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Bees obtain nutrients from flowers. Pollen provides proteins and fats; nectar provides carbohydrates and some amino acids. With recent decline in pollinator populations, conservationists are interested in providing nutritious plants for pollinators. Counterintuitively, urban areas have the green space for pollinator friendly plantings. On Providence College’s urban campus, I examined how floral abundance and pollinator interactions correlate to the nutritional value of plant species. Quadrat surveys were performed within 53 quadrats through the Spring and Summer for plant-pollinator interactions. Pollen was collected from all flowering species and analyzed for nitrogen and carbon content using an elemental analyzer. Nectar samples were collected and analyzed for amino acid concentration using a washing technique and colorimetric assay; nectar sugar analysis is ongoing. I predict that flowers higher in nutritional content will positively correlate with more visits by insect pollinators. The data collected will display which plants are of best nutritional quality and allow for floral management recommendations to benefit the pollinator population at Providence College and the surrounding city. Summer research funded by the Walsh Student Research Fellowship and Southeastern New England Educational and Charitable Foundation, presented at the RI Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium


Providence College


Summer 8-18-2022








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