Small-scale habitat fragmentation effects on pollinator behaviour : experimental evidence from the bumblebee 'Bombus veteranus' on calcarous grasslands

Goverde, Marcel and Schweizer, Katrin and Baur, Baur and Erhardt, Andreas. (2002) Small-scale habitat fragmentation effects on pollinator behaviour : experimental evidence from the bumblebee 'Bombus veteranus' on calcarous grasslands. Biological conservation, vol. 104, Nr. 3. pp. 293-299.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A3231153

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Hummeln im Untersuchungsgebiet Nenzlinger Weide We examined visiting patterns of pollinators of Betonica officinalis L. (Lamiaceae) in experimentally fragmented calcareous grasslands and corresponding control plots at two study sites (Movelier and Nenzlingen) in the north-western Swiss Jura mountains. Fragments (1.5x1.5 m) were isolated by a 5-m wide strip of frequently mown vegetation while the control plots were situated in the adjacent undisturbed vegetation. The most common pollinator, the bumblebee Bombus veteranus (Apidae), visited fragments 53.7% less frequently than control plots. Furthermore, a change in foraging behaviour of Bombus veteranus was observed. In fragments the bumblebees visited more inflorescences, flew longer total visiting distances and the visiting time per patch tended to be higher than in control plots. The distribution of angles between arrival and departure direction (turning angles) differed from a uniform distribution in fragments but not in control plots. The increased directionality of bumblebee flight might be due to a decrease in floral rewards. Our results show that small-scale habitat fragmentation can affect plant pollination at two levels both relevant for plant fitness. First, lower visitation rates indicate a limitation of pollinators which might result in reduced seed set of the pollinated plant. Second, changes in pollinator behaviour might reduce pollen dispersal among flowers, increase inbreeding and hence reduce genetic variability in populations of this bumblebee pollinated plant.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Natur- Landschafts- und Umweltschutz > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Botanik (Erhardt)
UniBasel Contributors:Erhardt, Andreas and Baur, Bruno
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:28
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:04

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