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Bumblebee biodiversity in urban habitats of Malmö: examining the importance of urban green space quality for conservation of pollinators

Valchev, Hristo (2016) BION01 20161
Degree Projects in Biology
Abstract
Bumblebees and other pollinators are important contributors to the ecosystem service of pollination of wild plants and crops. As in many pollinating insects, their abundance and diversity have declined in recent years, due to loss of natural habitats and fragmentation associated with urbanization and agricultural intensification. However, in urban areas, green space management beneficial to pollinators can be an important step in sustaining large and diverse bee populations. The community composition, species richness and abundance of bumblebees were studied in five traditional parks, eight semi-natural parks and seven ruderal sites of Malmö, Sweden. Habitat categories were defined based on habitat types and management practices. In total... (More)
Bumblebees and other pollinators are important contributors to the ecosystem service of pollination of wild plants and crops. As in many pollinating insects, their abundance and diversity have declined in recent years, due to loss of natural habitats and fragmentation associated with urbanization and agricultural intensification. However, in urban areas, green space management beneficial to pollinators can be an important step in sustaining large and diverse bee populations. The community composition, species richness and abundance of bumblebees were studied in five traditional parks, eight semi-natural parks and seven ruderal sites of Malmö, Sweden. Habitat categories were defined based on habitat types and management practices. In total 13 species and 1669 individuals were observed. Species richness and abundance tended to be higher in semi-natural parks and lowest in traditional parks. Both species richness and abundance increased during the season, but this effect was not dependent on type of management. While bumblebee species richness increased with increasing vegetation height, the flower abundance in the sites and the proportion of green areas surrounding the sites did not affect bumblebee assemblages. Although there was no significant effect of management type, my results indicate that semi-natural parks and ruderal sites may serve as important alternatives to natural habitats and provide suitable conditions for bumblebees in urban areas such as Malmö. I suggest that pollinator-friendly management of urban green spaces, with diverse flowering and nesting habitat opportunities, may promote high abundance and diversity among bumblebees and other pollinators. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Bumblebee biodiversity in urban habitats of Malmö

The main aim of this project is to find out what species of bumblebees and how many individuals are present in three different types of green areas in Malmö city. This is done to examine the importance of those urban green areas and their conservation value for pollinators in order to provide recommendations for management of such areas within the Malmö municipality

Bumblebees and other pollinators are important contributors to the ecosystem service of pollination of wild and domestic plants. As in many pollinating insects, they have decreased in recent years, because of loss of natural habitats and fragmentation connected with urbanization and agricultural intensification. However,... (More)
Bumblebee biodiversity in urban habitats of Malmö

The main aim of this project is to find out what species of bumblebees and how many individuals are present in three different types of green areas in Malmö city. This is done to examine the importance of those urban green areas and their conservation value for pollinators in order to provide recommendations for management of such areas within the Malmö municipality

Bumblebees and other pollinators are important contributors to the ecosystem service of pollination of wild and domestic plants. As in many pollinating insects, they have decreased in recent years, because of loss of natural habitats and fragmentation connected with urbanization and agricultural intensification. However, in urban areas, green space management beneficial to pollinators can be an important step in sustaining large and diverse bee populations.

There were 20 study sites (traditional, semi-natural parks and ruderal sites) chosen as a follow-up to a study for butterflies communities in urban context of Malmö, carried out in 2006. Bumblebees were examined in suitable weather conditions during surveys in June and July 2015. During each survey bumblebees were identified and counted by observing and catching individuals along a standardized line transect. Additionally, site and surrounding landscape characteristics and local habitat quality were estimated using Geographic Information Systems. “R” software was used for the statistical calculations.

Results
My results suggested that species richness and abundance were highest in semi-natural parks and lowest in traditional parks and therefore semi-natural parks and ruderal sites can provide better habitat opportunities than the traditional sites, for various bumblebee species and individuals. My results also suggest that species richness of bumblebees significantly increased with increasing vegetation height which characterizes semi-natural and ruderal sites.

This study together with others indicates that green areas can serve as important alternatives to natural and rural habitats for bumblebees. Pollinator-friendly design of green space in a way that attracts insect pollinators, e.g. high species richness of flowering plants, extended growing period and habitats suitable for nesting, may benefit the urban pollinator communities

Advisors: Johan Ekroos and Anna Persson
Master´s Degree Project 45 credits in Biology 2016
Department of Biology, Lund University (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Valchev, Hristo
supervisor
organization
course
BION01 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
8891496
date added to LUP
2016-09-12 15:29:09
date last changed
2016-09-12 15:29:09
@misc{8891496,
  abstract     = {Bumblebees and other pollinators are important contributors to the ecosystem service of pollination of wild plants and crops. As in many pollinating insects, their abundance and diversity have declined in recent years, due to loss of natural habitats and fragmentation associated with urbanization and agricultural intensification. However, in urban areas, green space management beneficial to pollinators can be an important step in sustaining large and diverse bee populations. The community composition, species richness and abundance of bumblebees were studied in five traditional parks, eight semi-natural parks and seven ruderal sites of Malmö, Sweden. Habitat categories were defined based on habitat types and management practices. In total 13 species and 1669 individuals were observed. Species richness and abundance tended to be higher in semi-natural parks and lowest in traditional parks. Both species richness and abundance increased during the season, but this effect was not dependent on type of management. While bumblebee species richness increased with increasing vegetation height, the flower abundance in the sites and the proportion of green areas surrounding the sites did not affect bumblebee assemblages. Although there was no significant effect of management type, my results indicate that semi-natural parks and ruderal sites may serve as important alternatives to natural habitats and provide suitable conditions for bumblebees in urban areas such as Malmö. I suggest that pollinator-friendly management of urban green spaces, with diverse flowering and nesting habitat opportunities, may promote high abundance and diversity among bumblebees and other pollinators.},
  author       = {Valchev, Hristo},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Bumblebee biodiversity in urban habitats of Malmö: examining the importance of urban green space quality for conservation of pollinators},
  year         = {2016},
}