Global-scale drivers of crop visitor diversity and the historical development of agriculture




Brown, Julian
Cunningham, Saul

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The Royal Society Publishing


Understanding diversity in flower-visitor assemblages helps us improve pollination of crops and support better biodiversity conservation outcomes. Much recent research has focused on drivers of crop-visitor diversity operating over spatial scales from fields to landscapes, such as pesticide and habitat management, while drivers operating over larger scales of continents and biogeographic realms are virtually unknown. Flower and visitor traits influence attraction of pollinators to flowers, and evolve in the context of associations that can be ancient or recent. Plants that have been adopted into agriculture have been moved widely around the world and thereby exposed to new flower visitors. Remarkably little is known of the consequence of these historical patterns for present-day crop-visiting bee diversity. We analyse data from 317 studies of 27 crops worldwide and find that crops are visited by fewer bee genera outside their region of origin and outside their family's region of origin. Thus, recent human history and the deeper evolutionary history of crops and bees appear to be important determinants of flower-visitor diversity at large scales that constrain the levels of visitor diversity that can be influenced by field- and landscape-scale interventions.



water oxidation, cobalt oxides, in situ spectroscopy, EPR, spectroelectrochemistry



Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences


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Open Access

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Creative Commons Attribution License



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