Lauryn Hill

Male fitness of perennial plant Echinacea angustifolia is not significantly influenced through visitation by specific bee taxa

April 10, 2021   /  

Name: Lauryn Hill
Major: Biology
Advisor: Jennifer Ison

Habitat fragmentation is the disruption of continuous blocks of land that reduce the size and increases the isolation of plant populations. Small plant populations are subject to the interacting processes that occur in small population biology, such as the Allee effect, which can lead to extinction. This study aimed to determine how different pollinator species impacted the male fitness of the prairie plant Echinacea angustifolia through the inclusion of a genetic component. I used data from prairie restoration plot experiments, with restricted pollinator visitation (Pearson, 2020). I then genotyped paternal plants and matched them with the resulting offspring using microsatellite analysis. I found that no pollinator taxa examined in this study had significant effect on male fitness. Based on these results, researchers can create more effective conservation plans focused on maintaining the native pollinator taxa of Echinacea angustifolia.



Lauryn will be online to field comments on April 16:
10am-noon EDT (Asia: late evening, PST: 6-8am, Africa/Europe: early evening)

46 thoughts on “Male fitness of perennial plant Echinacea angustifolia is not significantly influenced through visitation by specific bee taxa”

  1. Hi Lauryn…excellent work! Do you think that the lack of significant differences in number of offspring between the open category and the pollinator groups could be reflective of high levels of competition amongst the individual taxa you studied?

  2. Good morning Lauryn.
    With many using pesticides to keep unwanted insects from their flowers/gardens, could the pesticides affect the pollination process?

    1. Hi thanks for looking at my project! That is highly likely as many pesticides are harmful not only to the unwanted insects, but the pollinators themselves. Pesticides also run the risk of contaminating the flowers and pollen as well.

  3. Lauryn-
    Great presentation. I loved speaking with you about it and look forward to how you will make a difference in the future.

  4. Thanks for the presentation Lauryn, it was great! I was wondering if you had any data on which bees were visiting most often during the Open category? If most of the bees visiting were from a single taxon, do you think that would impact your results?

    1. Hi Ren, thanks for watching my presentation. Unfortunately, visitation data was only kept for individual taxa, but I do believe examining that data would give more insight on my results. For example, small black bees had a significantly higher number of visits between the individual taxon, but only the third highest number of offspring produced, while Andrena showed the opposite trend. Looking at visitation on the open category may show disparities in visitation due to the impact of interspecific competition present in the field that is not shown in the individual taxa visits.

  5. Hi Dr. Moreno, thanks for looking at my project. I do believe the lack of significance could be reflective of the interspecific competition present in the field. In reducing the amount of competition by only allowing one taxa visitation to certain paternal flowers, individual pollinator groups may have a higher siring success that would put them on par with the open category because there is more pollen available to them than normal.

  6. Good job Lauryn!
    Does habitat destruction/fragmentation have an effect on the bees themselves or does it just impact the plant population?

    1. Hi, thank you! Habitat fragmentation does simultaneously effect both the bee and plant populations. The bees use their respective plant populations as a food source, so as the plant populations become smaller and isolated because of fragmentation, so do the pollinator populations due to limited resources.

  7. Good Morning Lauryn,

    Congratulations on completing your thesis, you have done a wonderful job! This research is certainly salient work for the biological world, in that it recapitulates the point that preserving pollinated bee species is crucial to keeping sexually-reproducing, plant species alive. I am excited to see what research you conduct in the genetic field moving forward, and as always I wish you a bright future!

    Roshini Susarla

    1. Thank you so much for watching my presentation and for the well wishes! Your the best, hope to see you soon.

  8. Congratulations, Lauryn! I loved learning more about your project. This is definitely something to be very proud of!

  9. Excellent presentation Lauryn! You did an great job of breaking down complicated methods! What is special about the Andrena bee? How does it differ from honeybees and other bees in your study?

    1. Thank you so much Dr. Ison! As for the Andrena bee, it has been found to be the most predominant in its study region. It is also considered a specialist pollinator for Echinacea angustifolia, so Echinacea is one of its main food sources. This implies that Andrena would show a higher level of pollination efficiency for Echinacea than other bee species such as honeybees or the other taxa included in this study.

  10. Wow! Absolutely great work Lauryn. Congratulations on your hard work, I’m sure the pollinator research community appreciates your study!

  11. Hi Lauryn,

    Great presentation! Your slides, combined with statistical data made the thesis come alive for me. I appreciate the time and energy you put into your preparation. It really showed.

    1. Hi Mickey, thank you so much for watching I really appreciate it and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  12. Congrats Lauryn, this is such a cool project! You’re an amazing person, student, and athlete, and I know you’re going to be the best genetic counselor out there!

    1. Thank you Dr. Sirot, I really appreciate all your help in the early stages of my journey here!

  13. Congrats Lauryn! Your project is so impressive. Sending lots of love and gratitude your way as the year comes to a close <3

  14. Go Lauryn, so proud of you boo! Your IS is insightful and well developed, can’t wait to see what you do next!

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