Identification of Insect-Plant Pollination Networks for a Midwest Installation: Fort McCoy, WI
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Champaign United States
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Pollinating insects and pollinator dependent plants are critical components of functioning ecosystems yet, for many U.S. Department of Defense DoD installations, the identities and relationships between pollinators and plants are unknown. This study demonstrated methods for compiling and analyzing readily available information for insect pollinators and pollination dependent plants for a single installation, Fort McCoy, WI. Although installation documents identified a total of 1470 insect species and 972 plant species were identified on the installation, this work focused on species of conservation concern nine pollinator insect species and three pollinator-associated plant species. Published information on insect pollinators and pollination dependent plants was then used to conduct a basic plant-pollinator network analyses using free analytical network software software package R, which revealed that all the plant species of conservation concern are pollinated by several insect pollinator species. However, many pollinator insect species of conservation concern were associated with a limited number of host plant species. The results of this work suggest that analyses that rely on publicly available information provide a useful starting point in determining basic, binary plant-pollinator relationships. Field-collected data, e.g., frequency of pollinator-plant interactions, would be required for a more detailed, robust network analysis.