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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Jacquemart, Anne-Laure [1], Somme, Laurent [1], Mayer, Carolin [1], Moquet, Laura [1].

Importance of floral resources for the maintenance of plant pollinator interactions in wetlands.

Habitat fragmentation has severe effects on plant pollinator interactions by modifying the abundance, diversity and foraging behavior of insect visitors. Over several years, we monitored the pollination webs in bogs and wetlands in Belgium. We investigated generalist (Calluna vulgaris, Comarum palustre, Narthecium ossifragum) and specialist plant species (Erica tetralix, Vaccinium myrtillus, V. uliginosum). Social insect visitors like Apoidae depend on both the quality and the quantity of pollen and nectar for colony development and population survival. Nectar represents the main source for sugars while pollen is mainly collected to provide amino acids, polypeptides and sterols. We quantified the quality of both pollen and nectar of the main floral resources visited by the observed pollinators. Bumblebees and solitary bees were the main pollinators of all our study plant species. Diversity and abundance of pollinators declined with decreasing plant population size or increasing isolation, depending on the plant species. Local floral density (open flowers per sqm) influenced both abundance and visitation rates. Bumblebees visiting specialist Erica or Vaccinium species switched their foraging behavior according to plant population size: while they collected both pollen and nectar in large populations, they largely neglected pollen collection in small remnant populations. Plant species greatly differed in their resource qualities. For example, pollen from Ericaceae species (C. vulgaris, V. myrtillus) was of poor quality with low polypeptide content. On the contrary, C. palustre presented both high quality pollen with high essential amino acid and sterol content and abundant nectar of high sugar concentration. Outside the study sites, bumblebees collected pollen from Fabaceae like Cytisus scoparius or Trifolium pratense with high polypeptide content to probably complement their diet on Ericaceae species. It seems that co-flowering plant species at both local and landscape levels are of crucial importance for pollinator survival. Habitat fragmentation might not immediately threaten the reproductive success of the main plant species but has rapid negative effects on their pollinators. Future management plans for wetland restoration need to consider the maintenance of floral diversity but also a landscape mosaic offering resources of different quality.

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1 - Université catholique de Louvain, Earth and Life Institute, Croix du Sud 2 box L7.05.14, Unit , Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348, Belgium

pollination food web

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PCB004
Abstract ID:148
Candidate for Awards:None

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