We tend to view pollination as an altruistic blending of plant and animal behavior but altruistic it is not. Both plants and their pollinators are trying to get as much as they can out of the relationship while giving as little in return as possible. What really blows my mind is just how much we still have yet to learn about this vital ecological process. That is where scientists like Dr. Avery Russell come in. Dr. Russell specializes in pollinator behavior in the context of the various drivers that push bees towards specialist lifestyles. Along the way we will learn about how the floral microbiome may be influencing the evolution of these relationships. If you truly care about plants and their pollinators, this is one episode you do not want to miss! This episode was produced in part by Joseph, Cat, Catherine, Brandon, Hall, Vegreville Creek and Wetlands Fund, Kevin, Oliver, John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.
As far as native bees are concerned, we still don't know very much. That desperately needs to change as we gain a better understand of the role these wonderful insects play in ecosystem function and health. Luckily there are people like Dr. Rebecca Tonietto. Her work on native bee diversity in urban landscapes is helping to revolutionize our understanding of biodiversity in these human dominated systems. Her work is inspiring to say the least and its something I think everyone needs to consider as we move further into a human dominated future. This episode was produced in part by Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Daniel, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Mountain Misery Farms, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.
I have always thought of pollination as rather straight forward - a pollinator visits a plant, picks up pollen, and deposits that pollen on its next visit. As it turns out, it's not that simple. To find out more about the complexities of pollination, I called up Dr. Randy Mitchell from the University of Akron in Ohio. His research is going to blow your mind. What to us seems like the perfect mutualism turns out to be more like a dark alley transaction in which each party is trying to get as much from the other without giving too much in return. This episode was produced in part by Allan Pisula of Kinosha, Wisconsin.
Music by Moneycat
The orchid family is the most diverse plant family on the planet. Much of this diversity is driven by intricate and often highly specific relationships with their pollinators. My friend and fellow orchid fanatic Tierney Rosenstock joins us this week to talk to us about how a deep fascination with orchids turned into some pretty awesome research. Her work on the reproductive ecology of the pink lady slipper orchid reveals interesting evolutionary relationships and a need to understand the ecosystem beyond just your study organisms.
Music by Moneycat