Investigating the pollen transport network between moths (Lepidoptera) and the economically important plants in Central and Eastern Himalaya
Keywords:Angiosperms, Bipartite network, Moth-plant interaction, Non-papilionoid Lepidoptera, Pollen transportation, Potential pollinators
The current study was planned to understand the pattern of pollen transportation in commercially significant plants of the central and eastern Himalayas via non-papilionoid Lepidoptera. For data collection, 14 locations of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and North Bengal were surveyed between September 2018 to August 2019. Our investigation revealed that 37 species in seven moth families contribute significantly in pollen transportation of eleven economically significant plant species belonging to nine angiosperm families. The analysis is based on a bipartite model between the identified moths and plant taxa to measure pollen carrying capacity, selectivity, connectance, Shannon’s diversity, linkage diversity, and link per species. We examined generalist and specialist moth species. The outcome of the current research work offers a basic and fundamental understanding of the ecological role of moths in pollen transportation of economically significant plants in the central and eastern Himalaya, and will thus open up a new doorway in pollination ecology of moths.