Bees of sandy coastal spots of Ecuador - ID help needed
See note below from Kelley Nunn, she needs some help with identification of her possibly interesting specimens and has a question about visitation rates. She is not a member of this list so please contact her directly (knunn@...) if you can help her out.
From: bellsofkells36@... [bellsofkells36@...] On Behalf Of Kelley Nunn [knunn@...]
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 1:17 PM
To: Rykken, Jessica
Subject: Kelley Nunn - Bees of Ecuador
I'm currently studying abroad in Ecuador on a Tropical Ecology Program with Boston University. Throughout the length of this program, we complete numerous minor and major research projects on whatever ecological processes interest us. We spent the last 10 days on the coast of Ecuador, and while I was there, I started a project with the goal of studying the bees that pollinate a specific plant-- Cordia leutia. I wanted to ascertain the difference between pollinators that venture out onto the sand and pollinators that prefer to stay sheltered from the salt spray in the dry forest. I spent one hour at each location net collecting and found 8 different species over the sand, and only 3 different species of bees on the road (500m away from the sand). And after doing some visitation counts, I found that these plants on the sand were being visited about 7 times more often than the plants on the road.
These results have puzzled me, as I would expect the salt spray to deter the bees. Do you have any suggestions as to why more species of bees would be more common on the beach rather than the surrounding dry forest? Also, do you have any suggestions as to how I could go about identifying these species?
Thank you so much for your help! I hope everything is going well at the museum!