Vol. 37 (2014)
Research Project Ecology

Simulating Expected Changes in Pollinator Resources as a Function of Climate Change

Diane M. Debinski
Iowa State University
Kim Szcodronski
Iowa State University
Mathew Germino
U.S. Geological Survey
Published January 1, 2014

Abstract

Ecological effects of climate change can include advancement of spring events, shifts in species distribution patterns, and phenological changes. Studying these responses under field conditions can require decades of research. In 2010, we established an experimental field study designed to mimic the effects of predicted climate change using snow removal and passive heating in montane meadows. Here, we use this same experimental set-up to examine nectar production relative to pollinator emergence in two important nectar sources: Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagitatta) and Wild Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum). Preliminary results indicate that there was lower nectar volume for Balsamorhiza sagitatta in the heating compared to either the control or snow removal. The heating + snow removal was also lower in nectar volume than snow removal only. Preliminary results for Eriogonum umbellatum showed a lower sugar content in the control as compared to the heating + snow removal.