Introduced weeds pollinated by introduced bees: cause or effect?

Hanley, M E and Goulson, D (2003) Introduced weeds pollinated by introduced bees: cause or effect? Weed Biology and Management, 3 (4). pp. 204-212. ISSN 1444-6162

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In the present review we attempt to synthesize evidence for a causative relationship between the presence of non-native bee pollinators and the successful establishment and spread of introduced weed species. Using data drawn from the literature and from our own survey conducted in New Zealand, we show that introduced bees favor foraging on introduced plant species, and that in some cases they depend totally on these plants as sources of nectar and pollen. It is also apparent that the flowers of many introduced plants are visited, exclusively or predominantly, by introduced bees. Accepting that visitation does not necessarily imply pollination, and not all plants require pollination to reproduce, we review relationships between seed set of exotic weeds and visitation by introduced pollinators. Although few studies have been carried out, we show that those reported so far all point to increased seed set when introduced plants are visited by non-native bee species. There is clear evidence for a positive link between the spread of weeds and the presence of introduced bees. Nevertheless, ecologists have neglected this aspect of weed population biology and remarkably few studies have been conducted on the importance of pollinator availability in the management of weed species. We suggest several avenues along which future research can be conducted and highlight how the management of present and future weed species may be influenced by this research.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2014 14:26
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2014 14:26
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