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A systems approach reveals urban pollinator hotspots and conservation opportunities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Early online date14 Jan 2019
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 23 Nov 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 14 Jan 2019

Abstract

Urban areas are often perceived to have lower biodiversity than the wider countryside, but a few small-scale studies suggest that some urban land uses can support substantial pollinator populations. We present a large-scale, well-replicated study of floral resources and pollinators in 360 sites incorporating all major land uses in four British cities. Using a systems approach, we developed Bayesian network models integrating pollinator dispersal and resource switching to estimate city-scale effects of management interventions on plant-pollinator community robustness to species loss. We show that residential gardens and allotments (community gardens) are pollinator 'hotspots': gardens due to their extensive area, and allotments due to their high pollinator diversity and leverage on city-scale plant-pollinator community robustness. Household income was positively associated with pollinator abundance in gardens, highlighting the influence of socioeconomic factors. Our results underpin urban planning recommendations to enhance pollinator conservation, using increasing city-scale community robustness as our measure of success.

    Research areas

  • pollinators, urban

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Documents

  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Springer Nature at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0769-y . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 508 KB, PDF-document

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