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Fruit orchards and woody semi-natural habitat provide complementary resources for pollinators in agricultural landscapes

Citation

Eeraerts, Maxime (2021), Fruit orchards and woody semi-natural habitat provide complementary resources for pollinators in agricultural landscapes, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.44j0zpcbh

Abstract

To safeguard insect pollinators and their pollination services, we need to understand how landscape structure regulates the distribution of resources that sustain pollinator populations. However, evidence of how pollinator communities benefit from the variety of resources distributed across different habitat types is scarce. To explore complementary resource provision, we conducted a field study to examine the resources available to pollinators in fruit orchards and woody semi-natural habitat. We studied 13 landscapes containing both habitat types in Flanders, Belgium. In every habitat element, we surveyed nesting resources, floral resources and wild pollinators (i.e. wild bees and hover flies) during three consecutive time periods in the season (once before- and twice after mass-flowering of the fruit orchards). We concluded that the composition of nesting resources for wild bees was clearly different between both habitat types. Woody semi-natural habitat also provided more diverse- and a higher cover of floral resources compared to fruit orchards. In addition, the composition of these floral resources became more and more distinct between the two habitat types as the season progressed. Based on the plant−pollinator network we identified key plant species for inclusion in management schemes to support pollinators. Our study highlights that fruit orchards and woody semi-natural habitat provide a set of different, complementary resources during the flight season, for pollinating insects. Due to the higher diversity and abundance of resources in woody semi-natural habitat, conservation of woody semi-natural habitat is essential for the support of pollinators in agricultural landscapes.

Methods

See Eeraerts et al. (2021)

Usage Notes

See Eeraerts et al. (2021) and Eeraerts_ReadMe.word

Funding

FWO, Award: 1S71416N

FWO, Award: 1S71416N