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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Abbott I (1983) The meaning of z in species/area regressions and the study of turnover in island biogeography. Oikos 41:385–390
Abele LG, Patton WK (1976) The size of coral heads and the community biology of associated decapod crustaceans. J Biogeogr 3:35–47
Anderson LS (1984) Organization of a plant-pollinator community in a seasonal habitat. PhD thesis, Univ of Arizona, Tucson
Brown JH, Kodric-Brown A (1977) Turnover rates in insular biogeography: effect of immigration on extinction. Ecology 58:445–449
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
Charnov EL (1976) Optimal foraging, the marginal value theorem. Theor Pop Biol 9:126–136
Cohen JE (1971) Casual groups of monkeys and men: stochastic models of elemental social systems. Harvard Univ Press. Cambridge
Connor EF, Simberloff D (1979) The assembly of species communities: chance or competition? Ecology 60:1132–1140
Diamond JM, Gilpin ME (1983) Biogeographic umbilici and the origin of the Philippine avifauna. Oikos 41:307–321
Diamond JM, Marshall AG (1977) Distributional ecology of New Hebridean birds: a species kaleidoscope. J Anim Ecol 46:703–727
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
Graves GR, Gotelli NJ (1983) Neotropical land-bridge avifaunas: new approaches to null hypotheses in biogeography. Oikos 41:322–333
Gross D, Harris CM (1974) Fundamentals of queueing theory. Wiley, New York
Haila Y (1983) Land birds on northern islands: a sampling metaphor for insular colonization. Oikos 41:334–351
Heinrich B (1979) Resource heterogeneity and patterns of movement in foraging bumblebees. Oecologia 40:235–245
Hodges CM, Wolf LL (1981) Optimal foraging in bumblebees: why is nectar left behind in flowers? Behav Ecol Sociobiol 9:41–44
Inouye DW (1978) Resource partitioning in bumblebees: experimental studies of foraging behavior. Ecology 59:672–678
Janzen DH (1968) Host plants as islands in evolutionary and contemporary time. Am Nat 102:592–595
Janzen DH (1973) Host plants as islands. II. Competition in evolutionary and contemporary time. Am Nat 107:786–790
Jones HL, Diamond JM (1976) Short-time-base studies of turnover in breeding bird populations on the California Channel Islands. Condor 78:526–549
Macior LW (1974) Pollination ecology of the front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Melanderia 15:1–59
Noether GE (1967) Elements of nonparametric statistics. Wiley, New York
Pyke GH (1978) Optimal foraging: movement patterns of bumblebees between inflorescences. Theor Pop Biol 13:72–98
Pyke GH (1982) Foraging in bumblebees: rule of departure from an inflorescence. Can J Zool 60:417–428
Simberloff DS (1969) Experimental zoogeography of islands: a model for insular colonization. Ecology 50:296–314
Southwood TRE, Kennedy CEJ (1983) Trees as islands. Oikos 41:359–371
Strong DR (1974) Nonasymptotic species richness models and the insects of British trees. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 71:2766–2769
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
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
Van Elteren Ph (1960) On the combination of independent two sample tests of Wilcoxon. Bull Inst Intern Stat 37:351–361
Whitham TG (1977) Coevolution of foraging in Bombus and nectar dispensing in Chilopsis: a last dreg theory. Science 197:593–596
Wright DH (1983) Species-energy theory: an extension of speciesarea theory. Oikos 41:496–506
Wright DH (1984) Available energy and species diversity: theory and experiments with bees. PhD thesis, Univ of Arizona, Tucson
Zimmerman M (1983) Calculating nectar production rates: residual nectar and optimal foraging. Oecologia (Berlin) 58:258–259
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
- Community Composition
- Reasonable Agreement
- Departure Rate
- Tube Length
- Quantitative Change