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13 December 2019 Associations between Nocturnal Moths and Flowers in Urban Gardens: Evidence from Pollen on Moths
Nicole E. Wonderlin, Kalee Rumfelt, Peter J. T. White
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Pollination is an important plant-animal interaction, and moths (Lepidoptera) are frequent flower visitors. With 11,000 moth species in North America, this group of organisms has potential to largely influence the plant communities they exist in. To date, most pollination research has focused on diurnal (day active) pollinators. However, nocturnal plant visitors, such as moths, may represent a significant and underreported portion of plant-animal interactions. Understanding the role of nocturnal pollinators in ecological communities is important for informing conservation practices as well as making predictions for how plant-insect interaction networks may shift in response to environmental changes, which may be especially important in disturbed habitats like urban gardens. We aimed to address this gap in our understanding by surveying moth-plant interactions in urban environments. We collected 260 moths over a two-year period, 68% of which were carrying pollen. By family—88% of Erebidae species, 89% of Noctuid species, and 92% of Geometrid species were pollen carriers. We conclude that moths frequently interact with a diversity flowers in urban gardens.

Nicole E. Wonderlin, Kalee Rumfelt, and Peter J. T. White "Associations between Nocturnal Moths and Flowers in Urban Gardens: Evidence from Pollen on Moths," The Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 73(3), 173-176, (13 December 2019).
Received: 25 September 2018; Accepted: 1 March 2019; Published: 13 December 2019

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community garden
moth pollination
Pollen analysis
urban ecology
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