Disentangling multiple drivers of pollination in a landscape-scale experiment

Schüepp, Christof; Herzog, Felix; Entling, Martin H. (2013). Disentangling multiple drivers of pollination in a landscape-scale experiment. Proceedings of the Royal Society. Series B - biological sciences, 281(1774), p. 20132667. Royal Society of London 10.1098/rspb.2013.2667

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Animal pollination is essential for the reproductive success of many wild and crop plants. Loss and isolation of (semi-)natural habitats in agricultural landscapes can cause declines of plants and pollinators and endanger pollination services.We investigated the independent effects of these drivers on pollination of young cherry trees in a landscape-scale experiment. We included (i) isolation of study trees from other cherry trees (up to 350 m), (ii) the amount of cherry trees in the landscape, (iii) the isolation from other woody habitats (up to 200 m) and (iv) the amount of woody habitats providing nesting and floral resources for pollinators. At the local scale, we considered effects of (v) cherry flower density and (vi) heterospecific flower density. Pollinators visited flowers more often in landscapes with high amount of woody habitat and at sites with lower isolation from the next cherry tree. Fruit set was reduced by isolation from the next cherry tree and by a high local density of heterospecific flowers but did not directly depend on pollinator visitation. These results reveal the importance of considering the plant’s need for con-specific pollen and its pollen competition with co-flowering species rather than focusing only on pollinators’ habitat requirements and flower visita-tion. It proved to be important to disentangle habitat isolation from habitat loss, local from landscape-scale effects, and direct effects of pollen availability on fruit set from indirect effects via pollinator visitation to understand the delivery of an agriculturally important ecosystem service.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Schüepp, Christof


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)




Royal Society of London




Alexander Strauss

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2014 10:06

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2016 01:49

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Apiformes, Empididae and Syrphidae, beneficial densities versus ecosystem service, dilution and concentration effects, habitat loss versus fragmentation per se, local versus landscape scale





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