Plant-bee interactions and resource ultilisation in an urban landscape.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Biodiversity is declining through human activities and urbanisation is often seen as a particular concern. Urban settings,
however, provide diverse microclimatic conditions for plants and pollinating insects, and therefore may be signifcant
habitats for the conservation of solitary and primitively eusocial bees, a major group of pollinators. This study analysed the interactions between these bees and the plants on which they forage, using a network approach. We compared
urban habitats (gardens, roadsides, and open vegetation) in a large British town with nearby nature reserves. One native
plant Taraxacum ofcinale (dandelion) was a core generalist species visited in all habitat types. Other core plant species
restricted to particular habitats include species of Geranium, Bellis, Crepis, and Ranunculus. Two generalist bee species,
Anthophora plumipes and Osmia bicornis were the core visitor species within the networks. The networks were comparatively more nested in urban habitat types than nature areas, suggesting more frequent interactions between generalist
and specialist species in urban areas. Network connectance, network level specialisation (H2’ index), and plant generality
(network level) were not signifcantly diferent in urban and nature areas. However, visitor generality was found to be
signifcantly higher in urban gardens than in nature areas. Careful management of common urban vegetation would be
benefcial for supporting urban wild pollinators.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Ecosystems
Early online date17 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Plant-visitor interactions
  • Pollinator
  • Solitary bee
  • Primitively eusocial bees
  • Urbanisation
  • Networks

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