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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The value of uncropped field margins for foraging bumblebees
Author(s): Kells, Andrea R
Holland, John
Goulson, Dave
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Keywords: Agriculture
Apis mellifera
Floral resources
Naturally regenerated field margin
Issue Date: Dec-2001
Date Deposited: 2-Aug-2012
Citation: Kells AR, Holland J & Goulson D (2001) The value of uncropped field margins for foraging bumblebees. Journal of Insect Conservation, 5 (4), pp. 283-291.;
Abstract: The intensification of agriculture has led to declines in species diversity and abundance within groups of certain flora and fauna. Bumblebees (Bombus spp.) are one group where a decline has been documented, and it is thought to be attributable to a decrease in forage resources and potential nest sites. As bumblebees play an important role in the pollination of many entomophilous crops, this decline could impact on agricultural productivity. We examined the role of naturally regenerated field margins in providing forage plants on land where nectar resources are otherwise impoverished. The following question was addressed - Are naturally regenerated unsprayed field margins more attractive to foraging bumblebees and honeybees than cropped field margins managed as conservation headlands? Significantly more bees visited naturally regenerated field margins than cropped field margins. Honeybees (Apis mellifera), Bombus terrestris, and Bombus lapidarius were the most commonly observed bee species. Different wildflower species within the naturally regenerated margins varied greatly in relative number of visits received, and bumblebee species were found to prefer different flower species to honeybees. The potential role that naturally regenerated field margins could play in the conservation of bumblebee species, and the implications for other species of flora and fauna, are discussed.
DOI Link: 10.1023/A:1013307822575
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