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

Gillespie, M. A. K., Baude, M., Biesmeijer, J., Boatman, N., Budge, G. E., Crowe, A., Davies, N., Evans, R., Memmott, J., Morton, R. D., Moss, E., Murphy, M., Pietravalle, S., Potts, S. G. ORCID:, Roberts, S. P. M., Rowland, C., Senapathi, D. ORCID:, Smart, S. M., Wood, C. and Kunin, W. 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). ISSN 0962-8436

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2021.0172


Research into pollinators in managed landscapes has recently combined approaches of pollination- 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 honey bee 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 honey bee 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:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:104203
Publisher:The Royal Society


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