Managing trap-nesting bees as crop pollinators

Spatiotemporal effects of floral resources and antagonists

Matteo Dainese*, Verena Riedinger, Andrea Holzschuh, David Kleijn, Jeroen Scheper, Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The decline of managed honeybees and the rapid expansion of mass-flowering crops increase the risk of pollination limitation in crops and raise questions about novel management approaches for wild pollinators in agroecosystems. Adding artificial nesting sites, such as trap nests, can promote cavity-nesting bees in agroecosystems, but effectiveness could be limited by the availability of floral resources in the surrounding landscape and by natural antagonists. In two European regions, we exposed artificial trap nests in paired field boundaries adjacent to oilseed rape (OSR) fields or non-flowering crops for 2 years within 32 landscapes covering two independent gradients of OSR cover and semi-natural habitat (SNH) cover in the landscape. We analysed the effects of local and landscape-wide floral resource availability, land-use intensity, landscape complexity and natural antagonists on community composition and population dynamics of trap-nesting bees. Numbers of brood cells showed a strong, three-fold increase in response to the additional nesting sites. Species richness and abundance of cavity-nesting bees that were active during OSR flowering increased significantly with increasing amounts of early season landscape-wide floral resource availability, such as the cultivation of OSR. Later foraging species benefited instead from the availability of late-season alternative flower resources or SNH cover once the mass-flowering had ceased. Density-dependent parasitism increased following mass-flowering, while no density-dependent effect was found during mass-flowering. Structural equation modelling revealed that the influence of floral resource availability on community growth rate was mediated by community size. Community size showed a strong negative effect on community growth rate. Despite positive density-dependent parasitism, antagonists had only weak regulating effects on community growth rate. Synthesis and applications. Trap-nesting bee populations grow markedly with the increasing availability of food resources in the landscape and effectiveness of trap nests is only marginally limited by natural antagonists. Thus, trap nests could be a simple pollinator-supporting strategy to accompany the current expansion of mass-flowering crops and to ensure pollination services for insect-pollinated crops. Trap nests benefit, not only early season active generalist bees during oilseed rape flowering, but also species with later phenology if accompanied by other pollinator-supporting practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-204
JournalJournal of Applied Ecology
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fingerprint

pollinator
bee
flowering
crop
nest
resource
resource availability
agricultural ecosystem
parasitism
pollination
cavity
field margin
honeybee
habitat
effect
generalist
phenology
community composition
flower
population dynamics

Keywords

  • Ecosystem services
  • Landscape context
  • Mass-flowering crops
  • Natural enemies
  • Nesting resources
  • Off-field practices
  • Oilseed rape
  • Resource limitation
  • Solitary bees
  • Top-down or bottom-up control

Cite this

Dainese, Matteo ; Riedinger, Verena ; Holzschuh, Andrea ; Kleijn, David ; Scheper, Jeroen ; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf. / Managing trap-nesting bees as crop pollinators : Spatiotemporal effects of floral resources and antagonists. In: Journal of Applied Ecology. 2018 ; Vol. 55, No. 1. pp. 195-204.
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author = "Matteo Dainese and Verena Riedinger and Andrea Holzschuh and David Kleijn and Jeroen Scheper and Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter",
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Managing trap-nesting bees as crop pollinators : Spatiotemporal effects of floral resources and antagonists. / Dainese, Matteo; Riedinger, Verena; Holzschuh, Andrea; Kleijn, David; Scheper, Jeroen; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf.

In: Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 55, No. 1, 2018, p. 195-204.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Managing trap-nesting bees as crop pollinators

T2 - Spatiotemporal effects of floral resources and antagonists

AU - Dainese, Matteo

AU - Riedinger, Verena

AU - Holzschuh, Andrea

AU - Kleijn, David

AU - Scheper, Jeroen

AU - Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

PY - 2018

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N2 - The decline of managed honeybees and the rapid expansion of mass-flowering crops increase the risk of pollination limitation in crops and raise questions about novel management approaches for wild pollinators in agroecosystems. Adding artificial nesting sites, such as trap nests, can promote cavity-nesting bees in agroecosystems, but effectiveness could be limited by the availability of floral resources in the surrounding landscape and by natural antagonists. In two European regions, we exposed artificial trap nests in paired field boundaries adjacent to oilseed rape (OSR) fields or non-flowering crops for 2 years within 32 landscapes covering two independent gradients of OSR cover and semi-natural habitat (SNH) cover in the landscape. We analysed the effects of local and landscape-wide floral resource availability, land-use intensity, landscape complexity and natural antagonists on community composition and population dynamics of trap-nesting bees. Numbers of brood cells showed a strong, three-fold increase in response to the additional nesting sites. Species richness and abundance of cavity-nesting bees that were active during OSR flowering increased significantly with increasing amounts of early season landscape-wide floral resource availability, such as the cultivation of OSR. Later foraging species benefited instead from the availability of late-season alternative flower resources or SNH cover once the mass-flowering had ceased. Density-dependent parasitism increased following mass-flowering, while no density-dependent effect was found during mass-flowering. Structural equation modelling revealed that the influence of floral resource availability on community growth rate was mediated by community size. Community size showed a strong negative effect on community growth rate. Despite positive density-dependent parasitism, antagonists had only weak regulating effects on community growth rate. Synthesis and applications. Trap-nesting bee populations grow markedly with the increasing availability of food resources in the landscape and effectiveness of trap nests is only marginally limited by natural antagonists. Thus, trap nests could be a simple pollinator-supporting strategy to accompany the current expansion of mass-flowering crops and to ensure pollination services for insect-pollinated crops. Trap nests benefit, not only early season active generalist bees during oilseed rape flowering, but also species with later phenology if accompanied by other pollinator-supporting practices.

AB - The decline of managed honeybees and the rapid expansion of mass-flowering crops increase the risk of pollination limitation in crops and raise questions about novel management approaches for wild pollinators in agroecosystems. Adding artificial nesting sites, such as trap nests, can promote cavity-nesting bees in agroecosystems, but effectiveness could be limited by the availability of floral resources in the surrounding landscape and by natural antagonists. In two European regions, we exposed artificial trap nests in paired field boundaries adjacent to oilseed rape (OSR) fields or non-flowering crops for 2 years within 32 landscapes covering two independent gradients of OSR cover and semi-natural habitat (SNH) cover in the landscape. We analysed the effects of local and landscape-wide floral resource availability, land-use intensity, landscape complexity and natural antagonists on community composition and population dynamics of trap-nesting bees. Numbers of brood cells showed a strong, three-fold increase in response to the additional nesting sites. Species richness and abundance of cavity-nesting bees that were active during OSR flowering increased significantly with increasing amounts of early season landscape-wide floral resource availability, such as the cultivation of OSR. Later foraging species benefited instead from the availability of late-season alternative flower resources or SNH cover once the mass-flowering had ceased. Density-dependent parasitism increased following mass-flowering, while no density-dependent effect was found during mass-flowering. Structural equation modelling revealed that the influence of floral resource availability on community growth rate was mediated by community size. Community size showed a strong negative effect on community growth rate. Despite positive density-dependent parasitism, antagonists had only weak regulating effects on community growth rate. Synthesis and applications. Trap-nesting bee populations grow markedly with the increasing availability of food resources in the landscape and effectiveness of trap nests is only marginally limited by natural antagonists. Thus, trap nests could be a simple pollinator-supporting strategy to accompany the current expansion of mass-flowering crops and to ensure pollination services for insect-pollinated crops. Trap nests benefit, not only early season active generalist bees during oilseed rape flowering, but also species with later phenology if accompanied by other pollinator-supporting practices.

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KW - Landscape context

KW - Mass-flowering crops

KW - Natural enemies

KW - Nesting resources

KW - Off-field practices

KW - Oilseed rape

KW - Resource limitation

KW - Solitary bees

KW - Top-down or bottom-up control

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JO - Journal of Applied Ecology

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