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Targeted agri-environment schemes significantly improve the population size of common farmland bumblebee species [Molecular Ecology]

Keywords: Bombus, agri-environment schemes, nest density, pollinator conservation, foraging range

by Frédéric Magné - published on , updated on

Changes in agricultural practice across Europe and North America have been associated with range contractions and local extinction of bumblebees (Bombus spp.). A number of agri-environment schemes have been implemented to halt and reverse these declines, predominantly revolving around the provision of additional forage plants. Although it has been demonstrated that these schemes can attract substantial numbers of foraging bumblebees, it remains unclear to what extent they actually increase bumblebee populations. We used standardised transect walks and molecular techniques to compare the size of bumblebee populations between Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) farms implementing pollinator friendly schemes and Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) control farms. Bumblebee abundance on the transect walks was significantly (...)

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