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INHS Seminar - Connecting Russian olive, insect pollinators, and coyotes in the Northern Great Plains

Event Type
Illinois Natural History Survey Seminar Committee
wifi event
Mar 1, 2022   4:00 pm  
Dr. Josh Campbell, Research Entomologist (Pollinators), USDA ARS NPARL
Dr. Brenda Molano-Flores
Originating Calendar
INHS Events

Join Zoom here | Meeting ID: 840 5007 3386 | Password: 073561

Abstract: Insect pollinators provide essential pollination services for nearly 75% of all flowering plants. However, many insect pollinators have declined in abundance and range due to a number of factors. One contributing factor are invasive plants. One invasive tree, Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), has expanded greatly in recent decades. Despite a short-term, mass flowering period, the pollination biology of this tree has not been explored. We documented insect visitors to Russian olive flowers and conducted an insect exclusion study to determine whether Russian olive depends on insect visitation for seed set. Additionally, how Russian olive seeds spread across a landscape has been debatable. One possible route is endozoochory via vertebrate animals. We collected scat from several mammal species and found that coyotes (Canis latrans) consume and pass viable Russian olive seeds.   

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