Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Patch dynamics of a foraging assemblage of bees

  • 39 Accesses

  • 6 Citations

Summary

The composition and dynamics of foraging assemblages of bees were examined from the standpoint of species-level arrival and departure processes in patches of flowers. Experiments with bees visiting 4 different species of flowers in subalpine meadows in Colorado gave the following results:

  1. 1)

    In enriched patches the rates of departure of bees were reduced, resulting in increases in both the number of bees per species and the average number of species present.

  2. 2)

    The reduction in bee departure rates from enriched patches was due to mechanical factors-increased flower handling time, and to behavioral factors-an increase in the number of flowers visited per inflorescence and in the number of inflorescences visited per patch. Bees foraging in enriched patches could collect nectar 30–45% faster than those foraging in control patches.

  3. 3)

    The quantitative changes in foraging assemblages due to enrichment, in terms of means and variances of species population sizes, fraction of time a species was present in a patch, and in mean and variance of the number of species present, were in reasonable agreement with predictions drawn from queuing theory and studies in island biogeography.

  4. 4)

    Experiments performed with 2 species of flowers with different corolla tube lengths demonstrated that manipulation of resources of differing availability had unequal effects on particular subsets of the larger foraging community.

The arrival-departure process of bees on flowers and the immigration-extinction process of species on islands are contrasted, and the value of the stochastic, species-level approach to community composition is briefly discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Abbott I (1983) The meaning of z in species/area regressions and the study of turnover in island biogeography. Oikos 41:385–390

  2. Abele LG, Patton WK (1976) The size of coral heads and the community biology of associated decapod crustaceans. J Biogeogr 3:35–47

  3. Anderson LS (1984) Organization of a plant-pollinator community in a seasonal habitat. PhD thesis, Univ of Arizona, Tucson

  4. Brown JH, Kodric-Brown A (1977) Turnover rates in insular biogeography: effect of immigration on extinction. Ecology 58:445–449

  5. Cairns J, Dahlberg ML, Dickson KL, Smith N, Waller WT (1969) The relationship of fresh-water protozoan communities to the MacArthur-Wilson equilibrium model. Am Nat 103:439–454

  6. Charnov EL (1976) Optimal foraging, the marginal value theorem. Theor Pop Biol 9:126–136

  7. Cohen JE (1971) Casual groups of monkeys and men: stochastic models of elemental social systems. Harvard Univ Press. Cambridge

  8. Connor EF, Simberloff D (1979) The assembly of species communities: chance or competition? Ecology 60:1132–1140

  9. Diamond JM, Gilpin ME (1983) Biogeographic umbilici and the origin of the Philippine avifauna. Oikos 41:307–321

  10. Diamond JM, Marshall AG (1977) Distributional ecology of New Hebridean birds: a species kaleidoscope. J Anim Ecol 46:703–727

  11. Gilpin ME, Diamond JM (1981) Immigration and extinction probabilities for individual species: relation to incidence functions and species colonization curves. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 78:392–396

  12. Graves GR, Gotelli NJ (1983) Neotropical land-bridge avifaunas: new approaches to null hypotheses in biogeography. Oikos 41:322–333

  13. Gross D, Harris CM (1974) Fundamentals of queueing theory. Wiley, New York

  14. Haila Y (1983) Land birds on northern islands: a sampling metaphor for insular colonization. Oikos 41:334–351

  15. Heinrich B (1979) Resource heterogeneity and patterns of movement in foraging bumblebees. Oecologia 40:235–245

  16. Hodges CM, Wolf LL (1981) Optimal foraging in bumblebees: why is nectar left behind in flowers? Behav Ecol Sociobiol 9:41–44

  17. Inouye DW (1978) Resource partitioning in bumblebees: experimental studies of foraging behavior. Ecology 59:672–678

  18. Janzen DH (1968) Host plants as islands in evolutionary and contemporary time. Am Nat 102:592–595

  19. Janzen DH (1973) Host plants as islands. II. Competition in evolutionary and contemporary time. Am Nat 107:786–790

  20. Jones HL, Diamond JM (1976) Short-time-base studies of turnover in breeding bird populations on the California Channel Islands. Condor 78:526–549

  21. Macior LW (1974) Pollination ecology of the front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Melanderia 15:1–59

  22. Noether GE (1967) Elements of nonparametric statistics. Wiley, New York

  23. Pyke GH (1978) Optimal foraging: movement patterns of bumblebees between inflorescences. Theor Pop Biol 13:72–98

  24. Pyke GH (1982) Foraging in bumblebees: rule of departure from an inflorescence. Can J Zool 60:417–428

  25. Simberloff DS (1969) Experimental zoogeography of islands: a model for insular colonization. Ecology 50:296–314

  26. Southwood TRE, Kennedy CEJ (1983) Trees as islands. Oikos 41:359–371

  27. Strong DR (1974) Nonasymptotic species richness models and the insects of British trees. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 71:2766–2769

  28. Terborgh J, Winter B (1978) Some causes of extinction. In: Soule M, Wilcox BA (eds) Conservation biology: an evolutionary-ecological perspective. Sinauer, Sunderland, MA, p 119–134

  29. Toft CA, Schoener TW (1983) Abundance and diversity of orb spiders on 106 Bahamian islands: biogeography at an intermediate trophic level. Oikos 41:411–426

  30. Van Elteren Ph (1960) On the combination of independent two sample tests of Wilcoxon. Bull Inst Intern Stat 37:351–361

  31. Whitham TG (1977) Coevolution of foraging in Bombus and nectar dispensing in Chilopsis: a last dreg theory. Science 197:593–596

  32. Wright DH (1983) Species-energy theory: an extension of speciesarea theory. Oikos 41:496–506

  33. Wright DH (1984) Available energy and species diversity: theory and experiments with bees. PhD thesis, Univ of Arizona, Tucson

  34. Zimmerman M (1983) Calculating nectar production rates: residual nectar and optimal foraging. Oecologia (Berlin) 58:258–259

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wright, D.H. Patch dynamics of a foraging assemblage of bees. Oecologia 65, 558–565 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00379673

Download citation

Keywords

  • Community Composition
  • Reasonable Agreement
  • Departure Rate
  • Tube Length
  • Quantitative Change