Local and landscape effects on bee functional guilds in pigeon pea crops in Kenya

Otieno, Mark; Sidhu, C. Sheena; Woodcock, Ben A. ORCID:; Wilby, Andrew; Vogiatzakis, Ioannis N.; Mauchline, Alice L.; Gikungu, Mary W.; Potts, Simon G.. 2015 Local and landscape effects on bee functional guilds in pigeon pea crops in Kenya. Journal of Insect Conservation, 19 (4). 647-658.

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Pollinators face many challenges within agricultural systems due to landscape changes and intensification which can affect resource availability that can impact pollination services. This paper examines pigeon pea pollination and considers how landscape context and agricultural intensification in terms of pesticide use affects the abundance of bees characterized by species guilds on crops. The study was conducted on six paired farms across a gradient of habitat complexity based on the distance of each farm from adjacent semi-natural vegetation in Kibwezi Sub-county, Kenya. The study found that farms which do not use insecticides in farm management, but are in close proximity to natural habitat have greater bee guild abundance, but at further distances, overall abundance is reduced with or without insecticide use. At 1 km landscape radius, the complexity of habitats but not patch size had a positive impact on the abundance of cavity nesting bees and mason bees, which can be attributed to the interspersion of the small-holder farms with semi-natural habitats across the landscapes producing mosaics of heterogeneous habitats. The study revealed the strongest relationships between fruit set and bee abundance to be with the carpenter bee, social bee and solitary bee guilds, which are among the most abundant bees visiting pigeon pea flowers in this system. Our findings provide the foundation for conservation efforts by identifying which bee guilds pollinated pigeon peas. From this study, we suggest managing the floral and nesting resources that would best support the most abundant crop pollinators, and also reducing insecticide application to the crop.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
ISSN: 1366-638X
Additional Keywords: functional group, landscape effects, pesticide, semi-native, species guild, tropical agroecosystems
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 02 Sep 2015 15:50 +0 (UTC)

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