plant-pollinator interactions

beeWe’re engaged in ongoing research looking at the interactions between plants and pollinators (and additional levels above these – plants interact with other plants via pollinators, whilst individual pollinators interact with other pollinators of their own and other species).

Much of this recent work is in collaboration with Heather Whitney (University of Bristol), exploring how floral characteristics influence and manipulate the behaviour of visiting pollinators. In addition, we are exploring how the structure of the landscape can affect the way in which pollinators are able to interact with plants.

relevant publications

Harrap MJM, Hempel de Ibarra N, Knowles HG, Whitney HM & Rands SA (2020). Floral humidity in flowering plants: a preliminary survey. Frontiers in Plant Science 11: 249 | full text (open access)

Harrap MJM, Lawson DA, Whitney HM & Rands SA (online early). Cross-modal transfer in visual and nonvisual cues in bumblebees. Journal of Comparative Physiology A | full text (open access)

Harrap MJM, Rands SA, Hempel de Ibarra N & Whitney HM (2017). The diversity of floral temperature patterns, and their use by pollinators. eLife 6: e31262 | full text (open access) | dryad dataset | accompanying insight article by Bing & Kessler

Lawson DA, Chittka L, Whitney HM & Rands SA (2018). Bumblebees distinguish floral scent patterns, and can transfer these to corresponding visual patterns. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 258: 20180661 | full text

Lawson DA & Rands SA (2018). The evolution of floral nectar guides: using a genetic algorithm to investigate the evolution of optimal floral cue arrangements. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 123: 739-753 | full text (courtesy of Oxford University Press)

Lawson DA & Rands SA (online early). The effects of rainfall on plant-pollinator interactions. Arthropod-Plant Interactions | full text (open access)

Lawson DA, Whitney HM & Rands SA (2017). Colour as a backup for scent in the presence of olfactory noise: testing the efficacy backup hypothesis using bumblebees (Bombus terrestris). Royal Society Open Science 4: 170996 | full text (open access) | pdf

Lawson DA, Whitney HM & Rands SA (2017). Nectar discovery speeds and multimodal displays: assessing discovery times in bees with radiating and non-radiating guides. Evolutionary Ecology 31: 899-912 | full text (open access) | pdf

Rands SA (2014). Landscape fragmentation and pollinator movement within agricultural environments: a modelling framework for exploring foraging and movement ecology. PeerJ 2: e269 | full text | pdf

Rands SA, Glover BJ & Whitney HM (2011). Floral epidermal structure and flower orientation: getting to grips with awkward flowers. Arthropod-Plant Interactions 5: 279-285 | abstract | pdf (postprint version)

Rands SA & Whitney HM (2008). Floral temperature and optimal foraging: is heat a feasible floral reward for pollinators? PLoS One 3: e2007 | pdf | full text

Rands SA & Whitney HM (2010). Effects of pollinator density-dependent preferences on field margin pollination in the midst of agricultural monocultures: a modelling approach. Ecological Modelling 221: 1310-1316 | abstract | pdf (postprint version)

Rands SA & Whitney HM (2011). Field margins, foraging distances and their impacts on nesting pollinator success. PLoS One 6: e25971 | full text | pdf

Whitney HM, Milne G, Rands SA, Vignolini S, Martin C & Glover BJ (2013). The influence of pigmentation patterning on bumblebee foraging from flowers of Antirrhinum majus. Naturwissenschaften 100: 249-256 | abstract

Whitney HM, Rands SA, Elton NJ & Ellis AG (2012). A technique for measuring petal gloss, with examples from the Namaqualand flora. PLoS One 7: e29476 | full text | pdf

Whitney HM, Reed A, Rands SA, Chittka L & Glover BJ (2016). Flower iridescence increases object detection in the insect visual system without compromising object identity. Current Biology 26: 802-808 | full text (open access) | pdf

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