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Wild Pollinators Enhance Fruit Set of Crops Regardless of Honey Bee Abundance

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Science  29 Mar 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6127, pp. 1608-1611
DOI: 10.1126/science.1230200

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  1. Fig. 1

    Relative visitation by honey bees and wild insects to flowers of 41 crop systems on six continents. Honey bees occur as domesticated colonies in transportable hives worldwide, as a native species in Europe (rarely) and Africa, or as feral populations in all other continents except Antarctica.

  2. Fig. 2

    Wild insect visitation to crop flowers enhances reproduction in all crops examined (regression coefficient βi > 0), whereas honey bee visitation has weaker effects overall. (A) Overall partial regression coefficients (β+ ± 95% CI) for the direct and interacting effects of visitation by wild insects and honey bees on pollen deposition or fruit set (models R and Q in tables S3 and S4, respectively). (B) Slopes (βi ± 95% CI) represent the effects of visitation by wild insects or honey bees on fruit set for individual crop systems. Cases at the right are systems in which only wild insects or only honey bees were present. Data from individual crop systems were standardized by z scores prior to analysis, permitting comparison of regression coefficients in all panels. Letters after crop names indicate different regions (table S1); for example, Mango_A and Mango_B are located in South Africa and Brazil, respectively. (C) Given the absence of interaction between the effects of visitation by wild insects and honey bees, maximum fruit set is achieved with high visitation by both wild insects and honey bees (upper right area of graph). The plane in orange is the overall regression (model P in table S4; the inclination of the surface in the y and x directions reflects the β+ for visitation of wild insects and honey bees, respectively), and each point is a field in a crop system (fruit set increases from cyan to dark blue).

  3. Fig. 3

    Globally, rate of visitation to crop flowers by wild insects increases with flower-visitor richness. (A) The line is the overall regression, and each point is a field in a crop system. (B) Slopes (βi ± 95% CI) represent the effect of richness on wild insect visitation for individual crop systems. Data from individual crop systems were standardized by z scores prior to analysis (after log-transformation for visitation), permitting direct comparison of regression coefficients.

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