Environment Native flies, not bees, crucial to mango tree pollination, according to UNE researcher

Native flies, not bees, crucial to mango tree pollination, according to UNE researcher

Dr Romina Rader, Lecturer in Environmental Management at the University of New England, has conducted a study into the pollination of mango trees and found that native flies accounted for more pollination than bees.

That native flies were found to visit the mango trees 20% more often than bees, in a study which surveyed the pollination efficiency of 44 different insects. Of all the flies, the small black tip fly (Rhiniidae) visited with the highest frequency.

The amount of pollen transferred during a single visit was also looked at, with several native species of fly and a native bee species all transferring more than twice the pollen than that transferred by honeybees.

The study suggests that Australian growers could achieve better yields by attracting more native species with native plants surrounding their orchards, particularly those plants that produce lots of nectar and pollen when the mango tree is not in flower.

Perhaps a small discovery, but an important one that will benefit the local agricultural industry.

[img source] James N. (CCA2.0)
The above story is based on materials provided by The University of New England