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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350437

Research Project: Agricultural Landscape, Pollinator Behavior and Gene Flow Risk

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Title: A conceptual framework that links pollinator foraging behavior to gene flow

item Brunet, Johanne

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/25/2018
Publication Date: 1/28/2018
Citation: Brunet, J. 2018. A conceptual framework that links pollinator foraging behavior to gene flow. In: Proceedings for the 2018 Winter Seed School Conference, January 28-30, 2018, San Antonio, TX. p. 63-67.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In insect-pollinated crops such as alfalfa, a better understanding of how pollinator foraging behavior affects gene flow could lead to the development of management strategies to reduce gene flow and facilitate the coexistence of distinct seed-production markets. Here, we introduce a conceptual framework to link pollinator behavior to gene flow. In order to facilitate visualization of the process, we divide it into three components. The first component examines pollinator movement within patches, the equivalent of pollinators foraging in a continuous landscape. Because pollinators deposit pollen on stigmas as they move from flower to flower, the second component considers pollen deposition. Patterns of pollen deposition help explain why distances traveled by pollen are often shorter than distances traveled by pollinators. Finally, the third component examines the movement of pollinators between patches and the impact of the agricultural landscape configuration on pollinator movements. This third component expands the process to discontinous landscapes. Our goal is to illustrate how genes are moved via pollen by pollinators as they forage over the agricultural landscape and how this can help explain patterns of gene flow.