Presentation Title

Assessing Pollinator Diversity and Relations to Fruit Production and Floral Diversity at Portland Community Orchards

Presenter(s) Information

Jess TylerFollow

Start Date

5-2-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

5-2-2018 6:00 PM

Abstract

Recent attention has been given to the plight of insect pollinators and scientists and gardeners alike are struggling to determine how to protect them. In urban areas, residential and community gardens are potential floral resources for pollinators. While “pollinator friendly” gardens are becoming popular to support this cause, the plant recommendations lack concrete evidence to show which plants are more effective to the widest range of potential pollinators In urban Portland, the Portland Fruit Tree Project (a small nonprofit) manages five community orchards and has paid special attention to planting “pollinator enhancement” plants at their orchards to help support pollinators and increase fruit production. This project used a citizen science survey to monitor each orchard to determine pollinator diversity and the relation to fruit production and floral diversity. Using citizen science increased understanding of the ecology of urban pollinators and promoted awareness of this important ecological issue Overall, orchards with higher floral richness supported higher richness and abundance of pollinators, but higher pollinator richness had a weakly negative correlation with fruit set. While having more flowering plants thoughout the growing season supported pollinators over a longer time, the fruit set of an orchard was more influenced by the age of the trees. This research will help build evidence for the dynamics of urban pollinators and the role that urban agriculture can play in supporting this vital ecosystem service or even provide urban refuge for pollinators.

Subjects

Animal ecology, Environmental education, Plant ecology

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Feb 5th, 4:00 PM Feb 5th, 6:00 PM

Assessing Pollinator Diversity and Relations to Fruit Production and Floral Diversity at Portland Community Orchards

Recent attention has been given to the plight of insect pollinators and scientists and gardeners alike are struggling to determine how to protect them. In urban areas, residential and community gardens are potential floral resources for pollinators. While “pollinator friendly” gardens are becoming popular to support this cause, the plant recommendations lack concrete evidence to show which plants are more effective to the widest range of potential pollinators In urban Portland, the Portland Fruit Tree Project (a small nonprofit) manages five community orchards and has paid special attention to planting “pollinator enhancement” plants at their orchards to help support pollinators and increase fruit production. This project used a citizen science survey to monitor each orchard to determine pollinator diversity and the relation to fruit production and floral diversity. Using citizen science increased understanding of the ecology of urban pollinators and promoted awareness of this important ecological issue Overall, orchards with higher floral richness supported higher richness and abundance of pollinators, but higher pollinator richness had a weakly negative correlation with fruit set. While having more flowering plants thoughout the growing season supported pollinators over a longer time, the fruit set of an orchard was more influenced by the age of the trees. This research will help build evidence for the dynamics of urban pollinators and the role that urban agriculture can play in supporting this vital ecosystem service or even provide urban refuge for pollinators.