Warming temperatures affect meadow‐wide nectar resources, with implications for plant–pollinator communities

Abstract

Nectar production may be a point of sensitivity that can help link primary and secondary trophic responses to climate shifts, and is therefore important to our understanding of ecosystem responses. We evaluated the nectar response of two widespread native forbs, Balsamorhiza sagittata and Eriogonum umbellatum, to experimental warming in a high-elevation sagebrush meadow in the Teton Range, WY, USA, over two years, 2015 and 2016. Warming treatments reduced the occurrence of nighttime freezing and nectar volume but increased sugar concentration in nectar in both species in both years. Warming effects were also evident in a consistent increase in the number of flowers produced by B. sagittata. Our research suggests that warming associated with climate change has the potential to induce shifts in the nectar-feeding community by changing nectar characteristics such as volume and sugar concentration to which nectar feeders are adapted.

Description

Keywords

Balsamorhiza sagittata, climate change, Eriogonum umbellatum, flower production, montane meadow, nectar, pollinator resources

Citation

McCombs, Audrey L.,Diane Debinski, Keith Reinhardt, MatthewJ. Germino, and Petrutza Caragea. 2022.“WarmingTemperatures Affect Meadow-Wide NectarResources, with Implications for Plant–PollinatorCommunities.”Ecosphere13(7): e4162.https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.4162
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