The impact of over 80 years of land cover changes on bee and wasp pollinator communities in England

Senapathi, Deepa; Carvalheiro, Luisa G.; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C.; Dodson, Cassie-Ann; Evans, Rebecca L.; McKerchar, Megan; Morton, R. Daniel; Moss, Ellen D.; Roberts, Stuart P.M.; Kunin, William E.; Potts, Simon G.. 2015 The impact of over 80 years of land cover changes on bee and wasp pollinator communities in England. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1806), 20150294. 8, pp.

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Change in land cover is thought to be one of the key drivers of pollinator declines, and yet there is a dearth of studies exploring the relationships between historical changes in land cover and shifts in pollinator communities. Here, we explore, for the first time, land cover changes in England over more than 80 years, and relate them to concurrent shifts in bee and wasp species richness and community composition. Using historical data from 14 sites across four counties, we quantify the key land cover changes within and around these sites and estimate the changes in richness and composition of pollinators. Land cover changes within sites, as well as changes within a 1 km radius outside the sites, have significant effects on richness and composition of bee and wasp species, with changes in edge habitats between major land classes also having a key influence. Our results highlight not just the land cover changes that may be detrimental to pollinator communities, but also provide an insight into how increases in habitat diversity may benefit species diversity, and could thus help inform policy and practice for future land management.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Parr
ISSN: 0962-8452
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link
Additional Keywords: pollinator, bee, wasp, communities, land cover change, species richness, species composition, Dudley Stamp map, LCM 2007, Land Cover Map
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Biology and Microbiology
Data and Information
Date made live: 16 Apr 2015 13:23 +0 (UTC)

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