Abstract Detail

The impact of climate change on plants and their interactions with pollinators

Rafferty, Nicole [1], de Manincor, Natasha [1], Fisogni, Alessandro [1].

How does simultaneous warming affect plants and pollinators?

Climate change may disrupt plant-pollinator mutualisms by generating phenological mismatches and by altering traits that shape the costs and benefits of interactions. Despite recent advances on this topic, our knowledge is still limited to studies that manipulate one partner (plant or pollinators) or focus on one mechanism of potential disruption (phenology or traits). In a greenhouse, we simultaneously warmed experimental communities of plants (Collinsia heterophyllaNemophila menziesiiPhacelia campanularia) and pollinators (the solitary bee, Osmia lignaria). We evaluated how warming affects plant and pollinator phenology (e.g., flowering onset and bee emergence), plant traits (e.g., nectar production and flower size), pollinator visitation behavior (e.g., handling time), and fitness metrics (e.g., seed set). With warming, bees had a higher probability of emerging earlier, flowering peaked earlier, the flowering period was shorter, and fewer flowers were produced. We found that warming advanced plant and bee phenology by different, species-specific amounts. In addition, plants exposed to higher temperatures produced smaller flowers with lower volumes of more-concentrated nectar than plants at ambient temperatures, likely reducing floral attractiveness. Under warmed conditions, interaction rates were lower and peaked earlier compared to ambient temperatures. Reduced interaction rates were associated with reduced seed set and seed mass in all three plant species, suggesting fitness costs mediated by pollinators. These findings suggest climate change will have multifaceted effects on plant-pollinator mutualisms, with potential fitness consequences for both partners.

1 - University of California, Riverside, Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, 900 University Ave, Riverside, CA, 92521, USA

climate change
phenological mismatch

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Number: S3004
Abstract ID:297
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2022, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved