Safe guarding pollinator populations in an intensive grassland landscape
There is growing evidence that insect pollinators are declining globally and agricultural intensification has been identified as a major cause of this decline. To determine how pollinators utilise different habitats within an intensive grassland landscape, bumblebees and butterflies were monitored across a range of agricultural and semi-natural habitats using standardised transect walks. Few pollinators were recorded in intensively managed arable and grassland fields indicating that such habitats provided poor foraging resources. Hedgerows also yielded few pollinators reflecting the lack of pollen and nectar bearing plant species within hedgerows in this landscape. The highest density of pollinators, and richest pollinator assemblages, were recorded in open scrub, road verges and riparian buffer strips. This was most likely the result of such habitats supporting a diverse array of flowering plant species which in turn provided foraging opportunities for pollinators. These prime pollinator habitats should be managed to ensure that they maintain rich botanical assemblages and thus to ensure a continuous supply of nectar and pollen throughout the season.
Journal Title/Title of Proceedings
The Glasgow Naturalist