Solidago Altissima And Terpenes: Relationship With Insect Pollinators And Preferences

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

Abstract: The interaction between plants and insect pollinators plays an important role contributing to the biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems. Flowers produce chemicals resulting in olfactory and gustation ques that largely contribute to these interactions by attracting the most beneficial pollinators. Solidago altissima is an often-dominant old-field plant species that supports a large insect community and contains substantial intraspecific genetic variation resulting in different genotypes that may contain different concentrations of terpenes in the flowers. My research examined differences in floral terpenes in S. altissima in an old-field containing different genotypes. I investigated if terpene variation resulted in significant relationships with pollinator abundances for several insect taxonomic groups. Results showed differences in pollinator abundance and terpene concentrations and there were significant relationships among some terpenes and taxonomic groups. My data suggest that pollinators use terpenes at some phytochemical level to evaluate the S. altissima plant they choose to visit. I also used individual terpenes found in S. altissima to determine if bee pollinators had preferences for terpenes over a sucrose solution. My data demonstrates that terpenes play a potentially important role in pollinator choice of S. altissima plants, and that the preference for specific compounds is evident in some cases.

Additional Information

Weaver, F. (2022). Solidago Altissima And Terpenes: Relationship With Insect Pollinators And Preferences. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2022
Solidago altissima, Terpenes, insect pollinators, preferences, plant-pollinator interactions

Email this document to