Seasonal dynamics of plant pollinator networks in agricultural landscapes: how important is connector species identity in the network?

Pushan Chakraborty, Soumik Chatterjee, Barbara M. Smith, Parthiba Basu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Farm habitat enrichment is crucial for sustainable production of pollinator-dependent crops. Correct choice of crop and non-crop plant species in habitat management support resilient pollinator fauna and effective pollination service delivery. We identify key network metrices to recognize suitable crop and non-crop plant species for farm habitat enrichment. We also highlight the importance of seasonal variation of the key plant and pollinator species that will crucially inform farm management. Crop species played a key role in maintaining plant–pollinator network integrity. In contrast to the conventional practice of focussing on non-crop plants for pollination service restoration, we find crop plants across seasons hold a key role in maintaining healthy plant–pollinator networks. Our study highlights the importance of non-bee pollinators especially, flies and butterflies in sustaining healthy plant–pollinator network. Bees were important as connector species and controlled other species in the network. Only 16.67% bees and 33.33% of plant species acted as connector species. Our study also shows that the identity of connector species in a plant–pollinator network can change drastically across seasons.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)825-837
    Number of pages13
    JournalOecologia
    Volume196
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2021

    Bibliographical note

    .

    Funder

    DEFRA, Darwin Initiative research Grant (2012–2015). CSIR, Govt. of India, provided fellowships to Pushan Chakraborti.

    Keywords

    • Farm management
    • Pollination networks
    • Pollination restoration
    • Resilient network
    • Seasonal network

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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