Dec 18, 2002

Crop pollination from native bees at risk from agricultural intensification

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Claire KremenRobbin W Thorp

Abstract

Ecosystem services are critical to human survival; in selected cases, maintaining these services provides a powerful argument for conserving biodiversity. Yet, the ecological and economic underpinnings of most services are poorly understood, impeding their conservation and management. For centuries, farmers have imported colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera) to fields and orchards for pollination services. These colonies are becoming increasingly scarce, however, because of diseases, pesticides, and other impacts. Native bee communities also provide pollination services, but the amount they provide and how this varies with land management practices are unknown. Here, we document the individual species and aggregate community contributions of native bees to crop pollination, on farms that varied both in their proximity to natural habitat and management type (organic versus conventional). On organic farms near natural habitat, we found that native bee communities could provide full pollination services even for a crop with heavy pollination requirements (e.g., watermelon, Citrullus lanatus), without the intervention of managed honey bees. All other farms, however, experienced greatly reduced diversity and abundance of ...Continue Reading

  • References6
  • Citations227
  • References6
  • Citations227

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Apis mellifera
Crops, Agricultural
Apis mellifera preparation
Avian Crop
LUC7L3 gene
Apidae
Watermelon allergenic extract
Pollination
Catabolism
Watermelon Preparation

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