|Date||4 Jul 2017|
The functionality of ecosystem services are important in the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources. Climate change which is a major driver of global change has the potential to increase the rate and magnitude of the biodiversity extinction crisis across different regions of the world in the future (Beaumont et al., 2011). Reports have shown how climate change is affecting biodiversity and biomes around the world (Bellard et al., 2012; Parmesan, 2006). Some known effects include species range shifts, population decline, and even local extinction in some ecosystems (Root et al., 2003). This often results in a shift in the distribution and phenology of flowering plants and associated pollinators (Bartomeus et al., 2011). The effect of this has been reported mostly in the temperate region of the world (Benadi et al., 2014). However, less is known on how this affects speciation and diversity of non-crop natural plants as well as the visiting pollinators especially in the CFR with great plant endemism.
In this study, change in temperature will be modelled across gradient of elevation of a sentinel mountain and the effect of this will be observed on insect-flower interaction network. Sampling will be conducted during the spring period (August – October, 2017 and 2018). The mountain has an elevation of about 1600m and is home to important fynbos species. Study sites will be established at varying elevation of the mountain according to the profiles from the botanical survey by Agenbag et al., 2008. Two study sites will be established at 545m (Karro), 690-744 (Ecotone), 953-1303 (Mid elevation Sand stone fynbos) and 1576 (High elevation sand stone dwarf fynbos). Interaction will be recorded when an insect makes contact with the reproductive part of the flower. Insect observed will be recorded and identified. Where identification is difficult in the field, insects will be caught for later identification. Flower abundance and plant species richness will be done in 2mx2m plot. Also a measure of size of floral display will be determined following the approach of Vrdoljak, Samways and Simaika (2016). Microclimatic variables such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, will be recorded through the period of sampling. The composition, richness and abundance of pollinators will be assessed through the use of pan traps. Twelve yellow bowls will be used on each established sites. The bowls will be half filled with water and liquid detergent. Insects will be collected from these bowls after 24 hours.
For further information contact:
|Date||4 Jul 2017|
Collection of insects caught in our pan traps over the sampling period.
Elevated Pan trap for collection of visiting insects.
Solitary bees collected in the elevated traps at 990asl.