Rachael Winfree

Rachael Winfree
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey | Rutgers · Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources

Ph.D Princeton University

About

129
Publications
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Publications

Publications (129)
Article
The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function (BEF) remains unclear in many natural ecosystems, partially for lack of theoretical and analytical tools that match common characteristics of observational community data. The ecological Price equation promises to meet this need by organizing many different species-level changes into a fe...
Article
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1. Despite widespread recognition of the need for long-term monitoring of pollinator abundances and pollination service provision, such studies are exceedingly rare. 2. In this study, we assess changes in bee visitation and net capture rates for 73 species visiting watermelon crop flowers at 19 farms in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States...
Article
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It is important to understand how biodiversity, including that of rare species, affects ecosystem function. Here we consider this question with regard to pollination. Studies of pollination function have typically focused on pollination of single plant species, or average pollination across plant species, and typically find that pollination depends...
Article
Seventy five percent of the world's food crops benefit from insect pollination. Hence, there has been increased interest in how global change drivers impact this critical ecosystem service. Because standardized data on crop pollination are rarely available, we are limited in our capacity to understand the variation in pollination benefits to crop y...
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Floral constancy of foraging bees influences plant reproduction. Constancy as observed in nature arises from at least four distinct mechanisms frequently confounded in the literature: context-independent preferences for particular plant species, preferential visitation to the same species as the previous plant visited (simple constancy), the spatia...
Article
Forest-associated species, which depend on forest habitat for their survival, are among the world's most vulnerable species due to widespread forest loss. However, in many parts of the world, forests are re-growing. Thus, if forest-associated species can persist in young forests their conservation outlook is less bleak. We examined the effects of f...
Preprint
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Installing pollinator habitat is a ubiquitous conservation tool, but little is known about which pollinator taxa require support, or which benefit from habitat installations. We studied the response of rare and common bees to pollinator habitat enhancement. We used independent regional datasets to designate bee species as common or rare based on th...
Article
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While an increasing number of studies indicate that the range, diversity and abundance of many wild pollinators has declined, the global area of pollinator-dependent crops has significantly increased over the last few decades. Crop pollination studies to date have mainly focused on either identifying different guilds pollinating various crops, or o...
Article
While an increasing number of studies indicate that the range, diversity and abundance of many wild pollinators has declined, the global area of pollinator-dependent crops has significantly increased over the last few decades. Crop pollination studies to date have mainly focused on either identifying different guilds pollinating various crops, or o...
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Three metrics of species diversity – species richness, the Shannon index and the Simpson index – are still widely used in ecology, despite decades of valid critiques leveled against them. Developing a robust diversity metric has been challenging because, unlike many variables ecologists measure, the diversity of a community often cannot be estimate...
Preprint
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Many ecosystem functions result from mutualisms, yet mutualism-based functions have rarely been studied at the scale of whole mutualist networks. Thus, it is unclear how much biodiversity is needed to provide function to an entire network of partner species. Here we use 23 plant-pollinator networks to ask how the number of functionally important po...
Article
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Most of the world’s crops depend on pollinators, so declines in both managedand wild bees raise concerns about food security. However, the degree towhich insect pollination is actually limiting current crop production ispoorly understood, as is the role of wild species (as opposed to managed hon-eybees) in pollinating crops, particularly in intensi...
Article
Most of the world's crops depend on pollinators, so declines in both managed and wild bees raise concerns about food security. However, the degree to which insect pollination is actually limiting current crop production is poorly understood, as is the role of wild species (as opposed to managed honeybees) in pollinating crops, particularly in inten...
Article
Aim Decades of experimental research have conclusively shown a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem function. However, authoritative reviews find no consensus on how species loss affects function in natural communities. We analyse experimental and observational data in an identical way and test whether they produce similar r...
Article
The biodiversity‐centered approach to conservation prioritizes rare species, whereas the ecosystem services approach prioritizes species that provide services to people. The two approaches align when rare species provide ecosystem services, or when both groups of species benefit from the same management action. We use data on bee pollinators and th...
Article
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ContextThe response of rare species to human land use is poorly known because rarity is difficult to study; however, it is also important because rare species compose most of biodiversity, and are disproportionately vulnerable. Regional bee pollinator faunas have not been assessed for rarity outside of Europe. Therefore, we do not know to what exte...
Article
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1.Individual pollinators that specialize on one plant species within a foraging bout transfer more conspecific and less heterospecific pollen, positively affecting plant reproduction. However, we know much less about pollinator specialization at the scale of a foraging bout compared to specialization by pollinator species. 2.In this study, we measu...
Article
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Background Intraspecific variation in foraging niche can drive food web dynamics and ecosystem processes. In particular, male and female animals can exhibit different, often cascading, impacts on their interaction partners. Despite this, studies of plant-pollinator interaction networks have focused on the partitioning of the floral community betwee...
Data
Sampling scheme. (a) The six study sites in central New Jersey, USA. (b) Schematic sampling diagram (not to scale). One observer walked parallel 2m transects covering the entire sampling area. Each 30-minute sampling bout resumed where the previous one left off; observers typically covered the entire meadow once over a 3-day sampling round. (c) The...
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[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151482.].
Preprint
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Efforts to conserve and support wild bees, which are important pollinators of wild plants and food crops, often rely on planting pollinator-attractive flowering plants to augment forage resources. Bee preferences for particular plant taxa should guide plant inclusion in these plantings. Thus far, studies of bee preference focused on identifying the...
Article
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Aim Land use change reorganizes local communities, resulting in complex changes in biodiversity at larger scales. The biotic homogenization hypothesis predicts that the replacement of sensitive loser species with widespread winner species will lead to loss of beta diversity and ultimately loss of regional diversity at multiple levels of ecological...
Article
Ecologists have shown through hundreds of experiments that ecological communities with more species produce higher levels of essential ecosystem functions such as biomass production, nutrient cycling, and pollination, but whether this finding holds in nature (that is, in large-scale and unmanipulated systems) is controversial. This knowledge gap is...
Article
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The response and effect trait framework, if supported empirically, would provide for powerful and general predictions about how biodiversity loss leads to loss in ecosystem function. This framework proposes that species traits will explain how different species respond to disturbance (i.e. response traits) as well as their contribution to ecosystem...
Article
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Restoration efforts often focus on plants, but additionally require the establishment and long-term persistence of diverse groups of nontarget organisms, such as bees, for important ecosystem functions and meeting restoration goals. We investigated long-term patterns in the response of bees to habitat restoration by sampling bee communities along a...
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Agricultural intensification is a leading cause of global biodiversity loss, which can reduce the provisioning of ecosystem services in managed ecosystems. Organic farming and plant diversification are farm management schemes that may mitigate potential ecological harm by increasing species richness and boosting related ecosystem services to agroec...
Article
The relationship between biodiversity and the stability of ecosystem function is a fundamental question in community ecology, and hundreds of experiments have shown a positive relationship between species richness and the stability of ecosystem function. However, these experiments have rarely accounted for common ecological patterns, most notably s...
Preprint
Full-text available
The response and effect trait framework, if supported empirically, would provide for powerful and general predictions about how biodiversity loss will lead to loss in ecosystem function. This framework proposes that species traits will explain how different species respond to disturbance (i.e. response traits) as well as their contribution to ecosy...
Article
Full-text available
Animal-pollinated plants depend on sequential pollinator visits to conspecifics for successful reproduction. Therefore, in co-flowering plant communities, the proportion of visits to a focal plant species in individual pollinator foraging bouts determines reproductive outcomes for that species. We investigated the factors determining bee visits to...
Article
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Recent studies of mutualistic networks show that interactions between partners change across years. Both biological mechanisms and chance could drive these patterns, but the relative importance of these factors has not been separated. We established a field experiment consisting of 102 monospecific plots of 17 native plant species, from which we co...
Article
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Allometric relationships among morphological traits underlie important patterns in ecology. These relationships are often phylogenetically shared; thus quantifying allometric relationships may allow for estimating difficult-to-measure traits across species. One such trait, proboscis length in bees, is assumed to be important in structuring bee comm...
Data
The relationship between body mass and proboscis length in 101 species of bees. Body mass is estimated using equation: in Cane 1987, Fig 1 where Body Mass=(IT0.77)10.405. Each point represents the mean dry body mass and mean proboscis length for a bee species. (EPS)
Data
Scatterplots of intraspecific relationships between IT and proboscis length. Species with 10 or more individuals are represented. (EPS)
Data
Table of intraspecific R2 values for OLS regression models of IT as a function of glossa, prementum and proboscis length. Predictor variables were IT and sex. Response variables were either glossa, prementum and proboscis length. (XLSX)
Data
Table of family-level slopes and lower and upper 95% confidence intervals from robust SMA. (CSV)
Data
Table of species-level means for IT, glossa, prementum and proboscis length. (XLSX)
Article
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Nature Communications 6: Article number: 741410.1038/ncomms8414 (2015); Published: June162015; Updated: February182016. The authors inadvertently omitted Kimiora L. Ward, who managed and contributed data, from the author list. This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.
Article
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Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths,...
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There is compelling evidence that more diverse ecosystems deliver greater benefits to people, and these ecosystem services have become a key argument for biodiversity conservation. However, it is unclear how much biodiversity is needed to deliver ecosystem services in a cost-effective way. Here we show that, while the contribution of wild bees to c...
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Anthropogenic change can have large impacts on wild bees and the pollination services they provide. However, the overall pattern of wild bee response to drivers such as land-use change, pesticides, pathogens, and climate change has been one of variability in both the magnitude and directionality of responses. We argue that two causes contribute to...
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Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments have established that species richness and composition are both important determinants of ecosystem function in an experimental context. Determining whether this result holds for real-world ecosystem services has remained elusive, however, largely due to the lack of analytical methods appropriate for l...
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Plant-pollinator interactions are affected by global change, with largely negative impacts on pollination and plant reproduction. Urban areas provide a unique and productive study system for understanding the impacts of many global change drivers on plant-pollinator interactions.We review the mechanistic pathways through which urban drivers alter p...
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Bacterial gut symbiont communities are critical for the health of many insect species. However, little is known about how microbial communities vary among host species or how they respond to anthropogenic disturbances. Bacterial communities that differ in richness or composition may vary in their ability to provide nutrients or defenses. We used de...
Article
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Recent evidence highlights the value of wild-insect species richness and abundance for crop pollination worldwide. Yet, deliberate physical importation of single species (eg European honey bees) into crop fields for pollination remains the mainstream management approach, and implementation of practices to enhance crop yield (production per area) th...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Recent concern over wild, native bee declines has prompted efforts to restore pollinator communities. The main restoration technique used is planting native wildflowers of pollinator-attractive species. Although several studies have shown that these pollinator restorations increase the species richness and abundance of...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationship has been explored largely through small-scale experiments, leaving key questions unanswered at large spatio-temporal scales. Here we use large-scale datasets to explore the importance of wild pollinator species richness, composition and abundance in driving crop...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The mutualistic relationship between plants and pollinators is mediated by key morphological attributes such as pollinator tongue length, which constrains the range of flower species that the pollinator can exploit. Tongue length can be related to the pollinator degree of floral specialization or even to pollinator ext...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Ecological understanding of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship is based largely on experiments, which by necessity are done at small scales. Here we use natural pollinator communities and the ecosystem services they provide studied across a 5000 km2area to extend previous results to larger scales. Spec...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Federally funded pollinator habitat plantings have increased dramatically in the United States. One objective of restorations is to simply increase pollinator abundance and overall species richness. Another more specific goal is to benefit native bees that provide pollination services to crops. A third objective is to...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods In plant-pollinator networks, the specialist species with few interaction partners tend to interact with highly linked generalist partners, which themselves interact with other generalists. We predicted that this nested structure of plant-pollinator networks could result in convergence of the traditional biodiversity a...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Ecologists and conservation practitioners must decide how much effort is feasible and necessary to assess community metrics, such as species richness. A related question concerns data quality: can easier-to-obtain field measures, such as abundance or richness of field-based morpho-groups, predict true species richness?...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Recent honey bee declines and evidence that native bees can provide pollination services to economically valuable crops have motivated landowners and managers nationwide to enroll substantial acreage into conservation programs that target planting of habitat to support pollinators. The success of these plantings depend...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Understanding how native pollinator communities respond to anthropogenic change is critical for maintaining pollination in human-dominated landscapes. Here we ask how human land use interacts seasonal phenology to determine pollinator community structure. Our study design consists of 9 sites evenly divided into three la...
Article
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Abstract Theoretical and simulation studies predict that the order of species loss from mutualist networks with respect to how linked species are to other species within the network will determine the rate at which networks collapse. However, the empirical order of species loss with respect to linkage has rarely been investigated. Furthermore, a sp...
Article
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In the Report “Wild Pollinators Enhance Fruit Set of Crops Regardless of Honey Bee Abundance,” it is possible that some pollinator species were misidentified in lowland coffee, Uganda, one of the 41 studies included in the synthesis. This potential misidentification does not invalidate the analyses, conclusions, or the wider implications of the stu...
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1. Ecosystem services to agriculture, such as pollination, rely on natural areas adjacent to farmland to support organisms that provide services. Native insect pollinators depend on natural or semi-natural land surrounding farms for nesting and alternative foraging resources. Despite interest in conserving pollinators through habitat restoration, t...
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Die Untersuchung globaler Umweltänderungen und ihrer Wirkungen auf Biodiversität und Ökosystemfunktionen steht an einem hochinteressanten Scheideweg. Hier werden Ideen, die weitgehend durch Theorien und kleinräumige Experimente entwickelt wurden, nun an Ökosystemdiensten wie sie der Bevölkerung in realen Landschaften erbrachten werden, getestet. Be...
Article
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Climate change has the potential to alter the phenological synchrony between interacting mutualists, such as plants and their pollinators. However, high levels of biodiversity might buffer the negative effects of species-specific phenological shifts and maintain synchrony at the community level, as predicted by the biodiversity insurance hypothesis...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Research on the functional consequences of biodiversity loss is dominated by small-scale experimental studies that assume random extinction patterns. In nature, however, extinction is generally a nonrandom process with risk determined by ecological traits such as rarity or body size. Here, we present data on crop polli...