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Native insect flower visitor diversity and feral honeybees on jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) in Kings Park, an urban bushland remnant

Yates, C.J., Hopper, S.D. and Taplin, R.H. (2005) Native insect flower visitor diversity and feral honeybees on jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) in Kings Park, an urban bushland remnant. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 88 (4). pp. 147-153.

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Abstract

This study aims to determine firstly the diversity of native insect visitors to flowers on the mass-flowering canopy tree jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata), and secondly the relative abundance of feral honeybees and native insects visiting jarrah flowers. Flower density and nectar production were measured, and observations of animals visiting flowers were made during peak flowering of jarrah in Kings Park. Insects were the most commonly observed floral visitor; 83 species from 63 genera in 38 families across 5 orders were recorded. The overall richness and abundance of insect species visiting jarrah flowers changed through the day. Feral honey bees were by far the most common visitor, accounting for 47 % of observations, and suggesting they are a significant pollinator of jarrah in Kings Park. However, the presence of a number of exclusively nectar- and pollen-feeding native bees and flies, and native anthophilous tiphid wasps and beetles, suggests that the native fauna is still effecting some pollination. The diversity of insects observed visiting jarrah flowers is higher than reported for other eucalypts throughout Australia, and confirms that remnants like Kings Park are significant for the conservation of biodiversity.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Publisher: Royal Society of Western Australia
Copyright: © Royal Society of Western Australia 2005
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/14535
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