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Title: “Development of spatio-temporally explicit pollination connectance webs along a successional gradient”

Researcher: Dr. Tom Woodcock, Canadian Pollinator Initiative, University of Guelph


Tom is interested in quantifying the services that pollinators (i.e. bees, flies, butterflies) provide to our ecosystems.  Pollinators are essential to the functioning of all terrestrial ecosystems.  He will do this by establishing ‘connectance webs’ for his three field sites at rare; all former farm fields that are now regenerating naturally.  Connectance webs are similar to food webs in that they depict a series of plant and animal interactions of varying strengths.

To build the connectance webs, a grid of plots has been set up at the three sites and data will be collected over the summer to assemble a large data set on pollinator-plant interactions.  This data will be collected in numerous ways to determine  variables such as flowering plant diversity, blossom counts, flower maturation rates, pollinator diversity, types of pollinator-plant interactions and the pollen loads of the pollinators.  The coincidence of flowering plants and pollinators in space and time will be critical for the construction of the pollination connectance webs.