Journal Club Article for March 12th, 2021

We will dis­cuss the linked arti­cle at our next week­ly Jour­nal Club meet­ing, 3/12/21 at 12:00 PM EST. The arti­cle is titled “Pol­li­na­tion suc­cess fol­low­ing loss of a fre­quent pol­li­na­tor: the role of com­pen­sato­ry vis­i­ta­tion by oth­er effec­tive pollinators”.

Abstract: Pol­li­na­tor abun­dance is declin­ing world­wide and may low­er the quan­ti­ty and qual­i­ty of pol­li­na­tion ser­vices to flow­er­ing plant pop­u­la­tions. Loss of an impor­tant pol­li­na­tor is often assumed to reduce the amount of pollen received by stig­mas of a focal species (pol­li­na­tion suc­cess), yet this assump­tion has rarely been test­ed exper­i­men­tal­ly. The mag­ni­tude of the effect, if any, may depend on the rel­a­tive effi­cien­cy of the remain­ing pol­li­na­tors, and on whether the loss of one pol­li­na­tor leads to changes in vis­i­ta­tion pat­terns by oth­er pol­li­na­tors. To explore how a change in pol­li­na­tor com­po­si­tion influ­ences pol­li­na­tion of Ascle­pias ver­ti­cil­la­ta, we exclud­ed bum­ble bees from plots in large and small pop­u­la­tions of this milk­weed species. We then quan­ti­fied pol­li­na­tor vis­i­ta­tion rates, pollen export and pollen receipt for con­trol plots and for plots where bum­ble bees were exper­i­men­tal­ly exclud­ed. We found that exclu­sion of bum­ble bees did not reduce pollen receipt by A. ver­ti­cil­la­ta flow­ers. Vis­i­ta­tion by Polistes wasps increased marked­ly fol­low­ing bum­ble bee exclu­sion, both in small pop­u­la­tions (186 % increase) and in large pop­u­la­tions (400 % increase). Because Polistes wasps were as effi­cient as bum­ble bees at pollen trans­fer, increased wasp vis­i­ta­tion off­set lost bum­ble bee pol­li­na­tion ser­vices. Thus, loss of a fre­quent pol­li­na­tor will not nec­es­sar­i­ly lead to a decline in pol­li­na­tion suc­cess. When pol­li­na­tor loss is fol­lowed by a shift in the com­po­si­tion and abun­dance of remain­ing pol­li­na­tors, pol­li­na­tion suc­cess will depend on the net change in the quan­ti­ty and qual­i­ty of pol­li­na­tion services.

https://massasoit.zoom.us/j/96355527272

Meet­ing ID: 96355527272

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Pho­to by Kai Wen­zel on Unsplash

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