31 October, 2012

Estimating pollination success with artificial flowers

By James D. Thomson, Jane E. Ogilvie, Takashi T. Makino, Angela Arisz, Sneha Raju, Vanessa Rojas-Luengas, Marcus Tan

An artificial flower
Investigators of the interactions between plants and pollinating animals have frequently resorted to artificial flowers to clarify aspects of pollinator preferences and choice-making.  Such experiments typically present animals with arrays of multiple phenotypes of “flowers” constructed to vary in particular characters; animals’ responses are measured as the visitation rates to the different floral phenotypes.

Read the whole summary: pdf
Read the scientific publication in JPE .


21 October, 2012

Pollen anaylses for dummies

By Gretchen D. Jones

A plasterer bee dusted with pollen. Photo by S.D.Jones
Pollinators feed on the pollen, nectar, and other plant liquids that are associated with flowers. As a result of this feeding activity, pollen becomes attached to them. Analysis of this pollen can tell us what they eat, their dispersal patterns in and around cropping systems, and their role in pollination. However, finding pollen on and or in a pollinator depends on the technique used to recover pollen. Two very easy techniques are described in detail that have been used to recover pollen from a variety of pollinators.
Dogwood pollen. Bar: 20μm

Read the whole summary: pdf.
Read the scientific publication in JPE .