Using Temporally Resolved Floral Resource Maps to Explain Bumblebee Colony Performance in Agricultural Landscapes

Eckerter, Philipp W.; Albus, Lars; Natarajan, Sharumathi; Albrecht, Matthias; Ammann, Lolita; Gobet, Erika; Herzog, Felix; Tinner, Willy; Entling, Martin H. (2020). Using Temporally Resolved Floral Resource Maps to Explain Bumblebee Colony Performance in Agricultural Landscapes. Agronomy, 10(12), p. 1993. MDPI 10.3390/agronomy10121993

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Wild bumblebees are key pollinators of crops and wild plants that rely on the continuous availability of floral resources. A better understanding of the spatio-temporal availability and use of floral food resources may help to promote bumblebees and their pollination services in agricultural landscapes. We placed colonies of Bombus terrestris L. in 24 agricultural landscapes with various degrees of floral resource availability and assessed different parameters of colony growth and fitness. We estimated pollen availability during different periods of colony development based on detailed information of the bumblebee pollen diet and the spatial distribution of the visited plant species. Total pollen availability did not significantly explain colony growth or fitness. However, when using habitat maps, the weight gain of colonies, the number of queen cells, and colony survival decreased with increasing distance from the forest. The better explanation of bumblebee performance by forest proximity than by (plant-inferred) pollen availability indicates that other functions of forests than pollen provision were important. The conservation of forests next to agricultural land might help to sustain high populations of these important wild pollinators and enhance their crop pollination services. Combining different mapping approaches might help to further disentangle complex relationships between B. terrestris and their environment in agricultural landscapes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Gobet, Erika and Tinner, Willy

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

2073-4395

Publisher:

MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

21 Jan 2021 14:38

Last Modified:

21 Jan 2021 14:38

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/agronomy10121993

Uncontrolled Keywords:

agricultural landscapes; Bombus terrestris; colony development; landscape composition; wild bees

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/151268

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/151268

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