Pollinator declines have emphasized the need for a greater understanding of plant-pollinator networks and land management activities that improve pollinator habitat.The aim of the Pollinator Library is to support management and research of plant-pollinator systems by documenting, synthesizing, and disseminating information on flowers that are utilized by pollinators and other insects. We hope that by providing free access to essential information, the Pollinator Library will lead to an improved understanding of the foraging needs of flower-visiting insects and plant-pollinator systems.
The Pollinator Library team works in collaboration with researchers currently studying plant-pollinator networks to accumulate observations of insect visitation to flowers. Each data record contained within the Pollinator Library consists of a field observation of an insect visiting a flowering plant, and the environmental and land use information associated with that observation. For each data record, our collaborators collect voucher specimens of insect visitors, identify the plant the insect was visiting, and record specific contextual variables for each observation (i.e., date, latitude, longitude, site description, weather, etc.). The insect voucher specimens and field data records are cataloged and stored at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. The Pollinator Library team provides a service to our collaborators by identifying insect voucher specimens submitted to the Pollinator Library. By working in concert with others, we are able to offer information covering a broad spatial scale and diverse taxonomic scope, while contributing directly to projects aimed at understanding plant-pollinator networks.