Plant2pollinator is a practical science resource for understanding pollinator partnerships and building biodiversity stewardship for students from stages 1 to 4.
Based on the premise that the types of flowering plants in your garden can indicate a diversity of insect visitors, Plant2pollinator provides ideas, investigations and information on invertebrates and their crucial role in pollinating flowering plants.You can make a major contribution to many mysteries surrounding insect pollination, invertebrate diversity and sustainability by surveying and understanding insect visitors to flowering plants.
Scientists are still to find out more about the fascinating partnership between plants and their pollinators.
Plant2pollinator relies on the Bugwise guides and tools for identifying beetles, wasps, flies, bees, moths and butterflies developed by the Australian Museum’s research scientists for use in field and laboratory work. These tools and guides were developed to assist enthusiastic observers who are not scientifically trained in identifying invertebrates.
Focus of Plant2pollinator resources
Many native, food and fibre plants rely on insects to reproduce. This process is known as pollination, and Plant2pollinator explores this concept.
Pollination is the process of transferring pollen from the anthers (male reproductive organ) to the stigma female reproductive organ) of flowers to ensure the successful production of seed. It is essential for the genetic diversity of most flowering plants and one of biodiversity’s vital services. In some remarkable cases only a single insect species can successfully pollinate a particular flower. Consequently, if an insect species is removed from an area, the vegetation will also suffer, highlighting the importance of insect biodiversity and our role in maintaining it.
The investigation of specific and generalist insect pollinators and their plant hosts aims to reinforce the idea that pollination is a fundamental process of ecological interdependence.
Plant2pollinator (P2p) is sponsored by The Environmental Trust.
P2p acknowledges the significant contributions of Phoebe Hill, Project Officer, and Geoff Gardner, Intern, to this resource pack.
The project team wishes to acknowledge the following Australian Museum scientists for their scientific advice, guidance and recommendations:
- Dr Dave Britton, Entomology Collections Manager,
- Martyn Robinson, Naturalist,
- Dr Chris Reid, Research Scientist,
- Dr Shane McEvey, Entomologist
- Dr John Gollan, Research Officer.
P2p could not have been as comprehensive without the generous advice and instruction of Dr Michael Batley. Michael’s bee videos have also contributed to P2P’s on-line resources.
P2p wishes also to acknowledge Brian Walters, of the Australian Native Plants Society of Australia, for the use of his photographs for the website gallery.
The majority of the illustrations have been taken from the original Bugwise Invertebrate Guide, illustrator Andrew Howells.
The keys, guides and diagrams have been researched and designed by the Plant2pollinator project team, Phoebe Hill, Geoff Gardner and Sue Lewis.
The following references were used to produce the Plant2Pollinator resources:
- Dollin, A., M. Batley, M. Robinson & B. Faulkner. 2000. Native Bees of the Sydney Region: A Field Guide. Australian Native Bee Research Centre.
- Proctor, M., Lack, A. and P. Yeo.1997. The natural history of pollination. Timber Press.