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  MONITORING AND ASSESSING THREATS TO RARE AND ENDANGERED PLANTS, THEIR POLLINATORS AND HABITATS 

We will be creating a searchable pollination reference database  for resource managers and conservation biologists so please come back.  Currently this is the introductory essay to the bibliography. 

INTRODUCTION 

This is a review of selected papers on pollinator interactions with rare plants, including those species federally-listed as threatened or endangered. Until recently, status surveys and recovery plans for threatened plants have demonstrated a woeful lack of attention with regard to pollinators, and pollen limitation as a factors constraining reproductive success. Pollination is often the weakest link in our understanding of the life history of rare plants. 

The first section covers papers and books that provide a background on pollination biology, rare plant biology and pollinator limitation. The second section gives sources for learning techniques and methods used by pollination biologists. These will be good starting points for resource managers and conservation biologists who wish to design research and monitoring programs for plants at risk. The sections on habitat fragmentation and pesticides demonstrate the various ways that conservation biologists have assessed threats affecting rare plants and their biotic interactions. Several researchers have begun efforts to study the influences that pollinators have on a community level and especially how habitat fragmentation affects plant- pollinator relationships. The final section presents case studies on rare plant demographics and pollination ecology. The articles included here portray the "state of the art " as currently practiced by conservation biologists and pollination ecologists. 

Although pollination biology is an old subdiscipline of ecology it is mostly studied by applied biologists in agricultural research and academic biologists. Few range managers, foresters, and wildlife biologists have received adequate exposure to this realm of the life sciences. Almost no work has been done with regard to integrating pollinator translocations into ecological restoration projects and rare plant reintroductions; although there are promising restoration projects incorporating the reintroduction of native bees. Research on restoring plant -pollinator interactions will become an increasingly important as habitats continue to be denuded. 

The Forgotten Pollinators Campaign encourages further collaboration between specialists in pollination biology and resource managers working under mandates to conserve rare plants in their habitats. This work can be challenging but is destined to play a far greater role in the conservation of rare plants than it has in the past. 

Contributors:  Gary Paul Nabhan, Vince Tepedino, Steve Buchmann, Jim Donovan 

Sponsored by: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Bat Conservation International Center for Plant Conservation National Wildflower Research Center Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute Xerces Society 

 
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