The Forgotten Pollinators

The Forgotten Pollinators

Stephen L. Buchmann

Language: English

Pages: 312

ISBN: 1559633522

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Consider this: Without interaction between animals and flowering plants, the seeds and fruits that make up nearly eighty percent of the human diet would not exist.In "The Forgotten Pollinators," Stephen L. Buchmann, one of the world's leading authorities on bees and pollination, and Gary Paul Nabhan, award-winning writer and renowned crop ecologist, explore the vital but little-appreciated relationship between plants and the animals they depend on for reproduction -- bees, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, bats, and countless other animals, some widely recognized and other almost unknown.Scenes from around the globe -- examining island flora and fauna on the Galapagos, counting bees in the Panamanian rain forest, witnessing an ancient honey-hunting ritual in Malaysia -- bring to life the hidden relationships between plants and animals, and demonstrate the ways in which human society affects and is affected by those relationships. Buchmann and Nabhan combine vignettes from the field with expository discussions of ecology, botany, and crop science to present a lively and fascinating account of the ecological and cultural context of plant-pollinator relationships.More than any other natural process, plant-pollinator relationships offer vivid examples of the connections between endangered species and threatened habitats. The authors explain how human-induced changes in pollinator populations -- caused by overuse of chemical pesticides, unbridled development, and conversion of natural areas into monocultural cropland-can have a ripple effect on disparate species, ultimately leading to a "cascade of linked extinctions."

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information. Because we do not endorse the casual introduction of pollinator species or easily managed population from one region into another, we encourage restoration ecologists and others to use this listing judiciously. A new genetic stock or nonnative species should be introduced into an area (except for totally controlled confinement situations as in some insectaries and greenhouses) only as a last resort and when no native pollinator is available—and then only after much deliberation and

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individual plant dies while its genes are carried into the next generation within the seeds shaken from the fruits. Their flowering stalks appear like ornate candelabras punctuating the fiery Arizona summer skies during sunset. Although the flower stalk architecture is clearly modified (open and sturdy flower clusters presented on short horizontal branches), when night’s darkness gives way to the chill of dawn, other interlopers are on the scene. At this time of the early morning, one can see

likely to be broken, scrambled, rotten, or parched. If migratory bats or monarchs were the only ones to deal with the perils found along the nectar trail, this story perhaps would be unremarkable. But throw in other kinds of nectar-feeders: the thirteen migratory hummingbirds, three sapsuckers, two warblers, and five orioles that move between the tropical and arctic reaches of the New World. Then consider the flying foxes that move between one island and the next in the Pacific. Then toss into

of Arizona and Mexico highlight the behavioral differences between native bees and honeybees as pollinators. The native gourd bees and carpenter bees were clearly the more reliable in harvesting and then depositing large quantities of pollen on receptive stigmas. We determined that to achieve full seed set for each female flower on a gourd or squash plant, it would take an average of 3⋅3 visits per honeybee, but as few as 1⋅3 visits per Xenoglossa squash bee and 1. 1 visits per carpenter bee. By

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