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Selection of floral resources to optimise conservation of agriculturally-functional insect groups

Author:
  • Romain Carrié
  • David R. Georg
  • Felix L. Wäckers
Publishing year: 2012-08
Language: English
Pages: 635-640
Publication/Series: Journal of Insect Conservation
Volume: 16
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Non-crop vegetation in agricultural landscapes can provide a means of conserving insects in farmed landscapes and optimising on-farm ecosystem services as a result. Inclusion of floral resources may be particularly useful in conserving many beneficial insects, where groups including pollinators and pest natural enemies often rely on nectar and pollen during (at least part of) their life-cycle. As not all flowers are equally suited to all beneficial insects, selection of appropriate flowering plants is key to ensuring that conservation targets are met and benefits to ecosystems services realised as a result. This short paper describes an experiment conducted to assess the ‘total temporal attractiveness’ of a range of British wildflowers to selected functional insect groups. The results obtained demonstrate that flowering period alone is a poor indicator of plant suitability to insects, where no relationship existed between this and attraction to insects overall. Data also suggest that, based on attraction over a season, certain flowering plants are more likely to be of general insect conservation value and/or benefit to functional insect groups than others. Attraction to pest insects was also considered, with relatively high catches of thrips and pollen beetles observed in flowering stands of some plants.

Keywords

  • Botany
  • Ecology
  • Agricultural Science

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1366-638X

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, CEC

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