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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Volume (Issue) 281
Page(s) 20132667
Title of proceedings Proceedings of the Royal Society B
DOI 20132667

Open Access

URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.2667
Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)

Abstract

Animal pollination is essential for the reproductive success of many wild and crop plants. Loss and isolation of (semi-)natural habitats in agricultural landscapes can cause declines of plants and pollinators and endanger pollination services.We investigated the independent effects of these drivers onpollination of young cherry trees in a landscape-scale experiment.We included (i) isolation of study trees from other cherry trees (up to 350 m), (ii) the amount of cherry trees in the landscape, (iii) the isolation from other woody habitats (up to 200 m) and (iv) the amount of woody habitats providing nesting and floral resources for pollinators. At the local scale, we considered effects of (v) cherry flower density and (vi) heterospecific flower density. Pollinators visited flowers more often in landscapes with high amount of woody habitat and at sites with lower isolation from the next cherry tree. Fruit set was reduced by isolation from the next cherry tree and by a high local density of heterospecific flowers but did not directly depend on pollinator visitation. These results reveal the importance of considering the plant’s need for conspecific pollen and its pollen competition with co-flowering species rather than focusing only on pollinators’ habitat requirements and flower visitation. It proved to be important to disentangle habitat isolation from habitat loss, local from landscape-scale effects, and direct effects of pollen availability on fruit set from indirect effects via pollinator visitation to understand the delivery of an agriculturally important ecosystem service.
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