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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Secondary compounds in floral rewards of toxic rangeland plants: Impacts on pollinators

Authors
item Irwin, Rebecca -
item Cook, Daniel
item Richardson, Leif -
item Manson, Jessamyn -
item Gardner, Dale

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 26, 2014
Publication Date: July 30, 2014
Citation: Irwin, R.E., Cook, D., Richardson, L.L., Manson, J.S., Gardner, D.R. 2014. Secondary compounds in floral rewards of toxic rangeland plants: Impacts on pollinators. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 62(30):7335-7344.

Interpretive Summary: The study of plant secondary chemistry has been essential in understanding plant consumption by herbivores. There is growing evidence that secondary compounds also occur in floral rewards, including nectar and pollen. Many pollinators are generalist nectar and pollen foragers and thus are exposed to an array of secondary compounds in their diet. In this review we document secondary compounds in the nectar or pollen of poisonous rangeland plants of the Western United States, and the effects of these compounds on the behavior, performance, and survival of pollinators. Further, we discuss the biochemical, physiological, and behavioral mechanisms by which pollinators cope with secondary compound consumption, drawing parallels between pollinators and herbivores. Finally, we propose three avenues of future research on floral reward chemistry. Given that the majority of flowering plants require animals for pollination, understanding how floral reward chemistry affects pollinators has implications for plant reproduction in agricultural and rangeland habitats.

Technical Abstract: The study of plant secondary chemistry has been essential in understanding plant consumption by herbivores. There is growing evidence that secondary compounds also occur in floral rewards, including nectar and pollen. Many pollinators are generalist nectar and pollen foragers and thus are exposed to an array of secondary compounds in their diet. In this review we document secondary compounds in the nectar or pollen of poisonous rangeland plants of the Western United States, and the effects of these compounds on the behavior, performance, and survival of pollinators. Further, we discuss the biochemical, physiological, and behavioral mechanisms by which pollinators cope with secondary compound consumption, drawing parallels between pollinators and herbivores. Finally, we propose three avenues of future research on floral reward chemistry. Given that the majority of flowering plants require animals for pollination, understanding how floral reward chemistry affects pollinators has implications for plant reproduction in agricultural and rangeland habitats.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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