Habitat use and conservation of bumblebees (Bombus spp.) under different grassland management regimes

Carvell, Claire. 2002 Habitat use and conservation of bumblebees (Bombus spp.) under different grassland management regimes. Biological Conservation, 103 (1). 33-49.

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Declines in the natural populations of several bumblebee species across Britain and Europe are an increasing cause for concern. In this study the habitat use of bumblebees was investigated on Salisbury Plain Training Area, the largest remaining area of unimproved chalk grassland in north-west Europe. Habitat characteristics influencing the overall abundance, species richness and foraging activity of bumblebees included the diversity and abundance of flowering plant species (particularly of favoured forage plants such as Trifolium pratense), vegetation structure and height. It is suggested that different Bombus species respond to these habitat characteristics depending on their specific foraging and nesting requirements, the case of Bombus humilis being especially relevant. The effects of several grassland management practices were considered in terms of their suitability for the conservation of bumblebee habitats. Cattle grazing was shown to be preferable to both sheep grazing and the absence of any management, although the timing and intensity of such grazing was important. Small-scale disturbances caused by vehicle activity were also of value in producing locally abundant forage resources in less intensively managed grasslands.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Ecological Processes & Modelling
ISSN: 0006-3207
Additional Keywords: Bumblebees; Bombus; Foraging; Habitat characteristics; Chalk grassland; Grazing
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Related URLs:
Date made live: 04 Jun 2009 15:21 +0 (UTC)

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