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Site fidelity by bees drives pollination facilitation in sequentially blooming plant species

Title: Site Fidelity By Bees Drives Pollination Facilitation In Sequentially Blooming Plant Species.
Name(s): Ogilvie, Jane E., author
Thomson, James D., author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Date Issued: 2016-06
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Plant species can influence the pollination and reproductive success of coflowering neighbors that share pollinators. Because some individual pollinators habitually forage in particular areas, it is also possible that plant species could influence the pollination of neighbors that bloom later. When flowers of a preferred forage plant decline in an area, site-fidelity may cause individual flower feeders to stay in an area and switch plant species rather than search for preferred plants in a new location. A newly blooming plant species may quickly inherit a set of visitors from a prior plant species, and therefore experience higher pollination success than it would in an area where the first species never bloomed. To test this, we manipulated the placement and timing of two plant species, Delphinium barbeyi and later-blooming Gentiana parryi. We recorded the responses of individually marked bumble bee pollinators. About 63% of marked individuals returned repeatedly to the same areas to forage on Delphinium. When Delphinium was experimentally taken out of bloom, most of those site-faithful individuals (78%) stayed and switched to Gentiana. Consequently, Gentiana flowers received more visits in areas where Delphinium had previously flowered, compared to areas where Delphinium was still flowering or never occurred. Gentiana stigmas received more pollen in areas where Delphinium disappeared than where it never bloomed, indicating that Delphinium increases the pollination of Gentiana when they are separated in time. Overall, we show that individual bumble bees are often site-faithful, causing one plant species to increase the pollination of another even when separated in time, which is a novel mechanism of pollination facilitation.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_wos_000377219900008 (IID), 10.1890/15-0903.1 (DOI)
Keywords: associational effects, availability, Bombus, bumble-bees, communities, competition, facilitation, floral resource, foraging behavior, foraging bumblebees, hymenoptera, interspecific pollen transfer, magnet species effect, phenology, plant-pollinator interaction, pollination, ranunculaceae, resource depletion, rufous hummingbirds, sequential mutualism, site fidelity, visitation
Publication Note: The publisher’s version of record is available at
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Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Ecology.
Issue: iss. 6, vol. 97

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Ogilvie, J. E., & Thomson, J. D. (2016). Site Fidelity By Bees Drives Pollination Facilitation In Sequentially Blooming Plant Species. Ecology. Retrieved from