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Late-season mass-flowering red clover increases bumble bee queen and male densities

Rundlöf, Maj LU ; Persson, Anna LU ; Smith, Henrik LU and Bommarco, Riccardo (2014) In Biological Conservation 172. p.138-145
Abstract
Spatiotemporal resource continuity promotes persistence of mobile animal populations. Current agricultural landscapes are poor in flowers resources for bumble bees. Available forage crops are predominantly early-season mass-flowering crops (MFC). It has been suggested, but not tested, that scarcity of late-season flower resources are limiting bumble bee populations. We examined whether addition of late-season flowering red clover affected worker, queen and male bumble bee densities. Bumble bees were surveyed in flower-rich uncultivated field borders across 24 landscapes (radius 2 km) with or without a clover field in the centre, varying in semi-natural grassland (SNG) and early MFC availability. Clover fields had over ten times higher... (More)
Spatiotemporal resource continuity promotes persistence of mobile animal populations. Current agricultural landscapes are poor in flowers resources for bumble bees. Available forage crops are predominantly early-season mass-flowering crops (MFC). It has been suggested, but not tested, that scarcity of late-season flower resources are limiting bumble bee populations. We examined whether addition of late-season flowering red clover affected worker, queen and male bumble bee densities. Bumble bees were surveyed in flower-rich uncultivated field borders across 24 landscapes (radius 2 km) with or without a clover field in the centre, varying in semi-natural grassland (SNG) and early MFC availability. Clover fields had over ten times higher worker densities compared to field borders, suggesting red clover as favoured forage. Five times more queens and 71% more males were found in landscapes with clover fields compared to control landscapes, despite these fields constituting less than 0.2% of the landscape area. Both MFC and SNG increased the density of males, but only in the presence of clover fields. Our results suggest that late-flowering red clover positively affects bumble bee reproduction, likely by increasing temporal resource continuity. Interventions such as flower strips can thus have mitigating effects if they release population regulation by late-season resource bottle-necks. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Bombus, Flower resources, Mitigation measure, Pollinator, Reproductive, success, Trifolium pratense
in
Biological Conservation
volume
172
pages
138 - 145
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000336337800017
  • scopus:84896536775
ISSN
1873-2917
DOI
10.1016/j.biocon.2014.02.027
project
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2d8016c9-0fa8-4d38-9f14-9b08bf0bf9d2 (old id 4559345)
date added to LUP
2014-07-17 15:16:53
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:01:55
@article{2d8016c9-0fa8-4d38-9f14-9b08bf0bf9d2,
  abstract     = {Spatiotemporal resource continuity promotes persistence of mobile animal populations. Current agricultural landscapes are poor in flowers resources for bumble bees. Available forage crops are predominantly early-season mass-flowering crops (MFC). It has been suggested, but not tested, that scarcity of late-season flower resources are limiting bumble bee populations. We examined whether addition of late-season flowering red clover affected worker, queen and male bumble bee densities. Bumble bees were surveyed in flower-rich uncultivated field borders across 24 landscapes (radius 2 km) with or without a clover field in the centre, varying in semi-natural grassland (SNG) and early MFC availability. Clover fields had over ten times higher worker densities compared to field borders, suggesting red clover as favoured forage. Five times more queens and 71% more males were found in landscapes with clover fields compared to control landscapes, despite these fields constituting less than 0.2% of the landscape area. Both MFC and SNG increased the density of males, but only in the presence of clover fields. Our results suggest that late-flowering red clover positively affects bumble bee reproduction, likely by increasing temporal resource continuity. Interventions such as flower strips can thus have mitigating effects if they release population regulation by late-season resource bottle-necks. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Rundlöf, Maj and Persson, Anna and Smith, Henrik and Bommarco, Riccardo},
  issn         = {1873-2917},
  keyword      = {Bombus,Flower resources,Mitigation measure,Pollinator,Reproductive,success,Trifolium pratense},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {138--145},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Biological Conservation},
  title        = {Late-season mass-flowering red clover increases bumble bee queen and male densities},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2014.02.027},
  volume       = {172},
  year         = {2014},
}