Scale-Dependent Waylaying Effect of Pollinators and Pollination of Mass-Flowering Plants.

Affiliation

Dept of Environmental Entomology, Research Institute of Insect Resources, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Kunming, Yunnan, China. [Email]

Abstract

Pollinators foraging for food resources can be waylaid by mass-flowering plants located in their foraging pathway in landscapes. The waylaying effect of pollinators is often studied at a single spatial scale; to date, little is known about the best spatial extent at which waylaying effect of pollinators can be measured. In this study, we selected a landscape with mass-flowering tufted vetches to determine the spatial scale of waylaying effect of honey bees as well as the consequence of waylaying effect on vetch pollination service. The spatial scale of waylaying effect was determined by the strongest association between honey bee density and distance, selected from a gradient of nested circular buffers centering on apiaries in three different locations. Linear models were used to predict the influence of flower visitor densities on pollination service. For our landscape, honey bee densities were best associated with distances at spatial scales of 500 m, 1150 m, and 1400 m respectively for the three locations of apiaries. Honey bee was the only pollinator whose density displayed a positive relationship with pollination service. At the scales of effect, honey bee density and pollination service declined along the distance. Our findings suggest that the waylaying effect of pollinators needs to be examined at a specific spatial scale and farmers who use honey bees to pollinate their mass-flowering crops need to consider the spatial scale of waylaying effect of pollinators in order to maximize pollination service within agricultural ecosystems.

Keywords

Apis cerana Fabricius,Foraging distance,pollination service,pollinator decline,scale of effect,spatial distribution,

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