Weather Variables Affecting the Behaviour of Insect Flower Visitors and Main Pollinators of Erythroxylum myrsinites Martius (Erythroxylaceae)

Rafael Barbizan Sühs, Alexandre Somavilla, Eduardo Luís Hettwer Giehl


Basic research assessing environmental effects on entire pollinator communities are still uncommon, particularly for rare and commercially unattractive plant-pollinator partners. We investigated the community of flower visitors of Erythroxylum myrsinites to check for potential pollinators and to check the extent of weather influence of visitor behaviour, registered as the number of visitors attending flowers of E. myrsinites. We then calculated species’ dominance and constancy and assessed location of pollen attachment in each visitor’s body. We correlated weather variables with the composition and abundance of visits carried out by the entire community and by most constant and dominant species. The wasps Polybia sericea, P. ignobilis and P. fastidiosuscula showed the highest values of constancy, dominance and attached pollen. There was a community-level effect of atmospheric pressure, solar radiation and wind speed on the number of visits. Atmospheric pressure affected the number of visits of eudominant species P. fastidiosuscula and P. sericea, while solar radiation affected the number of visits of P. ignobilis. Our results demonstrate the influence of weather variables on flower visiting insects and suggest the importance of native wasps in pollen transport and pollination, a relationship that should be further studied under the worldwide bee pollination decline.


Community ecology, insect-community; insect-plant interaction; Polybia; wasps

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