A comparison of honey bee-collected pollen from working agricultural lands using light microscopy and its metabarcoding

M. D. Smart, R. S. Cornman, D. D. Iwanowicz, M. McDermott-Kubeczko, J. S. Pettis, M. S. Spivak, C. R V Otto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Taxonomic identification of pollen has historically been accomplished via light microscopy but requires specialized knowledge and reference collections, particularly when identification to lower taxonomic levels is necessary. Recently, next-generation sequencing technology has been used as a cost-effective alternative for identifying beecollected pollen; however, this novel approach has not been tested on a spatially or temporally robust number of pollen samples. Here, we compare pollen identification results derived from light microscopy and DNA sequencing techniques with samples collected from honey bee colonies embedded within a gradient of intensive agricultural landscapes in the Northern Great Plains throughout the 2010-2011 growing seasons. We demonstrate that at all taxonomic levels, DNA sequencing was able to discern a greater number of taxa, and was particularly useful for the identification of infrequently detected species. Importantly, substantial phenological overlap did occur for commonly detected taxa using either technique, suggesting that DNA sequencing is an appropriate, and enhancing, substitutive technique for accurately capturing the breadth of bee-collected species of pollen present across agricultural landscapes. We also show that honey bees located in high and low intensity agricultural settings forage on dissimilar plants, though with overlap of the most abundantly collected pollen taxa. We highlight practical applications of utilizing sequencing technology, including addressing ecological issues surrounding land use, climate change, importance of taxa relative to abundance, and evaluating the impact of conservation program habitat enhancement efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-49
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Entomology
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Fingerprint

pollen
bee
light microscopy
sequence analysis
methodology
honey
microscopy
agricultural land
DNA
honey bees
sampling
honey bee colonies
conservation programs
Apoidea
land use
growing season
climate change
forage
habitats
species identification

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Honey bee
  • Land use
  • Pollen identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Insect Science

MeSH PubMed subject areas

  • Journal Article
  • Comparative Study

Cite this

Smart, M. D., Cornman, R. S., Iwanowicz, D. D., McDermott-Kubeczko, M., Pettis, J. S., Spivak, M. S., & Otto, C. R. V. (2017). A comparison of honey bee-collected pollen from working agricultural lands using light microscopy and its metabarcoding. Environmental Entomology, 46(1), 38-49. DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvw159

A comparison of honey bee-collected pollen from working agricultural lands using light microscopy and its metabarcoding. / Smart, M. D.; Cornman, R. S.; Iwanowicz, D. D.; McDermott-Kubeczko, M.; Pettis, J. S.; Spivak, M. S.; Otto, C. R V.

In: Environmental Entomology, Vol. 46, No. 1, 01.02.2017, p. 38-49.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smart, MD, Cornman, RS, Iwanowicz, DD, McDermott-Kubeczko, M, Pettis, JS, Spivak, MS & Otto, CRV 2017, 'A comparison of honey bee-collected pollen from working agricultural lands using light microscopy and its metabarcoding' Environmental Entomology, vol 46, no. 1, pp. 38-49. DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvw159
Smart MD, Cornman RS, Iwanowicz DD, McDermott-Kubeczko M, Pettis JS, Spivak MS et al. A comparison of honey bee-collected pollen from working agricultural lands using light microscopy and its metabarcoding. Environmental Entomology. 2017 Feb 1;46(1):38-49. Available from, DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvw159

Smart, M. D.; Cornman, R. S.; Iwanowicz, D. D.; McDermott-Kubeczko, M.; Pettis, J. S.; Spivak, M. S.; Otto, C. R V / A comparison of honey bee-collected pollen from working agricultural lands using light microscopy and its metabarcoding.

In: Environmental Entomology, Vol. 46, No. 1, 01.02.2017, p. 38-49.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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