Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7255

Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The influence of relative plant density and floral morphological complexity on the behaviour of bumblebees
Authors: Stout, Jane C
Allen, John A
Goulson, Dave
Contact Email: dave.goulson@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Bombus spp.
foraging
pollination
resource utilisation
visitation rates
Issue Date: Dec-1998
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Stout JC, Allen JA & Goulson D (1998) The influence of relative plant density and floral morphological complexity on the behaviour of bumblebees, Oecologia, 117 (4), pp. 543-550.
Abstract: We assessed the combined effects of varying the relative density and the relative floral morphological complexity of plant species on the behaviour of their bumblebee pollinators. Three species of bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum, B. terrestris and B. hortorum) were observed foraging on experimental arrays consisting of pair-wise combinations of four plant species: Borago officinalis, Phacelia tanacetifolia (both with simple flowers), Antirrhinum majus and Linaria vulgaris (both with complex flowers). Plant arrangements consisted of either two simple-flower species, a simple with a complex species or two complex species. The number of plants in each array was constant, while the frequency of each species was manipulated so that it was either rare, equal or common compared with its competitor. Contrary to predictions, rare plants were actually at an advantage in terms of the number of bees attracted per plant. However, rare plants were at a disadvantage in terms of pollen wastage because foragers more often went to a flower of another species after visiting a rare plant. The behaviour of bees on each plant species was further affected by plant floral complexity and the identity of the other species in the array. The three bumblebee species were markedly different in their foraging behaviour and in their responses to varying floral density and complexity. Each species preferred particular flower species. The results are discussed with reference to resource partitioning among bumblebee species.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7255
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s004420050691
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: University of Southampton
University of Southampton
Biological and Environmental Sciences

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