Flower Strips in Wheat Intercropping System: Effect on Pollinator Abundance and Diversity in Belgium
AbstractThe decline of pollinators in agricultural areas has been observed for some decades, this being partly due to landscape simplification in intensive agrosystems. Diversifying agricultural landscapes by sowing flower strips within fields could reduce these adverse effects on biodiversity. In this context, the study presented here aimed at assessing and comparing the abundance and diversity of bees (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) and hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) found and visiting flowers in three types of flower strips in Belgium: (i) a mixture of 11 wild flowers, (ii) a monofloral strip of Dimorphoteca pluvialis (Asteraceae) and (iii) a monofloral strip of Camelina sativa (Brassicaceae), where the last two are considered to be intercrops since they are valuable on the market, all sown within a field of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Pollinators were captured with pan traps and by netting in standardised transects from May to July 2017. One-thousand one-hundred and eighty-four individuals belonging to 43 bee species and 18 hoverfly species were collected. Significant differences in hoverfly diversity were found between the different flower strips. The multifloral treatment supported a greater diversity of syrphid species. Various pollinator species visited the different flowers composing the mixture and also D. pluvialis. The pollinator community proved to be predominantly generalist, with the exception of an oligolectic species in Belgium, Andrena nitidiuscula. Moreover, the three tested flower strips were effective in attracting hoverflies, among them natural enemies of insect pests. This study opens new perspectives in the design of intercropping systems with flower strips towards the design of sustainable agro-ecosystems. Improving economic profitability of sowing flower strips could encourage farmers to diversify their agricultural systems and foster conservation biology strategies. View Full-Text
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Amy, C.; Noël, G.; Hatt, S.; Uyttenbroeck, R.; Van de Meutter, F.; Genoud, D.; Francis, F. Flower Strips in Wheat Intercropping System: Effect on Pollinator Abundance and Diversity in Belgium. Insects 2018, 9, 114.
Amy C, Noël G, Hatt S, Uyttenbroeck R, Van de Meutter F, Genoud D, Francis F. Flower Strips in Wheat Intercropping System: Effect on Pollinator Abundance and Diversity in Belgium. Insects. 2018; 9(3):114.Chicago/Turabian Style
Amy, Clara; Noël, Grégoire; Hatt, Séverin; Uyttenbroeck, Roel; Van de Meutter, Frank; Genoud, David; Francis, Frédéric. 2018. "Flower Strips in Wheat Intercropping System: Effect on Pollinator Abundance and Diversity in Belgium." Insects 9, no. 3: 114.
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