RE: [beemonitoring] Bees vs. other pollinators
Bob, Ken and others- I agree, that is a splendid study, a great one for teaching and discussion. Something that most folks overlook in that paper, however, but Motten reports, is that the specialist bee deposits more pollen than the fly when either is coming from a pistillate flower (that is, pollen carryover is great with the specialist). It is a nice nuance, I think.
At the community level (or sometimes even at the level of a floral guild), the challenge becomes demonstrating that a species 9and sex sometimes) of floral visitor indeed pollinates (even more work to quantify), a very daunting task if you have many plant species in a local community. Jordi Bosch and colleagues in Barcelona Spain are gradually working up such a data set, but it is taking many field seasons to assemble.
James H. Cane
USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Lab
Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 USA
tel: 435-797-3879 FAX: 435-797-0461
web page: www.ars.usda.gov/npa/beelab
The following is a good paper on pollinator efficiency; however it shows the generalist flies to be as effective as the specialist Andrena erigeniae on flowers of Claytonia virginica (Spring beauty). Motten, A. F., D. R. Campbell, et al. (1981). "Pollination effectiveness of specialist and generalist visitors to a North Carolina population of Claytonia virginica." Ecology 62(5): 1278-1287. No info on geographic variation here though
I've heard it stated that bees are the most important group of pollinators. Can anyone suggest published studies comparing bees with other groups of pollinators in terms of efficiency, number of plant species pollinated, or other measures, and how this might vary geographically (maybe patterns related to latitude or altitude)?
Kenneth W. McCravy, Ph.D.
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
Phone: (309) 298-2160
Fax: (309) 298-2270