Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7224
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Quantifying and comparing bumblebee nest densities in gardens and countryside habitats
Authors: Osborne, Juliet L
Martin, Andrew P
Shortall, Chris R
Todd, Alan D
Goulson, Dave
Knight, Mairi E
Hale, Roddy J
Sanderson, Roy A
Contact Email: dave.goulson@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: 3
AREAS
AVAILABILITY
BUMBLEBEES
DENSITIES
DENSITY
Feature
features
FIELD
gardens
GRASSLAND
guidance
habitat
Landscape
landscapes
Light
location
Management
NEST
ORDER
PLANTS
RECORD
REGION
regions
REQUIREMENTS
service
SITES
support
survey
time
UK
wild
Issue Date: Jun-2008
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Osborne JL, Martin AP, Shortall CR, Todd AD, Goulson D, Knight ME, Hale RJ & Sanderson RA (2008) Quantifying and comparing bumblebee nest densities in gardens and countryside habitats, Journal of Applied Ecology, 45 (3), pp. 784-792.
Abstract: 1. Bumblebees provide an important pollination service to both crops and wild plants. Many species have declined in the UK, particularly in arable regions. While bumblebee forage requirements have been widely studied, there has been less consideration of whether availability of nesting sites is limiting. It is important to know which habitats contain the most bumblebee nests per unit area in order to guide conservation and management options; particularly in the light of current emphasis on environmental stewardship schemes for farmed landscapes. However, it is extremely difficult to map the distribution of bumblebee nests. 2. We describe the findings of the National Bumblebee Nest Survey, a structured survey carried out by 719 volunteers in the UK during early summer 2004. The surveyors used a defined protocol to record the presence or absence of bumblebee nests in prescribed areas of gardens, short grassland, long grassland and woodland, and along woodland edge, hedgerows and fence lines. The records allowed us to estimate the density of bumblebee nests in each of these habitats for the first time. 3. Nest densities were high in gardens (36 nests ha(-1)), and linear countryside habitats (fence lines, hedgerows, woodland edge: 20-37 nests ha(-1)), and lower in non-linear countryside habitats (woodland and grassland: 11-15 nests ha(-1)). 4. Findings on nest location characteristics corroborate those of an earlier survey carried out in the UK (Fussell & Corbet 1992). 5. Synthesis and applications. Gardens provide an important nesting habitat for bumblebees in the UK. In the countryside, the area occupied by linear features is small compared with that of non-linear features. However, as linear features contain high densities of nests, management options affecting such features may have a disproportionately large effect on bumblebee nesting opportunities. Current farm stewardship schemes in the UK are therefore likely to facilitate bumblebee nesting, because they provide clear guidance and support for 'sympathetic' hedgerow and field margin management.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7224
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2007.01359.x
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research
Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Plymouth
Lincoln University
Newcastle University

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