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Researchers Develop System for Assessing How Effective Species Are at Pollinating Crops



















by Staff Writers
Raleigh NC (SPX) Dec 12, 2013


 


Photo of small native bee species Andrena bradleyi on a highbush blueberry flower. (Photo credit: Hannah Burrack.)







From tomatoes to pumpkins, most fruit and vegetable crops rely on pollination by bees and other insect species - and the future of many of those species is uncertain.



 Now researchers from North Carolina State University are proposing a set of guidelines for assessing the performance of pollinator species in order to determine which species are most important and should be prioritized for protection.






"Widespread concerns over the fate of honey bees and other pollinators have led to increased efforts to understand which species are the most effective pollinators, since this has huge ramifications for the agriculture industry,"
says Dr. Hannah Burrack, an associate professor of entomology at NC State and co-author of a paper on the new guidelines and related research. 



"However, various research efforts have taken a wide variety of approaches, making it difficult to compare results in a meaningful way.




"We've developed a set of metrics that we think offers a comprehensive overview of pollination efficiency, which would allow researchers to compare data from different crops and regions."









The new comprehensive approach looks at four specific metrics. 



*First is single-visit efficiency, which measures the number of seeds produced when one bee visits one flower. 


*Second is abundance, which measures the number of each type of bee observed in a study area. 



*Third is inclement weather behavior, which tracks how active a bee species is during cool, cloudy and/or windy weather. 




*Fourth is visitation rate, or the number of flowers that a bee visits while foraging, and the amount of time it spends at each flower.







"The perfect bee would produce a lot of seeds and visit a lot of flowers, even in poor weather - and there would be a lot of them,"
Burrack says. 





"But as far as we know, the perfect bee doesn't exist."






The researchers conducted a pilot study using their comprehensive approach to assess the pollination performance of various bee species on economically important highbush blueberry crops in North Carolina. They found that small native bees had extremely high single-visit efficiency rates and were active during inclement weather. However, small native bees did not have high abundance nor appear to have high visitation rates.







"This highlights the importance of incorporating multiple metrics,"
says Dr. David Tarpy, an associate professor of entomology at NC State and co-author of the paper.




 "Because researchers looking only at visitation rates or abundance may think the small native species are unimportant, when they actually appear to be important pollinators for blueberry growers."







The paper, "Multiple Criteria for Evaluating Pollinator Performance in Highbush Blueberry (Ericales: Ericaceae) Agroecosystems," was published online Nov. 25 in the journal Environmental Entomology. Lead author of the paper is Shelley Rogers, a former graduate student at NC State. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation, the N.C. Blueberry Council and the NC State Beekeepers Association.










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In alphabetical order by Country....










India




Alphonso





Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia








Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 


It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST






Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.



However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.




Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.



Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 





The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 




After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.


An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 




The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…