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

Ogilvie, Jane E. ; Thomson, James D.

Ecology, June 2016, Vol.97(6), pp.1442-1451 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Site fidelity by bees drives pollination facilitation in sequentially blooming plant species
  • Author: Ogilvie, Jane E. ; Thomson, James D.
  • 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, and later‐blooming . We recorded the responses of individually marked bumble bee pollinators. About 63% of marked individuals returned repeatedly to the same areas to forage on . When was experimentally taken out of bloom, most of those site‐faithful individuals (78%) stayed and switched to . Consequently, flowers received more visits in areas where had previously flowered, compared to areas where was still flowering or never occurred. stigmas received more pollen in areas where disappeared than where it never bloomed, indicating that increases the pollination of 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.
  • Is Part Of: Ecology, June 2016, Vol.97(6), pp.1442-1451
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0012-9658 ; E-ISSN: 1939-9170 ; DOI: 10.1890/15-0903.1
  • Subjects: Associational Effects ; Bombus ; Facilitation ; Floral Resource ; Foraging Behavior ; Magnet Species effect ; Phenology ; Plant‐Pollinator Interaction ; Pollination ; Resource Depletion ; Sequential Mutualism ; Site fidelity

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