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Front. Ecol. Evol. | doi: 10.3389/fevo.2018.00170

Pollinator community assembly tracks changes in floral resources as restored hedgerows mature in agricultural landscapes

  • 1University of California, Berkeley, United States
  • 2Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • 3University of California, Riverside, United States

Intensive agriculture reduces wild pollinator abundance, diversity and pollination services, while depending critically on wild pollinators for crop pollination. Floral enhancements such as hedgerows (native, perennial flowering trees and shrubs) can enhance pollinator colonization, persistence, occupancy, and species richness within intensive agricultural landscapes. However, little is known about the specific features of hedgerows that promote pollinator communities in such landscapes. Understanding how pollinator communities respond to local changes in site conditions as hedgerows mature, such as the availability of floral or nesting resources, can help guide the design of more effective hedgerows that promote pollinators and/or pollination services. In an intensively-managed agricultural region of California, we found that pollinator community attributes responded principally to the enhancement of floral diversity as hedgerows mature, as well as to surrounding natural habitat. Once hedgerows matured, this relationship leveled off, suggesting either saturation of community assembly processes, or greater importance of floral density/display relative to diversity. Although we did not find any relationships between measures of pollinator community diversity and nesting resources, such resources are notably difficult to measure. Surrounding natural habitat also affected species and functional richness at hedgerows, particularly for solitary bees that nest above ground. Such species are known to be particularly sensitive to the negative effects of agriculture. Thus, hedgerows in combination with natural habitat may reverse some of the community disassembly provoked by intensive agriculture.

Keywords: Habitat restoration, Floral enhancements, pollinator, functional diversity, Agro-ecosystem, bee, California, Intensive agriculture

Received: 02 Jul 2018; Accepted: 05 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

Shannon Murphy, University of Denver, United States

Reviewed by:

Mary A. Jamieson, Oakland University, United States
Jane Memmott, University of Bristol, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2018 Kremen, M'Gonigle and Ponisio. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Claire Kremen, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, United States, ckremen@gmail.com