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Title: Investigating bumble bee foraging behaviour and the implications for plant-pollinator interactions
Author: Charlton, Nicholas L.
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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Bumble bees are important pollinators of both crops and wildflowers and t heir foraging behaviour greatly affects pollination interactions. The ability to predict these interactions can be improved by understanding the factors influencing bumble bee foraging choices. One method that has been applied to bumble bee foraging with some success is the use of optimal foraging theory to predict and understand foraging choices. This study has used optimal foraging theory in an attempt to explore a number of key assumptions and factors related to bumble bee foraging: whether net rate or efficiency maximisation is a more appropriate currency for modelling bumble bees; examining the preferences of bumble bees to identify factors which may influence the accuracy of their prediction; investigating how models based on different assumptions predict bumble bee distribution across adjacent habitats; and exploring how bumble bee body mass influences flower choice and foraging behaviour. The findings of this study are discussed in terms of predicting pollinator behaviour and its impact on plant -pollinator interactions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available