Landscape effects of forest loss in a pollination system

Taki, Hisatomo
Kevan, Peter G.
Ascher, John S.
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Forest loss has been invoked as a cause for changes in the reproductive success of animalpollinated woodland plants, associated with changes in their pollinators. To analyze such effects, it is important to include all of the three key players: landscapes, pollinators and a plant. We investigated effects of forest loss on an insect-pollinated plant through landscapes in forested ecosystems to pollinator communities and plant populations. Then we questioned if abundance and species richness in pollinator communities decrease as forest loss increases, and this in turn leads to a decrease in reproductive output of an insect-pollinated plant. We made a study with 12 populations of the bee pollinated herb, Erythronium americanum, in a landscape characterized by scattered fragments of deciduous forest within intensively managed agricultural fields. We also sampled bees as the potential pollinators by pan traps. We quantified the study landscapes using the amount of forest cover and the length of forest edge within each of the six radii (250, 500, 750, 1,000, 1,250 and 1,500 m). Regression analyses showed that the abundance and species richness of all collected bees were positively related to only the forest cover at the radius of 750 m. We also found the positive relationships for the seed set of E. americanum when the forest cover at the same radius and abundance of all collected bees were used as the predictor variables. These results indicate that forest loss causes negative impacts on potential pollinator communities and seed sets of some woodland herbs.

Apiformes, Apoidea, Carolinian forest, forested ecosystem, fragmentation, habitat loss, spring ephemeral
Taki, H., Kevan, P. G., and Ascher, J. S. "Landscape effects of forest loss in a pollination system." Landscape Ecology 22.10 (2007): 1575-1587.