Pollination Ecology

Insects in the city

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Science  19 Mar 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6535, pp. 1217
DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6535.1217-a

The diversity of nectar sources in cities for pollinators such as this meadow brown butterfly now exceeds other major habitats in the UK.

PHOTO: NICK UPTON/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

The floral landscape for insect pollinators has undergone major changes in human-dominated environments. Tew et al. compared the distribution of floral resources in urban areas, nature reserves, and farmland in the United Kingdom. They estimated nectar supply in the three habitats by combining data on nectar sugar production and floral abundance. Nectar sugar production was similar per unit area in all three habitats, but the diversity of nectar sources in cities was substantially higher than that in farmland or nature reserves. Residential gardens were found to be of key importance in providing nectar resources from a wide variety of plant species for pollinating insects.

J. Ecol. 10.1111/1365-2745.13598 (2021).

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