Data from: Scale-dependent shifts in the species composition of flower visitors with changing floral density
Essenberg, Carla J. (2013), Data from: Scale-dependent shifts in the species composition of flower visitors with changing floral density, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.16v7n
Responses of flower-visiting animals to floral density can alter interactions between plants, influencing a variety of biological processes, including plant population dynamics and the evolution of flowering phenology. Many studies have found effects of floral or plant density on pollinator visitation rates at patch scales, but little is known about responses of flower visitors to floral densities at larger scales. Here, I present data from an observational field study in which I measured the effects of floral density on visitation to the annual composite Holocarpha virgata at both patch (4 m(2)) and site (12.6 ha) spatial scales. The species composition of flower visitors changed with floral density, and did so in different ways at the two scales. At the site scale, average floral density within patches of H. virgata or within patches of all summer-flowering species combined had a significant positive effect on per-flowerhead visitation by the long-horned bee Melissodes lupina and no significant effects on visitation by any other taxa. At the patch scale, per-flowerhead visitation by honeybees significantly increased whereas visitation by M. lupina often decreased with increasing floral density. For both species, responses to patch-scale floral density were strongest when site-scale floral density was high. The scale-dependence of flower visitor responses to floral density and the interactions between site- and patch-scale effects of floral density observed in this study underscore the importance of improving our understanding of pollinators' responses to floral density at population scales.