Landscape context not patch size determines bumble-bee density on flower mixtures sown for agri-environment schemes

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Heard, M. S., Carvell, C., Carreck, N. L., Rothery, P., Osborne, J. L. and Bourke, A. F. G. 2007. Landscape context not patch size determines bumble-bee density on flower mixtures sown for agri-environment schemes. Biology Letters. 3 (6), pp. 638-641.

AuthorsHeard, M. S., Carvell, C., Carreck, N. L., Rothery, P., Osborne, J. L. and Bourke, A. F. G.
Abstract

Bumble-bee declines across Europe have been linked to loss of habitat and forage availability due to agricultural intensification. These declines may have severe ecological and commercial consequences since bumble-bees pollinate a range of wildflowers and crops. In England, attempts are being made to reintroduce forage resources through agri-environment schemes, yet there are few data on how the area of forage, or the landscape context in which it is provided, affects their success. We investigated the effects of sown forage patches on bumble-bees across sites varying in landscape characteristics. Bumble-bee densities were higher on sown patches compared with control habitats but did not vary with patch size, i.e. total forager numbers were proportional to patch area. Importantly, the relative response to sown forage patches varied widely across a landscape gradient such that their impact in terms of attracting foraging bumble-bees was greatest where the proportion of arable land was highest.

Year of Publication2007
JournalBiology Letters
Journal citation3 (6), pp. 638-641
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1098/rsbl.2007.0425
PubMed ID17925271
Open accessPublished as green open access
Funder project or codeSEF
Restoration and Management of Bumblebee habitat in agricultural land
Publisher's version
Copyright license
Publisher copyright
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Oct 2007
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Sep 2007
PublisherRoyal Society Publishing
ISSN1744-9561

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