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Does landscape structure influence native bees and coffee pollination in the tropics?

Grant number: 14/15200-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): September 24, 2014
Effective date (End): October 29, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Jean Paul Walter Metzger
Grantee:Fernanda Teixeira Saturni
Supervisor abroad: Wolfgang W. Weisser
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Technical University of Munich, Weihenstephan (TUM), Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:13/17161-7 - Pollinator's diversity and pollination effectiveness of coffee in landscapes with different amounts of forest cover, BP.MS


Several studies are being conducted to relate the provision of ecosystem services with biodiversity conservation. Crop pollination is an important ecosystem service provided worldwide by pollinators, especially bees. Studies have shown that the presence of bees results in increased production of many crops, including coffee. However, the mechanisms that determine pollination effectiveness on a broader spatial scale are still largely unknown. To explore those relationships, as part of a master's dissertation, we evaluated how landscape composition (particularly forest and coffee cover) and landscape configuration (distance to the nearest forest fragment) affect coffee (Coffea arabica) pollination. Our study was undertaken in nine landscapes (11.280 ha total), encompassing plantations surrounded by different amounts of Atlantic Forest remnants (12-53%). Using floral exclusion experiments, we evaluated pollination effectiveness in 15 coffee trees per landscape. We also estimated richness and abundance of floral visitors, capturing them on coffee flowers with entomological nets. Pollination effectiveness was measured by counting and weighing the fruit set. The presence of pollinators significantly increased fruit set, rising the number of fruits (23.7% increases) as well as their mass (6.7% increases in dry weight). Considering the data above, there is still need to evaluate the effect of landscape structure and composition on the pollinator's community and coffee pollination effectiveness. In order to fill this gap, the present BEPE project aims to (1)test this effect through generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) and (2)to expand the possibilities of results interpretation by discussing our results with high qualified researcher groups. (AU)

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