Menu

Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Late-season mass-flowering red clover increases bumble bee queen and male densities

Author:
  • Maj Rundlöf
  • Anna Persson
  • Henrik Smith
  • Riccardo Bommarco
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 138-145
Publication/Series: Biological Conservation
Volume: 172
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Spatiotemporal resource continuity promotes persistence of mobile animal populations. Current agricultural landscapes are poor in flowers resources for bumble bees. Available forage crops are predominantly early-season mass-flowering crops (MFC). It has been suggested, but not tested, that scarcity of late-season flower resources are limiting bumble bee populations. We examined whether addition of late-season flowering red clover affected worker, queen and male bumble bee densities. Bumble bees were surveyed in flower-rich uncultivated field borders across 24 landscapes (radius 2 km) with or without a clover field in the centre, varying in semi-natural grassland (SNG) and early MFC availability. Clover fields had over ten times higher worker densities compared to field borders, suggesting red clover as favoured forage. Five times more queens and 71% more males were found in landscapes with clover fields compared to control landscapes, despite these fields constituting less than 0.2% of the landscape area. Both MFC and SNG increased the density of males, but only in the presence of clover fields. Our results suggest that late-flowering red clover positively affects bumble bee reproduction, likely by increasing temporal resource continuity. Interventions such as flower strips can thus have mitigating effects if they release population regulation by late-season resource bottle-necks. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
  • Ecology
  • Bombus
  • Flower resources
  • Mitigation measure
  • Pollinator
  • Reproductive
  • success
  • Trifolium pratense

Other

Published
  • BECC
  • ISSN: 1873-2917
Henrik Smith
E-mail: henrik [dot] smith [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor

Biodiversity

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

E-C313

50

Director

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

C313

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden