Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

Abstract Detail

Pollination Biology

Karron, Jeffrey David [1], Hallett, Allysa [2], Chamberlain, Evan [3], Mitchell, Randall [4].

Effect of bumble bee decline on pollination success in whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata).

Declines in pollinator species diversity are widely thought to lower pollination success. However, the most frequent visitor to a focal species is not necessarily the most effective pollinator. If the loss of a common pollinator leads to increased visitation by a more effective pollinator, pollination success could potentially increase or remain unchanged. We experimentally tested this hypothesis by removing bumble bees from plots of whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata). In each of six populations, we quantified pollinator visitation rates, pollinia removal, and pollinia insertions in both control plots and in plots where bumble bees were experimentally excluded. We found that exclusion of bumble bees led to a doubling in wasp visitation. Since wasps often carried more milkweed pollinia than bumble bees, increased wasp visitation offset the loss of bumble bees, leading to no change in pollination success. This provides a vivid example of the challenges associated with forecasting how pollinator declines will influence plant reproductive success.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - University Of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Department Of Biological Sciences, PO BOX 413, MILWAUKEE, WI, 53201, USA
2 - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI, 53201-0413, USA
3 - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI, 53201-0413
4 - UNIVERSITY OF AKRON, Department Of Biology, Department Of Biology, AKRON, OH, 44325-3908, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 36, Pollination Biology
Location: 203/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
Time: 8:15 AM
Number: 36002
Abstract ID:48
Candidate for Awards:None


Copyright © 2000-2016, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved