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Data from "Bumblebees can detect floral humidity"

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posted on 2021-05-12, 11:54 authored by Michael HarrapMichael Harrap, Henry knowles, Natalie Hempel de Ibarra, Heather Whitney, Sean RandsSean Rands

Floral humidity, a region of elevated humidity in the headspace of the flower, occurs in many plant species and may add to their multimodal floral displays. So far, the ability to detect and respond to floral humidity cues has been only established for hawkmoths when they locate and extract nectar while hovering in front of some moth-pollinated flowers. To test whether floral humidity can be used by other more widespread generalist pollinators, we designed artificial flowers that presented biologically-relevant levels of humidity similar to those shown by flowering plants. Bumblebees showed a spontaneous preference for flowers which produced higher floral humidity. Furthermore, learning experiments showed that bumblebees are able to use differences in floral humidity to distinguish between rewarding and nonrewarding flowers. Our results indicate that bumblebees are sensitive to different levels of floral humidity. In this way floral humidity can add to the information provided by flowers and could impact pollinator behaviour more significantly than previously thought.

Guide for Use
Raw data, data plotted in figures as well as the annotated R code and excel object files (where appropriate) necessary to generate graphical figures and repeat analysis from “Bumblebees can detect floral humidity”. Full details on data collection are available in that publication.

The datafiles pertaining to artificial flower temperature measurements are available in “Datafile 1 240321.xlsx”. The datafiles pertaining to measurement and analysis of artificial flower humidity are found in “Datafile 2 240321.zip”. The datafiles pertaining to bumblebee behavioural experiments are found in “Datafile 3 240321.zip”. Within both .zip files there is a word document that provides a key to datasheets and R files contained within. Within the .xlsx file the first sheet titled ‘Key’ provides a key to the remainder of the file.


Natural Environment Research Council studentship within the GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership (studentship NE/L002434/)

Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (grant BB/M002780/1)

Bristol Centre for Agricultural Innovation