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Delivery of floral resources and pollination services on farmland under three different wildlife-friendly schemes

Hardman, CJ; Norris, K; Nevard, TD; Hughes, B; Potts, SG; (2016) Delivery of floral resources and pollination services on farmland under three different wildlife-friendly schemes. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment , 220 pp. 142-151. 10.1016/j.agee.2016.01.015. Green open access

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Abstract

Management that enhances floral resources can be an effective way to support pollinators and pollination services. Some wildlife-friendly farming schemes aim to enhance the density and diversity of floral resources in non-crop habitats on farms, whilst managing crop fields intensively. Others, such as organic farming, aim to support ecological processes within both crop and non-crop habitats. How effective these different approaches are for supporting pollination services at the farm scale is unknown. We compared organic farming with two non-organic wildlife-friendly farming schemes: one prescriptive (Conservation Grade, CG) and one flexible (Entry Level Stewardship, ELS), and sampled a representative selection of crop and non-crop habitats. We investigated the spatial distribution and overall level of: (i) flower density and diversity, (ii) pollinator density and diversity and (iii) pollination services provided to Californian poppy (Eschscholzia californica) potted phytometer plants. Organic crop habitats supported a higher density of flowers, insect-wildflower visits, and fruit set of phytometers than CG or ELS crop habitats. Non-crop habitats supported a higher density of flowers and insect-flower visits than crop habitats on CG and ELS farms. Pollination services were higher on organic farms overall compared to CG or ELS. Pollinator diversity and density did not differ between schemes, at the point or farm level. CG farms received the highest total number of insect-wildflower visits. The findings support organic farming practices that increase floral resources in crop habitats, such as sowing clover or reduced herbicide usage, as mechanisms to enhance pollination services. However trade-offs with other ecosystem services are likely and these are discussed. The findings support the CG scheme as a way of supporting pollinators within farms where high wheat yields are required.

Type: Article
Title: Delivery of floral resources and pollination services on farmland under three different wildlife-friendly schemes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2016.01.015
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2016.01.015
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016. This manuscript version is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Agriculture, Multidisciplinary, Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Agriculture, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Agri-Environment Scheme, Bees, Ecosystem Services, Flowers, Organic Farming, Pollinator, Phytometer, Plant Reproductive Success, Agri-Environment Schemes, Landscape Context, Bee Abundance, Diversity, Bumblebees, Declines, Conservation, Impacts, Crops
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1540172
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