Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220

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Plant-pollinator network: Processes and impacts

  • Research 2022-07-11 JEE 46:15

    Foraging behavior and pollination efficiency of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) and stingless bees (Tetragonula laeviceps species complex) on mango (Mangifera indica L., cv. Nam Dokmai) in Northern Thailand

    Bajaree Chuttong1* , Lakkhika Panyaraksa1 , Chantaluk Tiyayon2 , Wilawan Kumpoun3 , Parinya Chantrasri3 , Phurichaya Lertlakkanawat1 , Chuleui Jung4 and Michael Burgett1,5

    Abstract : Background: The mango is one of the essential fruit trees for the economy of Thailand. Mango pollination relies primarily on insects. Other external forces, such as wind, are less efficient since pollen is sticky and aggregating. There is only one report from Thailand on the use of bees as mango pollinators. The study of the behavior and pollination efficiency of honey bees (Apis mellifera) and stingless bees (Tetragonula laeviceps species complex) was conducted in Nam Dokmai mango plantings in Phrao and Mae Taeng districts, Chiang Mai province, between February and March 2019.Results: Our results reveal that the honey bees commenced foraging earlier than the stingless bee. The number of flowers visited within 1 minute by honey bees was higher than that visited by stingless bees. The average numbers of honey bees and stingless bees that flew out of the hive per minute from 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the Phrao district were 4.21 ± 1.62 and 9.88 ± 7.63 bees/min, respectively, i.e., higher than those observed in Mae Taeng, which were 3.46 ± 1.13 and 1.23 ± 1.20 bees/min, respectively. The numbers of fruits per tree were significantly higher in the honey bee and stingless bee treatments (T1 and T2) than in the open pollination treatment (T3). The number of fruits between T1 and T2 treatments was not different. In the pollinator exclusion treatment (T4), no fruit was produced. Fruit size factors were not significantly different among T1, T2, and T3 treatments.Conclusions: Our results showed that insect pollination is crucial for mango production, especially with the Nam Dokmai variety in Northern Thailand. As pollinator exclusion treatment showed no fruit set, and pollinator treatment significantly increased the fruit sets compared to open access plots, a managed pollinator program would benefit the mango growers for better productivity. Both the honey bee and the stingless bee were shown to be effective as pollinators.

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  • Abstract : Background: In northern Thailand, the longan flower is the principal nectar source for honey production. Microorganisms play a critical function in the agricultural ecology. The morphological characteristics of fungal species found in longan pollen were studied. Aspergillus spp. were found to be invertase-producing strains and were employed in the longan syrup production process. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of invertase-added longan syrup on the adult honey bee population numbers that were fed by this syrup for 16 weeks.Results: Different fungal species were found in longan pollen samples. Aspergillus was the main genus, with three predominant sections: Nigri, Flavi, and Terrei. Other isolated species were Trichoderma spp., Rhizopus spp., Neurospora spp., Chaetomium spp., Fusarium spp. and Penicillium spp. However, Aspergillus spp. is the only fungal species that produces the enzyme invertase. The invertase-producing strains belonging to the Aspergillus section Nigri were found to be A. niger LP5 with an optimum activity at pH 6.0 and 60°C. When A. niger LP5 invertase was used for longan syrup processing, the highest levels of glucose (3.45%) and fructose (2.08%) were found in invertase added longan syrup (C), while fresh (A) and boiled longan syrup (B) had lower contents of both sugars. The sucrose content was detected in (A) at 4.25%, while (B) and (C) were at 4.02% and 3.08%, respectively. An appropriate amount of sugar to feed and maintain the honey bee population was considered. The data showed no statistically significant differences between the two selected forms of longan syrup compared to the sugar syrup examined by the adult honey bee population.Conclusions: The main species of isolated fungi from longan pollen were Aspergillus spp. The discovery of an invertase-producing strain of A. niger LP5 has enabled its application for enzyme utilization in the invert sugar preparation process. The adult worker bee populations fed by longan syrup from both boiled and invertase-added sources showed an increasing trend. Artificial syrup made from longan fruit to feed honey bees when natural food sources are limited can be applied.

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  • Abstract : Background: Pollinators are important ecological elements due to their role in the maintenance of ecosystem health, wild plant reproduction, crop production and food security. The pollinator-plant interaction supports the preservation of plant and animal populations and it also improves the yield in pollination dependent crops. Having knowledge about the plant-pollinator interaction is necessary for development of pesticide risk assessment of pollinators and conservation of endangering species.Results: Traditional methods to discover the relatedness of insects and plants are based on tracing the visiting pollinators by field observations as well as palynology. These methods are time-consuming and needs expert taxonomists to identify different groups of pollinators such as insects or identify flowering plants through palynology. With pace of technology, using molecular methods become popular in identification and classification of organisms. DNA metabarcoding, which is the combination of DNA barcoding and high throughput sequencing, can be applied as an alternative method in identification of mixed origin environmental samples such as pollen loads attached to the body of insects and has been used in DNA-based discovery of plant-pollinator relationship.Conclusions: DNA metabarcoding is practical for plant-pollinator studies, however, lack of reference sequence in online databases, taxonomic resolution, universality of primers are the most crucial limitations. Using multiple molecular markers is preferable due to the limitations of developed universal primers, which improves taxa richness and taxonomic resolution of the studied community.

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  • Research 2022-03-14 JEE 46:07

    Comparative analysis of volatile organic compounds from flowers attractive to honey bees and bumblebees

    Aman Dekebo1,2* , Min-Jung Kim1 , Minwoong Son3 and Chuleui Jung1,3*

    Abstract : Background: Pollinators help plants to reproduce and support economically valuable food for humans and entire ecosystems. However, declines of pollinators along with population growth and increasing agricultural activities hamper this mutual interaction. Nectar and pollen are the major reward for pollinators and flower morphology and volatiles mediate the specialized plant–pollinator interactions. Limited information is available on the volatile profiles attractive to honey bees and bumblebees. In this study we analyzed the volatile organic compounds of the flowers of 9 different plant species that are predominantly visited by honey bees and bumblebees. The chemical compositions of the volatiles were determined using a head space gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method, designed to understand the plant-pollinator chemical interaction. Results: Results showed the monoterpene 1,3,6-octatriene, 3,7-dimethyl-, (E) (E-β-ocimene) was the dominating compound in most flowers analyzed, e.g., in proportion of 60.3% in Lonicera japonica, 48.8% in Diospyros lotus, 38.4% Amorpha fruticosa and 23.7% in Robinia pseudoacacia. Ailanthus altissima exhibited other monoterpenes such as 3,7-dimethyl-1,6-octadien-3-ol (β-linalool) (39.1%) and (5E)-3,5-dimethylocta-1,5,7-trien-3-ol (hotrienol) (32.1%) as predominant compounds. Nitrogen containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were occurring principally in Corydalis speciosa; 1H-pyrrole, 2,3-dimethyl- (50.0%) and pyrimidine, 2-methyl- (40.2%), and in Diospyros kaki; 1-triazene, 3,3-dimethyl-1-phenyl (40.5%). Ligustrum obtusifolium flower scent contains isopropoxycarbamic acid, ethyl ester (21.1%) and n-octane (13.4%) as major compounds. In Castanea crenata the preeminent compound is 1-phenylethanone (acetophenone) (46.7%). Conclusions: Olfactory cues are important for pollinators to locate their floral resources. Based on our results we conclude monoterpenes might be used as major chemical mediators attractive to both honey bees and bumblebees to their host flowers. However, the mode of action of these chemicals and possible synergistic effects for olfaction need further investigation.

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  • Review 2022-01-21 JEE 46:03

    Roles of flower scent in bee–flower mediations: a review

    Daniel Bisrat1,2* and Chuleui Jung1,3

    Abstract : Background: Bees and flowering plants associations were initially began during the early Cretaceous, 120 million years ago. This coexistence has led to a mutual relationship where the plant serves as food and in return, the bee help them their reproduction. Animals pollinate about 75% of food crops worldwide, with bees as the world’s primary pollinator. In general, bees rely on flower scents to locate blooming flowers as visual clue is limited and also their host plants from a distance. In this review, an attempt is made to collect some relevant 107 published papers from three scientific databases, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science database, covering the period from 1959 to 2021.Results: Flowering plants are well documented to actively emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, only a few of them are important for eliciting behavioral responses in bees. In this review, fifty-three volatile organic compounds belonging to different class of compounds, mainly terpenoids, benzenoids, and volatile fatty acid derivatives, is compiled here from floral scents that are responsible for eliciting behavioral responses in bees. Bees generally use honest floral signals to locate their host plants with nectar and pollen-rich flowers. Thus, honest signaling mechanism plays a key role in maintaining mutualistic plant?pollinator associations.Conclusions: Considering the fact that floral scents are the primary attractants, understanding and identification of VOCs from floral scent in plant-pollinator networks are crucial to improve crop pollination. Interestingly, current advances in both VOCs scent gene identification and their biosynthetic pathways make it possible to manipulate particular VOCs in plant, and this eventually may lead to increase in crop productivity.

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  • Abstract : Background Butterflies make an important part for plant-pollinator guild. These are nectar feeder or occasionally pollen feeder and thus proboscis of the butterfly species are considered as one of the most important variable in relation to the collection of food from plants. In butterfly-plant association, nectar source is principally determined by quality of nectar, corolla length, and nectar quantity. For the butterfly, nectar uptake is determined by proboscis length because flowers with long corolla restrict butterfly species containing shorter proboscis. Empirical studies proved that butterfly species with high wing loading visit clustered flowers and species with low wing loading confined their visit to solitary or less nectar rich flowers. The present study tries to investigate the flower preference of butterfly species from Lycaenidae family having very short proboscis, lower body length, lower body weight and wing span than the most species belonging from Nymphalidae, Pieridae, Papilionidae, and Hesperiidae. Results Butterflies with shorter proboscis cannot access nectar from deeper flower. Although they mainly visit on less deeper flower to sucking nectar, butterflies with high wing loading visits clustered flowers to fulfill their energy requirements. In this study, we demonstrated flower choice of seven butterfly species belonging to Lycanidiae family. The proboscis length maintains a positive relationship with body length and body weight. Body length maintains a positive relationship with body weight and wing span. Wing span indicate a strong positive relationship with body weight. This study proved that these seven butterfly species namely Castalius rosimon (CRN), Taracus nara (TNA), Zizinia otis (ZOT), Zizula hylax (ZHY), Jamides celeno (JCE), Chilades laius (CLA), and Psuedozizeeria maha (PMA) visit frequently in Tridax procumbens (TPR), Ocimum americanum (OAM) and Syndrella nodiflora (SNO). The species do not visit Lantana camara (LCA) and Catharanthus roseus (CRO) plants. Conclusion The present study proved that butterfly species visits frequently in Tridax procumbens (TPR), Ocimum americanum (OAM) but less frequently in Syndrella nodiflora (SNO). So, that study determined the butterfly species helps in pollination of these herbs that in turn helps the conservation of these butterfly species.

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  • Abstract : Despite the consumption of bee brood in several parts of the world, particularly in the tropical areas, the practice has received comparatively little attention. We have reviewed all the available information on the nutrient composition and functional properties of different developmental stages of honey bee workers belonging to different species and subspecies. Noticing the competent nutrient composition of, in particular, honey bee brood, pupae, and prepupae, we suggest that they could be a potential source of human nutrition as well as animal feed. Moreover, drone brood is an ideal candidate for use as a food or as food ingredient. However, to analyze the functional properties of different honey bee species remains a task for further analysis.

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  • Abstract : BackgroundReferences to insects in myths, stories, and idioms can be found in almost any culture, but with regard to references involving honey bee species in the Asia-Australian region, little information is available. Such references to bees can be highly informative by revealing attitudes of admiration, fear, ignorance, or even revulsion towards these insects.ResultsThe subject is briefly reviewed and examples of references to bees of selected cultural communities are given. Although folkloristic references to honey bees were found to be mostly positive highlighting fearlessness, cleverness, and industriousness of the bees, some also touch upon their ability to cause pain.ConclusionsOwing to the decreasing contacts and increasing alienization regarding insects generally, a plea is made to collect whatever information is still available about references to bees in songs, myths, stories, proverbs, and idioms and to compare such uses from different regions, e.g., North and South Korea. This would support other fields of research aiming to discover and to describe cultural relationships, migrations, and contacts between different peoples of the Asian/Australian region.

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  • Research 2021-11-29 JEE 45:27

    PollMap: a software for crop pollination mapping in agricultural landscapes

    Ehsan Rahimi1, Shahindokht Barghjelveh1, Pinliang Dong2, Maghsoud Arshadi Pirlar3 and Mohammad Mehdi Jahanbakhshian4

    Abstract : BackgroundEcosystem service mapping is an important tool for decision-making in landscape planning and natural resource management. Today, pollination service mapping is based on the Lonsdorf model (InVEST software) that determines the availability of nesting and floral resources for each land cover and estimates pollination according to the foraging range of the desired species. However, it is argued that the Lonsdorf model has significant limitations in estimating pollination in a landscape that can affect the results of this model.>ResultsThis paper presents a free software, named PollMap, that does not have the limitations of the Lonsdorf model. PollMap estimates the pollination service according to a modified version of the Lonsdorf model and assumes that only cells within the flight range of bees are important in the pollination mapping. This software is produced for estimating and mapping crop pollination in agricultural landscapes. The main assumption of this software is that in the agricultural landscapes, which are dominated by forest and agriculture ecosystems, forest patches serve only as a nesting habitat for wild bees and the surrounding fields provide floral resources.>ConclusionThe present study provided new software for mapping crop pollination in agricultural landscapes that does not have the limitations of the Lonsdorf model. We showed that the use of the Lonsdorf model for pollination mapping requires attention to the limitations of this model, and by removing these limitations, we will need new software to obtain a reliable mapping of pollination in agricultural landscapes.

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220