Monitoring Urban Pollinators

Red Admiral Butterfly

Red Admiral Butterfly

Urban landscapes differ from rural landscapes primarily in continuity and size of patches. Rural landscapes have larger patches with greater continuity. Urban landscapes have smaller patches with less continuity. How do these factors influence pollinators?

In a study of flowers and pollinators*, citizen scientists photographed all pollinators at a single flower in a 20 minute period. The pollinators were classified into generalists and specialists. There were fewer taxa of urban pollinators and more of them were generalist pollinators. Rural landscapes had a greater diversity of pollinators and more specialist pollinators. Urbanization is major component of habitat loss for both plants and animals. Plant-pollinator interaction, especially plants that are pollinated by specialists, may be important factors in species loss and retention.

*Nicolas Deguines, Romain Julliard, Mathieu de Flores & Colin Fontaine. 2016. Functional homogenization of flower visitor communities with urbanization. Ecology and evolution. Vol.6: 1967-1976.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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