Presentation Title

Pollinator Preference for Pacific Northwest Native Plants and Native Cultivars

Presenter(s) Information

Jen Hayes, Oregon State UniversityFollow

Abstract

The American Society of Landscape Architects ranked native plants as the top landscape and garden trend in 2018 (83.3%), based upon projected consumer demand. Studies demonstrate increased consumer interest in and willingness to pay for native plants because of purported benefits to bees. Despite this interest, the native market remains relatively small; one limitation includes a lack of improved native cultivars (“nativars”) that perform well in gardens. Some suggest that nativars do not support bees as well as wild-type native plants, but studies confirming these concerns have yet to be published in scientific journals. A dissertation on the topic has come out of the University of Vermont, but research has yet to address this question in the Pacific Northwest. This project seeks to understand pollinators’ preference, if any, for native plant species and nativars. We selected 8 plant species that are native to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, suitable for use in home gardens, and had 1-2 available nativar counterparts. Five replicates of each native and nativar, sourced from local and popular nurseries, will be planted in a randomized complete block across 120 1m2 plots. Beginning in spring 2020, flower phenology, pollinator visitation, and difference in floral traits across species will be recorded. Our goal in this presentation is to solicit feedback in advance of our first field season. We hypothesize that nativars might draw bee visitation (relative to wild types) by increasing the visibility of plants to bees via increases in bloom size, bloom duration, and/or color intensity.

Subjects

Conservation biology, Habitat assessment, Plant ecology

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/33823

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Pollinator Preference for Pacific Northwest Native Plants and Native Cultivars

The American Society of Landscape Architects ranked native plants as the top landscape and garden trend in 2018 (83.3%), based upon projected consumer demand. Studies demonstrate increased consumer interest in and willingness to pay for native plants because of purported benefits to bees. Despite this interest, the native market remains relatively small; one limitation includes a lack of improved native cultivars (“nativars”) that perform well in gardens. Some suggest that nativars do not support bees as well as wild-type native plants, but studies confirming these concerns have yet to be published in scientific journals. A dissertation on the topic has come out of the University of Vermont, but research has yet to address this question in the Pacific Northwest. This project seeks to understand pollinators’ preference, if any, for native plant species and nativars. We selected 8 plant species that are native to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, suitable for use in home gardens, and had 1-2 available nativar counterparts. Five replicates of each native and nativar, sourced from local and popular nurseries, will be planted in a randomized complete block across 120 1m2 plots. Beginning in spring 2020, flower phenology, pollinator visitation, and difference in floral traits across species will be recorded. Our goal in this presentation is to solicit feedback in advance of our first field season. We hypothesize that nativars might draw bee visitation (relative to wild types) by increasing the visibility of plants to bees via increases in bloom size, bloom duration, and/or color intensity.