligo, Amber R; Smith, Henrik G; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Thorp, Robbin; Tscharntke, Teja; Verhulst, Jort; Viana, Blandina F; Vaissière, Bernard E; Veldtman, Ruan; Ward, Kimiora L; Westphal, Catrin; Potts, Simon G

    2015-06-16

    There is compelling evidence that more diverse ecosystems deliver greater benefits to people, and these ecosystem services have become a key argument for biodiversity conservation. However, it is unclear how much biodiversity is needed to deliver ecosystem services in a cost-effective way. Here we show that, while the contribution of wild bees to crop production is significant, service delivery is restricted to a limited subset of all known bee species. Across crops, years and biogeographical regions, crop-visiting wild bee communities are dominated by a small number of common species, and threatened species are rarely observed on crops. Dominant crop pollinators persist under agricultural expansion and many are easily enhanced by simple conservation measures, suggesting that cost-effective management strategies to promote crop pollination should target a different set of species than management strategies to promote threatened bees. Conserving the biological diversity of bees therefore requires more than just ecosystem-service-based arguments.

  15. Pollination success of Lotus corniculatus (L.) in an urban context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellissier, Vincent; Muratet, Audrey; Verfaillie, Fabien; Machon, Nathalie

    2012-02-01

    Most anthropogenic activities are known to have deleterious effects on pollinator communities. However, little is known about the influence of urbanization on pollination ecosystem services. Here, we assessed the pollination service on Lotus corniculatus (L.), a self-sterile, strictly entogamous Fabaceae commonly observed in urban and suburban areas. We assessed the pollination success of artificial Lotus corniculatus populations at three levels: at large scale, along an urbanization gradient; at intermediate scale, based on landscape fragmentation within a 250 m radius and at local scale based on floral resource abundance and local habitat type. The main findings were that the pollination success, when assessed with the number of fruit produced per inflorescence, was lower in urban areas than in suburban ones, and was negatively affected by the number of impervious spaces in the neighborhood. The relationship between the number of fruits and the distance to the nearest impervious space was either positive or negative, depending on the gray/green ratio (low vs. high). Finally, on a local scale, floral resource abundance had a negative effect on pollination success when L. corniculatus populations were located in paved courtyards, and a positive one when they were located in parks. Pollination success seems to be explained by two intertwined gradients: landscape fragmentation estimated by the number of impervious spaces in a 250 m radius around L. corniculatus populations, and the behavior of bumblebees toward birdsfoot trefoil and floral displays, which appears to differ depending on whether a neighborhood is densely or sparsely urbanized. An abundance of attracting floral resources seems to enhance pollination success for L. corniculatus if it is not too isolated from other green spaces. These results have important implications for the sustainability of pollination success in towns by identifying local and landscape factors that influence reproductive success of

  16. Pterandra pyroidea: a case of pollination shift within neotropical Malpighiaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappellari, Simone C; Haleem, Muhammad A; Marsaioli, Anita J; Tidon, Rosana; Simpson, Beryl B

    2011-06-01

    Most Neotropical species of Malpighiaceae produce floral fatty oils in calyx glands to attract pollinating oil-collecting bees, which depend on this resource for reproduction. This specialized type of pollination system tends to be lost in members of the family that occur outside the geographic distribution (e.g. Africa) of Neotropical oil-collecting bees. This study focused on the pollination ecology, chemical ecology and reproductive biology of an oil flower species, Pterandra pyroidea (Malpighiaceae) from the Brazilian Cerrado. Populations of this species consist of plants with oil-secreting (glandular) flowers, plants with non-oil-secreting flowers (eglandular) or a mix of both plant types. This study specifically aims to clarify the role of eglandular morphs in this species. Data on pollinators were recorded by in situ observations. Breeding system experiments were conducted by isolating inflorescences and by enzymatic reactions. Floral resources, pollen and floral oils offered by this species were analysed by staining and a combination of various spectroscopic methods. Eglandular flowers of P. pyroidea do not act as mimics of their oil-producing conspecifics to attract pollinators. Instead, both oil-producing and oil-free flowers depend on pollen-collecting bees for reproduction, and their main pollinators are bumble-bees. Floral oils produced by glandular flowers are less complex than those described in closely related genera. Eglandular flowers represent a shift in the pollination system in which oil is being lost and pollen is becoming the main reward of P. pyroidea flowers. Pollination shifts of this kind have hitherto not been demonstrated empirically within Neotropical Malpighiaceae and this species exhibits an unusual transition from a specialized towards a generalized pollination system in an area considered the hotspot of oil-collecting bee diversity in the Neotropics. Transitions of this type provide an opportunity to study ongoing evolutionary

  17. Cophylogenetic signal is detectable in pollination interactions across ecological scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, Matthew C; Cagua, Edgar Fernando; Stouffer, Daniel B

    2017-07-22

    That evolutionary history can influence the way that species interact is a basic tenet of evolutionary ecology. However, when the role of evolution in determining ecological interactions is investigated, focus typically centers on just one side of the interaction. A cophylogenetic signal, the congruence of evolutionary history across both sides of an ecological interaction, extends these previous explorations and provides a more complete picture of how evolutionary patterns influence the way species interact. To date, cophylogenetic signal has most typically been studied in interactions that occur between fine taxonomic clades that show high intimacy. In this study, we took an alternative approach and made an exhaustive assessment of cophylogeny in pollination interactions. To do so, we assessed the strength of cophylogenetic signal at four distinct scales of pollination interaction: (1) across plant-pollinator associations globally, (2) in local pollination communities, (3) within the modular structure of those communities, and (4) in individual modules. We did so using a globally distributed dataset comprised of 54 pollination networks, over 4000 species, and over 12,000 interactions. Within these data, we detected cophylogenetic signal at all four scales. Cophylogenetic signal was found at the level of plant-pollinator interactions on a global scale and in the majority of pollination communities. At the scale defined by the modular structure within those communities, however, we observed a much weaker cophylogenetic signal. Cophylogenetic signal was detectable in a significant proportion of individual modules and most typically when within-module phylogenetic diversity was low. In sum, the detection of cophylogenetic signal in pollination interactions across scales provides a new dimension to the story of how past evolution shapes extant pollinator-angiosperm interactions. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. Pterandra pyroidea: a case of pollination shift within Neotropical Malpighiaceae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappellari, Simone C.; Haleem, Muhammad A.; Marsaioli, Anita J.; Tidon, Rosana; Simpson, Beryl B.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Most Neotropical species of Malpighiaceae produce floral fatty oils in calyx glands to attract pollinating oil-collecting bees, which depend on this resource for reproduction. This specialized type of pollination system tends to be lost in members of the family that occur outside the geographic distribution (e.g. Africa) of Neotropical oil-collecting bees. This study focused on the pollination ecology, chemical ecology and reproductive biology of an oil flower species, Pterandra pyroidea (Malpighiaceae) from the Brazilian Cerrado. Populations of this species consist of plants with oil-secreting (glandular) flowers, plants with non-oil-secreting flowers (eglandular) or a mix of both plant types. This study specifically aims to clarify the role of eglandular morphs in this species. Methods Data on pollinators were recorded by in situ observations. Breeding system experiments were conducted by isolating inflorescences and by enzymatic reactions. Floral resources, pollen and floral oils offered by this species were analysed by staining and a combination of various spectroscopic methods. Key Results Eglandular flowers of P. pyroidea do not act as mimics of their oil-producing conspecifics to attract pollinators. Instead, both oil-producing and oil-free flowers depend on pollen-collecting bees for reproduction, and their main pollinators are bumble-bees. Floral oils produced by glandular flowers are less complex than those described in closely related genera. Conclusions Eglandular flowers represent a shift in the pollination system in which oil is being lost and pollen is becoming the main reward of P. pyroidea flowers. Pollination shifts of this kind have hitherto not been demonstrated empirically within Neotropical Malpighiaceae and this species exhibits an unusual transition from a specialized towards a generalized pollination system in an area considered the hotspot of oil-collecting bee diversity in the Neotropics. Transitions of this type

  19. Pollination mechanisms in palms – a synoecological perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barfod, Anders S.; Hagen, Melanie; Borchsenius, Finn

    Apidae), and flies (order Diptera). Less is known about variations in the composition of the visiting insect fauna across the geographic range of a given palm species. A number canopy studies have contributed to our understanding of palms in broader palm-pollinator networks and provided insight...... on the specificity of the visiting insects and the temporal variation in their assemblage at a particular species. Preliminary observations in beetle-pollinated palms suggest that insects similar in size, shape and behaviour may substitute for each another both in space and in time. Hence to compare pollination...

  20. Technical measures to reduce pollination and assessement of their effectiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariola Stefanicka

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the issues of pollination as a phenomenon that is harmful and commonly found in aggregates production plants. It points difficulties with spatial modelling and determination of scale of disorganized emission of dust within conditions of aggregate processing. Technical methods to reduce pollination and possibilities of their use in processing plants are being discussed. The article presents results of measurements of dust concentrations in real time for specific technical processes and an assessment of the effectiveness of applied technical solutions reducing pollination.

  1. Generalización en las interacciones entre plantas y polinizadores Generalizations in the interactions between plants and pollinators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOSÉ M. GÓMEZ

    2002-03-01

    systems can arise by several non-exclusive factors. One kind of factors are related to the ability of pollinators of acting as true selective agents. Despite that many studies have shown that pollinators can provoke phenotypic selection on floral traits, only occasionally it has been shown that this selection actually produces any response to selection. Two main reasons can explain why pollinators cannot induce adaptations in many plants: (1a a significant spatial and temporal variability in pollinator abundance and identity highly reduces the possibilities of congruent selection on floral traits; (1b the occurrence of extrinsic factors acting during another stages of the plant reproductive and recruitment processes can also decrease the actual effect that pollinators has on fitness. A second group of factors are those related with the fact that, to specialization occurs, it is necessary that two different pollinators can constitute as completely separated selective agents, by differing in their per-visit efficiencies and/or floral trait preferences. By contrast, similarity in efficiency and preference will constrain specialization even although pollinators act as selective pressures, since plant will have not any criteria to benefit a given pollinator species with respect to the other

  2. Exploring the boundary between pollination syndromes: bats and hummingbirds as pollinators of Burmeistera cyclostigmata and B. tenuiflora (Campanulaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muchhala, Nathan

    2003-02-01

    In this study I documented the degree of specialization in the pollination systems of Burmeistera cyclostigmata and B. tenuiflora (Campanulaceae) to explore the potential role of floral isolation in the diversification of the genus. I asked which floral characteristics are important in specializing on either bat or hummingbird pollination, and whether overlap between these floral syndromes can exist. I examined nocturnal and diurnal pollen deposition, pollinator visitation rates, and single visit effectiveness and related them to intra- and interspecific variation in Burmeistera floral characteristics at Monteverde, Costa Rica. Bats and hummingbirds visited both Burmeistera species, and bats pollinated both species. Owing to differences in floral morphology, however, hummingbirds effectively pollinated only B. tenuiflora. The generalized pollination system of B. tenuiflora demonstrates that there can be overlap in the boundary between ornithophily and chiropterophily, and that nectar production and timing of anthesis do not serve as barriers between these syndromes. The high intraspecific variation in floral color from green to red or purple did not correlate with either nocturnal or diurnal pollen deposition. Degree of flower accessibility did affect pollination; nocturnal pollen deposition significantly decreased as flowers become more obstructed. In Burmeistera, floral morphology and accessibility appear to be the most important floral characteristics for specialization at the boundary between ornithophily and chiropterophily.

  3. Improving predictions by cross pollination in time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schevenhoven, Francine; Selten, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Given a set of imperfect weather models, one could ask how these models can be combined in order to improve weather predictions produced with these models. In this study we explore a technique called cross-pollination in time (CPT, Smith 2001). In the CPT approach the models exchange states during the prediction. The number of possible predictions grows quickly with time and a strategy to retain only a small number of predictions, called pruning, needs to be developed. In the learning phase a pruning strategy is proposed based on retaining those solutions that remain closest to the truth. From the learning phase probabilities are derived that determine weights to be applied to the imperfect models in the forecast phase. The CPT technique is explored using low-order dynamical systems and applied to a global atmospheric model. First results indicate that the CPT approach improves the forecast quality over the individual models.

  4. Pollination of Campomanesia phaea (Myrtaceae) by night-active bees: a new nocturnal pollination system mediated by floral scent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordeiro, G D; Pinheiro, M; Dötterl, S; Alves-Dos-Santos, I

    2017-03-01

    Bees are the most important diurnal pollinators of angiosperms. In several groups of bees a nocturnal/crepuscular habit developed, yet little is known about their role in pollination and whether some plants are adapted specifically to these bees. We used a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the reproductive biology and to understand the role of nocturnal/crepuscular bees in pollination of Campomanesia phaea (Myrtaceae), popularly named cambuci. We studied the floral biology and breeding system of C. phaea. We collected the floral visitors and tested the pollinators' effectiveness. We also determined the floral scents released at night and during daytime, and studied behavioural responses of crepuscular/nocturnal bees towards these scents. The flowers of cambuci were self-incompatible and had pollen as the only resource for flower visitors. Anthesis lasted around 14 h, beginning at 04:30 h at night. The flowers released 14 volatile compounds, mainly aliphatic and aromatic compounds. We collected 52 species of floral visitors, mainly bees. Nocturnal and crepuscular bees (four species) were among the most frequent species and the only effective pollinators. In field bioassays performed at night, nocturnal/crepuscular bees were attracted by a synthetic scent blend consisting of the six most abundant compounds. This study describes the first scent-mediated pollination system between a plant and its nocturnal bee pollinators. Further, C. phaea has several floral traits that do not allow classification into other nocturnal pollination syndromes (e.g. pollinator attraction already before sunrise, with pollen as the only reward), instead it is a plant specifically adapted to nocturnal bees. © 2016 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  5. Does the invasive Lupinus polyphyllus increase pollinator visitation to a native herb through effects on pollinator population sizes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobsson, Anna; Padrón, Benigno

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants may compete with native species for abiotic factors as light, space and nutrients, and have also been shown to affect native pollination interactions. Studies have mainly focused on how invasive plants affect pollinator behaviour, i.e. attraction of pollinators to or away from native flowers. However, when an invasive plant provides resources utilized by native pollinators this could increase pollinator population sizes and thereby pollination success in natives. Effects mediated through changes in pollinator population sizes have been largely ignored in previous studies, and the dominance of negative interactions suggested by meta-analyses may therefore be biased. We investigated the impact of the invasive Lupinus polyphyllus on pollination in the native Lotus corniculatus using a study design comparing invaded and uninvaded sites before and after the flowering period of the invasive. We monitored wild bee abundance in transects, and visit rate and seed production of potted Lotus plants. Bumblebee abundance increased 3.9 times in invaded sites during the study period, whereas it was unaltered in uninvaded sites. Total visit rate per Lotus plant increased 2.1 times in invaded sites and decreased 4.4 times in uninvaded sites. No corresponding change in seed production of Lotus was found. The increase in visit rate to Lotus was driven by an increase in solitary bee visitation, whereas mainly bumblebees were observed to visit the invasive Lupinus. The mechanism by which the invasive increases pollinator visit rates to Lotus could be increased availability of other flower resources for solitary bees when bumblebees forage on Lupinus.

  6. Multiyear study of multivariate linear and nonlinear phenotypic selection on floral traits of hummingbird-pollinated Silene virginica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Richard J; Dudash, Michele R; Fenster, Charles B

    2010-02-01

    Pollination syndromes suggest that convergent evolution of floral traits and trait combinations reflects similar selection pressures. Accordingly, a pattern of selection on floral traits is expected to be consistent with increasing the attraction and pollen transfer of the important pollinator. We measured individual variation in six floral traits and yearly and lifetime total plant seed and fruit production of 758 plants across nine years of study in natural populations of Ruby-Throated Hummingbird-pollinated Silene virginica. The type, strength, and direction of selection gradients were observed by year, and for two cohorts selection was estimated through lifetime maternal fitness. Positive directional selection was detected on floral display height in all years of study and stigma exsertion in all years but one. Significant quadratic and correlational selection gradients were rare. However, a canonical analysis of the gamma matrix indicated nonlinear selection was common; if significant curvature was detected it was convex with one exception. Our analyses demonstrated selection favored trait combinations and the integration of floral features of attraction and pollen transfer efficiency that were consistent with the hummingbird pollination syndrome.

  7. Pollination in the oil palms Elaeis guineensis, E. oleifera and their hybrids (OxG, in tropical America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Raquel Meléndez

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis is very important in the Central and South American economies. Plants suffer from a devastating fungal disease known as "lethal decay" or "pudrición del cogollo", in Spanish. Producer countries in Africa, Asia and tropical America have developed breeding programs that seek the tolerance of this disease by plants. The hybrids Elaeis guineensis x Elaeis oleifera (OxG are resistant, but show physiological problems that affect commercial productivity. Natural pollination in these hybrids is low and manual pollination has high labor costs. The Coleoptera order is the most numerous and diverse natural pollinator, and the Elaeidobius genus has high efficiency and specificity to oil palm species. Elaeidobius kameronicus, Elaeidobius subvittatus and Mystrops costaricensis are the insects most commonly associated with oil palm inflorescences. Dynamics in insect populations change according to palm species and weather conditions. It is necessary to understand the insect behavior and population dynamics in OxG hybrids. Thus, recent studies on oil palm pollination, insect diversity and distribution in Latin America are discussed in this study.

  8. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Alburaki

    Full Text Available Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads.

  9. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads. PMID:25993642

  10. Pollination, biogeography and phylogeny of oceanic island bellflowers (Campanulaceae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Jens Mogens; Alarcón, M.; Ehlers, Bodil

    2012-01-01

    We studied the pollination biology of nine island Campanulaceae species: Azorina vidalii, Musschia aurea, M. wollastonii, Canarina canariensis, Campanula jacobaea, Nesocodon mauritianus, and three species of Heterochaenia. In addition, we compared C. canariensis to its two African mainland...... relatives C. eminii and C. abyssinica. We asked to what extent related species converge in their floral biology and pollination in related habitats, i.e. oceanic islands. Study islands were the Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Mauritius, and Réunion. Information about phylogenetic relationships...... of these species and their relatives were gathered from atpB, matK, rbcL and trnL-F regions, building the most complete phylogeny of Campanulaceae to date. Six of the island bellflower species were bird-pollinated and two (A. vidalii and M. aurea) were lizard-pollinated. Insects also visited some of the species...

  11. Drivers of compartmentalization in a Mediterranean pollination network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gonzalez, Ana M. Martin; Allesina, Stefano; Rodrigo, Anselm

    2012-01-01

    We study compartmentalization in a Mediterranean pollination network using three different analytical approaches: unipartite modularity (UM), bipartite modularity (BM) and the group model (GM). Our objectives are to compare compartments obtained with these three approaches and to explore the role...... of several species attributes related to pollination syndromes, species phenology, abundance and connectivity in structuring compartmentalization. BM could not identify compartments in our network. By contrast, UM revealed four modules composed of plants and pollinators, and GM four groups of plants and five...... of pollinators. Phenology had a major influence on compartmentalization, and compartments (both UM and GM) had distinct phenophases. Compartments were also strongly characterized by species degree (number of connections) and betweenness centrality. These two attributes were highly related to each other...

  12. Enhanced biodiversity and pollination in UK agroforestry systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varah, Alexa; Jones, Hannah; Smith, Jo; Potts, Simon G

    2013-07-01

    Monoculture farming systems have had serious environmental impacts such as loss of biodiversity and pollinator decline. The authors explain how temperate agroforestry systems show potential in being able to deliver multiple environmental benefits.

  13. An Economic Valuation of Biotic Pollination Services in Georgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barfield, Ashley S; Bergstrom, John C; Ferreira, Susana; Covich, Alan P; Delaplane, Keith S

    2015-04-01

    As agriculture faces documented decline in bees and other insect pollinators, empirical assessments of potential economic losses are critical for contextualizing the impacts of this decline and for prioritizing research needs. For the state of Georgia, we show that the annual economic value of biotic pollinators is substantial--US$367 million, equivalent to 13 percent of the total production value of crops studied and 3 percent of the total production value of Georgia's agricultural sector. Our unique Geographic Information Systems analysis reveals an irregular pattern of vulnerability. While the Georgia counties displaying the highest economic values of pollination are clustered in southern Georgia, those with the highest dependency on pollinators in terms of their contribution to crop production value are more dispersed throughout the state.

  14. Strategies of delayed self-pollination in Kosteletzkya virginica

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    RUAN Chengjiang; QIN Pei; HAN Ruiming

    2005-01-01

    @@ Though in the face of selection against self-pollina-tion, mixed pollination systems are maintained in many plants. The transition from outcrossing to self-fertilization is one of the most common evolutionary trends in angio-sperms[1]. Floral morphological characters and behavior influence plant pollination mode and reproductive success, such as herkogamy[2,3], dichogamy[2,3], floral movement, and corolla abscission[4-6]. If a plant population relies solely on animal vectors to move pollen among individu-als and if pollinators are absent or in low numbers at cer-tain times or years, individuals that can self-pollinate if not previously outcrossed will be at a selective advantage[7].

  15. Experimental evidence of pollination in marine flowers by invertebrate fauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Tussenbroek, Brigitta I; Villamil, Nora; Márquez-Guzmán, Judith; Wong, Ricardo; Monroy-Velázquez, L Verónica; Solis-Weiss, Vivianne

    2016-09-29

    Pollen transport by water-flow (hydrophily) is a typical, and almost exclusive, adaptation of plants to life in the marine environment. It is thought that, unlike terrestrial environments, animals are not involved in pollination in the sea. The male flowers of the tropical mari