- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
That's the topic that doctoral candidate and pollination ecologist Maureen Page of the Neal Williams lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will explore when she addresses the Davis Botanical Society meeting, “How I Spent My Field Season” on Thursday Nov. 14.
The event takes place from 5 to 6 p.m. in Room 1022 of the Life Sciences Addition, corner of Hutchison and Kleiber Hall drives. Page, of the Entomology Graduate Group, and fellow speaker Emily Brodie of the Ecology Graduate Group, are recipients of Davis Botanical Society grants. Brodie, seeking her master's degree, will speak on “Patterns of Post-Fire Diversity and Regeneration in Subalpine Forests of California."
The wildflower that Page studies is a perennial herb, native to Western America. It's commonly called camas, small camas, or quamash.
In her abstract, Page writes: "While many bee species are declining, managed species, such as honey bees, have been introduced into novel ecosystems across the globe. Many studies support the claim that introduced honey bees compete with native bees. However, less is known about how honey bee introductions will affect native plant populations. Increased pressure from beekeepers to place hives in National Parks and Forests combined with the potentially huge but poorly understood impacts that non-native honey bees have on native plant populations makes exploring impacts of honey bee introductions on native plant pollination of pressing concern.”
The impact of honey bee introductions on the pollination and reproduction of the Sierra wildflower? “A preliminary data analysis suggests that honey bee introductions lead to increased visitation by honey bees and decreased visitation by native bees," Page says. "Preliminary results also suggest that honey bees are ineffective pollinators of Camassia quamash and the replacement of native bee visits by honey bee visits leads to reduced seed set. This research demonstrates that species introductions can have negative effects on plant pollination when they lead to an over-representation of visits by ineffective pollinators."
Page focuses her research on pollination ecology and bee conservation in natural and agricultural landscapes. As part of her dissertation research, she studies the impacts of honey bee introductions on plant-pollinator interactions and the pollination of native plants. She is also working to optimize wildflower plantings to simultaneously enhance honey bee nutrition and maximize support of diverse bee communities while minimizing competition between native and managed pollinators.
Last year Page received a prestigious three-year fellowship, a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, for her research proposal, “Promoting Food Security by Optimizing Wildflower Plantings to Support Wild and Managed Bees.” This highly competitive fellowship, funded by the Department of Defense, drew more than 3600 applicants. Maureen was one of 69 awardees.
The Nov. 14th event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Teri Barry or Jennifer Poore at the UC Davis Center for Plant Diversity (530) 752-1091 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Just drop by the Davis Public Library next Thursday night.
Pollination ecologist Neal Williams, assistant professor of entomology at UC Davis, will present a public lecture on “Promoting Native Bees for Gardens, Farms, and Native Plants” at the Davis Botanical Society meeting on Thursday night, May 10 in the Davis Public Library, 315 E. 14th St.
Williams, to speak from 7 to 8 p.m., will discuss native bee biology and diversity in the Capay Valley, how bees interact with plants, and the challenges facing native bees as they respond to landscape change in Yolo County. Drawing from his studies on the impact of native plant selections in the re-diversification of agricultural landscapes, Williams also will tell his audience how habitats can be enhanced using native plants.
“Our beautiful state has diverse and unique plants and animals, with many found nowhere else in the world,” said Botanical Society spokesperson Ellen Dean, curator of the UC Davis Center for Plant Diversity. “This is true of our native bee species, some of which have never been named by science. If you have wanted to find out more about the relationship between native bees and California plants, you are invited to come to a free public lecture.”
Williams, who joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology in 2009, was a featured speaker at the International Symposium on Pollinator Conservation, held last January in Fukuoka, Japan. He explored agricultural landscape change and the role of bee life history in predicting and understanding responses of bee communities.
A native of Madison, Wisc., Williams studied botany, history and philosophy of science in 1990-91 at Edinburgh University, Scotland, before receiving his bachelor of science degrees in botany and zoology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1992. He received his doctorate in ecology and evolution in 1999 from the State University of New York, Stony Brook (SUNY-Stony Brook).
And, if you're interested in joining the Davis Botanical Society, the group has scheduled its annual meeting and election of officers at 6:45 p.m., just prior to Williams’ talk.
Parking in the library parking lot is free. Further information on the Davis Botanical Society is available from Ellen Dean or Jean Shepard at the UC Davis Center for Plant Diversity at (530) 752-1091.