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Sustained functional composition of pollinators in restored pastures despite slow functional restoration of plants

Winsa, M., Öckinger, E., Bommarco, R., Lindborg, R., Roberts, S. P. M., Wärnsberg, J. and Bartomeus, I. (2017) Sustained functional composition of pollinators in restored pastures despite slow functional restoration of plants. Ecology and Evolution, 7 (11). pp. 3836-3846. ISSN 2045-7758

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2924


Habitat restoration is a key measure to counteract negative impacts on biodiversity from habitat loss and fragmentation. To assess success in restoring not only biodiversity, but also functionality of communities, we should take into account the re-assembly of species trait composition across taxa. Attaining such functional restoration would depend on the landscape context, vegetation structure, and time since restoration. We assessed how trait composition of plant and pollinator (bee and hoverfly) communities differ between abandoned, restored (formerly abandoned) or continuously grazed (intact) semi-natural pastures. In restored pastures, we also explored trait composition in relation to landscape context, vegetation structure, and pasture management history. Abandoned pastures differed from intact and restored pastures in trait composition of plant communities, and as expected, had lower abundances of species with traits associated with grazing adaptations. Further, plant trait composition in restored pastures became increasingly similar to that in intact pastures with increasing time since restoration. On the contrary, the trait composition of pollinator communities in both abandoned and restored pastures remained similar to intact pastures. The trait composition for both bees and hoverflies was influenced by flower abundance and, for bees, by connectivity to other intact grasslands in the landscape. The divergent responses across organism groups appeared to be mainly related to the limited dispersal ability and long individual life span in plants, the high mobility of pollinators, and the dependency of semi-natural habitat for bees. Our results, encompassing restoration effects on trait composition for multiple taxa along a gradient in both time (time since restoration) and space (connectivity), reveal how interacting communities of plants and pollinators are shaped by different trait–environmental relationships. Complete functional restoration of pastures needs for more detailed assessments of both plants dispersal in time and of resources available within pollinator dispersal range.

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:70846


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