Presentation Title

Anthropogenic effects on plant-pollinator interactions in California

Faculty Mentor

Hillary Young

Start Date

18-11-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:00 AM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 45

Session

Poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Pollination services provided by insects are critical ecological interactions that enable industries like agriculture to support exponentially growing world populations. As human-driven climate change progresses and more wildlands are converted to low-productivity rangelands, we hypothesize that the resilience of plant-pollinator networks will become increasingly challenged. The Tejon Ranch Project is a 27-hectare study of pollinator network stability across a gradient of climate and cattle grazing that mimics projected shifts in California’s long-term climate patterns and land use. Insect pollinators were collected from randomized blocks spanning a climate gradient of arid to mesic with a range of heavy to null grazing at each climate level. Colored collection pans were used as proxies for flowers to trap pollinators for identification and characterization of biodiversity at each climate. Subsequent work will assess pollinator network resilience to current rates of environmental change using the widely accepted metrics of nestedness and redundancy. Nestedness describes the level of association between specialist and generalist species while redundancy is simply a ratio of the number of pollinators per plant. Following sample processing, the data collected will be used to link specific pollinator species to individual plants and display the interaction frequency in bipartite mutualistic visitation network using standard network science modeling tools. This graphical representation will condense complex ecological interaction patterns and facilitate comparison of pollinator network resiliency across the gradients of climate and cattle disturbance. We hope that these results will supplement existing literature and make a compelling case for environmental policy that safeguards critical pollination services.

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Nov 18th, 10:00 AM Nov 18th, 11:00 AM

Anthropogenic effects on plant-pollinator interactions in California

BSC-Ursa Minor 45

Pollination services provided by insects are critical ecological interactions that enable industries like agriculture to support exponentially growing world populations. As human-driven climate change progresses and more wildlands are converted to low-productivity rangelands, we hypothesize that the resilience of plant-pollinator networks will become increasingly challenged. The Tejon Ranch Project is a 27-hectare study of pollinator network stability across a gradient of climate and cattle grazing that mimics projected shifts in California’s long-term climate patterns and land use. Insect pollinators were collected from randomized blocks spanning a climate gradient of arid to mesic with a range of heavy to null grazing at each climate level. Colored collection pans were used as proxies for flowers to trap pollinators for identification and characterization of biodiversity at each climate. Subsequent work will assess pollinator network resilience to current rates of environmental change using the widely accepted metrics of nestedness and redundancy. Nestedness describes the level of association between specialist and generalist species while redundancy is simply a ratio of the number of pollinators per plant. Following sample processing, the data collected will be used to link specific pollinator species to individual plants and display the interaction frequency in bipartite mutualistic visitation network using standard network science modeling tools. This graphical representation will condense complex ecological interaction patterns and facilitate comparison of pollinator network resiliency across the gradients of climate and cattle disturbance. We hope that these results will supplement existing literature and make a compelling case for environmental policy that safeguards critical pollination services.