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A "plan bee" for cities: Pollinator diversity and plant-pollinator interactions in urban green spaces.


ABSTRACT: Green infrastructure in cities is considered to serve as a refuge for insect pollinators, especially in the light of an ongoing global decline of insects in agricultural landscapes. The design and maintenance of urban green spaces as key components of green infrastructure play a crucial role in case of nesting opportunities and for foraging insects. However, only few research has explored the impact of urban green space design on flower visitor communities, plant-pollinator interaction and the provision of the ecosystem service of pollination in cities. We investigated the abundance and diversity of pollinator communities in different urban park types in designed, standardized vegetation units, linked the visitation rates to the structural composition of the park types and derived indices for implemented pollination performances. The study was performed in two different structural park elements, flower beds and insect-pollinating trees. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the interaction between plants and pollinators, we calculated a plant-pollinator network of the recorded community in the investigation area. Visitation rates at different park types clearly showed, that the urban community gardens in comparison to other urban park types had a significantly higher abundance of pollinator groups, comparable to results found on a rural reference site. Tilia trees contributed significantly to the ecosystem service of pollination in investigated green spaces with a high supply of nectar and pollen during their flowering period. Calculations of pollination performances showed that recreational parks had comparably low visitation rates of pollinators and a high potential to improve conditions for the ecosystem service of pollination. The results indicated the strong potential of cities to provide a habitat for different groups of pollinators. In order to access this refuge, it is necessary to rely on near-natural concepts in design and maintenance, to create a wide range of flower diversity and to use even small green patches. Based on the findings, we encourage an integrated management of urban free spaces to consider parks as key habitats for pollinators in anthropogenic dominated, urban environments.

SUBMITTER: Daniels B 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7363068 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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