Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Research Sponsor

Dr. Randall Mitchell

First Reader

Dr. Stephen Weeks

Second Reader

Dr. Jordan Renna



Intermixed, co-flowering plant species often attract the same pollinators and may therefore compete for pollinator visits. Mimulus ringens and Verbena hastata are sympatric wetland plants that flower in synchrony and share many pollinators, the most common being bumblebees. The possibility of competition between these two plant species led to this observational study tracking pollinator movements in an area intermixed with both M. ringens and V. hastata. We identified pollinator species and tracked them as they visited flowers and moved from plant to plant. Smaller bees seemed to prefer the smaller flowers present on the V. hastata, and the larger bees frequently visited M. ringens. Interspecific moves were highly limited, 4.7% of total moves observed by most abundant pollinators. Therefore, the intermixing of M. ringens and V. hastata appears to have a neutral effect on each other and should not affect reproductive success. This neutral effect could be due to different foraging behavior due to differing floral morphologies, heights, colors, or even pollinator reward.