Local floral composition and the behaviour of pollinators: attraction to and foraging within experimental patches
Article first published online: 26 JUL 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Ecological Entomology © 2010 The Royal Entomological Society
Volume 35, Issue 5, pages 652–661, October 2010
How to Cite
LÁZARO, A. and TOTLAND, Ø. (2010), Local floral composition and the behaviour of pollinators: attraction to and foraging within experimental patches. Ecological Entomology, 35: 652–661. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2311.2010.01223.x
- Issue published online: 5 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 26 JUL 2010
- Accepted 6 June 2010First published online 26 July 2010
- Approaches to a patch;
- foraging behaviour;
- local plant density;
- local plant diversity;
- pollinator guilds;
- shifts between species;
- visitation within a patch
1. Understanding how foraging decisions take place at the local scale is relevant because they may directly affect the fitness of individual plants. However, little is known about how local diversity and density affect the foraging behaviour of most pollinator groups.
2. By introducing two potted plant species (Salvia farinacae and Tagetes bonanza) into two populations of Taraxacum officinale, we investigated how plant identity, the mixtures of these plant species, and total plant density affected the attraction to and the foraging within a patch for six pollinator groups.
3. The foraging behaviour was mainly driven by the availability of the preferred plant species, and secondly by patch diversity and density. In general, dense patches and those containing the three-species mixture were preferred by all insect groups for arrival, although muscoid and hover flies responded less to local floral composition than bees. Local diversity and density had, however, a weaker effect on foraging behaviour within patches. Site dependence in response to floral treatments could be attributable to differences between sites in pollinator assemblage and Taraxacum density.
4. Studies like ours will help to understand how foraging decisions occur at the local scale and how foraging patterns may differ between pollinators and sites.