Where is the UK's pollinator biodiversity? The importance of urban areas for flower-visiting insects

Baldock, Katherine C. R., Goddard, Mark, Hicks, Damien M., Kunin, William E., Mitschunas, Nadine, Osgathorpe, Lynne M., Potts, Simon G., Robertson, Kirsty M., Scott, Anna V., Stone, Graham N., Vaughan, Ian P. and Memmott, Jane (2015) Where is the UK's pollinator biodiversity? The importance of urban areas for flower-visiting insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1803). p. 20142849. ISSN 0962-8452

[img]
Preview
Text
rspb.2014.2849.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (456kB) | Preview
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.2849

Abstract

Insect pollinators provide a crucial ecosystem service, but are under threat. Urban areas could be important for pollinators, though their value relative to other habitats is poorly known. We compared pollinator communities using quantified flower-visitation networks in 36 sites (each 1 km2) in three landscapes: urban, farmland and nature reserves. Overall, flower-visitor abundance and species richness did not differ significantly between the three landscape types. Bee abundance did not differ between landscapes, but bee species richness was higher in urban areas than farmland. Hoverfly abundance was higher in farmland and nature reserves than urban sites, but species richness did not differ significantly. While urban pollinator assemblages were more homogeneous across space than those in farmland or nature reserves, there was no significant difference in the numbers of rarer species between the three landscapes. Network-level specialization was higher in farmland than urban sites. Relative to other habitats, urban visitors foraged from a greater number of plant species (higher generality) but also visited a lower proportion of available plant species (higher specialization), both possibly driven by higher urban plant richness. Urban areas are growing, and improving their value for pollinators should be part of any national strategy to conserve and restore pollinators.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: pollinators, networks, urban
Subjects: C100 Biology
C900 Others in Biological Sciences
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2019 15:32
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2019 15:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/41257

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics