Start Date

7-3-2022 12:00 AM

End Date

8-3-2022 12:00 AM

Abstract

Native cultivars present a paradox for ecologically-minded gardeners: growing interest in native plants is largely related to their benefits to pollinators, yet many native plants found at nurseries may be significantly altered, compared to wild genotypes. The goals of our research are to identify potential differences in bee preference for wild type natives or cultivars, and to understand what floral traits plant breeding impacts. In this presentation, we focus on native bee visitation to 7 genera of Oregon native plants and one to three associated cultivars, documented over two field seasons (2020 and 2021). This study is ongoing, and takes place at Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture in Corvallis, Oregon. Each season we conducted 5-minute pollinator counts before, during, and after peak bloom (25-100% bloom coverage). We hypothesize native bee preference (based on pollinator counts) for native status (natives or cultivars) will vary by plant genus group, and altered plant traits (via selections and/or breeding) may be associated with changes in bee visitation. Our preliminary analyses reveal no clear preference for natives or cultivars across all study plant groups, but native status was found to be a significant predictor of the variance in foraging native bee abundance for three plant groups. A post-hoc Tukey test revealed the native annual Clarkia amoena received significantly more visitation than its cultivars in both 2020 and 2021, the native Eschscholzia californica received greater visitation than one cultivar in 2021, and Achillea millefolium was preferred over one cultivar in 2020 and two in 2021.

Subjects

Animal ecology, Conservation biology, Plant ecology

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Mar 7th, 12:00 AM Mar 8th, 12:00 AM

Natives and Nativars: Understanding Pollinator Preference for Native Plants and Their Cultivated Counterparts in the Pacific Northwest

Native cultivars present a paradox for ecologically-minded gardeners: growing interest in native plants is largely related to their benefits to pollinators, yet many native plants found at nurseries may be significantly altered, compared to wild genotypes. The goals of our research are to identify potential differences in bee preference for wild type natives or cultivars, and to understand what floral traits plant breeding impacts. In this presentation, we focus on native bee visitation to 7 genera of Oregon native plants and one to three associated cultivars, documented over two field seasons (2020 and 2021). This study is ongoing, and takes place at Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture in Corvallis, Oregon. Each season we conducted 5-minute pollinator counts before, during, and after peak bloom (25-100% bloom coverage). We hypothesize native bee preference (based on pollinator counts) for native status (natives or cultivars) will vary by plant genus group, and altered plant traits (via selections and/or breeding) may be associated with changes in bee visitation. Our preliminary analyses reveal no clear preference for natives or cultivars across all study plant groups, but native status was found to be a significant predictor of the variance in foraging native bee abundance for three plant groups. A post-hoc Tukey test revealed the native annual Clarkia amoena received significantly more visitation than its cultivars in both 2020 and 2021, the native Eschscholzia californica received greater visitation than one cultivar in 2021, and Achillea millefolium was preferred over one cultivar in 2020 and two in 2021.