Next Article in Journal
Larval Host Preference and Suitability for the Sawfly Mesoneura rufonota among Five Cinnamomun Tree Species
Next Article in Special Issue
Floral Species Richness Correlates with Changes in the Nutritional Quality of Larval Diets in a Stingless Bee
Previous Article in Journal
Differences in Mobility and Dispersal Capacity Determine Body Size Clines in Two Common Alpine-Tundra Arthropods
Previous Article in Special Issue
Using Nutritional Geometry to Explore How Social Insects Navigate Nutritional Landscapes
Open AccessArticle

Inter-Individual Nectar Chemistry Changes of Field Scabious, Knautia arvensis

1
Ecosystem Functions, Institute of Ecology, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Universitätsallee 1, 21335 Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, Germany
2
Agroecology, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Göttingen, Grisebachstrasse 6, 37077 Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany
3
Biocenter—Am Hubland, Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, University of Würzburg, 97070 Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany
4
Chair of Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacher Str. 4, 79106 Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11020075
Received: 28 October 2019 / Revised: 15 January 2020 / Accepted: 15 January 2020 / Published: 22 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Nutritional Resource Exploitation by Insects)
Nectar is crucial to maintain plant-pollinator mutualism. Nectar quality (nutritional composition) can vary strongly between individuals of the same plant species. The factors driving such inter-individual variation have however not been investigated closer. We investigated nectar quality of field scabious, Knautia arvensis in different grassland plant communities varying in species composition and richness to assess whether nectar quality can be affected by the surrounding plant community. We analyzed (with high performance liquid chromatography) the content of carbohydrates, overall amino acids, and essential amino acids. Amino acid and carbohydrate concentrations and proportions varied among plant individuals and with the surrounding plant community but were not related to the surrounding plant species richness. Total and individual carbohydrate concentrations were lowest, while proportions of the essential amino acids, valine, isoleucine, leucine (all phagostimulatory), and lysine were highest in plant species communities of the highest diversity. Our results show that K. arvensis nectar chemistry varies with the composition of the surrounding plant community, which may alter the taste and nutritional value and thus affect the plant’s visitor spectrum and visitation rate. However, the strong inter-individual variation in nectar quality requires additional studies (e.g., in semi-field studies) to disentangle different biotic and abiotic factors contributing to inter-individual nectar chemistry in a plant-community context. View Full-Text
Keywords: amino acids; carbohydrates; flower-visiting insects; insect nutrition; Jena Experiment amino acids; carbohydrates; flower-visiting insects; insect nutrition; Jena Experiment
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Venjakob, C.; Leonhardt, S.; Klein, A.-M. Inter-Individual Nectar Chemistry Changes of Field Scabious, Knautia arvensis. Insects 2020, 11, 75.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop