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Specialized and Generalized Pollen-Collection Strategies in an Ancient Bee Lineage

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dc.contributor.author Wappler, Torsten en
dc.contributor.author Labandeira, Conrad C. en
dc.contributor.author Engel, Michael S en
dc.contributor.author Zetter, Reinhard en
dc.contributor.author Grímsson, Friðgeir en
dc.date.accessioned 2015-12-23T17:24:15Z
dc.date.available 2015-12-23T17:24:15Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.citation Wappler, Torsten, Labandeira, Conrad C., Engel, Michael S, Zetter, Reinhard, and Grímsson, Friðgeir. 2015. "<a href="https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/27733">Specialized and Generalized Pollen-Collection Strategies in an Ancient Bee Lineage</a>." <em>Current Biology</em>. 25 (23):3092&ndash;3098. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.021">https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.021</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 0960-9822
dc.description.abstract Summary Iconic examples of insect pollination have emphasized narrowly specialized pollinator mutualisms such as figs and fig wasps 1] and yuccas and yucca moths 2]. However, recent attention by pollination ecologists has focused on the broad spectra of pollinated plants by generalist pollinators such as bees. Bees have great impact for formulating hypotheses regarding specialization versus generalization in pollination mutualisms 3, 4]. We report the pollination biology of six northern European species of an extinct tribe of pollen-basket-bearing apine bees, Electrapini, of early middle Eocene age, examined from two deposits of 48 and 44 million years in age 5]. These bees exhibit a pattern of generalized, incidental pollen occurring randomly on their heads, thoraces, and abdomens, obtained from diverse, nectar-bearing plants. By contrast, a more restricted suite of pollen was acquired for metatibial pollen baskets (corbiculae) of the same bee taxa from a taxonomically much narrower suite of arborescent, evergreen hosts with uniform flower structure. The stereotyped plant sources of the specialist strategy of pollen collection consisted of pentamerous, radially symmetrical flowers with a conspicuous gynoecium surrounded by prominent nectar reward, organized in structurally similar compound inflorescences. Pollen specialization in bees occurs not for efficient pollination but rather in the corbiculate Electrapini as food for bee larvae (brood) and involves packing corbiculae with moistened pollen that rapidly loses viability with age. This specialist strategy was a well-developed preference by the early Eocene, providing a geochronologic midpoint assessment of bee pollen-collection strategies. en
dc.relation.ispartof Current Biology en
dc.title Specialized and Generalized Pollen-Collection Strategies in an Ancient Bee Lineage en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 138195
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.021
rft.jtitle Current Biology
rft.volume 25
rft.issue 23
rft.spage 3092
rft.epage 3098
dc.description.SIUnit NH-Paleobiology en
dc.description.SIUnit NMNH en
dc.description.SIUnit Peer-reviewed en
dc.citation.spage 3092
dc.citation.epage 3098


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