Habitat amount mediates the effect of fragmentation on a pollinator’s reproductive performance, but not on its foraging behaviour

Maurer, Corina; Bosco, Laura; Klaus, Elisabeth; Cushman, Samuel A.; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Jacot, Alain (2020). Habitat amount mediates the effect of fragmentation on a pollinator’s reproductive performance, but not on its foraging behaviour. Oecologia, 193(3), pp. 523-534. Springer 10.1007/s00442-020-04658-0

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Agricultural intensification, with its associated habitat loss and fragmentation, is among the most important drivers of the ongoing pollination crisis. In this quasi-experimental study, conducted in intensively managed vineyards in southwestern
Switzerland, we tested the separate and interdependent effects of habitat amount and fragmentation on the foraging activity and reproductive performance of bumblebee Bombus t. terrestris colonies. Based on a factorial design, we selected a series of spatially replicated study sites across a dual gradient of habitat amount (area of ground-vegetated vineyards) and fragmentation (density of ground-vegetated vineyard fields) in a landscape predominantly consisting of vineyards with bare grounds. The foraging activity of individual bumblebees was measured using the radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, and we assessed final colony size to measure reproductive performance. We found an interactive effect of habitat amount and fragmentation on colony size. More specifically, the degree of fragmentation had a negative effect on bumblebee colony size when the amount of habitat was low, while it had a weak positive effect on colony size in landscapes with high amounts of habitat. At the level of individual vineyard fields, ground vegetation cover exerted a positive effect on bumblebee colony size. Fragmentation, but not habitat amount, significantly influenced foraging activity, with more foraging trips in sites with lower degrees of fragmentation. Our results emphasise the importance of studying the separate and interdependent effects of
habitat amount and fragmentation to understand their influence on pollinators, providing guidance for optimising the spatial configuration of agricultural landscapes from a biodiversity viewpoint.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Conservation Biology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)

UniBE Contributor:

Maurer, Corina; Bosco, Laura; Klaus, Elisabeth Margarete; Arlettaz, Raphaël and Jacot, Alain

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

0029-8549

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Olivier Roth

Date Deposited:

14 Apr 2021 09:55

Last Modified:

18 Apr 2021 03:02

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00442-020-04658-0

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/154273

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/154273

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