Oecologia

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 326–336

Behavior of bumble bee pollinators of Aralia hispida Vent. (Araliaceae)

  • James D. Thomson
  • Wayne P. Maddison
  • R. C. Plowright
Article

Summary

The andromonoecious plant Aralia hispida has a complicated blooming schedule involving alternations between male and female phases.Nectar and pollen are released gradually through the day. Plants vary considerably in number of flowers per umbel and number of umbels per plant. The major pollinators, bumble bees, show several characteristic behaviors in response to the plant's presentation.
  1. 1.

    Foraging bees preferentially visit umbels that bear large numbers of open, male-phase flowers. They also prefer shoots with large numbers of umbels.

     
  2. 2.

    If bees have received high nectar rewards at one umbel, they are more likely to visit a neighboring umbel rather than leaving the area. On drained umbels, bees probe more empty flowers before rejecting the umbel if they have been rewarded just previously.

     
  3. 3.

    Individual bees restrict their foraging to limited areas. Within these areas, they concentrate their visits on certain shoots which they tend to visit in repeatable sequences, or “traplines”. It is inappropriate to consider these bees as “searching”.

     
  4. 4.

    We discuss some of the implications of these data for two areas of current theoretical interest: plant reproductive strategies and optimal foraging.

     

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Austin GH (1955) Effect of carbon dioxide anaesthesia on bee behavior and expectation of life. Bee Wld 36:45–47Google Scholar
  2. Baker HG (1976) “Mistake pollination” as a reproductive system with special reference to the Caricaceae, pp. 161–169 in J. Burley and B.T. Styles (eds.). Tropical trees: variation, breeding, and conservation. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrett SCH, Helenurm K (1981) Sex ratio and life history in Aralia nudicaulis (Araliaceae). Evolution 35:752–762Google Scholar
  4. Barrett SCH, Thomson JD (1981) Spatial pattern, floral sex ratios, and fecundity in dioecious Aralia nudicaulis L. (Araliaceae). Can J Bot (in press)Google Scholar
  5. Bawa KS (1980) Mimicry of male flowers and intra-sexual competition for pollinators in Jacaratia dolichaula (D. Smith) Woodson (Caricaceae). Evolution 34:467–474Google Scholar
  6. Bawa KS, Keegan CR, and Voss RH (1982) Sexual dimorphism in Aralia nudicaulis L. (Araliaceae) Evolution 36:371–378Google Scholar
  7. Beattie AJ (1971a) A technique for the study of insect-borne pollen. Pan Pacif Ent 47:82Google Scholar
  8. Beattie AJ (1971b) Pollination mechanisms in Viola. New Phytol. 70:343–360Google Scholar
  9. Beattie AJ, Breedlove DE and Ehrlich PR (1973) The ecology of the pollinators and predators of Frasera speciosa. Ecology 54:81–91Google Scholar
  10. Cruden RW and Hermann-Parker SM (1977) Temporal dioecism: an alternative to dioecism. Evolution 31:863–866Google Scholar
  11. Darwin C (1876) The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. Murray, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Davies NB and Houston AI (1981) Owners and satellites: the economics of territory defence in the pied wagtail, Motacilla alba. J Anim Ecol 50:157–180Google Scholar
  13. Gill FB and Wolf LL (1977) Nonradom foraging by sunbirds in a patchy environment. Ecology 58:1284–1296Google Scholar
  14. Hartling L and Plowright RC (1979) Foraging by bumble bees on patches of artificial flowers: a laboratory study. Can J Zool 57:1866–1870Google Scholar
  15. Heinrich B (1976) The foraging specializations of individual bumblebees. Ecol Monogr 46:105–128Google Scholar
  16. Heinrich B (1979a) Bumblebee economics. Harvard Univ Press, Cambridge, MassGoogle Scholar
  17. Heinrich B (1979b) “Majoring” and “minoring” by foraging bumblebees, Bombus vagans: an experimental analysis. Ecology 60:245–255Google Scholar
  18. Heinrich B (1979c) Resource heterogeneity and patterns of movement in foraging bumblebees. Oecologia 40:235–245Google Scholar
  19. Heinrich B, Mudge PR and Deringis PG (1977) A Laboratory analysis of flower constancy in foraging bumblebees: Bombus ternarius and B. terricola. Benav Ecol Socibiol 2:247–266Google Scholar
  20. Janzen DH (1971) Euglossine bees as long-distance pollinators of tropical plants. Science 171:203–205Google Scholar
  21. Janzen DH (1977) A note on optimal mate selection by plants. Amer Natur 111:365–371Google Scholar
  22. Kevan PG (1976) Fluorescent nectar. Science 194:341–342Google Scholar
  23. Levin DA and Kerster HW (1973) Assortative pollination for stature in Lythrum salicaria. Evolution 27:144–152Google Scholar
  24. Lloyd DG (1980) The distributions of gender in four angiosperm species illustrating two evolutionary pathways to dioecy. Evolution 34:123–134Google Scholar
  25. Manning A (1956) Some aspects of the foraging behaviour of bumble-bees. Behaviour 9:164–201Google Scholar
  26. O'Brien MH (1980) The pollination biology of a pavement plain: pollinator visitation patterns. Oecologia 47:213–218Google Scholar
  27. Oster G and Heinrich B (1976) Why do bumblebees major? A mathematical model. Ecol Monogr 46:129–133Google Scholar
  28. Pesenko YA (1972) Method of counting insect pollinators. Soviet J Ecol 3:68–73Google Scholar
  29. Pleasants JM and Zimmerman M (1979) Patchiness in the dispersion of nectar resources: evidence for hot and cold spots. Oecologia 41:283–288Google Scholar
  30. Pomeroy N and Plowright RC (1979) Larval ejection following CO2 narcosis of bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). J Kans Ent Soc 52:215–217Google Scholar
  31. Pyke GH (1974) Studies in the foraging efficiency of animals. Ph D dissertation, University of ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  32. Pyke GH (1978a) Optimal foraging: movement patterns of bumblebees between inflorescences. Theor Pop Biol 13:72–98Google Scholar
  33. Pyke GH (1978b) Optimal foraging in bumblebees and coevolution with their plants. Oecologia 36:281–291Google Scholar
  34. Pyke GH (1979) Optimal foraging in bumblebees: rule of movement between flowers within inflorescences. Anim Behav 27:1167–1181Google Scholar
  35. Ribbands CR (1949) The foraging method of individual honeybees. J Anim Ecol 18:47–66Google Scholar
  36. Ribbands CR (1950) Changes in the behaviour of honey-bees following their recovery from anaesthesia. J Exp Biol 27:302–310Google Scholar
  37. Schemske DW (1980) Evolution of floral display in the orchid Brassavola nodosa. Evolution 34:489–493Google Scholar
  38. Singh S (1950) Behavior studies of honeybees in gathering nectar and pollen. Bull Cornell agric exp sta 288:1–59Google Scholar
  39. Sokal RR and Rohlf FJ (1969) Biometry. WH Freeman, San Francisco 776 ppGoogle Scholar
  40. Thomson JD (1981) Field measures of constancy in bumble bees. Am Midl Nat 105:377–380Google Scholar
  41. Thomson JD and Barrett SCH (1981) Temporal variation of gender in Aralia hispida Vent. (Araliaceae). Evolution 35:1094–1107Google Scholar
  42. Thomson JD and Plowright RC (1980) Pollen carryover, nectar rewards, and pollinator behavior with special reference to Diervilla lonicera. Oecologia 46:68–74Google Scholar
  43. Thorp RW, Briggs DL and Erikson EH (1975) Nectar fluorescence under ultraviolet irradiation. Science 189:476–478Google Scholar
  44. Waddington KD (1979b) Quantification of the movement patterns of bees: a novel method. Amer Midl Natur 101:278–285Google Scholar
  45. Waddington KD (1980) Flight patterns of foraging bees relative to density of artificial flowers and distribution of nectar. Oecologia 44:199–204Google Scholar
  46. Waddington KD and Heinrich B (1979) The foraging movements of bees on vertical “inflorescences”: an experimental analysis. J Comp Physiol 134:113–117Google Scholar
  47. Waddington KD and Holden LR (1979) Optimal foraging: on flower selection by bees. Amer Natur 114:179–196Google Scholar
  48. Willson MF (1979) Sexual selection in plants. Amer Natur 113:777–790Google Scholar
  49. Willson MF and Price PW (1977) The evolution of inflorescence size in Asclepias (Asclepiadaceae). Evolution 31:495–511Google Scholar
  50. Willson MF and Rathcke BJ (1974) Adaptive design of the floral display in Asclepias syriaca L Amer Midl Natur 92:47–57Google Scholar
  51. Zimmerman M (1979) Optimal foraging: a case for random movement. Oecologia 43:261–267Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • James D. Thomson
    • 1
  • Wayne P. Maddison
    • 1
  • R. C. Plowright
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Ecology and Evolution DepartmentState University of New YorkStony BrookUSA
  3. 3.Museum of Comparative ZoologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations