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Large-scale pollination experiment demonstrates the importance of insect pollination in winter oilseed rape.

Lindström, Sandra LU ; Herbertsson, Lina LU ; Rundlöf, Maj LU ; Smith, Henrik LU and Bommarco, Riccardo (2016) In Oecologia 180(3). p.759-769
Abstract
Insect pollination, despite its potential to contribute substantially to crop production, is not an integrated part of agronomic planning. A major reason for this are knowledge gaps in the contribution of pollinators to yield, which partly result from difficulties in determining area-based estimates of yield effects from insect pollination under field conditions. We have experimentally manipulated honey bee Apis mellifera densities at 43 oilseed rape Brassica napus fields over 2 years in Scandinavia. Honey bee hives were placed in 22 fields; an additional 21 fields without large apiaries in the surrounding landscape were selected as controls. Depending on the pollination system in the parental generation, the B. napus cultivars in the crop... (More)
Insect pollination, despite its potential to contribute substantially to crop production, is not an integrated part of agronomic planning. A major reason for this are knowledge gaps in the contribution of pollinators to yield, which partly result from difficulties in determining area-based estimates of yield effects from insect pollination under field conditions. We have experimentally manipulated honey bee Apis mellifera densities at 43 oilseed rape Brassica napus fields over 2 years in Scandinavia. Honey bee hives were placed in 22 fields; an additional 21 fields without large apiaries in the surrounding landscape were selected as controls. Depending on the pollination system in the parental generation, the B. napus cultivars in the crop fields are classified as either open-pollinated or first-generation hybrids, with both types being open-pollinated in the generation of plants cultivated in the fields. Three cultivars of each type were grown. We measured the activity of flower-visiting insects during flowering and estimated yields by harvesting with small combine harvesters. The addition of honey bee hives to the fields dramatically increased abundance of flower-visiting honey bees in those fields. Honey bees affected yield, but the effect depended on cultivar type (p = 0.04). Post-hoc analysis revealed that open-pollinated cultivars, but not hybrid cultivars, had 11% higher yields in fields with added honey bees than those grown in the control fields (p = 0.07). To our knowledge, this is the first whole-field study in replicated landscapes to assess the benefit of insect pollination in oilseed rape. Our results demonstrate that honey bees have the potential to increase oilseed rape yields, thereby emphasizing the importance of pollinator management for optimal cultivation of oilseed rape. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Oecologia
volume
180
issue
3
pages
759 - 769
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • pmid:26650584
  • scopus:84959515271
  • wos:000371637000012
ISSN
1432-1939
DOI
10.1007/s00442-015-3517-x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
23fd873e-dec0-41b9-a640-04ed3019bb13 (old id 8505279)
date added to LUP
2016-01-08 09:38:04
date last changed
2017-09-17 06:23:13
@article{23fd873e-dec0-41b9-a640-04ed3019bb13,
  abstract     = {Insect pollination, despite its potential to contribute substantially to crop production, is not an integrated part of agronomic planning. A major reason for this are knowledge gaps in the contribution of pollinators to yield, which partly result from difficulties in determining area-based estimates of yield effects from insect pollination under field conditions. We have experimentally manipulated honey bee Apis mellifera densities at 43 oilseed rape Brassica napus fields over 2 years in Scandinavia. Honey bee hives were placed in 22 fields; an additional 21 fields without large apiaries in the surrounding landscape were selected as controls. Depending on the pollination system in the parental generation, the B. napus cultivars in the crop fields are classified as either open-pollinated or first-generation hybrids, with both types being open-pollinated in the generation of plants cultivated in the fields. Three cultivars of each type were grown. We measured the activity of flower-visiting insects during flowering and estimated yields by harvesting with small combine harvesters. The addition of honey bee hives to the fields dramatically increased abundance of flower-visiting honey bees in those fields. Honey bees affected yield, but the effect depended on cultivar type (p = 0.04). Post-hoc analysis revealed that open-pollinated cultivars, but not hybrid cultivars, had 11% higher yields in fields with added honey bees than those grown in the control fields (p = 0.07). To our knowledge, this is the first whole-field study in replicated landscapes to assess the benefit of insect pollination in oilseed rape. Our results demonstrate that honey bees have the potential to increase oilseed rape yields, thereby emphasizing the importance of pollinator management for optimal cultivation of oilseed rape.},
  author       = {Lindström, Sandra and Herbertsson, Lina and Rundlöf, Maj and Smith, Henrik and Bommarco, Riccardo},
  issn         = {1432-1939},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {759--769},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Oecologia},
  title        = {Large-scale pollination experiment demonstrates the importance of insect pollination in winter oilseed rape.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-015-3517-x},
  volume       = {180},
  year         = {2016},
}