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空气污染迷惑蜜蜂和阻碍觅食

编辑:admin 日期:2018-09-25

bee flowers

Credit: Pixabay

Bees have a very keen sense of smell —; they need it in order to survive。 Even thousands of feet from their original source, a bee can detect the odor molecules emitted by the various plants which it pollinates。 But air pollution acts as a retardant, shortening the life span and travel distance of these odor molecules。 As a result, bees become confused and now require more time to forage, a new study found。

“;Many insects have nests that are up to 3,000 feet away from their food source, which means that scents need to travel long distances before insects can detect them,”; said Jose D。 Fuentes, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science, Penn State。

“;Each insect has a detection threshold for certain kinds of scents and they find food by moving from areas of low concentrations of scents to areas of high concentrations。”;

It’;s common knowledge that plant emit volatile hydrocarbons in the atmosphere —; these molecules create their pleasant smell。 These chemicals interact with certain air pollutants like car exhaust sourced ozone —; a chemical reaction which breaks down the plant odors。 Moreover, this process leads to the creation of more pollutants like hydroxyl and nitrate radicals which amplify the feedback loop。

Penn State researchers sought to fully understand the chemical mechanisms involved in this interaction。 Using a computer simulation, they first plotted changes in the concentration of flower odors as a result of air turbulence and chemical interactions。 This model enabled a theoretical footing to track the scents’; concentrations and movements emitted by different flowers over time。