Landscape-scale drivers of pollinator communities may depend on land-use configuration

Gillespie, Mark A.K.; Baude, Mathilde; Biesmeijer, Jacobus; Boatman, Nigel; Budge, Giles E.; Crowe, Andrew; Davies, Nancy; Evans, Rebecca; Memmott, Jane; Morton, R. Daniel; Moss, Ellen; Murphy, Mark; Pietravalle, Stephane; Potts, Simon G.; Roberts, Stuart P.M.; Rowland, Clare; Senapathi, Deepa; Smart, Simon M.; Wood, Claire ORCID:; Kunin, William E.. 2022 Landscape-scale drivers of pollinator communities may depend on land-use configuration. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 377 (1853), 20210172. 12, pp.

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Research into pollinators in managed landscapes has recently combined approaches of pollination ecology and landscape ecology, because key stressors are likely to interact across wide areas. While laboratory and field experiments are valuable for furthering understanding, studies are required to investigate the interacting drivers of pollinator health and diversity across a broader range of landscapes and a wider array of taxa. Here, we use a network of 96 study landscapes in six topographically diverse regions of Britain, to test the combined importance of honeybee density, insecticide loadings, floral resource availability and habitat diversity to pollinator communities. We also explore the interactions between these drivers and the cover and proximity of semi-natural habitat. We found that among our four drivers, only honeybee density was positively related to wild pollinator abundance and diversity, and the positive association between abundance and floral resources depended on insecticide loadings and habitat diversity. By contrast, our exploratory models including habitat composition metrics revealed a complex suite of interactive effects. These results demonstrate that improving pollinator community composition and health is unlikely to be achieved with general resource enhancements only. Rather, local land-use context should be considered in fine-tuning pollinator management and conservation.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0962-8436
Additional Keywords: agriculture, bumblebees, competition, hoverflies, landuse, solitary bees
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
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Date made live: 19 Jan 2024 10:55 +0 (UTC)

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