Pollen analyses for pollination research, unacetolyzed pollen
Pollinators feed on the pollen, nectar, and other plant exudates that are associated with flowers. As a result of this feeding activity, pollen becomes attached to them. Analysis of this pollen can reveal what they eat, their dispersal patterns in and around cropping systems, and their role in pollination. However, finding pollen on and or in a pollinator depends on the technique used to recover pollen. Two very easy techniques are described in detail that have been used to recover pollen from a variety of pollinators including beneficial and harmful insects, spiders, bats, and other pollinators. These techniques can be used to recover pollen from internal tissues (gut, alimentary canal, crop, etc.), external tissues (proboscis, legs, eyes, etc.), or both. By using the proper technique, better pollen recovery can be made and thus better data can be obtained about the pollinators, the foods they eat, the plants they pollinate, their migration routes and source zones.
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