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Interacting effects of farming practice and landscape context on bumble bees

Rundlöf, Maj LU ; Nilsson, Helena and Smith, Henrik LU (2008) In Biological Conservation 141(2). p.417-426
Abstract
Organic farming has been suggested to counteract declines in farmland biodiversity, but comparisons to conventional farming have produced variable outcomes. To examine whether this is due to the landscape context farms are situated in and traits of the studied organisms, we surveyed bumble bees in cereal field borders and margins at 12 pairs of matched organic and conventional farms, with half the pairs located in heterogeneous farmland and the remaining in homogeneous plains. Species richness and abundance of bumble bees were significantly positively related to both organic farming and landscape heterogeneity. However, there was an interaction effect between farming practice and landscape context so that species richness and abundance... (More)
Organic farming has been suggested to counteract declines in farmland biodiversity, but comparisons to conventional farming have produced variable outcomes. To examine whether this is due to the landscape context farms are situated in and traits of the studied organisms, we surveyed bumble bees in cereal field borders and margins at 12 pairs of matched organic and conventional farms, with half the pairs located in heterogeneous farmland and the remaining in homogeneous plains. Species richness and abundance of bumble bees were significantly positively related to both organic farming and landscape heterogeneity. However, there was an interaction effect between farming practice and landscape context so that species richness and abundance were only significantly higher on organic farms in homogeneous landscapes. The higher abundance of bumble bees on organic farms was partly related to higher flower abundance on these sites. The effect of landscape context on bumble bee abundance was stronger for species with medium sized colonies than for those with smaller and larger colony sizes. These patterns may reflect that species with medium sized foraging ranges are most affected by fragmentation of foraging habitat, because colony size reflects the spatial scale at which bumble bees utilize resources. We conclude that both organic farming and landscape eterogeneity can be used to increase bumble bee species richness and abundance, but that organic farming has a larger effect in homogeneous landscapes and landscape heterogeneity a larger effect on conventional farms. The effects differed between species, suggesting that a single prescription to increase pollinator abundance may not be valid. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Organic farming, Spatial scale, Landscape heterogeneity, Bombus, Conservation, Agri-environment schemes
in
Biological Conservation
volume
141
issue
2
pages
417 - 426
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000254599900009
  • scopus:39649090064
ISSN
1873-2917
DOI
10.1016/j.biocon.2007.10.011
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0c4ed09e-0dbb-4304-8a83-205c7dd460b6 (old id 942429)
date added to LUP
2008-01-22 13:29:03
date last changed
2017-09-17 04:41:37
@article{0c4ed09e-0dbb-4304-8a83-205c7dd460b6,
  abstract     = {Organic farming has been suggested to counteract declines in farmland biodiversity, but comparisons to conventional farming have produced variable outcomes. To examine whether this is due to the landscape context farms are situated in and traits of the studied organisms, we surveyed bumble bees in cereal field borders and margins at 12 pairs of matched organic and conventional farms, with half the pairs located in heterogeneous farmland and the remaining in homogeneous plains. Species richness and abundance of bumble bees were significantly positively related to both organic farming and landscape heterogeneity. However, there was an interaction effect between farming practice and landscape context so that species richness and abundance were only significantly higher on organic farms in homogeneous landscapes. The higher abundance of bumble bees on organic farms was partly related to higher flower abundance on these sites. The effect of landscape context on bumble bee abundance was stronger for species with medium sized colonies than for those with smaller and larger colony sizes. These patterns may reflect that species with medium sized foraging ranges are most affected by fragmentation of foraging habitat, because colony size reflects the spatial scale at which bumble bees utilize resources. We conclude that both organic farming and landscape eterogeneity can be used to increase bumble bee species richness and abundance, but that organic farming has a larger effect in homogeneous landscapes and landscape heterogeneity a larger effect on conventional farms. The effects differed between species, suggesting that a single prescription to increase pollinator abundance may not be valid.},
  author       = {Rundlöf, Maj and Nilsson, Helena and Smith, Henrik},
  issn         = {1873-2917},
  keyword      = {Organic farming,Spatial scale,Landscape heterogeneity,Bombus,Conservation,Agri-environment schemes},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {417--426},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Biological Conservation},
  title        = {Interacting effects of farming practice and landscape context on bumble bees},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2007.10.011},
  volume       = {141},
  year         = {2008},
}