Flies are important pollinators of mass-flowering caraway and respond to landscape and floral factors differently from honeybees

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Toivonen , M , Karimaa , A E , Herzon , I & Kuussaari , M 2022 , ' Flies are important pollinators of mass-flowering caraway and respond to landscape and floral factors differently from honeybees ' , Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment , vol. 323 , 107698 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2021.107698

Title: Flies are important pollinators of mass-flowering caraway and respond to landscape and floral factors differently from honeybees
Author: Toivonen, Marjaana; Karimaa, Anna Elina; Herzon, Irina; Kuussaari, Mikko
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences



Date: 2022-01-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
ISSN: 0167-8809
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2021.107698
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/335760
Abstract: Non-bee insects have been identified as important crop pollinators globally. However, strategies to protect pollinators and enhance crop pollination usually focus on supporting bees. This study examined the effects of landscape structure, location within field, and floral resources on pollinators’ visits on mass-flowering caraway (Carum carvi L.) in boreal farmland, and the effects of the visits on caraway yield. Pollinator visits on caraway flowers were monitored and caraway yield measured in 30 fields at landscapes ranging from field-dominated to forest-dominated landscapes. Hoverflies were the most abundant flower-visitors of caraway, followed by honeybees. Hoverflies and other flies made more flower visits on caraway than all bee species combined. Pollinator groups differed in their responses to landscape and local factors. Flies were most abundant near field edges and in landscapes with high forest cover. Non-syrphid flies and solitary bees responded positively to the cover of flowering herbs in the adjacent field margins. Flower visits by honeybees, instead, were positively related to the flowering crop cover in the study fields. Caraway seed yield increased with increasing number of flower visits by honeybees, hoverflies and all pollinators together. Pollinator exclusion reduced caraway fruit set (i.e. the number of fruits per flower) by 13% and seed yield by 40%. Our study is the first to report the high importance of flies to crop pollination in boreal farmland, where caraway is an important export crop. The results highlight the need of taking flies and their habitat requirements into account when developing strategies to enhance crop pollination.
Subject: 4111 Agronomy
Carum carvi
Crop pollination
Forest
Hoverflies
Landscape structure
Syrphid flies
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