Plant/Pollinator Interactions in Fragmented Landscapes
Geiger, John , Koptur, Suzanne .
A shift in pollinator guilds of the pineland petunia (Ruellia succulenta Small Acanthaceae) in rocklands of south Florida.
We investigated the effects of habitat fragmentation on the pollination ecology of Ruellia succulenta Small (Acanthaceae). This plant is a facultatively autogamous, herbaceous perennial commonly found in the pine rockland habitat of southern Florida, USA. Outside of Everglades National Park, there is less than 2 % of the original habitat in Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA. The once nearly continuous habitat now exists as small fragments in a matrix of urban, suburban, and agricultural areas. Twelve field sites were chosen, three in each of four size classes of habitat: small < 3 ha, medium 3-9 ha, large > 10 ha, and intact habitat in Everglades National Park. Timed pollinator watches were conducted over the course of a year at the field sites and both number and identification of floral visitors was recorded. A sample of stigmas from open flowers was collected at the same time to indirectly gauge insect visitation rate to flowers. There were no differences in visitation rates to flowers by size class of habitat from the pollinator watch data; floral visitation rates averaged ca 20 % for all size classes. There were highly significant differences in the proportion of Hymenoptera (bees) and Lepidoptera (butterflies and skippers) floral visitors by habitat size class. Hymenoptera made up an increasing proportion of the total floral visitors from the small to intact size classes. Lepidoptera represented an increasing proportion of the total floral visitors from the intact to the small size classes. There were no significant differences in the proportion of insect visited flowers by habitat size class as evidenced from the stigma data.
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1 - USDA/ARS Invasive Plant Research Lab, 3225 College AVE. , Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33314, USA
2 - Florida International University, Deparment of Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th St., Miami, Florida, 33199, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: 552B/Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Time: 2:15 PM