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Title Plant-Pollinator Networks in an Agriculture-Forest Mosaic and how to conserve them

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Short title Plant-Pollinator Networks in Landscape mosaics

Author(s) Hagen, M.(1); Gikungu, M.(2); Kraemer, M.(1)

Presenting author Hagen, M.

Institution(s) (1) Biological Collection, University of Bielefeld; (2) National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi

Keywords Pollination, food web approach, habitat structure, crop pollination, economic value

Abstract Pollination is considered an ecosystem service crucial for the maintenance of natural as well as man-made habitats. During recent years declines of certain types of pollinators, especially of bees, have been documented in many parts of the world, including Africa, and scientists are therefore very concerned about the future of pollinator services.
Local habitat structure and resource configuration as well as matrix structure appear of great importance to the behaviour and survival of bees. We examined the contribution of three different habitat types (farmland, forest edge, forest interior) to regional diversity in the tropics and established the differences and overlap in plant-bee community interactions between the nearby habitats using a pollination network approach. Inside the forest, we additionally focused on the bee species composition in different successional stages.
The farming areas seemed to support bee communities especially when most of the flowering plants in the forest were not in bloom. Thus, the future of forest biodiversity conservation as well as the pollination service are dependent on strategic and holistic management of both, natural forests and secondary forests as well as the surrounding agroecosystems.
As biotic pollination is extremely important for the production of agricultural crops, we studied pollination requirements of different crops in more detail. These data allowed calculating the monetary value of pollinators for the Kakamega area. Both pollination efficiency and monetary value of pollination are impressive criteria for convincing people about the necessity to conserve pollinators.

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