Pollination ecology of native pollinators in commercial cranberry fields in Newfoundland

Jothi, Geena Arul (2017) Pollination ecology of native pollinators in commercial cranberry fields in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Native bees such as bumblebees (Bombus spp.) and solitary bees are effective pollinators of a variety of crops. However, an understanding of the pollination services by native pollinators to commercial cranberries in Newfoundland is limited. This study assessed the diversity, abundance and effectiveness of native bees, and examined the local and landscape factors associated with high pollinator abundance and fruit yield in four commercial cranberry farms in Newfoundland (Canada). Consistent with previous research, Bombus ternarius was the most abundant native pollinator in the cranberry farms. Although no direct relationship between bee abundance and fruit yield was detected, it is clear that the presence of native bees is necessary for adequate fruit set in commercial cranberries as all farms studied had sufficient native bees to fully pollinate the available blossoms. It appears that other factors, which were not assessed in this study, such as crop management practices or microclimate, are more important in determining yield on these farms. Bees on these farms may respond to resources other than forage plants, e.g. nesting resources, which were not possible to assess, may be more limiting. This study contributes to the understanding of the diversity and abundance of native bees and how local and landscape factors contribute to bee abundance in the commercial cranberry fields in Newfoundland.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12613
Item ID: 12613
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 47-59).
Keywords: cranberries, pollination, native bees, landscape ecology, Newfoundland
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Environmental Science
Date: April 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Cranberries -- Pollination -- Newfoundland and Labrador

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