Maintained electrical transmission corridors can provide valuable bumblebee habitat for conservation and ecosystem service provision

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Bruce Hill, Ignasi Bartomeus


Decline in pollinator abundance and diversity is not only a conservation issue but also a threat to crop pollination. Maintained infrastructure corridors, including electricity transmission lines, are potentially valuable wild pollinator habitat. However, this potential is hindered by a lack of evidence comparing wild pollinator's abundance and diversity on transmission corridors with other recognized wild pollinator habitats. We study the influence of transmission corridors on a key pollinator group, bumblebees, in Sweden's Uppland region by comparing bumblebee abundance and diversity in transmission corridors with that in other habitats. Our results show that a transmission corridor's presence has no impact on the surrounding area's bumblebee diversity. However, transmission corridors and other maintained habitats have an abundance and diversity of bumblebees as high as semi-natural grasslands and do sustain species important both from a conservation and an ecosystem service provision perspective. Under their current management regime transmission corridors already provide valuable bumblebee habitat, but given that forage plant density is the main determinant of bumblebee abundance, they could be further enhanced by establish...Continue Reading

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