Abstract Detail

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

Inouye, David [1].

Effects of climate change on alpine plants and their pollinators.

A mutualism that helps to support alpine ecosystems is the ecosystem service of pollination. This interaction, involving primarily insect pollinators, is threatened by at least two trends: the changing climate, and the recently-documented widespread decline of insect populations, which may be in part related.  Alpine climates are among those that are changing most rapidly, resulting, for example, in the disappearance of tropical alpine glaciers and the water they provide. Warming temperatures are also resulting in an upward movement of trees and herbaceous plants, resulting in shrinking alpine meadow habitat, and an upward movement of some pollinator species. These migrations occur at different rates, however, as plants and insects differ greatly in their ability to disperse. Thus, historical patterns of spatial overlap among species are changing. Pollinators and plants respond in species-specific ways in terms of phenological responses to the changing climate, rearranging historical temporal patterns of interaction. The combination of changing temporal and spatial dimensions of the pollination mutualism means that alpine plant-pollinator communities are changing, in ways that have not yet been investigated thoroughly. Although there is an international effort, the GLORIA project, documenting the ongoing altitudinal migration of subalpine and alpine plants, there is no corresponding program for monitoring the altitudinal distribution of most pollinator species. The new national monitoring program for native bees in the USA may help with this lack of data, and repeating previous short-term surveys for which data have been published may also provide insights into the ongoing changes. The methods for surveys of pollinators by using a combination of pan traps, netting, and perhaps Malaise traps, are well developed, and what is needed now is a combination of funding and commitment by researchers to document the changing ecology of alpine pollination.

1 - 38213 Hwy 133, Hotchkiss, CO, 81419, United States

climate change

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Number: S3008
Abstract ID:792
Candidate for Awards:None

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