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Pollination Biology - Science topic

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Further disturbing data were published on the dramatic decline in the number of bees.
Now, in the media there was information that about 40 percent. Bees in the US did not survive the winter of 2018-2019.
Similar data is also found in many other countries.
This is very disturbing.
Is mankind able to solve this problem in time?
Will technological development solve this problem?
Apparently, a significant part of the bee population is killed not only in winter but also in other, warmer seasons. Also in the spring and summer, when large-scale spraying of crops with pesticides is used in agriculture, also used during insect feeding periods on flowers. Then many insects are poisoned and die.
How to solve the problem of a drastic drop in the population of bees and other pollinating insects?
Please reply
I invite you to the discussion
Thank you very much
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Dear Ashutosh Saini,
This is very positive news.
Thank you, Regards,
Dariusz Prokopowicz
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The ones I know about are: Wales, England, France, All-Ireland, USA, Scotland is currently consulting on one. Any others?
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The value of pollination of crop flowers (without cultivars) is estimated at 500 billion dollars. USA annually. Due to the intensification of production of agricultural products, including the use of chemical plant protection products, the number of pollinating insects, including primarily all bees, is decreasing rapidly. The number of bumblebees also drops very fast, and only these insects pollinate some crops. To limit the sources of this problem, people should limit the development of agriculture based on industrial production of arable crops, in particular in the areas of arable crop production for livestock and it is globally 3/4 of arable land.
Instead of industrial production of agricultural products, organic farming should be developed without the use of chemical plant protection products. Pesticides should be replaced by the introduction into the production of agricultural crops more resistant to viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic diseases of cultivated plant varieties, which are created using modern biogenetic techniques.
In addition to the industrial production of agricultural produce (mainly for the purposes of maintaining livestock production, meat production), the global warming process is also contributing to the decline of insects, including pollinating insects. This is because, because many species of insects are very sensitive to changes in the temperature of the environment in which they live. In order to limit the sources of this problem, a person should proceed on a massive scale to reclaim industrial degraded areas in order to convert them to biological ecosystems similar to natural biological environments composed of many species of flora and fauna cooperating with each other.
In addition, the surface of natural habitats, natural biological ecosystems in which insects feed. It is caused by mowing meadows outside the city and grasses in the cities. Therefore, it is advisable not to mow lawns, put up insect houses, or remove rotting, rotting stumps in parks and forests. In some cities, flower meadows are planted and insecticides specially created for this purpose are placed in city parks.
According to observations of biologists, environmentalists are killed so quickly that in 100 years there will be no insects. If the pollinating insects die, then the plants will cease to produce fruit and seeds, many species of plants will disappear and there will be a serious problem with feeding mankind and many species of animals on Earth. Therefore, the problem is very serious. This is, in my opinion, the second most important problem to be solved in the 21st century, in addition to the problem of successive and faster global warming process. In my opinion, these are the most important global problems and challenges to solve numerous problems for humanity in the 21st century.
Do you agree with me on the above matter?
In the context of the above issues, I am asking you the following question:
How to protect pollinating insects from extinction?
Please reply
I invite you to the discussion
Thank you very much
Best wishes
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Campaigns... … We report the results of a task force of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) that examined potential effects of vector management practices on pollinators, and how these programs could be adjusted to minimize negative effects on pollinating species … Ginsberg, H. S., Bargar, T. A., Hladik, M. L., & Lubelczyk, C. (2017). Management of arthropod pathogen vectors in North America: minimizing adverse effects on pollinators. Journal of medical entomology, 54(6), 1463-1475.
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What are potentially huge yet unexamined questions/problems related to pollinator conservation? What basic knowledge do we lack? What knowledge do we have but fail to apply? Do we need to learn more about biology and ecology of pollinators or we should rather focus on undertaking conservation activities (and what kind of activities/actions specifically)?
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@Michal Filipiak Your question has one associated question as to whether pollinators really need conservation?? If so, then how many pollinator species have become extinct thus far, and whether new pollinator species have also evolved and added to our ecosystem??
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Hi,
I am working on orchid pollination biology, where I have seen a sp. of Epidendroid is often visited by Crab spiders and Florivores. I got GCMS of floral tissue and nectar being secreted on labellum done, yet unable to identify, which Chemical compounds actually attract Crab-Spiders on this orchid. I read a few papers but still couldn't figure out. Please Help or share papers related to this.
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Luis J. Castillo-Pérez Thank you for sharing it.
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Please would you recommend some articles on Pollination Biology of Strelitzia Nicolai.
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go through the listed papers-
1. Bird-pollinated flowers in an evolutionary and molecular context
Quentin Cronk, Isidro OjedaJournal of Experimental Botany, Volume 59, Issue 4, March 2008, Pages 715–727, https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ern009
2. Efficient avian pollination of Strelitzia reginae outside of South Africa
Author links open overlay panelF.HoffmannF.DanielA.Fortier1S.-S.Hoffmann-TsayShow morehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2010.09.018 .
3.Reproductive_biology_of_Strelitzia_nicolai_and_Strelitzia_reginae_in_the_conditions_of_a_greenhouse
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I have become interested in potentially doing a small study on non-bee pollinators by looking at what pollen are present on their bodies. I am unsure whether or not this would be a useful contribution, since while there appear to be many studies on the role of non-bee pollinators, there doesn't seem to be many studies indicating the state of the literature.
That being said I did find this paper which identifies some gaps in the literature but it is now somewhat out of date and only focuses on flies and not other pollinators.
I would appreciate any insights into the state of the literature on non-bee pollinators and their contribution(s), as well as any interesting papers etc.
In particular is it known:
  • Which plants each pollinator is responsible for pollinating and in what proportions
  • Whether species labelled as pollinators actually pollinate or simply visit plants?
  • Are there any species in which it is contested whether or not they act as pollinators?
  • Are there any obvious gaps in the literature?
Thanks in advance! I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
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I studied avocado pollinators, bees and non-bees, in their native land Central America and out of America. I investigated the avocado visitors' behavior, pollen carrying and pollination effectiveness. There are more works like mine, studying non-bee pollinators of various plant species.
Please see in : Pollinators of Avocado Chapter, Full-text available, January 2002
  • 📷Manes Wysoki, 📷Michael A. van den Berg, 📷Gad Ish-Am, [...], 📷Geoff K. Waite.
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For example the large carpenter bees can visit Calotropis or other wild bees visit Peganum. I would like to understand how the bee deal with these plants and is the nectar of these plants contain the same toxic contents of the whole plant? 
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Thanks a lot for this great clarification, although I left Saudi Arabia 3 years ago and the questions was to figure out how larger carpenter bees is adapted to get nectar from Calotropis procera. The stems of the plans also were used by bees for nesting. I may try to find this work again when I will be back to Egypt after my research visit to Hungary.
Thanks again Christopher and I wish for you all the best.
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In avocado it was fond that, although its flower carries only one ovule, at least 20 pollen grains are needed on its stigma for ensuring a high fertilization rate, of about 90% (Shoval 1987). I'm asking whether a similar research has conducted for Rosaceae flowers, and mainly for almond's.
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Arvind Thanks for the interesting articles. Yet I don't have direct information regarding the number of pollen grains needed for fertilization in almond.
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Dear pollination ecologists,
do you know studies or do have have own ideas about the stimulus that triggers the buzzing behaviour in bees? Do you think that tactile stimuli are reasonsible?
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Yes, there are some intersting papers about sensing of pollen - with different results:
Klaus
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Biodiversity of bees within an environment could serve as an indicator to the health of an ecosystem, as bees are sensitive to slight changes in any environment. But how do you measure these changes as they happen over time.
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It is also important to have controls so that you can compare the "health" of the ecosystem. You may also want to have baseline data for comparison. I guess this study may take time to see any significant changes, unless you create experiments that will alter the environment and reserves others for comparison.
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What are the primary pollinators of California bay laurel? My friend suggested that they were mostly beetle pollinated, which makes sense given the structure of the flowers and the primitive lineage of the plant. Has anyone done a comprehensive study on the pollination biology of this plant, and if they have do we know which insects are the main pollinators? 
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Dear, I'm looking for support to the idea that nectar production in flowers having pollen and nectar as resource will increase pollen exportation to other flowers and reduce pollen collection as food. Was this idea already tested? It seems very intuitive to me but I have not yet found a reference testing it.
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Flowering plants face a pollen dilemma, that is they benefit if more pollen is for pollination of conspecific flowers than for attracting/rewarding flower visitors/pollinators. However, the competition for pollination is probably exclusively intraspecific and thus plays no role on the pollination market. But when some individual begin to use a mechanism which helps to allocate more pollen for pollination than for rewarding flower visitors, then the benefit will translate into reproductive success
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This pollen type occurs frequent in the gut content of Bumblebees collected in Belgium. It might be from an exotic plant occurring in gardens however.
For more images, see also:
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Dear Koen,
Most probably it is a Rosaceae pollen and could be pollen of Crataegus or Prunus. I have already prepared modern pollen samples from Rosaceac- Creataegus collected from Zagros Mountains, Iran and its pollen looks like what you have posted here. Crataegus tree is a favorable source of nectar for Bumblebees.
Best
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I am doing a study to wild pollinators and seed production at the moment, and I want to know whether different species have a preference towards different parts of the flower head. I have noted for each species how many times it was present on which part of the round flower head (lower part, middle part or upper part). I have performed a Chi-square test (predicted values are 0.3333 * the total number of observed individuals).For most species I have found that the observed values significantly differ from the expected values (I do not know if I say this correct in this way, but there is a significant difference). However, I want to know which groups differ significantly from each other (i.e. bottom vs. middle, bottom vs. top and middle vs. top for each species).
I found somewhere that you can perform a Chi-square test like this:
e.g. bottom vs. non-bottom (i.e. middle and top together) and as expected values: for bottom 0.3333 * total observed individuals of that species and for non-bottom 0.6666 * total observed individuals of that species. And then you have to apply a Benforroni correction (thus 3 comparisons --> alpha = 0.05 / 3 = 0.017).
Is this correct or are there better ways to do this?
Thank you in advance for your answer!
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Dear Timo,
I would suggest to perform pairwise comparisons with Bonferroni or alternatively to run a chi-square test between pairwises.
Good luck and best wishes.
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In this case we can differentiate abiotic and biotic pollen vectors, But among biotic vectors how can we distinguish?
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I really like the interpretation of Peter Bernhardt  and fan of his work. Currently, the trend is everything global analysis as above detail mentioned by Peter Bernhardt , without understandings the local ecology. We have a couple of papers from Nepal Himalaya 1500-4400m, under construction that shows that even the different guild of pollinators are active in the area, all of them are not  flower visitor and pollinator. So it's complex and understanding them at the local level is better for the first instant instead utilizing the work done in Europe or America in your local context.
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Castilleja talamancensis in the Talamanca mountain range in Costa Rica is found in the Páramos above the treeline. I would like to find recent references on its pollination biology. I have seen Selasphorus flammula (Volcano hummingbirds) visiting this species, but have been unable to collect any nectar. The genus is bee-pollinated, but I am trying to figure out why hummingbirds visit Castilleja in terms of reward.
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Dear Gerardo,
many red-flowering Castilejas are pollinated by hummingbirds further north. Maybe your species has a mixed strategies with bees and hummingbirds as pollinators. It may also be that bees are no effective pollinators. You have to observe.
For collecting nectar I would use a standard protocol: Cover several flowers with fleeze during night and early morning and water the plants in the evening to make sure they have enough water. In the morning you will probably be able to collect nectar using micro capillaries (0.5 or 1 microliter). There are some data in the literature for some North American species having high sucrose contents >60% and giving also sugar concentration.
Best regards
Stefan
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We are thinking on using camera traps to monitor pollinator visits? Does anyone have experience with using them? Do they work well?
Any advisable model at a nice cost?
Many thanks!
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Dear Joao, check for the papers of Kenji Suetsugu, he is also present here on Research Gate; you might find some technical help, while here is an excerpt of references from my database (key word "video surveillance") I find useful:
  • Azarcoya-Cabiedes, W., et al. 2014. Automatic detection of bumblebees using video analysis. - Dyna 81: 81-84.
  • Brechbühl, R., et al. 2010. Impact of flower-dwelling crab spiders on plant-pollinator mutualisms. - Basic and Applied Ecology 11: 76-82.
  • Bumrungsri, S., et al. 2008. The pollination ecology of two species of Parkia (Mimosaceae) in southern Thailand. - Journal of Tropical Ecology 24: 467-475.
  • Lihoreau, M., et al. 2016. Monitoring Flower Visitation Networks and Interactions between Pairs of Bumble Bees in a Large Outdoor Flight Cage. - PLoS ONE 11: e0150844.
  • Lortie, C. J., et al. 2012. From birds to bees: applying video observation techniques to invertebrate pollinators. - Journal of Pollination Ecology 6: 125-128.
  • Micheneau, C., et al. 2010. Orthoptera, a new order of pollinator. - Annals of Botany 105: 355-364.
  • Steen, R. 2009. A Portable Digital Video Surveillance System to Monitor Prey Deliveries at Raptor Nests. - Journal of Raptor Research 43: 69-74.
  • Steen, R. 2012. Pollination of Platanthera chlorantha (Orchidaceae): new video registration of a hawkmoth (Sphingidae). - Nordic Journal of Botany 30: 623-626.
  • Steen, R. and Thorsdatter Orvedal Aase, A. L. 2011. Portable digital video surveillance system for monitoring flower-visiting bumblebees. - Journal of Pollination Ecology 5: 90-94.
  • Suetsugu, K. and Hayamizu, M. 2014. Moth floral visitors of the three rewarding Platanthera orchids revealed by interval photography with a digital camera. - Journal of Natural History 48: 1103-1109.
  • Ueta, M. and Tanaka, K. 2006. Nest observation analysis with a motion detecting software for recorded video images. - Bird Research 2: T1-T7.
I tried the following while recording pollinator assemblage and behavior on Satureja: I recorded insect visitors for 8 hours a day (several days) with Sonny HD camera with additional battery pack and two memory cards using my tripod. Afterwards, videos were digested with iSpy software with option "motion capture" when the software recognized visitor movements and segregates video clips... For me it worked, but it takes some time to evaluate the recordings.
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Mustard is a self-pollinating crop and it also provides nectar and pollen resources to pollinators like the honey bee but in return what do bee gave to mustard ?
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Kindly also have a look at this link wherein (Chapter 9) the importance of Bees are stressed for self-pollinating crop of Mustard:
Best
Syed
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I would like to know about works experimentally testing this hypothesis with baits/traps containg increasingly complex blends of artificial compounds.
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Dear Carlos,
The article that pops into mind is an early one in the history of euglossine bee biology:  Williams, N. H., and C. H. Dodson.  1972.  Selective attraction of male euglossine bees to orchid floral fragrances and its importance in long distance pollen flow.  Evolution 26: 84-95.
There may be others, but I am sure that they would have cited this one.
Regards,
Jim
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Cleistogamous flowers produce better pod set in artificial pollination.
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Dear colleagues,
thanks everybody for your advices. Thank you, Anja, for this useful contact.
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As pointed by Greenfield (1999) and Roulston & Cane (2000), pollen is easily digestible: special adaptations are not needed since pollen grains may be simply destroyed mechanically or through osmotic shock. However there exist a belief that pollen is hardly digestible (mostly because of chemical protection by extracellular wall). Lots of invertebrates belonging to various groups are known to supplement their diets with pollen (even predators). So is pollen easily or hardly digestible? Do you know any papers related to this issue? 
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Dear all,
I would like to mention toxicity of pollen which plays a major role for oligolectic bees; see for example: Praz C.J., Müller A., Dorn S. (2008) Specialized bees fail to develop on non-host pollen: Do plants chemically protect their pollen? Ecology 89, 795–
804.
Klaus
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My partner and I are conducting a research on the conservation of the Strongylodon macrobotrys, and our main focus is to provide a soil environment that is the most conducive to the growth of this certain endangered species.
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Well drained soil is that which allows water to percolate through it. Standing water or  water saturated soil deprives root oxygen. 
Loamy soil is that which has equal proportion of sand silt and clay. It is most ideal soil for plant growth.
Addition of organic matter like compost and composted manure makes the soil acidic.
Aluminium sulphate and sulphur coated urea can also be used to reduce the soil pH.
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I realy need the work of Faegri and van de Pijl (1979), which highlights  pollination syndromes, I did not find it.
Thank you.
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That´s so good!
My best wishes, Rachda!
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In angiosperms, they have double fertilization event. Firstly, pollen goes to stigma (pollination). Following pollination, the pollen tube enters an ovule through the micropyle, and then proceeds to enter a degenerated synergid. There are two sperm cell (developt by pollen) and one of them migrates to egg cell to create a zygote and the other one migrates to central cell of embryo sec to create endosperm. These two fertilization happens nearly simultaneous. What if endosperm developed but egg and sperm cell cannot fusion event to create zygote or formation of zygote happens but other sperm cannot fertilizate endosperm or karyogamy development cannot works right (for example. sperm nucleus and one central cell nucleus merge but the other nucleus cannot like 2n+n) because of the some problem or mutation?
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Many possibilities.  Fruit may develop without seeds or with aborted seeds. Endosperm can develop without embryo. Fruit development may not occur.  In plants for fruit development fertilization is not always essential. Even a stimulus can promote fruit development.
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I am working on high altitude medicinal plant species and its pollination biology, how can calculate pollination deficits for the specific plant species?? There is any protocol????
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Dear Prabhakaran
You can refer this book Practical Pollination Biology by Dafni. It may be helpful to you.
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Dear all,
I have joined a university in Amazonian Ecuador, and wild species from my study group (Polygalaceae) grow at about 15 minutes from campus. I would like to initiate studies on the natural history and reproductive biology of this family. I have  experience in taxonomic and systematic studies, but not much on ecological studies. Would anyone recommend me any literature with methodologies for studies like the one I want to initiate? (We are a very young university, with high diversity, but with not much sophisticated equipment yet!)
Thanks a lot and looking forward to hear from you.
Best,
Alina.
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There are three very good books to start studying pollination:
1. Techniques for pollination biologists (Kearns, C. A .; Inouye, D. W., 1993).
2. Practical Pollination Biology (Chittka, L .; Kevan, P.G., 2005).
3. Pollination Biology Handbook of Experimental (Jone C.E .; Little, R. J., 1983).
These books are very good to learn techniques for the study of pollination systems.
I hope this information will be useful to you.
Regards
Cristian Martínez
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we reported and photographed Birds like Grey Breasted Prinia (Prinia hodgsonii) and Orinetal White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) with rufous colour head, we are thinking, this is due to pollen staining !!
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I´m thinking on collecting pollen from several Cactaceae species and a storage duration of 1-12 months. We don´t have a -80°C chamber.
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Thanks for your feedback!
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Trapping strategy for ground nesting bees?
部分中文背景知识介绍:独栖蜜蜂巢穴与生物学研究,http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-536560-813417.html
In 2007, I was contacted for the pollination problems of the tree oil, Camellia oleifera Abel. This tree has been planted alone Yangtze River in very large area. It helps to prevent the water loss and keep soil in mountainous area. The oil quality has been studied and evaluated to be very high than those made from Brassicaceae. However, the fruit-sets have been quite low even after so many years cultivation. As this species blossoms in late autumn till early spring, there are quite low number of insect species in local fauna. Some scientists, including Prof. Yan-Ru WU thought about the pollination inefficiency. Previously, she found around 15 pollinator bees including Apis spp., with most species have their nests in soil.
So, I was encouraged to study nesting biology of some pollinator bees in Jiangxi and Hunan. Mr. Liang DING and Dr. Dunyuan HUANG stayed in the Yichun to observe the local pollinators. They did a very good job to experiment on many aspects of some bees by digging deep in soil. Basing on nesting biological studies, Dunyuan kept working on building artificial nests after he found a job in Ganzhou. He finally set up these nests as traps in soil and moved them to different places to increase the populations for farmers or for experimental purposes.
Currently, I prefer to use Malaise Traps, Nest Traps and Yellow Pan Traps to sample wild bees. However, many other solitary bees, especially those nesting in soil were probably neglected. Recently, I had a few chats with Dr. Raphael Didham, Dr. Douglas Chesters and Dr. Jeff Ollerton about this issue. It should be fantastic to experiment on artificial soil traps for wild bees.
So, I raise and divide the questions into two as below –
1. What most cost-effective trapping methods do you recommend for sampling wild bees?
2. What trapping strategy do you recommend for sampling ground nesting bees?
Thanks for your kind comments and suggestions.
Best,
cd
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I worked with a group that had done some soil "traps" in order to increase the abundance of a single ground-nesting bee species. Based on that experience, I would say that it is much, much more difficult than for cavity nesters. Ground-nesting bees appear to be sensitive to the type, compaction, and capillarity of the soil. I would recommend other passive sampling techniques, such as pan traps (suggested above) or blue vane traps--see a comparison at the link provided.
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 I want to collection lilium pollen for breeding program, and we must stored this pollen about 5-6 months.what is the best way for do it?
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Dear Hojat Abasi,
I agree with the previous answers. Just be sure that you freeze mature, fully dehydrated Lilium pollen grains directly in tubes filled with liquid N2. We are punching a small hole into the tube lid, so the vials don't explode in the -80°C freezer if there are rests of liquid N2 in the tube. Using this method, lily pollen showed germination and tube growth even after more than 10 years!
Cheers
Gerhard 
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Can anyone suggest some papers which explored pollination web and also used bipartite package? Just a list of name of those papers will be appreciated. Does anyone like to discuss it?
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 Hi Cristian,
Thank you very much. It helps a lot.
Best,
Zhenghua
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Many flowers show heliotropism and the flowers are sun tracking. The discussed benefits of sun tracking flowers are heating up the flowers for better pollen germination and seed production, and offering heat reward for pollinators. Are there any studies investigating the consequences of untracking for the visual detection of flowers by bees? Are there any studies showing a preferential foraging direction of bees in regard to the position of the sun?
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This is what I meant: the bees do not perceive polarization induced false colours by the main retina, because they have twisted rhabdoms. They certainly do not look into the flowers by the DRA. But the butterflies do suffer from this artifact. So heliotropism might be intended to facilitate flower recognition by those who suffer.
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 These pollen grains was found on the body of wild bees.
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Definetly a Dpsacoideae strong morphological similarities to Cephalaria and Dipsacus.
Clarke, G.C.S., Jones, M.R. 1981. The Northwest European Pollen Flora, 21: Dipsacaceae. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 33: 1–25.
or paldat:
Best regards 
Johannes Martin Bouchal
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This pollen was found on the body of wild bees.
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Dear Reza and Karl,
Yes, all right, and it confirms the available data on the trophic relations of these bees (all from the genus Dasypoda, Melittidae).
Thank you for a quick and correct answer, as I myself would have spent a lot of time searching for such data (and time, as always, is not enough).
With best wishes,
Vladimir
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I want to build some automatically refilling flowers to use in a study of hawk moth foraging behaviour. The flowers will hold 2μl to 20μl of sucrose solution. The system must be capable of automatically recording data.
I need to be able to control:
1. Fill rate (μl /second)
2. Maximum fill volume (this may vary over time e.g. visit 1 moth gets = 20μl, visit 2 moth gets 6μl)
I need to record:
1. When moth drink (time)
2. How long it drinks for (time)
3. How much it drinks (volume)
These flowers must be:
1. Suitable for use in the laboratory
2. Fairly inexpensive (e.g. less than 100 pounds each)
Any ideas as to how I could achieve this?
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Hi dears, i think this code is useful:
Flower Pollination Algorithm
This matlab demo code shows how to use the new flower algorithm to solve unconstrained global optimization problems.
Required Products
MATLAB 7.14 (R2012a)
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 this pollinator was watched on August in Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Yunnan,China. And it was visiting Bauhinia yunnanensis as a really efficient polinator. It is quite important for my research. I will be very appreciate if anybody could help me to identify it.  thank you~~ 
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In my opinion the above mentioned bee belongs to Amegilla sp. Dr Hema Somanathan,IISER,trivandrum is one of the bee expert in India,her email address is hsomanathan@iisertvm.ac.in
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There are many strategies in the literature which are geared towards the individual questions of each study. We are looking into establishing some long-term monitoring sites and it seems all we have to reference are area surveys established in Europe, which are generally 1 ha plots. I want to know if anyone has compared surveys of different sizes? So far, I have been unable to find this in the literature, but perhaps someone knows of a small scale report, or has an opinion on the matter. Thank you.
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It very much depends on the way you plan to do the sampling, e.g. pan-trapping versus transect captures.  Some of the references in the attached might be helpful.
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Special Committee on Pollinator Insects was established under the Chinese Entomological Society on Sept. 23rd, 2015 (Chinese version, http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-536560-923997.html). Currently, committee members include Chinese experts on systematics, diversity, pollination biology, apiculture, ecology, genome biology and climate change.
We are going to set up a working group, which we would like to invite external members with expertise on pollinators. If you have any comments or interests, you are warmly welcome to contact me.
Besides, if you are interested in the visits to us, the PIFI fellowship might be a good option to think about (http://english.cas.cn/cooperation/fellowships/201503/P020150715547440270280.pdf).
Thanks for your warm comments, suggestions and supports.
cd at IOZ, Beijing
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Dear Chao-Dong Zhu
Thank you for the invitation.  I am interested in role of stingless bees in crop pollination. I am interested to your project .
K.Vijayakumar, Research Scholar
Dept. of Zoolog, KASC, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, TN, India
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Hi, I'm currently trying to prepare a pollen grain squash slides of Hibiscus syriacus to observe meiosis chromosome. I've used a traditional squash technique, which use young flower bud fixed in Carnoy's solution and then squash pollen sac with 60% acetic acid, and use cover slip to spread chromosome and use liquid nitrogen to eliminate cover slip. But results are not satisfying enough..
Is there any other squash technique you recommend to observe meiosis chromosome? when the chromosomes are in small size?
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Try using very young anthers or pollen cones (this depends on species used...I used maize and am now trying out on cycads (Zamia species)...with flowering plants, put directly in Farmer or Carnoy and with cycads try pretreatment at 1°C for 24 hours, then put in fixative...try collecting at 11:30 a. m. or  1:30 p.m...furthermore, just type the question on the internet and lots of papers dealing with the subject will be available to you...remember methods may vary depending on species, time of collection and age of simple...luck
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I'm looking for papers in which researchers accessed the role of floral parts as signal (or mechanical-fit) trait by removing (or modifying) them and then recorded flower visits and plant fitness. Could anyone help me?
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I thought I'd provided an answer to this question but it's not showing.  Odd.  Anyway, I wanted to say that the kind of manipulation of floral parts that you are talking about has been quite commonly done and can be an effective test of floral function, as the examples here show.  He's one from my group (there's a PDF on ResearchGate):
 Lamborn, E. & Ollerton, J. (2000) Experimental assessment of the functional morphology of inflorescences of Daucus carota (Apiaceae): testing the “fly catcher effect”. Functional Ecology 14: 445-454
Also look for work by Scott Armbruster on Dalechampia, and Paul Wilson on Impatiens.
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.?
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In my experience bees in these genera visit a wide range of flower colours.  Bees are quick learners and rapidly associate particular colours and scents with a reward, though there seem to be "innate" preferences in some groups that have been tested.  
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Does anyone know where I can find informations about the nectar secretion rate per day of Borago officinalis and Phacelia tanacetifolia?
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Hi Anna Maria, 
perhaps these papers may help you
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Flowers of I. glandulifera vary in color from pink to white to purple.... However, i have not come across a study investigating these floral color patterns. For people who are familiar with I. glandulifera, is there an evolutionary basis for these variations in color and are there any recorded patterns?
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I photographed this plant in Ukraine (Kyiv Region, Borodianka District, Piskivka vill., in 2013)
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I need some information when i cut the flower from the plant to make pollen grain sample? and i need good procedure to make this sample.
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Hello Marwa, 
I agree with Sunil's suggestion. If you want to collect mature pollen grains, you can simply remove open flowers (I use 10 for Arabidopsis) from the plant and place them in a eppi tube with PBS (or even water, depending on what you're doing next with the pollen). I vortex this tube for ~10 seconds to release pollen grains from anthers. Then you can centrifuge the tube, preferably not at full speed, so that flower parts stay in the supernatant and pollen grains form a small yellow pellet. You can vortex and spin down again to obtain more grains, if necessary. 
If you want to collect mature pollen in bulk, you can check out this paper describing the vacuum method, as Yuan-Yeu mentioned above 
Johnson-Brousseau, S.A. and McCormick, S. (2004) A compendium of methods useful for characterizing Arabidopsis pollen mutants and gametophytically-expressed genes. Plant J. 39, 761–775. 
I would only follow Reza's protocol if you want to collect the sporopollenin-based outer pollen wall from pollen grains. 
If you want to collect immature pollen grains, I could give you some suggestions too, but this is less easy to do.
Happy pollen collecting!
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Hi, I want to submit an application for financial support, mainly about pollination biology and plant-insect-relationships, but including also biodiversity statistical analyses, as well as pollination network analyses. Does anybody have advanced experience in statistical analyses of pollinator networks and biodiversity methods and can spare some time to review my application for financial support and give me some expert advice, please? As I am new in the field of network analyses and modelling and only used quite basic statistical analyses for my PhD yet, I am in need for some expert advices concerning the statistical and network methods as well as the hypotheses I included in my application. Thank you very much in advance!!!
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I don't mind having a look at your proposal. I'll be happy to give you some feedback.
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Some recent literature have restarted the debate about the attraction-repellent function of pollen grains and nectar. It is known that some pollen and also some nectar possesses toxins preventing them of being consumed by some species of bees or even other pollinating groups. It was also shown that nectar may have alkaloids and other substances able to "manipulate" the flower visitor psychology increasing visitation rate. So, would you expect that generalist eusocial bees should have different criteria to collect a resource that is mainly consumed by adults (nectar) or by next generation (pollen)?
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Good ideas Peter! Why not also follow the causes for visiting various sources of pollen? Peters answer is somewhat restricted to pollen mixing during a single foaging trip, which might be caused by the rareness of some flowering plant species or signal standarsization (formerly Mullerian mimicry) in these plants. Recently Eckhardt M, Haider M, Dorn S & Müller A published an article termed Pollen mixing in pollen generalist solitary bees: a possible strategy to complement or mitigate unfavourable pollen properties? which arreared in J Anim Ecol. (2014) 83(3):588-97. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12168. showing that pollen mixing might be caused by toxic pollen. Other caused might be rareness of amino acids and other compounds in pollen of some plants. In these cases solitary bees are more affected than eusocial bees, the latter of which exhibit pollen mixing at the colony level.
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In some species of plants the stigmas are ready for pollination, after blooming flower, and some species of plants the stigmas are ready for pollination before the opening of a flower - still in the bud
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Most available books on pollination techniques give you a range of techniques for determining when a stigma is receptive.  The peroxidase technique has been discussed above.  Check the literature and consider the use of the esterase test.  It works equally well on wet and dry-type stigmas, Dr. Ollerton because, technically, ALL stigmas are wet stigmas since pollen grains can't hydrate on a stigma surface until the pistil gives them just a little drinkie of water and sugar... right?  What we call dry stigmas do produce some fluids but they can not produce free-flowing fluid.  Even the thin, proteinaceous pellicle of a stigma produces a little water while the so-called "wet" stigma of a petunia is really composed primarily of lipids (grease) instead of water.  Virtually all stigmas release some sort of an esterase combination when they are ready to receive pollen (wet or dry) and that actually includes flowers that bloom underwater (they release esters into the water as a "stigmosphere."  If this old technique was good enough for the Heslop-Harrisons, Bruce Knox, Cameron Mconchie (spelling?), Jo' Kendrick and their colleagues/students it's good enough for YOU!
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Asking around to see if anyone has leftover fluorescent dye for pollen movement studies. I would like to try several kinds to best approximate my pollen grains (Oreocallis grandiflora (Proteaceae), ~40 microns) and most companies only sell in large and expensive quantities.
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Hello Florian!
I need to buy fluorescent dye for pollination movement studies (~ 40 microns). You could direct me to a store ?
Thanks! Amanda
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Especially for the bumblebees and stingless bees to develop their breeding systems in controlled conditions...
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Thanks to all for the useful links and guidance
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Old World fruit bats typically drop seeds >3-4 mm under the fruiting tree or a nearby feeding roost. Smaller seeds can be swallowed and then defecated in flight, but the proportion swallowed seems, from my own casual observations, to vary from near 100%, where the seeds are suspended in fluid or jelly (e.g. Adinandra dumosa, some dioecious figs), to <50% where seeds of the same size are in drier fruits (many Urostigma figs). Small seeds that are not swallowed are dropped in multi-seeded pellets, which cannot be optimal for establishment. Has anyone looked at this systematically? Are seeds more likely to be swallowed in specialized 'bat fruits' than in fruits also taken by other vertebrates? Is the same pattern seen in New World fruit bats?
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Neotropical species often forage in a different way to many old-world species, in addition to showing a much greater diversity that of old-world fruit bats. Feeding behaviour is likely to be influenced by numerous environmental factors (habitat density and moon-phase (relating to light levels and detectability by potential predators), distance from roost (and the availability of feeding roost sites) and even breeding behaviour in species which lek or have harems,
The body size of neotropical bats is also far more variable. Smaller species of phylostomid, such as Ectophylla will apparently forage in huge numbers around fruiting figs, but are unlikely to be able to eat on the wing (they are tiny), and so I imagine will settle in the tree itself or in temporary feeding roosts, and other phylostomid species certainly make use of feeding roosts to process larger seeds.
Few people have looked at this systematically, though Tuanjit has been looking at seed rain (and dispersers) in a deforested patch in Peninsula Thailand, and I believe some of the African bat groups have also done some research.
Cynopterus is said to be one of the main afforesters for Anak Krakatau; so looking at the floral record there and searching for any gaps between species which are eaten by bats, but not largely swallowed, and those swallowed and defecated might be one way of looking to see what fruits are being treated in different ways. But as is normally the case with bats-we need more bat researchers! 
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Very interesting article and what great technology to use for health issues concerning Coffee plantations. However I have a few questions concerning the native pollinators. From the article it seems that within the coffee plantation and the surrounding "natural area" little or no pollinators were present. Are the native pollinators missing because they are not well adapted to coffee? Or are there naturally lower levels of native pollinators in those areas? Was there a baseline study done before hand to see the amount and diversity of pollinators present on the sites? Have the sites been altered so much that there is not enough nesting habitat for the native pollinators? And my final question is there a chance of the non native honeybee displace the native pollinators?
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I don't think this is a very good paper to base these questions from because it is not intended to be a review of native pollinators in coffee systems. The paper by Ngo et al. might be a better place to start.
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Pollen that a bee has moved into to the scopa are no longer useful for pollination. Are there exceptions from this rule from a pollination textbook? What about pollen from the ventral scopa of megachilid bees, that often press the scopa to the pollen bearing organs of the flower? Or pollen grains deposited in a scopa of long bristles without regurgitated nectar?
My main question is: Is there any literature documenting the availability or inavailability of pollen stored in the scopa for pollination?
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Dear Klaus,
According to my unpublished data, the ability of pollen germination decreases sharply after its placement in skopa. After that pollen is much stronger sterilized by bee female under the formation a pollen ball in the cell (probably by adding secretory substances). This prevents further germination of pollen in a cell, for not spoiling the food for larvae.
Best regards,
Vladimir.
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I'm particularly interested in examples where plant species diversity has remained the same but the mix of species has altered considerably.  Examples of peer reviewed papers or grey literature would be most appreciated.
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Hi Jeff Ollerton
We conducted a study in tundra (!) grasslands in Northern Norway and found the exclusion of herbivores to cause modification of species composition but not species richness or diversity. I have attached the publication. Cheers, Kari Anne
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I am studying feeding behaviour in adult honey bees and would like a good method to sample faeces. I will have several test cohorts so it will be a repeated sampling. One thought is to use filter paper at the bottom of each cage and/or dissect guts of bees from each test cohort. But if anyone could give me a better/less time consuming way to sample it I would appreciate. Thank you.
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Well, I do not think that you will be able to sample a sufficient amount of faeces from living bees in cages at all (because of their special rectum). In our cage studies bees hardly ever defecated, although we kept them for more then four weeks. The only exception was, when bees were infected with gut parasites like Nosema apis or ceranae. I think you should go for your second suggestion and use cohort representatives for each measuring interval.
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Dear friends, I have some results I need to compare with evidence in the literature. Specifically, I have a species with actinomorphic flowers, slightly zigomorphic, whose nectaries are more productive if they are situated on the upper side of the flower. In other words, some parts of the flower produce a significantly higher amount of nectar.
I am looking for evidence in the literature similar cases, thanks in advance.
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Dear Alejandro
Please note that this might be an effect of flower age.
Not all of the flowers of an inflorescence are of the same Age. Since nectar production is known to be dependent of Age this might explain your Observation.
But you might be interested in papers like
"Variation in rate of nectar production depends on floral display size: a pollinator manipulation hypothesis"
Regards
Nikola
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I'm working now on a research on floral biology of Caesalpinia spinosa (Molina) Kuntze in Ambo, Huánuco Region, Peru, and I need to know the identity of some visitors to the flower. I don't really need to identify the species, so getting to the family level would be OK.
Also, please let me know if anyone has a catalogue of the insects in Huánuco Region, Peru, or knows how to get one.
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1-3: Diptera, Tipuloidea ?
4-6: Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, cf. Diabrotica
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I work on hypopharyngeal glands of honeybee. How could I Measure and classify the hpg of honeybee?
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If you are looking to analyze the composition of what the glands contain in great detail, I suggest collecting some gland extract and making fractions, firstly by centrifuging the extract to precipitate proteins, then making further fractions of the smaller metabolites based on polarity. I would suggest analyzing the proteins using MALDI-ToF-MS, and using LC-MS to analyze the non-volatile metabolites (reverse phase LC for non-polar metabolite analysis and HILIC LC for polar metabolites), operating in both positive and negative mode to obtain maximal metabolite ionization yield. If you have the luxury of a UPLC-MS, then your metabolite profiles will be much richer. To analyze the most volatile components, I would suggest solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) and subsequent GC-MS. If you're interested in identifying correct chirality of molecules, then I suggest using cyclodextrin based columns. If you're looking for differences in gland extracts between certain bee treatments, then a principal component analysis will cluster the samples, and if you have a split in clusters between treatments, then you know the metabolite profiles vary, and you could look at the loading plot to identify the metabolites which contributed most to the variation, and hence are (usually) accountable for the differences. Hope this helps! Feel free to message me if I've been a bit too complicated.
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I've been trying to find corolla tube lengths for flowering plants I have on my study meadows in Finland, but that task seems to be harder than I expected. Flora Europea (Tutin et al. 1964-80) provides some corolla lengths, but only for 1/4 of my plant species. Does anyone have good ideas what articles or books I could check out for corolla tube lengths of Scandinavian plants? Thank you!
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Thanks for your answer Peter Bernhardt. I have considered doing the measurements myself, but unfortunately I'm a bit late for that, since the summer is almost gone and most of the species finished their flowering already. 
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The recent paper of King et al. (2013) in Methods in Ecology and Evolution criticizes the use of flower visitation in studying pollination networks. Flower visitors are not always equal to flower pollinators. In the mutualistic network of flowers and pollinators, flowers benefit from pollinators for their reproduction, while pollinators benefit from the flowers by obtaining nectar and pollen. If we have to take into account the pollinator effectiveness (how much the pollinator contributes to pollination in one flower visit), why don't we take into account the 'flower effectiveness' (how much rewards the flower gives to the pollinator)? Can a flower visitor that is not a pollinator have an other function in the interaction network? Is it the interaction that matters in a pollination network or is it the pollen and rewards flux ?
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The King et al. paper significantly underestimates the amount of time and effort needed to assess pollinator effectiveness, it's not a trivial task for even moderately generalised plant species.  Interaction networks of flower visitation provide a first approximation and have similar properties to pollinator visitation networks (see:  Ollerton J., Johnson S. D., Cranmer, L. & Kellie, S. (2003) The pollination ecology of an assemblage of grassland asclepiads in South Africa. Annals of Botany 92: 807-834)
It's important to realise that visitation is an ecological interaction regardless of the outcome for the plant, though understanding the role of the flower visitor is important if we wish to study things like floral evolution.
Understanding the effect of flower visitation on animal fitness is much more complex and I don't know of any studies that have yet attempted it except for brood-site pollination systems such as figs and fig wasps, and yuccas and yucca moths.
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Can anyone provide advice on harvesting nectar from strawberry flowers? The flowers have relatively low nectar content, and we have tried 5μl and 10μl microcapillary tubes, however this has been unsuccessful. Additionally, we have tried using a centrifuge to remove the nectar, but again this has been unsuccessful. The following paper has used microcapillary tubes previously http://www.ias.ac.in/jarch/jbiosci/17/41-44.pdf?origin=publication_detail , but does not contain much information as to the exact procedure used, and does not seem to work at all on our flowers. We need to measure both the quantity and sugar content of the nectar, so the rinsing/washing/filter paper techniques described in http://aob.oxfordjournals.org/content/103/3/533.full.pdf+html would not be appropriate as they does not allow quantity to be measured.
See the picture attached for an image of a strawberry flower.
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
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to collect nectar from multiple plant species, some of which were also opened small flowers. Maybe worth a go?
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I am interested in pollinator foraging decisions. Having an answer to the above question would be very helpful in interpreting some of my data
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Thank you!
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These are air-borne spores.
The specimen was prepared from "spore-trap" and Lectophenol-cotton blue stain was used.
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The two 'things' at right may be pollen grains of Ulmus (verrucate exines, and possibly pores only along the profile); the other may be a pollen of Poaceae, grass pollen, that has a smooth surface (scabrate) and one pore (not visible).
You should take pictures at higher magnifications, or use less staining color to not cover the surface and apertures of pores, if possible.
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I bumped into a paper where the authors studied the reflectance spectrum of pan-traps and flowers with spectrometer, but they didn´t tell how they did it. Should I use integrating sphere or how? Also, I would like to check polarisation levels but I´m not sure how to proceed with this.
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The best way to take spectral reflectance readings of things like pan traps, flowers, fabrics, etc. is generally to use equipment and protocol similar to that employed in Chittka, L. & Kevan, P.G. (2005). Flower colour as advertisement. In Dafni, A., Kevan, P.G., Husband, B.C. (eds.) Practical Pollination Biology. Enviroquest Ltd., Cambridge , ON , Canada , pp. 157-196. (pdf here: http://chittkalab.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/2005/ChittkaKevan05new.PDF ) - quite a lot of labs now have Ocean Optics or similar equipment and the capacity to measure reflectance between 300 and 700nm using a known light source and white standard. The overall setup costs about US$10-12K last time I checked, but it's not complicated to use if you are careful and precise and doesn't take a lot of time to do a few dozen samples. With flowers, it's important to lay the petals flat but with minimal damage and use the freshest material possible.
Polarisation measurements will require additional kit and I've not tried this myself. It may be worth looking at the floral iridescence work from the Whitney lab and some of the work on insect structural colour and iridescence from the Vukusic lab?
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Pollen can be collected in glacial acetic acid for acetolysis and in basic fuchsin jelly for making temporary slide. Which one is better? In acetolysis, much pollen is lost.
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I should add, that the described methods are not completely the same. With acetolysis you will just see the sporopollenin, so just the outer walls of the pollen grains. With fuchsin jelly the pollen will stay "intact" with its cellular content. Under the light microscope the view will not be the same. If you already have some experience with pollen counting, I would choose the method you already know, if not it does not really matter.
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In my experiments, bees of the tribe Euglossini prefered less the colors red and green. Red is invisible to bees. How about green? They can see the green color? How to explain this result? I used artificial flowers (seven colors) made of EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) paper (30mm circles). All results were statistically significant. The flowers were set in such way that bees could see the background foliage. Maybe red and green colors provide no contrast agains the background. Is it right? ALL artificial flowers were dampened with aromatic compounds.
Do you have any explanation for this question?
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Dear Francinaldo,
Before reading all the great papers suggested by my colleagues, I think you need a more basic introduction into the mechanisms of colour vision in bees (and other insects). I suggest to read the following two papers:
Chittka, L. & Kevan, P.G. (2005). Flower colour as advertisement. In Dafni, A., Kevan, P.G., Husband, B.C. (eds.) Practical Pollination Biology. Enviroquest Ltd., Cambridge , ON , Canada , pp. 157-196.
Chittka, L., & Wells, H. (2004). Color vision in bees: mechanisms, ecology and evolution. In: Prete, F.: Complex Worlds from simpler nervous systems; MIT Press, Boston pp. 165-191.
The first paper provides a step-by-step instruction how to measure spectral reflectance of (artificial) flower surfaces and how to calculate the respective colour loci (and distances) in a bee colour space. The second paper gives you a more general introduction into colour psychophysics and evolution of colour vision in bees. Both papers can be downloaded from Lars Chttka’s webpage:
Best wishes,
Johannes
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I'm doing research about geographic and spatial patterns of pollination systems. I'm also very interested to learn about how an ecologic interaction can be affected by the spatial scale, because of the distribution of plants and the ecophysiology of pollinators.
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There are many papers dealing with that problem. We recently published a couple of papers on the geographic variation in phenology and reproductive success in a columnar cacti. The answer is yes. There are clear geographic patterns in the composition of pollinator communities, both at the single species level (specific scale) and the community assemblage level. Check:
Bustamante, E., Casas, A. y Búrquez, A. 2010. Geographic variation in reproductive success of Stenocereus thurberi (Cactaceae): effects of pollination timing and pollinator guild. American Journal of Botany 97(12):2020–2030.
and
Bustamante, E. y Búrquez, A. 2008. Effects of Plant Size and Weather on the Flowering Phenology of the Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi). Annals of Botany 102: 1019–1030
I can send you the pdfs if requested... Saludos
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I am looking to do some pollination work and notice most people use fluorescent dyes to estimate pollen movement. The particle size (2-3 microns) is quite a bit smaller than most pollen (10-100 microns). Also, what do you see as the advantages of fluorescent dye (versus non-fluorescent but brightly colored)? Any negative experiences with particular brands?
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I used to use brightly colored dye from the Radiant corp. (which is mentioned in Kearns and Inouye techniques for pollination biologists, but the company seems to be out of business. I've obtained fluorescent dyes from a company called Risk Reactor, which sells them in short and long wave lengths (you need a UV light source to see the particles). Some studies on nectar-feeding birds suggest they can see brightly-colored dyes, so if you have those concerns, UV dyes in short-wave may be best. I haven't found any dyes with particle sizes of 100 microns, though; if anyone has, please let us know.