Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Pollinators Related Abstracts

5 Eco-Ethology of Bees Visitors on Vicia faba L. var. Major (Fabaceae) in Algeria

Authors: L. Bendifallah, S. Doumandji, K. Louadi, S. Iserbyt, F. Acheuk


Due to their ecological key position and diversity, plant-bee relationships constitute excellent models to understand the processes of food specialisation. The purpose of this study is to define and identify the most important species of bees foraging broadbean flowers, we estimated morphological, phonological and behavioural features. We discuss the results by considering the food specialisation level of the visitor. In the studied populations (Algiers, Algeria), visiting bees belong to four different genus: Apis, Andrena, Eucera and Xylocopa. Eucera is foraging broad beans flowers during months of April, May. The genus Andrena and Xylocopa were found on weeds after the flowering period of beans. The two species have not a preferred type of vegetation compared to Eucera. The main pollinators were generalist bees such as Apis mellifera L. and Xylocopa pubescens Spinola (Apidae), and specialist bees such Eucera numida Lep. (Apidae). The results show that no one of the studied species, neither the specialist, nor the generalist ones, share adaptative morphological or behavioural features that may improve foraging on Vicia faba. However, there is a narrow synchronisation between the daily and yearly phenologies of Eucera numida and those of V. faba. This could be an adaptation of the specialist bee to its host plant. Thus, the food specialisation of Eucera numida, as for most specialist bees, would be more linked to its adapted phenology than to an adapted morphology.

Keywords: Pollinators, Algeria, Vicia faba, bees

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4 Study on Butterfly Visitation Patterns of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis as a Beneficial Plant for Butterfly Conservation

Authors: P. U. S. Peiris


The butterflies are ecologically very important insects. The adults generally feed on nectar and are important as pollinators of flowering plants. However, these pollinators are under threat with their habitat loss. One reason for habitat loss is spread of invasive plants. However, there are even beneficial exotic plants which can directly support for Butterfly Conservation Action Plan of Sri Lanka by attracting butterflies for nectar. Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) is an important nectar plant which attracts a diverse set of butterflies in higher number. It comprises a violet color inflorescence which last for about 37 hours where it attracted a peak of butterflies around 9.00am having around average of 15 butterflies. There were no butterflies in early and late hours where the number goes to very low values as 2 at 1.00pm. it was found that a diverse group of butterflies were attracted from around 15 species including 01 endemic species, 02 endemic subspecies and 02 vulnerable species. Therefore, this is a beneficial exotic plant that could be used in butterfly attraction and conservation however with adequate monitoring of the plant population.

Keywords: Pollinators, butterflies, exotic plants, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.)

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3 Forests, the Sanctuaries to Specialist and Rare Wild Native Bees at the Foothills of Western Himalayas

Authors: Preeti Virkar, V. P. Uniyal, Vinod Kumar Bhatt


With 50% decline in managed honey bee hives in the continents of Europe and America, farmers and landscape managers are turning to native wild bees for their essential ecosystem services of pollination. Wild bees population are too under danger due to the rapid land use changes from anthropogenic activities. With an escalating population reaching 9.0 billion by 2050, human-induced land use changes are predicted to further deteriorate the habitats of numerous species by the turn of this century. The status of bees are uncertain, especially in the tropical regions of the world, which also questions the crisis of global pollinator decline and their essential services to wild and managed flora. Our investigation collectively compares wild native bee diversity and their status in forests and agroecosystems in Doon Valley landscape, situated at the foothills of Himalayan ranges, Uttarakhand, India. We seek to ask whether (1) natural habitat are refuge to richer and rarer bees communities than the agroecosystems, (2) Are agroecosystems closer to natural habitats similar to them than agroecosystems farther away; hence support richer bee communities and hence, (3) Do polyculture farms support richer bee communities than monoculture. The data was collected using observation and pantrap sampling form February to May, 2012 to 2014. We recorded 43 species of bees in Doon Valley. They belonged to 5 families; Megachilidae, Apidae, Andrenidae, Halictidae and Collitidae. A multinomial model approach was used to classify the bees into 2 habitats, in which forests demonstrated to support greater number of specialist (26%, n= 11) species than agroecosystems (7%, n= 3). The valley had many species categorized as the rare (58%, n= 25) and very few generalists (9%, n=4). A linear regression model run on our data demonstrated higher bee diversity in agro-ecosystems in close proximity to forests (H’ for < 200 m = 1.60) compared to those further away (H’ for > 600 m = 0.56) (R2=0.782, SE=0.148, p value=0.004). Organic agriculture supported significantly greater species richness in comparison to conventional farms (Mann-Whitney U test, n1 = 33, n2 = 35; P = 0.001). Forests ecosystems are refuge to rare specialist groups and support bee communities in nearby agroecosystems. The findings of our investigation demonstrate the importance of natural habitats as a potential refuge for rare native wild bee pollinators. Polyculture in the valley behaves similar to natural habitats and supports diverse bee communities in comparison to conventional monocultures. Our study suggests that the farming communities adopt diverse organic agriculture systems to attract wild pollinators beneficial for better crop production. Forests are sanctuaries for bees to nest, forage, and breed. Therefore, our outcome also suggests landscape managers not only preserve protected areas but also enhance the floral diversity in semi-natural and urban areas.

Keywords: Diversity, Agroecosystem, Pollinators, Polyculture, specialists, native bees, natural habitat, monoculture, generalists

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2 Efficacy of Different Plant Extracts against Brevicoryne brassicae and Their Effects on Pollinators

Authors: Hafiza Javaria Ashraf, Asim Abbasi, Muhammad Hussnain Babar, Muhammad Sufyan


Brevicoryne brassicae (Aphid) is not only the major biotic constraint of rapeseed crop but also transmits 20 different viral pathogens that cause diseases in crucifers. Aphids cause major losses to rapeseed by stunting growth and yield, with real damage being contamination of harvested heads. The misuse of pesticides has led to tremendous economic losses and hazards to human health and environmental pollution. Thus, newer approaches for pest control are continuously being sought. The naturally occurring, biologically active plant-based products seem to have a prominent role in the development of future commercial pesticides not only for increased productivity but their eco-friendly nature. The present experiment was carried out in Research Area of Ayub Agriculture Research Institute, Faisalabad to check the efficacy of different botanicals against rapeseed aphid. The tested botanicals were, neem seed extract, neem leaf extract, dathora seed extract, kaner leaf extract and aak leaf extract. Insecticide, advantage 20 EC served as the positive control in the experiment. Data was recorded before and after 1, 3 and 7 days of treatment application. The results of the experiment revealed that neem seed extract exhibited maximum mortality (48.42%) followed by dathora (45.54%) and kaner leaf extract (40.29%) after 7 days of treatment application. However minimum mortality i.e. 26.64% was observed in case of aak leaf extract. Advantage encountered maximum mortality i.e. 86.14%. All treatments caused maximum mortality after 7 days of treatment application. In case of pollinators maximum population reduction was observed in case of insecticide (74.29%) while minimum reduction was observed in neem leaf extract (11.57%). Hence it was concluded that unlike insecticides, plant based products can be a better option for regulating pests and conserving beneficial insect fauna.

Keywords: Mortality, Pollinators, aphid, plant based

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1 Changing Colours and Odours: Exploring Cues Used by Insect Pollinators in Two Brassicaceous Plants

Authors: Katherine Y. Barragan-Fonseca, Joop J. A. Van Loon, Marcel Dicke, Dani Lucas-Barbosa


Flowering plants use different traits to attract pollinators, which indicate flower location and reward quality. Visual and olfactory cues are among the most important floral traits exploited by pollinating insects. Pollination can alter physical and chemical cues of flowers, which can subsequently influence the behaviour of flower visitors. We investigated the main cues exploited by the syrphid fly Episyrphus balteatus and the butterfly Pieris brassicae when visiting flowers of Brassica nigra and Raphanus sativus plants. We studied post-pollination changes and their effects on the behaviour of flower visitors and flower volatile emission. Preference of pollinators was investigated by offering visual and olfactory cues simultaneously as well as separately in two-choice bioassays. We also assessed whether pollen is used as a cue by pollinating insects. In addition, we studied whether behavioural responses could be correlated with changes in plant volatile emission, by collecting volatiles from flower headspace. P. brassicae and E. balteatus did not use pollen as a cue in either of the two plant species studied. Interestingly, pollinators showed a strong bias for visual cues over olfactory cues when exposed to B. nigra plants. Flower visits by pollinators were influenced by post-pollination changes in B. nigra. In contrast, plant responses to pollination did not influence pollinator preference for R. sativus flowers. These results correlate well with floral volatile emission of B. nigra and R. sativus; pollination influenced the volatile profile of B. nigra flowers but not that of R. sativus. Collectively, our data show that different pollinators exploit different visual and olfactory traits when searching for nectar or pollen of flowers of two close related plant species. Although the syrphid fly consumes mostly pollen from brassicaceous flowers, it cannot detect pollen from a distance and likely associates other flower traits with quantity and quality of pollen.

Keywords: Pollinators, plant volatiles, post-pollination changes, visual and odour cues

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