Interacting effects of landscape context and habitat quality on flower visiting insects in agricultural landscapes

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Abstract

Landscape context and habitat quality may have pronounced effects on the diversity of flower visiting insects. We investigated whether the effects of landscape context and habitat quality on flower visiting insects interact in agricultural landscapes in the Netherlands. Landscape context was expressed as the area of semi-natural habitats or the density of linear landscape features, and was quantified at spatial scales ranging from 250 to 2000 m. Habitat quality was determined as flower abundance. Species richness and abundance of hoverflies and bees were determined along 16 stream banks experiencing similar environmental conditions but situated in areas with contrasting landscape context. Only flower abundance and the area of semi-natural habitats within 500¿1000 m were significantly related to species richness of hoverflies and bees and these factors had interacting effects on both species groups. Our results suggest that the regional area of semi-natural habitats had a positive effect on hoverfly species richness when flower abundance was relatively high, but not when flower abundance was low. Moreover, flower abundance had positive effects on hoverfly species richness only in areas with relatively many semi-natural habitats. Contrastingly, flower abundance had a more positive effect on bee species richness in landscapes with few semi-natural habitats compared to landscapes with more semi-natural habitats. Our results suggest that the importance of landscape context for the species richness of flower visiting insects depends upon the quality of the habitat patches
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-214
JournalBasic and Applied Ecology
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • agri-environment schemes
  • field boundaries
  • bumble-bees
  • fragmented landscape
  • species richness
  • biodiversity
  • butterflies
  • scale
  • conservation
  • communities

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