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Small forest patches as pollinator habitat: oases in an agricultural desert?

Abstract : Context Small forest fragments are often the most abundant type of semi-natural habitat in intensive agricultural landscapes. Wild pollinators can use these forest patches as nesting or foraging habitat. However, the importance of small forest fragments as pollinator habitat has been neglected so far. Objectives We evaluated the role of these forest patches as pollinator habitat, focusing on the effect of nesting and foraging resources, both at a local and at a landscape scale. Methods Pollinators were sampled with pan traps in 78 forest patches, spread over five study regions in Northwestern Europe. We evaluated effect of forest and landscape characteristics on bee and hoverfly species richness, diversity and activity-abundance. Results We showed that the bee community is influenced by both microsite conditions and landscape characteristics. Species richness and activity-abundance were higher when suitable nesting resources, such as sloped terrain and bare soil were available. This suggests that forest edges are important in providing nesting sites, but that most species forage in different habitats. Hoverfly species richness was higher in old forest fragments. This relation was mainly caused by the presence of forest specialist hoverflies in old forest fragments. Conclusions Small forest fragments in agricultural landscapes can harbour a diverse pollinator community. Increasing the amount of nesting habitat, such as bare soil and sloped terrains is expected to have beneficial effects on the bee community, whereas older forest fragments should be conserved to sustain a rich hoverfly community.
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https://hal-u-picardie.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03616526
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Soumis le : mardi 22 mars 2022 - 15:49:34
Dernière modification le : mercredi 23 mars 2022 - 03:38:24

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Willem Proesmans, Dries Bonte, Guy Smagghe, Ivan Meeus, Guillaume Decocq, et al.. Small forest patches as pollinator habitat: oases in an agricultural desert?. Landscape Ecology, 2019, 34 (3), pp.487-501. ⟨10.1007/s10980-019-00782-2⟩. ⟨hal-03616526⟩

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