Stephen Smith, 2002

Sarah Lawrence College

Floral visitation rates among co-flowering species: a community level study

Different species of plants invest differently in resources that attract pollinators. These resources include floral display, nectar, and pollen beyond that needed for reproduction. The preferences of pollinators have been studied, though often in a closed system. In this study, the community of co-flowering species was considered. Plants and flowers were counted on three hectare plots on Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, VA. Nectar was quantified through the use of a micro sampling technique that would yield results on those flowers with little nectar. Flower size was also quantified. Insect visitation was determined through collection and identification of insects found on six common species in each plot. Insects visited the flowers with the most nectar as well as those with larger floral displays. However, those flowers with larger floral displays tended to have more nectar.

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