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The Birds and the Bees: Can a plant prevent woodpecker predation on a native bee?

posted on 2021-05-11, 21:05 authored by Kathryn BusbyKathryn Busby
This visualization, titled "The Birds and the Bees: Can a plant prevent woodpecker predation on a native bee?" was submitted by Kathryn Busby to the University of Arizona Libraries 2021 Data Visualization Challenge. It received the third place win within the graduate classification.

Submitted Abstract:
Complex conditions drive organisms’ strategies, including interactions with antagonists. We examined a predator-prey interaction between native bees and their woodpecker predators that may be altered by the bees’ nest plant. In southeastern Arizona, carpenter bees build nests inside dried inflorescence stalks of plants such as sotol. Woodpeckers prey upon carpenter bee larvae inside these stalks, but sotol’s dense rosette of barbed leaves may protect larvae. We hypothesized that nests surrounded by leaves would be less accessible to woodpeckers, increasing predation on higher nests. This could drive nest placement. To test this hypothesis, we recorded locations of nests, rosettes, and predation.

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