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Open AccessArticle

How Bees Respond Differently to Field Margins of Shrubby and Herbaceous Plants in Intensive Agricultural Crops of the Mediterranean Area

1
Biological Control & Ecosystem Services Laboratory, Instituto Murciano de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario y Alimentario (IMIDA), C/Mayor s/n, E-30150 La Alberca, Spain
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Grupo de Investigación “Transferencia de I+D en el Área de Recursos Naturales”, Universidad de Almería, Ctra, de Sacramento s/n, E-04120 La Cañada de San Urbano, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11010026
Received: 9 December 2019 / Revised: 21 December 2019 / Accepted: 26 December 2019 / Published: 29 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects-Environment Interaction)
(1) Intensive agriculture has a high impact on pollinating insects, and conservation strategies targeting agricultural landscapes may greatly contribute to their maintenance. The aim of this work was to quantify the effect that the vegetation of crop margins, with either herbaceous or shrubby plants, had on the abundance and diversity of bees in comparison to non-restored margins. (2) The work was carried out in an area of intensive agriculture in southern Spain. Bees were monitored visually and using pan traps, and floral resources were quantified in crop margins for two years. (3) An increase in the abundance and diversity of wild bees in restored margins was registered, compared to non-restored margins. Significant differences in the structure of bee communities were found between shrubby and herbaceous margins. Apis mellifera and mining bees were found to be more polylectic than wild Apidae and Megachilidae. The abundance of A. mellifera and mining bees was correlated to the total floral resources, in particular, to those offered by the Boraginaceae and Brassicaceae; wild Apidae and Megachilidae were associated with the Lamiaceae. (4) This work emphasises the importance of floral diversity and shrubby plants for the maintenance of rich bee communities in Mediterranean agricultural landscapes. View Full-Text
Keywords: pollinating insects; bees; floral edges; biodiversity; agroecosystems; conservation pollinating insects; bees; floral edges; biodiversity; agroecosystems; conservation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sanchez, J.A.; Carrasco, A.; La Spina, M.; Pérez-Marcos, M.; Ortiz-Sánchez, F.J. How Bees Respond Differently to Field Margins of Shrubby and Herbaceous Plants in Intensive Agricultural Crops of the Mediterranean Area. Insects 2020, 11, 26.

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