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The use of off-farm habitats by foraging bumblebees in agricultural landscapes: Implications for conservation management
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 18:57 authored by Lynne M Osgathorpe, Kirsty Park, Dave GoulsonDave Goulson
Recent studies have focused on ways to enhance floral availability on arable farmland, but little attention has been paid to the importance of off-farm habitats in providing forage for pollinators within farmed landscapes. We conducted a comparative study to assess bumblebees and flower abundance on farmed and offfarm habitats in two low-intensity systems in the UK, the Somerset Levels and the Outer Hebrides. In both farming systems, both on- and off-farm habitats contributed to the mosaic of bumblebee forage. In the Somerset Levels, track edges and road verges were particularly important sources of forage for long-tongued bumblebees. Cattle-grazed pasture in Somerset and winter-grazed pasture in the Outer Hebrides were also notable sources of bumblebee forage. Non-agricultural habitats need to be integrated into local land management plans to ensure the provision of forage for bumblebees throughout the breeding season. © INRA, DIB-AGIB and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2011.
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- Evolution, Behaviour and Environment Publications
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