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Thesis Abstract – Cusser (2006)


Effectiveness of the Pollinators of a Monoecious Plant

Author and college:

Sarah Cusser, Pomona College


April, 2006


Bachelor of Arts in Biology


Frances Hanzawa, Pomona College


In this study I investigated the pollination system of Marah macrocarpus (Cucurbitaceae), a monoecious perennial vine of the Southern Californian coastal sage scrub. In order to determine the makeup of the pollinator assemblage and the relative effectivenesses of pollinators, I directly observed pollinator behavior. My research revealed that M. macrocarpus has a generalized pollination system that exploits a wide range of generally ineffective pollinators, both native and non-native insects of two orders, Hymenoptera and Diptera. Pollinators were found to vary in aspects of effectiveness. Apis mellifera, a non-native insect, was the most effective individual pollinator. However, native pollinators, when combined into a single group, were found to be more effective.

For more information:

Contact Frances Hanzawa – frances.hanzawa@pomona.edu

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