Vary, Laura , Gross, Caroline .
Using plant-pollinator networks to evaluate restoration targets for an endangered ecological community in Australia.
Pollination is a critical component of viable ecosystems and understanding the relationship of key plants and pollinators informs conservation and restoration decisions. Pollinator networks, which quantify the linkages between plant and pollinator communities, are an ideal approach to identify the degree of specialization between plants and pollinators and for assessing the impact of non-native (exotic) pollinators on the native plant community. To reach conservation and restoration targets it is critical to understand which pollinators are irreplaceable for keystone plant species in the community and the consequences of disruption, either from the loss of a pollinator or the addition of an invading exotic pollinator in the community. The Warkworth Sands Woodland (WSW) in eastern Australia is an Endangered Ecological Community (EEC)on aeolian sand, which was depleted by farming and now by coal mining activity. Our aim is to restore the plant-pollinator community on greenfield land where restoration of WSW is underway. To evaluate future recruitment in the community and the important plant-pollinator interactions, we determined the fruit to flower ratios of listed WSW plant species and the floral visitor network of intact WSW, degraded WSW and 5-yr old abandoned pastures (greenfield sites)with restoration potential. We found high variability across sites and years for fruit to flower ratios of listed WSW species (e.g., Brachyloma daphnoides [Ericaceae] and Hibbertia linearis [Dilleniaceae]), indicating that environmental factors may strongly influence fruit production in these species. In addition, we found higher visitation by the non-native honeybee, Apis mellifera, at degraded WSW and 5-yrold pastures when compared to intact WSW. We also found higher network connectivity between plant and pollinator communities at intact WSW sites when compared to degraded WSW and 5-yr old pasture. Establishing native plant species that provide resources for pollinators, such as the nectar-rich Brachyloma daphnoides, is critical for the successful restoration of Warkworth Sands Woodland on greenfield sites.
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1 - University of New England, Ecosystem Management, Environmental and Rural Science, Armidale, NSW, 2351, AUSTRALIA
2 - University Of New England, Ecosystem Management, ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT, Ecosystem Management, Armidale, NSW, N/A, 2351, Australia
Endangered Ecological Community
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Location: Delaware D/Hyatt
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM