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

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Giles Budge, Dr Andrew Crowe, Dr Ellen MossORCiD


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Research into pollinators in managed landscapes has recently combined approaches of pollination ecology 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 honeybee 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 honeybee 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. This article is part of the theme issue 'Natural processes influencing pollinator health: from chemistry to landscapes'.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gillespie MAK, Baude M, Biesmeijer J, Boatman N, Budge GE, Crowe A, Davies N, Evans R, Memmott J, Morton RD, Moss E, Murphy M, Pietravalle S, Potts SG, Roberts SPM, Rowland C, Senapathi D, Smart SM, Wood C, Kunin WE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences

Year: 2022

Volume: 377

Issue: 1853

Print publication date: 20/06/2022

Online publication date: 02/05/2022

Acceptance date: 21/02/2022

ISSN (print): 0962-8436

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2970

Publisher: Royal Society Publishing


DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2021.0172

PubMed id: 35491602


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