Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Bee communities and pollination services in adjacent crop fields following flower removal in an invasive forest shrub.

Abstract

The habitat boundaries between crops and seminatural areas influence bee movements and pollination services to crops. Edges also provide favorable conditions for invasive plants, which may usurp pollinators and reduce visitation to native or crop plants. Alternatively, floral displays of alien plants may facilitate, or increase, the pollination success of adjacent plants by attracting more pollinators to the area. Therefore, pollination services of bees from seminatural habitats to crop areas should vary with the presence of invasive floral resources and distance from habitat edges. To test the hypothesis that floral resources of invasive forest shrubs affect the bee community and pollination services in adjacent crop fields, we conducted a 2-yr field experiment along forest-crop edges at five isolated forest remnants. We removed flower buds from a dominant invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle), along forest-crop edges and paired removals with controls of intact flowers. The bee community, their pollination services, and flower visitation rates were quantified along a 200-m gradient into an adjacent crop field using pan traps and sentinel cucumber plants. Impacts to the bee community were dependent of bee functional traits. Larger bees visited fewer sentinel cucumber flowers in flower removal plots, which corresponded with decreased cucumber pollination compared to plots with honeysuckle flowers at distances >100 m from forest edges. Small-bodied and weaker flying bees visited sentinel plants more frequently closer to the forest edge and increased pollination services to cucumber at distances <100 m from L. maackii shrubs in flower removal plots. After 2 yr, bee abundance and species richness increased within flower removal plots across all distances. High functional diversity of the bee community increased pollination services to sentinel plants and increased cucumber production within 200 m from forest remnants. Our findings suggest that dense floral resources of invasive shrubs suppressed forest-edge bee communities and their pollination services, but also attracted large-bodied generalist bees, which were effective pollinators. This study helps explain how life histories and functional attributes of bees can predict either facilitation or suppression of pollination services to crop or native plants in response to invasive floral resources.