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Austroplebeia essingtoni. Photo: S. Tomlinson.View image slideshow

Project title: The spatial energetics of pollination failure in habitat restoration

Dates: 2012 - 2016

Funding: Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority

Location: throughout WA, with a focus upon the Swan Coastal Plain and northwest regions

Research themes

  • ecological energetics
  • species distribution modelling
  • pollination
  • restoration monitoring
  • restoration targets

Project description

Habitat restoration programs are effective at re-vegetating degraded land, yet most fail to restore natural ecosystem dynamics due to an inability to reinstate insect-mediated pollination services. The dominant mechanisms of pollination failure lie at the interface of physiological constraints on pollinator thermal tolerance, desiccation resistance and metabolism, and spatial constraints on availability of floral resources in a hostile landscape matrix.

Through this project we aim to quantify the thresholds of a broad range of key insect pollinators. We also aim to quantify the importance of landscape change in altering project-specific insect pollinator requirements. By modelling these requirements at a small scale (~5 m) we can provide restoration guidelines and monitoring frameworks to more rapidly return insect pollination to restoration landscapes.

This program is a uniquely novel, process-based approach to ecological restoration that combines Dr Sean Tomlinson’s expertise in animal physiology and species distribution modelling with landscape ecology and restoration ecology. Such a mechanistic approach has great scope to optimise restoration planning to specific local ecological requirements.

Key staff

Dr Sean Tomlinson

Collaborators

Emer. Prof S. Don Bradshaw, Prof Kingsley Dixon, Prof Raphael Didham

Students

Sasha Ayton (Hons; 2014) Seasonal comparison of the foraging ecology and ecophysiology of a native Australian stingless bee: Austroplebeia essingtoni.

Publications

Tomlinson S, Dixon KW, Didham RK and Bradshaw SD (2017) Landscape context alters cost of living in honeybee metabolism and feeding. Proceedings of the Royal Society B - in press.

Ayton S, Tomlinson S, Phillips RD, Dixon KD and Withers PC (2016) Phenophysiological variation of a bee that regulates hive humidity, but not hive temperature. Journal of Experimental Biology 219: 1552-1562.

Tomlinson S, Bradshaw SD, Didham RK and Dixon KW (2015) Physiological plasticity of metabolic rates in invasive and endemic Australian bee species. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 8: 835-844.

Tomlinson S and Phillips RD (2015) Sexual dimorphism in temperature dependent metabolic rate and EWL in thynnine wasps. Journal of Insect Physiology 78: 62–68.

Tomlinson S and Phillips RD (2015) Sexual dimorphism in temperature dependent metabolic rate and EWL in thynnine wasps. Journal of Insect Physiology 78: 62–68.

Tomlinson S, Arnall S, Bradshaw SD, Maloney SK, Munn A, Didham RK and Dixon KW (2014) Applications and implications of ecological energetics. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 29: 280-290.

Tomlinson S, Mathialagan PD and Maloney SK (2013) Special K: Testing the Potassium Link Between Radioactive Rubidium (86Rb) Turnover and Metabolic Rate. Journal of Experimental Biology 217: 1040-1045.

Tomlinson S and Phillips RD (2012) Metabolic rate, evaporative water loss and field activity in response to temperature in an ichneumonid wasp. Journal of Zoology 287: 81–90.

Presentations

Tomlinson S: University of Notre Dame (Fremantle) Research Showcase Symposium 2016. The buzz on Honeybee energetics.

Tomlinson S: Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA), Hamilton 2016. The buzz on Honeybee energetics: Novel radio-isotopic techniques find that Honeybees match their field metabolic rate to their ecosystem.

Tomlinson S: Australia and New Zealand Society of Comparative Physiologists and Biochemists (ANZSCPB), Hawkesbury Institute 2016. The buzz on Honeybee energetics: Novel radio-isotopic techniques find that Honeybees match their field metabolic rate to their ecosystem.

Tomlinson S: Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA), Noumea 2014. Ecological Energetic Models of Pollination Restoration: Thermo-energetic Landscape Islands?

Tomlinson S: 10th Australasian Plant Conservation Conference (APCC10), Hobart 2014. Ecological Energetic Models of Pollination Restoration: Thermo-energetic Landscape Islands?

Tomlinson S: Australasian Environmental Isotope Conference (AEIC), Perth 2013. Using Radiolabelled 86Rb Isotope to Measure Metabolism.

Tomlinson S: Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA), Perth 2012. Towards a Mechanistic Approach to Pollinator Restoration.

Typhiid wasp. Photo: S. Tomlinson. Colpochila species. Photo: S. Tomlinson. Zaspilothynnus nigripes male (left) and female (right). Photo: S. Tomlinson. Amegilla natalensis. Photo: M. Whitehead, ANU.

Bold Park access disruption

Vehicle access will be restricted in Bold Park from 5.30 am - 10.30 am on Sunday 24 November 2019 due to a community cycling event.

Concert traffic interruptions

Road and carpark closures will occur in Kings Park and Botanic Garden from November 2019 until February 2020 due to concert events.

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Recycling trash to treasure

From the creative to the innovative, Kings Park and Botanic Garden is proud to showcase some of our best initiatives during National Recycling Week 2019.

2018-19 annual report now available

Excellent results in research, conservation and visitor experiences have been recorded in the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority’s 2018-19 annual report, which is now available online.

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