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Special issue of Botany showcases CANPOLIN research

A special issue of the journal Botany is set to showcase to the world the multipronged-approach that Canadian researchers are bringing to the study of pollination biology. The journal's July issue features seven articles from NSERC-CANPOLIN researchers, examining topics that range from the effect of flower structure on pollinator activity to the impacts of recent climate change on pollinator ranges. The issue also includes two review papers, one exploring pollen limitation and pollinator diversity, and the other assessing the value of network biology studies in pollinator conservation.

"Pollination biology is a somewhat unique field of study, because there are so many different ways to approach the interactions between plants and pollinators," says Jana Vamosi of the University of Calgary and guest editor of the special issue. "It can be studied at the level of a single plant or pollinator species, or at a community level, where the entire complex web of plant and pollinator interactions are considered. At the landscape level, pollination takes place against a backdrop of wide-ranging and sometimes extreme environments, which adds further to the complexity of interactions."

The special issue presents findings from studies conducted in a variety of ecosystems, including agricultural, forest and alpine. Many of these studies have revealed important information about the pollination biology and/or evolution of several Canadian plant species, while a study that took place in Quebec is one of the first to examine the impact of agricultural monocultures on pollinator nutrition and reproduction. At the macro-scale, a country-wide study of 81 butterfly species looks at how the ranges of these relatively mobile pollinators are keeping pace with latitudinal shifts in climatic gradients.

Nine CANPOLIN ecologists collaborated on a review examining pollinator biodiversity and its role in pollen limitation, a scenario in which a plant's re

Contact: Jana Vamosi
Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)

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