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Pollination Efficiencies of Native Bees and Syrphid Flies Tiffany Harper Andy Moldenke Sujaya Rao.

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Presentation on theme: "Pollination Efficiencies of Native Bees and Syrphid Flies Tiffany Harper Andy Moldenke Sujaya Rao."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pollination Efficiencies of Native Bees and Syrphid Flies Tiffany Harper Andy Moldenke Sujaya Rao

2 Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the anther of a flower to the stigma of the same or a different flower Pollination is critical for production of many fruits and vegetables that we consume, and plants in natural ecosystems In the Willamette Valley, pollination is also critical for the many crops raised for seed

3 Key Pollinator Agents: Wind, water, animals (birds, bats, insects) However, about 65 % of the world’s flowering plants in natural and agricultural ecosystems are pollinated by insects

4 Insects are a very diverse group and differ in their abilities to pollinate flowers One factor responsible for these differences could be the variation in their anatomical features

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6 Pollination researchers have typically estimated pollination efficiency by examination of pollen loads in honey bees and bumble bees However, pollen can be attached to different body parts, like the pile (hair) on the head, thorax and abdomen. These attached pollen grains could be critical for pollination

7 Questions Do pollinators differ in their pollination efficiency? Estimation of pollen collected on various body parts Characterization of pollen collected on various body parts

8 Bumble bee Order Hymenoptera Syrphid fly Order Diptera

9 H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest

10 Questions Do pollinators differ in their pollination efficiency? Estimation of pollen collected on various body parts Characterization of pollen collected on various body parts

11 METHODS Bumble bees and syrphids were collected in July- August, placed in clean vials and preserved prior to pollen analysis Bumble bees and syrphids were identified Bumble bees and syrphid flies were examined to determine where the pollen was present Plants on which insects were collected were identified Pollen was processed using gelatin and identified with the pollen reference collection that I prepared

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13 Pollen collection process simple – was done on 70°mountain meadow slopes

14 Allograpta sp. (2) (10%) Chrysotoxum sp. (1) (5%) Eristalishirtus sp. (6) (30%) Fernandinea sp. (2) (10%) Irristalis sp. (2) (10%) Unknown (7) (35%) Syrphids Collected

15 Bumble bee species collected Bombus bifarius - 7 female (9 %) Bombus edwardsii - 11 females 1 male (15%) Bombus melanopygus - 4 females (5%) Bombus mixtus - 50 females 2 males (67%) Bombus vosnesenskii - 3 females (4%)

16 Plants on which pollinators were caught Achillia sp. Allium sp. Arenaria capilarus Calicordous sp. Erigeron sp. Erigonum sp. Eriophyllum sp. Gilia capitata Lanatum sp. Lupinus laxiflorus Mimulus guttatus Penstemon cardwelli Penstemon procerus Phlox diffusa Potentilla grandulosa Zigadenus venenosus Calochortus subalpinus Delphinium sp. Erigeron sp. Gilia capitada Ligisticum grayi Lupinus laxiflorus Mimulus guttatus Penstemon cardwali Penstemon poreruvous Potentilla glandulosa Sedum sp. Syrphid flies Bumble bees

17 Body PartSyrphid flyBumble bee Head including mouthpartsXX ThoraxXX AbdomenXX LegsXX Pollen basketX

18 Comparison of Pollen Abundance Number pollen grainsSyrphid fly < 10024%22% ,00043%36% > 1,00033%42%

19 Questions Do pollinators differ in their pollination efficiency? Estimation of pollen collected on various body parts Characterization of pollen collected on various body parts

20 Syrphids 100% samples mixed pollen 2-7 plant species per sample

21 Bumble bees 77% samples mixed pollen 1- 7 plant species per sample

22 Presence of host plant pollen Bumble bee Syrphid flies PresentAbsent

23 Summary There were many more bumble bees than syrphid flies on flowers Syrphid flies and bumble bees collected pollen on other parts of their bodies besides the pollen basket Syrphid flies and bumble bees differed in plants on which they were collected Bumble bees collected greater quantities of pollen per individual than syrphid flies

24 Conclusion Bumble bees that visit flowers for nectar could potentially pollinate flowers. Thus, males may also contribute to pollination Syrphids are FAR more effective as pollinators than researchers have believed so far

25 Future Research Examination of pollen on bodies of other insect visitors on flowers Exploration of options for integration of pollination by syrphid flies in agricultural systems

26 Thank you Special Thanks Oregon State University, College of Agricultural Sciences HHMI USDA MSP HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Kevin Ahern Sujaya Rao Andy Moldenke Bill Stephen Vera Pfeiffer Melissa Broussard Sarah Maxfield-Taylor Kim Phillips Kim Skyrm


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