A fly perches on a cluster of white and yellow flowers

Journal Club Article for June 10, 2022

This Fri­day, June 10th, 2022, from 12–1 PM EST, we will dis­cuss the linked arti­cle at our next week­ly Jour­nal Club meet­ing. The arti­cle is titled “Exot­ic flies main­tain pol­li­na­tion ser­vices as native pol­li­na­tors decline with agri­cul­tur­al expan­sion”, and will be pre­sent­ed by STEM Research intern Wes Walsh.

Abstract: 1. Glob­al­ly, con­ver­sion of nat­ur­al habi­tat to agri­cul­tur­al land is a pri­ma­ry dri­ver of declines in crit­i­cal ecosys­tem ser­vices, includ­ing pol­li­na­tion. How­ev­er, exot­ic species are often well-adapt­ed to human-mod­i­fied envi­ron­ments and could com­pen­sate for ecosys­tem ser­vices that are lost when native species decline. 2. We mea­sured pol­li­na­tion ser­vices (pollen deliv­ery to stig­ma) pro­vid­ed by wild insects to a mass flow­er­ing crop, pak choi Bras­si­ca rapa at 12 sites across a gra­di­ent of increas­ing agri­cul­tur­al land use (agri­cul­tur­al expan­sion) in New Zealand. 3. We found that pol­li­na­tion ser­vices increased as the pro­por­tion of agri­cul­tur­al land in the sur­round­ing land­scape increased; pol­li­na­tion from exot­ic species exceed­ed the loss of pol­li­na­tion from native species. How­ev­er, pol­li­na­tion ser­vice deliv­ery became increas­ing­ly dom­i­nat­ed by a few exot­ic fly species that were active through­out the day, com­pared to native species, which had more con­strained activ­i­ty pat­terns. 4. Syn­the­sis and appli­ca­tions. The best way to ensure con­tin­ued suf­fi­cient crop pol­li­na­tion is to pro­tect and restore diverse nat­ur­al habi­tats on or around farms, as species-rich pol­li­na­tor com­mu­ni­ties are rel­a­tive­ly resilient to fur­ther envi­ron­men­tal change. How­ev­er, we show that where human-dri­ven dis­tur­bance has caused loss of native pol­li­na­tor species, exot­ic pol­li­na­tors can main­tain suf­fi­cient pol­li­na­tion. There­fore, in areas where native species loss can­not eas­i­ly be reversed, deci­sions about pes­ti­cide use and habi­tat pro­vi­sion that fos­ter pop­u­la­tions of ben­e­fi­cial exot­ic species are like­ly to main­tain pol­li­na­tion ser­vice deliv­ery, at least in the short term. This high­lights the need for land man­agers to iden­ti­fy the pol­li­na­tor com­mu­ni­ties that are present on their farms, whether native or exot­ic, and make deci­sions to sup­port these impor­tant com­mu­ni­ties accordingly.


Meet­ing ID: 549 554 5262

Mas­sas­oit STEM events are open to ALL Mas­sas­oit stu­dents, fac­ul­ty, and staff.

Mas­sas­oit Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege encour­ages per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties to par­tic­i­pate in its pro­grams and activ­i­ties. If you antic­i­pate need­ing any type of accom­mo­da­tion or have ques­tions relat­ed to access for this event, please con­tact the Divi­sion of Sci­ence and Math­e­mat­ics at sciencemath@massasoit.edu in advance of your par­tic­i­pa­tion or visit.

Pho­to by Manuel Bartsch on Unsplash

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