Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Disease and Pest Management Research Unit » Research » Research Project #442767

Research Project: Identifying Huckleberry Pollinators and the Impact of Soil Amendment Treatments

Location: Horticultural Crops Disease and Pest Management Research Unit

Project Number: 2072-22000-044-029-G
Project Type: Grant

Start Date: May 1, 2022
End Date: Oct 31, 2024

1. Collect and identify pollinating insects that are seasonally active in wild stands of huckleberry at multiple elevations. 2. Examine the impact of soil treatments on foliar chemistry and floral color.

Four to six sites with wild huckleberry stands will be selected and visited twice monthly during the flowering season. Sites will be visited from May through August, with specific dates corresponding to flowering on the individual sites, primarily due to differences in elevations. Field sites will be in central and north Idaho (Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties) at elevations from approximately 600 to 1800 m. Active netting of pollinators allows us to directly associate pollinator species with the plants they visit. Netting will occur on sunny days with minimal wind during the hours of peak activity (~1000 – 1800). Timed observations will be conducted for 60-minutes at each site by haphazardly walking within plot boundaries and collecting any arthropods coming into contact with reproductive parts of open flowers. Specimens will be placed into small plastic vials that are labeled with site, date, and plant species, maintained in cold chests and returned to the lab daily. Passive trapping of pollinators will occur on each site using four traps (two yellow and two blue). One trap of each color will be suspended at a height of 2 m while the other will be suspended directly above the vegetation layer. In addition to increasing the number of specimens collected, the traps will allow us to determine/compare the overall composition of the pollinator community with the more restricted timed netting procedure. After transport back to University of Idaho, we will work collaboratively with taxonomic experts to identify specimens to the lowest taxonomic level possible (typically species, but for some genera such as Osmia, we may only be able to identify to morphospecies). Comparison of pollinator community composition and season will be compared among sites. Voucher specimens of each species will be digitized and deposited in the William Barr Insect Museum at the University of Idaho. Establish plant material under in greenhouse conditions similar to what we have done in prior experiments. Plant material will be propagated in individual pots with three treatments (no, low and high biochar concentrations). Foliar samples will be collected during July from both greenhouse and wild plants for chemical comparisons (N, P, K, S, Al, Ca and Mn).