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Seasonality of floral resources in relation to bee activity in agroecosystems
  • Jessica GuezenOrcid,
  • Jessica R. K. Forrest
Jessica Guezen
Orcid
University of Ottawa
Author Profile
Jessica R. K. Forrest
University of Ottawa
Author Profile

Peer review status:IN REVISION

24 May 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
26 May 2020Assigned to Editor
26 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
27 May 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
23 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
25 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor

Abstract

The contribution of wild insects to crop pollination is becoming increasingly important as global demand for crops dependent on animal pollination increases. If wild insect populations are to persist in agricultural landscapes, there must be sufficient floral resources (FR) over time and space. The temporal, within-season component of FR availability has rarely been investigated, despite growing recognition of its likely importance for pollinator populations. Here, we examined the visitation rates of common bee genera and the spatiotemporal availability of FR in agroecosystems over one season to determine whether local bee activity was limited by the abundance of landscape FR, and if so, whether it was limited by the present or past abundance of landscape FR. Visitation rates and landscape FR were measured in 27 agricultural sites in Ontario and Québec, Canada, across four time periods and three spatial scales. Landscape FR at varying spatial scales predicted visits for the seven most commonly observed bee genera. Bombus visitation rates were higher in landscapes that had greater cumulative seasonal abundance of FR, suggesting the importance of early-season FR for this taxon. Visits from Halictus and Lasioglossum were higher in landscapes that provided either a stable or increasing amount of FR over the season and were lower in landscapes that experienced a decrease in FR over the course of a season. Andrena, Augochlorella, Megachile, and Peponapis visits were not measurably influenced by FR in previous months but were lower in landscapes that had a higher present abundance of FR, perhaps reflecting pollinator movement or dilution. Our research provides insight into how seasonal fluctuations in floral resources affect bee activity, and by examining each bee genus separately, we could observe how differences in foraging periods, foraging ranges, and the number of broods per season influence how bee taxa respond to food availability within agroecosystems.