Non-crop Floral Traits as Determinants of Bee Visitation in a Tropical Agricultural Landscape

Supratim Laha, Soumik Chatterjee, Amlan Das, Barbara Smith, Parthiba Basu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Creating non-crop habitats for sustaining pollinators and other beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes has gained momentum in recent times. However, in the tropics, considering limited availability of land for non-crop habitat creation, it is critical to select right kind of non-crop plant species with floral traits that can attract pollinators in good number. We tried to understand bees’ preferences with respect to two important visual cues belonging to four common non-crop species (Sida acuta, Stylosanthes hamata, Limnophila repens, Tephrosia purpurea) in the study area. We grew these plants in pots and arranged them in 5 combinations based on flower colour and structure. Increased bee visitation was observed in flowers that had blue petals and in complex flowers (reproductive parts hidden). However, complex structure of the flower rather than petal colour was more important in attracting bees. This information will be crucial in making species choice for creation of non-crop habitats in the limited available spaces in the tropical agricultural landscape.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Zoological Society
Volume2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Agricultural landscape
  • Bee visitation
  • Floral trait
  • Non-crop flowers
  • Tropics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Insect Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Immunology

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