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The impact of over 80 years of land cover changes on bee and wasp pollinator communities in England

Senapathi, D. ORCID:, Carvalheiro, L. G., Biesmeijer, J. C., Dodson, C. A., Evans, R. L., McKerchar, M., Morton, R. D., Moss, E. D., Roberts, S. P. M., Kunin, W. E. and Potts, S. G. ORCID: (2015) The impact of over 80 years of land cover changes on bee and wasp pollinator communities in England. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 282 (1806). 0294. ISSN 0962-8452

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0294


Change in land cover is thought to be one of the key drivers of pollinator declines, and yet there is a dearth of studies exploring the relationships between historical changes in land cover and shifts in pollinator communities. Here, we explore, for the first time, land cover changes in England over more than 80 years, and relate them to concurrent shifts in bee and wasp species richness and community composition. Using historical data from 14 sites across four counties, we quantify the key land cover changes within and around these sites and estimate the changes in richness and composition of pollinators. Land cover changes within sites, as well as changes within a 1 km radius outside the sites, have significant effects on richness and composition of bee and wasp species, with changes in edge habitats between major land classes also having a key influence. Our results highlight not just the land cover changes that may be detrimental to pollinator communities, but also provide an insight into how increases in habitat diversity may benefit species diversity, and could thus help inform policy and practice for future land management.

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:39936
Uncontrolled Keywords:historical land cover change, pollinators, species richness, species composition, Dudley Stamp map, LCM 2007
Publisher:Royal Society


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