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Aneta Sikora and Maria Kelm

Abstract

Bumblebees (Bombus spp.) are morphologically different from each other as determined by the length of their tongue. Seven species of bumblebees were identified in the Wrocław Botanical Garden: the long-tongued Bombus hortorum, and the medium-tongued B. pascuorum, and the 5 short-tongued species, Bombus hypnorum, Bombus lapidarius, Bombus terrestris, Bombus lucorum, and Bombus pratorum. Bumblebees were observed so that their choice of food within the botanical family could be determined. The shape and colour choice of the flower was particularly noted. Bumblebees showed the highest degree of preference for the Lamiaceae family. The Boraginaceae family was also used by all of the recorded species. Bumblebees found pink and purple, lipped, capitular/ globular, and saucer-shaped flowers to be most attractive. The individual species of bumblebees showed different preferences, which may be explained by the differences in their morphology. However, bumblebee flower preference and selection seems to be more complex and requires further, detailed research.

Open access

Aneta Sikora, Paweł Michołap and Maria Kelm

Abstract

Due to fewer bumblebees in rural areas these days, it is necessary to look for alternative habitats for the active protection of these very important pollinators. The research was carried out in The Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants, in Wrocław, Poland. In the garden, approximately 2000 plant species were cultivated, of which 185 were visited by bumblebees. Amongst them, 57 plant species were deemed very attractive and were determined to be indicators for 7 bumblebee species. Indicator species for bumblebees ranged between 6 for Bombus pratorum to up to 20 for B. pascuorum. Monarda didyma was an indicator plant to 6 recorded bumblebee species. Other indicator plant species for at least 4 bumblebees species were: Origanum vulgare, Lavandula angustifolia, Rhododendron catawbiense, Phacelia tanacetifolia, and Agastache rugosa. Three bumblebee species were found to forage the most on 11 of the flowering plant species. The biggest group of plants were those which were mostly visited by 1-2 bumblebee species. Amongst all recorded indicator plants, 32% were native species.

Open access

Aneta B. Lyubenova, Justyna A. Nowakowska, Katarzyna Sikora, Kaloyan Kostov, Małgorzata Borys, Slavtcho B. Slavov and Tomasz Oszako

Abstract

Our aim was to examine the virulence of eight Phytophthora isolates belonging to three species (Phytophthora cryptogea, Phytophthora plurivora and Phytophthora quercina) obtained from diverse European ecosystems (in Bulgaria, Poland and Germany) towards three forest tree hosts – English oak (Quercus robur L.), Turkey oak (Quercus cerris L.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.).

All plants grown from seeds in a greenhouse conditions were artificially inoculated under the stem bark with Phytophthora cultures. The tested isolates turned to be more aggressive to Turkey oaks than to English oak trees. In case of European beech, the isolates of P. cryptogea and P. plurivora exposed various virulence. The potential hazard of the introduced foreign isolates for the oak and beech forests in Poland and Bulgaria is discussed. Amongst the tested isolates, P. quercina P290 from German highly infected Bulgarian Turkey oaks; therefore, its negative potential impact on Bulgarian oak forests could be considered as high (if unintentionally introduced). Also, two Bulgarian isolates belonging to P. cryptogea and P. plurivora are risky for Polish beech forests, if exposed to the pathogen. The observed pathogenicity of the tested Phytophthora species proved their potential as important contributors to decline of valuable forest ecosystems dominated by oaks (Q. robur and Q. cerris) or beech (F. sylvatica), in both Poland and Bulgaria. We found that investigated Phytophthora pathogens could develop in the living plant stem tissues without causing any disease symptoms, which is another demonstration that phytosanitary control by simple observation of plant material is not effective.