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Bee species diversity enhances productivity and stability in a perennial crop.

Rogers SR, Tarpy DR, Burrack HJ - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: We found that the abundance of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, and wild-bee richness were equally important in describing resulting open pollination.We also found evidence suggesting pollinator visitation (and subsequent pollination) are stabilized through the differential response of bee taxa to weather (i.e., response diversity).Variation in the individual visit efficiency of A. mellifera and the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa, a wild specialist, was not associated with changes in the pollinator community.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Wild bees provide important pollination services to agroecoystems, but the mechanisms which underlie their contribution to ecosystem functioning--and, therefore, their importance in maintaining and enhancing these services-remain unclear. We evaluated several mechanisms through which wild bees contribute to crop productivity, the stability of pollinator visitation, and the efficiency of individual pollinators in a highly bee-pollination dependent plant, highbush blueberry. We surveyed the bee community (through transect sampling and pan trapping) and measured pollination of both open- and singly-visited flowers. We found that the abundance of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, and wild-bee richness were equally important in describing resulting open pollination. Wild-bee richness was a better predictor of pollination than wild-bee abundance. We also found evidence suggesting pollinator visitation (and subsequent pollination) are stabilized through the differential response of bee taxa to weather (i.e., response diversity). Variation in the individual visit efficiency of A. mellifera and the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa, a wild specialist, was not associated with changes in the pollinator community. Our findings add to a growing literature that diverse pollinator communities provide more stable and productive ecosystem services.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Forager abundance and pollination during ‘inclement’ and ‘optimal’ weather conditions in blueberry fields.Mean estimates with SE bars shown for Apis abundance (a), wild-bee abundance (b), and open-pollinated seed set (c). Replicates, included in parentheses, are location visits (a, b) and number of berries (c).
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pone-0097307-g002: Forager abundance and pollination during ‘inclement’ and ‘optimal’ weather conditions in blueberry fields.Mean estimates with SE bars shown for Apis abundance (a), wild-bee abundance (b), and open-pollinated seed set (c). Replicates, included in parentheses, are location visits (a, b) and number of berries (c).

Mentions: The bee pollinators present in our system exhibited response diversity with respect to weather, indicated by the significant interaction between taxa and weather condition (table 3). Whereas Apis were three times less abundant in inclement than optimal weather conditions (p = 0.009, figure 2a), overall wild bee density did not differ (p = 0.71, figure 2b). Within wild bee groups, however, ‘small natives’ were significantly less abundant in inclement weather (p = 0.05, figure 2b) while Bombus, Habropoda, and Xylocopa abundance remained stable (p = 0.4, 0.7, 0.3, respesctively, figure 2b). On average, blueberry experienced reduced pollination as indicated by seed set (−12.9 seeds fruit−1) during periods of inclement weather (p<0.0001, figure 2c).


Bee species diversity enhances productivity and stability in a perennial crop.

Rogers SR, Tarpy DR, Burrack HJ - PLoS ONE (2014)

Forager abundance and pollination during ‘inclement’ and ‘optimal’ weather conditions in blueberry fields.Mean estimates with SE bars shown for Apis abundance (a), wild-bee abundance (b), and open-pollinated seed set (c). Replicates, included in parentheses, are location visits (a, b) and number of berries (c).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4016306&req=5

pone-0097307-g002: Forager abundance and pollination during ‘inclement’ and ‘optimal’ weather conditions in blueberry fields.Mean estimates with SE bars shown for Apis abundance (a), wild-bee abundance (b), and open-pollinated seed set (c). Replicates, included in parentheses, are location visits (a, b) and number of berries (c).
Mentions: The bee pollinators present in our system exhibited response diversity with respect to weather, indicated by the significant interaction between taxa and weather condition (table 3). Whereas Apis were three times less abundant in inclement than optimal weather conditions (p = 0.009, figure 2a), overall wild bee density did not differ (p = 0.71, figure 2b). Within wild bee groups, however, ‘small natives’ were significantly less abundant in inclement weather (p = 0.05, figure 2b) while Bombus, Habropoda, and Xylocopa abundance remained stable (p = 0.4, 0.7, 0.3, respesctively, figure 2b). On average, blueberry experienced reduced pollination as indicated by seed set (−12.9 seeds fruit−1) during periods of inclement weather (p<0.0001, figure 2c).

Bottom Line: We found that the abundance of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, and wild-bee richness were equally important in describing resulting open pollination.We also found evidence suggesting pollinator visitation (and subsequent pollination) are stabilized through the differential response of bee taxa to weather (i.e., response diversity).Variation in the individual visit efficiency of A. mellifera and the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa, a wild specialist, was not associated with changes in the pollinator community.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Wild bees provide important pollination services to agroecoystems, but the mechanisms which underlie their contribution to ecosystem functioning--and, therefore, their importance in maintaining and enhancing these services-remain unclear. We evaluated several mechanisms through which wild bees contribute to crop productivity, the stability of pollinator visitation, and the efficiency of individual pollinators in a highly bee-pollination dependent plant, highbush blueberry. We surveyed the bee community (through transect sampling and pan trapping) and measured pollination of both open- and singly-visited flowers. We found that the abundance of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, and wild-bee richness were equally important in describing resulting open pollination. Wild-bee richness was a better predictor of pollination than wild-bee abundance. We also found evidence suggesting pollinator visitation (and subsequent pollination) are stabilized through the differential response of bee taxa to weather (i.e., response diversity). Variation in the individual visit efficiency of A. mellifera and the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa, a wild specialist, was not associated with changes in the pollinator community. Our findings add to a growing literature that diverse pollinator communities provide more stable and productive ecosystem services.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus