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Yield benefits of additional pollination to faba bean vary with cultivar, scale, yield parameter and experimental method

Bishop, J., Garratt, M. and Breeze, T. (2020) Yield benefits of additional pollination to faba bean vary with cultivar, scale, yield parameter and experimental method. Scientific Reports, 10. 2102. ISSN 2045-2322

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-58518-1

Abstract/Summary

The benefits of insect pollination to crop yield are used to justify management decisions across agricultural landscapes but current methods for assessing these benefits may underestimate the importance of context. We quantify how the effects of simulated insect pollination vary between five faba bean cultivars, and to what extent this changes between years, scales, yield parameters, and experimental methods. We do this by measuring responses to standardised hand pollination treatments in controlled experiments in flight cages and in the field. Pollination treatments generally improved yield, but in some cases yield was lower with additional pollination. Pollination dependence varied with cultivar, ranging from 58% (loss in yield mass per plant without pollination) in one cultivar, to a lower yield with pollination in another (-51%). Pollination dependence also varied between flight cage and field experiments (-10% to 37% in the same cultivar and year), year (4 to 33%; same cultivar and yield parameter), and yield parameter (-4% to 46%; same cultivar and year). This variability highlights that to be robust, assessments of pollination benefits need to focus upon marketable crop outputs at a whole-plant or larger scale while including and accounting for the effects of different years, sites, methodologies and cultivars.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Crops Research Group
ID Code:88328
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group

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