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Shifts in honeybee foraging reveal historical changes in floral resources

Jones, Laura ; Brennan, Georgina L LU ; Lowe, Abigail ; Creer, Simon ; Ford, Col R and de Vere, Natasha (2021) In Communications Biology 4(1).
Abstract

Decreasing floral resources as a result of habitat loss is one of the key factors in the decline of pollinating insects worldwide. Understanding which plants pollinators use is vital to inform the provision of appropriate floral resources to help prevent pollinator loss. Using a globally important pollinator, the honeybee, we show how changes in agricultural intensification, crop use and the spread of invasive species, have altered the nectar and pollen sources available in the UK. Using DNA metabarcoding, we analysed 441 honey samples from 2017 and compared these to a nationwide survey of honey samples from 1952. We reveal that shifts in major plants foraged by honeybees are driven by changes in the availability of these plants within... (More)

Decreasing floral resources as a result of habitat loss is one of the key factors in the decline of pollinating insects worldwide. Understanding which plants pollinators use is vital to inform the provision of appropriate floral resources to help prevent pollinator loss. Using a globally important pollinator, the honeybee, we show how changes in agricultural intensification, crop use and the spread of invasive species, have altered the nectar and pollen sources available in the UK. Using DNA metabarcoding, we analysed 441 honey samples from 2017 and compared these to a nationwide survey of honey samples from 1952. We reveal that shifts in major plants foraged by honeybees are driven by changes in the availability of these plants within the landscape. Improved grasslands are the most widespread habitat type in the UK, and management changes within this habitat have the greatest potential to increase floral resource availability.

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author
; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Communications Biology
volume
4
issue
1
article number
37
publisher
Nature Research
external identifiers
  • scopus:85099462725
  • pmid:33446796
ISSN
2399-3642
DOI
10.1038/s42003-020-01562-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
bb40a03d-c007-4e26-a2eb-90f35cb9da23
date added to LUP
2021-01-21 16:55:07
date last changed
2021-04-13 02:50:37
@article{bb40a03d-c007-4e26-a2eb-90f35cb9da23,
  abstract     = {<p>Decreasing floral resources as a result of habitat loss is one of the key factors in the decline of pollinating insects worldwide. Understanding which plants pollinators use is vital to inform the provision of appropriate floral resources to help prevent pollinator loss. Using a globally important pollinator, the honeybee, we show how changes in agricultural intensification, crop use and the spread of invasive species, have altered the nectar and pollen sources available in the UK. Using DNA metabarcoding, we analysed 441 honey samples from 2017 and compared these to a nationwide survey of honey samples from 1952. We reveal that shifts in major plants foraged by honeybees are driven by changes in the availability of these plants within the landscape. Improved grasslands are the most widespread habitat type in the UK, and management changes within this habitat have the greatest potential to increase floral resource availability.</p>},
  author       = {Jones, Laura and Brennan, Georgina L and Lowe, Abigail and Creer, Simon and Ford, Col R and de Vere, Natasha},
  issn         = {2399-3642},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Nature Research},
  series       = {Communications Biology},
  title        = {Shifts in honeybee foraging reveal historical changes in floral resources},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01562-4},
  doi          = {10.1038/s42003-020-01562-4},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2021},
}