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Annual flower strips support pollinators and potentially enhance red clover seed yield

Rundlöf, Maj LU orcid ; Lundin, Ola LU and Bommarco, Riccardo LU (2018) In Ecology and Evolution 8(16). p.7974-7985
Abstract

Ecological intensification provides opportunity to increase agricultural productivity while minimizing negative environmental impacts, by supporting ecosystem services such as crop pollination and biological pest control. For this we need to develop targeted management solutions that provide critical resources to service-providing organisms at the right time and place. We tested whether annual strips of early flowering phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia support pollinators and natural enemies of seed weevils Protapion spp., by attracting and offering nectar and pollen before the crop flowers. This was expected to increase yield of red clover Trifolium pratense seed. We monitored insect pollinators, pests, natural enemies and seed yields in... (More)

Ecological intensification provides opportunity to increase agricultural productivity while minimizing negative environmental impacts, by supporting ecosystem services such as crop pollination and biological pest control. For this we need to develop targeted management solutions that provide critical resources to service-providing organisms at the right time and place. We tested whether annual strips of early flowering phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia support pollinators and natural enemies of seed weevils Protapion spp., by attracting and offering nectar and pollen before the crop flowers. This was expected to increase yield of red clover Trifolium pratense seed. We monitored insect pollinators, pests, natural enemies and seed yields in a total of 50 clover fields along a landscape heterogeneity gradient, over 2 years and across two regions in southern Sweden. About half of the fields were sown with flower strips of 125-2,000 m2. The clover fields were pollinated by 60% bumble bees Bombus spp. and 40% honey bees Apis mellifera. The clover seed yield was negatively associated with weevil density, but was unrelated to bee species richness and density. Flower strips enhanced bumble bees species richness in the clover fields, with the strongest influence in heterogeneous landscapes. There were few detectable differences between crop fields with and without flower strips. However, long-tongued bumble bees were redistributed toward field interiors and during phacelia bloom honey bees toward field edges. Clover seed yield also increased with increasing size of the flower strip. We conclude that annual flower strips of early flower resources can support bumble bee species richness and, if sufficiently large, possibly also increase crop yields. However, clover seed yield was mainly limited by weevil infestation, which was not influenced by the annual flower strips. A future goal should be to design targeted measures for pest control.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Bombus, Protapion, Trifolium pratense, Biological control, Ecological intensification, Ecosystem services, Floral resources, Habitat enhancement, Pollination, Red clover
in
Ecology and Evolution
volume
8
issue
16
pages
7974 - 7985
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • pmid:30250677
  • scopus:85054792823
ISSN
2045-7758
DOI
10.1002/ece3.4330
project
DEveloping Landscape Ecotoxicology in Terrestrial Ecosystems (DELETE): Pesticide Exposure and Effects on Bees
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1b1363a9-63dd-4ac5-a00d-80a675ac2a07
date added to LUP
2018-09-27 16:17:45
date last changed
2021-10-06 01:54:36
@article{1b1363a9-63dd-4ac5-a00d-80a675ac2a07,
  abstract     = {<p>Ecological intensification provides opportunity to increase agricultural productivity while minimizing negative environmental impacts, by supporting ecosystem services such as crop pollination and biological pest control. For this we need to develop targeted management solutions that provide critical resources to service-providing organisms at the right time and place. We tested whether annual strips of early flowering phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia support pollinators and natural enemies of seed weevils Protapion spp., by attracting and offering nectar and pollen before the crop flowers. This was expected to increase yield of red clover Trifolium pratense seed. We monitored insect pollinators, pests, natural enemies and seed yields in a total of 50 clover fields along a landscape heterogeneity gradient, over 2 years and across two regions in southern Sweden. About half of the fields were sown with flower strips of 125-2,000 m<sup>2</sup>. The clover fields were pollinated by 60% bumble bees Bombus spp. and 40% honey bees Apis mellifera. The clover seed yield was negatively associated with weevil density, but was unrelated to bee species richness and density. Flower strips enhanced bumble bees species richness in the clover fields, with the strongest influence in heterogeneous landscapes. There were few detectable differences between crop fields with and without flower strips. However, long-tongued bumble bees were redistributed toward field interiors and during phacelia bloom honey bees toward field edges. Clover seed yield also increased with increasing size of the flower strip. We conclude that annual flower strips of early flower resources can support bumble bee species richness and, if sufficiently large, possibly also increase crop yields. However, clover seed yield was mainly limited by weevil infestation, which was not influenced by the annual flower strips. A future goal should be to design targeted measures for pest control.</p>},
  author       = {Rundlöf, Maj and Lundin, Ola and Bommarco, Riccardo},
  issn         = {2045-7758},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {16},
  pages        = {7974--7985},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Ecology and Evolution},
  title        = {Annual flower strips support pollinators and potentially enhance red clover seed yield},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4330},
  doi          = {10.1002/ece3.4330},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2018},
}