Fly pollinators 2012


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This lecture was given in July, 2012 as part of the California native plant gardening series ‘Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden’.

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Fly pollinators 2012

  1. 1. Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Gardening with Western L.A. County Native Plants Project SOUND – 2012 (our 8th year) © Project SOUND
  2. 2. Flower Flies & Friends: Fly Pollinators & Other Beneficial Dipterans in the Garden and the Wild C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSU Dominguez Hills & Madrona Marsh PreserveArthur Johnson Center – Friends of Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve July 12, 2012 © Project SOUND
  3. 3. I’m worried about our food Global climate change Decreasing effectiveness of artificial pest control Loss of crop biodiversity Genetic modification of crop plants Loss of native habitat © Project SOUND
  4. 4. Colony Collapse Disorder – our wake-up call collapse-disorder.html © Project SOUND
  5. 5. Can we still find answers in the wild? © Project SOUND
  6. 6. Who in the heck are all those little guys? © Project SOUND
  7. 7. Class Insecta – the insects © Project SOUND
  8. 8. Dipterans are numerous  Flies actually represent a large part of metazoan diversity. There are about 1 million named insect species.  With ~152,000 named species and many more unnamed species, flies account for no less than 1 in 10 species on Earth  And most of those species are living lives that benefit the environment © Project SOUND
  9. 9. How many insect species? Difficult to know for sure  Some of the numbers of named insects species are:  Beetles, 360,000  Butterflies and Moths: 170,000  Flies: 120,000-150,000+  Bees, wasps and ants: 110,000  True bugs: 82,000  Grasshoppers: 20,000  Dragonflies: 5,000 © Project SOUND
  10. 10. Evolution of the Flies 1. There are many families/sub-orders of Dipterans 2. There’s lots of diversity among them 3. Families vary in size/ number of species 4. Some of the sub- orders & families are quite ancient, while others are more recent © Project SOUND
  11. 11. How old are the Dipterans?  3,125 species are known only from fossils  The oldest, a limoniid crane fly, is some 225 MILLION years old (Upper Triassic (Carnian). © Project SOUND
  12. 12. Some ancient Dipterans look very similar to today’s species 50 million year old Crane Fly  Dipterans are successful insects that have succeeded – and diversified – over time  They must be well-adapted to their environment(s) – and tough (survived massive climate changes in past) © Project SOUND
  13. 13. The true flies (Diptera)  One of the most species rich, anatomically varied and ecologically innovative groups of organisms  An estimated 150,000+ species of Diptera have been described, however, the total number of extant fly species is many times greater.  The living dipteran species have been classified into about :  10,000 genera, 150 families  22-32 superfamilies  8-10 infraorders  2 suborders © Project SOUND
  14. 14. Distinguishing Diptera (true flies) from bees  Diptera have only one pair of wings; a second pair of wings evolved into small dumb-bell shaped "halteres", which are used for balance during flight. Typical Fly (The two-winged fly is an advancement in flight; that why flies can hover)  No stinger  Sucking mouthparts  Very large, compound eyes  Antennae: either long or short. © Project SOUND
  15. 15. Bee mimics are common among Dipterans  Some flies, such as syrphids, masquerade as bees and wasps.The syrphid fly is a bee mimic. However, the pollinating flies can be distinguished with a sharp eye –Photo by Beatriz Moisset 2002-2004. or better yet, a camera.  The flies have only one pair of wings while bees and wasps have two pairs of wings.  Comical, robust and extremely hairy are the bee flies (bombylids), some with tongues as long as their bodies!The tachnid fly is similar in generalappearance to bees or wasps. © Project SOUND
  16. 16. Full 4-stage life cycle (like a butterfly)  Egg - laid in a variety of environments, based on species  Larva – usually several stages – wide variation in food sources (parasitic; plant; dung; decaying matter  Pupa – brief or may include a hibernation  Adult © Project SOUND
  17. 17. Flies have been disliked in many cultures their attributes have beenelevated to hero status inothers © Project SOUND
  18. 18. Flies have gotten a bad reputation  Just a few species of flies command the most public attention  Among them are important pests:  House flies – pesky; bite; carriers  Horse flies “  Mosquitoes “ Housefly: Musca domestica  Blow-flies flies Blue-bottle Fly: a common Blow-fly Horse-fly: family Tabanidae © Project SOUND
  19. 19. Why don’t we hear more about the good Dipterans?  They are harder to study & watch/photograph/raise  They are less specialized – people tend to like to study specialized creatures  They are not as cute as other pollinators – ‘fuzzy bees’ – lacking in the charisma department  They have gotten a bad rap – the ‘yuck factor’  They need a new PR person © Project SOUND
  20. 20. Why we should worry about Dipterans: importance of flies to ecosystems  Pollinators  Pest control agents – aphids, beetle grubs, moth caterpillars  Food for others (bats; reptiles; fish; birds; other insects)  Decomposers & soil conditioners  Water quality indicators  And much more (including some functions we probably don’t even know yet) © Project SOUND
  21. 21. Why worry about pollinators?  Pollinators are “keystone organisms” in most terrestrial ecosystems.  Pollinators are essential for maintaining the integrity, productivity and sustainability of many types of ecosystems: natural areas, pastures, fields, meadows, roadsides, many agricultural crops, fruit orchards, and backyard vegetable and flower gardens.  Without insect pollinators, many flowering plants would eventually become extinct.  Without the work of pollinators, many fruit- and seed-eating birds and some mammals, including people, would have a less varied and less healthy diet. © Project SOUND
  22. 22. Why worry about Dipterans? Can’t the bees do the pollination work?  Flies and bees are the two most important insect pollinator groups.  Over 71 families of Diptera are known to visit and pollinate flowers, linking the fate of plants and animals.  Depending on the region, the timeIt turns out the pollination is of the day, the floweringa lot more complex than phenology and weather conditions,early agricultural studies flies may be the main orlead us to believe exclusive pollinators, or share pollination services with bees and other pollinator groups. © Project SOUND
  23. 23. Even before colony collapse disorder, some people were concerned…  Depending on a single source – for anything – should make us all nervous  Better to ‘diversify the portfolio’ – Dipterans are a part cure-for-honey-bee-colony-collapse-disorder-discovered/ European Honey Bee Apis mellifera © Project SOUND
  24. 24. Diptera – our oldest and most wide- spread pollinators  Diptera, the true flies, are an important, but neglected group of pollinators.  They are an ancient group, and were probably among the first pollinators of early flowering plants.  Flies live almost everywhere in terrestrial ecosystems – arctics to tropics  Are abundant in most terrestrial habitats © Project SOUND
  25. 25. Fly pollinators: specialists & generalists  Dipterans are an extremely diverse group, varying in mouth parts, tongue length, size and degree of pilosity.  The diversity of flower-visiting flies is reflected in their effectiveness as pollinators. Some flies, such as long- tongued tabanids of South Africa, have specialized relationships with individual flower genera/species (much like some bees/butterflies)  Other flies are generalists, feeding from a wide variety of flowers. But they like to visit many of the same type while they’re in the neighborhood © Project SOUND
  26. 26. In some situations, flies are the mainpollinators, so they clearly have potential  In some habitats, such as the forest under-story where shrubs may produce small, inconspicuous, dioecious flowers, flies seem to be particularly important pollinators.  In arctic and alpine environments, under conditions of reduced bee activity, flies are often the main pollinators of open, bowl-shaped flowers, with readily accessible pollen and nectar. © Project SOUND
  27. 27. How does Mother Nature play it safe with regards to pollination?  Most insect pollinated flowers receive visits from several different types of insects: bees, flies, beetles, bugs, etc.  In a study of 2200 CA plant species:  71% of the out-crossing species were visitedBy hedging her odds by two potential pollinators  49% were visited by three or more potential pollinators  Redundancy in pollination systems is probably the rule, rather than the exception. © Project SOUND
  28. 28. How do the Dipterans compare to other pollinators? The experts say…  Many flies are generalists; their contributions to plant reproductive success are sometimes discounted because of their reputation as ineffective pollinators.  However, the complexity of interactions in redundant pollination systems is little studied & deserves further attention.  When multiple pollinator species visit the same flowers, their respective value as pollinators is interdependent and may differ from year-to-year or even over the course of the flowering season.  Inefficient pollinators are needed when the more efficient pollinators are absent © Project SOUND
  29. 29. Bee vs Fly pollination: the tortoise & the hare  Conditions affecting bee populations can be quite different from those affecting fly populations due to the great difference in larval requirements.  Many types of flies have few hairs when compared to bees, and pollen is less likely to adhere to the body surface. But under conditions when bees are scarce, an inefficient pollinator is better than none.  Higher flight activities of flies may well compensate lower pollen carrying capacity. Even in cases where honeybees are abundant on flowers and specialised bees are foraging, flower flies (Syrphidae) can be the most effective pollinators producing the highest seed set. © Project SOUND
  30. 30. Oregon study: Mountain Meadows -Presence of host plant pollen Syrphid flies Bumble bee Present Absent
  31. 31. So what kinds of plants are known to be Dipteran pollinated?  At least seventy-one of the 150 Diptera families include flies that feed at flowers as adults.  More than 550 species of flowering plants are regularly visited by Diptera that are potential pollinators. And that’s just the tipDrone fly pollinating aster of the iceberg: few fly pollinator surveys exist!  Diptera have been documented to be primary pollinators for many plant species, both wild and cultivated. © Project SOUND
  32. 32. Cultivated plants pollinated by flies More than 100 cultivated crops are regularly visited by flies and depend largely on fly pollination for abundant fruit set and seed production . Examples:  The cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao)  Tropical fruits such as Mango (Mangifera indica), Capsicum annuum and Piper nigrum, pawpaw (Asimina triloba)  Fruit-bearing Rosaceae: Apple (Malus domestica) and Pear (Pyrus communis) trees, strawberries (Fragaria vesca, F. x ananassa), Prunus species (cherries, plums, apricot and peach), Sorbus species (e.g. Rowanberry) and most of the Rubus-species (Raspberry, Blackberry, Cloudberry etc.) as well as the wild rose  Spices and vegetable plants of the family Apiaceae like fennel ( Foeniculum vulgare), coriander (Coriandrum sativum), caraway (Carum carvi), kitchen onions (Allium cepa), parsley (Petroselinum crispum) and carrots (Daucus carota) In addition a large number of wild relatives of food plants, numerous medicinal plants and cultivated garden plants benefit from fly pollination. © Project SOUND
  33. 33. What native plants attract fly pollinators? The ‘insect-magnet’ plants Sunflower family (Asteraceae)  Yarrow (Achillea millefolia)  Goldenrods (Solidago & Euthamia spp.)  Fall-blooming shrubs (Baccharis; Ericameria; Goldenbushes, Tarplants Rose family  Pink and white-flowered species The Buckwheats (Eriogonum spp.) © Project SOUND
  34. 34. Why are these plants ‘insect magnets’? © Project SOUND
  35. 35. Western Yarrow – Achilla millefolia
  36. 36. The Yarrows – horticultural plants extraordinaire  Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)  Cultivated in Europe ??thousands of years  About half a dozen species are commonly grown as garden plants  Natural variation in color has been exploited – many named cultivars – yellow, pink, red, purple  The species name, millefolium-of a thousand leaves-describes the fine, feathery foliage which resembles a fern. /plant_pages/Achilleamillefolium.html
  37. 37. Western Yarrow – Achilla millefolia  Found in most of CA  60-100 species of Achillia worldwide – northern hemisphere  In CA, found in seasonally wet places:,615,616  Meadows and pastures  Along stream edges  In sand dunes  Along alkali sinks  On coastal strand  In coastal grasslands  In Coastal Sage Scrub and Chaparral
  38. 38. Western Yarrow can be used in many ways!  Slopes, hillsides  Mixtures  Good garden plant for fresh or dry floral arrangements  Foliage is pleasantly fragrant when crushed – used for tea, medicinals  Can be mowed to form a highly competitive ground cover to control soil erosion.  Flowers!!!  Good butterfly/insect plant J.S. Peterson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
  39. 39. Success with Yarrow is almost guaranteed  Yarrow can endure dry, impoverished soil  Survives with little maintenance – neglect  Best in full sun; grows but less flowering in shade  A true perennial taking two years to become established  Included in most commercial mixed ‘native lawn’ mixesGary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
  40. 40. Why Yarrow makes a good lawn substitute  Spreads quickly, giving good cover  Super for banks and other areas that can’t easily be mowed  Spreading habit inhibits weeds  Can be mowed – occasionally and on high setting w/ rotary mower  Companion plant – attracts beneficial insects, repels others  Does well on poor, dry, sandy soils where other plants grow poorly
  41. 41. What is it about Yarrow that attracts? White/pink color Many tiny flowers per cluster; many clusters per plant Flower structure relative open; easy to access Floral clusters relatively flat – also allows easy access +/- Sweet scent Produce lots of high quality nectar & pollen © Project SOUND
  42. 42. So we’ve discovered one type of ‘fly plant’  Myophily  Adult flies feed on nectar & pollen; less often on fruit  Common examples: bee flies (Bombyliidae), hoverflies (Syrphidae)  Regularly visit flowers to feed, while also pollinating.  Sapromyophily  Adults normally visit dead animals or dung to lay eggs.  Attracted to flowers that mimic these odoriferous items. These plants have a strong, unpleasant odor, and are brownSkunk cabbages strong smell or orange in color.and dark color attract carrion  The plant may have traps to slow themflies that lay their eggs thinkingthat it is rotting flesh. down and become inadvertent pollinators © Project SOUND
  43. 43.  Pale color (whites, pinks, purplesMyophily fly flowers and blues most common)  Dull surface; may be nectar guides  Produce abundant pollen  Produce high quality nectar  Flower are open; nectar easily available  Male and female parts of the flower are well exposed.  Many of these flowers areBuckwheats (Eriogonum) are goodcandidates as fly flowers scented, but for the most part, the scent is imperceptible. © Project SOUND
  44. 44. What native plants attract fly pollinators? The ‘insect-magnet’ plants Sunflower family (Asteraceae)  Yarrow (Achillea millefolia)  Native Thistles (Cirsium)  Goldenrods (Solidago & Euthamia spp.)  Fall-blooming shrubs (Baccharis; Ericameria; Goldenbushes Rose family  Pink and white-flowered species The Buckwheats (Eriogonum spp.) Native Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) The Mustard family (Brassicaceae) Euphorbia & Sedum species The Carrot family (Apiaceae) © Project SOUND
  45. 45. Water Parsley – Oenanthe sarmentosa© 2002 Brad Kelley © Project SOUND
  46. 46. Water Parsley – Oenanthe sarmentosa  Coastal California to British Columbia Canada; also western Sierra foothills  Local historically: Ballona, West LA, San Pedro, Long,478,480 Beach (Bixby Ranch)  Grows in marshes, ditches, pond edges, slow-moving streams, seasonally wet places, from near coastline up to ~ 5000 ft. © Project SOUND© 2006, G. D. Carr
  47. 47. Large plants in the Carrot Family * Henderson’s Angelica – Water Parsley – Angelica hendersonii Common Cowparsnip – Oenanthe Heracleum maximum sarmentosa4-8 ft. tall; very large coarse leaves © Project SOUND
  48. 48. Queen Anne’s Lace: natural roadsides and grandmother’s garden  Actually a garden escape – like ‘Wild Mustard’ or ‘Wild Radish’ – a weed that has naturalized extensively.  A true carrot - Daucus carota; domesticated carrots are cultivars of Daucus carota ssp. sativus.  Native to temperate regions of Europe, southwest Asia  The plant was introduced into this country during colonial times. It probably came across the ocean in sacks of grain, perhaps with the Pilgrims.  Should NOT be planted – use our natives from the Carrot family instead. © Project SOUND
  49. 49.  Size:Looks rather like Leaf Celery  2-4 ft tall  2-3 ft wide  Growth form:  Herbaceous perennial; dies back in fall/winter  Weak, succulent stems  Many-branched© 2003 Lee Dittmann  Foliage:  Compound leaves - oddly pinnate (simple or double) – margins coarsely toothed  Overall shape triangular  Anise Swallowtail larval food  Handle with gloves – may cause skin allergies  Roots: fibrous roots and slender white rhizomes - spreads © 2011 Zoya Akulova © Project SOUND
  50. 50. Flowers are numerous  Blooms  Late spring to summer: usually May to July in Western L.A. County  Flowers:  Tiny white flowers typical of the Carrot family (Apiaceae); old- fashioned look  Flowers more loosely packed – can usually see the compound umbels easily  Flowers attract a wide range of nectaring insects: butterflies, native bees, flies & others  Seeds:  Flat, ribbed seeds© 2004, Ben Legler  Use fresh seeds; multiple rinses © Project SOUND
  51. 51. Easy to grow with  Soils: adequate water  Texture: most  pH: any local  Light:  Full sun to light/dappled shade for good flowering  Water:  Winter: tolerates very moist conditions, even shallow standing water  Summer: like moist soil – Water Zones 2-3 or 3  Fertilizer:  Fine with light fertilizer  Leaf mulch will add some nutrients  Other: organic mulch © Project SOUND
  52. 52. Water Parsley in the Garden  Excellent choice for large containers – can provide the moisture it needs + contain  Around ponds, water gardens; in pots in shallow water  Moist woodland habitat gardens  Seeds/roots used as an emetic, pounded roots used as a laxative © 2012 Aaron Arthur © Project SOUND © 2004, Ben Legler
  53. 53. What pollinator flies will we attract with Water Parsley?  The most important fly pollinators are Hover Flies (Syrphid flies) and Bee Flies (Bombyliidae family)  There are many others that visit flowers to feed on nectar.  The common fly pollinators have developed yellow and black stripes on their abdomens, though they are not related to bees or wasps. This is probably a defense mechanism to deter predators; flies pretending to be stinging insects, though they cannot sting. © Project SOUND
  54. 54. Family  Large family: ~ 6000 named species Syrphidae  Often called syrphids, hover flies, flower flies or sweat bees. Small/medium size  Occur in wide range of habitats worldwide: dunes, salt/freshwater marsh, all grassland ecosystems, scrub and forest-ecosystems  Lots of variability – example: short- and very long-tongued species  Visit wide range of flowers and can transport pollen long distances  Important pollinators: regional studies in Europe (Ssymank 2001) showed that up to 80% of the regional flora may be visited by flower flies. Important in local habitats.  Very convincing mimicry of bees and wasps: black with yellow or orange; narrowSOUND © Project waist
  55. 55. Family  Adults feed on pollen and nectar, larvae eat plant materials or areSyrphidae predators on other insects, most notably aphids (~ 40% of species are predators).  Female hover fly usually lays her eggs near aphid colonies. The fly larvae feed on insect pests, mainly aphids, as well as scales and caterpillars.  Aphids cause annual damage to crops and plants, making the hover flies important agents in natural biological control.  Routinely used as a biological control agents in many agricultural crops like California lettuce. © Project SOUND
  56. 56. Why do flies visit flowers? The most important is for food : nectar and sometimes pollen. Pollen is rich in proteins, which is required by some adult flies before they can reproduce. To lay eggs: the larvae feed on flower heads, developing fruits/seeds or insect pests Because they’ve been tricked (scent/appearance that mimics the carcasses where they normally lay their eggs) To keep warm: in arctic and alpine habitats, some flowers attract flies by providing a warm shelter. As rendezvous sites for mating. Large numbers of flies will congregate at a particular type of flowerthe byproduct of all these behaviors can be pollination © Project SOUND
  57. 57. Showy Milkweed – Asclepias speciosa© 2004 George W. Hartwell © Project SOUND
  58. 58. Showy Milkweed – Asclepias speciosa  Western N. America from Canada to Baja; throughout CA  Open areas at low elevations in dry to moist, loamy to sandy soil  Often in areas that are seasonally flooded or quite damp © Project SOUND,586,599
  59. 59. Showy Milkweed: a stout perennial  Size:  2-5+ ft tall  Spreading by rhizomes; often forms a clump  Growth form:  Drought/winter deciduous perennial  Stems stout, succulent, erect or nearly so  Foliage:  Leaves large 96-8 inches long), gray-green, velvety  Milky sap typical of Milkweeds  Larval food, Monarch Butterflies  Roots: stout taproot; don’t move once© 2005, Ben Legler established. © Project SOUND
  60. 60. Flowers are…showy!  Blooms:  In summer: May-Sept  usually July-Aug in our area  Flowers:  Large compared to other milkweeds ; sweet scent  Pale pink or purple – in dense, ball-like clusters  Very showy in bloom – among our prettiest perennials  Seeds:  Relatively large, with silky parachute (typical of milkweeds)  Seed pods are 3-5" long and are either spiny or smooth. © Project SOUND© 2005, Ben Legler
  61. 61.  Soils:Plant Requirements  Texture: any, including clays  pH: any local, including alkali  Light:  Full sun to light shade  Water:  Winter: good winter/spring moisture; supplement if needed  Summer: variable once established; probably best as Zone 2 or 2-3 once established  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils; light or no mulch (or inorganic)  Other:Cut back to the ground in late fall  Spreads via rhizomes & seeds(native Californians would burn) (on bare ground).  Protect from slugs Project SOUND © & snails
  62. 62. Showy Milkweed Shines  In large pots, planters  Mid- or back-bed in perennial gardens  Near birdbaths or water features  Lovely massed  Scented gardens © Project SOUND
  63. 63. Native Milkweeds make great insect habitat  Bees – many kinds including bumblebees  Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies)  Other insects: california/plants/asclepias-speciosa  Flies  Milkweed bugs  Milkweed long-horned beetle  Yellow milkweed aphidsMilkweedbri-Asclepias-speciosa/productinfo/P1180/  Many, many more © Project SOUND
  64. 64.  Large families - > 5,000 speciesFamily Bombyliidae worldwide. - Bee Flies  Medium size – about the size of bees, who they closely resemble  Adults feed on nectar and pollen; believed to be important pollinators of many plants although few species have been studied in detail.  Occur on all continents except Antarctica; common in S. CA  See them hovering around flowers, or if resting, usually on bare soil. They are extremely wary and difficult to approach.  Majority of larvae are parasites of beetle larvae as well as the brood of solitary burrow-nesting wasps/bees. © Project SOUND
  65. 65. Climate change and pollinator abundance:remember the larvae when considering flies When we are concerned with the abundance of flower-feeding flies, we generally think of adults that feed at flowers. However, larval food supplies could be more important in producing differences in fluctuations among species Different life styles, different larval habitats, and differences in the regional distribution (broad or restricted ranges) could also result in different patterns of population stability. If larval food is a key resource for most fly species, fly species may show significantly different patterns of fluctuation than bees whose larvae are all dependent on pollen for food, reinforcing the idea that different pollinator groups may respond differently to environmental change. © Project SOUND
  66. 66. Climate change and pollinator abundance: timing is (almost) everything Ecologists are concerned that climate change may decouple the synchrony of inter-dependent organisms. For the majority of flies, we do not have even baseline phenology information. There is evidence of parallel pollinator and insect-pollinated plant decline for flower flies and bees in UK and NL (Biesmeijer et al. 2006). The factors threatening the species are mostly unknown. What consequences can we expect from the loss of pollinators? To what extent can any one pollinator be replaced by another? The answers to these questions are unknown and urgently need investigation. There is an urgent need for networking among researchers, and for more fundamental and applied research toward improving our knowledge of pollination services. This knowledge is crucial for agriculture and wildland preservation efforts. © Project SOUND
  67. 67. Last month we introduced the topic of genetically modified plants -about-gm-foodsThe majority of commercially released transgenic plants are currentlylimited to plants that have introduced resistance to insect pests andherbicides. © Project SOUND
  68. 68. Potential Risks/Controversies: Human Health Effects Introducing allergens and toxins into food Transfer of antibiotic resistance marker genes; cause the development of diseases which are immune to antibiotics Unknown effects of a new – and biologically basic – technology; not much is known about their long- term effects on human beings
  69. 69. Potential Risks: Environmental Effects Unintended phytotoxicity: plants less resistant to other pathogens/environmental challenges Adversely changing the nutrient content of a crop; consequences for herbivores Antibiotic resistance is spread: to other (wild) plants, animals, microorganisms Emergence of "super" weeds: herbicide/pest resistant; high yield Development of (or, more rapid development of) insecticide resistance in pests
  70. 70. Potential Risks: may worsen current environmental challenges Unintended transfer of transgenes through cross- pollination Unknown effects on other organisms (e.g., soil microbes; butterflies); toxicity Loss of floral and faunal biodiversity: farmers plant only the GM plants; beneficial insects killed Effects of global climate changes – changed geographic distribution of pests; ?? Impact of transgenic plants; pollinator diversity, etc.
  71. 71. How does Mother Nature play it safe with regards to pollination?  Most insect pollinated flowers receive visits from several different types of insects: bees, flies, beetles, bugs, etc.  In a study of 2200 CA plant species:  71% of the out-crossing species were visited by two potential pollinatorsBy hedging her odds  49% were visited by three or more potential pollinators  Redundancy in pollination systems is probably the rule, rather than the exception.  We can’t afford to loose our redundancy! © Project SOUND
  72. 72.  Second-largest family - > 10,000 Family species worldwide. Tachinidae  Adult tachinid flies known for their bristly facies and sometimes abdomens – though some only sparsely so.  Parasitoid habit - almost all are endoparasites of other insects; commonly the larvae of the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and the adult/larval forms of beetles.  Other tachinids attack true bugs of the Hemiptera (Heteroptera), larvae of Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants, sawflies), and adults of Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids, crickets).  Some might have use in pest control © Project SOUND
  73. 73. * Henderson’s Angelica – Angelica hendersonii© 2009, G. D. Carr © Project SOUND
  74. 74. * Henderson’s Angelica – Angelica hendersonii  Coastal areas from WA state to Santa Barbara Co  Coastal bluffs and dunes, < 500 ft elevation,337,343 Charles Webber © California Academy of Sciences © Project SOUND
  75. 75. Henderson’s Angelica: stout perennial  Size:  2-4 ft tall  2-4 ft wide  Growth form:  Fall/winter deciduous herbaceous perennial  Stout, succulent stems  Mounded form with basal leaves  Foliage:  Large, compound leaves  Hairy beneath  Wear gloves when handling – may cause allergies© 2009, G. D. Carr  Roots: sturdy taproot – very aromatic © Project SOUND
  76. 76. CA native Angelicas  All have similar appearance: succulent, large  All grow in slightly more moist climates than ours – mostly N. CA  Vary in the amount of leaf hairs – Angelica lucida Hendersonii is ‘velvety’ on undersideAngelica hendersonii Angelica tomentosa © Project SOUND
  77. 77. Flowers: loved by insects  Blooms: in spring – usually May-June in our area  Flowers:  Very showy compound umbels  Lots of cream-pink flowers – thousands per umbel in best circumstances  Looks like a garden plant  Seeds:  Dry, flat winged seeds typical of Carrot family© 2010 Margo Bors © 2010 Robert Steers © Project SOUND
  78. 78. Angelicas do well in  Soils: gardens  Texture: most, including heavy clays  pH: any local  Light:  Full sun to light shade; part- shade in very hot inland gardens  Water:  Winter/spring: needs good soil moisture to grow  Summer: best with near-regular water – every other week – Water Zone 2-3  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: organic mulch OK; leaf mulch best© 2010 Margo Bors © Project SOUND
  79. 79. Angelicas in gardens  In edible/medicinal garden  For immediate coastal areas  In the perennial bed – with Goldenrods - give it room  In a habitat garden  In watered rock gardens – N. Coastal© 2008 Neal Kramer © Project SOUND © 2010 Zoya Akulova
  80. 80. Many practical uses of Angelicas  Edible:  Young stems eaten raw (before it leafs out) or cooked as is root – celery-like taste  Root, leafstalks and stems are often candied  Medicinal: produces several antibacterial compounds  Tea from leaves  General tonic – don’t take too often  For sore throats  Tea or dry powdered roots  For sore throat  On skin infections & for athlete’s foot  As insect repellant© 2009, G. D. Carr Also used as a ceremonial plant © Project SOUND
  81. 81. Family Asilidae -  > 7,000 species world- wide; nearly 1,000 in North America. Robber Flies  Among the largest of the predatory flies; they can not only look like bumble bees, they can sound like them too!  Stout, spiny legs, bristles on the face (mystax), and 3 simple eyes (ocelli) in a characteristic depression between their two large compound eyes. The mystax helps protect the head/face in struggles with prey.  The short, strong proboscis is used to stab and inject victims with saliva containing neurotoxic and proteolytic enzymes which paralyze/digest the prey; the fly then sucks the liquefied meal much like we vacuum up an ice creamYou’ll often see them perched, soda through a straw.waiting for prey © Project SOUND
  82. 82. Fly Kachina (Hopi)  The Fly or Sohonasomtaka Kachina can be a Chief, Guard, or Hunter depending on the ceremony. He may also appear as a warrior who punishes the clowns when they get out of hand during the ceremonies. Insects and animals offer advice and teach life to the Hopi people. As a guard he would protect and keep ceremonies from outsider intrusions  The Robber Fly Kachina, Kuwaan Kokopelli, is named after a humpbacked fly that is always mating. Like Kokopell Mana, this kachina represents fertility. © Project SOUND
  83. 83. Natural groundcovers are so much more complex than suburban lawns © Project SOUND
  84. 84. Purple Sanicle – Sanicula bipinnatifida© 2006 Matt Below © Project SOUND
  85. 85. Purple Sanicle – Sanicula bipinnatifida  Coastal foothills and slopes from British Columbia to Baja  Locally: San Gabriel foothills; Puente-Chino Hills  Found in a wide range of plant,519,523 communities: valley grassland, chaparral, yellow pine forest, below 4500  Usually grows in grassy areas on sunny slopes © Project SOUND © 2011 Ryan Batten
  86. 86. Purple Sanicle is a low-grower  Size:  foliage < 1 ft tall; flowering stalks slightly taller  1-2 ft wide (at most)  Growth form:  drought deciduous herbaceous perennial© 2001 Gary A. Monroe © 2011 Thomas Reyes  Flat leaves from a central taproot  Foliage:  Compound leaves with long petiole  Medium green; somewhat like celery leaves  Roots: taproot © Project SOUND© 2012 Gary McDonald
  87. 87. Carrots: in wild vs garden  A little extra water make a huge difference  Garden soils also tend to be a little richer  Plants in Carrot family tend to look more lush in gardens than they do in the wild (except in places like WA and British Columbia) © 2004, Ben Legler © Project SOUND
  88. 88. Flowers are usually burgundy  Blooms: in spring – usually Mar- Apr in our area  Flowers:  Usually a very attractive burgundy or dark purple; occasionally yellow  Many tiny flowers in compound umbels typical of Carrot family  Look like fuzzy ball of© 2004 Laura Ann Eliassen flowers – attract many types of insects  Seeds: dry, prickly fruits – spines curved © Project SOUND © 2004 Carol W. Witham
  89. 89. Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: most; sandy to clay  pH: any local  Light:  Full sun near coast  Part-shade/dappled sun inland  Water:© Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Marys College  Winter: adequate  Summer: let plants dry out with grasses after seed set.  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: best not to move after established; may even want to start from seed in place. © Project SOUND
  90. 90. Garden uses for  Best used as it is in nature – as a mixed groundcover with grasses, annual wildflowers and perennials like Goldenrods, Yarrow© 2004 Carol W. Witham  Excellent habitat plants © Project SOUND
  91. 91. © 2007, Rod Gilbert© 2004, Ben Legler Fern-leaved desert-parsley growing with camas and western buttercup © Project SOUND
  92. 92. ‘Life-friendly’ groundcovers & lawn substitutes: the importance of home gardens © Project SOUND
  93. 93. Pollinator flies in urban environments: little know but suggestive results In an extensive 5-yr survey of syrphid flies in Poland Found lower species diversity in urban and agricultural areas. In comparison, natural habitats were species-rich and characterized by shifting proportions of species, as one moved from one habitat toward another. Syrphid fly species composition closely followed patterns of food supply and habitat condition. The proportion of phytophagous and terrestrial saprophagous species dropped significantly, with only four species of phytophages present near the housing estates. These four were pests that eat ornamental plants, or weed-eating species. Urban areas were dominated by four syrphid species with broad geographic ranges Loss of habitat plants = loss of beneficial flies © Project SOUND
  94. 94. Pollinator flies in urban environments  In Japan, a broad-scale, four-year survey compared all insect visitors to roughly 100 plant species in each of three different habitats:  a university campus - mostly exotic vegetation,  an undisturbed oak forest, andBottom line: what you  a botanically rich mosaic containing bothplant in your garden does make a difference native deciduous and planted coniferous forest.  The site of greatest human disturbance was poorest in species numbers .  The total number of arthropod species on the plants of the university campus was 37% of the total of the oak forest and 23% of the total mosaic of natural and planted forest. © Project SOUND
  95. 95. Common Lomatium – Lomatium utriculatum © 2004 Robert E. Preston, Ph.D. © Project SOUND
  96. 96. Common Lomatium – Lomatium utriculatum  AKA: Bladder Parsnip; Hog Fennel  Baja to British Columbia – also very locally  The genus Lomatium: composed of about 80 species restricted to w. North America.  The genus name, from the Greek loma (a border), refers to the wings on the fruit.,426,476 © 2009, Maria Yousoufian © Project SOUND
  97. 97. Two native California Lomatiums * California Lomatium – Lomatium californicum2-5 ft tall; 4-5 ft wide Common Lomatium – Lomatium utriculatum © Project SOUND
  98. 98. Common Lomatium: another small one  Size:  Foliage usually 1 ft tall; flower stalks to 18”  1-2 ft wide  Growth form:  Herbaceous perennial  Drought-deciduous; literally disappears in dry summer  Foliage:  Bright green; mostly in basal rosette  Leaves very finely dissected – like carrot; lacy and delicate-looking  Larval food: Anise Swallowtail  Roots: a taproot © Project SOUND
  99. 99. Plant is sometimes called ‘Spring Gold’ Blooms: in spring (Feb-May); usually Mar-Apr our area. Flowers:  Bright, golden yellow – hence the common name  Pretty, delicate compound umbels – very attractive in a woodsy way  Attract many spring-flying insects - bees, flies, wasps, beetles and more Seeds:  fruits flattened and ribbed – typical of family  Will reseed on bare ground/ inorganic mulch © Project SOUND
  100. 100. Growing the wild carrots  Use fresh seed – the best predictor of success  Soak fruit/seed in several changes of water to remove germination inhibitors – or plant out in fall 023/061023LomatiumUtricu latum.html  If seed from a colder climate – or seeds are older – give 1 month cold-moist treatment  Plant in deep enough pots or directly in ground  Don’t leave in pots too long - taproots © Project SOUND
  101. 101.  Soils: Spring Gold for clay soils  Texture: best in clay soils  pH: any local  Light:  Part-shade (afternoon shade) or dappled sun in most gardens  Water:  Winter/spring: adequate until flowering ceases  Summer: taper off to dry – Water Zone 1 to 2  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils. Would do well with leaf mulch  Other: keep weeded around plants © Project SOUND
  102. 102. Add a little Spring gold to your garden  As an attractive pot plant with native bulbs  In a rock garden or around the vegetable garden  As part of a prairie,© 2009 Barry Rice meadow or other mixed natural planting © 2007, Rod Gilbert © Project SOUNDOR930/4721037_pt67MZ#!i=279488941&k=2Ceng
  103. 103. Practical uses of Spring Gold  Edible uses  Young, crisp leaves eaten raw.  Leaves, sometimes with flowers, cooked, fried in oil and salt and eaten. Or may be boiled, roasted or steamed as a pot herb or in stews/soups.  Roots: raw or cooked – or dried – harvest just after flowering; good addition to soups/stews  Medicinal uses  Roots (fresh or dried) for headaches © Project SOUND
  104. 104. Pollinator decline and research needs Our understanding of pollination services is considerably hampered by a lack of some very basic knowledge. Pollination services of flies are underestimated and functional relations poorly understood. In the past, much pollination research has focused on bees, leaving a wide opportunity open for the study of other pollinator assemblages. Although some types of fly pollinators have been well studied, as a group, fly pollination deserves far more research. It is striking how large the gaps in species knowledge are: probably less than 10% of all Diptera species are named worldwide; considerable gaps exist even in Europe, where the fauna is generally well documented. © Project SOUND
  105. 105. Flies: Important in SW Native American lore  Big Fly, dotsoh, is very important to the Navajo Indians in Northern Arizona and New Mexico. He is an intercessor, mentor and advise giver. He appears to have much of the capacities of the Spider Woman figure in the Navajo except to men, especially Holy Man. He is the daytime messenger to the Sun  In the Piman speakers of Southern Arizona and Northwestern Mexico, Blue-Green Fly teaches the Seris of the Sonoran coast and the Pima of AZ how to make fire.  Robber Fly is a hunter in Chiricahua Apache lore who carries his meat in a bag on his shoulder. Flies once were humans – they brought fire to all people © Project SOUND
  106. 106. © Project SOUND