The Effects Of Genotype And Spatial Scale On The Associated Pollinator Community Of Solidago Altissima

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Julie Ragsdale (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Ray Williams

Abstract: Plant-pollinator interactions are among the most important mutualisms, as pollination is a necessary ecological service that contributes to the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The plant Solidago altissima has been used to observe the effects of intraspecific genetic variation on arthropods, though pollinators have largely been ignored. My thesis research examines the relationships between phytochemistry, spatial scale and the pollinator community in S. altissima. I was interested in the trait variation within and between fields so that the role of genetic variation within patches (genetic identity effect) could be compared to effects of spatial scale (environment effect). I expected to find differences in both terpenes and the pollinator community between genotypes, and that there would be a greater impact of plant genotypic variation on the associated insect pollinator community of S. altissima partly due to terpenes. Though my data support the potential role of terpenes in the choice of genotypes by pollinators, my experimental design does not allow a definitive explanation for differences among patches in pollinator abundance, richness, and community evenness. Even so my study is strongly suggestive that further studies, including experiments designed to examine pollinator species preferences for terpenes, are warranted.

Additional Information

Ragsdale, J. (2016). "The Effects of Genotype and Spatial Scale on the Associated Pollinator Community of Solidago altissima." Unpublished Master's Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2016
plant-pollinator interactions, intraspecific genetic variation, solidago altissima, terpenes, plant secondary metabolites

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