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Data from: Responses of social and solitary bees to pulsed floral resources

Cite this dataset

Crone, Elizabeth E. (2013). Data from: Responses of social and solitary bees to pulsed floral resources [Dataset]. Dryad.


Pulsed food resources lead to mismatches between distribution of consumers and resources in space and time. Many studies have investigated how pollinators and floral resources covary in space, but few have looked at their covariance among years. I studied responses of two bee taxa, Bombus (a social genus) and Anthophora (a solitary genus), to variation in flowering by Astragalus scaphoides, a perennial herb that flowers in alternate years. First, I quantified the rate at which individual plants were visited by bees. Anthophora showed evidence of a demographic response to resource pulses—that is, more individuals were seen in the year after a high-flowering year—whereas Bombus did not. Second, I quantified pollinator behavior by following individual bees and recording the proportion of visits to A. scaphoides within single foraging bouts. The proportion of visits to A. scaphoides by both taxa increased with A. scaphoides’s flowering density. Higher specialization in high-flowering years likely makes both taxa better pollinators in high-flowering years. If these taxa differ in effectiveness as pollinators, then these responses translate into variation in pollination services in space and time, specifically, more activity by Bombus in high-flowering years and more by Anthophora in years following high-flowering years. They also emphasize that pollinator activity depends in part on past—as well as current—floral resources.

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