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Data from: Floral bagging differentially affects handling behaviors and single-visit pollen deposition by honey bees and native bees

Citation

Cecala, Jacob; Lau, Pierre; Leong, Joan (2020), Data from: Floral bagging differentially affects handling behaviors and single-visit pollen deposition by honey bees and native bees, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.6086/D1NH38

Abstract

Measurements of pollinator performance are crucial to pollination studies, enabling researchers to quantify the relative value of different pollinator species to plant reproduction. One of the most widely employed measures of pollinator performance is single-visit pollen deposition, the number of conspecific pollen grains deposited to a stigma after one pollinator visit. To ensure a pollen-free stigma, experimenters must first bag flowers before exposing them to a pollinator. Bagging flowers, however, may unintentionally manipulate floral characteristics to which pollinators respond. In this study, we quantified the effect of bagging on nectar volume in watermelon (*Citrullus lanatus*) flowers, and how this affects pollinator performance and behavior. Experimental bagging resulted in roughly 30-fold increases in nectar volume relative to unmanipulated, open-pollinated field flowers after only a few hours. Honey bees, but not native bees, consistently displayed elevated handling times and single-visit pollen deposition on unmanipulated bagged flowers relative to those from which we removed nectar to mimic volumes in open-pollinated flowers. Furthermore, we identify specific bee foraging behaviors during a floral visit that account for differences in pollen deposition, and how these differ between honey bees and native bees. Our findings suggest thatexperimental bagging of flowers, without accounting for artificially accumulated nectar, can lead to biased estimates of pollinator performance in pollinator taxa that respond strongly to nectar volume. We advise that pollination studies be attentive to nectar secretion dynamics in their focal plant species to ensure unbiased estimates of pollinator performance across multiple pollinator species. 

Usage Notes

The data file contains five sheets: four sheets containing the actual data, plus a "metadata" tab describing the variables in the other four sheets.

Funding

Agricultural Research Institute, California State University

NSF ADVANCE

National Science Foundation

Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program

Ernest Prete Jr. Foundation