Bee diversity and abundance in a livestock drove road and its impact on pollination and seed set in adjacent sunflower fields

Violeta Hevia, Jordi Bosch, Francisco M. Azcárate, Eva Fernández, Anselm Rodrigo, Helena Barril-Graells, José A. González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Natural and semi-natural habitats within agricultural landscapes provide food and nesting resources for wild bees, thus promoting crop pollination services. In central Spain, a large network of drove roads (DRs) crosses extensive areas of intensive agricultural fields. DRs are tracks (20–75 m wide) with semi-natural vegetation, protected for their priority function of transhumant livestock herding. In this study, we analyse the bee community of one of the main Spanish DRs, and evaluate its effects on flower visitation and seed set in adjacent sunflower fields. We used pan traps to assess bee abundance and richness at 13 sites along the DR and in adjacent sunflower fields at 10, 75 and 150 m from the DR. We also conducted visual counts to assess visitation rates to sunflower heads and measured seed set. Wild bee abundance and richness were significantly higher in the DR than in sunflower fields; but there were no significant differences among distances within sunflower fields. Honey bee abundance did not differ between the DR and sunflower fields. Wild bee visitation to sunflower heads was higher at 10 m compared to 75 and 150 m from the DR, but differences in honey bee visitation were non-significant. Sunflower seed set was significantly higher at 10 m compared to 75 and 150 m, and was associated with wild bee abundance, but not with honey bee abundance. Our results show that livestock DRs act as reservoirs of wild bee diversity within intensive agricultural matrices, enhancing wild bee visitation and seed set in adjacent sunflower crops.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-344
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Volume232
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Ecosystem services
  • Livestock transhumance
  • Pollinators
  • Sunflower
  • Wild bees

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Bee diversity and abundance in a livestock drove road and its impact on pollination and seed set in adjacent sunflower fields'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this