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The forgotten flies: the importance of non-syrphid Diptera as pollinators.

Orford KA, Vaughan IP, Memmott J - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2015)

Bottom Line: We found no significant difference in pollen-loads between the syrphid and non-syrphid Diptera.Moreover, there was no significant difference in the level of specialization between the two groups in the pollen-transport networks, though the Syrphidae had significantly greater visitation evenness.Flower visitation data from 33 farms showed that non-syrphid Diptera made up the majority of the flower-visiting Diptera in the agricultural studies (on average 82% abundance and 73% species richness), and we estimate that non-syrphid Diptera carry 84% of total pollen carried by farmland Diptera.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol Life Sciences Building, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK katy.orford@bristol.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
Bees, hoverflies and butterflies are taxa frequently studied as pollinators in agricultural and conservation contexts. Although there are many records of non-syrphid Diptera visiting flowers, they are generally not regarded as important pollinators. We use data from 30 pollen-transport networks and 71 pollinator-visitation networks to compare the importance of various flower-visiting taxa as pollen-vectors. We specifically compare non-syrphid Diptera and Syrphidae to determine whether neglect of the former in the literature is justified. We found no significant difference in pollen-loads between the syrphid and non-syrphid Diptera. Moreover, there was no significant difference in the level of specialization between the two groups in the pollen-transport networks, though the Syrphidae had significantly greater visitation evenness. Flower visitation data from 33 farms showed that non-syrphid Diptera made up the majority of the flower-visiting Diptera in the agricultural studies (on average 82% abundance and 73% species richness), and we estimate that non-syrphid Diptera carry 84% of total pollen carried by farmland Diptera. As important pollinators, such as bees, have suffered serious declines, it would be prudent to improve our understanding of the role of non-syrphid Diptera as pollinators.

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Means (±s.d.) of the loge-transformed pollen-loaddata (count of pollen grains per individual insect) analysed forObjective 1: Hymenoptera (n = 2201),separated into Bombus (n =901), Apis (n = 1138) andsolitary bees (n = 115); Diptera(n = 998), separated into the Syrphidae(n = 609) and non-syrphid Diptera(n = 389); Coleoptera(n = 447); and Lepidoptera(n = 71) across 18 pollen-transportnetworks. Pollinator groups with shared letters have no significantdifference in pollen-loads.
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RSPB20142934F1: Means (±s.d.) of the loge-transformed pollen-loaddata (count of pollen grains per individual insect) analysed forObjective 1: Hymenoptera (n = 2201),separated into Bombus (n =901), Apis (n = 1138) andsolitary bees (n = 115); Diptera(n = 998), separated into the Syrphidae(n = 609) and non-syrphid Diptera(n = 389); Coleoptera(n = 447); and Lepidoptera(n = 71) across 18 pollen-transportnetworks. Pollinator groups with shared letters have no significantdifference in pollen-loads.

Mentions: There was a significant difference in pollen-loads between the flower-visitortaxa (χ2 = 104.18, d.f. = 8,p < 0.001, R2m =0.48, R2c = 0.53 [42]; figure 1; electronic supplementary material, table S2). TheHymenoptera carried the largest pollen-loads; but within this taxon, there wasno significant difference between the bumble-bees, solitary bees and honeybees(figure 1). Within theDiptera, there was no significant difference between the Syrphidae andnon-syrphid Diptera (figure 1).The pollen-loads of the Syrphidae did not differ significantly from thehoneybees; however, the Syrphidae had significantly lower pollen-loads than theother hymenopteran sub-groups. The non-syrphid Diptera had lower pollen-loadsthan all the hymenopteran sub-groups (figure 1). The Coleoptera and Lepidoptera had significantly lowerpollen-loads than all hymenopteran groups, but did not differ significantly fromeach other (figure 1). Thesetwo groups did not differ from the dipteran groups, with the exception of theLepidoptera having lower pollen-loads than the Syrphidae (figure 1). Figure 1.


The forgotten flies: the importance of non-syrphid Diptera as pollinators.

Orford KA, Vaughan IP, Memmott J - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2015)

Means (±s.d.) of the loge-transformed pollen-loaddata (count of pollen grains per individual insect) analysed forObjective 1: Hymenoptera (n = 2201),separated into Bombus (n =901), Apis (n = 1138) andsolitary bees (n = 115); Diptera(n = 998), separated into the Syrphidae(n = 609) and non-syrphid Diptera(n = 389); Coleoptera(n = 447); and Lepidoptera(n = 71) across 18 pollen-transportnetworks. Pollinator groups with shared letters have no significantdifference in pollen-loads.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4389612&req=5

RSPB20142934F1: Means (±s.d.) of the loge-transformed pollen-loaddata (count of pollen grains per individual insect) analysed forObjective 1: Hymenoptera (n = 2201),separated into Bombus (n =901), Apis (n = 1138) andsolitary bees (n = 115); Diptera(n = 998), separated into the Syrphidae(n = 609) and non-syrphid Diptera(n = 389); Coleoptera(n = 447); and Lepidoptera(n = 71) across 18 pollen-transportnetworks. Pollinator groups with shared letters have no significantdifference in pollen-loads.
Mentions: There was a significant difference in pollen-loads between the flower-visitortaxa (χ2 = 104.18, d.f. = 8,p < 0.001, R2m =0.48, R2c = 0.53 [42]; figure 1; electronic supplementary material, table S2). TheHymenoptera carried the largest pollen-loads; but within this taxon, there wasno significant difference between the bumble-bees, solitary bees and honeybees(figure 1). Within theDiptera, there was no significant difference between the Syrphidae andnon-syrphid Diptera (figure 1).The pollen-loads of the Syrphidae did not differ significantly from thehoneybees; however, the Syrphidae had significantly lower pollen-loads than theother hymenopteran sub-groups. The non-syrphid Diptera had lower pollen-loadsthan all the hymenopteran sub-groups (figure 1). The Coleoptera and Lepidoptera had significantly lowerpollen-loads than all hymenopteran groups, but did not differ significantly fromeach other (figure 1). Thesetwo groups did not differ from the dipteran groups, with the exception of theLepidoptera having lower pollen-loads than the Syrphidae (figure 1). Figure 1.

Bottom Line: We found no significant difference in pollen-loads between the syrphid and non-syrphid Diptera.Moreover, there was no significant difference in the level of specialization between the two groups in the pollen-transport networks, though the Syrphidae had significantly greater visitation evenness.Flower visitation data from 33 farms showed that non-syrphid Diptera made up the majority of the flower-visiting Diptera in the agricultural studies (on average 82% abundance and 73% species richness), and we estimate that non-syrphid Diptera carry 84% of total pollen carried by farmland Diptera.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol Life Sciences Building, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK katy.orford@bristol.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
Bees, hoverflies and butterflies are taxa frequently studied as pollinators in agricultural and conservation contexts. Although there are many records of non-syrphid Diptera visiting flowers, they are generally not regarded as important pollinators. We use data from 30 pollen-transport networks and 71 pollinator-visitation networks to compare the importance of various flower-visiting taxa as pollen-vectors. We specifically compare non-syrphid Diptera and Syrphidae to determine whether neglect of the former in the literature is justified. We found no significant difference in pollen-loads between the syrphid and non-syrphid Diptera. Moreover, there was no significant difference in the level of specialization between the two groups in the pollen-transport networks, though the Syrphidae had significantly greater visitation evenness. Flower visitation data from 33 farms showed that non-syrphid Diptera made up the majority of the flower-visiting Diptera in the agricultural studies (on average 82% abundance and 73% species richness), and we estimate that non-syrphid Diptera carry 84% of total pollen carried by farmland Diptera. As important pollinators, such as bees, have suffered serious declines, it would be prudent to improve our understanding of the role of non-syrphid Diptera as pollinators.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus