Pollinator Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 4904

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences—DISTAL, University of Bologna, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Interests: biodiversity; entomology; environmental science; organic farming; ecology; farming; soil; biological control; pollinators
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Guest Editor
Biological Control and Ecosystem Services Laboratory, Crop Protection Department, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Research and Development of Murcia (IMIDA), C/Mayor s/n, E-30150 Murcia, Spain
Interests: pollinators; bees; wild bees; bee ecology; floral margins; forensic entomology; ecosystem services; natural enemies; pear pests; biological control

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although it has been studied for over a century, insect pollination has many aspects that are still poorly understood, starting from the rule of actors involved. Bees are usually considered to be the main pollinator group of insects, but an increasing amount of data has highlighted how other groups can be more important as pollinators. Pollination is largely affected by the biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems, such as pollinator predators or landscape complexity and its uses. The recent decline in insects is deeply alarming due to the negative effects on this important ecological service. Moreover, climatic change can modify both plant and insect communities, but also change the interaction between them.

This Special Issue will focus both on research on insect–flower interactions, the causes of pollinator decline and on strategies that enhance the ecosystem services they provide.

Dr. Daniele Sommaggio
Dr. María Pérez-Marcos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • pollination

  • pollinators
  • biodiversity
  • insect–flower interaction
  • Diptera
  • wild bees
  • ecosystem
  • landscape
  • climate change

Published Papers (4 papers)

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17 pages, 1499 KiB  
Article
Different Sensitivity of Flower-Visiting Diptera to a Neonicotinoid Insecticide: Expanding the Base for a Multiple-Species Risk Assessment Approach
by Cátia Ariana Henriques Martins, Celeste Azpiazu, Jordi Bosch, Giovanni Burgio, Maria Luisa Dindo, Santolo Francati, Daniele Sommaggio and Fabio Sgolastra
Insects 2024, 15(5), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15050317 - 29 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Insects play an essential role as pollinators of wild flowers and crops. At the same time, pollinators in agricultural environments are commonly exposed to pesticides, compromising their survival and the provision of pollination services. Although pollinators include a wide range of species from [...] Read more.
Insects play an essential role as pollinators of wild flowers and crops. At the same time, pollinators in agricultural environments are commonly exposed to pesticides, compromising their survival and the provision of pollination services. Although pollinators include a wide range of species from several insect orders, information on pesticide sensitivity is mostly restricted to bees. In addition, the disparity of methodological procedures used for different insect groups hinders the comparison of toxicity data between bees and other pollinators. Dipterans are a highly diverse insect order that includes some important pollinators. Therefore, in this study, we assessed the sensitivity of two hoverflies (Sphaerophoria rueppellii, Eristalinus aeneus) and one tachinid fly (Exorista larvarum) to a neonicotinoid insecticide (Confidor®, imidacloprid) following a comparative approach. We adapted the standardized methodology of acute contact exposure in honey bees to build dose–response curves and calculate median lethal doses (LD50) for the three species. The methodology consisted in applying 1 µL of the test solution on the thorax of each insect. Sphaerophoria rueppelli was the most sensitive species (LD50 = 10.23 ng/insect), and E. aeneus (LD50 = 18,176 ng/insect) the least. We then compared our results with those available in the literature for other pollinator species using species sensitivity distribution (SSD). Based on the SSD curve, the 95th percentile of pollinator species would be protected by a safety factor of 100 times the Apis mellifera endpoint. Overall, dipterans were less sensitive to imidacloprid than most bee species. As opposed to most bee species, oviposition and fecundity of many dipteran species can be reliably assessed in the laboratory. We measured the number of eggs laid following exposure to different insecticide doses and assessed the potential trade-off between oviposition and survival through the sublethal sensitivity index (SSI). Exposure to imidacloprid had a significant effect on fecundity, and SSI values indicated that oviposition is a sensitive endpoint for the three dipteran species tested. Future studies should integrate this information related to population dynamics in simulation models for environmental risk assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollinator Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services)
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28 pages, 332 KiB  
Article
Plant Resource Use and Pattern of Usage by the Naturalized Orchid Bee (Euglossa dilemma: Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Florida
by Robert W. Pemberton
Insects 2023, 14(12), 909; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120909 - 27 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
The Neotropical orchid bee Euglossa dilemma was found to be naturalized in southern Florida in 2003, and, by 2022, it had colonized the southern half of Florida. Observations of the bee’s collection of plant resources, primarily flowers, were made from 2003 through to [...] Read more.
The Neotropical orchid bee Euglossa dilemma was found to be naturalized in southern Florida in 2003, and, by 2022, it had colonized the southern half of Florida. Observations of the bee’s collection of plant resources, primarily flowers, were made from 2003 through to 2022 to document its plant usage and understand the patterns of its plant usage. The bee utilized 259 plant taxa, 237 species, and 22 horticultural forms, in 156 genera and 56 families in 263 total uses. Of 247 taxa of flowers, 120 were visited primarily for nectar, 46 for both nectar and pollen, 60 for pollen, including 42 buzz-pollinated flowers, 15 for fragrance chemicals for the males, and 5 for resin rewards by females for nesting. Fragrance chemicals were also collected by males from the leaves of 12 plant species. These extensive resource use data allowed the following predictions to be made. (1) The bee’s presence in Florida, distant from its native region of Mexico and Central America and the geographical ranges of other orchid bees, would result the usage of many new taxa of plants. True, half, 74/148 (50%), of the genera and one third, 16/51(31%), of the plant families of the plants with flowers used by the bee were not previously recorded as being utilized by Euglossine bees. (2) Like other naturalized bees, it would use relatively more plants from its native range or congeners of these plants. True, 113/148 (76%) of genera with species bearing collected floral rewards are native or congeners with species native to the bee’s native range. (3) Given the bee’s long tongue, ability to buzz pollen from poricidal anthers, and ability to collect and use specialized rewards, it would disproportionately use plants with protected or highly specialized floral rewards. True, 180/247 (72%) utilized species bear rewards which were protected and unavailable to, or of no interest to, most other flower visitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollinator Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services)
14 pages, 3710 KiB  
Article
Insect-Mediated Pollination of Strawberries in an Urban Environment
by Elsa Blareau, Pauline Sy, Karim Daoud and Fabrice Requier
Insects 2023, 14(11), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14110877 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1697
Abstract
Pollination services provided by a diversity of pollinators are critical in agriculture because they enhance the yield of many crops. However, few studies have assessed pollination services in urban agricultural systems. We performed flower–visitor observations and pollination experiments on strawberries (Fragaria × [...] Read more.
Pollination services provided by a diversity of pollinators are critical in agriculture because they enhance the yield of many crops. However, few studies have assessed pollination services in urban agricultural systems. We performed flower–visitor observations and pollination experiments on strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa) in an urban area near Paris, France, in order to assess the effects of (i) insect-mediated pollination service and (ii) potential pollination deficit on fruit set, seed set, and fruit quality (size, weight, and malformation). Flower–visitor observations revealed that the pollinator community solely comprised unmanaged pollinators, despite the presence of beehives in the surrounding landscape. Based on the pollination experiments, we found that the pollination service mediated by wild insects improved the fruit size as a qualitative value of production, but not the fruit set. We also found no evidence of pollination deficit in our urban environment. These results suggest that the local community of wild urban pollinators is able to support strawberry crop production and thus plays an important role in providing high-quality, local, and sustainable crops in urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollinator Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services)
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18 pages, 2013 KiB  
Project Report
Six Steps towards a Spatial Design for Large-Scale Pollinator Surveillance Monitoring
by Niels Hellwig, Frank M. J. Sommerlandt, Swantje Grabener, Lara Lindermann, Wiebke Sickel, Lasse Krüger and Petra Dieker
Insects 2024, 15(4), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040229 - 26 Mar 2024
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Abstract
Despite the importance of pollinators to ecosystem functioning and human food production, comprehensive pollinator monitoring data are still lacking across most regions of the world. Policy-makers have recently prioritised the development of large-scale monitoring programmes for pollinators to better understand how populations respond [...] Read more.
Despite the importance of pollinators to ecosystem functioning and human food production, comprehensive pollinator monitoring data are still lacking across most regions of the world. Policy-makers have recently prioritised the development of large-scale monitoring programmes for pollinators to better understand how populations respond to land use, environmental change and restoration measures in the long term. Designing such a monitoring programme is challenging, partly because it requires both ecological knowledge and advanced knowledge in sampling design. This study aims to develop a conceptual framework to facilitate the spatial sampling design of large-scale surveillance monitoring. The system is designed to detect changes in pollinator species abundances and richness, focusing on temperate agroecosystems. The sampling design needs to be scientifically robust to address questions of agri-environmental policy at the scales of interest. To this end, we followed a six-step procedure as follows: (1) defining the spatial sampling units, (2) defining and delimiting the monitoring area, (3) deciding on the general sampling strategy, (4) determining the sample size, (5) specifying the sampling units per sampling interval, and (6) specifying the pollinator survey plots within each sampling unit. As a case study, we apply this framework to the “Wild bee monitoring in agricultural landscapes of Germany” programme. We suggest this six-step procedure as a conceptual guideline for the spatial sampling design of future large-scale pollinator monitoring initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollinator Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services)
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