Deutsch Intern
    Collaborative Research Centre 1047

    Project C4 Holzschuh

    Timing in plant-pollinator interactions


    A mismatch in timing of mutualistic interaction partners might result in the disruption of such interaction, and potentially endangers the fitness of the partners. So far, it has been rarely studied  how changes in temperature, e.g. caused by anthropogenic climate change, shift the timing and fitness of interacting species. The central questions of this project are:

    1. How does ambient temperature affect the timing of the larval development and the emergence of pollinators?
    2. Does temperature synchronize the activity period of pollinators to the flowering period of their food plants, and can temporal mismatches be counteracted by bet-hedging strategies or by phenological plasticity, which might allow the re-adjustment of activity times in accordance to the timing of the partner?
    3. Can negative effects of mismatches be buffered by other (previously unimportant) species of the same functional group?

    Figure: Plant-pollinator interaction

    Figure: Trap nests for wild bees