Abstract Detail

Reproductive Processes

Barker, Daniel A. [1], Arceo-Gomez, Gerardo [2].

The effects of invasive plant species on pollen transfer networks in Southern Appalachian floral communities.

Approximately 90% of flowering plants depend on pollinators for reproduction. The stability and effectiveness of plant-pollinator interactions are crucial for ecosystem function. Increasing numbers of non-native plants are naturalized in plant communities and may alter pollination success of native plant species. Thus, invasive species have the potential to alter community function and stability. However, the effects of invasive species on community-wide plant-pollinator interactions are poorly understood. While the effects of invasive species on the structure of plant-pollinator networks are well studied. However, these studies have relied on pollinator visitation data that is only one component of the pollination process. Thus, the effects of invasive species on pollen transport and pollen transfer dynamics remain unknown and this may misrepresent the true nature of invasive effects on community-wide plant-pollinator interactions. Pollen transport networks may give more accurate representations of plant-pollinator interactions by providing information on pollen collection by floral visitors. Therefore, in this study I evaluate the effect of the invasive Cirsium arvense on pollen transport networks to improve our understanding of the impact that invasive plants have on community-wide plant-pollinator interactions. Pollinators were collected on one invaded and one non-invaded site once weekly throughout the flowering season (May- August of 2017). Pollen was isolated for each insect and pollen samples were identified with a pollen reference library and counted using a hemocytometer. 154 insect morphospecies were collected carrying 73 pollen species. Preliminary results indicate that Cirsium arvense has no impact on network structure: connectance (0.15 and 0.18), link density (3.01 and 2.23), and weighted nestedness (0.68 and 0.75), for invaded and non-invaded respectively. However, the role of individual species within the network seems to vary between sites suggesting that Cirsium arvense may change community dynamics (identity of species-pair interactions). Future analysis will evaluate invasive species effects at the species level.

1 - East Tennessee State University, Biological Sciences, 1276 Gilbreath Dr., Johnson City, Tennessee, 37614, United States
2 - 1807 Triangle Rd, Johnson City, TN, 37604, United States


Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PRP011
Abstract ID:483
Candidate for Awards:None

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